The Picture of Dorian Gray extract - Oscar Wilde

Автор: Oscar Wilde

Название книги: The Picture of Dorian Gray (extract)

Длительность аудио mp3: 04:57

Дата добавления: 2017-01-01

Текст просмотрен: 475


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(This extract provides good food for thought. There are lots of things in it that can be thought over and discussed)

..."Because you have the most marvellous youth, and youth is the one
thing worth having."
"I don't feel that, Lord Henry."
"No, you don't feel it now. Some day, when you are old and
wrinkled and ugly, when thought has seared your forehead with its
lines, and passion branded your lips with its hideous fires, you
will feel it, 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. Don't frown. You have. And Beauty is a
form of Genius- is higher, indeed, than Genius, as it needs no
explanation. It is of the great facts of the world, like sunlight,
or spring-time, or the reflection in dark waters of that silver
shell we call the moon. It cannot be questioned. It has its divine
right of sovereignty. It makes princes of those who have it. You
smile? Ah! when you have lost it you won't smile.... People say
sometimes that Beauty is only superficial. That may be so. But at
least it is not so superficial as Thought is. To me, Beauty is the
wonder of wonders. It is only shallow people who do not judge by
appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the
invisible.... Yes, Mr. Gray, 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 live really, perfectly, and fully. When your youth goes,
your beauty will go with it, and then you will suddenly discover
that there are no triumphs left for you, or have to content yourself
with those mean triumphs that the memory of your past will make more
bitter than defeats. Every month as it wanes brings you nearer to
something dreadful. Time is jealous of you, and wars against your
lilies and your roses. You will become sallow, and hollow-cheeked, and
dull-eyed. You will suffer horribly.... Ah! realize your youth while
you have it. Don't squander the gold of your days, listening to the
tedious, trying to improve the hopeless failure, or giving away your
life to the ignorant, the common, and the vulgar. These are the sickly
aims, the false ideals, of our age. Live! Live the wonderful life that
is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new
sensations. Be afraid of nothing.... A new Hedonism- that is what
our century wants. You might be its visible symbol. With your
personality there is nothing you could not do. The world belongs to
you for a season.... The moment I met you I saw that you were quite unconscious of what you really are, of what you really might be. There
was so much in you that charmed me that I felt I must tell you
something about yourself. I thought how tragic it would be if you were
wasted. For there is such a little time that your youth will last-
such a little time. The common hill-flowers wither, but they blossom
again. The laburnum will be as yellow next June as it is now. In a
month there will be purple stars on the clematis, and year after
year the green night of its leaves will hold its purple stars. But
we never get back our youth. The pulse of joy that beats in us at
twenty, becomes sluggish. Our limbs fail, our senses rot. We
degenerate into hideous puppets, haunted by the memory of the passions
of which we were too much afraid, and the exquisite temptations that
we had not the courage to yield to. Youth! Youth! There is
absolutely nothing in the world but youth!"

The Picture of Dorian Gray, extract 1
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