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The Picture of Dorian Gray

Oscar Wilde

Chapter 4

Full text Chapter 4

Chapter 4

One afternoon, a month later, Dorian Gray was reclining in a luxuriousarm-chair, in the little library of Lord Henry's house in Mayfair. Itwas, in its way, a very charming room, with its high panelledwainscoting of olive-stained oak, its cream-coloured frieze and ceilingof raised plasterwork, and its brickdust felt carpet strewn with silk,long-fringed Persian rugs. On a tiny satinwood table stood a statuetteby Clodion, and beside it lay a copy of Les Cent Nouvelles, bound forMargaret of Valois by Clovis Eve and powdered with the gilt daisiesthat Queen had selected for her device. Some large blue china jars andparrot-tulips were ranged on the mantelshelf, and through the smallleaded panes of the window streamed the apricot-coloured light of asummer day in London.

Lord Henry had not yet come in. He was always late on principle, hisprinciple being that punctuality is the thief of time. So the lad waslooking rather sulky, as with listless fingers he turned over the pagesof an elaborately illustrated edition of Manon Lescaut that he hadfound in one of the book-cases. The formal monotonous ticking of theLouis Quatorze clock annoyed him. Once or twice he thought of goingaway.

At last he heard a step outside, and the door opened. "How late youare, Harry!" he murmured.

"I am afraid it is not Harry, Mr. Gray," answered a shrill voice.

He glanced quickly round and rose to his feet. "I beg your pardon. Ithought—"

"You thought it was my husband. It is only his wife. You must let meintroduce myself. I know you quite well by your photographs. I thinkmy husband has got seventeen of them."

"Not seventeen, Lady Henry?"

"Well, eighteen, then. And I saw you with him the other night at theopera." She laughed nervously as she spoke, and watched him with hervague forget-me-not eyes. She was a curious woman, whose dressesalways looked as if they had been designed in a rage and put on in atempest. She was usually in love with somebody, and, as her passionwas never returned, she had kept all her illusions. She tried to lookpicturesque, but only succeeded in being untidy. Her name wasVictoria, and she had a perfect mania for going to church.

"That was at Lohengrin, Lady Henry, I think?"

"Yes; it was at dear Lohengrin. I like Wagner's music better thananybody's. It is so loud that one can talk the whole time without otherpeople hearing what one says. That is a great advantage, don't youthink so, Mr. Gray?"

The same nervous staccato laugh broke from her thin lips, and herfingers began to play with a long tortoise-shell paper-knife.

Dorian smiled and shook his head: "I am afraid I don't think so, LadyHenry. I never talk during music—at least, during good music. If onehears bad music, it is one's duty to drown it in conversation."

"Ah! that is one of Harry's views, isn't it, Mr. Gray? I always hearHarry's views from his friends. It is the only way I get to know ofthem. But you must not think I don't like good music. I adore it, butI am afraid of it. It makes me too romantic. I have simply worshippedpianists—two at a time, sometimes, Harry tells me. I don't know whatit is about them. Perhaps it is that they are foreigners. They allare, ain't they? Even those that are born in England become foreignersafter a time, don't they? It is so clever of them, and such acompliment to art. Makes it quite cosmopolitan, doesn't it? You havenever been to any of my parties, have you, Mr. Gray? You must come. Ican't afford orchids, but I spare no expense in foreigners. They makeone's rooms look so picturesque. But here is Harry! Harry, I came into look for you, to ask you something—I forget what it was—and Ifound Mr. Gray here. We have had such a pleasant chat about music. Wehave quite the same ideas. No; I think our ideas are quite different.But he has been most pleasant. I am so glad I've seen him."

"I am charmed, my love, quite charmed," said Lord Henry, elevating hisdark, crescent-shaped eyebrows and looking at them both with an amusedsmile. "So sorry I am late, Dorian. I went to look after a piece ofold brocade in Wardour Street and had to bargain for hours for it.Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing."

"I am afraid I must be going," exclaimed Lady Henry, breaking anawkward silence with her silly sudden laugh. "I have promised to drivewith the duchess. Good-bye, Mr. Gray. Good-bye, Harry. You aredining out, I suppose? So am I. Perhaps I shall see you at LadyThornbury's."

"I dare say, my dear," said Lord Henry, shutting the door behind heras, looking like a bird of paradise that had been out all night in therain, she flitted out of the room, leaving a faint odour offrangipanni. Then he lit a cigarette and flung himself down on thesofa.

"Never marry a woman with straw-coloured hair, Dorian," he said after afew puffs.

"Why, Harry?"

"Because they are so sentimental."

"But I like sentimental people."

"Never marry at all, Dorian. Men marry because they are tired; women,because they are curious: both are disappointed."

"I don't think I am likely to marry, Harry. I am too much in love.That is one of your aphorisms. I am putting it into practice, as I doeverything that you say."

"Who are you in love with?" asked Lord Henry after a pause.

"With an actress," said Dorian Gray, blushing.

Lord Henry shrugged his shoulders. "That is a rather commonplacedebut."

"You would not say so if you saw her, Harry."

"Who is she?"

"Her name is Sibyl Vane."

"Never heard of her."

"No one has. People will some day, however. She is a genius."

"My dear boy, no woman is a genius. Women are a decorative sex. Theynever have anything to say, but they say it charmingly. Womenrepresent the triumph of matter over mind, just as men represent thetriumph of mind over morals."

"Harry, how can you?"

"My dear Dorian, it is quite true. I am analysing women at present, soI ought to know. The subject is not so abstruse as I thought it was.I find that, ultimately, there are only two kinds of women, the plainand the coloured. The plain women are very useful. If you want togain a reputation for respectability, you have merely to take them downto supper. The other women are very charming. They commit onemistake, however. They paint in order to try and look young. Ourgrandmothers painted in order to try and talk brilliantly. Rouge andesprit used to go together. That is all over now. As long as a womancan look ten years younger than her own daughter, she is perfectlysatisfied. As for conversation, there are only five women in Londonworth talking to, and two of these can't be admitted into decentsociety. However, tell me about your genius. How long have you knownher?"

"Ah! Harry, your views terrify me."

"Never mind that. How long have you known her?"

"About three weeks."

"And where did you come across her?"

"I will tell you, Harry, but you mustn't be unsympathetic about it.After all, it never would have happened if I had not met you. Youfilled me with a wild desire to know everything about life. For daysafter I met you, something seemed to throb in my veins. As I loungedin the park, or strolled down Piccadilly, I used to look at every onewho passed me and wonder, with a mad curiosity, what sort of lives theyled. Some of them fascinated me. Others filled me with terror. Therewas an exquisite poison in the air. I had a passion for sensations....Well, one evening about seven o'clock, I determined to go out in searchof some adventure. I felt that this grey monstrous London of ours,with its myriads of people, its sordid sinners, and its splendid sins,as you once phrased it, must have something in store for me. I fancieda thousand things. The mere danger gave me a sense of delight. Iremembered what you had said to me on that wonderful evening when wefirst dined together, about the search for beauty being the real secretof life. I don't know what I expected, but I went out and wanderedeastward, soon losing my way in a labyrinth of grimy streets and blackgrassless squares. About half-past eight I passed by an absurd littletheatre, with great flaring gas-jets and gaudy play-bills. A hideousJew, in the most amazing waistcoat I ever beheld in my life, wasstanding at the entrance, smoking a vile cigar. He had greasyringlets, and an enormous diamond blazed in the centre of a soiledshirt. 'Have a box, my Lord?' he said, when he saw me, and he took offhis hat with an air of gorgeous servility. There was something abouthim, Harry, that amused me. He was such a monster. You will laugh atme, I know, but I really went in and paid a whole guinea for thestage-box. To the present day I can't make out why I did so; and yet ifI hadn't—my dear Harry, if I hadn't—I should have missed the greatestromance of my life. I see you are laughing. It is horrid of you!"

"I am not laughing, Dorian; at least I am not laughing at you. But youshould not say the greatest romance of your life. You should say thefirst romance of your life. You will always be loved, and you willalways be in love with love. A grande passion is the privilege ofpeople who have nothing to do. That is the one use of the idle classesof a country. Don't be afraid. There are exquisite things in storefor you. This is merely the beginning."

"Do you think my nature so shallow?" cried Dorian Gray angrily.

"No; I think your nature so deep."

"How do you mean?"

"My dear boy, the people who love only once in their lives are reallythe shallow people. What they call their loyalty, and their fidelity,I call either the lethargy of custom or their lack of imagination.Faithfulness is to the emotional life what consistency is to the lifeof the intellect—simply a confession of failure. Faithfulness! Imust analyse it some day. The passion for property is in it. Thereare many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid thatothers might pick them up. But I don't want to interrupt you. Go onwith your story."

"Well, I found myself seated in a horrid little private box, with avulgar drop-scene staring me in the face. I looked out from behind thecurtain and surveyed the house. It was a tawdry affair, all Cupids andcornucopias, like a third-rate wedding-cake. The gallery and pit werefairly full, but the two rows of dingy stalls were quite empty, andthere was hardly a person in what I suppose they called thedress-circle. Women went about with oranges and ginger-beer, and therewas a terrible consumption of nuts going on."

"It must have been just like the palmy days of the British drama."

"Just like, I should fancy, and very depressing. I began to wonderwhat on earth I should do when I caught sight of the play-bill. Whatdo you think the play was, Harry?"

"I should think 'The Idiot Boy', or 'Dumb but Innocent'. Our fathersused to like that sort of piece, I believe. The longer I live, Dorian,the more keenly I feel that whatever was good enough for our fathers isnot good enough for us. In art, as in politics, les grandperes onttoujours tort."

"This play was good enough for us, Harry. It was Romeo and Juliet. Imust admit that I was rather annoyed at the idea of seeing Shakespearedone in such a wretched hole of a place. Still, I felt interested, ina sort of way. At any rate, I determined to wait for the first act.There was a dreadful orchestra, presided over by a young Hebrew who satat a cracked piano, that nearly drove me away, but at last thedrop-scene was drawn up and the play began. Romeo was a stout elderlygentleman, with corked eyebrows, a husky tragedy voice, and a figurelike a beer-barrel. Mercutio was almost as bad. He was played by thelow-comedian, who had introduced gags of his own and was on mostfriendly terms with the pit. They were both as grotesque as thescenery, and that looked as if it had come out of a country-booth. ButJuliet! Harry, imagine a girl, hardly seventeen years of age, with alittle, flowerlike face, a small Greek head with plaited coils ofdark-brown hair, eyes that were violet wells of passion, lips that werelike the petals of a rose. She was the loveliest thing I had ever seenin my life. You said to me once that pathos left you unmoved, but thatbeauty, mere beauty, could fill your eyes with tears. I tell you,Harry, I could hardly see this girl for the mist of tears that cameacross me. And her voice—I never heard such a voice. It was very lowat first, with deep mellow notes that seemed to fall singly upon one'sear. Then it became a little louder, and sounded like a flute or adistant hautboy. In the garden-scene it had all the tremulous ecstasythat one hears just before dawn when nightingales are singing. Therewere moments, later on, when it had the wild passion of violins. Youknow how a voice can stir one. Your voice and the voice of Sibyl Vaneare two things that I shall never forget. When I close my eyes, I hearthem, and each of them says something different. I don't know which tofollow. Why should I not love her? Harry, I do love her. She iseverything to me in life. Night after night I go to see her play. Oneevening she is Rosalind, and the next evening she is Imogen. I haveseen her die in the gloom of an Italian tomb, sucking the poison fromher lover's lips. I have watched her wandering through the forest ofArden, disguised as a pretty boy in hose and doublet and dainty cap.She has been mad, and has come into the presence of a guilty king, andgiven him rue to wear and bitter herbs to taste of. She has beeninnocent, and the black hands of jealousy have crushed her reedlikethroat. I have seen her in every age and in every costume. Ordinarywomen never appeal to one's imagination. They are limited to theircentury. No glamour ever transfigures them. One knows their minds aseasily as one knows their bonnets. One can always find them. There isno mystery in any of them. They ride in the park in the morning andchatter at tea-parties in the afternoon. They have their stereotypedsmile and their fashionable manner. They are quite obvious. But anactress! How different an actress is! Harry! why didn't you tell methat the only thing worth loving is an actress?"

"Because I have loved so many of them, Dorian."

"Oh, yes, horrid people with dyed hair and painted faces."

"Don't run down dyed hair and painted faces. There is an extraordinarycharm in them, sometimes," said Lord Henry.

"I wish now I had not told you about Sibyl Vane."

"You could not have helped telling me, Dorian. All through your lifeyou will tell me everything you do."

"Yes, Harry, I believe that is true. I cannot help telling you things.You have a curious influence over me. If I ever did a crime, I wouldcome and confess it to you. You would understand me."

"People like you—the wilful sunbeams of life—don't commit crimes,Dorian. But I am much obliged for the compliment, all the same. Andnow tell me—reach me the matches, like a good boy—thanks—what areyour actual relations with Sibyl Vane?"

Dorian Gray leaped to his feet, with flushed cheeks and burning eyes."Harry! Sibyl Vane is sacred!"

"It is only the sacred things that are worth touching, Dorian," saidLord Henry, with a strange touch of pathos in his voice. "But whyshould you be annoyed? I suppose she will belong to you some day.When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving one's self, and onealways ends by deceiving others. That is what the world calls aromance. You know her, at any rate, I suppose?"

"Of course I know her. On the first night I was at the theatre, thehorrid old Jew came round to the box after the performance was over andoffered to take me behind the scenes and introduce me to her. I wasfurious with him, and told him that Juliet had been dead for hundredsof years and that her body was lying in a marble tomb in Verona. Ithink, from his blank look of amazement, that he was under theimpression that I had taken too much champagne, or something."

"I am not surprised."

"Then he asked me if I wrote for any of the newspapers. I told him Inever even read them. He seemed terribly disappointed at that, andconfided to me that all the dramatic critics were in a conspiracyagainst him, and that they were every one of them to be bought."

"I should not wonder if he was quite right there. But, on the otherhand, judging from their appearance, most of them cannot be at allexpensive."

"Well, he seemed to think they were beyond his means," laughed Dorian."By this time, however, the lights were being put out in the theatre,and I had to go. He wanted me to try some cigars that he stronglyrecommended. I declined. The next night, of course, I arrived at theplace again. When he saw me, he made me a low bow and assured me thatI was a munificent patron of art. He was a most offensive brute,though he had an extraordinary passion for Shakespeare. He told meonce, with an air of pride, that his five bankruptcies were entirelydue to 'The Bard,' as he insisted on calling him. He seemed to thinkit a distinction."

"It was a distinction, my dear Dorian—a great distinction. Mostpeople become bankrupt through having invested too heavily in the proseof life. To have ruined one's self over poetry is an honour. But whendid you first speak to Miss Sibyl Vane?"

"The third night. She had been playing Rosalind. I could not helpgoing round. I had thrown her some flowers, and she had looked atme—at least I fancied that she had. The old Jew was persistent. Heseemed determined to take me behind, so I consented. It was curious mynot wanting to know her, wasn't it?"

"No; I don't think so."

"My dear Harry, why?"

"I will tell you some other time. Now I want to know about the girl."

"Sibyl? Oh, she was so shy and so gentle. There is something of achild about her. Her eyes opened wide in exquisite wonder when I toldher what I thought of her performance, and she seemed quite unconsciousof her power. I think we were both rather nervous. The old Jew stoodgrinning at the doorway of the dusty greenroom, making elaboratespeeches about us both, while we stood looking at each other likechildren. He would insist on calling me 'My Lord,' so I had to assureSibyl that I was not anything of the kind. She said quite simply tome, 'You look more like a prince. I must call you Prince Charming.'"

"Upon my word, Dorian, Miss Sibyl knows how to pay compliments."

"You don't understand her, Harry. She regarded me merely as a personin a play. She knows nothing of life. She lives with her mother, afaded tired woman who played Lady Capulet in a sort of magentadressing-wrapper on the first night, and looks as if she had seenbetter days."

"I know that look. It depresses me," murmured Lord Henry, examininghis rings.

"The Jew wanted to tell me her history, but I said it did not interestme."

"You were quite right. There is always something infinitely mean aboutother people's tragedies."

"Sibyl is the only thing I care about. What is it to me where she camefrom? From her little head to her little feet, she is absolutely andentirely divine. Every night of my life I go to see her act, and everynight she is more marvellous."

"That is the reason, I suppose, that you never dine with me now. Ithought you must have some curious romance on hand. You have; but itis not quite what I expected."

"My dear Harry, we either lunch or sup together every day, and I havebeen to the opera with you several times," said Dorian, opening hisblue eyes in wonder.

"You always come dreadfully late."

"Well, I can't help going to see Sibyl play," he cried, "even if it isonly for a single act. I get hungry for her presence; and when I thinkof the wonderful soul that is hidden away in that little ivory body, Iam filled with awe."

"You can dine with me to-night, Dorian, can't you?"

He shook his head. "To-night she is Imogen," he answered, "andto-morrow night she will be Juliet."

"When is she Sibyl Vane?"


"I congratulate you."

"How horrid you are! She is all the great heroines of the world inone. She is more than an individual. You laugh, but I tell you shehas genius. I love her, and I must make her love me. You, who knowall the secrets of life, tell me how to charm Sibyl Vane to love me! Iwant to make Romeo jealous. I want the dead lovers of the world tohear our laughter and grow sad. I want a breath of our passion to stirtheir dust into consciousness, to wake their ashes into pain. My God,Harry, how I worship her!" He was walking up and down the room as hespoke. Hectic spots of red burned on his cheeks. He was terriblyexcited.

Lord Henry watched him with a subtle sense of pleasure. How differenthe was now from the shy frightened boy he had met in Basil Hallward'sstudio! His nature had developed like a flower, had borne blossoms ofscarlet flame. Out of its secret hiding-place had crept his soul, anddesire had come to meet it on the way.

"And what do you propose to do?" said Lord Henry at last.

"I want you and Basil to come with me some night and see her act. Ihave not the slightest fear of the result. You are certain toacknowledge her genius. Then we must get her out of the Jew's hands.She is bound to him for three years—at least for two years and eightmonths—from the present time. I shall have to pay him something, ofcourse. When all that is settled, I shall take a West End theatre andbring her out properly. She will make the world as mad as she has mademe."

"That would be impossible, my dear boy."

"Yes, she will. She has not merely art, consummate art-instinct, inher, but she has personality also; and you have often told me that itis personalities, not principles, that move the age."

"Well, what night shall we go?"

"Let me see. To-day is Tuesday. Let us fix to-morrow. She playsJuliet to-morrow."

"All right. The Bristol at eight o'clock; and I will get Basil."

"Not eight, Harry, please. Half-past six. We must be there before thecurtain rises. You must see her in the first act, where she meetsRomeo."

"Half-past six! What an hour! It will be like having a meat-tea, orreading an English novel. It must be seven. No gentleman dines beforeseven. Shall you see Basil between this and then? Or shall I write tohim?"

"Dear Basil! I have not laid eyes on him for a week. It is ratherhorrid of me, as he has sent me my portrait in the most wonderfulframe, specially designed by himself, and, though I am a little jealousof the picture for being a whole month younger than I am, I must admitthat I delight in it. Perhaps you had better write to him. I don'twant to see him alone. He says things that annoy me. He gives me goodadvice."

Lord Henry smiled. "People are very fond of giving away what they needmost themselves. It is what I call the depth of generosity."

"Oh, Basil is the best of fellows, but he seems to me to be just a bitof a Philistine. Since I have known you, Harry, I have discoveredthat."

"Basil, my dear boy, puts everything that is charming in him into hiswork. The consequence is that he has nothing left for life but hisprejudices, his principles, and his common sense. The only artists Ihave ever known who are personally delightful are bad artists. Goodartists exist simply in what they make, and consequently are perfectlyuninteresting in what they are. A great poet, a really great poet, isthe most unpoetical of all creatures. But inferior poets areabsolutely fascinating. The worse their rhymes are, the morepicturesque they look. The mere fact of having published a book ofsecond-rate sonnets makes a man quite irresistible. He lives thepoetry that he cannot write. The others write the poetry that theydare not realize."

"I wonder is that really so, Harry?" said Dorian Gray, putting someperfume on his handkerchief out of a large, gold-topped bottle thatstood on the table. "It must be, if you say it. And now I am off.Imogen is waiting for me. Don't forget about to-morrow. Good-bye."

As he left the room, Lord Henry's heavy eyelids drooped, and he beganto think. Certainly few people had ever interested him so much asDorian Gray, and yet the lad's mad adoration of some one else causedhim not the slightest pang of annoyance or jealousy. He was pleased byit. It made him a more interesting study. He had been alwaysenthralled by the methods of natural science, but the ordinarysubject-matter of that science had seemed to him trivial and of noimport. And so he had begun by vivisecting himself, as he had ended byvivisecting others. Human life—that appeared to him the one thingworth investigating. Compared to it there was nothing else of anyvalue. It was true that as one watched life in its curious crucible ofpain and pleasure, one could not wear over one's face a mask of glass,nor keep the sulphurous fumes from troubling the brain and making theimagination turbid with monstrous fancies and misshapen dreams. Therewere poisons so subtle that to know their properties one had to sickenof them. There were maladies so strange that one had to pass throughthem if one sought to understand their nature. And, yet, what a greatreward one received! How wonderful the whole world became to one! Tonote the curious hard logic of passion, and the emotional coloured lifeof the intellect—to observe where they met, and where they separated,at what point they were in unison, and at what point they were atdiscord—there was a delight in that! What matter what the cost was?One could never pay too high a price for any sensation.

He was conscious—and the thought brought a gleam of pleasure into hisbrown agate eyes—that it was through certain words of his, musicalwords said with musical utterance, that Dorian Gray's soul had turnedto this white girl and bowed in worship before her. To a large extentthe lad was his own creation. He had made him premature. That wassomething. Ordinary people waited till life disclosed to them itssecrets, but to the few, to the elect, the mysteries of life wererevealed before the veil was drawn away. Sometimes this was the effectof art, and chiefly of the art of literature, which dealt immediatelywith the passions and the intellect. But now and then a complexpersonality took the place and assumed the office of art, was indeed,in its way, a real work of art, life having its elaborate masterpieces,just as poetry has, or sculpture, or painting.

Yes, the lad was premature. He was gathering his harvest while it wasyet spring. The pulse and passion of youth were in him, but he wasbecoming self-conscious. It was delightful to watch him. With hisbeautiful face, and his beautiful soul, he was a thing to wonder at.It was no matter how it all ended, or was destined to end. He was likeone of those gracious figures in a pageant or a play, whose joys seemto be remote from one, but whose sorrows stir one's sense of beauty,and whose wounds are like red roses.

Soul and body, body and soul—how mysterious they were! There wasanimalism in the soul, and the body had its moments of spirituality.The senses could refine, and the intellect could degrade. Who couldsay where the fleshly impulse ceased, or the psychical impulse began?How shallow were the arbitrary definitions of ordinary psychologists!And yet how difficult to decide between the claims of the variousschools! Was the soul a shadow seated in the house of sin? Or was thebody really in the soul, as Giordano Bruno thought? The separation ofspirit from matter was a mystery, and the union of spirit with matterwas a mystery also.

He began to wonder whether we could ever make psychology so absolute ascience that each little spring of life would be revealed to us. As itwas, we always misunderstood ourselves and rarely understood others.Experience was of no ethical value. It was merely the name men gave totheir mistakes. Moralists had, as a rule, regarded it as a mode ofwarning, had claimed for it a certain ethical efficacy in the formationof character, had praised it as something that taught us what to followand showed us what to avoid. But there was no motive power inexperience. It was as little of an active cause as conscience itself.All that it really demonstrated was that our future would be the sameas our past, and that the sin we had done once, and with loathing, wewould do many times, and with joy.

It was clear to him that the experimental method was the only method bywhich one could arrive at any scientific analysis of the passions; andcertainly Dorian Gray was a subject made to his hand, and seemed topromise rich and fruitful results. His sudden mad love for Sibyl Vanewas a psychological phenomenon of no small interest. There was nodoubt that curiosity had much to do with it, curiosity and the desirefor new experiences, yet it was not a simple, but rather a very complexpassion. What there was in it of the purely sensuous instinct ofboyhood had been transformed by the workings of the imagination,changed into something that seemed to the lad himself to be remote fromsense, and was for that very reason all the more dangerous. It was thepassions about whose origin we deceived ourselves that tyrannized moststrongly over us. Our weakest motives were those of whose nature wewere conscious. It often happened that when we thought we wereexperimenting on others we were really experimenting on ourselves.

While Lord Henry sat dreaming on these things, a knock came to thedoor, and his valet entered and reminded him it was time to dress fordinner. He got up and looked out into the street. The sunset hadsmitten into scarlet gold the upper windows of the houses opposite.The panes glowed like plates of heated metal. The sky above was like afaded rose. He thought of his friend's young fiery-coloured life andwondered how it was all going to end.

When he arrived home, about half-past twelve o'clock, he saw a telegramlying on the hall table. He opened it and found it was from DorianGray. It was to tell him that he was engaged to be married to SibylVane.