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come down here to console me. That is charming of you. You find
me consoled, and you are furious. How like a sympathetic person!
You remind me of a story Harry told me about a certain
philanthropist who spent twenty years of his life in trying to get
some grievance redressed, or some unjust law altered-I forget
exactly what it was. Finally he succeeded, and nothing could
exceed his disappointment. He had absolutely nothing to do,
almost died of ennui, and became a confirmed misanthrope. And
besides, my dear old Basil, if you really want to console me, teach
me rather to forget what has happened, or to see it from a proper
artistic point of view. Was it not Gautier who used to write about la
consolation des arts? I remember picking up a little vellum-covered
book in our studio one day and chancing on that delightful phrase.
Well, I am not like that young man you told me of when we were
down at Marlow together, the young man who used to say that
yellow satin could console one for all the miseries of life. I love
beautiful things that one can touch and handle. Old brocades,
green bronzes, lacquerwork, carved ivories, exquisite
surroundings, luxury, pomp, there is much to be got from all these.
But the artistic temperament that they create, or at any rate reveal,
is still more to me. To become the spectator of one’s own life, as
Harry says, is to escape the suffering of life. I know you are
surprised at my talking to you like this. You have not realized how
I have developed. I was a schoolboy when you knew me. I am a
man now. I have new passions, new thoughts, new ideas. I am
different, but you must not like me less. I am changed, but you
must always be my friend. Of course I am very fond of Harry. But I
know that you are better than he is. You are not stronger-you are
too much afraid of life-but you are better. And how happy we
used to be together! Don’t leave me, Basil, and don’t quarrel with
me. I am what I am. There is nothing more to be said.” The painter
felt strangely moved. The lad was infinitely dear to him, and his
personality had been the great turning-point in his art. He could
not bear the idea of reproaching him any more. After all, his
indifference was probably merely a mood that would pass away.
There was so much in him that was good, so much in him that was

“Well, Dorian,” he said, at length, with a sad smile, “I won’t speak
to you again about this horrible thing, after to-day. I only trust
your name won’t be mentioned in connection with it. The inquest
is to take place this afternoon. Have they summoned you?” Dorian
shook his head, and a look of annoyance passed over his face at the
mention of the word “inquest.” There was something so crude and
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