The Prince and the Pauper eBook: Page2

Mark Twain (2006)

  CHAPTER I. The birth of the Prince and the Pauper.

  In the ancient city of London, on a certain autumn day in the secondquarter of the sixteenth century, a boy was born to a poor family of thename of Canty, who did not want him. ?On the same day another Englishchild was born to a rich family of the name of Tudor, who did want him.All England wanted him too. ?England had so longed for him, and hopedfor him, and prayed God for him, that, now that he was really come, thepeople went nearly mad for joy. ?Mere acquaintances hugged and kissedeach other and cried. Everybody took a holiday, and high and low, richand poor, feasted and danced and sang, and got very mellow; and theykept this up for days and nights together. ?By day, London was a sightto see, with gay banners waving from every balcony and housetop, andsplendid pageants marching along. ?By night, it was again a sightto see, with its great bonfires at every corner, and its troops ofrevellers making merry around them. ?There was no talk in all Englandbut of the new baby, Edward Tudor, Prince of Wales, who lay lapped insilks and satins, unconscious of all this fuss, and not knowing thatgreat lords and ladies were tending him and watching over him--and notcaring, either. ?But there was no talk about the other baby, Tom Canty,lapped in his poor rags, except among the family of paupers whom he hadjust come to trouble with his presence.