Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers

Help / FAQ

<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde


“INQUEST ON AN ACTRESS.- An inquest was held this morning
at the Bell Tavern, Hoxton Road, by Mr. Danby, the District
Coroner, on the body of Sibyl Vane, a young actress recently
engaged at the Royal Theatre, Holborn. A verdict of death by
misadventure was returned. Considerable sympathy was
expressed for the mother of the deceased, who was greatly affected
during the giving of her own evidence and that of Dr. Birrell, who
had made the postmortem examination of the deceased.”

He frowned, and, tearing the paper in two went across the room
and flung the pieces away. How ugly it all was! And how horribly
real ugliness made things! He felt a little annoyed with Lord Henry
for having sent him the report. And it was certainly stupid of him
to have marked it with red pencil. Victor might have read it. The
man knew more than enough English for that.

Perhaps he had read it, and had begun to suspect something. And,
yet, what did it matter, What had Dorian Gray to do with Sibyl
Vane’s death? There was nothing to fear. Dorian Gray had not
killed her.

His eye fell on the yellow book that Lord Henry had sent him.
What was it, he wondered. He went towards the little pearl-
coloured octagonal stand, that had always looked to him like the
work of some strange Egyptian bees that wrought in silver, and
taking up the volume, flung himself into an armchair, and began to
turn over the leaves. After a few minutes he became absorbed. It
was the strangest book that he had ever read. It seemed to him that
in exquisite raiment, and to the delicate sound of flutes, the sins of
the world were passing in dumb show before him. Things that he
had dimly dreamed of were suddenly made real to him.

Things of which he had never dreamed were gradually revealed.
It was a novel without a plot, and with only one character, being
indeed, simply a psychological study of a certain young Parisian,
who spent his life trying to realize in the nineteenth century all the
passions and modes of thought that belonged to every century
except his own, and to sum up, as it were, in himself the various
moods through which the world-spirit had ever passed, loving for
their mere artificiality those renunciations that men have unwisely
called virtue, as much as those natural rebellions that wise men still
call sin. The style in which it was written was that curious jewelled
style, vivid and obscure at once, full of argot and of archaisms, of
technical expressions and of elaborate paraphrases, that
characterizes the work of some of the finest artists of the French
school of Symbolistes. There were in it metaphors as monstrous as
orchids, and as subtle in colour. The life of the senses was
described in the terms of mystical philosophy. One hardly knew at
<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

All Contents Copyright © All rights reserved.
Further Distribution Is Strictly Prohibited.

About Us | Advertising | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Home Page

In Association with