to go to law (Lewis Carroll)


Senior Member
Canadian English

What does "to go to law" mean? I just read it in the Mouse's Tale in chapter 3 of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and I wonder if it is an actual legal term, a British idiom or it just another of Carroll's word games. I understand that Fury wants to take the mouse to the courthouse, or at least try him.

"Fury said to the mouse,
That he met in thehouse,
'Let us both go to law: I will prosecute you.—"
  • natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    And yes, this usage is fairly established. The BNC* turns up many examples. A selection here.

    • when the haemophiliac's representative decided to go to law for their own good reasons (broadcast news)
    • -- now you deny me what is mine by right. I shall go to law (fictional prose)
    • Whilst we may learn about the legal principles which regulate our daily lives, both at work and at home, the actual process of " going to law " and bringing an action before the courts is not necessarily as simple as one may imagine.(academic)
    *British National Corpus
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