I had heard of Wilde only vaguely as the original of du Maurier’s Bunthorne, as a figure in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience, the young man who walked down Piccadilly with a poppy and a lily; and when one day Frazier burst into my studio to announce that Wilde was coming up the stairs, I expected to meet someone pale and slender. Great was my surprise at seeing a huge and rather fleshly figure, floridly dressed in a frock coat and a red waistcoat. I was not at all attracted by his appearance. He had elaborately-waved, long hair, parted in the middle, which made his forehead appear lower than it was, a finely shaped nose, but dark-coloured lips and uneven teeth, and his cheeks were full and touching his wide winged collar. His hands were fat and useless looking, and the more conspicuous from a large scarab ring he wore. But before he left I was charmed by his conversation, and his looks were forgotten. Whistler, whom I told of this visit, was pitiless in his comments. Soon after, I met Wilde again at Miss Ruebell’s, and again found his talk enchanting. He held the whole table both during and after dinner.
KeywordsDoyle Verse Tame Florid Prose
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- 4.Charles Conder (1868–1909), English artist. He was a friend of Wilde and visited him in Berneval after his release from prison.Google Scholar