Summary Chapter 3
Tom is preoccupied with his dreams the next day. He wanders aimlessly and ventures further than he has ever been. He winds up in Charing Village. He finds himself near the palace at Westminister and is in awe of its architecture. His one passion of seeing a prince suddenly seems possible.
The gates are guarded by soldiers. There are other people hoping for a glimpse of the royals. Tom becomes excited when he sees a prince through the bars. The guards push him away.
The prince witnesses this and is angered by the boy’s treatment. He orders that Tom be admitted. He gives Tom food and sends the servants away so he won’t be embarrassed in front of them. He questions Tom about his life. He is indignant about how Tom is treated by his father and grandmother. He admits his own father, Henry VIII, spares him physical punishment and never uses his vicious tongue against him.
Edward is fascinated to hear about a life so different from his—no servants, only one pair of clothing, etc. However, Edward likes the idea of the many entertainments the pauper enjoys. Edward lives a more restricted life and is always being scolded.
Edward proposes they change places for a while. They are shocked to see how close they are in resemblance. When he sees the bruise on Tom’s face, Edward goes out to confront the soldier who did it. However, dressed as the pauper, the soldier cuffs him and pushes him into the mud. When he claims he is the prince, everyone mocks him.