The Prince and the Pauper

white-haired old fellow, of grave and benignant aspect. As long as he lasted he was honoured; and he was also reverenced, for his striking and peculiar costume kept the people reminded that ‘in his time he had been royal;’ so, wherever he appeared the crowd fell apart, making way for him, and whispering, one to another, “Doff thy hat, it is the King’s Ward!”—and so they saluted, and got his kindly smile in return—and they valued it, too, for his was an honourable history.

Yes, King Edward VI. lived only a few years, poor boy, but he lived them worthily. More than once, when some great dignitary, some gilded vassal of the crown, made argument against his leniency, and urged that some law which he was bent upon amending was gentle enough for its purpose, and wrought no suffering or oppression which any one need mightily mind, the young King turned the mournful eloquence of his great compassionate eyes upon him and answered—

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