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Chapter XII. 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 goldfish 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 goldfish 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 do.
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
undertone,
'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,
cackled 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 shan'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 can't prove 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 thing
the King had said that day.
'That PROVES his guilt,' said the Queen.
'It proves nothing of the sort!' said
Alice.
'Why, you don't even know what they're
about!'
'Read them,' said the King.
The White Rabbit put on his spectacles.
'Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?'
he asked.
'Begin at the beginning,' the King said
gravely, 'and go on till you come to the
end: then stop.'
These were the verses the White Rabbit
read:--
| 'They told me you had been to her,
| And mentioned me to him:
| She gave me a good character,
| But said I could not swim.
| He sent them word I had not gone
| (We know it to be true):
| If she should push the matter on,
| What would become of you?
| I gave her one, they gave him two,
| You gave us three or more;
| They all returned from him to you,
| Though they were mine before.
| If I or she should chance to be
| Involved in this affair,
| He trusts to you to set them free,
| Exactly as we were.
| My notion was that you had been
| (Before she had this fit)
| An obstacle that came between
| Him, and ourselves, and it.
| Don't let him know she liked them best,
| For this must ever be
| A secret, kept from all the rest,
| Between yourself and me.'
'That's the most important piece of
evidence we've heard yet,' said the King,
rubbing his hands; 'so now let the jury--'
'If any one of them can explain it,' said
Alice, (she had grown so large in the last
few minutes that she wasn't a bit afraid of
interrupting him,) 'I'll give him sixpence.
_I_ don't believe there's an atom of
meaning in it.'
The jury all wrote down on their slates,
'SHE doesn't believe there's an atom of
meaning in it,' but none of them attempted
to explain the paper.
'If there's no meaning in it,' said the
King, 'that saves a world of trouble, you
know, as we needn't try to find any.
And yet I don't know,' he went on,
spreading out the verses on his knee, and
looking at them with one eye; 'I seem to
see some meaning in them, after all.
"--SAID I COULD NOT SWIM--" you can't swim,
can you?' he added, turning to the Knave.
The Knave shook his head sadly.
'Do I look like it?' he said.
(Which he certainly did NOT, being made
entirely of cardboard.)
'All right, so far,' said the King, and he
went on muttering over the verses to
himself: '"WE KNOW IT TO BE TRUE--" that's
the jury, of course--"I GAVE HER ONE, THEY
GAVE HIM TWO--" why, that must be what he
did with the tarts, you know--'
'But, it goes on "THEY ALL RETURNED FROM
HIM TO YOU,"' said Alice.
'Why, there they are!' said the King
triumphantly, pointing to the tarts on the
table.
'Nothing can be clearer than THAT.
Then again--"BEFORE SHE HAD THIS FIT--" you
never had fits, my dear, I think?' he said
to the Queen.
'Never!' said the Queen furiously, throwing
an inkstand at the Lizard as she spoke.
(The unfortunate little Bill had left off
writing on his slate with one finger, as he
found it made no mark; but he now hastily
began again, using the ink, that was
trickling down his face, as long as it
lasted.)
'Then the words don't FIT you,' said the
King, looking round the court with a smile.
There was a dead silence.
'It's a pun!' the King added in an offended
tone, and everybody laughed, 'Let the jury
consider their verdict,' the King said, for
about the twentieth time that day.
'No, no!' said the Queen.
'Sentence first--verdict afterwards.'
'Stuff and nonsense!' said Alice loudly.
'The idea of having the sentence first!'
'Hold your tongue!' said the Queen, turning
purple.
'I won't!' said Alice.
'Off with her head!' the Queen shouted at
the top of her voice.
Nobody moved.
'Who cares for you?' said Alice, (she had
grown to her full size by this time.)
'You're nothing but a pack of cards!'
At this the whole pack rose up into the
air, and came flying down upon her: she
gave a little scream, half of fright and
half of anger, and tried to beat them off,
and found herself lying on the bank, with
her head in the lap of her sister, who was
gently brushing away some dead leaves that
had fluttered down from the trees upon her
face.
'Wake up, Alice dear!' said her sister;
'Why, what a long sleep you've had!'
'Oh, I've had such a curious dream!' said
Alice, and she told her sister, as well as
she could remember them, all these strange
Adventures of hers that you have just been
reading about; and when she had finished,
her sister kissed her, and said, 'It WAS a
curious dream, dear, certainly: but now run
in to your tea; it's getting late.'
So Alice got up and ran off, thinking while
she ran, as well she might, what a
wonderful dream it had been.
But her sister sat still just as she left
her, leaning her head on her hand, watching
the setting sun, and thinking of little
Alice and all her wonderful Adventures,
till she too began dreaming after a
fashion, and this was her dream:--
First, she dreamed of little Alice herself,
and once again the tiny hands were clasped
upon her knee, and the bright eager eyes
were looking up into hers--she could hear
the very tones of her voice, and see that
queer little toss of her head to keep back
the wandering hair that WOULD always get
into her eyes--and still as she listened,
or seemed to listen, the whole place around
her became alive the strange creatures of
her little sister's dream.
The long grass rustled at her feet as the
White Rabbit hurried by--the frightened
Mouse splashed his way through the
neighbouring pool--she could hear the
rattle of the teacups as the March Hare and
his friends shared their never-ending meal,
and the shrill voice of the Queen ordering
off her unfortunate guests to execution--
once more the pig-baby was sneezing on the
Duchess's knee, while plates and dishes
crashed around it--once more the shriek of
the Gryphon, the squeaking of the Lizard's
slate-pencil, and the choking of the
suppressed guinea-pigs, filled the air,
mixed up with the distant sobs of the
miserable Mock Turtle.
So she sat on, with closed eyes, and half
believed herself in Wonderland, though she
knew she had but to open them again, and
all would change to dull reality--the grass
would be only rustling in the wind, and the
pool rippling to the waving of the reeds--
the rattling teacups would change to
tinkling sheep-bells, and the Queen's
shrill cries to the voice of the shepherd
boy--and the sneeze of the baby, the shriek
of the Gryphon, and all the other queer
noises, would change (she knew) to the
confused clamour of the busy farm-yard--
while the lowing of the cattle in the
distance would take the place of the Mock
Turtle's heavy sobs.
Lastly, she pictured to herself how this
same little sister of hers would, in the
after-time, be herself a grown woman; and
how she would keep, through all her riper
years, the simple and loving heart of her
childhood: and how she would gather about
her other little children, and make THEIR
eyes bright and eager with many a strange
tale, perhaps even with the dream of
Wonderland of long ago: and how she would
feel with all their simple sorrows, and
find a pleasure in all their simple joys,
remembering her own child-life, and the
happy summer days.
THE END
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Chapter 12 - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll - Alice's Evidence

6137 タグ追加 保存
游恬田 2015 年 10 月 18 日 に公開
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