Letters from Oscar Wilde to Lord Alfred Douglas

Letter 1

The following letter was introduced in Wilde's libel trial by sir Edward Clark, Wilde's attorney.  Although the letter lends support to the defense case, Clark chose to introduce the letter to prevent the defense from introducing the letter in a more dramatic fashion during its case.

January 1893, Babbacombe Cliff
My Own Boy,
     Your sonnet is quite lovely, and it is a marvel that those red-roseleaf lips of yours should be made no less for the madness of music and song than for the madness of kissing. Your slim gilt soul walks between passion and poetry. I know Hyacinthus, whom Apollo loved so madly, was you in Greek days. Why are you alone in London, and when do you go to Salisbury? Do go there to cool your hands in the grey twilight of Gothic things, and come here whenever you like. It is a lovely place and lacks only you; but go to Salisbury first.
     Always, with undying love,
     Yours, Oscar

Letter 2

The following letter was read by defense attorney Edward Carson during his cross-examination of Oscar Wilde in his libel trial.  Carson had asked Wilde to read the letter, but he declined.

                                                                   March 1893, Savoy Hotel
Dearest of All Boys,
     Your letter was delightful, red and yellow wine to me; but I am sad and out of sorts. Bosie, you must not make scenes with me. They kill me, they wreck the loveliness of life. I cannot see you, so Greek and gracious, distorted with passion. I cannot listen to your curved lips saying hideous things to me. I would sooner be blackmailed by every renter ["renter"was a slang term for male prostitutes] in London than to have you bitter, unjust, hating.You are the divine thing I want, the thing of grace and beauty; but I don't know how to do it.Shall I come to Salisbury? My bill here is 49 pounds for a week. I have also got a new sitting-room over the Thames. Why are you not here, my dear, my wonderful boy? I fear I must leave; no money, no credit, and a heart of lead.
     Your own, Oscar

Letter 3

The following letter was written shortly after Wilde's release from prison:

                                                                   Rouen, August 1897

My own Darling Boy,
      I got your telegram half an hour ago, and just send a line to say that I feel that my only hope of again doing beautiful work in art is being with you. It was not so in the old days, but now it is different, and you can really recreate in me that energy and sense of joyous power on which art depends.
      Everyone is furious with me for going back to you, but they don't understand us. I feel that it is only with you that I can do anything at all. Do remake my ruined life for me, and then our friendship and love will have a different meaning to the world.
      I wish that when we met at Rouen we had not parted at all. There are such wide abysses now of space and land between us. But we love each other.
      Goodnight, dear. Ever yours,

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