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of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: The Picture of Dorian Gray Author: Oscar Wilde Release Date: October 1, 2008 [EBook #26740] Language: English *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY ***

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THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY BY OSCAR WILDE LONDON: SIMPKIN, MARSHALL, HAMILTON, KENT & CO., LTD. PARIS ON SALE AT YE OLD PARIS BOOKE SHOPPE 11 RUE DE CHÃ TEAUDUN _Registered at Stationers' Hall and protected under the Copyright Law Act. First published in complete book form in 1891 by Messrs. Ward, Lock & Co. (London), First printed in this Edition April 1913, Reprinted June 1913, September 1913, June 1914, January 1916 October 1916._

_See the Bibliographical Note on certain Pirated and Mutilated Editions of "Dorian Gray" at the end of this present volume._

THE PREFACE The artist is the creator of beautiful things. To reveal art and conceal the artist is art's aim. The critic is he who can translate into another manner or a new material his impression of beautiful things. The highest, as the lowest, form of criticism is a mode of autobiography. Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all. The nineteenth century dislike of Realism is the rage of Caliban seeing his own face in a glass. The nineteenth century dislike of Romanticism is the rage of Caliban not seeing his own face in a glass. The moral life of man forms part of the subject-matter of the artist, but the morality of art consists in the perfect use of an imperfect medium. No artist desires to prove anything. Even things that are true can be proved. No artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style. No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express everything. Thought and language are to the artist instruments of an art. Vice and virtue are to the artist materials for an art. From the point of view of form, the type of all the arts is the art of the musician. From the point of view of feeling, the actor's craft is the type. All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril. Those who read the symbol do so at their peril. It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors. Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital.

When critics disagree the artist is in accord with himself. We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely. All art is quite useless. OSCAR WILDE.

THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY

CHAPTER I The studio was filled with the rich odour of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden, there came through the open door the heavy scent of the lilac, or the more delicate perfume of the pink-flowering thorn. From the corner of the divan of Persian saddlebags on which he was lying, smoking, as was his custom, innumerable cigarettes, Lord Henry Wotton could just catch the gleam of the honey-sweet and honey-coloured blossoms of a laburnum, whose tremulous branches seemed hardly able to bear the burden of a beauty so flame-like as theirs; and now and then the fantastic shadows of birds in flight flitted across the long tussore-silk curtains that were stretched in front of the huge window, producing a kind of momentary Japanese effect, and making him think of those pallid jade-faced painters of Tokio who, through the medium of an art that is necessarily immobile, seek to convey the sense of swiftness and motion. The sullen murmur of the bees shouldering their way through the long unmown grass, or circling with monotonous insistence round the dusty gilt horns of the straggling woodbine, seemed to make the stillness more oppressive. The dim roar of London was like the bourdon note of a distant organ. In the centre of the room, clamped to an upright easel, stood the full-length portrait of a young man of extraordinary personal beauty, and in front of it, some little distance away, was sitting the artist himself, Basil Hallward, whose sudden disappearance some years ago caused, at the time, such public excitement, and gave rise to so many strange conjectures. As the painter looked at the gracious and comely form he had so skilfully mirrored in his art, a smile of pleasure passed across his face, and seemed about to linger there. But he suddenly started up, and, closing his eyes, placed his fingers upon the lids, as though he sought to imprison within his brain some curious dream from which he feared he might awake. "It is your best work, Lord Henry, languidly. Grosvenor. The Academy there, there have been Basil, the best thing you have ever done," said "You must certainly send it next year to the is too large and too vulgar. Whenever I have gone either so many people that I have not been able

I knew you would. never thinks. or all forehead. why? Have you any reason? What odd chaps you painters are! You do anything in the world to gain a reputation. and destroys the harmony of any face. with your rugged strong face and your coal-black hair. but it is quite true. and as a natural consequence he always looks absolutely delightful. The moment one sits down to think. "Not send it anywhere? My dear fellow. Your mysterious young friend." "I know you will laugh at me. If they know nothing of victory. The ugly and the stupid have the best of it in this world. A bishop keeps on saying at the age of eighty what he was told to say when he was a boy of eighteen." "You don't understand me. for there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about." he answered. or so many pictures that I have not been able to see the people. I feel quite sure of that. It is better not to be different from one's fellows. of course you have an intellectual expression. and you--well. Dorian Gray's good looks--we shall all suffer for what the gods have ." "I don't think I shall send it anywhere. As soon as you have one. such as they are--my art. Intellect is in itself a mode of exaggeration. You shrug your shoulders? I am telling you the truth. There is a fatality about all physical and intellectual distinction. who looks as if he was made out of ivory and rose-leaves. It is silly of you. A portrait like this would set you far above all the young men in England. nor ever receive it from alien hands. How perfectly hideous they are! Except. Basil: you are not in the least like him. The Grosvenor is really the only place." he replied. my dear Basil. indifferent. and this young Adonis. which was worse. He is some brainless. and looked at him in amazement through the thin blue wreaths of smoke that curled up in such fanciful whorls from his heavy opium-tainted cigarette." answered the artist. and always here in summer when we want something to chill our intelligence. whatever it may be worth. my brains. if old men are ever capable of any emotion. I didn't know you were so vain. real beauty. whose name you have never told me. Basil. which was dreadful. he is a Narcissus. Don't flatter yourself. I have put too much of myself into it. "Of course I am not like him. ends where an intellectual expression begins. beautiful creature. and I really can't see any resemblance between you. they are at least spared the knowledge of defeat. Look at the successful men in any of the learned professions. "Yes. "No: I won't send it anywhere. Harry. or something horrid. but whose picture really fascinates me. "but I really can't exhibit it. who should be always here in winter when we have no flowers to look at. undisturbed. you seem to want to throw it away. Your rank and wealth. tossing his head back in that odd way that used to make his friends laugh at him at Oxford. and without disquiet. the sort of fatality that seems to dog through history the faltering steps of kings. and all that. one becomes all nose. and make the old men quite jealous.to see the pictures." Lord Henry elevated his eyebrows. of course. But then in the Church they don't think. They can sit at their ease and gape at the play. all the same. Harry. Why. I should be sorry to look like him. But beauty. They live as we all should live. I know that perfectly well. They neither bring ruin upon others." "Too much of yourself in it! Upon my word." Lord Henry stretched himself out on the divan and laughed. in the Church. and that is not being talked about. Indeed.

you did not." "What is that?" said the painter. laughing. I will tell you what it is. I want you to explain to me why you won't exhibit Dorian Gray's picture. keeping his eyes fixed on the ground. than I am." "Well. If I did. and I always do. But when she does find me out. When I like people immensely I never tell their names to anyone. and the two young men went out into the garden together. I suppose you think me awfully foolish about it?" "Not at all. I didn't intend to tell it to you." "But why not?" "Oh. white daisies were tremulous. that is his name.given us. suffer terribly. When I leave town now I never tell my people where I am going. When we meet--we do meet occasionally. In the grass. "Yes. in fact. I want the real reason. The commonest thing is delightful if one only hides it. After a pause. I sometimes wish she would. but somehow it seems to bring a great deal of romance into one's life. my dear Basil. Now. "and before I go. I can't explain. "I am afraid I must be going. but she merely laughs at me. when we dine out together. Harry. walking across the studio towards Basil Hallward. It seems to be the one thing that can make modern life mysterious or marvellous to us. I would lose all my pleasure." "I told you the real reason. I insist on your answering a question I put to you some time ago." "No. and my wife never knows what I am doing. My wife is very good at it--much better. "I believe that you are really a very good husband. and you never do a wrong thing." cried Lord Henry." he murmured. but that you are thoroughly ashamed of your own virtues. Harry. I have grown to love secrecy." "Being natural is simply a pose." said Basil Hallward. It is like surrendering a part of them. I daresay. strolling towards the door that led into the garden. and ensconced themselves on a long bamboo seat that stood in the shade of a tall laurel bush. The sunlight slipped over the polished leaves. Basil. I never know where my wife is. and the most irritating pose I know. You are an extraordinary fellow." "Dorian Gray? Is that his name?" asked Lord Henry. It is a silly habit." "I do not. that is childish. She never gets confused over her dates. and the one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties. or go down to the Duke's--we tell each other the most absurd stories with the most serious faces. she makes no row at all." . You never say a moral thing. Lord Henry pulled out his watch. You seem to forget that I am married. "You know quite well. Your cynicism is simply a pose. "not at all." answered Lord Henry." "I hate the way you talk about your married life. You said it was because there was too much of yourself in it.

"Oh. That is all. leaning down. and wondered what was coming. had at least always been so. I suddenly became conscious that someone was looking at me." Lord Henry smiled. moved to and fro in the languid air. it was a sort of cowardice. I can believe anything. and examined it. it is rather the painter who. When our eyes met. I grew afraid. as you told me once. the occasion. and like a blue thread a long thin dragon-fly floated past on its brown gauze wings. Something seemed to tell me that I was on the verge of a terrible crisis in my life."Harry." said Basil Hallward. A grasshopper began to chirrup by the wall. with their clustering stars. Lord Henry felt as if he could hear Basil Hallward's heart beating." said the painter after some time." "Conscience and cowardice are really the same things. just to remind the public that we are not savages. Conscience is the trade-name of the firm." Lord Henry laughed. With an evening coat and a white tie. till I met Dorian Gray. "Two months ago I went to a crush at Lady Brandon's. gazing intently at the little golden white-feathered disk. if I allowed it to do so.but I don't know how to explain it to you. and the heavy lilac-blooms. there is really very little to tell. "and I am afraid you will hardly understand it. glancing at him. on the coloured canvas." said Hallward. can gain a reputation for being civilised. Harry. reveals himself. and. Perhaps you will hardly believe it. not of the sitter. "And what is that?" he asked. Basil. and I don't believe you do either. provided that it is quite incredible. anybody. my whole soul. The sitter is merely the accident. my very art itself. talking to huge over-dressed dowagers and tedious Academicians. I did not want any external influence in my life. Harry." "I don't believe that. You know yourself. The reason I will not exhibit this picture is that I am afraid that I have shown in it the secret of my own soul. "every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist. Then---. It is not he who is revealed by the painter." he replied. for I used . "I am quite sure I shall understand it. but an expression of perplexity came over his face." The wind shook some blossoms from the trees. I take no credit to myself for trying to escape. I had a strange feeling that Fate had in store for me exquisite joys and exquisite sorrows. looking him straight in the face. A curious sensation of terror came over me. "The story is simply this. "I will tell you. I felt that I was growing pale. I knew that I had come face to face with someone whose mere personality was so fascinating that. even a stockbroker. Basil. and turned to quit the room. I turned halfway round. how independent I am by nature. However." continued his companion. and saw Dorian Gray for the first time. I have always been my own master. You know we poor artists have to show ourselves in society from time to time. plucked a pink-petalled daisy from the grass. "and as for believing things. after I had been in the room about ten minutes." answered the painter. "I am all expectation. Harry. it would absorb my whole nature. Well. whatever was my motive--and it may have been pride. It was not conscience that made me do so.

but I asked Lady Brandon to introduce me to him. There. what did she say about Mr. something like. and it is far the best ending for one. Mr. Is that very vain of me? I think it . How could I admire her? But tell me. dear Mr. "I could not get rid of her. Harry!" said Hallward." "How horribly unjust of you!" cried Lord Henry. like ravelled skeins of glossy white silk. I make a great difference between people. I had only met her once before. Harry. and elderly ladles with gigantic tiaras and parrot noses. But Lady Brandon treats her guests exactly as an auctioneer treats his goods." "And how did Lady Brandon describe this wonderful young man?" asked his companion. I stumbled against Lady Brandon. You know her curiously shrill voice?" "Yes. of course. 'You are not going to run away so soon. my acquaintances for their good characters. the most astounding details." he murmured--"or what enmity is. nervous fingers. She spoke of me as her dearest friend. and my enemies for their good intellects. and consequently they all appreciate me. and people with Stars and Garters. I remember her bringing me up to a truculent and red-faced old gentleman covered all over with orders and ribbons. at least had been chattered about in the penny newspapers. pulling the daisy to bits with his long. I believe some picture of mine had made a great success at the time. I like to find out people for myself. She either explains them entirely away. Suddenly I found myself face to face with the young man whose personality had so strangely stirred me. Gray?' Neither of us could help laughing. It was reckless of me. "Yes. I choose my friends for their good looks." said the young lord. and hissing into my ear. and we became friends at once. that is to say. listlessly. which is the nineteenth-century standard of immortality." "Poor Lady Brandon! You are hard on her. I simply fled." said Lord Henry. Perhaps it was not so reckless. after all. It was simply inevitable. "My dear fellow. yes. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies. too.to be very proud--I certainly struggled to the door. horribly unjust of you. She brought me up to Royalties. He. "I know she goes in for giving a rapid _précis_ of all her guests. 'Charming boy--poor dear mother and I absolutely inseparable. plucking another daisy. she tried to found a _salon_. You like everyone. she is a peacock in everything but beauty. Dorian told me so afterwards. were drifting across the hollowed turquoise of the summer sky. Our eyes met again. We were quite close. Hallward shook his head. "You don't understand what friendship is. I have not got one who is a fool. and looking up at the little clouds that. almost touching. I am sure of that. Dorian Gray?" "Oh. plays the piano--or is it the violin. but she took it into her head to lionise me. and only succeeded in opening a restaurant. Hallward?' she screamed out. Quite forget what he does--afraid he--doesn't do anything--oh. you are indifferent to everyone. tilting his hat back. felt that we were destined to know each other. in a tragic whisper which must have been perfectly audible to everybody in the room. They are all men of some intellectual power. or tells one everything about them except what one wants to know. for that matter. We would have spoken to each other without any introduction." "Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship.

gravely. Harry. He is absolutely necessary to me. the probabilities are that the more insincere the man is. brothers! I don't care for brothers. frowning. Basil! That is the second time you have made that observation.is rather vain. Dorian Gray. or that his beauty is such that Art cannot . The first is the appearance of a new medium for art. Now. My elder brother won't die. I suppose?" "Oh." "And much less than a friend. Harry." "I should think it was. the value of an idea has nothing whatsoever to do with the sincerity of the man who expresses it. What the invention of oil-painting was to the Venetians. their indignation was quite magnificent. or metaphysics with you. I like persons better than principles. It is not merely that I paint from him. However. the more purely intellectual will the idea be. draw from him. "My dear fellow. as in that case it will not be coloured by either his wants. and my younger brothers seem never to do anything else. and the face of Dorian Gray will some day be to me. I don't propose to discuss politics." said the painter. stupidity. I quite sympathise with the rage of the English democracy against what they call the vices of the upper orders. and. "How English you are. and tapped the toe of his patent-leather boot with a tasselled ebony cane. what is more. and the second is the appearance of a new personality for art also. And yet I don't suppose that ten per cent. But he is much more to me than a model or a sitter. I won't tell you that I am dissatisfied with what I have done of him. How often do you see him?" "Every day. that there are only two eras of any importance in the world's history. Indeed. of the proletariat live correctly. I am not quite serious. "I sometimes think. sketch from him. and I like persons with no principles better than anything else in the world. A sort of brother. I feel sure you don't either. I suppose it comes from the fact that none of us can stand other people having the same faults as ourselves. you are much more than an acquaintance." "Harry!" exclaimed Hallward. When poor Southwark got into the Divorce Court. I couldn't be happy if I didn't see him every day. Tell me more about Mr. his desires." "I don't agree with a single word that you have said. sociology. Of course I have done all that. The only thing he considers of any importance is whether one believes it oneself. If one puts forward an idea to a true Englishman--always a rash thing to do--he never dreams of considering whether the idea is right or wrong. or his prejudices. the face of Antinoüs was to late Greek sculpture." "My dear old Basil. The masses feel that drunkenness." Lord Henry stroked his pointed brown beard. and immorality should be their own special property." "He is all my art to me now. But according to your category I must be merely an acquaintance. But I can't help detesting my relations. Harry. and that if anyone of us makes an ass of himself he is poaching on their preserves." "How extraordinary! I thought you would never care for anything but your art.

and I know that the work I have done. though he is really over twenty--his merely visible presence--ah! I wonder can you realise all that that means? Unconsciously he defines for me the lines of a fresh school. but should put nothing of his own life into them." he answered. before. and I will not bare my soul to their shallow prying eyes. My heart shall never be put under their microscope. I find a strange pleasure in saying things to him that I know I shall be . Harry--too much of myself!" "Poets are not so scrupulous as you are. I see everything in him. of a new manner. I find him in the curves of certain lines. an ideality that is void. of course. without intending it. He shall never know anything about it. 'A dream of form in days of thought:'--who is it who says that? I forget. I can now recreate life in a way that was hidden from me. But the world might guess it. but I won't argue with you. You might see nothing in him. And why is it so? Because. and always missed." cried Hallward. but it is what Dorian Gray has been to me. "I know he likes me." "Then why won't you exhibit his portrait?" asked Lord Henry. I have never cared to speak to him. all the perfection of the spirit that is Greek. Harry! if you only knew what Dorian Gray is to me! You remember that landscape of mine. is Dorian Gray very fond of you?" The painter considered for a few moments. for which Agnew offered me such a huge price. But in some curious way--I wonder will you understand me?--his personality has suggested to me an entirely new manner in art. and for the first time in my life I saw in the plain woodland the wonder I had always looked for. I see things differently. and for that reason the world shall never see my portrait of Dorian Gray. The merely visible presence of this lad--for he seems to me little more than a lad. He knows nothing about it. We live in an age when men treat art as if it were meant to be a form of autobiography. after a pause. Some day I will show the world what it is." "Basil. as I have said. Dorian Gray sat beside me. After some time he came back. Of course I flatter him dreadfully. Basil. "Harry. while I was painting it. They know how useful passion is for publication. There is too much of myself in the thing. a school that is to have in it all the passion of the romantic spirit. He is never more present in my work than when no image of him is there. We have lost the abstract sense of beauty. is the best work of my life. but which I would not part with? It is one of the best things I have ever done.express it." Hallward got up from the seat." "I hate them for it. "An artist should create beautiful things. Some subtle influence passed from him to me. Nowadays a broken heart will run to many editions. "Because. There is nothing that Art cannot express. "He likes me. Tell me. "Dorian Gray is to me simply a motive in art. of which. The harmony of soul and body--how much that is! We in our madness have separated the two. It is only the intellectually lost who ever argue." he said. and walked up and down the garden. I have put into it some expression of all this curious artistic idolatry. this is extraordinary! I must see Dorian Gray. is good work. and have invented a realism that is vulgar. in the loveliness and subtleties of certain colours. He is a suggestion. I think of them differently. since I met Dorian Gray. That is all." "I think you are wrong. an entirely new mode of style.

an idea seemed to strike him. and so we fill our minds with rubbish and facts." murmured Lord Henry. as if he had summed up the world in a phrase. You will bitterly reproach him in your own heart. you will be perfectly cold and indifferent.sorry for having said. however." "Harry. That accounts for the fact that we all take such pains to over-educate ourselves. and the idle grown eloquent over the dignity of labour. "Don't look so angry. I have just remembered. Then I feel. It is like a bric-À-brac shop. The thoroughly well-informed man--that is the modern ideal. Basil. we want to have something that endures. "Perhaps you will tire sooner than he will." "Days in summer. and the passions of one's friends--those were the fascinating things in life. and began to smoke a cigarette with a self-conscious and satisfied air. As long as I live. my dear Basil. an ornament for a summer's day. and seriously think that he has behaved very badly to you. It will be a great pity. Now and then. in the silly hope of keeping our place. for whose exercise there was no necessity in their own lives. I think you will tire first. "My dear fellow. with a slight frown. She told me she had discovered a wonderful young man. and we sit in the studio and talk of a thousand things." And Lord Henry struck a light on a dainty silver case. and seems to take a real delight in giving me pain. or you won't like his tone of colour. Harry?" "Where I heard the name of Dorian Gray. There was a rustle of chirruping sparrows in the green lacquer leaves of the ivy." "Ah. He pictured to himself with silent amusement the tedious luncheon that he had missed by staying so long with Basil Hallward. a romance of art one might call it. that I have given away my whole soul to someone who treats it as if it were a flower to put in his coat. or something. Basil. and the blue cloud-shadows chased themselves across the grass like swallows. It was at my aunt. who was going to help her ." "Where was it?" asked Hallward. The rich would have spoken on the value of thrift. are apt to linger. Each class would have preached the importance of those virtues. It was charming to have escaped all that! As he thought of his aunt. You change too often. and the necessity for model lodging-houses. The next time he calls. He turned to Hallward. How pleasant it was in the garden! And how delightful other people's emotions were!--much more delightful than their ideas. Harry. Those who are faithful know only the trivial side of love: it is the faithless who know love's tragedies. don't talk like that. and the whole conversation would have been about the feeding of the poor. all the same. Lady Agatha's. for it will alter you. What you have told me is quite a romance. It is a sad thing to think of. As a rule. all monsters and dust. and the worst of having a romance of any kind is that it leaves one so unromantic. it seemed to him. the personality of Dorian Gray will dominate me. a bit of decoration to charm his vanity." "Remembered what. and he will seem to you to be a little out of drawing. You can't feel what I feel. Some day you will look at your friend. and said. that is exactly why I can feel it. In the wild struggle for existence. he is horribly thoughtless. And the mind of the thoroughly well-informed man is a dreadful thing. One's own soul. Had he gone to his aunt's he would have been sure to have met Lord Goodbody there. he is charming to me. but there is no doubt that Genius lasts longer than Beauty. with everything priced above its proper value.

smiling. but I didn't know you had anyone with you. Your aunt was quite right in what she said of him. Dorian. sir." "Mr. Basil. and I don't want a life-sized portrait of myself. with his back to them. at least. "Dorian Gray is my dearest friend." "You don't want me to meet him?" "No." "This is Lord Henry Wotton." he cried. Your influence would be bad. Gray to wait. Don't spoil him. taking Hallward by the arm." "Why?" "I don't want you to meet him. Harry. and now you have spoiled everything. he almost led him into the house. Women have no appreciation of good looks. laughing. in a wilful. Dorian Gray is in the studio." "I am very glad you didn't." he said. and. CHAPTER II As they entered they saw Dorian Gray. Mind. and went up the walk. "What nonsense you talk!" said Lord Henry. Parker: I shall be in in a few moments. They are perfectly charming. The world is wide. turning over the pages of a volume of Schumann's "Forest Scenes. and has many marvellous people in it." said the butler. He was seated at the piano." answered the lad. an old Oxford friend of mine. and tramping about on huge feet. my life as an artist depends on him. "Ask Mr. and that his name was Dorian Gray. Dorian." cried Lord Henry. When he caught sight of Lord Henry. She said that he was very earnest. The painter turned to his servant.in the East End. I have just been telling him what a capital sitter you were. horribly freckled. coming into the garden. swinging round on the music-stool. and had a beautiful nature. who stood blinking in the sunlight. good women have not. Don't take away from me the one person who gives to my art whatever charm it possesses. I am bound to state that she never told me he was good-looking. "You must introduce me now. "He has a simple and a beautiful nature. and he started up. "I beg your pardon." The man bowed. I at once pictured to myself a creature with spectacles and lank hair." "You must lend me these. a faint blush coloured his cheeks for a moment. and the words seemed wrung out of him almost against his will. I wish I had known it was your friend. "I want to learn them." . I trust you. I am tired of sitting. petulant manner. Basil." He spoke very slowly. Don't try to influence him." "That entirely depends on how you sit to-day. Then he looked at Lord Henry." "Oh. Harry.

It is so tedious a subject that one would have to talk seriously about it. I have promised to meet a man at the Orleans." cried Dorian Gray. Gray--far too charming." Lord Henry took up his hat and gloves. as well as all youth's passionate purity. You don't really mind. Lord Henry looked at him." Hallward bit his lip. "Harry. he was certainly wonderfully handsome. "You are very pressing." "I don't know that I shall tell you that. "I promised to go to a club in Whitechapel with her last Tuesday. Mr. I believe. I see that Basil is in one of his sulky moods. . of course you must stay. and. I want you to tell me why I should not go in for philanthropy. "if Lord Henry Wotton goes I shall go too. one of her victims also. but I am afraid I must go. Gray. and not very nice to me." "Oh. and looked at Dorian Gray. Basil. stepping forward and extending his hand." answered Dorian. Mr. Gray. "My aunt has often spoken to me about you. He was looking worried. Mr. do you? You have often told me that you liked your sitters to have someone to chat to. "You are too charming to go in for philanthropy. Come and see me some afternoon in Curzon Street. his crisp gold hair. All the candour of youth was there. with a funny look of penitence. Write to me when you are coming. The painter had been busy mixing his colours and getting his brushes ready." said Lord Henry. I don't know what she will say to me. Yes. One felt that he had kept himself unspotted from the world. You are one of her favourites. No wonder Basil Hallward worshipped him."You have not spoiled my pleasure in meeting you. except himself. Basil. "Am I to go. his frank blue eyes. Good-bye. I am afraid. "If Dorian wishes it. Mr. I am nearly always at home at five o'clock. But I certainly shall not run away. There was something in his face that made one trust him at once. laughing. hesitated for a moment. We were to have played a duet together--three duets. "Oh. Mr. I want to finish this picture to-day." "Basil. When Aunt Agatha sits down to the piano she makes quite enough noise for two people. now that you have asked me to stop. I should be sorry to miss you. and when he heard Lord Henry's last remark he glanced at him. and I really forgot all about it. Gray?" he asked. The audience probably thought it was a duet. with his finely-curved scarlet lips. Gray." And Lord Henry flung himself down on the divan. and opened his cigarette-case. and I can't bear him when he sulks. And I don't think it really matters about your not being there." "That is very horrid to her. Lord Henry. Dorian's whims are laws to everybody. Would you think it awfully rude of me if I asked you to go away?" Lord Henry smiled. I will make your peace with my aunt." "I am in Lady Agatha's black books at present. and then said. please don't. I am far too frightened to call. She is quite devoted to you. Besides." answered Dorian.

" continued Lord Henry. "Have you really a very bad influence. The body sins once. Dorian." "Stay. I insist upon it. an actor of a part that has not been written for him." said Hallward. But the bravest man amongst us is afraid of himself." "Why?" "Because to influence a person is to give him one's own soul. His virtues are not real to him. and that he had even in his Eton days. and has done with its sin. the terror of God. or burn with his natural passions. and never listen either. expression to every thought. if there are such things as sins. The mutilation of the savage has its tragic survival in the self-denial that mars our lives. and conscious only that a look had come into the lad's face that he had never seen there before. Harry. And yet----" "Just turn your head a little more to the right. to oblige Dorian. "I don't think there will be any difficulty about that. Harry. for action is a mode of purification. were to give form to every feeling. I never talk when I am working. are borrowed. and poisons us. with the single exception of myself. And he had such a beautiful voice. "I believe that if one man were to live out his life fully and completely. To realise one's nature perfectly--that is what each of us is here for. All influence is immoral--immoral from the scientific point of view. But their own souls starve. and it must be dreadfully tedious for my unfortunate sitters. And now. He does not think his natural thoughts. and it is horribly dull standing on a platform and trying to look pleasant. than the Hellenic ideal. Sit down again." said the painter. and with that graceful wave of the hand that was always so characteristic of him. They feed the hungry. They have forgotten the highest of all duties. The aim of life is self-development. Gray. which is the secret of religion--these are the two things that govern us.You never open your lips while you are painting. Dorian. it may be. "It is quite true. Nothing remains . and are naked. with the air of a young Greek martyr. like a good boy. and don't move about too much. He has a very bad influence over all his friends. His sins. Ask him to stay." Dorian Gray stepped up on the dais. "And yet. musical voice. People are afraid of themselves. We are punished for our refusals. I beg you to stay." "But what about my man at the Orleans?" The painter laughed. Lord Henry? As bad as Basil says?" "There is no such thing as a good influence. gazing intently at his picture. to whom he had rather taken a fancy. Every impulse that we strive to strangle broods in the mind. The terror of society. and return to the Hellenic ideal--to something finer. Of course they are charitable. and to oblige me. the duty that one owes to one's self. deep in his work. and made a little _moue_ of discontent to Lord Henry. or pay any attention to what Lord Henry says. nowadays. in his low. and clothe the beggar. They made a delightful contrast. After a few moments he said to him. which is the basis of morals. Perhaps we never really had it. He was so unlike Basil. He becomes an echo of someone else's music. Mr. get up on the platform. Courage has gone out of our race. richer. reality to every dream--I believe that the world would gain such a fresh impulse of joy that we would forget all the maladies of mediævalism.

The few words that Basil's friend had said to him--words spoken by chance. with parted lips. I can't think of anything else. with your rose-red youth and your rose-white boyhood. You mustn't believe a word that he says. and to have a music of their own as sweet as that of viol or of lute. He had merely shot an arrow into the air. that it created in us. But music was not articulate. It seemed to him that he had been walking in fire." cried Dorian Gray. Let me think. You. He knew the precise psychological moment when to say nothing. but I cannot find it. Mere words! Was there anything so real as words? Yes. Resist it. There is some answer to you. Yet they seemed to him to have come really from himself. He understood them now. But you never sat better. no doubt. and eyes strangely bright. He was unconscious of the silence. Life suddenly became fiery-coloured to him. and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself. or the luxury of a regret. Or. suddenly. He was dimly conscious that entirely fresh influences were at work within him." . and with wilful paradox in them--had touched some secret chord that had never been touched before. "Basil. motionless. and. I suppose he has been paying you compliments. It is in the brain. let me try not to think. "I must go out and sit in the garden. with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful. Music had troubled him many times. Mr. Don't speak. rather. he wondered whether Dorian Gray was passing through a similar experience. When I am painting. that the great sins of the world take place also. Words! Mere words! How terrible they were! How clear." For nearly ten minutes he stood there. Why had he not known it? With his subtle smile. Had it hit the mark? How fascinating the lad was! Hallward painted away with that marvellous bold touch of his. thoughts that have filled you with terror. and cruel! One could not escape from them." "My dear fellow. The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. You were perfectly still. and the brain only. a book which had revealed to him much that he had not known before. And I have caught the effect I wanted--the half-parted lips. I don't know what to say. and the bright look in the eyes. Gray. The air is stifling here. but that he felt was now vibrating and throbbing to curious pulses. I don't know what Harry has been saying to you. you have had passions that have made you afraid. I am so sorry. Music had stirred him like that. at any rate. but he has certainly made you have the most wonderful expression. It was not a new world. remembering a book that he had read when he was sixteen. And yet what a subtle magic there was in them! They seemed to be able to give a plastic form to formless things. but rather another chaos. that had the true refinement and perfect delicacy that in art. "stop! you bewilder me.then but the recollection of a pleasure. you yourself. Lord Henry watched him. I am tired of standing. He felt intensely interested. He was amazed at the sudden impression that his words had produced. comes only from strength. there had been things in his boyhood that he had not understood. and vivid. It has been said that the great events of the world take place in the brain. day-dreams and sleeping dreams whose mere memory might stain your cheek with shame----" "Stop!" faltered Dorian Gray.

laughing. and the senses by means of the soul. like music. feverishly drinking in their perfume as if it had been wine. "Parker has brought out the drinks. There was something in his low. This is going to be my masterpiece. and seemed to have a language of their own. You know more than you think you know. I have never been in better form for painting than I am to-day. flower-like hands." Lord Henry went out to the garden. It is horribly hot in the studio. had a curious charm. Harry. just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul. It was absurd to be frightened. something with strawberries in it. and some hidden nerve shook the scarlet of his lips and left them trembling. languid voice that was absolutely fascinating. and put his hand upon his shoulder. Don't keep Dorian too long. "that is one of the great secrets of life--to cure the soul by means of the senses. Basil. His finely-chiselled nostrils quivered." "What can it matter?" cried Dorian Gray. and the leaves had tossed his rebellious curls and tangled all their gilded threads. what was there to be afraid of? He was not a schoolboy or a girl. so I will join you later on. even. and when Parker comes I will tell him what you want. It would be unbecoming."He has certainly not been paying me compliments. and Basil will never paint you again. graceful young man who was standing by him. but the friendship between them had never altered him. as he sat down on the seat at the end of the garden. He could not help liking the tall. "It should matter everything to you. He came close to him. yet." "Why?" "Because you have the most marvellous youth. It is my masterpiece as it stands. Gray. Suddenly there had come someone across his life who seemed to have disclosed to him life's mystery. "You are quite right to do that. He was bareheaded. just as you know less than you want to know." he murmured." Dorian Gray frowned and turned his head away. as he spoke. Mr. And. and youth is the one thing worth having. His cool. such as people have when they are suddenly awakened. But he felt afraid of him. looking at him with his dreamy. They moved. His romantic olive-coloured face and worn expression interested him. There was a look of fear in his eyes. I have got to work up this background. "Yes. "I will go out to the garden with you. languorous eyes. and found Dorian Gray burying his face in the great cool lilac-blossoms. and ashamed of being afraid. Just touch the bell. "Let us go and sit in the shade. white. "Nothing can cure the soul but the senses." The lad started and drew back. You are a wonderful creation. Perhaps that is the reason that I don't believe anything he has told me." said Lord Henry." "Certainly. Why had it been left for a stranger to reveal him to himself? He had known Basil Hallward for months. and if you stay any longer in this glare you will be quite spoiled." ." "You know you believe it all." said Lord Henry." continued Lord Henry. let us have something iced to drink. You really must not allow yourself to become sunburnt.

or spring-time. To me. The world belongs to you for a season. you will feel it. indeed. you will feel it terribly... Gray. trying to improve the hopeless failure. Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. when you are old and wrinkled and ugly. and fully. Every month as it wanes brings you nearer to something dreadful. Mr. of what you really might be. Be always searching for new sensations. Beauty is the wonder of wonders. or when we are stirred by some new emotion for which we cannot find expression. It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. Time is jealous of you. or have to content yourself with those mean triumphs that the memory of your past will make more bitter than defeats. Be afraid of nothing.. With your personality there is nothing you could not do. That may be so. The true mystery of the world is the visible.. The common hill-flowers wither. perfectly.. For there is such a little time that your youth will last--such a little time. These are the sickly aims. Will it always be so?. Some day. and the exquisite temptations that we had not the courage to yield to.. open-eyed and wondering.. you don't feel it now. Youth! Youth! There is absolutely nothing in the world but youth!" Dorian Gray listened.. You have a wonderfully beautiful face. And Beauty is a form of Genius--is higher. and hollow-cheeked. and passion branded your lips with its hideous fires. the common." "No.. He saw it creeping into the stained trumpet of a Tyrian convolvulus.. but they blossom again. He watched it with that strange interest in trivial things that we try to develop when things of high import make us afraid. becomes sluggish. But at least it is not so superficial as Thought is. A new Hedonism--that is what our century wants. There was so much in you that charmed me that I felt I must tell you something about yourself. Gray. In a month there will be purple stars on the clematis. haunted by the memory of the passions of which we were too much afraid. The moment I met you I saw that you were quite unconscious of what you really are.. Don't squander the gold of your days. Our limbs fail. Then it began to scramble all over the oval stellated globe of the tiny blossoms.. and year after year the green night of its leaves will hold its purple stars. and the vulgar. not the invisible."I don't feel that. than Genius. I thought how tragic it would be if you were wasted. and then you will suddenly discover that there are no triumphs left for you. or the reflection in dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon.. Yes. of our age. Lord Henry. It makes princes of those who have it. We degenerate into hideous puppets. You will suffer horribly. the gods have been good to you. or giving away your life to the ignorant. When your youth goes. You have only a few years in which to live really. when thought has seared your forehead with its lines. and dull-eyed. or when some thought that terrifies us lays sudden siege to the brain and calls on us to yield. After a time the bee flew away. like sunlight.. It is of the great facts of the world. But we never get back our youth. You smile? Ah! when you have lost it you won't smile. the false ideals. You might be its visible symbol. It cannot be questioned. your beauty will go with it.. Don't frown. The pulse of joy that beats in us at twenty. The spray of lilac fell from his hand upon the gravel. Now. you charm the world.. Mr. The . listening to the tedious. You have. People say sometimes that Beauty is only superficial. wherever you go. our senses rot. It has its divine right of sovereignty. The laburnum will be as yellow next June as it is now. and wars against your lilies and your roses. But what the gods give they quickly take away. as it needs no explanation. You will become sallow. Ah! realise your youth while you have it. A furry bee came and buzzed round it for a moment..

"My dear fellow." he said. I wonder shall I always be glad?" "Always! That is a dreadful word. Suddenly the painter appeared at the door of the studio. and you can bring your drinks. too. except when. stepping down from the platform." he cried at last. looked for a long time at Dorian Gray. They turned to each other. Gray. and his cheeks flushed for a moment with pleasure. and stooping down he wrote his name in long vermilion letters on the left-hand corner of the canvas. "It is the finest portrait of modern times. "And you have sat splendidly to-day. Mr. let our friendship be a caprice." As they entered the studio. I am awfully obliged to you. In the slanting beams that streamed through the open doorway the dust danced and was golden. Lord Henry came over and examined the picture. flushing at his own boldness. and frowning." The lad started. It is a meaningless word. and made staccato signs for them to come in. "You are glad you have met me. and a wonderful likeness as well. "Is it really finished?" he murmured. After about a quarter of an hour Hallward stopped painting. as if awakened from some dream. and in the pear-tree at the corner of the garden a thrush began to sing. Dorian Gray put his hand upon Lord Henry's arm. and then swayed gently to and fro. The sweep and dash of the brush on the canvas made the only sound that broke the stillness. but passed listlessly in front of his picture. and then for a long time at the picture. and turned towards it. "Quite finished. "I am waiting. When he saw it he drew back. It makes me shudder when I hear it. Lord Henry flung himself into a large wicker arm-chair and watched him. Gray.flower seemed to quiver. Gray?" Dorian made no answer." said Lord Henry. "Yes." broke in Lord Henry. They spoil every romance by trying to make it last for ever. now and then. come over and look at yourself. "In that case." They rose up. The light is quite perfect." said the painter. Mr. Mr. Hallward stepped back to look at his work from a distance. then stepped up on the platform and resumed his pose. "It is quite finished. I am glad now. and sauntered down the walk together. The heavy scent of the roses seemed to brood over everything. and smiled." "That is entirely due to me. Two green-and-white butterflies fluttered past them. Women are so fond of using it. I congratulate you most warmly. "Do come in. looking at him." he cried. as . It was certainly a wonderful work of art. A look of joy came into his eyes. The only difference between a caprice and a life-long passion is that the caprice lasts a little longer. "Isn't it. biting the end of one of his huge brushes." he murmured.

" said Hallward. "Yes.. He stood there motionless and in wonder. and uncouth. of course." The painter stared in amazement. laughed at them. It will never be older than this particular day of June. stung a little by the lad's silence. They had not influenced his nature. The scarlet would pass away from his lips. "I believe you would. as he stood gazing at the shadow of his own loveliness. That had stirred him at the time. He had never felt it before." answered the painter. and the gold steal from his hair. Hardly as much. But this picture will remain always young. I must have it." cried Lord Henry. but not catching the meaning of his words. there would be a day when his face would be wrinkled and wizen. Basil Hallward's compliments had seemed to him to be merely the charming exaggerations of friendship. and dreadful. with his eyes still fixed upon his own portrait. Harry. his eyes dim and colourless." "Whose property is it?" "Dorian's. hideous.. Harry. I am no more to you than a green bronze figure." he continued. His eyes deepened into amethyst. "Of course he likes it. "He is a very lucky fellow." "I should object very strongly. I daresay. the grace of his figure broken and deformed. The life that was to make his soul would mar his body. there is nothing in the whole world I would not give! I would give my soul for that!" "You would hardly care for such an arrangement. dimly conscious that Hallward was speaking to him. You will like them always. "How sad it is! I shall grow old. Basil. forgotten them. If it were only the other way! If it were I who was to be always young." said Lord Henry. How long will you like me? Till . You like your art better than your friends. laughing. "It would be rather hard lines on your work. The sense of his own beauty came on him like a revelation. As he thought of it. Yes. It was so unlike Dorian to speak like that. his terrible warning of its brevity. "Who wouldn't like it? It is one of the greatest things in modern art. I will give you anything you like to ask for it. Dorian Gray turned and looked at him. He would become dreadful. He had listened to them. and now. Basil. "I am less to you than your ivory Hermes or your silver Faun. He felt as if a hand of ice had been laid upon his heart." "It is not my property. and made each delicate fibre of his nature quiver.. the full reality of the description flashed across him. His face was flushed and his cheeks burning. What had happened? He seemed quite angry.if he had recognised himself for the first time. not understanding what it meant. Then had come Lord Henry Wotton with his strange panegyric on youth. and horrible." "How sad it is!" murmured Dorian Gray. a sharp pang of pain struck through him like a knife. and across them came a mist of tears. "Don't you like it?" cried Hallward at last. and the picture that was to grow old! For that--for that--I would give everything! Yes.

Then you can do what you like with yourself. "It is the real Dorian Gray--that is all. "Dorian! Dorian!" he cried." Hallward turned pale. when he had recovered from his surprise." "If it is not. Oh. I know. Basil." And he walked across the room and rang the bell for tea. Basil. now.I have my first wrinkle. "It would be murder!" "I am glad you appreciate my work at last. as though he was praying. He was going to rip up the canvas." "It is not. I suppose. Harry. seeking for something. and gives something to it. coldly. that when one loses one's good looks. I have never had such a friend as you. he buried his face in the cushions." "Well. he tore his hand away. You are not jealous of material things. Lord Henry Wotton is perfectly right. and caught his hand. "This is your doing. and I shall never have such another. are you?--you who are finer than any of them!" "I am jealous of everything whose beauty does not die. as soon as you are dry." was Lord Henry's answer. one loses everything. With a stifled sob the lad leaped from the couch. He had found it at last. and sent home. what have I to do with it?" "You should have gone away when I asked you. When I find that I am growing old. I am jealous of the portrait you have painted of me. "You will have tea. and flung it to the end of the studio." he muttered. and I could be always what I am now! Why did you paint it? It will mock me some day--mock me horribly!" The hot tears welled into his eyes. I can't quarrel with my two best friends at once. if it were only the other way! If the picture could change. but between you both you have made me hate the finest piece of work I have ever done. don't!" he cried. "I never thought you would. Yes. "I stayed when you asked me." said the painter. bitterly. What is it but canvas and colour? I will not let it come across our three lives and mar them. of . I shall kill myself. "don't talk like that. and. What was he doing there? His fingers were straying about among the litter of tin tubes and dry brushes. It is part of myself. Youth is the only thing worth having. tore the knife out of his hand. and with pallid face and tear-stained eyes looked at him. Dorian. whatever they may be. and I will destroy it. and framed. "Don't. Your picture has taught me that. as he walked over to the deal painting-table that was set beneath the high curtained window. Lord Henry shrugged his shoulders. flinging himself on the divan." Dorian Gray lifted his golden head from the pillow." "Appreciate it? I am in love with it. "Harry. Why should it keep what I must lose? Every moment that passes takes something from me. rushing over to Hallward. I feel that." said the painter. you shall be varnished. and. with its thin blade of lithe steel. it was for the long palette-knife.

Gray." "Before which Dorian? The one who is pouring out tea for us. Basil. I have a lot of work to do." There came a knock at the door. It was the most premature definition ever given. Dorian? And so will you. Basil. and I really do. What absurd fellows you are. Lord Henry." said the lad. when one has them on. after all: though I wish you chaps would not squabble over the picture. I would sooner not. somewhere. There was a rattle of cups and saucers and the hissing of a fluted Georgian urn. Mr." "I should have objected very strongly this morning. "Let us go to the theatre to-night. I gave it to you before it existed. Man is many things. both of you! I wonder who it was defined man as a rational animal. Basil. or that I am prevented from coming in consequence of a subsequent engagement. I shall never forgive you!" cried Dorian Gray." said Lord Henry. or the one in the picture?" "Before either. dreamily. so depressing. I have promised to dine at White's. I am glad he is not." "If you let anyone have it but me. It is so sombre. I think that would be a rather nice excuse: it would have all the surprise of candour. won't you?" "I can't really. so I can send him a wire to say that I am ill." said Lord Henry." "You really must not say things like that before Dorian." "Ah! this morning! You have lived since then. Harry? Or do you object to such simple pleasures?" "I adore simple pleasures. and you will come too. except on the stage. You had much better let me have it. Dorian Gray went over and poured out the tea. "Then you shall come. Harry. "There is sure to be something on. but he is not rational." "It is such a bore putting on one's dress-clothes. and the butler entered with a laden tea-tray and set it down upon a small Japanese table. "the costume of the nineteenth century is detestable. Sin is the only real colour-element left in modern life. but it is only with an old friend." answered Lord Henry. Lord Henry. The two men sauntered languidly to the table." muttered Hallward. This silly boy doesn't really want it." "Yes. Dorian. "And." "I should like to come to the theatre with you. and that you don't really object to being reminded that you are extremely young.course. "They are the last refuge of the complex. they are so horrid. "and I don't allow people to call me a silly boy." "And you know you have been a little silly." "You know the picture is yours. But I don't like scenes." . Two globe-shaped china dishes were brought in by a page. and examined what was under the covers.

as you have to dress." The painter bit his lip and walked over. "I entreat you. I beg you not to go. "Stop and dine with me. even in love it is purely a question for physiology. when we were in the garden this morning. you and I will go alone." "What a fuss people make about fidelity!" exclaimed Lord Henry. who was watching them from the tea-table with an amused smile." The lad hesitated. cup in hand." "How wonderful. Dorian.. "I shall stay with the real Dorian. and he went over and laid down his cup on the tray. Come to-morrow." cried Dorian. "And. Harry. "Am I really like that?" "Yes. He always breaks his own." "You won't forget?" "No." "I can't. and are not. "It is rather late. and looked over at Lord Henry. Good-bye. then." "Don't go to the theatre to-night." ." said Hallward. and. sadly." "I should like that awfully. you are just like that. Basil. and cannot: that is all one can say. strolling across to him. Harry!" "Yes." said Hallward. It has nothing to do with our own will." "Why?" "Because I have promised Lord Henry Wotton to go with him." "He won't like you the better for keeping your promises." sighed Hallward." "Certainly. "Why." he answered." Dorian Gray laughed and shook his head. Good-bye. you had better lose no time."Well. Mr.. Come and see me soon. Dorian. Basil?" "Remember what I asked you. "Is it the real Dorian?" cried the original of the portrait. Young men want to be faithful. of course not. Basil!" "At least you are like it in appearance. "That is something." he said. old men want to be faithless. But it will never alter. Basil. "Very well. "I must go. to the picture. Gray.

" said the old gentleman. and Prim unthought of. and he always said that the country was going to the dogs. except when the Tories were in office. and a terror to most of his relations." "Yes. "Come. who had been his father's secretary. CHAPTER III At half-past twelve next day Lord Henry Wotton strolled from Curzon Street over to the Albany to call on his uncle. He was a hero to his valet. and on succeeding some months later to the title. Mr. The son. excusing himself for this taint of industry on the ground that the one advantage of having coal was that it enabled a gentleman to afford the decency of burning wood on his own hearth. the painter flung himself down on a sofa." said Lord Henry. But I don't want money. and I never pay . and his inordinate passion for pleasure. who bullied him. When Lord Henry entered the room. but there was a good deal to be said for his prejudices. a genial if somewhat rough-mannered old bachelor. Gray. nowadays. It is only people who pay their bills who want that. his indolence. and took most of his meals at his club. He had two large town houses." "I wish I could trust myself. whom he bullied in turn. but who was considered generous by Society as he fed the people who amused him. a post to which he considered that he was fully entitled by reason of his birth. during which period he roundly abused them for being a pack of Radicals. and a look of pain came into his face. and grumbling over _The Times_. Young people. he found his uncle sitting in a rough shooting coat. as it was less trouble. my hansom is outside. I assure you. but preferred to live in chambers. "Well. had resigned along with his chief. Uncle George. whom the outside world called selfish because it derived no particular benefit from him. I want to get something out of you. His principles were out of date. "and when they grow older they know it." "I trust you. Only England could have produced him." murmured Lord Henry. making a wry face. "what brings you out so early? I thought you dandies never got up till two. imagine that money is everything." "Money. It has been a most interesting afternoon. somewhat foolishly as was thought at the time. but had retired from the Diplomatic Service in a capricious moment of annoyance at not being offered the Embassy at Paris. His father had been our ambassador at Madrid when Isabella was young. He paid some attention to the management of his collieries in the Midland counties." said Lord Fermor. the good English of his despatches. Basil. Good-bye. laughing." "Pure family affection. had set himself to the serious study of the great aristocratic art of doing absolutely nothing. In politics he was a Tory. and were not visible till five. Uncle George. Lord Fermor."I have forgotten it. Harry." As the door closed behind them. I suppose. "Well. settling his buttonhole in his coat. sit down and tell me all about it. smoking a cheroot. and I can drop you at your own place.

" answered Lord Henry. sir. So she left a son. although those fellows nowadays write a lot of nonsense. I knew his mother intimately. Lady Margaret Devereux." "Mr. egad. Gray at present." "He is very good-looking... I was ashamed of him. a subaltern in a foot regiment. He was. He brought his daughter back with him. The girl died too. are pure humbug from beginning to end. to do it. I believe I was at her christening. But I hear they let them in now by examination. did she? I had forgotten that. They made quite a story of it. His mother was a Devereux. Came to Madrid once when I was there. There was an ugly story about it. through her grandfather. He has Selby. What I want is information. Dorian Gray? Who is he?" asked Lord Fermor. a mere nobody. Egad. whatever he knows is bad for him. but.. The poor chap was killed in a duel at Spa. too. He is the last Lord Kelso's grandson. I hope he treated his grandson better than he did the jarvies. Certainly. . paid him. a few months after the marriage. "Mr. knitting his bushy white eyebrows. thought him a mean dog. "That is what I have come to learn. Besides. Uncle George. Oh.. Credit is the capital of a younger son. The Queen used to ask me about the English noble who was always quarrelling with the cabmen about their fares. His mother had money too. And. and she never spoke to him again." continued the old man. died within a year. to insult his son-in-law in public. I always deal with Dartmoor's tradesmen. things were much better.. languidly. sir. and that the fellow spitted his man as if he had been a pigeon. and consequently they never bother me. I remember the whole thing as if it happened yesterday. I have only just met him. or something of that kind. Of course.. When I was in the Diplomatic. so you might have known her. "I hope he will fall into proper hands. Margaret Devereux.mine. What was she like? Whom did she marry? You have known nearly everybody in your time. I know who he is. Uncle George. They said Kelso got some rascally adventurer. What can you expect? Examinations. I want you to tell me about his mother. I can tell you anything that is in an English Blue-book. yes." "Well. and one lives charmingly upon it. I didn't dare to show my face at Court for a month. "He should have a pot of money waiting for him if Kelso did the right thing by him. Harry. it was a bad business.--"Kelso's grandson!. Kelso ate his chop alone at the club for some time afterwards. If a man is a gentleman. he knows quite enough. Or rather. He told me so. not useful information. of course. She was an extraordinarily beautiful girl. All the Selby property came to her. I know. He is not of age yet. I was told." said Lord Henry. The thing was hushed up." "I don't know. useless information. and if he is not a gentleman.. I am very much interested in Mr. sir." assented Lord Henry. "I fancy that the boy will be well off. What sort of boy is he? If he is like his mother he must be a good-looking chap. and made all the men frantic by running away with a penniless young fellow. some Belgian brute." "Kelso's grandson!" echoed the old gentleman. Her grandfather hated Kelso. his mother was very beautiful?" "Margaret Devereux was one of the loveliest creatures I ever saw. paid him. Harry. Dorian Gray does not belong to Blue-books.

" said Lord Fermor." "It is." "All right. striking the table with his fist. She could have married anybody she chose. It is their . Thanks for giving me the information I wanted. They take things flying. "A long engagement exhausts them. not to bother me any more with her charity appeals. what is this humbug your father tells me about Dartmoor wanting to marry an American? Ain't English girls good enough for him?" "It is rather fashionable to marry Americans just now. Harry. but it won't have any effect. though. The men were a poor lot. "They are pork-packers. Why." "Where are you lunching. She was romantic. I am told that pork-packing is the most lucrative profession in America." "I'll back English women against the world. Uncle George. they are so excessively anxious to get out of it. and there wasn't a girl in London at the time who wasn't after him." "Why can't these American women stay in their own country? They are always telling us that it is the Paradise for women. All the women of that family were. Harry?" "At Aunt Agatha's. Uncle George. but. He is her latest _protégé_. egad! the women were wonderful. And by the way." "They don't last. Told me so himself. Carlington went on his knees to her. "Good-bye. and nothing about my old ones. the good woman thinks that I have nothing to do but to write cheques for her silly fads." "Who are her people?" grumbled the old gentleman. I always like to know everything about my new friends. for Dartmoor's sake. but they are capital at a steeplechase. I shall be late for lunch. if I stop any longer. I suppose?" "I hope so. I am told. Most American women do. I never could understand. I am sick of them. Harry. "Has she got any?" Lord Henry shook his head. Harry. Carlington was mad after her.What on earth induced her to behave as she did. I have asked myself and Mr. rising to go. Uncle George. "American girls are as clever at concealing their parents as English women are at concealing their past. after politics." said Lord Henry." he said." "Is she pretty?" "She behaves as if she was beautiful. I don't think Dartmoor has a chance. I'll tell her. That is the reason why. She laughed at him." "Humph! tell your Aunt Agatha. talking about silly marriages. like Eve. Uncle George." muttered his uncle. "The betting is on the Americans. Philanthropic people lose all sense of humanity. Gray. It is the secret of their charm.

. an age grossly carnal in its pleasures. . smiling to himself. and turned his steps in the direction of Berkeley Square. There was something fascinating in this son of Love and Death." The old gentleman growled approvingly. whom by so curious a chance he had met in Basil's studio. There was something terribly enthralling in the exercise of influence. Yes. and glanced up at the houses. Dryad-like and not afraid. Crudely as it had been told to him. it had yet stirred him by its suggestion of a strange.. Months of voiceless agony. the lad was to the painter who had fashioned the wonderful portrait... No other activity was like it. The mother snatched away by death.. as. made him more perfect as it were. suddenly showing herself. A beautiful woman risking everything for a mad passion. that artist in thought. the silent spirit that dwelt in dim woodland. how interesting he was! The new manner in art. with startled eyes and lips parted in frightened pleasure. he would try to be to Dorian Gray what. as though they were themselves patterns of some other and more perfect form whose shadow they made real: how strange it all was! He remembered something like it in history. as it were. What a pity it was that such beauty was destined to fade!. the mere shapes and patterns of things becoming. Talking to him was like playing upon an exquisite violin.. and walked unseen in open field. Was it not Plato. So that was the story of Dorian Gray's parentage. and beauty such as old Greek marbles kept for us. without knowing it. it was an interesting background. There was nothing that one could not do with him. and the white purity of boyhood. A few wild weeks of happiness cut short by a hideous. indeed.. and grossly common in its aims. at any rate. Yes. he had sat opposite to him at the club. refined. and passed into the dining-room.distinguishing characteristic. Behind every exquisite thing that existed. there was a real joy in that--perhaps the most satisfying joy left to us in an age so limited and vulgar as our own. He was a marvellous type. and rang the bell for his servant. turned back.. because in his soul who sought for her there had been wakened that wonderful vision to which alone are wonderful things revealed. that the meanest flower might blow. the boy left to solitude and the tyranny of an old and loveless man. treacherous crime. He answered to every touch and thrill of the bow. And Basil? From a psychological point of view. He could be made a Titan or a toy. almost modern romance. Grace was his. He gave one of the footmen his hat and stick. and let it tarry there for a moment. this lad. Worlds had to be in travail. And how charming he had been at dinner the night before.. and then a child born in pain. the fresh mode of looking at life. Lord Henry passed up the low arcade into Burlington Street. When he entered the somewhat sombre hall the butler told him that they had gone in to lunch. He would seek to dominate him--had already. and gaining a kind of symbolical value. there was something tragic. half done so. suggested so strangely by the merely visible presence of one who was unconscious of it all.. too. the red candleshades staining to a richer rose the wakening wonder of his face. to hear one's own intellectual views echoed back to one with all the added music of passion and youth.. He would make that wonderful spirit his own. who had first analysed it? Was it not Buonarotti who had carved it in the coloured marbles of a sonnet-sequence? But in our own century it was strange. He found that he had passed his aunt's some distance. or could be fashioned into a marvellous type. It posed the lad. To project one's soul into some gracious form. Suddenly he stopped... and. to convey one's temperament into another as though it were a subtle fluid or a strange perfume..

"He never means anything that he says. Harry. Opposite was the Duchess of Harley. on her right. "I wish to goodness it never had been discovered at all!" she exclaimed. after all." "When America was discovered. It is most unfair. "My uncle has already suggested pork-packing. "We are talking about poor Dartmoor." "Perhaps. and exercised her privilege of interruption. an old gentleman of considerable charm and culture. and he began to give some wearisome facts. a lady of admirable good-nature and good temper. that all really good people fall into. that her father keeps an American dry-goods store." said Sir Thomas Burdon. our girls have no chance nowadays. Duchess. "American novels. much liked by everyone who knew her. and having taken the vacant seat next to her. who had fallen." whispered Lady Agatha. The post on her left was occupied by Mr." . raising her large hands in wonder. America never has been discovered. but so dreadfully dowdy that she reminded one of a badly bound hymn-book. He invented a facile excuse. "Don't mind him. a Radical member of Parliament." "Dry-goods! What are American dry-goods?" asked the Duchess." said Mr. "Really. shaking her head at him. looked round to see who was there. Erskine of Treadley. in accordance with a wise and well-known rule. who followed his leader in public life. my dear. as he explained once to Lady Agatha. however. "Do you think he will really marry this fascinating young person?" "I believe she has made up her mind to propose to him. as he remarked once himself. on excellent authority. and in private life followed the best cooks. Like all people who try to exhaust a subject. His own neighbour was Mrs. helping himself to some quail. someone should interfere. said everything that he had to say before he was thirty. looking supercilious. having. Lord Henry. one of his aunt's oldest friends." answered Lord Henry. as bald as a Ministerial statement in the House of Commons." cried his aunt. "Really. he exhausted his listeners. Vandeleur. nodding pleasantly to him across the table. and of those ample architectural proportions that in women who are not Duchesses are described by contemporary historians as stoutness. and from which none of them ever quite escape. Dorian bowed to him shyly from the end of the table. dining with the Tories."Late as usual." "How dreadful!" exclaimed Lady Agatha. a perfect saint amongst women. "I myself would say that it had merely been detected." said the Radical member. with whom she was conversing in that intensely earnest manner which is the one unpardonable error. Sir Thomas Burdon. into bad habits of silence. a most intelligent middle-aged mediocrity. The Duchess sighed." "I am told. Sir Thomas. and thinking with the Liberals. The Duchess looked puzzled. Next to her sat. a flush of pleasure stealing into his cheek. and accentuating the verb. Erskine." cried the Duchess. Fortunately for him she had on the other side Lord Faudel.

Mr. vaguely. "I cannot sympathise with that." cried Lord Henry." answered the Duchess. I assure you there is no nonsense about the Americans." "How dreadful!" cried Lord Henry. Erskine. We practical men like to see things. "I have travelled all over it." he said to Lady Agatha. The less said about life's sores the better. are extremely civil. Erskine of Treadley has the world on his shelves. Erskine. I assure you that it is an education to visit it." "Dear me!" said Lady Agatha. It is too ugly." rejoined the Baronet. plaintively. I am quite vexed with you. Yes. too. "I did not think so." "But must we really see Chicago in order to be educated?" asked Mr. Dorian Gray to give up the East End? I assure you he would be quite invaluable. "I can stand brute force." continued Lady Agatha. "Mr." "They say that when good Americans die they go to Paris. "They go to America. "Paradoxes are all very well in their way. Well." "I do not understand you. "I must confess that most of them are extremely pretty. except suffering. the way of paradoxes is the way of truth. To test Reality we must see it on the tight-rope. the joy of life. who. in such matters."Oh! but I have seen specimens of the inhabitants. Lord Henry. who had a large wardrobe of Humour's cast-off clothes." . "Was that a paradox?" asked Mr.." said Sir Thomas. the beauty. They get all their dresses in Paris. Why do you try to persuade our nice Mr. There is something unfair about its use." Sir Thomas waved his hand. an absolutely reasonable people. They would love his playing. The Americans are an extremely interesting people. and he looked down the table and caught a bright answering glance. Sir Thomas frowned. smiling. "I do. Oh! Harry." chuckled Sir Thomas. with a smile. shrugging his shoulders. "Really! And where do bad Americans go to when they die?" inquired the Duchess. "But they are so unhappy in Whitechapel. "I don't feel up to the journey. When the Verities become acrobats we can judge them. "I can sympathise with everything. I think that is their distinguishing characteristic.." murmured Mr. One should sympathise with the colour. but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something terribly morbid in the modern sympathy with pain. They are absolutely reasonable. Erskine. not to read about them. I wish I could afford to do the same. too distressing. "I am afraid that your nephew is prejudiced against that great country. And they dress well." said Lord Henry." "I want him to play to me. Erskine. in cars provided by the directors. Perhaps it was. too horrible." murmured Lord Henry.. growing rather red. "how you men argue! I am sure I never can make out what you are talking about. It is hitting below the intellect.

" ventured Mrs. then?" he asked." "But we have such grave responsibilities. The advantage of the emotions is that they lead us astray. For the future I shall be able to look her in the face without a blush. "Only when one is young. Duchess. as the nineteenth century has gone bankrupt through an over-expenditure of sympathy. Erskine." "A delightful theory!" she exclaimed. Lord Henry looked over at Mr. Lady Agatha shook her head." "You are really very comforting." "A dangerous theory!" came from Sir Thomas's tight lips. I wish you would tell me how to become young again. and winged it with paradox. "Quite so. Ah! Lord Henry. with a grave shake of the head. let it escape and recaptured it. Vandeleur. and the advantage of Science is that it is not emotional." The politician looked at him keenly. one has merely to repeat one's follies. it is a very bad sign." "A blush is very becoming. "Humanity takes itself too seriously. History would have been different. made it iridescent with fancy." she answered. looking at her across the table. gravely. "To get back one's youth. and we try to solve it by amusing the slaves." A laugh ran round the table. "I am quite content with philosophic contemplation. He played with the idea. But. "Then commit them over again. timidly. I would suggest that we should appeal to Science to put us straight. and grew wilful. Duchess?" he asked." answered the young lord. "Can you remember any great error that you committed in your early days." remarked Sir Thomas. "When an old woman like myself blushes. If the caveman had known how to laugh. as he went on. "It is the problem of slavery. I fear. The praise of folly. Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense. Erskine listened. "A great many. "Terribly grave. Lord Henry laughed." echoed Lady Agatha." He thought for a moment. "I have always felt rather guilty when I came to see your dear aunt." he said. but could not help being amused. ." she cried. "What change do you propose. "that is one of the great secrets of life. tossed it into the air and transformed it." remarked Lord Henry. for I take no interest at all in the East End. the East End is a very important problem. "I must put it into practice." he continued. and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes."Still. Mr. It is the world's original sin. "Yes. "I don't desire to change anything in England except the weather." warbled the Duchess." he answered.

danced like a Bacchante over the hills of life.soared into a philosophy. and expound to me your . and the consciousness that amongst his audience there was one whose temperament he wished to fascinate. She wrung her hands in mock despair. And now. I should like to write a novel certainly. and to lend colour to his imagination. "Was it all very bad?" "Very bad indeed. Some day." said Lord Henry. Tuesday? Are you disengaged Tuesday?" "For you I would throw over anybody. He was brilliant. one might fancy. may I ask if you really meant all that you said to us at lunch?" "I quite forget what I said. and if anything happens to our good Duchess we shall all look on you as being primarily responsible. In fact I consider you extremely dangerous. "why don't you write one?" "I am too fond of reading books to care to write them." he said. Erskine moved round. No. and I couldn't have a scene in this bonnet. with a bow. to take him to some absurd meeting at Willis's Rooms. Dorian Gray never took his gaze off him. Mr. placed his hand upon his arm. But there is no literary public in England for anything except newspapers. wearing. and taking a chair close to him. and Philosophy herself became young. "You talk books away. and dreadfully demoralising. and they followed his pipe laughing. dear Agatha. liveried in the costume of the age. "I myself used to have literary ambitions. Of all people in the world the English have the least sense of the beauty of literature. The generation into which I was born was tedious. It is far too fragile. or crawled in red foam over the vat's black. Lord Henry. and mocked the slow Silenus for being sober." smiled Lord Henry. and catching the mad music of Pleasure. "Ah! that is very nice. smiles chasing each other over his lips. followed by Lady Agatha and the other ladies. fantastic. primers. He felt that the eyes of Dorian Gray were fixed on him." she cried. where he is going to be in the chair. If I am late. Her white feet trod the huge press at which wise Omar sits. a novel that would be as lovely as a Persian carpet. A harsh word would ruin it. "How annoying!" she cried." answered Mr. irresponsible. her wine-stained robe and wreath of ivy. when you are tired of London. and encyclopædias. and as unreal. and very wrong of you. "I must go. I must go. till the seething grape-juice rose round her bare limbs in waves of purple bubbles. But I should like to talk to you about life." "I fear you are right. I am sure I don't know what to say about your views. Erskine. seemed to give his wit keenness. but sat like one under a spell." and she swept out of the room. my dear young friend. but I gave them up long ago. You must come and dine with us some night. I have to call for my husband at the club. you are quite delightful. When Lord Henry had sat down again. he is sure to be furious. if you will allow me to call you so. Erskine. Mr. It was an extraordinary improvisation. Facts fled before her like frightened forest things. Good-bye. come down to Treadley. He charmed his listeners out of themselves. and wonder growing grave in his darkening eyes. Duchess. dripping. At last. sloping sides. Reality entered the room in the shape of a servant to tell the Duchess that her carriage was waiting. "so mind you come.

Some large blue china jars and parrot-tulips were ranged on the mantel-shelf." "All of you. a very charming room. It has a perfect host. On a tiny satinwood table stood a statuette by Clodion. and the door opened. A visit to Treadley would be a great privilege. ." he cried. "But I thought you had promised Basil Hallward to go and see him." "I shall be charmed." answered Lord Henry. Dorian Gray was reclining in a luxurious arm-chair. if you care to. smiling. "And now I must bid good-bye to your excellent aunt. At last he heard a step outside. and through the small leaded panels of the window streamed the apricot-coloured light of a summer day in London. So the lad was looking rather sulky. and powdered with the gilt daisies that Queen had selected for her device. It was. We are practising for an English Academy of Letters." bound for Margaret of Valois by Clovis Eve. Do let me. with its high-panelled wainscoting of olive-stained oak. "Let me come with you. Once or twice he thought of going away. and its brickdust felt carpet strewn with silk long-fringed Persian rugs. its cream-coloured frieze and ceiling of raised plaster-work. You may come and look at it with me. as with listless fingers he turned over the pages of an elaborately-illustrated edition of "_Manon Lescaut_" that he had found in one of the bookcases." he murmured. Erskine?" "Forty of us." said Lord Henry. in forty arm-chairs. and rose." CHAPTER IV One afternoon. with a courteous bow. yes. in its way." "Ah! I have talked quite enough for to-day. I am due at the Athenæum. Mr. He was always late on principle. It is the hour when we sleep there.philosophy of pleasure over some admirable Burgundy I am fortunate enough to possess. Lord Henry had not yet come in. And you will promise to talk to me all the time? No one talks so wonderfully as you do." Lord Henry laughed. "How late you are. "I would sooner come with you. Harry!" he murmured. I feel I must come with you. his principle being that punctuality is the thief of time. and beside it lay a copy of "_Les Cent Nouvelles_. The formal monotonous ticking of the Louis Quatorze clock annoyed him." "You will complete it. a month later. "I am going to the Park. in the little library of Lord Henry's house in Mayfair. and a perfect library. As he was passing out of the door Dorian Gray touched him on the arm." answered the old gentleman. "All I want now is to look at life.

They make one's rooms look so picturesque. breaking an awkward silence with her silly sudden laugh. Mr. Dorian. my love. I adore it. at least. Lady Henry?" "Well. Gray? You must come. don't they? It is so clever of them. Lady Henry. I have simply worshipped pianists--two at a time. No. She was usually in love with somebody. and she had a perfect mania for going to church. whose dresses always looked as if they had been designed in a rage and put on in a tempest. Gray? I always hear Harry's views from his friends. It is only his wife. I think my husband has got seventeen of them. but I am afraid of it. she had kept all her illusions. sometimes. Mr. to ask you something--I forget what it was--and I found Mr." said Lord Henry. I can't afford orchids. Nowadays people know the price of everything. eighteen. and her fingers began to play with a long tortoise-shell paper-knife. They all are." "Not seventeen. We have had such a pleasant chat about music. We have quite the same ideas." answered a shrill voice. and watched him with her vague forget-me-not eyes. I am so glad I've seen him. elevating his dark crescent-shaped eyebrows and looking at them both with an amused smile. have you. I don't know what it is about them. and the value of nothing. and." "I am afraid I must be going. If one hears bad music. "I have promised to drive with the . I came in to look for you. it was at dear 'Lohengrin. "I beg your pardon. Her name was Victoria. isn't it. it is one's duty to drown it in conversation. I never talk during music.' Lady Henry. I think?" "Yes. I thought----" "You thought it was my husband."I am afraid it is not Harry. But you must not think I don't like good music. Mr. It makes me too romantic. and had to bargain for hours for it. I think our ideas are quite different. Dorian smiled. Harry tells me." "I am charmed. He glanced quickly round." She laughed nervously as she spoke. then. "That was at 'Lohengrin. and such a compliment to art. I know you quite well by your photographs. You must let me introduce myself. as her passion was never returned. Makes it quite cosmopolitan. And I saw you with him the other night at the Opera. She was a curious woman. Perhaps it is that they are foreigners. It is the only way I get to know of them. "So sorry I am late." "Ah! that is one of Harry's views. ain't they? Even those that are born in England become foreigners after a time. But here is Harry!--Harry. and shook his head: "I am afraid I don't think so. doesn't it? You have never been to any of my parties. during good music. I went to look after a piece of old brocade in Wardour Street. Gray?" The same nervous staccato laugh broke from her thin lips. Mr. but only succeeded in being untidy.' I like Wagner's music better than anybody's. That is a great advantage: don't you think so." exclaimed Lady Henry. quite charmed. She tried to look picturesque. It is so loud that one can talk the whole time without other people hearing what one says. but I spare no expense in foreigners. But he has been most pleasant. Gray here. and rose to his feet. Gray.

I am putting it into practice. "Never marry a woman with straw-coloured hair." "Who are you in love with?" asked Lord Henry. That is all over now. just as men represent the triumph of mind over morals. Gray. You are dining out. "That is a rather commonplace _début_." "No one has. both are disappointed. Perhaps I shall see you at Lady Thornbury's. As for conversation. no woman is a genius. "Why. after a pause. Men marry because they are tired. They paint in order to try and look young. _Rouge_ and _esprit_ used to go together. If you want to gain a reputation for respectability." said Dorian Gray." "I daresay. I find that. because they are curious. the plain and the coloured." he said. ultimately. however. People will some day. it is quite true. That is one of your aphorisms. She is a genius." "Never heard of her." "I don't think I am likely to marry. women. Then he lit a cigarette. The other women are very charming. Mr. as. tell me . "With an actress. They never have anything to say.Duchess. However." said Lord Henry. Lord Henry shrugged his shoulders. Dorian. blushing. Good-bye. I am analysing women at the present. I suppose? So am I. she flitted out of the room." "Harry. I am too much in love. The plain women are very useful. Harry?" "Because they are so sentimental. after a few puffs." "My dear boy. Harry. Women represent the triumph of matter over mind. but they say it charmingly. Harry. there are only five women in London worth talking to." "Never marry at all. They commit one mistake. leaving a faint odour of frangipanni. however. Henry. my dear. The subject is not so abstruse as I thought it was." "You would not say so if you saw her." "Who is she?" "Her name is Sibyl Vane. so I ought to know. shutting the door behind her. Dorian. Women are a decorative sex. she is perfectly satisfied. looking like a bird of paradise that had been out all night in the rain. Our grandmothers painted in order to try and talk brilliantly. there are only two kinds of women. As long as a woman can look ten years younger than her own daughter. as I do everything that you say. and flung himself down on the sofa. how can you?" "My dear Dorian. Good-bye." "But I like sentimental people. and two of these can't be admitted into decent society. you have merely to take them down to supper.

but I really went in and paid a whole guinea for the stage-box. Dorian. I should have missed the greatest romance of my life. You should say the first romance of your life. Harry. About half-past eight I passed by an absurd little theatre. There are exquisite things in store for you. the people who love only once in their lives are really the shallow people. I don't know what I expected. There was an exquisite poison in the air. He was such a monster.. For days after I met you. my Lord?' he said. when he saw me. what sort of lives they led. must have something in store for me. I used to look at every one who passed me. You will always be loved. and its splendid sins. and an enormous diamond blazed in the centre of a soiled shirt. To the present day I can't make out why I did so. 'Have a box. As I lounged in the Park. You will laugh at me. Well. smoking a vile cigar. It is horrid of you!" "I am not laughing. your views terrify me. Faithfulness is to the emotional life what consistency is to the life of the intellect--simply a confession of failures. that amused me. about the search for beauty being the real secret of life. This is merely the beginning. Some of them fascinated me. with a mad curiosity. in the most amazing waistcoat I ever beheld in my life. The mere danger gave me a sense of delight. it never would have happened if I had not met you. but I went out and wandered eastward. at least I am not laughing at you. How long have you known her?" "Ah! Harry. Don't be afraid. A hideous Jew. or strolled down Piccadilly. grassless squares." "How do you mean?" "My dear boy. There are many . soon losing my way in a labyrinth of grimy streets and black. I had a passion for sensations. I think your nature so deep. Faithfulness! I must analyse it some day. monstrous London of ours.. and wonder. I know. something seemed to throb in my veins. How long have you known her?" "About three weeks. and yet if I hadn't--my dear Harry. A _grande passion_ is the privilege of people who have nothing to do. with its myriads of people. You filled me with a wild desire to know everything about life. and you will always be in love with love. That is the one use of the idle classes of a country." "And where did you come across her?" "I will tell you." "Never mind that. and he took off his hat with an air of gorgeous servility. I fancied a thousand things." "Do you think my nature so shallow?" cried Dorian Gray. I felt that this grey. The passion for property is in it. with great flaring gas-jets and gaudy play-bills. He had greasy ringlets. as you once phrased it. one evening about seven o'clock. if I hadn't. but you mustn't be unsympathetic about it. angrily.about your genius. But you should not say the greatest romance of your life. and their fidelity. There was something about him. I determined to go out in search of some adventure. was standing at the entrance. I remembered what you had said to me on that wonderful evening when we first dined together. After all. its sordid sinners. Harry. "No. I see you are laughing.. What they call their loyalty. Others filled me with terror. I call either the lethargy of custom or their lack of imagination.

There was a dreadful orchestra. and a figure like a beer-barrel. She has been mad. I do love her.' Our fathers used to like that sort of piece. _les grandpères ont toujours tort_. that seemed to fall singly upon one's ear. and very depressing. eyes that were violet wells of passion. I have seen her die in the gloom of an Italian tomb. and that looked as if it had come out of a country-booth. I could hardly see this girl for the mist of tears that came across me. At any rate. I tell you. with corked eyebrows. She is everything to me in life. with a little flower-like face. hardly seventeen years of age. a husky tragedy voice. and has come into the presence of a guilty king. In art. and the black hands of jealousy have crushed her reed-like throat. with deep mellow notes. She was the loveliest thing I had ever seen in my life. but that beauty.' I must admit that I was rather annoyed at the idea of seeing Shakespeare done in such a wretched hole of a place. that nearly drove me away. I . It was a tawdry affair. Still. and bitter herbs to taste of. the more keenly I feel that whatever was good enough for our fathers is not good enough for us. I began to wonder what on earth I should do. When I close my eyes. Dorian. all Cupids and cornucopias. Night after night I go to see her play." "Just like. like a third-rate wedding cake. He was played by the low-comedian. Go on with your story. Harry. You know how a voice can stir one. But Juliet! Harry. It was very low at first. I should fancy. There were moments. She has been innocent. could fill your eyes with tears. I hear them. and given him rue to wear. when I caught sight of the play-bill. and each of them says something different. Romeo was a stout elderly gentleman. who had introduced gags of his own and was on most friendly terms with the pit. a small Greek head with plaited coils of dark-brown hair. Why should I not love her? Harry. and the play began. One evening she is Rosalind. I felt interested. but at last the drop-scene was drawn up. I believe. But I don't want to interrupt you. but the two rows of dingy stalls were quite empty. Your voice and the voice of Sibyl Vane are two things that I shall never forget.things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up. and sounded like a flute or a distant hautbois." "It must have been just like the palmy days of the British Drama. Then it became a little louder. I have watched her wandering through the forest of Arden. and there was hardly a person in what I suppose they called the dress-circle. in a sort of way. I found myself seated in a horrid little private box. What do you think the play was. when it had the wild passion of violins. later on. and surveyed the house. Mercutio was almost as bad. They were both as grotesque as the scenery. with a vulgar drop-scene staring me in the face. And her voice--I never heard such a voice." "This play was good enough for us. sucking the poison from her lover's lips. The gallery and pit were fairy full. and there was a terrible consumption of nuts going on. and the next evening she is Imogen. The longer I live. In the garden-scene it had all the tremulous ecstasy that one hears just before dawn when nightingales are singing. Harry. Harry?" "I should think 'The Idiot Boy. disguised as a pretty boy in hose and doublet and dainty cap. I don't know which to follow. It was 'Romeo and Juliet. mere beauty." "Well. presided over by a young Hebrew who sat at a cracked piano. I determined to wait for the first act. I looked out from behind the curtain. imagine a girl. Women went about with oranges and ginger-beer. You said to me once that pathos left you unmoved. lips that were like the petals of a rose. as in politics. or Dumb but Innocent.

and told him that Juliet had been dead for hundreds of years. When one is in love." "I am not surprised. obliged for the compliment. I was furious with him. Ordinary women never appeal to one's imagination. One can always find them. Dorian. But an actress! How different an actress is! Harry! why didn't you tell me that the only thing worth loving is an actress?" "Because I have loved so many of them. I believe that is true. "But why should you be annoyed? I suppose she will belong to you some day. There is no mystery in any of them. the horrid old Jew came round to the box after the performance was over. with a strange touch of pathos in his voice." said Lord Henry. horrid people with dyed hair and painted faces. They have their stereotyped smile. yes. No glamour ever transfigures them. and their fashionable manner. But." "Then he asked me if I wrote for any of the newspapers. sometimes. and chatter at tea-parties in the afternoon. They ride in the Park in the morning." "Don't run down dyed hair and painted faces. Harry. "Harry! Sibyl Vane is sacred!" "It is only the sacred things that are worth touching. One knows their minds as easily as one knows their bonnets. But I am much tell me--reach me the actual relations with wilful sunbeams of life--don't commit crimes. I would come and confess it to you. judging from their appearance. all the same. one always begins by deceiving one's self. You have a curious influence over me. most of them cannot be at all expensive. and offered to take me behind the scenes and introduce me to her." "People like you--the Dorian. If I ever did a crime. and one always ends by deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance. There is an extraordinary charm in them. All through your life you will tell me everything you do. on the other hand. You know her. You would understand me. and that they were every one of them to be bought." . I cannot help telling you things." "Oh. Dorian." "You could not have helped telling me. They are quite obvious. and confided to me that all the dramatic critics were in a conspiracy against him. And now matches. On the first night I was at the theatre. at any rate. from his blank look of amazement. and that her body was lying in a marble tomb in Verona." said Lord Henry. like a good boy: thanks:--what are your Sibyl Vane?" Dorian Gray leaped to his feet.have seen her in every age and in every costume. with flushed cheeks and burning eyes." "Yes. I told him I never even read them." "I should not wonder if he was quite right there. I think. He seemed terribly disappointed at that. or something. Dorian. that he was under the impression that I had taken too much champagne. "I wish now I had not told you about Sibyl Vane. I suppose?" "Of course I know her. They are limited to their century.

The next night. I declined. and looks as if she had seen better days. and she had looked at me." murmured Lord Henry. Every night of my life I go to see her act. She said quite simply to me. making elaborate speeches about us both." "I know that look.' as he insisted on calling him." "My dear Harry. the lights were being put out in the theatre. I think we were both rather nervous. He wanted me to try some cigars that he strongly recommended. he seemed to think they were beyond his means." laughed Dorian." "You don't understand her. The old Jew was persistent. I don't think so. He seemed to think it a distinction. He told me once. I could not help going round. with an air of pride. my dear Dorian--a great distinction." "It was a distinction. why?" "I will tell you some other time. Now I want to know about the girl. wasn't it?" "No. and so gentle. she is absolutely and entirely divine. I arrived at the place again. while we stood looking at each other like children. He was a most offensive brute. There is something of a child about her. It was curious my not wanting to know her. that his five bankruptcies were entirely due to 'The Bard.'" "Upon my word." . a faded tired woman who played Lady Capulet in a sort of magenta dressing-wrapper on the first night. though he had an extraordinary passion for Shakespeare. "By this time. 'You look more like a prince. She regarded me merely as a person in a play. at least I fancied that she had. and I had to go. She lives with her mother. but I said it did not interest me. and she seemed quite unconscious of her power. She knows nothing of life. so I consented. He would insist on calling me 'My Lord. He seemed determined to take me behind. examining his rings. When he saw me he made me a low bow. however.' so I had to assure Sibyl that I was not anything of the kind. she was so shy." "Sibyl? Oh. She had been playing Rosalind." "Sibyl is the only thing I care about. Harry. There is always something infinitely mean about other people's tragedies. of course. Her eyes opened wide in exquisite wonder when I told her what I thought of her performance. But when did you first speak to Miss Sibyl Vane?" "The third night. Miss Sibyl knows how to pay compliments. I had thrown her some flowers. I must call you Prince Charming. What is it to me where she came from? From her little head to her little feet. The old Jew stood grinning at the doorway of the dusty greenroom. and every night she is more marvellous. To have ruined one's self over poetry is an honour."Well. Most people become bankrupt through having invested too heavily in the prose of life. and assured me that I was a munificent patron of art." "You were quite right. "The Jew wanted to tell me her history. It depresses me. Dorian.

not principles. tell me how to charm Sibyl Vane to love me! I want to make Romeo jealous." he answered. frightened boy he had met in Basil Hallward's studio! His nature had developed like a flower. Harry. but it is not quite what I expected."That is the reason. "I want you and Basil to come with me some night and see her act. I am filled with awe. what night shall we go?" . and I must make her love me. consummate art-instinct. You. "And what do you propose to do?" said Lord Henry. I get hungry for her presence. I love her." "That would be impossible. I shall have to pay him something." "You can dine with me to-night. Dorian. Lord Henry watched him with a subtle sense of pleasure. had borne blossoms of scarlet flame. how I worship her!" He was walking up and down the room as he spoke. "even if it is only for a single act." "My dear Harry. When all that is settled. I have not the slightest fear of the result. she will. How different he was now from the shy. Out of its secret hiding-place had crept his Soul. I want a breath of our passion to stir their dust into consciousness. You are certain to acknowledge her genius. She has not merely art." he cried." "Well." said Dorian. that move the age. my dear boy?" "Yes. She is more than an individual. but she has personality also. and grow sad. "and to-morrow night she will be Juliet. I shall take a West End theatre and bring her out properly. Hectic spots of red burned on his cheeks." "When is she Sibyl Vane?" "Never. He was terribly excited. I thought you must have some curious romance on hand. to wake their ashes into pain. and you have often told me that it is personalities. You laugh." "I congratulate you. I suppose. who know all the secrets of life." "How horrid you are! She is all the great heroines of the world in one. that you never dine with me now. and I have been to the Opera with you several times. I want the dead lovers of the world to hear our laughter. but I tell you she has genius. "To-night she is Imogen. You have. can't you?" He shook his head. Then we must get her out of the Jew's hands. in her. at last. She will make the world as mad as she has made me. of course. and Desire had come to meet it on the way. we either lunch or sup together every day. and when I think of the wonderful soul that is hidden away in that little ivory body. I can't help going to see Sibyl play." "Well. opening his blue eyes in wonder. "You always come dreadfully late. She is bound to him for three years--at least for two years and eight months--from the present time. My God.

Shall you see Basil between this and then? Or shall I write to him?" "Dear Basil! I have not laid eyes on him for a week. puts everything that is charming in him into his work." As he left the room. his principles. who are personally delightful. The worse their rhymes are. Good artists exist simply in what they make. as he has sent me my portrait in the most wonderful frame. the more picturesque they look. putting some perfume on his handkerchief out of a large gold-topped bottle that stood on the table." "Half-past six! What an hour! It will be like having a meat-tea. And now I am off." "I wonder is that really so. a really great poet." "Not eight. It is what I call the depth of generosity. though I am a little jealous of the picture for being a whole month younger than I am. and I will get Basil. The consequence is that he has nothing left for life but his prejudices. "It must be. and yet the lad's mad adoration of some one else caused him not the slightest pang of annoyance or jealousy. Half-past six. Harry?" said Dorian Gray. You must see her in the first act. Let us fix to-morrow. We must be there before the curtain rises. Lord Henry's heavy eyelids drooped. He says things that annoy me. There were poisons so subtle that to know their properties one had to sicken of them. my dear boy. Harry. Since I have known you. please. Good-bye." "All right. is the most unpoetical of all creatures. But inferior poets are absolutely fascinating. It is rather horrid of me. Human life--that appeared to him the one thing worth investigating. The only artists I have ever known. Imogen is waiting for me. No gentleman dines before seven. The Bristol at eight o'clock. Certainly few people had ever interested him so much as Dorian Gray. It was true that as one watched life in its curious crucible of pain and pleasure. I must admit that I delight in it. And so he had begun by vivisecting himself. nor keep the sulphurous fumes from troubling the brain. and he began to think. I don't want to see him alone. He had been always enthralled by the methods of natural science. I have discovered that. and making the imagination turbid with monstrous fancies and misshapen dreams. where she meets Romeo. It must be seven. are bad artists. Basil is the best of fellows. The others write the poetry that they dare not realise. It made him a more interesting study. Perhaps you had better write to him. but he seems to me to be just a bit of a Philistine. "People are very fond of giving away what they need most themselves. She plays Juliet to-morrow. and his common-sense. He gives me good advice. Harry. A great poet. and consequently are perfectly uninteresting in what they are. as he had ended by vivisecting others. He was pleased by it. He lives the poetry that he cannot write. To-day is Tuesday." "Oh."Let me see. if you say it. Don't forget about to-morrow. specially designed by himself. and. Compared to it there was nothing else of any value. The mere fact of having published a book of second-rate sonnets makes a man quite irresistible." Lord Henry smiled." "Basil. one could not wear over one's face a mask of glass. or reading an English novel. There were maladies so strange that one had to pass through them if one sought to understand . but the ordinary subject-matter of that science had seemed to him trivial and of no import.

their nature. which dealt immediately with the passions and the intellect. With his beautiful face. or painting. and the body had its moments of spirituality. To a large extent the lad was his own creation. He began to wonder whether we could ever make psychology so absolute a science that each little spring of life would be revealed to us. to the elect. as a rule. Moralists had. It was delightful to watch him. musical words said with musical utterance. and where they separated. that Dorian Gray's soul had turned to this white girl and bowed in worship before her. It was as little of an active cause as conscience itself. body and soul--how mysterious they were! There was animalism in the soul. was indeed. and chiefly of the art of literature. but to the few. And. The pulse and passion of youth were in him. and seemed to promise rich and fruitful results. and the intellect could degrade. Life having its elaborate masterpieces. It was no matter how it all ended. but he was becoming self-conscious. and the union of spirit with matter was a mystery also. but whose sorrows stir one's sense of beauty. had praised it as something that taught us what to follow and showed us what to avoid. That was something. a real work of art. had claimed for it a certain ethical efficacy in the formation of character. yet. he was a thing to wonder at. and the emotional coloured life of the intellect--to observe where they met. whose joys seem to be remote from one. or the physical impulse began? How shallow were the arbitrary definitions of ordinary psychologists! And yet how difficult to decide between the claims of the various schools! Was the soul a shadow seated in the house of sin? Or was the body really in the soul. and with joy. or was destined to end. It was clear to him that the experimental method was the only method by which one could arrive at any scientific analysis of the passions. Yes. and whose wounds are like red roses. or sculpture. Ordinary people waited till life disclosed to them its secrets. But there was no motive power in experience. and with loathing. we would do many times. just as poetry has. It was merely the name men gave to their mistakes. and that the sin we had done once. He was like one of those gracious figures in a pageant or a play. and at what point they were at discord--there was a delight in that! What matter what the cost was? One could never pay too high a price for any sensation. in its way. what a great reward one received! How wonderful the whole world became to one! To note the curious hard logic of passion. Who could say where the fleshly impulse ceased. The senses could refine. the lad was premature. He was conscious--and the thought brought a gleam of pleasure into his brown agate eyes--that it was through certain words of his. we always misunderstood ourselves. He was gathering his harvest while it was yet spring. Sometimes this was the effect of art. But now and then a complex personality took the place and assumed the office of art. and his beautiful soul. There was no doubt . As it was. Experience was of no ethical value. regarded it as a mode of warning. and rarely understood others. as Giordano Bruno thought? The separation of spirit from matter was a mystery. Soul and body. and certainly Dorian Gray was a subject made to his hand. His sudden mad love for Sibyl Vane was a psychological phenomenon of no small interest. at what point they were in unison. All that it really demonstrated was that our future would be the same as our past. the mysteries of life were revealed before the veil was drawn away. He had made him premature.

mother. Sibyl. mother?" she cried. "I don't know how we could manage without him. simply. "I am only happy. girl. burying her face in with back turned to the arm-chair that their she repeated. Some southern wind of passion swept over her. and reminded him it was time to dress for dinner. about half-past twelve o'clock. While Lord Henry sat dreaming on these things. tired-looking woman who. A rose shook in her blood. CHAPTER V "Mother. when I think of anything but your acting. Isaacs has been most considerate. The sunset had smitten into scarlet gold the upper windows of the houses opposite. "Happy!" see you act. Isaacs and we owe him money. he saw a telegram lying on the hall table. and I hate the way he talks to me. changed into something that seemed to the lad himself to be remote from sense. . and going over to the window. He got up and looked out into the street. rising to her feet. They trembled." "Mr. What there was in it of the purely sensuous instinct of boyhood had been transformed by the workings of the imagination. The panes glowed like plates of heated metal. "and you her thin bismuth-whitened hands on her she echoed. Mr. yet it was not a simple but rather a very complex passion. Isaacs has advanced us fifty pounds to pay off our debts. mother. "what does money matter? Love is more than money. I am so happy!" whispered the the lap of the faded. and his valet entered. Sibyl Vane tossed her head and laughed." she said. Prince Charming rules life for us now. It often happened that when we thought we were experimenting on others we were really experimenting on ourselves. He thought of his friend's young fiery-coloured life." answered the elder woman. You must not has been very good to us. and stirred the dainty folds of her dress." "He is not a gentleman. Mr. a knock came to the door. "I love him. and shadowed her cheeks. The sky above was like a faded rose. Vane winced. Sibyl. It was the passions about whose origin we deceived ourselves that tyrannised most strongly over us. Fifty pounds is a very large sum. He opened it. "Money. curiosity and the desire for new experiences. Our weakest motives were those of whose nature we were conscious. "I am so happy!" must be happy too!" Mrs.that curiosity had much to do with it. When he arrived home." said the girl. You must not forget that. and put daughter's head. and was for that very reason all the more dangerous. and wondered how it was all going to end." Then she paused. shrill intrusive light. mother. was sitting in the one dingy sitting-room contained. and to get a proper outfit for James. "We don't want him any more." The girl looked up and pouted. Quick breath parted the petals of her lips. querulously. and found it was from Dorian Gray. It was to tell him that he was engaged to be married to Sibyl Vane.

flung her arms round her neck." she cried. as though to hide their secret.. "Forgive me. Her eyelids were warm with his breath. I am as happy to-day as you were twenty years ago. I must say that you should have shown more consideration. "Mother. The whole thing is most inconvenient. the mist of a dream had passed across them. "why does he love me so much? I know why I love him.. She had called on Memory to remake him. quoted from that book of cowardice whose author apes the name of common sense. and really. Then Wisdom altered its method and spoke of espial and discovery. I know it pains you to talk about our father. Sibyl. Mrs. as I said before. However. and kissed her. I don't feel humble. if he is rich. The waving of crooked. what do you know of this young man? You don't even know his name. He was not so finely bred as his sister. and I have so much to think of. She felt sure that the _tableau_ was interesting. with a good-natured grumble. you are far too young to think of falling in love. His kiss burned again upon her mouth. I cannot tell--though I feel so much beneath him. hinted at prudence. did you love my father as I love Prince Charming?" The elder woman grew pale beneath the coarse powder that daubed her cheeks. I feel proud. If so. Ah! let me be happy for ever!" "My child. and with one of those false theatrical gestures that so often become a mode of second nature to a stage-player. I think. Sibyl rushed to her. and smiled.. Vane fixed her eyes on him. mother. . She was free in her prison of passion. One would hardly have guessed the close relationship that existed between them. She had sent her soul to search for him. Prince Charming." said the lad. He was thick-set of figure. At this moment the door opened. The arrows of craft shot by her. The girl laughed again. But it only pains you because you loved him so much. Besides. She did not listen. mother. Vane glanced at her. and echoed it in radiance. mother. marriage should be thought of. then closed for a moment. terribly proud. This young man might be rich. was with her. Mother. and his hands and feet were large. The wordy silence troubled her. Her prince. and a young lad with rough brown hair came into the room. I love him because he is like what Love himself should be. false-jewelled fingers gave grotesqueness to the words. When they opened." "Ah! Mother. and it had brought him back. when James is going away to Australia. But what does he see in me? I am not worthy of him. clasped her in her arms."Foolish child! foolish child!" was the parrot-phrase flung in answer. She mentally elevated her son to the dignity of an audience. Suddenly she felt the need to speak. The joy of a caged bird was in her voice. And yet--why. "You might keep some of your kisses for me. Against the shell of her ear broke the waves of worldly cunning. and somewhat clumsy in movement. Her eyes caught the melody. She saw the thin lips moving. let me be happy!" Mrs. Thin-lipped wisdom spoke at her from the worn chair. and intensified the smile. and her dry lips twitched with a spasm of pain. Don't look so sad.

" "James. you really talk very strangely. I have chosen my own life." And she ran across the room and hugged him. Don't let her come to any harm." "I am too shabby. Jim!" said Sibyl. "Quite ready. For some months past she had felt ill at ease when she was alone with this rough. nothing that I would call society." he replied."Ah! but you don't like being kissed. Jim. Jim. James Vane looked into his sister's face with tenderness. don't say such dreadful things. Then he turned to the still figure in the chair. I don't suppose I shall ever see this horrid London again. "I hope you will be contented. and in the country often dine with the best families. frowning." she cried. She used to wonder if he suspected anything." "Society!" muttered the lad. stern son of hers. Mother. and I hate clerks. I am sure I don't want to. I believe there is no society of any kind in the Colonies. Where shall we go? Let us go to the Park. taking up a tawdry theatrical dress. Vane. "You are a dreadful old bear." he said at last. "how unkind of you! But are you really going for a walk with me? That will be nice! I was afraid you were going to say good-bye to some of your friends--to Tom Hardy. "I want you to come out with me for a walk. laughing. or Ned Langton. He hesitated for a moment." she answered. "but don't be too long dressing. Of course I watch over Sibyl. Solicitors are a very respectable class. He walked up and down the room two or three times. "Only swell people go to the Park. I should like to make some money to take you and Sibyl off the stage. It would have increased the theatrical picturesqueness of the situation." "You pain me." "My son. watch over Sibyl. The silence. are my things ready?" he asked. It is very sweet of you to let me have your last afternoon. All I say is. with a sigh. Women defend themselves by attacking." . you must watch over her." "Oh. keeping her eyes on her work." murmured Mrs. You might have entered a solicitor's office. for he made no other observation." she whispered. James. She felt a little disappointed that he had not joined the group. "Very well. with your sea-faring life. Sibyl." she said. who gave you that hideous pipe. Her shallow secret nature was troubled when their eyes met. James. "I don't want to know anything about that. I trust you will return from Australia in a position of affluence. stroking the sleeve of his coat. Her little feet pattered overhead. She began to complain. mother? I mean it. just as they attack by sudden and strange surrenders. so when you have made your fortune you must come back and assert yourself in London. and beginning to patch it." "Nonsense. "Mother. became intolerable to her. One could hear her singing as she ran upstairs." he answered. I hate it." She danced out of the door. "But you are quite right. my son. who makes fun of you for smoking it." "I hate offices. "You must remember that it is your own choice. "Why not.

and strolled down the dreary Euston Road. It might be a most brilliant marriage for Sibyl. though." said the lad. "No. so you need not trouble. with a placid expression in her face. That was when acting was really understood. "Kiss me. Sibyl is always under my special care. mother. and there was something in his look that had made her feel afraid. Sibyl. His good looks are really quite remarkable. He hated his mother's affectations. mother. I do not know at present whether her attachment is serious or not. looking up to the ceiling in search of an imaginary gallery." said the girl. Besides. But there is no doubt that the young man in question is a perfect gentleman. James. and the flowers he sends are lovely. "Watch over Sibyl. ill-fitting clothes. "I suppose one must be serious sometimes. I must say. "He has not yet revealed his real name." The lad muttered something to himself. and goes behind to talk to her. everybody notices them." he answered. He was like a common gardener walking with a rose."I hear a gentleman comes every night to the theatre. In the profession we are accustomed to receive a great deal of most gratifying attention. if this gentleman is wealthy. heavy youth. As for Sibyl." answered his mother. who." "Good-bye. I myself used to receive many bouquets at one time." she answered. He had just turned round to say something. "Come. I trust he is one of the aristocracy. and Sibyl ran in. my son." "My son. mother." James Vane bit his lip." he cried. was in the company of such a graceful. Good-bye. harshly. there is no reason why she should not contract an alliance with him. Of course." "You don't know his name. Everything is packed. He is probably a member of the aristocracy. "What is the matter?" "Nothing. "My child! my child!" cried Mrs. except my shirts. Jim frowned from time to time when he caught the inquisitive glance of . and drummed on the window-pane with his coarse fingers. I think it is quite romantic of him. with a bow of strained stateliness. She was extremely annoyed at the tone he had adopted with her. he has the appearance of being rich. He is always most polite to me. and warmed its frost. impatiently." said her brother. when the door opened. Is that right? What about that?" "You are speaking about things you don't understand. "How serious you both are!" she cried. Her flower-like lips touched the withered cheek. Vane. They would make a charming couple. refined-looking girl. They went out into the flickering wind-blown sunlight. in coarse. I will have my dinner at five o'clock. you distress me very much. The passers-by glanced in wonder at the sullen. "watch over her. He has all the appearance of it.

"and I am making the most delightful plans for your future. he had still a strong sense of the danger of Sibyl's position. and. no! A sailor's existence was dreadful. to write to her by every mail. and never leaves the commonplace. Of course she would fall in love with him. and live in an immense house in London. and be defeated with immense slaughter. His brows knit together into a wedge-like furrow. "You are not listening to a word I am saying. Inexperienced though he was. that she might think of him all the more. Fancy being cooped up in a horrid ship. Or. Do say something. had set loose a train of horrible thoughts. hated him through some curious race-instinct for which he could not account. God was very good. and he hated him for that. or spend his money foolishly. and not lose his temper. The bushrangers were to attack them three times. where men got intoxicated. and give chase. But he must be very good. and shot each other in bar-rooms. and would watch over him. too. he was to see the beautiful heiress being carried off by a robber on a black horse. He was a gentleman. Her love was trembling in laughter on her lips. She was only a year older than he was. He was conscious also of the shallowness and vanity of his mother's nature. as he was riding home. bid a polite good-bye to the captain. and used bad language. She was thinking of Prince Charming. They were horrid places. and with a twitch of pain he bit his under-lip. or whatever he was going to be. Yes." "What do you want me to say?" . and rescue her. and to say his prayers each night before he went to sleep. He was heart-sick at leaving home. The lad listened sulkily to her. He had that dislike of being stared at which comes on geniuses late in life. Sibyl. He remembered it as if it had been the lash of a hunting-crop across his face. about the gold he was certain to find. He was not to go to the gold-fields at all. but she knew so much more of life. with the hoarse. also. This young dandy who was making love to her could mean her no good.some stranger. and go off at once to the gold-fields. Jim. a whispered sneer that had reached his ears one night as he waited at the stage-door. the largest nugget that had ever been discovered. For he was not to remain a sailor. He must be sure. no. and tearing the sails into long screaming ribands! He was to leave the vessel at Melbourne. Children begin by loving their parents. she did not talk of him but prattled on about the ship in which Jim was going to sail. and in that saw infinite peril for Sibyl and Sibyl's happiness. was quite unconscious of the effect she was producing. She would pray for him. sometimes they forgive them. and come home. and they would get married. and a black wind blowing the masts down. or a super-cargo. His mother! He had something on his mind to ask of her. and in a few years he would come back quite rich and happy. and which for that reason was all the more dominant within him. hump-backed waves trying to get in." cried Sibyl. and bring it down to the coast in a waggon guarded by six mounted policemen. A chance phrase that he had heard at the theatre. about the wonderful heiress whose life he was to save from the wicked. and one evening. and made no answer. He was to be a nice sheep-farmer. Yet it was not this alone that made him gloomy and morose. as they grow older they judge them. red-shirted bushrangers. however. Oh. and he with her. there were delightful things in store for him. Before a week was over he was to come across a large nugget of pure gold. something that he had brooded on for many months of silence.

my wonderful lover. "What more do you want?" "He wants to enslave you. Don't look so sulky. He shrugged his shoulders. Then you will know what it is." answered the lad." said the lad. He has preached me as a dogma." "Sibyl. to know him is to trust him. They were made in winter. You are going to a new world. "You must not say anything against him. To be in love is to surpass one's self. Surely you should be glad to think that."Oh! that you will be a good boy. and I. to-night he will announce me as a revelation. I feel it. "You are more likely to forget me. love him. and took his arm. A white dust. and I have found one. "You dear old Jim. you talk as if you were a hundred. and it is summer now. than I am to forget you. Jim. The tulip-beds across the road flamed like throbbing rings of fire. He is going to be there. sullenly. Some day you will meet him: when you come back from Australia. you leave me happier than I have ever been before. Everybody likes him. love flies in through the window." "To see him is to worship him. spring-time for me. You will like him so much. you would think him the most wonderful person in the world. If you only saw him. "A Prince!" she cried. terribly hard and difficult. Jim?" she asked. tremulous . Prince Charming." "He is a gentleman." "Why. "What do you mean." "Stop. Our proverbs want re-writing. Life has been hard for us both." They took their seats amidst a crowd of watchers. his only. "You have a new friend. But it will be different now. let us sit down and see the smart people go by.. Jim!" she exclaimed." "I want you to beware of him. I hear. musically. Sibyl. frighten or enthrall them. Who is he? Why have you not told me about him? He means you no good. you don't even know his name." She flushed. But I am poor beside him. Isaacs will be shouting 'genius' to his loafers at the bar. my god of graces. smiling at him. a very dance of blossoms in blue skies." "I shudder at the thought of being free." She laughed. I wish you could come to the theatre to-night. I think. Some day you will be in love yourself. Don't you like the name? Oh! you silly boy! you should never forget it." she answered. though you are going away. Here are two chairs. "Who is he? I have a right to know. Poor dreadful Mr. to be in love and play Juliet! To have him sitting there! To play for his delight! I am afraid I may frighten the company.. And it is all his." "He is called Prince Charming. I love him. and I am to play Juliet. Oh! how I shall play it! Fancy. and not forget us. you are mad about him. Poor? What does that matter? When poverty creeps in at the door.

for as sure as there is a God in heaven. We won't quarrel. his hopes. and what you said was wicked. his prospects. She could not communicate her joy. Ah! I wish you would fall in love. "You are foolish. Sibyl felt oppressed. "And he?" "For ever. too!" . After some time she became silent." "I wish I had. "There he is!" she cried. How can you say such horrible things? You don't know what you are talking about. I wish now that I was not going to Australia at all. Love makes people good. "He is gone. The people round began to gape. He felt glad at what he had said. utterly foolish. a bad-tempered boy. I am not going to quarrel with you. "and I know what I am about. I would. I have seen him. and when it had left the space clear. A faint smile curving that sullen mouth was all the echo she could win. "I wish you had seen him. He repeated his words. looking after the victoria. Jim. "Prince Charming. He jumped up. Mother is no help to you. He spoke slowly and with effort. She started to her feet.cloud of orris-root it seemed." she answered. They passed words to each other as players at a game pass counters. don't be so serious. as she passed through the crowd. if my articles hadn't been signed. They cut the air like a dagger. sadly." "Oh. would you?" "Not as long as you love him. She made her brother talk of himself. the carriage had swept out of the Park. Jim. but at that moment the Duke of Berwick's four-in-hand came between." "I am sixteen. A lady standing close to her tittered. Suddenly she caught a glimpse of golden hair and laughing lips. "Show him to me." he answered. and in an open carriage with two ladies Dorian Gray drove past. I must see him!" he exclaimed. I know you would never harm anyone I love. You are like one of the heroes of those silly melodramas mother used to be so fond of acting in. He followed her doggedly. She doesn't understand how to look after you. if he ever does you any wrong I shall kill him. She shook her head at him. and seized her roughly by the arm. hung in the panting air." she whispered. There was pity in her eyes that became laughter on her lips." murmured Sibyl. You are simply jealous and unkind. I suppose." She looked at him in horror. "Come away. Which is he? Point him out. When they reached the Achilles Statue she turned round. "I shall love him for ever!" she cried. that is all. I have a great mind to chuck the whole thing up." was the sullen answer. come away. The brightly-coloured parasols danced and dipped like monstrous butterflies. "Who?" said Jim Vane. and oh! to see him is perfect happiness. Jim.

" she murmured. and a fierce. There were tears in his eyes as he went downstairs. "My father was a scoundrel then?" cried the lad. Through the rumble of omnibuses. She would be sure to make a scene. and went to the door. "Mother.. he thrust away his plate. which left them close to their shabby home in the Euston Road. had come at last. Yet. when her arms were flung round his neck. the moment that night and day." She shrank from him. my son. The situation had not been gradually led up to." . he would have made provision for us. and he detested scenes of every kind. Don't speak against him." she answered. The vulgar directness of the question called for a direct answer. "I don't care for myself." For a moment a hideous sense of humiliation came over the woman. She made no answer. and her fingers strayed through his hair. and put his head in his hands. Indeed in some measure it was a disappointment to her. Were you married to my father?" She heaved a deep sigh. It should have been told to him before. isn't it. and looked at her. It enraged him. In Sibyl's own room they parted. Leaden with fear. and Sibyl had to lie down for a couple of hours before acting. It reminded her of a bad rehearsal. as it seemed to him. and a gentleman. He was merely a boy." An oath broke from his lips. It was after five o'clock. he softened. It was a sigh of relief. he could hear the droning voice devouring each minute that was left to him. He felt that he had a right to know. "Sibyl has a mother. Jim insisted that she should do so. There was jealousy in the lad's heart. wondering at the harsh simplicity of life." he exclaimed. The flies buzzed round the table. I suppose. "I knew he was not free. His mother was waiting for him below. A tattered lace handkerchief twitched in her fingers. she had dreaded." he said. if it was as he suspected. At the Marble Arch they hailed an omnibus. Their eyes met. murderous hatred of the stranger who. as he entered. Then she laughed and put her hand on his arm. She grumbled at his unpunctuality. and the clatter of street-cabs. Her head drooped. "I had none. I have something to ask you. and yet she felt no terror. He made no answer. he got up. It is a gentleman. had come between them. "but don't let Sibyl. and crawled over the stained cloth. his mother watched him. but sat down to his meagre meal. who is in love with her. Words dropped mechanically from her lips. After some time. It was crude. Her eyes wandered vaguely about the room. "No. She shook her head. for weeks and months. clenching his fists. I have a right to know. The terrible moment."He had better.. He said that he would sooner part with her when their mother was not present. too. and kissed her with real affection. "Tell me the truth. When the clock struck six. In hers he saw a wild appeal for mercy. Indeed he was highly connected. She wiped her eyes with shaking hands. Then he turned back. If he had lived. or says he is? Highly connected.. He was your father. We loved each other very much.

now that she had only one child to look after. Basil?" said Lord Henry that evening. but he cut her short. I hope? They don't interest me. though many of them would be the better for a little white-washing. It was with a renewed feeling of disappointment that she waved the tattered lace handkerchief from the window. watching him as he spoke. and mufflers looked for. She consoled herself by telling Sibyl how desolate she felt her life would be. I swear it. There was the bargaining with the cabman. track him down. He went towards her. "But I didn't say . Of the threat she said nothing. Dorian is far too sensible. She would have liked to have continued the scene on the same emotional scale. the passionate gesture that accompanied it. She remembered the phrase." said Lord Henry. as Hallward was shown into a little private room at the Bristol where dinner had been laid for three. I must go now. She felt that they would all laugh at it some day. "What is it? Nothing about politics." "Dorian Gray is engaged to be married.The lad was touched. and kill him like a dog. CHAPTER VI "I suppose you have heard the news. my dear Basil. "I am sorry if I have pained you by asking about my father. It was vividly and dramatically expressed. languidly." "Except in America. Trunks had to be carried down. The moment was lost in vulgar details. "Impossible!" "It is perfectly true. She was familiar with the atmosphere." answered the artist. "but I could not help it. Harry." "I can't believe it. Don't forget that you will only have one child now to look after." he said. She was conscious that a great opportunity had been wasted. as her son drove away. and believe me that if this man wrongs my sister. "No." "To whom?" "To some little actress or other. I will find out who he is. and stooping down he kissed her." "Dorian is far too wise not to do foolish things now and then. and then frowned. It had pleased her. There is hardly a single person in the House of Commons worth painting. Hallward started. the mad melodramatic words. and for the first time for many months she really admired her son." rejoined Lord Henry. "Dorian engaged to be married!" he cried. giving his hat and coat to the bowing waiter. The lodging-house drudge bustled in and out. Good-bye. made life seem more vivid to her. She breathed more freely. Harry." The exaggerated folly of the threat." "Marriage is hardly a thing that one can do now and then.

Basil. There is a great difference. Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing." Lord Henry laughed. Harry." "But do you approve of it. it is certainly an experience. whatever one may say against marriage. passionately adore her for six months. there are certain temperaments that marriage makes more complex. and then suddenly become fascinated by someone else. and proposes to marry her. walking up and down the room. sipping a glass of vermouth and orange-bitters. Besides. of anything now. He is sure to do it. If a personality fascinates me. You know I am not a champion of marriage. but I have no recollection at all of being engaged." "You don't mean a single word of all that. or disapprove. They lack individuality. whatever mode of expression that personality selects is absolutely delightful to me. Harry?" asked the painter. It is an absurd attitude to take towards life. Basil. Harry. Your portrait of him has quickened his appreciation of the personal appearance of other people. He would be a wonderful study." murmured Lord Henry. and I never interfere with what charming people do. amongst others." "I hope the girl is good. and biting his lip. and to be highly organised is. she is better than good--she is beautiful." "If you want to make him marry this girl tell him that. I have a distinct remembrance of being married. if that boy doesn't forget his appointment. I never take any notice of what common people say. If Dorian Gray's life were spoiled. and wealth. "The reason we all like to think so well of others is that we are all afraid for ourselves. and position. the object of man's existence. it is always from the noblest motives. and. We are to see her to-night. It would be absurd for him to marry so much beneath him. then. I am inclined to think that I never was engaged." "Are you serious?" "Quite serious. Still. every experience is of value. Why not? If he wedded Messalina he would be none the less interesting. The basis of optimism is sheer terror. We think that we are generous because we credit our neighbour with the possession of those virtues that are likely to be a benefit to . The real drawback to marriage is that it makes one unselfish." "But think of Dorian's birth. I don't want to see Dorian tied to some vile creature. I hope that Dorian Gray will make this girl his wife. "You can't approve of it. and he is not often wrong about things of that kind. It has had that excellent effect. and add to it many other egos. Dorian Gray falls in love with a beautiful girl who acts Juliet. They retain their egotism. I should fancy. You are much better than you pretend to be. "Dorian says she is beautiful. It is some silly infatuation. I should be miserable if I thought I should ever be more serious than I am at the present moment. possibly. They are forced to have more than one life. no one would be sorrier than yourself." "I never approve.he was married. you know you don't. And unselfish people are colourless." "Oh. I said he was engaged to be married. We are not sent into the world to air our moral prejudices. who might degrade his nature and ruin his intellect. They become more highly organised.

as they took their seats at the small round table. and went down at eight o'clock to the theatre." cried Dorian." He was flushed with excitement and pleasure. a dainty little green cap with a hawk's feather caught in a jewel. haven't I. As for her acting--well. She is simply a born artist. But Sibyl! You should have seen her! When she came on in her boy's clothes she was perfectly wonderful. of course that would be silly. you must both congratulate me!" said the lad. all really delightful things are. but I can't help it. I will certainly encourage them. Lord Radley is sure to be furious. Sibyl was playing Rosalind. no life is spoiled but one whose growth is arrested. I have the greatest contempt for optimism. slim brown cross-gartered hose. Of course the scenery was dreadful. you shall see her to-night. Her hair clustered round her face like dark leaves round a pale rose. I have had the arms of Rosalind around me. My lips moved towards hers. putting his hand on the lad's shoulder.us. and then I can do what I like. and smiling as he spoke. throwing off his evening cape with its satin-lined wings and shaking each of his friends by the hand in turn. And yet it seems to me to be the one thing I have been looking for all my life. you have merely to reform it. I feel that I should not tell you all this. and to find my wife in Shakespeare's plays? Lips that Shakespeare taught to speak have whispered their secret in my ear. But here is Dorian himself. and kissed Juliet on the mouth. and shook like a white narcissus. She has not even told her own mother. and the Orlando absurd. I dressed. "What happened was simply this. I don't know what my guardians will say. You let Harry know. "I hope you will always be very happy. She had all the delicate grace of that Tanagra figurine that you have in your studio. and a hooded cloak lined with dull red. and find good qualities in the highwayman in the hope that he may spare our pockets. I shall be of age in less than a year. I sat in the dingy box absolutely enthralled. He will tell you more than I can. They have the charm of being fashionable. Of course our engagement is a dead secret. and then you will tell us how it all came about. let us sit down and try what the new _chef_ here is like. and looked extraordinarily handsome. We praise the banker that we may overdraw our account. Then she flung herself on her knees and kissed my hands. After the performance was over I went behind. I was away with my love in a forest that no man had ever seen. I mean everything that I have said. my dear Basil. Of course it is sudden. had some dinner at that little Italian restaurant in Rupert Street you introduced me to. Harry. She wore a moss-coloured velvet jerkin with cinnamon sleeves." "My dear Harry. She trembled all over. but there are other and more interesting bonds between men and women. "but I don't quite forgive you for not having let me know of your engagement. and spoke to her. After I left you yesterday evening." "And I don't forgive you for being late for dinner. I forgot that I was in London and in the nineteenth century. to take my love out of poetry. "Come. If you want to mar a nature. "I have never been so happy. Basil. As we were sitting together. I don't care." ." said Hallward. It seemed to me that all my life had been narrowed to one perfect point of rose-coloured joy." broke in Lord Henry. As for marriage." "There is really not much to tell. I can't describe to you what I felt at that moment. I have been right. Dorian. We kissed each other. Basil. She had never seemed to me more exquisite. suddenly there came into her eyes a look that I had never seen there before. As for a spoiled life.

I shall find her in an orchard in Verona. He would never bring misery upon anyone. delightful theories. Ah! don't mock. Dorian Gray shook his head. Harry." Hallward laid his hand upon his arm. but when we are good we are not always happy." Lord Henry sipped his champagne in a meditative manner. "But I am afraid I cannot claim my theory as my own." "Ah! but what do you mean by good?" cried Basil Hallward. leaning back in his chair. in his slow. and they always remind us. and tossed his head." Dorian Gray laughed. "I left her in the forest of Arden." "And those are. Dorian. Her trust makes me faithful." murmured Lord Henry--"much more practical than we are. that excuses one for asking any question--simple curiosity. indeed. Pleasure is Nature's test. her sign of approval. You mock at it for that. You have annoyed Dorian." he answered. But then the middle classes are not modern. Harry. and not we who propose to the women." Lord Henry looked across the table. When I am with her. Dorian? And what did she say in answer? Perhaps you forgot all about it.. It is an irrevocable vow that I want to take. All your theories. the whole world is nothing to me compared with her. I suppose you were right. but I don't mind. I did not treat it as a business transaction. Except. and I did not make any formal proposal. Not worthy! Why. and she said she was not worthy to be my wife.?" asked Lord Henry. In situations of that kind we often forget to say anything about marriage. It belongs to Nature. "Dorian is never annoyed with me. I cannot understand how anyone can wish to shame the thing he loves. your theories about pleasure. your theories about life. I love Sibyl Vane. "Yes. I become different from what you have known me to be. "Have you seen her to-day?" asked Lord Henry. Harry.. and looking at Lord Henry over the heavy clusters of purple-lipped irises that stood in the . her belief makes me good. I am changed." "Women are wonderfully practical. in fact. "You are quite incorrigible. He is not like other men." he answered." "My dear Harry. helping himself to some salad. not to me. melodious voice. and the mere touch of Sibyl Vane's hand makes me forget you and all your wrong. "At what particular point did you mention the word marriage. a beast without a heart. I regret all that you have taught me. I told her that I loved her. I want to place her on a pedestal of gold. for the only reason. fascinating. your theories about love. in middle-class life." said Hallward. His nature is too fine for that." echoed Dorian." "Pleasure is the only thing worth having a theory about. "I asked the question for the best reason possible. "Oh. What is marriage? An irrevocable vow. poisonous. I have a theory that it is always the women who propose to us. When we are happy we are always good. It is impossible to be angry with you. "Don't. of course. When you see Sibyl Vane you will feel that the man who could wrong her would be a beast."Yes. and to see the world worship the woman who is mine. slowly.

." murmured the lad. "but they invariably want it back in such very small change." he sighed." he replied. "Being adored is a nuisance. One's own life--that is the important thing. Believe me. "what do you mean by good. are the privilege of the rich. They worship us." "I know what pleasure is." cried Hallward. Harry." "That is certainly better than being adored. Beautiful sins. that women give to men the very gold of their lives. "Discord is to be forced to be in harmony with others. Harry. touching the thin stem of his glass with his pale. fine-pointed fingers. as some witty Frenchman once put it. As for the lives of one's neighbours. mediæval art is charming. "Yes. "It is to adore someone." said Lord Henry." "Possibly. "They create Love in our natures. Modern morality consists in accepting the standard of one's age." cried Dorian Gray. That is the worry. if one wishes to be a prig or a Puritan. like beautiful things. Besides. in suffering." Lord Henry shrugged his shoulders." "One has to pay in other ways but money." he answered. and are always bothering us to do something for them. "You must admit. They have a right to demand it back. Women treat us just as Humanity treats its gods. Women. if one lives merely for one's self. "This is. and no uncivilised man ever knows what a pleasure is. but they are not one's concern. inspire us with the desire to do masterpieces." he replied. gravely. and always prevent us from carrying them out." interrupted Dorian. you are dreadful! I don't know why I like you so much." "That is quite true. we are overcharged for everything nowadays." "You will always like me. one pays a terrible price for doing so?" suggested the painter. I consider that for any man of culture to accept the standard of his age is a form of the grossest immorality. well. in." "What sort of ways." "I should have said that whatever they ask for they had first given to us. "Will you have some . Individualism has really the higher aim. Dorian. One can use them in fiction. one can flaunt one's moral views about them. Dorian. "Nothing is ever quite true. But then the only things that one can use in fiction are the things that one has ceased to use in fact." "But. of course. surely. toying with some fruits. "My dear fellow.centre of the table. but mediæval emotions are out of date. no civilised man ever regrets a pleasure.. Harry?" "To be good is to be in harmony with one's self. in the consciousness of degradation. I should fancy that the real tragedy of the poor is that they can afford nothing but self-denial." "Harry. Basil?" "Oh! I should fancy in remorse.

He felt as if he had come to look for Miranda and had been met by Caliban. as had been arranged. The youths in the gallery had taken off their coats and waistcoats and hung them over the side. You must follow us in a hansom. A strange sense of loss came over him. Let us go. A cigarette is the perfect type of a perfect pleasure. You must have a cigarette. The sound of the popping of corks came from the bar." They got up and put on their coats. At least he declared he did. and some cigarettes. When the cab drew up at the theatre. rather liked him. After a few minutes. and insisted on shaking him by the hand. and the fat Jew manager who met them at the door was beaming from ear to ear with an oily. The heat was terribly oppressive. . flaring streets became blurred to his eyes. upon the other hand. Dorian Gray loathed him more than ever. waving his fat jewelled hands. sipping their coffee standing. What more can one want? Yes. He drove off by himself. I represent to you all the sins you have never had the courage to commit. They talked to each other across the theatre. and the crowded. Basil. there is no such thing. I have some. the house was crowded that night. "What a place to find one's divinity in!" said Lord Henry. taking a light from a fire-breathing silver dragon that the waiter had placed on the table. you will come with me. and assuring him that he was proud to meet a man who had discovered a real genius and gone bankrupt over a poet. The painter was silent and preoccupied. Dorian. It is exquisite. you fellows?--Waiter. He could not bear this marriage. There was a gloom over him. but there is only room for two in the brougham. for me at any rate. Lord Henry. He felt that Dorian Gray would never again be to him all that he had been in the past.. "but I am always ready for a new emotion. Harry!" cried the lad. When Sibyl comes on the stage you will have a new ideal of life." said Lord Henry. She will represent something to you that you have never known. tremulous smile. Still. "Let us go down to the theatre. Hallward amused himself with watching the faces in the pit. and the huge sunlight flamed like a monstrous dahlia with petals of yellow fire. and shared their oranges with the tawdry girls who sat beside them. It is so much more real than life. and watched the flashing lights of the little brougham in front of him. His eyes darkened. CHAPTER VII For some reason or other.. they all passed downstairs. however. it seemed to him that he had grown years older. you will always be fond of me. He escorted them to their box with a sort of pompous humility. I am so sorry. your wonderful girl may thrill me. Some women were laughing in the pit. and _fine-champagne_.. Life had come between them. Dorian. bring coffee. I am afraid." "I have known everything. I love acting. No: don't mind the cigarettes." "What nonsense you talk.coffee. I can't allow you to smoke cigars. Basil. and yet it seemed to him to be better than many other things that might have happened. and talking at the top of his voice. that. and it leaves one unsatisfied. Their voices were horribly shrill and discordant. with a tired look in his eyes.

If this girl can give a soul to those who have lived without one. Dorian. amidst an extraordinary turmoil of applause. while she danced. and her lips seemed to tremble. Anyone you love must be marvellous. They weep and laugh as she wills them to do. She makes them as responsive as a violin. murmuring. if she can strip them of their selfishness and lend them tears for sorrows that are not their own. These common. as a plant sways in the water. I hope not!" exclaimed Lord Henry. Lord Henry thought. The band. pressing his hand. who was scanning the occupants of the gallery through his opera-glass. he terrifies me. She spiritualises them. and the dance began. Yes. but from the point of view . Motionless. but I admit it now. Yet she was curiously listless. enthusiastic house. and any girl that has the effect you describe must be fine and noble. To spiritualise one's age--that is something worth doing. "I knew that you would understand me. but it only lasts for about five minutes. Basil. were spoken in a thoroughly artificial manner. and I believe in this girl. When she acts you will forget everything. and she is divine beyond all living things. rough people. gazing at her. "I understand what you mean. Sibyl Vane moved like a creature from a finer world. Her body swayed. Sibyl Vane stepped on to the stage. This marriage is quite right. become quite different when she is on the stage. Without her you would have been incomplete. came to her cheeks as she glanced at the crowded. Lord Henry peered through his glasses. Her hands seemed to be made of cool ivory. She stepped back a few paces. The voice was exquisite." answered Dorian Gray. They sit silently and watch her. But here is the orchestra. For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch. The curves of her throat were the curves of a white lily. and as one in a dream. struck up a few bars of music. with their coarse faces and brutal gestures. shabbily-dressed actors. such as it was. sat Dorian Gray. There was something of the fawn in her shy grace and startled eyes." A quarter of an hour afterwards. A faint blush. like the shadow of a rose in a mirror of silver." said the painter. that he had ever seen." "The same flesh and blood as one's self! Oh. and you will see the girl to whom I am going to give all my life. and Romeo in his pilgrim's dress had entered with Mercutio and his other friends. Then the curtain rises. she is worthy of all your adoration. I did not think so at first. and one feels that they are of the same flesh and blood as one's self. if she can create the sense of beauty in people whose lives have been sordid and ugly. "It was here I found her. "Don't pay any attention to him. Which mannerly devotion shows in this. The gods made Sibyl Vane for you. Harry is so cynical."Yes!" answered Dorian Gray. The few words she had to speak-Good pilgrim. And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss-with the brief dialogue that follows. to whom I have given everything that is good in me. Basil Hallward leaped to his feet and began to applaud. she was certainly lovely to look at--one of the loveliest creatures. Through the crowd of ungainly. It is quite dreadful." "Thanks. "Charming! charming!" The scene was the hall of Capulet's house. She showed no sign of joy when her eyes rested on Romeo. you do wrong your hand too much. worthy of the adoration of the world.

Last night she was a great artist. too sudden. The only person unmoved was the girl herself. This evening she is merely a commonplace." "I wish she were ill. good-night! This bud of love by summer's ripening breath May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet-she spoke the words as though they conveyed no meaning to her." answered the lad. That could not be denied. She looked charming as she came out in the moonlight. If she failed there. Her gestures became absurdly artificial. "but she can't act. I have no joy of this contract to-night: It is too rash. Dorian Gray grew pale as he watched her. Love is a more wonderful thing than Art. Neither of his friends dared to say anything to him. He was puzzled and anxious. I apologise to you both." Sweet. too unadvised. They got restless." interrupted Hallward. "We will come some other night. Let us go. "But she seems to me to be simply callous and cold. "I am awfully sorry that I have made you waste an evening. mediocre actress. It made the passion unreal. and began to talk loudly and to whistle. She seemed to them to be absolutely incompetent. Even the common." he said. Dorian. I should think Miss Vane was ill. Harry. But the staginess of her acting was unbearable. which doth cease to be Ere one can say. When she leaned over the balcony and came to those wonderful lines-Although I joy in thee. It was simply bad art. Too like the lightning. She was a complete failure." "Don't talk like that about anyone you love. When the second act was over there came a storm of hisses. bitter voice. who was standing at the back of the dress-circle. They were horribly disappointed. She has entirely altered.of tone it was absolutely false. Indeed. in a hard. It took away all the life from the verse. Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek For that which thou hast heard me speak to-night-was declaimed with the painful precision of a schoolgirl who has been taught to recite by some second-rate professor of elocution. stamped and swore with rage. "She is quite beautiful." he rejoined. and Lord Henry got up from his chair and put on his coat. Yet they felt that the true test of any Juliet is the balcony scene of the second act. She over-emphasised everything that she had to say. and grew worse as she went on. The Jew manager. Dorian." . there was nothing in her. It was wrong in colour. so far from being nervous." "I am going to see the play through. "It lightens. It was not nervousness." "My dear Dorian. she was absolutely self-contained. uneducated audience of the pit and gallery lost their interest in the play. The beautiful passage-Thou knowest the mask of night is on my face. They waited for that.

acting was the one reality of my life. angrily. You make yourself ridiculous. Her parted lips were smiling over some secret of their own. gazing at her in amazement--"horribly! It was dreadful. The play dragged on. She is beautiful. You have no idea what I suffered. "before I knew you. Dorian. "How badly I acted to-night. and if she knows as little about life as she does about acting. A few moments afterwards the footlights flared up. "I want to be alone. I thought that it was all true. The last act was played to almost empty benches. Basil. Her eyes were lit with an exquisite fire." The girl smiled. he leaned up against the wall. with a strange tenderness in his voice. What more can you want?" "Go away. But you understand now. "You are ill." cried the lad. My friends were bored. The whole thing was a _fiasco_. Dorian!" she cried. "But do let us go. and proud. Besides. I was bored. Ah! can't you see that my heart is breaking?" The hot tears came to his eyes. His lips trembled. I suppose. I don't suppose you will want your wife to act. When you are ill you shouldn't act. as though it were sweeter than honey to the red petals of her mouth--"Dorian. Why I shall always be bad. and indifferent. "Dorian. There was a radiance about her. When he entered. with a look of triumph on her face. she will be a delightful experience. she looked at him."They are both simply forms of imitation. tramping in heavy boots. and seemed interminable. and Portia the other. and the two young men passed out together. Dorian Gray rushed behind the scenes into the greenroom. rushing to the back of the box. you must go. He looked pale. "Why I was so bad to-night. I was Rosalind one night. Dorian Gray went back to his seat. . She was transfigured with joy. Dorian. So what does it matter if she plays Juliet like a wooden doll? She is very lovely." He shrugged his shoulders. The curtain went down on a titter. It was only in the theatre that I lived." she cried. Half of the audience went out. my dear boy. you must not stay here any longer. and some groans. Come to the club with Basil and myself. It is not good for one's morals to see bad acting. Why I shall never act well again." said Lord Henry. Are you ill? You have no idea what it was. and laughing. don't you?" "Understand what?" he asked." She seemed not to listen to him. "Let us go. The girl was standing there alone. An ecstasy of happiness dominated her. don't look so tragic! The secret of remaining young is never to have an emotion that is unbecoming. Basil. We will smoke cigarettes and drink to the beauty of Sibyl Vane. and the curtain rose on the third act." remarked Lord Henry. As soon as it was over. and people who know absolutely nothing. and. you should have understood. hiding his face in his hands. There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating--people who know absolutely everything. lingering over his name with long-drawn music in her voice. and an expression of infinite joy came over her. "Dorian." she answered. Good heavens. "Horribly!" he answered. Harry.

Suddenly it dawned on my soul what it all meant. I would have made you famous. the silliness of the empty pageant in which I had always played. She clenched her hands together. it would be profanation for me to play at being in love. were not what I wanted to say. You are shallow and stupid." he muttered. and with her little fingers stroked his hair. You do it so well. I became conscious that the Romeo was hideous. and old. She put her hand upon his arm. and I smiled. Dorian. and that the words I had to speak were unreal. Oh. Then he leaped up. you understand now what it signifies? Even if I could do it. "Don't touch me!" he cried. . for the first time. She rose from her knees. The world would have worshipped you. What are you now? A third-rate actress with a pretty face. To-night. if you say it mars your art! Without your art you are nothing. and you would have borne my name. and turned away his face. and her voice seemed to catch in her throat. He drew them away. He thrust her back. You don't know what you were to me. I will never see you again. and laughed. I could not understand how it was that everything had gone from me. You simply produce no effect. She looked at him in wonder. You have thrown it all away." he answered bitterly. once." He flung himself down on the sofa. I hate the stage. What have I to do with the puppets of a play? When I came on to-night. She knelt down and pressed his hands to her lips. and trembled. You are more to me than all art can ever be. because you had genius and intellect. I will never think of you. with a piteous expression of pain in her face. To-night." The girl grew white. I will never mention your name. and I thought them real. splendid. "you have killed my love. for the first time in my life. You taught me what reality really is. I thought that I was going to be wonderful. were not my words. You came--oh. where we can be quite alone. something of which all art is but a reflection. I knew nothing but shadows. that the moonlight in the orchard was false. that the scenery was vulgar. the sham. and a shudder ran through him." he cried.. "You are acting. "You have killed my love. and. Now you don't even stir my curiosity." "Acting! I leave that to you. I can't bear to think of it! I wish I had never laid eyes upon you! You have spoiled the romance of my life. came across the room to him. My love! my love! Prince Charming! Prince of life! I have grown sick of shadows. She came across to him. my beautiful love!--and you freed my soul from prison. I might mimic a passion that I do not feel. The painted scenes were my world. My God! how mad I was to love you! What a fool I have been! You are nothing to me now. You used to stir my imagination. You had made me understand what love really is. Dorian--take me away with you. You have made me see that. The common people who acted with me seemed to me to be godlike. and looked into his eyes..The joy of Beatrice was my joy. but I cannot mimic one that burns me like fire. Oh. and the sorrows of Cordelia were mine also. I heard them hissing. "Yes.. and went to the door. He made no answer. Why. because you realised the dreams of great poets and gave shape and substance to the shadows of art. once. What could they know of love such as ours? Take me away. magnificent. I loved you because you were marvellous. Dorian. and painted. How little you can know of love. I saw through the hollowness. Dorian?" she murmured. The knowledge was exquisite to me. "You are not serious. I found that I could do nothing. I believed in everything. You had brought me something higher.

"I don't wish to be unkind. The darkness lifted. and Dorian Gray. and. and heard shrieks and oaths from gloomy courts. but I can't see you again.. He remembered wandering through dimly-lit streets. But you. don't leave me. and wondered why he refused to accept any money for them. In a few moments he was out of the theatre. with his beautiful eyes. It came so suddenly across me. There is always something ridiculous about the emotions of people whom one has ceased to love. close-shuttered windows. and yet I couldn't help it. They had been plucked at midnight. Don't be cruel to me because I love you better than anything in the world. Oh. He followed into the market. I couldn't bear it. Kiss me again." A fit of passionate sobbing choked her. Dorian.. looking round at the silent Square with its blank.. Under the portico. Iris-necked. After a little while. my love. A long line of boys carrying crates of striped tulips. For a few moments he loitered upon the doorstep. and began to eat them listlessly. He didn't mean it. Others crowded round the swinging doors of the coffee-house in the Piazza. As the dawn was just breaking he found himself close to Covent Garden. She crouched on the floor like a wounded thing. and its staring blinds. Some of the drivers were lying asleep on a pile of sacks. Women with hoarse voices and harsh laughter had called after him. with its grey sun-bleached pillars. flushed with faint fires. My brother.. It was foolish of me. the pigeons ran about picking up seeds. Where he went to he hardly knew. Sibyl Vane seemed to him to be absurdly melodramatic. "I am so sorry I didn't act well. From some chimney opposite a thin wreath of smoke was . and lay there like a trampled flower. Drunkards had reeled by cursing. "Dorian. don't leave me. never mind. waiting for the auction to be over. I was thinking of you all the time. shaking their bells and trappings. "I am going. defiled in front of him. But you are quite right. don't leave me!" she whispered. But I will try--indeed. and try to improve. You have disappointed me. Her tears and sobs annoyed him. and of yellow and red roses. A white-smocked carter offered him some cherries.A low moan broke from her. and watched the men unloading their waggons. The air was heavy with the perfume of the flowers. my love for you. it is only once that I have not pleased you. and made no answer. he hailed a hansom. and chattering to themselves like monstrous apes. but crept nearer.. in his calm. and left the room. and his chiselled lips curled in exquisite disdain. loitered a troop of draggled bareheaded girls. He thanked him. the sky hollowed itself into a perfect pearl. Don't go away from me. threading their way through the huge jade-green piles of vegetables. I will try. He had seen grotesque children huddled upon doorsteps. clear voice. past gaunt black-shadowed archways and evil-looking houses. and she flung herself at his feet.. Oh! don't go away from me. and pink-footed. Huge carts filled with nodding lilies rumbled slowly down the polished empty street. and their beauty seemed to bring him an anodyne for his pain. I think I should never have known it if you had not kissed me--if we had not kissed each other. He was in jest." he said at last." She wept silently. The heavy cart-horses slipped and stamped upon the rough stones. and appeared to be seeking for him. He turned on his heel. Dorian. oh! can't you forgive me for to-night? I will work so hard. and drove home. and the coldness of the moon had entered into them. After all. looked down at her. and the roofs of the houses glistened like silver against it. I should have shown myself more of an artist. Her little hands stretched blindly out. No. The sky was pure opal now.

One would have said that there was a touch of cruelty in the mouth. and hung with some curious Renaissance tapestries that had been discovered stored in a disused attic at Selby Royal. He turned them out. and the portrait grow old. where they lay shuddering. What did it mean? He rubbed his eyes. his eye fell upon the portrait Basil Hallward had painted of him. In the dim arrested light that struggled through the cream-coloured silk blinds. In the huge gilt Venetian lantern. yet. And. No line like that warped his red lips. Suddenly there flashed across his mind what he had said in Basil Hallward's studio the day the picture had been finished. He had dreamed of her as a great artist. that his own beauty might be untarnished. and examined it. walking to the window. Cruelty! Had he been cruel? It was the girl's fault. The bright dawn flooded the room. Surely his wish had not been fulfilled? Such things were impossible. And. The thing was horribly apparent. The quivering. that hung from the ceiling of the great oak-panelled hall of entrance. a feeling of infinite regret came over him. to be more intensified even. yet. a violet riband. and yet there was no doubt that the whole expression had altered. as he thought of her lying at his feet sobbing like a little child. the face appeared to him to be a little changed. went over to the picture.rising. It was certainly strange. passed through the library towards the door of his bedroom. spoil of some Doge's barge. Finally he came back. with the touch of cruelty in the mouth. that the painted image might be seared with the lines of suffering and thought. he seemed to hesitate. there was the picture before him. and came close to the picture. He threw himself into a chair. taking up from the table an oval glass framed in ivory Cupids. But the strange expression that he had noticed in the face of the portrait seemed to linger there. There were no signs of any change when he looked into the actual painting. having thrown his hat and cape on the table. It curled. It seemed monstrous even to think of them. had given his love to her because he had thought her great. glanced hurriedly into its polished depths. She had been shallow and unworthy. and the face on the canvas bear the burden of his passions and his sins. After he had taken the buttonhole out of his coat. and. ardent sunlight showed him the lines of cruelty round the mouth as clearly as if he had been looking into a mirror after he had done some dreadful thing. looking somewhat puzzled. and that he might keep all the delicate bloom and loveliness of his then just conscious boyhood. He turned round. in his new-born feeling for luxury. one of Lord Henry's many presents to him. drew up the blind. and. He had uttered a mad wish that he himself might remain young. The expression looked different. Then she had disappointed him. As he was turning the handle of the door. Why had he been made like that? Why had such a soul been given to him? But he had . He started back as if in surprise. he remembered it perfectly. and began to think. Yes. through the nacre-coloured air. He winced. and. He remembered with what callousness he had watched her. he had just had decorated for himself. It was not a mere fancy of his own. and swept the fantastic shadows into dusky corners. not his. a large octagonal chamber on the ground floor that. rimmed with white fire. and examined it again. Then he went on into his own room. lights were still burning from three flickering jets: thin blue petals of flame they seemed.

But the picture? What was he to say of that? It held the secret of his life. His valet had crept several times on tiptoe into the room to see if he was stirring. changed or unchanged. The fascination that she had exercised over him would return. He got up from his chair. She had marred him for a moment. It had altered already. The horrible night that he had passed had left phantoms behind it. with their shimmering blue lining. it was merely to have someone with whom they could have scenes. and would alter more. Suddenly there had fallen upon his brain that tiny scarlet speck that makes men mad. The fresh morning air seemed to drive away all his sombre passions. make her amends. The picture had not changed. Yes. at any rate. and drew a large screen right in front of the portrait. Yet it was watching him. It had taught him to love his own beauty. and drew back the olive-satin curtains. listen to those subtle poisonous theories that in Basil Hallward's garden had first stirred within him the passion for impossible things. and Victor came softly in with a cup of tea. would be to him the visible emblem of conscience. not for himself. but for the painted image of himself. They only thought of their emotions. He thought only of Sibyl. His life with her would be beautiful and pure. A sense of infinite pity. When he stepped out on to the grass. try to love her again. and Lord Henry knew what women were. When they took lovers. Its gold would wither into grey. and had wondered what made his young master sleep so late. æon upon æon of torture. Besides. and he walked across to the window and opened it. But he would not sin. that hung in front of the three tall windows. It was folly to think so. and a pile of letters.suffered also. Its red and white roses would die. Why should he trouble about Sibyl Vane? She was nothing to him now. it was merely an illusion wrought on the troubled senses. A faint echo of his love came back to him. He would resist temptation. Lord Henry had told him that. shuddering as he glanced at it. on a small tray of old Sèvres china. During the three terrible hours that the play had lasted. he drew a deep breath. . They would be happy together. marry her. with its beautiful marred face and its cruel smile. Poor child! He had been selfish and cruel to her. "How horrible!" he murmured to himself. The birds that were singing in the dew-drenched garden seemed to be telling the flowers about her. CHAPTER VIII It was long past noon when he awoke. a stain would fleck and wreck its fairness. He would not see Lord Henry any more--would not. it was his duty to do so. The picture. His life was well worth hers. Finally his bell sounded. if he had wounded her for an age. Its bright hair gleamed in the early sunlight. They lived on their emotions. Would it teach him to loathe his own soul? Would he ever look at it again? No. women were better suited to bear sorrow than men. For every sin that he committed. She must have suffered more than he had. He would go back to Sibyl Vane. and told his story. He repeated her name over and over again. came over him. he had lived centuries of pain. Its blue eyes met his own.

and. . he went into the library and sat down to a light French breakfast. When the coffee and cigarettes had been brought and the man turned to go. and there were several very courteously worded communiations from Jermyn Street money-lenders offering to advance any sum of money at a moment's notice and at the most reasonable rates of interest. that he had not yet had the courage to send on to his guardians. They contained the usual collection of cards."Monsieur has well slept this morning. "Too cold for Monsieur?" asked his valet. He felt perfectly happy. and he started. The cool water refreshed him after his long sleep. It would serve as a tale to tell Basil some day. smiling. Monsieur. "One hour and a quarter. As the door was closing behind him he called him back. It would make him smile. "I am not cold. There was a rather heavy bill." he said. "I am not at home to anyone. It was an exquisite day. "I shut the window?" Dorian shook his head. how vivid was his recollection of the whole thing! First in the dim twilight. he felt a wild desire to tell him to remain. The others he opened listlessly. A bee flew in. drowsily. He knew that when he was alone he would have to examine the portrait. And. and then put it aside. The warm air seemed laden with spices. who were extremely old-fashioned people and did not realise that we live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities. and the like. programmes of charity concerts. Was it all true? Had the portrait really changed? Or had it been simply his own imagination that had made him see a look of evil where there had been a look of joy? Surely a painted canvas could not alter? The thing was absurd. putting an omelette on the table. for a chased silver Louis-Quinze toilet-set. Dorian looked at him for a moment. Victor?" asked Dorian Gray." How late it was! He sat up. A dim sense of having taken part in some strange tragedy came to him once or twice. "What o'clock is it. having sipped some tea. and then in the bright dawn. After about ten minutes he got up. passed into the onyx-paved bathroom. filled with sulphur-yellow roses. The man bowed and retired. Suddenly his eye fell on the screen that he had placed in front of the portrait. throwing on an elaborate dressing-gown of silk-embroidered cashmere wool. He almost dreaded his valet leaving the room. stood before him. invitations to dinner. As soon as he was dressed. and buzzed round the blue-dragon bowl that. turned over his letters. He was afraid of certainty. but there was the unreality of a dream about it. with a sigh. and." he said. Victor. that had been laid out for him on a small round table close to the open window." he murmured. that are showered on fashionable young men every morning during the season. tickets for private views. The man stood waiting for his orders. One of them was from Lord Henry. he had seen the touch of cruelty round the warped lips. yet. and had been brought by hand that morning. He seemed to have forgotten all that he had gone through. He hesitated for a moment.

Then he drew the screen aside. wondering if ever before it had concealed the secret of a man's life. It was not too late to make reparation for that. The portrait had altered.Then he rose from the table. Was there some subtle affinity between the chemical atoms. Suddenly there came a knock to the door. and wrote a passionate letter to the girl he had loved. When we blame ourselves we feel that no one else has a right to blame us. and conscience to others. more terrible reason? He shuddered. or what to think. There were opiates for remorse. If it was not true. Here was an ever-present sign of the ruin men brought upon their souls. he felt that it had done for him. He did not know what to do. And yet it was a fact. and the portrait that Basil Hallward had painted of him would be a guide to him through life. gazing at the picture in sickened horror. the thing had to be examined. There is a luxury in self-reproach. of gilt Spanish leather. it was terrible. As he often remembered afterwards. and he heard Lord Henry's voice outside. lay there. The screen was an old one. Finally. and flung himself down on a luxuriously-cushioned couch that stood facing the screen. and felt afraid. That such a change should have taken place was incredible to him. not the priest. and saw the horrible change? What should he do if Basil Hallward came and asked to look at his own picture? Basil would be sure to do that. why trouble about it? But what if. One thing. and saw himself face to face. would be transformed into some nobler passion. and locked both doors. eyes other than his spied behind. would be to him what holiness is to some. He got up. to find his way through the sanguine labyrinth of passion through which he was wandering. He was trying to gather up the scarlet threads of life. He covered page after page with wild words of sorrow. and the fear of God to us all. and to weave them into a pattern. and at once. going back to the couch. Let me in at once. he had been to Sibyl Vane. and always with no small wonder. he felt that he had been forgiven. No. imploring her forgiveness. Anything would be better than this dreadful state of doubt. "My dear boy. he went over to the table. It is the confession. His unreal and selfish love would yield to some higher influence. I must see you. that gives us absolution. It had made him conscious how unjust. I can't bear your shutting yourself up like this. and. At least he would be alone when he looked upon the mask of his shame. and accusing himself of madness. It was perfectly true. he found himself at first gazing at the portrait with a feeling of almost scientific interest. stamped and wrought with a rather florid Louis-Quatorze pattern. they made true? Or was there some other. by some fate or deadlier chance. Should he move it aside. and the half-hour rang its double chime. drugs that could lull the moral sense to sleep. Three o'clock struck. after all? Why not let it stay there? What was the use of knowing? If the thing was true." . When Dorian had finished the letter. how cruel. But here was a visible symbol of the degradation of sin. and wilder words of pain. however. and the soul that was within him? Could it be that what that soul thought. She could still be his wife. lit a cigarette. and four. He scanned it curiously. they realized?--that what it dreamed. but Dorian Gray did not stir. that shaped themselves into form and colour on the canvas.

He made no answer at first, but remained quite still. The knocking still continued, and grew louder. Yes, it was better to let Lord Henry in, and to explain to him the new life he was going to lead, to quarrel with him if it became necessary to quarrel, to part if parting was inevitable. He jumped up, drew the screen hastily across the picture, and unlocked the door. "I am so sorry for it all, Dorian," said Lord Henry, as he entered. "But you must not think too much about it." "Do you mean about Sibyl Vane?" asked the lad. "Yes, of course," answered Lord Henry, sinking into a chair, and slowly pulling off his yellow gloves. "It is dreadful, from one point of view, but it was not your fault. Tell me, did you go behind and see her, after the play was over?" "Yes." "I felt sure you had. Did you make a scene with her?" "I was brutal, Harry--perfectly brutal. But it is all right now. I am not sorry for anything that has happened. It has taught me to know myself better." "Ah, Dorian, I am so glad you take it in that way! I was afraid I would find you plunged in remorse, and tearing that nice curly hair of yours." "I have got through all that," said Dorian, shaking his head, and smiling. "I am perfectly happy now. I know what conscience is, to begin with. It is not what you told me it was. It is the divinest thing in us. Don't sneer at it, Harry, any more--at least not before me. I want to be good. I can't bear the idea of my soul being hideous." "A very charming artistic basis for ethics, Dorian! I congratulate you on it. But how are you going to begin?" "By marrying Sibyl Vane." "Marrying Sibyl Vane!" cried Lord Henry, standing up, and looking at him in perplexed amazement. "But, my dear Dorian----" "Yes, Harry, I know what you are going to say. Something dreadful about marriage. Don't say it. Don't ever say things of that kind to me again. Two days ago I asked Sibyl to marry me. I am not going to break my word to her. She is to be my wife!" "Your wife! Dorian!... Didn't you get my letter? I wrote to you this morning, and sent the note down, by my own man." "Your letter? Oh, yes, I remember. I have not read it yet, Harry. I was afraid there might be something in it that I wouldn't like. You cut life to pieces with your epigrams." "You know nothing then?" "What do you mean?" Lord Henry walked across the room, and, sitting down by Dorian Gray, took both his hands in his own, and held them tightly. "Dorian," he

said, "my letter--don't be frightened--was to tell you that Sibyl Vane is dead." A cry of pain broke from the lad's lips, and he leaped to his feet, tearing his hands away from Lord Henry's grasp. "Dead! Sibyl dead! It is not true! It is a horrible lie! How dare you say it?" "It is quite true, Dorian," said Lord Henry, gravely. "It is in all the morning papers. I wrote down to you to ask you not to see anyone till I came. There will have to be an inquest, of course, and you must not be mixed up in it. Things like that make a man fashionable in Paris. But in London people are so prejudiced. Here, one should never make one's _début_ with a scandal. One should reserve that to give an interest to one's old age. I suppose they don't know your name at the theatre? If they don't, it is all right. Did anyone see you going round to her room? That is an important point." Dorian did not answer for a few moments. He was dazed with horror. Finally he stammered in a stifled voice, "Harry, did you say an inquest? What did you mean by that? Did Sibyl----? Oh, Harry, I can't bear it! But be quick. Tell me everything at once." "I have no doubt it was not an accident, Dorian, though it must be put in that way to the public. It seems that as she was leaving the theatre with her mother, about half-past twelve or so, she said she had forgotten something upstairs. They waited some time for her, but she did not come down again. They ultimately found her lying dead on the floor of her dressing-room. She had swallowed something by mistake, some dreadful thing they use at theatres. I don't know what it was, but it had either prussic acid or white lead in it. I should fancy it was prussic acid, as she seems to have died instantaneously." "Harry, Harry, it is terrible!" cried the lad. "Yes; it is very tragic, of course, but you must not get yourself mixed up in it. I see by _The Standard_ that she was seventeen. I should have thought she was almost younger than that. She looked such a child, and seemed to know so little about acting. Dorian, you mustn't let this thing get on your nerves. You must come and dine with me, and afterwards we will look in at the Opera. It is a Patti night, and everybody will be there. You can come to my sister's box. She has got some smart women with her." "So I have murdered Sibyl Vane," said Dorian Gray, half to himself--"murdered her as surely as if I had cut her little throat with a knife. Yet the roses are not less lovely for all that. The birds sing just as happily in my garden. And to-night I am to dine with you, and then go on to the Opera, and sup somewhere, I suppose, afterwards. How extraordinarily dramatic life is! If I had read all this in a book, Harry, I think I would have wept over it. Somehow, now that it has happened actually, and to me, it seems far too wonderful for tears. Here is the first passionate love-letter I have ever written in my life. Strange, that my first passionate love-letter should have been addressed to a dead girl. Can they feel, I wonder, those white silent people we call the dead? Sibyl! Can she feel, or know, or listen? Oh, Harry, how I loved her once! It seems years ago to me now. She was everything to me. Then came that dreadful night--was it really only last night?--when she played so badly, and my heart almost broke. She explained it all to me. It was terribly pathetic. But I was not moved a bit. I thought her shallow. Suddenly something happened that made me afraid. I can't tell

you what it was, but it was terrible. felt I had done wrong. And now she is shall I do? You don't know the danger keep me straight. She would have done kill herself. It was selfish of her."

I said I dead. My I am in, that for

would go back to her. I God! my God! Harry, what and there is nothing to me. She had no right to

"My dear Dorian," answered Lord Henry, taking a cigarette from his case, and producing a gold-latten matchbox, "the only way a woman can ever reform a man is by boring him so completely that he loses all possible interest in life. If you had married this girl you would have been wretched. Of course you would have treated her kindly. One can always be kind to people about whom one cares nothing. But she would have soon found out that you were absolutely indifferent to her. And when a woman finds that out about her husband, she either becomes dreadfully dowdy, or wears very smart bonnets that some other woman's husband has to pay for. I say nothing about the social mistake, which would have been abject, which, of course, I would not have allowed, but I assure you that in any case the whole thing would have been an absolute failure." "I suppose it would," muttered the lad, walking up and down the room, and looking horribly pale. "But I thought it was my duty. It is not my fault that this terrible tragedy has prevented my doing what was right. I remember your saying once that there is a fatality about good resolutions--that they are always made too late. Mine certainly were." "Good resolutions are useless attempts to interfere with scientific laws. Their origin is pure vanity. Their result is absolutely _nil_. They give us, now and then, some of those luxurious sterile emotions that have a certain charm for the weak. That is all that can be said for them. They are simply cheques that men draw on a bank where they have no account." "Harry," cried Dorian Gray, coming over and sitting down beside him, "why is it that I cannot feel this tragedy as much as I want to? I don't think I am heartless. Do you?" "You have done too many foolish things during the last fortnight to be entitled to give yourself that name, Dorian," answered Lord Henry, with his sweet, melancholy smile. The lad frowned. "I don't like that explanation, Harry," he rejoined, "but I am glad you don't think I am heartless. I am nothing of the kind. I know I am not. And yet I must admit that this thing that has happened does not affect me as it should. It seems to me to be simply like a wonderful ending to a wonderful play. It has all the terrible beauty of a Greek tragedy, a tragedy in which I took a great part, but by which I have not been wounded." "It is an interesting question," said Lord Henry, who found an exquisite pleasure in playing on the lad's unconscious egotism--"an extremely interesting question. I fancy that the true explanation is this. It often happens that the real tragedies of life occur in such an inartistic manner that they hurt us by their crude violence, their absolute incoherence, their absurd want of meaning, their entire lack of style. They affect us just as vulgarity affects us. They give us an impression of sheer brute force, and we revolt against that. Sometimes, however, a tragedy that possesses artistic elements of beauty crosses our lives. If these elements of beauty are real, the whole thing simply appeals to our sense of dramatic effect. Suddenly we find that we are no longer the actors, but the spectators of the play. Or rather we are

both. We watch ourselves, and the mere wonder of the spectacle enthralls us. In the present case, what is it that has really happened? Someone has killed herself for love of you. I wish that I had ever had such an experience. It would have made me in love with love for the rest of my life. The people who have adored me--there have not been very many, but there have been some--have always insisted on living on, long after I had ceased to care for them, or they to care for me. They have become stout and tedious, and when I meet them they go in at once for reminiscences. That awful memory of woman! What a fearful thing it is! And what an utter intellectual stagnation it reveals! One should absorb the colour of life, but one should never remember its details. Details are always vulgar." "I must sow poppies in my garden," sighed Dorian. "There is no necessity," rejoined his companion. "Life has always poppies in her hands. Of course, now and then things linger. I once wore nothing but violets all through one season, as a form of artistic mourning for a romance that would not die. Ultimately, however, it did die. I forget what killed it. I think it was her proposing to sacrifice the whole world for me. That is always a dreadful moment. It fills one with the terror of eternity. Well--would you believe it?--a week ago, at Lady Hampshire's, I found myself seated at dinner next the lady in question, and she insisted on going over the whole thing again, and digging up the past, and raking up the future. I had buried my romance in a bed of asphodel. She dragged it out again, and assured me that I had spoiled her life. I am bound to state that she ate an enormous dinner, so I did not feel any anxiety. But what a lack of taste she showed! The one charm of the past is that it is the past. But women never know when the curtain has fallen. They always want a sixth act, and as soon as the interest of the play is entirely over they propose to continue it. If they were allowed their own way, every comedy would have a tragic ending, and every tragedy would culminate in a farce. They are charmingly artificial, but they have no sense of art. You are more fortunate than I am. I assure you, Dorian, that not one of the women I have known would have done for me what Sibyl Vane did for you. Ordinary women always console themselves. Some of them do it by going in for sentimental colours. Never trust a woman who wears mauve, whatever her age may be, or a woman over thirty-five who is fond of pink ribbons. It always means that they have a history. Others find a great consolation in suddenly discovering the good qualities of their husbands. They flaunt their conjugal felicity in one's face, as if it were the most fascinating of sins. Religion consoles some. Its mysteries have all the charm of a flirtation, a woman once told me; and I can quite understand it. Besides, nothing makes one so vain as being told that one is a sinner. Conscience makes egotists of us all. Yes; there is really no end to the consolations that women find in modern life. Indeed, I have not mentioned the most important one." "What is that, Harry?" said the lad, listlessly. "Oh, the obvious consolation. Taking someone else's admirer when one loses one's own. In good society that always whitewashes a woman. But really, Dorian, how different Sibyl Vane must have been from all the women one meets! There is something to me quite beautiful about her death. I am glad I am living in a century when such wonders happen. They make one believe in the reality of the things we all play with, such as romance, passion, and love." "I was terribly cruel to her. You forget that."

It has been a marvellous experience. you must keep your good looks. she marred it. We live in an age that reads too much to be wise. But you must think of that lonely death in the tawdry dressing-room simply as a strange lurid fragment from some Jacobean tragedy. and Ophelia the other. We cannot spare you. We are rather late. Noiselessly. Put ashes on your head because Cordelia was strangled. As it is. or Ford. Cry out against Heaven because the daughter of Brabantio died." muttered the lad. Harry. but they remain slaves looking for their masters." "But suppose. I became haggard. She was less real than they are. The colours faded wearily out of things. She has played her last part. downright cruelty." he murmured. They have wonderfully primitive instincts." "What was that. Harry?" "You said to me that Sibyl Vane represented to you all the heroines of romance--that she was Desdemona one night. and wrinkled? What then?" "Ah. she came to life as Imogen. To you at least she was always a dream. They love being dominated." "She will never come to life again now. and it holds the key to everything. more than anything else." "I think I shall join you at the Opera. Mourn for Ophelia. and it marred her. I feel too tired to eat anything. No. I have never seen you really and absolutely angry. but somehow I was afraid of it. as a wonderful scene from Webster. What is the number of your sister's box?" . after all. or Cyril Tourneur. then." There was a silence. they are brought to you. and I could not express it to myself. she will never come to life. will not be able to do. There is nothing that you. all the same. The girl never really lived. The moment she touched actual life. my dear Dorian. I wonder if life has still in store for me anything as marvellous. Harry. After some time Dorian Gray looked up. We have emancipated them. with your extraordinary good looks. "You have explained me to myself. burying his face in his hands. And now you had better dress. The evening darkened in the room." said Lord Henry. but that I see now was absolutely true. and so she has never really died. a reed through which Shakespeare's music sounded richer and more full of joy. if you like. and drive down to the club."I am afraid that women appreciate cruelty. Harry. How well you know me! But we will not talk again of what has happened. Dorian. and old. but I can fancy how delightful you looked. I am sure you were splendid. you said something to me the day before yesterday that seemed to me at the time to be merely fanciful. that if she died as Juliet. "I felt all that you have said. the shadows crept in from the garden. rising to go--"then. and with silver feet. But don't waste your tears over Sibyl Vane. and so she passed away. That is all. and that thinks too much to be beautiful. "No. a phantom that flitted through Shakespeare's plays and left them lovelier for its presence. you would have to fight for your victories. as it is." "Life has everything in store for you. with something of a sigh of relief. And.

It is on the grand tier. on that horrible night at the theatre. Patti is singing. it would be as a wonderful tragic figure sent on to the world's stage to show the supreme reality of Love. He felt that the time had really come for making his choice. He would not think any more of what she had made him go through. those painted lips that now smiled so cruelly at him. A wonderful tragic figure? Tears came to his eyes as he remembered her childlike look. he had kissed. How had she played that dreadful last scene? Had she cursed him. You are certainly my best friend. "Good-bye. wild joys and wilder sins--he was to have all these things."Twenty-seven." "We are only at the beginning of our friendship. Or was it indifferent to results? Did it merely take cognizance of what passed within the soul? He wondered. But I am sorry you won't come and dine. and hoped that some day he would see the change taking place before his very eyes. He waited impatiently for him to go. Then Death himself had touched her." As he closed the door behind him. I hope. pleasures subtle and secret. "But I am awfully obliged to you for all that you have said to me. Morning after morning he had sat before the portrait. When he thought of her. I believe. and love would always be a sacrament to him now. Once. It had received the news of Sibyl Vane's death before he had known of it himself. and winsome fanciful ways. Dorian Gray touched the bell. He brushed them away hastily. to be shut out from the sunlight that had so often touched to brighter gold the waving wonder of its hair? The pity of it! the pity of it! For a moment he thought of praying that the horrible sympathy that existed between him and the picture might cease. No one has ever understood me as you have. appeared at the very moment that the girl had drunk the poison. Remember. Eternal youth. infinite passion. You will see her name on the door. she had died for love of him. It had changed in ." said Dorian. shuddering as he hoped it. and his own infinite curiosity about life. Dorian. The man seemed to take an interminable time over everything. No. and taken her with him. he rushed to the screen. Poor Sibyl! what a romance it had all been! She had often mimicked death on the stage. or feigned to kiss. I shall see you before nine-thirty." "I don't feel up to it. The vicious cruelty that marred the fine lines of the mouth had. wondering at its beauty. by the sacrifice she had made of her life. as it seemed to him at times. no doubt. As soon as he had left. life had decided that for him--life. almost enamoured of it. listlessly. and shy tremulous grace. The portrait was to bear the burden of his shame: that was all. as she died? No. there was no further change in the picture. whatever it was. shaking him by the hand. It was conscious of the events of life as they occurred. and in a few minutes Victor appeared with the lamps and drew the blinds down. in boyish mockery of Narcissus. and drew it back." answered Lord Henry. Was it to alter now with every mood to which he yielded? Was it to become a monstrous and loathsome thing. to be hidden away in a locked room. Or had his choice already been made? Yes. She had atoned for everything. and looked again at the picture. A feeling of pain crept over him as he thought of the desecration that was in store for the fair face on the canvas.

without thought or conscious desire. We . half afraid that one tragedy might be followed by another. Not one pulse of his life would ever weaken. Like the gods of the Greeks. smiling as he did so. however fantastic that chance might be. or with what fateful consequences it might be fraught? Besides. Harry's sister. Dorian. That was all. sipping some pale-yellow wine from a delicate gold-beaded bubble of Venetian glass. would surrender the chance of remaining always young. Somewhere in the Euston Road. You should have come on there. and passed into his bedroom. he would keep the glamour of boyhood. who. where his valet was already waiting for him. I know what you must suffer. Basil Hallward was shown into the room. was it really under his control? Had it indeed been prayer that had produced the substitution? Might there not be some curious scientific reason for it all? If thought could exercise its influence upon a living organism. But I wish you had left word where you had really gone to. This portrait would be to him the most magical of mirrors. that I picked up at the club. isn't it? But I was afraid of intruding upon a sorrow that I could not lighten. and looking dreadfully bored. perhaps in answer to a prayer it might remain unchanged. and Lord Henry was leaning over his chair. He drew the screen back into its former place in front of the picture.answer to a prayer. And. Why inquire too closely into it? For there would be a real pleasure in watching it. I can't tell you how heartbroken I am about the whole thing. too! What did she say about it all?" "My dear Basil. When the blood crept from its face. how do I know?" murmured Dorian Gray. Of course I knew that was impossible. and fleet. I passed a dreadful evening. atom calling to atom in secret love of strange affinity? But the reason was of no importance. so it would reveal to him his own soul. I read of it quite by chance in a late edition of _The Globe_. But where were you? Did you go down and see the girl's mother? For a moment I thought of following you there. As it had revealed to him his own body. That was everything. "I am so glad I have found you. I met Lady Gwendolen. gravely. Not one blossom of his loveliness would ever fade. and was miserable at not finding you. for the first time. I think you might have telegraphed for me when you heard of it first. If the picture was to alter. yet. and joyous. "I called last night. I came here at once. What did it matter what happened to the coloured image on the canvas? He would be safe. An hour later he was at the Opera. might not things external to ourselves vibrate in unison with our moods and passions. might not thought exercise an influence upon dead and inorganic things? Nay. "I was at the Opera. he would still be standing where spring trembles on the verge of summer. Poor woman! What a state she must be in! And her only child. that knew anything about Life. They gave the address in the paper. and left behind a pallid mask of chalk with leaden eyes. CHAPTER IX As he was sitting at breakfast next morning. it was to alter. He would be able to follow his mind into its secret places. He would never again tempt by a prayer any terrible power. and they told me you were at the Opera. he would be strong." he said. And when winter came upon it.

this is horrible! Something has changed you completely. I may mention that she was not the woman's only child." he exclaimed. sun-lashed garden. man. "My dear Basil! Surely you don't think it was a vulgar accident? Of course she killed herself. What do you want?" "I want the Dorian Gray I used to paint. I want to use them. I am punished for that. He is a sailor. And now. "You went to the Opera while Sibyl Vane was lying dead in some sordid lodging? You can talk to me of other women being charming. "you have come too late. that gives reality to things. and to dominate them. looked out for a few moments on the green." "You went to the Opera?" said Hallward. as Harry says." said the artist. Now. It is one of ." he said. natural. and Patti sang divinely." "Well. Dorian--or shall be some day. I believe. going to the window." said the lad. looking up at him with an expression of horror. You were the most unspoiled creature in the whole world." The lad flushed up. and affectionate then. a charming fellow. If one doesn't talk about a thing. and putting his hand on his shoulder. "You must not tell me about things. Yesterday when I heard that Sibyl Vane had killed herself----" "Killed herself! Good heavens! is there no doubt about that?" cried Hallward. What is done is done. used to come down to my studio to sit for his picture. tell me about yourself and what you are painting. there are horrors in store for that little white body of hers!" "Stop. before the girl you loved has even the quiet of a grave to sleep in? Why. You only taught me to be vain. She is perfectly charming. You talk as if you had no heart. "I owe a great deal to Harry. Basil. "Basil." said Dorian Gray. "How fearful. You look exactly the same wonderful boy who. and. But you were simple. Don't talk about horrid subjects." "You call yesterday the past?" "What has the actual lapse of time got to do with it? It is only shallow people who require years to get rid of an emotion. It is all Harry's influence. and a shudder ran through him. "I don't know what you want. no pity in you. going over to him. sadly. turning round. "there is nothing fearful about it. It is simply expression. A man who is master of himself can end a sorrow as easily as he can invent a pleasure." "I don't know what you mean." "Dorian." he muttered. There is a son. flickering. I see that. I don't know what has come over you. or something. day after day. speaking very slowly. and of Patti singing divinely. "No. leaping to his feet. Basil! I won't hear it!" cried Dorian. Basil. and with a strained touch of pain in his voice. to enjoy them. at last--"more than I owe to you. But he is not on the stage. I don't want to be at the mercy of my emotions.were in her box." The elder man buried his face in his hands. What is past is past. it has never happened.

You come down here to console me. carved ivories. Basil. I cannot repeat an emotion. had no idea what I was going through. I was a schoolboy when you knew me. And you are awfully unjust. Then it passed away. They are good husbands. You find me consoled. but you must not like me less." he answered. "I won't speak to you again about this horrible thing. And how happy we used to be together! Don't leave me. and his personality had been the great turning-point in his art. there is much to be got from all these. How different Sibyl was! She lived her finest tragedy. exquisite surroundings. I am a man now. as I was saying. his indifference was probably merely a mood that would pass away. and you are furious. There is nothing more to be said. He had absolutely nothing to do. luxury. But. teach me rather to forget what has happened. The lad was infinitely dear to him. in fact. I know you are surprised at my talking to you like this. If you had come in yesterday at a particular moment--about half-past five. except sentimentalists. There is something of the martyr about her. and all that kind of thing. "Well. and don't quarrel with me. after to-day. I am different. new ideas. the young man who used to say that yellow satin could console one for all the miseries of life. The inquest is to take place this afternoon. and became a confirmed misanthrope. I suffered immensely. And besides. but you must always be my friend. I only trust your name won't be mentioned in connection with it. You know what I mean--middle-class virtue." he said. all its wasted beauty. There was so much in him that was good. is still more to me. As a rule. But I know that you are better than he is. Old brocades. He could not bear the idea of reproaching him any more. green bronzes. at length. if you really want to console me. Have they summoned you?" Dorian shook his head and a look of annoyance passed over his face at the mention of the word "inquest. Basil. who brought me the news. almost died of _ennui_. or a quarter to six--you would have found me in tears. She was always a heroine. or faithful wives. or at any rate reveal. The last night she played--the night you saw her--she acted badly because she had known the reality of love. I am not like that young man you told me of when we were down at Marlow together. She passed again into the sphere of art. so much in him that was noble. is to escape the suffering of life." The painter felt strangely moved. as Juliet might have died. I am changed. lacquer-work. and nothing could exceed his disappointment.the great romantic tragedies of the age. who was here. How like a sympathetic person! You remind me of a story Harry told me about a certain philanthropist who spent twenty years of his life in trying to get some grievance redressed. with a sad smile. or to see it from the proper artistic point of view. she died. "They don't know my name. I am what I am. That is charming of you. When she knew its unreality. Even Harry. Dorian. But the artistic temperament that they create. You have not realised how I have developed. After all. You are not stronger--you are too much afraid of life--but you are better. new thoughts. perhaps. pomp. No one can. Was it not Gautier who used to write about _la consolation des arts_? I remember picking up a little vellum-covered book in your studio one day and chancing on that delightful phrase. or something tedious. or some unjust law altered--I forget exactly what it was. I have new passions. . Finally he succeeded. Of course I am very fond of Harry. my dear old Basil. Well. people who act lead the most commonplace lives. you must not think I have not suffered. I love beautiful things that one can touch and handle." There was something so crude and vulgar about everything of the kind. To become the spectator of one's own life. Her death has all the pathetic uselessness of martyrdom. as Harry says.

Do take the screen away. laughing. Basil." he said. I shall probably have varnish before that. and going over rather absurd that I am going to exhibit it in to give it another coat of day. looking very pale. and he rushed between the painter and the screen. I can't get on without you. turning on towards the window. The painter stared at him. Basil. Basil. The lad was actually pallid with rage. He was trembling all over. and why not to-day?" "To exhibit it? You want to exhibit it?" exclaimed Dorian Gray. "Do you mean to say you don't like what I did of you? Where is it? Why have you pulled the screen in front of it? Let me look at it. "you must not look at it."But surely she did?" "Only my Christian name. I am quite serious. Let me see it. my dear fellow? It is an admirable place for it. I don't offer any explanation. He looked at Dorian Gray in absolute amazement. a strange sense of terror creeping over him. The light was too strong on the portrait." "Too strong! Surely not. so I must see it some look at it if you don't want his heel. I should like to have something more of her than the memory of a few kisses and some broken pathetic words. A cry of terror broke from Dorian Gray's lips. really. But. Dorian." And Hallward walked towards the corner of the room. starting back. "Dorian!" "Don't speak!" "But what is the matter? Of course I won't me to. "If you try to look at it. "My dear boy. He had never seen him like this before. it seems shouldn't see my own work. Why shouldn't I look at it?" exclaimed Hallward. You must do me a drawing of Sibyl. But you must come and sit to me yourself again. rather coldly." "My servant has nothing to do with it." "I can never sit to you again. She told me once that they were all rather curious to learn who I was." "Not look at my own work! you are not serious. No." Hallward was thunderstruck. everything is over between us. and the pupils of his eyes were like disks of blue fire. if it would please you. I did it myself. I felt the room looked different as I came in. and that she invariably told them my name was Prince Charming. "But. I don't wish you to. It is impossible!" he exclaimed. what nonsense!" he cried. Was the world going to be . and you are not to ask for any. It is simply disgraceful of your servant hiding my work like that. and that I am quite sure she never mentioned to anyone. His hands were clenched. Basil. "Basil. It was pretty of her." he said. on my word of honour I will never speak to you again as long as I live. Dorian. It is the best thing I have ever done." "I will try and do something. especially as I Paris in the autumn. You don't imagine I let him arrange my room for me? He settles my flowers for me sometimes--that is all. remember. if you touch this screen.

What was your reason for refusing to exhibit my picture?" The painter shuddered in spite of himself. "You told me a month ago that you would never exhibit it. brain. but that revealed itself to you suddenly?" "Basil!" cried the lad. too. You became to me the visible incarnation of that unseen ideal whose memory haunts us artists like an exquisite dream. I worshipped you. You told Harry exactly the same thing. George Petit is going to collect all my best pictures for a special exhibition in the Rue de Sèze. clutching the arms of his chair with trembling hands. Something--he did not know what--had to be done at once. "I think I have a right to know." he cried. and curiosity had taken its place. He would ask him and try. and it was a revelation to me. if I told you. soul." He stopped suddenly. When you were away from me you were still present in my art. I hardly understood it myself. And just answer me one question." insisted Dorian Gray. He told me why he wouldn't. If you wish me never to look at your picture again. and you would certainly laugh at me. "Let us sit down. startled eyes. It would have been impossible. I only knew that I .. I could not bear your doing either of those two things. "Basil. "Yes. and power by you. had his secret. you are sure to be out of town. I grew jealous of everyone to whom you spoke. you must tell me. "Dorian. perhaps Basil. The only difference is that your moods are rather meaningless. Dorian. your personality had the most extraordinary influence over me. "Why have you changed your mind? You people who go in for being consistent have just as many moods as others have.shown his secret? Were people to gape at the mystery of his life? That was impossible. Wait till you hear what I have to say." he said. Dorian.. I am satisfied. from the moment I met you. looking troubled. half seriously and half in jest. I wanted to have you all to myself." Dorian Gray passed his hand over his forehead. "Let us sit down. "I see you did. I was dominated." said the painter. I should think you could easily spare it for that time." His feeling of terror had passed away. If you wish the best work I have ever done to be hidden from the world. Have you noticed in the picture something curious?--something that probably at first did not strike you.. you can't care much about it. "If you want to have a strange quarter of an hour. The portrait will only be away a month. and a gleam of light came into his eyes. Your friendship is dearer to me than any fame or reputation. You can't have forgotten that you assured me most solemnly that nothing in the world would induce you to send it to any exhibition." Yes." "No. Basil. you might like me less than you do. You would not have understood it. He was determined to find out Basil Hallward's mystery. I was only happy when I was with you. I have always you to look at. Of course I never let you know anything about this. I don't suppose you will object to that. I am content. Let me know yours and I shall tell you mine. Don't speak. coming over quite close. There were beads of perspiration there. which will open the first week in October. "we have each of us a secret. He remembered that Lord Henry had said to him once. And if you keep it always behind a screen. get Basil to tell you why he won't exhibit your picture. and gazing at him with wild. He felt that he was on the brink of a horrible danger. In fact. and looking him straight in the face.

had seen perfection face to face, and that the world had become wonderful to my eyes--too wonderful, perhaps, for in such mad worships there is peril, the peril of losing them, no less than the peril of keeping them.... Weeks and weeks went on, and I grew more and more absorbed in you. Then came a new development. I had drawn you as Paris in dainty armour, and as Adonis with huntsman's cloak and polished boar-spear. Crowned with heavy lotus-blossoms you had sat on the prow of Adrian's barge, gazing across the green turbid Nile. You had leant over the still pool of some Greek woodland, and seen in the water's silent silver the marvel of your own face. And it had all been what art should be, unconscious, ideal, and remote. One day, a fatal day I sometimes think, I determined to paint a wonderful portrait of you as you actually are, not in the costume of dead ages, but in your own dress and in your own time. Whether it was the Realism of the method, or the mere wonder of your own personality, thus directly presented to me without mist or veil, I cannot tell. But I know that as I worked at it, every flake and film of colour seemed to me to reveal my secret. I grew afraid that others would know of my idolatry. I felt, Dorian, that I had told too much, that I had put too much of myself into it. Then it was that I resolved never to allow the picture to be exhibited. You were a little annoyed; but then you did not realise all that it meant to me. Harry, to whom I talked about it, laughed at me. But I did not mind that. When the picture was finished, and I sat alone with it, I felt that I was right.... Well, after a few days the thing left my studio, and as soon as I had got rid of the intolerable fascination of its presence it seemed to me that I had been foolish in imagining that I had seen anything in it, more than that you were extremely good-looking, and that I could paint. Even now I cannot help feeling that it is a mistake to think that the passion one feels in creation is ever really shown in the work one creates. Art is always more abstract than we fancy. Form and colour tell us of form and colour--that is all. It often seems to me that art conceals the artist far more completely than it ever reveals him. And so when I got this offer from Paris I determined to make your portrait the principal thing in my exhibition. It never occurred to me that you would refuse. I see now that you were right. The picture cannot be shown. You must not be angry with me, Dorian, for what I have told you. As I said to Harry, once, you are made to be worshipped." Dorian Gray drew a long breath. The colour came back to his cheeks, and a smile played about his lips. The peril was over. He was safe for the time. Yet he could not help feeling infinite pity for the painter who had just made this strange confession to him, and wondered if he himself would ever be so dominated by the personality of a friend. Lord Henry had the charm of being very dangerous. But that was all. He was too clever and too cynical to be really fond of. Would there ever be someone who would fill him with a strange idolatry? Was that one of the things that life had in store? "It is extraordinary to me, Dorian," said Hallward, "that you should have seen this in the portrait. Did you really see it?" "I saw something in it," he answered, "something that seemed to me very curious." "Well, you don't mind my looking at the thing now?" Dorian shook his head. "You must not ask me that, Basil. I could not possibly let you stand in front of that picture." "You will some day, surely?"

"Never." "Well, perhaps you are right. And now good-bye, Dorian. You have been the one person in my life who has really influenced my art. Whatever I have done that is good, I owe to you. Ah! you don't know what it cost me to tell you all that I have told you." "My dear Basil," said Dorian, "what have you told me? Simply that you felt that you admired me too much. That is not even a compliment." "It was not intended as a compliment. It was a confession. Now that I have made it, something seems to have gone out of me. Perhaps one should never put one's worship into words." "It was a very disappointing confession." "Why, what did you expect, Dorian? You didn't see anything else in the picture, did you? There was nothing else to see?" "No; there was nothing else to see. Why do you ask? But you mustn't talk about worship. It is foolish. You and I are friends, Basil, and we must always remain so." "You have got Harry," said the painter, sadly. "Oh, Harry!" cried the lad, with a ripple of laughter. "Harry spends his days in saying what is incredible, and his evenings in doing what is improbable. Just the sort of life I would like to lead. But still I don't think I would go to Harry if I were in trouble. I would sooner go to you, Basil." "You will sit to me again?" "Impossible!" "You spoil my life as an artist by refusing, Dorian. No man came across two ideal things. Few come across one." "I can't explain it to you, Basil, but I must never sit to you again. There is something fatal about a portrait. It has a life of its own. I will come and have tea with you. That will be just as pleasant." "Pleasanter for you, I am afraid," murmured Hallward, regretfully. "And now good-bye. I am sorry you won't let me look at the picture once again. But that can't be helped. I quite understand what you feel about it." As he left the room, Dorian Gray smiled to himself. Poor Basil! how little he knew of the true reason! And how strange it was that, instead of having been forced to reveal his own secret, he had succeeded, almost by chance, in wresting a secret from his friend! How much that strange confession explained to him! The painter's absurd fits of jealousy, his wild devotion, his extravagant panegyrics, his curious reticences--he understood them all now, and he felt sorry. There seemed to him to be something tragic in a friendship so coloured by romance. He sighed, and touched the bell. The portrait must be hidden away at all costs. He could not run such a risk of discovery again. It had been mad of him to have allowed the thing to remain, even for an hour, in a room

to which any of his friends had access.

CHAPTER X When his servant entered, he looked at him steadfastly, and wondered if he had thought of peering behind the screen. The man was quite impassive, and waited for his orders. Dorian lit a cigarette, and walked over to the glass and glanced into it. He could see the reflection of Victor's face perfectly. It was like a placid mask of servility. There was nothing to be afraid of, there. Yet he thought it best to be on his guard. Speaking very slowly, he told him to tell the housekeeper that he wanted to see her, and then to go to the frame-maker and ask him to send two of his men round at once. It seemed to him that as the man left the room his eyes wandered in the direction of the screen. Or was that merely his own fancy? After a few moments, in her black silk dress, with old-fashioned thread mittens on her wrinkled hands, Mrs. Leaf bustled into the library. He asked her for the key of the schoolroom. "The old schoolroom, Mr. Dorian?" she exclaimed. "Why, it is full of dust. I must get it arranged, and put straight before you go into it. It is not fit for you to see, sir. It is not, indeed." "I don't want it put straight, Leaf. I only want the key." "Well, sir, you'll be covered with cobwebs if you go into it. Why, it hasn't been opened for nearly five years, not since his lordship died." He winced at the mention of his grandfather. He had hateful memories of him. "That does not matter," he answered. "I simply want to see the place--that is all. Give me the key." "And here is the key, sir," said the old lady, going over the contents of her bunch with tremulously uncertain hands. "Here is the key. I'll have it off the bunch in a moment. But you don't think of living up there, sir, and you so comfortable here?" "No, no," he cried, petulantly. "Thank you, Leaf. That will do." She lingered for a few moments, and was garrulous over some detail of the household. He sighed, and told her to manage things as she thought best. She left the room, wreathed in smiles. As the door closed, Dorian put the key in his pocket, and looked round the room. His eye fell on a large, purple satin coverlet heavily embroidered with gold, a splendid piece of late seventeenth-century Venetian work that his grandfather had found in a convent near Bologna. Yes, that would serve to wrap the dreadful thing in. It had perhaps served often as a pall for the dead. Now it was to hide something that had a corruption of its own, worse than the corruption of death itself--something that would breed horrors and yet would never die. What the worm was to the corpse, his sins would be to the painted image on the canvas. They would mar its beauty, and eat away its grace. They

and Shakespeare himself. whose admiration for art was considerably tempered by the inveterate impecuniosity of most of the artists who dealt with him. a knock came to the door. and. That was horrible in its cruelty. "I thought I would do myself the honour of coming round in person. Monsieur. A look of pain came across him. Regret. came in with a somewhat rough-looking young assistant. Old Florentine. He waited for people to come to him. He took up from the couch the great purple-and-gold texture that covered it. It was a pleasure even to see him. Was the face on the canvas viler than before? It seemed to him that it was unchanged.would defile it. and yet his loathing of it was intensified. Yes. and that dies when the senses tire. red-whiskered little man. It would be always alive. It was simply the expression that had altered. Mr. and he had thoughtful. Mr. and he flung the rich pall over the picture. There was something about Dorian that charmed everybody. holding it in his hands. he scribbled a note to Lord Henry. and for a moment he regretted that he had not told Basil the true reason why he had wished to hide the picture away. Came from Fonthill. he never left his shop. I believe. Hubbard was a florid. treacherous eyes. rubbing his fat freckled hands. "The persons are here. I have just got a beauty of a frame. Basil would have helped him to resist Lord Henry's influence. And yet the thing would still live on. It was not that mere physical admiration of beauty that is born of the senses. Hubbard. As he did so. Picked it up at a sale. Admirably suited for a religious subject. Gray?" he said. dreams that would make the shadow of their evil real. "and show the men in here. handing it to him. and Mr. Gray. There was something sly about him. Hubbard himself. The past could always be annihilated. the celebrated frame-maker of South Audley Street. But it was too late now. "What can I do for you. asking him to send him round something to read. "Wait for an answer. But the future was inevitable. denial. Mr." In two or three minutes there was another knock. how shallow Basil's reproaches about Sibyl Vane had been!--how shallow. As a rule. I shall certainly drop in and look at the frame--though I don't . Compared to what he saw in it of censure or rebuke. Sitting down at the writing-table. and rose-red lips--they all were there. or forgetfulness could do that. and Winckelmann. There were passions in him that would find their terrible outlet. Mr." "I am so sorry you have given yourself the trouble of coming round." He felt that the man must be got rid of at once. The love that he bore him--for it was really love--had nothing in it that was not noble and intellectual." he said. and reminding him that they were to meet at eight-fifteen that evening. and Montaigne. Gold hair. It was such love as Michael Angelo had known. He passed out as his servant entered. blue eyes. and make it shameful. passed behind the screen. Basil could have saved him. He must not be allowed to know where the picture was being taken to. But he always made an exception in favour of Dorian Gray. He shuddered. and the still more poisonous influences that came from his own temperament. sir. and of what little account! His own soul was looking out at him from the canvas and calling him to judgment.

with its fantastically-painted panels and its tarnished gilt mouldings. when they reached the top landing. so I thought I would ask you to lend me a couple of your men. in which he had so often hidden himself as a boy. might not his nature grow . covering and all. which had been specially built by the last Lord Kelso for the use of the little grandson whom. in those dead days. and then as a study when he grew somewhat older. And. "And." "No trouble at all. Mr. Mr. where shall we carry it to. carrying hooded birds on their gauntleted wrists." murmured Dorian. Which is the work of art. Or perhaps you had better go in front. There was the huge Italian _cassone_. sir?" "This. "I am afraid it is rather heavy. It appeared to Dorian to have but little changed. and also for other reasons." He held the door open for them." "There will be no difficulty. in spite of the obsequious protests of Mr. What did it matter? No one could see it. Hubbard. since he had used it first as a play-room when he was a child. How well he remembered it all! Every moment of his lonely childhood came back to him as he looked round. besides. It is rather heavy. sodden. Hubbard. sir. I am delighted to be of any service to you. if you will kindly follow me. well-proportioned room. and they passed out into the hall and began the ascent. and unclean. while a company of hawkers rode by. he had always hated and desired to keep at a distance. as he unlocked the door that opened into the room that was to keep for him the curious secret of his life and hide his soul from the eyes of men.go in much at present for religious art--but to-day I only want a picture carried to the top of the house for me. He recalled the stainless purity of his boyish life. and it seemed horrible to him that it was here the fatal portrait was to be hidden away. Dorian put his hand to it so as to help them. just as it is? I don't want it to get scratched going upstairs. The elaborate character of the frame had made the picture extremely bulky. Beneath its purple pall. to unhook the picture from the long brass chains by which it was suspended." gasped the little man. He had not entered the place for more than four years--not. I am afraid it is right at the top of the house. beginning. "Something of a load to carry. We will go up by the front staircase. Mr. who had the true tradesman's spirited dislike of seeing a gentleman doing anything useful. Why should he watch the hideous corruption of his soul? He kept his youth--that was enough. the face painted on the canvas could grow bestial. for his strange likeness to his mother. There the satinwood bookcase filled with his dog-eared schoolbooks. He had the key. and now and then. with the aid of his assistant. as it is wider. and no one else could enter it. And he wiped his shiny forehead. "Can you move it. He himself would not see it." said the genial frame-maker. indeed. It was a large. of all that was in store for him! But there was no other place in the house so secure from prying eyes as this. Gray?" "I will show you the way. where a faded king and queen were playing chess in a garden." replied Dorian. sir. Gray. moving the screen back. How little he had thought. now. On the wall behind it was hanging the same ragged Flemish tapestry.

The cheeks would become hollow or flaccid. Gray." "Always glad to have a rest." he said. No. anywhere. Perhaps some night he might find him creeping upstairs and trying to force the door of the room. On reaching the library he found that it was just after five o'clock. was lying a note from Lord Henry." he said. He had heard . a present from Lady Radley. No one would ever look upon the horrible thing. the cold. Some love might come across his life. Just lean it against the wall. He would be sure to miss the picture--had no doubt missed it already. and a blank space was visible on the wall. and purify him. the cruel look would have passed away from the scarlet sensitive mouth. Perhaps. I don't want to have it hung up. a pretty professional invalid. A copy of the third edition of _The St. uncomely face. Mr.finer. When the sound of their footsteps had died away." answered the frame-maker. Dorian locked the door. On a little table of dark perfumed wood thickly encrusted with nacre. while he had been laying the tea-things. "I am sorry I kept you so long." "Not at all. He felt safe now. that he remembered in the grandfather who had been so stern to him in his boyhood. Hour by hour. and had wormed out of them what they had been doing." And Mr. wearily. after all? There was no reason that the future should be so full of shame. Mr. I was thinking of something else. that was impossible. Yellow crow's-feet would creep round the fading eyes and make them horrible. Thanks. and he might show to the world Basil Hallward's masterpiece. It was a horrible thing to have a spy in one's house. the thing upon the canvas was growing old. the cover slightly torn and the edges soiled. the mouth would gape or droop. Hubbard tramped downstairs. not at all. and week by week. Here: this will do. It might escape the hideousness of sin. There would be the wrinkled throat. sir?" "Oh. "Bring it in. The picture had to be concealed. There was no help for it. followed by the assistant. please. "It would not interest you. and shield him from those sins that seemed to be already stirring in spirit and in flesh--those curious unpictured sins whose very mystery lent them their subtlety and their charm. I am much obliged for your kindness in coming round. who glanced back at Dorian with a look of shy wonder in his rough." "Might one look at the work of art. It was evident that Victor had returned. He had never seen anyone so marvellous. and that the tea had been already brought up. and beside it was a book bound in yellow paper. The hair would lose its brightness. Mr. The screen had not been set back. would be foolish or gross. He felt ready to leap upon him and fling him to the ground if he dared to lift the gorgeous hanging that concealed the secret of his life. sir?" Dorian started. who was still gasping for breath. Gray. "I shan't trouble you any more now. the twisted body. blue-veined hands. Ever ready to do anything for you. Hubbard. as the mouths of old men are. Mr. but the hideousness of age was in store for it. turning round. James's Gazette_ had been placed on the tea-tray. and put the key in his pocket. No eye but his would ever see his shame. some day. He wondered if he had met the men in the hall as they were leaving the house. keeping his eye on the man. who had spent the preceding winter in Cairo. sir. Hubbard. his guardian's wife. "Where shall we put it.

as it were. James's_ languidly. and a book that might interest him. who was greatly affected during the giving of her own evidence. loving for their mere artificiality those renunciations that men have unwisely called virtue. One hardly knew at times whether one was reading the spiritual ecstasies of some mediæval saint or the morbid confessions of . Victor might have read it. on the body of Sibyl Vane. and began to turn over the leaves. went across the room and flung the pieces away. Dorian Gray had not killed her. by Mr. Danby. and to sum up. A verdict of death by misadventure was returned. It seemed to him that in exquisite raiment. and. the District Coroner. Things of which he had never dreamed were gradually revealed. The man knew more than enough English for that. He opened _The St. The style in which it was written was that curious jewelled style. Things that he had dimly dreamed of were suddenly made real to him. And. and as subtle in colour. that characterises the work of some of the finest artists of the French school of _Symbolistes_. that had always looked to him like the work of some strange Egyptian bees that wrought in silver. vivid and obscure at once. What was it.--An inquest was held this morning at the Bell Tavern. Birrell. yet. And it was certainly stupid of him to have marked it with red pencil. in himself the various moods through which the world-spirit had ever passed. It drew attention to the following paragraph:-"INQUEST ON AN ACTRESS. or found beneath a pillow a withered flower or a shred of crumpled lace. the sins of the world were passing in dumb show before him. It was simply to say that he sent him round the evening paper. flung himself into an arm-chair. and to the delicate sound of flutes. There were in it metaphors as monstrous as orchids. He sighed. of technical expressions and of elaborate paraphrases. and. simply a psychological study of a certain young Parisian. How ugly it all was! And how horribly real ugliness made things! He felt a little annoyed with Lord Henry for having sent him the report. Considerable sympathy was expressed for the mother of the deceased. and with only one character. or picked up a card with an address. having poured himself out some tea. Hoxton Road. opened Lord Henry's note. It was the strangest book that he had ever read. indeed. who had made the post-mortem examination of the deceased. and that he would be at the club at eight-fifteen. and that of Dr. His eye fell on the yellow book that Lord Henry had sent him.of rich men who had been blackmailed all their lives by some servant who had read a letter. a young actress recently engaged at the Royal Theatre. he wondered. being. what did it matter? What had Dorian Gray to do with Sibyl Vane's death? There was nothing to fear. as much as those natural rebellions that wise men still call sin." He frowned. It was a novel without a plot. and taking up the volume. and had begun to suspect something. A red pencil-mark on the fifth page caught his eye. The life of the senses was described in the terms of mystical philosophy. or overheard a conversation. He went towards the little pearl-coloured octagonal stand. and looked through it. who spent his life trying to realise in the nineteenth century all the passions and modes of thought that belonged to every century except his own. Holborn. Perhaps he had read it. tearing the paper in two. After a few minutes he became absorbed. full of _argot_ and of archaisms.

had any cause to know--that somewhat grotesque dread of mirrors." "Ah. going into the next room." replied his host. been so remarkable. It was a poisonous book. with its really tragic. "I am so sorry. . so that they might suit his various moods and the changing fancies of a nature over which he seemed. Cloudless. he got up. It was with an almost cruel joy--and perhaps in nearly every joy. It was almost nine o'clock before he reached the club. and polished metal surfaces. the whole book seemed to him to contain the story of his own life.a modern sinner. and still water. indeed. and in the world. "I didn't say I liked it. account of the sorrow and despair of one who had himself lost what in others. written before he had lived it. at times. rising from his chair. so full as it was of complex refrains and movements elaborately repeated. to have almost entirely lost control. a malady of dreaming. that made him unconscious of the falling day and creeping shadows. indeed. in the morning-room. and pierced by one solitary star. the subtle monotony of their music. the wonderful young Parisian. The heavy odour of incense seemed to cling about its pages and to trouble the brain. "but really it is entirely your fault. he had most dearly valued. as he passed from chapter to chapter. looking very much bored. And they passed into the dining-room. and began to dress for dinner. and was occasioned by the sudden decay of a beauty that had once. Dorian Gray could not free himself from the influence of this book. He read on by its wan light till he could read no more. Harry. And. That book you sent me so fascinated me that I forgot how the time was going. I said it fascinated me. a form of reverie. where he found Lord Henry sitting alone. He never knew--never. There is a great difference. in whom the romantic and the scientific temperaments were so strangely blended. cruelty has its place--that he used to read the latter part of the book. and. if somewhat over-emphasised. and had them bound in different colours. Then. In one point he was more fortunate than the novel's fantastic hero. Harry. you have discovered that?" murmured Lord Henry. The hero. after his valet had reminded him several times of the lateness of the hour. which came upon the young Parisian so early in his life." he cried. apparently." "Yes: I thought you would like it. He procured from Paris no less than nine large-paper copies of the first edition. CHAPTER XI For years. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that he never sought to free himself from it. as certainly in every pleasure. placed the book on the little Florentine table that always stood at his bedside. produced in the mind of the lad. The mere cadence of the sentences. became to him a kind of prefiguring type of himself. a copper-green sky gleamed through the windows.

open the door with the key that never left him now. he was one for whom "the visible world existed. in Dorian Gray the true realisation of a type of which they had often dreamed in Eton or Oxford days. wondering sometimes which were the more horrible. He mocked the misshapen body and the failing limbs. He had mad hungers that grew more ravenous as he fed them." . Often. looking now at the evil and ageing face on the canvas. who saw. indeed. lying sleepless in his own delicately-scented chamber. They wondered how one so charming and graceful as he was could have escaped the stain of an age that was at once sordid and sensual. and antique plate of gold and silver. or thought that they were so. seemed never to leave him. To them he seemed to be of the company of those whom Dante describes as having sought to "make themselves perfect by the worship of beauty. But moments such as these were rare. He would examine with minute care. he would think of the ruin he had brought upon his soul. or in the sordid room of the little ill-famed tavern near the Docks. That curiosity about life which Lord Henry had first stirred in him. could not believe anything to his dishonour when they saw him. He had always the look of one who had kept himself unspotted from the world. He would place his white hands beside the coarse bloated hands of the picture. were noted as much for the careful selection and placing of those invited. and now at the fair young face that laughed back at him from the polished glass. there were many. or crawled around the heavy sensual mouth. and sometimes with a monstrous and terrible delight. as they sat together in the garden of their friend. The more he knew. a type that was to combine something of the real culture of the scholar with all the grace and distinction and perfect manner of a citizen of the world. the signs of sin or the signs of age. Even those who had heard the most evil things against him. and on each Wednesday evening while the season lasted. Yet he was not really reckless. he himself would creep upstairs to the locked room. and embroidered cloths. with a pity that was all the more poignant because it was purely selfish. when. There was something in the purity of his face that rebuked them. the more he desired to know. and in disguise. he would throw open to the world his beautiful house and have the most celebrated musicians of the day to charm his guests with the wonders of their art. There were moments. and stand. His little dinners. The very sharpness of the contrast used to quicken his sense of pleasure. especially among the very young men. it was his habit to frequent. more and more interested in the corruption of his own soul. His mere presence seemed to recall to them the memory of the innocence that they had tarnished. which. Once or twice every month during the winter. and smile. or fancied that they saw." Like Gautier. and many others besides him. the hideous lines that seared the wrinkling forehead. and from time to time strange rumours about his mode of life crept through London and became the chatter of the clubs. at night. He grew more and more enamoured of his own beauty. at any rate in his relations to society. under an assumed name. Indeed. with a mirror. as for the exquisite taste shown in the decoration of the table. in front of the portrait that Basil Hallward had painted of him.For the wonderful beauty that had so fascinated Basil Hallward. seemed to increase with gratification. on returning home from one of those mysterious and prolonged absences that gave rise to such strange conjecture among those who were his friends. Men who talked grossly became silent when Dorian Gray entered the room. in the settling of which Lord Henry always assisted him. with its subtle symphonic arrangements of exotic flowers.

certainly. and that they had remained savage and animal merely because the world had sought to starve them into submission or to kill them by pain. indeed. Yes: there was to be. whose origin was fear. of the arts. in our own day. and the particular styles that from time to time he affected. and that they are conscious of sharing with the less highly organised forms of existence. For. of which a fine instinct for beauty was to be the dominant characteristic. and instinct with that vivid life that lurks in all grotesques. by which what is really fantastic becomes for a moment universal. their fascination for him. and found. and whose result was a degradation infinitely more terrible than that fancied degradation from which. while he was but too ready to accept the position that was almost immediately offered to him on his coming of age. its curious revival. it was to know nothing. in her wonderful irony. It was to have its service of the intellect. had their marked influence on the young exquisites of the Mayfair balls and Pall Mall club windows. they had sought to escape. As he looked back upon man moving through History. though to him only half-serious. either after one of those dreamless nights that make us almost enamoured of death. men feeling a natural instinct of terror about passions and sensations that seem stronger than themselves. in its own way. Fashion. been decried. and that lends to Gothic art its enduring vitality. yet in his inmost heart he desired to be something more than a mere _arbiter elegantiarum_. it was never to accept any theory or system that would involve the sacrifice of any mode of passionate experience. and find in the spiritualising of the senses its highest realisation. a new Hedonism that was to recreate life. or one of those nights of horror and misshapen joy. to be consulted on the wearing of a jewel. Nature. There are few of us who have not sometimes wakened before dawn. he was haunted by a feeling of loss. which. yet. Its aim. and tried to reproduce the accidental charm of his graceful. as Lord Henry had prophesied. and to save it from that harsh. fopperies. monstrous forms of self-torture and self-denial. The worship of the senses has often. to him Life itself was the first. certainly. But it was to teach man to concentrate himself upon the moments of a life that is itself but a moment. But it appeared to Dorian Gray that the true nature of the senses had never been understood. and Dandyism. a subtle pleasure in the thought that he might really become to the London of his own day what to imperial Neronian Rome the author of the "Satyricon" once had been. He sought to elaborate some new scheme of life that would have its reasoned philosophy and its ordered principles. or the knotting of a necktie. instead of aiming at making them elements of a new spirituality. or the conduct of a cane. driving out the anchorite to feed with the wild animals of the desert and giving to the hermit the beasts of the field as his companions. in their ignorance. of course. and for it all the other arts seemed to be but a preparation. this art being.And. So much had been surrendered! and to such little purpose! There had been mad wilful rejections. who copied him in everything that he did. uncomely puritanism that is having. and with much justice. as of the vulgar profligacy that dulls them. Of the asceticism that deadens the senses. and not the fruits of experience. is an attempt to assert the absolute modernity of beauty. one . indeed. the greatest. when through the chambers of the brain sweep phantoms more terrible than reality itself. sweet or bitter as they might be. His mode of dressing. was to be experience itself. had.

and then. In black fantastic shapes. a world in which the past would have little or no place. and certainly the Roman ritual had always a great attraction for him. he used to look with wonder at the black confessionals. a world in which things would have fresh shapes and colours. stirred him as much by its superb rejection of the evidence of the senses as by the primitive simplicity of its elements and the eternal pathos of the human tragedy that it sought to symbolise. or a wild longing. or have other secrets. or of mistaking. It was rumoured of him once that he was about to join the Roman Catholic communion. that the grave boys. in no conscious form of obligation or regret. or the wired flower that we had worn at the ball. and they appear to tremble. caught their colour and satisfied his intellectual curiosity. at any rate. and smiting his breast for his sins. leave them with that curious indifference that is not incompatible with a real ardour of temperament. and that indeed. or the sound of men going forth to their work. We have to resume it where we had left off. breaking the Host into the chalice. Out of the unreal shadows of the night comes back the real life that we had known. robed in the garments of the Passion of Christ. and there steals over us a terrible sense of the necessity for the continuance of energy in the same wearisome round of stereotyped habits. he would often adopt certain modes of thought that he knew to be really alien to his nature. Nothing seems to us changed. and we watch the dawn remaking the world in its antique pattern. It was the creation of such worlds as these that seemed to Dorian Gray to be the true object. He loved to kneel down on the cold marble pavement. the remembrance even of joy having its bitterness. But he never fell into the error of arresting his intellectual development by any formal acceptance of creed or system. and the memories of pleasure their pain. or raising aloft the jewelled lantern-shaped monstrance with that pallid wafer that at times. and yet must needs call forth sleep from her purple cave. or the letter that we had been afraid to read. had their subtle fascination for him. The fuming censers. The daily sacrifice. As he passed out. is indeed the "_panis cælestis_. slowly and with white hands moving aside the veil of the tabernacle. that our eyelids might open some morning upon a world that had been refashioned anew in the darkness for our pleasure. especially the art of those whose minds have been troubled with the malady of reverie. and long to sit in the dim shadow of one of them and listen to men and women whispering through the worn grating the true story of their lives. as though it feared to wake the sleepers. and be changed. one would fain think. and watch the priest.might fancy. dumb shadows crawl into the corners of the room. and in his search for sensations that would be at once new and delightful. and beside them lies the half-cut book that we had been studying. or. or amongst the true objects. or the sigh and sob of the wind coming down from the hills. or survive. and crouch there. Veil after veil of thin dusky gauze is lifted. according to certain modern psychologists. The flameless tapers stand where we had left them. is often a condition of it. as it were. Gradually white fingers creep through the curtains. abandon himself to their subtle influences. or that we had read too often. and wandering round the silent house. more awful really than all the sacrifices of the antique world. tossed into the air like great gilt flowers. The wan mirrors get back their mimic life. having. in his stiff flowered vestment. of life. it may be. and possess that element of strangeness that is so essential to romance. in their lace and scarlet. an inn that is but suitable for . there is the stirring of birds among the leaves. Outside. and by degrees the forms and colours of things are restored to them. for a house in which to live." the bread of angels.

with its marvellous power of making common things strange to us. The harsh intervals and shrill discords of barbaric music stirred him at times when Schubert's grace. but through which he inhales the air. He knew that the senses. of hovenia that makes men mad. crouching upon scarlet mats. and in a long latticed room. and is beaten with sticks that are smeared with an elastic gum obtained from the milky juice of plants. He had the mysterious _juruparis_ of the Rio Negro Indians. and found a curious pleasure in tracing the thoughts and passions of men to some pearly cell in the brain. and. He felt keenly conscious of how barren all intellectual speculation is when separated from action and experiment. slim turbaned Indians blew through long pipes of reed or brass. and Chopin's beautiful sorrows. or for a few hours of a night in which there are no stars and the moon is in travail.the sojourn of a night. and the mighty harmonies of Beethoven himself. that is sounded by the sentinels who sit all day long in high trees. and loved to touch and try them. covered with the . either in the tombs of dead nations or among the few savage tribes that have survived contact with Western civilisations. delighting in the conception of the absolute dependence of the spirit on certain physical conditions. and in musk that troubled the brain. Mysticism. or some white nerve in the body. great hooded snakes and horrible horned adders. and the subtle antinomianism that always seems to accompany it. He had painted gourds filled with pebbles that rattled when they were shaken. and charmed. and in champak that stained the imagination. and of aloes that are said to be able to expel melancholy from the soul. and the earthen jars of the Peruvians that have the shrill cries of birds. or feigned to charm. and scented pollen-laden flowers. and flutes of human bones such as Alfonso de Ovalle heard in Chili. and of dark and fragrant woods. and for a season he inclined to the materialistic doctrines of the _Darwinismus_ movement in Germany. into which the performer does not blow. have their spiritual mysteries to reveal. of spikenard that sickens. He collected together from all parts of the world the strangest instruments that could be found. fell unheeded on his ear. and that even youths may not see till they have been subjected to fasting and scourging. Yet. that are hung in clusters like grapes. and the sonorous green jaspers that are found near Cuzco and give forth a note of singular sweetness. and in violets that woke the memory of dead romances. no less than the soul. normal or diseased. the harsh _ture_ of the Amazon tribes. and set himself to discover their true relations. and to estimate the several influences of sweet-smelling roots. as has been said of him before. and a huge cylindrical drum. and seeking often to elaborate a real psychology of perfumes. or aromatic balms. no theory of life seemed to him to be of any importance compared with life itself. And so he would now study perfumes. moved him for a season. while grinning negroes beat monotonously upon copper drums. that has two vibrating tongues of wood. he used to give curious concerts. that women are not allowed to look at. and in ambergris that stirred one's passions. and the secrets of their manufacture. or grave yellow-shawled Tunisians plucked at the strained strings of monstrous lutes. the _teponaztli_. it is said. at a distance of three leagues. the long _clarin_ of the Mexicans. with a vermilion-and-gold ceiling and walls of olive-green lacquer. distilling heavily-scented oils. morbid or healthy. and burning odorous gums from the East. in which mad gypsies tore wild music from little zithers. the _yotl_-bells of the Aztecs. and can be heard. wondering what there was in frankincense that made one mystical. At another time he devoted himself entirely to music. He saw that there was no mood of the mind that had not its counterpart in the sensuous life.

and the hydropicus deprived the moon of her colour. and the carbuncles by night. and amethysts with their alternate layers of ruby and sapphire." so that the gold might shine by day. that. the pistachio-coloured peridot. and mourned for seven moons over . He would often spend a whole day settling and resettling in their cases the various stones that he had collected. that was found in the heart of the Arabian deer. like Nature. On one occasion he took up the study of jewels. the diamond rendered a man invisible. The gates of the palace of John the Priest were "made of sardius. and of whose doleful sound he has left us so vivid a description. and the meloceus. that was a certain antidote against poison. The bezoar. the Conqueror of Emathia was said to have found in the vale of Jordan snakes "with collars of real emeralds growing on their backs." Marco Polo had seen the inhabitants of Zipangu place rose-coloured pearls in the mouths of the dead. Philostratus told us. and "by the exhibition of golden letters and a scarlet robe" the monster could be thrown into a magical sleep. He procured from Amsterdam three emeralds of extraordinary size and richness of colour. the cymophane with its wire-like line of silver." Over the gable were "two golden apples. things of bestial shape and with hideous voices. Yet. and appeared at a costume ball as Anne de Joyeuse. and in the romantic history of Alexander. carbuncles of fiery scarlet with tremulous four-rayed stars. In Lodge's strange romance "A Margarite of America" it was stated that in the chamber of the queen one could behold "all the chaste ladies of the world. he wearied of them. in which were two carbuncles." and seeing in the prelude to that great work of art a presentation of the tragedy of his own soul. and greene emeraults. and slain. either alone or with Lord Henry. after some time. He loved the red gold of the sunstone. was a charm that could cure the plague. The garnet cast out demons. inchased out of silver. and the hyacinth provoked sleep. so that no man might bring poison within. sapphires. Admiral of France. carbuncles." There was a gem in the brain of the dragon. indeed. and. that discovers thieves. and would sit in his box at the Opera. The fantastic character of these instruments fascinated him. He discovered wonderful stories. The selenite waxed and waned with the moon. also. The cornelian appeased anger. looking through fair mirrours of chrysolites. could be affected only by the blood of kids. A sea-monster had been enamoured of the pearl that the diver brought to King Perozes. Pierre de Boniface. flame-red cinnamon-stones. according to Democritus. and had a turquoise _de la vieille roche_ that was the envy of all the connoisseurs. and the agate of India made him eloquent. and the moonstone's pearly whiteness. at the ceremony of his coronation. in a dress covered with five hundred and sixty pearls. and he felt a curious delight in the thought that Art. has her monsters. This taste enthralled him for years. and the broken rainbow of the milky opal.skins of great serpents. kept the wearer from any danger by fire. and had slain the thief. and the amethyst drove away the fumes of wine. rose-pink and wine-yellow topazes. In the nests of Arabian birds was the aspilates. The King of Ceilan rode through his city with a large ruby in his hand. orange and violet spinels. Leonardus Camillus had seen a white stone taken from the brain of a newly-killed toad. may be said never to have left him. listening in rapt pleasure to "Tannhäuser. about jewels. According to the great alchemist. like the one that Bernal Diaz saw when he went with Cortes into the Mexican temple. In Alphonso's "Clericalis Disciplina" a serpent was mentioned with eyes of real jacinth. with the horn of the horned snake inwrought. such as the olive-green chrysoberyl that turns red by lamp-light.

and each note. Its curtains were of damask. The ducal hat of Charles the Rash. gave to Piers Gaveston a suit of red-gold armour studded with jacinths." The favourites of James I. of France. and had a hawk-glove sewn with twelve rubies and fifty-two great orients. and were figured with "lions. je suis tout joyeux_. The King of Malabar had shown to a certain Venetian a rosary of three hundred and four pearls. Henry II. No winter marred his face or stained his flower-like bloom.. had a coat. on his way to the Tower previous to his coronation. . bears. and was decorated with "thirteen hundred and twenty-one parrots. and blazoned with the king's arms. son of Alexander VI. forests. hunters--all. the last Duke of Burgundy of his race. though the Emperor Anastasius offered five hundred-weight of gold pieces for it. on the sleeves of which were embroidered the verses of a song beginning "_Madame. When the Duke de Valentinois. and his cap had double rows of rubles that threw out a great light. Summer followed summer. rocks. He. and Apollo driving a chariot drawn by white gilt-reined steeds? He longed to see the curious table-napkins wrought for the Priest of the Sun. in fact. Hall described Henry VIII. and studded with sapphires. Edward II. he flung it away--Procopius tells the story--nor was it ever found again. with its three hundred golden bees. the placard embroidered with diamonds and other rich stones. on which were displayed all the dainties and viands that could be wanted for a feast. one for every god that he worshipped. as wearing "a jacket of raised gold. and the yellow jonquils bloomed and died many times. a collar of gold roses set with turquoise-stones. which was covered with balas rubies. and to the tapestries that performed the office of frescoes in the chill rooms of the Northern nations of Europe. the huge velarium that Nero had stretched across the Colosseum at Rome. He read of the room that was prepared at the palace at Rheims for the use of Queen Joan of Burgundy. When the Huns lured the king into the great pit. of square shape in those days. How exquisite life had once been! How gorgeous in its pomp and decoration! Even to read of the luxury of the dead was wonderful. dogs. that had been worked by brown girls for the pleasure of Athena? Where. visited Louis XII. that a painter can copy from nature. As he investigated the subject--and he always had an extraordinary faculty of becoming absolutely absorbed for the moment in whatever he took up--he was almost saddened by the reflection of the ruin that Time brought on beautiful and wonderful things. on which the gods fought against the giants. valued at thirty thousand marks." Catherine de Médicis had a mourning-bed made for her of black velvet powdered with crescents and suns." and the coat that Charles of Orleans once wore. Charles of England had ridden in stirrups hung with four hundred and twenty-one diamonds. panthers. How different it was with material things! Where had they passed to? Where was the great crocus-coloured robe. and nights of horror repeated the story of their shame. according to Brantôme. but he was unchanged. made in broidery.. whose wings were similarly ornamented with the arms of the queen. the fantastic robes that excited the indignation of the Bishop of Pontus.its loss. his horse was loaded with gold leaves. that Titan sail of purple on which was represented the starry sky. wore jewelled gloves reaching to the elbow." the musical accompaniment of the words being wrought in gold thread. Then he turned his attention to embroideries. had escaped that. formed with four pearls. wore earrings of emeralds set in gold filigrane. was hung with pear-shaped pearls. and a great bauderike about his neck of large balasses. at any rate. and a skull-cap _parsemé_ with pearls. the whole worked in gold. the mortuary cloth of King Chilperic. and five hundred and sixty-one butterflies. Richard II.

The orphreys were divided into panels representing scenes from the life of the Virgin. The state bed of Sobieski. figured with representations of the Passion and Crucifixion of Christ. and in front of it had draped the . books bound in tawny satins or fair blue silks. he had hung with his own hands the terrible portrait whose changing features showed him the real degradation of his life. beautifully chased. of amber-coloured silk. veils of _lacis_ worked in Hungary point. And so. who must wear purple and jewels and fine linen that she may hide the pallid macerated body that is worn by the suffering that she seeks for. as indeed he had for everything connected with the service of the Church." and "evening dew". figured upon a gold and silver ground. and fringed along the edges with broideries of pearls. and were starred with medallions of many saints and martyrs. Sebastian. King of Poland. for a season. He had a special passion. strange figured cloths from Java. He had chasubles. also. he sought to accumulate the most exquisite specimens that he could find of textile and embroidered work. for a whole year. and stiff Spanish velvets. and sudaria. was made of Smyrna gold brocade embroidered in turquoises with verses from the Koran. and blue silk and gold brocade. modes by which he could escape. among whom was St. chalice-veils. It had been taken from the Turkish camp before Vienna. and images. getting the dainty Delhi muslins. finely wrought with gold-thread palmates. In the mystic offices to which such things were put. He possessed a gorgeous cope of crimson silk and gold-thread damask. decorated with tulips and dolphins and _fleurs de lys_. and stitched over with iridescent beetles' wings. and many corporals. the details of which were picked out with silver thread and coloured crystals. also. altar frontals of crimson velvet and blue linen. and it stood in a room hung with rows of the queen's devices in cut black velvet upon cloth of silver. Georgian work with its gilt coins. and wrought with _fleurs de lys_. and everything that he collected in his lovely house. figured with a repeating pattern of golden pomegranates set in six-petalled formal blossoms. birds. elaborate yellow Chinese hangings. Another cope was of green velvet. Sicilian brocades. and the standard of Mohammed had stood beneath the tremulous gilt of its canopy. In the long cedar chests that lined the west gallery of his house he had stored away many rare and beautiful specimens of what is really the raiment of the Bride of Christ. Upon the walls of the lonely locked room where he had spent so much of his boyhood. dalmatics of white satin and pink silk damask." and "running water. This was Italian work of the fifteenth century. The orphreys were woven in a diaper of red and gold silk. had gold embroidered caryatides fifteen feet high in his apartment. For these treasures. embroidered with heart-shaped groups of acanthus-leaves. that from their transparency are known in the East as "woven air. from the fear that seemed to him at times to be almost too great to be borne. were to be to him means of forgetfulness. Louis XIV. and Japanese _Foukousas_ with their green-toned golds and their marvellously-plumaged birds. and yellow silk damask and cloth of gold. and embroidered with lions and peacocks and other emblems. The morse bore a seraph's head in gold-thread raised work. the Dacca gauzes. from which spread long-stemmed white blossoms. beyond which on either side was the pine-apple device wrought in seed-pearls. and the coronation of the Virgin was figured in coloured silks upon the hood. for ecclesiastical vestments. and profusely set with enamelled and jewelled medallions. there was something that quickened his imagination. Its supports were of silver gilt. and wounded by self-inflicted pain.with leafy wreaths and garlands.

go down to dreadful places near Blue Gate Fields. at other times. its marked likeness to himself. after a time. What if it should be stolen? The mere thought made him cold with horror. or pass him with a sneer. and that he consorted with thieves and coiners and knew the mysteries of their trade. however. his passionate absorption in mere existence. Sometimes when he was down at his great house in Nottinghamshire. Then. in spite of the elaborate bars that he had caused to be placed upon the door. would they believe it? nothing. He was very nearly blackballed at a West End club of which his birth and social position fully entitled him to become a member. as well as the little white walled-in house at Algiers where they had more than once spent the winter. and. took no notice. while he fascinated many. until he was driven away. and in the opinion of most people his frank debonair manner. and that the picture was still there. What was it to him how vile and full Even if he told them. For. and the infinite grace of that wonderful youth that seemed never to leave him. when he used to reappear again in society. were in themselves a sufficient answer to the calumnies. . his wonderful joyousness. and get back his light heart. his charming boyish smile. to shun him. men would whisper to each other in corners. at the misshapen shadow that had to bear the burden that should have been his own. Surely the world would know his secret then. Curious stories became current about him after he had passed his twenty-fifth year. or look at him with cold searching eyes. would forget the hideous painted thing. as though they were determined to discover his secret. and smiling with secret pleasure. and astounding the county by the wanton luxury and gorgeous splendour of his mode of life. the Duke of Berwick and another gentleman got up in a marked manner and went out. entertaining the fashionable young men of his own rank who were his chief companions. After a few years he could not endure to be long out of England. He had not of shame it looked? Yet he was afraid. under all the of the face. On his return he would sit in front of the picture. there were not a few who distrusted him. sometimes loathing it and himself. For weeks he would not go there. with that pride of individualism that is half the fascination of sin. and for his sake had braved all social censure and set convention at defiance. It was remarked. suddenly. some night he would creep out of the house. Women who had wildly adored him. were seen to grow pallid with shame or horror if Dorian Gray entered the room. Of such insolences and attempted slights he. but filled. and was also afraid that during his absence someone might gain access to the room. and stay there. It was rumoured that he had been seen brawling with foreign sailors in a low den in the distant parts of Whitechapel. that were circulated about him. he would suddenly leave his guests and rush back to town to see that the door had not been tampered with. and gave up the villa that he had shared at Trouville with Lord Henry. day after day. for so they termed them. but from that? He would laugh at anyone who tried to painted it. and it was said that on one occasion when he was brought by a friend into the smoking-room of the Churchill. Perhaps the world already suspected it. He was quite conscious that this would tell them that the portrait still preserved.purple-and-gold pall as a curtain. His extraordinary absences became notorious. that some of those who had been most intimate with him appeared. He hated to be separated from the picture that was such a part of his life. of course. It was true foulness and ugliness what could they learn taunt him.

Society. the highest respectability is of much less value than the possession of a good _chef_. A flower was in her right hand. man was a being with myriad lives and myriad sensations. is irreproachable in his private life. and the sensual lips seemed to be twisted with disdain. from the fading canvas. described by Francis Osborne. On a table by her side lay a mandolin and an apple. it is a very poor consolation to be told that the man who has given one a bad dinner. in the eyes of many. in its opinion. Had he something of her temperament in him? These oval heavy-lidded eyes seemed to look curiously at him. or poor wine. in a discussion on the subject. reliable. civilised society at least. Even the cardinal virtues cannot atone for half-cold _entrées_. and. What of George Willoughby. as Lord Henry remarked once. which kept him not long company. his strange and dangerous charm. He loved to stroll through the gaunt cold picture-gallery of his country house and look at the various portraits of those whose blood flowed in his veins. and her left clasped an enamelled collar of white and damask roses. It feels instinctively that manners are of more importance than morals. What had this man's legacy been? Had the lover of Giovanna of Naples bequeathed him some inheritance of sin and shame? Were his own actions merely the dreams that the dead man had not dared to realise? Here. His great wealth was a certain element of security. and one of the witnesses at the secret marriage with Mrs. and the friend. and there is possibly a good deal to be said for his view. was Dorian Gray's opinion. and the strange stories that were told about her lovers. and almost without cause. a complex multiform creature that bore within itself strange legacies of thought and passion." Was it young Herbert's life that he sometimes led? Had some strange poisonous germ crept from body to body till it had reached his own? Was it some dim sense of that ruined grace that had made him so suddenly. Fitzherbert? How proud and handsome he was. and gilt-edged ruff and wrist-bands." as one who was "caressed by the Court for his handsome face. Beside him hung the portrait of . after all. stood Sir Anthony Sherard. He had led the orgies at Carlton House. For the canons of good society are. smiled Lady Elizabeth Devereux. pearl stomacher. in her gauze hood. with his silver-and-black armour piled at his feet. in his youth. and pink slashed sleeves. He knew her life. jewelled surcoat. as well as its unreality. to the mad prayer that had so changed his life? Here. There were large green rosettes upon her little pointed shoes.Yet these whispered scandals only increased. or should be. in his "Memoires on the Reigns of Queen Elizabeth and King James. the same as the canons of art. Such. It is merely a method by which we can multiply our personalities. and of one essence. He used to wonder at the shallow psychology of those who conceive the Ego in man as a thing simple. To him. He had been a macaroni of the eighteenth century. permanent. And. of Lord Ferrars. the companion of the Prince Regent in his wildest days. with his powdered hair and fantastic patches? How evil he looked! The face was saturnine and swarthy. Delicate lace ruffles fell over the lean yellow hands that were so over-laden with rings. give utterance. It should have the dignity of a ceremony. Form is absolutely essential to it. is never very ready to believe anything to the detriment of those who are both rich and fascinating. and whose very flesh was tainted with the monstrous maladies of the dead. at any rate. The star of the Garter glittered upon his breast. in gold-embroidered red doublet. with his chestnut curls and insolent pose! What passions had he bequeathed? The world had looked upon him as infamous. in Basil Hallward's studio. and should combine the insincere character of a romantic play with the wit and beauty that make such plays delightful to us. What of the second Lord Beckenham. Here was Philip Herbert. Is insincerity such a terrible thing? I think not.

and the flute-player mocked the swinger of the censer. thin-lipped woman in black. Gian Maria Visconti. He had got from her his beauty.his wife. been carried through the Street of Pomegranates to a House of Gold. and her moist wine-dashed lips--he knew what he had got from her. and given her in mystic marriage to the Sun. he had sat. that comes on those to whom life denies nothing. while dwarfs and peacocks strutted round him. had wandered through a corridor lined with marble mirrors. the young Cardinal Archbishop of Florence. and who received Leonora of Aragon in a pavilion of white and crimson silk. They seemed to follow him wherever he went. as Domitian. also. There were vine leaves in her hair. and brought the Moon from Carthage. In the seventh chapter he tells how. whose melancholy could be cured only by the spectacle of death. who used hounds to chase living men. and whose murdered body was covered with roses by a harlot who had loved him. who sought in his vanity to assume the title of Formosus. Pietro Barbi.. and. in a garden at Capri. Ezzelin. She laughed at him in her loose Bacchante dress. as Elagabalus. the Borgia on his white horse. Pietro Riario. and whose tiara. many of them. were pictured the awful and beautiful forms of those whom Vice and Blood and Weariness had made monstrous or mad: Filippo. Over and over again Dorian used to read this fantastic chapter. and heard men cry on Nero Cæsar as he passed by. and his passion for the beauty of others. in which. filled with nymphs and centaurs. child and minion of Sixtus IV. with Fratricide riding beside him. and sick with that ennui. He felt that he had known them all. who slew his wife. The hero of the wonderful novel that had so influenced his life had himself known this curious fancy. and evil so full of subtlety. was bought at the price of a terrible sin. Duke of Milan. The carnations of the painting had withered. valued at two hundred thousand florins. crowned with laurel. The purple spilled from the cup she was holding. stirred within him. but as his imagination had created it for him. as Caligula. and . that terrible _tædium vitæ_. Yet one had ancestors in literature. had caroused with the green-shirted jockeys in their stables and supped in an ivory manger with a jewel-frontleted horse. and gilded a boy that he might serve at the feast as Ganymede or Hylas. in a litter of pearl and purple drawn by silver-shod mules. and the two chapters immediately following. had painted his face with colours. lest lightning might strike him. known as Paul the Second. and plied the distaff among the women. and. How curious it all seemed! And his mother with her Lady Hamilton face. the Venetian. looking round with haggard eyes for the reflection of the dagger that was to end his days. as Tiberius. nearer perhaps in type and temperament. as well as in one's own race. and his mantle stained with the blood of Perotto. reading the shameful books of Elephantis. There were times when it appeared to Dorian Gray that the whole of history was merely the record of his own life. as other men have for red wine--the son of the Fiend. It seemed to him that in some mysterious way their lives had been his own. as it had been in his brain and in his passions. and then. and had peered through a clear emerald at the red shambles of the Circus. a pallid. as in some curious tapestries or cunningly-wrought enamels. those strange terrible figures that had passed across the stage of the world and made sin so marvellous. and certainly with an influence of which one was more absolutely conscious. and who had a passion for red blood. and painted her lips with a scarlet poison that her lover might suck death from the dead thing he fondled. whose beauty was equalled only by his debauchery. and. but the eyes were still wonderful in their depth and brilliancy of colour. Her blood. not as he had lived it in act and circumstance. as was reported.

as you passed me. Finally I took pity on your tired servant. Dorian heard him first stopping on the pavement. In a few moments his hand was on his arm. and I particularly wanted to see you before I left. and the lord of Rimini. in his trimmed jerkin and jewelled cap and acanthus-like curls. Charles VI. At the corner of Grosvenor Square and South Audley Street a man passed him in the mist. and in honour of a shameful passion built a pagan church for Christian worship. as he often remembered afterwards. as the night was cold and foggy. He had a bag in his hand. my dear Basil? Why. But I wasn't quite sure. and they troubled his imagination in the day. the eve of his own thirty-eighth birthday. by an embroidered glove and a jewelled fan. and was wrapped in heavy furs. "Dorian! What an extraordinary piece of luck! I have been waiting for you in your library ever since nine o'clock. It was Basil Hallward. who had so wildly adored his brother's wife that a leper had warned him of the insanity that was coming on him. But Hallward had seen him. I can't even recognise Grosvenor Square. Didn't you recognise me?" "In this fog. Dorian Gray had been poisoned by a book. and told him to go to bed. who in mockery took the name of Innocent. as I have not seen you for ages. walking very fast. and. blessed him. He made no sign of recognition. I believe my house is somewhere about here. and gave poison to Ginevra d'Este in a cup of emerald. as he let me out.. who had cursed him. Sigismondo Malatesta. CHAPTER XII It was on the ninth of November. He was walking home about eleven o'clock from Lord Henry's. I thought it was you. the lover of Isotta. and then hurrying after him. for which he could not account. Grifonetto Baglioni. whose effigy was burned at Rome as the enemy of God and man. could only be soothed by Saracen cards painted with the images of Love and Death and Madness. and went on quickly in the direction of his own house. There was a horrible fascination in them all. and Simonetto with his page. There were moments when he looked on evil simply as a mode through which he could realise his conception of the beautiful. The Renaissance knew of strange manners of poisoning--poisoning by a helmet and a lighted torch. and Atalanta. who strangled Polyssena with a napkin. and whose comeliness was such that. where he had been dining. I am sorry you are going away. and into whose torpid veins the blood of three lads was infused by a Jewish doctor. I am off to Paris by the midnight train. Dorian recognised him. But I suppose you will be back soon?" . or rather your fur coat. when his brain had sickened and grown strange. He saw them at night. who slew Astorre with his bride. but I don't feel at all certain about it. came over him. by a gilded pomander and by an amber chain. and who. as he lay dying in the yellow piazza of Perugia. and with the collar of his grey ulster turned up.one who had cheated his father at dice when gambling with him for his own soul. Giambattista Cibo. A strange sense of fear. those who had hated him could not choose but weep.

What has become of the Frenchman. when I met you." "Thanks. and I can easily get to Victoria in twenty minutes." "I shall be charmed. and shut myself up till I have finished a great picture I have in my head. and seemed quite sorry when he went away. by the bye?" Dorian shrugged his shoulders. my dear fellow. with some siphons of soda-water and large cut-glass tumblers. I won't have anything more. and an ulster! Come in. and throwing them on the bag that he had placed in the corner. However. I think it right that you should know that the most dreadful things are being said against you in London. deep voice. I should like to be somebody else. "I hope it is not about myself. but I had nothing to complain about. "I have heaps of time. Let me come in for a moment. and has established her in Paris as an English dressmaker. "It is not much to ask of you. And mind you don't talk about anything serious. and it is entirely for your own sake that I am speaking. as I have sent on my heavy things. including your best gold-tipped cigarettes. But won't you miss your train?" said Dorian Gray. and Hallward looked at his watch." Hallward shook his head as he entered." "What is it all about?" cried Dorian. You make it so much more difficult for me. He was really very devoted to me. taking his cap and coat off. "What a way for a fashionable painter to travel! A Gladstone bag. flinging himself down on the sofa. it wasn't about myself I wanted to talk. I have something to say to you. All I have with me is in this bag. Here we are at your door." ." Dorian sighed. "The train doesn't go till twelve-fifteen. I shall only keep you half an hour." said the painter. "I believe he married Lady Radley's maid. "And now." "It is about yourself. The lamps were lit. I intend to take a studio in Paris. I was on my way to the club to look for you. and an open Dutch silver spirit-case stood. He is a most hospitable creature. I never liked him. doesn't it? But--do you know?--he was not at all a bad servant. One often imagines things that are quite absurd. "Half an hour!" he murmured. and lit a cigarette. on a little marqueterie table. Have another brandy-and-soda? Or would you like hock-and-seltzer? I always take hock-and-seltzer myself. Nothing is serious nowadays. He gave me everything I wanted. and followed Dorian into the library. "and I must say it to you. You see." Dorian looked at him and smiled. in his petulant way. I shan't have any delay about luggage. as he passed up the steps and opened the door with his latch-key. Dorian." answered Hallward. Don't frown like that." he answered. I am tired of myself to-night. I want to speak to you seriously. At least nothing should be. "You see your servant made me quite at home. There was a bright wood fire blazing in the large open hearth. The lamp-light struggled out through the fog. I hear. There is sure to be some in the next room. or the fog will get into the house. I like him much better than the Frenchman you used to have. Dorian. In fact."No: I am going to be out of England for six months. languidly. It seems silly of the French. and it is only just eleven. in his grave. _Anglomanie_ is very fashionable over there now.

You are talking about things of which you know nothing. but you know him--came to me last year to have his portrait done."I don't wish to know anything about them. His life is dreadful. What about the young Duke of Perth? What sort of life has he got now? What gentleman would associate with him?" "Stop. He seemed broken with shame and sorrow. Dorian. What about Adrian Singleton. James's Street." "They must interest you. Dorian. He offered an extravagant price. They have not got the charm of novelty. and had never heard anything about him at the time. innocent face. Dorian. and your marvellous untroubled youth--I can't believe anything against you. People talk sometimes of secret vices. And yet I see you very seldom. But position and wealth are not everything. And what sort of . and his dreadful end? What about Lord Kent's only son. Your name happened to come up in conversation. how could his record be clean? You ask me about Henry Ashton and young Perth. It is because I know everything about his life. and when I am away from you. I met him at dinner last week. and all that kind of thing. with a tarnished name. though I have heard a good deal since. Every gentleman is interested in his good name. and on intimate terms with the people they slander. and with a note of infinite contempt in his voice. Sin is a thing that writes itself across a man's face. and your wealth. and asked him what he meant. I refused him. and said that you might have the most artistic tastes. Why is it. biting his lip. I reminded him that I was a friend of yours. that a man like the Duke of Berwick leaves the room of a club when you enter it? Why is it that so many gentlemen in London will neither go to your house nor invite you to theirs? You used to be a friend of Lord Staveley. I love scandals about other people. with your pure. He told me. who had to leave England. Staveley curled his lip. and you never come down to the studio now." said Dorian Gray. it shows itself in the lines of his mouth. I know now that I was quite right in what I fancied about him. am I his keeper? I know how people chatter in England. and the other his debauchery? If Kent's silly son takes his wife from the streets what is that to me? If Adrian Singleton writes his friend's name across a bill. I don't know what to say. If a wretched man has a vice. and his career? I met his father yesterday in St. in connection with the miniatures you have lent to the exhibition at the Dudley. It was horrible! Why is your friendship so fatal to young men? There was that wretched boy in the Guards who committed suicide. You and he were inseparable. I don't believe these rumours at all. You were his great friend. and whisper about what they call the profligacies of their betters in order to try and pretend that they are in smart society. I had never seen him before. It cannot be concealed. "You ask me why Berwick leaves a room when I enter it. The middle classes air their moral prejudices over their gross dinner-tables. Did I teach the one his vices. but that you were a man whom no pure-minded girl should be allowed to know. You don't want people to talk of you as something vile and degraded. but scandals about myself don't interest me. There was Sir Henry Ashton. Somebody--I won't mention his name. the droop of his eyelids. and whom no chaste woman should sit in the same room with. I can't believe them when I see you. With such blood as he has in his veins. Basil. In this country it is enough for a man to have distinction and brains for every common tongue to wag against him. There are no such things. There was something in the shape of his fingers that I hated. the moulding of his hands even. not because he knows anything about mine. At least. Mind you. Of course you have your position. But you. bright. and I hear all these hideous things that people are whispering about you. He told me right out before everybody.

" A bitter laugh of mockery broke from the lips of the younger man. "You shall see it yourself. if for none other. they would like me all the better for it. Why shouldn't you look at it? You can tell the world all about it afterwards. You have chattered enough about corruption. They say that you corrupt everyone with whom you become intimate. But only God can do that. Yes: you led them there. If they did believe you. seizing a lamp from the table. One has a right to judge of a man by the effect he has over his friends. I know you and Harry are inseparable. Lord Gloucester was one of my greatest friends at Oxford. gravely. I am told things that it seems impossible to doubt. And there is worse behind. England is bad enough." cried Hallward. I laughed. Nobody would believe you. Are they true? Can they be true? When I first heard them. That is the reason why I want you to be fine. of goodness. for shame of some kind to follow after. You have filled them with a madness for pleasure. I won't tell you that I don't want to preach to you. "Come: it is your own handiwork. You shall listen. "Yes. I want you to lead such a life as will make the world respect you. as you are smiling now. lead themselves? My dear fellow." answered Hallward." "To see my soul!" muttered Dorian Gray. He showed me a letter that his wife had written to him when she was dying alone in her villa at Mentone." "Take care. Know you? I wonder do I know you? Before I could answer that. Let it be for good. to-night!" he cried. starting up from the sofa and turning almost white from fear. Then there are other stories--stories that you have been seen creeping at dawn out of dreadful houses and slinking in disguise into the foulest dens in London. Basil. I remember Harry saying once that every man who turned himself into an amateur curate for the moment always began by saying that." "I must speak. and you must listen. I know the age better than you do. if you choose. I want you to have a clean name and a fair record. You have not been fine. You led them there. When you met Lady Gwendolen. What about your country house. and with deep-toned sorrow in his voice--"to see your soul. I want you to get rid of the dreadful people you associate with. "that is not the question. though you will prate about it so tediously. I do want to preach to you. not a breath of scandal had ever touched her. You have a wonderful influence." . of purity.lives do these people. even her children are not allowed to live with her. and that you were incapable of anything of the kind. Is there a single decent woman in London now who would drive with her in the Park? Why. and the life that is led there? Dorian. you forget that we are in the native land of the hypocrite. I should have to see your soul. How should I know? But it is said of you. you don't know what is said about you. Your name was implicated in the most terrible confession I ever read. I tell you. Don't shrug your shoulders like that. Yours seem to lose all sense of honour. and English society is all wrong. You go too far. I don't know whether it is so or not. Surely for that reason. Don't be so indifferent. and they make me shudder. and that it is quite sufficient for you to enter a house. who pose as being moral. They have gone down into the depths. you should not have made his sister's name a by-word. Now you shall look on it face to face. I hear them now. Come. and yet you can smile. not for evil." "Dorian. I know. and then proceeded to break his word. I told him that it was absurd--that I knew you thoroughly.

in a hard." "Don't touch me. I shall believe you. looking at the burning logs with their frost-like ashes and their throbbing cores of flame. and a wild feeling of pity came over him. and began the ascent." said the young man." A twisted flash of pain shot across the painter's face. All I want is a plain answer to my question. That makes no matter. Basil Hallward following close behind. Finish what you have to say. A ." "That shall be given to you upstairs. and corrupt. coming closer to him. what right had he to pry into the life of Dorian Gray? If he had done a tithe of what was rumoured about him. As for what I said to you to-night. I can go to-morrow. He turned round. Deny them. "I know so. I shall show it to you if you come with me. and shameful." CHAPTER XIII He passed out of the room. Basil. I see I have missed my train. as men do instinctively at night. "I shall show you my soul. The lamp cast fantastic shadows on the wall and staircase. He paused for a moment." Hallward started back. He felt a terrible joy at the thought that someone else was to share his secret. and it never leaves the room in which it is written. You shall see the thing that you fancy only God can see." he said. Dorian!" he cried. But don't ask me to read anything to-night. "I keep a diary of my life from day to day. quietly. "Yes." he cried." Dorian Gray smiled. "This is blasphemy. and they don't mean anything. clear voice. He stamped his foot upon the ground in his boyish insolent manner. and looking steadfastly into his stern eyes. If you tell me that they are absolutely untrue from beginning to end. There was a curl of contempt in his lips. "You must give me some answer to these horrible charges that are made against you. I could not give it here. Basil." "You think so?" He laughed again. You know I have been always a staunch friend to you." he continued. I said it for your good. deny them! Can't you see what I am going through? My God! don't tell me that you are bad. "You must not say things like that. After all. if you wish it. Dorian. You will not have to read long. "I am waiting. and stood there. "What I have to say is this. "Come upstairs.There was the madness of pride in every word he uttered. They walked softly. Dorian. and that the man who had painted the portrait that was the origin of all his shame was to be burdened for the rest of his life with the hideous memory of what he had done. They are horrible. how much he must have suffered! Then he straightened himself up." "I shall come with you. and walked over to the fireplace.

"You won't? Then I must do it myself. Basil? Draw that curtain back. Basil?" he asked. smiling. An exclamation of horror broke from the painter's lips as he saw in the dim light the hideous face on the canvas grinning at him. Dorian. In the left-hand corner was his own name. You have had more to do with my life than you think:" and.rising wind made some of the windows rattle. ignoble satire. the noble curves had not yet completely passed away from chiselled nostrils and from plastic throat. and held it to the picture." he whispered. He knew it. "You are mad. or playing a part. There was something in its expression that filled him with disgust and loathing." said the young man. and he tore the curtain from its rod." he answered. A cold current of air passed them. "So you think that it is only God who sees the soul. "You are the one man in the world who is entitled to know everything about me. "You insist on knowing. as he placed the lamp on the table. He had never done that. and the frame was his own design. he saw that the whole place was covered with dust. and looked at Dorian Gray with the eyes of a sick man. Good heavens! it was Dorian Gray's own face that he was looking at! The horror. an old Italian _cassone_. It was dank with clammy sweat. A mouse ran scuffling behind the wainscoting. He seized the lighted candle. and an almost empty bookcase--that was all that it seemed to contain. he opened the door and went in. He shuddered. The room looked as if it had not been lived in for years. a curtained picture. He passed his hand across his forehead. But who had done it? He seemed to recognise his own brush-work. When they reached the top landing. whatever it was. with a puzzled expression. His own picture! What did it mean? Why had it altered? He turned. Hallward glanced round him. "Yes. besides a chair and a table. and the light shot up for a moment in a flame of murky orange. had not yet entirely spoiled that marvellous beauty. A faded Flemish tapestry. and his parched tongue seemed unable to articulate. somewhat harshly. As Dorian Gray was lighting a half-burned candle that was standing on the mantel-shelf. and you will see mine. The sodden eyes had kept something of the loveliness of their blue." muttered Hallward. There was still some gold in the thinning hair and some scarlet on the sensual mouth. watching him with that strange expression that one sees on the faces of those who are absorbed in a play when some great artist is acting. Then he added. taking up the lamp. it was Dorian himself. yet he felt afraid. Yes. There was a damp odour of mildew." The voice that spoke was cold and cruel." "I am delighted. and he felt as if his blood had changed in a moment from fire to sluggish ice. Still. and taking out the key turned it in the lock. Dorian set the lamp down on the floor. and that the carpet was in holes. frowning. traced in long letters of bright vermilion. it was his own picture. and flung it on the ground. There was neither . "Shut the door behind you. in a low voice. The young man was leaning against the mantel-shelf. The idea was monstrous. It was some foul parody. some infamous. His mouth twitched.

You were to me such an ideal as I shall never meet again... I tell you the thing is impossible. going over to the window. "You told me you had destroyed it. when I was a boy." said Dorian Gray. There was simply the passion of the spectator. He had taken the flower out of his coat. The surface seemed to be quite undisturbed.. Mildew has got into the canvas. as you call it. that the foulness and horror had come. or pretending to do so.. His own voice sounded shrill and curious in his ears." "Can't you see your ideal in it?" said Dorian. with a wild gesture of despair." "Ah." "I remember it! Oh. bitterly. In a mad moment. "My ideal. apparently. perhaps you would call it a prayer." "As you called it. and taught me to be vain of my good looks. He placed his foot on it and put it out. and as he had left it. "and this is what you have done with your life." "I was wrong." "Each of us has Heaven and Hell in him. Basil. nothing shameful." "There was nothing evil in it. mist-stained glass. and the candle fell from its socket on the floor. Through some strange quickening of inner life the leprosies of sin were slowly eating the thing away. crushing the flower in his hand. you must be worse even than those who talk against you fancy you to be!" He held the light up again to the canvas. The rotting of a corpse in a watery grave was not so fearful. why. and lay there sputtering. that. "you met me. and you finished the portrait of me that revealed to me the wonder of beauty. with perhaps a flicker of triumph in his eyes. "What does this mean?" cried Hallward. and examined it. and was smelling it. . One day you introduced me to a friend of yours. flattered me." "It is the face of my soul." "Christ! what a thing I must have worshipped! It has the eyes of a devil. It has destroyed me.. This is the face of a satyr. I don't know whether I regret or not. I made a wish. at last. what is impossible?" murmured the young man. "Years ago. Then he flung himself into the rickety chair that was standing by the table and buried his face in his hands. The paints I used had some wretched mineral poison in them. His hand shook. how well I remember it! No! the thing is impossible. who explained to me the wonder of youth. and leaning his forehead against the cold. The room is damp. "My God! if it is true.." "I don't believe it is my picture. Hallward turned again to the portrait." he exclaimed. even now. and gazed at it." cried Dorian. It was from within.real sorrow in it nor real joy.

The wind had blown the fog away. I worshipped you too much. "Pray. walking over to the window. more than in his whole life he had ever loathed anything. Dorian. "What is it that one was taught to say in one's boyhood? 'Lead us not into temptation. some days before. Hallward stirred in his chair as if he was going to rise. Isn't there a verse somewhere. as though it had been suggested to him by the image on the canvas. and. yet I will make them as white as snow'?" "Those words mean nothing to me now. whispered into his ear by those grinning lips. He moved slowly towards it. For a few seconds he stood bending over the balustrade. . Then he took out the key and returned to the room. We are both punished. Let us kneel down and try if we cannot remember a prayer. Basil. 'Though your sins be as scarlet. Wash away our iniquities. As soon as he got behind him. and he loathed the man who was seated at the table. but the man did not move. pray. what a lesson! what an awful lesson!" There was no answer. He rushed at him. His eye fell on it. and stepped out on the balcony. and the clotted black pool that was slowly widening on the table. and the horrible sound of someone choking with blood. There was a stifled groan. straining over the table with bowed head. I am punished for it. and looked at him with tear-dimmed eyes. He glanced wildly around. one would have said that the man was simply asleep. He could hear nothing but the drip. crushing the man's head down on the table. Dorian."Good God. and stabbing again and again.' Let us say that together. He knew what it was. Forgive us our sins. to cut a piece of cord. and humped back. and the sky was like a monstrous peacock's tail. waving grotesque stiff-fingered hands in the air. The prayer of your pride has been answered. still pressing the head down. opened it. The mad passions of a hunted animal stirred within him. passing Hallward as he did so. You worshipped yourself too much. and suddenly an uncontrollable feeling of hatred for Basil Hallward came over him. The thing was still seated in the chair. The prayer of your repentance will be answered also. How quickly it had all been done! He felt strangely calm. Dorian. and had forgotten to take away with him. He opened the door and went out on the landing. drip on the threadbare carpet. and dug the knife into the great vein that is behind the ear. He waited for a moment. and turned round. Something glimmered on the top of the painted chest that faced him. and listened." Dorian Gray turned slowly around. he seized it. It was a knife that he had brought up. No one was about. My God! don't you see that accursed thing leering at us?" Dorian Gray glanced at the picture. "It is too late. Had it not been for the red jagged tear in the neck. and long fantastic arms. The house was absolutely quiet. and peering down into the black seething well of darkness." "Hush! don't say that. You have done enough evil in your life. Three times the outstretched arms shot up convulsively." he murmured." he faltered. Then he threw the knife on the table. "It is never too late. but he could hear the young man sobbing at the window. Something began to trickle on the floor. locking himself in as he did so. He stabbed him twice more.

Every year--every month. Months! Everything could be destroyed long before then. and put them into it. and began to think. He sat down. Then he remembered the lamp. Some red star had come too close to the earth. and waited. and saw the policeman going his rounds and flashing the long beam of his lantern on the doors of the silent houses. It was to Paris that Basil had gone. And yet what evidence was there against him? Basil Hallward had left the house at eleven. What time is it?" . made of dull silver inlaid with arabesques of burnished steel. and studded with coarse turquoises. He shivered. and seemed to cry out as if in pain. She stumbled away.starred with myriads of golden eyes. and by the midnight train.. It was a rather curious one of Moorish workmanship. A sudden thought struck him. He waited. and seeing the flash of the bull's-eye reflected in the window. and looking very drowsy. After a few moments he drew back the latch. They must be hidden away somewhere. No: everything was still. Having locked the door behind him. His valet had gone to bed. Then he pulled out his watch.. How still it was! How horribly white the long hands looked! It was like a dreadful wax image. and then vanished. Now and then she stopped.. she began to sing in a hoarse voice. and slipped out. he turned the key. hearing the slow heavy tread of the policeman on the pavement outside. The policeman strolled over and said something to her. shutting the door very gently behind him. had gone out of his life. It was twenty minutes to two. That was enough. A bitter blast swept across the Square. With his curious reserved habits. and went out into the hall. it would be months before any suspicions would be aroused. Perhaps it might be missed by his servant. and questions would be asked.. and became blue. In about five minutes his valet appeared half dressed. "but I had forgotten my latch-key. He felt that the secret of the whole thing was not to realise the situation. He stopped several times. When he reached the library. He looked down. then he turned back and took it from the table. He could not help seeing the dead thing. closing the window behind him. stepping in. The gas-lamps flickered. He could easily burn them afterwards. Most of the servants were at Selby Royal. as he had intended. Then he began ringing the bell. a press in which he kept his own curious disguises. Francis. He hesitated for a moment.. There had been a madness of murder in the air. almost--men were strangled in England for what he had done. and held his breath. He put on his fur coat and hat. Once. and opened it. laughing. Paris! Yes. There he paused. and the leafless trees shook their black iron branches to and fro. Having reached the door. A woman in a fluttering shawl was creeping slowly by the railings.. The woodwork creaked. The friend who had painted the fatal portrait to which all his misery had been due. he saw the bag and coat in the corner. and peered back. The crimson spot of a prowling hansom gleamed at the corner. He unlocked a secret press that was in the wainscoting. No one had seen him come in again. he crept quietly downstairs. It was merely the sound of his own footsteps. He did not even glance at the murdered man. staggering as she went." he said. "I am sorry to have had to wake you up. and went back.

and began to turn over the leaves. and reconstructed themselves there with terrible distinctness. Then he took down the Blue Book from one of the shelves. Gradually the events of the preceding night crept with silent blood-stained feet into his brain. as though he had been lost in some delightful dream. began to sip his chocolate. He stayed here till eleven." "Did anyone call this evening?" "Mr." answered the man. and as he opened his eyes a faint smile passed across his lips. looking at the clock and blinking. and passed into the library. and then he went away to catch his train. sir." "No." Yes. His night had been untroubled by any images of pleasure or of pain. The sky was bright. CHAPTER XIV At nine o'clock the next chocolate on a tray. Dorian Gray threw his hat and coat upon the table. Yet he had not dreamed at all. 152. sir. Dorian was sleeping quite right side. sir."Ten minutes past two. I have some work to do. It was almost like a morning in May. too. Don't forget to call me at nine to-morrow. that was the man he wanted. Hallward. Hertford Street. "Alan Campbell. and. had been tired out with play." "That will do. Mayfair. and for a moment the same curious feeling of loathing for Basil Hallward that had made him kill him as he sat in the chair. It is one of its chiefest charms. But youth smiles without any reason." "All right. How horrible that was! Such . He winced at the memory of all that he had suffered. The mellow November sun came streaming into the room. Did he leave any message?" "No. and in the sunlight now. except that he would write to you from Paris." "Oh! I am sorry I didn't see him. The dead man was still sitting there. lying on his He looked like a boy who morning his servant came in with a cup of opened the shutters. He turned round. and there was a genial warmth in the air. sir. and peacefully. if he did not find you at the club. and he grew cold with passion. or study. leaning upon his elbow. The man had to touch him twice on the shoulder before he woke. "Ten minutes past two? How horribly late! You must wake me at nine to-morrow. came back to him. and thinking. sir. Francis. with one hand underneath his cheek." The man shambled down the passage in his slippers. For a quarter of an hour he walked up and down the room biting his lip.

Suddenly he remarked that every face that he drew seemed to have a fantastic likeness to Basil Hallward. and if Mr. Three of them bored him. "That awful thing. He felt that if he brooded on what he had gone through he would sicken or grow mad. he wiped his lips slowly with a napkin. the cold yellow hand "_du supplice encore mal lavée_. and then tore up with a slight look of annoyance in his face. he passed his hand across his forehead. "L'esquif aborde et me dépose. giving a good deal of attention to the choice of his necktie and scarf-pin. strange triumphs that gratified the pride more than the passions. sur l'azur des ondes Suivant la phrase au pur contour. talking to his valet about some new liveries that he was thinking of getting made for the servants at Selby. greater than any joy they brought. But this was not one of them. and then got up hastily.hideous things were for the darkness. He frowned." Charpentier's Japanese-paper edition. not for the day. One he put in his pocket. he lit a cigarette. and. There were sins whose fascination was more in the memory than in the doing of them. and dressed himself with even more than his usual care. to the senses. Campbell is out of town. with the Jacquemart etching." As soon as he was alone. and gave to the intellect a quickened sense of joy. It had been given to him by Adrian Singleton. to be strangled lest it might strangle one itself. The binding was of citron-green leather." He glanced at his own white taper fingers. Hertford Street. and bits of architecture. "Take this round to 152. As he turned over the pages his eye fell on the poem about the hand of Lacenaire. At some of the letters he smiled. motioned to his servant to wait. and then human faces. S'enflent comme des gorges rondes Que soulève un soupir d'amour. "Les dômes. and began sketching upon a piece of paper. the other he handed to the valet. It was Gautier's "à maux et Camées. and passed on. shuddering slightly in spite of himself. It was a thing to be driven out of the mind. . a woman's memory!" as Lord Henry had once said. drawing first flowers. and going through his correspondence. One he read several times over. La Vénus de l'Adriatique Sort de l'eau son corps rose et blanc. getting up. After he had drunk his cup of black coffee. tasting the various dishes. When the half-hour struck. to be drugged with poppies. get his address. and going over to the table sat down and wrote two letters. Le sein de perles ruisselant. He was determined that he would not think about what had happened until it became absolutely necessary that he should do so. Francis. till he came to those lovely stanzas upon Venice:-"Sur une gamme chromatique." with its downy red hairs and its "_doigts de faune_. he looked at the title-page of the book. went over to the bookcase and took out a volume at hazard. When he had stretched himself on the sofa. with a design of gilt trellis-work and dotted pomegranates. or could ever bring. and changing his rings more than once. He spent a long time also over breakfast.

He read of the swallows that fly in and out of the little café at Smyrna where the Hadjis sit counting their amber beads and the turbaned merchants smoke their long tasselled pipes and talk gravely to each other. What could he do then? Every moment was of vital importance. His dominant intellectual passion was for science. and indeed exercised often without being conscious of it. and crocodiles. delightful follies. indeed. He remembered the autumn that he had passed there. Then the intimacy had come suddenly to an end. and had gone wild over Tintoret. one seemed to be floating down the green water-ways of the pink and pearl city." How exquisite they were! As one read them. though he had no real appreciation of the visible arts. and a wonderful love that had stirred him to mad." The whole of Venice was in those two lines. Alan Campbell never did. that crawl over the green steaming mud. What if Alan Campbell should be out of England? Days would elapse before he could come back. dust-stained arcades. or almost everything. greatly to the annoyance of his mother. He grew nervous. But Venice. Perhaps he might refuse to come. and longs to be back by the hot lotus-covered Nile. tell of that curious statue that Gautier compares to a contralto voice. where there are Sphinxes. and had a laboratory of his own. and had a vague idea that a chemist was a person who made up prescriptions. with small beryl eyes. had kept the background for romance.Jetant son amarre au pilier. who had set her heart on his standing for Parliament. They had been great friends once. He was an excellent musician. he read of the Obelisk in the Place de la Concorde that weeps tears of granite in its lonely sunless exile. he kept saying over and over to himself:-"Devant une façade rose. and rose-red ibises. When they met in society now. to the true romantic. Sur le marbre d'un escalier. In fact. and took up the volume again. five years before--almost inseparable. the "_monstre charmant_" that couches in the porphyry-room of the Louvre. in which he used to shut himself up all day long. seated in a black gondola with silver prow and trailing curtains. with such stately grace. it was only Dorian Gray who smiled. Devant une façade rose. and tried to forget. But after a time the book fell from his hand. Poor Basil! what a horrible way for a man to die! He sighed. like Oxford. background was everything. and white vultures with gilded claws. He was an extremely clever young man. and whatever little sense of the beauty of poetry he possessed he had gained entirely from Dorian. he began to brood over those verses which. Basil had been with him part of the time. drawing music from kiss-stained marble. through the dim. Leaning back with half-closed eyes. Indeed. and played both the violin and the piano better than most amateurs. or stalk. however. They had met . At Cambridge he had spent a great deal of his time working in the Laboratory. it was music that had first brought him and Dorian Gray together--music and that indefinable attraction that Dorian seemed to be able to exercise whenever he wished. The mere lines looked to him like those straight lines of turquoise-blue that follow one as one pushes out to the Lido. and. he was still devoted to the study of chemistry. as well. and a horrible fit of terror came over him. Sur le marbre d'un escalier. and had taken a good class in the Natural Science Tripos of his year. There was romance in every place. The sudden flashes of colour reminded him of the gleam of the opal-and-iris-throated birds that flutter round the tall honey-combed Campanile.

Whether or not a quarrel had taken place between them no one ever knew. suddenly. But suddenly people remarked that they scarcely spoke when they met. too--was strangely melancholy at times. Dorian Gray was the type of everything that is wonderful and fascinating in life. raced nimbly on in front. and. At last he got up. He knew what was waiting for him there. I thank you for coming. that he was so absorbed in science that he had no time left in which to practise. and his name appeared once or twice in some of the scientific reviews. as to many others. his pallor being intensified by his coal-black hair and dark eyebrows. He spoke with slow deliberation. appeared almost to dislike hearing music. Campbell was always either at Selby Royal or in Grosvenor Square. He stared at it. Then. He turned glazed eyes upon him. The brain had its own food on which it battened. At last the door opened. Gray. and the imagination. Time being dead. looking like a beautiful caged thing. A sigh of relief broke from his parched lips. saw it indeed. There was a look of contempt in the steady searching gaze that he turned on Dorian. Every second he kept glancing at the clock.at Lady Berkshire's the night that Rubinstein played there. As the minutes went by he became horribly agitated." His voice was hard and cold. and seemed not to have noticed the . slow-breathing thing crawled no more. "Ask him to come in at once. In a few moments Alan Campbell walked in. and the colour came back to his cheeks. He had changed. To him. The suspense became unbearable. Yes: that blind." said the man. His hands were curiously cold. danced like some foul puppet on a stand. "Alan! this is kind of you. and after that used to be always seen together at the Opera. He took long stealthy strides. and driven the eyeballs back into their cave. But you said it was a matter of life and death. and his servant entered. Every day he seemed to become more interested in biology. and wherever good music was going on. and horrible thoughts. "Mr. For eighteen months their intimacy lasted. and began to pace up and down the room. and would never himself play. made grotesque by terror. His mood of cowardice had passed away." He felt that he was himself again. crushed with dank hands his burning lids as though he would have robbed the very brain of sight. looking very stern and rather pale. He kept his hands in the pockets of his Astrakhan coat. when he was called upon. Its very horror made him stone. This was the man Dorian Gray was waiting for. The man bowed. and that Campbell seemed always to go away early from any party at which Dorian Gray was present. Francis. And this was certainly true. twisted and distorted as a living thing by pain. and grinned through moving masks. and dragged a hideous future from its grave." "I had intended never to enter your house again. giving as his excuse. Time stopped for him. It was useless. and showed it to him. Campbell. Time seemed to him to be crawling with feet of lead. in connection with certain curious experiments. sir. and retired. while he by monstrous winds was being swept towards the jagged edge of some black cleft of precipice. shuddering.

When he is missed. Alan. You deserve it all. there must be no trace of him found here." Campbell took a chair by the table. After a strained moment of silence. Alan. I tell you--mad to imagine that I would raise a finger to help you. a room to which nobody but myself has access. Dorian. Sit down. I am forced to bring you into the matter. doesn't concern me. into a handful of ashes that I may scatter in the air. What you have to do is this----" "Stop. I should fancy. at the present moment he is supposed to be in Paris. and don't look at me like that. mad to make this monstrous confession. I entirely decline to be mixed up in your life. Gray. Nobody saw this person come into the house.gesture with which he had been greeted. and Dorian sat opposite to him. Don't come to me. He has been dead ten hours now. Do you think I am going to peril my reputation for you? What is it to me what devil's work you are up to?" "It was suicide." "I am glad of that. how he died. whatever else he has taught you. I will have nothing to do with this matter. I will have absolutely nothing to do with it. Indeed. very quietly. I don't want to know anything further. "Yes: it is a matter of life and death. Don't stir. In Dorian's there was infinite pity. Who the man is. Nothing will induce me to stir a step to help you. why he died." "Alan. You have come to the wrong man. Go to some of your friends. They don't interest me any more. You. What you have got to do is to destroy the thing that is upstairs--to destroy it so that not a vestige of it will be left. I am awfully sorry for you. I have no option. and things of that kind. he leaned across and said." "Alan." "You are mad. you must change him. I should not be sorry to see you disgraced. publicly disgraced." "You are mad. a dead man is seated at a table. How dare you ask me. This one will have to interest you. they will have to interest you. and everything that belongs to him. you are scientific. The two men's eyes met. it was murder. He will not be missed for months. Alan. in a locked room at the top of this house." "Ah! I was waiting for you to call me Dorian. Whether what you have told me is true or not true. Alan. but watching the effect of each word upon the face of him he had sent for. Your friend Lord Henry Wotton can't have taught you much about psychology. Keep your horrible secrets to yourself. He knew that what he was going to do was dreadful." "Do you still refuse to do this for me?" "Of course I refuse. to mix myself up in this horror? I should have thought you knew more about people's characters. But who drove him to it? You. You don't know what he had made me . But I can't help myself. whatever it is. I killed him. of all men in the world. You know about chemistry. Alan. and to more than one person. I don't care what shame comes on you. You are the one man who is able to save me. "Alan. are matters that do not concern you. You have made experiments.

you are certain to be arrested." "I entreat you. the result was the same. But I will have nothing to do with it." "Don't speak about those days. It is not my business." "You must have something to do with it.suffer. and the horrors that you do there don't affect you. or gratifying intellectual curiosity. and it is sure to be discovered unless you help me. Just before you came I almost fainted with terror. he had more to do with the making or the marring of it than poor Harry has had. But I beg of you to do this. He may not have intended it. We were friends once. Think of the position I am in. You don't inquire where the dead things on which you experiment come from. and . Whatever my life is. remember. I am simply indifferent to the whole thing. No! don't think of that. he got up. listen to me. Why. If in some hideous dissecting-room or fetid laboratory you found this man lying on a leaden table with red gutters scooped out in it for the blood to flow through. you would simply look upon him as an admirable subject." "You refuse?" "Yes. and wrote something on it. Nobody ever commits a crime without doing something stupid. Dorian. He read it over twice. Only listen. It has nothing to do with me. or increasing the sum of knowledge in the world. is that what you have come to? I shall not inform upon you. The man upstairs will not go away. wait a moment. And. I have told you too much as it is." "The dead linger sometimes. it is the only piece of evidence against me. Look at the matter purely from the scientific point of view. Besides." "Alan. Alan. Alan! Alan! if you don't come to my assistance I am ruined. took a piece of paper. Dorian: they are dead. Don't inquire now. What I want you to do is merely what you have often done before." "I have no desire to help you. and then took up the paper. to destroy a body must be far less horrible than what you are accustomed to work at. I absolutely refuse to do anything in the matter. Alan! Don't you understand? They will hang me for what I have done. You go to hospitals and dead-houses. Alan. You would not turn a hair." "It is useless." "There is no good in prolonging this scene. you would probably feel that you were benefiting the human race. You would not believe that you were doing anything wrong. On the contrary. I entreat you. folded it carefully. If it is discovered. All I ask of you is to perform a certain scientific experiment. Campbell looked at him in surprise. or something of that kind. You may know terror yourself some day." "Murder! Good God. Indeed." The same look of pity came into Dorian Gray's eyes. Having done this. Then he stretched out his hand. without my stirring in the matter. I am lost. and pushed it across the table. Alan. You forget that. Wait. He is sitting at the table with bowed head and outstretched arms. It is insane of you to ask me. they will hang me. and went over to the window.

"You must. Face it. each of which was too terrible to be borne. as though words could alter things. I bore it all. mechanically. Come. "Is there a fire in the room upstairs?" "Yes. As the hall door shut. As he read it. you must not leave the house. and came and stood behind him. You were stern. The ticking of the clock on the mantelpiece seemed to him to be dividing Time into separate atoms of agony. Dorian turned round. Alan. The thing is quite simple. Campbell turned round." He hesitated a moment. You treated me as no man has ever dared to treat me--no living man. having got up from the chair. putting his hand upon his shoulder. and my servant will take a cab and bring the things back to you. The hand upon his shoulder weighed like a hand of lead. Here it is. If you don't help me. I have a letter written already. neither of the men spoke. and. and gave it to his valet. and to bring the things with him. "Yes." "I cannot do it. I tried to spare you. Alan." "I shall have to go home and get some things from the laboratory. Now it is for me to dictate terms. You know what they are. He felt as if an iron ring was being slowly tightened round his forehead. and a shudder passed through him. He felt as if his heart was beating itself to death in some empty hollow." A groan broke from Campbell's lips. Alan. "I am so sorry for you. It seemed to crush him. harsh. blotted them. I will send it. You will do me the justice to admit that. don't work yourself into this fever. you must decide at once. and. Then he rang the bell. his face became ghastly pale. I must send it. Campbell started nervously. there is a gas-fire with asbestos." Campbell scrawled a few lines. Don't delay. He was shivering with a kind of ague. For nearly twenty minutes. with orders to return as soon as possible. at any rate. and the ticking of the clock was like the beat of a hammer. It is impossible for you to refuse now. You have no choice." "No. If you don't help me. looking at Dorian . Dorian took the note up and read it carefully. As the chime struck one. and do it. and addressed an envelope to his assistant. It was intolerable." he said. The thing has to be done.opened it. After two or three minutes of terrible silence. You see the address. and he fell back in his chair. offensive. But you are going to help me. "Come. as if the disgrace with which he was threatened had already come upon him. went over to the chimney-piece. A horrible sense of sickness came over him. and he shivered all over." Campbell buried his face in his hands. "but you leave me no alternative." he murmured. it is my turn to dictate terms. Alan. A fly buzzed noisily about the room. Write out on a sheet of note-paper what you want. You know what the result will be.

I don't want any white ones. He shuddered. What is the name of the man at Richmond who supplies Selby with orchids?" "Harden. sir. It is a lovely day. In doing what I am going to do. "How long will your experiment take. "It will be time enough. and a troubled look came into his eyes. with a long coil of steel and platinum wire and two rather curiously-shaped iron clamps. "You are infamous. absolutely infamous!" he muttered. "Yes. and now you have culminated in crime. Campbell made no answer. that I have another errand for you. You can have the evening to yourself. sir. Then he stopped. They left the room together. leaving the room. if you are back at half-past seven. When they reached the top landing. In fact. in a calm. . I am not dining at home." he answered. "Now. otherwise I wouldn't bother you about it. There was something in the purity and refinement of that sad face that seemed to enrage him. You bring the other things. Francis. see Harden personally. it is not of your life that I am thinking. and bit his lip." said the man." He spoke rapidly. "And I am afraid. what you force me to do. sir. saw that his eyes were filled with tears. Alan. "I don't think I can go in. Alan. I don't require you. and to have as few white ones as possible. Alan: you have saved my life. Campbell frowned." said Campbell. "Your life? Good heavens! what a life that is! You have gone from corruption to corruption. Alan?" he said. then. there is not a moment to be lost. "It will take about five hours. "Shall I leave the things here." He turned away as he spoke." said Dorian. coldly. Francis." said Dorian. and Richmond is a very pretty place. sir?" he asked Campbell. Dorian took out the key and turned it in the lock. and stood looking out at the garden. Campbell felt dominated by him. Or stay: just leave my things out for dressing. carrying a large mahogany chest of chemicals. Alan. At what time shall I be back?" Dorian looked at Campbell." "Ah. After about ten minutes a knock came to the door. and in an authoritative manner. How heavy this chest is! I'll take it for you." he murmured. so I shall not want you." "Yes--Harden. You must go down to Richmond at once. and the servant entered. "Hush. "It is nothing to me." "No trouble. The presence of a third person in the room seemed to give him extraordinary courage." murmured Dorian." "Thank you. indifferent voice. with a sigh. Francis.Gray. and tell him to send twice as many orchids as I ordered. "I wish you had a thousandth part of the pity for me that I have for you.

CHAPTER XV That evening. than the silent thing that he knew was stretched across the table. "And now. feeling afraid to turn round. "I have done what you asked me to do. Alan. and with half-closed eyes and averted head walked quickly in. on one of the hands. the thing whose grotesque misshapen shadow on the spotted carpet showed him that it had not stirred. There he stopped. What was that loathsome red dew that gleamed. but was still there. he flung it right over the picture. and the other things that he had required for his dreadful work. Then. it seemed to him for the moment. He remembered that. But the thing that had been sitting at the table was gone. but absolutely calm. His forehead was throbbing with maddened nerves. stooping down. He heard Campbell bringing in the heavy chest. just conscious that the dead man had been thrust back into the chair. "Leave me now. As soon as Campbell had left." said a stern voice behind him. as though the canvas had sweated blood? How horrible it was!--more horrible. and that Campbell was gazing into a glistening yellow face. to hide the fatal canvas. I cannot forget that. He . Those finely-shaped fingers could never have clutched a knife for sin." "You have saved me from ruin. determined that he would not look even once upon the dead man. and his eyes fixed themselves on the intricacies of the pattern before him. what they had thought of each other. at eight-thirty. and he felt wildly excited. simply. As he did so. He was pale. On the floor in front of it the torn curtain was lying. and taking up the gold and purple hanging. as he had left it. Let us never see each other again. As he was going downstairs he heard the key being turned in the lock. wet and glistening. he went upstairs. but his manner as he bent over his hostess's hand was as easy and graceful as ever. There was a horrible smell of nitric acid in the room. good-bye.Dorian half opened the door. nor those smiling lips have cried out on God and goodness. he saw the face of his portrait leering in the sunlight. the night before he had forgotten. He heaved a deep breath. Dorian Gray was ushered into Lady Narborough's drawing-room by bowing servants. He began to wonder if he and Basil Hallward had ever met. when he drew back with a shudder. He turned and hurried out. Certainly no one looking at Dorian Gray that night could have believed that he had passed through a tragedy as horrible as any tragedy of our age. exquisitely dressed and wearing a large buttonhole of Parma violets. if so." he muttered. It was long after seven when Campbell came back into the library. for the first time in his life. opened the door a little wider. and the irons. Perhaps one never seems so much at one's ease as when one has to play a part. and. and was about to rush forward." said Dorian.

and Venetian-red hair. white-whiskered creature who. It is most fortunate that you were not thought of at the time. behind a very shabby fan." she whispered. exclaimed: "How horrid of Henry Wotton to be so late! I sent round to him this morning on chance. and French _esprit_ when she could get it. and there is no pleasure in taking in a husband who never sees anything. and having buried her husband properly in a marble mausoleum. who was always trying to get herself compromised. one of her married daughters had come up quite suddenly to stay with her. his hostess's daughter. "I think it is most unkind of her. You shall sit by me." Her guests this evening were rather tedious. that I never had even a flirtation with anybody. till Lady Narborough. our bonnets were so unbecoming. Lady Ruxton. He was dreadfully short-sighted. had actually brought her husband with her. There has not been a scandal in the neighbourhood since the time of Queen Elizabeth." It was some consolation that Harry was to be there. It was a small party.himself could not help wondering at the calm of his demeanour. my dear. she devoted herself now to the pleasures of French fiction. rather elderly men. and looked round the room. I really wake them up. but was so peculiarly plain that to her great disappointment no one would ever believe anything against her. got up rather in a hurry by Lady Narborough. and when the door . It is pure unadulterated country life. However. who was a very clever woman. Dorian was one of her special favourites. and amuse me. my dear. with a hooked nose. and the mills were so occupied in trying to raise the wind." she used to say. He was rather sorry he had come. with what Lord Henry used to describe as the remains of really remarkable ugliness. She had proved an excellent wife to one of our most tedious ambassadors. and. and consequently they all fall asleep after dinner. an over-dressed woman of forty-seven. French cookery. that was all Narborough's fault. with one of those characteristic British faces. and her husband. a dowdy dull girl. like so many of his class. a pushing nobody. that. and married off her daughters to some rich. was under the impression that inordinate joviality can atone for an entire lack of ideas. looking at the great ormolu gilt clock that sprawled in gaudy curves on the mauve-draped mantel-shelf. You don't know what an existence they lead down there. and besides. because they have so much to do. They get up early." Dorian murmured a graceful compliment. but are thoroughly disliked by their friends. and go to bed early because they have so little to think about. You shan't sit next either of them. Two of the people he had never seen before. which she had herself designed. "and thrown my bonnet right over the mills for your sake. "Of course I go and stay with them every summer after I come from Homburg. with a delightful lisp. as she explained to Dorian. Mrs. once seen. As it was. Erlynne. and the others consisted of Ernest Harrowden. to make matters worse. and he promised faithfully not to disappoint me. Yes: it was certainly a tedious party. and she always told him that she was extremely glad she had not met him in early life. one of those middle-aged mediocrities so common in London clubs who have no enemies. but then an old woman like me must have fresh air sometimes. a red-cheeked. are never remembered. and for a moment felt keenly the terrible pleasure of a double life. The fact was. I should have fallen madly in love with you. Lady Alice Chapman. "I know.

" "Is it true. since Madame de Ferrol left town. Mr. "I asked her whether." and now and then Lord Henry looked across at him. She is really wonderful. "I have not been in love for a whole week--not." "I believe he is in love. "what is the matter with you to-night? You are quite out of sorts. "Dorian. Harry!" cried Dorian. and his thirst seemed to increase. Gray?" "She assures me so." "She does not remember my short frocks at all. From time to time the butler filled his glass with champagne. she had their hearts embalmed and hung at her girdle. Her capacity for family affection is extraordinary. wondering at his silence and abstracted manner. When her third husband died." "Well. because none of them had had any hearts at all." murmured Dorian." he answered. Lady Narborough kept scolding him for what she called "an insult to poor Adolphe. Lord Henry! You don't mean to say Ferrol is the fourth." laughed the hostess. "But her third husband. taking an olive in his long fingers." said Lord Henry. "She is the one link between us and your short frocks. Gray." "I don't believe a word of it. He drank eagerly.opened and he heard his slow musical voice lending charm to some insincere apology. like Marguerite de Navarre. and how _décolletée_ she was then. at last." "Dear Lady Narborough. I certainly should. But I remember her very well at Vienna thirty years ago." said Dorian. ask Mr. Lady Narborough. He is one of her most intimate friends. Plate after plate went away untasted." "Four husbands! Upon my word that is _trop de zèle_. smiling. he ceased to feel bored." "It is simply because she remembers you when you were a little girl. I tell her. "and that he is afraid to tell me for fear I should be jealous. "I really cannot understand it. "and when she is in a very smart gown she looks like an _édition de luxe_ of a bad French novel. and full of surprises. Lord Henry. her hair turned quite gold from grief." said Dorian." said Lord Henry. who invented the _menu_ specially for you." "_Trop d'audace_." cried Lady Narborough." "How can you. She told me she didn't. Lady Narborough." "Certainly." "How you men can fall in love with that woman!" exclaimed the old lady. He is quite right. But at dinner he could not eat anything. ." "She is still _décolletée_. Lady Narborough. in fact. "It is a most romantic explanation. as the _chaud-froid_ was being handed round.

Gray should get married?" "I am always telling him so." "The husbands of very beautiful women belong to the criminal classes. men risk theirs. that that would alter you much. This world and I are on excellent terms."Oh! she is audacious enough for anything. but it is quite true. sipping his wine. "I wish it were _fin du globe_. Lord Henry. I must find you a nice wife. it is because he adored his first wife. my dear. When a woman marries again it is because she detested her first husband. and I sometimes wish that I had been. If we women did not love you for your defects. and all the bachelors like married men. I am afraid. "It can only be the next world." cried the old lady. "If he had been. however. Lord Henry is very wicked. with a . When a man says that one knows that Life has exhausted him." murmured Lord Henry." broke in Lord Henry. "But really if you all worship Madame de Ferrol in this ridiculous way. Lady Narborough hit him with her fan." "_Fin de siècle_. where would you all be? Not one of you would ever be married." was the rejoinder. Lady Narborough." said Dorian. my dear lady. "_Fin du globe_. "It is perfectly monstrous. you would not have loved him. "don't tell me that you have exhausted Life. When a man marries again." cried Lady Narborough. "Women love us for our defects. Lord Henry. even our intellects. You would be a set of unfortunate bachelors. at last." "Everybody I know says you are very wicked." cried the old lady." said Lord Henry. "You were far too happy. "Lord Henry." "Of course it is true. Lord Henry looked serious for some moments. elevating his eyebrows. You will never ask me to dinner again." "Isn't he incorrigible?" cried Dorian. after saying this. putting on her gloves. I am not at all surprised that the world says that you are extremely wicked." "But what world says that?" asked Lord Henry. laughing." "Narborough wasn't perfect. "I hope so. Lady Narborough. but you are made to be good--you look so good. with a sigh. And what is Ferrol like? I don't know him." "You will never marry again. If we have enough of them they will forgive us everything." he said. don't you think that Mr." "Ah. Nowadays all the married men live like bachelors. Women try their luck. my dear." said his hostess. I shall have to marry again so as to be in the fashion. Lady Narborough." said Lord Henry. Not. "Life is a great disappointment. leaning forward in his chair." answered his hostess. "the way people go about nowadays saying things against one behind one's back that are absolutely and entirely true. shaking her head.

and went and sat by Lord Henry. as she swept out of the room. "I didn't see you hadn't finished your cigarette. "Moderation is a fatal thing. "A man can be happy with any woman." "With their ages. Chapman began to talk in a loud voice about the situation in the House of Commons. I want it to be a delightful gathering." The men laughed." "Ah! what a cynic you are!" cried the old lady." Lady Ruxton glanced at him curiously. for the future. though. A smile curved Lord Henry's lips. "Well. slightly edited. and I want you both to be happy. Harry. as she stood up. "A thousand pardons. I smoke a great deal too much. and women who have a past. It sounds a fascinating theory. Lady Narborough." she added. as long as he does not love her." "What nonsense people talk about happy marriages!" exclaimed Lord Henry. we must look out for a suitable match for him. Mr. Lady Narborough?" asked Dorian. my dear Lady Ruxton." he answered. "Of course. and Mr. "You must come and explain that to me some afternoon. mind you don't stay too long over your politics and scandal. The inherited stupidity of the race--sound English common sense he jovially termed it--was shown to be the proper bulwark for Society. we are sure to squabble upstairs. Lady Ruxton. I am going to limit myself. I am tired." cried Lady Narborough from the door. my dear fellow?" he asked. Lord Henry." "Never mind. But nothing must be done in a hurry. He hoisted the Union Jack on the pinnacles of Thought. "Now. I shall go through Debrett carefully to-night. "Or do you think that would make it a petticoat party?" "I fear so. and draw out a list of all the eligible young ladies. You are really an admirable tonic. "If you do." "Pray don't. Dorian Gray changed his seat." . and he turned round and looked at Dorian." said Lord Henry. and nodding to Lady Ruxton." she said. The word _doctrinaire_--word full of terror to the British mind--reappeared from time to time between his explosions. He guffawed at his adversaries. I want it to be what _The Morning Post_ calls a suitable alliance.bow. More than enough is as good as a feast. "You seemed rather out of sorts at dinner. "Are you better. You must tell me what people you would like to meet. That is all. "You must come and dine with me soon again. Enough is as bad as a meal. much better than what Sir Andrew prescribes for me. with their ages." "I am quite well. laughing. An alliterative prefix served as an ornament of oratory. pushing back her chair." she murmured. Chapman got up solemnly from the foot of the table and came up to the top." "I like men who have a future.

Mr. Harry. Harry. She has had experiences. as if I cared! Let us go up to the drawing-room. Lord Rugby and his wife. the usual set. I always want to forget what I have been doing. if you like. The little Duchess is quite devoted to you. "No. "I did not get home till nearly three. Who else is coming?" "Oh." "Ah! what a nuisance people's people are! Try and make him come." "I don't know if he will be able to come. I have asked Lord Grotrian. and my servant had to let me in." he said at last. If you want any corroborative evidence on the subject you can ask him." "Is Monmouth to be there too?" "Oh. Harry." "She has promised to come on the twentieth... You left before eleven." "Did you go to the club?" "Yes. Her feet are very pretty. I don't mean that. The . She is very clever. Tell me what it is. I came in at half-past two. by being always absolutely over-educated." he answered. I walked about. and what fire does not destroy. I didn't go to the club. Harry! You always want to know what one has been doing. Chapman. Dorian. It is the feet of clay that makes the gold of the image precious. I daresay I shall see you to-morrow at tea-time. but ten years with Monmouth must have been like eternity. but they are not feet of clay. Harry. They have been through the fire. I believe. too clever for a woman. the Willoughbys. She tells me she is going down to Selby. yes. By the way. I shan't go upstairs. He may have to go to Monte Carlo with his father." "I like him. What did you do afterwards? Did you go straight home?" Dorian glanced at him hurriedly. Dorian. He atones for being occasionally somewhat over-dressed. No sherry. Dorian." said Lord Henry. and out of temper.. "An eternity. White porcelain feet." "All right. Then he bit his lip." Lord Henry shrugged his shoulders. I forget what I did." "He bores me dreadfully. if you wish to know the exact time. Make my excuses to Lady Narborough. "No. I had left my latch-key at home. I must go home. almost as much as he bores her. with time thrown in. I am irritable. She lacks the indefinable charm of weakness. she tells me. "My dear fellow. I shall go home. Something has happened to you."You were charming last night." "Don't mind me. it hardens. it is ten years. according to the peerage. You are not yourself to-night. How inquisitive you are. Geoffrey Clouston. He is a very modern type. and frowned. "A great many people don't. I shall come round and see you to-morrow or next day. you ran off very early last night." "How long has she been married?" asked Dorian. but I find him charming. thank you. our hostess.

the sides patterned with curved waves. His eyelids drooped till the long fringed lashes almost touched his cheek. and inlaid with ivory and blue lapis. But he still watched the cabinet. Lord Henry's casual questioning had made him lose his nerves for the moment. He lit a cigarette and then threw it away." he said. It was a small Chinese box of black and gold-dust lacquer. waxy in lustre. dipped in. He put the box back. "It is too far for me. the odour curiously heavy and persistent. A triangular drawer passed slowly out." said Dorian. He watched it as though it were a thing that could fascinate and make afraid. Between two of the windows stood a large Florentine cabinet." and after his fare had got in he turned his horse round. As he drove back to his own house he was conscious that the sense of terror he thought he had strangled had come back to him." he muttered. Then shivering. he drew himself up. Suddenly he started. His eyes grew strangely bright." "I will try to be there. He hailed it. as though it held something that he longed for and yet almost loathed." "All right. with a strangely immobile smile upon his face. It took him three-quarters of an hour to consume everything. having unlocked it. and with a muffler wrapped round his throat. Inside was a green paste. and he gnawed nervously at his under-lip. His fingers moved instinctively towards it. In Bond Street he found a hansom with a good horse. sir. He opened it. shutting the cabinet doors as he did so. and having lit some Algerian pastilles in a pierced copper brazier.Duchess is coming. leaving the room. he bathed his hands and forehead with a cool musk-scented vinegar. A huge fire was blazing. At the end he felt faint and sick." answered the man. touched some hidden spring. Dorian Gray dressed commonly. It was twenty minutes to twelve. he opened the secret press into which he had thrust Basil Hallward's coat and bag. As midnight was striking bronze blows upon the dusky air. Harry. He realised that. He hated the idea of even touching them. and drove rapidly towards the river. "You shall have another if you drive fast. Things that were dangerous had to be destroyed. and in a low voice gave the driver an address. At last he got up from the sofa on which he had been lying. and. crept quietly out of the house. made out of ebony. and when he had locked the door of his library. He piled another log on it. "you will be there in an hour. "Here is a sovereign for you. and went into his bedroom. elaborately wrought. He hesitated for some moments. and glanced at the clock. Yet it had to be done. and he wanted his nerve still. went over to it. A mad craving came over him. and closed on something. though the atmosphere of the room was terribly hot. His breath quickened. and the silken cords hung with round crystals and tasselled in plaited metal threads. CHAPTER XVI . The man shook his head. The smell of the singeing clothes and burning leather was horrible. He winced.

and the streets more narrow and gloomy. where one could buy oblivion. and far away in the darkness some wandering sea-gull screamed. and the streets like the black web of some sprawling spider. and had to drive back half a mile. The hideous hunger for opium began to gnaw at him. From some of the bars came the sound of horrible laughter. Indeed. and he was determined to forget. forgetfulness was possible still. to stamp the thing out. and. As they turned a corner a woman yelled something at them from an open door. From time to time a huge misshapen cloud stretched a long arm across and hid it. drunkards brawled and screamed. The monotony became unbearable. and dim men and women were clustering in broken groups round their doors. and called to the man to drive faster. was sick to death. "To cure the soul by means of the senses. not to be endured. A steam rose from the horse as it splashed up the puddles. Most of the windows were dark. What could atone for that? Ah! for that there was no atonement. and broke into a gallop. but now and then fantastic shadows were silhouetted against some lamp-lit blind. They moved like monstrous marionettes. "To cure the soul by means of the senses. After some time they left the clay road. He had often tried it. as the mist thickened. A dog barked as they went by. The . it seemed to him. A dull rage was in his heart. to crush it as one would crush the adder that had stung one. horrible. and two men ran after the hansom for about a hundred yards. at each step. He thrust up the trap. that was the secret. he felt afraid. He laughed in answer. with his hat pulled over his forehead. Then they passed by lonely brickfields. The way seemed interminable." Yes. and would try it again now. what right had Basil to have spoken to him as he had done? Who had made him a Judge over others? He had said things that were dreadful. and the blurred street-lamps looked ghastly in the dripping mist. He struck at the horse madly with his stick. The horse stumbled in a rut. and the senses by means of the soul. and the senses by means of the soul!" How the words rang in his ears! His soul. Lying back in the hansom. and his delicate hands twitched nervously together. going slower. His throat burned. The gas-lamps grew fewer. The fog was lighter here. There were opium-dens. The driver laughed. Once the man lost his way. then swerved aside. and now and then he repeated to himself the words that Lord Henry had said to him on the first day they had met. dens of horror where the memory of old sins could be destroyed by the madness of sins that were new. and he could see the strange bottle-shaped kilns with their orange fan-like tongues of fire. On and on plodded the hansom.A cold rain began to fall. He watched them curiously. and rattled again over rough-paven streets. certainly. The moon hung low in the sky like a yellow skull. The public-houses were just closing. and made gestures like live things. and whipped up. In others. and the man was silent. but though forgiveness was impossible. He hated them. Was it true that the senses could cure it? Innocent blood had been spilt. Dorian Gray watched with listless eyes the sordid shame of the great city. The side-windows of the hansom were clogged with a grey-flannel mist.

Dorian started. From cell to cell of his brain crept the one thought. with his head buried in his arms. Some Malays were crouching by a little charcoal stove playing with bone counters. In one of the top-windows stood a lamp. "Somewhere about here. most terrible of all man's appetites. He hurried on towards the left. glancing back now and then to see if he was being followed. Over the low roofs and jagged chimney stacks of the houses rose the black masts of ships. as Dorian passed by. and the chain being unhooked. dulled and distorted in the fly-blown mirrors that faced them. At the end of the room there was a little staircase. and peered round. "He thinks he's got red ants on him. that was wedged in between two gaunt factories. became dear to him now for that very reason. After a little time he heard steps in the passage. Greasy reflectors of ribbed tin backed them. Suddenly the man drew up with a jerk at the top of a dark lane. the crude violence of disordered life. He dragged it aside. and. The light shook and splintered in the puddles. and the wild desire to live. A red glare came from an outward-bound steamer that was coaling. The door opened quietly. At the end of the hall hung a tattered green curtain that swayed and shook in the gusty wind which had followed him in from the street." laughed one of them. and given the driver the extra fare he had promised him. The man looked at her in terror and began to whimper. Wreaths of white mist clung like ghostly sails to the yards. In three days he would be free. in their intense actuality of impression. Ugliness that had once been hateful to him because it made things real. The slimy pavement looked like a wet mackintosh. making quivering discs of light. and he went in without saying a word to the squat misshapen figure that flattened itself into the shadow as he passed. till he had found in them the full expression. the . a sailor sprawled over a table. and by the tawdrily-painted bar that ran across one complete side stood two haggard women mocking an old man who was brushing the sleeves of his coat with an expression of disgust. quickened into force each trembling nerve and fibre. They were what he needed for forgetfulness. he walked quickly in the direction of the quay. trampled here and there into mud. Ugliness was the one reality. The floor was covered with ochre-coloured sawdust. than all the gracious shapes of Art. passions that without such justification would still have dominated his temper. having got out hastily. As Dorian hurried up its three rickety steps. "This will do. the very vileness of thief and outcast. He stopped. and stained with dark rings of spilt liquor. and showing their white teeth as they chattered. by intellectual approval. Shrill flaring gas-jets. In one corner." he answered. and entered a long. sir. In about seven or eight minutes he reached a small shabby house. and justified. low room which looked as if it had once been a third-rate dancing-saloon. Certainly with hideous iteration the bitten lips of Dorian Gray shaped and reshaped those subtle words that dealt with soul and sense. of his mood. were more vivid. Here and there a lantern gleamed at the stern of some huge merchantman. and gave a peculiar knock. The coarse brawl. were ranged round the walls. leading to a darkened chamber.driver beat at them with his whip. as it were. the dreamy shadows of Song. the loathsome den. It is said that passion makes one think in a circle. ain't it?" he asked huskily through the trap.

"On the wharf?" "Yes. I must have something. He wanted to be where no one would know who he was. a young man with smooth yellow hair.heavy odour of opium met him. and what dull hells were teaching them the secret of some new joy. They were better off than he was. stamping his foot on the ground." Dorian winced. fascinated him. one doesn't want friends. with a sigh. Don't ever talk to me . "You here. "What do you want? Money? Here it is. He was prisoned in thought. and said something in a low voice to Adrian Singleton." "Much the same. A half-caste. He knew in what strange heavens they were suffering.." murmured the young man." he added. From time to time he seemed to see the eyes of Basil Hallward looking at him." "I don't want anything." "I thought you had left England. I think I have had too many friends. grinned a hideous greeting as he thrust a bottle of brandy and two tumblers in front of them. Dorian turned his back on them." Dorian shrugged his shoulders. The twisted limbs. George doesn't speak to me either. in a ragged turban and a shabby ulster." she sneered. I don't care. "I am sick of women who love one. was eating his soul away." Adrian Singleton rose up wearily. Adrian?" muttered Dorian. writhed across the face of one of the women. listlessly. lighting a long thin pipe. and nodded in a hesitating manner. "We are very proud to-night. The presence of Adrian Singleton troubled him. Come and have something to drink. Women who hate one are much more interesting. the staring lustreless eyes. "I am going on to the other place. like a horrible malady. The women sidled up. He heaved a deep breath. "Where else should I be?" he answered. "None of the chaps will speak to me now." "That mad-cat is sure to be there. and looked round at the grotesque things that lay in such fantastic postures on the ragged mattresses. who was bending over a lamp. "As long as one has this stuff. the gaping mouths. When he entered." "I like it better. the stuff is better. and began to chatter. Memory. after a pause." he said. and his nostrils quivered with pleasure." "Darlington is not going to do anything." cried Dorian. Yet he felt he could not stay. "For God's sake don't talk to me. like a Malay crease. "Never mind. They won't have her in this place now. A crooked smile. My brother paid the bill at last. He wanted to escape from himself. and followed Dorian to the bar. Besides. looked up at him...

The drowsy sailor leapt to his feet as she spoke. concentrated on evil. that had served him often as a short cut to the ill-famed place where he was going. in a hoarse voice. as theologians weary not of reminding us. when the passion for sin. or for what the world calls sin. after a pause. Men and women at such moments lose the freedom of their will. ain't it?" she yelled after him. psychologists tell us. They move to their terrible end as automatons move. and soul hungry for rebellion. seems to be instinct with fearful impulses." sighed Adrian Singleton." answered the young man. as every cell of the brain.again. Choice is taken from them. indeed. and he wondered if the ruin of that young life was really to be laid at his door. "It's no use. what did it matter to him? One's days were too brief to take the burden of another's errors on one's shoulders. For all sins. One had to pay over and over again." "Good-night. and paid his own price for living it. Dorian walked to the door with a look of pain in his face. "I don't care to go back. but as he darted aside into a dim archway. His meeting with Adrian Singleton had strangely moved him." Two red sparks flashed for a moment in the woman's sodden eyes. "Perhaps. As he drew the curtain aside a hideous laugh broke from the painted lips of the woman who had taken his money. "Prince Charming is what you like to be called. and looked wildly round. Yet. that morning-star of evil. lives but to give rebellion its fascination. and left them dull and glazed. Her companion watched her enviously. The sound of the shutting of the hall door fell on his ear. The only pity was one had to pay so often for a single fault. after all. "There goes the devil's bargain!" she hiccoughed. Dorian Gray hastened on. Each man lived his own life. He rushed out as if in pursuit. fell from heaven. What does it matter? I am quite happy here." "Good-night. and disobedience its charm. In her dealings with man Destiny never closed her accounts. are sins of disobedience. as Basil Hallward had said to him with such infamy of insult. There are moments. that every fibre of the body. and raked the coins off the counter with greedy fingers." She snapped her fingers. passing up the steps. quickening his step as he went." "You will write to me if you want anything. He bit his lip. or. Dorian Gray hurried along the quay through the drizzling rain. Callous. won't you?" said Dorian. then flickered out. She tossed her head. "Curse you!" he answered. he felt himself . if it lives at all. When that high spirit. with stained mind. "don't call me that. so dominates a nature. and wiping his parched mouth with a handkerchief. and for a few seconds his eyes grew sad. then. and conscience is either killed. it was as a rebel that he fell.

you are going to die. my man. He loosened his hold and reeled back." There was a horrible moment. She killed herself. What have I done to you?" "You wrecked the life of Sibyl Vane." Dorian's arms fell to his side. "Down on your knees!" growled the man. and by a terrible effort wrenched the tightening fingers away. and saw the gleam of a polished barrel pointing straight at his head. looking at him sternly. I had no clue. if older indeed at all. as it seemed. Then he seized Dorian Gray and dragged him from the archway. For years I have sought you. It was obvious that this was not the man who had destroyed her life. Dorian did not know what to say or do. "Eighteen years! Set me under the lamp and look at my face!" James Vane hesitated for a moment. "What do you want?" he gasped. he did not know what to do. He struggled madly for life. "I never heard of her. "I give you one minute to make your peace--no more." he stammered." he said. and the dusky form of a short thick-set man facing him. yet it served to show him the hideous error. That's all. "Let this be a warning to you not to take vengeance into your own hands. "If you stir. no trace. One minute. for as sure as I am James Vane." laughed Dorian Gray." said the man. Make your peace with God. "and I would have murdered you!" Dorian Gray drew a long breath. He seemed little more than a lad of twenty summers. for to-night you are going to die. Paralysed with terror. I go on board to-night for India. "You have been on the brink of committing a terrible crime. into which he had fallen." was the answer. "Keep quiet. I know it. I shoot you. than his sister had been when they had parted so many years ago." he cried. tell me!" "Eighteen years. I swore I would kill you in return. The two people who could have described you were dead. Dim and wavering as was the wind-blown light." "You had better confess your sin. and I must do my job first. with a touch of triumph in his voice." Dorian Gray grew sick with fear." . I knew nothing of you but the pet name she used to call you. hardly older. with a brutal hand round his throat. not understanding what was meant. "Why do you ask me? What do years matter?" "Eighteen years. all the unstained purity of youth. You are mad. "Stop. "How long ago is it since your sister died? Quick. Her death is at your door. and before he had time to defend himself he was thrust back against the wall. for the face of the man he had sought to kill had all the bloom of boyhood. I heard it to-night by chance. "I never knew her.suddenly seized from behind." "You are mad. In a second he heard the click of a revolver. Suddenly a wild hope flashed across his brain." said the man. "My God! my God!" he cried. "and Sibyl Vane was my sister.

but Dorian Gray had disappeared. A chance word I heard in that damned den set me on the wrong track. You fool! You should have killed him. putting her haggard face quite close to his. who with her husband." The woman gave a bitter laugh." he answered." she cried. it's nigh on eighteen years since Prince Charming made me what I am. It's nigh on eighteen years since I met him. "Before God I am telling the truth. and going slowly down the street. "But don't give me away to him." said Dorian. I want a man's life. sir. and rushed to the corner of the street. the woman had vanished also. a jaded-looking man of sixty." "You lie!" cried James Vane. "Why didn't you kill him?" she hissed out." muttered James Vane. with a sickly leer." came in hoarse echo from her flat mouth. CHAPTER XVII A week later Dorian Gray was sitting in the conservatory at Selby Royal talking to the pretty Duchess of Monmouth." "He is not the man I am looking for. "Little more than a boy!" she sneered." He broke from her with an oath. was amongst his guests. He has lots of money. When he looked back. It was tea-time. and put that pistol away. I have not got his blood upon my hands. "I knew you were following him when you rushed out from Daly's. "and I want no man's money. I have though. It was one of the women who had been drinking at the bar." "You had better go home. "Why. The man whose life I want must be nearly forty now. James Vane stood on the pavement in horror. He hasn't changed much since then. After a little while a black shadow that had been creeping along the dripping wall. "You swear this?" "I swear it. He is the worst one that comes here. He felt a hand laid on his arm and looked round with a start. "Before God?" "Strike me dumb if it ain't so. She raised her hand up to heaven. Let me have some money for my night's lodging. and he's as bad as bad. and the mellow light of the huge lace-covered lamp that stood on the table lit up the delicate china and hammered silver of the service at which ." she added. He was trembling from head to foot." she whined. turning on his heel. They say he has sold himself to the devil for a pretty face. Thank God."Forgive me. "I was deceived. "I am afraid of him. man. moved out into the light and came close to him with stealthy footsteps. or you may get into trouble. This one is little more than a boy.

"I won't hear of it. You value beauty far too much. looking up at him with her wonderful eyes. "That is your error." she answered. but we have lost the faculty of giving lovely names to things. with a wave of his hand. strolling over to the table. Harry." he cried.the Duchess was presiding. "From a label there is no escape! I refuse the title. and there were more expected to arrive on the next day. It is a delightful idea. Harry: not of your spear. The house-party consisted of twelve people. Harry." "Then what should we call you. Gladys. believe me. My one quarrel is with words. The man who could call a spade a spade should be compelled to use one. "I am quite satisfied with my own name. "I hope Dorian has told you about my plan for rechristening everything." fell as a warning from pretty lips. I would not alter either name for the world." "I never tilt against Beauty. and her full red lips were smiling at something that Dorian had whispered to her. "What are you two talking about?" said Lord Henry. and putting his cup down. On a peach-coloured divan sat Lady Narborough pretending to listen to the Duke's description of the last Brazilian beetle that he had added to his collection." ." said Dorian. "You disarm me." "I prefer the mistakes of to-day. I never quarrel with actions." he said. Gray should be satisfied with his. for my buttonhole. and I am sure Mr. Yesterday I cut an orchid." "How can you say that? I admit that I think that it is better to be beautiful than to be good. then?" "Yes. Her white hands were moving daintily among the cups. sinking into a chair. It is the only thing he is fit for. It was a marvellous spotted thing." "Royalties may not abdicate. "Of your shield." "My dear Gladys. He told me it was a fine specimen of _Robinsoniana_. catching the wilfulness of her mood." rejoined the Duchess. I was thinking chiefly of flowers." exclaimed the Duchess." laughed Lord Henry. Three young men in elaborate smoking-suits were handing tea-cakes to some of the women." "But I don't want to be rechristened. But on the other hand no one is more ready than I am to acknowledge that it is better to be good than to be ugly. That is the reason I hate vulgar realism in literature. It is a sad truth. "His name is Prince Paradox. They are both perfect. as effective as the seven deadly sins. Names are everything. Lord Henry was lying back in a silk-draped wicker chair looking at them." "I give the truths of to-morrow. Harry?" she asked. Gladys. "I recognise him in a flash. In a thoughtless moment I asked one of the gardeners what it was called. or something dreadful of that kind. "You wish me to defend my throne.

must not underrate them. "What becomes of your simile about the orchid?" "Ugliness is one of the seven deadly virtues." she cried. the Bible." "Still." "You need not be afraid. "It is a malady. Harry?" "I give it to you." She shook her head." "It has development." "I could not use it. as a good Tory." "They are practical. "It represents the survival of the pushing. we have done great things. It is too true. then?" she asked." "Decay fascinates me more. they balance stupidity by wealth. "I live in it." "Would you have me take the verdict of Europe on it?" he inquired." "We have carried their burden. Beer. then?" cried the Duchess." "Love?" "An illusion." "Religion?" "The fashionable substitute for Belief. and the seven deadly virtues have made our England what she is." ." "They are more cunning than practical." "Great things have been thrust on us."Ugliness is one of the seven deadly sins. Gladys. Gladys. "I believe in the race." "Is that yours. You. Our countrymen never recognise a description." "That you may censure it the better. and vice by hypocrisy." "What of Art?" she asked. When they make up their ledger." "You don't like your country. "What do they say of us?" "That Tartuffe has emigrated to England and opened a shop." "Only as far as the Stock Exchange.

with mock sadness. if you ever love at all." "It seems to me that we never do anything else. I assure you. All good hats are made out of nothing. Mr." "And what does she get annoyed with you about. To be popular one must be a mediocrity. but it is nice of you to pretend that you do. just as you men love with your eyes. Duchess?" "For the most trivial things." interrupted Lord Henry. Years ago he was christened Prince Charming. Gray. Difference of object does not alter singleness of passion. Duchess. I assure you we can't bear mediocrities. Gray. Gladys. "I believe he thinks that Monmouth married me on purely scientific principles as the best specimen he could find of a modern butterfly. Gray." "I daren't." said the Duchess. Well." "Never! Scepticism is the beginning of Faith. Usually because I come in at ten minutes to nine and tell her that I must be dressed by half-past eight. love with our ears."You are a sceptic. colouring. We women." "Our host is a delightful topic. "Our host is rather horrid this evening. and repetition converts an appetite into an art. "Oh! my maid does that already. when she is annoyed with me." "Well." "Give me a clue." answered the Duchess. "Ah! then. Why. shaking her head." "Ah! don't remind me of that. she made it out of nothing. You remember the one I wore at Lady Hilstone's garden-party? You don't." cried Dorian Gray." "What are you?" "To define is to limit. you never really love. Mr." "You bewilder me." laughed Dorian." answered the Duchess. Mr." "Like all good reputations. Besides. I hope he won't stick pins into you. It merely intensifies . Gray." "Not with women. each time that one loves is the only time one has ever loved." "Threads snap. she invents hats for me. as someone says." murmured Dorian. "My dear Gladys!" cried Lord Henry. "How can you say that? Romance lives by repetition. Mr. Let us talk of someone else." "How unreasonable of her! You should give her warning. "and women rule the world. "Every effect that one produces gives one an enemy. You would lose your way in the labyrinth.

Gray?" she inquired. "You are flirting disgracefully with him." "Greek meets Greek. "I always agree with Harry." cried Dorian." "And does his philosophy make you happy?" "I have never searched for happiness." The Duchess sighed. Duchess. "You had better take care." "And found it. then?" "I am on the side of the Trojans. I shall have none this evening. Mr." "I am not even singed." "Even when one has been wounded by it. Too often." ." she said." was the _riposte_. and walking down the conservatory. "I shall write it in my diary to-night. Gray?" "Often. except flight. Duchess." "If he were not. Mr." "Pace gives life. after a pause. The Duchess turned and looked at Dorian Gray with a curious expression in her eyes." "You use them for everything. We can have in life but one great experience at best. "and if I don't go and dress. Then he threw his head back and laughed. Who wants happiness? I have searched for pleasure. "What do you say to that.it. and the secret of life is to reproduce that experience as often as possible. They fought for a woman. "You gallop with a loose rein. Harry?" asked the Duchess. "Especially when one has been wounded by it." "There are worse things than capture. starting to his feet." "Even when he is wrong?" "Harry is never wrong." "Let me get you some orchids." she answered. My wings are untouched." answered Lord Henry. He is very fascinating. Dorian hesitated for a moment. there would be no battle. Duchess." "What?" "That a burnt child loves the fire." "They were defeated." said Lord Henry to his cousin. "I am searching for peace.

" "That would be a premature surrender. You had better not come down to dinner. "Let us go and help him. but now and then a thrill of terror ran through him when he remembered that. There was a wild recklessness of gaiety in his manner as he sat at table." She looked at him." "Ah! you must suit your frock to his flowers. "I would rather come down. I must not be alone." "Romanticists! You have all the methods of science." "No." "Romantic Art begins with its climax. I will come down. pressed against the window of . Gray is!" she said." He went to his room and dressed. And with fear in his eyes Lord Henry rushed through the flapping palms to find Dorian Gray lying face downwards on the tiled floor in a death-like swoon." "Who?" He laughed. I could not do that. You must have overtired yourself. "Sphynxes without secrets. I have not yet told him the colour of my frock. "Oh! I remember. After a short time he came to himself. followed by the dull sound of a heavy fall."Courage has passed from men to women." "But not explained you. but hardly had he finished the sentence before from the far end of the conservatory came a stifled groan. Everybody started up. "How long Mr." "Women are not always allowed a choice. struggling to his feet." "You have a rival. "Lady Narborough. Gladys. and looked round with a dazed expression. He was carried at once into the blue drawing-room." "Men have educated us." "You fill me with apprehension." he whispered." "Describe us as a sex. "My dear Dorian. The appeal to Antiquity is fatal to us who are romanticists. smiling." he answered. The Duchess stood motionless in horror. It is a new experience for us." "In the Parthian manner?" "They found safety in the desert. Am I safe here." answered Lord Henry." was her challenge. "She perfectly adores him. "What has happened?" he asked. Harry?" He began to tremble. That was all." he said." "I must keep an opportunity for retreat. "you merely fainted. I will take your place. and laid upon one of the sofas.

at any rate. terrible and swathed in scarlet. The dead leaves that were blown against the leaded panes seemed to him like his own wasted resolutions and wild regrets. and set the hideous shapes of punishment before him. he had convinced himself that he had been the victim of a terror-stricken . When Lord Henry came in at six o'clock. The loves and sorrows that are great are destroyed by their own plenitude. he shook. but there was something terribly logical in the imagination.the conservatory. CHAPTER XVIII The next day he did not leave the house. could not know who he was. There was something in the clear. he found him crying as one whose heart will break. Shallow sorrows and shallow loves live on. Yes: it had been merely fancy. or themselves die. Besides. and. had begun to dominate him. spent most of the time in his own room. rose the image of his sin. But perhaps it had been only his fancy that had called vengeance out of the night. he was safe. sick with a wild terror of dying. Their strong passions must either bruise or bend. From him. Had any footmarks been found on the flower-beds. They either slay the man. to wake him with icy fingers as he lay asleep! As the thought crept through his brain. With subtle and finely-wrought temperaments it is always so. to whisper in his ear as he sat at the feast. if day and night. In the common world of fact the wicked were not punished. Oh! in what a wild hour of madness he had killed his friend! How ghastly the mere memory of the scene! He saw it all again. had any stranger been prowling round the house he would have been seen by the servants or the keepers. snared. pine-scented air of that winter morning that seemed to bring him back his joyousness and his ardour for life. But it was not merely the physical conditions of environment that had caused the change. he saw again the sailor's face peering through the mist-stained glass. His own nature had revolted against the excess of anguish that had sought to maim and mar the perfection of its calm. The mask of youth had saved him. and yet indifferent to life itself. Each hideous detail came back to him with added horror. It was the imagination that set remorse to dog the feet of sin. The consciousness of being hunted. He had sailed away in his ship to founder in some winter sea. Out of the black cave of Time. Sibyl Vane's brother had not come back to kill him. shadows of his crime were to peer at him from silent corners. It was not till the third day that he ventured to go out. like a white handkerchief. Actual life was chaos. he grew pale with terror. and the air seemed to him to have become suddenly colder. nor the good rewarded. Besides. how terrible it was to think that conscience could raise such fearful phantoms. When he closed his eyes. and horror seemed once more to lay its hand upon his heart. And yet if it had been merely an illusion. If the tapestry did but tremble in the wind. the gardeners would have reported it. to mock him from secret places. tracked down. and give them visible form. he had seen the face of James Vane watching him. That was all. Why. Success was given to the strong. It was the imagination that made each crime bear its misshapen brood. the man did not know who he was. and make them move before one! What sort of life would his be. indeed. failure thrust upon the weak.

" Dorian watched them as they plunged into the alder-clump. when we get to new ground. and as the hare bounded into the thicket he fired. "Where. and having told the groom to take the mare home. the cry of a hare in pain. The keen aromatic air. "Don't shoot it. Let it live. Sir Geoffrey put his gun to his shoulder. that were to him. fascinated him. and the low buzz of voices. He was dominated by the carelessness of happiness. and the sharp snaps of the guns that followed. He jumped from the cart. the brown and red lights that glimmered in the wood. A great copper-breasted pheasant came beating through the boughs overhead. "Not very good. Geoffrey?" he asked. like . started a hare. Geoffrey. swinging branches aside. "A man is hurt. and he cried out at once. A thin film of ice bordered the flat reed-grown lake. At the corner of the pine-wood he caught sight of Sir Geoffrey Clouston. sir? Where is he?" he shouted. and filled him with a sense of delightful freedom. and then drove across the park to join the shooting-party. At the same time the firing ceased along the line. "Good heavens! I have hit a beater!" exclaimed Sir Geoffrey. "Here. The wood seemed to him to have become suddenly alive with faces. "What an ass the man was to get in front of the guns! Stop shooting there!" he called out at the top of his voice. Suddenly from a lumpy tussock of old grass. I think most of the birds have gone to the open. The crisp frost lay like salt upon the grass. I dare say it will be better after lunch. made his way towards his guest through the withered bracken and rough undergrowth." "What nonsense. and looked back now on his fears with something of pity and not a little of contempt. "Why on earth don't you keep your men back? Spoiled my shooting for the day. the cry of a man in agony. angrily. There were two cries heard. which is dreadful. the hoarse cries of the beaters ringing out from time to time.imagination. some twenty yards in front of them. After breakfast he walked with the Duchess for an hour in the garden. but there was something in the animal's grace of movement that strangely charmed Dorian Gray. Dorian." Dorian strolled along by his side. "Have you had good sport. and long hinder limbs throwing it forward. There was the trampling of myriad feet. He heard Sir Geoffrey ask if the man was really dead." The head-keeper came running up with a stick in his hand. hurrying towards the thicket. He turned away in horror. dragging a body after them into the sunlight. In a few moments they emerged. in his perturbed state. with black-tipped ears erect. It bolted for a thicket of alders. brushing the lithe. jerking two spent cartridges out of his gun. Dorian!" laughed his companion. and the affirmative answer of the keeper. by the high indifference of joy. the Duchess's brother. which is worse. The sky was an inverted cup of blue metal. It seemed to him that misfortune followed wherever he went." answered Sir Geoffrey. After a few moments.

I have no terror of Death. And Geoffrey is not. I am telling you the truth. and looked round. it can't be helped. "Tell her Grace that I am coming in. Destiny does not send us heralds. But there is no use talking about the matter. "I had better tell them that the shooting is stopped for to-day. "It is a bad omen. I feel as if something horrible were going to happen to some of us. Dorian." "I wish it were stopped for ever. watching me. How absurdly nervous you are. unless these fellows keep chattering about this thing at dinner. which he handed to his master. That is the one sin for which there is no forgiveness. But we are not likely to suffer from it. and said." "There is no one with whom I would not change places. I suppose he wants to ask you what flowers you wish to have on the table to-night. The wretched peasant who has just died is better off than I am." he murmured. "He got the whole charge of shot in his chest. Besides. I suppose." "What is?" asked Lord Henry. It is rather awkward for Geoffrey. "It is a bad omen. The man turned round. when we get back to town." said Lord Henry. let us go home. Come. Then Dorian looked at Lord Henry. Dorian? You have everything in the world that a man can want." he said. Don't laugh like that. "The only horrible thing in the world is _ennui_. The elder man laughed. coldly. perhaps. "Dorian." Dorian shook his head. waiting for me?" Lord Henry looked in the direction in which the trembling gloved hand was pointing. "Oh! this accident. It does not do to pepper beaters. of course. and went rapidly in the . Harry. Its monstrous wings seem to wheel in the leaden air around me." he answered. The man touched his hat. he shoots very straight. glanced for a moment at Lord Henry in a hesitating manner. It makes people think that one is a wild shot. "I am afraid so. and then produced a letter. with a heavy sigh. with a gesture of pain. "Yes." They walked side by side in the direction of the avenue for nearly fifty yards without speaking. It is the coming of Death that terrifies me. He started. my dear fellow! You must come and see my doctor.endless hours of pain. I must tell them that the subject is to be tabooed. He must have died almost instantaneously. To myself. passing his hand over his eyes. Harry. There is no one who would not be delighted to change places with you. She is too wise or too cruel for that. smiling. "I see the gardener waiting for you." he added. a very bad omen." Dorian heaved a sigh of relief as he saw the gardener approaching. he felt a hand laid on his shoulder. Is the man.?" He could not finish the sentence.. bitterly." he said." rejoined Lord Henry. It was the man's own fault. Good heavens! don't you see a man moving behind the trees there. "The whole thing is hideous and cruel. Harry. As for omens.. what on earth could happen to you. "Her Grace told me to wait for an answer. Dorian put the letter into his pocket. It would not look well to go on. Harry. it's nothing to us. there is no such thing as an omen. My dear fellow. Why did he get in front of the guns? Besides.

"You would sacrifice anybody. "It has no psychological value at all. I think I shall send a wire to Harvey to have the yacht got ready. lighting a cigarette. Gray? Harry. But I am sorry they told you about the man. "But I seem to have lost the passion. A woman will flirt with anybody in the world as long as other people are looking on. Dorian? You are in some trouble. Gray is ill again. I am too much concentrated on myself." said Lord Henry." "You are talking scandal." "I have heard all about it. Harry! In the present instance you are quite astray. He is going to faint. I like the Duchess very much. Mr. Harry!" cried the Duchess. . It looked the loveliest of little live things. Mr. Duchess." "It is an annoying subject. How curious!" "Yes. Mr." she answered. looking like Artemis in a tailor-made gown. and forgotten the desire." broke in Lord Henry. but I don't love her. It was silly of me to come down here at all. "How fond women are of doing dangerous things!" laughed Lord Henry." he answered." Dorian drew himself up with an effort. Now if Geoffrey had done the thing on purpose. "Isn't it. sadly. You see we have come back. "I wish I could love." "How fond you are of saying dangerous things. to forget." "The world goes to the altar of its own accord. Why not tell me what it is? You know I would help you. Harry. Some whim. It is a hideous subject. On a yacht one is safe." "How horrid of you. with a deep note of pathos in his voice." was the answer." "What nonsense!" "I hope it is. for the sake of an epigram. but I can't help feeling it. I suppose. and there is never any basis for scandal." cried Dorian Gray. I have a horrible presentiment that something of the kind may happen to me. Harry. it was very curious. My own personality has become a burden to me. This unfortunate accident has upset me. Harry. "It is one of the qualities in them that I admire most. "It is nothing." "The basis of every scandal is an immoral certainty. Gray. to go away. "Poor Geoffrey is terribly upset. I don't know what made me say it. I want to escape. so you are excellently matched.direction of the house." "I can't tell you. and smiled. how interesting he would be! I should like to know someone who had committed a real murder. "And I dare say it is only a fancy of mine. but she likes you less." "Safe from what. And it seems that you asked him not to shoot the hare. Ah! here is the Duchess." "And the Duchess loves you very much.

" "All ways end at the same point. Her teeth showed like white seeds in a scarlet fruit. Dorian Gray was lying on a sofa." "Old age is dull of hearing. She laughed again. "It came to you crowned. I am afraid I walked too far this morning. I think I must go and lie down. That is all." "It was my _début_ in life. A mist makes things wonderful. The dreadful death of the unlucky . "The button from your foil." "Only in public. "Are you very much in love with him?" he asked." "What is that?" "Disillusion. with terror in every tingling fibre of his body. Upstairs.Duchess. won't you?" They had reached the great flight of steps that led from the conservatory on to the terrace. "I wish I knew. "I have still the mask." she said at last." He glanced about as if in search of something." "They become you. "I will not part with a petal. Was it very bad? You must tell me some other time. "my nerves are dreadfully out of order." "You would miss them. in his own room. I didn't hear what Harry said. but stood gazing at the landscape." he answered." "Has he never been jealous?" "I wish he had been. He shook his head." "It makes your eyes lovelier. "Knowledge would be fatal." was his reply." "One may lose one's way. As the glass door closed behind Dorian. my dear Gladys." she sighed." "Monmouth has ears. "What are you looking for?" she inquired." She laughed. She did not answer for some time. Lord Henry turned and looked at the Duchess with his slumberous eyes." "I am tired of strawberry leaves. "You have dropped it." said Lord Henry. It is the uncertainty that charms one." he murmured. You will excuse me. Life had suddenly become too hideous a burden for him to bear.

The grass of the forest had been spotted with blood. had seemed to him to prefigure death for himself also. a knock came to the door. sir." he muttered. Death walked there in the sunlight. sir. A sort of sailor." "We don't know who he is. "Anything that would tell his name?" "Some money. He looks as if he had been a sort of sailor. Never saw him before. and spread it out before him. There was no name of any kind. sir. They say a corpse brings bad luck. sir. The folk don't like to have that sort of thing in their houses. "Was the poor fellow married? Had he any people dependent on him?" asked Dorian." Dorian started to his feet. That is what I took the liberty of coming to you about. and his valet informed him that the head-keeper wished to see him." . and a six-shooter. shot in the thicket like a wild animal. He had nearly swooned at what Lord Henry had said in a chance mood of cynical jesting. telling him that he was going up to town to consult his doctor. "Where is the body?" he exclaimed. "Yes. but rough-like. As soon as the man entered Dorian pulled his chequebook out of a drawer. and asking him to entertain his guests in his absence. and will send them any sum of money you may think necessary. we think. after some moments' hesitation. taking up a pen. "Did you say a sailor?" "Yes. sir--not much." answered the gamekeeper. Thornton?" he said." "It is in an empty stable in the Home Farm. He clutched at it madly. Seems like a sailor. leaning forward and looking at the man with startled eyes. "What do you mean? Wasn't he one of your men?" "No. Then he wrote a note to Lord Henry. At five o'clock he rang his bell for his servant and gave him orders to pack his things for the night-express to town. and to have the brougham at the door by eight-thirty. As he was putting it into the envelope.beater. "Quick! I must see it at once. He frowned. I should not like them to be left in want. sir. sir. A decent-looking man. He was determined not to sleep another night at Selby Royal. It was an ill-omened place. and he felt as if his heart had suddenly stopped beating. tattooed on both arms. "Send him in." "Don't know who he is?" said Dorian. A terrible hope fluttered past him. "If so. and bit his lip. listlessly. "A sailor?" he cried out. looking bored. "I suppose you have come about the unfortunate accident of this morning. and that kind of thing." "Was there anything found on him?" said Dorian." The pen dropped from Dorian Gray's hand. sir.

Once the mare swerved at a white gate-post and nearly threw him. I was staying at a little inn by myself. A spotted handkerchief had been placed over the face. I wish to see it. and entered." In less than a quarter of an hour Dorian Gray was galloping down the long avenue as hard as he could go. The stones flew from her hoofs. Never mind. sputtered beside it. He leapt from the saddle and threw the reins to one of them. stuck in a bottle. Harry. At last he reached the Home Farm. A cry of joy broke from his lips. I have done too many dreadful things in my life." "My dear boy. I am not going to do any more. No." "Where were you yesterday?" "In the country." cried Lord Henry. don't change. "Take that thing off the face. Something seemed to tell him that the body was there." he said. Then he thrust the door open."The Home Farm! Go there at once and meet me. clutching at the doorpost for support. Tell one of the grooms to bring my horse round. for he knew he was safe. As he rode home. he stepped forward. He stood there for some minutes looking at the dead body. "anybody can be good in the country. On a heap of sacking in the far corner was lying the dead body of a man dressed in a coarse shirt and a pair of blue trousers. Two men were loitering in the yard. CHAPTER XIX "There is no use your telling me that you are going to be good. I began my good actions yesterday. dipping his white fingers into a red copper bowl filled with rose-water." said Lord Henry. and put his hand upon the latch. "No." Dorian Gray shook his head. Pray. He lashed her across the neck with his crop. He felt that his could not be the hand to take the handkerchief away. and he hurried to the door. The trees seemed to sweep past him in spectral procession. Harry. There are no temptations there. and called out to one of the farm-servants to come to him. There he paused for a moment. "You're quite perfect. smiling. It will save time. and wild shadows to fling themselves across his path. The man who had been shot in the thicket was James Vane. Dorian Gray shuddered. When the farm-servant had done so. his eyes were full of tears. A coarse candle. In the farthest stable a light was glimmering. feeling that he was on the brink of a discovery that would either make or mar his life. I'll go to the stables myself. That is the reason why people . She cleft the dusky air like an arrow.

"I can tell you. Well. the first little bit of self-sacrifice I have ever known." "And weep over a faithless Florizel. One is by being cultured. the fact of having met you. Hetty's heart is not broken. All during this wonderful May that we have been having. and broke her heart. laughing. and she was laughing. in her garden of mint and marigold. Harry! You mock at everything. is really a sort of sin. Poor Hetty! As I rode past the farm this morning. and all that. "I have known something of both. You gave her good advice. I am sorry I told you now. I spared somebody. but you understand what I mean. I saw her white face at the window. We were to have gone away together this morning at dawn. "My dear Dorian." "I should think the novelty of the emotion must have given you a thrill of real pleasure. Do you think this girl will ever be really contented now with anyone of her own rank? I suppose she will be married some day to a rough carter or a grinning ploughman. and through a perforated shell-shaped spoon snowed white sugar upon them. the other by being corrupt. I am going to be better. I think it was that which first attracted me to her. like Ophelia?" "I can't bear this. But there is no disgrace upon her. will teach her to despise her husband. I used to run down and see her two or three times a week. Harry. "But I can finish your idyll for you. so they stagnate. Yesterday she met me in a little orchard. Or did you say you had done more than one?" asked his companion. She was simply a girl in a village.who live out of town are so absolutely uncivilised. and wonderfully like Sibyl Vane. Dorian. Country people have no opportunity of being either. and don't try to persuade me that the first good action I have done for years." "You have not yet told me what your good action was. Even as a beginning. She was quite beautiful. like a spray of jasmine. and then suggest the most serious tragedies. Harry. For I have a new ideal. I am quite sure that I loved her." . There are only two ways by which man can reach it. like Perdita. I know I was right in acting as I did. I am going to alter. Suddenly I determined to leave her as flower-like as I had found her. She can live. You remember Sibyl. Besides. don't you? How long ago that seems! Well. Don't let us talk about it any more. of course." said Lord Henry. as he spilt into his plate a little crimson pyramid of seeded strawberries. But I really loved her. you have the most curiously boyish moods. I cannot say that I think much of your great renunciation. Hetty was not one of our own class. What is going on in town? I have not been to the club for days. and she will be wretched. It is not a story I could tell to anyone else. It sounds vain." "Harry. It seems terrible to me now that they should ever be found together. Civilisation is not by any means an easy thing to attain to. and loved you. I want to be better. you are horrible! You mustn't say these dreadful things." interrupted Lord Henry. with lovely water-lilies round her. I don't care what you say to me. I think I have altered. it is poor. That was the beginning of your reformation. Tell me something about yourself." "Culture and corruption. The apple-blossoms kept tumbling down on her hair." echoed Dorian. Of course she cried. From a moral point of view. as he leant back in his chair. how do you know that Hetty isn't floating at the present moment in some star-lit mill-pond.

If he is dead." said Dorian. The house is rather lonely without her. and always wore a Waterbury watch." Dorian said nothing. Let us have our coffee in the music-room. "Harry. "Because. He only interested me once. He had no curiosity. Scotland Yard still insists that the man in the grey ulster who left for Paris by the midnight train on the ninth of November was poor Basil. Basil was really rather dull." "What do you think has happened to Basil?" asked Dorian. You must play Chopin to me. did it ever occur to you that Basil was murdered?" Lord Henry yawned. and Alan Campbell's suicide. however. Poor Victoria! I was very fond of her. If Basil chooses to hide himself. but Basil was not the sort of man to have gone to them. I hate it. After the coffee had been brought in. The man with whom my wife ran away played Chopin exquisitely."The people are still discussing poor Basil's disappearance. I don't want to think about him. It does not seem to me to be at all probable." "I should have thought they had got tired of that by this time. It is an odd thing. They have been very fortunate lately. said." said Dorian. Of course he had a wonderful genius for painting. They have had my own divorce-case. a bad habit. Perhaps one regrets them the most. Dorian. he stopped. "I have not the slightest idea. it is no business of mine. I suppose in about a fortnight we shall be told that he has been seen in San Francisco. and frowning slightly. some of the papers do. Now they have got the mysterious disappearance of an artist. and wondering how it was that he could discuss the matter so calmly. they have only been talking about it for six weeks. years ago." "Why?" said the younger man. sat down to the piano and let his fingers stray across the white and black ivory of the keys. but everyone who disappears is said to be seen at San Francisco. and that was when he told me. Death and vulgarity are the only two facts in the nineteenth century that one cannot explain away. passing into the next room. I know there are dreadful places in Paris. but rose from the table and. with a note of sadness in his voice. passing beneath his nostrils the gilt trellis of an open vinaigrette box. and possess all the attractions of the next world." said Lord Henry. and that you were the dominant motive of his art. They are such an essential part of one's personality. holding up his Burgundy against the light. wearily. It must be a delightful city. Death is the only thing that ever terrifies me. pouring himself out some wine." "I was very fond of Basil. But then one regrets the loss even of one's worst habits. "But don't people say that he was murdered?" "Oh. "one can survive everything nowadays except that. and. Of course married life is merely a habit. It was his . and the British public are really not equal to the mental strain of having more than one topic every three months. "Basil was very popular. and the French police declare that Basil never arrived in Paris at all. But a man can paint like Velasquez and yet be as dull as possible. looking over at Lord Henry. Why should he have been murdered? He was not clever enough to have enemies. that he had a wild adoration for you. "My dear boy.

Did you advertise for it? You should. then. When you and he ceased to be great friends." Dorian heaved a sigh. simply a method of procuring extraordinary sensations. and Lord Henry strolled across the room and began to stroke the head of a curious Java parrot. to commit a murder. just as all vulgarity is crime. One should never do any thing that one cannot talk about after dinner. my dear fellow. It belonged to Basil's best period. I dare say he fell into the Seine off an omnibus. and that the conductor hushed up the scandal. You never got it back? What a pity! It was really a masterpiece. He watched him intently after he had spoken. Since then. laughing. I should fancy. his work was that curious mixture of bad painting and good intentions that always entitles a man to be called a representative British artist." said Dorian. and long weeds catching in his hair. It's a habit bores have. What was it separated you? I suppose he bored you. however. "his painting had quite gone off. "I suppose I did. "I would say. that was balancing itself upon a bamboo perch." "A method of procuring sensations? Do you think. Crime belongs exclusively to the lower orders. All crime is vulgar. that you were posing for a character that doesn't suit you. It is not in you. Harry." cried Lord Henry. I don't think he would have done much more good work." "I forget. But let us pass from poor Basil. I don't blame them in the smallest degree. I see him lying now on his back under those dull-green waters with the heavy barges floating over him. "Yes. Dorian.' . I am sorry if I hurt your vanity by saying so. he ceased to be a great artist. and began to sway backwards and forwards. turning round. I am sorry I sat for it. A face without a heart. Oh! I remember your telling me years ago that you had sent it down to Selby. that murder is always a mistake.' I think--how do they run?-"'Like the painting of a sorrow. and taking his handkerchief out of his pocket. Why do you talk of it? It used to remind me of those curious lines in some play--'Hamlet. with pink crest and tail. it dropped the white scurf of crinkled lids over black glass-like eyes. It had lost an ideal. "That is one of the most important secrets of life. If so. that a man who has once committed a murder could possibly do the same crime again? Don't tell me that.chief defect. a large grey-plumaged bird." "What would you say. but I can't. if I told you that I had murdered Basil?" said the younger man. I wish I could believe that he had come to such a really romantic end as you suggest." he continued. I wish I had now. Yes: I should fancy that was his end. what has become of that wonderful portrait he did of you? I don't think I have ever seen it since he finished it. Do you know. I remember I wanted to buy it. I should fancy that crime was to them what art is to us. he never forgave you. but I assure you it is true." "Oh! anything becomes a pleasure if one does it too often. The memory of the thing is hateful to me. During the last ten years his painting had gone off very much. But I never really liked it. It seemed to me to have lost something. By the way. and that it had got mislaid or stolen on the way. As his pointed fingers touched it.

however. A wet Sunday. quite a suggestion. but that man had not. I always contradict the aged. Life has revealed to them her latest wonder. "'what does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose'--how does the quotation run?--'his own soul'?" The music jarred and Dorian Gray started. and the lesson of Romance. The soul is a terrible reality. Dorian. and knew absolutely nothing. very shy. as you play. tell me. "By the way." "Don't. "Why do you ask me that. I am only ten years older than you are. I was going through the Park last Sunday. how you have kept your youth. a ring of sickly white faces under a broken roof of dripping umbrellas. The only people to whose opinions I listen now with any respect are people much younger than myself. elevating his eyebrows in surprise. Dorian Gray shook his head. and struck some soft chords on the piano. an uncouth Christian in a mackintosh. Dorian?" "Quite sure. Play me something. Harry?" "My dear fellow. How lovely that thing you are . That is all. It's absurd to talk of the ignorance of youth. except take exercise. I do it on principle. How grave you are! Don't be so serious. sinking into an arm-chair. They seem in front of me.'" he repeated. As for the aged. of course. You remind me of the day I saw you first. and absolutely extraordinary. You have changed. they solemnly give you the opinions current in 1820. To get back my youth I would do anything in the world. and I am wrinkled. Youth! There is nothing like it. when people wore high stocks. get up early. I thought of telling the prophet that Art had a soul. It can be poisoned. "'a face without a heart. You were rather cheeky. It can be bought. I heard the man yelling out that question to his audience. and close by the Marble Arch there stood a little crowd of shabby-looking people listening to some vulgar street-preacher. or made perfect. I know it." he said. You are really wonderful. Dorian." "Do you feel quite sure of that. and worn.'" The elder man lay back and looked at him with half-closed eyes. and sold. I am afraid. his brain is his heart. and bartered away. London is very rich in curious effects of that kind. and stared at his friend." said Lord Henry. after a pause. and yellow. "I asked you because I thought you might be able to give me an answer. The things one feels absolutely certain about are never true. It struck me as being rather dramatic. and a wonderful phrase flung into the air by shrill." he answered." "Ah! then it must be an illusion. hysterical lips--it was really very good in its way. but not in appearance. I wish you would tell me your secret. and. in a low voice." Lord Henry laughed. "If a man treats life artistically. Dorian. or be respectable. You must have some secret. Play me a nocturne. As I passed by. There is a soul in each one of us. "'Like the painting of a sorrow. believed in everything. he would not have understood me. Harry. That is the fatality of Faith. What have you or I to do with the superstitions of our age? No: we have given up our belief in the soul.Yes: that is what it was like. You have never looked more charming than you do to-night. If you ask them their opinion on something that happened yesterday.

I have sorrows. and fibres. and what it is afraid it has found. You have set yourself to music. and rather reminds me of you. with the sea weeping round the villa. I wish I could change places with you. At present you are a perfect type. how happy you are! What an exquisite life you have had! You have drunk deeply of everything. It always will worship you. or painted a picture. Don't spoil it by renunciations. "but I am not going to have the same life. I want music to-night. There was something in your touch that was wonderful." "I am not the same. It is nearly eleven. and slowly built-up cells in which thought hides itself and passion has its dreams. It has been a charming evening. Dorian. and that I am Marsyas listening to you. You don't know everything about me. Harry. I wonder what the rest of your life will be. but it has always worshipped you. But a chance tone of colour in a room or a morning sky. "Yes. You are the type of what the age is searching for. life has been exquisite. Dorian. Dorian. Don't laugh. Besides. You laugh. He has already copied your neckties. but our own senses will imagine them for us. You may fancy yourself safe. and think yourself strong. Harry. and if you play she will come closer to the earth. Life is not governed by will or intention." "Do stay. a line from a forgotten poem that you had come across again. Don't make yourself incomplete. never carved a statue. Browning writes about that somewhere. and the salt spray dashing against the panes? It is marvellously romantic. and we must end it charmingly. Your days are your sonnets. There is some one at White's who wants immensely to know you--young Lord Poole. You need not shake your head: you know you are. Life is a question of nerves. The world has cried out against us both. that even you know nothing of. a cadence from a piece of music that you had ceased to play--I tell you." he murmured. You have never played so well as to-night. and has begged me to introduce him to you. And you must not say these extravagant things to me." "Why have you stopped playing." "Yes: you are the same. Dorian. "But I am tired to-night. You are still the same. Bournemouth's eldest son. Nothing has been hidden from you. and passed his hand through his hair. and I want to go to bed early. She is waiting for you to charm her. I am so glad that you have never done anything. Harry. and I have to live the strangest month of my life over again. I think that if you did. that it is on things like these that our lives depend. There are moments when the odour of _lilas blanc_ passes suddenly across me. It seems to me that you are the young Apollo. but that one is young. It has not marred you. You have crushed the grapes against your palate. Dorian. of my own.playing is! I wonder did Chopin write it at Majorca. Look at that great honey-coloured moon that hangs in the dusky air. I am amazed sometimes at my own sincerity. You won't? Let us go to the club. I shan't go to the club. even you would turn from me. a particular perfume that you had once loved and that brings subtle memories with it. or produced anything outside of yourself! Life has been your art. He is quite delightful. Dorian? Go back and give me the nocturne over again. with a sad look in his eyes." said Dorian. don't deceive yourself. Ah. It had more expression than I had ever ." Dorian rose up from the piano. You are quite flawless now. The tragedy of old age is not that one is old. What a blessing it is that there is one art left to us that is not imitative! Don't stop." "I hope not. And it has all been to you no more than the sound of music. then.

and she had believed him. be here at eleven. I shall be here at eleven. He had often told the girl whom he had lured to love him that he was poor. but she had everything that he had lost. As for being poisoned by a book." He remembered how pleased he used to be when he was pointed out. in any case. Besides. As he strolled home.heard from it before. What a laugh she had!--just like a thrush singing. She is a charming woman. I don't think there have been such lilacs since the year I met you. smiling. two young men in evening dress passed him. And how pretty she had been in her cotton dresses and her large hats! She knew nothing." said Dorian. The Park is quite lovely now. You and I are what we are. You will soon be going about like the converted." he answered. and did not even put his silk scarf round his throat. When he reached home. there is no such thing as that. I should not forgive that. He heard one of them whisper to the other. You are much too delightful to do that. Her clever tongue gets on one's nerves. and began ." "You cannot change to me. Harry?" "Certainly. He was tired of hearing his own name now. "I am a little changed already. He had told her once that he was wicked. promise me that you will never lend that book to any one. We might go together. "You and I will always be friends." "My dear boy. I am going to ride at eleven. CHAPTER XX It was a lovely night. It is superbly sterile. Harry. Or shall we lunch with our little Duchess? She says she never sees you now. Harry. Perhaps you are tired of Gladys? I thought you would be. The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame. he found his servant waiting up for him. so warm that he threw his coat over his arm. and threw himself down on the sofa in the library." As he reached the door he hesitated for a moment. you are really beginning to moralise." "Must I really come. "Good-night. Half the charm of the little village where he had been so often lately was that no one knew who he was." "It is because I am going to be good. That is all. and answered that wicked people were always very old and very ugly. or stared at. or talked about. as if he had something more to say. He sent him to bed. "That is Dorian Gray. and the revivalist." "Very well. and wants to consult you about some tapestries she is thinking of buying. But we won't discuss literature." said Lord Henry. Well. and will be what we will be. warning people against all the sins of which you have grown tired. Then he sighed and went out. smoking his cigarette. It annihilates the desire to act. It does harm." "Yet you poisoned me with a book once. and I will take you to lunch afterwards with Lady Branksome. Art has no influence upon action. it is no use. Come round to-morrow. Mind you come. and she had laughed at him. Dorian.

ending with these idolatrous words: "The world is changed because you are made of ivory and gold. of the lives that had crossed his own. and with wild. crushed it into silver splinters beneath his heel.to think over some of the things that Lord Henry had said to him. What was youth at best? A green. His beauty had been to him but a mask. . when he had first noted the change in the fatal picture. The murder had been simply the madness of a moment. He could not forgive him that. tear-dimmed eyes looked into its polished shield. Nothing could alter that. it had been the fairest and the most full of promise that he had brought to shame. and had experienced a terrible joy in being so. It was better not to think of the past. The curiously carved mirror that Lord Henry had given to him. There was purification in punishment. he began to wonder if the portrait in the locked room had changed. It was the portrait that had done everything. swift penalty along with it. and he keep the unsullied splendour of eternal youth! All his failure had been due to that. Surely he had begun it already. Nor. he would be able to expel every sign of evil passion from the face. his suicide had been his own act. so many years ago now. Basil had painted the portrait that had marred his life. Surely it was not still so horrible as it had been? Perhaps if his life became pure. and the white-limbed Cupids laughed round it as of old. and he repeated them over and over to himself. was standing on the table. He would be good. his youth but a mockery. Not "Forgive us our sins. He knew that he had tarnished himself. As he thought of Hetty Merton. It was nothing to him. He would go and look. over Basil Hallward's disappearance would soon pass away. such as it was. as he had done on that night of horror. Once. but had not revealed the secret that he had been forced to know. and. some one who had terribly loved him had written to him a mad letter. He had spared one innocent thing. It was of himself. and given horror to his fancy. was it the death of Basil Hallward that weighed most upon his mind. The excitement. Why had he worn its livery? Youth had spoiled him. as Lord Henry had once called it. an unripe time." but "Smite us for our iniquities" should be the prayer of a man to a most just God. It was his beauty that had ruined him." The phrases came back to his memory. and that he had yet borne with patience. James Vane was hidden in a nameless grave in Selby churchyard. He would never again tempt innocence. The curves of your lips rewrite history. and that. indeed. But was it all irretrievable? Was there no hope for him? Ah! in what a monstrous moment of pride and passion he had prayed that the portrait should bear the burden of his days. Better for him that each sin of his life had brought its sure. A new life! That was what he wanted. and of his own future. Was it really true that one could never change? He felt a wild longing for the unstained purity of his boyhood--his rose-white boyhood. It was already waning. his beauty and the youth that he had prayed for. Then he loathed his own beauty. that he had to think. flinging the mirror on the floor. He took it up. at any rate. Perhaps the signs of evil had already gone away. But for those two things. that he had been an evil influence to others. He had chosen to do it. That was what he was waiting for. As for Alan Campbell. Basil had said things to him that were unbearable. He was perfectly safe there. It was the living death of his own soul that troubled him. a time of shallow moods and sickly thoughts. Alan Campbell had shot himself one night in his laboratory. his life might have been free from stain. filled his mind with corruption.

he would be good. this mirror of his soul that he was looking at. As it had killed the painter. and stabbed the picture with it. Nothing that he could do would cleanse him till he had told his own sin. and dragged the purple hanging from the portrait. It would kill the past. if possible. and more like blood newly spilt. He seized the thing. and when that was dead he would be free. There was a God who called upon men to tell their sins to earth as well as to heaven. with his mocking laugh? Or that passion to act a part that sometimes makes us do things finer than we are ourselves? Or. When he had been away. It had been like conscience to him. Its mere memory had marred many moments of joy.. The thing was still loathsome--more loathsome. even if he did confess. Then he trembled. The world would simply say that he was mad.He took the lamp from the table and crept upstairs. Why had he kept it so long? Once it had given him pleasure to watch it changing and growing old. and a crash. he would be at peace. than before--and the scarlet dew that spotted the hand seemed brighter. There had been nothing more. Vanity? Curiosity? Hypocrisy? Had there been nothing more in his renunciation than that? There had been something more.. Through vanity he had spared her. It was bright. and in the mouth the curved wrinkle of the hypocrite. For curiosity's sake he had tried the denial of self. He had cleaned it many times. Yes. and saw the knife that had stabbed Basil Hallward. It had kept him awake at night. There was blood on the painted feet. and all that that meant.. He himself had burned what had been below-stairs. He felt as if the load had been lifted from him already. He recognised that now. as was his custom. There was a cry heard. It had brought melancholy across his passions. without its hideous warnings. and to make public atonement. as Lord Henry had hinted.. who would believe him? There was no trace of the murdered man anywhere. and glistened. He could see no change. He went in quietly. perhaps.. so it would kill the painter's work. He felt that the idea was monstrous. till there was no stain left upon it. He would destroy it. But this murder--was it to dog him all his life? Was he always to be burdened by his past? Was he really to confess? Never. and. A cry of pain and indignation broke from him. and be put to death? He laughed. In hypocrisy he had worn the mask of goodness. The death of Basil Hallward seemed very little to him. No. But who could tell?. Yes. he had been filled with terror lest other eyes should look upon it. Yet it was his duty to confess. Everything belonging to him had been destroyed. There was only one bit of evidence left against him. The picture itself--that was evidence. as though the thing had dripped--blood even on the hand that had not held the knife. Confess? Did it mean that he was to confess? To give himself up. all these? And why was the red stain larger than it had been? It seemed to have crept like a horrible disease over the wrinkled fingers. It would kill this monstrous soul-life. save that in the eyes there was a look of cunning. Had it been merely vanity that had made him do his one good deed? Or the desire for a new sensation. They would shut him up if he persisted in his story. it had been conscience. He would destroy it. As he unbarred the door a smile of joy flitted across his strangely young-looking face and lingered for a moment about his lips. He was thinking of Hetty Merton. locking the door behind him. to suffer public shame. At least he thought so. Of late he had felt no such pleasure. and the hideous thing that he had hidden away would no longer be a terror to him. For it was an unjust mirror. He looked round. His sin? He shrugged his shoulders. The cry was so horrible in its agony . Besides.

The man rang the bell several times. The windows yielded easily. and faulty spellings and misprints are numerous. When they entered they found. Francis was as pale as death. he went away and stood in an adjoining portico and watched. _Copyrighted in London_. Many of the pirated editions are incomplete in that they omit the Preface and seven additional chapters which were first published in the London edition of 1891. AUTHORISED EDITIONS (I) First published in _Lippincott's Monthly Magazine_. Leaf was crying and wringing her hands. the house was all dark. but there was no answer." answered the policeman. and looked up at the great house. with a knife in his heart. wrinkled. Two gentlemen. Lock & Co. and crept out of their rooms. it has become necessary to indicate which are the only authorised editions of Oscar Wilde's masterpiece. and loathsome of visage. They looked at each other. In other cases certain passages have been mutilated. "Mr. Everything was still. but there was no reply. their bolts were old. They called out. in all the wonder of his exquisite youth and beauty. July.that the frightened servants woke. hanging upon the wall. Except for a light in one of the top windows. After a time. they got on the roof. They walked on till they met a policeman. It was not till they had examined the rings that they recognised who it was. and dropped down on to the balcony. Inside. in the servants' part of the house. who were passing in the Square below. and brought him back. "Whose house is that. constable?" asked the elder of the two gentlemen. sir. after vainly trying to force the door. Finally. stopped. the half-clad domestics were talking in low whispers to each other. THE END * * * BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE PIRATED EDITIONS Owing to the number of unauthorised editions of "THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY" issued at various times both in America and on the Continent of Europe. He was withered. London: Ward. Dorian Gray's. a splendid portrait of their master as they had last seen him. as they walked away and sneered. One of them was Sir Henry Ashton's uncle. 1890. Old Mrs. Lying on the floor was a dead man. . After about a quarter of an hour. he got the coachman and one of the footmen and crept upstairs. in evening dress. They knocked.

Published _simultaneously_ in America. Philadelphia: J.-B. Lippincott Co. _Copyrighted in the United States of America_. (II) A Preface to "Dorian Gray." _Fortnightly Review_, March 1, 1891. London: Chapman & Hall. (_All rights reserved._) (III) With the Preface and Seven additional chapters. London, New York, and Melbourne: Ward, Lock & Co. (n. d.). (Of this edition 250 copies were issued on L.P., _dated_ 1891.) (IV) The same. London, New York, and Melbourne: Ward, Lock & Bowden. (n. d.). (Published 1894 or 1895.) See Stuart Mason's "Art and Morality" (page 153). THE FOLLOWING EDITIONS were issued by Charles Carrington, _Publisher and Literary Agent_, late of 13 Faubourg Montmartre, Paris, and 10 _Rue de la Tribune_, BRUSSELS (Belgium), to whom the Copyright belongs. (V) Small 8vo, vii 334 pages, printed on English antique wove paper, silk-cloth boards. 500 copies, 1901. (VI) The same, vii 327 pages, silk-cloth boards. 500 copies, 1905. Of this edition 100 copies were issued on hand-made paper. (VII) 4to, vi 312 pages, broad margins, claret-coloured paper wrappers, title on label on the outside. 250 copies. Price 10_s_. 6_d_. 1908 (February). (VIII) Cr. 8vo, uniform with Methuen's (London) complete edition of Wilde's _Works_. xi 362 pages, printed on hand-made paper, white cloth, gilt extra. 1000 copies. Price 12_s._ 6_d._ 1908 (April 16). Of this edition 80 further copies were printed on Imperial Japanese vellum, full vellum binding, gilt extra. Price 42_s_. (IX) Illustrated edition. Containing seven fullpaged illustrations by Paul Thirlat, engraved on Wood by Eugène Dété (both of Paris), and artistically printed by Brendon & Son, Ltd. (of Plymouth), 4to, vi 312 pages, half parchment bound, with corners, and _fleur-de-lys_ on side. 1908-9. Price 15_s._ (X) Small edition, uniform with Messrs. Methuen's Issue of "Oscar Wilde's Works" at same price. 12mo, xii and 352 pages. 2000 copies. Bound in green cloth. 1910. Price 5_s._ It follows from all this that, with the exception of the version in _Lippincott's Magazine_ only those editions are authorised to be sold in Great Britain and her Colonies which bear the imprimatur of Ward, Lock & Co., London, or Charles Carrington, Paris and Brussels; and that all other editions, whether American, Continental (_save Carrington's Paris editions above specified_) or otherwise, may not be sold within British

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