Through the Looking-Glass
Lewis Carroll [Charles Dodgson]
Part 1 out of 3
Through the Looking-Glass, by Lewis Carroll [Charles Dodgson]
[Originally released February/March, 1991 as Etext #12]
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THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS
by LEWIS CARROLL
THE MILLENNIUM FULCRUM EDITION 1.7
One thing was certain, that the WHITE kitten had had nothing to
do with it:--it was the black kitten's fault entirely. For the
white kitten had been having its face washed by the old cat for
the last quarter of an hour (and bearing it pretty well,
considering); so you see that it COULDN'T have had any hand in
The way Dinah washed her children's faces was this: first she
held the poor thing down by its ear with one paw, and then with
the other paw she rubbed its face all over, the wrong way,
beginning at the nose: and just now, as I said, she was hard at
work on the white kitten, which was lying quite still and trying
to purr--no doubt feeling that it was all meant for its good.
But the black kitten had been finished with earlier in the
afternoon, and so, while Alice was sitting curled up in a corner
of the great arm-chair, half talking to herself and half asleep,
the kitten had been having a grand game of romps with the ball of
worsted Alice had been trying to wind up, and had been rolling it
up and down till it had all come undone again; and there it was,
spread over the hearth-rug, all knots and tangles, with the
kitten running after its own tail in the middle.
'Oh, you wicked little thing!' cried Alice, catching up the
kitten, and giving it a little kiss to make it understand that it
was in disgrace. 'Really, Dinah ought to have taught you better
manners! You OUGHT, Dinah, you know you ought!' she added,
looking reproachfully at the old cat, and speaking in as cross a
voice as she could manage--and then she scrambled back into the
arm-chair, taking the kitten and the worsted with her, and began
winding up the ball again. But she didn't get on very fast, as
she was talking all the time, sometimes to the kitten, and
sometimes to herself. Kitty sat very demurely on her knee,
pretending to watch the progress of the winding, and now and then
putting out one paw and gently touching the ball, as if it would
be glad to help, if it might.
'Do you know what to-morrow is, Kitty?' Alice began. 'You'd
have guessed if you'd been up in the window with me--only Dinah
was making you tidy, so you couldn't. I was watching the boys
getting in sticks for the bonfire--and it wants plenty of
sticks, Kitty! Only it got so cold, and it snowed so, they had
to leave off. Never mind, Kitty, we'll go and see the bonfire
to-morrow.' Here Alice wound two or three turns of the worsted
round the kitten's neck, just to see how it would look: this led
to a scramble, in which the ball rolled down upon the floor, and
yards and yards of it got unwound again.
'Do you know, I was so angry, Kitty,' Alice went on as soon as
they were comfortably settled again, 'when I saw all the mischief
you had been doing, I was very nearly opening the window, and
putting you out into the snow! And you'd have deserved it, you
little mischievous darling! What have you got to say for
yourself? Now don't interrupt me!' she went on, holding up one
finger. 'I'm going to tell you all your faults. Number one:
you squeaked twice while Dinah was washing your face this
morning. Now you can't deny it, Kitty: I heard you! What's that
you say?' (pretending that the kitten was speaking.) 'Her paw
went into your eye? Well, that's YOUR fault, for keeping your
eyes open--if you'd shut them tight up, it wouldn't have
happened. Now don't make any more excuses, but listen! Number
two: you pulled Snowdrop away by the tail just as I had put down
the saucer of milk before her! What, you were thirsty, were you?
How do you know she wasn't thirsty too? Now for number three:
you unwound every bit of the worsted while I wasn't looking!
'That's three faults, Kitty, and you've not been punished for
any of them yet. You know I'm saving up all your punishments for
Wednesday week--Suppose they had saved up all MY punishments!'
she went on, talking more to herself than the kitten. 'What
WOULD they do at the end of a year? I should be sent to prison,
I suppose, when the day came. Or--let me see--suppose each
punishment was to be going without a dinner: then, when the
miserable day came, I should have to go without fifty dinners at
once! Well, I shouldn't mind THAT much! I'd far rather go
without them than eat them!
'Do you hear the snow against the window-panes, Kitty? How
nice and soft it sounds! Just as if some one was kissing the
window all over outside. I wonder if the snow LOVES the trees
and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers
them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says,
"Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again." And when
they wake up in the summer, Kitty, they dress themselves all in
green, and dance about--whenever the wind blows--oh, that's
very pretty!' cried Alice, dropping the ball of worsted to clap
her hands. 'And I do so WISH it was true! I'm sure the woods
look sleepy in the autumn, when the leaves are getting brown.
'Kitty, can you play chess? Now, don't smile, my dear, I'm
asking it seriously. Because, when we were playing just now, you
watched just as if you understood it: and when I said "Check!"
you purred! Well, it WAS a nice check, Kitty, and really I might
have won, if it hadn't been for that nasty Knight, that came
wiggling down among my pieces. Kitty, dear, let's pretend--'
And here I wish I could tell you half the things Alice used to
say, beginning with her favourite phrase 'Let's pretend.' She
had had quite a long argument with her sister only the day before
--all because Alice had begun with 'Let's pretend we're kings
and queens;' and her sister, who liked being very exact, had
argued that they couldn't, because there were only two of them,
and Alice had been reduced at last to say, 'Well, YOU can be one
of them then, and I'LL be all the rest.' And once she had really
frightened her old nurse by shouting suddenly in her ear, 'Nurse!
Do let's pretend that I'm a hungry hyaena, and you're a bone.'
But this is taking us away from Alice's speech to the kitten.
'Let's pretend that you're the Red Queen, Kitty! Do you know, I
think if you sat up and folded your arms, you'd look exactly like
her. Now do try, there's a dear!' And Alice got the Red Queen
off the table, and set it up before the kitten as a model for it
to imitate: however, the thing didn't succeed, principally,
Alice said, because the kitten wouldn't fold its arms properly.
So, to punish it, she held it up to the Looking-glass, that it
might see how sulky it was--'and if you're not good directly,'
she added, 'I'll put you through into Looking-glass House. How
would you like THAT?'
'Now, if you'll only attend, Kitty, and not talk so much, I'll
tell you all my ideas about Looking-glass House. First, there's
the room you can see through the glass--that's just the same as
our drawing room, only the things go the other way. I can see
all of it when I get upon a chair--all but the bit behind the
fireplace. Oh! I do so wish I could see THAT bit! I want so
much to know whether they've a fire in the winter: you never CAN
tell, you know, unless our fire smokes, and then smoke comes up
in that room too--but that may be only pretence, just to make
it look as if they had a fire. Well then, the books are
something like our books, only the words go the wrong way; I know
that, because I've held up one of our books to the glass, and
then they hold up one in the other room.
'How would you like to live in Looking-glass House, Kitty? I
wonder if they'd give you milk in there? Perhaps Looking-glass
milk isn't good to drink--But oh, Kitty! now we come to the
passage. You can just see a little PEEP of the passage in
Looking-glass House, if you leave the door of our drawing-room
wide open: and it's very like our passage as far as you can see,
only you know it may be quite different on beyond. Oh, Kitty!
how nice it would be if we could only get through into Looking-
glass House! I'm sure it's got, oh! such beautiful things in it!
Let's pretend there's a way of getting through into it, somehow,
Kitty. Let's pretend the glass has got all soft like gauze, so
that we can get through. Why, it's turning into a sort of mist
now, I declare! It'll be easy enough to get through--' She
was up on the chimney-piece while she said this, though she
hardly knew how she had got there. And certainly the glass WAS
beginning to melt away, just like a bright silvery mist.
In another moment Alice was through the glass, and had jumped
lightly down into the Looking-glass room. The very first thing
she did was to look whether there was a fire in the fireplace,
and she was quite pleased to find that there was a real one,
blazing away as brightly as the one she had left behind. 'So I
shall be as warm here as I was in the old room,' thought Alice:
'warmer, in fact, because there'll be no one here to scold me
away from the fire. Oh, what fun it'll be, when they see me
through the glass in here, and can't get at me!'
Then she began looking about, and noticed that what could be
seen from the old room was quite common and uninteresting, but
that all the rest was as different as possible. For instance, the
pictures on the wall next the fire seemed to be all alive, and
the very clock on the chimney-piece (you know you can only see
the back of it in the Looking-glass) had got the face of a little
old man, and grinned at her.
'They don't keep this room so tidy as the other,' Alice thought
to herself, as she noticed several of the chessmen down in the
hearth among the cinders: but in another moment, with a little
'Oh!' of surprise, she was down on her hands and knees watching
them. The chessmen were walking about, two and two!
'Here are the Red King and the Red Queen,' Alice said (in a
whisper, for fear of frightening them), 'and there are the White
King and the White Queen sitting on the edge of the shovel--and
here are two castles walking arm in arm--I don't think they can
hear me,' she went on, as she put her head closer down, 'and I'm
nearly sure they can't see me. I feel somehow as if I were
Here something began squeaking on the table behind Alice, and
made her turn her head just in time to see one of the White Pawns
roll over and begin kicking: she watched it with great
curiosity to see what would happen next.
'It is the voice of my child!' the White Queen cried out as she
rushed past the King, so violently that she knocked him over
among the cinders. 'My precious Lily! My imperial kitten!' and
she began scrambling wildly up the side of the fender.
'Imperial fiddlestick!' said the King, rubbing his nose, which
had been hurt by the fall. He had a right to be a LITTLE annoyed
with the Queen, for he was covered with ashes from head to foot.
Alice was very anxious to be of use, and, as the poor little
Lily was nearly screaming herself into a fit, she hastily picked
up the Queen and set her on the table by the side of her noisy
The Queen gasped, and sat down: the rapid journey through the
air had quite taken away her breath and for a minute or two she
could do nothing but hug the little Lily in silence. As soon as
she had recovered her breath a little, she called out to the
White King, who was sitting sulkily among the ashes, 'Mind the
'What volcano?' said the King, looking up anxiously into the
fire, as if he thought that was the most likely place to find
'Blew--me--up,' panted the Queen, who was still a little
out of breath. 'Mind you come up--the regular way--don't get
Alice watched the White King as he slowly struggled up from bar
to bar, till at last she said, 'Why, you'll be hours and hours
getting to the table, at that rate. I'd far better help you,
hadn't I?' But the King took no notice of the question: it was
quite clear that he could neither hear her nor see her.
So Alice picked him up very gently, and lifted him across more
slowly than she had lifted the Queen, that she mightn't take his
breath away: but, before she put him on the table, she thought
she might as well dust him a little, he was so covered with
She said afterwards that she had never seen in all her life
such a face as the King made, when he found himself held in the
air by an invisible hand, and being dusted: he was far too much
astonished to cry out, but his eyes and his mouth went on getting
larger and larger, and rounder and rounder, till her hand shook
so with laughing that she nearly let him drop upon the floor.
'Oh! PLEASE don't make such faces, my dear!' she cried out,
quite forgetting that the King couldn't hear her. 'You make me
laugh so that I can hardly hold you! And don't keep your mouth
so wide open! All the ashes will get into it--there, now I
think you're tidy enough!' she added, as she smoothed his hair,
and set him upon the table near the Queen.
The King immediately fell flat on his back, and lay perfectly
still: and Alice was a little alarmed at what she had done, and
went round the room to see if she could find any water to throw
over him. However, she could find nothing but a bottle of ink,
and when she got back with it she found he had recovered, and he
and the Queen were talking together in a frightened whisper--so
low, that Alice could hardly hear what they said.
The King was saying, 'I assure, you my dear, I turned cold to
the very ends of my whiskers!'
To which the Queen replied, 'You haven't got any whiskers.'
'The horror of that moment,' the King went on, 'I shall never,
'You will, though,' the Queen said, 'if you don't make a
memorandum of it.'
Alice looked on with great interest as the King took an
enormous memorandum-book out of his pocket, and began writing. A
sudden thought struck her, and she took hold of the end of the
pencil, which came some way over his shoulder, and began writing
The poor King looked puzzled and unhappy, and struggled with the
pencil for some time without saying anything; but Alice was too
strong for him, and at last he panted out, 'My dear! I really
MUST get a thinner pencil. I can't manage this one a bit; it
writes all manner of things that I don't intend--'
'What manner of things?' said the Queen, looking over the book
(in which Alice had put 'THE WHITE KNIGHT IS SLIDING DOWN THE
POKER. HE BALANCES VERY BADLY') 'That's not a memorandum of
There was a book lying near Alice on the table, and while she
sat watching the White King (for she was still a little anxious
about him, and had the ink all ready to throw over him, in case
he fainted again), she turned over the leaves, to find some part
that she could read, '--for it's all in some language I don't
know,' she said to herself.
It was like this.
sevot yhtils eht dna ,gillirb sawT'
ebaw eht ni elbmig dna eryg diD
,sevogorob eht erew ysmim llA
.ebargtuo shtar emom eht dnA
She puzzled over this for some time, but at last a bright
thought struck her. 'Why, it's a Looking-glass book, of course!
And if I hold it up to a glass, the words will all go the right
This was the poem that Alice read.
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
'Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!'
He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought--
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.
And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!
One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.
'And has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
'It seems very pretty,' she said when she had finished it, 'but
it's RATHER hard to understand!' (You see she didn't like to
confess, ever to herself, that she couldn't make it out at all.)
'Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas--only I don't
exactly know what they are! However, SOMEBODY killed SOMETHING:
that's clear, at any rate--'
'But oh!' thought Alice, suddenly jumping up, 'if I don't make
haste I shall have to go back through the Looking-glass, before
I've seen what the rest of the house is like! Let's have a look
at the garden first!' She was out of the room in a moment, and
ran down stairs--or, at least, it wasn't exactly running, but a
new invention of hers for getting down stairs quickly and easily,
as Alice said to herself. She just kept the tips of her fingers
on the hand-rail, and floated gently down without even touching
the stairs with her feet; then she floated on through the hall,
and would have gone straight out at the door in the same way, if
she hadn't caught hold of the door-post. She was getting a
little giddy with so much floating in the air, and was rather
glad to find herself walking again in the natural way.
The Garden of Live Flowers
'I should see the garden far better,' said Alice to herself,
'if I could get to the top of that hill: and here's a path that
leads straight to it--at least, no, it doesn't do that--'
(after going a few yards along the path, and turning several
sharp corners), 'but I suppose it will at last. But how
curiously it twists! It's more like a corkscrew than a path!
Well, THIS turn goes to the hill, I suppose--no, it doesn't!
This goes straight back to the house! Well then, I'll try it the
And so she did: wandering up and down, and trying turn after
turn, but always coming back to the house, do what she would.
Indeed, once, when she turned a corner rather more quickly than
usual, she ran against it before she could stop herself.
'It's no use talking about it,' Alice said, looking up at the
house and pretending it was arguing with her. 'I'm NOT going in
again yet. I know I should have to get through the Looking-glass
again--back into the old room--and there'd be an end of all
So, resolutely turning her back upon the house, she set out once
more down the path, determined to keep straight on till she got to
the hill. For a few minutes all went on well, and she was just
saying, 'I really SHALL do it this time--' when the path gave a
sudden twist and shook itself (as she described it afterwards),
and the next moment she found herself actually walking in at the
'Oh, it's too bad!' she cried. 'I never saw such a house for
getting in the way! Never!'
However, there was the hill full in sight, so there was nothing
to be done but start again. This time she came upon a large
flower-bed, with a border of daisies, and a willow-tree growing
in the middle.
'O Tiger-lily,' said Alice, addressing herself to one that was
waving gracefully about in the wind, 'I WISH you could talk!'
'We CAN talk,' said the Tiger-lily: 'when there's anybody
worth talking to.'
Alice was so astonished that she could not speak for a minute:
it quite seemed to take her breath away. At length, as the
Tiger-lily only went on waving about, she spoke again, in a timid
voice--almost in a whisper. 'And can ALL the flowers talk?'
'As well as YOU can,' said the Tiger-lily. 'And a great deal
'It isn't manners for us to begin, you know,' said the Rose,
'and I really was wondering when you'd speak! Said I to myself,
"Her face has got SOME sense in it, though it's not a clever
one!" Still, you're the right colour, and that goes a long way.'
'I don't care about the colour,' the Tiger-lily remarked. 'If
only her petals curled up a little more, she'd be all right.'
Alice didn't like being criticised, so she began asking
questions. 'Aren't you sometimes frightened at being planted out
here, with nobody to take care of you?'
'There's the tree in the middle,' said the Rose: 'what else is
it good for?'
'But what could it do, if any danger came?' Alice asked.
'It says "Bough-wough!" cried a Daisy: 'that's why its
branches are called boughs!'
'Didn't you know THAT?' cried another Daisy, and here they all
began shouting together, till the air seemed quite full of little
shrill voices. 'Silence, every one of you!' cried the Tiger-
lily, waving itself passionately from side to side, and trembling
with excitement. 'They know I can't get at them!' it panted,
bending its quivering head towards Alice, 'or they wouldn't dare
to do it!'
'Never mind!' Alice said in a soothing tone, and stooping down
to the daisies, who were just beginning again, she whispered, 'If
you don't hold your tongues, I'll pick you!'
There was silence in a moment, and several of the pink daisies
'That's right!' said the Tiger-lily. 'The daisies are worst of
all. When one speaks, they all begin together, and it's enough
to make one wither to hear the way they go on!'
'How is it you can all talk so nicely?' Alice said, hoping to
get it into a better temper by a compliment. 'I've been in many
gardens before, but none of the flowers could talk.'
'Put your hand down, and feel the ground,' said the Tiger-lily.
'Then you'll know why.
Alice did so. 'It's very hard,' she said, 'but I don't see
what that has to do with it.'
'In most gardens,' the Tiger-lily said, 'they make the beds
too soft--so that the flowers are always asleep.'
This sounded a very good reason, and Alice was quite pleased to
know it. 'I never thought of that before!' she said.
'It's MY opinion that you never think AT ALL,' the Rose said in
a rather severe tone.
'I never saw anybody that looked stupider,' a Violet said, so
suddenly, that Alice quite jumped; for it hadn't spoken before.
'Hold YOUR tongue!' cried the Tiger-lily. 'As if YOU ever saw
anybody! You keep your head under the leaves, and snore away
there, till you know no more what's going on in the world, than
if you were a bud!'
'Are there any more people in the garden besides me?' Alice
said, not choosing to notice the Rose's last remark.
'There's one other flower in the garden that can move about
like you,' said the Rose. 'I wonder how you do it--' ('You're
always wondering,' said the Tiger-lily), 'but she's more bushy
than you are.'
'Is she like me?' Alice asked eagerly, for the thought crossed
her mind, 'There's another little girl in the garden, somewhere!'
'Well, she has the same awkward shape as you,' the Rose said,
'but she's redder--and her petals are shorter, I think.'
'Her petals are done up close, almost like a dahlia,' the
Tiger-lily interrupted: 'not tumbled about anyhow, like yours.'
'But that's not YOUR fault,' the Rose added kindly: 'you're
beginning to fade, you know--and then one can't help one's
petals getting a little untidy.'
Alice didn't like this idea at all: so, to change the subject,
she asked 'Does she ever come out here?'
'I daresay you'll see her soon,' said the Rose. 'She's one of
the thorny kind.'
'Where does she wear the thorns?' Alice asked with some
'Why all round her head, of course,' the Rose replied. 'I was
wondering YOU hadn't got some too. I thought it was the regular
'She's coming!' cried the Larkspur. 'I hear her footstep,
thump, thump, thump, along the gravel-walk!'
Alice looked round eagerly, and found that it was the Red
Queen. 'She's grown a good deal!' was her first remark. She had
indeed: when Alice first found her in the ashes, she had been
only three inches high--and here she was, half a head taller
than Alice herself!
'It's the fresh air that does it,' said the Rose:
'wonderfully fine air it is, out here.'
'I think I'll go and meet her,' said Alice, for, though the
flowers were interesting enough, she felt that it would be far
grander to have a talk with a real Queen.
'You can't possibly do that,' said the Rose: '_I_ should
advise you to walk the other way.'
This sounded nonsense to Alice, so she said nothing, but set
off at once towards the Red Queen. To her surprise, she lost
sight of her in a moment, and found herself walking in at the
A little provoked, she drew back, and after looking everywhere
for the queen (whom she spied out at last, a long way off), she
thought she would try the plan, this time, of walking in the
It succeeded beautifully. She had not been walking a minute
before she found herself face to face with the Red Queen, and
full in sight of the hill she had been so long aiming at.
'Where do you come from?' said the Red Queen. 'And where are
you going? Look up, speak nicely, and don't twiddle your fingers
all the time.'
Alice attended to all these directions, and explained, as well
as she could, that she had lost her way.
'I don't know what you mean by YOUR way,' said the Queen: 'all
the ways about here belong to ME--but why did you come out here
at all?' she added in a kinder tone. 'Curtsey while you're
thinking what to say, it saves time.'
Alice wondered a little at this, but she was too much in awe of
the Queen to disbelieve it. 'I'll try it when I go home,' she
thought to herself, 'the next time I'm a little late for dinner.'
'It's time for you to answer now,' the Queen said, looking at
her watch: 'open your mouth a LITTLE wider when you speak, and
always say "your Majesty."'
'I only wanted to see what the garden was like, your Majesty--'
'That's right,' said the Queen, patting her on the head, which
Alice didn't like at all, 'though, when you say "garden,"--I'VE
seen gardens, compared with which this would be a wilderness.'
Alice didn't dare to argue the point, but went on: '--and I
thought I'd try and find my way to the top of that hill--'
'When you say "hill,"' the Queen interrupted, '_I_ could show
you hills, in comparison with which you'd call that a valley.'
'No, I shouldn't,' said Alice, surprised into contradicting her
at last: 'a hill CAN'T be a valley, you know. That would be
The Red Queen shook her head, 'You may call it "nonsense" if
you like,' she said, 'but I'VE heard nonsense, compared with
which that would be as sensible as a dictionary!'
Alice curtseyed again, as she was afraid from the Queen's tone
that she was a LITTLE offended: and they walked on in silence
till they got to the top of the little hill.
For some minutes Alice stood without speaking, looking out in
all directions over the country--and a most curious country it
was. There were a number of tiny little brooks running straight
across it from side to side, and the ground between was divided
up into squares by a number of little green hedges, that reached
from brook to brook.
'I declare it's marked out just like a large chessboard!' Alice
said at last. 'There ought to be some men moving about somewhere
--and so there are!' She added in a tone of delight, and her
heart began to beat quick with excitement as she went on. 'It's
a great huge game of chess that's being played--all over the
world--if this IS the world at all, you know. Oh, what fun it
is! How I WISH I was one of them! I wouldn't mind being a Pawn,
if only I might join--though of course I should LIKE to be a
She glanced rather shyly at the real Queen as she said this,
but her companion only smiled pleasantly, and said, 'That's
easily managed. You can be the White Queen's Pawn, if you like,
as Lily's too young to play; and you're in the Second Square to
begin with: when you get to the Eighth Square you'll be a Queen
--' Just at this moment, somehow or other, they began to run.
Alice never could quite make out, in thinking it over
afterwards, how it was that they began: all she remembers is,
that they were running hand in hand, and the Queen went so fast
that it was all she could do to keep up with her: and still the
Queen kept crying 'Faster! Faster!' but Alice felt she COULD NOT
go faster, though she had not breath left to say so.
The most curious part of the thing was, that the trees and the
other things round them never changed their places at all:
however fast they went, they never seemed to pass anything. 'I
wonder if all the things move along with us?' thought poor
puzzled Alice. And the Queen seemed to guess her thoughts, for
she cried, 'Faster! Don't try to talk!'
Not that Alice had any idea of doing THAT. She felt as if she
would never be able to talk again, she was getting so much out of
breath: and still the Queen cried 'Faster! Faster!' and dragged
her along. 'Are we nearly there?' Alice managed to pant out at
'Nearly there!' the Queen repeated. 'Why, we passed it ten
minutes ago! Faster!' And they ran on for a time in silence,
with the wind whistling in Alice's ears, and almost blowing her
hair off her head, she fancied.
'Now! Now!' cried the Queen. 'Faster! Faster!' And they
went so fast that at last they seemed to skim through the air,
hardly touching the ground with their feet, till suddenly, just
as Alice was getting quite exhausted, they stopped, and she found
herself sitting on the ground, breathless and giddy.
The Queen propped her up against a tree, and said kindly, 'You
may rest a little now.'
Alice looked round her in great surprise. 'Why, I do believe
we've been under this tree the whole time! Everything's just as
'Of course it is,' said the Queen, 'what would you have it?'
'Well, in OUR country,' said Alice, still panting a little,
'you'd generally get to somewhere else--if you ran very fast
for a long time, as we've been doing.'
'A slow sort of country!' said the Queen. 'Now, HERE, you see,
it takes all the running YOU can do, to keep in the same place.
If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as
fast as that!'
'I'd rather not try, please!' said Alice. 'I'm quite content
to stay here--only I AM so hot and thirsty!'
'I know what YOU'D like!' the Queen said good-naturedly, taking
a little box out of her pocket. 'Have a biscuit?'
Alice thought it would not be civil to say 'No,' though it
wasn't at all what she wanted. So she took it, and ate it as
well as she could: and it was VERY dry; and she thought she had
never been so nearly choked in all her life.
'While you're refreshing yourself,' said the Queen, 'I'll just
take the measurements.' And she took a ribbon out of her pocket,
marked in inches, and began measuring the ground, and sticking
little pegs in here and there.
'At the end of two yards,' she said, putting in a peg to mark
the distance, 'I shall give you your directions--have another
'No, thank you,' said Alice: 'one's QUITE enough!'
'Thirst quenched, I hope?' said the Queen.
Alice did not know what to say to this, but luckily the Queen
did not wait for an answer, but went on. 'At the end of THREE
yards I shall repeat them--for fear of your forgetting them.
At the end of FOUR, I shall say good-bye. And at the end of
FIVE, I shall go!'
She had got all the pegs put in by this time, and Alice looked
on with great interest as she returned to the tree, and then
began slowly walking down the row.
At the two-yard peg she faced round, and said, 'A pawn goes two
squares in its first move, you know. So you'll go VERY quickly
through the Third Square--by railway, I should think--and
you'll find yourself in the Fourth Square in no time. Well, THAT
square belongs to Tweedledum and Tweedledee--the Fifth is
mostly water--the Sixth belongs to Humpty Dumpty--But you
make no remark?'
'I--I didn't know I had to make one--just then,' Alice
'You SHOULD have said,' '"It's extremely kind of you to tell me
all this"--however, we'll suppose it said--the Seventh Square
is all forest--however, one of the Knights will show you the
way--and in the Eighth Square we shall be Queens together, and
it's all feasting and fun!' Alice got up and curtseyed, and sat
At the next peg the Queen turned again, and this time she said,
'Speak in French when you can't think of the English for a thing
--turn out your toes as you walk--and remember who you are!'
She did not wait for Alice to curtsey this time, but walked on
quickly to the next peg, where she turned for a moment to say
'good-bye,' and then hurried on to the last.
How it happened, Alice never knew, but exactly as she came to
the last peg, she was gone. Whether she vanished into the air,
or whether she ran quickly into the wood ('and she CAN run very
fast!' thought Alice), there was no way of guessing, but she was
gone, and Alice began to remember that she was a Pawn, and that
it would soon be time for her to move.
Of course the first thing to do was to make a grand survey of the
country she was going to travel through. 'It's something very
like learning geography,' thought Alice, as she stood on tiptoe in
hopes of being able to see a little further. 'Principal rivers--
there ARE none. Principal mountains--I'm on the only one, but I
don't think it's got any name. Principal towns--why, what ARE
those creatures, making honey down there? They can't be bees--
nobody ever saw bees a mile off, you know--' and for some time she
stood silent, watching one of them that was bustling about among
the flowers, poking its proboscis into them, 'just as if it was a
regular bee,' thought Alice.
However, this was anything but a regular bee: in fact it was
an elephant--as Alice soon found out, though the idea quite
took her breath away at first. 'And what enormous flowers they
must be!' was her next idea. 'Something like cottages with the
roofs taken off, and stalks put to them--and what quantities of
honey they must make! I think I'll go down and--no, I won't
JUST yet,' she went on, checking herself just as she was
beginning to run down the hill, and trying to find some excuse
for turning shy so suddenly. 'It'll never do to go down among
them without a good long branch to brush them away--and what
fun it'll be when they ask me how I like my walk. I shall say--
"Oh, I like it well enough--"' (here came the favourite little
toss of the head), '"only it was so dusty and hot, and the
elephants did tease so!"'
'I think I'll go down the other way,' she said after a pause:
'and perhaps I may visit the elephants later on. Besides, I do
so want to get into the Third Square!'
So with this excuse she ran down the hill and jumped over the
first of the six little brooks.
* * * * * * *
* * * * * *
* * * * * * *
'Tickets, please!' said the Guard, putting his head in at the
window. In a moment everybody was holding out a ticket: they
were about the same size as the people, and quite seemed to fill
'Now then! Show your ticket, child!' the Guard went on,
looking angrily at Alice. And a great many voices all said
together ('like the chorus of a song,' thought Alice), 'Don't
keep him waiting, child! Why, his time is worth a thousand
pounds a minute!'
'I'm afraid I haven't got one,' Alice said in a frightened tone:
'there wasn't a ticket-office where I came from.' And again
the chorus of voices went on. 'There wasn't room for one where
she came from. The land there is worth a thousand pounds an inch!'
'Don't make excuses,' said the Guard: 'you should have bought
one from the engine-driver.' And once more the chorus of voices
went on with 'The man that drives the engine. Why, the smoke
alone is worth a thousand pounds a puff!'
Alice thought to herself, 'Then there's no use in speaking.'
The voices didn't join in this time, as she hadn't spoken, but to
her great surprise, they all THOUGHT in chorus (I hope you
understand what THINKING IN CHORUS means--for I must confess
that _I_ don't), 'Better say nothing at all. Language is worth a
thousand pounds a word!'
'I shall dream about a thousand pounds tonight, I know I
shall!' thought Alice.
All this time the Guard was looking at her, first through a
telescope, then through a microscope, and then through an opera-
glass. At last he said, 'You're travelling the wrong way,' and
shut up the window and went away.
'So young a child,' said the gentleman sitting opposite to her
(he was dressed in white paper), 'ought to know which way she's
going, even if she doesn't know her own name!'
A Goat, that was sitting next to the gentleman in white, shut
his eyes and said in a loud voice, 'She ought to know her way to
the ticket-office, even if she doesn't know her alphabet!'
There was a Beetle sitting next to the Goat (it was a very
queer carriage-full of passengers altogether), and, as the rule
seemed to be that they should all speak in turn, HE went on with
'She'll have to go back from here as luggage!'
Alice couldn't see who was sitting beyond the Beetle, but a
hoarse voice spoke next. 'Change engines--' it said, and was
obliged to leave off.
'It sounds like a horse,' Alice thought to herself. And an
extremely small voice, close to her ear, said, 'You might make a
joke on that--something about "horse" and "hoarse," you know.'
Then a very gentle voice in the distance said, 'She must be
labelled "Lass, with care," you know--'
And after that other voices went on (What a number of people
there are in the carriage!' thought Alice), saying, 'She must go
by post, as she's got a head on her--' 'She must be sent as a
message by the telegraph--' 'She must draw the train herself
the rest of the way--' and so on.
But the gentleman dressed in white paper leaned forwards and
whispered in her ear, 'Never mind what they all say, my dear, but
take a return-ticket every time the train stops.'
'Indeed I shan't!' Alice said rather impatiently. 'I don't
belong to this railway journey at all--I was in a wood just now
--and I wish I could get back there.'
'You might make a joke on THAT,' said the little voice close to
her ear: 'something about "you WOULD if you could," you know.'
'Don't tease so,' said Alice, looking about in vain to see
where the voice came from; 'if you're so anxious to have a joke
made, why don't you make one yourself?'
The little voice sighed deeply: it was VERY unhappy,
evidently, and Alice would have said something pitying to comfort
it, 'If it would only sigh like other people!' she thought. But
this was such a wonderfully small sigh, that she wouldn't have
heard it at all, if it hadn't come QUITE close to her ear. The
consequence of this was that it tickled her ear very much, and
quite took off her thoughts from the unhappiness of the poor
'I know you are a friend, the little voice went on; 'a dear
friend, and an old friend. And you won't hurt me, though I AM an
'What kind of insect?' Alice inquired a little anxiously. What
she really wanted to know was, whether it could sting or not, but
she thought this wouldn't be quite a civil question to ask.
'What, then you don't--' the little voice began, when it was
drowned by a shrill scream from the engine, and everybody jumped
up in alarm, Alice among the rest.
The Horse, who had put his head out of the window, quietly drew
it in and said, 'It's only a brook we have to jump over.'
Everybody seemed satisfied with this, though Alice felt a little
nervous at the idea of trains jumping at all. 'However, it'll
take us into the Fourth Square, that's some comfort!' she said to
herself. In another moment she felt the carriage rise straight
up into the air, and in her fright she caught at the thing
nearest to her hand, which happened to be the Goat's beard.
* * * * * * *
* * * * * *
* * * * * * *
But the beard seemed to melt away as she touched it, and she
found herself sitting quietly under a tree--while the Gnat (for
that was the insect she had been talking to) was balancing itself
on a twig just over her head, and fanning her with its wings.
It certainly was a VERY large Gnat: 'about the size of a
chicken,' Alice thought. Still, she couldn't feel nervous with
it, after they had been talking together so long.
'--then you don't like all insects?' the Gnat went on, as
quietly as if nothing had happened.
'I like them when they can talk,' Alice said. 'None of them
ever talk, where _I_ come from.'
'What sort of insects do you rejoice in, where YOU come from?'
the Gnat inquired.
'I don't REJOICE in insects at all,' Alice explained, 'because
I'm rather afraid of them--at least the large kinds. But I can
tell you the names of some of them.'
'Of course they answer to their names?' the Gnat remarked
'I never knew them do it.'
'What's the use of their having names the Gnat said, 'if they
won't answer to them?'
'No use to THEM,' said Alice; 'but it's useful to the people
who name them, I suppose. If not, why do things have names at
'I can't say,' the Gnat replied. 'Further on, in the wood
down there, they've got no names--however, go on with your list
of insects: you're wasting time.'
'Well, there's the Horse-fly,' Alice began, counting off the
names on her fingers.
'All right,' said the Gnat: 'half way up that bush, you'll see
a Rocking-horse-fly, if you look. It's made entirely of wood,
and gets about by swinging itself from branch to branch.'
'What does it live on?' Alice asked, with great curiosity.
'Sap and sawdust,' said the Gnat. 'Go on with the list.'
Alice looked up at the Rocking-horse-fly with great interest,
and made up her mind that it must have been just repainted, it
looked so bright and sticky; and then she went on.
'And there's the Dragon-fly.'
'Look on the branch above your head,' said the Gnat, 'and there
you'll find a snap-dragon-fly. Its body is made of plum-pudding,
its wings of holly-leaves, and its head is a raisin burning in
'And what does it live on?'
'Frumenty and mince pie,' the Gnat replied; 'and it makes its
nest in a Christmas box.'
'And then there's the Butterfly,' Alice went on, after she had
taken a good look at the insect with its head on fire, and had
thought to herself, 'I wonder if that's the reason insects are so
fond of flying into candles--because they want to turn into
'Crawling at your feet,' said the Gnat (Alice drew her feet
back in some alarm), 'you may observe a Bread-and-Butterfly. Its
wings are thin slices of Bread-and-butter, its body is a crust,
and its head is a lump of sugar.'
'And what does IT live on?'
'Weak tea with cream in it.'
A new difficulty came into Alice's head. 'Supposing it
couldn't find any?' she suggested.
'Then it would die, of course.'
'But that must happen very often,' Alice remarked thoughtfully.
'It always happens,' said the Gnat.
After this, Alice was silent for a minute or two, pondering.
The Gnat amused itself meanwhile by humming round and round her
head: at last it settled again and remarked, 'I suppose you
don't want to lose your name?'
'No, indeed,' Alice said, a little anxiously.
'And yet I don't know,' the Gnat went on in a careless tone:
'only think how convenient it would be if you could manage to go
home without it! For instance, if the governess wanted to call
you to your lessons, she would call out "come here--," and
there she would have to leave off, because there wouldn't be any
name for her to call, and of course you wouldn't have to go, you
'That would never do, I'm sure,' said Alice: 'the governess
would never think of excusing me lessons for that. If she
couldn't remember my name, she'd call me "Miss!" as the servants
'Well. if she said "Miss," and didn't say anything more,' the
Gnat remarked, 'of course you'd miss your lessons. That's a
joke. I wish YOU had made it.'
'Why do you wish _I_ had made it?' Alice asked. 'It's a very
But the Gnat only sighed deeply, while two large tears came
rolling down its cheeks.
'You shouldn't make jokes,' Alice said, 'if it makes you so
Then came another of those melancholy little sighs, and this
time the poor Gnat really seemed to have sighed itself away, for,
when Alice looked up, there was nothing whatever to be seen on
the twig, and, as she was getting quite chilly with sitting still
so long, she got up and walked on.
She very soon came to an open field, with a wood on the other
side of it: it looked much darker than the last wood, and Alice
felt a LITTLE timid about going into it. However, on second
thoughts, she made up her mind to go on: 'for I certainly won't
go BACK,' she thought to herself, and this was the only way to
the Eighth Square.
'This must be the wood, she said thoughtfully to herself,
'where things have no names. I wonder what'll become of MY name
when I go in? I shouldn't like to lose it at all--because
they'd have to give me another, and it would be almost certain to
be an ugly one. But then the fun would be trying to find the
creature that had got my old name! That's just like the
advertisements, you know, when people lose dogs--"ANSWERS TO
THE NAME OF 'DASH:' HAD ON A BRASS COLLAR"--just fancy calling
everything you met "Alice," till one of them answered! Only they
wouldn't answer at all, if they were wise.'
She was rambling on in this way when she reached the wood: it
looked very cool and shady. 'Well, at any rate it's a great
comfort,' she said as she stepped under the trees, 'after being
so hot, to get into the--into WHAT?' she went on, rather
surprised at not being able to think of the word. 'I mean to get
under the--under the--under THIS, you know!' putting her
hand on the trunk of the tree. 'What DOES it call itself, I
wonder? I do believe it's got no name--why, to be sure it
She stood silent for a minute, thinking: then she suddenly
began again. 'Then it really HAS happened, after all! And now,
who am I? I WILL remember, if I can! I'm determined to do it!'
But being determined didn't help much, and all she could say,
after a great deal of puzzling, was, 'L, I KNOW it begins with L!'
Just then a Fawn came wandering by: it looked at Alice with
its large gentle eyes, but didn't seem at all frightened. 'Here
then! Here then!' Alice said, as she held out her hand and tried
to stroke it; but it only started back a little, and then stood
looking at her again.
'What do you call yourself?' the Fawn said at last. Such a
soft sweet voice it had!
'I wish I knew!' thought poor Alice. She answered, rather
sadly, 'Nothing, just now.'
'Think again,' it said: 'that won't do.'
Alice thought, but nothing came of it. 'Please, would you tell
me what YOU call yourself?' she said timidly. 'I think that
might help a little.'
'I'll tell you, if you'll move a little further on,' the Fawn said.
'I can't remember here.'
So they walked on together though the wood, Alice with her arms
clasped lovingly round the soft neck of the Fawn, till they came
out into another open field, and here the Fawn gave a sudden
bound into the air, and shook itself free from Alice's arms.
'I'm a Fawn!' it cried out in a voice of delight, 'and, dear me!
you're a human child!' A sudden look of alarm came into its
beautiful brown eyes, and in another moment it had darted away at
Alice stood looking after it, almost ready to cry with vexation
at having lost her dear little fellow-traveller so suddenly.
'However, I know my name now.' she said, 'that's SOME comfort.
Alice--Alice--I won't forget it again. And now, which of
these finger-posts ought I to follow, I wonder?'
It was not a very difficult question to answer, as there was
only one road through the wood, and the two finger-posts both
pointed along it. 'I'll settle it,' Alice said to herself, 'when
the road divides and they point different ways.'
But this did not seem likely to happen. She went on and on, a
long way, but wherever the road divided there were sure to be two
finger-posts pointing the same way, one marked 'TO TWEEDLEDUM'S
HOUSE' and the other 'TO THE HOUSE OF TWEEDLEDEE.'
'I do believe,' said Alice at last, 'that they live in the same
house! I wonder I never thought of that before--But I can't
stay there long. I'll just call and say "how d'you do?" and ask
them the way out of the wood. If I could only get to the Eighth
Square before it gets dark!' So she wandered on, talking to
herself as she went, till, on turning a sharp corner, she came
upon two fat little men, so suddenly that she could not help
starting back, but in another moment she recovered herself,
feeling sure that they must be.
TWEEDLEDUM AND TWEEDLEDEE
They were standing under a tree, each with an arm round the
other's neck, and Alice knew which was which in a moment, because
one of them had 'DUM' embroidered on his collar, and the other
'DEE.' 'I suppose they've each got "TWEEDLE" round at the back
of the collar,' she said to herself.
They stood so still that she quite forgot they were alive,
and she was just looking round to see if the word "TWEEDLE" was
written at the back of each collar, when she was startled by a
voice coming from the one marked 'DUM.'
'If you think we're wax-works,' he said, 'you ought to pay, you
know. Wax-works weren't made to be looked at for nothing, nohow!'
'Contrariwise,' added the one marked 'DEE,' 'if you think we're
alive, you ought to speak.'
'I'm sure I'm very sorry,' was all Alice could say; for the words
of the old song kept ringing through her head like the ticking
of a clock, and she could hardly help saying them out loud:--
'Tweedledum and Tweedledee
Agreed to have a battle;
For Tweedledum said Tweedledee
Had spoiled his nice new rattle.
Just then flew down a monstrous crow,
As black as a tar-barrel;
Which frightened both the heroes so,
They quite forgot their quarrel.'
'I know what you're thinking about,' said Tweedledum: 'but it
isn't so, nohow.'
'Contrariwise,' continued Tweedledee, 'if it was so, it might
be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't.
'I was thinking,' Alice said very politely, 'which is the best
way out of this wood: it's getting so dark. Would you tell me,
But the little men only looked at each other and grinned.
They looked so exactly like a couple of great schoolboys, that
Alice couldn't help pointing her finger at Tweedledum, and saying
'Nohow!' Tweedledum cried out briskly, and shut his mouth up
again with a snap.
'Next Boy!' said Alice, passing on to Tweedledee, though she
felt quite certain he would only shout out 'Contrariwise!' and so
'You've been wrong!' cried Tweedledum. 'The first thing in a
visit is to say "How d'ye do?" and shake hands!' And here the
two brothers gave each other a hug, and then they held out the
two hands that were free, to shake hands with her.
Alice did not like shaking hands with either of them first, for
fear of hurting the other one's feelings; so, as the best way out
of the difficulty, she took hold of both hands at once: the next
moment they were dancing round in a ring. This seemed quite
natural (she remembered afterwards), and she was not even
surprised to hear music playing: it seemed to come from the tree
under which they were dancing, and it was done (as well as she
could make it out) by the branches rubbing one across the other,
like fiddles and fiddle-sticks.
'But it certainly WAS funny,' (Alice said afterwards, when she
was telling her sister the history of all this,) 'to find myself
singing "HERE WE GO ROUND THE MULBERRY BUSH." I don't know when
I began it, but somehow I felt as if I'd been singing it a long
The other two dancers were fat, and very soon out of breath.
'Four times round is enough for one dance,' Tweedledum panted
out, and they left off dancing as suddenly as they had begun:
the music stopped at the same moment.
Then they let go of Alice's hands, and stood looking at her for
a minute: there was a rather awkward pause, as Alice didn't know
how to begin a conversation with people she had just been dancing
with. 'It would never do to say "How d'ye do?" NOW,' she said to
herself: 'we seem to have got beyond that, somehow!'
'I hope you're not much tired?' she said at last.
'Nohow. And thank you VERY much for asking,' said Tweedledum.
'So much obliged!' added Tweedledee. 'You like poetry?'
'Ye-es, pretty well--SOME poetry,' Alice said doubtfully.
'Would you tell me which road leads out of the wood?'
'What shall I repeat to her?' said Tweedledee, looking round at
Tweedledum with great solemn eyes, and not noticing Alice's question.
'"THE WALRUS AND THE CARPENTER" is the longest,' Tweedledum
replied, giving his brother an affectionate hug.
Tweedledee began instantly:
'The sun was shining--'
Here Alice ventured to interrupt him. 'If it's VERY long,' she
said, as politely as she could, 'would you please tell me first
Tweedledee smiled gently, and began again:
'The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright--
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.
The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done--
"It's very rude of him," she said,
"To come and spoil the fun!"
The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying over head--
There were no birds to fly.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
"If this were only cleared away,"
They said, "it WOULD be grand!"
"If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year,
Do you suppose," the Walrus said,
"That they could get it clear?"
"I doubt it," said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.
"O Oysters, come and walk with us!"
The Walrus did beseech.
"A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each."
The eldest Oyster looked at him.
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head--
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.
But four young oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat--
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn't any feet.
Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more--
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.
"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."
"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried,
"Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!"
"No hurry!" said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.
"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said,
"Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed--
Now if you're ready Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed."
"But not on us!" the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue,
"After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!"
"The night is fine," the Walrus said
"Do you admire the view?
"It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!"
The Carpenter said nothing but
"Cut us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf--
I've had to ask you twice!"
"It seems a shame," the Walrus said,
"To play them such a trick,
After we've brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!"
The Carpenter said nothing but
"The butter's spread too thick!"
"I weep for you," the Walrus said.
"I deeply sympathize."
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size.
Holding his pocket handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.
"O Oysters," said the Carpenter.
"You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?"
But answer came there none--
And that was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.'
'I like the Walrus best,' said Alice: 'because you see he was
a LITTLE sorry for the poor oysters.'
'He ate more than the Carpenter, though,' said Tweedledee.
'You see he held his handkerchief in front, so that the Carpenter
couldn't count how many he took: contrariwise.'
'That was mean!' Alice said indignantly. 'Then I like the
Carpenter best--if he didn't eat so many as the Walrus.'
'But he ate as many as he could get,' said Tweedledum.
This was a puzzler. After a pause, Alice began, 'Well! They
were BOTH very unpleasant characters--' Here she checked
herself in some alarm, at hearing something that sounded to her
like the puffing of a large steam-engine in the wood near them,
though she feared it was more likely to be a wild beast.
'Are there any lions or tigers about here?' she asked timidly.
'It's only the Red King snoring,' said Tweedledee.
'Come and look at him!' the brothers cried, and they each took
one of Alice's hands, and led her up to where the King was sleeping.
'Isn't he a LOVELY sight?' said Tweedledum.
Alice couldn't say honestly that he was. He had a tall red
night-cap on, with a tassel, and he was lying crumpled up into a
sort of untidy heap, and snoring loud--'fit to snore his head
off!' as Tweedledum remarked.
'I'm afraid he'll catch cold with lying on the damp grass,'
said Alice, who was a very thoughtful little girl.
'He's dreaming now,' said Tweedledee: 'and what do you think
he's dreaming about?'
Alice said 'Nobody can guess that.'
'Why, about YOU!' Tweedledee exclaimed, clapping his hands
triumphantly. 'And if he left off dreaming about you, where do
you suppose you'd be?'
'Where I am now, of course,' said Alice.
'Not you!' Tweedledee retorted contemptuously. 'You'd be
nowhere. Why, you're only a sort of thing in his dream!'
'If that there King was to wake,' added Tweedledum, 'you'd go
out--bang!--just like a candle!'
'I shouldn't!' Alice exclaimed indignantly. 'Besides, if I'M
only a sort of thing in his dream, what are YOU, I should like to
'Ditto' said Tweedledum.
'Ditto, ditto' cried Tweedledee.
He shouted this so loud that Alice couldn't help saying, 'Hush!
You'll be waking him, I'm afraid, if you make so much noise.'
'Well, it no use YOUR talking about waking him,' said
Tweedledum, 'when you're only one of the things in his dream.
You know very well you're not real.'
'I AM real!' said Alice and began to cry.
'You won't make yourself a bit realler by crying,' Tweedledee
remarked: 'there's nothing to cry about.'
'If I wasn't real,' Alice said--half-laughing though her
tears, it all seemed so ridiculous--'I shouldn't be able to
'I hope you don't suppose those are real tears?' Tweedledum
interrupted in a tone of great contempt.
'I know they're talking nonsense,' Alice thought to herself:
'and it's foolish to cry about it.' So she brushed away her
tears, and went on as cheerfully as she could. 'At any rate I'd
better be getting out of the wood, for really it's coming on very
dark. Do you think it's going to rain?'
Tweedledum spread a large umbrella over himself and his
brother, and looked up into it. 'No, I don't think it is,' he
said: 'at least--not under HERE. Nohow.'
'But it may rain OUTSIDE?'
'It may--if it chooses,' said Tweedledee: 'we've no
'Selfish things!' thought Alice, and she was just going to say
'Good-night' and leave them, when Tweedledum sprang out from
under the umbrella and seized her by the wrist.
'Do you see THAT?' he said, in a voice choking with passion,
and his eyes grew large and yellow all in a moment, as he pointed
with a trembling finger at a small white thing lying under the
'It's only a rattle,' Alice said, after a careful examination
of the little white thing. 'Not a rattleSNAKE, you know,' she
added hastily, thinking that he was frightened: 'only an old
rattle--quite old and broken.'
'I knew it was!' cried Tweedledum, beginning to stamp about
wildly and tear his hair. 'It's spoilt, of course!' Here he
looked at Tweedledee, who immediately sat down on the ground, and
tried to hide himself under the umbrella.
Alice laid her hand upon his arm, and said in a soothing tone,
'You needn't be so angry about an old rattle.'
'But it isn't old!' Tweedledum cried, in a greater fury than
ever. 'It's new, I tell you--I bought it yesterday--my nice
new RATTLE!' and his voice rose to a perfect scream.
All this time Tweedledee was trying his best to fold up the
umbrella, with himself in it: which was such an extraordinary
thing to do, that it quite took off Alice's attention from the
angry brother. But he couldn't quite succeed, and it ended in
his rolling over, bundled up in the umbrella, with only his head
out: and there he lay, opening and shutting his mouth and his
large eyes--'looking more like a fish than anything else,'
'Of course you agree to have a battle?' Tweedledum said in a
'I suppose so,' the other sulkily replied, as he crawled out of
the umbrella: 'only SHE must help us to dress up, you know.'
So the two brothers went off hand-in-hand into the wood, and
returned in a minute with their arms full of things--such as
bolsters, blankets, hearth-rugs, table-cloths, dish-covers and
coal-scuttles. 'I hope you're a good hand at pinning and tying
strings?' Tweedledum remarked. 'Every one of these things has
got to go on, somehow or other.'
Alice said afterwards she had never seen such a fuss made about
anything in all her life--the way those two bustled about--
and the quantity of things they put on--and the trouble they
gave her in tying strings and fastening buttons--'Really
they'll be more like bundles of old clothes than anything else,
by the time they're ready!' she said to herself, as she arranged a
bolster round the neck of Tweedledee, 'to keep his head from
being cut off,' as he said.
'You know,' he added very gravely, 'it's one of the most
serious things that can possibly happen to one in a battle--to
get one's head cut off.'
Alice laughed aloud: but she managed to turn it into a cough,
for fear of hurting his feelings.
'Do I look very pale?' said Tweedledum, coming up to have his
helmet tied on. (He CALLED it a helmet, though it certainly
looked much more like a saucepan.)
'Well--yes--a LITTLE,' Alice replied gently.
'I'm very brave generally,' he went on in a low voice: 'only
to-day I happen to have a headache.'
'And I'VE got a toothache!' said Tweedledee, who had overheard
the remark. 'I'm far worse off than you!'
'Then you'd better not fight to-day,' said Alice, thinking it a
good opportunity to make peace.
'We MUST have a bit of a fight, but I don't care about going on
long,' said Tweedledum. 'What's the time now?'
Tweedledee looked at his watch, and said 'Half-past four.'
'Let's fight till six, and then have dinner,' said Tweedledum.
'Very well,' the other said, rather sadly: 'and SHE can watch
us--only you'd better not come VERY close,' he added: 'I
generally hit everything I can see--when I get really excited.'
'And _I_ hit everything within reach,' cried Tweedledum,
'whether I can see it or not!'
Alice laughed. 'You must hit the TREES pretty often, I should
think,' she said.
Tweedledum looked round him with a satisfied smile. 'I don't suppose,'
he said, 'there'll be a tree left standing, for ever so far round,
by the time we've finished!'
'And all about a rattle!' said Alice, still hoping to make them
a LITTLE ashamed of fighting for such a trifle.
'I shouldn't have minded it so much,' said Tweedledum, 'if it
hadn't been a new one.'
'I wish the monstrous crow would come!' thought Alice.
'There's only one sword, you know,' Tweedledum said to his
brother: 'but you can have the umbrella--it's quite as sharp.
Only we must begin quick. It's getting as dark as it can.'
'And darker.' said Tweedledee.
It was getting dark so suddenly that Alice thought there must
be a thunderstorm coming on. 'What a thick black cloud that is!'
she said. 'And how fast it comes! Why, I do believe it's got
'It's the crow!' Tweedledum cried out in a shrill voice of
alarm: and the two brothers took to their heels and were out of
sight in a moment.
Alice ran a little way into the wood, and stopped under a large
tree. 'It can never get at me HERE,' she thought: 'it's far too
large to squeeze itself in among the trees. But I wish it wouldn't
flap its wings so--it makes quite a hurricane in the wood--
here's somebody's shawl being blown away!'
Wool and Water
She caught the shawl as she spoke, and looked about for the
owner: in another moment the White Queen came running wildly
through the wood, with both arms stretched out wide, as if she
were flying, and Alice very civilly went to meet her with the
'I'm very glad I happened to be in the way,' Alice said, as she
helped her to put on her shawl again.
The White Queen only looked at her in a helpless frightened
sort of way, and kept repeating something in a whisper to
herself that sounded like 'bread-and-butter, bread-and-butter,'
and Alice felt that if there was to be any conversation at all,
she must manage it herself. So she began rather timidly: 'Am I
addressing the White Queen?'
'Well, yes, if you call that a-dressing,' The Queen said. 'It
isn't MY notion of the thing, at all.'
Alice thought it would never do to have an argument at the very
beginning of their conversation, so she smiled and said, 'If your
Majesty will only tell me the right way to begin, I'll do it as
well as I can.'
'But I don't want it done at all!' groaned the poor Queen.
'I've been a-dressing myself for the last two hours.'
It would have been all the better, as it seemed to Alice, if
she had got some one else to dress her, she was so dreadfully
untidy. 'Every single thing's crooked,' Alice thought to
herself, 'and she's all over pins!--may I put your shawl
straight for you?' she added aloud.
'I don't know what's the matter with it!' the Queen said, in a
melancholy voice. 'It's out of temper, I think. I've pinned it
here, and I've pinned it there, but there's no pleasing it!'
'It CAN'T go straight, you know, if you pin it all on one side,'
Alice said, as she gently put it right for her; 'and, dear me,
what a state your hair is in!'
'The brush has got entangled in it!' the Queen said with a
sigh. 'And I lost the comb yesterday.'
Alice carefully released the brush, and did her best to get the
hair into order. 'Come, you look rather better now!' she said,
after altering most of the pins. 'But really you should have a
'I'm sure I'll take you with pleasure!' the Queen said.
'Twopence a week, and jam every other day.'
Alice couldn't help laughing, as she said, 'I don't want you to
hire ME--and I don't care for jam.'
'It's very good jam,' said the Queen.
'Well, I don't want any TO-DAY, at any rate.'
'You couldn't have it if you DID want it,' the Queen said.
'The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday--but never jam
'It MUST come sometimes to "jam to-day,"' Alice objected.
'No, it can't,' said the Queen. 'It's jam every OTHER day:
to-day isn't any OTHER day, you know.'
'I don't understand you,' said Alice. 'It's dreadfully
'That's the effect of living backwards,' the Queen said kindly:
'it always makes one a little giddy at first--'
'Living backwards!' Alice repeated in great astonishment. 'I
never heard of such a thing!'
'--but there's one great advantage in it, that one's memory
works both ways.'
'I'm sure MINE only works one way.' Alice remarked. 'I can't
remember things before they happen.'
'It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards,' the
'What sort of things do YOU remember best?' Alice ventured to
'Oh, things that happened the week after next,' the Queen
replied in a careless tone. 'For instance, now,' she went on,
sticking a large piece of plaster [band-aid] on her finger as she
spoke, 'there's the King's Messenger. He's in prison now, being
punished: and the trial doesn't even begin till next Wednesday:
and of course the crime comes last of all.'
'Suppose he never commits the crime?' said Alice.
'That would be all the better, wouldn't it?' the Queen said,
as she bound the plaster round her finger with a bit of ribbon.
Alice felt there was no denying THAT. 'Of course it would be
all the better,' she said: 'but it wouldn't be all the better
his being punished.'
'You're wrong THERE, at any rate,' said the Queen: 'were YOU
'Only for faults,' said Alice.
'And you were all the better for it, I know!' the Queen said
'Yes, but then I HAD done the things I was punished for,' said
Alice: 'that makes all the difference.'
'But if you HADN'T done them,' the Queen said, 'that would have
been better still; better, and better, and better!' Her voice went
higher with each 'better,' till it got quite to a squeak at last.
Alice was just beginning to say 'There's a mistake somewhere--,'
when the Queen began screaming so loud that she had to leave
the sentence unfinished. 'Oh, oh, oh!' shouted the Queen,
shaking her hand about as if she wanted to shake it off.
'My finger's bleeding! Oh, oh, oh, oh!'
Her screams were so exactly like the whistle of a steam-engine,
that Alice had to hold both her hands over her ears.
'What IS the matter?' she said, as soon as there was a chance
of making herself heard. 'Have you pricked your finger?'
'I haven't pricked it YET,' the Queen said, 'but I soon shall--
oh, oh, oh!'
'When do you expect to do it?' Alice asked, feeling very much
inclined to laugh.
'When I fasten my shawl again,' the poor Queen groaned out:
'the brooch will come undone directly. Oh, oh!' As she said the
words the brooch flew open, and the Queen clutched wildly at it,
and tried to clasp it again.
'Take care!' cried Alice. 'You're holding it all crooked!'
And she caught at the brooch; but it was too late: the pin had
slipped, and the Queen had pricked her finger.
'That accounts for the bleeding, you see,' she said to Alice
with a smile. 'Now you understand the way things happen here.'
'But why don't you scream now?' Alice asked, holding her hands
ready to put over her ears again.
'Why, I've done all the screaming already,' said the Queen.
'What would be the good of having it all over again?'
By this time it was getting light. 'The crow must have flown
away, I think,' said Alice: 'I'm so glad it's gone. I thought
it was the night coming on.'
'I wish _I_ could manage to be glad!' the Queen said. 'Only I
never can remember the rule. You must be very happy, living in
this wood, and being glad whenever you like!'
'Only it is so VERY lonely here!' Alice said in a melancholy
voice; and at the thought of her loneliness two large tears came
rolling down her cheeks.
'Oh, don't go on like that!' cried the poor Queen, wringing her
hands in despair. 'Consider what a great girl you are. Consider
what a long way you've come to-day. Consider what o'clock it is.
Consider anything, only don't cry!'
Alice could not help laughing at this, even in the midst of her tears.
'Can YOU keep from crying by considering things?' she asked.
'That's the way it's done,' the Queen said with great decision:
'nobody can do two things at once, you know. Let's consider your age
to begin with--how old are you?'
'I'm seven and a half exactly.'
'You needn't say "exactually,"' the Queen remarked: 'I can
believe it without that. Now I'll give YOU something to believe.
I'm just one hundred and one, five months and a day.'
'I can't believe THAT!' said Alice.
'Can't you?' the Queen said in a pitying tone. 'Try again:
draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.'
Alice laughed. 'There's no use trying,' she said: 'one CAN'T
believe impossible things.'
'I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen.
'When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day.
Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things
before breakfast. There goes the shawl again!'
The brooch had come undone as she spoke, and a sudden gust of
wind blew the Queen's shawl across a little brook. The Queen
spread out her arms again, and went flying after it, and this
time she succeeded in catching it for herself. 'I've got it!'
she cried in a triumphant tone. 'Now you shall see me pin it
on again, all by myself!'
'Then I hope your finger is better now?' Alice said very
politely, as she crossed the little brook after the Queen.
* * * * * * *
* * * * * *
* * * * * * *
'Oh, much better!' cried the Queen, her voice rising to a
squeak as she went on. 'Much be-etter! Be-etter! Be-e-e-etter!
Be-e-ehh!' The last word ended in a long bleat, so like a sheep
that Alice quite started.
She looked at the Queen, who seemed to have suddenly wrapped
herself up in wool. Alice rubbed her eyes, and looked again.
She couldn't make out what had happened at all. Was she in a
shop? And was that really--was it really a SHEEP that was
sitting on the other side of the counter? Rub as she could, she
could make nothing more of it: she was in a little dark shop,
leaning with her elbows on the counter, and opposite to her was an
old Sheep, sitting in an arm-chair knitting, and every now and
then leaving off to look at her through a great pair of spectacles.
'What is it you want to buy?' the Sheep said at last, looking
up for a moment from her knitting.
'I don't QUITE know yet,' Alice said, very gently. 'I should
like to look all round me first, if I might.'
'You may look in front of you, and on both sides, if you like,'
said the Sheep: 'but you can't look ALL round you--unless
you've got eyes at the back of your head.'
But these, as it happened, Alice had NOT got: so she contented herself
with turning round, looking at the shelves as she came to them.
The shop seemed to be full of all manner of curious things--
but the oddest part of it all was, that whenever she looked hard
at any shelf, to make out exactly what it had on it, that
particular shelf was always quite empty: though the others round
it were crowded as full as they could hold.
'Things flow about so here!' she said at last in a plaintive
tone, after she had spent a minute or so in vainly pursuing a
large bright thing, that looked sometimes like a doll and
sometimes like a work-box, and was always in the shelf next above
the one she was looking at. 'And this one is the most provoking
of all--but I'll tell you what--' she added, as a sudden
thought struck her, 'I'll follow it up to the very top shelf of
all. It'll puzzle it to go through the ceiling, I expect!'
But even this plan failed: the 'thing' went through the
ceiling as quietly as possible, as if it were quite used to it.
'Are you a child or a teetotum?' the Sheep said, as she took up
another pair of needles. 'You'll make me giddy soon, if you go
on turning round like that.' She was now working with fourteen
pairs at once, and Alice couldn't help looking at her in great
'How CAN she knit with so many?' the puzzled child thought to
herself. 'She gets more and more like a porcupine every minute!'
'Can you row?' the Sheep asked, handing her a pair of knitting-
needles as she spoke.
'Yes, a little--but not on land--and not with needles--'
Alice was beginning to say, when suddenly the needles turned into
oars in her hands, and she found they were in a little boat,
gliding along between banks: so there was nothing for it but to
do her best.
'Feather!' cried the Sheep, as she took up another pair of
This didn't sound like a remark that needed any answer, so
Alice said nothing, but pulled away. There was something very
queer about the water, she thought, as every now and then the
oars got fast in it, and would hardly come out again.
'Feather! Feather!' the Sheep cried again, taking more
needles. 'You'll be catching a crab directly.'
'A dear little crab!' thought Alice. 'I should like that.'
'Didn't you hear me say "Feather"?' the Sheep cried angrily,
taking up quite a bunch of needles.
'Indeed I did,' said Alice: 'you've said it very often--and
very loud. Please, where ARE the crabs?'
'In the water, of course!' said the Sheep, sticking some of the
needles into her hair, as her hands were full. 'Feather, I say!'
'WHY do you say "feather" so often?' Alice asked at last,
rather vexed. 'I'm not a bird!'
'You are,' said the Sheep: 'you're a little goose.'
This offended Alice a little, so there was no more conversation
for a minute or two, while the boat glided gently on, sometimes
among beds of weeds (which made the oars stick fast in the water,
worse then ever), and sometimes under trees, but always with the
same tall river-banks frowning over their heads.
'Oh, please! There are some scented rushes!' Alice cried in a
sudden transport of delight. 'There really are--and SUCH
'You needn't say "please" to ME about 'em' the Sheep said,
without looking up from her knitting: 'I didn't put 'em there,
and I'm not going to take 'em away.'
'No, but I meant--please, may we wait and pick some?' Alice
pleaded. 'If you don't mind stopping the boat for a minute.'
'How am _I_ to stop it?' said the Sheep. 'If you leave off
rowing, it'll stop of itself.'
So the boat was left to drift down the stream as it would, till
it glided gently in among the waving rushes. And then the little
sleeves were carefully rolled up, and the little arms were
plunged in elbow-deep to get the rushes a good long way down
before breaking them off--and for a while Alice forgot all
about the Sheep and the knitting, as she bent over the side of
the boat, with just the ends of her tangled hair dipping into the
water--while with bright eager eyes she caught at one bunch
after another of the darling scented rushes.
'I only hope the boat won't tipple over!' she said to herself.
Oh, WHAT a lovely one! Only I couldn't quite reach it.' 'And it
certainly DID seem a little provoking ('almost as if it happened
on purpose,' she thought) that, though she managed to pick plenty
of beautiful rushes as the boat glided by, there was always a
more lovely one that she couldn't reach.
'The prettiest are always further!' she said at last, with a
sigh at the obstinacy of the rushes in growing so far off, as,
with flushed cheeks and dripping hair and hands, she scrambled
back into her place, and began to arrange her new-found treasures.
What mattered it to her just then that the rushes had begun to
fade, and to lose all their scent and beauty, from the very
moment that she picked them? Even real scented rushes, you know,
last only a very little while--and these, being dream-rushes,
melted away almost like snow, as they lay in heaps at her feet--
but Alice hardly noticed this, there were so many other curious
things to think about.
They hadn't gone much farther before the blade of one of the
oars got fast in the water and WOULDN'T come out again (so Alice
explained it afterwards), and the consequence was that the handle
of it caught her under the chin, and, in spite of a series of
little shrieks of 'Oh, oh, oh!' from poor Alice, it swept her
straight off the seat, and down among the heap of rushes.
However, she wasn't hurt, and was soon up again: the Sheep
went on with her knitting all the while, just as if nothing had
happened. 'That was a nice crab you caught!' she remarked, as
Alice got back into her place, very much relieved to find herself
still in the boat.
'Was it? I didn't see it,' Said Alice, peeping cautiously over
the side of the boat into the dark water. 'I wish it hadn't let
go--I should so like to see a little crab to take home with
me!' But the Sheep only laughed scornfully, and went on with her
'Are there many crabs here?' said Alice.
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