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کتاب های فوق متوسط

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اعتراف دکتر جکیل

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Doctor Jekyll’s confession

I was born in the year 18— . I inherited a large fortune, a strong healthy body and an excellent mind.

I was naturally hard-working and soon I was extremely successful in my chosen work as a scientist. Although I was still young, important people came to me for advice.

At an age when most young men are going out and having fun, I was behaving like a grey-haired old man.

This was not easy for me. The outside world saw a serious, hard-working doctor. Behind this quiet character, however, was an active, fun-loving young man-about-tow n. This, of course, was nothing to be ashamed of, but I did not realize that at the time. I was ashamed, and I soon learned to keep my two lives separate.

I was not dishonest in any way. Both these people were me. The serious, successful young docto r was me, and the wild, fun-loving, irresponsible young man was me too. I though t about this for a long time and slowly I realized that I was not extraordinary in this. Every man has two sides to his character. He is two people. They live together — often uncomfortably — in the same body. ‘How fantastic,’ I though t, ‘if I could separate these two characters and give my fun-loving side his freedom. Then he could go out and enjoy himself unashamedly and leave serious, studious Doctor Jekyll to get on with his important, life-saving work.’ ‘Was it possible,’ I wondered, ‘to find a drug that could give each side of my character its own separate face and body?’ After much thought and careful study I believed I had found the answer. I had read many scientific books and spent many hours in my laboratory, searching for the right mixture of chemicals to make my drug. At last I had everything I needed except a special kind of salt. I bought some from a chemist, and then I was ready.

I hesitated for a long time before I began my experiment. Only a small mistake in the mixture of the drug could mean immediate death. But in the end, my wish to know was stronger than my fear. And so, late one disastrous night, I mixed everything together and prepared my drug. I watched the smoke rising from the liquid as it changed colour from red to purple and at last to green. Then, bravely, I drank every bitter drop.

I felt a violent sickness in my stomach and a terrible pain in all my bones. The room seemed to turn round and round and I trembled with fear. Then the fear and pain disappeared and a strange, sweet feeling too k its place. Wild thoughts danced through my mind. They were no t good , serious thoughts. They were the wild passions of an evil and cruel stringer. But inside myself 1 felt younger, lighter, more carefree than ever before. ‘If this is pure evil,’ I though t, ‘I like it.’ I stood there, enjoying these strange new thoughts and passions - and suddenly realized that I was shorter.

At that time there was no mirror in my study. Later I put one on the wall of my study so that I could watch these changes in my appearance. Now, however, it was three o’clock in the morning arid all the servants were asleep. I decided it was safe to go to my bedroom in my new body and take a look at myself in the mirror there. I crossed the garden and entered my house like a stranger. As I came into my room , I saw Edward Hyde for the first time.

At that time, the good side of my character was stronger than the evil side. Henry Jekyll had his faults, but he was mostly a good, kind man. I cannot be sure, but I believe that is the reason why Edward Hyde was so much smaller than Henry Jekyll. But that was not the only difference between the two men. Henry Jekyll had a kind, open , honest face. Pure evil stared out of Edward Hyde’s eyes. I felt no dislike, however.

Indeed, I welcomed him. Edward Hyde was me, young and strong and full of life.

Later, however, I noticed that Hyde’s appearance and manner had a strong effect on other people.

Nobody could meet Edward Hyde without a feeling of dislike and horror. I believe I understand the reason for this too. Everyone is a mixture of good and evil.

Even the worst criminal has a little good in him. Only Edward Hyde was pure evil.

I stood for a long time, staring at the mirror. ‘Am I trapped?’ I wondered. ‘If I am, I must leave this house before daylight. If I d on ’t, I shall be arrested as a thief.’ I hurried back to my study. With trembling hands I mixed another dose of the drug and drank it. Again I felt that terrible pain and sickness, but a few seconds later I found myself with the face and body and character of Henry Jekyll once more.

I blame myself for the things that happened later. It was not the fault of the drug. That was neither good nor evil. But it opened the prison doors and allowed Edward Hyde to escape. Soon he was out of control.

He, you will remember, was wholly evil. Doctor Jekyll was not wholly good, however. He was a normal man with normal faults and weaknesses, and Hyde was too strong for him.

I welcomed Hyde, therefore. I arranged everything very carefully. I bought a flat in a poor part of London, where I kept Hyde’s clothes and employed a servant to do the housework. I took a dose of the drug whenever I wanted to forget my old, quiet, serious self for a time.

In those early days — God forgive me! — I thought it was all very amusing. Doctor Jekyll was well known.

Nobody knew Hyde, however, and in his body I was free to do as I wished.

I will not go into details about my adventures and shameful acts as Hyde. Jekyll remained as good and kind as ever and always did his best to undo the harm that Hyde did. But as time went by, Jekyll became less and less able to control Hyde.

One nigh t Hyde injured a child in the street and a passer-by saw him. That passer-by was your cousin.

I recognized him when the two of you came to my window . Your cousin caught Hyde and an angry crowd collected. They asked for money for the child’s family. In the end, in order to escape, Hyde had to give your cousin a cheque in the name of Jekyll.

I learned my lesson from this, and opened a new bank account in the name of Hyde. I even gave Hyde different handwriting. I was sure I was safe — but I was wrong.

Two months before the murder of Sir Danvers Carew I went out on one of my evil adventures. Before I went to bed, I took a dose of the drug and became Doctor Jekyll once more. I woke up in bed the next morning with a strange feeling that something was wrong . . . I looked around the room , then down at my hand. Henry Jekyll’s hand was large, white, and well- made, but the hand I saw that morning on the bedcover was thin, bony, greyish-brown , and hairy. It was the hand of Edward Hyde.

Sick with horror, I stared at it. ‘I was Henry Jekyll when I wen t to bed,’ I thought. ‘And now I am Edward Hyde . . . What possible explanation can there be? And, more important, how can I get to my study and take the drug?’ Then I realized that the servants were quite used to the comings and goings of Hyde. I put on Hyde’s clothes and marched confidently thro ugh the house.

Poole stared in surprise to see Mr Hyde so early in the morning, but I did not care. Ten minutes later Doc tor Jekyll had returned to his own shape and was sitting down, pretending to eat breakfast.

Too worried to eat, I sat there thinking hard about my situation. I realized that in recent weeks Hyde had become bigger and stronger, both in body and character.

‘What will I do ,’ I thought, ‘if Hyde takes control?’ i I thought ab out the drug. Once, in the early days, it had failed completely, and sometimes I had had to take a double dose before I changed into Hyde. Now , however, it was quite easy to become Hyde — the problem was to become Jekyll again after my adven­tures. My good self and my evil self were fighting for my mind and body - and my evil self was winning.

I knew I had to choose between the two, and I chose Doctor Jekyll. Perhaps I was not wholly serious about this, however, because I did not sell Hyde’s flat or destroy his clothes. For two months I lived the life of a quiet and responsible man. But soon I began to miss Hyde - his strong young body, his love of life and his dark adventures in the narrow , nameless streets of London. One night, when my life as Jekyll seemed impossibly dull and boring, I mixed a dose of the drug and drank it.

It was like opening the doo r of a cage and letting a wild animal escape. That night I became a madman, and beat Sir Danvers to death — for no reason at all.

I felt only a wild delight as I hit his body again and again. Afterwards I ran to the flat and destroyed all my papers. I was no t ashamed of my crime, instead I was filled wit h a high, sweet excitement. I relived the murder as I walked back home through the streets.

I felt strong and masterful . . . Edward Hyde had a song on his lips as he mixed a dose of the-drug. ‘Your very good health, Sir Danvers!’ he laughed as he drank. A moment of terrible pain, then poor Henry Jekyll fell to his knees and begged God to forgive him.

When I was myself again, I locked the door that led from the street to my laboratory. I broke the key and threw it away. ‘Goodbye for ever, Mr Hyde!’ I whispered.

The next day the news of the murderer was all over London. The servant girl had seen the crime and recognized Mr Hyde. My other self was wanted by the police.

In some ways I was glad. Now Hyde could not show his face to the world again. If he did, every honest man in London would be proud to report him to the police.

Once again I led a busy, responsible and almost happy life . . . until one fine, clear January day. I was sitting on a seat in the par k, enjoying the sunshine, when suddenly I felt deathly sick. I began to tremble all over. Soon, however, I felt well again — not only well, but young, strong and fearless. I looked down; my clothes were suddenly too big, the hand on my knee was the bony, hairy hand of Edward Hyde. It was so sudden. One moment I was a famous and popular doctor, the next I was a violent criminal who was wan ted for murder.

How could I get to my study to take the drug? I had locked the street door to my laboratory and broken the key. I could not, therefore, enter from the street. I could not go in through the house because of the servants. I needed help from outside. I thought of Lanyon, but how could I reach him? And how could I persuade him to let Hyde into his home? How, too, could I persuade him to break into Doctor Jekyll’s private study? It looked impossible.

Then I remembered. My appearance was unrecogniz­able, but my handwriting was unchanged. I could still write a letter in Doctor Jekyll’s name! Calling a passing taxicab, I ordered the driver to drive to a hotel quite n ear Lanyon’s house. Of course Jekyll’s clothes were much too large for my body, and I had trouble in climbing in to the cab. The driver noticed my strange appearance and could not help laughing. I gave him such a black look, however, that the smile froze on his face. In my desperate fear and danger, I was like a pain-maddened animal, ready to kill or wound at any moment. I wan ted to pull the driver from his seat and murder him then and there. But I was clever too. My life depended on my coolness, and I fought to control my murderous passions.

We reached the hotel. I paid the driver and went inside, holding up my too-large trousers. The servants smiled when they saw my strange appearance. I stared angrily a t them and their smiles disappeared at once. I gave my

orders and they led me to a private room and brought me some writing paper and a pen.

Hyde in danger of his life was a new experience for me.

He — I write ‘he’ because I find it hard to write ‘I’ — he was not hum an. His only feelings at that time were fear and hate. Hyde was wholly evil, but he was not stupid. He knew that his life depended on two letters, one to Lanyon and one to Poole. If he failed, he would die.

Carefully he wrote the letters and sent a servant to post them. After that he sat all day by the fire in the private room . There too he had dinner, brought by a frightened waiter. At last, when darkness had covered the city, he sat in the corner of a closed taxicab. ‘Just drive round!’ he ordered, and the driver drove backwards and forwards through the streets of London.

Then, when Hyde thought the driver was beginning to suspect something, he sent the taxicab away and continued on foot. He was a strange figure in his too-large clothes, with fear and hate staring out of his eyes. He walked along talking to himself. Once a woman spoke to him. ‘Will you buy my matches, sir?’ she begged. Hyde hit her across the face, and she ran away in fear.

My plan was successful. And when I arrived in Lanyon’s house, I took the dose of the drug that returned me to my normal appearance.

Immediately afterwards I felt deeply ashamed. Perhaps it was Lanyon’s horror that made me feel like that. I do no t know. But I hated myself and I was conscious of an important change in my feelings. I was no longer afraid of the police — I was afraid of Hyde himself. The thought of his short , strong, hairy body and his evil, cruel, wholly selfish mind filled me with horror.

Exhausted by the horrors of that day, I slept heavily. I wok e in the morning feeling weak and shaky, but quite normal. I still hated and feared the thought of the wild animal inside me, and I had no t forgotten the desperate dangers of the day before. But I was at home and close to my drugs, and I was most deeply grateful for my escape.

I was walking across the garden after breakfast, enjoying the clear wintry air, when suddenly my body was again torn by those indescribable feelings which I always experienced after a dose of the drug. I only just reached my study before I was again burning and freezing with the violent passions ’of Hyde. With feverish speed I mixed the drug. This tim6 I had to take a double dose to return to my old shape. And then , only six hours later, the pains returned and I bad to repeat the dose.

From that day onwards the situation worsened. I needed larger and more frequent doses in order to stay in Jekyll’s body. The pains came unexpectedly, but most of all when I was asleep. I was afraid to go to bed, or even to sleep for a few moments in my chair. If I did so, I always woke as Hyde. ; I Soon Jekyll was a sick man, feverish and weakened by pain and fear. As Jekyll grew weaker, Hyde became stronger than ever. He burned with hate for everybody and everything. And Hyde and Jekyll now hated each other with equal passion. Jekyll hated Hyde because Hyde was evil and inhuman, and because Hyde was stronger than he was. Jekyll lived in fear of waking up and finding himself in Hyde’s body, with all Hyde’s evil passions. Hyde hated Jekyll for a different reason. His fear of death - the punishment for murder — drove him to the hiding-place of Jekyll’s body. But he hated this prison and was always fighting to escape from Jekyll’s mind and body, and take control. He also hated Jekyll’s weakness and his sad, hopeless condition. Most of all, he hated Jekyll’s dislike of him. This was why Hyde sometimes did things to annoy Jekyll. He tore the doctor’s books and wrote all over them. He burned his letters and even destroyed a picture of the doctor’s de ad father.

Only Hyde’s fear of his own death stops him from killing me. His love of life is terribly strong, and he know s that if he kills me, he too will die. I almost feel sorry for him.

It is useless to continue this confession. The final disaster has arrived, and will put an end to my punish­ment. I shall soon lose my own face and character for ever. I have only a few doses o f the drug left. I sent Poole to the same chemist to fetch some more chemicals. When he brought them, I mixed a dose of the drug. The liquid smoked and changed from red to purple, but it did not turn green. I drank it, and looked in the mirror. But there was no effect. Edward Hyde’s face still stared back at me.

I expect Poole has told you that I have searched London for the chemicals I need. It is no good. I have decided that the first chemicals I bought were not absolutely pure. By accident, they contained something unknown to myself or to the chemist that prepared them.

And that unknown something made my drug effective. So my drug was an accidental discovery that can not be repeated.

About a week has passed. I have used the last of the old chemicals, and for the moment I am Henry Jekyll again.

But I cannot write much more — I have very little time. If Hyde returns while I am writing this confession, he will tear it to pieces to anno y me. If I finish it, however, he will probably not notice it. He lives only for the moment, and he is already a changed man. He is like a trapped animal now. He sits in my chair trembling and weeping with hate and fear. All the time he listens for the policeman’s knock at the door. Will he be caught a t last, and put to death?

Or will he be brave enough to take a dose of poison at the last moment?

Well, that is not my business. This is the true hour of my death. When you read this, the Henry Jekyll you know will be dead. The rest of the story is a bout Edward Hyde. Now, as I put down my pen, I bring the life of unhappy Henry Jekyll to an end.

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