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Part. 01

2. 6. 2019


Strange Case of
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
   
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. ‘I incline to
Cain’s heresy,’¹ 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
No doubt the feat was easy to Mr Utterson; for he was undemonstrative
at the best, and even his friendships 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

dr jekyll and mr hyde
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.² 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 of business, that they
might enjoy them uninterrupted.
It chanced on one of these rambles that their way led them down a
bystreet in a busy quarter of London. The street was small and what
is called quiet, but it drove a thriving trade on the weekdays. 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 storeys high; showed no window, nothing but a door on the lower
storey 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 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.
story of the door

Mr Enfield and the lawyer were on the other side of the bystreet;
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
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.³ 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;⁴
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

dr jekyll and mr hyde
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 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.⁵ 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,⁶ 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
business looked apocryphal,⁷ 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; the next day, when
we had breakfasted, went in a body to the bank. I gave in the cheque
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.
story of the door

‘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.⁸ Blackmail, I suppose; an
honest man paying through the nose for some of the capers of his
youth. Blackmail 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?’
‘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
‘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 stones 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,⁹ 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.’
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.
dr jekyll and mr hyde
‘And 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.’
‘Hm,’ 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.
‘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 my 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.’
   
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, MD, DCL, LLD,
FRS, &c.,¹ all his possessions were to pass into the hands of his
‘friend and benefactor Edward Hyde’, but that in case of 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 burden
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
dr jekyll and mr hyde
in the direction of Cavendish Square,² that citadel of medicine, where
his friend, the great Dr Lanyon, had his house and received his
crowding patients. ‘If anyone knows, it will be Lanyon,’ he had
The solemn butler knew and welcomed him; 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 preoccupied 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
‘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, 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.’³
This little spirt 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 prote´ge´ of his – one Hyde?’ he asked.
search for mr hyde
‘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
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 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 labyrinths⁴ 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,⁵ as was the habit of mysterious 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 clauses
of the will. And at least it would be a face worth seeing: the face of a
dr jekyll and mr hyde
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 bystreet 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 bystreet 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 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
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
search for mr hyde
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
‘I see you are going in,’ returned the lawyer. ‘I am an old friend of
Dr Jekyll’s – Mr Utterson of Gaunt Street⁶ – you must have heard my
name; and meeting you so conveniently, I thought you might admit
‘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
acknowledgement of the address.
‘And now,’ said the other, ‘how did you know me?’
‘By description,’ was the reply.
‘Whose description?’
‘We have common friends,’ said Mr Utterson.
‘Common friends?’ echoed Mr Hyde, a little hoarsely. ‘Who are
‘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
dr jekyll and mr hyde
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,⁷ 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 something 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,⁸ shall we say? or can it be the old story of Dr Fell?⁹ 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 bystreet, 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
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
search for mr hyde
speak of it as the pleasantest room in London. But tonight 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
‘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
‘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 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,¹⁰ years after memory has forgotten
and self-love condoned the fault.’ And the lawyer, scared by the
thought, brooded awhile 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,’
dr jekyll and mr hyde
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 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.
     
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 detail the
dry lawyer, when the light-hearted and the loose-tongued had already
their foot on the threshold; they liked to sit awhile 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.
‘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. O, 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,
dr jekyll and mr hyde
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 understand 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 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
‘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.’
   
Nearly a year later, in the month of October —, 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 maidservant living alone in a house not far from the river,¹
had gone upstairs 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 given² 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 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 recognize 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
dr jekyll and mr hyde
bounds and clubbed him to the earth. And next moment, with ape-like
fury,³ 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.
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 recognize 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 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 recognized 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.
the carew murder case
‘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 of daylight would glance in between the swirling
wreaths. The dismal quarter of Soho⁴ 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 reinvasion 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
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
many 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, but had gone away again in less
than an hour; there was nothing strange in that; his habits were very
dr jekyll and mr hyde
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
pi s 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; lockfast
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 would never 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 servantmaid had
only seen him twice; his family could nowhere be traced; he had never
the carew murder case
been photographed;⁵ 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.
   
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.¹ 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; 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. The 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
incident of the letter
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 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 anyone. 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
‘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 awhile; he was surprised at his friend’s selfishness,
and yet relieved by it. ‘Well,’ said he, at last, ‘let me see the
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
‘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
dr jekyll and mr hyde
more: it was Hyde who dictated the terms in your will about that
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 today: 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
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 MP.’ 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
incident of the letter
vineyards, was ready to be set free 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 knew 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.’
‘And by all accounts a very odd writer,’ added the lawyer.
Just then the servant entered with a note.
‘Is that from Doctor 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.
dr jekyll and mr hyde
‘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.
    
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 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 th 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 th, and again on the th, the door was
shut against the lawyer. ‘The doctor was confined to the house,’ Poole
said, ‘and saw no one.’ On the th, 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 Doctor 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
dr jekyll and mr hyde
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 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 great
firmness 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 Doctor 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 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
remarkable incident of doctor lanyon
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.¹ 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;
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 dear friend. ‘P: for the hands of J. G. Utterson
 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 today,’ 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 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
dr jekyll and mr hyde
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.
   
It chanced on Sunday, when Mr Utterson was on his usual walk with
Mr Enfield, that their way lay once again through the bystreet; 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.’
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
dr jekyll and mr hyde
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 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 bystreet; 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.
  
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 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
‘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.
dr jekyll and mr hyde
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 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 pockethandkerchief.
But for all the hurry of his coming, 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
‘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
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.
the last night
‘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 towards 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
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 anyone,’ 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
‘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!’
dr jekyll and mr hyde
‘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
‘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 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 —, 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.
the last night
‘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 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 upstairs 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;¹
hence, for aught I know, the alteration of his voice; hence the mask
and his 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 myexplanation;
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
‘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 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 Doctor Jekyll – God knows what it was, but it was
never Doctor Jekyll; and it is the belief of my heart that there was
murder done.’
dr jekyll and mr hyde
‘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, sir,’ was the undaunted reply.
‘That is 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 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 recognize 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
‘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 that masked thing like
a monkey jumped from among the chemicals and whipped into the
cabinet, it went down my spine like ice. ‘O, I know it’s not evidence,
the last night
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,’ he said; and taking the poker under his arm, he 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 sound
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
Poole nodded. ‘Once,’ he said. ‘Once I heard it weeping!’
dr jekyll and mr hyde
‘Weeping? how that?’ said the lawyer, conscious of a sudden chill
of horror.
‘Weeping like a woman or a lost soul,’ said 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 flame 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.
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
the last night
moved with a semblance of life, but life was quite gone; and by the
crushed phial in the hand and the strong smell of kernels² that hung
upon the air, Utterson knew that he was looking on the body of a
‘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 storey and was lighted
from above, and by the cabinet, which formed an upper storey at one
end and looked upon the court. A corridor joined the theatre to
the door on the bystreet; 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 bystreet. 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, Poole,’
said the lawyer. ‘Let us go back to the cabinet.’
They mounted the stair in silence, and still with an occasional
awestruck 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
dr jekyll and mr hyde
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.
‘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
the last night
hand and dated at the top. ‘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? O, we must
be careful. I foresee that we may yet involve your master in some dire
‘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
‘Your unworthy and unhappy friend,
‘There was a third enclosure?’ asked Utterson.
‘Here, sir,’ said Poole, and gave into his hands a considerable packet
sealed in several places.
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.
 ’ 
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 the formality of registration.
Thecontents increasedmywonder; for this ishowthe letter ran:
‘th December, —¹
‘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 fortune or
my left hand to help you. Lanyon, my life, my honour, my reason, are
all at your mercy; if you fail me tonight, 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 tonight – 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 mind, 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.
doctor lanyon’s narrative
‘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
foreseen, 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.
‘PS I had already sealed this up when a fresh terror struck upon my
soul. It is possible that the post office may fail me, and this letter not
come into your hands until tomorrow 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
dr jekyll and mr hyde
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, 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 experiments 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
doctor lanyon’s narrative
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 eye² 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 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 rigor, 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
dr jekyll and mr hyde
accoutrement was far from movingmeto laughter. Rather, as there was
somethingabnormalandmisbegotten 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 house, the nature of my preoccupations, 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
understood . . .’ 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
‘Compose yourself,’ said I.
He turned a dreadful smile to me, and as if with the decision of
doctor lanyon’s narrative
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 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, you remember your vows:
what follows is under the seal of our profession.³ 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!’
dr jekyll and mr hyde
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 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.
H L.
 ’     
I was born in the year — 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 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 towards the mystic and the transcendental, reacted
and shed a strong light on this consciousness of the perennial war
among my members.¹ 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
dr jekyll and mr hyde
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 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 recognize 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 daydream, 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
might go his way, delivered from the aspirations 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
faggots² were thus bound together – that in the agonized 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 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 burden of our life is
bound forever 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 recoghenry
jekyll’s full statement of the case
nized 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 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, frommyexperiments,
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 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
dr jekyll and mr hyde
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, 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
henry jekyll’s full statement of the case
the pangs of dissolution, and came to myself once more with the
character, the stature and the face of Henry Jekyll.
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 prisonhouse of my disposition; and like the captives of Philippi,³
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 towards 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 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 Doctor Jekyll, I could enter on
that of Edward Hyde without pecuniary loss. And thus fortified, as I
dr jekyll and mr hyde
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 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 towards 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 centered 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 wasno worse; he wokeagain 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 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
henry jekyll’s full statement of the case
by, whom I recognized 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 recognized the pattern of the
bed curtains and the design of the mahogany frame; something still
kept insisting that I was not where I was, 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 eye 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 smart 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
dr jekyll and mr hyde
servants were up; all my drugs were in the 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,⁴ 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, 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.
henry jekyll’s full statement of the case
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 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 forever, 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 pulses 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 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
I do not suppose that, when a drunkard reasons with himself upon
dr jekyll and mr hyde
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, 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
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
with my father’s hand, and through the self-denying toils of my
henry jekyll’s full statement of the case
professional life, to arrive again and again, with the same sense of
unreality, at the demand 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 O, 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.
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 my evil finally destroyed