Lewis Carroll

From FireBlade Fiction on Negative Space.

by

A Sea Dirge

Alice’s Adventures Everywhere

The Adventures under Ground were written out by hand and illustrated by the author, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), between 1862 and 1864 for presentation in manuscript as a Christmas gift to Alice Liddell’s mother. Alice Liddell was the ten-year-old girl to whom Dodgson is said to have extemporized the nucleus of the “Alice” story while boating on the Thames on the afternoon of July 4, 1862.

In 1863, friends who had read Alice’s Adventures under Ground persuaded Dodgson to publish his story. He expanded the 18,000 word original to the 35,000 word final version, changed the name to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and saw the first edition published in 1865 by Macmillan of London.

—from the Dolphin Book edition notes

Illustrations in Alice’s Adventures under Ground by Lewis Carroll. Illustrations in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, including the title graphic on this page, by Sir John Tenniel.

The Cheshire Cat

According to Ivor Smullen in the July 1993 Omni (p. 76), a possible inspiration for the Cheshire cat exists in St. Peter’s Church, Croft, County Durham, where Dodgson’s father preached for twenty-four years. There is a “crude stone carving” of a cat on a panel wall. If you kneel before the cat, it gradually disappears until all that remains is the smile, “which stretches almost from ear to ear”.

Alice’s Adventures under Ground

Alice under Ground inscription

People have been asking me where they can get a copy of Alice’s Adventures under Ground. It can be hard to find in bookstores, but there’s often a version in print. The version that I have is Alice’s Adventures Underground and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland but it’s long been out of print.

Note that it’s usually called Underground, but the title page clearly shows under as a separate word.

Alice’s Adventures under Ground: Chapter I

Chapter I

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 where is the use of a book, thought Alice, without pictures or conversations? 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 was worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when a white rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.

There was nothing very remarkable in that, nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the rabbit say to itself "dear, dear! I shall be too 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, 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, full of curiosity, she hurried across the field after it, and was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge. In a 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 what seemed a 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 would 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 were maps and pictures hung on pegs. She took a jar down off 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 underneath, so managed to put it into one of the cupbards 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 most likely true.)

Down, down, down. Would the fall never come to and end? “I wonder how many miles I’ve fallen by this time?” said she 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 of showing off her knowledge, as there was no one to hear her, still it was good practice to say it over,) “yes, that’s the right distance, but then what Longitude or Latitude-line shall I be in?” (Alice had no idea what Longitude was, or Latitude either, but she 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 be to come out among the people that walk with their heads downwards! 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 will miss me very much tonight, I should think!” (Dinah was the cat.) “I hope they’ll remember her saucer of milk at tea-time! Oh, dear Dinah, I wish I had you here! 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, my dear. But do cats eat bats, I wonder?” And here Alice began to get rather sleepy, and kept 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, 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 was saying to her very earnestly, “Now, Dinah, my dear, tell me the truth. Did you ever eat a bat?” when suddenly, bump! bump! down she came upon a heap of sticks and shavings, and the fall was over.

Alice was not a bit hurt, and jumped on to her feet directly: 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 just heard it say, as it turned a corner, “my ears and whiskers, how late it’s getting!” She turned the corner after it, and instantly found herself in a long, low hall, lit up by a row of lamps which hung from the roof.

keyhole

There were doors all round the hall, but they were all locked, and when Alice had been all round it, and tried them all, 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 lying upon it, but a tiny golden key, and Alice’s first ideas was that it might belong to one of the doors of the hall, but alas! either the locks were too large, or the key too small, but at any rate it would open none of them. However, on the second time round, she came to a low curtain, behind which was a door about eighteen inches high: she tried the little key in the keyhole, and it fitted! Alice opened the door, and looked down a small passage, not larger than a rat-hole, into the loveliest garden you ever say. 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 very little use without my shoulders. Oh, how I wish I could shut up like a telescope! I think I could, if I only knew how to begin.” For, you see, so many out-of-the-way things had happened lately, that Alice began to think very few things indeed were really impossible.

There was nothing else to do, 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 up people like telescopes: this time there was a little bottle on it—“which certainly was not there before” said Alice—and tied 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 I’ll look first,” said the wise little Alice, “and see whether the bottle’s marked “poison” or not,” for Alice had read several nice little stories about children that got burnt, and eaten up by wild beasts, and other unpleasant things, because they would not remember the simple rules their friends had given them, such as, that, if you get into the fire, it will burn you, and that, if you cut your finger very deeply with a knife, it generally bleeds, and she had never forgotten that, if you drink a bottle marked “poison”, it is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later.

However, this bottle was not marked poison, so Alice tasted it, and finding it very nice, (it had, in fact, a sort of mixed flavour of cherry-tart, custard, pine-apple, roast turkey, toffy, and hot buttered toast,) she very soon finished it off.


“What a curious feeling!” said Alice, “I must be shutting up like a telescope.”

It was so indeed: she was not only ten inches high, and her face brightened up as it occurred to her that she was now the right size for going through the little door into that lovely garden. First, hwoever, she waited for a few minutes to see whether she was going to shrink any further: she felt a little nervious about this, “for it might end, you know,” said Alice to herself, “in my going out altogether, like a candle, and what should I be like then, I wonder?” and she tried to fancy what the flame of a candle is like after the candle is blown out, for she could not remember having ever seen one. However, nothing more happened, so 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 the key, she found she could not possibly reach it: she could see it plainly enough 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.

mouse

“Come! there’s no use in crying!” said Alice to herself rather sharply, “I advise you to leave off this minute!” (she generally gave herself very good advice, and sometimes scolded herself so severely as to bring tears into her eyes, and once she remembered boxing her own ears for having been unkind to herself in a game of croquet she was playing with 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 eyes fell on a little ebony box lying under the table: she opened it, and found in it a very small cake, on which was lying a card with the words Eat Me beautifully printed on it in large letters. “I’ll eat,” said Alice, “and if it makes me larger, I can reach the key, and if it makes me smaller, I can creep under the door, so either way I’ll get into the garden, and I don’t care which happens!”

She ate a little bit, and said anxiously to herself, “which way? which way?” and laid her hand on the top of her head to feel which way it was growing, and was quite surprised to find that she remained the same size: to be sure this is what generally happens when one eats cake, but Alice had got into the way of expecting nothing but out-of-the way things to happen, and it seemed quite dull and stupid for things to go on in the common way.

So she set to work, and very soon finished off the cake.


tallalice

“Curiouser and curiouser!” cried Alice, (she was so surprised that she quite forgot how to speak good English,) “now I’m opening out like the largest telescope that ever was! Goodbye, feet!” (for when she looked down at her feet, they seemed 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 ca’n’t! I shall be a great deal too far off to bother 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.
The Carpet,
with Alice’s Love

oh dear! what nonsense I am talking!”

Just at this moment, her head struck against the root of the hall: in fact, she was now rather more than nine feet high, and she at once took up the little golden key, and hurried off to the garden door.

Poor Alice! it was as much as she could do, lying down on one side, to look through into the garden with one eye, but to get through was more hopeless than ever: she sat down and cried again.

“You ought to be ashamed of yourself,” said Alice, “a great girl like you,” (she might well say this,) “to cry in this way! Stop this instant, I tell you!” But she cried on all the same, shedding gallons of tears, until there was a large pool, about four inches deep, all round her, and reaching half way across the hall. After a time, she heard a little pattering of feet in the distance, and dried her eyes to see what was coming.

rabbit

It was the white rabbit coming back again, splendidly dressed, with a pair of white kid gloves in one hand, and a nosegay in the other. Alice was ready to ask help of any one, she felt so desperate, and as the rabbit passed her, she said, in a low, timid voice, “If you please, Sir—” the rabbit started violently, looked up once into the roof of the hall, from which the voice seemed to come, and then dropped the nosegay and the white kid gloves, and skurried away into the darkness as hard as it could go.

Alice took up the nosegay and gloves, and found the nosegay so delicious that she kept smelling at it all the time she went on talking to herself—“dear, dear! how queer everything is today! and yesterday everything happened just as usual: I wonder if I was changed in the night? Let me think: was I the same when I got up this morning? I think I remember feeling rather different. But if I’m not the same, who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle!” And she began thinking over all the children she knew of the same age as herself, to see if she could have been changed for any of them.

“I’m sure I’m not Gertrude,” 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 Florence, for I know all sorts of things, and she, oh! she knows such a very little! Besides, she’s she, and I’m I, and—oh dear! how puzzling it all is! I’ll try if I know all the things I used to know. Let me see: four times five is twelve, and four times six is thirteen, and four times seven is fourteen—oh dear! I shall never get to twenty at this rate! But the Multiplication Table don’t signify—let’s try Geography. London is the capital of France, and Rome is the capital of Yorkshire, and Paris—oh dear! dear! that’s all wrong, I’m certain! I must have been changed for Florence! I’ll try and say “How doth the little”,” and she crossed her hands on her lap, and began, but her voice sounded hoarse and strange; and the words did not sound the same as they used to do:

    • “How doth the little crocodile
    • Improve its shining tail,
    • And pour the waters of the Nile
    • On every golden scale!
    • How cheerfully it seems to grin!
    • How neatly spreads its claws!
    • And welcomes 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 as she thought “I must be Florence 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 Florence, I’ll stay down here! It’ll be no use their putting their heads down and saying ‘come up, dear!’ I shall only look up and say “who am I, then? answer 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 tired of being all alone here!”

As she said this, she looked down at her hands, and was surprised to find she had put on one of the rabbit’s little gloves while she was talking. “How can I have done that?” thought she, “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: soon she found out that the reason of it was the nosegay she held in her hand: she dropped it hastily, just in time to save herself from shrinking away altogether, and found that she was now only three inches high.

“Now for the garden!” cried Alice, as she hurried back to the little door, but the little door was locked again, and the little gold key was lying on the glass table as before, and “things are worse than ever!” thought the poor little girl, “for I never was as small as this before, never! And I declare it’s too bad, it is!”

pool

At this moment her foot slipped, and splash! she was up to her chin in salt water. Her first idea was that she had fallen into the sea: then she remembered that she was under ground, and she soon made out that it was the pool of tears she had wept when she was nine feet high. “I wish I hadn’t cried so much! said Alice, as she swam about, trying to find her way out, “I shall be punished for it now, I suppose, by being drowned in my own tears! Well! that’ll be a queer thing, to be sure! However, every thing is queer today.” Very soon she saw something splashing about in the pool near her: at first she thought it must be a walrus or a hippopotamus, but then she remembered how small she was herself, and soon made out that it was only a mouse, that had slipped in like herself.

pool2

“Would it be any use, now,” thought Alice, “to speak to this mouse? The rabbit is something quite out-of-the-way, no doubt, and so have I been, ever since I came down here, but that is no reason why the mouse should not be able to talk. I think I may as well try.”

So she began: “oh Mouse, do you know how to get out of this pool? I am very tired of swimming about here, oh 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: “où est ma chatte?” which was the first sentence out of her French lesson-book. The mouse gave a sudden jump in the pool, and seemed to quiver 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,” said Alice, half to herself as she swam lazily about in the pool, “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 poor Alice again, for this time the mouse was bristling all over, and she felt certain that it was really offended, “have I offended you?”

“Offended indeed!” cried the mouse, who seemed to be positively trembling with rage, “our family always hated cats! Nasty, low, vulgar things! Don’t talk to me about them any more!”

“I won’t indeed!” said Alice, in a great hurry to change the conversation, “are you—are you—fond 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 ca’n’t remember half of them—and it belongs to a farmer, and he says it kills all the rats and—oh dear!” said Alice sadly, “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 wo’n’t talk about cats and dogs any more, if you don’t like them!” When the mouse heard this, it turned and swam slowly back to her: its face was quite pale, (with passion, Alice thought,) and it said in a trembling low voice “let’s 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 full of birds and animals that had fallen into it. There was 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.

pool3

Alice’s Adventures under Ground: Chapter II

Chapter II

They were indeed a curious looking party that assembled on the bank—the birds with draggled feathers, the animals with their fur clinging close to them—all dripping wet, cross, and uncomfortable. The first question of course was, how to get dry: they had a consultation about this, and Alice hardly felt at all surprised at finding herself talking familiarly with the birds, 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 best,” and this Alice would not admit without knowing how old the Lory was, and as the Lory positively refused to tell its age, there was nothing more to be said.

At last the mouse, who seemed to have some authority among them, called out “sit down, all of you, and attend to me! I’ll soon make you dry enough!” They all sat down at once, shivering, in a large ring, Alice in the middle, with her eyes anxiously fixed on the mouse, for she felt sure she would catch a bad cold if she did not get dry soon.

“Ahem!” said the mouse, with a self-important air, “are you all ready? This is the driest thing I know. Silence all round, if you please!

“William the Conqueror, whose cause was favoured by the pope, was soon submitted to by the English, who wanted leaders, and had been of late much accustomed to usurpation and conquest. Edwin and Morcar, the earls of Mercia and Northumbria—”

“Ugh!” said the Lory with a shiver.

“I beg your pardon?” said the mouse, frowning, but very politely, “did you speak?”

“Not I!” said the Lory hastily.

“I thought you did,” said the mouse, “I proceed. Edwin and Morcar, the earls of Mercia and Northumbria, declared for him and even Stigand, the patriotic archbishop of Canterbury, found it advisable to go with Edgar Atheling to meet William and offer him the crown. William’s conduct was at first moderate—how are you getting on now, dear?” said the mouse, turning to Alice as it spoke.

“As wet as ever,” said poor Alice, “it doesn’t seem to dry me at all.”

“In that case,” said the Dodo solemnly, rising to his feet, “I move that the meeting adjourn, for the immediate adoption of more energetic remedies—”

“Speak English!” said the Duck, “I don’t know the meaning of half of those long words, and what’s more, I don’t believe you do either!” And the Duck quacked a comfortable laugh to itself. Some of the other birds tittered audibly.

“I only meant to say,” said the Dodo in a rather offended tone, “that I know of a house near here, where we could get the young Lady and the rest of the party dried, and then we could listen comfortably to the story which I think you were good enough to promise to tell us,” bowing gravely to the mouse.

The mouse made no objection to this, and the whole party moved along the river bank, (for the pool had by this time begun to flow out of the hall, and the edge of it was fringed with rushes and forget-me-nots,) in a slow procession, the Dodo leading the way. After a time the Dodo became impatient, and, leaving the Duck to bring up the rest of the party, moved on at a quicker pace with Alice, the Lory, and the Eaglet, and soon brought them to a little cottage, and there they sat snugly by the fire, wrapped up in blankets, until the rest of the party had arrived, and they were all dry again.

Then they all sat down again in a large ring on the bank, and begged the mouse to begin his story.

“Mine is a long and a sad tale!” cried the mouse, turning to Alice, and sighing.

“It is a long tail, certainly,” said Alice, looking down with wonder at the mouse’s tail, which was coiled nearly all round the party, “but why do you call it sad?” and she went on puzzling about this as the mouse went on speaking, so that her idea of the tale was something like this:

We lived beneath the mat
      Warm and snug and fat
                But one woe, & that
                          Was the cat!
                                  To our joys
                                   a clog, In
                                  our eyes a
                             fog, On our
                       hearts a log
                  Was the dog!
                When the
           cat’s away,
          Then
         the mice
          will
           play,
             But, alas!
                  one day, (So they say)
                           Came the dog and
                                   cat, Hunting
                                       for a
                                      rat,
                                    Crushed
                                the mice
                            all flat,
                           Each
                          one
                         as
                         he
                         sat
                              Underneath the mat,
                                     warm, & snug, & fat—Think of that!

“You are not attending!” said the mouse to Alice severely, “what are you thinking of?”

“I beg your pardon,” said Alice very humbly, “you had got to the fifth bend, I think?”

“I had not!” cried the mouse, sharply and very angrily.

“A knot!” said Alice, always ready to make herself useful, and looking anxiously about her, “oh, do let me help to undo it!”

“I shall do nothing of the sort!” said the mouse, getting up and walking away from the party, “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 ears, and walked quickly away, and was soon out of sight.

“What a pity it wouldn’t stay!” sighed the Lory, and an old Crab took the opportunity of saying to its daughter “Ah, my dear! let this be a lesson to you never to lose your temper!” “Hold your tongue, Ma!” said the young Crab, a little snappishly, “you’re enough to try the patience of an oyster!”

“I wish I had our Dinah here, I know I do!” said Alice aloud, addressing no one 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 ca’n’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 answer 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 does not suit my throat,” and to its children “come away from her, my dears, she’s no fit company for you!” On various pretexts, they all moved off, and Alice was soon left alone.

leftalone

She sat for some while sorrowful and silent, but she was not long before she recovered her spirits, and began talking to herself again as usual: “I do wish some of them had stayed a little longer! and I was getting to be such friends with them—really the Lory and I were almost like sisters! and so was that dear little Eaglet! And then the Duck and the Dodo! How nicely the Duck sang to us as we came along through the water: and if the Dodo hadn’t known the way to that nice little cottage, I don’t know when we should have got dry again—” and there is no knowing how long she might have prattled on in this way, if she had not suddenly caught the sound of pattering feet.

It was the white rabbit, trotting slowly back again, and looking anxiously about it as it went, as if it had lost something, and she heard it muttering to itself “the Marchioness! the Marchioness! oh my dear paws! oh my fur and whiskers! She’ll have 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 nosegay and the pair of white kid gloves, and she began hunting for them, but they were now nowhere to be seen—everything seemed to have changed since her swim in the pool, and her walk along the river-bank with its fringe of rushes and forget-me-nots, and the glass table and the little door had vanished.

alice-rabbit

Soon the rabbit noticed Alice, as she stood looking curiously about her; and at once said in a quick angry tone, “why, Mary Ann! what are you doing out here? Go home this moment, and look on my dressing-table for my gloves and nosegay, and fetch them here, as quick as you can run, do you hear?” and Alice was so much frightened that she ran off at once, without saying a word, in the direction which the rabbit had pointed out.

She soon found herself in front of a neat little house, on the door of which was a bright brass plate with the name W. Rabbit, Esq. . She went in, and hurried upstairs, for fear she should meet the real Mary Ann and be turned out of the house before she had found the gloves: she knew that one pair had been lost in the hall, “but of course,” thought Alice, “it has plenty more of them in its house. How queer it seems to be going messages for a rabbit! I suppose Dinah’ll be sending me messages next!” And she began fancying the sort of things that would happen: “Miss Alice! come here directly and get ready for your walk!” “Coming in a minute, nurse! but I’ve got to watch this mousehole till Dinah comes back, and 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!”

uncork

By this time she had found her way into a tidy little room, with a table in the window on which was a looking-glass and, (as Alice had hoped,) two or three pairs of tiny white kid gloves: she took up a pair of 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 on it 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 see what this bottle does. I do hope it’ll make me grow larger, for I’m quite tired of being such a tiny little thing!”

growing

It did so indeed, and much sooner than she expected: before she had drunk half the bottle, she found her head pressing against the ceiling, and she stooped to save her neck from being broken, and hastily put down the bottle, saying to herself “that’s quite enough—I hope I sha’n’t grow any more—I wish I hadn’t drunk so much!”

Alas! it was too late: she went on growing and growing, and very soon had to kneel down: in another minute there was not room even 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—what will become of me?”

alicenbox

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 ever getting out of the room again, no wonder she felt unhappy. “It was much pleasanter at home,” thought poor Alice, “when one wasn’t always growing larger and smaller, and being ordered about by mice and rabbits—I almost wish I hadn’t gone down that rabbit-hole, and yet, and yet—it’s rather curious, you know, this sort of life. I do wonder what can have happened to me! When I used to read fairy-tales, I fancied that sort 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” said she 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 said again, “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, which made her stop to listen.

“Mary Ann! Mary Ann!” said the voice, “fetch me my gloves this moment!” Then came a little pattering of feet on the stairs: Alice knew it was the rabbit coming to look for her, and she trembled till she shook the house, quite forgetting that she was now about a thousand times as large as the rabbit, and had no reason to be afraid of it. Presently the rabbit came to the door, and tried to open it, but as it opened inwards, and Alice’s elbow was against it, the attempt proved a failure. Alice heard it say to itself “then I’ll go round and get in at the window.”

bighand

That you wo’n’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 breaking glass, from which she concluded that it was just possible it had fallen into a cucumber-frame, or something of the sort.

Next came an angry voice—the rabbit’s—“Pat, Pat! where are you?” And then a voice she had never heard before, “shure then I’m here! digging for apples, anyway, yer honour!”

“Digging for apples indeed!” said the rabbit angrily, “here, come and help me out of this!”—Sound of more breaking glass.

“Now, tell me, Pat, what is that coming out of the window?”

“Shure it’s an arm, yer honour!” (He pronounced it “arrum”.)

“An arm, you goose! Who ever say an arm that size? Why, it fills the whole window, don’t you see?”

“Shure, it does, yer honour, but it’s an arm for all that.”

“Well, it’s no business there: go and take it away!”

There was a long silence after this, and Alice could only hear whispers now and then, such as “shure I don’t like it, yer honour, at al 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 breaking glass—“what a number of cucumber-frames there much 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 stop in here any longer!”

She waited for some time without hearing anything more: at last came a rumbling of little cart-wheels, 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—here, put ‘em up at this corner—no, tie ‘em together first—they don’t reach 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 sha’n’t! you do it!—that I won’t then—Bill’s got to go down—here, Bill! the master says you’ve to go down the chimney!”

“Oh, so Bill’s got to come down the chimney, has he?” said Alice to herself, “why, they seem to put everything upon Bill! I wouldn’t be in Bill’s place for a good deal: the fireplace is a pretty tight one, but I think I can kick a little!”

She drew her foot as far down the chimney as she could, and waited till she heard a little animal (she couldn’t guess what sort it was) scratching and scrambling in the chimney close above her: then, saying to herself “this is Bill”, she gave one sharp kick, and waited again to see what would happen next.

lizard

The first thing was a general chorus of “there goes Bill!” then the rabbit’s voice alone “catch him, you by the hedge!” then silence, and then another confusion of voices, “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,) which said “well, I hardly know—I’m all of a fluster myself—something comes at me like a Jack-in-the-box, and the next minute up I goes like a rocket!” “And so you did, old fellow!” said the other voices.

“We must burn the house down!” said the voice of the rabbit, and Alice called out as loud as she could “if you do, I’ll set Dinah at you!” This caused silence again, and while Alice was thinking “but how can I get Dinah here?” she found to her great delight that she was getting smaller: very soon she was able to get up out of the uncomfortable position in which she had been lying, and in two or three minutes more she was once more three inches high.

She ran out of the house as quick as she could, and found quite a crowd of little animals waiting outside—guinea-pigs, white mice, squirrels, and “Bill” a little green lizard, that was being supported in the arms of one of the guinea-pigs, while another was giving it something out of a bottle. They all made a rush at her the moment she appeared, but Alice ran her hardest, and soon found herself in a thick wood.

house

Alice’s Adventures under Ground: Chapter III

Chapter III

“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, 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 anxiously among the trees round her, 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 reach her: “poor thing!” said Alice in a coaxing tone, and she tried hard to whistle to it, but she was terribly alarmed all the while at the thought that it might be hungry, in which case it would probably devour her 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, and with a yelp of delight 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 at the other side, the puppy made another dart at the stick, and tumlbed head over heels in its hurry to get hold: 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: she set off at once, and ran till the puppy’s bark sounded quite faint in the distance, and till she was quite tired and out of breath.

“And yet what a dear little puppy it was!” said Alice, as she leant against a buttercup to rest herself, and fanned herself with her hat, “I should have liked teaching it tricks, if—if I’d only been the right size to do it! Oh! 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 could not see anything that looked like the right thing to eat under the circumstances. There was a large mushroom 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 to look and see what was on the top of it.

toking

She stretched herself up on tiptoe, and peeped over the edge of the mushroom, and her eyes immediately met those of a large blue caterpillar, which was sitting with its arms folded, quietly smoking a long hookah, and taking not the least notice of her or of anything else.

For some time they looked at each other in silence: at last the caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth, and languidly addressed her.

“Who are you?” said the caterpillar.

This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation: Alice replied rather shyly, “I—I hardly know, sir, just at present—at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since that.”

“What do you mean by that?” said the caterpillar, “explain yourself!”

“I ca’n’t explain myself, I’m afraid, sir,” said Alice, “because I’m not myself, you see.”

“I don’t see,” said the caterpillar.

“I’m afraid I ca’n’t put it more clearly,” Alice replied very politely, “for I ca’n’t understand it myself, and really to be so many different sizes in one day is very confusing.”

“It isn’t,” said the caterpillar.

“Well, perhaps you haven’t found it so yet,” said Alice, “but when you have to turn into a chrysalis, you know, and then after that into a butterfly, I should think it’ll feel a little queer, don’t you think so?”

“Not a bit,” said the caterpillar.

“All I know is,” said Alice, “it would feel 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 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 had no reason ready, and the caterpillar seemed to be in a very bad temper, she turned round and walked away.

“Come back!” the caterpillar called after her, “I’ve something important to say!”

This sounded promising: Alice turned and came back.

“Keep your temper,” said the caterpillar.

“Is that all?” said Alice, swallowing down her anger as well as she could.

“No,” said the caterpillar.

Alice thought she might as well wait, as she had nothing else to do, and perhaps after all the caterpillar might tell her something worth hearing. For some minutes it puffed away at its hookah without speaking, but at last it unfolded its arms, took the hookah out of its mouth again, and saidk “so you think you’re changed, do you?”

“Yes, sir,” said Alice, “I ca’n’t remember the things I used to know—I’ve tried to say “How doth the little busy bee” and it came all different!”

“Try and repeat “You are old, father William”,” said the caterpillar.

Alice folded her hands, and began:

  1. You incessantly stand on your head
    • “You are old, father William,” the young man said,
    • “And your hair is exceedingly 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.”
  2. Back-Somersault
    • “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 gray locks,
    • “I kept all my limbs very supple.
    • By the use of this ointment, five shillings the box—
    • Allow me to sell you a couple.”
  3. You eat all the goose, with the bones and the beak
    • “You are old,” said the youth,” and your jaws are too weak
    • “For anything tougher than suet:
    • Yet you eat all the goose, with the bones and the beak—
    • Pray, how did you manage to do it?”
    • “In my youth,” said the old man, “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.”
  4. An eel on the end of your nose
    • “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!”

“Not quite right, I’m afraid,” said Alice timidly, “some of the words have got altered.”

“It is wrong from beginning to end,” said the caterpillar decidedly, and there was silence for some minutes: the caterpillar was the first to speak.

“What size do you want to be?” it asked.

“Oh, I’m not particular as to size,” Alice hastily replied, “only one doesn’t like changing so often, you know.”

“Are you content now?” said the caterpillar.

“Well, I should like to be a little larger, sir, if you wouldn’t mind,” said Alice, “three inches is such a wretched height to be.”

“It is a very good height indeed!” said the caterpillar loudly and angrily, rearing itself straight up as it spoke (it was exactly three inches high).

“But I’m not used to it!” pleaded poor Alice in a piteous tone, and she thought to 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 quietly until it chose to speak again: in a few minutes the caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth, and got down off the mushroom, and crawled away into the grass, merely remarking as it went: “the top will make you grow taller, and the stalk will make you grow shorter.”

“The top of what? the stalk of what?” thought Alice.

“Of the mushroom,” said the caterpillar, just as if she had asked it aloud, and in another moment it was out of sight.

headnfeet

Alice remained looking thoughtfully at the mushroom for a minute, and then picked it and carefully broke it in two, taking the stalk in one hand and the top in the other.

Which does the stalk do?” she said, and nibbled a little bit of it to try: the next moment she felt a violent blow on her chin: it had struck her foot!

longneck

She was a good deal frightened by this very sudden change, but as she did not shrink any further, and had not dropped the top of the mushroom, she did not give up hope yet. There was hardly room to open her mouth, with her chin pressing against her foot, but she did it at last, and managed to bite off a little bit of the top of the mushroom.


“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 seen: she looked down upon 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 ca’n’t see you?” She was moving them about as she spoke, but no result seemed to follow, except a little rustling among the leaves. Then she tried to bring her head down to her hands, and was delighted to find that her neck would bend about easily in every direction, like a serpent. She had just succeeded in bending it down in a beautiful zig-zag, and was going to dive in among the leaves, which she found to be the tops of the trees of the wood she had been wandering in, when a sharp hiss made her draw back: a large pigeon had flown into her face, and was violently beating her with its wings.

necknbird

“Serpent!” screamed the pigeon.

“I’m not a serpent!” said Alice indignantly, “let me alone!”

“I’ve tried every way!” the pigeon said desperately, with a kind of sob: “nothing seems to suit ‘em!”

“I haven’t the least idea what you mean,” said Alice.

“I’ve tried the roots of trees, and I’ve tried banks, and I’m tried hedges,” the pigeon went on without attending to her, “but them serpents! There’s no pleasing ‘em!”

Alice was more and more puzzled, but she thought there was no use in saying anything till the pigeon had finished.

“As if it wasn’t trouble enough hatching the eggs!” said the pigeon, “without being on the look out for serpents, day and night! Why, I haven’t had a wink of sleep these three weeks!”

“I’m very sorry you’ve been annoyed,” said Alice, beginning to see its meaning.

“And just as I’d taken the highest tree in the wood,” said the pigeon raising its voice to a shriek, “and was just thinking I was free of ‘em at least, they must beeds come down from the sky! Ugh! Serpent!”

“But I’m not a serpent,” said Alice, “I’m a— I’m a—”

“Well! What are you?” said the pigeon, “I see you’re trying to invent something.”

“I— I’m a little girl,” said Alice, rather doubtfully, as she remembered the number of changes she had gone through.

“A likely story indeed!” said the pigeon, “I’ve seen a good many of them in my time, but never one with such a neck as yours! No, you’re a serpent, I know that well enough! I suppose you’ll tell me next that you never tasted an egg!”

“I have tasted eggs, certainly,” said Alice, who was a very truthful child, “but indeed I do’n’t want any of yours. I do’n’t like them raw.”

“Well, be off, then!” said the pigeon, and settled down into its nest again. Alice crouched down among the trees, as well as she could, as her neck kept getting entangled among the branches, and several times she had to stop and untwist it. Soon she remebered the pieces of mushroom which she still held in her hands, and 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 size.

It was so long since she had been of the right size that it felt quite strange at first, but she got quite used to it in a minute or two, and began talking to herself as usual: “well! 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 to my right size again: the next thing is, to get into that beautiful garden—how is that to be done, I wonder?”

bythedoor

Just as she said this, she noticed that one of the trees had a doorway leading right into it. “That’s very curious!” she thought, “but everything’s curious today: I may as well go in.” 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 set to work eating the pieces of mushroom till she was about fifteen inches high: then she walked down the little passage: and then— she found herself at last in the beautiful garden, among the bright flowerbeds and the cool fountains.

Alice’s Adventures under Ground: Chapter IV

Chapter IV

A large rose tree stood near the entrance of the garden: the roses on it were white, but there were three gardeners at it, busily painting them red. This Alice thought a very curious thing, and she went near to watch them, and just as she came up she heard one of them say “look out, 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 lifted up his head and said “that’s right, Five! Always lay the blame on others!”

You’d better not talk!” said Five, “I heard the Queen say only yesterday she thought of having you beheaded!”

“What for?” said the one who had spoken first.

“That’s not your business, Two!” said Seven.

“Yes, it is his business!” said Five, “and I’ll tell him: it was for bringing tulip-roots to the cook instead of potatoes.”

Seven flung down his brush, and had just begun “well! Of all the unjust things—” when his eye fell upon Alice, and he stopped suddenly: the others looked round, and all of them took off their hats and bowed low.

“Would you tell me, please,” said Alice timidly, “why you are painting those roses?”

Five and Seven looked at Two, but said nothing: Two began, in a low voice, “why, Miss, the fact is, this 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. So, you see, we’re doing our best, before she comes, to—” At this moment Five, who had been looking anxiously 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.

crown

First came ten soldiers carrying clubs: these were all shaped like the three gardeners, flat and oblong, with their hands and feet at the corners: next the ten courtiers; these were all ornamented 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, among whom 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 cushion, and, last of all this grand procession, came The King and Queen of Hearts.

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, turning up her nose, and asked Alice “what’s your name?”

“My name is Alice, so please your Majesty,” said Alice boldly, for she thought to herself, “why, they’re only a pack of cards! I needn’t be afraid of them!”

“Who are these?” said the Queen, pointing to the three gardeners lying round the rose tree, for, as they were lying on their faces, and the pattern on their backs was the same as the rest of the pack, she could not tell whether they were gardeners, or soldiers, or courtiers, or three of her own children.

“How should I know?” said Alice, surprised at her own courage, “it’s no business of mine.”

The Queen turned crimson with fury, and, after glaring at her for a minute, began in a voice of thunder, “off with her—”

“Nonsense!” said Alice, very loudly and decidedly, and the Queen was silent.

The King laid his hand upon her arm, and said timidly “remember my dear! She is only a child!”

The Queen turned angrily away from him, and said to the Knave “turn them over!”

The Knave did so, very carefully, with one foot.

“Get up!” said the Queen, in a shrill loud voice, and the three gardeners instantly jumped up, and began bowing to the King, the Queen, the Royal children, and everybody else.

“Leave off that!” screamed the Queen, “you make me giddy.” And then, turning to the rose tree, she went on “what have you been doing here?”

“May it please your Majesty,” said Two very humbly, going down on one knee as he spoke, “we were trying—”

I see!” said the Queen, who had been examining the roses, “off with their heads!” and the procession moved on, three of the soldiers remaining behind to execute the three unfortunate gardeners, who ran to Alice for protection.

“You sha’n’t be beheaded!” said Alice, and she put them into her pocket: the three soldiers marched once round her, looking for them, and then quietly marched off after the others.

“Are their heads off?” shouted the Queen.

“Their heads are gone,” the soldiers shouted in reply, “if it please your Majesty!”

“That’s right!” shouted the Queen, “can you play croquet?”

The soldiers were silent, and looked at Alice, as the question was evidently meant for her.

“Yes!” shouted Alice at the top of her voice.

“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 little voice: she was walking by the white rabbit, who was peeping anxiously into her face.

“Very,” said Alice, “where’s the Marchioness?”

“Hush, hush!” said the rabbit in a low voice, “she’ll hear you. The Queen’s the Marchioness: didn’t you know that?”

“No, I didn’t,” said Alice, “what of?”

“Queen of Hearts,” said the rabbit in a whisper, putting its mouth close to her ear, “and Marchioness of Mock Turtles.”

“What are they?” said Alice, but there was no time for the answer, for they had reached the croquet-ground, and the game began instantly.

cardgame

Alice thought she had never seen such a curious croquet-ground in all her life: it was all in ridges and furrows: the croquet-balls were live hedgehogs, the mallets live ostriches, and the soldiers had to double themselves up, and stand on their feet and hands, to make the arches.

ostrichgame

The chief difficulty which Alice found at first was to manage her ostrich: she got its body tucked away, comfortably enough, under her arm, with its legs hanging down, but generally, just as she had got its neck straightened out nicely, and was going to give a blow with its head, it would twist itself round, and look up into 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 confusing 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 a furrow in her way, wherever she wanted to send the hedgehog to, and as the doubled-up soldiers were always getting up and walking off to other parts of the ground, Alice soon came to the conclusion that it was a very difficult game indeed.

The players all played at once without waiting for turns, and quarrelled all the while at the tops of their voices, and in a very few minutes the Queen was in a furious passion, and went stamping about and shouting “off with his head!” or “off with her head!” about once in a minute. All those whom she sentenced were taken into custody by the soldiers, who of course had to leave off being arches to do this, so that, by the end of half an hour or so, there were no arches left, and all the players, except the King, the Queen, and Alice, were in custody, and under sentence of execution.

Then the Queen left off, quite out of breath, and said to Alice “have you seen the Mock Turtle?”

“No,” said Alice, “I don’t even know what a Mock Turtle is.”

“Come on then,” said the Queen, “and it shall tell you its 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!” thought Alice, who had felt quite grieved at the number of executions which the Queen had ordered.

gryphon

They very soon came upon a Gryphon, which lay 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 its history. I must go back and see after some executions I ordered,” and she walked off, leaving Alice with the Gryphon. Alice did not quite like the look of the creature, but on the whole she thought it quite as safe to stay as to go after that savage Queen: so she waited.

The Gryphon sat up and rubbed its eyes: then it watched the Queen till she was out of sight: then it chuckled, “What fun!” said the Gryphon, half to itself, half to Alice.

“What is the fun?” said Alice.

“Why, she,” said the Gryphon; “it’s all her fancy, that: they never executes nobody, you know: come on!”

“Everybody says ‘come on!’ here,” thought Alice, as she walked slowly after the Gryphon; “I never was ordered about so before in all my life—never!”

begging

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 it sighing as if its heart would break. She pitied it deeply: “what is its sorrow?” she asked the Gryphon, and the Gryphon answered, very nearly in the same words as before, “it’s all its fancy, that: it 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, “wants for to know your history, she do.”

“I’ll tell it,” said the Mock Turtle, in a deep, hollow tone, “sit down, and don’t speak till I’ve finished.”

So they sat down, and no one spoke for some minutes: Alice thought to herself “I don’t see how it can ever finish, if it 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, 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?” asked Alice.

“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, “get on, old fellow! Don’t be all day!” and the Mock Turtle went on in these words:

“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 hastily checked herself, and said “no, never,” instead,) “so you can have no idea what a delightful thing a Lobster Quadrille is!”

“No, indeed, said Alice, “what sort of a thing is it?”

“Why,” said the Gryphon, “you form into a line along the sea shore—”

“Two lines!” cried the Mock Turtle, “seals, turtles, salmon, and so on—advance twice:—”

“Each with a lobster as partner!” cried the Gryphon.

jumping

“Of course,” the Mock Turtle said, “advance twice, set to partners—”

“Change lobsters, and retire in same order—” interrupted the Gryphon.

“Then, you know,” continued the Mock Turtle, “you throw the—”

“The lobsters!” shouted the Gryphon, with a bound into the air.

“As far out to sea as you can—”

“Swim after them!” screamed the Gryphon.

“Turn a somersault in the sea!” cried the Mock Turtle, capering wildly about.

“Change lobsters again!” yelled the Gryphon at the top of its voice, “and then—”

“That’s all,” said the Mock Turtle, suddenly dropping its 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 it without lobsters, you know. Which shall sing?”

“Oh! you sing!” said the Gryphon, “I’ve forgotten the words.”

dancing

So they began solemnly dancing round and round Alice, ever now and then treading on her toes when they came too close, and waving their fore-paws to mark the time, while the Mock Turtle sang, slowly and sadly, these words:

  • “Beneath the waters of the sea
  • Are lobsters thick as thick can be—
  • They love to dance with you and me,
  • My own, my gentle Salmon!”

The Gryphon joined in singing the chorus, which was:

  • “Salmon come up! Salmon go down!
  • Salmon come twist your tail around!
  • Of all the fishes of the sea
  • There’s none so good as Salmon!”

“Thank you,” said Alice, feeling very glad that the figure was over.

“Shall we try the second figure?” said the Gryphon, or would you prefer a song?”

“Oh, a song, please!” Alice replied, so eagerly, that the Gryphon said, in a rather offended tone, “hm! no accounting for tastes! Sing her ‘Mock Turtle Soup’, will you, old fellow!”

The Mock Turtle sighed deeply, and began, in a voice sometimes choked with sobs, to sing this:

  • “Beautiful Soup, so rich and green,
  • Waiting in a hot tureen!
  • Who for such dainties would not stoop?
  • Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!
  • Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!
  • Beau-ootiful Soo--oop!
  • Beau-ootiful Soo--oop!
  • Soo-oop of the e-e-evening,
  • Beautiful beautiful Soup!

“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, he hurried off, without waiting for the end of the song.

“What trial is it?” panted Alice as she ran, but the Gryphon only answered “come on!” and ran the faster, and more and more faintly came, borne on the breeze that followed them, the melancholy words:

  • “Soo-oop of the e-e-evening,
  • Beautiful beautiful Soup!”
horn

The King and Queen were seated on their throne when they arrived, with a great crowd assembled around them: the Knave was in custody: and before the King stood the white rabbit, with a trumpet in one hand, and a scroll of parchment in the other.

“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!”

“Now for the evidence,” said the King, “and then the sentence.”

queen

“No!” said the Queen, “first the sentence, and then the evidence!”

“Nonsense!” cried Alice, so loudly that everybody jumped, “the idea of having the sentence first!”

“Hold your tongue!” said the Queen.

“I won’t!” said Alice, “you’re nothing but a pack of cards! Who cares for you?”

At this the whole pack rose up into the air, and came flying down upon her: she gave a little scream of fright, 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 leaves that had fluttered down from the trees on to her face.

“Wake up!, Alice dear!” said her sister, “what a nice long sleep you’ve had!”

“Oh, I’ve had such a curious dream!” said Alice, and she told her sister all her Adventures Under Ground, as you have read them, 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 ran off, thinking while she ran (as well she might) what a wonderful dream it had been.


But her sister sat there some while longer, watching the setting sun, and thinking of little Alice and her Adventures, till she too began dreaming after a fashion, and this was her dream:

She saw an ancient city, and a quiet river winding near it along the plain, and up the stream went slowly gliding a boat with a merry party of children on board—she could hear their voices and laughter like music over the water—and among them was another little Alice, who sat listening with bright eager eyes to a tale that was being told, and she listened for the words of the tale, and lo! it was the dream of her own little sister. So the boat wound slowly along, beneath the bright summer-day, with its merry crew and its music of voices and laughter, till it passed round one of the many turnings of the stream, and she saw it no more.

Then she thought, (in a dream within the dream, as it were,) how this same little Alice would, in the after-time, be herself a grown woman: and how she would keep, through her riper years, the simple and loving heart of her childhood; and how she would gather around her other little children, and make their eyes bright and eager with many a wonderful tale, perhaps even with these very adventures of the little Alice of long-ago: and how she would feel with all their simple sorrows, and find a pleasure in all their simple joys, remembering her own child-life, and the happy summer days.

The End

Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland

Edition

I’m not sure what edition this is from. The poetry in the later chapters is different from the poetry in my version. But since I liked it better, I left it. The most notable difference is I passed by his garden, which, in my version (The Dolphin Master), goes simply:

Whereas this one is quite longer, and much more gruesome. (See The Lobster Quadrille.)

The Introduction

Down The Rabbit-Hole

pwatch

Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, “and what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversation?”

So she was considering in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid) whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close to her.

There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself, “Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too 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 waist-coat 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 waist-coat pocket or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and fortunately was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.

In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again.

The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep well.

Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her, and to wonder what was going to happen next. First, she tried to look down and make out what she was coming to, but it was too dark to see anything; then she looked at the sides of the well, and noticed that they were filled with cupboards and book-shelves: here and there she saw maps and pictures hung upon pegs. She took down a jar from one of the shelves as she passed; it was labelled “ORANGE MARMALADE,” but to her great disappointment it 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 downstairs! 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 and 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 downwards! 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! 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 line 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 dry leaves, and the fall was over.

curtains

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, 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 knew 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 its neck 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 many 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 later.

drinkme

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 it is blown out, for she could not remember ever having seen such a thing.

After a while, finding that nothing more happened, she decided on going into the garden at once; but, alas for poor Alice! when she got to the door, she found 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 table-legs, 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 larger, I can reach the key; and if it makes me smaller, I can creep under the door; so either way I’ll get into the garden, and I don’t care which happens!”

She ate a little bit, and said anxiously to herself, “Which way? Which way?” holding her hand on the top of her head to feel which way it was growing, and she was quite surprised to find that she remained the same size: to be sure, this generally happens when one eats cake, but Alice had got so much into the way of expecting nothing but out-of-the-way things to happen, that it seemed quite dull and stupid for life to go on in the common way.

So she set to work, and very soon finished off the cake.

The Pool of Tears

longneck

“Curiouser and curiouser!” cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English); “now I’m opening out like the largest telescope that ever was! Good-bye, feet!” (for when she looked down at her feet, they seemed to be almost out of sight, they were getting so far off). “Oh, my poor little feet, I wonder who will put on your shoes and stockings for you now, dears? I’m sure I shan’t be able! I shall be a great deal too far off to trouble myself about you: you must manage the best way you can—but I must be kind to them,” thought Alice, “or perhaps they won’t walk the way I want to go! Let me see: I’ll give them a new pair of boots every Christmas.”

And she went on planning to herself how she would manage it. “They must go by the carrier,” she thought; “and how funny it’ll seem, sending presents to one’s own feet! And how odd the directions will look!

Alice’s Right Foot, Esq.
Hearthrug,
near the Fender,
(with Alice’s love).

“Oh dear, what nonsense I’m talking!” just then her head struck against the roof of the hall: in fact she was now more than nine feet high, and she at once took up the little golden key and hurried off to the garden door.

Poor Alice! It was as much as she could do, lying down on one side, to look through into the garden with one eye; but to get through was more hopeless than ever: she sat down and began to cry again. “You ought to be ashamed of yourself,” said Alice, “a great girl like you” (she might well say this), “to go on crying in this way! Stop this moment, I tell you!” But she went on all the same, shedding gallons of tears, until there was a large pool all round her, about four inches deep and reaching half down the hall.

rabbit

After a time she heard a little pattering of feet in the distance, and she hastily dried her eyes to see what was coming. It was the White Rabbit returning, splendidly dressed, with a pair of white kid gloves in one hand and a large fan in the other: he came trotting along in a great hurry, muttering to himself as he came, “Oh! The Duchess, the Duchess! Oh! won’t she be savage if I’ve kept her waiting!” Alice felt so desperate that she was ready to ask help of any one; so, when the Rabbit came near her, she began, in a low, timid voice, “If you please, sir—” The Rabbit started violently, dropped the white kid gloves and the fan, and skurried away into the darkness as hard as he could go.

Alice took up the fan and gloves, and, as the hall was very hot, she kept fanning herself all the time she went on talking: “Dear, dear! How queer everything is to-day! And yesterday things went on just as usual. I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night? Let me think: was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is, Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle!” And she began thinking over all the children she knew that were of the same age as herself, to see if she could have been changed for any of them.

“I’m sure I’m not Ada,” she said, “for her hair goes in such long ringlets, and mine doesn’t go in ringlets at all; and I’m sure I can’t be Mabel, for I know all sorts of things, and she, oh! she knows such a very little! Besides, she’s she, and I’m I, and—oh dear, how puzzling it all is! I’ll try if I know all the things I used to know. Let me see: four times five is twelve, and four times six is thirteen, and four times seven is—oh dear! I shall never get to twenty at that rate! However, the Multiplication Table doesn’t signify: let’s try Geography. London is the capital of Paris, and Paris is the capital of Rome, and Rome—no, that’s all wrong, I’m certain! I must have been changed for Mabel! I’ll try and say ‘how doth the little—’” and she crossed her hands on her lap as if she were saying lessons, and began to repeat it, but her voice sounded hoarse and strange, and the words did not come the same as they used to do:

    • ”How doth the little crocodile
    • Improve his shining tail
    • And pour the waters of the Nile
    • On every golden scale!”
    • ”How cheerfully he seems to grin,
    • How neatly spreads his claws,
    • And welcomes little fishes in
    • With gentle smiling jaws!”

“I’m sure those are not the right words,” said poor Alice, and her eyes filled with tears again as she went on, “I must be Mabel after all, and I shall have to go and live in that poky little house, and have next to no toys to play with, and oh! ever so many lessons to learn. No, I’ve made up my mind about it; if I’m Mabel, I’ll stay down here! it’ll be no use their putting their heads down and saying “Come up again, dear!’ I shall only look up and say “Who am I then? Tell me that first, and then, if I like being that person, I’ll come up: if not, I’ll stay down here till I’m somebody else’—but, oh dear!” cried Alice, with a sudden burst of tears, “I do wish they would put their heads down! I am so very tired of being all alone here!”

As she said this she looked down at her hands, and was surprised to see that she had put on one of the Rabbit’s little white kid gloves while she was talking. “How can I have done that?” she thought. “I must be growing small again.” She got up and went to the table to measure herself by it, and found that, as “nearly as she could guess, she was now about two feet high, and was going on shrinking rapidly: she soon found out that the cause of this was the fan she was holding, and she dropped it hastily, just in time to save herself from shrinking away altogether.

pool

“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 high. “I wish I hadn’t cried so much!” said Alice, as she swam about, trying to find her way out. “I shall be punished for it now, I suppose by being drowned in my own tears! That will be a queer thing, to be sure! However, everything is queer to-day.”

swimming

Just then she heard something splashing about 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 dare say 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: “Où 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

queer-party

They were indeed a queer-looking party that I assembled on the bank—the birds with draggled feathers, the animals with their fur clinging close to them, and all dripping wet, cross, and uncomfortable.

The first question of course was, how to get dry again: they had a consultation about this, and after a few minutes it seemed quite natural to Alice to find herself talking familiarly with them, as if she had known them all her life, she had quite a long argument with the Lory, who at last turned sulky, and would only say, “I am older than you, and must know better”; and this Alice would not allow without knowing how old it was, and, as the Lory positively refused to tell its age, there was no more to be said.

At last the Mouse, who seemed to be a person of authority among them, called out, “Sit down, all of you, and listen to me! I’ll soon make you dry enough!” They all sat down at once, in a large ring, with the Mouse in the middle. Alice kept her eyes anxiously fixed on it, for she felt sure she would catch a bad cold if she did not get dry very soon.

“Ahem!” said the Mouse with an important air. “Are you all ready? This is the driest thing I know. Silence all round, if you please!” William the Conqueror, whose cause was favoured by the pope, was soon submitted to by the English, who wanted leaders, and had been of late much accustomed to usurpation and conquest. Edwin and Morcar, the earls of Mercia and Northumbria—”

“Ugh!” said the Lory, with a shiver.

“I beg your pardon!” said the Mouse, frowning, but very politely. “Did you speak?”

“Not I!” said the Lory hastily.

“I thought you did,” said the Mouse.—”I proceed. ‘Edwin and Morcar, the earls of Mercia and Northumbria, declared for him: and even Stigand, the patriotic Archbishop of Canterbury, found it advisable—”

“Found what?” said the Duck.

“Found it,” the Mouse replied rather crossly: “of course you know what ‘it’ means.”

“I know what ‘it’ means well enough, when I find a thing,” said the Duck: “it’s generally a frog or a worm. The question is, what did the Archbishop find?”

The Mouse did not notice this question, but hurriedly went on, “‘—found it advisable to go with Edgar Atheling to meet William and offer him the crown. William’s conduct at first was moderate. But the insolence of his Normans—’ How are you getting on now, my dear?” it continued, turning to Alice as it spoke.

“As wet as ever,” said Alice in a melancholy tone: “it doesn’t seem to dry me at all.”

“In that case,” said the Dodo solemnly, rising to its feet, “I move that the meeting adjourn, for the immediate adoption of more energetic remedies—”

“Speak English!” said the Eaglet. “I don’t know the meaning of half those long words, and, what’s more, I don’t believe you do either!” And the Eaglet bent down its head to hide a smile: some of the other birds tittered audibly.

“What I was going to say,” said the Dodo in an offended tone, “was, that the best thing to get us dry would be a Caucus-race.”

“What is a Caucus-race?” said Alice; not that she much wanted to know, but the Dodo had paused as if it thought that somebody ought to speak, and no one else seemed inclined to say anything.

“Why,” said the Dodo, “the best way to explain it is to do it.” (And, as you might like to try the thing yourself some winter day, I will tell you how the Dodo managed it.)

First it marked out a race-course, in a sort of circle (”the exact shape doesn’t matter,” it said), and then all the party were placed along the course, here and there. There was no “One, two, three, and away,” but they began running when they liked, and left off when they liked, so that it was not easy to know when the race was over. However, when they had been running half an hour or so, and were quite dry again, the Dodo suddenly called out “The race is over!” and they all crowded round it, panting, and asking, “But who has won?”

This question the Dodo could not answer without a great deal of thought, and it sat for a long time with one finger pressed upon its forehead (the position in which you usually see Shakespeare, in the pictures of him), while the rest waited in silence. at last the Dodo said, ”Everybody has won, and all must have prizes.”

“But who is to give the prizes?” quite a chorus of voices asked.

“Why, she, of course,” said the Dodo, pointing to Alice with one finger; and the whole party at once crowded round her, calling out in a confused way, “Prizes! Prizes!”

Alice had no idea what to do, and in despair she put her hand in her pocket, and pulled out a box of comfits (luckily the salt water had not got into it), and handed them round as prizes. There was exactly one a-piece all round.

“But she must have a prize herself, you know,” said the Mouse.

“Of course,” the Dodo replied very gravely. “What else have you got in your pocket?” he went on, turning to Alice.

“Only a thimble,” said Alice sadly.

“Hand it over here,” said the Dodo.

Then they all crowded round her once more, while the Dodo solemnly presented the thimble, saying, “We beg your acceptance of this elegant thimble”; and, when it had finished this short speech, they all cheered.

Alice thought the whole thing very absurd, but they all looked so grave that she did not dare to laugh; and, as she could not think of anything to say, she simply bowed, and took the thimble, looking as solemn as she could.

The next thing was to eat the comfits: this caused some noise and confusion, as the large birds complained that they could not taste theirs, and the small ones choked and had to be patted on the back. However, it was over at last, and they sat down again in a ring, and begged the Mouse to tell them something more.

“You promised to tell me your history, you know,” said Alice, “and why it is you hate—C and D,” she added in a whisper, half afraid that It would be offended again.

“Mine is a long and sad tale!” said the Mouse, turning to Alice and sighing.

“It is a long tail, certainly,” said Alice, looking down with wonder at the Mouse’s tail; “but why do you call it sad?” And she kept on puzzling about it while the Mouse was speaking, so that her idea of the tale was something like this:—“Fury said to

a mouse, That
        he met
          in the
           house,
            ‘Let us
           both go
         to law:
       I will
 prosecute
you.—
  Come, I’ll
     take no
       denial;
          We must
               have a
                   trial:
                      For
                  really
                this
                 morning
                      I’ve
                 nothing
              to do.’
            Said the
          mouse to
        the cur,
         ‘Such a
              trial,
         dear sir,
     With no
  jury or
 judge
   would be
      wasting
         our breath.’
              ‘I’ll be
             judge,
          I’ll be
       jury,’
      Said
       cunning
          old Fury!
              ‘I’ll try
                   the whole
                        cause,
                          and
                     condemn
                    you
                   to
                    death.’”
dodo

“You are not attending!” said the Mouse to Alice severely. “What are you thinking of?”

“I beg your pardon,” said Alice very humbly: “you had got to the fifth bend, I think?”

“I had not!” cried the Mouse,, angrily.

“A knot!” said Alice, always ready to make herself useful, and looking anxiously about her. “Oh, do let me help, to undo it!”

“I shall do nothing of the sort,” said the Mouse, getting up and walking away. “You insult me by talking such nonsense!”

“I didn’t mean it!” pleaded poor Alice. “But you’re so easily offended, you know!”

The Mouse only growled in reply.

“Please come back and finish your story!” Alice called after it. And the others all joined in chorus,

“Yes, please do!” but the Mouse only shook its head impatiently and walked a little quicker.

“What a pity it wouldn’t stay!” sighed the Lory, as soon as it was quite out of sight; and an old Crab took the opportunity of saying to her daughter, “Ah, my dear! Let this be a lesson to you never to lose your temper!” “Hold your tongue, Ma!” said the young Crab, a little snappishly. “You’re enough to try the patience of an oyster!”

“I wish I had our Dinah here, I know I do!” said Alice aloud, addressing nobody in particular. “She’d soon fetch it back!”

“And who is Dinah, if I might venture to ask the question?” said the Lory.

Alice replied eagerly, for she was always ready to talk about her pet: “Dinah’s our cat. And she’s such a capital one for catching mice, you can’t think! And oh, I wish you could see her after the birds! Why, she’ll eat a little bird as soon as look at it!”

This speech caused a remarkable sensation among the party. Some of the birds hurried off at once: one 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 and gloves.

“How queer it seems,” Alice said to herself, “to be going messages for a rabbit! I suppose Dinah’ll be sending me on messages next!” And she began fancying the sort of thing that would happen: “‘Miss Alice! Come here directly, and get ready for your walk!’ “Coming in a minute, nurse! But I’ve got to watch this mouse-hole till Dinah comes back, and see that the mouse doesn’t get out.’ Only I don’t think,” Alice went on, “that they’d let Dinah stop in the house if it began ordering people about like that!”

By this time she had found her way into a tidy little room with a table in the window, and on it (as she had hoped) a fan and two or three pairs of tiny white kid gloves: she took up the fan and a pair of the gloves, and was just going to leave the room, when her eye fell upon a little bottle that stood near the looking-glass. There was no label this time with the words “Drink Me,” but nevertheless she uncorked it and put it to her lips. “I know something interesting is sure to happen,” she said to herself, “whenever I eat or drink anything; so I’ll just see what this bottle does. I do hope it’ll make me grow large again, for really I’m quite tired of being such a tiny little thing!”

It did so indeed, and much sooner than she had expected: before she had drunk half the bottle, she found her head pressing against the ceiling, and had to stoop to save her neck from being broken. She hastily put down the bottle, saying to herself, “That’s quite enough—I hope I shan’t grow any more—as it is, I can’t get out at the door—I do wish I hadn’t drunk quite so much!”

Alas! it was too late to wish that! She went on growing, and growing, and very soon had to kneel down on the floor: in another minute there was not even room for this, and she tried the effect of lying down with one elbow against the door, and the other arm curled round her head. Still she went on growing, and, as a last resource, she put one arm out of the window, and one foot up the chimney, and said to herself, “Now I can do no more, whatever happens. What will become of me?”

Luckily for Alice, the little magic bottle had now had its full effect, and she grew no larger: still it was very uncomfortable, and, as there seemed to be no sort of chance of her ever getting out of the room again, no wonder she felt unhappy.

cramped

“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 fairytales, 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!”

bighand

And so she went on, taking first one side and then the other, and making quite a conversation of it altogether; but after a few minutes she heard a voice outside, and stopped to listen.

“Mary Ann! Mary Ann!” said the voice. “Fetch me my gloves this moment!” Then came a little pattering of feet on the stairs. Alice knew it was the Rabbit coming to look for her, and she trembled till she shook the house, quite forgetting that she was now about a thousand times as large as the Rabbit, and had no reason to be afraid of it.

Presently the Rabbit came up to the door, and tried to open it; but, as the door opened inwards, and Alice’s elbow was pressed hard against it, that attempt proved a failure. Alice heard it say to itself, “Then I’ll go round and get in at the window.”

That you won’t!” thought Alice, and, after waiting till she fancied she heard the Rabbit just under the window, she suddenly spread out her hand, and made a snatch in the air. She did not get hold of anything, but she heard a little shriek and a fall, and a crash of broken glass, from which she concluded that it was just possible it had fallen into a cucumber-frame, or something of the sort.

Next came an angry voice—the Rabbit’s—“Pat! Pat! Where are you?” And then a voice she had never heard before, “Sure then I’m here! Digging for apples, yer honour!”

“Digging for apples, indeed!” said the Rabbit angrily. “Here! Come and help me out of this!” (Sounds of more broken glass.)

“Now tell me, Pat, what’s that in the window?” “Sure, it’s an arm, yer honour!” (He pronounced it “arrum.”)

“An arm, you goose! Who ever saw one that size? Why, it fills the whole window!”

“Sure, it does, yer honour: but it’s an arm for all that.”

“Well, it’s got no business there, at any rate: go and take it away!”

There was a long silence after this, and Alice could only hear whispers now and then; such as, “Sure, I don’t like it, yer honour, at all, at all!” “Do as I tell you, you coward!” and at last she spread out her hand again, and made another snatch in the air. This time there were two little shrieks, and more sounds of broken glass. “What a number of cucumber-frames there must be!” thought Alice. “I wonder what they’ll do next! As for pulling me out of the window, I only wish they could! I’m sure I don’t want to stay in here any longer!”

kickbill

She waited for some time without hearing anything more: at last came a rumbling of little cart- wheels, 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’ve to go down the chimney!”

“Oh! So Bill’s got to come down the chimney, has he?” said Alice to herself. “Why, they seem to put everything upon Bill! I wouldn’t be in Bill’s place for a good deal: this fireplace is narrow, to be sure; but I think I can kick a little!”

She drew her foot as far down the chimney as she could, and waited till she heard a little animal (she couldn’t guess of what sort it was) scratching and scrambling about in the chimney close above her: then, saying to herself, “This is Bill,” she gave one sharp kick, and waited to see what would happen.

The first thing she heard was a general chorus of “There goes Bill!” then the Rabbit’s voice alone—“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!”

At last came a little feeble, squeaking voice (”That’s Bill,” thought Alice), “Well, I hardly know—No more, thank ye; I’m better now—but I’m a deal too flustered to tell you—all I know is, something comes at me like a Jack-in-the-box, and up I goes like a sky-rocket!”

“So you did, old fellow!” said the others.

“We must burn the house down!” said the Rabbit’s voice. And Alice called out as loud as she could, “If you do, I’ll set Dinah at you!” There was a dead silence instantly, and Alice thought to herself, “I wonder what they will do next! If they had any sense, they’d take the roof Off.” After a minute or two, they began moving about again, and Alice heard the Rabbit say, “A barrowful will do, to begin with.”

“A barrowful-of what?” thought Alice. But she had not long to doubt, for the next moment a shower of little pebbles came rattling in at the window, and some of them hit her in the face. “I’ll put a stop to this,” she said to herself, and shouted out, “You’d better not do that again!” which produced another dead silence.

Alice noticed with some surprise that the pebbles were all turning into little cakes as they lay on the floor, and a bright idea came into her head. “If I eat one of these cakes,” she thought, “it’s sure to make some change in my size; and, as it can’t possibly make me larger, it must make me smaller, I suppose.”

So she swallowed one of the cakes, and was delighted to find that she began shrinking directly. As soon as she was small enough to get through the door, she ran out of the house, and found quite a crowd of little animals and birds waiting outside. The poor little Lizard, Bill, was in the middle, being held up by two guinea-pigs, who were giving it something out of a bottle. They all made a rush at Alice the moment she appeared; but she ran off as hard as she could, and soon found herself safe in a thick wood.

“The first thing I’ve got to do,” said Alice to herself, as she wandered about in the wood, “is to grow to my right size again; and the second thing is to find my way into that lovely garden. I think that will be the best plan.”

puppy

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 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 could 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 weight 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 blue caterpillar, that was sitting on the top with its arms folded quietly smoking a long hookah, and taking not the smallest notice of her or of anything else.

Advice from a Caterpillar

hooka

The Caterpillar and Alice looked at each other for some time in silence: at last the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth, and addressed her in a languid sleepy voice.

“Who are you? ” said the Caterpillar. This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, “I—I hardly know, sir, just at present—at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.”

“What do you mean by that?” said the Caterpillar sternly. “Explain yourself!”

“I can’t explain myself, I’m afraid, sir,” said Alice, “because I’m not myself, you see.”

“I don’t see,” said the Caterpillar.

“I’m afraid I can’t put it more clearly,” Alice replied very politely, “for I can’t understand it myself to begin with; and being so many different sizes in a day is very confusing.”

“It isn’t,” said the Caterpillar.

“Well, perhaps you haven’t found it so yet,” said Alice; “but when you have to turn into a chrysalis—you will some day, you know—and then after that into a butterfly, I should think you’ll feel it a little queer, won’t you?”

“Not a bit,” said the Caterpillar.

“Well, perhaps your feelings may be different,” said Alice; “all I know is, it would feel very queer to me.

“You!” said the Caterpillar contemptuously. “Who are you?

Which brought them back again to the beginning of the conversation. Alice felt a little irritated at the caterpillar’s making such very short remarks, and she drew herself up and said, very gravely, “I think you 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 Caterpillar.

“Is that all?” said Alice, swallowing down her anger as well as she could.

“No,” said the Caterpillar.

Alice thought she might as well wait, as she had nothing else to do, and perhaps after all it might tell her something worth hearing. For some minutes it puffed away without speaking, but at last it unfolded its ams, took the hookah out of its mouth again, and said, “So you think you’re changed, do you ?”

“I’m afraid I am, sir,” said Alice; “I can’t remember things as I used—and I don’t keep the same size for ten minutes together!”

“Can’t remember what things?” said the Caterpillar.

“Well, I’ve tried to say ’How doth the little busy bee,’ but it all came different!” Alice replied in a very melancholy voice.

“Repeat ‘You are old, Father William,’” said the Caterpillar.

Alice folded her hands, and began:

  • williamhead
    • “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?”
  • somersault
    • “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 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.”
  • suet
    • “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 downstairs!”

“That is not said right,” said the Caterpillar.

“Not quite right, I’m afraid,” said Alice, timidly; some of the words have got altered.”

eel

“It is wrong from beginning to end,” said the Caterpillar decidedly, and there was silence for some minutes.

The Caterpillar was the first to speak.

“What size do you want to be?” it asked.

“Oh, I’m not particular as to size,” Alice hastily replied; “Only one doesn’t like changing so often, you know.”

“I don’t know,” said the Caterpillar. Alice said nothing: she had never been so much contradicted in all her life before, and she felt that she was losing her temper.

“Are you content now?” said the Caterpillar.

“Well, I should like to be a little larger, sir, if you wouldn’t mind,” said Alice: “three inches is such a wretched height to be.”

“It is a very good height indeed!” said the Caterpillar angrily, rearing itself upright as it spoke (it was exactly three inches high).

“But I’m not used to it!” pleaded poor Alice in a piteous tone. And she thought to 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 into 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 left-hand 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 he looked down, was an immense length of neck, which seemed to rise like a stalk out of a sea of green leaves that lay far below her.

“What can all that green stuff be?” said Alice. “And where have my shoulders got to?’ And oh, my poor hands, how is it I can’t see you?” She was moving them about as she spoke, but no result seemed to follow, except a little shaking among the distant green leaves.

As there seemed to be no chance of getting her hands up to her head, she tried to get her head down to them, and was delighted to find that her neck would bend about easily in any direction, like a serpent. She had just succeeded in curving it down into a graceful zigzag, and was going to dive in among the leaves, which she found to be nothing but the tops of the trees under which she had been wandering, when a sharp hiss made her draw back in a hurry: a large pigeon had flown into her face, and was beating her violently with its wings.

“Serpent!” screamed the Pigeon.

“I’m not a serpent!” said Alice indignantly. “Let me alone!”

“Serpent, I say again!” repeated the Pigeon, but in a more subdued tone, and added with a kind of sob, “I’ve tried every way, and nothing seems to suit them!”

“I haven’t the least idea what you’re talking about,” said Alice.

“I’ve tried the roots of trees, and I’ve tried, banks and I’ve tried hedges,” the Pigeon went on, without attending to her; “but those serpents! There’s no pleasing them!”

Alice was more and more puzzled, but she thought there was no use saying anything more till the Pigeon had finished.

“As if it wasn’t trouble enough hatching the eggs,” said the Pigeon; “but I must be on the look out for serpents night and day! Why, I haven’t had a wink of sleep these three weeks!”

“I’m very sorry you’ve been annoyed,” said Alice, who was beginning to see its meaning.

“And just as I’d taken the highest tree in the wood,” continued the Pigeon, raising its voice to a shriek, “and just as I was thinking I should be free of them at last, they, must needs come wriggling down from the sky! Ugh, Serpent!”

“But I’m not a serpent, I tell you!” said Alice “I’m a—-I’m a—-”

“Well! What are you?” said the Pigeon. “I can see you’re trying to invent something!”

“I—I’m a little girl,” said Alice, rather doubtfully, as she remembered the number of changes she had gone through that day.

“A likely story indeed!” said the Pigeon in tone of the deepest contempt. “I’ve seen a good many little girls in my time, but never one with such a neck as that! No, no! You’re a serpent; and there’s no use denying it. I suppose you’ll be telling me next that you never tasted an egg!”

“I have tasted eggs, certainly,” said Alice, who was a very truthful child; “but little girls eat eggs quite as much as serpents do, you know.”

“I don’t believe it,” said the Pigeon; “but if they do, why, then they’re a kind of serpent, that’s all I can say.” This was such a new idea to Alice, that she was quite silent for a minute or two, which gave the pigeon the opportunity of adding, “You’re looking for eggs, I know that well enough; and what does 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 at 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 right-hand bit again, and did not venture to go near the house till she had brought herself down to nine inches high.

Pig and Pepper

For a minute or two she stood looking at the house, and wondering what to do next, when suddenly a footman in livery came running out of the wood—(she considered him to be a footman because he was in livery: otherwise, judging by his face only she would have called him a fish)—and rapped loudly at the door with his knuckles. It was opened by another footman in livery, with a round face, and large eyes like a frog; and both footmen, Alice noticed, had powdered hair that curled all over their heads. She felt very curious to know what it was all about, and crept a little way out of the wood to listen.

The Fish-Footman began by producing from under his arm a great letter, nearly as large as himself, and this he handed over to the other, saying, in a solemn tone, “For the Duchess. An invitation from the Queen to play croquet.” The Frog-Footman repeated, in the same solemn tone, only changing the order of the words a little, “From the Queen. An invitation for the Duchess to play croquet.”

footman

Then they both bowed low, and their curls got entangled together.

Alice laughed so much at this, that she had to run back into the wood for fear of their hearing her; and, when she next peeped out, the Fish-Footman was gone, and the other was sitting on the ground near the door, staring stupidly up into the sky.

Alice went timidly up to the door, and knocked.

“There’s no sort of use in knocking,” said the Footman, “and that for two reasons. First, because I’m on the same side of the door as you are—secondly, because they’re making such a noise inside, no one could possibly hear you.” And certainly there was a most extraordinary noise going on within—a constant howling and sneezing, and every now and then a great crash, as if a dish or kettle had been broken to pieces.

“Please, then,” said Alice, “how am I to get in?”

“There might be some sense in your knocking,’ the Footman went on without attending to her, “if we had the door between us. For instance, if you were inside, you might knock, and I could let you out, you know.” He was looking up into the sky all the time he was speaking, and this Alice thought decidedly uncivil. “But perhaps he can’t help it, she said to herself; “his eyes are so very nearly at the top of his head. But at any rate he might answer questions—How am I to get in?” she repeated, aloud.

“I shall sit here,” the Footman remarked, “till tomorrow—”

At this moment the door of the house opened, and a large plate came skimming out, straight at the Footman’s head: it just grazed his nose, and broke to pieces against one of the trees behind him.

“—or next day, maybe,” the Footman continued in the same tone, exactly as if nothing had happened.

“How am I to get in?” asked Alice again, in a louder tone. “Are you to get in at all?” said the Footman “That’s the first question, you know.”

It was, no doubt: only Alice did not like to be told so. “It’s really dreadful,” she muttered to herself, “the way all the creatures argue. It’s enough to drive one crazy!”

The Footman seemed to think this a good opportunity for repeating his remark, with variations “I shall sit here,” he said, “on and off, for days and days.”

“But what am I to do?” said Alice.

“Anything you like,” said the Footman, and began whistling.

“Oh, there’s no use in talking to him,” said Alice desperately: “he’s perfectly idiotic!” And she opened the door and went in.

The door led right into a large kitchen, which was full of smoke from one end to the other: the Duchess was sitting on a three-legged stool in the middle, nursing a baby; the cook was leaning over the fire, stirring a large cauldron which seemed to be full of soup.

“There’s certainly too much pepper in that soup!” Alice said to herself, as well as she could for sneezing.

There was certainly too much of it in the air. Even the Duchess sneezed occasionally; and the baby 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 her, so she took courage, and went on again: “I didn’t know that Cheshire cats always grinned; in fact, I didn’t know that cats could grin.”

“They all can,” said the Duchess; “and most of ‘em do.”

“I don’t know of any that do,” Alice said very politely, feeling quite pleased to have got into a conversation.

“You don’t know much,” said the Duchess; “and that’s a fact.”

Alice did not at all like the tone of this remark, and thought it would be as well to introduce some other subject of conversation. While she was trying to fix on one, the cook took the cauldron of soup off the fire, and at once set to work throwing everything within her reach at the Duchess and the baby—the fire-irons came first; then followed a shower of saucepans, plates, and dishes. The Duchess took no notice of them even when they hit her; and the baby was howling so much already, that it was quite impossible to say whether the blows hurt it or not.

pepper

“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 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 engaged in stirring the soup, and did not seem to be listening, so she ventured to go on again

“Twenty-four hours, I think; or is it twelve?

“Oh, don’t bother me,” said the Duchess; “I never could abide figures!” And with that she began nursing her child again, singing a sort of lullaby to it as she did so, and giving it a violent shake at the end of every line:—

  • “Speak roughly to your little boy,
  • And beat him when he sneezes:
  • He only does it to annoy,
  • Because he knows it teases.”

Chorus

(In which the cook and baby joined):—

“Wow! wow! Wow!”

While the Duchess sang the second verse of the song, she kept tossing the baby violently up and down, and the poor little thing howled so, that Alice could hardly hear the words:—

  • “I speak severely to my boy,
  • I beat him when he sneezes;
  • For he can thoroughly enjoy
  • The pepper when he pleases!”

Chorus

“Wow! wow! Wow!”

“Here! you may nurse it a bit, if you like!” the Duchess said to Alice, flinging the baby at her as he spoke. “I must go and get ready to play croquet with the Queen,” and she hurried out of he 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 starfish,” 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.

pig

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 any 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

“Cheshire Puss,” she began, rather timidly, as she did not at all know whether it would like the name: however, it only grinned a little wider. “Come, it’s pleased so far,” thought Alice, and she went on. “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

“I don’t much care where—” said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

“—so long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an explanation.

“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”

Alice felt that this could not be denied, so she tried another question. “What sort of people live about here?”

“In that direction,” the Cat said, waving its right paw round, “lives a Hatter: and in that direction,” waving the other paw, “lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they’re both mad.”

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.

“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”

“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.

“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

Alice didn’t think that proved it at all; however, she went on. “And how do you know that you’re mad ?”

“To begin with,” said the Cat, “a dog’s not mad. You grant that?”

“I suppose so,” said Alice.

“Well, then,” the Cat went on, “you see, a dog growls when it’s angry, and wags its tail when it’s pleased. Now I growl when I’m pleased, and wag my tail when I’m angry. Therefore I’m mad.”

“I call it purring, not growling,” said Alice.

“Call it what you like,” said the Cat. “Do you play croquet with the Queen to-day?”

“I should like it very much,” said Alice, “but I haven’t been invited yet.”

“You’ll see me there,” said the Cat, and vanished.

Alice was not much surprised at this, she was getting so used to queer things happening. While she was looking at the place where it had been, it suddenly appeared again.

“By-the-bye, what became of the baby?” said the cat. “I’d nearly forgotten to ask.”

“It turned into a pig,” Alice quietly said, just as if it had come back in a natural way.

“I thought it would,” said the Cat, and vanished again

Alice waited a little, half expecting to see it again, but it did not appear, and after a minute or two she walked on in the direction in which the March Hare was said to live. “I’ve seen hatters before,” she said to herself; “the March Hare will be much the most interesting, and perhaps, as this is May, it won’t be raving mad—at least not so mad as it was in March.” As she said this, she looked up, and there as the Cat again, sitting on a branch of a tree.

“Did you say pig, or fig?” said the Cat.

“I said pig,” replied Alice; “and I wish you wouldn’t keep appearing and vanishing so suddenly: you make one quite giddy.”

“All right,” said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone.

“Well! I’ve often seen a cat without a grin,” thought Alice; “but a grin without a cat! It’s the most curious thing I ever saw in all my life!”

cheshire2

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 left-hand 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

Here 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 resting their elbows on it, and talking over its head.

“Very uncomfortable for the Dormouse,” thought Alice; “only, as it’s asleep, I suppose it doesn’t mind.”

The table was a large one, but the three were all crowded together at one corner of it. “No room! No room!” they cried out when they saw Alice coming. “There’s plenty of room!” said Alice indignantly, and she sat down in a large arm-chair at one end of the table.

“Have some wine,” the March Hare said in an encouraging tone.

Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea. “I don’t see any wine,” she remarked.

“There isn’t any,” said the March Hare.

“Then it wasn’t very civil of you to offer it,” said Alice angrily.

“It wasn’t very civil of you to sit down without being invited,” said the March Hare.

“I didn’t know it was your table,” said Alice; “it’s laid for a great many more than three.”

“Your hair wants cutting,” said the Hatter. He had been looking at Alice for some time with great curiosity, and this was his first speech.

“You shouldn’t make personal remarks,” Alice said with some severity; “it’s very rude.”

The Hatter opened his eyes very wide on hearing this; but all he said was, “Why is a raven like a writing-desk?”

“Come we shall have some fun now!” thought Alice. “I’m glad they’ve begun asking riddles. I believe I can guess that,” she added aloud.