The mouse giving a dry speech, an illustration by John Vernon Lord in Lewis Carroll's
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Artists' Choice Editions, 2009.
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.
'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 -- "'