Page:Carroll - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.djvu/52

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ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND


At last the Mouse, who seemed to be a person of authority among them, called out “Sit down, all of you, and listen to me! I’ll soon make you dry enough!” They all sat down at once, in a large ring, with the Mouse in the middle. Alice kept her eyes anxiously fixed on it, for she felt sure she would catch a bad cold if she did not get dry very soon.


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“Ahem!” said the Mouse with an important air, “Are you all ready? This is the driest thing I know. Silence all round, if you please! ‘William the Conqueror, whose cause was favoured by the pope, was soon submitted to by the English, who wanted leaders, and had been of late much accustomed to usurpation and conquest. Edwin and Morcar, the earls of Mercia and Northumbria——’”

“Ugh!” said the Lory, with a shiver.

“I beg your pardon!” said the Mouse, frowning, but very politely. “Did you speak?”

“Not I!” said the Lory hastily.

“I thought you did,” said the Mouse. “——I proceed.

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