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This is the Project Gutenberg Etext of Through the Looking-Glass This 17th edition should be labeled lglass18.txt or lglass18.zip ***This Edition Is Being Officially Released On March 8, 1994*** **In Celebration Of The 23rd Anniversary of Project Gutenberg***
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One thing was certain, that the WHITE kitten had had nothing to do with it:--it was the black kitten's fault entirely. For the white kitten had been having its face washed by the old cat for the last quarter of an hour (and bearing it pretty well, considering); so you see that it COULDN'T have had any hand in the mischief.
The way Dinah washed her children's faces was this: first she
held the poor thing down by its ear with one paw, and then with
the other paw she rubbed its face all over, the wrong way,
beginning at the nose: and just now, as I said, she was hard at
work on the white kitten, which was lying quite still and trying
to purr--no doubt feeling that it was all meant for its good.
`Oh, you wicked little thing!' cried Alice, catching up the
kitten, and giving it a little kiss to make it understand that it
was in disgrace. `Really, Dinah ought to have taught you better
manners! You OUGHT, Dinah, you know you ought!' she added,
looking reproachfully at the old cat, and speaking in as cross a
voice as she could manage--and then she scrambled back into the
arm-chair, taking the kitten and the worsted with her, and began
winding up the ball again. But she didn't get on very fast, as
she was talking all the time, sometimes to the kitten, and
sometimes to herself. Kitty sat very demurely on her knee,
pretending to watch the progress of the winding, and now and then
putting out one paw and gently touching the ball, as if it would
be glad to help, if it might.
`Do you know, I was so angry, Kitty,' Alice went on as soon as
they were comfortably settled again, `when I saw all the mischief
you had been doing, I was very nearly opening the window, and
putting you out into the snow! And you'd have deserved it, you
little mischievous darling! What have you got to say for
yourself? Now don't interrupt me!' she went on, holding up one
finger. `I'm going to tell you all your faults. Number one: you
squeaked twice while Dinah was washing your face this morning.
Now you can't deny it, Kitty: I heard you! What that you say?'
(pretending that the kitten was speaking.) `Her paw went into
your eye? Well, that's YOUR fault, for keeping your eyes open--if
you'd shut them tight up, it wouldn't have happened. Now don't
make any more excuses, but listen! Number two: you pulled
Snowdrop away by the tail just as I had put down the saucer of
milk before her! What, you were thirsty, were you?
`That's three faults, Kitty, and you've not been punished for
any of them yet. You know I'm saving up all your punishments for
Wednesday week--Suppose they had saved up all MY punishments!'
she went on, talking more to herself than the kitten. `What WOULD
they do at the end of a year? I should be sent to prison, I
suppose, when the day came. Or--let me see--suppose each
punishment was to be going without a dinner: then, when the
miserable day came, I should have to go without fifty dinners at
once! Well, I shouldn't mind THAT much! I'd far rather go without
them than eat them!
`Kitty, can you play chess? Now, don't smile, my dear, I'm
asking it seriously. Because, when we were playing just now, you
watched just as if you understood it: and when I said "Check!"
you purred! Well, it WAS a nice check, Kitty, and really I might
have won, if it hadn't been for that nasty Knight, that came
wiggling down among my pieces. Kitty, dear, let's pretend--' And
here I wish I could tell you half the things Alice used to say,
beginning with her favourite phrase `Let's pretend.' She had had
quite a long argument with her sister only the day before --all
because Alice had begun with `Let's pretend we're kings and
queens;' and her sister, who liked being very exact, had argued
that they couldn't, because there were only two of them, and
Alice had been reduced at last to say, `Well, YOU can be one of
them then, and I'LL be all the rest.' And once she had really
frightened her old nurse by shouting suddenly in her ear, `Nurse!
Do let's pretend that I'm a hungry hyaena, and you're a
`Now, if you'll only attend, Kitty, and not talk so much, I'll
tell you all my ideas about Looking-glass House. First, there's
the room you can see through the glass--that's just the same as
our drawing room, only the things go the other way. I can see all
of it when I get upon a chair--all but the bit behind the
fireplace. Oh! I do so wish I could see THAT bit! I want so much
to know whether they've a fire in the winter: you never CAN tell,
you know, unless our fire smokes, and then smoke comes up in that
room too--but that may be only pretence, just to make it look as
if they had a fire. Well then, the books are something like our
books, only the words go the wrong way; I know that, because I've
held up one of our books to the glass, and then they hold up one
in the other room.
Let's pretend there's a way of getting through into it,
somehow, Kitty. Let's pretend the glass has got all soft like
gauze, so that we can get through. Why, it's turning into a sort
of mist now, I declare! It'll be easy enough to get through--'
She was up on the chimney-piece while she said this, though she
hardly knew how she had got there. And certainly the glass WAS
beginning to melt away, just like a bright silvery mist.
Then she began looking about, and noticed that what could be
seen from the old room was quite common and uninteresting, but
that all the rest was a different as possible. For instance, the
pictures on the wall next the fire seemed to be all alive, and
the very clock on the chimney-piece (you know you can only see
the back of it in the Looking-glass) had got the face of a little
old man, and grinned at her.
`Here are the Red King and the Red Queen,' Alice said (in a
whisper, for fear of frightening them), `and there are the White
King and the White Queen sitting on the edge of the shovel--and
here are two castles walking arm in arm--I don't think they can
hear me,' she went on, as she put her head closer down, `and I'm
nearly sure they can't see me. I feel somehow as if I were
`It is the voice of my child!' the White Queen cried out as
she rushed past the King, so violently that she knocked him over
among the cinders. `My precious Lily! My imperial kitten!' and
she began scrambling wildly up the side of the fender.
Alice was very anxious to be of use, and, as the poor little
Lily was nearly screaming herself into a fit, she hastily picked
up the Queen and set her on the table by the side of her noisy
`What volcano?' said the King, looking up anxiously into the
fire, as if he thought that was the most likely place to find
Alice watched the White King as he slowly struggled up from
bar to bar, till at last she said, `Why, you'll be hours and
hours getting to the table, at that rate. I'd far better help
you, hadn't I?' But the King took no notice of the question: it
was quite clear that he could neither hear her nor see her.
She said afterwards that she had never seen in all her life
such a face as the King made, when he found himself held in the
air by an invisible hand, and being dusted: he was far too much
astonished to cry out, but his eyes and his mouth went on getting
larger and larger, and rounder and rounder, till her hand shook
so with laughing that she nearly let him drop upon the floor.
The King immediately fell flat on his back, and lay perfectly
still: and Alice was a little alarmed at what she had done, and
went round the room to see if she could find any water to throw
over him. However, she could find nothing but a bottle of ink,
and when she got back with it she found he had recovered, and he
and the Queen were talking together in a frightened whisper--so
low, that Alice could hardly hear what they said.
To which the Queen replied, `You haven't got any
`You will, though,' the Queen said, `if you don't make a
memorandum of it.'
The poor King look puzzled and unhappy, and struggled with the
pencil for some time without saying anything; but Alice was too
strong for him, and at last he panted out, `My dear! I really
MUST get a thinner pencil. I can't manage this one a bit; it
writes all manner of things that I don't intend--'
There was a book lying near Alice on the table, and while she
sat watching the White King (for she was still a little anxious
about him, and had the ink all ready to throw over him, in case
he fainted again), she turned over the leaves, to find some part
that she could read, `--for it's all in some language I don't
know,' she said to herself.
She puzzled over this for some time, but at last a bright
thought struck her. `Why, it's a Looking-glass book, of course!
And if I hold it up to a glass, the words will all go the right
`Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws
that catch! Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun The frumious
And as in uffish thought he stood, The Jabberwock, with eyes
of flame, Came whiffling through the tulgey wood, And burbled as
`And has thou slain the Jabberwock? Come to my arms, my
beamish boy! O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!' He chortled in his
`It seems very pretty,' she said when she had finished it,
`but it's RATHER hard to understand!' (You see she didn't like to
confess, ever to herself, that she couldn't make it out at all.)
`Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas--only I don't
exactly know what they are! However, SOMEBODY killed SOMETHING:
that's clear, at any rate--'
`I should see the garden far better,' said Alice to herself,
`if I could get to the top of that hill: and here's a path that
leads straight to it--at least, no, it doesn't do that--' (after
going a few yards along the path, and turning several sharp
corners), `but I suppose it will at last. But how curiously it
twists! It's more like a corkscrew than a path! Well, THIS turn
goes to the hill, I suppose--no, it doesn't! This goes straight
back to the house! Well then, I'll try it the other way.'
`It's no use talking about it,' Alice said, looking up at the
house and pretending it was arguing with her. `I'm NOT going in
again yet. I know I should have to get through the Looking-glass
again--back into the old room--and there'd be an end of all my
'Oh, it's too bad!' she cried. `I never saw such a house for
getting in the way! Never!'
`O Tiger-lily,' said Alice, addressing herself to one that was
waving gracefully about in the wind, `I WISH you could talk!'
Alice was so astonished that she could not speak for a minute:
it quite seemed to take her breath away. At length, as the
Tiger-lily only went on waving about, she spoke again, in a timid
voice--almost in a whisper. `And can ALL the flowers talk?'
`It isn't manners for us to begin, you know,' said the Rose,
`and I really was wondering when you'd speak! Said I to myself,
"Her face has got SOME sense in it, thought it's not a clever
one!" Still, you're the right colour, and that goes a long
Alice didn't like being criticised, so she began asking
questions. `Aren't you sometimes frightened at being planted out
here, with nobody to take care of you?'
`But what could it do, if any danger came?' Alice asked.
`Didn't you know THAT?' cried another Daisy, and here they all
began shouting together, till the air seemed quite full of little
shrill voices. `Silence, every one of you!' cried the Tigerlily,
waving itself passionately from side to side, and trembling with
excitement. `They know I can't get at them!' it panted, bending
its quivering head towards Alice, `or they wouldn't dare to do
There was silence in a moment, and several of the pink daisies
`How is it you can all talk so nicely?' Alice said, hoping to
get it into a better temper by a compliment. `I've been in many
gardens before, but none of the flowers could talk.'
Alice did so. `It's very hard,' she said, `but I don't see
what that has to do with it.'
This sounded a very good reason, and Alice was quite pleased
to know it. `I never thought of that before!' she said.
`I never saw anybody that looked stupider,' a Violet said, so
suddenly, that Alice quite jumped; for it hadn't spoken
`Are there any more people in the garden besides me?' Alice
said, not choosing to notice the Rose's last remark.
`Is she like me?' Alice asked eagerly, for the thought crossed
her mind, `There's another little girl in the garden,
`Her petals are done up close, almost like a dahlia,' the
Tiger-lily interrupted: `not tumbled about anyhow, like
Alice didn't like this idea at all: so, to change the subject,
she asked `Does she ever come out here?'
`Where does she wear the thorns?' Alice asked with some
`She's coming!' cried the Larkspur. `I hear her footstep,
thump, thump, thump, along the gravel-walk!'
`It's the fresh air that does it,' said the Rose: `wonderfully
fine air it is, out here.'
`You can't possibly do that,' said the Rose: `_I_ should
advise you to walk the other way.'
A little provoked, she drew back, and after looking everywhere
for the queen (whom she spied out at last, a long way off), she
thought she would try the plan, this time, of walking in the
`Where do you come from?' said the Red Queen. `And where are
you going? Look up, speak nicely, and don't twiddle your fingers
all the time.'
`I don't know what you mean by YOUR way,' said the Queen: `all
the ways about here belong to ME--but why did you come out here
at all?' she added in a kinder tone. `Curtsey while you're
thinking what to say, it saves time.'
`It's time for you to answer now,' the Queen said, looking at
her watch: `open your mouth a LITTLE wider when you speak, and
always say "your Majesty."'
`That's right,' said the Queen, patting her on the head, which
Alice didn't like at all, `though, when you say "garden,"--I'VE
seen gardens, compared with which this would be a
`When you say "hill,"' the Queen interrupted, `_I_ could show
you hills, in comparison with which you'd call that a
The Red Queen shook her head, `You may call it "nonsense" if
you like,' she said, `but I'VE heard nonsense, compared with
which that would be as sensible as a dictionary!'
For some minutes Alice stood without speaking, looking out in
all directions over the country--and a most curious country it
was. There were a number of tiny little brooks running straight
across it from side to side, and the ground between was divided
up into squares by a number of little green hedges, that reached
from brook to brook.
She glanced rather shyly at the real Queen as she said this,
but her companion only smiled pleasantly, and said, `That's
easily managed. You can be the White Queen's Pawn, if you like,
as Lily's too young to play; and you're in the Second Square to
began with: when you get to the Eighth Square you'll be a Queen
--' Just at this moment, somehow or other, they began to run.
The most curious part of the thing was, that the trees and the
other things round them never changed their places at all:
however fast they went, they never seemed to pass anything. `I
wonder if all the things move along with us?' thought poor
puzzled Alice. And the Queen seemed to guess her thoughts, for
she cried, `Faster! Don't try to talk!'
`Nearly there!' the Queen repeated. `Why, we passed it ten
minutes ago! Faster!' And they ran on for a time in silence, with
the wind whistling in Alice's ears, and almost blowing her hair
off her head, she fancied.
The Queen propped her up against a tree, and said kindly, `You
may rest a little now.'
`Of course it is,' said the Queen, `what would you have
`A slow sort of country!' said the Queen. `Now, HERE, you see,
it takes all the running YOU can do, to keep in the same place.
If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as
fast as that!'
`I know what YOU'D like!' the Queen said good-naturedly,
taking a little box out of her pocket. `Have a biscuit?'
`While you're refreshing yourself,' said the Queen, `I'll just
take the measurements.' And she took a ribbon out of her pocket,
marked in inches, and began measuring the ground, and sticking
little pegs in here and there.
`No, thank you,' said Alice,: `one's QUITE enough!'
Alice did not know what to say to this, but luckily the Queen
did not wait for an answer, but went on. `At the end of THREE
yards I shall repeat them--for fear of your forgetting them. At
then end of FOUR, I shall say good-bye. And at then end of FIVE,
I shall go!'
At the two-yard peg she faced round, and said, `A pawn goes
two squares in its first move, you know. So you'll go VERY
quickly through the Third Square--by railway, I should think--and
you'll find yourself in the Fourth Square in no time. Well, THAT
square belongs to Tweedledum and Tweedledee--the Fifth is mostly
water--the Sixth belongs to Humpty Dumpty--But you make no
`You SHOULD have said,' `"It's extremely kind of you to tell
me all this"--however, we'll suppose it said--the Seventh Square
is all forest--however, one of the Knights will show you the
way--and in the Eighth Square we shall be Queens together, and
it's all feasting and fun!' Alice got up and curtseyed, and sat
How it happened, Alice never knew, but exactly as she came to
the last peg, she was gone. Whether she vanished into the air, or
whether she ran quickly into the wood (`and she CAN run very
fast!' thought Alice), there was no way of guessing, but she was
gone, and Alice began to remember that she was a Pawn, and that
it would soon be time for her to move.
Of course the first thing to do was to make a grand survey of the country she was going to travel through. `It's something very like learning geography,' thought Alice, as she stood on tiptoe in hopes of being able to see a little further. `Principal rivers--there ARE none. Principal mountains--I'm on the only one, but I don't think it's got any name. Principal towns--why, what ARE those creatures, making honey down there? They can't be bees--nobody ever saw bees a mile off, you know--' and for some time she stood silent, watching one of them that was bustling about among the flowers, poking its proboscis into them, `just as if it was a regular bee,' thought Alice.
However, this was anything but a regular bee: in fact it was
an elephant--as Alice soon found out, though the idea quite took
her breath away at first. `And what enormous flowers they must
be!' was her next idea. `Something like cottages with the roofs
taken off, and stalks put to them--and what quantities of honey
they must make! I think I'll go down and--no, I won't JUST yet, '
she went on, checking herself just as she was beginning to run
down the hill, and trying to find some excuse for turning shy so
suddenly. `It'll never do to go down among them without a good
long branch to brush them away--and what fun it'll be when they
ask me how I like my walk. I shall say-"Oh, I like it well
enough--"' (here came the favourite little toss of the head),
`"only it was so dusty and hot, and the elephants did tease
So with this excuse she ran down the hill and jumped over the
first of the six little brooks.
* * * * * *
`Tickets, please!' said the Guard, putting his head in at the
window. In a moment everybody was holding out a ticket: they were
about the same size as the people, and quite seemed to fill the
`I'm afraid I haven't got one,' Alice said in a frightened
tone: `there wasn't a ticket-office where I came from.' And again
the chorus of voices went on. `There wasn't room for one where
she came from. The land there is worth a thousand pounds an
Alice thought to herself, `Then there's no use in speaking.'
The voices didn't join in this time, as she hadn't spoken, but to
her great surprise, they all THOUGHT in chorus (I hope you
understand what THINKING IN CHORUS means--for I must confess that
_I_ don't), `Better say nothing at all. Language is worth a
thousand pounds a word!'
All this time the Guard was looking at her, first through a
telescope, then through a microscope, and then through an
operaglass. At last he said, `You're travelling the wrong way,'
and shut up the window and went away.
A Goat, that was sitting next to the gentleman in white, shut
his eyes and said in a loud voice, `She ought to know her way to
the ticket-office, even if she doesn't know her alphabet!'
Alice couldn't see who was sitting beyond the Beetle, but a
hoarse voice spoke next. `Change engines--' it said, and was
obliged to leave off.
Then a very gentle voice in the distance said, `She must be
labelled "Lass, with care," you know--'
But the gentleman dressed in white paper leaned forwards and
whispered in her ear, `Never mind what they all say, my dear, but
take a return-ticket every time the train stops.'
`You might make a joke on THAT,' said the little voice close
to her ear: `something about "you WOULD if you could," you
The little voice sighed deeply: it was VERY unhappy,
evidently, and Alice would have said something pitying to comfort
it, `If it would only sigh like other people!' she thought. But
this was such a wonderfully small sigh, that she wouldn't have
heard it at all, if it hadn't come QUITE close to her ear. The
consequence of this was that it tickled her ear very much, and
quite took off her thoughts from the unhappiness of the poor
`What kind of insect?' Alice inquired a little anxiously. What
she really wanted to know was, whether it could sting or not, but
she thought this wouldn't be quite a civil question to ask.
The Horse, who had put his head out of the window, quietly
drew it in and said, `It's only a brook we have to jump over.'
Everybody seemed satisfied with this, though Alice felt a little
nervous at the idea of trains jumping at all. `However, it'll
take us into the Fourth Square, that's some comfort!' she said to
herself. In another moment she felt the carriage rise straight up
into the air, and in her fright she caught at the thing nearest
to her hand. which happened to be the Goat's beard.
* * * * * *
But the beard seemed to melt away as she touched it, and she
found herself sitting quietly under a tree--while the Gnat (for
that was the insect she had been talking to) was balancing itself
on a twig just over her head, and fanning her with its wings.
`--then you don't like all insects?' the Gnat went on, as
quietly as if nothing had happened.
`What sort of insects do you rejoice in, where YOU come from?'
the Gnat inquired.
`Of course they answer to their names?' the Gnat remarked
`What's the use of their having names the Gnat said, `if they
won't answer to them?'
`I can't say,' the Gnat replied. `Further on, in the wood down
there, they've got no names--however, go on with your list of
insects: you're wasting time.'
`All right,' said the Gnat: `half way up that bush, you'll see
a Rocking-horse-fly, if you look. It's made entirely of wood, and
gets about by swinging itself from branch to branch.'
`Sap and sawdust,' said the Gnat. `Go on with the list.'
`And there's the Dragon-fly.'
`And what does it live on?'
`And then there's the Butterfly,' Alice went on, after she had
taken a good look at the insect with its head on fire, and had
thought to herself, `I wonder if that's the reason insects are so
fond of flying into candles--because they want to turn into
`And what does IT live on?'
A new difficulty came into Alice's head. `Supposing it
couldn't find any?' she suggested.
`But that must happen very often,' Alice remarked
After this, Alice was silent for a minute or two, pondering.
The Gnat amused itself meanwhile by humming round and round her
head: at last it settled again and remarked, `I suppose you don't
want to lose your name?'
`And yet I don't know,' the Gnat went on in a careless tone:
`only think how convenient it would be if you could manage to go
home without it! For instance, if the governess wanted to call
you to your lessons, she would call out "come here--," and there
she would have to leave off, because there wouldn't be any name
for her to call, and of course you wouldn't have to go, you
`Well. if she said "Miss," and didn't say anything more,' the
Gnat remarked, `of course you'd miss your lessons. That's a joke.
I wish YOU had made it.'
But the Gnat only sighed deeply, while two large tears came
rolling down its cheeks.
Then came another of those melancholy little sighs, and this
time the poor Gnat really seemed to have sighed itself away, for,
when Alice looked up, there was nothing whatever to be seen on
the twig, and, as she was getting quite chilly with sitting still
so long, she got up and walked on.
`This must be the wood, she said thoughtfully to herself,
`where things have no names. I wonder what'll become of MY name
when I go in? I shouldn't like to lose it at all--because they'd
have to give me another, and it would be almost certain to be an
ugly one. But then the fun would be trying to find the creature
that had got my old name! That's just like the advertisements,
you know, when people lose dogs--"ANSWERS TO THE NAME OF `DASH:'
HAD ON A BRASS COLLAR"--just fancy calling everything you met
"Alice," till one of them answered! Only they wouldn't answer at
all, if they were wise.'
She stood silent for a minute, thinking: then she suddenly
began again. `Then it really HAS happened, after all! And now,
who am I? I WILL remember, if I can! I'm determined to do it!'
But being determined didn't help much, and all she could say,
after a great deal of puzzling, was, `L, I KNOW it begins with
`What do you call yourself?' the Fawn said at last. Such a
soft sweet voice it had!
`Think again,' it said: `that won't do.'
`I'll tell you, if you'll move a little further on,' the Fawn
said. `I can't remember here.'
Alice stood looking after it, almost ready to cry with
vexation at having lost her dear little fellow-traveller so
suddenly. `However, I know my name now.' she said, `that's SOME
comfort. Alice--Alice--I won't forget it again. And now, which of
these finger-posts ought I to follow, I wonder?'
But this did not seem likely to happen. She went on and on, a
long way, but wherever the road divided there were sure to be two
finger-posts pointing the same way, one marked `TO TWEEDLEDUM'S
HOUSE' and the other `TO THE HOUSE OF TWEEDLEDEE.'
They were standing under a tree, each with an arm round the
other's neck, and Alice knew which was which in a moment, because
one of them had `DUM' embroidered on his collar, and the other
`DEE.' `I suppose they've each got "TWEEDLE" round at the back of
the collar,' she said to herself.
`If you think we're wax-works,' he said, `you ought to pay,
you know. Wax-works weren't made to be looked at for nothing,
`I'm sure I'm very sorry,' was all Alice could say; for the
words of the old song kept ringing through her head like the
ticking of a clock, and she could hardly help saying them out
Just then flew down a monstrous crow, As black as a
tar-barrel; Which frightened both the heroes so, They quite
forgot their quarrel.'
`Contrariwise,' continued Tweedledee, `if it was so, it might
be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't.
But the little men only looked at each other and grinned.
`Nohow!' Tweedledum cried out briskly, and shut his mouth up
again with a snap.
`You've been wrong!' cried Tweedledum. `The first thing in a
visit is to say "How d'ye do?" and shake hands!' And here the two
brothers gave each other a hug, and then they held out the two
hands that were free, to shake hands with her.
`But it certainly WAS funny,' (Alice said afterwards, when she
was telling her sister the history of all this,) `to find myself
singing "HERE WE GO ROUND THE MULBERRY BUSH." I don't know when I
began it, but somehow I felt as if I'd been singing it a long
Then they let go of Alice's hands, and stood looking at her
for a minute: there was a rather awkward pause, as Alice didn't
know how to begin a conversation with people she had just been
dancing with. `It would never do to say "How d'ye do?" NOW,' she
said to herself: `we seem to have got beyond that, somehow!'
`Nohow. And thank you VERY much for asking,' said
`Ye-es. pretty well--SOME poetry,' Alice said doubtfully.
`Would you tell me which road leads out of the wood?'
`"THE WALRUS AND THE CARPENTER" is the longest,' Tweedledum
replied, giving his brother an affectionate hug.
`The sun was shining--'
Tweedledee smiled gently, and began again:
The moon was shining sulkily, Because she thought the sun Had
got no business to be there After the day was done- "It's very
rude of him," she said, "To come and spoil the fun!"
The Walrus and the Carpenter Were walking close at hand; They
wept like anything to see Such quantities of sand: "If this were
only cleared away," They said, "it WOULD be grand!"
"O Oysters, come and walk with us!" The Walrus did beseech. "A
pleasant walk, a pleasant talk, Along the briny beach: We cannot
do with more than four, To give a hand to each."
But four young oysters hurried up, All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed, Their shoes were
clean and neat- And this was odd, because, you know, They hadn't
The Walrus and the Carpenter Walked on a mile or so, And then
they rested on a rock Conveniently low: And all the little
Oysters stood And waited in a row.
"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried, "Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath, And all of us are fat!" "No
hurry!" said the Carpenter. They thanked him much for that.
"But not on us!" the Oysters cried, Turning a little blue,
"After such kindness, that would be A dismal thing to do!" "The
night is fine," the Walrus said "Do you admire the view?
"It seems a shame," the Walrus said, "To play them such a
trick, After we've brought them out so far, And made them trot so
quick!" The Carpenter said nothing but "The butter's spread too
"O Oysters," said the Carpenter. "You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?" But answer came there none- And
that was scarcely odd, because They'd eaten every one.'
`He ate more than the Carpenter, though,' said Tweedledee.
`You see he held his handkerchief in front, so that the Carpenter
couldn't count how many he took: contrariwise.'
`But he ate as many as he could get,' said Tweedledum.
`It's only the Red King snoring,' said Tweedledee.
`Isn't he a LOVELY sight?' said Tweedledum.
`I'm afraid he'll catch cold with lying on the damp grass,'
said Alice, who was a very thoughtful little girl.
Alice said `Nobody can guess that.'
`Where I am now, of course,' said Alice.
`If that there King was to wake,' added Tweedledum, `you'd go
out--bang!--just like a candle!'
`Ditto' said Tweedledum.
He shouted this so loud that Alice couldn't help saying,
`Hush! You'll be waking him, I'm afraid, if you make so much
`I AM real!' said Alice and began to cry.
`If I wasn't real,' Alice said--half-laughing though her
tears, it all seemed so ridiculous--`I shouldn't be able to
`I know they're talking nonsense,' Alice thought to herself:
`and it's foolish to cry about it.' So she brushed away her
tears, and went on as cheerfully as she could. `At any rate I'd
better be getting out of the wood, for really it's coming on very
dark. Do you think it's going to rain?'
`But it may rain OUTSIDE?'
`Selfish things!' thought Alice, and she was just going to say
`Good-night' and leave them, when Tweedledum sprang out from
under the umbrella and seized her by the wrist.
`It's only a rattle,' Alice said, after a careful examination
of the little white thing. `Not a rattleSNAKE, you know,' she
added hastily, thinking that he was frightened: only an old
rattle--quite old and broken.'
Alice laid her hand upon his arm, and said in a soothing tone,
`You needn't be so angry about an old rattle.'
All this time Tweedledee was trying his best to fold up the
umbrella, with himself in it: which was such an extraordinary
thing to do, that it quite took off Alice's attention from the
angry brother. But he couldn't quite succeed, and it ended in his
rolling over, bundled up in the umbrella, with only his head out:
and there he lay, opening and shutting his mouth and his large
eyes--'looking more like a fish than anything else,' Alice
`I suppose so,' the other sulkily replied, as he crawled out
of the umbrella: `only SHE must help us to dress up, you
Alice said afterwards she had never seen such a fuss made
about anything in all her life--the way those two bustled
about-and the quantity of things they put on--and the trouble
they gave her in tying strings and fastening buttons--`Really
they'll be more like bundles of old clothes that anything else,
by the time they're ready!' she said to herself, as she arranged
a bolster round the neck of Tweedledee, `to keep his head from
being cut off,' as he said.
Alice laughed aloud: but she managed to turn it into a cough,
for fear of hurting his feelings.
`Well--yes--a LITTLE,' Alice replied gently.
`And I'VE got a toothache!' said Tweedledee, who had overheard
the remark. `I'm far worse off than you!'
`We MUST have a bit of a fight, but I don't care about going
on long,' said Tweedledum. `What's the time now?'
`Let's fight till six, and then have dinner,' said
`And _I_ hit everything within reach,' cried Tweedledum,
`whether I can see it or not!'
Tweedledum looked round him with a satisfied smile. `I don't
suppose,' he said, `there'll be a tree left standing, for ever so
far round, by the time we've finished!'
`I shouldn't have minded it so much,' said Tweedledum, `if it
hadn't been a new one.'
`There's only one sword, you know,' Tweedledum said to his
brother: `but you can have the umbrella--it's quite as sharp.
Only we must begin quick. It's getting as dark as it can.'
It was getting dark so suddenly that Alice thought there must
be a thunderstorm coming on. `What a thick black cloud that is!'
she said. `And how fast it comes! Why, I do believe it's got
Alice ran a little way into the wood, and stopped under a
large tree. `It can never get at me HERE,' she thought: `it's far
too large to squeeze itself in among the trees. But I wish it
wouldn't flap its wings so--it makes quite a hurricane in the
wood-here's somebody's shawl being blown away!'
Wool and Water
She caught the shawl as she spoke, and looked about for the owner: in another moment the White Queen came running wildly through the wood, with both arms stretched out wide, as if she were flying, and Alice very civilly went to meet her with the shawl.
`I'm very glad I happened to be in the way,' Alice said, as
she helped her to put on her shawl again.
`Well, yes, if you call that a-dressing,' The Queen said. `It
isn't MY notion of the thing, at all.'
`But I don't want it done at all!' groaned the poor Queen.
`I've been a-dressing myself for the last two hours.'
`I don't know what's the matter with it!' the Queen said, in a
melancholy voice. `It's out of temper, I think. I've pinned it
here, and I've pinned it there, but there's no pleasing it!'
`The brush has got entangled in it!' the Queen said with a
sigh. `And I lost the comb yesterday.'
`I'm sure I'll take you with pleasure!' the Queen said.
`Twopence a week, and jam every other day.'
`It's very good jam,' said the Queen.
`You couldn't have it if you DID want it,' the Queen said.
`The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday--but never jam
`No, it can't,' said the Queen. `It's jam every OTHER day:
to-day isn't any OTHER day, you know.'
`That's the effect of living backwards,' the Queen said
kindly: `it always makes one a little giddy at first--'
`--but there's one great advantage in it, that one's memory
works both ways.'
`It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards,' the
`Oh, things that happened the week after next,' the Queen
replied in a careless tone. `For instance, now,' she went on,
sticking a large piece of plaster [band-aid] on her finger as she
spoke, `there's the King's Messenger. He's in prison now, being
punished: and the trial doesn't even begin till next Wednesday:
and of course the crime comes last of all.'
`That would be all the better, wouldn't it?' the Queen said,
as she bound the plaster round her finger with a bit of
`You're wrong THERE, at any rate,' said the Queen: `were YOU
`And you were all the better for it, I know!' the Queen said
`But if you HADN'T done them,' the Queen said, `that would
have been better still; better, and better, and better!' Her
voice went higher with each `better,' till it got quite to a
squeak at last.
Her screams were so exactly like the whistle of a
steam-engine, that Alice had to hold both her hands over her
`I haven't pricked it YET,' the Queen said, `but I soon
shall-oh, oh, oh!'
`When I fasten my shawl again,' the poor Queen groaned out:
`the brooch will come undone directly. Oh, oh!' As she said the
words the brooch flew open, and the Queen clutched wildly at it,
and tried to clasp it again.
`That accounts for the bleeding, you see,' she said to Alice
with a smile. `Now you understand the way things happen
`Why, I've done all the screaming already,' said the Queen.
`What would be the good of having it all over again?'
`I wish _I_ could manage to be glad!' the Queen said. `Only I
never can remember the rule. You must be very happy, living in
this wood, and being glad whenever you like!'
`Oh, don't go on like that!' cried the poor Queen, wringing
her hands in despair. `Consider what a great girl you are.
Consider what a long way you've come to-day. Consider what
o'clock it is. Consider anything, only don't cry!'
`That's the way it's done,' the Queen said with great
decision: `nobody can do two things at once, you know. Let's
consider your age to begin with--how old are you?'
`You needn't say "exactually,"' the Queen remarked: `I can
believe it without that. Now I'll give YOU something to believe.
I'm just one hundred and one, five months and a day.'
`Can't you?' the Queen said in a pitying tone. `Try again:
draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.'
`I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen.
`When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day.
Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things
before breakfast. There goes the shawl again!'
`Then I hope your finger is better now?' Alice said very
politely, as she crossed the little brook after the Queen.
* * * * * *
`Oh, much better!' cried the Queen, her voice rising to a
squeak as she went on. `Much be-etter! Be-etter! Be-e-e-etter!
Be-e-ehh!' The last word ended in a long bleat, so like a sheep
that Alice quite started.
`What is it you want to buy?' the Sheep said at last, looking
up for a moment from her knitting.
`You may look in front of you, and on both sides, if you
like,' said the Sheep: `but you can't look ALL round you--unless
you've got eyes at the back of your head.'
The shop seemed to be full of all manner of curious things-but
the oddest part of it all was, that whenever she looked hard at
any shelf, to make out exactly what it had on it, that particular
shelf was always quite empty: though the others round it were
crowded as full as they could hold.
But even this plan failed: the `thing' went through the
ceiling as quietly as possible, as if it were quite used to
`How CAN she knit with so many?' the puzzled child thought to
herself. `She gets more and more like a porcupine every
`Yes, a little--but not on land--and not with needles--' Alice
was beginning to say, when suddenly the needles turned into oars
in her hands, and she found they were in a little boat, gliding
along between banks: so there was nothing for it but to do her
This didn't sound like a remark that needed any answer, so
Alice said nothing, but pulled away. There was something very
queer about the water, she thought, as every now and then the
oars got fast in it, and would hardly come out again.
`A dear little crab!' thought Alice. `I should like that.'
`Indeed I did,' said Alice: `you've said it very often--and
very loud. Please, where ARE the crabs?'
`WHY do you say "feather" so often?' Alice asked at last,
rather vexed. 'I'm not a bird!'
This offended Alice a little, so there was no more
conversation for a minute or two, while the boat glided gently
on, sometimes among beds of weeds (which made the oars stick fast
in the water, worse then ever), and sometimes under trees, but
always with the same tall river-banks frowning over their
`You needn't say "please" to ME about `em' the Sheep said,
without looking up from her knitting: `I didn't put `em there,
and I'm not going to take `em away.'
`How am _I_ to stop it?' said the Sheep. `If you leave off
rowing, it'll stop of itself.'
`I only hope the boat won't tipple over!' she said to herself.
Oh, WHAT a lovely one! Only I couldn't quite reach it.' `And it
certainly DID seem a little provoking (`almost as if it happened
on purpose,' she thought) that, though she managed to pick plenty
of beautiful rushes as the boat glided by, there was always a
more lovely one that she couldn't reach.
What mattered it to her just than that the rushes had begun to
fade, and to lose all their scent and beauty, from the very
moment that she picked them? Even real scented rushes, you know,
last only a very little while--and these, being dream-rushes,
melted away almost like snow, as they lay in heaps at her
feet-but Alice hardly noticed this, there were so many other
curious things to think about.
However, she wasn't hurt, and was soon up again: the Sheep
went on with her knitting all the while, just as if nothing had
happened. `That was a nice crab you caught!' she remarked, as
Alice got back into her place, very much relieved to find herself
still in the boat.
`Are there many crabs here?' said Alice.
`To buy!' Alice echoed in a tone that was half astonished and
half frightened--for the oars, and the boat, and the river, had
vanished all in a moment, and she was back again in the little
`Fivepence farthing for one--Twopence for two,' the Sheep
`Only you MUST eat them both, if you buy two,' said the
The Sheep took the money, and put it away in a box: then she
said `I never put things into people's hands--that would never
do--you must get it for yourself.' And so saying, she went off to
the other end of the shop, and set the egg upright on a
* * * * * * *
* * * * * * *
However, the egg only got larger and larger, and more and more
human: when she had come within a few yards of it, she saw that
it had eyes and a nose and mouth; and when she had come close to
it, she saw clearly that it was HUMPTY DUMPTY himself. `It can't
be anybody else!' she said to herself. `I'm as certain of it, as
if his name were written all over his face.'
`And how exactly like an egg he is!' she said aloud, standing
with her hands ready to catch him, for she was every moment
expecting him to fall.
`I said you LOOKED like an egg, Sir,' Alice gently explained.
`And some eggs are very pretty, you know' she added, hoping to
turn her remark into a sort of a compliment.
Alice didn't know what to say to this: it wasn't at all like
conversation, she thought, as he never said anything to HER; in
fact, his last remark was evidently addressed to a tree--so she
stood and softly repeated to herself: -
`That last line is much too long for the poetry,' she added,
almost out loud, forgetting that Humpty Dumpty would hear
`My NAME is Alice, but--'
`MUST a name mean something?' Alice asked doubtfully.
`Why do you sit out here all alone?' said Alice, not wishing
to begin an argument.
`Don't you think you'd be safer down on the ground?' Alice
went on, not with any idea of making another riddle, but simply
in her good-natured anxiety for the queer creature. `That wall is
so VERY narrow!'
`To send all his horses and all his men,' Alice interrupted,
`I haven't, indeed!' Alice said very gently. `It's in a
`Yes, all his horses and all his men,' Humpty Dumpty went on.
`They'd pick me up again in a minute, THEY would! However, this
conversation is going on a little too fast: let's go back to the
last remark but one.'
`In that case we start fresh,' said Humpty Dumpty, `and it's
my turn to choose a subject--' (`He talks about it just as if it
was a game!' thought Alice.) `So here's a question for you. How
old did you say you were?'
`Wrong!' Humpty Dumpty exclaimed triumphantly. `You never said
a word like it!'
`If I'd meant that, I'd have said it,' said Humpty Dumpty.
`Seven years and six months!' Humpty Dumpty repeated
thoughtfully. `An uncomfortable sort of age. Now if you'd asked
MY advice, I'd have said "Leave off at seven"--but it's too late
`Too proud?' the other inquired.
`ONE can't, perhaps,' said Humpty Dumpty, `but TWO can. With
proper assistance, you might have left off at seven.'
(They had had quite enough of the subject of age, she thought:
and if they really were to take turns in choosing subjects, it
was her turn now.) `At least,' she corrected herself on second
thoughts, `a beautiful cravat, I should have said--no, a belt, I
mean--I beg your pardon!' she added in dismay, for Humpty Dumpty
looked thoroughly offended, and she began to wish she hadn't
chosen that subject. `If I only knew,' the thought to herself,
'which was neck and which was waist!'
`It is a--MOST--PROVOKING--thing,' he said at last, `when a
person doesn't know a cravat from a belt!'
`It's a cravat, child, and a beautiful one, as you say. It's a
present from the White King and Queen. There now!'
`They gave it me,' Humpty Dumpty continued thoughtfully, as he
crossed one knee over the other and clasped his hands round it,
`they gave it me--for an un-birthday present.'
`I'm not offended,' said Humpty Dumpty.
`A present given when it isn't your birthday, of course.'
`You don't know what you're talking about!' cried Humpty
Dumpty. `How many days are there in a year?'
`And how many birthdays have you?'
`And if you take one from three hundred and sixty-five, what
Humpty Dumpty looked doubtful. `I'd rather see that done on
paper,' he said.
365 1 ___
Humpty Dumpty took the book, and looked at it carefully. `That
seems to be done right--' he began.
`To be sure I was!' Humpty Dumpty said gaily, as she turned it
round for him. `I thought it looked a little queer. As I was
saying, that SEEMS to be done right--though I haven't time to
look it over thoroughly just now--and that shows that there are
three hundred and sixty-four days when you might get un-birthday
`And only ONE for birthday presents, you know. There's glory
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. `Of course you don't-till
I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for
`When _I_ use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful
tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean--neither more nor
`The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, `which is to be
`Would you tell me, please,' said Alice `what that means?'
`That's a great deal to make one word mean,' Alice said in a
`Oh!' said Alice. She was too much puzzled to make any other
(Alice didn't venture to ask what he paid them with; and so
you see I can't tell YOU.)
`Let's hear it,' said Humpty Dumpty. `I can explain all the
poems that were ever invented--and a good many that haven't been
invented just yet.'
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the
wabe; All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths
`That'll do very well,' said Alice: and "SLITHY"?'
`I see it now,' Alice remarked thoughtfully: `and what are
`They must be very curious looking creatures.'
`Andy what's the "GYRE" and to "GIMBLE"?'
`And "THE WABE" is the grass-plot round a sun-dial, I
suppose?' said Alice, surprised at her own ingenuity.
`And a long way beyond it on each side,' Alice added.
`And then "MOME RATHS"?' said Alice. `I'm afraid I'm giving
you a great deal of trouble.'
`And what does "OUTGRABE" mean?'
`I read it in a book,' said Alice. `But I had some poetry
repeated to me, much easier than that, by--Tweedledee, I think it
`Oh, it needn't come to that!' Alice hastily said, hoping to
keep him from beginning.
Alice felt that in that case she really OUGHT to listen to it,
so she sat down, and said `Thank you' rather sadly.
only I don't sing it,' he added, as an explanation.
`If you can SEE whether I'm singing or not, you've sharper
eyes than most.' Humpty Dumpty remarked severely. Alice was
`Thank you very much,' said Alice.
`I will, if I can remember it so long,' said Alice.
`I sent a message to the fish: I told them "This is what I
The little fishes' answer was "We cannot do it, Sir,
`It gets easier further on,' Humpty Dumpty replied.
The fishes answered with a grin, "Why, what a temper you are
I took a kettle large and new, Fit for the deed I had to
Then some one came to me and said, "The little fishes are in
I said it very loud and clear; I went and shouted in his
`But he was very stiff and proud; He said "You needn't shout
I took a corkscrew from the shelf: I went to wake them up
And when I found the door was shut, I tried to turn the
`Is that all?' Alice timidly asked.
This was rather sudden, Alice thought: but, after such a VERY
strong hint that she ought to be going, she felt that it would
hardly be civil to stay. So she got up, and held out her hand.
`Good-bye, till we meet again!' she said as cheerfully as she
`The face is what one goes by, generally,' Alice remarked in a
`It wouldn't look nice,' Alice objected. But Humpty Dumpty
only shut his eyes and said `Wait till you've tried.'
The next moment soldiers came running through the wood, at
first in twos and threes, then ten or twenty together, and at
last in such crowds that they seemed to fill the whole forest.
Alice got behind a tree, for fear of being run over, and watched
them go by.
Then came the horses. Having four feet, these managed rather
better than the foot-soldiers: but even THEY stumbled now and
then; and it seemed to be a regular rule that, whenever a horse
stumbled the rider fell off instantly. The confusion got worse
every moment, and Alice was very glad to get out of the wood into
an open place, where she found the White King seated on the
ground, busily writing in his memorandum-book.
`Yes, I did,' said Alice: `several thousand, I should
`I see nobody on the road,' said Alice.
All this was lost on Alice, who was still looking intently
along the road, shading her eyes with one hand. `I see somebody
now!' she exclaimed at last. `But he's coming very slowly--and
what curious attitudes he goes into!' (For the messenger kept
skipping up and down, and wriggling like an eel, as he came
along, with his great hands spread out like fans on each
`I love my love with an H,' Alice couldn't help beginning,
`because he is Happy. I hate him with an H, because he is
Hideous. I fed him with--with--with Ham-sandwiches and Hay. His
name is Haigha, and he lives--'
`I beg your pardon?' said Alice.
`I only meant that I didn't understand,' said Alice. `Why one
to come and one to go?'
At this moment the Messenger arrived: he was far too much out
of breath to say a word, and could only wave his hands about, and
make the most fearful faces at the poor King.
`You alarm me!' said the King. `I feel faint--Give me a ham
`Another sandwich!' said the King.
`Hay, then,' the King murmured in a faint whisper.
`I should think throwing cold water over you would be better,'
Alice suggested: `or some sal-volatile.'
`Who did you pass on the road?' the King went on, holding out
his hand to the Messenger for some more hay.
`Quite right,' said the King: `this young lady saw him too. So
of course Nobody walks slower than you.'
`He can't do that,' said the King, `or else he'd have been
here first. However, now you've got your breath, you may tell us
what's happened in the town.'
`Do you call THAT a whisper?' cried the poor King, jumping up
and shaking himself. `If you do such a thing again, I'll have you
buttered! It went through and through my head like an
`Why the Lion and the Unicorn, of course,' said the King.
`Yes, to be sure,' said the King: `and the best of the joke
is, that it's MY crown all the while! Let's run and see them.'
And they trotted off, Alice repeating to herself, as she ran, the
words of the old song:-
`Does--the one--that wins--get the crown?' she asked, as well
as she could, for the run was putting her quite out of
`Would you--be good enough,' Alice panted out, after running a
little further, `to stop a minute--just to get--one's breath
Alice had no more breath for talking, so they trotted on in
silence, till they came in sight of a great crowd, in the middle
of which the Lion and Unicorn were fighting. They were in such a
cloud of dust, that at first Alice could not make out which was
which: but she soon managed to distinguish the Unicorn by his
`He's only just out of prison, and he hadn't finished his tea
when he was sent in,' Haigha whispered to Alice: `and they only
give them oyster-shells in there--so you see he's very hungry and
thirsty. How are you, dear child?' he went on, putting his arm
affectionately round Hatta's neck.
`Were you happy in prison, dear child?' said Haigha.
`Speak, can't you!' Haigha cried impatiently. But Hatta only
munched away, and drank some more tea.
Hatta made a desperate effort, and swallowed a large piece of
bread-and-butter. `They're getting on very well,' he said in a
choking voice: `each of them has been down about eighty-seven
`It's waiting for 'em now,' said Hatta: `this is a bit of it
as I'm eating.'
`I don't think they'll fight any more to-day,' the King said
to Hatta: `go and order the drums to begin.' And Hatta went
bounding away like a grasshopper.
`There's some enemy after her, no doubt,' the King said,
without even looking round. `That wood's full of them.'
`No use, no use!' said the King. `She runs so fearfully quick.
You might as well try to catch a Bandersnatch! But I'll make a
memorandum about her, if you like--She's a dear good creature,'
he repeated softly to himself, as he opened his memorandum-book.
`Do you spell "creature" with a double "e"?'
`A little--a little,' the King replied, rather nervously. `You
shouldn't have run him through with your horn, you know.'
`What--is--this?' he said at last.
`I always thought they were fabulous monsters!' said the
Unicorn. `Is it alive?'
The Unicorn looked dreamily at Alice, and said `Talk,
`Well, now that we HAVE seen each other,' said the Unicorn,
`if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you. Is that a
`Come, fetch out the plum-cake, old man!' the Unicorn went on,
turning from her to the King. `None of your brown bread for
Haigha took a large cake out of the bag, and gave it to Alice
to hold, while he got out a dish and carving-knife. How they all
came out of it Alice couldn't guess. It was just like a
conjuring-trick, she thought.
`Ah, what IS it, now?' the Unicorn cried eagerly. `You'll
never guess! _I_ couldn't.'
`It's a fabulous monster!' the Unicorn cried out, before Alice
The King was evidently very uncomfortable at having to sit
down between the two great creatures; but there was no other
place for him.
`I should win easy,' said the Lion.
`Why, I beat you all round the town, you chicken!' the Lion
replied angrily, half getting up as he spoke.
`I'm sure I don't know,' the Lion growled out as he lay down
again. `There was too much dust to see anything. What a time the
Monster is, cutting up that cake!'
`You don't know how to manage Looking-glass cakes,' the
Unicorn remarked. `Hand it round first, and cut it
`I say, this isn't fair!' cried the Unicorn, as Alice sat with
the knife in her hand, very much puzzled how to begin. `The
Monster has given the Lion twice as much as me!'
But before Alice could answer him, the drums began.
* * * * * * *
* * * * * * *
`If THAT doesn't "drum them out of town,"' she thought to
herself, 'nothing ever will!'
`It's my own Invention'
After a while the noise seemed gradually to die away, till all was dead silence, and Alice lifted up her head in some alarm. There was no one to be seen, and her first thought was that she must have been dreaming about the Lion and the Unicorn and those still lying at her feet, on which she had tried to cut the plumcake, `So I wasn't dreaming, after all,' she said to herself, `unless--unless we're all part of the same dream. Only I do hope it's MY dream, and not the Red King's! I don't like belonging to another person's dream,' she went on in a rather complaining tone: `I've a great mind to go and wake him, and see what happens!'
At this moment her thoughts were interrupted by a loud
shouting of `Ahoy! Ahoy! Check!' and a Knight dressed in crimson
armour came galloping down upon her, brandishing a great club.
Just as he reached her, the horse stopped suddenly: `You're my
prisoner!' the Knight cried, as he tumbled off his horse.
This time it was a White Knight. He drew up at Alice's side,
and tumbled off his horse just as the Red Knight had done: then
he got on again, and the two Knights sat and looked at each other
for some time without speaking. Alice looked from one to the
other in some bewilderment.
`Yes, but then _I_ came and rescued her!' the White Knight
`You will observe the Rules of Battle, of course?' the White
Knight remarked, putting on his helmet too.
`I wonder, now, what the Rules of Battle are,' she said to
herself, as she watched the fight, timidly peeping out from her
hiding-place: `one Rule seems to be, that if one Knight hits the
other, he knocks him off his horse, and if he misses, he tumbles
off himself--and another Rule seems to be that they hold their
clubs with their arms, as if they were Punch and Judy--What a
noise they make when they tumble! Just like a whole set of
fireirons falling into the fender! And how quiet the horses are!
They let them get on and off them just as if they were
`It was a glorious victory, wasn't it?' said the White Knight,
as he came up panting.
`So you will, when you've crossed the next brook,' said the
White Knight. `I'll see you safe to the end of the wood--and then
I must go back, you know. That's the end of my move.'
`Now one can breathe more easily,' said the Knight, putting
back his shaggy hair with both hands, and turning his gentle face
and large mild eyes to Alice. She thought she had never seen such
a strange-looking soldier in all her life.
`I see you're admiring my little box.' the Knight said in a
friendly tone. `It's my own invention--to keep clothes and
sandwiches in. You see I carry it upside-down, so that the rain
can't get in.'
`I didn't know it,' the Knight said, a shade of vexation
passing over his face. `Then all the things much have fallen out!
And the box is no use without them.' He unfastened it as he
spoke, and was just going to throw it into the bushes, when a
sudden thought seemed to strike him, and he hung it carefully on
a tree. `Can you guess why I did that?' he said to Alice.
`In hopes some bees may make a nest in it--then I should get
`Yes, it's a very good bee-hive,' the Knight said in a
discontented tone, `one of the best kind. But not a single bee
has come near it yet. And the other thing is a mouse-trap. I
suppose the mice keep the bees out--or the bees keep the mice
out, I don't know which.'
`Not very likely, perhaps,' said the Knight: `but if they DO
come, I don't choose to have them running all about.'
`But what are they for?' Alice asked in a tone of great
`It's meant for plum-cake,' said Alice.
This took a very long time to manage, though Alice held the
bag open very carefully, because the Knight was so VERY awkward
in putting in the dish: the first two or three times that he
tried he fell in himself instead. `It's rather a tight fit, you
see,' he said, as they got it in a last; `There are so many
candlesticks in the bag.' And he hung it to the saddle, which was
already loaded with bunches of carrots, and fire-irons, and many
`Only in the usual way,' Alice said, smiling.
`Have you invented a plan for keeping the hair from being
blown off?' Alice enquired.
`I should like to hear it, very much.'
It didn't sound a comfortable plan, Alice thought, and for a
few minutes she walked on in silence, puzzling over the idea, and
every now and then stopping to help the poor Knight, who
certainly was NOT a good rider.
`I'm afraid you've not had much practice in riding,' she
ventured to say, as she was helping him up from his fifth
`Because people don't fall off quite so often, when they've
had much practice.'
Alice could think of nothing better to say than `Indeed?' but
she said it as heartily as she could. They went on a little way
in silence after this, the Knight with his eyes shut, muttering
to himself, and Alice watching anxiously for the next tumble.
`None to speak of,' the Knight said, as if he didn't mind
breaking two or three of them. `The great art of riding, as I was
saying, is--to keep your balance properly. Like this, you
`Plenty of practice!' he went on repeating, all the time that
Alice was getting him on his feet again. `Plenty of
`Does that kind go smoothly?' the Knight asked in a tone of
great interest, clasping his arms round the horse's neck as he
spoke, just in time to save himself from tumbling off again.
`I'll get one,' the Knight said thoughtfully to himself. `One
`You WERE a little grave,' said Alice.
`Very much indeed,' Alice said politely.
`Yes, I suppose you'd be over when that was done,' Alice said
thoughtfully: `but don't you think it would be rather hard?'
He looked so vexed at the idea, that Alice changed the subject
hastily. `What a curious helmet you've got!' she said cheerfully.
`Is that your invention too?'
The knight looked so solemn about it that Alice did not dare
to laugh. `I'm afraid you must have hurt him,' she said in a
trembling voice, `being on the top of his head.'
`But that's a different kind of fastness,' Alice objected.
Alice ran to the side of the ditch to look for him. She was
rather startled by the fall, as for some time he had kept on very
well, and she was afraid that he really WAS hurt this time.
However, though she could see nothing but the soles of his feet,
she was much relieved to hear that he was talking on in his usual
tone. `All kinds of fastness,' he repeated: `but it was careless
of him to put another man's helmet on--with the man in it,
The Knight looked surprised at the question. `What does it
matter where my body happens to be?' he said. `My mind goes on
working all the same. In fact, the more head downwards I am, the
more I keep inventing new things.'
`In time to have it cooked for the next course?' said Alice.
`Well, not the NEXT course,' the Knight said in a slow thoughtful
tone: `no, certainly not the next COURSE.'
`Well, not the NEXT day,' the Knight repeated as before: `not
the next DAY. In fact,' he went on, holding his head down, and
his voice getting lower and lower, `I don't believe that pudding
ever WAS cooked! In fact, I don't believe that pudding ever WILL
be cooked! And yet it was a very clever pudding to invent.'
`It began with blotting paper,' the Knight answered with a
`Not very nice ALONE,' he interrupted, quite eagerly: `but
you've no idea what a difference it makes mixing it with other
things--such as gunpowder and sealing-wax. And here I must leave
you.' They had just come to the end of the wood.
`You are sad,' the Knight said in an anxious tone: `let me
sing you a song to comfort you.'
`It's long,' said the Knight, `but very, VERY beautiful.
Everybody that hears me sing it--either it brings the TEARS into
their eyes, or else--'
`Or else it doesn't, you know. The name of the song is called
`No, you don't understand,' the Knight said, looking a little
vexed. `That's what the name is CALLED. The name really IS "THE
AGED AGED MAN."'
`No, you oughtn't: that's quite another thing! The SONG is
called "WAYS AND MEANS": but that's only what it's CALLED, you
`I was coming to that,' the Knight said. `The song really IS
"A-SITTING ON A GATE": and the tune's my own invention.'
Of all the strange things that Alice saw in her journey
Through The Looking-Glass, this was the one that she always
remembered most clearly. Years afterwards she could bring the
whole scene back again, as if it had been only yesterday--the
mild blue eyes and kindly smile of the Knight--the setting sun
gleaming through his hair, and shining on his armour in a blaze
of light that quite dazzled her--the horse quietly moving about,
with the reins hanging loose on his neck, cropping the grass at
her feet--and the black shadows of the forest behind--all this
she took in like a picture, as, with one hand shading her eyes,
she leant against a tree, watching the strange pair, and
listening, in a half dream, to the melancholy music of the
`I'll tell thee everything I can; There's little to relate. I
saw an aged aged man, A-sitting on a gate. "Who are you, aged
man?" I said, "and how is it you live?" And his answer trickled
through my head Like water through a sieve.
But I was thinking of a plan To dye one's whiskers green, And
always use so large a fan That they could not be seen. So, having
no reply to give To what the old man said, I cried, "Come, tell
me how you live!" And thumped him on the head.
But I was thinking of a way To feed oneself on batter, And so
go on from day to day Getting a little fatter. I shook him well
from side to side, Until his face was blue: "Come, tell me how
you live," I cried, "And what it is you do!"
"I sometimes dig for buttered rolls, Or set limed twigs for
crabs; I sometimes search the grassy knolls For wheels of
Hansom-cabs. And that's the way" (he gave a wink) "By which I get
my wealth- And very gladly will I drink Your Honour's noble
And now, if e'er by chance I put My fingers into glue Or madly
squeeze a right-hand foot Into a left-hand shoe, Or if I drop
upon my toe A very heavy weight, I weep, for it reminds me so, Of
that old man I used to know- Whose look was mild, whose speech
was slow, Whose hair was whiter than the snow, Whose face was
very like a crow, With eyes, like cinders, all aglow, Who seemed
distracted with his woe, Who rocked his body to and fro, And
muttered mumblingly and low, As if his mouth were full of dough,
Who snorted like a buffalo-- That summer evening, long ago,
A-sitting on a gate.' As the Knight sang the last words of the
ballad, he gathered up the reins, and turned his horse's head
along the road by which they had come. `You've only a few yards
to go,' he said,' down the hill and over that little brook, and
then you'll be a Queen-But you'll stay and see me off first?' he
added as Alice turned with an eager look in the direction to
which he pointed. `I shan't be long. You'll wait and wave your
handkerchief when I get to that turn in the road? I think it'll
encourage me, you see.'
`I hope so,' the Knight said doubtfully: `but you didn't cry
so much as I thought you would.'
`I hope it encouraged him,' she said, as she turned to run
down the hill: `and now for the last brook, and to be a Queen!
How grand it sounds!' A very few steps brought her to the edge of
the brook. `The Eighth Square at last!' she cried as she bounded
* * * * * *
and threw herself down to rest on a lawn as soft as moss, with
little flower-beds dotted about it here and there. `Oh, how glad
I am to get here! And what IS this on my head?' she exclaimed in
a tone of dismay, as she put her hands up to something very
heavy, and fitted tight all round her head.
It was a golden crown.
`Well, this IS grand!' said Alice. `I never expected I should be a Queen so soon--and I'll tell you what it is, your majesty,' she went on in a severe tone (she was always rather fond of scolding herself), `it'll never do for you to be lolling about on the grass like that! Queens have to be dignified, you know!'
So she got up and walked about--rather stiffly just at first,
as she was afraid that the crown might come off: but she
comforted herself with the thought that there was nobody to see
her, `and if I really am a Queen,' she said as she sat down
again, `I shall be able to manage it quite well in time.'
`Speak when you're spoken to!' The Queen sharply interrupted
`Ridiculous!' cried the Queen. `Why, don't you see, child--'
here she broke off with a frown, and, after thinking for a
minute, suddenly changed the subject of the conversation. `What
do you mean by "If you really are a Queen"? What right have you
to call yourself so? You can't be a Queen, you know, till you've
passed the proper examination. And the sooner we begin it, the
The two Queens looked at each other, and the Red Queen
remarked, with a little shudder, `She SAYS she only said
`So you did, you know,' the Red Queen said to Alice. `Always
speak the truth--think before you speak--and write it down
`That's just what I complain of! You SHOULD have meant! What
do you suppose is the use of child without any meaning? Even a
joke should have some meaning--and a child's more important than
a joke, I hope. You couldn't deny that, even if you tried with
`Nobody said you did,' said the Red Queen. `I said you
couldn't if you tried.'
`A nasty, vicious temper,' the Red Queen remarked; and then
there was an uncomfortable silence for a minute or two.
The White Queen smiled feebly, and said `And I invite
`We gave you the opportunity of doing it,' the Red Queen
remarked: `but I daresay you've not had many lessons in manners
`And you do Addition?' the White Queen asked. `What's one and
one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and
`She can't do Addition,' the Red Queen interrupted. `Can you
do Subtraction? Take nine from eight.'
`She can't do Subtraction,' said the White Queen. `Can you do
Division? Divide a loaf by a knife--what's the answer to
Alice considered. `The bone wouldn't remain, of course, if I
took it--and the dog wouldn't remain; it would come to bite me
--and I'm sure I shouldn't remain!'
`I think that's the answer.'
`But I don't see how--'
`Perhaps it would,' Alice replied cautiously.
Alice said, as gravely as she could, `They might go different
ways.' But she couldn't help thinking to herself, `What dreadful
nonsense we ARE talking!'
`Can YOU do sums?' Alice said, turning suddenly on the White
Queen, for she didn't like being found fault with so much.
`Of course you know your A B C?' said the Red Queen.
`So do I,' the White Queen whispered: `we'll often say it over
together, dear. And I'll tell you a secret--I can read words of
one letter! Isn't THAT grand! However, don't be discouraged.
You'll come to it in time.'
`I know THAT!' Alice cried eagerly. `You take some
`Well, it isn't PICKED at all,' Alice explained: `it's GROUND
`Fan her head!' the Red Queen anxiously interrupted. `She'll
be feverish after so much thinking.' So they set to work and
fanned her with bunches of leaves, till she had to beg them to
leave off, it blew her hair about so.
`Fiddle-de-dee's not English,' Alice replied gravely.
Alice thought she saw a way out of the difficulty this time.
`If you'll tell me what language "fiddle-de-dee" is, I'll tell
you the French for it!' she exclaimed triumphantly.
`I wish Queens never asked questions,' Alice thought to
`The cause of lightning,' Alice said very decidedly, for she
felt quite certain about this, `is the thunder--no, no!' she
hastily corrected herself. `I meant the other way.'
`Which reminds me--' the White Queen said, looking down and
nervously clasping and unclasping her hands, `we had SUCH a
thunderstorm last Tuesday--I mean one of the last set of
Tuesdays, you know.'
The Red Queen said, `That's a poor thin way of doing things.
Now HERE, we mostly have days and nights two or three at a time,
and sometimes in the winter we take as many as five nights
together--for warmth, you know.'
`Five times as warm, of course.'
`Just so!' cried the Red Queen. `Five times as warm, AND five
times as cold--just as I'm five times as rich as you are, AND
five times as clever!'
`Humpty Dumpty saw it too,' the White Queen went on in a low
voice, more as if she were talking to herself. `He came to the
door with a corkscrew in his hand--'
`He said he WOULD come in,' the White Queen went on, `because
he was looking for a hippopotamus. Now, as it happened, there
wasn't such a thing in the house, that morning.'
`Well, only on Thursdays,' said the Queen.
Here the White Queen began again. `It was SUCH a thunderstorm,
you can't think!' (She NEVER could, you know,' said the Red
Queen.) `And part of the roof came off, and ever so much thunder
got in--and it went rolling round the room in great lumps-and
knocking over the tables and things--till I was so frightened, I
couldn't remember my own name!'
`Your Majesty must excuse her,' the Red Queen said to Alice,
taking one of the White Queen's hands in her own, and gently
stroking it: `she means well, but she can't help saying foolish
things, as a general rule.'
`She never was really well brought up,' the Red Queen went on:
`but it's amazing how good-tempered she is! Pat her on the head,
and see how pleased she'll be!' But this was more than Alice had
courage to do.
The White Queen gave a deep sigh, and laid her head on Alice's
shoulder. `I AM so sleepy?' she moaned.
`I haven't got a nightcap with me,' said Alice, as she tried
to obey the first direction: `and I don't know any soothing
`Hush-a-by lady, in Alice's lap! Till the feast's ready, we've
time for a nap: When the feast's over, we'll go to the ball- Red
Queen, and White Queen, and Alice, and all!
`What AM I to do?' exclaimed Alice, looking about in great
perplexity, as first one round head, and then the other, rolled
down from her shoulder, and lay like a heavy lump in her lap. `I
don't think it EVER happened before, that any one had to take
care of two Queens asleep at once! No, not in all the History of
England--it couldn't, you know, because there never was more than
one Queen at a time. `Do wake up, you heavy things!' she went on
in an impatient tone; but there was no answer but a gentle
She was standing before an arched doorway over which were the
words QUEEN ALICE in large letters, and on each side of the arch
there was a bell-handle; one was marked `Visitors' Bell,' and the
other `Servants' Bell.'
Just then the door opened a little way, and a creature with a
long beak put its head out for a moment and said `No admittance
till the week after next!' and shut the door again with a
`What is it, now?' the Frog said in a deep hoarse whisper.
`Which door?' said the Frog.
The Frog looked at the door with his large dull eyes for a
minute: then he went nearer and rubbed it with his thumb, as if
he were trying whether the paint would come off; then he looked
`I don't know what you mean,' she said.
`Nothing!' Alice said impatiently. `I've been knocking at
At this moment the door was flung open, and a shrill voice was
And hundreds of voices joined in the chorus:
Then followed a confused noise of cheering, and Alice thought
to herself, `Thirty times three makes ninety. I wonder if any
one's counting?' In a minute there was silence again, and the
same shrill voice sang another verse;
Then came the chorus again: -
`Ninety times nine!' Alice repeated in despair, `Oh, that'll
never be done! I'd better go in at once--' and there was a dead
silence the moment she appeared.
There were three chairs at the head of the table; the Red and
White Queens had already taken two of them, but the middle one
was empty. Alice sat down in it, rather uncomfortable in the
silence, and longing for some one to speak.
`You look a little shy; let me introduce you to that leg of
mutton,' said the Red Queen. `Alice--Mutton; Mutton--Alice.' The
leg of mutton got up in the dish and made a little bow to Alice;
and Alice returned the bow, not knowing whether to be frightened
`Certainly not,' the Red Queen said, very decidedly: `it isn't
etiquette to cut any one you've been introduced to. Remove the
joint!' And the waiters carried it off, and brought a large
plum-pudding in its place.
But the Red Queen looked sulky, and growled `Pudding--Alice;
Alice--Pudding. Remove the pudding!' and the waiters took it away
so quickly that Alice couldn't return its bow.
`What impertinence!' said the Pudding. `I wonder how you'd
like it, if I were to cut a slice out of YOU, you creature!'
`Make a remark,' said the Red Queen: `it's ridiculous to leave
all the conversation to the pudding!'
She spoke to the Red Queen, whose answer was a little wide of
the mark. `As to fishes,' she said, very slowly and solemnly,
putting her mouth close to Alice's ear, `her White Majesty knows
a lovely riddle--all in poetry--all about fishes. Shall she
`Please do,' Alice said very politely.
`"First, the fish must be caught." That is easy: a baby, I
think, could have caught it. "Next, the fish must be bought."
That is easy: a penny, I think, would have bought it.
"Bring it here! Let me sup!" It is easy to set such a dish on
the table. "Take the dish-cover up!" Ah, THAT is so hard that I
fear I'm unable!
`Take a minute to think about it, and then guess,' said the
Red Queen. `Meanwhile, we'll drink your health--Queen Alice's
health!' she screamed at the top of her voice, and all the guests
began drinking it directly, and very queerly they managed it:
some of them put their glasses upon their heads like
extinguishers, and drank all that trickled down their
faces--others upset the decanters, and drank the wine as it ran
off the edges of the table--and three of them (who looked like
kangaroos) scrambled into the dish of roast mutton, and began
eagerly lapping up the gravy, `just like pigs in a trough!'
`We must support you, you know,' the White Queen whispered, as
Alice got up to do it, very obediently, but a little
`That wouldn't be at all the thing,' the Red Queen said very
decidedly: so Alice tried to submit to it with a good grace.
In fact it was rather difficult for her to keep in her place
while she made her speech: the two Queens pushed her so, one on
each side, that they nearly lifted her up into the air: `I rise
to return thanks--' Alice began: and she really DID rise as she
spoke, several inches; but she got hold of the edge of the table,
and managed to pull herself down again.
And then (as Alice afterwards described it) all sorts of thing
happened in a moment. The candles all grew up to the ceiling,
looking something like a bed of rushes with fireworks at the top.
As to the bottles, they each took a pair of plates, which they
hastily fitted on as wings, and so, with forks for legs, went
fluttering about in all directions: `and very like birds they
look,' Alice thought to herself, as well as she could in the
dreadful confusion that was beginning.
There was not a moment to be lost. Already several of the
guests were lying down in the dishes, and the soup ladle was
walking up the table towards Alice's chair, and beckoning to her
impatiently to get out of its way.
`And as for YOU,' she went on, turning fiercely upon the Red
Queen, whom she considered as the cause of all the mischief--but
the Queen was no longer at her side--she had suddenly dwindled
down to the size of a little doll, and was now on the table,
merrily running round and round after her own shawl, which was
trailing behind her.
She took her off the table as she spoke, and shook her
backwards and forwards with all her might.
--and it really WAS a kitten, after all.
Which Dreamed it?
`Your majesty shouldn't purr so loud,' Alice said, rubbing her eyes, and addressing the kitten, respectfully, yet with some severity. `You woke me out of oh! such a nice dream! And you've been along with me, Kitty--all through the Looking-Glass world. Did you know it, dear?'
It is a very inconvenient habit of kittens (Alice had once
made the remark) that, whatever you say to them, they ALWAYS
purr. `If them would only purr for "yes" and mew for "no," or any
rule of that sort,' she had said, `so that one could keep up a
conversation! But how CAN you talk with a person if they always
say the same thing?'
So Alice hunted among the chessmen on the table till she had
found the Red Queen: then she went down on her knees on the
hearth-rug, and put the kitten and the Queen to look at each
other. `Now, Kitty!' she cried, clapping her hands triumphantly.
`Confess that was what you turned into!'
`Sit up a little more stiffly, dear!' Alice cried with a merry
laugh. `And curtsey while you're thinking what to--what to purr.
It saves time, remember!' And she caught it up and gave it one
little kiss, `just in honour of having been a Red Queen.'
`And what did DINAH turn to, I wonder?' she prattled on, as
she settled comfortably down, with one elbow in the rug, and her
chin in her hand, to watch the kittens. `Tell me, Dinah, did you
turn to Humpty Dumpty? I THINK you did--however, you'd better not
mention it to your friends just yet, for I'm not sure.
`Now, Kitty, let's consider who it was that dreamed it all.
This is a serious question, my dear, and you should NOT go on
licking your paw like that--as if Dinah hadn't washed you this
morning! You see, Kitty, it MUST have been either me or the Red
King. He was part of my dream, of course--but then I was part of
his dream, too! WAS it the Red King, Kitty? You were his wife, my
dear, so you ought to know--Oh, Kitty, DO help to settle it! I'm
sure your paw can wait!' But the provoking kitten only began on
the other paw, and pretended it hadn't heard the question.
Still she haunts me, phantomwise, Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.
In a Wonderland they lie, Dreaming as the days go by, Dreaming
as the summers die: