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Frankenstein — Mary Shelley
 

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    Frankenstein — Mary Shelley Frankenstein — Mary Shelley Document Transcript

    • Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus Mary Wollstonecraft ShelleyThis eBook was designed and published by Planet PDF. For more freeeBooks visit our Web site at http://www.planetpdf.com/. To hearabout our latest releases subscribe to the Planet PDF Newsletter.
    • Frankenstein Letter 1 To Mrs. Saville, England St. Petersburgh, Dec. 11th, 17— You will rejoice to hear that no disaster hasaccompanied the commencement of an enterprise whichyou have regarded with such evil forebodings. I arrivedhere yesterday, and my first task is to assure my dear sisterof my welfare and increasing confidence in the success ofmy undertaking. I am already far north of London, and as I walk in thestreets of Petersburgh, I feel a cold northern breeze playupon my cheeks, which braces my nerves and fills me withdelight. Do you understand this feeling? This breeze,which has travelled from the regions towards which I amadvancing, gives me a foretaste of those icy climes.Inspirited by this wind of promise, my daydreams becomemore fervent and vivid. I try in vain to be persuaded thatthe pole is the seat of frost and desolation; it ever presentsitself to my imagination as the region of beauty anddelight. There, Margaret, the sun is forever visible, itsbroad disk just skirting the horizon and diffusing aperpetual splendour. There—for with your leave, mysister, I will put some trust in preceding navigators— theresnow and frost are banished; and, sailing over a calm sea, 2 of 345
    • eBook brought to you by Create, view, and edit PDF. Download the free trial version.Frankensteinwe may be wafted to a land surpassing in wonders and inbeauty every region hitherto discovered on the habitableglobe. Its productions and features may be withoutexample, as the phenomena of the heavenly bodiesundoubtedly are in those undiscovered solitudes. Whatmay not be expected in a country of eternal light? I maythere discover the wondrous power which attracts theneedle and may regulate a thousand celestial observationsthat require only this voyage to render their seemingeccentricities consistent forever. I shall satiate my ardentcuriosity with the sight of a part of the world never beforevisited, and may tread a land never before imprinted bythe foot of man. These are my enticements, and they aresufficient to conquer all fear of danger or death and toinduce me to commence this labourious voyage with thejoy a child feels when he embarks in a little boat, with hisholiday mates, on an expedition of discovery up his nativeriver. But supposing all these conjectures to be false, youcannot contest the inestimable benefit which I shall conferon all mankind, to the last generation, by discovering apassage near the pole to those countries, to reach which atpresent so many months are requisite; or by ascertainingthe secret of the magnet, which, if at all possible, can onlybe effected by an undertaking such as mine. 3 of 345
    • Frankenstein These reflections have dispelled the agitation withwhich I began my letter, and I feel my heart glow with anenthusiasm which elevates me to heaven, for nothingcontributes so much to tranquillize the mind as a steadypurpose—a point on which the soul may fix its intellectualeye. This expedition has been the favourite dream of myearly years. I have read with ardour the accounts of thevarious voyages which have been made in the prospect ofarriving at the North Pacific Ocean through the seaswhich surround the pole. You may remember that ahistory of all the voyages made for purposes of discoverycomposed the whole of our good Uncle Thomas’ library.My education was neglected, yet I was passionately fondof reading. These volumes were my study day and night,and my familiarity with them increased that regret which Ihad felt, as a child, on learning that my father’s dyinginjunction had forbidden my uncle to allow me to embarkin a seafaring life. These visions faded when I perused, for the first time,those poets whose effusions entranced my soul and lifted itto heaven. I also became a poet and for one year lived in aparadise of my own creation; I imagined that I also mightobtain a niche in the temple where the names of Homerand Shakespeare are consecrated. You are well acquainted 4 of 345
    • Frankensteinwith my failure and how heavily I bore thedisappointment. But just at that time I inherited thefortune of my cousin, and my thoughts were turned intothe channel of their earlier bent. Six years have passed since I resolved on my presentundertaking. I can, even now, remember the hour fromwhich I dedicated myself to this great enterprise. Icommenced by inuring my body to hardship. Iaccompanied the whale-fishers on several expeditions tothe North Sea; I voluntarily endured cold, famine, thirst,and want of sleep; I often worked harder than thecommon sailors during the day and devoted my nights tothe study of mathematics, the theory of medicine, andthose branches of physical science from which a navaladventurer might derive the greatest practical advantage.Twice I actually hired myself as an under-mate in aGreenland whaler, and acquitted myself to admiration. Imust own I felt a little proud when my captain offered methe second dignity in the vessel and entreated me toremain with the greatest earnestness, so valuable did heconsider my services. And now, dear Margaret, do I not deserve toaccomplish some great purpose? My life might have beenpassed in ease and luxury, but I preferred glory to every 5 of 345
    • Frankensteinenticement that wealth placed in my path. Oh, that someencouraging voice would answer in the affirmative! Mycourage and my resolution is firm; but my hopes fluctuate,and my spirits are often depressed. I am about to proceedon a long and difficult voyage, the emergencies of whichwill demand all my fortitude: I am required not only toraise the spirits of others, but sometimes to sustain myown, when theirs are failing. This is the most favourable period for travelling inRussia. They fly quickly over the snow in their sledges;the motion is pleasant, and, in my opinion, far moreagreeable than that of an English stagecoach. The cold isnot excessive, if you are wrapped in furs— a dress which Ihave already adopted, for there is a great differencebetween walking the deck and remaining seatedmotionless for hours, when no exercise prevents the bloodfrom actually freezing in your veins. I have no ambition tolose my life on the post-road between St. Petersburgh andArchangel. I shall depart for the latter town in a fortnight or threeweeks; and my intention is to hire a ship there, which caneasily be done by paying the insurance for the owner, andto engage as many sailors as I think necessary among thosewho are accustomed to the whale-fishing. I do not intend 6 of 345
    • Frankensteinto sail until the month of June; and when shall I return?Ah, dear sister, how can I answer this question? If Isucceed, many, many months, perhaps years, will passbefore you and I may meet. If I fail, you will see me againsoon, or never. Farewell, my dear, excellent Margaret. Heaven showerdown blessings on you, and save me, that I may again andagain testify my gratitude for all your love and kindness. Your affectionate brother,R. Walton Letter 2 To Mrs. Saville, England Archangel, 28th March, 17— How slowly the time passes here, encompassed as I amby frost and snow! Yet a second step is taken towards myenterprise. I have hired a vessel and am occupied incollecting my sailors; those whom I have already engagedappear to be men on whom I can depend and are certainlypossessed of dauntless courage. But I have one want which I have never yet been ableto satisfy, and the absence of the object of which I nowfeel as a most severe evil. I have no friend, Margaret: whenI am glowing with the enthusiasm of success, there will benone to participate my joy; if I am assailed by 7 of 345
    • Frankensteindisappointment, no one will endeavour to sustain me indejection. I shall commit my thoughts to paper, it is true;but that is a poor medium for the communication offeeling. I desire the company of a man who couldsympathize with me, whose eyes would reply to mine.You may deem me romantic, my dear sister, but I bitterlyfeel the want of a friend. I have no one near me, gentleyet courageous, possessed of a cultivated as well as of acapacious mind, whose tastes are like my own, to approveor amend my plans. How would such a friend repair thefaults of your poor brother! I am too ardent in executionand too impatient of difficulties. But it is a still greater evilto me that I am self-educated: for the first fourteen yearsof my life I ran wild on a common and read nothing butour Uncle Thomas’ books of voyages. At that age Ibecame acquainted with the celebrated poets of our owncountry; but it was only when it had ceased to be in mypower to derive its most important benefits from such aconviction that I perceived the necessity of becomingacquainted with more languages than that of my nativecountry. Now I am twenty-eight and am in reality moreilliterate than many schoolboys of fifteen. It is true that Ihave thought more and that my daydreams are moreextended and magnificent, but they want (as the painters 8 of 345
    • Frankensteincall it) *keeping*; and I greatly need a friend who wouldhave sense enough not to despise me as romantic, andaffection enough for me to endeavour to regulate mymind. Well, these are useless complaints; I shall certainly findno friend on the wide ocean, nor even here in Archangel,among merchants and seamen. Yet some feelings, unalliedto the dross of human nature, beat even in these ruggedbosoms. My lieutenant, for instance, is a man of wonderfulcourage and enterprise; he is madly desirous of glory, orrather, to word my phrase more characteristically, ofadvancement in his profession. He is an Englishman, andin the midst of national and professional prejudices,unsoftened by cultivation, retains some of the noblestendowments of humanity. I first became acquainted withhim on board a whale vessel; finding that he wasunemployed in this city, I easily engaged him to assist inmy enterprise. The master is a person of an excellent disposition and isremarkable in the ship for his gentleness and the mildnessof his discipline. This circumstance, added to his well-known integrity and dauntless courage, made me verydesirous to engage him. A youth passed in solitude, mybest years spent under your gentle and feminine fosterage, 9 of 345
    • Frankensteinhas so refined the groundwork of my character that Icannot overcome an intense distaste to the usual brutalityexercised on board ship: I have never believed it to benecessary, and when I heard of a mariner equally noted forhis kindliness of heart and the respect and obedience paidto him by his crew, I felt myself peculiarly fortunate inbeing able to secure his services. I heard of him first inrather a romantic manner, from a lady who owes to himthe happiness of her life. This, briefly, is his story. Someyears ago he loved a young Russian lady of moderatefortune, and having amassed a considerable sum in prize-money, the father of the girl consented to the match. Hesaw his mistress once before the destined ceremony; butshe was bathed in tears, and throwing herself at his feet,entreated him to spare her, confessing at the same timethat she loved another, but that he was poor, and that herfather would never consent to the union. My generousfriend reassured the suppliant, and on being informed ofthe name of her lover, instantly abandoned his pursuit. Hehad already bought a farm with his money, on which hehad designed to pass the remainder of his life; but hebestowed the whole on his rival, together with theremains of his prize-money to purchase stock, and thenhimself solicited the young woman’s father to consent to 10 of 345
    • Frankensteinher marriage with her lover. But the old man decidedlyrefused, thinking himself bound in honour to my friend,who, when he found the father inexorable, quitted hiscountry, nor returned until he heard that his formermistress was married according to her inclinations. ‘What anoble fellow!’ you will exclaim. He is so; but then he iswholly uneducated: he is as silent as a Turk, and a kind ofignorant carelessness attends him, which, while it rendershis conduct the more astonishing, detracts from theinterest and sympathy which otherwise he wouldcommand. Yet do not suppose, because I complain a little orbecause I can conceive a consolation for my toils which Imay never know, that I am wavering in my resolutions.Those are as fixed as fate, and my voyage is only nowdelayed until the weather shall permit my embarkation.The winter has been dreadfully severe, but the springpromises well, and it is considered as a remarkably earlyseason, so that perhaps I may sail sooner than I expected. Ishall do nothing rashly: you know me sufficiently toconfide in my prudence and considerateness whenever thesafety of others is committed to my care. I cannot describe to you my sensations on the nearprospect of my undertaking. It is impossible to 11 of 345
    • Frankensteincommunicate to you a conception of the tremblingsensation, half pleasurable and half fearful, with which Iam preparing to depart. I am going to unexplored regions,to ‘the land of mist and snow,’ but I shall kill no albatross;therefore do not be alarmed for my safety or if I shouldcome back to you as worn and woeful as the ‘AncientMariner.’ You will smile at my allusion, but I will disclosea secret. I have often attributed my attachment to, mypassionate enthusiasm for, the dangerous mysteries ofocean to that production of the most imaginative ofmodern poets. There is something at work in my soulwhich I do not understand. I am practically industrious—painstaking, a workman to execute with perseverance andlabour—but besides this there is a love for the marvellous,a belief in the marvellous, intertwined in all my projects,which hurries me out of the common pathways of men,even to the wild sea and unvisited regions I am about toexplore. But to return to dearer considerations. Shall I meet youagain, after having traversed immense seas, and returnedby the most southern cape of Africa or America? I darenot expect such success, yet I cannot bear to look on thereverse of the picture. Continue for the present to write tome by every opportunity: I may receive your letters on 12 of 345
    • Frankensteinsome occasions when I need them most to support myspirits. I love you very tenderly. Remember me withaffection, should you never hear from me again. Your affectionate brother,Robert Walton Letter 3 To Mrs. Saville, England July 7th, 17— My dear Sister, I write a few lines in haste to say that I am safe— andwell advanced on my voyage. This letter will reachEngland by a merchantman now on its homeward voyagefrom Archangel; more fortunate than I, who may not seemy native land, perhaps, for many years. I am, however, ingood spirits: my men are bold and apparently firm ofpurpose, nor do the floating sheets of ice that continuallypass us, indicating the dangers of the region towards whichwe are advancing, appear to dismay them. We havealready reached a very high latitude; but it is the height ofsummer, and although not so warm as in England, thesouthern gales, which blow us speedily towards thoseshores which I so ardently desire to attain, breathe adegree of renovating warmth which I had not expected. 13 of 345
    • Frankenstein No incidents have hitherto befallen us that would makea figure in a letter. One or two stiff gales and the springingof a leak are accidents which experienced navigatorsscarcely remember to record, and I shall be well content ifnothing worse happen to us during our voyage. Adieu, my dear Margaret. Be assured that for my ownsake, as well as yours, I will not rashly encounter danger. Iwill be cool, persevering, and prudent. But success *shall* crown my endeavours. Whereforenot? Thus far I have gone, tracing a secure way over thepathless seas, the very stars themselves being witnesses andtestimonies of my triumph. Why not still proceed over theuntamed yet obedient element? What can stop thedetermined heart and resolved will of man? My swelling heart involuntarily pours itself out thus.But I must finish. Heaven bless my beloved sister!R.W. Letter 4 To Mrs. Saville, England August 5th, 17— So strange an accident has happened to us that I cannotforbear recording it, although it is very probable that youwill see me before these papers can come into yourpossession. 14 of 345
    • eBook brought to you by Create, view, and edit PDF. Download the free trial version.Frankenstein Last Monday (July 31st) we were nearly surrounded byice, which closed in the ship on all sides, scarcely leavingher the sea-room in which she floated. Our situation wassomewhat dangerous, especially as we were compassedround by a very thick fog. We accordingly lay to, hopingthat some change would take place in the atmosphere andweather. About two o’clock the mist cleared away, and webeheld, stretched out in every direction, vast and irregularplains of ice, which seemed to have no end. Some of mycomrades groaned, and my own mind began to growwatchful with anxious thoughts, when a strange sightsuddenly attracted our attention and diverted oursolicitude from our own situation. We perceived a lowcarriage, fixed on a sledge and drawn by dogs, pass ontowards the north, at the distance of half a mile; a beingwhich had the shape of a man, but apparently of giganticstature, sat in the sledge and guided the dogs. We watchedthe rapid progress of the traveller with our telescopes untilhe was lost among the distant inequalities of the ice. This appearance excited our unqualified wonder. Wewere, as we believed, many hundred miles from any land;but this apparition seemed to denote that it was not, inreality, so distant as we had supposed. Shut in, however, 15 of 345
    • Frankensteinby ice, it was impossible to follow his track, which we hadobserved with the greatest attention. About two hours after this occurrence we heard theground sea, and before night the ice broke and freed ourship. We, however, lay to until the morning, fearing toencounter in the dark those large loose masses which floatabout after the breaking up of the ice. I profited of thistime to rest for a few hours. In the morning, however, as soon as it was light, I wentupon deck and found all the sailors busy on one side of thevessel, apparently talking to someone in the sea. It was, infact, a sledge, like that we had seen before, which haddrifted towards us in the night on a large fragment of ice.Only one dog remained alive; but there was a humanbeing within it whom the sailors were persuading to enterthe vessel. He was not, as the other traveller seemed to be,a savage inhabitant of some undiscovered island, but aEuropean. When I appeared on deck the master said,‘Here is our captain, and he will not allow you to perishon the open sea.’ On perceiving me, the stranger addressed me inEnglish, although with a foreign accent. ‘Before I come onboard your vessel,’ said he, ‘will you have the kindness toinform me whither you are bound?’ 16 of 345
    • Frankenstein You may conceive my astonishment on hearing such aquestion addressed to me from a man on the brink ofdestruction and to whom I should have supposed that myvessel would have been a resource which he would nothave exchanged for the most precious wealth the earth canafford. I replied, however, that we were on a voyage ofdiscovery towards the northern pole. Upon hearing this he appeared satisfied and consentedto come on board. Good God! Margaret, if you had seenthe man who thus capitulated for his safety, your surprisewould have been boundless. His limbs were nearly frozen,and his body dreadfully emaciated by fatigue and suffering.I never saw a man in so wretched a condition. Weattempted to carry him into the cabin, but as soon as hehad quitted the fresh air he fainted. We accordinglybrought him back to the deck and restored him toanimation by rubbing him with brandy and forcing him toswallow a small quantity. As soon as he showed signs oflife we wrapped him up in blankets and placed him nearthe chimney of the kitchen stove. By slow degrees herecovered and ate a little soup, which restored himwonderfully. Two days passed in this manner before he was able tospeak, and I often feared that his sufferings had deprived 17 of 345
    • Frankensteinhim of understanding. When he had in some measurerecovered, I removed him to my own cabin and attendedon him as much as my duty would permit. I never saw amore interesting creature: his eyes have generally anexpression of wildness, and even madness, but there aremoments when, if anyone performs an act of kindnesstowards him or does him the most trifling service, hiswhole countenance is lighted up, as it were, with a beamof benevolence and sweetness that I never saw equalled.But he is generally melancholy and despairing, andsometimes he gnashes his teeth, as if impatient of theweight of woes that oppresses him. When my guest was a little recovered I had greattrouble to keep off the men, who wished to ask him athousand questions; but I would not allow him to betormented by their idle curiosity, in a state of body andmind whose restoration evidently depended upon entirerepose. Once, however, the lieutenant asked why he hadcome so far upon the ice in so strange a vehicle. His countenance instantly assumed an aspect of thedeepest gloom, and he replied, ‘To seek one who fledfrom me.’ ‘And did the man whom you pursued travel in thesame fashion?’ 18 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘Yes.’ ‘Then I fancy we have seen him, for the day before wepicked you up we saw some dogs drawing a sledge, with aman in it, across the ice.’ This aroused the stranger’s attention, and he asked amultitude of questions concerning the route which thedemon, as he called him, had pursued. Soon after, whenhe was alone with me, he said, ‘I have, doubtless, excitedyour curiosity, as well as that of these good people; butyou are too considerate to make inquiries.’ ‘Certainly; it would indeed be very impertinent andinhuman of me to trouble you with any inquisitiveness ofmine.’ ‘And yet you rescued me from a strange and periloussituation; you have benevolently restored me to life.’ Soon after this he inquired if I thought that thebreaking up of the ice had destroyed the other sledge. Ireplied that I could not answer with any degree ofcertainty, for the ice had not broken until near midnight,and the traveller might have arrived at a place of safetybefore that time; but of this I could not judge. From this time a new spirit of life animated thedecaying frame of the stranger. He manifested the greatesteagerness to be upon deck to watch for the sledge which 19 of 345
    • Frankensteinhad before appeared; but I have persuaded him to remainin the cabin, for he is far too weak to sustain the rawnessof the atmosphere. I have promised that someone shouldwatch for him and give him instant notice if any newobject should appear in sight. Such is my journal of what relates to this strangeoccurrence up to the present day. The stranger hasgradually improved in health but is very silent and appearsuneasy when anyone except myself enters his cabin. Yethis manners are so conciliating and gentle that the sailorsare all interested in him, although they have had very littlecommunication with him. For my own part, I begin tolove him as a brother, and his constant and deep grief fillsme with sympathy and compassion. He must have been anoble creature in his better days, being even now in wreckso attractive and amiable. I said in one of my letters, my dear Margaret, that Ishould find no friend on the wide ocean; yet I have founda man who, before his spirit had been broken by misery, Ishould have been happy to have possessed as the brotherof my heart. I shall continue my journal concerning the stranger atintervals, should I have any fresh incidents to record. August 13th, 17— 20 of 345
    • Frankenstein My affection for my guest increases every day. Heexcites at once my admiration and my pity to anastonishing degree. How can I see so noble a creaturedestroyed by misery without feeling the most poignantgrief? He is so gentle, yet so wise; his mind is socultivated, and when he speaks, although his words areculled with the choicest art, yet they flow with rapidityand unparalleled eloquence. He is now much recovered from his illness and iscontinually on the deck, apparently watching for thesledge that preceded his own. Yet, although unhappy, heis not so utterly occupied by his own misery but that heinterests himself deeply in the projects of others. He hasfrequently conversed with me on mine, which I havecommunicated to him without disguise. He enteredattentively into all my arguments in favour of my eventualsuccess and into every minute detail of the measures I hadtaken to secure it. I was easily led by the sympathy whichhe evinced to use the language of my heart, to giveutterance to the burning ardour of my soul, and to say,with all the fervour that warmed me, how gladly I wouldsacrifice my fortune, my existence, my every hope, to thefurtherance of my enterprise. One man’s life or death werebut a small price to pay for the acquirement of the 21 of 345
    • Frankensteinknowledge which I sought, for the dominion I shouldacquire and transmit over the elemental foes of our race.As I spoke, a dark gloom spread over my listener’scountenance. At first I perceived that he tried to suppresshis emotion; he placed his hands before his eyes, and myvoice quivered and failed me as I beheld tears trickle fastfrom between his fingers; a groan burst from his heavingbreast. I paused; at length he spoke, in broken accents:‘Unhappy man! Do you share my madness? Have youdrunk also of the intoxicating draught? Hear me; let mereveal my tale, and you will dash the cup from your lips!’ Such words, you may imagine, strongly excited mycuriosity; but the paroxysm of grief that had seized thestranger overcame his weakened powers, and many hoursof repose and tranquil conversation were necessary torestore his composure. Having conquered the violence of his feelings, heappeared to despise himself for being the slave of passion;and quelling the dark tyranny of despair, he led me againto converse concerning myself personally. He asked methe history of my earlier years. The tale was quickly told,but it awakened various trains of reflection. I spoke of mydesire of finding a friend, of my thirst for a more intimatesympathy with a fellow mind than had ever fallen to my 22 of 345
    • Frankensteinlot, and expressed my conviction that a man could boast oflittle happiness who did not enjoy this blessing. ‘I agree with you,’ replied the stranger; ‘we areunfashioned creatures, but half made up, if one wiser,better, dearer than ourselves— such a friend ought to be—do not lend his aid to perfectionate our weak and faultynatures. I once had a friend, the most noble of humancreatures, and am entitled, therefore, to judge respectingfriendship. You have hope, and the world before you, andhave no cause for despair. But I—I have lost everythingand cannot begin life anew.’ As he said this his countenance became expressive of acalm, settled grief that touched me to the heart. But hewas silent and presently retired to his cabin. Even broken in spirit as he is, no one can feel moredeeply than he does the beauties of nature. The starry sky,the sea, and every sight afforded by these wonderfulregions seem still to have the power of elevating his soulfrom earth. Such a man has a double existence: he maysuffer misery and be overwhelmed by disappointments, yetwhen he has retired into himself, he will be like a celestialspirit that has a halo around him, within whose circle nogrief or folly ventures. 23 of 345
    • Frankenstein Will you smile at the enthusiasm I express concerningthis divine wanderer? You would not if you saw him. Youhave been tutored and refined by books and retirementfrom the world, and you are therefore somewhatfastidious; but this only renders you the more fit toappreciate the extraordinary merits of this wonderful man.Sometimes I have endeavoured to discover what quality itis which he possesses that elevates him so immeasurablyabove any other person I ever knew. I believe it to be anintuitive discernment, a quick but never-failing power ofjudgment, a penetration into the causes of things,unequalled for clearness and precision; add to this a facilityof expression and a voice whose varied intonations aresoul-subduing music. August 19, 17— Yesterday the stranger said to me, ‘You may easilyperceive, Captain Walton, that I have suffered great andunparalleled misfortunes. I had determined at one timethat the memory of these evils should die with me, butyou have won me to alter my determination. You seek forknowledge and wisdom, as I once did; and I ardently hopethat the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpentto sting you, as mine has been. I do not know that therelation of my disasters will be useful to you; yet, when I 24 of 345
    • Frankensteinreflect that you are pursuing the same course, exposingyourself to the same dangers which have rendered mewhat I am, I imagine that you may deduce an apt moralfrom my tale, one that may direct you if you succeed inyour undertaking and console you in case of failure.Prepare to hear of occurrences which are usually deemedmarvellous. Were we among the tamer scenes of nature Imight fear to encounter your unbelief, perhaps yourridicule; but many things will appear possible in these wildand mysterious regions which would provoke the laughterof those unacquainted with the ever-varied powers ofnature; nor can I doubt but that my tale conveys in itsseries internal evidence of the truth of the events of whichit is composed.’ You may easily imagine that I was much gratified bythe offered communication, yet I could not endure that heshould renew his grief by a recital of his misfortunes. I feltthe greatest eagerness to hear the promised narrative,partly from curiosity and partly from a strong desire toameliorate his fate if it were in my power. I expressedthese feelings in my answer. ‘I thank you,’ he replied, ‘for your sympathy, but it isuseless; my fate is nearly fulfilled. I wait but for one event,and then I shall repose in peace. I understand your 25 of 345
    • Frankensteinfeeling,’ continued he, perceiving that I wished tointerrupt him; ‘but you are mistaken, my friend, if thusyou will allow me to name you; nothing can alter mydestiny; listen to my history, and you will perceive howirrevocably it is determined.’ He then told me that he would commence his narrativethe next day when I should be at leisure. This promisedrew from me the warmest thanks. I have resolved everynight, when I am not imperatively occupied by my duties,to record, as nearly as possible in his own words, what hehas related during the day. If I should be engaged, I will atleast make notes. This manuscript will doubtless afford youthe greatest pleasure; but to me, who know him and whohear it from his own lips—with what interest andsympathy shall I read it in some future day! Even now, as Icommence my task, his full-toned voice swells in my ears;his lustrous eyes dwell on me with all their melancholysweetness; I see his thin hand raised in animation, whilethe lineaments of his face are irradiated by the soul within.Strange and harrowing must be his story, frightful thestorm which embraced the gallant vessel on its course andwrecked it—thus! 26 of 345
    • eBook brought to you by Create, view, and edit PDF. Download the free trial version.Frankenstein Chapter 1 I am by birth a Genevese, and my family is one of themost distinguished of that republic. My ancestors had beenfor many years counsellors and syndics, and my father hadfilled several public situations with honour and reputation.He was respected by all who knew him for his integrityand indefatigable attention to public business. He passedhis younger days perpetually occupied by the affairs of hiscountry; a variety of circumstances had prevented hismarrying early, nor was it until the decline of life that hebecame a husband and the father of a family. As the circumstances of his marriage illustrate hischaracter, I cannot refrain from relating them. One of hismost intimate friends was a merchant who, from aflourishing state, fell, through numerous mischances, intopoverty. This man, whose name was Beaufort, was of aproud and unbending disposition and could not bear tolive in poverty and oblivion in the same country where hehad formerly been distinguished for his rank andmagnificence. Having paid his debts, therefore, in themost honourable manner, he retreated with his daughterto the town of Lucerne, where he lived unknown and in 27 of 345
    • Frankensteinwretchedness. My father loved Beaufort with the truestfriendship and was deeply grieved by his retreat in theseunfortunate circumstances. He bitterly deplored the falsepride which led his friend to a conduct so little worthy ofthe affection that united them. He lost no time inendeavouring to seek him out, with the hope ofpersuading him to begin the world again through hiscredit and assistance. Beaufort had taken effectual measures to concealhimself, and it was ten months before my fatherdiscovered his abode. Overjoyed at this discovery, hehastened to the house, which was situated in a mean streetnear the Reuss. But when he entered, misery and despairalone welcomed him. Beaufort had saved but a very smallsum of money from the wreck of his fortunes, but it wassufficient to provide him with sustenance for somemonths, and in the meantime he hoped to procure somerespectable employment in a merchant’s house. Theinterval was, consequently, spent in inaction; his grief onlybecame more deep and rankling when he had leisure forreflection, and at length it took so fast hold of his mindthat at the end of three months he lay on a bed of sickness,incapable of any exertion. 28 of 345
    • Frankenstein His daughter attended him with the greatest tenderness,but she saw with despair that their little fund was rapidlydecreasing and that there was no other prospect ofsupport. But Caroline Beaufort possessed a mind of anuncommon mould, and her courage rose to support her inher adversity. She procured plain work; she plaited strawand by various means contrived to earn a pittance scarcelysufficient to support life. Several months passed in this manner. Her father grewworse; her time was more entirely occupied in attendinghim; her means of subsistence decreased; and in the tenthmonth her father died in her arms, leaving her an orphanand a beggar. This last blow overcame her, and she kneltby Beaufort’s coffin weeping bitterly, when my fatherentered the chamber. He came like a protecting spirit tothe poor girl, who committed herself to his care; and afterthe interment of his friend he conducted her to Genevaand placed her under the protection of a relation. Twoyears after this event Caroline became his wife. There was a considerable difference between the agesof my parents, but this circumstance seemed to unite themonly closer in bonds of devoted affection. There was asense of justice in my father’s upright mind whichrendered it necessary that he should approve highly to love 29 of 345
    • Frankensteinstrongly. Perhaps during former years he had suffered fromthe late-discovered unworthiness of one beloved and sowas disposed to set a greater value on tried worth. Therewas a show of gratitude and worship in his attachment tomy mother, differing wholly from the doting fondness ofage, for it was inspired by reverence for her virtues and adesire to be the means of, in some degree, recompensingher for the sorrows she had endured, but which gaveinexpressible grace to his behaviour to her. Everything wasmade to yield to her wishes and her convenience. Hestrove to shelter her, as a fair exotic is sheltered by thegardener, from every rougher wind and to surround herwith all that could tend to excite pleasurable emotion inher soft and benevolent mind. Her health, and even thetranquillity of her hitherto constant spirit, had been shakenby what she had gone through. During the two years thathad elapsed previous to their marriage my father hadgradually relinquished all his public functions; andimmediately after their union they sought the pleasantclimate of Italy, and the change of scene and interestattendant on a tour through that land of wonders, as arestorative for her weakened frame. From Italy they visited Germany and France. I, theireldest child, was born at Naples, and as an infant 30 of 345
    • Frankensteinaccompanied them in their rambles. I remained for severalyears their only child. Much as they were attached to eachother, they seemed to draw inexhaustible stores ofaffection from a very mine of love to bestow them uponme. My mother’s tender caresses and my father’s smile ofbenevolent pleasure while regarding me are my firstrecollections. I was their plaything and their idol, andsomething better—their child, the innocent and helplesscreature bestowed on them by heaven, whom to bring upto good, and whose future lot it was in their hands todirect to happiness or misery, according as they fulfilledtheir duties towards me. With this deep consciousness ofwhat they owed towards the being to which they hadgiven life, added to the active spirit of tenderness thatanimated both, it may be imagined that while duringevery hour of my infant life I received a lesson of patience,of charity, and of self-control, I was so guided by a silkencord that all seemed but one train of enjoyment to me. For a long time I was their only care. My mother hadmuch desired to have a daughter, but I continued theirsingle offspring. When I was about five years old, whilemaking an excursion beyond the frontiers of Italy, theypassed a week on the shores of the Lake of Como. Theirbenevolent disposition often made them enter the cottages 31 of 345
    • Frankensteinof the poor. This, to my mother, was more than a duty; itwas a necessity, a passion—remembering what she hadsuffered, and how she had been relieved—for her to act inher turn the guardian angel to the afflicted. During one oftheir walks a poor cot in the foldings of a vale attractedtheir notice as being singularly disconsolate, while thenumber of half-clothed children gathered about it spoke ofpenury in its worst shape. One day, when my father hadgone by himself to Milan, my mother, accompanied byme, visited this abode. She found a peasant and his wife,hard working, bent down by care and labour, distributinga scanty meal to five hungry babes. Among these there wasone which attracted my mother far above all the rest. Sheappeared of a different stock. The four others were dark-eyed, hardy little vagrants; this child was thin and very fair.Her hair was the brightest living gold, and despite thepoverty of her clothing, seemed to set a crown ofdistinction on her head. Her brow was clear and ample,her blue eyes cloudless, and her lips and the moulding ofher face so expressive of sensibility and sweetness thatnone could behold her without looking on her as of adistinct species, a being heaven-sent, and bearing a celestialstamp in all her features. 32 of 345
    • Frankenstein The peasant woman, perceiving that my mother fixedeyes of wonder and admiration on this lovely girl, eagerlycommunicated her history. She was not her child, but thedaughter of a Milanese nobleman. Her mother was aGerman and had died on giving her birth. The infant hadbeen placed with these good people to nurse: they werebetter off then. They had not been long married, and theireldest child was but just born. The father of their chargewas one of those Italians nursed in the memory of theantique glory of Italy—one among the *schiavi ognorfrementi*, who exerted himself to obtain the liberty of hiscountry. He became the victim of its weakness. Whetherhe had died or still lingered in the dungeons of Austria wasnot known. His property was confiscated; his childbecame an orphan and a beggar. She continued with herfoster parents and bloomed in their rude abode, fairer thana garden rose among dark-leaved brambles. When my father returned from Milan, he foundplaying with me in the hall of our villa a child fairer thanpictured cherub— a creature who seemed to shed radiancefrom her looks and whose form and motions were lighterthan the chamois of the hills. The apparition was soonexplained. With his permission my mother prevailed onher rustic guardians to yield their charge to her. They 33 of 345
    • Frankensteinwere fond of the sweet orphan. Her presence had seemeda blessing to them, but it would be unfair to her to keepher in poverty and want when Providence afforded hersuch powerful protection. They consulted their villagepriest, and the result was that Elizabeth Lavenza becamethe inmate of my parents’ house— my more than sister—the beautiful and adored companion of all my occupationsand my pleasures. Everyone loved Elizabeth. The passionate and almostreverential attachment with which all regarded herbecame, while I shared it, my pride and my delight. Onthe evening previous to her being brought to my home,my mother had said playfully, ‘I have a pretty present formy Victor— tomorrow he shall have it.’ And when, onthe morrow, she presented Elizabeth to me as herpromised gift, I, with childish seriousness, interpreted herwords literally and looked upon Elizabeth as mine—mineto protect, love, and cherish. All praises bestowed on her Ireceived as made to a possession of my own. We calledeach other familiarly by the name of cousin. No word, noexpression could body forth the kind of relation in whichshe stood to me—my more than sister, since till death shewas to be mine only. 34 of 345
    • Frankenstein Chapter 2 We were brought up together; there was not quite ayear difference in our ages. I need not say that we werestrangers to any species of disunion or dispute. Harmonywas the soul of our companionship, and the diversity andcontrast that subsisted in our characters drew us nearertogether. Elizabeth was of a calmer and more concentrateddisposition; but, with all my ardour, I was capable of amore intense application and was more deeply smittenwith the thirst for knowledge. She busied herself withfollowing the aerial creations of the poets; and in themajestic and wondrous scenes which surrounded our Swisshome—the sublime shapes of the mountains, the changesof the seasons, tempest and calm, the silence of winter, andthe life and turbulence of our Alpine summers—she foundample scope for admiration and delight. While mycompanion contemplated with a serious and satisfied spiritthe magnificent appearances of things, I delighted ininvestigating their causes. The world was to me a secretwhich I desired to divine. Curiosity, earnest research tolearn the hidden laws of nature, gladness akin to rapture, as 35 of 345
    • Frankensteinthey were unfolded to me, are among the earliestsensations I can remember. On the birth of a second son, my junior by seven years,my parents gave up entirely their wandering life and fixedthemselves in their native country. We possessed a housein Geneva, and a campagne on Belrive, the eastern shoreof the lake, at the distance of rather more than a leaguefrom the city. We resided principally in the latter, and thelives of my parents were passed in considerable seclusion.It was my temper to avoid a crowd and to attach myselffervently to a few. I was indifferent, therefore, to myschool-fellows in general; but I united myself in the bondsof the closest friendship to one among them. HenryClerval was the son of a merchant of Geneva. He was aboy of singular talent and fancy. He loved enterprise,hardship, and even danger for its own sake. He was deeplyread in books of chivalry and romance. He composedheroic songs and began to write many a tale ofenchantment and knightly adventure. He tried to make usact plays and to enter into masquerades, in which thecharacters were drawn from the heroes of Roncesvalles, ofthe Round Table of King Arthur, and the chivalrous trainwho shed their blood to redeem the holy sepulchre fromthe hands of the infidels. 36 of 345
    • Frankenstein No human being could have passed a happierchildhood than myself. My parents were possessed by thevery spirit of kindness and indulgence. We felt that theywere not the tyrants to rule our lot according to theircaprice, but the agents and creators of all the many delightswhich we enjoyed. When I mingled with other families Idistinctly discerned how peculiarly fortunate my lot was,and gratitude assisted the development of filial love. My temper was sometimes violent, and my passionsvehement; but by some law in my temperature they wereturned not towards childish pursuits but to an eager desireto learn, and not to learn all things indiscriminately. Iconfess that neither the structure of languages, nor thecode of governments, nor the politics of various statespossessed attractions for me. It was the secrets of heavenand earth that I desired to learn; and whether it was theoutward substance of things or the inner spirit of natureand the mysterious soul of man that occupied me, still myinquiries were directed to the metaphysical, or in itshighest sense, the physical secrets of the world. Meanwhile Clerval occupied himself, so to speak, withthe moral relations of things. The busy stage of life, thevirtues of heroes, and the actions of men were his theme;and his hope and his dream was to become one among 37 of 345
    • Frankensteinthose whose names are recorded in story as the gallant andadventurous benefactors of our species. The saintly soul ofElizabeth shone like a shrine-dedicated lamp in ourpeaceful home. Her sympathy was ours; her smile, her softvoice, the sweet glance of her celestial eyes, were everthere to bless and animate us. She was the living spirit oflove to soften and attract; I might have become sullen inmy study, through the ardour of my nature, but that shewas there to subdue me to a semblance of her owngentleness. And Clerval—could aught ill entrench on thenoble spirit of Clerval? Yet he might not have been soperfectly humane, so thoughtful in his generosity, so fullof kindness and tenderness amidst his passion foradventurous exploit, had she not unfolded to him the realloveliness of beneficence and made the doing good theend and aim of his soaring ambition. I feel exquisite pleasure in dwelling on the recollectionsof childhood, before misfortune had tainted my mind andchanged its bright visions of extensive usefulness intogloomy and narrow reflections upon self. Besides, indrawing the picture of my early days, I also record thoseevents which led, by insensible steps, to my after tale ofmisery, for when I would account to myself for the birthof that passion which afterward ruled my destiny I find it 38 of 345
    • eBook brought to you by Create, view, and edit PDF. Download the free trial version.Frankensteinarise, like a mountain river, from ignoble and almostforgotten sources; but, swelling as it proceeded, it becamethe torrent which, in its course, has swept away all myhopes and joys. Natural philosophy is the genius that hasregulated my fate; I desire, therefore, in this narration, tostate those facts which led to my predilection for thatscience. When I was thirteen years of age we all went on aparty of pleasure to the baths near Thonon; theinclemency of the weather obliged us to remain a dayconfined to the inn. In this house I chanced to find avolume of the works of Cornelius Agrippa. I opened itwith apathy; the theory which he attempts to demonstrateand the wonderful facts which he relates soon changed thisfeeling into enthusiasm. A new light seemed to dawnupon my mind, and bounding with joy, I communicatedmy discovery to my father. My father looked carelessly atthe title page of my book and said, ‘Ah! CorneliusAgrippa! My dear Victor, do not waste your time uponthis; it is sad trash.’ If, instead of this remark, my father had taken the painsto explain to me that the principles of Agrippa had beenentirely exploded and that a modern system of science hadbeen introduced which possessed much greater powersthan the ancient, because the powers of the latter were 39 of 345
    • Frankensteinchimerical, while those of the former were real andpractical, under such circumstances I should certainly havethrown Agrippa aside and have contented my imagination,warmed as it was, by returning with greater ardour to myformer studies. It is even possible that the train of my ideaswould never have received the fatal impulse that led to myruin. But the cursory glance my father had taken of myvolume by no means assured me that he was acquaintedwith its contents, and I continued to read with the greatestavidity. When I returned home my first care was toprocure the whole works of this author, and afterwards ofParacelsus and Albertus Magnus. I read and studied thewild fancies of these writers with delight; they appeared tome treasures known to few besides myself. I havedescribed myself as always having been imbued with afervent longing to penetrate the secrets of nature. In spiteof the intense labour and wonderful discoveries of modernphilosophers, I always came from my studies discontentedand unsatisfied. Sir Isaac Newton is said to have avowedthat he felt like a child picking up shells beside the greatand unexplored ocean of truth. Those of his successors ineach branch of natural philosophy with whom I wasacquainted appeared even to my boy’s apprehensions astyros engaged in the same pursuit. 40 of 345
    • Frankenstein The untaught peasant beheld the elements around himand was acquainted with their practical uses. The mostlearned philosopher knew little more. He had partiallyunveiled the face of Nature, but her immortal lineamentswere still a wonder and a mystery. He might dissect,anatomize, and give names; but, not to speak of a finalcause, causes in their secondary and tertiary grades wereutterly unknown to him. I had gazed upon thefortifications and impediments that seemed to keep humanbeings from entering the citadel of nature, and rashly andignorantly I had repined. But here were books, and here were men who hadpenetrated deeper and knew more. I took their word forall that they averred, and I became their disciple. It mayappear strange that such should arise in the eighteenthcentury; but while I followed the routine of education inthe schools of Geneva, I was, to a great degree, self-taughtwith regard to my favourite studies. My father was notscientific, and I was left to struggle with a child’s blindness,added to a student’s thirst for knowledge. Under theguidance of my new preceptors I entered with the greatestdiligence into the search of the philosopher’s stone and theelixir of life; but the latter soon obtained my undividedattention. Wealth was an inferior object, but what glory 41 of 345
    • Frankensteinwould attend the discovery if I could banish disease fromthe human frame and render man invulnerable to any buta violent death! Nor were these my only visions. Theraising of ghosts or devils was a promise liberally accordedby my favourite authors, the fulfillment of which I mosteagerly sought; and if my incantations were alwaysunsuccessful, I attributed the failure rather to my owninexperience and mistake than to a want of skill or fidelityin my instructors. And thus for a time I was occupied byexploded systems, mingling, like an unadept, a thousandcontradictory theories and floundering desperately in avery slough of multifarious knowledge, guided by anardent imagination and childish reasoning, till an accidentagain changed the current of my ideas. When I was aboutfifteen years old we had retired to our house near Belrive,when we witnessed a most violent and terriblethunderstorm. It advanced from behind the mountains ofJura, and the thunder burst at once with frightful loudnessfrom various quarters of the heavens. I remained, whilethe storm lasted, watching its progress with curiosity anddelight. As I stood at the door, on a sudden I beheld astream of fire issue from an old and beautiful oak whichstood about twenty yards from our house; and so soon asthe dazzling light vanished, the oak had disappeared, and 42 of 345
    • Frankensteinnothing remained but a blasted stump. When we visited itthe next morning, we found the tree shattered in asingular manner. It was not splintered by the shock, butentirely reduced to thin ribbons of wood. I never beheldanything so utterly destroyed. Before this I was not unacquainted with the moreobvious laws of electricity. On this occasion a man ofgreat research in natural philosophy was with us, andexcited by this catastrophe, he entered on the explanationof a theory which he had formed on the subject ofelectricity and galvanism, which was at once new andastonishing to me. All that he said threw greatly into theshade Cornelius Agrippa, Albertus Magnus, and Paracelsus,the lords of my imagination; but by some fatality theoverthrow of these men disinclined me to pursue myaccustomed studies. It seemed to me as if nothing wouldor could ever be known. All that had so long engaged myattention suddenly grew despicable. By one of thosecaprices of the mind which we are perhaps most subject toin early youth, I at once gave up my former occupations,set down natural history and all its progeny as a deformedand abortive creation, and entertained the greatest disdainfor a would-be science which could never even stepwithin the threshold of real knowledge. In this mood of 43 of 345
    • Frankensteinmind I betook myself to the mathematics and the branchesof study appertaining to that science as being built uponsecure foundations, and so worthy of my consideration. Thus strangely are our souls constructed, and by suchslight ligaments are we bound to prosperity or ruin. WhenI look back, it seems to me as if this almost miraculouschange of inclination and will was the immediatesuggestion of the guardian angel of my life—the last effortmade by the spirit of preservation to avert the storm thatwas even then hanging in the stars and ready to envelopme. Her victory was announced by an unusual tranquillityand gladness of soul which followed the relinquishing ofmy ancient and latterly tormenting studies. It was thus thatI was to be taught to associate evil with their prosecution,happiness with their disregard. It was a strong effort of the spirit of good, but it wasineffectual. Destiny was too potent, and her immutablelaws had decreed my utter and terrible destruction. 44 of 345
    • Frankenstein Chapter 3 When I had attained the age of seventeen my parentsresolved that I should become a student at the universityof Ingolstadt. I had hitherto attended the schools ofGeneva, but my father thought it necessary for thecompletion of my education that I should be madeacquainted with other customs than those of my nativecountry. My departure was therefore fixed at an early date,but before the day resolved upon could arrive, the firstmisfortune of my life occurred—an omen, as it were, ofmy future misery. Elizabeth had caught the scarlet fever;her illness was severe, and she was in the greatest danger.During her illness many arguments had been urged topersuade my mother to refrain from attending upon her.She had at first yielded to our entreaties, but when sheheard that the life of her favourite was menaced, she couldno longer control her anxiety. She attended her sickbed;her watchful attentions triumphed over the malignity ofthe distemper—Elizabeth was saved, but the consequencesof this imprudence were fatal to her preserver. On thethird day my mother sickened; her fever was accompaniedby the most alarming symptoms, and the looks of her 45 of 345
    • Frankensteinmedical attendants prognosticated the worst event. On herdeathbed the fortitude and benignity of this best ofwomen did not desert her. She joined the hands ofElizabeth and myself. ‘My children,’ she said, ‘my firmesthopes of future happiness were placed on the prospect ofyour union. This expectation will now be the consolationof your father. Elizabeth, my love, you must supply myplace to my younger children. Alas! I regret that I amtaken from you; and, happy and beloved as I have been, isit not hard to quit you all? But these are not thoughtsbefitting me; I will endeavour to resign myself cheerfullyto death and will indulge a hope of meeting you inanother world.’ She died calmly, and her countenance expressedaffection even in death. I need not describe the feelings ofthose whose dearest ties are rent by that most irreparableevil, the void that presents itself to the soul, and thedespair that is exhibited on the countenance. It is so longbefore the mind can persuade itself that she whom we sawevery day and whose very existence appeared a part of ourown can have departed forever—that the brightness of abeloved eye can have been extinguished and the sound ofa voice so familiar and dear to the ear can be hushed,never more to be heard. These are the reflections of the 46 of 345
    • Frankensteinfirst days; but when the lapse of time proves the reality ofthe evil, then the actual bitterness of grief commences. Yetfrom whom has not that rude hand rent away some dearconnection? And why should I describe a sorrow which allhave felt, and must feel? The time at length arrives whengrief is rather an indulgence than a necessity; and the smilethat plays upon the lips, although it may be deemed asacrilege, is not banished. My mother was dead, but wehad still duties which we ought to perform; we mustcontinue our course with the rest and learn to thinkourselves fortunate whilst one remains whom the spoilerhas not seized. My departure for Ingolstadt, which hadbeen deferred by these events, was now again determinedupon. I obtained from my father a respite of some weeks.It appeared to me sacrilege so soon to leave the repose,akin to death, of the house of mourning and to rush intothe thick of life. I was new to sorrow, but it did not theless alarm me. I was unwilling to quit the sight of thosethat remained to me, and above all, I desired to see mysweet Elizabeth in some degree consoled. She indeed veiled her grief and strove to act thecomforter to us all. She looked steadily on life andassumed its duties with courage and zeal. She devotedherself to those whom she had been taught to call her 47 of 345
    • Frankensteinuncle and cousins. Never was she so enchanting as at thistime, when she recalled the sunshine of her smiles andspent them upon us. She forgot even her own regret inher endeavours to make us forget. The day of my departure at length arrived. Clervalspent the last evening with us. He had endeavoured topersuade his father to permit him to accompany me and tobecome my fellow student, but in vain. His father was anarrow-minded trader and saw idleness and ruin in theaspirations and ambition of his son. Henry deeply felt themisfortune of being debarred from a liberal education. Hesaid little, but when he spoke I read in his kindling eyeand in his animated glance a restrained but firm resolvenot to be chained to the miserable details of commerce. We sat late. We could not tear ourselves away fromeach other nor persuade ourselves to say the word‘Farewell!’ It was said, and we retired under the pretenceof seeking repose, each fancying that the other wasdeceived; but when at morning’s dawn I descended to thecarriage which was to convey me away, they were allthere—my father again to bless me, Clerval to press myhand once more, my Elizabeth to renew her entreaties thatI would write often and to bestow the last feminineattentions on her playmate and friend. 48 of 345
    • Frankenstein I threw myself into the chaise that was to convey meaway and indulged in the most melancholy reflections. I,who had ever been surrounded by amiable companions,continually engaged in endeavouring to bestow mutualpleasure—I was now alone. In the university whither Iwas going I must form my own friends and be my ownprotector. My life had hitherto been remarkably secludedand domestic, and this had given me invinciblerepugnance to new countenances. I loved my brothers,Elizabeth, and Clerval; these were ‘old familiar faces,’ but Ibelieved myself totally unfitted for the company ofstrangers. Such were my reflections as I commenced myjourney; but as I proceeded, my spirits and hopes rose. Iardently desired the acquisition of knowledge. I had often,when at home, thought it hard to remain during myyouth cooped up in one place and had longed to enter theworld and take my station among other human beings.Now my desires were complied with, and it would,indeed, have been folly to repent. I had sufficient leisure for these and many otherreflections during my journey to Ingolstadt, which waslong and fatiguing. At length the high white steeple of thetown met my eyes. I alighted and was conducted to mysolitary apartment to spend the evening as I pleased. 49 of 345
    • Frankenstein The next morning I delivered my letters ofintroduction and paid a visit to some of the principalprofessors. Chance—or rather the evil influence, the Angelof Destruction, which asserted omnipotent sway over mefrom the moment I turned my reluctant steps from myfather’s door—led me first to M. Krempe, professor ofnatural philosophy. He was an uncouth man, but deeplyimbued in the secrets of his science. He asked me severalquestions concerning my progress in the different branchesof science appertaining to natural philosophy. I repliedcarelessly, and partly in contempt, mentioned the names ofmy alchemists as the principal authors I had studied. Theprofessor stared. ‘Have you,’ he said, ‘really spent yourtime in studying such nonsense?’ I replied in the affirmative. ‘Every minute,’ continuedM. Krempe with warmth, ‘every instant that you havewasted on those books is utterly and entirely lost. Youhave burdened your memory with exploded systems anduseless names. Good God! In what desert land have youlived, where no one was kind enough to inform you thatthese fancies which you have so greedily imbibed are athousand years old and as musty as they are ancient? I littleexpected, in this enlightened and scientific age, to find a 50 of 345
    • eBook brought to you by Create, view, and edit PDF. Download the free trial version.Frankensteindisciple of Albertus Magnus and Paracelsus. My dear sir,you must begin your studies entirely anew.’ So saying, he stepped aside and wrote down a list ofseveral books treating of natural philosophy which hedesired me to procure, and dismissed me after mentioningthat in the beginning of the following week he intendedto commence a course of lectures upon natural philosophyin its general relations, and that M. Waldman, a fellowprofessor, would lecture upon chemistry the alternate daysthat he omitted. I returned home not disappointed, for I have said that Ihad long considered those authors useless whom theprofessor reprobated; but I returned not at all the moreinclined to recur to these studies in any shape. M. Krempewas a little squat man with a gruff voice and a repulsivecountenance; the teacher, therefore, did not prepossess mein favour of his pursuits. In rather a too philosophical andconnected a strain, perhaps, I have given an account of theconclusions I had come to concerning them in my earlyyears. As a child I had not been content with the resultspromised by the modern professors of natural science.With a confusion of ideas only to be accounted for by myextreme youth and my want of a guide on such matters, Ihad retrod the steps of knowledge along the paths of time 51 of 345
    • Frankensteinand exchanged the discoveries of recent inquirers for thedreams of forgotten alchemists. Besides, I had a contemptfor the uses of modern natural philosophy. It was verydifferent when the masters of the science soughtimmortality and power; such views, although futile, weregrand; but now the scene was changed. The ambition ofthe inquirer seemed to limit itself to the annihilation ofthose visions on which my interest in science was chieflyfounded. I was required to exchange chimeras ofboundless grandeur for realities of little worth. Such were my reflections during the first two or threedays of my residence at Ingolstadt, which were chieflyspent in becoming acquainted with the localities and theprincipal residents in my new abode. But as the ensuingweek commenced, I thought of the information which M.Krempe had given me concerning the lectures. Andalthough I could not consent to go and hear that littleconceited fellow deliver sentences out of a pulpit, Irecollected what he had said of M. Waldman, whom I hadnever seen, as he had hitherto been out of town. Partly from curiosity and partly from idleness, I wentinto the lecturing room, which M. Waldman enteredshortly after. This professor was very unlike his colleague.He appeared about fifty years of age, but with an aspect 52 of 345
    • Frankensteinexpressive of the greatest benevolence; a few grey hairscovered his temples, but those at the back of his head werenearly black. His person was short but remarkably erectand his voice the sweetest I had ever heard. He began hislecture by a recapitulation of the history of chemistry andthe various improvements made by different men oflearning, pronouncing with fervour the names of the mostdistinguished discoverers. He then took a cursory view ofthe present state of the science and explained many of itselementary terms. After having made a few preparatoryexperiments, he concluded with a panegyric upon modernchemistry, the terms of which I shall never forget: ‘Theancient teachers of this science,’ said he, ‘promisedimpossibilities and performed nothing. The modernmasters promise very little; they know that metals cannotbe transmuted and that the elixir of life is a chimera butthese philosophers, whose hands seem only made todabble in dirt, and their eyes to pore over the microscopeor crucible, have indeed performed miracles. Theypenetrate into the recesses of nature and show how sheworks in her hiding-places. They ascend into the heavens;they have discovered how the blood circulates, and thenature of the air we breathe. They have acquired new andalmost unlimited powers; they can command the thunders 53 of 345
    • Frankensteinof heaven, mimic the earthquake, and even mock theinvisible world with its own shadows.’ Such were the professor’s words—rather let me saysuch the words of the fate—enounced to destroy me. Ashe went on I felt as if my soul were grappling with apalpable enemy; one by one the various keys weretouched which formed the mechanism of my being; chordafter chord was sounded, and soon my mind was filledwith one thought, one conception, one purpose. So muchhas been done, exclaimed the soul of Frankenstein—more,far more, will I achieve; treading in the steps alreadymarked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknownpowers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries ofcreation. I closed not my eyes that night. My internal being wasin a state of insurrection and turmoil; I felt that orderwould thence arise, but I had no power to produce it. Bydegrees, after the morning’s dawn, sleep came. I awoke,and my yesternight’s thoughts were as a dream. Thereonly remained a resolution to return to my ancient studiesand to devote myself to a science for which I believedmyself to possess a natural talent. On the same day I paidM. Waldman a visit. His manners in private were evenmore mild and attractive than in public, for there was a 54 of 345
    • Frankensteincertain dignity in his mien during his lecture which in hisown house was replaced by the greatest affability andkindness. I gave him pretty nearly the same account of myformer pursuits as I had given to his fellow professor. Heheard with attention the little narration concerning mystudies and smiled at the names of Cornelius Agrippa andParacelsus, but without the contempt that M. Krempe hadexhibited. He said that ‘These were men to whoseindefatigable zeal modern philosophers were indebted formost of the foundations of their knowledge. They had leftto us, as an easier task, to give new names and arrange inconnected classifications the facts which they in a greatdegree had been the instruments of bringing to light. Thelabours of men of genius, however erroneously directed,scarcely ever fail in ultimately turning to the solidadvantage of mankind.’ I listened to his statement, whichwas delivered without any presumption or affectation, andthen added that his lecture had removed my prejudicesagainst modern chemists; I expressed myself in measuredterms, with the modesty and deference due from a youthto his instructor, without letting escape (inexperience inlife would have made me ashamed) any of the enthusiasmwhich stimulated my intended labours. I requested hisadvice concerning the books I ought to procure. 55 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘I am happy,’ said M. Waldman, ‘to have gained adisciple; and if your application equals your ability, I haveno doubt of your success. Chemistry is that branch ofnatural philosophy in which the greatest improvementshave been and may be made; it is on that account that Ihave made it my peculiar study; but at the same time, Ihave not neglected the other branches of science. A manwould make but a very sorry chemist if he attended to thatdepartment of human knowledge alone. If your wish is tobecome really a man of science and not merely a pettyexperimentalist, I should advise you to apply to everybranch of natural philosophy, including mathematics.’ Hethen took me into his laboratory and explained to me theuses of his various machines, instructing me as to what Iought to procure and promising me the use of his ownwhen I should have advanced far enough in the sciencenot to derange their mechanism. He also gave me the listof books which I had requested, and I took my leave. Thus ended a day memorable to me; it decided myfuture destiny. 56 of 345
    • Frankenstein Chapter 4 From this day natural philosophy, and particularlychemistry, in the most comprehensive sense of the term,became nearly my sole occupation. I read with ardourthose works, so full of genius and discrimination, whichmodern inquirers have written on these subjects. Iattended the lectures and cultivated the acquaintance ofthe men of science of the university, and I found even inM. Krempe a great deal of sound sense and realinformation, combined, it is true, with a repulsivephysiognomy and manners, but not on that account theless valuable. In M. Waldman I found a true friend. Hisgentleness was never tinged by dogmatism, and hisinstructions were given with an air of frankness and goodnature that banished every idea of pedantry. In a thousandways he smoothed for me the path of knowledge andmade the most abstruse inquiries clear and facile to myapprehension. My application was at first fluctuating anduncertain; it gained strength as I proceeded and soonbecame so ardent and eager that the stars often disappearedin the light of morning whilst I was yet engaged in mylaboratory. 57 of 345
    • Frankenstein As I applied so closely, it may be easily conceived thatmy progress was rapid. My ardour was indeed theastonishment of the students, and my proficiency that ofthe masters. Professor Krempe often asked me, with a slysmile, how Cornelius Agrippa went on, whilst M.Waldman expressed the most heartfelt exultation in myprogress. Two years passed in this manner, during which Ipaid no visit to Geneva, but was engaged, heart and soul,in the pursuit of some discoveries which I hoped to make.None but those who have experienced them can conceiveof the enticements of science. In other studies you go asfar as others have gone before you, and there is nothingmore to know; but in a scientific pursuit there is continualfood for discovery and wonder. A mind of moderatecapacity which closely pursues one study must infalliblyarrive at great proficiency in that study; and I, whocontinually sought the attainment of one object of pursuitand was solely wrapped up in this, improved so rapidlythat at the end of two years I made some discoveries in theimprovement of some chemical instruments, whichprocured me great esteem and admiration at theuniversity. When I had arrived at this point and hadbecome as well acquainted with the theory and practice ofnatural philosophy as depended on the lessons of any of 58 of 345
    • Frankensteinthe professors at Ingolstadt, my residence there being nolonger conducive to my improvements, I thought ofreturning to my friends and my native town, when anincident happened that protracted my stay. One of the phenomena which had peculiarly attractedmy attention was the structure of the human frame, and,indeed, any animal endued with life. Whence, I oftenasked myself, did the principle of life proceed? It was abold question, and one which has ever been considered asa mystery; yet with how many things are we upon thebrink of becoming acquainted, if cowardice or carelessnessdid not restrain our inquiries. I revolved thesecircumstances in my mind and determined thenceforth toapply myself more particularly to those branches of naturalphilosophy which relate to physiology. Unless I had beenanimated by an almost supernatural enthusiasm, myapplication to this study would have been irksome andalmost intolerable. To examine the causes of life, we mustfirst have recourse to death. I became acquainted with thescience of anatomy, but this was not sufficient; I must alsoobserve the natural decay and corruption of the humanbody. In my education my father had taken the greatestprecautions that my mind should be impressed with nosupernatural horrors. I do not ever remember to have 59 of 345
    • Frankensteintrembled at a tale of superstition or to have feared theapparition of a spirit. Darkness had no effect upon myfancy, and a churchyard was to me merely the receptacleof bodies deprived of life, which, from being the seat ofbeauty and strength, had become food for the worm.Now I was led to examine the cause and progress of thisdecay and forced to spend days and nights in vaults andcharnel-houses. My attention was fixed upon every objectthe most insupportable to the delicacy of the humanfeelings. I saw how the fine form of man was degraded andwasted; I beheld the corruption of death succeed to theblooming cheek of life; I saw how the worm inherited thewonders of the eye and brain. I paused, examining andanalysing all the minutiae of causation, as exemplified inthe change from life to death, and death to life, until fromthe midst of this darkness a sudden light broke in uponme—a light so brilliant and wondrous, yet so simple, thatwhile I became dizzy with the immensity of the prospectwhich it illustrated, I was surprised that among so manymen of genius who had directed their inquiries towardsthe same science, that I alone should be reserved todiscover so astonishing a secret. Remember, I am not recording the vision of amadman. The sun does not more certainly shine in the 60 of 345
    • Frankensteinheavens than that which I now affirm is true. Somemiracle might have produced it, yet the stages of thediscovery were distinct and probable. After days and nightsof incredible labour and fatigue, I succeeded in discoveringthe cause of generation and life; nay, more, I becamemyself capable of bestowing animation upon lifelessmatter. The astonishment which I had at first experienced onthis discovery soon gave place to delight and rapture. Afterso much time spent in painful labour, to arrive at once atthe summit of my desires was the most gratifyingconsummation of my toils. But this discovery was so greatand overwhelming that all the steps by which I had beenprogressively led to it were obliterated, and I beheld onlythe result. What had been the study and desire of thewisest men since the creation of the world was nowwithin my grasp. Not that, like a magic scene, it allopened upon me at once: the information I had obtainedwas of a nature rather to direct my endeavours so soon as Ishould point them towards the object of my search than toexhibit that object already accomplished. I was like theArabian who had been buried with the dead and found apassage to life, aided only by one glimmering andseemingly ineffectual light. 61 of 345
    • Frankenstein I see by your eagerness and the wonder and hopewhich your eyes express, my friend, that you expect to beinformed of the secret with which I am acquainted; thatcannot be; listen patiently until the end of my story, andyou will easily perceive why I am reserved upon thatsubject. I will not lead you on, unguarded and ardent as Ithen was, to your destruction and infallible misery. Learnfrom me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example,how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and howmuch happier that man is who believes his native town tobe the world, than he who aspires to become greater thanhis nature will allow. When I found so astonishing a power placed within myhands, I hesitated a long time concerning the manner inwhich I should employ it. Although I possessed thecapacity of bestowing animation, yet to prepare a framefor the reception of it, with all its intricacies of fibres,muscles, and veins, still remained a work of inconceivabledifficulty and labour. I doubted at first whether I shouldattempt the creation of a being like myself, or one ofsimpler organization; but my imagination was too muchexalted by my first success to permit me to doubt of myability to give life to an animal as complete and wonderfulas man. The materials at present within my command 62 of 345
    • eBook brought to you by Create, view, and edit PDF. Download the free trial version.Frankensteinhardly appeared adequate to so arduous an undertaking,but I doubted not that I should ultimately succeed. Iprepared myself for a multitude of reverses; my operationsmight be incessantly baffled, and at last my work beimperfect, yet when I considered the improvement whichevery day takes place in science and mechanics, I wasencouraged to hope my present attempts would at least laythe foundations of future success. Nor could I consider themagnitude and complexity of my plan as any argument ofits impracticability. It was with these feelings that I beganthe creation of a human being. As the minuteness of theparts formed a great hindrance to my speed, I resolved,contrary to my first intention, to make the being of agigantic stature, that is to say, about eight feet in height,and proportionably large. After having formed thisdetermination and having spent some months insuccessfully collecting and arranging my materials, I began. No one can conceive the variety of feelings which boreme onwards, like a hurricane, in the first enthusiasm ofsuccess. Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds,which I should first break through, and pour a torrent oflight into our dark world. A new species would bless meas its creator and source; many happy and excellent natureswould owe their being to me. No father could claim the 63 of 345
    • Frankensteingratitude of his child so completely as I should deservetheirs. Pursuing these reflections, I thought that if I couldbestow animation upon lifeless matter, I might in processof time (although I now found it impossible) renew lifewhere death had apparently devoted the body tocorruption. These thoughts supported my spirits, while I pursuedmy undertaking with unremitting ardour. My cheek hadgrown pale with study, and my person had becomeemaciated with confinement. Sometimes, on the verybrink of certainty, I failed; yet still I clung to the hopewhich the next day or the next hour might realize. Onesecret which I alone possessed was the hope to which Ihad dedicated myself; and the moon gazed on mymidnight labours, while, with unrelaxed and breathlesseagerness, I pursued nature to her hiding-places. Whoshall conceive the horrors of my secret toil as I dabbledamong the unhallowed damps of the grave or tortured theliving animal to animate the lifeless clay? My limbs nowtremble, and my eyes swim with the remembrance; butthen a resistless and almost frantic impulse urged meforward; I seemed to have lost all soul or sensation but forthis one pursuit. It was indeed but a passing trance, thatonly made me feel with renewed acuteness so soon as, the 64 of 345
    • Frankensteinunnatural stimulus ceasing to operate, I had returned tomy old habits. I collected bones from charnel-houses anddisturbed, with profane fingers, the tremendous secrets ofthe human frame. In a solitary chamber, or rather cell, atthe top of the house, and separated from all the otherapartments by a gallery and staircase, I kept my workshopof filthy creation; my eyeballs were starting from theirsockets in attending to the details of my employment. Thedissecting room and the slaughter-house furnished many ofmy materials; and often did my human nature turn withloathing from my occupation, whilst, still urged on by aneagerness which perpetually increased, I brought my worknear to a conclusion. The summer months passed while I was thus engaged,heart and soul, in one pursuit. It was a most beautifulseason; never did the fields bestow a more plentiful harvestor the vines yield a more luxuriant vintage, but my eyeswere insensible to the charms of nature. And the samefeelings which made me neglect the scenes around mecaused me also to forget those friends who were so manymiles absent, and whom I had not seen for so long a time.I knew my silence disquieted them, and I wellremembered the words of my father: ‘I know that whileyou are pleased with yourself you will think of us with 65 of 345
    • Frankensteinaffection, and we shall hear regularly from you. You mustpardon me if I regard any interruption in yourcorrespondence as a proof that your other duties areequally neglected.’ I knew well therefore what would be my father’sfeelings, but I could not tear my thoughts from myemployment, loathsome in itself, but which had taken anirresistible hold of my imagination. I wished, as it were, toprocrastinate all that related to my feelings of affectionuntil the great object, which swallowed up every habit ofmy nature, should be completed. I then thought that my father would be unjust if heascribed my neglect to vice or faultiness on my part, but Iam now convinced that he was justified in conceiving thatI should not be altogether free from blame. A humanbeing in perfection ought always to preserve a calm andpeaceful mind and never to allow passion or a transitorydesire to disturb his tranquillity. I do not think that thepursuit of knowledge is an exception to this rule. If thestudy to which you apply yourself has a tendency toweaken your affections and to destroy your taste for thosesimple pleasures in which no alloy can possibly mix, thenthat study is certainly unlawful, that is to say, not befittingthe human mind. If this rule were always observed; if no 66 of 345
    • Frankensteinman allowed any pursuit whatsoever to interfere with thetranquillity of his domestic affections, Greece had not beenenslaved, Caesar would have spared his country, Americawould have been discovered more gradually, and theempires of Mexico and Peru had not been destroyed. But I forget that I am moralizing in the most interestingpart of my tale, and your looks remind me to proceed. Myfather made no reproach in his letters and only took noticeof my science by inquiring into my occupations moreparticularly than before. Winter, spring, and summerpassed away during my labours; but I did not watch theblossom or the expanding leaves—sights which beforealways yielded me supreme delight—so deeply was Iengrossed in my occupation. The leaves of that year hadwithered before my work drew near to a close, and nowevery day showed me more plainly how well I hadsucceeded. But my enthusiasm was checked by myanxiety, and I appeared rather like one doomed by slaveryto toil in the mines, or any other unwholesome trade thanan artist occupied by his favourite employment. Everynight I was oppressed by a slow fever, and I becamenervous to a most painful degree; the fall of a leaf startledme, and I shunned my fellow creatures as if I had beenguilty of a crime. Sometimes I grew alarmed at the wreck 67 of 345
    • FrankensteinI perceived that I had become; the energy of my purposealone sustained me: my labours would soon end, and Ibelieved that exercise and amusement would then driveaway incipient disease; and I promised myself both ofthese when my creation should be complete. 68 of 345
    • Frankenstein Chapter 5 It was on a dreary night of November that I beheld theaccomplishment of my toils. With an anxiety that almostamounted to agony, I collected the instruments of lifearound me, that I might infuse a spark of being into thelifeless thing that lay at my feet. It was already one in themorning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, andmy candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer ofthe half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye ofthe creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsivemotion agitated its limbs. How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, orhow delineate the wretch whom with such infinite painsand care I had endeavoured to form? His limbs were inproportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful.Beautiful! Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered thework of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of alustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness;but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrastwith his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the samecolour as the dun-white sockets in which they were set,his shrivelled complexion and straight black lips. 69 of 345
    • Frankenstein The different accidents of life are not so changeable asthe feelings of human nature. I had worked hard for nearlytwo years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into aninanimate body. For this I had deprived myself of rest andhealth. I had desired it with an ardour that far exceededmoderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of thedream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled myheart. Unable to endure the aspect of the being I hadcreated, I rushed out of the room and continued a longtime traversing my bed-chamber, unable to compose mymind to sleep. At length lassitude succeeded to the tumultI had before endured, and I threw myself on the bed inmy clothes, endeavouring to seek a few moments offorgetfulness. But it was in vain; I slept, indeed, but I wasdisturbed 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 Iimprinted the first kiss on her lips, they became livid withthe hue of death; her features appeared to change, and Ithought that I held the corpse of my dead mother in myarms; a shroud enveloped her form, and I saw the grave-worms crawling in the folds of the flannel. I started frommy sleep with horror; a cold dew covered my forehead,my teeth chattered, and every limb became convulsed; 70 of 345
    • Frankensteinwhen, by the dim and yellow light of the moon, as itforced its way through the window shutters, I beheld thewretch— the miserable monster whom I had created. Heheld up the curtain of the bed; and his eyes, if eyes theymay be called, were fixed on me. His jaws opened, and hemuttered some inarticulate sounds, while a grin wrinkledhis cheeks. He might have spoken, but I did not hear; onehand was stretched out, seemingly to detain me, but Iescaped and rushed downstairs. I took refuge in thecourtyard belonging to the house which I inhabited,where I remained during the rest of the night, walking upand down in the greatest agitation, listening attentively,catching and fearing each sound as if it were to announcethe approach of the demoniacal corpse to which I had somiserably given life. Oh! No mortal could support the horror of thatcountenance. A mummy again endued with animationcould not be so hideous as that wretch. I had gazed onhim while unfinished; he was ugly then, but when thosemuscles and joints were rendered capable of motion, itbecame a thing such as even Dante could not haveconceived. I passed the night wretchedly. Sometimes my pulse beatso quickly and hardly that I felt the palpitation of every 71 of 345
    • Frankensteinartery; at others, I nearly sank to the ground throughlanguor and extreme weakness. Mingled with this horror,I felt the bitterness of disappointment; dreams that hadbeen my food and pleasant rest for so long a space werenow become a hell to me; and the change was so rapid,the overthrow so complete! Morning, dismal and wet, at length dawned anddiscovered to my sleepless and aching eyes the church ofIngolstadt, its white steeple and clock, which indicated thesixth hour. The porter opened the gates of the court,which had that night been my asylum, and I issued intothe streets, pacing them with quick steps, as if I sought toavoid the wretch whom I feared every turning of thestreet would present to my view. I did not dare return tothe apartment which I inhabited, but felt impelled tohurry on, although drenched by the rain which pouredfrom a black and comfortless sky. I continued walking in this manner for some time,endeavouring by bodily exercise to ease the load thatweighed upon my mind. I traversed the streets withoutany clear conception of where I was or what I was doing.My heart palpitated in the sickness of fear, and I hurriedon with irregular steps, not daring to look about me: 72 of 345
    • FrankensteinLike one who, on a lonely road,Doth walk in fear and dread,And, having once turned round, walks on,And turns no more his head;Because he knows a frightful fiendDoth close behind him tread.[Coleridge’s ‘Ancient Mariner.’] Continuing thus, I came at length opposite to the innat which the various diligences and carriages usuallystopped. Here I paused, I knew not why; but I remainedsome minutes with my eyes fixed on a coach that wascoming towards me from the other end of the street. As itdrew nearer I observed that it was the Swiss diligence; itstopped just where I was standing, and on the door beingopened, I perceived Henry Clerval, who, on seeing me,instantly sprung out. ‘My dear Frankenstein,’ exclaimedhe, ‘how glad I am to see you! How fortunate that youshould be here at the very moment of my alighting!’ Nothing could equal my delight on seeing Clerval; hispresence brought back to my thoughts my father,Elizabeth, and all those scenes of home so dear to myrecollection. I grasped his hand, and in a moment forgotmy horror and misfortune; I felt suddenly, and for the firsttime during many months, calm and serene joy. I 73 of 345
    • Frankensteinwelcomed my friend, therefore, in the most cordialmanner, and we walked towards my college. Clervalcontinued talking for some time about our mutual friendsand his own good fortune in being permitted to come toIngolstadt. ‘You may easily believe,’ said he, ‘how greatwas the difficulty to persuade my father that all necessaryknowledge was not comprised in the noble art ofbookkeeping; and, indeed, I believe I left him incredulousto the last, for his constant answer to my unweariedentreaties was the same as that of the Dutch schoolmasterin *The Vicar of Wakefield*: ‘I have ten thousand florinsa year without Greek, I eat heartily without Greek.’ Buthis affection for me at length overcame his dislike oflearning, and he has permitted me to undertake a voyageof discovery to the land of knowledge.’ ‘It gives me the greatest delight to see you; but tell mehow you left my father, brothers, and Elizabeth.’ ‘Very well, and very happy, only a little uneasy thatthey hear from you so seldom. By the by, I mean tolecture you a little upon their account myself. But, mydear Frankenstein,’ continued he, stopping short andgazing full in my face, ‘I did not before remark how veryill you appear; so thin and pale; you look as if you hadbeen watching for several nights.’ 74 of 345
    • eBook brought to you by Create, view, and edit PDF. Download the free trial version.Frankenstein ‘You have guessed right; I have lately been so deeplyengaged in one occupation that I have not allowed myselfsufficient rest, as you see; but I hope, I sincerely hope, thatall these employments are now at an end and that I am atlength free.’ I trembled excessively; I could not endure to think of,and far less to allude to, the occurrences of the precedingnight. I walked with a quick pace, and we soon arrived atmy college. I then reflected, and the thought made meshiver, that the creature whom I had left in my apartmentmight still be there, alive and walking about. I dreaded tobehold this monster, but I feared still more that Henryshould see him. Entreating him, therefore, to remain a fewminutes at the bottom of the stairs, I darted up towards myown room. My hand was already on the lock of the doorbefore I recollected myself. I then paused, and a coldshivering came over me. I threw the door forcibly open,as children are accustomed to do when they expect aspectre to stand in waiting for them on the other side; butnothing appeared. I stepped fearfully in: the apartment wasempty, and my bedroom was also freed from its hideousguest. I could hardly believe that so great a good fortunecould have befallen me, but when I became assured that 75 of 345
    • Frankensteinmy enemy had indeed fled, I clapped my hands for joy andran down to Clerval. We ascended into my room, and the servant presentlybrought breakfast; but I was unable to contain myself. Itwas not joy only that possessed me; I felt my flesh tinglewith excess of sensitiveness, and my pulse beat rapidly. Iwas unable to remain for a single instant in the same place;I jumped over the chairs, clapped my hands, and laughedaloud. Clerval at first attributed my unusual spirits to joyon his arrival, but when he observed me more attentively,he saw a wildness in my eyes for which he could notaccount, and my loud, unrestrained, heartless laughterfrightened and astonished him. ‘My dear Victor,’ cried he, ‘what, for God’s sake, is thematter? Do not laugh in that manner. How ill you are!What is the cause of all this?’ ‘Do not ask me,’ cried I, putting my hands before myeyes, for I thought I saw the dreaded spectre glide into theroom; ‘*he* can tell. Oh, save me! Save me!’ I imaginedthat the monster seized me; I struggled furiously and felldown in a fit. Poor Clerval! What must have been his feelings? Ameeting, which he anticipated with such joy, so strangelyturned to bitterness. But I was not the witness of his grief, 76 of 345
    • Frankensteinfor I was lifeless and did not recover my senses for a long,long time. This was the commencement of a nervous fever whichconfined me for several months. During all that timeHenry was my only nurse. I afterwards learned that,knowing my father’s advanced age and unfitness for solong a journey, and how wretched my sickness wouldmake Elizabeth, he spared them this grief by concealingthe extent of my disorder. He knew that I could not havea more kind and attentive nurse than himself; and, firm inthe hope he felt of my recovery, he did not doubt that,instead of doing harm, he performed the kindest actionthat he could towards them. But I was in reality very ill, and surely nothing but theunbounded and unremitting attentions of my friend couldhave restored me to life. The form of the monster onwhom I had bestowed existence was forever before myeyes, and I raved incessantly concerning him. Doubtlessmy words surprised Henry; he at first believed them to bethe wanderings of my disturbed imagination, but thepertinacity with which I continually recurred to the samesubject persuaded him that my disorder indeed owed itsorigin to some uncommon and terrible event. 77 of 345
    • Frankenstein By very slow degrees, and with frequent relapses thatalarmed and grieved my friend, I recovered. I rememberthe first time I became capable of observing outwardobjects with any kind of pleasure, I perceived that thefallen leaves had disappeared and that the young buds wereshooting forth from the trees that shaded my window. Itwas a divine spring, and the season contributed greatly tomy convalescence. I felt also sentiments of joy andaffection revive in my bosom; my gloom disappeared, andin a short time I became as cheerful as before I wasattacked by the fatal passion. ‘Dearest Clerval,’ exclaimed I, ‘how kind, how verygood you are to me. This whole winter, instead of beingspent in study, as you promised yourself, has beenconsumed in my sick room. How shall I ever repay you? Ifeel the greatest remorse for the disappointment of which Ihave been the occasion, but you will forgive me.’ ‘You will repay me entirely if you do not discomposeyourself, but get well as fast as you can; and since youappear in such good spirits, I may speak to you on onesubject, may I not?’ I trembled. One subject! What could it be? Could heallude to an object on whom I dared not even think? 78 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘Compose yourself,’ said Clerval, who observed mychange of colour, ‘I will not mention it if it agitates you;but your father and cousin would be very happy if theyreceived a letter from you in your own handwriting. Theyhardly know how ill you have been and are uneasy at yourlong silence.’ ‘Is that all, my dear Henry? How could you supposethat my first thought would not fly towards those dear,dear friends whom I love and who are so deserving of mylove?’ ‘If this is your present temper, my friend, you willperhaps be glad to see a letter that has been lying heresome days for you; it is from your cousin, I believe.’ 79 of 345
    • Frankenstein Chapter 6 Clerval then put the following letter into my hands. Itwas from my own Elizabeth: My dearest Cousin, You have been ill, very ill, and even the constant lettersof dear kind Henry are not sufficient to reassure me onyour account. You are forbidden to write—to hold a pen;yet one word from you, dear Victor, is necessary to calmour apprehensions. For a long time I have thought thateach post would bring this line, and my persuasions haverestrained my uncle from undertaking a journey toIngolstadt. I have prevented his encountering theinconveniences and perhaps dangers of so long a journey,yet how often have I regretted not being able to performit myself! I figure to myself that the task of attending onyour sickbed has devolved on some mercenary old nurse,who could never guess your wishes nor minister to themwith the care and affection of your poor cousin. Yet that isover now: Clerval writes that indeed you are gettingbetter. I eagerly hope that you will confirm thisintelligence soon in your own handwriting. 80 of 345
    • Frankenstein Get well—and return to us. You will find a happy,cheerful home and friends who love you dearly. Yourfather’s health is vigorous, and he asks but to see you, butto be assured that you are well; and not a care will evercloud his benevolent countenance. How pleased youwould be to remark the improvement of our Ernest! He isnow sixteen and full of activity and spirit. He is desirous tobe a true Swiss and to enter into foreign service, but wecannot part with him, at least until his elder brother returnto us. My uncle is not pleased with the idea of a militarycareer in a distant country, but Ernest never had yourpowers of application. He looks upon study as an odiousfetter; his time is spent in the open air, climbing the hillsor rowing on the lake. I fear that he will become an idlerunless we yield the point and permit him to enter on theprofession which he has selected. Little alteration, except the growth of our dearchildren, has taken place since you left us. The blue lakeand snow-clad mountains—they never change; and I thinkour placid home and our contented hearts are regulated bythe same immutable laws. My trifling occupations take upmy time and amuse me, and I am rewarded for anyexertions by seeing none but happy, kind faces around me.Since you left us, but one change has taken place in our 81 of 345
    • Frankensteinlittle household. Do you remember on what occasionJustine Moritz entered our family? Probably you do not; Iwill relate her history, therefore, in a few words. MadameMoritz, her mother, was a widow with four children, ofwhom Justine was the third. This girl had always been thefavourite of her father, but through a strange perversity,her mother could not endure her, and after the death ofM. Moritz, treated her very ill. My aunt observed this, andwhen Justine was twelve years of age, prevailed on hermother to allow her to live at our house. The republicaninstitutions of our country have produced simpler andhappier manners than those which prevail in the greatmonarchies that surround it. Hence there is less distinctionbetween the several classes of its inhabitants; and the lowerorders, being neither so poor nor so despised, theirmanners are more refined and moral. A servant in Genevadoes not mean the same thing as a servant in France andEngland. Justine, thus received in our family, learned theduties of a servant, a condition which, in our fortunatecountry, does not include the idea of ignorance and asacrifice of the dignity of a human being. Justine, you may remember, was a great favourite ofyours; and I recollect you once remarked that if you werein an ill humour, one glance from Justine could dissipate 82 of 345
    • Frankensteinit, for the same reason that Ariosto gives concerning thebeauty of Angelica—she looked so frank-hearted andhappy. My aunt conceived a great attachment for her, bywhich she was induced to give her an education superiorto that which she had at first intended. This benefit wasfully repaid; Justine was the most grateful little creature inthe world: I do not mean that she made any professions; Inever heard one pass her lips, but you could see by hereyes that she almost adored her protectress. Although herdisposition was gay and in many respects inconsiderate, yetshe paid the greatest attention to every gesture of my aunt.She thought her the model of all excellence andendeavoured to imitate her phraseology and manners, sothat even now she often reminds me of her. When my dearest aunt died every one was too muchoccupied in their own grief to notice poor Justine, whohad attended her during her illness with the most anxiousaffection. Poor Justine was very ill; but other trials werereserved for her. One by one, her brothers and sister died; and hermother, with the exception of her neglected daughter, wasleft childless. The conscience of the woman was troubled;she began to think that the deaths of her favourites was ajudgment from heaven to chastise her partiality. She was a 83 of 345
    • FrankensteinRoman Catholic; and I believe her confessor confirmedthe idea which she had conceived. Accordingly, a fewmonths after your departure for Ingolstadt, Justine wascalled home by her repentant mother. Poor girl! She weptwhen she quitted our house; she was much altered sincethe death of my aunt; grief had given softness and awinning mildness to her manners which had before beenremarkable for vivacity. Nor was her residence at hermother’s house of a nature to restore her gaiety. The poorwoman was very vacillating in her repentance. Shesometimes begged Justine to forgive her unkindness butmuch oftener accused her of having caused the deaths ofher brothers and sister. Perpetual fretting at length threwMadame Moritz into a decline, which at first increased herirritability, but she is now at peace for ever. She died onthe first approach of cold weather, at the beginning of thislast winter. Justine has returned to us, and I assure you Ilove her tenderly. She is very clever and gentle andextremely pretty; as I mentioned before, her mien and herexpressions continually remind me of my dear aunt. I must say also a few words to you, my dear cousin, oflittle darling William. I wish you could see him; he is verytall of his age, with sweet laughing blue eyes, darkeyelashes, and curling hair. When he smiles, two little 84 of 345
    • Frankensteindimples appear on each cheek, which are rosy with health.He has already had one or two little *wives*, but LouisaBiron is his favourite, a pretty little girl of five years of age. Now, dear Victor, I dare say you wish to be indulgedin a little gossip concerning the good people of Geneva.The pretty Miss Mansfield has already received thecongratulatory visits on her approaching marriage with ayoung Englishman, John Melbourne, Esq. Her ugly sister,Manon, married M. Duvillard, the rich banker, lastautumn. Your favourite schoolfellow, Louis Manoir, hassuffered several misfortunes since the departure of Clervalfrom Geneva. But he has already recovered his spirits, andis reported to be on the point of marrying a very lively,pretty Frenchwoman, Madame Tavernier. She is a widow,and much older than Manoir, but she is very muchadmired and a favourite with everybody. I have written myself into better spirits, dear cousin;but my anxiety returns upon me as I conclude. Write,dearest Victor—one line—one word will be a blessing tous. Ten thousand thanks to Henry for his kindness, hisaffection, and his many letters; we are sincerely grateful.Adieu! My cousin, take care of yourself, and, I entreatyou, write! Elizabeth Lavenza 85 of 345
    • Frankenstein Geneva, March 18th, 17— ‘Dear, dear Elizabeth!’ I exclaimed when I had read herletter. ‘I will write instantly and relieve them from theanxiety they must feel.’ I wrote, and this exertion greatlyfatigued me; but my convalescence had commenced, andproceeded regularly. In another fortnight I was able toleave my chamber. One of my first duties on my recovery was to introduceClerval to the several professors of the university. In doingthis, I underwent a kind of rough usage, ill befitting thewounds that my mind had sustained. Ever since the fatalnight, the end of my labours, and the beginning of mymisfortunes, I had conceived a violent antipathy even tothe name of natural philosophy. When I was otherwisequite restored to health, the sight of a chemical instrumentwould renew all the agony of my nervous symptoms.Henry saw this, and had removed all my apparatus frommy view. He had also changed my apartment, for heperceived that I had acquired a dislike for the room whichhad previously been my laboratory. But these cares ofClerval were made of no avail when I visited theprofessors. M. Waldman inflicted torture when he praised,with kindness and warmth, the astonishing progress I hadmade in the sciences. He soon perceived that I disliked the 86 of 345
    • eBook brought to you by Create, view, and edit PDF. Download the free trial version.Frankensteinsubject, but not guessing the real cause, he attributed myfeelings to modesty and changed the subject from myimprovement to the science itself, with a desire, as Ievidently saw, of drawing me out. What could I do? Hemeant to please, and he tormented me. I felt as if he hadplaced carefully, one by one, in my view those instrumentswhich were to be afterwards used in putting me to a slowand cruel death. I writhed under his words yet dared notexhibit the pain I felt. Clerval, whose eyes and feelingswere always quick in discerning the sensations of others,declined the subject, alleging, in excuse, his totalignorance; and the conversation took a more general turn.I thanked my friend from my heart, but I did not speak. Isaw plainly that he was surprised, but he never attemptedto draw my secret from me; and although I loved himwith a mixture of affection and reverence that knew nobounds, yet I could never persuade myself to confide tohim that event which was so often present to myrecollection but which I feared the detail to another wouldonly impress more deeply. M. Krempe was not equally docile; and in mycondition at that time, of almost insupportablesensitiveness, his harsh, blunt encomiums gave me evenmore pain than the benevolent approbation of M. 87 of 345
    • FrankensteinWaldman. ‘D—n the fellow!’ cried he. ‘Why, M. Clerval,I assure you he has outstripped us all. Ay, stare if youplease; but it is nevertheless true. A youngster who, but afew years ago, believed in Cornelius Agrippa as firmly asin the Gospel, has now set himself at the head of theuniversity; and if he is not soon pulled down, we shall allbe out of countenance. Ay, ay,’ continued he, observingmy face expressive of suffering, ‘M. Frankenstein ismodest, an excellent quality in a young man. Young menshould be diffident of themselves, you know, M. Clerval; Iwas myself when young; but that wears out in a very shorttime.’ M. Krempe had now commenced a eulogy on himself,which happily turned the conversation from a subject thatwas so annoying to me. Clerval had never sympathized in my tastes for naturalscience, and his literary pursuits differed wholly from thosewhich had occupied me. He came to the university withthe design of making himself complete master of theOriental languages, as thus he should open a field for theplan of life he had marked out for himself. Resolved topursue no inglorious career, he turned his eyes towards theEast as affording scope for his spirit of enterprise. ThePersian, Arabic, and Sanskrit languages engaged his 88 of 345
    • Frankensteinattention, and I was easily induced to enter on the samestudies. Idleness had ever been irksome to me, and nowthat I wished to fly from reflection and hated my formerstudies, I felt great relief in being the fellow pupil with myfriend, and found not only instruction but consolation inthe works of the Orientalists. I did not, like him, attempt acritical knowledge of their dialects, for I did notcontemplate making any other use of them thantemporary amusement. I read merely to understand theirmeaning, and they well repaid my labours. Theirmelancholy is soothing, and their joy elevating, to adegree I never experienced in studying the authors of anyother country. When you read their writings, life appearsto consist in a warm sun and a garden of roses, in thesmiles and frowns of a fair enemy, and the fire thatconsumes your own heart. How different from the manlyand heroical poetry of Greece and Rome! Summer passed away in these occupations, and myreturn to Geneva was fixed for the latter end of autumn;but being delayed by several accidents, winter and snowarrived, the roads were deemed impassable, and myjourney was retarded until the ensuing spring. I felt thisdelay very bitterly, for I longed to see my native town andmy beloved friends. My return had only been delayed so 89 of 345
    • Frankensteinlong from an unwillingness to leave Clerval in a strangeplace before he had become acquainted with any of itsinhabitants. The winter, however, was spent cheerfully,and although the spring was uncommonly late, when itcame its beauty compensated for its dilatoriness. The month of May had already commenced, and Iexpected the letter daily which was to fix the date of mydeparture, when Henry proposed a pedestrian tour in theenvirons of Ingolstadt, that I might bid a personal farewellto the country I had so long inhabited. I acceded withpleasure to this proposition: I was fond of exercise, andClerval had always been my favourite companion in therambles of this nature that I had taken among the scenes ofmy native country. We passed a fortnight in these perambulations; myhealth and spirits had long been restored, and they gainedadditional strength from the salubrious air I breathed, thenatural incidents of our progress, and the conversation ofmy friend. Study had before secluded me from theintercourse of my fellow creatures and rendered meunsocial, but Clerval called forth the better feelings of myheart; he again taught me to love the aspect of nature andthe cheerful faces of children. Excellent friend! Howsincerely did you love me and endeavour to elevate my 90 of 345
    • Frankensteinmind until it was on a level with your own! A selfishpursuit had cramped and narrowed me until yourgentleness and affection warmed and opened my senses; Ibecame the same happy creature who, a few years ago,loved and beloved by all, had no sorrow or care. Whenhappy, inanimate nature had the power of bestowing onme the most delightful sensations. A serene sky andverdant fields filled me with ecstasy. The present seasonwas indeed divine; the flowers of spring bloomed in thehedges, while those of summer were already in bud. I wasundisturbed by thoughts which during the preceding yearhad pressed upon me, notwithstanding my endeavours tothrow them off, with an invincible burden. Henry rejoiced in my gaiety and sincerely sympathizedin my feelings; he exerted himself to amuse me, while heexpressed the sensations that filled his soul. The resourcesof his mind on this occasion were truly astonishing; hisconversation was full of imagination, and very often, inimitation of the Persian and Arabic writers, he inventedtales of wonderful fancy and passion. At other times herepeated my favourite poems or drew me out intoarguments, which he supported with great ingenuity. We returned to our college on a Sunday afternoon; thepeasants were dancing, and everyone we met appeared gay 91 of 345
    • Frankensteinand happy. My own spirits were high, and I boundedalong with feelings of unbridled joy and hilarity. 92 of 345
    • Frankenstein Chapter 7 On my return, I found the following letter from myfather:— ‘My dear Victor, ‘You have probably waited impatiently for a letter tofix the date of your return to us; and I was at first temptedto write only a few lines, merely mentioning the day onwhich I should expect you. But that would be a cruelkindness, and I dare not do it. What would be yoursurprise, my son, when you expected a happy and gladwelcome, to behold, on the contrary, tears andwretchedness? And how, Victor, can I relate ourmisfortune? Absence cannot have rendered you callous toour joys and griefs; and how shall I inflict pain on my longabsent son? I wish to prepare you for the woeful news, butI know it is impossible; even now your eye skims over thepage to seek the words which are to convey to you thehorrible tidings. William is dead!—that sweet child, whose smilesdelighted and warmed my heart, who was so gentle, yet sogay! Victor, he is murdered! I will not attempt to console 93 of 345
    • Frankensteinyou; but will simply relate the circumstances of thetransaction. Last Thursday (May 7th), I, my niece, and your twobrothers, went to walk in Plainpalais. The evening waswarm and serene, and we prolonged our walk farther thanusual. It was already dusk before we thought of returning;and then we discovered that William and Ernest, who hadgone on before, were not to be found. We accordinglyrested on a seat until they should return. Presently Ernestcame, and enquired if we had seen his brother; he said,that he had been playing with him, that William had runaway to hide himself, and that he vainly sought for him,and afterwards waited for a long time, but that he did notreturn. This account rather alarmed us, and we continued tosearch for him until night fell, when Elizabeth conjecturedthat he might have returned to the house. He was notthere. We returned again, with torches; for I could notrest, when I thought that my sweet boy had lost himself,and was exposed to all the damps and dews of night;Elizabeth also suffered extreme anguish. About five in themorning I discovered my lovely boy, whom the nightbefore I had seen blooming and active in health, stretched 94 of 345
    • Frankensteinon the grass livid and motionless; the print of themurderer’s finger was on his neck. He was conveyed home, and the anguish that wasvisible in my countenance betrayed the secret to Elizabeth.She was very earnest to see the corpse. At first I attemptedto prevent her; but she persisted, and entering the roomwhere it lay, hastily examined the neck of the victim, andclasping her hands exclaimed, ‘O God! I have murderedmy darling child!’ She fainted, and was restored with extreme difficulty.When she again lived, it was only to weep and sigh. Shetold me, that that same evening William had teased her tolet him wear a very valuable miniature that she possessedof your mother. This picture is gone, and was doubtlessthe temptation which urged the murdered to the deed.We have no trace of him at present, although ourexertions to discover him are unremitted; but they willnot restore my beloved William! Come, dearest Victor; you alone can console Elizabeth.She weeps continually, and accuses herself unjustly as thecause of his death; her words pierce my heart. We are allunhappy; but will not that be an additional motive foryou, my son, to return and be our comforter? Your dearmother! Alas, Victor! I now say, Thank God she did not 95 of 345
    • Frankensteinlive to witness the cruel, miserable death of her youngestdarling! Come, Victor; not brooding thoughts of vengeanceagainst the assassin, but with feelings of peace andgentleness, that will heal, instead of festering, the woundsof our minds. Enter the house of mourning, my friend,but with kindness and affection for those who love you,and not with hatred for your enemies. Your affectionate and afflicted father,Alphonse Frankenstein. Geneva, May 12th, 17—. Clerval, who had watched my countenance as I readthis letter, was surprised to observe the despair thatsucceeded the joy I at first expressed on receiving newfrom my friends. I threw the letter on the table, andcovered my face with my hands. ‘My dear Frankenstein,’ exclaimed Henry, when heperceived me weep with bitterness, ‘are you always to beunhappy? My dear friend, what has happened?’ I motioned him to take up the letter, while I walked upand down the room in the extremest agitation. Tears alsogushed from the eyes of Clerval, as he read the account ofmy misfortune. 96 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘I can offer you no consolation, my friend,’ said he;‘your disaster is irreparable. What do you intend to do?’ ‘To go instantly to Geneva: come with me, Henry, toorder the horses.’ During our walk, Clerval endeavoured to say a fewwords of consolation; he could only express his heartfeltsympathy. ‘Poor William!’ said he, dear lovely child, henow sleeps with his angel mother! Who that had seen himbright and joyous in his young beauty, but must weepover his untimely loss! To die so miserably; to feel themurderer’s grasp! How much more a murderer that coulddestroy radiant innocence! Poor little fellow! one onlyconsolation have we; his friends mourn and weep, but heis at rest. The pang is over, his sufferings are at an end forever. A sod covers his gentle form, and he knows no pain.He can no longer be a subject for pity; we must reservethat for his miserable survivors.’ Clerval spoke thus as we hurried through the streets;the words impressed themselves on my mind and Iremembered them afterwards in solitude. But now, assoon as the horses arrived, I hurried into a cabriolet, andbade farewell to my friend. My journey was very melancholy. At first I wished tohurry on, for I longed to console and sympathise with my 97 of 345
    • Frankensteinloved and sorrowing friends; but when I drew near mynative town, I slackened my progress. I could hardlysustain the multitude of feelings that crowded into mymind. I passed through scenes familiar to my youth, butwhich I had not seen for nearly six years. How alteredevery thing might be during that time! One sudden anddesolating change had taken place; but a thousand littlecircumstances might have by degrees worked otheralterations, which, although they were done moretranquilly, might not be the less decisive. Fear overcameme; I dared no advance, dreading a thousand namelessevils that made me tremble, although I was unable todefine them. I remained two days at Lausanne, in this painful state ofmind. I contemplated the lake: the waters were placid; allaround was calm; and the snowy mountains, ‘the palacesof nature,’ were not changed. By degrees the calm andheavenly scene restored me, and I continued my journeytowards Geneva. The road ran by the side of the lake, which becamenarrower as I approached my native town. I discoveredmore distinctly the black sides of Jura, and the brightsummit of Mont Blanc. I wept like a child. ‘Dearmountains! my own beautiful lake! how do you welcome 98 of 345
    • eBook brought to you by Create, view, and edit PDF. Download the free trial version.Frankensteinyour wanderer? Your summits are clear; the sky and lakeare blue and placid. Is this to prognosticate peace, or tomock at my unhappiness?’ I fear, my friend, that I shall render myself tedious bydwelling on these preliminary circumstances; but theywere days of comparative happiness, and I think of themwith pleasure. My country, my beloved country! who buta native can tell the delight I took in again beholding thystreams, thy mountains, and, more than all, thy lovelylake! Yet, as I drew nearer home, grief and fear againovercame me. Night also closed around; and when I couldhardly see the dark mountains, I felt still more gloomily.The picture appeared a vast and dim scene of evil, and Iforesaw obscurely that I was destined to become the mostwretched of human beings. Alas! I prophesied truly, andfailed only in one single circumstance, that in all themisery I imagined and dreaded, I did not conceive thehundredth part of the anguish I was destined to endure. It was completely dark when I arrived in the environsof Geneva; the gates of the town were already shut; and Iwas obliged to pass the night at Secheron, a village at thedistance of half a league from the city. The sky was serene;and, as I was unable to rest, I resolved to visit the spot 99 of 345
    • Frankensteinwhere my poor William had been murdered. As I couldnot pass through the town, I was obliged to cross the lakein a boat to arrive at Plainpalais. During this short voyage Isaw the lightning playing on the summit of Mont Blanc inthe most beautiful figures. The storm appeared toapproach rapidly, and, on landing, I ascended a low hill,that I might observe its progress. It advanced; the heavenswere clouded, and I soon felt the rain coming slowly inlarge drops, but its violence quickly increased. I quitted my seat, and walked on, although the darknessand storm increased every minute, and the thunder burstwith a terrific crash over my head. It was echoed fromSaleve, the Juras, and the Alps of Savoy; vivid flashes oflightning dazzled my eyes, illuminating the lake, making itappear like a vast sheet of fire; then for an instant everything seemed of a pitchy darkness, until the eye recovereditself from the preceding flash. The storm, as is often thecase in Switzerland, appeared at once in various parts ofthe heavens. The most violent storm hung exactly northof the town, over the part of the lake which lies betweenthe promontory of Belrive and the village of Copet.Another storm enlightened Jura with faint flashes; andanother darkened and sometimes disclosed the Mole, apeaked mountain to the east of the lake. 100 of 345
    • Frankenstein While I watched the tempest, so beautiful yet terrific, Iwandered on with a hasty step. This noble war in the skyelevated my spirits; I clasped my hands, and exclaimedaloud, ‘William, dear angel! this is thy funeral, this thydirge!’ As I said these words, I perceived in the gloom afigure which stole from behind a clump of trees near me; Istood fixed, gazing intently: I could not be mistaken. Aflash of lightning illuminated the object, and discovered itsshape plainly to me; its gigantic stature, and the deformityof its aspect, more hideous than belongs to humanity,instantly informed me that it was the wretch, the filthydaemon, to whom I had given life. What did he there?Could he be (I shuddered at the conception) the murdererof my brother? No sooner did that idea cross myimagination, than I became convinced of its truth; myteeth chattered, and I was forced to lean against a tree forsupport. The figure passed me quickly, and I lost it in thegloom. Nothing in human shape could have destroyed thefair child. He was the murderer! I could not doubt it. Themere presence of the idea was an irresistible proof of thefact. I thought of pursuing the devil; but it would havebeen in vain, for another flash discovered him to mehanging among the rocks of the nearly perpendicular 101 of 345
    • Frankensteinascent of Mont Saleve, a hill that bounds Plainpalais on thesouth. He soon reached the summit, and disappeared. I remained motionless. The thunder ceased; but therain still continued, and the scene was enveloped in animpenetrable darkness. I resolved in my minds the eventswhich I had until now sought to forget: the whole train ofmy progress toward the creation; the appearance of theworks of my own hands at my bedside; its departure. Twoyears had now nearly elapsed since the night on which hefirst received life; and was this his first crime? Alas! I hadturned loose into the world a depraved wretch, whosedelight was in carnage and misery; had he not murderedmy brother? No one can conceive the anguish I suffered during theremainder of the night, which I spent, cold and wet, inthe open air. But I did not feel the inconvenience of theweather; my imagination was busy in scenes of evil anddespair. I considered the being whom I had cast amongmankind, and endowed with the will and power to effectpurposes of horror, such as the deed which he had nowdone, nearly in the light of my own vampire, my ownspirit let loose from the grave, and forced to destroy allthat was dear to me. 102 of 345
    • Frankenstein Day dawned; and I directed my steps towards the town.The gates were open, and I hastened to my father’s house.My first thought was to discover what I knew of themurderer, and cause instant pursuit to be made. But Ipaused when I reflected on the story that I had to tell. Abeing whom I myself had formed, and endued with life,had met me at midnight among the precipices of aninaccessible mountain. I remembered also the nervousfever with which I had been seized just at the time that Idated my creation, and which would give an air ofdelirium to a tale otherwise so utterly improbable. I wellknew that if any other had communicated such a relationto me, I should have looked upon it as the ravings ofinsanity. Besides, the strange nature of the animal wouldelude all pursuit, even if I were so far credited as topersuade my relatives to commence it. And then of whatuse would be pursuit? Who could arrest a creature capableof scaling the overhanging sides of Mont Saleve? Thesereflections determined me, and I resolved to remain silent. It was about five in the morning when I entered myfather’s house. I told the servants not to disturb the family,and went into the library to attend their usual hour ofrising. 103 of 345
    • Frankenstein Six years had elapsed, passed in a dream but for oneindelible trace, and I stood in the same place where I hadlast embraced my father before my departure forIngolstadt. Beloved and venerable parent! He stillremained to me. I gazed on the picture of my mother,which stood over the mantel-piece. It was an historicalsubject, painted at my father’s desire, and representedCaroline Beaufort in an agony of despair, kneeling by thecoffin of her dead father. Her garb was rustic, and hercheek pale; but there was an air of dignity and beauty, thathardly permitted the sentiment of pity. Below this picturewas a miniature of William; and my tears flowed when Ilooked upon it. While I was thus engaged, Ernest entered:he had heard me arrive, and hastened to welcome me:‘Welcome, my dearest Victor,’ said he. ‘Ah! I wish youhad come three months ago, and then you would havefound us all joyous and delighted. You come to us now toshare a misery which nothing can alleviate; yet yourpresence will, I hope, revive our father, who seemssinking under his misfortune; and your persuasions willinduce poor Elizabeth to cease her vain and tormentingself-accusations.—Poor William! he was our darling andour pride!’ 104 of 345
    • Frankenstein Tears, unrestrained, fell from my brother’s eyes; a senseof mortal agony crept over my frame. Before, I had onlyimagined the wretchedness of my desolated home; thereality came on me as a new, and a not less terrible,disaster. I tried to calm Ernest; I enquired more minutelyconcerning my father, and her I named my cousin. ‘She most of all,’ said Ernest, ‘requires consolation; sheaccused herself of having caused the death of my brother,and that made her very wretched. But since the murdererhas been discovered—‘ ‘The murderer discovered! Good God! how can thatbe? who could attempt to pursue him? It is impossible;one might as well try to overtake the winds, or confine amountain-stream with a straw. I saw him too; he was freelast night!’ ‘I do not know what you mean,’ replied my brother, inaccents of wonder, ‘but to us the discovery we have madecompletes our misery. No one would believe it at first;and even now Elizabeth will not be convinced,notwithstanding all the evidence. Indeed, who wouldcredit that Justine Moritz, who was so amiable, and fondof all the family, could suddenly become so capable of sofrightful, so appalling a crime?’ 105 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘Justine Moritz! Poor, poor girl, is she the accused? Butit is wrongfully; every one knows that; no one believes it,surely, Ernest?’ ‘No one did at first; but several circumstances cameout, that have almost forced conviction upon us; and herown behaviour has been so confused, as to add to theevidence of facts a weight that, I fear, leaves no hope fordoubt. But she will be tried to-day, and you will then hearall.’ He then related that, the morning on which themurder of poor William had been discovered, Justine hadbeen taken ill, and confined to her bed for several days.During this interval, one of the servants, happening toexamine the apparel she had worn on the night of themurder, had discovered in her pocket the picture of mymother, which had been judged to be the temptation ofthe murderer. The servant instantly showed it to one ofthe others, who, without saying a word to any of thefamily, went to a magistrate; and, upon their deposition,Justine was apprehended. On being charged with the fact,the poor girl confirmed the suspicion in a great measureby her extreme confusion of manner. This was a strangetale, but it did not shake my faith; and I replied earnestly, 106 of 345
    • Frankenstein‘You are all mistaken; I know the murderer. Justine, poor,good Justine, is innocent.’ At that instant my father entered. I saw unhappinessdeeply impressed on his countenance, but he endeavouredto welcome me cheerfully; and, after we had exchangedour mournful greeting, would have introduced some othertopic than that of our disaster, had not Ernest exclaimed,‘Good God, papa! Victor says that he knows who was themurderer of poor William.’ ‘We do also, unfortunately,’ replied my father, ‘forindeed I had rather have been for ever ignorant than havediscovered so much depravity and ungratitude in one Ivalued so highly.’ ‘My dear father, you are mistaken; Justine is innocent.’ ‘If she is, God forbid that she should suffer as guilty.She is to be tried to-day, and I hope, I sincerely hope, thatshe will be acquitted.’ This speech calmed me. I was firmly convinced in myown mind that Justine, and indeed every human being,was guiltless of this murder. I had no fear, therefore, thatany circumstantial evidence could be brought forwardstrong enough to convict her. My tale was not one toannounce publicly; its astounding horror would be lookedupon as madness by the vulgar. Did any one indeed exist, 107 of 345
    • Frankensteinexcept I, the creator, who would believe, unless his sensesconvinced him, in the existence of the living monumentof presumption and rash ignorance which I had let looseupon the world? We were soon joined by Elizabeth. Time had alteredher since I last beheld her; it had endowed her withloveliness surpassing the beauty of her childish years.There was the same candour, the same vivacity, but it wasallied to an expression more full of sensibility and intellect.She welcomed me with the greatest affection. ‘Yourarrival, my dear cousin,’ said she, ‘fills me with hope. Youperhaps will find some means to justify my poor guiltlessJustine. Alas! who is safe, if she be convicted of crime? Irely on her innocence as certainly as I do upon my own.Our misfortune is doubly hard to us; we have not only lostthat lovely darling boy, but this poor girl, whom Isincerely love, is to be torn away by even a worse fate. Ifshe is condemned, I never shall know joy more. But shewill not, I am sure she will not; and then I shall be happyagain, even after the sad death of my little William.’ ‘She is innocent, my Elizabeth,’ said I, ‘and that shall beproved; fear nothing, but let your spirits be cheered by theassurance of her acquittal.’ 108 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘How kind and generous you are! every one elsebelieves in her guilt, and that made me wretched, for Iknew that it was impossible: and to see every one elseprejudiced in so deadly a manner rendered me hopelessand despairing.’ She wept. ‘Dearest niece,’ said my father, ‘dry your tears. If she is,as you believe, innocent, rely on the justice of our laws,and the activity with which I shall prevent the slightestshadow of partiality.’ 109 of 345
    • Frankenstein Chapter 8 We passed a few sad hours until eleven o’clock, whenthe trial was to commence. My father and the rest of thefamily being obliged to attend as witnesses, I accompaniedthem to the court. During the whole of this wretchedmockery of justice I suffered living torture. It was to bedecided whether the result of my curiosity and lawlessdevices would cause the death of two of my fellow beings:one a smiling babe full of innocence and joy, the other farmore dreadfully murdered, with every aggravation ofinfamy that could make the murder memorable in horror.Justine also was a girl of merit and possessed qualitieswhich promised to render her life happy; now all was tobe obliterated in an ignominious grave, and I the cause! Athousand times rather would I have confessed myself guiltyof the crime ascribed to Justine, but I was absent when itwas committed, and such a declaration would have beenconsidered as the ravings of a madman and would nothave exculpated her who suffered through me. The appearance of Justine was calm. She was dressed inmourning, and her countenance, always engaging, wasrendered, by the solemnity of her feelings, exquisitely 110 of 345
    • eBook brought to you by Create, view, and edit PDF. Download the free trial version.Frankensteinbeautiful. Yet she appeared confident in innocence anddid not tremble, although gazed on and execrated bythousands, for all the kindness which her beauty mightotherwise have excited was obliterated in the minds of thespectators by the imagination of the enormity she wassupposed to have committed. She was tranquil, yet hertranquillity was evidently constrained; and as her confusionhad before been adduced as a proof of her guilt, sheworked up her mind to an appearance of courage. Whenshe entered the court she threw her eyes round it andquickly discovered where we were seated. A tear seemedto dim her eye when she saw us, but she quicklyrecovered herself, and a look of sorrowful affectionseemed to attest her utter guiltlessness. The trial began, and after the advocate against her hadstated the charge, several witnesses were called. Severalstrange facts combined against her, which might havestaggered anyone who had not such proof of herinnocence as I had. She had been out the whole of thenight on which the murder had been committed andtowards morning had been perceived by a market-womannot far from the spot where the body of the murderedchild had been afterwards found. The woman asked herwhat she did there, but she looked very strangely and only 111 of 345
    • Frankensteinreturned a confused and unintelligible answer. Shereturned to the house about eight o’clock, and when oneinquired where she had passed the night, she replied thatshe had been looking for the child and demanded earnestlyif anything had been heard concerning him. When shownthe body, she fell into violent hysterics and kept her bedfor several days. The picture was then produced which theservant had found in her pocket; and when Elizabeth, in afaltering voice, proved that it was the same which, an hourbefore the child had been missed, she had placed round hisneck, a murmur of horror and indignation filled the court. Justine was called on for her defence. As the trial hadproceeded, her countenance had altered. Surprise, horror,and misery were strongly expressed. Sometimes shestruggled with her tears, but when she was desired toplead, she collected her powers and spoke in an audiblealthough variable voice. ‘God knows,’ she said, ‘how entirely I am innocent.But I do not pretend that my protestations should acquitme; I rest my innocence on a plain and simple explanationof the facts which have been adduced against me, and Ihope the character I have always borne will incline myjudges to a favourable interpretation where anycircumstance appears doubtful or suspicious.’ 112 of 345
    • Frankenstein She then related that, by the permission of Elizabeth,she had passed the evening of the night on which themurder had been committed at the house of an aunt atChene, a village situated at about a league from Geneva.On her return, at about nine o’clock, she met a man whoasked her if she had seen anything of the child who waslost. She was alarmed by this account and passed severalhours in looking for him, when the gates of Geneva wereshut, and she was forced to remain several hours of thenight in a barn belonging to a cottage, being unwilling tocall up the inhabitants, to whom she was well known.Most of the night she spent here watching; towardsmorning she believed that she slept for a few minutes;some steps disturbed her, and she awoke. It was dawn, andshe quitted her asylum, that she might again endeavour tofind my brother. If she had gone near the spot where hisbody lay, it was without her knowledge. That she hadbeen bewildered when questioned by the market-womanwas not surprising, since she had passed a sleepless nightand the fate of poor William was yet uncertain.Concerning the picture she could give no account. ‘I know,’ continued the unhappy victim, ‘how heavilyand fatally this one circumstance weighs against me, but Ihave no power of explaining it; and when I have 113 of 345
    • Frankensteinexpressed my utter ignorance, I am only left to conjectureconcerning the probabilities by which it might have beenplaced in my pocket. But here also I am checked. I believethat I have no enemy on earth, and none surely wouldhave been so wicked as to destroy me wantonly. Did themurderer place it there? I know of no opportunityafforded him for so doing; or, if I had, why should hehave stolen the jewel, to part with it again so soon? ‘I commit my cause to the justice of my judges, yet Isee no room for hope. I beg permission to have a fewwitnesses examined concerning my character, and if theirtestimony shall not overweigh my supposed guilt, I mustbe condemned, although I would pledge my salvation onmy innocence.’ Several witnesses were called who had known her formany years, and they spoke well of her; but fear andhatred of the crime of which they supposed her guiltyrendered them timorous and unwilling to come forward.Elizabeth saw even this last resource, her excellentdispositions and irreproachable conduct, about to fail theaccused, when, although violently agitated, she desiredpermission to address the court. ‘I am,’ said she, ‘the cousin of the unhappy child whowas murdered, or rather his sister, for I was educated by 114 of 345
    • Frankensteinand have lived with his parents ever since and even longbefore his birth. It may therefore be judged indecent inme to come forward on this occasion, but when I see afellow creature about to perish through the cowardice ofher pretended friends, I wish to be allowed to speak, that Imay say what I know of her character. I am wellacquainted with the accused. I have lived in the samehouse with her, at one time for five and at another fornearly two years. During all that period she appeared tome the most amiable and benevolent of human creatures.She nursed Madame Frankenstein, my aunt, in her lastillness, with the greatest affection and care and afterwardsattended her own mother during a tedious illness, in amanner that excited the admiration of all who knew her,after which she again lived in my uncle’s house, where shewas beloved by all the family. She was warmly attached tothe child who is now dead and acted towards him like amost affectionate mother. For my own part, I do nothesitate to say that, notwithstanding all the evidenceproduced against her, I believe and rely on her perfectinnocence. She had no temptation for such an action; as tothe bauble on which the chief proof rests, if she hadearnestly desired it, I should have willingly given it to her,so much do I esteem and value her.’ 115 of 345
    • Frankenstein A murmur of approbation followed Elizabeth’s simpleand powerful appeal, but it was excited by her generousinterference, and not in favour of poor Justine, on whomthe public indignation was turned with renewed violence,charging her with the blackest ingratitude. She herselfwept as Elizabeth spoke, but she did not answer. My ownagitation and anguish was extreme during the whole trial.I believed in her innocence; I knew it. Could the demonwho had (I did not for a minute doubt) murdered mybrother also in his hellish sport have betrayed the innocentto death and ignominy? I could not sustain the horror ofmy situation, and when I perceived that the popular voiceand the countenances of the judges had alreadycondemned my unhappy victim, I rushed out of the courtin agony. The tortures of the accused did not equal mine;she was sustained by innocence, but the fangs of remorsetore my bosom and would not forgo their hold. I passed a night of unmingled wretchedness. In themorning I went to the court; my lips and throat wereparched. I dared not ask the fatal question, but I wasknown, and the officer guessed the cause of my visit. Theballots had been thrown; they were all black, and Justinewas condemned. 116 of 345
    • Frankenstein I cannot pretend to describe what I then felt. I hadbefore experienced sensations of horror, and I haveendeavoured to bestow upon them adequate expressions,but words cannot convey an idea of the heart-sickeningdespair that I then endured. The person to whom Iaddressed myself added that Justine had already confessedher guilt. ‘That evidence,’ he observed, ‘was hardlyrequired in so glaring a case, but I am glad of it, and,indeed, none of our judges like to condemn a criminalupon circumstantial evidence, be it ever so decisive.’ This was strange and unexpected intelligence; whatcould it mean? Had my eyes deceived me? And was Ireally as mad as the whole world would believe me to beif I disclosed the object of my suspicions? I hastened toreturn home, and Elizabeth eagerly demanded the result. ‘My cousin,’ replied I, ‘it is decided as you may haveexpected; all judges had rather that ten innocent shouldsuffer than that one guilty should escape. But she hasconfessed.’ This was a dire blow to poor Elizabeth, who had reliedwith firmness upon Justine’s innocence. ‘Alas!’ said she.‘How shall I ever again believe in human goodness?Justine, whom I loved and esteemed as my sister, howcould she put on those smiles of innocence only to betray? 117 of 345
    • FrankensteinHer mild eyes seemed incapable of any severity or guile,and yet she has committed a murder.’ Soon after we heard that the poor victim had expresseda desire to see my cousin. My father wished her not to gobut said that he left it to her own judgment and feelings todecide. ‘Yes,’ said Elizabeth, ‘I will go, although she isguilty; and you, Victor, shall accompany me; I cannot goalone.’ The idea of this visit was torture to me, yet I couldnot refuse. We entered the gloomy prison chamber and beheldJustine sitting on some straw at the farther end; her handswere manacled, and her head rested on her knees. Sherose on seeing us enter; and when we were left alone withher, she threw herself at the feet of Elizabeth, weepingbitterly. My cousin wept also. ‘Oh, Justine!’ said she. ‘Why did you rob me of my lastconsolation? I relied on your innocence, and although Iwas then very wretched, I was not so miserable as I amnow.’ ‘And do you also believe that I am so very, verywicked? Do you also join with my enemies to crush me,to condemn me as a murderer?’ Her voice was suffocatedwith sobs. 118 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘Rise, my poor girl,’ said Elizabeth; ‘why do you kneel,if you are innocent? I am not one of your enemies, Ibelieved you guiltless, notwithstanding every evidence,until I heard that you had yourself declared your guilt.That report, you say, is false; and be assured, dear Justine,that nothing can shake my confidence in you for amoment, but your own confession.’ ‘I did confess, but I confessed a lie. I confessed, that Imight obtain absolution; but now that falsehood liesheavier at my heart than all my other sins. The God ofheaven forgive me! Ever since I was condemned, myconfessor has besieged me; he threatened and menaced,until I almost began to think that I was the monster thathe said I was. He threatened excommunication and hellfire in my last moments if I continued obdurate. Dearlady, I had none to support me; all looked on me as awretch doomed to ignominy and perdition. What could Ido? In an evil hour I subscribed to a lie; and now only amI truly miserable.’ She paused, weeping, and then continued, ‘I thoughtwith horror, my sweet lady, that you should believe yourJustine, whom your blessed aunt had so highly honoured,and whom you loved, was a creature capable of a crimewhich none but the devil himself could have perpetrated. 119 of 345
    • FrankensteinDear William! dearest blessed child! I soon shall see youagain in heaven, where we shall all he happy; and thatconsoles me, going as I am to suffer ignominy and death.’ ‘Oh, Justine! Forgive me for having for one momentdistrusted you. Why did you confess? But do not mourn,dear girl. Do not fear. I will proclaim, I will prove yourinnocence. I will melt the stony hearts of your enemies bymy tears and prayers. You shall not die! You, myplayfellow, my companion, my sister, perish on thescaffold! No! No! I never could survive so horrible amisfortune.’ Justine shook her head mournfully. ‘I do not fear todie,’ she said; ‘that pang is past. God raises my weaknessand gives me courage to endure the worst. I leave a sadand bitter world; and if you remember me and think ofme as of one unjustly condemned, I am resigned to thefate awaiting me. Learn from me, dear lady, to submit inpatience to the will of heaven!’ During this conversation I had retired to a corner of theprison room, where I could conceal the horrid anguishthat possessed me. Despair! Who dared talk of that? Thepoor victim, who on the morrow was to pass the awfulboundary between life and death, felt not, as I did, suchdeep and bitter agony. I gnashed my teeth and ground 120 of 345
    • Frankensteinthem together, uttering a groan that came from my inmostsoul. Justine started. When she saw who it was, sheapproached me and said, ‘Dear sir, you are very kind tovisit me; you, I hope, do not believe that I am guilty?’ I could not answer. ‘No, Justine,’ said Elizabeth; ‘he ismore convinced of your innocence than I was, for evenwhen he heard that you had confessed, he did not creditit.’ ‘I truly thank him. In these last moments I feel thesincerest gratitude towards those who think of me withkindness. How sweet is the affection of others to such awretch as I am! It removes more than half my misfortune,and I feel as if I could die in peace now that my innocenceis acknowledged by you, dear lady, and your cousin.’ Thus the poor sufferer tried to comfort others andherself. She indeed gained the resignation she desired. ButI, the true murderer, felt the never-dying worm alive inmy bosom, which allowed of no hope or consolation.Elizabeth also wept and was unhappy, but hers also wasthe misery of innocence, which, like a cloud that passesover the fair moon, for a while hides but cannot tarnish itsbrightness. Anguish and despair had penetrated into thecore of my heart; I bore a hell within me which nothingcould extinguish. We stayed several hours with Justine, 121 of 345
    • Frankensteinand it was with great difficulty that Elizabeth could tearherself away. ‘I wish,’ cried she, ‘that I were to die withyou; I cannot live in this world of misery.’ Justine assumed an air of cheerfulness, while she withdifficulty repressed her bitter tears. She embraced Elizabethand said in a voice of half-suppressed emotion, ‘Farewell,sweet lady, dearest Elizabeth, my beloved and only friend;may heaven, in its bounty, bless and preserve you; maythis be the last misfortune that you will ever suffer! Live,and be happy, and make others so.’ And on the morrow Justine died. Elizabeth’s heart-rending eloquence failed to move the judges from theirsettled conviction in the criminality of the saintly sufferer.My passionate and indignant appeals were lost upon them.And when I received their cold answers and heard theharsh, unfeeling reasoning of these men, my purposedavowal died away on my lips. Thus I might proclaimmyself a madman, but not revoke the sentence passedupon my wretched victim. She perished on the scaffold asa murderess! From the tortures of my own heart, I turned tocontemplate the deep and voiceless grief of my Elizabeth.This also was my doing! And my father’s woe, and thedesolation of that late so smiling home all was the work of 122 of 345
    • eBook brought to you by Create, view, and edit PDF. Download the free trial version.Frankensteinmy thrice-accursed hands! Ye weep, unhappy ones, butthese are not your last tears! Again shall you raise thefuneral wail, and the sound of your lamentations shallagain and again be heard! Frankenstein, your son, yourkinsman, your early, much-loved friend; he who wouldspend each vital drop of blood for your sakes, who has nothought nor sense of joy except as it is mirrored also inyour dear countenances, who would fill the air withblessings and spend his life in serving you— he bids youweep, to shed countless tears; happy beyond his hopes, ifthus inexorable fate be satisfied, and if the destructionpause before the peace of the grave have succeeded toyour sad torments! Thus spoke my prophetic soul, as, torn by remorse,horror, and despair, I beheld those I loved spend vainsorrow upon the graves of William and Justine, the firsthapless victims to my unhallowed arts. 123 of 345
    • Frankenstein Chapter 9 Nothing is more painful to the human mind than, afterthe feelings have been worked up by a quick succession ofevents, the dead calmness of inaction and certainty whichfollows and deprives the soul both of hope and fear.Justine died, she rested, and I was alive. The blood flowedfreely in my veins, but a weight of despair and remorsepressed on my heart which nothing could remove. Sleepfled from my eyes; I wandered like an evil spirit, for I hadcommitted deeds of mischief beyond description horrible,and more, much more (I persuaded myself) was yetbehind. Yet my heart overflowed with kindness and thelove of virtue. I had begun life with benevolent intentionsand thirsted for the moment when I should put them inpractice and make myself useful to my fellow beings. Nowall was blasted; instead of that serenity of conscience whichallowed me to look back upon the past with self-satisfaction, and from thence to gather promise of newhopes, I was seized by remorse and the sense of guilt,which hurried me away to a hell of intense tortures such asno language can describe. 124 of 345
    • Frankenstein This state of mind preyed upon my health, which hadperhaps never entirely recovered from the first shock ithad sustained. I shunned the face of man; all sound of joyor complacency was torture to me; solitude was my onlyconsolation—deep, dark, deathlike solitude. My father observed with pain the alteration perceptiblein my disposition and habits and endeavoured byarguments deduced from the feelings of his sereneconscience and guiltless life to inspire me with fortitudeand awaken in me the courage to dispel the dark cloudwhich brooded over me. ‘Do you think, Victor,’ said he,‘that I do not suffer also? No one could love a child morethan I loved your brother’—tears came into his eyes as hespoke— ‘but is it not a duty to the survivors that weshould refrain from augmenting their unhappiness by anappearance of immoderate grief? It is also a duty owed toyourself, for excessive sorrow prevents improvement orenjoyment, or even the discharge of daily usefulness,without which no man is fit for society.’ This advice, although good, was totally inapplicable tomy case; I should have been the first to hide my grief andconsole my friends if remorse had not mingled itsbitterness, and terror its alarm, with my other sensations. 125 of 345
    • FrankensteinNow I could only answer my father with a look of despairand endeavour to hide myself from his view. About this time we retired to our house at Belrive.This change was particularly agreeable to me. The shuttingof the gates regularly at ten o’clock and the impossibilityof remaining on the lake after that hour had rendered ourresidence within the walls of Geneva very irksome to me.I was now free. Often, after the rest of the family hadretired for the night, I took the boat and passed manyhours upon the water. Sometimes, with my sails set, I wascarried by the wind; and sometimes, after rowing into themiddle of the lake, I left the boat to pursue its own courseand gave way to my own miserable reflections. I was oftentempted, when all was at peace around me, and I the onlyunquiet thing that wandered restless in a scene so beautifuland heavenly—if I except some bat, or the frogs, whoseharsh and interrupted croaking was heard only when Iapproached the shore—often, I say, I was tempted toplunge into the silent lake, that the waters might closeover me and my calamities forever. But I was restrained,when I thought of the heroic and suffering Elizabeth,whom I tenderly loved, and whose existence was boundup in mine. I thought also of my father and survivingbrother; should I by my base desertion leave them exposed 126 of 345
    • Frankensteinand unprotected to the malice of the fiend whom I had letloose among them? At these moments I wept bitterly and wished that peacewould revisit my mind only that I might afford themconsolation and happiness. But that could not be.Remorse extinguished every hope. I had been the authorof unalterable evils, and I lived in daily fear lest themonster whom I had created should perpetrate some newwickedness. I had an obscure feeling that all was not overand that he would still commit some signal crime, whichby its enormity should almost efface the recollection of thepast. There was always scope for fear so long as anything Iloved remained behind. My abhorrence of this fiendcannot be conceived. When I thought of him I gnashedmy teeth, my eyes became inflamed, and I ardently wishedto extinguish that life which I had so thoughtlesslybestowed. When I reflected on his crimes and malice, myhatred and revenge burst all bounds of moderation. Iwould have made a pilgrimage to the highest peak of theAndes, could I when there have precipitated him to theirbase. I wished to see him again, that I might wreak theutmost extent of abhorrence on his head and avenge thedeaths of William and Justine. Our house was the house ofmourning. My father’s health was deeply shaken by the 127 of 345
    • Frankensteinhorror of the recent events. Elizabeth was sad anddesponding; she no longer took delight in her ordinaryoccupations; all pleasure seemed to her sacrilege towardthe dead; eternal woe and tears she then thought was thejust tribute she should pay to innocence so blasted anddestroyed. She was no longer that happy creature who inearlier youth wandered with me on the banks of the lakeand talked with ecstasy of our future prospects. The first ofthose sorrows which are sent to wean us from the earthhad visited her, and its dimming influence quenched herdearest smiles. ‘When I reflect, my dear cousin,’ said she, ‘on themiserable death of Justine Moritz, I no longer see theworld and its works as they before appeared to me. Before,I looked upon the accounts of vice and injustice that Iread in books or heard from others as tales of ancient daysor imaginary evils; at least they were remote and morefamiliar to reason than to the imagination; but now miseryhas come home, and men appear to me as monstersthirsting for each other’s blood. Yet I am certainly unjust.Everybody believed that poor girl to be guilty; and if shecould have committed the crime for which she suffered,assuredly she would have been the most depraved ofhuman creatures. For the sake of a few jewels, to have 128 of 345
    • Frankensteinmurdered the son of her benefactor and friend, a childwhom she had nursed from its birth, and appeared to loveas if it had been her own! I could not consent to the deathof any human being, but certainly I should have thoughtsuch a creature unfit to remain in the society of men. Butshe was innocent. I know, I feel she was innocent; you areof the same opinion, and that confirms me. Alas! Victor,when falsehood can look so like the truth, who can assurethemselves of certain happiness? I feel as if I were walkingon the edge of a precipice, towards which thousands arecrowding and endeavouring to plunge me into the abyss.William and Justine were assassinated, and the murdererescapes; he walks about the world free, and perhapsrespected. But even if I were condemned to suffer on thescaffold for the same crimes, I would not change placeswith such a wretch.’ I listened to this discourse with the extremest agony. I,not in deed, but in effect, was the true murderer. Elizabethread my anguish in my countenance, and kindly taking myhand, said, ‘My dearest friend, you must calm yourself.These events have affected me, God knows how deeply;but I am not so wretched as you are. There is anexpression of despair, and sometimes of revenge, in yourcountenance that makes me tremble. Dear Victor, banish 129 of 345
    • Frankensteinthese dark passions. Remember the friends around you,who centre all their hopes in you. Have we lost the powerof rendering you happy? Ah! While we love, while we aretrue to each other, here in this land of peace and beauty,your native country, we may reap every tranquilblessing— what can disturb our peace?’ And could not such words from her whom I fondlyprized before every other gift of fortune suffice to chaseaway the fiend that lurked in my heart? Even as she spokeI drew near to her, as if in terror, lest at that very momentthe destroyer had been near to rob me of her. Thus not the tenderness of friendship, nor the beauty ofearth, nor of heaven, could redeem my soul from woe; thevery accents of love were ineffectual. I was encompassedby a cloud which no beneficial influence could penetrate.The wounded deer dragging its fainting limbs to someuntrodden brake, there to gaze upon the arrow which hadpierced it, and to die, was but a type of me. Sometimes I could cope with the sullen despair thatoverwhelmed me, but sometimes the whirlwind passionsof my soul drove me to seek, by bodily exercise and bychange of place, some relief from my intolerablesensations. It was during an access of this kind that Isuddenly left my home, and bending my steps towards the 130 of 345
    • Frankensteinnear Alpine valleys, sought in the magnificence, theeternity of such scenes, to forget myself and myephemeral, because human, sorrows. My wanderings weredirected towards the valley of Chamounix. I had visited itfrequently during my boyhood. Six years had passed sincethen: I was a wreck, but nought had changed in thosesavage and enduring scenes. I performed the first part of my journey on horseback. Iafterwards hired a mule, as the more sure-footed and leastliable to receive injury on these rugged roads. Theweather was fine; it was about the middle of the month ofAugust, nearly two months after the death of Justine, thatmiserable epoch from which I dated all my woe. Theweight upon my spirit was sensibly lightened as I plungedyet deeper in the ravine of Arve. The immense mountainsand precipices that overhung me on every side, the soundof the river raging among the rocks, and the dashing of thewaterfalls around spoke of a power mighty asOmnipotence—and I ceased to fear or to bend before anybeing less almighty than that which had created and ruledthe elements, here displayed in their most terrific guise.Still, as I ascended higher, the valley assumed a moremagnificent and astonishing character. Ruined castleshanging on the precipices of piny mountains, the 131 of 345
    • Frankensteinimpetuous Arve, and cottages every here and therepeeping forth from among the trees formed a scene ofsingular beauty. But it was augmented and renderedsublime by the mighty Alps, whose white and shiningpyramids and domes towered above all, as belonging toanother earth, the habitations of another race of beings. I passed the bridge of Pelissier, where the ravine, whichthe river forms, opened before me, and I began to ascendthe mountain that overhangs it. Soon after, I entered thevalley of Chamounix. This valley is more wonderful andsublime, but not so beautiful and picturesque as that ofServox, through which I had just passed. The high andsnowy mountains were its immediate boundaries, but Isaw no more ruined castles and fertile fields. Immenseglaciers approached the road; I heard the rumblingthunder of the falling avalanche and marked the smoke ofits passage. Mont Blanc, the supreme and magnificentMont Blanc, raised itself from the surrounding aiguilles,and its tremendous dome overlooked the valley. A tingling long-lost sense of pleasure often came acrossme during this journey. Some turn in the road, some newobject suddenly perceived and recognized, reminded meof days gone by, and were associated with the lightheartedgaiety of boyhood. The very winds whispered in soothing 132 of 345
    • Frankensteinaccents, and maternal Nature bade me weep no more.Then again the kindly influence ceased to act— I foundmyself fettered again to grief and indulging in all themisery of reflection. Then I spurred on my animal, strivingso to forget the world, my fears, and more than all,myself—or, in a more desperate fashion, I alighted andthrew myself on the grass, weighed down by horror anddespair. At length I arrived at the village of Chamounix.Exhaustion succeeded to the extreme fatigue both of bodyand of mind which I had endured. For a short space oftime I remained at the window watching the pallidlightnings that played above Mont Blanc and listening tothe rushing of the Arve, which pursued its noisy waybeneath. The same lulling sounds acted as a lullaby to mytoo keen sensations; when I placed my head upon mypillow, sleep crept over me; I felt it as it came and blessedthe giver of oblivion. 133 of 345
    • Frankenstein Chapter 10 I spent the following day roaming through the valley. Istood beside the sources of the Arveiron, which take theirrise in a glacier, that with slow pace is advancing downfrom the summit of the hills to barricade the valley. Theabrupt sides of vast mountains were before me; the icywall of the glacier overhung me; a few shattered pineswere scattered around; and the solemn silence of thisglorious presence-chamber of imperial nature was brokenonly by the brawling waves or the fall of some vastfragment, the thunder sound of the avalanche or thecracking, reverberated along the mountains, of theaccumulated ice, which, through the silent working ofimmutable laws, was ever and anon rent and torn, as if ithad been but a plaything in their hands. These sublimeand magnificent scenes afforded me the greatestconsolation that I was capable of receiving. They elevatedme from all littleness of feeling, and although they did notremove my grief, they subdued and tranquillized it. Insome degree, also, they diverted my mind from thethoughts over which it had brooded for the last month. Iretired to rest at night; my slumbers, as it were, waited on 134 of 345
    • eBook brought to you by Create, view, and edit PDF. Download the free trial version.Frankensteinand ministered to by the assemblance of grand shapeswhich I had contemplated during the day. Theycongregated round me; the unstained snowy mountaintop,the glittering pinnacle, the pine woods, and ragged bareravine, the eagle, soaring amidst the clouds— they allgathered round me and bade me be at peace. Where had they fled when the next morning I awoke?All of soul- inspiriting fled with sleep, and darkmelancholy clouded every thought. The rain was pouringin torrents, and thick mists hid the summits of themountains, so that I even saw not the faces of thosemighty friends. Still I would penetrate their misty veil andseek them in their cloudy retreats. What were rain andstorm to me? My mule was brought to the door, and Iresolved to ascend to the summit of Montanvert. Iremembered the effect that the view of the tremendousand ever-moving glacier had produced upon my mindwhen I first saw it. It had then filled me with a sublimeecstasy that gave wings to the soul and allowed it to soarfrom the obscure world to light and joy. The sight of theawful and majestic in nature had indeed always the effectof solemnizing my mind and causing me to forget thepassing cares of life. I determined to go without a guide,for I was well acquainted with the path, and the presence 135 of 345
    • Frankensteinof another would destroy the solitary grandeur of thescene. The ascent is precipitous, but the path is cut intocontinual and short windings, which enable you tosurmount the perpendicularity of the mountain. It is ascene terrifically desolate. In a thousand spots the traces ofthe winter avalanche may be perceived, where trees liebroken and strewed on the ground, some entirelydestroyed, others bent, leaning upon the jutting rocks ofthe mountain or transversely upon other trees. The path,as you ascend nigher, is intersected by ravines of snow,down which stones continually roll from above; one ofthem is particularly dangerous, as the slightest sound, suchas even speaking in a loud voice, produces a concussion ofair sufficient to draw destruction upon the head of thespeaker. The pines are not tall or luxuriant, but they aresombre and add an air of severity to the scene. I looked onthe valley beneath; vast mists were rising from the riverswhich ran through it and curling in thick wreaths aroundthe opposite mountains, whose summits were hid in theuniform clouds, while rain poured from the dark sky andadded to the melancholy impression I received from theobjects around me. Alas! Why does man boast ofsensibilities superior to those apparent in the brute; it only 136 of 345
    • Frankensteinrenders them more necessary beings. If our impulses wereconfined to hunger, thirst, and desire, we might be nearlyfree; but now we are moved by every wind that blows anda chance word or scene that that word may convey to us.We rest; a dream has power to poison sleep.We rise; one wand’ring thought pollutes the day.We feel, conceive, or reason; laugh or weep,Embrace fond woe, or cast our cares away;It is the same: for, be it joy or sorrow,The path of its departure still is free.Man’s yesterday may ne’er be like his morrow;Nought may endure but mutability! It was nearly noon when I arrived at the top of theascent. For some time I sat upon the rock that overlooksthe sea of ice. A mist covered both that and thesurrounding mountains. Presently a breeze dissipated thecloud, and I descended upon the glacier. The surface isvery uneven, rising like the waves of a troubled sea,descending low, and interspersed by rifts that sink deep.The field of ice is almost a league in width, but I spentnearly two hours in crossing it. The opposite mountain isa bare perpendicular rock. From the side where I nowstood Montanvert was exactly opposite, at the distance of aleague; and above it rose Mont Blanc, in awful majesty. Iremained in a recess of the rock, gazing on this wonderful 137 of 345
    • Frankensteinand stupendous scene. The sea, or rather the vast river ofice, wound among its dependent mountains, whose aerialsummits hung over its recesses. Their icy and glitteringpeaks shone in the sunlight over the clouds. My heart,which was before sorrowful, now swelled with somethinglike joy; I exclaimed, ‘Wandering spirits, if indeed yewander, and do not rest in your narrow beds, allow methis faint happiness, or take me, as your companion, awayfrom the joys of life.’ As I said this I suddenly beheld the figure of a man, atsome distance, advancing towards me with superhumanspeed. He bounded over the crevices in the ice, amongwhich I had walked with caution; his stature, also, as heapproached, seemed to exceed that of man. I was troubled;a mist came over my eyes, and I felt a faintness seize me,but I was quickly restored by the cold gale of themountains. I perceived, as the shape came nearer (sighttremendous and abhorred!) that it was the wretch whom Ihad created. I trembled with rage and horror, resolving towait his approach and then close with him in mortalcombat. He approached; his countenance bespoke bitteranguish, combined with disdain and malignity, while itsunearthly ugliness rendered it almost too horrible forhuman eyes. But I scarcely observed this; rage and hatred 138 of 345
    • Frankensteinhad at first deprived me of utterance, and I recovered onlyto overwhelm him with words expressive of furiousdetestation and contempt. ‘Devil,’ I exclaimed, ‘do you dare approach me? Anddo not you fear the fierce vengeance of my arm wreakedon your miserable head? Begone, vile insect! Or rather,stay, that I may trample you to dust! And, oh! That Icould, with the extinction of your miserable existence,restore those victims whom you have so diabolicallymurdered!’ ‘I expected this reception,’ said the daemon. ‘All menhate the wretched; how, then, must I be hated, who ammiserable beyond all living things! Yet you, my creator,detest and spurn me, thy creature, to whom thou artbound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation of one ofus. You purpose to kill me. How dare you sport thus withlife? Do your duty towards me, and I will do minetowards you and the rest of mankind. If you will complywith my conditions, I will leave them and you at peace;but if you refuse, I will glut the maw of death, until it besatiated with the blood of your remaining friends.’ ‘Abhorred monster! Fiend that thou art! The tortures ofhell are too mild a vengeance for thy crimes. Wretcheddevil! You reproach me with your creation, come on, 139 of 345
    • Frankensteinthen, that I may extinguish the spark which I sonegligently bestowed.’ My rage was without bounds; I sprang on him,impelled by all the feelings which can arm one beingagainst the existence of another. He easily eluded me and said— ‘Be calm! I entreat you to hear me before you give ventto your hatred on my devoted head. Have I not sufferedenough, that you seek to increase my misery? Life,although it may only be an accumulation of anguish, isdear to me, and I will defend it. Remember, thou hastmade me more powerful than thyself; my height issuperior to thine, my joints more supple. But I will not betempted to set myself in opposition to thee. I am thycreature, and I will be even mild and docile to my naturallord and king if thou wilt also perform thy part, the whichthou owest me. Oh, Frankenstein, be not equitable toevery other and trample upon me alone, to whom thyjustice, and even thy clemency and affection, is most due.Remember that I am thy creature; I ought to be thyAdam, but I am rather the fallen angel, whom thou drivestfrom joy for no misdeed. Everywhere I see bliss, fromwhich I alone am irrevocably excluded. I was benevolent 140 of 345
    • Frankensteinand good; misery made me a fiend. Make me happy, and Ishall again be virtuous.’ ‘Begone! I will not hear you. There can be nocommunity between you and me; we are enemies.Begone, or let us try our strength in a fight, in which onemust fall.’ ‘How can I move thee? Will no entreaties cause thee toturn a favourable eye upon thy creature, who implores thygoodness and compassion? Believe me, Frankenstein, I wasbenevolent; my soul glowed with love and humanity; butam I not alone, miserably alone? You, my creator, abhorme; what hope can I gather from your fellow creatures,who owe me nothing? They spurn and hate me. Thedesert mountains and dreary glaciers are my refuge. I havewandered here many days; the caves of ice, which I onlydo not fear, are a dwelling to me, and the only one whichman does not grudge. These bleak skies I hail, for they arekinder to me than your fellow beings. If the multitude ofmankind knew of my existence, they would do as you do,and arm themselves for my destruction. Shall I not thenhate them who abhor me? I will keep no terms with myenemies. I am miserable, and they shall share mywretchedness. Yet it is in your power to recompense me,and deliver them from an evil which it only remains for 141 of 345
    • Frankensteinyou to make so great, that not only you and your family,but thousands of others, shall be swallowed up in thewhirlwinds of its rage. Let your compassion be moved,and do not disdain me. Listen to my tale; when you haveheard that, abandon or commiserate me, as you shall judgethat I deserve. But hear me. The guilty are allowed, byhuman laws, bloody as they are, to speak in their owndefence before they are condemned. Listen to me,Frankenstein. You accuse me of murder, and yet youwould, with a satisfied conscience, destroy your owncreature. Oh, praise the eternal justice of man! Yet I askyou not to spare me; listen to me, and then, if you can,and if you will, destroy the work of your hands.’ ‘Why do you call to my remembrance,’ I rejoined,‘circumstances of which I shudder to reflect, that I havebeen the miserable origin and author? Cursed be the day,abhorred devil, in which you first saw light! Cursed(although I curse myself) be the hands that formed you!You have made me wretched beyond expression. Youhave left me no power to consider whether I am just toyou or not. Begone! Relieve me from the sight of yourdetested form.’ ‘Thus I relieve thee, my creator,’ he said, and placed hishated hands before my eyes, which I flung from me with 142 of 345
    • Frankensteinviolence; ‘thus I take from thee a sight which you abhor.Still thou canst listen to me and grant me thy compassion.By the virtues that I once possessed, I demand this fromyou. Hear my tale; it is long and strange, and thetemperature of this place is not fitting to your finesensations; come to the hut upon the mountain. The sunis yet high in the heavens; before it descends to hide itselfbehind your snowy precipices and illuminate anotherworld, you will have heard my story and can decide. Onyou it rests, whether I quit forever the neighbourhood ofman and lead a harmless life, or become the scourge ofyour fellow creatures and the author of your own speedyruin.’ As he said this he led the way across the ice; I followed.My heart was full, and I did not answer him, but as Iproceeded, I weighed the various arguments that he hadused and determined at least to listen to his tale. I waspartly urged by curiosity, and compassion confirmed myresolution. I had hitherto supposed him to be themurderer of my brother, and I eagerly sought aconfirmation or denial of this opinion. For the first time,also, I felt what the duties of a creator towards his creaturewere, and that I ought to render him happy before Icomplained of his wickedness. These motives urged me to 143 of 345
    • Frankensteincomply with his demand. We crossed the ice, therefore,and ascended the opposite rock. The air was cold, and therain again began to descend; we entered the hut, the fiendwith an air of exultation, I with a heavy heart anddepressed spirits. But I consented to listen, and seatingmyself by the fire which my odious companion hadlighted, he thus began his tale. 144 of 345
    • Frankenstein Chapter 11 ‘It is with considerable difficulty that I remember theoriginal era of my being; all the events of that periodappear confused and indistinct. A strange multiplicity ofsensations seized me, and I saw, felt, heard, and smelt atthe same time; and it was, indeed, a long time before Ilearned to distinguish between the operations of myvarious senses. By degrees, I remember, a stronger lightpressed upon my nerves, so that I was obliged to shut myeyes. Darkness then came over me and troubled me, buthardly had I felt this when, by opening my eyes, as I nowsuppose, the light poured in upon me again. I walked and,I believe, descended, but I presently found a greatalteration in my sensations. Before, dark and opaquebodies had surrounded me, impervious to my touch orsight; but I now found that I could wander on at liberty,with no obstacles which I could not either surmount oravoid. The light became more and more oppressive to me,and the heat wearying me as I walked, I sought a placewhere I could receive shade. This was the forest nearIngolstadt; and here I lay by the side of a brook restingfrom my fatigue, until I felt tormented by hunger and 145 of 345
    • Frankensteinthirst. This roused me from my nearly dormant state, and Iate some berries which I found hanging on the trees orlying on the ground. I slaked my thirst at the brook, andthen lying down, was overcome by sleep. ‘It was dark when I awoke; I felt cold also, and halffrightened, as it were, instinctively, finding myself sodesolate. Before I had quitted your apartment, on asensation of cold, I had covered myself with some clothes,but these were insufficient to secure me from the dews ofnight. I was a poor, helpless, miserable wretch; I knew,and could distinguish, nothing; but feeling pain invade meon all sides, I sat down and wept. ‘Soon a gentle light stole over the heavens and gave mea sensation of pleasure. I started up and beheld a radiantform rise from among the trees.* [*The moon] I gazedwith a kind of wonder. It moved slowly, but itenlightened my path, and I again went out in search ofberries. I was still cold when under one of the trees Ifound a huge cloak, with which I covered myself, and satdown upon the ground. No distinct ideas occupied mymind; all was confused. I felt light, and hunger, and thirst,and darkness; innumerable sounds rang in my ears, and onall sides various scents saluted me; the only object that I 146 of 345
    • eBook brought to you by Create, view, and edit PDF. Download the free trial version.Frankensteincould distinguish was the bright moon, and I fixed myeyes on that with pleasure. ‘Several changes of day and night passed, and the orb ofnight had greatly lessened, when I began to distinguish mysensations from each other. I gradually saw plainly theclear stream that supplied me with drink and the trees thatshaded me with their foliage. I was delighted when I firstdiscovered that a pleasant sound, which often saluted myears, proceeded from the throats of the little wingedanimals who had often intercepted the light from my eyes.I began also to observe, with greater accuracy, the formsthat surrounded me and to perceive the boundaries of theradiant roof of light which canopied me. Sometimes Itried to imitate the pleasant songs of the birds but wasunable. Sometimes I wished to express my sensations inmy own mode, but the uncouth and inarticulate soundswhich broke from me frightened me into silence again. ‘The moon had disappeared from the night, and again,with a lessened form, showed itself, while I still remainedin the forest. My sensations had by this time becomedistinct, and my mind received every day additional ideas.My eyes became accustomed to the light and to perceiveobjects in their right forms; I distinguished the insect fromthe herb, and by degrees, one herb from another. I found 147 of 345
    • Frankensteinthat the sparrow uttered none but harsh notes, whilst thoseof the blackbird and thrush were sweet and enticing. ‘One day, when I was oppressed by cold, I found a firewhich had been left by some wandering beggars, and wasovercome with delight at the warmth I experienced fromit. In my joy I thrust my hand into the live embers, butquickly drew it out again with a cry of pain. How strange,I thought, that the same cause should produce suchopposite effects! I examined the materials of the fire, andto my joy found it to be composed of wood. I quicklycollected some branches, but they were wet and wouldnot burn. I was pained at this and sat still watching theoperation of the fire. The wet wood which I had placednear the heat dried and itself became inflamed. I reflectedon this, and by touching the various branches, I discoveredthe cause and busied myself in collecting a great quantityof wood, that I might dry it and have a plentiful supply offire. When night came on and brought sleep with it, I wasin the greatest fear lest my fire should be extinguished. Icovered it carefully with dry wood and leaves and placedwet branches upon it; and then, spreading my cloak, I layon the ground and sank into sleep. ‘It was morning when I awoke, and my first care was tovisit the fire. I uncovered it, and a gentle breeze quickly 148 of 345
    • Frankensteinfanned it into a flame. I observed this also and contrived afan of branches, which roused the embers when they werenearly extinguished. When night came again I found, withpleasure, that the fire gave light as well as heat and that thediscovery of this element was useful to me in my food, forI found some of the offals that the travellers had left hadbeen roasted, and tasted much more savoury than theberries I gathered from the trees. I tried, therefore, to dressmy food in the same manner, placing it on the liveembers. I found that the berries were spoiled by thisoperation, and the nuts and roots much improved. ‘Food, however, became scarce, and I often spent thewhole day searching in vain for a few acorns to assuage thepangs of hunger. When I found this, I resolved to quit theplace that I had hitherto inhabited, to seek for one wherethe few wants I experienced would be more easilysatisfied. In this emigration I exceedingly lamented the lossof the fire which I had obtained through accident andknew not how to reproduce it. I gave several hours to theserious consideration of this difficulty, but I was obliged torelinquish all attempt to supply it, and wrapping myself upin my cloak, I struck across the wood towards the settingsun. I passed three days in these rambles and at lengthdiscovered the open country. A great fall of snow had 149 of 345
    • Frankensteintaken place the night before, and the fields were of oneuniform white; the appearance was disconsolate, and Ifound my feet chilled by the cold damp substance thatcovered the ground. ‘It was about seven in the morning, and I longed toobtain food and shelter; at length I perceived a small hut,on a rising ground, which had doubtless been built for theconvenience of some shepherd. This was a new sight tome, and I examined the structure with great curiosity.Finding the door open, I entered. An old man sat in it,near a fire, over which he was preparing his breakfast. Heturned on hearing a noise, and perceiving me, shriekedloudly, and quitting the hut, ran across the fields with aspeed of which his debilitated form hardly appearedcapable. His appearance, different from any I had everbefore seen, and his flight somewhat surprised me. But Iwas enchanted by the appearance of the hut; here thesnow and rain could not penetrate; the ground was dry;and it presented to me then as exquisite and divine aretreat as Pandemonium appeared to the demons of hellafter their sufferings in the lake of fire. I greedily devouredthe remnants of the shepherd’s breakfast, which consistedof bread, cheese, milk, and wine; the latter, however, I did 150 of 345
    • Frankensteinnot like. Then, overcome by fatigue, I lay down amongsome straw and fell asleep. ‘It was noon when I awoke, and allured by the warmthof the sun, which shone brightly on the white ground, Idetermined to recommence my travels; and, depositing theremains of the peasant’s breakfast in a wallet I found, Iproceeded across the fields for several hours, until at sunsetI arrived at a village. How miraculous did this appear! thehuts, the neater cottages, and stately houses engaged myadmiration by turns. The vegetables in the gardens, themilk and cheese that I saw placed at the windows of someof the cottages, allured my appetite. One of the best ofthese I entered, but I had hardly placed my foot within thedoor before the children shrieked, and one of the womenfainted. The whole village was roused; some fled, someattacked me, until, grievously bruised by stones and manyother kinds of missile weapons, I escaped to the opencountry and fearfully took refuge in a low hovel, quitebare, and making a wretched appearance after the palaces Ihad beheld in the village. This hovel however, joined acottage of a neat and pleasant appearance, but after my latedearly bought experience, I dared not enter it. My place ofrefuge was constructed of wood, but so low that I couldwith difficulty sit upright in it. No wood, however, was 151 of 345
    • Frankensteinplaced on the earth, which formed the floor, but it wasdry; and although the wind entered it by innumerablechinks, I found it an agreeable asylum from the snow andrain. ‘Here, then, I retreated and lay down happy to havefound a shelter, however miserable, from the inclemencyof the season, and still more from the barbarity of man. Assoon as morning dawned I crept from my kennel, that Imight view the adjacent cottage and discover if I couldremain in the habitation I had found. It was situatedagainst the back of the cottage and surrounded on the sideswhich were exposed by a pig sty and a clear pool of water.One part was open, and by that I had crept in; but now Icovered every crevice by which I might be perceived withstones and wood, yet in such a manner that I might movethem on occasion to pass out; all the light I enjoyed camethrough the sty, and that was sufficient for me. ‘Having thus arranged my dwelling and carpeted it withclean straw, I retired, for I saw the figure of a man at adistance, and I remembered too well my treatment thenight before to trust myself in his power. I had first,however, provided for my sustenance for that day by a loafof coarse bread, which I purloined, and a cup with whichI could drink more conveniently than from my hand of 152 of 345
    • Frankensteinthe pure water which flowed by my retreat. The floor wasa little raised, so that it was kept perfectly dry, and by itsvicinity to the chimney of the cottage it was tolerablywarm. ‘Being thus provided, I resolved to reside in this hoveluntil something should occur which might alter mydetermination. It was indeed a paradise compared to thebleak forest, my former residence, the rain-droppingbranches, and dank earth. I ate my breakfast with pleasureand was about to remove a plank to procure myself a littlewater when I heard a step, and looking through a smallchink, I beheld a young creature, with a pail on her head,passing before my hovel. The girl was young and of gentledemeanour, unlike what I have since found cottagers andfarmhouse servants to be. Yet she was meanly dressed, acoarse blue petticoat and a linen jacket being her onlygarb; her fair hair was plaited but not adorned: she lookedpatient yet sad. I lost sight of her, and in about a quarter ofan hour she returned bearing the pail, which was nowpartly filled with milk. As she walked along, seeminglyincommoded by the burden, a young man met her, whosecountenance expressed a deeper despondence. Uttering afew sounds with an air of melancholy, he took the pailfrom her head and bore it to the cottage himself. She 153 of 345
    • Frankensteinfollowed, and they disappeared. Presently I saw the youngman again, with some tools in his hand, cross the fieldbehind the cottage; and the girl was also busied, sometimesin the house and sometimes in the yard. ‘On examining my dwelling, I found that one of thewindows of the cottage had formerly occupied a part of it,but the panes had been filled up with wood. In one ofthese was a small and almost imperceptible chink throughwhich the eye could just penetrate. Through this crevice asmall room was visible, whitewashed and clean but verybare of furniture. In one corner, near a small fire, sat anold man, leaning his head on his hands in a disconsolateattitude. The young girl was occupied in arranging thecottage; but presently she took something out of a drawer,which employed her hands, and she sat down beside theold man, who, taking up an instrument, began to play andto produce sounds sweeter than the voice of the thrush orthe nightingale. It was a lovely sight, even to me, poorwretch who had never beheld aught beautiful before. Thesilver hair and benevolent countenance of the agedcottager won my reverence, while the gentle manners ofthe girl enticed my love. He played a sweet mournful airwhich I perceived drew tears from the eyes of his amiablecompanion, of which the old man took no notice, until 154 of 345
    • Frankensteinshe sobbed audibly; he then pronounced a few sounds, andthe fair creature, leaving her work, knelt at his feet. Heraised her and smiled with such kindness and affection thatI felt sensations of a peculiar and overpowering nature;they were a mixture of pain and pleasure, such as I hadnever before experienced, either from hunger or cold,warmth or food; and I withdrew from the window,unable to bear these emotions. ‘Soon after this the young man returned, bearing on hisshoulders a load of wood. The girl met him at the door,helped to relieve him of his burden, and taking some ofthe fuel into the cottage, placed it on the fire; then she andthe youth went apart into a nook of the cottage, and heshowed her a large loaf and a piece of cheese. She seemedpleased and went into the garden for some roots andplants, which she placed in water, and then upon the fire.She afterwards continued her work, whilst the young manwent into the garden and appeared busily employed indigging and pulling up roots. After he had been employedthus about an hour, the young woman joined him andthey entered the cottage together. ‘The old man had, in the meantime, been pensive, buton the appearance of his companions he assumed a morecheerful air, and they sat down to eat. The meal was 155 of 345
    • Frankensteinquickly dispatched. The young woman was againoccupied in arranging the cottage, the old man walkedbefore the cottage in the sun for a few minutes, leaning onthe arm of the youth. Nothing could exceed in beauty thecontrast between these two excellent creatures. One wasold, with silver hairs and a countenance beaming withbenevolence and love; the younger was slight and gracefulin his figure, and his features were moulded with the finestsymmetry, yet his eyes and attitude expressed the utmostsadness and despondency. The old man returned to thecottage, and the youth, with tools different from those hehad used in the morning, directed his steps across thefields. ‘Night quickly shut in, but to my extreme wonder, Ifound that the cottagers had a means of prolonging lightby the use of tapers, and was delighted to find that thesetting of the sun did not put an end to the pleasure Iexperienced in watching my human neighbours. In theevening the young girl and her companion wereemployed in various occupations which I did notunderstand; and the old man again took up the instrumentwhich produced the divine sounds that had enchanted mein the morning. So soon as he had finished, the youthbegan, not to play, but to utter sounds that were 156 of 345
    • Frankensteinmonotonous, and neither resembling the harmony of theold man’s instrument nor the songs of the birds; I sincefound that he read aloud, but at that time I knew nothingof the science of words or letters. ‘The family, after having been thus occupied for a shorttime, extinguished their lights and retired, as Iconjectured, to rest.’ 157 of 345
    • Frankenstein Chapter 12 ‘I lay on my straw, but I could not sleep. I thought ofthe occurrences of the day. What chiefly struck me wasthe gentle manners of these people, and I longed to jointhem, but dared not. I remembered too well the treatmentI had suffered the night before from the barbarousvillagers, and resolved, whatever course of conduct Imight hereafter think it right to pursue, that for thepresent I would remain quietly in my hovel, watching andendeavouring to discover the motives which influencedtheir actions. ‘The cottagers arose the next morning before the sun.The young woman arranged the cottage and prepared thefood, and the youth departed after the first meal. ‘This day was passed in the same routine as that whichpreceded it. The young man was constantly employed outof doors, and the girl in various laborious occupationswithin. The old man, whom I soon perceived to be blind,employed his leisure hours on his instrument or incontemplation. Nothing could exceed the love and respectwhich the younger cottagers exhibited towards theirvenerable companion. They performed towards him every 158 of 345
    • eBook brought to you by Create, view, and edit PDF. Download the free trial version.Frankensteinlittle office of affection and duty with gentleness, and herewarded them by his benevolent smiles. ‘They were not entirely happy. The young man and hiscompanion often went apart and appeared to weep. I sawno cause for their unhappiness, but I was deeply affectedby it. If such lovely creatures were miserable, it was lessstrange that I, an imperfect and solitary being, should bewretched. Yet why were these gentle beings unhappy?They possessed a delightful house (for such it was in myeyes) and every luxury; they had a fire to warm themwhen chill and delicious viands when hungry; they weredressed in excellent clothes; and, still more, they enjoyedone another’s company and speech, interchanging eachday looks of affection and kindness. What did their tearsimply? Did they really express pain? I was at first unable tosolve these questions, but perpetual attention and timeexplained to me many appearances which were at firstenigmatic. ‘A considerable period elapsed before I discovered oneof the causes of the uneasiness of this amiable family: it waspoverty, and they suffered that evil in a very distressingdegree. Their nourishment consisted entirely of thevegetables of their garden and the milk of one cow, whichgave very little during the winter, when its masters could 159 of 345
    • Frankensteinscarcely procure food to support it. They often, I believe,suffered the pangs of hunger very poignantly, especiallythe two younger cottagers, for several times they placedfood before the old man when they reserved none forthemselves. ‘This trait of kindness moved me sensibly. I had beenaccustomed, during the night, to steal a part of their storefor my own consumption, but when I found that in doingthis I inflicted pain on the cottagers, I abstained andsatisfied myself with berries, nuts, and roots which Igathered from a neighbouring wood. ‘I discovered also another means through which I wasenabled to assist their labours. I found that the youth spenta great part of each day in collecting wood for the familyfire, and during the night I often took his tools, the use ofwhich I quickly discovered, and brought home firingsufficient for the consumption of several days. ‘I remember, the first time that I did this, the youngwoman, when she opened the door in the morning,appeared greatly astonished on seeing a great pile of woodon the outside. She uttered some words in a loud voice,and the youth joined her, who also expressed surprise. Iobserved, with pleasure, that he did not go to the forest 160 of 345
    • Frankensteinthat day, but spent it in repairing the cottage andcultivating the garden. ‘By degrees I made a discovery of still greater moment.I found that these people possessed a method ofcommunicating their experience and feelings to oneanother by articulate sounds. I perceived that the wordsthey spoke sometimes produced pleasure or pain, smiles orsadness, in the minds and countenances of the hearers.This was indeed a godlike science, and I ardently desiredto become acquainted with it. But I was baffled in everyattempt I made for this purpose. Their pronunciation wasquick, and the words they uttered, not having anyapparent connection with visible objects, I was unable todiscover any clue by which I could unravel the mystery oftheir reference. By great application, however, and afterhaving remained during the space of several revolutions ofthe moon in my hovel, I discovered the names that weregiven to some of the most familiar objects of discourse; Ilearned and applied the words, ‘fire,’ ‘milk,’ ‘bread,’ and‘wood.’ I learned also the names of the cottagersthemselves. The youth and his companion had each ofthem several names, but the old man had only one, whichwas ‘father.’ The girl was called ‘sister’ or ‘Agatha,’ and theyouth ‘Felix,’ ‘brother,’ or ‘son.’ I cannot describe the 161 of 345
    • Frankensteindelight I felt when I learned the ideas appropriated to eachof these sounds and was able to pronounce them. Idistinguished several other words without being able as yetto understand or apply them, such as ‘good,’ ‘dearest,’unhappy. ‘I spent the winter in this manner. The gentle mannersand beauty of the cottagers greatly endeared them to me;when they were unhappy, I felt depressed; when theyrejoiced, I sympathized in their joys. I saw few humanbeings besides them, and if any other happened to enterthe cottage, their harsh manners and rude gait onlyenhanced to me the superior accomplishments of myfriends. The old man, I could perceive, often endeavouredto encourage his children, as sometimes I found that hecalled them, to cast off their melancholy. He would talk ina cheerful accent, with an expression of goodness thatbestowed pleasure even upon me. Agatha listened withrespect, her eyes sometimes filled with tears, which sheendeavoured to wipe away unperceived; but I generallyfound that her countenance and tone were more cheerfulafter having listened to the exhortations of her father. Itwas not thus with Felix. He was always the saddest of thegroup, and even to my unpractised senses, he appeared tohave suffered more deeply than his friends. But if his 162 of 345
    • Frankensteincountenance was more sorrowful, his voice was morecheerful than that of his sister, especially when headdressed the old man. ‘I could mention innumerable instances which,although slight, marked the dispositions of these amiablecottagers. In the midst of poverty and want, Felix carriedwith pleasure to his sister the first little white flower thatpeeped out from beneath the snowy ground. Early in themorning, before she had risen, he cleared away the snowthat obstructed her path to the milk-house, drew waterfrom the well, and brought the wood from the outhouse,where, to his perpetual astonishment, he found his storealways replenished by an invisible hand. In the day, Ibelieve, he worked sometimes for a neighbouring farmer,because he often went forth and did not return untildinner, yet brought no wood with him. At other times heworked in the garden, but as there was little to do in thefrosty season, he read to the old man and Agatha. ‘This reading had puzzled me extremely at first, but bydegrees I discovered that he uttered many of the samesounds when he read as when he talked. I conjectured,therefore, that he found on the paper signs for speechwhich he understood, and I ardently longed tocomprehend these also; but how was that possible when I 163 of 345
    • Frankensteindid not even understand the sounds for which they stoodas signs? I improved, however, sensibly in this science, butnot sufficiently to follow up any kind of conversation,although I applied my whole mind to the endeavour, for Ieasily perceived that, although I eagerly longed to discovermyself to the cottagers, I ought not to make the attemptuntil I had first become master of their language, whichknowledge might enable me to make them overlook thedeformity of my figure, for with this also the contrastperpetually presented to my eyes had made me acquainted. ‘I had admired the perfect forms of my cottagers—theirgrace, beauty, and delicate complexions; but how was Iterrified when I viewed myself in a transparent pool! Atfirst I started back, unable to believe that it was indeed Iwho was reflected in the mirror; and when I became fullyconvinced that I was in reality the monster that I am, Iwas filled with the bitterest sensations of despondence andmortification. Alas! I did not yet entirely know the fataleffects of this miserable deformity. ‘As the sun became warmer and the light of day longer,the snow vanished, and I beheld the bare trees and theblack earth. From this time Felix was more employed, andthe heart-moving indications of impending faminedisappeared. Their food, as I afterwards found, was coarse, 164 of 345
    • Frankensteinbut it was wholesome; and they procured a sufficiency ofit. Several new kinds of plants sprang up in the garden,which they dressed; and these signs of comfort increaseddaily as the season advanced. ‘The old man, leaning on his son, walked each day atnoon, when it did not rain, as I found it was called whenthe heavens poured forth its waters. This frequently tookplace, but a high wind quickly dried the earth, and theseason became far more pleasant than it had been. ‘My mode of life in my hovel was uniform. During themorning I attended the motions of the cottagers, andwhen they were dispersed in various occupations, I slept;the remainder of the day was spent in observing myfriends. When they had retired to rest, if there was anymoon or the night was star-light, I went into the woodsand collected my own food and fuel for the cottage.When I returned, as often as it was necessary, I clearedtheir path from the snow and performed those offices thatI had seen done by Felix. I afterwards found that theselabours, performed by an invisible hand, greatly astonishedthem; and once or twice I heard them, on these occasions,utter the words ‘good spirit,’ ‘wonderful’; but I did notthen understand the signification of these terms. 165 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘My thoughts now became more active, and I longedto discover the motives and feelings of these lovelycreatures; I was inquisitive to know why Felix appeared somiserable and Agatha so sad. I thought (foolish wretch!)that it might be in my power to restore happiness to thesedeserving people. When I slept or was absent, the forms ofthe venerable blind father, the gentle Agatha, and theexcellent Felix flitted before me. I looked upon them assuperior beings who would be the arbiters of my futuredestiny. I formed in my imagination a thousand pictures ofpresenting myself to them, and their reception of me. Iimagined that they would be disgusted, until, by my gentledemeanour and conciliating words, I should first win theirfavour and afterwards their love. ‘These thoughts exhilarated me and led me to applywith fresh ardour to the acquiring the art of language. Myorgans were indeed harsh, but supple; and although myvoice was very unlike the soft music of their tones, yet Ipronounced such words as I understood with tolerableease. It was as the ass and the lap-dog; yet surely the gentleass whose intentions were affectionate, although hismanners were rude, deserved better treatment than blowsand execration. 166 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘The pleasant showers and genial warmth of springgreatly altered the aspect of the earth. Men who beforethis change seemed to have been hid in caves dispersedthemselves and were employed in various arts ofcultivation. The birds sang in more cheerful notes, and theleaves began to bud forth on the trees. Happy, happyearth! Fit habitation for gods, which, so short a timebefore, was bleak, damp, and unwholesome. My spiritswere elevated by the enchanting appearance of nature; thepast was blotted from my memory, the present wastranquil, and the future gilded by bright rays of hope andanticipations of joy.’ 167 of 345
    • Frankenstein Chapter 13 ‘I now hasten to the more moving part of my story. Ishall relate events that impressed me with feelings which,from what I had been, have made me what I am. ‘Spring advanced rapidly; the weather became fine andthe skies cloudless. It surprised me that what before wasdesert and gloomy should now bloom with the mostbeautiful flowers and verdure. My senses were gratifiedand refreshed by a thousand scents of delight and athousand sights of beauty. ‘It was on one of these days, when my cottagersperiodically rested from labour—the old man played onhis guitar, and the children listened to him—that Iobserved the countenance of Felix was melancholybeyond expression; he sighed frequently, and once hisfather paused in his music, and I conjectured by hismanner that he inquired the cause of his son’s sorrow.Felix replied in a cheerful accent, and the old man wasrecommencing his music when someone tapped at thedoor. ‘It was a lady on horseback, accompanied by a country-man as a guide. The lady was dressed in a dark suit and 168 of 345
    • Frankensteincovered with a thick black veil. Agatha asked a question,to which the stranger only replied by pronouncing, in asweet accent, the name of Felix. Her voice was musicalbut unlike that of either of my friends. On hearing thisword, Felix came up hastily to the lady, who, when shesaw him, threw up her veil, and I beheld a countenance ofangelic beauty and expression. Her hair of a shining ravenblack, and curiously braided; her eyes were dark, butgentle, although animated; her features of a regularproportion, and her complexion wondrously fair, eachcheek tinged with a lovely pink. ‘Felix seemed ravished with delight when he saw her,every trait of sorrow vanished from his face, and itinstantly expressed a degree of ecstatic joy, of which Icould hardly have believed it capable; his eyes sparkled, ashis cheek flushed with pleasure; and at that moment Ithought him as beautiful as the stranger. She appearedaffected by different feelings; wiping a few tears from herlovely eyes, she held out her hand to Felix, who kissed itrapturously and called her, as well as I could distinguish,his sweet Arabian. She did not appear to understand him,but smiled. He assisted her to dismount, and dismissing herguide, conducted her into the cottage. Some conversationtook place between him and his father, and the young 169 of 345
    • Frankensteinstranger knelt at the old man’s feet and would have kissedhis hand, but he raised her and embraced heraffectionately. ‘I soon perceived that although the stranger utteredarticulate sounds and appeared to have a language of herown, she was neither understood by nor herselfunderstood the cottagers. They made many signs which Idid not comprehend, but I saw that her presence diffusedgladness through the cottage, dispelling their sorrow as thesun dissipates the morning mists. Felix seemed peculiarlyhappy and with smiles of delight welcomed his Arabian.Agatha, the ever-gentle Agatha, kissed the hands of thelovely stranger, and pointing to her brother, made signswhich appeared to me to mean that he had been sorrowfuluntil she came. Some hours passed thus, while they, bytheir countenances, expressed joy, the cause of which I didnot comprehend. Presently I found, by the frequentrecurrence of some sound which the stranger repeatedafter them, that she was endeavouring to learn theirlanguage; and the idea instantly occurred to me that Ishould make use of the same instructions to the same end.The stranger learned about twenty words at the firstlesson; most of them, indeed, were those which I hadbefore understood, but I profited by the others. 170 of 345
    • eBook brought to you by Create, view, and edit PDF. Download the free trial version.Frankenstein ‘As night came on, Agatha and the Arabian retiredearly. When they separated Felix kissed the hand of thestranger and said, ‘Good night sweet Safie.’ He sat upmuch longer, conversing with his father, and by thefrequent repetition of her name I conjectured that theirlovely guest was the subject of their conversation. Iardently desired to understand them, and bent everyfaculty towards that purpose, but found it utterlyimpossible. ‘The next morning Felix went out to his work, andafter the usual occupations of Agatha were finished, theArabian sat at the feet of the old man, and taking hisguitar, played some airs so entrancingly beautiful that theyat once drew tears of sorrow and delight from my eyes.She sang, and her voice flowed in a rich cadence, swellingor dying away like a nightingale of the woods. ‘When she had finished, she gave the guitar to Agatha,who at first declined it. She played a simple air, and hervoice accompanied it in sweet accents, but unlike thewondrous strain of the stranger. The old man appearedenraptured and said some words which Agathaendeavoured to explain to Safie, and by which heappeared to wish to express that she bestowed on him thegreatest delight by her music. 171 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘The days now passed as peaceably as before, with thesole alteration that joy had taken place of sadness in thecountenances of my friends. Safie was always gay andhappy; she and I improved rapidly in the knowledge oflanguage, so that in two months I began to comprehendmost of the words uttered by my protectors. ‘In the meanwhile also the black ground was coveredwith herbage, and the green banks interspersed withinnumerable flowers, sweet to the scent and the eyes, starsof pale radiance among the moonlight woods; the sunbecame warmer, the nights clear and balmy; and mynocturnal rambles were an extreme pleasure to me,although they were considerably shortened by the latesetting and early rising of the sun, for I never venturedabroad during daylight, fearful of meeting with the sametreatment I had formerly endured in the first village whichI entered. ‘My days were spent in close attention, that I mightmore speedily master the language; and I may boast that Iimproved more rapidly than the Arabian, who understoodvery little and conversed in broken accents, whilst Icomprehended and could imitate almost every word thatwas spoken. 172 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘While I improved in speech, I also learned the scienceof letters as it was taught to the stranger, and this openedbefore me a wide field for wonder and delight. ‘The book from which Felix instructed Safie wasVolney’s Ruins of Empires. I should not have understoodthe purport of this book had not Felix, in reading it, givenvery minute explanations. He had chosen this work, hesaid, because the declamatory style was framed in imitationof the Eastern authors. Through this work I obtained acursory knowledge of history and a view of the severalempires at present existing in the world; it gave me aninsight into the manners, governments, and religions ofthe different nations of the earth. I heard of the slothfulAsiatics, of the stupendous genius and mental activity ofthe Grecians, of the wars and wonderful virtue of the earlyRomans—of their subsequent degenerating—of thedecline of that mighty empire, of chivalry, Christianity,and kings. I heard of the discovery of the Americanhemisphere and wept with Safie over the hapless fate of itsoriginal inhabitants. ‘These wonderful narrations inspired me with strangefeelings. Was man, indeed, at once so powerful, sovirtuous and magnificent, yet so vicious and base? Heappeared at one time a mere scion of the evil principle and 173 of 345
    • Frankensteinat another as all that can be conceived of noble andgodlike. To be a great and virtuous man appeared thehighest honour that can befall a sensitive being; to be baseand vicious, as many on record have been, appeared thelowest degradation, a condition more abject than that ofthe blind mole or harmless worm. For a long time I couldnot conceive how one man could go forth to murder hisfellow, or even why there were laws and governments;but when I heard details of vice and bloodshed, mywonder ceased and I turned away with disgust andloathing. ‘Every conversation of the cottagers now opened newwonders to me. While I listened to the instructions whichFelix bestowed upon the Arabian, the strange system ofhuman society was explained to me. I heard of thedivision of property, of immense wealth and squalidpoverty, of rank, descent, and noble blood. ‘The words induced me to turn towards myself. Ilearned that the possessions most esteemed by your fellowcreatures were high and unsullied descent united withriches. A man might be respected with only one of theseadvantages, but without either he was considered, exceptin very rare instances, as a vagabond and a slave, doomedto waste his powers for the profits of the chosen few! And 174 of 345
    • Frankensteinwhat was I? Of my creation and creator I was absolutelyignorant, but I knew that I possessed no money, nofriends, no kind of property. I was, besides, endued with afigure hideously deformed and loathsome; I was not evenof the same nature as man. I was more agile than they andcould subsist upon coarser diet; I bore the extremes of heatand cold with less injury to my frame; my stature farexceeded theirs. When I looked around I saw and heard ofnone like me. Was I, then, a monster, a blot upon theearth, from which all men fled and whom all mendisowned? ‘I cannot describe to you the agony that thesereflections inflicted upon me; I tried to dispel them, butsorrow only increased with knowledge. Oh, that I hadforever remained in my native wood, nor known nor feltbeyond the sensations of hunger, thirst, and heat! ‘Of what a strange nature is knowledge! It clings to themind when it has once seized on it like a lichen on therock. I wished sometimes to shake off all thought andfeeling, but I learned that there was but one means toovercome the sensation of pain, and that was death—astate which I feared yet did not understand. I admiredvirtue and good feelings and loved the gentle manners andamiable qualities of my cottagers, but I was shut out from 175 of 345
    • Frankensteinintercourse with them, except through means which Iobtained by stealth, when I was unseen and unknown, andwhich rather increased than satisfied the desire I had ofbecoming one among my fellows. The gentle words ofAgatha and the animated smiles of the charming Arabianwere not for me. The mild exhortations of the old manand the lively conversation of the loved Felix were not forme. Miserable, unhappy wretch! ‘Other lessons were impressed upon me even moredeeply. I heard of the difference of sexes, and the birth andgrowth of children, how the father doted on the smiles ofthe infant, and the lively sallies of the older child, how allthe life and cares of the mother were wrapped up in theprecious charge, how the mind of youth expanded andgained knowledge, of brother, sister, and all the variousrelationships which bind one human being to another inmutual bonds. ‘But where were my friends and relations? No fatherhad watched my infant days, no mother had blessed mewith smiles and caresses; or if they had, all my past life wasnow a blot, a blind vacancy in which I distinguishednothing. From my earliest remembrance I had been as Ithen was in height and proportion. I had never yet seen abeing resembling me or who claimed any intercourse with 176 of 345
    • Frankensteinme. What was I? The question again recurred, to beanswered only with groans. ‘I will soon explain to what these feelings tended, butallow me now to return to the cottagers, whose storyexcited in me such various feelings of indignation, delight,and wonder, but which all terminated in additional loveand reverence for my protectors (for so I loved, in aninnocent, half-painful self-deceit, to call them).’ 177 of 345
    • Frankenstein Chapter 14 ‘Some time elapsed before I learned the history of myfriends. It was one which could not fail to impress itselfdeeply on my mind, unfolding as it did a number ofcircumstances, each interesting and wonderful to one soutterly inexperienced as I was. ‘The name of the old man was De Lacey. He wasdescended from a good family in France, where he hadlived for many years in affluence, respected by hissuperiors and beloved by his equals. His son was bred inthe service of his country, and Agatha had ranked withladies of the highest distinction. A few months before myarrival they had lived in a large and luxurious city calledParis, surrounded by friends and possessed of everyenjoyment which virtue, refinement of intellect, or taste,accompanied by a moderate fortune, could afford. ‘The father of Safie had been the cause of their ruin.He was a Turkish merchant and had inhabited Paris formany years, when, for some reason which I could notlearn, he became obnoxious to the government. He wasseized and cast into prison the very day that Safie arrivedfrom Constantinople to join him. He was tried and 178 of 345
    • Frankensteincondemned to death. The injustice of his sentence wasvery flagrant; all Paris was indignant; and it was judgedthat his religion and wealth rather than the crime allegedagainst him had been the cause of his condemnation. ‘Felix had accidentally been present at the trial; hishorror and indignation were uncontrollable when heheard the decision of the court. He made, at that moment,a solemn vow to deliver him and then looked around forthe means. After many fruitless attempts to gainadmittance to the prison, he found a strongly gratedwindow in an unguarded part of the building, whichlighted the dungeon of the unfortunate Muhammadan,who, loaded with chains, waited in despair the executionof the barbarous sentence. Felix visited the grate at nightand made known to the prisoner his intentions in hisfavour. The Turk, amazed and delighted, endeavoured tokindle the zeal of his deliverer by promises of reward andwealth. Felix rejected his offers with contempt, yet whenhe saw the lovely Safie, who was allowed to visit herfather and who by her gestures expressed her livelygratitude, the youth could not help owning to his ownmind that the captive possessed a treasure which wouldfully reward his toil and hazard. 179 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘The Turk quickly perceived the impression that hisdaughter had made on the heart of Felix and endeavouredto secure him more entirely in his interests by the promiseof her hand in marriage so soon as he should be conveyedto a place of safety. Felix was too delicate to accept thisoffer, yet he looked forward to the probability of the eventas to the consummation of his happiness. ‘During the ensuing days, while the preparations weregoing forward for the escape of the merchant, the zeal ofFelix was warmed by several letters that he received fromthis lovely girl, who found means to express her thoughtsin the language of her lover by the aid of an old man, aservant of her father who understood French. She thankedhim in the most ardent terms for his intended servicestowards her parent, and at the same time she gentlydeplored her own fate. ‘I have copies of these letters, for I found means, duringmy residence in the hovel, to procure the implements ofwriting; and the letters were often in the hands of Felix orAgatha. Before I depart I will give them to you; they willprove the truth of my tale; but at present, as the sun isalready far declined, I shall only have time to repeat thesubstance of them to you. 180 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘Safie related that her mother was a Christian Arab,seized and made a slave by the Turks; recommended byher beauty, she had won the heart of the father of Safie,who married her. The young girl spoke in high andenthusiastic terms of her mother, who, born in freedom,spurned the bondage to which she was now reduced. Sheinstructed her daughter in the tenets of her religion andtaught her to aspire to higher powers of intellect and anindependence of spirit forbidden to the female followers ofMuhammad. This lady died, but her lessons were indeliblyimpressed on the mind of Safie, who sickened at theprospect of again returning to Asia and being immuredwithin the walls of a harem, allowed only to occupyherself with infantile amusements, ill-suited to the temperof her soul, now accustomed to grand ideas and a nobleemulation for virtue. The prospect of marrying a Christianand remaining in a country where women were allowedto take a rank in society was enchanting to her. ‘The day for the execution of the Turk was fixed, buton the night previous to it he quitted his prison and beforemorning was distant many leagues from Paris. Felix hadprocured passports in the name of his father, sister, andhimself. He had previously communicated his plan to theformer, who aided the deceit by quitting his house, under 181 of 345
    • Frankensteinthe pretence of a journey and concealed himself, with hisdaughter, in an obscure part of Paris. ‘Felix conducted the fugitives through France to Lyonsand across Mont Cenis to Leghorn, where the merchanthad decided to wait a favourable opportunity of passinginto some part of the Turkish dominions. ‘Safie resolved to remain with her father until themoment of his departure, before which time the Turkrenewed his promise that she should be united to hisdeliverer; and Felix remained with them in expectation ofthat event; and in the meantime he enjoyed the society ofthe Arabian, who exhibited towards him the simplest andtenderest affection. They conversed with one anotherthrough the means of an interpreter, and sometimes withthe interpretation of looks; and Safie sang to him thedivine airs of her native country. ‘The Turk allowed this intimacy to take place andencouraged the hopes of the youthful lovers, while in hisheart he had formed far other plans. He loathed the ideathat his daughter should be united to a Christian, but hefeared the resentment of Felix if he should appearlukewarm, for he knew that he was still in the power ofhis deliverer if he should choose to betray him to theItalian state which they inhabited. He revolved a thousand 182 of 345
    • eBook brought to you by Create, view, and edit PDF. Download the free trial version.Frankensteinplans by which he should be enabled to prolong the deceituntil it might be no longer necessary, and secretly to takehis daughter with him when he departed. His plans werefacilitated by the news which arrived from Paris. ‘The government of France were greatly enraged at theescape of their victim and spared no pains to detect andpunish his deliverer. The plot of Felix was quicklydiscovered, and DeLacey and Agatha were thrown intoprison. The news reached Felix and roused him from hisdream of pleasure. His blind and aged father and his gentlesister lay in a noisome dungeon while he enjoyed the freeair and the society of her whom he loved. This idea wastorture to him. He quickly arranged with the Turk that ifthe latter should find a favourable opportunity for escapebefore Felix could return to Italy, Safie should remain as aboarder at a convent at Leghorn; and then, quitting thelovely Arabian, he hastened to Paris and delivered himselfup to the vengeance of the law, hoping to free De Laceyand Agatha by this proceeding. ‘He did not succeed. They remained confined for fivemonths before the trial took place, the result of whichdeprived them of their fortune and condemned them to aperpetual exile from their native country. 183 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘They found a miserable asylum in the cottage inGermany, where I discovered them. Felix soon learnedthat the treacherous Turk, for whom he and his familyendured such unheard-of oppression, on discovering thathis deliverer was thus reduced to poverty and ruin,became a traitor to good feeling and honour and hadquitted Italy with his daughter, insultingly sending Felix apittance of money to aid him, as he said, in some plan offuture maintenance. ‘Such were the events that preyed on the heart of Felixand rendered him, when I first saw him, the mostmiserable of his family. He could have endured poverty,and while this distress had been the meed of his virtue, hegloried in it; but the ingratitude of the Turk and the lossof his beloved Safie were misfortunes more bitter andirreparable. The arrival of the Arabian now infused newlife into his soul. ‘When the news reached Leghorn that Felix wasdeprived of his wealth and rank, the merchantcommanded his daughter to think no more of her lover,but to prepare to return to her native country. Thegenerous nature of Safie was outraged by this command;she attempted to expostulate with her father, but he lefther angrily, reiterating his tyrannical mandate. 184 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘A few days after, the Turk entered his daughter’sapartment and told her hastily that he had reason tobelieve that his residence at Leghorn had been divulgedand that he should speedily be delivered up to the Frenchgovernment; he had consequently hired a vessel to conveyhim to Constantinople, for which city he should sail in afew hours. He intended to leave his daughter under thecare of a confidential servant, to follow at her leisure withthe greater part of his property, which had not yet arrivedat Leghorn. ‘When alone, Safie resolved in her own mind the planof conduct that it would become her to pursue in thisemergency. A residence in Turkey was abhorrent to her;her religion and her feelings were alike averse to it. Bysome papers of her father which fell into her hands sheheard of the exile of her lover and learnt the name of thespot where he then resided. She hesitated some time, butat length she formed her determination. Taking with hersome jewels that belonged to her and a sum of money, shequitted Italy with an attendant, a native of Leghorn, butwho understood the common language of Turkey, anddeparted for Germany. ‘She arrived in safety at a town about twenty leaguesfrom the cottage of De Lacey, when her attendant fell 185 of 345
    • Frankensteindangerously ill. Safie nursed her with the most devotedaffection, but the poor girl died, and the Arabian was leftalone, unacquainted with the language of the country andutterly ignorant of the customs of the world. She fell,however, into good hands. The Italian had mentioned thename of the spot for which they were bound, and after herdeath the woman of the house in which they had livedtook care that Safie should arrive in safety at the cottage ofher lover.’ 186 of 345
    • Frankenstein Chapter 15 ‘Such was the history of my beloved cottagers. Itimpressed me deeply. I learned, from the views of sociallife which it developed, to admire their virtues and todeprecate the vices of mankind. ‘As yet I looked upon crime as a distant evil,benevolence and generosity were ever present before me,inciting within me a desire to become an actor in the busyscene where so many admirable qualities were called forthand displayed. But in giving an account of the progress ofmy intellect, I must not omit a circumstance whichoccurred in the beginning of the month of August of thesame year. ‘One night during my accustomed visit to theneighbouring wood where I collected my own food andbrought home firing for my protectors, I found on theground a leathern portmanteau containing several articlesof dress and some books. I eagerly seized the prize andreturned with it to my hovel. Fortunately the books werewritten in the language, the elements of which I hadacquired at the cottage; they consisted of Paradise Lost, avolume of Plutarch’s Lives, and the Sorrows of Werter. 187 of 345
    • FrankensteinThe possession of these treasures gave me extreme delight;I now continually studied and exercised my mind uponthese histories, whilst my friends were employed in theirordinary occupations. ‘I can hardly describe to you the effect of these books.They produced in me an infinity of new images andfeelings, that sometimes raised me to ecstasy, but morefrequently sunk me into the lowest dejection. In theSorrows of Werter, besides the interest of its simple andaffecting story, so many opinions are canvassed and somany lights thrown upon what had hitherto been to meobscure subjects that I found in it a never-ending source ofspeculation and astonishment. The gentle and domesticmanners it described, combined with lofty sentiments andfeelings, which had for their object something out of self,accorded well with my experience among my protectorsand with the wants which were forever alive in my ownbosom. But I thought Werter himself a more divine beingthan I had ever beheld or imagined; his charactercontained no pretension, but it sank deep. Thedisquisitions upon death and suicide were calculated to fillme with wonder. I did not pretend to enter into themerits of the case, yet I inclined towards the opinions of 188 of 345
    • Frankensteinthe hero, whose extinction I wept, without preciselyunderstanding it. ‘As I read, however, I applied much personally to myown feelings and condition. I found myself similar yet atthe same time strangely unlike to the beings concerningwhom I read and to whose conversation I was a listener. Isympathized with and partly understood them, but I wasunformed in mind; I was dependent on none and relatedto none. ‘The path of my departure was free,’ and therewas none to lament my annihilation. My person washideous and my stature gigantic. What did this mean?Who was I? What was I? Whence did I come? What wasmy destination? These questions continually recurred, butI was unable to solve them. ‘The volume of Plutarch’s Lives which I possessedcontained the histories of the first founders of the ancientrepublics. This book had a far different effect upon mefrom the Sorrows of Werter. I learned from Werter’simaginations despondency and gloom, but Plutarch taughtme high thoughts; he elevated me above the wretchedsphere of my own reflections, to admire and love theheroes of past ages. Many things I read surpassed myunderstanding and experience. I had a very confusedknowledge of kingdoms, wide extents of country, mighty 189 of 345
    • Frankensteinrivers, and boundless seas. But I was perfectlyunacquainted with towns and large assemblages of men.The cottage of my protectors had been the only school inwhich I had studied human nature, but this bookdeveloped new and mightier scenes of action. I read ofmen concerned in public affairs, governing or massacringtheir species. I felt the greatest ardour for virtue rise withinme, and abhorrence for vice, as far as I understood thesignification of those terms, relative as they were, as Iapplied them, to pleasure and pain alone. Induced by thesefeelings, I was of course led to admire peaceable lawgivers,Numa, Solon, and Lycurgus, in preference to Romulusand Theseus. The patriarchal lives of my protectors causedthese impressions to take a firm hold on my mind;perhaps, if my first introduction to humanity had beenmade by a young soldier, burning for glory and slaughter,I should have been imbued with different sensations. ‘But Paradise Lost excited different and far deeperemotions. I read it, as I had read the other volumes whichhad fallen into my hands, as a true history. It moved everyfeeling of wonder and awe that the picture of anomnipotent God warring with his creatures was capable ofexciting. I often referred the several situations, as theirsimilarity struck me, to my own. Like Adam, I was 190 of 345
    • Frankensteinapparently united by no link to any other being inexistence; but his state was far different from mine in everyother respect. He had come forth from the hands of God aperfect creature, happy and prosperous, guarded by theespecial care of his Creator; he was allowed to conversewith and acquire knowledge from beings of a superiornature, but I was wretched, helpless, and alone. Manytimes I considered Satan as the fitter emblem of mycondition, for often, like him, when I viewed the bliss ofmy protectors, the bitter gall of envy rose within me. ‘Another circumstance strengthened and confirmedthese feelings. Soon after my arrival in the hovel Idiscovered some papers in the pocket of the dress which Ihad taken from your laboratory. At first I had neglectedthem, but now that I was able to decipher the charactersin which they were written, I began to study them withdiligence. It was your journal of the four months thatpreceded my creation. You minutely described in thesepapers every step you took in the progress of your work;this history was mingled with accounts of domesticoccurrences. You doubtless recollect these papers. Herethey are. Everything is related in them which bearsreference to my accursed origin; the whole detail of thatseries of disgusting circumstances which produced it is set 191 of 345
    • Frankensteinin view; the minutest description of my odious andloathsome person is given, in language which painted yourown horrors and rendered mine indelible. I sickened as Iread. ‘Hateful day when I received life!’ I exclaimed inagony. ‘Accursed creator! Why did you form a monster sohideous that even you turned from me in disgust? God, inpity, made man beautiful and alluring, after his ownimage; but my form is a filthy type of yours, more horrideven from the very resemblance. Satan had hiscompanions, fellow devils, to admire and encourage him,but I am solitary and abhorred.’ ‘These were the reflections of my hours ofdespondency and solitude; but when I contemplated thevirtues of the cottagers, their amiable and benevolentdispositions, I persuaded myself that when they shouldbecome acquainted with my admiration of their virtuesthey would compassionate me and overlook my personaldeformity. Could they turn from their door one, howevermonstrous, who solicited their compassion and friendship?I resolved, at least, not to despair, but in every way to fitmyself for an interview with them which would decidemy fate. I postponed this attempt for some months longer,for the importance attached to its success inspired me witha dread lest I should fail. Besides, I found that my 192 of 345
    • Frankensteinunderstanding improved so much with every day’sexperience that I was unwilling to commence thisundertaking until a few more months should have addedto my sagacity. ‘Several changes, in the meantime, took place in thecottage. The presence of Safie diffused happiness among itsinhabitants, and I also found that a greater degree of plentyreigned there. Felix and Agatha spent more time inamusement and conversation, and were assisted in theirlabours by servants. They did not appear rich, but theywere contented and happy; their feelings were serene andpeaceful, while mine became every day more tumultuous.Increase of knowledge only discovered to me more clearlywhat a wretched outcast I was. I cherished hope, it is true,but it vanished when I beheld my person reflected inwater or my shadow in the moonshine, even as that frailimage and that inconstant shade. ‘I endeavoured to crush these fears and to fortify myselffor the trial which in a few months I resolved to undergo;and sometimes I allowed my thoughts, unchecked byreason, to ramble in the fields of Paradise, and dared tofancy amiable and lovely creatures sympathizing with myfeelings and cheering my gloom; their angeliccountenances breathed smiles of consolation. But it was all 193 of 345
    • Frankensteina dream; no Eve soothed my sorrows nor shared mythoughts; I was alone. I remembered Adam’s supplicationto his Creator. But where was mine? He had abandonedme, and in the bitterness of my heart I cursed him. ‘Autumn passed thus. I saw, with surprise and grief, theleaves decay and fall, and nature again assume the barrenand bleak appearance it had worn when I first beheld thewoods and the lovely moon. Yet I did not heed thebleakness of the weather; I was better fitted by myconformation for the endurance of cold than heat. But mychief delights were the sight of the flowers, the birds, andall the gay apparel of summer; when those deserted me, Iturned with more attention towards the cottagers. Theirhappiness was not decreased by the absence of summer.They loved and sympathized with one another; and theirjoys, depending on each other, were not interrupted bythe casualties that took place around them. The more Isaw of them, the greater became my desire to claim theirprotection and kindness; my heart yearned to be knownand loved by these amiable creatures; to see their sweetlooks directed towards me with affection was the utmostlimit of my ambition. I dared not think that they wouldturn them from me with disdain and horror. The poorthat stopped at their door were never driven away. I 194 of 345
    • eBook brought to you by Create, view, and edit PDF. Download the free trial version.Frankensteinasked, it is true, for greater treasures than a little food orrest: I required kindness and sympathy; but I did notbelieve myself utterly unworthy of it. ‘The winter advanced, and an entire revolution of theseasons had taken place since I awoke into life. Myattention at this time was solely directed towards my planof introducing myself into the cottage of my protectors. Irevolved many projects, but that on which I finally fixedwas to enter the dwelling when the blind old man shouldbe alone. I had sagacity enough to discover that theunnatural hideousness of my person was the chief object ofhorror with those who had formerly beheld me. Myvoice, although harsh, had nothing terrible in it; I thought,therefore, that if in the absence of his children I could gainthe good will and mediation of the old De Lacey, I mightby his means be tolerated by my younger protectors. ‘One day, when the sun shone on the red leaves thatstrewed the ground and diffused cheerfulness, although itdenied warmth, Safie, Agatha, and Felix departed on along country walk, and the old man, at his own desire,was left alone in the cottage. When his children haddeparted, he took up his guitar and played severalmournful but sweet airs, more sweet and mournful than Ihad ever heard him play before. At first his countenance 195 of 345
    • Frankensteinwas illuminated with pleasure, but as he continued,thoughtfulness and sadness succeeded; at length, layingaside the instrument, he sat absorbed in reflection. ‘My heart beat quick; this was the hour and moment oftrial, which would decide my hopes or realize my fears.The servants were gone to a neighbouring fair. All wassilent in and around the cottage; it was an excellentopportunity; yet, when I proceeded to execute my plan,my limbs failed me and I sank to the ground. Again I rose,and exerting all the firmness of which I was master,removed the planks which I had placed before my hovelto conceal my retreat. The fresh air revived me, and withrenewed determination I approached the door of theircottage. ‘I knocked. ‘Who is there?’ said the old man. ‘Comein.’ ‘I entered. ‘Pardon this intrusion,’ said I; ‘I am atraveller in want of a little rest; you would greatly obligeme if you would allow me to remain a few minutes beforethe fire.’ ‘‘Enter,’ said De Lacey, ‘and I will try in what manner Ican to relieve your wants; but, unfortunately, my childrenare from home, and as I am blind, I am afraid I shall find itdifficult to procure food for you.’ 196 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘‘Do not trouble yourself, my kind host; I have food; itis warmth and rest only that I need.’ ‘I sat down, and a silence ensued. I knew that everyminute was precious to me, yet I remained irresolute inwhat manner to commence the interview, when the oldman addressed me. ‘By your language, stranger, I supposeyou are my countryman; are you French?’ ‘‘No; but I was educated by a French family andunderstand that language only. I am now going to claimthe protection of some friends, whom I sincerely love, andof whose favour I have some hopes.’ ‘‘Are they Germans?’ ‘‘No, they are French. But let us change the subject. Iam an unfortunate and deserted creature, I look aroundand I have no relation or friend upon earth. These amiablepeople to whom I go have never seen me and know littleof me. I am full of fears, for if I fail there, I am an outcastin the world forever.’ ‘‘Do not despair. To be friendless is indeed to beunfortunate, but the hearts of men, when unprejudiced byany obvious self-interest, are full of brotherly love andcharity. Rely, therefore, on your hopes; and if thesefriends are good and amiable, do not despair.’ 197 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘‘They are kind—they are the most excellent creaturesin the world; but, unfortunately, they are prejudicedagainst me. I have good dispositions; my life has beenhitherto harmless and in some degree beneficial; but a fatalprejudice clouds their eyes, and where they ought to see afeeling and kind friend, they behold only a detestablemonster.’ ‘‘That is indeed unfortunate; but if you are reallyblameless, cannot you undeceive them?’ ‘‘I am about to undertake that task; and it is on thataccount that I feel so many overwhelming terrors. Itenderly love these friends; I have, unknown to them,been for many months in the habits of daily kindnesstowards them; but they believe that I wish to injure them,and it is that prejudice which I wish to overcome.’ ‘‘Where do these friends reside?’ ‘‘Near this spot.’ ‘The old man paused and then continued, ‘If you willunreservedly confide to me the particulars of your tale, Iperhaps may be of use in undeceiving them. I am blindand cannot judge of your countenance, but there issomething in your words which persuades me that you aresincere. I am poor and an exile, but it will afford me truepleasure to be in any way serviceable to a human creature.’ 198 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘‘Excellent man! I thank you and accept your generousoffer. You raise me from the dust by this kindness; and Itrust that, by your aid, I shall not be driven from thesociety and sympathy of your fellow creatures.’ ‘‘Heaven forbid! Even if you were really criminal, forthat can only drive you to desperation, and not instigateyou to virtue. I also am unfortunate; I and my family havebeen condemned, although innocent; judge, therefore, if Ido not feel for your misfortunes.’ ‘‘How can I thank you, my best and only benefactor?From your lips first have I heard the voice of kindnessdirected towards me; I shall be forever grateful; and yourpresent humanity assures me of success with those friendswhom I am on the point of meeting.’ ‘‘May I know the names and residence of thosefriends?’ ‘I paused. This, I thought, was the moment ofdecision, which was to rob me of or bestow happiness onme forever. I struggled vainly for firmness sufficient toanswer him, but the effort destroyed all my remainingstrength; I sank on the chair and sobbed aloud. At thatmoment I heard the steps of my younger protectors. I hadnot a moment to lose, but seizing the hand of the oldman, I cried, ‘Now is the time! Save and protect me! You 199 of 345
    • Frankensteinand your family are the friends whom I seek. Do not youdesert me in the hour of trial!’ ‘‘Great God!’ exclaimed the old man. ‘Who are you?’ ‘At that instant the cottage door was opened, and Felix,Safie, and Agatha entered. Who can describe their horrorand consternation on beholding me? Agatha fainted, andSafie, unable to attend to her friend, rushed out of thecottage. Felix darted forward, and with supernatural forcetore me from his father, to whose knees I clung, in atransport of fury, he dashed me to the ground and struckme violently with a stick. I could have torn him limb fromlimb, as the lion rends the antelope. But my heart sankwithin me as with bitter sickness, and I refrained. I sawhim on the point of repeating his blow, when, overcomeby pain and anguish, I quitted the cottage, and in thegeneral tumult escaped unperceived to my hovel.’ 200 of 345
    • Frankenstein Chapter 16 ‘Cursed, cursed creator! Why did I live? Why, in thatinstant, did I not extinguish the spark of existence whichyou had so wantonly bestowed? I know not; despair hadnot yet taken possession of me; my feelings were those ofrage and revenge. I could with pleasure have destroyed thecottage and its inhabitants and have glutted myself withtheir shrieks and misery. ‘When night came I quitted my retreat and wanderedin the wood; and now, no longer restrained by the fear ofdiscovery, I gave vent to my anguish in fearful howlings. Iwas like a wild beast that had broken the toils, destroyingthe objects that obstructed me and ranging through thewood with a staglike swiftness. Oh! What a miserablenight I passed! The cold stars shone in mockery, and thebare trees waved their branches above me; now and thenthe sweet voice of a bird burst forth amidst the universalstillness. All, save I, were at rest or in enjoyment; I, likethe arch-fiend, bore a hell within me, and finding myselfunsympathized with, wished to tear up the trees, spreadhavoc and destruction around me, and then to have satdown and enjoyed the ruin. 201 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘But this was a luxury of sensation that could notendure; I became fatigued with excess of bodily exertionand sank on the damp grass in the sick impotence ofdespair. There was none among the myriads of men thatexisted who would pity or assist me; and should I feelkindness towards my enemies? No; from that moment Ideclared everlasting war against the species, and more thanall, against him who had formed me and sent me forth tothis insupportable misery. ‘The sun rose; I heard the voices of men and knew thatit was impossible to return to my retreat during that day.Accordingly I hid myself in some thick underwood,determining to devote the ensuing hours to reflection onmy situation. ‘The pleasant sunshine and the pure air of day restoredme to some degree of tranquillity; and when I consideredwhat had passed at the cottage, I could not help believingthat I had been too hasty in my conclusions. I hadcertainly acted imprudently. It was apparent that myconversation had interested the father in my behalf, and Iwas a fool in having exposed my person to the horror ofhis children. I ought to have familiarized the old De Laceyto me, and by degrees to have discovered myself to therest of his family, when they should have been prepared 202 of 345
    • Frankensteinfor my approach. But I did not believe my errors to beirretrievable, and after much consideration I resolved toreturn to the cottage, seek the old man, and by myrepresentations win him to my party. ‘These thoughts calmed me, and in the afternoon I sankinto a profound sleep; but the fever of my blood did notallow me to be visited by peaceful dreams. The horriblescene of the preceding day was forever acting before myeyes; the females were flying and the enraged Felix tearingme from his father’s feet. I awoke exhausted, and findingthat it was already night, I crept forth from my hiding-place, and went in search of food. ‘When my hunger was appeased, I directed my stepstowards the well-known path that conducted to thecottage. All there was at peace. I crept into my hovel andremained in silent expectation of the accustomed hourwhen the family arose. That hour passed, the sun mountedhigh in the heavens, but the cottagers did not appear. Itrembled violently, apprehending some dreadfulmisfortune. The inside of the cottage was dark, and Iheard no motion; I cannot describe the agony of thissuspense. ‘Presently two countrymen passed by, but pausing nearthe cottage, they entered into conversation, using violent 203 of 345
    • Frankensteingesticulations; but I did not understand what they said, asthey spoke the language of the country, which differedfrom that of my protectors. Soon after, however, Felixapproached with another man; I was surprised, as I knewthat he had not quitted the cottage that morning, andwaited anxiously to discover from his discourse themeaning of these unusual appearances. ‘‘Do you consider,’ said his companion to him, ‘thatyou will be obliged to pay three months’ rent and to losethe produce of your garden? I do not wish to take anyunfair advantage, and I beg therefore that you will takesome days to consider of your determination.’ ‘‘It is utterly useless,’ replied Felix; ‘we can never againinhabit your cottage. The life of my father is in thegreatest danger, owing to the dreadful circumstance that Ihave related. My wife and my sister will never recoverfrom their horror. I entreat you not to reason with me anymore. Take possession of your tenement and let me flyfrom this place.’ ‘Felix trembled violently as he said this. He and hiscompanion entered the cottage, in which they remainedfor a few minutes, and then departed. I never saw any ofthe family of De Lacey more. 204 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘I continued for the remainder of the day in my hovelin a state of utter and stupid despair. My protectors haddeparted and had broken the only link that held me to theworld. For the first time the feelings of revenge and hatredfilled my bosom, and I did not strive to control them, butallowing myself to be borne away by the stream, I bent mymind towards injury and death. When I thought of myfriends, of the mild voice of De Lacey, the gentle eyes ofAgatha, and the exquisite beauty of the Arabian, thesethoughts vanished and a gush of tears somewhat soothedme. But again when I reflected that they had spurned anddeserted me, anger returned, a rage of anger, and unable toinjure anything human, I turned my fury towardsinanimate objects. As night advanced I placed a variety ofcombustibles around the cottage, and after havingdestroyed every vestige of cultivation in the garden, Iwaited with forced impatience until the moon had sunk tocommence my operations. ‘As the night advanced, a fierce wind arose from thewoods and quickly dispersed the clouds that had loiteredin the heavens; the blast tore along like a mighty avalancheand produced a kind of insanity in my spirits that burst allbounds of reason and reflection. I lighted the dry branchof a tree and danced with fury around the devoted cottage, 205 of 345
    • Frankensteinmy eyes still fixed on the western horizon, the edge ofwhich the moon nearly touched. A part of its orb was atlength hid, and I waved my brand; it sank, and with a loudscream I fired the straw, and heath, and bushes, which Ihad collected. The wind fanned the fire, and the cottagewas quickly enveloped by the flames, which clung to itand licked it with their forked and destroying tongues. ‘As soon as I was convinced that no assistance couldsave any part of the habitation, I quitted the scene andsought for refuge in the woods. ‘And now, with the world before me, whither should Ibend my steps? I resolved to fly far from the scene of mymisfortunes; but to me, hated and despised, every countrymust be equally horrible. At length the thought of youcrossed my mind. I learned from your papers that youwere my father, my creator; and to whom could I applywith more fitness than to him who had given me life?Among the lessons that Felix had bestowed upon Safie,geography had not been omitted; I had learned from thesethe relative situations of the different countries of theearth. You had mentioned Geneva as the name of yournative town, and towards this place I resolved to proceed. ‘But how was I to direct myself? I knew that I musttravel in a southwesterly direction to reach my destination, 206 of 345
    • eBook brought to you by Create, view, and edit PDF. Download the free trial version.Frankensteinbut the sun was my only guide. I did not know the namesof the towns that I was to pass through, nor could I askinformation from a single human being; but I did notdespair. From you only could I hope for succour, althoughtowards you I felt no sentiment but that of hatred.Unfeeling, heartless creator! You had endowed me withperceptions and passions and then cast me abroad an objectfor the scorn and horror of mankind. But on you only hadI any claim for pity and redress, and from you Idetermined to seek that justice which I vainly attemptedto gain from any other being that wore the human form. ‘My travels were long and the sufferings I enduredintense. It was late in autumn when I quitted the districtwhere I had so long resided. I travelled only at night,fearful of encountering the visage of a human being.Nature decayed around me, and the sun became heatless;rain and snow poured around me; mighty rivers werefrozen; the surface of the earth was hard and chill, andbare, and I found no shelter. Oh, earth! How often did Iimprecate curses on the cause of my being! The mildnessof my nature had fled, and all within me was turned to galland bitterness. The nearer I approached to yourhabitation, the more deeply did I feel the spirit of revengeenkindled in my heart. Snow fell, and the waters were 207 of 345
    • Frankensteinhardened, but I rested not. A few incidents now and thendirected me, and I possessed a map of the country; but Ioften wandered wide from my path. The agony of myfeelings allowed me no respite; no incident occurred fromwhich my rage and misery could not extract its food; but acircumstance that happened when I arrived on theconfines of Switzerland, when the sun had recovered itswarmth and the earth again began to look green,confirmed in an especial manner the bitterness and horrorof my feelings. ‘I generally rested during the day and travelled onlywhen I was secured by night from the view of man. Onemorning, however, finding that my path lay through adeep wood, I ventured to continue my journey after thesun had risen; the day, which was one of the first ofspring, cheered even me by the loveliness of its sunshineand the balminess of the air. I felt emotions of gentlenessand pleasure, that had long appeared dead, revive withinme. Half surprised by the novelty of these sensations, Iallowed myself to be borne away by them, and forgettingmy solitude and deformity, dared to be happy. Soft tearsagain bedewed my cheeks, and I even raised my humideyes with thankfulness towards the blessed sun, whichbestowed such joy upon me. 208 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘I continued to wind among the paths of the wood,until I came to its boundary, which was skirted by a deepand rapid river, into which many of the trees bent theirbranches, now budding with the fresh spring. Here Ipaused, not exactly knowing what path to pursue, when Iheard the sound of voices, that induced me to concealmyself under the shade of a cypress. I was scarcely hidwhen a young girl came running towards the spot where Iwas concealed, laughing, as if she ran from someone insport. She continued her course along the precipitous sidesof the river, when suddenly her foot slipped, and she fellinto the rapid stream. I rushed from my hiding-place andwith extreme labour, from the force of the current, savedher and dragged her to shore. She was senseless, and Iendeavoured by every means in my power to restoreanimation, when I was suddenly interrupted by theapproach of a rustic, who was probably the person fromwhom she had playfully fled. On seeing me, he dartedtowards me, and tearing the girl from my arms, hastenedtowards the deeper parts of the wood. I followed speedily,I hardly knew why; but when the man saw me draw near,he aimed a gun, which he carried, at my body and fired. Isank to the ground, and my injurer, with increasedswiftness, escaped into the wood. 209 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘This was then the reward of my benevolence! I hadsaved a human being from destruction, and as arecompense I now writhed under the miserable pain of awound which shattered the flesh and bone. The feelings ofkindness and gentleness which I had entertained but a fewmoments before gave place to hellish rage and gnashing ofteeth. Inflamed by pain, I vowed eternal hatred andvengeance to all mankind. But the agony of my woundovercame me; my pulses paused, and I fainted. ‘For some weeks I led a miserable life in the woods,endeavouring to cure the wound which I had received.The ball had entered my shoulder, and I knew notwhether it had remained there or passed through; at anyrate I had no means of extracting it. My sufferings wereaugmented also by the oppressive sense of the injustice andingratitude of their infliction. My daily vows rose forrevenge— a deep and deadly revenge, such as would alonecompensate for the outrages and anguish I had endured. ‘After some weeks my wound healed, and I continuedmy journey. The labours I endured were no longer to bealleviated by the bright sun or gentle breezes of spring; alljoy was but a mockery which insulted my desolate stateand made me feel more painfully that I was not made forthe enjoyment of pleasure. 210 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘But my toils now drew near a close, and in twomonths from this time I reached the environs of Geneva. ‘It was evening when I arrived, and I retired to ahiding-place among the fields that surround it to meditatein what manner I should apply to you. I was oppressed byfatigue and hunger and far too unhappy to enjoy thegentle breezes of evening or the prospect of the sun settingbehind the stupendous mountains of Jura. ‘At this time a slight sleep relieved me from the pain ofreflection, which was disturbed by the approach of abeautiful child, who came running into the recess I hadchosen, with all the sportiveness of infancy. Suddenly, as Igazed on him, an idea seized me that this little creaturewas unprejudiced and had lived too short a time to haveimbibed a horror of deformity. If, therefore, I could seizehim and educate him as my companion and friend, Ishould not be so desolate in this peopled earth. ‘Urged by this impulse, I seized on the boy as he passedand drew him towards me. As soon as he beheld my form,he placed his hands before his eyes and uttered a shrillscream; I drew his hand forcibly from his face and said,‘Child, what is the meaning of this? I do not intend tohurt you; listen to me.’ 211 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘He struggled violently. ‘Let me go,’ he cried; ‘monster!Ugly wretch! You wish to eat me and tear me to pieces.You are an ogre. Let me go, or I will tell my papa.’ ‘‘Boy, you will never see your father again; you mustcome with me.’ ‘‘Hideous monster! Let me go. My papa is a Syndic—he is M. Frankenstein—he will punish you. You dare notkeep me.’ ‘‘Frankenstein! you belong then to my enemy—to himtowards whom I have sworn eternal revenge; you shall bemy first victim.’ ‘The child still struggled and loaded me with epithetswhich carried despair to my heart; I grasped his throat tosilence him, and in a moment he lay dead at my feet. ‘I gazed on my victim, and my heart swelled withexultation and hellish triumph; clapping my hands, Iexclaimed, ‘I too can create desolation; my enemy is notinvulnerable; this death will carry despair to him, and athousand other miseries shall torment and destroy him.’ ‘As I fixed my eyes on the child, I saw somethingglittering on his breast. I took it; it was a portrait of a mostlovely woman. In spite of my malignity, it softened andattracted me. For a few moments I gazed with delight onher dark eyes, fringed by deep lashes, and her lovely lips; 212 of 345
    • Frankensteinbut presently my rage returned; I remembered that I wasforever deprived of the delights that such beautifulcreatures could bestow and that she whose resemblance Icontemplated would, in regarding me, have changed thatair of divine benignity to one expressive of disgust andaffright. ‘Can you wonder that such thoughts transported mewith rage? I only wonder that at that moment, instead ofventing my sensations in exclamations and agony, I didnot rush among mankind and perish in the attempt todestroy them. ‘While l was overcome by these feelings, I left the spotwhere I had committed the murder, and seeking a moresecluded hiding-place, I entered a barn which hadappeared to me to be empty. A woman was sleeping onsome straw; she was young, not indeed so beautiful as herwhose portrait I held, but of an agreeable aspect andblooming in the loveliness of youth and health. Here, Ithought, is one of those whose joy-imparting smiles arebestowed on all but me. And then I bent over her andwhispered, ‘Awake, fairest, thy lover is near—he whowould give his life but to obtain one look of affectionfrom thine eyes; my beloved, awake!’ 213 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘The sleeper stirred; a thrill of terror ran through me.Should she indeed awake, and see me, and curse me, anddenounce the murderer? Thus would she assuredly act ifher darkened eyes opened and she beheld me. Thethought was madness; it stirred the fiend within me—notI, but she, shall suffer; the murder I have committedbecause I am forever robbed of all that she could give me,she shall atone. The crime had its source in her; be hersthe punishment! Thanks to the lessons of Felix and thesanguinary laws of man, I had learned now to workmischief. I bent over her and placed the portrait securelyin one of the folds of her dress. She moved again, and Ifled. ‘For some days I haunted the spot where these sceneshad taken place, sometimes wishing to see you, sometimesresolved to quit the world and its miseries forever. Atlength I wandered towards these mountains, and haveranged through their immense recesses, consumed by aburning passion which you alone can gratify. We may notpart until you have promised to comply with myrequisition. I am alone and miserable; man will notassociate with me; but one as deformed and horrible asmyself would not deny herself to me. My companion must 214 of 345
    • Frankensteinbe of the same species and have the same defects. Thisbeing you must create.’ 215 of 345
    • Frankenstein Chapter 17 The being finished speaking and fixed his looks uponme in the expectation of a reply. But I was bewildered,perplexed, and unable to arrange my ideas sufficiently tounderstand the full extent of his proposition. Hecontinued, ‘You must create a female for me with whom I can livein the interchange of those sympathies necessary for mybeing. This you alone can do, and I demand it of you as aright which you must not refuse to concede.’ The latter part of his tale had kindled anew in me theanger that had died away while he narrated his peacefullife among the cottagers, and as he said this I could nolonger suppress the rage that burned within me. ‘I do refuse it,’ I replied; ‘and no torture shall everextort a consent from me. You may render me the mostmiserable of men, but you shall never make me base in myown eyes. Shall I create another like yourself, whose jointwickedness might desolate the world. Begone! I haveanswered you; you may torture me, but I will neverconsent.’ 216 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘You are in the wrong,’ replied the fiend; ‘and insteadof threatening, I am content to reason with you. I ammalicious because I am miserable. Am I not shunned andhated by all mankind? You, my creator, would tear me topieces and triumph; remember that, and tell me why Ishould pity man more than he pities me? You would notcall it murder if you could precipitate me into one of thoseice-rifts and destroy my frame, the work of your ownhands. Shall I respect man when he condemns me? Lethim live with me in the interchange of kindness, andinstead of injury I would bestow every benefit upon himwith tears of gratitude at his acceptance. But that cannotbe; the human senses are insurmountable barriers to ourunion. Yet mine shall not be the submission of abjectslavery. I will revenge my injuries; if I cannot inspire love,I will cause fear, and chiefly towards you my archenemy,because my creator, do I swear inextinguishable hatred.Have a care; I will work at your destruction, nor finishuntil I desolate your heart, so that you shall curse the hourof your birth.’ A fiendish rage animated him as he said this; his facewas wrinkled into contortions too horrible for human eyesto behold; but presently he calmed himself and proceeded- 217 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘I intended to reason. This passion is detrimental to me,for you do not reflect that you are the cause of its excess.If any being felt emotions of benevolence towards me, Ishould return them a hundred and a hundredfold; for thatone creature’s sake I would make peace with the wholekind! But I now indulge in dreams of bliss that cannot berealized. What I ask of you is reasonable and moderate; Idemand a creature of another sex, but as hideous as myself;the gratification is small, but it is all that I can receive, andit shall content me. It is true, we shall be monsters, cut offfrom all the world; but on that account we shall be moreattached to one another. Our lives will not be happy, butthey will be harmless and free from the misery I now feel.Oh! My creator, make me happy; let me feel gratitudetowards you for one benefit! Let me see that I excite thesympathy of some existing thing; do not deny me myrequest!’ I was moved. I shuddered when I thought of thepossible consequences of my consent, but I felt that therewas some justice in his argument. His tale and the feelingshe now expressed proved him to be a creature of finesensations, and did I not as his maker owe him all theportion of happiness that it was in my power to bestow?He saw my change of feeling and continued, 218 of 345
    • eBook brought to you by Create, view, and edit PDF. Download the free trial version.Frankenstein ‘If you consent, neither you nor any other humanbeing shall ever see us again; I will go to the vast wilds ofSouth America. My food is not that of man; I do notdestroy the lamb and the kid to glut my appetite; acornsand berries afford me sufficient nourishment. Mycompanion will be of the same nature as myself and willbe content with the same fare. We shall make our bed ofdried leaves; the sun will shine on us as on man and willripen our food. The picture I present to you is peacefuland human, and you must feel that you could deny it onlyin the wantonness of power and cruelty. Pitiless as youhave been towards me, I now see compassion in youreyes; let me seize the favourable moment and persuadeyou to promise what I so ardently desire.’ ‘You propose,’ replied I, ‘to fly from the habitations ofman, to dwell in those wilds where the beasts of the fieldwill be your only companions. How can you, who longfor the love and sympathy of man, persevere in this exile?You will return and again seek their kindness, and youwill meet with their detestation; your evil passions will berenewed, and you will then have a companion to aid youin the task of destruction. This may not be; cease to arguethe point, for I cannot consent.’ 219 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘How inconstant are your feelings! But a moment agoyou were moved by my representations, and why do youagain harden yourself to my complaints? I swear to you, bythe earth which I inhabit, and by you that made me, thatwith the companion you bestow I will quit theneighbourhood of man and dwell, as it may chance, in themost savage of places. My evil passions will have fled, for Ishall meet with sympathy! My life will flow quietly away,and in my dying moments I shall not curse my maker.’ His words had a strange effect upon me. Icompassionated him and sometimes felt a wish to consolehim, but when I looked upon him, when I saw the filthymass that moved and talked, my heart sickened and myfeelings were altered to those of horror and hatred. I triedto stifle these sensations; I thought that as I could notsympathize with him, I had no right to withhold from himthe small portion of happiness which was yet in my powerto bestow. ‘You swear,’ I said, ‘to be harmless; but have you notalready shown a degree of malice that should reasonablymake me distrust you? May not even this be a feint thatwill increase your triumph by affording a wider scope foryour revenge?’ 220 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘How is this? I must not be trifled with, and I demandan answer. If I have no ties and no affections, hatred andvice must be my portion; the love of another will destroythe cause of my crimes, and I shall become a thing ofwhose existence everyone will be ignorant. My vices arethe children of a forced solitude that I abhor, and myvirtues will necessarily arise when I live in communionwith an equal. I shall feel the affections of a sensitive beingand became linked to the chain of existence and eventsfrom which I am now excluded.’ I paused some time to reflect on all he had related andthe various arguments which he had employed. I thoughtof the promise of virtues which he had displayed on theopening of his existence and the subsequent blight of allkindly feeling by the loathing and scorn which hisprotectors had manifested towards him. His power andthreats were not omitted in my calculations; a creaturewho could exist in the ice caves of the glaciers and hidehimself from pursuit among the ridges of inaccessibleprecipices was a being possessing faculties it would be vainto cope with. After a long pause of reflection I concludedthat the justice due both to him and my fellow creaturesdemanded of me that I should comply with his request.Turning to him, therefore, I said, 221 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘I consent to your demand, on your solemn oath toquit Europe forever, and every other place in theneighbourhood of man, as soon as I shall deliver into yourhands a female who will accompany you in your exile.’ ‘I swear,’ he cried, ‘by the sun, and by the blue sky ofheaven, and by the fire of love that burns my heart, that ifyou grant my prayer, while they exist you shall neverbehold me again. Depart to your home and commenceyour labours; I shall watch their progress with unutterableanxiety; and fear not but that when you are ready I shallappear.’ Saying this, he suddenly quitted me, fearful, perhaps, ofany change in my sentiments. I saw him descend themountain with greater speed than the flight of an eagle,and quickly lost among the undulations of the sea of ice. His tale had occupied the whole day, and the sun wasupon the verge of the horizon when he departed. I knewthat I ought to hasten my descent towards the valley, as Ishould soon be encompassed in darkness; but my heart washeavy, and my steps slow. The labour of winding amongthe little paths of the mountain and fixing my feet firmly asI advanced perplexed me, occupied as I was by theemotions which the occurrences of the day had produced.Night was far advanced when I came to the halfway 222 of 345
    • Frankensteinresting-place and seated myself beside the fountain. Thestars shone at intervals as the clouds passed from overthem; the dark pines rose before me, and every here andthere a broken tree lay on the ground; it was a scene ofwonderful solemnity and stirred strange thoughts withinme. I wept bitterly, and clasping my hands in agony, Iexclaimed, ‘Oh! Stars and clouds and winds, ye are allabout to mock me; if ye really pity me, crush sensationand memory; let me become as nought; but if not, depart,depart, and leave me in darkness.’ These were wild and miserable thoughts, but I cannotdescribe to you how the eternal twinkling of the starsweighed upon me and how I listened to every blast ofwind as if it were a dull ugly siroc on its way to consumeme. Morning dawned before I arrived at the village ofChamounix; I took no rest, but returned immediately toGeneva. Even in my own heart I could give no expressionto my sensations—they weighed on me with a mountain’sweight and their excess destroyed my agony beneaththem. Thus I returned home, and entering the house,presented myself to the family. My haggard and wildappearance awoke intense alarm, but I answered noquestion, scarcely did I speak. I felt as if I were placed 223 of 345
    • Frankensteinunder a ban—as if I had no right to claim theirsympathies— as if never more might I enjoycompanionship with them. Yet even thus I loved them toadoration; and to save them, I resolved to dedicate myselfto my most abhorred task. The prospect of such anoccupation made every other circumstance of existencepass before me like a dream, and that thought only had tome the reality of life. 224 of 345
    • Frankenstein Chapter 18 Day after day, week after week, passed away on myreturn to Geneva; and I could not collect the courage torecommence my work. I feared the vengeance of thedisappointed fiend, yet I was unable to overcome myrepugnance to the task which was enjoined me. I foundthat I could not compose a female without again devotingseveral months to profound study and laboriousdisquisition. I had heard of some discoveries having beenmade by an English philosopher, the knowledge of whichwas material to my success, and I sometimes thought ofobtaining my father’s consent to visit England for thispurpose; but I clung to every pretence of delay and shrankfrom taking the first step in an undertaking whoseimmediate necessity began to appear less absolute to me. Achange indeed had taken place in me; my health, whichhad hitherto declined, was now much restored; and myspirits, when unchecked by the memory of my unhappypromise, rose proportionably. My father saw this changewith pleasure, and he turned his thoughts towards the bestmethod of eradicating the remains of my melancholy,which every now and then would return by fits, and with 225 of 345
    • Frankensteina devouring blackness overcast the approaching sunshine.At these moments I took refuge in the most perfectsolitude. I passed whole days on the lake alone in a littleboat, watching the clouds and listening to the rippling ofthe waves, silent and listless. But the fresh air and brightsun seldom failed to restore me to some degree ofcomposure, and on my return I met the salutations of myfriends with a readier smile and a more cheerful heart. It was after my return from one of these rambles thatmy father, calling me aside, thus addressed me, ‘I am happy to remark, my dear son, that you haveresumed your former pleasures and seem to be returningto yourself. And yet you are still unhappy and still avoidour society. For some time I was lost in conjecture as tothe cause of this, but yesterday an idea struck me, and if itis well founded, I conjure you to avow it. Reserve onsuch a point would be not only useless, but draw downtreble misery on us all.’ I trembled violently at his exordium, and my fathercontinued— ‘I confess, my son, that I have always lookedforward to your marriage with our dear Elizabeth as the tieof our domestic comfort and the stay of my decliningyears. You were attached to each other from your earliestinfancy; you studied together, and appeared, in 226 of 345
    • Frankensteindispositions and tastes, entirely suited to one another. Butso blind is the experience of man that what I conceived tobe the best assistants to my plan may have entirelydestroyed it. You, perhaps, regard her as your sister,without any wish that she might become your wife. Nay,you may have met with another whom you may love; andconsidering yourself as bound in honour to Elizabeth, thisstruggle may occasion the poignant misery which youappear to feel.’ ‘My dear father, reassure yourself. I love my cousintenderly and sincerely. I never saw any woman whoexcited, as Elizabeth does, my warmest admiration andaffection. My future hopes and prospects are entirelybound up in the expectation of our union.’ ‘The expression of your sentiments of this subject, mydear Victor, gives me more pleasure than I have for sometime experienced. If you feel thus, we shall assuredly behappy, however present events may cast a gloom over us.But it is this gloom which appears to have taken so stronga hold of your mind that I wish to dissipate. Tell me,therefore, whether you object to an immediatesolemnization of the marriage. We have been unfortunate,and recent events have drawn us from that everydaytranquillity befitting my years and infirmities. You are 227 of 345
    • Frankensteinyounger; yet l do not suppose, possessed as you are of acompetent fortune, that an early marriage would at allinterfere with any future plans of honour and utility thatyou may have formed. Do not suppose, however, that Iwish to dictate happiness to you or that a delay on yourpart would cause me any serious uneasiness. Interpret mywords with candour and answer me, I conjure you, withconfidence and sincerity.’ I listened to my father in silence and remained for sometime incapable of offering any reply. I revolved rapidly inmy mind a multitude of thoughts and endeavoured toarrive at some conclusion. Alas! To me the idea of animmediate union with my Elizabeth was one of horrorand dismay. I was bound by a solemn promise which I hadnot yet fulfilled and dared not break, or if I did, whatmanifold miseries might not impend over me and mydevoted family! Could I enter into a festival with thisdeadly weight yet hanging round my neck and bowing meto the ground? I must perform my engagement and let themonster depart with his mate before I allowed myself toenjoy the delight of a union from which I expected peace. I remembered also the necessity imposed upon me ofeither journeying to England or entering into a longcorrespondence with those philosophers of that country 228 of 345
    • Frankensteinwhose knowledge and discoveries were of indispensableuse to me in my present undertaking. The latter methodof obtaining the desired intelligence was dilatory andunsatisfactory; besides, I had an insurmountable aversion tothe idea of engaging myself in my loathsome task in myfather’s house while in habits of familiar intercourse withthose I loved. I knew that a thousand fearful accidentsmight occur, the slightest of which would disclose a tale tothrill all connected with me with horror. I was aware alsothat I should often lose all self-command, all capacity ofhiding the harrowing sensations that would possess meduring the progress of my unearthly occupation. I mustabsent myself from all I loved while thus employed. Oncecommenced, it would quickly be achieved, and I might berestored to my family in peace and happiness. My promisefulfilled, the monster would depart forever. Or (so myfond fancy imaged) some accident might meanwhile occurto destroy him and put an end to my slavery forever. These feelings dictated my answer to my father. Iexpressed a wish to visit England, but concealing the truereasons of this request, I clothed my desires under a guisewhich excited no suspicion, while I urged my desire withan earnestness that easily induced my father to comply.After so long a period of an absorbing melancholy that 229 of 345
    • Frankensteinresembled madness in its intensity and effects, he was gladto find that I was capable of taking pleasure in the idea ofsuch a journey, and he hoped that change of scene andvaried amusement would, before my return, have restoredme entirely to myself. The duration of my absence was left to my ownchoice; a few months, or at most a year, was the periodcontemplated. One paternal kind precaution he had takento ensure my having a companion. Without previouslycommunicating with me, he had, in concert withElizabeth, arranged that Clerval should join me atStrasbourg. This interfered with the solitude I coveted forthe prosecution of my task; yet at the commencement ofmy journey the presence of my friend could in no way bean impediment, and truly I rejoiced that thus I should besaved many hours of lonely, maddening reflection. Nay,Henry might stand between me and the intrusion of myfoe. If I were alone, would he not at times force hisabhorred presence on me to remind me of my task or tocontemplate its progress? To England, therefore, I was bound, and it wasunderstood that my union with Elizabeth should takeplace immediately on my return. My father’s age renderedhim extremely averse to delay. For myself, there was one 230 of 345
    • eBook brought to you by Create, view, and edit PDF. Download the free trial version.Frankensteinreward I promised myself from my detested toils— oneconsolation for my unparalleled sufferings; it was theprospect of that day when, enfranchised from mymiserable slavery, I might claim Elizabeth and forget thepast in my union with her. I now made arrangements for my journey, but onefeeling haunted me which filled me with fear andagitation. During my absence I should leave my friendsunconscious of the existence of their enemy andunprotected from his attacks, exasperated as he might beby my departure. But he had promised to follow mewherever I might go, and would he not accompany me toEngland? This imagination was dreadful in itself, butsoothing inasmuch as it supposed the safety of my friends.I was agonized with the idea of the possibility that thereverse of this might happen. But through the wholeperiod during which I was the slave of my creature Iallowed myself to be governed by the impulses of themoment; and my present sensations strongly intimated thatthe fiend would follow me and exempt my family fromthe danger of his machinations. It was in the latter end of September that I againquitted my native country. My journey had been my ownsuggestion, and Elizabeth therefore acquiesced, but she 231 of 345
    • Frankensteinwas filled with disquiet at the idea of my suffering, awayfrom her, the inroads of misery and grief. It had been hercare which provided me a companion in Clerval—and yeta man is blind to a thousand minute circumstances whichcall forth a woman’s sedulous attention. She longed to bidme hasten my return; a thousand conflicting emotionsrendered her mute as she bade me a tearful, silent farewell. I threw myself into the carriage that was to convey meaway, hardly knowing whither I was going, and careless ofwhat was passing around. I remembered only, and it waswith a bitter anguish that I reflected on it, to order thatmy chemical instruments should be packed to go with me.Filled with dreary imaginations, I passed through manybeautiful and majestic scenes, but my eyes were fixed andunobserving. I could only think of the bourne of mytravels and the work which was to occupy me whilst theyendured. After some days spent in listless indolence, duringwhich I traversed many leagues, I arrived at Strasbourg,where I waited two days for Clerval. He came. Alas, howgreat was the contrast between us! He was alive to everynew scene, joyful when he saw the beauties of the settingsun, and more happy when he beheld it rise andrecommence a new day. He pointed out to me the 232 of 345
    • Frankensteinshifting colours of the landscape and the appearances of thesky. ‘This is what it is to live,’ he cried; ‘how I enjoyexistence! But you, my dear Frankenstein, wherefore areyou desponding and sorrowful!’ In truth, I was occupiedby gloomy thoughts and neither saw the descent of theevening star nor the golden sunrise reflected in the Rhine.And you, my friend, would be far more amused with thejournal of Clerval, who observed the scenery with an eyeof feeling and delight, than in listening to my reflections. I,a miserable wretch, haunted by a curse that shut up everyavenue to enjoyment. We had agreed to descend the Rhine in a boat fromStrasbourg to Rotterdam, whence we might take shippingfor London. During this voyage we passed many willowyislands and saw several beautiful towns. We stayed a day atMannheim, and on the fifth from our departure fromStrasbourg, arrived at Mainz. The course of the Rhinebelow Mainz becomes much more picturesque. The riverdescends rapidly and winds between hills, not high, butsteep, and of beautiful forms. We saw many ruined castlesstanding on the edges of precipices, surrounded by blackwoods, high and inaccessible. This part of the Rhine,indeed, presents a singularly variegated landscape. In onespot you view rugged hills, ruined castles overlooking 233 of 345
    • Frankensteintremendous precipices, with the dark Rhine rushingbeneath; and on the sudden turn of a promontory,flourishing vineyards with green sloping banks and ameandering river and populous towns occupy the scene. We travelled at the time of the vintage and heard thesong of the labourers as we glided down the stream. EvenI, depressed in mind, and my spirits continually agitated bygloomy feelings, even I was pleased. I lay at the bottom ofthe boat, and as I gazed on the cloudless blue sky, Iseemed to drink in a tranquillity to which I had long beena stranger. And if these were my sensations, who candescribe those of Henry? He felt as if he had beentransported to fairy-land and enjoyed a happiness seldomtasted by man. ‘I have seen,’ he said, ‘the most beautifulscenes of my own country; I have visited the lakes ofLucerne and Uri, where the snowy mountains descendalmost perpendicularly to the water, casting black andimpenetrable shades, which would cause a gloomy andmournful appearance were it not for the most verdantislands that relieve the eye by their gay appearance; I haveseen this lake agitated by a tempest, when the wind toreup whirlwinds of water and gave you an idea of what thewater-spout must be on the great ocean; and the wavesdash with fury the base of the mountain, where the priest 234 of 345
    • Frankensteinand his mistress were overwhelmed by an avalanche andwhere their dying voices are still said to be heard amid thepauses of the nightly wind; I have seen the mountains ofLa Valais, and the Pays de Vaud; but this country, Victor,pleases me more than all those wonders. The mountains ofSwitzerland are more majestic and strange, but there is acharm in the banks of this divine river that I never beforesaw equalled. Look at that castle which overhangs yonprecipice; and that also on the island, almost concealedamongst the foliage of those lovely trees; and now thatgroup of labourers coming from among their vines; andthat village half hid in the recess of the mountain. Oh,surely the spirit that inhabits and guards this place has asoul more in harmony with man than those who pile theglacier or retire to the inaccessible peaks of the mountainsof our own country.’ Clerval! Beloved friend! Even now itdelights me to record your words and to dwell on thepraise of which you are so eminently deserving. He was abeing formed in the ‘very poetry of nature.’ His wild andenthusiastic imagination was chastened by the sensibility ofhis heart. His soul overflowed with ardent affections, andhis friendship was of that devoted and wondrous naturethat the world-minded teach us to look for only in theimagination. But even human sympathies were not 235 of 345
    • Frankensteinsufficient to satisfy his eager mind. The scenery of externalnature, which others regard only with admiration, heloved with ardour:———-The sounding cataractHaunted him like a passion: the tall rock,The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,Their colours and their forms, were then to himAn appetite; a feeling, and a love,That had no need of a remoter charm,By thought supplied, or any interestUnborrow’d from the eye.*[*Wordsworth’s ‘Tintern Abbey".] And where does he now exist? Is this gentle and lovelybeing lost forever? Has this mind, so replete with ideas,imaginations fanciful and magnificent, which formed aworld, whose existence depended on the life of its creator;— has this mind perished? Does it now only exist in mymemory? No, it is not thus; your form so divinelywrought, and beaming with beauty, has decayed, but yourspirit still visits and consoles your unhappy friend. Pardon this gush of sorrow; these ineffectual words arebut a slight tribute to the unexampled worth of Henry,but they soothe my heart, overflowing with the anguishwhich his remembrance creates. I will proceed with mytale. 236 of 345
    • Frankenstein Beyond Cologne we descended to the plains ofHolland; and we resolved to post the remainder of ourway, for the wind was contrary and the stream of the riverwas too gentle to aid us. Our journey here lost the interestarising from beautiful scenery, but we arrived in a few daysat Rotterdam, whence we proceeded by sea to England. Itwas on a clear morning, in the latter days of December,that I first saw the white cliffs of Britain. The banks of theThames presented a new scene; they were flat but fertile,and almost every town was marked by the remembranceof some story. We saw Tilbury Fort and remembered theSpanish Armada, Gravesend, Woolwich, andGreenwich— places which I had heard of even in mycountry. At length we saw the numerous steeples of London, St.Paul’s towering above all, and the Tower famed in Englishhistory. 237 of 345
    • Frankenstein Chapter 19 London was our present point of rest; we determinedto remain several months in this wonderful and celebratedcity. Clerval desired the intercourse of the men of geniusand talent who flourished at this time, but this was withme a secondary object; I was principally occupied with themeans of obtaining the information necessary for thecompletion of my promise and quickly availed myself ofthe letters of introduction that I had brought with me,addressed to the most distinguished natural philosophers. If this journey had taken place during my days of studyand happiness, it would have afforded me inexpressiblepleasure. But a blight had come over my existence, and Ionly visited these people for the sake of the informationthey might give me on the subject in which my interestwas so terribly profound. Company was irksome to me;when alone, I could fill my mind with the sights of heavenand earth; the voice of Henry soothed me, and I couldthus cheat myself into a transitory peace. But busy,uninteresting, joyous faces brought back despair to myheart. I saw an insurmountable barrier placed between meand my fellow men; this barrier was sealed with the blood 238 of 345
    • Frankensteinof William and Justine, and to reflect on the eventsconnected with those names filled my soul with anguish. But in Clerval I saw the image of my former self; hewas inquisitive and anxious to gain experience andinstruction. The difference of manners which he observedwas to him an inexhaustible source of instruction andamusement. He was also pursuing an object he had longhad in view. His design was to visit India, in the belief thathe had in his knowledge of its various languages, and inthe views he had taken of its society, the means ofmaterially assisting the progress of European colonizationand trade. In Britain only could he further the executionof his plan. He was forever busy, and the only check to hisenjoyments was my sorrowful and dejected mind. I triedto conceal this as much as possible, that I might not debarhim from the pleasures natural to one who was enteringon a new scene of life, undisturbed by any care or bitterrecollection. I often refused to accompany him, alleginganother engagement, that I might remain alone. I nowalso began to collect the materials necessary for my newcreation, and this was to me like the torture of single dropsof water continually falling on the head. Every thoughtthat was devoted to it was an extreme anguish, and every 239 of 345
    • Frankensteinword that I spoke in allusion to it caused my lips toquiver, and my heart to palpitate. After passing some months in London, we received aletter from a person in Scotland who had formerly beenour visitor at Geneva. He mentioned the beauties of hisnative country and asked us if those were not sufficientallurements to induce us to prolong our journey as farnorth as Perth, where he resided. Clerval eagerly desiredto accept this invitation, and I, although I abhorredsociety, wished to view again mountains and streams andall the wondrous works with which Nature adorns herchosen dwelling-places. We had arrived in England at thebeginning of October, and it was now February. Weaccordingly determined to commence our journeytowards the north at the expiration of another month. Inthis expedition we did not intend to follow the great roadto Edinburgh, but to visit Windsor, Oxford, Matlock, andthe Cumberland lakes, resolving to arrive at thecompletion of this tour about the end of July. I packed upmy chemical instruments and the materials I had collected,resolving to finish my labours in some obscure nook in thenorthern highlands of Scotland. We quitted London on the 27th of March andremained a few days at Windsor, rambling in its beautiful 240 of 345
    • Frankensteinforest. This was a new scene to us mountaineers; themajestic oaks, the quantity of game, and the herds ofstately deer were all novelties to us. From thence we proceeded to Oxford. As we enteredthis city our minds were filled with the remembrance ofthe events that had been transacted there more than acentury and a half before. It was here that Charles I hadcollected his forces. This city had remained faithful to him,after the whole nation had forsaken his cause to join thestandard of Parliament and liberty. The memory of thatunfortunate king and his companions, the amiableFalkland, the insolent Goring, his queen, and son, gave apeculiar interest to every part of the city which they mightbe supposed to have inhabited. The spirit of elder daysfound a dwelling here, and we delighted to trace itsfootsteps. If these feelings had not found an imaginarygratification, the appearance of the city had yet in itselfsufficient beauty to obtain our admiration. The collegesare ancient and picturesque; the streets are almostmagnificent; and the lovely Isis, which flows beside itthrough meadows of exquisite verdure, is spread forth intoa placid expanse of waters, which reflects its majesticassemblage of towers, and spires, and domes, embosomedamong aged trees. 241 of 345
    • Frankenstein I enjoyed this scene, and yet my enjoyment wasembittered both by the memory of the past and theanticipation of the future. I was formed for peacefulhappiness. During my youthful days discontent nevervisited my mind, and if I was ever overcome by ennui, thesight of what is beautiful in nature or the study of what isexcellent and sublime in the productions of man couldalways interest my heart and communicate elasticity to myspirits. But I am a blasted tree; the bolt has entered mysoul; and I felt then that I should survive to exhibit what Ishall soon cease to be—a miserable spectacle of wreckedhumanity, pitiable to others and intolerable to myself. We passed a considerable period at Oxford, ramblingamong its environs and endeavouring to identify everyspot which might relate to the most animating epoch ofEnglish history. Our little voyages of discovery were oftenprolonged by the successive objects that presentedthemselves. We visited the tomb of the illustriousHampden and the field on which that patriot fell. For amoment my soul was elevated from its debasing andmiserable fears to contemplate the divine ideas of libertyand self sacrifice of which these sights were themonuments and the remembrancers. For an instant I daredto shake off my chains and look around me with a free and 242 of 345
    • eBook brought to you by Create, view, and edit PDF. Download the free trial version.Frankensteinlofty spirit, but the iron had eaten into my flesh, and I sankagain, trembling and hopeless, into my miserable self. We left Oxford with regret and proceeded to Matlock,which was our next place of rest. The country in theneighbourhood of this village resembled, to a greaterdegree, the scenery of Switzerland; but everything is on alower scale, and the green hills want the crown of distantwhite Alps which always attend on the piny mountains ofmy native country. We visited the wondrous cave and thelittle cabinets of natural history, where the curiosities aredisposed in the same manner as in the collections atServox and Chamounix. The latter name made metremble when pronounced by Henry, and I hastened toquit Matlock, with which that terrible scene was thusassociated. From Derby, still journeying northwards, we passedtwo months in Cumberland and Westmorland. I couldnow almost fancy myself among the Swiss mountains. Thelittle patches of snow which yet lingered on the northernsides of the mountains, the lakes, and the dashing of therocky streams were all familiar and dear sights to me. Herealso we made some acquaintances, who almost contrivedto cheat me into happiness. The delight of Clerval wasproportionably greater than mine; his mind expanded in 243 of 345
    • Frankensteinthe company of men of talent, and he found in his ownnature greater capacities and resources than he could haveimagined himself to have possessed while he associatedwith his inferiors. ‘I could pass my life here,’ said he tome; ‘and among these mountains I should scarcely regretSwitzerland and the Rhine.’ But he found that a traveller’s life is one that includesmuch pain amidst its enjoyments. His feelings are foreveron the stretch; and when he begins to sink into repose, hefinds himself obliged to quit that on which he rests inpleasure for something new, which again engages hisattention, and which also he forsakes for other novelties. We had scarcely visited the various lakes ofCumberland and Westmorland and conceived an affectionfor some of the inhabitants when the period of ourappointment with our Scotch friend approached, and weleft them to travel on. For my own part I was not sorry. Ihad now neglected my promise for some time, and Ifeared the effects of the daemon’s disappointment. Hemight remain in Switzerland and wreak his vengeance onmy relatives. This idea pursued me and tormented me atevery moment from which I might otherwise havesnatched repose and peace. I waited for my letters withfeverish impatience; if they were delayed I was miserable 244 of 345
    • Frankensteinand overcome by a thousand fears; and when they arrivedand I saw the superscription of Elizabeth or my father, Ihardly dared to read and ascertain my fate. Sometimes Ithought that the fiend followed me and might expeditemy remissness by murdering my companion. When thesethoughts possessed me, I would not quit Henry for amoment, but followed him as his shadow, to protect himfrom the fancied rage of his destroyer. I felt as if I hadcommitted some great crime, the consciousness of whichhaunted me. I was guiltless, but I had indeed drawn downa horrible curse upon my head, as mortal as that of crime. I visited Edinburgh with languid eyes and mind; andyet that city might have interested the most unfortunatebeing. Clerval did not like it so well as Oxford, for theantiquity of the latter city was more pleasing to him. Butthe beauty and regularity of the new town of Edinburgh,its romantic castle and its environs, the most delightful inthe world, Arthur’s Seat, St. Bernard’s Well, and thePentland Hills compensated him for the change and filledhim with cheerfulness and admiration. But I was impatientto arrive at the termination of my journey. We left Edinburgh in a week, passing through Coupar,St. Andrew’s, and along the banks of the Tay, to Perth,where our friend expected us. But I was in no mood to 245 of 345
    • Frankensteinlaugh and talk with strangers or enter into their feelings orplans with the good humour expected from a guest; andaccordingly I told Clerval that I wished to make the tourof Scotland alone. ‘Do you,’ said I, ‘enjoy yourself, and letthis be our rendezvous. I may be absent a month or two;but do not interfere with my motions, I entreat you; leaveme to peace and solitude for a short time; and when Ireturn, I hope it will be with a lighter heart, morecongenial to your own temper. Henry wished to dissuade me, but seeing me bent onthis plan, ceased to remonstrate. He entreated me to writeoften. ‘I had rather be with you,’ he said, ‘in your solitaryrambles, than with these Scotch people, whom I do notknow; hasten, then, my dear friend, to return, that I mayagain feel myself somewhat at home, which I cannot do inyour absence.’ Having parted from my friend, I determined to visitsome remote spot of Scotland and finish my work insolitude. I did not doubt but that the monster followed meand would discover himself to me when I should havefinished, that he might receive his companion. With thisresolution I traversed the northern highlands and fixed onone of the remotest of the Orkneys as the scene of mylabours. It was a place fitted for such a work, being hardly 246 of 345
    • Frankensteinmore than a rock whose high sides were continuallybeaten upon by the waves. The soil was barren, scarcelyaffording pasture for a few miserable cows, and oatmeal forits inhabitants, which consisted of five persons, whosegaunt and scraggy limbs gave tokens of their miserablefare. Vegetables and bread, when they indulged in suchluxuries, and even fresh water, was to be procured fromthe mainland, which was about five miles distant. On the whole island there were but three miserablehuts, and one of these was vacant when I arrived. This Ihired. It contained but two rooms, and these exhibited allthe squalidness of the most miserable penury. The thatchhad fallen in, the walls were unplastered, and the door wasoff its hinges. I ordered it to be repaired, bought somefurniture, and took possession, an incident which woulddoubtless have occasioned some surprise had not all thesenses of the cottagers been benumbed by want andsqualid poverty. As it was, I lived ungazed at andunmolested, hardly thanked for the pittance of food andclothes which I gave, so much does suffering blunt eventhe coarsest sensations of men. In this retreat I devoted the morning to labour; but inthe evening, when the weather permitted, I walked on thestony beach of the sea to listen to the waves as they roared 247 of 345
    • Frankensteinand dashed at my feet. It was a monotonous yet ever-changing scene. I thought of Switzerland; it was fardifferent from this desolate and appalling landscape. Its hillsare covered with vines, and its cottages are scatteredthickly in the plains. Its fair lakes reflect a blue and gentlesky, and when troubled by the winds, their tumult is butas the play of a lively infant when compared to theroarings of the giant ocean. In this manner I distributed my occupations when Ifirst arrived, but as I proceeded in my labour, it becameevery day more horrible and irksome to me. Sometimes Icould not prevail on myself to enter my laboratory forseveral days, and at other times I toiled day and night inorder to complete my work. It was, indeed, a filthyprocess in which I was engaged. During my firstexperiment, a kind of enthusiastic frenzy had blinded meto the horror of my employment; my mind was intentlyfixed on the consummation of my labour, and my eyeswere shut to the horror of my proceedings. But now Iwent to it in cold blood, and my heart often sickened atthe work of my hands. Thus situated, employed in the most detestableoccupation, immersed in a solitude where nothing couldfor an instant call my attention from the actual scene in 248 of 345
    • Frankensteinwhich I was engaged, my spirits became unequal; I grewrestless and nervous. Every moment I feared to meet mypersecutor. Sometimes I sat with my eyes fixed on theground, fearing to raise them lest they should encounterthe object which I so much dreaded to behold. I feared towander from the sight of my fellow creatures lest whenalone he should come to claim his companion. In the mean time I worked on, and my labour wasalready considerably advanced. I looked towards itscompletion with a tremulous and eager hope, which Idared not trust myself to question but which wasintermixed with obscure forebodings of evil that made myheart sicken in my bosom. 249 of 345
    • Frankenstein Chapter 20 I sat one evening in my laboratory; the sun had set, andthe moon was just rising from the sea; I had not sufficientlight for my employment, and I remained idle, in a pauseof consideration of whether I should leave my labour forthe night or hasten its conclusion by an unremittingattention to it. As I sat, a train of reflection occurred to mewhich led me to consider the effects of what I was nowdoing. Three years before, I was engaged in the samemanner and had created a fiend whose unparalleledbarbarity had desolated my heart and filled it forever withthe bitterest remorse. I was now about to form anotherbeing of whose dispositions I was alike ignorant; she mightbecome ten thousand times more malignant than her mateand delight, for its own sake, in murder and wretchedness.He had sworn to quit the neighbourhood of man and hidehimself in deserts, but she had not; and she, who in allprobability was to become a thinking and reasoninganimal, might refuse to comply with a compact madebefore her creation. They might even hate each other; thecreature who already lived loathed his own deformity, andmight he not conceive a greater abhorrence for it when it 250 of 345
    • Frankensteincame before his eyes in the female form? She also mightturn with disgust from him to the superior beauty of man;she might quit him, and he be again alone, exasperated bythe fresh provocation of being deserted by one of his ownspecies. Even if they were to leave Europe and inhabit thedeserts of the new world, yet one of the first results ofthose sympathies for which the daemon thirsted would bechildren, and a race of devils would be propagated uponthe earth who might make the very existence of thespecies of man a condition precarious and full of terror.Had I right, for my own benefit, to inflict this curse uponeverlasting generations? I had before been moved by thesophisms of the being I had created; I had been strucksenseless by his fiendish threats; but now, for the first time,the wickedness of my promise burst upon me; I shudderedto think that future ages might curse me as their pest,whose selfishness had not hesitated to buy its own peace atthe price, perhaps, of the existence of the whole humanrace. I trembled and my heart failed within me, when, onlooking up, I saw by the light of the moon the daemon atthe casement. A ghastly grin wrinkled his lips as he gazedon me, where I sat fulfilling the task which he had allotted 251 of 345
    • Frankensteinto me. Yes, he had followed me in my travels; he hadloitered in forests, hid himself in caves, or taken refuge inwide and desert heaths; and he now came to mark myprogress and claim the fulfillment of my promise. As I looked on him, his countenance expressed theutmost extent of malice and treachery. I thought with asensation of madness on my promise of creating anotherlike to him, and trembling with passion, tore to pieces thething on which I was engaged. The wretch saw medestroy the creature on whose future existence hedepended for happiness, and with a howl of devilishdespair and revenge, withdrew. I left the room, and locking the door, made a solemnvow in my own heart never to resume my labours; andthen, with trembling steps, I sought my own apartment. Iwas alone; none were near me to dissipate the gloom andrelieve me from the sickening oppression of the mostterrible reveries. Several hours passed, and I remained near my windowgazing on the sea; it was almost motionless, for the windswere hushed, and all nature reposed under the eye of thequiet moon. A few fishing vessels alone specked the water,and now and then the gentle breeze wafted the sound ofvoices as the fishermen called to one another. I felt the 252 of 345
    • Frankensteinsilence, although I was hardly conscious of its extremeprofundity, until my ear was suddenly arrested by thepaddling of oars near the shore, and a person landed closeto my house. In a few minutes after, I heard the creaking of my door,as if some one endeavoured to open it softly. I trembledfrom head to foot; I felt a presentiment of who it was andwished to rouse one of the peasants who dwelt in acottage not far from mine; but I was overcome by thesensation of helplessness, so often felt in frightful dreams,when you in vain endeavour to fly from an impendingdanger, and was rooted to the spot. Presently I heard the sound of footsteps along thepassage; the door opened, and the wretch whom I dreadedappeared. Shutting the door, he approached me and said ina smothered voice, ‘You have destroyed the work whichyou began; what is it that you intend? Do you dare tobreak your promise? I have endured toil and misery; I leftSwitzerland with you; I crept along the shores of theRhine, among its willow islands and over the summits ofits hills. I have dwelt many months in the heaths ofEngland and among the deserts of Scotland. I haveendured incalculable fatigue, and cold, and hunger; do youdare destroy my hopes?’ 253 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘Begone! I do break my promise; never will I createanother like yourself, equal in deformity and wickedness.’ ‘Slave, I before reasoned with you, but you haveproved yourself unworthy of my condescension.Remember that I have power; you believe yourselfmiserable, but I can make you so wretched that the lightof day will be hateful to you. You are my creator, but Iam your master; obey!’ ‘The hour of my irresolution is past, and the period ofyour power is arrived. Your threats cannot move me to doan act of wickedness; but they confirm me in adetermination of not creating you a companion in vice.Shall I, in cool blood, set loose upon the earth a daemonwhose delight is in death and wretchedness? Begone! I amfirm, and your words will only exasperate my rage.’ The monster saw my determination in my face andgnashed his teeth in the impotence of anger. ‘Shall eachman,’ cried he, ‘find a wife for his bosom, and each beasthave his mate, and I be alone? I had feelings of affection,and they were requited by detestation and scorn. Man!You may hate, but beware! Your hours will pass in dreadand misery, and soon the bolt will fall which must ravishfrom you your happiness forever. Are you to be happywhile I grovel in the intensity of my wretchedness? You 254 of 345
    • eBook brought to you by Create, view, and edit PDF. Download the free trial version.Frankensteincan blast my other passions, but revenge remains—revenge, henceforth dearer than light or food! I may die,but first you, my tyrant and tormentor, shall curse the sunthat gazes on your misery. Beware, for I am fearless andtherefore powerful. I will watch with the wiliness of asnake, that I may sting with its venom. Man, you shallrepent of the injuries you inflict.’ ‘Devil, cease; and do not poison the air with thesesounds of malice. I have declared my resolution to you,and I am no coward to bend beneath words. Leave me; Iam inexorable.’ ‘It is well. I go; but remember, I shall be with you onyour wedding-night.’ I started forward and exclaimed, ‘Villain! Before yousign my death-warrant, be sure that you are yourself safe.’ I would have seized him, but he eluded me and quittedthe house with precipitation. In a few moments I saw himin his boat, which shot across the waters with an arrowyswiftness and was soon lost amidst the waves. All was again silent, but his words rang in my ears. Iburned with rage to pursue the murderer of my peace andprecipitate him into the ocean. I walked up and down myroom hastily and perturbed, while my imaginationconjured up a thousand images to torment and sting me. 255 of 345
    • FrankensteinWhy had I not followed him and closed with him inmortal strife? But I had suffered him to depart, and he haddirected his course towards the mainland. I shuddered tothink who might be the next victim sacrificed to hisinsatiate revenge. And then I thought again of his words—‘*I will be with you on your wedding-night*.’ That, then,was the period fixed for the fulfillment of my destiny. Inthat hour I should die and at once satisfy and extinguishhis malice. The prospect did not move me to fear; yetwhen I thought of my beloved Elizabeth, of her tears andendless sorrow, when she should find her lover sobarbarously snatched from her, tears, the first I had shedfor many months, streamed from my eyes, and I resolvednot to fall before my enemy without a bitter struggle. The night passed away, and the sun rose from theocean; my feelings became calmer, if it may be calledcalmness when the violence of rage sinks into the depthsof despair. I left the house, the horrid scene of the lastnight’s contention, and walked on the beach of the sea,which I almost regarded as an insuperable barrier betweenme and my fellow creatures; nay, a wish that such shouldprove the fact stole across me. I desired that I might passmy life on that barren rock, wearily, it is true, butuninterrupted by any sudden shock of misery. If I 256 of 345
    • Frankensteinreturned, it was to be sacrificed or to see those whom Imost loved die under the grasp of a daemon whom I hadmyself created. I walked about the isle like a restless spectre, separatedfrom all it loved and miserable in the separation. When itbecame noon, and the sun rose higher, I lay down on thegrass and was overpowered by a deep sleep. I had beenawake the whole of the preceding night, my nerves wereagitated, and my eyes inflamed by watching and misery.The sleep into which I now sank refreshed me; and whenI awoke, I again felt as if I belonged to a race of humanbeings like myself, and I began to reflect upon what hadpassed with greater composure; yet still the words of thefiend rang in my ears like a death-knell; they appeared likea dream, yet distinct and oppressive as a reality. The sun had far descended, and I still sat on the shore,satisfying my appetite, which had become ravenous, withan oaten cake, when I saw a fishing-boat land close to me,and one of the men brought me a packet; it containedletters from Geneva, and one from Clerval entreating meto join him. He said that he was wearing away his timefruitlessly where he was, that letters from the friends hehad formed in London desired his return to complete thenegotiation they had entered into for his Indian enterprise. 257 of 345
    • FrankensteinHe could not any longer delay his departure; but as hisjourney to London might be followed, even sooner thanhe now conjectured, by his longer voyage, he entreatedme to bestow as much of my society on him as I couldspare. He besought me, therefore, to leave my solitary isleand to meet him at Perth, that we might proceedsouthwards together. This letter in a degree recalled me tolife, and I determined to quit my island at the expiration oftwo days. Yet, before I departed, there was a task to perform, onwhich I shuddered to reflect; I must pack up my chemicalinstruments, and for that purpose I must enter the roomwhich had been the scene of my odious work, and I musthandle those utensils the sight of which was sickening tome. The next morning, at daybreak, I summonedsufficient courage and unlocked the door of mylaboratory. The remains of the half-finished creature,whom I had destroyed, lay scattered on the floor, and Ialmost felt as if I had mangled the living flesh of a humanbeing. I paused to collect myself and then entered thechamber. With trembling hand I conveyed theinstruments out of the room, but I reflected that I oughtnot to leave the relics of my work to excite the horror andsuspicion of the peasants; and I accordingly put them into 258 of 345
    • Frankensteina basket, with a great quantity of stones, and laying themup, determined to throw them into the sea that very night;and in the meantime I sat upon the beach, employed incleaning and arranging my chemical apparatus. Nothing could be more complete than the alterationthat had taken place in my feelings since the night of theappearance of the daemon. I had before regarded mypromise with a gloomy despair as a thing that, withwhatever consequences, must be fulfilled; but I now felt asif a film had been taken from before my eyes and that I forthe first time saw clearly. The idea of renewing my laboursdid not for one instant occur to me; the threat I had heardweighed on my thoughts, but I did not reflect that avoluntary act of mine could avert it. I had resolved in myown mind that to create another like the fiend I had firstmade would be an act of the basest and most atrociousselfishness, and I banished from my mind every thoughtthat could lead to a different conclusion. Between two and three in the morning the moon rose;and I then, putting my basket aboard a little skiff, sailedout about four miles from the shore. The scene wasperfectly solitary; a few boats were returning towards land,but I sailed away from them. I felt as if I was about thecommission of a dreadful crime and avoided with 259 of 345
    • Frankensteinshuddering anxiety any encounter with my fellowcreatures. At one time the moon, which had before beenclear, was suddenly overspread by a thick cloud, and Itook advantage of the moment of darkness and cast mybasket into the sea; I listened to the gurgling sound as itsank and then sailed away from the spot. The sky becameclouded, but the air was pure, although chilled by thenortheast breeze that was then rising. But it refreshed meand filled me with such agreeable sensations that I resolvedto prolong my stay on the water, and fixing the rudder ina direct position, stretched myself at the bottom of theboat. Clouds hid the moon, everything was obscure, and Iheard only the sound of the boat as its keel cut throughthe waves; the murmur lulled me, and in a short time Islept soundly. I do not know how long I remained in this situation,but when I awoke I found that the sun had alreadymounted considerably. The wind was high, and the wavescontinually threatened the safety of my little skiff. I foundthat the wind was northeast and must have driven me farfrom the coast from which I had embarked. I endeavouredto change my course but quickly found that if I againmade the attempt the boat would be instantly filled withwater. Thus situated, my only resource was to drive before 260 of 345
    • Frankensteinthe wind. I confess that I felt a few sensations of terror. Ihad no compass with me and was so slenderly acquaintedwith the geography of this part of the world that the sunwas of little benefit to me. I might be driven into the wideAtlantic and feel all the tortures of starvation or beswallowed up in the immeasurable waters that roared andbuffeted around me. I had already been out many hoursand felt the torment of a burning thirst, a prelude to myother sufferings. I looked on the heavens, which werecovered by clouds that flew before the wind, only to bereplaced by others; I looked upon the sea; it was to be mygrave. ‘Fiend,’ I exclaimed, ‘your task is already fulfilled!’ Ithought of Elizabeth, of my father, and of Clerval—all leftbehind, on whom the monster might satisfy his sanguinaryand merciless passions. This idea plunged me into a reverieso despairing and frightful that even now, when the sceneis on the point of closing before me forever, I shudder toreflect on it. Some hours passed thus; but by degrees, as the sundeclined towards the horizon, the wind died away into agentle breeze and the sea became free from breakers. Butthese gave place to a heavy swell; I felt sick and hardly ableto hold the rudder, when suddenly I saw a line of highland towards the south. 261 of 345
    • Frankenstein Almost spent, as I was, by fatigue and the dreadfulsuspense I endured for several hours, this sudden certaintyof life rushed like a flood of warm joy to my heart, andtears gushed from my eyes. How mutable are our feelings, and how strange is thatclinging love we have of life even in the excess of misery!I constructed another sail with a part of my dress andeagerly steered my course towards the land. It had a wildand rocky appearance, but as I approached nearer I easilyperceived the traces of cultivation. I saw vessels near theshore and found myself suddenly transported back to theneighbourhood of civilized man. I carefully traced thewindings of the land and hailed a steeple which I at lengthsaw issuing from behind a small promontory. As I was in astate of extreme debility, I resolved to sail directly towardsthe town, as a place where I could most easily procurenourishment. Fortunately I had money with me. As Iturned the promontory I perceived a small neat town anda good harbour, which I entered, my heart bounding withjoy at my unexpected escape. As I was occupied in fixing the boat and arranging thesails, several people crowded towards the spot. Theyseemed much surprised at my appearance, but instead ofoffering me any assistance, whispered together with 262 of 345
    • Frankensteingestures that at any other time might have produced in mea slight sensation of alarm. As it was, I merely remarkedthat they spoke English, and I therefore addressed them inthat language. ‘My good friends,’ said I, ‘will you be sokind as to tell me the name of this town and inform mewhere I am?’ ‘You will know that soon enough,’ replied a man witha hoarse voice. ‘Maybe you are come to a place that willnot prove much to your taste, but you will not beconsulted as to your quarters, I promise you.’ I was exceedingly surprised on receiving so rude ananswer from a stranger, and I was also disconcerted onperceiving the frowning and angry countenances of hiscompanions. ‘Why do you answer me so roughly?’ Ireplied. ‘Surely it is not the custom of Englishmen toreceive strangers so inhospitably.’ ‘I do not know,’ said the man, ‘what the custom of theEnglish may be, but it is the custom of the Irish to hatevillains.’ While this strange dialogue continued, I perceived thecrowd rapidly increase. Their faces expressed a mixture ofcuriosity and anger, which annoyed and in some degreealarmed me. I inquired the way to the inn, but no onereplied. I then moved forward, and a murmuring sound 263 of 345
    • Frankensteinarose from the crowd as they followed and surroundedme, when an ill-looking man approaching tapped me onthe shoulder and said, ‘Come, sir, you must follow me toMr. Kirwin’s to give an account of yourself.’ ‘Who is Mr. Kirwin? Why am I to give an account ofmyself? Is not this a free country?’ ‘Ay, sir, free enough for honest folks. Mr. Kirwin is amagistrate, and you are to give an account of the death ofa gentleman who was found murdered here last night.’ This answer startled me, but I presently recoveredmyself. I was innocent; that could easily be proved;accordingly I followed my conductor in silence and wasled to one of the best houses in the town. I was ready tosink from fatigue and hunger, but being surrounded by acrowd, I thought it politic to rouse all my strength, that nophysical debility might be construed into apprehension orconscious guilt. Little did I then expect the calamity thatwas in a few moments to overwhelm me and extinguish inhorror and despair all fear of ignominy or death. I must pause here, for it requires all my fortitude torecall the memory of the frightful events which I am aboutto relate, in proper detail, to my recollection. 264 of 345
    • Frankenstein Chapter 21 I was soon introduced into the presence of themagistrate, an old benevolent man with calm and mildmanners. He looked upon me, however, with somedegree of severity, and then, turning towards myconductors, he asked who appeared as witnesses on thisoccasion. About half a dozen men came forward; and, one beingselected by the magistrate, he deposed that he had beenout fishing the night before with his son and brother-in-law, Daniel Nugent, when, about ten o’clock, theyobserved a strong northerly blast rising, and theyaccordingly put in for port. It was a very dark night, as themoon had not yet risen; they did not land at the harbour,but, as they had been accustomed, at a creek about twomiles below. He walked on first, carrying a part of thefishing tackle, and his companions followed him at somedistance. As he was proceeding along the sands, he struckhis foot against something and fell at his length on theground. His companions came up to assist him, and by thelight of their lantern they found that he had fallen on thebody of a man, who was to all appearance dead. Their first 265 of 345
    • Frankensteinsupposition was that it was the corpse of some person whohad been drowned and was thrown on shore by thewaves, but on examination they found that the clotheswere not wet and even that the body was not then cold.They instantly carried it to the cottage of an old womannear the spot and endeavoured, but in vain, to restore it tolife. It appeared to be a handsome young man, about fiveand twenty years of age. He had apparently been strangled,for there was no sign of any violence except the blackmark of fingers on his neck. The first part of this deposition did not in the leastinterest me, but when the mark of the fingers wasmentioned I remembered the murder of my brother andfelt myself extremely agitated; my limbs trembled, and amist came over my eyes, which obliged me to lean on achair for support. The magistrate observed me with a keeneye and of course drew an unfavourable augury from mymanner. The son confirmed his father’s account, but whenDaniel Nugent was called he swore positively that justbefore the fall of his companion, he saw a boat, with asingle man in it, at a short distance from the shore; and asfar as he could judge by the light of a few stars, it was thesame boat in which I had just landed. 266 of 345
    • eBook brought to you by Create, view, and edit PDF. Download the free trial version.Frankenstein A woman deposed that she lived near the beach andwas standing at the door of her cottage, waiting for thereturn of the fishermen, about an hour before she heard ofthe discovery of the body, when she saw a boat with onlyone man in it push off from that part of the shore wherethe corpse was afterwards found. Another woman confirmed the account of thefishermen having brought the body into her house; it wasnot cold. They put it into a bed and rubbed it, and Danielwent to the town for an apothecary, but life was quitegone. Several other men were examined concerning mylanding, and they agreed that, with the strong north windthat had arisen during the night, it was very probable that Ihad beaten about for many hours and had been obliged toreturn nearly to the same spot from which I had departed.Besides, they observed that it appeared that I had broughtthe body from another place, and it was likely that as I didnot appear to know the shore, I might have put into theharbour ignorant of the distance of the town of—— fromthe place where I had deposited the corpse. Mr. Kirwin, on hearing this evidence, desired that Ishould be taken into the room where the body lay forinterment, that it might be observed what effect the sight 267 of 345
    • Frankensteinof it would produce upon me. This idea was probablysuggested by the extreme agitation I had exhibited whenthe mode of the murder had been described. I wasaccordingly conducted, by the magistrate and several otherpersons, to the inn. I could not help being struck by thestrange coincidences that had taken place during thiseventful night; but, knowing that I had been conversingwith several persons in the island I had inhabited about thetime that the body had been found, I was perfectlytranquil as to the consequences of the affair. I entered the room where the corpse lay and was led upto the coffin. How can I describe my sensations onbeholding it? I feel yet parched with horror, nor can Ireflect on that terrible moment without shuddering andagony. The examination, the presence of the magistrateand witnesses, passed like a dream from my memory whenI saw the lifeless form of Henry Clerval stretched beforeme. I gasped for breath, and throwing myself on the body,I exclaimed, ‘Have my murderous machinations deprivedyou also, my dearest Henry, of life? Two I have alreadydestroyed; other victims await their destiny; but you,Clerval, my friend, my benefactor—‘ 268 of 345
    • Frankenstein The human frame could no longer support the agoniesthat I endured, and I was carried out of the room in strongconvulsions. A fever succeeded to this. I lay for two months on thepoint of death; my ravings, as I afterwards heard, werefrightful; I called myself the murderer of William, ofJustine, and of Clerval. Sometimes I entreated myattendants to assist me in the destruction of the fiend bywhom I was tormented; and at others I felt the fingers ofthe monster already grasping my neck, and screamed aloudwith agony and terror. Fortunately, as I spoke my nativelanguage, Mr. Kirwin alone understood me; but mygestures and bitter cries were sufficient to affright the otherwitnesses. Why did I not die? More miserable than man ever wasbefore, why did I not sink into forgetfulness and rest?Death snatches away many blooming children, the onlyhopes of their doting parents; how many brides andyouthful lovers have been one day in the bloom of healthand hope, and the next a prey for worms and the decay ofthe tomb! Of what materials was I made that I could thusresist so many shocks, which, like the turning of thewheel, continually renewed the torture? 269 of 345
    • Frankenstein But I was doomed to live and in two months foundmyself as awaking from a dream, in a prison, stretched ona wretched bed, surrounded by jailers, turnkeys, bolts, andall the miserable apparatus of a dungeon. It was morning, Iremember, when I thus awoke to understanding; I hadforgotten the particulars of what had happened and onlyfelt as if some great misfortune had suddenly overwhelmedme; but when I looked around and saw the barredwindows and the squalidness of the room in which I was,all flashed across my memory and I groaned bitterly. This sound disturbed an old woman who was sleepingin a chair beside me. She was a hired nurse, the wife ofone of the turnkeys, and her countenance expressed allthose bad qualities which often characterize that class. Thelines of her face were hard and rude, like that of personsaccustomed to see without sympathizing in sights ofmisery. Her tone expressed her entire indifference; sheaddressed me in English, and the voice struck me as onethat I had heard during my sufferings. ‘Are you betternow, sir?’ said she. I replied in the same language, with a feeble voice, ‘Ibelieve I am; but if it be all true, if indeed I did not dream,I am sorry that I am still alive to feel this misery andhorror.’ 270 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘For that matter,’ replied the old woman, ‘if you meanabout the gentleman you murdered, I believe that it werebetter for you if you were dead, for I fancy it will go hardwith you! However, that’s none of my business; I am sentto nurse you and get you well; I do my duty with a safeconscience; it were well if everybody did the same.’ I turned with loathing from the woman who couldutter so unfeeling a speech to a person just saved, on thevery edge of death; but I felt languid and unable to reflecton all that had passed. The whole series of my lifeappeared to me as a dream; I sometimes doubted if indeedit were all true, for it never presented itself to my mindwith the force of reality. As the images that floated before me became moredistinct, I grew feverish; a darkness pressed around me; noone was near me who soothed me with the gentle voice oflove; no dear hand supported me. The physician came andprescribed medicines, and the old woman prepared themfor me; but utter carelessness was visible in the first, andthe expression of brutality was strongly marked in thevisage of the second. Who could be interested in the fateof a murderer but the hangman who would gain his fee? These were my first reflections, but I soon learned thatMr. Kirwin had shown me extreme kindness. He had 271 of 345
    • Frankensteincaused the best room in the prison to be prepared for me(wretched indeed was the best); and it was he who hadprovided a physician and a nurse. It is true, he seldomcame to see me, for although he ardently desired to relievethe sufferings of every human creature, he did not wish tobe present at the agonies and miserable ravings of amurderer. He came, therefore, sometimes to see that I wasnot neglected, but his visits were short and with longintervals. One day, while I was gradually recovering, I was seatedin a chair, my eyes half open and my cheeks livid likethose in death. I was overcome by gloom and misery andoften reflected I had better seek death than desire toremain in a world which to me was replete withwretchedness. At one time I considered whether I shouldnot declare myself guilty and suffer the penalty of the law,less innocent than poor Justine had been. Such were mythoughts when the door of my apartment was opened andMr. Kirwin entered. His countenance expressed sympathyand compassion; he drew a chair close to mine andaddressed me in French, ‘I fear that this place is veryshocking to you; can I do anything to make you morecomfortable?’ 272 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘I thank you, but all that you mention is nothing to me;on the whole earth there is no comfort which I amcapable of receiving.’ ‘I know that the sympathy of a stranger can be but oflittle relief to one borne down as you are by so strange amisfortune. But you will, I hope, soon quit thismelancholy abode, for doubtless evidence can easily bebrought to free you from the criminal charge.’ ‘That is my least concern; I am, by a course of strangeevents, become the most miserable of mortals. Persecutedand tortured as I am and have been, can death be any evilto me?’ ‘Nothing indeed could be more unfortunate andagonizing than the strange chances that have latelyoccurred. You were thrown, by some surprising accident,on this shore, renowned for its hospitality, seizedimmediately, and charged with murder. The first sight thatwas presented to your eyes was the body of your friend,murdered in so unaccountable a manner and placed, as itwere, by some fiend across your path.’ As Mr. Kirwin said this, notwithstanding the agitation Iendured on this retrospect of my sufferings, I also feltconsiderable surprise at the knowledge he seemed topossess concerning me. I suppose some astonishment was 273 of 345
    • Frankensteinexhibited in my countenance, for Mr. Kirwin hastened tosay, ‘Immediately upon your being taken ill, all the papersthat were on your person were brought me, and Iexamined them that I might discover some trace by whichI could send to your relations an account of yourmisfortune and illness. I found several letters, and, amongothers, one which I discovered from its commencement tobe from your father. I instantly wrote to Geneva; nearlytwo months have elapsed since the departure of my letter.But you are ill; even now you tremble; you are unfit foragitation of any kind.’ ‘This suspense is a thousand times worse than the mosthorrible event; tell me what new scene of death has beenacted, and whose murder I am now to lament?’ ‘Your family is perfectly well,’ said Mr. Kirwin withgentleness; ‘and someone, a friend, is come to visit you.’ I know not by what chain of thought the ideapresented itself, but it instantly darted into my mind thatthe murderer had come to mock at my misery and tauntme with the death of Clerval, as a new incitement for meto comply with his hellish desires. I put my hand beforemy eyes, and cried out in agony, ‘Oh! Take him away! Icannot see him; for God’s sake, do not let him enter!’ 274 of 345
    • Frankenstein Mr. Kirwin regarded me with a troubled countenance.He could not help regarding my exclamation as apresumption of my guilt and said in rather a severe tone, ‘Ishould have thought, young man, that the presence ofyour father would have been welcome instead of inspiringsuch violent repugnance.’ ‘My father!’ cried I, while every feature and everymuscle was relaxed from anguish to pleasure. ‘Is my fatherindeed come? How kind, how very kind! But where is he,why does he not hasten to me?’ My change of manner surprised and pleased themagistrate; perhaps he thought that my formerexclamation was a momentary return of delirium, andnow he instantly resumed his former benevolence. He roseand quitted the room with my nurse, and in a moment myfather entered it. Nothing, at this moment, could have given me greaterpleasure than the arrival of my father. I stretched out myhand to him and cried, ‘Are you, then, safe—andElizabeth—and Ernest?’ My father calmed me with assurances of their welfareand endeavoured, by dwelling on these subjects sointeresting to my heart, to raise my desponding spirits; buthe soon felt that a prison cannot be the abode of 275 of 345
    • Frankensteincheerfulness. ‘What a place is this that you inhabit, myson!’ said he, looking mournfully at the barred windowsand wretched appearance of the room. ‘You travelled toseek happiness, but a fatality seems to pursue you. Andpoor Clerval—‘ The name of my unfortunate and murdered friend wasan agitation too great to be endured in my weak state; Ished tears. ‘Alas! Yes, my father,’ replied I; ‘some destiny of themost horrible kind hangs over me, and I must live to fulfilit, or surely I should have died on the coffin of Henry.’ We were not allowed to converse for any length oftime, for the precarious state of my health rendered everyprecaution necessary that could ensure tranquillity. Mr.Kirwin came in and insisted that my strength should notbe exhausted by too much exertion. But the appearance ofmy father was to me like that of my good angel, and Igradually recovered my health. As my sickness quitted me, I was absorbed by a gloomyand black melancholy that nothing could dissipate. Theimage of Clerval was forever before me, ghastly andmurdered. More than once the agitation into which thesereflections threw me made my friends dread a dangerousrelapse. Alas! Why did they preserve so miserable and 276 of 345
    • Frankensteindetested a life? It was surely that I might fulfil my destiny,which is now drawing to a close. Soon, oh, very soon,will death extinguish these throbbings and relieve me fromthe mighty weight of anguish that bears me to the dust;and, in executing the award of justice, I shall also sink torest. Then the appearance of death was distant, althoughthe wish was ever present to my thoughts; and I often satfor hours motionless and speechless, wishing for somemighty revolution that might bury me and my destroyerin its ruins. The season of the assizes approached. I had alreadybeen three months in prison, and although I was still weakand in continual danger of a relapse, I was obliged to travelnearly a hundred miles to the country town where thecourt was held. Mr. Kirwin charged himself with everycare of collecting witnesses and arranging my defence. Iwas spared the disgrace of appearing publicly as a criminal,as the case was not brought before the court that decideson life and death. The grand jury rejected the bill, on itsbeing proved that I was on the Orkney Islands at the hourthe body of my friend was found; and a fortnight after myremoval I was liberated from prison. My father was enraptured on finding me freed from thevexations of a criminal charge, that I was again allowed to 277 of 345
    • Frankensteinbreathe the fresh atmosphere and permitted to return tomy native country. I did not participate in these feelings,for to me the walls of a dungeon or a palace were alikehateful. The cup of life was poisoned forever, andalthough the sun shone upon me, as upon the happy andgay of heart, I saw around me nothing but a dense andfrightful darkness, penetrated by no light but the glimmerof two eyes that glared upon me. Sometimes they werethe expressive eyes of Henry, languishing in death, thedark orbs nearly covered by the lids and the long blacklashes that fringed them; sometimes it was the watery,clouded eyes of the monster, as I first saw them in mychamber at Ingolstadt. My father tried to awaken in me the feelings ofaffection. He talked of Geneva, which I should soon visit,of Elizabeth and Ernest; but these words only drew deepgroans from me. Sometimes, indeed, I felt a wish forhappiness and thought with melancholy delight of mybeloved cousin or longed, with a devouring *maladie dupays*, to see once more the blue lake and rapid Rhone,that had been so dear to me in early childhood; but mygeneral state of feeling was a torpor in which a prison wasas welcome a residence as the divinest scene in nature; andthese fits were seldom interrupted but by paroxysms of 278 of 345
    • eBook brought to you by Create, view, and edit PDF. Download the free trial version.Frankensteinanguish and despair. At these moments I oftenendeavoured to put an end to the existence I loathed, andit required unceasing attendance and vigilance to restrainme from committing some dreadful act of violence. Yet one duty remained to me, the recollection ofwhich finally triumphed over my selfish despair. It wasnecessary that I should return without delay to Geneva,there to watch over the lives of those I so fondly lovedand to lie in wait for the murderer, that if any chance ledme to the place of his concealment, or if he dared again toblast me by his presence, I might, with unfailing aim, putan end to the existence of the monstrous image which Ihad endued with the mockery of a soul still moremonstrous. My father still desired to delay our departure,fearful that I could not sustain the fatigues of a journey, forI was a shattered wreck—the shadow of a human being.My strength was gone. I was a mere skeleton, and fevernight and day preyed upon my wasted frame. Still, as I urged our leaving Ireland with suchinquietude and impatience, my father thought it best toyield. We took our passage on board a vessel bound forHavre-de-Grace and sailed with a fair wind from the Irishshores. It was midnight. I lay on the deck looking at thestars and listening to the dashing of the waves. I hailed the 279 of 345
    • Frankensteindarkness that shut Ireland from my sight, and my pulsebeat with a feverish joy when I reflected that I shouldsoon see Geneva. The past appeared to me in the light of afrightful dream; yet the vessel in which I was, the windthat blew me from the detested shore of Ireland, and thesea which surrounded me told me too forcibly that I wasdeceived by no vision and that Clerval, my friend anddearest companion, had fallen a victim to me and themonster of my creation. I repassed, in my memory, mywhole life—my quiet happiness while residing with myfamily in Geneva, the death of my mother, and mydeparture for Ingolstadt. I remembered, shuddering, themad enthusiasm that hurried me on to the creation of myhideous enemy, and I called to mind the night in whichhe first lived. I was unable to pursue the train of thought; athousand feelings pressed upon me, and I wept bitterly. Ever since my recovery from the fever I had been inthe custom of taking every night a small quantity oflaudanum, for it was by means of this drug only that I wasenabled to gain the rest necessary for the preservation oflife. Oppressed by the recollection of my variousmisfortunes, I now swallowed double my usual quantityand soon slept profoundly. But sleep did not afford merespite from thought and misery; my dreams presented a 280 of 345
    • Frankensteinthousand objects that scared me. Towards morning I waspossessed by a kind of nightmare; I felt the fiend’s grasp inmy neck and could not free myself from it; groans andcries rang in my ears. My father, who was watching overme, perceiving my restlessness, awoke me; the dashingwaves were around, the cloudy sky above, the fiend wasnot here: a sense of security, a feeling that a truce wasestablished between the present hour and the irresistible,disastrous future imparted to me a kind of calmforgetfulness, of which the human mind is by its structurepeculiarly susceptible. 281 of 345
    • Frankenstein Chapter 22 The voyage came to an end. We landed, andproceeded to Paris. I soon found that I had overtaxed mystrength and that I must repose before I could continuemy journey. My father’s care and attentions wereindefatigable, but he did not know the origin of mysufferings and sought erroneous methods to remedy theincurable ill. He wished me to seek amusement in society.I abhorred the face of man. Oh, not abhorred! They weremy brethren, my fellow beings, and I felt attracted even tothe most repulsive among them, as to creatures of anangelic nature and celestial mechanism. But I felt that Ihad no right to share their intercourse. I had unchained anenemy among them whose joy it was to shed their bloodand to revel in their groans. How they would, each andall, abhor me and hunt me from the world did they knowmy unhallowed acts and the crimes which had their sourcein me! My father yielded at length to my desire to avoidsociety and strove by various arguments to banish mydespair. Sometimes he thought that I felt deeply thedegradation of being obliged to answer a charge of 282 of 345
    • Frankensteinmurder, and he endeavoured to prove to me the futility ofpride. ‘Alas! My father,’ said I, ‘how little do you know me.Human beings, their feelings and passions, would indeedbe degraded if such a wretch as I felt pride. Justine, poorunhappy Justine, was as innocent as I, and she suffered thesame charge; she died for it; and I am the cause of this—Imurdered her. William, Justine, and Henry—they all diedby my hands.’ My father had often, during my imprisonment, heardme make the same assertion; when I thus accused myself,he sometimes seemed to desire an explanation, and atothers he appeared to consider it as the offspring ofdelirium, and that, during my illness, some idea of thiskind had presented itself to my imagination, theremembrance of which I preserved in my convalescence. Iavoided explanation and maintained a continual silenceconcerning the wretch I had created. I had a persuasionthat I should be supposed mad, and this in itself wouldforever have chained my tongue. But, besides, I could notbring myself to disclose a secret which would fill myhearer with consternation and make fear and unnaturalhorror the inmates of his breast. I checked, therefore, myimpatient thirst for sympathy and was silent when I would 283 of 345
    • Frankensteinhave given the world to have confided the fatal secret.Yet, still, words like those I have recorded would burstuncontrollably from me. I could offer no explanation ofthem, but their truth in part relieved the burden of mymysterious woe. Upon this occasion my father said, with an expressionof unbounded wonder, ‘My dearest Victor, whatinfatuation is this? My dear son, I entreat you never tomake such an assertion again.’ ‘I am not mad,’ I cried energetically; ‘the sun and theheavens, who have viewed my operations, can bearwitness of my truth. I am the assassin of those mostinnocent victims; they died by my machinations. Athousand times would I have shed my own blood, drop bydrop, to have saved their lives; but I could not, my father,indeed I could not sacrifice the whole human race.’ The conclusion of this speech convinced my father thatmy ideas were deranged, and he instantly changed thesubject of our conversation and endeavoured to alter thecourse of my thoughts. He wished as much as possible toobliterate the memory of the scenes that had taken placein Ireland and never alluded to them or suffered me tospeak of my misfortunes. 284 of 345
    • Frankenstein As time passed away I became more calm; misery hadher dwelling in my heart, but I no longer talked in thesame incoherent manner of my own crimes; sufficient forme was the consciousness of them. By the utmost self-violence I curbed the imperious voice of wretchedness,which sometimes desired to declare itself to the wholeworld, and my manners were calmer and more composedthan they had ever been since my journey to the sea ofice. A few days before we left Paris on our way toSwitzerland I received the following letter from Elizabeth: My dear Friend, It gave me the greatest pleasure to receive a letter frommy uncle dated at Paris; you are no longer at a formidabledistance, and I may hope to see you in less than afortnight. My poor cousin, how much you must havesuffered! I expect to see you looking even more ill thanwhen you quitted Geneva. This winter has been passedmost miserably, tortured as I have been by anxioussuspense; yet I hope to see peace in your countenance andto find that your heart is not totally void of comfort andtranquillity. Yet I fear that the same feelings now exist that madeyou so miserable a year ago, even perhaps augmented by 285 of 345
    • Frankensteintime. I would not disturb you at this period, when somany misfortunes weigh upon you, but a conversationthat I had with my uncle previous to his departure renderssome explanation necessary before we meet. Explanation! You may possibly say, What can Elizabethhave to explain? If you really say this, my questions areanswered and all my doubts satisfied. But you are distantfrom me, and it is possible that you may dread and yet bepleased with this explanation; and in a probability of thisbeing the case, I dare not any longer postpone writingwhat, during your absence, I have often wished to expressto you but have never had the courage to begin. You well know, Victor, that our union had been thefavourite plan of your parents ever since our infancy. Wewere told this when young, and taught to look forward toit as an event that would certainly take place. We wereaffectionate playfellows during childhood, and, I believe,dear and valued friends to one another as we grew older.But as brother and sister often entertain a lively affectiontowards each other without desiring a more intimateunion, may not such also be our case? Tell me, dearestVictor. Answer me, I conjure you by our mutualhappiness, with simple truth— Do you not love another? 286 of 345
    • Frankenstein You have travelled; you have spent several years ofyour life at Ingolstadt; and I confess to you, my friend, thatwhen I saw you last autumn so unhappy, flying to solitudefrom the society of every creature, I could not helpsupposing that you might regret our connection andbelieve yourself bound in honour to fulfil the wishes ofyour parents, although they opposed themselves to yourinclinations. But this is false reasoning. I confess to you,my friend, that I love you and that in my airy dreams offuturity you have been my constant friend andcompanion. But it is your happiness I desire as well as myown when I declare to you that our marriage wouldrender me eternally miserable unless it were the dictate ofyour own free choice. Even now I weep to think that,borne down as you are by the cruellest misfortunes, youmay stifle, by the word ‘honour,’ all hope of that love andhappiness which would alone restore you to yourself. I,who have so disinterested an affection for you, mayincrease your miseries tenfold by being an obstacle to yourwishes. Ah! Victor, be assured that your cousin andplaymate has too sincere a love for you not to be mademiserable by this supposition. Be happy, my friend; and ifyou obey me in this one request, remain satisfied that 287 of 345
    • Frankensteinnothing on earth will have the power to interrupt mytranquillity. Do not let this letter disturb you; do not answertomorrow, or the next day, or even until you come, if itwill give you pain. My uncle will send me news of yourhealth, and if I see but one smile on your lips when wemeet, occasioned by this or any other exertion of mine, Ishall need no other happiness. Elizabeth Lavenza Geneva, May 18th, 17— This letter revived in my memory what I had beforeforgotten, the threat of the fiend—‘*I will be with you onyour wedding-night!*’ Such was my sentence, and on thatnight would the daemon employ every art to destroy meand tear me from the glimpse of happiness whichpromised partly to console my sufferings. On that night hehad determined to consummate his crimes by my death.Well, be it so; a deadly struggle would then assuredly takeplace, in which if he were victorious I should be at peaceand his power over me be at an end. If he werevanquished, I should be a free man. Alas! What freedom?Such as the peasant enjoys when his family have beenmassacred before his eyes, his cottage burnt, his lands laidwaste, and he is turned adrift, homeless, penniless, and 288 of 345
    • Frankensteinalone, but free. Such would be my liberty except that inmy Elizabeth I possessed a treasure, alas, balanced by thosehorrors of remorse and guilt which would pursue me untildeath. Sweet and beloved Elizabeth! I read and reread herletter, and some softened feelings stole into my heart anddared to whisper paradisiacal dreams of love and joy; butthe apple was already eaten, and the angel’s arm bared todrive me from all hope. Yet I would die to make herhappy. If the monster executed his threat, death wasinevitable; yet, again, I considered whether my marriagewould hasten my fate. My destruction might indeed arrivea few months sooner, but if my torturer should suspectthat I postponed it, influenced by his menaces, he wouldsurely find other and perhaps more dreadful means ofrevenge. He had vowed *to be with me on my wedding-night*, yet he did not consider that threat as binding himto peace in the meantime, for as if to show me that he wasnot yet satiated with blood, he had murdered Clervalimmediately after the enunciation of his threats. I resolved,therefore, that if my immediate union with my cousinwould conduce either to hers or my father’s happiness, myadversary’s designs against my life should not retard it asingle hour. 289 of 345
    • Frankenstein In this state of mind I wrote to Elizabeth. My letter wascalm and affectionate. ‘I fear, my beloved girl,’ I said, ‘littlehappiness remains for us on earth; yet all that I may oneday enjoy is centred in you. Chase away your idle fears; toyou alone do I consecrate my life and my endeavours forcontentment. I have one secret, Elizabeth, a dreadful one;when revealed to you, it will chill your frame with horror,and then, far from being surprised at my misery, you willonly wonder that I survive what I have endured. I willconfide this tale of misery and terror to you the day afterour marriage shall take place, for, my sweet cousin, theremust be perfect confidence between us. But until then, Iconjure you, do not mention or allude to it. This I mostearnestly entreat, and I know you will comply.’ In about a week after the arrival of Elizabeth’s letter wereturned to Geneva. The sweet girl welcomed me withwarm affection, yet tears were in her eyes as she beheldmy emaciated frame and feverish cheeks. I saw a change inher also. She was thinner and had lost much of thatheavenly vivacity that had before charmed me; but hergentleness and soft looks of compassion made her a morefit companion for one blasted and miserable as I was. The tranquillity which I now enjoyed did not endure.Memory brought madness with it, and when I thought of 290 of 345
    • eBook brought to you by Create, view, and edit PDF. Download the free trial version.Frankensteinwhat had passed, a real insanity possessed me; sometimes Iwas furious and burnt with rage, sometimes low anddespondent. I neither spoke nor looked at anyone, but satmotionless, bewildered by the multitude of miseries thatovercame me. Elizabeth alone had the power to draw me from thesefits; her gentle voice would soothe me when transportedby passion and inspire me with human feelings when sunkin torpor. She wept with me and for me. When reasonreturned, she would remonstrate and endeavour to inspireme with resignation. Ah! It is well for the unfortunate tobe resigned, but for the guilty there is no peace. Theagonies of remorse poison the luxury there is otherwisesometimes found in indulging the excess of grief. Soon after my arrival my father spoke of my immediatemarriage with Elizabeth. I remained silent. ‘Have you, then, some other attachment?’ ‘None on earth. I love Elizabeth and look forward toour union with delight. Let the day therefore be fixed; andon it I will consecrate myself, in life or death, to thehappiness of my cousin.’ ‘My dear Victor, do not speak thus. Heavy misfortuneshave befallen us, but let us only cling closer to whatremains and transfer our love for those whom we have lost 291 of 345
    • Frankensteinto those who yet live. Our circle will be small but boundclose by the ties of affection and mutual misfortune. Andwhen time shall have softened your despair, new and dearobjects of care will be born to replace those of whom wehave been so cruelly deprived.’ Such were the lessons of my father. But to me theremembrance of the threat returned; nor can you wonderthat, omnipotent as the fiend had yet been in his deeds ofblood, I should almost regard him as invincible, and thatwhen he had pronounced the words ‘*I shall be with youon your wedding-night*,’ I should regard the threatenedfate as unavoidable. But death was no evil to me if the lossof Elizabeth were balanced with it, and I therefore, with acontented and even cheerful countenance, agreed with myfather that if my cousin would consent, the ceremonyshould take place in ten days, and thus put, as I imagined,the seal to my fate. Great God! If for one instant I had thought what mightbe the hellish intention of my fiendish adversary, I wouldrather have banished myself forever from my nativecountry and wandered a friendless outcast over the earththan have consented to this miserable marriage. But, as ifpossessed of magic powers, the monster had blinded me to 292 of 345
    • Frankensteinhis real intentions; and when I thought that I had preparedonly my own death, I hastened that of a far dearer victim. As the period fixed for our marriage drew nearer,whether from cowardice or a prophetic feeling, I felt myheart sink within me. But I concealed my feelings by anappearance of hilarity that brought smiles and joy to thecountenance of my father, but hardly deceived theeverwatchful and nicer eye of Elizabeth. She lookedforward to our union with placid contentment, notunmingled with a little fear, which past misfortunes hadimpressed, that what now appeared certain and tangiblehappiness might soon dissipate into an airy dream andleave no trace but deep and everlasting regret. Preparations were made for the event, congratulatoryvisits were received, and all wore a smiling appearance. Ishut up, as well as I could, in my own heart the anxietythat preyed there and entered with seeming earnestnessinto the plans of my father, although they might onlyserve as the decorations of my tragedy. Through myfather’s exertions a part of the inheritance of Elizabeth hadbeen restored to her by the Austrian government. A smallpossession on the shores of Como belonged to her. It wasagreed that, immediately after our union, we should 293 of 345
    • Frankensteinproceed to Villa Lavenza and spend our first days ofhappiness beside the beautiful lake near which it stood. In the meantime I took every precaution to defend myperson in case the fiend should openly attack me. I carriedpistols and a dagger constantly about me and was ever onthe watch to prevent artifice, and by these means gained agreater degree of tranquillity. Indeed, as the periodapproached, the threat appeared more as a delusion, not tobe regarded as worthy to disturb my peace, while thehappiness I hoped for in my marriage wore a greaterappearance of certainty as the day fixed for itssolemnization drew nearer and I heard it continuallyspoken of as an occurrence which no accident couldpossibly prevent. Elizabeth seemed happy; my tranquil demeanourcontributed greatly to calm her mind. But on the day thatwas to fulfil my wishes and my destiny, she wasmelancholy, and a presentiment of evil pervaded her; andperhaps also she thought of the dreadful secret which I hadpromised to reveal to her on the following day. My fatherwas in the meantime overjoyed and in the bustle ofpreparation only recognized in the melancholy of his niecethe diffidence of a bride. 294 of 345
    • Frankenstein After the ceremony was performed a large partyassembled at my father’s, but it was agreed that Elizabethand I should commence our journey by water, sleepingthat night at Evian and continuing our voyage on thefollowing day. The day was fair, the wind favourable; allsmiled on our nuptial embarkation. Those were the last moments of my life during which Ienjoyed the feeling of happiness. We passed rapidly along;the sun was hot, but we were sheltered from its rays by akind of canopy while we enjoyed the beauty of the scene,sometimes on one side of the lake, where we saw MontSaleve, the pleasant banks of Montalegre, and at a distance,surmounting all, the beautiful Mont Blanc and theassemblage of snowy mountains that in vain endeavour toemulate her; sometimes coasting the opposite banks, wesaw the mighty Jura opposing its dark side to the ambitionthat would quit its native country, and an almostinsurmountable barrier to the invader who should wish toenslave it. I took the hand of Elizabeth. ‘You are sorrowful, mylove. Ah! If you knew what I have suffered and what Imay yet endure, you would endeavour to let me taste thequiet and freedom from despair that this one day at leastpermits me to enjoy.’ 295 of 345
    • Frankenstein ‘Be happy, my dear Victor,’ replied Elizabeth; ‘there is,I hope, nothing to distress you; and be assured that if alively joy is not painted in my face, my heart is contented.Something whispers to me not to depend too much onthe prospect that is opened before us, but I will not listento such a sinister voice. Observe how fast we move alongand how the clouds, which sometimes obscure andsometimes rise above the dome of Mont Blanc, render thisscene of beauty still more interesting. Look also at theinnumerable fish that are swimming in the clear waters,where we can distinguish every pebble that lies at thebottom. What a divine day! How happy and serene allnature appears!’ Thus Elizabeth endeavoured to divert her thoughts andmine from all reflection upon melancholy subjects. Buther temper was fluctuating; joy for a few instants shone inher eyes, but it continually gave place to distraction andreverie. The sun sank lower in the heavens; we passed the riverDrance and observed its path through the chasms of thehigher and the glens of the lower hills. The Alps herecome closer to the lake, and we approached theamphitheatre of mountains which forms its easternboundary. The spire of Evian shone under the woods that 296 of 345
    • Frankensteinsurrounded it and the range of mountain above mountainby which it was overhung. The wind, which had hitherto carried us along withamazing rapidity, sank at sunset to a light breeze; the softair just ruffled the water and caused a pleasant motionamong the trees as we approached the shore, from whichit wafted the most delightful scent of flowers and hay. Thesun sank beneath the horizon as we landed, and as Itouched the shore I felt those cares and fears revive whichsoon were to clasp me and cling to me forever. 297 of 345
    • Frankenstein Chapter 23 It was eight o’clock when we landed; we walked for ashort time on the shore, enjoying the transitory light, andthen retired to the inn and contemplated the lovely sceneof waters, woods, and mountains, obscured in darkness,yet still displaying their black outlines. The wind, which had fallen in the south, now rosewith great violence in the west. The moon had reachedher summit in the heavens and was beginning to descend;the clouds swept across it swifter than the flight of thevulture and dimmed her rays, while the lake reflected thescene of the busy heavens, rendered still busier by therestless waves that were beginning to rise. Suddenly aheavy storm of rain descended. I had been calm during the day, but so soon as nightobscured the shapes of objects, a thousand fears arose inmy mind. I was anxious and watchful, while my righthand grasped a pistol which was hidden in my bosom;every sound terrified me, but I resolved that I would sellmy life dearly and not shrink from the conflict until myown life or that of my adversary was extinguished. 298 of 345
    • Frankenstein Elizabeth observed my agitation for some time in timidand fearful silence, but there was something in my glancewhich communicated terror to her, and trembling, sheasked, ‘What is it that agitates you, my dear Victor? Whatis it you fear?’ ‘Oh! Peace, peace, my love,’ replied I; ‘this night, andall will be safe; but this night is dreadful, very dreadful.’ I passed an hour in this state of mind, when suddenly Ireflected how fearful the combat which I momentarilyexpected would be to my wife, and I earnestly entreatedher to retire, resolving not to join her until I had obtainedsome knowledge as to the situation of my enemy. She left me, and I continued some time walking up anddown the passages of the house and inspecting everycorner that might afford a retreat to my adversary. But Idiscovered no trace of him and was beginning toconjecture that some fortunate chance had intervened toprevent the execution of his menaces when suddenly Iheard a shrill and dreadful scream. It came from the roominto which Elizabeth had retired. As I heard it, the wholetruth rushed into my mind, my arms dropped, the motionof every muscle and fibre was suspended; I could feel theblood trickling in my veins and tingling in the extremities 299 of 345
    • Frankensteinof my limbs. This state lasted but for an instant; the screamwas repeated, and I rushed into the room. Great God! Why did I not then expire! Why am I hereto relate the destruction of the best hope and the purestcreature on earth? She was there, lifeless and inanimate,thrown across the bed, her head hanging down and herpale and distorted features half covered by her hair.Everywhere I turn I see the same figure— her bloodlessarms and relaxed form flung by the murderer on its bridalbier. Could I behold this and live? Alas! Life is obstinateand clings closest where it is most hated. For a momentonly did I lose recollection; I fell senseless on the ground. When I recovered I found myself surrounded by thepeople of the inn; their countenances expressed abreathless terror, but the horror of others appeared only asa mockery, a shadow of the feelings that oppressed me. Iescaped from them to the room where lay the body ofElizabeth, my love, my wife, so lately living, so dear, soworthy. She had been moved from the posture in which Ihad first beheld her, and now, as she lay, her head uponher arm and a handkerchief thrown across her face andneck, I might have supposed her asleep. I rushed towardsher and embraced her with ardour, but the deadly languorand coldness of the limbs told me that what I now held in 300 of 345
    • Frankensteinmy arms had ceased to be the Elizabeth whom I had lovedand cherished. The murderous mark of the fiend’s graspwas on her neck, and the breath had ceased to issue fromher lips. While I still hung over her in the agony of despair, Ihappened to look up. The windows of the room hadbefore been darkened, and I felt a kind of panic on seeingthe pale yellow light of the moon illuminate the chamber.The shutters had been thrown back, and with a sensationof horror not to be described, I saw at the open window afigure the most hideous and abhorred. A grin was on theface of the monster; he seemed to jeer, as with his fiendishfinger he pointed towards the corpse of my wife. I rushedtowards the window, and drawing a pistol from mybosom, fired; but he eluded me, leaped from his station,and running with the swiftness of lightning, plunged intothe lake. The report of the pistol brought a crowd into theroom. I pointed to the spot where he had disappeared, andwe followed the track with boats; nets were cast, but invain. After passing several hours, we returned hopeless,most of my companions believing it to have been a formconjured up by my fancy. After having landed, they 301 of 345
    • Frankensteinproceeded to search the country, parties going in differentdirections among the woods and vines. I attempted to accompany them and proceeded a shortdistance from the house, but my head whirled round, mysteps were like those of a drunken man, I fell at last in astate of utter exhaustion; a film covered my eyes, and myskin was parched with the heat of fever. In this state I wascarried back and placed on a bed, hardly conscious of whathad happened; my eyes wandered round the room as if toseek something that I had lost. After an interval I arose, and as if by instinct, crawledinto the room where the corpse of my beloved lay. Therewere women weeping around; I hung over it and joinedmy sad tears to theirs; all this time no distinct ideapresented itself to my mind, but my thoughts rambled tovarious subjects, reflecting confusedly on my misfortunesand their cause. I was bewildered, in a cloud of wonderand horror. The death of William, the execution ofJustine, the murder of Clerval, and lastly of my wife; evenat that moment I knew not that my only remaining friendswere safe from the malignity of the fiend; my father evennow might be writhing under his grasp, and Ernest mightbe dead at his feet. This idea made me shudder and 302 of 345
    • eBook brought to you by Create, view, and edit PDF. Download the free trial version.Frankensteinrecalled me to action. I started up and resolved to returnto Geneva with all possible speed. There were no horses to be procured, and I mustreturn by the lake; but the wind was unfavourable, and therain fell in torrents. However, it was hardly morning, andI might reasonably hope to arrive by night. I hired men torow and took an oar myself, for I had always experiencedrelief from mental torment in bodily exercise. But theoverflowing misery I now felt, and the excess of agitationthat I endured rendered me incapable of any exertion. Ithrew down the oar, and leaning my head upon my hands,gave way to every gloomy idea that arose. If I looked up, Isaw scenes which were familiar to me in my happier timeand which I had contemplated but the day before in thecompany of her who was now but a shadow and arecollection. Tears streamed from my eyes. The rain hadceased for a moment, and I saw the fish play in the watersas they had done a few hours before; they had then beenobserved by Elizabeth. Nothing is so painful to the humanmind as a great and sudden change. The sun might shineor the clouds might lower, but nothing could appear tome as it had done the day before. A fiend had snatchedfrom me every hope of future happiness; no creature had 303 of 345
    • Frankensteinever been so miserable as I was; so frightful an event issingle in the history of man. But why should I dwell upon the incidents thatfollowed this last overwhelming event? Mine has been atale of horrors; I have reached their acme, and what I mustnow relate can but be tedious to you. Know that, one byone, my friends were snatched away; I was left desolate.My own strength is exhausted, and I must tell, in a fewwords, what remains of my hideous narration. I arrived at Geneva. My father and Ernest yet lived, butthe former sunk under the tidings that I bore. I see himnow, excellent and venerable old man! His eyes wanderedin vacancy, for they had lost their charm and theirdelight—his Elizabeth, his more than daughter, whom hedoted on with all that affection which a man feels, who inthe decline of life, having few affections, clings moreearnestly to those that remain. Cursed, cursed be the fiendthat brought misery on his grey hairs and doomed him towaste in wretchedness! He could not live under thehorrors that were accumulated around him; the springs ofexistence suddenly gave way; he was unable to rise fromhis bed, and in a few days he died in my arms. What then became of me? I know not; I lost sensation,and chains and darkness were the only objects that pressed 304 of 345
    • Frankensteinupon me. Sometimes, indeed, I dreamt that I wandered inflowery meadows and pleasant vales with the friends of myyouth, but I awoke and found myself in a dungeon.Melancholy followed, but by degrees I gained a clearconception of my miseries and situation and was thenreleased from my prison. For they had called me mad, andduring many months, as I understood, a solitary cell hadbeen my habitation. Liberty, however, had been a useless gift to me, had Inot, as I awakened to reason, at the same time awakenedto revenge. As the memory of past misfortunes pressedupon me, I began to reflect on their cause—the monsterwhom I had created, the miserable daemon whom I hadsent abroad into the world for my destruction. I waspossessed by a maddening rage when I thought of him,and desired and ardently prayed that I might have himwithin my grasp to wreak a great and signal revenge on hiscursed head. Nor did my hate long confine itself to useless wishes; Ibegan to reflect on the best means of securing him; and forthis purpose, about a month after my release, I repaired toa criminal judge in the town and told him that I had anaccusation to make, that I knew the destroyer of my 305 of 345
    • Frankensteinfamily, and that I required him to exert his wholeauthority for the apprehension of the murderer. The magistrate listened to me with attention andkindness. ‘Be assured, sir,’ said he, ‘no pains or exertionson my part shall be spared to discover the villain.’ ‘I thank you,’ replied I; ‘listen, therefore, to thedeposition that I have to make. It is indeed a tale sostrange that I should fear you would not credit it werethere not something in truth which, however wonderful,forces conviction. The story is too connected to bemistaken for a dream, and I have no motive for falsehood.’My manner as I thus addressed him was impressive butcalm; I had formed in my own heart a resolution to pursuemy destroyer to death, and this purpose quieted my agonyand for an interval reconciled me to life. I now related myhistory briefly but with firmness and precision, markingthe dates with accuracy and never deviating into invectiveor exclamation. The magistrate appeared at first perfectly incredulous,but as I continued he became more attentive andinterested; I saw him sometimes shudder with horror; atothers a lively surprise, unmingled with disbelief, waspainted on his countenance. 306 of 345
    • Frankenstein When I had concluded my narration I said, ‘This is thebeing whom I accuse and for whose seizure andpunishment I call upon you to exert your whole power. Itis your duty as a magistrate, and I believe and hope thatyour feelings as a man will not revolt from the executionof those functions on this occasion.’ This address caused a considerable change in thephysiognomy of my own auditor. He had heard my storywith that half kind of belief that is given to a tale of spiritsand supernatural events; but when he was called upon toact officially in consequence, the whole tide of hisincredulity returned. He, however, answered mildly, ‘Iwould willingly afford you every aid in your pursuit, butthe creature of whom you speak appears to have powerswhich would put all my exertions to defiance. Who canfollow an animal which can traverse the sea of ice andinhabit caves and dens where no man would venture tointrude? Besides, some months have elapsed since thecommission of his crimes, and no one can conjecture towhat place he has wandered or what region he may nowinhabit.’ ‘I do not doubt that he hovers near the spot which Iinhabit, and if he has indeed taken refuge in the Alps, hemay be hunted like the chamois and destroyed as a beast of 307 of 345
    • Frankensteinprey. But I perceive your thoughts; you do not credit mynarrative and do not intend to pursue my enemy with thepunishment which is his desert.’ As I spoke, rage sparkled in my eyes; the magistrate wasintimidated. ‘You are mistaken,’ said he. ‘I will exertmyself, and if it is in my power to seize the monster, beassured that he shall suffer punishment proportionate to hiscrimes. But I fear, from what you have yourself describedto be his properties, that this will prove impracticable; andthus, while every proper measure is pursued, you shouldmake up your mind to disappointment.’ ‘That cannot be; but all that I can say will be of littleavail. My revenge is of no moment to you; yet, while Iallow it to be a vice, I confess that it is the devouring andonly passion of my soul. My rage is unspeakable when Ireflect that the murderer, whom I have turned loose uponsociety, still exists. You refuse my just demand; I have butone resource, and I devote myself, either in my life ordeath, to his destruction.’ I trembled with excess of agitation as I said this; therewas a frenzy in my manner, and something, I doubt not,of that haughty fierceness which the martyrs of old are saidto have possessed. But to a Genevan magistrate, whosemind was occupied by far other ideas than those of 308 of 345
    • Frankensteindevotion and heroism, this elevation of mind had muchthe appearance of madness. He endeavoured to soothe meas a nurse does a child and reverted to my tale as theeffects of delirium. ‘Man,’ I cried, ‘how ignorant art thou in thy pride ofwisdom! Cease; you know not what it is you say.’ I broke from the house angry and disturbed and retiredto meditate on some other mode of action. 309 of 345
    • Frankenstein Chapter 24 My present situation was one in which all voluntarythought was swallowed up and lost. I was hurried away byfury; revenge alone endowed me with strength andcomposure; it moulded my feelings and allowed me to becalculating and calm at periods when otherwise deliriumor death would have been my portion. My first resolution was to quit Geneva forever; mycountry, which, when I was happy and beloved, was dearto me, now, in my adversity, became hateful. I providedmyself with a sum of money, together with a few jewelswhich had belonged to my mother, and departed. And now my wanderings began which are to cease butwith life. I have traversed a vast portion of the earth andhave endured all the hardships which travellers in desertsand barbarous countries are wont to meet. How I havelived I hardly know; many times have I stretched myfailing limbs upon the sandy plain and prayed for death.But revenge kept me alive; I dared not die and leave myadversary in being. When I quitted Geneva my first labour was to gainsome clue by which I might trace the steps of my fiendish 310 of 345
    • Frankensteinenemy. But my plan was unsettled, and I wandered manyhours round the confines of the town, uncertain what pathI should pursue. As night approached I found myself at theentrance of the cemetery where William, Elizabeth, andmy father reposed. I entered it and approached the tombwhich marked their graves. Everything was silent exceptthe leaves of the trees, which were gently agitated by thewind; the night was nearly dark, and the scene would havebeen solemn and affecting even to an uninterestedobserver. The spirits of the departed seemed to flit aroundand to cast a shadow, which was felt but not seen, aroundthe head of the mourner. The deep grief which this scene had at first excitedquickly gave way to rage and despair. They were dead,and I lived; their murderer also lived, and to destroy him Imust drag out my weary existence. I knelt on the grass andkissed the earth and with quivering lips exclaimed, ‘By thesacred earth on which I kneel, by the shades that wandernear me, by the deep and eternal grief that I feel, I swear;and by thee, O Night, and the spirits that preside overthee, to pursue the daemon who caused this misery, untilhe or I shall perish in mortal conflict. For this purpose Iwill preserve my life; to execute this dear revenge will Iagain behold the sun and tread the green herbage of earth, 311 of 345
    • Frankensteinwhich otherwise should vanish from my eyes forever. AndI call on you, spirits of the dead, and on you, wanderingministers of vengeance, to aid and conduct me in mywork. Let the cursed and hellish monster drink deep ofagony; let him feel the despair that now torments me.’ I had begun my adjuration with solemnity and an awewhich almost assured me that the shades of my murderedfriends heard and approved my devotion, but the furiespossessed me as I concluded, and rage choked myutterance. I was answered through the stillness of night by a loudand fiendish laugh. It rang on my ears long and heavily;the mountains re-echoed it, and I felt as if all hellsurrounded me with mockery and laughter. Surely in thatmoment I should have been possessed by frenzy and havedestroyed my miserable existence but that my vow washeard and that I was reserved for vengeance. The laughterdied away, when a well-known and abhorred voice,apparently close to my ear, addressed me in an audiblewhisper, ‘I am satisfied, miserable wretch! You havedetermined to live, and I am satisfied.’ I darted towards the spot from which the soundproceeded, but the devil eluded my grasp. Suddenly thebroad disk of the moon arose and shone full upon his 312 of 345
    • Frankensteinghastly and distorted shape as he fled with more thanmortal speed. I pursued him, and for many months this has been mytask. Guided by a slight clue, I followed the windings ofthe Rhone, but vainly. The blue Mediterranean appeared,and by a strange chance, I saw the fiend enter by night andhide himself in a vessel bound for the Black Sea. I tookmy passage in the same ship, but he escaped, I know nothow. Amidst the wilds of Tartary and Russia, although hestill evaded me, I have ever followed in his track.Sometimes the peasants, scared by this horrid apparition,informed me of his path; sometimes he himself, whofeared that if I lost all trace of him I should despair and die,left some mark to guide me. The snows descended on myhead, and I saw the print of his huge step on the whiteplain. To you first entering on life, to whom care is newand agony unknown, how can you understand what Ihave felt and still feel? Cold, want, and fatigue were theleast pains which I was destined to endure; I was cursed bysome devil and carried about with me my eternal hell; yetstill a spirit of good followed and directed my steps andwhen I most murmured would suddenly extricate mefrom seemingly insurmountable difficulties. Sometimes, 313 of 345
    • Frankensteinwhen nature, overcome by hunger, sank under theexhaustion, a repast was prepared for me in the desert thatrestored and inspirited me. The fare was, indeed, coarse,such as the peasants of the country ate, but I will notdoubt that it was set there by the spirits that I had invokedto aid me. Often, when all was dry, the heavens cloudless,and I was parched by thirst, a slight cloud would bedimthe sky, shed the few drops that revived me, and vanish. I followed, when I could, the courses of the rivers; butthe daemon generally avoided these, as it was here that thepopulation of the country chiefly collected. In other placeshuman beings were seldom seen, and I generally subsistedon the wild animals that crossed my path. I had moneywith me and gained the friendship of the villagers bydistributing it; or I brought with me some food that I hadkilled, which, after taking a small part, I always presentedto those who had provided me with fire and utensils forcooking. My life, as it passed thus, was indeed hateful to me, andit was during sleep alone that I could taste joy. O blessedsleep! Often, when most miserable, I sank to repose, andmy dreams lulled me even to rapture. The spirits thatguarded me had provided these moments, or rather hours,of happiness that I might retain strength to fulfil my 314 of 345
    • eBook brought to you by Create, view, and edit PDF. Download the free trial version.Frankensteinpilgrimage. Deprived of this respite, I should have sunkunder my hardships. During the day I was sustained andinspirited by the hope of night, for in sleep I saw myfriends, my wife, and my beloved country; again I saw thebenevolent countenance of my father, heard the silvertones of my Elizabeth’s voice, and beheld Clerval enjoyinghealth and youth. Often, when wearied by a toilsomemarch, I persuaded myself that I was dreaming until nightshould come and that I should then enjoy reality in thearms of my dearest friends. What agonizing fondness did Ifeel for them! How did I cling to their dear forms, assometimes they haunted even my waking hours, andpersuade myself that they still lived! At such momentsvengeance, that burned within me, died in my heart, and Ipursued my path towards the destruction of the daemonmore as a task enjoined by heaven, as the mechanicalimpulse of some power of which I was unconscious, thanas the ardent desire of my soul. What his feelings were whom I pursued I cannotknow. Sometimes, indeed, he left marks in writing on thebarks of the trees or cut in stone that guided me andinstigated my fury. ‘My reign is not yet over’— thesewords were legible in one of these inscriptions— ‘youlive, and my power is complete. Follow me; I seek the 315 of 345
    • Frankensteineverlasting ices of the north, where you will feel themisery of cold and frost, to which I am impassive. Youwill find near this place, if you follow not too tardily, adead hare; eat and be refreshed. Come on, my enemy; wehave yet to wrestle for our lives, but many hard andmiserable hours must you endure until that period shallarrive.’ Scoffing devil! Again do I vow vengeance; again do Idevote thee, miserable fiend, to torture and death. Neverwill I give up my search until he or I perish; and then withwhat ecstasy shall I join my Elizabeth and my departedfriends, who even now prepare for me the reward of mytedious toil and horrible pilgrimage! As I still pursued my journey to the northward, thesnows thickened and the cold increased in a degree almosttoo severe to support. The peasants were shut up in theirhovels, and only a few of the most hardy ventured forth toseize the animals whom starvation had forced from theirhiding-places to seek for prey. The rivers were coveredwith ice, and no fish could be procured; and thus I was cutoff from my chief article of maintenance. The triumph of my enemy increased with the difficultyof my labours. One inscription that he left was in thesewords: ‘Prepare! Your toils only begin; wrap yourself in 316 of 345
    • Frankensteinfurs and provide food, for we shall soon enter upon ajourney where your sufferings will satisfy my everlastinghatred.’ My courage and perseverance were invigorated bythese scoffing words; I resolved not to fail in my purpose,and calling on heaven to support me, I continued withunabated fervour to traverse immense deserts, until theocean appeared at a distance and formed the utmostboundary of the horizon. Oh! How unlike it was to theblue seasons of the south! Covered with ice, it was only tobe distinguished from land by its superior wildness andruggedness. The Greeks wept for joy when they beheldthe Mediterranean from the hills of Asia, and hailed withrapture the boundary of their toils. I did not weep, but Iknelt down and with a full heart thanked my guiding spiritfor conducting me in safety to the place where I hoped,notwithstanding my adversary’s gibe, to meet and grapplewith him. Some weeks before this period I had procured a sledgeand dogs and thus traversed the snows with inconceivablespeed. I know not whether the fiend possessed the sameadvantages, but I found that, as before I had daily lostground in the pursuit, I now gained on him, so much sothat when I first saw the ocean he was but one day’s 317 of 345
    • Frankensteinjourney in advance, and I hoped to intercept him beforehe should reach the beach. With new courage, therefore, Ipressed on, and in two days arrived at a wretched hamleton the seashore. I inquired of the inhabitants concerningthe fiend and gained accurate information. A giganticmonster, they said, had arrived the night before, armedwith a gun and many pistols, putting to flight theinhabitants of a solitary cottage through fear of his terrificappearance. He had carried off their store of winter food,and placing it in a sledge, to draw which he had seized ona numerous drove of trained dogs, he had harnessed them,and the same night, to the joy of the horror-struckvillagers, had pursued his journey across the sea in adirection that led to no land; and they conjectured that hemust speedily be destroyed by the breaking of the ice orfrozen by the eternal frosts. On hearing this information I suffered a temporaryaccess of despair. He had escaped me, and I mustcommence a destructive and almost endless journey acrossthe mountainous ices of the ocean, amidst cold that few ofthe inhabitants could long endure and which I, the nativeof a genial and sunny climate, could not hope to survive.Yet at the idea that the fiend should live and betriumphant, my rage and vengeance returned, and like a 318 of 345
    • Frankensteinmighty tide, overwhelmed every other feeling. After aslight repose, during which the spirits of the dead hoveredround and instigated me to toil and revenge, I prepared formy journey. I exchanged my land-sledge for one fashioned for theinequalities of the frozen ocean, and purchasing a plentifulstock of provisions, I departed from land. I cannot guess how many days have passed since then,but I have endured misery which nothing but the eternalsentiment of a just retribution burning within my heartcould have enabled me to support. Immense and ruggedmountains of ice often barred up my passage, and I oftenheard the thunder of the ground sea, which threatened mydestruction. But again the frost came and made the pathsof the sea secure. By the quantity of provision which I had consumed, Ishould guess that I had passed three weeks in this journey;and the continual protraction of hope, returning backupon the heart, often wrung bitter drops of despondencyand grief from my eyes. Despair had indeed almost securedher prey, and I should soon have sunk beneath this misery.Once, after the poor animals that conveyed me had withincredible toil gained the summit of a sloping icemountain, and one, sinking under his fatigue, died, I 319 of 345
    • Frankensteinviewed the expanse before me with anguish, whensuddenly my eye caught a dark speck upon the duskyplain. I strained my sight to discover what it could be anduttered a wild cry of ecstasy when I distinguished a sledgeand the distorted proportions of a well-known formwithin. Oh! With what a burning gush did hope revisitmy heart! Warm tears filled my eyes, which I hastily wipedaway, that they might not intercept the view I had of thedaemon; but still my sight was dimmed by the burningdrops, until, giving way to the emotions that oppressedme, I wept aloud. But this was not the time for delay; I disencumberedthe dogs of their dead companion, gave them a plentifulportion of food, and after an hour’s rest, which wasabsolutely necessary, and yet which was bitterly irksome tome, I continued my route. The sledge was still visible, nordid I again lose sight of it except at the moments when fora short time some ice-rock concealed it with itsintervening crags. I indeed perceptibly gained on it, andwhen, after nearly two days’ journey, I beheld my enemyat no more than a mile distant, my heart bounded withinme. But now, when I appeared almost within grasp of myfoe, my hopes were suddenly extinguished, and I lost all 320 of 345
    • Frankensteintrace of him more utterly than I had ever done before. Aground sea was heard; the thunder of its progress, as thewaters rolled and swelled beneath me, became everymoment more ominous and terrific. I pressed on, but invain. The wind arose; the sea roared; and, as with themighty shock of an earthquake, it split and cracked with atremendous and overwhelming sound. The work wassoon finished; in a few minutes a tumultuous sea rolledbetween me and my enemy, and I was left drifting on ascattered piece of ice that was continually lessening andthus preparing for me a hideous death. In this manner many appalling hours passed; several ofmy dogs died, and I myself was about to sink under theaccumulation of distress when I saw your vessel riding atanchor and holding forth to me hopes of succour and life.I had no conception that vessels ever came so far northand was astounded at the sight. I quickly destroyed part ofmy sledge to construct oars, and by these means wasenabled, with infinite fatigue, to move my ice raft in thedirection of your ship. I had determined, if you weregoing southwards, still to trust myself to the mercy of theseas rather than abandon my purpose. I hoped to induceyou to grant me a boat with which I could pursue myenemy. But your direction was northwards. You took me 321 of 345
    • Frankensteinon board when my vigour was exhausted, and I shouldsoon have sunk under my multiplied hardships into adeath which I still dread, for my task is unfulfilled. Oh! When will my guiding spirit, in conducting me tothe daemon, allow me the rest I so much desire; or must Idie, and he yet live? If I do, swear to me, Walton, that heshall not escape, that you will seek him and satisfy myvengeance in his death. And do I dare to ask of you toundertake my pilgrimage, to endure the hardships that Ihave undergone? No; I am not so selfish. Yet, when I amdead, if he should appear, if the ministers of vengeanceshould conduct him to you, swear that he shall not live—swear that he shall not triumph over my accumulatedwoes and survive to add to the list of his dark crimes. Heis eloquent and persuasive, and once his words had evenpower over my heart; but trust him not. His soul is ashellish as his form, full of treachery and fiendlike malice.Hear him not; call on the names of William, Justine,Clerval, Elizabeth, my father, and of the wretched Victor,and thrust your sword into his heart. I will hover near anddirect the steel aright. Walton, in continuation. August 26th, 17— 322 of 345
    • Frankenstein You have read this strange and terrific story, Margaret;and do you not feel your blood congeal with horror, likethat which even now curdles mine? Sometimes, seizedwith sudden agony, he could not continue his tale; atothers, his voice broken, yet piercing, uttered withdifficulty the words so replete with anguish. His fine andlovely eyes were now lighted up with indignation, nowsubdued to downcast sorrow and quenched in infinitewretchedness. Sometimes he commanded his countenanceand tones and related the most horrible incidents with atranquil voice, suppressing every mark of agitation; then,like a volcano bursting forth, his face would suddenlychange to an expression of the wildest rage as he shriekedout imprecations on his persecutor. His tale is connected and told with an appearance ofthe simplest truth, yet I own to you that the letters ofFelix and Safie, which he showed me, and the apparitionof the monster seen from our ship, brought to me agreater conviction of the truth of his narrative than hisasseverations, however earnest and connected. Such amonster has, then, really existence! I cannot doubt it, yet Iam lost in surprise and admiration. Sometimes Iendeavoured to gain from Frankenstein the particulars of 323 of 345
    • Frankensteinhis creature’s formation, but on this point he wasimpenetrable. ‘Are you mad, my friend?’ said he. ‘Or whither doesyour senseless curiosity lead you? Would you also createfor yourself and the world a demoniacal enemy? Peace,peace! Learn my miseries and do not seek to increase yourown.’ Frankenstein discovered that I made notes concerninghis history; he asked to see them and then himselfcorrected and augmented them in many places, butprincipally in giving the life and spirit to the conversationshe held with his enemy. ‘Since you have preserved mynarration,’ said he, ‘I would not that a mutilated oneshould go down to posterity.’ Thus has a week passed away, while I have listened tothe strangest tale that ever imagination formed. Mythoughts and every feeling of my soul have been drunk upby the interest for my guest which this tale and his ownelevated and gentle manners have created. I wish to soothehim, yet can I counsel one so infinitely miserable, sodestitute of every hope of consolation, to live? Oh, no!The only joy that he can now know will be when hecomposes his shattered spirit to peace and death. Yet heenjoys one comfort, the offspring of solitude and delirium; 324 of 345
    • Frankensteinhe believes that when in dreams he holds converse withhis friends and derives from that communion consolationfor his miseries or excitements to his vengeance, that theyare not the creations of his fancy, but the beingsthemselves who visit him from the regions of a remoteworld. This faith gives a solemnity to his reveries thatrender them to me almost as imposing and interesting astruth. Our conversations are not always confined to his ownhistory and misfortunes. On every point of generalliterature he displays unbounded knowledge and a quickand piercing apprehension. His eloquence is forcible andtouching; nor can I hear him, when he relates a patheticincident or endeavours to move the passions of pity orlove, without tears. What a glorious creature must he havebeen in the days of his prosperity, when he is thus nobleand godlike in ruin! He seems to feel his own worth andthe greatness of his fall. ‘When younger,’ said he, ‘I believed myself destinedfor some great enterprise. My feelings are profound, but Ipossessed a coolness of judgment that fitted me forillustrious achievements. This sentiment of the worth ofmy nature supported me when others would have beenoppressed, for I deemed it criminal to throw away in 325 of 345
    • Frankensteinuseless grief those talents that might be useful to my fellowcreatures. When I reflected on the work I had completed,no less a one than the creation of a sensitive and rationalanimal, I could not rank myself with the herd of commonprojectors. But this thought, which supported me in thecommencement of my career, now serves only to plungeme lower in the dust. All my speculations and hopes are asnothing, and like the archangel who aspired toomnipotence, I am chained in an eternal hell. Myimagination was vivid, yet my powers of analysis andapplication were intense; by the union of these qualities Iconceived the idea and executed the creation of a man.Even now I cannot recollect without passion my reverieswhile the work was incomplete. I trod heaven in mythoughts, now exulting in my powers, now burning withthe idea of their effects. From my infancy I was imbuedwith high hopes and a lofty ambition; but how am I sunk!Oh! My friend, if you had known me as I once was, youwould not recognize me in this state of degradation.Despondency rarely visited my heart; a high destinyseemed to bear me on, until I fell, never, never again torise.’ Must I then lose this admirable being? I have longed fora friend; I have sought one who would sympathize with 326 of 345
    • eBook brought to you by Create, view, and edit PDF. Download the free trial version.Frankensteinand love me. Behold, on these desert seas I have foundsuch a one, but I fear I have gained him only to know hisvalue and lose him. I would reconcile him to life, but herepulses the idea. ‘I thank you, Walton,’ he said, ‘for your kindintentions towards so miserable a wretch; but when youspeak of new ties and fresh affections, think you that anycan replace those who are gone? Can any man be to me asClerval was, or any woman another Elizabeth? Evenwhere the affections are not strongly moved by anysuperior excellence, the companions of our childhoodalways possess a certain power over our minds whichhardly any later friend can obtain. They know ourinfantine dispositions, which, however they may beafterwards modified, are never eradicated; and they canjudge of our actions with more certain conclusions as tothe integrity of our motives. A sister or a brother cannever, unless indeed such symptoms have been shownearly, suspect the other of fraud or false dealing, whenanother friend, however strongly he may be attached,may, in spite of himself, be contemplated with suspicion.But I enjoyed friends, dear not only through habit andassociation, but from their own merits; and wherever Iam, the soothing voice of my Elizabeth and the 327 of 345
    • Frankensteinconversation of Clerval will be ever whispered in my ear.They are dead, and but one feeling in such a solitude canpersuade me to preserve my life. If I were engaged in anyhigh undertaking or design, fraught with extensive utilityto my fellow creatures, then could I live to fulfil it. Butsuch is not my destiny; I must pursue and destroy thebeing to whom I gave existence; then my lot on earth willbe fulfilled and I may die.’ My beloved Sister, September 2nd I write to you, encompassed by peril and ignorantwhether I am ever doomed to see again dear England andthe dearer friends that inhabit it. I am surrounded bymountains of ice which admit of no escape and threatenevery moment to crush my vessel. The brave fellowswhom I have persuaded to be my companions looktowards me for aid, but I have none to bestow. There issomething terribly appalling in our situation, yet mycourage and hopes do not desert me. Yet it is terrible toreflect that the lives of all these men are endangeredthrough me. If we are lost, my mad schemes are the cause. And what, Margaret, will be the state of your mind?You will not hear of my destruction, and you willanxiously await my return. Years will pass, and you willhave visitings of despair and yet be tortured by hope. Oh! 328 of 345
    • FrankensteinMy beloved sister, the sickening failing of your heart-feltexpectations is, in prospect, more terrible to me than myown death. But you have a husband and lovely children;you may be happy. Heaven bless you and make you so! My unfortunate guest regards me with the tenderestcompassion. He endeavours to fill me with hope and talksas if life were a possession which he valued. He remindsme how often the same accidents have happened to othernavigators who have attempted this sea, and in spite ofmyself, he fills me with cheerful auguries. Even the sailorsfeel the power of his eloquence; when he speaks, they nolonger despair; he rouses their energies, and while theyhear his voice they believe these vast mountains of ice aremole-hills which will vanish before the resolutions of man.These feelings are transitory; each day of expectationdelayed fills them with fear, and I almost dread a mutinycaused by this despair. September 5th A scene has just passed of such uncommon interest that,although it is highly probable that these papers may neverreach you, yet I cannot forbear recording it. We are still surrounded by mountains of ice, still inimminent danger of being crushed in their conflict. Thecold is excessive, and many of my unfortunate comrades 329 of 345
    • Frankensteinhave already found a grave amidst this scene of desolation.Frankenstein has daily declined in health; a feverish firestill glimmers in his eyes, but he is exhausted, and whensuddenly roused to any exertion, he speedily sinks againinto apparent lifelessness. I mentioned in my last letter the fears I entertained of amutiny. This morning, as I sat watching the wancountenance of my friend— his eyes half closed and hislimbs hanging listlessly— I was roused by half a dozen ofthe sailors, who demanded admission into the cabin. Theyentered, and their leader addressed me. He told me that heand his companions had been chosen by the other sailorsto come in deputation to me to make me a requisitionwhich, in justice, I could not refuse. We were immured inice and should probably never escape, but they feared thatif, as was possible, the ice should dissipate and a freepassage be opened, I should be rash enough to continuemy voyage and lead them into fresh dangers, after theymight happily have surmounted this. They insisted,therefore, that I should engage with a solemn promise thatif the vessel should be freed I would instantly direct mycourse southwards. This speech troubled me. I had not despaired, nor had Iyet conceived the idea of returning if set free. Yet could I, 330 of 345
    • Frankensteinin justice, or even in possibility, refuse this demand? Ihesitated before I answered, when Frankenstein, who hadat first been silent, and indeed appeared hardly to haveforce enough to attend, now roused himself; his eyessparkled, and his cheeks flushed with momentary vigour.Turning towards the men, he said, ‘What do you mean?What do you demand of your captain? Are you, then, soeasily turned from your design? Did you not call this aglorious expedition? And wherefore was it glorious? Notbecause the way was smooth and placid as a southern sea,but because it was full of dangers and terror, because atevery new incident your fortitude was to be called forthand your courage exhibited, because danger and deathsurrounded it, and these you were to brave and overcome.For this was it a glorious, for this was it an honourableundertaking. You were hereafter to be hailed as thebenefactors of your species, your names adored asbelonging to brave men who encountered death forhonour and the benefit of mankind. And now, behold,with the first imagination of danger, or, if you will, thefirst mighty and terrific trial of your courage, you shrinkaway and are content to be handed down as men who hadnot strength enough to endure cold and peril; and so, poorsouls, they were chilly and returned to their warm 331 of 345
    • Frankensteinfiresides. Why, that requires not this preparation; ye neednot have come thus far and dragged your captain to theshame of a defeat merely to prove yourselves cowards. Oh!Be men, or be more than men. Be steady to your purposesand firm as a rock. This ice is not made of such stuff asyour hearts may be; it is mutable and cannot withstandyou if you say that it shall not. Do not return to yourfamilies with the stigma of disgrace marked on yourbrows. Return as heroes who have fought and conqueredand who know not what it is to turn their backs on thefoe.’ He spoke this with a voice so modulated to thedifferent feelings expressed in his speech, with an eye sofull of lofty design and heroism, that can you wonder thatthese men were moved? They looked at one another andwere unable to reply. I spoke; I told them to retire andconsider of what had been said, that I would not leadthem farther north if they strenuously desired the contrary,but that I hoped that, with reflection, their courage wouldreturn. They retired and I turned towards my friend, but hewas sunk in languor and almost deprived of life. How all this will terminate, I know not, but I hadrather die than return shamefully, my purpose unfulfilled. 332 of 345
    • FrankensteinYet I fear such will be my fate; the men, unsupported byideas of glory and honour, can never willingly continue toendure their present hardships. September 7th The die is cast; I have consented to return if we are notdestroyed. Thus are my hopes blasted by cowardice andindecision; I come back ignorant and disappointed. Itrequires more philosophy than I possess to bear thisinjustice with patience. September 12th It is past; I am returning to England. I have lost myhopes of utility and glory; I have lost my friend. But I willendeavour to detail these bitter circumstances to you, mydear sister; and while I am wafted towards England andtowards you, I will not despond. September 9th, the ice began to move, and roaringslike thunder were heard at a distance as the islands splitand cracked in every direction. We were in the mostimminent peril, but as we could only remain passive, mychief attention was occupied by my unfortunate guestwhose illness increased in such a degree that he wasentirely confined to his bed. The ice cracked behind usand was driven with force towards the north; a breezesprang from the west, and on the 11th the passage towards 333 of 345
    • Frankensteinthe south became perfectly free. When the sailors saw thisand that their return to their native country was apparentlyassured, a shout of tumultuous joy broke from them, loudand long-continued. Frankenstein, who was dozing,awoke and asked the cause of the tumult. ‘They shout,’ Isaid, ‘because they will soon return to England.’ ‘Do you, then, really return?’ ‘Alas! Yes; I cannot withstand their demands. I cannotlead them unwillingly to danger, and I must return.’ ‘Do so, if you will; but I will not. You may give upyour purpose, but mine is assigned to me by heaven, and Idare not. I am weak, but surely the spirits who assist myvengeance will endow me with sufficient strength.’ Sayingthis, he endeavoured to spring from the bed, but theexertion was too great for him; he fell back and fainted. It was long before he was restored, and I often thoughtthat life was entirely extinct. At length he opened his eyes;he breathed with difficulty and was unable to speak. Thesurgeon gave him a composing draught and ordered us toleave him undisturbed. In the meantime he told me thatmy friend had certainly not many hours to live. His sentence was pronounced, and I could only grieveand be patient. I sat by his bed, watching him; his eyeswere closed, and I thought he slept; but presently he called 334 of 345
    • Frankensteinto me in a feeble voice, and bidding me come near, said,‘Alas! The strength I relied on is gone; I feel that I shallsoon die, and he, my enemy and persecutor, may still bein being. Think not, Walton, that in the last moments ofmy existence I feel that burning hatred and ardent desireof revenge I once expressed; but I feel myself justified indesiring the death of my adversary. During these last days Ihave been occupied in examining my past conduct; nor doI find it blamable. In a fit of enthusiastic madness I createda rational creature and was bound towards him to assure,as far as was in my power, his happiness and well-being.This was my duty, but there was another still paramountto that. My duties towards the beings of my own specieshad greater claims to my attention because they included agreater proportion of happiness or misery. Urged by thisview, I refused, and I did right in refusing, to create acompanion for the first creature. He showed unparalleledmalignity and selfishness in evil; he destroyed my friends;he devoted to destruction beings who possessed exquisitesensations, happiness, and wisdom; nor do I know wherethis thirst for vengeance may end. Miserable himself thathe may render no other wretched, he ought to die. Thetask of his destruction was mine, but I have failed. Whenactuated by selfish and vicious motives, I asked you to 335 of 345
    • Frankensteinundertake my unfinished work, and I renew this requestnow, when I am only induced by reason and virtue. ‘Yet I cannot ask you to renounce your country andfriends to fulfil this task; and now that you are returning toEngland, you will have little chance of meeting with him.But the consideration of these points, and the wellbalancing of what you may esteem your duties, I leave toyou; my judgment and ideas are already disturbed by thenear approach of death. I dare not ask you to do what Ithink right, for I may still be misled by passion. ‘That he should live to be an instrument of mischiefdisturbs me; in other respects, this hour, when Imomentarily expect my release, is the only happy onewhich I have enjoyed for several years. The forms of thebeloved dead flit before me, and I hasten to their arms.Farewell, Walton! Seek happiness in tranquillity and avoidambition, even if it be only the apparently innocent one ofdistinguishing yourself in science and discoveries. Yet whydo I say this? I have myself been blasted in these hopes, yetanother may succeed.’ His voice became fainter as he spoke, and at length,exhausted by his effort, he sank into silence. About half anhour afterwards he attempted again to speak but wasunable; he pressed my hand feebly, and his eyes closed 336 of 345
    • Frankensteinforever, while the irradiation of a gentle smile passed awayfrom his lips. Margaret, what comment can I make on the untimelyextinction of this glorious spirit? What can I say that willenable you to understand the depth of my sorrow? All thatI should express would be inadequate and feeble. My tearsflow; my mind is overshadowed by a cloud ofdisappointment. But I journey towards England, and Imay there find consolation. I am interrupted. What do these sounds portend? It ismidnight; the breeze blows fairly, and the watch on deckscarcely stir. Again there is a sound as of a human voice,but hoarser; it comes from the cabin where the remains ofFrankenstein still lie. I must arise and examine. Goodnight, my sister. Great God! what a scene has just taken place! I am yetdizzy with the remembrance of it. I hardly know whetherI shall have the power to detail it; yet the tale which Ihave recorded would be incomplete without this final andwonderful catastrophe. I entered the cabin where lay the remains of my ill-fated and admirable friend. Over him hung a form which Icannot find words to describe—gigantic in stature, yetuncouth and distorted in its proportions. As he hung over 337 of 345
    • Frankensteinthe coffin, his face was concealed by long locks of raggedhair; but one vast hand was extended, in colour andapparent texture like that of a mummy. When he heardthe sound of my approach, he ceased to utter exclamationsof grief and horror and sprung towards the window.Never did I behold a vision so horrible as his face, of suchloathsome yet appalling hideousness. I shut my eyesinvoluntarily and endeavoured to recollect what were myduties with regard to this destroyer. I called on him tostay. He paused, looking on me with wonder, and againturning towards the lifeless form of his creator, he seemedto forget my presence, and every feature and gestureseemed instigated by the wildest rage of someuncontrollable passion. ‘That is also my victim!’ he exclaimed. ‘In his murdermy crimes are consummated; the miserable series of mybeing is wound to its close! Oh, Frankenstein! Generousand self-devoted being! What does it avail that I now askthee to pardon me? I, who irretrievably destroyed thee bydestroying all thou lovedst. Alas! He is cold, he cannotanswer me.’ His voice seemed suffocated, and my first impulses,which had suggested to me the duty of obeying the dying 338 of 345
    • eBook brought to you by Create, view, and edit PDF. Download the free trial version.Frankensteinrequest of my friend in destroying his enemy, were nowsuspended by a mixture of curiosity and compassion. Iapproached this tremendous being; I dared not again raisemy eyes to his face, there was something so scaring andunearthly in his ugliness. I attempted to speak, but thewords died away on my lips. The monster continued toutter wild and incoherent self-reproaches. At length Igathered resolution to address him in a pause of thetempest of his passion. ‘Your repentance,’ I said, ‘is nowsuperfluous. If you had listened to the voice of conscienceand heeded the stings of remorse before you had urgedyour diabolical vengeance to this extremity, Frankensteinwould yet have lived.’ ‘And do you dream?’ said the daemon. ‘Do you thinkthat I was then dead to agony and remorse? He,’ hecontinued, pointing to the corpse, ‘he suffered not in theconsummation of the deed. Oh! Not the ten-thousandthportion of the anguish that was mine during the lingeringdetail of its execution. A frightful selfishness hurried meon, while my heart was poisoned with remorse. Thinkyou that the groans of Clerval were music to my ears? Myheart was fashioned to be susceptible of love andsympathy, and when wrenched by misery to vice and 339 of 345
    • Frankensteinhatred, it did not endure the violence of the changewithout torture such as you cannot even imagine. ‘After the murder of Clerval I returned to Switzerland,heart-broken and overcome. I pitied Frankenstein; mypity amounted to horror; I abhorred myself. But when Idiscovered that he, the author at once of my existence andof its unspeakable torments, dared to hope for happiness,that while he accumulated wretchedness and despair uponme he sought his own enjoyment in feelings and passionsfrom the indulgence of which I was forever barred, thenimpotent envy and bitter indignation filled me with aninsatiable thirst for vengeance. I recollected my threat andresolved that it should be accomplished. I knew that I waspreparing for myself a deadly torture, but I was the slave,not the master, of an impulse which I detested yet couldnot disobey. Yet when she died! Nay, then I was notmiserable. I had cast off all feeling, subdued all anguish, toriot in the excess of my despair. Evil thenceforth becamemy good. Urged thus far, I had no choice but to adapt mynature to an element which I had willingly chosen. Thecompletion of my demoniacal design became an insatiablepassion. And now it is ended; there is my last victim!’ I was at first touched by the expressions of his misery;yet, when I called to mind what Frankenstein had said of 340 of 345
    • Frankensteinhis powers of eloquence and persuasion, and when I againcast my eyes on the lifeless form of my friend, indignationwas rekindled within me. ‘Wretch!’ I said. ‘It is well thatyou come here to whine over the desolation that you havemade. You throw a torch into a pile of buildings, andwhen they are consumed, you sit among the ruins andlament the fall. Hypocritical fiend! If he whom you mournstill lived, still would he be the object, again would hebecome the prey, of your accursed vengeance. It is notpity that you feel; you lament only because the victim ofyour malignity is withdrawn from your power.’ ‘Oh, it is not thus—not thus,’ interrupted the being.‘Yet such must be the impression conveyed to you bywhat appears to be the purport of my actions. Yet I seeknot a fellow feeling in my misery. No sympathy may Iever find. When I first sought it, it was the love of virtue,the feelings of happiness and affection with which mywhole being overflowed, that I wished to be participated.But now that virtue has become to me a shadow, and thathappiness and affection are turned into bitter and loathingdespair, in what should I seek for sympathy? I am contentto suffer alone while my sufferings shall endure; when Idie, I am well satisfied that abhorrence and opprobriumshould load my memory. Once my fancy was soothed 341 of 345
    • Frankensteinwith dreams of virtue, of fame, and of enjoyment. Once Ifalsely hoped to meet with beings who, pardoning myoutward form, would love me for the excellent qualitieswhich I was capable of unfolding. I was nourished withhigh thoughts of honour and devotion. But now crime hasdegraded me beneath the meanest animal. No guilt, nomischief, no malignity, no misery, can be foundcomparable to mine. When I run over the frightfulcatalogue of my sins, I cannot believe that I am the samecreature whose thoughts were once filled with sublimeand transcendent visions of the beauty and the majesty ofgoodness. But it is even so; the fallen angel becomes amalignant devil. Yet even that enemy of God and manhad friends and associates in his desolation; I am alone. ‘You, who call Frankenstein your friend, seem to havea knowledge of my crimes and his misfortunes. But in thedetail which he gave you of them he could not sum upthe hours and months of misery which I endured wastingin impotent passions. For while I destroyed his hopes, Idid not satisfy my own desires. They were forever ardentand craving; still I desired love and fellowship, and I wasstill spurned. Was there no injustice in this? Am I to bethought the only criminal, when all humankind sinnedagainst me? Why do you not hate Felix, who drove his 342 of 345
    • Frankensteinfriend from his door with contumely? Why do you notexecrate the rustic who sought to destroy the saviour ofhis child? Nay, these are virtuous and immaculate beings!I, the miserable and the abandoned, am an abortion, to bespurned at, and kicked, and trampled on. Even now myblood boils at the recollection of this injustice. ‘But it is true that I am a wretch. I have murdered thelovely and the helpless; I have strangled the innocent asthey slept and grasped to death his throat who neverinjured me or any other living thing. I have devoted mycreator, the select specimen of all that is worthy of loveand admiration among men, to misery; I have pursuedhim even to that irremediable ruin. There he lies, whiteand cold in death. You hate me, but your abhorrencecannot equal that with which I regard myself. I look onthe hands which executed the deed; I think on the heartin which the imagination of it was conceived and long forthe moment when these hands will meet my eyes, whenthat imagination will haunt my thoughts no more. ‘Fear not that I shall be the instrument of futuremischief. My work is nearly complete. Neither yours norany man’s death is needed to consummate the series of mybeing and accomplish that which must be done, but itrequires my own. Do not think that I shall be slow to 343 of 345
    • Frankensteinperform this sacrifice. I shall quit your vessel on the ice raftwhich brought me thither and shall seek the mostnorthern extremity of the globe; I shall collect my funeralpile and consume to ashes this miserable frame, that itsremains may afford no light to any curious andunhallowed wretch who would create such another as Ihave been. I shall die. I shall no longer feel the agonieswhich now consume me or be the prey of feelingsunsatisfied, yet unquenched. He is dead who called meinto being; and when I shall be no more, the veryremembrance of us both will speedily vanish. I shall nolonger see the sun or stars or feel the winds play on mycheeks. Light, feeling, and sense will pass away; and in thiscondition must I find my happiness. Some years ago,when the images which this world affords first openedupon me, when I felt the cheering warmth of summer andheard the rustling of the leaves and the warbling of thebirds, and these were all to me, I should have wept to die;now it is my only consolation. Polluted by crimes and tornby the bitterest remorse, where can I find rest but indeath? ‘Farewell! I leave you, and in you the last ofhumankind whom these eyes will ever behold. Farewell,Frankenstein! If thou wert yet alive and yet cherished a 344 of 345
    • Frankensteindesire of revenge against me, it would be better satiated inmy life than in my destruction. But it was not so; thoudidst seek my extinction, that I might not cause greaterwretchedness; and if yet, in some mode unknown to me,thou hadst not ceased to think and feel, thou wouldst notdesire against me a vengeance greater than that which Ifeel. Blasted as thou wert, my agony was still superior tothine, for the bitter sting of remorse will not cease torankle in my wounds until death shall close them forever. ‘But soon,’ he cried with sad and solemn enthusiasm, ‘Ishall die, and what I now feel be no longer felt. Soonthese burning miseries will be extinct. I shall ascend myfuneral pile triumphantly and exult in the agony of thetorturing flames. The light of that conflagration will fadeaway; my ashes will be swept into the sea by the winds.My spirit will sleep in peace, or if it thinks, it will notsurely think thus. Farewell.’ He sprang from the cabin window as he said this, uponthe ice raft which lay close to the vessel. He was soonborne away by the waves and lost in darkness and distance. 345 of 345