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| Home | Reading Room DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE

by Robert Louis Stevenson

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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 honorurable
and distinguished future. And indeed the worst of my faults was a
certain impatient gaiety of disposition, such as has made the
happiness of many, but such as I found it hard to reconcile with
my imperious desire to carry my head high, and wear a more than
commonly grave countenance before the public. Hence it came about
that I concealed my pleasures; and that when I reached years of
reflection, and began to look round me and take stock of my
progress and position in the world, I stood already committed to a
profound duplicity of me. Many a man would have even blazoned
such irregularities as I was guilty of; but from the high views
that I had set before me, I regarded and hid them with an almost
morbid sense of shame. It was thus rather the exacting nature of
my aspirations than any particular degradation in my faults, that
made me what I was, and, with even a deeper trench than in the
majority of men, severed in me those provinces of good and ill
which divide and compound man's dual nature. In this case, I was
driven to reflect deeply and inveterately on that hard law of
life, which lies at the root of religion and is one of the most
plentiful springs of distress. Though so profound a
double-dealer, I was in no sense a hypocrite; both sides of me
were in dead earnest; I was no more myself when I laid aside
restraint and plunged in shame, than when I laboured, in the eye
of day, at the futherance of knowledge or the relief of sorrow and
suffering. And it chanced that the direction of my scientific
studies, which led wholly towards the mystic and the
transcendental, reacted and shed a strong light on this
consciousness of the perennial war among my members. With every
day, and from both sides of my intelligence, the moral and the
intellectual, I thus drew steadily nearer to that truth, by whose
partial discovery I have been doomed to such a dreadful shipwreck:
that man is not truly one, but truly two. I say two, because the
state of my own knowledge does not pass beyond that point. Others
will follow, others will outstrip me on the same lines; and I
hazard the guess that man will be ultimately known for a mere
polity of multifarious, incongruous and independent denizens. I,
for my part, from the nature of my life, advanced infallibly in
one direction and in one direction only. It was on the moral
side, and in my own person, that I learned to recognise the
thorough and primitive duality of man; I saw that, of the two
natures that contended in the field of my consciousness, even if I
could rightly be said to be either, it was only because I was
radically both; and from an early date, even before the course of
my scientific discoveries had begun to suggest the most naked
possibility of such a miracle, I had learned to dwell with
pleasure, as a beloved daydream, on the thought of the separation
of these elements. If each, I told myself, could be housed in
separate identities, life would be relieved of all that was
unbearable; the unjust might go his way, delivered from the
aspirations and remorse of his more upright twin; and the just
could walk steadfastly and securely on his upward path, doing the
good things in which he found his pleasure, and no longer exposed
to disgrace and penitence by the hands of this extraneous evil.
It was the curse of mankind that these incongruous faggots were
thus bound together--that in the agonised womb of consciousness,
these polar twins should be continuously struggling. How, then
were they dissociated?

I was so far in my reflections when, as I have said, a side
light began to shine upon the subject from the laboratory table.
I began to perceive more deeply than it has ever yet been stated,
the trembling immateriality, the mistlike transience, of this
seemingly so solid body in which we walk attired. Certain agents
I found to have the power to shake and pluck back that fleshly
vestment, even as a wind might toss the curtains of a pavilion.
For two good reasons, I will not enter deeply into this scientific
branch of my confession. First, because I have been made to learn
that the doom and burthen of our life is bound for ever on man's
shoulders, and when the attempt is made to cast it off, it but
returns upon us with more unfamiliar and more awful pressure.
Second, because, as my narrative will make, alas! too evident, my
discoveries were incomplete. Enough then, that I not only
recognised my natural body from the mere aura and effulgence of
certain of the powers that made up my spirit, but managed to
compound a drug by which these powers should be dethroned from
their supremacy, and a second form and countenance substituted,
none the less natural to me because they were the expression, and
bore the stamp of lower elements in my soul.

I hesitated long before I put this theory to the test of
practice. I knew well that I risked death; for any drug that so
potently controlled and shook the very fortress of identity,
might, by the least scruple of an overdose or at the least
inopportunity in the moment of exhibition, utterly blot out that
immaterial tabernacle which I looked to it to change. But the
temptation of a discovery so singular and profound at last
overcame the suggestions of alarm. I had long since prepared my
tincture; I purchased at once, from a firm of wholesale chemists,
a large quantity of a particular salt which I knew, from my
experiments, to be the last ingredient required; and late one
accursed night, I compounded the elements, watched them boil and
smoke together in the glass, and when the ebullition had subsided,
with a strong glow of courage, drank off the potion.

The most racking pangs succeeded: a grinding in the bones,
deadly nausea, and a horror of the spirit that cannot be exceeded
at the hour of birth or death. Then these agonies began swiftly
to subside, and I came to myself as if out of a great sickness.
There was something strange in my sensations, something
indescribably new and, from its very novelty, incredibly sweet. I
felt younger, lighter, happier in body; within I was conscious of
a heady recklessness, a current of disordered sensual images
running like a millrace in my fancy, a solution of the bonds of
obligation, an unknown but not an innocent freedom of the soul. I
knew myself, at the first breath of this new life, to be more
wicked, tenfold more wicked, sold a slave to my original evil; and
the thought, in that moment, braced and delighted me like wine. I
stretched out my hands, exulting in the freshness of these
sensations; and in the act, I was suddenly aware that I had lost 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 prisonhouse of my
disposition; and like the captives of Philippi, that which stood
within ran forth. At that time my virtue slumbered; my evil, kept
awake by ambition, was alert and swift to seize the occasion; and
the thing that was projected was Edward Hyde. Hence, although I
had now two characters as well as two appearances, one was wholly
evil, and the other was still the old Henry Jekyll, that
incongruous compound of whose reformation and improvement I had
already learned to despair. The movement was thus wholly toward 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 humourous; and I made my
preparations with the most studious care. I took and furnished
that house in Soho, to which Hyde was tracked by the police; and
engaged as a housekeeper a creature whom I knew well to be silent
and unscrupulous. On the other side, I announced to my servants
that a Mr. Hyde (whom I described) was to have full liberty and
power about my house in the square; and to parry mishaps, I even
called and made myself a familiar object, in my second character.
I next drew up that will to which you so much objected; so that if
anything befell me in the person of Dr. Jekyll, I could enter on
that of Edward Hyde without pecuniary loss. And thus fortified,
as I supposed, on every side, I began to profit by the strange
immunities of my position.

Men have before hired bravos to transact their crimes, while
their own person and reputation sat under shelter. I was the
first that ever did so for his pleasures. I was the first that
could plod in the public eye with a load of genial respectability,
and in a moment, like a schoolboy, strip off these lendings and
spring headlong into the sea of liberty. But for me, in my
impenetrable mantle, the safely was complete. Think of it--I
did not even exist! Let me but escape into my laboratory door,
give me but a second or two to mix and swallow the draught that I
had always standing ready; and whatever he had done, Edward Hyde
would pass away like the stain of breath upon a mirror; and there
in his stead, quietly at home, trimming the midnight lamp in his
study, a man who could afford to laugh at suspicion, would be 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 recognised the other
day in the person of your kinsman; the doctor and the child's
family joined him; there were moments when I feared for my life;
and at last, in order to pacify their too just resentment, Edward
Hyde had to bring them to the door, and pay them in a cheque drawn
in the name of Henry Jekyll. But this danger was easily
eliminated from the future, by opening an account at another bank
in the name of Edward Hyde himself; and when, by sloping my own
hand backward, I had supplied my double with a signature, I
thought I sat beyond the reach of fate.

Some two months before the, murder of Sir Danvers, I had been
out for one of my adventures, had returned at a late hour, and
woke the next day in bed with somewhat odd sensations. It was in
vain I looked about me; in vain I saw the decent furniture and
tall proportions of my room in the square; in vain that I
recognised the pattern of the bed curtains and the design of the
mahogany frame; something still kept insisting that I was not
where I was, that I had not wakened where I seemed to be, but in
the little room in Soho where I was accustomed to sleep in the
body of Edward Hyde. I smiled to myself, and in my psychological
way, began lazily to inquire into the elements of this illusion,
occasionally, even as I did so, dropping back into a comfortable
morning doze. I was still so engaged when, in one of my more
wakeful moments, my eyes fell upon my hand. Now the hand of Henry
Jekyll (as you have often remarked) was professional in shape and
size: it was large, firm, white and comely. But the hand which I
now saw, clearly enough, in the yellow light of a mid-London
morning, lying half shut on the bedclothes, was lean, corder,
knuckly, of a dusky pallor and thickly shaded with a swart growth
of hair. It was the hand of Edward Hyde.

I must have stared upon it for near half a minute, sunk as I
was in the mere stupidity of wonder, before terror woke up in my
breast as sudden and startling as the crash of cymbals; and
bounding from my bed I rushed to the mirror. At the sight that
met my eyes, my blood was changed into something exquisitely thin
and icy. Yes, I had gone to bed Henry Jekyll, I had awakened
Edward Hyde. How was this to be explained? I asked myself; and
then, with another bound of terror--how was it to be remedied?
It was well on in the morning; the servants were up; all my drugs
were in the cabinet--a long journey down two pairs of stairs,
through the back passage, across the open court and through the
anatomical theatre, from where I was then standing horror-struck.
It might indeed be possible to cover my face; but of what use was
that, when I was unable to conceal the alteration in my stature?
And then with an overpowering sweetness of relief, it came back
upon my mind that the servants were already used to the coming and
going of my second self. I had soon dressed, as well as I was
able, in clothes of my own size: had soon passed through the
house, where Bradshaw stared and drew back at seeing Mr. Hyde at
such an hour and in such a strange array; and ten minutes later,
Dr. Jekyll had returned to his own shape and was sitting down,
with a darkened brow, to make a feint of breakfasting.

Small indeed was my appetite. This inexplicable incident,
this reversal of my previous experience, seemed, like the
Babylonian finger on the wall, to be spelling out the letters of
my judgment; and I began to reflect more seriously than ever
before on the issues and possibilities of my double existence.
That part of me which I had the power of projecting, had lately
been much exercised and nourished; it had seemed to me of late as
though the body of Edward Hyde had grown in stature, as though
(when I wore that form) I were conscious of a more generous tide
of blood; and I began to spy a danger that, if this were much
prolonged, the balance of my nature might be permanently
overthrown, the power of voluntary change be forfeited, and the
character of Edward Hyde become irrevocably mine. The power of
the drug had not been always equally displayed. Once, very early
in my career, it had totally failed me; since then I had been
obliged on more than one occasion to double, and once, with
infinite risk of death, to treble the amount; and these rare
uncertainties had cast hitherto the sole shadow on my contentment.
Now, however, and in the light of that morning's accident, I was
led to remark that whereas, in the beginning, the difficulty had
been to throw off the body of Jekyll, it had of late gradually but
decidedly transferred itself to the other side. All things
therefore seemed to point to this; that I was slowly losing hold
of my original and better self, and becoming slowly incorporated
with my second and worse.

Between these two, I now felt I had to choose. My two natures
had memory in common, but all other faculties were most unequally
shared between them. Jekyll (who was composite) now with the most
sensitive apprehensions, now with a greedy gusto, projected and
shared in the pleasures and adventures of Hyde; but Hyde was
indifferent to Jekyll, or but remembered him as the mountain
bandit remembers the cavern in which he conceals himself from
pursuit. Jekyll had more than a father's interest; Hyde had more
than a son's indifference. To cast in my lot with Jekyll, was to
die to those appetites which I had long secretly indulged and had
of late begun to pamper. To cast it in with Hyde, was to die to a
thousand interests and aspirations, and to become, at a blow and
forever, despised and friendless. The bargain might appear
unequal; but there was still another consideration in the scales;
for while Jekyll would suffer smartingly in the fires of
abstinence, Hyde would be not even conscious of all that he had
lost. Strange as my circumstances were, the terms of this debate
are as old and commonplace as man; much the same inducements and
alarms cast the die for any tempted and trembling sinner; and it
fell out with me, as it falls with so vast a majority of my
fellows, that I chose the better part and was found wanting in the
strength to keep to it.

Yes, I preferred the elderly and discontented doctor,
surrounded by friends and cherishing honest hopes; and bade a
resolute farewell to the liberty, the comparative youth, the light
step, leaping impulses and secret pleasures, that I had enjoyed in
the disguise of Hyde. I made this choice perhaps with some
unconscious reservation, for I neither gave up the house in Soho,
nor destroyed the clothes of Edward Hyde, which still lay ready in
my cabinet. For two months, however, I was true to my
determination; for two months, I led a life of such severity as I
had never before attained to, and enjoyed the compensations of an
approving conscience. But time began at last to obliterate the
freshness of my alarm; the praises of conscience began to grow
into a thing of course; I began to be tortured with throes and
longings, as of Hyde struggling after freedom; and at last, in an
hour of moral weakness, I once again compounded and swallowed the
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
lamplit streets, in the same divided ecstasy of mind, gloating on
my crime, light-headedly devising others in the future, and yet
still hastening and still hearkening in my wake for the steps of
the avenger. Hyde had a song upon his lips as he compounded the
draught, and as he drank it, pledged the dead man. The pangs of
transformation had not done tearing him, before Henry Jekyll,
with streaming tears of gratitude and remorse, had fallen upon
his knees and lifted his clasped hands to God. The veil of
self-indulgence was rent from head to foot. I saw my life as a
whole: I followed it up from the days of childhood, when I had
walked with my father's hand, and through the self-denying toils
of my professional life, to arrive again and again, with the same
sense of unreality, at the damned horrors of the evening. I
could have screamed aloud; I sought with tears and prayers to
smother down the crowd of hideous images and sounds with which my
memory swarmed against me; and still, between the petitions, the
ugly face of my iniquity stared into my soul. As the acuteness
of this remorse began to die away, it was succeeded by a sense of
joy. The problem of my conduct was solved. Hyde was thenceforth
impossible; whether I would or not, I was now confined to the
better part of my existence; and O, how I rejoiced to think of
it! with what willing humility I embraced anew the restrictions
of natural life! with what sincere renunciation I locked the door
by which I had so often gone and come, and ground the key under 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 laboured to relieve suffering; you know that much was done for
others, and that the days passed quietly, almost happily for
myself. Nor can I truly say that I wearied of this beneficent and
innocent life; I think instead that I daily enjoyed it more
completely; but I was still cursed with my duality of purpose; and
as the first edge of my penitence wore off, the lower side of me,
so long indulged, so recently chained down, began to growl for
licence. Not that I dreamed of resuscitating Hyde; the bare idea
of that would startle me to frenzy: no, it was in my own person
that I was once more tempted to trifle with my conscience; and it
was as an ordinary secret sinner that I at last fell before the
assaults of temptation.

There comes an end to all things; the most capacious measure
is filled at last; and this brief condescension to my evil finally
destroyed the balance of my soul. And yet I was not alarmed; the
fall seemed natural, like a return to the old days before I had
made my discovery. It was a fine, clear, January day, wet under
foot where the frost had melted, but cloudless overhead; and the
Regent's Park was full of winter chirrupings and sweet with spring
odours. I sat in the sun on a bench; the animal within me licking
the chops of memory; the spiritual side a little drowsed,
promising subsequent penitence, but not yet moved to begin. After
all, I reflected, I was like my neighbours; and then I smiled,
comparing myself with other men, comparing my active good-will
with the lazy cruelty of their neglect. And at the very moment
of that vainglorious thought, a qualm came over me, a horrid
nausea and the most deadly shuddering. These passed away, and
left me faint; and then as in its turn faintness subsided, I began
to be aware of a change in the temper of my thoughts, a greater
boldness, a contempt of danger, a solution of the bonds of
obligation. I looked down; my clothes hung formlessly on my
shrunken limbs; the hand that lay on my knee was corded and hairy.
I was once more Edward Hyde. A moment before I had been safe of
all men's respect, wealthy, beloved--the cloth laying for me in
the dining-room at home; and now I was the common quarry of
mankind, hunted, houseless, a known murderer, thrall to the 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 rivalled the brightness of hope.

I was stepping leisurely across the court after breakfast,
drinking the chill of the air with pleasure, when I was seized
again with those indescribable sensations that heralded the
change; and I had but the time to gain the shelter of my cabinet,
before I was once again raging and freezing with the passions of
Hyde. It took on this occasion a double dose to recall me to
myself; and alas! six hours after, as I sat looking sadly in the
fire, the pangs returned, and the drug had to be re-administered.
In short, from that day forth it seemed only by a great effort as
of gymnastics, and only under the immediate stimulation of the
drug, that I was able to wear the countenance of Jekyll. At all
hours of the day and night, I would be taken with the premonitory
shudder; above all, if I slept, or even dozed for a moment in my
chair, it was always as Hyde that I awakened. Under the strain of
this continually impending doom and by the sleeplessness to which
I now condemned myself, ay, even beyond what I had thought
possible to man, I became, in my own person, a creature eaten up
and emptied by fever, languidly weak both in body and mind, and
solely occupied by one thought: the horror of my other self. But
when I slept, or when the virtue of the medicine wore off, I would
leap almost without transition (for the pangs of transformation
grew daily less marked) into the possession of a fancy brimming
with images of terror, a soul boiling with causeless hatreds, and
a body that seemed not strong enough to contain the raging
energies of life. The powers of Hyde seemed to have grown with
the sickliness of Jekyll. And certainly the hate that now divided
them was equal on each side. With Jekyll, it was a thing of vital
instinct. He had now seen the full deformity of that creature
that shared with him some of the phenomena of consciousness, and
was co-heir with him to death: and beyond these links of
community, which in themselves made the most poignant part of his
distress, he thought of Hyde, for all his energy of life, as of
something not only hellish but inorganic. This was the shocking
thing; that the slime of the pit seemed to utter cries and voices;
that the amorphous dust gesticulated and sinned; that what was
dead, and had no shape, should usurp the offices of life. And
this again, that that insurgent horror was knit to him closer than
a wife, closer than an eye; lay caged in his flesh, where he heard
it mutter and felt it struggle to be born; and at every hour of
weakness, and in the confidence of slumber, prevailed against him,
and deposed him out of life. The hatred of Hyde for Jekyll was of
a different order. His terror of the gallows drove him
continually to commit temporary suicide, and return to his
subordinate station of a part instead of a person; but he loathed
the necessity, he loathed the despondency into which Jekyll was
now fallen, and he resented the dislike with which he was himself
regarded. Hence the ape-like tricks that he would play me,
scrawling in my own hand blasphemies on the pages of my books,
burning the letters and destroying the portrait of my father; and
indeed, had it not been for his fear of death, he would long ago
have ruined himself in order to involve me in the ruin. But his
love of me is wonderful; I go further: I, who sicken and freeze at
the mere thought of him, when I recall the abjection and passion
of this attachment, and when I know how he fears my power to cut
him off by suicide, I find it in my heart to pity him.

It is useless, and the time awfully fails me, to prolong this
description; no one has ever suffered such torments, let that
suffice; and yet even to these, habit brought--no, not
alleviation--but a certain callousness of soul, a certain
acquiescence of despair; and my punishment might have gone on for
years, but for the last calamity which has now fallen, and which
has finally severed me from my own face and nature. My provision
of the salt, which had never been renewed since the date of the
first experiment, began to run low. I sent out for a fresh supply
and mixed the draught; the ebullition followed, and the first
change of colour, not the second; I drank it and it was without
efficiency. You will learn from Poole how I have had London
ransacked; it was in vain; and I am now persuaded that my first
supply was impure, and that it was that unknown impurity which
lent efficacy to the draught.

About a week has passed, and I am now finishing this statement
under the influence of the last of the old powders. This, then,
is the last time, short of a miracle, that Henry Jekyll can think
his own thoughts or see his own face (now how sadly altered!) in
the glass. Nor must I delay too long to bring my writing to an
end; for if my narrative has hitherto escaped destruction, it has
been by a combination of great prudence and great good luck.
Should the throes of change take me in the act of writing it, Hyde
will tear it in pieces; but if some time shall have elapsed after
I have laid it by, his wonderful selfishness and circumscription
to the moment will probably save it once again from the action of
his ape-like spite. And indeed the doom that is closing on us
both has already changed and crushed him. Half an hour from now,
when I shall again and forever reindue that hated personality, I
know how I shall sit shuddering and weeping in my chair, or
continue, with the most strained and fearstruck ecstasy of
listening, to pace up and down this room (my last earthly refuge)
and give ear to every sound of menace. Will Hyde die upon the
scaffold? or will he find courage to release himself at the last
moment? God knows; I am careless; this is my true hour of death,
and what is to follow concerns another than myself. Here then, as
I lay down the pen and proceed to seal up my confession, I bring
the life of that unhappy Henry Jekyll to an end.



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