TEODORA: I am listening to you, and as I listen you seem to me not like a mother, a sister, or a friend; your words sound to me as though Satan were counselling you and inspiring you and speaking through your lips. Why do you want to convince me that my love for my husband is a lie--a lie of the soul--and that a rival love is foully growing there, whose flame consumes and defiles? Why, I love him as I have always loved him. I would give the very last drop of that blood that runs through my veins and sets me on fire, for a single instant of life for that man from whom they separate me. I would go in there this very minute if your husband would let me. And I would clasp Julian in my arms and would bathe him with my tears, with such tender love and such passion that his doubts would be consumed by the fire of our souls. But just becuase I adore Julian, must I be so ungrateful as to hate the noble and generous man who risked his life for me? And if I don't hate him, must I love him? Heaven help me! The world thinks such things. I hear such strange stories, I see such sad things happen, I have such slanders heaped upon me, that sometimes I begin to doubt myself and I ask myself in horror: Am I, perhaps, what they all say I am? Do I nourish an unlawful passion in the very depths of my being, consuming me without my knowledge, and will the evil flame break out some sad and ill-omened hour and overpower my will and my senses? Listen, Mercedes ... I don't know how to convince you.