The Moonstone, p. 354. 6.0 x 10.8 cm. [Although Ezra Jennings' confession about his past and his discussion of the prejudice to which he has been subject are useful in establishing his character, they necessarily defer Jennings' revellation of Dr. Candy's delirious ravings which he has recorded.] Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the person who scanned the image and (2) link your document to this URL.]as they set out from Frizinghall, Blake to visit his cousins, the Ablewhites, the physician on a house-call. — uncaptioned vignette for the "The Story. Second Period, Third Narrative" Chapter 9 — illustration in the Doubleday (New York) 1946 edition of
"I am sorry to have raised your expectations, Mr. Blake, only to disappoint them," he said. "Throughout the whole period of Mr. Candy's illness, from first to last, not one word about the Diamond escaped his lips. The matter with which I heard him connect your name has, I can assure you, no discoverable relation whatever with the loss or the recovery of Miss Verinder’s jewel."
We arrived, as he said those words, at a place where the highway along which we had been walking branched off into two roads. One led to Mr. Ablewhite's house, and the other to a moorland village some two or three miles off. Ezra Jennings stopped at the road which led to the village.
My way lies in this direction," he said. "I am really and truly sorry, Mr. Blake, that I can be of no use to you."
His voice told me that he spoke sincerely. His soft brown eyes rested on me for a moment with a look of melancholy interest. He bowed, and went, without another word, on his way to the village.
For a minute or more I stood and watched him, walking farther and farther away from me; carrying farther and farther away with him what I now firmly believed to be the clue of which I was in search. He turned, after walking on a little way, and looked back. Seeing me still standing at the place where we had parted, he stopped, as if doubting whether I might not wish to speak to him again. There was no time for me to reason out my own situation—to remind myself that I was losing my opportunity, at what might be the turning point of my life, and all to flatter nothing more important than my own self-esteem! There was only time to call him back first, and to think afterwards. I suspect I am one of the rashest of existing men. I called him back — and then I said to myself, "Now there is no help for it. I must tell him the truth!"
He retraced his steps directly. I advanced along the road to meet him.
"Mr. Jennings," I said. "I have not treated you quite fairly. My interest in tracing Mr. Candy's lost recollection is not the interest of recovering the Moonstone. A serious personal matter is at the bottom of my visit to Yorkshire. I have but one excuse for not having dealt frankly with you in this matter. It is more painful to me than I can say, to mention to anybody what my position really is."
Ezra Jennings looked at me with the first appearance of embarrassment which I had seen in him yet.
"I have no right, Mr. Blake, and no wish," he said, "to intrude myself into your private affairs. Allow me to ask your pardon, on my side, for having (most innocently) put you to a painful test."
"You have a perfect right," I rejoined, "to fix the terms on which you feel justified in revealing what you heard at Mr. Candy's bedside. I understand and respect the delicacy which influences you in this matter. How can I expect to be taken into your confidence if I decline to admit you into mine? You ought to know, and you shall know, why I am interested in discovering what Mr. Candy wanted to say to me. If I turn out to be mistaken in my anticipations, and if you prove unable to help me when you are really aware of what I want, I shall trust to your honour to keep my secret—and something tells me that I shall not trust in vain."
"Stop, Mr. Blake. I have a word to say, which must be said before you go any farther." I looked at him in astonishment. The grip of some terrible emotion seemed to have seized him, and shaken him to the soul. His gipsy complexion had altered to a livid greyish paleness; his eyes had suddenly become wild and glittering; his voice had dropped to a tone — low, stern, and resolute — which I now heard for the first time. The latent resources in the man, for good or for evil—it was hard, at that moment, to say which — leapt up in him and showed themselves to me, with the suddenness of a flash of light.
"Before you place any confidence in me," he went on, “you ought to know, and you must know, under what circumstances I have been received into Mr. Candy's house. It won't take long. I don't profess, sir, to tell my story (as the phrase is) to any man. My story will die with me. All I ask, is to be permitted to tell you, what I have told Mr. Candy. If you are still in the mind, when you have heard that, to say what you have proposed to say, you will command my attention and command my services. Shall we walk on?
The suppressed misery in his face silenced me. I answered his question by a sign. We walked on.
After advancing a few hundred yards, Ezra Jennings stopped at a gap in the rough stone wall which shut off the moor from the road, at this part of it. — "Second Period. Third Narrative Contributed by Franklin Blake" in "The Discovery of the Truth (1848-1849)," Chapter 9, p. 353.
The novelist applies his theory of suspense in fiction rigorously here: "make 'em laugh, make 'em, make 'em wait." In this case, Collins engenders sympathy for the racially "other" Ezra Jennings, and demonstrates that Franklin Blake is worthy of redemption as he does not reflect the traditional biases against one of mixed race such as Dr. Candy's assistant. The setting is significant insofar as it permits complete candour on both sides as no one can accidentally overhear their conversation. Only through such protracted dialogue will Jennings reveal Candy's incoherent remarks about Franklin Blake and laudanum.
Relevant Plates from the 1868 Edition
Left: Dr. Jennings' interrogating Franklin Blake about his exposure to some form of heroin such as Laudanum, a derivative widely used in the Victorian period as a palliative, "Have you ever been accustomed to the use of opium?" (4 July 1868, p. 421). Right: Ezra Jennings prepares the laudanum experiment: "I found Ezra Jennings ready and waiting for me." (11 July 1868, p. 437). [Click on the images to enlarge them.].
- The Moonstone and British India (1857, 1868, and 1876)
- Detection and Disruption inside and outside the 'quiet English home' in The Moonstone
- Introduction to the Sixty-six Harper's Weekly Illustrations for The Moonstone (1868)
- The Harper's Weekly Illustrations for Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone (1868)
- George Du Maurier, "Do you think a young lady's advice worth having?" — p. 94.
- Illustrations by F. A. Fraser for Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone: A Romance (1890)
- Illustrations by John Sloan for Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone: A Romance (1908)
- 1910 illustrations by Alfred Pearse for The Moonstone.
Collins, Wilkie. The Moonstone: A Romance. with sixty-six illustrations. Harper's Weekly: A Journal of Civilization. Vol. 12 (1868), 4 January through 8 August, pp. 5-503.
Collins, Wilkie. The Moonstone: A Romance. All the Year Round. 1 January-8 August 1868.
_________. The Moonstone: A Novel. With many illustrations. First edition. New York: Harper and Brothers, [July] 1868.
_________. The Moonstone: A Novel. With 19 illustrations. Second edition. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1874.
_________. The Moonstone: A Romance. Illustrated by George Du Maurier and F. A. Fraser. London: Chatto and Windus, 1890.
_________. The Moonstone. With 19 illustrations. The Works of Wilkie Collins. New York: Peter Fenelon Collier, 1900. Volumes 6 and 7.
_________. The Moonstone: A Romance. With four illustrations by John Sloan. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1908.
_________. The Moonstone: A Romance. Illustrated by A. S. Pearse. London & Glasgow: Collins, 1910, rpt. 1930.
_________. The Moonstone. Illustrated by William Sharp. New York: Doubleday, 1946.
_________. The Moonstone: A Romance. With nine illustrations by Edwin La Dell. London: Folio Society, 1951.
Karl, Frederick R. "Introduction." Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone. Scarborough, Ontario: Signet, 1984. Pp. 1-21.
Leighton, Mary Elizabeth, and Lisa Surridge. "The Transatlantic Moonstone: A Study of the Illustrated Serial in Harper's Weekly." Victorian Periodicals Review Volume 42, Number 3 (Fall 2009): pp. 207-243. Accessed 1 July 2016. http://englishnovel2.qwriting.qc.cuny.edu/files/2014/01/42.3.leighton-moonstone-serializatation.pdf
Nayder, Lillian. Unequal Partners: Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, & Victorian Authorship. London and Ithaca, NY: Cornll U. P., 2001.
Peters, Catherine. The King of the Inventors: A Life of Wilkie Collins. London: Minerva, 1991.
Reed, John R. "English Imperialism and the Unacknowledged crime of The Moonstone." Clio 2, 3 (June, 1973): 281-290.
Richardson, Betty. "Prisons and Prison Reform." Victorian Britain: An Encyclopedia, ed. Sally Mitchell. London and New York: Garland, 1988. Pp. 638-640.
Stewart, J. I. M. "Introduction." Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1966, rpt. 1973. Pp. 7-24.
Stewart, J. I. M. "A Note on Sources." Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1966, rpt. 1973. Pp. 527-8.
Vann, J. Don. "The Moonstone in All the Year Round, 4 January-8 1868." Victorian Novels in Serial. New York: Modern Language Association, 1985. Pp. 48-50.
Winter, William. "Wilkie Collins." Old Friends: Being Literary Recollections of Other Days. New York: Moffat, Yard, & Co., 1909. Pp. 203-219.
Last updated 26 October 2016