It is a satirical book about the Victorian era. The author elegantly mocks Victorian sense of duty and the aristocracy as a model of social morality. Lady Windermere has the last party at her estate before Easter. Lots of people from the aristocratic circles are invited. Mr. Podgers entertains the guests at the party. Being the personal chiromancer of Lady Windermere, he reads fortune on the palms of those who wish to learn their future. When Arthur Savile’s turn comes, the chiromancer suddenly gets pale and pauses. Gradually he recovers and predicts a journey and death of one of the relatives. Lord Arthur Savile notices the embarrassment of the fortune teller. The lord demands the truth and proposes a considerable reward. The chiromancer tells the lord what he had really seen on his palm.
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Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime by Oscar Wilde
It was Lady Windermere’s last party before Easter and her house was even more full of people than usual. There were important politicians, beautiful women, princes and princesses from various parts of Europe. There was an incredible variety of people. It was certainly one of Lady Windermere’s best parties.
Lady Windermere was talking to the Duchess of Paisley. She looked beautiful with her pale skin, large blue eyes and golden hair. Her hair was like a frame and her face was the picture. She looked like a saint but had also the fascination of a sinner.
When she was young, she had a reputation for her unconventional behaviour. She had been married three times. Now she was forty and without children and her passion for pleasure kept her young.
She looked round the full room and in her high voice asked, ‘Where is my chiromantist?’
The Duchess of Paisley replied surprised, ‘Your what, Gladys?’
‘My chiromantist, Duchess. I can’t live without him.’
The Duchess was not sure what a chiromantist was and hoped it was not the same as a chiropodist.
‘He comes to see my hand twice a week and always has interesting things to say about it,’ said Lady Windermere.
The Duchess was sure that the man was a sort of chiropodist and was shocked.
‘I must introduce you to him,’ said Lady Windermere.
‘Introduce him!’ cried the Duchess. ‘Do you want to say that he’s here?’ She looked worried and prepared to leave.
‘Of course he’s here. I invite him to all my parties. He reads my hand.’
The Duchess finally realised what a chiromantist was and felt happier. ‘Oh, I see,’ she said. ‘I suppose he tells fortunes?’
‘And misfortunes,’ answered Lady Windermere. ‘Next year, I’m in great danger both on land and sea. So, I’m going to live in a balloon. He told me he saw it in my little finger. Or was it on my palm? I can’t remember.’
The Duchess told her that it was dangerous to interfere with the future.
‘My dear Duchess, I think the reading of your hands is necessary once a month. In that way, you’ll know the things you shouldn’t do. Of course, you do the things anyway, but it’s fun to know.’ Lady Windermere stopped for a moment and said, ‘Now, where is Mr Podgers? I have to find him…