Author(s): Mark Twain
Tom Canty, youngest son of a poor family living in Offal Court, London, has always aspired to a better life, encouraged by the local priest. Loitering around the palace gates one day, he sees a prince (the Prince of Wales - Edward VI). Coming too close in his intense excitement, Tom is nearly caught and beaten by the Royal Guards; however, Edward stops them and invites Tom into his palace chamber. There the two boys get to know one another, fascinated by each other's life and their uncanny resemblance; they were born on the same day. They decide to switch clothes "temporarily". The Prince momentarily goes outside, quickly hiding an article of national importance (which the reader later learns is the Great Seal of England), but dressed as he is in Tom's rags, he is not recognized by the guards, who drive him from the palace, and he eventually finds his way through the streets to the Canty home.