The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde HTML version

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
honourable 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?