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Gutenpost

“I hope so,” said his hostess, laughing. “But really, if you all worship Madame de Ferrol in this ridiculous way, I shall have to marry again so as to be in the fashion.”

“You will never marry again, Lady Narborough,” broke in Lord Henry. “You were far too happy. When a woman marries again, it is because she detested her first husband. When a man marries again, it is because he adored his first wife. Women try their luck; men risk theirs.”

Near Capri

“Narborough wasn’t perfect,” cried the old lady.

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“If he had been, you would not have loved him, my dear lady,” was the rejoinder. “Women love us for our defects. If we have enough of them, they will forgive us everything, even our intellects. You will never ask me to dinner again after saying this, I am afraid, Lady Narborough, but it is quite true.”

  • “Of course it is true, Lord Henry.
  • If we women did not love you for your defects, where would you all be?
  • Not one of you would ever be married. 

You would be a set of unfortunate bachelors. Not, however, that that would alter you much. Nowadays all the married men live like bachelors, and all the bachelors like married men.” “Fin de siecle,” murmured Lord Henry.

  • “Of course it is true, Lord Henry.
  • If we women did not love you for your defects, where would you all be?
  • Not one of you would ever be married. 

“Fin du globe,” answered his hostess.

“I wish it were fin du globe,” said Dorian with a sigh. “Life is a great disappointment.”

“Ah, my dear,” cried Lady Narborough, putting on her gloves, “don’t tell me that you have exhausted life. When a man says that one knows that life has exhausted him. Lord Henry is very wicked, and I sometimes wish that I had been; but you are made to be good–you look so good. I must find you a nice wife. Lord Henry, don’t you think that Mr. Gray should get married?”

“I am always telling him so, Lady Narborough,” said Lord Henry with a bow.

“Well, we must look out for a suitable match for him. I shall go through Debrett carefully to-night and draw out a list of all the eligible young ladies.”

“With their ages, Lady Narborough?” asked Dorian.

“Of course, with their ages, slightly edited. But nothing must be done in a hurry. I want it to be what The Morning Post calls a suitable alliance, and I want you both to be happy.”

“What nonsense people talk about happy marriages!” exclaimed Lord Henry. “A man can be happy with any woman, as long as he does not love her.”

“Ah! what a cynic you are!” cried the old lady, pushing back her chair and nodding to Lady Ruxton. “You must come and dine with me soon again. You are really an admirable tonic, much better than what Sir Andrew prescribes for me. You must tell me what people you would like to meet, though. I want it to be a delightful gathering.”

“I like men who have a future and women who have a past,” he answered. “Or do you think that would make it a petticoat party?”

“I fear so,” she said, laughing, as she stood up. “A thousand pardons, my dear Lady Ruxton,” she added, “I didn’t see you hadn’t finished your cigarette.”

“Never mind, Lady Narborough. I smoke a great deal too much. I am going to limit myself, for the future.”

“Pray don’t, Lady Ruxton,” said Lord Henry. “Moderation is a fatal thing. Enough is as bad as a meal. More than enough is as good as a

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