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Автор Оскар Уайльд

Оскар Уайльд / Oscar Wilde

Портрет Дориана Грея / The Picture of Dorian Gray

© Матвеев С. А. , адаптация текста, комментарий

© ООО «Издательство АСТ»

Chapter 1

As the painter looked at the gracious and comely form he had so skilfully mirrored in his art, a smile of pleasure passed across his face. He suddenly started up, and closing his eyes, placed his fingers upon the lids.

The Grosvenor is really the only place to exhibit a painting like that. ”

“I don’t think I shall send it anywhere,” the painter answered, moving his head in that odd way that used to make his friends laugh at him at Oxford. “No, I won’t send it anywhere. ”

“Dorian Gray? Is that his name?” asked Lord Henry walking across the room towards Basil Hallward.

“Yes, that is his name. I didn’t intend to tell it to you. ”

“But why not?”

“Oh, I can’t explain. When I like people immensely, I never tell their names to any one. When I leave town now I never tell my people where I am going. If I did, I would lose all my pleasure. It is a silly habit, I dare say. I suppose you think that’s very foolish?”

“Not at all,” answered Lord Henry, “not at all, my dear Basil. You seem to forget that I am married, so my life is full of secrets, I never know where my wife is, and my wife never knows what I am doing. When we meet we tell each other the most absurd stories with the most serious faces. ”

“I hate the way you talk about your married life, Harry,” said Basil Hallward, walking towards the door that led into the garden. “I believe you are really a very good husband, but that you are ashamed of it. You are an extraordinary fellow. You never say a good thing, and you never do a wrong thing. Your cynicism is simply a pose. ”

“Being natural is simply a pose,” cried Lord Henry, laughing; and the two young men went out into the garden together. After a pause, Lord Henry pulled out his watch.

“I am afraid I have to go, Basil,” he said in a quiet voice.

. “But before I go I want you to explain to me why you won’t exhibit Dorian Gray’s picture. I want the real reason. ”

“I told you the real reason. ”

“No, you did not. You said that it was because there was too much of yourself in it. Now, that is childish. ”

“Harry,” said Basil Hallward, looking him straight in the face, “every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not the sitter. The reason I will not exhibit this picture is that I am afraid that I have shown in it the secret of my own soul. ”

Lord Henry laughed. “And what is that?” he asked.

“Oh, there is really very little to tell, Harry,” answered the painter, “and I am afraid you will hardly understand it. Perhaps you will hardly believe it. ”

Lord Henry smiled and picked a flower from the grass. “I am quite sure I’ll understand it,” he replied, staring at the flower, “and I can believe anything. ”

“The story is simply this,” said the painter. “Two months ago I went to a party at Lady Brandon’s. After I had been in the room for about ten minutes, I suddenly realized that someone was looking at me. I turned around and saw Dorian Gray for the first time. When our eyes met, I felt the blood leaving my face. I knew that this boy would become my whole soul, my whole art itself. I grew afraid and turned to quit the room. ”

“What did you do?”

“We were quite close, almost touching. Our eyes met again. I asked Lady Brandon to introduce me to him ...