As they entered they saw Dorian Gray. He was seated at the piano, withhis back to them, turning over the pages of a volume of Schumann's"Forest Scenes." "You must lend me these, Basil," he cried. "I wantto 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 ofmyself," answered the lad, swinging round on the music-stool in awilful, petulant manner. When he caught sight of Lord Henry, a faintblush coloured his cheeks for a moment, and he started up. "I beg yourpardon, Basil, but I didn't know you had any one with you."
"This is Lord Henry Wotton, Dorian, an old Oxford friend of mine. Ihave just been telling him what a capital sitter you were, and now youhave spoiled everything."
"You have not spoiled my pleasure in meeting you, Mr. Gray," said LordHenry, stepping forward and extending his hand. "My aunt has oftenspoken to me about you. You are one of her favourites, and, I amafraid, one of her victims also."
"I am in Lady Agatha's black books at present," answered Dorian with afunny look of penitence. "I promised to go to a club in Whitechapelwith her last Tuesday, and I really forgot all about it. We were tohave played a duet together—three duets, I believe. I don't know whatshe will say to me. I am far too frightened to call."
"Oh, I will make your peace with my aunt. She is quite devoted to you.And I don't think it really matters about your not being there. Theaudience probably thought it was a duet. When Aunt Agatha sits down tothe piano, she makes 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 his finely curved scarlet lips, his frank blue eyes, his crispgold hair. There was something in his face that made one trust him atonce. All the candour of youth was there, as well as all youth'spassionate purity. One felt that he had kept himself unspotted fromthe world. No wonder Basil Hallward worshipped him.
"You are too charming to go in for philanthropy, Mr. Gray—far toocharming." And Lord Henry flung himself down on the divan and openedhis cigarette-case.
The painter had been busy mixing his colours and getting his brushesready. He was looking worried, and when he heard Lord Henry's lastremark, he glanced at him, hesitated for a moment, and then said,"Harry, I want to finish this picture to-day. Would you think itawfully 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 sulkymoods, and I can't bear him when he sulks. Besides, I want you to tellme why I should not go in for philanthropy."
"I don't know that I shall tell you that, Mr. Gray. It is so tedious asubject that one would have to talk seriously about it. But Icertainly shall not run away, now that you have asked me to stop. Youdon't really mind, Basil, do you? You have often told me that youliked 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 theOrleans. Good-bye, Mr. Gray. Come and see me some afternoon in CurzonStreet. I am nearly always at home at five o'clock. Write to me whenyou 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 ishorribly dull standing on a platform and trying to look pleasant. Askhim 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 Iam working, and never listen either, and it must be dreadfully tediousfor 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 aboutthat. 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 Henrysays. He has a very bad influence over all his friends, with thesingle exception of myself."
Dorian Gray stepped up on the dais with the air of a young Greekmartyr, and made a little moue of discontent to Lord Henry, to whom hehad rather taken a fancy. He was so unlike Basil. They made adelightful contrast. And he had such a beautiful voice. After a fewmoments he said to him, "Have you really a very bad influence, LordHenry? As bad as Basil says?"
"There is no such thing as a good influence, Mr. Gray. All influenceis immoral—immoral from the scientific point of view."
"Because to influence a person is to give him one's own soul. He doesnot think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions. Hisvirtues are not real to him. His sins, if there are such things assins, are borrowed. He becomes an echo of some one else's music, anactor of a part that has not been written for him. The aim of life isself-development. To realize one's nature perfectly—that is what eachof us is here for. People are afraid of themselves, nowadays. Theyhave forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty that one owes toone's self. Of course, they are charitable. They feed the hungry andclothe the beggar. But their own souls starve, and are naked. Couragehas gone out of our race. Perhaps we never really had it. The terrorof society, which is the basis of morals, the terror of God, which isthe secret of religion—these are the two things that govern us. Andyet—"
"Just turn your head a little more to the right, Dorian, like a goodboy," said the painter, deep in his work and conscious only that a lookhad come into the lad's face that he had never seen there before.
"And yet," continued Lord Henry, in his low, musical voice, and withthat graceful wave of the hand that was always so characteristic ofhim, and that he had even in his Eton days, "I believe that if one manwere to live out his life fully and completely, were to give form toevery feeling, expression to every thought, reality to every dream—Ibelieve that the world would gain such a fresh impulse of joy that wewould forget all the maladies of mediaevalism, and return to theHellenic ideal—to something finer, richer than the Hellenic ideal, itmay be. But the bravest man amongst us is afraid of himself. Themutilation of the savage has its tragic survival in the self-denialthat mars our lives. We are punished for our refusals. Every impulsethat we strive to strangle broods in the mind and poisons us. The bodysins once, and has done with its sin, for action is a mode ofpurification. Nothing remains then but the recollection of a pleasure,or the luxury of a regret. The only way to get rid of a temptation isto yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing forthe things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what itsmonstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful. It has been said thatthe great events of the world take place in the brain. It is in thebrain, and the brain only, that the great sins of the world take placealso. You, Mr. Gray, you yourself, with your rose-red youth and yourrose-white boyhood, you have had passions that have made you afraid,thoughts that have filled you with terror, day-dreams and sleepingdreams whose mere memory might stain your cheek with shame—"
"Stop!" faltered Dorian Gray, "stop! you bewilder me. I don't knowwhat to say. There is some answer to you, but I cannot find it. Don'tspeak. Let me think. Or, rather, let me try not to think."
For nearly ten minutes he stood there, motionless, with parted lips andeyes strangely bright. He was dimly conscious that entirely freshinfluences were at work within him. Yet they seemed to him to havecome really from himself. The few words that Basil's friend had saidto him—words spoken by chance, no doubt, and with wilful paradox inthem—had touched some secret chord that had never been touched before,but that he felt was now vibrating and throbbing to curious pulses.
Music had stirred him like that. Music had troubled him many times.But music was not articulate. It was not a new world, but ratheranother chaos, that it created in us. Words! Mere words! Howterrible they were! How clear, and vivid, and cruel! One could notescape from them. And yet what a subtle magic there was in them! Theyseemed to be able to give a plastic form to formless things, and tohave a music of their own as sweet as that of viol or of lute. Merewords! Was there anything so real as words?
Yes; there had been things in his boyhood that he had not understood.He understood them now. Life suddenly became fiery-coloured to him.It seemed to him that he had been walking in fire. Why had he notknown it?
With his subtle smile, Lord Henry watched him. He knew the precisepsychological moment when to say nothing. He felt intenselyinterested. He was amazed at the sudden impression that his words hadproduced, and, remembering a book that he had read when he was sixteen,a book which had revealed to him much that he had not known before, hewondered whether Dorian Gray was passing through a similar experience.He had merely shot an arrow into the air. Had it hit the mark? Howfascinating the lad was!
Hallward painted away with that marvellous bold touch of his, that hadthe true refinement and perfect delicacy that in art, at any rate comesonly from strength. He was unconscious of the silence.
"Basil, I am tired of standing," cried Dorian Gray suddenly. "I mustgo out and sit in the garden. The air is stifling here."
"My dear fellow, I am so sorry. When I am painting, I can't think ofanything else. But you never sat better. You were perfectly still.And I have caught the effect I wanted—the half-parted lips and thebright look in the eyes. I don't know what Harry has been saying toyou, but he has certainly made you have the most wonderful expression.I suppose he has been paying you compliments. You mustn't believe aword that he says."
"He has certainly not been paying me compliments. Perhaps that is thereason that I don't believe anything he has told me."
"You know you believe it all," said Lord Henry, looking at him with hisdreamy languorous eyes. "I will go out to the garden with you. It ishorribly hot in the studio. Basil, let us have something iced todrink, something with strawberries in it."
"Certainly, Harry. Just touch the bell, and when Parker comes I willtell him what you want. I have got to work up this background, so Iwill join you later on. Don't keep Dorian too long. I have never beenin better form for painting than I am to-day. This is going to be mymasterpiece. It is my masterpiece as it stands."
Lord Henry went out to the garden and found Dorian Gray burying hisface in the great cool lilac-blossoms, feverishly drinking in theirperfume as if it had been wine. He came close to him and put his handupon his shoulder. "You are quite right to do that," he murmured."Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure thesenses but the soul."
The lad started and drew back. He was bareheaded, and the leaves hadtossed his rebellious curls and tangled all their gilded threads.There was a look of fear in his eyes, such as people have when they aresuddenly awakened. His finely chiselled nostrils quivered, and somehidden nerve shook the scarlet of his lips and left them trembling.
"Yes," continued Lord Henry, "that is one of the great secrets oflife—to cure the soul by means of the senses, and the senses by meansof the soul. You are a wonderful creation. You know more than youthink you know, just as you know less than you want to know."
Dorian Gray frowned and turned his head away. He could not help likingthe tall, graceful young man who was standing by him. His romantic,olive-coloured face and worn expression interested him. There wassomething in his low languid voice that was absolutely fascinating.His cool, white, flowerlike hands, even, had a curious charm. Theymoved, as he spoke, like music, and seemed to have a language of theirown. But he felt afraid of him, and ashamed of being afraid. Why hadit been left for a stranger to reveal him to himself? He had knownBasil Hallward for months, but the friendship between them had neveraltered him. Suddenly there had come some one across his life whoseemed to have disclosed to him life's mystery. And, yet, what wasthere to be afraid of? He was not a schoolboy or a girl. It wasabsurd to be frightened.
"Let us go and sit in the shade," said Lord Henry. "Parker has broughtout the drinks, and if you stay any longer in this glare, you will bequite spoiled, and Basil will never paint you again. You really mustnot allow yourself to become sunburnt. It would be unbecoming."
"What can it matter?" cried Dorian Gray, laughing, as he sat down onthe seat at 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 thingworth having."
"I don't feel that, Lord Henry."
"No, you don't feel it now. Some day, when you are old and wrinkledand ugly, when thought has seared your forehead with its lines, andpassion branded your lips with its hideous fires, you will feel it, youwill feel it terribly. Now, wherever you go, you charm the world.Will it always be so? ... You have a wonderfully beautiful face, Mr.Gray. Don't frown. You have. And beauty is a form of genius—ishigher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of thegreat facts of the world, like sunlight, or spring-time, or thereflection in dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon. Itcannot be questioned. It has its divine right of sovereignty. Itmakes princes of those who have it. You smile? Ah! when you have lostit you won't smile.... People say sometimes that beauty is onlysuperficial. That may be so, but at least it is not so superficial asthought is. To me, beauty is the wonder of wonders. It is onlyshallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery ofthe world is the visible, not the invisible.... Yes, Mr. Gray, thegods have been good to you. But what the gods give they quickly takeaway. You have only a few years in which to live really, perfectly,and fully. When your youth goes, your beauty will go with it, and thenyou will suddenly discover that there are no triumphs left for you, orhave to content yourself with those mean triumphs that the memory ofyour past will make more bitter than defeats. Every month as it wanesbrings you nearer to something dreadful. Time is jealous of you, andwars against your lilies and your roses. You will become sallow, andhollow-cheeked, and dull-eyed. You will suffer horribly.... Ah!realize your youth while you have it. Don't squander the gold of yourdays, listening to the tedious, trying to improve the hopeless failure,or giving away your life to the ignorant, the common, and the vulgar.These are the sickly aims, the false ideals, of our age. Live! Livethe wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Bealways searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing.... A newHedonism—that is what our century wants. You might be its visiblesymbol. With your personality there is nothing you could not do. Theworld belongs to you for a season.... The moment I met you I saw thatyou were quite unconscious of what you really are, of what you reallymight be. There was so much in you that charmed me that I felt I musttell you something about yourself. I thought how tragic it would be ifyou were wasted. For there is such a little time that your youth willlast—such a little time. The common hill-flowers wither, but theyblossom again. The laburnum will be as yellow next June as it is now.In a month there will be purple stars on the clematis, and year afteryear the green night of its leaves will hold its purple stars. But wenever get back our youth. The pulse of joy that beats in us at twentybecomes sluggish. Our limbs fail, our senses rot. We degenerate intohideous puppets, haunted by the memory of the passions of which we weretoo much afraid, and the exquisite temptations that we had not thecourage to yield to. Youth! Youth! There is absolutely nothing inthe world but youth!"
Dorian Gray listened, open-eyed and wondering. The spray of lilac fellfrom his hand upon the gravel. A furry bee came and buzzed round itfor a moment. Then it began to scramble all over the oval stellatedglobe of the tiny blossoms. He watched it with that strange interestin trivial things that we try to develop when things of high importmake us afraid, or when we are stirred by some new emotion for which wecannot find expression, or when some thought that terrifies us layssudden siege to the brain and calls on us to yield. After a time thebee flew away. He saw it creeping into the stained trumpet of a Tyrianconvolvulus. The flower seemed to quiver, and then swayed gently toand fro.
Suddenly the painter appeared at the door of the studio and madestaccato signs for them to come in. They turned to each other andsmiled.
"I am waiting," he cried. "Do come in. The light is quite perfect,and you can bring your drinks."
They rose up and sauntered down the walk together. Two green-and-whitebutterflies fluttered past them, and in the pear-tree at the corner ofthe garden a thrush began to sing.
"You are glad you have met me, Mr. Gray," said Lord Henry, looking athim.
"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.Women are so fond of using it. They spoil every romance by trying tomake it last for ever. It is a meaningless word, too. The onlydifference between a caprice and a lifelong passion is that the capricelasts a little longer."
As they entered the studio, Dorian Gray put his hand upon Lord Henry'sarm. "In that case, let our friendship be a caprice," he murmured,flushing at his own boldness, then stepped up on the platform andresumed his pose.
Lord Henry flung himself into a large wicker arm-chair and watched him.The sweep and dash of the brush on the canvas made the only sound thatbroke the stillness, except when, now and then, Hallward stepped backto look at his work from a distance. In the slanting beams thatstreamed through the open doorway the dust danced and was golden. Theheavy scent of the roses seemed to brood over everything.
After about a quarter of an hour Hallward stopped painting, looked fora long time at Dorian Gray, and then for a long time at the picture,biting the end of one of his huge brushes and frowning. "It is quitefinished," he cried at last, and stooping down he wrote his name inlong vermilion letters on the left-hand corner of the canvas.
Lord Henry came over and examined the picture. It was certainly awonderful work of art, and a wonderful likeness as well.
"My dear fellow, I congratulate you most warmly," he said. "It is thefinest portrait of modern times. Mr. Gray, come over and look atyourself."
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 splendidlyto-day. I am awfully 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 pictureand turned towards it. When he saw it he drew back, and his cheeksflushed for a moment with pleasure. A look of joy came into his eyes,as if he had recognized himself for the first time. He stood theremotionless and in wonder, dimly conscious that Hallward was speaking tohim, but not catching the meaning of his words. The sense of his ownbeauty came on him like a revelation. He had never felt it before.Basil Hallward's compliments had seemed to him to be merely thecharming exaggeration of friendship. He had listened to them, laughedat them, forgotten them. They had not influenced his nature. Then hadcome Lord Henry Wotton with his strange panegyric on youth, histerrible warning of its brevity. That had stirred him at the time, andnow, as he stood gazing at the shadow of his own loveliness, the fullreality of the description flashed across him. Yes, there would be aday when his face would be wrinkled and wizen, his eyes dim andcolourless, the grace of his figure broken and deformed. The scarletwould pass away from his lips and the gold steal from his hair. Thelife that was to make his soul would mar his body. He would becomedreadful, hideous, and uncouth.
As he thought of it, a sharp pang of pain struck through him like aknife and made each delicate fibre of his nature quiver. His eyesdeepened into amethyst, and across them came a mist of tears. He feltas if a hand of ice had been laid upon his heart.
"Don't you like it?" cried Hallward at last, stung a little by thelad's silence, not understanding what it meant.
"Of course he likes it," said Lord Henry. "Who wouldn't like it? Itis one of the greatest things in modern art. I will give you anythingyou like to ask for 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 uponhis own portrait. "How sad it is! I shall grow old, and horrible, anddreadful. But this picture will remain always young. It will never beolder than this particular day of June.... If it were only the otherway! If it were I who was to be always young, and the picture that wasto grow old! For that—for that—I would give everything! Yes, thereis nothing in the whole world I would not give! I would give my soulfor that!"
"You would hardly care for such an arrangement, Basil," cried LordHenry, 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 like your art better than your friends. I am no more to you than agreen bronze figure. Hardly as much, I dare say."
The painter stared in amazement. It was so unlike Dorian to speak likethat. What had happened? He seemed quite angry. His face was flushedand his cheeks burning.
"Yes," he continued, "I am less to you than your ivory Hermes or yoursilver Faun. You will like them always. How long will you like me?Till I have my first wrinkle, I suppose. I know, now, that when oneloses 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 growingold, I shall kill myself."
Hallward turned pale and caught his hand. "Dorian! Dorian!" he cried,"don't talk like that. I have never had such a friend as you, and Ishall never have such another. You are not jealous of material things,are you?—you who are finer than any of them!"
"I am jealous of everything whose beauty does not die. I am jealous ofthe portrait you have painted of me. Why should it keep what I mustlose? Every moment that passes takes something from me and givessomething to it. Oh, if it were only the other way! If the picturecould change, and I could be always what I am now! Why did you paintit? It will mock me some day—mock me horribly!" The hot tears welledinto his eyes; he tore his hand away and, flinging himself on thedivan, he buried his face in the cushions, as though he was praying.
"This is your doing, Harry," said the painter bitterly.
Lord Henry shrugged his shoulders. "It is the real Dorian Gray—thatis 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 betweenyou both you have made me hate the finest piece of work I have everdone, and I will destroy it. What is it but canvas and colour? I willnot let it come across our three lives and mar them."
Dorian Gray lifted his golden head from the pillow, and with pallidface and tear-stained eyes, looked at him as he walked over to the dealpainting-table that was set beneath the high curtained window. Whatwas he doing there? His fingers were straying about among the litterof tin tubes and dry brushes, seeking for something. Yes, it was forthe long palette-knife, with its thin blade of lithe steel. He hadfound it at last. He was going to rip up the canvas.
With a stifled sob the lad leaped from the couch, and, rushing over toHallward, tore the knife out of his hand, and flung it to the end ofthe studio. "Don't, Basil, don't!" he cried. "It would be murder!"
"I am glad you appreciate my work at last, Dorian," said the paintercoldly when he had recovered from his surprise. "I never thought youwould."
"Appreciate it? I am in love with it, Basil. It is part of myself. Ifeel that."
"Well, as soon as you are dry, you shall be varnished, and framed, andsent home. Then you can do what you like with yourself." And he walkedacross the room and rang the bell for tea. "You will have tea, ofcourse, Dorian? And so will you, Harry? Or do you object to suchsimple pleasures?"
"I adore simple pleasures," said Lord Henry. "They are the last refugeof the complex. But I don't like scenes, except on the stage. Whatabsurd fellows you are, both of you! I wonder who it was defined manas a rational animal. It was the most premature definition ever given.Man is many things, but he is not rational. I am glad he is not, afterall—though I wish you chaps would not squabble over the picture. Youhad much better let me have it, Basil. This silly boy doesn't reallywant it, and I really do."
"If you let any one have it but me, Basil, I shall never forgive you!"cried Dorian 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 itexisted."
"And you know you have been a little silly, Mr. Gray, and that youdon't really 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 ladentea-tray and set it down upon a small Japanese table. There was arattle of cups and saucers and the hissing of a fluted Georgian urn.Two globe-shaped china dishes were brought in by a page. Dorian Graywent over and poured out the tea. The two men sauntered languidly tothe table and examined what was under the covers.
"Let us go to the theatre to-night," said Lord Henry. "There is sureto be something on, somewhere. I have promised to dine at White's, butit is only with an old friend, so I can send him a wire to say that Iam ill, or that I am prevented from coming in consequence of asubsequent engagement. I think that would be a rather nice excuse: itwould have all the surprise of candour."
"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 nineteenthcentury is detestable. It is so sombre, so depressing. Sin is theonly 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 theone in the picture?"
"I should like to come to the theatre with you, Lord Henry," said thelad.
"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 shall stay with the real Dorian," he said, sadly.
"Is it the real Dorian?" cried the original of the portrait, strollingacross to 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,"sighed Hallward. "That is something."
"What a fuss people make about fidelity!" exclaimed Lord Henry. "Why,even in love it is purely a question for physiology. It has nothing todo with our own will. Young men want to be faithful, and are not; oldmen want to be faithless, and cannot: that is all one can say."
"Don't go to the theatre to-night, Dorian," said Hallward. "Stop anddine with me."
"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 alwaysbreaks his own. 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 themfrom the 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 onthe tray. "It is rather late, and, as you have to dress, you hadbetter lose no time. Good-bye, Harry. Good-bye, Dorian. Come and seeme 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, my hansom is outside, and I can drop you at your own place.Good-bye, Basil. It has been a most interesting afternoon."
As the door closed behind them, the painter flung himself down on asofa, and a look of pain came into his face.