Оскар Уайльд
Портрет Дориана Грея / The Picture of Dorian Gray

Портрет Дориана Грея / The Picture of Dorian Gray
Оскар Уайльд

Карманное чтение на английском языке
Перед вами всемирно известный роман Оскара Уайльда «Портрет Дориана Грея».

Несмотря на то что роман написан в конце 19 в., по своей проблематике он остро современен, потому что его тема – личность, мораль, ответственность, вседозволенность – вечна.

Текст произведения подготовлен для уровня UpperIntermediate (т. е. для продолжающих учить английский язык верхней ступени) и снабжен комментариями.

В конце книги дается англо-русский словарь.

Оскар Уайльд / Oscar Wilde

Портрет Дориана Грея / The Picture of Dorian Gray

Иллюстрации М. М. Салтыкова

© Матвеев С.А., подготовка текста, комментарии, словарь

© ООО «Издательство АСТ», 2019

Chapter 1

The studio was filled with the rich smell of roses. Lord Henry Wotton[1 - Lord Henry Wotton – лорд Генри Уоттон] was sitting on the divan and smoking innumerable cigarettes. Through the open door came the distant sounds of the London streets.

In the centre of the room stood the full-length portrait[2 - full-length portrait – портрет в полный рост] of a young man of extraordinary personal beauty, and in front of it, some little distance away[3 - some little distance away – на небольшом расстоянии], was sitting the artist himself, Basil Hallward[4 - Basil Hallward – Бэзил Холлуорд].

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.

“It is your best work, Basil, the best thing you have ever done,” said Lord Henry. “You must certainly send it next year to the Grosvenor[5 - Grosvenor – Гросвенор]. The Academy is too large and too vulgar.

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.”

Lord Henry elevated his eyebrows and looked at him in amazement through the thin blue wreaths of smoke[6 - wreaths of smoke – кольца дыма]. “Not send it anywhere? My dear fellow, why? What odd people you painters are! A portrait like this would set you far above all the young men in England[7 - A portrait like this would set you far above all the young men in England. – Этот портрет вознёс бы тебя много выше всех молодых художников Англии.].”

“I know you will laugh at me,” Basil replied, “but I really can’t exhibit it. I have put too much of myself into it[8 - I have put too much of myself into it. – Я вложил в него слишком много самого себя.].”

Lord Henry stretched himself out on the divan and laughed. “Too much of yourself in it! Upon my word, Basil, this man is truly beautiful. Don’t flatter yourself, Basil: you are not in the least like him[9 - you are not in the least like him – ты ничуть на него не похож].”

“You don’t understand me, Harry,” answered the artist. “I know that perfectly well. Indeed, I should be sorry to look like him. I am telling you the truth. It is better not to be different from other people. The stupid and ugly have the best of this world. Dorian Gray[10 - Dorian Gray – Дориан Грей]—”

“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. It was simply inevitable.”

“What did Lady Brandon say about Mr. Dorian Gray?”

“Oh, something like ‘Charming boy. I don’t know what he does – I think he doesn’t do anything. Oh, yes, he plays the piano – or is it the violin, dear Mr. Gray?’ Dorian and I both laughed and we became friends at once.”

“Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship,” said the young lord, picking another flower, “and it is the best ending for one.”

Hallward shook his head. “You don’t understand what friendship is, Harry. Everyone is the same to you.”

“That’s not true!”cried Lord Henry, pushing his hat back, and looking at the summer sky. “I make a great difference between people. I choose my friends for their beauty, my acquaintances for their good characters and my enemies for their intelligence. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies. Of course, I hate my relations. And I hate poor people because they are ugly, stupid and drunk—”

“I don’t agree with a single word you have said. And I feel sure that you don’t agree either.”

Lord Henry touched his pointed brown beard with his finger, and the toe of his boot with his stick. “How English you are, Basil! An Englishman is only interested in whether he agrees with an idea, not whether it is right or wrong. I like persons better than principles, and I like persons with no principles better than anything else in the world. But tell me more about Mr Dorian Gray. How often do you see him?”

“Every day. I couldn’t be happy if I didn’t see him every day.”

“How extraordinary! I thought you only cared about your art.”

“He is all my art to me now,” said the painter. “I know that the work I have done since I met Dorian Gray, is the best work of my life. He is much more to me than a model or a sitter. In some strange way his personality has shown me a new kind of art. He seems like a little boy – though he is really more than twenty – and when he is with me I see the world differently.”

“Basil, this is extraordinary! I must see Dorian Gray.”