Адаптированная книга на английском языке «The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde». Аудиокнига на английском.
Through the open windows of the room came the rich scent of summer flowers. Lord Henry Wotton lay back in his chair and smoked his cigarette. Beyond the soft sounds of the garden he could just hear the noise of London.
In the centre of the room there was a portrait of a very beautiful young man, and in front of it stood the artist himself, Basil Hallward.
‘It’s your best work, Basil, the best portrait that you’ve ever painted,’ said Lord Henry lazily. ‘You must send it to the best art gallery in London.’
No,’ Basil said slowly. ‘No, I won’t send it anywhere.’
Lord Henry was surprised. ‘But my dear Basil, why not?’ he asked. ‘What strange people you artists are! You want to be famous, but then you’re not happy when you are famous. It’s bad when people talk about you — but it’s much worse when they don’t talk about you.’
‘I know you’ll laugh at me,’ replied Basil, ‘but I can’t exhibit the picture in an art gallery. I’ve put too much of myself into it.’
Lord Henry laughed. ‘Too much of yourself into it! You don’t look like him at all. He has a fair and beautiful face. And you — well, you look intelligent, of course, but with your strong face and black hair, you are not beautiful.’
‘You don’t understand me, Harry,’ replied Basil. (Lord Henry’s friends always called him Harry.) ‘Of course I’m not like him,’ Basil continued. ‘In fact, I prefer not to be beautiful. Dorian Gray’s beautiful face will perhaps bring him danger and trouble.’
‘Dorian Gray? Is that his name?’ asked Lord Henry.
‘Yes. But I didn’t want to tell you.’
‘Oh, I can’t explain,’ said Basil. ‘When I like people a lot, I never tell their names to my other friends. I love secrets, that’s all.’
‘Of course,’ agreed his friend. ‘Life is much more exciting when you have secrets. For example, I never know where my wife is, and my wife never knows what I’m doing. When we meet — and we do meet sometimes — we tell each other crazy stories, and we pretend that they’re true.’
‘You pretend all the time, Harry,’ said Basil. ‘I think that you’re probably a very good husband, but you like to hide your true feelings.’
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