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vulgar about everything of the kind. “They don’t know my name,”
“But surely she did?” “Only my Christian name, and that I am
quite sure she never mentioned to any one. She told me once that
they were all rather curious to learn who I was, and that she
invariably told them my name was Prince Charming. It was pretty
of her. You must do me a drawing of Sibyl, Basil. I should like to
have something more of her than the memory of a few kisses and
some broken pathetic words.” “I will try and do something,
Dorian, if it would please you. But you must come and sit to me
yourself again. I can’t get on without you.” “I can never sit to you
again, Basil. It is impossible!” he exclaimed, starting back.
The painter stared at him. “My dear boy, what nonsense!” he cried.
“Do you mean to say you don’t like what I did for you? Where is
it? Why, have you pulled the screen in front of it? Let me look at it?
It is the best thing I have ever done.
Do take the screen away, Dorian. It is simply, disgraceful of your
servant hiding my work like that. I felt the room looked different
as I came in.”
“My servant has nothing to do with it, Basil. You don’t imagine I
let him arrange my room for me? He settles my flowers for me
sometimes-that is all. No; I did it myself. The light was too strong
on the portrait.” “Too strong! Surely not, my dear fellow? It is an
admirable place for it. Let me see it.” And Hallward walked
towards the corner of the room.
A cry of terror broke from Dorian Gray’s lips, and he rushed
between the painter and the screen. “Basil,” he said, looking very
pale, “you must not look at it. I don’t wish you to.” “Not look at
my own work! you are not serious. Why shouldn’t I look at it?”
exclaimed Hallward, laughing.
“If you try to look at it, Basil, on my word of honour I will never
speak to you again as long as I live. I am quite serious. I don’t offer
any explanation, and you are not to ask for any. But, remember, if
you touch this screen, everything is over between us.” Hallward
was thunderstruck. He looked at Dorian Gray in absolute
amazement. He had never seen him like this before. The lad was
actually pallid with rage. His hands were clenched, and the pupils
of his eyes were like disks of blue fire. He was trembling all over.
“Dorian!” “Don’t speak!”
“But what is the matter? Of course I won’t look at it if you don’t
want me to,” he said, rather coldly, turning on his heel, and going
over towards the window.
“But, really, it seems rather absurd that I shouldn’t see my own
work. especially as I am going to exhibit it in Paris in the autumn. I