The Prince and the Pauper

by Mark Twain


The Prince and The Pauper by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

To those good- mannered and agreeable children Susie and Clara Clemens this book is affectionately inscribed by their father.

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 a 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 quality of mercy . . . is twice bless'd; It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes;

'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes The thron- ed monarch better than his crown'. Merchant of Venice.

Chapter 1 >>