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



As he was sitting at breakfast next morning, Basil Hallward was
shown into the room.

“I am glad I have found you, Dorian,” he said gravely. “I called
last night, and they told me you were at the Opera. Of course I
knew that was impossible. But I wish you hid left word where you
had really gone to. I passed a dreadful evening, half afraid that one
tragedy might be followed by another. I think you might have
telegraphed for me when you heard of it first. I read of it quite by
chance in a late edition of The Globe, that I picked up at the club. I
came here at once, and was miserable at not finding you. I can’t tell
you how heartbroken I am about the whole thing. I know what you
must suffer. But where were you? Did you go down and see the
girl’s mother? For a moment I thought of following you there.
They gave the address in the paper. Somewhere in the Euston
Road, isn’t it? But I was afraid of intruding upon a sorrow that I
could not lighten. Poor woman! What a state she must be in! And
her only child, too! What did she say about it all?” “My dear Basil,
how do I know?” murmured Dorian Gray, sipping some
paleyellow wine from a delicate gold-beaded bubble of Venetian
glass, and looking dreadfully bored. “I was at the Opera. You
should have come on there. met Lady Gwendolyn, Harry’s sister,
for the first time. We were in her box. She is perfectly charming;
and Patti sang divinely. Don’t talk about horrid subjects. If one
doesn’t talk about a thing, it has never happened. It is simply
expression, as Harry says, that gives reality to things. I may
mention that she was not the woman’s only child. There is a son, a
charming fellow, I believe. But he is not on the stage. He is a sailor,
or something. And now, tell me about yourself and what you are
painting.” “You went to the Opera?” said Hallward, speaking very
slowly, and with a strained touch of pain in his voice. “You went to
the Opera while Sibyl Vane was lying dead in some sordid
lodging? You can talk to me of other women being charming, and
of Patti singing divinely, before the girl you loved has even the
quiet of a grave to sleep in? Why, man, there are horrors in store
for that little white body of hers!” “Stop, Basil! I won’t hear it!”
cried Dorian, leaping to his feet. “You must not tell me about
things. What is done is done. What is past is past.” “You call
yesterday the past?” “What has the actual lapse of time got to do
with it? It is only shallow people who require years to get rid of an
emotion. A man who is master of himself can end a sorrow as
easily as he can invent a pleasure. I don’t want to be at the mercy of
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