J. S. Le Fanu, Uncle Silas: A Tale of Bartram-Haugh (1864) [1899 Edn]

To the Right Hon. The Countess of Gifford, as a token of Respect, Sympathy, and Admiration, This Tale is Inscribed by the Author.
Table of Contents

A Preliminary Word
I: Austin Ruthyn, of Knowl, and His Daughter
II: Uncle Silas
III: A New Face
IV: Madame De La Rougierre
V: Sights and Noises
VI: A Walk in the Wood
VII: Church Scarsdale
VIII: The Smoker
IX: Monica Knollys
X: Lady Knollys Removes a Coverlet
XI: Lady Knollys Sees the Features
XII: A Curious Conversation
XIII: Before and After Breakfast
XIV: Angry Words
XV: A Warning
XVI: Doctor Bryerly Looks In
XVII: An Adventure
XVIII: A Midnight Visitor
XIX: Au Revoir
XX: Austin Ruthyn Sets Out on His Journey
XXI: Arrivals
XXII: Somebody in the Room with the Coffin
XXIII: I Talk with Doctor Bryerly
XXIV: The Opening of the Will
XXV: I Hear from Uncle Silas
XXVI: The Story of Uncle Silas
XXVII: More About Tom Charke’s Suicide
XXVIII: I Am Persuaded
XXIX: How The Ambassador Fared
XXX: On the Road
XXXI: Bartram-Haugh
XXXII: Uncle Silas
XXXIII: The Windmill Wood

  XXXIV: Zamiel
XXXV: We Visit a Room in the Second Storey
XXXVI: An Arrival at Dead of Night
XXXVII: Doctor Bryerly Emerges
XXXVIII: A Midnight Departure
XXXIX: Cousin Monica and Uncle Silas Meet
XL: In Which I Make Another Cousin’s Acquaintance
XLI: My Cousin Dudley
XLII: Elverston and Its People
XLIII: News at Bartram Gate
XLIV: A Friend Arises
XLV: A Chapter-Full of Lovers
XLVI: The Rivals
XLVII: Doctor Bryerly Reappears
XLVIII: Question and Answer
XLIX: An Apparition
L: Milly’s Farewell
LI: Sarah Matilda Comes to Light
LII: The Picture of a Wolf
LIII: An Odd Proposal
LIV: In Search of Mr: Charke’s Skeleton
LV: The Foot of Hercules
LVI: I Conspire
LVII: The Letter
LVIII: Lady Knollys’ Carriage
LIX: A Sudden Departure
LX: The Journey
LXI: Our Bed-Chamber
LXII: A Well-Known Face Looks In
LXIII: Spiced Claret
LXIV: The Hour of Death
LXV: In the Oak Parlour

A Preliminary Word
The writer of this Tale ventures, in his own person, to address a very few words, chiefly of explanation, to his readers. A leading situation in this ‘Story of Bartram-Haugh’ is repeated, with a slight variation, from a short magazine tale of some fifteen pages written by him, and published long ago in a periodical under the title of “A Passage in the Secret History of an Irish Countess”, and afterwards, still anonymously, in a small volume under an altered title. It is very unlikely that any of his readers should have encountered, and still more so that they should remember, this trifle. The bare possibility, however, he has ventured to anticipate by this brief explanation, lest he should be charged with plagiarism - always a disrespect to a reader.

May he be permitted a few words also of remonstrance against the promiscuous application of the term ‘sensation’ to that large school of fiction which transgresses no one of those canons of construction and morality which, in producing the unapproachable “Waverley Novels,” their great author imposed upon himself? No one, it is assumed, would describe Sir Walter Scott’s romances as ‘sensation novels;’ yet in that marvellous series there is not a single tale in which death, crime, and, in some form, mystery, have not a place.

Passing by those grand romances of Ivanhoe, Old Mortality, and Kenilworth, with their terrible intricacies of crime and bloodshed, constructed with so fine a mastery of the art of exciting suspense and horror, let the reader pick out those two exceptional novels in the series which profess to paint contemporary manners and the scenes of common life; and remembering in the “Antiquary” the vision in the tapestried chamber, the duel, the horrible secret, and the death of old Elspeth, the drowned fisherman, and above all the tremendous situation of the tide-bound party under the cliffs; and in “St. Ronan’s Well,” the long-drawn mystery, the suspicion of insanity, and the catastrophe of suicide; - determine whether an epithet which it would be a profanation to apply to the structure of any, even the most exciting of Sir Walter Scott’s stories, is fairly applicable to tales which, though illimitably inferior in execution, yet observe the same limitations of incident, and the same moral aims.

The author trusts that the Press, to whose masterly criticism and generous encouragement he and other humble labourers in the art owe so much, will insist upon the limitation of that degrading term to the peculiar type of fiction which it was originally intended to indicate, and prevent, as they may, its being made to include the legitimate school of tragic English romance, which has been ennobled, and in great measure founded, by the genius of Sir Walter Scott.

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