《道林·格雷的画像》是英国“唯美主义”艺术运动倡导人奥斯卡·王尔德的唯一一部小说。奥斯卡·王尔德(1854—1900),剧作家、诗人、散文家,是19世纪与大剧作家萧伯纳齐名的英国才子。其作品中,如The Happy Prince(《快乐王子》)、The Nightingale and the Rose(《夜莺与蔷薇》)、The Devoted Friend(《忠实的朋友》)都是脍炙人口的名篇。
It was a lovely night, so warm that he threw his coat over his arm and did not even put his silk scarf round his throat. As he strolled home, smoking his cigarette, two young men in evening dress passed him. He heard one of them whisper to the other, “That is Dorian Gray.” He remembered how pleased he used to be when he was pointed out, or stared at, or talked about. He was tired of hearing his own name now.
When he reached home, he found his servant waiting up for him. He sent him to bed, and threw himself down on the sofa in the library, and began to think over some of the things that Lord Henry had said to him. Was it really true that one could never change? He felt a wild longing for the unstained purity of his boyhood—his rose-white boyhood, as Lord Henry had once called it. He knew that he had1)tarnished himself, filled his mind with corruption and 2)given horror to his fancy. The curiously carved mirror that Lord Henry had given to him, so many years ago now, was standing on the table, and the white-limbed Cupids laughed round it as of old. He took it up, as he had done on that night of horror when he had first noted the change in the fatal picture, and with wild, tear- 3)dimmed eyes looked into its polished shield. Then he 4)loathed his own beauty, and 5)flinging the mirror on the floor, crushed it into silver 6)splinters beneath his heel. It was his beauty that had ruined him, his beauty and the youth that he had prayed for. But for those two things, his life might have been free from stain. His beauty had been to him but a mask, his youth but a mockery. What was youth at best? A green, an unripe time, a time of shallow moods, and sickly thoughts. Why had he worn its 7)livery? Youth had spoiled him.
He took the lamp from the table and crept upstairs. As he unbarred the door, a smile of joy 8)flitted across his strangely young-looking face and lingered for a moment about his lips.
He went in quietly, locking the door behind him, as was his custom, and dragged the purple hanging from the portrait. A cry of pain and 9)indignation broke from him. He could see no change, save that in the eyes there was a look of cunning and in the mouth the curved wrinkle of the 10)hypocrite. The thing was still 11)loathsome—more loathsome, if possible, than before—and the scarlet 12)dew that spotted the hand seemed brighter, and more like blood newly spilled. Then he trembled. And why was the red stain larger than it had been? It seemed to have crept like a horrible disease over the wrinkled fingers. There was blood on the painted feet, as though the thing had dripped-blood even on the hand that had not held the knife. Confess? Did it mean that he was to confess? To give himself up and be put to death? He laughed. He felt that the idea was 13)monstrous. Besides, even if he did confess, who would believe him? There was no trace of the murdered man anywhere. Everything belonging to him had been destroyed. He himself had burned what had been below-stairs. The world would simply say that he was mad. They would shut him up if he persisted in his story…Yet it was his duty to confess, to suffer public shame, and to make public 14)atonement. His sin? He shrugged his shoulders. The death of Basil Hallward seemed very little to him.
But this murder—was it to 15)dog him all his life? Was he always to be burdened by his past? Was he really to confess? Never. There was only one bit of evidence left against him. The picture itself—that was evidence. He would destroy it. Why had he kept it so long? Once it had given him pleasure to watch it changing and growing old. 16)Of late he had felt no such pleasure. It had kept him awake at night. When he had been away, he had been filled with terror lest other eyes should look upon it. It had brought 17)melancholy across his passions. Its mere memory had 18)marred many moments of joy. It had been like conscience to him. Yes, it had been conscience. He would destroy it.
He looked round and saw the knife that had19)stabbed Basil Hallward. He had cleaned it many times, till there was no stain left upon it. It was bright, and 20)glistened. As it had killed the painter, so it would kill the painter’s work, and all that that meant. It would kill the past, and when that was dead, he would be free. He seized the thing, and stabbed the picture with it.
There was a cry heard, and a crash. The cry was so horrible in its 21)agony that the frightened servants woke and crept out of their rooms. Two gentlemen, who were passing in the square below, stopped and looked up at the great house. They walked on till they met a policeman and brought him back. The man rang the bell several times, but there was no answer. Except for a light in one of the top windows, the house was all dark. After a time, he went away and stood in an 22)adjoining 23)portico and watched.
“Whose house is that, 24)Constable?” asked the elder of the two gentlemen.
“Mr. Dorian Gray’s, sir,” answered the policeman.
They looked at each other, as they walked away, and sneered.
Inside, in the servants’ part of the house, the half-25)clad 26)domestics were talking in low whispers to each other. Old Mrs. Leaf was crying and 27)wringing her hands. Francis was as pale as death. After about a quarter of an hour, he got the coachman and one of the 28)footmen and crept upstairs. They knocked, but there was no reply. They called out. Everything was still. Finally, after vainly trying to force the door, they got on the roof and dropped down on to the balcony. The windows 29)yielded easily—their 30)bolts were old.
When they entered, they found hanging upon the wall a splendid portrait of their master as they had last seen him, in all the wonder of his 31)exquisite youth and beauty. Lying on the floor was a dead man, in evening dress, with a knife in his heart. He was withered, wrinkled, and loathsome of 32)visage. It was not till they had examined the rings that they recognized who it was.