The Picture of Dorian Gray Chapter 3
Henry goes to see his uncle, Lord Fermor, a rich old gentleman whose father was an ambassador to Madrid, with the intention of finding out information about Dorian, since Lord Fermor knows everyone. Dorian is the grandson of Lord Kelso and the son of Lady Margaret Devereux; Lord Fermor tells Henry that although Margaret was extraordinarily beautiful and had money, she married a poor man. Lord Kelso then paid a man to get into a fight with her new husband, who lost the duel and died. Margaret never spoke to her father again, and died shortly thereafter.
Lord Fermor then asks about Dartmoor marrying an American girl; Lord Henry says that this is fashionable right now, but his uncle thinks that men should stick to English girls. Henry tells Lord Fermor that he must go to Aunt Agatha's for lunch with Dorian, and says goodbye.
Leaving his uncle's house, Lord Henry thinks about how Dorian is even more beautiful because of the tragedy surrounding his life. He articulates his plan in his mind: "Yes; he would try to be to Dorian Gray what, without knowing it, the lad was to the painter who had fashioned the wonderful portrait. He would seek to dominate him--had already, indeed, half done so. He would make that wonderful spirit his own. There was something fascinating in this son of Love and Death." Chapter 3, pg. 41
Entering his aunt's dining room and greeting his aunt, Henry sees Dorian, the Duchess of Harley, Sir Thomas Burdon, Mr. Erskine of Treadley, Mrs. Vandeleur, and Lord Faudel. They are in the middle of a conversation about Dartmoor; Aunt Agatha is expressing her indignation that such a marriage would occur, Sir Burdon tries to defend America, and Lord Henry makes fun of the situation by insulting America. Lady Agatha, confused by the conversation, changes the subject to Dorian; she wants him to play to the unhappy poor people in the East End, but Lord Henry would rather he play to him. He says that although the East End is a problem, he does not desire to change anything. He says, "Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world's original sin. If the cave-man had known how to laugh, History would have been different." Chapter 3, pp. 45-46 The subject is again changed to youth; the Duchess remarks that she would like to go back to her youth, and Lord Henry assures her that all she needs to do is commit the mistakes of her youth again. He goes on for quite some time about this subject, delighting and fascinating his listeners, after which the Duchess leaves, asking him to come visit her, as does Mr. Erskine. As Lord Henry is leaving, Dorian asks to go with him, even though he has already promised the evening to Basil. Lord Henry consents.