The Canterville Ghost eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 43 pages of information about The Canterville Ghost.
out of respect to the feelings of the two noble families, every attempt was made to hush it up, and a full account of all the circumstances connected with it will be found in the third volume of Lord Tattle’s Recollections of the Prince Regent and his Friends.  The ghost, then, was naturally very anxious to show that he had not lost his influence over the Stiltons, with whom, indeed, he was distantly connected, his own first cousin having been married en secondes noces to the Sieur de Bulkeley, from whom, as every one knows, the Dukes of Cheshire are lineally descended.  Accordingly, he made arrangements for appearing to Virginia’s little lover in his celebrated impersonation of “The Vampire Monk, or the Bloodless Benedictine,” a performance so horrible that when old Lady Startup saw it, which she did on one fatal New Year’s Eve, in the year 1764, she went off into the most piercing shrieks, which culminated in violent apoplexy, and died in three days, after disinheriting the Cantervilles, who were her nearest relations, and leaving all her money to her London apothecary.  At the last moment, however, his terror of the twins prevented his leaving his room, and the little Duke slept in peace under the great feathered canopy in the Royal Bedchamber, and dreamed of Virginia.

V

A few days after this, Virginia and her curly-haired cavalier went out riding on Brockley meadows, where she tore her habit so badly in getting through a hedge that, on their return home, she made up her mind to go up by the back staircase so as not to be seen.  As she was running past the Tapestry Chamber, the door of which happened to be open, she fancied she saw some one inside, and thinking it was her mother’s maid, who sometimes used to bring her work there, looked in to ask her to mend her habit.  To her immense surprise, however, it was the Canterville Ghost himself!  He was sitting by the window, watching the ruined gold of the yellowing trees fly through the air, and the red leaves dancing madly down the long avenue.  His head was leaning on his hand, and his whole attitude was one of extreme depression.  Indeed, so forlorn, and so much out of repair did he look, that little Virginia, whose first idea had been to run away and lock herself in her room, was filled with pity, and determined to try and comfort him.  So light was her footfall, and so deep his melancholy, that he was not aware of her presence till she spoke to him.

“I am so sorry for you,” she said, “but my brothers are going back to Eton to-morrow, and then, if you behave yourself, no one will annoy you.”

“It is absurd asking me to behave myself,” he answered, looking round in astonishment at the pretty little girl who had ventured to address him, “quite absurd.  I must rattle my chains, and groan through keyholes, and walk about at night, if that is what you mean.  It is my only reason for existing.”

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
The Canterville Ghost from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook