The Picture of Dorian Gray
How we cite our quotes:
In one point he was more fortunate than the novel's fantastic hero. He never knew -- never, indeed, had any cause to know -- that somewhat grotesque dread of mirrors, and polished metal surfaces, and still water which came upon the young Parisian so early in his life, and was occasioned by the sudden decay of a beau that had once, apparently, been so remarkable. It was with an almost cruel joy -- and perhaps in nearly every joy, as certainly in every pleasure, cruelty has its place -- that he used to read the latter part of the book, with its really tragic, if somewhat overemphasized, account of the sorrow and despair of one who had himself lost what in others, and the world, he had most dearly valued. (11.2)
Even after all that Dorian's been through, his youth is still what he "most dearly valued" – since it's really the only thing he has, it grows more and more important to him.
Of such insolences and attempted slights he, of course, took no notice, and in the opinion of most people his frank debonair manner, his charming boyish smile, and the infinite grace of that wonderful youth that seemed never to leave him, were in themselves a sufficient answer to the calumnies, for so they termed them, that were circulated about him. It was remarked, however, that some of those who had been most intimate with him appeared, after a time, to shun him. Women who had wildly adored him, and for his sake had braved all social censure and set convention at defiance, were seen to grow pallid with shame or horror if Dorian Gray entered the room. (11.30)
Dorian's appearance of youth and innocence continues to protect him, despite the terrible rumors that surround him and the evidence against his character.
[…] the face of the man he had sought to kill had all the bloom of boyhood, all the unstained purity of youth. He seemed little more than a lad of twenty summers, hardly older, if older indeed at all, than his sister had been when they had parted so many years ago. It was obvious that this was not the man who had destroyed her life. (16.32)
Lucky Dorian – yet again, his magically preserved youth saves his neck, this time from a vengeful James Vane.