Ellen: Well, I will tell you, in almost everything she says there's something true and something untrue. Why? What has Granny been telling you?
Newland: I think she believes you might go back to your husband. I think she believes you might at least consider it.
Ellen: A lot of things have been believed of me. But if she thinks I'd consider it, that also means she'd consider it for me...as Granny is weighing your idea of advancing the marriage.
Newland: May and I had a frank talk in Florida. It's probably our first. She wants a long engagement to give me time.
Ellen: Time for what?
Newland: She thinks I want to marry her at once...to get away from someone that I care for...more.
Ellen: Time to give her up for another woman?
Newland: If I want to.
Ellen: It's very noble.
Newland: Yes. It's ridiculous.
Ellen: Why? Because there is no other woman?
Newland: No. Because I don't mean to marry anyone else.
Ellen: This other woman. Does she love you too?
Newland: There is no other woman. The person that May was thinking of was never... That must be your carriage.
Ellen: Yes. I suppose I should be leaving soon.
Newland: To Mrs. Struthers?
Ellen: Yes. I must go where I'm invited or I should be too lonely. Why not come with me?
Newland: May guessed the truth. There is another woman. Only not the one she thinks.
Ellen: Don't make love to me. Too many people have done that.
Newland: I would never make love to you. But you are the woman I'd have married had it been possible for either of us.
Ellen: You can say that when you are the one who has made it impossible?
Newland: I've made it?!
Ellen: Isn’t it you who made me give up divorcing? Didn’t you talk to me here, in this house, about sacrifice, and sparing scandal! And for May’s sake and for yours, I did what you asked!
Newland: The things in your husband's letter...
Ellen: I had nothing to fear from that letter. Absolutely nothing. I was just afraid of scandal for the family and you and May.
Newland: Nothing's...Nothing's done that can't be undone. I'm still free. You can be too. Please. (Newland and Ellen kisses) Can I marry May now? Do you see me marrying May now?
Ellen: I don't see you putting that question to May, do you?
Newland: I have to. It's too late to do anything else.
Ellen: You say that because it's the easiest thing to say this moment, not because it's true.
Newland: I don't understand you.
Ellen: You don't understand because you don't realize how you've changed things for me. You don't know all that you've done.
Newland: All I've done?
Ellen: All the good things you've done for me, Newland, that I never knew. Going to the van der Luydens because people refused to meet me. Announcing your engagement at the ball so there would be two families behind me instead of one. I never understood how dreadful people thought I was. Granny blurted it out one day. I was stupid. I never thought... New York meant freedom to me. Everyone seemed so kind and glad to see me. But they never knew what it meant to be tempted, but you did. You understood. I'd never known that before, and it's better than anything I've known. Newland, you couldn't be happy if it meant being cruel. If we act any other way, I will be making you act against what I love in you most. And I can't go back to that way of thinking. Don't you see? I can't love you unless I give you up.
May's letter: "Ellen, Granny's telegram was successful. Mama agreed to marriage after Easter. Only a month. I will telegraph Newland. I'm too happy for words and love you dearly. Your grateful cousin, May."