As they entered they saw Dorian Gray. He was seated at the piano, with hi_ack to them, turning over the pages of a volume of Schumann's "Fores_cenes." "You must lend me these, Basil," he cried. "I want to learn them.
They are perfectly charming."
"That entirely depends 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, petulan_anner. When he caught sight of Lord Henry, a faint blush coloured his cheek_or a moment, and he started up. "I beg your pardon, Basil, but I didn't kno_ou had any one with you."
"This is Lord Henry Wotton, Dorian, an old Oxford friend of mine. I have jus_een telling him what a capital sitter you were, and now you have spoile_verything."
"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 abou_ou. You are one of her favourites, and, I am afraid, one of her victim_lso."
"I am in Lady Agatha's black books at present," answered Dorian with a funn_ook of penitence. "I promised to go to a club in Whitechapel with her las_uesday, and I really forgot all about it. We were to have played a due_ogether—three duets, I believe. I don't know what she will say to me. I a_ar too frightened to call."
"Oh, I will make your peace with my aunt. She is quite devoted to you. And _on't think it really matters about your not being there. The audienc_robably thought it was a duet. When Aunt Agatha sits down to the piano, sh_akes 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 hi_inely curved scarlet lips, his frank blue eyes, his crisp gold hair. Ther_as something in his face that made one trust him at once. All the candour o_outh was there, as well as all youth's passionate purity. One felt that h_ad kept himself unspotted from the world. No wonder Basil Hallward worshippe_im.
"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. H_as looking worried, and when he heard Lord Henry's last remark, he glanced a_im, hesitated for a moment, and then said, "Harry, I want to finish thi_icture to-day. Would you think it awfully rude of me if I asked you to g_way?"
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 _hould not go in for philanthropy."
"I don't know that I shall tell you that, Mr. Gray. It is so tedious a subjec_hat one would have to talk seriously about it. But I certainly shall not ru_way, now that you have asked me to stop. You don't really mind, Basil, d_ou? You have often told me that you liked your sitters to have some one t_hat to."
Hallward bit his lip. "If Dorian wishes it, of course you must stay. Dorian'_hims are laws to everybody, except himself."
Lord Henry took up his hat and gloves. "You are very pressing, Basil, but I a_fraid 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 a_ome at five o'clock. Write to me when you are coming. I should be sorry t_iss you."
"Basil," cried Dorian Gray, "if Lord Henry Wotton goes, I shall go, too. Yo_ever open your lips while you are painting, and it is horribly dull standin_n 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, gazin_ntently 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 unfortunat_itters. 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 mov_bout too much, or pay any attention to what Lord Henry says. He has a ver_ad 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, an_ade a little moue of discontent to Lord Henry, to whom he had rather taken _ancy. He was so unlike Basil. They made a delightful contrast. And he ha_uch a beautiful voice. After a few moments he said to him, "Have you really _ery bad influence, Lord Henry? As bad as Basil says?"
"There is no such thing as a good influence, Mr. Gray. All influence i_mmoral—immoral from the scientific point of view."
"Because to influence a person is to give him one's own soul. He does no_hink his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions. His virtues ar_ot real to him. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed. H_ecomes an echo of some one else's music, an actor of a part that has not bee_ritten for him. The aim of life is self-development. To realize one's natur_erfectly—that is what each of us is here for. People are afraid o_hemselves, nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the dut_hat one owes to one's self. Of course, they are charitable. They feed th_ungry and clothe the beggar. But their own souls starve, and are naked.
Courage has gone out of our race. Perhaps we never really had it. The terro_f society, which is the basis of morals, the terror of God, which is th_ecret of religion—these are the two things that govern us. And yet—"
"Just turn your head a little more to the right, Dorian, like a good boy,"
said the painter, deep in his work and conscious only that a look had com_nto the lad's face that he had never seen there before.
"And yet," continued Lord Henry, in his low, musical voice, and with tha_raceful wave of the hand that was always so characteristic of him, and tha_e had even in his Eton days, "I believe that if one man were to live out hi_ife fully and completely, were to give form to every feeling, expression t_very thought, reality to every dream—I believe that the world would gain suc_ fresh impulse of joy that we would forget all the maladies of mediaevalism, and return to the Hellenic ideal— to something finer, richer than the Helleni_deal, it may be. But the bravest man amongst us is afraid of himself. Th_utilation of the savage has its tragic survival in the self-denial that mar_ur lives. We are punished for our refusals. Every impulse that we strive t_trangle broods in the mind and poisons us. The body sins once, and has don_ith its sin, for action is a mode of purification. Nothing remains then bu_he recollection of a pleasure, or the luxury of a regret. The only way to ge_id of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sic_ith longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for wha_ts monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful. It has been said that th_reat events of the world take place in the brain. It is in the brain, and th_rain only, that the great sins of the world take place also. You, Mr. Gray, you yourself, with your rose-red youth and your rose-white boyhood, you hav_ad passions that have made you afraid, thoughts that have filled you wit_error, day-dreams and sleeping dreams whose mere memory might stain you_heek with shame—"
"Stop!" faltered Dorian Gray, "stop! you bewilder me. I don't know what t_ay. There is some answer to you, but I cannot find it. Don't speak. Let m_hink. Or, rather, let me try not to think."
For nearly ten minutes he stood there, motionless, with parted lips and eye_trangely bright. He was dimly conscious that entirely fresh influences wer_t work within him. Yet they seemed to him to have come really from himself.
The few words that Basil's friend had said to him—words spoken by chance, n_oubt, and with wilful paradox in them— had touched some secret chord that ha_ever been touched before, but that he felt was now vibrating and throbbing t_urious pulses.
Music had stirred him like that. Music had troubled him many times. But musi_as not articulate. It was not a new world, but rather another chaos, that i_reated in us. Words! Mere words! How terrible they were! How clear, an_ivid, and cruel! One could not escape from them. And yet what a subtle magi_here was in them! They seemed to be able to give a plastic form to formles_hings, and to have a music of their own as sweet as that of viol or of lute.
Mere words! Was there anything so real as words?
Yes; there had been things in his boyhood that he had not understood. H_nderstood them now. Life suddenly became fiery-coloured to him. It seemed t_im that he had been walking in fire. Why had he not known it?
With his subtle smile, Lord Henry watched him. He knew the precis_sychological moment when to say nothing. He felt intensely interested. He wa_mazed at the sudden impression that his words had produced, and, rememberin_ book that he had read when he was sixteen, a book which had revealed to hi_uch that he had not known before, he wondered whether Dorian Gray was passin_hrough a similar experience. He had merely shot an arrow into the air. Had i_it the mark? How fascinating the lad was!
Hallward painted away with that marvellous bold touch of his, that had th_rue refinement and perfect delicacy that in art, at any rate comes only fro_trength. He was unconscious of the silence.
"Basil, I am tired of standing," cried Dorian Gray suddenly. "I must go ou_nd sit in the garden. The air is stifling here."
"My dear fellow, I am so sorry. When I am painting, I can't think of anythin_lse. But you never sat better. You were perfectly still. And I have caugh_he effect I wanted— the half-parted lips and the bright look in the eyes. _on't know what Harry has been saying to you, but he has certainly made yo_ave the most wonderful expression. I suppose he has been paying yo_ompliments. You mustn't believe a word that he says."
"He has certainly not been paying me compliments. Perhaps that is the reaso_hat I don't believe anything he has told me."
"You know you believe it all," said Lord Henry, looking at him with his dream_anguorous eyes. "I will go out to the garden with you. It is horribly hot i_he studio. Basil, let us have something iced to drink, something wit_trawberries in it."
"Certainly, Harry. Just touch the bell, and when Parker comes I will tell hi_hat you want. I have got to work up this background, so I will join you late_n. Don't keep Dorian too long. I have never been in better form for paintin_han I am to-day. This is going to be my masterpiece. It is my masterpiece a_t stands."
Lord Henry went out to the garden and found Dorian Gray burying his face i_he great cool lilac-blossoms, feverishly drinking in their perfume as if i_ad been wine. He came close to him and put his hand upon his shoulder. "Yo_re quite right to do that," he murmured. "Nothing can cure the soul but th_enses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul."
The lad started and drew back. He was bareheaded, and the leaves had tosse_is rebellious curls and tangled all their gilded threads. There was a look o_ear in his eyes, such as people have when they are suddenly awakened. Hi_inely chiselled nostrils quivered, and some hidden nerve shook the scarlet o_is lips and left them trembling.
"Yes," continued Lord Henry, "that is one of the great secrets of life— t_ure the soul by means of the senses, and the senses by means of the soul. Yo_re a wonderful creation. You know more than you think you know, just as yo_now less than you want to know."
Dorian Gray frowned and turned his head away. He could not help liking th_all, graceful young man who was standing by him. His romantic, olive-coloure_ace and worn expression interested him. There was something in his lo_anguid voice that was absolutely fascinating. His cool, white, flowerlik_ands, even, had a curious charm. They moved, as he spoke, like music, an_eemed to have a language of their own. But he felt afraid of him, and ashame_f being afraid. Why had it been left for a stranger to reveal him to himself?
He had known Basil Hallward for months, but the friendship between them ha_ever altered him. Suddenly there had come some one across his life who seeme_o have disclosed to him life's mystery. And, yet, what was there to be afrai_f? He was not a schoolboy or a girl. It was absurd to be frightened.
"Let us go and sit in the shade," said Lord Henry. "Parker has brought out th_rinks, and if you stay any longer in this glare, you will be quite spoiled, and Basil will never paint you again. You really must not allow yourself t_ecome sunburnt. It would be unbecoming."
"What can it matter?" cried Dorian Gray, laughing, as he sat down on the sea_t the end of the garden.
"It should matter everything to you, Mr. Gray."
"Because you have the most marvellous youth, and youth is the one thing wort_aving."
"I don't feel that, Lord Henry."
"No, you don't feel it now. Some day, when you are old and wrinkled and ugly, when thought has seared your forehead with its lines, and passion branded you_ips with its hideous fires, you will feel it, you will feel it terribly. Now, wherever you go, you charm the world. Will it always be so? … You have _onderfully beautiful face, Mr. Gray. Don't frown. You have. And beauty is _orm of genius— is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. I_s of the great facts of the world, like sunlight, or spring-time, or th_eflection in dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon. It cannot b_uestioned. It has its divine right of sovereignty. It makes princes of thos_ho have it. You smile? Ah! when you have lost it you won't smile… . Peopl_ay sometimes that beauty is only superficial. That may be so, but at least i_s not so superficial as thought is. To me, beauty is the wonder of wonders.
It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery o_he world is the visible, not the invisible… . Yes, Mr. Gray, the gods hav_een good to you. But what the gods give they quickly take away. You have onl_ few years in which to live really, perfectly, and fully. When your yout_oes, your beauty will go with it, and then you will suddenly discover tha_here are no triumphs left for you, or have to content yourself with thos_ean triumphs that the memory of your past will make more bitter than defeats.
Every month as it wanes brings you nearer to something dreadful. Time i_ealous of you, and wars against your lilies and your roses. You will becom_allow, and hollow-cheeked, and dull-eyed. You will suffer horribly… . Ah!
realize your youth while you have it. Don't squander the gold of your days, listening to the tedious, trying to improve the hopeless failure, or givin_way your life to the ignorant, the common, and the vulgar. These are th_ickly aims, the false ideals, of our age. Live! Live the wonderful life tha_s in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for ne_ensations. Be afraid of nothing… . A new Hedonism— that is what our centur_ants. You might be its visible symbol. With your personality there is nothin_ou could not do. The world belongs to you for a season… . The moment I me_ou I saw that you were quite unconscious of what you really are, of what yo_eally might be. There was so much in you that charmed me that I felt I mus_ell you something about yourself. I thought how tragic it would be if yo_ere wasted. For there is such a little time that your youth will last—such _ittle time. The common hill-flowers wither, but they blossom again. Th_aburnum will be as yellow next June as it is now. In a month there will b_urple stars on the clematis, and year after year the green night of it_eaves will hold its purple stars. But we never get back our youth. The puls_f joy that beats in us at twenty becomes sluggish. Our limbs fail, our sense_ot. We degenerate into hideous puppets, haunted by the memory of the passion_f which we were too much afraid, and the exquisite temptations that we ha_ot the courage to yield to. Youth! Youth! There is absolutely nothing in th_orld but youth!"
Dorian Gray listened, open-eyed and wondering. The spray of lilac fell fro_is hand upon the gravel. A furry bee came and buzzed round it for a moment.
Then it began to scramble all over the oval stellated globe of the tin_lossoms. He watched it with that strange interest in trivial things that w_ry to develop when things of high import make us afraid, or when we ar_tirred by some new emotion for which we cannot find expression, or when som_hought that terrifies us lays sudden siege to the brain and calls on us t_ield. After a time the bee flew away. He saw it creeping into the staine_rumpet of a Tyrian convolvulus. The flower seemed to quiver, and then swaye_ently to and fro.
Suddenly the painter appeared at the door of the studio and made staccat_igns for them to come in. They turned to each other and smiled.
"I am waiting," he cried. "Do come in. The light is quite perfect, and you ca_ring your drinks."
They rose up and sauntered down the walk together. Two green-and-whit_utterflies fluttered past them, and in the pear-tree at the corner of th_arden a thrush began to sing.
"You are glad you have met me, Mr. Gray," said Lord Henry, looking at him.
"Yes, I am glad now. I wonder shall I always be glad?"
"Always! That is a dreadful word. It makes me shudder when I hear it. Wome_re so fond of using it. They spoil every romance by trying to make it las_or ever. It is a meaningless word, too. The only difference between a capric_nd a lifelong passion is that the caprice lasts a little longer."
As they entered the studio, Dorian Gray put his hand upon Lord Henry's arm.
"In that case, let our friendship be a caprice," he murmured, flushing at hi_wn boldness, then stepped up on the platform and resumed his pose.
Lord Henry flung himself into a large wicker arm-chair and watched him. Th_weep and dash of the brush on the canvas made the only sound that broke th_tillness, except when, now and then, Hallward stepped back to look at hi_ork from a distance. In the slanting beams that streamed through the ope_oorway the dust danced and was golden. The heavy scent of the roses seemed t_rood over everything.
After about a quarter of an hour Hallward stopped painting, looked for a lon_ime at Dorian Gray, and then for a long time at the picture, biting the en_f one of his huge brushes and frowning. "It is quite finished," he cried a_ast, and stooping down he wrote his name in long vermilion letters on th_eft-hand corner of the canvas.
Lord Henry came over and examined the picture. It was certainly a wonderfu_ork of art, and a wonderful likeness as well.
"My dear fellow, I congratulate you most warmly," he said. "It is the fines_ortrait of modern times. Mr. Gray, come over and look at yourself."
The lad started, as if awakened from some dream.
"Is it really finished?" he murmured, stepping down from the platform.
"Quite finished," said the painter. "And you have sat splendidly to-day. I a_wfully obliged to you."
"That is entirely due to me," broke in Lord Henry. "Isn't it, Mr. Gray?"
Dorian made no answer, but passed listlessly in front of his picture an_urned towards it. When he saw it he drew back, and his cheeks flushed for _oment with pleasure. A look of joy came into his eyes, as if he ha_ecognized himself for the first time. He stood there motionless and i_onder, dimly conscious that Hallward was speaking to him, but not catchin_he meaning of his words. The sense of his own beauty came on him like _evelation. He had never felt it before. Basil Hallward's compliments ha_eemed to him to be merely the charming exaggeration of friendship. He ha_istened to them, laughed at them, forgotten them. They had not influenced hi_ature. Then had come Lord Henry Wotton with his strange panegyric on youth, his terrible warning of its brevity. That had stirred him at the time, an_ow, as he stood gazing at the shadow of his own loveliness, the full realit_f the description flashed across him. Yes, there would be a day when his fac_ould be wrinkled and wizen, his eyes dim and colourless, the grace of hi_igure broken and deformed. The scarlet would pass away from his lips and th_old steal from his hair. The life that was to make his soul would mar hi_ody. He would become dreadful, hideous, and uncouth.
As he thought of it, a sharp pang of pain struck through him like a knife an_ade each delicate fibre of his nature quiver. His eyes deepened int_methyst, and across them came a mist of tears. He felt as if a hand of ic_ad been laid upon his heart.
"Don't you like it?" cried Hallward at last, stung a little by the lad'_ilence, not understanding what it meant.
"Of course he likes it," said Lord Henry. "Who wouldn't like it? It is one o_he greatest things in modern art. I will give you anything you like to as_or it. I must have it."
"It is not my property, Harry."
"Whose property is it?"
"Dorian's, of course," answered the painter.
"He is a very lucky fellow."
"How sad it is!" murmured Dorian Gray with his eyes still fixed upon his ow_ortrait. "How sad it is! I shall grow old, and horrible, and dreadful. Bu_his picture will remain always young. It will never be older than thi_articular day of June… . If it were only the other way! If it were I who wa_o be always young, and the picture that was to grow old! For that—for that—_ould give everything! Yes, there is nothing in the whole world I would no_ive! I would give my soul for that!"
"You would hardly care for such an arrangement, Basil," cried Lord Henry, laughing. "It would be rather hard lines on your work."
"I should object very strongly, Harry," said Hallward.
Dorian Gray turned and looked at him. "I believe you would, Basil. You lik_our art better than your friends. I am no more to you than a green bronz_igure. Hardly as much, I dare say."
The painter stared in amazement. It was so unlike Dorian to speak like that.
What had happened? He seemed quite angry. His face was flushed and his cheek_urning.
"Yes," he continued, "I am less to you than your ivory Hermes or your silve_aun. You will like them always. How long will you like me? Till I have m_irst wrinkle, I suppose. I know, now, that when one loses one's good looks, whatever they may be, one loses everything. Your picture has taught me that.
Lord Henry Wotton is perfectly right. Youth is the only thing worth having.
When I find that I am growing old, I shall kill myself."
Hallward turned pale and caught his hand. "Dorian! Dorian!" he cried, "don'_alk like that. I have never had such a friend as you, and I shall never hav_uch another. You are not jealous of material things, are you?— you who ar_iner than any of them!"
"I am jealous of everything whose beauty does not die. I am jealous of th_ortrait you have painted of me. Why should it keep what I must lose? Ever_oment that passes takes something from me and gives something to it. Oh, i_t were only the other way! If the picture could change, and I could be alway_hat I am now! Why did you paint it? It will mock me some day—mock m_orribly!" The hot tears welled into his eyes; he tore his hand away and, flinging himself on the divan, he buried his face in the cushions, as thoug_e was praying.
"This is your doing, Harry," said the painter bitterly.
Lord Henry shrugged his shoulders. "It is the real Dorian Gray— that is all."
"It is not."
"If it is not, what have I to do with it?"
"You should have gone away when I asked you," he muttered.
"I stayed when you asked me," was Lord Henry's answer.
"Harry, I can't quarrel with my two best friends at once, but between you bot_ou have made me hate the finest piece of work I have ever done, and I wil_estroy it. What is it but canvas and colour? I will not let it come acros_ur three lives and mar them."
Dorian Gray lifted his golden head from the pillow, and with pallid face an_ear-stained eyes, looked at him as he walked over to the deal painting-tabl_hat was set beneath the high curtained window. What was he doing there? Hi_ingers were straying about among the litter of tin tubes and dry brushes, seeking for something. Yes, it was for the long palette-knife, with its thi_lade of lithe steel. He had found it at last. He was going to rip up th_anvas.
With a stifled sob the lad leaped from the couch, and, rushing over t_allward, tore the knife out of his hand, and flung it to the end of th_tudio. "Don't, Basil, don't!" he cried. "It would be murder!"
"I am glad you appreciate my work at last, Dorian," said the painter coldl_hen he had recovered from his surprise. "I never thought you would."
"Appreciate it? I am in love with it, Basil. It is part of myself. I fee_hat."
"Well, as soon as you are dry, you shall be varnished, and framed, and sen_ome. Then you can do what you like with yourself." And he walked across th_oom and rang the bell for tea. "You will have tea, of course, Dorian? And s_ill you, Harry? Or do you object to such simple pleasures?"
"I adore simple pleasures," said Lord Henry. "They are the last refuge of th_omplex. But I don't like scenes, except on the stage. What absurd fellows yo_re, both of you! I wonder who it was defined man as a rational animal. It wa_he most premature definition ever given. Man is many things, but he is no_ational. I am glad he is not, after all— though I wish you chaps would no_quabble over the picture. You had much better let me have it, Basil. Thi_illy boy doesn't really want it, and I really do."
"If you let any one have it but me, Basil, I shall never forgive you!" crie_orian Gray; "and I don't allow people to call me a silly boy."
"You know the picture is yours, Dorian. I gave it to you before it existed."
"And you know you have been a little silly, Mr. Gray, and that you don'_eally object to being reminded that you are extremely young."
"I should have objected very strongly this morning, Lord Henry."
"Ah! this morning! You have lived since then."
There came a knock at the door, and the butler entered with a laden tea-tra_nd set it down upon a small Japanese table. There was a rattle of cups an_aucers and the hissing of a fluted Georgian urn. Two globe-shaped chin_ishes were brought in by a page. Dorian Gray went over and poured out th_ea. The two men sauntered languidly to the table and examined what was unde_he covers.
"Let us go to the theatre to-night," said Lord Henry. "There is sure to b_omething on, somewhere. I have promised to dine at White's, but it is onl_ith an old friend, so I can send him a wire to say that I am ill, or that _m prevented from coming in consequence of a subsequent engagement. I thin_hat would be a rather nice excuse: it would have all the surprise o_andour."
"It is such a bore putting on one's dress-clothes," muttered Hallward. "And, when one has them on, they are so horrid."
"Yes," answered Lord Henry dreamily, "the costume of the nineteenth century i_etestable. It is so sombre, so depressing. Sin is the only real colour- element left in modern life."
"You really must not say things like that before Dorian, Harry."
"Before which Dorian? The one who is pouring out tea for us, or the one in th_icture?"
"I should like to come to the theatre with you, Lord Henry," said the lad.
"Then you shall come; and you will come, too, Basil, won't you?"
"I can't, really. I would sooner not. I have a lot of work to do."
"Well, then, you and I will go alone, Mr. Gray."
"I should like that awfully."
The painter bit his lip and walked over, cup in hand, to the picture. "I shal_tay with the real Dorian," he said, sadly.
"Is it the real Dorian?" cried the original of the portrait, strolling acros_o him. "Am I really like that?"
"Yes; you are just like that."
"How wonderful, Basil!"
"At least you are like it in appearance. But it will never alter," sighe_allward. "That is something."
"What a fuss people make about fidelity!" exclaimed Lord Henry. "Why, even i_ove it is purely a question for physiology. It has nothing to do with our ow_ill. Young men want to be faithful, and are not; old men want to b_aithless, and cannot: that is all one can say."
"Don't go to the theatre to-night, Dorian," said Hallward. "Stop and dine wit_e."
"I can't, Basil."
"Because I have promised Lord Henry Wotton to go with him."
"He won't like you the better for keeping your promises. He always breaks hi_wn. I beg you not to go."
Dorian Gray laughed and shook his head.
"I entreat you."
The lad hesitated, and looked over at Lord Henry, who was watching them fro_he tea-table with an amused smile.
"I must go, Basil," he answered.
"Very well," said Hallward, and he went over and laid down his cup on th_ray. "It is rather late, and, as you have to dress, you had better lose n_ime. Good-bye, Harry. Good-bye, Dorian. Come and see me soon. Come to- morrow."
"You won't forget?"
"No, of course not," cried Dorian.
"And … Harry!"
"Remember what I asked you, when we were in the garden this morning."
"I have forgotten it."
"I trust you."
"I wish I could trust myself," said Lord Henry, laughing. "Come, Mr. Gray, m_ansom is outside, and I can drop you at your own place. Good-bye, Basil. I_as been a most interesting afternoon."
As the door closed behind them, the painter flung himself down on a sofa, an_ look of pain came into his face.