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



As they entered they saw Dorian Gray. He was seated at the piano,
with his back to them, turning over the pages of a volume of
Schumann’s “Forest Scenes.” “You must lend me these, Basil,” he
cried. “I want to learn them. They are perfectly charming.” “That
depends entirely on how you sit to-day, Dorian.” “Oh, I am tired of
sitting, and I don’t want a life-sized portrait of myself,” answered
the lad, swinging round on the music-stool, in a wilful, petulant

When he caught sight of Lord Henry, a faint blush coloured his
cheeks for a moment, and he started up. “I beg your pardon, Basil,
but I didn’t know you had any one with you.” “This is Lord Henry
Wotton, Dorian, an old Oxford friend of mine. I have just been
telling him what a capital sitter you were, and now you have
spoiled everything.” “You have not spoiled my pleasure in meeting
you, Mr. Gray,” said Lord Henry, stepping forward and extending
his hand. “My aunt has often spoken to me about you. You are one
of her favourites, and, I am afraid, one of her victims, also.” “I am
in Lady Agatha’s black books at present,” answered Dorian, with a
funny look of penitence. “I promised to go to a club in Whitechapel
with her last Tuesday, and I really forgot all about it. We were to
have played a duet togetherthree duets, I believe. I don’t know
what she will say to me. I am far too frightened to call.” “Oh, I will
make your peace with my aunt. She is quite devoted to you. And I
don’t think it really matters about your not being there. The
audience probably thought it was a duet. When Aunt Agatha sits
down to the piano she makes quite enough noise for two people.”
“That is very horrid to her, and not very nice to me,” answered
Dorian, laughing.

Lord Henry looked at him. Yes, he was certainly wonderfully
handsome, with his finely-curved scarlet lips, his frank blue eyes,
his crisp gold hair. There was something in his face that made one
trust him at once. All the candour of youth was there, as well as all
youth’s passionate purity. One felt that he had kept himself
unspotted from the world. No wonder Basil Hallward worshipped

“You are too charming to go in for philanthropy, Mr. Gray-far too
charming.” And Lord Henry flung himself down on the divan, and
opened his cigarette-case.

The painter had been busy mixing his colours and getting his
brushes ready.
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