The Picture of Dorian Gray
1. As the painter looked at the gracious and comely form he had so skilfully
2. mirrored in his art, a smile of pleasure passed across his face and seemed about
3. to linger there. But he suddenly started up, and closing his eyes, placed his
4. fingers upon the lids, as .though he sought to imprison within his brain some
5. curious dream from which he feared he might awake.
6. " It is your best work, Basil, the best thing you have ever done," said
7. Lord Henry languidly. " You must certainly send it next year to the
8. Grosvenor. The Academy is too.large and too vulgar. Whenever I have gone
9. there, there have been either so many people.that I have not been able to see
10. the pictures, which was dreadful, or so many pictures that I have not been able
11. to see the people, which was worse. The Grosvenor is really the only place."
12. " I don't think I shall send it anywhere," he answered, tossing his
13. head back in that odd way that used to make his friends laugh at him at Oxford.
14. " No, I won't send it anywhere."
15. Lord Henry elevated his eyebrows and looked at him in amazement through
16. the thin blue wreaths of smoke that curled up in such fanciful whorls from his
17. heavy, opium-tainted cigarette.
18. " Not send it anywhere? My dear fellow, why? Have you any reason?
19. What odd chaps you painters are! You do anything in the world to gain a
20. reputation. As soon as you have one, you seem to want to throw it away. It is
21. silly of you, for there, is only one thing in the world worse than being talked
22. about, and that is not being talked about. A portrait like this would set you far
23. above all the young men in England, and make the old men quite jealous, if old
24. men are ever capable of any emotion.
25. " I know you will laugh at me," he replied, " but I really can't
26. exhibit it. I have put too much of myself into it."
27. Lord Henry stretched himself out on the divan and laughed. " Yes,
28. I knew you would; but it is quite true, all the same.” " Too much of
29. yourself in it! Upon my word, Basil, I didn't know you were so vain; and I
30.. really can't see any resemblance between you, with your rugged strong face
31. and your coal-black hair, and this young Adonis, who looks as if he was made
32. out of ivory and rose-leaves.Why, my dear Basil, he is a Narcissus, and you—
33. well, of course, you have an intellectual expression and all that. But beauty,
34. real beauty ends where an intellectual expression begins. Intellect is in itself
35. a mode of exaggeration and destroys the harmony of any face. The moment
36. one sits down to think, one becomes all nose, or all forehead, or something
37. horrid. Look at the successful men in any of the learned professions. How
38. perfectly hideous they are! Your mysterious young friend, whose name you
39. have never told me, but whose picture really fascinates me, never thinks. I feel
40. quite sure of that. He is some brainless beautiful creature who should be
41. always here in winter when we have no flowers to look at, and always here in
42. summer when we want something to chill our intelligence. Don't flatter
43. yourself, Basil: you are not in the least like him."
44. " You don't understand me, Harry," answered the artist. "
45. Of course, I am not like him. I know that perfectly well. Indeed, I should be
46. sorry to look like him. Do You shrug your shoulders? I am telling you the truth.
47. There is a fatality about all physical and intellectual distinction, the sort of
48. fatality that seems to dog through history the faltering steps of kings. It is
49. better not to be different from one's fellows. The ugly and the stupid have the
50. best of it in this world. They can sit at their ease and gape at the play. If they
51. know nothing of victory, they are at least spared the knowledge of defeat.
52. They live as we all should live—undisturbed, indifferent, and without disquiet.
53. They neither bring ruin upon others nor ever receive it from alien hands. Your
54. rank and wealth, Harry; my brains, such as they are—my art, whatever it may
55. be worth; Dorian Gray's good looks—we shall all suffer for what the gods
56. have given us, suffer terribly."
57. " Dorian Gray? Is that his name?" asked Lord Henry, walking
58. across the studio towards Basil Hallward.
59. " Yes, that is his name. I didn't intend to tell it to you." " But
60. why not?"
61. " Oh, I can't explain. When I like people immensely, I never tell them
62. names to anyone. It is like surrendering a part of them. I have grown to love
63. secrecy. It seems to be the one thing that can make modern life mysterious or
64. marvelous to us. The commonest thing is delightful if one only hides it..."
65." The story is simply this," said the painter after some time. "
66. Two months ago I went to a crush at Lady Brandon's. You know we poor
67. artists have to show ourselves in society from time to time, just to remind the
68. public that we are not savages. Well, after I had been in the room about ten
69. minutes, talking to huge overdressed dowagers and tedious academicians. I
70. suddenly became conscious that someone was looking at me. I turned
71. half-way round and saw Dorian Gray for the first time. When our eyes met, I
72. felt that I was growing pale. A curious sensation of terror came over me. I
73. knew that I had come face to face with someone whose mere personality
74. was so fascinating that, if I.allowed it to do so, it would absorb my whole
75. nature, my whole soul, my very art itself.
76. I did not want any external influence in my life. You know yourself, Harry, how
77. independent I am by nature. I have always been my own master; had at least
78. always been so, till I met Dorian Gray. Then—but I don't know how to explain it
79. to you. Something seemed to tell me that I was on the verge of a terrible crisis
80. in my life. I had a strange feeling that fate had in store for me exquisite joys and
81. exquisite sorrows. I grew afraid and turned to quit the room. It was not An
82. a conscience that made me do so: it was a sort of cowardice. I take no credit to
83. myself for trying to escape."
What word best describes Lord Henry’s personality?