Chapter one of Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland. This is a Librivox recording. All Libribox recordings are in the publicdomain. For more information or to volunteer pleasevisit Librivox.org. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland by LewisCarroll CHAPTER 1. Down the Rabbit-Hole Alice was beginning to get very tired of sittingby her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once ortwice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had nopictures or conversations in it, ‘and what is the use of a book,’ thoughtAlice ‘without pictures or conversations?’ So she was considering in her own mind (aswell as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid),whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth thetrouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a WhiteRabbit with pink eyes ran close by her. There was nothing so VERY remarkable in that;nor did Alice think it so VERY much out of the way to hear the Rabbitsay to itself, ‘Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!’ (when she thought it overafterwards, it occurred to her that she ought to have wonderedat this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural); but when theRabbit actually TOOK A WATCH OUT OF ITS WAISTCOAT-POCKET, and looked atit, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashedacross her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket,or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity,she ran across the field after it, and fortunately was just in timeto see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge. In another moment down went Alice after it,never once considering how in the world she was to get out again. The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnelfor some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alicehad not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herselffalling down a very deep well. Either the well was very deep, or she fellvery slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look abouther and to wonder what was going to happen next. First, she tried to look down and make outwhat she was coming to, but it was too dark tosee anything; then she looked at the sides of the well, and noticedthat they were filled with cupboards and book-shelves; here and thereshe saw maps and pictures hung upon pegs. She took down a jar from one of the shelvesas she passed; it was labelled ‘ORANGE MARMALADE’,but to her great disappointment it was empty: she did not liketo drop the jar for fear of killing somebody, so managed to put itinto one of the cupboards as she fell past it. ‘Well!’ thought Alice to herself, ‘after sucha fall as this, I shall think nothing of tumbling down stairs! How brave they’ll all think me athome! Why, I wouldn’t say anything about it, evenif I fell off the top of the house!’ (Which was very likely true.) Down, down, down. Would the fall NEVER come to an end! ‘I wonder howmany miles I’ve fallen by this time?’ she said aloud. ‘I must be gettingsomewhere near the centre of the earth. Let me see: that would be fourthousand miles down, I think–‘ (for, you see, Alice had learnt severalthings of this sort in her lessons in the
see, Alice had learnt severalthings of this sort in her lessons in the schoolroom, and though thiswas not a VERY good opportunity for showing off her knowledge, as therewas no one to listen to her, still it was good practice to say it over)’–yes, that’s about the right distance–but then I wonder what Latitudeor Longitude I’ve got to?’ (Alice had no idea what Latitude was, orLongitude either, but thought they were nice grand words to say.) Presently she began again. ‘I wonder if I shall fall right THROUGH theearth! How funny it’ll seem to come out among thepeople that walk with their heads downward! The Antipathies, I think–‘ (she was ratherglad there WAS no one listening, this time, asit didn’t sound at all the right word) ‘–but I shall have to ask themwhat the name of the country is, you know. Please, Ma’am, is this New Zealand or Australia?'(and she tried to curtsey as she spoke–fancy CURTSEYINGas you’re falling through the air! Do you think you could manage it?) ‘And what anignorant little girl she’ll think me for asking! No, it’ll never do toask: perhaps I shall see it written up somewhere.’ Down, down, down. There was nothing else to do, so Alice soonbegan talking again. ‘Dinah’ll miss me very much to-night, I shouldthink!’ (Dinah was the cat.) ‘I hope they’ll remember her saucer of milkat tea-time. Dinah my dear! I wish you were down here with me! There are nomice in the air, I’m afraid, but you might catch a bat, and that’s verylike a mouse, you know. But do cats eat bats, I wonder?’ And here Alicebegan to get rather sleepy, and went on saying to herself, in a dreamysort of way, ‘Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats?’ and sometimes, ‘Dobats eat cats?’ for, you see, as she couldn’t answer either question,it didn’t much matter which way she put it. She felt that she was dozingoff, and had just begun to dream that she was walking hand in hand withDinah, and saying to her very earnestly, ‘Now, Dinah, tell me the truth:did you ever eat a bat?’ when suddenly, thump! thump! down she came upona heap of sticks and dry leaves, and the fall was over. Alice was not a bit hurt, and she jumped upon to her feet in a moment: she looked up, but it was all dark overhead;before her was another long passage, and the White Rabbit was stillin sight, hurrying down it. There was not a moment to be lost: away wentAlice like the wind, and was just in time to hear it say, as it turneda corner, ‘Oh my ears and whiskers, how late it’s getting!’ She was close behind it when sheturned the corner, but the Rabbit was no longer to be seen: she foundherself in a long, low hall, which was lit up by a row of lamps hangingfrom the roof. There were doors all round the hall, but theywere all locked; and when Alice had been all the way down one side andup the other, trying every door, she walked sadly down the middle, wonderinghow she was ever to get out again. Suddenly she came upon a little three-leggedtable, all made of solid glass; there was nothing on it except a tinygolden key, and Alice’s first thought was that it might belong toone of the doors of the hall; but, alas! either the locks were too large,or the key was too small,
but, alas! either the locks were too large,or the key was too small, but at any rate it would not open any of them. However, on the secondtime round, she came upon a low curtain she had not noticed before, andbehind it was a little door about fifteen inches high: she tried thelittle golden key in the lock, and to her great delight it fitted! Alice opened the door and found that it ledinto a small passage, not much larger than a rat-hole: she knelt downand looked along the passage into the loveliest garden you ever saw. How she longed to get out ofthat dark hall, and wander about among those beds of bright flowers andthose cool fountains, but she could not even get her head through thedoorway; ‘and even if my head would go through,’ thought poor Alice, ‘itwould be of very little use without my shoulders. Oh, how I wish I couldshut up like a telescope! I think I could, if I only knew how to begin.’ For, you see, so many out-of-the-way thingshad happened lately, that Alice had begun to think that very fewthings indeed were really impossible. There seemed to be no use in waiting by thelittle door, so she went back to the table, half hoping she might findanother key on it, or at any rate a book of rules for shutting peopleup like telescopes: this time she found a little bottle on it, (‘whichcertainly was not here before,’ said Alice,) and round the neck ofthe bottle was a paper label, with the words ‘DRINK ME’ beautifullyprinted on it in large letters. It was all very well to say ‘Drink me,’ butthe wise little Alice was not going to do THAT in a hurry. ‘No, I’ll look first,’ she said, ‘andsee whether it’s marked “poison” or not’; for she had read several nicelittle histories about children who had got burnt, and eaten up by wildbeasts and other unpleasant things, all because they WOULD not rememberthe simple rules their friends had taught them: such as, that a red-hotpoker will burn you if you hold it too long; and that if you cut yourfinger VERY deeply with a knife, it usually bleeds; and she had neverforgotten that, if you drink much from a bottle marked ‘poison,’ it isalmost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later. However, this bottle was NOT marked ‘poison,’so Alice ventured to taste it, and finding it very nice, (it had, infact, a sort of mixed flavour of cherry-tart, custard, pine-apple, roastturkey, toffee, and hot buttered toast,) she very soon finished itoff. ‘What a curious feeling!’ said Alice; ‘I mustbe shutting up like a telescope.’ And so it was indeed: she was now only teninches high, and her face brightened up at the thought that she wasnow the right size for going through the little door into that lovely garden. First, however, shewaited for a few minutes to see if she was going to shrink any further:she felt a little nervous about this; ‘for it might end, you know,’ saidAlice to herself, ‘in my going out altogether, like a candle. I wonderwhat I should be like then?’ And she tried to fancy what the flame of acandle is like after the candle is blown out, for she could not rememberever having seen such a thing. After a while, finding that nothing more happened,she decided on going into the garden at once; but, alas for poorAlice! when she got to the door, she found she had forgotten the littlegolden key, and when she went back to the table for it, she found shecould not possibly reach it: she could see it quite plainly throughthe glass, and she tried her best to climb up one of the legs of the table,but it was too slippery; and when she had tired herself out with trying,the poor little thing
adventures read and when she had tired herself out with trying,the poor little thing
and when she had tired herself out with trying,the poor little thing sat down and cried. ‘Come, there’s no use in crying like that!’said Alice to herself, rather sharply; ‘I advise you to leave offthis minute!’ She generallygave herself very good advice, (though she very seldom followed it),and sometimes she scolded herself so severely as to bring tears intoher eyes; and once she remembered trying to box her own ears for havingcheated herself in a game of croquet she was playing against herself,for this curious child was very fond of pretending to be two people. ‘But it’s no use now,’ thought poor Alice,’to pretend to be two people! Why, there’s hardly enough of me left to makeONE respectable person!’ Soon her eye fell on a little glass box thatwas lying under the table: she opened it, and found in it a very smallcake, on which the words ‘EAT ME’ were beautifully marked in currants. ‘Well, I’ll eat it,’ saidAlice, ‘and if it makes me grow larger, I can reach the key; and if itmakes me grow smaller, I can creep under the door; so either way I’llget into the garden, and I don’t care which happens!’ She ate a little bit, and said anxiously toherself, ‘Which way? Whichway?’, holding her hand on the top of her head to feel which way it wasgrowing, and she was quite surprised to find that she remained the samesize: to be sure, this generally happens when one eats cake, but Alicehad got so much into the way of expecting nothing but out-of-the-waythings to happen, that it seemed quite dull and stupid for life to go onin the common way. So she set to work, and very soon finishedoff the cake. CHAPTER 2. The Pool of Tears ‘Curiouser and curiouser!’ cried Alice (shewas so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speakgood English); ‘now I’m opening out like the largest telescope thatever was! Good-bye, feet!'(for when she looked down at her feet, they seemed to be almost out ofsight, they were getting so far off). ‘Oh, my poor little feet, I wonderwho will put on your shoes and stockings for you now, dears? I’m sure_I_ shan’t be able! I shall be a great deal too far off to troublemyself about you: you must manage the best way you can;–but I must bekind to them,’ thought Alice, ‘or perhaps they won’t walk the way I wantto go! Let me see: I’ll give them a new pair of bootsevery Christmas.’ And she went on planning to herself how shewould manage it. ‘They mustgo by the carrier,’ she thought; ‘and how funny it’ll seem, sendingpresents to one’s own feet! And how odd the directions will look! ALICE’S RIGHT FOOT, ESQ. HEARTHRUG,NEAR THE FENDER, (WITH ALICE’S LOVE). Oh dear, what nonsense I’m talking!’ Just then her head struck against the roofof the hall: in fact she was now more than nine feet high, and she at oncetook up the little golden key and hurried off to the garden door. Poor Alice! It was as much as she could do, lying downon one side, to look through into the garden with one eye;but to get through was more hopeless than ever: she sat down and beganto cry again. ‘You ought to be ashamed of yourself,’ saidAlice, ‘a great girl like you,’ (she might well say this), ‘to go oncrying in this way! Stop thismoment, I tell you!’
Stop thismoment, I tell you!’ But she went on all the same, shedding gallonsof tears, until there was a large pool all roundher, about four inches deep and reaching half down the hall. After a time she heard a little patteringof feet in the distance, and she hastily dried her eyes to see what wascoming. It was the WhiteRabbit returning, splendidly dressed, with a pair of white kid gloves inone hand and a large fan in the other: he came trotting along in a greathurry, muttering to himself as he came, ‘Oh! the Duchess, the Duchess! Oh! won’t she be savage if I’ve kept her waiting!’ Alice felt sodesperate that she was ready to ask help of any one; so, when the Rabbitcame near her, she began, in a low, timid voice, ‘If you please, sir–‘The Rabbit started violently, dropped the white kid gloves and the fan,and skurried away into the darkness as hard as he could go. Alice took up the fan and gloves, and, asthe hall was very hot, she kept fanning herself all the time she wenton talking: ‘Dear, dear! Howqueer everything is to-day! And yesterday things went on just as usual. I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night? Let me think: was I thesame when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling alittle different. But if I’m not the same, the next questionis, Who in the world am I? Ah, THAT’S the great puzzle!’ And she began thinkingover all the children she knew that were of the same age as herself, tosee if she could have been changed for any of them. ‘I’m sure I’m not Ada,’ she said, ‘for herhair goes in such long ringlets, and mine doesn’t go in ringletsat all; and I’m sure I can’t be Mabel, for I know all sorts of things,and she, oh! she knows such a very little! Besides, SHE’S she, and I’m I, and–oh dear,how puzzling it all is! I’ll try if I know all the things I used toknow. Let mesee: four times five is twelve, and four times six is thirteen, andfour times seven is–oh dear! I shall never get to twenty at that rate! However, the Multiplication Table doesn’tsignify: let’s try Geography. London is the capital of Paris, and Parisis the capital of Rome, and Rome–no, THAT’S all wrong, I’m certain! I must have been changed forMabel! I’ll try and say “How doth the little–“‘and she crossed her hands on her lap as if she were saying lessons,and began to repeat it, but her voice sounded hoarse and strange,and the words did not come the same as they used to do:– ‘How doth the little crocodileImprove his shining tail, And pour the waters of the NileOn every golden scale! ‘How cheerfully he seems to grin,How neatly spread his claws, And welcome little fishes inWith gently smiling jaws!’ ‘I’m sure those are not the right words,’said poor Alice, and her eyes filled with tears again as she went on, ‘Imust be Mabel after all, and I shall have to go and live in that poky littlehouse, and have next to no toys to play with, and oh! ever so manylessons to learn! No, I’vemade up my mind about it; if I’m Mabel, I’ll stay down here! It’ll be nouse their putting their heads down and saying “Come up again, dear!” Ishall only look up and say “Who am I then? Tell me that first, and then,if I like being that person, I’ll come up: if not, I’ll stay down heretill I’m somebody else”–but, oh dear!’ cried Alice, with a sudden burstof tears, ‘I do wish they WOULD put their heads down! I am so VERY tiredof being all alone here!’ As she said this she looked down at her hands,and was surprised to see that she had put on one of the Rabbit’s littlewhite kid gloves while she was talking. ‘How CAN I have done that?’ she thought. ‘I mustbe growing small again.’ She got up and went to the table to measureherself by it, and found that, as nearly as she could guess, she was nowabout two feet high, and was going on shrinking rapidly: she soon foundout that the cause of this was the fan she was holding, and she droppedit hastily, just in time to avoid shrinking away altogether. ‘That WAS a narrow escape!’ said Alice, agood deal frightened at the sudden change, but very glad to find herselfstill in existence; ‘and now for the garden!’ and she ran with allspeed back to the little door: but, alas! the little door was shut again,and the little golden key was lying on the glass table as before, ‘and thingsare worse than ever,’ thought the poor child, ‘for I never was sosmall as this before, never! And I declare it’s too bad, that it is!’ As she said these words her foot slipped,and in another moment, splash! she was up to her chin in salt water. Her first idea was that shehad somehow fallen into the sea, ‘and in that case I can go back byrailway,’ she said to herself. (Alice had been to the seaside once inher life, and had come to the general conclusion, that wherever you goto on the English coast you find a number of bathing machines in thesea, some children digging in the sand with wooden spades, then a rowof lodging houses, and behind them a railway station.) However, she soonmade out that she was in the pool of tears which she had wept when shewas nine feet high. ‘I wish I hadn’t cried so much!’ said Alice,as she swam about, trying to find her way out. ‘I shall be punished for it now, I suppose,by being drowned in my own tears! That WILL be a queer thing, to be sure! However, everything is queer to-day.’ Just then she heard something splashing aboutin the pool a little way off, and she swam nearer to make out whatit was: at first she thought it must be a walrus or hippopotamus, but thenshe remembered how small she was now, and she soon made out that itwas only a mouse that had slipped in like herself. ‘Would it be of any use, now,’ thought Alice,’to speak to this mouse? Everything is so out-of-the-way down here,that I should think very likely it can talk: at any rate, there’s noharm in trying.’ So shebegan: ‘O Mouse, do you know the way out of this pool? I am very tiredof swimming about here, O Mouse!’ (Alice thought this must be the rightway of speaking to a mouse: she had never done such a thing before, butshe remembered having seen in her brother’s Latin Grammar, ‘A mouse–ofa mouse–to a mouse–a mouse–O mouse!’) The Mouse looked at her ratherinquisitively, and seemed to her to wink with one of its little eyes,but it said nothing. ‘Perhaps it doesn’t understand English,’ thoughtAlice; ‘I daresay it’s a French mouse, come over with William theConqueror.’ (For, with allher knowledge of history, Alice had no very clear notion how long agoanything had happened.) So she began again: ‘Ou est ma chatte?’ whichwas the first sentence in her French lesson-book. The Mouse gave asudden leap out of the water, and seemed to quiver all over with fright. ‘Oh, I beg your pardon!’ cried Alice hastily,afraid that she had hurt the poor animal’s feelings. ‘I quite forgot you didn’t like cats.’ ‘Not like cats!’ cried the Mouse, in a shrill,passionate voice. ‘WouldYOU like cats if you were me?’ ‘Well, perhaps not,’ said Alice in a soothingtone: ‘don’t be angry about it. And yet I wish I could show you our cat Dinah:I think you’d take a fancy to cats if you could only seeher. She is such a dear quietthing,’ Alice went on, half to herself, as she swam lazily about in thepool, ‘and she sits purring so nicely by the fire, licking her paws andwashing her face–and she is such a nice soft thing to nurse–and she’ssuch a capital one for catching mice–oh, I beg your pardon!’ criedAlice again, for this time the Mouse was bristling all over, and shefelt certain it must be really offended. ‘We won’t talk about her anymore if you’d rather not.’ ‘We indeed!’ cried the Mouse, who was tremblingdown to the end of his tail. ‘As if I would talk on such a subject! Our family always HATEDcats: nasty, low, vulgar things! Don’t let me hear the name again!’ ‘I won’t indeed!’ said Alice, in a great hurryto change the subject of conversation. ‘Are you–are you fond–of–of dogs?’ The Mouse did notanswer, so Alice went on eagerly: ‘There is such a nice little dog nearour house I should like to show you! A little bright-eyed terrier, youknow, with oh, such long curly brown hair! And it’ll fetch things whenyou throw them, and it’ll sit up and beg for its dinner, and all sortsof things–I can’t remember half of them–and it belongs to a farmer,you know, and he says it’s so useful, it’s worth a hundred pounds! Hesays it kills all the rats and–oh dear!’ cried Alice in a sorrowfultone, ‘I’m afraid I’ve offended it again!’ For the Mouse was swimmingaway from her as hard as it could go, and making quite a commotion inthe pool as it went. So she called softly after it, ‘Mouse dear! Do come back again, and wewon’t talk about cats or dogs either, if you don’t like them!’ When theMouse heard this, it turned round and swam slowly back to her: itsface was quite pale (with passion, Alice thought), and it said in a lowtrembling voice, ‘Let us get to the shore, and then I’ll tell you myhistory, and you’ll understand why it is I hate cats and dogs.’ It was high time to go, for the pool was gettingquite crowded with the birds and animals that had fallen into it:there were a Duck and a Dodo, a Lory and an Eaglet, and several other curiouscreatures. Alice led theway, and the whole party swam to the shore. CHAPTER 3. A Caucus-Race and a Long Tale They were indeed a queer-looking party thatassembled on the bank–the birds with draggled feathers, the animalswith their fur clinging close to them, and all dripping wet, cross, anduncomfortable. The first question of course was, how to getdry again: they had a consultation about this, and after a few minutesit seemed quite natural to Alice to find herself talking familiarlywith them, as if she had known them all her life. Indeed, she had quite a long argument withthe Lory, who at last turned sulky, and wouldonly say, ‘I am older than you, and must know better’; and this Alicewould not allow without knowing how old it was, and, as the Lory positivelyrefused to tell its age, there was no more to be said. At last the Mouse, who seemed to be a personof authority among them, called out, ‘Sit down, all of you, and listento me! I’LL soon make youdry 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 didnot get dry very soon. ‘Ahem!’ said the Mouse with an important air,’are you all ready? Thisis the driest thing I know. Silence all round, if you please! “Williamthe Conqueror, whose cause was favoured by the pope, was soon submittedto by the English, who wanted leaders, and had been of late muchaccustomed to usurpation and conquest. Edwin and Morcar, the earls ofMercia 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. “Edwin and Morcar,the earls of Mercia and Northumbria, declared for him: and even Stigand,the patriotic archbishop of Canterbury, found it advisable–“‘ ‘Found WHAT?’ said the Duck. ‘Found IT,’ the Mouse replied rather crossly:’of course you know what “it” means.’ ‘I know what “it” means well enough, whenI find a thing,’ said the Duck: ‘it’s generally a frog or a worm. The question is, what did thearchbishop find?’ The Mouse did not notice this question, buthurriedly went on, ‘”–found it advisable to go with Edgar Atheling tomeet William and offer him the crown. William’s conduct at first was moderate. But the insolence of hisNormans–” How are you getting on now, my dear?’ it continued, turningto Alice as it spoke. ‘As wet as ever,’ said Alice in a melancholytone: ‘it doesn’t seem to dry me at all.’ ‘In that case,’ said the Dodo solemnly, risingto its feet, ‘I move that the meeting adjourn, for the immediateadoption of more energetic remedies–‘ ‘Speak English!’ said the Eaglet. ‘I don’t know the meaning of halfthose long words, and, what’s more, I don’t believe you do either!’ Andthe Eaglet bent down its head to hide a smile: some of the other birdstittered audibly. ‘What I was going to say,’ said the Dodo inan offended tone, ‘was, that the best thing to get us dry would be a Caucus-race.’ ‘What IS a Caucus-race?’ said Alice; not thatshe wanted much to know, but the Dodo had paused as if it thought thatSOMEBODY ought to speak, and no one else seemed inclined to say anything. ‘Why,’ said the Dodo, ‘the best way to explainit is to do it.’ (And, asyou might like to try the thing yourself, some winter day, I will tellyou how the Dodo managed it.) First it marked out a race-course, in a sortof circle, (‘the exact shape doesn’t matter,’ it said,) and thenall the party were placed along the course, here and there. There was no ‘One, two, three, andaway,’ but they began running when they liked, and left off when theyliked, so that it was not easy to know when the race was over. However,when they had been running half an hour or so, and were quite dry again,the Dodo suddenly called out ‘The race is over!’ and they all crowdedround it, panting, and asking, ‘But who has won?’ This question the Dodo could not answer withouta great deal of thought, and it sat for a long time with one fingerpressed upon its forehead (the position in which you usually see Shakespeare,in the pictures of him), while the rest waited in silence. At last the Dodo said,’EVERYBODY has won, and all must have prizes.’ ‘But who is to give the prizes?’ quite a chorus of voices asked. ‘Why, SHE, of course,’ said the Dodo, pointingto Alice with one finger; and the whole party at once crowded roundher, calling out in a confused way, ‘Prizes! Prizes!’ Alice had no idea what to do, and in despairshe put her hand in her pocket, and pulled out a box of comfits, (luckilythe salt water had not got into it), and handed them round asprizes. There was exactly onea-piece all round. ‘But she must have a prize herself, you know,’said the Mouse. ‘Of course,’ the Dodo replied very gravely. ‘What else have you got inyour pocket?’ he went on, turning to Alice. ‘Only a thimble,’ said Alice sadly. ‘Hand it over here,’ said the Dodo. Then they all crowded round her once more,while the Dodo solemnly presented the thimble, saying ‘We beg youracceptance of this elegant thimble’; and, when it had finished this shortspeech, they all cheered. Alice thought the whole thing very absurd,but they all looked so grave that she did not dare to laugh; and, as shecould not think of anything to say, she simply bowed, and took the thimble,looking as solemn as she could. The next thing was to eat the comfits: thiscaused some noise and confusion, as the large birds complained thatthey could not taste theirs, and the small ones choked and hadto be patted on the back. However, it was over at last, and they satdown again in a ring, and begged the Mouse to tell them something more. ‘You promised to tell me your history, youknow,’ said Alice, ‘and why it is you hate–C and D,’ she added in a whisper,half afraid that it would be offended again. ‘Mine is a long and a sad tale!’ said theMouse, turning to Alice, and sighing. ‘It IS a long tail, certainly,’ said Alice,looking down with wonder at the Mouse’s tail; ‘but why do you call itsad?’ And she kept on puzzlingabout it while the Mouse was speaking, so that her idea of the tale wassomething like this:– ‘Fury said to amouse, That he met in thehouse, “Let usboth go to law: I willprosecute YOU.–Come,I’ll take no denial; Wemust have a trial: Forreally this morning I’venothing to do.” Said themouse to the cur, “Sucha trial, dear Sir,With no juryor judge, would bewasting ourbreath.” “I’ll bejudge, I’ll be jury,”Said cunningold Fury: “I’lltry the wholecause, andcondemn youto death.”‘ ‘You are not attending!’ said the Mouse toAlice severely. ‘What are youthinking of?’ ‘I beg your pardon,’ said Alice very humbly:’you had got to the fifth bend, I think?’ ‘I had NOT!’ cried the Mouse, sharply andvery angrily. ‘A knot!’ said Alice, always ready to makeherself useful, and looking anxiously about her. ‘Oh, do let me help to undo it!’ ‘I shall do nothing of the sort,’ said theMouse, getting up and walking away. ‘You insult me by talking such nonsense!’ ‘I didn’t mean it!’ pleaded poor Alice. ‘But you’re so easily offended,you know!’ The Mouse only growled in reply. ‘Please come back and finish your story!’ Alice called after it; and theothers all joined in chorus, ‘Yes, please do!’ but the Mouse only shookits head impatiently, and walked a little quicker. ‘What a pity it wouldn’t stay!’ sighed the Lory, as soon as it was quiteout of sight; and an old Crab took the opportunity of saying to herdaughter ‘Ah, my dear! Let this be a lesson to you never to loseYOUR temper!’ ‘Hold your tongue, Ma!’ said the young Crab,a little snappishly. ‘You’re enough to try the patience of an oyster!’ ‘I wish I had our Dinah here, I know I do!’said Alice aloud, addressing nobody in particular. ‘She’d soon fetch it back!’ ‘And who is Dinah, if I might venture to askthe question?’ said the Lory. Alice replied eagerly, for she was alwaysready to talk about her pet: ‘Dinah’s our cat. And she’s such a capital one for catchingmice you can’t think! And oh, I wish you could see her after thebirds! Why,she’ll eat a little bird as soon as look at it!’ This speech caused a remarkable sensationamong the party. Some of thebirds hurried off at once: one old Magpie began wrapping itself up verycarefully, remarking, ‘I really must be getting home; the night-airdoesn’t suit my throat!’ and a Canary called out in a trembling voice toits children, ‘Come away, my dears! It’s high time you were all in bed!’ On various pretexts they all moved off, andAlice was soon left alone. ‘I wish I hadn’t mentioned Dinah!’ she saidto herself in a melancholy tone. ‘Nobody seems to like her, down here, andI’m sure she’s the best cat in the world! Oh, my dear Dinah! I wonder if I shall ever see youany more!’ And here poor Alice began to cry again, forshe felt very lonely and low-spirited. In a little while, however, she again hearda little pattering of footsteps in the distance, and she looked upeagerly, half hoping that the Mouse had changed his mind, and was comingback to finish his story. CHAPTER 4. The Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill It was the White Rabbit, trotting slowly backagain, and looking anxiously about as it went, as if it had lostsomething; and she heard it muttering to itself ‘The Duchess! The Duchess! Oh my dear paws! Ohmy fur and whiskers! She’ll get me executed, as sure as ferretsare ferrets! Where CAN I have dropped them, I wonder?’ Alice guessed in amoment that it was looking for the fan and the pair of white kid gloves,and she very good-naturedly began hunting about for them, but they werenowhere to be seen–everything seemed to have changed since her swim inthe pool, and the great hall, with the glass table and the little door,had vanished completely. Very soon the Rabbit noticed Alice, as shewent hunting about, and called out to her in an angry tone, ‘Why,Mary Ann, what ARE you doing out here? Run home this moment, and fetch me a pairof gloves and a fan! Quick, now!’ And Alice was so much frightened that sheran off at once in the direction it pointed to, without tryingto explain the mistake it had made. ‘He took me for his housemaid,’ she said toherself as she ran. ‘Howsurprised he’ll be when he finds out who I am! But I’d better take himhis fan and gloves–that is, if I can find them.’ As she said this, shecame upon a neat little house, on the door of which was a bright brassplate with the name ‘W. RABBIT’ engraved upon it. She went in withoutknocking, and hurried upstairs, in great fear lest she should meet thereal Mary Ann, and be turned out of the house before she had found thefan and gloves. ‘How queer it seems,’ Alice said to herself,’to be going messages for a rabbit! I suppose Dinah’ll be sending me on messagesnext!’ And shebegan fancying the sort of thing that would happen: ‘”Miss Alice! Comehere directly, and get ready for your walk!” “Coming in a minute,nurse! But I’ve got to see that the mouse doesn’tget out.” Only I don’tthink,’ Alice went on, ‘that they’d let Dinah stop in the house if itbegan ordering people about like that!’ By this time she had found her way into atidy little room with a table in the window, and on it (as she had hoped)a fan and two or three pairs of tiny white kid gloves: she took up thefan and a pair of the gloves, and was just going to leave the room, whenher eye fell upon a little bottle that stood near the looking-glass. There was no label this timewith the words ‘DRINK ME,’ but nevertheless she uncorked it and put itto her lips. ‘I know SOMETHING interesting is sure to happen,’she said to herself, ‘whenever I eat or drink anything;so I’ll just see what this bottle does. I do hope it’ll make me grow large again,for really I’m quite tired of being such a tiny littlething!’ It did so indeed, and much sooner than shehad expected: before she had drunk half the bottle, she found her headpressing against the ceiling, and had to stoop to save her neck from beingbroken. She hastily putdown the bottle, saying to herself ‘That’s quite enough–I hope I shan’tgrow any more–As it is, I can’t get out at the door–I do wish I hadn’tdrunk quite so much!’ Alas! it was too late to wish that! She went on growing, and growing,and very soon had to kneel down on the floor: in another minute therewas not even room for this, and she tried the effect of lying down withone elbow against the door, and the other arm curled round her head. Still she went on growing, and, as a lastresource, she put one arm out of the window, and one foot up the chimney,and said to herself ‘Now I can do no more, whatever happens. What WILL become of me?’ Luckily for Alice, the little magic bottlehad now had its full effect, and she grew no larger: still it was veryuncomfortable, and, as there seemed to be no sort of chance of her evergetting out of the room again, no wonder she felt unhappy. ‘It was much pleasanter at home,’ thoughtpoor Alice, ‘when one wasn’t always growing larger and smaller, and beingordered about by mice and rabbits. I almost wish I hadn’t gone down that rabbit-hole–andyet–and yet–it’s rather curious, you know, this sortof life! I do wonder whatCAN have happened to me! When I used to read fairy-tales, I fanciedthat kind of thing never happened, and now hereI am in the middle of one! There ought to be a book written about me,that there ought! And when Igrow up, I’ll write one–but I’m grown up now,’ she added in a sorrowfultone; ‘at least there’s no room to grow up any more HERE.’ ‘But then,’ thought Alice, ‘shall I NEVERget any older than I am now? That’ll be a comfort, one way–never to bean old woman–but then–always to have lessons to learn! Oh, I shouldn’t like THAT!’ ‘Oh, you foolish Alice!’ she answered herself. ‘How can you learnlessons in here? Why, there’s hardly room for YOU, and no roomat all for any lesson-books!’ And so she went on, taking first one sideand then the other, and making quite a conversation of it altogether; butafter a few minutes she heard a voice outside, and stopped to listen. ‘Mary Ann! Mary Ann!’ said the voice. ‘Fetch me my gloves this moment!’ Then came a little pattering of feet on thestairs. Alice knew it wasthe Rabbit coming to look for her, and she trembled till she shook thehouse, quite forgetting that she was now about a thousand times as largeas the Rabbit, and had no reason to be afraid of it. Presently the Rabbit came up to the door,and tried to open it; but, as the door opened inwards, and Alice’s elbowwas pressed hard against it, that attempt proved a failure. Alice heard it say to itself ‘Then I’llgo round and get in at the window.’ ‘THAT you won’t’ thought Alice, and, afterwaiting till she fancied she heard the Rabbit just under the window,she suddenly spread out her hand, and made a snatch in the air. She did not get hold of anything,but she heard a little shriek and a fall, and a crash of broken glass,from which she concluded that it was just possible it had fallen into acucumber-frame, or something of the sort. Next came an angry voice–the Rabbit’s–‘Pat! Pat! Where are you?’ Andthen a voice she had never heard before, ‘Sure then I’m here! Diggingfor apples, yer honour!’ ‘Digging for apples, indeed!’ said the Rabbitangrily. ‘Here! Come andhelp me out of THIS!’ (Sounds of more broken glass.) ‘Now tell me, Pat, what’s that in the window?’ ‘Sure, it’s an arm, yer honour!’ (He pronounced it ‘arrum.’) ‘An arm, you goose! Who ever saw one that size? Why, it fills the wholewindow!’ ‘Sure, it does, yer honour: but it’s an armfor all that.’ ‘Well, it’s got no business there, at anyrate: go and take it away!’ There was a long silence after this, and Alicecould only hear whispers now and then; such as, ‘Sure, I don’t likeit, yer honour, at all, at all!’ ‘Do as I tell you, you coward!’ and at lastshe spread out her hand again, and made another snatch in theair. This time there wereTWO little shrieks, and more sounds of broken glass. ‘What a number ofcucumber-frames there must be!’ thought Alice. ‘I wonder what they’ll donext! As for pulling me out of the window, I onlywish they COULD! I’msure I don’t want to stay in here any longer!’ She waited for some time without hearing anythingmore: at last came a rumbling of little cartwheels, and the soundof a good many voices all talking together: she made out the words:’Where’s the other ladder?–Why, I hadn’t to bring but one; Bill’sgot the other–Bill! fetch it here, lad!–Here, put ’em up at thiscorner–No, tie ’em together first–they don’t reach half highenough yet–Oh! they’ll do well enough; don’t be particular–Here,Bill! catch hold of this rope–Will the roof bear?–Mind that looseslate–Oh, it’s coming down! Heads below!’ (a loud crash)–‘Now, who didthat?–It was Bill, I fancy–Who’s to go down the chimney?–Nay,I shan’t! YOU do it!–That Iwon’t, then!–Bill’s to go down–Here, Bill! the master says you’re togo down the chimney!’ ‘Oh! So Bill’s got to come down the chimney, hashe?’ said Alice to herself. ‘Shy, they seem to put everything upon Bill! I wouldn’t be inBill’s place for a good deal: this fireplace is narrow, to be sure; butI THINK I can kick a little!’ She drew her foot as far down the chimneyas she could, and waited till she heard a little animal (she couldn’tguess of what sort it was) scratching and scrambling about in the chimneyclose above her: then, saying to herself ‘This is Bill,’ she gaveone sharp kick, and waited to see what would happen next. The first thing she heard was a general chorusof ‘There goes Bill!’ then the Rabbit’s voice along–‘Catch him,you by the hedge!’ then silence, and then another confusion of voices–‘Holdup his head–Brandy now–Don’t choke him–How was it, old fellow? What happened to you? Tellus all about it!’ Last came a little feeble, squeaking voice,(‘That’s Bill,’ thought Alice,) ‘Well, I hardly know–No more, thankye; I’m better now–but I’m a deal too flustered to tell you–all I knowis, something comes at me like a Jack-in-the-box, and up I goes likea sky-rocket!’ ‘So you did, old fellow!’ said the others. ‘We must burn the house down!’ said the Rabbit’svoice; and Alice called out as loud as she could, ‘If you do. I’ll set Dinah at you!’ There was a dead silence instantly, and Alicethought to herself, ‘I wonder what they WILL do next! If they had any sense, they’d take theroof off.’ After a minute or two, they began moving aboutagain, and Alice heard the Rabbit say, ‘A barrowful willdo, to begin with.’ ‘A barrowful of WHAT?’ thought Alice; but she had not long to doubt,for the next moment a shower of little pebbles came rattling in at thewindow, and some of them hit her in the face. ‘I’ll put a stop to this,’she said to herself, and shouted out, ‘You’d better not do that again!’which produced another dead silence. Alice noticed with some surprise that thepebbles were all turning into little cakes as they lay on the floor, anda bright idea came into her head. ‘If I eat one of these cakes,’ she thought,’it’s sure to make SOME change in my size; and as it can’t possiblymake me larger, it must make me smaller, I suppose.’ So she swallowed one of the cakes, and wasdelighted to find that she began shrinking directly. As soon as she was small enough to get throughthe door, she ran out of the house, and found quite a crowd of littleanimals and birds waiting outside. The poor little Lizard, Bill, wasin the middle, being held up by two guinea-pigs, who were giving itsomething out of a bottle. They all made a rush at Alice the moment sheappeared; but she ran off as hard as she could, and soon found herselfsafe in a thick wood. ‘The first thing I’ve got to do,’ said Aliceto herself, as she wandered about in the wood, ‘is to grow to my rightsize again; and the second thing is to find my way into that lovely garden. I think that will bethe best plan.’ It sounded an excellent plan, no doubt, andvery neatly and simply arranged; the only difficulty was, that shehad not the smallest idea how to set about it; and while she was peeringabout anxiously among the trees, a little sharp bark just over herhead made her look up in a great hurry. An enormous puppy was looking down at herwith large round eyes, and feebly stretching out one paw, trying to touchher. ‘Poor little thing!’said Alice, in a coaxing tone, and she tried hard to whistle to it; butshe was terribly frightened all the time at the thought that it might behungry, in which case it would be very likely to eat her up in spite ofall her coaxing. Hardly knowing what she did, she picked upa little bit of stick, and held it out to the puppy; whereupon the puppyjumped into the air off all its feet at once, with a yelp of delight,and rushed at the stick, and made believe to worry it; then Alice dodgedbehind a great thistle, to keep herself from being run over; and themoment she appeared on the other side, the puppy made another rush atthe stick, and tumbled head over heels in its hurry to get hold of it;then Alice, thinking it was very like having a game of play with a cart-horse,and expecting every moment to be trampled under its feet, ranround the thistle again; then the puppy began a series of short chargesat the stick, running a very little way forwards each time and a long wayback, and barking hoarsely all the while, till at last it sat down agood way off, panting, with its tongue hanging out of its mouth, and itsgreat eyes half shut. This seemed to Alice a good opportunity formaking her escape; so she set off at once, and ran till she was quitetired and out of breath, and till the puppy’s bark sounded quite faintin the distance. ‘And yet what a dear little puppy it was!’said Alice, as she leant against a buttercup to rest herself, and fannedherself with one of the leaves: ‘I should have liked teaching it tricksvery much, if–if I’d only been the right size to do it! Oh dear! I’d nearly forgotten thatI’ve got to grow up again! Let me see–how IS it to be managed? Isuppose I ought to eat or drink something or other; but the greatquestion is, what?’ The great question certainly was, what? Alice looked all round her atthe flowers and the blades of grass, but she did not see anything thatlooked like the right thing to eat or drink under the circumstances. There was a large mushroom growing near her,about the same height as herself; and when she had looked under it,and on both sides of it, and behind it, it occurred to her that she mightas well look and see what was on the top of it. She stretched herself up on tiptoe, and peepedover the edge of the mushroom, and her eyes immediately met thoseof a large caterpillar, that was sitting on the top with its armsfolded, quietly smoking a long hookah, and taking not the smallest noticeof her or of anything else. CHAPTER 5. Advice from a Caterpillar The Caterpillar and Alice looked at each otherfor some time in silence: at last the Caterpillar took the hookah outof its mouth, and addressed her in a languid, sleepy voice. ‘Who are YOU?’ said the Caterpillar. This was not an encouraging opening for aconversation. Alice replied,rather shyly, ‘I–I hardly know, sir, just at present–at least I knowwho I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have beenchanged several times since then.’ ‘What do you mean by that?’ said the Caterpillarsternly. ‘Explainyourself!’ ‘I can’t explain MYSELF, I’m afraid, sir’said Alice, ‘because I’m not myself, you see.’ ‘I don’t see,’ said the Caterpillar. ‘I’m afraid I can’t put it more clearly,’Alice replied very politely, ‘for I can’t understand it myself to beginwith; and being so many different sizes in a day is very confusing.’ ‘It isn’t,’ said the Caterpillar. ‘Well, perhaps you haven’t found it so yet,’said Alice; ‘but when you have to turn into a chrysalis–you will someday, you know–and then after that into a butterfly, I should thinkyou’ll feel it a little queer, won’t you?’ ‘Not a bit,’ said the Caterpillar. ‘Well, perhaps your feelings may be different,’said Alice; ‘all I know is, it would feel very queer to ME.’ ‘You!’ said the Caterpillar contemptuously. ‘Who are YOU?’ Which brought them back again to the beginningof the conversation. Alice felt a little irritated at the Caterpillar’smaking such VERY short remarks, and she drew herself up andsaid, very gravely, ‘I think, you ought to tell me who YOU are, first.’ ‘Why?’ said the Caterpillar. Here was another puzzling question; and asAlice could not think of any good reason, and as the Caterpillar seemedto be in a VERY unpleasant state of mind, she turned away. ‘Come back!’ the Caterpillar called afterher. ‘I’ve something importantto say!’ This sounded promising, certainly: Alice turnedand came back again. ‘Keep your temper,’ said the Caterpillar. ‘Is that all?’ said Alice, swallowing downher anger as well as she could. ‘No,’ said the Caterpillar. Alice thought she might as well wait, as shehad nothing else to do, and perhaps after all it might tell her somethingworth hearing. For someminutes it puffed away without speaking, but at last it unfolded itsarms, took the hookah out of its mouth again, and said, ‘So you thinkyou’re changed, do you?’ ‘I’m afraid I am, sir,’ said Alice; ‘I can’tremember things as I used–and I don’t keep the same size for tenminutes together!’ ‘Can’t remember WHAT things?’ said the Caterpillar. ‘Well, I’ve tried to say “HOW DOTH THE LITTLEBUSY BEE,” but it all came different!’ Alice replied in a very melancholy voice. ‘Repeat, “YOU ARE OLD, FATHER WILLIAM,”‘ saidthe Caterpillar. Alice folded her hands, and began:– ‘You are old, Father William,’ the young mansaid, ‘And your hair has become very white;And yet you incessantly stand on your head– Do you think, at your age, it is right?’ ‘In my youth,’ Father William replied to hisson, ‘I feared it might injure the brain;But, now that I’m perfectly sure I have none, Why, I do it again and again.’ ‘You are old,’ said the youth, ‘as I mentionedbefore, And have grown most uncommonly fat;Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door–Pray, what is the reason of that?’ ‘In my youth,’ said the sage, as he shookhis grey locks, ‘I kept all my limbs very suppleBy the use of this ointment–one shilling the box–Allow me to sell you a couple?’ ‘You are old,’ said the youth, ‘and your jawsare too weak For anything tougher than suet;Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak–Pray how did you manage to do it?’ ‘In my youth,’ said his father, ‘I took tothe law, And argued each case with my wife;And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw,Has lasted the rest of my life.’ ‘You are old,’ said the youth, ‘one wouldhardly suppose That your eye was as steady as ever;Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose–What made you so awfully clever?’ ‘I have answered three questions, and thatis enough,’ Said his father; ‘don’t give yourself airs! Do you think I can listen all day to suchstuff? Be off, or I’ll kick you down stairs!’ ‘That is not said right,’ said the Caterpillar. ‘Not QUITE right, I’m afraid,’ said Alice,timidly; ‘some of the words have got altered.’ ‘It is wrong from beginning to end,’ saidthe Caterpillar decidedly, and there was silence for some minutes. The Caterpillar was the first to speak. ‘What size do you want to be?’ it asked. ‘Oh, I’m not particular as to size,’ Alicehastily replied; ‘only one doesn’t like changing so often, you know.’ ‘I DON’T know,’ said the Caterpillar. Alice said nothing: she had never been somuch contradicted in her life before, and she felt that she was losing hertemper. ‘Are you content now?’ said the Caterpillar. ‘Well, I should like to be a LITTLE larger,sir, if you wouldn’t mind,’ said Alice: ‘three inches is such a wretchedheight to be.’ ‘It is a very good height indeed!’ said theCaterpillar angrily, rearing itself upright as it spoke (it was exactlythree inches high). ‘But I’m not used to it!’ pleaded poor Alice in a piteous tone. Andshe thought of herself, ‘I wish the creatures wouldn’t be so easilyoffended!’ ‘You’ll get used to it in time,’ said theCaterpillar; and it put the hookah into its mouth and began smoking again. This time Alice waited patiently until itchose to speak again. Ina minute or two the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouthand yawned once or twice, and shook itself. Then it got down off themushroom, and crawled away in the grass, merely remarking as it went,’One side will make you grow taller, and the other side will make yougrow shorter.’ ‘One side of WHAT? The other side of WHAT?’ thought Alice to herself. ‘Of the mushroom,’ said the Caterpillar, justas if she had asked it aloud; and in another moment it was out ofsight. Alice remained looking thoughtfully at themushroom for a minute, trying to make out which were the two sides of it;and as it was perfectly round, she found this a very difficult question. However, at last shestretched her arms round it as far as they would go, and broke off a bitof the edge with each hand. ‘And now which is which?’ she said to herself,and nibbled a little of the right-hand bit to try the effect: thenext moment she felt a violent blow underneath her chin: it had struck herfoot! She was a good deal frightened by this verysudden change, but she felt that there was no time to be lost, as shewas shrinking rapidly; so she set to work at once to eat some of the otherbit. Her chin was pressedso closely against her foot, that there was hardly room to open hermouth; but she did it at last, and managed to swallow a morsel of thelefthand bit. ‘Come, my head’s free at last!’ said Alicein a tone of delight, which changed into alarm in another moment, whenshe found that her shoulders were nowhere to be found: all she could see,when she looked down, was an immense length of neck, which seemed torise like a stalk out of a sea of green leaves that lay far below her. ‘What CAN all that green stuff be?’ said Alice. ‘And where HAVE myshoulders got to? And oh, my poor hands, how is it I can’t seeyou?’ She was moving them about as she spoke, butno result seemed to follow, except a little shaking among the distantgreen leaves. As there seemed to be no chance of gettingher hands up to her head, she tried to get her head down to them, and wasdelighted to find that her neck would bend about easily in any direction,like a serpent. She hadjust succeeded in curving it down into a graceful zigzag, and was goingto dive in among the leaves, which she found to be nothing but the topsof the trees under which she had been wandering, when a sharp hiss madeher draw back in a hurry: a large pigeon had flown into her face, andwas beating her violently with its wings. ‘Serpent!’ screamed the Pigeon. ‘I’m NOT a serpent!’ said Alice indignantly. ‘Let me alone!’ ‘Serpent, I say again!’ repeated the Pigeon,but in a more subdued tone, and added with a kind of sob, ‘I’ve triedevery way, and nothing seems to suit them!’ ‘I haven’t the least idea what you’re talkingabout,’ said Alice. ‘I’ve tried the roots of trees, and I’ve triedbanks, and I’ve tried hedges,’ the Pigeon went on, without attendingto her; ‘but those serpents! There’s no pleasing them!’ Alice was more and more puzzled, but she thoughtthere was no use in saying anything more till the Pigeon had finished. ‘As if it wasn’t trouble enough hatching theeggs,’ said the Pigeon; ‘but I must be on the look-out for serpentsnight and day! Why, Ihaven’t had a wink of sleep these three weeks!’ ‘I’m very sorry you’ve been annoyed,’ saidAlice, who was beginning to see its meaning. ‘And just as I’d taken the highest tree inthe wood,’ continued the Pigeon, raising its voice to a shriek, ‘andjust as I was thinking I should be free of them at last, they mustneeds come wriggling down from the sky! Ugh, Serpent!’ ‘But I’m NOT a serpent, I tell you!’ saidAlice. ‘I’m a–I’m a–‘ ‘Well! WHAT are you?’ said the Pigeon. ‘I can see you’re trying toinvent something!’ ‘I–I’m a little girl,’ said Alice, ratherdoubtfully, as she remembered the number of changes she had gone throughthat day. ‘A likely story indeed!’ said the Pigeon ina tone of the deepest contempt. ‘I’ve seen a good many little girls in mytime, but never ONE with such a neck as that! No, no! You’re a serpent; and there’s no usedenying it. I suppose you’ll be telling me next that younever tasted an egg!’ ‘I HAVE tasted eggs, certainly,’ said Alice,who was a very truthful child; ‘but little girls eat eggs quite asmuch as serpents do, you know.’ ‘I don’t believe it,’ said the Pigeon; ‘butif they do, why then they’re a kind of serpent, that’s all I can say.’ This was such a new idea to Alice, that shewas quite silent for a minute or two, which gave the Pigeon the opportunityof adding, ‘You’re looking for eggs, I know THAT well enough;and what does it matter to me whether you’re a little girl or a serpent?’ ‘It matters a good deal to ME,’ said Alicehastily; ‘but I’m not looking for eggs, as it happens; and if I was, I shouldn’twant YOURS: I don’t like them raw.’ ‘Well, be off, then!’ said the Pigeon in asulky tone, as it settled down again into its nest. Alice crouched down among the trees as wellas she could, for her neck kept getting entangledamong the branches, and every now and then she had to stop and untwistit. After a while sheremembered that she still held the pieces of mushroom in her hands, andshe set to work very carefully, nibbling first at one and then at theother, and growing sometimes taller and sometimes shorter, until she hadsucceeded in bringing herself down to her usual height. It was so long since she had been anythingnear the right size, that it felt quite strange at first; but she got usedto it in a few minutes, and began talking to herself, as usual. ‘Come, there’s half my plan donenow! How puzzling all these changes are! I’m never sure what I’m goingto be, from one minute to another! However, I’ve got back to my rightsize: the next thing is, to get into that beautiful garden–how IS thatto be done, I wonder?’ As she said this, she came suddenly upon anopen place, with a little house in it about fourfeet high. ‘Whoever livesthere,’ thought Alice, ‘it’ll never do to come upon them THIS size: why,I should frighten them out of their wits!’ So she began nibbling at therighthand bit again, and did not venture to go near the house till shehad brought herself down to nine inches high. CHAPTER 6. Pig and Pepper For a minute or two she stood looking at thehouse, and wondering what to do next, when suddenly a footman in liverycame running out of the wood–(she considered him to be a footmanbecause he was in livery: otherwise, judging by his face only, she wouldhave called him a fish)–and rapped loudly at the door withhis knuckles. It was openedby another footman in livery, with a round face, and large eyes like afrog; and both footmen, Alice noticed, had powdered hair that curled allover their heads. She felt very curious to know what it wasall about, and crept a little way out of the wood tolisten. The Fish-Footman began by producing from underhis arm a great letter, nearly as large as himself, and this he handedover to the other, saying, in a solemn tone, ‘For the Duchess. An invitation from the Queento play croquet.’ The Frog-Footman repeated, in the same solemntone, only changing the order of the words a little,’From the Queen. Aninvitation for the Duchess to play croquet.’ Then they both bowed low, and their curlsgot entangled together. Alice laughed so much at this, that she hadto run back into the wood for fear of their hearing her; and whenshe next peeped out the Fish-Footman was gone, and the other was sittingon the ground near the door, staring stupidly up into the sky. Alice went timidly up to the door, and knocked. ‘There’s no sort of use in knocking,’ saidthe Footman, ‘and that for two reasons. First, because I’m on the same side of thedoor as you are; secondly, because they’re making sucha noise inside, no one could possibly hear you.’ And certainly there was a most extraordinarynoise going on within–a constant howling and sneezing,and every now and then a great crash, as if a dish or kettle hadbeen broken to pieces. ‘Please, then,’ said Alice, ‘how am I to getin?’ ‘There might be some sense in your knocking,’the Footman went on without attending to her, ‘if we had the doorbetween us. For instance,if you were INSIDE, you might knock, and I could let you out, you know.’ He was looking up into the sky all the timehe was speaking, and this Alice thought decidedly uncivil. ‘But perhaps he can’t help it,’ shesaid to herself; ‘his eyes are so VERY nearly at the top of his head. But at any rate he might answer questions.–Howam I to get in?’ she repeated, aloud. ‘I shall sit here,’ the Footman remarked,’till tomorrow–‘ At this moment the door of the house opened,and a large plate came skimming out, straight at the Footman’s head:it just grazed his nose, and broke to pieces against one of the treesbehind him. ‘–or next day, maybe,’ the Footman continuedin the same tone, exactly as if nothing had happened. ‘How am I to get in?’ asked Alice again, ina louder tone. ‘ARE you to get in at all?’ said the Footman. ‘That’s the firstquestion, you know.’ It was, no doubt: only Alice did not liketo be told so. ‘It’s reallydreadful,’ she muttered to herself, ‘the way all the creatures argue. It’s enough to drive one crazy!’ The Footman seemed to think this a good opportunityfor repeating his remark, with variations. ‘I shall sit here,’ he said, ‘on and off,for days and days.’ ‘But what am I to do?’ said Alice. ‘Anything you like,’ said the Footman, andbegan whistling. ‘Oh, there’s no use in talking to him,’ saidAlice desperately: ‘he’s perfectly idiotic!’ And she opened the door and went in. The door led right into a large kitchen, whichwas full of smoke from one end to the other: the Duchess was sittingon a three-legged stool in the middle, nursing a baby; the cook was leaningover the fire, stirring a large cauldron which seemed to be full ofsoup. ‘There’s certainly too much pepper in thatsoup!’ Alice said to herself,as well as she could for sneezing. There was certainly too much of it in theair. Even the Duchesssneezed occasionally; and as for the baby, it was sneezing and howlingalternately without a moment’s pause. The only things in the kitchenthat did not sneeze, were the cook, and a large cat which was sitting onthe hearth and grinning from ear to ear. ‘Please would you tell me,’ said Alice, alittle timidly, for she was not quite sure whether it was good mannersfor her to speak first, ‘why your cat grins like that?’ ‘It’s a Cheshire cat,’ said the Duchess, ‘andthat’s why. Pig!’ She said the last word with such sudden violencethat Alice quite jumped; but she saw in another moment thatit was addressed to the baby, and not to her, so she took courage, and wenton again:– ‘I didn’t know that Cheshire cats always grinned;in fact, I didn’t know that cats COULD grin.’ ‘They all can,’ said the Duchess; ‘and mostof ’em do.’ ‘I don’t know of any that do,’ Alice saidvery politely, feeling quite pleased to have got into a conversation. ‘You don’t know much,’ said the Duchess; ‘andthat’s a fact.’ Alice did not at all like the tone of thisremark, and thought it would be as well to introduce some other subjectof conversation. While shewas trying to fix on one, the cook took the cauldron of soup off thefire, and at once set to work throwing everything within her reach atthe Duchess and the baby–the fire-irons came first; then followed ashower of saucepans, plates, and dishes. The Duchess took no notice ofthem even when they hit her; and the baby was howling so much already,that it was quite impossible to say whether the blows hurt it or not. ‘Oh, PLEASE mind what you’re doing!’ criedAlice, jumping up and down in an agony of terror. ‘Oh, there goes his PRECIOUS nose’; as anunusually large saucepan flew close by it, and verynearly carried it off. ‘If everybody minded their own business,’the Duchess said in a hoarse growl, ‘the world would go round a deal fasterthan it does.’ ‘Which would NOT be an advantage,’ said Alice,who felt very glad to get an opportunity of showing off a little ofher knowledge. ‘Just think ofwhat work it would make with the day and night! You see the earth takestwenty-four hours to turn round on its axis–‘ ‘Talking of axes,’ said the Duchess, ‘chopoff her head!’ Alice glanced rather anxiously at the cook,to see if she meant to take the hint; but the cook was busily stirringthe soup, and seemed not to be listening, so she went on again: ‘Twenty-fourhours, I THINK; or is it twelve? I–‘ ‘Oh, don’t bother ME,’ said the Duchess; ‘Inever could abide figures!’ And with that she began nursing her childagain, singing a sort of lullaby to it as she did so, and giving ita violent shake at the end of every line: ‘Speak roughly to your little boy,And beat him when he sneezes: He only does it to annoy,Because he knows it teases.’ CHORUS. (In which the cook and the baby joined):– ‘Wow! wow! wow!’ While the Duchess sang the second verse ofthe song, she kept tossing the baby violently up and down, and the poorlittle thing howled so, that Alice could hardly hear the words:– ‘I speak severely to my boy,I beat him when he sneezes; For he can thoroughly enjoyThe pepper when he pleases!’ CHORUS. ‘Wow! wow! wow!’ ‘Here! you may nurse it a bit, if you like!’the Duchess said to Alice, flinging the baby at her as she spoke. ‘I must go and get ready to playcroquet with the Queen,’ and she hurried out of the room. The cook threwa frying-pan after her as she went out, but it just missed her. Alice caught the baby with some difficulty,as it was a queer-shaped little creature, and held out its arms andlegs in all directions, ‘just like a star-fish,’ thought Alice. The poor little thing was snortinglike a steam-engine when she caught it, and kept doubling itself up andstraightening itself out again, so that altogether, for the first minuteor two, it was as much as she could do to hold it. As soon as she had made out the proper wayof nursing it, (which was to twist it up into a sort of knot, and thenkeep tight hold of its right ear and left foot, so as to prevent its undoingitself,) she carried it out into the open air. ‘IF I don’t take this child away with me,’thought Alice, ‘they’re sure to kill it in a day or two: wouldn’t it bemurder to leave it behind?’ She said the last words out loud, and thelittle thing grunted in reply (it had left off sneezing by this time). ‘Don’t grunt,’ said Alice; ‘that’s not atall a proper way of expressing yourself.’ The baby grunted again, and Alice looked veryanxiously into its face to see what was the matter with it. There could be no doubt that it hada VERY turn-up nose, much more like a snout than a real nose; also itseyes were getting extremely small for a baby: altogether Alice did notlike the look of the thing at all. ‘But perhaps it was only sobbing,’she thought, and looked into its eyes again, to see if there were anytears. No, there were no tears. ‘If you’re going to turn into a pig, my dear,’said Alice, seriously, ‘I’ll have nothing more to do with you. Mindnow!’ The poor little thing sobbed again (or grunted,it was impossible to say which), and they went on for some whilein silence. Alice was just beginning to think to herself,’Now, what am I to do with this creature when I get it home?’ when itgrunted again, so violently, that she looked down into its face in somealarm. This time there couldbe NO mistake about it: it was neither more nor less than a pig, and shefelt that it would be quite absurd for her to carry it further. So she set the little creature down, and feltquite relieved to see it trot away quietly into the wood. ‘If it had grown up,’ she saidto herself, ‘it would have made a dreadfully ugly child: but it makesrather a handsome pig, I think.’ And she began thinking over otherchildren she knew, who might do very well as pigs, and was just sayingto herself, ‘if one only knew the right way to change them–‘ when shewas a little startled by seeing the Cheshire Cat sitting on a bough of atree a few yards off. The Cat only grinned when it saw Alice. It looked good-natured, shethought: still it had VERY long claws and a great many teeth, so shefelt that it ought to be treated with respect. ‘Cheshire Puss,’ she began, rather timidly,as she did not at all know whether it would like the name: however, itonly grinned a little wider. ‘Come, it’s pleased so far,’ thought Alice,and she went on. ‘Would youtell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’ ‘That depends a good deal on where you wantto get to,’ said the Cat. ‘I don’t much care where–‘ said Alice. ‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’said the Cat. ‘–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,’ Alice addedas an explanation. ‘Oh, you’re sure to do that,’ said the Cat,’if you only walk long enough.’ Alice felt that this could not be denied,so she tried another question. ‘What sort of people live about here?’ ‘In THAT direction,’ the Cat said, wavingits right paw round, ‘lives a Hatter: and in THAT direction,’ waving theother paw, ‘lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they’re both mad.’ ‘But I don’t want to go among mad people,’Alice remarked. ‘Oh, you can’t help that,’ said the Cat: ‘we’reall mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.’ ‘How do you know I’m mad?’ said Alice. ‘You must be,’ said the Cat, ‘or you wouldn’thave come here.’ Alice didn’t think that proved it at all;however, she went on ‘And how do you know that you’re mad?’ ‘To begin with,’ said the Cat, ‘a dog’s notmad. You grant that?’ ‘I suppose so,’ said Alice. ‘Well, then,’ the Cat went on, ‘you see, adog growls when it’s angry, and wags its tail when it’s pleased. Now I growl when I’m pleased, andwag my tail when I’m angry. Therefore I’m mad.’ ‘I call it purring, not growling,’ said Alice. ‘Call it what you like,’ said the Cat. ‘Do you play croquet with theQueen to-day?’ ‘I should like it very much,’ said Alice,’but I haven’t been invited yet.’ ‘You’ll see me there,’ said the Cat, and vanished. Alice was not much surprised at this, shewas getting so used to queer things happening. While she was looking at the place where ithad been, it suddenly appeared again. ‘By-the-bye, what became of the baby?’ saidthe Cat. ‘I’d nearlyforgotten to ask.’ ‘It turned into a pig,’ Alice quietly said,just as if it had come back in a natural way. ‘I thought it would,’ said the Cat, and vanishedagain. Alice waited a little, half expecting to seeit again, but it did not appear, and after a minute or two she walkedon in the direction in which the March Hare was said to live. ‘I’ve seen hatters before,’ shesaid to herself; ‘the March Hare will be much the most interesting, andperhaps as this is May it won’t be raving mad–at least not so mad asit was in March.’ As she said this, she looked up, and therewas the Cat again, sitting on a branch of a tree. ‘Did you say pig, or fig?’ said the Cat. ‘I said pig,’ replied Alice; ‘and I wish youwouldn’t keep appearing and vanishing so suddenly: you make one quitegiddy.’ ‘All right,’ said the Cat; and this time itvanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and endingwith the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it hadgone. ‘Well! I’ve often seen a cat without a grin,’ thoughtAlice; ‘but a grin without a cat! It’s the most curious thing I ever saw inmy life!’ She had not gone much farther before she camein sight of the house of the March Hare: she thought it must bethe right house, because the chimneys were shaped like ears and the roofwas thatched with fur. Itwas so large a house, that she did not like to go nearer till she hadnibbled some more of the lefthand bit of mushroom, and raised herself toabout two feet high: even then she walked up towards it rather timidly,saying to herself ‘Suppose it should be raving mad after all! I almostwish I’d gone to see the Hatter instead!’ CHAPTER 7. A Mad Tea-Party There was a table set out under a tree infront of the house, and the March Hare and the Hatter were having teaat it: a Dormouse was sitting between them, fast asleep, and the other twowere using it as a cushion, resting their elbows on it, and talkingover its head. ‘Veryuncomfortable for the Dormouse,’ thought Alice; ‘only, as it’s asleep, Isuppose it doesn’t mind.’ The table was a large one, but the three wereall crowded together at one corner of it: ‘No room! No room!’ they cried out when they saw Alicecoming. ‘There’s PLENTY of room!’ said Alice indignantly,and she sat down in a large arm-chair at one end of thetable. ‘Have some wine,’ the March Hare said in anencouraging tone. Alice looked all round the table, but therewas nothing on it but tea. ‘I don’t see any wine,’ she remarked. ‘There isn’t any,’ said the March Hare. ‘Then it wasn’t very civil of you to offerit,’ said Alice angrily. ‘It wasn’t very civil of you to sit down withoutbeing invited,’ said the March Hare. ‘I didn’t know it was YOUR table,’ said Alice;’it’s laid for a great many more than three.’ ‘Your hair wants cutting,’ said the Hatter. He had been looking at Alicefor some time with great curiosity, and this was his first speech. ‘You should learn not to make personal remarks,’Alice said with some severity; ‘it’s very rude.’ The Hatter opened his eyes very wide on hearingthis; but all he SAID was, ‘Why is a raven like a writing-desk?’ ‘Come, we shall have some fun now!’ thoughtAlice. ‘I’m glad they’vebegun asking riddles.–I believe I can guess that,’ she added aloud. ‘Do you mean that you think you can find outthe answer to it?’ said the March Hare. ‘Exactly so,’ said Alice. ‘Then you should say what you mean,’ the MarchHare went on. ‘I do,’ Alice hastily replied; ‘at least–atleast I mean what I say–that’s the same thing, you know.’ ‘Not the same thing a bit!’ said the Hatter. ‘You might just as well saythat “I see what I eat” is the same thing as “I eat what I see”!’ ‘You might just as well say,’ added the MarchHare, ‘that “I like what I get” is the same thing as “I get what I like”!’ ‘You might just as well say,’ added the Dormouse,who seemed to be talking in his sleep, ‘that “I breathe whenI sleep” is the same thing as “I sleep when I breathe”!’ ‘It IS the same thing with you,’ said theHatter, and here the conversation dropped, and the party sat silentfor a minute, while Alice thought over all she could remember aboutravens and writing-desks, which wasn’t much. The Hatter was the first to break the silence. ‘What day of the monthis it?’ he said, turning to Alice: he had taken his watch out of hispocket, and was looking at it uneasily, shaking it every now and then,and holding it to his ear. Alice considered a little, and then said ‘Thefourth.’ ‘Two days wrong!’ sighed the Hatter. ‘I told you butter wouldn’t suitthe works!’ he added looking angrily at the March Hare. ‘It was the BEST butter,’ the March Hare meeklyreplied. ‘Yes, but some crumbs must have got in aswell,’ the Hatter grumbled: ‘you shouldn’t have put it in with the bread-knife.’ The March Hare took the watch and looked atit gloomily: then he dipped it into his cup of tea, and looked at it again:but he could think of nothing better to say than his first remark,’It was the BEST butter, you know.’ Alice had been looking over his shoulder withsome curiosity. ‘What afunny watch!’ she remarked. ‘It tells the day of the month, and doesn’ttell what o’clock it is!’ ‘Why should it?’ muttered the Hatter. ‘Does YOUR watch tell you whatyear it is?’ ‘Of course not,’ Alice replied very readily:’but that’s because it stays the same year for such a long time together.’ ‘Which is just the case with MINE,’ said theHatter. Alice felt dreadfully puzzled. The Hatter’s remark seemed to have nosort of meaning in it, and yet it was certainly English. ‘I don’t quiteunderstand you,’ she said, as politely as she could. ‘The Dormouse is asleep again,’ said the Hatter,and he poured a little hot tea upon its nose. The Dormouse shook its head impatiently, andsaid, without opening its eyes, ‘Of course, of course; just what I wasgoing to remark myself.’ ‘Have you guessed the riddle yet?’ the Hattersaid, turning to Alice again. ‘No, I give it up,’ Alice replied: ‘what’sthe answer?’ ‘I haven’t the slightest idea,’ said the Hatter. ‘Nor I,’ said the March Hare. Alice sighed wearily. ‘I think you might do something better withthe time,’ she said, ‘than waste it in askingriddles that have no answers.’ ‘If you knew Time as well as I do,’ said theHatter, ‘you wouldn’t talk about wasting IT. It’s HIM.’ ‘I don’t know what you mean,’ said Alice. ‘Of course you don’t!’ the Hatter said, tossinghis head contemptuously. ‘I dare say you never even spoke to Time!’ ‘Perhaps not,’ Alice cautiously replied: ‘butI know I have to beat time when I learn music.’ ‘Ah! that accounts for it,’ said the Hatter. ‘He won’t stand beating. Now, if you only kept on good terms with him,he’d do almost anything you liked with the clock. For instance, suppose it were nine o’clockin the morning, just time to begin lessons: you’donly have to whisper a hint to Time, and round goes the clock ina twinkling! Half-past one,time for dinner!’ (‘I only wish it was,’ the March Hare saidto itself in a whisper.) ‘That would be grand, certainly,’ said Alicethoughtfully: ‘but then–I shouldn’t be hungry for it, you know.’ ‘Not at first, perhaps,’ said the Hatter:’but you could keep it to half-past one as long as you liked.’ ‘Is that the way YOU manage?’ Alice asked. The Hatter shook his head mournfully. ‘Not I!’ he replied. ‘Wequarrelled last March–just before HE went mad, you know–‘ (pointingwith his tea spoon at the March Hare,) ‘–it was at the great concertgiven by the Queen of Hearts, and I had to sing “Twinkle, twinkle, little bat! How I wonder what you’re at!” You know the song, perhaps?’ ‘I’ve heard something like it,’ said Alice. ‘It goes on, you know,’ the Hatter continued,’in this way:– “Up above the world you fly,Like a tea-tray in the sky. Twinkle, twinkle–“‘ Here the Dormouse shook itself, and begansinging in its sleep ‘Twinkle, twinkle, twinkle, twinkle–‘ and went on solong that they had to pinch it to make it stop. ‘Well, I’d hardly finished the first verse,’said the Hatter, ‘when the Queen jumped up and bawled out, “He’s murderingthe time! Off with hishead!”‘ ‘How dreadfully savage!’ exclaimed Alice. ‘And ever since that,’ the Hatter went onin a mournful tone, ‘he won’t do a thing I ask! It’s always six o’clock now.’ A bright idea came into Alice’s head. ‘Is that the reason so manytea-things are put out here?’ she asked. ‘Yes, that’s it,’ said the Hatter with a sigh:’it’s always tea-time, and we’ve no time to wash the things betweenwhiles.’ ‘Then you keep moving round, I suppose?’ saidAlice. ‘Exactly so,’ said the Hatter: ‘as the thingsget used up.’ ‘But what happens when you come to the beginningagain?’ Alice venturedto ask. ‘Suppose we change the subject,’ the MarchHare interrupted, yawning. ‘I’m getting tired of this. I vote the young lady tells us a story.’ ‘I’m afraid I don’t know one,’ said Alice,rather alarmed at the proposal. ‘Then the Dormouse shall!’ they both cried. ‘Wake up, Dormouse!’ Andthey pinched it on both sides at once. The Dormouse slowly opened his eyes. ‘I wasn’t asleep,’ he said in ahoarse, feeble voice: ‘I heard every word you fellows were saying.’ ‘Tell us a story!’ said the March Hare. ‘Yes, please do!’ pleaded Alice. ‘And be quick about it,’ added the Hatter,’or you’ll be asleep again before it’s done.’ ‘Once upon a time there were three littlesisters,’ the Dormouse began in a great hurry; ‘and their names were Elsie,Lacie, and Tillie; and they lived at the bottom of a well–‘ ‘What did they live on?’ said Alice, who alwaystook a great interest in questions of eating and drinking. ‘They lived on treacle,’ said the Dormouse,after thinking a minute or two. ‘They couldn’t have done that, you know,’Alice gently remarked; ‘they’d have been ill.’ ‘So they were,’ said the Dormouse; ‘VERY ill.’ Alice tried to fancy to herself what suchan extraordinary ways of living would be like, but it puzzled her toomuch, so she went on: ‘But why did they live at the bottom of a well?’ ‘Take some more tea,’ the March Hare saidto Alice, very earnestly. ‘I’ve had nothing yet,’ Alice replied in anoffended tone, ‘so I can’t take more.’ ‘You mean you can’t take LESS,’ said the Hatter:’it’s very easy to take MORE than nothing.’ ‘Nobody asked YOUR opinion,’ said Alice. ‘Who’s making personal remarks now?’ the Hatter asked triumphantly. Alice did not quite know what to say to this:so she helped herself to some tea and bread-and-butter, and thenturned to the Dormouse, and repeated her question. ‘Why did they live at the bottom of a well?’ The Dormouse again took a minute or two tothink about it, and then said, ‘It was a treacle-well.’ ‘There’s no such thing!’ Alice was beginning very angrily, but theHatter and the March Hare went ‘Sh! sh!’ and the Dormouse sulkilyremarked, ‘If you can’t be civil, you’d better finish the story foryourself.’ ‘No, please go on!’ Alice said very humbly; ‘I won’t interruptagain. Idare say there may be ONE.’ ‘One, indeed!’ said the Dormouse indignantly. However, he consented togo on. ‘And so these three little sisters–they werelearning to draw, you know–‘ ‘What did they draw?’ said Alice, quite forgettingher promise. ‘Treacle,’ said the Dormouse, without consideringat all this time. ‘I want a clean cup,’ interrupted the Hatter:’let’s all move one place on.’ He moved on as he spoke, and the Dormousefollowed him: the March Hare moved into the Dormouse’s place, and Alicerather unwillingly took the place of the March Hare. The Hatter was the only one who got anyadvantage from the change: and Alice was a good deal worse off thanbefore, as the March Hare had just upset the milk-jug into his plate. Alice did not wish to offend the Dormouseagain, so she began very cautiously: ‘But I don’t understand. Where did they draw the treaclefrom?’ ‘You can draw water out of a water-well,’said the Hatter; ‘so I should think you could draw treacle out of a treacle-well–eh,stupid?’ ‘But they were IN the well,’ Alice said tothe Dormouse, not choosing to notice this last remark. ‘Of course they were’, said the Dormouse;’–well in.’ This answer so confused poor Alice, that shelet the Dormouse go on for some time without interrupting it. ‘They were learning to draw,’ the Dormousewent on, yawning and rubbing its eyes, for it was getting very sleepy;’and they drew all manner of things–everything that begins with an M–‘ ‘Why with an M?’ said Alice. ‘Why not?’ said the March Hare. Alice was silent. The Dormouse had closed its eyes by this time,and was going off into a doze; but, on being pinched by the Hatter,it woke up again with a little shriek, and went on: ‘–that beginswith an M, such as mouse-traps, and the moon, and memory, andmuchness–you know you say things are “much of a muchness”–did you eversee such a thing as a drawing of a muchness?’ ‘Really, now you ask me,’ said Alice, verymuch confused, ‘I don’t think–‘ ‘Then you shouldn’t talk,’ said the Hatter. This piece of rudeness was more than Alicecould bear: she got up in great disgust, and walked off; the Dormousefell asleep instantly, and neither of the others took the least noticeof her going, though she looked back once or twice, half hoping thatthey would call after her: the last time she saw them, they were tryingto put the Dormouse into the teapot. ‘At any rate I’ll never go THERE again!’ saidAlice as she picked her way through the wood. ‘It’s the stupidest tea-party I ever was atin all my life!’ Just as she said this, she noticed that oneof the trees had a door leading right into it. ‘That’s very curious!’ she thought. ‘Buteverything’s curious today. I think I may as well go in at once.’ And inshe went. Once more she found herself in the long hall,and close to the little glass table. ‘Now, I’ll manage better this time,’ she saidto herself, and began by taking the little golden key,and unlocking the door that led into the garden. Then she went to work nibbling at the mushroom(she had kept a piece of it in her pocket) tillshe was about a foot high: then she walked down the little passage: andTHEN–she found herself at last in the beautiful garden, among the brightflower-beds and the cool fountains. CHAPTER 8. The Queen’s Croquet-Ground A large rose-tree stood near the entranceof the garden: the roses growing on it were white, but there were threegardeners at it, busily painting them red. Alice thought this a very curious thing, andshe went nearer to watch them, and just as she cameup to them she heard one of them say, ‘Look out now, Five! Don’t go splashing paint over me likethat!’ ‘I couldn’t help it,’ said Five, in a sulkytone; ‘Seven jogged my elbow.’ On which Seven looked up and said, ‘That’sright, Five! Always lay theblame on others!’ ‘YOU’D better not talk!’ said Five. ‘I heard the Queen say onlyyesterday you deserved to be beheaded!’ ‘What for?’ said the one who had spoken first. ‘That’s none of YOUR business, Two!’ saidSeven. ‘Yes, it IS his business!’ said Five, ‘andI’ll tell him–it was for bringing the cook tulip-roots instead of onions.’ Seven flung down his brush, and had just begun’Well, of all the unjust things–‘ when his eye chanced to fall uponAlice, as she stood watching them, and he checked himself suddenly: theothers looked round also, and all of them bowed low. ‘Would you tell me,’ said Alice, a littletimidly, ‘why you are painting those roses?’ Five and Seven said nothing, but looked atTwo. Two began in a lowvoice, ‘Why the fact is, you see, Miss, this here ought to have been aRED rose-tree, and we put a white one in by mistake; and if the Queenwas to find it out, we should all have our heads cut off, you know. So you see, Miss, we’re doing our best, aforeshe comes, to–‘ At this moment Five, who had been anxiously lookingacross the garden, called out ‘The Queen! The Queen!’ and the three gardeners instantlythrew themselves flat upon their faces. There was a sound of many footsteps,and Alice looked round, eager to see the Queen. First came ten soldiers carrying clubs; thesewere all shaped like the three gardeners, oblong and flat, withtheir hands and feet at the corners: next the ten courtiers; these wereornamented all over with diamonds, and walked two and two, as the soldiersdid. After these camethe royal children; there were ten of them, and the little dears camejumping merrily along hand in hand, in couples: they were all ornamentedwith hearts. Next came the guests, mostly Kings and Queens,and among them Alice recognised the White Rabbit: itwas talking in a hurried nervous manner, smiling at everything thatwas said, and went by without noticing her. Then followed the Knave of Hearts, carryingthe King’s crown on a crimson velvet cushion; and, lastof all this grand procession, came THE KING AND QUEEN OF HEARTS. Alice was rather doubtful whether she oughtnot to lie down on her face like the three gardeners, but she could notremember ever having heard of such a rule at processions; ‘and besides,what would be the use of a procession,’ thought she, ‘if people hadall to lie down upon their faces, so that they couldn’t see it?’ So she stood still where she was,and waited. When the procession came opposite to Alice,they all stopped and looked at her, and the Queen said severely ‘Who isthis?’ She said it to theKnave of Hearts, who only bowed and smiled in reply. ‘Idiot!’ said the Queen, tossing her headimpatiently; and, turning to Alice, she went on, ‘What’s your name, child?’ ‘My name is Alice, so please your Majesty,’said Alice very politely; but she added, to herself, ‘Why, they’re onlya pack of cards, after all. I needn’t be afraid of them!’ ‘And who are THESE?’ said the Queen, pointingto the three gardeners who were lying round the rosetree; for, you see,as they were lying on their faces, and the pattern on their backs wasthe same as the rest of the pack, she could not tell whether they weregardeners, or soldiers, or courtiers, or three of her own children. ‘How should I know?’ said Alice, surprisedat her own courage. ‘It’s nobusiness of MINE.’ The Queen turned crimson with fury, and, afterglaring at her for a moment like a wild beast, screamed ‘Off withher head! Off–‘ ‘Nonsense!’ said Alice, very loudly and decidedly,and the Queen was silent. The King laid his hand upon her arm, and timidlysaid ‘Consider, my dear: she is only a child!’ The Queen turned angrily away from him, andsaid to the Knave ‘Turn them over!’ The Knave did so, very carefully, with onefoot. ‘Get up!’ said the Queen, in a shrill, loudvoice, and the three gardeners instantly jumped up, and began bowingto the King, the Queen, the royal children, and everybody else. ‘Leave off that!’ screamed the Queen. ‘You make me giddy.’ And then,turning to the rose-tree, she went on, ‘What HAVE you been doing here?’ ‘May it please your Majesty,’ said Two, ina very humble tone, going down on one knee as he spoke, ‘we were trying–‘ ‘I see!’ said the Queen, who had meanwhilebeen examining the roses. ‘Off with their heads!’ and the processionmoved on, three of the soldiers remaining behind to execute the unfortunategardeners, who ran to Alice for protection. ‘You shan’t be beheaded!’ said Alice, andshe put them into a large flower-pot that stood near. The three soldiers wandered about for aminute or two, looking for them, and then quietly marched off after theothers. ‘Are their heads off?’ shouted the Queen. ‘Their heads are gone, if it please your Majesty!’the soldiers shouted in reply. ‘That’s right!’ shouted the Queen. ‘Can you play croquet?’ The soldiers were silent, and looked at Alice,as the question was evidently meant for her. ‘Yes!’ shouted Alice. ‘Come on, then!’ roared the Queen, and Alicejoined the procession, wondering very much what would happen next. ‘It’s–it’s a very fine day!’ said a timidvoice at her side. She waswalking by the White Rabbit, who was peeping anxiously into her face. ‘Very,’ said Alice: ‘–where’s the Duchess?’ ‘Hush! Hush!’ said the Rabbit in a low, hurried tone. He lookedanxiously over his shoulder as he spoke, and then raised himself upontiptoe, put his mouth close to her ear, and whispered ‘She’s undersentence of execution.’ ‘What for?’ said Alice. ‘Did you say “What a pity!”?’ the Rabbit asked. ‘No, I didn’t,’ said Alice: ‘I don’t thinkit’s at all a pity. I said”What for?”‘ ‘She boxed the Queen’s ears–‘ the Rabbitbegan. Alice gave a littlescream of laughter. ‘Oh, hush!’ the Rabbit whispered in a frightenedtone. ‘The Queen will hear you! You see, she came rather late, and theQueen said–‘ ‘Get to your places!’ shouted the Queen ina voice of thunder, and people began running about in all directions,tumbling up against each other; however, they got settled down in aminute or two, and the game began. Alice thought she had never seen such a curiouscroquet-ground in her life; it was all ridges and furrows; theballs were live hedgehogs, the mallets live flamingoes, and the soldiershad to double themselves up and to stand on their hands and feet, tomake the arches. The chief difficulty Alice found at firstwas in managing her flamingo: she succeeded in getting its body tucked away,comfortably enough, under her arm, with its legs hanging down, but generally,just as she had got its neck nicely straightened out, and wasgoing to give the hedgehog a blow with its head, it WOULD twist itselfround and look up in her face, with such a puzzled expression that she couldnot help bursting out laughing: and when she had got its head down,and was going to begin again, it was very provoking to find thatthe hedgehog had unrolled itself, and was in the act of crawling away:besides all this, there was generally a ridge or furrow in the way wherevershe wanted to send the hedgehog to, and, as the doubled-up soldierswere always getting up and walking off to other parts of the ground,Alice soon came to the conclusion that it was a very difficult gameindeed. The players all played at once without waitingfor turns, quarrelling all the while, and fighting for the hedgehogs;and in a very short time the Queen was in a furious passion, andwent stamping about, and shouting ‘Off with his head!’ or ‘Off withher head!’ about once in a minute. Alice began to feel very uneasy: to be sure,she had not as yet had any dispute with the Queen, but she knew thatit might happen any minute, ‘and then,’ thought she, ‘what would becomeof me? They’re dreadfullyfond of beheading people here; the great wonder is, that there’s any oneleft alive!’ She was looking about for some way of escape,and wondering whether she could get away without being seen, when shenoticed a curious appearance in the air: it puzzled her very much at first,but, after watching it a minute or two, she made it out to be a grin,and she said to herself ‘It’s the Cheshire Cat: now I shall have somebodyto talk to.’ ‘How are you getting on?’ said the Cat, assoon as there was mouth enough for it to speak with. Alice waited till the eyes appeared, and thennodded. ‘It’s no usespeaking to it,’ she thought, ’till its ears have come, or at least oneof them.’ In another minute the whole head appeared,and then Alice put down her flamingo, and began an account ofthe game, feeling very glad she had someone to listen to her. The Cat seemed to think that there wasenough of it now in sight, and no more of it appeared. ‘I don’t think they play at all fairly,’ Alicebegan, in rather a complaining tone, ‘and they all quarrel sodreadfully one can’t hear oneself speak–and they don’t seem to haveany rules in particular; at least, if there are, nobody attends tothem–and you’ve no idea how confusing it is all the things being alive;for instance, there’s the arch I’ve got to go through next walking aboutat the other end of the ground–and I should have croqueted the Queen’shedgehog just now, only it ran away when it saw mine coming!’ ‘How do you like the Queen?’ said the Catin a low voice. ‘Not at all,’ said Alice: ‘she’s so extremely–‘Just then she noticed that the Queen was close behind her, listening:so she went on, ‘–likely to win, that it’s hardly worth whilefinishing the game.’ The Queen smiled and passed on. ‘Who ARE you talking to?’ said the King, goingup to Alice, and looking at the Cat’s head with great curiosity. ‘It’s a friend of mine–a Cheshire Cat,’ saidAlice: ‘allow me to introduce it.’ ‘I don’t like the look of it at all,’ saidthe King: ‘however, it may kiss my hand if it likes.’ ‘I’d rather not,’ the Cat remarked. ‘Don’t be impertinent,’ said the King, ‘anddon’t look at me like that!’ He got behind Alice as he spoke. ‘A cat may look at a king,’ said Alice. ‘I’ve read that in some book,but I don’t remember where.’ ‘Well, it must be removed,’ said the Kingvery decidedly, and he called the Queen, who was passing at the moment,’My dear! I wish you wouldhave this cat removed!’ The Queen had only one way of settling alldifficulties, great or small. ‘Off with his head!’ she said, without evenlooking round. ‘I’ll fetch the executioner myself,’ saidthe King eagerly, and he hurried off. Alice thought she might as well go back, andsee how the game was going on, as she heard the Queen’s voice in thedistance, screaming with passion. She had already heard her sentence three ofthe players to be executed for having missed their turns, andshe did not like the look of things at all, as the game was in suchconfusion that she never knew whether it was her turn or not. So she went in search of her hedgehog. The hedgehog was engaged in a fight with anotherhedgehog, which seemed to Alice an excellent opportunity for croquetingone of them with the other: the only difficulty was, that her flamingowas gone across to the other side of the garden, where Alice couldsee it trying in a helpless sort of way to fly up into a tree. By the time she had caught the flamingo andbrought it back, the fight was over, and both the hedgehogs were outof sight: ‘but it doesn’t matter much,’ thought Alice, ‘as all the archesare gone from this side of the ground.’ So she tucked it away under her arm, thatit might not escape again, and went back for a little moreconversation with her friend. When she got back to the Cheshire Cat, shewas surprised to find quite a large crowd collected round it: there wasa dispute going on between the executioner, the King, and the Queen,who were all talking at once, while all the rest were quite silent, andlooked very uncomfortable. The moment Alice appeared, she was appealedto by all three to settle the question, and they repeated their argumentsto her, though, as they all spoke at once, she found it very hardindeed to make out exactly what they said. The executioner’s argument was, that you couldn’tcut off a head unless there was a body to cut it off from: thathe had never had to do such a thing before, and he wasn’t going to beginat HIS time of life. The King’s argument was, that anything thathad a head could be beheaded, and that you weren’t to talk nonsense. The Queen’s argument was, that if somethingwasn’t done about it in less than no time she’d have everybody executed,all round. (It was this lastremark that had made the whole party look so grave and anxious.) Alice could think of nothing else to say but’It belongs to the Duchess: you’d better ask HER about it.’ ‘She’s in prison,’ the Queen said to the executioner:’fetch her here.’ And the executioner went off like an arrow. The Cat’s head began fading away the momenthe was gone, and, by the time he had come back with the Duchess,it had entirely disappeared; so the King and the executionerran wildly up and down looking for it, while the rest of the partywent back to the game. CHAPTER 9. The Mock Turtle’s Story ‘You can’t think how glad I am to see youagain, you dear old thing!’ said the Duchess, as she tucked her arm affectionatelyinto Alice’s, and they walked off together. Alice was very glad to find her in such apleasant temper, and thought to herself that perhaps it was only the pepperthat had made her so savage when they met in the kitchen. ‘When I’M a Duchess,’ she said to herself,(not in a very hopeful tone though), ‘I won’t have any pepper in my kitchenAT ALL. Soup does verywell without–Maybe it’s always pepper that makes people hot-tempered,’she went on, very much pleased at having found out a new kind ofrule, ‘and vinegar that makes them sour–and camomile that makesthem bitter–and–and barley-sugar and such things that make childrensweet-tempered. I only wish people knew that: then they wouldn’tbe so stingy about it, you know–‘ She had quite forgotten the Duchess by thistime, and was a little startled when she heard her voice close toher ear. ‘You’re thinkingabout something, my dear, and that makes you forget to talk. I can’ttell you just now what the moral of that is, but I shall remember it ina bit.’ ‘Perhaps it hasn’t one,’ Alice ventured toremark. ‘Tut, tut, child!’ said the Duchess. ‘Everything’s got a moral, if onlyyou can find it.’ And she squeezed herself up closer to Alice’sside as she spoke. Alice did not much like keeping so close toher: first, because the Duchess was VERY ugly; and secondly, becauseshe was exactly the right height to rest her chin upon Alice’sshoulder, and it was an uncomfortably sharp chin. However, she did not like to be rude, so shebore it as well as she could. ‘The game’s going on rather better now,’ shesaid, by way of keeping up the conversation a little. ”Tis so,’ said the Duchess: ‘and the moralof that is–“Oh, ’tis love, ’tis love, that makes the world go round!”‘ ‘Somebody said,’ Alice whispered, ‘that it’sdone by everybody minding their own business!’ ‘Ah, well! It means much the same thing,’ said the Duchess,digging her sharp little chin into Alice’s shoulder asshe added, ‘and the moral of THAT is–“Take care of the sense, and thesounds will take care of themselves.”‘ ‘How fond she is of finding morals in things!’ Alice thought to herself. ‘I dare say you’re wondering why I don’t putmy arm round your waist,’ the Duchess said after a pause: ‘the reasonis, that I’m doubtful about the temper of your flamingo. Shall I try the experiment?’ ‘HE might bite,’ Alice cautiously replied,not feeling at all anxious to have the experiment tried. ‘Very true,’ said the Duchess: ‘flamingoesand mustard both bite. Andthe moral of that is–“Birds of a feather flock together.”‘ ‘Only mustard isn’t a bird,’ Alice remarked. ‘Right, as usual,’ said the Duchess: ‘whata clear way you have of putting things!’ ‘It’s a mineral, I THINK,’ said Alice. ‘Of course it is,’ said the Duchess, who seemedready to agree to everything that Alice said; ‘there’s a largemustard-mine near here. Andthe moral of that is–“The more there is of mine, the less there is ofyours.”‘ ‘Oh, I know!’ exclaimed Alice, who had notattended to this last remark, ‘it’s a vegetable. It doesn’t look like one, but it is.’ ‘I quite agree with you,’ said the Duchess;’and the moral of that is–“Be what you would seem to be”–or ifyou’d like it put more simply–“Never imagine yourself not to beotherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or mighthave been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appearedto them to be otherwise.”‘ ‘I think I should understand that better,’Alice said very politely, ‘if I had it written down: but I can’t quite followit as you say it.’ ‘That’s nothing to what I could say if I chose,’the Duchess replied, in a pleased tone. ‘Pray don’t trouble yourself to say it anylonger than that,’ said Alice. ‘Oh, don’t talk about trouble!’ said the Duchess. ‘I make you a presentof everything I’ve said as yet.’ ‘A cheap sort of present!’ thought Alice. ‘I’m glad they don’t givebirthday presents like that!’ But she did not venture to say it outloud. ‘Thinking again?’ the Duchess asked, with another dig of hersharp little chin. ‘I’ve a right to think,’ said Alice sharply,for she was beginning to feel a little worried. ‘Just about as much right,’ said the Duchess,’as pigs have to fly; and the m–‘ But here, to Alice’s great surprise, the Duchess’svoice died away, even in the middle of her favourite word ‘moral,’and the arm that was linked into hers began to tremble. Alice looked up, and there stood the Queenin front of them, with her arms folded, frowning like a thunderstorm. ‘A fine day, your Majesty!’ the Duchess beganin a low, weak voice. ‘Now, I give you fair warning,’ shouted theQueen, stamping on the ground as she spoke; ‘either you or your headmust be off, and that in about half no time! Take your choice!’ The Duchess took her choice, and was gonein a moment. ‘Let’s go on with the game,’ the Queen saidto Alice; and Alice was too much frightened to say a word, but slowlyfollowed her back to the croquet-ground. The other guests had taken advantage of theQueen’s absence, and were resting in the shade: however, the momentthey saw her, they hurried back to the game, the Queen merely remarkingthat a moment’s delay would cost them their lives. All the time they were playing the Queen neverleft off quarrelling with the other players, and shouting ‘Off withhis head!’ or ‘Off with her head!’ Those whom she sentenced were taken into custodyby the soldiers, who of course had to leave off being archesto do this, so that by the end of half an hour or so there were noarches left, and all the players, except the King, the Queen, and Alice,were in custody and under sentence of execution. Then the Queen left off, quite out of breath,and said to Alice, ‘Have you seen the Mock Turtle yet?’ ‘No,’ said Alice. ‘I don’t even know what a Mock Turtle is.’ ‘It’s the thing Mock Turtle Soup is made from,’said the Queen. ‘I never saw one, or heard of one,’ said Alice. ‘Come on, then,’ said the Queen, ‘and he shalltell you his history,’ As they walked off together, Alice heard theKing say in a low voice, to the company generally, ‘You are all pardoned.’ ‘Come, THAT’S a goodthing!’ she said to herself, for she had felt quite unhappy at thenumber of executions the Queen had ordered. They very soon came upon a Gryphon, lyingfast asleep in the sun. (IF you don’t know what a Gryphon is, lookat the picture.) ‘Up, lazything!’ said the Queen, ‘and take this young lady to see the MockTurtle, and to hear his history. I must go back and see after someexecutions I have ordered’; and she walked off, leaving Alice alone withthe Gryphon. Alice did not quite like the look of the creature,but on the whole she thought it would be quite assafe to stay with it as to go after that savage Queen: so she waited. The Gryphon sat up and rubbed its eyes: thenit watched the Queen till she was out of sight: then it chuckled. ‘What fun!’ said the Gryphon,half to itself, half to Alice. ‘What IS the fun?’ said Alice. ‘Why, SHE,’ said the Gryphon. ‘It’s all her fancy, that: they neverexecutes nobody, you know. Come on!’ ‘Everybody says “come on!” here,’ thoughtAlice, as she went slowly after it: ‘I never was so ordered about inall my life, never!’ They had not gone far before they saw theMock Turtle in the distance, sitting sad and lonely on a little ledge ofrock, and, as they came nearer, Alice could hear him sighing as ifhis heart would break. Shepitied him deeply. ‘What is his sorrow?’ she asked the Gryphon,and the Gryphon answered, very nearly in the samewords as before, ‘It’s all his fancy, that: he hasn’t got no sorrow, youknow. Come on!’ So they went up to the Mock Turtle, who lookedat them with large eyes full of tears, but said nothing. ‘This here young lady,’ said the Gryphon,’she wants for to know your history, she do.’ ‘I’ll tell it her,’ said the Mock Turtle ina deep, hollow tone: ‘sit down, both of you, and don’t speak a wordtill I’ve finished.’ So they sat down, and nobody spoke for someminutes. Alice thought toherself, ‘I don’t see how he can EVEN finish, if he doesn’t begin.’ Butshe waited patiently. ‘Once,’ said the Mock Turtle at last, witha deep sigh, ‘I was a real Turtle.’ These words were followed by a very long silence,broken only by an occasional exclamation of ‘Hjckrrh!’ fromthe Gryphon, and the constant heavy sobbing of the Mock Turtle. Alice was very nearly getting up andsaying, ‘Thank you, sir, for your interesting story,’ but she couldnot help thinking there MUST be more to come, so she sat still and saidnothing. ‘When we were little,’ the Mock Turtle wenton at last, more calmly, though still sobbing a little now and then,’we went to school in the sea. The master was an old Turtle–we used to callhim Tortoise–‘ ‘Why did you call him Tortoise, if he wasn’tone?’ Alice asked. ‘We called him Tortoise because he taughtus,’ said the Mock Turtle angrily: ‘really you are very dull!’ ‘You ought to be ashamed of yourself for askingsuch a simple question,’ added the Gryphon; and then they both satsilent and looked at poor Alice, who felt ready to sink into the earth. At last the Gryphon saidto the Mock Turtle, ‘Drive on, old fellow! Don’t be all day about it!’and he went on in these words: ‘Yes, we went to school in the sea, thoughyou mayn’t believe it–‘ ‘I never said I didn’t!’ interrupted Alice. ‘You did,’ said the Mock Turtle. ‘Hold your tongue!’ added the Gryphon, beforeAlice could speak again. The Mock Turtle went on. ‘We had the best of educations–in fact, wewent to school every day–‘ ‘I’VE been to a day-school, too,’ said Alice;’you needn’t be so proud as all that.’ ‘With extras?’ asked the Mock Turtle a littleanxiously. ‘Yes,’ said Alice, ‘we learned French andmusic.’ ‘And washing?’ said the Mock Turtle. ‘Certainly not!’ said Alice indignantly. ‘Ah! then yours wasn’t a really good school,’said the Mock Turtle in a tone of great relief. ‘Now at OURS they had at the end of the bill,”French, music, AND WASHING–extra.”‘ ‘You couldn’t have wanted it much,’ said Alice;’living at the bottom of the sea.’ ‘I couldn’t afford to learn it.’ said theMock Turtle with a sigh. ‘Ionly took the regular course.’ ‘What was that?’ inquired Alice. ‘Reeling and Writhing, of course, to beginwith,’ the Mock Turtle replied; ‘and then the different branchesof Arithmetic–Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.’ ‘I never heard of “Uglification,”‘ Alice venturedto say. ‘What is it?’ The Gryphon lifted up both its paws in surprise. ‘What! Never heard ofuglifying!’ it exclaimed. ‘You know what to beautify is, I suppose?’ ‘Yes,’ said Alice doubtfully: ‘it means–to–make–anything–prettier.’ ‘Well, then,’ the Gryphon went on, ‘if youdon’t know what to uglify is, you ARE a simpleton.’ Alice did not feel encouraged to ask any morequestions about it, so she turned to the Mock Turtle, and said ‘Whatelse had you to learn?’ ‘Well, there was Mystery,’ the Mock Turtlereplied, counting off the subjects on his flappers, ‘–Mystery,ancient and modern, with Seaography: then Drawling–the Drawling-masterwas an old conger-eel, that used to come once a week: HE taught usDrawling, Stretching, and Fainting in Coils.’ ‘What was THAT like?’ said Alice. ‘Well, I can’t show it you myself,’ the MockTurtle said: ‘I’m too stiff. And the Gryphon never learnt it.’ ‘Hadn’t time,’ said the Gryphon: ‘I went tothe Classics master, though. He was an old crab, HE was.’ ‘I never went to him,’ the Mock Turtle saidwith a sigh: ‘he taught Laughing and Grief, they used to say.’ ‘So he did, so he did,’ said the Gryphon,sighing in his turn; and both creatures hid their faces in their paws. ‘And how many hours a day did you do lessons?’said Alice, in a hurry to change the subject. ‘Ten hours the first day,’ said the Mock Turtle:’nine the next, and so on.’ ‘What a curious plan!’ exclaimed Alice. ‘That’s the reason they’re called lessons,’the Gryphon remarked: ‘because they lessen from day to day.’ This was quite a new idea to Alice, and shethought it over a little before she made her next remark. ‘Then the eleventh day must have been aholiday?’ ‘Of course it was,’ said the Mock Turtle. ‘And how did you manage on the twelfth?’ Alice went on eagerly. ‘That’s enough about lessons,’ the Gryphoninterrupted in a very decided tone: ‘tell her something about the gamesnow.’ CHAPTER 10. The Lobster Quadrille The Mock Turtle sighed deeply, and drew theback of one flapper across his eyes. He looked at Alice, and tried to speak, butfor a minute or two sobs choked his voice. ‘Same as if he had a bone in his throat,’said the Gryphon: and it set to work shaking him and punching him inthe back. At last the Mock Turtle recovered his voice,and, with tears running down his cheeks, he went on again:– ‘You may not have lived much under the sea–‘(‘I haven’t,’ said Alice)–‘and perhaps you were never even introducedto a lobster–‘ (Alice began to say ‘I once tasted–‘ butchecked herself hastily, and said ‘No, never’) ‘–so you can have no ideawhat a delightful thing a Lobster Quadrille is!’ ‘No, indeed,’ said Alice. ‘What sort of a dance is it?’ ‘Why,’ said the Gryphon, ‘you first form intoa line along the sea-shore–‘ ‘Two lines!’ cried the Mock Turtle. ‘Seals, turtles, salmon, and so on;then, when you’ve cleared all the jelly-fish out of the way–‘ ‘THAT generally takes some time,’ interruptedthe Gryphon. ‘–you advance twice–‘ ‘Each with a lobster as a partner!’ criedthe Gryphon. ‘Of course,’ the Mock Turtle said: ‘advancetwice, set to partners–‘ ‘–change lobsters, and retire in same order,’continued the Gryphon. ‘Then, you know,’ the Mock Turtle went on,’you throw the–‘ ‘The lobsters!’ shouted the Gryphon, witha bound into the air. ‘–as far out to sea as you can–‘ ‘Swim after them!’ screamed the Gryphon. ‘Turn a somersault in the sea!’ cried theMock Turtle, capering wildly about. ‘Change lobsters again!’ yelled the Gryphonat the top of its voice. ‘Back to land again, and that’s all the firstfigure,’ said the Mock Turtle, suddenly dropping his voice; and thetwo creatures, who had been jumping about like mad things all this time,sat down again very sadly and quietly, and looked at Alice. ‘It must be a very pretty dance,’ said Alicetimidly. ‘Would you like to see a little of it?’ saidthe Mock Turtle. ‘Very much indeed,’ said Alice. ‘Come, let’s try the first figure!’ said theMock Turtle to the Gryphon. ‘We can do without lobsters, you know. Which shall sing?’ ‘Oh, YOU sing,’ said the Gryphon. ‘I’ve forgotten the words.’ So they began solemnly dancing round and roundAlice, every now and then treading on her toes when they passedtoo close, and waving their forepaws to mark the time, while the MockTurtle sang this, very slowly and sadly:– ‘”Will you walk a little faster?” said a whitingto a snail. “There’s a porpoise close behind us, and he’streading on my tail. See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtlesall advance! They are waiting on the shingle–will youcome and join the dance? Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you,will you join the dance? Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you,won’t you join the dance? “You can really have no notion how delightfulit will be When they take us up and throw us, with thelobsters, out to sea!” But the snail replied “Too far, too far!”and gave a look askance– Said he thanked the whiting kindly, but hewould not join the dance. Would not, could not, would not, could not,would not join the dance. Would not, could not, would not, could not,could not join the dance. ‘”What matters it how far we go?” his scalyfriend replied. “There is another shore, you know, upon theother side. The further off from England the nearer isto France– Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but comeand join the dance. Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you,will you join the dance? Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you,won’t you join the dance?”‘ ‘Thank you, it’s a very interesting danceto watch,’ said Alice, feeling very glad that it was over at last: ‘and Ido so like that curious song about the whiting!’ ‘Oh, as to the whiting,’ said the Mock Turtle,’they–you’ve seen them, of course?’ ‘Yes,’ said Alice, ‘I’ve often seen them atdinn–‘ she checked herself hastily. ‘I don’t know where Dinn may be,’ said theMock Turtle, ‘but if you’ve seen them so often, of course you know whatthey’re like.’ ‘I believe so,’ Alice replied thoughtfully. ‘They have their tails intheir mouths–and they’re all over crumbs.’ ‘You’re wrong about the crumbs,’ said theMock Turtle: ‘crumbs would all wash off in the sea. But they HAVE their tails in their mouths;and the reason is–‘ here the Mock Turtle yawned andshut his eyes.–‘Tell her about the reason and all that,’ he said tothe Gryphon. ‘The reason is,’ said the Gryphon, ‘that theyWOULD go with the lobsters to the dance. So they got thrown out to sea. So they had to fall a longway. So they got their tails fast in their mouths. So they couldn’t getthem out again. That’s all.’ ‘Thank you,’ said Alice, ‘it’s very interesting. I never knew so muchabout a whiting before.’ ‘I can tell you more than that, if you like,’said the Gryphon. ‘Do youknow why it’s called a whiting?’ ‘I never thought about it,’ said Alice. ‘Why?’ ‘IT DOES THE BOOTS AND SHOES.’ the Gryphon replied very solemnly. Alice was thoroughly puzzled. ‘Does the boots and shoes!’ she repeatedin a wondering tone. ‘Why, what are YOUR shoes done with?’ saidthe Gryphon. ‘I mean, whatmakes them so shiny?’ Alice looked down at them, and considereda little before she gave her answer. ‘They’re done with blacking, I believe.’ ‘Boots and shoes under the sea,’ the Gryphonwent on in a deep voice, ‘are done with a whiting. Now you know.’ ‘And what are they made of?’ Alice asked in a tone of great curiosity. ‘Soles and eels, of course,’ the Gryphon repliedrather impatiently: ‘any shrimp could have told you that.’ ‘If I’d been the whiting,’ said Alice, whosethoughts were still running on the song, ‘I’d have said to the porpoise,”Keep back, please: we don’t want YOU with us!”‘ ‘They were obliged to have him with them,’the Mock Turtle said: ‘no wise fish would go anywhere without a porpoise.’ ‘Wouldn’t it really?’ said Alice in a toneof great surprise. ‘Of course not,’ said the Mock Turtle: ‘why,if a fish came to ME, and told me he was going a journey, I should say”With what porpoise?”‘ ‘Don’t you mean “purpose”?’ said Alice. ‘I mean what I say,’ the Mock Turtle repliedin an offended tone. Andthe Gryphon added ‘Come, let’s hear some of YOUR adventures.’ ‘I could tell you my adventures–beginningfrom this morning,’ said Alice a little timidly: ‘but it’s no use goingback to yesterday, because I was a different person then.’ ‘Explain all that,’ said the Mock Turtle. ‘No, no! The adventures first,’ said the Gryphon inan impatient tone: ‘explanations take such a dreadful time.’ So Alice began telling them her adventuresfrom the time when she first saw the White Rabbit. She was a little nervous about it just atfirst, the two creatures got so close to her, oneon each side, and opened their eyes and mouths so VERY wide, but shegained courage as she went on. Her listeners were perfectly quiet till shegot to the part about her repeating ‘YOU ARE OLD, FATHER WILLIAM,’to the Caterpillar, and the words all coming different, and then the MockTurtle drew a long breath, and said ‘That’s very curious.’ ‘It’s all about as curious as it can be,’said the Gryphon. ‘It all came different!’ the Mock Turtle repeatedthoughtfully. ‘Ishould like to hear her try and repeat something now. Tell her tobegin.’ He looked at the Gryphon as if he thoughtit had some kind of authority over Alice. ‘Stand up and repeat “‘TIS THE VOICE OF THESLUGGARD,”‘ said the Gryphon. ‘How the creatures order one about, and makeone repeat lessons!’ thought Alice; ‘I might as well be at schoolat once.’ However, shegot up, and began to repeat it, but her head was so full of the LobsterQuadrille, that she hardly knew what she was saying, and the words camevery queer indeed:– ”Tis the voice of the Lobster; I heard himdeclare, “You have baked me too brown, I must sugarmy hair.” As a duck with its eyelids, so he with hisnose Trims his belt and his buttons, and turnsout his toes.’ [later editions continued as followsWhen the sands are all dry, he is gay as a lark,And will talk in contemptuous tones of the Shark,But, when the tide rises and sharks are around, His voice has a timid and tremulous sound.] ‘That’s different from what I used to saywhen I was a child,’ said the Gryphon. ‘Well, I never heard it before,’ said theMock Turtle; ‘but it sounds uncommon nonsense.’ Alice said nothing; she had sat down withher face in her hands, wondering if anything would EVER happen ina natural way again. ‘I should like to have it explained,’ saidthe Mock Turtle. ‘She can’t explain it,’ said the Gryphon hastily. ‘Go on with the nextverse.’ ‘But about his toes?’ the Mock Turtle persisted. ‘How COULD he turn themout with his nose, you know?’ ‘It’s the first position in dancing.’ Alice said; but was dreadfullypuzzled by the whole thing, and longed to change the subject. ‘Go on with the next verse,’ the Gryphon repeatedimpatiently: ‘it begins “I passed by his garden.”‘ Alice did not dare to disobey, though shefelt sure it would all come wrong, and she went on in a trembling voice:– ‘I passed by his garden, and marked, withone eye, How the Owl and the Panther were sharing apie–‘ [later editions continued as followsThe Panther took pie-crust, and gravy, and meat,While the Owl had the dish as its share of the treat. When the pie was all finished, the Owl, asa boon, Was kindly permitted to pocket the spoon:While the Panther received knife and fork with a growl,And concluded the banquet–] ‘What IS the use of repeating all that stuff,’the Mock Turtle interrupted, ‘if you don’t explain it as yougo on? It’s by far the mostconfusing thing I ever heard!’ ‘Yes, I think you’d better leave off,’ saidthe Gryphon: and Alice was only too glad to do so. ‘Shall we try another figure of the LobsterQuadrille?’ the Gryphon went on. ‘Or would you like the Mock Turtle to singyou a song?’ ‘Oh, a song, please, if the Mock Turtle wouldbe so kind,’ Alice replied, so eagerly that the Gryphon said,in a rather offended tone, ‘Hm! No accounting for tastes! Sing her “Turtle Soup,” will you, oldfellow?’ The Mock Turtle sighed deeply, and began,in a voice sometimes choked with sobs, to sing this:– ‘Beautiful Soup, so rich and green,Waiting in a hot tureen! Who for such dainties would not stoop? Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup! Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup! Beau–ootiful Soo–oop! Beau–ootiful Soo–oop! Soo–oop of the e–e–evening,Beautiful, beautiful Soup! ‘Beautiful Soup! Who cares for fish,Game, or any other dish? Who would not give all else for twoPennyworth only of beautiful Soup? Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup? Beau–ootiful Soo–oop! Beau–ootiful Soo–oop! Soo–oop of the e–e–evening,Beautiful, beauti–FUL SOUP!’ ‘Chorus again!’ cried the Gryphon, and theMock Turtle had just begun to repeat it, when a cry of ‘The trial’s beginning!’was heard in the distance. ‘Come on!’ cried the Gryphon, and, takingAlice by the hand, it hurried off, without waiting for the end of the song. ‘What trial is it?’ Alice panted as she ran; but the Gryphon onlyanswered ‘Come on!’ and ran the faster, while more and more faintlycame, carried on the breeze that followed them, the melancholy words:– ‘Soo–oop of the e–e–evening,Beautiful, beautiful Soup!’ CHAPTER 11. Who Stole the Tarts? The King and Queen of Hearts were seated ontheir throne when they arrived, with a great crowd assembled aboutthem–all sorts of little birds and beasts, as well as the whole packof cards: the Knave was standing before them, in chains, with a soldieron each side to guard him; and near the King was the White Rabbit,with a trumpet in one hand, and a scroll of parchment in the other. In the very middle of the courtwas a table, with a large dish of tarts upon it: they looked so good,that it made Alice quite hungry to look at them–‘I wish they’d get thetrial done,’ she thought, ‘and hand round the refreshments!’ But thereseemed to be no chance of this, so she began looking at everything abouther, to pass away the time. Alice had never been in a court of justicebefore, but she had read about them in books, and she was quite pleasedto find that she knew the name of nearly everything there. ‘That’s the judge,’ she said toherself, ‘because of his great wig.’ The judge, by the way, was the King; and ashe wore his crown over the wig, (look at the frontispiece if you wantto see how he did it,) he did not look at all comfortable, and it was certainlynot becoming. ‘And that’s the jury-box,’ thought Alice,’and those twelve creatures,’ (she was obliged to say ‘creatures,’ you see,because some of them were animals, and some were birds,) ‘I supposethey are the jurors.’ She saidthis last word two or three times over to herself, being rather proud ofit: for she thought, and rightly too, that very few little girls of herage knew the meaning of it at all. However, ‘jury-men’ would have donejust as well. The twelve jurors were all writing very busilyon slates. ‘What are theydoing?’ Alice whispered to the Gryphon. ‘They can’t have anything to putdown yet, before the trial’s begun.’ ‘They’re putting down their names,’ the Gryphonwhispered in reply, ‘for fear they should forget them before the endof the trial.’ ‘Stupid things!’ Alice began in a loud, indignant voice, butshe stopped hastily, for the White Rabbit cried out, ‘Silencein the court!’ and the King put on his spectacles and looked anxiouslyround, to make out who was talking. Alice could see, as well as if she were lookingover their shoulders, that all the jurors were writing down ‘stupidthings!’ on their slates, and she could even make out that one of themdidn’t know how to spell ‘stupid,’ and that he had to ask his neighbourto tell him. ‘A nicemuddle their slates’ll be in before the trial’s over!’ thought Alice. One of the jurors had a pencil that squeaked. This of course, Alicecould not stand, and she went round the court and got behind him, andvery soon found an opportunity of taking it away. She did it so quicklythat the poor little juror (it was Bill, the Lizard) could not make outat all what had become of it; so, after hunting all about for it, he wasobliged to write with one finger for the rest of the day; and this wasof very little use, as it left no mark on the slate. ‘Herald, read the accusation!’ said the King. On this the White Rabbit blew three blastson the trumpet, and then unrolled the parchment scroll, and read asfollows:– ‘The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts,All on a summer day: The Knave of Hearts, he stole those tarts,And took them quite away!’ ‘Consider your verdict,’ the King said tothe jury. ‘Not yet, not yet!’ the Rabbit hastily interrupted. ‘There’s a greatdeal to come before that!’ ‘Call the first witness,’ said the King; andthe White Rabbit blew three blasts on the trumpet, and called out, ‘Firstwitness!’ The first witness was the Hatter. He came in with a teacup in onehand and a piece of bread-and-butter in the other. ‘I beg pardon, yourMajesty,’ he began, ‘for bringing these in: but I hadn’t quite finishedmy tea when I was sent for.’ ‘You ought to have finished,’ said the King. ‘When did you begin?’ The Hatter looked at the March Hare, who hadfollowed him into the court, arm-in-arm with the Dormouse. ‘Fourteenth of March, I think itwas,’ he said. ‘Fifteenth,’ said the March Hare. ‘Sixteenth,’ added the Dormouse. ‘Write that down,’ the King said to the jury,and the jury eagerly wrote down all three dates on their slates,and then added them up, and reduced the answer to shillings and pence. ‘Take off your hat,’ the King said to theHatter. ‘It isn’t mine,’ said the Hatter. ‘Stolen!’ the King exclaimed, turning to thejury, who instantly made a memorandum of the fact. ‘I keep them to sell,’ the Hatter added asan explanation; ‘I’ve none of my own. I’m a hatter.’ Here the Queen put on her spectacles, andbegan staring at the Hatter, who turned pale and fidgeted. ‘Give your evidence,’ said the King; ‘anddon’t be nervous, or I’ll have you executed on the spot.’ This did not seem to encourage the witnessat all: he kept shifting from one foot to the other, looking uneasilyat the Queen, and in his confusion he bit a large piece out ofhis teacup instead of the bread-and-butter. Just at this moment Alice felt a very curioussensation, which puzzled her a good deal until she made out what itwas: she was beginning to grow larger again, and she thought at firstshe would get up and leave the court; but on second thoughts she decidedto remain where she was as long as there was room for her. ‘I wish you wouldn’t squeeze so.’ said theDormouse, who was sitting next to her. ‘I can hardly breathe.’ ‘I can’t help it,’ said Alice very meekly:’I’m growing.’ ‘You’ve no right to grow here,’ said the Dormouse. ‘Don’t talk nonsense,’ said Alice more boldly:’you know you’re growing too.’ ‘Yes, but I grow at a reasonable pace,’ saidthe Dormouse: ‘not in that ridiculous fashion.’ And he got up very sulkily and crossed overto the other side of the court. All this time the Queen had never left offstaring at the Hatter, and, just as the Dormouse crossed the court, shesaid to one of the officers of the court, ‘Bring me the list of the singersin the last concert!’ on which the wretched Hatter trembled so, thathe shook both his shoes off. ‘Give your evidence,’ the King repeated angrily,’or I’ll have you executed, whether you’re nervous or not.’ ‘I’m a poor man, your Majesty,’ the Hatterbegan, in a trembling voice, ‘–and I hadn’t begun my tea–not above aweek or so–and what with the bread-and-butter getting so thin–and thetwinkling of the tea–‘ ‘The twinkling of the what?’ said the King. ‘It began with the tea,’ the Hatter replied. ‘Of course twinkling begins with a T!’ saidthe King sharply. ‘Do youtake me for a dunce? Go on!’ ‘I’m a poor man,’ the Hatter went on, ‘andmost things twinkled after that–only the March Hare said–‘ ‘I didn’t!’ the March Hare interrupted ina great hurry. ‘You did!’ said the Hatter. ‘I deny it!’ said the March Hare. ‘He denies it,’ said the King: ‘leave outthat part.’ ‘Well, at any rate, the Dormouse said–‘ theHatter went on, looking anxiously round to see if he would deny ittoo: but the Dormouse denied nothing, being fast asleep. ‘After that,’ continued the Hatter, ‘I cutsome more bread-and-butter–‘ ‘But what did the Dormouse say?’ one of thejury asked. ‘That I can’t remember,’ said the Hatter. ‘You MUST remember,’ remarked the King, ‘orI’ll have you executed.’ The miserable Hatter dropped his teacup andbread-and-butter, and went down on one knee. ‘I’m a poor man, your Majesty,’ he began. ‘You’re a very poor speaker,’ said the King. Here one of the guinea-pigs cheered, and wasimmediately suppressed by the officers of the court. (As that is rather a hard word, I will justexplain to you how it was done. They had a large canvas bag, which tiedup at the mouth with strings: into this they slipped the guinea-pig,head first, and then sat upon it.) ‘I’m glad I’ve seen that done,’ thought Alice. ‘I’ve so often readin the newspapers, at the end of trials, “There was some attemptsat applause, which was immediately suppressed by the officers of thecourt,” and I never understood what it meant till now.’ ‘If that’s all you know about it, you maystand down,’ continued the King. ‘I can’t go no lower,’ said the Hatter: ‘I’mon the floor, as it is.’ ‘Then you may SIT down,’ the King replied. Here the other guinea-pig cheered, and wassuppressed. ‘Come, that finished the guinea-pigs!’ thoughtAlice. ‘Now we shall geton better.’ ‘I’d rather finish my tea,’ said the Hatter,with an anxious look at the Queen, who was reading the list of singers. ‘You may go,’ said the King, and the Hatterhurriedly left the court, without even waiting to put his shoes on. ‘–and just take his head off outside,’ theQueen added to one of the officers: but the Hatter was out of sightbefore the officer could get to the door. ‘Call the next witness!’ said the King. The next witness was the Duchess’s cook. She carried the pepper-box inher hand, and Alice guessed who it was, even before she got into thecourt, by the way the people near the door began sneezing all at once. ‘Give your evidence,’ said the King. ‘Shan’t,’ said the cook. The King looked anxiously at the White Rabbit,who said in a low voice, ‘Your Majesty must cross-examine THIS witness.’ ‘Well, if I must, I must,’ the King said,with a melancholy air, and, after folding his arms and frowning at thecook till his eyes were nearly out of sight, he said in a deep voice,’What are tarts made of?’ ‘Pepper, mostly,’ said the cook. ‘Treacle,’ said a sleepy voice behind her. ‘Collar that Dormouse,’ the Queen shriekedout. ‘Behead that Dormouse! Turn that Dormouse out of court! Suppress him! Pinch him! Off with hiswhiskers!’ For some minutes the whole court was in confusion,getting the Dormouse turned out, and, by the time they had settleddown again, the cook had disappeared. ‘Never mind!’ said the King, with an air ofgreat relief. ‘Call the nextwitness.’ And he added in an undertone to the Queen,’Really, my dear, YOU must cross-examine the next witness. It quite makes my foreheadache!’ Alice watched the White Rabbit as he fumbledover the list, feeling very curious to see what the next witness wouldbe like, ‘–for they haven’t got much evidence YET,’ she said to herself. Imagine her surprise, whenthe White Rabbit read out, at the top of his shrill little voice, thename ‘Alice!’ CHAPTER XII. Alice’s Evidence ‘Here!’ cried Alice, quite forgetting in theflurry of the moment how large she had grown in the last few minutes,and she jumped up in such a hurry that she tipped over the jury-boxwith the edge of her skirt, upsetting all the jurymen on to the headsof the crowd below, and there they lay sprawling about, reminding her verymuch of a globe of goldfish she had accidentally upset the week before. ‘Oh, I BEG your pardon!’ she exclaimed ina tone of great dismay, and began picking them up again as quickly asshe could, for the accident of the goldfish kept running in her head, andshe had a vague sort of idea that they must be collected at once and putback into the jury-box, or they would die. ‘The trial cannot proceed,’ said the Kingin a very grave voice, ‘until all the jurymen are back in their proper places–ALL,’he repeated with great emphasis, looking hard at Alice as hesaid do. Alice looked at the jury-box, and saw that,in her haste, she had put the Lizard in head downwards, and the poorlittle thing was waving its tail about in a melancholy way, being quiteunable to move. She soon gotit out again, and put it right; ‘not that it signifies much,’ she saidto herself; ‘I should think it would be QUITE as much use in the trialone way up as the other.’ As soon as the jury had a little recoveredfrom the shock of being upset, and their slates and pencils had beenfound and handed back to them, they set to work very diligently towrite out a history of the accident, all except the Lizard, who seemedtoo much overcome to do anything but sit with its mouth open, gazingup into the roof of the court. ‘What do you know about this business?’ theKing said to Alice. ‘Nothing,’ said Alice. ‘Nothing WHATEVER?’ persisted the King. ‘Nothing whatever,’ said Alice. ‘That’s very important,’ the King said, turningto the jury. They werejust beginning to write this down on their slates, when the White Rabbitinterrupted: ‘UNimportant, your Majesty means, of course,’ he said in avery respectful tone, but frowning and making faces at him as he spoke. ‘UNimportant, of course, I meant,’ the Kinghastily said, and went on to himself in an undertone, ‘important–unimportant–unimportant–important–‘as if he were trying which word sounded best. Some of the jury wrote it down ‘important,’and some ‘unimportant.’ Alice could see this, as she was near enoughto look over their slates; ‘but it doesn’t matter a bit,’ she thoughtto herself. At this moment the King, who had been forsome time busily writing in his note-book, cackled out ‘Silence!’ andread out from his book, ‘Rule Forty-two. ALL PERSONS MORE THAN A MILE HIGH TO LEAVETHE COURT.’ Everybody looked at Alice. ‘I’M not a mile high,’ said Alice. ‘You are,’ said the King. ‘Nearly two miles high,’ added the Queen. ‘Well, I shan’t go, at any rate,’ said Alice:’besides, that’s not a regular rule: you invented it just now.’ ‘It’s the oldest rule in the book,’ said theKing. ‘Then it ought to be Number One,’ said Alice. The King turned pale, and shut his note-bookhastily. ‘Consider yourverdict,’ he said to the jury, in a low, trembling voice. ‘There’s more evidence to come yet, pleaseyour Majesty,’ said the White Rabbit, jumping up in a great hurry; ‘thispaper has just been picked up.’ ‘What’s in it?’ said the Queen. ‘I haven’t opened it yet,’ said the WhiteRabbit, ‘but it seems to be a letter, written by the prisoner to–to somebody.’ ‘It must have been that,’ said the King, ‘unlessit 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 WhiteRabbit; ‘in fact, there’s nothing written on the OUTSIDE.’ He unfolded the paper as he spoke, andadded ‘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 juryall brightened up again.) ‘Please your Majesty,’ said the Knave, ‘Ididn’t write it, and they can’t prove I did: there’s no name signedat the end.’ ‘If you didn’t sign it,’ said the King, ‘thatonly makes the matter worse. You MUST have meant some mischief, or elseyou’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,’ said the Queen. ‘It proves nothing of the sort!’ said Alice. ‘Why, you don’t even knowwhat they’re about!’ ‘Read them,’ said the King. The White Rabbit put on his spectacles. ‘Where shall I begin, pleaseyour Majesty?’ he asked. ‘Begin at the beginning,’ the King said gravely,’and go on till you come to the end: then stop.’ These were the verses the White Rabbit read:– ‘They told me you had been to her,And mentioned me to him: She gave me a good character,But said I could not swim. He sent them word I had not gone(We know it to be true): If she should push the matter on,What would become of you? I gave her one, they gave him two,You gave us three or more; They all returned from him to you,Though they were mine before. If I or she should chance to beInvolved in this affair, He trusts to you to set them free,Exactly as we were. My notion was that you had been(Before she had this fit) An obstacle that came betweenHim, and ourselves, and it. Don’t let him know she liked them best,For this must ever be A secret, kept from all the rest,Between yourself and me.’ ‘That’s the most important piece of evidencewe’ve heard yet,’ said the King, rubbing his hands; ‘so now let the jury–‘ ‘If any one of them can explain it,’ saidAlice, (she had grown so large in the last few minutes that she wasn’t abit afraid of interrupting him,) ‘I’ll give him sixpence. _I_ don’t believe there’s an atom ofmeaning in it.’ The jury all wrote down on their slates, ‘SHEdoesn’t believe there’s an atom of meaning in it,’ but none of them attemptedto explain the paper. ‘If there’s no meaning in it,’ said the King,’that saves a world of trouble, you know, as we needn’t try to findany. And yet I don’t know,’he went on, spreading out the verses on his knee, and looking at themwith one eye; ‘I seem to see some meaning in them, after all. “–SAIDI COULD NOT SWIM–” you can’t swim, can you?’ he added, turning to theKnave. The Knave shook his head sadly. ‘Do I look like it?’ he said. (Which hecertainly did NOT, being made entirely of cardboard.) ‘All right, so far,’ said the King, and hewent on muttering over the verses to himself: ‘”WE KNOW IT TO BETRUE–” that’s the jury, of course–“I GAVE HER ONE, THEY GAVE HIM TWO–“why, that must be what he did with the tarts, you know–‘ ‘But, it goes on “THEY ALL RETURNED FROM HIMTO YOU,”‘ said Alice. ‘Why, there they are!’ said the King triumphantly,pointing to the tarts on the table. ‘Nothing can be clearer than THAT. Then again–“BEFORE SHEHAD THIS FIT–” you never had fits, my dear, I think?’ he said to theQueen. ‘Never!’ said the Queen furiously, throwingan inkstand at the Lizard as she spoke. (The unfortunate little Bill had left offwriting on his slate with one finger, as he found it madeno mark; but he now hastily began again, using the ink, that was tricklingdown his face, as long as it lasted.) ‘Then the words don’t FIT you,’ said the King,looking round the court with a smile. There was a dead silence. ‘It’s a pun!’ the King added in an offendedtone, and everybody laughed, ‘Let the jury consider their verdict,’ theKing said, for about the twentieth time that day. ‘No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first–verdict afterwards.’ ‘Stuff and nonsense!’ said Alice loudly. ‘The idea of having thesentence first!’ ‘Hold your tongue!’ said the Queen, turningpurple. ‘I won’t!’ said Alice. ‘Off with her head!’ the Queen shouted atthe top of her voice. Nobodymoved. ‘Who cares for you?’ said Alice, (she hadgrown to her full size by this time.) ‘You’re nothing but a pack of cards!’ At this the whole pack rose up into the air,and came flying down upon her: she gave a little scream, half of frightand half of anger, and tried to beat them off, and found herselflying on the bank, with her head in the lap of her sister, who was gentlybrushing away some dead leaves that had fluttered down from the treesupon her face. ‘Wake up, Alice dear!’ said her sister; ‘Why,what a long sleep you’ve had!’ ‘Oh, I’ve had such a curious dream!’ saidAlice, and she told her sister, as well as she could remember them,all these strange Adventures of hers that you have just been reading about;and when she had finished, her sister kissed her, and said,’It WAS a curious dream, dear, certainly: but now run in to your tea;it’s getting late.’ SoAlice got up and ran off, thinking while she ran, as well she might,what a wonderful dream it had been. But her sister sat still just as she lefther, leaning her head on her hand, watching the setting sun, and thinkingof little Alice and all her wonderful Adventures, till she too began dreamingafter a fashion, and this was her dream:– First, she dreamed of little Alice herself,and once again the tiny hands were clasped upon her knee, and thebright eager eyes were looking up into hers–she could hear the very tonesof her voice, and see that queer little toss of her head to keep backthe wandering hair that WOULD always get into her eyes–and stillas she listened, or seemed to listen, the whole place around her becamealive with the strange creatures of her little sister’s dream. The long grass rustled at her feet as theWhite Rabbit hurried by–the frightened Mouse splashed his way throughthe neighbouring pool–she could hear the rattle of the teacups as theMarch Hare and his friends shared their never-ending meal, and the shrillvoice of the Queen ordering off her unfortunate guests to execution–oncemore the pig-baby was sneezing on the Duchess’s knee, whileplates and dishes crashed around it–once more the shriek of the Gryphon,the squeaking of the Lizard’s slate-pencil, and the choking ofthe suppressed guinea-pigs, filled the air, mixed up with the distantsobs of the miserable Mock Turtle. So she sat on, with closed eyes, and halfbelieved herself in Wonderland, though she knew she had but toopen them again, and all would change to dull reality–the grass wouldbe only rustling in the wind, and the pool rippling to the wavingof the reeds–the rattling teacups would change to tinkling sheep-bells,and the Queen’s shrill cries to the voice of the shepherd boy–andthe sneeze of the baby, the shriek of the Gryphon, and all the other queernoises, would change (she knew) to the confused clamour of the busyfarm-yard–while the lowing of the cattle in the distance would take theplace of the Mock Turtle’s heavy sobs. Lastly, she pictured to herself how this samelittle sister of hers would, in the after-time, be herself a grownwoman; and how she would keep, through all her riper years, the simpleand loving heart of her childhood: and how she would gather abouther other little children, and make THEIR eyes bright and eager with manya strange tale, perhaps even with the dream of Wonderland of long ago:and how she would feel with all their simple sorrows, and find a pleasurein all their simple joys, remembering her own child-life, and the happysummer days. THE END That’s the end of Alice’s Adventures inWonderland by Lewis Carroll. Read by Kara Shallenberg www.kayray.org inMarch 2010 in San Diego California.