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Chapter 1


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.


Mark Twain