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Английские тексты - Alice's adventures in wonderland

Lewis Carroll

CHAPTER I
Down the rabbit-Hole

Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped  into  the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures  or  conversations  in it, - and what is the use of a book, - thought Alice - without pictures or conversation?
So she was considering in her own mind (as well 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 the trouble of getting up and  picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit 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 Rabbit say to itself, -  Oh  dear! Oh dear! I shall be late! - (when  she  thought  it  over  afterwards,  it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at  the  time it all seemed quite natural); but when the Rabbit actually  TOOK  A  WATCH OUT OF ITS WAISTCOATPOCKET, and looked at it, and then hurried  on,  Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind  that  she  had  never before see 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 time to 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 tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not  a  moment  to  think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a  very  deep well.
Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for  she  had plenty of time as she went down to look about her and to wonder  what  was going to happen next. First, she tried to look down and make out what  she was coming to, but it was too dark to see anything; then she looked at the sides of the well, and noticed that they were filled  with  cupboards  and book-shelves; here and there she saw maps and pictures hung upon pegs. She took down a jar from one of the shelves as she passed; it was  labelled  -ORANGE MARMALADE - , but to her great disappointment it way empty: she did not like to drop the jar for fear of killing somebody, so managed  to  put it into one of the cupboards as she fell past it.
- Well! - thought Alice to herself, - after such a fall  as  this,  I shall think nothing of tumbling down stairs! How brave they'll  all  think me at home! Why, I wouldn't say anything about it, even if 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 how many miles I've fallen by this time? - she said aloud. - I must be getting somewhere near the centre of the earth. Let me see:  that  would  be  four thousand miles down, I think - (for, you see,  Alice  had  learnt  several things of this sort in her lessons in the schoolroom, and though this  was not a VERY good opportunity for showing off her knowledge, as there was 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  Latitude  or Longitude I've got to?  -  (Alice  had  no  idea  what  Latitude  was,  or Longitude either, but thought they were nice grand words to say.)
Presently she began again. - I wonder if I shall fall  right  THROUGH the earth! How funny it'll seem to come out among  the  people  that  walk with their heads downward! The Antipathies, I think - (she was rather glad there WAS no one listening, this time, as it didn't sound at all the right word) - but I shall have to ask them what 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 CURTSEYING as you're falling through the air! Do you think you could manage it?)
- And what an ignorant little girl she'll think me  for  asking!  No, it'll never do to ask: perhaps I shall see it written up somewhere.
Down, down, down. There was nothing else to do, so Alice  soon  began talking again. Dinah'll miss me very much to-night, I should think! (Dinah was the cat.) - I hope they'll remember her saucer of  milk  at  tea-time. Dinah my dear! I wish you were down here with me! There are no mice in the air, I'm afraid, but you might catch a bat, and that's very like a  mouse, you know. But do cats eat bats, I wonder? - And here Alice  began  to  get rather sleepy, and went on saying to herself, in a dreamy sort of  way,  - Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats? - and sometimes, - Do bats 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  dozing  off,  and  had just begun to dream that she was walking hand  in  hand  with  Dinah,  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 upon a heap of stick and dry leaves, and the fall was over.
Alice was not a bit hurt, and she jumped up  on  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 still  in  sight,  hurrying down it. There was not a moment to be lost: away went Alice like the wind, and was just in time to hear it say, as it turned a corner, - Oh  my  ears and whiskers, how late it's getting! - She was close behind  it  when  she turned to corner, but the Rabbit was no  longer  to  be  seen:  she  found herself in a long, low hall, which was lit up by a row  of  lamps  hanging from the roof.
There were doors all round the hall, but they were  all  locked;  and when Alice had been all the way down one side and  up  the  other,  trying every door, she walked sadly down the middle, wondering how she  was  ever to get out again.
Suddenly she came upon a little three-legged table, all made of solid glass; there was nothing on it except a tiny golden key, and Alice's first thought was that it might belong to one of the doors  of  the  hall;  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 second time round, she came upon a low curtain she had not noticed before, and behind it  was a little door about fifteen inches high: she tried the little  golden  key in the lock, and to her great delight it fitted!
Alice opened the door and found that it led into a small passage, not much larger than a rat-hole: she knelt down and looked along  the  passage into the loveliest garden you ever saw. How she longed to get out of  that dark hall, and wander about among those beds of bright flowers  and  those cool fountains, but she could to even get her head thought he  doorway;  - and even if my head would go through, - thought poor Alice, - it would  be of very little use without my shoulders. Oh, how I wish I  could  shut  up like a telescope! I think I could, if I only know how to begin. - For, you see, so many out-of-the-way things had happened  lately,  that  Alice  had begun to think that very few things indeed were really impossible.
There seemed to be no use in waiting by the little door, so she  went back to the table, half hoping she might find another key on it, or at any rate a book or rules for shutting people up like telescopes: this time she found a little bottle on it, ( - which certainly was not  here  before,  - said Alice,) and round the neck of the bottle was a paper label, with  the words - DRINK ME - beautifully printed on it in large letters.
It was all very well to say - Drink me, - but the wise  little  Alice was not going to do THAT in a hurry. - No, I'll look first, - she said, - and see whether it's marked - poison - or not; - for she  had  read several nice little histories about children who had got burnt, and  eaten up by wild beasts and other unpleasant things, all because they WOULD not remember the simple rules their friends had taught them: such as,  that  a red-hot poker will burn you if your hold it too long; and that if you  cut your finger VERY deeply with a knife, it usually bleeds; and she had never forgotten that, if you drink much from a bottle marked - poison, -  it  is almost 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, in  fact,  a  sort  of  mixed flavour of cherry-tart, custard, pine-apple, roast turkey, toffee, and hot buttered toast,) she very soon finished it off.

* * * * * * *
* * * * * *
* * * * * * *

- What a curious feeling! - said Alice; - I must be shutting up  like a telescope.
And so it was indeed: she was now only ten inches high, and her  face brightened up at the thought that she was now the  right  size  for  going though the little door into that lovely garden. First, however, she waited 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, - said Alice to herself, - in my going out altogether, like a  candle.  I  wonder  what  I should be like then? - And she tried to fancy what the flame of  a  candle is like after the candle is blown out, for she  could  not  remember  ever 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 poor Alice! when she  got  to the door, she found he had forgotten the little golden key, and  when  she went back to the table for it, she found she could not possibly reach  it: she could see it quite plainly through the 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 sat down and cried.
- Come, there's no use in crying like that! - said Alice to  herself, rather sharply; - I advise you to leave off this minute! -  She  generally gave herself very good advice, (though she very seldom followed  it),  and sometimes she scolded herself so severely as to bring tears into her eyes; and once she remembered trying to box her  own  ears  for  having  cheated 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 make ONE respectable person!
Soon her eye fell on a little glass box  that  was  lying  under  the table: she opened it, and found in it a very  small  cake,  on  which  the words - EAT ME - were beautifully marked in currants. - Well, I'll eat it, - said Alive, - and if it makes me grow larger, I can reach the  key;  and if it makes me grow smaller, I can creep under the  door;  so  either  way I'll get into the garden, and I don't care which happens!
She ate a little bit, and said anxiously to  herself,  -  Which  way? Which way?', holding her hand on the top of her head to feel which way  it was growing, and she was quite surprised to find  that  she  remained  the same size: to be sure, this generally happens  when  one  eats  cake,  but Alice had got so much into the way of expecting nothing but out-of-the-way things to happen, that it seemed quite dull and stupid for life to  go  on in the common way.
So she set to work, and very soon finished off the cake.

* * * * * * *
* * * * * *
* * * * * * *

CHAPTER II
The Pool of Tears

- Curiouser and curiouser! - cried Alice (she was so much  surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English); - now I'm opening out like the largest telescope that ever was!  Good-bye,  feet!  - (for when she looked down at her feet, they seemed to  be  almost  out  of sight, they were getting so far off). - Oh, my poor little feet, I  wonder who 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  trouble  myself about you: you must manage the best way you can; - but I must be  kind  to them, - thought Alice, - or perhaps they won't walk the way I want to  go! Let me see: I'll give them a new pair of boots every Christmas.
And she went on planning to herself how she would manage it.  -  They must go by the carrier, - she thought; - and how funny it'll seem, sending presents 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 roof of the hall: in  fact  she was now more than nine feet high, and she  at  once  took  up  the  little golden key and hurried off to the garden door.
Poor Alice! It was as much as she could do, lying down on  one  side, to look through into the garden with one eye; but to get through was  more hopeless than ever: she sat down and began to cry again.
- You ought to be ashamed of yourself, - said Alice, - a  great  girl like you, - (she might well say this), - to go on crying in this way! Stop this moment, I tell you! - But she went on all the same, shedding  gallons of tears, until there was a large pool all round her,  about  four  inches deep and reaching half down the hall.
After a time she heard a little pattering of feet  in  the  distance, and she hastily dried her eyes to see what was coming. It  was  the  White Rabbit returning, splendidly dressed, with a pair of white kid  gloves  in one hand and a large fan in the other: he came trotting along in  a  great hurry, 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  so desperate that she was ready to ask help of any one; so, when  the  Rabbit came 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, as the hall was very hot,  she kept fanning herself all the time she went on talking: - Dear,  dear!  How queer 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  the  same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I'm not the same, the next question is, Who in the world am I? Ah, THAT'S the great puzzle! - And she began thinking over  all  the children she knew that were of the same age as  herself,  to  see  if  she could have been changed for any of them.
- I'm sure I'm not Ada, - she said, - for her hair goes in such  long ringlets, and mine doesn't go in ringlets at 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 to know.  Let  me  see:  four times five is twelve, and four times six is thirteen, and four times seven is - oh dear! I shall never get to  twenty  at  that  rate!  However,  the Multiplication Table doesn't signify: let's try Geography. London  is  the capital of Paris, and Paris is the capital of Rome, and Rome - no,  THAT'S all wrong, I'm certain! I must have been changed for Mabel! 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 crocodile   
Improve his shining tail,   
And pour the waters of the Nile   
On every golden scale!   

- How cheerfully he seems to grin,   
How neatly spread his claws,   
And welcome little fishes in   
With 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, - I must be Mabel after  all, and I shall have to go and live in that poky little house, and  have  next to no toys to play with, and oh! ever so many lessons to learn!  No,  I've made up my mind about it; if I'm Mabel, I'll stay down here! It'll  be  no use their putting their heads down and saying  - Come up again, dear! - I shall 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 here till I'm somebody else - but, oh  dear!  - cried Alice, with a sudden burst of tears, - I  do  wish  they  WOULD  put their heads down! I am so VERY tired of 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 little white kid gloves  while she was talking. - How CAN I have done that? - she thought. -  I  must  be growing small again. - She got up and went to the table to measure herself by it, and found that, as nearly as she could guess, she was now about two feet high, and was going on shrinking rapidly: she soon found out that the cause of this was the fan she was holding, and  she  dropped  it  hastily, just in time to avoid shrinking away altogether.
- That WAS a narrow escape! - said Alice, a good deal  frightened  at the sudden change, but very glad to find herself still in existence: - and now for the garden! - and she ran with all speed  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 things are  worse than ever, - thought the poor child, - for I never was so  small  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. He first idea was  that  she had somehow fallen into the sea, - and in that  case  I  can  go  back  by railway, - she said to herself. (Alice had been to the seaside once in her life, and had come to the general conclusion, that wherever you go  to  on the English coast you find a number of bathing machines in the  sea,  some children digging in the sand with wooden spades, then  a  row  of  lodging houses, and behind them a railway station.) However,  she  soon  made  out that she was in the pool of tears which she had wept  when  she  was  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 about in the  pool  a  little way off, and she swam nearer to make out what it was: at first she thought it must be a walrus or hippopotamus, but then she remembered how small she was now, and she soon made out that it was 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 no  harm  in  trying.  -  So  she began: - O Mouse, do you know the way out of this pool? I am very tired of swimming about here, O Mouse! - (Alice thought this must be the right  way of speaking to a mouse: she had never done such a thing  before,  but  she remembered having seen in her brother's Latin Grammar, - A mouse  -  of  a mouse - to a mouse - a mouse - O mouse! - The Mouse looked at  her  rather inquisitively, and seemed to her to wink with one of its little eyes,  but it said nothing.
- Perhaps it doesn't understand English, - thought Alice; - I daresay it's a French mouse, come over with William the Conqueror.  -  (For,  with all her knowledge of history, Alice had no very clear notion how long  ago anything had happened.) So she began again: - Ou est ma  chatte?  -  which was the first sentence in her French lesson-book. The Mouse gave a  sudden 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.  - Would YOU like cats if you were me? - Well, perhaps not, - said Alice in a soothing tone: - 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  see her. She is such a dear quiet thing, - Alice went on, half to herself,  as she swam lazily about in the pool, - and she sits purring so nicely by the fire, licking her paws and washing her face - and she is such a nice  soft thing to nurse - and she's such a capital one for catching mice  -  oh,  I beg your pardon! -  cried  Alice  again,  for  this  time  the  Mouse  was bristling all over, and she felt certain it must be really offended.
- We won't talk about her any more if you'd rather not. - We  indeed! - cried the Mouse, who was trembling down to the end of his tail. - As  if I would talk on such a subject! Our family always HATED cats: nasty,  low, vulgar things! Don't let me hear the name again!
- I won't indeed! - said Alice,  in  a  great  hurry  to  change  the subject of conversation. - Are you - are you fond - of - of  dogs?  -  The Mouse did not answer, so Alice went on eagerly: - There  is  such  a  nice little dog near our house I should like to show you! A little  bright-eyed terrier, you know, with oh, such long curly brown hair!  And  it'll  fetch things when you throw them, and it'll sit up and beg for its  dinner,  and all sorts of thins - 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! He says it kills all the rats and - oh dear! - cried Alice in a  sorrowful tone, - I'm afraid I've offended it again! - For the  Mouse  was  swimming away from her as hard as it could go, and making quite a commotion in  the pool as it went.
So she called softly after it, - Mouse dear! Do come back again,  and we won't talk about cats or dogs either, if you don't like them! When  the Mouse heard this, it turned round and swam slowly back to  her:  its  face was quite pale (with passion,  Alice  thought),  and  it  said  in  a  low trembling voice, - Let us get to the shore, and  then  I'll  tell  you  my history, and you'll understand why it is I hate cats and dogs.
It was high time to go, for the pool was getting quite  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 curious creatures. Alice led the way, and the whole party swam to the shore.


CHAPTER III
A Caucus-Race and a Long Tale

They were indeed a queer-looking party that assembled on the  bank  - the birds with draggled feathers, the  animals  with  their  fur  clinging close to them, and all dripping wet, cross, and uncomfortable.
The first question of course was, how to get dry again:  they  had  a consultation about this, and after a few minutes it seemed  quite  natural to Alice to find herself talking familiarly with them, as if she had known them all her life. Indeed, she had quite a long argument  with  the  Lory, who at last turned sulky, and would only say,
- I am older than you, and must know better; - and this  Alice  would not allow without knowing how old it was,  and,  as  the  Lory  positively refused to tell its age, there was no more to be said.
At last the Mouse, who seemed to be a person of authority among them, called out, - Sit down, all of you, and listen to me! I'LL soon  make  you dry enough! - They all sat down at once, in a large ring, with  the  Mouse in the middle. Alice kept her eyes anxiously fixed on  it,  for  she  felt sure she would catch a bad cold if she did not get dry very soon.
- Ahem! - said the Mouse with an important air, - are you all  ready? This is the driest thing I know. Silence all round, if you please!
- William the Conqueror, whose cause was favoured by  the  pope,  was soon submitted to by the English, who wanted leaders, and had been of late much accustomed to usurpation and conquest. Edwin and Morcar, the earls of Mercia and Northumbria-
- 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, when I find a thing,  -  said the Duck: - it's generally a frog or a worm. The question is, what did the archbishop find?
The Mouse did not notice this question, but hurriedly went  on,  -  - found it advisable to go with Edgar Atheling to meet William and offer him the crown. William's conduct at first was moderate. But the  insolence  of his Normans - How are you getting on now, my dear? - it continued, turning to Alice as it spoke.
- As wet as ever, - said Alice in a melancholy  tone:  -  it  doesn't seem to dry me at all.
- In that case, - said the Dodo solemnly, rising to  its  feet,  -  I move that  the  meeting  adjourn,  for  the  immediate  adoption  of  more energetic remedies,
- Speak English! - said the Eaglet. - I don't  know  the  meaning  of half those long words, and, what's more, I don't believe  you  do  either! And the Eaglet bent down its head to hide a smile: some of the other birds tittered audibly.
- What I was going to say, - said the Dodo in  an  offended  tone,  - was, that the best thing to get us dry would be a Caucus-race.
- What IS a Caucus-race? - said Alice; not that she  wanted  much  to know, but the Dodo had paused as if it  thought  that  SOMEBODY  ought  to speak, and no one else seemed inclined to say anything.
- Why, - said the Dodo, - the best way to explain it  is  to  do  it. (And, as you might like to try the thing yourself, some winter day, I will tell you how the Dodo managed it).
First it marked out a race-course, in a sort of circle, ( - the exact shape doesn't matter, - it said,) and then all the party were placed along the course, here and there. There was no - One, two, three,  and  away,  - but they began running when they liked, and left off when they  liked,  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 crowded  round  it, panting, and asking, - But who has won?
This question the Dodo could not  answer  without  a  great  deal  of thought, and it sat for a long time  with  one  finger  pressed  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, pointing to  Alice  with  one finger; and the whole party at once crowded round her, calling  out  in  a confused way, - Prizes! Prizes!
Alice had no idea what to do, and in despair she put her hand in  her pocket, and pulled out a box of comfits, (luckily the salt water  had  not got into it), and handed them round  as  prizes.  There  was  exactly  one a-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 in your 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 your acceptance of this elegant thimble; - and, when it had finished  this short speech, 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  she  could  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: this  caused  some  noise  and confusion, as the large birds complained that they could not taste theirs, and the small ones choked and had to be patted on the  back.  However,  it was over at last, and they sat down again in a ring, and begged the  Mouse to tell them something more.
- You promised to tell me your history, you know, - 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 the Mouse, 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 it sad? - And she  kept on puzzling about it while the Mouse was speaking, so that her idea of the tale was something like this:
- Fury said to a mouse, That he met in the house,
- Let us both go to law: I will prosecute YOU.
- Come, I'll take no denial; We must have a trial:
For really this morning I've nothing to do.
Said the mouse to the cur,
- Such a trial, dear Sir, With no jury or judge,
would be wasting our breath.
- I'll be judge, I'll be jury, Said cunning old Fury:
- I'll try the whole cause, and condemn you to death.
- You are not attending! - said the Mouse to Alice severely.  -  What are you thinking 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 and very angrily.
- A knot! - said Alice, always ready  to  make  herself  useful,  and looking anxiously about her. - Oh, do let me help to undo it!
- I shall do nothing of the sort, - said the Mouse,  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 the others all  joined  in  chorus,  - Yes, please do! - but the Mouse  only  shook  its  head  impatiently,  and walked a little quicker.
- What a pity it wouldn't stay! - sighed the Lory, as soon as it  was quite out of sight; and an old Crab took the opportunity of saying to  her daughter - Ah, my dear! Let this be a lesson to you  never  to  lose  YOUR 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 ask the  question?  -  said the Lory.
Alice replied eagerly, for she was always ready  to  talk  about  her pet: - Dinah's our cat. And she's such a capital one for catching mice you can't think! And oh, I wish you could see her after the birds! Why, she'll eat a little bird as soon as look at it!
This speech caused a remarkable sensation among the  party.  Some  of the birds hurried off at once: one the old Magpie began wrapping itself up very carefully, remarking, - I really must be getting home; the  night-air doesn't suit my throat! - and a Canary called out in a trembling voice  to its children, - Come away, my dears! It's high time you were all in bed! - On various pretexts they all moved off, and Alice was soon left alone.
- I wish I hadn't mentioned  Dinah!  -  she  said  to  herself  in  a melancholy tone. - Nobody seems to like her, down here, and I'm sure she's the best cat in the world! Oh, my dear Dinah! I wonder if I shall ever see you any more! - And here poor Alice began to cry again, for she felt  very lonely and low-spirited. In a little while, however,  she  again  heard  a little pattering of footsteps in the distance, and she looked up  eagerly, half hoping that the Mouse had changed his mind, and was  coming  back  to finish his story.

CHAPTER IV
The Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill

It was the White Rabbit, trotting  slowly  back  again,  and  looking anxiously about as it went, as if it had lost something; and she heard  it muttering to itself - The Duchess! The Duchess! Oh my dear paws! Oh my fur and whiskers! She'll get me executed, as  sure  as  ferrets  are  ferrets! Where CAN I have dropped them, I wonder? - Alice guessed in a moment  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 were nowhere  to  be seen - everything seemed to have changed since her swim in the  pool,  and the great hall, with the glass table and the  little  door,  had  vanished completely.
Very soon the Rabbit noticed Alice, as she went  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 pair of gloves and  a  fan! Quick, now! - And Alice was so much frightened that she ran off at once in the direction it pointed to, without trying to explain the mistake it  had made.
- He took me for his housemaid, - she said to herself as she  ran.  - How surprised he'll be when he finds out who I am! But I'd better take him his fan and gloves - that is, if I can find them. - As she said this,  she came upon a neat little house, on the door of which  was  a  bright  brass plate with the name - W. RABBIT - engraved upon it. She  went  in  without knocking, and hurried upstairs, in great fear lest  she  should  meet  the real Mary Ann, and be turned out of the house before she had found the fan 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 messages next! - And she began fancying the sort of thing that would happen:  -  Miss  Alice!  Come here directly, and get ready for your walk! - - Coming in a minute, nurse! But I've got to see that the mouse doesn't get out. Only I don't think, - Alice went on, - that they'd let Dinah stop  in  the  house  if  it  began ordering people about like that!
By this time she had found her way into a tidy  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 the fan  and  a  pair  of  the gloves, and was just going to leave the room, when her  eye  fell  upon  a little bottle that stood near the looking glass. There was  no  label  this time with the words - DRINK ME, - but nevertheless she uncorked it and put it to 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 little thing!
It did so indeed, and much sooner than she had expected:  before  she had drunk half the  bottle,  she  found  her  head  pressing  against  the ceiling, and had to stoop to save her neck from being broken. She  hastily put down the bottle, saying to herself - That's quite enough -  I  hope  I shan't grow any more - As it is, I can't get out at the door - I do wish I hadn't drunk 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 there  was not even room for this, and she tried the effect of lying  down  with  one elbow against the door, and the other arm curled round her head. Still she went on growing, and, as a last resource, 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  bottle  had  now  had  its  full effect, and she grew no larger: still it was very uncomfortable,  and,  as there seemed to be no sort of chance of her ever getting out of  the  room again, no wonder she felt unhappy.
- It was much pleasanter at home, - thought poor Alice,  -  when  one wasn't always growing larger and smaller, and being ordered about by  mice and rabbits. I almost wish I hadn't gone down that rabbit-hole - and yet - and yet - it's rather curious, you know, this sort of life!  I  do  wonder what CAN have happened to me! When I used to read fairy-tales,  I  fancied that kind of thing never happened, and now here I am in the middle of one! There ought to be a book written about me, that there ought!  And  when  I grow up, I'll write one - but I'm grown up now, - she added in a sorrowful tone; - at least there's no room to grow up any more HERE.
- But then, - thought Alice, - shall I NEVER get any older than I  am now? That'll be a comfort, one way - never to be an 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  learn lessons in here? Why, there's hardly room for YOU, and no room at all  for any lesson-books!
And so she went on, taking first one side and  then  the  other,  and making quite a conversation of it altogether; but after 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 the stairs.  Alice  knew it was the Rabbit coming to look for her, and she trembled till she  shook the house, quite forgetting that she was now about  a  thousand  times  as large as 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 elbow was pressed hard against it, that attempt proved a failure. Alice heard it say to itself - Then I'll go round and get in at the window.
- THAT you won't - thought Alice, and, after waiting 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  a cucumber-frame, or something of the sort.
Next came an angry voice - the Rabbit's - Pat! Pat!  Where  are  you? And then a voice she had never heard before, - Sure then I'm here! Digging for apples, yer honour!
- Digging for apples, indeed! - said the Rabbit angrily. - Here! Come and help 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
whole window!
- Sure, it does, yer honour: but it's an arm for all that.
- Well, it's got no business there, at any rate: go and take it away!
There was a long silence after this, and Alice could  only  hear  whispers now and then; such as, - Sure, I don't like it, yer  honour,  at  all,  at all! - - Do as I tell you, you coward! - and at last she  spread  out  her hand again, and made another snatch in the air. This time there  were  TWO little shrieks, and more sounds of broken glass.
- What a number of cucumber-frames there must be! - thought Alice.  - I wonder what they'll do next! As for pulling me out of the window, I only wish they COULD! I'm sure I don't want to stay in here any longer!
She waited for some time without hearing anything more: at last  came a rumbling of little cartwheels, and the sound of a good  many  voice  all talking together: she made out the words: - Where's the  other  ladder?  - Why, I hadn't to bring but one; Bill's got the  other  -  Bill!  fetch  it here, lad! - Here, put 'em up at this corner - No, tie 'em together  first - they don't reach half high enough yet -  Oh!  they'll  do  well  enough; don't be particular-Here, Bill! catch hold of this rope -  Will  the  roof bear? - Mind that loose slate - Oh, it's coming down! Heads  below!  -  (a loud crash) - Now, who did that? - It was Bill, I fancy - Who's to go down the chimney? - Nay, I shan't! YOU do it! - That I won't, then! - Bill's to go down - Here, Bill! the master says you're to go down the chimney!
- Oh! So Bill's got to come down the chimney, has he? - said Alice to herself. - Shy, they seem to put everything upon Bill! I  wouldn't  be  in Bill's place for a good deal: this fireplace is narrow, to be sure; but  I THINK I can kick a little!
She drew her foot as far down the chimney as she  could,  and  waited till she heard a little animal (she couldn't guess of what  sort  it  was) scratching and scrambling about in the  chimney  close  above  her:  then, saying to herself - This is Bill, - she gave one sharp kick, and waited to see what would happen next.
The first thing she heard was a general chorus of - There goes  Bill! - then the Rabbit's voice along -  Catch  him,  you  by  the  hedge!  Then silence, and then another confusion of voices - Hold up his head -  Brandy now - Don't choke him - How was it, old fellow? What happened to you? Tell us all about it!
Last came a little feeble,  squeaking  voice,  (  -  That's  Bill,  - thought Alice,) - Well, I hardly know - No more, thank ye; I'm better  now - but I'm a deal too flustered to tell you -  all  I  know  is,  something comes at me like a Jack-in-the-box, and up I goes like a sky-rocket!
- So you did, old fellow! - said the others.
- We must burn the house down! - said the Rabbit's voice;  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 Alice thought to herself, - I wonder what they WILL do next! If they had any sense, they'd take the roof off. - After a minute or two, they began moving  about  again,  and  Alice heard the Rabbit say, - A barrowful will do, 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 the window, 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 the pebbles  were  all  turning into little cakes as they lay on the floor, and a 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 possibly make me  larger,  it must make me smaller, I suppose.
So she swallowed one of the cakes, and was delighted to find that she began shrinking directly. As soon as she was small enough to  get  through the door, she ran out of the house, and found  quite  a  crowd  of  little animals and birds waiting outside. The poor little Lizard,  Bill,  was  in the middle, being held up by two guinea-pigs, who were giving it something out of a bottle. They all made a rush at Alice the  moment  she  appeared; but she ran off as hard as she could, and soon found  herself  safe  in  a thick wood.
- The first thing I've got to do, - said Alice  to  herself,  as  she wandered about in the wood, - is to grow to my right size again;  and  the second thing is to find my way into that lovely garden. I think that  will be the best plan.
It sounded an excellent plan, no doubt, and very  neatly  and  simply arranged; the only difficulty was, that she had not the smallest idea  how to set about it; and while she  was  peering  about  anxiously  among  the trees, a little sharp bark just over her head made her look up in a  great hurry.
An enormous puppy was looking down at her with large round eyes,  and feebly stretching out one paw, trying to touch her. - Poor little thing! - said Alice, in a coaxing tone, and she tried hard to whistle  to  it;  but she was terribly frightened all the time at the thought that it  might  be hungry, in which case it would be very likely to eat her up  in  spite  of all her coaxing.
Hardly knowing what she did, she picked up a little bit of stick, and held it out to the puppy; whereupon the puppy jumped 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 dodged behind  a  great  thistle,  to keep herself from being run over; and the moment she appeared on the other side, the puppy made another rush at the  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, ran round the thistle again; then the puppy began a series of short charges at the stick, running a  very  little  way forwards each time and a long way  back,  and  barking  hoarsely  all  the while, till at last it sat down a good way off, panting, with  its  tongue hanging out of its mouth, and its great eyes half shut.
This seemed to Alice a good opportunity for making her escape; so she set off at once, and ran till she was quite tired and out of  breath,  and till the puppy's bark sounded quite faint in the distance.
- And yet what a dear little puppy it was! - said Alice, as she leant against a buttercup to rest herself, and fanned herself with  one  of  the leaves: - I should have liked teaching it tricks very much, if  -  if  I'd only been the right size to do it! Oh dear! I'd nearly forgotten that I've got to grow up again! Let me see - how IS it to be managed?  I  suppose  I ought to eat or drink something or other; but the great question is, what? The great question certainly was, what? Alice looked all round her at  the flowers and the blades of grass, but she did not see anything that  looked 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 might as well look and see what was on the top of it.
She stretched herself up on tiptoe, and peeped over the edge  of  the mushroom, and her eyes immediately met those of a large caterpillar,  that was sitting on the top with  its  arms  folded,  quietly  smoking  a  long hookah, and taking not the smallest notice of her or of anything else.

CHAPTER V
Advice from a Caterpillar

The Caterpillar and Alice looked at  each  other  for  some  time  in silence: at last the Caterpillar took the hookah out  of  its  mouth,  and addressed her in a languid, sleepy voice.      - Who are YOU? - said the Caterpillar. This was  not  an  encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, - I  -  I  hardly know, sir, just at present-at least I know who I WAS when I  got  up  this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.
- What do you mean by that? - said the Caterpillar sternly. – Explain yourself!
- 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 begin with; 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 some day, you know - and then after that into a butterfly, I should think you'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 beginning of the conversation. Alice felt a little irritated at the Caterpillar's making such VERY short remarks,  and she drew herself up and said, very gravely, - I think, you out to tell  me who YOU are, first.
- Why? - said the Caterpillar. Here was  another  puzzling  question; and as Alice could not think of any good reason, and  as  the  Caterpillar seemed to be in a VERY unpleasant state of mind, she turned away.
- Come back! - the Caterpillar called after  her.  -  I've  something important to say!
This sounded promising, certainly: Alice turned and came back  again. - Keep your temper, - said the Caterpillar. - Is that all? -  said  Alice, swallowing down her anger as well as she could.
- No, - said the Caterpillar. Alice thought she might as  well  wait, as she had nothing else to do, and perhaps after all  it  might  tell  her something worth hearing. For some minutes it puffed away without speaking, but at last it unfolded its arms, took the hookah out of its mouth  again, and said,
- So you think you're changed, do you? - I'm afraid I am, sir, - said Alice; - I can't remember things as I used - and I  don't  keep  the  same size for ten minutes together!
- Can't remember WHAT things? - said the Caterpillar.
- Well, I've tried to say - HOW DOTH THE LITTLE BUSY BEE,  -  but  it all came different! - Alice replied in a very melancholy voice.
- Repeat, - YOU ARE OLD, FATHER  WILLIAM,  -  said  the  Caterpillar. Alice folded her hands, and began:
- You are old, Father William, - the young man said, - 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 his son,  -  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 mentioned  before,  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 shook his grey locks, - I  kept all my limbs very supple.
By the use of this ointment - one shilling the box.    
Allow me to sell you a couple?    
- You are old, - said the youth, - and your jaws  are  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 to  the  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 would hardly 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  that  is  enough,  Said  his father; - don't give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?   
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,  -  said  the  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,  -  Alice  hastily 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 so much contradicted in her life before, and she felt that  she was losing her temper.
- 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 wretched height to be.
- It is a very good height indeed! - said  the  Caterpillar  angrily, rearing itself upright as it spoke (it was exactly three inches high).
- But I'm not used to it! - pleaded poor Alice in a piteous tone. And she thought of herself, - I wish  the  creatures  wouldn't  be  so  easily offended!
- You'll get used to it in time, - said the Caterpillar; and  it  put the hookah into its mouth and began smoking again.
This time Alice waited patiently until it chose to speak again. In  a minute or two the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth and  yawned once or twice, and shook itself. Then it got down off  the  mushroom,  and crawled away in the grass, merely remarking as it went,
- One side will make you grow taller, and the other  side  will  make you grow shorter.
- One side of WHAT? The other  side  of  WHAT?  -  thought  Alice  to herself.
- Of the mushroom, - said the Caterpillar, just as if she  had  asked it aloud; and in another moment it was out of sight.
Alice remained looking thoughtfully at the  mushroom  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  she stretched her arms round it as far as they would go, and broke off  a  bit of 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:  the  next  moment  she  felt  a violent blow underneath her chin: it had struck her foot!
She was a good deal frightened by this very sudden  change,  but  she felt that there was no time to be lost, as she was shrinking  rapidly;  so she set to work at once to eat some of the other bit. Her chin was pressed so closely against her foot, that there was hardly room to open her mouth; but she did it at last, and managed to swallow a morsel  of  the  lefthand bit.


* * * * * * *
* * * * * *
* * * * * * *

- Come, my head's free at last! - said Alice in a  tone  of  delight, which changed into alarm in  another  moment,  when  she  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 to rise 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 my shoulders got to? And oh, my poor hands, how is it I can't  see  you?  She was moving them about as she spoke, but no result seemed to follow, except a little shaking among the distant green leaves.
As there seemed to be no chance of getting her hands up to her  head, she tried to get her head down to them, and was delighted to find that her neck would bend about easily in any direction, like  a  serpent.  She  had just succeeded in curving it down into a graceful zigzag, and was going to dive in among the leaves, which she found to be nothing but  the  tops  of the trees under which she had been wandering, when a sharp hiss  made  her draw back in a hurry: a large pigeon had flown  into  her  face,  and  was 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 tried every  way,  and  nothing seems to suit them!
- I haven't the least idea what you're talking about, - said Alice.
- I've tried the roots of trees, and I've tried banks, and I've tried hedges, - the Pigeon went on,  without  attending  to  her;  -  but  those serpents! There's no pleasing them!
Alice was more and more puzzled, but she thought there was no use  in saying anything more till the Pigeon had finished.
- As if it wasn't trouble  enough  hatching  the  eggs,  -  said  the Pigeon; - but I must be on the look-out for serpents night and day! Why, I haven't had a wink of sleep these three weeks!
- I'm very sorry you've been annoyed, - said Alice, who was beginning to see its meaning.
- And just as I'd taken the highest tree in the wood, - continued the Pigeon, raising its voice to a shriek, - and just  as  I  was  thinking  I should be free of them at last, they must needs come wriggling  down  from the sky! Ugh, Serpent!
- But I'm NOT a serpent, I tell you! - said Alice. - I'm a - I'm a
- Well! WHAT are you? - said the Pigeon. - I can see you're trying to invent something!
- I - I'm a little girl, - said  Alice,  rather  doubtfully,  as  she remembered the number of changes she had gone through that day.
- A likely story indeed! - said the Pigeon in a tone of  the  deepest contempt. - I've seen a good many little girls in my time, but  never  ONE with such a neck as that! No, no! You're a serpent;  and  there's  no  use denying it. I suppose you'll be telling me next that you never  tasted  an egg!
- I HAVE tasted eggs,  certainly,  -  said  Alice,  who  was  a  very truthful child; - but little girls eat eggs quite as much as serpents  do, you know.
- I don't believe it, - said the Pigeon; - but if 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 she was quite  silent  for  a minute or two, which gave the Pigeon the opportunity of 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 Alice hastily; - but  I'm  not looking for eggs, as it happens; and if I was, I shouldn't want  YOURS:  I don't like them raw.
- Well, be off, then! - said the  Pigeon  in  a  sulky  tone,  as  it settled down again into its nest. Alice crouched down among the  trees  as well as she could, for her neck kept getting entangled among the branches, and every now and then she had to stop and untwist it. After a  while  she remembered that she still held the pieces of mushroom in  her  hands, and she set to work very carefully, nibbling first at  one  and  then  at  the ther, and growing sometimes taller and sometimes shorter, until  she  had ucceeded in bringing herself down to her usual height.
It was so long since she had been anything near the right size,  that t felt quite strange at first; but she got used to it in a  few  minutes, nd began talking to herself, as usual. - Come, there's half my plan  done ow! How puzzling all these changes are! I'm never sure what I'm going  to be, from one minute to another! However, I've got back to my  right  size: the next thing is, to get into that beautiful garden - how IS that  to  be done, I wonder? - As she said this, she came suddenly upon an open  place, with a little house in it about four feet high. - Whoever lives  there,  - 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 the  righthand bit again, and did not venture to go near the house till she  had  brought herself down to nine inches high.

CHAPTER VI
Pig and Pepper

For a minute or two she stood looking at  the  house,  and  wondering what to do next, when suddenly a footman in livery came running out of the wood - (she considered him to be a  footman  because  he  was  in  livery: otherwise, judging by his face only, she would have called him a  fish)  - and rapped loudly at the door with his knuckles. It was opened by  another footman in livery, with a round face, and large eyes like a frog; and both footmen, Alice noticed, had powdered  hair  that  curled  all  over  their heads. She felt very curious to know what it was all about,  and  crept  a little way out of the wood to listen.
The Fish-Footman began by  producing  from  under  his  arm  a  great letter, nearly as large as himself, and this he handed over to the  other, saying, in a solemn tone, - For the Duchess. An invitation from the  Queen to play croquet. - The Frog-Footman repeated, in  the  same  solemn  tone, only changing the order of the words  a  little,  -  From  the  Queen.  An invitation for the Duchess to play croquet.
Then they both bowed low, and their curls got entangled together.
Alice laughed so much at this, that she had to run back into the wood for fear  of  their  hearing  her;  and  when  she  next  peeped  out  the Fish-Footman was gone, and the other was sitting on 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, - said the Footman, - and that for  two  reasons.  First, because I'm on the same side of the door as  you  are;  secondly,  because they're making such a noise inside, no one could possibly hear you. -  And certainly there was a  most  extraordinary  noise  going  on  within  -  a constant howling and sneezing, and every now and then a great crash, as if a dish or kettle had been broken to pieces.
- Please, then, - said Alice, - how am I to get in?
- There might be some sense in your knocking, - the Footman  went  on without attending to her, - if we had the door between 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 time  he  was  speaking,  and  this Alice thought decidedly uncivil. - But perhaps he can't  help  it,  -  she said to herself; - his eyes are so VERY nearly at the top of his head. But at any rate he might answer questions. -  How  am  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 trees behind him.
- or next day, maybe, - the  Footman  continued  in  the  same  tone, exactly as if nothing had happened.
- How am I to get in? - asked Alice again, in a louder tone.
- ARE you to get in at all? - said the Footman. -  That's  the  first question, you know.
It was, no doubt: only Alice did not like  to  be  told  so.  -  It's really dreadful, - 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 opportunity for 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, and began whistling.
- Oh, there's no use in talking to him, - said Alice  desperately:  - he's perfectly idiotic! - And she opened the door and went  in.  The  door led right into a large kitchen, which was full of smoke from  one  end  to the other: the Duchess was sitting on a three-legged stool in the  middle, nursing a baby; the cook was leaning  over  the  fire,  stirring  a  large cauldron which seemed to be full of soup.
- There's certainly too much pepper in that soup!  -  Alice  said  to herself, as well as she could for sneezing.
There was certainly too much of it  in  the  air.  Even  the  Duchess sneezed occasionally; and as for the baby, it  was  sneezing  and  howling alternately without a moment's pause. The only things in the kitchen  that did not sneeze, were the cook, and a large cat which was  sitting  on  the hearth and grinning from ear to ear.
- Please would you tell me, - said Alice, a little timidly,  for  she was not quite sure whether it was good manners for her to speak  first,  - why your cat grins like that?
- It's a Cheshire cat, - said the Duchess, - and that's why. Pig! She said the last word with such sudden violence that Alice quite jumped;  but she saw in another moment that it was addressed to the baby,  and  not  to her, so she took courage, and went on 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 most of 'em do.
- I don't know of any that do, - Alice said  very  politely,  feeling quite pleased to have got into a conversation.
- You don't know much, - said the Duchess; - and that's a fact. Alice did not at all like the tone of this remark, and thought it  would  be  as well to introduce some other subject of conversation. While she was trying to fix on one, the cook took the cauldron of soup off  the  fire,  and  at once set to work throwing everything within her reach at the  Duchess  and the baby-the fire-irons came first; then followed a shower  of  saucepans, plates, and dishes. The Duchess took no notice of them 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! - cried Alice,  jumping  up  and down in an agony of terror. - Oh, there goes his PRECIOUS nose;  -  as  an unusually large saucepan flew close by it, and very nearly carried it off.
- If everybody minded their own business, - the  Duchess  said  in  a hoarse growl, - the world would go round a deal faster than it does.
- Which would NOT be an advantage, - said Alice, who felt  very  glad to get an opportunity of showing off a little of  her  knowledge.  -  Just think of what work it would make with the day and night! You see the earth takes twenty-four hours to turn round on its axis.
- Talking of axes, - said the Duchess, - chop  off  her  head!  Alice glanced rather anxiously at the cook, to see if  she  meant  to  take  the hint; but the cook was busily stirring the soup,  and  seemed  not  to  be listening, so she went on again: - Twenty-four hours, I THINK;  or  is  it twelve?
- Oh, don't bother ME, - said the Duchess;  -  I  never  could  abide figures! - And with that she began nursing her child again, singing a sort of lullaby to it as she did so, and giving it a 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 of the song, she kept tossing the baby violently up and down, and the poor little 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 enjoy   
The 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 play croquet with the Queen, - and she hurried out of the room.  The  cook threw a 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 and legs in all directions, -  just like a star-fish, - thought Alice. The poor little thing was snorting like a steam-engine when she  caught  it,  and  kept  doubling  itself  up  and straightening itself out again, so that altogether, for the  first  minute or two, it was as much as she could do to hold it.
As soon as she had made out the proper way of nursing it, (which  was to twist it up into a sort of knot, and then keep tight hold of its  right ear and left foot, so as to prevent its undoing itself,)  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  be murder to leave it behind? - She said the last words  out  loud,  and  the little thing grunted in reply (it had left off sneezing by this  time).  - Don't grunt, - said Alice; - that's not at all a proper way of  expressing yourself.
The baby grunted again, and Alice looked very anxiously into its face to see what was the matter with it. There could be no doubt that it had  a VERY turn-up nose, much more like a snout than a real nose; also its  eyes were getting extremely small for a baby: altogether Alice did not like 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 any tears.
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. Mind now! - The poor  little  thing  sobbed  again  (or  grunted,  it  was impossible to say which), and they went on for some while in silence.
Alice was just beginning to think to herself, - Now, what am I to  do with this creature when I get  it  home?  -  when  it  grunted  again,  so violently, that she looked down into its face in  some  alarm.  This  time there could be NO mistake about it: it was neither more nor  less  than  a pig, and she felt that it would be  quite  absurd  for  her  to  carry  it further.
So she set the little creature down, and felt quite relieved  to  see it trot away quietly into the wood. - If it had grown up, -  she  said  to herself, - it would have made a dreadfully ugly child: but it makes rather a handsome pig, I think. - And she began thinking over other children  she knew, who might do very well as pigs, and was just saying to herself, - if one only knew the right way to change them when she was a little  startled by seeing the Cheshire Cat sitting on a bough of a tree a few yards off.
The Cat only grinned when it saw Alice. It looked good- natured,  she thought: still it had VERY long claws and a great many teeth, so she  felt 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, it  only  grinned  a  little wider. - Come, it's pleased so far, - thought Alice, and she  went  on.  - Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
- That depends a good deal on where you want to 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 added as 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, waving its right  paw  round,  - lives a Hatter: and in THAT direction, - waving the other 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're all 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't  have  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 not mad. You grant that?
- I suppose so, - said Alice.
- Well, then, - the Cat went on, - you see, a dog  growls  when  it's angry, and wags its tail when it's pleased. Now I growl when I'm  pleased, and wag 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 the Queen 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, she was getting so used to queer things happening. While she was looking at the place where it had been, it suddenly appeared again.
- By-the-bye, what became of the baby? - said the Cat. -  I'd  nearly forgotten 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  vanished  again.  Alice waited a little, half expecting to see it again, but it  did  not  appear, and after a minute or two she walked on in  the  direction  in  which  the March Hare was said to live. - I've  seen  hatters  before,  she  said  to herself; - the March Hare will be much the most interesting,  and  perhaps as this is May it won't be raving mad - at least not so mad as it  was  in March. - As she said this, she looked up, and there  was  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  you  wouldn't  keep appearing and vanishing so suddenly: you make on quite giddy.
- All right, - said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite  slowly, beginning with the end of the  tail,  and  ending  with  the  grin,  which remained some time after the rest of it had gone.
- Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin, - thought Alice; -  but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever say in my life!
She had not gone much farther before she came in sight of  the  house of the March Hare: she thought it must be the  right  house,  because  the chimneys were shaped like ears and the roof was thatched with fur. It  was so large a house, that she did not like to go nearer till she had  nibbled some more of the lefthand bit of mushroom, and raised herself to about two feet high: even then she walked up towards it rather  timidly,  saying  to herself - Suppose it should be raving mad after all!  I  almost  wish  I'd gone to see the Hatter instead!

CHAPTER VII
A Mad Tea-Party

There was a table set out under a tree in front of the house, and the March Hare and the Hatter were having tea at it: a  Dormouse  was  sitting between them, fast asleep, and the other two were using it as  a  cushion, resting their elbows on it, and the talking over its head.
- Very uncomfortable for the Dormouse, - thought Alice;  -  only,  as it's asleep, I suppose it doesn't mind.
The table was a large one, but the three were all crowded together at one corner of it: - No room! No room! - they cried out when they saw Alice coming. - There's PLENTY of room! - said Alice indignantly,  and  she  sat down in a large arm-chair at one end of the table.
- Have some wine, - the March Hare said in an encouraging tone. Alice looked all round the table, but there was 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 offer it, - said Alice angrily.
- It wasn't very civil of you to sit down without being 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 Alice for 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 hearing this; but all he SAID was, - Why is a raven like a writing-desk?
- Come, we shall have some fun now!  -  thought  Alice.  -  I'm  glad they've begun asking riddles. - I believe I can guess that,  -  she  added aloud.
- Do you mean that you think you can find out the answer to it?  Said the March Hare.
- Exactly so, - said Alice.
- Then you should say what you mean, - the March Hare went on.
- I do, - Alice hastily replied; - at least - at least 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 say that - I see what I eat - is the same thing as - I eat what I see - !
- You might just as well say, - added the March Hare, - 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 when I sleep - is the same  thing as - I sleep when I breathe - !
- It IS the same thing with you, - said  the  Hatter,  and  here  the conversation dropped, and the party sat silent for a minute,  while  Alice thought over all she could remember about ravens and writing-desks,  which wasn't much.
The Hatter was the first to break the silence.  -  What  day  of  the month is it? - he said, turning to Alice: he had taken his  watch  out  of his pocket, 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 - The  fourth.  -  Two  days wrong! - sighed the Hatter. - I told you butter wouldn't suit the works! - he added looking angrily at the March Hare.
- It was the BEST butter, - the March Hare meekly replied.
- Yes, but some crumbs must  have  got  in  as  well,  -  the  Hatter grumbled: - you shouldn't have put it in with the bread-knife.
The March Hare took the watch and looked  at  it  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 with some curiosity. -  What a funny watch! - she remarked. - It  tells  the  day  of  the  month,  and doesn't tell what o'clock it is!
- Why should it? - muttered the Hatter. - Does YOUR  watch  tell  you what year 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  the  Hatter.  Alice  felt dreadfully puzzled. The Hatter's remark seemed to have no sort of  meaning in it, and yet it was certainly English. - I don't quite understand 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, and  said,  without  opening its eyes, - Of course, of course; just what I was going to remark myself.
- Have you guessed the riddle yet? -  the  Hatter  said,  turning  to Alice again.
- No, I give it up, - Alice replied: - that's the 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 with the time, - she said, - than  waste  it  in asking riddles that have no answers.
- If you knew Time as well as I do, - said the Hatter, - 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,  tossing  his  head contemptuously. - I dare say you never even spoke to Time!
- Perhaps not, - Alice cautiously replied: - but I  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'clock in the morning, just time to begin lessons:  you'd  only  have  to whisper a hint to Time, and round goes the clock in a twinkling! Half-past one, time for dinner!
( - I only wish it was, - the March Hare said to itself in a whisper. ) - That would be grand, certainly, - said Alice thoughtfully: - 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. - We quarrelled last March -  just before HE went mad, you know - (pointing with his tea spoon at  the  March Hare,) - it was at the great concert given 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 began singing in its sleep
- Twinkle, twinkle, twinkle, twinkle - and went on so long 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 murdering  the  time!  Off with his head!
- How dreadfully savage! - exclaimed Alice.
- And ever since that, - the Hatter went on in 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  many tea-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 between whiles.
- Then you keep moving round, I suppose? - said Alice.
- Exactly so, - said the Hatter: - as the things get used up.
- But what happens when you come to  the  beginning  again?  -  Alice ventured to ask.
- Suppose we change  the  subject,  -  the  March  Hare  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! And they pinched it on both sides at once.
The Dormouse slowly opened his eyes. - I wasn't asleep, - he said  in a hoarse, 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 little sisters,  -  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  always  took  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 such an  extraordinary  ways  of living would be like, but it puzzled her too much, so she went on:
- But why did they live at the bottom of a well?  -  Take  some  more tea, - the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly. -  I've  had  nothing yet, - Alice replied in an offended 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  then  turned  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 to think about it,  and  then said, - It was a treacle-well.
- There's no such thing! - Alice was beginning very angrily, but  the Hatter and the March Hare went -  Sh!  sh!  -  and  the  Dormouse  sulkily remarked, - If you can't be civil,  you'd  better  finish  the  story  for yourself.
- No, please go on! - Alice said very humbly;  -  I  won't  interrupt again. I dare say there may be ONE.
- One, indeed! - said the Dormouse indignantly. However, he consented to go on. - And so these three little sisters  -  they  were  learning  to draw, you know.
- What did they draw? - said Alice, quite forgetting her promise.
- Treacle, - said the Dormouse, without considering at 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 Dormouse  followed  him:  the  March Hare moved into the Dormouse's place, and Alice  rather  unwillingly  took the place of the March Hare. The Hatter was  the  only  one  who  got  any advantage from the change: and Alice  was  a  good  deal  worse  off  than before, as the March Hare had just upset the milk-jug into his plate.
Alice did not wish to offend the Dormouse again, so  she  began  very cautiously: - But I don't understand. Where  did  they  draw  the  treacle from?
- 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  to  the  Dormouse,  not choosing to notice this last remark.
- Of course they were', said the Dormouse; - well in. This answer  so confused poor Alice, that she let the Dormouse go on for some time without interrupting it.
- They were learning to draw, - the Dormouse  went  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 begins with an M, such as mouse-traps, and the  moon,  and  memory, and muchness-you know you say things are - much of a muchness  -  did  you ever see such a thing as a drawing of a muchness?
- Really, now you ask me, - said Alice, very much confused, - I don't think.
- Then you shouldn't talk, - said the Hatter. This piece of  rudeness was more than Alice could bear: she got up in great  disgust,  and  walked off; the Dormouse fell asleep instantly, and neither of  the  others  took the least notice of her going, though she looked back once or twice,  half hoping that they would call after her: the last time she  saw  them,  they were trying to put the Dormouse into the teapot.
- At any rate I'll never go THERE again! - said Alice as  she  picked her way through the wood. - It's the stupidest tea-party I ever was at  in all my life!
Just as she said this, she noticed that one of the trees had  a  door leading right into it. -  That's  very  curious!  -  she  thought.  -  But everything's curious today. I think I may as well go in at once. - And  in she 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 said  to  herself, and began by taking the little golden key, and unlocking the door that led into the garden. Then she wet to work nibbling at the  mushroom  (she  had kept a piece of it in her pocked) till she was about a foot high: then she walked down the little passage: and THEN - she found herself  at  last  in the beautiful garden, among the bright flower-beds and the cool fountains.


CHAPTER VIII
The Queen's Croquet-Ground

A large rose-tree stood near the entrance of the  garden:  the  roses growing on it were white, but there were three  gardeners  at  it,  busily painting them red. Alice thought this a very curious thing, and  she  went nearer to watch them, and just as she came up to them  she  heard  one  of them say, - Look out now, Five! Don't go  splashing  paint  over  me  like that!
- I couldn't help it, - said Five, in a sulky tone; - Seven jogged my elbow.
On which Seven looked up and said, - That's right, Five!  Always  lay the blame on others!
- YOU'D better not talk!'said Five. - I  heard  the  Queen  say  only yesterday you deserved to be beheaded!
- What for? - said the one who had spoken first.
- That's none of YOUR business, Two! - said Seven.
- Yes, it IS his business! - said Five, - and I'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  upon  Alice,  as  she  stood watching them, and he checked himself suddenly: the  others  looked  round also, and all of them bowed low.
- Would you tell me, - said Alice, a little timidly, -  why  you  are painting those roses?
Five and Seven said nothing, but looked at Two. Two began  in  a  low voice, - Why the fact is, you see, Miss, this here ought to  have  been  a RED rose-tree, and we put a white one in by mistake; and if the Queen  was to find it out, we should all have our heads cut off,  you  know.  So  you see, Miss, we're doing our best, afore she comes, to At this moment  Five, who had been anxiously looking across the garden, called out - The  Queen! The Queen! - and the three gardeners instantly threw 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; these were  all  shaped  like the three gardeners, oblong and flat, with their hands  and  feet  at  the corners: next the ten courtiers;  these  were  ornamented  all  over  with diamonds, and walked two and two, as the soldiers did.  After  these  came the royal children; there were ten of them,  and  the  little  dears  came jumping merrily along hand in hand, in couples: they were  all  ornamented with hearts. Next came the guests, mostly Kings and Queens, and among them Alice recognised the White Rabbit: it was talking  in  a  hurried  nervous manner, smiling at everything that was said, and went by without  noticing her. Then followed the Knave of Hearts, carrying the  King's  crown  on  a crimson velvet cushion; and, last of all this grand procession,  came  THE KING AND QUEEN OF HEARTS.
Alice was rather doubtful whether she ought not to lie  down  on  her face like the three gardeners, but she could  not  remember  every  having heard of such a rule at processions; - and besides, what would be the  use of a procession, - thought she, - if people had all 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 is this? - She said it to the Knave of Hearts, who only bowed and smiled in reply.
- Idiot! - said the Queen, tossing her head impatiently; 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 only a pack of  cards, after all. I needn't be afraid of them!
- And who are  THESE?  -  said  the  Queen,  pointing  to  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 was the same  as  the rest of the pack, she could not  tell  whether  they  were  gardeners,  or soldiers, or courtiers, or three of her own children.
- How should I know? - said Alice, surprised at her  own  courage.  - It's no business of MINE. The Queen turned crimson with fury,  and,  after glaring at her for a moment like a wild beast, screamed  -  Off  with  her head! Off!
- Nonsense! - said Alice, very loudly and decidedly,  and  the  Queen was silent.
The King laid his hand upon her arm, and timidly said - Consider,  my dear: she is only a child!
The Queen turned angrily away from him, and said to the Knave -  Turn them over!
The Knave did so, very carefully, with one foot. - Get up! - said the Queen, in a shrill, loud voice, and the three gardeners  instantly  jumped up, and began bowing to 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,  in  a  very  humble  tone, going down on one knee as he spoke, - we were trying.
- I see! - said the Queen,  who  had  meanwhile  been  examining  the roses. - Off with their heads! - and the procession moved on, three of the soldiers remaining behind to execute the unfortunate gardeners, who ran to Alice for protection.
- You shan't be beheaded! - said Alice, and she put them into a large flower-pot that stood near. The three soldiers wandered about for a minute or two, looking for them, and then quietly marched off after the others.
- 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 Alice joined the procession, wondering very much what would happen next.
- It's - it's a very fine day! - said a timid voice at her side.  She was walking 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  looked anxiously over his shoulder as he spoke,  and  then  raised  himself  upon tiptoe, put his mouth close to  her  ear,  and  whispered  -  She's  under sentence of execution.
- What for? - said Alice.
- Did you say - What a pity! - ? - the Rabbit asked.
- No, I didn't, - said Alice: - I don't think it's at all a  pity.  I said - What for?
- She boxed the Queen's ears - the Rabbit began. Alice gave a  little scream of laughter. - Oh, hush! - the Rabbit  whispered  in  a  frightened tone. - The Queen will hear you! You see, she came rather  late,  and  the Queen said.
- Get to your places! - shouted the Queen in a voice of thunder,  and people began running about in all directions,  tumbling  up  against  each other; however, they got settled down in a minute or  two,  and  the  game began. Alice thought she had never seen such a curious  croquet-ground  in her life; it was all ridges and furrows; the balls  were  live  hedgehogs, the mallets live flamingoes, and the soldiers had to double themselves  up and to stand on their hands and feet, to make the arches.
The chief difficulty  Alice  found  at  first  was  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 was going  to  give  the hedgehog a blow with its head, it WOULD twist itself round and look up  in her face, with such a puzzled expression that she could not help  bursting out laughing: and when she had got its head down, and was going  to  begin again, it was very provoking  to  find  that  the  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 wherever she  wanted  to  send  the hedgehog to, and, as the doubled-up soldiers were always  getting  up  and walking off to  other  parts  of  the  ground,  Alice  soon  came  to  the conclusion that it was a very difficult game indeed.
The players all played at once without waiting for turns, quarrelling all the while, and fighting for the hedgehogs; and in a  very  short  time the Queen was in a furious passion, and went stamping about, and  shouting.
- Off with his head! - or - Off with her 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 that it might happen any  minute, - and then, - thought she, - what would become of me?  They're  dreadfully fond of beheading people here; the great wonder is, that there's  any  one left alive!
She was looking about for some way of escape, and  wondering  whether she could get  away  without  being  seen,  when  she  noticed  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 somebody to talk to.
- How are you getting on? - said the Cat, as soon as there was  mouth enough for it to speak with.
Alice waited till the eyes appeared, and then nodded. - It's  no  use speaking to it, - she thought, - till its ears have come, or at least  one of them. - In another minute the whole head appeared, and then  Alice  put down her flamingo, and began an account of the game, feeling very glad she had someone to listen to her. The Cat  seemed  to  think  that  there  was enough of it now in sight, and no more of it appeared.
- I don't think they play at all fairly, - Alice began, in  rather  a complaining tone, - and they all quarrel  so  dreadfully  one  can't  hear oneself speak - and they don't seem to have any rules  in  particular;  at least, if there are, nobody attends to them  -  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 about at the other end of the ground - and I should have croqueted the Queen's hedgehog just  now,  only  it  ran away when it saw mine coming?
- How do you like the Queen? - said the Cat in 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 while finishing the game.
The Queen smiled and passed on. - Who ARE you talking to? - said  the King, going up to  Alice,  and  looking  at  the  Cat's  head  with  great curiosity.
- It's a friend of mine - a Cheshire Cat, - said Alice: - allow me to introduce it.
- I don't like the look of it at all, - said the King: - however,  it may kiss my hand if it likes.
- I'd rather not, - the Cat remarked.
- Don't be impertinent, - said the King, - and don'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 King very  decidedly,  and  he called the Queen, who was passing at the moment, - My  dear!  I  wish  you would have this cat removed!
The Queen had only one way of settling  all  difficulties,  great  or small. - Off with his head! - she said, without even looking round.
- I'll fetch the executioner myself, - said the King eagerly, and  he hurried off.
Alice thought she might as well go back, and see  how  the  game  was going on, as she heard the Queen's voice in the distance,  screaming  with passion. She had already heard her sentence three of  the  players  to  be executed for having missed their turns, and she did not like the  look  of things at all, as the game was in  such  confusion  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  another  hedgehog,  which seemed to Alice an excellent opportunity for croqueting one of  them  with the other: the only difficulty was, that her flamingo was gone  across  to the other side of the garden,  where  Alice  could  see  it  trying  in  a helpless sort of way to fly up into a tree.
By the time she had caught the flamingo  and  brought  it  back,  the fight was over, and both the hedgehogs were out of sight: - but it doesn't matter much, - thought Alice, - as all the arches are gone from  the  side of the ground. - So she tucked it away under her arm, that  it  might  not escape again, and went back  for  a  little  more  conversation  with  her friend.
When she got back to the Cheshire Cat,  she  was  surprised  to  find quite a large crowd collected round it:  there  was  a  dispute  going  on between the executioner, the King, and the Queen, who were all talking  at once, while all the rest were quite silent, and looked very uncomfortable.
The moment Alice appeared, she was appealed to by all three to settle the question, and they repeated their arguments to her,  though,  as  they all spoke at once, she found it very hard indeed to make out exactly  what they said.
The executioner's argument was, that you  couldn't  cut  off  a  head unless there was a body to cut it off from: that he had never  had  to  do such a thing before, and he wasn't going to begin at HIS time of life.
The King's argument was, that anything  that  had  a  head  could  be beheaded, and that you weren't to talk nonsense.
The Queen's argument was, that if something wasn't done about  it  in less than no time she'd have everybody executed, all round. (It  was  this last remark 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 moment he was gone, and, by  the time he had disappeared; so the King and the executioner ran wildly up and down looking for it, while the rest of the party went back to the game.


CHAPTER IX
The Mock Turtle's Story

- You can't think you glad I am to see you again, you dear old thing! - said the Duchess, as she tucked her arm affectionately into Alice's, and they walked off together.
Alice was very glad to find  her  in  such  a  pleasant  temper,  and thought to herself that perhaps it was only the pepper that 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 kitchen AT  ALL.  Soup  does very  well  without  -  Maybe  it's  always  pepper  that   makes   people hot-tempered, - she went on, very much pleased at having found out  a  new kind of rule, - and vinegar that makes them sour - and camomile that makes them bitter - and - and barley-sugar and such things  that  make  children sweet-tempered. I only wish people knew that: then  they  wouldn't  be  so stingy about it, you know.
She had quite forgotten the Duchess by this time, and  was  a  little startled when she heard her voice close to  her  ear.  -  You're  thinking about something, my dear, and that makes you forget to talk. I can't  tell you just now what the moral of that is, but I shall remember it in a bit.
- Perhaps it hasn't one, - Alice ventured to remark.
- Tut, tut, child! - said the Duchess. - Everything's got a moral, if only you can find it. - And she squeezed herself up closer to Alice's side as she spoke.
Alice did not much like keeping so close to her: first,  because  the Duchess was VERY ugly; and secondly, because she  was  exactly  the  right height to rest her chin upon Alice's shoulder, and it was an uncomfortably sharp chin. However, she did not like to be rude, so she bore it  as  well as she could.
- The game's going on rather better  now,  -  she  said,  by  way  of keeping up the conversation a little.
- 'Tis so, - said the Duchess: - and the moral of that is - Oh,  'tis love, 'tis love, that makes the world go round!
- Somebody said, - Alice whispered, - that  it's  done  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 as she added, - and the  moral of THAT is - Take care of the sense, and the  sounds  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  put  my  arm  round  your waist, - the Duchess said after  a  pause:  -  the  reason  is,  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: - flamingoes and mustard both  bite. And the moral of that is - Birds of a feather flock together.
- Only mustard isn't a bird, - Alice remarked.
- Right, as usual, - said the Duchess: - what a clear way you have of putting things!
- It's a mineral, I THINK, - said Alice.
- Of course it is, - said the Duchess, who seemed ready to  agree  to everything that Alice said; - there's a large mustard-mine near here.  And the moral of that is - The more there is of mine, the  less  there  is  of yours.
- Oh, I know! - exclaimed Alice, who had not attended  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 if you'd like it put more simply  - Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it  might  appear  to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise  than  what you had been would have appeared to 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 follow it  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 any longer than that, -  said Alice.
- Oh, don't talk about trouble! - said the Duchess. - I  make  you  a present of everything I've said as yet.
- A cheap sort of present! - thought Alice. -  I'm  glad  they  don't give birthday presents like that! - But she did not venture to say it  out loud.
- Thinking again? - the Duchess asked, with another dig of her  sharp 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's voice  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 Queen  in  front  of  them,  with  her  arms  folded,  frowning   like   a thunderstorm.
- A fine day, your Majesty! - the Duchess began in a low, weak voice.      - Now, I give you fair warning, - shouted the Queen, stamping on  the ground as she spoke; - either you or your head must be off,  and  that  in about half no time! Take your choice!
The Duchess took her choice, and was gone in a moment. - Let's go  on with the game, -  the  Queen  said  to  Alice;  and  Alice  was  too  much frightened  to  say  a  word,  but  slowly  followed  her  back   to   the croquet-ground.
The other guests had taken advantage of the Queen's absence, and were resting in the shade: however, the moment they saw her, they hurried  back to the game, the Queen merely remarking that a moment's delay  would  cost them their lives.
All the time they were playing the Queen never left  off  quarrelling with the other players, and shouting - Off with his head! - or - Off  with her head! - Those whom she  sentenced  were  taken  into  custody  by  the soldiers, who of course had to leave off being arches to do this, so  that by the end of half an hour or so there were no arches 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 shall tell you his history.
As they walked off together, Alice heard the King say in a low voice, to the company generally, - You are all pardoned.  - Come, THAT'S a  good thing! - she said to herself, for she had felt quite unhappy at the number of executions the Queen had ordered.
They very soon came upon a Gryphon, lying fast asleep in the sun. (IF you don't know what a Gryphon is, look at the picture.) - Up, lazy  thing! - said the Queen, - and take this young lady to see the Mock  Turtle,  and to hear his history. I must go back and see after some executions  I  have ordered; - and she walked off, leaving Alice alone with the Gryphon. Alice did not quite like the look of the creature, but on the whole she  thought it would be quite as safe to stay with it  as  to  go  after  that  savage Queen: so she waited.
The Gryphon sat up and rubbed its eyes: then  it  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 never executes nobody, you know. Come on!
- Everybody says - come on! - here, -  thought  Alice,  as  she  went slowly after it: - I never was so ordered about in all my life, never!
They had not gone  far  before  they  saw  the  Mock  Turtle  in  the distance, sitting sad and lonely on a little ledge of rock, and,  as  they came nearer, Alice could hear him sighing as if his heart would break. She pitied him deeply. - What is his sorrow? - she asked the Gryphon, and  the Gryphon answered, very nearly in the same words as before, - It's all  his fancy, that: he hasn't got no sorrow, you know. Come on!
So they went up to the Mock Turtle, who looked  at  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 in a deep, hollow tone:  - sit down, both of you, and don't speak a word till I've finished. So  they sat down, and nobody spoke for some minutes. Alice thought to herself, - I don't see how he can EVEN finish, if he doesn't begin. -  But  she  waited patiently.
- Once, - said the Mock Turtle at last, with a deep sigh, - I  was  a real Turtle.
These words were followed by a very long silence, broken only  by  an occasional exclamation of - Hjckrrh! - from the Gryphon, and the  constant heavy sobbing of the Mock Turtle. Alice was very  nearly  getting  up  and saying, - Thank you, sir, for your interesting story, but  she  could  not help thinking there MUST be more to  come,  so  she  sat  still  and  said nothing.
- When we were little, - the  Mock  Turtle  went  on  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 call him Tortoise.
- Why did you call him Tortoise, if he wasn't one? - Alice asked.
- We called him Tortoise because he taught us, - said the Mock Turtle angrily: - really you are very dull!
- You ought to be ashamed  of  yourself  for  asking  such  a  simple question, - added the Gryphon; and then they both sat silent and looked at poor Alice, who felt ready to sink into the earth.  At  last  the  Gryphon said to 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, though you mayn't believe it.
- I never said I didn't! - interrupted Alice.
- You did, - said the Mock Turtle.
- Hold your tongue! - added the Gryphon,  before  Alice  could  speak again. The Mock Turtle went on.
- We had the best of educations - in fact, we went  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 little anxiously.
- Yes, - said Alice, - we learned French and music.
- 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 the Mock Turtle with a  sigh. - I only took the regular course. - What was that?  -  inquired  Alice.  - Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with, - the Mock Turtle replied; - and then the different  branches  of  Arithmetic-Ambition,  Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.
- I never heard of - Uglification, - Alice ventured to say. - What is it?
The Gryphon lifted up both its paws in surprise. - What! Never  heard of uglifying! - 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  you  don't  know  what  to uglify is, you ARE a simpleton.
Alice did not feel encouraged to ask any more questions about it,  so she turned to the Mock Turtle, and said - What else had you to learn?
- Well, there was Mystery, - the Mock Turtle  replied,  counting  off the subjects  on  his  flappers,  -  Mystery,  ancient  and  modern,  with Seaography: then Drawling - the Drawling-master  was  an  old  conger-eel, that used to come once a week: HE  taught  us  Drawling,  Stretching,  and Fainting in Coils.
- What was THAT like? - said Alice.
- Well, I can't show it you myself, - the Mock Turtle said: - I'm too stiff. And the Gryphon never learnt it.
- Hadn't time, - said the Gryphon: - I went to the  Classics  master, though. He was an old crab, HE was.
- I never went to him, - the Mock Turtle  said  with  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 she thought it over a little before she made her next remark.  -  Then the eleventh day must have been a holiday?
- 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 Gryphon interrupted  in  a  very decided tone: - tell her something about the games now.


CHAPTER X
The Lobster Quadrille

The Mock Turtle sighed deeply, and  drew  the  back  of  one  flapper across his eyes. He looked at Alice, and tried to speak, but for 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  in  the 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  introduced  to  a  lobster(Alice began to say - I once tasted - but checked herself hastily, and said - No, never') - so you can have no  idea  what  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 into  a  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, - interrupted the Gryphon.
- you advance twice.
- Each with a lobster as a partner! - cried the Gryphon.
- Of course, - the Mock Turtle said: - advance twice, 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, with a bound into the air.
- as far out to sea as you can
- Swim after them! - screamed the Gryphon.
- Back to land again, and that's all the first  figure,  -  said  the Mock Turtle, suddenly dropping his voice; and the two 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 Alice timidly.
- Would you like to see a little of it? - said the Mock Turtle.
- Very much indeed, - said Alice.
- Come, let's try the first figure! - said the  Mock  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 round  Alice,  every  now  and  then treading on her toes when they passed too close, and waving their forepaws to mark the time, while the Mock Turtle sang this, very slowly and sadly:-
- Will you walk a little faster? - said a whiting to a snail.
- There's a porpoise close behind us, and he's treading on  my  tail. See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance! They are waiting on the shingle - will you come 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 delightful it will be  When  they take us up and throw us, with the lobsters, out to sea! - But the snail replied  - Too far, too far! -  and gave a look  askance - Said he thanked the whiting kindly, but he would 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 scaly friend replied. -  There is another shore, you know, upon the other  side.  The  further  off  from England the nearer is to France-Then turn not  pale,  beloved  snail,  but come 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?    
- Thank you, it's a very interesting dance to watch,  -  said  Alice, feeling very glad that it was over at last:  -  and  I  do  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 at  dinn  -  she  checked herself hastily.
- I don't know where Dinn may be, - said the Mock Turtle,  -  but  if you've seen them so often, of course you know what they're like.
- I believe so, - Alice replied thoughtfully. - They have their tails in their mouths - and they're all over crumbs.
- You're wrong about the crumbs, - said the  Mock  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 and shut his eyes. -  Tell her about the reason and all that, - he said to the Gryphon.
- The reason is, - said the Gryphon, - that they WOULD  go  with  the lobsters to the dance. So they got thrown out to sea. So they had to  fall a long way. So they got their tails fast in their mouths. So they couldn't get them out again. That's all.
- Thank you, - said Alice, - it's very interesting. I never  knew  so much about a whiting before.
- I can tell you more than that, if you like, - said the  Gryphon.  - Do you know 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  repeated in a wondering tone.
- Why, what are YOUR shoes done with? - said the Gryphon. -  I  mean, what makes them so shiny?
Alice looked down at them, and considered a little  before  she  gave her answer. - They're done with blacking, I believe.
- Boots and shoes under the sea, - the Gryphon  went  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   replied   rather impatiently: - any shrimp could have told you that.
- If I'd been the whiting, - said Alice, whose  thoughts  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 tone of 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 replied in an  offended  tone. And the Gryphon added - Come, let's hear some of YOUR adventures.
- I could tell you my adventures - beginning  from  this  morning,  - said Alice a little timidly: - but it's no use going  back  to  yesterday, because I was a different person then.
- Explain all that, - said the Mock Turtle.
- No, no! The adventures first, - said the Gryphon  in  an  impatient tone: - explanations take such a dreadful time.
So Alice began telling them her adventures from  the  time  when  she first saw the White Rabbit. She was a little  nervous  about  it  just  at first, the two creatures got so close to her, one on each side, and opened their eyes and mouths so VERY wide, but she gained courage as she went on. Her listeners were perfectly quiet till she got  to  the  part  about  her repeating - YOU ARE OLD, FATHER WILLIAM, - to  the  Caterpillar,  and  the words all coming different, and then the Mock Turtle 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 repeated thoughtfully. – I should like to hear her try and repeat something now. Tell her to begin. - He looked at the Gryphon as if he thought it had some  kind  of  authority over Alice.
- Stand up and repeat - 'TIS THE VOICE OF THE SLUGGARD,  -  said  the Gryphon.
- How the creatures order one about, and  make  one  repeat  lessons! thought Alice; - I might as well be at school at once. - However, she  got up, and began to repeat it, but her  head  was  so  full  of  the  Lobster Quadrille, that she hardly knew what she was saying, and  the  words  came very queer indeed:
- 'Tis the voice of the Lobster; I heard him declare,
- You have baked me too brown, I must sugar my hair. As a  duck  with its eyelids, so he with his nose Trims his belt and his buttons, and turns out his toes.     
[later editions continued as follows   
When 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 say when I was a child, - said the Gryphon.
- Well, I never heard it before, - said the Mock  Turtle;  -  but  it sounds uncommon nonsense.
Alice said nothing; she had sat down with  her  face  in  her  hands, wondering if anything would EVER happen in a natural way again.
- I should like to have it explained, - said the Mock Turtle.
- She can't explain it, - said the Gryphon hastily. - Go on with  the next verse.
- But about his toes? - the Mock Turtle persisted.  -  How  COULD  he turn them out with his nose, you know?
- It's  the  first  position  in  dancing.  -  Alice  said;  but  was dreadfully puzzled by the whole thing, and longed to change the subject.
- Go on with the next verse, - the Gryphon repeated impatiently: - it begins - I passed by his garden.
Alice did not dare to disobey, though she felt sure it would all come wrong, and she went on in a trembling voice:
- I passed by his garden, and marked, with one eye, How the  Owl  and the Panther were sharing a pie
[later editions continued as follows   
The 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, as a 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 you go on? It's by far the  most confusing thing I ever heard!
- Yes, I think you'd better leave off, - said the Gryphon: and  Alice was only too glad to do so.
- Shall we try another figure of the Lobster Quadrille? - the Gryphon went on. - Or would you like the Mock Turtle to sing you a song?
- Oh, a song, please, if the Mock Turtle would be so  kind,  -  Alice replied, so eagerly that the Gryphon said, in a rather offended toe,
- Hm! No accounting for tastes! Sing her - Turtle Soup, -  will  you, old fellow?
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  two  p  ennyworth  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 the  Mock  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, taking Alice  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  only answered - Come on! - and ran the faster,  while  more  and  more  faintly came, carried on the breeze that followed them, the melancholy words:
- Soo - oop of the e - e - evening, Beautiful, beautiful Soup!


CHAPTER XI
Who Stole the Tarts?

The King and Queen of Hearts were seated on their  throne  when  they arrived, with a great crowd assembled about them -  all  sorts  of  little birds and beasts, as well as the  whole  pack  of  cards:  the  Knave  was standing before them, in chains, with a soldier on 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  court  was  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  the  trial done, - she thought, - and hand round the refreshments! - But there seemed to be no chance of this, so she began looking at everything about her,  to pass away the time.
Alice had never been in a court of justice before, but she  had  read about them in books, and she was quite pleased to find that she  knew  the name of nearly everything there.  -  That's  the  judge,  -  she  said  to herself, - because of his great wig.
The judge, by the way, was the King; and as he wore  his  crown  over the wig, (look at the frontispiece if you want to see how he did  it,)  he did not look at all comfortable, and it was certainly not 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  suppose  they  are  the jurors. - She said this last word two or  three  times  over  to  herself, being rather proud of it: for she thought, and rightly too, that very  few little girls of her age knew the meaning of it at all. However, - jury-men - would have done just as well.
The twelve jurors were all writing very busily on slates. - What  are they doing? - Alice whispered to the Gryphon. - They can't  have  anything to put down yet, before the trial's begun.
- They're putting down their names, - the Gryphon whispered in reply, - for fear they should forget them before the end of the trial.  -  Stupid things! - Alice began in a loud, indignant voice, but she stopped hastily, for the White Rabbit cried out, - Silence in the court! - and the King put on his spectacles and looked anxiously round, to make out who was talking.
Alice could see, as well as if she were looking over their shoulders, that all the jurors were writing down - stupid things! - on their  slates, and she could even make out that one of them didn't know how  to  spell  - stupid, - and that he had to ask his neighbour  to  tell  him.  -  A  nice muddle their slates'll be in before the trial's over! - thought Alice.
One of the jurors had a pencil that squeaked. This of  course,  Alice could not stand, and she went round the court and got behind him, and very soon found an opportunity of taking it away. She did it  so  quickly  that the poor little juror (it was Bill, the Lizard) could not make out at  all what had become of it; so, after hunting all about for it, he was  obliged to write with one finger for the rest of the day; and  this  was  of  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 blasts on the trumpet, and then unrolled  the  parchment scroll, and read as follows:
- 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 to the jury.
- Not yet, not yet! - the Rabbit hastily  interrupted.  -  There's  a great deal to come before that!
- Call the first witness, - said the King; and the White Rabbit  blew three blasts on the trumpet, and called out, - First witness!
The first witness was the Hatter. He came in with  a  teacup  in  one hand and a piece of bread-and-butter in the other. - I  beg  pardon,  your Majesty, - he began, - for bringing these in: but I hadn't quite  finished my 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 had followed him into the  court, arm-in-arm with the Dormouse. - Fourteenth of March, I think it was, -  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 the Hatter.
- It isn't mine, - said the Hatter.
- Stolen! - the King exclaimed, turning to the  jury,  who  instantly made a memorandum of the fact.
- I keep them to sell, - the Hatter added as an explanation;  -  I've none of my own. I'm a hatter.
Here the Queen put on  her  spectacles,  and  began  staring  at  the Hatter, who turned pale and fidgeted.
- Give your evidence, - said the King; - and  don't  be  nervous,  or I'll have you executed on the spot.
This did not seem to encourage the witness at all: he  kept  shifting form one foot to the other, looking uneasily at  the  Queen,  and  in  his confusion he  bit  a  large  piece  out  of  his  teacup  instead  of  the bread-and-butter.
Just at this moment  Alice  felt  a  very  curious  sensation,  which puzzled her a good deal until she made out what it was: she was  beginning to grow larger again, and she thought at first she would get up and  leave the court; but on second thoughts she decided to remain where she  was  as long as there was room for her.
- I wish you wouldn't squeeze  so.  -  said  the  Dormouse,  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, - said the Dormouse: - not in that ridiculous fashion. - And he got up very sulkily and crossed over  to the other side of the court.
All this time the Queen had never left off  staring  at  the  Hatter, and, just as the Dormouse crossed the  court,  she  said  to  one  of  the officers of the court, - Bring me the list of  the  singers  in  the  last concert! - on which the wretched Hatter trembled so, that  he  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 Hatter began,  in  a  trembling voice, - and I hadn't begun my tea - not above a week or  so  -  and  what with the bread-and-butter getting so thin - and the twinkling 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! - said the King sharply. -  Do you take me for a dunce? Go on!
- I'm a poor man, - the Hatter went on, - and  most  things  twinkled after that - only the March Hare said
- I didn't! - said the Hatter.
- I deny it! - said the King: - leave out that part.
- Well, at any rate, the Dormouse said - the Hatter went on,  looking anxiously round to see if he would deny it too: but  the  Dormouse  denied nothing, being fast asleep.
- After that, - continued  the  Hatter,  -  I  cut  some  more  bread and-butter
- But what did the Dormouse say? - one of the jury asked.
- That I can't remember, - said the Hatter.
- You MUST remember,  -  remarked  the  King,  -  or  I'll  have  you executed. The miserable Hatter dropped his  teacup  and  bread-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 was immediately suppressed by the officers of the court. (As that is rather a hard word, I will just explain to you  how  it was done. They had a large canvas bag, which tied up  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 read in the newspapers, at the end of trials, -  There  was  some  attempts  at applause, which was immediately suppressed by the officers of the court, - and I never understood what it meant till now.
- If that's all you know about it, you may stand  down,  -  continued the King.
- I can't go no lower, - said the Hatter: - I'm on the floor,  as  it is.
- Then you  may  SIT  down,  -  the  King  replied.  Here  the  other guinea-pig  cheered,  and  was  suppressed.  -  Come,  that  finished  the guinea-pigs! - thought Alice. - Now we shall get on 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  Hatter  hurriedly  left  the court, without even waiting to put his shoes on.
- and just take his head off outside, - the Queen added to one of the officers: but the Hatter was out of sight before 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 in her hand, and Alice  guessed who it was, even before she got into the court, 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 the cook 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  shrieked  out.  -  Behead  that Dormouse! Turn that Dormouse out of court! Suppress him!  Pinch  him!  Off with his whiskers!
For some minutes the  whole  court  was  in  confusion,  getting  the Dormouse turned out, and, by the time they had  settled  down  again,  the cook had disappeared.
- Never mind! - said the King, with an air of great  relief.  -  Call the next witness. - And he added in an undertone to the Queen,  -  Really, my dear, YOU must cross-examine  the  next  witness.  It  quite  makes  my forehead ache!
Alice watched the White Rabbit as he fumbled over the  list,  feeling very curious to see what the next  witness  would  be  like,  -  for  they haven't got much  evidence  YET,  -  she  said  to  herself.  Imagine  her surprise, when the White Rabbit read out, at the top of his shrill  little voice, the name - Alice!


CHAPTER XII
Alice's Evidence

- Here! - cried Alice, quite forgetting in the flurry 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-box with  the  edge  of  her  skirt, upsetting all the jurymen on to the heads of the crowd  below,  and  there they lay sprawling about, reminding her very much of a globe  of  goldfish she had accidentally upset the week before.
- Oh, I BEG your pardon! - she exclaimed in a tone of  great  dismay, and began picking them up again as quickly as she could, for the  accident of the goldfish kept running in her head, and she had a vague sort of idea that they must be collected at once and put back  into  the  jury-box,  or they would die.
- The trial cannot proceed, - said the King in 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 he said do.
Alice looked at the jury-box, and saw that, in her haste, she had put the Lizard in head downwards, and the poor little  thing  was  waving  its tail about in a melancholy way, being quite unable to move. She  soon  got it out again, and put it right; - not that it signifies much, -  she  said to herself; - I should think it would be QUITE as much use  in  the  trial one way up as the other.
As soon as the jury had a little recovered from the  shock  of  being upset, and their slates and pencils had been  found  and  handed  back  to them, they set to work very diligently to  write  out  a  history  of  the accident, all except the Lizard,  who  seemed  too  much  overcome  to  do anything but sit with its mouth open, gazing  up  into  the  roof  of  the court.
- What do you know about this business? - the King said to Alice.
- Nothing, - said Alice.
- Nothing WHATEVER? - persisted the King.
- Nothing whatever, - said Alice.
- That's very important, - the King said, turning to the  jury.  They were just beginning to write this down on their  slates,  when  the  White Rabbit interrupted: - UNimportant, your Majesty means,  of  course,  -  he said in a very respectful tone, but frowning and making faces at him as he spoke.
- UNimportant, of course, I meant, - the King hastily 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 enough to look over their slates;  - but it doesn't matter a bit, - she thought to herself.
At this moment the King, who had been for some time busily writing in his note-book, cackled out - Silence! - and read out from his book.
- Rule Forty-two. ALL PERSONS MORE THAN A  MILE  HIGH  TO  LEAVE  THE 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 the King.
- Then it ought to be Number One, - said Alice. The King turned pale, and shut his note-book hastily. - Consider your verdict, - he said to  the jury, in a low, trembling voice.
- There's more evidence to come yet, please your Majesty, - said  the White Rabbit, jumping up in a great hurry; -  this  paper  has  just  been picked up.
- What's in it? - said the Queen.
- I haven't opened it yet, said the White Rabbit, - but it  seems  to be a letter, written by the prisoner to - to somebody.
- It must have been that, - said the King, - unless it was written to nobody, which isn't usual, you know.
- Who is it directed to? - said one of the jurymen.
- It isn't directed at all, - said  the  White  Rabbit;  -  in  fact, there's nothing written on the OUTSIDE. - He  unfolded  the  paper  as  he spoke, and added - It isn't a letter, after all: it's a set of verses.
- Are they in the prisoner's handwriting? -  asked  another  of  they jurymen.
- No, they're not, - said the White Rabbit, - and that's the queerest thing about it. - (The jury all looked puzzled).
- He must have imitated somebody else's hand, - said the  King.  (The jury all brightened up again).
- Please your Majesty, - said the Knave, - I  didn't  write  it,  and they can't prove I did: there's no name signed at the end.
- If you didn't sign it, - said the  King,  -  that  only  makes  the matter worse. You MUST have meant some mischief, or else you'd have signed your name like an honest man.
There was a general clapping of hands  at  this:  it  was  the  first really clever thing the King had said that day.
- That PROVES his guilt, - said the Queen.
- It proves nothing of the sort! - said Alice. - Why, you don't  even know what they're about!
- Read them, - said the King. The White Rabbit put on his spectacles. - Where shall I begin, please your Majesty? - he asked.
- Begin at the beginning, - the King said 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 be   
Involved 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 between   
Him, 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 evidence we've heard yet, - said the King, rubbing his hands; - so now let the jury.
- If any one of them can explain it, - said Alice, (she had grown  so large in the last few minutes that she wasn't a bit afraid of interrupting him,) - I'll give him sixpence. _I_  don't  believe  there's  an  atom  of meaning in it.
The jury all wrote down  on  their  slates,  -  SHE  doesn't  believe there's an atom of meaning in it, - but none of them attempted to  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 find any. And yet I don't know, - he went on, spreading out the verses on his knee, and  looking  at  them with one eye; - I seem to see some meaning in them, after all.
- SAID I COULD NOT SWIM - you  can't  swim,  can  you?  -  he  added, turning to the Knave.
The Knave shook his head sadly. - Do I  look  like  it?  -  he  said. (Which he certainly did NOT, being made entirely of cardboard).
- All right, so far, - said the King, and he went on  muttering  over the verses to himself: - WE KNOW IT TO BE  TRUE  -  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 HIM TO 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 SHE HAD THIS FIT - you never had fits, my dear, I think? - he  said to the Queen.
- Never! - said the Queen furiously,  throwing  an  inkstand  at  the Lizard as she spoke. (The unfortunate little Bill had left off writing  on his slate with one finger, as he found it made no mark; but he now hastily began again, using the ink, that was trickling down 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  offended  tone,  and  everybody laughed, - Let the jury consider their verdict, - the King 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  the sentence first!
- Hold your tongue! - said the Queen, turning purple.
- I won't! - said Alice.
- Off with her head! - the Queen shouted at the  top  of  her  voice. Nobody moved.
- Who cares for you? - said Alice, (she had grown 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 fright and half of anger,  and tried to beat them off, and found herself lying on the bank, with her head in the lap of her sister, who was gently brushing away  some  dead  leaves that had fluttered down from the trees upon 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! - said Alice, 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.
So Alice 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 left her, leaning  her  head  on her hand, watching the setting sun, and thinking of little Alice  and  all her wonderful Adventures, till she too began dreaming after 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 the bright eager eyes  were  looking up into hers - she could hear the very tones of her voice,  and  see  that queer little toss of her head to keep back the wandering hair  that  WOULD always get into her eyes - and still as she listened, or seemed to listen, the whole place around her became  alive  the  strange  creatures  of  her little sister's dream.
The long grass rustled at her feet as the White Rabbit hurried  by  - the frightened Mouse splashed his way through the neighbouring pool -  she could hear the rattle of the teacups as the March  Hare  and  his  friends shared their never-ending meal, and the shrill voice of the Queen ordering off her unfortunate guests to execution  -  once  more  the  pig-baby  was sneezing on the Duchess's knee, while plates and dishes crashed around  it - once more the shriek of the  Gryphon,  the  squeaking  of  the  Lizard's slate-pencil, and the choking of the suppressed  guinea-pigs,  filled  the air, mixed up with the distant sobs of the miserable Mock Turtle.
So she sat on,  with  closed  eyes,  and  half  believed  herself  in Wonderland, though she knew she had but to open them again, and all  would change to dull reality - the grass would be only rustling in the wind, and the pool rippling to the waving of the reeds - the rattling teacups  would change to tinkling sheepbells, and the Queen's shrill cries to  the  voice of the shepherd boy - and the sneeze  of  the  baby,  the  shriek  of  the Gryphon, and all thy other queer noises, would change (she  knew)  to  the confused clamour of the busy farm-yard - while the lowing of the cattle in the distance would take the place of the Mock Turtle's heavy sobs.
Lastly, she pictured to herself how this same little sister  of  hers would, in the after-time, be herself a grown  woman;  and  how  she  would keep, through all her riper years, the simple  and  loving  heart  of  her childhood: and how she would gather about her other little  children,  and make THEIR eyes bright and eager with many a 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  pleasure  in  all  their  simple  joys, remembering her own child-life, and the happy summer days.

THE END

ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND

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