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The Picture of Dorian Gray eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 164 pages of information about The Picture of Dorian Gray.

CHAPTER VI

[...43] It was long past noon when he awoke.  His valet had crept several times into the room on tiptoe 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.

“Monsieur has well slept this morning,” he said, smiling.

“What o’clock is it, Victor?” asked Dorian Gray, sleepily.

“One hour and a quarter, monsieur.”

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 [44] 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 only unnecessary things are absolutely necessary to us; 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.

After about ten minutes he got up, and, throwing on an elaborate dressing-gown, passed into the onyx-paved bath-room.  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.

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 an 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, filled with sulphur-yellow roses, that stood in front of him.  He felt perfectly happy.

Suddenly his eye fell on the screen that he had placed in front of the portrait, and he started.

“Too cold for Monsieur?” asked his valet, putting an omelette on the table.  “I shut the window?”

Dorian shook his head.  “I am not cold,” he murmured.

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.

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