READING COMPREHENSION And so the years passed. But time did not touch the face of Dorian Gray. That wonderful beauty never left him. He enjoyed the life of a rich and fashionable young man. He studied art and music, and filled his house with beautiful things from every corner of the world. But his search for pleasure did not stop there. He became hungry for evil pleasure. He was in love with the beauty of his face, and very interested in the ugliness of his soul.
After a while strange stories were heard about him. But when people looked at that young and good-looking face, they could not believe the evil stories. And they still came to the famous dinners at his house.
But behind the locked door at the top of the house, the picture of Dorian Gray grew older every year. The terrible face showed the dark secrets of his life. The heavy mouth, the yellow skin, the cruel eyes – these told the real story. Again and again, Dorian Gray went secretly to the room and looked first at the ugly and terrible face in the picture, then at the beautiful young face in the mirror.
Stories about him became worse. He was seen fighting with foreign sailors in bars; he was friendly with thieves. And in the houses of fashionable people, men would sometimes turn away when he entered the room. Women’s faces would sometimes go white when they heard his name.
As the months and years passed, Dorian Gray became afraid of the picture. He both hated it and loved it, and he feared that someone would discover his secret. He could not stay away from it for long. He wanted to be sure that the room was still locked and that the picture was still safe. He used to spend winters in a little house abroad, but now he no longer travelled outside England.