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Frankenstein

Chapter 5
It was on a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils. With
an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, I collected the instruments of life around me,
that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet. It was
already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle
was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull
yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its
limbs.
How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom
with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form? His limbs were in
proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful! Great God! His yellow
skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous
black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a
more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the
dun-white sockets in which they were set, his shrivelled complexion and straight black
lips.
The different accidents of life are not so changeable as the feelings of human nature. I
had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an
inanimate body. For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. I had desired it with an
ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream
vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart. Unable to endure the aspect
of the being I had created, I rushed out of the room and continued a long time traversing
my bed-chamber, unable to compose my mind to sleep. At length lassitude succeeded to
the tumult I had before endured, and I threw myself on the bed in my clothes,
endeavouring to seek a few moments of forgetfulness. But it was in vain; I slept, indeed,
but I was disturbed by the wildest dreams. I thought I saw Elizabeth, in the bloom of
health, walking in the streets of Ingolstadt. Delighted and surprised, I embraced her, but
as I imprinted the first kiss on her lips, they became livid with the hue of death; her
features appeared to change, and I thought that I held the corpse of my dead mother in my
arms; a shroud enveloped her form, and I saw the grave-worms crawling in the folds of
the flannel. I started from my sleep with horror; a cold dew covered my forehead, my
teeth chattered, and every limb became convulsed; when, by the dim and yellow light of
the moon, as it forced its way through the window shutters, I beheld the wretch--the
miserable monster whom I had created. He held up the curtain of the bed; and his eyes, if
eyes they may be called, were fixed on me. His jaws opened, and he muttered some
inarticulate sounds, while a grin wrinkled his cheeks. He might have spoken, but I did not
hear; one hand was stretched out, seemingly to detain me, but I escaped and rushed
downstairs. I took refuge in the courtyard belonging to the house which I inhabited,
where I remained during the rest of the night, walking up and down in the greatest
agitation, listening attentively, catching and fearing each sound as if it were to announce
the approach of the demoniacal corpse to which I had so miserably given life.
 
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