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Jealous of his Own Portrait

As they entered they saw Dorian Gray. He was sitting at the piano, with his back to them, and he was turning the pages of some music by Schumann. 'You must lend me these, Basil,' he cried. 'I want to learn them. They are perfectly charming.'

'Perhaps if you sit well for me today, Dorian.'

'Oh, I am bored with sitting, and I don't want a portrait of myself,' answered the boy, turning quickly. When he saw Lord Henry, his face went red for a moment. 'I am sorry, Basil. I didn't know that you had anyone with you.'

'This is Lord Henry Wotton, Dorian. He's an old friend of mine. We went to Oxford together. I have just been telling him what a good sitter you were, and now you have spoiled everything.'

'You have not spoiled my pleasure in meeting you, Mr Gray,' said Lord Henry, stepping forward and offering his hand. 'My aunt has often spoken to me about you.'

'I am afraid Lady Agatha is annoyed with me at the moment. I promised to go to a club in Whitechapel with her last Tuesday, and I forgot all about it. I don't know what she will say to me.'

Lord Henry looked at him. Yes, he was certainly wonderfully handsome, with his curved red lips, honest blue eyes and gold hair. 'Oh, don't worry about my aunt. You are one of her favourite people. And you are too charming to waste time working to poor people.'

Lord Henry sat down on the sofa and opened his cigarette box. The painter was busy mixing colours and getting his brushes ready. Suddenly, he looked at Lord Henry and said, 'Henry, I want to finish this picture today. Would you think it very rude of me if I asked you to go away?'

Lord Henry smiled, and looked at Dorian Gray. 'Shall I go, Mr Gray?' he asked.

'Oh, please don't, Lord Henry. I see that Basil is in one of his difficult moods, and I hate it when he is difficult. And I want you to tell me why I should not help the poor people.'

'That would be very boring, Mr Gray. But I certainly will not run away if you do not want me to. Is that all right, Basil? You have often told me that you like your sitters to have someone to talk to.'

Hallward bit his lip. 'If that is what Dorian wants. Dorian always gets what he wants.'

Lord Henry picked up his hat and gloves. 'No, I am afraid I must go. Goodbye, Mr Gray. Come and see me one afternoon in Curzon Street. I am nearly always at home at five o'clock.'

'Basil,' cried Dorian Gray, 'If Lord Henry Wotton goes, I will go too. You never open your lips while you are painting, and it is horribly boring just standing here. Ask him to stay.'

'All right, please stay, Henry. For Dorian and for me,' said Hallward, staring at his picture. 'It is true that I never talk when I am working, and never listen either. It must be very boring for my sitters. Sit down again, Henry. And Dorian don't move about too much, or listen to what Lord Henry says. He has a very bad influence over all his friends.'

Dorian Gray stood while Hallward finished his portrait. He liked what he had seen of Lord Henry. He was so different to Basil! And he had such a beautiful voice. After a few moments he said to him, 'Have you really a very bad influence, Lord Henry? As bad as Basil says?'

'Influence is always bad.'


'Because to influence someone is to give them your soul. Each person must have his own personality.'

'Turn your head a little more to the right, Dorian,' said the painter. He was not listening to the conversation and only knew that there was a new look on the boy's face.

'And yet,' continued Lord Henry, in his low musical voice, 'I believe that if one man lived his life fully and completely he could change the world. He would be a work of art greater than anything we have ever imagined. But the bravest man among us is afraid of himself. You, Mr Gray, are very young but you have had passions that have made you afraid, dreams -'

'Stop!' cried Dorian Gray, 'I don't understand what you are saying. I need to think.'

For nearly ten minutes he stood there with his lips open and his eyes strangely bright. The words that Basil's friend had spoken had touched his soul. Yes, there had been things in his boyhood that he had not understood. He understood them now.

With his smile, Lord Henry watched him. He knew the exact moment when to say nothing. He was surprised at the sudden effect of his words on the boy. How fascinating the boy was!

Hallward continued painting and did not notice that the others were silent.

"Basil, I am tired,' cried Dorian Gray, suddenly. 'I must go and sit in the garden. There is no air in here.'

'My dear boy, I am sorry. When I am painting, my work is all I can think about. But you never sat better. I don't know what Harry has been saying to you, but there is a wonderful bright look in your eyes. I suppose he has been flattering you. You shouldn't believe a word he says.'

'He has certainly not been flattering me. Perhaps that is why I don't believe anything he has told me.'

'You know you believe it all,' said Lord Henry, looking at him with his dreamy eyes. 'I will go out to the garden with you. It's horribly hot in this room.'

'Don't keep Dorian too long,' said the painter. 'This is going to be my best painting.'

Lord Henry went out to the garden, and found Dorian Gray holding a flower to his face. He came close to him, and put his hand on his shoulder.

Dorian Gray frowned and turned away. He liked the tall young man who was standing by him. His dark, romantic face interested him. There was something in his low, musical voice that was fascinating. But he felt a little afraid. Why was this stranger having a strong influence on him like this? He had known Basil Hallward for months, but the friendship between them had not changed him. Suddenly someone had come into his life and turned it upside down. Someone who seemed to have the key to the mystery of life itself.

And yet, what was there to be afraid of? He was not a schoolboy or a girl. It was silly to be afraid.

'Let us go and sit out of the sun. I don't want you to be burnt by the sun.'

'What does that matter?' cried Dorian Gray, laughing as he sat down on the seat at the end of the garden.

'It should matter very much to you, Mr Gray.'


'Because you are young, and to be young is the best thing in the world.'

'I don't feel that, Lord Henry.'

'No, you don't feel it now. Some day when you are old and ugly you will feel it terribly. Now, wherever you go, you charm the world. Will it always be so?... You have a wonderfully beautiful face, Mr Gray.'

'I don't think -'

'Don't frown. It is true. The gods have been good to you. But what the gods give they quickly take away. You have only a few years in which to really live, perfectly and fully. Live your life now, while you are still young!'

Suddenly the painter appeared at the door and waved at them to come in. They turned to each other and smiled.

'I am waiting,' he cried. 'Please come in. The light is perfect.'

They got up and walked towards the house together.

'You are glad you have met me, Mr Gray,' said Lord Henry, looking at him.

'Yes, I am glad now. I wonder whether I will always be glad.'

'Always! That is a terrible word. Women are so fond of using it.'

Twenty minutes later Hallward stopped painting. He stood back and looked at the portrait for a few moments. Then he bent down and signed his name in red paint on the bottom left-hand corner.

'It is finished,' he cried.

Lord Henry came over and examined the picture. It was certainly a wonderful work of art.

'My dear man,' he said. 'It is the best portrait of our time. Mr Gray, come over and look at yourself.'

Dorian walked across to look at the painting. When he saw it his cheeks went red with pleasure. He felt that he recognized his own beauty for the first time. But then he remembered what Lord Henry had said. His beauty would only be there for a few years. One day he would be old and ugly.

'Don't you like it?' cried Hallward, not understanding why the boy was silent.

'Of course he likes it,' said Lord Henry. 'It is one of the greatest paintings in modern art. I will pay anything you ask for it. I must have it.'

'It is not mine to sell, Harry.'

'Whose is it?'

'Dorian's, of course,' answered the painter.

'He is very lucky.'

'How sad it is!' said Dorian Gray, who was still staring at his own portrait. 'I will grow old and horrible. But this painting will always stay young. It will never be older than this day in June... if only it were the other way!'

'What do you mean?' asked Hallward.

'If I could stay young and the picture grow old! For that - for that - I would give everything! Yes, there is nothing in the whole world I would not give! I would give my soul for that!'

'I don't think you would like that, Basil,' cried Lord Henry, laughing.

'I certainly would not, Harry,' said Hallward.

Dorian Gray turned and looked at him. 'You like your art better than your friends.'

The painter stared in surprise. Why was Dorian speaking like that? What had happened? His face was red, and he seemed quite angry.

'You will always like this painting. But how long will you like me? Until I start getting old. Lord Henry Wotton is perfectly right. When I lose my beauty, I will lose everything. I shall kill myself before I get old.'

Hallward turned white, and caught his hand. 'Dorian! Dorian!' he cried. 'Don't talk like that. I have never had a friend like you, and I will never have another. How can you be jealous of a painting? You are more beautiful than any work of art.'

'I am jealous of everything whose beauty does not die. I am jealous of the portrait you have painted of me. Why should it keep what I must lose?' Hot tears came into his eyes as he threw himself on the sofa.

'You did this, Henry,' said the painter, angrily.

Lord Henry shook his head. 'It is the real Dorian Gray - that is all.'

'Henry, I can't argue with two of my best friends at once. Between you both you have made me hate the best piece of work I have ever done. I will destroy it.'

Dorian Gray watched as Hallward walked over to the painting- table and picked up a knife. The boy jumped from the sofa, tore the knife from Hallward's hand and threw it across the room. 'Don't, Basil!' he cried. 'Don't murder it!'

'I am glad that you like my work at last, Dorian,' said the painter coldly. 'I never thought you would.'

'Like it? I am in love with it, Basil. It is part of myself. I feel that.'

'What silly people you are, both of you!' said Lord Henry. 'Let's forget about the painting for one night and go to the theatre.'

'I would like to come to the theatre with you, Lord Henry.'

'And you will come too, won't you Basil?'

'I can't,' said Hallward. 'I have too much work to do.'

'Well, you and I will go together, Mr Gray.'

The painter bit his lip and walked over to the picture.

'I will stay with the real Dorian,' he said sadly.



Phonetic exercises

1. a) Transcribe the next words from the chapter:

Honest; rude; gloves; move; imagine; effect; fascinating; key; perfectly; sign; jealous; knife; murder.

b) Read them aloud

Speech patterns:

Would you think it very rude (annoying, pesky, ostentatious, vulgar, immodest, indelicate, impudent ...)  of me if...

If only it were the other way ...

It is true that ...

It must be very boring ...

Perhaps that is why ...

I wonder whether ...

Work on vocabulary

2. Find in the chapter the English for:

Листать страницы; одолжить; покраснеть; испортить удовольствие; раздражаться; грубый; быть не в настроении; закусить губу; плохое влияние; произведение искусства; самый смелый; льстить; нахмуриться; войти в ч-л жизнь; перевернуть верх тормашками; ключ к тайне; обгореть на солнце; какое это имеет значение; наклониться; подписать красной краской; внизу в левом углу; покраснеть от удовольствия; современное искусство; заплачу столько сколько попросят; что вы имеете ввиду; побледнеть; схватить за руку; ревновать; в глазах появились слёзы; уничтожить; вырвать нож.

3. Use one of the words or word-combinations from the box in an appropriate form to fill each gap:

to lend         to be in some moods             a key to smth.       to catch   to spoil             an influence           to wave           to be jealous            to destroy   to be annoyed with             brave                to bend             tears               to tear   curved           a  passion           to sign       to bite one's lip       to lose   to waste     to frown      to seem             rude           to turn upside down


1. 'You must __________me these, Basil,' he cried. 'I want to learn them.

2. I have just been telling him what a good sitter you were, and now you have _________everything.'

3. 'I am afraid Lady Agatha ___________me at the moment.

4. Yes, he was certainly wonderfully handsome, with his _______red lips, honest blue eyes and gold hair.

5. And you are too charming _________time working to poor people.'

6. Would you think it very ________of me if I asked you to go away?'

7. 'Oh, please don't, Lord Henry. I see that Basil _______one of his difficult________, and I hate it when he is difficult.

8. He has a very bad __________over all his friends.'

9. But __________man among us is afraid of himself.

10. You, Mr Gray, are very young but you have had __________that have made you afraid.

11. 'He has certainly not been __________me. Perhaps that is why I don't believe anything he has told me.'

12. Dorian Gray ___________and turned away.

13. Suddenly someone had come into his life and________.

14. Someone who seemed to have _________the mystery of life itself.

15. Suddenly the painter appeared at the door and _________at them to come in.

16. Then he _________down and _________his name in red paint on the bottom left-hand corner.

17. His face was red, and he __________quite angry.

18. When I ________my beauty, I will ________everything.

19. Hallward turned white, and ________his hand.

20. 'I __________everything whose beauty does not die. I am jealous of the portrait you have painted of me.

21. Hot _________came into his eyes as he threw himself on the sofa.

22. Between you both you have made me hate the best piece of work I have ever done. I will ________it.'

23. The boy jumped from the sofa, ___________the knife from Hallward's hand and threw it across the room.

24. The painter ________and walked over to the picture.


4. Express the following in a different way. Use the words from the chapter:


A device composed of bristles set in a handle and used esp. for cleaning or painting


To grip with teeth or jaws also to wound or sting with or as if with fangs

To wrinkle a forehead as in displeasure or thought; to look with disapproval

To be on fire; to alter or become altered by or as if by the action of fire or heat

To ruin

A metal instrument by which the bolt of a lock is turned

Tthe act or power of producing an effect without apparent force or direct authority

To praise too much or without sincerity

Demanding complete devotion, suspicious of a rival

5. Choose the right word:

To lend - to borrow

1. Look, Nick, could you ... me ten dollars for a couple of days? 2. Where can we ... such a large sum of money? 3. Excuse me, could you ... me your pen for a minute? 4. He is a very nice person as long as you don't try to ... something from him. 5. We can't ... any more. We are in debt up to our necks.

To change - to alter

1. It's not easy to ... one's habits. 2. We have ... our plans; we're leaving today instead of tomorrow. 3. Could you ... this skirt for me, to make it shorter? 4. They want to ... the whole school system! 5. I want to have these trousers ... so that they fit better. 6. I hope you are not going to change your mind?

To throw - to fling - to toss

1. The girl ______ the ball to her companion. 2. She _______ a penny to a beggar. 3. Then he lit a cigarette and _______himself down on the sofa.

6. Match the adjectives on the left with their nouns on the right:

1. Curved

2. Honest blue

3. Poor

4. golden

5. Difficult

6. Bad

7. Low musical

8. The bravest

9. Exact

10. Wonderful bright

11. Sudden  

12. dreamy

13. dark romantic

14. terrible

15. modern

a. art

b. moods

c. eyes

d. eyes

e. face

f. voice

g. lips

h. man

i. look

j. people

k. moment

l. word

m. hair

n. influence

o. effect


7. Match the words on the left with their antonyms on the right:

1. to lend

2. to promise

3. curved

4. rude

5. difficult

6. poor

7. passion

8. bright

9. to frown

10. to laugh

11. to destroy

a) to smile

b) dull

c) to borrow

d) gentle

e) easy

f) indifference

g) to break one's word

h) to cry

i) straight

j) rich

k) to restore

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