illustration of the prince and the pauper standing back to back with a castle on the prince's side and a low building on the pauper's

The Prince and the Pauper

by Mark Twain
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Why does the constable arrest Edward in The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain?

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Edward's arrest, which occurs at the end of chapter 22, is the result of a set-up. Hugo has had it out for Edward for a while. He is determined to frame the young King for a crime and succeeds in doing so. By stealing a bundle from a townswoman and thrusting it into Edward's arms, Hugo makes it appear that Edward is a thief.

Edward is immediately caught and apprehended. Even though a constable shows up to lead Edward to court, Miles Hendon is there to help safeguard the young King. It turns out that the bundle was in fact a pig with a value high enough to have Edward executed for the crime of theft. Fortunately for Edward, the townswoman, dismayed that someone could hang for this crime, revises the pig's worth and saves Edward's life. However, the King is sentenced to a short imprisonment and a public flogging.

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