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


“I hope you will always be very happy, Dorian,” said Hallward,
“but I don’t quite forgive you for not having let me know of your
engagement. You let Harry know.”

“And I don’t forgive you for being late for dinner,” broke in Lord
Henry, putting his hand on the lad’s shoulder, and smiling as he
spoke. “Come, let us sit down and try what the new chef here is
like, and then you will tell us how it all came about.” “There is
really not much to tell,” cried Dorian, as they took their seats at the
small round table. “What happened was simply this. After I left
you yesterday evening, Harry, I dressed, had some dinner at that
little Italian restaurant in Rupert Street, you introduced me to, and
went down at eight o’clock to the theatre.

Sibyl was playing Rosalind. Of course the scenery was dreadful,
and the Orlando absurd. But Sibyl! You should have seen her!
When she came on in her boy’s clothes she was perfectly
wonderful. She wore a moss-coloured velvet jerkin with cinnamon
sleeves, slim brown cross-gartered hose, a dainty little green cap
with a hawk’s feather caught in a jewel, and a hooded cloak lined
with dull red. She had never seemed to me more exquisite. She had
all the delicate grace of that Tanagra figurine that you have in your
studio, Basil. Her hair clustered round her face like dark leaves
round a pale rose. As for her acting-well, you shall see her to-

She is simply a born artist. I sat in the dingy box absolutely
enthralled. I forgot that I was in London and in the nineteenth
century. I was away with my love in a forest that no man had ever
seen. After the performance was over I went behind, and spoke to
her. As we were sitting together, suddenly there came into her eyes
a look that I had never seen there before. My lips moved toward
hers. We kissed each other. I can’t describe to you what I felt at that
moment. It seemed to me that all my life had been narrowed to one
perfect point of rose-coloured joy. She trembled all over, and shook
like a white narcissus. Then she flung herself on her knees and
kissed my hands. I feel that I should not tell you all this, but I can’t
help it. Of course our engagement is a dead secret. She has not
even told her own mother. I don’t know what my guardian will
say. Lord Radley is sure to be furious. I don’t care. I shall be of age
in less than a year, and then I can do what I like. I have been right,
Basil, haven’t I, to take my love out of poetry, and to find my wife
in Shakespeare’s plays? Lips that Shakespeare taught to speak have
whispered their secret in my ear. I have had the arms of Rosalind
around me, and kissed Juliet on the mouth.” “Yes, Dorian, I
suppose you were right,” said Hallward, slowly.

“Have you seen her to-day?” asked Lord Henry.
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