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


so, Mr. Gray?” The same nervous staccato laugh broke from her
thin lips, and her fingers began to play with a long tortoise-shell

Dorian smiled, and shook his head: “I am afraid I don’t think so,
Lady Henry.

I never talk during music-at least, during good music. If one hears
bad music, it is one’s duty to drown it in conversation.” “Ah! that
is one of Harry’s views, isn’t it, Mr. Gray? I always hear Harry’s
views from his friends. It is the only way I get to know of them.
But you must not think I don’t like good music. I adore it, but I am
afraid of it. It makes me too romantic. I have simply worshipped
pianists-two at a time, sometimes, Harry tells me. I don’t know
what it is about them. Perhaps it is that they are foreigners.

They all are, ain’t they? Even those that are born in England
become foreigners after a time, don’t they? It is so clever of them,
and such a compliment to art.

Makes it quite cosmopolitan, doesn’t it? You have never been to
any of my parties, have you, Mr. Gray? You must come. I can’t
afford orchids, but I spare no expense in foreigners. They make
one’s rooms look so picturesque. But here is Harry!- Harry, I came
in to look for you, to ask you something-I forget what it was-and I
found Mr. Gray here. We have had such a pleasant chat about

We have quite the same ideas. No; I think our ideas are quite
different. But he has been most pleasant. I am so glad I’ve seen
him.” “I am charmed, my love, quite charmed,” said Lord Henry,
elevating his dark crescent-shaped eyebrows and looking at them
both with an amused smile. “So sorry I am late, Dorian. I went to
look after a piece of old brocade in Wardour Street, and had to
bargain for hours for it. Nowadays people know the price of
everything, and the value of nothing.”

“I am afraid I must be going,” exclaimed Lady Henry, breaking an
awkward silence with her silly sudden laugh. “I have promised to
drive with the Duchess.

Good-bye, Mr. Gray. Good-bye, Harry. You are dining out, I
suppose? So am I.

Perhaps I shall see you at Lady Thornbury’s.” “I dare say, my
dear,” said Lord Henry, shutting the door behind her, as, looking
like a bird of paradise that had been out all night in the rain, she
flitted out of the room, leaving a faint odour of frangi-pani. Then
he lit a cigarette, and flung himself down on the sofa.

“Never marry a woman with straw-coloured hair, Dorian,” he
said, after a few puffs.
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