Study Guide

Don Juan Canto XVI

By George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron

Canto XVI

  • Juan goes to bed for the night feeling philosophical and kind of sad. He can't sleep, so he hops out of bed and goes walking down the hallways of the old house.
  • Juan is terrified when he sees a grim figure walking through the outside garden. He can't see the person's face because they are wearing a monk's hood. Juan retreats to his bedroom and shuts the door.
  • The next morning, Juan gets up and heads downstairs. Adeline and Aurora both see that there's something wrong with him. Another older woman named Duchess Fitz-Fulke (say that name three times fast) stares hard at him, but doesn't seem surprised by his look.
  • Lady Adeline asks Juan what the matter is, but he ducks the question.
  • Finally, Henry sees Juan and asks him if he has ever heard the story of the Black Friar. Lord Henry claims that the ghost showed up when he (Henry) was on his honeymoon with Adeline. The Black Friar is said to be the ghost of a monk who used to live in this old house.
  • After hearing the story, Juan manages to snap himself out of his funk and tell some amusing stories to the group.
  • After all this, a group of people from the nearby village comes into the house to put a few law cases before Lord Henry. The group includes some lawyers who are disputing a mortgage and an unwed mother. Lord Henry deals with these people in a logical and fair way.
  • Don Juan sits between Lady Adeline and Aurora at dinner. He catches Aurora looking at him and thinks he sees a hint of a smile.
  • At one point, the men at the table compliment the beauty of the women. But Don Juan doesn't join them. Aurora approves of this.
  • Like the night before, Don Juan undresses and goes to bed. It's not long before he hears someone in the hallway and assumes it's the Black Friar.
  • Sure enough, the door to Don Juan's room opens and he sees the Black Friar come in. At first he's afraid. But then he gets up and approaches the ghost.
  • He reaches out and touches the ghost, realizing that it's actually a person in disguise! The ghost pulls down its hood and reveals itself to be the older Duchess Fitz-Fulke.

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