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 ca'n't prove that 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, of course,' said the Queen: `so, off with--'
`It doesn't prove anything 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, very gravely, `and go on till you come to the end: then stop.'
There was dead silence in the court, whilst the White Rabbit read out these verses:
`They told me you had been to her,
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