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river-frontage. There was a line of bonfires stretching as far as one could see, up
and down the Thames; London Bridge was illuminated; Southwark Bridge
likewise; the entire river was aglow with the flash and sheen of colored lights,
and constant explosions of fireworks filled the skies with an intricate
commingling of shooting splendors and a thick rain of dazzling sparks that
almost turned night into day; everywhere were crowds of revelers; all London
seemed to be at large.

John Canty delivered himself of a furious curse and commanded a retreat; but it
was too late. He and his tribe were swallowed up in that swarming hive of
humanity, and hopelessly separated from each other in an instant. We are not
considering that the prince was one of his tribe; Canty still kept his grip upon
him. The prince’s heart was beating high with hopes of escape now. A burly
waterman, considerably exalted with liquor, found himself rudely shoved by
Canty in his efforts to plow through the crowd; he laid his great hand on Canty’s
shoulder and said: ‘Nay, whither so fast, friend? Dost canker thy soul with
sordid business when all that be leal men and true make holiday?’

‘Mine affairs are mine own, they concern thee not,’ answered Canty, roughly;
‘take away thy hand and let me pass.’ ‘Sith that is thy humor, thou’lt not pass till
thou’st drunk to the Prince of Wales, I tell thee that,’ said the waterman, barring
the way resolutely.

‘Give me the cup, then, and make speed, make speed.’ Other revelers were
interested by this time. They cried out: ‘The loving-cup, the loving-cup! make
the sour knave drink the loving-cup, else will we feed him to the fishes.’ So a
huge loving-cup was brought; the waterman, grasping it by one of its handles,
and with his other hand bearing up the end of an imaginary napkin, presented it
in due and ancient form to Canty, who had to grasp the opposite handle with
one of his hands and take off the lid with the other, according to ancient
custom.*(6) This left the prince hand-free for a second, of course. He wasted no
time, but dived among the forest of legs about him and disappeared. In another
moment he could not have been harder to find, under that tossing sea of life, if
its billows had been the Atlantic’s and he a lost sixpence.

He very soon realized this fact, and straightway busied himself about his own
affairs without further thought of John Canty. He quickly realized another thing,
too. To wit, that a spurious Prince of Wales was being feasted by the city in his
stead. He easily concluded that the pauper lad, Tom Canty, had deliberately
taken advantage of his stupendous opportunity and become a usurper.
Therefore there was but one course to pursue-find his way to the Guildhall,
make himself known, and denounce the impostor. He also made up his mind
that Tom should be allowed a reasonable time for spiritual preparation, and then
be hanged, drawn, and quartered, according to the law and usage of the day, in
cases of high treason.
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