The Prince and The Pauper
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

Part 4 out of 4

They did not answer; and something in their faces made him uneasy. He
said, eagerly--

"You do not speak; be good to me, and tell me--there will be no other
punishment? Prithee tell me there is no fear of that."

They tried to change the topic, but his fears were aroused, and he
pursued it--

"Will they scourge thee? No, no, they would not be so cruel! Say they
would not. Come, they WILL not, will they?"

The women betrayed confusion and distress, but there was no avoiding an
answer, so one of them said, in a voice choked with emotion--

"Oh, thou'lt break our hearts, thou gentle spirit!--God will help us to
bear our--"

"It is a confession!" the King broke in. "Then they WILL scourge thee,
the stony-hearted wretches! But oh, thou must not weep, I cannot bear
it. Keep up thy courage--I shall come to my own in time to save thee
from this bitter thing, and I will do it!"

When the King awoke in the morning, the women were gone.

"They are saved!" he said, joyfully; then added, despondently, "but woe
is me!--for they were my comforters."

Each of them had left a shred of ribbon pinned to his clothing, in token
of remembrance. He said he would keep these things always; and that soon
he would seek out these dear good friends of his and take them under his

Just then the jailer came in with some subordinates, and commanded that
the prisoners be conducted to the jail-yard. The King was overjoyed--it
would be a blessed thing to see the blue sky and breathe the fresh air
once more. He fretted and chafed at the slowness of the officers, but
his turn came at last, and he was released from his staple and ordered to
follow the other prisoners with Hendon.

The court or quadrangle was stone-paved, and open to the sky. The
prisoners entered it through a massive archway of masonry, and were
placed in file, standing, with their backs against the wall. A rope was
stretched in front of them, and they were also guarded by their officers.
It was a chill and lowering morning, and a light snow which had fallen
during the night whitened the great empty space and added to the general
dismalness of its aspect. Now and then a wintry wind shivered through the
place and sent the snow eddying hither and thither.

In the centre of the court stood two women, chained to posts. A glance
showed the King that these were his good friends. He shuddered, and said
to himself, "Alack, they are not gone free, as I had thought. To think
that such as these should know the lash!--in England! Ay, there's the
shame of it--not in Heathennesse, Christian England! They will be
scourged; and I, whom they have comforted and kindly entreated, must look
on and see the great wrong done; it is strange, so strange, that I, the
very source of power in this broad realm, am helpless to protect them.
But let these miscreants look well to themselves, for there is a day
coming when I will require of them a heavy reckoning for this work. For
every blow they strike now, they shall feel a hundred then."

A great gate swung open, and a crowd of citizens poured in. They flocked
around the two women, and hid them from the King's view. A clergyman
entered and passed through the crowd, and he also was hidden. The King
now heard talking, back and forth, as if questions were being asked and
answered, but he could not make out what was said. Next there was a deal
of bustle and preparation, and much passing and repassing of officials
through that part of the crowd that stood on the further side of the
women; and whilst this proceeded a deep hush gradually fell upon the

Now, by command, the masses parted and fell aside, and the King saw a
spectacle that froze the marrow in his bones. Faggots had been piled
about the two women, and a kneeling man was lighting them!

The women bowed their heads, and covered their faces with their hands;
the yellow flames began to climb upward among the snapping and crackling
faggots, and wreaths of blue smoke to stream away on the wind; the
clergyman lifted his hands and began a prayer--just then two young girls
came flying through the great gate, uttering piercing screams, and threw
themselves upon the women at the stake. Instantly they were torn away by
the officers, and one of them was kept in a tight grip, but the other
broke loose, saying she would die with her mother; and before she could
be stopped she had flung her arms about her mother's neck again. She was
torn away once more, and with her gown on fire. Two or three men held
her, and the burning portion of her gown was snatched off and thrown
flaming aside, she struggling all the while to free herself, and saying
she would be alone in the world, now; and begging to be allowed to die
with her mother. Both the girls screamed continually, and fought for
freedom; but suddenly this tumult was drowned under a volley of heart-
piercing shrieks of mortal agony--the King glanced from the frantic girls
to the stake, then turned away and leaned his ashen face against the
wall, and looked no more. He said, "That which I have seen, in that one
little moment, will never go out from my memory, but will abide there;
and I shall see it all the days, and dream of it all the nights, till I
die. Would God I had been blind!"

Hendon was watching the King. He said to himself, with satisfaction,
"His disorder mendeth; he hath changed, and groweth gentler. If he had
followed his wont, he would have stormed at these varlets, and said he
was King, and commanded that the women be turned loose unscathed. Soon
his delusion will pass away and be forgotten, and his poor mind will be
whole again. God speed the day!"

That same day several prisoners were brought in to remain over night, who
were being conveyed, under guard, to various places in the kingdom, to
undergo punishment for crimes committed. The King conversed with these--
he had made it a point, from the beginning, to instruct himself for the
kingly office by questioning prisoners whenever the opportunity offered--
and the tale of their woes wrung his heart. One of them was a poor half-
witted woman who had stolen a yard or two of cloth from a weaver--she was
to be hanged for it. Another was a man who had been accused of stealing
a horse; he said the proof had failed, and he had imagined that he was
safe from the halter; but no--he was hardly free before he was arraigned
for killing a deer in the King's park; this was proved against him, and
now he was on his way to the gallows. There was a tradesman's apprentice
whose case particularly distressed the King; this youth said he found a
hawk, one evening, that had escaped from its owner, and he took it home
with him, imagining himself entitled to it; but the court convicted him
of stealing it, and sentenced him to death.

The King was furious over these inhumanities, and wanted Hendon to break
jail and fly with him to Westminster, so that he could mount his throne
and hold out his sceptre in mercy over these unfortunate people and save
their lives. "Poor child," sighed Hendon, "these woeful tales have
brought his malady upon him again; alack, but for this evil hap, he would
have been well in a little time."

Among these prisoners was an old lawyer--a man with a strong face and a
dauntless mien. Three years past, he had written a pamphlet against the
Lord Chancellor, accusing him of injustice, and had been punished for it
by the loss of his ears in the pillory, and degradation from the bar, and
in addition had been fined 3,000 pounds and sentenced to imprisonment for
life. Lately he had repeated his offence; and in consequence was now
under sentence to lose WHAT REMAINED OF HIS EARS, pay a fine of 5,000
pounds, be branded on both cheeks, and remain in prison for life.

"These be honourable scars," he said, and turned back his grey hair and
showed the mutilated stubs of what had once been his ears.

The King's eye burned with passion. He said--

"None believe in me--neither wilt thou. But no matter--within the
compass of a month thou shalt be free; and more, the laws that have
dishonoured thee, and shamed the English name, shall be swept from the
statute books. The world is made wrong; kings should go to school to
their own laws, at times, and so learn mercy." {1}

Chapter XXVIII. The sacrifice.

Meantime Miles was growing sufficiently tired of confinement and
inaction. But now his trial came on, to his great gratification, and he
thought he could welcome any sentence provided a further imprisonment
should not be a part of it. But he was mistaken about that. He was in a
fine fury when he found himself described as a 'sturdy vagabond' and
sentenced to sit two hours in the stocks for bearing that character and
for assaulting the master of Hendon Hall. His pretensions as to
brothership with his prosecutor, and rightful heirship to the Hendon
honours and estates, were left contemptuously unnoticed, as being not
even worth examination.

He raged and threatened on his way to punishment, but it did no good; he
was snatched roughly along by the officers, and got an occasional cuff,
besides, for his irreverent conduct.

The King could not pierce through the rabble that swarmed behind; so he
was obliged to follow in the rear, remote from his good friend and
servant. The King had been nearly condemned to the stocks himself for
being in such bad company, but had been let off with a lecture and a
warning, in consideration of his youth. When the crowd at last halted,
he flitted feverishly from point to point around its outer rim, hunting a
place to get through; and at last, after a deal of difficulty and delay,
succeeded. There sat his poor henchman in the degrading stocks, the
sport and butt of a dirty mob--he, the body servant of the King of
England! Edward had heard the sentence pronounced, but he had not
realised the half that it meant. His anger began to rise as the sense of
this new indignity which had been put upon him sank home; it jumped to
summer heat, the next moment, when he saw an egg sail through the air and
crush itself against Hendon's cheek, and heard the crowd roar its
enjoyment of the episode. He sprang across the open circle and
confronted the officer in charge, crying--

"For shame! This is my servant--set him free! I am the--"

"Oh, peace!" exclaimed Hendon, in a panic, "thou'lt destroy thyself.
Mind him not, officer, he is mad."

"Give thyself no trouble as to the matter of minding him, good man, I
have small mind to mind him; but as to teaching him somewhat, to that I
am well inclined." He turned to a subordinate and said, "Give the little
fool a taste or two of the lash, to mend his manners."

"Half a dozen will better serve his turn," suggested Sir Hugh, who had
ridden up, a moment before, to take a passing glance at the proceedings.

The King was seized. He did not even struggle, so paralysed was he with
the mere thought of the monstrous outrage that was proposed to be
inflicted upon his sacred person. History was already defiled with the
record of the scourging of an English king with whips--it was an
intolerable reflection that he must furnish a duplicate of that shameful
page. He was in the toils, there was no help for him; he must either
take this punishment or beg for its remission. Hard conditions; he would
take the stripes--a king might do that, but a king could not beg.

But meantime, Miles Hendon was resolving the difficulty. "Let the child
go," said he; "ye heartless dogs, do ye not see how young and frail he
is? Let him go--I will take his lashes."

"Marry, a good thought--and thanks for it," said Sir Hugh, his face
lighting with a sardonic satisfaction. "Let the little beggar go, and
give this fellow a dozen in his place--an honest dozen, well laid on."
The King was in the act of entering a fierce protest, but Sir Hugh
silenced him with the potent remark, "Yes, speak up, do, and free thy
mind--only, mark ye, that for each word you utter he shall get six
strokes the more."

Hendon was removed from the stocks, and his back laid bare; and whilst
the lash was applied the poor little King turned away his face and
allowed unroyal tears to channel his cheeks unchecked. "Ah, brave good
heart," he said to himself, "this loyal deed shall never perish out of my
memory. I will not forget it--and neither shall THEY!" he added, with
passion. Whilst he mused, his appreciation of Hendon's magnanimous
conduct grew to greater and still greater dimensions in his mind, and so
also did his gratefulness for it. Presently he said to himself, "Who
saves his prince from wounds and possible death--and this he did for me--
performs high service; but it is little--it is nothing--oh, less than
nothing!--when 'tis weighed against the act of him who saves his prince
from SHAME!"

Hendon made no outcry under the scourge, but bore the heavy blows with
soldierly fortitude. This, together with his redeeming the boy by taking
his stripes for him, compelled the respect of even that forlorn and
degraded mob that was gathered there; and its gibes and hootings died
away, and no sound remained but the sound of the falling blows. The
stillness that pervaded the place, when Hendon found himself once more in
the stocks, was in strong contrast with the insulting clamour which had
prevailed there so little a while before. The King came softly to
Hendon's side, and whispered in his ear--

"Kings cannot ennoble thee, thou good, great soul, for One who is higher
than kings hath done that for thee; but a king can confirm thy nobility
to men." He picked up the scourge from the ground, touched Hendon's
bleeding shoulders lightly with it, and whispered, "Edward of England
dubs thee Earl!"

Hendon was touched. The water welled to his eyes, yet at the same time
the grisly humour of the situation and circumstances so undermined his
gravity that it was all he could do to keep some sign of his inward mirth
from showing outside. To be suddenly hoisted, naked and gory, from the
common stocks to the Alpine altitude and splendour of an Earldom, seemed
to him the last possibility in the line of the grotesque. He said to
himself, "Now am I finely tinselled, indeed! The spectre-knight of the
Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows is become a spectre-earl--a dizzy flight
for a callow wing! An' this go on, I shall presently be hung like a very
maypole with fantastic gauds and make-believe honours. But I shall value
them, all valueless as they are, for the love that doth bestow them.
Better these poor mock dignities of mine, that come unasked, from a clean
hand and a right spirit, than real ones bought by servility from grudging
and interested power."

The dreaded Sir Hugh wheeled his horse about, and as he spurred away, the
living wall divided silently to let him pass, and as silently closed
together again. And so remained; nobody went so far as to venture a
remark in favour of the prisoner, or in compliment to him; but no matter
--the absence of abuse was a sufficient homage in itself. A late comer
who was not posted as to the present circumstances, and who delivered a
sneer at the 'impostor,' and was in the act of following it with a dead
cat, was promptly knocked down and kicked out, without any words, and
then the deep quiet resumed sway once more.

Chapter XXIX. To London.

When Hendon's term of service in the stocks was finished, he was released
and ordered to quit the region and come back no more. His sword was
restored to him, and also his mule and his donkey. He mounted and rode
off, followed by the King, the crowd opening with quiet respectfulness to
let them pass, and then dispersing when they were gone.

Hendon was soon absorbed in thought. There were questions of high import
to be answered. What should he do? Whither should he go? Powerful help
must be found somewhere, or he must relinquish his inheritance and remain
under the imputation of being an impostor besides. Where could he hope
to find this powerful help? Where, indeed! It was a knotty question.
By-and-by a thought occurred to him which pointed to a possibility--the
slenderest of slender possibilities, certainly, but still worth
considering, for lack of any other that promised anything at all. He
remembered what old Andrews had said about the young King's goodness and
his generous championship of the wronged and unfortunate. Why not go and
try to get speech of him and beg for justice? Ah, yes, but could so
fantastic a pauper get admission to the august presence of a monarch?
Never mind--let that matter take care of itself; it was a bridge that
would not need to be crossed till he should come to it. He was an old
campaigner, and used to inventing shifts and expedients: no doubt he
would be able to find a way. Yes, he would strike for the capital.
Maybe his father's old friend Sir Humphrey Marlow would help him--'good
old Sir Humphrey, Head Lieutenant of the late King's kitchen, or stables,
or something'--Miles could not remember just what or which. Now that he
had something to turn his energies to, a distinctly defined object to
accomplish, the fog of humiliation and depression which had settled down
upon his spirits lifted and blew away, and he raised his head and looked
about him. He was surprised to see how far he had come; the village was
away behind him. The King was jogging along in his wake, with his head
bowed; for he, too, was deep in plans and thinkings. A sorrowful
misgiving clouded Hendon's new-born cheerfulness: would the boy be
willing to go again to a city where, during all his brief life, he had
never known anything but ill-usage and pinching want? But the question
must be asked; it could not be avoided; so Hendon reined up, and called

"I had forgotten to inquire whither we are bound. Thy commands, my

"To London!"

Hendon moved on again, mightily contented with the answer--but astounded
at it too.

The whole journey was made without an adventure of importance. But it
ended with one. About ten o'clock on the night of the 19th of February
they stepped upon London Bridge, in the midst of a writhing, struggling
jam of howling and hurrahing people, whose beer-jolly faces stood out
strongly in the glare from manifold torches--and at that instant the
decaying head of some former duke or other grandee tumbled down between
them, striking Hendon on the elbow and then bounding off among the
hurrying confusion of feet. So evanescent and unstable are men's works in
this world!--the late good King is but three weeks dead and three days in
his grave, and already the adornments which he took such pains to select
from prominent people for his noble bridge are falling. A citizen
stumbled over that head, and drove his own head into the back of somebody
in front of him, who turned and knocked down the first person that came
handy, and was promptly laid out himself by that person's friend. It was
the right ripe time for a free fight, for the festivities of the morrow--
Coronation Day--were already beginning; everybody was full of strong
drink and patriotism; within five minutes the free fight was occupying a
good deal of ground; within ten or twelve it covered an acre of so, and
was become a riot. By this time Hendon and the King were hopelessly
separated from each other and lost in the rush and turmoil of the roaring
masses of humanity. And so we leave them.

Chapter XXX. Tom's progress.

Whilst the true King wandered about the land poorly clad, poorly fed,
cuffed and derided by tramps one while, herding with thieves and
murderers in a jail another, and called idiot and impostor by all
impartially, the mock King Tom Canty enjoyed quite a different

When we saw him last, royalty was just beginning to have a bright side
for him. This bright side went on brightening more and more every day:
in a very little while it was become almost all sunshine and
delightfulness. He lost his fears; his misgivings faded out and died;
his embarrassments departed, and gave place to an easy and confident
bearing. He worked the whipping-boy mine to ever-increasing profit.

He ordered my Lady Elizabeth and my Lady Jane Grey into his presence when
he wanted to play or talk, and dismissed them when he was done with them,
with the air of one familiarly accustomed to such performances. It no
longer confused him to have these lofty personages kiss his hand at

He came to enjoy being conducted to bed in state at night, and dressed
with intricate and solemn ceremony in the morning. It came to be a proud
pleasure to march to dinner attended by a glittering procession of
officers of state and gentlemen-at-arms; insomuch, indeed, that he
doubled his guard of gentlemen-at-arms, and made them a hundred. He
liked to hear the bugles sounding down the long corridors, and the
distant voices responding, "Way for the King!"

He even learned to enjoy sitting in throned state in council, and seeming
to be something more than the Lord Protector's mouthpiece. He liked to
receive great ambassadors and their gorgeous trains, and listen to the
affectionate messages they brought from illustrious monarchs who called
him brother. O happy Tom Canty, late of Offal Court!

He enjoyed his splendid clothes, and ordered more: he found his four
hundred servants too few for his proper grandeur, and trebled them. The
adulation of salaaming courtiers came to be sweet music to his ears. He
remained kind and gentle, and a sturdy and determined champion of all
that were oppressed, and he made tireless war upon unjust laws: yet upon
occasion, being offended, he could turn upon an earl, or even a duke, and
give him a look that would make him tremble. Once, when his royal
'sister,' the grimly holy Lady Mary, set herself to reason with him
against the wisdom of his course in pardoning so many people who would
otherwise be jailed, or hanged, or burned, and reminded him that their
august late father's prisons had sometimes contained as high as sixty
thousand convicts at one time, and that during his admirable reign he had
delivered seventy-two thousand thieves and robbers over to death by the
executioner, {9} the boy was filled with generous indignation, and
commanded her to go to her closet, and beseech God to take away the stone
that was in her breast, and give her a human heart.

Did Tom Canty never feel troubled about the poor little rightful prince
who had treated him so kindly, and flown out with such hot zeal to avenge
him upon the insolent sentinel at the palace-gate? Yes; his first royal
days and nights were pretty well sprinkled with painful thoughts about
the lost prince, and with sincere longings for his return, and happy
restoration to his native rights and splendours. But as time wore on,
and the prince did not come, Tom's mind became more and more occupied
with his new and enchanting experiences, and by little and little the
vanished monarch faded almost out of his thoughts; and finally, when he
did intrude upon them at intervals, he was become an unwelcome spectre,
for he made Tom feel guilty and ashamed.

Tom's poor mother and sisters travelled the same road out of his mind.
At first he pined for them, sorrowed for them, longed to see them, but
later, the thought of their coming some day in their rags and dirt, and
betraying him with their kisses, and pulling him down from his lofty
place, and dragging him back to penury and degradation and the slums,
made him shudder. At last they ceased to trouble his thoughts almost
wholly. And he was content, even glad: for, whenever their mournful and
accusing faces did rise before him now, they made him feel more
despicable than the worms that crawl.

At midnight of the 19th of February, Tom Canty was sinking to sleep in
his rich bed in the palace, guarded by his loyal vassals, and surrounded
by the pomps of royalty, a happy boy; for tomorrow was the day appointed
for his solemn crowning as King of England. At that same hour, Edward,
the true king, hungry and thirsty, soiled and draggled, worn with travel,
and clothed in rags and shreds--his share of the results of the riot--was
wedged in among a crowd of people who were watching with deep interest
certain hurrying gangs of workmen who streamed in and out of Westminster
Abbey, busy as ants: they were making the last preparation for the royal

Chapter XXXI. The Recognition procession.

When Tom Canty awoke the next morning, the air was heavy with a
thunderous murmur: all the distances were charged with it. It was music
to him; for it meant that the English world was out in its strength to
give loyal welcome to the great day.

Presently Tom found himself once more the chief figure in a wonderful
floating pageant on the Thames; for by ancient custom the 'recognition
procession' through London must start from the Tower, and he was bound

When he arrived there, the sides of the venerable fortress seemed
suddenly rent in a thousand places, and from every rent leaped a red
tongue of flame and a white gush of smoke; a deafening explosion
followed, which drowned the shoutings of the multitude, and made the
ground tremble; the flame-jets, the smoke, and the explosions, were
repeated over and over again with marvellous celerity, so that in a few
moments the old Tower disappeared in the vast fog of its own smoke, all
but the very top of the tall pile called the White Tower; this, with its
banners, stood out above the dense bank of vapour as a mountain-peak
projects above a cloud-rack.

Tom Canty, splendidly arrayed, mounted a prancing war-steed, whose rich
trappings almost reached to the ground; his 'uncle,' the Lord Protector
Somerset, similarly mounted, took place in his rear; the King's Guard
formed in single ranks on either side, clad in burnished armour; after
the Protector followed a seemingly interminable procession of resplendent
nobles attended by their vassals; after these came the lord mayor and the
aldermanic body, in crimson velvet robes, and with their gold chains
across their breasts; and after these the officers and members of all the
guilds of London, in rich raiment, and bearing the showy banners of the
several corporations. Also in the procession, as a special guard of
honour through the city, was the Ancient and Honourable Artillery
Company--an organisation already three hundred years old at that time,
and the only military body in England possessing the privilege (which it
still possesses in our day) of holding itself independent of the commands
of Parliament. It was a brilliant spectacle, and was hailed with
acclamations all along the line, as it took its stately way through the
packed multitudes of citizens. The chronicler says, 'The King, as he
entered the city, was received by the people with prayers, welcomings,
cries, and tender words, and all signs which argue an earnest love of
subjects toward their sovereign; and the King, by holding up his glad
countenance to such as stood afar off, and most tender language to those
that stood nigh his Grace, showed himself no less thankful to receive the
people's goodwill than they to offer it. To all that wished him well, he
gave thanks. To such as bade "God save his Grace," he said in return,
"God save you all!" and added that "he thanked them with all his heart."
Wonderfully transported were the people with the loving answers and
gestures of their King.'

In Fenchurch Street a 'fair child, in costly apparel,' stood on a stage
to welcome his Majesty to the city. The last verse of his greeting was
in these words--

'Welcome, O King! as much as hearts can think; Welcome, again, as much as
tongue can tell,--Welcome to joyous tongues, and hearts that will not
shrink: God thee preserve, we pray, and wish thee ever well.'

The people burst forth in a glad shout, repeating with one voice what the
child had said. Tom Canty gazed abroad over the surging sea of eager
faces, and his heart swelled with exultation; and he felt that the one
thing worth living for in this world was to be a king, and a nation's
idol. Presently he caught sight, at a distance, of a couple of his
ragged Offal Court comrades--one of them the lord high admiral in his
late mimic court, the other the first lord of the bedchamber in the same
pretentious fiction; and his pride swelled higher than ever. Oh, if they
could only recognise him now! What unspeakable glory it would be, if
they could recognise him, and realise that the derided mock king of the
slums and back alleys was become a real King, with illustrious dukes and
princes for his humble menials, and the English world at his feet! But
he had to deny himself, and choke down his desire, for such a recognition
might cost more than it would come to: so he turned away his head, and
left the two soiled lads to go on with their shoutings and glad
adulations, unsuspicious of whom it was they were lavishing them upon.

Every now and then rose the cry, "A largess! a largess!" and Tom
responded by scattering a handful of bright new coins abroad for the
multitude to scramble for.

The chronicler says, 'At the upper end of Gracechurch Street, before the
sign of the Eagle, the city had erected a gorgeous arch, beneath which
was a stage, which stretched from one side of the street to the other.
This was an historical pageant, representing the King's immediate
progenitors. There sat Elizabeth of York in the midst of an immense
white rose, whose petals formed elaborate furbelows around her; by her
side was Henry VII., issuing out of a vast red rose, disposed in the same
manner: the hands of the royal pair were locked together, and the
wedding-ring ostentatiously displayed. From the red and white roses
proceeded a stem, which reached up to a second stage, occupied by Henry
VIII., issuing from a red and white rose, with the effigy of the new
King's mother, Jane Seymour, represented by his side. One branch sprang
from this pair, which mounted to a third stage, where sat the effigy of
Edward VI. himself, enthroned in royal majesty; and the whole pageant was
framed with wreaths of roses, red and white.'

This quaint and gaudy spectacle so wrought upon the rejoicing people,
that their acclamations utterly smothered the small voice of the child
whose business it was to explain the thing in eulogistic rhymes. But Tom
Canty was not sorry; for this loyal uproar was sweeter music to him than
any poetry, no matter what its quality might be. Whithersoever Tom
turned his happy young face, the people recognised the exactness of his
effigy's likeness to himself, the flesh and blood counterpart; and new
whirlwinds of applause burst forth.

The great pageant moved on, and still on, under one triumphal arch after
another, and past a bewildering succession of spectacular and symbolical
tableaux, each of which typified and exalted some virtue, or talent, or
merit, of the little King's. 'Throughout the whole of Cheapside, from
every penthouse and window, hung banners and streamers; and the richest
carpets, stuffs, and cloth-of-gold tapestried the streets--specimens of
the great wealth of the stores within; and the splendour of this
thoroughfare was equalled in the other streets, and in some even

"And all these wonders and these marvels are to welcome me--me!" murmured
Tom Canty.

The mock King's cheeks were flushed with excitement, his eyes were
flashing, his senses swam in a delirium of pleasure. At this point, just
as he was raising his hand to fling another rich largess, he caught sight
of a pale, astounded face, which was strained forward out of the second
rank of the crowd, its intense eyes riveted upon him. A sickening
consternation struck through him; he recognised his mother! and up flew
his hand, palm outward, before his eyes--that old involuntary gesture,
born of a forgotten episode, and perpetuated by habit. In an instant
more she had torn her way out of the press, and past the guards, and was
at his side. She embraced his leg, she covered it with kisses, she
cried, "O my child, my darling!" lifting toward him a face that was
transfigured with joy and love. The same instant an officer of the
King's Guard snatched her away with a curse, and sent her reeling back
whence she came with a vigorous impulse from his strong arm. The words
"I do not know you, woman!" were falling from Tom Canty's lips when this
piteous thing occurred; but it smote him to the heart to see her treated
so; and as she turned for a last glimpse of him, whilst the crowd was
swallowing her from his sight, she seemed so wounded, so broken-hearted,
that a shame fell upon him which consumed his pride to ashes, and
withered his stolen royalty. His grandeurs were stricken valueless:
they seemed to fall away from him like rotten rags.

The procession moved on, and still on, through ever augmenting splendours
and ever augmenting tempests of welcome; but to Tom Canty they were as if
they had not been. He neither saw nor heard. Royalty had lost its grace
and sweetness; its pomps were become a reproach. Remorse was eating his
heart out. He said, "Would God I were free of my captivity!"

He had unconsciously dropped back into the phraseology of the first days
of his compulsory greatness.

The shining pageant still went winding like a radiant and interminable
serpent down the crooked lanes of the quaint old city, and through the
huzzaing hosts; but still the King rode with bowed head and vacant eyes,
seeing only his mother's face and that wounded look in it.

"Largess, largess!" The cry fell upon an unheeding ear.

"Long live Edward of England!" It seemed as if the earth shook with the
explosion; but there was no response from the King. He heard it only as
one hears the thunder of the surf when it is blown to the ear out of a
great distance, for it was smothered under another sound which was still
nearer, in his own breast, in his accusing conscience--a voice which kept
repeating those shameful words, "I do not know you, woman!"

The words smote upon the King's soul as the strokes of a funeral bell
smite upon the soul of a surviving friend when they remind him of secret
treacheries suffered at his hands by him that is gone.

New glories were unfolded at every turning; new wonders, new marvels,
sprang into view; the pent clamours of waiting batteries were released;
new raptures poured from the throats of the waiting multitudes: but the
King gave no sign, and the accusing voice that went moaning through his
comfortless breast was all the sound he heard.

By-and-by the gladness in the faces of the populace changed a little, and
became touched with a something like solicitude or anxiety: an abatement
in the volume of the applause was observable too. The Lord Protector was
quick to notice these things: he was as quick to detect the cause. He
spurred to the King's side, bent low in his saddle, uncovered, and said--

"My liege, it is an ill time for dreaming. The people observe thy
downcast head, thy clouded mien, and they take it for an omen. Be
advised: unveil the sun of royalty, and let it shine upon these boding
vapours, and disperse them. Lift up thy face, and smile upon the

So saying, the Duke scattered a handful of coins to right and left, then
retired to his place. The mock King did mechanically as he had been
bidden. His smile had no heart in it, but few eyes were near enough or
sharp enough to detect that. The noddings of his plumed head as he
saluted his subjects were full of grace and graciousness; the largess
which he delivered from his hand was royally liberal: so the people's
anxiety vanished, and the acclamations burst forth again in as mighty a
volume as before.

Still once more, a little before the progress was ended, the Duke was
obliged to ride forward, and make remonstrance. He whispered--

"O dread sovereign! shake off these fatal humours; the eyes of the world
are upon thee." Then he added with sharp annoyance, "Perdition catch
that crazy pauper! 'twas she that hath disturbed your Highness."

The gorgeous figure turned a lustreless eye upon the Duke, and said in a
dead voice--

"She was my mother!"

"My God!" groaned the Protector as he reined his horse backward to his
post, "the omen was pregnant with prophecy. He is gone mad again!"

Chapter XXXII. Coronation Day.

Let us go backward a few hours, and place ourselves in Westminster Abbey,
at four o'clock in the morning of this memorable Coronation Day. We are
not without company; for although it is still night, we find the torch-
lighted galleries already filling up with people who are well content to
sit still and wait seven or eight hours till the time shall come for them
to see what they may not hope to see twice in their lives--the coronation
of a King. Yes, London and Westminster have been astir ever since the
warning guns boomed at three o'clock, and already crowds of untitled rich
folk who have bought the privilege of trying to find sitting-room in the
galleries are flocking in at the entrances reserved for their sort.

The hours drag along tediously enough. All stir has ceased for some
time, for every gallery has long ago been packed. We may sit, now, and
look and think at our leisure. We have glimpses, here and there and
yonder, through the dim cathedral twilight, of portions of many galleries
and balconies, wedged full with other people, the other portions of these
galleries and balconies being cut off from sight by intervening pillars
and architectural projections. We have in view the whole of the great
north transept--empty, and waiting for England's privileged ones. We see
also the ample area or platform, carpeted with rich stuffs, whereon the
throne stands. The throne occupies the centre of the platform, and is
raised above it upon an elevation of four steps. Within the seat of the
throne is enclosed a rough flat rock--the stone of Scone--which many
generations of Scottish kings sat on to be crowned, and so it in time
became holy enough to answer a like purpose for English monarchs. Both
the throne and its footstool are covered with cloth of gold.

Stillness reigns, the torches blink dully, the time drags heavily. But at
last the lagging daylight asserts itself, the torches are extinguished,
and a mellow radiance suffuses the great spaces. All features of the
noble building are distinct now, but soft and dreamy, for the sun is
lightly veiled with clouds.

At seven o'clock the first break in the drowsy monotony occurs; for on
the stroke of this hour the first peeress enters the transept, clothed
like Solomon for splendour, and is conducted to her appointed place by an
official clad in satins and velvets, whilst a duplicate of him gathers up
the lady's long train, follows after, and, when the lady is seated,
arranges the train across her lap for her. He then places her footstool
according to her desire, after which he puts her coronet where it will be
convenient to her hand when the time for the simultaneous coroneting of
the nobles shall arrive.

By this time the peeresses are flowing in in a glittering stream, and the
satin-clad officials are flitting and glinting everywhere, seating them
and making them comfortable. The scene is animated enough now. There is
stir and life, and shifting colour everywhere. After a time, quiet
reigns again; for the peeresses are all come and are all in their places,
a solid acre or such a matter, of human flowers, resplendent in
variegated colours, and frosted like a Milky Way with diamonds. There
are all ages here: brown, wrinkled, white-haired dowagers who are able to
go back, and still back, down the stream of time, and recall the crowning
of Richard III. and the troublous days of that old forgotten age; and
there are handsome middle-aged dames; and lovely and gracious young
matrons; and gentle and beautiful young girls, with beaming eyes and
fresh complexions, who may possibly put on their jewelled coronets
awkwardly when the great time comes; for the matter will be new to them,
and their excitement will be a sore hindrance. Still, this may not
happen, for the hair of all these ladies has been arranged with a special
view to the swift and successful lodging of the crown in its place when
the signal comes.

We have seen that this massed array of peeresses is sown thick with
diamonds, and we also see that it is a marvellous spectacle--but now we
are about to be astonished in earnest. About nine, the clouds suddenly
break away and a shaft of sunshine cleaves the mellow atmosphere, and
drifts slowly along the ranks of ladies; and every rank it touches flames
into a dazzling splendour of many-coloured fires, and we tingle to our
finger-tips with the electric thrill that is shot through us by the
surprise and the beauty of the spectacle! Presently a special envoy from
some distant corner of the Orient, marching with the general body of
foreign ambassadors, crosses this bar of sunshine, and we catch our
breath, the glory that streams and flashes and palpitates about him is so
overpowering; for he is crusted from head to heel with gems, and his
slightest movement showers a dancing radiance all around him.

Let us change the tense for convenience. The time drifted along--one
hour--two hours--two hours and a half; then the deep booming of artillery
told that the King and his grand procession had arrived at last; so the
waiting multitude rejoiced. All knew that a further delay must follow,
for the King must be prepared and robed for the solemn ceremony; but this
delay would be pleasantly occupied by the assembling of the peers of the
realm in their stately robes. These were conducted ceremoniously to
their seats, and their coronets placed conveniently at hand; and
meanwhile the multitude in the galleries were alive with interest, for
most of them were beholding for the first time, dukes, earls, and barons,
whose names had been historical for five hundred years. When all were
finally seated, the spectacle from the galleries and all coigns of
vantage was complete; a gorgeous one to look upon and to remember.

Now the robed and mitred great heads of the church, and their attendants,
filed in upon the platform and took their appointed places; these were
followed by the Lord Protector and other great officials, and these again
by a steel-clad detachment of the Guard.

There was a waiting pause; then, at a signal, a triumphant peal of music
burst forth, and Tom Canty, clothed in a long robe of cloth of gold,
appeared at a door, and stepped upon the platform. The entire multitude
rose, and the ceremony of the Recognition ensued.

Then a noble anthem swept the Abbey with its rich waves of sound; and
thus heralded and welcomed, Tom Canty was conducted to the throne. The
ancient ceremonies went on, with impressive solemnity, whilst the
audience gazed; and as they drew nearer and nearer to completion, Tom
Canty grew pale, and still paler, and a deep and steadily deepening woe
and despondency settled down upon his spirits and upon his remorseful

At last the final act was at hand. The Archbishop of Canterbury lifted
up the crown of England from its cushion and held it out over the
trembling mock-King's head. In the same instant a rainbow-radiance
flashed along the spacious transept; for with one impulse every
individual in the great concourse of nobles lifted a coronet and poised
it over his or her head--and paused in that attitude.

A deep hush pervaded the Abbey. At this impressive moment, a startling
apparition intruded upon the scene--an apparition observed by none in the
absorbed multitude, until it suddenly appeared, moving up the great
central aisle. It was a boy, bareheaded, ill shod, and clothed in coarse
plebeian garments that were falling to rags. He raised his hand with a
solemnity which ill comported with his soiled and sorry aspect, and
delivered this note of warning--

"I forbid you to set the crown of England upon that forfeited head. I am
the King!"

In an instant several indignant hands were laid upon the boy; but in the
same instant Tom Canty, in his regal vestments, made a swift step
forward, and cried out in a ringing voice--

"Loose him and forbear! He IS the King!"

A sort of panic of astonishment swept the assemblage, and they partly
rose in their places and stared in a bewildered way at one another and at
the chief figures in this scene, like persons who wondered whether they
were awake and in their senses, or asleep and dreaming. The Lord
Protector was as amazed as the rest, but quickly recovered himself, and
exclaimed in a voice of authority--

"Mind not his Majesty, his malady is upon him again--seize the vagabond!"

He would have been obeyed, but the mock-King stamped his foot and cried

"On your peril! Touch him not, he is the King!"

The hands were withheld; a paralysis fell upon the house; no one moved,
no one spoke; indeed, no one knew how to act or what to say, in so
strange and surprising an emergency. While all minds were struggling to
right themselves, the boy still moved steadily forward, with high port
and confident mien; he had never halted from the beginning; and while the
tangled minds still floundered helplessly, he stepped upon the platform,
and the mock-King ran with a glad face to meet him; and fell on his knees
before him and said--

"Oh, my lord the King, let poor Tom Canty be first to swear fealty to
thee, and say, 'Put on thy crown and enter into thine own again!'"

The Lord Protector's eye fell sternly upon the new-comer's face; but
straightway the sternness vanished away, and gave place to an expression
of wondering surprise. This thing happened also to the other great
officers. They glanced at each other, and retreated a step by a common
and unconscious impulse. The thought in each mind was the same: "What a
strange resemblance!"

The Lord Protector reflected a moment or two in perplexity, then he said,
with grave respectfulness--

"By your favour, sir, I desire to ask certain questions which--"

"I will answer them, my lord."

The Duke asked him many questions about the Court, the late King, the
prince, the princesses--the boy answered them correctly and without
hesitating. He described the rooms of state in the palace, the late
King's apartments, and those of the Prince of Wales.

It was strange; it was wonderful; yes, it was unaccountable--so all said
that heard it. The tide was beginning to turn, and Tom Canty's hopes to
run high, when the Lord Protector shook his head and said--

"It is true it is most wonderful--but it is no more than our lord the
King likewise can do." This remark, and this reference to himself as
still the King, saddened Tom Canty, and he felt his hopes crumbling from
under him. "These are not PROOFS," added the Protector.

The tide was turning very fast now, very fast indeed--but in the wrong
direction; it was leaving poor Tom Canty stranded on the throne, and
sweeping the other out to sea. The Lord Protector communed with himself
--shook his head--the thought forced itself upon him, "It is perilous to
the State and to us all, to entertain so fateful a riddle as this; it
could divide the nation and undermine the throne." He turned and said--

"Sir Thomas, arrest this--No, hold!" His face lighted, and he confronted
the ragged candidate with this question--

"Where lieth the Great Seal? Answer me this truly, and the riddle is
unriddled; for only he that was Prince of Wales CAN so answer! On so
trivial a thing hang a throne and a dynasty!"

It was a lucky thought, a happy thought. That it was so considered by
the great officials was manifested by the silent applause that shot from
eye to eye around their circle in the form of bright approving glances.
Yes, none but the true prince could dissolve the stubborn mystery of the
vanished Great Seal--this forlorn little impostor had been taught his
lesson well, but here his teachings must fail, for his teacher himself
could not answer THAT question--ah, very good, very good indeed; now we
shall be rid of this troublesome and perilous business in short order!
And so they nodded invisibly and smiled inwardly with satisfaction, and
looked to see this foolish lad stricken with a palsy of guilty confusion.
How surprised they were, then, to see nothing of the sort happen--how
they marvelled to hear him answer up promptly, in a confident and
untroubled voice, and say--

"There is nought in this riddle that is difficult." Then, without so
much as a by-your-leave to anybody, he turned and gave this command, with
the easy manner of one accustomed to doing such things: "My Lord St.
John, go you to my private cabinet in the palace--for none knoweth the
place better than you--and, close down to the floor, in the left corner
remotest from the door that opens from the ante-chamber, you shall find
in the wall a brazen nail-head; press upon it and a little jewel-closet
will fly open which not even you do know of--no, nor any sould else in
all the world but me and the trusty artisan that did contrive it for me.
The first thing that falleth under your eye will be the Great Seal--fetch
it hither."

All the company wondered at this speech, and wondered still more to see
the little mendicant pick out this peer without hesitancy or apparent
fear of mistake, and call him by name with such a placidly convincing air
of having known him all his life. The peer was almost surprised into
obeying. He even made a movement as if to go, but quickly recovered his
tranquil attitude and confessed his blunder with a blush. Tom Canty
turned upon him and said, sharply--

"Why dost thou hesitate? Hast not heard the King's command? Go!"

The Lord St. John made a deep obeisance--and it was observed that it was
a significantly cautious and non-committal one, it not being delivered at
either of the kings, but at the neutral ground about half-way between the
two--and took his leave.

Now began a movement of the gorgeous particles of that official group
which was slow, scarcely perceptible, and yet steady and persistent--a
movement such as is observed in a kaleidoscope that is turned slowly,
whereby the components of one splendid cluster fall away and join
themselves to another--a movement which, little by little, in the present
case, dissolved the glittering crowd that stood about Tom Canty and
clustered it together again in the neighbourhood of the new-comer. Tom
Canty stood almost alone. Now ensued a brief season of deep suspense and
waiting--during which even the few faint hearts still remaining near Tom
Canty gradually scraped together courage enough to glide, one by one,
over to the majority. So at last Tom Canty, in his royal robes and
jewels, stood wholly alone and isolated from the world, a conspicuous
figure, occupying an eloquent vacancy.

Now the Lord St. John was seen returning. As he advanced up the mid-
aisle the interest was so intense that the low murmur of conversation in
the great assemblage died out and was succeeded by a profound hush, a
breathless stillness, through which his footfalls pulsed with a dull and
distant sound. Every eye was fastened upon him as he moved along. He
reached the platform, paused a moment, then moved toward Tom Canty with a
deep obeisance, and said--

"Sire, the Seal is not there!"

A mob does not melt away from the presence of a plague-patient with more
haste than the band of pallid and terrified courtiers melted away from
the presence of the shabby little claimant of the Crown. In a moment he
stood all alone, without friend or supporter, a target upon which was
concentrated a bitter fire of scornful and angry looks. The Lord
Protector called out fiercely--

"Cast the beggar into the street, and scourge him through the town--the
paltry knave is worth no more consideration!"

Officers of the guard sprang forward to obey, but Tom Canty waved them
off and said--

"Back! Whoso touches him perils his life!"

The Lord Protector was perplexed in the last degree. He said to the Lord
St. John--

"Searched you well?--but it boots not to ask that. It doth seem passing
strange. Little things, trifles, slip out of one's ken, and one does not
think it matter for surprise; but how so bulky a thing as the Seal of
England can vanish away and no man be able to get track of it again--a
massy golden disk--"

Tom Canty, with beaming eyes, sprang forward and shouted--

"Hold, that is enough! Was it round?--and thick?--and had it letters and
devices graved upon it?--yes? Oh, NOW I know what this Great Seal is
that there's been such worry and pother about. An' ye had described it to
me, ye could have had it three weeks ago. Right well I know where it
lies; but it was not I that put it there--first."

"Who, then, my liege?" asked the Lord Protector.

"He that stands there--the rightful King of England. And he shall tell
you himself where it lies--then you will believe he knew it of his own
knowledge. Bethink thee, my King--spur thy memory--it was the last, the
very LAST thing thou didst that day before thou didst rush forth from the
palace, clothed in my rags, to punish the soldier that insulted me."

A silence ensued, undisturbed by a movement or a whisper, and all eyes
were fixed upon the new-comer, who stood, with bent head and corrugated
brow, groping in his memory among a thronging multitude of valueless
recollections for one single little elusive fact, which, found, would
seat him upon a throne--unfound, would leave him as he was, for good and
all--a pauper and an outcast. Moment after moment passed--the moments
built themselves into minutes--still the boy struggled silently on, and
gave no sign. But at last he heaved a sigh, shook his head slowly, and
said, with a trembling lip and in a despondent voice--

"I call the scene back--all of it--but the Seal hath no place in it." He
paused, then looked up, and said with gentle dignity, "My lords and
gentlemen, if ye will rob your rightful sovereign of his own for lack of
this evidence which he is not able to furnish, I may not stay ye, being
powerless. But--"

"Oh, folly, oh, madness, my King!" cried Tom Canty, in a panic, "wait!--
think! Do not give up!--the cause is not lost! Nor SHALL be, neither!
List to what I say--follow every word--I am going to bring that morning
back again, every hap just as it happened. We talked--I told you of my
sisters, Nan and Bet--ah, yes, you remember that; and about mine old
grandam--and the rough games of the lads of Offal Court--yes, you
remember these things also; very well, follow me still, you shall recall
everything. You gave me food and drink, and did with princely courtesy
send away the servants, so that my low breeding might not shame me before
them--ah, yes, this also you remember."

As Tom checked off his details, and the other boy nodded his head in
recognition of them, the great audience and the officials stared in
puzzled wonderment; the tale sounded like true history, yet how could
this impossible conjunction between a prince and a beggar-boy have come
about? Never was a company of people so perplexed, so interested, and so
stupefied, before.

"For a jest, my prince, we did exchange garments. Then we stood before a
mirror; and so alike were we that both said it seemed as if there had
been no change made--yes, you remember that. Then you noticed that the
soldier had hurt my hand--look! here it is, I cannot yet even write with
it, the fingers are so stiff. At this your Highness sprang up, vowing
vengeance upon that soldier, and ran towards the door--you passed a
table--that thing you call the Seal lay on that table--you snatched it up
and looked eagerly about, as if for a place to hide it--your eye caught
sight of--"

"There, 'tis sufficient!--and the good God be thanked!" exclaimed the
ragged claimant, in a mighty excitement. "Go, my good St. John--in an
arm-piece of the Milanese armour that hangs on the wall, thou'lt find the

"Right, my King! right!" cried Tom Canty; "NOW the sceptre of England is
thine own; and it were better for him that would dispute it that he had
been born dumb! Go, my Lord St. John, give thy feet wings!"

The whole assemblage was on its feet now, and well-nigh out of its mind
with uneasiness, apprehension, and consuming excitement. On the floor
and on the platform a deafening buzz of frantic conversation burst forth,
and for some time nobody knew anything or heard anything or was
interested in anything but what his neighbour was shouting into his ear,
or he was shouting into his neighbour's ear. Time--nobody knew how much
of it--swept by unheeded and unnoted. At last a sudden hush fell upon
the house, and in the same moment St. John appeared upon the platform,
and held the Great Seal aloft in his hand. Then such a shout went up--

"Long live the true King!"

For five minutes the air quaked with shouts and the crash of musical
instruments, and was white with a storm of waving handkerchiefs; and
through it all a ragged lad, the most conspicuous figure in England,
stood, flushed and happy and proud, in the centre of the spacious
platform, with the great vassals of the kingdom kneeling around him.

Then all rose, and Tom Canty cried out--

"Now, O my King, take these regal garments back, and give poor Tom, thy
servant, his shreds and remnants again."

The Lord Protector spoke up--

"Let the small varlet be stripped and flung into the Tower."

But the new King, the true King, said--

"I will not have it so. But for him I had not got my crown again--none
shall lay a hand upon him to harm him. And as for thee, my good uncle,
my Lord Protector, this conduct of thine is not grateful toward this poor
lad, for I hear he hath made thee a duke"--the Protector blushed--"yet he
was not a king; wherefore what is thy fine title worth now? To-morrow
you shall sue to me, THROUGH HIM, for its confirmation, else no duke, but
a simple earl, shalt thou remain."

Under this rebuke, his Grace the Duke of Somerset retired a little from
the front for the moment. The King turned to Tom, and said kindly--"My
poor boy, how was it that you could remember where I hid the Seal when I
could not remember it myself?"

"Ah, my King, that was easy, since I used it divers days."

"Used it--yet could not explain where it was?"

"I did not know it was THAT they wanted. They did not describe it, your

"Then how used you it?"

The red blood began to steal up into Tom's cheeks, and he dropped his
eyes and was silent.

"Speak up, good lad, and fear nothing," said the King. "How used you the
Great Seal of England?"

Tom stammered a moment, in a pathetic confusion, then got it out--

"To crack nuts with!"

Poor child, the avalanche of laughter that greeted this nearly swept him
off his feet. But if a doubt remained in any mind that Tom Canty was not
the King of England and familiar with the august appurtenances of
royalty, this reply disposed of it utterly.

Meantime the sumptuous robe of state had been removed from Tom's
shoulders to the King's, whose rags were effectually hidden from sight
under it. Then the coronation ceremonies were resumed; the true King was
anointed and the crown set upon his head, whilst cannon thundered the
news to the city, and all London seemed to rock with applause.

Chapter XXXIII. Edward as King.

Miles Hendon was picturesque enough before he got into the riot on London
Bridge--he was more so when he got out of it. He had but little money
when he got in, none at all when he got out. The pickpockets had
stripped him of his last farthing.

But no matter, so he found his boy. Being a soldier, he did not go at
his task in a random way, but set to work, first of all, to arrange his

What would the boy naturally do? Where would he naturally go? Well--
argued Miles--he would naturally go to his former haunts, for that is the
instinct of unsound minds, when homeless and forsaken, as well as of
sound ones. Whereabouts were his former haunts? His rags, taken
together with the low villain who seemed to know him and who even claimed
to be his father, indicated that his home was in one or another of the
poorest and meanest districts of London. Would the search for him be
difficult, or long? No, it was likely to be easy and brief. He would
not hunt for the boy, he would hunt for a crowd; in the centre of a big
crowd or a little one, sooner or later, he should find his poor little
friend, sure; and the mangy mob would be entertaining itself with
pestering and aggravating the boy, who would be proclaiming himself King,
as usual. Then Miles Hendon would cripple some of those people, and
carry off his little ward, and comfort and cheer him with loving words,
and the two would never be separated any more.

So Miles started on his quest. Hour after hour he tramped through back
alleys and squalid streets, seeking groups and crowds, and finding no end
of them, but never any sign of the boy. This greatly surprised him, but
did not discourage him. To his notion, there was nothing the matter with
his plan of campaign; the only miscalculation about it was that the
campaign was becoming a lengthy one, whereas he had expected it to be

When daylight arrived, at last, he had made many a mile, and canvassed
many a crowd, but the only result was that he was tolerably tired, rather
hungry and very sleepy. He wanted some breakfast, but there was no way
to get it. To beg for it did not occur to him; as to pawning his sword,
he would as soon have thought of parting with his honour; he could spare
some of his clothes--yes, but one could as easily find a customer for a
disease as for such clothes.

At noon he was still tramping--among the rabble which followed after the
royal procession, now; for he argued that this regal display would
attract his little lunatic powerfully. He followed the pageant through
all its devious windings about London, and all the way to Westminster and
the Abbey. He drifted here and there amongst the multitudes that were
massed in the vicinity for a weary long time, baffled and perplexed, and
finally wandered off, thinking, and trying to contrive some way to better
his plan of campaign. By-and-by, when he came to himself out of his
musings, he discovered that the town was far behind him and that the day
was growing old. He was near the river, and in the country; it was a
region of fine rural seats--not the sort of district to welcome clothes
like his.

It was not at all cold; so he stretched himself on the ground in the lee
of a hedge to rest and think. Drowsiness presently began to settle upon
his senses; the faint and far-off boom of cannon was wafted to his ear,
and he said to himself, "The new King is crowned," and straightway fell
asleep. He had not slept or rested, before, for more than thirty hours.
He did not wake again until near the middle of the next morning.

He got up, lame, stiff, and half famished, washed himself in the river,
stayed his stomach with a pint or two of water, and trudged off toward
Westminster, grumbling at himself for having wasted so much time. Hunger
helped him to a new plan, now; he would try to get speech with old Sir
Humphrey Marlow and borrow a few marks, and--but that was enough of a
plan for the present; it would be time enough to enlarge it when this
first stage should be accomplished.

Toward eleven o'clock he approached the palace; and although a host of
showy people were about him, moving in the same direction, he was not
inconspicuous--his costume took care of that. He watched these people's
faces narrowly, hoping to find a charitable one whose possessor might be
willing to carry his name to the old lieutenant--as to trying to get into
the palace himself, that was simply out of the question.

Presently our whipping-boy passed him, then wheeled about and scanned his
figure well, saying to himself, "An' that is not the very vagabond his
Majesty is in such a worry about, then am I an ass--though belike I was
that before. He answereth the description to a rag--that God should make
two such would be to cheapen miracles by wasteful repetition. I would I
could contrive an excuse to speak with him."

Miles Hendon saved him the trouble; for he turned about, then, as a man
generally will when somebody mesmerises him by gazing hard at him from
behind; and observing a strong interest in the boy's eyes, he stepped
toward him and said--

"You have just come out from the palace; do you belong there?"

"Yes, your worship."

"Know you Sir Humphrey Marlow?"

The boy started, and said to himself, "Lord! mine old departed father!"
Then he answered aloud, "Right well, your worship."

"Good--is he within?"

"Yes," said the boy; and added, to himself, "within his grave."

"Might I crave your favour to carry my name to him, and say I beg to say
a word in his ear?"

"I will despatch the business right willingly, fair sir."

"Then say Miles Hendon, son of Sir Richard, is here without--I shall be
greatly bounden to you, my good lad."

The boy looked disappointed. "The King did not name him so," he said to
himself; "but it mattereth not, this is his twin brother, and can give
his Majesty news of t'other Sir-Odds-and-Ends, I warrant." So he said to
Miles, "Step in there a moment, good sir, and wait till I bring you

Hendon retired to the place indicated--it was a recess sunk in the palace
wall, with a stone bench in it--a shelter for sentinels in bad weather.
He had hardly seated himself when some halberdiers, in charge of an
officer, passed by. The officer saw him, halted his men, and commanded
Hendon to come forth. He obeyed, and was promptly arrested as a
suspicious character prowling within the precincts of the palace. Things
began to look ugly. Poor Miles was going to explain, but the officer
roughly silenced him, and ordered his men to disarm him and search him.

"God of his mercy grant that they find somewhat," said poor Miles; "I
have searched enow, and failed, yet is my need greater than theirs."

Nothing was found but a document. The officer tore it open, and Hendon
smiled when he recognised the 'pot-hooks' made by his lost little friend
that black day at Hendon Hall. The officer's face grew dark as he read
the English paragraph, and Miles blenched to the opposite colour as he

"Another new claimant of the Crown!" cried the officer. "Verily they
breed like rabbits, to-day. Seize the rascal, men, and see ye keep him
fast whilst I convey this precious paper within and send it to the King."

He hurried away, leaving the prisoner in the grip of the halberdiers.

"Now is my evil luck ended at last," muttered Hendon, "for I shall dangle
at a rope's end for a certainty, by reason of that bit of writing. And
what will become of my poor lad!--ah, only the good God knoweth."

By-and-by he saw the officer coming again, in a great hurry; so he
plucked his courage together, purposing to meet his trouble as became a
man. The officer ordered the men to loose the prisoner and return his
sword to him; then bowed respectfully, and said--

"Please you, sir, to follow me."

Hendon followed, saying to himself, "An' I were not travelling to death
and judgment, and so must needs economise in sin, I would throttle this
knave for his mock courtesy."

The two traversed a populous court, and arrived at the grand entrance of
the palace, where the officer, with another bow, delivered Hendon into
the hands of a gorgeous official, who received him with profound respect
and led him forward through a great hall, lined on both sides with rows
of splendid flunkeys (who made reverential obeisance as the two passed
along, but fell into death-throes of silent laughter at our stately
scarecrow the moment his back was turned), and up a broad staircase,
among flocks of fine folk, and finally conducted him into a vast room,
clove a passage for him through the assembled nobility of England, then
made a bow, reminded him to take his hat off, and left him standing in
the middle of the room, a mark for all eyes, for plenty of indignant
frowns, and for a sufficiency of amused and derisive smiles.

Miles Hendon was entirely bewildered. There sat the young King, under a
canopy of state, five steps away, with his head bent down and aside,
speaking with a sort of human bird of paradise--a duke, maybe. Hendon
observed to himself that it was hard enough to be sentenced to death in
the full vigour of life, without having this peculiarly public
humiliation added. He wished the King would hurry about it--some of the
gaudy people near by were becoming pretty offensive. At this moment the
King raised his head slightly, and Hendon caught a good view of his face.
The sight nearly took his breath away!--He stood gazing at the fair young
face like one transfixed; then presently ejaculated--

"Lo, the Lord of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows on his throne!"

He muttered some broken sentences, still gazing and marvelling; then
turned his eyes around and about, scanning the gorgeous throng and the
splendid saloon, murmuring, "But these are REAL--verily these are REAL--
surely it is not a dream."

He stared at the King again--and thought, "IS it a dream . . . or IS he
the veritable Sovereign of England, and not the friendless poor Tom o'
Bedlam I took him for--who shall solve me this riddle?"

A sudden idea flashed in his eye, and he strode to the wall, gathered up
a chair, brought it back, planted it on the floor, and sat down in it!

A buzz of indignation broke out, a rough hand was laid upon him and a
voice exclaimed--

"Up, thou mannerless clown! would'st sit in the presence of the King?"

The disturbance attracted his Majesty's attention, who stretched forth
his hand and cried out--

"Touch him not, it is his right!"

The throng fell back, stupefied. The King went on--

"Learn ye all, ladies, lords, and gentlemen, that this is my trusty and
well-beloved servant, Miles Hendon, who interposed his good sword and
saved his prince from bodily harm and possible death--and for this he is
a knight, by the King's voice. Also learn, that for a higher service, in
that he saved his sovereign stripes and shame, taking these upon himself,
he is a peer of England, Earl of Kent, and shall have gold and lands meet
for the dignity. More--the privilege which he hath just exercised is his
by royal grant; for we have ordained that the chiefs of his line shall
have and hold the right to sit in the presence of the Majesty of England
henceforth, age after age, so long as the crown shall endure. Molest him

Two persons, who, through delay, had only arrived from the country during
this morning, and had now been in this room only five minutes, stood
listening to these words and looking at the King, then at the scarecrow,
then at the King again, in a sort of torpid bewilderment. These were Sir
Hugh and the Lady Edith. But the new Earl did not see them. He was
still staring at the monarch, in a dazed way, and muttering--

"Oh, body o' me! THIS my pauper! This my lunatic! This is he whom _I_
would show what grandeur was, in my house of seventy rooms and seven-and-
twenty servants! This is he who had never known aught but rags for
raiment, kicks for comfort, and offal for diet! This is he whom _I_
adopted and would make respectable! Would God I had a bag to hide my head

Then his manners suddenly came back to him, and he dropped upon his
knees, with his hands between the King's, and swore allegiance and did
homage for his lands and titles. Then he rose and stood respectfully
aside, a mark still for all eyes--and much envy, too.

Now the King discovered Sir Hugh, and spoke out with wrathful voice and
kindling eye--

"Strip this robber of his false show and stolen estates, and put him
under lock and key till I have need of him."

The late Sir Hugh was led away.

There was a stir at the other end of the room, now; the assemblage fell
apart, and Tom Canty, quaintly but richly clothed, marched down, between
these living walls, preceded by an usher. He knelt before the King, who

"I have learned the story of these past few weeks, and am well pleased
with thee. Thou hast governed the realm with right royal gentleness and
mercy. Thou hast found thy mother and thy sisters again? Good; they
shall be cared for--and thy father shall hang, if thou desire it and the
law consent. Know, all ye that hear my voice, that from this day, they
that abide in the shelter of Christ's Hospital and share the King's
bounty shall have their minds and hearts fed, as well as their baser
parts; and this boy shall dwell there, and hold the chief place in its
honourable body of governors, during life. And for that he hath been a
king, it is meet that other than common observance shall be his due;
wherefore note this his dress of state, for by it he shall be known, and
none shall copy it; and wheresoever he shall come, it shall remind the
people that he hath been royal, in his time, and none shall deny him his
due of reverence or fail to give him salutation. He hath the throne's
protection, he hath the crown's support, he shall be known and called by
the honourable title of the King's Ward."

The proud and happy Tom Canty rose and kissed the King's hand, and was
conducted from the presence. He did not waste any time, but flew to his
mother, to tell her and Nan and Bet all about it and get them to help him
enjoy the great news. {1}

Conclusion. Justice and retribution.

When the mysteries were all cleared up, it came out, by confession of
Hugh Hendon, that his wife had repudiated Miles by his command, that day
at Hendon Hall--a command assisted and supported by the perfectly
trustworthy promise that if she did not deny that he was Miles Hendon,
and stand firmly to it, he would have her life; whereupon she said, "Take
it!"--she did not value it--and she would not repudiate Miles; then the
husband said he would spare her life but have Miles assassinated! This
was a different matter; so she gave her word and kept it.

Hugh was not prosecuted for his threats or for stealing his brother's
estates and title, because the wife and brother would not testify against
him--and the former would not have been allowed to do it, even if she had
wanted to. Hugh deserted his wife and went over to the continent, where
he presently died; and by-and-by the Earl of Kent married his relict.
There were grand times and rejoicings at Hendon village when the couple
paid their first visit to the Hall.

Tom Canty's father was never heard of again.

The King sought out the farmer who had been branded and sold as a slave,
and reclaimed him from his evil life with the Ruffler's gang, and put him
in the way of a comfortable livelihood.

He also took that old lawyer out of prison and remitted his fine. He
provided good homes for the daughters of the two Baptist women whom he
saw burned at the stake, and roundly punished the official who laid the
undeserved stripes upon Miles Hendon's back.

He saved from the gallows the boy who had captured the stray falcon, and
also the woman who had stolen a remnant of cloth from a weaver; but he
was too late to save the man who had been convicted of killing a deer in
the royal forest.

He showed favour to the justice who had pitied him when he was supposed
to have stolen a pig, and he had the gratification of seeing him grow in
the public esteem and become a great and honoured man.

As long as the King lived he was fond of telling the story of his
adventures, all through, from the hour that the sentinel cuffed him away
from the palace gate till the final midnight when he deftly mixed himself
into a gang of hurrying workmen and so slipped into the Abbey and climbed
up and hid himself in the Confessor's tomb, and then slept so long, next
day, that he came within one of missing the Coronation altogether. He
said that the frequent rehearsing of the precious lesson kept him strong
in his purpose to make its teachings yield benefits to his people; and
so, whilst his life was spared he should continue to tell the story, and
thus keep its sorrowful spectacles fresh in his memory and the springs of
pity replenished in his heart.

Miles Hendon and Tom Canty were favourites of the King, all through his
brief reign, and his sincere mourners when he died. The good Earl of Kent
had too much sense to abuse his peculiar privilege; but he exercised it
twice after the instance we have seen of it before he was called from
this world--once at the accession of Queen Mary, and once at the
accession of Queen Elizabeth. A descendant of his exercised it at the
accession of James I. Before this one's son chose to use the privilege,
near a quarter of a century had elapsed, and the 'privilege of the Kents'
had faded out of most people's memories; so, when the Kent of that day
appeared before Charles I. and his court and sat down in the sovereign's
presence to assert and perpetuate the right of his house, there was a
fine stir indeed! But the matter was soon explained, and the right
confirmed. The last Earl of the line fell in the wars of the
Commonwealth fighting for the King, and the odd privilege ended with him.

Tom Canty lived to be a very old man, a handsome, white-haired old
fellow, of grave and benignant aspect. As long as he lasted he was
honoured; and he was also reverenced, for his striking and peculiar
costume kept the people reminded that 'in his time he had been royal;'
so, wherever he appeared the crowd fell apart, making way for him, and
whispering, one to another, "Doff thy hat, it is the King's Ward!"--and
so they saluted, and got his kindly smile in return--and they valued it,
too, for his was an honourable history.

Yes, King Edward VI. lived only a few years, poor boy, but he lived them
worthily. More than once, when some great dignitary, some gilded vassal
of the crown, made argument against his leniency, and urged that some law
which he was bent upon amending was gentle enough for its purpose, and
wrought no suffering or oppression which any one need mightily mind, the
young King turned the mournful eloquence of his great compassionate eyes
upon him and answered--

"What dost THOU know of suffering and oppression? I and my people know,
but not thou."

The reign of Edward VI. was a singularly merciful one for those harsh
times. Now that we are taking leave of him, let us try to keep this in
our minds, to his credit.


{1} For Mark Twain's note see below under the relevant chapter heading.

{2} He refers to the order of baronets, or baronettes; the barones
minores, as distinct from the parliamentary barons--not, it need hardly
be said, to the baronets of later creation.

{3} The lords of Kingsale, descendants of De Courcy, still enjoy this
curious privilege.

{4} Hume.

{5} Ib.

{6} Leigh Hunt's 'The Town,' p.408, quotation from an early tourist.

{7} Canting terms for various kinds of thieves, beggars and vagabonds,
and their female companions.

{8} From 'The English Rogue.' London, 1665.

{9} Hume's England.

{10} See Dr. J. Hammond Trumbull's Blue Laws, True and False, p. 11.

NOTE 1, Chapter IV. Christ's Hospital Costume.

It is most reasonable to regard the dress as copied from the costume of
the citizens of London of that period, when long blue coats were the
common habit of apprentices and serving-men, and yellow stockings were
generally worn; the coat fits closely to the body, but has loose sleeves,
and beneath is worn a sleeveless yellow under-coat; around the waist is a
red leathern girdle; a clerical band around the neck, and a small flat
black cap, about the size of a saucer, completes the costume.--Timbs'
Curiosities of London.

NOTE 2, Chapter IV.

It appears that Christ's Hospital was not originally founded as a SCHOOL;
its object was to rescue children from the streets, to shelter, feed,
clothe them.--Timbs' Curiosities of London.

NOTE 3, Chapter V. The Duke of Norfolk's Condemnation commanded.

The King was now approaching fast towards his end; and fearing lest
Norfolk should escape him, he sent a message to the Commons, by which he
desired them to hasten the Bill, on pretence that Norfolk enjoyed the
dignity of Earl Marshal, and it was necessary to appoint another, who
might officiate at the ensuing ceremony of installing his son Prince of
Wales.--Hume's History of England, vol. iii. p. 307.

NOTE 4, Chapter VII.

It was not till the end of this reign (Henry VIII.) that any salads,
carrots, turnips, or other edible roots were produced in England. The
little of these vegetables that was used was formerly imported from
Holland and Flanders. Queen Catherine, when she wanted a salad, was
obliged to despatch a messenger thither on purpose.--Hume's History of
England, vol. iii. p. 314.

NOTE 5, Chapter VIII. Attainder of Norfolk.

The House of Peers, without examining the prisoner, without trial or
evidence, passed a Bill of Attainder against him and sent it down to the
Commons . . . The obsequious Commons obeyed his (the King's) directions;
and the King, having affixed the Royal assent to the Bill by
commissioners, issued orders for the execution of Norfolk on the morning
of January 29 (the next day).--Hume's History of England, vol iii. p 306.

NOTE 6, Chapter X. The Loving-cup.

The loving-cup, and the peculiar ceremonies observed in drinking from it,
are older than English history. It is thought that both are Danish
importations. As far back as knowledge goes, the loving-cup has always
been drunk at English banquets. Tradition explains the ceremonies in
this way. In the rude ancient times it was deemed a wise precaution to
have both hands of both drinkers employed, lest while the pledger pledged
his love and fidelity to the pledgee, the pledgee take that opportunity
to slip a dirk into him!

NOTE 7, Chapter XI. The Duke of Norfolk's narrow Escape.

Had Henry VIII. survived a few hours longer, his order for the duke's
execution would have been carried into effect. 'But news being carried to
the Tower that the King himself had expired that night, the lieutenant
deferred obeying the warrant; and it was not thought advisable by the
Council to begin a new reign by the death of the greatest nobleman in the
kingdom, who had been condemned by a sentence so unjust and tyrannical.'
--Hume's History of England, vol. iii, p. 307.

NOTE 8, Chapter XIV. The Whipping-boy.

James I. and Charles II. had whipping-boys, when they were little
fellows, to take their punishment for them when they fell short in their
lessons; so I have ventured to furnish my small prince with one, for my
own purposes.

NOTES to Chapter XV.

Character of Hertford.

The young King discovered an extreme attachment to his uncle, who was, in
the main, a man of moderation and probity.--Hume's History of England,
vol. iii, p324.

But if he (the Protector) gave offence by assuming too much state, he
deserves great praise on account of the laws passed this session, by
which the rigour of former statutes was much mitigated, and some security
given to the freedom of the constitution. All laws were repealed which
extended the crime of treason beyond the statute of the twenty-fifth of
Edward III.; all laws enacted during the late reign extending the crime
of felony; all the former laws against Lollardy or heresy, together with
the statute of the Six Articles. None were to be accused for words, but
within a month after they were spoken. By these repeals several of the
most rigorous laws that ever had passed in England were annulled; and
some dawn, both of civil and religious liberty, began to appear to the
people. A repeal also passed of that law, the destruction of all laws,
by which the King's proclamation was made of equal force with a statute.
--Ibid. vol. iii. p. 339.

Boiling to Death.

In the reign of Henry VIII. poisoners were, by Act of Parliament,
condemned to be BOILED TO DEATH. This Act was repealed in the following

In Germany, even in the seventeenth century, this horrible punishment was
inflicted on coiners and counterfeiters. Taylor, the Water Poet,
describes an execution he witnessed in Hamburg in 1616. The judgment
pronounced against a coiner of false money was that he should 'BE BOILED
TO DEATH IN OIL; not thrown into the vessel at once, but with a pulley or
rope to be hanged under the armpits, and then let down into the oil BY
DEGREES; first the feet, and next the legs, and so to boil his flesh from
his bones alive.'--Dr. J. Hammond Trumbull's Blue Laws, True and False,
p. 13.

The Famous Stocking Case.

A woman and her daughter, NINE YEARS OLD, were hanged in Huntingdon for
selling their souls to the devil, and raising a storm by pulling off
their stockings!--Dr. J. Hammond Trumbull's Blue Laws, True and False, p.

NOTE 10, Chapter XVII. Enslaving.

So young a King and so ignorant a peasant were likely to make mistakes;
and this is an instance in point. This peasant was suffering from this
law BY ANTICIPATION; the King was venting his indignation against a law
which was not yet in existence; for this hideous statute was to have
birth in this little King's OWN REIGN. However, we know, from the
humanity of his character, that it could never have been suggested by

NOTES to Chapter XXIII. Death for Trifling Larcenies.

When Connecticut and New Haven were framing their first codes, larceny
above the value of twelve pence was a capital crime in England--as it had
been since the time of Henry I.--Dr. J. Hammond Trumbull's Blue Laws,
True and False, p. 17.

The curious old book called The English Rogue makes the limit thirteen
pence ha'penny: death being the portion of any who steal a thing 'above
the value of thirteen pence ha'penny.'

NOTES to Chapter XXVII.

From many descriptions of larceny the law expressly took away the benefit
of clergy: to steal a horse, or a HAWK, or woollen cloth from the
weaver, was a hanging matter. So it was to kill a deer from the King's
forest, or to export sheep from the kingdom.--Dr. J. Hammond Trumbull's
Blue Laws, True and False, p.13.

William Prynne, a learned barrister, was sentenced (long after Edward
VI.'s time) to lose both his ears in the pillory, to degradation from the
bar, a fine of 3,000 pounds, and imprisonment for life. Three years
afterwards he gave new offence to Laud by publishing a pamphlet against
the hierarchy. He was again prosecuted, and was sentenced to lose WHAT
REMAINED OF HIS EARS, to pay a fine of 5,000 pounds, to be BRANDED ON
BOTH HIS CHEEKS with the letters S. L. (for Seditious Libeller), and to
remain in prison for life. The severity of this sentence was equalled by
the savage rigour of its execution.--Ibid. p. 12.

NOTES to Chapter XXXIII.

Christ's Hospital, or Bluecoat School, 'the noblest institution in the

The ground on which the Priory of the Grey Friars stood was conferred by
Henry VIII. on the Corporation of London (who caused the institution
there of a home for poor boys and girls). Subsequently, Edward VI. caused
the old Priory to be properly repaired, and founded within it that noble
establishment called the Bluecoat School, or Christ's Hospital, for the
EDUCATION and maintenance of orphans and the children of indigent persons
. . . Edward would not let him (Bishop Ridley) depart till the letter was
written (to the Lord Mayor), and then charged him to deliver it himself,
and signify his special request and commandment that no time might be
lost in proposing what was convenient, and apprising him of the
proceedings. The work was zealously undertaken, Ridley himself engaging
in it; and the result was the founding of Christ's Hospital for the
education of poor children. (The King endowed several other charities at
the same time.) "Lord God," said he, "I yield Thee most hearty thanks
that Thou hast given me life thus long to finish this work to the glory
of Thy name!" That innocent and most exemplary life was drawing rapidly
to its close, and in a few days he rendered up his spirit to his Creator,
praying God to defend the realm from Papistry.--J. Heneage Jesse's
London: its Celebrated Characters and Places.

In the Great Hall hangs a large picture of King Edward VI. seated on his
throne, in a scarlet and ermined robe, holding the sceptre in his left
hand, and presenting with the other the Charter to the kneeling Lord
Mayor. By his side stands the Chancellor, holding the seals, and next to
him are other officers of state. Bishop Ridley kneels before him with
uplifted hands, as if supplicating a blessing on the event; whilst the
Aldermen, etc., with the Lord Mayor, kneel on both sides, occupying the
middle ground of the picture; and lastly, in front, are a double row of
boys on one side and girls on the other, from the master and matron down
to the boy and girl who have stepped forward from their respective rows,
and kneel with raised hands before the King.--Timbs' Curiosities of
London, p. 98.

Christ's Hospital, by ancient custom, possesses the privilege of
addressing the Sovereign on the occasion of his or her coming into the
City to partake of the hospitality of the Corporation of London.--Ibid.

The Dining Hall, with its lobby and organ-gallery, occupies the entire
storey, which is 187 feet long, 51 feet wide, and 47 feet high; it is lit
by nine large windows, filled with stained glass on the south side; and
is, next to Westminster Hall, the noblest room in the metropolis. Here
the boys, now about 800 in number, dine; and here are held the 'Suppings
in Public,' to which visitors are admitted by tickets issued by the
Treasurer and by the Governors of Christ's Hospital. The tables are laid
with cheese in wooden bowls, beer in wooden piggins, poured from leathern
jacks, and bread brought in large baskets. The official company enter;
the Lord Mayor, or President, takes his seat in a state chair made of oak
from St. Catherine's Church, by the Tower; a hymn is sung, accompanied by
the organ; a 'Grecian,' or head boy, reads the prayers from the pulpit,
silence being enforced by three drops of a wooden hammer. After prayer
the supper commences, and the visitors walk between the tables. At its
close the 'trade-boys' take up the baskets, bowls, jacks, piggins, and
candlesticks, and pass in procession, the bowing to the Governors being
curiously formal. This spectacle was witnessed by Queen Victoria and
Prince Albert in 1845.

Among the more eminent Bluecoat boys are Joshua Barnes, editor of
Anacreon and Euripides; Jeremiah Markland, the eminent critic,
particularly in Greek Literature; Camden, the antiquary; Bishop
Stillingfleet; Samuel Richardson, the novelist; Thomas Mitchell, the
translator of Aristophanes; Thomas Barnes, many years editor of the
London Times; Coleridge, Charles Lamb, and Leigh Hunt.

No boy is admitted before he is seven years old, or after he is nine; and
no boy can remain in the school after he is fifteen, King's boys and
'Grecians' alone excepted. There are about 500 Governors, at the head of
whom are the Sovereign and the Prince of Wales. The qualification for a
Governor is payment of 500 pounds.--Ibid.


One hears much about the 'hideous Blue Laws of Connecticut,' and is
accustomed to shudder piously when they are mentioned. There are people
in America--and even in England!--who imagine that they were a very
monument of malignity, pitilessness, and inhumanity; whereas in reality
the 'civilised' world had seen. This humane and kindly Blue Law Code, of
two hundred and forty years ago, stands all by itself, with ages of
bloody law on the further side of it, and a century and three-quarters of
bloody English law on THIS side of it.

There has never been a time--under the Blue Laws or any other--when above
FOURTEEN crimes were punishable by death in Connecticut. But in England,
within the memory of men who are still hale in body and mind, TWO HUNDRED
AND TWENTY-THREE crimes were punishable by death! {10} These facts are
worth knowing--and worth thinking about, too.


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