Dr. Lanyon Hastie
He was wild when he was young; a long while ago to be sure; but in the law of God, there is no statute of limitations. Aye, it must be that; the ghost of some old sin, the cancer of some concealed disgrace: punishment coming, pede claudo, years after memory has forgotten and self-love condoned the fault.” And the lawyer, scared by the thought, brooded awhile on his own past, groping in all the corners of memory, least by chance some Jack-in-the-Box of an old iniquity should leap to light there. His past was fairly blameless; few men could read the rolls of their life with less apprehension; yet he was humbled to the dust by the many ill things he had done, and raised up again into a sober and fearful gratitude by the many he had come so near to doing yet avoided. And then by a return on his former subject, he conceived a spark of hope.
In the end, the actual nature of Hyde’s and Jekyll’s sins proves less important than Stevenson’s larger point, which is that the lure of the dark side constitutes a universal part of our human nature. We are all Jekylls, desperately trying to keep our Hydes under control—even as we are secretly fascinated by what they do and envious of their frightening freedom from moral constraints.