The Prince and the Pauper

addressed himself to the under-sheriff, saying—

“Good sir, what is this man’s offence?”

The officer knelt, and answered—

“So please your Majesty, he hath taken the life of a subject by poison.”

Tom’s compassion for the prisoner, and admiration of him as the daring rescuer of a drowning boy, experienced a most damaging shock.

“The thing was proven upon him?” he asked.

“Most clearly, sire.”

Tom sighed, and said—

“Take him away—he hath earned his death. ’Tis a pity, for he was a brave heart—na—na, I mean he hath the look of it!”

The prisoner clasped his hands together with sudden energy, and wrung them despairingly, at the same time appealing imploringly to the ‘King’ in broken and terrified phrases—

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