John Melmoth, a young Irishman who inherits his uncle’s property, including a portrait of an early ancestor, which he is directed to destroy. He discovers a manuscript that tells about Melmoth the Wanderer, who visits John. Then a shipwrecked Spaniard tells of visitations of Melmoth the Wanderer. The Wanderer appears to John to tell him that he has finished his earthly pilgrimage of a century and a half. John hears strange noises in the night, and the next morning, his dread kinsman is gone.
John Melmoth’s Uncle
John Melmoth’s Uncle, who, though not a superstitious man, believes a stranger has been lurking about his house. He dies and leaves his property to his nephew with instructions to destroy a hidden portrait of an earlier John Melmoth.
Melmoth the Wanderer
Melmoth the Wanderer, a seventeenth century ancestor of young John Melmoth, also named John. He is doomed to wander the earth for a century and a half while trying to seduce souls to Satan. He wins not one soul in that time. Finally, he returns to his home in Ireland. He ends his life by plunging, or being thrown, over a cliff.
Mr. Stanton, an Englishman who leaves a manuscript telling the strange story of Melmoth the Wanderer. Stanton met the Wanderer in Spain, angered him, and was cursed. Because of the curse, Stanton was confined in Bedlam as a madman; he was...
(The entire section is 412 words.)