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<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll




THE King and Queen of Hearts were seated on their throne when
they arrived, with a great crowd assembled about them-all sorts of
little birds and beasts, as well as the whole pack of cards: the
Knave was standing before them, in chains, with a soldier on each
side to guard him; and near the King was the White Rabbit, with a
trumpet in one hand, and a scroll of parchment in the other.

In the very middle of the court was a table, with a large dish of
tarts upon it: they looked so good, that it made Alice quite hungry
to look at them-“I wish they’d get the trial done,” she thought,
“and hand round the refreshments!” But there seemed to be no
chance of this; so she began looking at everything about her to pass
away the time.

Alice had never been in a court of justice before, but she had read
about them in books, and she was quite pleased to find that she
knew the name of nearly everything there. “That’s the judge,” she
said to herself, “because of his great wig.” The judge, by the way,
was the King; and, as he wore his crown over the wig (look at the
frontispiece if you want to see how he did it), he did not look at all
comfortable, and it was certainly not becoming.

“And that’s the jury-box,” thought Alice; “and those twelve
creatures,” (she was obliged to say “creatures,” you see, because
some of them were animals, and some were birds,) “I suppose they
are the jurors.” She said this last word two or three times over to
herself, being rather proud of it: for she thought, and rightly too,
that very few little girls of her age knew the meaning of it at all.
However, “jurymen” would have done just as well.

The twelve jurors were all writing very busily on slates. “What are
they doing?” Alice whispered to the Gryphon. “They ca’n’t have
anything to put down yet, before the trial’s begun.” “They’re
putting down their names,” the Gryphon whispered in reply, “for
fear they should forget them before the end of the trial.” “Stupid
things!” Alice began in a loud indignant voice; but she stopped
herself hastily, for the White Rabbit cried out “Silence in the court!”
and the King put on his spectacles and looked anxiously round, to
make out who was talking.

Alice could see, as well as if she were looking over their shoulders,
that all the jurors were writing down “Stupid things!” on their
slates, and she could even make out that one of them didn’t know
how to spell “Stupid,” and that he had to ask his neighbour to tell
<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

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