The Picture of Dorian Gray
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.
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 long 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 Tokyo 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.
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 skillfully 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.'"
"The Importance of Being Earnest"
Scene—Morning-room of Lord Windermere’s house in Carlton House
Terrace.Doors C. and R. Bureau with books and papers R. Sofa with small tea-table L. Window opening on to terrace L. Table
R. (Lady Windermere is at table R., arranging roses in a blue bowl.) (Enter Parker.
Parker. Is your ladyship at home
Lady Windermere. Yes—who has called?
Parker. Lord Darlington, my lady.
(Hesitates for a moment.) Show him up—and I’m at home to any one who calls. Parker. Yes, my lady. (Exit C.
Windermere. It’s best for me to see him before to-night. I’m glad he’s come. (Enter Parker C.
Lord Darlington. (Enter Lord Darlington C. (Exit Parker.
Lord Darlington. How do you do, Lady Windermere?
Windermere. How do you do, Lord Darlington? No, I can’t shake hands with you. My hands are all wet with these roses.
Aren’t they lovely? They came up from Selby this morning.
Lord Darlington. They are quite perfect. (Sees a fan
lying on the table.) And what a wonderful fan! May I look at it?
Lady Windermere. Do. Pretty, isn’t it! It’s
got my name on it, and everything. I have only just seen it myself. It’s my husband’s birthday present to me.
You know to-day is my birthday?
Lord Darlington. No? Is it really?
Lady Windermere. Yes, I’m of age to-day.
Quite an important day in my life, isn’t it? That is why I am giving this party to-night. Do sit down. (Still arranging
Lord Darlington. (Sitting down.) I wish I had known it was your birthday, Lady Windermere. I would have covered
the whole street in front of your house with flowers for you to walk on. They are made for you. (A short pause.)
Windermere. Lord Darlington, you annoyed me last night at the Foreign Office. I am afraid you are going to annoy me again.
Darlington. I, Lady Windermere? (Enter Parker and Footman C., with tray and tea things.
"Lady Windermere "
of Lord Windermere's house in Carlton House Terrace. Doors C. and R. Bureau with books and papers R. Sofa with small tea-table
L. Window opening on to terrace L. Table R.
[LADY WINDERMERE is at
table R., arranging roses in a blue bowl.]
PARKER. Is your ladyship
at home this afternoon?
LADY WINDERMERE. Yes
- who has called?
PARKER. Lord Darlington,
LADY WINDERMERE. [Hesitates
for a moment.] Show him up - and I'm at home to any one who calls.
PARKER. Yes, my lady.
LADY WINDERMERE. It's
best for me to see him before to-night. I'm glad he's come.
[Enter PARKER C.]
PARKER. Lord Darlington,
[Enter LORD DARLINGTON C.]
How do you do, Lady Windermere?
LADY WINDERMERE. How
do you do, Lord Darlington? No, I can't shake hands with you. My hands are all wet with these roses. Aren't they lovely? They
came up from Selby this morning.
They are quite perfect. [Sees a fan lying on the table.] And what a wonderful fan! May I look at it?
LADY WINDERMERE. Do.
Pretty, isn't it! It's got my name on it, and everything. I have only just seen it myself. It's my husband's birthday present
to me. You know to-day is my birthday?
No? Is it really?
LADY WINDERMERE. Yes,
I'm of age to-day. Quite an important day in my life, isn't it? That is why I am giving this party to-night. Do sit down.
[Still arranging flowers.]
[Sitting down.] I wish I had known it was your birthday, Lady Windermere. I would have covered the whole street in front of
your house with flowers for you to walk on. They are made for you. [A short pause.]