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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library-The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde


83

under his control? Had it indeed been prayer that had produced
the substitution? Might there not be some curious scientific reason
for it all? If thought could exercise its influence upon a living
organism, might not thought exercise an influence upon dead and
inorganic things? Nay, without thought or conscious desire, might
not things external to ourselves vibrate in unison with our moods
and passions, atom calling to atom in secret love or strange
affinity? But the reason was of no importance. He would never
again tempt by a prayer any terrible power. If the picture was to
alter, it was to alter. That was all. Why inquire too closely into it?
For there would be a real pleasure in watching it. He would be
able to follow his mind into its secret places. This portrait would be
to him the most magical of mirrors. As it had revealed to him his
own body, so it would reveal to him his own soul. And when
winter came upon it, he would still be standing where spring
trembles on the verge of summer. When the blood crept from its
face, and left behind a pallid mask of chalk with leaden eyes, he
would keep the glamour of boyhood. Not one blossom of his
loveliness would ever fade. Not one pulse of his life would ever
weaken. Like the gods of the Greeks, he would be strong, and fleet,
and joyous. What did it matter what happened to the coloured
image on the canvas? He would be safe. That was everything.

He drew the screen back into its former place in front of the
picture, smiling as he did so, and passed into his bedroom, where
his valet was already waiting for him. An hour later he was at the
Opera, and Lord Henry was leaning over his chair.
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