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everything that was said, and went by without noticing her. Then
followed the Knave of Hearts, carrying the King’s crown on a
crimson velvet cushion; and, last of all this grand procession, came
THE KING AND THE QUEEN OF HEARTS.
Alice was rather doubtful whether she ought not to lie down on
her face like the three gardeners, but she could not remember ever
having heard of such a rule at processions; “and besides, what
would be the use of a procession,” thought she, “if people had all
to lie down on their faces, so that they couldn’t see it?” So she
stood where she was, and waited.
When the procession came opposite to Alice, they all stopped and
looked at her, and the Queen said, severely, “Who is this?” She
said it to the Knave of Hearts, who only bowed and smiled in
“Idiot!” said the Queen, tossing her head impatiently; and, turning
to Alice, she went on: “What’s your name, child?” “My name is
Alice, so please your Majesty,” said Alice very politely; but she
added, to herself, “Why, they’re only a pack of cards, after all. I
needn’t be afraid of them!” “And who are these!” said the Queen,
pointing to the three gardeners who were lying round the rose-
tree; for, you see, as they were lying on their faces, and the pattern
on their backs was the same as the rest of the pack, she could not
tell whether they were gardeners, or soldiers, or courtiers, or three
of her own children.
“How should I know?” said Alice, surprised at her own courage.
“It’s no business of mine.” The Queen turned crimson with fury,
and, after glaring at her for a moment like a wild beast, began
screaming “Off with her head! Off with-” “Nonsense!” said Alice,
very loudly and decidedly, and the Queen was silent.
The King laid his hand upon her arm, and timidly said “Consider,
my dear: she is only a child!” The Queen turned angrily away from
him, and said to the Knave “Turn them over!” The Knave did so,
very carefully, with one foot.
“Get up!” said the Queen in a shrill, loud voice, and the three
gardeners instantly jumped up, and began bowing to the King, the
Queen, the royal children, and everybody else.
“Leave off that!” screamed the Queen. “You make me giddy.” And
then, turning to the rose-tree, she went on “What have you been
doing here?” “May it please your Majesty,” said Two, in a very
humble tone, going down on one knee as he spoke, “we were
trying-” “I see!” said the Queen, who had meanwhile been
examining the roses. “Off with their heads!” and the procession
moved on, three of the soldiers remaining behind to execute the
unfortunate gardeners, who ran to Alice for protection.