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  4.     <title>Simplicity-1</title>
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  40.  
  41.   <body>
  42.     <p>
  43.       Title: Where do we go when we sleep?
  44.       <br />Subtitle: A short article on dreamtime.
  45.       <br />Date: 2019-06-17
  46.       <br />Author: Ryan Fleck
  47.       <br />Tags: [sleep, waking, dreams]
  48.       <br />Links: [<a href="#">home</a>, <a href="#">catalogue</a>]
  49.       <br />===========================================================
  50.     </p>
  51.     <p>
  52.       "What can I do for you, Mr. Gray?" he said, rubbing his fat freckled
  53.       hands. "I thought I would do myself the honour of coming round in person.
  54.       I have just got a beauty of a frame, sir. Picked it up at a sale. Old
  55.       Florentine. Came from Fonthill, I believe. Admirably suited for a
  56.       religious subject, Mr. Gray."
  57.     </p>
  58.  
  59.     <p>
  60.       "I am so sorry you have given yourself the trouble of coming round, Mr.
  61.       Hubbard. I shall certainly drop in and look at the frame--though I don't
  62.       go in much at present for religious art--but to-day I only want a picture
  63.       carried to the top of the house for me. It is rather heavy, so I thought I
  64.       would ask you to lend me a couple of your men."
  65.     </p>
  66.  
  67.     <p>
  68.       "No trouble at all, Mr. Gray. I am delighted to be of any service to you.
  69.       Which is the work of art, sir?"
  70.     </p>
  71.  
  72.     <p>
  73.       "This," replied Dorian, moving the screen back. "Can you move it, covering
  74.       and all, just as it is? I don't want it to get scratched going upstairs."
  75.     </p>
  76.  
  77.     <p>
  78.       "There will be no difficulty, sir," said the genial frame-maker,
  79.       beginning, with the aid of his assistant, to unhook the picture from the
  80.       long brass chains by which it was suspended. "And, now, where shall we
  81.       carry it to, Mr. Gray?"
  82.     </p>
  83.  
  84.     <p>
  85.       "I will show you the way, Mr. Hubbard, if you will kindly follow me. Or
  86.       perhaps you had better go in front. I am afraid it is right at the top of
  87.       the house. We will go up by the front staircase, as it is wider."
  88.     </p>
  89.  
  90.     <p>
  91.       He held the door open for them, and they passed out into the hall and
  92.       began the ascent. The elaborate character of the frame had made the
  93.       picture extremely bulky, and now and then, in spite of the obsequious
  94.       protests of Mr. Hubbard, who had the true tradesman's spirited dislike of
  95.       seeing a gentleman doing anything useful, Dorian put his hand to it so as
  96.       to help them.
  97.     </p>
  98.  
  99.     <p>
  100.       "Something of a load to carry, sir," gasped the little man when they
  101.       reached the top landing. And he wiped his shiny forehead.
  102.     </p>
  103.  
  104.     <p>
  105.       "I am afraid it is rather heavy," murmured Dorian as he unlocked the door
  106.       that opened into the room that was to keep for him the curious secret of
  107.       his life and hide his soul from the eyes of men.
  108.     </p>
  109.  
  110.     <p>
  111.       He had not entered the place for more than four years--not, indeed, since
  112.       he had used it first as a play-room when he was a child, and then as a
  113.       study when he grew somewhat older. It was a large, well-proportioned room,
  114.       which had been specially built by the last Lord Kelso for the use of the
  115.       little grandson whom, for his strange likeness to his mother, and also for
  116.       other reasons, he had always hated and desired to keep at a distance. It
  117.       appeared to Dorian to have but little changed. There was the huge Italian
  118.       cassone, with its fantastically painted panels and its tarnished gilt
  119.       mouldings, in which he had so often hidden himself as a boy. There the
  120.       satinwood book-case filled with his dog-eared schoolbooks. On the wall
  121.       behind it was hanging the same ragged Flemish tapestry where a faded king
  122.       and queen were playing chess in a garden, while a company of hawkers rode
  123.       by, carrying hooded birds on their gauntleted wrists. How well he
  124.       remembered it all! Every moment of his lonely childhood came back to him
  125.       as he looked round. He recalled the stainless purity of his boyish life,
  126.       and it seemed horrible to him that it was here the fatal portrait was to
  127.       be hidden away. How little he had thought, in those dead days, of all that
  128.       was in store for him!
  129.     </p>
  130.  
  131.     <p>
  132.       But there was no other place in the house so secure from prying eyes as
  133.       this. He had the key, and no one else could enter it. Beneath its purple
  134.       pall, the face painted on the canvas could grow bestial, sodden, and
  135.       unclean. What did it matter? No one could see it. He himself would not see
  136.       it. Why should he watch the hideous corruption of his soul? He kept his
  137.       youth--that was enough. And, besides, might not his nature grow finer,
  138.       after all? There was no reason that the future should be so full of shame.
  139.       Some love might come across his life, and purify him, and shield him from
  140.       those sins that seemed to be already stirring in spirit and in
  141.       flesh--those curious unpictured sins whose very mystery lent them their
  142.       subtlety and their charm. Perhaps, some day, the cruel look would have
  143.       passed away from the scarlet sensitive mouth, and he might show to the
  144.       world Basil Hallward's masterpiece.
  145.     </p>
  146.  
  147.     <p>
  148.       No; that was impossible. Hour by hour, and week by week, the thing upon
  149.       the canvas was growing old. It might escape the hideousness of sin, but
  150.       the hideousness of age was in store for it. The cheeks would become hollow
  151.       or flaccid. Yellow crow's feet would creep round the fading eyes and make
  152.       them horrible. The hair would lose its brightness, the mouth would gape or
  153.       droop, would be foolish or gross, as the mouths of old men are. There
  154.       would be the wrinkled throat, the cold, blue-veined hands, the twisted
  155.       body, that he remembered in the grandfather who had been so stern to him
  156.       in his boyhood. The picture had to be concealed. There was no help for it.
  157.     </p>
  158.  
  159.     <p>
  160.       "Bring it in, Mr. Hubbard, please," he said, wearily, turning round. "I am
  161.       sorry I kept you so long. I was thinking of something else."
  162.     </p>
  163.  
  164.     <p>
  165.       "Always glad to have a rest, Mr. Gray," answered the frame-maker, who was
  166.       still gasping for breath. "Where shall we put it, sir?"
  167.     </p>
  168.  
  169.     <p>
  170.       "Oh, anywhere. Here: this will do. I don't want to have it hung up. Just
  171.       lean it against the wall. Thanks."
  172.     </p>
  173.   </body>
  174. </html>
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