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The Prince and the Pauper
by Mark Twain

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Chapter I

The birth of the Prince and the Pauper.

In the ancient city of London, on a certain autumn day in the

second quarter of the sixteenth century, a boy was born to a poor

family of the name of Canty, who did not want him. On the same

day another English child 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 for him, and prayed God for him,

that, now that he was really come, the people went nearly mad for

joy. Mere acquaintances hugged and kissed each other and cried.

Everybody took a holiday, and high and low, rich and poor, feasted

and danced and sang, and got very mellow; and they kept this up

for days and nights together. By day, London was a sight to see,

with gay banners waving from every balcony and housetop, and

splendid pageants marching along. By night, it was again a sight

to see, with its great bonfires at every corner, and its troops of

revellers making merry around 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 ladies were tending him and

watching over him--and not caring, 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 had just come to trouble with

his presence.



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