me, it may go on for some time longer. It need not pine to death for want of me.'
'Let it perish, for all I care! That is not troubling me. I am thinking about myself.'
'Oh, indeed. Tell me, what about yourself?'
My husband was silent, with a smile.
I knew his way, and protested at once: 'No, no, you are not going to run away from me like that! I want to have this out with you.'
'Can one ever finish a subject with words?'
'Do stop speaking in riddles. Tell me ...'
'What I want is, that I should have you, and you should have me, more fully in the outside world. That is where we are still in debt to each other.'
'Is anything wanting, then, in the love we have here at home?'
'Here you are wrapped up in me. You know neither what you have, nor what you want.'
'I cannot bear to hear you talk like this.'
'I would have you come into the heart of the outer world and meet reality. Merely going on with your household duties, living all your life in the world of household conventions and the drudgery of household tasks—you were not made for that! If we meet, and recognize each other, in the real world, then only will our love be true.'
'If there be any drawback here to our full recognition of each other, then I have nothing to say. But as for myself, I feel no want.'