The Prince and the Pauper: A Tale for Young People of All Ages

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Author: Mark Twain  | Date: 1881

PREFACE

I will set down a tale as it was told to me by one who had it of his father, which latter had it of his father, this last having in like manner had it of his father- and so on, back and still back, three hundred years and more, the fathers transmitting it to the sons and so preserving it. It may be history, it may be only legend, a tradition. It may have happened, it may not have happened: but it could have happened. It may be that the wise and the learned believed it in the old days; it may be that only the unlearned and the simple loved it and credited it. THE_PRINCE_AND_THE_PAUPER

Hugh Latimer, Bishop of Worcester, to Lord Cromwell, on the birth of the Prince of Wales (afterward Edward VI).

[From the National Manuscripts preserved by the British Government]

Ryght honorable, Salutem in Christo Jesu, and Syr here ys no lesse joynge and rejossynge in thes partees for the byrth of our prynce, hoom we hungurde for so longe, then ther was (I trow), inter vicinos att the byrth of S. I. Baptyste, as thys berer, Master Erance, can telle you. Gode gyffe us alle grace, to yelde dew thankes to our Lorde Gode, Gode of Inglonde, for verely He hathe shoyd Hym selff Gode of Inglond, or rather an Inglyssh Gode, yf we consydyr and pondyr welle alle Hys procedynges with us from tyme to tyme. He hath overcumme alle our yllness with Hys excedynge goodnesse, so that we ar now moor then compelled to serve Hym, seke Hys glory, promott Hys wurde, yf the Devylle of alle Devylles be natt in us. We have now the stoppe of vayne trustes ande the stey of vayne expectations; lett us alle pray for hys preservation. And I for my partt wylle wyssh that hys Grace allways have, and evyn now from the begynynge, Governares, Instructores and offyceres of ryght jugmente, ne optimum ingenium non optima educatione depravetur.

Butt whatt a grett fowlle am I! So, whatt devotione shoyth many tymys butt lytelle dyscretione! Ande thus the Gode of Inglonde be ever with you in alle your procedynges.

The 19 of October.

Yours H. L. b. of Wurcestere, now att Hartlebury.

Yf you wolde excytt thys berere to be moore hartye ayen the abuse of ymagry or mor forwarde to promotte the veryte, ytt myght doo goode. Natt that ytt came of me butt of your selffe, &c.

The quality of mercy...

is twice bless’d;

It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes

’Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes

The throned monarch better than his crown.

MERCHANT OF VENICE

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Chicago: Mark Twain, "Preface," The Prince and the Pauper: A Tale for Young People of All Ages Original Sources, accessed November 22, 2019, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=AM5XBMGP2PZU7TX.

MLA: Twain, Mark. "Preface." The Prince and the Pauper: A Tale for Young People of All Ages, Original Sources. 22 Nov. 2019. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=AM5XBMGP2PZU7TX.

Harvard: Twain, M, 'Preface' in The Prince and the Pauper: A Tale for Young People of All Ages. Original Sources, retrieved 22 November 2019, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=AM5XBMGP2PZU7TX.