The Picture Of Dorian Gray

Hardcover | October 27, 2009

byOscar WildeIllustratorCoralie Bickford-smithIntroduction byRobert Mighall

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Part of Penguin's beautiful hardback Clothbound Classics series, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, these delectable and collectible editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design. Enthralled by his own exquisite portrait, Dorian Gray exchanges his soul for eternal youth and beauty. Influenced by his friend Lord Henry Wotton, he is drawn into a corrupt double life; indulging his desires in secret while remaining a gentleman in the eyes of polite society. Only his portrait bears the traces of his decadence. The novel was a succès de scandale and the book was later used as evidence against Wilde at the Old Bailey in 1895. It has lost none of its power to fascinate and disturb.

From the Publisher

Part of Penguin's beautiful hardback Clothbound Classics series, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, these delectable and collectible editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design. Enthralled by his own exquisite portrait, Dorian Gray exchanges his soul for eternal you...

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born in Dublin in 1854. He went to Trinity College, Dublin and then to Magdalen College, Oxford, where he began to propagandize the new Aesthetic (or 'Art for Art's Sake') Movement. Despite winning a first and the Newdigate Prize for Poetry, Wilde failed to obtain an Oxford scholarship, and was ...

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Paperback|May 17 2008

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The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Picture of Dorian Gray

Paperback|Apr 2 2016

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see all books by Oscar Wilde
Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 8.1 × 5.25 × 1.1 inPublished:October 27, 2009Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0141442468

ISBN - 13:9780141442464

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Customer Reviews of The Picture Of Dorian Gray

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Classic Good story and characters, like most classics
Date published: 2017-01-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Classic Enjoyed this a lot. A great classic.
Date published: 2016-12-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from got me into classics To my knowledge, this was the first ever classic I ever read, which was a couple years ago. When I picked it up, I didn't really have any inclinations towards classics and I didn't know this was one. I was hooked when I read the synopsis and I read this in a very short time. I wondered about Dorian and when his wrongdoings would break him. It was a great read :)
Date published: 2016-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love! Love! Love! Great book, took me a couple weeks to finish as it can get tough to read sometimes but I fell absolutely in love.
Date published: 2016-12-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Classic! "It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors." - Oscar Wilde
Date published: 2016-12-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Story but ... I wasn't crazy about Wilde's prose style, being a bit too ornamental for my taste, but this was a great story and is certified classic.
Date published: 2016-11-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This is my favorite book of all time. In and of itself, The Picture of Dorian Gray is a piece of art.
Date published: 2014-02-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Picture of Dorian Gray Always a pleasure to re-read Lord Henry's witty lines that put things into perspective by using the exquisite art of the paradox
Date published: 2013-04-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Chilling, old fashioned horror Written and set in 19th century England, this gothic psychological thriller is a classic horror story, refreshingly free of the graphic blood and gore that seems to be the standard horror theme these days. The story begins with Dorian Gray, a young man of extraordinary good looks, having his portrait painted by his friend Basil Hallward. In the midst of posing for the portrait enters Lord Henry, a pompous and self-important character that convinces an innocent Dorian that his looks are his most important characteristic and that he will have tremendous power over people because of them. He tells Dorian that he should enjoy them while they last as like everything else they will fade with time and so will the power that comes with them. Taking his words seriously, a naïve and melancholy Dorian wishes that his looks would last forever and instead of time ravaging his face and body, his portrait would age instead, leaving him forever young. As the story moves along and to Dorian’s increasing dismay, he starts noticing that his wish has been granted… with a twist. The portrait is noticeably growing more hideous as Dorian’s behaviour becomes progressively more callous and contemptible. Though dated, the story is fast-paced, well written and an easy read. Its lighter side pokes fun at the aristocracy and their total uselessness while its darker side reveals the level of shallowness and depravity of human nature.
Date published: 2012-02-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not What I Thought but Good none the less I read this for school and had always heard great praise about it. When I started to read it i expected something more supernatural and instead got a self involved conceded man. The over all idea that Wild provided of manipulation and good vs evil was well shown in the novel as well as the most innocent turning to evil.
Date published: 2011-05-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from "A timeless artistic tale" The picture of Dorian Gray is a story depicting the human soul and the negative implications of narcissism. In addition, it also takes a unique artistic perspective on the importance of preserving “innocence”. First published in 1890 in Lippincott’s monthly magazine it was decried immoral. That being said, The Picture of Dorian Gray was a novel simply ahead of the time it was published. In revising the text the following year, Wilde included a preface, which serves as a useful explanation of his philosophy of art. The purpose of art is to have no purpose. In order to understand this claim fully, one needs to consider the moral climate of Wilde’s time and the Victorian sensibility regarding art and morality. The Victorians believed that art could be used as a tool for social education and moral enlightenment, as illustrated in works by writers such as Charles Dickens. Not too entirely stray from this novel, the preface in itself is truly a masterpiece. I highly recommend this novel to those who have a serious and sincere interest in the arts.
Date published: 2011-02-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A notable ending “[W]hat does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose … his own soul?’” (Chapter XIX) The Picture of Dorian Gray was entertaining to read and had an unexpected ending. The prose was beautiful, and there were many references to roses. The idea of this story is very creative and I was surprised that the story was this interesting. The only problem I had was that there were too many conversations to demonstrate Lord Henry’s thoughts. One day, Basil Hallward, an artist, sees Dorian Gray at a gathering and feels instantly connected to him. Basil feels that Dorian can inspire his work to be tremendous. Basil befriends Dorian, and asks him to come to his studio so that Dorian can get his picture painted. Dorian is beautiful and young, and Basil always tells him that. Soon after, however, Basil hints to his friend, Lord Henry, about his strange meeting with and interest in Dorian Gray. And that Dorian has inspired him, and his paintings to be the best that he has ever painted. Hearing that Dorian is untainted, Lord Henry wants to show Dorian the world, and to help Dorian experience new thoughts and emotions. Although Basil wants to keep Dorian to himself, because he knows the mind games that Lord Henry plays with all of his friends, Henry ends up meeting Dorian by accident, when Dorian comes to the studio. That is how innocent Dorian’s life changes. Later, Lord Henry tells Dorian that he can have everything he wants in his youth, because of his appearance, but that beauty won’t last forever. Dorian becomes upset, and after Basil is finished painting picture of him, Dorian wishes that he could look like the Dorian in the picture forever, and that the Dorian in the picture would age instead him. See the wicked evils that Dorian commits to alter the face in the picture. Read the thoughts and ideas Lord Henry plants into Dorian’s mind, like a devil whispering into his victim’s ears. The following are a few lines I enjoyed: “The advantage of the emotions is that they lead us astray, and the advantage of science is that it is not emotional.” (Chapter III) “Experience was of no ethical value. It was merely the name men gave to their mistakes.” (Chapter IV) “It often happened that when we thought we were experimenting on others we were really experimenting on ourselves.” (Chapter IV) “... who were extremely old-fashioned people and did not realize that we live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities…” (Chapter VIII) “So I have murdered … her as surely as if I had cut her little throat with a knife. Yet the roses are not less lovely for that. The birds sing just as happily in my garden.” (Chapter VIII) “‘To cure the soul by means of the senses, and the senses by means of the soul!’” (Chapter XVI) “It is said that passion makes one think in a circle.”(Chapter XVI) “Knowledge would be fatal. It is the uncertainty that charms one. A mist makes things wonderful.” (Chapter XVIII) “Crime belongs exclusively to the lower orders … I should fancy that crime was to them what art is to us, simply a method of procuring extraordinary sensations.” (Chapter XIX) 4/5
Date published: 2010-03-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A notable ending “[W]hat does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose … his own soul?’” (Chapter XIX) The Picture of Dorian Gray was entertaining to read and had an unexpected ending. The prose was beautiful, and there were many references to roses. The idea of this story is very creative and I was surprised that the story was this interesting. The only problem I had was that there were too many conversations to demonstrate Lord Henry’s thoughts. One day, Basil Hallward, an artist, sees Dorian Gray at a gathering and feels instantly connected to him. Basil feels that Dorian can inspire his work to be tremendous. Basil befriends Dorian, and asks him to come to his studio so that Dorian can get his picture painted. Dorian is beautiful and young, and Basil always tells him that. Soon after, however, Basil hints to his friend, Lord Henry, about his strange meeting with and interest in Dorian Gray. And that Dorian has inspired him, and his paintings to be the best that he has ever painted. Hearing that Dorian is untainted, Lord Henry wants to show Dorian the world, and to help Dorian experience new thoughts and emotions. Although Basil wants to keep Dorian to himself, because he knows the mind games that Lord Henry plays with all of his friends, Henry ends up meeting Dorian by accident, when Dorian comes to the studio. That is how innocent Dorian’s life changes. Later, Lord Henry tells Dorian that he can have everything he wants in his youth, because of his appearance, but that beauty won’t last forever. Dorian becomes upset, and after Basil is finished painting picture of him, Dorian wishes that he could look like the Dorian in the picture forever, and that the Dorian in the picture would age instead him. See the wicked evils that Dorian commits to alter the face in the picture. Read the thoughts and ideas Lord Henry plants into Dorian’s mind, like a devil whispering into his victim’s ears. The following are a few lines I enjoyed: “The advantage of the emotions is that they lead us astray, and the advantage of science is that it is not emotional.” (Chapter III) “Experience was of no ethical value. It was merely the name men gave to their mistakes.” (Chapter IV) “It often happened that when we thought we were experimenting on others we were really experimenting on ourselves.” (Chapter IV) “... who were extremely old-fashioned people and did not realize that we live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities…” (Chapter VIII) “So I have murdered … her as surely as if I had cut her little throat with a knife. Yet the roses are not less lovely for that. The birds sing just as happily in my garden.” (Chapter VIII) “‘To cure the soul by means of the senses, and the senses by means of the soul!’” (Chapter XVI) “It is said that passion makes one think in a circle.”(Chapter XVI) “Knowledge would be fatal. It is the uncertainty that charms one. A mist makes things wonderful.” (Chapter XVIII) “Crime belongs exclusively to the lower orders … I should fancy that crime was to them what art is to us, simply a method of procuring extraordinary sensations.” (Chapter XIX) 4/5
Date published: 2010-03-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gorgeous edition for a return reader I would recommend this edition for the avid Wilde reader: the notes are geared towards someone with some previous knowledge of the text - I loved the indications of where the text had been changed from the first to the second release of the novel. And, of course, the meserizing story itself -- still fresh, still relevant, beautifully written. A great buy!
Date published: 2009-06-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Still a Relevant Read After watching the movie "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen", I realized that I didn't know the stories behind the main characters. Allan Quartermain, Captain Nemo, Mina Harker, the Invisible Man, Dorian Gray, Tom Sawyer and Dr. Jeykll and Mr. Hyde. Thus my quest to search out the books where they were introduced and read them. First on the list that I read was "King Solomon's Mines", Allan Quatermain, by H. Rider Haggard. According to his friends and acquaintances, Dorian Gray is a lovely man in every way. Upon first seeing him, Basil Hallward becomes determined to paint his portrait. It is while sitting for him, that Dorian first meets and falls under the lure of Lord Henry Wotton. I disliked Henry from the moment he was introduced. He cared only for the luxuries of life. I'm not sure if describing him as a hedonist is correct. During the course of an afternoon he sways Dorian from his 'nice' lifestyle' to one bent on excess. It is during this afternoon that Dorian, while gazing upon his picture states that he wishes he would stay as lovely as his picture is at that moment and that the picture grow old. He even offers his soul in payment. Once this comes to pass Dorian never accepts that he is at fault. He blames Basil for all the ills of his life. Dorian is the one who makes the choices of what to do each day and how to live with this salvation/curse. In my opinion he makes one bad choice after another. He should only blame himself. Even when he realizes that he can not continue this way and that he could redeem himself, he still blames Basil. Contrary to my belief, Dorian continues to look at the painting through out his life. He becomes obsessed with it. Mistakenly, he believes that if he destroys his painting then he will have his life back as it would have been. There is a lot more to the story that describes the many depravities of Dorian's life and the philosophies that Lord Henry continually uses to re-enforce chosen lifestyle. I liked the summary article for this book on the Wikipedia site.
Date published: 2009-02-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Masterpiece The Picture of Dorian Gray is a story of decadence, privilege, and the human soul. Dorian Gray, a wealthy and exceedingly handsome man, lives in late-Victorian London. While having his portrait painted, he impulsively wishes that the portrait bear the burden of Dorian's sins and the aging Dorian desperately wishes to avoid. When he realizes that his wish has come true, Dorian begins a descent into pleasure and decadence that has horrific consequences. His story is ultimately a human one, for who among us hasn't wished to be able to act without the cost of repercussions?
Date published: 2008-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really good The book is really good, scary. Its about A guy called Dorian who always stays the same but the picture changes uglier everytime he does something bad.He turns really evil. Then something happens. You should read it today.
Date published: 2008-10-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Masterpiece The Picture of Dorian Gray is a story of decadence, privilege, and the human soul. Dorian Gray, a wealthy and exceedingly handsome man, lives in late-Victorian London. While having his portrait painted, he impulsively wishes that the portrait bear the burden of Dorian's sins and the aging Dorian desperately wishes to avoid. When he realizes that his wish has come true, Dorian begins a descent into pleasure and decadence that has horrific consequences. His story is ultimately a human one, for who among us hasn't wished to be able to act without the cost of repercussions?
Date published: 2008-09-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Remarkable Particularily in the early portion of the novel, Oscar Wilde does a commendable job of speaking to the areas of beauty, art and desire. The depth of characterization is remarkable and their hearts are exposed to you as a reader. I was required to read this for a Philosophy course and it was one I actually enjoyed reading and could not put down.
Date published: 2008-01-19
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not to My Taste I really didn't particularly like the book. Oscar Wilde bored me and I feel ashamed to admit it! But he had some great lines. There was a couple of things he said that left me thinking about them for a few minutes. The story as a whole, though, I found pretty dreadful.
Date published: 2008-01-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Corrupt and Sinful... But a Pleasure To Read! Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray” is a story of corruption, sin and the power of influence. The young and beautiful Dorian becomes so selfish and hedonistic that he completely disregards those that care for him and refuses to take ownership of his actions. Although Dorian at first appears innocent and modest, the influence of Lord Henry feeds his vanity and destroys his morality. He acts like a child who craves only pleasure, as he discards those he once called his friends when they no longer satisfy his hunger. Dorian is easily despised, even though he is young and impressionable. His actions are selfish, and his vanity and self-absorption make him ignore the feelings of those around him. He treats his ‘love’ Sibyl Vane as though she is a “thing,” and fails to notice the evil in his treatment of her. In fact, Sibyl’s suffering is a catalyst for Dorian to become even more hedonistic and vulgar. As a reader, I felt a lot of sympathy for Basil Hallward, the artist that painted the portrait that would “bear the burden of [Dorian’s] shame” and show the hideousness of his personality. Basil was so devoted and attached to Dorian, but his friendship was pushed aside and replaced with the ideals of Lord Henry because his own views were too moral for Dorian’s behaviour. When Dorian begins to realize how he has “marred [his own] soul,” instead of owning up to his crimes, he places the blame on Basil and never feels much remorse for his actions. Basil was an innocent and honest person, but Dorian’s hate of the portrait that showed the ugliness within him caused him to forget that Basil was once his best friend. However, I do not feel that Dorian’s vanity is entirely his fault. At times, I felt really sorry for him because of how naïve he is and because of how he finds his whole sense of worth in his physical appearance. The society he lives in has a large part in fuelling his vanity. People would judge and praise Dorian after seeing the “purity of his face” so I understand why he feels the necessity to prize and preserve his beauty and youth. Dorian’s lack of responsibility really began to anger me towards the end of the novel. He treats the portrait as a scapegoat for his sins and vices. The painting shows the destruction of his soul and becomes almost like a detached conscious. Yet Dorian finds amusement in the distortions of the portrait, which shows the ignorance of his character. Instead of putting in a real effort to become a better person, he rejoices in the fact that he can enjoy “eternal youth, infinite passion, pleasures subtle and secret, wild joy and wilder sins” while watching the portrait take the consequences of his actions. He becomes so hedonistic that he loses his self-worth and integrity as a human being. “The Picture of Dorian Gray” was an enjoyable read and presented a lot of thought-provoking ideas. The characters seemed very real and Wilde used great descriptions and imagery to form pictures in my mind. Even though some conversations were a bit long and dull, the plot and philosophical ideas created interest for me to keep reading. At times I even felt guilty for agreeing with the views of Lord Henry because, although they influence Dorian to become so evil and destructive, I still think his ideas of people and life are very true. Wilde has written a thoughtful novel that combines the fantasy of the magical portrait with the realism of human corruption to create an enjoyable and imaginative story.
Date published: 2006-07-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from brilliant A captivating story of a wonderfully handsome Dorian who over time becomes more selfabsorbed and heartlesss as his vanity consumes him. But it is Lord Henry who spills utter delight upon this story. Lord Henry's wit, humour and aphorisms are a beautiful contrast to the ever polite and conservative British high society. Oscar Wilde is brilliant. A definite favourite novel of all time.
Date published: 2006-05-31

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CHAPTER IThe studio was filled with the rich odour of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden, there came through the open door the heavy scent of the lilac, or the more delicate perfume of the pink-flowering thorn.From the corner of the divan of Persian saddle-bags on which he was lying, smoking, as was his custom, innumerable cigarettes, Lord Henry Wotton could just catch the gleam of the honey-sweet and honey-coloured blossoms of a laburnum, whose tremulous branches seemed hardly able to bear the burden of a beauty so flame-like as theirs; and now and then the fantastic shadows of birds in flight flitted across the tussore-silk curtains that were stretched in front of the huge window, producing a kind of momentary Japanese effect, and making him think of those pallid jade-faced painters of Tokio who, through the medium of an art that is necessarily immobile, seek to convey the sense of swiftness and motion. The sullen murmur of the bees shouldering their way through the long unmown grass, or circling with monotonous insistence round the dusty gilt horns of the straggling woodbine, seemed to make the stillness more oppressive. The dim roar of London was like the bourdon note of a distant organ.In the centre of the room, clamped to an upright easel, stood the full-length portrait of a young man of extraordinary personal beauty, and in front of it, some little distance away, was sitting the artist himself, Basil Hallward, whose sudden disappearance some years ago caused, at the time, such public excitement, and gave rise to so many strange conjectures.As the painter looked at the gracious and comely form he had so skilfully mirrored in his art, a smile of pleasure passed across his face, and seemed about to linger there. But he suddenly started up, and, closing his eyes, placed his fingers upon the lids, as though he sought to imprison within his brain some curious dream from which he feared he might awake."It is your best work, Basil, the best thing you have ever done," said Lord Henry, languidly. "You must certainly send it next year to the Grosvenor. The Academy is too large and too vulgar. Whenever I have gone there, there have been either so many people that I have not been able to see the pictures, which was dreadful, or so many pictures that I have not been able to see the people, which was worse. The Grosvenor is really the only place." "I don't think I shall send it anywhere," he answered, tossing his head back in that odd way that used to make his friends laugh at him at Oxford. "No: I won't send it anywhere."Lord Henry elevated his eyebrows, and looked at him in amazement through the thin blue wreaths of smoke that curled up in such fanciful whorls from his heavy opium-tainted cigarette. "Not send it anywhere? My dear fellow, why? Have you any reason? What odd chaps you painters are! You do anything in the world to gain a reputation. As soon as you have one, you seem to want to throw it away. It is silly of you, for there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about. A portrait like this would set you far above all the young men in England, and make the old men quite jealous, if old men are ever capable of any emotion.""I know you will laugh at me," he replied, "but I really can't exhibit it I have put too much of myself into it."Lord Henry stretched himself out on the divan and laughed. "Yes, I knew you would; but it is quite true, all the same.""Too much of yourself in it!  Upon my word, Basil, I didn't know you were so vain; and I really can't see any resemblance between you, with your rugged strong face and your coal-black hair, and this young Adonis, who looks as if he was made out of ivory and rose-leaves. Why, my dear Basil, he is a Narcissus, and you — well, of course you have an intellectual expression, and all that. But beauty, real beauty, ends where an intellectual expression begins. Intellect is in itself a mode of exaggeration, and destroys the harmony of any face. The moment one sits down to think, one becomes all nose, or all forehead, or something horrid. Look at the successful men in any of the learned professions. How perfectly hideous they are! Except, of course, in the Church. But then in the Church they don't think. A bishop keeps on saying at the age of eighty what he was told to say when he was a boy of eighteen, and as a natural consequence he always looks absolutely delightful. Your mysterious young friend, whose name you have never told me, but whose picture really fascinates me, never thinks. I feel quite sure of that. He is some brainless, beautiful creature, who should be always here in winter when we have no flowers to look at, and always here in summer when we want something to chill our intelligence. Don't flatter yourself, Basil: you are not in the least like him."You don't understand me, Harry," answered the artist. "Of course I am not like him. I know that perfectly well. Indeed, I should be sorry to look like him. You shrug your shoulders? I am telling you the truth. There is a fatality about all physical and intellectual distinction, the sort of fatality that seems to dog through history the faltering steps of kings. It is better not to be different from one's fellows. The ugly and the stupid have the best of it in this world. They can sit at their ease and gape at the play. If they know nothing of victory, they are at least spared the knowledge of defeat. They live as we all should live, undisturbed, indifferent, and without disquiet. They neither bring ruin upon others, nor ever receive it from alien hands. Your rank and wealth, Harry; my brains, such as they are — my art, whatever it may be worth; Dorian Gray's good looks — we shall all suffer for what the gods have given us, suffer terribly.""Dorian Gray? Is that his name?" asked Lord Henry, walking across the studio towards Basil Hallward."Yes, that is his name. I didn't intend to tell it to you.""But why not?""Oh, I can't explain. When I like people immensely I never tell their names to any one. It is like surrendering a part of them. I have grown to love secrecy. It seems to be the one thing that can make modern life mysterious or marvellous to us. The commonest thing is delightful if one only hides it. When I leave town now I never tell my people where I am going. If I did, I would lose all my pleasure. It is a silly habit, I dare say, but somehow it seems to bring a great deal of romance to one's life. I suppose you think me awful foolish about it?""Not at all," answered Lord Henry, "not at all, my dear Basil. You seem to forget that I am married, and the one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties. I never know where my wife is, and my wife never knows what I am doing. When we meet — we do meet occasionally, when we dine out together, or go down to the Duke's — we tell each other the most absurd stories with the most serious faces. My wife is very good at it, much better, in fact, than I am. She never gets confused over her dates, and I always do. But when she does find me out, she makes no row at all. I sometimes wish she would; but she merely laughs at me.""I hate the way you talk about your married life, Harry," said Basil Hallward, strolling towards the door that led into the garden. "I believe that you are really a very good husband, but that you are thoroughly ashamed of your own virtues. You are an extraordinary fellow. You never say a moral thing, and you never do a wrong thing. Your cynicism is simply a pose.""Being natural is simply a pose, and the most irritating pose I know," cried Lord Henry, laughing; and the two young men went out into the garden together, and ensconced themselves on a long bamboo seat that stood in the shade of a tall laurel bush. The sunlight slipped over the polished leaves. In the grass, white daisies were tremulous.After a pause, Lord Henry pulled out his watch. "I am afraid I must be going, Basil," he murmured, "and before you go, I insist on your answering a question I put to you some time ago.""What is that?" said the painter, keeping his eyes fixed on the ground."You know quite well.""I do not, Harry.""Well, I will tell you what it is. I want you to explain to me why you won't exhibit Dorian Gray's picture. I want the real reason.""I told you the real reason.""No you did not. You said it was because there was too much of yourself in it. Now, that is childish.""Harry," said Basil Hallward, looking him straight in the face, "every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter. The sitter is merely the accident, the occasion. It is not he who is revealed by the painter; it rather the painter who, on the coloured canvas, reveals himself. The reason I will not exhibit the picture is that I am afraid that I have shown in it the secret of my soul."Lord Henry laughed. "And what is that?" he asked."I will tell you," said Hallward; but an expression of perplexity came over his face."I am all expectation, Basil," continued his companion, glancing at him."Oh, there is really very little to tell, Harry," answered the painter; "and I am afraid you will hardly understand it. Perhaps you will hardly believe it."Lord Henry smiled, and, leaning down, plucked a pink-petalled daisy from the grass, and examined it. "I am quite sure I shall understand it," he replied, gazing intently at the little golden white-feathered disk, "and as for believing things, I can believe anything, provided that it is quite incredible."The wind shook some blossoms from the trees, and the heavy lilac-blooms, with their clustering stars, moved to and fro in the languid air. A grasshopper began to chirrup by the wall, and like a blue thread a long thing dragon-fly floated past on its brown gauze wings. Lord Henry felt as if he could hear Basil Hallward's heart beating, and wondered what was coming."The story is simply this," and the painter after some time. "Two months ago I went to a crush at Lady Brandon's. You know we poor artists have to show ourselves in society from time to time, just to remind the public that we are not savages. With an evening coat and a white tie, as you told me once, anybody, even a stockbroker, can gain a reputation for being civilized. Well, after I had been in the room about ten minutes, talking to huge over-dressed dowagers and tedious Academicians, I suddenly became conscious that some one was looking at me. I turned half-way round, and saw Dorian Gray for the first time. When our eyes met, I felt that I was growing pale. A curious sensation of terror came over me. I knew that I had come face to face with some one whose mere personality was so fascinating that, if I allowed it to do so, it would absorb my whole nature, my soul, my very art itself. I did not want any external influence in my life. You know I did not want any external influence in my life. I have always been my own master; had at least always been so, till I met Dorian Gray. Then— but I don't know how to explain it to you. Something seemed to tell me that I was on the verge of a terrible crisis in my life. I had a strange feeling that Fate had in store for me exquisite joys and exquisite sorrows. I grew afraid, and turned to quite the room. It was not conscience that made me do so; it was a sort of cowardice. I take no credit to myself for trying to escape.""Conscience and cowardice are really the same things, Basil. Conscience is the trade-name of the firm. That is all.""I don't believe that, Harry, and I don't believe you do either. However, whatever was my motive — and it may have been pride, for I used to be very proud — I certainly struggled to the door. There, of course, I stumbled against Lady Brandon. 'You are not going to run away so soon, Mr. Hallward?' she screamed out. You know her curiously shrill voice?" "Yes; she is a peacock in everything but beauty," said Lord Henry, pulling the daisy to bits with his long, nervous fingers."I could not get rid of her. She brought me up to Royalties, and people with Stars and Garters, and elderly ladies with gigantic tiaras and parrot noses. She spoke of me as her dearest friend. I had only met her once before, but she took it into her head to lionize me. I believe some picture of mine had made a great success at the time, at least had been chattered about in the penny newspapers, which is the nineteenth-century standard of immortality. Suddenly I found myself face to face with the young man whose personality had so strangely stirred me. We were quite close, almost touching. Our eyes met again. It was reckless of me, but I asked Lady Brandon to introduce me to him. perhaps it was not so reckless, after all. It was simply inevitable. We would have spoken to each other without any introduction. I am sure of that. Dorian told me so afterwards. He, too, felt that we were destined to know each other."