The mouse's tale

from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

by Lewis Carrol

This is one of my favorite pieces of typesetting, taken from Wikipedia, The Mouse is a fictional character in Lewis Carroll's 1865 novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. He appears in Chapter II "The Pool of Tears" [1] and Chapter III "A Caucus-Race and a Long Tale" [2].

Alice, the eponymous heroine in the book, first talks to the mouse when she is floating in a pool of her own tears, having shrunk in size:

O Mouse, do you know the way out of this pool? I am very tired of swimming about here, O Mouse!' (Alice thought this must be the right way of speaking to a mouse: she had never done such a thing before, but she remembered having seen in her brother's Latin Grammar, A mouse—of a mouse—to a mouse—a mouse—O mouse! The Mouse looked at her rather inquisitively, and seemed to her to wink with one of its little eyes, but it said nothing.

With no response from the mouse, Alice fears that it may not speak English and attempts to speak French. Upon mentioning the French word for cat, chatte, the mouse panics. This leads to a discussion about cats and dogs, culminating in the mouse telling Alice his history.

Swiming in hertears

                    Fury said to a
                  mouse, That he
                met in the
              house,
           "Let us
             both go to
               law:  I will
                 prosecute
                    YOU.  --Come,
                       I'll take no
                        denial; We
                     must have a
                 trial:  For
              really this
           morning I've
          nothing
         to do."
           Said the
             mouse to the
               cur, "Such
                 a trial,
                   dear Sir,
                         With
                     no jury
                  or judge,
                would be
              wasting
             our
              breath."
               "I'll be
                 judge, I'll
                   be jury,"
                    Said
                     cunning
                      old Fury:
                     "I'll
                      try the
                         whole
                          cause,
                             and
                        condemn
                       you
                      to
                       death."'