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.

He stopped, feeling afraid to turn round, and his eyes fixed themselves on the intricacies of the pattern before him.  He heard Campbell bringing in the heavy chest, and the irons, and the other things that he had required for his dreadful work.  He began to wonder if he and Basil Hallward had ever met, and, if so, what they had thought of each other.

“Leave me now,” said Campbell.

He turned and hurried out, just conscious that the dead man had been thrust back into the chair and was sitting up in it, with Campbell gazing into the glistening yellow face.  As he was going downstairs he heard the key being turned in the lock.

It was long after seven o’clock when Campbell came back into the library.  He was pale, but absolutely calm.  “I have done what you asked me to do,” he muttered.  “And now, good-by.  Let us never see each other again.”

“You have saved me from ruin, Alan.  I cannot forget that,” said Dorian, simply.

As soon as Campbell had left, he went up-stairs.  There was a horrible smell of chemicals in the room.  But the thing that had been sitting at the table was gone.


[94] “There is no good telling me you are going to be good, Dorian,” cried Lord Henry, dipping his white fingers into a red copper bowl filled with rose-water.  “You are quite perfect.  Pray don’t change.”

Dorian shook his head.  “No, Harry, I have done too many dreadful things in my life.  I am not going to do any more.  I began my good actions yesterday.”

“Where were you yesterday?”

“In the country, Harry.  I was staying at a little inn by myself.”

“My dear boy,” said Lord Henry smiling, “anybody can be good in the country.  There are no temptations there.  That is the reason why people who live out of town are so uncivilized.  There are only two ways, as you know, of becoming civilized.  One is by being cultured, the other is by being corrupt.  Country-people have no opportunity of being either, so they stagnate.”

“Culture and corruption,” murmured Dorian.  “I have known something of both.  It seems to me curious now that they should ever be found together.  For I have a new ideal, Harry.  I am going to alter.  I think I have altered.”

“You have not told me yet what your good action was.  Or did you say you had done more than one?”

“I can tell you, Harry.  It is not a story I could tell to any one else.  I spared somebody.  It sounds vain, but you understand what I mean.  She was quite beautiful, and wonderfully like Sibyl Vane.  I think it was that which first attracted me to her.  You remember Sibyl, don’t you?  How long ago that seems!  Well, Hetty was not one of our own class, of course.  She was simply a girl in a village.  But I really loved her.  I am quite sure that I loved her.  All during this wonderful May that we have been having, I used to run down and see her two or three times a week.  Yesterday she met me in a little orchard.  The apple-blossoms kept tumbling down on her hair, and she was laughing.  We were to have gone away together this morning at dawn.  Suddenly I determined to leave her as flower-like as I had found her.”

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