“I love you. As the same value, as the same expression, with the same pride and the same meaning as I love my work, my mills, my Metal, my hours at a desk, at a furnace, in a laboratory, in an ore mine, as I love my ability to work, as I love the act of sight and knowledge, as I love the action of my mind when it solves a chemical equation or grasps a sunrise, as I love the things I’ve made and the things I’ve felt, as my product , as my choice, as a shape of my world, as my best mirror, as the wife I’ve never had, as that which makes all the rest possible: as my power to live.”
She did not drop her face, but kept it level and open, to hear and accept, as he wanted her to and as he deserved. (my emphasis)
“I loved you from the first day I saw you, on a flatcar on a siding of Milford Station. I loved you when we rode in the cab of the first engine on the John Galt Line. I loved you on the gallery of Ellis Wyatt’s house. I loved you on that next morning. You knew it. But it’s I who must say it to you, as I am saying it now—–if I am to redeem all those days and to let them be fully what they were for both of us. I loved you. You knew it. I didn’t. And because I didn’t, I had to learn it when I sat at my desk and looked at the Gift Certificate for Rearden Metal. “
She closed her eyes. But there was no suffering in his face, nothing but the immense and quiet happiness of clarity.
“ ’We are those who do not disconnect the values of their minds from the actions of their bodies.’ You said it in your broadcast tonight. But you knew it, then, on the morning in Ellis Wyatt’s house. You knew that all those insults I was throwing at you were the fullest confession of a love a man could make. You knew that the physical desire I was damning as our mutual shame, is neither physical nor an expression of one’s body, but the expression of one’s mind’s deepest values, whether one has the courage to know it or not. That was why you laughed at me as you did, wasn’t it?”
“Yes,” she whispered.
“You said , ‘I do not want your mind, your will, your being or your soul—as long as it’s to me that you will come for that lowest one of your desires.’ You knew, when you said it, that it was my mind, my will, my being and my soul that I was giving you by means of that desire. And I want to say it now, to let that morning mean what it meant: my mind, my will, my being and my soul, Dagny—yours, for as long as I shall live.”
Ayn Rand 1957