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It was long past noon when he awoke. His valet had crept several
times on tiptoe into the room to see if he was stirring, and had
wondered what made his young master sleep so late. Finally his
bell sounded, and Victor came in softly with a cup of tea, and a pile
of letters, on a small tray of old Sevres china, and drew back the
olive-satin curtains, with, their shimmering blue lining, that hung
in front of the three tall windows.
“Monsieur has slept well this morning,” he said, smiling.
“What o’clock is it, Victor?” asked Dorian Gray, drowsily.
“One hour and a quarter, Monsieur.” How late it was! He sat up,
and, having sipped some tea, turned over his letters. One of them
was from Lord Henry, and had been brought by hand this
morning. He hesitated for a moment, and then put it aside. The
others he opened listlessly. They contained the usual collection of
cards, invitations to dinner, tickets for private views, programmes
of charity concerts, and the like, that are showered on fashionable
young men every morning during the season. There was a rather
heavy bill, for a chased silver Louis-Quinze toilet-set, that he had
not yet had the courage to send on to his guardians, who were
extremely old-fashioned people and did not realize that we live in
an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities; and there
were several very courteously worded communications from
Jermyn Street money-lenders offering to advance any sum of
money at a moment’s notice and at the most reasonable rates of
After about ten minutes he got up, and, throwing on an elaborate
dressinggown of silk-embroidered cashmere wool, passed into the
The cool water refreshed him after his long sleep. He seemed to
have forgotten all that he had gone through. A dim sense of having
taken part in some strange tragedy came to him once or twice, but
there was the unreality of a dream about it.
As soon as he was dressed, he went into the library and sat down
to a light French breakfast, that had been laid out for him on a
small round table close to the open window. It was an exquisite
day. The warm air seemed laden with spices. A bee flew in, and
buzzed round the blue-dragon bowl that, filled with sulphur-
yellow roses, stood before him. He felt perfectly happy.
Suddenly his eye fell on the screen that he had placed in front of
the portrait, and he started.