Read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll book online free

By | August 11, 2017
Category: Fantasy Fiction Public Domain Books>>Read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll book online free

poor speaker,” said the King. Here one of the guinea-pigs cheered, and was immediately suppressed by the officers of the court. (As that is rather a hard word, I will just explain to you how it was done. They had a large canvas bag, which tied up at the mouth with strings: into this they slipped the guinea-pig, head first, and then sat upon it.) “I’m glad I’ve seen that done,” thought Alice. “I’ve so often read in the newspapers, at the end of trials, ‘There was some attempt at applause, which was immediately suppressed by the officers of the court,’ and I never understood what it meant till now.” “If that’s all you know about it, you may stand down,” continued the King. “I can’t go no lower,” said the Hatter: “I’m on the floor, as it is.” “Then you may sit down,” the King replied. Here the other guinea-pig cheered, and was suppressed. “Come, that finishes the guinea-pigs!” thought Alice. “Now we shall get on better.” “I’d rather finish my tea,” said the Hatter, with an anxious look at the Queen, who was reading the list of singers. “You may go,” said the King, and the Hatter hurriedly left the court, without even waiting to put his shoes on. “——and just take his head off outside,” the Queen added to one of the officers; but the Hatter was out of sight before the officer could get to the door. “Call the next witness!” said the King. The next witness was the Duchess’s cook. She carried the pepper-box in her hand, and Alice guessed who it was, even before she got into the court, by the way the people near the door began sneezing all at once. “Give your evidence,” said the King. “Sha’n’t,” said the cook. The King looked anxiously at the White Rabbit, who said, in a low voice, “Your Majesty must cross-examine this witness.” “Well, if I must, I must,” the King said with a melancholy air, and, after folding his arms and frowning at the cook till his eyes were nearly out of sight, he said, in a deep voice, “What are tarts made of?” “Pepper, mostly,” said the cook. “Treacle,” said a sleepy voice behind her. “Collar that Dormouse,” the Queen shrieked out. “Behead that Dormouse! Turn that Dormouse out of court! Suppress him! Pinch him! Off with his whiskers!” For some minutes the whole court was in confusion, getting the Dormouse turned out, and, by the time they had settled down again, the cook had disappeared. “Never mind!” said the King, with an air of great relief. “Call the next witness.” And, he added, in an under-tone to the Queen, “Really, my dear, you must cross-examine the next witness. It quite makes my forehead ache!” Alice watched the White Rabbit as he fumbled over the list, feeling very curious to see what the next witness would be like, “—for they haven’t got much evidence yet,” she said to herself. Imagine her surprise, when the White Rabbit read out, at the top of his shrill little voice, the name “Alice!” 12 Chapter Alice’s Evidence “Here!” cried Alice, quite forgetting in the flurry of the moment how large she had grown in the last few minutes, and she jumped up in such a hurry that she tipped over the jury-box with the edge of her skirt, upsetting all the jurymen on to the heads of the crowd below, and there they lay sprawling about, reminding her very much of a globe of gold-fish she had accidentally upset the week before. “Oh, I beg your pardon!” she exclaimed in a tone of great dismay, and began picking them up again as quickly as she could, for the accident of the gold-fish kept running in her head, and she had a vague sort of idea that they must be collected at once and put back into the jury-box, or they would die. “The trial cannot proceed,” said the King, in a very grave voice, “until all the jurymen are back in their proper places—all,” he repeated with great emphasis, looking hard at Alice as he said so. Alice looked at the jury-box, and saw that, in her haste, she had put the Lizard in head downwards, and the poor little thing was waving its tail about in a melancholy way, being quite unable to move. She soon got it out again, and put it right; “not that it signifies much,” she said to herself; “I should think it would be quite as much use in the trial one way up as the other.” As soon as the jury had a little recovered from the shock of being upset, and their slates and pencils had been found and handed back to them, they set to work very diligently to write out a history of the accident, all except the Lizard, who seemed too much overcome to do anything but sit with its mouth open, gazing up into the roof of the court. “What do you know about this business?” the King said to Alice. “Nothing,” said Alice. “Nothing whatever?” persisted the King. “Nothing whatever,” said Alice. “That’s very important,” the King said, turning to the jury. They were just beginning to write this down on their slates, when the White Rabbit interrupted: “Unimportant, your Majesty means, of course,” he said, in a very respectful tone, but frowning and making faces at him as he spoke. “Unimportant, of course, I meant,” the King hastily said, and went on to himself in an under-tone, “important—unimportant—unimportant—important——” as if he were trying which word sounded best. Some of the jury wrote it down “important,” and some “unimportant.” Alice could see this, as she was near enough to look over their slates; “but it doesn’t matter a bit,” she thought to herself. At this moment the King, who had been for some time busily writing in his note-book, called out “Silence!”, and read out from his book, “Rule Forty-two. All persons more than a mile high to leave the court.” Everybody looked at Alice. “I’m not a mile high,” said Alice. “You are,” said the King. “Nearly two miles high,” added the Queen. “Well, I sha’n’t go, at any rate,” said Alice: “besides, that’s not a regular rule: you invented it just now.” “It’s the oldest rule in the book,” said the King. “Then it ought to be Number One,” said Alice. The King turned pale, and shut his note-book hastily. “Consider your verdict,” he said to the jury, in a low trembling voice. “There’s more evidence to come yet, please your Majesty,” said the White Rabbit, jumping up in a great hurry: “this paper has just been picked up.” “What’s in it?” said the Queen. “I haven’t opened it yet,” said the White Rabbit; “but it seems to be a letter, written by the prisoner to—to somebody.” “It must have been that,” said the King, “unless it was written to nobody, which isn’t usual, you know.” “Who is it directed to?” said one of the jurymen. “It isn’t directed at all,” said the White Rabbit: “in fact, there’s nothing written on the outside.” He unfolded the paper as he spoke, and added “It isn’t a letter, after all: it’s a set of verses.” “Are they in the prisoner’s handwriting?” asked another of the jurymen. “No, they’re not,” said the White Rabbit, “and that’s the queerest thing about it.” (The jury all looked puzzled.) “He must have imitated somebody else’s hand,” said the King. (The jury all brightened up again.) “Please your Majesty,” said the Knave, “I didn’t write it, and they ca’n’t prove that I did: there’s no name signed at the end.” “If you didn’t sign it,” said the King, “that only makes the matter worse. You must have meant some mischief, or else you’d have signed your name like an honest man.” There was a general clapping of hands at this: it was the first really clever

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