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


He was looking worried, and when he heard Lord Henry’s last
remark he glanced at him, hesitated for a moment, and then said,
“Harry, I want to finish this picture to-day. Would you think it
awfully rude of me if I asked you to go away?”

Lord Henry smiled, and looked at Dorian Gray. “Am I to go, Mr.
Gray?” he asked.

“Oh, please don’t, Lord Henry. I see that Basil is in one of his sulky
moods; and I can’t bear him when he sulks. Besides, I want you to
tell me why I should not go in for philanthropy.” “I don’t know
that I shall tell you that, Mr. Gray. It is so tedious a subject that one
would have to talk seriously about it. But I certainly shall not run
away, now that you have asked me to stop. You don’t really mind,
Basil, do you? You have often told me that you liked your sitters to
have some one to chat to.” Hallward bit his lip. “If Dorian wishes
it, of course you must stay. Dorian’s whims are laws to everybody,
except himself.” Lord Henry took up his hat and gloves. “You are
very pressing, Basil, but I am afraid I must go. I have promised to
meet a man at the Orleans. Good-bye, Mr. Gray. Come and see me
some afternoon in Curzon Street. I am nearly always at home at
five o’clock. Write to me when you are coming. I should be sorry to
miss you.” “Basil,” cried Dorian Gray, “if Lord Henry Wotton goes
I shall go too. You never open your lips while you are painting,
and it is horribly dull standing on a platform and trying to look
pleasant. Ask him to stay. I insist upon it.” “Stay, Harry, to oblige
Dorian, and to oblige me,” said Hallward, gazing intently at his
picture. “It is quite true, I never talk when I am working, and never
listen either, and it must be dreadfully tedious for my unfortunate
sitters. I beg you to stay.” “But what about my man at the
Orleans?” The painter laughed. “I don’t think there will be any
difficulty about that. Sit down again, Harry. And now, Dorian, get
up on the platform, and don’t move about too much, or pay any
attention to what Lord Henry says. He has a very bad influence
over all his friends, with the single exception of myself.” Dorian
Gray stepped up on the dais, with the air of a young Greek martyr,
and made a little moue of discontent to Lord Henry, to whom he
had rather taken a fancy. He was so unlike Basil. They made a
delightful contrast. And he had such a beautiful voice. After a few
moments he said to him, “Have you really a very bad influence,
Lord Henry? As bad as Basil says?” “There is no such thing as a
good influence, Mr. Gray. All influence is immoral-immoral from
the scientific point of view.” “Why?” “Because to influence a
person is to give him one’s own soul. He does not think his natural
thoughts, or burn with his natural passions. His virtues are not real
to him. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed. He
<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

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