Table of Contents | Message Board | Downloadable/Printable Version
It is one week later and Dorian Gray is entertaining guests at his country estate, Selby Royal. He is chatting with the Duchess of Monmouth when Lord Henry interrupts them. Lord Henry has decided to begin calling everyone Gladys as a means to combat the ugliness of names in the modern world. He engages the Duchess in a witty repartee about women and about values in general. The Duchess at one point mentions that Dorianís color is very poor. He seems not to be feeling well. Dorian tries but does not do well in keeping up with their conversation. Finally, he volunteers to go to the conservatory to get her some orchids for her dress that evening.
When he is gone, Lord Henry tells the Duchess that she is flirting disgracefully with Dorian. She jokes with him in return. He teases her that she has a rival in Lady Narborough. She asks Lord Henry to describe women as a sex. He says women are "Sphinxes without secrets." She notices that Dorian is taking a long time and suggests going to find him when they hear a crash. They rush into the conservatory to find Dorian fainted away on the floor. They carry him in to the sofa and he gradually comes awake. He asks Lord Henry if they are safe inside. Lord Henry tells him he just fainted and must stay in his room instead of coming down to dinner. Dorian insists he will come down to dinner. At dinner, he is wildly gay. Every once in a while, he feels a thrill of terror as he recalls the face of James Vane looking at him through the window of the conservatory.
James has apparently caught up with Dorian at his country estate. Dorian seems to have lost all ability to leave behind past sins with present enjoyments. He remains distracted and nervous in company.