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<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde


mustn’t say these dreadful things. Hetty’s heart is not broken. Of
course she cried, and all that. But there is no disgrace upon her.
She can live, like Perdita, in her garden of mint and marigold.”
“And weep over faithless Florizel,” said Lord Henry, laughing, as
he leant back in his chair. “My dear Dorian, you have the most
curiously boyish moods.

Do you think this girl will ever be really contented now with any
one of her own rank? I suppose she will be married some day to a
rough carter or a grinning ploughman. Well, the fact of having met
you, and loved you, will teach her to despise her husband, and she
will be wretched. From a moral point of view, I cannot say that I
think much of your great renunciation. Even as a beginning, it is

Besides, how do you know that Hetty isn’t floating at the present
moment in some star-lit mill-pond, with lovely water-lilies round
her, like Ophelia? “I can’t bear this, Harry! You mock at
everything, and then suggest the most serious tragedies. I am sorry
I told you now. I don’t care what you say to me. I know I was right
in acting as I did. Poor Hetty! As I rode past the farm this morning,
I saw her white face at the window, like a spray of jasmine. Don’t
let us talk about it any more, and don’t try to persuade me that the
first good action I have done for years, the first little bit of self-
sacrifice I have ever known, is really a sort of sin. I want to be
better. I am going to be better. Tell me something about yourself.
What is going on in town? I have not been to the club for days.”
“The people are still discussing poor Basil’s disappearance.” “I
should have thought they had got tired of that by this time,” said
Dorian, pouring himself out some wine, and frowning slightly.
“My dear boy, they have only been talking about it for six weeks,
and the British public are really not equal to the mental strain of
having more than one topic every three months. They have been
very fortunate lately, however. They have had my own divorce-
case, and Alan Campbell’s suicide. Now they have got the
mysterious disappearance of an artist. Scotland Yard still insists
that the man in the grey ulster who left for Paris by the midnight
train on the ninth of November was poor Basil, and the French
police declare that Basil never arrived in Paris at all. I suppose in
about a fortnight we shall be told that he has been seen in San
Francisco. It is an odd thing, but every one who disappears is said
to be seen at San Francisco. It must be a delightful city, and possess
all the attractions of the next world.” “What do you think has
happened to Basil?” asked Dorian, holding up his Burgundy
against the light, and wondering how it was he could discuss the
matter so calmly.
<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

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