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Chapter 11

RETURN TO ENGLAND—JOHN'S MARRIAGE.


We were already near Parouba's house; and we supped there. John could eat nothing. He sat apart in tears. His father went to console him.

"Ah!" said John, "I do not deserve such a father. I shall die of shame for yielding to the fascination of that wicked Clive-Hart. I am the cause of Miss Primerose's death; just now, when you talked of poison, I shuddered; for I thought I saw Clive-Hart presenting the horrible draught to Primerose. How could I have so far lost myself as to accompany so vile a creature? I was blind. I did not discover my error till she was taken by the savages. In a fit of rage she almost admitted her guilt. From that moment, I have loathed her; and, for a punishment, the form of Primerose is ever before me, and seems to say, 'I died because I loved you.'" His father said a blameless life could alone repair his past errors.

The next day we sailed for England, after giving presents to the Paroubas. Tears mingled with our adieus; and Birton, who had been only giddy, already seemed a reasonable person.

When we were out at sea, Freind said to John, in my presence: "Do you still cherish the memory of the amiable Primerose?" These words so wrung the heart of the young man, that I feared he would throw himself into the sea.

"Console yourself, then," said Freind. "Miss Primerose is alive, and loves you still."

Freind had received certain information on this subject from his servant, who had written to him punctually by every ship. Mr. Mead, who has since acquired so great a reputation by his skill in the counteraction of poisons, had saved the young lady's life. In a moment, John passed from despair to extreme joy. I will not attempt to describe the change. It was the happiest moment of his life. Birton and his friends shared his joy. What more shall I say? The worthy Freind was as a father to all. The wedding was celebrated at Dr. Mead's. Birton, now another man, also married; and he and John are now among the best people in England.

Admit, that a wise man can instruct fools.



Epictetus, the slave. From a painting by Giuseppe Rossi.—Marcus Aurelius, on the throne of Europe and two parts of our hemisphere, did not think otherwise than the slave Epictetus.




THE END.



Francois-Marie Arouet Voltaire

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