[Vwoolf] "Conscience is trade-name of the firm" : What is this a reference to, in Dorian Gray?
abgrund at naver.com
Fri Jun 16 05:07:23 EDT 2017
In Chapter 1 of The Picture of Dorian Gray, Lord Henry says this to Basil:
"Conscience and cowardice are really the same thing, Basil. Conscience is the trade-name of the firm. That is all."
In a French edition from folio, the line was translated as:
"La conscience et la lâcheté sont une seule et même chose, Basil. La conscience est la raison sociale de la firme. C'est tout."
This translation makes me thinking: Did Wilde really mean to say something like "Conscience is a name of a company"?
Or, with the definite articles, "Conscience is that name of the company, which everybody used to know"? But, what could this mean?
I had thought, with "firm," Wilde had qualities of one's character, something in the line of "headstrong," inflexible in moral judgments.
I somehow really got curious to know about the (possible) reference of this line. Would someone let me know?
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