Adventures in Wonderland
Who stole the tarts?, Lewis Carroll, Seite 1 ( von 4 )
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 can'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 him. "A
nice muddle their slates'll be in before the trial's over!" thought Alice.
One of the jurors had a pencil that squeaked. This, of course, Alice could
not stand, and
she went round the court and got behind him, and very soon found an opportunity
of taking it away. She did it so quickly that the poor little juror (it was
Bill, the Lizard) could not make out at all what had become of it; so, after
hunting all about for it, he was obliged to write with one finger for the rest
of the day; and this was of very little use, as it left no mark on the slate.
"Herald, read the accusation!" said the King.