During an illness of some weeks’ duration, mice were to me a source both of amusement and annoyance; the former certainly predominating. A wainscot ledge ran round the room in which I lay, and it was their delight to scamper after one another upon this projection; but as the head of my curtainless bed was close to it, they so frequently diverged on to my face, that I was obliged to have it drawn at least a yard from the wall. Sometimes also, they dragged away my pocket handkerchief, which, from not being immediately missed, was not recovered till sundry holes had been nibbled in it.
A small table stood by my bed-side; having on it a bason full of cold tea, which formed my night beverage. On one occasion, my light was extinguished, and I heard a scratching against the legs of the table. I guessed the cause, and tried to frighten the climber away; but I suspect he mounted by the bed clothes, for I presently heard something flop into the tea. All was silent; and I concluded the intruder was drowned; but of course, whatever my thirst, I did not attempt to drink. When daylight came, there sat a poor mouse holding up his little chin just above the liquid. Had he moved he must have been suffocated, and he had been all these hours in this position. It was impossible to take away a life so hardly earned, and he was allowed to rejoin his companions.
-- from Mrs. R. Lee, Anecdotes of the Habits and Instinct of Animals (Lindsay & Blakiston, 1853), pp.275-6