The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde HTML version
Dr. Jekyll Was Quite at Ease
A fortnight later, by excellent good fortune, the doctor gave one of his pleasant dinners
to some five or six old cronies, all intelligent, reputable men and all judges of good wine;
and Mr. Utterson so contrived that he remained behind after the others had departed. This
was no new arrangement, but a thing that had befallen many scores of times. Where
Utterson was liked, he was liked well. Hosts loved to detain the dry lawyer, when the
light-hearted and loose-tongued had already their foot on the threshold; they liked to sit a
while in his unobtrusive company, practising for solitude, sobering their minds in the
man's rich silence after the expense and strain of gaiety. To this rule, Dr. Jekyll was no
exception; and as he now sat on the opposite side of the fire--a large, well-made, smooth-
faced man of fifty, with something of a stylish cast perhaps, but every mark of capacity
and kindness--you could see by his looks that he cherished for Mr. Utterson a sincere and
"I have been wanting to speak to you, Jekyll," began the latter. "You know that will of
A close observer might have gathered that the topic was distasteful; but the doctor
carried it off gaily. "My poor Utterson," said he, "you are unfortunate in such a client. I
never saw a man so distressed as you were by my will; unless it were that hide-bound
pedant, Lanyon, at what he called my scientific heresies. O, I know he's a good fellow--
you needn't frown--an excellent fellow, and I always mean to see more of him; but a
hide-bound pedant for all that; an ignorant, blatant pedant. I was never more disappointed
in any man than Lanyon."
"You know I never approved of it," pursued Utterson, ruthlessly disregarding the fresh
"My will? Yes, certainly, I know that," said the doctor, a trifle sharply. "You have told
"Well, I tell you so again," continued the lawyer. "I have been learning something of
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--a very strange one. It is one of those affairs that cannot be mended by talking."