Dr. Jekyll holds a dinner party for some close friends. Mr. Utterson, as he often does, stays around after the others have gone to talk to the doctor. Utterson is well liked at friends’ dinner parties. Hosts enjoy his quiet company and Dr. Jekyll is no exception. Jekyll is a good-looking, kind man with obvious affection for Mr. Utterson.
The intimate dinner party setting and the further intimacy of a private audience after the meal puts Utterson in a position to penetrate the air of mystery that has come to surround Dr. Jekyll. The description of Jekyll makes his connection to Hyde seem impossible.
Mr. Utterson brings up the subject of Jekyll's will, but before he can ask anything, Jekyll expresses his sympathy for bringing Utterson into the business with the will because he can see how much it has upset him. Jekyll comments that the only person who’s been more upset with him is Dr. Lanyon. Jekyll mentions Lanyon’s strong opinion that Jekyll is involved in “scientific heresies” and adds that he's is very disappointed with Lanyon.
Utterson sets up an opportunity to have a private, close moment with his friend Jekyll. Jekyll is obviously concerned that he is alienating his friends but the details of the will and the meaning behind Lanyon’s extreme criticisms remains entirely under the surface. He refuses to explain what is going on.
Utterson brings Dr. Jekyll back to the matter at hand and says he now has even more cause to worry and starts to tell him about Mr. Hyde. At the mention of this name, Dr. Jekyll shuts down the conversation. He assures Utterson that he does not understand the full story and that it will not do any good to talk about it. Jekyll says he is in a very difficult position. Utterson tries to persuade Dr. Jekyll to trust him with the secret. Dr. Jekyll thanks him heartily and promises that he does trust Utterson, but he also assures him that he can choose to be rid of Mr. Hyde at any time. He hopes that Utterson will now let the matter rest.
This mirrors the occasion when Utterson mentioned Dr. Jekyll’s name to Mr. Hyde and he reacted with a sudden snarl. The effect of each name on the other suggests a relationship deeper than the financial blackmail situation that Utterson has entertained so far. Jekyll’s appeal for silence accentuates the characters’ inability to share and confess.
Dr. Jekyll lastly tries to explain to Mr. Utterson that he actually finds Mr. Hyde very interesting, and asks Utterson to try his best to treat Mr. Hyde as a good client in case anything happens to Dr. Jekyll himself or in the event of his death. Mr. Utterson reluctantly promises to provide his services if the unfortunate situation arises.
This is a strange turn of tone for Dr. Jekyll – it makes his intentions and his feelings seem even further from the surface. He says he is in a difficult position but his sympathy with Mr. Hyde also seems to restrain him.