"Dorian Gray is my dearest friend," he said. "He has a simple and a beautiful nature. Your aunt was quite right in what she said of him. Don’t spoil him. Don’t try to influence him. Your influence would be bad. The world is wide, and has many marvelous people in it. Don’t take away from me the one person who gives to my art whatever charm it possesses: my life as an artist depends on him. Mind, Harry, I trust you." He spoke very slowly, and the words seemed wrung out of him almost against his will.
"What nonsense you talk!" said Lord Henry, smiling, and taking Hallward by the arm, he almost led him into the house.

– Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray, Chapter 1. This passage shows how artist Basil Hallward and Lord Henry Wotton will be the two conflicting characters throughout Wilde’s only novel. Here Basil speaks to Lord Henry before Dorian comes into his home studio. Wary of the bad influence Henry would have on Dorian’s innocent and beautiful nature, Basil asks him not to influence his young friend Dorian. The cynical Henry smiles and gives Basil a non-commital reply, saying that Basil is talking nonsense.