The Strange case of dr. jekyll and mr. hyde by robert louis stevenson
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STRANGE CASE OF
DR. JEKYLL AND
ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON
STORY OF THE DOOR
MR. UTTERSON the lawyer was a man of a rugged countenance, that was
never lighted by a smile; cold, scanty and embarrassed in
discourse; backward in sentiment; lean, long, dusty, dreary, and
yet somehow lovable. At friendly meetings, and when the wine was to
his taste, something eminently human beaconed from his eye;
something indeed which never found its way into his talk, but which
spoke not only in these silent symbols of the after-dinner face, but
more often and loudly in the acts of his life. He was austere with
himself; drank gin when he was alone, to mortify a taste for
vintages; and though he enjoyed the theatre, had not crossed the
doors of one for twenty years. But he had an approved tolerance for
others; sometimes wondering, almost with envy, at the high pressure
of spirits involved in their misdeeds; and in any extremity inclined
to help rather than to reprove.
"I incline to Cain's heresy," he used to say quaintly: "I let my
brother go to the devil in his own way." In this character, it was
frequently his fortune to be the last reputable acquaintance and the
last good influence in the lives of down-going men. And to such as
these, so long as they came about his chambers, he never marked a
shade of change in his demeanour.
No doubt the feat was easy to Mr. Utterson; for he was
undemonstrative at the best, and even his friendship seemed to be
founded in a similar catholicity of good-nature. It is the mark of a
modest man to accept his friendly circle ready-made from the hands
of opportunity; and that was the lawyer's way. His friends were
those of his own blood or those whom he had known the longest; his
affections, like ivy, were the growth of time, they implied no
aptness in the object. Hence, no doubt, the bond that united him to
Mr. Richard Enfield, his distant kinsman, the well-known man about
town. It was a nut to crack for many, what these two could see in
each other, or what subject they could find in common. It was
reported by those who encountered them in their Sunday walks, that
they said nothing, looked singularly dull, and would hail with
obvious relief the appearance of a friend. For all that, the two men
put the greatest store by these excursions, counted them the chief
jewel of each week, and not only set aside occasions of pleasure,
but even resisted the calls
of business, that they might enjoy them uninterrupted.
It chanced on one of these rambles that their way led them down a
by-street in a busy quarter of London. The street was small and
what is called quiet, but it drove a thriving trade on the
week-days. The inhabitants were all doing well, it seemed, and all
emulously hoping to do better still, and laying out the surplus of
their gains in coquetry; so that the shop fronts stood along that
thoroughfare with an air of invitation, like rows of smiling
saleswomen. Even on Sunday, when it veiled its more florid charms
and lay comparatively empty of passage, the street shone out in
contrast to its dingy neighbourhood, like a fire in a forest; and
with its freshly painted shutters, well-polished brasses, and
general cleanliness and gaiety of note, instantly caught and pleased
the eye of the passenger.
Two doors from one corner, on the left hand going east, the line
was broken by the entry of a court; and just at that point, a
certain sinister block of building thrust forward its gable on the
street. It was two stories high; showed no window, nothing but a
door on the lower story and a blind forehead of discoloured wall on
the upper; and bore in every feature, the marks of prolonged and
sordid negligence. The door, which was equipped with neither bell
nor knocker, was blistered and distained. Tramps slouched into the
recess and struck matches on
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
Mr. Enfield and the lawyer were on the other side of the by-street;
but when they came abreast of the entry, the former lifted up his
cane and pointed.
"Did you ever remark that door?" he asked; and when his companion
had replied in the affirmative, "It is connected in my mind," added
he, "with a very odd story."
"Indeed?" said Mr. Utterson, with a slight change of voice, "and
what was that?"
"Well, it was this way," returned Mr. Enfield: "I was coming home
from some place at the end of the world, about three o'clock of a
black winter morning, and my way lay through a part of town where
there was literally nothing to be seen but lamps. Street after
street, and all the folks asleep--street after street, all lighted
up as if for a procession and all as empty as a church--till at
last I got into that state of mind when a man listens and listens
and begins to long for the sight of a policeman. All at once, I saw
two figures: one a little man who was stumping along eastward at a
good walk, and the other a girl of maybe eight or ten who was
running as hard as she was able down a cross street. Well, sir, the
two ran into one another naturally enough at the
corner; and then came the horrible part of the thing; for the man
trampled calmly over the child's body and left her screaming on
the ground. It sounds nothing to hear, but it was hellish to see.
It wasn't like a man; it was like some damned Juggernaut. I gave a
view-halloa, took to my heels, collared my gentleman, and brought
him back to where there was already quite a group about the
screaming child. He was perfectly cool and made no resistance, but
gave me one look, so ugly that it brought out the sweat on me like
running. The people who had turned out were the girl's own family;
and pretty soon, the doctor, for whom she had been sent, put in his
appearance. Well, the child was not much the worse, more frightened,
according to the Sawbones; and there you might have supposed would
be an end to it. But there was one curious circumstance. I had taken
a loathing to my gentleman at first sight. So had the child's
family, which was only natural. But the doctor's case was what
struck me. He was the usual cut-and-dry apothecary, of no particular
age and colour, with a strong Edinburgh accent, and about as
emotional as a bagpipe. Well, sir, he was like the rest of us; every
time he looked at my prisoner, I saw that Sawbones turn sick and
white with the desire to kill him. I knew what was in his mind, just
as he knew what was in mine; and killing being out of the question,
we did the next best. We told the man we could
and would make such a scandal out of this, as should make his name
stink from one end of London to the other. If he had any friends or
any credit, we undertook that he should lose them. And all the time,
as we were pitching it in red hot, we were keeping the women off him
as best we could, for they were as wild as harpies. I never saw a
circle of such hateful faces; and there was the man in the middle,
with a kind of black, sneering coolness--frightened too, I could
see that--but carrying it off, sir, really like Satan. 'If you
choose to make capital out of this accident,' said he, 'I am
naturally helpless. No gentleman but wishes to avoid a scene,' says
he. 'Name your figure.' Well, we screwed him up to a hundred pounds
for the child's family; he would have clearly liked to stick out;
but there was something about the lot of us that meant mischief, and
at last he struck. The next thing was to get the money; and where
do you think he carried us but to that place with the door?--
whipped out a key, went in, and presently came back with the matter
of ten pounds in gold and a cheque for the balance on Coutts's,
drawn payable to bearer and signed with a name that I can't mention,
though it's one of the points of my story, but it was a name at
least very well known and often printed. The figure was stiff; but
the signature was good for more than that, if it was only genuine. I
took the liberty of pointing out to my gentleman that the whole
business looked apocryphal, and that a man does not, in real life,
walk into a cellar door at four in the morning and come out of it
with another man's cheque for close upon a hundred pounds. But he
was quite easy and sneering. 'Set your mind at rest,' says he, 'I
will stay with you till the banks open and cash the cheque myself.'
So we all set off, the doctor, and the child's father, and our
friend and myself, and passed the rest of the night in my chambers;
and next day, when we had breakfasted, went in a body to the bank. I
gave in the check myself, and said I had every reason to believe it
was a forgery. Not a bit of it. The cheque was genuine."
"Tut-tut," said Mr. Utterson.
"I see you feel as I do," said Mr. Enfield. "Yes, it's a bad story.
For my man was a fellow that nobody could have to do with, a really
damnable man; and the person that drew the cheque is the very pink
of the proprieties, celebrated too, and (what makes it worse) one of
your fellows who do what they call good. Black-mail, I suppose; an
honest man paying through the nose for some of the capers of his
youth. Black-Mail House is what I call that place with the door, in
consequence. Though even that, you know, is far from explaining
all," he added, and with the words fell into a vein of musing.
From this he was recalled by Mr. Utterson asking rather suddenly:
"And you don't know if the drawer of the cheque lives there?"
"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 stone
goes, starting others; and presently some bland old bird (the last
you would have thought of) is knocked on the head in his own
back-garden and the family have to change their name. No, sir, I
make it a rule of mine: the more it looks like Queer Street, the
less I ask."
"A very good rule, too," said the lawyer.
"But I have studied the place for myself," continued Mr. Enfield.
"It seems scarcely a house. There is no other door, and nobody goes
in or out of that one but, once in a great while, the gentleman of
my adventure. There are three windows looking on the court on the
first floor; none below; the windows are always shut but they're
clean. And then there is a chimney which is generally smoking; so
somebody must live there. And yet it's not so sure; for the
buildings are so packed together about that court, that it's hard to
say where one ends and another begins."
The pair walked on again for a while in silence; and then,
"Enfield," said Mr. Utterson, "that's a good rule of yours."
"Yes, I think it is," returned Enfield.
"But for all that," continued the lawyer, "there's one point I want
to ask: I want to ask the name of that man who walked over the
"Well," said Mr. Enfield, "I can't see what harm it would do. It
was a man of the name of Hyde."
"H'm," said Mr. Utterson. "What sort of a man is he to see?"
"He is not easy to describe. There is something wrong with his
appearance; something displeasing, something downright detestable. I
never saw a man I so disliked, and yet I scarce know why. He must be
deformed somewhere; he gives a strong feeling of deformity, although
I couldn't specify the point. He's an extraordinary-looking man, and
yet I really can name nothing out of the way. No, sir; I can make no
hand of it; I can't describe him. And it's not want of memory; for I
declare I can see him this moment."
Mr. Utterson again walked some way in silence and obviously under a
weight of consideration.
"You are sure he used a key?" he inquired at last.
"My dear sir..." began Enfield, surprised out of himself.
"Yes, I know," said Utterson; "I know it must seem strange. The
fact is, if I do not ask you the name of the other party, it is
because I know it already. You see, Richard, your tale has gone
home. If you have been inexact in any point, you had better correct
"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,
SEARCH FOR MR. HYDE
THAT evening Mr. Utterson came home to his bachelor house in sombre
spirits and sat down to dinner without relish. It was his custom of
a Sunday, when this meal was over, to sit close by the fire, a
volume of some dry divinity on his reading-desk, until the clock of
the neighbouring church rang out the hour of twelve, when he would
go soberly and gratefully to bed. On this night, however, as soon as
the cloth was taken away, he took up a candle and went into his
business-room. There he opened his safe, took from the most private
part of it a document endorsed on the envelope as Dr. Jekyll's Will,
and sat down with a clouded brow to study its contents. The will was
holograph, for Mr. Utterson, though he took charge of it now that it
was made, had refused to lend the least assistance in the making of
it; it provided not only that, in case of the decease of Henry
Jekyll, M.D., D.C.L., L.L.D., F.R.S., etc., all his possessions were
to pass into the hands of his "friend and benefactor Edward Hyde,"
but that in case of
Dr. Jekyll's "disappearance or unexplained absence for any period
exceeding three calendar months," the said Edward Hyde should step
into the said Henry Jekyll's shoes without further delay and free
from any burthen or obligation, beyond the payment of a few small
sums to the members of the doctor's household. This document had
long been the lawyer's eyesore. It offended him both as a lawyer and
as a lover of the sane and customary sides of life, to whom the
fanciful was the immodest. And hitherto it was his ignorance of Mr.
Hyde that had swelled his indignation; now, by a sudden turn, it was
his knowledge. It was already bad enough when the name was but a
name of which he could learn no more. It was worse when it began to
be clothed upon with detestable attributes; and out of the shifting,
insubstantial mists that had so long baffled his eye, there leaped
up the sudden, definite presentment of a fiend.
"I thought it was madness," he said, as he replaced the obnoxious
paper in the safe, "and now I begin to fear it is disgrace."
With that he blew out his candle, put on a great-coat, and set
forth in the direction of Cavendish Square, that citadel of
medicine, where his friend, the great Dr. Lanyon, had his house and
received his crowding patients. "If any one knows, it will be
Lanyon," he had thought.
The solemn butler knew and welcomed him;
he was subjected to no stage of delay, but ushered direct from the
door to the dining-room where Dr. Lanyon sat alone over his wine.
This was a hearty, healthy, dapper, red-faced gentleman, with a
shock of hair prematurely white, and a boisterous and decided
manner. At sight of Mr. Utterson, he sprang up from his chair and
welcomed him with both hands. The geniality, as was the way of the
man, was somewhat theatrical to the eye; but it reposed on genuine
feeling. For these two were old friends, old mates both at school
and college, both thorough respecters of themselves and of each
other, and, what does not always follow, men who thoroughly enjoyed
each other's company.
After a little rambling talk, the lawyer led up to the subject
which so disagreeably pre-occupied his mind.
"I suppose, Lanyon," said he "you and I must be the two oldest
friends that Henry Jekyll has?"
"I wish the friends were younger," chuckled Dr. Lanyon. "But I
suppose we are. And what of that? I see little of him now."
"Indeed?" said Utterson. "I thought you had a bond of common
"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."
This little spirit of temper was somewhat of a relief to Mr.
Utterson. "They have only differed on some point of science," he
thought; and being a man of no scientific passions (except in the
matter of conveyancing), he even added: "It is nothing worse than
that!" He gave his friend a few seconds to recover his composure,
and then approached the question he had come to put. "Did you ever
come across a protege of his--one Hyde?" he asked.
"Hyde?" repeated Lanyon. "No. Never heard of him. Since my time."
That was the amount of information that the lawyer carried back
with him to the great, dark bed on which he tossed to and fro,
until the small hours of the morning began to grow large. It was a
night of little ease to his toiling mind, toiling in mere darkness
and besieged by questions.
Six o'clock struck on the bells of the church that was so
conveniently near to Mr. Utterson's dwelling, and still he was
digging at the problem. Hitherto it had touched him on the
intellectual side alone; but now his imagination also was engaged,
or rather enslaved; and as he lay and tossed in the gross darkness
of the night and the curtained room, Mr. Enfield's tale went by
before his mind in a scroll of lighted pictures. He would be aware
of the great field of lamps of a nocturnal city; then of the figure
of a man walking swiftly; then of a child running from the doctor's;
and then these met, and that human Juggernaut trod the child down
and passed on regardless of her screams. Or else he would see a room
in a rich house, where his friend lay asleep, dreaming and smiling
at his dreams; and then the door of that room would be opened, the
curtains of the bed plucked apart, the sleeper recalled, and lo!
there would stand by his side a figure to whom power was given, and
even at that dead hour, he must rise and do its bidding. The figure
in these two phases haunted the lawyer all night; and if at any time
he dozed over, it was but to see it glide more stealthily through
sleeping houses, or move the more swiftly and still the more
swiftly, even to dizziness, through wider labyrinths of lamplighted
city, and at every street-corner crush a child and leave her
screaming. And still the figure had no face by which he might know
it; even in his dreams, it had no face, or one that baffled him and
melted before his eyes; and thus it was that there sprang up and
grew apace in the lawyer's mind a singularly strong, almost an
inordinate, curiosity to behold the features of the real Mr. Hyde.
If he could but once set eyes on him, he thought the mystery would
lighten and perhaps roll altogether away, as was the habit of
things when well examined. He might see a reason for his friend's
strange preference or bondage (call it which you please) and even
for the startling clause of the will. At least it would be a face
worth seeing: the face of a man who was without bowels of mercy: a
face which had but to show itself to raise up, in the mind of the
unimpressionable Enfield, a spirit of enduring hatred.
From that time forward, Mr. Utterson began to haunt the door in the
by-street of shops. In the morning before office hours, at noon when
business was plenty, and time scarce, at night under the face of the
fogged city moon, by all lights and at all hours of solitude or
concourse, the lawyer was to be found on his chosen post.
"If he be Mr. Hyde," he had thought, "I shall be Mr. Seek."
And at last his patience was rewarded. It was a fine dry night;
frost in the air; the streets as clean as a ballroom floor; the
lamps, unshaken, by any wind, drawing a regular pattern of light
and shadow. By ten o'clock, when the shops were closed, the
by-street was very solitary and, in spite of the low growl of
London from all round, very silent. Small sounds carried far;
domestic sounds out of the houses were clearly audible on either
side of the roadway; and the rumour of the approach of any
passenger preceded him by a long time. Mr. Utterson had been some
minutes at his post, when he was
aware of an odd, light footstep drawing near. In the course of his
nightly patrols, he had long grown accustomed to the quaint effect
with which the footfalls of a single person, while he is still a
great way off, suddenly spring out distinct from the vast hum and
clatter of the city. Yet his attention had never before been so
sharply and decisively arrested; and it was with a strong,
superstitious prevision of success that he withdrew into the entry
of the court.
The steps drew swiftly nearer, and swelled out suddenly louder as
they turned the end of the street. The lawyer, looking forth from
the entry, could soon see what manner of man he had to deal with.
He was small and very plainly dressed, and the look of him, even at
that distance, went somehow strongly against the watcher's
inclination. But he made straight for the door, crossing the
roadway to save time; and as he came, he drew a key from his pocket
like one approaching home.
Mr. Utterson stepped out and touched him on the shoulder as he
passed. "Mr. Hyde, I think?"
Mr. Hyde shrank back with a hissing intake of the breath. But his
fear was only momentary; and though he did not look the lawyer in
the face, he answered coolly enough: "That is my name. What do you
"I see you are going in," returned the lawyer. "I am an old friend
of Dr. Jekyll's--Mr. Utter-
son of Gaunt Street--you must have heard my name; and meeting you
so conveniently, I thought you might admit me."
"You will not find Dr. Jekyll; he is from home," replied Mr. Hyde,
blowing in the key. And then suddenly, but still without looking up,
"How did you know me?" he asked.
"On your side," said Mr. Utterson, "will you do me a favour?"
"With pleasure," replied the other. "What shall it be?"
"Will you let me see your face?" asked the lawyer.
Mr. Hyde appeared to hesitate, and then, as if upon some sudden
reflection, fronted about with an air of defiance; and the pair
stared at each other pretty fixedly for a few seconds. "Now I shall
know you again," said Mr. Utterson. "It may be useful."
"Yes," returned Mr. Hyde, "it is as well we have, met; and a
propos, you should have my address." And he gave a number of a
street in Soho.
"Good God!" thought Mr. Utterson, "can he, too, have been thinking
of the will?" But he kept his feelings to himself and only grunted
in acknowledgment of the address.
"And now," said the other, "how did you know me?"
"By description," was the reply.
"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 of
disquietude. Then he began slowly to mount the street, pausing
every step or two and putting his hand to his brow like a man in
mental perplexity. The problem he was thus debating as he walked,
was one of a class that is rarely solved. Mr. Hyde was pale and
dwarfish, he gave an impression of deformity without any nameable
malformation, he had a displeasing smile, he had borne himself to
the lawyer with a sort of murderous mixture of timidity and
boldness, and he spoke with a husky, whispering and somewhat broken
voice; all these were points against him, but not all of these
together could explain the hitherto unknown disgust, loathing, and
fear with which Mr. Utterson regarded him. "There must be some-
thing else," said the perplexed gentleman. "There is something
more, if I could find a name for it. God bless me, the man seems
hardly human! Something troglodytic, shall we say? or can it be the
old story of Dr. Fell? or is it the mere radiance of a foul soul
that thus transpires through, and transfigures, its clay continent?
The last, I think; for, O my poor old Harry Jekyll, if ever I read
Satan's signature upon a face, it is on that of your new friend."
Round the corner from the by-street, there was a square of ancient,
handsome houses, now for the most part decayed from their high
estate and let in flats and chambers to all sorts and conditions of
men: map-engravers, architects, shady lawyers, and the agents of
obscure enterprises. One house, however, second from the corner, was
still occupied entire; and at the door of this, which wore a great
air of wealth and comfort, though it was now plunged in darkness
except for the fan-light, Mr. Utterson stopped and knocked. A
well-dressed, elderly servant opened the door.
"Is Dr. Jekyll at home, Poole?" asked the lawyer.
"I will see, Mr. Utterson," said Poole, admitting the visitor, as
he spoke, into a large, low-roofed, comfortable hall, paved with
flags, warmed (after the fashion of a country house) by a bright,
open fire, and furnished with costly cabinets of oak. "Will you
wait here by the
fire, sir? or shall I give you a light in the dining room?"
"Here, thank you," said the lawyer, and he drew near and leaned on
the tall fender. This hall, in which he was now left alone, was a
pet fancy of his friend the doctor's; and Utterson himself was wont
to speak of it as the pleasantest room in London. But to-night there
was a shudder in his blood; the face of Hyde sat heavy on his
memory; he felt (what was rare with him) a nausea and distaste of
life; and in the gloom of his spirits, he seemed to read a menace in
the flickering of the firelight on the polished cabinets and the
uneasy starting of the shadow on the roof. He was ashamed of his
relief, when Poole presently returned to announce that Dr. Jekyll
was gone out.
"I saw Mr. Hyde go in by the old dissecting-room door, Poole," he
said. "Is that right, when Dr. Jekyll is from home?"
"Quite right, Mr. Utterson, sir," replied the servant. "Mr. Hyde
has a key."
"Your master seems to repose a great deal of trust in that young
man, Poole," resumed the other musingly.
"Yes, sir, he do indeed," said Poole. "We have all orders to obey
"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
"Well, good-night, Poole."
"Good-night, Mr. Utterson." And the lawyer set out homeward with a
very heavy heart. "Poor Harry Jekyll," he thought, "my mind
misgives me he is in deep waters! He was wild when he was young; a
long while ago to be sure; but in the law of God, there is no
statute of limitations. Ay, it must be that; the ghost of some old
sin, the cancer of some concealed disgrace: punishment coming, PEDE
CLAUDO, years after memory has forgotten and self-love condoned the
fault." And the lawyer, scared by the thought, brooded a while on
his own past, groping in all the corners of memory, lest by chance
some Jack-in-the-Box of an old iniquity should leap to light there.
His past was fairly blameless; few men could read the rolls of their
life with less apprehension; yet he was humbled to the dust by the
many ill things he had done, and raised up again into a sober and
fearful gratitude by the many that he had come so near to doing, yet
avoided. And then by a return on his former subject, he conceived a
spark of hope. "This Master Hyde, if he were studied," thought he,
"must have secrets of his own; black secrets, by the look of him;
secrets compared to which poor Jekyll's worst would be like
sunshine. Things cannot continue as they are. It turns me cold to
think of this creature stealing like a
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.
DR. JEKYLL WAS QUITE AT EASE
A FORTNIGHT later, by excellent good fortune, the doctor gave one
of his pleasant dinners to some five or six old cronies, all
intelligent, reputable men and all judges of good wine; and Mr.
Utterson so contrived that he remained behind after the others had
departed. This was no new arrangement, but a thing that had
befallen many scores of times. Where Utterson was liked, he was
liked well. Hosts loved to detain the dry lawyer, when the
light-hearted and the loose-tongued had already their foot on the
threshold; they liked to sit a while in his unobtrusive company,
practising for solitude, sobering their minds in the man's rich
silence after the expense and strain of gaiety. To this rule, Dr.
Jekyll was no exception; and as he now sat on the opposite side of
the fire--a large, well-made, smooth-faced man of fifty, with
something of a slyish cast perhaps, but every mark of capacity and
kindness--you could see by his looks that he cherished for Mr.
Utterson a sincere and warm affection.
"I have been wanting to speak to you, Jekyll," began the latter.
"You know that will of yours?"
A close observer might have gathered that the topic was
distasteful; but the doctor carried it off gaily. "My poor
Utterson," said he, "you are unfortunate in such a client. I never
saw a man so distressed as you were by my will; unless it were that
hide-bound pedant, Lanyon, at what he called my scientific heresies.
Oh, I know he's a good fellow--you needn't frown--an excellent
fellow, and I always mean to see more of him; but a hide-bound
pedant for all that; an ignorant, blatant pedant. I was never more
disappointed in any man than Lanyon."
"You know I never approved of it," pursued Utterson, ruthlessly
disregarding the fresh topic.
"My will? Yes, certainly, I know that," said the doctor, a trifle
sharply. "You have told me so."
"Well, I tell you so again," continued the lawyer. "I have been
learning something of young Hyde."
The large handsome face of Dr. Jekyll grew pale to the very lips,
and there came a blackness about his eyes. "I do not care to hear
more," said he. "This is a matter I thought we had agreed to drop."
"What I heard was abominable," said Utterson.
"It can make no change. You do not under-
stand my position," returned the doctor, with a certain incoherency
of manner. "I am painfully situated, Utterson; my position is a very
strange--a very strange one. It is one of those affairs that
cannot be mended by talking."
"Jekyll," said Utterson, "you know me: I am a man to be trusted.
Make a clean breast of this in confidence; and I make no doubt I
can get you out of it."
"My good Utterson," said the doctor, "this is very good of you,
this is downright good of you, and I cannot find words to thank you
in. I believe you fully; I would trust you before any man alive, ay,
before myself, if I could make the choice; but indeed it isn't what
you fancy; it is not so bad as that; and just to put your good heart
at rest, I will tell you one thing: the moment I choose, I can be
rid of Mr. Hyde. I give you my hand upon that; and I thank you again
and again; and I will just add one little word, Utterson, that I'm
sure you'll take in good part: this is a private matter, and I beg
of you to let it sleep."
Utterson reflected a little, looking in the fire.
"I have no doubt you are perfectly right," he said at last, getting
to his feet.
"Well, but since we have touched upon this business, and for the
last time I hope," continued the doctor, "there is one point I
should like you to understand. I have really a very great interest
in poor Hyde. I know you have seen
him; he told me so; and I fear he was rude. But, I do sincerely
take a great, a very great interest in that young man; and if I am
taken away, Utterson, I wish you to promise me that you will bear
with him and get his rights for him. I think you would, if you knew
all; and it would be a weight off my mind if you would promise."
"I can't pretend that I shall ever like him," said the lawyer.
"I don't ask that," pleaded Jekyll, laying his hand upon the
other's arm; "I only ask for justice; I only ask you to help him
for my sake, when I am no longer here."
Utterson heaved an irrepressible sigh. "Well," said he, "I
THE CAREW MURDER CASE
NEARLY a year later, in the month of October, 18---, London was
startled by a crime of singular ferocity and rendered all the more
notable by the high position of the victim. The details were few and
startling. A maid servant living alone in a house not far from the
river, had gone up-stairs to bed about eleven. Although a fog rolled
over the city in the small hours, the early part of the night was
cloudless, and the lane, which the maid's window overlooked, was
brilliantly lit by the full moon. It seems she was romantically
given, for she sat down upon her box, which stood immediately under
the window, and fell into a dream of musing. Never (she used to say,
with streaming tears, when she narrated that experience), never had
she felt more at peace with all men or thought more kindly of the
world. And as she so sat she became aware of an aged and beautiful
gentleman with white hair, drawing near along the lane; and
advancing to meet him, another and very small gentleman, to whom at
paid less attention. When they had come within speech (which was
just under the maid's eyes) the older man bowed and accosted the
other with a very pretty manner of politeness. It did not seem as
if the subject of his address were of great importance; indeed,
from his pointing, it sometimes appeared as if he were only
inquiring his way; but the moon shone on his face as he spoke, and
the girl was pleased to watch it, it seemed to breathe such an
innocent and old-world kindness of disposition, yet with something
high too, as of a well-founded self-content. Presently her eye
wandered to the other, and she was surprised to recognise in him a
certain Mr. Hyde, who had once visited her master and for whom she
had conceived a dislike. He had in his hand a heavy cane, with which
he was trifling; but he answered never a word, and seemed to listen
with an ill-contained impatience. And then all of a sudden he broke
out in a great flame of anger, stamping with his foot, brandishing
the cane, and carrying on (as the maid described it) like a madman.
The old gentleman took a step back, with the air of one very much
surprised and a trifle hurt; and at that Mr. Hyde broke out of all
bounds and clubbed him to the earth. And next moment, with ape-like
fury, he was trampling his victim under foot and hailing down a
storm of blows, under which the bones were audibly shattered and the
body jumped upon the roadway. At the horror of these sights and
sounds, the maid fainted.
It was two o'clock when she came to herself and called for the
police. The murderer was gone long ago; but there lay his victim in
the middle of the lane, incredibly mangled. The stick with which the
deed had been done, although it was of some rare and very tough and
heavy wood, had broken in the middle under the stress of this
insensate cruelty; and one splintered half had rolled in the
neighbouring gutter--the other, without doubt, had been carried
away by the murderer. A purse and a gold watch were found upon the
victim: but no cards or papers, except a sealed and stamped
envelope, which he had been probably carrying to the post, and which
bore the name and address of Mr. Utterson.
This was brought to the lawyer the next morning, before he was out
of bed; and he had no sooner seen it, and been told the
circumstances, than he shot out a solemn lip. "I shall say nothing
till I have seen the body," said he; "this may be very serious. Have
the kindness to wait while I dress." And with the same grave
countenance he hurried through his breakfast and drove to the police
station, whither the body had been carried. As soon as he came into
the cell, he nodded.
"Yes," said he, "I recognise him. I am sorry to say that this is
Sir Danvers Carew."
"Good God, sir," exclaimed the officer, "is it possible?" And the
next moment his eye
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
Mr. Utterson had already quailed at the name of Hyde; but when the
stick was laid before him, he could doubt no longer; broken and
battered as it was, he recognised it for one that he had himself
presented many years before to Henry Jekyll.
"Is this Mr. Hyde a person of small stature?" he inquired.
"Particularly small and particularly wicked-looking, is what the
maid calls him," said the officer.
Mr. Utterson reflected; and then, raising his head, "If you will
come with me in my cab," he said, "I think I can take you to his
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 Soho seen under these changing glimpses, with its
muddy ways, and slatternly passengers, and its lamps, which had
never been extinguished or had been kindled afresh to combat this
mournful re-invasion of darkness, seemed, in the lawyer's eyes, like
a district of some city in a nightmare. The thoughts of his mind,
besides, were of the gloomiest dye; and when he glanced at the
companion of his drive, he was conscious of some touch of that
terror of the law and the law's officers, which may at times assail
the most honest.
As the cab drew up before the address indicated, the fog lifted a
little and showed him a dingy street, a gin palace, a low French
eating-house, a shop for the retail of penny numbers and twopenny
salads, many ragged children huddled in the doorways, and many
women of different nationalities passing out, key in hand, to have a
morning glass; and the next moment the fog settled down again upon
that part, as brown as umber, and cut him off from his blackguardly
surroundings. This was the home of Henry Jekyll's favourite; of a
man who was heir to a quarter of a million sterling.
An ivory-faced and silvery-haired old woman opened the door. She
had an evil face, smoothed by hypocrisy; but her manners were
excellent. Yes, she said, this was Mr. Hyde's, but he was not at
home; he had been in that night very late,
but had gone away again in less than an hour; there was nothing
strange in that; his habits were very irregular, and he was often
absent; for instance, it was nearly two months since she had seen
him till yesterday.
"Very well, then, we wish to see his rooms," said the lawyer; and
when the woman began to declare it was impossible, "I had better
tell you who this person is," he added. "This is Inspector Newcomen
of Scotland Yard."
A flash of odious joy appeared upon the woman's face. "Ah!" said
she, "he is in trouble! What has he done?"
Mr. Utterson and the inspector exchanged glances. "He don't seem a
very popular character," observed the latter. "And now, my good
woman, just let me and this gentleman have a look about us."
In the whole extent of the house, which but for the old woman
remained otherwise empty, Mr. Hyde had only used a couple of rooms;
but these were furnished with luxury and good taste. A closet was
filled with wine; the plate was of silver, the napery elegant; a
good picture hung upon the walls, a gift (as Utterson supposed) from
Henry Jekyll, who was much of a connoisseur; and the carpets were of
many plies and agreeable in colour. At this moment, however, the
rooms bore every mark of having been recently and hurriedly
ransacked; clothes lay about the floor, with their pockets inside
lock-fast drawers stood open; and on the hearth there lay a pile of
grey ashes, as though many papers had been burned. From these
embers the inspector disinterred the butt-end of a green
cheque-book, which had resisted the action of the fire; the other
half of the stick was found behind the door; and as this clinched
his suspicions, the officer declared himself delighted. A visit to
the bank, where several thousand pounds were found to be lying to
the murderer's credit, completed his gratification.
"You may depend upon it, sir," he told Mr. Utterson: "I have him in
my hand. He must have lost his head, or he never would have left the
stick or, above all, burned the cheque-book. Why, money's life to
the man. We have nothing to do but wait for him at the bank, and get
out the handbills."
This last, however, was not so easy of accomplishment; for Mr. Hyde
had numbered few familiars--even the master of the servant-maid
had only seen him twice; his family could nowhere be traced; he had
never been photographed; and the few who could describe him differed
widely, as common observers will. Only on one point, were they
agreed; and that was the haunting sense of unexpressed deformity
with which the fugitive impressed his beholders.
INCIDENT OF THE LETTER
IT was late in the afternoon, when Mr. Utterson found his way to
Dr. Jekyll's door, where he was at once admitted by Poole, and
carried down by the kitchen offices and across a yard which had
once been a garden, to the building which was indifferently known
as the laboratory or the dissecting-rooms. The doctor had bought
the house from the heirs of a celebrated surgeon; and his own
tastes being rather chemical than anatomical, had changed the
destination of the block at the bottom of the garden. It was the
first time that the lawyer had been received in that part of his
friend's quarters; and he eyed the dingy, windowless structure with
curiosity, and gazed round with a distasteful sense of strangeness
as he crossed the theatre, once crowded with eager students and now
lying gaunt and silent, the tables laden with chemical apparatus,
the floor strewn with crates and littered with packing straw, and
the light falling dimly through the foggy cupola. At the further
end, a flight of stairs mounted to a door covered with red baize;
and through this, Mr. Utterson was at last received into the
doctor's cabinet. It was a large room, fitted round with glass
presses, furnished, among other things, with a cheval-glass and a
business table, and looking out upon the court by three dusty
windows barred with iron. A fire burned in the grate; a lamp was
set lighted on the chimney shelf, for even in the houses the fog
began to lie thickly; and there, close up to the warmth, sat Dr.
Jekyll, looking deadly sick. He did not rise to meet his visitor,
but held out a cold hand and bade him welcome in a changed voice.
"And now," said Mr. Utterson, as soon as Poole had left them, "you
have heard the news?"
The doctor shuddered. "They were crying it in the square," he said.
"I heard them in my dining-room."
"One word," said the lawyer. "Carew was my client, but so are you,
and I want to know what I am doing. You have not been mad enough to
hide this fellow?"
"Utterson, I swear to God," cried the doctor, "I swear to God I
will never set eyes on him again. I bind my honour to you that I am
done with him in this world. It is all at an end. And indeed he does
not want my help; you do not know him as I do; he is safe, he is
quite safe; mark my words, he will never more be heard of."
The lawyer listened gloomily; he did not like his friend's feverish
manner. "You seem pretty
sure of him," said he; "and for your sake, I hope you may be right.
If it came to a trial, your name might appear."
"I am quite sure of him," replied Jekyll; "I have grounds for
certainty that I cannot share with any one. But there is one thing
on which you may advise me. I have--I have received a letter; and
I am at a loss whether I should show it to the police. I should like
to leave it in your hands, Utterson; you would judge wisely, I am
sure; I have so great a trust in you."
"You fear, I suppose, that it might lead to his detection?" asked
"No," said the other. "I cannot say that I care what becomes of
Hyde; I am quite done with him. I was thinking of my own character,
which this hateful business has rather exposed."
Utterson ruminated a while; he was surprised at his friend's
selfishness, and yet relieved by it. "Well," said he, at last, "let
me see the letter."
The letter was written in an odd, upright hand and signed "Edward
Hyde": and it signified, briefly enough, that the writer's
benefactor, Dr. Jekyll, whom he had long so unworthily repaid for a
thousand generosities, need labour under no alarm for his safety, as
he had means of escape on which he placed a sure dependence. The
lawyer liked this letter well enough; it put a better colour on the
intimacy than he had looked for; and he blamed himself for some of
his past suspicions.
"Have you the envelope?" he asked.
"I burned it," replied Jekyll, "before I thought what I was about.
But it bore no postmark. The note was handed in."
"Shall I keep this and sleep upon it?" asked Utterson.
"I wish you to judge for me entirely," was the reply. "I have lost
confidence in myself."
"Well, I shall consider," returned the lawyer. "And now one word
more: it was Hyde who dictated the terms in your will about that
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
"I have had what is far more to the purpose," returned the doctor
solemnly: "I have had a lesson--O God, Utterson, what a lesson I
have had!" And he covered his face for a moment with his hands.
On his way out, the lawyer stopped and had a word or two with
Poole. "By the by," said he, "there was a letter handed in to-day:
what was the messenger like?" But Poole was positive nothing had
come except by post; "and only circulars by that," he added.
This news sent off the visitor with his fears renewed. Plainly the
letter had come by the laboratory door; possibly, indeed, it had
written in the cabinet; and if that were so, it must be differently
judged, and handled with the more caution. The newsboys, as he went,
were crying themselves hoarse along the footways: "Special edition.
Shocking murder of an M. P." That was the funeral oration of one
friend and client; and he could not help a certain apprehension lest
the good name of another should be sucked down in the eddy of the
scandal. It was, at least, a ticklish decision that he had to make;
and self-reliant as he was by habit, he began to cherish a longing
for advice. It was not to be had directly; but perhaps, he thought,
it might be fished for.
Presently after, he sat on one side of his own hearth, with Mr.
Guest, his head clerk, upon the other, and midway between, at a
nicely calculated distance from the fire, a bottle of a particular
old wine that had long dwelt unsunned in the foundations of his
house. The fog still slept on the wing above the drowned city, where
the lamps glimmered like carbuncles; and through the muffle and
smother of these fallen clouds, the procession of the town's life
was still rolling in through the great arteries with a sound as of a
mighty wind. But the room was gay with firelight. In the bottle the
acids were long ago resolved; the imperial dye had softened with
time, As the colour grows richer in stained windows; and the glow of
hot autumn afternoons on hillside vineyards was ready to be set free
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
"This is a sad business about Sir Danvers," he said.
"Yes, sir, indeed. It has elicited a great deal of public feeling,"
returned Guest. "The man, of course, was mad."
"I should like to hear your views on that," replied Utterson. "I
have a document here in his handwriting; it is between ourselves,
for I scarce know what to do about it; it is an ugly business at
the best. But there it is; quite in your way a murderer's
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 Dr. Jekyll, sir?" inquired the clerk. "I thought I
knew the writing. Anything private, Mr. Utterson?"
"Only an invitation to dinner. Why? Do you want to see it?"
"One moment. I thank you, sir"; and the clerk laid the two sheets
of paper alongside and sedulously compared their contents. "Thank
you, sir," he said at last, returning both; "it's a very
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
"Rather quaint," said Utterson.
"It is, as you say, rather quaint," returned Guest.
"I wouldn't speak of this note, you know," said the master.
"No, sir," said the clerk. "I understand."
But no sooner was Mr. Utterson alone that night than he locked the
note into his safe, where it reposed from that time forward.
"What!" he thought. "Henry Jekyll forge for a murderer!" And his
blood ran cold in his veins.
REMARKABLE INCIDENT OF DR. LANYON
TIME ran on; thousands of pounds were offered in reward, for the
death of Sir Danvers was resented as a public injury; but Mr. Hyde
had disappeared out of the ken of the police as though he had never
existed. Much of his past was unearthed, indeed, and all
disreputable: tales came out of the man's cruelty, at once so
callous and violent; of his vile life, of his strange associates,
of the hatred that seemed to have surrounded his career; but of his
present whereabouts, not a whisper. From the time he had left the
house in Soho on the morning of the murder, he was simply blotted
out; and gradually, as time drew on, Mr. Utterson began to recover
from the hotness of his alarm, and to grow more at quiet with
himself. The death of Sir Danvers was, to his way of thinking, more
than paid for by the disappearance of Mr. Hyde. Now that that evil
influence had been withdrawn, a new life began for Dr. Jekyll. He
came out of his seclusion, renewed relations with his friends,
became once more their familiar guest
and entertainer; and whilst he had always been, known for
charities, he was now no less distinguished for religion. He was
busy, he was much in the open air, he did good; his face seemed to
open and brighten, as if with an inward consciousness of service;
and for more than two months, the doctor was at peace.
On the 8th of January Utterson had dined at the doctor's with a
small party; Lanyon had been there; and the face of the host had
looked from one to the other as in the old days when the trio were
inseparable friends. On the 12th, and again on the 14th, the door
was shut against the lawyer. "The doctor was confined to the
house," Poole said, "and saw no one." On the 15th, he tried again,
and was again refused; and having now been used for the last two
months to see his friend almost daily, he found this return of
solitude to weigh upon his spirits. The fifth night he had in Guest
to dine with him; and the sixth he betook himself to Dr. Lanyon's.
There at least he was not denied admittance; but when he came in,
he was shocked at the change which had taken place in the doctor's
appearance. He had his death-warrant written legibly upon his face.
The rosy man had grown pale; his flesh had fallen away; he was
visibly balder and older; and yet it was not so much, these tokens
of a swift physical decay that arrested the lawyer's notice, as a
look in the eye and quality of manner that seemed to testify to
some deep-seated terror of the mind. It was unlikely that the
doctor should fear death; and yet that was what Utterson was
tempted to suspect. "Yes," he thought; "he is a doctor, he must
know his own state and that his days are counted; and the knowledge
is more than he can bear." And yet when Utterson remarked on his
ill-looks, it was with an air of greatness that Lanyon declared
himself a doomed man.
"I have had a shock," he said, "and I shall never recover. It is a
question of weeks. Well, life has been pleasant; I liked it; yes,
sir, I used to like it. I sometimes think if we knew all, we should
be more glad to get away."
"Jekyll is ill, too," observed Utterson. "Have you seen him?"
But Lanyon's face changed, and he held up a trembling hand. "I wish
to see or hear no more of Dr. Jekyll," he said in a loud, unsteady
voice. "I am quite done with that person; and I beg that you will
spare me any allusion to one whom I regard as dead."
"Tut-tut," said Mr. Utterson; and then after a considerable pause,
"Can't I do anything?" he inquired. "We are three very old friends,
Lanyon; we shall not live to make others."
"Nothing can be done," returned Lanyon; "ask himself."
"He will not see me," said the lawyer.
"I am not surprised at that," was the reply. "Some day, Utterson,
after I am dead, you may
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
As soon as he got home, Utterson sat down and wrote to Jekyll,
complaining of his exclusion from the house, and asking the cause
of this unhappy break with Lanyon; and the next day brought him a
long answer, often very pathetically worded, and sometimes darkly
mysterious in drift. The quarrel with Lanyon was incurable. "I do
not blame our old friend," Jekyll wrote, "but I share his view
that we must never meet. I mean from henceforth to lead a life of
extreme seclusion; you must not be surprised, nor must you doubt
my friendship, if my door is often shut even to you. You must
suffer me to go my own dark way. I have brought on myself a
punishment and a danger that I cannot name. If I am the chief of
sinners, I am the chief of sufferers also. I could not think that
this earth contained a place for sufferings and terrors so
unmanning; and you can do but one thing, Utterson, to lighten
this destiny, and that is to respect my silence." Utterson was
amazed; the dark influence of Hyde had been withdrawn, the doctor
had returned to his old tasks and amities; a week ago, the
prospect had smiled with every promise of a cheerful and an
and now in a moment, friendship, and peace of mind, and the whole
tenor of his life were wrecked. So great and unprepared a change
pointed to madness; but in view of Lanyon's manner and words,
there must lie for it some deeper ground.
A week afterwards Dr. Lanyon took to his bed, and in something
less than a fortnight he was dead. The night after the funeral,
at which he had been sadly affected, Utterson locked the door of
his business room, and sitting there by the light of a melancholy
candle, drew out and set before him an envelope addressed by the
hand and sealed with the seal of his dead friend. "PRIVATE: for
the hands of G. J. Utterson ALONE and in case of his predecease
to be destroyed unread," so it was emphatically superscribed; and
the lawyer dreaded to behold the contents. "I have buried one
friend to-day," he thought: "what if this should cost me
another?" And then he condemned the fear as a disloyalty, and
broke the seal. Within there was another enclosure, likewise
sealed, and marked upon the cover as "not to be opened till the
death or disappearance of Dr. Henry Jekyll." Utterson could not
trust his eyes. Yes, it was disappearance; here again, as in the
mad will which he had long ago restored to its author, here again
were the idea of a disappearance and the name of Henry Jekyll
bracketed. But in the will, that idea had sprung from the
sinister suggestion of
the man Hyde; it was set there with a purpose all too plain and
horrible. Written by the hand of Lanyon, what should it mean? A
great curiosity came on the trustee, to disregard the prohibition
and dive at once to the bottom of these mysteries; but
professional honour and faith to his dead friend were stringent
obligations; and the packet slept in the inmost corner of his
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
INCIDENT AT THE WINDOW
IT chanced on Sunday, when Mr. Utterson was on his usual walk
with Mr. Enfield, that their way lay once again through the
by-street; and that when they came in front of the door, both
stopped to gaze on it.
"Well," said Enfield, "that story's at an end at least. We shall
never see more of Mr. Hyde."
"I hope not," said Utterson. "Did I ever tell you that I once saw
him, and shared your feeling of repulsion?"
"It was impossible to do the one without the other," returned
Enfield. "And by the way, what an ass you must have thought me,
not to know that this was a back way to Dr. Jekyll's! It was
partly your own fault that I found it out, even when I did."
"So you found it out, did you?" said Utterson. "But if that be
so, we may step into the court and take a look at the windows. To
tell you the truth, I am uneasy about poor Jekyll; and even
outside, I feel as if the presence of a friend might do him
The court was very cool and a little damp, and full of premature
twilight, although the sky, high up overhead, was still bright
with sunset. The middle one of the three windows was half-way
open; and sitting close beside it, taking the air with an
infinite sadness of mien, like some disconsolate prisoner,
Utterson saw Dr. Jekyll.
"What! Jekyll!" he cried. "I trust you are better."
"I am very low, Utterson," replied the doctor, drearily, "very
low. It will not last long, thank God."
"You stay too much indoors," said the lawyer. "You should be out,
whipping up the circulation like Mr. Enfield and me. (This is my
cousin--Mr. Enfield--Dr. Jekyll.) Come, now; get your hat and
take a quick turn with us."
"You are very good," sighed the other. "I should like to very
much; but no, no, no, it is quite impossible; I dare not. But
indeed, Utterson, I am very glad to see you; this is really a
great pleasure; I would ask you and Mr. Enfield up, but the place
is really not fit."
"Why then," said the lawyer, good-naturedly, "the best thing we
can do is to stay down here and speak with you from where we
"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 by-street;
and it was not until they had come into a neighbouring
thoroughfare, where even upon a Sunday there were still some
stirrings of life, that Mr. Utterson at last turned and looked at
his companion. They were both pale; and there was an answering
horror in their eyes.
"God forgive us, God forgive us," said Mr. Utterson.
But Mr. Enfield only nodded his head very seriously and walked on
once more in silence.
THE LAST NIGHT
MR. UTTERSON was sitting by his fireside one evening after
dinner, when he was surprised to receive a visit from Poole.
"Bless me, Poole, what brings you here?" he cried; and then
taking a second look at him, "What ails you?" he added; "is the
"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
"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 repeated.
"Come," said the lawyer, "I see you have some good reason, Poole;
I see there is something seriously amiss. Try to tell me what it
"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
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
pocket-handkerchief. But for all the hurry of his cowing, these
were not the dews of exertion that he wiped away, but the
moisture of some strangling anguish; for his face was white and
his voice, when he spoke, harsh and broken.
"Well, sir," he said, "here we are, and God grant there be
"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
"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.
"Hold your tongue!" Poole said to her, with a ferocity of accent
that testified to his own jangled nerves; and indeed, when the
girl had so suddenly raised the note of her lamentation, they had
all started and turned toward the inner door with faces of
dreadful expectation. "And now," continued the butler, addressing
the knife-boy, "reach me a candle, and we'll get this through
hands at once." And then he begged Mr. Utterson to follow him,
and led the way to the back-garden.
"Now, sir," said he, "you come as gently as you can. I want you
to hear, and I don't want you to be heard. And see here, sir, if
by any chance he was to ask you in, don't go."
Mr. Utterson's nerves, at this unlooked-for termination, gave a
jerk that nearly threw him from his balance; but he re-collected
and followed the butler into the laboratory building and through
the surgical theatre, with its lumber of crates and bottles, to
the foot of the stair. Here Poole motioned him to stand on one
side and listen; while he himself, setting down the candle and
making a great and obvious call on his resolution, mounted the
steps and knocked with a somewhat uncertain hand on the red baize
of the cabinet door.
"Mr. Utterson, sir, asking to see you," he called; and even as he
did so, once more violently signed to the lawyer to give ear.
A voice answered from within: "Tell him I cannot see any one," it
"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
"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!"
"This is a very strange tale, Poole; this is rather a wild tale,
my man," said Mr. Utterson, biting his finger. "Suppose it were
as you suppose, supposing Dr. Jekyll to have been--well,
murdered, what could induce the murderer to stay? That won't hold
water; it doesn't commend itself to reason."
"Well, Mr. Utterson, you are a hard man to satisfy, but I'll do
it yet," said Poole. "All this last week (you must know) him, or
it, or whatever it is that lives in that cabinet, has been crying
night and day for some sort of medicine and cannot get it to his
mind. It was sometimes his way--the master's, that is--to
write his orders on a sheet of paper and throw it on the stair.
We've had nothing else this week back; nothing but papers, and a
closed door, and the very meals left there to be smuggled in when
nobody was looking. Well, sir, every day, ay, and twice and
thrice in the same day, there have been orders and complaints,
and I have been sent flying to all the wholesale chemists in
town. Every time I brought the stuff back, there would be another
paper telling me to return it, because it was not pure, and
another order to a different firm. This drug is wanted bitter
bad, sir, whatever for."
"Have you any of these papers?" asked Mr. Utterson.
Poole felt in his pocket and handed out a crumpled note, which
the lawyer, bending nearer
to the candle, carefully examined. Its contents ran thus: "Dr.
Jekyll presents his compliments to Messrs. Maw. He assures them
that their last sample is impure and quite useless for his
present purpose. In the year 18---, Dr. J. purchased a somewhat
large quantity from Messrs. M. He now begs them to search with
the most sedulous care, and should any of the same quality be
left, to forward it to him at once. Expense is no consideration.
The importance of this to Dr. J. can hardly be exaggerated." So
far the letter had run composedly enough, but here with a sudden
splutter of the pen, the writer's emotion had broken loose. "For
God's sake," he had added, "find me some of the old."
"This is a strange note," said Mr. Utterson; and then sharply,
"How do you come to have it open?"
"The man at Maw's was main angry, sir, and he threw it back to me
like so much dirt," returned Poole.
"This is unquestionably the doctor's hand, do you know?" resumed
"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 up-stairs into
the cabinet. It was but for one minute that I saw him, but the
hair stood upon my head like quills. Sir, if that was my master,
why had he a mask upon his face? If it was my master, why did he
cry out like a rat, and run from me? I have served him long
enough. And then..." The man paused and passed his hand over his
"These are all very strange circumstances," said Mr. Utterson,
"but I think I begin to see daylight. Your master, Poole, is
plainly seized with one of those maladies that both torture and
deform the sufferer; hence, for aught I know, the alteration of
his voice; hence the mask and the avoidance of his friends; hence
his eagerness to find this drug, by means of which the poor soul
retains some hope of ultimate recovery--God grant that he be
not deceived! There is my explanation; it is sad enough, Poole,
ay, and appalling to consider; but it is plain and natural, hangs
well together, and delivers us from all exorbitant alarms."
"Sir," said the butler, turning to a sort of mottled pallor,
"that thing was not my master, and there's the truth. My master"
here he looked round him and began to whisper--"is
a tall, fine build of a man, and this was more of a dwarf."
Utterson attempted to protest. "O, sir," cried Poole, "do you
think I do not know my master after twenty years? Do you think I
do not know where his head comes to in the cabinet door, where I
saw him every morning of my life? No, Sir, that thing in the mask
was never Dr. Jekyll--God knows what it was, but it was never
Dr. Jekyll; and it is the belief of my heart that there was
"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
"Ah Mr. Utterson, that's talking!" cried the butler.
"And now comes the second question," resumed Utterson: "Who is
going to do it?"
"Why, you and me," was the undaunted reply.
"That's very well said," returned the lawyer; "and whatever comes
of it, I shall make it my business to see you are no loser."
"There is an axe in the theatre," continued Poole; "and you might
take the kitchen poker for yourself."
The lawyer took that rude but weighty instrument into his hand,
and balanced it. "Do you know, Poole," he said, looking up, "that
you and I are about to place ourselves in a position of some
"You may say so, sir, indeed," returned the butler.
"It is well, then, that we should be frank," said the other. "We
both think more than we have said; let us make a clean breast.
This masked figure that you saw, did you recognise it?"
"Well, sir, it went so quick, and the creature was so doubled up,
that I could hardly swear to that," was the answer. "But if you
mean, was it Mr. Hyde?--why, yes, I think it was! You see, it
was much of the same bigness; and it had the same quick, light
way with it; and then who else could have got in by the
laboratory door? You have not forgot, sir that at the time of the
murder he had still the key with him? But that's not all. I don't
know, Mr. Utterson, if ever you met this Mr. Hyde?"
"Yes," said the lawyer, "I once spoke with him."
"Then you must know as well as the rest of us that there was
something queer about that gentleman--something that gave a man
a turn--I don't know rightly how to say it, sir, beyond this:
that you felt it in your marrow kind of cold and thin."
"I own I felt something of what you describe," said Mr. Utterson.
"Quite so, sir," returned Poole. "Well, when
that masked thing like a monkey jumped from among the chemicals
and whipped into the cabinet, it went down my spine like ice. Oh,
I know it's not evidence, Mr. Utterson. I'm book-learned enough
for that; but a man has his feelings, and I give you my
Bible-word it was Mr. Hyde!"
"Ay, ay," said the lawyer. "My fears incline to the same point.
Evil, I fear, founded--evil was sure to come--of that
connection. Ay, truly, I believe you; I believe poor Harry is
killed; and I believe his murderer (for what purpose, God alone
can tell) is still lurking in his victim's room. Well, let our
name be vengeance. Call Bradshaw."
The footman came at the summons, very white and nervous.
"Pull yourself together, Bradshaw," said the lawyer. "This
suspense, I know, is telling upon all of you; but it is now our
intention to make an end of it. Poole, here, and I are going to
force our way into the cabinet. If all is well, my shoulders are
broad enough to bear the blame. Meanwhile, lest anything should
really be amiss, or any malefactor seek to escape by the back,
you and the boy must go round the corner with a pair of good
sticks and take your post at the laboratory door. We give you ten
minutes to get to your stations."
As Bradshaw left, the lawyer looked at his watch. "And now,
Poole, let us get to ours,"
he said; and taking the poker under his arm, led the way into the
yard. The scud had banked over the moon, and it was now quite
dark. The wind, which only broke in puffs and draughts into that
deep well of building, tossed the light of the candle to and fro
about their steps, until they came into the shelter of the
theatre, where they sat down silently to wait. London hummed
solemnly all around; but nearer at hand, the stillness was only
broken by the sounds of a footfall moving to and fro along the
"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
The steps fell lightly and oddly, with a certain swing, for all
they went so slowly; it was different indeed from the heavy
creaking tread of Henry Jekyll. Utterson sighed. "Is there never
anything else?" he asked.
Poole nodded. "Once," he said. "Once I heard it weeping!"
"Weeping? how that?" said the lawyer, conscious of a sudden chill
"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 frame bounded; four times the blow fell; but the wood was
tough and the fittings were of excellent workmanship; and it was
not until the fifth, that the lock burst in sunder and the wreck
of the door fell inwards on the carpet.
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
Right in the midst there lay the body of a man sorely contorted
and still twitching. They drew near on tiptoe, turned it on its
back and beheld the face of Edward Hyde. He was dressed in
clothes far too large for him, clothes of the doctor's bigness;
the cords of his face still moved with a semblance of life, but
life was quite gone; and by the crushed phial in the hand and the
strong smell of kernels that hung upon the air, Utterson knew
that he was looking on the body of a self-destroyer.
"We have come too late," he said sternly, "whether to save or
punish. Hyde is gone to his account; and it only remains for us
to find the body of your master."
The far greater proportion of the building was occupied by the
theatre, which filled almost the whole ground story and was
lighted from above, and by the cabinet, which formed an upper
story at one end and looked upon the
court. A corridor joined the theatre to the door on the
by-street; and with this the cabinet communicated separately by a
second flight of stairs. There were besides a few dark closets
and a spacious cellar. All these they now thoroughly examined.
Each closet needed but a glance, for all were empty, and all, by
the dust that fell from their doors, had stood long unopened. The
cellar, indeed, was filled with crazy lumber, mostly dating from
the times of the surgeon who was Jekyll's predecessor; but even
as they opened the door they were advertised of the uselessness
of further search, by the fall of a perfect mat of cobweb which
had for years sealed up the entrance. Nowhere was there any trace
of Henry Jekyll, dead or alive.
Poole stamped on the flags of the corridor. "He must be buried
here," he said, hearkening to the sound.
"Or he may have fled," said Utterson, and he turned to examine
the door in the by-street. It was locked; and lying near by on
the flags, they found the key, already stained with rust.
"This does not look like use," observed the lawyer.
"Use!" echoed Poole. "Do you not see, sir, it is broken? much as
if a man had stamped on it."
"Ay," continued Utterson, "and the fractures, too, are rusty."
The two men looked at each other with a scare. "This is beyond
Poole," said the lawyer. "Let us go back to the cabinet."
They mounted the stair in silence, and still with an occasional
awe-struck glance at the dead body, proceeded more thoroughly to
examine the contents of the cabinet. At one table, there were
traces of chemical work, various measured heaps of some white
salt being laid on glass saucers, as though for an experiment in
which the unhappy man had been prevented.
"That is the same drug that I was always bringing him," said
Poole; and even as he spoke, the kettle with a startling noise
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
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
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? Oh, we must
be careful. I foresee that we may yet involve your master in some
"Why don't you read it, sir?" asked Poole.
"Because I fear," replied the lawyer solemnly. "God grant I have
no cause for it!" And with that he brought the paper to his eyes
and read as follows:
"MY DEAR UTTERSON,--When this shall fall into your hands, I
shall have disappeared, under what circumstances I have not the
penetration to foresee, but my instinct and all the circumstances
of my nameless situation tell me that the end is sure and must be
early. Go then, and first read the narrative which Lanyon warned
me he was to place in your hands; and if you care to hear more,
turn to the confession of
"Your unworthy and unhappy friend,
"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.
DR. LANYON'S NARRATIVE
ON the ninth of January, now four days ago, I received by the
evening delivery a registered envelope, addressed in the hand of
my colleague and old school-companion, Henry Jekyll. I was a good
deal surprised by this; for we were by no means in the habit of
correspondence; I had seen the man, dined with him, indeed, the
night before; and I could imagine nothing in our intercourse that
should justify formality of registration. The contents increased
my wonder; for this is how the letter ran:
"10th December, 18---
"DEAR LANYON, You are one of my oldest friends; and although we
may have differed at times on scientific questions, I cannot
remember, at least on my side, any break in our affection. There
was never a day when, if you had said to me, 'Jekyll, my life, my
honour, my reason, depend upon you,' I would not have sacrificed
my left hand to help you. Lanyon, my life, my honour my reason,
are all at your mercy;
if you fail me to-night I am lost. You might suppose, after this
preface, that I am going to ask you for something dishonourable
to grant. Judge for yourself.
"I want you to postpone all other engagements for to-night--ay,
even if you were summoned to the bedside of an emperor; to take a
cab, unless your carriage should be actually at the door; and
with this letter in your hand for consultation, to drive straight
to my house. Poole, my butler, has his orders; you will find, him
waiting your arrival with a locksmith. The door of my cabinet is
then to be forced: and you are to go in alone; to open the glazed
press (letter E) on the left hand, breaking the lock if it be
shut; and to draw out, with all its contents as they stand, the
fourth drawer from the top or (which is the same thing) the third
from the bottom. In my extreme distress of wind, I have a morbid
fear of misdirecting you; but even if I am in error, you may know
the right drawer by its contents: some powders, a phial and a
paper book. This drawer I beg of you to carry back with you to
Cavendish Square exactly as it stands.
"That is the first part of the service: now for the second. You
should be back, if you set out at once on the receipt of this,
long before midnight; but I will leave you that amount of margin,
not only in the fear of one of those obstacles that can neither
be prevented nor fore-
seen, but because an hour when your servants are in bed is to be
preferred for what will then remain to do. At midnight, then, I
have to ask you to be alone in your consulting-room, to admit
with your own hand into the house a man who will present himself
in my name, and to place in his hands the drawer that you will
have brought with you from my cabinet. Then you will have played
your part and earned my gratitude completely. Five minutes
afterwards, if you insist upon an explanation, you will have
understood that these arrangements are of capital importance; and
that by the neglect of one of them, fantastic as they must
appear, you might have charged your conscience with my death or
the shipwreck of my reason.
"Confident as I am that you will not trifle with this appeal, my
heart sinks and my hand trembles at the bare thought of such a
possibility. Think of me at this hour, in a strange place,
labouring under a blackness of distress that no fancy can
exaggerate, and yet well aware that, if you will but punctually
serve me, my troubles will roll away like a story that is told.
Serve me, my dear Lanyon, and save
"P. S. I had already sealed this up when a fresh terror struck
upon my soul. It is possible that the postoffice may fail me, and
not come into your hands until to-morrow morning. In that case,
dear Lanyon, do my errand when it shall be most convenient for
you in the course of the day; and once more expect my messenger
at midnight. It may then already be too late; and if that night
passes without event, you will know that you have seen the last
of Henry Jekyll."
Upon the reading of this letter, I made sure my colleague was
insane; but till that was proved beyond the possibility of doubt,
I felt bound to do as he requested. The less I understood of this
farrago, the less I was in a position to judge of its importance;
and an appeal so worded could not be set aside without a grave
responsibility. I rose accordingly from table, got into a hansom,
and drove straight to Jekyll's house. The butler was awaiting my
arrival; he had received by the same post as mine a registered
letter of instruction, and had sent at once for a locksmith and a
carpenter. The tradesmen came while we were yet speaking; and we
moved in a body to old Dr. Denman's surgical theatre, from which
(as you are doubtless aware) Jekyll's private cabinet is most
conveniently entered. The door was very strong, the lock
excellent; the carpenter avowed he would have great trouble and
have to do much damage, if force were to be used; and the
locksmith was near despair. But this last was a handy fellow,
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
Here I proceeded to examine its contents. The powders were neatly
enough made up, but not with the nicety of the dispensing
chemist; so that it was plain they were of Jekyll's private
manufacture; and when I opened one of the wrappers I found what
seemed to me a simple crystalline salt of a white colour. The
phial, to which I next turned my attention, might have been about
half-full of a blood-red liquor, which was highly pungent to the
sense of smell and seemed to me to contain phosphorus and some
volatile ether. At the other ingredients I could make no guess.
The book was an ordinary version-book and contained little but a
series of dates. These covered a period of many years, but I
observed that the entries ceased nearly a year ago and quite
abruptly. Here and there a brief remark was appended to a date,
usually no more than a single word: "double" occurring perhaps
six times in a total of several hundred entries; and once very
early in the list and followed by several marks of exclamation,
"total failure!!!" All this, though it whetted my curiosity, told
me little that was definite. Here were a phial of some tincture,
a paper of some salt, and the record of a series of experi-
ments that had led (like too many of Jekyll's investigations) to
no end of practical usefulness. How could the presence of these
articles in my house affect either the honour, the sanity, or the
life of my flighty colleague? If his messenger could go to one
place, why could he not go to another? And even granting some
impediment, why was this gentleman to be received by me in
secret? The more I reflected the more convinced I grew that I was
dealing with a case of cerebral disease: and though I dismissed
my servants to bed, I loaded an old revolver, that I might be
found in some posture of self-defence.
Twelve o'clock had scarce rung out over London, ere the knocker
sounded very gently on the door. I went myself at the summons,
and found a small man crouching against the pillars of the
"Are you come from Dr. Jekyll?" I asked.
He told me "yes" by a constrained gesture; and when I had bidden
him enter, he did not obey me without a searching backward glance
into the darkness of the square. There was a policeman not far
off, advancing with his bull's eye open; and at the sight, I
thought my visitor started and made greater haste.
These particulars struck me, I confess, disagreeably; and as I
followed him into the bright light of the consulting-room, I kept
my hand ready on my weapon. Here, at last, I had a
chance of clearly seeing him. I had never set eyes on him before,
so much was certain. He was small, as I have said; I was struck
besides with the shocking expression of his face, with his
remarkable combination of great muscular activity and great
apparent debility of constitution, and--last but not least--
with the odd, subjective disturbance caused by his neighbourhood.
This bore some resemblance to incipient rigour, and was
accompanied by a marked sinking of the pulse. At the time, I set
it down to some idiosyncratic, personal distaste, and merely
wondered at the acuteness of the symptoms; but I have since had
reason to believe the cause to lie much deeper in the nature of
man, and to turn on some nobler hinge than the principle of
This person (who had thus, from the first moment of his entrance,
struck in me what I can only describe as a disgustful curiosity)
was dressed in a fashion that would have made an ordinary person
laughable; his clothes, that is to say, although they were of
rich and sober fabric, were enormously too large for him in every
measurement--the trousers hanging on his legs and rolled up to
keep them from the ground, the waist of the coat below his
haunches, and the collar sprawling wide upon his shoulders.
Strange to relate, this ludicrous accoutrement was far from
moving me to laughter. Rather, as there was something abnormal
gotten in the very essence of the creature that now faced me--
something seizing, surprising, and revolting--this fresh
disparity seemed but to fit in with and to reinforce it; so that
to my interest in the man's nature and character, there was added
a curiosity as to his origin, his life, his fortune and status in
These observations, though they have taken so great a space to be
set down in, were yet the work of a few seconds. My visitor was,
indeed, on fire with sombre excitement.
"Have you got it?" he cried. "Have you got it?" And so lively was
his impatience that he even laid his hand upon my arm and sought
to shake me.
I put him back, conscious at his touch of a certain icy pang
along my blood. "Come, sir," said I. "You forget that I have not
yet the pleasure of your acquaintance. Be seated, if you please."
And I showed him an example, and sat down myself in my customary
seat and with as fair an imitation of my ordinary manner to a
patient, as the lateness of the hour, the nature of my
pre-occupations, and the horror I had of my visitor, would suffer
me to muster.
"I beg your pardon, Dr. Lanyon," he replied civilly enough. "What
you say is very well founded; and my impatience has shown its
heels to my politeness. I come here at the instance of your
colleague, Dr. Henry Jekyll, on a piece of business of some
moment; and I under-
stood..." He paused and put his hand to his throat, and I could
see, in spite of his collected manner, that he was wrestling
against the approaches of the hysteria--"I understood, a
But here I took pity on my visitor's suspense, and some perhaps
on my own growing curiosity.
"There it is, sir," said I, pointing to the drawer, where it lay
on the floor behind a table and still covered with the sheet.
He sprang to it, and then paused, and laid his hand upon his
heart: I could hear his teeth grate with the convulsive action of
his jaws; and his face was so ghastly to see that I grew alarmed
both for his life and reason.
"Compose yourself," said I.
He turned a dreadful smile to me, and as if with the decision of
despair, plucked away the sheet. At sight of the contents, he
uttered one loud sob of such immense relief that I sat petrified.
And the next moment, in a voice that was already fairly well
under control, "Have you a graduated glass?" he asked.
I rose from my place with something of an effort and gave him
what he asked.
He thanked me with a smiling nod, measured out a few minims of
the red tincture and added one of the powders. The mixture, which
was at first of a reddish hue, began, in proportion as the
crystals melted, to brighten in colour, to effervesce audibly,
and to throw off small
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
"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. 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--
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.
HENRY JEKYLL'S FULL STATEMENT OF THE CASE
I WAS born in the year 18--- to a large fortune, endowed besides
with excellent parts, inclined by nature to industry, fond of the
respect of the wise and good among my fellow-men, and thus, as
might have been supposed, with every guarantee of an honourable
and distinguished future. And indeed the worst of my faults was a
certain impatient gaiety of disposition, such as has made the
happiness of many, but such as I found it hard to reconcile with
my imperious desire to carry my head high, and wear a more than
commonly grave countenance before the public. Hence it came about
that I concealed my pleasures; and that when I reached years of
reflection, and began to look round me and take stock of my
progress and position in the world, I stood already committed to
a profound duplicity of life. Many a man would have even blazoned
such irregularities as I was guilty of; but from the high views
that I had set before me, I regarded and hid them with an almost
morbid sense of shame. It was thus rather the exacting
nature of my aspirations than any particular degradation in my
faults, that made me what I was and, with even a deeper trench
than in the majority of men, severed in me those provinces of
good and ill which divide and compound man's dual nature. In this
case, I was driven to reflect deeply and inveterately on that
hard law of life, which lies at the root of religion and is one
of the most plentiful springs of distress. Though so profound a
double-dealer, I was in no sense a hypocrite; both sides of me
were in dead earnest; I was no more myself when I laid aside
restraint and plunged in shame, than when I laboured, in the eye
of day, at the furtherance of knowledge or the relief of sorrow
and suffering. And it chanced that the direction of my scientific
studies, which led wholly toward the mystic and the
transcendental, re-acted and shed a strong light on this
consciousness of the perennial war among my members. With every
day, and from both sides of my intelligence, the moral and the
intellectual, I thus drew steadily nearer to that truth, by whose
partial discovery I have been doomed to such a dreadful
shipwreck: that man is not truly one, but truly two. I say two,
because the state of my own knowledge does not pass beyond that
point. Others will follow, others will outstrip me on the same
lines; and I hazard the guess that man will be ultimately known
for a mere polity of multifarious, incongruous, and independent
denizens. I, for my
part, from the nature of my life, advanced infallibly in one
direction and in one direction only. It was on the moral side,
and in my own person, that I learned to recognise the thorough
and primitive duality of man; I saw that, of the two natures that
contended in the field of my consciousness, even if I could
rightly be said to be either, it was only because I was radically
both; and from an early date, even before the course of my
scientific discoveries had begun to suggest the most naked
possibility of such a miracle, I had learned to dwell with
pleasure, as a beloved day-dream, on the thought of the
separation of these elements. If each, I told myself, could but
be housed in separate identities, life would be relieved of all
that was unbearable; the unjust delivered from the aspirations
might go his way, and remorse of his more upright twin; and the
just could walk steadfastly and securely on his upward path,
doing the good things in which he found his pleasure, and no
longer exposed to disgrace and penitence by the hands of this
extraneous evil. It was the curse of mankind that these
incongruous fagots were thus bound together that in the agonised
womb of consciousness, these polar twins should be continuously
struggling. How, then, were they dissociated?
I was so far in my reflections when, as I have said, a side-light
began to shine upon the subject from the laboratory table. I
began to perceive
more deeply than it has ever yet been stated, the trembling
immateriality, the mist-like transience of this seemingly so
solid body in which we walk attired. Certain agents I found to
have the power to shake and to pluck back that fleshly vestment,
even as a wind might toss the curtains of a pavilion. For two
good reasons, I will not enter deeply into this scientific branch
of my confession. First, because I have been made to learn that
the doom and burthen of our life is bound for ever on man's
shoulders, and when the attempt is made to cast it off, it but
returns upon us with more unfamiliar and more awful pressure.
Second, because, as my narrative will make, alas! too evident, my
discoveries were incomplete. Enough, then, that I not only
recognised my natural body for the mere aura and effulgence of
certain of the powers that made up my spirit, but managed to
compound a drug by which these powers should be dethroned from
their supremacy, and a second form and countenance substituted,
none the less natural to me because they were the expression, and
bore the stamp, of lower elements in my soul.
I hesitated long before I put this theory to the test of
practice. I knew well that I risked death; for any drug that so
potently controlled and shook the very fortress of identity,
might by the least scruple of an overdose or at the least
inopportunity in the moment of exhibition, utterly blot out that
immaterial tabernacle which I
looked to it to change. But the temptation of a discovery so
singular and profound, at last overcame the suggestions of alarm.
I had long since prepared my tincture; I purchased at once, from
a firm of wholesale chemists, a large quantity of a particular
salt which I knew, from my experiments, to be the last ingredient
required; and late one accursed night, I compounded the elements,
watched them boil and smoke together in the glass, and when the
ebullition had subsided, with a strong glow of courage, drank off
The 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
sensations; and in the act, I was suddenly aware that I had lost
There was no mirror, at that date, in my room; that which stands
beside me as I write, was brought there later on and for the very
purpose of these transformations. The night, however, was far
gone into the morning--the morning, black as it was, was nearly
ripe for the conception of the day--the inmates of my house
were locked in the most rigorous hours of slumber; and I
determined, flushed as I was with hope and triumph, to venture in
my new shape as far as to my bedroom. I crossed the yard, wherein
the constellations looked down upon me, I could have thought,
with wonder, the first creature of that sort that their
unsleeping vigilance had yet disclosed to them; I stole through
the corridors, a stranger in my own house; and coming to my room,
I saw for the first time the appearance of Edward Hyde.
I must here speak by theory alone, saying not that which I know,
but that which I suppose to be most probable. The evil side of my
nature, to which I had now transferred the stamping efficacy, was
less robust and less developed than the good which I had just
deposed. Again, in the course of my life, which had been, after
all, nine-tenths a life of effort, virtue, and control, it had
been much less exercised and much less exhausted. And hence, as I
think, it came about that Edward Hyde was so much smaller,
slighter, and younger than Henry Jekyll. Even as good shone upon
the countenance of the one, evil was written broadly and plainly
on the face of the other. Evil besides (which I must still
believe to be the lethal side of man) had left on that body an
imprint of deformity and decay. And yet when I looked upon that
ugly idol in the glass, I was conscious of no repugnance, rather
of a leap of welcome. This, too, was myself. It seemed natural
and human. In my eyes it bore a livelier image of the spirit, it
seemed more express and single, than the imperfect and divided
countenance I had been hitherto accustomed to call mine. And in
so far I was doubtless right. I have observed that when I wore
the semblance of Edward Hyde, none could come near to me at first
without a visible misgiving of the flesh. This, as I take it, was
because all human beings, as we meet them, are commingled out of
good and evil: and Edward Hyde, alone in the ranks of mankind,
was pure evil.
I lingered but a moment at the mirror: the second and conclusive
experiment had yet to be attempted; it yet remained to be seen if
I had lost my identity beyond redemption and must flee before
daylight from a house that was no longer mine; and hurrying back
to my cabinet, I once more prepared and drank the cup, once more
suffered the pangs of dissolution, and came to myself once more
with the character, the stature, and the face of Henry Jekyll.
That night I had come to the fatal cross-roads. Had I approached
my discovery in a more noble spirit, had I risked the experiment
while under the empire of generous or pious aspirations, all must
have been otherwise, and from these agonies of death and birth, I
had come forth an angel instead of a fiend. The drug had no
discriminating action; it was neither diabolical nor divine; it
but shook the doors of the prison-house of my disposition; and
like the captives of Philippi, that which stood within ran forth.
At that time my virtue slumbered; my evil, kept awake by
ambition, was alert and swift to seize the occasion; and the
thing that was projected was Edward Hyde. Hence, although I had
now two characters as well as two appearances, one was wholly
evil, and the other was still the old Henry Jekyll, that
incongruous compound of whose reformation and improvement I had
already learned to despair. The movement was thus wholly toward
Even at that time, I had not yet conquered my aversion to the
dryness of a life of study. I would still be merrily disposed at
times; and as my pleasures were (to say the least) undignified,
and I was not only well known and highly considered, but growing
toward the elderly man, this incoherency of my life was daily
growing more unwelcome. It was on this side that my new power
tempted me until I fell in slavery. I had but to drink the cup,
to doff at once the body
of the noted professor, and to assume, like a thick cloak, that
of Edward Hyde. I smiled at the notion; it seemed to me at the
time to be humorous; and I made my preparations with the most
studious care. I took and furnished that house in Soho, to which
Hyde was tracked by the police; and engaged as housekeeper a
creature whom I well knew to be silent and unscrupulous. On the
other side, I announced to my servants that a Mr. Hyde (whom I
described) was to have full liberty and power about my house in
the square; and to parry mishaps, I even called and made myself a
familiar object, in my second character. I next drew up that will
to which you so much objected; so that if anything befell me in
the person of Dr. Jekyll, I could enter on that of Edward Hyde
without pecuniary loss. And thus fortified, as I supposed, on
every side, I began to profit by the strange immunities of my
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 toward the
monstrous. When I would come back from these excursions, I was
often plunged into a kind of wonder at my vicarious depravity.
This familiar that I called out of my own soul, and sent forth
alone to do his good pleasure, was a being inherently malign and
villainous; his every act and thought centred on self; drinking
pleasure with bestial avidity from any degree of torture to
another; relentless like a man of stone. Henry Jekyll stood at
times aghast before the acts of Edward Hyde; but the situation
was apart from ordinary laws, and insidiously relaxed the grasp
of conscience. It was Hyde, after all, and Hyde alone, that was
guilty. Jekyll was no worse; he woke again to his good qualities
seemingly unimpaired; he would even make haste, where it was
possible, to undo the evil done by Hyde. And thus his conscience
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-by, whom I recognised the other
day in the person of your kinsman; the doctor and the child's
family joined him; there were moments when I feared for my life;
and at last, in order to pacify their too just resentment, Edward
Hyde had to bring them to the door, and pay them in a cheque
drawn in the name of Henry Jekyll. But this danger was easily
eliminated from the future, by opening an account at another bank
in the name of Edward Hyde himself; and when, by sloping my own
hand backward, I had supplied my double with a signature, I
thought I sat beyond the reach of fate.
Some two months before the murder of Sir Danvers, I had been out
for one of my adventures, had returned at a late hour, and woke
the next day in bed with somewhat odd sensations. It was in vain
I looked about me; in vain I saw the decent furniture and tall
proportions of my room in the square; in vain that I recognised
the pattern of the bed-curtains and the design of the mahogany
frame; something still kept insisting that I was not where I was,
that I had not wakened where I seemed to be, but in the little
room in Soho where I was accustomed to sleep in the body of
Edward Hyde. I smiled to myself, and, in my psychological way
began lazily to inquire into the elements of this illusion,
occasionally, even as I did so, dropping back into a comfortable
morning doze. I was still so engaged when, in one of my more
wakeful moments, my eyes fell upon my hand. Now the hand of Henry
Jekyll (as you have often remarked) was professional in shape and
size: it was large, firm, white, and comely. But the hand which I
now saw, clearly enough, in the yellow light of a mid-London
morning, lying half shut on the bed-clothes, was lean, corded,
knuckly, of a dusky pallor and thickly shaded with a swart growth
of hair. It was the hand of Edward Hyde.
I must have stared upon it for near half a minute, sunk as I was
in the mere stupidity of wonder, before terror woke up in my
breast as sudden and startling as the crash of cymbals; and
bounding from my bed, I rushed to the mirror. At the sight that
met my eyes, my blood was changed into something exquisitely thin
and icy. Yes, I had gone to bed Henry Jekyll, I had awakened
Edward Hyde. How was this to be explained? I asked myself, and
then, with another bound of terror--how was it to be remedied?
It was well on in the morning; the servants were up; all my drugs
were in the
cabinet--a long journey down two pairs of stairs, through the
back passage, across the open court and through the anatomical
theatre, from where I was then standing horror-struck. It might
indeed be possible to cover my face; but of what use was that,
when I was unable to conceal the alteration in my stature? And
then with an overpowering sweetness of relief, it came back upon
my mind that the servants were already used to the coming and
going of my second self. I had soon dressed, as well as I was
able, in clothes of my own size: had soon passed through the
house, where Bradshaw stared and drew back at seeing Mr. Hyde at
such an hour and in such a strange array; and ten minutes later,
Dr. Jekyll had returned to his own shape and was sitting down,
with a darkened brow, to make a feint of breakfasting.
Small indeed was my appetite. This inexplicable incident, this
reversal of my previous experience, seemed, like the Babylonian
finger on the wall, to be spelling out the letters of my
judgment; and I began to reflect more seriously than ever before
on the issues and possibilities of my double existence. That part
of me which I had the power of projecting, had lately been much
exercised and nourished; it had seemed to me of late as though
the body of Edward Hyde had grown in stature, as though (when I
wore that form) I were conscious of a more generous tide of
blood; and I began to spy a danger that,
if this were much prolonged, the balance of my nature might be
permanently overthrown, the power of voluntary change be
forfeited, and the character of Edward Hyde become irrevocably
mine. The power of the drug had not been always equally
displayed. Once, very early in my career, it had totally failed
me; since then I had been obliged on more than one occasion to
double, and once, with infinite risk of death, to treble the
amount; and these rare uncertainties had cast hitherto the sole
shadow on my contentment. Now, however, and in the light of that
morning's accident, I was led to remark that whereas, in the
beginning, the difficulty had been to throw off the body of
Jekyll, it had of late gradually but decidedly transferred itself
to the other side. All things therefore seemed to point to this:
that I was slowly losing hold of my original and better self, and
becoming slowly incorporated with my second and worse.
Between these two, I now felt I had to choose. My two natures had
memory in common, but all other faculties were most unequally
shared between them. Jekyll (who was composite) now with the most
sensitive apprehensions, now with a greedy gusto, projected and
shared in the pleasures and adventures of Hyde; but Hyde was
indifferent to Jekyll, or but remembered him as the mountain
bandit remembers the cavern in which he conceals himself from
pursuit. Jekyll had more than a father's interest; Hyde
had more than a son's indifference. To cast in my lot with
Jekyll, was to die to those appetites which I had long secretly
indulged and had of late begun to pamper. To cast it in with
Hyde, was to die to a thousand interests and aspirations, and to
become, at a blow and for ever, despised and friendless. The
bargain might appear unequal; but there was still another
consideration in the scales; for while Jekyll would suffer
smartingly in the fires of abstinence, Hyde would be not even
conscious of all that he had lost. Strange as my circumstances
were, the terms of this debate are as old and commonplace as man;
much the same inducements and alarms cast the die for any tempted
and trembling sinner; and it fell out with me, as it falls with
so vast a majority of my fellows, that I chose the better part
and was found wanting in the strength to keep to it.
Yes, I preferred the elderly and discontented doctor, surrounded
by friends and cherishing honest hopes; and bade a resolute
farewell to the liberty, the comparative youth, the light step,
leaping impulses and secret pleasures, that I had enjoyed in the
disguise of Hyde. I made this choice perhaps with some
unconscious reservation, for I neither gave up the house in Soho,
nor destroyed the clothes of Edward Hyde, which still lay ready
in my cabinet. For two months, however, I was true to my
determination; for two months I led a life of such
severity as I had never before attained to, and enjoyed the
compensations of an approving conscience. But time began at last
to obliterate the freshness of my alarm; the praises of
conscience began to grow into a thing of course; I began to be
tortured with throes and longings, as of Hyde struggling after
freedom; and at last, in an hour of moral weakness, I once again
compounded and swallowed the transforming draught.
I do not suppose that, when a drunkard reasons with himself upon
his vice, he is once out of five hundred times affected by the
dangers that he runs through his brutish, physical insensibility;
neither had I, long as I had considered my position, made enough
allowance for the complete moral insensibility and insensate
readiness to evil, which were the leading characters of Edward
Hyde. Yet it was by these that I was punished. My devil had been
long caged, he came out roaring. I was conscious, even when I
took the draught, of a more unbridled, a more furious propensity
to ill. It must have been this, I suppose, that stirred in my
soul that tempest of impatience with which I listened to the
civilities of my unhappy victim; I declare, at least, before God,
no man morally sane could have been guilty of that crime upon so
pitiful a provocation; and that I struck in no more reasonable
spirit than that in which a sick child may break a plaything. But
I had voluntarily stripped myself of all those balancing
by which even the worst of us continues to walk with some degree
of steadiness among temptations; and in my case, to be tempted,
however slightly, was to fall.
Instantly the spirit of hell awoke in me and raged. With a
transport of glee, I mauled the unresisting body, tasting delight
from every blow; and it was not till weariness had begun to
succeed, that I was suddenly, in the top fit of my delirium,
struck through the heart by a cold thrill of terror. A mist
dispersed; I saw my life to be forfeit; and fled from the scene
of these excesses, at once glorying and trembling, my lust of
evil gratified and stimulated, my love of life screwed to the
topmost peg. I ran to the house in Soho, and (to make assurance
doubly sure) destroyed my papers; thence I set out through the
lamplit streets, in the same divided ecstasy of mind, gloating on
my crime, light-headedly devising others in the future, and yet
still hastening and still hearkening in my wake for the steps of
the avenger. Hyde had a song upon his lips as he compounded the
draught, and as he drank it, pledged the dead man. The pangs of
transformation had not done tearing him, before Henry Jekyll,
with streaming tears of gratitude and remorse, had fallen upon
his knees and lifted his clasped hands to God. The veil of
self-indulgence was rent from head to foot, I saw my life as a
whole: I followed it up from the days of childhood, when I had
with my father's hand, and through the self-denying toils of my
professional life, to arrive again and again, with the same sense
of unreality, at the damned horrors of the evening. I could have
screamed aloud; I sought with tears and prayers to smother down
the crowd of hideous images and sounds with which my memory
swarmed against me; and still, between the petitions, the ugly
face of my iniquity stared into my soul. As the acuteness of this
remorse began to die away, it was succeeded by a sense of joy.
The problem of my conduct was solved. Hyde was thenceforth
impossible; whether I would or not, I was now confined to the
better part of my existence; and oh, how I rejoiced to think it!
with what willing humility, I embraced anew the restrictions of
natural life! with what sincere renunciation, I locked the door
by which I had so often gone and come, and ground the key under
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 evil finally
destroyed the balance of my soul. And yet I was not alarmed; the
fall seemed natural, like a return to the old days before I had
made discovery. It was a fine, clear, January day, wet under foot
where the frost had melted, but cloudless overhead; and the
Regent's Park was full of winter chirrupings and sweet with
spring odours. I sat in the sun on a bench; the animal within me
chops of memory; the spiritual side a little drowsed, promising
subsequent penitence, but not yet moved to begin. After all, I
reflected, I was like my neighbours; and then I smiled, comparing
myself with other men, comparing my active goodwill with the lazy
cruelty of their neglect. And at the very moment of that
vain-glorious thought, a qualm came over me, a horrid nausea and
the most deadly shuddering. These passed away, and left me faint;
and then as in its turn the faintness subsided, I began to be
aware of a change in the temper of my thoughts, a greater
boldness, a contempt of danger, a solution of the bonds of
obligation. I looked down; my clothes hung formlessly on my
shrunken limbs; the hand that lay on my knee was corded and
hairy. I was once more Edward Hyde. A moment before I had been
safe of all men's respect, wealthy, beloved--the cloth laying
for me in the dining-room at home; and now I was the common
quarry of mankind, hunted, houseless, a known murderer, thrall to
My reason wavered, but it did not fail me utterly. I have more
than once observed that, in my second character, my faculties
seemed sharpened to a point and my spirits more tensely elastic;
thus it came about that, where Jekyll perhaps might have
succumbed, Hyde rose to the importance of the moment. My drugs
were in one of the presses of my cabinet; how was I
to reach them? That was the problem that (crushing my temples in
my hands) I set myself to solve. The laboratory door I had
closed. If I sought to enter by the house, my own servants would
consign me to the gallows. I saw I must employ another hand, and
thought of Lanyon. How was he to be reached? how persuaded?
Supposing that I escaped capture in the streets, how was I to
make my way into his presence? and how should I, an unknown and
displeasing visitor, prevail on the famous physician to rifle the
study of his colleague, Dr. Jekyll? Then I remembered that of my
original character, one part remained to me: I could write my own
hand; and once I had conceived that kindling spark, the way that
I must follow became lighted up from end to end.
Thereupon, I arranged my clothes as best I could, and summoning
a passing hansom, drove to an hotel in Portland Street, the name
of which I chanced to remember. At my appearance (which was
indeed comical enough, however tragic a fate these garments
covered) the driver could not conceal his mirth. I gnashed my
teeth upon him with a gust of devilish fury; and the smile
withered from his face--happily for him--yet more happily for
myself, for in another instant I had certainly dragged him from
his perch. At the inn, as I entered, I looked about me with so
black a countenance as made the attendants tremble; not a look
did they exchange in my
presence; but obsequiously took my orders, led me to a private
room, and brought me wherewithal to write. Hyde in danger of his
life was a creature new to me; shaken with inordinate anger,
strung to the pitch of murder, lusting to inflict pain. Yet the
creature was astute; mastered his fury with a great effort of the
will; composed his two important letters, one to Lanyon and one
to Poole; and that he might receive actual evidence of their
being posted, sent them out with directions that they should be
Thenceforward, he sat all day over the fire in the private room,
gnawing his nails; there he dined, sitting alone with his fears,
the waiter visibly quailing before his eye; and thence, when the
night was fully come, he set forth in the corner of a closed cab,
and was driven to and fro about the streets of the city. He, I
say--I cannot say, I. That child of Hell had nothing human;
nothing lived in him but fear and hatred. And when at last,
thinking the driver had begun to grow suspicious, he discharged
the cab and ventured on foot, attired in his misfitting clothes,
an object marked out for observation, into the midst of the
nocturnal passengers, these two base passions raged within him
like a tempest. He walked fast, hunted by his fears, chattering
to himself, skulking through the less-frequented thoroughfares,
counting the minutes that still divided him from midnight. Once a
woman spoke to him, offering, I think, a box of lights. He smote
her in the face, and she fled.
When I came to myself at Lanyon's, the horror of my old friend
perhaps affected me somewhat: I do not know; it was at least but
a drop in the sea to the abhorrence with which I looked back upon
these hours. A change had come over me. It was no longer the fear
of the gallows, it was the horror of being Hyde that racked me. I
received Lanyon's condemnation partly in a dream; it was partly
in a dream that I came home to my own house and got into bed. I
slept after the prostration of the day, with a stringent and
profound slumber which not even the nightmares that wrung me
could avail to break. I awoke in the morning shaken, weakened,
but refreshed. I still hated and feared the thought of the brute
that slept within me, and I had not of course forgotten the
appalling dangers of the day before; but I was once more at home,
in my own house and close to my drugs; and gratitude for my
escape shone so strong in my soul that it almost rivalled the
brightness of hope.
I was stepping leisurely across the court after breakfast,
drinking the chill of the air with pleasure, when I was seized
again with those indescribable sensations that heralded the
change; and I had but the time to gain the shelter of my cabinet,
before I was once again raging and freezing with the passions of
Hyde. It took on this occasion a double dose to recall me to
myself; and alas! Six hours after, as I sat looking sadly in the
fire, the pangs returned, and the drug had to be re-administered.
In short, from that day forth it seemed only by a great effort as
of gymnastics, and only under the immediate stimulation of the
drug, that I was able to wear the countenance of Jekyll. At all
hours of the day and night, I would be taken with the premonitory
shudder; above all, if I slept, or even dozed for a moment in my
chair, it was always as Hyde that I awakened. Under the strain of
this continually-impending doom and by the sleeplessness to which
I now condemned myself, ay, even beyond what I had thought
possible to man, I became, in my own person, a creature eaten up
and emptied by fever, languidly weak both in body and mind, and
solely occupied by one thought: the horror of my other self. But
when I slept, or when the virtue of the medicine wore off, I
would leap almost without transition (for the pangs of
transformation grew daily less marked) into the possession of a
fancy brimming with images of terror, a soul boiling with
causeless hatreds, and a body that seemed not strong enough to
contain the raging energies of life. The powers of Hyde seemed to
have grown with the sickliness of Jekyll. And certainly the hate
that now divided them was equal on each side. With Jekyll, it was
a thing of vital instinct. He had now seen the full deformity of
that creature that shared with him some of the phenomena of
consciousness, and was co-heir with him to death: and beyond these
links of community, which in themselves made the most poignant
part of his distress, he thought of Hyde, for all his energy of
life, as of something not only hellish but inorganic. This was the
shocking thing; that the slime of the pit seemed to utter cries
and voices; that the amorphous dust gesticulated and sinned; that
what was dead, and had no shape, should usurp the offices of life.
And this again, that that insurgent horror was knit to him closer
than a wife, closer than an eye; lay caged in his flesh, where he
heard it mutter and felt it struggle to be born; and at every hour
of weakness, and in the confidence of slumber, prevailed against
him and deposed him out of life. The hatred of Hyde for Jekyll,
was of a different order. His terror of the gallows drove him
continually to commit temporary suicide, and return to his
subordinate station of a part instead of a person; but he loathed
the necessity, he loathed the despondency into which Jekyll was
now fallen, and he resented the dislike with which he was himself
regarded. Hence the ape-like tricks that he would play me,
scrawling in my own hand blasphemies on the pages of my books,
burning the letters and destroying the portrait of my father; and
indeed, had it not been for his fear of death, he would long ago
have ruined himself in order to involve me in the ruin. But his
love of life is wonderful; I go further: I, who sicken
and freeze at the mere thought of him, when I recall the
abjection and passion of this attachment, and when I know how he
fears my power to cut him off by suicide, I find it in my heart
to pity him.
It is useless, and the time awfully fails me, to prolong this
description; no one has ever suffered such torments, let that
suffice; and yet even to these, habit brought--no, not
alleviation--but a certain callousness of soul, a certain
acquiescence of despair; and my punishment might have gone on for
years, but for the last calamity which has now fallen, and which
has finally severed me from my own face and nature. My provision
of the salt, which had never been renewed since the date of the
first experiment, began to run low. I sent out for a fresh
supply, and mixed the draught; the ebullition followed, and the
first change of colour, not the second; I drank it and it was
without efficiency. You will learn from Poole how I have had
London ransacked; it was in vain; and I am now persuaded that my
first supply was impure, and that it was that unknown impurity
which lent efficacy to the draught.
About a week has passed, and I am now finishing this statement
under the influence of the last of the old powders. This, then,
is the last time, short of a miracle, that Henry Jekyll can think
his own thoughts or see his own face (now how sadly altered!)
in the glass. Nor must I delay
too long to bring my writing to an end; for if my narrative has
hitherto escaped destruction, it has been by a combination of
great prudence and great good luck. Should the throes of change
take me in the act of writing it, Hyde will tear it in pieces;
but if some time shall have elapsed after I have laid it by, his
wonderful selfishness and Circumscription to the moment will
probably save it once again from the action of his ape-like
spite. And indeed the doom that is closing on us both, has
already changed and crushed him. Half an hour from now, when I
shall again and for ever re-indue that hated personality, I know
how I shall sit shuddering and weeping in my chair, or continue,
with the most strained and fear-struck ecstasy of listening, to
pace up and down this room (my last earthly refuge) and give ear
to every sound of menace. Will Hyde die upon the scaffold? or
will he find courage to release himself at the last moment? God
knows; I am careless; this is my true hour of death, and what is
to follow concerns another than myself. Here then, as I lay down
the pen and proceed to seal up my confession, I bring the life of
that unhappy Henry Jekyll to an end.
End of Project Gutenberg Etext Edition of
"The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"