The Prince and the Pauper, Part 1. eBook: Page2

Mark Twain (2004)


  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 hoped forhim, 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 they keptthis up for days and nights together. By day, London was a sight to see,with gay banners waving from every balcony and housetop, and splendidpageants marching along. By night, it was again a sight to see, with itsgreat bonfires at every corner, and its troops of revellers making merryaround them. There was no talk in all England but of the new baby,Edward Tudor, Prince of Wales, who lay lapped in silks and satins,unconscious of all this fuss, and not knowing that great lords and ladieswere tending him and watching over him--and not caring, either. Butthere was no talk about the other baby, Tom Canty, lapped in his poorrags, except among the family of paupers whom he had just come to troublewith his presence.