“Don’t go to the theatre to-night, Dorian,” said Hallward. “Stop and dine with me.”
“I can’t, really.”
“Because I have promised Lord Henry to go with him.”
“He won’t like you better for keeping your promises. He always breaks his own. I beg you not to go.”
Dorian Gray laughed and shook his head.
“I entreat you.”
The lad hesitated, and looked over at Lord Henry, who was watching them from the tea-table with an amused smile.
 “I must go, Basil,” he answered.
“Very well,” said Hallward; and he walked over and laid his cup down on the tray. “It is rather late, and, as you have to dress, you had better lose no time. Good-by, Harry; good-by, Dorian. Come and see me soon. Come to-morrow.”
“You won’t forget?”
“No, of course not.”
“And . . . Harry!”
“Remember what I asked you, when in the garden this morning.”
“I have forgotten it.”
“I trust you.”
“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-by, Basil. It has been a most interesting afternoon.”
As the door closed behind them, Hallward flung himself down on a sofa, and a look of pain came into his face.
[...22] One afternoon, a month later, Dorian Gray was reclining in a luxurious arm-chair, in the little library of Lord Henry’s house in Curzon Street. It was, in its way, a very charming room, with its high panelled wainscoting of olive-stained oak, its cream-colored frieze and ceiling of raised plaster-work, and its brick-dust felt carpet strewn with long-fringed silk 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 the queen had selected for her device. Some large blue china jars, filled with parrot-tulips, were ranged on the mantel-shelf, and through the small leaded panes of the window streamed the apricot-colored light of a summer’s day in London.
Lord Henry had not come in yet. 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 bookcases. The formal monotonous ticking of the Louis Quatorze clock annoyed him. Once or twice he thought of going away.
At last he heard a light step outside, and the door opened. “How late you are, Harry!” he murmured.
“I am afraid it is not Harry, Mr. Gray,” said a woman’s voice.
He glanced quickly round, and rose to his feet. “I beg your pardon. I thought—”