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The Worship of Sibyl Vane

Dorian Leaves Sibyl

'I suppose you have heard the news, Basil?' said Lord Henry the following evening. They were in the dining-room of the Bristol Hotel.

'No, Harry,' answered the artist, giving his hat and coat to the waiter. 'What is it?'

'Dorian Gray is going to be married,' said Lord Henry, watching him as he spoke.

Hallward frowned. 'Dorian going to be married!' he cried. 'Impossible!'

'It is perfectly true.'

'To whom?'

'To some little actress.'

'But it would be absurd for him to marry someone like that.'

'If you want to make him marry this girl tell him that, Basil. He is sure to do it, then. Whenever a man does a completely stupid thing, it is always for a good reason.'

'I hope this girl is good, Harry.'

'Oh, she is better than good - she is beautiful,' said Lord Henry. 'Dorian says that she is beautiful and he is not often wrong about these things. Your portrait has helped him understand beauty in others. We are to see her tonight, if that boy doesn't forget.'

'But how can Dorian marry an actress, Harry? It is absurd,' cried the painter, walking up and down the room, biting his lip.

'Dorian Gray falls in love with a beautiful actress who plays Juliet. He asks her to marry him. Why not? I hope that Dorian Gray marries this girl and worships her for six months. Then he can suddenly become fascinated by another woman.'

'You don't mean a word of that, Harry! I know you don't really want Dorian Gray's life to be spoiled. You are much better than you pretend to be.'

Lord Henry laughed. 'The reason we all like to think so well of others is because we are afraid for ourselves. But here is Dorian himself. He will tell you more than I can.'

'My dear Harry, my dear Basil, you must both congratulate me!' said the boy, throwing off his coat and shaking each of his friends' hands. 'I have never been so happy. Of course it is sudden - all the best things are. And yet it seems to me to be the one thing I have been looking for all my life.'

'I hope you will always be very happy, Dorian,' said Hallward, 'but why did you not tell me? You told Harry.'

'There really is not much to tell,' cried Dorian. 'Last night I went to see her again. After, when we were sitting together, there came into her eyes a wonderful look. It was something I had never seen there before. We kissed each other. I can't describe to you what I felt at that moment.'

'Have you seen her today?' asked Lord Henry.

Dorian Gray shook his head. 'I have left her in Shakespeare's forest. I will find her in his garden.'

'At what exact point did you use the word "marry", Dorian? And how did she answer? Perhaps you forgot all about it.'

'My dear Harry, it was not a business meeting. I told her I loved her. The whole world is nothing to me compared to her.'

'But my dear Dorian -'

Hallward put his hand on Lord Henry's arm. 'Don't Harry. You have annoyed Dorian. He is not like other men. He would never harm anyone.'

Lord Henry looked across the table. 'Dorian is never annoyed with me,' he answered.

Dorian Gray laughed. 'When I am with Sibyl Vane I don't believe in anything you have taught me. I forget all your fascinating, terrible ideas.'

'And those are... ?' asked Lord Henry, helping himself to some salad.

'Oh, your ideas about life, your ideas about love, your ideas about pleasure. All your ideas, Harry.'

'Pleasure is the only thing worth having ideas about,' he answered, in his slow, musical voice. 'When we are happy we are always good, but when we are good we are not always happy.'

'I know what pleasure is,' cried Dorian Gray. 'It is to worship someone.'

'That is certainly better than when someone worships you.'

'Harry, you are terrible! I don't know why I like you so much. Let us go down to the theatre. When you see Sibyl you will change your ideas.'

They got up and put on their coats. The painter was silent and thoughtful. He felt very sad. Dorian Gray would never again be to him all that he had been in the past. Life had come between them.

When he arrived at the theatre it seemed to Hallward that he had grown years older.

The theatre was crowded that night. It was terribly hot and there were young people shouting to each other from across seats. Women were laughing loudly and their voices sounded horrible. People were eating oranges and drinking from bottles.

'What a place to find the perfect girl in!' said Lord Henry.

'Yes!' answered Dorian Gray. 'It was here I found her. When you see her as Juliet you will forget everything. These ugly people become quite different when she appears.'

'I understand what you mean, Dorian,' said the painter, 'and I believe in this girl. Anyone you love must be wonderful.'

'Thanks, Basil,' answered Dorian Gray. 'I knew that you would understand me. In a few minutes you will see the girl who I am going to give my life to. The girl who I have given everything that is good in me.'

Then Sibyl appeared. The crowd shouted and called her name. Yes, she was certainly lovely to look at, Lord Henry thought. Basil Hallward jumped to his feet excitedly. Dorian Gray sat staring at her like he was in a dream.

'Charming! Charming!' cried Lord Henry.

A quarter of an hour later, Lord Henry whispered to Hallward. 'She's one of the loveliest girls I have ever seen. But she is a terrible actress.'

Dorian Gray's face turned white as he watched her speak. She was so different tonight! Now she was not Juliet but a very bad actress who did not understand Shakespeare's words.

Even the crowd became bored and began to talk loudly. The only person who did not seem to notice was the actress herself.

Lord Henry got up from his chair and put on his coat. 'She is beautiful, Dorian,' he said, 'but she can't act. Let's go.'

'I am going to stay until the end,' answered the boy in a cold voice. 'I am awfully sorry that I have made you waste an evening, Harry. I apologize to you both.'

'My dear Dorian, perhaps Miss Vane is ill,' said Hallward. 'We will come some other night.'

'Come to the club with Basil and myself. We will smoke cigarettes and drink to the beauty of Sibyl Vane. She is beautiful. What more do you want?'

'Go away, Harry,' cried the boy. 'I want to be alone. Can't you see my heart is breaking?' Hot tears came to his eyes as Lord Henry and Hallward left the theatre.

When it was over, Dorian Gray rushed to see Sibyl Vane. The girl was standing there alone, with a look of extraordinary happiness on her face.

'How badly I acted tonight, Dorian!' she cried.

'Horribly!' he answered, staring at her. 'It was terrible. Are you ill? Why did you make me suffer like that?'

The girl smiled. 'Dorian, don't you understand?'

'Understand what?' he asked, angrily.

'Why I was so bad tonight. Why I will always be bad. Why I will never act well again.'

'You are ill, I suppose. When you are ill, you shouldn't act. My friends were bored. I was bored.'

'Dorian, Dorian,' she cried, 'before I knew you, acting was the one important thing in my life. It was only in the theatre that I lived. I thought that it was all true. Tonight, for the first time in my life I saw that I was playing at love. Our love for each other is the only true love. Take me away with you, Dorian! I don't want to be an actress any more.'

He threw himself down on the sofa, and turned away his face. 'You have killed my love,' he said quietly. Then he jumped up and went to the door. 'My God! How mad I was to love you! What a fool I have been! You are nothing to me now. I will never see you again. I will never think of you. I will never speak to you again.'

The girl went white. 'You are not serious, Dorian? You are acting?' she whispered, putting her hand on his arm.

He pushed her back. 'Don't touch me!' he cried. Then he turned and left the room.

After walking the streets of London all night, he arrived home just after sunrise. As he passed through the library, he saw the portrait that Basil Hallward had painted of him. He stared at it in surprise and walked on into his bedroom. He took his coat off and stood next to his bed. A few moments later he returned to the picture and looked at it closely. In the poor light the face seemed to have changed a little. Now the mouth looked cruel. It was certainly strange.

He walked to the window and opened the curtains. The light changed the room, but the face stayed the same. In fact, the sunlight made the mouth look even crueler.

Going back to his bedroom, he found a small mirror that had been a present from Lord Henry. He looked at his real face and saw no sign of cruelty. What did it mean?

He threw himself into a chair, and began to think. Suddenly he remembered what he had said in Basil Hallward's house the day the picture had been finished. Yes, he remembered it perfectly. He had asked that the painting grow old so that he himself could remain young. But such things were impossible. It was terrible even to think about them. And, yet, there was the picture in front of him. There was the cruelty in the mouth.

Cruelty! Had he been cruel? No, why think about Sibyl Vane? She was nothing to him now.

But the picture? What was he to say of that? It held the secret of his life, and told his story. It had taught him to love his own beauty.

Would it teach him to hate his own soul? Would he ever look at it again?

He would save himself! He would not see Lord Henry again. He would go back to Sibyl Vane, marry her and try to love her again. She had suffered more than he had. Poor child! He had been selfish and cruel to her. They would be happy together. His life with her would be beautiful and pure.

He got up from his chair, and covered the portrait. 'How horrible!' he said to himself, and he walked across to the window and opened it. When he stepped out on to the grass he took a deep breath. He thought only of Sibyl. The birds that were singing in the garden seemed to be telling the flowers about her.


Phonetic exercises

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

Perfectly; whenever; congratulate; compare; pleasure; apologize; rush; extraordinary; library; cruel; curtains; sign; taught; pure.

b) Read them aloud

Speech patterns:

I suppose you have heard ... (noticed; read; seen; been ...)

There really is not much to tell (to look at; to compare with; to divide ...). I know nothing.

I understand what you mean. You mean ...

The only person who did not seem to notice (to look at; to listen to; to be annoyed ...) ... was ... .

'I am awfully sorry that I have made you waste time (suffer; jealousy; nervous ...).

Would it teach you (him; her ..) to

Work on vocabulary

2. Find in the chapter the English for:

Официант; хмуриться; он обязательно сделает это; глупость; влюбиться в к-л.; боготворить; увлечься к-л.; испортить(ся); поздравлять; пожать руку; точный смысл; сравнивать; вредить(обижать); угощаться; иметь ввиду; в волнении; как во сне; моё сердце разрывается; необыкновенный; броситься на диван; отвернуться; шептать; восход солнца; слабый свет; жестокий; занавески; следы жестокости; эгоистичный; чистый; глубокий вдох.

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

to be sure           to congratulate            make smb. suffer                       to look closely at   to fall in love with         not mean a word                 cruel           to compare          pure   to be spoiled           to(do)  harm               to take a breath           curtains   to pretend              to help oneself to smth.           selfish                  to whisper   to rush                          to mean               to worship              it is worth doing smth


1. 'If you want to make him marry this girl tell him that, Basil. He __________to do it, then.

2. 'Dorian Gray ________a beautiful actress who plays Juliet.

3. I hope that Dorian Gray marries this girl and _________her for six months.

4. 'You do________ of that, Harry! I know you don't really want Dorian Gray's life_________.

5. You are much better than you __________to be.'

6. 'My dear Harry, my dear Basil, you must both __________me!' said the boy, throwing off his coat and shaking each of his friends' hands.

7. The whole world is nothing to me _________ to her.'

8. He is not like other men. He would never _________anyone.'

9. 'And those are... ?' asked Lord Henry_________ some salad.

10. 'Pleasure _______ the only thing _______having ideas about,' he answered, in his slow, musical voice.

11. 'I understand what you_________, Dorian,' said the painter, 'and I believe in this girl.

12. When it was over, Dorian Gray _________to see Sibyl Vane.

13. Are you ill? Why did you ________me _________like that?'

14. 'You are not serious, Dorian? You are acting?' she________, putting her hand on his arm.

15. A few moments later he returned to the picture and it _________.

16. Now the mouth looked ________. It was certainly strange.

17. He walked to the window and opened the________.

18. He had been ________ and cruel to her.

19. His life with her would be beautiful and _________.

20. When he stepped out on to the grass he ________a deep_________.



4. Choose the right word:


smash – break

1. Mary slipped and … her leg. 2. The maid dropped the dish and … it in two. 3. The woman flew into a rage and … all the tea-things. 4. The child accidentally overturned and … the elder sister’s favorite cup.


Crack - break

1. the cup ..., but the pieces still held together. 2. The ice ... and then ... under his feet. 3. Brittle things ... easily.


Look - seem

1. The weather ... quite warm though it's 5°C above zero. 2. The children ... tired but they ... greatly pleased with the trip, don't they? 3. The host and the hostess ... a bit old fashioned, but they ... to be hospitable and friendly. 4. She ... to be very light-minded, but she only ... it, in fact she is a very serious and hard-working student. 5. My brother says that people usually ... what they are and I believe that people are very often quite different from what they .... to be.


Another - different

1. The teacher tried to explain the rule in a ... way and I understood it at once. 2. The schoolboy returned the book he had read and asked for ... book, but of a .... kind, he said, as he wanted to have some rest from detective stories. 3. I asked for a pair of shoes of a ... kind, but the shop-assistant said that the rest of the shoes were not my size.

5. Translate into Russian the following sentences paying attention to the words a) breath, b) rush

a) 1. The children lay in bed with held (bated) breaths. 2. The stories he told were fascinating, they took your breath away (they were breathtaking). 3. Whatever you say won’t convince him. You are just wasting your breath. 4. I’m going out for a breath of air. 5. While father had his afternoon nap all the members of the household spoke under their breath and walked tiptoe. 6. Mrs Whiteside said they never took boarders and Molly could have the third bedroom upstairs, all in the same breath.

b) a rush of customers, in a rush, rush-hours, a rush for smth., a rush for treasure, a rush of armaments, a rush of blood, gold rush, rush work, to rush to a conclusion, to rush into an undertaking.

6. Translate into English using a) be worth (doing) smth., b) tell c) get over, d) break, e) to be sure

a) 1. Это ничего не стоит. 2. Вопрос заслуживает особого внимания. 3. Эту пьесу стоит посмотреть. 4. Об этом не стоит беспокоиться. 5. Не принимайте всё на веру в этом рассказе. 6. Овчинка выделки не стоит. 7. Эта безделушка не стоит и медного гроша. 8. Игра стоит свеч.

b) 1. Я думаю, он говорит неправду. 2. Этот факт говорит сам за себя. 3. Часы показывают неправильное время. 4. Скажи водителю, чтобы он меня подождал. 5. Мне сказали показать паспорт. 6. Её можно отличить по манере одеваться. 7. Он не отличает хорошего к себе отношения от плохого. 8. Напряжение начинает сказываться на ней. 9. Её голос удивительно выделяется в хоре. 10. Он отчитал сына за безалаберное поведение.

c) 1. Прошло несколько месяцев, прежде чем она оправилась от перенесённого потрясения. 2. Доктор сказал, что ваш ребёнок скоро поправится. 3. До сих пор опомнится не могу от испуга. 4. Я не могу позабыть этого голодного ребёнка. 5. Он не может пережить провал своей книги. 6. Вы скоро свыкнетесь с этой переменой, и всё будет хорошо.

d) 1. Я хочу, чтобы ничто не нарушило наш покой. 2. Первым делом она сообщила приятную новость. 3. Он давно порвал с ней всякие отношения. 4. Её голос прерывался от волнения. 5. Вы не разменяете мне деньги? 6. Крик сорвался с его губ. 7. У неё есть привычка вклиниваться в разговор. 8. Он больше не мог сдерживаться и расхохотался. 9.Вторая мировая война началась в 1939 году.

e) Не беспокойся, он обязательно придёт. 2. Это обязательно должно было случиться. 3. Обязательно наступит время, когда ты поймёшь, что был не прав. 4. Я обязательно найду его. 5. Она очень ответственна, она обязательно выполнит эту работу.

7. Translate these sentences paying attention to the Russian word оставаться:

Note: The Russian word оставаться has several meanings. English equivalents, e.g.  Пусть всё останется как есть. Let the matter rest. Я не хочу здесь оставаться. I don't want to stay here. У нас осталось только три рубля. Only three roubles are left. Всё остаётся без изменений. Everything remains without any changes.

1. Я огляделась вокруг и увидела, что в посёлке (village) не осталось ни одного деревянного дома. 2. Старый доктор остался тем же добрым, искренним человеком, каким (that) мы знали его с детства. 3. Остаётся по крайней мере месяц до нашего отъезда, но мы уже с нетерпением ждём отпуска и строим разные планы на лето. 4. Дай мне знать, если ты решишь остаться у своей тёти на остальную часть  каникул, я тогда присоединюсь к тебе. 5. Остаётся одно: попросить эту старушку присмотреть за детьми. 6. Послушай, я подмету пол и помою посуду, а ты сделаешь всё остальное, ладно? 7. Несколько человек остались на волейбольной площадке, а остальные игроки пошли в бассейн поплавать. 8. Вы ищите ваше пальто? Оно осталось в саду. Разрешите, я его принесу (fetch it).

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

A person who serves tables -

To damage the disposition of by pampering -

To injure -

To feel or endure pain -

Concerned with one's own welfare excessively or without regard for others


  9. Translate the following sentences according to the models.

 Model: The bell rang whenever a customer entered.

        (use also wherever, whoever, whatever, etc.).

 1. (Всякий раз, когда его взгляд падал на фотографию) (to glance at) he remembered the heavenly summer in Naples. 2. He wouldn’t’t alter his plans, he thought (чтобы ни говорили его друзья и родственники). 3. (Кто бы ни встречал её) was charmed by her sweetness and fascinated by her beauty. 4. (Куда бы он ни ходил) he invariably ran into an odd-looking man with long hair and vacant look.

  10. Change the sentences according to the models.

Model 1: I’m sorry to say (to tell you) she is seriously ill.

           I regret to say (to inform you) she is seriously ill.

1. I’m sorry to hear you are unwell. 2. I am sorry to say there is little hope. 3. I’m sorry to be obliged to discharge him. 4. He is sorry to be obliged to reject the offer. 5. We are sorry to announce that the pianist has met with an accident. 6. He is away and in danger, I’m sorry to say.

Model 2: I’m sorry I can’t help you.

           I regret being unable to help you.

1. He is sorry he can’t attend the conference. 2. I’m sorry I can’t do anything about it. 3. The doctor was sorry he couldn’t help the patient. 4. She was sorry she couldn’t lend him the money. 5. He is sorry he can’t start the experiment at once.

11. a) Complete the sentences with the correct form of a phrasal verb with put.

1. The firemen only just managed to ________ the fire _______.

2. I’m sorry, I can’t ________ his behavior.

3. The house is much warmer now that we’ve _______ central heating.

4. If your friend is ill, you’ll have to ________ your holiday. You can go to France later in the year.

5. Hello, are you still there? I’m ________ you _______ to Mr. Jones now.

6. I’ve _______ so much weight recently that I’ll have to go on a diet.

7. He has ________ a deposit on a car, and he’ll pay the rest later.

8. I can _____ you _____ for the night, but you’ll be in a sleeping-bag on the floor, I’m afraid.!

9. I’ve never seen such an untidy room! _____ your things _______ at once.

10. I’d like to ________ a new proposal.

11. Hurry up! It doesn’t matter which shoes you ________ ! We’re late!

12. The restaurant was so dirty that I was quite ____ eating there.


b) Underline the correct word or phrase to complete each sentence.

1. Last month William put up Tim / put Tim up for a few nights.

2. A new theatre company is putting on / is putting up with Hamlet this week at the Civic Center.

3. I’d like to put off / put on my flight until next week.

4. Please put down / put out all cigarettes and fasten your seat belts.

5. I simply can’t agree to the plan you’re putting forward / putting out.

6. Sorry to keep you waiting. I’m putting you over / putting you through to the Manager now.

7. Henry has been putting on / putting in a lot of overtime recently.

8. They put away / put off the tent until the following summer.

9. I’m afraid there isn’t a quieter room. You’ll just have to put up with / put up this one.

               10. I wanted a new stereo, but the prices in the shops were so outrageous that   

                      I was rather put out / put off.


c) Fill the spaces with the correct particle(s), e.g. in

put ________ a journey        doing homework             telling him


put ________ the book         the riot               a deposit


put ________ a coat       three kilos     the light


put ________ the rubbish to be collected    a hand to help someone   your cigarette


put ________ prices    a notice    with her rudeness


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