The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Story of the Door Mr. Utterson the lawyer was a man of a rugged countenance that was
never lighted by a smile; cold, scanty and embarrassed in discourse, backward in
sentiment; lean, long, dusty, dreary and yet somehow lovable. At friendly meetings, and
when the wine was to his taste, something eminently human beaconed from his eye. 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.
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. 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 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 Hasid 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. 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.
Two doors from one corner, on the left hand going east the line was broken by the entry of
a court; and just at that point a certain sinister block of building thrust forward its gable on
the street. It was two stories high; showed no window, nothing but a door on the lower story;
and 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.
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. 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. I 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 color. 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
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. 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 to, 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. The next thing was to get the money, and where do you think he carried us but to
that place with the door? went in, and presently came back with the ten pounds in gold and
a check for the balance, 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. 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 check for close upon a hundred pounds. "Set
your mind at rest," says he, "I will stay with you till the banks open and cash the check
myself." Next day, we went in a body to the bank. I had every reason to believe it was a
forgery. The check 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 check 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.
From this he was recalled by Mr. Utterson asking rather suddenly: "And you don't know if
the drawer of the check lives there?" "A likely place, isn't it?" returned Mr. Enfield. "But I
happen to have noticed his address; he lives in some square or other." "And you never
asked about the place with the door?" said Mr. Utterson. "I feel very strongly about putting
questions; it partakes too much of the style of the day of judgment.
"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,
"there's one point I want to ask. I want to ask the name of that man who walked over the
child." "Well," said Mr. Enfield, "I can't see what harm it would do. It was a man of the name
of Hyde." "Hmm," 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's an
extraordinary looking man, and yet I really can name nothing out of the way.
Mr. Utterson again walked some way in silence and obviously under a weight of
consideration. "You are sure he used a key?" he inquired at last. "My dear sir ..." began
Enfield, surprised out of himself. "Yes, I know," said Utterson; "I know it must seem strange.
The fact is, if I do not ask you the name of the other party, it is because I know it already.
You see, Richard, your tale has gone home. If you have been inexact in any point you had
better correct it." "I think you might have warned me," returned the other with a touch of
sullenness. "But I have been pedantically exact, as you call it. The fellow had a key; and
what's more, he has it still. I saw him use it not a week ago."
Mr. Utterson sighed deeply but said never a word; and the young man presently resumed.
"Here is another lesson to say nothing," said he. "I am ashamed of my long tongue. Let us
make a bargain never to refer to this again." "With all my heart," said the lawyer. I shake
hands on that, Richard."
Search for Mr. Hyde That evening Mr. Utterson came home to his bachelor house in
somber spirits and sat down to dinner without relish. It was his custom when this meal was
over, to sit close by the fire, until the clock of the neighboring 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., 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 .
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.
"I thought it was madness," he said, as he replaced the obnoxious paper in the safe, "and
now I begin to fear it is disgrace." With that he blew out his candle, 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.
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. For these two were old friends, old mates both
at school and college, 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 suppose we are. And what of that? I see little of him now."
"Indeed?" said Utterson. "I thought you had a bond of common interest." "We had," was the
reply. "But it is more than ten years since Henry Jekyll became too fanciful for me. He
began to go wrong, wrong in mind; and though of course I continue to take an interest in
him for old sake's sake, as they say, I see and I have seen devilish little of the man.
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, 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 protechey of his, one Hyde?" he asked. "Hyde?" repeated Lanyon. "No. Never
heard of him. Since my time."
That was the amount of information that the lawyer carried back with him to the great, dark
bed on which he tossed to and fro, until the small hours of the morning began to grow
large. It was a night of little ease to his toiling mind. Six o'clock stuck on the bells of the
church that was so conveniently near to Mr. Utterson's dwelling, and still he was digging at
the problem. 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 trod the child down and passed on regardless of her screams.
The figure 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, 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, and thus it was that there sprang up 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.
From that time forward, Mr. Utterson began to haunt the door in the by-street of shops. In
the morning before office hours, at noon when business was plenty, and time scarce, at
night under the face of the fogged city moon, by all lights and at all hours of solitude or
concourse, the lawyer was to be found on his chosen post. "If he be Mr. Hyde," he had
thought, "I shall be Mr. Seek." And at last his patience was rewarded. It was a fine dry night;
frost in the air; the streets as clean as a ballroom floor; the lamps, unshaken by any wind,
drawing a regular pattern of light and shadow. Mr. Utterson had been some minutes at his
post, when he was aware of an odd light footstep drawing near. 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 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,
and as he came, he drew a key from his pocket like one approaching home.
Mr. Utterson stepped out and touched him on the shoulder as he passed. "Mr. Hyde, I
think?" Mr. Hyde shrank back with a hissing intake of the breath. But his fear was only
momentary; and though he did not look the lawyer in the face, he answered coolly enough:
"That is my name. What do you want?" "I see you are going in," returned the lawyer. "I am
an old friend of Dr. Jekyll's, Mr. 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 favor?" "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, "lt is as well we have met; and I
propos, you should have my address." And he gave a number of a street in Soho.
"And now," said the other, "how did you know me?" "By description," was the reply. "Whose
description?" "We have common friends," said Mr. Utterson. "Common friends," echoed Mr.
Hyde, a little hoarsely. "Who are they? "Jekyll, for instance," said the lawyer. "He never told
you," cried Mr. Hyde, with a flush of anger. "I did not think you would have lied." "Come,"
said Mr. Utterson, "that is not fitting language." The 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. 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 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 loathing and fear with which Mr. Utterson regarded him. God bless me, the man seems
Round the corner from the by-street, there was a square of ancient, handsome houses,
now for the most part decayed. 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, Mr. Utterson stopped and knocked. A well-dressed,
elderly servant opened the door. "Is Dr. Jekyll at home, Poole?" asked the lawyer. "I will
see, Mr. Utterson," said Poole, admitting the visitor, as he spoke, into a large, low-roofed,
comfortable hall, warmed by a bright, open fire, and furnished with costly cabinets of oak.
"Will you wait here by the fire, sir? or shall I give you a light in the dining-room?"
"Here, thank you," said the lawyer. 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 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
"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! And the lawyer, scared by the thought, brooded awhile on his own past, groping in
all the corners of memory. His past was fairly blameless; 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.
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. 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, 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?" "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. "You know I never approved of it," pursued
Utterson. "My will? Yes, certainly, I know that," said the doctor, a trifle sharply. "You have
told me so." "Well, I tell you so again," continued the lawyer. "I have been learning
something of young Hyde." The large handsome face of Dr. Jekyll grew pale to the very
lips, and there came a blackness about his eyes. "I do not care to hear more," said he.
"This is a matter I thought we had agreed to drop."
"What I heard was abominable," said Utterson. "It can make no change. You do not
understand my position," returned the doctor, with a certain incoherency of manner. "I am
painfully situated, Utterson; my position is 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
"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, if I could make the choice; but indeed it isn't what you fancy; 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, London was startled by a crime of singular
ferocity and rendered all the more notable by the high position of the victim. A maid living
alone in a house not far from the river, had gone upstairs to bed about eleven. She sat
down upon her box, which stood immediately under the window, and fell into a dream of
musing. 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 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. Presently her eye wandered to the other,
and she was surprised to recognize in him a certain Mr. Hyde, who had once visited her
master and for whom she had conceived a dislike. He had in his hand a heavy cane, with
which he was trifling; but he answered never a word, and seemed to listen with an
ill-contained impatience. And then all of a sudden he broke out in a great flame of anger,
stamping with his foot, brandishing the cane, and carrying on 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. 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 neighboring gutter, the other 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, and which bore the name and address of Mr.
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." He hurried through his breakfast and drove to the police station. As soon
as he came into the cell, he nodded. "Yes," said he, "I recognize him. I am sorry to say that
this is Sir Danvers Carew." "Good God, sir," exclaimed the officer, "is it possible?"
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 his house." As the cab drew up before the address indicated,
the fog lifted a little and showed him a dingy street, 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 favorite; of a man who was heir to a
quarter of a million sterling.
An ivory-faced and silvery-haired old woman opened the door. 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; 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. "Ah!" said she, "he is in trouble! What has he done?"
Mr. Utterson and the inspector exchanged glances. "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. 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; and on the hearth there lay a pile of gray ashes, as though
many papers had been burned. From these embers the inspector disinterred the butt end
of a green check book, which had resisted the action of the fire; the other half of the stick
was found behind the door; and as this clinched his suspicions, the officer declared himself
delighted. A visit to the bank, where several thousand pounds were found to be lying to the
murderer's credit, completed his gratification. "You may depend upon it, sir," he told Mr.
Utterson: "I have him in my hand.
He must have lost his head, or he never would have left the stick or, above all, burned the
check 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;
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. It was the first time that the lawyer had been received in that
part of his friend's quarters. 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; 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 changed voice.
"And now," said Mr. Utterson, as soon as Poole had left them, "you have heard the news?"
The doctor shuddered. "They were crying it in the square," he said. "I heard them in my
dining-room." "One word," said the lawyer. "Carew was my client, but so are you, and I want
to know what I am doing. You have not been mad enough to hide this fellow?" "Utterson, I
swear to God," cried the doctor, "I swear to God I will never set eyes on him again. I bind my
honor to you that I am done with him in this world. It is all at an end.
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 labor
under no alarm for his safety, as he had means of escape on which he placed a sure
"Shall I keep this and sleep upon it?" asked Utterson. "I wish you to judge for me entirely,"
was the reply. "I have lost confidence in myself." "Well, I shall consider," returned the
lawyer. "And now one word more: it was Hyde who dictated the terms in your will about that
disappearance?" The doctor seemed seized with a qualm of faintness; he shut his mouth
tight and nodded. "I knew it," said Utterson. "He meant to murder you. You had a fine
escape." "I have had what is far more to the purpose," returned the doctor solemnly: "I have
had a lesson, Utterson, what a lesson I have had!" And he covered his face for a moment
with his hands.
On his way out, the lawyer stopped and had a word or two with Poole. "By the bye," said he,
"there was a letter handed in today: what was the messenger like?" But Poole was positive
nothing had come except by post; "and only circulars by that," he added. This news sent off
the visitor with his fears renewed. Plainly the letter had come by the laboratory door;
possibly, indeed, it had been written in the cabinet; and if that were so, it must be differently
judged, and handled with the more caution. It was, at least, a ticklish decision that he had to
make; 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. In the
bottle the acids were long ago resolved; the imperial dye had softened with time, as the
color grows richer in stained windows. 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
"This is a sad business about Sir Danvers," he said. "Yes, sir, indeed. It has elicited a great
deal of public feeling," returned Guest. "The man, of course, was mad." "I should like to
hear your views on that," replied Utterson. "I have a document here in his handwriting; it is
between ourselves, for I scarce know what to do about it; it is an ugly business at the best.
But there it is; quite in your way: a murderer's autograph."
Guest's eyes brightened, and he sat down at once and studied it with passion. "No sir," he
said: "not mad; but it is an odd hand." "And by all accounts a very odd writer," added the
lawyer. Just then the servant entered with a note. "Is that from Dr. Jekyll, sir?" inquired the
clerk. "I thought I knew the writing. Anything private, Mr. Utterson? "Only an invitation to
dinner. Why? Do you want to see it?" "One moment. I thank you, sir;" and the clerk laid the
two sheets of paper alongside and sedulously compared their contents. "Thank you, sir,"
he said at last, returning both; "it's a very interesting autograph."
There was a pause, during which Mr. Utterson struggled with himself. "Why did you
compare them, Guest?" he inquired suddenly."Well, sir," returned the clerk, "there's a
rather singular resemblance; the two hands are in many points identical: only differently
sloped." "Rather quaint," said Utterson. "It is, as you say, rather quaint," returned Guest. "I
wouldn't speak of this note, you know," said the master. "No, sir," said the clerk. "I
understand." But no sooner was Mr. Utterson alone that night, than he locked the note into
his safe, where it reposed from that time forward. "What!" he thought. "Henry Jekyll forge
for a murderer!" And his blood ran cold in his veins.
Remarkable Incident of Dr. Lanyon
Time ran on; thousands of pounds were offered in reward, for the death of Sir Danvers was
resented as a public injury; but Mr. Hyde had disappeared out of the ken of the police as
though he had never existed. Much of his past was unearthed, indeed, and all disreputable:
tales came out of the man's cruelty, at once so callous and violent; of his vile life, of his
strange associates, of the hatred that seemed to have surrounded his career; but of his
present whereabouts, not a whisper. 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
On the 8th of January Utterson had dined at the doctor's with a small party; Lanyon had
been there; and the face of the host had looked from one to the other as in the old days
when the trio were inseparable friends. On the 12th, and again on the 14th, the door was
shut against the lawyer. "The doctor was confined to the house," Poole said, "and saw no
one." On the 15th, he tried again, and was again refused; and having now been used for
the last two months to see his friend almost daily, he found this return of solitude to weigh
upon his spirits.
The fifth night he had in Guest to dine with him; and the sixth he betook himself to Dr.
Lanyon's. There at least he was not denied admittance; but when he came in, he was
shocked at the change which had taken place in the doctor's appearance. 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. 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. "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. "We are three very
old friends, Lanyon; we shall not live to make others." "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
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. 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. lf I am
the chief of sinners, I am the chief of sufferers also. 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 honored 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, and in case of his predecease to be destroyed
unread," so it was emphatically superscribed; and the lawyer dreaded to behold the
contents. "I have buried one friend to-day," he thought: "what if this should cost me
another?" And then he condemned the fear as a disloyalty, and broke the seal. Within
there was another enclosure, likewise sealed, and marked upon the cover as "not to be
opened till the death or disappearance of Dr. Henry Jekyll." Utterson could not trust his
eyes. Yes, it was disappearance; here again, as in the mad will which he had long ago
restored to its author, here again were the idea of a disappearance and the name of Henry
Jekyll bracketed. But in the will, that idea had sprung from the sinister suggestion of the
man Hyde; it was set there with a purpose all too plain and horrible.
Written by the hand of Lanyon, what should it mean? A great curiosity came on the trustee,
to disregard the prohibition and dive at once to the bottom of these mysteries; but
professional honor and faith to his dead friend were stringent obligations; and the packet
slept in the inmost corner of his private safe. It is one thing to mortify curiosity, another to
conquer it; and it may be doubted if, from that day forth, Utterson desired the society of his
surviving friend with the same eagerness. He thought of him kindly; but his thoughts were
disquieted and fearful. He went to call indeed; but he was perhaps relieved to be denied
admittance; perhaps, in his heart, he preferred to speak with Poole upon the doorstep and
surrounded by the air and sounds of the open city, rather than to be admitted into that
house of voluntary bondage.
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.
When Mr. Utterson was on his usual walk with Mr. Enfield, that their way lay once again
through the by-street; and that when they came in front of the door, both stopped to gaze
on it. "Well," said Enfield, "that story's at an end at least. We shall never see more of Mr.
Hyde." "I hope not," said Utterson. "Did I ever tell you that I once saw him, and shared your
feeling of repulsion?"
"It was impossible to do the one without the other," returned Enfield. "And by the way, what
an ass you must have thought me, not to know that this was a back way to Dr. Jekyll's! It
was partly your own fault that I found it out, even when I did."
"So you found it out, did you?" said Utterson. "But if that be so, we may step into the court
and take a look at the windows. To tell you the truth, I am uneasy about poor Jekyll; and
even outside, I feel as if the presence of a friend might do him good."
The court was very cool and a little damp, 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. 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, , it is quite impossible; I dare
not. But indeed, Utterson, I am very glad to see you; this is really a great pleasure; I would
ask you and Mr. Enfield up, but the place is really not fit." "Why, then," said the lawyer,
good-naturedly, "the best thing we can do is to stay down here and speak with you from
where we are." "That is just what I was about to venture to propose," returned the doctor
with a smile.
But the words were hardly uttered, before the smile was struck out of his face and
succeeded 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. They were both pale; and there was an answering horror in their eyes. "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 doctor ill?" "Mr. Utterson," said the man, "there is something wrong." "Take a
seat, and here is a glass of wine for you," said the lawyer. "Now, take your time, and tell me
plainly what you want." "You know the doctor's ways, sir," replied Poole, "and how he shuts
himself up. 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." "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! "I daren't say, sir," was the answer; but will you come along with me and see for
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. The square, when
they got there, was full of wind and dust. Poole, who had kept all the way a pace or two
ahead, now pulled up in the middle of the pavement. But for all the hurry of his coming,
these were not the dews of exertion that he wiped away, but the moisture of some
strangling anguish; for his face was white and his voice, when he spoke, harsh and broken.
"Well, sir," he said, "here we are, and God grant there be nothing wrong." 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 lit; and about the hearth the whole of the servants 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? Are you all here?" said the lawyer peevishly.
"Very irregular, your master would be far from pleased." "They're all afraid," said Poole.
Blank silence followed, no one protesting.
"And now," continued the butler, "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. He followed the butler into the laboratory building through the surgical theatre,
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 on the 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. "Sir," he said, looking
Mr. Utterson in the eyes, "Was that my master's voice?" "It seems much changed," replied
"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? "Well, Mr. Utterson, you are a hard
man to satisfy, but I'll do it yet," said Poole. "All this last week, 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. Well, sir, every day, there have been orders, and I have been sent flying to all the
wholesale chemists in town. Every time I brought the stuff back, there would be another
paper telling me to return it, because it was not pure, and another order to a different firm.
This drug is wanted bitter bad, sir, whatever for." "Have you any of these papers?" asked
Mr. Utterson. Poole felt in his pocket and handed out a crumpled note, which the lawyer,
bending nearer to the candle, carefully examined. Its contents ran thus: "Dr. Jekyll presents
his compliments to Messrs. Maw. He assures them that their last sample is impure and quite
useless for his present purpose. 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." "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! There is
my explanation; it is sad enough, Poole, and appalling to consider; but it is plain and
natural, hangs well together, and delivers us from all exorbitant alarms." "Sir," said the
butler, turning to a sort of mottled pallor, "that thing was not my master, and there's the
truth. My master 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 done."
"Poole," replied the lawyer, "if you say that, it will become my duty to make certain. Much as
I desire to spare your master's feelings, much as I am puzzled by this note which seems to
prove him to be still alive, I shall consider it my duty to break in that door." "Ah, Mr.
Utterson, that's talking!" cried the butler. "And now comes the second question," resumed
Utterson: "Who is going to do it?" "Why, you and me, 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 some peril?" "It is well, then that we should be
frank," said the other. "We both think more than we have said; let us make a clean breast.
This masked figure that you saw, did you recognize it?" "Well, sir, it went so quick, and the
creature was so doubled up, that I could hardly swear to that," was the answer.
"But if you mean, was it Mr. Hyde? -- why, yes, I think it was!" You see, it was much of the
same bigness; and it had the same quick, light way with it; and then who else could have
got in by the laboratory door? You have not forgot, sir, that at the time of the murder he
had still the key with him? But that's not all. I don't know, Mr. Utterson, if 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.
Utterson. "Quite so, sir," returned Poole. "Well, when that masked thing like a monkey
jumped from among the chemicals and whipped into the cabinet, it went down my spine like
ice. O, I know it's not evidence, Mr. Utterson; I'm book-learned enough for that; but a man
has his feelings, and I give you my bible-word it was Mr. Hyde!" "Ay, ay," said the lawyer.
"My fears incline to the same point. I believe you; I believe poor Harry is killed; and I believe
his murderer 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 doctor's
foot?" The steps fell lightly and oddly, with a certain swing, for all they went so slowly; it was
different indeed from the heavy creaking tread of Henry Jekyll. Utterson sighed. "Is there
never anything else?" he asked. Poole nodded. "Once," he said. "Once I heard it weeping!"
"Weeping? how that?" said the lawyer, conscious of a sudden chill of horror. "Weeping like
a woman or a lost soul," said 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 London. 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 to large for him, clothes of
the doctor's bigness; the cords of his face still moved with a semblance of life, but life was
quite gone: and by the crushed phial in the hand and the strong smell of kernels that hung
upon the air, Utterson knew that he was looking on the body of a self-destroyer. "We have
come too late," he said sternly, "whether to save or punish. Hyde is gone to his account;
and it only remains for us to find the body of your master."
The far greater proportion of the building was occupied by the theatre, which filled almost
the whole ground story and was lighted from above, and by the cabinet, which formed an
upper story at one end and looked upon the court. A corridor joined the theatre to the door
on the by-street; and with this the cabinet communicated separately by a second flight of
stairs. There were besides a few dark closets and a spacious cellar. All these they now
thoroughly examined. Each closet needed but a glance, for all were empty, and all, by the
dust that fell from their doors, had stood long unopened. The cellar, indeed, was filled with
crazy lumber, mostly dating from the times of the surgeon who was Jekyll's predecessor; but
even as they opened the door they were advertised of the uselessness of further search,
by the fall of a perfect mat of cobweb which had for years sealed up the entrance.
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 boiled over. This brought them to the fireside,
where the easy-chair was drawn cosily up, and the tea things stood ready to the sitter's
elbow, the very sugar in the cup. There were several books on a shelf; one lay beside the
tea things open, and Utterson was amazed to find it a copy of a pious work, for which Jekyll
had several times expressed a great esteem, annotated, in his own hand with startling
blasphemies. Next, in the course of their review of the chamber, the searchers came to the
cheval-glass, into whose depths they looked with an involuntary horror. But it was so turned
as to show them nothing but the rosy glow playing on the roof, the fire sparkling in a
hundred repetitions along the glazed front of the presses, and their own pale and fearful
countenances stooping to look in.
"This glass has seen some strange things, sir," whispered Poole. "And surely none stranger
than itself," echoed the lawyer in the same tones. "For what did Jekyll" -- he caught himself
up at the word with a start, and then conquering the weakness -- "what could Jekyll want
with it?" he said. "You may say that!" said Poole.
Next they turned to the business table. On the desk, among the neat array of papers, a
large envelope was uppermost, and bore, in the doctor's hand, the name of Mr. Utterson.
The lawyer unsealed it, and several enclosures fell to the floor. The first was a will, drawn in
the same eccentric terms as the one which he had returned six months before, to serve as
a testament in case of death and as a deed of gift in case of disappearance; but in place of
the name of Edward Hyde, the lawyer, with indescribable amazement read the name of
Gabriel John Utterson. He looked at Poole, and then back at the paper, and last of all at the
dead malefactor stretched upon the carpet. "My head goes round," he said. "He has been
all these days in possession; he had no cause to like me; he must have raged to see
himself displaced; and he has not destroyed this document." He caught up the next paper;
it was a brief note in the doctor's hand and dated at the top. "O Poole!" the lawyer cried,
"he was alive and here this day. He cannot have been disposed of in so short a space; he
must be still alive, he must have fled! And then, why fled? and how? and in that case, can
we venture to declare this suicide?
Oh, we must be careful. I foresee that we may yet involve your master in some dire
catastrophe." "Why don't you read it, sir?" asked Poole. "Because I fear," replied the lawyer
solemnly. "God grant I have no cause for it!" And with that he brought the paper to his eyes
and read as follows: "My dear Utterson, -- When this shall fall into your hands, I shall have
disappeared, under what circumstances I have not the penetration to foresee, but my
instinct and all the circumstances of my nameless situation tell me that the end is sure and
must be early. Go then, and first read the narrative which Lanyon warned me he was to
place in your hands; and if you care to hear more, turn to the confession of "Your unworthy
and unhappy friend, "HENRY JEKYLL." "There was a third enclosure?" asked Utterson.
"Here, sir," said Poole, and gave into his hands a considerable packet sealed in several
places. 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 honor, my reason, depend upon you,' I would not have sacrificed my left hand to
help you. Lanyon my life, my honor, 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
dishonorable 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, laboring 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 "H.J. "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 Square.
Here I proceeded to examine its contents. The powders were neatly enough made up, but
not with the nicety of the dispensing chemist; so that it was plain they were of Jekyll's
private manufacture: and when I opened one of the wrappers I found what seemed to me a
simple crystalline salt of a white color. 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 honor, the sanity, or the life of my
flighty colleague? If his messenger could go to one place, why could he not go to another?
And even granting some impediment, why was this gentleman to be received by me in
secret? The more I reflected the more convinced I grew that I was dealing with a case of
cerebral disease; and though I dismissed my servants to bed, I loaded an old revolver, that
I might be found in some posture of self-defence.
Twelve o'clock had scarce rung out over London, ere the knocker sounded very gently on
the door. I went myself at the summons, and found a small man crouching against the
pillars of the portico. "Are you come from Dr. Jekyll?" I asked. He told me "yes" by a
constrained gesture; and when I had bidden him enter, he did not obey me without a
searching backward glance into the darkness of the square. There was a policeman not far
off, advancing with his bull's eye open; and at the sight, I thought my visitor started and
made greater haste. These particulars struck me, I confess, disagreeably; and as I followed
him into the bright light of the consulting room, I kept my hand ready on my weapon. Here,
at last, I had a 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 neighborhood. This bore some resemblance to incipient rigor, and was
accompanied by a marked sinking of the pulse.
At the time, I set it down to some idiosyncratic, personal distaste, and merely wondered at
the acuteness of the symptoms; but I have since had reason to believe the cause to lie
much deeper in the nature of man, and to turn on some nobler hinge than the principle of
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 somber 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 color, to effervesce audibly, and
to throw off small fumes of vapor. 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
HASTIE LANYON 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 honorable 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 labored, in the eye of day, at the furtherance of knowledge or the relief
of sorrow and suffering. And it chanced that the direction of my scientific studies, which led
wholly towards the mystic and the transcendental, reacted and shed a strong light on this
consciousness of the perennial war among my members. 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 recognize
the thorough and primitive duality of man; I saw that, of the two natures that contended in
the field of my consciousness, even if I could rightly be said to be either, it was only
because I was radically both; and from an early date, even before the course of my
scientific discoveries had begun to suggest the most naked possibility of such a miracle, I
had learned to dwell with pleasure, as a beloved daydream, on the thought of the
separation of these elements. If each, I told myself, could 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 agonized womb of consciousness, these polar twins should be continuously
struggling. How, then were they dissociated? I was so far in my reflections when, as I have
said, a side light began to shine upon the subject from the laboratory table. I began to
perceive more deeply than it has ever yet been stated, the trembling immateriality, the
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 recognized 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 in stature.
There was no mirror, at that date, in my room; that which stands beside me as I write, was
brought there later on and for the very purpose of these transformations. The night
however, was far gone into the morning -- the morning, black as it was, was nearly ripe for
the conception of the day -- the inmates of my house were locked in the most rigorous
hours of slumber; and I determined, flushed as I was with hope and triumph, to venture in
my new shape as far as to my bedroom. I crossed the yard, wherein the constellations
looked down upon me, I could have thought, with wonder, the first creature of that sort that
their unsleeping vigilance had yet disclosed to them; I stole through the corridors, a
stranger in my own house; and coming to my room, I saw for the first time the appearance
of Edward Hyde.
I must here speak by theory alone, saying not that which I know, but that which I suppose to
be most probable. The evil side of my nature, to which I had now transferred the stamping
efficacy, was less robust and less developed than the good which I had just deposed.
Again, in the course of my life, which had been, after all, nine tenths a life of effort, virtue
and control, it had been much less exercised and much less exhausted. And hence, as I
think, it came about that Edward Hyde was so much smaller, slighter and younger than
Henry Jekyll. Even as good shone upon the countenance of the one, evil was written
broadly and plainly on the face of the other. Evil besides (which I must still believe to be the
lethal side of man) had left on that body an imprint of deformity and decay. And yet when I
looked upon that ugly idol in the glass, I was conscious of no repugnance, rather of a leap
of welcome. This, too, was myself. It seemed natural and human. In my eyes it bore a livelier
image of the spirit, it seemed more express and single, than the imperfect and divided
countenance I had been hitherto accustomed to call mine.
And in so far I was doubtless right. I have observed that when I wore the semblance of
Edward Hyde, none could come near to me at first without a visible misgiving of the flesh.
This, as I take it, was because all human beings, as we meet them, are commingled out of
good and evil: and Edward Hyde, alone in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil. I lingered
but a moment at the mirror: the second and conclusive experiment had yet to be attempted;
it yet remained to be seen if I had lost my identity beyond redemption and must flee before
daylight from a house that was no longer mine; and hurrying back to my cabinet, I once
more prepared and drank the cup, once more suffered the pangs of dissolution, and came
to myself once more with the character, the stature and the face of Henry Jekyll. That night I
had come to the fatal cross-roads. Had I approached my discovery in a more noble spirit,
had I risked the experiment while under the empire of generous or pious aspirations, all
must have been otherwise, and from these agonies of death and birth, I had come forth an
angel instead of a fiend. The drug had no discriminating action; it was neither diabolical nor
divine; it but shook the doors of the prison house of my disposition; and like the captives of
Philippi, that which stood within ran forth. At that time my virtue slumbered; my evil, kept
awake by ambition, was alert and swift to seize the occasion; and the thing that was
projected was Edward Hyde. Hence, although I had now two characters as well as two
appearances, one was wholly evil, and the other was still the old Henry Jekyll, that
incongruous compound of whose reformation and improvement I had already learned to
despair. The movement was thus wholly toward the worse.
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 humorous; and I made my
preparations with the most studious care. I took and furnished that house in Soho, to which
Hyde was tracked by the police; and engaged as 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 lending's 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 Henry Jekyll.
The pleasures which I made haste to seek in my disguise were, as I have said, undignified; I
would scarce use a harder term. But in the hands of Edward Hyde, they soon began to turn
toward the monstrous. When I would come back from these excursions, I was often plunged
into a kind of wonder at my vicarious depravity. This familiar that I called out of my own soul,
and sent forth alone to do his good pleasure, was a being inherently malign and villainous;
his every act and thought 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 slumbered. Into the details of the
infamy at which I thus connived (for even now I can scarce grant that I committed it) I have
no design of entering; I mean but to point out the warnings and the successive steps with
which my chastisement approached. I met with one accident which, as it brought on no
consequence, I shall no more than mention. An act of cruelty to a child aroused against me
the anger of a passer-by, whom I recognized the other day in the person of your kinsman;
the doctor and the child's family joined him; there were moments when I feared for my life;
and at last, in order to pacify their too just resentment, Edward Hyde had to bring them to
the door, and pay them in a check drawn in the name of Henry Jekyll. But this danger was
easily eliminated from the future, by opening an account at another bank in the name of
Edward Hyde himself; and when, by sloping my own hand backward, I had supplied my
double with a signature, I thought I sat beyond the reach of fate.
Some two months before the, murder of Sir Danvers, I had been out for one of my
adventures, had returned at a late hour, and woke the next day in bed with somewhat odd
sensations. It was in vain I looked about me; in vain I saw the decent furniture and tall
proportions of my room in the square; in vain that I recognized the pattern of the bed
curtains and the design of the mahogany frame; something still kept insisting that I was not
where I was, that I had not wakened where I seemed to be, but in the little room in Soho
where I was accustomed to sleep in the body of Edward Hyde. I smiled to myself, and in my
psychological way, began lazily to inquire into the elements of this illusion, occasionally,
even as I did so, dropping back into a comfortable morning doze.
I was still so engaged when, in one of my more wakeful moments, my 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 transforming draught.
I do not suppose that, when a drunkard reasons with himself upon his vice, he is once out
of five hundred times affected by the dangers that he runs through his brutish, physical
insensibility; neither had I, long as I had considered my position, made enough allowance
for the complete moral insensibility and insensate readiness to evil, which were the leading
characters of Edward Hyde. Yet it was by these that I was punished. My devil had been long
caged, he came out roaring. I was conscious, even when I took the draught, of a more
unbridled, a more furious propensity to ill. It must have been this, I suppose, that stirred in
my soul that tempest of impatience with which I listened to the civilities of my unhappy
victim; I declare, at least, before God, no man morally sane could have been guilty of that
crime upon so pitiful a provocation; and that I struck in no more reasonable spirit than that
in which a sick child may break a plaything. But I had voluntarily stripped myself of all those
balancing instincts by which even the worst of us continues to walk with some degree of
steadiness among temptations; and in my case, to be tempted, however slightly, was to fall.
Instantly the spirit of hell awoke in me and raged.
With a transport of glee, I mauled the unresisting body, tasting delight from every blow; and
it was not till weariness had begun to succeed, that I was suddenly, in the top fit of my
delirium, struck through the heart by a cold thrill of terror. A mist dispersed; I saw my life to
be forfeit; and fled from the scene of these excesses, at once glorying and trembling, my
lust of evil gratified and stimulated, my love of life screwed to the topmost peg. I ran to the
house in Soho, and (to make assurance doubly sure) destroyed my papers; thence I set
out through the lamp lit 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 my heel!
The next day, came the news that the murder had been overlooked, that the guilt of Hyde
was patent to the world, and that the victim was a man high in public estimation. It was not
only a crime, it had been a tragic folly. I think I was glad to know it; I think I was glad to have
my better impulses thus buttressed and guarded by the terrors of the scaffold. Jekyll was
now my city of refuge; let but Hyde peep out an instant, and the hands of all men would be
raised to take and slay him. I resolved in my future conduct to redeem the past; and I can
say with honesty that my resolve was fruitful of some good. You know yourself how
earnestly, in the last months of the last year, I labored 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 odors. 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 neighbors; 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 gallows. My reason wavered, but it did not fail me utterly. I have more
than once observed that in my second character, my faculties seemed sharpened to a point
and my spirits more tensely elastic; thus it came about that, where Jekyll perhaps might
have succumbed, Hyde rose to the importance of the moment. My drugs were in one of the
presses of my cabinet; how was I 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 rivaled the
brightness of hope. I was stepping leisurely across the court after breakfast, drinking the
chill of the air with pleasure, when I was seized again with those indescribable sensations
that heralded the change; and I had but the time to gain the shelter of my cabinet, before I
was once again raging and freezing with the passions of Hyde. It took on this occasion a
double dose to recall me to myself; and alas! six hours after, as I sat looking sadly in the
fire, the pangs returned, and the drug had to be re-administered. In short, from that day
forth it seemed only by a great effort as of gymnastics, and only under the immediate
stimulation of the drug, that I was able to wear the countenance of Jekyll. At all hours of the
day and night, I would be taken with the premonitory shudder; above all, if I slept, or even
dozed for a moment in my chair, it was always as Hyde that I awakened.
Under the strain of this continually impending doom and by the sleeplessness to which I
now condemned myself, ay, even beyond what I had thought possible to man, I became, in
my own person, a creature eaten up and emptied by fever, languidly weak both in body and
mind, and solely occupied by one thought: the horror of my other self. But when I slept, or
when the virtue of the medicine wore off, I would leap almost without transition (for the
pangs of transformation grew daily less marked) into the possession of a fancy brimming
with images of terror, a soul boiling with causeless hatreds, and a body that seemed not
strong enough to contain the raging energies of life.
The powers of Hyde seemed to have grown with the sickliness of Jekyll. And certainly the
hate that now divided them was equal on each side. With Jekyll, it was a thing of vital
instinct. He had now seen the full deformity of that creature that shared with him some of
the phenomena of consciousness, and was co-heir with him to death: and beyond these
links of community, which in themselves made the most poignant part of his distress, he
thought of Hyde, for all his energy of life, as of something not only hellish but inorganic.
This was the shocking thing; that the slime of the pit seemed to utter cries and voices; that
the amorphous dust gesticulated and sinned; that what was dead, and had no shape,
should usurp the offices of life. And this again, that that insurgent horror was knit to him
closer than a wife, closer than an eye; lay caged in his flesh, where he heard it mutter and
felt it struggle to be born; and at every hour of weakness, and in the confidence of slumber,
prevailed against him, and deposed him out of life.
The hatred of Hyde for Jekyll was of a different order. His terror of the gallows drove him
continually to commit temporary suicide, and return to his subordinate station of a part
instead of a person; but he loathed the necessity, he loathed the despondency into which
Jekyll was now fallen, and he resented the dislike with which he was himself regarded.
Hence the ape-like tricks that he would play me, scrawling in my own hand blasphemies on
the pages of my books, burning the letters and destroying the portrait of my father; and
indeed, had it not been for his fear of death, he would long ago have ruined himself in
order to involve me in the ruin. But his love of 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 color, 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
re-indue that hated personality, I know how I shall sit shuddering and weeping in my chair,
or continue, with the most strained and fear struck ecstasy of listening, to pace up and
down this room (my last earthly refuge) and give ear to every sound of menace. Will Hyde
die upon the scaffold? or will he find courage to release himself at the last moment? God
knows; I am careless; this is my true hour of death, and what is to follow concerns another
than myself. Here then, as I lay down the pen and proceed to seal up my confession, I bring
the life of that unhappy Henry Jekyll to an end.