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



At nine o’clock the next morning his servant came in with a cup of
chocolate on a tray, and opened the shutters. Dorian was sleeping
quite peacefully, lying on his right side, with one hand underneath
his cheek. He looked like a boy who had been tired out with play,
or study.

The man had to touch him twice on the shoulder before he woke,
and as he opened his eyes a faint smile passed across his lips, as
though he had been lost in some delightful dream. Yet he had not
dreamed at all. His night had been untroubled by any images of
pleasure or of pain. But youth smiles without any reason. It is one
of its chiefest charms.

He turned round, and, leaning upon his elbow, began to sip his
chocolate. The mellow November sun came streaming into the
room. The sky was bright, and there was a genial warmth in the
air. It was almost like a morning in May.

Gradually the events of the preceding night crept with silent
bloodstained feet into his brain and reconstructed themselves there
with terrible distinctness. He winced at the memory of all that he
had suffered, and for a moment the same curious feeling of
loathing for Basil Hallward, that had made him kill him as he sat
in the chair, came back to him, and he grew cold with passion. The
dead man was still sitting there, too, and in the sunlight now. How
horrible that was! Such hideous things were for the darkness, not
for the day.

He felt that if he brooded on what he had gone through he would
sicken or grow mad. There were sins whose fascination was more
in the memory than in the doing of them, strange triumphs that
gratified the pride more than the passions, and gave to the intellect
a quickened sense of joy, greater than a joy they brought, or could
ever bring, to the senses. But this was not one of them. It was a
thing to be driven out of the mind, to be drugged with poppies, to
be strangled lest it might strangle one itself.

When the half-hour struck, he passed his hand across his forehead,
and then got up hastily, and dressed himself with even more than
his usual care, giving a good deal of attention to the choice of his
necktie and scarf-pin, and changing his rings more than once. He
spent a long time also over breakfast, tasting the various dishes,
talking to his valet about some new liveries that he was thinking of
getting made for the servants at Selby, and going through his
correspondence. At some of the letters he smiled. Three of them
bored him. One he read several times over, and then tore up with a
<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

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