STRANGE CASE OF

DR. JEKYLL AND

MR. HYDE

 

BY

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

 

 

1)

 

STORY OF THE DOOR

 

MR. UTTERSON the lawyer was a man of a rugged countenance, that was

never lighted by a smile; cold, scanty and embarrassed in

discourse; backward in sentiment; lean, long, dusty, dreary, and

yet somehow lovable. At friendly meetings, and when the wine was to

his taste, something eminently human beaconed from his eye;

something indeed which never found its way into his talk, but which

spoke not only in these silent symbols of the after-dinner face, but

more often and loudly in the acts of his life. He was austere with

himself; drank gin when he was alone, to mortify a taste for

vintages; and though he enjoyed the theatre, had not crossed the

doors of one for twenty years. But he had an approved tolerance for

others; sometimes wondering, almost with envy, at the high pressure

of spirits involved in their misdeeds; and in any extremity inclined

to help rather than to reprove.

 

2)

 

"I incline to Cain's heresy," he used to say quaintly: "I let my

brother go to the devil in his own way." In this character, it was

frequently his fortune to be the last reputable acquaintance and the

last good influence in the lives of down-going men. And to such as

these, so long as they came about his chambers, he never marked a

shade of change in his demeanour.

 

No doubt the feat was easy to Mr. Utterson; for he was

undemonstrative at the best, and even his friendship seemed to be

founded in a similar catholicity of good-nature. It is the mark of a

modest man to accept his friendly circle ready-made from the hands

of opportunity; and that was the lawyer's way. His friends were

those of his own blood or those whom he had known the longest; his

affections, like ivy, were the growth of time, they implied no

aptness in the object. Hence, no doubt, the bond that united him to

Mr. Richard Enfield, his distant kinsman, the well-known man about

town. It was a nut to crack for many, what these two could see in

each other, or what subject they could find in common. It was

reported by those who encountered them in their Sunday walks, that

they said nothing, looked singularly dull, and would hail with

obvious relief the appearance of a friend. For all that, the two men

put the greatest store by these excursions, counted them the chief

jewel of each week, and not only set aside occasions of pleasure,

but even resisted the calls

 

3)

 

of business, that they might enjoy them uninterrupted.

 

It chanced on one of these rambles that their way led them down a

by-street in a busy quarter of London. The street was small and

what is called quiet, but it drove a thriving trade on the

week-days. The inhabitants were all doing well, it seemed, and all

emulously hoping to do better still, and laying out the surplus of

their gains in coquetry; so that the shop fronts stood along that

thoroughfare with an air of invitation, like rows of smiling

saleswomen. Even on Sunday, when it veiled its more florid charms

and lay comparatively empty of passage, the street shone out in

contrast to its dingy neighbourhood, like a fire in a forest; and

with its freshly painted shutters, well-polished brasses, and

general cleanliness and gaiety of note, instantly caught and pleased

the eye of the passenger.

 

Two doors from one corner, on the left hand going east, the line

was broken by the entry of a court; and just at that point, a

certain sinister block of building thrust forward its gable on the

street. It was two stories high; showed no window, nothing but a

door on the lower story and a blind forehead of discoloured wall on

the upper; and bore in every feature, the marks of prolonged and

sordid negligence. The door, which was equipped with neither bell

nor knocker, was blistered and distained. Tramps slouched into the

recess and struck matches on

 

4)

 

the panels; children kept shop upon the steps; the schoolboy had

tried his knife on the mouldings; and for close on a generation, no

one had appeared to drive away these random visitors or to repair

their ravages.

 

Mr. Enfield and the lawyer were on the other side of the by-street;

but when they came abreast of the entry, the former lifted up his

cane and pointed.

 

"Did you ever remark that door?" he asked; and when his companion

had replied in the affirmative, "It is connected in my mind," added

he, "with a very odd story."

 

"Indeed?" said Mr. Utterson, with a slight change of voice, "and

what was that?"

 

"Well, it was this way," returned Mr. Enfield: "I was coming home

from some place at the end of the world, about three o'clock of a

black winter morning, and my way lay through a part of town where

there was literally nothing to be seen but lamps. Street after

street, and all the folks asleep--street after street, all lighted

up as if for a procession and all as empty as a church--till at

last I got into that state of mind when a man listens and listens

and begins to long for the sight of a policeman. All at once, I saw

two figures: one a little man who was stumping along eastward at a

good walk, and the other a girl of maybe eight or ten who was

running as hard as she was able down a cross street. Well, sir, the

two ran into one another naturally enough at the

 

5)

 

corner; and then came the horrible part of the thing; for the man

trampled calmly over the child's body and left her screaming on

the ground. It sounds nothing to hear, but it was hellish to see.

It wasn't like a man; it was like some damned Juggernaut. I gave a

view-halloa, took to my heels, collared my gentleman, and brought

him back to where there was already quite a group about the

screaming child. He was perfectly cool and made no resistance, but

gave me one look, so ugly that it brought out the sweat on me like

running. The people who had turned out were the girl's own family;

and pretty soon, the doctor, for whom she had been sent, put in his

appearance. Well, the child was not much the worse, more frightened,

according to the Sawbones; and there you might have supposed would

be an end to it. But there was one curious circumstance. I had taken

a loathing to my gentleman at first sight. So had the child's

family, which was only natural. But the doctor's case was what

struck me. He was the usual cut-and-dry apothecary, of no particular

age and colour, with a strong Edinburgh accent, and about as

emotional as a bagpipe. Well, sir, he was like the rest of us; every

time he looked at my prisoner, I saw that Sawbones turn sick and

white with the desire to kill him. I knew what was in his mind, just

as he knew what was in mine; and killing being out of the question,

we did the next best. We told the man we could

 

6)

 

and would make such a scandal out of this, as should make his name

stink from one end of London to the other. If he had any friends or

any credit, we undertook that he should lose them. And all the time,

as we were pitching it in red hot, we were keeping the women off him

as best we could, for they were as wild as harpies. I never saw a

circle of such hateful faces; and there was the man in the middle,

with a kind of black, sneering coolness--frightened too, I could

see that--but carrying it off, sir, really like Satan. 'If you

choose to make capital out of this accident,' said he, 'I am

naturally helpless. No gentleman but wishes to avoid a scene,' says

he. 'Name your figure.' Well, we screwed him up to a hundred pounds

for the child's family; he would have clearly liked to stick out;

but there was something about the lot of us that meant mischief, and

at last he struck. The next thing was to get the money; and where

do you think he carried us but to that place with the door?--

whipped out a key, went in, and presently came back with the matter

of ten pounds in gold and a cheque for the balance on Coutts's,

drawn payable to bearer and signed with a name that I can't mention,

though it's one of the points of my story, but it was a name at

least very well known and often printed. The figure was stiff; but

the signature was good for more than that, if it was only genuine. I

took the liberty of pointing out to my gentleman that the whole

 

7)

 

business looked apocryphal, and that a man does not, in real life,

walk into a cellar door at four in the morning and come out of it

with another man's cheque for close upon a hundred pounds. But he

was quite easy and sneering. 'Set your mind at rest,' says he, 'I

will stay with you till the banks open and cash the cheque myself.'

So we all set off, the doctor, and the child's father, and our

friend and myself, and passed the rest of the night in my chambers;

and next day, when we had breakfasted, went in a body to the bank. I

gave in the check myself, and said I had every reason to believe it

was a forgery. Not a bit of it. The cheque was genuine."

 

"Tut-tut," said Mr. Utterson.

 

"I see you feel as I do," said Mr. Enfield. "Yes, it's a bad story.

For my man was a fellow that nobody could have to do with, a really

damnable man; and the person that drew the cheque is the very pink

of the proprieties, celebrated too, and (what makes it worse) one of

your fellows who do what they call good. Black-mail, I suppose; an

honest man paying through the nose for some of the capers of his

youth. Black-Mail House is what I call that place with the door, in

consequence. Though even that, you know, is far from explaining

all," he added, and with the words fell into a vein of musing.

 

From this he was recalled by Mr. Utterson asking rather suddenly:

"And you don't know if the drawer of the cheque lives there?"

 

8)

 

"A likely place, isn't it?" returned Mr. Enfield. "But I happen to

have noticed his address; he lives in some square or other."

 

"And you never asked about the--place with the door?" said Mr.

Utterson.

 

"No, sir: I had a delicacy," was the reply. "I feel very strongly

about putting questions; it partakes too much of the style of the

day of judgment. You start a question, and it's like starting a

stone. You sit quietly on the top of a hill; and away the stone

goes, starting others; and presently some bland old bird (the last

you would have thought of) is knocked on the head in his own

back-garden and the family have to change their name. No, sir, I

make it a rule of mine: the more it looks like Queer Street, the

less I ask."

 

"A very good rule, too," said the lawyer.

 

"But I have studied the place for myself," continued Mr. Enfield.

"It seems scarcely a house. There is no other door, and nobody goes

in or out of that one but, once in a great while, the gentleman of

my adventure. There are three windows looking on the court on the

first floor; none below; the windows are always shut but they're

clean. And then there is a chimney which is generally smoking; so

somebody must live there. And yet it's not so sure; for the

buildings are so packed together about that court, that it's hard to

say where one ends and another begins."

 

9)

 

The pair walked on again for a while in silence; and then,

"Enfield," said Mr. Utterson, "that's a good rule of yours."

 

"Yes, I think it is," returned Enfield.

 

"But for all that," continued the lawyer, "there's one point I want

to ask: I want to ask the name of that man who walked over the

child."

 

"Well," said Mr. Enfield, "I can't see what harm it would do. It

was a man of the name of Hyde."

 

"H'm," said Mr. Utterson. "What sort of a man is he to see?"

 

"He is not easy to describe. There is something wrong with his

appearance; something displeasing, something downright detestable. I

never saw a man I so disliked, and yet I scarce know why. He must be

deformed somewhere; he gives a strong feeling of deformity, although

I couldn't specify the point. He's an extraordinary-looking man, and

yet I really can name nothing out of the way. No, sir; I can make no

hand of it; I can't describe him. And it's not want of memory; for I

declare I can see him this moment."

 

Mr. Utterson again walked some way in silence and obviously under a

weight of consideration.

 

"You are sure he used a key?" he inquired at last.

 

"My dear sir..." began Enfield, surprised out of himself.

 

10)

 

"Yes, I know," said Utterson; "I know it must seem strange. The

fact is, if I do not ask you the name of the other party, it is

because I know it already. You see, Richard, your tale has gone

home. If you have been inexact in any point, you had better correct

it."

 

"I think you might have warned me," returned the other, with a

touch of sullenness. "But I have been pedantically exact, as you

call it. The fellow had a key; and what's more, he has it still. I

saw him use it, not a week ago."

 

Mr. Utterson sighed deeply but said never a word; and the young man

presently resumed. "Here is another lesson to say nothing," said he.

"I am ashamed of my long tongue. Let us make a bargain never to

refer to this again."

 

"With all my heart," said the lawyer. "I shake hands on that,

Richard."

 

11)

 

 

SEARCH FOR MR. HYDE

 

THAT evening Mr. Utterson came home to his bachelor house in sombre

spirits and sat down to dinner without relish. It was his custom of

a Sunday, when this meal was over, to sit close by the fire, a

volume of some dry divinity on his reading-desk, until the clock of

the neighbouring church rang out the hour of twelve, when he would

go soberly and gratefully to bed. On this night, however, as soon as

the cloth was taken away, he took up a candle and went into his

business-room. There he opened his safe, took from the most private

part of it a document endorsed on the envelope as Dr. Jekyll's Will,

and sat down with a clouded brow to study its contents. The will was

holograph, for Mr. Utterson, though he took charge of it now that it

was made, had refused to lend the least assistance in the making of

it; it provided not only that, in case of the decease of Henry

Jekyll, M.D., D.C.L., L.L.D., F.R.S., etc., all his possessions were

to pass into the hands of his "friend and benefactor Edward Hyde,"

but that in case of

 

12)

 

Dr. Jekyll's "disappearance or unexplained absence for any period

exceeding three calendar months," the said Edward Hyde should step

into the said Henry Jekyll's shoes without further delay and free

from any burthen or obligation, beyond the payment of a few small

sums to the members of the doctor's household. This document had

long been the lawyer's eyesore. It offended him both as a lawyer and

as a lover of the sane and customary sides of life, to whom the

fanciful was the immodest. And hitherto it was his ignorance of Mr.

Hyde that had swelled his indignation; now, by a sudden turn, it was

his knowledge. It was already bad enough when the name was but a

name of which he could learn no more. It was worse when it began to

be clothed upon with detestable attributes; and out of the shifting,

insubstantial mists that had so long baffled his eye, there leaped

up the sudden, definite presentment of a fiend.

 

"I thought it was madness," he said, as he replaced the obnoxious

paper in the safe, "and now I begin to fear it is disgrace."

 

With that he blew out his candle, put on a great-coat, and set

forth in the direction of Cavendish Square, that citadel of

medicine, where his friend, the great Dr. Lanyon, had his house and

received his crowding patients. "If any one knows, it will be

Lanyon," he had thought.

 

The solemn butler knew and welcomed him;

 

13)

 

he was subjected to no stage of delay, but ushered direct from the

door to the dining-room where Dr. Lanyon sat alone over his wine.

This was a hearty, healthy, dapper, red-faced gentleman, with a

shock of hair prematurely white, and a boisterous and decided

manner. At sight of Mr. Utterson, he sprang up from his chair and

welcomed him with both hands. The geniality, as was the way of the

man, was somewhat theatrical to the eye; but it reposed on genuine

feeling. For these two were old friends, old mates both at school

and college, both thorough respecters of themselves and of each

other, and, what does not always follow, men who thoroughly enjoyed

each other's company.

 

After a little rambling talk, the lawyer led up to the subject

which so disagreeably pre-occupied his mind.

 

"I suppose, Lanyon," said he "you and I must be the two oldest

friends that Henry Jekyll has?"

 

"I wish the friends were younger," chuckled Dr. Lanyon. "But I

suppose we are. And what of that? I see little of him now."

 

 

"Indeed?" said Utterson. "I thought you had a bond of common

interest."

 

"We had," was the reply. "But it is more than ten years since Henry

Jekyll became too fanciful for me. He began to go wrong, wrong in

mind; and though of course I continue to take an interest in him for

old sake's sake, as they say,

 

14)

 

I see and I have seen devilish little of the man. Such unscientific

balderdash," added the doctor, flushing suddenly purple, "would have

estranged Damon and Pythias."

 

This little spirit of temper was somewhat of a relief to Mr.

Utterson. "They have only differed on some point of science," he

thought; and being a man of no scientific passions (except in the

matter of conveyancing), he even added: "It is nothing worse than

that!" He gave his friend a few seconds to recover his composure,

and then approached the question he had come to put. "Did you ever

come across a protege of his--one Hyde?" he asked.

 

"Hyde?" repeated Lanyon. "No. Never heard of him. Since my time."

 

That was the amount of information that the lawyer carried back

with him to the great, dark bed on which he tossed to and fro,

until the small hours of the morning began to grow large. It was a

night of little ease to his toiling mind, toiling in mere darkness

and besieged by questions.

 

Six o'clock struck on the bells of the church that was so

conveniently near to Mr. Utterson's dwelling, and still he was

digging at the problem. Hitherto it had touched him on the

intellectual side alone; but now his imagination also was engaged,

or rather enslaved; and as he lay and tossed in the gross darkness

of the night and the curtained room, Mr. Enfield's tale went by

 

15)

 

before his mind in a scroll of lighted pictures. He would be aware

of the great field of lamps of a nocturnal city; then of the figure

of a man walking swiftly; then of a child running from the doctor's;

and then these met, and that human Juggernaut trod the child down

and passed on regardless of her screams. Or else he would see a room

in a rich house, where his friend lay asleep, dreaming and smiling

at his dreams; and then the door of that room would be opened, the

curtains of the bed plucked apart, the sleeper recalled, and lo!

there would stand by his side a figure to whom power was given, and

even at that dead hour, he must rise and do its bidding. The figure

in these two phases haunted the lawyer all night; and if at any time

he dozed over, it was but to see it glide more stealthily through

sleeping houses, or move the more swiftly and still the more

swiftly, even to dizziness, through wider labyrinths of lamplighted

city, and at every street-corner crush a child and leave her

screaming. And still the figure had no face by which he might know

it; even in his dreams, it had no face, or one that baffled him and

melted before his eyes; and thus it was that there sprang up and

grew apace in the lawyer's mind a singularly strong, almost an

inordinate, curiosity to behold the features of the real Mr. Hyde.

If he could but once set eyes on him, he thought the mystery would

lighten and perhaps roll altogether away, as was the habit of

mysterious

 

16)

 

things when well examined. He might see a reason for his friend's

strange preference or bondage (call it which you please) and even

for the startling clause of the will. At least it would be a face

worth seeing: the face of a man who was without bowels of mercy: a

face which had but to show itself to raise up, in the mind of the

unimpressionable Enfield, a spirit of enduring hatred.

 

From that time forward, Mr. Utterson began to haunt the door in the

by-street of shops. In the morning before office hours, at noon when

business was plenty, and time scarce, at night under the face of the

fogged city moon, by all lights and at all hours of solitude or

concourse, the lawyer was to be found on his chosen post.

 

"If he be Mr. Hyde," he had thought, "I shall be Mr. Seek."

 

And at last his patience was rewarded. It was a fine dry night;

frost in the air; the streets as clean as a ballroom floor; the

lamps, unshaken, by any wind, drawing a regular pattern of light

and shadow. By ten o'clock, when the shops were closed, the

by-street was very solitary and, in spite of the low growl of

London from all round, very silent. Small sounds carried far;

domestic sounds out of the houses were clearly audible on either

side of the roadway; and the rumour of the approach of any

passenger preceded him by a long time. Mr. Utterson had been some

minutes at his post, when he was

 

17)

 

aware of an odd, light footstep drawing near. In the course of his

nightly patrols, he had long grown accustomed to the quaint effect

with which the footfalls of a single person, while he is still a

great way off, suddenly spring out distinct from the vast hum and

clatter of the city. Yet his attention had never before been so

sharply and decisively arrested; and it was with a strong,

superstitious prevision of success that he withdrew into the entry

of the court.

 

The steps drew swiftly nearer, and swelled out suddenly louder as

they turned the end of the street. The lawyer, looking forth from

the entry, could soon see what manner of man he had to deal with.

He was small and very plainly dressed, and the look of him, even at

that distance, went somehow strongly against the watcher's

inclination. But he made straight for the door, crossing the

roadway to save time; and as he came, he drew a key from his pocket

like one approaching home.

 

Mr. Utterson stepped out and touched him on the shoulder as he

passed. "Mr. Hyde, I think?"

 

Mr. Hyde shrank back with a hissing intake of the breath. But his

fear was only momentary; and though he did not look the lawyer in

the face, he answered coolly enough: "That is my name. What do you

want?"

 

"I see you are going in," returned the lawyer. "I am an old friend

of Dr. Jekyll's--Mr. Utter-

 

18)

 

son of Gaunt Street--you must have heard my name; and meeting you

so conveniently, I thought you might admit me."

 

"You will not find Dr. Jekyll; he is from home," replied Mr. Hyde,

blowing in the key. And then suddenly, but still without looking up,

"How did you know me?" he asked.

 

"On your side," said Mr. Utterson, "will you do me a favour?"

 

"With pleasure," replied the other. "What shall it be?"

 

"Will you let me see your face?" asked the lawyer.

 

Mr. Hyde appeared to hesitate, and then, as if upon some sudden

reflection, fronted about with an air of defiance; and the pair

stared at each other pretty fixedly for a few seconds. "Now I shall

know you again," said Mr. Utterson. "It may be useful."

 

"Yes," returned Mr. Hyde, "it is as well we have, met; and a

propos, you should have my address." And he gave a number of a

street in Soho.

 

"Good God!" thought Mr. Utterson, "can he, too, have been thinking

of the will?" But he kept his feelings to himself and only grunted

in acknowledgment of the address.

 

"And now," said the other, "how did you know me?"

 

"By description," was the reply.

 

"Whose description?"

 

19)

 

"We have common friends," said Mr. Utterson.

 

"Common friends?" echoed Mr. Hyde, a little hoarsely. "Who are

they?"

 

"Jekyll, for instance," said the lawyer.

 

"He never told you," cried Mr. Hyde, with a flush of anger. "I did

not think you would have lied."

 

"Come," said Mr. Utterson, "that is not fitting language."

 

 

The other snarled aloud into a savage laugh; and the next moment,

with extraordinary quickness, he had unlocked the door and

disappeared into the house.

 

The lawyer stood awhile when Mr. Hyde had left him, the picture of

disquietude. Then he began slowly to mount the street, pausing

every step or two and putting his hand to his brow like a man in

mental perplexity. The problem he was thus debating as he walked,

was one of a class that is rarely solved. Mr. Hyde was pale and

dwarfish, he gave an impression of deformity without any nameable

malformation, he had a displeasing smile, he had borne himself to

the lawyer with a sort of murderous mixture of timidity and

boldness, and he spoke with a husky, whispering and somewhat broken

voice; all these were points against him, but not all of these

together could explain the hitherto unknown disgust, loathing, and

fear with which Mr. Utterson regarded him. "There must be some-

 

20)

 

thing else," said the perplexed gentleman. "There is something

more, if I could find a name for it. God bless me, the man seems

hardly human! Something troglodytic, shall we say? or can it be the

old story of Dr. Fell? or is it the mere radiance of a foul soul

that thus transpires through, and transfigures, its clay continent?

The last, I think; for, O my poor old Harry Jekyll, if ever I read

Satan's signature upon a face, it is on that of your new friend."

 

Round the corner from the by-street, there was a square of ancient,

handsome houses, now for the most part decayed from their high

estate and let in flats and chambers to all sorts and conditions of

men: map-engravers, architects, shady lawyers, and the agents of

obscure enterprises. One house, however, second from the corner, was

still occupied entire; and at the door of this, which wore a great

air of wealth and comfort, though it was now plunged in darkness

except for the fan-light, Mr. Utterson stopped and knocked. A

well-dressed, elderly servant opened the door.

 

"Is Dr. Jekyll at home, Poole?" asked the lawyer.

 

"I will see, Mr. Utterson," said Poole, admitting the visitor, as

he spoke, into a large, low-roofed, comfortable hall, paved with

flags, warmed (after the fashion of a country house) by a bright,

open fire, and furnished with costly cabinets of oak. "Will you

wait here by the

 

21)

 

fire, sir? or shall I give you a light in the dining room?"

 

"Here, thank you," said the lawyer, and he drew near and leaned on

the tall fender. This hall, in which he was now left alone, was a

pet fancy of his friend the doctor's; and Utterson himself was wont

to speak of it as the pleasantest room in London. But to-night there

was a shudder in his blood; the face of Hyde sat heavy on his

memory; he felt (what was rare with him) a nausea and distaste of

life; and in the gloom of his spirits, he seemed to read a menace in

the flickering of the firelight on the polished cabinets and the

uneasy starting of the shadow on the roof. He was ashamed of his

relief, when Poole presently returned to announce that Dr. Jekyll

was gone out.

 

"I saw Mr. Hyde go in by the old dissecting-room door, Poole," he

said. "Is that right, when Dr. Jekyll is from home?"

 

"Quite right, Mr. Utterson, sir," replied the servant. "Mr. Hyde

has a key."

 

"Your master seems to repose a great deal of trust in that young

man, Poole," resumed the other musingly.

 

"Yes, sir, he do indeed," said Poole. "We have all orders to obey

him."

 

"I do not think I ever met Mr. Hyde?" asked Utterson.

 

 

"O, dear no, sir. He never dines here," replied the butler. "Indeed

we see very little of

 

22)

 

him on this side of the house; he mostly comes and goes by the

laboratory."

 

"Well, good-night, Poole."

 

"Good-night, Mr. Utterson." And the lawyer set out homeward with a

very heavy heart. "Poor Harry Jekyll," he thought, "my mind

misgives me he is in deep waters! He was wild when he was young; a

long while ago to be sure; but in the law of God, there is no

statute of limitations. Ay, it must be that; the ghost of some old

sin, the cancer of some concealed disgrace: punishment coming, PEDE

CLAUDO, years after memory has forgotten and self-love condoned the

fault." And the lawyer, scared by the thought, brooded a while on

his own past, groping in all the corners of memory, lest by chance

some Jack-in-the-Box of an old iniquity should leap to light there.

His past was fairly blameless; few men could read the rolls of their

life with less apprehension; yet he was humbled to the dust by the

many ill things he had done, and raised up again into a sober and

fearful gratitude by the many that he had come so near to doing, yet

avoided. And then by a return on his former subject, he conceived a

spark of hope. "This Master Hyde, if he were studied," thought he,

"must have secrets of his own; black secrets, by the look of him;

secrets compared to which poor Jekyll's worst would be like

sunshine. Things cannot continue as they are. It turns me cold to

think of this creature stealing like a

 

23)

 

thief to Harry's bedside; poor Harry, what a wakening! And the

danger of it; for if this Hyde suspects the existence of the will,

he may grow impatient to inherit. Ay, I must put my shoulder to the

wheel if Jekyll will but let me," he added, "if Jekyll will only let

me." For once more he saw before his mind's eye, as clear as a

transparency, the strange clauses of the will.

 

24)

 

 

 

                      DR. JEKYLL WAS QUITE AT EASE

 

A FORTNIGHT later, by excellent good fortune, the doctor gave one

of his pleasant dinners to some five or six old cronies, all

intelligent, reputable men and all judges of good wine; and Mr.

Utterson so contrived that he remained behind after the others had

departed. This was no new arrangement, but a thing that had

befallen many scores of times. Where Utterson was liked, he was

liked well. Hosts loved to detain the dry lawyer, when the

light-hearted and the loose-tongued had already their foot on the

threshold; they liked to sit a while in his unobtrusive company,

practising for solitude, sobering their minds in the man's rich

silence after the expense and strain of gaiety. To this rule, Dr.

Jekyll was no exception; and as he now sat on the opposite side of

the fire--a large, well-made, smooth-faced man of fifty, with

something of a slyish cast perhaps, but every mark of capacity and

kindness--you could see by his looks that he cherished for Mr.

Utterson a sincere and warm affection.

 

25)

 

 

"I have been wanting to speak to you, Jekyll," began the latter.

"You know that will of yours?"

 

A close observer might have gathered that the topic was

distasteful; but the doctor carried it off gaily. "My poor

Utterson," said he, "you are unfortunate in such a client. I never

saw a man so distressed as you were by my will; unless it were that

hide-bound pedant, Lanyon, at what he called my scientific heresies.

Oh, I know he's a good fellow--you needn't frown--an excellent

fellow, and I always mean to see more of him; but a hide-bound

pedant for all that; an ignorant, blatant pedant. I was never more

disappointed in any man than Lanyon."

 

"You know I never approved of it," pursued Utterson, ruthlessly

disregarding the fresh topic.

 

"My will? Yes, certainly, I know that," said the doctor, a trifle

sharply. "You have told me so."

 

"Well, I tell you so again," continued the lawyer. "I have been

learning something of young Hyde."

 

The large handsome face of Dr. Jekyll grew pale to the very lips,

and there came a blackness about his eyes. "I do not care to hear

more," said he. "This is a matter I thought we had agreed to drop."

 

"What I heard was abominable," said Utterson.

 

"It can make no change. You do not under-

 

26)

 

stand my position," returned the doctor, with a certain incoherency

of manner. "I am painfully situated, Utterson; my position is a very

strange--a very strange one. It is one of those affairs that

cannot be mended by talking."

 

"Jekyll," said Utterson, "you know me: I am a man to be trusted.

Make a clean breast of this in confidence; and I make no doubt I

can get you out of it."

 

"My good Utterson," said the doctor, "this is very good of you,

this is downright good of you, and I cannot find words to thank you

in. I believe you fully; I would trust you before any man alive, ay,

before myself, if I could make the choice; but indeed it isn't what

you fancy; it is not so bad as that; and just to put your good heart

at rest, I will tell you one thing: the moment I choose, I can be

rid of Mr. Hyde. I give you my hand upon that; and I thank you again

and again; and I will just add one little word, Utterson, that I'm

sure you'll take in good part: this is a private matter, and I beg

of you to let it sleep."

 

 

Utterson reflected a little, looking in the fire.

 

"I have no doubt you are perfectly right," he said at last, getting

to his feet.

 

"Well, but since we have touched upon this business, and for the

last time I hope," continued the doctor, "there is one point I

should like you to understand. I have really a very great interest

in poor Hyde. I know you have seen

 

27)

 

him; he told me so; and I fear he was rude. But, I do sincerely

take a great, a very great interest in that young man; and if I am

taken away, Utterson, I wish you to promise me that you will bear

with him and get his rights for him. I think you would, if you knew

all; and it would be a weight off my mind if you would promise."

 

"I can't pretend that I shall ever like him," said the lawyer.

 

"I don't ask that," pleaded Jekyll, laying his hand upon the

other's arm; "I only ask for justice; I only ask you to help him

for my sake, when I am no longer here."

 

Utterson heaved an irrepressible sigh. "Well," said he, "I

promise."

 

28)

 

 

 

                      THE CAREW MURDER CASE

 

NEARLY a year later, in the month of October, 18---, London was

startled by a crime of singular ferocity and rendered all the more

notable by the high position of the victim. The details were few and

startling. A maid servant living alone in a house not far from the

river, had gone up-stairs to bed about eleven. Although a fog rolled

over the city in the small hours, the early part of the night was

cloudless, and the lane, which the maid's window overlooked, was

brilliantly lit by the full moon. It seems she was romantically

given, for she sat down upon her box, which stood immediately under

the window, and fell into a dream of musing. Never (she used to say,

with streaming tears, when she narrated that experience), never had

she felt more at peace with all men or thought more kindly of the

world. And as she so sat she became aware of an aged and beautiful

gentleman with white hair, drawing near along the lane; and

advancing to meet him, another and very small gentleman, to whom at

first she

 

29)

 

paid less attention. When they had come within speech (which was

just under the maid's eyes) the older man bowed and accosted the

other with a very pretty manner of politeness. It did not seem as

if the subject of his address were of great importance; indeed,

from his pointing, it sometimes appeared as if he were only

inquiring his way; but the moon shone on his face as he spoke, and

the girl was pleased to watch it, it seemed to breathe such an

innocent and old-world kindness of disposition, yet with something

high too, as of a well-founded self-content. Presently her eye

wandered to the other, and she was surprised to recognise in him a

certain Mr. Hyde, who had once visited her master and for whom she

had conceived a dislike. He had in his hand a heavy cane, with which

he was trifling; but he answered never a word, and seemed to listen

with an ill-contained impatience. And then all of a sudden he broke

out in a great flame of anger, stamping with his foot, brandishing

the cane, and carrying on (as the maid described it) like a madman.

The old gentleman took a step back, with the air of one very much

surprised and a trifle hurt; and at that Mr. Hyde broke out of all

bounds and clubbed him to the earth. And next moment, with ape-like

fury, he was trampling his victim under foot and hailing down a

storm of blows, under which the bones were audibly shattered and the

body jumped upon the roadway. At the horror of these sights and

sounds, the maid fainted.

 

30)

 

It was two o'clock when she came to herself and called for the

police. The murderer was gone long ago; but there lay his victim in

the middle of the lane, incredibly mangled. The stick with which the

deed had been done, although it was of some rare and very tough and

heavy wood, had broken in the middle under the stress of this

insensate cruelty; and one splintered half had rolled in the

neighbouring gutter--the other, without doubt, had been carried

away by the murderer. A purse and a gold watch were found upon the

victim: but no cards or papers, except a sealed and stamped

envelope, which he had been probably carrying to the post, and which

bore the name and address of Mr. Utterson.

 

This was brought to the lawyer the next morning, before he was out

of bed; and he had no sooner seen it, and been told the

circumstances, than he shot out a solemn lip. "I shall say nothing

till I have seen the body," said he; "this may be very serious. Have

the kindness to wait while I dress." And with the same grave

countenance he hurried through his breakfast and drove to the police

station, whither the body had been carried. As soon as he came into

the cell, he nodded.

 

"Yes," said he, "I recognise him. I am sorry to say that this is

Sir Danvers Carew."

 

"Good God, sir," exclaimed the officer, "is it possible?" And the

next moment his eye

 

31)

 

lighted up with professional ambition. "This will make a deal of

noise," he said. "And perhaps you can help us to the man." And he

briefly narrated what the maid had seen, and showed the broken

stick.

 

Mr. Utterson had already quailed at the name of Hyde; but when the

stick was laid before him, he could doubt no longer; broken and

battered as it was, he recognised it for one that he had himself

presented many years before to Henry Jekyll.

 

"Is this Mr. Hyde a person of small stature?" he inquired.

 

"Particularly small and particularly wicked-looking, is what the

maid calls him," said the officer.

 

Mr. Utterson reflected; and then, raising his head, "If you will

come with me in my cab," he said, "I think I can take you to his

house."

 

It was by this time about nine in the morning, and the first fog of

the season. A great chocolate-coloured pall lowered over heaven, but

the wind was continually charging and routing these embattled

vapours; so that as the cab crawled from street to street, Mr.

Utterson beheld a marvellous number of degrees and hues of twilight;

for here it would be dark like the back-end of evening; and there

would be a glow of a rich, lurid brown, like the light of some

strange conflagration; and here, for a moment, the fog would be

quite broken up, and a haggard shaft

 

32)

 

of daylight would glance in between the swirling wreaths. The

dismal quarter of Soho seen under these changing glimpses, with its

muddy ways, and slatternly passengers, and its lamps, which had

never been extinguished or had been kindled afresh to combat this

mournful re-invasion of darkness, seemed, in the lawyer's eyes, like

a district of some city in a nightmare. The thoughts of his mind,

besides, were of the gloomiest dye; and when he glanced at the

companion of his drive, he was conscious of some touch of that

terror of the law and the law's officers, which may at times assail

the most honest.

 

As the cab drew up before the address indicated, the fog lifted a

little and showed him a dingy street, a gin palace, a low French

eating-house, a shop for the retail of penny numbers and twopenny

salads, many ragged children huddled in the doorways, and many

women of different nationalities passing out, key in hand, to have a

morning glass; and the next moment the fog settled down again upon

that part, as brown as umber, and cut him off from his blackguardly

surroundings. This was the home of Henry Jekyll's favourite; of a

man who was heir to a quarter of a million sterling.

 

An ivory-faced and silvery-haired old woman opened the door. She

had an evil face, smoothed by hypocrisy; but her manners were

excellent. Yes, she said, this was Mr. Hyde's, but he was not at

home; he had been in that night very late,

 

33)

 

but had gone away again in less than an hour; there was nothing

strange in that; his habits were very irregular, and he was often

absent; for instance, it was nearly two months since she had seen

him till yesterday.

 

"Very well, then, we wish to see his rooms," said the lawyer; and

when the woman began to declare it was impossible, "I had better

tell you who this person is," he added. "This is Inspector Newcomen

of Scotland Yard."

 

A flash of odious joy appeared upon the woman's face. "Ah!" said

she, "he is in trouble! What has he done?"

 

Mr. Utterson and the inspector exchanged glances. "He don't seem a

very popular character," observed the latter. "And now, my good

woman, just let me and this gentleman have a look about us."

 

In the whole extent of the house, which but for the old woman

remained otherwise empty, Mr. Hyde had only used a couple of rooms;

but these were furnished with luxury and good taste. A closet was

filled with wine; the plate was of silver, the napery elegant; a

good picture hung upon the walls, a gift (as Utterson supposed) from

Henry Jekyll, who was much of a connoisseur; and the carpets were of

many plies and agreeable in colour. At this moment, however, the

rooms bore every mark of having been recently and hurriedly

ransacked; clothes lay about the floor, with their pockets inside

out;

 

34)

 

lock-fast drawers stood open; and on the hearth there lay a pile of

grey ashes, as though many papers had been burned. From these

embers the inspector disinterred the butt-end of a green

cheque-book, which had resisted the action of the fire; the other

half of the stick was found behind the door; and as this clinched

his suspicions, the officer declared himself delighted. A visit to

the bank, where several thousand pounds were found to be lying to

the murderer's credit, completed his gratification.

 

"You may depend upon it, sir," he told Mr. Utterson: "I have him in

my hand. He must have lost his head, or he never would have left the

stick or, above all, burned the cheque-book. Why, money's life to

the man. We have nothing to do but wait for him at the bank, and get

out the handbills."

 

This last, however, was not so easy of accomplishment; for Mr. Hyde

had numbered few familiars--even the master of the servant-maid

had only seen him twice; his family could nowhere be traced; he had

never been photographed; and the few who could describe him differed

widely, as common observers will. Only on one point, were they

agreed; and that was the haunting sense of unexpressed deformity

with which the fugitive impressed his beholders.

 

35)

 

 

 

                     INCIDENT OF THE LETTER

 

IT was late in the afternoon, when Mr. Utterson found his way to

Dr. Jekyll's door, where he was at once admitted by Poole, and

carried down by the kitchen offices and across a yard which had

once been a garden, to the building which was indifferently known

as the laboratory or the dissecting-rooms. The doctor had bought

the house from the heirs of a celebrated surgeon; and his own

tastes being rather chemical than anatomical, had changed the

destination of the block at the bottom of the garden. It was the

first time that the lawyer had been received in that part of his

friend's quarters; and he eyed the dingy, windowless structure with

curiosity, and gazed round with a distasteful sense of strangeness

as he crossed the theatre, once crowded with eager students and now

lying gaunt and silent, the tables laden with chemical apparatus,

the floor strewn with crates and littered with packing straw, and

the light falling dimly through the foggy cupola. At the further

end, a flight of stairs mounted to a door covered with red baize;

 

36)

 

and through this, Mr. Utterson was at last received into the

doctor's cabinet. It was a large room, fitted round with glass

presses, furnished, among other things, with a cheval-glass and a

business table, and looking out upon the court by three dusty

windows barred with iron. A fire burned in the grate; a lamp was

set lighted on the chimney shelf, for even in the houses the fog

began to lie thickly; and there, close up to the warmth, sat Dr.

Jekyll, looking deadly sick. He did not rise to meet his visitor,

but held out a cold hand and bade him welcome in a changed voice.

 

"And now," said Mr. Utterson, as soon as Poole had left them, "you

have heard the news?"

 

The doctor shuddered. "They were crying it in the square," he said.

"I heard them in my dining-room."

 

"One word," said the lawyer. "Carew was my client, but so are you,

and I want to know what I am doing. You have not been mad enough to

hide this fellow?"

 

"Utterson, I swear to God," cried the doctor, "I swear to God I

will never set eyes on him again. I bind my honour to you that I am

done with him in this world. It is all at an end. And indeed he does

not want my help; you do not know him as I do; he is safe, he is

quite safe; mark my words, he will never more be heard of."

 

 

The lawyer listened gloomily; he did not like his friend's feverish

manner. "You seem pretty

 

37)

 

sure of him," said he; "and for your sake, I hope you may be right.

If it came to a trial, your name might appear."

 

"I am quite sure of him," replied Jekyll; "I have grounds for

certainty that I cannot share with any one. But there is one thing

on which you may advise me. I have--I have received a letter; and

I am at a loss whether I should show it to the police. I should like

to leave it in your hands, Utterson; you would judge wisely, I am

sure; I have so great a trust in you."

 

"You fear, I suppose, that it might lead to his detection?" asked

the lawyer.

 

"No," said the other. "I cannot say that I care what becomes of

Hyde; I am quite done with him. I was thinking of my own character,

which this hateful business has rather exposed."

 

Utterson ruminated a while; he was surprised at his friend's

selfishness, and yet relieved by it. "Well," said he, at last, "let

me see the letter."

 

The letter was written in an odd, upright hand and signed "Edward

Hyde": and it signified, briefly enough, that the writer's

benefactor, Dr. Jekyll, whom he had long so unworthily repaid for a

thousand generosities, need labour under no alarm for his safety, as

he had means of escape on which he placed a sure dependence. The

lawyer liked this letter well enough; it put a better colour on the

intimacy than he had looked for; and he blamed himself for some of

his past suspicions.

 

38)

 

 

"Have you the envelope?" he asked.

 

"I burned it," replied Jekyll, "before I thought what I was about.

But it bore no postmark. The note was handed in."

 

"Shall I keep this and sleep upon it?" asked Utterson.

 

"I wish you to judge for me entirely," was the reply. "I have lost

confidence in myself."

 

"Well, I shall consider," returned the lawyer. "And now one word

more: it was Hyde who dictated the terms in your will about that

disappearance?"

 

The doctor seemed seized with a qualm of faintness: he shut his

mouth tight and nodded.

 

"I knew it," said Utterson. "He meant to murder you. You have had a

fine escape."

 

"I have had what is far more to the purpose," returned the doctor

solemnly: "I have had a lesson--O God, Utterson, what a lesson I

have had!" And he covered his face for a moment with his hands.

 

On his way out, the lawyer stopped and had a word or two with

Poole. "By the by," said he, "there was a letter handed in to-day:

what was the messenger like?" But Poole was positive nothing had

come except by post; "and only circulars by that," he added.

 

This news sent off the visitor with his fears renewed. Plainly the

letter had come by the laboratory door; possibly, indeed, it had

been

 

39)

 

written in the cabinet; and if that were so, it must be differently

judged, and handled with the more caution. The newsboys, as he went,

were crying themselves hoarse along the footways: "Special edition.

Shocking murder of an M. P." That was the funeral oration of one

friend and client; and he could not help a certain apprehension lest

the good name of another should be sucked down in the eddy of the

scandal. It was, at least, a ticklish decision that he had to make;

and self-reliant as he was by habit, he began to cherish a longing

for advice. It was not to be had directly; but perhaps, he thought,

it might be fished for.

 

Presently after, he sat on one side of his own hearth, with Mr.

Guest, his head clerk, upon the other, and midway between, at a

nicely calculated distance from the fire, a bottle of a particular

old wine that had long dwelt unsunned in the foundations of his

house. The fog still slept on the wing above the drowned city, where

the lamps glimmered like carbuncles; and through the muffle and

smother of these fallen clouds, the procession of the town's life

was still rolling in through the great arteries with a sound as of a

mighty wind. But the room was gay with firelight. In the bottle the

acids were long ago resolved; the imperial dye had softened with

time, As the colour grows richer in stained windows; and the glow of

hot autumn afternoons on hillside vineyards was ready to be set free

 

40)

 

and to disperse the fogs of London. Insensibly the lawyer melted.

There was no man from whom he kept fewer secrets than Mr. Guest;

and he was not always sure that he kept as many as he meant. Guest

had often been on business to the doctor's; he knew Poole; he could

scarce have failed to hear of Mr. Hyde's familiarity about the

house; he might draw conclusions: was it not as well, then, that he

should see a letter which put that mystery to rights? and above all

since Guest, being a great student and critic of handwriting, would

consider the step natural and obliging? The clerk, besides, was a

man of counsel; he would scarce read so strange a document without

dropping a remark; and by that remark Mr. Utterson might shape his

future course.

 

"This is a sad business about Sir Danvers," he said.

 

"Yes, sir, indeed. It has elicited a great deal of public feeling,"

returned Guest. "The man, of course, was mad."

 

"I should like to hear your views on that," replied Utterson. "I

have a document here in his handwriting; it is between ourselves,

for I scarce know what to do about it; it is an ugly business at

the best. But there it is; quite in your way a murderer's

autograph."

 

Guest's eyes brightened, and he sat down at once and studied it

with passion. "No, sir," he said: "not mad; but it is an odd hand."

 

41)

 

"And by all accounts a very odd writer," added the lawyer.

 

Just then the servant entered with a note.

 

"Is that from Dr. Jekyll, sir?" inquired the clerk. "I thought I

knew the writing. Anything private, Mr. Utterson?"

 

"Only an invitation to dinner. Why? Do you want to see it?"

 

"One moment. I thank you, sir"; and the clerk laid the two sheets

of paper alongside and sedulously compared their contents. "Thank

you, sir," he said at last, returning both; "it's a very

interesting autograph."

 

There was a pause, during which Mr. Utterson struggled with

himself. "Why did you compare them, Guest?" he inquired suddenly.

 

"Well, sir," returned the clerk, "there's a rather singular

resemblance; the two hands are in many points identical: only

differently sloped."

 

"Rather quaint," said Utterson.

 

"It is, as you say, rather quaint," returned Guest.

 

"I wouldn't speak of this note, you know," said the master.

 

"No, sir," said the clerk. "I understand."

 

But no sooner was Mr. Utterson alone that night than he locked the

note into his safe, where it reposed from that time forward.

"What!" he thought. "Henry Jekyll forge for a murderer!" And his

blood ran cold in his veins.

 

 

 

42)

 

 

 

                     REMARKABLE INCIDENT OF DR. LANYON

 

TIME ran on; thousands of pounds were offered in reward, for the

death of Sir Danvers was resented as a public injury; but Mr. Hyde

had disappeared out of the ken of the police as though he had never

existed. Much of his past was unearthed, indeed, and all

disreputable: tales came out of the man's cruelty, at once so

callous and violent; of his vile life, of his strange associates,

of the hatred that seemed to have surrounded his career; but of his

present whereabouts, not a whisper. From the time he had left the

house in Soho on the morning of the murder, he was simply blotted

out; and gradually, as time drew on, Mr. Utterson began to recover

from the hotness of his alarm, and to grow more at quiet with

himself. The death of Sir Danvers was, to his way of thinking, more

than paid for by the disappearance of Mr. Hyde. Now that that evil

influence had been withdrawn, a new life began for Dr. Jekyll. He

came out of his seclusion, renewed relations with his friends,

became once more their familiar guest

 

43)

 

and entertainer; and whilst he had always been, known for

charities, he was now no less distinguished for religion. He was

busy, he was much in the open air, he did good; his face seemed to

open and brighten, as if with an inward consciousness of service;

and for more than two months, the doctor was at peace.

 

On the 8th of January Utterson had dined at the doctor's with a

small party; Lanyon had been there; and the face of the host had

looked from one to the other as in the old days when the trio were

inseparable friends. On the 12th, and again on the 14th, the door

was shut against the lawyer. "The doctor was confined to the

house," Poole said, "and saw no one." On the 15th, he tried again,

and was again refused; and having now been used for the last two

months to see his friend almost daily, he found this return of

solitude to weigh upon his spirits. The fifth night he had in Guest

to dine with him; and the sixth he betook himself to Dr. Lanyon's.

 

There at least he was not denied admittance; but when he came in,

he was shocked at the change which had taken place in the doctor's

appearance. He had his death-warrant written legibly upon his face.

The rosy man had grown pale; his flesh had fallen away; he was

visibly balder and older; and yet it was not so much, these tokens

of a swift physical decay that arrested the lawyer's notice, as a

look in the eye and quality of manner that seemed to testify to

 

44)

 

some deep-seated terror of the mind. It was unlikely that the

doctor should fear death; and yet that was what Utterson was

tempted to suspect. "Yes," he thought; "he is a doctor, he must

know his own state and that his days are counted; and the knowledge

is more than he can bear." And yet when Utterson remarked on his

ill-looks, it was with an air of greatness that Lanyon declared

himself a doomed man.

 

"I have had a shock," he said, "and I shall never recover. It is a

question of weeks. Well, life has been pleasant; I liked it; yes,

sir, I used to like it. I sometimes think if we knew all, we should

be more glad to get away."

 

"Jekyll is ill, too," observed Utterson. "Have you seen him?"

 

But Lanyon's face changed, and he held up a trembling hand. "I wish

to see or hear no more of Dr. Jekyll," he said in a loud, unsteady

voice. "I am quite done with that person; and I beg that you will

spare me any allusion to one whom I regard as dead."

 

"Tut-tut," said Mr. Utterson; and then after a considerable pause,

"Can't I do anything?" he inquired. "We are three very old friends,

Lanyon; we shall not live to make others."

 

"Nothing can be done," returned Lanyon; "ask himself."

 

"He will not see me," said the lawyer.

 

"I am not surprised at that," was the reply. "Some day, Utterson,

after I am dead, you may

 

45)

 

perhaps come to learn the right and wrong of this. I cannot tell

you. And in the meantime, if you can sit and talk with me of other

things, for God's sake, stay and do so; but if you cannot keep clear

of this accursed topic, then, in God's name, go, for I cannot bear

it."

 

As soon as he got home, Utterson sat down and wrote to Jekyll,

complaining of his exclusion from the house, and asking the cause

of this unhappy break with Lanyon; and the next day brought him a

long answer, often very pathetically worded, and sometimes darkly

mysterious in drift. The quarrel with Lanyon was incurable. "I do

not blame our old friend," Jekyll wrote, "but I share his view

that we must never meet. I mean from henceforth to lead a life of

extreme seclusion; you must not be surprised, nor must you doubt

my friendship, if my door is often shut even to you. You must

suffer me to go my own dark way. I have brought on myself a

punishment and a danger that I cannot name. If I am the chief of

sinners, I am the chief of sufferers also. I could not think that

this earth contained a place for sufferings and terrors so

unmanning; and you can do but one thing, Utterson, to lighten

this destiny, and that is to respect my silence." Utterson was

amazed; the dark influence of Hyde had been withdrawn, the doctor

had returned to his old tasks and amities; a week ago, the

prospect had smiled with every promise of a cheerful and an

honoured age;

 

46)

 

and now in a moment, friendship, and peace of mind, and the whole

tenor of his life were wrecked. So great and unprepared a change

pointed to madness; but in view of Lanyon's manner and words,

there must lie for it some deeper ground.

 

A week afterwards Dr. Lanyon took to his bed, and in something

less than a fortnight he was dead. The night after the funeral,

at which he had been sadly affected, Utterson locked the door of

his business room, and sitting there by the light of a melancholy

candle, drew out and set before him an envelope addressed by the

hand and sealed with the seal of his dead friend. "PRIVATE: for

the hands of G. J. Utterson ALONE and in case of his predecease

to be destroyed unread," so it was emphatically superscribed; and

the lawyer dreaded to behold the contents. "I have buried one

friend to-day," he thought: "what if this should cost me

another?" And then he condemned the fear as a disloyalty, and

broke the seal. Within there was another enclosure, likewise

sealed, and marked upon the cover as "not to be opened till the

death or disappearance of Dr. Henry Jekyll." Utterson could not

trust his eyes. Yes, it was disappearance; here again, as in the

mad will which he had long ago restored to its author, here again

were the idea of a disappearance and the name of Henry Jekyll

bracketed. But in the will, that idea had sprung from the

sinister suggestion of

 

47)

 

the man Hyde; it was set there with a purpose all too plain and

horrible. Written by the hand of Lanyon, what should it mean? A

great curiosity came on the trustee, to disregard the prohibition

and dive at once to the bottom of these mysteries; but

professional honour and faith to his dead friend were stringent

obligations; and the packet slept in the inmost corner of his

private safe.

 

It is one thing to mortify curiosity, another to conquer it; and

it may be doubted if, from that day forth, Utterson desired the

society of his surviving friend with the same eagerness. He

thought of him kindly; but his thoughts were disquieted and

fearful. He went to call indeed; but he was perhaps relieved to

be denied admittance; perhaps, in his heart, he preferred to

speak with Poole upon the doorstep and surrounded by the air and

sounds of the open city, rather than to be admitted into that

house of voluntary bondage, and to sit and speak with its

inscrutable recluse. Poole had, indeed, no very pleasant news to

communicate. The doctor, it appeared, now more than ever confined

himself to the cabinet over the laboratory, where he would

sometimes even sleep; he was out of spirits, he had grown very

silent, he did not read; it seemed as if he had something on his

mind. Utterson became so used to the unvarying character of these

reports, that he fell off little by little in the frequency of

his visits.

 

48)

 

 

 

                      INCIDENT AT THE WINDOW

 

IT chanced on Sunday, when Mr. Utterson was on his usual walk

with Mr. Enfield, that their way lay once again through the

by-street; and that when they came in front of the door, both

stopped to gaze on it.

 

"Well," said Enfield, "that story's at an end at least. We shall

never see more of Mr. Hyde."

 

"I hope not," said Utterson. "Did I ever tell you that I once saw

him, and shared your feeling of repulsion?"

 

"It was impossible to do the one without the other," returned

Enfield. "And by the way, what an ass you must have thought me,

not to know that this was a back way to Dr. Jekyll's! It was

partly your own fault that I found it out, even when I did."

 

"So you found it out, did you?" said Utterson. "But if that be

so, we may step into the court and take a look at the windows. To

tell you the truth, I am uneasy about poor Jekyll; and even

outside, I feel as if the presence of a friend might do him

good."

 

49)

 

The court was very cool and a little damp, and full of premature

twilight, although the sky, high up overhead, was still bright

with sunset. The middle one of the three windows was half-way

open; and sitting close beside it, taking the air with an

infinite sadness of mien, like some disconsolate prisoner,

Utterson saw Dr. Jekyll.

 

"What! Jekyll!" he cried. "I trust you are better."

 

"I am very low, Utterson," replied the doctor, drearily, "very

low. It will not last long, thank God."

 

"You stay too much indoors," said the lawyer. "You should be out,

whipping up the circulation like Mr. Enfield and me. (This is my

cousin--Mr. Enfield--Dr. Jekyll.) Come, now; get your hat and

take a quick turn with us."

 

"You are very good," sighed the other. "I should like to very

much; but no, no, no, it is quite impossible; I dare not. But

indeed, Utterson, I am very glad to see you; this is really a

great pleasure; I would ask you and Mr. Enfield up, but the place

is really not fit."

 

"Why then," said the lawyer, good-naturedly, "the best thing we

can do is to stay down here and speak with you from where we

are."

 

"That is just what I was about to venture to propose," returned

the doctor with a smile. But the words were hardly uttered,

before the smile was struck out of his face and succeeded

 

50)

 

by an expression of such abject terror and despair, as froze the

very blood of the two gentlemen below. They saw it but for a

glimpse, for the window was instantly thrust down; but that

glimpse had been sufficient, and they turned and left the court

without a word. In silence, too, they traversed the by-street;

and it was not until they had come into a neighbouring

thoroughfare, where even upon a Sunday there were still some

stirrings of life, that Mr. Utterson at last turned and looked at

his companion. They were both pale; and there was an answering

horror in their eyes.

 

"God forgive us, God forgive us," said Mr. Utterson.

 

But Mr. Enfield only nodded his head very seriously and walked on

once more in silence.

 

51)

 

 

 

                             THE LAST NIGHT

 

MR. UTTERSON was sitting by his fireside one evening after

dinner, when he was surprised to receive a visit from Poole.

 

"Bless me, Poole, what brings you here?" he cried; and then

taking a second look at him, "What ails you?" he added; "is the

doctor ill?"

 

"Mr. Utterson," said the man, "there is something wrong."

 

 

"Take a seat, and here is a glass of wine for you," said the

lawyer. "Now, take your time, and tell me plainly what you want."

 

"You know the doctor's ways, sir," replied Poole, "and how he

shuts himself up. Well, he's shut up again in the cabinet; and I

don't like it, sir--I wish I may die if I like it. Mr. Utterson,

sir, I'm afraid."

 

"Now, my good man," said the lawyer, "be explicit. What are you

afraid of?"

 

"I've been afraid for about a week," returned Poole, doggedly

disregarding the question, "and I can bear it no more."

 

The man's appearance amply bore out his

 

52)

 

words; his manner was altered for the worse; and except for the

moment when he had first announced his terror, he had not once

looked the lawyer in the face. Even now, he sat with the glass of

wine untasted on his knee, and his eyes directed to a corner of

the floor. "I can bear it no more," he repeated.

 

"Come," said the lawyer, "I see you have some good reason, Poole;

I see there is something seriously amiss. Try to tell me what it

is."

 

"I think there's been foul play," said Poole, hoarsely.

 

 

"Foul play!" cried the lawyer, a good deal frightened and rather

inclined to be irritated in consequence. "What foul play? What

does the man mean?"

 

"I daren't say, sir," was the answer; "but will you come along

with me and see for yourself?"

 

Mr. Utterson's only answer was to rise and get his hat and

great-coat; but he observed with wonder the greatness of the

relief that appeared upon the butler's face, and perhaps with no

less, that the wine was still untasted when he set it down to

follow.

 

It was a wild, cold, seasonable night of March, with a pale moon,

lying on her back as though the wind had tilted her, and a flying

wrack of the most diaphanous and lawny texture. The wind made

talking difficult, and flecked the blood into the face. It seemed

to have swept the

 

53)

 

streets unusually bare of passengers, besides; for Mr. Utterson

thought he had never seen that part of London so deserted. He

could have wished it otherwise; never in his life had he been

conscious of so sharp a wish to see and touch his

fellow-creatures; for struggle as he might, there was borne in

upon his mind a crushing anticipation of calamity. The square,

when they got there, was all full of wind and dust, and the thin

trees in the garden were lashing themselves along the railing.

Poole, who had kept all the way a pace or two ahead, now pulled

up in the middle of the pavement, and in spite of the biting

weather, took off his hat and mopped his brow with a red

pocket-handkerchief. But for all the hurry of his cowing, these

were not the dews of exertion that he wiped away, but the

moisture of some strangling anguish; for his face was white and

his voice, when he spoke, harsh and broken.

 

"Well, sir," he said, "here we are, and God grant there be

nothing wrong."

 

"Amen, Poole," said the lawyer.

 

Thereupon the servant knocked in a very guarded manner; the door

was opened on the chain; and a voice asked from within, "Is that

you, Poole?"

 

"It's all right," said Poole. "Open the door." The hall, when

they entered it, was brightly lighted up; the fire was built

high; and about the hearth the whole of the servants, men and

 

54)

 

women, stood huddled together like a flock of sheep. At the sight

of Mr. Utterson, the housemaid broke into hysterical whimpering;

and the cook, crying out, "Bless God! it's Mr. Utterson," ran

forward as if to take him in her arms.

 

"What, what? Are you all here?" said the lawyer peevishly. "Very

irregular, very unseemly; your master would be far from pleased."

 

"They're all afraid," said Poole.

 

Blank silence followed, no one protesting; only the maid lifted

up her voice and now wept loudly.

 

"Hold your tongue!" Poole said to her, with a ferocity of accent

that testified to his own jangled nerves; and indeed, when the

girl had so suddenly raised the note of her lamentation, they had

all started and turned toward the inner door with faces of

dreadful expectation. "And now," continued the butler, addressing

the knife-boy, "reach me a candle, and we'll get this through

hands at once." And then he begged Mr. Utterson to follow him,

and led the way to the back-garden.

 

"Now, sir," said he, "you come as gently as you can. I want you

to hear, and I don't want you to be heard. And see here, sir, if

by any chance he was to ask you in, don't go."

 

Mr. Utterson's nerves, at this unlooked-for termination, gave a

jerk that nearly threw him from his balance; but he re-collected

his courage

 

55)

 

and followed the butler into the laboratory building and through

the surgical theatre, with its lumber of crates and bottles, to

the foot of the stair. Here Poole motioned him to stand on one

side and listen; while he himself, setting down the candle and

making a great and obvious call on his resolution, mounted the

steps and knocked with a somewhat uncertain hand on the red baize

of the cabinet door.

 

"Mr. Utterson, sir, asking to see you," he called; and even as he

did so, once more violently signed to the lawyer to give ear.

 

A voice answered from within: "Tell him I cannot see any one," it

said complainingly.

 

"Thank you, sir," said Poole, with a note of something like

triumph in his voice; and taking up his candle, he led Mr.

Utterson back across the yard and into the great kitchen, where

the fire was out and the beetles were leaping on the floor.

 

"Sir," he said, looking Mr. Utterson in the eyes, "was that my

master's voice?"

 

"It seems much changed," replied the lawyer, very pale, but

giving look for look.

 

"Changed? Well, yes, I think so," said the butler. "Have I been

twenty years in this man's house, to be deceived about his voice?

No, sir; master's made away with; he was made, away with eight

days ago, when we heard him cry out upon the name of God; and

who's in there instead of him, and why it stays there, is a thing

that cries to Heaven, Mr. Utterson!"

 

56)

 

"This is a very strange tale, Poole; this is rather a wild tale,

my man," said Mr. Utterson, biting his finger. "Suppose it were

as you suppose, supposing Dr. Jekyll to have been--well,

murdered, what could induce the murderer to stay? That won't hold

water; it doesn't commend itself to reason."

 

"Well, Mr. Utterson, you are a hard man to satisfy, but I'll do

it yet," said Poole. "All this last week (you must know) him, or

it, or whatever it is that lives in that cabinet, has been crying

night and day for some sort of medicine and cannot get it to his

mind. It was sometimes his way--the master's, that is--to

write his orders on a sheet of paper and throw it on the stair.

We've had nothing else this week back; nothing but papers, and a

closed door, and the very meals left there to be smuggled in when

nobody was looking. Well, sir, every day, ay, and twice and

thrice in the same day, there have been orders and complaints,

and I have been sent flying to all the wholesale chemists in

town. Every time I brought the stuff back, there would be another

paper telling me to return it, because it was not pure, and

another order to a different firm. This drug is wanted bitter

bad, sir, whatever for."

 

"Have you any of these papers?" asked Mr. Utterson.

 

Poole felt in his pocket and handed out a crumpled note, which

the lawyer, bending nearer

 

57)

 

to the candle, carefully examined. Its contents ran thus: "Dr.

Jekyll presents his compliments to Messrs. Maw. He assures them

that their last sample is impure and quite useless for his

present purpose. In the year 18---, Dr. J. purchased a somewhat

large quantity from Messrs. M. He now begs them to search with

the most sedulous care, and should any of the same quality be

left, to forward it to him at once. Expense is no consideration.

The importance of this to Dr. J. can hardly be exaggerated." So

far the letter had run composedly enough, but here with a sudden

splutter of the pen, the writer's emotion had broken loose. "For

God's sake," he had added, "find me some of the old."

 

"This is a strange note," said Mr. Utterson; and then sharply,

"How do you come to have it open?"

 

"The man at Maw's was main angry, sir, and he threw it back to me

like so much dirt," returned Poole.

 

"This is unquestionably the doctor's hand, do you know?" resumed

the lawyer.

 

"I thought it looked like it," said the servant rather sulkily;

and then, with another voice, "But what matters hand-of-write?"

he said. "I've seen him!"

 

"Seen him?" repeated Mr. Utterson. "Well?"

 

"That's it!" said Poole. "It was this way. I came suddenly into

the theatre from the

 

58)

 

garden. It seems he had slipped out to look for this drug or

whatever it is; for the cabinet door was open, and there he was

at the far end of the room digging among the crates. He looked up

when I came in, gave a kind of cry, and whipped up-stairs into

the cabinet. It was but for one minute that I saw him, but the

hair stood upon my head like quills. Sir, if that was my master,

why had he a mask upon his face? If it was my master, why did he

cry out like a rat, and run from me? I have served him long

enough. And then..." The man paused and passed his hand over his

face.

 

"These are all very strange circumstances," said Mr. Utterson,

"but I think I begin to see daylight. Your master, Poole, is

plainly seized with one of those maladies that both torture and

deform the sufferer; hence, for aught I know, the alteration of

his voice; hence the mask and the avoidance of his friends; hence

his eagerness to find this drug, by means of which the poor soul

retains some hope of ultimate recovery--God grant that he be

not deceived! There is my explanation; it is sad enough, Poole,

ay, and appalling to consider; but it is plain and natural, hangs

well together, and delivers us from all exorbitant alarms."

 

"Sir," said the butler, turning to a sort of mottled pallor,

"that thing was not my master, and there's the truth. My master"

here he looked round him and began to whisper--"is

 

59)

 

a tall, fine build of a man, and this was more of a dwarf."

Utterson attempted to protest. "O, sir," cried Poole, "do you

think I do not know my master after twenty years? Do you think I

do not know where his head comes to in the cabinet door, where I

saw him every morning of my life? No, Sir, that thing in the mask

was never Dr. Jekyll--God knows what it was, but it was never

Dr. Jekyll; and it is the belief of my heart that there was

murder done."

 

"Poole," replied the lawyer, "if you say that, it will become my

duty to make certain. Much as I desire to spare your master's

feelings, much as I am puzzled by this note which seems to prove

him to be still alive, I shall consider it my duty to break in

that door."

 

"Ah Mr. Utterson, that's talking!" cried the butler.

 

"And now comes the second question," resumed Utterson: "Who is

going to do it?"

 

"Why, you and me," was the undaunted reply.

 

"That's very well said," returned the lawyer; "and whatever comes

of it, I shall make it my business to see you are no loser."

 

"There is an axe in the theatre," continued Poole; "and you might

take the kitchen poker for yourself."

 

The lawyer took that rude but weighty instrument into his hand,

and balanced it. "Do you know, Poole," he said, looking up, "that

 

60)

 

you and I are about to place ourselves in a position of some

peril?"

 

"You may say so, sir, indeed," returned the butler.

 

"It is well, then, that we should be frank," said the other. "We

both think more than we have said; let us make a clean breast.

This masked figure that you saw, did you recognise it?"

 

"Well, sir, it went so quick, and the creature was so doubled up,

that I could hardly swear to that," was the answer. "But if you

mean, was it Mr. Hyde?--why, yes, I think it was! You see, it

was much of the same bigness; and it had the same quick, light

way with it; and then who else could have got in by the

laboratory door? You have not forgot, sir that at the time of the

murder he had still the key with him? But that's not all. I don't

know, Mr. Utterson, if ever you met this Mr. Hyde?"

 

"Yes," said the lawyer, "I once spoke with him."

 

"Then you must know as well as the rest of us that there was

something queer about that gentleman--something that gave a man

a turn--I don't know rightly how to say it, sir, beyond this:

that you felt it in your marrow kind of cold and thin."

 

"I own I felt something of what you describe," said Mr. Utterson.

 

"Quite so, sir," returned Poole. "Well, when

 

61)

 

that masked thing like a monkey jumped from among the chemicals

and whipped into the cabinet, it went down my spine like ice. Oh,

I know it's not evidence, Mr. Utterson. I'm book-learned enough

for that; but a man has his feelings, and I give you my

Bible-word it was Mr. Hyde!"

 

"Ay, ay," said the lawyer. "My fears incline to the same point.

Evil, I fear, founded--evil was sure to come--of that

connection. Ay, truly, I believe you; I believe poor Harry is

killed; and I believe his murderer (for what purpose, God alone

can tell) is still lurking in his victim's room. Well, let our

name be vengeance. Call Bradshaw."

 

The footman came at the summons, very white and nervous.

 

 

"Pull yourself together, Bradshaw," said the lawyer. "This

suspense, I know, is telling upon all of you; but it is now our

intention to make an end of it. Poole, here, and I are going to

force our way into the cabinet. If all is well, my shoulders are

broad enough to bear the blame. Meanwhile, lest anything should

really be amiss, or any malefactor seek to escape by the back,

you and the boy must go round the corner with a pair of good

sticks and take your post at the laboratory door. We give you ten

minutes to get to your stations."

 

As Bradshaw left, the lawyer looked at his watch. "And now,

Poole, let us get to ours,"

 

62)

 

he said; and taking the poker under his arm, led the way into the

yard. The scud had banked over the moon, and it was now quite

dark. The wind, which only broke in puffs and draughts into that

deep well of building, tossed the light of the candle to and fro

about their steps, until they came into the shelter of the

theatre, where they sat down silently to wait. London hummed

solemnly all around; but nearer at hand, the stillness was only

broken by the sounds of a footfall moving to and fro along the

cabinet floor.

 

"So it will walk all day, sir," whispered Poole; "ay, and the

better part of the night. Only when a new sample comes from the

chemist, there's a bit of a break. Ah, it's an ill conscience

that's such an enemy to rest! Ah, sir, there's blood foully shed

in every step of it! But hark again, a little closer--put your

heart in your ears, Mr. Utterson, and tell me, is that the

doctor's foot?"

 

The steps fell lightly and oddly, with a certain swing, for all

they went so slowly; it was different indeed from the heavy

creaking tread of Henry Jekyll. Utterson sighed. "Is there never

anything else?" he asked.

 

Poole nodded. "Once," he said. "Once I heard it weeping!"

 

"Weeping? how that?" said the lawyer, conscious of a sudden chill

of horror.

 

"Weeping like a woman or a lost soul," said

 

63)

 

the butler. "I came away with that upon my heart, that I could

have wept too."

 

But now the ten minutes drew to an end. Poole disinterred the axe

from under a stack of packing straw; the candle was set upon the

nearest table to light them to the attack; and they drew near

with bated breath to where that patient foot was still going up

and down, up and down, in the quiet of the night.

 

"Jekyll," cried Utterson, with a loud voice, "I demand to see

you." He paused a moment, but there came no reply. "I give you

fair warning, our suspicions are aroused, and I must and shall

see you," he resumed; "if not by fair means, then by foul! if not

of your consent, then by brute force!"

 

"Utterson," said the voice, "for God's sake, have mercy!"

 

 

"Ah, that's not Jekyll's voice--it's Hyde's!" cried Utterson.

"Down with the door, Poole!"

 

Poole swung the axe over his shoulder; the blow shook the

building, and the red baize door leaped against the lock and

hinges. A dismal screech, as of mere animal terror, rang from the

cabinet. Up went the axe again, and again the panels crashed and

the frame bounded; four times the blow fell; but the wood was

tough and the fittings were of excellent workmanship; and it was

not until the fifth, that the lock burst in sunder and the wreck

of the door fell inwards on the carpet.

 

64)

 

 

The besiegers, appalled by their own riot and the stillness that

had succeeded, stood back a little and peered in. There lay the

cabinet before their eyes in the quiet lamplight, a good fire

glowing and chattering on the hearth, the kettle singing its thin

strain, a drawer or two open, papers neatly set forth on the

business-table, and nearer the fire, the things laid out for tea:

the quietest room, you would have said, and, but for the glazed

presses full of chemicals, the most commonplace that night in

London.

 

Right in the midst there lay the body of a man sorely contorted

and still twitching. They drew near on tiptoe, turned it on its

back and beheld the face of Edward Hyde. He was dressed in

clothes far too large for him, clothes of the doctor's bigness;

the cords of his face still moved with a semblance of life, but

life was quite gone; and by the crushed phial in the hand and the

strong smell of kernels that hung upon the air, Utterson knew

that he was looking on the body of a self-destroyer.

 

"We have come too late," he said sternly, "whether to save or

punish. Hyde is gone to his account; and it only remains for us

to find the body of your master."

 

The far greater proportion of the building was occupied by the

theatre, which filled almost the whole ground story and was

lighted from above, and by the cabinet, which formed an upper

story at one end and looked upon the

 

65)

 

court. A corridor joined the theatre to the door on the

by-street; and with this the cabinet communicated separately by a

second flight of stairs. There were besides a few dark closets

and a spacious cellar. All these they now thoroughly examined.

Each closet needed but a glance, for all were empty, and all, by

the dust that fell from their doors, had stood long unopened. The

cellar, indeed, was filled with crazy lumber, mostly dating from

the times of the surgeon who was Jekyll's predecessor; but even

as they opened the door they were advertised of the uselessness

of further search, by the fall of a perfect mat of cobweb which

had for years sealed up the entrance. Nowhere was there any trace

of Henry Jekyll, dead or alive.

 

Poole stamped on the flags of the corridor. "He must be buried

here," he said, hearkening to the sound.

 

"Or he may have fled," said Utterson, and he turned to examine

the door in the by-street. It was locked; and lying near by on

the flags, they found the key, already stained with rust.

 

"This does not look like use," observed the lawyer.

 

"Use!" echoed Poole. "Do you not see, sir, it is broken? much as

if a man had stamped on it."

 

"Ay," continued Utterson, "and the fractures, too, are rusty."

The two men looked at each other with a scare. "This is beyond

me,

 

66)

 

Poole," said the lawyer. "Let us go back to the cabinet."

 

They mounted the stair in silence, and still with an occasional

awe-struck glance at the dead body, proceeded more thoroughly to

examine the contents of the cabinet. At one table, there were

traces of chemical work, various measured heaps of some white

salt being laid on glass saucers, as though for an experiment in

which the unhappy man had been prevented.

 

"That is the same drug that I was always bringing him," said

Poole; and even as he spoke, the kettle with a startling noise

boiled over.

 

This brought them to the fireside, where the easy-chair was drawn

cosily up, and the tea-things stood ready to the sitter's elbow,

the very sugar in the cup. There were several books on a shelf;

one lay beside the tea-things open, and Utterson was amazed to

find it a copy of a pious work, for which Jekyll had several

times expressed a great esteem, annotated, in his own hand, with

startling blasphemies.

 

Next, in the course of their review of the chamber, the searchers

came to the cheval glass, into whose depths they looked with an

involuntary horror. But it was so turned as to show them nothing

but the rosy glow playing on the roof, the fire sparkling in a

hundred repetitions along the glazed front of the presses, and

their own pale and fearful countenances stooping to look in.

 

67)

 

"This glass have seen some strange things, sir," whispered Poole.

 

"And surely none stranger than itself," echoed the lawyer in the

same tones. "For what did Jekyll"--he caught himself up at the

word with a start, and then conquering the weakness--"what

could Jekyll want with it?" he said.

 

"You may say that!" said Poole. Next they turned to the

business-table. On the desk among the neat array of papers, a

large envelope was uppermost, and bore, in the doctor's hand, the

name of Mr. Utterson. The lawyer unsealed it, and several

enclosures fell to the floor. The first was a will, drawn in the

same eccentric terms as the one which he had returned six months

before, to serve as a testament in case of death and as a deed of

gift in case of disappearance; but, in place of the name of

Edward Hyde, the lawyer, with indescribable amazement, read the

name of Gabriel John Utterson. He looked at Poole, and then back

at the paper, and last of all at the dead malefactor stretched

upon the carpet.

 

"My head goes round," he said. "He has been all these days in

possession; he had no cause to like me; he must have raged to see

himself displaced; and he has not destroyed this document."

 

He caught up the next paper; it was a brief note in the doctor's

hand and dated at the top.

 

68)

 

"O Poole!" the lawyer cried, "he was alive and here this day. He

cannot have been disposed of in so short a space, he must be

still alive, he must have fled! And then, why fled? and how? and

in that case, can we venture to declare this suicide? Oh, we must

be careful. I foresee that we may yet involve your master in some

dire catastrophe."

 

"Why don't you read it, sir?" asked Poole.

 

"Because I fear," replied the lawyer solemnly. "God grant I have

no cause for it!" And with that he brought the paper to his eyes

and read as follows:

 

 

"MY DEAR UTTERSON,--When this shall fall into your hands, I

shall have disappeared, under what circumstances I have not the

penetration to foresee, but my instinct and all the circumstances

of my nameless situation tell me that the end is sure and must be

early. Go then, and first read the narrative which Lanyon warned

me he was to place in your hands; and if you care to hear more,

turn to the confession of

 

                  "Your unworthy and unhappy friend,

                                        "HENRY JEKYLL."

 

 

"There was a third enclosure?" asked Utterson.

 

"Here, sir," said Poole, and gave into his hands a considerable

packet sealed in several places.

 

69)

 

The lawyer put it in his pocket. "I would say nothing of this

paper. If your master has fled or is dead, we may at least save

his credit. It is now ten; I must go home and read these

documents in quiet; but I shall be back before midnight, when we

shall send for the police."

 

They went out, locking the door of the theatre behind them; and

Utterson, once more leaving the servants gathered about the fire

in the hall, trudged back to his office to read the two

narratives in which this mystery was now to be explained.

 

70)

 

 

 

                          DR. LANYON'S NARRATIVE

 

ON the ninth of January, now four days ago, I received by the

evening delivery a registered envelope, addressed in the hand of

my colleague and old school-companion, Henry Jekyll. I was a good

deal surprised by this; for we were by no means in the habit of

correspondence; I had seen the man, dined with him, indeed, the

night before; and I could imagine nothing in our intercourse that

should justify formality of registration. The contents increased

my wonder; for this is how the letter ran:

 

                                 "10th December, 18---

 

"DEAR LANYON, You are one of my oldest friends; and although we

may have differed at times on scientific questions, I cannot

remember, at least on my side, any break in our affection. There

was never a day when, if you had said to me, 'Jekyll, my life, my

honour, my reason, depend upon you,' I would not have sacrificed

my left hand to help you. Lanyon, my life, my honour my reason,

are all at your mercy;

 

71)

 

if you fail me to-night I am lost. You might suppose, after this

preface, that I am going to ask you for something dishonourable

to grant. Judge for yourself.

 

"I want you to postpone all other engagements for to-night--ay,

even if you were summoned to the bedside of an emperor; to take a

cab, unless your carriage should be actually at the door; and

with this letter in your hand for consultation, to drive straight

to my house. Poole, my butler, has his orders; you will find, him

waiting your arrival with a locksmith. The door of my cabinet is

then to be forced: and you are to go in alone; to open the glazed

press (letter E) on the left hand, breaking the lock if it be

shut; and to draw out, with all its contents as they stand, the

fourth drawer from the top or (which is the same thing) the third

from the bottom. In my extreme distress of wind, I have a morbid

fear of misdirecting you; but even if I am in error, you may know

the right drawer by its contents: some powders, a phial and a

paper book. This drawer I beg of you to carry back with you to

Cavendish Square exactly as it stands.

 

"That is the first part of the service: now for the second. You

should be back, if you set out at once on the receipt of this,

long before midnight; but I will leave you that amount of margin,

not only in the fear of one of those obstacles that can neither

be prevented nor fore-

 

72)

 

seen, but because an hour when your servants are in bed is to be

preferred for what will then remain to do. At midnight, then, I

have to ask you to be alone in your consulting-room, to admit

with your own hand into the house a man who will present himself

in my name, and to place in his hands the drawer that you will

have brought with you from my cabinet. Then you will have played

your part and earned my gratitude completely. Five minutes

afterwards, if you insist upon an explanation, you will have

understood that these arrangements are of capital importance; and

that by the neglect of one of them, fantastic as they must

appear, you might have charged your conscience with my death or

the shipwreck of my reason.

 

"Confident as I am that you will not trifle with this appeal, my

heart sinks and my hand trembles at the bare thought of such a

possibility. Think of me at this hour, in a strange place,

labouring under a blackness of distress that no fancy can

exaggerate, and yet well aware that, if you will but punctually

serve me, my troubles will roll away like a story that is told.

Serve me, my dear Lanyon, and save

                                       "Your friend,

 

                                            "H. J.

 

"P. S. I had already sealed this up when a fresh terror struck

upon my soul. It is possible that the postoffice may fail me, and

this letter

 

73)

 

not come into your hands until to-morrow morning. In that case,

dear Lanyon, do my errand when it shall be most convenient for

you in the course of the day; and once more expect my messenger

at midnight. It may then already be too late; and if that night

passes without event, you will know that you have seen the last

of Henry Jekyll."

 

 

Upon the reading of this letter, I made sure my colleague was

insane; but till that was proved beyond the possibility of doubt,

I felt bound to do as he requested. The less I understood of this

farrago, the less I was in a position to judge of its importance;

and an appeal so worded could not be set aside without a grave

responsibility. I rose accordingly from table, got into a hansom,

and drove straight to Jekyll's house. The butler was awaiting my

arrival; he had received by the same post as mine a registered

letter of instruction, and had sent at once for a locksmith and a

carpenter. The tradesmen came while we were yet speaking; and we

moved in a body to old Dr. Denman's surgical theatre, from which

(as you are doubtless aware) Jekyll's private cabinet is most

conveniently entered. The door was very strong, the lock

excellent; the carpenter avowed he would have great trouble and

have to do much damage, if force were to be used; and the

locksmith was near despair. But this last was a handy fellow,

 

74)

 

and after two hours' work, the door stood open. The press marked

E was unlocked; and I took out the drawer, had it filled up with

straw and tied in a sheet, and returned with it to Cavendish

Square.

 

Here I proceeded to examine its contents. The powders were neatly

enough made up, but not with the nicety of the dispensing

chemist; so that it was plain they were of Jekyll's private

manufacture; and when I opened one of the wrappers I found what

seemed to me a simple crystalline salt of a white colour. The

phial, to which I next turned my attention, might have been about

half-full of a blood-red liquor, which was highly pungent to the

sense of smell and seemed to me to contain phosphorus and some

volatile ether. At the other ingredients I could make no guess.

The book was an ordinary version-book and contained little but a

series of dates. These covered a period of many years, but I

observed that the entries ceased nearly a year ago and quite

abruptly. Here and there a brief remark was appended to a date,

usually no more than a single word: "double" occurring perhaps

six times in a total of several hundred entries; and once very

early in the list and followed by several marks of exclamation,

"total failure!!!" All this, though it whetted my curiosity, told

me little that was definite. Here were a phial of some tincture,

a paper of some salt, and the record of a series of experi-

 

75)

 

ments that had led (like too many of Jekyll's investigations) to

no end of practical usefulness. How could the presence of these

articles in my house affect either the honour, the sanity, or the

life of my flighty colleague? If his messenger could go to one

place, why could he not go to another? And even granting some

impediment, why was this gentleman to be received by me in

secret? The more I reflected the more convinced I grew that I was

dealing with a case of cerebral disease: and though I dismissed

my servants to bed, I loaded an old revolver, that I might be

found in some posture of self-defence.

 

Twelve o'clock had scarce rung out over London, ere the knocker

sounded very gently on the door. I went myself at the summons,

and found a small man crouching against the pillars of the

portico.

 

"Are you come from Dr. Jekyll?" I asked.

 

He told me "yes" by a constrained gesture; and when I had bidden

him enter, he did not obey me without a searching backward glance

into the darkness of the square. There was a policeman not far

off, advancing with his bull's eye open; and at the sight, I

thought my visitor started and made greater haste.

 

These particulars struck me, I confess, disagreeably; and as I

followed him into the bright light of the consulting-room, I kept

my hand ready on my weapon. Here, at last, I had a

 

76)

 

chance of clearly seeing him. I had never set eyes on him before,

so much was certain. He was small, as I have said; I was struck

besides with the shocking expression of his face, with his

remarkable combination of great muscular activity and great

apparent debility of constitution, and--last but not least--

with the odd, subjective disturbance caused by his neighbourhood.

This bore some resemblance to incipient rigour, and was

accompanied by a marked sinking of the pulse. At the time, I set

it down to some idiosyncratic, personal distaste, and merely

wondered at the acuteness of the symptoms; but I have since had

reason to believe the cause to lie much deeper in the nature of

man, and to turn on some nobler hinge than the principle of

hatred.

 

This person (who had thus, from the first moment of his entrance,

struck in me what I can only describe as a disgustful curiosity)

was dressed in a fashion that would have made an ordinary person

laughable; his clothes, that is to say, although they were of

rich and sober fabric, were enormously too large for him in every

measurement--the trousers hanging on his legs and rolled up to

keep them from the ground, the waist of the coat below his

haunches, and the collar sprawling wide upon his shoulders.

Strange to relate, this ludicrous accoutrement was far from

moving me to laughter. Rather, as there was something abnormal

and misbe-

 

77)

 

gotten in the very essence of the creature that now faced me--

something seizing, surprising, and revolting--this fresh

disparity seemed but to fit in with and to reinforce it; so that

to my interest in the man's nature and character, there was added

a curiosity as to his origin, his life, his fortune and status in

the world.

 

These observations, though they have taken so great a space to be

set down in, were yet the work of a few seconds. My visitor was,

indeed, on fire with sombre excitement.

 

"Have you got it?" he cried. "Have you got it?" And so lively was

his impatience that he even laid his hand upon my arm and sought

to shake me.

 

I put him back, conscious at his touch of a certain icy pang

along my blood. "Come, sir," said I. "You forget that I have not

yet the pleasure of your acquaintance. Be seated, if you please."

And I showed him an example, and sat down myself in my customary

seat and with as fair an imitation of my ordinary manner to a

patient, as the lateness of the hour, the nature of my

pre-occupations, and the horror I had of my visitor, would suffer

me to muster.

 

"I beg your pardon, Dr. Lanyon," he replied civilly enough. "What

you say is very well founded; and my impatience has shown its

heels to my politeness. I come here at the instance of your

colleague, Dr. Henry Jekyll, on a piece of business of some

moment; and I under-

 

78)

 

stood..." He paused and put his hand to his throat, and I could

see, in spite of his collected manner, that he was wrestling

against the approaches of the hysteria--"I understood, a

drawer..."

 

But here I took pity on my visitor's suspense, and some perhaps

on my own growing curiosity.

 

"There it is, sir," said I, pointing to the drawer, where it lay

on the floor behind a table and still covered with the sheet.

 

He sprang to it, and then paused, and laid his hand upon his

heart: I could hear his teeth grate with the convulsive action of

his jaws; and his face was so ghastly to see that I grew alarmed

both for his life and reason.

 

"Compose yourself," said I.

 

He turned a dreadful smile to me, and as if with the decision of

despair, plucked away the sheet. At sight of the contents, he

uttered one loud sob of such immense relief that I sat petrified.

And the next moment, in a voice that was already fairly well

under control, "Have you a graduated glass?" he asked.

 

I rose from my place with something of an effort and gave him

what he asked.

 

He thanked me with a smiling nod, measured out a few minims of

the red tincture and added one of the powders. The mixture, which

was at first of a reddish hue, began, in proportion as the

crystals melted, to brighten in colour, to effervesce audibly,

and to throw off small

 

79)

 

fumes of vapour. Suddenly and at the same moment, the ebullition

ceased and the compound changed to a dark purple, which faded

again more slowly to a watery green. My visitor, who had watched

these metamorphoses with a keen eye, smiled, set down the glass

upon the table, and then turned and looked upon me with an air of

scrutiny.

 

"And now," said he, "to settle what remains. Will you be wise?

will you be guided? will you suffer me to take this glass in my

hand and to go forth from your house without further parley? or

has the greed of curiosity too much command of you? Think before

you answer, for it shall be done as you decide. As you decide,

you shall be left as you were before, and neither richer nor

wiser, unless the sense of service rendered to a man in mortal

distress may be counted as a kind of riches of the soul. Or, if

you shall so prefer to choose, a new province of knowledge and

new avenues to fame and power shall be laid open to you, here, in

this room, upon the instant; and your sight shall be blasted by a

prodigy to stagger the unbelief of Satan."

 

"Sir," said I, affecting a coolness that I was far from truly

possessing, "you speak enigmas, and you will perhaps not wonder

that I hear you with no very strong impression of belief. But I

have gone too far in the way of inexplicable services to pause

before I see the end."

 

"It is well," replied my visitor. "Lanyon,

 

80)

 

you remember your vows: what follows is under the seal of our

profession. And now, you who have so long been bound to the most

narrow and material views, you who have denied the virtue of

transcendental medicine, you who have derided your superiors--

behold!"

 

He put the glass to his lips and drank at one gulp. A cry

followed; he reeled, staggered, clutched at the table and held

on, staring with injected eyes, gasping with open mouth; and as I

looked there came, I thought, a change--he seemed to swell--

his face became suddenly black and the features seemed to melt

and alter--and the next moment, I had sprung to my feet and

leaped back against the wall, my arm raised to shield me from

that prodigy, my mind submerged in terror.

 

"O God!" I screamed, and "O God!" again and again; for there

before my eyes--pale and shaken, and half-fainting, and groping

before him with his hands, like a man restored from death--

there stood Henry Jekyll!

 

What he told me in the next hour, I cannot bring my mind to set

on paper. I saw what I saw, I heard what I heard, and my soul

sickened at it; and yet now when that sight has faded from my

eyes, I ask myself if I believe it, and I cannot answer. My life

is shaken to its roots; sleep has left me; the deadliest terror

sits by me at all hours of the day and night; I feel that my days

are numbered, and that I

 

81)

 

must die; and yet I shall die incredulous. As for the moral

turpitude that man unveiled to me, even with tears of penitence,

I cannot, even in memory, dwell on it without a start of horror.

I will say but one thing, Utterson, and that (if you can bring

your mind to credit it) will be more than enough. The creature

who crept into my house that night was, on Jekyll's own

confession, known by the name of Hyde and hunted for in every

corner of the land as the murderer of Carew.

                                               HASTIE LANYON

 

82)

 

 

 

                HENRY JEKYLL'S FULL STATEMENT OF THE CASE

 

I WAS born in the year 18--- to a large fortune, endowed besides

with excellent parts, inclined by nature to industry, fond of the

respect of the wise and good among my fellow-men, and thus, as

might have been supposed, with every guarantee of an honourable

and distinguished future. And indeed the worst of my faults was a

certain impatient gaiety of disposition, such as has made the

happiness of many, but such as I found it hard to reconcile with

my imperious desire to carry my head high, and wear a more than

commonly grave countenance before the public. Hence it came about

that I concealed my pleasures; and that when I reached years of

reflection, and began to look round me and take stock of my

progress and position in the world, I stood already committed to

a profound duplicity of life. Many a man would have even blazoned

such irregularities as I was guilty of; but from the high views

that I had set before me, I regarded and hid them with an almost

morbid sense of shame. It was thus rather the exacting

 

83)

 

nature of my aspirations than any particular degradation in my

faults, that made me what I was and, with even a deeper trench

than in the majority of men, severed in me those provinces of

good and ill which divide and compound man's dual nature. In this

case, I was driven to reflect deeply and inveterately on that

hard law of life, which lies at the root of religion and is one

of the most plentiful springs of distress. Though so profound a

double-dealer, I was in no sense a hypocrite; both sides of me

were in dead earnest; I was no more myself when I laid aside

restraint and plunged in shame, than when I laboured, in the eye

of day, at the furtherance of knowledge or the relief of sorrow

and suffering. And it chanced that the direction of my scientific

studies, which led wholly toward the mystic and the

transcendental, re-acted and shed a strong light on this

consciousness of the perennial war among my members. With every

day, and from both sides of my intelligence, the moral and the

intellectual, I thus drew steadily nearer to that truth, by whose

partial discovery I have been doomed to such a dreadful

shipwreck: that man is not truly one, but truly two. I say two,

because the state of my own knowledge does not pass beyond that

point. Others will follow, others will outstrip me on the same

lines; and I hazard the guess that man will be ultimately known

for a mere polity of multifarious, incongruous, and independent

denizens. I, for my

 

84)

 

part, from the nature of my life, advanced infallibly in one

direction and in one direction only. It was on the moral side,

and in my own person, that I learned to recognise the thorough

and primitive duality of man; I saw that, of the two natures that

contended in the field of my consciousness, even if I could

rightly be said to be either, it was only because I was radically

both; and from an early date, even before the course of my

scientific discoveries had begun to suggest the most naked

possibility of such a miracle, I had learned to dwell with

pleasure, as a beloved day-dream, on the thought of the

separation of these elements. If each, I told myself, could but

be housed in separate identities, life would be relieved of all

that was unbearable; the unjust delivered from the aspirations

might go his way, and remorse of his more upright twin; and the

just could walk steadfastly and securely on his upward path,

doing the good things in which he found his pleasure, and no

longer exposed to disgrace and penitence by the hands of this

extraneous evil. It was the curse of mankind that these

incongruous fagots were thus bound together that in the agonised

womb of consciousness, these polar twins should be continuously

struggling. How, then, were they dissociated?

 

I was so far in my reflections when, as I have said, a side-light

began to shine upon the subject from the laboratory table. I

began to perceive

 

85)

 

more deeply than it has ever yet been stated, the trembling

immateriality, the mist-like transience of this seemingly so

solid body in which we walk attired. Certain agents I found to

have the power to shake and to pluck back that fleshly vestment,

even as a wind might toss the curtains of a pavilion. For two

good reasons, I will not enter deeply into this scientific branch

of my confession. First, because I have been made to learn that

the doom and burthen of our life is bound for ever on man's

shoulders, and when the attempt is made to cast it off, it but

returns upon us with more unfamiliar and more awful pressure.

Second, because, as my narrative will make, alas! too evident, my

discoveries were incomplete. Enough, then, that I not only

recognised my natural body for the mere aura and effulgence of

certain of the powers that made up my spirit, but managed to

compound a drug by which these powers should be dethroned from

their supremacy, and a second form and countenance substituted,

none the less natural to me because they were the expression, and

bore the stamp, of lower elements in my soul.

 

I hesitated long before I put this theory to the test of

practice. I knew well that I risked death; for any drug that so

potently controlled and shook the very fortress of identity,

might by the least scruple of an overdose or at the least

inopportunity in the moment of exhibition, utterly blot out that

immaterial tabernacle which I

 

86)

 

looked to it to change. But the temptation of a discovery so

singular and profound, at last overcame the suggestions of alarm.

I had long since prepared my tincture; I purchased at once, from

a firm of wholesale chemists, a large quantity of a particular

salt which I knew, from my experiments, to be the last ingredient

required; and late one accursed night, I compounded the elements,

watched them boil and smoke together in the glass, and when the

ebullition had subsided, with a strong glow of courage, drank off

the potion.

 

The most racking pangs succeeded: a grinding in the bones, deadly

nausea, and a horror of the spirit that cannot be exceeded at the

hour of birth or death. Then these agonies began swiftly to

subside, and I came to myself as if out of a great sickness.

There was something strange in my sensations, something

indescribably new and, from its very novelty, incredibly sweet. I

felt younger, lighter, happier in body; within I was conscious of

a heady recklessness, a current of disordered sensual images

running like a mill-race in my fancy, a solution of the bonds of

obligation, an unknown but not an innocent freedom of the soul. I

knew myself, at the first breath of this new life, to be more

wicked, tenfold more wicked, sold a slave to my original evil;

and the thought, in that moment, braced and delighted me like

wine. I stretched out my hands, exulting in the freshness of

these

 

87)

 

sensations; and in the act, I was suddenly aware that I had lost

in stature.

 

There was no mirror, at that date, in my room; that which stands

beside me as I write, was brought there later on and for the very

purpose of these transformations. The night, however, was far

gone into the morning--the morning, black as it was, was nearly

ripe for the conception of the day--the inmates of my house

were locked in the most rigorous hours of slumber; and I

determined, flushed as I was with hope and triumph, to venture in

my new shape as far as to my bedroom. I crossed the yard, wherein

the constellations looked down upon me, I could have thought,

with wonder, the first creature of that sort that their

unsleeping vigilance had yet disclosed to them; I stole through

the corridors, a stranger in my own house; and coming to my room,

I saw for the first time the appearance of Edward Hyde.

 

I must here speak by theory alone, saying not that which I know,

but that which I suppose to be most probable. The evil side of my

nature, to which I had now transferred the stamping efficacy, was

less robust and less developed than the good which I had just

deposed. Again, in the course of my life, which had been, after

all, nine-tenths a life of effort, virtue, and control, it had

been much less exercised and much less exhausted. And hence, as I

think, it came about that Edward Hyde was so much smaller,

 

88)

 

slighter, and younger than Henry Jekyll. Even as good shone upon

the countenance of the one, evil was written broadly and plainly

on the face of the other. Evil besides (which I must still

believe to be the lethal side of man) had left on that body an

imprint of deformity and decay. And yet when I looked upon that

ugly idol in the glass, I was conscious of no repugnance, rather

of a leap of welcome. This, too, was myself. It seemed natural

and human. In my eyes it bore a livelier image of the spirit, it

seemed more express and single, than the imperfect and divided

countenance I had been hitherto accustomed to call mine. And in

so far I was doubtless right. I have observed that when I wore

the semblance of Edward Hyde, none could come near to me at first

without a visible misgiving of the flesh. This, as I take it, was

because all human beings, as we meet them, are commingled out of

good and evil: and Edward Hyde, alone in the ranks of mankind,

was pure evil.

 

I lingered but a moment at the mirror: the second and conclusive

experiment had yet to be attempted; it yet remained to be seen if

I had lost my identity beyond redemption and must flee before

daylight from a house that was no longer mine; and hurrying back

to my cabinet, I once more prepared and drank the cup, once more

suffered the pangs of dissolution, and came to myself once more

with the character, the stature, and the face of Henry Jekyll.

 

89)

 

That night I had come to the fatal cross-roads. Had I approached

my discovery in a more noble spirit, had I risked the experiment

while under the empire of generous or pious aspirations, all must

have been otherwise, and from these agonies of death and birth, I

had come forth an angel instead of a fiend. The drug had no

discriminating action; it was neither diabolical nor divine; it

but shook the doors of the prison-house of my disposition; and

like the captives of Philippi, that which stood within ran forth.

At that time my virtue slumbered; my evil, kept awake by

ambition, was alert and swift to seize the occasion; and the

thing that was projected was Edward Hyde. Hence, although I had

now two characters as well as two appearances, one was wholly

evil, and the other was still the old Henry Jekyll, that

incongruous compound of whose reformation and improvement I had

already learned to despair. The movement was thus wholly toward

the worse.

 

Even at that time, I had not yet conquered my aversion to the

dryness of a life of study. I would still be merrily disposed at

times; and as my pleasures were (to say the least) undignified,

and I was not only well known and highly considered, but growing

toward the elderly man, this incoherency of my life was daily

growing more unwelcome. It was on this side that my new power

tempted me until I fell in slavery. I had but to drink the cup,

to doff at once the body

 

90)

 

of the noted professor, and to assume, like a thick cloak, that

of Edward Hyde. I smiled at the notion; it seemed to me at the

time to be humorous; and I made my preparations with the most

studious care. I took and furnished that house in Soho, to which

Hyde was tracked by the police; and engaged as housekeeper a

creature whom I well knew to be silent and unscrupulous. On the

other side, I announced to my servants that a Mr. Hyde (whom I

described) was to have full liberty and power about my house in

the square; and to parry mishaps, I even called and made myself a

familiar object, in my second character. I next drew up that will

to which you so much objected; so that if anything befell me in

the person of Dr. Jekyll, I could enter on that of Edward Hyde

without pecuniary loss. And thus fortified, as I supposed, on

every side, I began to profit by the strange immunities of my

position.

 

Men have before hired bravos to transact their crimes, while

their own person and reputation sat under shelter. I was the

first that ever did so for his pleasures. I was the first that

could thus plod in the public eye with a load of genial

respectability, and in a moment, like a schoolboy, strip off

these lendings and spring headlong into the sea of liberty. But

for me, in my impenetrable mantle, the safety was complete. Think

of it--I did not even exist! Let me but escape into my

laboratory door, give me but a second or

 

91)

 

two to mix and swallow the draught that I had always standing

ready; and whatever he had done, Edward Hyde would pass away like

the stain of breath upon a mirror; and there in his stead,

quietly at home, trimming the midnight lamp in his study, a man

who could afford to laugh at suspicion, would be Henry Jekyll.

 

The pleasures which I made haste to seek in my disguise were, as

I have said, undignified; I would scarce use a harder term. But

in the hands of Edward Hyde, they soon began to turn toward the

monstrous. When I would come back from these excursions, I was

often plunged into a kind of wonder at my vicarious depravity.

This familiar that I called out of my own soul, and sent forth

alone to do his good pleasure, was a being inherently malign and

villainous; his every act and thought centred on self; drinking

pleasure with bestial avidity from any degree of torture to

another; relentless like a man of stone. Henry Jekyll stood at

times aghast before the acts of Edward Hyde; but the situation

was apart from ordinary laws, and insidiously relaxed the grasp

of conscience. It was Hyde, after all, and Hyde alone, that was

guilty. Jekyll was no worse; he woke again to his good qualities

seemingly unimpaired; he would even make haste, where it was

possible, to undo the evil done by Hyde. And thus his conscience

slumbered.

 

Into the details of the infamy at which I thus

 

92)

 

connived (for even now I can scarce grant that I committed it) I

have no design of entering; I mean but to point out the warnings

and the successive steps with which my chastisement approached. I

met with one accident which, as it brought on no consequence, I

shall no more than mention. An act of cruelty to a child aroused

against me the anger of a passer-by, whom I recognised the other

day in the person of your kinsman; the doctor and the child's

family joined him; there were moments when I feared for my life;

and at last, in order to pacify their too just resentment, Edward

Hyde had to bring them to the door, and pay them in a cheque

drawn in the name of Henry Jekyll. But this danger was easily

eliminated from the future, by opening an account at another bank

in the name of Edward Hyde himself; and when, by sloping my own

hand backward, I had supplied my double with a signature, I

thought I sat beyond the reach of fate.

 

Some two months before the murder of Sir Danvers, I had been out

for one of my adventures, had returned at a late hour, and woke

the next day in bed with somewhat odd sensations. It was in vain

I looked about me; in vain I saw the decent furniture and tall

proportions of my room in the square; in vain that I recognised

the pattern of the bed-curtains and the design of the mahogany

frame; something still kept insisting that I was not where I was,

 

93)

 

that I had not wakened where I seemed to be, but in the little

room in Soho where I was accustomed to sleep in the body of

Edward Hyde. I smiled to myself, and, in my psychological way

began lazily to inquire into the elements of this illusion,

occasionally, even as I did so, dropping back into a comfortable

morning doze. I was still so engaged when, in one of my more

wakeful moments, my eyes fell upon my hand. Now the hand of Henry

Jekyll (as you have often remarked) was professional in shape and

size: it was large, firm, white, and comely. But the hand which I

now saw, clearly enough, in the yellow light of a mid-London

morning, lying half shut on the bed-clothes, was lean, corded,

knuckly, of a dusky pallor and thickly shaded with a swart growth

of hair. It was the hand of Edward Hyde.

 

I must have stared upon it for near half a minute, sunk as I was

in the mere stupidity of wonder, before terror woke up in my

breast as sudden and startling as the crash of cymbals; and

bounding from my bed, I rushed to the mirror. At the sight that

met my eyes, my blood was changed into something exquisitely thin

and icy. Yes, I had gone to bed Henry Jekyll, I had awakened

Edward Hyde. How was this to be explained? I asked myself, and

then, with another bound of terror--how was it to be remedied?

It was well on in the morning; the servants were up; all my drugs

were in the

 

94)

 

cabinet--a long journey down two pairs of stairs, through the

back passage, across the open court and through the anatomical

theatre, from where I was then standing horror-struck. It might

indeed be possible to cover my face; but of what use was that,

when I was unable to conceal the alteration in my stature? And

then with an overpowering sweetness of relief, it came back upon

my mind that the servants were already used to the coming and

going of my second self. I had soon dressed, as well as I was

able, in clothes of my own size: had soon passed through the

house, where Bradshaw stared and drew back at seeing Mr. Hyde at

such an hour and in such a strange array; and ten minutes later,

Dr. Jekyll had returned to his own shape and was sitting down,

with a darkened brow, to make a feint of breakfasting.

 

Small indeed was my appetite. This inexplicable incident, this

reversal of my previous experience, seemed, like the Babylonian

finger on the wall, to be spelling out the letters of my

judgment; and I began to reflect more seriously than ever before

on the issues and possibilities of my double existence. That part

of me which I had the power of projecting, had lately been much

exercised and nourished; it had seemed to me of late as though

the body of Edward Hyde had grown in stature, as though (when I

wore that form) I were conscious of a more generous tide of

blood; and I began to spy a danger that,

 

95)

 

if this were much prolonged, the balance of my nature might be

permanently overthrown, the power of voluntary change be

forfeited, and the character of Edward Hyde become irrevocably

mine. The power of the drug had not been always equally

displayed. Once, very early in my career, it had totally failed

me; since then I had been obliged on more than one occasion to

double, and once, with infinite risk of death, to treble the

amount; and these rare uncertainties had cast hitherto the sole

shadow on my contentment. Now, however, and in the light of that

morning's accident, I was led to remark that whereas, in the

beginning, the difficulty had been to throw off the body of

Jekyll, it had of late gradually but decidedly transferred itself

to the other side. All things therefore seemed to point to this:

that I was slowly losing hold of my original and better self, and

becoming slowly incorporated with my second and worse.

 

Between these two, I now felt I had to choose. My two natures had

memory in common, but all other faculties were most unequally

shared between them. Jekyll (who was composite) now with the most

sensitive apprehensions, now with a greedy gusto, projected and

shared in the pleasures and adventures of Hyde; but Hyde was

indifferent to Jekyll, or but remembered him as the mountain

bandit remembers the cavern in which he conceals himself from

pursuit. Jekyll had more than a father's interest; Hyde

 

96)

 

had more than a son's indifference. To cast in my lot with

Jekyll, was to die to those appetites which I had long secretly

indulged and had of late begun to pamper. To cast it in with

Hyde, was to die to a thousand interests and aspirations, and to

become, at a blow and for ever, despised and friendless. The

bargain might appear unequal; but there was still another

consideration in the scales; for while Jekyll would suffer

smartingly in the fires of abstinence, Hyde would be not even

conscious of all that he had lost. Strange as my circumstances

were, the terms of this debate are as old and commonplace as man;

much the same inducements and alarms cast the die for any tempted

and trembling sinner; and it fell out with me, as it falls with

so vast a majority of my fellows, that I chose the better part

and was found wanting in the strength to keep to it.

 

Yes, I preferred the elderly and discontented doctor, surrounded

by friends and cherishing honest hopes; and bade a resolute

farewell to the liberty, the comparative youth, the light step,

leaping impulses and secret pleasures, that I had enjoyed in the

disguise of Hyde. I made this choice perhaps with some

unconscious reservation, for I neither gave up the house in Soho,

nor destroyed the clothes of Edward Hyde, which still lay ready

in my cabinet. For two months, however, I was true to my

determination; for two months I led a life of such

 

97)

 

severity as I had never before attained to, and enjoyed the

compensations of an approving conscience. But time began at last

to obliterate the freshness of my alarm; the praises of

conscience began to grow into a thing of course; I began to be

tortured with throes and longings, as of Hyde struggling after

freedom; and at last, in an hour of moral weakness, I once again

compounded and swallowed the transforming draught.

 

I do not suppose that, when a drunkard reasons with himself upon

his vice, he is once out of five hundred times affected by the

dangers that he runs through his brutish, physical insensibility;

neither had I, long as I had considered my position, made enough

allowance for the complete moral insensibility and insensate

readiness to evil, which were the leading characters of Edward

Hyde. Yet it was by these that I was punished. My devil had been

long caged, he came out roaring. I was conscious, even when I

took the draught, of a more unbridled, a more furious propensity

to ill. It must have been this, I suppose, that stirred in my

soul that tempest of impatience with which I listened to the

civilities of my unhappy victim; I declare, at least, before God,

no man morally sane could have been guilty of that crime upon so

pitiful a provocation; and that I struck in no more reasonable

spirit than that in which a sick child may break a plaything. But

I had voluntarily stripped myself of all those balancing

instincts

 

98)

 

by which even the worst of us continues to walk with some degree

of steadiness among temptations; and in my case, to be tempted,

however slightly, was to fall.

 

Instantly the spirit of hell awoke in me and raged. With a

transport of glee, I mauled the unresisting body, tasting delight

from every blow; and it was not till weariness had begun to

succeed, that I was suddenly, in the top fit of my delirium,

struck through the heart by a cold thrill of terror. A mist

dispersed; I saw my life to be forfeit; and fled from the scene

of these excesses, at once glorying and trembling, my lust of

evil gratified and stimulated, my love of life screwed to the

topmost peg. I ran to the house in Soho, and (to make assurance

doubly sure) destroyed my papers; thence I set out through the

lamplit streets, in the same divided ecstasy of mind, gloating on

my crime, light-headedly devising others in the future, and yet

still hastening and still hearkening in my wake for the steps of

the avenger. Hyde had a song upon his lips as he compounded the

draught, and as he drank it, pledged the dead man. The pangs of

transformation had not done tearing him, before Henry Jekyll,

with streaming tears of gratitude and remorse, had fallen upon

his knees and lifted his clasped hands to God. The veil of

self-indulgence was rent from head to foot, I saw my life as a

whole: I followed it up from the days of childhood, when I had

walked

 

99)

 

with my father's hand, and through the self-denying toils of my

professional life, to arrive again and again, with the same sense

of unreality, at the damned horrors of the evening. I could have

screamed aloud; I sought with tears and prayers to smother down

the crowd of hideous images and sounds with which my memory

swarmed against me; and still, between the petitions, the ugly

face of my iniquity stared into my soul. As the acuteness of this

remorse began to die away, it was succeeded by a sense of joy.

The problem of my conduct was solved. Hyde was thenceforth

impossible; whether I would or not, I was now confined to the

better part of my existence; and oh, how I rejoiced to think it!

with what willing humility, I embraced anew the restrictions of

natural life! with what sincere renunciation, I locked the door

by which I had so often gone and come, and ground the key under

my heel!

 

The next day, came the news that the murder had been overlooked,

that the guilt of Hyde was patent to the world, and that the

victim was a man high in public estimation. It was not only a

crime, it had been a tragic folly. I think I was glad to know it;

I think I was glad to have my better impulses thus buttressed and

guarded by the terrors of the scaffold. Jekyll was now my city of

refuge; let but Hyde peep out an instant, and the hands of all

men would be raised to take and slay him.

 

100)

 

I resolved in my future conduct to redeem the past; and I can say

with honesty that my resolve was fruitful of some good. You know

yourself how earnestly in the last months of last year, I

laboured to relieve suffering; you know that much was done for

others, and that the days passed quietly, almost happily for

myself. Nor can I truly say that I wearied of this beneficent and

innocent life; I think instead that I daily enjoyed it more

completely; but I was still cursed with my duality of purpose;

and as the first edge of my penitence wore off, the lower side of

me, so long indulged, so recently chained down, began to growl

for licence. Not that I dreamed of resuscitating Hyde; the bare

idea of that would startle me to frenzy: no, it was in my own

person, that I was once more tempted to trifle with my

conscience; and it was as an ordinary secret sinner, that I at

last fell before the assaults of temptation.

 

There comes an end to all things; the most capacious measure is

filled at last; and this brief condescension to evil finally

destroyed the balance of my soul. And yet I was not alarmed; the

fall seemed natural, like a return to the old days before I had

made discovery. It was a fine, clear, January day, wet under foot

where the frost had melted, but cloudless overhead; and the

Regent's Park was full of winter chirrupings and sweet with

spring odours. I sat in the sun on a bench; the animal within me

licking the

 

101)

 

chops of memory; the spiritual side a little drowsed, promising

subsequent penitence, but not yet moved to begin. After all, I

reflected, I was like my neighbours; and then I smiled, comparing

myself with other men, comparing my active goodwill with the lazy

cruelty of their neglect. And at the very moment of that

vain-glorious thought, a qualm came over me, a horrid nausea and

the most deadly shuddering. These passed away, and left me faint;

and then as in its turn the faintness subsided, I began to be

aware of a change in the temper of my thoughts, a greater

boldness, a contempt of danger, a solution of the bonds of

obligation. I looked down; my clothes hung formlessly on my

shrunken limbs; the hand that lay on my knee was corded and

hairy. I was once more Edward Hyde. A moment before I had been

safe of all men's respect, wealthy, beloved--the cloth laying

for me in the dining-room at home; and now I was the common

quarry of mankind, hunted, houseless, a known murderer, thrall to

the gallows.

 

My reason wavered, but it did not fail me utterly. I have more

than once observed that, in my second character, my faculties

seemed sharpened to a point and my spirits more tensely elastic;

thus it came about that, where Jekyll perhaps might have

succumbed, Hyde rose to the importance of the moment. My drugs

were in one of the presses of my cabinet; how was I

 

102)

 

to reach them? That was the problem that (crushing my temples in

my hands) I set myself to solve. The laboratory door I had

closed. If I sought to enter by the house, my own servants would

consign me to the gallows. I saw I must employ another hand, and

thought of Lanyon. How was he to be reached? how persuaded?

Supposing that I escaped capture in the streets, how was I to

make my way into his presence? and how should I, an unknown and

displeasing visitor, prevail on the famous physician to rifle the

study of his colleague, Dr. Jekyll? Then I remembered that of my

original character, one part remained to me: I could write my own

hand; and once I had conceived that kindling spark, the way that

I must follow became lighted up from end to end.

 

 Thereupon, I arranged my clothes as best I could, and summoning

a passing hansom, drove to an hotel in Portland Street, the name

of which I chanced to remember. At my appearance (which was

indeed comical enough, however tragic a fate these garments

covered) the driver could not conceal his mirth. I gnashed my

teeth upon him with a gust of devilish fury; and the smile

withered from his face--happily for him--yet more happily for

myself, for in another instant I had certainly dragged him from

his perch. At the inn, as I entered, I looked about me with so

black a countenance as made the attendants tremble; not a look

did they exchange in my

 

103)

 

presence; but obsequiously took my orders, led me to a private

room, and brought me wherewithal to write. Hyde in danger of his

life was a creature new to me; shaken with inordinate anger,

strung to the pitch of murder, lusting to inflict pain. Yet the

creature was astute; mastered his fury with a great effort of the

will; composed his two important letters, one to Lanyon and one

to Poole; and that he might receive actual evidence of their

being posted, sent them out with directions that they should be

registered.

 

Thenceforward, he sat all day over the fire in the private room,

gnawing his nails; there he dined, sitting alone with his fears,

the waiter visibly quailing before his eye; and thence, when the

night was fully come, he set forth in the corner of a closed cab,

and was driven to and fro about the streets of the city. He, I

say--I cannot say, I. That child of Hell had nothing human;

nothing lived in him but fear and hatred. And when at last,

thinking the driver had begun to grow suspicious, he discharged

the cab and ventured on foot, attired in his misfitting clothes,

an object marked out for observation, into the midst of the

nocturnal passengers, these two base passions raged within him

like a tempest. He walked fast, hunted by his fears, chattering

to himself, skulking through the less-frequented thoroughfares,

counting the minutes that still divided him from midnight. Once a

 

104)

 

woman spoke to him, offering, I think, a box of lights. He smote

her in the face, and she fled.

 

When I came to myself at Lanyon's, the horror of my old friend

perhaps affected me somewhat: I do not know; it was at least but

a drop in the sea to the abhorrence with which I looked back upon

these hours. A change had come over me. It was no longer the fear

of the gallows, it was the horror of being Hyde that racked me. I

received Lanyon's condemnation partly in a dream; it was partly

in a dream that I came home to my own house and got into bed. I

slept after the prostration of the day, with a stringent and

profound slumber which not even the nightmares that wrung me

could avail to break. I awoke in the morning shaken, weakened,

but refreshed. I still hated and feared the thought of the brute

that slept within me, and I had not of course forgotten the

appalling dangers of the day before; but I was once more at home,

in my own house and close to my drugs; and gratitude for my

escape shone so strong in my soul that it almost rivalled the

brightness of hope.

 

I was stepping leisurely across the court after breakfast,

drinking the chill of the air with pleasure, when I was seized

again with those indescribable sensations that heralded the

change; and I had but the time to gain the shelter of my cabinet,

before I was once again raging and freezing with the passions of

Hyde. It took on this occasion a double dose to recall me to

 

105)

 

myself; and alas! Six hours after, as I sat looking sadly in the

fire, the pangs returned, and the drug had to be re-administered.

In short, from that day forth it seemed only by a great effort as

of gymnastics, and only under the immediate stimulation of the

drug, that I was able to wear the countenance of Jekyll. At all

hours of the day and night, I would be taken with the premonitory

shudder; above all, if I slept, or even dozed for a moment in my

chair, it was always as Hyde that I awakened. Under the strain of

this continually-impending doom and by the sleeplessness to which

I now condemned myself, ay, even beyond what I had thought

possible to man, I became, in my own person, a creature eaten up

and emptied by fever, languidly weak both in body and mind, and

solely occupied by one thought: the horror of my other self. But

when I slept, or when the virtue of the medicine wore off, I

would leap almost without transition (for the pangs of

transformation grew daily less marked) into the possession of a

fancy brimming with images of terror, a soul boiling with

causeless hatreds, and a body that seemed not strong enough to

contain the raging energies of life. The powers of Hyde seemed to

have grown with the sickliness of Jekyll. And certainly the hate

that now divided them was equal on each side. With Jekyll, it was

a thing of vital instinct. He had now seen the full deformity of

that creature that shared with him some of the phenomena of

 

106)

 

consciousness, and was co-heir with him to death: and beyond these

links of community, which in themselves made the most poignant

part of his distress, he thought of Hyde, for all his energy of

life, as of something not only hellish but inorganic. This was the

shocking thing; that the slime of the pit seemed to utter cries

and voices; that the amorphous dust gesticulated and sinned; that

what was dead, and had no shape, should usurp the offices of life.

And this again, that that insurgent horror was knit to him closer

than a wife, closer than an eye; lay caged in his flesh, where he

heard it mutter and felt it struggle to be born; and at every hour

of weakness, and in the confidence of slumber, prevailed against

him and deposed him out of life. The hatred of Hyde for Jekyll,

was of a different order. His terror of the gallows drove him

continually to commit temporary suicide, and return to his

subordinate station of a part instead of a person; but he loathed

the necessity, he loathed the despondency into which Jekyll was

now fallen, and he resented the dislike with which he was himself

regarded. Hence the ape-like tricks that he would play me,

scrawling in my own hand blasphemies on the pages of my books,

burning the letters and destroying the portrait of my father; and

indeed, had it not been for his fear of death, he would long ago

have ruined himself in order to involve me in the ruin. But his

love of life is wonderful; I go further: I, who sicken

 

107)

 

and freeze at the mere thought of him, when I recall the

abjection and passion of this attachment, and when I know how he

fears my power to cut him off by suicide, I find it in my heart

to pity him.

 

It is useless, and the time awfully fails me, to prolong this

description; no one has ever suffered such torments, let that

suffice; and yet even to these, habit brought--no, not

alleviation--but a certain callousness of soul, a certain

acquiescence of despair; and my punishment might have gone on for

years, but for the last calamity which has now fallen, and which

has finally severed me from my own face and nature. My provision

of the salt, which had never been renewed since the date of the

first experiment, began to run low. I sent out for a fresh

supply, and mixed the draught; the ebullition followed, and the

first change of colour, not the second; I drank it and it was

without efficiency. You will learn from Poole how I have had

London ransacked; it was in vain; and I am now persuaded that my

first supply was impure, and that it was that unknown impurity

which lent efficacy to the draught.

 

About a week has passed, and I am now finishing this statement

under the influence of the last of the old powders. This, then,

is the last time, short of a miracle, that Henry Jekyll can think

his own thoughts or see his own face (now how sadly altered!)

in the glass. Nor must I delay

 

108)

 

too long to bring my writing to an end; for if my narrative has

hitherto escaped destruction, it has been by a combination of

great prudence and great good luck. Should the throes of change

take me in the act of writing it, Hyde will tear it in pieces;

but if some time shall have elapsed after I have laid it by, his

wonderful selfishness and Circumscription to the moment will

probably save it once again from the action of his ape-like

spite. And indeed the doom that is closing on us both, has

already changed and crushed him. Half an hour from now, when I

shall again and for ever re-indue that hated personality, I know

how I shall sit shuddering and weeping in my chair, or continue,

with the most strained and fear-struck ecstasy of listening, to

pace up and down this room (my last earthly refuge) and give ear

to every sound of menace. Will Hyde die upon the scaffold? or

will he find courage to release himself at the last moment? God

knows; I am careless; this is my true hour of death, and what is

to follow concerns another than myself. Here then, as I lay down

the pen and proceed to seal up my confession, I bring the life of

that unhappy Henry Jekyll to an end.

 

 

End of Project Gutenberg Etext Edition of

"The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"