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- Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
- Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
- The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Stevenson, R. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr.
Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Stevenson, R. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Lit2Go Edition. Stevenson, Robert Louis. Lit2Go Edition. March 15, Utterson the lawyer was a man of a rugged countenance, that was never lighted by a smile; cold, scanty and embarrassed in discourse; backward in sentiment; lean, long, dusty, dreary, and yet somehow lovable.
At friendly meetings, and when the wine was to his taste, something eminently human beaconed from his eye; something indeed which never found its way into his talk, but which spoke not only in these silent symbols of the after-dinner face, but more often and loudly in the acts of his life.
He was austere with himself; drank gin when he was alone, to mortify a taste for vintages; and though he enjoyed the theatre, had not crossed the doors of one for twenty years. But he had an approved tolerance for others; sometimes wondering, almost with envy, at the high pressure of spirits involved in their misdeeds; and in any extremity inclined to help rather than to reprove.
And to such as these, so long as they came about his chambers, he never marked a shade of change in his demeanour. No doubt the feat was easy to Mr. Utterson; for he was undemonstrative at the best, and even his friendship seemed to be founded in a similar catholicity of good-nature. His friends were those of his own blood or those whom he had known the longest; his affections, like ivy, were the growth of time, they implied no aptness in the object.
Hence, no doubt, the bond that united him to Mr. Richard Enfield, his distant kinsman, the well-known man about town. It was a nut to crack for many, what these two could see in each other, or what subject they could find in common. It was reported by those who encountered them in their Sunday walks, that they said nothing, looked singularly dull, and would hail with obvious relief the appearance of a friend.
For all that, the two men put the greatest store by these excursions, counted them the chief jewel of each week, and not only set aside occasions of pleasure, but even resisted the calls of business, that they might enjoy them uninterrupted.
It chanced on one of these rambles that their way led them down a by-street in a busy quarter of London. The street was small and what is called quiet, but it drove a thriving trade on the week-days. The inhabitants were all doing well, it seemed, and all emulously hoping to do better still, and laying out the surplus of their gains in coquetry; so that the shop fronts stood along that thoroughfare with an air of invitation, like rows of smiling saleswomen.
Even on Sunday, when it veiled its more florid charms and lay comparatively empty of passage, the street shone out in contrast to its dingy neighbourhood, like a fire in a forest; and with its freshly painted shutters, well-polished brasses, and general cleanliness and gaiety of note, instantly caught and pleased the eye of the passenger.
Two doors from one corner, on the left hand going east, the line was broken by the entry of a court; and just at that point, a certain sinister block of building thrust forward its gable on the street. It was two stories high; showed no window, nothing but a door on the lower story and a blind forehead of discoloured wall on the upper; and bore in every feature, the marks of prolonged and sordid negligence.
The door, which was equipped with neither bell nor knocker, was blistered and distained. Tramps slouched into the recess and struck matches on the panels; children kept shop upon the steps; the schoolboy had tried his knife on the mouldings; and for close on a generation, no one had appeared to drive away these random visitors or to repair their ravages. 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.
Street after street, and all the folks asleep — street after street, all lighted up as if for a procession and all as empty as a church — till at last I got into that state of mind when a man listens and listens and begins to long for the sight of a policeman. All at once, I saw two figures: one a little man who was stumping along eastward at a good walk, and the other a girl of maybe eight or ten who was running as hard as she was able down a cross street. It sounds nothing to hear, but it was hellish to see.
I gave a view-halloa, took to my heels, collared my gentleman, and brought him back to where there was already quite a group about the screaming child. He was perfectly cool and made no resistance, but gave me one look, so ugly that it brought out the sweat on me like running.
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.
He was the usual cut-and-dry apothecary, of no particular age and colour, with a strong Edinburgh accent, and about as emotional as a bagpipe. Well, sir, he was like the rest of us; every time he looked at my prisoner, I saw that Sawbones turn sick and white with the desire to kill him.
I knew what was in his mind, just as he knew what was in mine; and killing being out of the question, we did the next best. We told the man we could and would make such a scandal out of this, as should make his name stink from one end of London to the other. If he had any friends or any credit, we undertook that he should lose them. And all the time, as we were pitching it in red hot, we were keeping the women off him as best we could, for they were as wild as harpies.
I never saw a circle of such hateful faces; and there was the man in the middle, with a kind of black, sneering coolness — frightened too, I could see that — but carrying it off, sir, really like Satan.
The next thing was to get the money; and where do you think he carried us but to that place with the door? The figure was stiff; but the signature was good for more than that, if it was only genuine. But he was quite easy and sneering. I gave in the check myself, and said I had every reason to believe it was a forgery. Not a bit of it. The cheque was genuine. For my man was a fellow that nobody could have to do with, a really damnable man; and the person that drew the cheque is the very pink of the proprieties, celebrated too, and what makes it worse one of your fellows who do what they call good.
Black-mail, I suppose; an honest man paying through the nose for some of the capers of his youth. Black-Mail House is what I call that place with the door, in consequence. From this he was recalled by Mr. You sit quietly on the top of a hill; and away the stone goes, starting others; and presently some bland old bird the last you would have thought of is knocked on the head in his own back-garden and the family have to change their name.
No, sir, I make it a rule of mine: the more it looks like Queer Street, the less I ask. 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. And then there is a chimney which is generally smoking; so somebody must live there.
It was a man of the name of Hyde. There is something wrong with his appearance; something displeasing, something downright detestable. I never saw a man I so disliked, and yet I scarce know why. 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 saw him use it, not a week ago. Utterson sighed deeply but said never a word; and the young man presently resumed.
Let us make a bargain never to refer to this again. Authors Books Genres Collections Readability. The strange case of Dr. Longmans, Green and co. Readability: Flesch—Kincaid Level: 9. The embedded audio player requires a modern internet browser. You should visit Browse Happy and update your internet browser today! Utterson again walked some way in silence and obviously under a weight of consideration.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
The novella's impact is such that it has become a part of the language, with the vernacular phrase "Jekyll and Hyde" referring to persons with an unpredictably dual nature: outwardly good , but sometimes shockingly evil. Stevenson had long been intrigued by the idea of how human personalities can reflect the interplay of good and evil. While still a teenager, he developed a script for a play about Deacon Brodie , which he later reworked with the help of W. Henley and which was produced for the first time in In the small hours of one morning,[
On their weekly walk, an eminently sensible, trustworthy lawyer named Mr. Utterson listens as his friend Enfield tells a gruesome tale of assault. The tale describes a sinister figure named Mr. Hyde who tramples a young girl, disappears into a door on the street, and reemerges to pay off her relatives with a check signed by a respectable gentleman. Since both Utterson and Enfield disapprove of gossip, they agree to speak no further of the matter. Jekyll, has written a will transferring all of his property to this same Mr. Soon, Utterson begins having dreams in which a faceless figure stalks through a nightmarish version of London.
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
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