Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
Oscar Wilde (one of my favorite people to quote from, I have him up on my profile) wrote a story about.. well.. “A tale of horror, it depicts the corruption of a beautiful young man pursuing an ideal of sensual indulgence and moral indifference; although he himself remains young and handsome, his portrait becomes ugly, reflecting his degeneration.” (Wiki)
“Those who are faithful know only the pleasures of love: it is the faithless who know love’s tragedies.”
“Young men want to be faithful, and are not; old men want to be faithless, and cannot . . . ”
“Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one’s mistakes.”
And the one that basically became the story..
“How sad it is! I shall grow old, and horrid, and dreadful. But this picture will remain always young. It will never be older than this particular day of June. . . . If it was only the other way! If it was I who were to be always young, and the picture that were to grow old! For this–for this–I would give everything! Yes, there is nothing in the whole world I would not give!”
If you know nothing of Dorian Gray (even from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), he is the man who gave his soul to have the portrait painted of him age instead of have him age – he would have indeed been immortal, permanently locking his physical appearance and impression, so long as his portrait remained safe. The character of him depicted within that portrait would age, or become more disgusting, depending on how he acted in life. He realized the portrait, which really is more of a curse than anything, could feel every corner of his heart and mind, and would act upon those and deeds not yet committed by him.
A good story, I recommend it. ;)