afternoon, a month later, Dorian Gray was reclining in a luxurious
arm-chair, in the little library of Lord Henry's house in Mayfair.
It was, in its way, a very charming room, with its high panelled
wainscoting of olive-stained oak, its cream-coloured frieze and
ceiling of raised plasterwork, and its brickdust felt carpet
strewn with silk, long-fringed Persian rugs. On a tiny satinwood
table stood a statuette by Clodion, and beside it lay a copy
of Les Cent Nouvelles, bound for Margaret of Valois by Clovis
Eve and powdered with the gilt daisies that Queen had selected
for her device. Some large blue china jars and parrot-tulips
were ranged on the mantelshelf, and through the small leaded
panes of the window streamed the apricot-coloured light of a
summer day in London.
Lord Henry had not yet come in.
He was always late on principle, his principle being that punctuality
is the thief of time. So the lad was looking rather sulky, as
with listless fingers he turned over the pages of an elaborately
illustrated edition of Manon Lescaut that he had found in one
of the book-cases. The formal monotonous ticking of the Louis
Quatorze clock annoyed him. Once or twice he thought of going
At last he heard a step outside,
and the door opened. "How late you are, Harry!" he
"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. I thought
"You thought it was my husband.
It is only his wife. You must let me introduce myself. I know
you quite well by your photographs. I think my husband has got
seventeen of them."
"Not seventeen, Lady Henry?"
"Well, eighteen, then. And
I saw you with him the other night at the opera." She laughed
nervously as she spoke, and watched him with her vague forget-me-not
eyes. She was a curious woman, whose dresses always looked as
if they had been designed in a rage and put on in a tempest.
She was usually in love with somebody, and, as her passion was
never returned, she had kept all her illusions. She tried to
look picturesque, but only succeeded in being untidy. Her name
was Victoria, 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 than anybody's. It is so loud that
one can talk the whole time without other people hearing what
one says. That is a great advantage, don't you think so, Mr.
The same nervous staccato laugh
broke from her thin lips, and her fingers began to play with
a long tortoise-shell paper-knife.
Dorian smiled and shook his head:
"I am afraid I don't think so, Lady Henry. I never talk
during music at least, during good music. If
one hears 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 hear Harry's views from his
friends. It is the only way I get to know of them. But you must
not think I don't like good music. I adore it, but I am afraid
of it. It makes me too romantic. I have simply worshipped pianists
two at a time, sometimes, Harry tells me. I don't know what it
is about them. Perhaps it is that they are foreigners. They all
are, ain't they? Even those that are born in England become foreigners
after a time, don't they? It is so clever of them, and such a
compliment to art. Makes it quite cosmopolitan, doesn't it? You
have never been to any of my parties, have you, Mr. Gray? You
must come. I can't afford orchids, but I share no expense in
foreigners. They make one's rooms look so picturesque. But here
is Harry! Harry, I came in to look for you, to ask you something
I forget what it was and I found Mr. Gray here.
We have had such a pleasant chat about music. We have 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 his dark, crescent-shaped
eyebrows and looking at them both with an amused smile. "So
sorry I am late, Dorian. I went to look after a piece of old
brocade in Wardour Street and had to bargain for hours for it.
Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of
"I am afraid I must be going,"
exclaimed Lady Henry, breaking an awkward silence with her silly
sudden laugh. "I have promised to drive with the duchess.
Good-bye, Mr. Gray. Good-bye, Harry. You are dining out, I suppose?
So am I. Perhaps I shall see you at Lady Thornbury's."
"I dare say, my dear,"
said Lord Henry, shutting the door behind her as, looking like
a bird of paradise that had been out all night in the rain, she
flitted out of the room, leaving a faint odour of frangipanni.
Then he lit a cigarette and flung himself down on the sofa.
"Never marry a woman with
straw-coloured hair, Dorian," he said after a few puffs.
"Because they are so sentimental."
"But I like sentimental
"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 do everything 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 commonplace début."
"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. They never have anything
to say, but they say it charmingly. Women represent the triumph
of matter over mind, just as men represent the triumph of mind
"Harry, how can you?"
"My dear Dorian, it is quite
true. I am analysing women at present, so I 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 plain and
the coloured. The plain women are very useful. If you want to
gain a reputation for respectability, you have merely to take
them down to supper. The other women are very charming. They
commit one mistake, however. They paint in order to try and look
young. Our grandmothers painted in order to try and talk brilliantly.
Rouge and esprit used to go together. That is all
over now. As long as a woman can look ten years younger than
her own daughter, she is perfectly satisfied. As for conversation,
there are only five women in London worth talking to, and two
of these can't be admitted into decent society. However, tell
me about your genius. How long have you known her?"
"Ah! Harry, your views terrify
"Never mind that. How long
have you known her?"
"About three weeks."
"And where did you come
"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. You filled me with
a wild desire to know everything about life. For days after I
met you, something seemed to throb in my veins. As I lounged
in the park, or strolled down Piccadilly, I used to look at every
one who passed me and wonder, with a mad curiosity, what sort
of lives they led. Some of them fascinated me. Others filled
me with terror. There was 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 search of 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 fancied a thousand
things. The mere danger gave me a sense of delight. I remembered
what you had said to me on that wonderful evening when we first
dined together, about the search for beauty being the real secret
of life. I don't know what I expected, but I went out and wandered
eastward, soon losing my way in a labyrinth of grimy streets
and black grassless squares. About half-past eight I passed by
an absurd little theatre, with great flaring gas-jets and gaudy
play-bills. A hideous Jew, in the most amazing waistcoat I ever
beheld in my life, was standing at the entrance, smoking a vile
cigar. He had greasy ringlets, and an enormous diamond blazed
in the centre of a soiled shirt.'Have a box, my Lord?' he said,
when he saw me, and he took off his hat with an air of gorgeous
servility. There was something about him, Harry, that amused
me. He was such a monster. You will laugh at me, I know, but
I really went in and paid a whole guinea for the stage-box. To
the present day I can't make out why I did so; and yet if I hadn't
my dear Harry, if I hadn't I should have missed
the greatest romance 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 you should not say the
greatest romance of your life. You should say the first romance
of your life. You will always be loved, and you will always be
in love with love. A grande passion is the privilege
of people who have nothing to do. That is the one use of the
idle classes of a country. Don't be afraid. There are exquisite
things in store for you. This is merely the beginning."
"Do you think my nature
so shallow?" cried Dorian Gray angrily.
"No; I think your nature
"How do you mean?"
"My dear boy, the people
who love only once in their lives are really the 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 life of the
intellect simply a confession of failure. Faithfulness!
I must analyse it some day. The passion for property is in it.
There are many things that we would throw away if we were not
afraid that others might pick them up. But I don't want to interrupt
you. Go on with your story."
"Well, I found myself seated
in a horrid little private box, with a vulgar drop-scene staring
me in the face. I looked out from behind the curtain and surveyed
the house. It was a tawdry affair, all Cupids and cornucopias,
like a third-rate wedding-cake. The gallery and pit were fairly
full, but the two rows of dingy stalls were quite empty, and
there was hardly a person in what I suppose they called the dress-circle.
Women went about with oranges and ginger-beer, and there was
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 wonder what on earth I should
do when I caught sight of the play-bill. What do you think the
play was, Harry?"
"I should think The Idiot
Boy, or Dumb but Innocent. Our fathers used 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 is not good
enough for us. In art, as in politics, les grandpères
ont toujours tort."
"This play was good enough
for us, Harry. It was Romeo and Juliet. I must admit that I was
rather annoyed at the idea of seeing Shakespeare done in such
a wretched hole of a place. Still, I felt interested, in a 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 sat at a cracked piano, that nearly drove me away, but at
last the drop-scene was drawn up and the play began. Romeo was
a stout elderly gentleman, with corked eyebrows, a husky tragedy
voice, and a figure like a beer-barrel. Mercutio was almost as
bad. He was played by the low-comedian, who had introduced gags
of his own and was on most friendly terms with the pit. They
were both as grotesque as the scenery, and that looked as if
it had come out of a country-booth. But Juliet! Harry, imagine
a girl, hardly seventeen years of age, with a little, flowerlike
face, a small Greek head with plaited coils of dark-brown hair,
eyes that were violet wells of passion, lips that were like the
petals of a rose. She was the loveliest thing I had ever seen
in my life. You said to me once that pathos left you unmoved,
but that beauty, mere beauty, could fill your eyes with tears.
I tell you, Harry, I could hardly see this girl for the mist
of tears that came across me. And her voice I
never heard such a voice. It was very low at first, with deep
mellow notes that seemed to fall singly upon one's ear. Then
it became a little louder, and sounded like a flute or a distant
hautboy. In the garden-scene it had all the tremulous ecstasy
that one hears just before dawn when nightingales are singing.
There were moments, later on, when it had the wild passion of
violins. You know how a voice can stir one. Your voice and the
voice of Sibyl Vane are two things that I shall never forget.
When I close my eyes, I hear them, and each of them says something
different. I don't know which to follow. Why should I not love
her? Harry, I do love her. She is everything to me in life. Night
after night I go to see her play. One evening she is Rosalind,
and the next evening she is Imogen. I have seen her die in the
gloom of an Italian tomb, sucking the poison from her lover's
lips. I have watched her wandering through the forest of Arden,
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, and given him rue to wear and bitter herbs to taste of.
She has been innocent, and the black hands of jealousy have crushed
her reedlike throat. I have seen her in every age and in every
costume. Ordinary women never appeal to one's imagination. They
are limited to their century. No glamour ever transfigures them.
One knows their minds as easily as one knows their bonnets. One
can always find them. There is no mystery in any of them. They
ride in the park in the morning and chatter at tea-parties in
the afternoon. They have their stereotyped smile and their fashionable
manner. They are quite obvious. But an actress! How different
an actress is! Harry! why didn't you tell me that 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 extraordinary charm 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 life you will tell me everything
"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 would come 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.
And now tell me reach me the matches, like a
good boy thanks what are your
actual relations with Sibyl Vane?"
Dorian Gray leaped to his feet,
with flushed cheeks and burning eyes. "Harry! Sibyl Vane
"It is only the sacred things
that are worth touching, Dorian," said Lord Henry, with
a strange touch of pathos in his voice. "But why should
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
one always ends by deceiving others. That is what the world calls
a romance. You know her, at any rate, I suppose?"
"Of course I know her. On
the first night I was at the theatre, the horrid old Jew came
round to the box after the performance was over and offered to
take me behind the scenes and introduce me to her. I was furious
with him, and told him that Juliet had been dead for hundreds
of years and that her body was lying in a marble tomb in Verona.
I think, from his blank look of amazement, that he was under
the impression 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 I never even read them.
He seemed terribly disappointed at that, and confided to me that
all the dramatic critics were in a conspiracy against 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 other hand, judging from
their appearance, most of them cannot be at all expensive."
"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 strongly
recommended. I declined. The next night, of course, I arrived
at the place again. When he saw me, he made me a low bow and
assured me that I was a munificent patron of art. He was a most
offensive brute, though he had an extraordinary passion for Shakespeare.
He told me once, with an air of pride, that his five bankruptcies
were entirely due to 'The Bard,' as he insisted on calling him.
He seemed to think it a distinction."
"It was a distinction, my
dear Dorian a great distinction. Most people
become bankrupt through having invested too heavily in the prose
of life. To have ruined one's self over poetry is an honour.
But when did you first speak to Miss Sibyl Vane?"
"The third night. She had
been playing Rosalind. I could not help going round. I had thrown
her some flowers, and she had looked at me at
least I fancied that she had. The old Jew was persistent. He
seemed determined to take me behind, so I consented. It was curious
my not 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 a child about her. Her eyes
opened wide in exquisite wonder when I told her what I thought
of her performance, and she seemed quite unconscious of her power.
I think we were both rather nervous. The old Jew stood grinning
at the doorway of the dusty greenroom, making elaborate speeches
about us both, while we stood looking at each other like children.
He would insist on calling me 'My Lord,' so I had to assure Sibyl
that I was not anything of the kind. She said quite simply to
me, '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 person in a play. She knows
nothing of life. She lives with her mother, a faded tired woman
who played Lady Capulet in a sort of magenta dressing-wrapper
on the first night, and looks as if she had seen better days."
"I know that look. It depresses
me," murmured Lord Henry, examining his rings.
"The Jew wanted to tell
me her history, but I said it did not interest me."
"You were quite right. There
is always something infinitely mean about other people's tragedies."
"Sibyl is the only thing
I care about. What is it to me where she came from? From her
little head to her little feet, she is absolutely and entirely
divine. Every night of my life I go to see her act, and every
night she is more marvellous."
"That is the reason, I suppose,
that you never dine with me now. I thought you must have some
curious romance on hand. You have; but it is not quite what I
"My dear Harry, we either
lunch or sup together every day, and I have been to the opera
with you several times," said Dorian, opening his blue eyes
"You always come dreadfully
"Well, I can't help going
to see Sibyl play," he cried, "even if it is only for
a single act. I get hungry for her presence; and when I think
of the wonderful soul that is hidden away in that little ivory
body, I am 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, "and to-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 in one. She is more than
an individual. You laugh, but I tell you she has genius. I love
her, and I must make her love me. You, who know all the secrets
of life, tell me how to charm Sibyl Vane to love me! I want to
make Romeo jealous. I want the dead lovers of the world to hear
our laughter and grow sad. I want a breath of our passion to
stir their 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 he spoke. Hectic spots of red burned
on his cheeks. He was terribly excited.
Lord Henry watched him with a
subtle sense of pleasure. How different he was now from the shy
frightened boy he had met in Basil Hallward's studio! His nature
had developed like a flower, had borne blossoms of scarlet flame.
Out of its secret hiding-place had crept his soul, and desire
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. I have not the slightest
fear of the result. You are certain to acknowledge 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
eight months from the present time. I shall have
to pay him something, of course. When all that is settled, I
shall take a West End theatre and bring her out properly. She
will make the world as mad as she has made me."
"That would be impossible,
my dear boy."
"Yes, she will. She has
not merely art, consummate art-instinct, in her, but she has
personality also; and you have often told me that it is personalities,
not principles, that move the age."
"Well, what night shall
"Let me see. To-day is Tuesday.
Let us fix to-morrow. She plays Juliet 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 the curtain rises. You
must see her in the first act, where she meets Romeo."
"Half-past six! What an
hour! It will be like having a meat-tea, or reading an English
novel. It must be seven. No gentleman dines before seven. Shall
you see Basil between this and then? Or shall I write to him?"
"Dear Basil! I have not
laid eyes on him for a week. It is rather horrid of me, as he
has sent me my portrait in the most wonderful frame, specially
designed by himself, and, though I am a little jealous of the
picture for being a whole month younger than I am, I must admit
that I delight in it. Perhaps you had better write to him. I
don't want to see him alone. He says things that annoy me. He
gives me good advice."
Lord Henry smiled. "People
are very fond of giving away what they need most 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 bit of a Philistine.
Since I have known you, Harry, I have discovered that."
"Basil, my dear boy, puts
everything that is charming in him into his work. The consequence
is that he has nothing left for life but his prejudices, his
principles, and his common sense. The only artists I have ever
known who are personally delightful are bad artists. Good artists
exist simply in what they make, and consequently are perfectly
uninteresting in what they are. A great poet, a really great
poet, is the most unpoetical of all creatures. But inferior poets
are absolutely fascinating. The worse their rhymes are, the more
picturesque they look. The mere fact of having published a book
of second-rate sonnets makes a man quite irresistible. He lives
the poetry that he cannot write. The others write the poetry
that they dare not realize."
"I wonder is that really
so, Harry?" said Dorian Gray, putting some perfume on his
handkerchief out of a large, gold-topped bottle that stood 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 began to think. Certainly few people
had ever interested him so much as Dorian Gray, and yet the lad's
mad adoration of some one else caused him not the slightest pang
of annoyance or jealousy. He was pleased by it. It made him a
more interesting study. He had been always enthralled by the
methods of natural science, but the ordinary subject-matter of
that science had seemed to him trivial and of no import. And
so he had begun by vivisecting himself, as he had ended by vivisecting
others. Human life that appeared to him the one
thing worth investigating. Compared to it there was nothing else
of any value. It was true that as one watched life in its curious
crucible of pain 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 the imagination turbid with monstrous fancies
and misshapen dreams. There were poisons so subtle that to know
their properties one had to sicken of them. There were maladies
so strange that one had to pass through them if one sought to
understand their nature. And, yet, what a great reward one received!
How wonderful the whole world became to one! To note the curious
hard logic of passion, and the emotional coloured life of the
intellect to observe where they met, and where
they separated, at what point they were in unison, and at what
point they were at discord 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 his brown agate
eyes that it was through certain words of his,
musical words said with musical utterance, that Dorian Gray's
soul had turned to this white girl and bowed in worship before
her. To a large extent the lad was his own creation. He had made
him premature. That was something. Ordinary people waited till
life disclosed to them its secrets, but to the few, to the elect,
the mysteries of life were revealed before the veil was drawn
away. Sometimes this was the effect of art, and chiefly of the
art of literature, which dealt immediately with the passions
and the intellect. But now and then a complex personality 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 was yet spring. The pulse
and passion of youth were in him, but he was becoming self-conscious.
It was delightful to watch him. With his beautiful 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 like one of
those gracious figures in a pageant or a play, whose joys seem
to 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 was animalism in the soul, and
the body had its moments of spirituality. The senses could refine,
and the intellect could degrade. Who could say 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 various schools!
Was the soul a shadow seated in the house of sin? Or was the
body really in the soul, as Giordano Bruno thought? The separation
of spirit from matter was a mystery, and the union of spirit
with matter was a mystery also.
He began to wonder whether we
could ever make psychology so absolute a science that each little
spring of life would be revealed to us. As it was, we always
misunderstood ourselves and rarely understood others. Experience
was of no ethical value. It was merely the name men gave to their
mistakes. Moralists had, as a rule, regarded it as a mode of
warning, had claimed for it a certain ethical efficacy in the
formation of character, had praised it as something that taught
us what to follow and showed us what to avoid. But there was
no motive power in experience. It was as little of an active
cause as conscience itself. All that it really demonstrated was
that our future would be the same as our past, and that the sin
we had done once, and with loathing, we would do many times,
and with joy.
It was clear to him that the
experimental method was the only method by which one could arrive
at any scientific analysis of the passions; and certainly Dorian
Gray was a subject made to his hand, and seemed to promise rich
and fruitful results. His sudden mad love for Sibyl Vane was
a psychological phenomenon of no small interest. There was no
doubt that curiosity had much to do with it, curiosity and the
desire for new experiences, yet it was not a simple, but rather
a very complex passion. What there was in it of the purely sensuous
instinct of boyhood had been transformed by the workings of the
imagination, changed into something that seemed to the lad himself
to be remote from sense, and was for that very reason all the
more dangerous. It was the passions about whose origin we deceived
ourselves that tyrannized most strongly over us. Our weakest
motives were those of whose nature we were conscious. It often
happened that when we thought we were experimenting on others
we were really experimenting on ourselves.
While Lord Henry sat dreaming
on these things, a knock came to the door, and his valet entered
and reminded him it was time to dress for dinner. He got up and
looked out into the street. The sunset had smitten into scarlet
gold the upper windows of the houses opposite. The panes glowed
like plates of heated metal. The sky above was like a faded rose.
He thought of his friend's young fiery-coloured life and wondered
how it was all going to end.
When he arrived home, about half-past
twelve o'clock, he saw a telegram lying on the hall table. He
opened it and found it was from Dorian Gray. It was to tell him
that he was engaged to be married to Sibyl Vane.
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