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The Evil Guest by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
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The Evil Guest

By J. Sheridan LeFanu

1895




"When Lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth Sin: and Sin, when it is
finished, bringeth forth Death."




About sixty years ago, and somewhat more than twenty miles from the
ancient town of Chester, in a southward direction, there stood a large,
and, even then, an old-fashioned mansion-house. It lay in the midst of a
demesne of considerable extent, and richly wooded with venerable timber;
but, apart from the somber majesty of these giant groups, and the
varieties of the undulating ground on which they stood, there was little
that could be deemed attractive in the place. A certain air of neglect
and decay, and an indescribable gloom and melancholy, hung over it. In
darkness, it seemed darker than any other tract; when the moonlight fell
upon its glades and hollows, they looked spectral and awful, with a sort
of churchyard loneliness; and even when the blush of the morning kissed
its broad woodlands, there was a melancholy in the salute that saddened
rather than cheered the heart of the beholder.

This antique, melancholy, and neglected place, we shall call, for