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The Picture of Dorian Gray eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 236 pages of information about The Picture of Dorian Gray.
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.”

“Remembered what, Harry?”

“Where I heard the name of Dorian Gray.”

“Where was it?” asked Hallward, with a slight frown.

“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.”

“I am very glad you didn’t, Harry.”

“Why?”

“I don’t want you to meet him.”

“You don’t want me to meet him?”

“No.”

“Mr. Dorian Gray is in the studio, sir,” said the butler, coming into the garden.

“You must introduce me now,” cried Lord Henry, laughing.

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.

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.

“What nonsense you talk!” said Lord Henry, smiling, and taking Hallward by the arm, he almost led him into the house.

CHAPTER 2

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.”

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