THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE
by Robert Louis Stevenson
From The PaperLess Readers Club, Houston (713) 977-9505 (BBS)
Voice/Fax (713) 977-1719
THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE
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 theater, 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 downgoing 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 weekdays. The inhabitants were all doing well, it seemed and
all emulously hoping to do better still, and laying out the
surplus of their grains in coquetry; so that the shop fronts stood
along that thoroughfare with an air of invitation, like rows of
smiling saleswomen. Even on Sunday, when it veiled its more
florid charms and lay comparatively empty of passage, the street
shone out in contrast to its dingy neighbourhood, like a fire in a
forest; and with its freshly painted shutters, well-polished
brasses, and general cleanliness and gaiety of note, instantly
caught and pleased the eye of the passenger.
Two doors from one corner, on the left hand going east the
line was broken by the entry of a court; and just at that point a
certain sinister block of building thrust forward its gable on the
street. It was two storeys high; showed no window, nothing but a
door on the lower storey and a blind forehead of discoloured wall
on the upper; and bore in every feature, the marks of prolonged
and sordid negligence. The door, which was equipped with neither
bell nor knocker, was blistered and distained. Tramps slouched
into the recess and struck matches on the panels; children kept
shop upon the steps; the schoolboy had tried his knife on the
mouldings; and for close on a generation, no one had appeared to
drive away these random visitors or to repair their ravages.
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 few 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 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 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 of, 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 cheque myself, and said I
had every reason to believe it was a forgery. Not a bit of it.
The cheque was genuine."
"Tut-tut," said Mr. Utterson.
"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 the 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
"A likely place, isn't it?" returned Mr. Enfield. "But I
happen to have noticed his address; he lives in some square or
"And you never asked about the--place with the door?" said
"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 the 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
"Well," said Mr. Enfield, "I can't see what harm it would do.
It was a man of the name of Hyde."
"Hm," said Mr. Utterson. "What sort of a man is he to see?"
"He is not easy to describe. There is something wrong with his
appearance; something displeasing, something down-right
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
"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
"I thought it was madness," he said, as he replaced the
obnoxious paper in the safe, "and now I begin to fear it is
With that he blew out his candle, put on a greatcoat, 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 anyone 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 respectors of themselves and of each other,
and what does not always follow, men who thoroughly enjoyed each
After a little rambling talk, the lawyer led up to the subject
which so disagreeably preoccupied his mind.
"I suppose, Lanyon," said he, "you and I must be the two
oldest friends that Henry Jekyll has?"
"I wish the friends were younger," chuckled Dr. Lanyon. "But
I suppose we are. And what of that? I see little of him now."
"Indeed?" said Utterson. "I thought you had a bond of common
"We had," was the reply. "But it is more than ten years since
Henry Jekyll became too fanciful for me. He began to go wrong,
wrong in mind; and though of course I continue to take an interest
in him for old sake's sake, as they say, I see and I have seen
devilish little of the man. Such unscientific balderdash," added
the doctor, flushing suddenly purple, "would have estranged Damon
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
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 beseiged 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 mysterious things when
well examined. He might see a reason for his friend's strange
preference or bondage (call it which you please) and even for the
startling 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
"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
"I see you are going in," returned the lawyer. "I am an old
friend of Dr. Jekyll's--Mr. Utterson of Gaunt Street--you must
have heard of 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
apropos, 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
"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 something else," said the perplexed gentleman. "There
is something more, if I could find a name for it. God bless me,
the man seems hardly human! Something troglodytic, 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 fanlight, Mr. Utterson
stopped and knocked. A well-dressed, elderly servant opened the
"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
"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 tonight there was a shudder in his blood; the face of Hyde sat
heavy on his memory; he felt (what was rare with him) a nausea
and distaste of life; and in the gloom of his spirits, he seemed
to read a menace in the flickering of the firelight on the
polished cabinets and the uneasy starting of the shadow on the
roof. He was ashamed of his relief, when Poole presently
returned to announce that Dr. Jekyll was gone out.
"I saw Mr. Hyde go in by the old dissecting room, 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 does indeed," said Poole. "We have all orders
to obey him."
"I do not think I ever met Mr. Hyde?" asked Utterson.
"O, dear no, sir. He never dines here," replied the butler.
"Indeed we see very little of him on this side of the house; he
mostly comes and goes by the laboratory."
"Well, good-night, Poole."
"Good-night, Mr. Utterson."
And the lawyer set out homeward with a very heavy heart.
"Poor Harry Jekyll," he thought, "my mind misgives me he is in
deep waters! He was wild when he was young; a long while ago to
be sure; but in the law of God, there is no statute of
limitations. Ay, it must be that; the ghost of some old sin, the
cancer of some concealed disgrace: punishment coming, PEDE CLAUDO,
years after memory has forgotten and self-love condoned the
fault." And the lawyer, scared by the thought, brooded awhile on
his own past, groping in all the corners of memory, least 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 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
shoulders 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 transparency, the strange clauses of the
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 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 stylish cast perhaps, but every mark of capacity
and kindness--you could see by his looks that he cherished for
Mr. Utterson a sincere and warm affection.
"I have been wanting to speak to you, Jekyll," began the
latter. "You know that will of yours?"
A close observer might have gathered that the topic was
distasteful; but the doctor carried it off gaily. "My poor
Utterson," said he, "you are unfortunate in such a client. I
never saw a man so distressed as you were by my will; unless it
were that hide-bound pedant, Lanyon, at what he called my
scientific heresies. O, I know he's a good fellow--you needn't
frown--an excellent fellow, and I always mean to see more of
him; but a hide-bound pedant for all that; an ignorant, blatant
pedant. I was never more disappointed in any man than Lanyon."
"You know I never approved of it," pursued Utterson,
ruthlessly disregarding the fresh topic.
"My will? Yes, certainly, I know that," said the doctor, a
trifle sharply. "You have told me so."
"Well, I tell you so again," continued the lawyer. "I have
been learning something of young Hyde."
The large handsome face of Dr. Jekyll grew pale to the very
lips, 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
"What I heard was abominable," said Utterson.
"It can make no change. You do not understand my position,"
returned the doctor, with a certain incoherency of manner. "I am
painfully situated, Utterson; my position is a very strange--a
very strange one. It is one of those affairs that cannot be
mended by talking."
"Jekyll," said Utterson, "you know me: I am a man to be
trusted. Make a clean breast of this in confidence; and I make no
doubt I can get you out of it."
"My good Utterson," said the doctor, "this is very good of
you, this is downright good of you, and I cannot find words to
thank you in. I believe you fully; I would trust you before any
man alive, ay, before myself, if I could make the choice; but
indeed it isn't what you fancy; it is not as 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,
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 upstairs to bed about eleven. Although a
fog rolled over the city in the small hours, the early part of the
night was cloudless, and the lane, which the maid's window
overlooked, was brilliantly lit by the full moon. It seems she
was romantically 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 beautiful gentleman with white hair, drawing near
along the lane; and advancing to meet him, another and very small
gentleman, to whom at first she paid less attention. When they
had come within speech (which was just under the maid's eyes) the
older man bowed and accosted the other with a very pretty manner
of politeness. It did not seem as if the subject of his address
were of great importance; indeed, from his pointing, it some times
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 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 stick.
Mr. Utterson had already quailed at the name of Hyde; but when
the stick was laid before him, he could doubt no longer; broken
and battered as it was, he recognized it for one that he had
himself presented many years before to Henry Jekyll.
"Is this Mr. Hyde a person of small stature?" he inquired.
"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
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 marvelous 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
reinvasion of darkness, seemed, in the lawyer's eyes, like a
district of some city in a nightmare. The thoughts of his mind,
besides, were of the gloomiest dye; and when he glanced at the
companion of his drive, he was conscious of some touch of that
terror of the law and the law's officers, which may at times
assail the most 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 many different nationalities passing out, key in
hand, to have a morning glass; and the next moment the fog settled
down again upon that part, as brown as umber, and cut him off from
his blackguardly surroundings. This was the home of Henry
Jekyll's favourite; of a man who was heir to a quarter of a
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 he had gone away
again in less than an hour; there was nothing strange in that; his
habits were very irregular, and he was often absent; for instance,
it was nearly two months since she had seen him till yesterday.
"Very well, then, we wish to see his rooms," said the lawyer;
and when the woman began to declare it was impossible, "I had
better tell you who this person is," he added. "This is Inspector
Newcomen of Scotland Yard."
A flash of odious joy appeared upon the woman's face. "Ah!"
said she, "he is in trouble! What has he done?"
Mr. Utterson and the inspector exchanged glances. "He don't
seem a very popular character," observed the latter. "And now, my
good woman, just let me and this gentleman have a look about us."
In the whole extent of the house, which but for the old woman
remained otherwise empty, Mr. Hyde had only used a couple of
rooms; but these were furnished with luxury and good taste. A
closet was filled with wine; the plate was of silver, the napery
elegant; a good picture hung upon the walls, a gift (as Utterson
supposed) from Henry Jekyll, who was much of a connoisseur; and
the carpets were of many plies and agreeable in colour. At this
moment, however, the rooms bore every mark of having been recently
and hurriedly ransacked; clothes lay about the floor, with their
pockets inside out; 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
"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 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. The fire burned in the grate; a
lamp was set lighted on the chimney shelf, for even in the houses
the fog began to lie thickly; and there, close up to the warmth,
sat Dr. Jekyll, looking deathly sick. He did not rise to meet his
visitor, but held out a cold hand and bade him welcome in a
"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
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 the lawyer.
"No," said the other. "I cannot say that I care what becomes
of Hyde; I am quite done with him. I was thinking of my own
character, which this hateful business has rather exposed."
Utterson ruminated awhile; 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
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 had
a fine escape."
"I have had what is far more to the purpose," returned the
doctor solemnly: "I have had a lesson--O God, Utterson, what a
lesson I have had!" And he covered his face for a moment with his
On his way out, the lawyer stopped and had a word or two with
Poole. "By the bye," 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
This news sent off the visitor with his fears renewed.
Plainly the letter had come by the laboratory door; possibly,
indeed, it had been written in the cabinet; and if that were so,
it must be differently judged, and handled with the more caution.
The newsboys, as he went, were crying themselves hoarse along the
footways: "Special edition. Shocking murder of an 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 right? 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 could scarce read so strange a document
without dropping a remark; and by that remark Mr. Utterson might
shape his future course.
"This is a sad business about Sir Danvers," he said.
"Yes, sir, indeed. It has elicited a great deal of public
feeling," returned Guest. "The man, of course, was mad."
"I should like to hear your views on that," replied Utterson.
"I have a document here in his handwriting; it is between
ourselves, for I scarce know what to do about it; it is an ugly
business at the best. But there it is; quite in your way: a
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
"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.
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.
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 great firmness
that Lanyon declared himself a doomed man.
"I have had a shock," he said, "and I shall never recover. It
is a question of weeks. Well, life has been pleasant; I liked it;
yes, sir, I used to like it. I sometimes think if we knew all, we
should be more glad to get away."
"Jekyll is ill, too," observed Utterson. "Have you seen him?"
But Lanyon's face changed, and he held up a trembling hand.
"I wish to see or hear no more of 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 it."
As soon as he got home, Utterson sat down and wrote to Jekyll,
complaining of his exclusion from the house, and asking the cause
of this unhappy break with Lanyon; and the next day brought him a
long answer, often very pathetically worded, and sometimes darkly
mysterious in drift. The quarrel with Lanyon was incurable. "I
do not blame our old friend," Jekyll wrote, "but I share his view
that we must never meet. I mean from henceforth to lead a life of
extreme seclusion; you must not be surprised, nor must you doubt
my friendship, if my door is often shut even to you. You must
suffer me to go my own dark way. I have brought on myself a
punishment and a danger that I cannot name. If I am the chief of
sinners, I am the chief of sufferers also. I could not think that
this earth contained a place for sufferings and terrors so
unmanning; and you can do but one thing, Utterson, to lighten this
destiny, and that is to respect my silence." Utterson was amazed;
the dark influence of Hyde had been withdrawn, the doctor had
returned to his old tasks and amities; a week ago, the prospect
had smiled with every promise of a cheerful and an honoured age;
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 bracketted.
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 his visits.
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
"Well," said Enfield, "that story's at an end at least. We
shall never see more of Mr. Hyde."
"I hope not," said Utterson. "Did I ever tell you that I once
saw him, and shared your feeling of repulsion?"
"It was impossible to do the one without the other," returned
Enfield. "And by the way, what an ass you must have thought me,
not to know that this was a back way to Dr. Jekyll's! It was
partly your own fault that I found it out, even when I did."
"So you found it out, did you?" said Utterson. "But if that
be so, we may step into the court and take a look at the windows.
To tell you the truth, I am uneasy about poor Jekyll; and even
outside, I feel as if the presence of a friend might do him good."
The court was very cool and a little damp, and full of
premature twilight, although the sky, high up overhead, was still
bright with sunset. The middle one of the three windows was
half-way open; and sitting close beside it, taking the air with an
infinite sadness of mien, like some disconsolate prisoner,
Utterson saw Dr. Jekyll.
"What! Jekyll!" he cried. "I trust you are better."
"I am very low, Utterson," replied the doctor drearily, "very
low. It will not last long, thank God."
"You stay too much indoors," said the lawyer. "You should be
out, whipping up the circulation like Mr. Enfield and me. (This
is my cousin--Mr. Enfield--Dr. Jekyll.) Come now; get your
hat and take a quick turn with us."
"You are very good," sighed the other. "I should like to very
much; but no, no, no, it is quite impossible; I dare not. But
indeed, Utterson, I am very glad to see you; this is really a
great pleasure; I would ask you and Mr. Enfield up, but the place
is really not fit."
"Why, then," said the lawyer, good-naturedly, "the best thing
we 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 afraid of?"
"I've been afraid for about a week," returned Poole, doggedly
disregarding the question, "and I can bear it no more."
The man's appearance amply bore out his words; his manner was
altered for the worse; and except for the moment when he had first
announced his terror, he had not once looked the lawyer in the
face. Even now, he sat with the glass of wine untasted on his
knee, and his eyes directed to a corner of the floor. "I can bear
it no more," he repeated.
"Come," said the lawyer, "I see you have some good reason,
Poole; I see there is something seriously amiss. Try to tell me
what it is."
"I think there's been foul play," said Poole, hoarsely.
"Foul play!" cried the lawyer, a good deal frightened and
rather inclined to be irritated in consequence. "What foul play!
What does the man mean?"
"I daren't say, sir," was the answer; "but will you come along
with me and see for yourself?"
Mr. Utterson's only answer was to rise and get his hat and
greatcoat; but he observed with wonder the greatness of the relief
that appeared upon the butler's face, and perhaps with no less,
that the wine was still untasted when he set it down to follow.
It was a wild, cold, seasonable night of March, with a pale
moon, lying on her back as though the wind had tilted her, and
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 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 coming, these were not the dews of
exertion that he wiped away, but the moisture of some strangling
anguish; for his face was white and his voice, when he spoke,
harsh and broken.
"Well, sir," he said, "here we are, and God grant there be
"Amen, Poole," said the lawyer.
Thereupon the servant knocked in a very guarded manner; the
door was opened on the chain; and a voice asked from within, "Is
that you, Poole?"
"It's all right," said Poole. "Open the door."
The hall, when they entered it, was brightly lighted up; the
fire was built high; and about the hearth the whole of the
servants, men and women, stood huddled together like a flock of
sheep. At the sight of Mr. Utterson, the housemaid broke into
hysterical whimpering; and the cook, crying out "Bless God! it's
Mr. Utterson," ran forward as if to take him in her arms.
"What, what? Are you all here?" said the lawyer peevishly.
"Very irregular, very unseemly; your master would be far from
"They're all afraid," said Poole.
Blank silence followed, no one protesting; only the maid
lifted 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 towards the inner door with faces of
dreadful expectation. "And now," continued the butler, addressing
the knife-boy, "reach me a candle, and we'll get this through
hands at once." And then he begged Mr. Utterson to follow him,
and led the way to the back garden.
"Now, sir," said he, "you come as gently as you can. I want
you to hear, and I don't want you to be heard. And see here, sir,
if by any chance he was to ask you in, don't go."
Mr. Utterson's nerves, at this unlooked-for termination, gave
a jerk that nearly threw him from his balance; but he recollected
his courage and followed the butler into the laboratory building
through the surgical theatre, with its lumber of crates and
bottles, to the foot of the stair. Here Poole motioned him to
stand on one side and listen; while he himself, setting down the
candle and making a great and obvious call on his resolution,
mounted the steps and knocked with a somewhat uncertain hand on
the red baize of the cabinet door.
"Mr. Utterson, sir, asking to see you," he called; and even as
he did so, once more violently signed to the lawyer to give ear.
A voice answered from within: "Tell him I cannot see anyone,"
it said complainingly.
"Thank you, sir," said Poole, with a note of something like
triumph in his voice; and taking up his candle, he led Mr.
Utterson back across the yard and into the great kitchen, where
the fire was out and the beetles were leaping on the floor.
"Sir," he said, looking Mr. Utterson in the eyes, "Was that my
"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, 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,
"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 most sedulous care, and should any of the same
quality be left, 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 added, "find me some of the
"This is a strange note," said Mr. Utterson; and then sharply,
"How do you come to have it open?"
"The man at Maw's was main angry, sir, and he threw it back to
me like so much dirt," returned Poole.
"This is unquestionably the doctor's hand, do you know?"
resumed the lawyer.
"I thought it looked like it," said the servant rather
sulkily; and then, with another voice, "But what matters hand of
write?" he said. "I've seen him!"
"Seen him?" repeated Mr. Utterson. "Well?"
"That's it!" said Poole. "It was this way. I came suddenly
into the theater from the garden. It seems he had slipped out to
look for this drug or whatever it is; for the cabinet door was
open, and there he was at the far end of the room digging among
the crates. He looked up when I came in, gave a kind of cry, and
whipped upstairs into the cabinet. It was but for one minute that
I saw him, but the hair stood upon my head like quills. Sir, if
that was my master, why had he a mask upon his face? If it was my
master, why did he cry out like a rat, and run from me? I have
served him long enough. And then..." The man paused and passed
his hand over his face.
"These are all very strange circumstances," said Mr.
Utterson, "but I think I begin to see daylight. Your master,
Poole, is plainly seized with one of those maladies that both
torture and deform the sufferer; 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
"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 murder
"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, sir," 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
"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 you ever 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 in your marrow kind of cold and thin."
"I own I felt something of what you describe," said Mr.
"Quite so, sir," returned Poole. "Well, when that masked
thing like a monkey jumped from among the chemicals and whipped
into the cabinet, it went down my spine like ice. O, I know it's
not evidence, 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.
"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.
"Put 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 cabinet floor.
"So it will walk all day, sir," whispered Poole; "ay, and the
better part of the night. Only when a new sample comes from the
chemist, there's a bit of a break. Ah, it's an ill conscience
that's such an enemy to rest! Ah, sir, there's blood foully shed
in every step of it! But hark again, a little closer--put your
heart in your ears, Mr. Utterson, and tell me, is that the
The steps fell lightly and oddly, with a certain swing, for
all they went so slowly; it was different indeed from the heavy
creaking tread of Henry Jekyll. Utterson sighed. "Is there never
anything else?" he asked.
Poole nodded. "Once," he said. "Once I heard it weeping!"
"Weeping? how that?" said the lawyer, conscious of a sudden
chill of horror.
"Weeping like a woman or a lost soul," said 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 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 middle 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 storey 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.
No where was there any trace of Henry Jekyll dead or alive.
Poole stamped on the flags of the corridor. "He must be
buried here," he said, hearkening to the sound.
"Or he may have fled," said Utterson, and he turned to examine
the door in the by-street. It was locked; and lying near by on
the flags, they found the key, already stained with rust.
"This does not look like use," observed the lawyer.
"Use!" echoed Poole. "Do you not see, sir, it is broken?
much as if a man had stamped on it."
"Ay," continued Utterson, "and the fractures, too, are rusty."
The two men looked at each other with a scare. "This is beyond
me, Poole," said the lawyer. "Let us go back to the cabinet."
They mounted the stair in silence, and still with an
occasional awestruck glance at the dead body, proceeded more
thoroughly to examine the contents of the cabinet. At one table,
there were traces of chemical work, various measured heaps of some
white salt being 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 has seen some strange things, sir," whispered
"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? O, we must be careful. I foresee that we
may yet involve your master in some dire catastrophe."
"Why don't you read it, sir?" asked Poole.
"Because I fear," replied the lawyer solemnly. "God grant I
have no cause for it!" And with that he brought the paper to his
eyes and read as follows:
"My dear Utterson,--When this shall fall into your hands, I
shall have disappeared, under what circumstances I have not the
penetration to foresee, but my instinct and all the circumstances
of my nameless situation tell me that the end is sure and must be
early. Go then, and first read the narrative which Lanyon warned
me he was to place in your hands; and if you care to hear more,
turn to the confession of
"Your unworthy and unhappy friend,
"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 mind, I have a
morbid fear of misdirecting you; but even if I am in error, you
may know the right drawer by its contents: some powders, a phial
and a paper book. This drawer I beg of you to carry back with you
to Cavendish Square exactly as it stands.
"That is the first part of the service: now for the second.
You should be back, if you set out at once on the receipt of this,
long before midnight; but I will leave you that amount of margin,
not only in the fear of one of those obstacles that can neither be
prevented nor foreseen, but because an hour when your servants are
in bed is to be preferred for what will then remain to do. At
midnight, then, I have to ask you to be alone in your consulting
room, to admit with your own hand into the house a man who will
present himself in my name, and to place in his hands the drawer
that you will have brought with you from my cabinet. Then you
will have played your part and earned my gratitude completely.
Five minutes afterwards, if you insist upon an explanation, you
will have understood that these arrangements are of capital
importance; and that by the neglect of one of them, fantastic as
they must appear, you might have charged your conscience with my
death or the shipwreck of my reason.
"Confident as I am that you will not trifle with this appeal,
my heart sinks and my hand trembles at the bare thought of such a
possibility. Think of me at this hour, in a strange place,
labouring under a blackness of distress that no fancy can
exaggerate, and yet well aware that, if you will but punctually
serve me, my troubles will roll away like a story that is told.
Serve me, my dear Lanyon and save
"P.S.--I had already sealed this up when a fresh terror
struck upon my soul. It is possible that the post-office may fail
me, and this letter not come into your hands until 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 hour's 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 salt, and the
record of a series of experiments that had led (like too many of
Jekyll's investigations) to no end of practical usefulness. How
could the presence of these articles in my house affect either the
honour, the sanity, or the life of my flighty colleague? If his
messenger could go to one place, why could he not go to another?
And even granting some 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
"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 hatred.
This person (who had thus, from the first moment of his
entrance, struck in me what I can only, describe as a disgustful
curiosity) was dressed in a fashion that would have made an
ordinary person laughable; his clothes, that is to say, although
they were of rich and sober fabric, were enormously too large for
him in every measurement--the trousers hanging on his legs and
rolled up to keep them from the ground, the waist of the coat
below his haunches, and the collar sprawling wide upon his
shoulders. Strange to relate, this ludicrous accoutrement was far
from moving me to laughter. Rather, as there was something
abnormal and misbegotten in the very essence of the creature that
now faced me--something seizing, surprising and revolting--
this fresh disparity seemed but to fit in with and to reinforce
it; so that to my interest in the man's nature and character,
there was added a curiosity as to his origin, his life, his
fortune and status in the world.
These observations, though they have taken so great a space to
be set down in, were yet the work of a few seconds. My visitor
was, indeed, on fire with sombre excitement.
"Have you got it?" he cried. "Have you got it?" And so
lively was his impatience that he even laid his hand upon my arm
and sought to shake me.
I put him back, conscious at his touch of a certain icy pang
along my blood. "Come, sir," said I. "You forget that I have not
yet the pleasure of your acquaintance. Be seated, if you please."
And I showed him an example, and sat down myself in my customary
seat and with as fair an imitation of my ordinary manner to a
patient, as the lateness of the hour, the nature of my
preoccupations, and the horror I had of my visitor, would suffer
me to muster.
"I beg your pardon, Dr. Lanyon," he replied civilly enough.
"What you say is very well founded; and my impatience has shown
its heels to my politeness. I come here at the instance of your
colleague, Dr. Henry Jekyll, on a piece of business of some
moment; and I understood ..." He paused and put his hand to his
throat, and I could see, in spite of his collected manner, that he
was wrestling against the approaches of the hysteria--"I
understood, a drawer ..."
But here I took pity on my visitor's suspense, and some
perhaps on my own growing curiosity.
"There it is, sir," said I, pointing to the drawer, where it
lay on the floor behind a table and still covered with the sheet.
He sprang to it, and then paused, and laid his hand upon his
heart: I could hear his teeth grate with the convulsive action of
his jaws; and his face was so ghastly to see that I grew alarmed
both for his life and 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 scrutiny.
"And now," said he, "to settle what remains. Will you be
wise? will you be guided? will you suffer me to take this glass in
my hand and to go forth from your house without further parley? or
has the greed of curiosity too much command of you? Think before
you answer, for it shall be done as you decide. As you decide,
you shall be left as you were before, and neither richer nor
wiser, unless the sense of service rendered to a man in mortal
distress may be counted as a kind of riches of the soul. Or, if
you shall so prefer to choose, a new province of knowledge and new
avenues to fame and power shall be laid open to you, here, in this
room, upon the instant; and your sight shall be blasted by a
prodigy to stagger the unbelief of Satan."
"Sir," said I, affecting a coolness that I was far from truly
possessing, "you speak enigmas, and you will perhaps not wonder
that I hear you with no very strong impression of belief. But I
have gone too far in the way of inexplicable services to pause
before I see the end."
"It is well," replied my visitor. "Lanyon, you remember your
vows: what follows is under the seal of our profession. And now,
you who have so long been bound to the most narrow and material
views, you who have denied the virtue of transcendental medicine,
you who have derided your superiors--behold!"
He put the glass to his lips and drank at one gulp. A cry
followed; he reeled, staggered, clutched at the table and held on,
staring with injected eyes, gasping with open mouth; and as I
looked there came, I thought, a change--he seemed to swell--
his face became suddenly black and the features seemed to melt and
alter--and the next moment, I had sprung to my feet and leaped
back against the wall, my arms 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; and 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 can not, 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 fellowmen, 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 me. 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 futherance of knowledge or the relief of sorrow and
suffering. And it chanced that the direction of my scientific
studies, which led wholly towards the mystic and the
transcendental, reacted and shed a strong light on this
consciousness of the perennial war among my members. 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 daydream, on the thought of the separation
of these elements. If each, I told myself, could be housed in
separate identities, life would be relieved of all that was
unbearable; the unjust might go his way, delivered from the
aspirations and remorse of his more upright twin; and the just
could walk steadfastly and securely on his upward path, doing the
good things in which he found his pleasure, and no longer exposed
to disgrace and penitence by the hands of this extraneous evil.
It was the curse of mankind that these incongruous faggots 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 mistlike transience, of this
seemingly so solid body in which we walk attired. Certain agents
I found to have the power to shake and 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 from 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 potion.
The most racking pangs succeeded: a grinding in the bones,
deadly nausea, and a horror of the spirit that cannot be exceeded
at the hour of birth or death. Then these agonies began swiftly
to subside, and I came to myself as if out of a great sickness.
There was something strange in my sensations, something
indescribably new and, from its very novelty, incredibly sweet. I
felt younger, lighter, happier in body; within I was conscious of
a heady recklessness, a current of disordered sensual images
running like a millrace in my fancy, a solution of the bonds of
obligation, an unknown but not an innocent freedom of the soul. I
knew myself, at the first breath of this new life, to be more
wicked, tenfold more wicked, sold a slave to my original evil; and
the thought, in that moment, braced and delighted me like wine. I
stretched out my hands, exulting in the freshness of these
sensations; and in the act, I was suddenly aware that I had lost
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 prisonhouse 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 conquered my aversions to the
dryness of a life of study. I would still be merrily disposed at
times; and as my pleasures were (to say the least) undignified,
and I was not only well known and highly considered, but growing
towards the elderly man, this incoherency of my life was daily
growing more unwelcome. It was on this side that my new power
tempted me until I fell in slavery. I had but to drink the cup,
to doff at once the body of the noted professor, and to assume,
like a thick cloak, that of Edward Hyde. I smiled at the notion;
it seemed to me at the time to be humourous; 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 a housekeeper a creature whom I knew well to be silent
and unscrupulous. On the other side, I announced to my servants
that a Mr. Hyde (whom I described) was to have full liberty and
power about my house in the square; and to parry mishaps, I even
called and made myself a familiar object, in my second character.
I next drew up that will to which you so much objected; so that if
anything befell me in the person of Dr. Jekyll, I could enter on
that of Edward Hyde without pecuniary loss. And thus fortified,
as I supposed, on every side, I began to profit by the strange
immunities of my position.
Men have before hired bravos to transact their crimes, while
their own person and reputation sat under shelter. I was the
first that ever did so for his pleasures. I was the first that
could 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 safely 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
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 centered on self; drinking
pleasure with bestial avidity from any degree of torture to
another; relentless like a man of stone. Henry Jekyll stood at
times aghast before the acts of Edward Hyde; but the situation was
apart from ordinary laws, and insidiously relaxed the grasp of
conscience. It was Hyde, after all, and Hyde alone, that was
guilty. Jekyll 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 bedclothes, was lean, corder,
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
forever, despised and friendless. The bargain might appear
unequal; but there was still another consideration in the scales;
for while Jekyll would suffer smartingly in the fires of
abstinence, Hyde would be not even conscious of all that he had
lost. Strange as my circumstances were, the terms of this debate
are as old and commonplace as man; much the same inducements and
alarms cast the die for any tempted and trembling sinner; and it
fell out with me, as it falls with so vast a majority of my
fellows, that I chose the better part and was found wanting in the
strength to keep to it.
Yes, I preferred the elderly and discontented doctor,
surrounded by friends and cherishing honest hopes; and bade a
resolute farewell to the liberty, the comparative youth, the light
step, leaping 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
I do not suppose that, when a drunkard reasons with himself
upon his vice, he is once out of five hundred times affected by
the dangers that he runs through his brutish, physical
insensibility; neither had I, long as I had considered my
position, made enough allowance for the complete moral
insensibility and insensate readiness to evil, which were the
leading characters of Edward Hyde. Yet it was by these that I was
punished. My devil had been long caged, he came out roaring. I
was conscious, even when I took the draught, of a more unbridled,
a more furious propensity to ill. It must have been this, I
suppose, that stirred in my soul that tempest of impatience with
which I listened to the civilities of my unhappy victim; I
declare, at least, before God, no man morally sane could have been
guilty of that crime upon so pitiful a provocation; and that I
struck in no more reasonable spirit than that in which a sick
child may break a plaything. But I had voluntarily stripped
myself of all those balancing instincts 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
Instantly the spirit of hell awoke in me and raged. With a
transport of glee, I mauled the unresisting body, tasting delight
from every blow; and it was not till weariness had begun to
succeed, that I was suddenly, in the top fit of my delirium,
struck through the heart by a cold thrill of terror. A mist
dispersed; I saw my life to be forfeit; and fled from the scene
of these excesses, at once glorying and trembling, my lust of
evil gratified and stimulated, my love of life screwed to the
topmost peg. I ran to the house in Soho, and (to make assurance
doubly sure) destroyed my papers; thence I set out through the
lamplit streets, in the same divided ecstasy of mind, gloating on
my crime, light-headedly devising others in the future, and yet
still hastening and still hearkening in my wake for the steps of
the avenger. Hyde had a song upon his lips as he compounded the
draught, and as he drank it, pledged the dead man. The pangs of
transformation had not done tearing him, before Henry Jekyll,
with streaming tears of gratitude and remorse, had fallen upon
his knees and lifted his clasped hands to God. The veil of
self-indulgence was rent from head to foot. I saw my life as a
whole: I followed it up from the days of childhood, when I had
walked with my father's hand, and through the self-denying toils
of my 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 O, how I rejoiced to think of
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 the last year,
I laboured to relieve suffering; you know that much was done for
others, and that the days passed quietly, almost happily for
myself. Nor can I truly say that I wearied of this beneficent and
innocent life; I think instead that I daily enjoyed it more
completely; but I was still cursed with my duality of purpose; and
as the first edge of my penitence wore off, the lower side of me,
so long indulged, so recently chained down, began to growl for
licence. Not that I dreamed of resuscitating Hyde; the bare idea
of that would startle me to frenzy: no, it was in my own person
that I was once more tempted to trifle with my conscience; and it
was as an ordinary secret sinner that I at last fell before the
assaults of temptation.
There comes an end to all things; the most capacious measure
is filled at last; and this brief condescension to my evil finally
destroyed 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 my discovery. It was a fine, clear, January day, wet under
foot where the frost had melted, but cloudless overhead; and the
Regent's Park was full of winter chirrupings and sweet with spring
odours. I sat in the sun on a bench; the animal within me licking
the 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 good-will
with the lazy cruelty of their neglect. And at the very moment
of that vainglorious 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 faintness subsided, I began
to be aware of a change in the temper of my thoughts, a greater
boldness, a contempt of danger, a solution of the bonds of
obligation. I looked down; my clothes hung formlessly on my
shrunken limbs; the hand that lay on my knee was corded and hairy.
I was once more Edward Hyde. A moment before I had been safe of
all men's respect, wealthy, beloved--the cloth laying for me in
the dining-room at home; and now I was the common quarry of
mankind, hunted, houseless, a known murderer, thrall to the
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 registered. Thenceforward, he sat all day over the
fire in the private room, gnawing his nails; there he dined,
sitting alone with his fears, the waiter visibly quailing before
his eye; and thence, when the night was fully come, he set forth
in the corner of a closed cab, and was driven to and fro about the
streets of the city. He, I say--I cannot say, I. That child of
Hell had nothing human; nothing lived in him but fear and hatred.
And when at last, thinking the driver had begun to grow
suspicious, he discharged the cab and ventured on foot, attired in
his misfitting clothes, an object marked out for observation, into
the midst of the nocturnal passengers, these two base passions
raged within him like a tempest. He walked fast, hunted by his
fears, chattering to himself, skulking through the less frequented
thoroughfares, counting the minutes that still divided him from
midnight. Once a 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
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 me 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 forever reindue that hated personality, I
know how I shall sit shuddering and weeping in my chair, or
continue, with the most strained and fearstruck 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.