Alice’s Evidence

Aliss’s Evidenss

Chapter XII of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll

Chapter XII ov Aliss’s Ad’venchers in Wunderland, by Luiss Carrel

‘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.

‘Heer!’ cryd Aliss, quyt fer’geting in dhe flurri ov dhe moament how larj shi had groan in dhe last fiu minits, and shi jumpd up in such a hurri dhat shi tipd oaver dhe joori-box widh dhe ej ov hur scurt, up’seting all dhe joorimen on tu dhe heds ov dhe croud bi’lo, and dhair dhay lay spralling a’bout, ri’mynding hur verri much ov a gloab ov goaldfish shi had axi’dentlli up’set dhe week bi’foar.

‘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.

‘O, y beg iur parden!’ shi ix’claimd in a toan ov grait dis’may, and bi’gan piking dhem up a’gen as quikli as shi cood, for dhe axident ov dhe goaldfish kept runing in hur hed, and shi had a vaig sort ov y’dia dhat dhay must bee co’lected at wonss and poot bak intu dhe joori-box, or dhay wood dy.

‘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.

‘Dhe traiel cannot pro’ceed,’ sed dhe King in a verri graiv voiss, ‘un’til all dhe joorimen ar bak in dhair proper plaisses – all,’ hi ri’peeted widh grait emfeciss, looking hard at Aliss as hi sed du.

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.’

Aliss lookd at dhe joori-box, and saw dhat, in hur haist, shi had poot dhe Liserd in hed dounwerds, and dhe poor litl thing wos waiving its tail a’bout in a melenncoli way, beeing quyt un’aibl tu muuv. Shi suun got it out a’gen, and poot it ryt; ‘not dhat it signifys much,’ shi sed tu hur’self; ‘y shood think it wood bee quyt as much iuss in dhe traiel wun way up as dhe udher.’

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.

As suun as dhe joori had a litl ri’cuverd from dhe shok ov beeing up’set, and dhair slaits and penssls had been found and handed bak tu dhem, dhay set tu wurk verri dilijentli tu ryt out a histeri ov dhe axident, all i’xept dhe Liserd, hu seemd tuu much oavercum tu du enithing but sit widh its mouth oapen, gaising up intu dhe ruuf ov dhe coart.

‘What do you know about this business?’ the King said to Alice.

‘Wot du iu noa a’bout dhiss bizness?’ dhe King sed tu Aliss.

‘Nothing,’ said Alice.

‘Nuthing,’ sed Aliss.

‘Nothing whatever?’ persisted the King.

‘Nuthing wot’ever?’ per’sisted dhe King.

‘Nothing whatever,’ said Alice.

‘Nuthing wot’ever,’ sed Aliss.

‘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.

‘Dhat’s verri im’poartent,’ dhe King sed, turning tu dhe joori. Dhay wur just bi’gining tu ryt dhiss doun on dhair slaits, wen dhe Wyt Rabit inte’rupted: ‘Unim’poartent, iur Majesti meens, ov coarss,’ hi sed in a verri ri’spectful toan, but frouning and maiking faisses at him as hi spoak.

Unimportant, of course, I meant,’ the King hastily said, and went on to himself in an undertone,

Unim’poartent, ov coarss, y ment,’ dhe King haistili sed, and went on tu him’self in an undertoan,

‘important – unimportant – unimportant – important –’ as if he were trying which word sounded best.

‘im’poartent – unim’poartent – unim’poartent – im’poartent –’ as if hi wur trying wich wurd 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.

Sum ov dhe joori roat it doun ‘im’poartent,’ and sum ‘unim’poartent.’ Aliss cood see dhiss, as shi wos neer i’nuf tu look oaver dhair slaits; ‘but it dusn’t mater a bit,’ shi thaut tu hur’self.

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.

At dhiss moament dhe King, hu had been for sum tym bisili ryting in his noat-book, cacld out ‘Sylenss!’ and reed out from his book, ‘Ruul Forti-tuu. All pursens moar dhan a myl hy tu leev dhe coart.

Everybody looked at Alice.

Evribodi lookd at Aliss.

I’m not a mile high,’ said Alice.

Y’m not a myl hy,’ sed Aliss.

‘You are,’ said the King.

‘Iu ar,’ sed dhe King.

‘Nearly two miles high,’ added the Queen.

‘Neerli tuu myls hy,’ aded dhe Queen.

‘Well, I shan’t go, at any rate,’ said Alice: ‘besides, that’s not a regular rule: you invented it just now.’

‘Wel, y shan’t go, at eni rait,’ sed Aliss: ‘bi’cyds, dhat’s not a regyuler ruul: iu in’vented it just now.’

‘It’s the oldest rule in the book,’ said the King.

‘It’s dhe oaldest ruul in dhe book,’ sed dhe King.

‘Then it ought to be Number One,’ said Alice.

‘Dhen it aut tu bee Number Wun,’ sed Aliss.

The King turned pale, and shut his note-book hastily. ‘Consider your verdict,’ he said to the jury, in a low, trembling voice.

Dhe King turnd pail, and shut his noat-book haistili. ‘Con’sider iur vurdict,’ hi sed tu dhe joori, in a lo, trembling voiss.

‘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.’

‘Dhair’s moar evidenss tu cum yet, plees iur Majesti,’ sed dhe Wyt Rabit, jumping up in a grait hurri; ‘dhiss paiper has just been pikd up.’

‘What’s in it?’ said the Queen.

‘Wot’s in it?’ sed dhe 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.’

‘Y havn’t oapend it yet,’ sed dhe Wyt Rabit, ‘but it seems tu bee a leter, riten by dhe prisener tu – tu sumbodi.’

‘It must have been that,’ said the King, ‘unless it was written to nobody, which isn’t usual, you know.’

‘It must hav been dhat,’ sed dhe King, ‘un’less it wos riten tu nobodi, wich isn’t iuzhual, iu noa.’

‘Who is it directed to?’ said one of the jurymen.

‘Hu is it di’rected tu?’ sed wun ov dhe joorimen.

‘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.’

‘It isn’t di’rected at all,’ sed dhe Wyt Rabit; ‘in fact, dhair’s nuthing riten on dhe out’syd.’ Hi un’foalded dhe paiper as hi spoak, and aded ‘It isn’t a leter, after all: it’s a set ov vursses.’

‘Are they in the prisoner’s handwriting?’ asked another of the jurymen.

‘Ar dhay in dhe prisener’s handryting?’ askd a’nudher ov dhe joorimen.

‘No, they’re not,’ said the White Rabbit, ‘and that’s the queerest thing about it.’ (The jury all looked puzzled.)

‘No, dhay’r not,’ sed dhe Wyt Rabit, ‘and dhat’s dhe queerest thing a’bout it.’ (Dhe joori all lookd pusld.)

‘He must have imitated somebody else’s hand,’ said the King. (The jury all brightened up again.)

‘Hi must hav imitaited sumbodi elss’s hand,’ sed dhe King. (Dhe joori all brytend up a’gen.)

‘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.’

‘Plees iur Majesti,’ sed dhe Naiv, ‘y didn’t ryt it, and dhay can’t pruuv y did: dhair’s no naim synd at dhe 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.’

‘If iu didn’t syn it,’ sed dhe King, ‘dhat oanli maiks dhe mater wurss. Iu must hav ment sum mischif, or elss iu’d hav synd iur naim lyk an onest man.’

There was a general clapping of hands at this: it was the first really clever thing the King had said that day.

Dhair wos a jenerel claping ov hands at dhiss: it wos dhe furst rialli clever thing dhe King had sed dhat day.

‘That proves his guilt,’ said the Queen.

‘Dhat pruuvs his gilt,’ sed dhe Queen.

‘It proves nothing of the sort!’ said Alice. ‘Why, you don’t even know what they’re about!’

‘It pruuvs nuthing ov dhe sort!’ sed Aliss. ‘Wy, iu doan’t eeven noa wot dhay’r a’bout!’

‘Read them,’ said the King.

‘Reed dhem,’ sed dhe King.

The White Rabbit put on his spectacles. ‘Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?’ he asked.

Dhe Wyt Rabit poot on his spectecls. ‘Wair shal y bi’gin, plees iur Majesti?’ hi askd.

‘Begin at the beginning,’ the King said gravely, ‘and go on till you come to the end: then stop.’

‘Bi’gin at dhe bi’gining,’ dhe King sed graivli, ‘and go on til iu cum tu dhe end: dhen stop.’

These were the verses the White Rabbit read: –

Dhees wur dhe vursses dhe Wyt Rabit reed: –

‘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.

‘Dhay toald mi iu had been tu hur,
And mentiond mi tu him:
Shi gaiv mi a good carricter,
But sed y cood 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?

Hi sent dhem wurd y had not gon
(Wi noa it tu bee tru):
If shi shood poosh dhe mater on,
Wot wood bi’cum ov iu?

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.

Y gaiv hur wun, dhay gaiv him tuu,
Iu gaiv uss three or moar;
Dhay all ri’turnd from him tu iu,
Dho dhay wur myn bi’foar.

If I or she should chance to be
Involved in this affair,
He trusts to you to set them free,
Exactly as we were.

If y or shi shood chanss tu bee
In’volvd in dhiss a’fair,
Hi trusts tu iu tu set dhem free,
Ig’zactli as wi wur.

My notion was that you had been
(Before she had this fit)
An obstacle that came between
Him, and ourselves, and it.

My noation wos dhat iu had been
(Bi’foar shi had dhiss fit)
An obstecl dhat caim bi’tween
Him, and our’selvs, 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.‘

Doan’t let him noa shi lykd dhem best,
For dhiss must ever bee
A seecrit, kept from all dhe rest,
Bi’tween iur’self and mi.‘

‘That’s the most important piece of evidence we’ve heard yet,’ said the King, rubbing his hands; ‘so now let the jury –’

‘Dhat’s dhe moast im’poartent peess ov evidenss wi’v hurd yet,’ sed dhe King, rubing his hands; ‘so now let dhe joori –’

‘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.’

‘If eni wun ov dhem can ix’plain it,’ sed Aliss, (shi had groan so larj in dhe last fiu minits dhat shi wosn’t a bit a’fraid ov inte’rupting him,) ‘y’l giv him sixpenss. Y doan’t bi’leev dhair’s an atem ov meening 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.

Dhe joori all roat doun on dhair slaits, ‘Shi dusn’t bi’leev dhair’s an atem ov meening in it,’ but nun ov dhem a’tempted tu ix’plain dhe paiper.

‘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.

‘If dhair’s no meening in it,’ sed dhe King, ‘dhat saivs a wurld ov trubl, iu noa, as wi needn’t try tu fynd eni. And yet y doan’t noa,’ hi went on, spreding out dhe vursses on his nee, and looking at dhem widh wun ey; ‘y seem tu see sum meening in dhem, after all. “– sed y cood not swim –” iu can’t swim, can iu?’ hi aded, turning tu dhe Naiv.

The Knave shook his head sadly. ‘Do I look like it?’ he said. (Which he certainly did not, being made entirely of cardboard.)

Dhe Naiv shook his hed sadli. ‘Du y look lyk it?’ hi sed. (Wich hi surtenli did not, beeing maid en’tyrli ov 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 –’

‘All ryt, so far,’ sed dhe King, and hi went on mutering oaver dhe vursses tu him’self: ‘“Wi noa it tu bee tru –” dhat’s dhe joori, ov coarss – “y gaiv hur wun, dhay gaiv him tuu –” wy, dhat must bee wot hi did widh dhe tarts, iu noa –’

‘But, it goes on “they all returned from him to you,”’ said Alice.

‘But, it goas on “dhay all ri’turnd from him tu iu,”’ sed Aliss.

‘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.

‘Wy, dhair dhay ar!’ sed dhe King trai’umfentli, pointing tu dhe tarts on dhe taibl. ‘Nuthing can bee cleerer dhan dhat. Dhen a’gen – “bi’foar shi had dhiss fit –” iu never had fits, my deer, y think?’ hi sed tu dhe 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.)

‘Never!’ sed dhe Queen fiuriassli, throing an ingkstand at dhe Liserd as shi spoak. (Dhe un’forchunet litl Bil had left of ryting on his slait widh wun fingger, as hi found it maid no mark; but hi now haistili bi’gan a’gen, iusing dhe ingk, dhat wos tricling doun his faiss, 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.

‘Dhen dhe wurds doan’t fit iu,’ sed dhe King, looking round dhe coart widh a smyl. Dhair wos a ded sylenss.

‘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.

‘It’s a pun!’ dhe King aded in an o’fended toan, and evribodi lafd, ‘Let dhe joori con’sider dhair vurdict,’ dhe King sed, for a’bout dhe twentiith tym dhat day.

‘No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first – verdict afterwards.’

‘No, no!’ sed dhe Queen. ‘Sentenss furst – vurdict afterwerds.’

‘Stuff and nonsense!’ said Alice loudly. ‘The idea of having the sentence first!’

‘Stuf and nonsenss!’ sed Aliss loudli. ‘Dhe y’dia ov having dhe sentenss furst!’

‘Hold your tongue!’ said the Queen, turning purple.

‘Hoald iur tung!’ sed dhe Queen, turning purpl.

‘I won’t!’ said Alice.

‘Y woan’t!’ sed Aliss.

‘Off with her head!’ the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved.

‘Of widh hur hed!’ dhe Queen shouted at dhe top ov hur voiss. Nobodi muuvd.

‘Who cares for you?’ said Alice, (she had grown to her full size by this time.) ‘You’re nothing but a pack of cards!’

‘Hu cairs for iu?’ sed Aliss, (shi had groan tu hur fool sys by dhiss tym.) ‘Iu’r nuthing but a pak ov 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.

At dhiss dhe hoal pak roas up intu dhe air, and caim flying doun u’pon hur: shi gaiv a litl screem, haf ov fryt and haf ov angger, and tryd tu beet dhem of, and found hur’self lying on dhe bank, widh hur hed in dhe lap ov hur sister, hu wos jentli brushing a’way sum ded leevs dhat had fluterd doun from dhe trees u’pon hur faiss.

‘Wake up, Alice dear!’ said her sister; ‘Why, what a long sleep you’ve had!’

‘Waik up, Aliss deer!’ sed hur sister; ‘Wy, wot a long sleep iu’v 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.

‘O, y’v had such a kiuriass dreem!’ sed Aliss, and shi toald hur sister, as wel as shi cood ri’member dhem, all dhees strainj Ad’venchers ov hurs dhat iu hav just been reeding a’bout; and wen shi had finishd, hur sister kissd hur, and sed, ‘It wos a kiuriass dreem, deer, surtenli: but now run in tu iur tee; it’s geting lait.’ So Aliss got up and ran of, thinking wyl shi ran, as wel shi myt, wot a wunderful dreem 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: –

But hur sister sat stil just as shi left hur, leening hur hed on hur hand, woching dhe seting sun, and thinking ov litl Aliss and all hur wunderful Ad’venchers, til shi tuu bi’gan dreeming after a fation, and dhiss wos hur dreem: –

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 with the strange creatures of her little sister’s dream.

Furst, shi dreemd ov litl Aliss hur’self, and wonss a’gen dhe tyni hands wur claspd u’pon hur nee, and dhe bryt eeger eys wur looking up intu hurs – shi cood heer dhe verri toans ov hur voiss, and see dhat queer litl toss ov hur hed tu keep bak dhe wondering hair dhat wood aulways get intu hur eys – and stil as shi licend, or seemd tu licen, dhe hoal plaiss e’round hur bi’caim a’lyv widh dhe strainj creechers ov hur litl sister’s dreem.

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.

Dhe long grass russld at hur feet as dhe Wyt Rabit hurried by – dhe frytend Mouss splashd his way thru dhe naibering puul – shi cood heer dhe ratl ov dhe teecups as dhe March Hair and his frends shaird dhair never-ending meel, and dhe shril voiss ov dhe Queen ordering of hur un’forchunet gests tu exe’kiution – wonss moar dhe pig-baibi wos sneesing on dhe Duchess’s nee, wyl plaits and dishes crashd e’round it – wonss moar dhe shreek ov dhe Grifen, dhe squeeking ov dhe Liserd’s slait-penssl, and dhe choaking ov dhe su’pressd gini-pigs, fild dhe air, mixd up widh dhe distent sobs ov dhe miserebl Mok Turtl.

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.

So shi sat on, widh cloasd eys, and haf bi’leevd hur’self in Wunderland, dho shi nue shi had but tu oapen dhem a’gen, and all wood chainj tu dul ri’aliti – dhe grass wood bee oanli rusling in dhe wind, and dhe puul ripling tu dhe waiving ov dhe reeds – dhe ratling teecups wood chainj tu tincling sheep-bels, and dhe Queen’s shril crys tu dhe voiss ov dhe sheperd boy – and dhe snees ov dhe baibi, dhe shreek ov dhe Grifen, and all dhe udher queer noises, wood chainj (shi nue) tu dhe con’fiusd clamer ov dhe bisi farm-yard – wyl dhe loing ov dhe catl in dhe distenss wood taik dhe plaiss ov dhe Mok Turtl’s hevi 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.

Lastli, shi piccherd tu hur’self how dhiss saim litl sister ov hurs wood, in dhe after-tym, bee hur’self a groan woomen; and how shi wood keep, thru all hur ryper yeers, dhe simpl and luving hart ov hur chyldhood: and how shi wood gadher a’bout hur udher litl children, and maik dhair eys bryt and eeger widh meni a strainj tail, per’haps eeven widh dhe dreem ov Wunderland ov long a’go: and how shi wood feel widh all dhair simpl sorroas, and fynd a plezher in all dhair simpl joys, ri’membering hur oan chyld-lyf, and dhe hapi sumer days.

THE END

DHE END