Differences

This shows you the differences between two versions of the page.

Link to this comparison view

the_picture_of_dorian_gray [2020/06/06 18:54] (current)
briancarnell created
Line 1: Line 1:
 +<html>
 +<H1 ALIGN="center">
 +The Picture of Dorian Gray
 +</H1>
  
 +<H3 ALIGN="center">
 +by
 +</H3>
 +
 +<H2 ALIGN="center">
 +Oscar Wilde
 +</H2>
 +
 +<BR><BR><BR>
 +
 +<H2 ALIGN="center">
 +CONTENTS
 +</H2>
 +
 +<TABLE ALIGN="center" WIDTH="100%">
 +<TR>
 +<TD ALIGN="left" VALIGN="top" WIDTH="25%">
 +<A HREF="#chap00">PREFACE</A>
 +</TD>
 +<TD ALIGN="left" VALIGN="top" WIDTH="25%">
 +<A HREF="#chap01">CHAPTER 1</A>
 +</TD>
 +<TD ALIGN="left" VALIGN="top" WIDTH="25%">
 +<A HREF="#chap02">CHAPTER 2</A>
 +</TD>
 +<TD ALIGN="left" VALIGN="top" WIDTH="25%">
 +<A HREF="#chap03">CHAPTER 3</A>
 +</TD>
 +</TR>
 +
 +<TR>
 +<TD ALIGN="left" VALIGN="top">
 +<A HREF="#chap04">CHAPTER 4</A>
 +</TD>
 +<TD ALIGN="left" VALIGN="top">
 +<A HREF="#chap05">CHAPTER 5</A>
 +</TD>
 +<TD ALIGN="left" VALIGN="top">
 +<A HREF="#chap06">CHAPTER 6</A>
 +</TD>
 +<TD ALIGN="left" VALIGN="top">
 +<A HREF="#chap07">CHAPTER 7</A>
 +</TD>
 +</TR>
 +
 +<TR>
 +<TD ALIGN="left" VALIGN="top">
 +<A HREF="#chap08">CHAPTER 8</A>
 +</TD>
 +<TD ALIGN="left" VALIGN="top">
 +<A HREF="#chap09">CHAPTER 9</A>
 +</TD>
 +<TD ALIGN="left" VALIGN="top">
 +<A HREF="#chap10">CHAPTER 10</A>
 +</TD>
 +<TD ALIGN="left" VALIGN="top">
 +<A HREF="#chap11">CHAPTER 11</A>
 +</TD>
 +</TR>
 +
 +<TR>
 +<TD ALIGN="left" VALIGN="top">
 +<A HREF="#chap12">CHAPTER 12</A>
 +</TD>
 +<TD ALIGN="left" VALIGN="top">
 +<A HREF="#chap13">CHAPTER 13</A>
 +</TD>
 +<TD ALIGN="left" VALIGN="top">
 +<A HREF="#chap14">CHAPTER 14</A>
 +</TD>
 +<TD ALIGN="left" VALIGN="top">
 +<A HREF="#chap15">CHAPTER 15</A>
 +</TD>
 +</TR>
 +
 +<TR>
 +<TD ALIGN="left" VALIGN="top">
 +<A HREF="#chap16">CHAPTER 16</A>
 +</TD>
 +<TD ALIGN="left" VALIGN="top">
 +<A HREF="#chap17">CHAPTER 17</A>
 +</TD>
 +<TD ALIGN="left" VALIGN="top">
 +<A HREF="#chap18">CHAPTER 18</A>
 +</TD>
 +<TD ALIGN="left" VALIGN="top">
 +<A HREF="#chap19">CHAPTER 19</A>
 +</TD>
 +</TR>
 +
 +<TR>
 +<TD ALIGN="left" VALIGN="top">
 +<A HREF="#chap20">CHAPTER 20</A>
 +</TD>
 +<TD ALIGN="left" VALIGN="top">&nbsp;</TD>
 +<TD ALIGN="left" VALIGN="top">&nbsp;</TD>
 +<TD ALIGN="left" VALIGN="top">&nbsp;</TD>
 +</TR>
 +
 +</TABLE>
 +
 +<BR><BR><BR>
 +
 +<A NAME="chap00"></A>
 +<H3 ALIGN="center">
 +THE PREFACE
 +</H3>
 +
 +<P>
 +The artist is the creator of beautiful things.  To reveal art and
 +conceal the artist is art's aim.  The critic is he who can translate
 +into another manner or a new material his impression of beautiful
 +things.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The highest as the lowest form of criticism is a mode of autobiography.
 +Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without
 +being charming.  This is a fault.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the
 +cultivated.  For these there is hope.  They are the elect to whom
 +beautiful things mean only beauty.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book.  Books are well
 +written, or badly written.  That is all.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The nineteenth century dislike of realism is the rage of Caliban seeing
 +his own face in a glass.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The nineteenth century dislike of romanticism is the rage of Caliban
 +not seeing his own face in a glass.  The moral life of man forms part
 +of the subject-matter of the artist, but the morality of art consists
 +in the perfect use of an imperfect medium.  No artist desires to prove
 +anything.  Even things that are true can be proved.  No artist has
 +ethical sympathies.  An ethical sympathy in an artist is an
 +unpardonable mannerism of style.  No artist is ever morbid.  The artist
 +can express everything.  Thought and language are to the artist
 +instruments of an art.  Vice and virtue are to the artist materials for
 +an art.  From the point of view of form, the type of all the arts is
 +the art of the musician.  From the point of view of feeling, the
 +actor's craft is the type.  All art is at once surface and symbol.
 +Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.  Those who read
 +the symbol do so at their peril.  It is the spectator, and not life,
 +that art really mirrors.  Diversity of opinion about a work of art
 +shows that the work is new, complex, and vital.  When critics disagree,
 +the artist is in accord with himself.  We can forgive a man for making
 +a useful thing as long as he does not admire it.  The only excuse for
 +making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely.
 +</P>
 +
 +<H3 ALIGN="center">
 +All art is quite useless.<BR>
 +OSCAR WILDE
 +</H3>
 +
 +<BR><BR><BR>
 +
 +<A NAME="chap01"></A>
 +<H3 ALIGN="center">
 +CHAPTER 1
 +</H3>
 +
 +<P>
 +The studio was filled with the rich odour of roses, and when the light
 +summer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden, there came through
 +the open door the heavy scent of the lilac, or the more delicate
 +perfume of the pink-flowering thorn.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +From the corner of the divan of Persian saddle-bags on which he was
 +lying, smoking, as was his custom, innumerable cigarettes, Lord Henry
 +Wotton could just catch the gleam of the honey-sweet and honey-coloured
 +blossoms of a laburnum, whose tremulous branches seemed hardly able to
 +bear the burden of a beauty so flamelike as theirs; and now and then
 +the fantastic shadows of birds in flight flitted across the long
 +tussore-silk curtains that were stretched in front of the huge window,
 +producing a kind of momentary Japanese effect, and making him think of
 +those pallid, jade-faced painters of Tokyo who, through the medium of
 +an art that is necessarily immobile, seek to convey the sense of
 +swiftness and motion.  The sullen murmur of the bees shouldering their
 +way through the long unmown grass, or circling with monotonous
 +insistence round the dusty gilt horns of the straggling woodbine,
 +seemed to make the stillness more oppressive.  The dim roar of London
 +was like the bourdon note of a distant organ.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +In the centre of the room, clamped to an upright easel, stood the
 +full-length portrait of a young man of extraordinary personal beauty,
 +and in front of it, some little distance away, was sitting the artist
 +himself, Basil Hallward, whose sudden disappearance some years ago
 +caused, at the time, such public excitement and gave rise to so many
 +strange conjectures.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +As the painter looked at the gracious and comely form he had so
 +skilfully mirrored in his art, a smile of pleasure passed across his
 +face, and seemed about to linger there.  But he suddenly started up,
 +and closing his eyes, placed his fingers upon the lids, as though he
 +sought to imprison within his brain some curious dream from which he
 +feared he might awake.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"It is your best work, Basil, the best thing you have ever done," said
 +Lord Henry languidly.  "You must certainly send it next year to the
 +Grosvenor.  The Academy is too large and too vulgar.  Whenever I have
 +gone there, there have been either so many people that I have not been
 +able to see the pictures, which was dreadful, or so many pictures that
 +I have not been able to see the people, which was worse.  The Grosvenor
 +is really the only place."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I don't think I shall send it anywhere," he answered, tossing his head
 +back in that odd way that used to make his friends laugh at him at
 +Oxford.  "No, I won't send it anywhere."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Lord Henry elevated his eyebrows and looked at him in amazement through
 +the thin blue wreaths of smoke that curled up in such fanciful whorls
 +from his heavy, opium-tainted cigarette.  "Not send it anywhere?  My
 +dear fellow, why?  Have you any reason?  What odd chaps you painters
 +are!  You do anything in the world to gain a reputation.  As soon as
 +you have one, you seem to want to throw it away.  It is silly of you,
 +for there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about,
 +and that is not being talked about.  A portrait like this would set you
 +far above all the young men in England, and make the old men quite
 +jealous, if old men are ever capable of any emotion."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I know you will laugh at me," he replied, "but I really can't exhibit
 +it.  I have put too much of myself into it."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Lord Henry stretched himself out on the divan and laughed.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Yes, I knew you would; but it is quite true, all the same."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Too much of yourself in it! Upon my word, Basil, I didn't know you
 +were so vain; and I really can't see any resemblance between you, with
 +your rugged strong face and your coal-black hair, and this young
 +Adonis, who looks as if he was made out of ivory and rose-leaves. Why,
 +my dear Basil, he is a Narcissus, and you&mdash;well, of course you have an
 +intellectual expression and all that.  But beauty, real beauty, ends
 +where an intellectual expression begins.  Intellect is in itself a mode
 +of exaggeration, and destroys the harmony of any face.  The moment one
 +sits down to think, one becomes all nose, or all forehead, or something
 +horrid.  Look at the successful men in any of the learned professions.
 +How perfectly hideous they are!  Except, of course, in the Church.  But
 +then in the Church they don't think.  A bishop keeps on saying at the
 +age of eighty what he was told to say when he was a boy of eighteen,
 +and as a natural consequence he always looks absolutely delightful.
 +Your mysterious young friend, whose name you have never told me, but
 +whose picture really fascinates me, never thinks.  I feel quite sure of
 +that.  He is some brainless beautiful creature who should be always
 +here in winter when we have no flowers to look at, and always here in
 +summer when we want something to chill our intelligence.  Don't flatter
 +yourself, Basil:  you are not in the least like him."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You don't understand me, Harry," answered the artist.  "Of course I am
 +not like him.  I know that perfectly well.  Indeed, I should be sorry
 +to look like him.  You shrug your shoulders?  I am telling you the
 +truth.  There is a fatality about all physical and intellectual
 +distinction, the sort of fatality that seems to dog through history the
 +faltering steps of kings.  It is better not to be different from one's
 +fellows.  The ugly and the stupid have the best of it in this world.
 +They can sit at their ease and gape at the play.  If they know nothing
 +of victory, they are at least spared the knowledge of defeat.  They
 +live as we all should live&mdash;undisturbed, indifferent, and without
 +disquiet.  They neither bring ruin upon others, nor ever receive it
 +from alien hands.  Your rank and wealth, Harry; my brains, such as they
 +are&mdash;my art, whatever it may be worth; Dorian Gray's good looks&mdash;we
 +shall all suffer for what the gods have given us, suffer terribly."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Dorian Gray?  Is that his name?" asked Lord Henry, walking across the
 +studio towards Basil Hallward.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Yes, that is his name.  I didn't intend to tell it to you."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"But why not?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Oh, I can't explain.  When I like people immensely, I never tell their
 +names to any one.  It is like surrendering a part of them.  I have
 +grown to love secrecy.  It seems to be the one thing that can make
 +modern life mysterious or marvellous to us.  The commonest thing is
 +delightful if one only hides it.  When I leave town now I never tell my
 +people where I am going.  If I did, I would lose all my pleasure.  It
 +is a silly habit, I dare say, but somehow it seems to bring a great
 +deal of romance into one's life.  I suppose you think me awfully
 +foolish about it?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Not at all," answered Lord Henry, "not at all, my dear Basil.  You
 +seem to forget that I am married, and the one charm of marriage is that
 +it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties.  I
 +never know where my wife is, and my wife never knows what I am doing.
 +When we meet&mdash;we do meet occasionally, when we dine out together, or go
 +down to the Duke's&mdash;we tell each other the most absurd stories with the
 +most serious faces.  My wife is very good at it&mdash;much better, in fact,
 +than I am.  She never gets confused over her dates, and I always do.
 +But when she does find me out, she makes no row at all.  I sometimes
 +wish she would; but she merely laughs at me."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I hate the way you talk about your married life, Harry," said Basil
 +Hallward, strolling towards the door that led into the garden.  "I
 +believe that you are really a very good husband, but that you are
 +thoroughly ashamed of your own virtues.  You are an extraordinary
 +fellow.  You never say a moral thing, and you never do a wrong thing.
 +Your cynicism is simply a pose."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Being natural is simply a pose, and the most irritating pose I know,"
 +cried Lord Henry, laughing; and the two young men went out into the
 +garden together and ensconced themselves on a long bamboo seat that
 +stood in the shade of a tall laurel bush.  The sunlight slipped over
 +the polished leaves.  In the grass, white daisies were tremulous.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +After a pause, Lord Henry pulled out his watch.  "I am afraid I must be
 +going, Basil," he murmured, "and before I go, I insist on your
 +answering a question I put to you some time ago."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"What is that?" said the painter, keeping his eyes fixed on the ground.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You know quite well."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I do not, Harry."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Well, I will tell you what it is.  I want you to explain to me why you
 +won't exhibit Dorian Gray's picture.  I want the real reason."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I told you the real reason."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"No, you did not.  You said it was because there was too much of
 +yourself in it.  Now, that is childish."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Harry," said Basil Hallward, looking him straight in the face, "every
 +portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not
 +of the sitter.  The sitter is merely the accident, the occasion.  It is
 +not he who is revealed by the painter; it is rather the painter who, on
 +the coloured canvas, reveals himself.  The reason I will not exhibit
 +this picture is that I am afraid that I have shown in it the secret of
 +my own soul."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Lord Henry laughed.  "And what is that?" he asked.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I will tell you," said Hallward; but an expression of perplexity came
 +over his face.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I am all expectation, Basil," continued his companion, glancing at him.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Oh, there is really very little to tell, Harry," answered the painter;
 +"and I am afraid you will hardly understand it.  Perhaps you will
 +hardly believe it."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Lord Henry smiled, and leaning down, plucked a pink-petalled daisy from
 +the grass and examined it.  "I am quite sure I shall understand it," he
 +replied, gazing intently at the little golden, white-feathered disk,
 +"and as for believing things, I can believe anything, provided that it
 +is quite incredible."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The wind shook some blossoms from the trees, and the heavy
 +lilac-blooms, with their clustering stars, moved to and fro in the
 +languid air.  A grasshopper began to chirrup by the wall, and like a
 +blue thread a long thin dragon-fly floated past on its brown gauze
 +wings.  Lord Henry felt as if he could hear Basil Hallward's heart
 +beating, and wondered what was coming.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"The story is simply this," said the painter after some time.  "Two
 +months ago I went to a crush at Lady Brandon's. You know we poor
 +artists have to show ourselves in society from time to time, just to
 +remind the public that we are not savages.  With an evening coat and a
 +white tie, as you told me once, anybody, even a stock-broker, can gain
 +a reputation for being civilized.  Well, after I had been in the room
 +about ten minutes, talking to huge overdressed dowagers and tedious
 +academicians, I suddenly became conscious that some one was looking at
 +me.  I turned half-way round and saw Dorian Gray for the first time.
 +When our eyes met, I felt that I was growing pale.  A curious sensation
 +of terror came over me.  I knew that I had come face to face with some
 +one whose mere personality was so fascinating that, if I allowed it to
 +do so, it would absorb my whole nature, my whole soul, my very art
 +itself.  I did not want any external influence in my life.  You know
 +yourself, Harry, how independent I am by nature.  I have always been my
 +own master; had at least always been so, till I met Dorian Gray.
 +Then&mdash;but I don't know how to explain it to you.  Something seemed to
 +tell me that I was on the verge of a terrible crisis in my life.  I had
 +a strange feeling that fate had in store for me exquisite joys and
 +exquisite sorrows.  I grew afraid and turned to quit the room.  It was
 +not conscience that made me do so:  it was a sort of cowardice.  I take
 +no credit to myself for trying to escape."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Conscience and cowardice are really the same things, Basil.
 +Conscience is the trade-name of the firm.  That is all."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I don't believe that, Harry, and I don't believe you do either.
 +However, whatever was my motive&mdash;and it may have been pride, for I used
 +to be very proud&mdash;I certainly struggled to the door.  There, of course,
 +I stumbled against Lady Brandon.  'You are not going to run away so
 +soon, Mr. Hallward?' she screamed out.  You know her curiously shrill
 +voice?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Yes; she is a peacock in everything but beauty," said Lord Henry,
 +pulling the daisy to bits with his long nervous fingers.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I could not get rid of her.  She brought me up to royalties, and
 +people with stars and garters, and elderly ladies with gigantic tiaras
 +and parrot noses.  She spoke of me as her dearest friend.  I had only
 +met her once before, but she took it into her head to lionize me.  I
 +believe some picture of mine had made a great success at the time, at
 +least had been chattered about in the penny newspapers, which is the
 +nineteenth-century standard of immortality.  Suddenly I found myself
 +face to face with the young man whose personality had so strangely
 +stirred me.  We were quite close, almost touching.  Our eyes met again.
 +It was reckless of me, but I asked Lady Brandon to introduce me to him.
 +Perhaps it was not so reckless, after all.  It was simply inevitable.
 +We would have spoken to each other without any introduction.  I am sure
 +of that.  Dorian told me so afterwards.  He, too, felt that we were
 +destined to know each other."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"And how did Lady Brandon describe this wonderful young man?" asked his
 +companion.  "I know she goes in for giving a rapid <i>precis</i> of all her
 +guests.  I remember her bringing me up to a truculent and red-faced old
 +gentleman covered all over with orders and ribbons, and hissing into my
 +ear, in a tragic whisper which must have been perfectly audible to
 +everybody in the room, the most astounding details.  I simply fled.  I
 +like to find out people for myself.  But Lady Brandon treats her guests
 +exactly as an auctioneer treats his goods.  She either explains them
 +entirely away, or tells one everything about them except what one wants
 +to know."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Poor Lady Brandon!  You are hard on her, Harry!" said Hallward
 +listlessly.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"My dear fellow, she tried to found a <i>salon</i>, and only succeeded in
 +opening a restaurant.  How could I admire her?  But tell me, what did
 +she say about Mr. Dorian Gray?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Oh, something like, 'Charming boy&mdash;poor dear mother and I absolutely
 +inseparable.  Quite forget what he does&mdash;afraid he&mdash;doesn't do
 +anything&mdash;oh, yes, plays the piano&mdash;or is it the violin, dear Mr.
 +Gray?'  Neither of us could help laughing, and we became friends at
 +once."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is far
 +the best ending for one," said the young lord, plucking another daisy.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Hallward shook his head.  "You don't understand what friendship is,
 +Harry," he murmured&mdash;"or what enmity is, for that matter.  You like
 +every one; that is to say, you are indifferent to every one."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"How horribly unjust of you!" cried Lord Henry, tilting his hat back
 +and looking up at the little clouds that, like ravelled skeins of
 +glossy white silk, were drifting across the hollowed turquoise of the
 +summer sky.  "Yes; horribly unjust of you.  I make a great difference
 +between people.  I choose my friends for their good looks, my
 +acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their good
 +intellects.  A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.
 +I have not got one who is a fool.  They are all men of some
 +intellectual power, and consequently they all appreciate me.  Is that
 +very vain of me?  I think it is rather vain."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I should think it was, Harry.  But according to your category I must
 +be merely an acquaintance."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"My dear old Basil, you are much more than an acquaintance."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"And much less than a friend.  A sort of brother, I suppose?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Oh, brothers!  I don't care for brothers.  My elder brother won't die,
 +and my younger brothers seem never to do anything else."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Harry!" exclaimed Hallward, frowning.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"My dear fellow, I am not quite serious.  But I can't help detesting my
 +relations.  I suppose it comes from the fact that none of us can stand
 +other people having the same faults as ourselves.  I quite sympathize
 +with the rage of the English democracy against what they call the vices
 +of the upper orders.  The masses feel that drunkenness, stupidity, and
 +immorality should be their own special property, and that if any one of
 +us makes an ass of himself, he is poaching on their preserves.  When
 +poor Southwark got into the divorce court, their indignation was quite
 +magnificent.  And yet I don't suppose that ten per cent of the
 +proletariat live correctly."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I don't agree with a single word that you have said, and, what is
 +more, Harry, I feel sure you don't either."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Lord Henry stroked his pointed brown beard and tapped the toe of his
 +patent-leather boot with a tasselled ebony cane.  "How English you are
 +Basil!  That is the second time you have made that observation.  If one
 +puts forward an idea to a true Englishman&mdash;always a rash thing to
 +do&mdash;he never dreams of considering whether the idea is right or wrong.
 +The only thing he considers of any importance is whether one believes
 +it oneself.  Now, the value of an idea has nothing whatsoever to do
 +with the sincerity of the man who expresses it.  Indeed, the
 +probabilities are that the more insincere the man is, the more purely
 +intellectual will the idea be, as in that case it will not be coloured
 +by either his wants, his desires, or his prejudices.  However, I don't
 +propose to discuss politics, sociology, or metaphysics with you.  I
 +like persons better than principles, and I like persons with no
 +principles better than anything else in the world.  Tell me more about
 +Mr. Dorian Gray.  How often do you see him?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Every day.  I couldn't be happy if I didn't see him every day.  He is
 +absolutely necessary to me."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"How extraordinary!  I thought you would never care for anything but
 +your art."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"He is all my art to me now," said the painter gravely.  "I sometimes
 +think, Harry, that there are only two eras of any importance in the
 +world's history.  The first is the appearance of a new medium for art,
 +and the second is the appearance of a new personality for art also.
 +What the invention of oil-painting was to the Venetians, the face of
 +Antinous was to late Greek sculpture, and the face of Dorian Gray will
 +some day be to me.  It is not merely that I paint from him, draw from
 +him, sketch from him.  Of course, I have done all that.  But he is much
 +more to me than a model or a sitter.  I won't tell you that I am
 +dissatisfied with what I have done of him, or that his beauty is such
 +that art cannot express it.  There is nothing that art cannot express,
 +and I know that the work I have done, since I met Dorian Gray, is good
 +work, is the best work of my life.  But in some curious way&mdash;I wonder
 +will you understand me?&mdash;his personality has suggested to me an
 +entirely new manner in art, an entirely new mode of style.  I see
 +things differently, I think of them differently.  I can now recreate
 +life in a way that was hidden from me before.  'A dream of form in days
 +of thought'&mdash;who is it who says that?  I forget; but it is what Dorian
 +Gray has been to me.  The merely visible presence of this lad&mdash;for he
 +seems to me little more than a lad, though he is really over
 +twenty&mdash;his merely visible presence&mdash;ah!  I wonder can you realize all
 +that that means?  Unconsciously he defines for me the lines of a fresh
 +school, a school that is to have in it all the passion of the romantic
 +spirit, all the perfection of the spirit that is Greek.  The harmony of
 +soul and body&mdash;how much that is!  We in our madness have separated the
 +two, and have invented a realism that is vulgar, an ideality that is
 +void.  Harry! if you only knew what Dorian Gray is to me!  You remember
 +that landscape of mine, for which Agnew offered me such a huge price
 +but which I would not part with?  It is one of the best things I have
 +ever done.  And why is it so?  Because, while I was painting it, Dorian
 +Gray sat beside me.  Some subtle influence passed from him to me, and
 +for the first time in my life I saw in the plain woodland the wonder I
 +had always looked for and always missed."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Basil, this is extraordinary!  I must see Dorian Gray."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Hallward got up from the seat and walked up and down the garden.  After
 +some time he came back.  "Harry," he said, "Dorian Gray is to me simply
 +a motive in art.  You might see nothing in him.  I see everything in
 +him.  He is never more present in my work than when no image of him is
 +there.  He is a suggestion, as I have said, of a new manner.  I find
 +him in the curves of certain lines, in the loveliness and subtleties of
 +certain colours.  That is all."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Then why won't you exhibit his portrait?" asked Lord Henry.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Because, without intending it, I have put into it some expression of
 +all this curious artistic idolatry, of which, of course, I have never
 +cared to speak to him.  He knows nothing about it.  He shall never know
 +anything about it.  But the world might guess it, and I will not bare
 +my soul to their shallow prying eyes.  My heart shall never be put
 +under their microscope.  There is too much of myself in the thing,
 +Harry&mdash;too much of myself!"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Poets are not so scrupulous as you are.  They know how useful passion
 +is for publication.  Nowadays a broken heart will run to many editions."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I hate them for it," cried Hallward.  "An artist should create
 +beautiful things, but should put nothing of his own life into them.  We
 +live in an age when men treat art as if it were meant to be a form of
 +autobiography.  We have lost the abstract sense of beauty.  Some day I
 +will show the world what it is; and for that reason the world shall
 +never see my portrait of Dorian Gray."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I think you are wrong, Basil, but I won't argue with you.  It is only
 +the intellectually lost who ever argue.  Tell me, is Dorian Gray very
 +fond of you?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The painter considered for a few moments.  "He likes me," he answered
 +after a pause; "I know he likes me.  Of course I flatter him
 +dreadfully.  I find a strange pleasure in saying things to him that I
 +know I shall be sorry for having said.  As a rule, he is charming to
 +me, and we sit in the studio and talk of a thousand things.  Now and
 +then, however, he is horribly thoughtless, and seems to take a real
 +delight in giving me pain.  Then I feel, Harry, that I have given away
 +my whole soul to some one who treats it as if it were a flower to put
 +in his coat, a bit of decoration to charm his vanity, an ornament for a
 +summer's day."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Days in summer, Basil, are apt to linger," murmured Lord Henry.
 +"Perhaps you will tire sooner than he will.  It is a sad thing to think
 +of, but there is no doubt that genius lasts longer than beauty.  That
 +accounts for the fact that we all take such pains to over-educate
 +ourselves.  In the wild struggle for existence, we want to have
 +something that endures, and so we fill our minds with rubbish and
 +facts, in the silly hope of keeping our place.  The thoroughly
 +well-informed man&mdash;that is the modern ideal.  And the mind of the
 +thoroughly well-informed man is a dreadful thing.  It is like a
 +<i>bric-a-brac</i> shop, all monsters and dust, with everything priced above
 +its proper value.  I think you will tire first, all the same.  Some day
 +you will look at your friend, and he will seem to you to be a little
 +out of drawing, or you won't like his tone of colour, or something.
 +You will bitterly reproach him in your own heart, and seriously think
 +that he has behaved very badly to you.  The next time he calls, you
 +will be perfectly cold and indifferent.  It will be a great pity, for
 +it will alter you.  What you have told me is quite a romance, a romance
 +of art one might call it, and the worst of having a romance of any kind
 +is that it leaves one so unromantic."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Harry, don't talk like that.  As long as I live, the personality of
 +Dorian Gray will dominate me.  You can't feel what I feel.  You change
 +too often."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Ah, my dear Basil, that is exactly why I can feel it.  Those who are
 +faithful know only the trivial side of love: it is the faithless who
 +know love's tragedies."  And Lord Henry struck a light on a dainty
 +silver case and began to smoke a cigarette with a self-conscious and
 +satisfied air, as if he had summed up the world in a phrase.  There was
 +a rustle of chirruping sparrows in the green lacquer leaves of the ivy,
 +and the blue cloud-shadows chased themselves across the grass like
 +swallows.  How pleasant it was in the garden!  And how delightful other
 +people's emotions were!&mdash;much more delightful than their ideas, it
 +seemed to him.  One's own soul, and the passions of one's
 +friends&mdash;those were the fascinating things in life.  He pictured to
 +himself with silent amusement the tedious luncheon that he had missed
 +by staying so long with Basil Hallward.  Had he gone to his aunt's, he
 +would have been sure to have met Lord Goodbody there, and the whole
 +conversation would have been about the feeding of the poor and the
 +necessity for model lodging-houses. Each class would have preached the
 +importance of those virtues, for whose exercise there was no necessity
 +in their own lives.  The rich would have spoken on the value of thrift,
 +and the idle grown eloquent over the dignity of labour.  It was
 +charming to have escaped all that!  As he thought of his aunt, an idea
 +seemed to strike him.  He turned to Hallward and said, "My dear fellow,
 +I have just remembered."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Remembered what, Harry?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Where I heard the name of Dorian Gray."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Where was it?" asked Hallward, with a slight frown.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Don't look so angry, Basil.  It was at my aunt, Lady Agatha's.  She
 +told me she had discovered a wonderful young man who was going to help
 +her in the East End, and that his name was Dorian Gray.  I am bound to
 +state that she never told me he was good-looking. Women have no
 +appreciation of good looks; at least, good women have not.  She said
 +that he was very earnest and had a beautiful nature.  I at once
 +pictured to myself a creature with spectacles and lank hair, horribly
 +freckled, and tramping about on huge feet.  I wish I had known it was
 +your friend."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I am very glad you didn't, Harry."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Why?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I don't want you to meet him."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You don't want me to meet him?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"No."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Mr. Dorian Gray is in the studio, sir," said the butler, coming into
 +the garden.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You must introduce me now," cried Lord Henry, laughing.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The painter turned to his servant, who stood blinking in the sunlight.
 +"Ask Mr. Gray to wait, Parker:  I shall be in in a few moments." The
 +man bowed and went up the walk.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Then he looked at Lord Henry.  "Dorian Gray is my dearest friend," he
 +said.  "He has a simple and a beautiful nature.  Your aunt was quite
 +right in what she said of him.  Don't spoil him.  Don't try to
 +influence him.  Your influence would be bad.  The world is wide, and
 +has many marvellous people in it.  Don't take away from me the one
 +person who gives to my art whatever charm it possesses:  my life as an
 +artist depends on him.  Mind, Harry, I trust you."  He spoke very
 +slowly, and the words seemed wrung out of him almost against his will.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"What nonsense you talk!" said Lord Henry, smiling, and taking Hallward
 +by the arm, he almost led him into the house.
 +</P>
 +
 +<BR><BR><BR>
 +
 +<A NAME="chap02"></A>
 +<H3 ALIGN="center">
 +CHAPTER 2
 +</H3>
 +
 +<P>
 +As they entered they saw Dorian Gray.  He was seated at the piano, with
 +his back to them, turning over the pages of a volume of Schumann's
 +"Forest Scenes."  "You must lend me these, Basil," he cried.  "I want
 +to learn them.  They are perfectly charming."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"That entirely depends on how you sit to-day, Dorian."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Oh, I am tired of sitting, and I don't want a life-sized portrait of
 +myself," answered the lad, swinging round on the music-stool in a
 +wilful, petulant manner.  When he caught sight of Lord Henry, a faint
 +blush coloured his cheeks for a moment, and he started up.  "I beg your
 +pardon, Basil, but I didn't know you had any one with you."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"This is Lord Henry Wotton, Dorian, an old Oxford friend of mine.  I
 +have just been telling him what a capital sitter you were, and now you
 +have spoiled everything."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You have not spoiled my pleasure in meeting you, Mr. Gray," said Lord
 +Henry, stepping forward and extending his hand.  "My aunt has often
 +spoken to me about you.  You are one of her favourites, and, I am
 +afraid, one of her victims also."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I am in Lady Agatha's black books at present," answered Dorian with a
 +funny look of penitence.  "I promised to go to a club in Whitechapel
 +with her last Tuesday, and I really forgot all about it.  We were to
 +have played a duet together&mdash;three duets, I believe.  I don't know what
 +she will say to me.  I am far too frightened to call."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Oh, I will make your peace with my aunt.  She is quite devoted to you.
 +And I don't think it really matters about your not being there.  The
 +audience probably thought it was a duet.  When Aunt Agatha sits down to
 +the piano, she makes quite enough noise for two people."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"That is very horrid to her, and not very nice to me," answered Dorian,
 +laughing.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Lord Henry looked at him.  Yes, he was certainly wonderfully handsome,
 +with his finely curved scarlet lips, his frank blue eyes, his crisp
 +gold hair.  There was something in his face that made one trust him at
 +once.  All the candour of youth was there, as well as all youth's
 +passionate purity.  One felt that he had kept himself unspotted from
 +the world.  No wonder Basil Hallward worshipped him.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You are too charming to go in for philanthropy, Mr. Gray&mdash;far too
 +charming." And Lord Henry flung himself down on the divan and opened
 +his cigarette-case.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The painter had been busy mixing his colours and getting his brushes
 +ready.  He was looking worried, and when he heard Lord Henry's last
 +remark, he glanced at him, hesitated for a moment, and then said,
 +"Harry, I want to finish this picture to-day. Would you think it
 +awfully rude of me if I asked you to go away?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Lord Henry smiled and looked at Dorian Gray.  "Am I to go, Mr. Gray?"
 +he asked.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Oh, please don't, Lord Henry.  I see that Basil is in one of his sulky
 +moods, and I can't bear him when he sulks.  Besides, I want you to tell
 +me why I should not go in for philanthropy."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I don't know that I shall tell you that, Mr. Gray.  It is so tedious a
 +subject that one would have to talk seriously about it.  But I
 +certainly shall not run away, now that you have asked me to stop.  You
 +don't really mind, Basil, do you?  You have often told me that you
 +liked your sitters to have some one to chat to."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Hallward bit his lip.  "If Dorian wishes it, of course you must stay.
 +Dorian's whims are laws to everybody, except himself."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Lord Henry took up his hat and gloves.  "You are very pressing, Basil,
 +but I am afraid I must go.  I have promised to meet a man at the
 +Orleans.  Good-bye, Mr. Gray.  Come and see me some afternoon in Curzon
 +Street.  I am nearly always at home at five o'clock. Write to me when
 +you are coming.  I should be sorry to miss you."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Basil," cried Dorian Gray, "if Lord Henry Wotton goes, I shall go,
 +too.  You never open your lips while you are painting, and it is
 +horribly dull standing on a platform and trying to look pleasant.  Ask
 +him to stay.  I insist upon it."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Stay, Harry, to oblige Dorian, and to oblige me," said Hallward,
 +gazing intently at his picture.  "It is quite true, I never talk when I
 +am working, and never listen either, and it must be dreadfully tedious
 +for my unfortunate sitters.  I beg you to stay."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"But what about my man at the Orleans?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The painter laughed.  "I don't think there will be any difficulty about
 +that.  Sit down again, Harry.  And now, Dorian, get up on the platform,
 +and don't move about too much, or pay any attention to what Lord Henry
 +says.  He has a very bad influence over all his friends, with the
 +single exception of myself."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Dorian Gray stepped up on the dais with the air of a young Greek
 +martyr, and made a little <i>moue</i> of discontent to Lord Henry, to whom he
 +had rather taken a fancy.  He was so unlike Basil.  They made a
 +delightful contrast.  And he had such a beautiful voice.  After a few
 +moments he said to him, "Have you really a very bad influence, Lord
 +Henry?  As bad as Basil says?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"There is no such thing as a good influence, Mr. Gray.  All influence
 +is immoral&mdash;immoral from the scientific point of view."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Why?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Because to influence a person is to give him one's own soul.  He does
 +not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions.  His
 +virtues are not real to him.  His sins, if there are such things as
 +sins, are borrowed.  He becomes an echo of some one else's music, an
 +actor of a part that has not been written for him.  The aim of life is
 +self-development. To realize one's nature perfectly&mdash;that is what each
 +of us is here for.  People are afraid of themselves, nowadays.  They
 +have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty that one owes to
 +one's self.  Of course, they are charitable.  They feed the hungry and
 +clothe the beggar.  But their own souls starve, and are naked.  Courage
 +has gone out of our race.  Perhaps we never really had it.  The terror
 +of society, which is the basis of morals, the terror of God, which is
 +the secret of religion&mdash;these are the two things that govern us.  And
 +yet&mdash;"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Just turn your head a little more to the right, Dorian, like a good
 +boy," said the painter, deep in his work and conscious only that a look
 +had come into the lad's face that he had never seen there before.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"And yet," continued Lord Henry, in his low, musical voice, and with
 +that graceful wave of the hand that was always so characteristic of
 +him, and that he had even in his Eton days, "I believe that if one man
 +were to live out his life fully and completely, were to give form to
 +every feeling, expression to every thought, reality to every dream&mdash;I
 +believe that the world would gain such a fresh impulse of joy that we
 +would forget all the maladies of mediaevalism, and return to the
 +Hellenic ideal&mdash;to something finer, richer than the Hellenic ideal, it
 +may be.  But the bravest man amongst us is afraid of himself.  The
 +mutilation of the savage has its tragic survival in the self-denial
 +that mars our lives.  We are punished for our refusals.  Every impulse
 +that we strive to strangle broods in the mind and poisons us.  The body
 +sins once, and has done with its sin, for action is a mode of
 +purification.  Nothing remains then but the recollection of a pleasure,
 +or the luxury of a regret.  The only way to get rid of a temptation is
 +to yield to it.  Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for
 +the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its
 +monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful.  It has been said that
 +the great events of the world take place in the brain.  It is in the
 +brain, and the brain only, that the great sins of the world take place
 +also.  You, Mr. Gray, you yourself, with your rose-red youth and your
 +rose-white boyhood, you have had passions that have made you afraid,
 +thoughts that have filled you with terror, day-dreams and sleeping
 +dreams whose mere memory might stain your cheek with shame&mdash;"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Stop!" faltered Dorian Gray, "stop! you bewilder me.  I don't know
 +what to say.  There is some answer to you, but I cannot find it.  Don't
 +speak.  Let me think.  Or, rather, let me try not to think."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +For nearly ten minutes he stood there, motionless, with parted lips and
 +eyes strangely bright.  He was dimly conscious that entirely fresh
 +influences were at work within him.  Yet they seemed to him to have
 +come really from himself.  The few words that Basil's friend had said
 +to him&mdash;words spoken by chance, no doubt, and with wilful paradox in
 +them&mdash;had touched some secret chord that had never been touched before,
 +but that he felt was now vibrating and throbbing to curious pulses.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Music had stirred him like that.  Music had troubled him many times.
 +But music was not articulate.  It was not a new world, but rather
 +another chaos, that it created in us.  Words!  Mere words!  How
 +terrible they were!  How clear, and vivid, and cruel!  One could not
 +escape from them.  And yet what a subtle magic there was in them!  They
 +seemed to be able to give a plastic form to formless things, and to
 +have a music of their own as sweet as that of viol or of lute.  Mere
 +words!  Was there anything so real as words?
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Yes; there had been things in his boyhood that he had not understood.
 +He understood them now.  Life suddenly became fiery-coloured to him.
 +It seemed to him that he had been walking in fire.  Why had he not
 +known it?
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +With his subtle smile, Lord Henry watched him.  He knew the precise
 +psychological moment when to say nothing.  He felt intensely
 +interested.  He was amazed at the sudden impression that his words had
 +produced, and, remembering a book that he had read when he was sixteen,
 +a book which had revealed to him much that he had not known before, he
 +wondered whether Dorian Gray was passing through a similar experience.
 +He had merely shot an arrow into the air.  Had it hit the mark?  How
 +fascinating the lad was!
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Hallward painted away with that marvellous bold touch of his, that had
 +the true refinement and perfect delicacy that in art, at any rate comes
 +only from strength.  He was unconscious of the silence.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Basil, I am tired of standing," cried Dorian Gray suddenly.  "I must
 +go out and sit in the garden.  The air is stifling here."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"My dear fellow, I am so sorry.  When I am painting, I can't think of
 +anything else.  But you never sat better.  You were perfectly still.
 +And I have caught the effect I wanted&mdash;the half-parted lips and the
 +bright look in the eyes.  I don't know what Harry has been saying to
 +you, but he has certainly made you have the most wonderful expression.
 +I suppose he has been paying you compliments.  You mustn't believe a
 +word that he says."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"He has certainly not been paying me compliments.  Perhaps that is the
 +reason that I don't believe anything he has told me."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You know you believe it all," said Lord Henry, looking at him with his
 +dreamy languorous eyes.  "I will go out to the garden with you.  It is
 +horribly hot in the studio.  Basil, let us have something iced to
 +drink, something with strawberries in it."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Certainly, Harry.  Just touch the bell, and when Parker comes I will
 +tell him what you want.  I have got to work up this background, so I
 +will join you later on.  Don't keep Dorian too long.  I have never been
 +in better form for painting than I am to-day. This is going to be my
 +masterpiece.  It is my masterpiece as it stands."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Lord Henry went out to the garden and found Dorian Gray burying his
 +face in the great cool lilac-blossoms, feverishly drinking in their
 +perfume as if it had been wine.  He came close to him and put his hand
 +upon his shoulder.  "You are quite right to do that," he murmured.
 +"Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the
 +senses but the soul."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The lad started and drew back.  He was bareheaded, and the leaves had
 +tossed his rebellious curls and tangled all their gilded threads.
 +There was a look of fear in his eyes, such as people have when they are
 +suddenly awakened.  His finely chiselled nostrils quivered, and some
 +hidden nerve shook the scarlet of his lips and left them trembling.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Yes," continued Lord Henry, "that is one of the great secrets of
 +life&mdash;to cure the soul by means of the senses, and the senses by means
 +of the soul.  You are a wonderful creation.  You know more than you
 +think you know, just as you know less than you want to know."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Dorian Gray frowned and turned his head away.  He could not help liking
 +the tall, graceful young man who was standing by him.  His romantic,
 +olive-coloured face and worn expression interested him.  There was
 +something in his low languid voice that was absolutely fascinating.
 +His cool, white, flowerlike hands, even, had a curious charm.  They
 +moved, as he spoke, like music, and seemed to have a language of their
 +own.  But he felt afraid of him, and ashamed of being afraid.  Why had
 +it been left for a stranger to reveal him to himself?  He had known
 +Basil Hallward for months, but the friendship between them had never
 +altered him.  Suddenly there had come some one across his life who
 +seemed to have disclosed to him life's mystery.  And, yet, what was
 +there to be afraid of?  He was not a schoolboy or a girl.  It was
 +absurd to be frightened.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Let us go and sit in the shade," said Lord Henry.  "Parker has brought
 +out the drinks, and if you stay any longer in this glare, you will be
 +quite spoiled, and Basil will never paint you again.  You really must
 +not allow yourself to become sunburnt.  It would be unbecoming."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"What can it matter?" cried Dorian Gray, laughing, as he sat down on
 +the seat at the end of the garden.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"It should matter everything to you, Mr. Gray."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Why?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Because you have the most marvellous youth, and youth is the one thing
 +worth having."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I don't feel that, Lord Henry."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"No, you don't feel it now.  Some day, when you are old and wrinkled
 +and ugly, when thought has seared your forehead with its lines, and
 +passion branded your lips with its hideous fires, you will feel it, you
 +will feel it terribly.  Now, wherever you go, you charm the world.
 +Will it always be so? ... You have a wonderfully beautiful face, Mr.
 +Gray.  Don't frown.  You have.  And beauty is a form of genius&mdash;is
 +higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation.  It is of the
 +great facts of the world, like sunlight, or spring-time, or the
 +reflection in dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon.  It
 +cannot be questioned.  It has its divine right of sovereignty.  It
 +makes princes of those who have it.  You smile?  Ah! when you have lost
 +it you won't smile.... People say sometimes that beauty is only
 +superficial.  That may be so, but at least it is not so superficial as
 +thought is.  To me, beauty is the wonder of wonders.  It is only
 +shallow people who do not judge by appearances.  The true mystery of
 +the world is the visible, not the invisible.... Yes, Mr. Gray, the
 +gods have been good to you.  But what the gods give they quickly take
 +away.  You have only a few years in which to live really, perfectly,
 +and fully.  When your youth goes, your beauty will go with it, and then
 +you will suddenly discover that there are no triumphs left for you, or
 +have to content yourself with those mean triumphs that the memory of
 +your past will make more bitter than defeats.  Every month as it wanes
 +brings you nearer to something dreadful.  Time is jealous of you, and
 +wars against your lilies and your roses.  You will become sallow, and
 +hollow-cheeked, and dull-eyed.  You will suffer horribly.... Ah!
 +realize your youth while you have it.  Don't squander the gold of your
 +days, listening to the tedious, trying to improve the hopeless failure,
 +or giving away your life to the ignorant, the common, and the vulgar.
 +These are the sickly aims, the false ideals, of our age.  Live!  Live
 +the wonderful life that is in you!  Let nothing be lost upon you.  Be
 +always searching for new sensations.  Be afraid of nothing.... A new
 +Hedonism&mdash;that is what our century wants.  You might be its visible
 +symbol.  With your personality there is nothing you could not do.  The
 +world belongs to you for a season.... The moment I met you I saw that
 +you were quite unconscious of what you really are, of what you really
 +might be.  There was so much in you that charmed me that I felt I must
 +tell you something about yourself.  I thought how tragic it would be if
 +you were wasted.  For there is such a little time that your youth will
 +last&mdash;such a little time.  The common hill-flowers wither, but they
 +blossom again.  The laburnum will be as yellow next June as it is now.
 +In a month there will be purple stars on the clematis, and year after
 +year the green night of its leaves will hold its purple stars.  But we
 +never get back our youth.  The pulse of joy that beats in us at twenty
 +becomes sluggish.  Our limbs fail, our senses rot.  We degenerate into
 +hideous puppets, haunted by the memory of the passions of which we were
 +too much afraid, and the exquisite temptations that we had not the
 +courage to yield to.  Youth!  Youth!  There is absolutely nothing in
 +the world but youth!"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Dorian Gray listened, open-eyed and wondering.  The spray of lilac fell
 +from his hand upon the gravel.  A furry bee came and buzzed round it
 +for a moment.  Then it began to scramble all over the oval stellated
 +globe of the tiny blossoms.  He watched it with that strange interest
 +in trivial things that we try to develop when things of high import
 +make us afraid, or when we are stirred by some new emotion for which we
 +cannot find expression, or when some thought that terrifies us lays
 +sudden siege to the brain and calls on us to yield.  After a time the
 +bee flew away.  He saw it creeping into the stained trumpet of a Tyrian
 +convolvulus.  The flower seemed to quiver, and then swayed gently to
 +and fro.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Suddenly the painter appeared at the door of the studio and made
 +staccato signs for them to come in.  They turned to each other and
 +smiled.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I am waiting," he cried.  "Do come in.  The light is quite perfect,
 +and you can bring your drinks."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +They rose up and sauntered down the walk together.  Two green-and-white
 +butterflies fluttered past them, and in the pear-tree at the corner of
 +the garden a thrush began to sing.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You are glad you have met me, Mr. Gray," said Lord Henry, looking at
 +him.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Yes, I am glad now.  I wonder shall I always be glad?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Always!  That is a dreadful word.  It makes me shudder when I hear it.
 +Women are so fond of using it.  They spoil every romance by trying to
 +make it last for ever.  It is a meaningless word, too.  The only
 +difference between a caprice and a lifelong passion is that the caprice
 +lasts a little longer."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +As they entered the studio, Dorian Gray put his hand upon Lord Henry's
 +arm.  "In that case, let our friendship be a caprice," he murmured,
 +flushing at his own boldness, then stepped up on the platform and
 +resumed his pose.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Lord Henry flung himself into a large wicker arm-chair and watched him.
 +The sweep and dash of the brush on the canvas made the only sound that
 +broke the stillness, except when, now and then, Hallward stepped back
 +to look at his work from a distance.  In the slanting beams that
 +streamed through the open doorway the dust danced and was golden.  The
 +heavy scent of the roses seemed to brood over everything.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +After about a quarter of an hour Hallward stopped painting, looked for
 +a long time at Dorian Gray, and then for a long time at the picture,
 +biting the end of one of his huge brushes and frowning.  "It is quite
 +finished," he cried at last, and stooping down he wrote his name in
 +long vermilion letters on the left-hand corner of the canvas.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Lord Henry came over and examined the picture.  It was certainly a
 +wonderful work of art, and a wonderful likeness as well.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"My dear fellow, I congratulate you most warmly," he said.  "It is the
 +finest portrait of modern times.  Mr. Gray, come over and look at
 +yourself."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The lad started, as if awakened from some dream.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Is it really finished?" he murmured, stepping down from the platform.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Quite finished," said the painter.  "And you have sat splendidly
 +to-day. I am awfully obliged to you."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"That is entirely due to me," broke in Lord Henry.  "Isn't it, Mr.
 +Gray?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Dorian made no answer, but passed listlessly in front of his picture
 +and turned towards it.  When he saw it he drew back, and his cheeks
 +flushed for a moment with pleasure.  A look of joy came into his eyes,
 +as if he had recognized himself for the first time.  He stood there
 +motionless and in wonder, dimly conscious that Hallward was speaking to
 +him, but not catching the meaning of his words.  The sense of his own
 +beauty came on him like a revelation.  He had never felt it before.
 +Basil Hallward's compliments had seemed to him to be merely the
 +charming exaggeration of friendship.  He had listened to them, laughed
 +at them, forgotten them.  They had not influenced his nature.  Then had
 +come Lord Henry Wotton with his strange panegyric on youth, his
 +terrible warning of its brevity.  That had stirred him at the time, and
 +now, as he stood gazing at the shadow of his own loveliness, the full
 +reality of the description flashed across him.  Yes, there would be a
 +day when his face would be wrinkled and wizen, his eyes dim and
 +colourless, the grace of his figure broken and deformed.  The scarlet
 +would pass away from his lips and the gold steal from his hair.  The
 +life that was to make his soul would mar his body.  He would become
 +dreadful, hideous, and uncouth.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +As he thought of it, a sharp pang of pain struck through him like a
 +knife and made each delicate fibre of his nature quiver.  His eyes
 +deepened into amethyst, and across them came a mist of tears.  He felt
 +as if a hand of ice had been laid upon his heart.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Don't you like it?" cried Hallward at last, stung a little by the
 +lad's silence, not understanding what it meant.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Of course he likes it," said Lord Henry.  "Who wouldn't like it?  It
 +is one of the greatest things in modern art.  I will give you anything
 +you like to ask for it.  I must have it."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"It is not my property, Harry."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Whose property is it?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Dorian's, of course," answered the painter.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"He is a very lucky fellow."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"How sad it is!" murmured Dorian Gray with his eyes still fixed upon
 +his own portrait.  "How sad it is!  I shall grow old, and horrible, and
 +dreadful.  But this picture will remain always young.  It will never be
 +older than this particular day of June.... If it were only the other
 +way!  If it were I who was to be always young, and the picture that was
 +to grow old!  For that&mdash;for that&mdash;I would give everything!  Yes, there
 +is nothing in the whole world I would not give!  I would give my soul
 +for that!"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You would hardly care for such an arrangement, Basil," cried Lord
 +Henry, laughing.  "It would be rather hard lines on your work."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I should object very strongly, Harry," said Hallward.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Dorian Gray turned and looked at him.  "I believe you would, Basil.
 +You like your art better than your friends.  I am no more to you than a
 +green bronze figure.  Hardly as much, I dare say."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The painter stared in amazement.  It was so unlike Dorian to speak like
 +that.  What had happened?  He seemed quite angry.  His face was flushed
 +and his cheeks burning.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Yes," he continued, "I am less to you than your ivory Hermes or your
 +silver Faun.  You will like them always.  How long will you like me?
 +Till I have my first wrinkle, I suppose.  I know, now, that when one
 +loses one's good looks, whatever they may be, one loses everything.
 +Your picture has taught me that.  Lord Henry Wotton is perfectly right.
 +Youth is the only thing worth having.  When I find that I am growing
 +old, I shall kill myself."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Hallward turned pale and caught his hand.  "Dorian!  Dorian!" he cried,
 +"don't talk like that.  I have never had such a friend as you, and I
 +shall never have such another.  You are not jealous of material things,
 +are you?&mdash;you who are finer than any of them!"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I am jealous of everything whose beauty does not die.  I am jealous of
 +the portrait you have painted of me.  Why should it keep what I must
 +lose?  Every moment that passes takes something from me and gives
 +something to it.  Oh, if it were only the other way!  If the picture
 +could change, and I could be always what I am now!  Why did you paint
 +it?  It will mock me some day&mdash;mock me horribly!"  The hot tears welled
 +into his eyes; he tore his hand away and, flinging himself on the
 +divan, he buried his face in the cushions, as though he was praying.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"This is your doing, Harry," said the painter bitterly.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Lord Henry shrugged his shoulders.  "It is the real Dorian Gray&mdash;that
 +is all."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"It is not."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"If it is not, what have I to do with it?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You should have gone away when I asked you," he muttered.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I stayed when you asked me," was Lord Henry's answer.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Harry, I can't quarrel with my two best friends at once, but between
 +you both you have made me hate the finest piece of work I have ever
 +done, and I will destroy it.  What is it but canvas and colour?  I will
 +not let it come across our three lives and mar them."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Dorian Gray lifted his golden head from the pillow, and with pallid
 +face and tear-stained eyes, looked at him as he walked over to the deal
 +painting-table that was set beneath the high curtained window.  What
 +was he doing there?  His fingers were straying about among the litter
 +of tin tubes and dry brushes, seeking for something.  Yes, it was for
 +the long palette-knife, with its thin blade of lithe steel.  He had
 +found it at last.  He was going to rip up the canvas.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +With a stifled sob the lad leaped from the couch, and, rushing over to
 +Hallward, tore the knife out of his hand, and flung it to the end of
 +the studio.  "Don't, Basil, don't!" he cried.  "It would be murder!"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I am glad you appreciate my work at last, Dorian," said the painter
 +coldly when he had recovered from his surprise.  "I never thought you
 +would."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Appreciate it?  I am in love with it, Basil.  It is part of myself.  I
 +feel that."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Well, as soon as you are dry, you shall be varnished, and framed, and
 +sent home.  Then you can do what you like with yourself." And he walked
 +across the room and rang the bell for tea.  "You will have tea, of
 +course, Dorian?  And so will you, Harry?  Or do you object to such
 +simple pleasures?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I adore simple pleasures," said Lord Henry.  "They are the last refuge
 +of the complex.  But I don't like scenes, except on the stage.  What
 +absurd fellows you are, both of you!  I wonder who it was defined man
 +as a rational animal.  It was the most premature definition ever given.
 +Man is many things, but he is not rational.  I am glad he is not, after
 +all&mdash;though I wish you chaps would not squabble over the picture.  You
 +had much better let me have it, Basil.  This silly boy doesn't really
 +want it, and I really do."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"If you let any one have it but me, Basil, I shall never forgive you!"
 +cried Dorian Gray; "and I don't allow people to call me a silly boy."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You know the picture is yours, Dorian.  I gave it to you before it
 +existed."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"And you know you have been a little silly, Mr. Gray, and that you
 +don't really object to being reminded that you are extremely young."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I should have objected very strongly this morning, Lord Henry."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Ah! this morning!  You have lived since then."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +There came a knock at the door, and the butler entered with a laden
 +tea-tray and set it down upon a small Japanese table.  There was a
 +rattle of cups and saucers and the hissing of a fluted Georgian urn.
 +Two globe-shaped china dishes were brought in by a page.  Dorian Gray
 +went over and poured out the tea.  The two men sauntered languidly to
 +the table and examined what was under the covers.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Let us go to the theatre to-night," said Lord Henry.  "There is sure
 +to be something on, somewhere.  I have promised to dine at White's, but
 +it is only with an old friend, so I can send him a wire to say that I
 +am ill, or that I am prevented from coming in consequence of a
 +subsequent engagement.  I think that would be a rather nice excuse:  it
 +would have all the surprise of candour."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"It is such a bore putting on one's dress-clothes," muttered Hallward.
 +"And, when one has them on, they are so horrid."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Yes," answered Lord Henry dreamily, "the costume of the nineteenth
 +century is detestable.  It is so sombre, so depressing.  Sin is the
 +only real colour-element left in modern life."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You really must not say things like that before Dorian, Harry."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Before which Dorian?  The one who is pouring out tea for us, or the
 +one in the picture?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Before either."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I should like to come to the theatre with you, Lord Henry," said the
 +lad.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Then you shall come; and you will come, too, Basil, won't you?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I can't, really.  I would sooner not.  I have a lot of work to do."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Well, then, you and I will go alone, Mr. Gray."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I should like that awfully."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The painter bit his lip and walked over, cup in hand, to the picture.
 +"I shall stay with the real Dorian," he said, sadly.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Is it the real Dorian?" cried the original of the portrait, strolling
 +across to him.  "Am I really like that?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Yes; you are just like that."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"How wonderful, Basil!"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"At least you are like it in appearance.  But it will never alter,"
 +sighed Hallward.  "That is something."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"What a fuss people make about fidelity!" exclaimed Lord Henry.  "Why,
 +even in love it is purely a question for physiology.  It has nothing to
 +do with our own will.  Young men want to be faithful, and are not; old
 +men want to be faithless, and cannot: that is all one can say."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Don't go to the theatre to-night, Dorian," said Hallward.  "Stop and
 +dine with me."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I can't, Basil."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Why?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Because I have promised Lord Henry Wotton to go with him."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"He won't like you the better for keeping your promises.  He always
 +breaks his own.  I beg you not to go."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Dorian Gray laughed and shook his head.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I entreat you."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The lad hesitated, and looked over at Lord Henry, who was watching them
 +from the tea-table with an amused smile.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I must go, Basil," he answered.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Very well," said Hallward, and he went over and laid down his cup on
 +the tray.  "It is rather late, and, as you have to dress, you had
 +better lose no time.  Good-bye, Harry.  Good-bye, Dorian.  Come and see
 +me soon.  Come to-morrow."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Certainly."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You won't forget?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"No, of course not," cried Dorian.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"And ... Harry!"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Yes, Basil?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Remember what I asked you, when we were in the garden this morning."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I have forgotten it."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I trust you."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I wish I could trust myself," said Lord Henry, laughing.  "Come, Mr.
 +Gray, my hansom is outside, and I can drop you at your own place.
 +Good-bye, Basil.  It has been a most interesting afternoon."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +As the door closed behind them, the painter flung himself down on a
 +sofa, and a look of pain came into his face.
 +</P>
 +
 +<BR><BR><BR>
 +
 +<A NAME="chap03"></A>
 +<H3 ALIGN="center">
 +CHAPTER 3
 +</H3>
 +
 +<P>
 +At half-past twelve next day Lord Henry Wotton strolled from Curzon
 +Street over to the Albany to call on his uncle, Lord Fermor, a genial
 +if somewhat rough-mannered old bachelor, whom the outside world called
 +selfish because it derived no particular benefit from him, but who was
 +considered generous by Society as he fed the people who amused him.
 +His father had been our ambassador at Madrid when Isabella was young
 +and Prim unthought of, but had retired from the diplomatic service in a
 +capricious moment of annoyance on not being offered the Embassy at
 +Paris, a post to which he considered that he was fully entitled by
 +reason of his birth, his indolence, the good English of his dispatches,
 +and his inordinate passion for pleasure.  The son, who had been his
 +father's secretary, had resigned along with his chief, somewhat
 +foolishly as was thought at the time, and on succeeding some months
 +later to the title, had set himself to the serious study of the great
 +aristocratic art of doing absolutely nothing.  He had two large town
 +houses, but preferred to live in chambers as it was less trouble, and
 +took most of his meals at his club.  He paid some attention to the
 +management of his collieries in the Midland counties, excusing himself
 +for this taint of industry on the ground that the one advantage of
 +having coal was that it enabled a gentleman to afford the decency of
 +burning wood on his own hearth.  In politics he was a Tory, except when
 +the Tories were in office, during which period he roundly abused them
 +for being a pack of Radicals.  He was a hero to his valet, who bullied
 +him, and a terror to most of his relations, whom he bullied in turn.
 +Only England could have produced him, and he always said that the
 +country was going to the dogs.  His principles were out of date, but
 +there was a good deal to be said for his prejudices.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +When Lord Henry entered the room, he found his uncle sitting in a rough
 +shooting-coat, smoking a cheroot and grumbling over <i>The Times</i> "Well,
 +Harry," said the old gentleman, "what brings you out so early?  I
 +thought you dandies never got up till two, and were not visible till
 +five."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Pure family affection, I assure you, Uncle George.  I want to get
 +something out of you."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Money, I suppose," said Lord Fermor, making a wry face.  "Well, sit
 +down and tell me all about it.  Young people, nowadays, imagine that
 +money is everything."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Yes," murmured Lord Henry, settling his button-hole in his coat; "and
 +when they grow older they know it.  But I don't want money.  It is only
 +people who pay their bills who want that, Uncle George, and I never pay
 +mine.  Credit is the capital of a younger son, and one lives charmingly
 +upon it.  Besides, I always deal with Dartmoor's tradesmen, and
 +consequently they never bother me.  What I want is information:  not
 +useful information, of course; useless information."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Well, I can tell you anything that is in an English Blue Book, Harry,
 +although those fellows nowadays write a lot of nonsense.  When I was in
 +the Diplomatic, things were much better.  But I hear they let them in
 +now by examination.  What can you expect?  Examinations, sir, are pure
 +humbug from beginning to end.  If a man is a gentleman, he knows quite
 +enough, and if he is not a gentleman, whatever he knows is bad for him."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Mr. Dorian Gray does not belong to Blue Books, Uncle George," said
 +Lord Henry languidly.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Mr. Dorian Gray?  Who is he?" asked Lord Fermor, knitting his bushy
 +white eyebrows.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"That is what I have come to learn, Uncle George.  Or rather, I know
 +who he is.  He is the last Lord Kelso's grandson.  His mother was a
 +Devereux, Lady Margaret Devereux.  I want you to tell me about his
 +mother.  What was she like?  Whom did she marry?  You have known nearly
 +everybody in your time, so you might have known her.  I am very much
 +interested in Mr. Gray at present.  I have only just met him."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Kelso's grandson!" echoed the old gentleman.  "Kelso's grandson! ...
 +Of course.... I knew his mother intimately.  I believe I was at her
 +christening.  She was an extraordinarily beautiful girl, Margaret
 +Devereux, and made all the men frantic by running away with a penniless
 +young fellow&mdash;a mere nobody, sir, a subaltern in a foot regiment, or
 +something of that kind.  Certainly.  I remember the whole thing as if
 +it happened yesterday.  The poor chap was killed in a duel at Spa a few
 +months after the marriage.  There was an ugly story about it.  They
 +said Kelso got some rascally adventurer, some Belgian brute, to insult
 +his son-in-law in public&mdash;paid him, sir, to do it, paid him&mdash;and that
 +the fellow spitted his man as if he had been a pigeon.  The thing was
 +hushed up, but, egad, Kelso ate his chop alone at the club for some
 +time afterwards.  He brought his daughter back with him, I was told,
 +and she never spoke to him again.  Oh, yes; it was a bad business.  The
 +girl died, too, died within a year.  So she left a son, did she?  I had
 +forgotten that.  What sort of boy is he?  If he is like his mother, he
 +must be a good-looking chap."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"He is very good-looking," assented Lord Henry.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I hope he will fall into proper hands," continued the old man.  "He
 +should have a pot of money waiting for him if Kelso did the right thing
 +by him.  His mother had money, too.  All the Selby property came to
 +her, through her grandfather.  Her grandfather hated Kelso, thought him
 +a mean dog.  He was, too.  Came to Madrid once when I was there.  Egad,
 +I was ashamed of him.  The Queen used to ask me about the English noble
 +who was always quarrelling with the cabmen about their fares.  They
 +made quite a story of it.  I didn't dare show my face at Court for a
 +month.  I hope he treated his grandson better than he did the jarvies."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I don't know," answered Lord Henry.  "I fancy that the boy will be
 +well off.  He is not of age yet.  He has Selby, I know.  He told me so.
 +And ... his mother was very beautiful?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Margaret Devereux was one of the loveliest creatures I ever saw,
 +Harry.  What on earth induced her to behave as she did, I never could
 +understand.  She could have married anybody she chose.  Carlington was
 +mad after her.  She was romantic, though.  All the women of that family
 +were.  The men were a poor lot, but, egad! the women were wonderful.
 +Carlington went on his knees to her.  Told me so himself.  She laughed
 +at him, and there wasn't a girl in London at the time who wasn't after
 +him.  And by the way, Harry, talking about silly marriages, what is
 +this humbug your father tells me about Dartmoor wanting to marry an
 +American?  Ain't English girls good enough for him?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"It is rather fashionable to marry Americans just now, Uncle George."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I'll back English women against the world, Harry," said Lord Fermor,
 +striking the table with his fist.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"The betting is on the Americans."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"They don't last, I am told," muttered his uncle.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"A long engagement exhausts them, but they are capital at a
 +steeplechase.  They take things flying.  I don't think Dartmoor has a
 +chance."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Who are her people?" grumbled the old gentleman.  "Has she got any?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Lord Henry shook his head.  "American girls are as clever at concealing
 +their parents, as English women are at concealing their past," he said,
 +rising to go.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"They are pork-packers, I suppose?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I hope so, Uncle George, for Dartmoor's sake.  I am told that
 +pork-packing is the most lucrative profession in America, after
 +politics."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Is she pretty?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"She behaves as if she was beautiful.  Most American women do.  It is
 +the secret of their charm."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Why can't these American women stay in their own country?  They are
 +always telling us that it is the paradise for women."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"It is.  That is the reason why, like Eve, they are so excessively
 +anxious to get out of it," said Lord Henry.  "Good-bye, Uncle George.
 +I shall be late for lunch, if I stop any longer.  Thanks for giving me
 +the information I wanted.  I always like to know everything about my
 +new friends, and nothing about my old ones."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Where are you lunching, Harry?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"At Aunt Agatha's. I have asked myself and Mr. Gray.  He is her latest
 +<i>protege</i>."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Humph! tell your Aunt Agatha, Harry, not to bother me any more with
 +her charity appeals.  I am sick of them.  Why, the good woman thinks
 +that I have nothing to do but to write cheques for her silly fads."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"All right, Uncle George, I'll tell her, but it won't have any effect.
 +Philanthropic people lose all sense of humanity.  It is their
 +distinguishing characteristic."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The old gentleman growled approvingly and rang the bell for his
 +servant.  Lord Henry passed up the low arcade into Burlington Street
 +and turned his steps in the direction of Berkeley Square.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +So that was the story of Dorian Gray's parentage.  Crudely as it had
 +been told to him, it had yet stirred him by its suggestion of a
 +strange, almost modern romance.  A beautiful woman risking everything
 +for a mad passion.  A few wild weeks of happiness cut short by a
 +hideous, treacherous crime.  Months of voiceless agony, and then a
 +child born in pain.  The mother snatched away by death, the boy left to
 +solitude and the tyranny of an old and loveless man.  Yes; it was an
 +interesting background.  It posed the lad, made him more perfect, as it
 +were.  Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something
 +tragic.  Worlds had to be in travail, that the meanest flower might
 +blow.... And how charming he had been at dinner the night before, as
 +with startled eyes and lips parted in frightened pleasure he had sat
 +opposite to him at the club, the red candleshades staining to a richer
 +rose the wakening wonder of his face.  Talking to him was like playing
 +upon an exquisite violin.  He answered to every touch and thrill of the
 +bow.... There was something terribly enthralling in the exercise of
 +influence.  No other activity was like it.  To project one's soul into
 +some gracious form, and let it tarry there for a moment; to hear one's
 +own intellectual views echoed back to one with all the added music of
 +passion and youth; to convey one's temperament into another as though
 +it were a subtle fluid or a strange perfume: there was a real joy in
 +that&mdash;perhaps the most satisfying joy left to us in an age so limited
 +and vulgar as our own, an age grossly carnal in its pleasures, and
 +grossly common in its aims.... He was a marvellous type, too, this lad,
 +whom by so curious a chance he had met in Basil's studio, or could be
 +fashioned into a marvellous type, at any rate.  Grace was his, and the
 +white purity of boyhood, and beauty such as old Greek marbles kept for
 +us.  There was nothing that one could not do with him.  He could be
 +made a Titan or a toy.  What a pity it was that such beauty was
 +destined to fade! ...  And Basil?  From a psychological point of view,
 +how interesting he was!  The new manner in art, the fresh mode of
 +looking at life, suggested so strangely by the merely visible presence
 +of one who was unconscious of it all; the silent spirit that dwelt in
 +dim woodland, and walked unseen in open field, suddenly showing
 +herself, Dryadlike and not afraid, because in his soul who sought for
 +her there had been wakened that wonderful vision to which alone are
 +wonderful things revealed; the mere shapes and patterns of things
 +becoming, as it were, refined, and gaining a kind of symbolical value,
 +as though they were themselves patterns of some other and more perfect
 +form whose shadow they made real:  how strange it all was!  He
 +remembered something like it in history.  Was it not Plato, that artist
 +in thought, who had first analyzed it?  Was it not Buonarotti who had
 +carved it in the coloured marbles of a sonnet-sequence? But in our own
 +century it was strange.... Yes; he would try to be to Dorian Gray
 +what, without knowing it, the lad was to the painter who had fashioned
 +the wonderful portrait.  He would seek to dominate him&mdash;had already,
 +indeed, half done so.  He would make that wonderful spirit his own.
 +There was something fascinating in this son of love and death.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Suddenly he stopped and glanced up at the houses.  He found that he had
 +passed his aunt's some distance, and, smiling to himself, turned back.
 +When he entered the somewhat sombre hall, the butler told him that they
 +had gone in to lunch.  He gave one of the footmen his hat and stick and
 +passed into the dining-room.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Late as usual, Harry," cried his aunt, shaking her head at him.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +He invented a facile excuse, and having taken the vacant seat next to
 +her, looked round to see who was there.  Dorian bowed to him shyly from
 +the end of the table, a flush of pleasure stealing into his cheek.
 +Opposite was the Duchess of Harley, a lady of admirable good-nature and
 +good temper, much liked by every one who knew her, and of those ample
 +architectural proportions that in women who are not duchesses are
 +described by contemporary historians as stoutness.  Next to her sat, on
 +her right, Sir Thomas Burdon, a Radical member of Parliament, who
 +followed his leader in public life and in private life followed the
 +best cooks, dining with the Tories and thinking with the Liberals, in
 +accordance with a wise and well-known rule.  The post on her left was
 +occupied by Mr. Erskine of Treadley, an old gentleman of considerable
 +charm and culture, who had fallen, however, into bad habits of silence,
 +having, as he explained once to Lady Agatha, said everything that he
 +had to say before he was thirty.  His own neighbour was Mrs. Vandeleur,
 +one of his aunt's oldest friends, a perfect saint amongst women, but so
 +dreadfully dowdy that she reminded one of a badly bound hymn-book.
 +Fortunately for him she had on the other side Lord Faudel, a most
 +intelligent middle-aged mediocrity, as bald as a ministerial statement
 +in the House of Commons, with whom she was conversing in that intensely
 +earnest manner which is the one unpardonable error, as he remarked once
 +himself, that all really good people fall into, and from which none of
 +them ever quite escape.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"We are talking about poor Dartmoor, Lord Henry," cried the duchess,
 +nodding pleasantly to him across the table.  "Do you think he will
 +really marry this fascinating young person?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I believe she has made up her mind to propose to him, Duchess."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"How dreadful!" exclaimed Lady Agatha.  "Really, some one should
 +interfere."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I am told, on excellent authority, that her father keeps an American
 +dry-goods store," said Sir Thomas Burdon, looking supercilious.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"My uncle has already suggested pork-packing, Sir Thomas."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Dry-goods! What are American dry-goods?" asked the duchess, raising
 +her large hands in wonder and accentuating the verb.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"American novels," answered Lord Henry, helping himself to some quail.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The duchess looked puzzled.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Don't mind him, my dear," whispered Lady Agatha.  "He never means
 +anything that he says."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"When America was discovered," said the Radical member&mdash;and he began to
 +give some wearisome facts.  Like all people who try to exhaust a
 +subject, he exhausted his listeners.  The duchess sighed and exercised
 +her privilege of interruption.  "I wish to goodness it never had been
 +discovered at all!" she exclaimed.  "Really, our girls have no chance
 +nowadays.  It is most unfair."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Perhaps, after all, America never has been discovered," said Mr.
 +Erskine; "I myself would say that it had merely been detected."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Oh! but I have seen specimens of the inhabitants," answered the
 +duchess vaguely.  "I must confess that most of them are extremely
 +pretty.  And they dress well, too.  They get all their dresses in
 +Paris.  I wish I could afford to do the same."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"They say that when good Americans die they go to Paris," chuckled Sir
 +Thomas, who had a large wardrobe of Humour's cast-off clothes.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Really!  And where do bad Americans go to when they die?" inquired the
 +duchess.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"They go to America," murmured Lord Henry.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Sir Thomas frowned.  "I am afraid that your nephew is prejudiced
 +against that great country," he said to Lady Agatha.  "I have travelled
 +all over it in cars provided by the directors, who, in such matters,
 +are extremely civil.  I assure you that it is an education to visit it."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"But must we really see Chicago in order to be educated?" asked Mr.
 +Erskine plaintively.  "I don't feel up to the journey."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Sir Thomas waved his hand.  "Mr. Erskine of Treadley has the world on
 +his shelves. We practical men like to see things, not to read about
 +them. The Americans are an extremely interesting people. They are
 +absolutely reasonable. I think that is their distinguishing
 +characteristic. Yes, Mr. Erskine, an absolutely reasonable people. I
 +assure you there is no nonsense about the Americans."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"How dreadful!" cried Lord Henry.  "I can stand brute force, but brute
 +reason is quite unbearable.  There is something unfair about its use.
 +It is hitting below the intellect."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I do not understand you," said Sir Thomas, growing rather red.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I do, Lord Henry," murmured Mr. Erskine, with a smile.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Paradoxes are all very well in their way...." rejoined the baronet.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Was that a paradox?" asked Mr. Erskine.  "I did not think so.  Perhaps
 +it was.  Well, the way of paradoxes is the way of truth.  To test
 +reality we must see it on the tight rope.  When the verities become
 +acrobats, we can judge them."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Dear me!" said Lady Agatha, "how you men argue!  I am sure I never can
 +make out what you are talking about.  Oh!  Harry, I am quite vexed with
 +you.  Why do you try to persuade our nice Mr. Dorian Gray to give up
 +the East End?  I assure you he would be quite invaluable.  They would
 +love his playing."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I want him to play to me," cried Lord Henry, smiling, and he looked
 +down the table and caught a bright answering glance.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"But they are so unhappy in Whitechapel," continued Lady Agatha.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I can sympathize with everything except suffering," said Lord Henry,
 +shrugging his shoulders.  "I cannot sympathize with that.  It is too
 +ugly, too horrible, too distressing.  There is something terribly
 +morbid in the modern sympathy with pain.  One should sympathize with
 +the colour, the beauty, the joy of life.  The less said about life's
 +sores, the better."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Still, the East End is a very important problem," remarked Sir Thomas
 +with a grave shake of the head.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Quite so," answered the young lord.  "It is the problem of slavery,
 +and we try to solve it by amusing the slaves."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The politician looked at him keenly.  "What change do you propose,
 +then?" he asked.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Lord Henry laughed.  "I don't desire to change anything in England
 +except the weather," he answered.  "I am quite content with philosophic
 +contemplation.  But, as the nineteenth century has gone bankrupt
 +through an over-expenditure of sympathy, I would suggest that we should
 +appeal to science to put us straight.  The advantage of the emotions is
 +that they lead us astray, and the advantage of science is that it is
 +not emotional."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"But we have such grave responsibilities," ventured Mrs. Vandeleur
 +timidly.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Terribly grave," echoed Lady Agatha.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Lord Henry looked over at Mr. Erskine.  "Humanity takes itself too
 +seriously.  It is the world's original sin.  If the caveman had known
 +how to laugh, history would have been different."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You are really very comforting," warbled the duchess.  "I have always
 +felt rather guilty when I came to see your dear aunt, for I take no
 +interest at all in the East End.  For the future I shall be able to
 +look her in the face without a blush."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"A blush is very becoming, Duchess," remarked Lord Henry.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Only when one is young," she answered.  "When an old woman like myself
 +blushes, it is a very bad sign.  Ah!  Lord Henry, I wish you would tell
 +me how to become young again."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +He thought for a moment.  "Can you remember any great error that you
 +committed in your early days, Duchess?" he asked, looking at her across
 +the table.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"A great many, I fear," she cried.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Then commit them over again," he said gravely.  "To get back one's
 +youth, one has merely to repeat one's follies."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"A delightful theory!" she exclaimed.  "I must put it into practice."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"A dangerous theory!" came from Sir Thomas's tight lips.  Lady Agatha
 +shook her head, but could not help being amused.  Mr. Erskine listened.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Yes," he continued, "that is one of the great secrets of life.
 +Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and
 +discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are
 +one's mistakes."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +A laugh ran round the table.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +He played with the idea and grew wilful; tossed it into the air and
 +transformed it; let it escape and recaptured it; made it iridescent
 +with fancy and winged it with paradox.  The praise of folly, as he went
 +on, soared into a philosophy, and philosophy herself became young, and
 +catching the mad music of pleasure, wearing, one might fancy, her
 +wine-stained robe and wreath of ivy, danced like a Bacchante over the
 +hills of life, and mocked the slow Silenus for being sober.  Facts fled
 +before her like frightened forest things.  Her white feet trod the huge
 +press at which wise Omar sits, till the seething grape-juice rose round
 +her bare limbs in waves of purple bubbles, or crawled in red foam over
 +the vat's black, dripping, sloping sides.  It was an extraordinary
 +improvisation.  He felt that the eyes of Dorian Gray were fixed on him,
 +and the consciousness that amongst his audience there was one whose
 +temperament he wished to fascinate seemed to give his wit keenness and
 +to lend colour to his imagination.  He was brilliant, fantastic,
 +irresponsible.  He charmed his listeners out of themselves, and they
 +followed his pipe, laughing.  Dorian Gray never took his gaze off him,
 +but sat like one under a spell, smiles chasing each other over his lips
 +and wonder growing grave in his darkening eyes.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +At last, liveried in the costume of the age, reality entered the room
 +in the shape of a servant to tell the duchess that her carriage was
 +waiting.  She wrung her hands in mock despair.  "How annoying!" she
 +cried.  "I must go.  I have to call for my husband at the club, to take
 +him to some absurd meeting at Willis's Rooms, where he is going to be
 +in the chair.  If I am late he is sure to be furious, and I couldn't
 +have a scene in this bonnet.  It is far too fragile.  A harsh word
 +would ruin it.  No, I must go, dear Agatha.  Good-bye, Lord Henry, you
 +are quite delightful and dreadfully demoralizing.  I am sure I don't
 +know what to say about your views.  You must come and dine with us some
 +night.  Tuesday?  Are you disengaged Tuesday?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"For you I would throw over anybody, Duchess," said Lord Henry with a
 +bow.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Ah! that is very nice, and very wrong of you," she cried; "so mind you
 +come"; and she swept out of the room, followed by Lady Agatha and the
 +other ladies.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +When Lord Henry had sat down again, Mr. Erskine moved round, and taking
 +a chair close to him, placed his hand upon his arm.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You talk books away," he said; "why don't you write one?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I am too fond of reading books to care to write them, Mr. Erskine.  I
 +should like to write a novel certainly, a novel that would be as lovely
 +as a Persian carpet and as unreal.  But there is no literary public in
 +England for anything except newspapers, primers, and encyclopaedias.
 +Of all people in the world the English have the least sense of the
 +beauty of literature."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I fear you are right," answered Mr. Erskine.  "I myself used to have
 +literary ambitions, but I gave them up long ago.  And now, my dear
 +young friend, if you will allow me to call you so, may I ask if you
 +really meant all that you said to us at lunch?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I quite forget what I said," smiled Lord Henry.  "Was it all very bad?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Very bad indeed.  In fact I consider you extremely dangerous, and if
 +anything happens to our good duchess, we shall all look on you as being
 +primarily responsible.  But I should like to talk to you about life.
 +The generation into which I was born was tedious.  Some day, when you
 +are tired of London, come down to Treadley and expound to me your
 +philosophy of pleasure over some admirable Burgundy I am fortunate
 +enough to possess."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I shall be charmed.  A visit to Treadley would be a great privilege.
 +It has a perfect host, and a perfect library."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You will complete it," answered the old gentleman with a courteous
 +bow.  "And now I must bid good-bye to your excellent aunt.  I am due at
 +the Athenaeum.  It is the hour when we sleep there."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"All of you, Mr. Erskine?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Forty of us, in forty arm-chairs. We are practising for an English
 +Academy of Letters."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Lord Henry laughed and rose.  "I am going to the park," he cried.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +As he was passing out of the door, Dorian Gray touched him on the arm.
 +"Let me come with you," he murmured.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"But I thought you had promised Basil Hallward to go and see him,"
 +answered Lord Henry.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I would sooner come with you; yes, I feel I must come with you.  Do
 +let me.  And you will promise to talk to me all the time?  No one talks
 +so wonderfully as you do."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Ah!  I have talked quite enough for to-day," said Lord Henry, smiling.
 +"All I want now is to look at life.  You may come and look at it with
 +me, if you care to."
 +</P>
 +
 +<BR><BR><BR>
 +
 +<A NAME="chap04"></A>
 +<H3 ALIGN="center">
 +CHAPTER 4
 +</H3>
 +
 +<P>
 +One afternoon, a month later, Dorian Gray was reclining in a luxurious
 +arm-chair, in the little library of Lord Henry's house in Mayfair.  It
 +was, in its way, a very charming room, with its high panelled
 +wainscoting of olive-stained oak, its cream-coloured frieze and ceiling
 +of raised plasterwork, and its brickdust felt carpet strewn with silk,
 +long-fringed Persian rugs.  On a tiny satinwood table stood a statuette
 +by Clodion, and beside it lay a copy of Les Cent Nouvelles, bound for
 +Margaret of Valois by Clovis Eve and powdered with the gilt daisies
 +that Queen had selected for her device.  Some large blue china jars and
 +parrot-tulips were ranged on the mantelshelf, and through the small
 +leaded panes of the window streamed the apricot-coloured light of a
 +summer day in London.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Lord Henry had not yet come in.  He was always late on principle, his
 +principle being that punctuality is the thief of time.  So the lad was
 +looking rather sulky, as with listless fingers he turned over the pages
 +of an elaborately illustrated edition of Manon Lescaut that he had
 +found in one of the book-cases. The formal monotonous ticking of the
 +Louis Quatorze clock annoyed him.  Once or twice he thought of going
 +away.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +At last he heard a step outside, and the door opened.  "How late you
 +are, Harry!" he murmured.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I am afraid it is not Harry, Mr. Gray," answered a shrill voice.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +He glanced quickly round and rose to his feet.  "I beg your pardon.  I
 +thought&mdash;"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You thought it was my husband.  It is only his wife.  You must let me
 +introduce myself.  I know you quite well by your photographs.  I think
 +my husband has got seventeen of them."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Not seventeen, Lady Henry?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Well, eighteen, then.  And I saw you with him the other night at the
 +opera."  She laughed nervously as she spoke, and watched him with her
 +vague forget-me-not eyes.  She was a curious woman, whose dresses
 +always looked as if they had been designed in a rage and put on in a
 +tempest.  She was usually in love with somebody, and, as her passion
 +was never returned, she had kept all her illusions.  She tried to look
 +picturesque, but only succeeded in being untidy.  Her name was
 +Victoria, and she had a perfect mania for going to church.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"That was at Lohengrin, Lady Henry, I think?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Yes; it was at dear Lohengrin.  I like Wagner's music better than
 +anybody's. It is so loud that one can talk the whole time without other
 +people hearing what one says.  That is a great advantage, don't you
 +think so, Mr. Gray?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The same nervous staccato laugh broke from her thin lips, and her
 +fingers began to play with a long tortoise-shell paper-knife.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Dorian smiled and shook his head:  "I am afraid I don't think so, Lady
 +Henry.  I never talk during music&mdash;at least, during good music.  If one
 +hears bad music, it is one's duty to drown it in conversation."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Ah! that is one of Harry's views, isn't it, Mr. Gray?  I always hear
 +Harry's views from his friends.  It is the only way I get to know of
 +them.  But you must not think I don't like good music.  I adore it, but
 +I am afraid of it.  It makes me too romantic.  I have simply worshipped
 +pianists&mdash;two at a time, sometimes, Harry tells me.  I don't know what
 +it is about them.  Perhaps it is that they are foreigners.  They all
 +are, ain't they?  Even those that are born in England become foreigners
 +after a time, don't they?  It is so clever of them, and such a
 +compliment to art.  Makes it quite cosmopolitan, doesn't it?  You have
 +never been to any of my parties, have you, Mr. Gray?  You must come.  I
 +can't afford orchids, but I spare no expense in foreigners.  They make
 +one's rooms look so picturesque.  But here is Harry!  Harry, I came in
 +to look for you, to ask you something&mdash;I forget what it was&mdash;and I
 +found Mr. Gray here.  We have had such a pleasant chat about music.  We
 +have quite the same ideas.  No; I think our ideas are quite different.
 +But he has been most pleasant.  I am so glad I've seen him."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I am charmed, my love, quite charmed," said Lord Henry, elevating his
 +dark, crescent-shaped eyebrows and looking at them both with an amused
 +smile.  "So sorry I am late, Dorian.  I went to look after a piece of
 +old brocade in Wardour Street and had to bargain for hours for it.
 +Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I am afraid I must be going," exclaimed Lady Henry, breaking an
 +awkward silence with her silly sudden laugh.  "I have promised to drive
 +with the duchess.  Good-bye, Mr. Gray.  Good-bye, Harry.  You are
 +dining out, I suppose?  So am I. Perhaps I shall see you at Lady
 +Thornbury's."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I dare say, my dear," said Lord Henry, shutting the door behind her
 +as, looking like a bird of paradise that had been out all night in the
 +rain, she flitted out of the room, leaving a faint odour of
 +frangipanni.  Then he lit a cigarette and flung himself down on the
 +sofa.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Never marry a woman with straw-coloured hair, Dorian," he said after a
 +few puffs.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Why, Harry?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Because they are so sentimental."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"But I like sentimental people."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Never marry at all, Dorian.  Men marry because they are tired; women,
 +because they are curious:  both are disappointed."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I don't think I am likely to marry, Harry.  I am too much in love.
 +That is one of your aphorisms.  I am putting it into practice, as I do
 +everything that you say."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Who are you in love with?" asked Lord Henry after a pause.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"With an actress," said Dorian Gray, blushing.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Lord Henry shrugged his shoulders.  "That is a rather commonplace
 +<i>debut</i>."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You would not say so if you saw her, Harry."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Who is she?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Her name is Sibyl Vane."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Never heard of her."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"No one has.  People will some day, however.  She is a genius."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"My dear boy, no woman is a genius.  Women are a decorative sex.  They
 +never have anything to say, but they say it charmingly.  Women
 +represent the triumph of matter over mind, just as men represent the
 +triumph of mind over morals."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Harry, how can you?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"My dear Dorian, it is quite true.  I am analysing women at present, so
 +I ought to know.  The subject is not so abstruse as I thought it was.
 +I find that, ultimately, there are only two kinds of women, the plain
 +and the coloured.  The plain women are very useful.  If you want to
 +gain a reputation for respectability, you have merely to take them down
 +to supper.  The other women are very charming.  They commit one
 +mistake, however.  They paint in order to try and look young.  Our
 +grandmothers painted in order to try and talk brilliantly.  <i>Rouge</i> and
 +<i>esprit</i> used to go together.  That is all over now.  As long as a woman
 +can look ten years younger than her own daughter, she is perfectly
 +satisfied.  As for conversation, there are only five women in London
 +worth talking to, and two of these can't be admitted into decent
 +society.  However, tell me about your genius.  How long have you known
 +her?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Ah!  Harry, your views terrify me."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Never mind that.  How long have you known her?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"About three weeks."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"And where did you come across her?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I will tell you, Harry, but you mustn't be unsympathetic about it.
 +After all, it never would have happened if I had not met you.  You
 +filled me with a wild desire to know everything about life.  For days
 +after I met you, something seemed to throb in my veins.  As I lounged
 +in the park, or strolled down Piccadilly, I used to look at every one
 +who passed me and wonder, with a mad curiosity, what sort of lives they
 +led.  Some of them fascinated me.  Others filled me with terror.  There
 +was an exquisite poison in the air.  I had a passion for sensations....
 +Well, one evening about seven o'clock, I determined to go out in search
 +of some adventure.  I felt that this grey monstrous London of ours,
 +with its myriads of people, its sordid sinners, and its splendid sins,
 +as you once phrased it, must have something in store for me.  I fancied
 +a thousand things.  The mere danger gave me a sense of delight.  I
 +remembered what you had said to me on that wonderful evening when we
 +first dined together, about the search for beauty being the real secret
 +of life.  I don't know what I expected, but I went out and wandered
 +eastward, soon losing my way in a labyrinth of grimy streets and black
 +grassless squares.  About half-past eight I passed by an absurd little
 +theatre, with great flaring gas-jets and gaudy play-bills.  A hideous
 +Jew, in the most amazing waistcoat I ever beheld in my life, was
 +standing at the entrance, smoking a vile cigar.  He had greasy
 +ringlets, and an enormous diamond blazed in the centre of a soiled
 +shirt. 'Have a box, my Lord?' he said, when he saw me, and he took off
 +his hat with an air of gorgeous servility.  There was something about
 +him, Harry, that amused me.  He was such a monster.  You will laugh at
 +me, I know, but I really went in and paid a whole guinea for the
 +stage-box. To the present day I can't make out why I did so; and yet if
 +I hadn't&mdash;my dear Harry, if I hadn't&mdash;I should have missed the greatest
 +romance of my life.  I see you are laughing.  It is horrid of you!"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I am not laughing, Dorian; at least I am not laughing at you.  But you
 +should not say the greatest romance of your life.  You should say the
 +first romance of your life.  You will always be loved, and you will
 +always be in love with love.  A <i>grande passion</i> is the privilege of
 +people who have nothing to do.  That is the one use of the idle classes
 +of a country.  Don't be afraid.  There are exquisite things in store
 +for you.  This is merely the beginning."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Do you think my nature so shallow?" cried Dorian Gray angrily.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"No; I think your nature so deep."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"How do you mean?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"My dear boy, the people who love only once in their lives are really
 +the shallow people.  What they call their loyalty, and their fidelity,
 +I call either the lethargy of custom or their lack of imagination.
 +Faithfulness is to the emotional life what consistency is to the life
 +of the intellect&mdash;simply a confession of failure.  Faithfulness!  I
 +must analyse it some day.  The passion for property is in it.  There
 +are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that
 +others might pick them up.  But I don't want to interrupt you.  Go on
 +with your story."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Well, I found myself seated in a horrid little private box, with a
 +vulgar drop-scene staring me in the face.  I looked out from behind the
 +curtain and surveyed the house.  It was a tawdry affair, all Cupids and
 +cornucopias, like a third-rate wedding-cake. The gallery and pit were
 +fairly full, but the two rows of dingy stalls were quite empty, and
 +there was hardly a person in what I suppose they called the
 +dress-circle.  Women went about with oranges and ginger-beer, and there
 +was a terrible consumption of nuts going on."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"It must have been just like the palmy days of the British drama."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Just like, I should fancy, and very depressing.  I began to wonder
 +what on earth I should do when I caught sight of the play-bill.  What
 +do you think the play was, Harry?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I should think 'The Idiot Boy', or 'Dumb but Innocent' Our fathers
 +used to like that sort of piece, I believe.  The longer I live, Dorian,
 +the more keenly I feel that whatever was good enough for our fathers is
 +not good enough for us.  In art, as in politics, <i>les grandperes ont
 +toujours tort</i>."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"This play was good enough for us, Harry.  It was Romeo and Juliet.  I
 +must admit that I was rather annoyed at the idea of seeing Shakespeare
 +done in such a wretched hole of a place.  Still, I felt interested, in
 +a sort of way.  At any rate, I determined to wait for the first act.
 +There was a dreadful orchestra, presided over by a young Hebrew who sat
 +at a cracked piano, that nearly drove me away, but at last the
 +drop-scene was drawn up and the play began.  Romeo was a stout elderly
 +gentleman, with corked eyebrows, a husky tragedy voice, and a figure
 +like a beer-barrel. Mercutio was almost as bad.  He was played by the
 +low-comedian, who had introduced gags of his own and was on most
 +friendly terms with the pit.  They were both as grotesque as the
 +scenery, and that looked as if it had come out of a country-booth. But
 +Juliet!  Harry, imagine a girl, hardly seventeen years of age, with a
 +little, flowerlike face, a small Greek head with plaited coils of
 +dark-brown hair, eyes that were violet wells of passion, lips that were
 +like the petals of a rose.  She was the loveliest thing I had ever seen
 +in my life.  You said to me once that pathos left you unmoved, but that
 +beauty, mere beauty, could fill your eyes with tears.  I tell you,
 +Harry, I could hardly see this girl for the mist of tears that came
 +across me.  And her voice&mdash;I never heard such a voice.  It was very low
 +at first, with deep mellow notes that seemed to fall singly upon one's
 +ear.  Then it became a little louder, and sounded like a flute or a
 +distant hautboy.  In the garden-scene it had all the tremulous ecstasy
 +that one hears just before dawn when nightingales are singing.  There
 +were moments, later on, when it had the wild passion of violins.  You
 +know how a voice can stir one.  Your voice and the voice of Sibyl Vane
 +are two things that I shall never forget.  When I close my eyes, I hear
 +them, and each of them says something different.  I don't know which to
 +follow.  Why should I not love her?  Harry, I do love her.  She is
 +everything to me in life.  Night after night I go to see her play.  One
 +evening she is Rosalind, and the next evening she is Imogen.  I have
 +seen her die in the gloom of an Italian tomb, sucking the poison from
 +her lover's lips.  I have watched her wandering through the forest of
 +Arden, disguised as a pretty boy in hose and doublet and dainty cap.
 +She has been mad, and has come into the presence of a guilty king, and
 +given him rue to wear and bitter herbs to taste of.  She has been
 +innocent, and the black hands of jealousy have crushed her reedlike
 +throat.  I have seen her in every age and in every costume.  Ordinary
 +women never appeal to one's imagination.  They are limited to their
 +century.  No glamour ever transfigures them.  One knows their minds as
 +easily as one knows their bonnets.  One can always find them.  There is
 +no mystery in any of them.  They ride in the park in the morning and
 +chatter at tea-parties in the afternoon.  They have their stereotyped
 +smile and their fashionable manner.  They are quite obvious.  But an
 +actress!  How different an actress is!  Harry! why didn't you tell me
 +that the only thing worth loving is an actress?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Because I have loved so many of them, Dorian."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Oh, yes, horrid people with dyed hair and painted faces."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Don't run down dyed hair and painted faces.  There is an extraordinary
 +charm in them, sometimes," said Lord Henry.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I wish now I had not told you about Sibyl Vane."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You could not have helped telling me, Dorian.  All through your life
 +you will tell me everything you do."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Yes, Harry, I believe that is true.  I cannot help telling you things.
 +You have a curious influence over me.  If I ever did a crime, I would
 +come and confess it to you.  You would understand me."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"People like you&mdash;the wilful sunbeams of life&mdash;don't commit crimes,
 +Dorian.  But I am much obliged for the compliment, all the same.  And
 +now tell me&mdash;reach me the matches, like a good boy&mdash;thanks&mdash;what are
 +your actual relations with Sibyl Vane?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Dorian Gray leaped to his feet, with flushed cheeks and burning eyes.
 +"Harry!  Sibyl Vane is sacred!"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"It is only the sacred things that are worth touching, Dorian," said
 +Lord Henry, with a strange touch of pathos in his voice.  "But why
 +should you be annoyed?  I suppose she will belong to you some day.
 +When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving one's self, and one
 +always ends by deceiving others.  That is what the world calls a
 +romance.  You know her, at any rate, I suppose?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Of course I know her.  On the first night I was at the theatre, the
 +horrid old Jew came round to the box after the performance was over and
 +offered to take me behind the scenes and introduce me to her.  I was
 +furious with him, and told him that Juliet had been dead for hundreds
 +of years and that her body was lying in a marble tomb in Verona.  I
 +think, from his blank look of amazement, that he was under the
 +impression that I had taken too much champagne, or something."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I am not surprised."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Then he asked me if I wrote for any of the newspapers.  I told him I
 +never even read them.  He seemed terribly disappointed at that, and
 +confided to me that all the dramatic critics were in a conspiracy
 +against him, and that they were every one of them to be bought."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I should not wonder if he was quite right there.  But, on the other
 +hand, judging from their appearance, most of them cannot be at all
 +expensive."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Well, he seemed to think they were beyond his means," laughed Dorian.
 +"By this time, however, the lights were being put out in the theatre,
 +and I had to go.  He wanted me to try some cigars that he strongly
 +recommended.  I declined.  The next night, of course, I arrived at the
 +place again.  When he saw me, he made me a low bow and assured me that
 +I was a munificent patron of art.  He was a most offensive brute,
 +though he had an extraordinary passion for Shakespeare.  He told me
 +once, with an air of pride, that his five bankruptcies were entirely
 +due to 'The Bard,' as he insisted on calling him.  He seemed to think
 +it a distinction."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"It was a distinction, my dear Dorian&mdash;a great distinction.  Most
 +people become bankrupt through having invested too heavily in the prose
 +of life.  To have ruined one's self over poetry is an honour.  But when
 +did you first speak to Miss Sibyl Vane?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"The third night.  She had been playing Rosalind.  I could not help
 +going round.  I had thrown her some flowers, and she had looked at
 +me&mdash;at least I fancied that she had.  The old Jew was persistent.  He
 +seemed determined to take me behind, so I consented.  It was curious my
 +not wanting to know her, wasn't it?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"No; I don't think so."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"My dear Harry, why?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I will tell you some other time.  Now I want to know about the girl."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Sibyl?  Oh, she was so shy and so gentle.  There is something of a
 +child about her.  Her eyes opened wide in exquisite wonder when I told
 +her what I thought of her performance, and she seemed quite unconscious
 +of her power.  I think we were both rather nervous.  The old Jew stood
 +grinning at the doorway of the dusty greenroom, making elaborate
 +speeches about us both, while we stood looking at each other like
 +children.  He would insist on calling me 'My Lord,' so I had to assure
 +Sibyl that I was not anything of the kind.  She said quite simply to
 +me, 'You look more like a prince.  I must call you Prince Charming.'"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Upon my word, Dorian, Miss Sibyl knows how to pay compliments."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You don't understand her, Harry.  She regarded me merely as a person
 +in a play.  She knows nothing of life.  She lives with her mother, a
 +faded tired woman who played Lady Capulet in a sort of magenta
 +dressing-wrapper on the first night, and looks as if she had seen
 +better days."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I know that look.  It depresses me," murmured Lord Henry, examining
 +his rings.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"The Jew wanted to tell me her history, but I said it did not interest
 +me."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You were quite right.  There is always something infinitely mean about
 +other people's tragedies."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Sibyl is the only thing I care about.  What is it to me where she came
 +from?  From her little head to her little feet, she is absolutely and
 +entirely divine.  Every night of my life I go to see her act, and every
 +night she is more marvellous."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"That is the reason, I suppose, that you never dine with me now.  I
 +thought you must have some curious romance on hand.  You have; but it
 +is not quite what I expected."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"My dear Harry, we either lunch or sup together every day, and I have
 +been to the opera with you several times," said Dorian, opening his
 +blue eyes in wonder.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You always come dreadfully late."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Well, I can't help going to see Sibyl play," he cried, "even if it is
 +only for a single act.  I get hungry for her presence; and when I think
 +of the wonderful soul that is hidden away in that little ivory body, I
 +am filled with awe."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You can dine with me to-night, Dorian, can't you?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +He shook his head.  "To-night she is Imogen," he answered, "and
 +to-morrow night she will be Juliet."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"When is she Sibyl Vane?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Never."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I congratulate you."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"How horrid you are!  She is all the great heroines of the world in
 +one.  She is more than an individual.  You laugh, but I tell you she
 +has genius.  I love her, and I must make her love me.  You, who know
 +all the secrets of life, tell me how to charm Sibyl Vane to love me!  I
 +want to make Romeo jealous.  I want the dead lovers of the world to
 +hear our laughter and grow sad.  I want a breath of our passion to stir
 +their dust into consciousness, to wake their ashes into pain.  My God,
 +Harry, how I worship her!"  He was walking up and down the room as he
 +spoke.  Hectic spots of red burned on his cheeks.  He was terribly
 +excited.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Lord Henry watched him with a subtle sense of pleasure.  How different
 +he was now from the shy frightened boy he had met in Basil Hallward's
 +studio!  His nature had developed like a flower, had borne blossoms of
 +scarlet flame.  Out of its secret hiding-place had crept his soul, and
 +desire had come to meet it on the way.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"And what do you propose to do?" said Lord Henry at last.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I want you and Basil to come with me some night and see her act.  I
 +have not the slightest fear of the result.  You are certain to
 +acknowledge her genius.  Then we must get her out of the Jew's hands.
 +She is bound to him for three years&mdash;at least for two years and eight
 +months&mdash;from the present time.  I shall have to pay him something, of
 +course.  When all that is settled, I shall take a West End theatre and
 +bring her out properly.  She will make the world as mad as she has made
 +me."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"That would be impossible, my dear boy."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Yes, she will.  She has not merely art, consummate art-instinct, in
 +her, but she has personality also; and you have often told me that it
 +is personalities, not principles, that move the age."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Well, what night shall we go?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Let me see.  To-day is Tuesday.  Let us fix to-morrow. She plays
 +Juliet to-morrow."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"All right.  The Bristol at eight o'clock; and I will get Basil."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Not eight, Harry, please.  Half-past six.  We must be there before the
 +curtain rises.  You must see her in the first act, where she meets
 +Romeo."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Half-past six!  What an hour!  It will be like having a meat-tea, or
 +reading an English novel.  It must be seven.  No gentleman dines before
 +seven.  Shall you see Basil between this and then?  Or shall I write to
 +him?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Dear Basil!  I have not laid eyes on him for a week.  It is rather
 +horrid of me, as he has sent me my portrait in the most wonderful
 +frame, specially designed by himself, and, though I am a little jealous
 +of the picture for being a whole month younger than I am, I must admit
 +that I delight in it.  Perhaps you had better write to him.  I don't
 +want to see him alone.  He says things that annoy me.  He gives me good
 +advice."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Lord Henry smiled.  "People are very fond of giving away what they need
 +most themselves.  It is what I call the depth of generosity."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Oh, Basil is the best of fellows, but he seems to me to be just a bit
 +of a Philistine.  Since I have known you, Harry, I have discovered
 +that."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Basil, my dear boy, puts everything that is charming in him into his
 +work.  The consequence is that he has nothing left for life but his
 +prejudices, his principles, and his common sense.  The only artists I
 +have ever known who are personally delightful are bad artists.  Good
 +artists exist simply in what they make, and consequently are perfectly
 +uninteresting in what they are.  A great poet, a really great poet, is
 +the most unpoetical of all creatures.  But inferior poets are
 +absolutely fascinating.  The worse their rhymes are, the more
 +picturesque they look.  The mere fact of having published a book of
 +second-rate sonnets makes a man quite irresistible.  He lives the
 +poetry that he cannot write.  The others write the poetry that they
 +dare not realize."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I wonder is that really so, Harry?" said Dorian Gray, putting some
 +perfume on his handkerchief out of a large, gold-topped bottle that
 +stood on the table.  "It must be, if you say it.  And now I am off.
 +Imogen is waiting for me.  Don't forget about to-morrow. Good-bye."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +As he left the room, Lord Henry's heavy eyelids drooped, and he began
 +to think.  Certainly few people had ever interested him so much as
 +Dorian Gray, and yet the lad's mad adoration of some one else caused
 +him not the slightest pang of annoyance or jealousy.  He was pleased by
 +it.  It made him a more interesting study.  He had been always
 +enthralled by the methods of natural science, but the ordinary
 +subject-matter of that science had seemed to him trivial and of no
 +import.  And so he had begun by vivisecting himself, as he had ended by
 +vivisecting others.  Human life&mdash;that appeared to him the one thing
 +worth investigating.  Compared to it there was nothing else of any
 +value.  It was true that as one watched life in its curious crucible of
 +pain and pleasure, one could not wear over one's face a mask of glass,
 +nor keep the sulphurous fumes from troubling the brain and making the
 +imagination turbid with monstrous fancies and misshapen dreams.  There
 +were poisons so subtle that to know their properties one had to sicken
 +of them.  There were maladies so strange that one had to pass through
 +them if one sought to understand their nature.  And, yet, what a great
 +reward one received!  How wonderful the whole world became to one!  To
 +note the curious hard logic of passion, and the emotional coloured life
 +of the intellect&mdash;to observe where they met, and where they separated,
 +at what point they were in unison, and at what point they were at
 +discord&mdash;there was a delight in that!  What matter what the cost was?
 +One could never pay too high a price for any sensation.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +He was conscious&mdash;and the thought brought a gleam of pleasure into his
 +brown agate eyes&mdash;that it was through certain words of his, musical
 +words said with musical utterance, that Dorian Gray's soul had turned
 +to this white girl and bowed in worship before her.  To a large extent
 +the lad was his own creation.  He had made him premature.  That was
 +something.  Ordinary people waited till life disclosed to them its
 +secrets, but to the few, to the elect, the mysteries of life were
 +revealed before the veil was drawn away.  Sometimes this was the effect
 +of art, and chiefly of the art of literature, which dealt immediately
 +with the passions and the intellect.  But now and then a complex
 +personality took the place and assumed the office of art, was indeed,
 +in its way, a real work of art, life having its elaborate masterpieces,
 +just as poetry has, or sculpture, or painting.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Yes, the lad was premature.  He was gathering his harvest while it was
 +yet spring.  The pulse and passion of youth were in him, but he was
 +becoming self-conscious. It was delightful to watch him.  With his
 +beautiful face, and his beautiful soul, he was a thing to wonder at.
 +It was no matter how it all ended, or was destined to end.  He was like
 +one of those gracious figures in a pageant or a play, whose joys seem
 +to be remote from one, but whose sorrows stir one's sense of beauty,
 +and whose wounds are like red roses.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Soul and body, body and soul&mdash;how mysterious they were!  There was
 +animalism in the soul, and the body had its moments of spirituality.
 +The senses could refine, and the intellect could degrade.  Who could
 +say where the fleshly impulse ceased, or the psychical impulse began?
 +How shallow were the arbitrary definitions of ordinary psychologists!
 +And yet how difficult to decide between the claims of the various
 +schools!  Was the soul a shadow seated in the house of sin?  Or was the
 +body really in the soul, as Giordano Bruno thought?  The separation of
 +spirit from matter was a mystery, and the union of spirit with matter
 +was a mystery also.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +He began to wonder whether we could ever make psychology so absolute a
 +science that each little spring of life would be revealed to us.  As it
 +was, we always misunderstood ourselves and rarely understood others.
 +Experience was of no ethical value.  It was merely the name men gave to
 +their mistakes.  Moralists had, as a rule, regarded it as a mode of
 +warning, had claimed for it a certain ethical efficacy in the formation
 +of character, had praised it as something that taught us what to follow
 +and showed us what to avoid.  But there was no motive power in
 +experience.  It was as little of an active cause as conscience itself.
 +All that it really demonstrated was that our future would be the same
 +as our past, and that the sin we had done once, and with loathing, we
 +would do many times, and with joy.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +It was clear to him that the experimental method was the only method by
 +which one could arrive at any scientific analysis of the passions; and
 +certainly Dorian Gray was a subject made to his hand, and seemed to
 +promise rich and fruitful results.  His sudden mad love for Sibyl Vane
 +was a psychological phenomenon of no small interest.  There was no
 +doubt that curiosity had much to do with it, curiosity and the desire
 +for new experiences, yet it was not a simple, but rather a very complex
 +passion.  What there was in it of the purely sensuous instinct of
 +boyhood had been transformed by the workings of the imagination,
 +changed into something that seemed to the lad himself to be remote from
 +sense, and was for that very reason all the more dangerous.  It was the
 +passions about whose origin we deceived ourselves that tyrannized most
 +strongly over us.  Our weakest motives were those of whose nature we
 +were conscious.  It often happened that when we thought we were
 +experimenting on others we were really experimenting on ourselves.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +While Lord Henry sat dreaming on these things, a knock came to the
 +door, and his valet entered and reminded him it was time to dress for
 +dinner.  He got up and looked out into the street.  The sunset had
 +smitten into scarlet gold the upper windows of the houses opposite.
 +The panes glowed like plates of heated metal.  The sky above was like a
 +faded rose.  He thought of his friend's young fiery-coloured life and
 +wondered how it was all going to end.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +When he arrived home, about half-past twelve o'clock, he saw a telegram
 +lying on the hall table.  He opened it and found it was from Dorian
 +Gray.  It was to tell him that he was engaged to be married to Sibyl
 +Vane.
 +</P>
 +
 +<BR><BR><BR>
 +
 +<A NAME="chap05"></A>
 +<H3 ALIGN="center">
 +CHAPTER 5
 +</H3>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Mother, Mother, I am so happy!" whispered the girl, burying her face
 +in the lap of the faded, tired-looking woman who, with back turned to
 +the shrill intrusive light, was sitting in the one arm-chair that their
 +dingy sitting-room contained.  "I am so happy!" she repeated, "and you
 +must be happy, too!"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Mrs. Vane winced and put her thin, bismuth-whitened hands on her
 +daughter's head.  "Happy!" she echoed, "I am only happy, Sibyl, when I
 +see you act.  You must not think of anything but your acting.  Mr.
 +Isaacs has been very good to us, and we owe him money."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The girl looked up and pouted.  "Money, Mother?" she cried, "what does
 +money matter?  Love is more than money."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Mr. Isaacs has advanced us fifty pounds to pay off our debts and to
 +get a proper outfit for James.  You must not forget that, Sibyl.  Fifty
 +pounds is a very large sum.  Mr. Isaacs has been most considerate."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"He is not a gentleman, Mother, and I hate the way he talks to me,"
 +said the girl, rising to her feet and going over to the window.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I don't know how we could manage without him," answered the elder
 +woman querulously.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Sibyl Vane tossed her head and laughed.  "We don't want him any more,
 +Mother.  Prince Charming rules life for us now." Then she paused.  A
 +rose shook in her blood and shadowed her cheeks.  Quick breath parted
 +the petals of her lips.  They trembled.  Some southern wind of passion
 +swept over her and stirred the dainty folds of her dress.  "I love
 +him," she said simply.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Foolish child! foolish child!" was the parrot-phrase flung in answer.
 +The waving of crooked, false-jewelled fingers gave grotesqueness to the
 +words.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The girl laughed again.  The joy of a caged bird was in her voice.  Her
 +eyes caught the melody and echoed it in radiance, then closed for a
 +moment, as though to hide their secret.  When they opened, the mist of
 +a dream had passed across them.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Thin-lipped wisdom spoke at her from the worn chair, hinted at
 +prudence, quoted from that book of cowardice whose author apes the name
 +of common sense.  She did not listen.  She was free in her prison of
 +passion.  Her prince, Prince Charming, was with her.  She had called on
 +memory to remake him.  She had sent her soul to search for him, and it
 +had brought him back.  His kiss burned again upon her mouth.  Her
 +eyelids were warm with his breath.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Then wisdom altered its method and spoke of espial and discovery.  This
 +young man might be rich.  If so, marriage should be thought of.
 +Against the shell of her ear broke the waves of worldly cunning.  The
 +arrows of craft shot by her.  She saw the thin lips moving, and smiled.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Suddenly she felt the need to speak.  The wordy silence troubled her.
 +"Mother, Mother," she cried, "why does he love me so much?  I know why
 +I love him.  I love him because he is like what love himself should be.
 +But what does he see in me?  I am not worthy of him.  And yet&mdash;why, I
 +cannot tell&mdash;though I feel so much beneath him, I don't feel humble.  I
 +feel proud, terribly proud.  Mother, did you love my father as I love
 +Prince Charming?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The elder woman grew pale beneath the coarse powder that daubed her
 +cheeks, and her dry lips twitched with a spasm of pain.  Sybil rushed
 +to her, flung her arms round her neck, and kissed her.  "Forgive me,
 +Mother.  I know it pains you to talk about our father.  But it only
 +pains you because you loved him so much.  Don't look so sad.  I am as
 +happy to-day as you were twenty years ago.  Ah! let me be happy for
 +ever!"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"My child, you are far too young to think of falling in love.  Besides,
 +what do you know of this young man?  You don't even know his name.  The
 +whole thing is most inconvenient, and really, when James is going away
 +to Australia, and I have so much to think of, I must say that you
 +should have shown more consideration.  However, as I said before, if he
 +is rich ..."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Ah!  Mother, Mother, let me be happy!"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Mrs. Vane glanced at her, and with one of those false theatrical
 +gestures that so often become a mode of second nature to a
 +stage-player, clasped her in her arms.  At this moment, the door opened
 +and a young lad with rough brown hair came into the room.  He was
 +thick-set of figure, and his hands and feet were large and somewhat
 +clumsy in movement.  He was not so finely bred as his sister.  One
 +would hardly have guessed the close relationship that existed between
 +them.  Mrs. Vane fixed her eyes on him and intensified her smile.  She
 +mentally elevated her son to the dignity of an audience.  She felt sure
 +that the <i>tableau</i> was interesting.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You might keep some of your kisses for me, Sibyl, I think," said the
 +lad with a good-natured grumble.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Ah! but you don't like being kissed, Jim," she cried.  "You are a
 +dreadful old bear."  And she ran across the room and hugged him.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +James Vane looked into his sister's face with tenderness.  "I want you
 +to come out with me for a walk, Sibyl.  I don't suppose I shall ever
 +see this horrid London again.  I am sure I don't want to."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"My son, don't say such dreadful things," murmured Mrs. Vane, taking up
 +a tawdry theatrical dress, with a sigh, and beginning to patch it.  She
 +felt a little disappointed that he had not joined the group.  It would
 +have increased the theatrical picturesqueness of the situation.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Why not, Mother?  I mean it."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You pain me, my son.  I trust you will return from Australia in a
 +position of affluence.  I believe there is no society of any kind in
 +the Colonies&mdash;nothing that I would call society&mdash;so when you have made
 +your fortune, you must come back and assert yourself in London."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Society!" muttered the lad.  "I don't want to know anything about
 +that.  I should like to make some money to take you and Sibyl off the
 +stage.  I hate it."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Oh, Jim!" said Sibyl, laughing, "how unkind of you!  But are you
 +really going for a walk with me?  That will be nice!  I was afraid you
 +were going to say good-bye to some of your friends&mdash;to Tom Hardy, who
 +gave you that hideous pipe, or Ned Langton, who makes fun of you for
 +smoking it.  It is very sweet of you to let me have your last
 +afternoon.  Where shall we go?  Let us go to the park."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I am too shabby," he answered, frowning.  "Only swell people go to the
 +park."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Nonsense, Jim," she whispered, stroking the sleeve of his coat.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +He hesitated for a moment.  "Very well," he said at last, "but don't be
 +too long dressing."  She danced out of the door.  One could hear her
 +singing as she ran upstairs.  Her little feet pattered overhead.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +He walked up and down the room two or three times.  Then he turned to
 +the still figure in the chair.  "Mother, are my things ready?" he asked.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Quite ready, James," she answered, keeping her eyes on her work.  For
 +some months past she had felt ill at ease when she was alone with this
 +rough stern son of hers.  Her shallow secret nature was troubled when
 +their eyes met.  She used to wonder if he suspected anything.  The
 +silence, for he made no other observation, became intolerable to her.
 +She began to complain.  Women defend themselves by attacking, just as
 +they attack by sudden and strange surrenders.  "I hope you will be
 +contented, James, with your sea-faring life," she said.  "You must
 +remember that it is your own choice.  You might have entered a
 +solicitor's office.  Solicitors are a very respectable class, and in
 +the country often dine with the best families."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I hate offices, and I hate clerks," he replied.  "But you are quite
 +right.  I have chosen my own life.  All I say is, watch over Sibyl.
 +Don't let her come to any harm.  Mother, you must watch over her."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"James, you really talk very strangely.  Of course I watch over Sibyl."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I hear a gentleman comes every night to the theatre and goes behind to
 +talk to her.  Is that right?  What about that?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You are speaking about things you don't understand, James.  In the
 +profession we are accustomed to receive a great deal of most gratifying
 +attention.  I myself used to receive many bouquets at one time.  That
 +was when acting was really understood.  As for Sibyl, I do not know at
 +present whether her attachment is serious or not.  But there is no
 +doubt that the young man in question is a perfect gentleman.  He is
 +always most polite to me.  Besides, he has the appearance of being
 +rich, and the flowers he sends are lovely."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You don't know his name, though," said the lad harshly.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"No," answered his mother with a placid expression in her face.  "He
 +has not yet revealed his real name.  I think it is quite romantic of
 +him.  He is probably a member of the aristocracy."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +James Vane bit his lip.  "Watch over Sibyl, Mother," he cried, "watch
 +over her."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"My son, you distress me very much.  Sibyl is always under my special
 +care.  Of course, if this gentleman is wealthy, there is no reason why
 +she should not contract an alliance with him.  I trust he is one of the
 +aristocracy.  He has all the appearance of it, I must say.  It might be
 +a most brilliant marriage for Sibyl.  They would make a charming
 +couple.  His good looks are really quite remarkable; everybody notices
 +them."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The lad muttered something to himself and drummed on the window-pane
 +with his coarse fingers.  He had just turned round to say something
 +when the door opened and Sibyl ran in.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"How serious you both are!" she cried.  "What is the matter?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Nothing," he answered.  "I suppose one must be serious sometimes.
 +Good-bye, Mother; I will have my dinner at five o'clock. Everything is
 +packed, except my shirts, so you need not trouble."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Good-bye, my son," she answered with a bow of strained stateliness.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +She was extremely annoyed at the tone he had adopted with her, and
 +there was something in his look that had made her feel afraid.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Kiss me, Mother," said the girl.  Her flowerlike lips touched the
 +withered cheek and warmed its frost.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"My child! my child!" cried Mrs. Vane, looking up to the ceiling in
 +search of an imaginary gallery.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Come, Sibyl," said her brother impatiently.  He hated his mother's
 +affectations.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +They went out into the flickering, wind-blown sunlight and strolled
 +down the dreary Euston Road.  The passersby glanced in wonder at the
 +sullen heavy youth who, in coarse, ill-fitting clothes, was in the
 +company of such a graceful, refined-looking girl.  He was like a common
 +gardener walking with a rose.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Jim frowned from time to time when he caught the inquisitive glance of
 +some stranger.  He had that dislike of being stared at, which comes on
 +geniuses late in life and never leaves the commonplace.  Sibyl,
 +however, was quite unconscious of the effect she was producing.  Her
 +love was trembling in laughter on her lips.  She was thinking of Prince
 +Charming, and, that she might think of him all the more, she did not
 +talk of him, but prattled on about the ship in which Jim was going to
 +sail, about the gold he was certain to find, about the wonderful
 +heiress whose life he was to save from the wicked, red-shirted
 +bushrangers.  For he was not to remain a sailor, or a supercargo, or
 +whatever he was going to be.  Oh, no!  A sailor's existence was
 +dreadful.  Fancy being cooped up in a horrid ship, with the hoarse,
 +hump-backed waves trying to get in, and a black wind blowing the masts
 +down and tearing the sails into long screaming ribands!  He was to
 +leave the vessel at Melbourne, bid a polite good-bye to the captain,
 +and go off at once to the gold-fields. Before a week was over he was to
 +come across a large nugget of pure gold, the largest nugget that had
 +ever been discovered, and bring it down to the coast in a waggon
 +guarded by six mounted policemen.  The bushrangers were to attack them
 +three times, and be defeated with immense slaughter.  Or, no.  He was
 +not to go to the gold-fields at all.  They were horrid places, where
 +men got intoxicated, and shot each other in bar-rooms, and used bad
 +language.  He was to be a nice sheep-farmer, and one evening, as he was
 +riding home, he was to see the beautiful heiress being carried off by a
 +robber on a black horse, and give chase, and rescue her.  Of course,
 +she would fall in love with him, and he with her, and they would get
 +married, and come home, and live in an immense house in London.  Yes,
 +there were delightful things in store for him.  But he must be very
 +good, and not lose his temper, or spend his money foolishly.  She was
 +only a year older than he was, but she knew so much more of life.  He
 +must be sure, also, to write to her by every mail, and to say his
 +prayers each night before he went to sleep.  God was very good, and
 +would watch over him.  She would pray for him, too, and in a few years
 +he would come back quite rich and happy.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The lad listened sulkily to her and made no answer.  He was heart-sick
 +at leaving home.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Yet it was not this alone that made him gloomy and morose.
 +Inexperienced though he was, he had still a strong sense of the danger
 +of Sibyl's position.  This young dandy who was making love to her could
 +mean her no good.  He was a gentleman, and he hated him for that, hated
 +him through some curious race-instinct for which he could not account,
 +and which for that reason was all the more dominant within him.  He was
 +conscious also of the shallowness and vanity of his mother's nature,
 +and in that saw infinite peril for Sibyl and Sibyl's happiness.
 +Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge
 +them; sometimes they forgive them.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +His mother!  He had something on his mind to ask of her, something that
 +he had brooded on for many months of silence.  A chance phrase that he
 +had heard at the theatre, a whispered sneer that had reached his ears
 +one night as he waited at the stage-door, had set loose a train of
 +horrible thoughts.  He remembered it as if it had been the lash of a
 +hunting-crop across his face.  His brows knit together into a wedge-like
 +furrow, and with a twitch of pain he bit his underlip.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You are not listening to a word I am saying, Jim," cried Sibyl, "and I
 +am making the most delightful plans for your future.  Do say something."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"What do you want me to say?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Oh! that you will be a good boy and not forget us," she answered,
 +smiling at him.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +He shrugged his shoulders.  "You are more likely to forget me than I am
 +to forget you, Sibyl."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +She flushed.  "What do you mean, Jim?" she asked.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You have a new friend, I hear.  Who is he?  Why have you not told me
 +about him?  He means you no good."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Stop, Jim!" she exclaimed.  "You must not say anything against him.  I
 +love him."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Why, you don't even know his name," answered the lad.  "Who is he?  I
 +have a right to know."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"He is called Prince Charming.  Don't you like the name.  Oh! you silly
 +boy! you should never forget it.  If you only saw him, you would think
 +him the most wonderful person in the world.  Some day you will meet
 +him&mdash;when you come back from Australia.  You will like him so much.
 +Everybody likes him, and I ... love him.  I wish you could come to the
 +theatre to-night. He is going to be there, and I am to play Juliet.
 +Oh! how I shall play it!  Fancy, Jim, to be in love and play Juliet!
 +To have him sitting there!  To play for his delight!  I am afraid I may
 +frighten the company, frighten or enthrall them.  To be in love is to
 +surpass one's self.  Poor dreadful Mr. Isaacs will be shouting 'genius'
 +to his loafers at the bar.  He has preached me as a dogma; to-night he
 +will announce me as a revelation.  I feel it.  And it is all his, his
 +only, Prince Charming, my wonderful lover, my god of graces.  But I am
 +poor beside him.  Poor?  What does that matter?  When poverty creeps in
 +at the door, love flies in through the window.  Our proverbs want
 +rewriting.  They were made in winter, and it is summer now; spring-time
 +for me, I think, a very dance of blossoms in blue skies."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"He is a gentleman," said the lad sullenly.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"A prince!" she cried musically.  "What more do you want?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"He wants to enslave you."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I shudder at the thought of being free."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I want you to beware of him."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"To see him is to worship him; to know him is to trust him."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Sibyl, you are mad about him."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +She laughed and took his arm.  "You dear old Jim, you talk as if you
 +were a hundred.  Some day you will be in love yourself.  Then you will
 +know what it is.  Don't look so sulky.  Surely you should be glad to
 +think that, though you are going away, you leave me happier than I have
 +ever been before.  Life has been hard for us both, terribly hard and
 +difficult.  But it will be different now.  You are going to a new
 +world, and I have found one.  Here are two chairs; let us sit down and
 +see the smart people go by."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +They took their seats amidst a crowd of watchers.  The tulip-beds
 +across the road flamed like throbbing rings of fire.  A white
 +dust&mdash;tremulous cloud of orris-root it seemed&mdash;hung in the panting air.
 +The brightly coloured parasols danced and dipped like monstrous
 +butterflies.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +She made her brother talk of himself, his hopes, his prospects.  He
 +spoke slowly and with effort.  They passed words to each other as
 +players at a game pass counters.  Sibyl felt oppressed.  She could not
 +communicate her joy.  A faint smile curving that sullen mouth was all
 +the echo she could win.  After some time she became silent.  Suddenly
 +she caught a glimpse of golden hair and laughing lips, and in an open
 +carriage with two ladies Dorian Gray drove past.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +She started to her feet.  "There he is!" she cried.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Who?" said Jim Vane.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Prince Charming," she answered, looking after the victoria.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +He jumped up and seized her roughly by the arm.  "Show him to me.
 +Which is he?  Point him out.  I must see him!" he exclaimed; but at
 +that moment the Duke of Berwick's four-in-hand came between, and when
 +it had left the space clear, the carriage had swept out of the park.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"He is gone," murmured Sibyl sadly.  "I wish you had seen him."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I wish I had, for as sure as there is a God in heaven, if he ever does
 +you any wrong, I shall kill him."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +She looked at him in horror.  He repeated his words.  They cut the air
 +like a dagger.  The people round began to gape.  A lady standing close
 +to her tittered.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Come away, Jim; come away," she whispered.  He followed her doggedly
 +as she passed through the crowd.  He felt glad at what he had said.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +When they reached the Achilles Statue, she turned round.  There was
 +pity in her eyes that became laughter on her lips.  She shook her head
 +at him.  "You are foolish, Jim, utterly foolish; a bad-tempered boy,
 +that is all.  How can you say such horrible things?  You don't know
 +what you are talking about.  You are simply jealous and unkind.  Ah!  I
 +wish you would fall in love.  Love makes people good, and what you said
 +was wicked."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I am sixteen," he answered, "and I know what I am about.  Mother is no
 +help to you.  She doesn't understand how to look after you.  I wish now
 +that I was not going to Australia at all.  I have a great mind to chuck
 +the whole thing up.  I would, if my articles hadn't been signed."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Oh, don't be so serious, Jim.  You are like one of the heroes of those
 +silly melodramas Mother used to be so fond of acting in.  I am not
 +going to quarrel with you.  I have seen him, and oh! to see him is
 +perfect happiness.  We won't quarrel.  I know you would never harm any
 +one I love, would you?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Not as long as you love him, I suppose," was the sullen answer.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I shall love him for ever!" she cried.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"And he?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"For ever, too!"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"He had better."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +She shrank from him.  Then she laughed and put her hand on his arm.  He
 +was merely a boy.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +At the Marble Arch they hailed an omnibus, which left them close to
 +their shabby home in the Euston Road.  It was after five o'clock, and
 +Sibyl had to lie down for a couple of hours before acting.  Jim
 +insisted that she should do so.  He said that he would sooner part with
 +her when their mother was not present.  She would be sure to make a
 +scene, and he detested scenes of every kind.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +In Sybil's own room they parted.  There was jealousy in the lad's
 +heart, and a fierce murderous hatred of the stranger who, as it seemed
 +to him, had come between them.  Yet, when her arms were flung round his
 +neck, and her fingers strayed through his hair, he softened and kissed
 +her with real affection.  There were tears in his eyes as he went
 +downstairs.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +His mother was waiting for him below.  She grumbled at his
 +unpunctuality, as he entered.  He made no answer, but sat down to his
 +meagre meal.  The flies buzzed round the table and crawled over the
 +stained cloth.  Through the rumble of omnibuses, and the clatter of
 +street-cabs, he could hear the droning voice devouring each minute that
 +was left to him.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +After some time, he thrust away his plate and put his head in his
 +hands.  He felt that he had a right to know.  It should have been told
 +to him before, if it was as he suspected.  Leaden with fear, his mother
 +watched him.  Words dropped mechanically from her lips.  A tattered
 +lace handkerchief twitched in her fingers.  When the clock struck six,
 +he got up and went to the door.  Then he turned back and looked at her.
 +Their eyes met.  In hers he saw a wild appeal for mercy.  It enraged
 +him.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Mother, I have something to ask you," he said.  Her eyes wandered
 +vaguely about the room.  She made no answer.  "Tell me the truth.  I
 +have a right to know.  Were you married to my father?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +She heaved a deep sigh.  It was a sigh of relief.  The terrible moment,
 +the moment that night and day, for weeks and months, she had dreaded,
 +had come at last, and yet she felt no terror.  Indeed, in some measure
 +it was a disappointment to her.  The vulgar directness of the question
 +called for a direct answer.  The situation had not been gradually led
 +up to.  It was crude.  It reminded her of a bad rehearsal.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"No," she answered, wondering at the harsh simplicity of life.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"My father was a scoundrel then!" cried the lad, clenching his fists.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +She shook her head.  "I knew he was not free.  We loved each other very
 +much.  If he had lived, he would have made provision for us.  Don't
 +speak against him, my son.  He was your father, and a gentleman.
 +Indeed, he was highly connected."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +An oath broke from his lips.  "I don't care for myself," he exclaimed,
 +"but don't let Sibyl.... It is a gentleman, isn't it, who is in love
 +with her, or says he is?  Highly connected, too, I suppose."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +For a moment a hideous sense of humiliation came over the woman.  Her
 +head drooped.  She wiped her eyes with shaking hands.  "Sibyl has a
 +mother," she murmured; "I had none."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The lad was touched.  He went towards her, and stooping down, he kissed
 +her.  "I am sorry if I have pained you by asking about my father," he
 +said, "but I could not help it.  I must go now.  Good-bye. Don't forget
 +that you will have only one child now to look after, and believe me
 +that if this man wrongs my sister, I will find out who he is, track him
 +down, and kill him like a dog.  I swear it."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The exaggerated folly of the threat, the passionate gesture that
 +accompanied it, the mad melodramatic words, made life seem more vivid
 +to her.  She was familiar with the atmosphere.  She breathed more
 +freely, and for the first time for many months she really admired her
 +son.  She would have liked to have continued the scene on the same
 +emotional scale, but he cut her short.  Trunks had to be carried down
 +and mufflers looked for.  The lodging-house drudge bustled in and out.
 +There was the bargaining with the cabman.  The moment was lost in
 +vulgar details.  It was with a renewed feeling of disappointment that
 +she waved the tattered lace handkerchief from the window, as her son
 +drove away.  She was conscious that a great opportunity had been
 +wasted.  She consoled herself by telling Sibyl how desolate she felt
 +her life would be, now that she had only one child to look after.  She
 +remembered the phrase.  It had pleased her.  Of the threat she said
 +nothing.  It was vividly and dramatically expressed.  She felt that
 +they would all laugh at it some day.
 +</P>
 +
 +<BR><BR><BR>
 +
 +<A NAME="chap06"></A>
 +<H3 ALIGN="center">
 +CHAPTER 6
 +</H3>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I suppose you have heard the news, Basil?" said Lord Henry that
 +evening as Hallward was shown into a little private room at the Bristol
 +where dinner had been laid for three.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"No, Harry," answered the artist, giving his hat and coat to the bowing
 +waiter.  "What is it?  Nothing about politics, I hope!  They don't
 +interest me.  There is hardly a single person in the House of Commons
 +worth painting, though many of them would be the better for a little
 +whitewashing."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Dorian Gray is engaged to be married," said Lord Henry, watching him
 +as he spoke.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Hallward started and then frowned.  "Dorian engaged to be married!" he
 +cried.  "Impossible!"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"It is perfectly true."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"To whom?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"To some little actress or other."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I can't believe it.  Dorian is far too sensible."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Dorian is far too wise not to do foolish things now and then, my dear
 +Basil."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Marriage is hardly a thing that one can do now and then, Harry."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Except in America," rejoined Lord Henry languidly.  "But I didn't say
 +he was married.  I said he was engaged to be married.  There is a great
 +difference.  I have a distinct remembrance of being married, but I have
 +no recollection at all of being engaged.  I am inclined to think that I
 +never was engaged."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"But think of Dorian's birth, and position, and wealth.  It would be
 +absurd for him to marry so much beneath him."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"If you want to make him marry this girl, tell him that, Basil.  He is
 +sure to do it, then.  Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it
 +is always from the noblest motives."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I hope the girl is good, Harry.  I don't want to see Dorian tied to
 +some vile creature, who might degrade his nature and ruin his
 +intellect."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Oh, she is better than good&mdash;she is beautiful," murmured Lord Henry,
 +sipping a glass of vermouth and orange-bitters. "Dorian says she is
 +beautiful, and he is not often wrong about things of that kind.  Your
 +portrait of him has quickened his appreciation of the personal
 +appearance of other people.  It has had that excellent effect, amongst
 +others.  We are to see her to-night, if that boy doesn't forget his
 +appointment."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Are you serious?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Quite serious, Basil.  I should be miserable if I thought I should
 +ever be more serious than I am at the present moment."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"But do you approve of it, Harry?" asked the painter, walking up and
 +down the room and biting his lip.  "You can't approve of it, possibly.
 +It is some silly infatuation."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I never approve, or disapprove, of anything now.  It is an absurd
 +attitude to take towards life.  We are not sent into the world to air
 +our moral prejudices.  I never take any notice of what common people
 +say, and I never interfere with what charming people do.  If a
 +personality fascinates me, whatever mode of expression that personality
 +selects is absolutely delightful to me.  Dorian Gray falls in love with
 +a beautiful girl who acts Juliet, and proposes to marry her.  Why not?
 +If he wedded Messalina, he would be none the less interesting.  You
 +know I am not a champion of marriage.  The real drawback to marriage is
 +that it makes one unselfish.  And unselfish people are colourless.
 +They lack individuality.  Still, there are certain temperaments that
 +marriage makes more complex.  They retain their egotism, and add to it
 +many other egos.  They are forced to have more than one life.  They
 +become more highly organized, and to be highly organized is, I should
 +fancy, the object of man's existence.  Besides, every experience is of
 +value, and whatever one may say against marriage, it is certainly an
 +experience.  I hope that Dorian Gray will make this girl his wife,
 +passionately adore her for six months, and then suddenly become
 +fascinated by some one else.  He would be a wonderful study."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You don't mean a single word of all that, Harry; you know you don't.
 +If Dorian Gray's life were spoiled, no one would be sorrier than
 +yourself.  You are much better than you pretend to be."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Lord Henry laughed.  "The reason we all like to think so well of others
 +is that we are all afraid for ourselves.  The basis of optimism is
 +sheer terror.  We think that we are generous because we credit our
 +neighbour with the possession of those virtues that are likely to be a
 +benefit to us.  We praise the banker that we may overdraw our account,
 +and find good qualities in the highwayman in the hope that he may spare
 +our pockets.  I mean everything that I have said.  I have the greatest
 +contempt for optimism.  As for a spoiled life, no life is spoiled but
 +one whose growth is arrested.  If you want to mar a nature, you have
 +merely to reform it.  As for marriage, of course that would be silly,
 +but there are other and more interesting bonds between men and women.
 +I will certainly encourage them.  They have the charm of being
 +fashionable.  But here is Dorian himself.  He will tell you more than I
 +can."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"My dear Harry, my dear Basil, you must both congratulate me!" said the
 +lad, throwing off his evening cape with its satin-lined wings and
 +shaking each of his friends by the hand in turn.  "I have never been so
 +happy.  Of course, it is sudden&mdash;all really delightful things are.  And
 +yet it seems to me to be the one thing I have been looking for all my
 +life." He was flushed with excitement and pleasure, and looked
 +extraordinarily handsome.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I hope you will always be very happy, Dorian," said Hallward, "but I
 +don't quite forgive you for not having let me know of your engagement.
 +You let Harry know."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"And I don't forgive you for being late for dinner," broke in Lord
 +Henry, putting his hand on the lad's shoulder and smiling as he spoke.
 +"Come, let us sit down and try what the new <i>chef</i> here is like, and then
 +you will tell us how it all came about."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"There is really not much to tell," cried Dorian as they took their
 +seats at the small round table.  "What happened was simply this.  After
 +I left you yesterday evening, Harry, I dressed, had some dinner at that
 +little Italian restaurant in Rupert Street you introduced me to, and
 +went down at eight o'clock to the theatre.  Sibyl was playing Rosalind.
 +Of course, the scenery was dreadful and the Orlando absurd.  But Sibyl!
 +You should have seen her!  When she came on in her boy's clothes, she
 +was perfectly wonderful.  She wore a moss-coloured velvet jerkin with
 +cinnamon sleeves, slim, brown, cross-gartered hose, a dainty little
 +green cap with a hawk's feather caught in a jewel, and a hooded cloak
 +lined with dull red.  She had never seemed to me more exquisite.  She
 +had all the delicate grace of that Tanagra figurine that you have in
 +your studio, Basil.  Her hair clustered round her face like dark leaves
 +round a pale rose.  As for her acting&mdash;well, you shall see her
 +to-night. She is simply a born artist.  I sat in the dingy box
 +absolutely enthralled.  I forgot that I was in London and in the
 +nineteenth century.  I was away with my love in a forest that no man
 +had ever seen.  After the performance was over, I went behind and spoke
 +to her.  As we were sitting together, suddenly there came into her eyes
 +a look that I had never seen there before.  My lips moved towards hers.
 +We kissed each other.  I can't describe to you what I felt at that
 +moment.  It seemed to me that all my life had been narrowed to one
 +perfect point of rose-coloured joy.  She trembled all over and shook
 +like a white narcissus.  Then she flung herself on her knees and kissed
 +my hands.  I feel that I should not tell you all this, but I can't help
 +it.  Of course, our engagement is a dead secret.  She has not even told
 +her own mother.  I don't know what my guardians will say.  Lord Radley
 +is sure to be furious.  I don't care.  I shall be of age in less than a
 +year, and then I can do what I like.  I have been right, Basil, haven't
 +I, to take my love out of poetry and to find my wife in Shakespeare's
 +plays?  Lips that Shakespeare taught to speak have whispered their
 +secret in my ear.  I have had the arms of Rosalind around me, and
 +kissed Juliet on the mouth."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Yes, Dorian, I suppose you were right," said Hallward slowly.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Have you seen her to-day?" asked Lord Henry.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Dorian Gray shook his head.  "I left her in the forest of Arden; I
 +shall find her in an orchard in Verona."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Lord Henry sipped his champagne in a meditative manner.  "At what
 +particular point did you mention the word marriage, Dorian?  And what
 +did she say in answer?  Perhaps you forgot all about it."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"My dear Harry, I did not treat it as a business transaction, and I did
 +not make any formal proposal.  I told her that I loved her, and she
 +said she was not worthy to be my wife.  Not worthy!  Why, the whole
 +world is nothing to me compared with her."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Women are wonderfully practical," murmured Lord Henry, "much more
 +practical than we are.  In situations of that kind we often forget to
 +say anything about marriage, and they always remind us."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Hallward laid his hand upon his arm.  "Don't, Harry.  You have annoyed
 +Dorian.  He is not like other men.  He would never bring misery upon
 +any one.  His nature is too fine for that."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Lord Henry looked across the table.  "Dorian is never annoyed with me,"
 +he answered.  "I asked the question for the best reason possible, for
 +the only reason, indeed, that excuses one for asking any
 +question&mdash;simple curiosity.  I have a theory that it is always the
 +women who propose to us, and not we who propose to the women.  Except,
 +of course, in middle-class life.  But then the middle classes are not
 +modern."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Dorian Gray laughed, and tossed his head.  "You are quite incorrigible,
 +Harry; but I don't mind.  It is impossible to be angry with you.  When
 +you see Sibyl Vane, you will feel that the man who could wrong her
 +would be a beast, a beast without a heart.  I cannot understand how any
 +one can wish to shame the thing he loves.  I love Sibyl Vane.  I want
 +to place her on a pedestal of gold and to see the world worship the
 +woman who is mine.  What is marriage?  An irrevocable vow.  You mock at
 +it for that.  Ah! don't mock.  It is an irrevocable vow that I want to
 +take.  Her trust makes me faithful, her belief makes me good.  When I
 +am with her, I regret all that you have taught me.  I become different
 +from what you have known me to be.  I am changed, and the mere touch of
 +Sibyl Vane's hand makes me forget you and all your wrong, fascinating,
 +poisonous, delightful theories."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"And those are ...?" asked Lord Henry, helping himself to some salad.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Oh, your theories about life, your theories about love, your theories
 +about pleasure.  All your theories, in fact, Harry."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Pleasure is the only thing worth having a theory about," he answered
 +in his slow melodious voice.  "But I am afraid I cannot claim my theory
 +as my own.  It belongs to Nature, not to me.  Pleasure is Nature's
 +test, her sign of approval.  When we are happy, we are always good, but
 +when we are good, we are not always happy."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Ah! but what do you mean by good?" cried Basil Hallward.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Yes," echoed Dorian, leaning back in his chair and looking at Lord
 +Henry over the heavy clusters of purple-lipped irises that stood in the
 +centre of the table, "what do you mean by good, Harry?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"To be good is to be in harmony with one's self," he replied, touching
 +the thin stem of his glass with his pale, fine-pointed fingers.
 +"Discord is to be forced to be in harmony with others.  One's own
 +life&mdash;that is the important thing.  As for the lives of one's
 +neighbours, if one wishes to be a prig or a Puritan, one can flaunt
 +one's moral views about them, but they are not one's concern.  Besides,
 +individualism has really the higher aim.  Modern morality consists in
 +accepting the standard of one's age.  I consider that for any man of
 +culture to accept the standard of his age is a form of the grossest
 +immorality."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"But, surely, if one lives merely for one's self, Harry, one pays a
 +terrible price for doing so?" suggested the painter.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Yes, we are overcharged for everything nowadays.  I should fancy that
 +the real tragedy of the poor is that they can afford nothing but
 +self-denial. Beautiful sins, like beautiful things, are the privilege
 +of the rich."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"One has to pay in other ways but money."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"What sort of ways, Basil?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Oh!  I should fancy in remorse, in suffering, in ... well, in the
 +consciousness of degradation."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Lord Henry shrugged his shoulders.  "My dear fellow, mediaeval art is
 +charming, but mediaeval emotions are out of date.  One can use them in
 +fiction, of course.  But then the only things that one can use in
 +fiction are the things that one has ceased to use in fact.  Believe me,
 +no civilized man ever regrets a pleasure, and no uncivilized man ever
 +knows what a pleasure is."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I know what pleasure is," cried Dorian Gray.  "It is to adore some
 +one."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"That is certainly better than being adored," he answered, toying with
 +some fruits.  "Being adored is a nuisance.  Women treat us just as
 +humanity treats its gods.  They worship us, and are always bothering us
 +to do something for them."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I should have said that whatever they ask for they had first given to
 +us," murmured the lad gravely.  "They create love in our natures.  They
 +have a right to demand it back."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"That is quite true, Dorian," cried Hallward.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Nothing is ever quite true," said Lord Henry.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"This is," interrupted Dorian.  "You must admit, Harry, that women give
 +to men the very gold of their lives."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Possibly," he sighed, "but they invariably want it back in such very
 +small change.  That is the worry.  Women, as some witty Frenchman once
 +put it, inspire us with the desire to do masterpieces and always
 +prevent us from carrying them out."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Harry, you are dreadful!  I don't know why I like you so much."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You will always like me, Dorian," he replied.  "Will you have some
 +coffee, you fellows?  Waiter, bring coffee, and <i>fine-champagne</i>, and
 +some cigarettes.  No, don't mind the cigarettes&mdash;I have some.  Basil, I
 +can't allow you to smoke cigars.  You must have a cigarette.  A
 +cigarette is the perfect type of a perfect pleasure.  It is exquisite,
 +and it leaves one unsatisfied.  What more can one want?  Yes, Dorian,
 +you will always be fond of me.  I represent to you all the sins you
 +have never had the courage to commit."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"What nonsense you talk, Harry!" cried the lad, taking a light from a
 +fire-breathing silver dragon that the waiter had placed on the table.
 +"Let us go down to the theatre.  When Sibyl comes on the stage you will
 +have a new ideal of life.  She will represent something to you that you
 +have never known."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I have known everything," said Lord Henry, with a tired look in his
 +eyes, "but I am always ready for a new emotion.  I am afraid, however,
 +that, for me at any rate, there is no such thing.  Still, your
 +wonderful girl may thrill me.  I love acting.  It is so much more real
 +than life.  Let us go.  Dorian, you will come with me.  I am so sorry,
 +Basil, but there is only room for two in the brougham.  You must follow
 +us in a hansom."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +They got up and put on their coats, sipping their coffee standing.  The
 +painter was silent and preoccupied.  There was a gloom over him.  He
 +could not bear this marriage, and yet it seemed to him to be better
 +than many other things that might have happened.  After a few minutes,
 +they all passed downstairs.  He drove off by himself, as had been
 +arranged, and watched the flashing lights of the little brougham in
 +front of him.  A strange sense of loss came over him.  He felt that
 +Dorian Gray would never again be to him all that he had been in the
 +past.  Life had come between them.... His eyes darkened, and the
 +crowded flaring streets became blurred to his eyes.  When the cab drew
 +up at the theatre, it seemed to him that he had grown years older.
 +</P>
 +
 +<BR><BR><BR>
 +
 +<A NAME="chap07"></A>
 +<H3 ALIGN="center">
 +CHAPTER 7
 +</H3>
 +
 +<P>
 +For some reason or other, the house was crowded that night, and the fat
 +Jew manager who met them at the door was beaming from ear to ear with
 +an oily tremulous smile.  He escorted them to their box with a sort of
 +pompous humility, waving his fat jewelled hands and talking at the top
 +of his voice.  Dorian Gray loathed him more than ever.  He felt as if
 +he had come to look for Miranda and had been met by Caliban.  Lord
 +Henry, upon the other hand, rather liked him.  At least he declared he
 +did, and insisted on shaking him by the hand and assuring him that he
 +was proud to meet a man who had discovered a real genius and gone
 +bankrupt over a poet.  Hallward amused himself with watching the faces
 +in the pit.  The heat was terribly oppressive, and the huge sunlight
 +flamed like a monstrous dahlia with petals of yellow fire.  The youths
 +in the gallery had taken off their coats and waistcoats and hung them
 +over the side.  They talked to each other across the theatre and shared
 +their oranges with the tawdry girls who sat beside them.  Some women
 +were laughing in the pit.  Their voices were horribly shrill and
 +discordant.  The sound of the popping of corks came from the bar.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"What a place to find one's divinity in!" said Lord Henry.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Yes!" answered Dorian Gray.  "It was here I found her, and she is
 +divine beyond all living things.  When she acts, you will forget
 +everything.  These common rough people, with their coarse faces and
 +brutal gestures, become quite different when she is on the stage.  They
 +sit silently and watch her.  They weep and laugh as she wills them to
 +do.  She makes them as responsive as a violin.  She spiritualizes them,
 +and one feels that they are of the same flesh and blood as one's self."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"The same flesh and blood as one's self!  Oh, I hope not!" exclaimed
 +Lord Henry, who was scanning the occupants of the gallery through his
 +opera-glass.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Don't pay any attention to him, Dorian," said the painter.  "I
 +understand what you mean, and I believe in this girl.  Any one you love
 +must be marvellous, and any girl who has the effect you describe must
 +be fine and noble.  To spiritualize one's age&mdash;that is something worth
 +doing.  If this girl can give a soul to those who have lived without
 +one, if she can create the sense of beauty in people whose lives have
 +been sordid and ugly, if she can strip them of their selfishness and
 +lend them tears for sorrows that are not their own, she is worthy of
 +all your adoration, worthy of the adoration of the world.  This
 +marriage is quite right.  I did not think so at first, but I admit it
 +now.  The gods made Sibyl Vane for you.  Without her you would have
 +been incomplete."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Thanks, Basil," answered Dorian Gray, pressing his hand.  "I knew that
 +you would understand me.  Harry is so cynical, he terrifies me.  But
 +here is the orchestra.  It is quite dreadful, but it only lasts for
 +about five minutes.  Then the curtain rises, and you will see the girl
 +to whom I am going to give all my life, to whom I have given everything
 +that is good in me."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +A quarter of an hour afterwards, amidst an extraordinary turmoil of
 +applause, Sibyl Vane stepped on to the stage.  Yes, she was certainly
 +lovely to look at&mdash;one of the loveliest creatures, Lord Henry thought,
 +that he had ever seen.  There was something of the fawn in her shy
 +grace and startled eyes.  A faint blush, like the shadow of a rose in a
 +mirror of silver, came to her cheeks as she glanced at the crowded
 +enthusiastic house.  She stepped back a few paces and her lips seemed
 +to tremble.  Basil Hallward leaped to his feet and began to applaud.
 +Motionless, and as one in a dream, sat Dorian Gray, gazing at her.
 +Lord Henry peered through his glasses, murmuring, "Charming! charming!"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The scene was the hall of Capulet's house, and Romeo in his pilgrim's
 +dress had entered with Mercutio and his other friends.  The band, such
 +as it was, struck up a few bars of music, and the dance began.  Through
 +the crowd of ungainly, shabbily dressed actors, Sibyl Vane moved like a
 +creature from a finer world.  Her body swayed, while she danced, as a
 +plant sways in the water.  The curves of her throat were the curves of
 +a white lily.  Her hands seemed to be made of cool ivory.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Yet she was curiously listless.  She showed no sign of joy when her
 +eyes rested on Romeo.  The few words she had to speak&mdash;
 +</P>
 +
 +<P CLASS="poem">
 +Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much,<BR>
 +&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Which mannerly devotion shows in this;<BR>
 +For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch,<BR>
 +&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss&mdash;<BR>
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +with the brief dialogue that follows, were spoken in a thoroughly
 +artificial manner.  The voice was exquisite, but from the point of view
 +of tone it was absolutely false.  It was wrong in colour.  It took away
 +all the life from the verse.  It made the passion unreal.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Dorian Gray grew pale as he watched her.  He was puzzled and anxious.
 +Neither of his friends dared to say anything to him.  She seemed to
 +them to be absolutely incompetent.  They were horribly disappointed.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Yet they felt that the true test of any Juliet is the balcony scene of
 +the second act.  They waited for that.  If she failed there, there was
 +nothing in her.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +She looked charming as she came out in the moonlight.  That could not
 +be denied.  But the staginess of her acting was unbearable, and grew
 +worse as she went on.  Her gestures became absurdly artificial.  She
 +overemphasized everything that she had to say.  The beautiful passage&mdash;
 +</P>
 +
 +<P CLASS="poem">
 +Thou knowest the mask of night is on my face,<BR>
 +Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek<BR>
 +For that which thou hast heard me speak to-night&mdash;<BR>
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +was declaimed with the painful precision of a schoolgirl who has been
 +taught to recite by some second-rate professor of elocution. When she
 +leaned over the balcony and came to those wonderful lines&mdash;
 +</P>
 +
 +<P CLASS="poem">
 +&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Although I joy in thee,<BR>
 +I have no joy of this contract to-night:<BR>
 +It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden;<BR>
 +Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be<BR>
 +Ere one can say, "It lightens."  Sweet, good-night!<BR>
 +This bud of love by summer's ripening breath<BR>
 +May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet&mdash;<BR>
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +she spoke the words as though they conveyed no meaning to her. It was
 +not nervousness. Indeed, so far from being nervous, she was absolutely
 +self-contained. It was simply bad art. She was a complete failure.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Even the common uneducated audience of the pit and gallery lost their
 +interest in the play. They got restless, and began to talk loudly and
 +to whistle. The Jew manager, who was standing at the back of the
 +dress-circle, stamped and swore with rage. The only person unmoved was
 +the girl herself.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +When the second act was over, there came a storm of hisses, and Lord
 +Henry got up from his chair and put on his coat.  "She is quite
 +beautiful, Dorian," he said, "but she can't act.  Let us go."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I am going to see the play through," answered the lad, in a hard
 +bitter voice.  "I am awfully sorry that I have made you waste an
 +evening, Harry.  I apologize to you both."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"My dear Dorian, I should think Miss Vane was ill," interrupted
 +Hallward.  "We will come some other night."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I wish she were ill," he rejoined.  "But she seems to me to be simply
 +callous and cold.  She has entirely altered.  Last night she was a
 +great artist.  This evening she is merely a commonplace mediocre
 +actress."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Don't talk like that about any one you love, Dorian.  Love is a more
 +wonderful thing than art."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"They are both simply forms of imitation," remarked Lord Henry.  "But
 +do let us go.  Dorian, you must not stay here any longer.  It is not
 +good for one's morals to see bad acting.  Besides, I don't suppose you
 +will want your wife to act, so what does it matter if she plays Juliet
 +like a wooden doll?  She is very lovely, and if she knows as little
 +about life as she does about acting, she will be a delightful
 +experience.  There are only two kinds of people who are really
 +fascinating&mdash;people who know absolutely everything, and people who know
 +absolutely nothing.  Good heavens, my dear boy, don't look so tragic!
 +The secret of remaining young is never to have an emotion that is
 +unbecoming.  Come to the club with Basil and myself.  We will smoke
 +cigarettes and drink to the beauty of Sibyl Vane.  She is beautiful.
 +What more can you want?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Go away, Harry," cried the lad.  "I want to be alone.  Basil, you must
 +go.  Ah! can't you see that my heart is breaking?"  The hot tears came
 +to his eyes.  His lips trembled, and rushing to the back of the box, he
 +leaned up against the wall, hiding his face in his hands.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Let us go, Basil," said Lord Henry with a strange tenderness in his
 +voice, and the two young men passed out together.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +A few moments afterwards the footlights flared up and the curtain rose
 +on the third act.  Dorian Gray went back to his seat.  He looked pale,
 +and proud, and indifferent.  The play dragged on, and seemed
 +interminable.  Half of the audience went out, tramping in heavy boots
 +and laughing.  The whole thing was a <i>fiasco</i> The last act was played
 +to almost empty benches.  The curtain went down on a titter and some
 +groans.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +As soon as it was over, Dorian Gray rushed behind the scenes into the
 +greenroom.  The girl was standing there alone, with a look of triumph
 +on her face.  Her eyes were lit with an exquisite fire.  There was a
 +radiance about her.  Her parted lips were smiling over some secret of
 +their own.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +When he entered, she looked at him, and an expression of infinite joy
 +came over her.  "How badly I acted to-night, Dorian!" she cried.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Horribly!" he answered, gazing at her in amazement.  "Horribly!  It
 +was dreadful.  Are you ill?  You have no idea what it was.  You have no
 +idea what I suffered."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The girl smiled.  "Dorian," she answered, lingering over his name with
 +long-drawn music in her voice, as though it were sweeter than honey to
 +the red petals of her mouth.  "Dorian, you should have understood.  But
 +you understand now, don't you?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Understand what?" he asked, angrily.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Why I was so bad to-night. Why I shall always be bad.  Why I shall
 +never act well again."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +He shrugged his shoulders.  "You are ill, I suppose.  When you are ill
 +you shouldn't act.  You make yourself ridiculous.  My friends were
 +bored.  I was bored."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +She seemed not to listen to him.  She was transfigured with joy.  An
 +ecstasy of happiness dominated her.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Dorian, Dorian," she cried, "before I knew you, acting was the one
 +reality of my life.  It was only in the theatre that I lived.  I
 +thought that it was all true.  I was Rosalind one night and Portia the
 +other.  The joy of Beatrice was my joy, and the sorrows of Cordelia
 +were mine also.  I believed in everything.  The common people who acted
 +with me seemed to me to be godlike.  The painted scenes were my world.
 +I knew nothing but shadows, and I thought them real.  You came&mdash;oh, my
 +beautiful love!&mdash;and you freed my soul from prison.  You taught me what
 +reality really is.  To-night, for the first time in my life, I saw
 +through the hollowness, the sham, the silliness of the empty pageant in
 +which I had always played.  To-night, for the first time, I became
 +conscious that the Romeo was hideous, and old, and painted, that the
 +moonlight in the orchard was false, that the scenery was vulgar, and
 +that the words I had to speak were unreal, were not my words, were not
 +what I wanted to say.  You had brought me something higher, something
 +of which all art is but a reflection.  You had made me understand what
 +love really is.  My love!  My love!  Prince Charming!  Prince of life!
 +I have grown sick of shadows.  You are more to me than all art can ever
 +be.  What have I to do with the puppets of a play?  When I came on
 +to-night, I could not understand how it was that everything had gone
 +from me.  I thought that I was going to be wonderful.  I found that I
 +could do nothing.  Suddenly it dawned on my soul what it all meant.
 +The knowledge was exquisite to me.  I heard them hissing, and I smiled.
 +What could they know of love such as ours?  Take me away, Dorian&mdash;take
 +me away with you, where we can be quite alone.  I hate the stage.  I
 +might mimic a passion that I do not feel, but I cannot mimic one that
 +burns me like fire.  Oh, Dorian, Dorian, you understand now what it
 +signifies?  Even if I could do it, it would be profanation for me to
 +play at being in love.  You have made me see that."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +He flung himself down on the sofa and turned away his face.  "You have
 +killed my love," he muttered.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +She looked at him in wonder and laughed.  He made no answer.  She came
 +across to him, and with her little fingers stroked his hair.  She knelt
 +down and pressed his hands to her lips.  He drew them away, and a
 +shudder ran through him.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Then he leaped up and went to the door.  "Yes," he cried, "you have
 +killed my love.  You used to stir my imagination.  Now you don't even
 +stir my curiosity.  You simply produce no effect.  I loved you because
 +you were marvellous, because you had genius and intellect, because you
 +realized the dreams of great poets and gave shape and substance to the
 +shadows of art.  You have thrown it all away.  You are shallow and
 +stupid.  My God! how mad I was to love you!  What a fool I have been!
 +You are nothing to me now.  I will never see you again.  I will never
 +think of you.  I will never mention your name.  You don't know what you
 +were to me, once.  Why, once ... Oh, I can't bear to think of it!  I
 +wish I had never laid eyes upon you!  You have spoiled the romance of
 +my life.  How little you can know of love, if you say it mars your art!
 +Without your art, you are nothing.  I would have made you famous,
 +splendid, magnificent.  The world would have worshipped you, and you
 +would have borne my name.  What are you now?  A third-rate actress with
 +a pretty face."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The girl grew white, and trembled.  She clenched her hands together,
 +and her voice seemed to catch in her throat.  "You are not serious,
 +Dorian?" she murmured.  "You are acting."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Acting!  I leave that to you.  You do it so well," he answered
 +bitterly.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +She rose from her knees and, with a piteous expression of pain in her
 +face, came across the room to him.  She put her hand upon his arm and
 +looked into his eyes.  He thrust her back.  "Don't touch me!" he cried.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +A low moan broke from her, and she flung herself at his feet and lay
 +there like a trampled flower.  "Dorian, Dorian, don't leave me!" she
 +whispered.  "I am so sorry I didn't act well.  I was thinking of you
 +all the time.  But I will try&mdash;indeed, I will try.  It came so suddenly
 +across me, my love for you.  I think I should never have known it if
 +you had not kissed me&mdash;if we had not kissed each other.  Kiss me again,
 +my love.  Don't go away from me.  I couldn't bear it.  Oh! don't go
 +away from me.  My brother ... No; never mind.  He didn't mean it.  He
 +was in jest.... But you, oh! can't you forgive me for to-night? I will
 +work so hard and try to improve.  Don't be cruel to me, because I love
 +you better than anything in the world.  After all, it is only once that
 +I have not pleased you.  But you are quite right, Dorian.  I should
 +have shown myself more of an artist.  It was foolish of me, and yet I
 +couldn't help it.  Oh, don't leave me, don't leave me." A fit of
 +passionate sobbing choked her.  She crouched on the floor like a
 +wounded thing, and Dorian Gray, with his beautiful eyes, looked down at
 +her, and his chiselled lips curled in exquisite disdain.  There is
 +always something ridiculous about the emotions of people whom one has
 +ceased to love.  Sibyl Vane seemed to him to be absurdly melodramatic.
 +Her tears and sobs annoyed him.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I am going," he said at last in his calm clear voice.  "I don't wish
 +to be unkind, but I can't see you again.  You have disappointed me."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +She wept silently, and made no answer, but crept nearer.  Her little
 +hands stretched blindly out, and appeared to be seeking for him.  He
 +turned on his heel and left the room.  In a few moments he was out of
 +the theatre.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Where he went to he hardly knew.  He remembered wandering through dimly
 +lit streets, past gaunt, black-shadowed archways and evil-looking
 +houses.  Women with hoarse voices and harsh laughter had called after
 +him.  Drunkards had reeled by, cursing and chattering to themselves
 +like monstrous apes.  He had seen grotesque children huddled upon
 +door-steps, and heard shrieks and oaths from gloomy courts.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +As the dawn was just breaking, he found himself close to Covent Garden.
 +The darkness lifted, and, flushed with faint fires, the sky hollowed
 +itself into a perfect pearl.  Huge carts filled with nodding lilies
 +rumbled slowly down the polished empty street.  The air was heavy with
 +the perfume of the flowers, and their beauty seemed to bring him an
 +anodyne for his pain.  He followed into the market and watched the men
 +unloading their waggons.  A white-smocked carter offered him some
 +cherries.  He thanked him, wondered why he refused to accept any money
 +for them, and began to eat them listlessly.  They had been plucked at
 +midnight, and the coldness of the moon had entered into them.  A long
 +line of boys carrying crates of striped tulips, and of yellow and red
 +roses, defiled in front of him, threading their way through the huge,
 +jade-green piles of vegetables.  Under the portico, with its grey,
 +sun-bleached pillars, loitered a troop of draggled bareheaded girls,
 +waiting for the auction to be over.  Others crowded round the swinging
 +doors of the coffee-house in the piazza.  The heavy cart-horses slipped
 +and stamped upon the rough stones, shaking their bells and trappings.
 +Some of the drivers were lying asleep on a pile of sacks.  Iris-necked
 +and pink-footed, the pigeons ran about picking up seeds.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +After a little while, he hailed a hansom and drove home.  For a few
 +moments he loitered upon the doorstep, looking round at the silent
 +square, with its blank, close-shuttered windows and its staring blinds.
 +The sky was pure opal now, and the roofs of the houses glistened like
 +silver against it.  From some chimney opposite a thin wreath of smoke
 +was rising.  It curled, a violet riband, through the nacre-coloured air.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +In the huge gilt Venetian lantern, spoil of some Doge's barge, that
 +hung from the ceiling of the great, oak-panelled hall of entrance,
 +lights were still burning from three flickering jets: thin blue petals
 +of flame they seemed, rimmed with white fire.  He turned them out and,
 +having thrown his hat and cape on the table, passed through the library
 +towards the door of his bedroom, a large octagonal chamber on the
 +ground floor that, in his new-born feeling for luxury, he had just had
 +decorated for himself and hung with some curious Renaissance tapestries
 +that had been discovered stored in a disused attic at Selby Royal.  As
 +he was turning the handle of the door, his eye fell upon the portrait
 +Basil Hallward had painted of him.  He started back as if in surprise.
 +Then he went on into his own room, looking somewhat puzzled.  After he
 +had taken the button-hole out of his coat, he seemed to hesitate.
 +Finally, he came back, went over to the picture, and examined it.  In
 +the dim arrested light that struggled through the cream-coloured silk
 +blinds, the face appeared to him to be a little changed.  The
 +expression looked different.  One would have said that there was a
 +touch of cruelty in the mouth.  It was certainly strange.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +He turned round and, walking to the window, drew up the blind.  The
 +bright dawn flooded the room and swept the fantastic shadows into dusky
 +corners, where they lay shuddering.  But the strange expression that he
 +had noticed in the face of the portrait seemed to linger there, to be
 +more intensified even.  The quivering ardent sunlight showed him the
 +lines of cruelty round the mouth as clearly as if he had been looking
 +into a mirror after he had done some dreadful thing.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +He winced and, taking up from the table an oval glass framed in ivory
 +Cupids, one of Lord Henry's many presents to him, glanced hurriedly
 +into its polished depths.  No line like that warped his red lips.  What
 +did it mean?
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +He rubbed his eyes, and came close to the picture, and examined it
 +again.  There were no signs of any change when he looked into the
 +actual painting, and yet there was no doubt that the whole expression
 +had altered.  It was not a mere fancy of his own.  The thing was
 +horribly apparent.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +He threw himself into a chair and began to think.  Suddenly there
 +flashed across his mind what he had said in Basil Hallward's studio the
 +day the picture had been finished.  Yes, he remembered it perfectly.
 +He had uttered a mad wish that he himself might remain young, and the
 +portrait grow old; that his own beauty might be untarnished, and the
 +face on the canvas bear the burden of his passions and his sins; that
 +the painted image might be seared with the lines of suffering and
 +thought, and that he might keep all the delicate bloom and loveliness
 +of his then just conscious boyhood.  Surely his wish had not been
 +fulfilled?  Such things were impossible.  It seemed monstrous even to
 +think of them.  And, yet, there was the picture before him, with the
 +touch of cruelty in the mouth.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Cruelty!  Had he been cruel?  It was the girl's fault, not his.  He had
 +dreamed of her as a great artist, had given his love to her because he
 +had thought her great.  Then she had disappointed him.  She had been
 +shallow and unworthy.  And, yet, a feeling of infinite regret came over
 +him, as he thought of her lying at his feet sobbing like a little
 +child.  He remembered with what callousness he had watched her.  Why
 +had he been made like that?  Why had such a soul been given to him?
 +But he had suffered also.  During the three terrible hours that the
 +play had lasted, he had lived centuries of pain, aeon upon aeon of
 +torture.  His life was well worth hers.  She had marred him for a
 +moment, if he had wounded her for an age.  Besides, women were better
 +suited to bear sorrow than men.  They lived on their emotions.  They
 +only thought of their emotions.  When they took lovers, it was merely
 +to have some one with whom they could have scenes.  Lord Henry had told
 +him that, and Lord Henry knew what women were.  Why should he trouble
 +about Sibyl Vane?  She was nothing to him now.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +But the picture?  What was he to say of that?  It held the secret of
 +his life, and told his story.  It had taught him to love his own
 +beauty.  Would it teach him to loathe his own soul?  Would he ever look
 +at it again?
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +No; it was merely an illusion wrought on the troubled senses.  The
 +horrible night that he had passed had left phantoms behind it.
 +Suddenly there had fallen upon his brain that tiny scarlet speck that
 +makes men mad.  The picture had not changed.  It was folly to think so.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Yet it was watching him, with its beautiful marred face and its cruel
 +smile.  Its bright hair gleamed in the early sunlight.  Its blue eyes
 +met his own.  A sense of infinite pity, not for himself, but for the
 +painted image of himself, came over him.  It had altered already, and
 +would alter more.  Its gold would wither into grey.  Its red and white
 +roses would die.  For every sin that he committed, a stain would fleck
 +and wreck its fairness.  But he would not sin.  The picture, changed or
 +unchanged, would be to him the visible emblem of conscience.  He would
 +resist temptation.  He would not see Lord Henry any more&mdash;would not, at
 +any rate, listen to those subtle poisonous theories that in Basil
 +Hallward's garden had first stirred within him the passion for
 +impossible things.  He would go back to Sibyl Vane, make her amends,
 +marry her, try to love her again.  Yes, it was his duty to do so.  She
 +must have suffered more than he had.  Poor child!  He had been selfish
 +and cruel to her.  The fascination that she had exercised over him
 +would return.  They would be happy together.  His life with her would
 +be beautiful and pure.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +He got up from his chair and drew a large screen right in front of the
 +portrait, shuddering as he glanced at it.  "How horrible!" he murmured
 +to himself, and he walked across to the window and opened it.  When he
 +stepped out on to the grass, he drew a deep breath.  The fresh morning
 +air seemed to drive away all his sombre passions.  He thought only of
 +Sibyl.  A faint echo of his love came back to him.  He repeated her
 +name over and over again.  The birds that were singing in the
 +dew-drenched garden seemed to be telling the flowers about her.
 +</P>
 +
 +<BR><BR><BR>
 +
 +<A NAME="chap08"></A>
 +<H3 ALIGN="center">
 +CHAPTER 8
 +</H3>
 +
 +<P>
 +It was long past noon when he awoke.  His valet had crept several times
 +on tiptoe into the room to see if he was stirring, and had wondered
 +what made his young master sleep so late.  Finally his bell sounded,
 +and Victor came in softly with a cup of tea, and a pile of letters, on
 +a small tray of old Sevres china, and drew back the olive-satin
 +curtains, with their shimmering blue lining, that hung in front of the
 +three tall windows.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Monsieur has well slept this morning," he said, smiling.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"What o'clock is it, Victor?" asked Dorian Gray drowsily.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"One hour and a quarter, Monsieur."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +How late it was!  He sat up, and having sipped some tea, turned over
 +his letters.  One of them was from Lord Henry, and had been brought by
 +hand that morning.  He hesitated for a moment, and then put it aside.
 +The others he opened listlessly.  They contained the usual collection
 +of cards, invitations to dinner, tickets for private views, programmes
 +of charity concerts, and the like that are showered on fashionable
 +young men every morning during the season.  There was a rather heavy
 +bill for a chased silver Louis-Quinze toilet-set that he had not yet
 +had the courage to send on to his guardians, who were extremely
 +old-fashioned people and did not realize that we live in an age when
 +unnecessary things are our only necessities; and there were several
 +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 interest.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +After about ten minutes he got up, and throwing on an elaborate
 +dressing-gown of silk-embroidered cashmere wool, passed into the
 +onyx-paved bathroom.  The cool water refreshed him after his long
 +sleep.  He seemed to have forgotten all that he had gone through.  A
 +dim sense of having taken part in some strange tragedy came to him once
 +or twice, but there was the unreality of a dream about it.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +As soon as he was dressed, he went into the library and sat down to a
 +light French breakfast that had been laid out for him on a small round
 +table close to the open window.  It was an exquisite day.  The warm air
 +seemed laden with spices.  A bee flew in and buzzed round the
 +blue-dragon bowl that, filled with sulphur-yellow roses, stood before
 +him.  He felt perfectly happy.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Suddenly his eye fell on the screen that he had placed in front of the
 +portrait, and he started.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Too cold for Monsieur?" asked his valet, putting an omelette on the
 +table.  "I shut the window?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Dorian shook his head.  "I am not cold," he murmured.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Was it all true?  Had the portrait really changed?  Or had it been
 +simply his own imagination that had made him see a look of evil where
 +there had been a look of joy?  Surely a painted canvas could not alter?
 +The thing was absurd.  It would serve as a tale to tell Basil some day.
 +It would make him smile.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +And, yet, how vivid was his recollection of the whole thing!  First in
 +the dim twilight, and then in the bright dawn, he had seen the touch of
 +cruelty round the warped lips.  He almost dreaded his valet leaving the
 +room.  He knew that when he was alone he would have to examine the
 +portrait.  He was afraid of certainty.  When the coffee and cigarettes
 +had been brought and the man turned to go, he felt a wild desire to
 +tell him to remain.  As the door was closing behind him, he called him
 +back.  The man stood waiting for his orders.  Dorian looked at him for
 +a moment.  "I am not at home to any one, Victor," he said with a sigh.
 +The man bowed and retired.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Then he rose from the table, lit a cigarette, and flung himself down on
 +a luxuriously cushioned couch that stood facing the screen.  The screen
 +was an old one, of gilt Spanish leather, stamped and wrought with a
 +rather florid Louis-Quatorze pattern.  He scanned it curiously,
 +wondering if ever before it had concealed the secret of a man's life.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Should he move it aside, after all?  Why not let it stay there?  What
 +was the use of knowing? If the thing was true, it was terrible.  If it
 +was not true, why trouble about it?  But what if, by some fate or
 +deadlier chance, eyes other than his spied behind and saw the horrible
 +change?  What should he do if Basil Hallward came and asked to look at
 +his own picture?  Basil would be sure to do that.  No; the thing had to
 +be examined, and at once.  Anything would be better than this dreadful
 +state of doubt.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +He got up and locked both doors.  At least he would be alone when he
 +looked upon the mask of his shame.  Then he drew the screen aside and
 +saw himself face to face.  It was perfectly true.  The portrait had
 +altered.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +As he often remembered afterwards, and always with no small wonder, he
 +found himself at first gazing at the portrait with a feeling of almost
 +scientific interest.  That such a change should have taken place was
 +incredible to him.  And yet it was a fact.  Was there some subtle
 +affinity between the chemical atoms that shaped themselves into form
 +and colour on the canvas and the soul that was within him?  Could it be
 +that what that soul thought, they realized?&mdash;that what it dreamed, they
 +made true?  Or was there some other, more terrible reason?  He
 +shuddered, and felt afraid, and, going back to the couch, lay there,
 +gazing at the picture in sickened horror.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +One thing, however, he felt that it had done for him.  It had made him
 +conscious how unjust, how cruel, he had been to Sibyl Vane.  It was not
 +too late to make reparation for that.  She could still be his wife.
 +His unreal and selfish love would yield to some higher influence, would
 +be transformed into some nobler passion, and the portrait that Basil
 +Hallward had painted of him would be a guide to him through life, would
 +be to him what holiness is to some, and conscience to others, and the
 +fear of God to us all.  There were opiates for remorse, drugs that
 +could lull the moral sense to sleep.  But here was a visible symbol of
 +the degradation of sin.  Here was an ever-present sign of the ruin men
 +brought upon their souls.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Three o'clock struck, and four, and the half-hour rang its double
 +chime, but Dorian Gray did not stir.  He was trying to gather up the
 +scarlet threads of life and to weave them into a pattern; to find his
 +way through the sanguine labyrinth of passion through which he was
 +wandering.  He did not know what to do, or what to think.  Finally, he
 +went over to the table and wrote a passionate letter to the girl he had
 +loved, imploring her forgiveness and accusing himself of madness.  He
 +covered page after page with wild words of sorrow and wilder words of
 +pain.  There is a luxury in self-reproach. When we blame ourselves, we
 +feel that no one else has a right to blame us.  It is the confession,
 +not the priest, that gives us absolution.  When Dorian had finished the
 +letter, he felt that he had been forgiven.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Suddenly there came a knock to the door, and he heard Lord Henry's
 +voice outside.  "My dear boy, I must see you.  Let me in at once.  I
 +can't bear your shutting yourself up like this."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +He made no answer at first, but remained quite still.  The knocking
 +still continued and grew louder.  Yes, it was better to let Lord Henry
 +in, and to explain to him the new life he was going to lead, to quarrel
 +with him if it became necessary to quarrel, to part if parting was
 +inevitable.  He jumped up, drew the screen hastily across the picture,
 +and unlocked the door.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I am so sorry for it all, Dorian," said Lord Henry as he entered.
 +"But you must not think too much about it."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Do you mean about Sibyl Vane?" asked the lad.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Yes, of course," answered Lord Henry, sinking into a chair and slowly
 +pulling off his yellow gloves.  "It is dreadful, from one point of
 +view, but it was not your fault.  Tell me, did you go behind and see
 +her, after the play was over?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Yes."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I felt sure you had.  Did you make a scene with her?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I was brutal, Harry&mdash;perfectly brutal.  But it is all right now.  I am
 +not sorry for anything that has happened.  It has taught me to know
 +myself better."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Ah, Dorian, I am so glad you take it in that way!  I was afraid I
 +would find you plunged in remorse and tearing that nice curly hair of
 +yours."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I have got through all that," said Dorian, shaking his head and
 +smiling.  "I am perfectly happy now.  I know what conscience is, to
 +begin with.  It is not what you told me it was.  It is the divinest
 +thing in us.  Don't sneer at it, Harry, any more&mdash;at least not before
 +me.  I want to be good.  I can't bear the idea of my soul being
 +hideous."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"A very charming artistic basis for ethics, Dorian!  I congratulate you
 +on it.  But how are you going to begin?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"By marrying Sibyl Vane."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Marrying Sibyl Vane!" cried Lord Henry, standing up and looking at him
 +in perplexed amazement.  "But, my dear Dorian&mdash;"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Yes, Harry, I know what you are going to say.  Something dreadful
 +about marriage.  Don't say it.  Don't ever say things of that kind to
 +me again.  Two days ago I asked Sibyl to marry me.  I am not going to
 +break my word to her.  She is to be my wife."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Your wife!  Dorian! ... Didn't you get my letter?  I wrote to you this
 +morning, and sent the note down by my own man."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Your letter?  Oh, yes, I remember.  I have not read it yet, Harry.  I
 +was afraid there might be something in it that I wouldn't like.  You
 +cut life to pieces with your epigrams."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You know nothing then?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"What do you mean?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Lord Henry walked across the room, and sitting down by Dorian Gray,
 +took both his hands in his own and held them tightly.  "Dorian," he
 +said, "my letter&mdash;don't be frightened&mdash;was to tell you that Sibyl Vane
 +is dead."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +A cry of pain broke from the lad's lips, and he leaped to his feet,
 +tearing his hands away from Lord Henry's grasp.  "Dead!  Sibyl dead!
 +It is not true!  It is a horrible lie!  How dare you say it?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"It is quite true, Dorian," said Lord Henry, gravely.  "It is in all
 +the morning papers.  I wrote down to you to ask you not to see any one
 +till I came.  There will have to be an inquest, of course, and you must
 +not be mixed up in it.  Things like that make a man fashionable in
 +Paris.  But in London people are so prejudiced.  Here, one should never
 +make one's <i>debut</i> with a scandal.  One should reserve that to give an
 +interest to one's old age.  I suppose they don't know your name at the
 +theatre?  If they don't, it is all right.  Did any one see you going
 +round to her room?  That is an important point."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Dorian did not answer for a few moments.  He was dazed with horror.
 +Finally he stammered, in a stifled voice, "Harry, did you say an
 +inquest?  What did you mean by that?  Did Sibyl&mdash;? Oh, Harry, I can't
 +bear it!  But be quick.  Tell me everything at once."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I have no doubt it was not an accident, Dorian, though it must be put
 +in that way to the public.  It seems that as she was leaving the
 +theatre with her mother, about half-past twelve or so, she said she had
 +forgotten something upstairs.  They waited some time for her, but she
 +did not come down again.  They ultimately found her lying dead on the
 +floor of her dressing-room. She had swallowed something by mistake,
 +some dreadful thing they use at theatres.  I don't know what it was,
 +but it had either prussic acid or white lead in it.  I should fancy it
 +was prussic acid, as she seems to have died instantaneously."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Harry, Harry, it is terrible!" cried the lad.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Yes; it is very tragic, of course, but you must not get yourself mixed
 +up in it.  I see by <i>The Standard</i> that she was seventeen.  I should have
 +thought she was almost younger than that.  She looked such a child, and
 +seemed to know so little about acting.  Dorian, you mustn't let this
 +thing get on your nerves.  You must come and dine with me, and
 +afterwards we will look in at the opera.  It is a Patti night, and
 +everybody will be there.  You can come to my sister's box.  She has got
 +some smart women with her."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"So I have murdered Sibyl Vane," said Dorian Gray, half to himself,
 +"murdered her as surely as if I had cut her little throat with a knife.
 +Yet the roses are not less lovely for all that.  The birds sing just as
 +happily in my garden.  And to-night I am to dine with you, and then go
 +on to the opera, and sup somewhere, I suppose, afterwards.  How
 +extraordinarily dramatic life is!  If I had read all this in a book,
 +Harry, I think I would have wept over it.  Somehow, now that it has
 +happened actually, and to me, it seems far too wonderful for tears.
 +Here is the first passionate love-letter I have ever written in my
 +life.  Strange, that my first passionate love-letter should have been
 +addressed to a dead girl.  Can they feel, I wonder, those white silent
 +people we call the dead?  Sibyl!  Can she feel, or know, or listen?
 +Oh, Harry, how I loved her once!  It seems years ago to me now.  She
 +was everything to me.  Then came that dreadful night&mdash;was it really
 +only last night?&mdash;when she played so badly, and my heart almost broke.
 +She explained it all to me.  It was terribly pathetic.  But I was not
 +moved a bit.  I thought her shallow.  Suddenly something happened that
 +made me afraid.  I can't tell you what it was, but it was terrible.  I
 +said I would go back to her.  I felt I had done wrong.  And now she is
 +dead.  My God!  My God!  Harry, what shall I do?  You don't know the
 +danger I am in, and there is nothing to keep me straight.  She would
 +have done that for me.  She had no right to kill herself.  It was
 +selfish of her."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"My dear Dorian," answered Lord Henry, taking a cigarette from his case
 +and producing a gold-latten matchbox, "the only way a woman can ever
 +reform a man is by boring him so completely that he loses all possible
 +interest in life.  If you had married this girl, you would have been
 +wretched.  Of course, you would have treated her kindly.  One can
 +always be kind to people about whom one cares nothing.  But she would
 +have soon found out that you were absolutely indifferent to her.  And
 +when a woman finds that out about her husband, she either becomes
 +dreadfully dowdy, or wears very smart bonnets that some other woman's
 +husband has to pay for.  I say nothing about the social mistake, which
 +would have been abject&mdash;which, of course, I would not have allowed&mdash;but
 +I assure you that in any case the whole thing would have been an
 +absolute failure."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I suppose it would," muttered the lad, walking up and down the room
 +and looking horribly pale.  "But I thought it was my duty.  It is not
 +my fault that this terrible tragedy has prevented my doing what was
 +right.  I remember your saying once that there is a fatality about good
 +resolutions&mdash;that they are always made too late.  Mine certainly were."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Good resolutions are useless attempts to interfere with scientific
 +laws.  Their origin is pure vanity.  Their result is absolutely <i>nil</i>.
 +They give us, now and then, some of those luxurious sterile emotions
 +that have a certain charm for the weak.  That is all that can be said
 +for them.  They are simply cheques that men draw on a bank where they
 +have no account."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Harry," cried Dorian Gray, coming over and sitting down beside him,
 +"why is it that I cannot feel this tragedy as much as I want to?  I
 +don't think I am heartless.  Do you?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You have done too many foolish things during the last fortnight to be
 +entitled to give yourself that name, Dorian," answered Lord Henry with
 +his sweet melancholy smile.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The lad frowned.  "I don't like that explanation, Harry," he rejoined,
 +"but I am glad you don't think I am heartless.  I am nothing of the
 +kind.  I know I am not.  And yet I must admit that this thing that has
 +happened does not affect me as it should.  It seems to me to be simply
 +like a wonderful ending to a wonderful play.  It has all the terrible
 +beauty of a Greek tragedy, a tragedy in which I took a great part, but
 +by which I have not been wounded."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"It is an interesting question," said Lord Henry, who found an
 +exquisite pleasure in playing on the lad's unconscious egotism, "an
 +extremely interesting question.  I fancy that the true explanation is
 +this:  It often happens that the real tragedies of life occur in such
 +an inartistic manner that they hurt us by their crude violence, their
 +absolute incoherence, their absurd want of meaning, their entire lack
 +of style.  They affect us just as vulgarity affects us.  They give us
 +an impression of sheer brute force, and we revolt against that.
 +Sometimes, however, a tragedy that possesses artistic elements of
 +beauty crosses our lives.  If these elements of beauty are real, the
 +whole thing simply appeals to our sense of dramatic effect.  Suddenly
 +we find that we are no longer the actors, but the spectators of the
 +play.  Or rather we are both.  We watch ourselves, and the mere wonder
 +of the spectacle enthralls us.  In the present case, what is it that
 +has really happened?  Some one has killed herself for love of you.  I
 +wish that I had ever had such an experience.  It would have made me in
 +love with love for the rest of my life.  The people who have adored
 +me&mdash;there have not been very many, but there have been some&mdash;have
 +always insisted on living on, long after I had ceased to care for them,
 +or they to care for me.  They have become stout and tedious, and when I
 +meet them, they go in at once for reminiscences.  That awful memory of
 +woman!  What a fearful thing it is!  And what an utter intellectual
 +stagnation it reveals!  One should absorb the colour of life, but one
 +should never remember its details.  Details are always vulgar."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I must sow poppies in my garden," sighed Dorian.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"There is no necessity," rejoined his companion.  "Life has always
 +poppies in her hands.  Of course, now and then things linger.  I once
 +wore nothing but violets all through one season, as a form of artistic
 +mourning for a romance that would not die.  Ultimately, however, it did
 +die.  I forget what killed it.  I think it was her proposing to
 +sacrifice the whole world for me.  That is always a dreadful moment.
 +It fills one with the terror of eternity.  Well&mdash;would you believe
 +it?&mdash;a week ago, at Lady Hampshire's, I found myself seated at dinner
 +next the lady in question, and she insisted on going over the whole
 +thing again, and digging up the past, and raking up the future.  I had
 +buried my romance in a bed of asphodel.  She dragged it out again and
 +assured me that I had spoiled her life.  I am bound to state that she
 +ate an enormous dinner, so I did not feel any anxiety.  But what a lack
 +of taste she showed!  The one charm of the past is that it is the past.
 +But women never know when the curtain has fallen.  They always want a
 +sixth act, and as soon as the interest of the play is entirely over,
 +they propose to continue it.  If they were allowed their own way, every
 +comedy would have a tragic ending, and every tragedy would culminate in
 +a farce.  They are charmingly artificial, but they have no sense of
 +art.  You are more fortunate than I am.  I assure you, Dorian, that not
 +one of the women I have known would have done for me what Sibyl Vane
 +did for you.  Ordinary women always console themselves.  Some of them
 +do it by going in for sentimental colours.  Never trust a woman who
 +wears mauve, whatever her age may be, or a woman over thirty-five who
 +is fond of pink ribbons.  It always means that they have a history.
 +Others find a great consolation in suddenly discovering the good
 +qualities of their husbands.  They flaunt their conjugal felicity in
 +one's face, as if it were the most fascinating of sins.  Religion
 +consoles some.  Its mysteries have all the charm of a flirtation, a
 +woman once told me, and I can quite understand it.  Besides, nothing
 +makes one so vain as being told that one is a sinner.  Conscience makes
 +egotists of us all.  Yes; there is really no end to the consolations
 +that women find in modern life.  Indeed, I have not mentioned the most
 +important one."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"What is that, Harry?" said the lad listlessly.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Oh, the obvious consolation.  Taking some one else's admirer when one
 +loses one's own.  In good society that always whitewashes a woman.  But
 +really, Dorian, how different Sibyl Vane must have been from all the
 +women one meets!  There is something to me quite beautiful about her
 +death.  I am glad I am living in a century when such wonders happen.
 +They make one believe in the reality of the things we all play with,
 +such as romance, passion, and love."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I was terribly cruel to her.  You forget that."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I am afraid that women appreciate cruelty, downright cruelty, more
 +than anything else.  They have wonderfully primitive instincts.  We
 +have emancipated them, but they remain slaves looking for their
 +masters, all the same.  They love being dominated.  I am sure you were
 +splendid.  I have never seen you really and absolutely angry, but I can
 +fancy how delightful you looked.  And, after all, you said something to
 +me the day before yesterday that seemed to me at the time to be merely
 +fanciful, but that I see now was absolutely true, and it holds the key
 +to everything."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"What was that, Harry?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You said to me that Sibyl Vane represented to you all the heroines of
 +romance&mdash;that she was Desdemona one night, and Ophelia the other; that
 +if she died as Juliet, she came to life as Imogen."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"She will never come to life again now," muttered the lad, burying his
 +face in his hands.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"No, she will never come to life.  She has played her last part.  But
 +you must think of that lonely death in the tawdry dressing-room simply
 +as a strange lurid fragment from some Jacobean tragedy, as a wonderful
 +scene from Webster, or Ford, or Cyril Tourneur.  The girl never really
 +lived, and so she has never really died.  To you at least she was
 +always a dream, a phantom that flitted through Shakespeare's plays and
 +left them lovelier for its presence, a reed through which Shakespeare's
 +music sounded richer and more full of joy.  The moment she touched
 +actual life, she marred it, and it marred her, and so she passed away.
 +Mourn for Ophelia, if you like.  Put ashes on your head because
 +Cordelia was strangled.  Cry out against Heaven because the daughter of
 +Brabantio died.  But don't waste your tears over Sibyl Vane.  She was
 +less real than they are."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +There was a silence.  The evening darkened in the room.  Noiselessly,
 +and with silver feet, the shadows crept in from the garden.  The
 +colours faded wearily out of things.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +After some time Dorian Gray looked up.  "You have explained me to
 +myself, Harry," he murmured with something of a sigh of relief.  "I
 +felt all that you have said, but somehow I was afraid of it, and I
 +could not express it to myself.  How well you know me!  But we will not
 +talk again of what has happened.  It has been a marvellous experience.
 +That is all.  I wonder if life has still in store for me anything as
 +marvellous."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Life has everything in store for you, Dorian.  There is nothing that
 +you, with your extraordinary good looks, will not be able to do."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"But suppose, Harry, I became haggard, and old, and wrinkled?  What
 +then?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Ah, then," said Lord Henry, rising to go, "then, my dear Dorian, you
 +would have to fight for your victories.  As it is, they are brought to
 +you.  No, you must keep your good looks.  We live in an age that reads
 +too much to be wise, and that thinks too much to be beautiful.  We
 +cannot spare you.  And now you had better dress and drive down to the
 +club.  We are rather late, as it is."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I think I shall join you at the opera, Harry.  I feel too tired to eat
 +anything.  What is the number of your sister's box?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Twenty-seven, I believe.  It is on the grand tier.  You will see her
 +name on the door.  But I am sorry you won't come and dine."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I don't feel up to it," said Dorian listlessly.  "But I am awfully
 +obliged to you for all that you have said to me.  You are certainly my
 +best friend.  No one has ever understood me as you have."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"We are only at the beginning of our friendship, Dorian," answered Lord
 +Henry, shaking him by the hand.  "Good-bye. I shall see you before
 +nine-thirty, I hope.  Remember, Patti is singing."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +As he closed the door behind him, Dorian Gray touched the bell, and in
 +a few minutes Victor appeared with the lamps and drew the blinds down.
 +He waited impatiently for him to go.  The man seemed to take an
 +interminable time over everything.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +As soon as he had left, he rushed to the screen and drew it back.  No;
 +there was no further change in the picture.  It had received the news
 +of Sibyl Vane's death before he had known of it himself.  It was
 +conscious of the events of life as they occurred.  The vicious cruelty
 +that marred the fine lines of the mouth had, no doubt, appeared at the
 +very moment that the girl had drunk the poison, whatever it was.  Or
 +was it indifferent to results?  Did it merely take cognizance of what
 +passed within the soul?  He wondered, and hoped that some day he would
 +see the change taking place before his very eyes, shuddering as he
 +hoped it.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Poor Sibyl!  What a romance it had all been!  She had often mimicked
 +death on the stage.  Then Death himself had touched her and taken her
 +with him.  How had she played that dreadful last scene?  Had she cursed
 +him, as she died?  No; she had died for love of him, and love would
 +always be a sacrament to him now.  She had atoned for everything by the
 +sacrifice she had made of her life.  He would not think any more of
 +what she had made him go through, on that horrible night at the
 +theatre.  When he thought of her, it would be as a wonderful tragic
 +figure sent on to the world's stage to show the supreme reality of
 +love.  A wonderful tragic figure?  Tears came to his eyes as he
 +remembered her childlike look, and winsome fanciful ways, and shy
 +tremulous grace.  He brushed them away hastily and looked again at the
 +picture.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +He felt that the time had really come for making his choice.  Or had
 +his choice already been made?  Yes, life had decided that for
 +him&mdash;life, and his own infinite curiosity about life.  Eternal youth,
 +infinite passion, pleasures subtle and secret, wild joys and wilder
 +sins&mdash;he was to have all these things.  The portrait was to bear the
 +burden of his shame: that was all.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +A feeling of pain crept over him as he thought of the desecration that
 +was in store for the fair face on the canvas.  Once, in boyish mockery
 +of Narcissus, he had kissed, or feigned to kiss, those painted lips
 +that now smiled so cruelly at him.  Morning after morning he had sat
 +before the portrait wondering at its beauty, almost enamoured of it, as
 +it seemed to him at times.  Was it to alter now with every mood to
 +which he yielded?  Was it to become a monstrous and loathsome thing, to
 +be hidden away in a locked room, to be shut out from the sunlight that
 +had so often touched to brighter gold the waving wonder of its hair?
 +The pity of it! the pity of it!
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +For a moment, he thought of praying that the horrible sympathy that
 +existed between him and the picture might cease.  It had changed in
 +answer to a prayer; perhaps in answer to a prayer it might remain
 +unchanged.  And yet, who, that knew anything about life, would
 +surrender the chance of remaining always young, however fantastic that
 +chance might be, or with what fateful consequences it might be fraught?
 +Besides, was it really under his control?  Had it indeed been prayer
 +that had produced the substitution?  Might there not be some curious
 +scientific reason for it all?  If thought could exercise its influence
 +upon a living organism, might not thought exercise an influence upon
 +dead and inorganic things?  Nay, without thought or conscious desire,
 +might not things external to ourselves vibrate in unison with our moods
 +and passions, atom calling to atom in secret love or strange affinity?
 +But the reason was of no importance.  He would never again tempt by a
 +prayer any terrible power.  If the picture was to alter, it was to
 +alter.  That was all.  Why inquire too closely into it?
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +For there would be a real pleasure in watching it.  He would be able to
 +follow his mind into its secret places.  This portrait would be to him
 +the most magical of mirrors.  As it had revealed to him his own body,
 +so it would reveal to him his own soul.  And when winter came upon it,
 +he would still be standing where spring trembles on the verge of
 +summer.  When the blood crept from its face, and left behind a pallid
 +mask of chalk with leaden eyes, he would keep the glamour of boyhood.
 +Not one blossom of his loveliness would ever fade.  Not one pulse of
 +his life would ever weaken.  Like the gods of the Greeks, he would be
 +strong, and fleet, and joyous.  What did it matter what happened to the
 +coloured image on the canvas?  He would be safe.  That was everything.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +He drew the screen back into its former place in front of the picture,
 +smiling as he did so, and passed into his bedroom, where his valet was
 +already waiting for him.  An hour later he was at the opera, and Lord
 +Henry was leaning over his chair.
 +</P>
 +
 +<BR><BR><BR>
 +
 +<A NAME="chap09"></A>
 +<H3 ALIGN="center">
 +CHAPTER 9
 +</H3>
 +
 +<P>
 +As he was sitting at breakfast next morning, Basil Hallward was shown
 +into the room.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I am so glad I have found you, Dorian," he said gravely.  "I called
 +last night, and they told me you were at the opera.  Of course, I knew
 +that was impossible.  But I wish you had left word where you had really
 +gone to.  I passed a dreadful evening, half afraid that one tragedy
 +might be followed by another.  I think you might have telegraphed for
 +me when you heard of it first.  I read of it quite by chance in a late
 +edition of <i>The Globe</i> that I picked up at the club.  I came here at once
 +and was miserable at not finding you.  I can't tell you how
 +heart-broken I am about the whole thing.  I know what you must suffer.
 +But where were you?  Did you go down and see the girl's mother?  For a
 +moment I thought of following you there.  They gave the address in the
 +paper.  Somewhere in the Euston Road, isn't it?  But I was afraid of
 +intruding upon a sorrow that I could not lighten.  Poor woman!  What a
 +state she must be in!  And her only child, too!  What did she say about
 +it all?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"My dear Basil, how do I know?" murmured Dorian Gray, sipping some
 +pale-yellow wine from a delicate, gold-beaded bubble of Venetian glass
 +and looking dreadfully bored.  "I was at the opera.  You should have
 +come on there.  I met Lady Gwendolen, Harry's sister, for the first
 +time.  We were in her box.  She is perfectly charming; and Patti sang
 +divinely.  Don't talk about horrid subjects.  If one doesn't talk about
 +a thing, it has never happened.  It is simply expression, as Harry
 +says, that gives reality to things.  I may mention that she was not the
 +woman's only child.  There is a son, a charming fellow, I believe.  But
 +he is not on the stage.  He is a sailor, or something.  And now, tell
 +me about yourself and what you are painting."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You went to the opera?" said Hallward, speaking very slowly and with a
 +strained touch of pain in his voice.  "You went to the opera while
 +Sibyl Vane was lying dead in some sordid lodging?  You can talk to me
 +of other women being charming, and of Patti singing divinely, before
 +the girl you loved has even the quiet of a grave to sleep in?  Why,
 +man, there are horrors in store for that little white body of hers!"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Stop, Basil!  I won't hear it!" cried Dorian, leaping to his feet.
 +"You must not tell me about things.  What is done is done.  What is
 +past is past."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You call yesterday the past?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"What has the actual lapse of time got to do with it?  It is only
 +shallow people who require years to get rid of an emotion.  A man who
 +is master of himself can end a sorrow as easily as he can invent a
 +pleasure.  I don't want to be at the mercy of my emotions.  I want to
 +use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Dorian, this is horrible!  Something has changed you completely.  You
 +look exactly the same wonderful boy who, day after day, used to come
 +down to my studio to sit for his picture.  But you were simple,
 +natural, and affectionate then.  You were the most unspoiled creature
 +in the whole world.  Now, I don't know what has come over you.  You
 +talk as if you had no heart, no pity in you.  It is all Harry's
 +influence.  I see that."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The lad flushed up and, going to the window, looked out for a few
 +moments on the green, flickering, sun-lashed garden.  "I owe a great
 +deal to Harry, Basil," he said at last, "more than I owe to you.  You
 +only taught me to be vain."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Well, I am punished for that, Dorian&mdash;or shall be some day."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I don't know what you mean, Basil," he exclaimed, turning round.  "I
 +don't know what you want.  What do you want?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I want the Dorian Gray I used to paint," said the artist sadly.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Basil," said the lad, going over to him and putting his hand on his
 +shoulder, "you have come too late.  Yesterday, when I heard that Sibyl
 +Vane had killed herself&mdash;"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Killed herself!  Good heavens! is there no doubt about that?" cried
 +Hallward, looking up at him with an expression of horror.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"My dear Basil!  Surely you don't think it was a vulgar accident?  Of
 +course she killed herself."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The elder man buried his face in his hands.  "How fearful," he
 +muttered, and a shudder ran through him.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"No," said Dorian Gray, "there is nothing fearful about it.  It is one
 +of the great romantic tragedies of the age.  As a rule, people who act
 +lead the most commonplace lives.  They are good husbands, or faithful
 +wives, or something tedious.  You know what I mean&mdash;middle-class virtue
 +and all that kind of thing.  How different Sibyl was!  She lived her
 +finest tragedy.  She was always a heroine.  The last night she
 +played&mdash;the night you saw her&mdash;she acted badly because she had known
 +the reality of love.  When she knew its unreality, she died, as Juliet
 +might have died.  She passed again into the sphere of art.  There is
 +something of the martyr about her.  Her death has all the pathetic
 +uselessness of martyrdom, all its wasted beauty.  But, as I was saying,
 +you must not think I have not suffered.  If you had come in yesterday
 +at a particular moment&mdash;about half-past five, perhaps, or a quarter to
 +six&mdash;you would have found me in tears.  Even Harry, who was here, who
 +brought me the news, in fact, had no idea what I was going through.  I
 +suffered immensely.  Then it passed away.  I cannot repeat an emotion.
 +No one can, except sentimentalists.  And you are awfully unjust, Basil.
 +You come down here to console me.  That is charming of you.  You find
 +me consoled, and you are furious.  How like a sympathetic person!  You
 +remind me of a story Harry told me about a certain philanthropist who
 +spent twenty years of his life in trying to get some grievance
 +redressed, or some unjust law altered&mdash;I forget exactly what it was.
 +Finally he succeeded, and nothing could exceed his disappointment.  He
 +had absolutely nothing to do, almost died of <i>ennui</i>, and became a
 +confirmed misanthrope.  And besides, my dear old Basil, if you really
 +want to console me, teach me rather to forget what has happened, or to
 +see it from a proper artistic point of view.  Was it not Gautier who
 +used to write about <i>la consolation des arts</i>?  I remember picking up a
 +little vellum-covered book in your studio one day and chancing on that
 +delightful phrase.  Well, I am not like that young man you told me of
 +when we were down at Marlow together, the young man who used to say
 +that yellow satin could console one for all the miseries of life.  I
 +love beautiful things that one can touch and handle.  Old brocades,
 +green bronzes, lacquer-work, carved ivories, exquisite surroundings,
 +luxury, pomp&mdash;there is much to be got from all these.  But the artistic
 +temperament that they create, or at any rate reveal, is still more to
 +me.  To become the spectator of one's own life, as Harry says, is to
 +escape the suffering of life.  I know you are surprised at my talking
 +to you like this.  You have not realized how I have developed.  I was a
 +schoolboy when you knew me.  I am a man now.  I have new passions, new
 +thoughts, new ideas.  I am different, but you must not like me less.  I
 +am changed, but you must always be my friend.  Of course, I am very
 +fond of Harry.  But I know that you are better than he is.  You are not
 +stronger&mdash;you are too much afraid of life&mdash;but you are better.  And how
 +happy we used to be together!  Don't leave me, Basil, and don't quarrel
 +with me.  I am what I am.  There is nothing more to be said."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The painter felt strangely moved.  The lad was infinitely dear to him,
 +and his personality had been the great turning point in his art.  He
 +could not bear the idea of reproaching him any more.  After all, his
 +indifference was probably merely a mood that would pass away.  There
 +was so much in him that was good, so much in him that was noble.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Well, Dorian," he said at length, with a sad smile, "I won't speak to
 +you again about this horrible thing, after to-day.  I only trust your
 +name won't be mentioned in connection with it.  The inquest is to take
 +place this afternoon.  Have they summoned you?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Dorian shook his head, and a look of annoyance passed over his face at
 +the mention of the word "inquest."  There was something so crude and
 +vulgar about everything of the kind.  "They don't know my name," he
 +answered.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"But surely she did?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Only my Christian name, and that I am quite sure she never mentioned
 +to any one.  She told me once that they were all rather curious to
 +learn who I was, and that she invariably told them my name was Prince
 +Charming.  It was pretty of her.  You must do me a drawing of Sibyl,
 +Basil.  I should like to have something more of her than the memory of
 +a few kisses and some broken pathetic words."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I will try and do something, Dorian, if it would please you.  But you
 +must come and sit to me yourself again.  I can't get on without you."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I can never sit to you again, Basil.  It is impossible!" he exclaimed,
 +starting back.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The painter stared at him.  "My dear boy, what nonsense!" he cried.
 +"Do you mean to say you don't like what I did of you?  Where is it?
 +Why have you pulled the screen in front of it?  Let me look at it.  It
 +is the best thing I have ever done.  Do take the screen away, Dorian.
 +It is simply disgraceful of your servant hiding my work like that.  I
 +felt the room looked different as I came in."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"My servant has nothing to do with it, Basil.  You don't imagine I let
 +him arrange my room for me?  He settles my flowers for me
 +sometimes&mdash;that is all.  No; I did it myself.  The light was too strong
 +on the portrait."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Too strong!  Surely not, my dear fellow?  It is an admirable place for
 +it.  Let me see it."  And Hallward walked towards the corner of the
 +room.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +A cry of terror broke from Dorian Gray's lips, and he rushed between
 +the painter and the screen.  "Basil," he said, looking very pale, "you
 +must not look at it.  I don't wish you to."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Not look at my own work!  You are not serious.  Why shouldn't I look
 +at it?" exclaimed Hallward, laughing.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"If you try to look at it, Basil, on my word of honour I will never
 +speak to you again as long as I live.  I am quite serious.  I don't
 +offer any explanation, and you are not to ask for any.  But, remember,
 +if you touch this screen, everything is over between us."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Hallward was thunderstruck.  He looked at Dorian Gray in absolute
 +amazement.  He had never seen him like this before.  The lad was
 +actually pallid with rage.  His hands were clenched, and the pupils of
 +his eyes were like disks of blue fire.  He was trembling all over.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Dorian!"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Don't speak!"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"But what is the matter?  Of course I won't look at it if you don't
 +want me to," he said, rather coldly, turning on his heel and going over
 +towards the window.  "But, really, it seems rather absurd that I
 +shouldn't see my own work, especially as I am going to exhibit it in
 +Paris in the autumn.  I shall probably have to give it another coat of
 +varnish before that, so I must see it some day, and why not to-day?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"To exhibit it!  You want to exhibit it?" exclaimed Dorian Gray, a
 +strange sense of terror creeping over him.  Was the world going to be
 +shown his secret?  Were people to gape at the mystery of his life?
 +That was impossible.  Something&mdash;he did not know what&mdash;had to be done
 +at once.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Yes; I don't suppose you will object to that.  Georges Petit is going
 +to collect all my best pictures for a special exhibition in the Rue de
 +Seze, which will open the first week in October.  The portrait will
 +only be away a month.  I should think you could easily spare it for
 +that time.  In fact, you are sure to be out of town.  And if you keep
 +it always behind a screen, you can't care much about it."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Dorian Gray passed his hand over his forehead.  There were beads of
 +perspiration there.  He felt that he was on the brink of a horrible
 +danger.  "You told me a month ago that you would never exhibit it," he
 +cried.  "Why have you changed your mind?  You people who go in for
 +being consistent have just as many moods as others have.  The only
 +difference is that your moods are rather meaningless.  You can't have
 +forgotten that you assured me most solemnly that nothing in the world
 +would induce you to send it to any exhibition.  You told Harry exactly
 +the same thing." He stopped suddenly, and a gleam of light came into
 +his eyes.  He remembered that Lord Henry had said to him once, half
 +seriously and half in jest, "If you want to have a strange quarter of
 +an hour, get Basil to tell you why he won't exhibit your picture.  He
 +told me why he wouldn't, and it was a revelation to me."  Yes, perhaps
 +Basil, too, had his secret.  He would ask him and try.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Basil," he said, coming over quite close and looking him straight in
 +the face, "we have each of us a secret.  Let me know yours, and I shall
 +tell you mine.  What was your reason for refusing to exhibit my
 +picture?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The painter shuddered in spite of himself.  "Dorian, if I told you, you
 +might like me less than you do, and you would certainly laugh at me.  I
 +could not bear your doing either of those two things.  If you wish me
 +never to look at your picture again, I am content.  I have always you
 +to look at.  If you wish the best work I have ever done to be hidden
 +from the world, I am satisfied.  Your friendship is dearer to me than
 +any fame or reputation."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"No, Basil, you must tell me," insisted Dorian Gray.  "I think I have a
 +right to know."  His feeling of terror had passed away, and curiosity
 +had taken its place.  He was determined to find out Basil Hallward's
 +mystery.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Let us sit down, Dorian," said the painter, looking troubled.  "Let us
 +sit down.  And just answer me one question.  Have you noticed in the
 +picture something curious?&mdash;something that probably at first did not
 +strike you, but that revealed itself to you suddenly?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Basil!" cried the lad, clutching the arms of his chair with trembling
 +hands and gazing at him with wild startled eyes.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I see you did.  Don't speak.  Wait till you hear what I have to say.
 +Dorian, from the moment I met you, your personality had the most
 +extraordinary influence over me.  I was dominated, soul, brain, and
 +power, by you.  You became to me the visible incarnation of that unseen
 +ideal whose memory haunts us artists like an exquisite dream.  I
 +worshipped you.  I grew jealous of every one to whom you spoke.  I
 +wanted to have you all to myself.  I was only happy when I was with
 +you.  When you were away from me, you were still present in my art....
 +Of course, I never let you know anything about this.  It would have
 +been impossible.  You would not have understood it.  I hardly
 +understood it myself.  I only knew that I had seen perfection face to
 +face, and that the world had become wonderful to my eyes&mdash;too
 +wonderful, perhaps, for in such mad worships there is peril, the peril
 +of losing them, no less than the peril of keeping them....  Weeks and
 +weeks went on, and I grew more and more absorbed in you.  Then came a
 +new development.  I had drawn you as Paris in dainty armour, and as
 +Adonis with huntsman's cloak and polished boar-spear. Crowned with
 +heavy lotus-blossoms you had sat on the prow of Adrian's barge, gazing
 +across the green turbid Nile.  You had leaned over the still pool of
 +some Greek woodland and seen in the water's silent silver the marvel of
 +your own face.  And it had all been what art should be&mdash;unconscious,
 +ideal, and remote.  One day, a fatal day I sometimes think, I
 +determined to paint a wonderful portrait of you as you actually are,
 +not in the costume of dead ages, but in your own dress and in your own
 +time.  Whether it was the realism of the method, or the mere wonder of
 +your own personality, thus directly presented to me without mist or
 +veil, I cannot tell.  But I know that as I worked at it, every flake
 +and film of colour seemed to me to reveal my secret.  I grew afraid
 +that others would know of my idolatry.  I felt, Dorian, that I had told
 +too much, that I had put too much of myself into it.  Then it was that
 +I resolved never to allow the picture to be exhibited.  You were a
 +little annoyed; but then you did not realize all that it meant to me.
 +Harry, to whom I talked about it, laughed at me.  But I did not mind
 +that.  When the picture was finished, and I sat alone with it, I felt
 +that I was right.... Well, after a few days the thing left my studio,
 +and as soon as I had got rid of the intolerable fascination of its
 +presence, it seemed to me that I had been foolish in imagining that I
 +had seen anything in it, more than that you were extremely good-looking
 +and that I could paint.  Even now I cannot help feeling that it is a
 +mistake to think that the passion one feels in creation is ever really
 +shown in the work one creates.  Art is always more abstract than we
 +fancy.  Form and colour tell us of form and colour&mdash;that is all.  It
 +often seems to me that art conceals the artist far more completely than
 +it ever reveals him.  And so when I got this offer from Paris, I
 +determined to make your portrait the principal thing in my exhibition.
 +It never occurred to me that you would refuse.  I see now that you were
 +right.  The picture cannot be shown.  You must not be angry with me,
 +Dorian, for what I have told you.  As I said to Harry, once, you are
 +made to be worshipped."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Dorian Gray drew a long breath.  The colour came back to his cheeks,
 +and a smile played about his lips.  The peril was over.  He was safe
 +for the time.  Yet he could not help feeling infinite pity for the
 +painter who had just made this strange confession to him, and wondered
 +if he himself would ever be so dominated by the personality of a
 +friend.  Lord Henry had the charm of being very dangerous.  But that
 +was all.  He was too clever and too cynical to be really fond of.
 +Would there ever be some one who would fill him with a strange
 +idolatry?  Was that one of the things that life had in store?
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"It is extraordinary to me, Dorian," said Hallward, "that you should
 +have seen this in the portrait.  Did you really see it?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I saw something in it," he answered, "something that seemed to me very
 +curious."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Well, you don't mind my looking at the thing now?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Dorian shook his head.  "You must not ask me that, Basil.  I could not
 +possibly let you stand in front of that picture."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You will some day, surely?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Never."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Well, perhaps you are right.  And now good-bye, Dorian.  You have been
 +the one person in my life who has really influenced my art.  Whatever I
 +have done that is good, I owe to you.  Ah! you don't know what it cost
 +me to tell you all that I have told you."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"My dear Basil," said Dorian, "what have you told me?  Simply that you
 +felt that you admired me too much.  That is not even a compliment."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"It was not intended as a compliment.  It was a confession.  Now that I
 +have made it, something seems to have gone out of me.  Perhaps one
 +should never put one's worship into words."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"It was a very disappointing confession."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Why, what did you expect, Dorian?  You didn't see anything else in the
 +picture, did you?  There was nothing else to see?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"No; there was nothing else to see.  Why do you ask?  But you mustn't
 +talk about worship.  It is foolish.  You and I are friends, Basil, and
 +we must always remain so."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You have got Harry," said the painter sadly.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Oh, Harry!" cried the lad, with a ripple of laughter.  "Harry spends
 +his days in saying what is incredible and his evenings in doing what is
 +improbable.  Just the sort of life I would like to lead.  But still I
 +don't think I would go to Harry if I were in trouble.  I would sooner
 +go to you, Basil."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You will sit to me again?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Impossible!"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"You spoil my life as an artist by refusing, Dorian.  No man comes
 +across two ideal things.  Few come across one."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I can't explain it to you, Basil, but I must never sit to you again.
 +There is something fatal about a portrait.  It has a life of its own.
 +I will come and have tea with you.  That will be just as pleasant."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Pleasanter for you, I am afraid," murmured Hallward regretfully.  "And
 +now good-bye. I am sorry you won't let me look at the picture once
 +again.  But that can't be helped.  I quite understand what you feel
 +about it."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +As he left the room, Dorian Gray smiled to himself.  Poor Basil!  How
 +little he knew of the true reason!  And how strange it was that,
 +instead of having been forced to reveal his own secret, he had
 +succeeded, almost by chance, in wresting a secret from his friend!  How
 +much that strange confession explained to him!  The painter's absurd
 +fits of jealousy, his wild devotion, his extravagant panegyrics, his
 +curious reticences&mdash;he understood them all now, and he felt sorry.
 +There seemed to him to be something tragic in a friendship so coloured
 +by romance.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +He sighed and touched the bell.  The portrait must be hidden away at
 +all costs.  He could not run such a risk of discovery again.  It had
 +been mad of him to have allowed the thing to remain, even for an hour,
 +in a room to which any of his friends had access.
 +</P>
 +
 +<BR><BR><BR>
 +
 +<A NAME="chap10"></A>
 +<H3 ALIGN="center">
 +CHAPTER 10
 +</H3>
 +
 +<P>
 +When his servant entered, he looked at him steadfastly and wondered if
 +he had thought of peering behind the screen.  The man was quite
 +impassive and waited for his orders.  Dorian lit a cigarette and walked
 +over to the glass and glanced into it.  He could see the reflection of
 +Victor's face perfectly.  It was like a placid mask of servility.
 +There was nothing to be afraid of, there.  Yet he thought it best to be
 +on his guard.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Speaking very slowly, he told him to tell the house-keeper that he
 +wanted to see her, and then to go to the frame-maker and ask him to
 +send two of his men round at once.  It seemed to him that as the man
 +left the room his eyes wandered in the direction of the screen.  Or was
 +that merely his own fancy?
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +After a few moments, in her black silk dress, with old-fashioned thread
 +mittens on her wrinkled hands, Mrs. Leaf bustled into the library.  He
 +asked her for the key of the schoolroom.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"The old schoolroom, Mr. Dorian?" she exclaimed.  "Why, it is full of
 +dust.  I must get it arranged and put straight before you go into it.
 +It is not fit for you to see, sir.  It is not, indeed."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I don't want it put straight, Leaf.  I only want the key."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Well, sir, you'll be covered with cobwebs if you go into it.  Why, it
 +hasn't been opened for nearly five years&mdash;not since his lordship died."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +He winced at the mention of his grandfather.  He had hateful memories
 +of him.  "That does not matter," he answered.  "I simply want to see
 +the place&mdash;that is all.  Give me the key."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"And here is the key, sir," said the old lady, going over the contents
 +of her bunch with tremulously uncertain hands.  "Here is the key.  I'll
 +have it off the bunch in a moment.  But you don't think of living up
 +there, sir, and you so comfortable here?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"No, no," he cried petulantly.  "Thank you, Leaf.  That will do."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +She lingered for a few moments, and was garrulous over some detail of
 +the household.  He sighed and told her to manage things as she thought
 +best.  She left the room, wreathed in smiles.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +As the door closed, Dorian put the key in his pocket and looked round
 +the room.  His eye fell on a large, purple satin coverlet heavily
 +embroidered with gold, a splendid piece of late seventeenth-century
 +Venetian work that his grandfather had found in a convent near Bologna.
 +Yes, that would serve to wrap the dreadful thing in.  It had perhaps
 +served often as a pall for the dead.  Now it was to hide something that
 +had a corruption of its own, worse than the corruption of death
 +itself&mdash;something that would breed horrors and yet would never die.
 +What the worm was to the corpse, his sins would be to the painted image
 +on the canvas.  They would mar its beauty and eat away its grace.  They
 +would defile it and make it shameful.  And yet the thing would still
 +live on.  It would be always alive.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +He shuddered, and for a moment he regretted that he had not told Basil
 +the true reason why he had wished to hide the picture away.  Basil
 +would have helped him to resist Lord Henry's influence, and the still
 +more poisonous influences that came from his own temperament.  The love
 +that he bore him&mdash;for it was really love&mdash;had nothing in it that was
 +not noble and intellectual.  It was not that mere physical admiration
 +of beauty that is born of the senses and that dies when the senses
 +tire.  It was such love as Michelangelo had known, and Montaigne, and
 +Winckelmann, and Shakespeare himself.  Yes, Basil could have saved him.
 +But it was too late now.  The past could always be annihilated.
 +Regret, denial, or forgetfulness could do that.  But the future was
 +inevitable.  There were passions in him that would find their terrible
 +outlet, dreams that would make the shadow of their evil real.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +He took up from the couch the great purple-and-gold texture that
 +covered it, and, holding it in his hands, passed behind the screen.
 +Was the face on the canvas viler than before?  It seemed to him that it
 +was unchanged, and yet his loathing of it was intensified.  Gold hair,
 +blue eyes, and rose-red lips&mdash;they all were there.  It was simply the
 +expression that had altered.  That was horrible in its cruelty.
 +Compared to what he saw in it of censure or rebuke, how shallow Basil's
 +reproaches about Sibyl Vane had been!&mdash;how shallow, and of what little
 +account!  His own soul was looking out at him from the canvas and
 +calling him to judgement.  A look of pain came across him, and he flung
 +the rich pall over the picture.  As he did so, a knock came to the
 +door.  He passed out as his servant entered.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"The persons are here, Monsieur."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +He felt that the man must be got rid of at once.  He must not be
 +allowed to know where the picture was being taken to.  There was
 +something sly about him, and he had thoughtful, treacherous eyes.
 +Sitting down at the writing-table he scribbled a note to Lord Henry,
 +asking him to send him round something to read and reminding him that
 +they were to meet at eight-fifteen that evening.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Wait for an answer," he said, handing it to him, "and show the men in
 +here."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +In two or three minutes there was another knock, and Mr. Hubbard
 +himself, the celebrated frame-maker of South Audley Street, came in
 +with a somewhat rough-looking young assistant.  Mr. Hubbard was a
 +florid, red-whiskered little man, whose admiration for art was
 +considerably tempered by the inveterate impecuniosity of most of the
 +artists who dealt with him.  As a rule, he never left his shop.  He
 +waited for people to come to him.  But he always made an exception in
 +favour of Dorian Gray.  There was something about Dorian that charmed
 +everybody.  It was a pleasure even to see him.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"What can I do for you, Mr. Gray?" he said, rubbing his fat freckled
 +hands.  "I thought I would do myself the honour of coming round in
 +person.  I have just got a beauty of a frame, sir.  Picked it up at a
 +sale.  Old Florentine.  Came from Fonthill, I believe.  Admirably
 +suited for a religious subject, Mr. Gray."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I am so sorry you have given yourself the trouble of coming round, Mr.
 +Hubbard.  I shall certainly drop in and look at the frame&mdash;though I
 +don't go in much at present for religious art&mdash;but to-day I only want a
 +picture carried to the top of the house for me.  It is rather heavy, so
 +I thought I would ask you to lend me a couple of your men."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"No trouble at all, Mr. Gray.  I am delighted to be of any service to
 +you.  Which is the work of art, sir?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"This," replied Dorian, moving the screen back.  "Can you move it,
 +covering and all, just as it is?  I don't want it to get scratched
 +going upstairs."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"There will be no difficulty, sir," said the genial frame-maker,
 +beginning, with the aid of his assistant, to unhook the picture from
 +the long brass chains by which it was suspended.  "And, now, where
 +shall we carry it to, Mr. Gray?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I will show you the way, Mr. Hubbard, if you will kindly follow me.
 +Or perhaps you had better go in front.  I am afraid it is right at the
 +top of the house.  We will go up by the front staircase, as it is
 +wider."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +He held the door open for them, and they passed out into the hall and
 +began the ascent.  The elaborate character of the frame had made the
 +picture extremely bulky, and now and then, in spite of the obsequious
 +protests of Mr. Hubbard, who had the true tradesman's spirited dislike
 +of seeing a gentleman doing anything useful, Dorian put his hand to it
 +so as to help them.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Something of a load to carry, sir," gasped the little man when they
 +reached the top landing.  And he wiped his shiny forehead.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I am afraid it is rather heavy," murmured Dorian as he unlocked the
 +door that opened into the room that was to keep for him the curious
 +secret of his life and hide his soul from the eyes of men.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +He had not entered the place for more than four years&mdash;not, indeed,
 +since he had used it first as a play-room when he was a child, and then
 +as a study when he grew somewhat older.  It was a large,
 +well-proportioned room, which had been specially built by the last Lord
 +Kelso for the use of the little grandson whom, for his strange likeness
 +to his mother, and also for other reasons, he had always hated and
 +desired to keep at a distance.  It appeared to Dorian to have but
 +little changed.  There was the huge Italian <i>cassone</i>, with its
 +fantastically painted panels and its tarnished gilt mouldings, in which
 +he had so often hidden himself as a boy.  There the satinwood book-case
 +filled with his dog-eared schoolbooks.  On the wall behind it was
 +hanging the same ragged Flemish tapestry where a faded king and queen
 +were playing chess in a garden, while a company of hawkers rode by,
 +carrying hooded birds on their gauntleted wrists.  How well he
 +remembered it all!  Every moment of his lonely childhood came back to
 +him as he looked round.  He recalled the stainless purity of his boyish
 +life, and it seemed horrible to him that it was here the fatal portrait
 +was to be hidden away.  How little he had thought, in those dead days,
 +of all that was in store for him!
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +But there was no other place in the house so secure from prying eyes as
 +this.  He had the key, and no one else could enter it.  Beneath its
 +purple pall, the face painted on the canvas could grow bestial, sodden,
 +and unclean.  What did it matter?  No one could see it.  He himself
 +would not see it.  Why should he watch the hideous corruption of his
 +soul?  He kept his youth&mdash;that was enough.  And, besides, might not
 +his nature grow finer, after all?  There was no reason that the future
 +should be so full of shame.  Some love might come across his life, and
 +purify him, and shield him from those sins that seemed to be already
 +stirring in spirit and in flesh&mdash;those curious unpictured sins whose
 +very mystery lent them their subtlety and their charm.  Perhaps, some
 +day, the cruel look would have passed away from the scarlet sensitive
 +mouth, and he might show to the world Basil Hallward's masterpiece.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +No; that was impossible.  Hour by hour, and week by week, the thing
 +upon the canvas was growing old.  It might escape the hideousness of
 +sin, but the hideousness of age was in store for it.  The cheeks would
 +become hollow or flaccid.  Yellow crow's feet would creep round the
 +fading eyes and make them horrible.  The hair would lose its
 +brightness, the mouth would gape or droop, would be foolish or gross,
 +as the mouths of old men are.  There would be the wrinkled throat, the
 +cold, blue-veined hands, the twisted body, that he remembered in the
 +grandfather who had been so stern to him in his boyhood.  The picture
 +had to be concealed.  There was no help for it.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Bring it in, Mr. Hubbard, please," he said, wearily, turning round.
 +"I am sorry I kept you so long.  I was thinking of something else."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Always glad to have a rest, Mr. Gray," answered the frame-maker, who
 +was still gasping for breath.  "Where shall we put it, sir?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Oh, anywhere.  Here:  this will do.  I don't want to have it hung up.
 +Just lean it against the wall.  Thanks."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Might one look at the work of art, sir?"
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Dorian started.  "It would not interest you, Mr. Hubbard," he said,
 +keeping his eye on the man.  He felt ready to leap upon him and fling
 +him to the ground if he dared to lift the gorgeous hanging that
 +concealed the secret of his life.  "I shan't trouble you any more now.
 +I am much obliged for your kindness in coming round."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Not at all, not at all, Mr. Gray.  Ever ready to do anything for you,
 +sir." And Mr. Hubbard tramped downstairs, followed by the assistant,
 +who glanced back at Dorian with a look of shy wonder in his rough
 +uncomely face.  He had never seen any one so marvellous.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +When the sound of their footsteps had died away, Dorian locked the door
 +and put the key in his pocket.  He felt safe now.  No one would ever
 +look upon the horrible thing.  No eye but his would ever see his shame.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +On reaching the library, he found that it was just after five o'clock
 +and that the tea had been already brought up.  On a little table of
 +dark perfumed wood thickly incrusted with nacre, a present from Lady
 +Radley, his guardian's wife, a pretty professional invalid who had
 +spent the preceding winter in Cairo, was lying a note from Lord Henry,
 +and beside it was a book bound in yellow paper, the cover slightly torn
 +and the edges soiled.  A copy of the third edition of <i>The St. James's
 +Gazette</i> had been placed on the tea-tray. It was evident that Victor had
 +returned.  He wondered if he had met the men in the hall as they were
 +leaving the house and had wormed out of them what they had been doing.
 +He would be sure to miss the picture&mdash;had no doubt missed it already,
 +while he had been laying the tea-things. The screen had not been set
 +back, and a blank space was visible on the wall.  Perhaps some night he
 +might find him creeping upstairs and trying to force the door of the
 +room.  It was a horrible thing to have a spy in one's house.  He had
 +heard of rich men who had been blackmailed all their lives by some
 +servant who had read a letter, or overheard a conversation, or picked
 +up a card with an address, or found beneath a pillow a withered flower
 +or a shred of crumpled lace.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +He sighed, and having poured himself out some tea, opened Lord Henry's
 +note.  It was simply to say that he sent him round the evening paper,
 +and a book that might interest him, and that he would be at the club at
 +eight-fifteen. He opened <i>The St. James's</i> languidly, and looked through
 +it.  A red pencil-mark on the fifth page caught his eye.  It drew
 +attention to the following paragraph:
 +</P>
 +
 +<BR>
 +
 +<P>
 +INQUEST ON AN ACTRESS.&mdash;An inquest was held this morning at the Bell
 +Tavern, Hoxton Road, by Mr. Danby, the District Coroner, on the body of
 +Sibyl Vane, a young actress recently engaged at the Royal Theatre,
 +Holborn.  A verdict of death by misadventure was returned.
 +Considerable sympathy was expressed for the mother of the deceased, who
 +was greatly affected during the giving of her own evidence, and that of
 +Dr. Birrell, who had made the post-mortem examination of the deceased.
 +</P>
 +
 +<BR>
 +
 +<P>
 +He frowned, and tearing the paper in two, went across the room and
 +flung the pieces away.  How ugly it all was!  And how horribly real
 +ugliness made things!  He felt a little annoyed with Lord Henry for
 +having sent him the report.  And it was certainly stupid of him to have
 +marked it with red pencil.  Victor might have read it.  The man knew
 +more than enough English for that.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Perhaps he had read it and had begun to suspect something.  And, yet,
 +what did it matter?  What had Dorian Gray to do with Sibyl Vane's
 +death?  There was nothing to fear.  Dorian Gray had not killed her.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +His eye fell on the yellow book that Lord Henry had sent him.  What was
 +it, he wondered.  He went towards the little, pearl-coloured octagonal
 +stand that had always looked to him like the work of some strange
 +Egyptian bees that wrought in silver, and taking up the volume, flung
 +himself into an arm-chair and began to turn over the leaves.  After a
 +few minutes he became absorbed.  It was the strangest book that he had
 +ever read.  It seemed to him that in exquisite raiment, and to the
 +delicate sound of flutes, the sins of the world were passing in dumb
 +show before him.  Things that he had dimly dreamed of were suddenly
 +made real to him.  Things of which he had never dreamed were gradually
 +revealed.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +It was a novel without a plot and with only one character, being,
 +indeed, simply a psychological study of a certain young Parisian who
 +spent his life trying to realize in the nineteenth century all the
 +passions and modes of thought that belonged to every century except his
 +own, and to sum up, as it were, in himself the various moods through
 +which the world-spirit had ever passed, loving for their mere
 +artificiality those renunciations that men have unwisely called virtue,
 +as much as those natural rebellions that wise men still call sin.  The
 +style in which it was written was that curious jewelled style, vivid
 +and obscure at once, full of <i>argot</i> and of archaisms, of technical
 +expressions and of elaborate paraphrases, that characterizes the work
 +of some of the finest artists of the French school of <i>Symbolistes</i>.
 +There were in it metaphors as monstrous as orchids and as subtle in
 +colour.  The life of the senses was described in the terms of mystical
 +philosophy.  One hardly knew at times whether one was reading the
 +spiritual ecstasies of some mediaeval saint or the morbid confessions
 +of a modern sinner.  It was a poisonous book.  The heavy odour of
 +incense seemed to cling about its pages and to trouble the brain.  The
 +mere cadence of the sentences, the subtle monotony of their music, so
 +full as it was of complex refrains and movements elaborately repeated,
 +produced in the mind of the lad, as he passed from chapter to chapter,
 +a form of reverie, a malady of dreaming, that made him unconscious of
 +the falling day and creeping shadows.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Cloudless, and pierced by one solitary star, a copper-green sky gleamed
 +through the windows.  He read on by its wan light till he could read no
 +more.  Then, after his valet had reminded him several times of the
 +lateness of the hour, he got up, and going into the next room, placed
 +the book on the little Florentine table that always stood at his
 +bedside and began to dress for dinner.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +It was almost nine o'clock before he reached the club, where he found
 +Lord Henry sitting alone, in the morning-room, looking very much bored.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I am so sorry, Harry," he cried, "but really it is entirely your
 +fault.  That book you sent me so fascinated me that I forgot how the
 +time was going."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Yes, I thought you would like it," replied his host, rising from his
 +chair.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"I didn't say I liked it, Harry.  I said it fascinated me.  There is a
 +great difference."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +"Ah, you have discovered that?" murmured Lord Henry.  And they passed
 +into the dining-room.
 +</P>
 +
 +<BR><BR><BR>
 +
 +<A NAME="chap11"></A>
 +<H3 ALIGN="center">
 +CHAPTER 11
 +</H3>
 +
 +<P>
 +For years, Dorian Gray could not free himself from the influence of
 +this book.  Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that he never
 +sought to free himself from it.  He procured from Paris no less than
 +nine large-paper copies of the first edition, and had them bound in
 +different colours, so that they might suit his various moods and the
 +changing fancies of a nature over which he seemed, at times, to have
 +almost entirely lost control.  The hero, the wonderful young Parisian
 +in whom the romantic and the scientific temperaments were so strangely
 +blended, became to him a kind of prefiguring type of himself.  And,
 +indeed, the whole book seemed to him to contain the story of his own
 +life, written before he had lived it.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +In one point he was more fortunate than the novel's fantastic hero.  He
 +never knew&mdash;never, indeed, had any cause to know&mdash;that somewhat
 +grotesque dread of mirrors, and polished metal surfaces, and still
 +water which came upon the young Parisian so early in his life, and was
 +occasioned by the sudden decay of a beau that had once, apparently,
 +been so remarkable.  It was with an almost cruel joy&mdash;and perhaps in
 +nearly every joy, as certainly in every pleasure, cruelty has its
 +place&mdash;that he used to read the latter part of the book, with its
 +really tragic, if somewhat overemphasized, account of the sorrow and
 +despair of one who had himself lost what in others, and the world, he
 +had most dearly valued.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +For the wonderful beauty that had so fascinated Basil Hallward, and
 +many others besides him, seemed never to leave him.  Even those who had
 +heard the most evil things against him&mdash;and from time to time strange
 +rumours about his mode of life crept through London and became the
 +chatter of the clubs&mdash;could not believe anything to his dishonour when
 +they saw him.  He had always the look of one who had kept himself
 +unspotted from the world.  Men who talked grossly became silent when
 +Dorian Gray entered the room.  There was something in the purity of his
 +face that rebuked them.  His mere presence seemed to recall to them the
 +memory of the innocence that they had tarnished.  They wondered how one
 +so charming and graceful as he was could have escaped the stain of an
 +age that was at once sordid and sensual.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Often, on returning home from one of those mysterious and prolonged
 +absences that gave rise to such strange conjecture among those who were
 +his friends, or thought that they were so, he himself would creep
 +upstairs to the locked room, open the door with the key that never left
 +him now, and stand, with a mirror, in front of the portrait that Basil
 +Hallward had painted of him, looking now at the evil and aging face on
 +the canvas, and now at the fair young face that laughed back at him
 +from the polished glass.  The very sharpness of the contrast used to
 +quicken his sense of pleasure.  He grew more and more enamoured of his
 +own beauty, more and more interested in the corruption of his own soul.
 +He would examine with minute care, and sometimes with a monstrous and
 +terrible delight, the hideous lines that seared the wrinkling forehead
 +or crawled around the heavy sensual mouth, wondering sometimes which
 +were the more horrible, the signs of sin or the signs of age.  He would
 +place his white hands beside the coarse bloated hands of the picture,
 +and smile.  He mocked the misshapen body and the failing limbs.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +There were moments, indeed, at night, when, lying sleepless in his own
 +delicately scented chamber, or in the sordid room of the little
 +ill-famed tavern near the docks which, under an assumed name and in
 +disguise, it was his habit to frequent, he would think of the ruin he
 +had brought upon his soul with a pity that was all the more poignant
 +because it was purely selfish.  But moments such as these were rare.
 +That curiosity about life which Lord Henry had first stirred in him, as
 +they sat together in the garden of their friend, seemed to increase
 +with gratification.  The more he knew, the more he desired to know.  He
 +had mad hungers that grew more ravenous as he fed them.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Yet he was not really reckless, at any rate in his relations to
 +society.  Once or twice every month during the winter, and on each
 +Wednesday evening while the season lasted, he would throw open to the
 +world his beautiful house and have the most celebrated musicians of the
 +day to charm his guests with the wonders of their art.  His little
 +dinners, in the settling of which Lord Henry always assisted him, were
 +noted as much for the careful selection and placing of those invited,
 +as for the exquisite taste shown in the decoration of the table, with
 +its subtle symphonic arrangements of exotic flowers, and embroidered
 +cloths, and antique plate of gold and silver.  Indeed, there were many,
 +especially among the very young men, who saw, or fancied that they saw,
 +in Dorian Gray the true realization of a type of which they had often
 +dreamed in Eton or Oxford days, a type that was to combine something of
 +the real culture of the scholar with all the grace and distinction and
 +perfect manner of a citizen of the world.  To them he seemed to be of
 +the company of those whom Dante describes as having sought to "make
 +themselves perfect by the worship of beauty."  Like Gautier, he was one
 +for whom "the visible world existed."
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +And, certainly, to him life itself was the first, the greatest, of the
 +arts, and for it all the other arts seemed to be but a preparation.
 +Fashion, by which what is really fantastic becomes for a moment
 +universal, and dandyism, which, in its own way, is an attempt to assert
 +the absolute modernity of beauty, had, of course, their fascination for
 +him.  His mode of dressing, and the particular styles that from time to
 +time he affected, had their marked influence on the young exquisites of
 +the Mayfair balls and Pall Mall club windows, who copied him in
 +everything that he did, and tried to reproduce the accidental charm of
 +his graceful, though to him only half-serious, fopperies.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +For, while he was but too ready to accept the position that was almost
 +immediately offered to him on his coming of age, and found, indeed, a
 +subtle pleasure in the thought that he might really become to the
 +London of his own day what to imperial Neronian Rome the author of the
 +Satyricon once had been, yet in his inmost heart he desired to be
 +something more than a mere <i>arbiter elegantiarum</i>, to be consulted on the
 +wearing of a jewel, or the knotting of a necktie, or the conduct of a
 +cane.  He sought to elaborate some new scheme of life that would have
 +its reasoned philosophy and its ordered principles, and find in the
 +spiritualizing of the senses its highest realization.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +The worship of the senses has often, and with much justice, been
 +decried, men feeling a natural instinct of terror about passions and
 +sensations that seem stronger than themselves, and that they are
 +conscious of sharing with the less highly organized forms of existence.
 +But it appeared to Dorian Gray that the true nature of the senses had
 +never been understood, and that they had remained savage and animal
 +merely because the world had sought to starve them into submission or
 +to kill them by pain, instead of aiming at making them elements of a
 +new spirituality, of which a fine instinct for beauty was to be the
 +dominant characteristic.  As he looked back upon man moving through
 +history, he was haunted by a feeling of loss.  So much had been
 +surrendered! and to such little purpose!  There had been mad wilful
 +rejections, monstrous forms of self-torture and self-denial, whose
 +origin was fear and whose result was a degradation infinitely more
 +terrible than that fancied degradation from which, in their ignorance,
 +they had sought to escape; Nature, in her wonderful irony, driving out
 +the anchorite to feed with the wild animals of the desert and giving to
 +the hermit the beasts of the field as his companions.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +Yes:  there was to be, as Lord Henry had prophesied, a new Hedonism
 +that was to recreate life and to save it from that harsh uncomely
 +puritanism that is having, in our own day, its curious revival.  It was
 +to have its service of the intellect, certainly, yet it was never to
 +accept any theory or system that would involve the sacrifice of any
 +mode of passionate experience.  Its aim, indeed, was to be experience
 +itself, and not the fruits of experience, sweet or bitter as they might
 +be.  Of the asceticism that deadens the senses, as of the vulgar
 +profligacy that dulls them, it was to know nothing.  But it was to
 +teach man to concentrate himself upon the moments of a life that is
 +itself but a moment.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +There are few of us who have not sometimes wakened before dawn, either
 +after one of those dreamless nights that make us almost enamoured of
 +death, or one of those nights of horror and misshapen joy, when through
 +the chambers of the brain sweep phantoms more terrible than reality
 +itself, and instinct with that vivid life that lurks in all grotesques,
 +and that lends to Gothic art its enduring vitality, this art being, one
 +might fancy, especially the art of those whose minds have been troubled
 +with the malady of reverie.  Gradually white fingers creep through the
 +curtains, and they appear to tremble.  In black fantastic shapes, dumb
 +shadows crawl into the corners of the room and crouch there.  Outside,
 +there is the stirring of birds among the leaves, or the sound of men
 +going forth to their work, or the sigh and sob of the wind coming down
 +from the hills and wandering round the silent house, as though it
 +feared to wake the sleepers and yet must needs call forth sleep from
 +her purple cave.  Veil after veil of thin dusky gauze is lifted, and by
 +degrees the forms and colours of things are restored to them, and we
 +watch the dawn remaking the world in its antique pattern.  The wan
 +mirrors get back their mimic life.  The flameless tapers stand where we
 +had left them, and beside them lies the half-cut book that we had been
 +studying, or the wired flower that we had worn at the ball, or the
 +letter that we had been afraid to read, or that we had read too often.
 +Nothing seems to us changed.  Out of the unreal shadows of the night
 +comes back the real life that we had known.  We have to resume it where
 +we had left off, and there steals over us a terrible sense of the
 +necessity for the continuance of energy in the same wearisome round of
 +stereotyped habits, or a wild longing, it may be, that our eyelids
 +might open some morning upon a world that had been refashioned anew in
 +the darkness for our pleasure, a world in which things would have fresh
 +shapes and colours, and be changed, or have other secrets, a world in
 +which the past would have little or no place, or survive, at any rate,
 +in no conscious form of obligation or regret, the remembrance even of
 +joy having its bitterness and the memories of pleasure their pain.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +It was the creation of such worlds as these that seemed to Dorian Gray
 +to be the true object, or amongst the true objects, of life; and in his
 +search for sensations that would be at once new and delightful, and
 +possess that element of strangeness that is so essential to romance, he
 +would often adopt certain modes of thought that he knew to be really
 +alien to his nature, abandon himself to their subtle influences, and
 +then, having, as it were, caught their colour and satisfied his
 +intellectual curiosity, leave them with that curious indifference that
 +is not incompatible with a real ardour of temperament, and that,
 +indeed, according to certain modern psychologists, is often a condition
 +of it.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +It was rumoured of him once that he was about to join the Roman
 +Catholic communion, and certainly the Roman ritual had always a great
 +attraction for him.  The daily sacrifice, more awful really than all
 +the sacrifices of the antique world, stirred him as much by its superb
 +rejection of the evidence of the senses as by the primitive simplicity
 +of its elements and the eternal pathos of the human tragedy that it
 +sought to symbolize.  He loved to kneel down on the cold marble
 +pavement and watch the priest, in his stiff flowered dalmatic, slowly
 +and with white hands moving aside the veil of the tabernacle, or
 +raising aloft the jewelled, lantern-shaped monstrance with that pallid
 +wafer that at times, one would fain think, is indeed the "<i>panis
 +caelestis</i>," the bread of angels, or, robed in the garments of the
 +Passion of Christ, breaking the Host into the chalice and smiting his
 +breast for his sins.  The fuming censers that the grave boys, in their
 +lace and scarlet, tossed into the air like great gilt flowers had their
 +subtle fascination for him.  As he passed out, he used to look with
 +wonder at the black confessionals and long to sit in the dim shadow of
 +one of them and listen to men and women whispering through the worn
 +grating the true story of their lives.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +But he never fell into the error of arresting his intellectual
 +development by any formal acceptance of creed or system, or of
 +mistaking, for a house in which to live, an inn that is but suitable
 +for the sojourn of a night, or for a few hours of a night in which
 +there are no stars and the moon is in travail.  Mysticism, with its
 +marvellous power of making common things strange to us, and the subtle
 +antinomianism that always seems to accompany it, moved him for a
 +season; and for a season he inclined to the materialistic doctrines of
 +the <i>Darwinismus</i> movement in Germany, and found a curious pleasure in
 +tracing the thoughts and passions of men to some pearly cell in the
 +brain, or some white nerve in the body, delighting in the conception of
 +the absolute dependence of the spirit on certain physical conditions,
 +morbid or healthy, normal or diseased.  Yet, as has been said of him
 +before, no theory of life seemed to him to be of any importance
 +compared with life itself.  He felt keenly conscious of how barren all
 +intellectual speculation is when separated from action and experiment.
 +He knew that the senses, no less than the soul, have their spiritual
 +mysteries to reveal.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +And so he would now study perfumes and the secrets of their
 +manufacture, distilling heavily scented oils and burning odorous gums
 +from the East.  He saw that there was no mood of the mind that had not
 +its counterpart in the sensuous life, and set himself to discover their
 +true relations, wondering what there was in frankincense that made one
 +mystical, and in ambergris that stirred one's passions, and in violets
 +that woke the memory of dead romances, and in musk that troubled the
 +brain, and in champak that stained the imagination; and seeking often
 +to elaborate a real psychology of perfumes, and to estimate the several
 +influences of sweet-smelling roots and scented, pollen-laden flowers;
 +of aromatic balms and of dark and fragrant woods; of spikenard, that
 +sickens; of hovenia, that makes men mad; and of aloes, that are said to
 +be able to expel melancholy from the soul.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +At another time he devoted himself entirely to music, and in a long
 +latticed room, with a vermilion-and-gold ceiling and walls of
 +olive-green lacquer, he used to give curious concerts in which mad
 +gipsies tore wild music from little zithers, or grave, yellow-shawled
 +Tunisians plucked at the strained strings of monstrous lutes, while
 +grinning Negroes beat monotonously upon copper drums and, crouching
 +upon scarlet mats, slim turbaned Indians blew through long pipes of
 +reed or brass and charmed&mdash;or feigned to charm&mdash;great hooded snakes and
 +horrible horned adders.  The harsh intervals and shrill discords of
 +barbaric music stirred him at times when Schubert's grace, and Chopin's
 +beautiful sorrows, and the mighty harmonies of Beethoven himself, fell
 +unheeded on his ear.  He collected together from all parts of the world
 +the strangest instruments that could be found, either in the tombs of
 +dead nations or among the few savage tribes that have survived contact
 +with Western civilizations, and loved to touch and try them.  He had
 +the mysterious <i>juruparis</i> of the Rio Negro Indians, that women are not
 +allowed to look at and that even youths may not see till they have been
 +subjected to fasting and scourging, and the earthen jars of the
 +Peruvians that have the shrill cries of birds, and flutes of human
 +bones such as Alfonso de Ovalle heard in Chile, and the sonorous green
 +jaspers that are found near Cuzco and give forth a note of singular
 +sweetness.  He had painted gourds filled with pebbles that rattled when
 +they were shaken; the long <i>clarin</i> of the Mexicans, into which the
 +performer does not blow, but through which he inhales the air; the
 +harsh <i>ture</i> of the Amazon tribes, that is sounded by the sentinels who
 +sit all day long in high trees, and can be heard, it is said, at a
 +distance of three leagues; the <i>teponaztli</i>, that has two vibrating
 +tongues of wood and is beaten with sticks that are smeared with an
 +elastic gum obtained from the milky juice of plants; the <i>yotl</i>-bells of
 +the Aztecs, that are hung in clusters like grapes; and a huge
 +cylindrical drum, covered with the skins of great serpents, like the
 +one that Bernal Diaz saw when he went with Cortes into the Mexican
 +temple, and of whose doleful sound he has left us so vivid a
 +description.  The fantastic character of these instruments fascinated
 +him, and he felt a curious delight in the thought that art, like
 +Nature, has her monsters, things of bestial shape and with hideous
 +voices.  Yet, after some time, he wearied of them, and would sit in his
 +box at the opera, either alone or with Lord Henry, listening in rapt
 +pleasure to "Tannhauser" and seeing in the prelude to that great work
 +of art a presentation of the tragedy of his own soul.
 +</P>
 +
 +<P>
 +On one occasion he took up the study of jewels, and appeared at a
 +costume ball as Anne de Joyeuse, Admiral of France, in a dress covered
 +with five hundred and sixty pearls.  This taste enthralled him for
 +years, and, indeed, may be said never to have left him.  He would often
 +spend a whole day settling and resettling in their cases the various
 +stones that he had collected, such as the olive-green chrysoberyl that
 +turns red by lamplight, the cymophane with its wirelike line of silver,
 +the pistachio-coloured peridot, rose-pink and wine-yellow topazes,
 +carbuncles of fiery scarlet with tremulous, four-rayed stars, flame-red
 +cinnamon-stones, orange and violet spinels, and amethysts with their
 +alternate layers of ruby and sapphire.  He loved the red gold of the
 +sunstone, and the moonstone's pearly whiteness, and the broken rainbow
 +of the milky opal.  He procured from Amsterdam three emeralds of
 +extraordinary size and r