The Picture Of Dorian Gray
by Oscar Wilde, 1890
A preview of chapter 1 of The Picture Of Dorian Gray:
The studio was lled with the rich odor 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-owering thorn. From the corner of the divan of Persian saddle-bags on which he was lying, smoking, as usual, innumerable cigarettes, Lord Henry Wotton could just catch the gleam of the honey-sweet and honey-colored blossoms of the laburnum, whose tremulous branches seemed hardly able to bear the burden of a beauty so ame-like as theirs; and now and then the fantastic shadows of birds in ight itted across the long tussore-silk curtains that were stretched in front of the huge window, producing a kind of momentary Japanese eect, and making him think of those pallid jade-faced painters who, in an art that is necessarily immobile, seek to convey the sense of swiness and motion. e sullen murmur of the bees shouldering their way through the long unmown grass, or circling with monotonous insistence round the black-crocketed spires of the early June hollyhocks, seemed to make the stillness more oppressive, and the dim roar of London was like the bourdon note of a distant organ. In the centre of the room, clamped to an upright easel, stood the fulllength 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 he looked at the gracious and comely form he had so skilfully mirrored in his art, a smile of pleasure passed across his face, and seemed about to linger there. But he suddenly started up, and, closing his eyes, placed his ngers upon the lids, as though he sought to imprison within his brain some curious dream from which he feared he might awake.