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you make a scene with her?” “I was brutal, Harry, perfectly brutal.
But it is all right now. I am not sorry for anything that has
happened. It has taught me to know myself better.” “Ah, Dorian, I
am so glad you take it in that way! I was afraid I would find you
plunged in remorse, and tearing that nice curly hair of yours.” “I
have got through all that,” said Dorian, shaking his head, and
smiling. “I am perfectly happy now. I know what conscience is, to
begin with. It is not what you told me it was. It is the divinest thing
in us. Don’t sneer at it, Harry, any moreat least not before me. I
want to be good. I can’t bear the idea of my soul being hideous.”
“A very charming artistic basis for ethics, Dorian! I congratulate
you on it.

But how are you going to begin?” “By marrying Sibyl Vane.”
“Marrying Sibyl Vane! ” cried Lord Henry, standing up, and
looking at him in perplexed amazement. “But, my dear Dorian--”
“Yes, Harry, I know what you are going to say. Something
dreadful about marriage. Don’t say it. Don’t ever say things of that
kind to me again. Two days ago I asked Sibyl to marry me. I am
not going to break my word to her. She is to be my wife.” “Your
wife! Dorian!... Didn’t you get my letter? I wrote to you this
morning, and sent the note down, by my own man.” “Your letter?
Oh, yes, I remember. I have not read it yet, Harry. I was afraid
there might be something in it that I wouldn’t like. You cut life to
pieces with your epigrams.” “You know nothing, then?” “What do
you mean?” Lord Henry walked across the room, and, sitting
down by Dorian Gray, took both his hands in his own, and held
them tightly. “Dorian,” he said, “my letterdon’t be frightened-was
to tell you that Sibyl Vane is dead.” A cry of pain broke from the
lad’s lips, and he leaped to his feet, tearing his hands away from
Lord Henry’s grasp. “Dead! Sibyl dead! It is not true! It is a
horrible lie! How dare you say it?” “It is quite true, Dorian,” said
Lord Henry, gravely. “It is in all the morning papers. I wrote down
to you to ask you not to see any one till I came. There will have to
be an inquest, of course, and you must not be mixed up in it.
Things like that make a man fashionable in Paris. But in London
people are so prejudiced.

Here, one should never make one’s debut with a scandal. One
should reserve that to give an interest to one’s old age. I suppose
they don’t know your name at the theatre? If they don’t, it is all
right. Did any one see you going round to her room? That is an
important point.” Dorian did not answer for a few moments. He
was dazed with horror. Finally he stammered, in a stifled voice,
“Harry, did you say an inquest? What did you mean by that? Did
Sibyl--? Oh, Harry, I can’t bear it! But be quick. Tell me everything
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