Complete Works of Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde

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Lord Henry stroked his pointed brown beard, and tapped the toe of his patent-leather boot with a tas seled ebony cane. How English you are, Basil! That is the second time you have made that observa tion. If one puts forward an idea to a true English man — always a rash thing to do — he never dreams of considering whether the idea is right or wrong. The only thing he considers of any importance is whether one believes it one's self. Now, the value of an idea has nothing whatsoever to do with the sincerity of the man who expresses it. Indeed, the probabilities are that the more insincere the man is, the more purely intellectual will the idea be, as in that case it will not be colored by either his wants, his desires, or his prejudices. However, I — don't propose to discuss poli tics, sociology, or metaphysics with you. I like per sons better than principles, and I like persons with no principles better than anything else in the world. Tell me more about Mr. Dorian Gray. How often do you see him?

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