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“Why, Harry?” “Because they are so sentimental.” “But I like
sentimental people.” “Never marry at all, Dorian. Men marry
because they are tired; women because they are curious: both are
disappointed.” “I don’t think I am likely to marry, Harry. I am too
much in love. That is one of your aphorisms. I am putting it into
practice, as I do everything that you say.” “Who are you in love
with?” asked Lord Henry, after a pause.

“With an actress,” said Dorian Gray, blushing.
Lord Henry shrugged his shoulders. “That is a rather
commonplace debut.”

“You would not say so if you saw her, Harry.” “Who is she?” “Her
name is Sibyl Vane.” “Never heard of her.” “No one has. People
will some day, however. She is a genius.” “My dear boy, no
woman is a genius. Women are a decorative sex. They never have
anything to say, but they say it charmingly. Women represent the
triumph of matter over mind, just as men represent the triumph of
mind over morals.” “Harry, how can you?” “My dear Dorian, it is
quite true. I am analyzing women at present, so I ought to know.
The subject is not so abstruse as I thought it was. I find that,
ultimately, there are only two kinds of women, the plain and the
coloured. The plain women are very useful. If you want to gain a
reputation for respectability, you have merely to take them down
to supper. The other women are very charming. They commit one
mistake, however. They paint in order to try and look young. Our
grandmothers painted in order to try and talk brilliantly. Rouge
and esprit used to go together. That is all over now. As long as a
woman can look ten years younger than her own daughter, she is
perfectly satisfied. As for conversation, there are only five women
in London worth talking to and two of these can’t be admitted into
decent society. However, tell me about your genius. How long
have you known her?” “Ah! Harry, your views terrify me.” “Never
mind that. How long have you known her?” “About three weeks.”
“And where did you come across her?” “I will tell you, Harry; but
you mustn’t be unsympathetic about it. After all, it never would
have happened if I had not met you. You filled me with a wild
desire to know everything about life. For days after I met you,
something seemed to throb in my veins. As I lounged in the Park,
or strolled down Piccadilly, I used to look at every one who passed
me, and wonder, with a mad curiosity, what sort of lives they led.
Some of them fascinated me. Others filled me with terror. There
was an exquisite poison in the air. I had a passion for sensations....
Well, one evening about seven o’clock, I determined to go out in
search of some adventure. I felt that this grey, monstrous London
of ours, with its myriads of people, its sordid sinners, and its
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