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ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND
Down the Rabbit-Hole
Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister
on the bankand of having nothing to do: once or twice she had
peeped into the book her sister was readingbut 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 daisieswhen 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 afterwardsit occurred to her that she ought to have
wondered at thisbut at the time it all seemed quite natural);
but when the Rabbit actually TOOK A WATCH OUT OF ITS WAISTCOATPOCKET
and looked at itand then hurried onAlice started to
her feetfor it flashed across her mind that she had never
before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocketor a watch to
take out of itand burning with curiosityshe ran across the
field after itand fortunately was just in time to see it pop
down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.
In another moment down went Alice after itnever 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 downso 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 deepor she fell very slowlyfor she
had plenty of time as she went down to look about her and to
wonder what was going to happen next. Firstshe tried to look
down and make out what she was coming tobut it was too dark to
see anything; then she looked at the sides of the welland
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
was empty: she did not like to drop the jar for fear of killing
somebodyso managed to put it into one of the cupboards as she
fell past it.
`Well!' thought Alice to herself`after such a fall as thisI
shall think nothing of tumbling down stairs! How brave they'll
all think me at home! WhyI wouldn't say anything about it
even if I fell off the top of the house!' (Which was very likely
Downdowndown. 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 downI think--' (for
you seeAlice had learnt several things of this sort in her
lessons in the schoolroomand though this was not a VERY good
opportunity for showing off her knowledgeas there was no one to
listen to herstill 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 eitherbut thought they were nice grand words to
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 AntipathiesI
think--' (she was rather glad there WAS no one listeningthis
timeas it didn't sound at all the right word) `--but I shall
have to ask them what the name of the country isyou know.
PleaseMa'amis 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! Noit'll
never do to ask: perhaps I shall see it written up somewhere.'
Downdowndown. There was nothing else to doso Alice soon
began talking again. `Dinah'll miss me very much to-nightI
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 airI'm afraidbut
you might catch a batand that's very like a mouseyou know.
But do cats eat batsI wonder?' And here Alice began to get
rather sleepyand went on saying to herselfin a dreamy sort of
way`Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats?' and sometimes`Do
bats eat cats?' foryou seeas she couldn't answer either
questionit didn't much matter which way she put it. She felt
that she was dozing offand had just begun to dream that she
was walking hand in hand with Dinahand saying to her very
earnestly`NowDinahtell me the truth: did you ever eat a
bat?' when suddenlythump! thump! down she came upon a heap of
sticks and dry leavesand the fall was over.
Alice was not a bit hurtand she jumped up on to her feet in a
moment: she looked upbut it was all dark overhead; before her
was another long passageand the White Rabbit was still in
sighthurrying down it. There was not a moment to be lost:
away went Alice like the windand was just in time to hear it
sayas it turned a corner`Oh my ears and whiskershow late
it's getting!' She was close behind it when she turned the
cornerbut the Rabbit was no longer to be seen: she found
herself in a longlow hallwhich was lit up by a row of lamps
hanging from the roof.
There were doors all round the hallbut they were all locked;
and when Alice had been all the way down one side and up the
othertrying every doorshe walked sadly down the middle
wondering how she was ever to get out again.
Suddenly she came upon a little three-legged tableall 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; butalas! either the locks were too largeor
the key was too smallbut at any rate it would not open any of
them. Howeveron the second time roundshe came upon a low
curtain she had not noticed beforeand behind it was a little
door about fifteen inches high: she tried the little golden key
in the lockand to her great delight it fitted!
Alice opened the door and found that it led into a small
passagenot 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 halland wander about
among those beds of bright flowers and those cool fountainsbut
she could not even get her head though the doorway; `and even if
my head would go through' thought poor Alice`it would be of
very little use without my shoulders. Ohhow I wish
I could shut up like a telescope! I think I couldif I only
know how to begin.' Foryou seeso many out-of-the-way things
had happened latelythat Alice had begun to think that very few
things indeed were really impossible.
There seemed to be no use in waiting by the little doorso she
went back to the tablehalf hoping she might find another key on
itor at any rate a book of 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 labelwith 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. `NoI'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 burntand eaten up by wild beasts and other unpleasant
thingsall because they WOULD not remember the simple rules
their friends had taught them: such asthat a red-hot poker
will burn you if you hold it too long; and that if you cut your
finger VERY deeply with a knifeit usually bleeds; and she had
never forgotten thatif you drink much from a bottle marked
`poison' it is almost certain to disagree with yousooner or
Howeverthis bottle was NOT marked `poison' so Alice ventured
to taste itand finding it very nice(it hadin facta sort
of mixed flavour of cherry-tartcustardpine-appleroast
turkeytoffeeand hot buttered toast) she very soon finished
* * * * * * *
* * * * * *
* * * * * * *
`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 highand
her face brightened up at the thought that she was now the right
size for going through the little door into that lovely garden.
Firsthowevershe 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 endyou know' said Alice to herself`in my
going out altogetherlike 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 outfor she could not remember
ever having seen such a thing.
After a whilefinding that nothing more happenedshe decided
on going into the garden at once; butalas for poor Alice!
when she got to the doorshe found she had forgotten the
little golden keyand 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 glassand she tried her best to climb
up one of the legs of the tablebut it was too slippery;
and when she had tired herself out with trying
the poor little thing sat down and cried.
`Comethere's no use in crying like that!' said Alice to
herselfrather 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 herselffor 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
Soon her eye fell on a little glass box that was lying under
the table: she opened itand found in it a very small cakeon
which the words `EAT ME' were beautifully marked in currants.
`WellI'll eat it' said Alice`and if it makes me grow larger
I can reach the key; and if it makes me grow smallerI can creep
under the door; so either way I'll get into the gardenand I
don't care which happens!'
She ate a little bitand said anxiously to herself`Which
way? Which way?'holding her hand on the top of her head to
feel which way it was growingand she was quite surprised to
find that she remained the same size: to be surethis generally
happens when one eats cakebut 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
So she set to workand very soon finished off the cake.
* * * * * * *
* * * * * *
* * * * * * *
The Pool of Tears
`Curiouser and curiouser!' cried Alice (she was so much
surprisedthat for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good
English); `now I'm opening out like the largest telescope that
ever was! Good-byefeet!' (for when she looked down at her
feetthey seemed to be almost out of sightthey were getting so
far off). `Ohmy poor little feetI wonder who will put on
your shoes and stockings for you nowdears? 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
seemsending presents to one's own feet! And how odd the
directions will look!
ALICE'S RIGHT FOOTESQ.
NEAR THE FENDER
(WITH ALICE'S LOVE).
Oh dearwhat nonsense I'm talking!'
Just then her head struck against the roof of the hall: in
fact she was now more than nine feet highand 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 dolying down on one
sideto look through into the garden with one eye; but to get
through was more hopeless than ever: she sat down and began to
`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 momentI tell you!' But she went on all
the sameshedding gallons of tearsuntil there was a large pool
all round herabout four inches deep and reaching half down the
After a time she heard a little pattering of feet in the
distanceand she hastily dried her eyes to see what was coming.
It was the White Rabbit returningsplendidly dressedwith a
pair of white kid gloves in one hand and a large fan in the
other: he came trotting along in a great hurrymuttering to
himself as he came`Oh! the Duchessthe 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; sowhen the Rabbit
came near hershe beganin a lowtimid voice`If you please
sir--' The Rabbit started violentlydropped the white kid
gloves and the fanand skurried away into the darkness as hard
as he could go.
Alice took up the fan and glovesandas the hall was very
hotshe kept fanning herself all the time she went on talking:
`Deardear! 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 samethe next question isWho in
the world am I? AhTHAT'S the great puzzle!' And she began
thinking over all the children she knew that were of the same age
as herselfto see if she could have been changed for any of
`I'm sure I'm not Ada' she said`for her hair goes in such
long ringletsand mine doesn't go in ringlets at all; and I'm
sure I can't be Mabelfor I know all sorts of thingsand she
oh! she knows such a very little! BesidesSHE'S sheand I'm I
and--oh dearhow 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 thirteenand four times seven is--oh dear!
I shall never get to twenty at that rate! Howeverthe
Multiplication Table doesn't signify: let's try Geography.
London is the capital of Parisand Paris is the capital of Rome
and Rome--noTHAT'S all wrongI'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 itbut her voice sounded hoarse and
strangeand 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 Aliceand
her eyes filled with tears again as she went on`I must be Mabel
after alland I shall have to go and live in that poky little
houseand have next to no toys to play withand oh! ever so
many lessons to learn! NoI've made up my mind about it; if I'm
MabelI'll stay down here! It'll be no use their putting their
heads down and saying "Come up againdear!" I shall only look
up and say "Who am I then? Tell me that firstand thenif I
like being that personI'll come up: if notI'll stay down
here till I'm somebody else"--butoh dear!' cried Alicewith 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 handsand 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 itand found that
as nearly as she could guessshe 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 holdingand she dropped it
hastilyjust in time to avoid shrinking away altogether.
`That WAS a narrow escape!' said Alicea good deal frightened at
the sudden changebut very glad to find herself still in
existence; `and now for the garden!' and she ran with all speed
back to the little door: butalas! the little door was shut
againand 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 beforenever! And I declare
it's too badthat it is!'
As she said these words her foot slippedand in another
momentsplash! she was up to her chin in salt water. Her 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 lifeand had come to the general
conclusionthat wherever you go to on the English coast you find
a number of bathing machines in the seasome children digging in
the sand with wooden spadesthen a row of lodging housesand
behind them a railway station.) Howevershe soon made out that
she was in the pool of tears which she had wept when she was nine
`I wish I hadn't cried so much!' said Aliceas she swam about
trying to find her way out. `I shall be punished for it nowI
supposeby being drowned in my own tears! That WILL be a queer
thingto be sure! Howevereverything is queer to-day.'
Just then she heard something splashing about in the pool a
little way offand she swam nearer to make out what it was: at
first she thought it must be a walrus or hippopotamusbut then
she remembered how small she was nowand she soon made out that
it was only a mouse that had slipped in like herself.
`Would it be of any usenow' thought Alice`to speak to this
mouse? Everything is so out-of-the-way down herethat I should
think very likely it can talk: at any ratethere's no harm in
trying.' So she began: `O Mousedo you know the way out of
this pool? I am very tired of swimming about hereO Mouse!'
(Alice thought this must be the right way of speaking to a mouse:
she had never done such a thing beforebut 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
inquisitivelyand seemed to her to wink with one of its little
eyesbut it said nothing.
`Perhaps it doesn't understand English' thought Alice; `I
daresay it's a French mousecome over with William the
Conqueror.' (Forwith all her knowledge of historyAlice 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
waterand seemed to quiver all over with fright. `OhI beg
your pardon!' cried Alice hastilyafraid that she had hurt the
poor animal's feelings. `I quite forgot you didn't like cats.'
`Not like cats!' cried the Mousein a shrillpassionate
voice. `Would YOU like cats if you were me?'
`Wellperhaps 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 onhalf to herself
as she swam lazily about in the pool`and she sits purring so
nicely by the firelicking 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--ohI beg your pardon!' cried Alice again
for this time the Mouse was bristling all overand 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 Mousewho was trembling down to the end
of his tail. `As if I would talk on such a subject! Our family
always HATED cats: nastylowvulgar things! Don't let me hear
the name again!'
`I won't indeed!' said Alicein a great hurry to change the
subject of conversation. `Are you--are you fond--of--of dogs?'
The Mouse did not answerso Alice went on eagerly: `There is
such a nice little dog near our house I should like to show you!
A little bright-eyed terrieryou knowwith ohsuch long curly
brown hair! And it'll fetch things when you throw themand
it'll sit up and beg for its dinnerand all sorts of things--I
can't remember half of them--and it belongs to a farmeryou
knowand he says it's so usefulit'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 goand
making quite a commotion in the pool as it went.
So she called softly after it`Mouse dear! Do come back
againand we won't talk about cats or dogs eitherif you don't
like them!' When the Mouse heard thisit turned round and swam
slowly back to her: its face was quite pale (with passionAlice
thought)and it said in a low trembling voice`Let us get to
the shoreand then I'll tell you my historyand you'll
understand why it is I hate cats and dogs.'
It was high time to gofor the pool was getting quite crowded
with the birds and animals that had fallen into it: there were a
Duck and a Dodoa Lory and an Eagletand several other curious
creatures. Alice led the wayand the whole party swam to the
A Caucus-Race and a Long Tale
They were indeed a queer-looking party that assembled on the
bank--the birds with draggled feathersthe animals with their
fur clinging close to themand all dripping wetcrossand
The first question of course washow to get dry again: they
had a consultation about thisand after a few minutes it seemed
quite natural to Alice to find herself talking familiarly with
themas if she had known them all her life. Indeedshe had
quite a long argument with the Lorywho at last turned sulky
and would only say`I am older than youand must know better';
and this Alice would not allow without knowing how old it was
andas the Lory positively refused to tell its agethere was no
more to be said.
At last the Mousewho seemed to be a person of authority among
themcalled out`Sit downall of youand listen to me! I'LL
soon make you dry enough!' They all sat down at oncein a large
ringwith the Mouse in the middle. Alice kept her eyes
anxiously fixed on itfor 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 roundif 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 Lorywith a shiver.
`I beg your pardon!' said the Mousefrowningbut very
politely: `Did you speak?'
`Not I!' said the Lory hastily.
`I thought you did' said the Mouse. `--I proceed. "Edwin and
Morcarthe earls of Mercia and Northumbriadeclared for him:
and even Stigandthe patriotic archbishop of Canterburyfound
`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 enoughwhen 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 questionbut 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 nowmy dear?' it continuedturning to Alice as it
`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 solemnlyrising to its feet`I
move that the meeting adjournfor the immediate adoption of more
`Speak English!' said the Eaglet. `I don't know the meaning of
half those long wordsandwhat's moreI 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
`wasthat 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 knowbut the Dodo had paused as if it thought that SOMEBODY
ought to speakand no one else seemed inclined to say anything.
`Why' said the Dodo`the best way to explain it is to do it.'
(Andas you might like to try the thing yourselfsome winter
dayI will tell you how the Dodo managed it.)
First it marked out a race-coursein a sort of circle(`the
exact shape doesn't matter' it said) and then all the party
were placed along the coursehere and there. There was no `One
twothreeand away' but they began running when they liked
and left off when they likedso that it was not easy to know
when the race was over. Howeverwhen they had been running half
an hour or soand were quite dry againthe Dodo suddenly called
out `The race is over!' and they all crowded round itpanting
and asking`But who has won?'
This question the Dodo could not answer without a great deal of
thoughtand 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 wonand all must have
`But who is to give the prizes?' quite a chorus of voices
`WhySHEof course' said the Dodopointing 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 doand in despair she put her hand
in her pocketand 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 herselfyou know' said the Mouse.
`Of course' the Dodo replied very gravely. `What else have
you got in your pocket?' he went onturning to Alice.
`Only a thimble' said Alice sadly.
`Hand it over here' said the Dodo.
Then they all crowded round her once morewhile the Dodo
solemnly presented the thimblesaying `We beg your acceptance of
this elegant thimble'; andwhen it had finished this short
speechthey all cheered.
Alice thought the whole thing very absurdbut they all looked
so grave that she did not dare to laugh; andas she could not
think of anything to sayshe simply bowedand took the thimble
looking as solemn as she could.
The next thing was to eat the comfits: this caused some noise
and confusionas the large birds complained that they could not
taste theirsand the small ones choked and had to be patted on
the back. Howeverit was over at lastand they sat down again
in a ringand begged the Mouse to tell them something more.
`You promised to tell me your historyyou know' said Alice
`and why it is you hate--C and D' she added in a whisperhalf
afraid that it would be offended again.
`Mine is a long and a sad tale!' said the Mouseturning to
`It IS a long tailcertainly' said Alicelooking 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 speakingso
that her idea of the tale was something like this:-
`Fury said to a
met in the
both go to
law: I will
I'll take no
must have a
mouse to the
`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 bendI think?'
`I had NOT!' cried the Mousesharply and very angrily.
`A knot!' said Alicealways ready to make herself usefuland
looking anxiously about her. `Ohdo let me help to undo it!'
`I shall do nothing of the sort' said the Mousegetting up
and walking away. `You insult me by talking such nonsense!'
`I didn't mean it!' pleaded poor Alice. `But you're so easily
The Mouse only growled in reply.
`Please come back and finish your story!' Alice called after
it; and the others all joined in chorus`Yesplease do!' but
the Mouse only shook its head impatientlyand walked a little
`What a pity it wouldn't stay!' sighed the Loryas soon as it
was quite out of sight; and an old Crab took the opportunity of
saying to her daughter `Ahmy dear! Let this be a lesson to you
never to lose YOUR temper!' `Hold your tongueMa!' said the
young Craba little snappishly. `You're enough to try the
patience of an oyster!'
`I wish I had our Dinah hereI know I do!' said Alice aloud
addressing nobody in particular. `She'd soon fetch it back!'
`And who is Dinahif I might venture to ask the question?'
said the Lory.
Alice replied eagerlyfor 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 ohI wish you could see her
after the birds! Whyshe'll eat a little bird as soon as look
This speech caused a remarkable sensation among the party.
Some of the birds hurried off at once: one old Magpie began
wrapping itself up very carefullyremarking`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 awaymy
dears! It's high time you were all in bed!' On various pretexts
they all moved offand Alice was soon left alone.
`I wish I hadn't mentioned Dinah!' she said to herself in a
melancholy tone. `Nobody seems to like herdown hereand I'm
sure she's the best cat in the world! Ohmy dear Dinah! I
wonder if I shall ever see you any more!' And here poor Alice
began to cry againfor she felt very lonely and low-spirited.
In a little whilehowevershe again heard a little pattering of
footsteps in the distanceand she looked up eagerlyhalf hoping
that the Mouse had changed his mindand was coming back to
finish his story.
The Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill
It was the White Rabbittrotting slowly back againand
looking anxiously about as it wentas 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
executedas sure as ferrets are ferrets! Where CAN I have
dropped themI wonder?' Alice guessed in a moment that it was
looking for the fan and the pair of white kid glovesand she
very good-naturedly began hunting about for thembut they were
nowhere to be seen--everything seemed to have changed since her
swim in the pooland the great hallwith the glass table and
the little doorhad vanished completely.
Very soon the Rabbit noticed Aliceas she went hunting about
and called out to her in an angry tone`WhyMary Annwhat ARE
you doing out here? Run home this momentand fetch me a pair of
gloves and a fan! Quicknow!' And Alice was so much frightened
that she ran off at once in the direction it pointed towithout
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 isif I can find them.'
As she said thisshe came upon a neat little houseon the door
of which was a bright brass plate with the name `W. RABBIT'
engraved upon it. She went in without knockingand hurried
upstairsin great fear lest she should meet the real Mary Ann
and be turned out of the house before she had found the fan and
`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 directlyand get ready
for your walk!" "Coming in a minutenurse! 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 windowand 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 glovesand was just going to leave the roomwhen
her eye fell upon a little bottle that stood near the lookingglass.
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 againfor
really I'm quite tired of being such a tiny little thing!'
It did so indeedand much sooner than she had expected:
before she had drunk half the bottleshe found her head pressing
against the ceilingand had to stoop to save her neck from being
broken. She hastily put down the bottlesaying to herself
`That's quite enough--I hope I shan't grow any more--As it isI
can't get out at the door--I do wish I hadn't drunk quite so
Alas! it was too late to wish that! She went on growingand
growingand very soon had to kneel down on the floor: in
another minute there was not even room for thisand she tried
the effect of lying down with one elbow against the doorand the
other arm curled round her head. Still she went on growingand
as a last resourceshe put one arm out of the windowand one
foot up the chimneyand said to herself `Now I can do no more
whatever happens. What WILL become of me?'
Luckily for Alicethe little magic bottle had now had its full
effectand she grew no larger: still it was very uncomfortable
andas there seemed to be no sort of chance of her ever getting
out of the room againno wonder she felt unhappy.
`It was much pleasanter at home' thought poor Alice`when one
wasn't always growing larger and smallerand 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 curiousyou know
this sort of life! I do wonder what CAN have happened to me!
When I used to read fairy-talesI fancied that kind of thing
never happenedand now here I am in the middle of one! There
ought to be a book written about methat there ought! And when
I grow upI'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
`But then' thought Alice`shall I NEVER get any older than I
am now? That'll be a comfortone way--never to be an old woman-but
then--always to have lessons to learn! OhI shouldn't like THAT!'
`Ohyou foolish Alice!' she answered herself. `How can you
learn lessons in here? Whythere's hardly room for YOUand no
room at all for any lesson-books!'
And so she went ontaking first one side and then the other
and making quite a conversation of it altogether; but after a few
minutes she heard a voice outsideand 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 herand
she trembled till she shook the housequite forgetting that she
was now about a thousand times as large as the Rabbitand had no
reason to be afraid of it.
Presently the Rabbit came up to the doorand tried to open it;
butas the door opened inwardsand Alice's elbow was pressed
hard against itthat 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 Aliceandafter waiting till she
fancied she heard the Rabbit just under the windowshe suddenly
spread out her handand made a snatch in the air. She did not
get hold of anythingbut she heard a little shriek and a fall
and a crash of broken glassfrom which she concluded that it was
just possible it had fallen into a cucumber-frameor 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 applesyer honour!'
`Digging for applesindeed!' said the Rabbit angrily. `Here!
Come and help me out of THIS!' (Sounds of more broken glass.)
`Now tell mePatwhat's that in the window?'
`Sureit's an armyer honour!' (He pronounced it `arrum.')
`An armyou goose! Who ever saw one that size? Whyit
fills the whole window!'
`Sureit doesyer honour: but it's an arm for all that.'
`Wellit's got no business thereat any rate: go and take it
There was a long silence after thisand Alice could only hear
whispers now and then; such as`SureI don't like ityer
honourat allat all!' `Do as I tell youyou coward!' and at
last she spread out her hand againand made another snatch in
the air. This time there were TWO little shrieksand 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 windowI 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 cartwheelsand the sound of a
good many voices all talking together: she made out the words:
`Where's the other ladder?--WhyI hadn't to bring but one;
Bill's got the other--Bill! fetch it herelad!--Hereput 'em up
at this corner--Notie 'em together first--they don't reach half
high enough yet--Oh! they'll do well enough; don't be particular--
HereBill! catch hold of this rope--Will the roof bear?--Mind
that loose slate--Ohit's coming down! Heads below!' (a loud
crash)--`Nowwho did that?--It was BillI fancy--Who's to go
down the chimney?--NayI shan't! YOU do it!--That I won't
then!--Bill's to go down--HereBill! the master says you're to
go down the chimney!'
`Oh! So Bill's got to come down the chimneyhas he?' said
Alice to herself. `Shythey seem to put everything upon Bill!
I wouldn't be in Bill's place for a good deal: this fireplace is
narrowto be sure; but I THINK I can kick a little!'
She drew her foot as far down the chimney as she couldand
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: thensaying to herself `This is Bill' she gave one
sharp kickand 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 himyou by the
hedge!' then silenceand then another confusion of voices--`Hold
up his head--Brandy now--Don't choke him--How was itold fellow?
What happened to you? Tell us all about it!'
Last came a little feeblesqueaking voice(`That's Bill'
thought Alice) `WellI hardly know--No morethank ye; I'm
better now--but I'm a deal too flustered to tell you--all I know
issomething comes at me like a Jack-in-the-boxand up I goes
like a sky-rocket!'
`So you didold 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 instantlyand Alice thought to
herself`I wonder what they WILL do next! If they had any
sensethey'd take the roof off.' After a minute or twothey
began moving about againand Alice heard the Rabbit say`A
barrowful will doto begin with.'
`A barrowful of WHAT?' thought Alice; but she had not long to
doubtfor the next moment a shower of little pebbles came
rattling in at the windowand some of them hit her in the face.
`I'll put a stop to this' she said to herselfand shouted out
`You'd better not do that again!' which produced another dead
Alice noticed with some surprise that the pebbles were all
turning into little cakes as they lay on the floorand 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 largerit must make me smallerI
So she swallowed one of the cakesand was delighted to find
that she began shrinking directly. As soon as she was small
enough to get through the doorshe ran out of the houseand
found quite a crowd of little animals and birds waiting outside.
The poor little LizardBillwas in the middlebeing held up by
two guinea-pigswho 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 couldand soon found herself safe in a
`The first thing I've got to do' said Alice to herselfas 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 planno doubtand very neatly and
simply arranged; the only difficulty wasthat she had not the
smallest idea how to set about it; and while she was peering
about anxiously among the treesa 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
eyesand feebly stretching out one pawtrying to touch her.
`Poor little thing!' said Alicein a coaxing toneand she tried
hard to whistle to it; but she was terribly frightened all the
time at the thought that it might be hungryin which case it
would be very likely to eat her up in spite of all her coaxing.
Hardly knowing what she didshe picked up a little bit of
stickand held it out to the puppy; whereupon the puppy jumped
into the air off all its feet at oncewith a yelp of delight
and rushed at the stickand made believe to worry it; then Alice
dodged behind a great thistleto keep herself from being run
over; and the moment she appeared on the other sidethe puppy
made another rush at the stickand tumbled head over heels in
its hurry to get hold of it; then Alicethinking it was very
like having a game of play with a cart-horseand expecting every
moment to be trampled under its feetran round the thistle
again; then the puppy began a series of short charges at the
stickrunning a very little way forwards each time and a long
way backand barking hoarsely all the whiletill at last it sat
down a good way offpantingwith its tongue hanging out of its
mouthand its great eyes half shut.
This seemed to Alice a good opportunity for making her escape;
so she set off at onceand ran till she was quite tired and out
of breathand till the puppy's bark sounded quite faint in the
`And yet what a dear little puppy it was!' said Aliceas she
leant against a buttercup to rest herselfand fanned herself
with one of the leaves: `I should have liked teaching it tricks
very muchif--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 iswhat?'
The great question certainly waswhat? Alice looked all round
her at the flowers and the blades of grassbut 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
itand on both sides of itand behind itit occurred to her
that she might as well look and see what was on the top of it.
She stretched herself up on tiptoeand peeped over the edge of
the mushroomand her eyes immediately met those of a large
caterpillarthat was sitting on the top with its arms folded
quietly smoking a long hookahand taking not the smallest notice
of her or of anything else.
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
mouthand addressed her in a languidsleepy voice.
`Who are YOU?' said the Caterpillar.
This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice
repliedrather shyly`I--I hardly knowsirjust at present-at
least I know who I WAS when I got up this morningbut I think
I must have been changed several times since then.'
`What do you mean by that?' said the Caterpillar sternly.
`I can't explain MYSELFI'm afraidsir' said Alice`because
I'm not myselfyou 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.
`Wellperhaps you haven't found it so yet' said Alice; `but
when you have to turn into a chrysalis--you will some dayyou
know--and then after that into a butterflyI should think you'll
feel it a little queerwon't you?'
`Not a bit' said the Caterpillar.
`Wellperhaps your feelings may be different' said Alice;
`all I know isit 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 remarksand she drew herself up and said
very gravely`I thinkyou ought to tell me who YOU arefirst.'
`Why?' said the Caterpillar.
Here was another puzzling question; and as Alice could not
think of any good reasonand as the Caterpillar seemed to be in
a VERY unpleasant state of mindshe turned away.
`Come back!' the Caterpillar called after her. `I've something
important to say!'
This sounded promisingcertainly: Alice turned and came back
`Keep your temper' said the Caterpillar.
`Is that all?' said Aliceswallowing down her anger as well as
`No' said the Caterpillar.
Alice thought she might as well waitas she had nothing else
to doand perhaps after all it might tell her something worth
hearing. For some minutes it puffed away without speakingbut
at last it unfolded its armstook the hookah out of its mouth
againand said`So you think you're changeddo you?'
`I'm afraid I amsir' 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.
`WellI'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 OLDFATHER 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
`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
`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
`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
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
`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
`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
`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 other, and
growing sometimes taller and sometimes shorter, until she had
succeeded in bringing herself down to her usual height.
It was so long since she had been anything near the right size,
that it felt quite strange at first; but she got used to it in a
few minutes, and began talking to herself, as usual. `Come,
there's half my plan done now! 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.
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
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
`--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
`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
`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? I--'
`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.'
(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!'
`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 queershaped
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
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 goodnatured,
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
`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
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
`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
`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 one 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
saw 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!'
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 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
`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
`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 Dormousewho 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 Hatterand here the
conversation droppedand the party sat silent for a minute
while Alice thought over all she could remember about ravens and
writing-deskswhich wasn't much.
The Hatter was the first to break the silence. `What day of
the month is it?' he saidturning to Alice: he had taken his
watch out of his pocketand was looking at it uneasilyshaking
it every now and thenand holding it to his ear.
Alice considered a littleand 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
`It was the BEST butter' the March Hare meekly replied.
`Yesbut 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 teaand looked at it again: but he
could think of nothing better to say than his first remark`It
was the BEST butteryou know.'
Alice had been looking over his shoulder with some curiosity.
`What a funny watch!' she remarked. `It tells the day of the
monthand 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 itand yet it was certainly English.
`I don't quite understand you' she saidas politely as she
`The Dormouse is asleep again' said the Hatterand he poured
a little hot tea upon its nose.
The Dormouse shook its head impatientlyand saidwithout
opening its eyes`Of courseof course; just what I was going to
`Have you guessed the riddle yet?' the Hatter saidturning to
`NoI give it up' Alice replied: `what'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 saidtossing 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. Nowif you only kept on good terms with himhe'd do
almost anything you liked with the clock. For instancesuppose
it were nine o'clock in the morningjust time to begin lessons:
you'd only have to whisper a hint to Timeand round goes the
clock in a twinkling! Half-past onetime for dinner!'
(`I only wish it was' the March Hare said to itself in a
`That would be grandcertainly' said Alice thoughtfully:
`but then--I shouldn't be hungry for ityou know.'
`Not at firstperhaps' 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 madyou know--'
(pointing with his tea spoon at the March Hare) `--it was at the
great concert given by the Queen of Heartsand I had to sing
Twinkle, twinkle, little bat!
How I wonder what you're at!
You know the songperhaps?'
`I've heard something like it' said Alice.
`It goes onyou know' the Hatter continued`in this way:-
Up above the world you fly,
Like a tea-tray in the sky.
Here the Dormouse shook itselfand began singing in its sleep
`Twinkletwinkletwinkletwinkle--' and went on so long that
they had to pinch it to make it stop.
`WellI'd hardly finished the first verse' said the Hatter
`when the Queen jumped up and bawled outHe'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.
`Yesthat's it' said the Hatter with a sigh: `it's always
tea-timeand we've no time to wash the things between whiles.'
`Then you keep moving roundI 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 Alicerather alarmed at
`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 hoarsefeeble voice: `I heard every word you fellows
`Tell us a story!' said the March Hare.
`Yesplease 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
Lacieand Tillie; and they lived at the bottom of a well--'
`What did they live on?' said Alicewho always took a great
interest in questions of eating and drinking.
`They lived on treacle' said the Dormouseafter thinking a
minute or two.
`They couldn't have done thatyou 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 likebut it puzzled her too muchso she went
on: `But why did they live at the bottom of a well?'
`Take some more tea' the March Hare said to Alicevery
`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
Alice did not quite know what to say to this: so she helped
herself to some tea and bread-and-butterand then turned to the
Dormouseand repeated her question. `Why did they live at the
bottom of a well?'
The Dormouse again took a minute or two to think about itand
then said`It was a treacle-well.'
`There's no such thing!' Alice was beginning very angrilybut
the Hatter and the March Hare went `Sh! sh!' and the Dormouse
sulkily remarked`If you can't be civilyou'd better finish the
story for yourself.'
`Noplease go on!' Alice said very humbly; `I won't interrupt
again. I dare say there may be ONE.'
`Oneindeed!' said the Dormouse indignantly. Howeverhe
consented to go on. `And so these three little sisters--they
were learning to drawyou know--'
`What did they draw?' said Alicequite forgetting her promise.
`Treacle' said the Dormousewithout considering at all this
`I want a clean cup' interrupted the Hatter: `let's all move
one place on.'
He moved on as he spokeand the Dormouse followed him: the
March Hare moved into the Dormouse's placeand 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 beforeas the March Hare had just upset
the milk-jug into his plate.
Alice did not wish to offend the Dormouse againso 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
`But they were IN the well' Alice said to the Dormousenot
choosing to notice this last remark.
`Of course they were'said the Dormouse; `--well in.'
This answer so confused poor Alicethat she let the Dormouse
go on for some time without interrupting it.
`They were learning to draw' the Dormouse went onyawning and
rubbing its eyesfor 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 timeand was going
off into a doze; buton being pinched by the Hatterit woke up
again with a little shriekand went on: `--that begins with an
Msuch as mouse-trapsand the moonand memoryand muchness-you
know you say things are "much of a muchness"--did you ever
see such a thing as a drawing of a muchness?'
`Reallynow you ask me' said Alicevery much confused`I
`Then you shouldn't talk' said the Hatter.
This piece of rudeness was more than Alice could bear: she got
up in great disgustand walked off; the Dormouse fell asleep
instantlyand neither of the others took the least notice of her
goingthough she looked back once or twicehalf hoping that
they would call after her: the last time she saw themthey 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 thisshe 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 halland close to the
little glass table. `NowI'll manage better this time'
she said to herselfand began by taking the little golden key
and unlocking the door that led into the garden. Then she went
to work nibbling at the mushroom (she had kept a piece of it
in her pocket) till she was about a foot high: then she walked down
the little passage: and THEN--she found herself at last in the
beautiful gardenamong the bright flower-beds and the cool fountains.
The Queen's Croquet-Ground
A large rose-tree stood near the entrance of the garden: the
roses growing on it were whitebut there were three gardeners at
itbusily painting them red. Alice thought this a very curious
thingand she went nearer to watch themand just as she came up
to them she heard one of them say`Look out nowFive! Don't go
splashing paint over me like that!'
`I couldn't help it' said Fivein a sulky tone; `Seven jogged
On which Seven looked up and said`That's rightFive! 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 businessTwo!' said Seven.
`Yesit 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 brushand had just begun `Wellof all
the unjust things--' when his eye chanced to fall upon Aliceas
she stood watching themand he checked himself suddenly: the
others looked round alsoand all of them bowed low.
`Would you tell me' said Alicea little timidly`why you are
painting those roses?'
Five and Seven said nothingbut looked at Two. Two began in a
low voice`Why the fact isyou seeMissthis here ought to
have been a RED rose-treeand we put a white one in by mistake;
and if the Queen was to find it outwe should all have our heads
cut offyou know. So you seeMisswe're doing our bestafore
she comesto--' At this moment Fivewho had been anxiously
looking across the gardencalled out `The Queen! The Queen!'
and the three gardeners instantly threw themselves flat upon
their faces. There was a sound of many footstepsand Alice
looked roundeager to see the Queen.
First came ten soldiers carrying clubs; these were all shaped
like the three gardenersoblong and flatwith their hands and
feet at the corners: next the ten courtiers; these were
ornamented all over with diamondsand walked two and twoas the
soldiers did. After these came the royal children; there were
ten of themand the little dears came jumping merrily along hand
in handin couples: they were all ornamented with hearts. Next
came the guestsmostly Kings and Queensand among them Alice
recognised the White Rabbit: it was talking in a hurried nervous
mannersmiling at everything that was saidand went by without
noticing her. Then followed the Knave of Heartscarrying the
King's crown on a crimson velvet cushion; andlast of all this
grand processioncame THE KING AND QUEEN OF HEARTS.
Alice was rather doubtful whether she ought not to lie down on
her face like the three gardenersbut she could not remember
ever 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 facesso that they couldn't see it?'
So she stood still where she wasand waited.
When the procession came opposite to Alicethey all stopped
and looked at herand the Queen said severely `Who is this?'
She said it to the Knave of Heartswho only bowed and smiled in reply.
`Idiot!' said the Queentossing her head impatiently; and
turning to Aliceshe went on`What's your namechild?'
`My name is Aliceso please your Majesty' said Alice very
politely; but she addedto herself`Whythey're only a pack of
cardsafter all. I needn't be afraid of them!'
`And who are THESE?' said the Queenpointing to the three
gardeners who were lying round the rosetree; foryou seeas
they were lying on their facesand the pattern on their backs
was the same as the rest of the packshe could not tell whether
they were gardenersor soldiersor courtiersor three of her
`How should I know?' said Alicesurprised at her own courage.
`It's no business of MINE.'
The Queen turned crimson with furyandafter glaring at her
for a moment like a wild beastscreamed `Off with her head!
`Nonsense!' said Alicevery loudly and decidedlyand the
Queen was silent.
The King laid his hand upon her armand timidly said
`Considermy dear: she is only a child!'
The Queen turned angrily away from himand said to the Knave
`Turn them over!'
The Knave did sovery carefullywith one foot.
`Get up!' said the Queenin a shrillloud voiceand the
three gardeners instantly jumped upand began bowing to the
Kingthe Queenthe royal childrenand everybody else.
`Leave off that!' screamed the Queen. `You make me giddy.'
And thenturning to the rose-treeshe went on`What HAVE you
been doing here?'
`May it please your Majesty' said Twoin a very humble tone
going down on one knee as he spoke`we were trying--'
`I see!' said the Queenwho 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
gardenerswho ran to Alice for protection.
`You shan't be beheaded!' said Aliceand she put them into a
large flower-pot that stood near. The three soldiers wandered
about for a minute or twolooking for themand then quietly
marched off after the others.
`Are their heads off?' shouted the Queen.
`Their heads are goneif it please your Majesty!' the soldiers
shouted in reply.
`That's right!' shouted the Queen. `Can you play croquet?'
The soldiers were silentand looked at Aliceas the question
was evidently meant for her.
`Yes!' shouted Alice.
`Come onthen!' roared the Queenand Alice joined the
processionwondering 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 Rabbitwho was peeping anxiously
into her face.
`Very' said Alice: `--where's the Duchess?'
`Hush! Hush!' said the Rabbit in a lowhurried tone. He
looked anxiously over his shoulder as he spokeand then raised
himself upon tiptoeput his mouth close to her earand
whispered `She's under sentence of execution.'
`What for?' said Alice.
`Did you say "What a pity!"?' the Rabbit asked.
`NoI 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. `Ohhush!' the Rabbit whispered in a
frightened tone. `The Queen will hear you! You seeshe came
rather lateand the Queen said--'
`Get to your places!' shouted the Queen in a voice of thunder
and people began running about in all directionstumbling up
against each other; howeverthey got settled down in a minute or
twoand 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 hedgehogsthe mallets live
flamingoesand the soldiers had to double themselves up and to
stand on their hands and feetto make the arches.
The chief difficulty Alice found at first was in managing her
flamingo: she succeeded in getting its body tucked away
comfortably enoughunder her armwith its legs hanging down
but generallyjust as she had got its neck nicely straightened
outand was going to give the hedgehog a blow with its headit
WOULD twist itself round and look up in her facewith such a
puzzled expression that she could not help bursting out laughing:
and when she had got its head downand was going to begin again
it was very provoking to find that the hedgehog had unrolled
itselfand 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 toandas the doubled-up soldiers
were always getting up and walking off to other parts of the
groundAlice 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 whileand fighting for the hedgehogs; and in
a very short time the Queen was in a furious passionand went
stamping aboutand shouting `Off with his head!' or `Off with
her head!' about once in a minute.
Alice began to feel very uneasy: to be sureshe had not as
yet had any dispute with the Queenbut 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 isthat there's any one left alive!'
She was looking about for some way of escapeand wondering
whether she could get away without being seenwhen she noticed a
curious appearance in the air: it puzzled her very much at
firstbutafter watching it a minute or twoshe made it out to
be a grinand she said to herself `It's the Cheshire Cat: now I
shall have somebody to talk to.'
`How are you getting on?' said the Catas soon as there was
mouth enough for it to speak with.
Alice waited till the eyes appearedand then nodded. `It's no
use speaking to it' she thought`till its ears have comeor at
least one of them.' In another minute the whole head appeared
and then Alice put down her flamingoand began an account of the
gamefeeling very glad she had someone to listen to her. The
Cat seemed to think that there was enough of it now in sightand
no more of it appeared.
`I don't think they play at all fairly' Alice beganin 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 leastif there arenobody attends to them--and
you've no idea how confusing it is all the things being alive;
for instancethere'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 nowonly 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 herlistening: so
she went on`--likely to winthat it's hardly worth while
finishing the game.'
The Queen smiled and passed on.
`Who ARE you talking to?' said the Kinggoing up to Aliceand
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:
`howeverit 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 bookbut I don't remember where.'
`Wellit must be removed' said the King very decidedlyand
he called the Queenwho was passing at the moment`My dear! I
wish you would have this cat removed!'
The Queen had only one way of settling all difficultiesgreat
or small. `Off with his head!' she saidwithout even looking
`I'll fetch the executioner myself' said the King eagerlyand
he hurried off.
Alice thought she might as well go backand see how the game
was going onas 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 turnsand
she did not like the look of things at allas 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 wasthat her
flamingo was gone across to the other side of the gardenwhere
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 overand both the hedgehogs were out of sight:
`but it doesn't matter much' thought Alice`as all the arches
are gone from this side of the ground.' So she tucked it away
under her armthat it might not escape againand went back for
a little more conversation with her friend.
When she got back to the Cheshire Catshe was surprised to
find quite a large crowd collected round it: there was a dispute
going on between the executionerthe Kingand the Queenwho
were all talking at oncewhile all the rest were quite silent
and looked very uncomfortable.
The moment Alice appearedshe was appealed to by all three to
settle the questionand they repeated their arguments to her
thoughas they all spoke at onceshe found it very hard indeed
to make out exactly what they said.
The executioner's argument wasthat 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 beforeand he wasn't going to begin
at HIS time of life.
The King's argument wasthat anything that had a head could be
beheadedand that you weren't to talk nonsense.
The Queen's argument wasthat if something wasn't done about
it in less than no time she'd have everybody executedall 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 goneand
by the time he had come back with the Dutchessit had entirely
disappeared; so the King and the executioner ran wildly up and down
looking for itwhile the rest of the party went back to the game.
The Mock Turtle's Story
`You can't think how glad I am to see you againyou dear old
thing!' said the Duchessas she tucked her arm affectionately
into Alice'sand they walked off together.
Alice was very glad to find her in such a pleasant temperand
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 onvery 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 ityou
She had quite forgotten the Duchess by this timeand was a
little startled when she heard her voice close to her ear.
`You're thinking about somethingmy dearand that makes you
forget to talk. I can't tell you just now what the moral of that
isbut I shall remember it in a bit.'
`Perhaps it hasn't one' Alice ventured to remark.
`Tuttutchild!' said the Duchess. `Everything's got a
moralif 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 secondlybecause she was
exactly the right height to rest her chin upon Alice's shoulder
and it was an uncomfortably sharp chin. Howevershe did not
like to be rudeso she bore it as well as she could.
`The game's going on rather better now' she saidby way of
keeping up the conversation a little.
`'Tis so' said the Duchess: `and the moral of that is--"Oh
'tis love'tis lovethat makes the world go round!"'
`Somebody said' Alice whispered`that it's done by everybody
minding their own business!'
`Ahwell! 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 senseand the
sounds will take care of themselves."'
`How fond she is of finding morals in things!' Alice thought to
`I dare say you're wondering why I don't put my arm round your
waist' the Duchess said after a pause: `the reason isthat I'm
doubtful about the temper of your flamingo. Shall I try the
`HE might bite' Alice cautiously repliednot 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
`Only mustard isn't a bird' Alice remarked.
`Rightas usual' said the Duchess: `what a clear way you
have of putting things!'
`It's a mineralI THINK' said Alice.
`Of course it is' said the Duchesswho 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 minethe
less there is of yours."'
`OhI know!' exclaimed Alicewho had not attended to this
last remark`it's a vegetable. It doesn't look like onebut it
`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
repliedin a pleased tone.
`Pray don't trouble yourself to say it any longer than that'
`Ohdon'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 askedwith another dig of her
sharp little chin.
`I've a right to think' said Alice sharplyfor 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 hereto Alice's great surprisethe Duchess's voice died
awayeven 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 themwith her arms folded
frowning like a thunderstorm.
`A fine dayyour Majesty!' the Duchess began in a lowweak
`NowI give you fair warning' shouted the Queenstamping 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 choiceand 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 wordbut 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: howeverthe moment they saw her
they hurried back to the gamethe 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 playersand shouting `Off with his
head!' or `Off with her head!' Those whom she sentenced were
taken into custody by the soldierswho of course had to leave
off being arches to do thisso that by the end of half an hour
or so there were no arches leftand all the playersexcept the
Kingthe Queenand Alicewere in custody and under sentence of
Then the Queen left offquite out of breathand 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 oneor heard of one' said Alice.
`Come onthen' said the Queen`and he shall tell you his
As they walked off togetherAlice heard the King say in a low
voiceto the company generally`You are all pardoned.' `Come
THAT'S a good thing!' she said to herselffor she had felt quite
unhappy at the number of executions the Queen had ordered.
They very soon came upon a Gryphonlying fast asleep in the
sun. (IF you don't know what a Gryphon islook at the picture.)
`Uplazy thing!' said the Queen`and take this young lady to
see the Mock Turtleand 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 creaturebut 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 Gryphonhalf to itselfhalf to Alice.
`What IS the fun?' said Alice.
`WhySHE' said the Gryphon. `It's all her fancythat: they
never executes nobodyyou know. Come on!'
`Everybody says "come on!" here' thought Aliceas she went
slowly after it: `I never was so ordered about in all my life
They had not gone far before they saw the Mock Turtle in the
distancesitting sad and lonely on a little ledge of rockand
as they came nearerAlice could hear him sighing as if his heart
would break. She pitied him deeply. `What is his sorrow?' she
asked the Gryphonand the Gryphon answeredvery nearly in the
same words as before`It's all his fancythat: he hasn't got
no sorrowyou know. Come on!'
So they went up to the Mock Turtlewho looked at them with
large eyes full of tearsbut said nothing.
`This here young lady' said the Gryphon`she wants for to
know your historyshe do.'
`I'll tell it her' said the Mock Turtle in a deephollow
tone: `sit downboth of youand don't speak a word till I've
So they sat downand nobody spoke for some minutes. Alice
thought to herself`I don't see how he can EVEN finishif he
doesn't begin.' But she waited patiently.
`Once' said the Mock Turtle at lastwith a deep sigh`I was
a real Turtle.'
These words were followed by a very long silencebroken only
by an occasional exclamation of `Hjckrrh!' from the Gryphonand
the constant heavy sobbing of the Mock Turtle. Alice was very
nearly getting up and saying`Thank yousirfor your
interesting story' but she could not help thinking there MUST be
more to comeso she sat still and said nothing.
`When we were little' the Mock Turtle went on at lastmore
calmlythough still sobbing a little now and then`we went to
school in the sea. The master was an old Turtle--we used to call
`Why did you call him Tortoiseif 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 Alicewho felt ready to sink into the earth. At
last the Gryphon said to the Mock Turtle`Drive onold fellow!
Don't be all day about it!' and he went on in these words:
`Yeswe went to school in the seathough you mayn't believe
`I never said I didn't!' interrupted Alice.
`You did' said the Mock Turtle.
`Hold your tongue!' added the Gryphonbefore Alice could speak
again. The Mock Turtle went on.
`We had the best of educations--in factwe went to school
`I'VE been to a day-schooltoo' 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 billFrench, 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 Writhingof courseto begin with' the Mock
Turtle replied; `and then the different branches of Arithmetic--
`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,
`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
`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.'
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
`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
`--change lobsters, and retire in same order,' continued the
`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.
`Turn a somersault in the sea!' cried the Mock Turtle,
capering wildly about.
`Change lobster's again!' yelled the Gryphon at the top of its voice.
`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
`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
See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance!
They are waiting on the shingle--will you come and join the
Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you join the
Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you join the
You can really have no notion how delightful it will be
When they take us up and throw uswith the lobstersout to
But the snail replied "Too fartoo far!" and gave a look
Said he thanked the whiting kindlybut he would not join the
Would notcould notwould notcould notwould not join
Would notcould notwould notcould notcould not join
`"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
Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you join the
`Thank youit's a very interesting dance to watch' said
Alicefeeling very glad that it was over at last: `and I do so
like that curious song about the whiting!'
`Ohas to the whiting' said the Mock Turtle`they--you've
seen themof 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 oftenof course you know what they're
`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 thatif 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
Alice was thoroughly puzzled. `Does the boots and shoes!' she
repeated in a wondering tone.
`Whywhat are YOUR shoes done with?' said the Gryphon. `I
meanwhat makes them so shiny?'
Alice looked down at themand considered a little before she
gave her answer. `They're done with blackingI 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
`Soles and eelsof course' the Gryphon replied rather
impatiently: `any shrimp could have told you that.'
`If I'd been the whiting' said Alicewhose thoughts were
still running on the song`I'd have said to the porpoiseKeep
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: `whyif a fish came
to MEand told me he was going a journeyI should say "With
`Don't you mean "purpose"?' said Alice.
`I mean what I say' the Mock Turtle replied in an offended
tone. And the Gryphon added `Comelet's hear some of YOUR
`I could tell you my adventures--beginning from this morning'
said Alice a little timidly: `but it's no use going back to
yesterdaybecause I was a different person then.'
`Explain all that' said the Mock Turtle.
`Nono! 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 firstthe two creatures got so close to herone on
each sideand opened their eyes and mouths so VERY widebut 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 Caterpillarand the words all coming
differentand then the Mock Turtle drew a long breathand 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
`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 brownI must sugar my hair."
As a duck with its eyelidsso he with his nose
Trims his belt and his buttonsand turns out his toes.'
[later editions continued as follows
When the sands are all dryhe is gay as a lark
And will talk in contemptuous tones of the Shark
Butwhen 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.
`WellI 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
handswondering if anything would EVER happen in a natural way
`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 noseyou know?'
`It's the first position in dancing.' Alice said; but was
dreadfully puzzled by the whole thingand longed to change the
`Go on with the next verse' the Gryphon repeated impatiently:
`it begins "I passed by his garden."'
Alice did not dare to disobeythough she felt sure it would
all come wrongand she went on in a trembling voice:-
`I passed by his gardenand markedwith one eye
How the Owl and the Panther were sharing a pie--'
[later editions continued as follows
The Panther took pie-crustand gravyand meat
While the Owl had the dish as its share of the treat.
When the pie was all finishedthe Owlas 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!'
`YesI 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
`Oha songpleaseif the Mock Turtle would be so kind'
Alice repliedso eagerly that the Gryphon saidin a rather
offended tone`Hm! No accounting for tastes! Sing her
Turtle Soup,will youold fellow?'
The Mock Turtle sighed deeplyand beganin a voice sometimes
choked with sobsto sing this:-
`Beautiful Soupso rich and green
Waiting in a hot tureen!
Who for such dainties would not stoop?
Soup of the eveningbeautiful Soup!
Soup of the eveningbeautiful Soup!
Soo--oop of the e--e--evening
`Beautiful Soup! Who cares for fish
Gameor any other dish?
Who would not give all else for two
Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?
Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?
Soo--oop of the e--e--evening
`Chorus again!' cried the Gryphonand the Mock Turtle had
just begun to repeat itwhen a cry of `The trial's beginning!'
was heard in the distance.
`Come on!' cried the Gryphonandtaking Alice by the hand
it hurried offwithout 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 fasterwhile more and more
faintly camecarried on the breeze that followed themthe
`Soo--oop of the e--e--evening
Who Stole the Tarts?
The King and Queen of Hearts were seated on their throne when
they arrivedwith a great crowd assembled about them--all sorts
of little birds and beastsas well as the whole pack of cards:
the Knave was standing before themin chainswith a soldier on
each side to guard him; and near the King was the White Rabbit
with a trumpet in one handand a scroll of parchment in the
other. In the very middle of the court was a tablewith a large
dish of tarts upon it: they looked so goodthat 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 thisso she began looking at everything about
herto pass away the time.
Alice had never been in a court of justice beforebut she had
read about them in booksand 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 judgeby the waywas 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 comfortableand it was certainly
`And that's the jury-box' thought Alice`and those twelve
creatures' (she was obliged to say `creatures' you seebecause
some of them were animalsand some were birds) `I suppose they
are the jurors.' She said this last word two or three times over
to herselfbeing rather proud of it: for she thoughtand
rightly toothat very few little girls of her age knew the
meaning of it at all. However`jury-men' would have done just
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 yetbefore 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
`Stupid things!' Alice began in a loudindignant voicebut
she stopped hastilyfor the White Rabbit cried out`Silence in
the court!' and the King put on his spectacles and looked
anxiously roundto make out who was talking.
Alice could seeas well as if she were looking over their
shouldersthat all the jurors were writing down `stupid things!'
on their slatesand 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 standand she went round the court and got
behind himand very soon found an opportunity of taking it
away. She did it so quickly that the poor little juror (it was
Billthe Lizard) could not make out at all what had become of
it; soafter hunting all about for ithe was obliged to write
with one finger for the rest of the day; and this was of very
little useas it left no mark on the slate.
`Heraldread the accusation!' said the King.
On this the White Rabbit blew three blasts on the trumpetand
then unrolled the parchment scrolland read as follows:-
`The Queen of Heartsshe made some tarts
All on a summer day:
The Knave of Heartshe stole those tarts
And took them quite away!'
`Consider your verdict' the King said to the jury.
`Not yetnot 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 trumpetand called out`First
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
pardonyour 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
The Hatter looked at the March Harewho had followed him into
the courtarm-in-arm with the Dormouse. `Fourteenth of MarchI
think it was' he said.
`Fifteenth' said the March Hare.
`Sixteenth' added the Dormouse.
`Write that down' the King said to the juryand the jury
eagerly wrote down all three dates on their slatesand then
added them upand 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 exclaimedturning to the jurywho
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 spectaclesand began staring at the
Hatterwho turned pale and fidgeted.
`Give your evidence' said the King; `and don't be nervousor
I'll have you executed on the spot.'
This did not seem to encourage the witness at all: he kept
shifting from one foot to the otherlooking uneasily at the
Queenand 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 sensationwhich
puzzled her a good deal until she made out what it was: she was
beginning to grow larger againand 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
`I wish you wouldn't squeeze so.' said the Dormousewho 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.'
`Yesbut 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
Hatterandjust as the Dormouse crossed the courtshe 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 sothat he shook both his shoes off.
`Give your evidence' the King repeated angrily`or I'll have
you executedwhether you're nervous or not.'
`I'm a poor manyour Majesty' the Hatter beganin 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!' the March Hare interrupted in a great hurry.
`You did!' said the Hatter.
`I deny it!' said the March Hare.
`He denies it' said the King: `leave out that part.'
`Wellat any ratethe Dormouse said--' the Hatter went on
looking anxiously round to see if he would deny it too: but the
Dormouse denied nothingbeing fast asleep.
`After that' continued the Hatter`I cut some more breadand-
`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
The miserable Hatter dropped his teacup and bread-and-butter
and went down on one knee. `I'm a poor manyour Majesty' he
`You're a very poor speaker' said the King.
Here one of the guinea-pigs cheeredand was immediately
suppressed by the officers of the court. (As that is rather a
hard wordI will just explain to you how it was done. They had
a large canvas bagwhich tied up at the mouth with strings:
into this they slipped the guinea-pighead firstand then sat
`I'm glad I've seen that done' thought Alice. `I've so often
read in the newspapersat the end of trialsThere was some
attempts at applause, which was immediately suppressed by the
officers of the court,and I never understood what it meant
`If that's all you know about ityou may stand down'
continued the King.
`I can't go no lower' said the Hatter: `I'm on the flooras
`Then you may SIT down' the King replied.
Here the other guinea-pig cheeredand was suppressed.
`Comethat finished the guinea-pigs!' thought Alice. `Now we
shall get on better.'
`I'd rather finish my tea' said the Hatterwith an anxious
look at the Queenwho was reading the list of singers.
`You may go' said the Kingand the Hatter hurriedly left the
courtwithout 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 handand Alice guessed who it waseven before
she got into the courtby 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 Rabbitwho said in a
low voice`Your Majesty must cross-examine THIS witness.'
`Wellif I mustI must' the King saidwith a melancholy
airandafter folding his arms and frowning at the cook till
his eyes were nearly out of sighthe said in a deep voice`What
are tarts made of?'
`Peppermostly' 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 confusiongetting the
Dormouse turned outandby the time they had settled down
againthe cook had disappeared.
`Never mind!' said the Kingwith an air of great relief.
`Call the next witness.' And he added in an undertone to the
Queen`Reallymy dearYOU 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 surprisewhen the White Rabbit read outat the top
of his shrill little voicethe name `Alice!'
`Here!' cried Alicequite forgetting in the flurry of the
moment how large she had grown in the last few minutesand she
jumped up in such a hurry that she tipped over the jury-box with
the edge of her skirtupsetting all the jurymen on to the heads
of the crowd belowand there they lay sprawling aboutreminding
her very much of a globe of goldfish she had accidentally upset
the week before.
`OhI BEG your pardon!' she exclaimed in a tone of great
dismayand began picking them up again as quickly as she could
for the accident of the goldfish kept running in her headand
she had a vague sort of idea that they must be collected at once
and put back into the jury-boxor 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 emphasislooking hard at Alice as
he said do.
Alice looked at the jury-boxand saw thatin her hasteshe
had put the Lizard in head downwardsand the poor little thing
was waving its tail about in a melancholy waybeing quite unable
to move. She soon got it out againand 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 upsetand their slates and pencils had been found and
handed back to themthey set to work very diligently to write
out a history of the accidentall except the Lizardwho 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
`Nothing' said Alice.
`Nothing WHATEVER?' persisted the King.
`Nothing whatever' said Alice.
`That's very important' the King saidturning to the jury.
They were just beginning to write this down on their slateswhen
the White Rabbit interrupted: `UNimportantyour Majesty means
of course' he said in a very respectful tonebut frowning and
making faces at him as he spoke.
`UNimportantof courseI meant' the King hastily saidand
went on to himself in an undertone`important--unimportant-unimportant--
important--' as if he were trying which word
Some of the jury wrote it down `important' and some
`unimportant.' Alice could see thisas she was near enough to
look over their slates; `but it doesn't matter a bit' she
thought to herself.
At this moment the Kingwho had been for some time busily
writing in his note-bookcackled 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.
`WellI shan't goat 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 paleand shut his note-book hastily.
`Consider your verdict' he said to the juryin a lowtrembling
`There's more evidence to come yetplease your Majesty' said
the White Rabbitjumping 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 letterwritten by the prisoner to--to somebody.'
`It must have been that' said the King`unless it was
written to nobodywhich isn't usualyou 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 spokeand added `It isn't a letterafter all: it's a set
`Are they in the prisoner's handwriting?' asked another of
`Nothey'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 itand
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 mischiefor 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. `Whyyou 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 onethey 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
Himand ourselvesand it.
Don't let him know she liked them best
For this must ever be
A secretkept from all the rest
Between yourself and me.'
`That's the most important piece of evidence we've heard yet'
said the Kingrubbing 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 troubleyou knowas we needn't try to find any. And
yet I don't know' he went onspreading out the verses on his
kneeand looking at them with one eye; `I seem to see some
meaning in themafter all. "--SAID I COULD NOT SWIM--" you
can't swimcan you?' he addedturning to the Knave.
The Knave shook his head sadly. `Do I look like it?' he said.
(Which he certainly did NOTbeing made entirely of cardboard.)
`All rightso far' said the Kingand he went on muttering
over the verses to himself: `"WE KNOW IT TO BE TRUE--" that's
the juryof course-- "I GAVE HER ONETHEY GAVE HIM TWO--" why
that must be what he did with the tartsyou know--'
`Butit goes on "THEY ALL RETURNED FROM HIM TO YOU' said
`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 fitsmy
dearI think?' he said to the Queen.
`Never!' said the Queen furiouslythrowing an inkstand at the
Lizard as she spoke. (The unfortunate little Bill had left off
writing on his slate with one fingeras he found it made no
mark; but he now hastily began againusing the inkthat was
trickling down his faceas long as it lasted.)
`Then the words don't FIT you' said the Kinglooking round
the court with a smile. There was a dead silence.
`It's a pun!' the King added in an offended toneand
everybody laughed`Let the jury consider their verdict' the
King saidfor about the twentieth time that day.
`Nono!' 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 Queenturning purple.
`I won't!' said Alice.
`Off with her head!' the Queen shouted at the top of her voice.
`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 airand came flying
down upon her: she gave a little screamhalf of fright and half
of angerand tried to beat them offand found herself lying on
the bankwith her head in the lap of her sisterwho was gently
brushing away some dead leaves that had fluttered down from the
trees upon her face.
`Wake upAlice dear!' said her sister; `Whywhat a long
sleep you've had!'
`OhI've had such a curious dream!' said Aliceand she told
her sisteras well as she could remember themall these strange
Adventures of hers that you have just been reading about; and
when she had finishedher sister kissed herand said`It WAS a
curious dreamdearcertainly: but now run in to your tea; it's
getting late.' So Alice got up and ran offthinking while she
ranas well she mightwhat a wonderful dream it had been.
But her sister sat still just as she left herleaning her
head on her handwatching the setting sunand thinking of
little Alice and all her wonderful Adventurestill she too began
dreaming after a fashionand this was her dream:-
Firstshe dreamed of little Alice herselfand once again the
tiny hands were clasped upon her kneeand the bright eager eyes
were looking up into hers--she could hear the very tones of her
voiceand 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 listenedor seemed to listenthe whole place
around her became alive the strange creatures of her little
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 kneewhile plates and dishes crashed around it--once
more the shriek of the Gryphonthe squeaking of the Lizard's
slate-penciland the choking of the suppressed guinea-pigs
filled the airmixed up with the distant sobs of the miserable
So she sat onwith closed eyesand half believed herself in
Wonderlandthough she knew she had but to open them againand
all would change to dull reality--the grass would be only
rustling in the windand 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 babythe shriek of the Gryphonand
all thy other queer noiseswould 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
Lastlyshe pictured to herself how this same little sister of
hers wouldin the after-timebe herself a grown woman; and how
she would keepthrough all her riper yearsthe simple and
loving heart of her childhood: and how she would gather about
her other little childrenand make THEIR eyes bright and eager
with many a strange taleperhaps even with the dream of
Wonderland of long ago: and how she would feel with all their
simple sorrowsand find a pleasure in all their simple joys
remembering her own child-lifeand the happy summer days.