The Best Advice from The Prince and the Pauper

With the start of the new year, it’s always a time where people look to improve themselves, whether they intend on sticking to it or not. For this reason, we felt this would be a good time to explore the best pieces of advice that can be found in The Prince and the Pauper in Chapters 1-7, as well as what we would imagine would be the resolutions for some of the characters at this point in the story.

Piece of Advice #1: Learn Latin/Languages

” [Edward] ‘Know’st thou the Latin?’
[Tom] ‘But scantly, sir, I doubt.’
[Edward] ‘Learn it, lad: ’tis hard only at first. The Greek is harder;’ ” (p.6)

“ ‘ ‘Tis a pity, ’tis a pity!  Thou wert proceeding bravely.  But bide thy time in patience:  it will not be for long.  Thou’lt yet be graced with learning like thy father, and make thy tongue master of as many languages as his, good my prince.’ ” (p.15)

In Chapter 3, Edward gives Tom some advice about learning Latin. Apparenty it is only hard when you start off, and besides it’s way easier than Greek. Though I’m not sure this advice would make Tom feel more confident in his Latin studies, we still agree with the sentiment. This idea is reiterated in Chapter 7, when Tom is talking with Lady Elizabeth and Lady Jane. The fact that he is pausing his studies comes up in conversation, and one of the little ladies pops in to tell Tom (who she believes is Edward) not to be discouraged because he will soon be able to continue his studies, and then he will be able to master many languages.

Studying other languages has so many benefits as seen in our blog post about polyglots. Latin in particular can be beneficial in so many ways. It helps to develop a foundation that can support the learning of so many different languages – Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, and more! It also helps with English vocabulary, since so many of our words stem from Latin roots.

Piece of Advice #2: Take time off of work for leisure

” ‘List ye all! This my son is mad; but it is not permanent. Over-study hath done this, and somewhat too much of confinement. Away with his books and teachers! see ye to it. Pleasure him with sports, beguile him in wholesome ways, so that his health come again.’ ” (p. 12)

In Chapter 5, King Henry VIII gives Tom (who he thinks is Edward) this solid advice. He believes that Edward has gone mad due to over-studying. So his solution is for Edward (really Tom) to take some time off of school to rest and rejuvinate.

I think this is powerful advice for people of any age to take. Too much time spent working (either in school or a job) can cause anyone to be burnt out. It’s important to work in time for leisure activities, or all we’ll all go mad!

Piece of Advice #3: If you can’t remember, pretend you do

” ‘Remember all thou canst—seem to remember all else.’ ” (p. 15)

In Chapter 6, Lord St. John gives Tom (who he thinks is Edward) this profound tip. At this point in the story, Tom has been given explicit orders from the King that he is no longer allowed to deny being the true prince. So Lord St. John elaborates on this command by given Tom the advice to try to remember all that he can, and when he doesn’t remember, just pretend!

Although this could be a dangerous tip at times (honesty is always the best policy) I think this little tip is in line with telling a little white lie every now and then. If one of your best friends is recalling a time where you watched a hilarious movie with them and you don’t really remember, just nod your head and laugh along! If your significant other surprises you by stating it’s your 5th year anniversary, pretend like you did not completely forget (and rush out to the store to get them a present ASAP!)

Character New Year’s Resolutions

Character’s NameNew Year’s Resolutions
TomTo make it through a royal dinner without embarassing myself
To convince Henry VIII not to rush the Duke of Norfolk’s death
EdwardTo get my throne back from that pauper usurper!
To open a school for the Christ’s Church boys
To swim in the river and play in the mud
King Henry VIIITo get my boy healthy again
To see the Duke of Norfolk’s head on a platter before I die

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