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father’s bounty to use me so.’ This was vastly enjoyed, as the laughter testified.
The youth who had first spoken shouted to his comrades: ‘Ho, swine, slaves,
pensioners of his grace’s princely father, where be your manners? Down on your
marrow bones, all of ye, and do reverence to his kingly port and royal rags!’
With boisterous mirth they dropped upon their knees in a body and did mock
homage to their prey. The prince spurned the nearest boy with his foot, and said
fiercely: ‘Take thou that, till the morrow come and I build thee a gibbet!’ Ah, but
this was not a joke-this was going beyond fun. The laughter ceased on the
instant and fury took its place. A dozen shouted: ‘Hale him forth! To the horse-
pond, to the horse-pond! Where be the dogs? Ho, there, Lion! ho, Fangs!’ Then
followed such a thing as England had never seen before-the sacred person of the
heir to the throne rudely buffeted by plebeian hands, and set upon and torn by

As night drew to a close that day, the prince found himself far down in the close-
built portion of the city. His body was bruised, his hands were bleeding, and his
rags were all besmirched with mud. He wandered on and on, and grew more
and more bewildered, and so tired and faint he could hardly drag one foot after
the other. He had ceased to ask questions of any one, since they brought him
only insult instead of information. He kept muttering to himself, ‘Offal Court-
that is the name; if I can but find it before my strength is wholly spent and I
drop, then am I saved-for his people will take me to the palace and prove that I
am none of theirs, but the true prince, and I shall have mine own again.’ And
now and then his mind reverted to his treatment by those rude Christ’s Hospital
boys, and he said, ‘When I am king, they shall not have bread and shelter only,
but also teachings out of books; for a full belly is little worth where the mind is
starved, and the heart. I will keep this diligently in my remembrance, that this
day’s lesson be not lost upon me, and my people suffer thereby; for learning
softeneth the heart and breedeth gentleness and charity.’*(2) The lights began to
twinkle, it came on to rain, the wind rose, and a raw and gusty night set in. The
houseless prince, the homeless heir to the throne of England, still moved on,
drifting deeper into the maze of squalid alleys where the swarming hives of
poverty and misery were massed together.

Suddenly a great drunken ruffian collared him and said: ‘Out to this time of
night again, and hast not brought a farthing home, I warrant me! If it be so, an I
do not break all the bones in thy lean body, then am I not John Canty, but some
other.’ The prince twisted himself loose, unconsciously brushed his profaned
shoulder, and eagerly said: ‘Oh, art his father, truly? Sweet heaven grant it be so-
then wilt thou fetch him away and restore me!’ ‘His father? I know not what
thou mean’st; I but know I am thy father, as thou shalt soon have cause to-’ ‘Oh,
jest not, palter not, delay not!- I am worn, I am wounded, I can bear no more.
Take me to the king my father, and he will make thee rich beyond thy wildest
dreams. Believe me, man, believe me! I speak no lie, but only the truth!- put
forth thy hand and save me! I am indeed the Prince of Wales!’ The man stared
down, stupefied, upon the lad, then shook his head and muttered: ‘Gone stark
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