Manders. Have you forgotten that after barely a year of married life you were standing at the very edge of a precipice?--that you forsook your house and home? that you ran away from your husband- -yes, Mrs. Alving, ran away, ran away-=and refused to return to him in spite of his requests and entreaties?
Mrs. Alving. Have you forgotten how unspeakably unhappy I was during that first year?
Manders. To crave for happiness in this world is simply to be possessed by a spirit of revolt. What right have we to happiness? No! we must do our duty, Mrs. Alving. And your duty was to cleave to the man you had chosen and to whom you were bound by a sacred bond.
Mrs. Alving. You know quite well what sort of a life my husband was living at that time--what excesses he was guilty of.
Menders. I know only too well what rumour used to say of him; and I should be the last person to approve of his conduct as a young man, supposing that rumour spoke the truth. But it is not a wife's part to be her husband's judge. You should have considered it your bounden duty humbly to have borne the cross that a higher will had laid upon you. But, instead of that, you rebelliously cast off your cross, you deserted the man whose stumbling footsteps you should have supported, you did what was bound to imperil your good name and reputation, and came very near to imperilling the reputation of others into the bargain.
Mrs. Alving. Of others? Of one other, you mean.
Manders. It was the height of imprudence, your seeking refuge with me.
Mrs. Alving. With our priest? With our intimate friend?