The Picture of Dorian Gray eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 205 pages of information about The Picture of Dorian Gray.
prayer that had produced the substitution?  Might there not be some curious scientific reason for it all?  If thought could exercise its [52] 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?

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 colored image on the canvas?  He would be safe.  That was everything.

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.


[...52] As he was sitting at breakfast next morning, Basil Hallward was shown into the room.

“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 the Globe, 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?”

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The Picture of Dorian Gray from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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