Down the Rabbit-Hole
Alice was beginning to get very
tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of
having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped
into the book her sister was reading, but it had no
pictures or conversations in it, 'and what is the
use of a book,' thought Alice 'without pictures or
So she was considering in her
own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made
her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the
pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the
trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when
suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by
There was nothing so VERY
remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so VERY
much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to
itself, 'Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!' (when
she thought it over afterwards, it occurred to her
that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the
time it all seemed quite natural); but when the
Rabbit actually TOOK A WATCH OUT OF ITS
WAISTCOAT-POCKET, and looked at it, and then hurried
on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across
her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit
with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take
out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran
across the field after it, and fortunately was just
in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under
In another moment down went
Alice after it, never once considering how in the
world she was to get out again.
The rabbit-hole went straight on
like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly
down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to
think about stopping herself before she found
herself falling down a very deep well.
Either the well was very deep,
or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time
as she went down to look about her and to wonder
what was going to happen next. First, she tried to
look down and make out what she was coming to, but
it was too dark to see anything; then she looked at
the sides of the well, and noticed that they were
filled with cupboards and book-shelves; here and
there she saw maps and pictures hung upon pegs. She
took down a jar from one of the shelves as she
passed; it was labelled 'ORANGE MARMALADE', but to
her great disappointment it was empty: she did not
like to drop the jar for fear of killing somebody,
so managed to put it into one of the cupboards as
she fell past it.
'Well!' thought Alice to
herself, 'after such a fall as this, I shall think
nothing of tumbling down stairs! How brave they'll
all think me at home! Why, I wouldn't say anything
about it, even if I fell off the top of the house!'
(Which was very likely true.)
Down, down, down. Would the fall
NEVER come to an end! 'I wonder how many miles I've
fallen by this time?' she said aloud. 'I must be
getting somewhere near the centre of the earth. Let
me see: that would be four thousand miles down, I
think—' (for, you see, Alice had learnt several
things of this sort in her lessons in the
schoolroom, and though this was not a VERY good
opportunity for showing off her knowledge, as there
was no one to listen to her, still it was good
practice to say it over) '—yes, that's about the
right distance—but then I wonder what Latitude or
Longitude I've got to?' (Alice had no idea what
Latitude was, or Longitude either, but thought they
were nice grand words to say.)
Presently she began again. 'I
wonder if I shall fall right THROUGH the earth! How
funny it'll seem to come out among the people that
walk with their heads downward! The Antipathies, I
think—' (she was rather glad there WAS no one
listening, this time, as it didn't sound at all the
right word) '—but I shall have to ask them what the
name of the country is, you know. Please, Ma'am, is
this New Zealand or Australia?' (and she tried to
curtsey as she spoke—fancy CURTSEYING as you're
falling through the air! Do you think you could
manage it?) 'And what an ignorant little girl she'll
think me for asking! No, it'll never do to ask:
perhaps I shall see it written up somewhere.'
Down, down, down. There was
nothing else to do, so Alice soon began talking
again. 'Dinah'll miss me very much to-night, I
should think!' (Dinah was the cat.) 'I hope they'll
remember her saucer of milk at tea-time. Dinah my
dear! I wish you were down here with me! There are
no mice in the air, I'm afraid, but you might catch
a bat, and that's very like a mouse, you know. But
do cats eat bats, I wonder?' And here Alice began to
get rather sleepy, and went on saying to herself, in
a dreamy sort of way, 'Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat
bats?' and sometimes, 'Do bats eat cats?' for, you
see, as she couldn't answer either question, it
didn't much matter which way she put it. She felt
that she was dozing off, and had just begun to dream
that she was walking hand in hand with Dinah, and
saying to her very earnestly, 'Now, Dinah, tell me
the truth: did you ever eat a bat?' when suddenly,
thump! thump! down she came upon a heap of sticks
and dry leaves, and the fall was over.
Alice was not a bit hurt, and
she jumped up on to her feet in a moment: she looked
up, but it was all dark overhead; before her was
another long passage, and the White Rabbit was still
in sight, hurrying down it. There was not a moment
to be lost: away went Alice like the wind, and was
just in time to hear it say, as it turned a corner,
'Oh my ears and whiskers, how late it's getting!'
She was close behind it when she turned the corner,
but the Rabbit was no longer to be seen: she found
herself in a long, low hall, which was lit up by a
row of lamps hanging from the roof.
There were doors all round the
hall, but they were all locked; and when Alice had
been all the way down one side and up the other,
trying every door, she walked sadly down the middle,
wondering how she was ever to get out again.
Suddenly she came upon a little
three-legged table, all made of solid glass; there
was nothing on it except a tiny golden key, and
Alice's first thought was that it might belong to
one of the doors of the hall; but, alas! either the
locks were too large, or the key was too small, but
at any rate it would not open any of them. However,
on the second time round, she came upon a low
curtain she had not noticed before, and behind it
was a little door about fifteen inches high: she
tried the little golden key in the lock, and to her
great delight it fitted!
Alice opened the door and found
that it led into a small passage, not much larger
than a rat-hole: she knelt down and looked along the
passage into the loveliest garden you ever saw. How
she longed to get out of that dark hall, and wander
about among those beds of bright flowers and those
cool fountains, but she could not even get her head
through the doorway; 'and even if my head would go
through,' thought poor Alice, 'it would be of very
little use without my shoulders. Oh, how I wish I
could shut up like a telescope! I think I could, if
I only know how to begin.' For, you see, so many
out-of-the-way things had happened lately, that
Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed
were really impossible.
There seemed to be no use in
waiting by the little door, so she went back to the
table, half hoping she might find another key on it,
or at any rate a book 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 label, with the words 'DRINK ME'
beautifully printed on it in large letters.
It was all very well to say
'Drink me,' but the wise little Alice was not going
to do THAT in a hurry. 'No, I'll look first,' she
said, 'and see whether it's marked "poison" or not';
for she had read several nice little histories about
children who had got burnt, and eaten up by wild
beasts and other unpleasant things, all because they
WOULD not remember the simple rules their friends
had taught them: such as, that a red-hot poker will
burn you if you hold it too long; and that if you
cut your finger VERY deeply with a knife, it usually
bleeds; and she had never forgotten that, if you
drink much from a bottle marked 'poison,' it is
almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or
However, this bottle was NOT
marked 'poison,' so Alice ventured to taste it, and
finding it very nice, (it had, in fact, a sort of
mixed flavour of cherry-tart, custard, pine-apple,
roast turkey, toffee, and hot buttered toast,) she
very soon finished it off.
* * * * * * *
* * * * * *
* * * * * * *
'What a curious feeling!' said
Alice; 'I must be shutting up like a telescope.'
And so it was indeed: she was
now only ten inches high, and her face brightened up
at the thought that she was now the right size for
going through the little door into that lovely
garden. First, however, she waited for a few minutes
to see if she was going to shrink any further: she
felt a little nervous about this; 'for it might end,
you know,' said Alice to herself, 'in my going out
altogether, like a candle. I wonder what I should be
like then?' And she tried to fancy what the flame of
a candle is like after the candle is blown out, for
she could not remember ever having seen such a
After a while, finding that
nothing more happened, she decided on going into the
garden at once; but, alas for poor Alice! when she
got to the door, she found she had forgotten the
little golden key, and when she went back to the
table for it, she found she could not possibly reach
it: she could see it quite plainly through the
glass, and she tried her best to climb up one of the
legs of the table, but it was too slippery; and when
she had tired herself out with trying, the poor
little thing sat down and cried.
'Come, there's no use in crying
like that!' said Alice to herself, rather sharply;
'I advise you to leave off this minute!' She
generally gave herself very good advice, (though she
very seldom followed it), and sometimes she scolded
herself so severely as to bring tears into her eyes;
and once she remembered trying to box her own ears
for having cheated herself in a game of croquet she
was playing against herself, for this curious child
was very fond of pretending to be two people. 'But
it's no use now,' thought poor Alice, 'to pretend to
be two people! Why, there's hardly enough of me left
to make ONE respectable person!'
Soon her eye fell on a little
glass box that was lying under the table: she opened
it, and found in it a very small cake, on which the
words 'EAT ME' were beautifully marked in currants.
'Well, I'll eat it,' said Alice, 'and if it makes me
grow larger, I can reach the key; and if it makes me
grow smaller, I can creep under the door; so either
way I'll get into the garden, and I don't care which
She ate a little bit, and said
anxiously to herself, 'Which way? Which way?',
holding her hand on the top of her head to feel
which way it was growing, and she was quite
surprised to find that she remained the same size:
to be sure, this generally happens when one eats
cake, but Alice had got so much into the way of
expecting nothing but out-of-the-way things to
happen, that it seemed quite dull and stupid for
life to go on in the common way.
So she set to work, and very
soon finished off the cake.
The Pool of Tears
'Curiouser and curiouser!' cried
Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the
moment she quite forgot how to speak good English);
'now I'm opening out like the largest telescope that
ever was! Good-bye, feet!' (for when she looked down
at her feet, they seemed to be almost out of sight,
they were getting so far off). 'Oh, my poor little
feet, I wonder who will put on your shoes and
stockings for you now, dears? I'm sure I
shan't be able! I shall be a great deal too far off
to trouble myself about you: you must manage the
best way you can;—but I must be kind to them,'
thought Alice, 'or perhaps they won't walk the way I
want to go! Let me see: I'll give them a new pair of
boots every Christmas.'
And she went on planning to
herself how she would manage it. 'They must go by
the carrier,' she thought; 'and how funny it'll
seem, sending presents to one's own feet! And how
odd the directions will look!
ALICE'S RIGHT FOOT, ESQ.
NEAR THE FENDER,
(WITH ALICE'S LOVE).
Oh dear, what nonsense I'm
Just then her head struck
against the roof of the hall: in fact she was now
more than nine feet high, and she at once took up
the little golden key and hurried off to the garden
Poor Alice! It was as much as
she could do, lying down on one side, to look
through into the garden with one eye; but to get
through was more hopeless than ever: she sat down
and began to cry again.
'You ought to be ashamed of
yourself,' said Alice, 'a great girl like you,' (she
might well say this), 'to go on crying in this way!
Stop this moment, I tell you!' But she went on all
the same, shedding gallons of tears, until there was
a large pool all round her, about four inches deep
and reaching half down the hall.
After a time she heard a little
pattering of feet in the distance, and she hastily
dried her eyes to see what was coming. It was the
White Rabbit returning, splendidly dressed, with a
pair of white kid gloves in one hand and a large fan
in the other: he came trotting along in a great
hurry, muttering to himself as he came, 'Oh! the
Duchess, the Duchess! Oh! won't she be savage if
I've kept her waiting!' Alice felt so desperate that
she was ready to ask help of any one; so, when the
Rabbit came near her, she began, in a low, timid
voice, 'If you please, sir—' The Rabbit started
violently, dropped the white kid gloves and the fan,
and skurried away into the darkness as hard as he
Alice took up the fan and
gloves, and, as the hall was very hot, she kept
fanning herself all the time she went on talking:
'Dear, dear! How queer everything is to-day! And
yesterday things went on just as usual. I wonder if
I've been changed in the night? Let me think: was I
the same when I got up this morning? I almost think
I can remember feeling a little different. But if
I'm not the same, the next question is, Who in the
world am I? Ah, THAT'S the great puzzle!' And she
began thinking over all the children she knew that
were of the same age as herself, to see if she could
have been changed for any of them.
'I'm sure I'm not Ada,' she
said, 'for her hair goes in such long ringlets, and
mine doesn't go in ringlets at all; and I'm sure I
can't be Mabel, for I know all sorts of things, and
she, oh! she knows such a very little! Besi㸅㾋뼮'S she, and I'm I, and—oh dear, how puzzling it
all is! I'll try if I know all the things I used to
know. Let me see: four times five is twelve, and
four times six is thirteen, and four times seven
is—oh dear! I shall never get to twenty at that
rate! However, the Multiplication Table doesn't
signify: let's try Geography. London is the capital
of Paris, and Paris is the capital of Rome, and
Rome—no, THAT'S all wrong, I'm certain! I must have
been changed for Mabel! I'll try and say "How doth
the little—"' and she crossed her hands on her lap
as if she were saying lessons, and began to repeat
it, but her voice sounded hoarse and strange, and
the words did not come the same as they used to do:—
'How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!
'How cheerfully he seems to grin,
How neatly spread his claws,
And welcome little fishes in
With gently smiling jaws!'
'I'm sure those are not the
right words,' said poor Alice, and her eyes filled
with tears again as she went on, 'I must be Mabel
after all, and I shall have to go and live in that
poky little house, and have next to no toys to play
with, and oh! ever so many lessons to learn! No,
I've made up my mind about it; if I'm Mabel, I'll
stay down here! It'll be no use their putting their
heads down and saying "Come up again, dear!" I shall
only look up and say "Who am I then? Tell me that
first, and then, if I like being that person, I'll
come up: if not, I'll stay down here till I'm
somebody else"—but, oh dear!' cried Alice, with a
sudden burst of tears, 'I do wish they WOULD put
their heads down! I am so VERY tired of being all
As she said this she looked down
at her hands, and was surprised to see that she had
put on one of the Rabbit's little white kid gloves
while she was talking. 'How CAN I have done that?'
she thought. 'I must be growing small again.' She
got up and went to the table to measure herself by
it, and found that, as nearly as she could guess,
she was now about two feet high, and was going on
shrinking rapidly: she soon found out that the cause
of this was the fan she was holding, and she dropped
it hastily, just in time to avoid shrinking away
'That WAS a narrow escape!' said
Alice, a good deal frightened at the sudden change,
but very glad to find herself still in existence;
'and now for the garden!' and she ran with all speed
back to the little door: but, alas! the little door
was shut again, and the little golden key was lying
on the glass table as before, 'and things are worse
than ever,' thought the poor child, 'for I never was
so small as this before, never! And I declare it's
too bad, that it is!'
As she said these words her foot
slipped, and in another moment, splash! she was up
to her chin in salt water. 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 life, and
had come to the general conclusion, that wherever
you go to on the English coast you find a number of
bathing machines in the sea, some children digging
in the sand with wooden spades, then a row of
lodging houses, and behind them a railway station.)
However, she soon made out that she was in the pool
of tears which she had wept when she was nine feet
'I wish I hadn't cried so much!'
said Alice, as she swam about, trying to find her
way out. 'I shall be punished for it now, I suppose,
by being drowned in my own tears! That WILL be a
queer thing, to be sure! However, everything is
Just then she heard something
splashing about in the pool a little way off, and
she swam nearer to make out what it was: at first
she thought it must be a walrus or hippopotamus, but
then she remembered how small she was now, and she
soon made out that it was only a mouse that had
slipped in like herself.
'Would it be of any use, now,'
thought Alice, 'to speak to this mouse? Everything
is so out-of-the-way down here, that I should think
very likely it can talk: at any rate, there's no
harm in trying.' So she began: 'O Mouse, do you know
the way out of this pool? I am very tired of
swimming about here, O Mouse!' (Alice thought this
must be the right way of speaking to a mouse: she
had never done such a thing before, but she
remembered having seen in her brother's Latin
Grammar, 'A mouse—of a mouse—to a mouse—a mouse—O
mouse!') The Mouse looked at her rather
inquisitively, and seemed to her to wink with one of
its little eyes, but it said nothing.
'Perhaps it doesn't understand
English,' thought Alice; 'I daresay it's a French
mouse, come over with William the Conqueror.' (For,
with all her knowledge of history, Alice had no very
clear notion how long ago anything had happened.) So
she began again: 'Ou est ma chatte?' which was the
first sentence in her French lesson-book. The Mouse
gave a sudden leap out of the water, and seemed to
quiver all over with fright. 'Oh, I beg your
pardon!' cried Alice hastily, afraid that she had
hurt the poor animal's feelings. 'I quite forgot you
didn't like cats.'
'Not like cats!' cried the
Mouse, in a shrill, passionate voice. 'Would YOU
like cats if you were me?'
'Well, perhaps not,' said Alice
in a soothing tone: 'don't be angry about it. And
yet I wish I could show you our cat Dinah: I think
you'd take a fancy to cats if you could only see
her. She is such a dear quiet thing,' Alice went on,
half to herself, as she swam lazily about in the
pool, 'and she sits purring so nicely by the fire,
licking her paws and washing her face—and she is
such a nice soft thing to nurse—and she's such a
capital one for catching mice—oh, I beg your
pardon!' cried Alice again, for this time the Mouse
was bristling all over, and she felt certain it must
be really offended. 'We won't talk about her any
more if you'd rather not.'
'We indeed!' cried the Mouse,
who was trembling down to the end of his tail. 'As
if I would talk on such a subject! Our family always
HATED cats: nasty, low, vulgar things! Don't let me
hear the name again!'
'I won't indeed!' said Alice, in
a great hurry to change the subject of conversation.
'Are you—are you fond—of—of dogs?' The Mouse did not
answer, so Alice went on eagerly: 'There is such a
nice little dog near our house I should like to show
you! A little bright-eyed terrier, you know, with
oh, such long curly brown hair! And it'll fetch
things when you throw them, and it'll sit up and beg
for its dinner, and all sorts of things—I can't
remember half of them—and it belongs to a farmer,
you know, and he says it's so useful, it's worth a
hundred pounds! He says it kills all the rats and—oh
dear!' cried Alice in a sorrowful tone, 'I'm afraid
I've offended it again!' For the Mouse was swimming
away from her as hard as it could go, and making
quite a commotion in the pool as it went.
So she called softly after it,
'Mouse dear! Do come back again, and we won't talk
about cats or dogs either, if you don't like them!'
When the Mouse heard this, it turned round and swam
slowly back to her: its face was quite pale (with
passion, Alice thought), and it said in a low
trembling voice, 'Let us get to the shore, and then
I'll tell you my history, and you'll understand why
it is I hate cats and dogs.'
It was high time to go, for the
pool was getting quite crowded with the birds and
animals that had fallen into it: there were a Duck
and a Dodo, a Lory and an Eaglet, and several other
curious creatures. Alice led the way, and the whole
party swam to the shore.
A Caucus-Race and
a Long Tale
They were indeed a queer-looking
party that assembled on the bank—the birds with
draggled feathers, the animals with their fur
clinging close to them, and all dripping wet, cross,
The first question of course
was, how to get dry again: they had a consultation
about this, and after a few minutes it seemed quite
natural to Alice to find herself talking familiarly
with them, as if she had known them all her life.
Indeed, she had quite a long argument with the Lory,
who at last turned sulky, and would only say, 'I am
older than you, and must know better'; and this
Alice would not allow without knowing how old it
was, and, as the Lory positively refused to tell its
age, there was no more to be said.
At last the Mouse, who seemed to
be a person of authority among them, called out,
'Sit down, all of you, and listen to me! I'LL soon
make you dry enough!' They all sat down at once, in
a large ring, with the Mouse in the middle. Alice
kept her eyes anxiously fixed on it, for she felt
sure she would catch a bad cold if she did not get
dry very soon.
'Ahem!' said the Mouse with an
important air, 'are you all ready? This is the
driest thing I know. Silence all round, if you
please! "William the Conqueror, whose cause was
favoured by the pope, was soon submitted to by the
English, who wanted leaders, and had been of late
much accustomed to usurpation and conquest. Edwin
and Morcar, the earls of Mercia and Northumbria—"'
'Ugh!' said the Lory, with a
'I beg your pardon!' said the
Mouse, frowning, but very politely: 'Did you speak?'
'Not I!' said the Lory hastily.
'I thought you did,' said the
Mouse. '—I proceed. "Edwin and Morcar, the earls of
Mercia and Northumbria, declared for him: and even
Stigand, the patriotic archbishop of Canterbury,
found it advisable—"'
'Found WHAT?' said the Duck.
'Found IT,' the Mouse replied
rather crossly: 'of course you know what "it"
'I know what "it" means well
enough, when I find a thing,' said the Duck: 'it's
generally a frog or a worm. The question is, what
did the archbishop find?'
The Mouse did not notice this
question, but hurriedly went on, '"—found it
advisable to go with Edgar Atheling to meet William
and offer him the crown. William's conduct at first
was moderate. But the insolence of his Normans—" How
are you getting on now, my dear?' it continued,
turning to Alice as it spoke.
'As wet as ever,' said Alice in
a melancholy tone: 'it doesn't seem to dry me at
'In that case,' said the Dodo
solemnly, rising to its feet, 'I move that the
meeting adjourn, for the immediate adoption of more
'Speak English!' said the
Eaglet. 'I don't know the meaning of half those long
words, and, what's more, I don't believe you do
either!' And the Eaglet bent down its head to hide a
smile: some of the other birds tittered audibly.
'What I was going to say,' said
the Dodo in an offended tone, 'was, that the best
thing to get us dry would be a Caucus-race.'
'What IS a Caucus-race?' said
Alice; not that she wanted much to know, but the
Dodo had paused as if it thought that SOMEBODY ought
to speak, and no one else seemed inclined to say
'Why,' said the Dodo, 'the best
way to explain it is to do it.' (And, as you might
like to try the thing yourself, some winter day, I
will tell you how the Dodo managed it.)
First it marked out a
race-course, in a sort of circle, ('the exact shape
doesn't matter,' it said,) and then all the party
were placed along the course, here and there. There
was no 'One, two, three, and away,' but they began
running when they liked, and left off when they
liked, so that it was not easy to know when the race
was over. However, when they had been running half
an hour or so, and were quite dry again, the Dodo
suddenly called out 'The race is over!' and they all
crowded round it, panting, and asking, 'But who has
This question the Dodo could not
answer without a great deal of thought, and it sat
for a long time with one finger pressed upon its
forehead (the position in which you usually see
Shakespeare, in the pictures of him), while the rest
waited in silence. At last the Dodo said, 'EVERYBODY
has won, and all must have prizes.'
'But who is to give the prizes?'
quite a chorus of voices asked.
'Why, SHE, of course,' said the
Dodo, pointing to Alice with one finger; and the
whole party at once crowded round her, calling out
in a confused way, 'Prizes! Prizes!'
Alice had no idea what to do,
and in despair she put her hand in her pocket, and
pulled out a box of comfits, (luckily the salt water
had not got into it), and handed them round as
prizes. There was exactly one a-piece all round.
'But she must have a prize
herself, you know,' said the Mouse.
'Of course,' the Dodo replied
very gravely. 'What else have you got in your
pocket?' he went on, turning to Alice.
'Only a thimble,' said Alice
'Hand it over here,' said the
Then they all crowded round her
once more, while the Dodo solemnly presented the
thimble, saying 'We beg your acceptance of this
elegant thimble'; and, when it had finished this
short speech, they all cheered.
Alice thought the whole thing
very absurd, but they all looked so grave that she
did not dare to laugh; and, as she could not think
of anything to say, she simply bowed, and took the
thimble, looking as solemn as she could.
The next thing was to eat the
comfits: this caused some noise and confusion, as
the large birds complained that they could not taste
theirs, and the small ones choked and had to be
patted on the back. However, it was over at last,
and they sat down again in a ring, and begged the
Mouse to tell them something more.
'You promised to tell me your
history, you know,' said Alice, 'and why it is you
hate—C and D,' she added in a whisper, half afraid
that it would be offended again.
'Mine is a long and a sad tale!'
said the Mouse, turning to Alice, and sighing.
'It IS a long tail, certainly,'
said Alice, looking down with wonder at the Mouse's
tail; 'but why do you call it sad?' And she kept on
puzzling about it while the Mouse was speaking, so
that her idea of the tale was something like this:—
'Fury said to a
mouse, That he
met in the
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
'I beg your pardon,' said Alice
very humbly: 'you had got to the fifth bend, I
'I had NOT!' cried the Mouse,
sharply and very angrily.
'A knot!' said Alice, always
ready to make herself useful, and looking anxiously
about her. 'Oh, do let me help to undo it!'
'I shall do nothing of the
sort,' said the Mouse, getting up and walking away.
'You insult me by talking such nonsense!'
'I didn't mean it!' pleaded poor
Alice. 'But you're so easily offended, you know!'
The Mouse only growled in reply.
'Please come back and finish
your story!' Alice called after it; and the others
all joined in chorus, 'Yes, please do!' but the
Mouse only shook its head impatiently, and walked a
'What a pity it wouldn't stay!'
sighed the Lory, as soon as it was quite out of
sight; and an old Crab took the opportunity of
saying to her daughter 'Ah, my dear! Let this be a
lesson to you never to lose YOUR temper!' 'Hold your
tongue, Ma!' said the young Crab, a little
snappishly. 'You're enough to try the patience of an
'I wish I had our Dinah here, I
know I do!' said Alice aloud, addressing nobody in
particular. 'She'd soon fetch it back!'
'And who is Dinah, if I might
venture to ask the question?' said the Lory.
Alice replied eagerly, for she
was always ready to talk about her pet: 'Dinah's our
cat. And she's such a capital one for catching mice
you can't think! And oh, I wish you could see her
after the birds! Why, she'll eat a little bird as
soon as look at it!'
This speech caused a remarkable
sensation among the party. Some of the birds hurried
off at once: one old Magpie began wrapping itself up
very carefully, remarking, 'I really must be getting
home; the night-air doesn't suit my throat!' and a
Canary called out in a trembling voice to its
children, 'Come away, my dears! It's high time you
were all in bed!' On various pretexts they all moved
off, and Alice was soon left alone.
'I wish I hadn't mentioned
Dinah!' she said to herself in a melancholy tone.
'Nobody seems to like her, down here, and I'm sure
she's the best cat in the world! Oh, my dear Dinah!
I wonder if I shall ever see you any more!' And here
poor Alice began to cry again, for she felt very
lonely and low-spirited. In a little while, however,
she again heard a little pattering of footsteps in
the distance, and she looked up eagerly, half hoping
that the Mouse had changed his mind, and was coming
back to finish his story.
The Rabbit Sends in
a Little Bill
It was the White Rabbit,
trotting slowly back again, and looking anxiously
about as it went, as if it had lost something; and
she heard it muttering to itself 'The Duchess! The
Duchess! Oh my dear paws! Oh my fur and whiskers!
She'll get me executed, as sure as ferrets are
ferrets! Where CAN I have dropped them, I wonder?'
Alice guessed in a moment that it was looking for
the fan and the pair of white kid gloves, and she
very good-naturedly began hunting about for them,
but they were nowhere to be seen—everything seemed
to have changed since her swim in the pool, and the
great hall, with the glass table and the little
door, had vanished completely.
Very soon the Rabbit noticed
Alice, as she went hunting about, and called out to
her in an angry tone, 'Why, Mary Ann, what ARE you
doing out here? Run home this moment, and fetch me a
pair of gloves and a fan! Quick, now!' And Alice was
so much frightened that she ran off at once in the
direction it pointed to, without trying to explain
the mistake it had made.
'He took me for his housemaid,'
she said to herself as she ran. 'How surprised he'll
be when he finds out who I am! But I'd better take
him his fan and gloves—that is, if I can find them.'
As she said this, she came upon a neat little house,
on the door of which was a bright brass plate with
the name 'W. RABBIT' engraved upon it. She went in
without knocking, and hurried upstairs, in great
fear lest she should meet the real Mary Ann, and be
turned out of the house before she had found the fan
'How queer it seems,' Alice said
to herself, 'to be going messages for a rabbit! I
suppose Dinah'll be sending me on messages next!'
And she began fancying the sort of thing that would
happen: '"Miss Alice! Come here directly, and get
ready for your walk!" "Coming in a minute, nurse!
But I've got to see that the mouse doesn't get out."
Only I don't think,' Alice went on, 'that they'd let
Dinah stop in the house if it began ordering people
about like that!'
By this time she had found her
way into a tidy little room with a table in the
window, and on it (as she had hoped) a fan and two
or three pairs of tiny white kid gloves: she took up
the fan and a pair of the gloves, and was just going
to leave the room, when her eye fell upon a little
bottle that stood near the looking-glass. There was
no label this time with the words 'DRINK ME,' but
nevertheless she uncorked it and put it to her lips.
'I know SOMETHING interesting is sure to happen,'
she said to herself, 'whenever I eat or drink
anything; so I'll just see what this bottle does. I
do hope it'll make me grow large again, for really
I'm quite tired of being such a tiny little thing!'
It did so indeed, and much
sooner than she had expected: before she had drunk
half the bottle, she found her head pressing against
the ceiling, and had to stoop to save her neck from
being broken. She hastily put down the bottle,
saying to herself 'That's quite enough—I hope I
shan't grow any more—As it is, I can't get out at
the door—I do wish I hadn't drunk quite so much!'
Alas! it was too late to wish
that! She went on growing, and growing, and very
soon had to kneel down on the floor: in another
minute there was not even room for this, and she
tried the effect of lying down with one elbow
against the door, and the other arm curled round her
head. Still she went on growing, and, as a last
resource, she put one arm out of the window, and one
foot up the chimney, and said to herself 'Now I can
do no more, whatever happens. What WILL become of
Luckily for Alice, the little
magic bottle had now had its full effect, and she
grew no larger: still it was very uncomfortable,
and, as there seemed to be no sort of chance of her
ever getting out of the room again, no wonder she
'It was much pleasanter at
home,' thought poor Alice, 'when one wasn't always
growing larger and smaller, and being ordered about
by mice and rabbits. I almost wish I hadn't gone
down that rabbit-hole—and yet—and yet—it's rather
curious, you know, this sort of life! I do wonder
what CAN have happened to me! When I used to read
fairy-tales, I fancied that kind of thing never
happened, and now here I am in the middle of one!
There ought to be a book written about me, that
there ought! And when I grow up, I'll write one—but
I'm grown up now,' she added in a sorrowful tone;
'at least there's no room to grow up any more HERE.'
'But then,' thought Alice,
'shall I NEVER get any older than I am now? That'll
be a comfort, one way—never to be an old woman—but
then—always to have lessons to learn! Oh, I
shouldn't like THAT!'
'Oh, you foolish Alice!' she
answered herself. 'How can you learn lessons in
here? Why, there's hardly room for YOU, and no room
at all for any lesson-books!'
And so she went on, taking first
one side and then the other, and making quite a
conversation of it altogether; but after a few
minutes she heard a voice outside, and stopped to
'Mary Ann! Mary Ann!' said the
voice. 'Fetch me my gloves this moment!' Then came a
little pattering of feet on the stairs. Alice knew
it was the Rabbit coming to look for her, and she
trembled till she shook the house, quite forgetting
that she was now about a thousand times as large as
the Rabbit, and had no reason to be afraid of it.
Presently the Rabbit came up to
the door, and tried to open it; but, as the door
opened inwards, and Alice's elbow was pressed hard
against it, that attempt proved a failure. Alice
heard it say to itself 'Then I'll go round and get
in at the window.'
'THAT you won't' thought Alice,
and, after waiting till she fancied she heard the
Rabbit just under the window, she suddenly spread
out her hand, and made a snatch in the air. She did
not get hold of anything, but she heard a little
shriek and a fall, and a crash of broken glass, from
which she concluded that it was just possible it had
fallen into a cucumber-frame, or something of the
Next came an angry voice—the
Rabbit's—'Pat! Pat! Where are you?' And then a voice
she had never heard before, 'Sure then I'm here!
Digging for apples, yer honour!'
'Digging for apples, indeed!'
said the Rabbit angrily. 'Here! Come and help me out
of THIS!' (Sounds of more broken glass.)
'Now tell me, Pat, what's that
in the window?'
'Sure, it's an arm, yer honour!'
(He pronounced it 'arrum.')
'An arm, you goose! Who ever saw
one that size? Why, it fills the whole window!'
'Sure, it does, yer honour: but
it's an arm for all that.'
'Well, it's got no business
there, at any rate: go and take it away!'
There was a long silence after
this, and Alice could only hear whispers now and
then; such as, 'Sure, I don't like it, yer honour,
at all, at all!' 'Do as I tell you, you coward!' and
at last she spread out her hand again, and made
another snatch in the air. This time there were TWO
little shrieks, and more sounds of broken glass.
'What a number of cucumber-frames there must be!'
thought Alice. 'I wonder what they'll do next! As
for pulling me out of the window, I only wish they
COULD! I'm sure I don't want to stay in here any
She waited for some time without
hearing anything more: at last came a rumbling of
little cartwheels, and the sound of a good many
voices all talking together: she made out the words:
'Where's the other ladder?—Why, I hadn't to bring
but one; Bill's got the other—Bill! fetch it here,
lad!—Here, put 'em up at this corner—No, tie 'em
together first—they don't reach half high enough
yet—Oh! they'll do well enough; don't be
particular—Here, Bill! catch hold of this rope—Will
the roof bear?—Mind that loose slate—Oh, it's coming
down! Heads below!' (a loud crash)—'Now, who did
that?—It was Bill, I fancy—Who's to go down the
chimney?—Nay, I shan't! YOU do it!—That I won't,
then!—Bill's to go down—Here, Bill! the master says
you're to go down the chimney!'
'Oh! So Bill's got to come down
the chimney, has he?' said Alice to herself. 'Shy,
they seem to put everything upon Bill! I wouldn't be
in Bill's place for a good deal: this fireplace is
narrow, to be sure; but I THINK I can kick a
She drew her foot as far down
the chimney as she could, and waited till she heard
a little animal (she couldn't guess of what sort it
was) scratching and scrambling about in the chimney
close above her: then, saying to herself 'This is
Bill,' she gave one sharp kick, and waited to see
what would happen next.
The first thing she heard was a
general chorus of 'There goes Bill!' then the
Rabbit's voice along—'Catch him, you by the hedge!'
then silence, and then another confusion of
voices—'Hold up his head—Brandy now—Don't choke
him—How was it, old fellow? What happened to you?
Tell us all about it!'
Last came a little feeble,
squeaking voice, ('That's Bill,' thought Alice,)
'Well, I hardly know—No more, thank ye; I'm better
now—but I'm a deal too flustered to tell you—all I
know is, something comes at me like a
Jack-in-the-box, and up I goes like a sky-rocket!'
'So you did, old fellow!' said
'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
There was a dead silence
instantly, and Alice thought to herself, 'I wonder
what they WILL do next! If they had any sense,
they'd take the roof off.' After a minute or two,
they began moving about again, and Alice heard the
Rabbit say, 'A barrowful will do, to begin with.'
'A barrowful of WHAT?' thought
Alice; but she had not long to doubt, for the next
moment a shower of little pebbles came rattling in
at the window, and some of them hit her in the face.
'I'll put a stop to this,' she said to herself, and
shouted out, 'You'd better not do that again!' which
produced another dead silence.
Alice noticed with some surprise
that the pebbles were all turning into little cakes
as they lay on the floor, and a bright idea came
into her head. 'If I eat one of these cakes,' she
thought, 'it's sure to make SOME change in my size;
and as it can't possibly make me larger, it must
make me smaller, I suppose.'
So she swallowed one of the
cakes, and was delighted to find that she began
shrinking directly. As soon as she was small enough
to get through the door, she ran out of the house,
and found quite a crowd of little animals and birds
waiting outside. The poor little Lizard, Bill, was
in the middle, being held up by two guinea-pigs, who
were giving it something out of a bottle. They all
made a rush at Alice the moment she appeared; but
she ran off as hard as she could, and soon found
herself safe in a thick wood.
'The first thing I've got to
do,' said Alice to herself, as she wandered about in
the wood, 'is to grow to my right size again; and
the second thing is to find my way into that lovely
garden. I think that will be the best plan.'
It sounded an excellent plan, no
doubt, and very neatly and simply arranged; the only
difficulty was, that she had not the smallest idea
how to set about it; and while she was peering about
anxiously among the trees, a little sharp bark just
over her head made her look up in a great hurry.
An enormous puppy was looking
down at her with large round eyes, and feebly
stretching out one paw, trying to touch her. 'Poor
little thing!' said Alice, in a coaxing tone, and
she tried hard to whistle to it; but she was
terribly frightened all the time at the thought that
it might be hungry, in which case it would be very
likely to eat her up in spite of all her coaxing.
Hardly knowing what she did, she
picked up a little bit of stick, and held it out to
the puppy; whereupon the puppy jumped into the air
off all its feet at once, with a yelp of delight,
and rushed at the stick, and made believe to worry
it; then Alice dodged behind a great thistle, to
keep herself from being run over; and the moment she
appeared on the other side, the puppy made another
rush at the stick, and tumbled head over heels in
its hurry to get hold of it; then Alice, thinking it
was very like having a game of play with a
cart-horse, and expecting every moment to be
trampled under its feet, ran round the thistle
again; then the puppy began a series of short
charges at the stick, running a very little way
forwards each time and a long way back, and barking
hoarsely all the while, till at last it sat down a
good way off, panting, with its tongue hanging out
of its mouth, and its great eyes half shut.
This seemed to Alice a good
opportunity for making her escape; so she set off at
once, and ran till she was quite tired and out of
breath, and till the puppy's bark sounded quite
faint in the distance.
'And yet what a dear little
puppy it was!' said Alice, as she leant against a
buttercup to rest herself, and fanned herself with
one of the leaves: 'I should have liked teaching it
tricks very much, if—if I'd only been the right size
to do it! Oh dear! I'd nearly forgotten that I've
got to grow up again! Let me see—how IS it to be
managed? I suppose I ought to eat or drink something
or other; but the great question is, what?'
The great question certainly
was, what? Alice looked all round her at the flowers
and the blades of grass, but she did not see
anything that looked like the right thing to eat or
drink under the circumstances. There was a large
mushroom growing near her, about the same height as
herself; and when she had looked under it, and on
both sides of it, and behind it, it occurred to her
that she might as well look and see what was on the
top of it.
She stretched herself up on
tiptoe, and peeped over the edge of the mushroom,
and her eyes immediately met those of a large
caterpillar, that was sitting on the top with its
arms folded, quietly smoking a long hookah, and
taking not the smallest notice of her or of anything
Advice from a Caterpillar
The Caterpillar and Alice looked
at each other for some time in silence: at last the
Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth, and
addressed her in a languid, sleepy voice.
'Who are YOU?' said the
This was not an encouraging
opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather
shyly, 'I—I hardly know, sir, just at present—at
least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning,
but I think I must have been changed several times
'What do you mean by that?' said
the Caterpillar sternly. 'Explain yourself!'
'I can't explain MYSELF, I'm
afraid, sir' said Alice, 'because I'm not myself,
'I don't see,' said the
'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
'Well, perhaps you haven't found
it so yet,' said Alice; 'but when you have to turn
into a chrysalis—you will some day, you know—and
then after that into a butterfly, I should think
you'll feel it a little queer, won't you?'
'Not a bit,' said the
'Well, perhaps your feelings may
be different,' said Alice; 'all I know is, it would
feel very queer to ME.'
'You!' said the Caterpillar
contemptuously. 'Who are YOU?'
Which brought them back again to
the beginning of the conversation. Alice felt a
little irritated at the Caterpillar's making such
VERY short remarks, and she drew herself up and
said, very gravely, 'I think, you ought to tell me
who YOU are, first.'
'Why?' said the Caterpillar.
Here was another puzzling
question; and as Alice could not think of any good
reason, and as the Caterpillar seemed to be in a
VERY unpleasant state of mind, she turned away.
'Come back!' the Caterpillar
called after her. 'I've something important to say!'
This sounded promising,
certainly: Alice turned and came back again.
'Keep your temper,' said the
'Is that all?' said Alice,
swallowing down her anger as well as she could.
'No,' said the Caterpillar.
Alice thought she might as well
wait, as she had nothing else to do, and perhaps
after all it might tell her something worth hearing.
For some minutes it puffed away without speaking,
but at last it unfolded its arms, took the hookah
out of its mouth again, and said, 'So you think
you're changed, do you?'
'I'm afraid I am, sir,' said
Alice; 'I can't remember things as I used—and I
don't keep the same size for ten minutes together!'
'Can't remember WHAT things?'
said the Caterpillar.
'Well, I've tried to say "HOW
DOTH THE LITTLE BUSY BEE," but it all came
different!' Alice replied in a very melancholy
'Repeat, "YOU ARE OLD, FATHER
WILLIAM,"' said the Caterpillar.
Alice folded her hands, and
'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
'Not QUITE right, I'm afraid,'
said Alice, timidly; 'some of the words have got
'It is wrong from beginning to
end,' said the Caterpillar decidedly, and there was
silence for some minutes.
The Caterpillar was the first to
'What size do you want to be?'
'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
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
'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
'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 easily offended!'
'You'll get used to it in time,'
said the Caterpillar; and it put the hookah into its
mouth and began smoking again.
This time Alice waited patiently
until it chose to speak again. In a minute or two
the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth and
yawned once or twice, and shook itself. Then it got
down off the mushroom, and crawled away in the
grass, merely remarking as it went, 'One side will
make you grow taller, and the other side will make
you grow shorter.'
'One side of WHAT? The other
side of WHAT?' thought Alice to herself.
'Of the mushroom,' said the
Caterpillar, just as if she had asked it aloud; and
in another moment it was out of sight.
Alice remained looking
thoughtfully at the mushroom for a minute, trying to
make out which were the two sides of it; and as it
was perfectly round, she found this a very difficult
question. However, at last she stretched her arms
round it as far as they would go, and broke off a
bit of the edge with each hand.
'And now which is which?' she
said to herself, and nibbled a little of the
right-hand bit to try the effect: the next moment
she felt a violent blow underneath her chin: it had
struck her foot!
She was a good deal frightened
by this very sudden change, but she felt that there
was no time to be lost, as she was shrinking
rapidly; so she set to work at once to eat some of
the other bit. Her chin was pressed so closely
against her foot, that there was hardly room to open
her mouth; but she did it at last, and managed to
swallow a morsel of the lefthand bit.
* * * * * * *
* * * * * *
* * * * * * *
'Come, my head's free at last!'
said Alice in a tone of delight, which changed into
alarm in another moment, when she found that her
shoulders were nowhere to be found: all she could
see, when she looked down, was an immense length of
neck, which seemed to rise like a stalk out of a sea
of green leaves that lay far below her.
'What CAN all that green stuff
be?' said Alice. 'And where HAVE my shoulders got
to? And oh, my poor hands, how is it I can't see
you?' She was moving them about as she spoke, but no
result seemed to follow, except a little shaking
among the distant green leaves.
As there seemed to be no chance
of getting her hands up to her head, she tried to
get her head down to them, and was delighted to find
that her neck would bend about easily in any
direction, like a serpent. She had just succeeded in
curving it down into a graceful zigzag, and was
going to dive in among the leaves, which she found
to be nothing but the tops of the trees under which
she had been wandering, when a sharp hiss made her
draw back in a hurry: a large pigeon had flown into
her face, and was beating her violently with its
'Serpent!' screamed the Pigeon.
'I'm NOT a serpent!' said Alice
indignantly. 'Let me alone!'
'Serpent, I say again!' repeated
the Pigeon, but in a more subdued tone, and added
with a kind of sob, 'I've tried every way, and
nothing seems to suit them!'
'I haven't the least idea what
you're talking about,' said Alice.
'I've tried the roots of trees,
and I've tried banks, and I've tried hedges,' the
Pigeon went on, without attending to her; 'but those
serpents! There's no pleasing them!'
Alice was more and more puzzled,
but she thought there was no use in saying anything
more till the Pigeon had finished.
'As if it wasn't trouble enough
hatching the eggs,' said the Pigeon; 'but I must be
on the look-out for serpents night and day! Why, I
haven't had a wink of sleep these three weeks!'
'I'm very sorry you've been
annoyed,' said Alice, who was beginning to see its
'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,
'But I'm NOT a serpent, I tell
you!' said Alice. 'I'm a—I'm a—'
'Well! WHAT are you?' said the
Pigeon. 'I can see you're trying to invent
'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
'I HAVE tasted eggs, certainly,'
said Alice, who was a very truthful child; 'but
little girls eat eggs quite as much as serpents do,
'I don't believe it,' said the
Pigeon; 'but if they do, why then they're a kind of
serpent, that's all I can say.'
This was such a new idea to
Alice, that she was quite silent for a minute or
two, which gave the Pigeon the opportunity of
adding, 'You're looking for eggs, I know THAT well
enough; and what does it matter to me whether you're
a little girl or a serpent?'
'It matters a good deal to ME,'
said Alice hastily; 'but I'm not looking for eggs,
as it happens; and if I was, I shouldn't want YOURS:
I don't like them raw.'
'Well, be off, then!' said the
Pigeon in a sulky tone, as it settled down again
into its nest. Alice crouched down among the trees
as well as she could, for her neck kept getting
entangled among the branches, and every now and then
she had to stop and untwist it. After a while she
remembered that she still held the pieces of
mushroom in her hands, and she set to work very
carefully, nibbling first at one and then at the
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
Then they both bowed low, and
their curls got entangled together.
Alice laughed so much at this,
that she had to run back into the wood for fear of
their hearing her; and when she next peeped out the
Fish-Footman was gone, and the other was sitting on
the ground near the door, staring stupidly up into
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
'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 does.'
'Which would NOT be an
advantage,' said Alice, who felt very glad to get an
opportunity of showing off a little of her
knowledge. 'Just think of what work it would make
with the day and night! You see the earth takes
twenty-four hours to turn round on its axis—'
'Talking of axes,' said the
Duchess, 'chop off her head!'
Alice glanced rather anxiously
at the cook, to see if she meant to take the hint;
but the cook was busily stirring the soup, and
seemed not to be listening, so she went on again:
'Twenty-four hours, I THINK; or is it twelve? 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 queer-shaped little
creature, and held out its arms and legs in all
directions, 'just like a star-fish,' thought Alice.
The poor little thing was snorting like a
steam-engine when she caught it, and kept doubling
itself up and straightening itself out again, so
that altogether, for the first minute or two, it was
as much as she could do to hold it.
As soon as she had made out the
proper way of nursing it, (which was to twist it up
into a sort of knot, and then keep tight hold of its
right ear and left foot, so as to prevent its
undoing itself,) she carried it out into the open
air. 'IF I don't take this child away with me,'
thought Alice, 'they're sure to kill it in a day or
two: wouldn't it be murder to leave it behind?' She
said the last words out loud, and the little thing
grunted in reply (it had left off sneezing by this
time). 'Don't grunt,' said Alice; 'that's not at all
a proper way of expressing yourself.'
The baby grunted again, and
Alice looked very anxiously into its face to see
what was the matter with it. There could be no doubt
that it had a VERY turn-up nose, much more like a
snout than a real nose; also its eyes were getting
extremely small for a baby: altogether Alice did not
like the look of the thing at all. 'But perhaps it
was only sobbing,' she thought, and looked into its
eyes again, to see if there were any tears.
No, there were no tears. 'If
you're going to turn into a pig, my dear,' said
Alice, seriously, 'I'll have nothing more to do with
you. Mind now!' The poor little thing sobbed again
(or grunted, it was impossible to say which), and
they went on for some while in silence.
Alice was just beginning to
think to herself, 'Now, what am I to do with this
creature when I get it home?' when it grunted again,
so violently, that she looked down into its face in
some alarm. This time there could be NO mistake
about it: it was neither more nor less than a pig,
and she felt that it would be quite absurd for her
to carry it further.
So she set the little creature
down, and felt quite relieved to see it trot away
quietly into the wood. 'If it had grown up,' she
said to herself, 'it would have made a dreadfully
ugly child: but it makes rather a handsome pig, I
think.' And she began thinking over other children
she knew, who might do very well as pigs, and was
just saying to herself, 'if one only knew the right
way to change them—' when she was a little startled
by seeing the Cheshire Cat sitting on a bough of a
tree a few yards off.
The Cat only grinned when it saw
Alice. It looked good-natured, she thought: still it
had VERY long claws and a great many teeth, so she
felt that it ought to be treated with respect.
'Cheshire Puss,' she began,
rather timidly, as she did not at all know whether
it would like the name: however, it only grinned a
little wider. 'Come, it's pleased so far,' thought
Alice, and she went on. 'Would you tell me, please,
which way I ought to go from here?'
'That depends a good deal on
where you want to get to,' said the Cat.
'I don't much care where—' said
'Then it doesn't matter which
way you go,' said the Cat.
'—so long as I get SOMEWHERE,'
Alice added as an explanation.
'Oh, you're sure to do that,'
said the Cat, 'if you only walk long enough.'
Alice felt that this could not
be denied, so she tried another question. 'What sort
of people live about here?'
'In THAT direction,' the Cat
said, waving its right paw round, 'lives a Hatter:
and in THAT direction,' waving the other paw, 'lives
a March Hare. Visit either you like: they're both
'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
'You must be,' said the Cat, 'or
you wouldn't have come here.'
Alice didn't think that proved
it at all; however, she went on 'And how do you know
that you're mad?'
'To begin with,' said the Cat,
'a dog's not mad. You grant that?'
'I suppose so,' said Alice.
'Well, then,' the Cat went on,
'you see, a dog growls when it's angry, and wags its
tail when it's pleased. Now I growl when I'm
pleased, and wag my tail when I'm angry. Therefore
'I call it purring, not
growling,' said Alice.
'Call it what you like,' said
the Cat. 'Do you play croquet with the Queen
'I should like it very much,'
said Alice, 'but I haven't been invited yet.'
'You'll see me there,' said the
Cat, and vanished.
Alice was not much surprised at
this, she was getting so used to queer things
happening. While she was looking at the place where
it had been, it suddenly appeared again.
'By-the-bye, what became of the
baby?' said the Cat. 'I'd nearly forgotten to ask.'
'It turned into a pig,' Alice
quietly said, just as if it had come back in a
'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
'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
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
'Then it wasn't very civil of
you to offer it,' said Alice angrily.
'It wasn't very civil of you to
sit down without being invited,' said the March
'I didn't know it was YOUR
table,' said Alice; 'it's laid for a great many more
'Your hair wants cutting,' said
the Hatter. He had been looking at Alice for some
time with great curiosity, and this was his first
'You should learn not to make
personal remarks,' Alice said with some severity;
'it's very rude.'
The Hatter opened his eyes very
wide on hearing this; but all he SAID was, 'Why is a
raven like a writing-desk?'
'Come, we shall have some fun
now!' thought Alice. 'I'm glad they've begun asking
riddles.—I believe I can guess that,' she added
'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
'You might just as well say,'
added the March Hare, 'that "I like what I get" is
the same thing as "I get what I like"!'
'You might just as well say,'
added the Dormouse, who seemed to be talking in his
sleep, 'that "I breathe when I sleep" is the same
thing as "I sleep when I breathe"!'
'It IS the same thing with you,'
said the Hatter, and here the conversation dropped,
and the party sat silent for a minute, while Alice
thought over all she could remember about ravens and
writing-desks, which wasn't much.
The Hatter was the first to
break the silence. 'What day of the month is it?' he
said, turning to Alice: he had taken his watch out
of his pocket, and was looking at it uneasily,
shaking it every now and then, and holding it to his
Alice considered a little, and
then said 'The fourth.'
'Two days wrong!' sighed the
Hatter. 'I told you butter wouldn't suit the works!'
he added looking angrily at the March Hare.
'It was the BEST butter,' the
March Hare meekly replied.
'Yes, but some crumbs must have
got in as well,' the Hatter grumbled: 'you shouldn't
have put it in with the bread-knife.'
The March Hare took the watch
and looked at it gloomily: then he dipped it into
his cup of tea, and looked at it again: but he could
think of nothing better to say than his first
remark, 'It was the BEST butter, you know.'
Alice had been looking over his
shoulder with some curiosity. 'What a funny watch!'
she remarked. 'It tells the day of the month, and
doesn't tell what o'clock it is!'
'Why should it?' muttered the
Hatter. 'Does YOUR watch tell you what year it is?'
'Of course not,' Alice replied
very readily: 'but that's because it stays the same
year for such a long time together.'
'Which is just the case with
MINE,' said the Hatter.
Alice felt dreadfully puzzled.
The Hatter's remark seemed to have no sort of
meaning in it, and yet it was certainly English. 'I
don't quite understand you,' she said, as politely
as she could.
'The Dormouse is asleep again,'
said the Hatter, and he poured a little hot tea upon
The Dormouse shook its head
impatiently, and said, without opening its eyes, 'Of
course, of course; just what I was going to remark
'Have you guessed the riddle
yet?' the Hatter said, turning to Alice again.
'No, I 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
'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,'
'Of course you don't!' the
Hatter said, tossing his head contemptuously. 'I
dare say you never even spoke to Time!'
'Perhaps not,' Alice cautiously
replied: 'but I know I have to beat time when I
'Ah! that accounts for it,' said
the Hatter. 'He won't stand beating. Now, if you
only kept on good terms with him, he'd do almost
anything you liked with the clock. For instance,
suppose it were nine o'clock in the morning, just
time to begin lessons: you'd only have to whisper a
hint to Time, and round goes the clock in a
twinkling! Half-past one, time for dinner!'
('I only wish it was,' the March
Hare said to itself in a whisper.)
'That would be grand,
certainly,' said Alice thoughtfully: 'but then—I
shouldn't be hungry for it, you know.'
'Not at first, perhaps,' said
the Hatter: 'but you could keep it to half-past one
as long as you liked.'
'Is that the way YOU manage?'
The Hatter shook his head
mournfully. 'Not I!' he replied. 'We quarrelled last
March—just before HE went mad, you know—' (pointing
with his tea spoon at the March Hare,) '—it was at
the great concert given by the Queen of Hearts, and
I had to sing
"Twinkle, twinkle, little bat!
How I wonder what you're at!"
You know the song, perhaps?'
'I've heard something like it,'
'It goes on, you know,' the
Hatter continued, 'in this way:—
"Up above the world you fly,
Like a tea-tray in the sky.
Here the Dormouse shook itself,
and began singing in its sleep 'Twinkle, twinkle,
twinkle, twinkle—' and went on so long that they had
to pinch it to make it stop.
'Well, I'd hardly finished the
first verse,' said the Hatter, 'when the Queen
jumped up and bawled out, "He's murdering the time!
Off with his head!"'
'How dreadfully savage!'
'And ever since that,' the
Hatter went on in a mournful tone, 'he won't do a
thing I ask! It's always six o'clock now.'
A bright idea came into Alice's
head. 'Is that the reason so many tea-things are put
out here?' she asked.
'Yes, that's it,' said the
Hatter with a sigh: 'it's always tea-time, and we've
no time to wash the things between whiles.'
'Then you keep moving round, I
suppose?' said Alice.
'Exactly so,' said the Hatter:
'as the things get used up.'
'But what happens when you come
to the beginning again?' Alice ventured to ask.
'Suppose we change the subject,'
the March Hare interrupted, yawning. 'I'm getting
tired of this. I vote the young lady tells us a
'I'm afraid I don't know one,'
said Alice, rather alarmed at the proposal.
'Then the Dormouse shall!' they
both cried. 'Wake up, Dormouse!' And they pinched it
on both sides at once.
The Dormouse slowly opened his
eyes. 'I wasn't asleep,' he said in a hoarse, feeble
voice: 'I heard every word you fellows were saying.'
'Tell us a story!' said the
'Yes, please do!' pleaded Alice.
'And be quick about it,' added
the Hatter, 'or you'll be asleep again before it's
'Once upon a time there were
three little sisters,' the Dormouse began in a great
hurry; 'and their names were Elsie, Lacie, and
Tillie; and they lived at the bottom of a well—'
'What did they live on?' said
Alice, who always took a great interest in questions
of eating and drinking.
'They lived on treacle,' said
the Dormouse, after thinking a minute or two.
'They couldn't have done that,
you know,' Alice gently remarked; 'they'd have been
'So they were,' said the
Dormouse; 'VERY ill.'
Alice tried to fancy to herself
what such an extraordinary ways of living would be
like, but it puzzled her too much, so she went on:
'But why did they live at the bottom of a well?'
'Take some more tea,' the March
Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.
'I've had nothing yet,' Alice
replied in an offended tone, 'so I can't take more.'
'You mean you can't take LESS,'
said the Hatter: 'it's very easy to take MORE than
'Nobody asked YOUR opinion,'
'Who's making personal remarks
now?' the Hatter asked triumphantly.
Alice did not quite know what to
say to this: so she helped herself to some tea and
bread-and-butter, and then turned to the Dormouse,
and repeated her question. 'Why did they live at the
bottom of a well?'
The Dormouse again took a minute
or two to think about it, and then said, 'It was a
'There's no such thing!' Alice
was beginning very angrily, but the Hatter and the
March Hare went 'Sh! sh!' and the Dormouse sulkily
remarked, 'If you can't be civil, you'd better
finish the story for yourself.'
'No, please go on!' Alice said
very humbly; 'I won't interrupt again. I dare say
there may be ONE.'
'One, indeed!' said the Dormouse
indignantly. However, he consented to go on. 'And so
these three little sisters—they were learning to
draw, you know—'
'What did they draw?' said
Alice, quite forgetting her promise.
'Treacle,' said the Dormouse,
without considering at all this time.
'I want a clean cup,'
interrupted the Hatter: 'let's all move one place
He moved on as he spoke, and the
Dormouse followed him: the March Hare moved into the
Dormouse's place, and Alice rather unwillingly took
the place of the March Hare. The Hatter was the only
one who got any advantage from the change: and Alice
was a good deal worse off than before, as the March
Hare had just upset the milk-jug into his plate.
Alice did not wish to offend the
Dormouse again, so she began very cautiously: 'But I
don't understand. Where did they draw the treacle
'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 Dormouse, not choosing to notice
this last remark.
'Of course they were', said the
Dormouse; '—well in.'
This answer so confused poor
Alice, that she let the Dormouse go on for some time
without interrupting it.
'They were learning to draw,'
the Dormouse went on, yawning and rubbing its eyes,
for it was getting very sleepy; 'and they drew all
manner of things—everything that begins with an M—'
'Why with an M?' said Alice.
'Why not?' said the March Hare.
Alice was silent.
The Dormouse had closed its eyes
by this time, and was going off into a doze; but, on
being pinched by the Hatter, it woke up again with a
little shriek, and went on: '—that begins with an M,
such as mouse-traps, and the moon, and memory, and
muchness—you know you say things are "much of a
muchness"—did you ever see such a thing as a drawing
of a muchness?'
'Really, now you ask me,' said
Alice, very much confused, 'I don't think—'
'Then you shouldn't talk,' said
This piece of rudeness was more
than Alice could bear: she got up in great disgust,
and walked off; the Dormouse fell asleep instantly,
and neither of the others took the least notice of
her going, though she looked back once or twice,
half hoping that they would call after her: the last
time she saw them, they were trying to put the
Dormouse into the teapot.
'At any rate I'll never go THERE
again!' said Alice as she picked her way through the
wood. 'It's the stupidest tea-party I ever was at in
all my life!'
Just as she said this, she
noticed that one of the trees had a door leading
right into it. 'That's very curious!' she thought.
'But everything's curious today. I think I may as
well go in at once.' And in she went.
Once more she found herself in
the long hall, and close to the little glass table.
'Now, I'll manage better this time,' she said to
herself, and began by taking the little golden key,
and unlocking the door that led into the garden.
Then she 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 garden, among the bright flower-beds and
the cool fountains.
A large rose-tree stood near the
entrance of the garden: the roses growing on it were
white, but there were three gardeners at it, busily
painting them red. Alice thought this a very curious
thing, and she went nearer to watch them, and just
as she came up to them she heard one of them say,
'Look out now, Five! Don't go splashing paint over
me like that!'
'I couldn't help it,' said Five,
in a sulky tone; 'Seven jogged my elbow.'
On which Seven looked up and
said, 'That's right, Five! Always lay the blame on
'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
'That's none of YOUR business,
Two!' said Seven.
'Yes, it IS his business!' said
Five, 'and I'll tell him—it was for bringing the
cook tulip-roots instead of onions.'
Seven flung down his brush, and
had just begun 'Well, of all the unjust things—'
when his eye chanced to fall upon Alice, as she
stood watching them, and he checked himself
suddenly: the others looked round also, and all of
them bowed low.
'Would you tell me,' said Alice,
a little timidly, 'why you are painting those
Five and Seven said nothing, but
looked at Two. Two began in a low voice, 'Why the
fact is, you see, Miss, this here ought to have been
a RED rose-tree, and we put a white one in by
mistake; and if the Queen was to find it out, we
should all have our heads cut off, you know. So you
see, Miss, we're doing our best, afore she comes,
to—' At this moment Five, who had been anxiously
looking across the garden, called out 'The Queen!
The Queen!' and the three gardeners instantly threw
themselves flat upon their faces. There was a sound
of many footsteps, and Alice looked round, eager to
see the Queen.
First came ten soldiers carrying
clubs; these were all shaped like the three
gardeners, oblong and flat, with their hands and
feet at the corners: next the ten courtiers; these
were ornamented all over with diamonds, and walked
two and two, as the soldiers did. After these came
the royal children; there were ten of them, and the
little dears came jumping merrily along hand in
hand, in couples: they were all ornamented with
hearts. Next came the guests, mostly Kings and
Queens, and among them Alice recognised the White
Rabbit: it was talking in a hurried nervous manner,
smiling at everything that was said, and went by
without noticing her. Then followed the Knave of
Hearts, carrying the King's crown on a crimson
velvet cushion; and, last of all this grand
procession, came THE KING AND QUEEN OF HEARTS.
Alice was rather doubtful
whether she ought not to lie down on her face like
the three gardeners, but she could not remember 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 faces, so that they couldn't see it?' So she
stood still where she was, and waited.
When the procession came
opposite to Alice, they all stopped and looked at
her, and the Queen said severely 'Who is this?' She
said it to the Knave of Hearts, who only bowed and
smiled in reply.
'Idiot!' said the Queen, tossing
her head impatiently; and, turning to Alice, she
went on, 'What's your name, child?'
'My name is Alice, so please
your Majesty,' said Alice very politely; but she
added, to herself, 'Why, they're only a pack of
cards, after all. I needn't be afraid of them!'
'And who are THESE?' said the
Queen, pointing to the three gardeners who were
lying round the rosetree; for, you see, as they were
lying on their faces, and the pattern on their backs
was the same as the rest of the pack, she could not
tell whether they were gardeners, or soldiers, or
courtiers, or three of her own children.
'How should I know?' said Alice,
surprised at her own courage. 'It's no business of
The Queen turned crimson with
fury, and, after glaring at her for a moment like a
wild beast, screamed 'Off with her head! Off—'
'Nonsense!' said Alice, very
loudly and decidedly, and the Queen was silent.
The King laid his hand upon her
arm, and timidly said 'Consider, my dear: she is
only a child!'
The Queen turned angrily away
from him, and said to the Knave 'Turn them over!'
The Knave did so, very
carefully, with one foot.
'Get up!' said the Queen, in a
shrill, loud voice, and the three gardeners
instantly jumped up, and began bowing to the King,
the Queen, the royal children, and everybody else.
'Leave off that!' screamed the
Queen. 'You make me giddy.' And then, turning to the
rose-tree, she went on, 'What HAVE you been doing
'May it please your Majesty,'
said Two, in a very humble tone, going down on one
knee as he spoke, 'we were trying—'
'I see!' said the Queen, who had
meanwhile been examining the roses. 'Off with their
heads!' and the procession moved on, three of the
soldiers remaining behind to execute the unfortunate
gardeners, who ran to Alice for protection.
'You shan't be beheaded!' said
Alice, and she put them into a large flower-pot that
stood near. The three soldiers wandered about for a
minute or two, looking for them, and then quietly
marched off after the others.
'Are their heads off?' shouted
'Their heads are gone, if it
please your Majesty!' the soldiers shouted in reply.
'That's right!' shouted the
Queen. 'Can you play croquet?'
The soldiers were silent, and
looked at Alice, as the question was evidently meant
'Yes!' shouted Alice.
'Come on, then!' roared the
Queen, and Alice joined the procession, wondering
very much what would happen next.
'It's—it's a very fine day!'
said a timid voice at her side. She was walking by
the White Rabbit, who was peeping anxiously into her
'Very,' said Alice: '—where's
'Hush! Hush!' said the Rabbit in
a low, hurried tone. He looked anxiously over his
shoulder as he spoke, and then raised himself upon
tiptoe, put his mouth close to her ear, and
whispered 'She's under sentence of execution.'
'What for?' said Alice.
'Did you say "What a pity!"?'
the Rabbit asked.
'No, I didn't,' said Alice: 'I
don't think it's at all a pity. I said "What for?"'
'She boxed the Queen's ears—'
the Rabbit began. Alice gave a little scream of
laughter. 'Oh, hush!' the Rabbit whispered in a
frightened tone. 'The Queen will hear you! You see,
she came rather late, and the Queen said—'
'Get to your places!' shouted
the Queen in a voice of thunder, and people began
running about in all directions, tumbling up against
each other; however, they got settled down in a
minute or two, and the game began. Alice thought she
had never seen such a curious croquet-ground in her
life; it was all ridges and furrows; the balls were
live hedgehogs, the mallets live flamingoes, and the
soldiers had to double themselves up and to stand on
their hands and feet, to make the arches.
The chief difficulty Alice found
at first was in managing her flamingo: she succeeded
in getting its body tucked away, comfortably enough,
under her arm, with its legs hanging down, but
generally, just as she had got its neck nicely
straightened out, and was going to give the hedgehog
a blow with its head, it WOULD twist itself round
and look up in her face, with such a puzzled
expression that she could not help bursting out
laughing: and when she had got its head down, and
was going to begin again, it was very provoking to
find that the hedgehog had unrolled itself, and was
in the act of crawling away: besides all this, there
was generally a ridge or furrow in the way wherever
she wanted to send the hedgehog to, and, as the
doubled-up soldiers were always getting up and
walking off to other parts of the ground, Alice soon
came to the conclusion that it was a very difficult
The players all played at once
without waiting for turns, quarrelling all the
while, and fighting for the hedgehogs; and in a very
short time the Queen was in a furious passion, and
went stamping about, and shouting 'Off with his
head!' or 'Off with her head!' about once in a
Alice began to feel very uneasy:
to be sure, she had not as yet had any dispute with
the Queen, but she knew that it might happen any
minute, 'and then,' thought she, 'what would become
of me? They're dreadfully fond of beheading people
here; the great wonder is, that there's any one left
She was looking about for some
way of escape, and wondering whether she could get
away without being seen, when she noticed a curious
appearance in the air: it puzzled her very much at
first, but, after watching it a minute or two, she
made it out to be a grin, and she said to herself
'It's the Cheshire Cat: now I shall have somebody to
'How are you getting on?' said
the Cat, as soon as there was mouth enough for it to
Alice waited till the eyes
appeared, and then nodded. 'It's no use speaking to
it,' she thought, 'till its ears have come, or at
least one of them.' In another minute the whole head
appeared, and then Alice put down her flamingo, and
began an account of the game, feeling very glad she
had someone to listen to her. The Cat seemed to
think that there was enough of it now in sight, and
no more of it appeared.
'I don't think they play at all
fairly,' Alice began, in rather a complaining tone,
'and they all quarrel so dreadfully one can't hear
oneself speak—and they don't seem to have any rules
in particular; at least, if there are, nobody
attends to them—and you've no idea how confusing it
is all the things being alive; for instance, there's
the arch I've got to go through next walking about
at the other end of the ground—and I should have
croqueted the Queen's hedgehog just now, only it ran
away when it saw mine coming!'
'How do you like the Queen?'
said the Cat in a low voice.
'Not at all,' said Alice: 'she's
so extremely—' Just then she noticed that the Queen
was close behind her, listening: so she went on,
'—likely to win, that it's hardly worth while
finishing the game.'
The Queen smiled and passed on.
'Who ARE you talking to?' said
the King, going up to Alice, and looking at the
Cat's head with great curiosity.
'It's a friend of mine—a
Cheshire Cat,' said Alice: 'allow me to introduce
'I don't like the look of it at
all,' said the King: 'however, it may kiss my hand
if it likes.'
'I'd rather not,' the Cat
'Don't be impertinent,' said the
King, 'and don't look at me like that!' He got
behind Alice as he spoke.
'A cat may look at a king,' said
Alice. 'I've read that in some book, but I don't
'Well, it must be removed,' said
the King very decidedly, and he called the Queen,
who was passing at the moment, 'My dear! I wish you
would have this cat removed!'
The Queen had only one way of
settling all difficulties, great or small. 'Off with
his head!' she said, without even looking round.
'I'll fetch the executioner
myself,' said the King eagerly, and he hurried off.
Alice thought she might as well
go back, and see how the game was going on, as she
heard the Queen's voice in the distance, screaming
with passion. She had already heard her sentence
three of the players to be executed for having
missed their turns, and she did not like the look of
things at all, as the game was in such confusion
that she never knew whether it was her turn or not.
So she went in search of her hedgehog.
The hedgehog was engaged in a
fight with another hedgehog, which seemed to Alice
an excellent opportunity for croqueting one of them
with the other: the only difficulty was, that her
flamingo was gone across to the other side of the
garden, where Alice could see it trying in a
helpless sort of way to fly up into a tree.
By the time she had caught the
flamingo and brought it back, the fight was over,
and both the hedgehogs were out of sight: 'but it
doesn't matter much,' thought Alice, 'as all the
arches are gone from this side of the ground.' So
she tucked it away under her arm, that it might not
escape again, and went back for a little more
conversation with her friend.
When she got back to the
Cheshire Cat, she was surprised to find quite a
large crowd collected round it: there was a dispute
going on between the executioner, the King, and the
Queen, who were all talking at once, while all the
rest were quite silent, and looked very
The moment Alice appeared, she
was appealed to by all three to settle the question,
and they repeated their arguments to her, though, as
they all spoke at once, she found it very hard
indeed to make out exactly what they said.
The executioner's argument was,
that you couldn't cut off a head unless there was a
body to cut it off from: that he had never had to do
such a thing before, and he wasn't going to begin at
HIS time of life.
The King's argument was, that
anything that had a head could be beheaded, and that
you weren't to talk nonsense.
The Queen's argument was, that
if something wasn't done about it in less than no
time she'd have everybody executed, all round. (It
was this last remark that had made the whole party
look so grave and anxious.)
Alice could think of nothing
else to say but 'It belongs to the Duchess: you'd
better ask HER about it.'
'She's in prison,' the Queen said to the executioner: 'fetch her here.'
And the executioner went off like an arrow.
The Cat's head began fading away the moment he was gone, and,
by the time he had come back with the Duchess, it had entirely
disappeared; so the King and the executioner ran wildly up and down
looking for it, while the rest of the party went back to the game.
The Mock Turtle's
'You can't think how glad I am
to see you again, you dear old thing!' said the
Duchess, as she tucked her arm affectionately into
Alice's, and they walked off together.
Alice was very glad to find her
in such a pleasant temper, and thought to herself
that perhaps it was only the pepper that had made
her so savage when they met in the kitchen.
'When I'M a Duchess,' she said
to herself, (not in a very hopeful tone though), 'I
won't have any pepper in my kitchen AT ALL. Soup
does very well without—Maybe it's always pepper that
makes people hot-tempered,' she went on, very much
pleased at having found out a new kind of rule, 'and
vinegar that makes them sour—and camomile that makes
them bitter—and—and barley-sugar and such things
that make children sweet-tempered. I only wish
people knew that: then they wouldn't be so stingy
about it, you know—'
She had quite forgotten the
Duchess by this time, and was a little startled when
she heard her voice close to her ear. 'You're
thinking about something, my dear, and that makes
you forget to talk. I can't tell you just now what
the moral of that is, but I shall remember it in a
'Perhaps it hasn't one,' Alice
ventured to remark.
'Tut, tut, child!' said the
Duchess. 'Everything's got a moral, if only you can
find it.' And she squeezed herself up closer to
Alice's side as she spoke.
Alice did not much like keeping
so close to her: first, because the Duchess was VERY
ugly; and secondly, because she was exactly the
right height to rest her chin upon Alice's shoulder,
and it was an uncomfortably sharp chin. However, she
did not like to be rude, so she bore it as well as
'The game's going on rather
better now,' she said, by way of keeping up the
conversation a little.
''Tis so,' said the Duchess:
'and the moral of that is—"Oh, 'tis love, 'tis love,
that makes the world go round!"'
'Somebody said,' Alice
whispered, 'that it's done by everybody minding
their own business!'
'Ah, well! It means much the
same thing,' said the Duchess, digging her sharp
little chin into Alice's shoulder as she added, 'and
the moral of THAT is—"Take care of the sense, and
the sounds will take care of themselves."'
'How fond she is of finding
morals in things!' Alice thought to herself.
'I dare say you're wondering why
I don't put my arm round your waist,' the Duchess
said after a pause: 'the reason is, that I'm
doubtful about the temper of your flamingo. Shall I
try the experiment?'
'HE might bite,' Alice
cautiously replied, not feeling at all anxious to
have the experiment tried.
'Very true,' said the Duchess:
'flamingoes and mustard both bite. And the moral of
that is—"Birds of a feather flock together."'
'Only mustard isn't a bird,'
'Right, as usual,' said the
Duchess: 'what a clear way you have of putting
'It's a mineral, I THINK,' said
'Of course it is,' said the
Duchess, who seemed ready to agree to everything
that Alice said; 'there's a large mustard-mine near
here. And the moral of that is—"The more there is of
mine, the less there is of yours."'
'Oh, I know!' exclaimed Alice,
who had not attended to this last remark, 'it's a
vegetable. It doesn't look like one, but it is.'
'I quite agree with you,' said
the Duchess; 'and the moral of that is—"Be what you
would seem to be"—or if you'd like it put more
simply—"Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise
than what it might appear to others that what you
were or might have been was not otherwise than what
you had been would have appeared to them to be
'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
'That's nothing to what I could
say if I chose,' the Duchess replied, in a pleased
'Pray don't trouble yourself to
say it any longer than that,' said Alice.
'Oh, don't talk about trouble!'
said the Duchess. 'I make you a present of
everything I've said as yet.'
'A cheap sort of present!'
thought Alice. 'I'm glad they don't give birthday
presents like that!' But she did not venture to say
it out loud.
'Thinking again?' the Duchess
asked, with another dig of her sharp little chin.
'I've a right to think,' said
Alice sharply, for she was beginning to feel a
'Just about as much right,' said
the Duchess, 'as pigs have to fly; and the m—'
But here, to Alice's great
surprise, the Duchess's voice died away, even in the
middle of her favourite word 'moral,' and the arm
that was linked into hers began to tremble. Alice
looked up, and there stood the Queen in front of
them, with her arms folded, frowning like a
'A fine day, your Majesty!' the
Duchess began in a low, weak voice.
'Now, I give you fair warning,'
shouted the Queen, stamping on the ground as she
spoke; 'either you or your head must be off, and
that in about half no time! Take your choice!'
The Duchess took her choice, and
was gone in a moment.
'Let's go on with the game,' the
Queen said to Alice; and Alice was too much
frightened to say a word, but slowly followed her
back to the croquet-ground.
The other guests had taken
advantage of the Queen's absence, and were resting
in the shade: however, the moment they saw her, they
hurried back to the game, the Queen merely remarking
that a moment's delay would cost them their lives.
All the time they were playing
the Queen never left off quarrelling with the other
players, and shouting 'Off with his head!' or 'Off
with her head!' Those whom she sentenced were taken
into custody by the soldiers, who of course had to
leave off being arches to do this, so that by the
end of half an hour or so there were no arches left,
and all the players, except the King, the Queen, and
Alice, were in custody and under sentence of
Then the Queen left off, quite
out of breath, and said to Alice, 'Have you seen the
Mock Turtle yet?'
'No,' said Alice. 'I don't even
know what a Mock Turtle is.'
'It's the thing Mock Turtle Soup
is made from,' said the Queen.
'I never saw one, or heard of
one,' said Alice.
'Come on, then,' said the Queen,
'and he shall tell you his history,'
As they walked off together,
Alice heard the King say in a low voice, to the
company generally, 'You are all pardoned.' 'Come,
THAT'S a good thing!' she said to herself, for she
had felt quite unhappy at the number of executions
the Queen had ordered.
They very soon came upon a
Gryphon, lying fast asleep in the sun. (IF you don't
know what a Gryphon is, look at the picture.) 'Up,
lazy thing!' said the Queen, 'and take this young
lady to see the Mock Turtle, and to hear his
history. I must go back and see after some
executions I have ordered'; and she walked off,
leaving Alice alone with the Gryphon. Alice did not
quite like the look of the creature, but on the
whole she thought it would be quite as safe to stay
with it as to go after that savage Queen: so she
The Gryphon sat up and rubbed
its eyes: then it watched the Queen till she was out
of sight: then it chuckled. 'What fun!' said the
Gryphon, half to itself, half to Alice.
'What IS the fun?' said Alice.
'Why, SHE,' said the Gryphon.
'It's all her fancy, that: they never executes
nobody, you know. Come on!'
'Everybody says "come on!"
here,' thought Alice, as she went slowly after it:
'I never was so ordered about in all my life,
They had not gone far before
they saw the Mock Turtle in the distance, sitting
sad and lonely on a little ledge of rock, and, as
they came nearer, Alice could hear him sighing as if
his heart would break. She pitied him deeply. 'What
is his sorrow?' she asked the Gryphon, and the
Gryphon answered, very nearly in the same words as
before, 'It's all his fancy, that: he hasn't got no
sorrow, you know. Come on!'
So they went up to the Mock
Turtle, who looked at them with large eyes full of
tears, but said nothing.
'This here young lady,' said the
Gryphon, 'she wants for to know your history, she
'I'll tell it her,' said the
Mock Turtle in a deep, hollow tone: 'sit down, both
of you, and don't speak a word till I've finished.'
So they sat down, and nobody
spoke for some minutes. Alice thought to herself, 'I
don't see how he can EVEN finish, if he doesn't
begin.' But she waited patiently.
'Once,' said the Mock Turtle at
last, with a deep sigh, 'I was a real Turtle.'
These words were followed by a
very long silence, broken only by an occasional
exclamation of 'Hjckrrh!' from the Gryphon, and the
constant heavy sobbing of the Mock Turtle. Alice was
very nearly getting up and saying, 'Thank you, sir,
for your interesting story,' but she could not help
thinking there MUST be more to come, so she sat
still and said nothing.
'When we were little,' the Mock
Turtle went on at last, more calmly, though still
sobbing a little now and then, 'we went to school in
the sea. The master was an old Turtle—we used to
call him Tortoise—'
'Why did you call him Tortoise,
if he wasn't one?' Alice asked.
'We called him Tortoise because
he taught us,' said the Mock Turtle angrily: 'really
you are very dull!'
'You ought to be ashamed of
yourself for asking such a simple question,' added
the Gryphon; and then they both sat silent and
looked at poor Alice, who felt ready to sink into
the earth. At last the Gryphon said to the Mock
Turtle, 'Drive on, old fellow! Don't be all day
about it!' and he went on in these words:
'Yes, we went to school in the
sea, though you mayn't believe it—'
'I never said I didn't!'
'You did,' said the Mock Turtle.
'Hold your tongue!' added the
Gryphon, before Alice could speak again. The Mock
Turtle went on.
'We had the best of
educations—in fact, we went to school every day—'
'I'VE been to a day-school,
too,' said Alice; 'you needn't be so proud as all
'With extras?' asked the Mock
Turtle a little anxiously.
'Yes,' said Alice, 'we learned
French and music.'
'And washing?' said the Mock
'Certainly not!' said Alice
'Ah! then yours wasn't a really
good school,' said the Mock Turtle in a tone of
great relief. 'Now at OURS they had at the end of
the bill, "French, music, AND WASHING—extra."'
'You couldn't have wanted it
much,' said Alice; 'living at the bottom of the
'I couldn't afford to learn it.'
said the Mock Turtle with a sigh. 'I only took the
'What was that?' inquired Alice.
'Reeling and Writhing, of
course, to begin with,' the Mock Turtle replied;
'and then the different branches of
Arithmetic—Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and
'I never heard of
"Uglification,"' Alice ventured to say. 'What is
The Gryphon lifted up both its
paws in surprise. 'What! Never heard of uglifying!'
it exclaimed. 'You know what to beautify is, I
'Yes,' said Alice doubtfully:
'Well, then,' the Gryphon went
on, 'if you don't know what to uglify is, you ARE a
Alice did not feel encouraged to
ask any more questions about it, so she turned to
the Mock Turtle, and said 'What else had you to
'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
'What was THAT like?' said
'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
'Ten hours the first day,' said
the Mock Turtle: 'nine the next, and so on.'
'What a curious plan!' exclaimed
'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
'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 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
'THAT generally takes some
time,' interrupted the Gryphon.
'—you advance twice—'
'Each with a lobster as a
partner!' cried the Gryphon.
'Of course,' the Mock Turtle
said: 'advance twice, set to partners—'
'—change lobsters, and retire in
same order,' continued the Gryphon.
'Then, you know,' the Mock
Turtle went on, 'you throw the—'
'The lobsters!' shouted the
Gryphon, with a bound into the air.
'—as far out to sea as you can—'
'Swim after them!' screamed the
'Turn a somersault in the sea!'
cried the Mock Turtle, capering wildly about.
'Change lobsters 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 tail.
See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance!
They are waiting on the shingle—will you come and join the dance?
Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you join the dance?
Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you join the dance?
"You can really have no notion how delightful it will be
When they take us up and throw us, with the lobsters, out to sea!"
But the snail replied "Too far, too far!" and gave a look askance—
Said he thanked the whiting kindly, but he would not join the dance.
Would not, could not, would not, could not, would not join the dance.
Would not, could not, would not, could not, could not join the dance.
'"What matters it how far we go?" his scaly friend replied.
"There is another shore, you know, upon the other side.
The further off from England the nearer is to France—
Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance.
Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you join the dance?
Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you join the dance?"'
'Thank you, it's a very
interesting dance to watch,' said Alice, feeling
very glad that it was over at last: 'and I do so
like that curious song about the whiting!'
'Oh, as to the whiting,' said
the Mock Turtle, 'they—you've seen them, of course?'
'Yes,' said Alice, 'I've often
seen them at dinn—' she checked herself hastily.
'I don't know where Dinn may
be,' said the Mock Turtle, 'but if you've seen them
so often, of course you know what they're like.'
'I believe so,' Alice replied
thoughtfully. 'They have their tails in their
mouths—and they're all over crumbs.'
'You're wrong about the crumbs,'
said the Mock Turtle: 'crumbs would all wash off in
the sea. But they HAVE their tails in their mouths;
and the reason is—' here the Mock Turtle yawned and
shut his eyes.—'Tell her about the reason and all
that,' he said to the Gryphon.
'The reason is,' said the
Gryphon, 'that they WOULD go with the lobsters to
the dance. So they got thrown out to sea. So they
had to fall a long way. So they got their tails fast
in their mouths. So they couldn't get them out
again. That's all.'
'Thank you,' said Alice, 'it's
very interesting. I never knew so much about a
'I can tell you more than that,
if you like,' said the Gryphon. 'Do you know why
it's called a whiting?'
'I never thought about it,' said
'IT DOES THE BOOTS AND SHOES.'
the Gryphon replied very solemnly.
Alice was thoroughly puzzled.
'Does the boots and shoes!' she repeated in a
'Why, what are YOUR shoes done
with?' said the Gryphon. 'I mean, what makes them so
Alice looked down at them, and
considered a little before she gave her answer.
'They're done with blacking, I believe.'
'Boots and shoes under the sea,'
the Gryphon went on in a deep voice, 'are done with
a whiting. Now you know.'
'And what are they made of?'
Alice asked in a tone of great curiosity.
'Soles and eels, of course,' the
Gryphon replied rather impatiently: 'any shrimp
could have told you that.'
'If I'd been the whiting,' said
Alice, whose thoughts were still running on the
song, 'I'd have said to the porpoise, "Keep back,
please: we don't want YOU with us!"'
'They were obliged to have him
with them,' the Mock Turtle said: 'no wise fish
would go anywhere without a porpoise.'
'Wouldn't it really?' said Alice
in a tone of great surprise.
'Of course not,' said the Mock
Turtle: 'why, if a fish came to ME, and told me he
was going a journey, I should say "With what
'Don't you mean "purpose"?' said
'I mean what I say,' the Mock
Turtle replied in an offended tone. And the Gryphon
added 'Come, let's hear some of YOUR adventures.'
'I could tell you my
adventures—beginning from this morning,' said Alice
a little timidly: 'but it's no use going back to
yesterday, because I was a different person then.'
'Explain all that,' said the
'No, no! The adventures first,'
said the Gryphon in an impatient tone: 'explanations
take such a dreadful time.'
So Alice began telling them her
adventures from the time when she first saw the
White Rabbit. She was a little nervous about it just
at first, the two creatures got so close to her, one
on each side, and opened their eyes and mouths so
VERY wide, but she gained courage as she went on.
Her listeners were perfectly quiet till she got to
the part about her repeating 'YOU ARE OLD, FATHER
WILLIAM,' to the Caterpillar, and the words all
coming different, and then the Mock Turtle drew a
long breath, and said 'That's very curious.'
'It's all about as curious as it
can be,' said the Gryphon.
'It all came different!' the
Mock Turtle repeated thoughtfully. 'I should like to
hear her try and repeat something now. Tell her to
begin.' He looked at the Gryphon as if he thought it
had some kind of authority over Alice.
'Stand up and repeat "'TIS THE
VOICE OF THE SLUGGARD,"' said the Gryphon.
'How the creatures order one
about, and make one repeat lessons!' thought Alice;
'I might as well be at school at once.' However, she
got up, and began to repeat it, but her head was so
full of the Lobster Quadrille, that she hardly knew
what she was saying, and the words came very queer
''Tis the voice of the Lobster; I heard him declare,
"You have baked me too brown, I must sugar my hair."
As a duck with its eyelids, so he with his nose
Trims his belt and his buttons, and turns out his toes.'
[later editions continued as follows
When the sands are all dry, he is gay as a lark,
And will talk in contemptuous tones of the Shark,
But, when the tide rises and sharks are around,
His voice has a timid and tremulous sound.]
'That's different from what I
used to say when I was a child,' said the Gryphon.
'Well, I never heard it before,'
said the Mock Turtle; 'but it sounds uncommon
Alice said nothing; she had sat
down with her face in her hands, wondering if
anything would EVER happen in a natural way again.
'I should like to have it
explained,' said the Mock Turtle.
'She can't explain it,' said the
Gryphon hastily. 'Go on with the next verse.'
'But about his toes?' the Mock
Turtle persisted. 'How COULD he turn them out with
his nose, you know?'
'It's the first position in
dancing.' Alice said; but was dreadfully puzzled by
the whole thing, and longed to change the subject.
'Go on with the next verse,' the
Gryphon repeated impatiently: 'it begins "I passed
by his garden."'
Alice did not dare to disobey,
though she felt sure it would all come wrong, and
she went on in a trembling voice:—
'I passed by his garden, and marked, with one eye,
How the Owl and the Panther were sharing a pie—'
[later editions continued as follows
The Panther took pie-crust, and gravy, and meat,
While the Owl had the dish as its share of the treat.
When the pie was all finished, the Owl, as a boon,
Was kindly permitted to pocket the spoon:
While the Panther received knife and fork with a growl,
And concluded the banquet—]
'What IS the use of repeating
all that stuff,' the Mock Turtle interrupted, 'if
you don't explain it as you go on? It's by far the
most confusing thing I ever heard!'
'Yes, I think you'd better leave
off,' said the Gryphon: and Alice was only too glad
to do so.
'Shall we try another figure of
the Lobster Quadrille?' the Gryphon went on. 'Or
would you like the Mock Turtle to sing you a song?'
'Oh, a song, please, if the Mock
Turtle would be so kind,' Alice replied, so eagerly
that the Gryphon said, in a rather offended tone,
'Hm! No accounting for tastes! Sing her "Turtle
Soup," will you, old fellow?'
The Mock Turtle sighed deeply,
and began, in a voice sometimes choked with sobs, to
'Beautiful Soup, so rich and green,
Waiting in a hot tureen!
Who for such dainties would not stoop?
Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!
Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!
Soo—oop of the e—e—evening,
Beautiful, beautiful Soup!
'Beautiful Soup! Who cares for fish,
Game, or any other dish?
Who would not give all else for two
Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?
Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?
Soo—oop of the e—e—evening,
Beautiful, beauti—FUL SOUP!'
'Chorus again!' cried the
Gryphon, and the Mock Turtle had just begun to
repeat it, when a cry of 'The trial's beginning!'
was heard in the distance.
'Come on!' cried the Gryphon,
and, taking Alice by the hand, it hurried off,
without waiting for the end of the song.
'What trial is it?' Alice panted
as she ran; but the Gryphon only answered 'Come on!'
and ran the faster, while more and more faintly
came, carried on the breeze that followed them, the
'Soo—oop of the e—e—evening,
Beautiful, beautiful Soup!'
Who Stole the
The King and Queen of Hearts
were seated on their throne when they arrived, with
a great crowd assembled about them—all sorts of
little birds and beasts, as well as the whole pack
of cards: the Knave was standing before them, in
chains, with a soldier on each side to guard him;
and near the King was the White Rabbit, with a
trumpet in one hand, and a scroll of parchment in
the other. In the very middle of the court was a
table, with a large dish of tarts upon it: they
looked so good, that it made Alice quite hungry to
look at them—'I wish they'd get the trial done,' she
thought, 'and hand round the refreshments!' But
there seemed to be no chance of this, so she began
looking at everything about her, to pass away the
Alice had never been in a court
of justice before, but she had read about them in
books, and she was quite pleased to find that she
knew the name of nearly everything there. 'That's
the judge,' she said to herself, 'because of his
The judge, by the way, was the
King; and as he wore his crown over the wig, (look
at the frontispiece if you want to see how he did
it,) he did not look at all comfortable, and it was
certainly not becoming.
'And that's the jury-box,'
thought Alice, 'and those twelve creatures,' (she
was obliged to say 'creatures,' you see, because
some of them were animals, and some were birds,) 'I
suppose they are the jurors.' She said this last
word two or three times over to herself, being
rather proud of it: for she thought, and rightly
too, that very few little girls of her age knew the
meaning of it at all. However, 'jury-men' would have
done just as well.
The twelve jurors were all
writing very busily on slates. 'What are they
doing?' Alice whispered to the Gryphon. 'They can't
have anything to put down yet, before the trial's
'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 loud, indignant voice, but she stopped hastily,
for the White Rabbit cried out, 'Silence in the
court!' and the King put on his spectacles and
looked anxiously round, to make out who was talking.
Alice could see, as well as if
she were looking over their shoulders, that all the
jurors were writing down 'stupid things!' on their
slates, and she could even make out that one of them
didn't know how to spell 'stupid,' and that he had
to ask his neighbour to tell him. 'A nice muddle
their slates'll be in before the trial's over!'
One of the jurors had a pencil
that squeaked. This of course, Alice could not
stand, and she went round the court and got behind
him, and very soon found an opportunity of taking it
away. She did it so quickly that the poor little
juror (it was Bill, the Lizard) could not make out
at all what had become of it; so, after hunting all
about for it, he was obliged to write with one
finger for the rest of the day; and this was of very
little use, as it left no mark on the slate.
'Herald, read the accusation!'
said the King.
On this the White Rabbit blew
three blasts on the trumpet, and then unrolled the
parchment scroll, and read as follows:—
'The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts,
All on a summer day:
The Knave of Hearts, he stole those tarts,
And took them quite away!'
'Consider your verdict,' the
King said to the jury.
'Not yet, not yet!' the Rabbit
hastily interrupted. 'There's a great deal to come
'Call the first witness,' said
the King; and the White Rabbit blew three blasts on
the trumpet, and called out, 'First witness!'
The first witness was the
Hatter. He came in with a teacup in one hand and a
piece of bread-and-butter in the other. 'I beg
pardon, your Majesty,' he began, 'for bringing these
in: but I hadn't quite finished my tea when I was
'You ought to have finished,'
said the King. 'When did you begin?'
The Hatter looked at the March
Hare, who had followed him into the court,
arm-in-arm with the Dormouse. 'Fourteenth of March,
I think it was,' he said.
'Fifteenth,' said the March
'Sixteenth,' added the Dormouse.
'Write that down,' the King said
to the jury, and the jury eagerly wrote down all
three dates on their slates, and then added them up,
and reduced the answer to shillings and pence.
'Take off your hat,' the King
said to the Hatter.
'It isn't mine,' said the
'Stolen!' the King exclaimed,
turning to the jury, who instantly made a memorandum
of the fact.
'I keep them to sell,' the
Hatter added as an explanation; 'I've none of my
own. I'm a hatter.'
Here the Queen put on her
spectacles, and began staring at the Hatter, who
turned pale and fidgeted.
'Give your evidence,' said the
King; 'and don't be nervous, or I'll have you
executed on the spot.'
This did not seem to encourage
the witness at all: he kept shifting from one foot
to the other, looking uneasily at the Queen, and in
his confusion he bit a large piece out of his teacup
instead of the bread-and-butter.
Just at this moment Alice felt a
very curious sensation, which puzzled her a good
deal until she made out what it was: she was
beginning to grow larger again, and she thought at
first she would get up and leave the court; but on
second thoughts she decided to remain where she was
as long as there was room for her.
'I wish you wouldn't squeeze
so.' said the Dormouse, who was sitting next to her.
'I can hardly breathe.'
'I can't help it,' said Alice
very meekly: 'I'm growing.'
'You've no right to grow here,'
said the Dormouse.
'Don't talk nonsense,' said
Alice more boldly: 'you know you're growing too.'
'Yes, but I grow at a reasonable
pace,' said the Dormouse: 'not in that ridiculous
fashion.' And he got up very sulkily and crossed
over to the other side of the court.
All this time the Queen had
never left off staring at the Hatter, and, just as
the Dormouse crossed the court, she said to one of
the officers of the court, 'Bring me the list of the
singers in the last concert!' on which the wretched
Hatter trembled so, that he shook both his shoes
'Give your evidence,' the King
repeated angrily, 'or I'll have you executed,
whether you're nervous or not.'
'I'm a poor man, your Majesty,'
the Hatter began, in a trembling voice, '—and I
hadn't begun my tea—not above a week or so—and what
with the bread-and-butter getting so thin—and the
twinkling of the tea—'
'The twinkling of the what?'
said the King.
'It began with the tea,' the
'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
'He denies it,' said the King:
'leave out that part.'
'Well, at any rate, the Dormouse
said—' the Hatter went on, looking anxiously round
to see if he would deny it too: but the Dormouse
denied nothing, being fast asleep.
'After that,' continued the
Hatter, 'I cut some more bread-and-butter—'
'But what did the Dormouse say?'
one of the jury asked.
'That I can't remember,' said
'You MUST remember,' remarked
the King, 'or I'll have you executed.'
The miserable Hatter dropped his
teacup and bread-and-butter, and went down on one
knee. 'I'm a poor man, your Majesty,' he began.
'You're a very poor speaker,'
said the King.
Here one of the guinea-pigs
cheered, and was immediately suppressed by the
officers of the court. (As that is rather a hard
word, I will just explain to you how it was done.
They had a large canvas bag, which tied up at the
mouth with strings: into this they slipped the
guinea-pig, head first, and then sat upon it.)
'I'm glad I've seen that done,'
thought Alice. 'I've so often read in the
newspapers, at the end of trials, "There was some
attempts at applause, which was immediately
suppressed by the officers of the court," and I
never understood what it meant till now.'
'If that's all you know about
it, you may stand down,' continued the King.
'I can't go no lower,' said the
Hatter: 'I'm on the floor, as it is.'
'Then you may SIT down,' the
Here the other guinea-pig
cheered, and was suppressed.
'Come, that finished the
guinea-pigs!' thought Alice. 'Now we shall get on
'I'd rather finish my tea,' said
the Hatter, with an anxious look at the Queen, who
was reading the list of singers.
'You may go,' said the King, and
the Hatter hurriedly left the court, without even
waiting to put his shoes on.
'—and just take his head off
outside,' the Queen added to one of the officers:
but the Hatter was out of sight before the officer
could get to the door.
'Call the next witness!' said
The next witness was the
Duchess's cook. She carried the pepper-box in her
hand, and Alice guessed who it was, even before she
got into the court, by the way the people near the
door began sneezing all at once.
'Give your evidence,' said the
'Shan't,' said the cook.
The King looked anxiously at the
White Rabbit, who said in a low voice, 'Your Majesty
must cross-examine THIS witness.'
'Well, if I must, I must,' the
King said, with a melancholy air, and, after folding
his arms and frowning at the cook till his eyes were
nearly out of sight, he said in a deep voice, 'What
are tarts made of?'
'Pepper, mostly,' said the cook.
'Treacle,' said a sleepy voice
'Collar that Dormouse,' the
Queen shrieked out. 'Behead that Dormouse! Turn that
Dormouse out of court! Suppress him! Pinch him! Off
with his whiskers!'
For some minutes the whole court
was in confusion, getting the Dormouse turned out,
and, by the time they had settled down again, the
cook had disappeared.
'Never mind!' said the King,
with an air of great relief. 'Call the next
witness.' And he added in an undertone to the Queen,
'Really, my dear, YOU must cross-examine the next
witness. It quite makes my forehead ache!'
Alice watched the White Rabbit
as he fumbled over the list, feeling very curious to
see what the next witness would be like, '—for they
haven't got much evidence YET,' she said to herself.
Imagine her surprise, when the White Rabbit read
out, at the top of his shrill little voice, the name
'Here!' cried Alice, quite
forgetting in the flurry of the moment how large she
had grown in the last few minutes, and she jumped up
in such a hurry that she tipped over the jury-box
with the edge of her skirt, upsetting all the
jurymen on to the heads of the crowd below, and
there they lay sprawling about, reminding her very
much of a globe of goldfish she had accidentally
upset the week before.
'Oh, I BEG your pardon!' she
exclaimed in a tone of great dismay, and began
picking them up again as quickly as she could, for
the accident of the goldfish kept running in her
head, and she had a vague sort of idea that they
must be collected at once and put back into the
jury-box, or they would die.
'The trial cannot proceed,' said
the King in a very grave voice, 'until all the
jurymen are back in their proper places—ALL,' he
repeated with great emphasis, looking hard at Alice
as he said do.
Alice looked at the jury-box,
and saw that, in her haste, she had put the Lizard
in head downwards, and the poor little thing was
waving its tail about in a melancholy way, being
quite unable to move. She soon got it out again, and
put it right; 'not that it signifies much,' she said
to herself; 'I should think it would be QUITE as
much use in the trial one way up as the other.'
As soon as the jury had a little
recovered from the shock of being upset, and their
slates and pencils had been found and handed back to
them, they set to work very diligently to write out
a history of the accident, all except the Lizard,
who seemed too much overcome to do anything but sit
with its mouth open, gazing up into the roof of the
'What do you know about this
business?' the King said to Alice.
'Nothing,' said Alice.
'Nothing WHATEVER?' persisted
'Nothing whatever,' said Alice.
'That's very important,' the
King said, turning to the jury. They were just
beginning to write this down on their slates, when
the White Rabbit interrupted: 'UNimportant, your
Majesty means, of course,' he said in a very
respectful tone, but frowning and making faces at
him as he spoke.
'UNimportant, of course, I
meant,' the King hastily said, and went on to
himself in an undertone,
'important—unimportant—unimportant—important—' as if
he were trying which word sounded best.
Some of the jury wrote it down
'important,' and some 'unimportant.' Alice could see
this, as she was near enough to look over their
slates; 'but it doesn't matter a bit,' she thought
At this moment the King, who had
been for some time busily writing in his note-book,
cackled out 'Silence!' and read out from his book,
'Rule Forty-two. ALL PERSONS MORE THAN A MILE HIGH
TO LEAVE THE COURT.'
Everybody looked at Alice.
'I'M not a mile high,' said
'You are,' said the King.
'Nearly two miles high,' added
'Well, I shan't go, at any
rate,' said Alice: 'besides, that's not a regular
rule: you invented it just now.'
'It's the oldest rule in the
book,' said the King.
'Then it ought to be Number
One,' said Alice.
The King turned pale, and shut
his note-book hastily. 'Consider your verdict,' he
said to the jury, in a low, trembling voice.
'There's more evidence to come
yet, please your Majesty,' said the White Rabbit,
jumping up in a great hurry; 'this paper has just
been picked up.'
'What's in it?' said the Queen.
'I haven't opened it yet,' said
the White Rabbit, 'but it seems to be a letter,
written by the prisoner to—to somebody.'
'It must have been that,' said
the King, 'unless it was written to nobody, which
isn't usual, you know.'
'Who is it directed to?' said
one of the jurymen.
'It isn't directed at all,' said
the White Rabbit; 'in fact, there's nothing written
on the OUTSIDE.' He unfolded the paper as he spoke,
and added 'It isn't a letter, after all: it's a set
'Are they in the prisoner's
handwriting?' asked another of the jurymen.
'No, they're not,' said the
White Rabbit, 'and that's the queerest thing about
it.' (The jury all looked puzzled.)
'He must have imitated somebody
else's hand,' said the King. (The jury all
brightened up again.)
'Please your Majesty,' said the
Knave, 'I didn't write it, and they can't prove I
did: there's no name signed at the end.'
'If you didn't sign it,' said
the King, 'that only makes the matter worse. You
MUST have meant some mischief, or else you'd have
signed your name like an honest man.'
There was a general clapping of
hands at this: it was the first really clever thing
the King had said that day.
'That PROVES his guilt,' said
'It proves nothing of the sort!'
said Alice. 'Why, you don't even know what they're
'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
'They told me you had been to her,
And mentioned me to him:
She gave me a good character,
But said I could not swim.
He sent them word I had not gone
(We know it to be true):
If she should push the matter on,
What would become of you?
I gave her one, they gave him two,
You gave us three or more;
They all returned from him to you,
Though they were mine before.
If I or she should chance to be
Involved in this affair,
He trusts to you to set them free,
Exactly as we were.
My notion was that you had been
(Before she had this fit)
An obstacle that came between
Him, and ourselves, and it.
Don't let him know she liked them best,
For this must ever be
A secret, kept from all the rest,
Between yourself and me.'
'That's the most important piece
of evidence we've heard yet,' said the King, rubbing
his hands; 'so now let the jury—'
'If any one of them can explain
it,' said Alice, (she had grown so large in the last
few minutes that she wasn't a bit afraid of
interrupting him,) 'I'll give him sixpence. I
don't believe there's an atom of meaning in it.'
The jury all wrote down on their
slates, 'SHE doesn't believe there's an atom of
meaning in it,' but none of them attempted to
explain the paper.
'If there's no meaning in it,'
said the King, 'that saves a world of trouble, you
know, as we needn't try to find any. And yet I don't
know,' he went on, spreading out the verses on his
knee, and looking at them with one eye; 'I seem to
see some meaning in them, after all. "—SAID I COULD
NOT SWIM—" you can't swim, can you?' he added,
turning to the Knave.
The Knave shook his head sadly.
'Do I look like it?' he said. (Which he certainly
did NOT, being made entirely of cardboard.)
'All right, so far,' said the
King, and he went on muttering over the verses to
himself: '"WE KNOW IT TO BE TRUE—" that's the jury,
of course—"I GAVE HER ONE, THEY GAVE HIM TWO—" why,
that must be what he did with the tarts, you know—'
'But, it goes on "THEY ALL
RETURNED FROM HIM TO YOU,"' said Alice.
'Why, there they are!' said the
King triumphantly, pointing to the tarts on the
table. 'Nothing can be clearer than THAT. Then
again—"BEFORE SHE HAD THIS FIT—" you never had fits,
my dear, I think?' he said to the Queen.
'Never!' said the Queen
furiously, throwing an inkstand at the Lizard as she
spoke. (The unfortunate little Bill had left off
writing on his slate with one finger, as he found it
made no mark; but he now hastily began again, using
the ink, that was trickling down his face, as long
as it lasted.)
'Then the words don't FIT you,'
said the King, looking round the court with a smile.
There was a dead silence.
'It's a pun!' the King added in
an offended tone, and everybody laughed, 'Let the
jury consider their verdict,' the King said, for
about the twentieth time that day.
'No, no!' said the Queen.
'Sentence first—verdict afterwards.'
'Stuff and nonsense!' said Alice
loudly. 'The idea of having the sentence first!'
'Hold your tongue!' said the
Queen, turning purple.
'I won't!' said Alice.
'Off with her head!' the Queen
shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved.
'Who cares for you?' said Alice,
(she had grown to her full size by this time.)
'You're nothing but a pack of cards!'
At this the whole pack rose up
into the air, and came flying down upon her: she
gave a little scream, half of fright and half of
anger, and tried to beat them off, and found herself
lying on the bank, with her head in the lap of her
sister, who was gently brushing away some dead
leaves that had fluttered down from the trees upon
'Wake up, Alice dear!' said her
sister; 'Why, what a long sleep you've had!'
'Oh, I've had such a curious
dream!' said Alice, and she told her sister, as well
as she could remember them, all these strange
Adventures of hers that you have just been reading
about; and when she had finished, her sister kissed
her, and said, 'It WAS a curious dream, dear,
certainly: but now run in to your tea; it's getting
late.' So Alice got up and ran off, thinking while
she ran, as well she might, what a wonderful dream
it had been.
But her sister sat still just as
she left her, leaning her head on her hand, watching
the setting sun, and thinking of little Alice and
all her wonderful Adventures, till she too began
dreaming after a fashion, and this was her dream:—
First, she dreamed of little
Alice herself, and once again the tiny hands were
clasped upon her knee, and the bright eager eyes
were looking up into hers—she could hear the very
tones of her voice, and see that queer little toss
of her head to keep back the wandering hair that
WOULD always get into her eyes—and still as she
listened, or seemed to listen, the whole place
around her became alive with the strange creatures
of her little sister's dream.
The long grass rustled at her
feet as the White Rabbit hurried by—the frightened
Mouse splashed his way through the neighbouring
pool—she could hear the rattle of the teacups as the
March Hare and his friends shared their never-ending
meal, and the shrill voice of the Queen ordering off
her unfortunate guests to execution—once more the
pig-baby was sneezing on the Duchess's knee, while
plates and dishes crashed around it—once more the
shriek of the Gryphon, the squeaking of the Lizard's
slate-pencil, and the choking of the suppressed
guinea-pigs, filled the air, mixed up with the
distant sobs of the miserable Mock Turtle.
So she sat on, with closed eyes,
and half believed herself in Wonderland, though she
knew she had but to open them again, and all would
change to dull reality—the grass would be only
rustling in the wind, and the pool rippling to the
waving of the reeds—the rattling teacups would
change to tinkling sheep-bells, and the Queen's
shrill cries to the voice of the shepherd boy—and
the sneeze of the baby, the shriek of the Gryphon,
and all the other queer noises, would change (she
knew) to the confused clamour of the busy
farm-yard—while the lowing of the cattle in the
distance would take the place of the Mock Turtle's
Lastly, she pictured to herself
how this same little sister of hers would, in the
after-time, be herself a grown woman; and how she
would keep, through all her riper years, the simple
and loving heart of her childhood: and how she would
gather about her other little children, and make
THEIR eyes bright and eager with many a strange
tale, perhaps even with the dream of Wonderland of
long ago: and how she would feel with all their
simple sorrows, and find a pleasure in all their
simple joys, remembering her own child-life, and the
happy summer days.