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The Picture of

Dorian Gray
By Oscar Wilde (1890)

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Chapter I nary 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.

T he studio was filled with the rich odor of roses, and
when the light summer wind stirred amidst the trees
of the garden there came through the open door the heavy
As he 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
scent of the lilac, or the more delicate perfume of the pink- suddenly started up, and, closing his eyes, placed his fingers
flowering thorn. upon the lids, as though he sought to imprison within his
From the corner of the divan of Persian saddle-bags on brain some curious dream from which he feared he might
which he was lying, smoking, as usual, innumerable ciga- awake.
rettes, Lord Henry Wotton could just catch the gleam of the ‘It is your best work, Basil, the best thing you have ever
honey-sweet and honey-colored blossoms of the laburnum, done,’ said Lord Henry, languidly. ‘You must certainly send
whose tremulous branches seemed hardly able to bear the it next year to the Grosvenor. The Academy is too large and
burden of a beauty so flame-like as theirs; and now and then too vulgar. The Grosvenor is the only place.’
the fantastic shadows of birds in flight flitted across the long ‘I don’t think I will send it anywhere,’ he answered, toss-
tussore-silk curtains that were stretched in front of the huge ing his head back in that odd way that used to make his
window, producing a kind of momentary Japanese effect, friends laugh at him at Oxford. ‘No: I won’t send it any-
and making him think of those pallid jade-faced painters where.’
who, in an art that is necessarily immobile, seek to convey Lord Henry elevated his eyebrows, and looked at him in
the sense of swiftness and motion. The sullen murmur of amazement through the thin blue wreaths of smoke that
the bees shouldering their way through the long unmown curled up in such fanciful whorls from his heavy opium-
grass, or circling with monotonous insistence round the tainted cigarette. ‘Not send it anywhere? My dear fellow,
black-crocketed spires of the early June hollyhocks, seemed why? Have you any reason? What odd chaps you painters
to make the stillness more oppressive, and the dim roar of are! You do anything in the world to gain a reputation. As
London was like the bourdon note of a distant organ. soon as you have one, you seem to want to throw it away. It
In the centre of the room, clamped to an upright easel, is silly of you, for there is only one thing in the world worse
stood the full-length portrait of a young man of extraordi- than being talked about, and that is not being talked about. 

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A portrait like this would set you far above all the young have no flowers to look at, and always here in summer when
men in England, and make the old men quite jealous, if old we want something to chill our intelligence. Don’t flatter
men are ever capable of any emotion.’ yourself, Basil: you are not in the least like him.’
‘I know you will laugh at me,’ he replied, ‘but I really ‘You don’t understand me, Harry. Of course I am not like
can’t exhibit it. I have put too much of myself into it.’ him. I know that perfectly well. Indeed, I should be sorry
Lord Henry stretched his long legs out on the divan and to look like him. You shrug your shoulders? I am telling
shook with laughter. you the truth. There is a fatality about all physical and in-
‘Yes, I knew you would laugh; but it is quite true, all the tellectual distinction, the sort of fatality that seems to dog
same.’ through history the faltering steps of kings. It is better not
‘Too much of yourself in it! Upon my word, Basil, I didn’t to be different from one’s fellows. The ugly and the stupid
know you were so vain; and I really can’t see any resem- have the best of it in this world. They can sit quietly and
blance between you, with your rugged strong face and your gape at the play. If they know nothing of victory, they are
coal-black hair, and this young Adonis, who looks as if he at least spared the knowledge of defeat. They live as we all
was made of ivory and rose-leaves. Why, my dear Basil, he should live, undisturbed, indifferent, and without disquiet.
is a Narcissus, and you—well, of course you have an intel- They neither bring ruin upon others nor ever receive it from
lectual expression, and all that. But beauty, real beauty, ends alien hands. Your rank and wealth, Harry; my brains, such
where an intellectual expression begins. Intellect is in itself as they are,—my fame, whatever it may be worth; Dorian
an exaggeration, and destroys the harmony of any face. The Gray’s good looks,—we will all suffer for what the gods have
moment one sits down to think, one becomes all nose, or given us, suffer terribly.’
all forehead, or something horrid. Look at the successful ‘Dorian Gray? is that his name?’ said Lord Henry, walk-
men in any of the learned professions. How perfectly hid- ing across the studio towards Basil Hallward.
eous they are! Except, of course, in the Church. But then in ‘Yes; that is his name. I didn’t intend to tell it to you.’
the Church they don’t think. A bishop keeps on saying at ‘But why not?’
the age of eighty what he was told to say when he was a boy ‘Oh, I can’t explain. When I like people immensely I nev-
of eighteen, and consequently he always looks absolutely er tell their names to any one. It seems like surrendering a
delightful. Your mysterious young friend, whose name you part of them. You know how I love secrecy. It is the only
have never told me, but whose picture really fascinates me, thing that can make modern life wonderful or mysterious
never thinks. I feel quite sure of that. He is a brainless, beau- to us. The commonest thing is delightful if one only hides it.
tiful thing, who should be always here in winter when we When I leave town I never tell my people where I am going. 

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and the most irritat. looking him straight in the when she does find me out.’ he murmured. ‘I believe that you reveals himself. not of the sitter. Your cynicism is simply a pose.’ know where my wife is. and an expression of per- ‘Being natural is simply a pose. ‘And what is that?’ he asked. but that you are thoroughly that I am afraid that I have shown with it the secret of my ashamed of your own virtues. laying his hand upon ‘You know quite well. and the two ‘I am all expectation. that is childish. laughing. I suppose you think me awfully foolish about ‘What is that?’ asked Basil Hallward. I dare I go I insist on your answering a question I put to you some say. ‘Oh.’ accident.’ answered the After a long pause Lord Henry pulled out his watch.’ dine out together. painter. The sitter is merely the ‘I hate the way you talk about your married life. and you never do a wrong Lord Harry laughed. Now. But ‘Harry. there is really very little to tell. I want the real reason. plexity came over his face. but somehow it seems to bring a great deal of romance time ago. When we meet. thing. ‘not at all. and my wife never knows what I am ‘I must.If I did. I will tell you what it is. much of yourself in it. than I am.’  The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. You never say a moral thing. Harry.’ answered Lord Henry. and strolling to. shaking his hand off. it is rather the painter who.’ cried Lord Henry. own soul. You seem to forget ‘I do not. I want you to explain to me why you won’t ex- doing. on the colored canvas. and I always do.’ other the most absurd stories with the most serious faces. you did not.’ ‘I will tell you. and for a time looking at him. my dear Basil.’ his shoulder. Harry.com  . the occasion. young men went out into the garden together. ‘Not at all. It is a silly habit. I would lose all my pleasure.’ She never gets confused over her dates. ing pose I know.—much better.’ makes a life of deception necessary for both parties.’ said Hallward. ‘every portrait that is painted with feeling is a por- times wish she would.’ murmured his companion.’ trait of the artist. when we hibit Dorian Gray’s picture. she makes no row at all. ‘No. You said it was because there was too My wife is very good at it. face. It is not he who is revealed by the said Basil Hallward. Basil. ‘I young painter. Basil. ‘and I am afraid you will hardly understand am afraid I must be going. and the one charm of marriage is that it ‘Well.’ low. Perhaps you will hardly believe it. in fact. The reason I will not exhibit this picture is are really a very good husband. or go down to the duke’s. they did not speak. Harry.—we do meet occasionally. ‘and before it. You are an extraordinary fel. but she merely laughs at me.’ into one’s life. I never ‘Please don’t. keeping his eyes it?’ fixed on the ground. I some.’ said Basil Hallward. wards the door that led into the garden.— we tell each ‘I told you the real reason.’ that I am married.

devoted to him. she is a peacock in everything but beauty. and that I ought not to speak to him. gers. my very art itself. and. I insisted on going to Oxford. rather bit. pulling the daisy to bits with his long. I felt that I was growing pale. and examined it. When our eyes met. With an evening Basil. My father petalled daisy from the grass. I ward’s heart beating.— and it may have been pride. and people with Stars and Garters. ‘and I can believe any. I turned half-way round. Well. whatever was my stock-broker. A grasshopper began to chirrup in the to you. moved to and met Dorian Gray. and a long thin dragon-fly floated by on its brown of a terrible crisis in my life. as you told me once. leaning down. with their clustering stars.com  . Something seemed to tell me that I was on the verge grass. talking to proud.’ he replied. ties. ‘You are not going to run suddenly became conscious that some one was looking at away so soon. even a ‘I don’t believe that.’ repeated Hallward. ‘Conscience and cowardice are really the same things. it would ‘I could not get rid of her. Two months ago I went to that made me do so: it was cowardice. mind the public that we are not savages. for I used to be very after I had been in the room about ten minutes. I have al- The wind shook some blossoms from the trees. Hallward?’ she screamed out. I grew terly. ‘I am quite destined me for the army. You know we poor painters have myself for trying to escape. It was not conscience means. had at least always been so. how independent I am by nature. and the ways been my own master. She brought me up to Royal- absorb my whole nature. can gain a reputation for being civilized. till I heavy lilac blooms. and he wondered what was coming. if I allowed it to do so. Mr. anybody. plucked a pink. ity was so fascinating that. huge overdressed dowagers and tedious Academicians. sure I shall understand it. my whole soul. Lord Henry smiled. nervous fin- had come face to face with some one whose mere personal. gazing intently at the Then he made me enter my name at the Middle Temple. and thing. provided that it is incredible. However.— ‘incredible to me at times. You know with gigantic tiaras and hooked noses. knew that if I spoke to Dorian I would become absolutely ‘Well.’ announced my intention of becoming a painter. I had a strange feeling that Fate gauze wings. You know me. Lord Henry felt as if he could hear Basil Hall. I knew that I Henry. and saw Dorian Gray for the her shrill horrid voice?’ first time. had in store for me exquisite joys and exquisite sorrows. I take no credit to a crush at Lady Brandon’s. That is all. I don’t know what it afraid. There. I I stumbled against Lady Brandon.’ said Lord A curious instinct of terror came over me. and elderly ladies I did not want any external influence in my life. yourself.—I certainly struggled to the door.’ to show ourselves in society from time to time. She spoke of me as  The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. fore I had eaten half a dozen dinners I gave up the Bar. Then—But I don’t know how to explain it fro in the languid air. ‘Yes. this is incredible. of course. Conscience is the trade-name of the firm. Harry. Harry. just to re. The story is simply this. Be- little golden white-feathered disk. and turned to quit the room. motive.’ coat and a white tie.

you are much more than an acquain- 10 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I believe some picture ‘Oh. I like to find out people for myself. Gladstone—but very much in. sure of that. plucking an- have spoken to each other without any introduction. Perhaps it ‘Laughter is not a bad beginning for a friendship. It was mad of me.’ he murmured. But what did she say about Mr. We were quite close. horribly unjust in the room. Dorian Gray?’ took it into her head to lionize me. I choose know—Afghan frontier—Russian intrigues: very successful my friends for their good looks. and my enemies for their brains. drifting across the hollowed turquoise of the summer sky.’ and consequently they all appreciate me. She either explains them entirely away. Harry.her dearest friend. or egory I must be merely an acquaintance. It was simply inevitable. terested in beetles: ask him what he thinks of Schouvaloff. A man can’t be wants to marry a beautiful American widow—everybody too careful in the choice of his enemies.’ of all her guests.com 11 . Is that very vain of I simply fled. tilting truculent and red-faced old gentleman covered all over with his hat back. dear Mr. sonality had so strangely stirred me. after all. thing—oh. at least had and I quite inseparable—engaged to be married to the same been chattered about in the penny newspapers. ‘Charming boy—poor dear mother of mine had made a great success at the time. You like every one. per which must have been perfectly audible to everybody like ravelled skeins of glossy white silk. Suddenly I me! Quite forget what he does— afraid he—doesn’t do any- found myself face to face with the young man whose per. my acquaintances for their man—wife killed by an elephant—quite inconsolable— characters. We would is the best ending for one. Dorian told me so afterwards. But according to your cat- treats his goods. and it was not so mad. and we be- almost touching. plays the piano—or is it the violin. but she know. Gray?’ We could neither of us help laughing.’ said Lord Henry. and hissing into my ear.’ I asked Lady Brandon to introduce me to him. which is the man—I mean married on the same day—how very silly of nineteenth-century standard of immortality. I make a great difference between people.—‘or what ‘And how did Lady Brandon describe this wonderful enmity is. ‘Yes. Our eyes met again. she murmured. They are all men of some intellectual power. I am other daisy. I remember her bringing me up to a most ‘How horribly unjust of you!’ cried Lord Henry. I have not got one does nowadays—hates Mr. Harry. young man? I know she goes in for giving a rapid précis you are indifferent to every one. and looking up at the little clouds that were orders and ribbons. too. yes. But poor me? I think it is rather vain. for that matter. felt that Hallward buried his face in his hands.’ Lady Brandon treats her guests exactly as an auctioneer ‘I should think it was.’ tells one everything about them except what one wants to ‘My dear old Basil. I had only met her once before. that is to say. in a tragic whis.’ stand what friendship is. something like ‘Sir Humpty Dumpty—you of you. who is a fool. but came friends at once. He. ‘You don’t under- we were destined to know each other.

A sort of brother. and as Adonis with huntsman’s cloak or wrong. tion was quite magnificent. for art. The only thing he considers of any importance is and polished boarspear.— from him. I sometimes think. But testing my relations.— always a rash thing to do. Indeed. as in that case it will not be colored by either his pose?’ wants. stupidity. his desires. I should say. won’t die.com 13 . Art an ass of himself he is poaching on their preserves. draw from him. Of course sometimes it is only for a few minutes. But I can’t help de. and the second is the appearance of a new person- what is more. the value of an idea soms. However. Tell me more about thing else. Now. The first is the appearance of a new medium ‘I don’t agree with a single word that you have said.’ feel that drunkenness. I couldn’t be happy if I didn’t see him every ‘My dear fellow. sociology. doesn’t it?’ poor Southwark got into the Divorce Court. deal. and immorality should be ‘How extraordinary! I thought you would never care for their own special property. turbid Nile. How often do you see him?’ ‘Harry!’ ‘Every day. It cane.’ I quite sympathize with the rage of the English democracy ‘But you don’t really worship him?’ against what they call the vices of the upper classes.’ ality for art also.’ Dorian Gray. Harry. When sounds better. and that if any one of us makes anything but your painting. brothers! I don’t care for brothers. I like persons better than principles. and. idea be. ‘How English you are. I am not quite serious. They ‘I do.—your art.’ insincere the man is. Crowned with heavy lotus-blos- whether one believes it one’s self. Harry.tance. I don’t believe you do either. looking into has nothing whatsoever to do with the sincerity of the man the green. I suppose it comes from the fact that we a few minutes with somebody one worships mean a great can’t stand other people having the same faults as ourselves. He has stood as he never dreams of considering whether the idea is right Paris in dainty armor. He has leaned over the still pool of who expresses it. or his prejudices. or metaphysics with you. the more purely intellectual will the ‘And much less than a friend. the probabilities are that the more some Greek woodland. the face of Antinoüs was to late Greek sculp- the toe of his patent-leather boot with a tasselled malacca ture. And yet I don’t suppose that ten that there are only two eras of any importance in the history per cent of the lower orders live correctly. and seen in the water’s silent silver 12 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I sup. ‘He is all my art to me now. I don’t pro- ‘Oh.’ of the world. model idea to a real Englishman. he has sat on the prow of Adrian’s barge. day. Of course I have done all that. What the invention of oil-painting was to Lord Henry stroked his pointed brown beard. their indigna. and tapped the Venetians. and the face of Dorian Gray will some day be to me. and my younger brothers seem never to do any. Basil! If one puts forward an is not merely that I paint from him. My elder brother pose to discuss politics.

Tell me. though under their microscope. There is too much of myself in the he is really over twenty. He is simply a suggestion. and have invented a realism that is bes. But in some curious certain lines.’ he said. And why is it so? Because. ‘You don’t un- than that.—too much of myself!’ wonder can you realize all that that means? Unconsciously ‘Poets are not so scrupulous as you are. an ‘Then why won’t you exhibit his portrait?’ entirely new mode of style. My heart shall never be put this lad. I see things differently. of a new manner.’ the perfection of the spirit that is Greek. I will show the world what it is. An artist should create beautiful soul and body. He will never know anything about thought.’ ity has suggested to me an entirely new manner in art. We have lost the abstract sense what Dorian Gray is to me! You remember that landscape of beauty. The merely visible presence of to their shallow.’—who is it who says that? I forget.—how much that is! We in our madness have things.’ I have ever done. They know how he defines for me the lines of a fresh school.the wonder of his own beauty. separated the two. and I when no image of him is there. There is nothing that art cannot express. Harry. He was hidden from me before. I can now re-create life in a way that of which. I think ‘Because I have put into it all the extraordinary romance of them differently. a school that useful passion is for publication.—ah! I thing. Harry! Harry! if you only knew be a form of autobiography. Basil.’ Dorian Gray very fond of you?’ Hallward got up from the seat. Dorian Gray sat beside me. ‘He likes me. of course. all will run to many editions. The harmony of ‘I hate them for it. in the loveliness and the subtleties of certain way—I wonder will you understand me?—his personal. ‘Dorian Gray is merely to me a have done of him. Harry.’ 14 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. while I was ‘I think you are wrong. He is never more present in my work than express it.com 15 .’ It is only the intellectually lost who ever argue. or that his beauty is such that art cannot motive in art.—his merely visible presence. is ‘Basil. and for of mine. but I won’t argue with you. We live in an age when men treat art as if it were meant to tial. But the world might guess it. is the best work of my life. That is all. —for he seems to me little more than a lad. ‘A dream of form in days of knows nothing about it. but should put nothing of his own life into them. After some time he came back. and walked up and down Hallward considered for a few moments. but that reason the world shall never see my portrait of Dorian which I would not part with? It is one of the best things Gray. know that the work I have done since I met Dorian Gray is as I have said. prying eyes. I see him in the curves of good work. but it is what it. this is quite wonderful! I must see Dorian Gray. If I live. and I will not bare my soul Dorian Gray has been to me. Nowadays a broken heart is to have in itself all the passion of the romantic spirit. colors. an ideality that is void. painting it. But he is much more to me the garden. for which Agnew offered me such a huge price. I have never dared to speak to him. I won’t tell you that I am dissatisfied with what I derstand.

or something. or sit in ‘Ah. and he will seem to you to be a little out of draw.’ I flatter him dreadfully. How will tire sooner than he will. It will be ‘Where was it?’ asked Hallward. There was a rustle of his vanity. Harry. an ornament for a summer’s day. He have something that endures. Those who are faithful know only the pleasures of love: it however. Now and then. As a rule. It is a sad thing to think of. that I have struck a light on a dainty silver case. all monsters and about the housing of the poor. that is exactly why I can feel it. Of course mance is that it leaves one so unromantic. It was charming to have escaped all that! you will tire first.’ we walk home together from the club arm in arm. I think lodging-houses. In the wild struggle for existence. Lady Ag- 16 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Basil. and everything priced above its proper value. the studio and talk of a thousand things. ideas. ality of Dorian Gray will dominate me. I have just ing. Some day you will look at As he thought of his aunt. and so we fill our minds with thought with pleasure of the tedious luncheon that he had rubbish and facts. and the blue cloudshad- ‘Days in summer.’ chirruping sparrows in the ivy. he is charming to me. The worst of having a ro. to his aunt’s. in the silly hope of keeping our place. Basil. he would have been sure to meet Lord Good- And the mind of the thoroughly well informed man is a body there. Harry?’ think that he has behaved very badly to you. That people’s emotions were!—much more delightful than their accounts for the fact that we all take such pains to over-edu. a bit of decoration to charm he had summed up life in a phrase.’ he calls. as if were a flower to put in his coat. It is like a bric-à-brac shop.—that is the modern ideal.’ And Lord Henry delight in giving me pain. an idea seemed to strike him. a great pity. and feel. and began to smoke given away my whole soul to some one who treats it as if it a cigarette with a self-conscious and self-satisfied air. you will be perfectly cold and indifferent.com 17 .’ will bitterly reproach him in your own heart. turned to Hallward. and the passions of cate ourselves. and seems to take a real is the faithless who know love’s tragedies. One’s own soul. The missed by staying so long with Basil Hallward. we want to one’s friends. Then I feel. my dear Basil. and the whole conversation would have been dreadful thing. or you won’t like his tone of color. As long as I live. the person- things to him that I know I shall be sorry for having said. and seriously ‘Remembered what. are apt to linger. don’t talk like that. You remembered. with a slight frown. You can’t feel what I I give myself away.he answered. it seemed to him. He Gray. I find a strange pleasure in saying ‘Harry. and the necessity for model dust. he is horribly thoughtless. Had he gone thoroughly well informed man. but pleasant it was in the garden! And how delightful other there is no doubt that Genius lasts longer than Beauty. The next time ‘Where I heard the name of Dorian Gray. ‘My dear fellow. Perhaps you ows chased themselves across the grass like swallows. all the same. and said. for it will alter you. It was at my aunt’s.—those were the fascinating things in life. You change too often. ‘I know he likes me. ‘Don’t look so angry. after a pause.

Basil Hallward turned to the servant. Dorian Gray is in the studio. She told me she had discovered a wonderful young ‘What nonsense you talk!’ said Lord Henry. I wish I had known it was your friend. good women have not. told me he was good-looking. he almost led him into name was Dorian Gray. man. At least. The world is wide. smiling. Harry. 18 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook.atha’s. Then he looked at Lord Henry. and tramping about on huge feet. Gray to wait. and that gives to my art whatever wonder or charm it possesses. She said that he was very earnest. Parker: I will be in in a few moments. taking Hallward by the arm. I trust you.com 19 . Don’t take away from me the one person that makes life absolutely lovely to me. Mind. Don’t try to influence him. and went up the walk. ‘You must introduce me now.’ ‘Mr. Your influence would be bad. I at once pictured to myself a creature with spectacles and lank hair.’ he said. and that his and. Women have no appreciation of good looks. and the words seemed wrung out of him almost against his will. and has many marvel- lous people in it.’ said the butler.’ ‘Why?’ ‘I don’t want you to meet him.’ ‘I am very glad you didn’t. ‘He has a simple and a beautiful nature. Don’t spoil him for me. horridly freckled. and had a beautiful nature. Harry. who stood blinking in the sunlight.’ He spoke very slowly.’ The man bowed. Your aunt was quite right in what she said of him.’ cried Lord Henry. laugh- ing. who was going to help her in the East End. ‘Dorian Gray is my dear- est friend. I am bound to state that she never the house. sir. coming into the garden. ‘Ask Mr.

turning over the pages of a volume of Schumann’s ‘Forest Scenes. he was certainly won- ‘That entirely depends on how you sit to-day. Yes.’ Lord Henry looked at him. I will make your peace with my aunt. I am far too frightened to call.’ ‘That is very horrid to her. are perfectly charming. and looked at Dorian Gray.’ to be worshipped. ‘I promised to go to Lord Henry smiled. Dorian. but I No wonder Basil Hallward worshipped him.’ he cried. We were to have played a duet together. ‘I beg your pardon. ‘Harry. and I really go. Mr. stepping forward and shaking him his brushes ready. The audience probably thought it was A s they entered they saw Dorian Gray. I am afraid. and now you have spoiled everything.’ picture to-day.’ down on the divan. and I don’t want a life-sized frank blue eyes.’ ‘Oh. a faint blush colored his cheeks for a One felt that he had kept himself unspotted from the world. ‘Am I to her club in Whitechapel with her last Tuesday. Gray?’ he asked. He was made didn’t know you had any one with you. his crisp gold hair. She is quite devoted to you.’ answered the lad. There was something portrait of myself.’ answered asked you to go away?’ Dorian.com 21 . and he started up. I want to finish this victims also. Mr. Basil. with his back to them. Hallward had been busy mixing his colors and getting Gray. with a funny look of penitence. All the candor music-stool. When Aunt Agatha sits down to the piano she makes quite enough noise for two people. and.Chapter II three duets. and when he by the hand. his ‘Oh. Dorian. and not very nice to me. I have just been telling him what a capital Gray. forgot all about it. Lord Henry. I believe.’ an- lend me these. heard Lord Henry’s last remark he glanced at him. in a wilful. laughing. He was seated at the piano. ‘This is Lord Henry Wotton. They swered Dorian. I don’t know what she will say to me. Would you think it awfully rude of me if I ‘I am in Lady Agatha’s black books at present. And I don’t think it really matters about your not being there.’ And Lord Henry flung himself sitter you were. sight of Lord Henry. When he caught of youth was there. Mr. hesitated You are one of her favorites. swinging round on the in his face that made one trust him at once. I am tired of sitting.’ ‘You must a duet. petulant manner. an old Oxford ‘You are too charming to go in for philanthropy. with his finely-curved scarlet lips. I see that Basil is in one 20 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and opened his cigarette-case.—far too charming.’ said Lord Henry. friend of mine. one of her for a moment. ‘You have not spoiled my pleasure in meeting you. moment.’ derfully handsome. Basil. please don’t. ‘My aunt has often spoken to me about you. He was looking worried. and then said.— ‘Oh. as well as all youth’s passionate purity. ‘I want to learn them.

of his sulky moods; and I can’t bear him when he sulks. get up on the platform, and don’t move about too much, or
Besides, I want you to tell me why I should not go in for pay any attention to what Lord Henry says. He has a very
philanthropy.’ bad influence over all his friends, with the exception of my-
‘I don’t know that I shall tell you that, Mr. Gray. But I self.’
certainly will not run away, now that you have asked me Dorian stepped up on the dais, with the air of a young
to stop. You don’t really mind, Basil, do you? You have of- Greek martyr, and made a little moue of discontent to Lord
ten told me that you liked your sitters to have some one to Henry, to whom he had rather taken a fancy. He was so un-
chat to.’ like Hallward. They made a delightful contrast. And he had
Hallward bit his lip. ‘If Dorian wishes it, of course you such a beautiful voice. After a few moments he said to him,
must stay. Dorian’s whims are laws to everybody, except ‘Have you really a very bad influence, Lord Henry? As bad
himself.’ as Basil says?’
Lord Henry took up his hat and gloves. ‘You are very ‘There is no such thing as a good influence, Mr. Gray. All
pressing, Basil, but I am afraid I must go. I have promised to influence is immoral,—immoral from the scientific point of
meet a man at the Orleans.—Good-by, Mr. Gray. Come and view.’
see me some afternoon in Curzon Street. I am nearly always ‘Why?’
at home at five o’clock. Write to me when you are coming. I ‘Because to influence a person is to give him one’s own
should be sorry to miss you.’ soul. He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with
‘Basil,’ cried Dorian Gray, ‘if Lord Henry goes I shall go his natural passions. His virtues are not real to him. His
too. You never open your lips while you are painting, and sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed. He be-
it is horribly dull standing on a platform and trying to look comes an echo of some one else’s music, an actor of a part
pleasant. Ask him to stay. I insist upon it.’ that has not been written for him. The aim of life is self-de-
‘Stay, Harry, to oblige Dorian, and to oblige me,’ said velopment. To realize one’s nature perfectly,—that is what
Hallward, gazing intently at his picture. ‘It is quite true, I each of us is here for. People are afraid of themselves, nowa-
never talk when I am working, and never listen either, and days. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty
it must be dreadfully tedious for my unfortunate sitters. I that one owes to one’s self. Of course they are charitable.
beg you to stay.’ They feed the hungry, and clothe the beggar. But their own
‘But what about my man at the Orleans?’ souls starve, and are naked. Courage has gone out of our
Hallward laughed. ‘I don’t think there will be any diffi- race. Perhaps we never really had it. The terror of society,
culty about that. Sit down again, Harry.—And now, Dorian, which is the basis of morals, the terror of God, which is the

22 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook.com 23

secret of religion,—these are the two things that govern us. also. You, Mr. Gray, you yourself, with your rose-red youth
And yet—’ and your rose-white boyhood, you have had passions that
‘Just turn your head a little more to the right, Dorian, have made you afraid, thoughts that have filled you with
like a good boy,’ said Hallward, deep in his work, and con- terror, day-dreams and sleeping dreams whose mere mem-
scious only that a look had come into the lad’s face that he ory might stain your cheek with shame—’
had never seen there before. ‘Stop!’ murmured Dorian Gray, ‘stop! you bewilder me.
‘And yet,’ continued Lord Henry, in his low, musical I don’t know what to say. There is some answer to you, but I
voice, and with that graceful wave of the hand that was al- cannot find it. Don’t speak. Let me think, or, rather, let me
ways so characteristic of him, and that he had even in his try not to think.’
Eton days, ‘I believe that if one man were to live his life out For nearly ten minutes he stood there motionless, with
fully and completely, were to give form to every feeling, ex- parted lips, and eyes strangely bright. He was dimly con-
pression to every thought, reality to every dream,—I believe scious that entirely fresh impulses were at work within him,
that the world would gain such a fresh impulse of joy that and they seemed to him to have come really from himself.
we would forget all the maladies of mediaevalism, and re- The few words that Basil’s friend had said to him—words
turn to the Hellenic ideal,— to something finer, richer, than spoken by chance, no doubt, and with wilful paradox in
the Hellenic ideal, it may be. But the bravest man among them—had yet touched some secret chord, that had never
us is afraid of himself. The mutilation of the savage has its been touched before, but that he felt was now vibrating and
tragic survival in the self-denial that mars our lives. We are throbbing to curious pulses.
punished for our refusals. Every impulse that we strive to Music had stirred him like that. Music had troubled him
strangle broods in the mind, and poisons us. The body sins many times. But music was not articulate. It was not a new
once, and has done with its sin, for action is a mode of pu- world, but rather a new chaos, that it created in us. Words!
rification. Nothing remains then but the recollection of a Mere words! How terrible they were! How clear, and vivid,
pleasure, or the luxury of a regret. The only way to get rid of and cruel! One could not escape from them. And yet what
a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows a subtle magic there was in them! They seemed to be able to
sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, give a plastic form to formless things, and to have a music
with desire for what its monstrous laws have made mon- of their own as sweet as that of viol or of lute. Mere words!
strous and unlawful. It has been said that the great events Was there anything so real as words?
of the world take place in the brain. It is in the brain, and Yes; there had been things in his boyhood that he had
the brain only, that the great sins of the world take place not understood. He understood them now. Life suddenly

24 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook.com 25

became fiery-colored to him. It seemed to him that he had ‘You know you believe it all,’ said Lord Henry, looking
been walking in fire. Why had he not known it? at him with his dreamy, heavy-lidded eyes. ‘I will go out to
Lord Henry watched him, with his sad smile. He knew the garden with you. It is horridly hot in the studio.—Basil,
the precise psychological moment when to say nothing. He let us have something iced to drink, something with straw-
felt intensely interested. He was amazed at the sudden im- berries in it.’
pression that his words had produced, and, remembering ‘Certainly, Harry. Just touch the bell, and when Park-
a book that he had read when he was sixteen, which had er comes I will tell him what you want. I have got to work
revealed to him much that he had not known before, he up this background, so I will join you later on. Don’t keep
wondered whether Dorian Gray was passing through the Dorian too long. I have never been in better form for paint-
same experience. He had merely shot an arrow into the air. ing than I am to-day. This is going to be my masterpiece. It
Had it hit the mark? How fascinating the lad was! is my masterpiece as it stands.’
Hallward painted away with that marvellous bold touch Lord Henry went out to the garden, and found Dorian
of his, that had the true refinement and perfect delicacy Gray burying his face in the great cool lilac-blossoms, fe-
that come only from strength. He was unconscious of the verishly drinking in their perfume as if it had been wine.
silence. He came close to him, and put his hand upon his shoulder.
‘Basil, I am tired of standing,’ cried Dorian Gray, sud- ‘You are quite right to do that,’ he murmured. ‘Nothing can
denly. ‘I must go out and sit in the garden. The air is stifling cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the
here.’ senses but the soul.’
‘My dear fellow, I am so sorry. When I am painting, I The lad started and drew back. He was bareheaded, and
can’t think of anything else. But you never sat better. You the leaves had tossed his rebellious curls and tangled all
were perfectly still. And I have caught the effect I want- their gilded threads. There was a look of fear in his eyes,
ed,—the half-parted lips, and the bright look in the eyes. I such as people have when they are suddenly awakened. His
don’t know what Harry has been saying to you, but he has finely-chiselled nostrils quivered, and some hidden nerve
certainly made you have the most wonderful expression. I shook the scarlet of his lips and left them trembling.
suppose he has been paying you compliments. You mustn’t ‘Yes,’ continued Lord Henry, ‘that is one of the great se-
believe a word that he says.’ crets of life,— to cure the soul by means of the senses, and
‘He has certainly not been paying me compliments. Per- the senses by means of the soul. You are a wonderful crea-
haps that is the reason I don’t think I believe anything he ture. You know more than you think you know, just as you
has told me.’ know less than you want to know.’

26 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook.com 27

Gray. His romantic olive-colored face and worn wherever you go. Every month ‘Because you have now the most marvellous youth. laughing. Now. They frown. And. Mr. so? languid voice that was absolutely fascinating.’ said Lord Henry. Time youth is the one thing worth having. you will feel it. had a curious charm. what was ‘People say sometimes that Beauty is only superficial. It That may be so. Dorian Gray frowned and turned his head away. when you are old You will suffer horribly. It cannot be questioned. It has its divine right of sov- but the friendship between then had never altered him. was absurd to be frightened. Beauty is the wonder of wonders.’ years in which really to live. or spring-time. ‘Realize your youth while you have it. standing by him. When your youth goes. you don’t feel it now. and passion branded your lips with its could not help liking the tall. indeed.—is high- moved. and dull-eyed. Sud. of being afraid. you will feel it terribly. and seemed to have a lan.com 29 . like sunlight. than Genius. not the invisible. and ashamed of the great facts of the world. and wars against your lilies and your roses. people who do not judge by appearances. Lord Henry. He head with its lines. You have. ‘Park.’ yourself with those mean triumphs that the memory of ‘Why?’ your past will make more bitter than defeats. and as it wanes brings you nearer to something dreadful. Will it always be expression interested him. But at least it is not so superficial as Thought. in this glare you will be quite spoiled. Gray. as he spoke. and if you stay any longer of the world is the visible. moon. Why had it been left for a stranger to reveal or the reflection in dark waters of that silver shell we call the him to himself? He had known Basil Hallward for months. There was something in his low. You really must not let yourself become the gods give they quickly take away. Mr. to have disclosed to him life’s mystery. But what paint you again. your ‘What does it matter?’ cried Dorian. yet. or have to content ‘It should matter everything to you. graceful young man who was hideous fires. Gray.’ You will become sallow. you charm the world. ‘I don’t feel that. and Basil will never ‘Yes. ereignty. that there are no triumphs left for you. er. It makes princes of those who have it. as he sat beauty will go with it. To me. It is one guage of their own. there to be afraid of? He was not a school-boy. ‘You have a wonderfully beautiful face. And Beauty is a form of Genius. The true mystery er has brought out the drinks.’ is jealous of you. the gods have been good to you. like music. Don’t white. even. You have only a few sunburnt. It is only shallow ‘Let us go and sit in the shade. Mr. as it needs no explanation. ‘No. or a girl. flower-like hands. and wrinkled and ugly. and then you will suddenly discover down on the seat at the end of the garden. and hollow-cheeked. Some day. when thought has seared your fore. Don’t squander 28 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. You smile? denly there had come some one across his life who seemed Ah! when you have lost it you won’t smile. His cool. It would be very unbecoming to you. But he felt afraid of him.

open-eyed and wondering. After a time it flew away. Be always searching or when we are stirred by some new emotion. It makes me shudder by the memory of the passions of which we were too much when I hear it. He saw it creeping into the nothing you could not do. Then it began to prove the hopeless failure. It is a mean- to yield to. Women are so fond of using it. after year the green night of its leaves will have its purple ‘You are glad you have met me. to quiver. haunted ‘Always! That is a dreadful word. I am glad now. A furry bee upon Lord Henry’s arm. what you really might be. and the vulgar. we cannot find expression. Gray. ‘The moment I met you I saw that you were quite un. looking at him. and sauntered down the walk together. and smiled.the gold of your days. is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. He ignorant. For there is such a little quite perfect. and The laburnum will be as golden next June as it is now. and year sing. for which for new sensations. of our age.—that is what our century wants. conscious of what you really are. or giving away your life to the scramble all over the fretted purple of the tiny blossoms. which are the aims. listening to the tedious. In a in the pear-tree at the end of the garden a thrush began to month there will be purple stars on the clematis. too. Mr. beats in us at twenty.’ said Lord Hen- stars. The flower seemed season. ‘Do come in. ‘The common hill-flowers wither. our ‘Yes. but they blossom again.’ Dorian Gray listened. Live! Live the wonderful life that try to develop when things of high import make us afraid. Our limbs fail. let our friendship be 30 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. You rifies us lays sudden siege to the brain and calls on us to might be its visible symbol. With your personality there is yield.—such a little time. ‘I am waiting. must tell you something about yourself. the common.com 31 . watched it with that strange interest in trivial things that we the false ideals. I thought how trag.’ time that your youth will last. came and buzzed round it for a moment. becomes sluggish. The pulse of joy that ry. and the exquisite temptations that we did not dare every romance by trying to make it last forever.’ cried Hallward. and you can bring your drinks. Suddenly Hallward appeared at the door of the studio. Two green-andwhite butterflies fluttered past them. ‘In that case. They spoil afraid. But we never get back our youth. Dorian Gray put his hand spray of lilac fell from his hand upon the gravel. The only difference between a caprice and world but youth!’ a life-long passion is that the caprice lasts a little longer. They turned to There was so much about you that charmed me that I felt I each other. I wonder shall I always be glad?’ senses rot. The As they entered the studio. and then swayed gently to and fro. Be afraid of nothing. Youth! Youth! There is absolutely nothing in the ingless word. The light is ic it would be if you were wasted. We degenerate into hideous puppets. The world belongs to you for a stained trumpet of a Tyrian convolvulus. and made frantic signs for them to come in. or when some thought that ter- ‘A new hedonism. trying to im. They rose up.

’ ignoble. I am awfully obliged to you. Gray. and stooping down he wrote his name in thin vermil. quiver. Mr. as if awakened from some dream. He through the open door-way the dust danced and was gold. The work from a distance.’ he was to make his soul would mar his body. hideous.’ he cried. The sweep and dash of the brush on the himself for the first time. back. there would be a day when his face would be wrin- Lord Henry came over and examined the picture.com 33 . but passed listlessly in front of ‘Of course he likes it. A look of joy came into his eyes.’ broke in Lord Henry. ‘Is As he thought of it. Lord Henry flung himself into a large wicker arm-chair. ‘That is entirely due to me. except in wonder. Dorian made no answer. at time. then his picture and turned towards it. His eyes deepened into amethyst. biting the end of one of his terrible warning of its brevity. They had not influenced his nature. his eyes dim and colorless. Gray?’ the lad’s silence. the grace of his certainly a wonderful work of art. from his lips. and made each delicate fibre of his nature platform. come and look at yourself. the full reality of the description flashed across ion letters on the left-hand corner of the canvas. and now.a caprice. and canvas made the only sound that broke the stillness. for- After about a quarter of an hour. and a wonderful likeness figure broken and deformed. He felt as if a hand of ice had been laid didly today. The heavy scent of the roses seemed to brood over seemed to him to be merely the charming exaggerations of everything. and a mist of tears ‘Quite finished. It was kled and wizen. The scarlet would pass away as well. He would become said. The life that ‘My dear fellow. ‘Who wouldn’t 32 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ upon his heart. looked for a long time at Dorian Gray. Hallward stopped gotten them. ‘Isn’t ‘Don’t you like it?’ cried Hallward at last.’ he murmured.’ said Hallward. ‘It is quite finished. laughed at them. a sharp pang of pain struck like a it really finished?’ he murmured. loveliness. ‘And you have sat splen. with his strange panegyric on youth. but not catching the meaning of his words. had never felt it before. I congratulate you most warmly. Yes. When he saw it he drew stepped upon the platform and resumed his pose. dimly conscious that Hallward was speaking when Hallward stepped back now and then to look at his to him. Then had painting. and uncouth. his for a long time at the picture. as if he had recognized and watched him. In the slanting beams that streamed sense of his own beauty came on him like a revelation. as he stood gazing at the shadow of his own last.—‘Mr. and the gold steal from his hair. and smiling. and then come Lord Henry. Basil Hallward’s compliments had en. stepping down from the knife across him. The lad started. friendship. flushing at his own boldness. He had listened to them. came across them. and his cheeks flushed for a moment with pleasure. stung a little by it. That had stirred him at the huge brushes. and not understanding what it meant.’ said Lord Henry. him. He stood there motionless.

yours. I will they may be.’ Dorian!’ he cried. ‘Dorian! ‘He is a very lucky fellow. Basil. But this picture will remain ‘I am jealous of everything whose beauty does not die. ‘don’t talk like that. Why of June …. and I shall never have such another. always young. and gives something to it.’ angry. How ‘I stayed when you asked me.’ long will you like me? Till I have my first wrinkle. Oh. ‘I believe you ‘This is your doing. I can’t quarrel with my two best friends at once. Harry. and nothing in the whole world I would not give!’ I could be always what I am now! Why did you paint it? It ‘You would hardly care for that arrangement. It was so unlike Dorian Gray. I suppose. ‘If it is not. What had happened? He seemed almost ‘It is not. Harry. there is it was only the other way! If the picture could change.’ if he was praying. bitterly. I have never had such ‘How sad it is!’ murmured Dorian Gray. are you?’ old. and. whatever but between you both you have made me hate the finest 34 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Youth is the only ‘It is not my property. Dorian Gray turned and looked at him. I must have it. if For this—for this—I would give everything! Yes. I dare say.’ said Hallward.’ Hermes or your silver Faun. and horrid.’ Lord Henry shrugged his shoulders. Lord Henry is perfectly right. When I find that I am growing old. Harry. and caught his hand. as ‘I should object very strongly.’ ‘Dorian’s.’ he continued. I know. Your picture has taught give you anything you like to ask for it.’ thing worth having. laughing. You like your art better than your friends. and the picture that were to grow old! takes something from me.’ me that.’ himself on the divan. ‘Harry. Basil.’ will mock me some day. ‘It would be rather hard lines welled into his eyes.—mock me horribly!’ The hot tears cried Lord Henry. I ‘Whose property is it?’ will kill myself. that when one loses one’s good looks.’ Hallward turned pale.— that is all. flinging on you.com 35 . ‘It is the real Dorian Hallward stared in amazement. to speak like that. I ‘My doing?’ am no more to you than a green bronze figure. You are still fixed upon his own portrait. and you know it.like it? It is one of the greatest things in modern art. one loses everything. he buried his face in the cushions. and dreadful. of course. His face was flushed and his cheeks burning. Hardly as ‘Yes.’ he answered.’ much. You will like them always. would. now. If it was only the other way! If it was I who were should it keep what I must lose? Every moment that passes to be always young. ‘How sad it is! I shall grow not jealous of material things. ‘I am less to you than your ivory ‘You should have gone away when I asked you. what have I to do with it?’ ‘Yes. with his eyes a friend as you. It will never be older than this particular day I am jealous of the portrait you have painted of me. he tore his hand away.

He had found it ‘And you know you have been a little silly. Basil.’ would be murder!’ There came a knock to the door.’ looked at him with pallid face and tear-stained eyes. What ever given. Dorian? And so will dine at White’s. Basil.’ it to the end of the studio. What was he doing there? His call me a silly boy.’ fingers were straying about among the litter of tin tubes and ‘You know the picture is yours. so I can you. coldly. and sent home. ‘And I from coming in consequence of a subsequent engagement.’ ette-knife. ‘It ‘Ah! this morning! You have lived since then. when he had recovered from his surprise. ‘You will have tea. and. Gray. Dorian. ‘Well. Basil. It was the most premature definition ‘It is such a bore putting on one’s dress-clothes.com 37 .’ a rational animal. I am is it but canvas and color? I will not let it come across our glad he is not. ‘And I don’t allow people to the large curtained window. I have promised to for tea. Dorian Gray went over and poured self.’ And he walked across the room and rang the bell is sure to be something on. Then you can do what you like with ‘Let us go to the theatre to-night. What absurd fellows think that would be a rather nice excuse: it would have the you are. ‘Don’t. after all: though I wish you chaps would not three lives and mar them. This silly boy doesn’t really want it. before it existed. Dorian. Lord over to Hallward. as soon as you are dry. I gave it to you dry brushes. with its thin blade of lithe steel. You had much better let me have Dorian Gray lifted his golden head from the pillow. Yes.’ the tea out. Hallward. tore the knife out of his hand. but it is only with an old friend. Two globe-shaped china dishes were ‘Appreciate it? I am in love with it. and flung Henry. Basil. or that I am prevented ‘I don’t like simple pleasures. seeking for something.’ said with the teatray and set it down upon a small Japanese table. don’t!’ he cried. that you don’t really mind being called a boy. Mr.’ said Lord Henry. it was the long pal.’ With a stifled sob he leaped from the couch.’ mut- 36 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and the butler entered ‘I am glad you appreciate my work at last. Man is many things. of course. and I will destroy it.’ said Lord Henry.’ send him a wire and say that I am ill. There was a rattle of cups and saucers and the hissing of a ‘I never thought you would. as he ‘If you let any one have it but me. somewhere. ‘There yourself. and and examined what was under the covers. and I do. both of you! I wonder who it was defined man as surprise of candor. He was going to rip up the canvas.’ squabble over the picture. and at last. rushing ‘I should have minded very much this morning. you shall be varnished. I will never for- walked over to the deal painting-table that was set beneath give you!’ cried Dorian Gray. I don’t like scenes.’ fluted Georgian urn. brought in by a page. and it. framed. Harry? Tea is the only simple pleasure left to us. The two men sauntered languidly to the table. It is part of my.piece of work I have ever done. except on the stage. I feel that. but he is not rational.

Dorian. ‘That is something.’ said Hallward.’ 38 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Come to-morrow. Sin is men want to be faithful.’ ‘Because I have promised Lord Henry to go with him.’ ‘Yes.’ ‘You really must not say things like that before Dorian. it is purely a question for physiology. I would sooner not.’ he answered. But it will never ‘And … Harry!’ alter.’ ‘Stop and dine with me.’ us. really. Basil. Gray.com 39 . Come and see me soon. good- ‘Is it the real Dorian?’ cried the original of the portrait. ‘Don’t go to the theatre to-night.’ ‘I must go. after all.’ was watching them from the tea-table with an amused ‘Well.’ said the lad. you are just like that. Basil!’ ‘No.tered Hallward. old men want to be the only colorelement left in modern life. Harry. He ry. Basil?’ ‘What a fuss people make about fidelity!’ murmured ‘Remember what I asked you. ‘the costume of accident.’ said Hallward. I beg you not to go. ‘It is rather late. sad. Basil. cup in hand. ‘I will stay with the real Dorian. ‘I should like that awfully. of course not. Lord Hen. ‘Very well. so depressing.’ said Hallward. Mr. to dress. or the one in the picture?’ ‘Why?’ ‘Before either. I have a lot of work The lad hesitated. Dorian.’ smile. It has horrid. you and I will go alone. Harry.’ ‘I should like to come to the theatre with you. when in the garden this Lord Henry. who to do.’ ‘You won’t forget?’ ‘How wonderful. ‘And. as you have ly.’ ‘Then you shall come. always breaks his own. Good-by. ‘Am I really like that?’ ‘Certainly.’ ‘I can’t.’ ‘Yes. his cup down on the tray. you had better lose no time. Young our day is detestable.’ faithless. Basil Hallward bit his lip and walked over.’ he said. ‘He won’t like you better for keeping your promises. and. you?’ ‘I entreat you. by. and you will come too. and are not. and looked over at Lord Henry. when one has them on. and he walked over and laid to the picture.’ running across to him. really. they are so ‘And.’ ‘Before which Dorian? The one who is pouring out tea for ‘I can’t. dreamily. It is either an unfortunate ‘Yes. morning. It is so sombre. then. or an unpleasant result of temperament. and cannot: that is all one can say.’ nothing to do with our own will. won’t Dorian Gray laughed and shook his head.’ answered Lord Henry.’ ‘At least you are like it in appearance.

’ As the door closed behind them. in the little library of Lord Henry’s house in Curzon Street. It was. my hansom is outside. On a tiny satinwood ta- ble stood a statuette by Clodion. ‘How late you are. At last he heard a light step outside. and beside it lay a copy of ‘Les Cent Nouvelles. He was always late on principle. with its high panelled wainscoting of olive-stained oak. So the lad was looking rather sulky.— Good-by.’ Chapter III ‘I wish I could trust myself. Gray. O ne afternoon. and a look of pain came into his face. and I can drop you at your own place. Dorian Gray was reclin- ing in a luxurious arm-chair. filled with parrottulips. a very charming room.’ said Lord Henry. ‘I have forgotten it. and powdered with the gilt daisies that the queen had selected for her device. its cream-colored frieze and ceiling of raised plaster-work. The formal monotonous ticking of the Louis Quatorze clock annoyed him. a month later. as with listless fingers he turned over the pages of an elaborately-illustrat- ed edition of ‘Manon Lescaut’ that he had found in one of the bookcases.’ bound for Margaret of Valois by Clo- vis Eve. in its way. and its brick-dust felt carpet strewn with long-fringed silk Persian rugs. and the door opened.—‘Come. It has been a most interesting afternoon. Mr. Lord Henry had not come in yet.’ ‘I trust you. Hallward flung himself down on a sofa. 40 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. his principle being that punctuality is the thief of time. laugh- ing. and through the small leaded panes of the window streamed the apricot-colored light of a summer’s day in London. were ranged on the mantel-shelf. Basil. Some large blue china jars.com 41 . Once or twice he thought of going away. Harry!’ he murmured.

af- Dorian smiled. and shook his head: ‘I am afraid I don’t ter an awkward silence. my love. and her fingers began to play with a long paper-knife. ‘I am charmed. Lady Henry. Gray?’ days people know the price of everything. I know you quite well by your know what it is about them. I think our views are quite different. ‘I am afraid I must be going. I never talk during music. And I saw you with him the oth. We have quite the same views. ‘Ah! that is one of Harry’s views. ‘I have think so. Mr. Gray here.—I forget She was always in love with somebody.’ exclaimed Lady Henry. Dorian.—‘So sorry I better than any other music. aren’t they? Even those that are born in them. But here is Harry!—Harry. quite charmed. as her passion what it was. and had to bargain for hours for it. don’t they? It is so ‘Not twenty-seven. ‘I beg you must not think I don’t like good music. Gray? But He glanced quickly round.’ Lady Henry. then.’ I like Wagner’s music looking at them both with an amused smile.—Good-by. isn’t it. Perhaps it is that they are for- photographs. whose dresses always looked as if one’s rooms look so picturesque. They all are. But he has been Her name was Victoria. Mr. most pleasant. with her silly sudden laugh. Mr. have you. without people hearing what one says. Nowa- is a great advantage: don’t you think so. It makes me too romantic. parties.’ said Lord ‘That was at ‘Lohengrin. You are dining out. I went to look after a piece of old brocade in the whole time. but only succeeded in being untidy. If one hears bad music. and. She orchids. I suppose? So am I. doesn’t it? You have never been to any of my er night at the Opera. and such a compliment to art. They make was a curious woman.’ ing to church. sometimes. That Wardour Street. I don’t must let me introduce myself.’ She laughed nervously. I thought—’ I am afraid of it. it was at dear ‘Lohengrin. Gray? You must come. twenty-six.— two at a time. cosmopolitan.— during good music. but I spare no expense in foreigners. Gray. I think my husband has got twenty-seven of eigners. We have had such was never returned. I adore it. and she had a perfect mania for go.’ lips. I can’t afford and watched him with her vague forget-me-not eyes.—and I found Mr. it is one’s duty Good-by.’ said a woman’s to drown it by conversation. Mr. I have simply ‘You thought it was my husband.’ voice. but your pardon. You worshipped pianists.’ England become foreigners after a time.—at least promised to drive with the duchess. I am so glad I’ve seen him. as she spoke. Lady Henry?’ clever of them. Harry. I think?’ Henry. to look picturesque.com 43 . elevating his dark crescent-shaped eyebrows and ‘Yes. No. and rose to his feet. She tried a pleasant chat about music. 42 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Gray. ‘I am afraid it is not Harry. I came in to look for you. Makes it quite ‘Well. Mr. she had kept all her illusions. they had been designed in a rage and put on in a tempest. It is so loud that one can talk am late. to ask you something. It is only his wife. and the value of The same nervous staccato laugh broke from her thin nothing.

‘How did you come across her?’ ‘With an actress. As I lounged in the Park. I am too much ted into decent society.com 45 .’ That has all gone out now. because they are curious: both are disap. Harry. no woman is a genius: women are a dec- ‘I dare say. shutting the door orative sex. ‘I will tell you.’ thing about life. but they say behind her. tell me about your genius. and flung himself down the colored. however. ‘That is a rather about it. as she flitted out of the room. he said. The other women are very charming. I used to look at every one who passed me. For days after I met you. nius. looking like a it charmingly. there are only five women in pointed. gain a reputation for respectability. looking two days. after a few puffs. Others filled me with terror. but you mustn’t be unsympathetic Lord Henry shrugged his shoulders.’ There was an exquisite poison in the air. They paint in order to ‘Why. ‘But I like sentimental people. However. That is one of your aphorisms. something seemed ‘Who is she?’ to throb in my veins. in love. People will some day.’ them down to supper. my dear. They never have anything to say. Then he shook hands morals. you have merely to take ‘Never marry a woman with straw-colored hair. As long as a woman can look ‘Never marry at all.Perhaps I shall see you at Lady Thornbury’s.’ try to talk brilliantly. Harry. I had a passion for 44 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. just as we men represent the triumph of mind over a faint odor of patchouli behind her. If you want to on the sofa.’ ‘About three weeks. There are only two kinds of women. women. They represent the triumph of matter over bird-of-paradise that had been out in the rain. Rouge and esprit used to go together. satisfied. About two weeks and ‘Whom are you in love with?’ said Lord Henry. The plain women are very useful. it never would have happened if I had not common-place début. however. lit a cigarette. blushing. the plain and with Dorian Gray. I am putting it into How long have you known her?’ practice.’ said Dorian Gray.’ at him with a curious smile.’ London worth talking to. and two of these can’t be admit- ‘I don’t think I am likely to marry. ‘No one has. After all. Harry.’ ‘My dear boy.’ said Lord Henry.’ down Piccadilly. Dorian. as I do everything you say. ‘Never heard of her. You filled me with a wild desire to know every- ‘You would not say so if you saw her. or strolled ‘Her name is Sibyl Vane. She is a ge. met you. Harry?’ try to look young. They commit one mistake. she is perfectly are tired.’ he murmured. Not so much. Some of them fascinated me.’ and wonder with a mad curiosity what sort of lives they led. Men marry because they ten years younger than her own daughter. Our grandmothers painted in order to ‘Because they are so sentimental. Dorian. and leaving mind. As for conversation.

there was a terrible consumption of nuts going on.—simply a confession squares.’ ing. wedding-cake. I felt that this gray. I looked He had greasy ringlets.’ ‘The mere danger gave me a sense of delight. people who only love once in their lives when we first dined together. What do you think the play was. must have angrily. or Dumb but Innocent. at least I am not laughing at wonder what on earth I should do.’ 46 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. hardly a person in what I suppose they called the dress-cir- I know. and he took off his hat with an act of gor. The gallery and pit were fairly full. my life. I fancied a thousand things. He was such a monster.’ hideous Jew. sinners. But you should not say the greatest romance of your the play-bill. like a third-rate when he saw me. I think your nature so deep. You should say the first romance of your life. always be loved. ‘How do you mean?’ bered what you had said to me on that wonderful night ‘My dear boy. Go on with theatre. about the search for beauty are really shallow people. Women went about with oranges and ginger-beer. I found myself seated in a horrid little private box. when I caught sight of you. and you will always be in love with love. This is merely in search of some adventure. About half-past eight I passed by a little thirdrate of failure. ‘One evening about seven o’clock I determined to go out There are exquisite things in store for you.sensations. but I really went in and paid a whole guinea for the cle. and very horrid. and an enormous diamond blazed out behind the curtain. But I don’t want to interrupt you. It is horrid of you!’ ‘Just like. grassless consistency is to the intellectual life. monstrous the beginning. if I hadn’t. that two rows of dingy stalls were quite empty. There was something about him. in the most amazing waistcoat I ever beheld in ‘Well. its splendid ‘Do you think my nature so shallow?’ cried Dorian Gray. and being the poisonous secret of life. You will laugh at me. smoking a vile cigar.’ and yet if I hadn’t!—my dear Harry. I don’t know what I ex. my lord?’ he said. and there was amused me. Dorian. ‘No. I should fancy. You will ‘I should think ‘The Idiot Boy. something in store for me. and surveyed the house. and wandered eastward. with great flaring gas-jets and gaudy play-bills. Harry. What they call their loyalty. I call either the lethargy of custom or the lack pected. was standing at the entrance. Faithlessness is to the emotional life what my way in a labyrinth of grimy streets and black. It was a in the centre of a soiled shirt. Harry?’ life. but the geous servility. their fidelity. ish Drama. To the present day I can’t make out why I did so. ‘’Ave a box. and stage-box. but I went out. and its sordid sins. I see you are laugh. I would have ‘It must have been just like the palmy days of the Brit- missed the greatest romance of my life. tawdry affair. as you once said. I remem. all Cupids and cornucopias.com 47 . soon losing of imagination. with its myriads of people. A your story. I began to ‘I am not laughing. with a vulgar drop-scene staring me in the face.’ London of ours.

but that beauty. She was the loveli. No glamour ever transfigures them. voice can stir one. They have their stereotyped hardly see this girl for the mist of tears that came across me. of them. She has been innocent. I do love her. It was ‘Ro. with deep mellow notes.Our fathers used to like that sort of piece. lips that were like the petals of a rose. forest of Arden. as in politics. who had introduced blet and dainty cap. hardly seventeen years of age. They were as grotesque as the scenery. that nearly drove me away. Your voice and the voice of Sibyl Vane are meo and Juliet. les grand pères ont toujours tort. presided over by a young Jew who sat at a cracked after night I go to see her play. could fill your eyes with tears. There is no mystery in one that pathos left you unmoved. They are quite obvi- And her voice. I tell you. There was a dreadful Harry. like a flute or a distant hautbois. and each of them says something different. Harry. her lover’s lips. But an actress! How different an actress is! Why didn’t at first. eyes that were violet wells of passion. and their fashionable manner. One can always find them.’ on. Then it became a little louder. imagine a girl. One knows their minds as easily as one knows their bon- est thing I had ever seen in my life. when it had the wild passion of violins. ited to their century. I could at tea-parties in the afternoon. She has been mad. smile. They ride in the Park in the morning.I never heard such a voice. I believe. a place. There were moments. Still.’ 48 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. sucking the poison from ly gentleman. the more keenly I feel that whatever was all the tremulous ecstasy that one hears just before dawn good enough for our fathers is not good enough for us. One evening she is Rosa- piano. a husky tragedy voice. You know how a ‘This play was good enough for us. a small Greek head with plaited coils women never appeal to one’s imagination. Mercutio was almost as bad. and the it had come out of a pantomime of fifty years ago. and has come into gags of his own and was on most familiar terms with the pit. They are lim- of dark-brown hair. I don’t know which to follow. and the play began. idea of seeing Shakespeare done in such a wretched hole of I hear them. and that looked as if and bitter herbs to taste of. later art. the presence of a guilty king. I have seen her die was drawn up. I felt interested. Dorian. You said to me once nets. but at last the drop-scene lind. disguised as a pretty boy in hose and dou- He was played by the low-comedian.’ I must admit I was rather annoyed at the two things that I shall never forget. Why should I not love her? I determined to wait for the first act. It was very low ous. The lon. In the garden-scene it had ger I live. and given him rue to wear. Ordinary little flower-like face. At any rate. that seemed to fall singly you tell me that the only thing worth loving is an actress?’ upon one’s ear. She is everything to me in life. in the gloom of an Italian tomb. When I close my eyes. with corked eyebrows.com 49 . and the next evening she is Imogen. with a have seen her in every age and in every costume. mere beau. in a sort of way. Dorian. Harry. In when nightingales are singing. But Juliet! black hands of jealousy have crushed her reed-like throat. I have watched her wandering through the and a figure like a beer-barrel. I Harry. and sounded ‘Because I have loved so many of them. Romeo was a stout elder. Night orchestra. and chatter ty.

one always due to the poet. ‘But why should you be annoyed? I suppose an air of pride. And now tell me. I had thrown her some flowers. of Dorian Gray leaped to his feet. On the first night I was at the ‘The third night. yes. told him that Juliet had been dead for hundreds of years. That is what the world calls romance. with in his voice. I would come and confide it to you.’ ‘I believe he was quite right there. and old Jew was persistent. Dorian. what are your and I had to go. whom he insisted on calling ‘The Bard. horrid people with dyed hair and painted fac. She had been playing Rosalind. He told me once. I believe that is true. I suppose?’ tion. You would against him.’ understand me.’ ‘You could not have helped telling me. and assured me that I was a patron of ‘It is only the sacred things that are worth touching.’ ceiving others. art. all the same. I ‘Don’t run down dyed hair and painted faces. compliment. I arrived at the theatre again. When one is in love. with a strange touch of pathos traordinary passion for Shakespeare. I told him I never even read ‘Yes. Then he asked me if I wrote through your life you will tell me everything you do. and one always ends by de.—a great distinc- know her. But when did you first speak to Miss Sibyl Vane?’ ‘Of course I know her. I declined.’ ‘I wish now I had not told you about Sibyl Vane. He was a most offensive brute. though he had an ex- Dorian.’ for any of the newspapers.—reach me the By this time the lights were being put out in the theatre. and offered to bring me behind the she had looked at me. sometimes. and that they were all to be bought. and performance was over. with flushed cheeks and course. matches.’ had taken too much champagne.’ and that her body was lying in a marble tomb in Verona. at any rate. at least I fancied that she had. ‘Oh. ‘People like you—the wilful sunbeams of life—don’t most of them are not at all expensive. He seemed determined to bring me 50 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. You ‘It was a distinction.com 51 . he seemed to think they were beyond his means. that he thought I extraordinary charm in them. the horrid old Jew came round to the box after the not help going round. But I am much obliged for the ‘Well. and confid- you things. When he saw me he burning eyes. from his blank look of amazement. You have a curious influence over me. my dear Dorian. If I ever ed to me that all the dramatic critics were in a conspiracy did a crime. Harry. like a good boy: thanks.—tell me. All ‘I was not surprised either. es. Dorian. He wanted me to try some cigars which relations with Sibyl Vane?’ he strongly recommended. I could theatre. He seemed terribly disappointed at that. Sibyl Vane is sacred!’ made me a low bow. There is an think. seemed to think it a distinction. that his three bankruptcies were entirely she will be yours some day. or something.’ said Lord Henry.’ ‘I am not surprised. I cannot help telling them.’ He begins by deceiving one’s self. on the other hand.’ commit crimes. The next night. I was furious with him. The scenes and introduce me to her. But. ‘Harry.

’ ly as a person in a play. It was curious my not wanting to where she came from? From her little head to her little feet. The old Jew stood grinning ‘Well. You laugh. making elaborate for an act. She is more than an individual. You have. Dorian. ‘You were quite right. Her eyes opened wide in exquisite ‘My dear Harry. and grow sad. What is it to me God. we either lunch or sup together every wonder when I told her what I thought of her performance.’ he answered. day. pected. You. why?’ ‘That is the reason. Harry. so I consented. and every night she is more marvellous. He would insist on calling me ‘My Lord. There is some. and so gentle. I am filled with awe. I don’t think so. I suppose. There is always something infi. She knows nothing of life.’ I had to assure Sibyl that I was not anything of the kind. Now I want to know with me now.’ with her mother. ‘Never. I can’t help going to see Sibyl play. how I worship her!’ He was walking up and 52 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I think ‘You always come dreadfully late. and I have been to the Opera with you several times. that you will never dine ‘I will tell you some other time.’ love me. to wake their ashes into pain. but I said it did to charm Sibyl Vane to love me! I want to make Romeo jeal- not interest me. It always depresses me. ‘You look more like a prince. tell me how ‘The Jew wanted to tell me her history. she was so shy. She regarded me mere. I go to see her act every ‘No. wasn’t it?’ she is absolutely and entirely divine. I get hungry for her presence. ‘Upon my word. I want the dead lovers of the world to hear our laughter.’’ He shook his head. even if it is only at the door-way of the dusty greenroom.behind. and when I think speeches about us both.’ but I tell you she has genius. She ‘You can dine with me to-night. can’t you?’ said quite simply to me.’ thing of a child about her. She lives ‘I congratulate you.’ romance on hand.’ dust into consciousness. and I must make her ‘I know that look.’ ‘My dear Harry.’ and she seemed quite unconscious of her power. ‘To night she is Imogen. a faded tired woman who played Lady ‘How horrid you are! She is all the great heroines of the Capulet in a sort of magenta dressing-wrapper on the first world in one.’ ‘When is she Sibyl Vane?’ ‘You don’t understand her. but it is not quite what I ex- ‘Sibyl? Oh. and who looks as if she had seen better days. know her. while we stood looking at each oth. Harry. night. who know all the secrets of life. I love her. Miss Sibyl knows how to pay ‘and tomorrow night she will be Juliet. My ‘Sibyl is the only thing I care about.’ compliments. of the wonderful soul that is hidden away in that little ivory er like children.’ night of my life.com 53 .’ so body. Dorian. I want a breath of our passion to stir their nitely mean about other people’s tragedies. I thought you must have some curious about the girl.’ ous.’ we were both rather nervous.

down the room as he spoke. Hectic spots of red burned on ‘Not eight, Harry, please. Half-past six. We must be there
his cheeks. He was terribly excited. before the curtain rises. You must see her in the first act,
Lord Henry watched him with a subtle sense of pleasure. where she meets Romeo.’
How different he was now from the shy, frightened boy he ‘Half-past six! What an hour! It will be like having a
had met in Basil Hallward’s studio! His nature had devel- meat-tea. However, just as you wish. Shall you see Basil be-
oped like a flower, had borne blossoms of scarlet flame. Out tween this and then? Or shall I write to him?’
of its secret hiding-place had crept his Soul, and Desire had ‘Dear Basil! I have not laid eyes on him for a week. It is
come to meet it on the way. rather horrid of me, as he has sent me my portrait in the
‘And what do you propose to do?’ said Lord Henry, at most wonderful frame, designed by himself, and, though
last. I am a little jealous of it for being a whole month younger
‘I want you and Basil to come with me some night and see than I am, I must admit that I delight in it. Perhaps you had
her act. I have not the slightest fear of the result. You won’t better write to him. I don’t want to see him alone. He says
be able to refuse to recognize her genius. Then we must get things that annoy me.’
her out of the Jew’s hands. She is bound to him for three Lord Henry smiled. ‘He gives you good advice, I sup-
years—at least for two years and eight months—from the pose. People are very fond of giving away what they need
present time. I will have to pay him something, of course. most themselves.’
When all that is settled, I will take a West-End theatre and ‘You don’t mean to say that Basil has got any passion or
bring her out properly. She will make the world as mad as any romance in him?’
she has made me.’ ‘I don’t know whether he has any passion, but he certain-
‘Impossible, my dear boy!’ ly has romance,’ said Lord Henry, with an amused look in
‘Yes, she will. She has not merely art, consummate art- his eyes. ‘Has he never let you know that?’
instinct, in her, but she has personality also; and you have ‘Never. I must ask him about it. I am rather surprised to
often told me that it is personalities, not principles, that hear it. He is the best of fellows, but he seems to me to be
move the age.’ just a bit of a Philistine. Since I have known you, Harry, I
‘Well, what night shall we go?’ have discovered that.’
‘Let me see. To-day is Tuesday. Let us fix to-morrow. She ‘Basil, my dear boy, puts everything that is charming in
plays Juliet to-morrow.’ him into his work. The consequence is that he has nothing
‘All right. The Bristol at eight o’clock; and I will get Ba- left for life but his prejudices, his principles, and his common
sil.’ sense. The only artists I have ever known who are person-

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ally delightful are bad artists. Good artists give everything imagination turbid with monstrous fancies and misshap-
to their art, and consequently are perfectly uninteresting en dreams. There were poisons so subtle that to know their
in themselves. A great poet, a really great poet, is the most properties one had to sicken of them. There were maladies
unpoetical of all creatures. But inferior poets are absolutely so strange that one had to pass through them if one sought
fascinating. The worse their rhymes are, the more pictur- to understand their nature. And, yet, what a great reward
esque they look. The mere fact of having published a book of one received! How wonderful the whole world became to
second-rate sonnets makes a man quite irresistible. He lives one! To note the curious hard logic of passion, and the emo-
the poetry that he cannot write. The others write the poetry tional colored life of the intellect,—to observe where they
that they dare not realize.’ met, and where they separated, at what point they became
‘I wonder is that really so, Harry?’ said Dorian Gray, one, and at what point they were at discord,—there was a
putting some perfume on his handkerchief out of a large delight in that! What matter what the cost was? One could
gold-topped bottle that stood on the table. ‘It must be, if you never pay too high a price for any sensation.
say so. And now I must be off. Imogen is waiting for me. He was conscious—and the thought brought a gleam
Don’t forget about to-morrow. Goodby.’ of pleasure into his brown agate eyes—that it was through
As he left the room, Lord Henry’s heavy eyelids drooped, certain words of his, musical words said with musical utter-
and he began to think. Certainly few people had ever inter- ance, that Dorian Gray’s soul had turned to this white girl
ested him so much as Dorian Gray, and yet the lad’s mad and bowed in worship before her. To a large extent, the lad
adoration of some one else caused him not the slightest pang was his own creation. He had made him premature. That
of annoyance or jealousy. He was pleased by it. It made him was something. Ordinary people waited till life disclosed
a more interesting study. He had been always enthralled by to them its secrets, but to the few, to the elect, the myster-
the methods of science, but the ordinary subject-matter of ies of life were revealed before the veil was drawn away.
science had seemed to him trivial and of no import. And Sometimes this was the effect of art, and chiefly of the art of
so he had begun by vivisecting himself, as he had ended literature, which dealt immediately with the passions and
by vivisecting others. Human life,—that appeared to him the intellect. But now and then a complex personality took
the one thing worth investigating. There was nothing else the place and assumed the office of art, was indeed, in its
of any value, compared to it. It was true that as one watched way, a real work of art, Life having its elaborate masterpiec-
life in its curious crucible of pain and pleasure, one could es, just as poetry has, or sculpture, or painting.
not wear over one’s face a mask of glass, or keep the sul- Yes, the lad was premature. He was gathering his harvest
phurous fumes from troubling the brain and making the while it was yet spring. The pulse and passion of youth were

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in him, but he was becoming self-conscious. It was delight- an active cause as conscience itself. All that it really demon-
ful to watch him. With his beautiful face, and his beautiful strated was that our future would be the same as our past,
soul, he was a thing to wonder at. It was no matter how it and that the sin we had done once, and with loathing, we
all ended, or was destined to end. He was like one of those would do many times, and with joy.
gracious figures in a pageant or a play, whose joys seem to It was clear to him that the experimental method was
be remote from one, but whose sorrows stir one’s sense of the only method by which one could arrive at any scientific
beauty, and whose wounds are like red roses. analysis of the passions; and certainly Dorian Gray was a
Soul and body, body and soul—how mysterious they subject made to his hand, and seemed to promise rich and
were! There was animalism in the soul, and the body had fruitful results. His sudden mad love for Sibyl Vane was a
its moments of spirituality. The senses could refine, and psychological phenomenon of no small interest. There was
the intellect could degrade. Who could say where the flesh- no doubt that curiosity had much to do with it, curiosity and
ly impulse ceased, or the psychical impulse began? How the desire for new experiences; yet it was not a simple but
shallow were the arbitrary definitions of ordinary psychol- rather a very complex passion. What there was in it of the
ogists! And yet how difficult to decide between the claims purely sensuous instinct of boyhood had been transformed
of the various schools! Was the soul a shadow seated in the by the workings of the imagination, changed into something
house of sin? Or was the body really in the soul, as Gior- that seemed to the boy himself to be remote from sense, and
dano Bruno thought? The separation of spirit from matter was for that very reason all the more dangerous. It was the
was a mystery, and the union of spirit with matter was a passions about whose origin we deceived ourselves that tyr-
mystery also. annized most strongly over us. Our weakest motives were
He began to wonder whether we should ever make psy- those of whose nature we were conscious. It often happened
chology so absolute a science that each little spring of life that when we thought we were experimenting on others we
would be revealed to us. As it was, we always misunder- were really experimenting on ourselves.
stood ourselves, and rarely understood others. Experience While Lord Henry sat dreaming on these things, a knock
was of no ethical value. It was merely the name we gave to came to the door, and his valet entered, and reminded him
our mistakes. Men had, as a rule, regarded it as a mode of it was time to dress for dinner. He got up and looked out
warning, had claimed for it a certain moral efficacy in the into the street. The sunset had smitten into scarlet gold the
formation of character, had praised it as something that upper windows of the houses opposite. The panes glowed
taught us what to follow and showed us what to avoid. But like plates of heated metal. The sky above was like a faded
there was no motive power in experience. It was as little of rose. He thought of Dorian Gray’s young fiery-colored life,

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It was to tell him that he was en- gaged to be married to Sibyl Vane. giving his hat and coat to the bowing waiter. When he arrived home. I hope? They don’t interest me. ‘What is it? Nothing about politics. my dear Basil. about half-past twelve o’clock.’ answered Hallward. and then passed away.’ said Lord Henry. There is hardly a single person in the House of Commons worth painting. Chapter IV he saw a telegram lying on the hall-table. and a curious look flashed for a moment into his eyes.and wondered how it was all going to end. though many of them would be the better for a little whitewashing. watching him as he spoke.’ ‘Marriage is hardly a thing that one can do now and then. Harry. Dorian is far too sensible.com 61 .’ ‘Dorian is far too wise not to do foolish things now and then. But I didn’t say he was married. I suppose you have heard the news. smiling. Basil?’ said Lord Hen- ry on the following evening.’ Dorian engaged to be married!’ he cried. Harry. I 60 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ ‘Dorian Gray is engaged to be married. as Hallward was shown into a little private room at the Bristol where dinner had been laid for three. ‘Impossible!’ ‘It is perfectly true. leaving them dull. He opened it and found it was from Dorian.’ ‘I can’t believe it.’ ‘To whom?’ ‘To some little actress or other. ‘Except in America. ‘No. Hallward turned perfectly pale.’ said Hallward.

of optimism is sheer terror. ‘You don’t mean all that. and wealth.said he was engaged to be married. ‘If you want him to marry this girl. We praise the banker that we may ‘I never approve. tell him that. They are forced to have more than one life. If you want to mar a nature. The real ‘But think of Dorian’s birth. I have a distinct remembrance of being married.com 63 . Basil. Your portrait of him has quick.’ are to see her to-night. And would be absurd for him to marry so much beneath him. ‘Dorian says she is beautiful.’ certainly an experience.’ ing. Besides. to me. Why not? If I have no recollection at all of being engaged. I never take any notice of everything that I have said. walk. Harry. what. You know I am not a champion of marriage. We are not sent into the wayman in the hope that he may spare our pockets. They ‘I hope the girl is good. if that boy doesn’t forget his appoint. The basis ‘But do you approve of it. it is always from the noblest motives. ‘You can’t because we credit our neighbor with those virtues that are approve of it. I am inclined he wedded Messalina he would be none the less interest- to think that I never was engaged. who might degrade his nature is of value. and then suddenly become fascinated by some one else. ‘The reason we all like to think so ment. Harry. Dorian Gray falls in love with a beautiful girl who ence. and find good qualities in the high- absurd attitude to take towards life. really. He will 62 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. If ened his appreciation of the personal appearance of other Dorian Gray’s life were spoiled. or disapprove. among others. We think that we are generous ing up and down the room. They lack individuality. And as for a spoiled life. and biting his lip. you ever the personality chooses to do is absolutely delightful have merely to reform it. Still. you know you don’t.’ well of others is that we are all afraid for ourselves. sipping a glass of vermouth and orange-bit. I have the greatest contempt for what common people say. whatever one may say against marriage. no life is spoiled but one charming people do. There is a great differ. It drawback to marriage is that it makes one unselfish. and he is not often wrong would be a wonderful study. and I never interfere with what optimism. You are much better than you pretend to be. If a personality fascinates me. Lord Henry.’ unselfish people are colorless. and add to it many oth- stupid thing. of anything now.’ er egos. whose growth is arrested. I mean world to air our moral prejudices. and. every experience tied to some vile creature.’ likely to benefit ourselves. It has had that excellent effect. But here is Dorian himself. it is and ruin his intellect. Whenever a man does a thoroughly complex. They retain their egotism. but acts Shakespeare. I hope that Dorian Gray will make ‘Oh.’ about things of that kind. she is more than good—she is beautiful. Lord Henry laughed. I don’t want to see Dorian become more highly organized. no one would be sorrier people. and proposes to marry her. there are certain temperaments that marriage makes more He is sure to do it then. It is some silly infatuation. and position. It is an overdraw our account. Harry?’ asked Hallward. We than yourself. He ters. passionately adore her for six months.’ murmured this girl his wife.

It seemed to me that all my life had in Lord Henry. hand in turn. We kissed each other. and shook like a white narcissus. As for her acting—well. and a hooded cloak lined with ‘Have you seen her to-day?’ asked Lord Henry. Dorian. and kissed Juliet on boy’s dress she was perfectly wonderful.tell you more than I can. Her hair clustered round her face its satin-lined wings. ‘but I don’t quite forgive you for not having let me that I had never seen there before. I can’t describe to you what I ‘And I don’t forgive you for being late for dinner. You let Harry know. Basil. My lips moved towards know of your engagement. and then I can do what I like. and to wards to the theatre. Of course ‘There is really not much to tell. I feel that came about.’ dull red.’ I should not tell you all this. and shaking each of his friends by the like dark leaves round a pale rose.’ said Hallward. Lord was simply this. you must both congratu. She had never seemed to me more exquisite. I sat in sudden: all really delightful things are. I have been Rupert Street. my dear Basil.’ cried Dorian. I don’t know what my guardians will say. Harry. slim brown ‘Yes. to take my love out of poetry. a dainty little green cap with a hawk’s slowly. right. ‘Come.’ colored velvet jerkin with cinnamon sleeves. and then you will tell us how it all flung herself on her knees and kissed my hands. But taught to speak have whispered their secret in my ear.’ said Hall. 64 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Of course it is you will see her to-night. mance was over I went behind. as they our engagement is a dead secret.’ hers. I Radley is sure to be furious. throwing off his evening cape with have in your studio. Of course find my wife in Shakespeare’s plays? Lips that Shakespeare the scenery was dreadful. She smiling as he spoke. She is simply a born artist. putting his hand on the lad’s shoulder. feather caught in a jewel. I suppose you were right. let us sit down and try what trembled all over. and the Orlando absurd. I was away with my He was flushed with excitement and pleasure. She ‘My dear Harry. and spoke to her. and been narrowed to one perfect point of rose-colored joy. She has not even told her took their seats at the small round table.com 65 . and went down after. Sibyl was playing Rosalind. cross-gartered hose. I have Sibyl! You should have seen her! When she came on in her had the arms of Rosalind around me. She wore a moss. I don’t care. Dorian. As we were ‘I hope you will always be very happy. Then she the new chef here is like. I shall be of age in had some dinner at that curious little Italian restaurant in less than a year. the mouth.’ broke felt at that moment. Basil. had all the delicate grace of that Tanagra figurine that you late me!’ said the boy. suddenly there came a look into her eyes ward. haven’t I. After the perfor- extraordinarily handsome. After I left you yesterday evening. sitting together. ‘What happened own mother. and looked love in a forest that no man had ever seen. you introduced me to. I forgot that I was in me to be the one thing I have been looking for all my life. And yet it seems to the dingy box absolutely enthralled. ‘I have never been so happy. but I can’t help it.’ London and in the nineteenth century.

delightful theories. I represent to you all the sins noyed with me. ‘but I am always ready for a new emotion. What more can you want?— Yes. When you see Sibyl you will have a new ideal middle-class life.’ and fine-champagne. for the only reason.—simple curiosity.’ he answered.’ said Lord Henry.— Basil. I shall find her in an orchard in Verona. A cigarette is the never bring misery upon any one. You must have a cigarette.com 67 . No: don’t mind Hallward laid his hand upon his arm. And it is ‘My dear Harry. and some cigarettes. He would smoke cigars. poisonous. Harry.’ murmured Lord wrong. ‘You are quite ‘I have known everything. 66 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Dorian. Dorian Gray shook his head. regret all that you have taught me. ‘I left her in the forest of Ar. and she said she was not worthy to be my wife. ‘At what particular point did you mention the word what he loves. When you see Sibyl Vane you will feel that den. what you have known me to be. I love Sibyl Vane. the whole world is nothing to me com. and to see the world worship the woman who you forgot all about it. and that the waiter had placed on the table. Dorian? and what did she say in answer? Perhaps estal of gold. fascinating. and tossed his head.’ is mine. that ex. her belief makes me good. you fellows?—Waiter.’ one unsatisfied.’ never known. angry with you. He is not like other men. I have some.’ touch of Sibyl Vane’s hand makes me forget you and all your ‘Women are wonderfully practical. ‘I asked the question for the you have never had the courage to commit. I cannot understand how any one can wish to shame ner. I have lighting his cigarette from a fire-breathing silver dragon a theory that it is always the women who propose to us. you have some coffee. of course. you will always be fond of me. and it leaves that. indeed. heart. I did not treat it as a business transac. I wish to place her on a ped- marriage. Dorian. When I am with her. I become different from Not worthy! Why. except. and they always remind us. cuses one for asking any question. She will represent something to you that you have ern.’ said Lord Henry. bring coffee. of life. ‘What nonsense you talk. His nature is too fine for perfect type of a perfect pleasure.’ best reason possible. Harry!’ cried Dorian Gray. I am changed. and the mere pared to her. with a sad incorrigible.’ the man who could wrong her would be a beast without a Lord Henry sipped his champagne in a meditative man. You the cigarettes. ‘Don’t. In situations of ‘You will always like me. But then the middle classes are not mod. Her trust makes me tion. but I don’t mind. What is marriage? An irrevocable vow. Lord Henry looked across the table. ‘Dorian is never an. ‘Will that kind we often forget to say anything about marriage.—‘much more practical than we are. and I did not make any formal proposal.’ Henry. Harry. I can’t allow you to have annoyed Dorian. ‘Let us go down to not we who propose to the women. It is exquisite.’ Dorian Gray laughed. It is impossible to be look in his eyes. I I loved her. an irrevocable vow that I want to take. in the theatre. I told her that faithful.

waving his fat jewelled hands. His eyes darkened. and the crowded ing him by the hand. and the huge sunlight flamed like a monstrous dahlia with petals of fire. I love acting. ‘It was here I found her. You must follow us in a hansom. top of his voice. A strange sense of loss came over him. ‘Yes!’ answered Dorian Gray. They talked to each other across the theatre. sipping their coffee standing. He felt met by Caliban. it seemed to him that he had bankrupt over Shakespeare. and talking at the down-stairs. Lord Henry. Hallward amused himself with grown years older. Some women were laughing in the pit. your wonderful girl may thrill me. The youths in the gallery had taken off their coats and waistcoats and hung them over the side. their voices were horribly shrill and discordant. and insisted on shak- had been in the past. but there is only room for two in the brougham. and she is divine beyond all living things. It is so Chapter V much more real than life. Let us go. as had been arranged.I am afraid that there is no such thing. tremulous it seemed to him to be better than many other things that smile. When she acts you 68 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and yet F or some reason or other. watching the faces in the pit.com 69 . and assured him that he was proud flaring streets became blurred to him. and the fat Jew manager who met them at the door was beaming from ear to ear with an oily. When the cab drew to meet a man who had discovered a real genius and gone up at the doors of the theatre. upon the other hand. rather that Dorian Gray would never again be to him all that he liked him. Still. you will come with me. At least he declared he did. ‘What a place to find one’s divinity in!’ said Lord Henry. Hallward was silent and preoccupied.’ They got up and put on their coats. the house was crowded that night. There was a gloom over him. The sound of the popping of corks came from the bar. Basil.—I am so sorry. Dorian. and shared their or- anges with the tawdry painted girls who sat by them. After a few moments. He escorted them to their box with a sort of pompous might have happened. The heat was terribly oppres- sive. He could not bear this marriage. He drove off by himself. and watched the flashing lights of the little brougham in He felt as if he had come to look for Miranda and had been front of him. they all passed humility. Dorian Gray loathed him more than ever. for me at any rate.

This marriage is quite right. such as it was. cool ivory. lips seemed to tremble.’ Yet she was curiously listless. Basil. I did not think so the curves of a white lily.’ And palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss. Harry is so speak. ‘Oh. Without her you would have been incomplete. ent when she is on the stage. Dorian. These common people here. The band. She showed no sign of joy ‘Thanks. good in me. as she danced. gazing on ‘I understand what you mean. The curves of her throat were like the world. If this girl can in his pilgrim’s dress had entered with Mercutio and his give a soul to those who have lived without one. She spiritualizes them. and There was something of the fawn in her shy grace and star- one feels that they are of the same flesh and blood as one’s tled eyes. came to her cheeks as she glanced at the crowded. to whom I have given everything that is For saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch. The few lines she had to hand. enthusiastic house. and her ning the occupants of the gallery through his opera-glass. and Romeo one’s age. he terrifies me. Her hands seemed to be made of at first.’ answered Dorian Gray. struck up a few bars of create the sense of beauty in people whose lives have been music. ‘Charming! charming!’ effect you describe must be fine and noble.will forget everything.—that is something worth doing.— 70 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. them as responsive as a violin. pressing his when her eyes rested on Romeo.com 71 . She makes est creatures. murmuring.’ of silver. nary turmoil of applause. but I admit it now. I hope not!’ murmured Lord Henry. They sit silently and watch her. shabbily-dressed actors. began to applaud. become quite differ. with A quarter of an hour afterwards.—one of the loveli- They weep and laugh as she wills them to do. God made Sibyl Vane for you. like a man in a dream. Dorian Gray sat motionless. Then the Good pilgrim. Yes. To spiritualize The scene was the hall of Capulet’s house. she was certainly lovely to look at. who was scan. ‘I knew that you would understand me. but it only lasts for about five minutes. A faint blush. Any her. amidst an extraordi- their coarse faces and brutal gestures. Lord Henry thought. to give all my life. Lord Henry peered through his one you love must be marvellous. and the dance began. and you will see the girl to whom I am going Which mannerly devotion shows in this. worthy of the adoration of plant sways in the water. and I believe in this girl. curtain rises. It is quite dreadful. She stepped back a few paces. if she can strip them of their selfishness ly.’ said Hallward. Through the crowd of ungain- sordid and ugly. you do wrong your hand too much. that he had ever seen. Sibyl Vane moved like a creature and lend them tears for sorrows that are not their own. if she can friends. and any girl that has the opera-glass. she from a finer world. Her body swayed. like the shadow of a rose in a mirror self. Basil Hallward leaped to his feet and ‘Don’t pay any attention to him. as a is worthy of all your adoration. But here is the orchestra. Sibyl Vane stepped on to the stage.— cynical.

and grew worse as she went on. Her gestures swore with rage. They were horribly disappoint. gallery lost their interest in the play.’ 72 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. stamped and unbearable. May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet. vous. there was nothing in her. too sudden. They got restless. ‘It lightens.’ he rejoined. Last night Although I joy in thee.’ who has been taught to recite by some second-rate professor ‘My dear Dorian. Harry. began to talk loudly and to whistle. She has entirely altered. ‘I am awfully sorry that I have made you was declaimed with the painful precision of a school-girl waste an evening. who That could not be denied.— ‘I am going to see the play through. and She looked charming as she came out in the moonlight. and Lord Henry got up from his chair and put on his Thou knowest the mask of night is on my face. She was a complete failure. They waited for that.’ Sweet.— When the second act was over there came a storm of hisses. were spoken in a It is too rash. she was a great artist. To-night she is merely a common- I have no joy of this contract to-night: place.’ answered the lad. Neither of his friends dared to say anything to him. It took away all the life from the verse. The Jew manager. thoroughly artificial manner. It was not nervousness. The beautiful passage. ‘She is quite beautiful. If she failed Even the common uneducated audience of the pit and there.’ he said. When she leaned over the balcony and came to rupted Hallward. in a hard. which doth cease to be from the point of view of tone it was absolutely false. too unadvised. so far from being ner- ed. But the staginess of her acting was was standing at the back of the dress-circle. bitter voice. her. ‘But she seems to me to be simply callous and cold. but Too like the lightning. Let us go. It was Ere one can say. coat. ‘but she can’t Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek act.’ those wonderful lines. that she had to say. The voice was exquisite.— ‘I wish she was ill. The only person unmoved was the girl her- became absurdly artificial. with the brief dialogue that follows. It This bud of love by summer’s ripening breath made the passion unreal. Indeed. Dorian. I apologize to both of you. She over-emphasized everything self.’ inter- of elocution. she seemed absolutely self-contained. It was simply Yet they felt that the true test of any Juliet is the balcony bad art. scene of the second act.com 73 .’ For that which thou hast heard me speak to-night. ‘We will come some other night. I should think Miss Vane was ill. good-night! wrong in color. mediocre actress. She seemed to them to she spoke the words as if they conveyed no meaning to be absolutely incompetent.— Dorian Gray grew pale as he watched her.

The ‘Dorian. and an expression There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinat. as though you want?’ it were sweeter than honey to the red petals of her lips.—people who know absolutely everything. you should have understood. She was transfigured the curtain rose on the third act. You have no idea what I suffered.Basil. It was only in the theatre that 74 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. to his seat.— ‘Please go away. ‘You are ill. Dorian. Her doll? She is very lovely. tramping in heavy boots. who know absolutely nothing.’ she answered. My friends were bored. she looked at him. Harry. ‘But do let us go. she will be a delightful experience. An ecstasy of happiness dominated her. Come to the club what it was.— don’t look so tragic! The secret of remaining young is never ‘horribly! It was dreadful. There was a radiance about her. Lord Henry. ‘Dorian. eyes. The girl was standing alone acting. Love dience went out. and if she knows as little about life parted lips were smiling over some secret of their own. you don’t mind my asking you to go? Ah! can’t now. I suppose. We will smoke cigarettes and drink The girl smiled. I was bored. hiding his face in his hands. together.’ cried the lad. So what does it matter if she plays Juliet like a wooden with an exquisite fire. lingering over to the beauty of Sibyl Vane.com 75 . and. Good heavens. ‘Horribly!’ he answered.’ A few moments afterwards the footlights flared up. Dorian. Are you ill? You have no idea to have an emotion that is unbecoming. with a look of triumph on her face. Besides. and seemed interminable.’ murmured most empty benches. ‘How badly I acted to-night. What more can his name with long-drawn music in her voice. You make yourself ridiculous. of infinite joy came over her.’ with Basil and myself. and the two young men passed out you are ill you shouldn’t act.’ she cried. is a more wonderful thing than art. Why I shall never act well again. and laughing. I don’t suppose you will want your wife to there. ‘Why I was so bad to-night. and indifferent. ‘before I knew you. But you understand alone. Half of the au. don’t you?’ you see that my heart is breaking?’ The hot tears came to his ‘Understand what?’ he asked. acting play dragged on. Basil. and proud. you must not stay As soon as it was over. and people Dorian!’ she cried. He looked pale. as she does about acting. Her eyes were lit act.’ ‘Let us go. It is not good for one’s morals to see bad scenes into the greenroom.’ The whole thing was a fiasco. he leaned up against the wall. ing. His lips trembled. He shrugged his shoulders. ‘I really want to be ‘Dorian. rushing to the back of the box. and She seemed not to listen to him. Dorian. The last act was played to al- ‘They are both simply forms of imitation. Why I shall always be bad. Dorian Gray went back with joy. She is beautiful. When he entered. ‘Don’t talk like that about any one you love. Dorian Gray rushed behind the here any longer. my dear boy. When derness in his voice. gazing at her in amazement.’ said Lord Henry. angrily. was the one reality of my life. with a strange ten.

You had brought of art. ‘Yes. once …. You her little fingers. hands together. and old. I hate the shipped you. and went to the door.—oh. I will never mention your name. were of great poets and gave shape and substance to the shadows not my words. something of which all art is but a re. and trembled. and Portia the other. I can’t bear to think of it! I wish I had never laid eyes how it was that everything had gone from me. for the first time. My love! my love! I am sick of shadows. I saw through the hollowness. magnificent. splendid. than all art can ever be. the first time in my life. once. I loved you because you were wonderful. Dorian— take famous. I heard them hissing. my beautiful love!—and you freed my soul from her lips.I lived. pid. for him. ‘You have killed my love. You simply produce no that the Romeo was hideous. and that the words I had to speak were unreal.’ he muttered. You used to stir my imagination. The common people who acted with me seemed She looked at him in wonder. What are you without your art? Nothing. of a play? When I came on to-night. My God! how mad I was to love you! What a fool I have flection. Dorian?’ she murmured. He made no to me to be godlike. I will never see you again. sham. everything. and I thought them real. I could not understand Oh. it would be profanation for me to play at being in love. The joy of Beatrice was my joy. ‘you have killed my love. been! You are nothing to me now. Dorian. and turned away his and the sorrows of Cordelia were mine also. because you moonlight in the orchard was false. The painted scenes were my world. because you realized the dreams vulgar. The girl grew white. I believed in face. Why. and laughed. the Then he leaped up. How dawned on my soul what it all meant. I answer. The knowledge was little you can know of love. He drew them away. ‘You are act- 76 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Suddenly it upon you! You have spoiled the romance of my life. that the effect. and painted.com 77 . and you would have belonged to me. I became conscious Now you don’t even stir my curiosity. I thought that it was all true.’ not mimic one that burns me like fire. You are more to me I will never think of you. and I smiled. Oh. You are shallow and stu- me something higher.’ he cried. ways played. She knelt down and pressed his hands to came. She clinched her you understand now what it all means? Even if I could do it. She came across to him. He flung himself down on the sofa. but I can. What are stage. Dorian. and her voice seemed to catch in her throat. What have I to do with the puppets You don’t know what you were to me. and a shudder ran through prison. of the empty pageant in which I had al. the silliness. You have made me understand what love really is.’ night. not what I wanted to say. you now? A third-rate actress with a pretty face. The world would have wor- me away with you. I was Rosalind one have made me see that. I would have made you should they know of love? Take me away. Tonight. if you say it mars your art! What exquisite to me. You ‘You are not serious. You have thrown it all away. To-night. You taught me what reality really is. I might mimic a passion that I do not feel. and stroked his hair with knew nothing but shadows. where we can be quite alone. that the scenery was had genius and intellect.

But I will try. You have ‘Acting! I leave that to you. with his beau. Don’t be cruel to me because I love you better than bled slowly down the polished empty street. I was thinking of you all the time.—in. of vegetables. defiled in front of Sibyl Vane seemed to him to be absurdly melodramatic. and their beauty not pleased you. A white-smocked carter offered him some cherries. and of yellow and red roses.com 79 . Women with hoarse don’t leave me!’ she whispered. and chattering to themselves like deed. ‘Don’t touch me!’ he cried. don’t leave me. wait- 78 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. It came so suddenly across me. bitterly. She crouched on the He thanked him. gloomy courts. and made no answer. He had seen grotesque children huddled you. Drunkards well. Can’t When the dawn was just breaking he found himself at you forgive me for to-night? I will work so hard. ‘I am so sorry I didn’t act voices and harsh laughter had called after him. In a few moments he was out of the theatre. he hardly knew. into the market. Dorian. in his calm. my love. Don’t go away from me.’ he an.’ he said at last. They had tiful eyes. and. and his chiselled lips curled been plucked at midnight.—if we had not kissed each other. loitered a troop of draggled bareheaded girls. archways and evil-looking houses. After all. looked down at her. Oh. and appeared of pain in her face. threading their way through the huge jadegreen piles tears and sobs annoyed him. and looked into his eyes. Kiss me again. and had heard shrieks and oaths from kissed me. wondered why he refused to accept any floor like a wounded thing. A long line of boys carrying crates of about the passions of people whom one has ceased to love. don’t leave me. striped tulips. He thrust room. and began to eat them listlessly.’ swered. A fit of passionate sobbing choked her. with its gray sunbleached ‘I am going. and the coldness of the moon in exquisite disdain. and lay there like a trampled flower.’ don’t wish to be unkind. Under the portico. disappointed me. She put to be seeking for him. ‘Dorian. But you are quite right. and watched the men unloading their wag- and yet I couldn’t help it. her back. it is only once that I have heavy with the perfume of the flowers. There is always something ridiculous had entered into them. The air was anything in the world. Dorian. I think I should never have known it if you had not upon door-steps. I couldn’t bear it. my love for monstrous apes. money for them. and she flung herself at his dering through dimly-lit streets with gaunt black-shadowed feet. but I can’t see you again. came across the room to him. It was foolish of me. and left the her hand upon his arm. and Dorian Gray. Her him. had reeled by cursing. Huge carts filled with nodding lilies rum- improve.’ ons. You do it so well. but crept nearer She rose from her knees. with a piteous expression to him. I will try. I should seemed to bring him an anodyne for his pain. He turned on his heel. She wept silently. clear voice. He followed have shown myself more of an artist. He remembered wan- A low moan broke from her. Her little hands stretched blindly out. and try to Covent Garden. ‘I pillars.ing. Where he went to.

bloom and loveliness of his then just conscious boyhood. his eye fell upon the portrait Basil Hallward had that he himself might remain young. dering. of cruelty in the mouth. he had lived centu- He rubbed his eyes. What did it mean? terrible hours that the play had lasted. The quivering. aeon upon aeon of torture. and began to think. and yet there was no wounded her for an age.ing for the auction to be over. mere fancy of his own. that Lord Henry had given him. he had been looking into a mirror after he had done some And. They lived on their emotions. the face that the painted image might be seared with the lines of suf- seemed to him to be a little changed. and ries of pain. and swept the And. One would have said that there was a touch of cru. The bright dawn flooded the room. there was the picture before him. The expression looked fering and thought. struggled through the cream-colored silk blinds. he was passing through the library towards the door of his Yes. They only thought of their emotions. taking up from the table an oval glass He remembered with what callousness he had watched her. Sud- hansom and drove home. that his own beauty might be untarnished. and the face over to it and examined it. drew the impossible. blinds up. As Hallward’s studio the day the picture had been finished. During the three lips. thought of her lying at his feet sobbing like a little child. not the face of the portrait seemed to linger there. There were no signs of any change when worth hers. When they took lov- 80 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and. Then she had him the lines of cruelty round the mouth as clearly as if disappointed him. Surely his prayer had not been answered? Such things were He turned round. he Why had he been made like that? Why had such a soul been glanced hurriedly into it. yet. and. He had dreamed of her as a great artist. and the portrait grow painted of him. yet. She had been shallow and unworthy. She had marred him for a moment. and denly there flashed across his mind what he had said in Basil the roofs of the houses glistened like silver against it. as he dreadful thing. The sky was pure opal now. His life was well examined it again. if he had he looked into the actual painting. He winced. elty in the mouth. walking to the window. Besides. It was not a ed to bear sorrow than men. he remembered it perfectly. had given his intensified even. ardent sunlight showed love to her because he had thought her great. with the touch fantastic shadows into dusky corners. The thing was horribly apparent. But the strange expression that he had noticed in Cruelty! Had he been cruel? It was the girl’s fault. and that he might keep all the delicate different. and came close to the picture. After some time he hailed a He threw himself into a chair. a feeling of infinite regret came over him.com 81 . to be more his. He started back in surprise. No line like that warped his red given to him? But he had suffered also. It was certainly curious. It seemed monstrous even to think of them. women were better suit- doubt that the whole expression had altered. where they lay shud. In the dim arrested light that on the canvas bear the burden of his passions and his sins. and then went old. framed in ivory Cupids. He had uttered a mad wish bedroom.

He thought only of senses. Poor child! He 82 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. The fresh morning air seemed No. changed or unchanged.com 83 . Would it teach him to loathe his own soul? to the window and opened it. listen to those subtle poisonous theories that in Basil Hallward’s gar- den had first stirred within him the passion for impossible things. the flowers about her. A sense of infinite pity. at any rate. would be to him the visible emblem of conscience. It had altered already. and told his story. marry her. He would go back to Sibyl Vane.ers. He got up from his chair. a stain would fleck and wreck its fairness. Lord Henry had told him that. he drew a deep breath. Sibyl Vane. He would resist temptation. ‘How secret of his life. but for the painted image of himself. The picture. Its gold would wither into gray. with its beautiful marred face and its cruel smile. Vane? She was nothing to him now. try to love her again. not for himself. His life with her would be beautiful and pure. Its red and white roses would die. The fascination that she have scenes. Its bright hair gleamed in the early sun- light. Its blue eyes met his own. The picture had singing in the dew-drenched garden seemed to be telling not changed. and drew a large screen right But the picture? What was he to say of that? It held the in front of the portrait. and Lord Henry had exercised over him would return. it was merely to have some one with whom they could had been selfish and cruel to her. it was his duty to do so. For every sin that he committed. shuddering as he glanced at it. He would not see Lord Henry any more. It had taught him to love horrible!’ he murmured to himself. It was folly to think so. Suddenly there had fallen upon his brain repeated her name over and over again. A faint echo of his love came back to him. and he walked across his own beauty. But he would not sin.—would not. Yet it was watching him. They would be happy knew what women were. Yes. and would alter more. it was merely an illusion wrought on the troubled to drive away all his sombre passions. The birds that were that tiny scarlet speck that makes men mad. make her amends. came over him. She must have suffered more than he had. He toms behind it. When he stepped out on the Would he ever look at it again? grass. Why should he trouble about Sibyl together. The horrible night that he had passed had left phan.

listlessly.com 85 . and there were sever. He hesitated Suddenly his eye fell on the screen that he had placed in for a moment. Finally his bell sounded. ‘I am not cold. programmes elette on the table. ionable young men every morning during the season. for a chased silver Louis-Quinze toi. was an exquisite day. After about ten minutes he got up. putting an om- vitations to dinner. throwing on an I t was long past noon when he awoke. and Victor came in softly dim sense of having taken part in some strange tragedy with a cup of tea. on a small tray of came to him once or twice. it been simply his own imagination that had made him see let-set. monsieur. The warm air seemed laden with spic- ‘One hour and a quarter. he went into the library and three tall windows. 84 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. It did not realize that we live in an age when only unnecessary would serve as a tale to tell Basil some day. that are showered on fash. passed into the onyx-paved bath- room. Dorian shook his head. in. There Was it all true? Had the portrait really changed? Or had was a rather heavy bill. It ‘What o’clock is it. that hung in front of the As soon as he was dressed. for him on a small round table close to an open window.’ he murmured. One of them was from Lord Henry. Victor?’ asked Dorian Gray. and had been brought by hand that morning. and the like. sat down to a light French breakfast. that he had not yet had the courage to send on to his a look of evil where there had been a look of joy? Surely guardians. He felt perfectly happy. but there was the unreality of old Sèvres china.’ es. who were extremely old-fashioned people and a painted canvas could not alter? The thing was absurd. a dream about it. They contained the usual collection of cards. and. He seemed to have forgotten all that he had gone through. sleepily. smiling.Chapter VI al very courteously worded communications from Jermyn Street money-lenders offering to advance any sum of money at a moment’s notice and at the most reasonable rates of in- terest. with their shimmering blue lining. ‘Too cold for Monsieur?’ asked his valet. tickets for private views. How late it was! He sat up. that stood in front of him. and he started. and then put it aside. ‘I shut the window?’ of charity concerts. and buzzed round the blue-dragon bowl. that had been laid out ‘Monsieur has well slept this morning. and drew back the olive-satin curtains. and. It would make things are absolutely necessary to us. and had wondered what made his young master sleep elaborate dressing-gown. turned over his letters. A so late. filled with sulphur-yellow roses. The cool water refreshed him after his long sleep. having sipped some tea.’ he said. A bee flew in. The others he opened front of the portrait. His valet had crept several times into the room on tiptoe to see if he was stir- ring. him smile. and a pile of letters.

When the coffee and cigarettes change should have taken place was incredible to him. And. how cruel. He scanned it curiously. the screen. into some nobler passion. and always with no He almost dreaded his valet leaving the room. opiates for remorse. he felt a mad yet it was a fact. Victor. gazing at the picture in sick- down on a luxuriously-cushioned couch that stood facing ened horror.com 87 . It stamped and wrought with a rather florid Louis-Quatorze had made him conscious how unjust. and. terrible reason? He shuddered. trait with a feeling of almost scientific interest. The man stood waiting for his orders. after all? Why not let it stay would yield to some higher influence. drugs that could lull the moral sense to ture? He would be sure to do that. and felt afraid. going He rose from the table. how vivid was his recollection of the whole drew the screen aside. and four. His unreal and selfish love Should he move it aside. As the door closed behind him chemical atoms. lit a cigarette. upon their souls. he had seen the touch of cruelty in the warped lips. There were do if Basil Hallward came and asked to look at his own pic. No. they made true? Or was there some other. If it was not true. That such a He was afraid of certainty. Here was an ever-present sign of the ruin men brought dreadful state of doubt. however. and at once. the thing had to be sleep. other eyes than his life. and saw himself face to face. he found himself at first gazing at the por- when he was alone he would have to examine the portrait. He knew that small wonder. and half-past four. Was there some subtle affinity between the desire to tell him to remain. with a sigh. and con- spied behind. that. The man bowed and dreamed. And had been brought and the man turned to go. wondering if it had ever been to Sibyl Vane. more retired. The portrait had altered. they realized?—that what it any one. he had pattern. The screen was an old one of gilt Spanish leather. He got up.’ he said. lay there. Then he did not stir. It was thing! First in the dim twilight. Anything would be better than this sin. At least he would be Three o’clock struck. and the portrait that Basil Hall- it was terrible. would be transformed there? What was the use of knowing? If the thing was true. dawn. and saw the horrible change? What should he science to others. He was trying to gather up the scarlet threads 86 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. would be to him what holiness was to some. on the canvas. by some fate or deadlier chance. and flung himself back to the couch. But here was a visible symbol of the degradation of examined. and the fear of God to us all. One thing. She could still be his wife. he felt that it had done for him. ‘I am not at home to be that what that soul thought. It was not too late to make reparation for before concealed the secret of a man’s life. yet. and locked both doors. that shaped themselves into form and color he called him back. and then in the bright perfectly true. and the soul that was within him? Could it Dorian looked at him for a moment. why trouble about it? But ward had painted of him would be a guide to him through what if. As he often remembered afterwards. but he alone when he looked upon the mask of his shame.

Finally. I am not sorry for anything that has happened. it was better ‘By marrying Sibyl Vane. dreadful about marriage. and looking at him in perplexed amazement. When we blame our. ‘I am perfectly happy now.’ to let Lord Henry in. shaking his When Dorian Gray had finished the letter. and tearing selves we feel that no one else has a right to blame us. and he heard was. ‘I was brutal.’ answered Lord Henry. ‘But you must not think about it too much.of life. and wilder words of pain. and slowly pulling his gloves off. She is to be ‘Do you mean about Sibyl Vane?’ asked Dorian. from to you this morning. and sent the note down. I know what you are going to say.’ page with wild words of sorrow.—perfectly brutal. to part if parting was inevitable. Lord Henry’s voice outside. sinking into a ‘Your wife! Dorian! … Didn’t you get my letter? I wrote chair. ‘It is dreadful.—at least not before me.’ said Lord Henry. Harry. and to weave them into a pattern. Did you make a scene with her?’ think. I know what had been forgiven. he went over to the table and wrote a passion. ‘But. He covered page after taught me to know myself better. to begin with. that gives us absolution. I can’t you. my wife. Yes. to find his way go behind and see her after the play was over?’ through the sanguine labyrinth of passion through which ‘Yes. ‘Ah. or what to ‘I felt sure you had.’ ‘Yes.’ 88 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. The gratulate you on it. to quarrel with him if it became neces. I can’t bear your shutting yourself bear the idea of my soul being hideous. Dorian! I con- He made no answer at first. Two days ago I asked Sibyl to mar- coming in. drew the screen hastily across the picture. It your nice hair. now. not the priest.’ ry me. and grew louder. Harry. conscience is. and to explain to him the new life he ‘Marrying Sibyl Vane!’ cried Lord Henry. Harry. my dear sary to quarrel. and smiling.’ ‘A very charming artistic basis for ethics. afraid I would find you plunged in remorse. I am not going to break my word to her. of course. Let me in at once. ‘My dear Dorian. but it was not your fault. Don’t sneer at it. Don’t ever say things ‘I am so sorry for it all. I want to be good. standing up. but remained quite still. Tell me. It has and accusing himself of madness. and unlocked ‘Yes.’ up like this. It is the divinest thing in us. ‘I have got through all that. I am so glad you take it in that way! I was There is a luxury in self-reproach.com 89 .’ said Dorian. He did not know what to do. I must see any more. by my own one point of view. of that kind to me again. Don’t say it. he felt that he head.’ is the confession. Something the door. Dorian.’ he was wandering. my dear boy. was going to lead. It is not what you told me it Suddenly there came a knock to the door. He jumped Dorian—’ up. But how are you going to begin?’ knocking still continued. imploring her forgiveness. did you man. But it is all right ate letter to the girl he had loved.

I remember. but she did not come down again.’ said Lord Henry. I think I would have wept over it. half with a scandal.’ And to-night I am to dine with you. some Lord Henry walked across the room. you mustn’t let this thing get on all the morning papers. You can come to my sister’s box. and after- to see any one till I came. it seems far too erything at once. Here. It is very tragic. of course. Finally he murmured. They Harry.’ he said. I should tightly. now Sibyl—? Oh. It is a Patti night.com 91 . ly for all that. Strange. You must come and dine with me. yes. I suppose. I don’t suppose they know your name at the little throat with a knife. ‘Your letter? Oh. I was afraid there might be something in it that I ultimately found her lying dead on the floor of her dress- wouldn’t like. Somehow. and of course. tearing his hands away from Lord Henry’s grasp. and seemed to know so ‘It is quite true. or listen? Oh. Dorian. that my first pas- it must be put in that way to the public.’ are so prejudiced. and he leaped to yourself mixed up in it. and held them but it had either prussic acid or white lead in it. ‘Harry. ing round to her room? That is an important point. some time for her. Things like everybody will be there. gravely. wards we will look in at the Opera.’ ing-room. Tell me ev. I see by the Standard that she was his feet. 90 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I wrote down to you to ask you not your nerves. Did any one see you go. I don’t know what it was. If they don’t. ‘my letter—don’t be frightened— fancy it was prussic acid. took both his hands in his. There will have to be an inquest.’ wonderful for tears. did you say an inquest? What did you mean by that? Did Harry. one should never make one’s début ‘So I have murdered Sibyl Vane. I have not read it yet. Dorian. They waited the dead? Sibyl! Can she feel. Dorian. ‘Dorian. and then go on to the Dorian did not answer for a few moments. that make a man fashionable in Paris. Harry. And the roses are not less love- theatre. that it has happened actually. seventeen. afterwards. by Dorian Gray.’ taneously. I should have thought she was almost younger ‘Dead! Sibyl dead! It is not true! It is a horrible lie!’ than that. those white silent people we call she said she had forgotten something up-stairs. in a stifled voice. Here is the first passionate love-letter ‘I have no doubt it was not an accident. and you must not be mixed up in it. the theatre with her mother. Harry. But in London people She has got some smart women with her. ‘It is in little about acting. and sup somewhere. One should reserve that to give an interest to himself. as she seems to have died instan- was to tell you that Sibyl Vane is dead.— ‘murdered her as certainly as if I had cut her to one’s old age. She looked such a child. it is all right. but you must not get A cry of pain rose from the lad’s lips. and to me. She had swallowed something by mistake.’ said Dorian Gray. or know. As she was leaving sionate loveletter should have been addressed to a dead girl. I can’t bear it! But be quick. He was dazed Opera. I wonder. How ex- with horror. though I have ever written in my life. traordinarily dramatic life is! If I had read all this in a book. and. sitting down dreadful thing they use at theatres. The birds sing just as happily in my garden. about half-past twelve or so. Can they feel.

I fancy would have been an absolute failure. the only way a woman can ever reform The lad frowned.— impression of sheer brute force.—‘an extremely interesting question. I know I am not. but it was awful. I say nothing about the social found an exquisite pleasure in playing on the lad’s uncon- mistake. their entire lack of style. I am sible interest in life. I can’t tell for us. I felt I had done wrong. ‘why is it that I cannot feel this tragedy as my God! Harry. I thought her shallow. but by which I have that out about her husband.’ you what it was. and looking horribly pale. They give us. it was my duty. But she would have soon found out that you to a wonderful play.’ said Lord Henry. who an’s husband has to pay for. And when a woman finds tragedy. and we revolt against that.’ Henry. And now she is dead. It often happens that the real ‘I suppose it would. It seems to me to be simply like a wonderful ending cares nothing.’ answered Lord selfish of her. Then came that dreadful night—was it ‘Good resolutions are simply a useless attempt to inter- really only last night?—when she played so badly. but I assure you that in any case the whole thing scious egotism. Harry. coming over and sitting her. ‘but I am glad you don’t think I am heartless.’ muttered the lad. It is not my fault that this terrible tragedy their absurd want of meaning. has prevented my doing what was right. It was terribly result is absolutely nil. now and then. She had no right to kill herself. If you had married this girl you would nothing of the kind. with his sweet.’ dowdy. ‘It is an interesting question. what shall I do? You don’t know the danger much as I want to? I don’t think I am heartless. Their heart almost broke.’ he a man is by boring him so completely that he loses all pos. But I was not moved a bit. She explained it all to me. Do you?’ I am in. And yet I must admit have been wretched. Their origin is pure vanity.how I loved her once! It seems years ago to me now. I said I would go back to ‘Harry. those luxurious sterile emotions that have a certain charm Then something happened that made me afraid. 92 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘My dear Dorian. My God! down beside him. It has all the terrible beauty of a great were absolutely indifferent to her. That is all that can be said for them. It was entitled to give yourself that name.com 93 . ‘But I thought hurt us by their crude violence. Of course you would have treated her that this thing that has happened does not affect me as it kindly. she either becomes dreadfully not been wounded.’ that the explanation is this. a tragedy in which I took part. Dorian. their absolute incoherence. She would ‘You have done too many foolish things in your life to be have done that for me. I remember your They affect us just as vulgarity affects us. ‘I don’t like that explanation. Mine certainly were.’ everything to me. walking up and tragedies of life occur in such an inartistic manner that they down the room. and my fere with scientific laws. or wears very smart bonnets that some other wom. rejoined. melancholy smile. some of pathetic. One can always be kind to people about whom one should. They give us an saying once that there is a fatality about good resolutions. and there is nothing to keep me straight.’ cried Dorian Gray. She was that they are always made too late.

but there have been but they have no sense of art. me—there have not been very many. Or rather we are both. Dorian. Ultimately. I find in modern life. the obvious one.’ she insisted on going over the whole thing again. Besides. and when I meet them they go in you. I think it was her proposing to woman once told me. It would have made me in love with ery comedy would have a tragic ending. and I can quite understand it. however. They have known would have done for me what Sibyl Vane did for become stout and tedious. Ordinary women always console themselves. listlessly. If these elements of beauty are real. and raking up the future. ging up the past. I wish I had ever to continue it. I had buried my ‘Oh. The people who have adored would culminate in a farce. long after I had am. Some of at once for reminiscences. woman over thirty-five who is fond of pink ribbons. at Lady Hampshire’s. however. But women never know when ourselves. I once wore their husbands. now and then things linger. If they were allowed to have their way. That is always a dreadful nothing makes one so vain as being told that one is a sin- moment. a die. Suddenly we find that we are no longer the actors. so I did not feel any anxi- fect. That awful memory of woman! them do it by going in for sentimental colors. They always want a sixth act. I assure you. what is it that has really happened? soon as the interest of the play is entirely over they propose Some one has killed herself for love of you. sacrifice the whole world for me. I have not mentioned the most found myself seated at dinner next the lady in question. It fills one with the terror of eternity. or they to care for me. whatever her age may be. Details are al. Taking some one else’s admir- 94 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and as us. a tragedy that has artistic elements of romance in a bed of poppies. Harry?’ said Dorian Gray. that not one of the women I have ceased to care for them. Others find a great ways vulgar. I forget what killed it. Well. and the mere wonder of the spectacle enthralls the curtain has fallen. and beauty crosses our lives. or a stagnation it reveals! One should absorb the color of life. as if it was the most fascinating of sins. ‘What is that.— ner. In the present case. I am bound to state the whole thing simply appeals to our sense of dramatic ef. but ety. They flaunt their conjugal felicity in one’s nothing but violets all through one season. it did soles some.Sometimes. She dragged it out again. ev- had such an experience. It al- but one should never remember its details. There is really no end to the consolations that women would you believe it?—a week ago. Never trust What a fearful thing it is! And what an utter intellectual a woman who wears mauve. Religion con- a romance that would not die. and every tragedy love for the rest of my life. They are charmingly artificial. Its mysteries have all the charm of a flirtation. We watch the past is that it is the past.com 95 . You are more fortunate than I some— have always insisted on living on. ways means that they have a history. as mourning for face. and dig. But what a lack of taste she showed! The one charm of the spectators of the play. and important one of all. consolation in suddenly discovering the good qualities of ‘Of course. Indeed. that she ate an enormous dinner. assured me that I had spoiled her life.

with some- to me at the time to be merely fanciful. You forget that. rising to go. a reed through which am glad I am living in a century when such wonders hap. and whitewashes a woman. The girl never really lived. and so she passed away.’ strangled. she marred it. As it 96 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I can fancy how delightful you looked. Dorian. will lad. and with silver feet. But don’t waste your tears over Sibyl Vane. But you must think of that lonely death in the taw.’ life as Imogen. Mourn for Ophelia. How well you know me! But we will not talk again ‘You said to me that Sibyl Vane represented to you all the of what has happened. I became haggard.’ have emancipated them. Harry?’ myself.’ said Lord Henry. We She was less real than they are. and love. but they remain slaves looking for There was a silence. she will never come to life. They love being dominated. with your extraordinary good looks. but the garden. or Cyril Tourneur. heroines of romance—that she was Desdemona one night. I Noiselessly. That is all. my dear some Jacobean tragedy.’ somehow I was afraid of it. you After some time Dorian Gray looked up.’ if you like. after all. The evening darkened in the room.—‘then. Brabantio died. and part. But really. Dorian.’ he murmured. a phantom that flitted through Shakespeare’s plays There is something to me quite beautiful about her death. passion.com 97 . you would have to fight for your victories.’ ‘Life has everything in store for you. The colors faded wearily out of things. To you at least she was always a Sibyl Vane must have been from all the women one meets! dream. Dorian. the shadows crept in from am sure you were splendid. marred her. their masters.’ murmured the nothing that you. not be able to do.’ ‘No. burying his face in his hands. In good society that always or Ford. but was absolutely true. such as romance. I and left them lovelier for its presence. all the same. And. Cry out against Heaven because the daughter of ‘I believe that women appreciate cruelty more than any. She has played her last ‘But suppose. They have wonderfully primitive instincts. then. and it explains everything. ‘You have said something to me the day before yesterday that seemed explained me to myself. ‘I felt all that you have said. It has been a marvellous experience. I wonder if life has still in store for me anything and Ophelia the other.er when one loses one’s own. and gray. They make one believe in the reality of the things that The moment she touched actual life. and I could not express it to ‘What was that. Harry. and it shallow. I have never seen you angry. Shakespeare’s music sounded richer and more full of joy. fashionable people play with. she came to as marvellous. There is ‘She will never come to life again now. but that I see now thing of a sigh of relief. how different so she has never really died. pen. wrinkled? What then?’ dry dressing-room simply as a strange lurid fragment from ‘Ah. thing else. that if she died as Juliet. as a wonderful scene from Webster. Harry. Put ashes on your head because Cordelia was ‘I was terribly cruel to her.

appeared at the very moment looks. He would not think any certainly my best friend. and love would always be a sac- ‘I don’t feel up to it. and drive down to the club. and As he closed the door behind him. the bell. No. ‘Good-by.’ said Dorian. rament to him now. it would be as ‘We are only at the beginning of our friendship. The man seemed to take an interminable time decided that for him. It is on the grand tier. I feel too very eyes. life had him to go. She had atoned for everything. ality. they are brought to you. infinite passion. as she died? No. How had she played see her name on the door. Eternal youth. and dine. tired to eat anything. The vicious cruelty that marred the fine lines desecration that was in store for the fair face on the can- 98 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and hoped that We are rather late.—he was to have it back.’ and shy tremulous grace. what passed within the soul? he wondered. Patti remembered her child-like look and winsome fanciful ways is singing.is. about life.’ she had died for love of him. that horrible you have. shuddering as he hoped it. A wonderful tragic figure? Tears came to his eyes as he I shall see you before nine-thirty. Or was that thinks too much to be beautiful. I hope. you must keep your good of the mouth had.’ a wonderful tragic figure to show Love had been a great re- answered Lord Henry. We cannot spare you. It all these things. it indifferent to results? Did it merely take cognizance of And now you had better dress. and at last Death himself had ‘Twenty-seven. Dorian Gray touched looked again at the picture. and drew tle and secret. shaking him by the hand. Or had his choice already been made? Yes. No one has ever understood me as more of what she had made him go through. He wiped them away hastily. You are sacrifice she had made of her life. The portrait was to bear the burden of his had received the news of Sibyl Vane’s death before he had shame: that was all. No. You will touched her. Harry. no doubt. pleasures sub- As soon as he had left. there was no further change in the picture. he rushed to the screen. and his own infinite curiosity about everything.— life. by the fully obliged to you for all that you have said to me. known of it himself. When he thought of her. and in a few minutes Victor appeared with the He felt that the time had really come for making his lamps and drew the blinds down.’ night at the theatre. whatever it was. What is the number of your sister’s Poor Sibyl! what a romance it had all been! She had often box?’ mimicked death on the stage. wearily. as it is. ‘But I am aw. and that the girl had drunk the poison. I believe. Dorian. It was conscious of the events of life as A feeling of pain came over him as he thought of the they occurred. But I am sorry you won’t come that dreadful scene? Had she cursed him. We live in an age that reads too much to be wise.’ some day he would see the change taking place before his ‘I think I shall join you at the Opera. He waited impatiently for choice. and brought her with him.com 99 . wild joys and wilder sins. Remember.

he had kissed. When the blood crept from its face. and left behind a pallid to be shut out from the sunlight that had so often touched mask of chalk with leaden eyes. This elly at him. Not one blossom of his loveliness would ever it! the pity of it! fade. swer to a prayer it might remain unchanged. and joy- sympathy that existed between him and the picture might ous. he would be strong. almost enamoured of it. An hour might be. on the canvas? He would be safe. That was everything. would be able to follow his mind into its secret places. was it really under his control? Had it his chair. and Lord Henry was leaning over fraught? Besides. Morning after morning he had sat before the portrait would be to him the most magical of mirrors. who. It had changed in answer to a prayer. might not things external to ourselves vibrate in unison with our moods and passions. it was to alter. He or feigned to kiss. he would still ery mood to which he yielded? Was it to become a hideous be standing where spring trembles on the verge of summer. to be hidden away in a locked room. had revealed to him his own body. so it would reveal to him as it seemed to him at times. He would never again tempt by a prayer any terrible power.com 101 . however fantastic that chance room. those painted lips that now smiled so cru. might not thought exercise an influence upon dead and inorganic things? Nay. smiling as he did so. Was it to alter now with ev. would surrender the chance the picture. For there would be a real pleasure in watching it. he would keep the glamour to brighter gold the waving wonder of the hair? The pity of of boyhood. And. and fleet. in boyish mockery of Narcissus. or with what fateful consequences it might be later he was at the Opera. yet. If the picture was to alter. and loathsome thing. and passed into his bed- of remaining always young. What did it matter what happened to the colored image cease. where his valet was already waiting for him. atom calling to atom. He drew the screen back into its former place in front of that knew anything about Life. without thought or conscious desire. And when winter came upon it. That was all. 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 organ- ism. Like the For a moment he thought of praying that the horrible gods of the Greeks. As it portrait wondering at its beauty. Once. perhaps in an. Not one pulse of his life would ever weaken. in secret love or strange affinity? But the reason was of no importance. Why inquire too closely into it? 100 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook.vas. his own soul.

bubble of Venetian glass.’ A s he was sitting at breakfast next morning. speaking very slowly. I came here at done. a sorrow that I could not lighten. Harry’s sister. You should have come on there. Basil Hall- ward was shown into the room. Basil! I won’t hear it!’ cried Dorian. and they told me you were at the Opera. and was miserable at not finding you. What is past is past. too! What did she say ‘Dorian. used to come down to my studio. sordid lodging? You can talk to me of other women being Of course I knew that was impossible. for the first time. and with a strained touch of pain in his voice. sip.’ once. as Harry says. Tell me about your- self and what you are painting. I don’t know what has come over you.com 103 . no pity in you. leaping to his you heard of it first. isn’t it? But I was afraid of intruding upon mercy of my emotions. You look exactly the same wonderful boy who ‘My dear Basil. Don’t talk about horrid subjects.’ she must be in! And her only child. ‘You went to the Opera while Sibyl Vane was lying dead in some ‘I called last night. day after day. I want to use them. it has never happened. was at the Opera. to sit for his ping some paleyellow wine from a delicate gold-beaded picture. before the girl you left word where you had really gone to. They gave the address in the paper. But where were you? Did you go down and only shallow people who require years to get rid of an emo- see the girl’s mother? For a moment I thought of following tion. and looking dreadfully bored.Chapter VII in her box.’ he said. natural. She is perfectly charming. Dorian. If one doesn’t talk about a thing. Poor woman! What a state and to dominate them. ‘I am so glad I have found you. gravely. half afraid that one tragedy might be followed by there are horrors in store for that little white body of hers!’ another. I can’t tell you ‘You call yesterday the past?’ how heart-broken I am about the whole thing. It is simply expression. I met Now. ‘I You were the most unspoiled creature in the whole world. We were you had no heart. But you were simple. I think you might have telegraphed for me when ‘Stop. evening. and of Patti singing divinely. to enjoy them. I read of it quite by chance in a late edi. It is all Harry’s influence. that I picked up at the club. I know what ‘What has the actual lapse of time got to do with it? It is you must suffer. I passed a dreadful loved has even the quiet of a grave to sleep in? Why. and affectionate then. that gives reality to things. feet. I don’t want to be at the the Euston Road. 102 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. man. A man who is master of himself can end a sorrow as you there. What is done is tion of the Globe. how do I know?’ murmured Dorian. and Patti sang divine- ly. this is horrible! Something has changed you about it all?’ completely. But I wish you had charming. You talk as if Lady Gwendolen. ‘You must not tell me about things. ‘You went to the Opera?’ said Hallward. Somewhere in easily as he can invent a pleasure.

pomp. You know what I picking up a little vellum-covered book in your studio one mean. How day and chancing on that delightful phrase. Well. ‘My dear Basil! Surely you don’t think it was a vulgar And besides. The last night she played—the night you saw Marlowe together. She was al. as Juliet might beautiful things that one can touch and handle. looked out as I was saying. Old bro- have died.—middle-class virtue. if you really want to console accident? Of course she killed herself It is one of the great me. flickering garden for a few moments. people who act it from a proper artistic point of view.’ I suffered immensely. You find me consoled. day. You only taught me to be vain. going to the window. who brought ‘Well. luxury. al- of horror.com 105 . As a rule.’ found me in tears. except sentimentalists. or a quarter to six. Even Harry. and you ‘I want the Dorian Gray I used to know. turn.—I forget exactly ‘Killed herself! Good heavens! is there no doubt about what it was. going over to him. and putting his of a story Harry told me about a certain philanthropist who hand on his shoulder. Basil. lacquerwork. then it passed away. The lad flushed up. and nothing could exceed that?’ cried Hallward. How like a sympathetic person! You remind me ‘Basil. who was here.’ he said.’ thetic uselessness of martyrdom. surroundings. He had absolutely nothing to do.—you would have to you. But. That is charming of you. There is cades. Was it not Gautier lead the most commonplace lives. She passed again into the sphere of art. And you ing round. Dorian. ‘you have come too late. had no idea what I was going through. ‘I owe a you had come in yesterday at a particular moment. What do you are awfully unjust.—there is much to be got from 104 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. teach me rather to forget what has happened. I am punished for that. most died of ennui. Basil. I am not different Sibyl was! She lived her finest tragedy. an emotion. Yesterday spent twenty years of his life in trying to get some griev- when I heard that Sibyl Vane had killed herself—’ ance redressed. who used to write about la consolation des arts? I remember or faithful wives. Finally he succeeded. I cannot repeat ‘I don’t know what you mean. and became a confirmed misanthrope. exquisite something of the martyr about her.’ said the lad. green bronzes. like that young man you told me of when we were down at ways a heroine. Her death has all the pa. my dear old Basil. or to see romantic tragedies of the age.—‘more than I owe half-past five.’ are furious. looking up at him with an expression his disappointment. I love love. the young man who used to say that yel- her—she acted badly because she had known the reality of low satin could console one for all the miseries of life.’ he exclaimed.—or shall be some me the news. you must not think I have not suffered.I see that. in fact. she died. When she knew its unreality.—about great deal to Harry. perhaps. carved ivories. all its wasted beauty. No one can. or something tedious. Basil. If on the green. and all that kind of thing. and. or some unjust law altered. They are good husbands. ‘I don’t know what you want. You come down here to console want?’ me. at last.

there was something in his nature that Hallward stared at him. You are not stronger. and a look of annoyance passed ble place for it. his indifference was probably mere. ‘They don’t know my name. I did it myself. It is simply horrid of your ly a mood that would pass away.—but you are better. forward as he was.—that is all. After all. but you must always be her. but you told them my name was Prince Charming. I only trust your name won’t be mentioned in con. And how ‘I will try and do something. I am a man now.’ are too much afraid of life.’ more to be said. Do take that screen away. him any more. But I know to have something more of her than the memory of a few that you are better than he is. ferent as I came in. You must do me a drawing of her.’ he said. Of course I am very fond of Harry. kind. Dorian. exclaimed. is still more to me. or was something so crude and vulgar about everything of the at any rate reveal. my dear fellow! It is an admira- Dorian shook his head. and that she invariably passions. I am different. The lad was infinitely he cried. nection with it.—you kisses and some broken pathetic words. Dorian. Let me see it. and that I am quite sure she this. To become the specta.’ And Hallward walked towards over his face at the mention of the word ‘inquest. Basil.com 107 . I know you are surprised at my talking to you like ‘Only my Christian name.’ There the corner of the room. Basil. and his personality had been the great turning. But you must come and sit to me yourself again. ‘My dear boy. new thoughts.’ he answered. starting back. I felt the room looked dif- that was good. She told me once that they were school-boy when you knew me. There is nothing get on without you. You have not realized how I have developed. The inquest is to take place this afternoon. He could not bear the idea of reproaching it? Let me look at it. at length.’ ‘Well. and you. You don’t won’t speak to you again about this horrible thing. But the artistic temperament that they create.’ Have they summoned you?’ ‘Too strong! Impossible. It was pretty of must not like me less. tor of one’s own life. I have new all rather curious to learn who I was. with a sad smile. new ideas. so much in him that was noble. is to escape the suffering ‘But surely she did?’ of life. I can’t don’t quarrel with me. ‘Do you mean to say you don’t like what I did of dear to him. The light was too strong on the portrait.all these. I should like my friend. after imagine I let him arrange my room for me? He settles my to-day. flowers for me sometimes. as Harry says. if it would please happy we used to be together! Don’t leave me. I am changed. Basil. I am what I am. ‘I ‘My servant has nothing to do with it. I was a never mentioned to any one. There was so much in him servant hiding my work like that. Rugged and straight.’ ‘I will never sit to you again. It is the best thing I have ever painted. you? Where is it? Why have you pulled the screen in front of point in his art. No. what nonsense!’ was purely feminine in its tenderness. It is impossible!’ he Hallward felt strangely moved. 106 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Basil. Dorian.

rushed between Hallward and the screen.’ he said. it seems half in jest. half seriously and and going over towards the window. You ‘Don’t speak!’ told Harry exactly the same thing. screen. He was trembling all over. He looked at Dorian Gray you would never exhibit it. you are ‘If you try to look at it. that Lord Henry had said to him once. on my word of honor I will sure to be out of town.’ I don’t offer any explanation. He would ask him so I must see it some day. ‘But what is the matter? Of course I won’t look at it if you and a gleam of light came into his eyes. ‘You told me a month ago that Hallward was thunderstruck.com 109 . I am quite serious. everything is over were beads of perspiration there. Dorian Gray passed his hand over his forehead. ‘we have each of us a secret. I don’t wish you is going to collect all my best pictures for a special exhibi- to. The lad was absolutely pallid with rage. I shall He told me why he wouldn’t. too.’ tion in the Rue de Sèze. remember. ‘Yes: I don’t suppose you will object to that. The portrait will only be away a month.’ he said. ‘If you want to have an interesting quarter of an rather absurd that I shouldn’t see my own work. I should shouldn’t I look at it?’ exclaimed Hallward. ‘But. ‘you must not look at it. Why October. especially hour. you can’t care much abut it. A cry of terror broke from Dorian Gray’s lips. as I am going to exhibit it in Paris in the autumn.’ brink of a horrible danger. had his secret. and you are not to ask for any. He had never seen him like this be.’ probably have to give it another coat of varnish before that. ‘Basil. if you touch this screen.’ he said. Basil. rather coldly. coming over quite close. laughing. The only difference is that clinched. really. ‘To exhibit it! You want to exhibit it?’ exclaimed Dorian ‘Basil. and he did not know what—had to be done at once. He felt that he was on the between us.’ He stopped suddenly. and the pupils of his eyes were like disks of blue your moods are rather meaningless. perhaps Basil. In fact. get Basil to tell you why he won’t exhibit your picture. Something—he for refusing to exhibit my picture?’ 108 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and I will tell you mine. Yes. and it was a revelation to me. Was the him straight in the face. There But. a strange sense of terror creeping over him.’ he said. He remembered don’t want me to. think you could easily spare it for that time. And if you hide it always behind a never speak to you again as long as I live. turning on his heel. What was your reason the mystery of his life? That was impossible. Let me world going to be shown his secret? Were people to gape at know yours. and why not today?’ and try. your mind? You people who go in for being consistent have fore. You can’t have forgot- fire. Georges Petit looking very pale. His hands were just as many moods as others. which will open the first week in ‘Not look at my own work! you are not serious. and looking Gray. ten that you assured me most solemnly that nothing in the ‘Dorian!’ world would induce you to send it to any exhibition. ‘Why have you changed in absolute amazement.

You were a little annoyed. Somehow. whom you spoke. I am content. ably at first did not strike you. It was all wrong and world. but then you did not realize all that it meant to me. Don’t speak. that I you shall sit in the sunlight. and we fancy. trait of you. and you would dinary influence over me. as I worked at it. It is quite true that I have worshipped you with than that you were extremely good-looking and that I could far more romance of feeling than a man usually gives to a paint.’ you know anything about this. You would not have understood it. and I sat alone with it. after a few days the portrait left trembling hands. Just had told too much. laughed at me. as Harry says. a really ‘grande pas. masterpiece. shown in the work one creates. Well. He was de. It is my termined to find out Basil Hallward’s mystery. One day I determined to paint a wonderful por- passed away. Harry. more have to say. Wait till you hear what I foolish in imagining that I had said anything in it. But I did not mind suddenly?’ that. Dorian. but that revealed itself to you to whom I talked about it. every flake and film of ‘Let us sit down. Form and color tell us of form and color. something that you did not like?— something that prob. and curiosity had taken its place. ‘Let us sit down. Well. and the world would know of my idolatry. if I told moment I met you. Your friendship is dearer to me than foolish. you were still present in my art.—that that is the use of the idle classes in a country. I was jealous of every one to those two things. fascination of its presence it seemed to me that I had been ‘I see you did. I will sit in the shadow. Hallward shuddered in spite of himself. absurdly. you must tell me. from the is all. and gazing at him with wild. Basil. I wanted to have you all to myself. Dorian. I am satisfied. Then it was that I resolved never to al- answer me one question. I grew afraid that and pained. Of course I never let any fame or reputation. Perhaps. But. I had never loved a woman. clutching the arms of his chair with I felt that I was right.’ His feeling of terror had it myself. looking pale color seemed to me to reveal my secret. ble. Our lives are like that. Art is more abstract than sion’ is the privilege of those who have nothing to do. If you only happy when I was with you. When I was away from wish the best work I have ever done to be hidden from the you.’ murmured Dorian Gray. I could not bear your doing either of madly. startled my studio. your personality had the most extraor- you. If you wish me never to look at your pic. I did not understand ‘I think I have a right to know. I felt. you might like me less than you do.com 111 . I was ture again. It often seems to me that art conceals the artist far 110 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and as soon as I had got rid of the intolerable eyes. I quite admit that I adored you certainly laugh at me. Even now I cannot help feeling that it is a mistake friend. I have always you to look at. ‘Basil!’ cried the lad. I suppose I to think that the passion one feels in creation is ever really never had time. It would have been impossi- ‘No. It was to have been my masterpiece. ‘Dorian.’ said Hallward. extravagantly. Have you noticed in the picture low the picture to be exhibited. It is all wrong and foolish still. When the picture was finished.

perhaps you are right. I will come and have tea with you. And so when I You don’t know what it cost me to tell you all that I have got this offer from Paris I determined to make your portrait told you. but I must never sit to you ‘Well. Yet he could not help feel. ‘Impossible!’ I could not possibly let you stand in front of that picture. It was a confes- you are made to be worshipped. ‘what have you told me? me that you would refuse. what did you expect. 112 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Dorian. ‘that ry spends his days in saying what is incredible. I see now that you were right.’ murmured Hallward. ‘It was not intended as a compliment.’ sion. ‘Pleasanter for you. That is not picture must not be shown. ‘You must not ask me that.’ ‘Never. Lord Harry had you mustn’t talk about not meeting me again. I am afraid. with a ripple of laughter. Basil.com 113 . or anything the charm of being very dangerous. Why do you ask? But so dominated by the personality of a friend.’ ‘I can’t explain it to you. and his you should have seen this in the picture. Basil. Dorian.’ ‘You spoil my life as an artist by refusing.’ the principal thing in my exhibition. for what I have told you.more completely than it ever reveals him.’ Dorian. ‘Har- ‘It is extraordinary to me.’ his cheeks.’ said Hallward. Would there ways remain so.’ been really fond. Did you really see evenings in doing what is improbable.’ ever be some one who would fill him with a strange idola. Dorian. And now good-by. The color came back to ‘A very disappointing one. You must not be angry with me. did you? There was nothing else ing infinite pity for the young man who had just made this to see?’ strange confession to him. As I said to Harry. No ‘You will some day. He was safe for the time. I would sooner go to you. Basil. But that was all. The peril was ‘Why.’ cried Dorian.’ ‘Well. You and I are friends. even a compliment. again. and a smile played about his lips. But still I don’t think I would go to Harry ‘Of course I did. The Simply that you felt that you liked me too much.’ Dorian Gray drew a long breath.’ said Hallward. He was of that kind. once. It never occurred to ‘My dear Basil. sadly. I don’t suppose I shall often see you again. Basil. you don’t mind my looking at it now?’ ‘But you won’t sit to me again?’ Dorian shook his head. He wondered if he would ever be ‘No: there was nothing else to see. Harry!’ cried the lad. That will be just You have been the one person in my life of whom I have as pleasant. thing else in the picture. ‘You have got Harry. and we must al- too clever and too cynical to be really fond of.’ if I was in trouble. surely?’ man comes across two ideal things. Just the sort of life I it?’ would like to lead. try? Was that one of the things that life had in store? ‘Oh. Few come across one. Dorian? You didn’t see any- over.

sir?’ 114 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. his curious and glanced into it. The portrait must be Speaking very slowly.’—here came a courtesy. and then to go to the frame-mak- discovery again.com 115 . He could see the reflection of Victor’s reticences. He could not run such a risk of that he wanted to see her. even for an hour. in wresting a secret from his friend! How much that strange W hen his servant entered. Master Dorian. he told him to tell the housekeeper hidden away at all costs. Master Dorian. be on his guard. with a photograph of the late Mr. face perfectly. orders. a dear old lady in a black silk dress. ‘Well. and many’s the trick you’ve played on poor old Leaf. but boys will be boys. his extravagant panegyrics. Not that you were not al- ways a good boy. and he felt sorry. I am sorry you won’t let me look at the picture once again. sir. But that can’t be helped. Leaf framed in a large gold brooch at her neck. isn’t it. instead of having been forced to reveal his own secret. and old-fashioned thread mittens on her wrinkled hands. There There was something tragic in a friendship so colored by was nothing to be afraid of.’ she said. Poor Basil! how little he knew of the true reason! And how strange it was that. and walked over to the glass his wild devotion. Leaf. sir. But. ‘what can I do for you? I beg your pardon. It had been mad of him to have the thing er’s and ask him to send two of his men round at once. Mrs. and touched the bell. I Chapter VIII quite understand what you feel about it. the direction of the screen. I have known you since you were a baby. Lord bless you.’ As he left the room. Dorian lit a cigarette.—‘I shouldn’t call you Master Dorian any more. sir.regretfully.—he understood them all now. Or was that only his fancy? After a few moments. he looked at him steadfastly. Dorian Gray smiled to himself. It remain. there. Yet he thought it best to romance. he had succeeded. and wondered if he had thought of peering behind the screen. and waited for his confession explained to him! Basil’s absurd fits of jealousy. He sighed. and jam is a temptation to the young. in a room to which any of his seemed to him that as the man left the room he peered in friends had access. It was like a placid mask of servility. The man was quite impassive. ‘And now good-by. bustled into the room. almost by chance.

and Winckelmann. that would serve to ‘I don’t want it put straight.’ he answered. Master Dorian. look. And yet the thing would still live on. It after going over the contents of her bunch with tremulously would be always alive. I merely want to see the place. and per.’ wrap the dreadful thing in.’ said the old lady.—something that would breed horrors and yet would He winced at the mention of his dead uncle’s name.’ found in a convent near Bologna.’ noble and intellectual in it. in. and. She sure you I am quite as fond of jam now as I used to be. ing at the key. They would mar its he replied. she felt. Master Dorian. It was such love as Michael An- bring it to you myself some morning. Only had a strong objection to the French valet.—that is all. you to give me the key of the room at the top of the house.’ be to the painted image on the canvas. I want thing. Leaf. ‘Them foreigners doesn’t un. It had perhaps served often as ‘Well. for any one to be born a foreigner.’ As the door closed. Yes. Thank you.’ gelo had known. Master had not told Basil the true reason why he had wished to Dorian. I’ll have it off the ring in He shuddered. I don’t. and you so comfortable here?’ hide the picture away. I will be very angry with you if you don’t. her face wreathed in smiles. It’s not fit for you to see. Master Dorian. and eat away its grace. and for a moment he regretted that he a moment. But you don’t think of living up there.’ But I’ll dies when the senses tire.com 117 . and ‘That will be very kind of you. and ‘And here is the key. I only want the key. you’ll be covered with cobwebs if a pall for the dead. ‘Here is the key. Master Dorian. and mind you send me up that he bore him—for it was really love—had something jam for breakfast. and the still more poisonous haps store something in it. admiration of beauty that is born of the senses. Leaf. Basil would have helped him to re- ‘No. It was not that mere physical Mrs. Dorian put the key in his pocket. it’s full of looked round the room. They would defile it. and Montaigne. The love hope your rheumatism is better. if you lets me. make it shameful. and ‘The old school-room. it hasn’t been opened for nearly five a corruption of its own. He laughed.’ itself. ‘That does not matter. Shakespeare himself. But it 116 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ beauty. uncertain hands. ‘All I want is the key. late seventeenthcentury Venetian work that his uncle had deed. Leaf shook her head.—not since his lordship died. It was a poor when I am asked out to tea I am never offered any. ‘You must always call me Master Dorian. It is not. They calls it ‘compot. Master Dorian? Why. worse than the corruption of death years. Yes. Now it was to hide something that had you goes into it. Leaf. What the worm was to the corpse. sist Lord Henry’s influence. Leaf. having made him an elaborate courtesy. Leaf. his sins would had hateful memories of him. the old lady left the room. Leaf. I must get it arranged and put straight before you go coverlet heavily embroidered with gold. Why. His eye fell on a large purple satin dust. Basil could have saved him. I influences that came from his own temperament. And I as. He never die. and that derstand jam. a splendid piece of into it.

a knock came to the door. ‘and scratched going up-stairs. He must art. or of coming round in person. sir. In two or three minutes there was another knock. about Dorian that charmed everybody. There were passions in him that would find Audley Street. He passed ‘I am so sorry you have given yourself the trouble of out as his servant entered.’ replied Dorian.—though I don’t go in much for religious He felt that the man must be got rid of at once. rubbing his to what he saw in it of censure or rebuke. ‘Can you were to meet at eight-fifteen that evening. Mr. and gret.’ show the men in here. or forgetfulness could do that. It was a pleasure red lips. holding it in his hands. that had altered. and. the celebrated frame-maker of South was inevitable. passed who dealt with him. blue eyes. But he always made an before? It seemed to him that it was unchanged. He behind the screen. handing it to him. Old Florentine. Picked it up at a sale. moving the screen back. he never left his shop. monsieur. Mr. It is rather heavy.’ picture. Ashton. coming round.’ ful. Mr. Mr. sir. Admirably suited for a religious picture. Gray. I have just got a beauty of a and of what little account! His own soul was looking out at frame. sir?’ round something to read. Ashton was a florid. There was something sly about him. Which is the work of art. Sitting down at the writing-table. There was something loathing of it was intensified. It was simply the expression even to see him. and he had thought. As a rule. The past could always be annihilated.’ he said. you to lend me a couple of your men. asking him to send him service to you.—but to-day I only want a picture carried to the top of not be allowed to know where the picture was being taken the house for me. of pain came across him. ‘I thought I would do myself the hon- sil’s reproaches about Sibyl Vane had been!—how shallow. As he did so. so I thought I would ask to. Gray?’ he said. That was horrible in its cruelty.—they all were there. Gray. But the future Mr.com 119 . whose admiration for art was considerably tem- He took up from the couch the great purple-and-gold pered by the inveterate impecuniosity of most of the artists texture that covered it.’ look at the frame. I believe. and rose. red-whiskered their evil real. covering and all. how shallow Ba. I will certainly drop in and ‘The persons are here. Came from him from the canvas and calling him to judgment. dreams that would make the shadow of young assistant.was too late now. just as it is? I don’t want it to get ‘Wait for an answer. Gold hair.’ said the genial frame- 118 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Re. Ashton himself. came in with a somewhat rough-looking their terrible outlet. fat freckled hands. move it. little man. Compared ‘What can I do for you. and he flung the rich pall over the Mr. and yet his exception in favor of Dorian Gray. he ‘No trouble at all. A look Fonthill. I am delighted to be of any scribbled a note to Lord Henry. and reminding him that they ‘This.’ ‘There will be no difficulty. treacherous eyes. Was the face on the canvas viler than waited for people to come to him. denial.

He remembered the stain- and then. sodden. car- He held the door open for them. Perhaps.—those been specially built by the last Lord Sherard for the use of curious unpictured sins whose very mystery lent them their the little nephew whom. as it is wider. besides. with the aid of his assistant. What did it mat- locked the door that opened into the room that was to keep ter? No one could see it. We will go up by the Flemish tapestry where a faded king and queen were playing front staircase. of all that was them. as he looked round. There was the huge Italian cassone.maker. that it was here that the fatal portrait was to be hidden away. and shield him from those sins that older. And he wiped his shiny prying eyes as this. while a company of hawkers rode by. since he had used it first as a play-room when should be so full of shame. On the wall behind it was hanging the same ragged afraid it is right at the top of the house. and it seemed horrible to him who had a true tradesman’s dislike of seeing a gentleman do. the cruel look haps for other reasons. wellproportioned room. with its fan- the picture from the long brass chains by which it was sus. The elaborate character of recalled it all! Every moment of his lonely childhood came the frame had made the picture extremely bulky. Dorian put his hand to it so as to help How little he had thought. and they passed out into rying hooded birds on their gauntleted wrists. sir. could grow bestial. less purity of his boyish life. Why for him the curious secret of his life and hide his soul from should he watch the hideous corruption of his soul? He kept the eyes of men. and purify him. And. It did not appear to Dorian to have much and he might show to the world Basil Hallward’s master- 120 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. There was ‘I will show you the way. in pended. after all? There was no reason that the future not. Gray?’ which he had so often hidden himself as a boy.—that was enough. in spite of the obsequious protests of Mr. But there was no other place in the house so secure from when they reached the top landing. in store for him! ‘Something of a load to carry. now. the satinwood bookcase filled with his dog-eared school- ly follow me. He had the key. his youth.com 121 . Mr. and unclean. which had seemed to be already stirring in spirit and in flesh. as he un. I am books. keep at a distance. Some love might come across he was a child and then as a study when he grew somewhat his life. indeed. It was a large. in those dead days.— ture grow finer. Or perhaps you had better go in front. beginning. the face painted on the canvas ‘A terrible load to carry. Mr.’ chess in a garden. ing anything useful. Beneath its purple pall. He himself would not see it. he had always hated and desired to would have passed away from the scarlet sensitive mouth.’ murmured Dorian. to unhook changed. might not his na- He had not entered the place for more than four years. if you will kind. Ashton. tastically-painted panels and its tarnished gilt mouldings. some day. ter it. Ashton.’ gasped the little man. being himself childless. subtlety and their charm. and now back to him. How well he the hall and began the ascent. ‘And. and per. and no one else could en- forehead. where shall we carry it to.

would be foolish or gross. please. Ever ready to do anything dress. There would be the wrinkled On reaching the library he found that it was just after throat. The picture had to be concealed. I was thinking of yellow paper. hour by hour. ‘Where shall we put returned.’ A copy of the third edition of the St. Ashton. a note from Lord Henry. door of the room. a present from his guardian’s wife. It was evident that Victor had maker. When the sound of their footsteps had died away. ness in coming round. He felt safe make them horrible. No eye mouth would gape or droop. as but his would ever see his shame. The cheeks would become hollow or flaccid. and that the tea had been already brought up.com 123 . the twisted body. sir. I am much obliged for your kind. the hideousness of age was any one so marvellous. Gray. He wondered if he had met the men in the hall as it. uncomely face. sir?’ they were leaving the house and had wormed out of them ‘Oh. I don’t want to have it what they had been doing. Even if it es. Mr. wearily. followed No. The hair would lose its brightness. ‘I am sorry I kept you so long. sir?’ laying the tea-things. It was a horrible thing to have a spy in geous hanging that concealed the secret of his life. He had heard of rich men who had been black- trouble you any more now. not at all. been placed on the tea-tray. He felt ready to leap upon he might find him creeping up-stairs and trying to force the him and fling him to the ground if he dared to lift the gor. Gray. or found beneath a pillow a withered flower or a bit of 122 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and Dorian started. Mr. He had never seen caped the hideousness of sin. or picked up a card with an ad- ‘Not at all. Just lean it against the wall. Perhaps some night said. shy wonder in his rough. anywhere. keeping his eye on the man. in store for it. turn.’ he said. ‘I won’t one’s house. mailed all their lives by some servant who had read a letter. was lying ‘Bring it in. who glanced back at Dorian with a look of growing old. Here. ‘It would not interest you.’ And Mr. Mr. the cover slightly torn and the edges soiled. James’s Gazette had ‘Always glad to have a rest. that he five o’clock. who was still gasping for breath. Ashton.—had no doubt missed it already. and beside it was a book bound in ing round. Thanks. for you. and week by week. The thing upon the canvas was by the assistant. The screen had not been replaced.’ ture.’ he the blank space on the wall was visible. Ashton tramped down-stairs.’ answered the frame. There was no with nacre. He would be sure to miss the pic- hung up. the cold blue-veined hands. Lady Rad- help for it.piece. the now. something else. this will do. remembered in the uncle who had been so stern to him in On a little table of dark perfumed wood thickly incrusted his boyhood. while he had been ‘Might one look at the work of art. Dorian Yellow crow’s-feet would creep round the fading eyes and locked the door. that was impossible. No one would ever look on the horrible thing. Mr. and put the key in his pocket. the mouths of old men are.’ or overheard a conversation. who had spent the preceding winter in Cairo. ley.

and.com 125 . and. and nineteenth century all the passions and modes of thought that of Dr. of technical expressions and of elaborate man knew more than enough English for that. vivid and obscure at once. and that he would be at the club at eight-fifteen. loving for their mere arti- across the room and flung the pieces into a gilt basket. him. what did it matter? What had Dorian Gray metaphors as monstrous as orchids. It was the strangest book he had ever red pencil-mark on the fifth page caught his eye. by Mr. One hardly knew at times whether one was reading His eye fell on the yellow book that Lord Henry had sent the spiritual ecstasies of some mediaeval saint or the mor- 124 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. A he became absorbed. and took the volume up. It was simply to say that he sent like the work of some strange Egyptian bees who wrought in him round the evening paper. Hoxton Road. And it was certainly stupid of him to have rious jewelled style. James’s languidly. est artists of the French school of Décadents. He went towards the little He sighed. and to sum tion of the deceased. and with only one charac- death by misadventure was returned. ter. pearl-colored octagonal stand. He read the read. And. After a few minutes. being. There were in it thing. went the world-spirit had ever passed. Danby. as much as those natural rebellions that wise men He felt a little annoyed with Lord Henry for having sent still call sin. who spent his life trying to realize in the greatly affected during the giving of her own evidence.crumpled lace. and had begun to suspect some. that characterizes the work of some of the fin- Perhaps he had read it. Holborn. yet. tearing the paper in two. indeed. Things that he had dimly dreamed morning at the Bell Tavern. and looked through it. What was it. who had made the post-mortem examina.’ up. the of were suddenly made real to him. and to the following paragraph: delicate sound of flutes. that belonged to every century except his own. losophy. recently engaged at the Royal Theatre. The to do with Sibyl Vane’s death? There was nothing to fear. that had always looked to him opened Lord Henry’s note. paraphrases. It seemed to him that in exquisite raiment. Considerable sympa. a young actress never dreamed were gradually revealed. the sins of the world were passing in ‘INQUEST ON AN ACTRESS. The and of archaisms. A verdict of It was a novel without a plot. who was young Parisian. He chair.—An inquest was held this dumb show before him. Victor might have read it. silver. and as evil in color. full of argot marked it with red pencil. opened the St. Things of which he had District Coroner. in himself the various moods through which He frowned slightly. as it were. having poured himself out some tea. life of the senses was described in the terms of mystical phi- Dorian Gray had not killed her. and a book that might inter. simply a psychological study of a certain thy was expressed for the mother of the deceased. on the body of Sibyl Vane. How ficiality those renunciations that men have unwisely called ugly it all was! And how horribly real ugliness made things! virtue. he wondered. and began to turn over the leaves. Birrell. The style in which it was written was that cu- him the account. He flung himself into an arm- est him.

that made him un- conscious of the falling day and the creeping shadows. you have discovered a perhaps in nearly every joy. It was a poisonous book. Harry. Dorian Gray could not free himself from the memory of this book. if you have discovered that. It was with an almost cruel joy—and ‘Ah. entific temperament were so strangely blended.’ he cried.’ to know—that somewhat grotesque dread of mirrors. Or perhaps it would be more ac- curate to say that he never sought to free himself from it. whole book seemed to him to contain the story of his own room. so full as it was of com- plex refrains and movements elaborately repeated. looking very bored. with its really tragic. written before he had lived it. the where he found Lord Henry sitting alone. fancies of a nature over which he seemed. F or years. Then. and ‘I thought you would like it. had any cause forgot what the time was. the wonderful young the little Florentine table that always stood at his bedside. And. He read on by its of the first edition. indeed. and had them bound in different colors. rising from polished metal surfaces.’ replied his host. became to It was almost nine o’clock before he reached the club. There by the sudden decay of a beauty that had once.com 127 . great deal. after his valet so that they might suit his various moods and the changing had reminded him several times of the lateness of the hour. a form of revery. That book you sent me so fascinated me that I tastic hero.’ sized.bid confessions of a modern sinner. apparently. It is dreadfully late. Cloudless. to have he got up. ‘I am so sorry. let us go in to dinner. The hero. in the morning. the young Parisian so early in his life. as he passed from chapter to chapter. in whom the romantic temperament and the sci- and began to dress for dinner. going into the next room. as certainly in every pleasure. if somewhat over-empha- afraid the champagne will be too much iced. at times. I said it fascinated me. indeed. a copper. with his curious smile. He procured from Paris no less than five large-paper copies green sky gleamed through the windows. cruelty has its place—that he used to read the latter part of ‘Come. and pierced by one solitary star. Harry. him a kind of prefiguring type of himself. the subtle monotony of their music. life. He never knew—never. account of the sorrow and despair of one who had 126 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and. placed the book on almost entirely lost control.’ been so remarkable. wan light till he could read no more.’ murmured Lord Henry. The mere cadence of the sentences. is a great difference. which came upon his chair. and I am the book. produced in the mind of the lad. and still water. a malady of dreaming. Parisian. The heavy odor of incense seemed to cling about its pages Chapter IX and to trouble the brain. ‘but really it is entirely In one point he was more fortunate than the book’s fan- your fault. and was occasioned ‘I didn’t say I liked it.

and now at the fair young face that laughed guests with the wonders of their art.com 129 . through London and became the chatter of the clubs) could There were moments. and smile. were the contrast used to quicken his sense of pleasure. with its subtle symphonic arrangements of ex- 128 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. His mere pres. time to time strange rumors about his mode of life crept He mocked the misshapen body and the failing limbs. The He himself. terrible delight. open the door with the key that never left him. That curiosity about life that. ted from the world. Men who talked grossly became silent under an assumed name. the more he desired to know. He would of the table. the signs others besides him. looking now at the evil and aging face have the most celebrated musicians of the day to charm his on the canvas. to society. or in the sordid had always the look of one who had kept himself unspot. as for the exquisite taste shown in the decoration more interested in the corruption of his own soul. and often with a monstrous and valued. and in disguise. which. and many dering sometimes which were the more horrible. They wondered how one so charming and grace. room of the little ill-famed tavern near the Docks. of their friend. and on each Wednesday evening while the season lasted. But moments such as these were rare. had no cause to fear that. with a pity that was all the more poignant because ence seemed to recall to them the innocence that they had it was purely selfish. many years before. indeed.himself lost what in others. on returning home from one of those myste. The very sharpness of the settling of which Lord Henry always assisted him. There was something frequent. tarnished. Lord Hen- ful as he was could have escaped the stain of an age that was ry had first stirred in him. He would place his white hands who had heard the most evil things against him (and from beside the coarse bloated hands of the picture. He grew noted as much for the careful selection and placing of those more and more enamoured of his own beauty. lying sleep- not believe anything to his dishonor when they saw him. at any rate in his relations that they were so. and in the world. would creep up-stairs to the locked room. seemed never to leave him. in front of the portrait that Basil Hallward he would throw open to the world his beautiful house and had painted of him. won- beauty that had so fascinated Basil Hallward. seemed to increase with gratification. He had mad rious and prolonged absences that gave rise to such strange hungers that grew more ravenous as he fed them. when. at night. Even those of sin or the signs of age. more he knew. The boyish forehead or crawled around the heavy sensual mouth. as they sat together in the garden at once sordid and sensuous. at any rate. he had most examine with minute care. he would think of the ruin he had brought upon in the purity of his face that rebuked them. in back at him from the polished glass. He less in his own delicately-scented chamber. it was his habit to when Dorian Gray entered the room. with a mirror. his soul. and stand. the hideous lines that seared the wrinkling He. Once or twice every month during the winter. His little dinners. or thought Yet he was not really reckless. more and invited. conjecture among those who were his friends.

His mode fine instinct for beauty was to be the dominant characteris- of dressing. the great. instead of aiming own way. a con’ had once been. time to time. Nature in her wonderful irony driving the anchorite of age. certainly. As he looked back upon man moving through History. of which a beauty. wilful rejections. who saw. though to selfdenial. fopperies. especially among be consulted on the wearing of a jewel. about passions and sensations that seem stronger than our- fect by the worship of beauty. and Dandyism. yet in his inmost heart he desired to new hedonism that was to re-create life. whose origin was fear. and embroidered cloths. To them he seemed to belong to those whom tice. a type that was to philosophy and its ordered principles and find in the spiri- combine something of the real culture of the scholar with tualizing of the senses its highest realization. animal merely because the world had sought to starve them comes for a moment universal. Fashion. been decried. or fancied that they saw. Yes. and the particular styles that he affected from tic. while he was but too ready to accept the position radation from which.otic flowers. as Lord Henry had prophesied. he was haunted by a feeling of loss.’ highly organized forms of existence. and antique plate of be something more than a mere arbiter elegantiarum.’ Like Gautier. degradation infinitely more terrible than that fancied deg- For. which. and that we are conscious of sharing with the less whom ‘the visible world existed. or the knotting of the very young men.com 131 . of course. or the conduct of a cane. is an attempt to assert the absolute modernity of at making them elements of a new spirituality. a subtle pleasure in the thought out to herd with the wild animals of the desert and giving to that he might really become to the London of his own day the hermit the beasts of the field as his companions. in its into submission or to kill them by pain. and with much jus- of the world. and to save it from 130 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. there was to be. and for it all the other arts seemed to be but been understood. men feeling a natural instinct of terror Dante describes as having sought to ‘make themselves per. and tried to re. to him life itself was the first. had their marked influence on the young ex. But it appeared to And. all the grace and distinction and perfect manner of a citizen The worship of the senses has often. in their ignorance. and that they had remained savage and a preparation. Dorian Gray that the true nature of the senses had never est. rendered! and to such little purpose! There had been mad who copied him in everything that he did. of the arts. what to imperial Neronian Rome the author of the ‘Satyri. and whose result was a him only half-serious. they had sought to that was almost immediately offered to him on his coming escape. in a necktie. to gold and silver. and found. So much had been sur- quisites of the Mayfair balls and Pall Mall club windows. there were many. had. Indeed. He sought to elabo- Dorian Gray the true realization of a type of which they had rate some new scheme of life that would have its reasoned often dreamed in Eton or Oxford days. indeed. their fascination for him. he was one for selves. by which what is really fantastic be. monstrous forms of self-torture and produce the accidental charm of his graceful.

It was to have its service of the in. ences. at any rate. ergy in the same wearisome round of stereotyped habits. and possess that element of there is the stirring of birds among the leaves. to resume it where we had left off. or the wired system that would involve the sacrifice of any mode of pas. or There are few of us who have not sometimes wakened a wild longing. Gradually white fingers creep through the curtains. and crouch there. of life. and by degrees satisfied his intellectual curiosity. as though it feared to wake the sleepers. or the sigh and sob of the adopt certain modes of thought that he knew to be really wind coming down from the hills. and beside them lies tellect. tapers stand where we have left them. and then. or the sound strangeness that is so essential to romance. Out of the unreal shadows of the might be. or have other chambers of the brain sweep phantoms more terrible than secrets. as of night comes back the real life that we had known. or that we had read too often. Black fantastic shadows crawl objects. temperament. flower that we had worn at the ball. either after one of those dreamless nights morning upon a world that had been re-fashioned anew for that make one almost enamoured of death. as it were. and there steals over us ing. We have the vulgar profligacy that dulls them. uncomely puritanism that is having. he would often of men going forth to their work. ligation or regret. was to be experience been afraid to read. the remembrance even of joy having its tality. and the memories of pleasure their pain. a world in which things would nights of horror and misshapen joy. those whose minds have been troubled with the malady of It was the creation of such worlds as these that seemed revery. its curious revival. having. and instinct with that vivid life that lurks in place. it may be. a world in which the past would have little or no reality itself. and be changed. or one of those our pleasure in the darkness. and in his search for sensations that would into the corners of the room. indeed. when through the have fresh shapes and colors. sweet or bitter as they ing seems to us changed. Of the asceticism that deadens the senses. be at once new and delightful. and wandering round alien to his nature. and that lends to Gothic art its enduring vi. to Dorian Gray to be the true object. Its aim. abandon himself to their subtle influ- the silent house. Noth- itself. and not the fruits of experience. Outside. this art being. caught their color and Veil after veil of thin dusky gauze is lifted. it was to know noth. in our own The wan mirrors get back their mimic life. The flameless day. But it was to teach man to concentrate himself upon the a terrible sense of the necessity for the continuance of en- moments of a life that is itself but a moment. especially the art of bitterness. and we ous indifference that is not incompatible with a real ardor of watch the dawn remaking the world in its antique pattern.com 133 . leave them with that curi- the forms and colors of things are restored to them. or survive. in no conscious form of ob- all grotesques. or among the true and they appear to tremble. and that indeed. yet it was never to accept any theory or the half-read book that we had been studying. or the letter that we had sionate experience. certainly. one might fancy. that our eyelids might open some before dawn. according to certain mod- 132 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook.that harsh.

of spikenard that sickens. one would from action and experiment. and set himself to discover their true rela- with wonder at the black confessionals. He saw that there scarlet. with its marvellous power of making common and of aloes that are said to be able to expel melancholy 134 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. of their manufacture. real psychology of perfumes. and long to sit in the tions. wondering what there was in frankincense that made dim shadow of one of them and listen to men and women one mystical. and in musk that troubled the brain. no theory of life seemed to him to be of any impor- cope. and smiting his breast for his sins. and of dark and fragrant woods. or for a few hours of a flowers. and seeking often to elaborate a development by any formal acceptance of creed or system. and with the priest. He felt keenly conscious of the tabernacle. that the grave boys. and The fuming censers. had their was no mood of the mind that had not its counterpart in subtle fascination for him. things strange to us. whispering through the tarnished grating the true story of and in violets that woke the memory of dead romances. is indeed the ‘panis caelestis. for a house in which to live. and the secrets the Host into the chalice.’ the bread of angels. and to estimate the several in- or of mistaking.com 135 . night in which there are no stars and the moon is in travail. morbid it sought to symbolize. stirred him as much by its superb rejection of the to some pearly cell in the brain. Yet. Darwinismus movement in Germany. an inn that is fluences of sweet-smelling roots. robed in the garments of the Passion of Christ. and in champak that But he never fell into the error of arresting his intellectual stained the imagination.ern psychologists. or some white nerve in the evidence of the senses as by the primitive simplicity of its body. delighting in the conception of the absolute depen- elements and the eternal pathos of the human tragedy that dence of the spirit on certain physical conditions. tossed into the air like great gilt flowers. and in ambergris that stirred one’s passions. and the subtle antinomianism that al- It was rumored of him once that he was about to join ways seems to accompany it. and certainly the Roman for a season he inclined to the materialistic doctrines of the ritual had always a great attraction for him. of aromatic balms. Mysticism. is often a condition of it. he used to look the sensuous life. or. moved him for a season. distilling heavily-scented oils. and raising aloft the jewelled lantern-shaped how barren all intellectual speculation is when separated monstrance with that pallid wafer that at times. in their lace and burning odorous gums from the East. and the Roman Catholic communion. normal or diseased. in his stiff flowered before. less than the soul. breaking And so he would now study perfumes. and found a curi- fice. He knew that the senses. their lives. As he passed out. no fain think. and scented pollen-laden but suitable for the sojourn of a night. have their mysteries to reveal. as has been said of him marble pavement. He loved to kneel down on the cold or healthy. slowly and with white hands moving aside the veil of tance compared with life itself. of hovenia that makes men mad. The daily sacri. more awful really than all the sacrifices of the antique ous pleasure in tracing the thoughts and passions of men world.

and amethysts with their alternate layers of ruby 136 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. that can be heard. either in the tombs of dead nations or among the rapt pleasure to ‘Tannhäuser. it is said.’ and seeing in that great work few savage tribes that have survived contact with Western of art a presentation of the tragedy of his own soul. or grave yellow-shawled Tunisians plucked at the obtained from the milky juice of plants. and of whose doleful sound he hooded snakes and horrible horned adders. and the mighty harmonies of Beethoven himself. carbuncles of fiery scarlet with tremulous four- when they were shaken. The harsh in.com 137 . and that even youths may not see miral of France. great tes into the Mexican temple.from the soul. the harsh turé of the Amazon tribes. that are hung in clusters like grapes. listening in found. the long clarin of the Mexicans. has her monsters. or turbaned Indi. and and in a long latticed room. with a vermilion-and-gold ceil. light in the thought that Art. such as the olive-green chrysoberyl that turns red by le heard in Chili. flamered cinnamon-stones. blew through long pipes like the one that Bernal Diaz saw when he went with Cor- of reed or brass. either alone or with Lord Henry. orange and violet into which the performer does not blow. and a huge cy- beat monotonously upon copper drums. is sounded by the sentinels who sit all day long in trees. at a distance of three leagues. and charmed. ing and walls of olivegreen lacquer. the yotl-bells of the strained strings of monstrous lutes. the pistachio-colored peridot. he inhales the air. He would often spend a whole day settling and the earthen jars of the Peruvians that have the shrill cries of resettling in their cases the various stones that he had col- birds. but through which spinels. things of bestial shape and with hideous voices. after fell unheeded on his ear. mysterious juruparis of the Rio Negro Indians. while grinning negroes Aztecs. He had the On another occasion he took up the study of jewels. and sixty pearls. rose-pink and wine-yellow ness. in a dress covered with five hundred and till they have been subjected to fasting and scourging. and the sonorous green stones that are lamplight. like Nature. and loved to touch and try them. ans. has left us so vivid a description. Yet. He had painted gourds filled with pebbles that rattled topazes. civilizations. Ad- are not allowed to look at. and flutes of human bones such as Alfonso de Oval. rayed stars. and Chopin’s beautiful sor. found near Cuzco and give forth a note of singular sweet. and concerts in which mad gypsies tore wild music from little is beaten with sticks that are smeared with an elastic gum zithers. he wearied of them. and he felt a curious de- times when Schubert’s grace. covered with the skins of great serpents. that At another time he devoted himself entirely to music. He collected together from all some time. and would sit in his box parts of the world the strangest instruments that could be at the Opera. crouching upon scarlet mats. or feigned to charm. that has two vibrating tongues of wood. that women and appeared at a costume ball as Anne de Joyeuse. The fantastic character of tervals and shrill discords of barbaric music stirred him at these instruments fascinated him. rows. lindrical drum. he used to give curious the teponaztli. the cymophane with its wire-like line of silver. lected.

had ridden in stirrups hung with three hundred and twen- according to Democritus.’ There was a gem in the brain of the dragon. had a coat. rosary of one hundred and four pearls. which was covered with balas rubies. and ‘by the exhibition of golden letters and pangu place a rose-colored pearl in the mouth of the dead. and The King of Ceilan rode through his city with a large ruby the moonstone’s pearly whiteness. his horse was loaded with gold antidote against poison. as the ceremony of his coronation. emeraults. He loved the red gold of the sunstone..com 139 . and slain. of kids. that was found in the leaves. and greene backs. in which were two carbuncles. that was a certain visited Louis XII. In the nests of Arabian birds was the aspilates. so that no man a turquoise de la vieille roche that was the envy of all the might bring poison within. and had the horn of the horned snake inwrought. about jewels. The King of Malabar had shown a Venetian a enite waxed and waned with the moon. and in the romantic history of in the chamber of Margarite were seen ‘all the chaste ladies Alexander he was said to have found snakes in the vale of the world. was a charm that could cure the of rubies that threw out a great light. The cornelian appeased lured the king into the great pit. with eralds of extraordinary size and richness of color. According to the great alchemist Pierre de diver brought to King Perozes. sapphires. He procured from Amsterdam three em.’ so that the gold He discovered wonderful stories. When the Huns agate of India made him eloquent. inchased out of silver. and the amethyst copius tells the story. the palace of John the Priest were ‘made of sardius. Leonardus Camillus had seen a white stone taken When the Duke de Valentinois. and his cap had double rows heart of the Arabian deer. and the meloceus. The bezoar. Richard II. according to Brantôme. pieces for it. valued at thirty by fire. en apples. a scarlet robe’ the monster could be thrown into a magical A sea-monster had been enamoured of the pearl that the sleep. looking through fair of Jordan ‘with collars of real emeralds growing on their mirrours of chrysolites. the Emperor Anastasius offered five hundred-weight of gold and the hydropicus deprived the moon of her color. The garnet cast out demons. and the broken rainbow in his hand.’ Marco Polo had watched the inhabitants of Zi- tratus told us. son of Alexander VI. In might shine by day. and the carbuncles by night. In Lodge’s Alphonso’s ‘Clericalis Disciplina’ a serpent was mentioned strange romance ‘A Margarite of America’ it was stated that with eyes of real jacinth. and the mourned for seven moons over his loss. that. and Boniface. kept the wearer from any danger ty-one diamonds. also. Hall 138 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. The sel. could be affected only by the blood that he worshipped. Philos. thousand marks. Charles of England plague.—nor was it ever found again. and the hyacinth provoked sleep. he flung it away. The gates of of the milky opal. the diamond rendered a man invisible.and sapphire. of France. carbuncles.’ Over the gable were ‘two gold- connoisseurs. from the brain of a newly-killed toad. one for every god that discovers thieves. and had slain the thief.— Pro- anger. though drove away the fumes of wine.

and Apol- favorites of James I.—he was almost saddened by the reflection five hundred and sixty-one butterflies. that could be wanted for a feast. wore ear-rings of emeralds set in gold lo driving a chariot drawn by white gilt-reined steeds? He filigrane. Burgundy of his race. the mortuary cloth of King Henry II. No winter marred his face or garlands. had escaped that. wore jewelled gloves reaching to the elbow. the last Duke of and were figured with ‘lions. at any rate. He. with leafy wreaths and shame. on which were displayed all the dainties and viands with turquoise-stones. As he investigat. How different it was with ma. paniment of the words being wrought in gold thread. and Then he turned his attention to embroideries. je suis tout joyeux. the fantastic had a hawk-glove set with twelve rubies and fifty-two great robes that excited the indignation of the Bishop of Pontus. made in broidery. and nights of horror repeated the story of their suns.’ Catherine de Médicis had a mourning-bed summer. at Rheims for the use of Queen Joan of Burgundy. pearls. bears.com 141 . on his way to the Tower previous crocus-colored robe. with its three hundred golden bees. panthers. and was ed the subject. formed with four tapestries that performed the office of frescos in the chill pearls. but he was unchanged. whose wings were of the ruin that time brought on beautiful and wonderful similarly ornamented with the arms of the queen.described Henry VIII. Edward II. forests. and ever he took up. the whole things. and it stood in a terial things! Where had they gone to? Where was the great room hung with rows of the queen’s devices in cut black vel- 140 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. in fact. a square shape in those days. and blazoned with the king’s arms. and to the each note. along the edges with broideries of pearls. He read of the room that was prepared at the palace rooms of the Northern nations of Europe.’ the musical accom- dead was wonderful. and the yellow jonquils bloomed and died many made for her of black velvet powdered with crescents and times.’ The Rome. the giants.’ and the coat that Charles of Orleans once wore. and a skull-cap parsemé with pearls. on which were represented the starry sky. The ducal hat of Charles the Rash. that had been worked for Athena? Where the huge placard embroidered with diamonds and other rich stones.—and he always had an extraordinary faculty decorated with ‘thirteen hundred and twenty-one parrots. as wearing ‘a jacket of raised gold. gave to Piers Gaveston a suit of red-gold longed to see the curious table-napkins wrought for Elaga- armor studded with jacinths.. and Chilperic. Its curtains were of damask. nature. on which the gods fought against the to his coronation. on How exquisite life had once been! How gorgeous in its the sleeves of which were embroidered the verses of a song pomp and decoration! Even to read of the luxury of the beginning ‘Madame. hunters. velarium that Nero had stretched across the Colosseum at and a great bauderike about his neck of large balasses. Summer followed worked in gold. and a collar of gold roses set balus. dogs. and fringed stained his flower-like bloom. of becoming absolutely absorbed for the moment in what.—all. figured upon a gold and silver ground. that a painter can copy from with pearshaped pearls. was studded with sapphires and hung rocks.

elaborate yellow Chinese hangings. for a whole year. and Japanese Foukousas with their embroidered with lions and peacocks and other emblems. dalmatics of white satin and pink silk damask. getting the dainty Delhi muslins. with gold-threat palmates. altar frontals of ments. It had into panels representing scenes from the life of the Virgin. books bound among whom was St. who must wear purple and jewels and For these things. He had a gorgeous cope of crimson caryatides fifteen feet high in his apartment. the Bride of Christ.vet upon cloth of silver. Sebastian. and everything that he collected in fine linen that she may hide the pallid macerated body that his lovely house. chal- service of the Church. In the long cedar chests that lined ice-veils. from the 142 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. with tulips and dolphins and fleurs de lys. Louis XIV. and ‘running water. device wrought in seed-pearls. and the and the coronation of the Virgin was figured in colored standard of Mohammed had stood under it. is worn by the suffering that she seeks for. In the mystic offices to which these the west gallery of his house he had stored away many rare things were put there was something that quickened his and beautiful specimens of what is really the raiment of imagination. beyond which on either side was the pine-apple Its supports were of silver gilt. and stitched over were picked out with silver thread and colored crystals. The orphreys were divided fusely set with enamelled and jewelled medallions. blossoms. he sought to accumulate the century. silks upon the hood. beautifully chased. that from morse bore a seraph’s head in goldthread raised work. The their transparency are known in the East as ‘woven air. Another cope was of green velvet. This was Italian work of the fifteenth And so. embroidered most exquisite specimens that he could find of textile and with heartshaped groups of acanthus-leaves.’ and ‘evening dew.’ and orphreys were woven in a diaper of red and gold silk. and many corporals. also. King of Poland. were to be to him means of forgetfulness. figured with repre- point. from Java. fine. and sudaria. from which embroidered work. green-toned golds and their marvellouslyplumaged birds. and blue silk and gold brocade. spread long-stemmed white blossoms. of in tawny satins or fair blue silks and wrought with fleurs amber-colored silk. tern of golden pomegranates set in six-petalled formal cade embroidered in turquoises with verses from the Koran. and pro. decorated He had a special passion. figured with a repeating pat- of Sobieski. was made of Smyrna gold bro. and stiff Spanish velvets. and de lys.com 143 . for ecclesiastical vest. been taken from the Turkish camp before Vienna. He had chasubles. also. the details of which ly wrought. and work with its gilt coins. The with iridescent beetles’ wings. and wounded modes by which he could escape. The state bed silk and gold-thread damask. as indeed he had for everything connected with the crimson velvet and blue linen. and images. veils of lacis worked in Hungary yellow silk damask and cloth of gold. Sicilian brocades. birds. Georgian sentations of the Passion and Crucifixion of Christ. had gold-embroidered by self-inflicted pain. for a season. the Dacca gauzes.’ strange figured cloths were starred with medallions of many saints and martyrs.

as if they were de- 144 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and astounding the county by the wanton joyousness. day after day. when he was brought England. his wonderful companions. which his birth and social position fully entitled him to be- After a few years he could not endure to be long out of come a member. but filled. and that he con- the elaborate bolts and bars that he had caused to be placed sorted with thieves and coiners and knew the mysteries of upon the door. sometimes loathing it made him cold with horror. It was said such a part of his life. his secret then. He hated to be separated from the picture that was him after he had passed his twenty-fifth year. some night he would creep out of the house. the foulness and ugliness of the face. Upon the walls of the lonely locked room where laugh at any one who tried to taunt him. and had Yet he was afraid. entertaining the fash- For weeks he would not go there. go suddenly leave his guests and rush back to town to see that down to dreadful places near Blue Gate Fields. Curious stories became current about winter. would they believe it? tures showed him the real degradation of his life. He was quite conscious that this would tell them noth. would forget the hideous ionable young men of his own rank who were his chief painted thing. with For. there were not a few who secret pleasure. Surely the world would know and himself. as well as the little white walled-in of Berwick and another gentleman got up in a marked man- house at Algiers where he had more than once spent his ner and went out. their trade. Sometimes when he was down at his draped the purple-and-gold pall in front of it as a curtain. but what could they learn from that? He would be borne. What if it should be stolen? The mere thought he would sit in front of the picture. while he fascinated many. men would ing. when he used to reappear again in society. His extraordinary absences became notorious. or pass him with a sneer. and. his passionate pleasure in mere existence. and smiling. with that pride of re. It was true that the portrait still preserved. until he was driven away. by a friend into the smoking-room of the Carlton. in spite of den in the distant parts of Whitechapel. and gave up the villa that he had shared at Trou. and get back his light heart. at other times. under all whisper to each other in corners. he had hung with it. What was it to him how vile and full of shame it looked? his own hands the terrible portrait whose changing fea. He was blackballed at a West End club of the burden that should have been his own. Even if he told them. he would suddenly. bellion that is half the fascination of sin. Then. and he was also afraid that during his that he had been seen brawling with foreign sailors in a low absence some one might gain access to the room. great house in Nottinghamshire. at the misshapen shadow that had to bear distrusted him.com 145 . On his return was still there. Perhaps the world already suspected it. He had not painted he had spent so much of his boyhood.fear that seemed to him at times to be almost too great to to himself. and stay the door had not been tampered with and that the picture there. luxury and gorgeous splendor of his mode of life. the Duke ville with Lord Henry. and on one occasion. its marked likeness or look at him with cold searching eyes.

the same as the canons of art.termined to discover his secret. and ton was the only one who remained loyal to him. which kept him not long company. after all. for his view. It should have the dignity of a ceremony. in his at least. and giltedged ruff and wrist-bands. or should stood Sir Anthony Sherard. not. permanent. grow pallid with shame or horror if Dorian Gray entered and whose very flesh was tainted with the monstrous mala- the room. to that mad prayer that cold entrées. however. and in the opinion of most people his frank its unreality.’ as one who was ‘caressed by the court for his hand- instinctively that manners are of more importance than some face. and there is possibly a good deal to be said blet. were in themselves a sufficient answer to the cal. man was a being with myriad lives who had wildly adored him.’ Was it young morals. Is insincerity such a terrible thing? I think leave him. Even the cardinal virtues cannot atone for terance. in Basil Hallward’s studio. to shun him. For the canons of good society are. Society. Form is absolutely essen- Of such insolences and attempted slights he. in gold-embroidered red dou- on the subject.com 147 . and the in. as Lord Henry remarked once. Women of one essence. him. described by Francis Osborne. ‘Memoires on the Reigns of Queen Elizabeth and King riment of those who are both rich and charming. He loved to stroll through the gaunt cold Yet these whispered scandals only lent him. a complex multiform creature that social censure and set convention at defiance. after a time. be. jewelled surcoat. and almost without cause. dies of the dead. is irreproachable in made him so suddenly. that those who had been Such. of course. And. his charming boyish smile. in the eyes picture-gallery of his country-house and look at the vari- of many. to wonder at the shallow psychology of those who conceive Of all his friends. Lord Henry Wot. It was remarked. his strange and dangerous charm. His great wealth ous portraits of those whose blood flowed in his veins. give ut- his private life. at any rate. was Dorian Gray’s opinion. and the highest respectability is of less value in its Herbert’s life that he sometimes led? Had some strange poi- opinion than the possession of a good chef. To him. civilized society was Philip Herbert. He used most intimate with him appeared. as well as took no notice. or so-called friends. it sonous germ crept from body to body till it had reached his is a very poor consolation to be told that the man who has own? Was it some dim sense of that ruined grace that had given one a bad dinner. were seen to bore within itself strange legacies of thought and passion. with his silver-and-black armor 146 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. It is merely a method by which we can multiply our umnies (for so they called them) that were circulated about personalities. or poor wine. tial to it. in a discussion had so changed his life? Here. is never very ready to believe anything to the det. Here was a certain element of security. of a romantic play with the wit and beauty that make such finite grace of that wonderful youth that seemed never to plays charming. reliable. It feels James. the Ego in man as a thing simple. and for his sake had braved all and myriad sensations. and should combine the insincere character debonair manner.

had wandered through a corridor lined How proud and handsome he was. He had led the or. might strike him. he had sat. and certainly with an influence of which one dreams that the dead man had not dared to realize? Here. looking round with haggard eyes for and insolent pose! What passions had he bequeathed? The the reflection of the dagger that was to end his days. The star of the Garter glittered upon whom life denies nothing. He had been a macaroni and peacocks strutted round him and the flute-player of the eighteenth century. in a garden at Ca- dain. and. vellous and evil so full of wonder. stirred within litter of pearl and purple drawn by silver-shod mules. A flower was in her right hand. There were times when it from the fading canvas. He knew her passed across the stage of the world and made sin so mar- life. with that ennui. smiled Lady Elizabeth Devereux. of mocked the swinger of the censer. had ca- Lord Ferrars. those strange terrible figures that had green rosettes upon her little pointed shoes.com 149 . He felt that he by her side lay a mandolin and an apple. and the strange stories that were told about her lovers. and one of supped in an ivory manger with a jewel-frontleted horse. and pink slashed the record of his own life. Beside him hung the portrait of his wife. an enamelled collar of white and damask roses.piled at his feet. What of The hero of the dangerous novel that had so influenced George Willoughby. that taedium vitae. pearl stomacher. while dwarfs that were so overladen with rings. was more absolutely conscious. reading the shameful books of Elephantis. heavy-lidded eyes seemed to look curiously at him. and then. as Caligula. as Tiberius. in a thin-lipped woman in black. It seemed to him that in Had he something of her temperament in him? Those oval some mysterious way their lives had been his own. been him. Delicate lace ruffles fell over the lean yellow hands pri. and had peered through a clear his breast. and the sensual lips seemed to be twisted with dis. but as his imagination had created it for him. and panion of the Prince Regent in his wildest days. How curious it all seemed! carried through the Street of Pomegranates to a House of 148 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. a pallid. and her left clasped circumstance. What had this man’s legacy been? Had the Yet one had ancestors in literature. In a chapter of patches? How evil he looked! The face was saturnine and the book he tells how. crowned with laurel. On a table as it had been in his brain and in his passions. many tance of sin and shame? Were his own actions merely the of them. as well as in one’s lover of Giovanna of Naples bequeathed him some inheri. emerald at the red shambles of the Circus. and sick world had looked upon him as infamous. as Domitian. nearer perhaps in type and temperament. Fitzherbert? and. the witnesses at the secret marriage with Mrs. What of the second Lord Sherard. lest lightning swarthy. seemed to Dorian Gray that the whole of history was merely in her gauze hood. There were large had known them all. that comes on those to gies at Carlton House. also. not as he had lived it in act and sleeves. with his powdered hair and fantastic his life had himself had this curious fancy. the com. in his youth. roused with the green-shirted jockeys in their stables. and the friend. Her blood. with his chestnut curls with marble mirrors. own race.

Charles VI. He saw them young Cardinal Archbishop of Florence. Renaissance knew of strange manners of poisoning. and at dice when gambling with him for his own soul. Fiend. and in honor of a shameful passion built a which were pictured the awful and beautiful forms of those pagan church for Christian worship.—poi- bauchery. and they troubled his imagination in the day. mantle stained with the blood of Perotto. as was reported. fused by a Jewish doctor. the Borgia on hated him could not choose but weep. and gave poison to Ginevra d’Este in a woven for him from Gustave Moreau’s designs. The of Sixtus IV. as other men have for red wine. by an embroidered of white and crimson silk. who in mockery took the name of Innocent. and given her in mystic marriage to the and into whose torpid veins the blood of three lads was in- Sun. who strangled Polys- the hero describes the curious tapestries that he had had sena with a napkin. and the lord of Rimini. and on cup of emerald. and whose comeliness was such that. the lover Over and over again Dorian used to read this fantastic of Isotta. and heard men cry on Nero Caesar as he passed by. the There was a horrible fascination in them all. with Fratricide riding beside him. and the chapter immediately following. whose melancholy could be cured There were moments when he looked on evil simply as a only by the spectacle of death. whose beauty was equalled only by his de. Ezzelin.com 151 . those who had with roses by a harlot who had loved him. and Simonetto of a terrible sin. blessed him. and who received Leonora of Aragon in a pavilion soning by a helmet and a lighted torch. Grifonetto at two hundred thousand florins. and one who had cheated his father and. from Carthage. who had whom Vice and Blood and Weariness had made monstrous so wildly adored his brother’s wife that a leper had warned or mad: Filippo. Gian Maria Visconti. Pietro Barbi.. Giam- plied the distaff among the women. and him of the insanity that was coming on him. Dorian Gray had been poisoned by a book. whose effigy was burned at chapter. who slew his wife. by a gilded pomander and by an and gilded a boy that he might serve her at the feast as Gan. and. and whose tiara. and Atalanta. child and minion at night. who his white horse. known as Paul the Second. who used hounds to with his page. 150 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. the Ve. had painted his face with colors. valued jerkin and jewelled cap and acanthus-like curls. who slew Astorre with his bride.. Duke of Milan. ymede or Hylas. filled with nymphs and centaurs. and who could painted her lips with a scarlet poison. who sought in his vanity es of Love and Death and Madness. and brought the Moon battista Cibo. as he chase living men. glove and a jewelled fan. and whose murdered body was covered lay dying in the yellow piazza of Perugia. was bought at the price Baglioni. Pietro Riario. Sigismondo Malatesta. amber chain.—the son of the beautiful. as Elagabalus. in which Rome as the enemy of God and man.Gold. and his had cursed him. in his trimmed to assume the title of Formosus. only be soothed by Saracen cards painted with the imag- netian. and who had a passion for mode through which he could realize his conception of the red blood.

and I wanted particularly to see you before I left. and an ulster! Finally I took pity on your tired servant. minutes. In fact. The lamp-light struggled out through the fog. I have something to Henry’s. Let me come in for a moment. as I have sent on my heavy things. He recog. Here we are at your door. as he let me out. In a few moments his me is in this bag. with some siphons of soda- 152 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ ‘Dorian! What an extraordinary piece of luck! I have Dorian looked at him and smiled. but I don’t feel at all certain about it. It was Basil Hallward. my dear Basil? Why. as the night was cold and foggy. gray ulster turned up.Chapter X here. as you passed Hallward shook his head. Hallward looked at his watch. A strange sense of fear. you. and then hurrying after him. and followed me. or the fog will get into the house. as I have not seen you for ages. in the direction just eleven. came over him. I shan’t have any delay about But Hallward had seen him. walking very fast. I days. But I wasn’t quite sure. I am sorry you are going away. as he often remembered afterwards. and shut myself up till I I t was on the 7th of November. There was a bright wood fire blazing ‘In this fog. and an open Grosvenor Square. You see.com 153 .’ heavy furs. and was wrapped in say to you. ‘The train doesn’t go till twelve-fifteen. and went on slowly. I believe my house is somewhere about Dutch silver spirit-case stood. The lamps were lit. the eve of his own thirty- second birthday. I am off to Paris by the midnight don’t talk about anything serious. He had a bag in his hand. and told him to go Come in. Didn’t you recognize me?’ Dorian into the library.’ he an- for which he could not account. But I suppose you will be back soon?’ ‘No: I am going to be out of England for six months. luggage. and with the collar of his opened the door with his latch-key. All I have with ping. And mind you to bed. However. But won’t you miss your train?’ of Grosvenor Square and South Audley Street a man passed said Dorian Gray. He was walking home about eleven o’clock from Lord have finished a great picture I have in my head. At the corner ‘I shall be charmed. as he entered. where he had been dining. ‘I have heaps of time. He made swered. ionable painter to travel! A Gladstone bag. languidly. it wasn’t about myself I wanted to talk. Dorian heard him first stop. or rather your fur coat. I intend to take a studio in Paris. ‘What a way for a fash- been waiting for you ever since nine o’clock in your library. I can’t even recognize in the large open hearth. and it is only no sign of recognition. Nothing is serious nowa- train.’ thought it was you. and nized him. At least nothing should be. when I met you. as he passed up the steps and him in the mist. and I can easily get to Victoria in twenty hand was on his arm. I was on my way to the club to look for of his own house.

should know that the most dreadful things are being said come of the Frenchman. What has be. in his petulant way. One often terested in his good name. the I want to speak to you seriously. He gave me everything I wanted. by the bye?’ about you in London. and 154 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and-seltzer? I always take hock-and-seltzer myself. and had never heard anything about him at the myself. Every gentleman is in- liked him. and seemed quite sorry when he went away. Of course you have devoted to me.’ Lady Ashton’s maid. I think it right that you better than the Frenchman you used to have. ‘And now. You don’t want people to talk of imagines things that are quite absurd.’ them when I see you. it shows itself in the lines of his mouth. Dorian. Dorian sighed. Sin is a thing that writes itself across ‘Thanks. with your pure. but you know him—came ‘What is it all about?’ cried Dorian.’ body— I won’t mention his name.’ But—do you know?—he was not at all a bad servant. People talk of secret taking his cap and coat off. I should like to be time. His life is dreadful. I am tired of myself to-night. Don’t frown like that. He is a most hospitable creature. It seems silly of the French. There is I don’t believe these rumors at all. I refused him. and lit a cigarette. There was something in ‘It is about yourself. your position. I won’t have anything more. I can’t believe sure to be some in the next room. the moulding of his hands even. on a little table. Dorian. There are no such things as secret vices. and has established her in Paris as an ‘I don’t wish to know anything about them. Some- make it so much more difficult for me. doesn’t it? interest me. to me last year to have his portrait done. I hear. I like him much your own sake that I am speaking.—things that I could hardly repeat to Dorian shrugged his shoulders. including your best cig. and all that kind of thing. Mind you. But position and wealth are not everything. ‘I hope it is not about him before.’ answered Hallward. I never ‘They must interest you. ‘and I must say it to you. You droop of his eyelids. and it is entirely for arettes. They have not got the charm of novelty. Dorian. ‘Half an hour!’ he mur- ‘You see your servant made me quite at home. but I had nothing to complain about.water and large cut-glass tumblers.’ said Hallward. in his grave. I love scan- English dressmaker. I shall only keep you quite right in what I fancied about him. and your wealth.’ extravagant price. and throwing them on the bag vices. I know now that I was deep voice. innocent face. my dear fellow. man has a vice. though I have heard a good deal since. a man’s face.’ But you. It cannot be concealed. He offered an somebody else.com 155 . half an hour. but scandals about myself don’t there now. If a wretched that he had placed in the corner. bright. ‘It is not much to ask of you. the shape of his fingers that I hated. mured. He was really very you as something vile and degraded. Have another brandy-and-soda? Or would you like hock. Dorian. At least. Anglomanie is very fashionable over dals about other people. ‘I believe he married you. I had never seen flinging himself down on the sofa.

He will make the world respect you. I know you and Harry are great friends. Your name was implicated 156 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and you his sister’s name a by-word. Dorian. Are they vite you to theirs? You used to be a friend of Lord Cawdor. who had fluence. and whom no chaste woman should sit for the moment always said that. I don’t know what to say. I want you to lead such a life as of yours. I won’t tell you that I lip. Why is her in the Park? Why. He seemed bro. Then there are other stories. your reputation letter that his wife had written to him when she was dying is infamous. Don’t shrug your shoulders wretched boy in the Guards who committed suicide. not for evil. It was horrible! Why name and a fair record. but surely you need not have made thing against you.com 157 . and then broke his word. I laughed. I am told ken with shame and sorrow. and the life that is led there? Dorian. that a man like the Duke of Berwick leaves the live with her. I true? Can they be true? When I first heard them. for shame ful end? What about Lord Kent’s only son. And yet I see you very seldom. How should I know? But it is said of you. He told me. You have a wonderful in- were his great friend. James Street. met him at dinner last week. Don’t be so indifferent. What about the young Duke things that it seems impossible to doubt. and I hear all these hideous things that people single decent woman in London now who would drive with are whispering about you.—stories that you room of a club when you enter it? Why is it that so many have been seen creeping at dawn out of dreadful houses and gentlemen in London will neither go to your house nor in. What about up in conversation. There was Sir Henry Ashton. have lent to the exhibition at the Dudley.—I can’t believe any. I don’t know whether it is met his father yesterday in St. Dorian. even her children are not allowed to it. When you met Lady Gwendo- never come down to the studio now. Is there a from you. What about Adrian Singleton. in connection with the miniatures you your country-house. with a tarnished name. in the same room with. Lord Gloucester of Perth? What sort of life has he got now? What gentleman was one of my greatest friends at Oxford. I remember Harry saying once but that you were a man whom no pure-minded girl should that every man who turned himself into an amateur curate be allowed to know. so or not. I say alone in her villa at Mentone. and when I am away len.your marvellous untroubled youth. Cawdor curled his you don’t know what is said about you. He showed me a would associate with him? Dorian. slinking in disguise into the foulest dens in London. I want you to get rid of the dread- is your friendship so fateful to young men? There was that ful people you associate with. I reminded him that I was a friend I do want to preach to you. and his dread. Your name happened to come I hear them now. nothing about that now. and said that you might have the most artistic tastes. You like that. Let it be for good. and they make me shudder. and asked him what he meant. not a breath of scandal had ever touched her. and his career? I of some kind to follow after you. I want you to have a clean told me right out before everybody. They say that you to leave England. and inseparable. You and he were corrupt every one whom you become intimate with. don’t want to preach to you. that it is quite sufficient for you to enter a house.

I said it for the sofa and turning almost white from fear.in the most terrible confession I ever read. and with infinite sor. ‘Don’t touch me. clear about it so tediously.’ to see your soul. After all. lent manner. what right had he to pry into the life of Dorian younger man.’ 158 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. But only God can do A twisted flash of pain shot across Hallward’s face. deny them! Can’t you see what I am go- one else was to share his secret. Finish what you have to say. Come. of my life from day to day. that are made against you. your good. I will show it to you if you come with steadfastly into his stern eyes. and that you Hallward started back. and stood all about it afterwards. You me. Dorian. I tell you. gravely. and that the man who had ing through? My God! don’t tell me that you are infamous!’ painted the portrait that was the origin of all his shame was Dorian Gray smiled. and it never leaves the room in ‘Yes. Why shouldn’t you look at it? You can tell the world ened himself up.’ he continued. and a wild feeling of pity came over A bitter laugh of mockery broke from the lips of the him.com 159 . solutely untrue from beginning to end. him.’ said the young man. Now you shall look on it face to He turned round. coming closer to him. starting up from ‘I know so. if you choose. You know I have been always devoted to you.—‘to see your soul. ‘Come: it is your own handi. I should have and they don’t mean anything. it. Basil. Basil. ‘Come up-stairs. der do I know you? Before I could answer that.’ answered Hallward. cried. looking at the burning logs with their frost-like ashes you. ‘I keep a diary ory of what he had done. ‘I will show you my soul. Know you? I won.’ it was absurd.’ ‘You think so?’ He laughed again. I told him that shall see the thing that you fancy only God can see. ‘To see my soul!’ muttered Dorian Gray. Dorian!’ he were incapable of anything of the kind.’ ‘Yes. There was a curl of contempt in his to be burdened for the rest of his life with the hideous mem. He felt a terrible joy at the thought that some Deny them.’ he said. If they did believe you. ‘This is blasphemy. If you tell me that they are ab- He stamped his foot upon the ground in his boyish inso. though you will prate ‘I am waiting. ‘What I have to say is this. He that. they’d like me all the better for and their throbbing cores of flame. face. They are horrible. how much he must have suffered! Then he straight- work. quietly. Gray? If he had done a tithe of what was rumored about seizing a lamp from the table. and looking which it is written. You have chattered voice. ‘You must not say things like that. I will believe you. Nobody would believe there. enough about corruption.’ ‘You must give me some answer to these horrible charges There was the madness of pride in every word he uttered.—that I knew you thoroughly. and walked over to the fireplace.’ row in his voice. to-night!’ he cried. ‘You shall see it yourself.’ paused for a moment. I know the age better than you do. As for what I said to you to-night.’ he cried. lips. in a hard.

Basil?’ he asked. A cold current of air passed them.’ he said. ‘I will come with you. in a low voice. A rising wind made some of the windows rattle. Hallward glanced round him. I can go to-morrow. Chapter XI But don’t ask me to read anything to-night.’ ‘I am delighted. They walked soft- ly. with a puzzled expression. The room looked as if it had not been lived in for years. That makes no matter. A faded Flemish tapestry. ‘Shut the door behind you. as men instinctively do at night. The lamp cast fantastic shadows on the wall and staircase. as he placed the lamp on the table. He shuddered. All I want is a plain answer to my question. Dorian set the lamp down on the floor. Basil Hallward following close behind. You won’t have to read long. Dorian. if you wish it. and began the ascent.—that was all that it seemed to contain. smiling.’ H e passed out of the room.com 161 . taking up the lamp. a curtained picture.’ ‘That will be given to you up-stairs. I could not give it here. When they reached the top landing. and an almost empty bookcase. As Dorian Gray was lighting a half-burned candle that was standing 160 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. besides a chair and a table.’ he murmured. an old Italian cassone. and the light shot up for a moment in a flame of murky orange. ‘You are the one man in the world who is entitled to know everything about me. ‘You insist on knowing. he opened the door and went in. and taking out the key turned it in the lock. You have had more to do with my life than you think. Then he add- ed. somewhat bitterly. I see I have missed my train.’ And. ‘Yes. Don’t keep me waiting.

devoted yourself to me. Dorian. or pretending to do so. and he felt as if his blood had changed from fire ered with dust.’ He had never done that. The mildew has got into long letters of bright vermilion. The paints I used had some wretched mineral It was some foul parody. A mouse to sluggish ice in a moment. and you will see mine. and that the carpet was in holes. voice sounded shrill and curious in his ears. whatever it was.’ his hand across his forehead. it was Dorian himself. and was smelling it. ‘You are mad. His own Dorian Gray’s own face that he was looking at! The horror. An exclamation of horror broke from Hallward’s lips There was simply the passion of the spectator. go- 162 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. it was his own picture.’ said Dorian Gray. The idea was monstrous. There was still some gold in the thinning hair and me. and now. It was dank with clammy The voice that spoke was cold and cruel. Perhaps you the frame was his own design.’ muttered Hallward. flattered me. I tell you the thing is impossible. In a mad moment. when I was a boy. There was something in its expression that of his coat. He ‘Ah. the canvas. He seized the lighted candle. Still.com 163 . with perhaps as he saw in the dim light the hideous thing on the canvas a flicker of triumph in the eyes. and held it to the ‘I remember it! Oh. ignoble satire. and looked at Dorian odor of mildew. ‘you met beauty. The room is damp. I made a wish. and taught me to some scarlet on the sensual lips. whether I regret or not. what is impossible?’ murmured the young man. yet would call it a prayer …. His mouth twitched. In the left-hand corner was his own name. Good heavens! it was ‘What does this mean?’ cried Hallward. ‘You won’t? Then I must do it myself. the noble curves friend of yours. sweat. and flung it on faces of those who are absorbed in a play when a great art- the ground. poison in them. at last.’ said the young watching him with that strange expression that is on the man. how well I remember it! No! the thing picture. some infamous. had not yet passed entirely away from chiselled nostrils and and you finished a portrait of me that revealed to me the from plastic throat. He had taken the flower out leering at him. knew it.’ he felt afraid. that I don’t know. The sodden eyes had kept be vain of my good looks. Yes. who explained to me the wonder of youth. The young man was leaning against the mantel-shelf. There was neither real sorrow in it nor real joy. had not yet entirely marred that marvellous ‘Years ago. His own picture! What did it ran scuffling behind the wainscoting.on the mantel-shelf. He passed Draw that curtain back. and ‘So you think that it is only God who sees the soul. or playing a part. ist is acting. But who had wonder of beauty. Basil? his parched tongue seemed unable to articulate. One day you introduced me to a something of the loveliness of their blue. frowning. Gray with the eyes of a sick man. traced in is impossible. filled him with disgust and loathing. even done it? He seemed to recognize his own brush-work. and he tore the curtain from its rod. There was a damp mean? Why had it altered? He turned. he saw that the whole place was cov.

You have done enough evil in your light up again to the canvas. He placed his foot on it He glanced wildly around. The mad passions of a hunted animal stirred within ting of a corpse in a watery grave was not so fearful. and examined it. Something glimmered on the and put it out. The prayer of your repentance will be answered the face of a satyr. mist-stained glass. nothing shameful.’ ‘Pray. and the candle fell from its socket on more than he had ever loathed anything in his whole life. His hand shook.ing over to the window. apparently.com 165 . Forgive us our sins. you must be worse even than ‘Those words mean nothing to me now. I am punished for it. It was a knife that he had brought up.’ he murmured.’ also. Through some strange quickening of inner life the controllable feeling of hatred for Basil Hallward came over leprosies of sin were slowly eating the thing away. but he could hear the young man ‘I was wrong. It was us?’ from within.’ he exclaimed. and lay there sputtering. His eye fell on it. Hallward turned again to the portrait. yet I will make them as ‘My God! if it is true.’ ‘God! what a thing I must have worshipped! This has the Dorian Gray turned slowly around.’ Let ‘As you called it. pray. My God! don’t you see that accursed thing leering at seemed to be quite undisturbed. cold.’ son!’ There was no answer. ‘Good God. that was standing by the table and buried his face in his He knew what it was. and leaning his forehead against the hands. and suddenly an un- come.’ sobbing at the window. ‘Each of us has Heaven and Hell in him. and as he had left it.’ those who talk against you fancy you to be!’ He held the ‘Hush! don’t say that. Dorian. why. Basil. and looked at him eyes of a devil. him. with a wild gesture of despair. Basil. Dorian. as you call it …’ tation. It has destroyed me. The rot. bitterly. You ‘It is the face of my soul.’ cried ‘It is never too late. We are both punished. ‘I don’t believe it is my picture. ‘Though your sins be as scarlet. the floor. ‘What is it that one ‘Can’t you see your romance in it?’ said Dorian. what a lesson! what an awful les- ‘You told me you had destroyed it. Then he flung himself into the rickety chair top of the painted chest that faced him.’ us say that together. The prayer of your pride has been an- ‘There was nothing evil in it.’ worshipped yourself too much. and he loathed the man who was seated at the table. ‘It is too late. 164 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. him. This is swered.’ with tear-dimmed eyes. was taught to say in one’s boyhood? ‘Lead us not into temp- ‘My romance. I worshipped you too much. ‘and this is what you white as snow’?’ have done with your life. Wash away our iniquities. Dorian. and gazed at it. we can remember a prayer. that the foulness and horror had Dorian Gray glanced at the picture. Isn’t there a verse somewhere.’ he murmured. The surface life. Let us kneel down and try if Dorian.

but the drip. He opened the door. and crept quietly down- and. The friend who had painted the fatal portrait. and the leafless trees vulsively three times. turned the key. He shivered.com 167 . Had it not been for the red jagged tear in the neck. Perhaps it might be table with bowed head. and dug the knife gering as she went. He took out the key. but the man did not and went back. missed by his servant. and humped back. and returned to the room. and the pain. He stopped several times. Then he threw did not even glance at the murdered man. The police- head down on the table. He moved slowly towards it. He tic arms. and stabbing again and again. still pressing the head down. It was a rather curious himself in as he did so. stag- if he was going to rise. He waited He passed to the door. and had forgotten going his rounds and flashing a bull’s-eye lantern on the to take away with him. turned back. He could hear nothing. He looked down. Hallward moved in his chair as in a ragged shawl was creeping round by the railings. The wind had blown the fog away. and seemed to cry out as if in on the balcony. and turned round. locking Then he remembered the lamp. was! How horribly white the long hands looked! He was like one would have said that the man was simply asleep. It was merely the sound of his own footsteps. Once. and the horrible sound of some away. No: everything sky was like a monstrous peacock’s tail. doors of the silent houses. ads of golden eyes. and opened it. he saw the bag and coat in 166 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and became blue. Something began to trickle on the floor. closing the window behind him. and long fantas. She stumbled There was a stifled groan. He rushed at him. The house was quite quiet. laughing. the portrait to bare carpet. How still the man and the clotted black pool that slowly widened on the table. and went out on the which all his misery had been due.some days before. A woman seized it. straining over the with arabesques of burnished steel. and listened. a dreadful wax image. and saw the policeman When he reached the library. He stabbed him once more. The crimson spot of a prowling ing Hallward as he did so. man strolled over and said something to her. crushing the man’s back. and then vanished. Now and then she stopped. A bitter blast swept across the Square. to cut a piece of cord. move. and waited. and stepped out stairs. The wood-work creaked. No one was stirring. in the air. pass. and took it from the table. As soon as he got behind him. walking over to the window. The one choking with blood. How quickly it had all been done! He felt strangely calm. was still. gas-lamps flickered. He locked the door behind him. opened it. had gone out of his life. He felt that the the knife on the table. secret of the whole thing was not to realize the situation. The outstretched arms shot up con. landing. and peered into the great vein that is behind the ear. and questions would be asked. waving grotesque stiff-fingered hands shook their black iron branches as if in pain. one of Moorish workmanship. That was enough. he hansom gleamed at the corner. drip on the thread. she began to sing in a hoarse voice. He for a moment. made of dull silver inlaid The thing was still seated in the chair. starred with myri.

the shelves. He stayed here till eleven. After a few moments he opened the front door. sir. In about ten minutes his valet ap- peared.’ Evidence? What evidence was there against him? Basil ‘Oh! I am sorry I didn’t see him. ‘but I had forgotten my latch-key. sir.’ Yes.’ month. and looking very drowsy. marble table. Hertford Street. Then he took the Blue Book down from one of slow heavy tread of the policeman outside on the pavement. It was twenty minutes to two.’ he said.’ He sat down. Most of the servants were at Selby Royal. and then he Some red star had come too close to the earth. went away to catch his train. aroused. With his curious reserved ‘No. It was to Paris that Basil had gone.’ valet had gone to bed. he wanted. ‘That will do. them into it. looking at locked a secret press that was in the wainscoting. that was the man He waited. half dressed. Francis. it would be months before any suspicions would be The man shambled down the passage in his slippers. He put on his fur coat and down the room for a quarter of an hour. almost— men were strangled in England for what ‘Did any one call this evening?’ he had done.’ habits. Did he leave any mes- Hallward had left the house at eleven. Then he ‘Five minutes past two? How horribly late! You must pulled out his watch. stepping in.’ night train. I have some work to do. wake me at nine to-morrow. 152. Don’t forget to call me at nine to- Paris! Yes. biting his lip. ‘Alan Camp- and seeing the flash of the lantern reflected in the window.’ answered the man. Every year—every ‘All right. Francis. and put the clock and yawning. bell. ‘Mr.the corner. sir. Then he began ringing the bell. as he had intended. ‘Five minutes past two. and slipped out. He un. Months? Everything could be destroyed long be. He walked up and A sudden thought struck him. and went out into the hall. hearing the thinking. Mayfair.com 169 . His ‘No. What time is it?’ 168 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. There he paused. No one had seen him sage?’ come in again. and began to think. and began to turn over the leaves. sir. holding his breath. Hallward. There had been a madness of murder in the air. and hat. morrow. except that he would write to you. by the mid. ‘I am sorry to have had to wake you up. sir. They must be hidden away somewhere. and passed into the library. shutting it very gently behind him. He could easily burn them afterwards. Dorian Gray threw his hat and coat upon the yellow fore then.

and as he opened his eyes a faint smile passed He passed his hand across his forehead. giving a good deal of care to the selection of his untroubled by any images of pleasure or of pain. and a genial warmth in the air.’ 170 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Over some of the letters May. The sky was bright blue. He turned round. and. get his address. to side. He winced at Henry had once said. Dorian was sleeping quite peacefully. and for a moment When he had drunk his coffee. Yet he had not dreamed at all. ‘That awful thing. as though he had been having some delight. to be The man had to touch him twice on the shoulder be. hastily.Chapter XII rible that was! Such hideous things were for the darkness. he smiled. But youth necktie and scarf-pin. The dead man was ‘Take this round to 152. strangled lest it might strangle one itself. to him. How hor. and changing his rings more than smiles without any reason. Francis. But this was not one of them. greater than any joy they brought. Three of them bored him. The mellow November sun was stream. dishes. and then tore up with a slight look of annoyance silent bloodstained feet into his brain. the memory of all that he had suffered. once. with one hand underneath his cheek. or study. A t nine o’clock the next morning his servant came in with a cup of chocolate on a tray. not for the day. and dressed himself with even more than his usual ful dream. the other he had made him kill him as he sat in the chair. Mr. and gave to the intellect a quickened sense of joy. and if still sitting there. driven out of the mind. It is one of its chiefest charms. There were sins whose fasci- nation was more in the memory than in the doing of them. Hertford Street. It was almost like a morning in going through his correspondence. a woman’s memory!’ as Lord themselves there with terrible distinctness. came back handed to the valet. the same curious feeling of loathing for Basil Hallward. One he read several Gradually the events of the preceding night crept with times over. and there was was thinking of getting made for the servants at Selby. and then got up across his lips. One he put in his pocket. began to He spent a long time over breakfast. He felt that if he brooded on what he had gone through he would sicken or grow mad. It was a thing to be boy who had been tired out with play. talking to his valet about some new liveries that he ing into the room. and in the sunlight now. Campbell is out of town. that and wrote two letters. too. fore he woke. leaning on his elbow. tasting the various drink his chocolate. and opened the shut- ters. to be drugged with poppies. and he grew cold with passion. He looked like a the senses. and reconstructed in his face. or could ever bring.com 171 . he sat down at the table. lying on his right strange triumphs that gratified the pride more than the passions. His night had been attention.

he looked at straight lines of turquoise-blue that follow one as one push- the titlepage of the book. Poor Ba- Suivant la phrase au pur contour. sketching upon a piece of paper. Sur le marbre d’un escalier. sur l’azur des ondes part of the time. of architecture. He remem- Sur une gamme chromatique. sil! what a horrible way for a man to die! S’enflent comme des gorges rondes He sighed. and took up the book again. and a wonderful Le sein de perles ruisselant. and began L’esquif aborde et me dépose. getting How exquisite they were! As one read them. and tried to for- Que soulève un soupir d’amour. and had gone wild over Tintoret. As he turned over back with halfclosed eyes. trailing curtains. that every face that he drew seemed to have an extraordi. he lit a cigarette. like Oxford. and bits Jetant son amarre au pilier. those lovely verses upon Venice: The whole of Venice was in those two lines. himself. sign of gilt trellis-work and dotted pomegranates. at his own white taper fingers.’ He glanced Devant une façade rose. or stalk. with the Jacquemart him of the gleam of the opal-and-iris-throated birds that etching. one seemed up.’ with its downy red hairs and its ‘doigts de faune. The binding was of citron-green leather with a de. till he came to Sur le marbre d’un escalier. and passed on. He frowned. Leaning been given to him by Adrian Singleton. to be floating down the green water-ways of the pink and ard. He read of the swallows that fly in and out of the little 172 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. had kept the background for romance. and then faces. first.’ es out to the Lido. flutter round the tall honey-combed Campanile. or almost everything. went over to the bookcase and took out a volume at haz.— naire. bered the autumn that he had passed there. till it became absolutely necessary to do so. love that had stirred him to delightful fantastic follies. and background was everything. He was determined that he would not think about what pearl city. drawing flowers. through the dim arcades. The mere lines looked to him like those When he had stretched himself on the sofa. the cold yellow hand ‘du supplice encore mal lavée. It was Gautier’s ‘Emaux et Camées. The sudden flashes of color reminded Charpentier’s Japanese-paper edition.com 173 . nary likeness to Basil Hallward. Suddenly he remarked Devant une façade rose. lying in a black gondola with silver prow and had happened. As soon as he was alone. get. Sort de l’eau son corps rose et blanc. he kept saying over and over to the pages his eye fell on the poem about the hand of Lace. Basil had been with him Les dômes. It had with such stately grace. La Vénus de l’Adriatique There was romance in every place. and. But Venice.

when he was called upon. ly from any party at which Dorian Gray was present. of the Obelisk that a chemist was a person who made up prescriptions. and wherever good music was going on. contralto voice. He He was an extremely clever young man. and had taken a good class this was certainly true.café at Smyrna where the Hadjis sit counting their amber greatly to the annoyance of his mother.— was strangely melancholy at times. in the Place de la Concorde that weeps tears of granite in He was an excellent musician. Whether or not a quar- They had been great friends once. Campbell was always of England? Days would elapse before he could come back. and crocodiles. he was still more interested in biology. certain curious experiments. heart on his standing for Parliament and had a vague idea selled pipes and talk gravely to each other. in which he used to shut himself up all day long. When they met in society now.com 175 . Indeed. either at Selby Royal or in Grosvenor Square. and would never himself play. He grew nervous. and longs to be back by the hot lo. at the Opera. And time working in the Laboratory. Then the intimacy had come suddenly people remarked that they scarcely spoke when suddenly to an end. and his name appeared once or devoted to the study of chemistry. who had set her beads and the turbaned merchants smoke their long tas. To him. Every day he seemed to become in the Natural Science tripos of his year. character. that crawl over the green steaming Dorian seemed to be able to exercise whenever he wished. it was music that had first brought him and Dorian ibises. and a horrible fit of ter. and of that curious statue that Gautier compares to a and indeed exercised often without being conscious of it. But after a time the book fell played there. and played its lonely sunless exile. His dominant intellectual passion was cuse. too. however. mud. where there are Sphinxes. What could he do then? many others. For ror came over him. Gray together. and that Campbell seemed always to go away ear- only Dorian Gray who smiled: Alan Campbell never did. though he had had changed. giving as his ex- tirely from Dorian. and rose-red In fact. is wonderful and fascinating in life. 174 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. in connection with his own. ap- no real appreciation of the visible arts. and had a laboratory of twice in some of the scientific reviews.—music and that indefinable attraction that with small beryl eyes. What if Alan Campbell should be out eighteen months their intimacy lasted. But almost inseparable. as to Perhaps he might refuse to come. as well. and white vultures with gilded claws. and after that used to be always seen together from his hand. both the violin and the piano better than most amateurs. and whatever little peared almost to dislike hearing music of any passionate sense of the beauty of poetry he possessed he had gained en. indeed. that he was so absorbed in for science. Dorian Gray was the type of everything that Every moment was of vital importance. tus-covered Nile. the ‘monstre charmant’ that couches in the They had met at Lady Berkshire’s the night that Rubinstein porphyry-room of the Louvre.— rel had taken place between them no one ever knew. At Cambridge he had spent a great deal of his science that he had no time left in which to practise. it was they met. five years before.

his me any more. I ‘I had intended never to enter your house again. I am awfully sorry for you. am forced to bring you into the matter. ment he is supposed to be in Paris. he leaned across and ‘You are mad. came back to his cheeks.’ dreadful.’ him found here. Nobody saw Astrakhan coat. looking very stern and rather pale. What you have to do is this—’ A sigh of relief broke from his parched lips.’ help myself. Alan. and the color ‘Stop. Dorian. I tell you. mad to make this monstrous con- the face of the man he had sent for.’ was infinite pity. He spoke with slow deliberation. into a handful of ashes that I posite to him.’ do not concern you.’ His voice Alan. He kept his hands in the pockets of his destroy it so that not a vestige will be left of it. and appeared not to have noticed the ges. this person come into the house. Who the man is. whatever 176 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and retired. I thank you for coming. I have no option. pac.—mad to imagine that I would said.—to turned on Dorian. and don’t look at me like that. He knew that what he was going to do was ‘You are mad. At last the door opened.’ pallor being intensified by his coal-black hair and dark eye. You have made experiments. a dead man is seated at a table. He will not be missed ‘It is a matter of life and death. you are a scientist. you must change him. Whether what you have told me is true or not true. They don’t interest Campbell walked in. and his servant entered. very quietly.com 177 . This was the man that Dorian Gray was waiting for. The two men’s eyes met. You know about chemistry. The man bowed. at the top of this house. Don’t stir. how he died. You. Gray. He has been dead clock.’ concern me. This one will have brows. When he is missed. There things of that kind. Gray. and ev- Campbell took a chair by the table. by. to interest you. erything that belongs to him.’ After a strained moment of silence. Alan. ‘Alan. ‘Alan. Alan. at the present mo- ture with which he had been greeted. But you said it was a matter of life and death. Alan Campbell. glancing every moment at the has access. there must be no trace of one person. Sit down. Francis. ‘Ah! I was waiting for you to call me Dorian. sir. You are the one man who is able to save me. But I can’t ‘Alan! this is kind of you. in a locked room fession. and Dorian sat op. In Dorian’s there may scatter in the air. I will have nothing to do with this matter. In a few moments Alan Keep your horrible secrets to yourself. they will have to interest you. why he died. What you was a look of contempt in the steady searching gaze that he have got to do is to destroy the thing that is up-stairs. are matters that ‘Mr. a room to which nobody but myself ing up and down the room. Indeed. I don’t want to know anything further. but watching the effect of each word upon raise a finger to help you. and was hard and cold. and becoming horribly agitated as the minutes went ten hours now. doesn’t ‘Ask him to come in at once. I entirely decline to be mixed up in your life. and to more than for months.

But I will have nothing to do with it. Alan. Alan! Don’t that you do there don’t affect you. Be. Your friend Lord evidence against me. It is not my business. or increasing the ‘Of course I refuse. destroy a body must be less horrible than what you are ac- to mix myself up in this horror? I should have thought you customed to work at. You don’t know what ‘Alan.’ gy. Don’t come to me. and the horrors sistance I am ruined. How dare you ask me. friends once. You don’t inquire where the dead things on which same. If in some hideous dissect. and it is Henry Wotton can’t have taught you much about psycholo. No! don’t think do with the making or the marring of it than poor Harry of that. You deserve curiosity. What I want you to it all. Whatever my life is. And.’ me. But who drove him to it? You. I am lost.’ simply look upon him as an admirable subject. you understand? They will hang me for what I have done. It has nothing to do with Go to some of your friends. Alan! Alan! if you don’t come to my as- ment. whatever else he has taught you. I have told ‘Murder! Good God. outstretched arms. Nobody ever commits a murder without doing ‘The dead linger sometimes. Alan. Dorian. Nothing will induce me ‘I have no desire to help you. Think of the position I am in. We were to? I shall not inform upon you. You would ‘I am glad of that. sure to be discovered unless you help me.com 179 . ply indifferent to the whole thing.’ you experiment come from. The man up-stairs will not something stupid. I should not turn a hair. is that what you have come you too much as it is. Dorian: they are dead. I should not be sorry to see you disgraced. it was murder. remember. Why.’ ‘Alan. or something of that kind. I am sim- to stir a step to help you. You have come to the wrong man. I will have absolutely nothing to do sum of knowledge in the world. publicly do is simply what you have often done before. He may not have intended it. Do you think I am going to peril my reputation for ing-room or fetid laboratory you found this man lying on a you? What is it to me what devil’s work you are up to?’ leaden table with red gutters scooped out in it. Look at the matter purely from the scientific point has had. Just be- he had made me suffer. or gratifying intellectual with it.’ anything wrong. Indeed. On the contrary. without my stirring in ‘Don’t speak about those days.’ 178 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. it is the only piece of knew more about people’s characters.’ sides. If it is discovered.’ the matter. Don’t inquire now. you would ‘It was a suicide. He is sitting at the table with bowed head and ‘All I ask of you is to perform a certain scientific experi. You go to hospitals and dead-houses. to disgraced. the result was the of view.it is. you are certain to be arrested. he had more to fore you came I almost fainted with terror. for me?’ that you were benefiting the human race. you would probably feel ‘Do you still refuse to do this. But I beg of you to do this. You would not believe that you were doing fancy. I killed him. You forget that. I don’t care what shame comes on you. of all men in the world. they will hang me. I entreat you.’ go away.

at any rate. and he fell back in his chair. and opened it. You were stern. stairs?’ he murmured. He read it over twice. and he shivered all The same look of pity came into Dorian’s eyes. You know what solutely to do anything in the matter. and. then he over.’ When the hall door shut. You see of notepaper what you want. and wrote him to be dividing time into separate atoms of agony. You an envelope to his assistant. and came and stood behind him. if the disgrace with which he was threatened had already Campbell looked at him in surprise. He passed through him. The thing is quite simple. Face it. A horrible sense of sick. of which was too terrible to be borne.’ turned round. It is Campbell wrote a few lines. After two or three minutes of terrible silence. it is my turn to dictate terms. took a piece of paper. I bore it all.’ ‘Yes. you must decide at once. The ticking of the clock on the mantel-piece seemed to stretched out his hand. and addressed impossible for you to refuse now. went over to the chimney-piece. If you don’t help me. Campbell started. was shivering with a sort of ague. I refuse ab. and gave it to his va- offensive. having Campbell buried his face in his hands. ‘Come.com 181 . me to dictate terms. For nearly twenty min- 180 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ring was being slowly tightened round his forehead. and ‘You refuse absolutely?’ do it. It seemed to crush him. pale. Alan. and then took up the come upon him. Alan. folded it carefully. and to bring me. You know and bring the things back to you.’ ness came over him. He felt as if his heart was beating itself He hesitated a moment. and my servant will take a cab the address. I must send it. ‘Is there a fire in the room up- to death in some empty hollow. I have a letter written already. with orders to return as soon as possible. his face became ghastly hand of lead. don’t work your- ask me. read it carefully. Dorian took the note up and will do me the justice to admit that. and a shudder got up from the chair. laboratory. But you are going to help me. Alan. blotted them. Then he rang the bell. each something on it.—no living man. Alan. Dorian ‘Yes. ‘but you leave me no ‘No.’ A groan broke from Campbell’s lips. he got up. He felt as if an iron and pushed it across the table. As he read it. Here it is. Having done this. there is a gas-fire with asbestos. you need not leave the house. It was intolerable. ‘Yes. putting his ‘I will have to go home and get some things from the hand upon his shoulder. The thing has to be done. Write on a sheet alternative.’ ‘I am so sorry. You treated me as no man has ever dared to treat let. harsh. Come.’ he murmured. and as and went over to the window. It is insane of you to they are.’ self into this fever. ‘There is no good in prolonging this scene. Now it is for the things with him.’ what the result will be. The hand upon his shoulder weighed like a paper. I tried to spare you.

saw that his eyes were filled with wouldn’t bother you about it. At what time shall I be back?’ that sad face that seemed to enrage him.’ said Dorian. ‘And I am afraid.’ said Dorian. Dorian looked at Campbell.’ he murmured. On the floor in 182 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. leaving the room. Francis. A fly buzzed noisily about see Harden personally. indifferent voice. You can have the evening to yourself. and ‘Now. sir?’ he asked Campbell. face of the portrait grinning in the sunlight. ‘I don’t think I ‘Yes. Francis. force me to do.’ Dorian half opened the door. with a sigh. I am not dining He turned away. it is not of your life that I am thinking. Campbell made no answer. Campbell turned around.com 183 . Camp- it on the table. ‘How long will your experi- absolutely infamous!’ he muttered. key and turned it in the lock. that I have can go in. Campbell frowned. coil of steel and platinum wire and two rather curiously. returning with a long bell felt dominated by him. He shuddered. ‘Harden. Dorian took out the shaped iron clamps. I don’t require you. ment take. What is the name of the man at ‘It is nothing to me. They left the room together. It is a lovely day.’ he answered. otherwise I looking at Dorian Gray. ‘It will take about five minated in crime. and Richmond is a very pretty place. sir.’ garden. there is not a moment to be lost. Alan: you have saved my life. ‘Thank you. and bit his lip. In doing what I am going to do. Alan. There was something in the purity and refinement of ‘No trouble.’ murmured Dorian. what you hours.’ tears. and a trou- ‘Shall I leave the things here. ‘I wish you seven. When they reached the top landing. presence of a third person in the room seemed to give him ‘Your life? Good heavens! what a life that is! You have extraordinary courage.’ said Campbell. and. I don’t want any white ones. in a calm. and the ticking of the clock was like the beat of orchids as I ordered. You bring the other things. with a small electric battery set on top of it. In fact. and stood looking out at the at home. As the chime struck one.’ cals. sible.utes. so I shall not want you. You must go down to Richmond at once. another errand for you.—Harden. sir. He placed He spoke rapidly.’ ‘It will be time enough. gone from corruption to corruption. as he spoke. The ‘Hush.’ ing. he saw the ‘Yes. Then he stopped. neither of the men spoke. and went out again. Alan. and to have as few white ones as pos- a hammer. Or stay: just leave my things out for dress- had a thousandth part of the pity for me that I have for you. Alan. ‘You are infamous. carrying a mahogany chest of chemi. if you are back at half-past ‘Ah. Alan?’ he said. and in an authoritative manner.’ said the man. After about ten minutes a knock came to the door. then. Richmond who supplies Selby with orchids?’ coldly. and tell him to send twice as many the room. As he did so. and now you have cul. bled look came into his eyes. this chest is! I’ll take it for you. How heavy the servant entered. sir. Francis.

He was pale.com 185 . he went up-stairs. on one of the hands. feeling afraid to turn round. He remembered that It was long after seven o’clock when Campbell came back the night before. into the library. As he was going downstairs he heard the key being turned in the lock. simply. I cannot forget had sweated blood? How horrible it was!—more horrible. stoop- ing down. the thing whose gro. ‘Leave me now.front of it the torn curtain was lying. and the irons. He heard Campbell bringing in the heavy chest. and taking up the goldand-purple hanging. he flung it over the picture. for the first time in his life. he had forgot. and the other things that he had required for his dreadful work. determined that he would not look even once upon the dead man. 184 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and walked quickly in. and his eyes fixed themselves on the intricacies of the pattern before him. Alan. if so. Then. He stopped. done what you asked me to do. He began to wonder if he and Basil Hall- ward had ever met. Let us never see each other again. when he crept out of the room. He turned and hurried out. than the silent thing that he As soon as Campbell had left. as though the canvas ‘You have saved me from ruin. was a horrible smell of chemicals in the room. and. what they had thought of each other. as he had left it. but absolutely calm. He opened the door a little wider.’ said Campbell. him that it had not stirred. wet good-by. There knew was stretched across the table. seemed to him for the moment. But what was that loathsome red dew that gleamed.’ he muttered. with halfclosed eyes and averted head. it that. But the thing tesque misshapen shadow on the spotted carpet showed that had been sitting at the table was gone.’ said Dorian. ‘And now. but was still there. ‘I have ten to hide it. just conscious that the dead man had been thrust back into the chair and was sitting up in it.’ and glistening. with Campbell gazing into the glistening yellow face.

like ther. ‘T here is no good telling me you are going to be good. having met you. of becoming ‘Harry. Yesterday she met me in a Dorian shook his head.’ tented now with any one of her own rank? I suppose she ‘You have not told me yet what your good action was. But there is no disgrace upon her. Suddenly I determined to ‘Where were you yesterday?’ leave her as flower-like as I had found her. I spared somebody.Chapter XIII one else. ‘You are She was simply a girl in a village. You gave her good good in the country. ‘anybody can be Henry. I am going to alter. That was the beginning of your the reason why people who live out of town are so uncivi. boyish moods. For I have a new ideal. The apple-blossoms kept tumbling down on dreadful things in my life.’ murmured Dorian. We were to have gone away began my good actions yesterday. dipping his white fingers into a red coppwwwer bowl filled with rose-water. I used to run down and see quite perfect. ‘I should think the novelty of the emotion must have giv- self.’ Perdita.’ together this morning at dawn. Dorian. and she will be wretched. and corrupt. ‘My dear Dorian. Of course she cried.’ interrupted Lord ‘My dear boy.’ ‘In the country. She can live. That is advice. and wonderfully like Sibyl Vane. in her garden. But I really loved her. will teach ‘I can tell you. ‘But I can finish your idyl for you. It seems to me curious now that ry. I am quite sure that I loved her. laughing. you have the most curious they should ever be found together. You remember Sibyl. Do you think this girl will ever be really con- Harry. ‘I have ‘And weep over a faithless Florizel. Hetty’s heart is not broken. She was quite beautiful. Harry. There are only two ways.’ cried Lord Henry. I think I have altered. so they stagnate. don’t you? How long ago that seems! Well. I think it was that which first attracted me to her. It is not a story I could tell to any her to despise her husband.’ said Lord Hen- known something of both. but you under- stand what I mean. as you know. Harry. Dorian. Pray don’t change.’ said Lord Henry smiling. There are no temptations there.’ her two or three times a week. Harry. and loved you. I am not going to do any more. All during this wonderful May that we have been having. Well. One is by being cultured. I her hair.’ ‘Culture and corruption. Hetty was not one of our own class.’ lized. all that. of course. reformation. It sounds vain.’ en you a thrill of real pleasure. Or will be married some day to a rough carter or a grinning did you say you had done more than one?’ ploughman. I have done too many little orchard.com 187 . ‘No. you are horrible! You mustn’t say these dreadful civilized. and broke her heart. I was staying at a little inn by my. and she was laughing. From 186 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. the other is by being things. Country-people have no opportunity of being ei.

and don’t try self. Scotland Yard still insists that the man in the gray ulster a wonderful genius for painting. I saw her white face at the window. and wondering in acting as I did. pouring himself out some wine. passing frowning slightly.’ said Dorian. Don’t let me talk about it any more. Of course he had ist. You must play Cho- ‘The people are still discussing poor Basil’s disappear. Why should he be murdered? He Now they have got the mysterious disappearance of an art. Besides. strain of having more than one topic every three months. it is no business of mine. I am going to be bet. morning. After the coffee had been brought in.’ then suggest the most serious tragedies.a moral point of view I really don’t think much of your great vember was poor Basil. six weeks. I know I was right holding up his Burgundy against the light. Poor Hetty! As I rode past the farm this how it was that he could discuss the matter so calmly. and Dorian said nothing. ‘I should have thought they had got tired of that by this The house is rather lonely without her. wore a Waterbury watch. did it ever occur to you that Basil was murdered?’ They have been very fortunate lately. into the next room. Poor Victoria! I was very fond of her. looking over at Lord Henry. and pos- ‘I can’t bear this. said. Death and vulgarity are the only two facts in the nine- ter. Dorian. and sess all the attractions of the next world. I don’t care what you say to me.’ our coffee in the music-room. is me. like Oph. What is going on in teenth century that one cannot explain away. Harry! You mock at everything. pin to me. like a spray of ‘I have not the slightest idea. and. ‘Harry. I don’t want to to persuade me that the first good action I have done for think about him. and. But a man can paint like who left Victoria by the midnight train on the 7th of No. If Basil chooses to hide him- jasmine. how Basil never arrived in Paris at all. and Alan Campbell’s suicide. Tell me something about yourself. and the French police declare that renunciation. Basil was really 188 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. however. It is an odd thing. sat down to the piano and let his fingers ‘My dear boy. with water-lilies round her. They have Lord Henry yawned.’ time. in some mill-pond. you now. and always had my own divorce-case. Death is the only thing that ever terrifies years. I suppose in about a fort- do you know that Hetty isn’t floating at the present moment night we will be told that he has been seen in San Francisco. Velasquez and yet be as dull as possible. The man with whom my wife ran away played ance. It must be a delightful city. I hate it. but every one who disappears is said to be elia?’ seen at San Francisco. If he is dead. One can survive everything nowadays except really a sort of sin. I am sorry I told ‘What do you think has happened to Basil?’ asked Dorian. that. I want to be better. they have only been talking about it for stray across the keys. ‘Basil had no enemies. and the public are really not equal to the mental he stopped. Let us have town? I have not been to the club for days. Even as a beginning.’ Chopin exquisitely.com 189 . but rose from the table. was not clever enough to have enemies. the first little bit of self-sacrifice I have ever known. it is poor.

—I tell 1820. Dorian. and think spect are people much younger than myself. Life has revealed to them her last wonder. You have crushed the youth. You you. slowly-built-up cells in which thought hides itself and pas- The only people whose opinions I listen to now with any re. Youth! There is or intention. and fibres. how you have kept your have drunk deeply of everything. I have sorrows. and bald. don’t deceive yourself. some of the papers do. how ity.’ art left to us that is not imitative! Don’t stop. Dorian.com 191 . and his eyes. To get You need not shake your head: you know you are. they solemnly give you the opinions current in from a piece of music that you had ceased to play. It seems to me that you are the young Apollo. Play me a nocturne.rather dull. sion has its dreams. But a chance tone of color in a room or a front of me. when people wore high stocks and knew absolutely you. I wish you would tell me your secret. years ago. in appearance. Life is not governed by will take exercise. but Basil was old age is not that one is old. You must have some secret. Life is a question of nerves. You have changed. You are still the same. There are moments when the villa. and abso. except Dorian. and that was when marvelously romantic. Browning writes about that somewhere. I am not the sort of man to have gone to them. You may fancy yourself safe. But it has all been to you no more than the sound of are really wonderful. that he had a wild adoration for you. You remind me of the day ‘I wonder what the rest of your life will be. ‘But don’t people say that he was murdered?’ that I am Marsyas listening to you. get up early. Dorian. with a sad look in to-night. You are quite flawless now. or be respectable. and the salt spray dashing against the panes? It is the odor of heliotrope passes suddenly across me. but not make yourself incomplete.’ said Dorian. and I am wrinkled. What a blessing it is that there is one he told me. of my own. I know there are dreadful places in Paris. Dorian. At present you are a perfect type. They seem in yourself strong. very shy. a line from a for- If you ask them their opinion on something that happened gotten poem that you had come across again. How lovely that thing you are playing is! I wonder pend. in a low voice. and. but that one is young. The tragedy of able. happy you are! What an exquisite life you have had! You as you play. It’s absurd to talk of the ignorance of youth. a particular perfume that you had once loved the aged. It has not marred you. I am only ten years older grapes against your palate. and nothing like it. and yellow. He only interested me once. charming than you do to-night. I want music ‘I was very fond of Basil. Don’t spoil it I saw you first. tell me. back my youth I would do anything in the world. amazed sometimes at my own sincerity. He had no curios. by renunciations. that it is on things like these that our lives de- nothing. a cadence yesterday. You were rather cheeky. Don’t lutely extraordinary. Ah. It was his chief defect. As for morning sky. of course. but our own did Chopin write it at Majorca. that even you know nothing of. I do it on principle. with the sea weeping round senses will imagine them for us. and I have 190 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I always contradict the aged. ‘Oh. Nothing has been hidden from than you are. and that brings strange memories with it. It does not seem to be prob. Besides. You have never looked more music. Dorian.

I should not for- music. moment. I will be here at eleven. You laugh. Harry. Bournmouth’s eldest son. You of which you have grown tired. Your days have been your sonnets. his arm. and I want to go to bed early.’ As he reached the door he hesitated for a been a charming evening. or stared at. He heard one of them whis- ‘I hope not. to do that. You have never played so well as to-night.’ said Dorian. The world was something in your touch that was wonderful. You and I are what we are. and passed his hand book to any one. is quite lovely now. You won’t? Let us go to the club. Harry. will soon be going about warning people against all the sins And you must not say these extravagant things to me.’ for you to charm her. I don’t think there have been such lilacs colored moon that hangs in the dusky air. He is quite delightful. Then he sighed There is some one at the club who wants immensely to know and went out. Besides. ‘But I am tired to-night.’ of yourself! Life has been your art. ‘Good- to the earth. Harry. promise me that you will never lend that Dorian rose up from the piano. Dorian. and if you play she will come closer ‘Very well. you. I am ing. It always will worship you.’ He remembered how voice.’ and will be what we will be. It has night. Dorian? Go back and going to ride at eleven. You are the type of what the ‘It is because I am going to be good. don’t change to me. and did not even put his silk scarf round his throat. He has It was a lovely night. at any rate. then. as if he had something more to say. it is no use. It is nearly eleven. and rather reminds As he strolled home. two young men me of you. ‘That is Dorian Gray. and what it is afraid it has found. You have set yourself to ‘Yet you poisoned me with a book once. you are really beginning to moralize. or produced anything outside We must always be friends. You mured.’ you. even you would turn from me. with a touch of pathos in his per to the other. Look at that great honey. ‘I am a little changed already.’ in evening dress passed him. You are much too delightful don’t know everything about me. so warm that he threw his coat over already copied your neckties.—young Lord Poole. Harry. life has been exquisite. ‘Do stay. Come round tomorrow.’ through his hair. duce him to you. It had has cried out against us both. ‘but I am not going to have the same life.’ or talked about. He was tired of hearing his own name now.’ he answered. and has begged me to intro. and we might go together. statue. smil- age is searching for. ‘Yes.’ so glad that you have never done anything. Dorian. or painted a picture.’ he mur. ‘My dear boy.’ said Dorian. I am ‘Why have you stopped playing.’ give that. I won’t go to the club. 192 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. smoking his cigarette. It does harm. She is waiting since the year I met you. The Park play the nocturne over again.to live the strangest year of my life over again.com 193 . never carved a ‘Don’t change. but it has always worshipped more expression than I had ever heard from it before. pleased he used to be when he was pointed out. Don’t laugh. and we must end it charmingly. I think that if you did. There ‘I wish I could change places with you.

that he had would no longer be a terror to him. spared one innocent thing. He felt as if the load had to think. but had not revealed the secret that he had been He went in quietly. and of his own future. and she had laughed at him. him. for him. He had When he reached home. Yes. It was of himself. his suicide had been his own act. Basil had painted the portrait that had marred his life. He had told the it the death of Basil Hallward that weighed most upon his girl whom he had made love him that he was poor. ed. But was it all irretrievable? Was he unlocked the door. locking the door behind him. Alan Campbell had shot himself one night in his been lifted from him already. and told him that wicked He could not forgive him that. The excitement. What a laugh done everything. such as it was. It was al.Half the charm of the little village where he had been so of. own it had been the fairest and the most full of promise that He took the lamp from the table and crept up-stairs. and the hideous thing that he had hidden away that. and given horror to his fancy. As for nothing. over Basil his custom. That was what the sofa in the library. He 194 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and had experienced a terrible from the face. Perhaps the signs of evil had already gone joy in being so. He sent him to bed. and began to think over some of the he was waiting for.com 195 . He would go and look. It was the living death of his own soul that troubled had believed him. Surely he had begun it already. Basil had said things to him that were she had!—just like a thrush singing. he found his servant waiting up chosen to do it. He would be good. He would never Was it really true that one could never change? He felt a again tempt innocence. at any rate. but she had everything that he had lost. As he had brought to shame. ready waning. as Lord Henry had once called it. he began to wonder if rose-white boyhood. He had told her once that he was wick. and dragged the purple hanging from the por- Hallward’s disappearance would soon pass away. Alan Campbell. a smile of joy flitted across his young there no hope for him? face and lingered for a moment about his lips. indeed. The had been in her cotton dresses and her large hats! She knew murder had been simply the madness of a moment. and threw himself down on A new life! That was what he wanted. Nor. laboratory. he would It was better not to think of the past. as was forced to know. It was the portrait that had people were always very old and very ugly. and she mind. was ten lately was that no one knew who he was. that he had been pure. He was perfectly safe there. trait. wild longing for the unstained purity of his boyhood. He had things that Lord Henry had said to him. It was nothing to him. and that he had yet borne with patience. Surely it was knew that he had tarnished himself. And how pretty she unbearable. he would be able to expel every sign of evil passion an evil influence to others.—his As he thought of Hetty Merton. He the portrait in the locked room had changed. filled his mind with not still so horrible as it had been? Perhaps if his life became corruption. and that of the lives that had crossed his away. A cry of pain and indignation broke from him. Nothing could alter be good.

The pic- ourselves? Or. filled with terror lest other eyes should look upon it. It was bright. and all Yet it was his duty to confess. had been something more. and in the mouth the curved wrinkle of the It was an unjust mirror.com 197 . that that meant. Everything belonging to him had been de. He had cleaned it many times. Yes. he had been held the knife. Of late he had felt no such pleasure. sil Hallward. His sin? He shrugged his shoulders. and be put to death? He laughed.—and the scarlet dew that spotted been nothing more in his renunciation than that? There the hand seemed brighter.—blood even on the hand that had not him awake at night. was looking at. Besides. The cry was so horri- his own sin. than before. given him pleasure once to watch it changing and grow- gers. He felt that ory had marred many moments of joy.—more loathsome. out of their rooms. man anywhere. with it. it had been conscience. and glistened. of cunning. who would believe him. The thing was still loathsome. He looked round. as Lord Henry And this murder. killed the painter. this mirror of his soul that he hypocrite. and saw the knife that had stabbed Ba- stroyed. and stabbed the canvas upon men to tell their sins to earth as well as to heaven. and crept of Basil Hallward seemed very little to him. as though the ing old. with his mocking laugh? Or that passion to act never to get rid of the past? Was he really to confess? No. till there was The world would simply say he was mad. Two gentlemen.—was it to dog him all his life? Was he had hinted. Nothing that he could do would cleanse him till he had told There was a cry heard. He seized it. It had been like the idea was monstrous. to suffer public shame.could see no change. The death ble in its agony that the frightened servants woke. It had Confess? Did it mean that he was to confess? To give brought melancholy across his passions. He would even if he did confess? There was no trace of the murdered destroy it. Its mere mem- himself up. who were passing in the 196 The Picture of Dorian Gray Free eBooks at Planet eBook. At least he thought so. As it had him up if he persisted in his story. and more like blood newly spilt. a part that sometimes makes us do things finer than we are There was only one bit of evidence left against him. But who Had it been merely vanity that had made him do his one could tell? good deed? Or the desire of a new sensation. When he had been away. Vanity? Curiosity? Hypocrisy? Had there if possible. ripping the thing right up from top to bottom. There was a God who called dead he would be free. It would kill the past. and a crash. and when that was and to make public atonement. It had kept thing had dripped. all these? ture itself. They would shut no stain left upon it. Why was the red stain larger than it had been? It seemed He would destroy it. unless that in the eyes there was a look ing of Hetty Merton. conscience to him. so it would kill the painter’s work. There was blood on the painted feet.—that was evidence. He was think. He himself had burned what had been below-stairs. perhaps. Why had he kept it so long? It had to have crept like a horrible disease over the wrinkled fin.

in the servants’ part of the house. but there was no answer. After about a quarter of an hour. One of them was Sir Henry Ashton’s uncle.’ answered the policeman. Francis was as pale as death. he got the coachman and one of the footmen and crept up-stairs. constable?’ asked the elder of the two gentlemen. Lying on the floor was a dead man. except for a light in one of the top windows. and dropped down on to the balcony. After a time. The windows yielded easily: the bolts were old. They walked on till they met a policeman. they found hanging upon the wall a splendid portrait of their master as they had last seen him. Inside. ‘Mr. but there was no reply. and looked up at the great house. after vainly trying to force the door. with a knife in his heart. and sneered. Leaf was crying. in evening dress. they got on the roof. Everything was still. When they entered. They called out. Finally. and stood in the portico of the next house and watched. wrinkled. in all the wonder of his exquisite youth and beauty. ‘Whose house is that. stopped. the half-clad domestics were talking in low whispers to each other. Old Mrs. as they walked away. It was not till they had examined the rings that they recognized who it was. and brought him back.Square below. 198 The Picture of Dorian Gray . He was withered. The house was all dark. and loathsome of visage. and wringing her hands. They knocked. They looked at each other. The man rang the bell several times. sir. he went away. Dorian Gray’s.