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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 tellWelcome 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 recognize him now! What unspeakable glory it would be, if they
could recognize him, and realize 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

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 a 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 recognized the exactness of his effigy’s likeness to
himself, the flesh-and-blood counterpart; and new whirlwinds of applause burst
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