Project Gutenberg's Alice's Adventures Under Ground, by Lewis Carroll
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Title: Alice's Adventures Under Ground
Author: Lewis Carroll
Release Date: August 7, 2006 [EBook #19002]
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ALICE'S ADVENTURES UNDER GROUND ***
Produced by Jason Isbell, Sankar Viswanathan, and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net
_BEING A FACSIMILE OF THE_
_ORIGINAL MS. BOOK_
_AFTERWARDS DEVELOPED INTO_
"_ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND_"
_WITH THIRTY-SEVEN ILLUSTRATIONS
BY THE AUTHOR_
_PRICE FOUR SHILLINGS_
MACMILLAN AND CO.
AND NEW YORK
* * * * *
I. DOWN THE RABBIT-HOLE. THE POOL OF TEARS
II. A LONG TALE. THE RABBIT SENDS IN A LITTLE BILL
III. ADVICE FROM A CATERPILLAR
IV. THE QUEEN'S CROQUET-GROUND. THE MOCK TURTLE'S STORY. THE
LOBSTER QUADRILLE. WHO STOLE THE TARTS?
* * * * *
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
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 cupboards as she fell past it.
"Well!" thought Alice to herself, "after such a fall as this, I
shall think nothing of tumbling down stairs! How brave they'll
all think me at home! Why, I wouldn't say anything about it, even
if I fell off the top of the house!" (which was most likely
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
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.
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 idea 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 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 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
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
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
It was so indeed: she was now 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, however, she waited for a few minutes to see whether 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, 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.
"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
So she set to work, and very soon finished off the cake.
* * * * *
"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 can'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.
with ALICE'S LOVE
oh dear! what nonsense I am talking!"
Just at this moment, her head struck against the roof 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
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
"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. 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 ca'n'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
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
"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
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 won'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.
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 very 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
"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
"As wet as ever," said poor Alice, "it doesn't seem to dry me at
"In that case," said the Dodo solemnly, rising to his feet, "I
move that the meeting adjourn, for the immediate adoption of more
"Speak English!" said the Duck, "I don't know the meaning of half
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 began 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!" 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, 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!
one day, (So they say)
Came the dog and
m r a W
g u n s &
t a f &
T h i n k?
o f t h a t!
"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
"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
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 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 a canary called
out in a trembling voice 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.
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.
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!"
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
nonetheless 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!"
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
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?"
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 out 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
"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."
"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 saw 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 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 breaking
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 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.
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
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.
"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
tumbled 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 begin 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
"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.
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
"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
"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 can'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 again.
"Keep your temper," said the caterpillar.
"Is that all?" said Alice, swallowing down her anger as well as
"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 said "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
Alice folded her hands, and began:
"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."
"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."
"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."
"You are old," said the youth; "one would hardly suppose
That your eye was as steady as ever:
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose--
What made you so awfully clever?"
"I have answered three questions, and that is enough,"
Said his father, "don't give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I'll kick you down stairs!"
"That is not said right," said the caterpillar.
"Not quite right, I'm afraid," said Alice timidly, "some of the
words have got altered."
"It is wrong from beginning to end," said the caterpillar
decidedly, and there was silence for some minutes: the caterpillar
was the first to speak.
"What size do you want to be?" it asked.
"Oh, I'm not particular as to size," Alice hastily replied, "only
one doesn't like changing so often, you know."
"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
"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
"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 was out of sight.
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!
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.
"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've
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 last, they must needs come down from the sky!
"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
"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 remembered
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
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.
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
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 in 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.
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
"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
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
"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 meantime 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
"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
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.
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!" of "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
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
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.
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!"
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 here 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
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
"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
"Two lines!" cried the Mock Turtle, "seals, turtles, salmon, and
so on--advance twice--"
"Each with a lobster as partner!" cried the Gryphon.
"Of course," the Mock Turtle said, "advance twice, set to
"Change lobsters, and retire in same order--" interrupted the
"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
"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
"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
"Oh! you sing!" said the Gryphon, "I've forgotten the words."
So they began solemnly dancing round and round Alice, every now
and then treading on her toes when they 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
"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!
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
"Soo--oop of the e--e--evening,
Beautiful beautiful Soup!"
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."
"No!" said the Queen, "first the sentence, and then the
"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
"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.
happy summer days.
* * * * *
_The profits, if any, of this book will be given to Children's
Hospitals and Convalescent Homes for Sick Children; and the
accounts, down to June 30 in each year, will be published in the
St. James's Gazette, on the second Tuesday of the following
_P.P.S.--The thought, so prettily expressed by the little boy, is
also to be found in Longfellow's "Hiawatha," where he appeals to
those who believe_
"_That the feeble hands and helpless,_
_Groping blindly in the darkness_,
_Touch_ GOD'S _right hand in that darkness_,
_And are lifted up and strengthened_."
* * * * *
"Who will Riddle me the How and the Why?"
_So questions one of England's sweetest singers. The "How?" has
already been told, after a fashion, in the verses prefixed to
"Alice in Wonderland"; and some other memories of that happy
summer day are set down, for those who care to see them, in this
little book--the germ that was to grow into the published volume.
But the "Why?" cannot, and need not, be put into words. Those for
whom a child's mind is a sealed book, and who see no divinity in
a child's smile, would read such words in vain: while for any one
that has ever loved one true child, no words are needed. For he
will have known the awe that falls on one in the presence of a
spirit fresh from_ GOD'S _hands, on whom no shadow of sin, and
but the outermost fringe of the shadow of sorrow, has yet fallen:
he will have felt the bitter contrast between the haunting
selfishness that spoils his best deeds and the life that is but
an overflowing love--for I think a child's_ first _attitude to
the world is a simple love for all living things: and he will
have learned that the best work a man can do is when he works for
love's sake only, with no thought of name, or gain, or earthly
reward. No deed of ours, I suppose, on this side the grave, is
really unselfish: yet if one can put forth all one's powers in a
task where nothing of reward is hoped for but a little child's
whispered thanks, and the airy touch of a little child's pure
lips, one seems to come somewhere near to this._
_There was no idea of publication in my mind when I wrote this
little book_: that _was wholly an afterthought, pressed on me by
the "perhaps too partial friends" who always have to bear the
blame when a writer rushes into print: and I can truly say that
no praise of theirs has ever given me one hundredth part of the
pleasure it has been to think of the sick children in hospitals
(where it has been a delight to me to send copies) forgetting,
for a few bright hours, their pain and weariness--perhaps
thinking lovingly of the unknown writer of the tale--perhaps even
putting up a childish prayer (and oh, how much it needs!) for one
who can but dimly hope to stand, some day, not quite out of sight
of those pure young faces, before the great white throne. "I am
very sure," writes a lady-visitor at a Home for Sick Children,
"that there will be many loving earnest prayers for you on Easter
morning from the children._"
_I would like to quote further from her letters, as embodying a
suggestion that may perhaps thus come to the notice of some one
able and willing to carry it out._
"_I want you to send me one of your Easter Greetings for a very
dear child who is dying at our Home. She is just fading away, and
'Alice' has brightened some of the weary hours in her illness,
and I know that letter would be such a delight to her--especially
if you would put 'Minnie' at the top, and she could know you had
sent it for her._ She _knows_ you, _and would so value it.... She
suffers so much that I long for what I know would so please her."
... "Thank you very much for sending me the letter, and for
writing Minnie's name.... I am quite sure that all these children
will say a loving prayer for the 'Alice-man' on Easter Day: and I
am sure the letter will help the little ones to the real Easter
joy. How I do wish that you, who have won the hearts and
confidence of so many children, would do for them what is so very
near my heart, and yet what no one will do, viz. write a book for
children about_ GOD _and themselves, which is_ not _goody, and
which begins at the right end, about religion, to make them see
what it really is. I get quite miserable very often over the
children I come across: hardly any of them have an idea of_
really _knowing that_ GOD _loves them, or of loving and confiding
in Him. They will love and trust_ me, _and be sure that I want
them to be happy, and will not let them suffer more than is
necessary: but as for going to Him in the same way, they would
never think of it. They are dreadfully afraid of Him, if they
think of Him at all, which they generally only do when they have
been naughty, and they look on all connected with Him as very
grave and dull: and, when they are full of fun and thoroughly
happy, I am sure they unconsciously hope He is not looking. I am
sure I don't wonder they think of Him in this way, for people_
never _talk of Him in connection with what makes their little
lives the brightest. If they are naughty, people put on solemn
faces, and say He is very angry or shocked, or something which
frightens them: and, for the rest, He is talked about only in a
way that makes them think of church and having to be quiet. As
for being taught that all Joy and all Gladness and Brightness is
His Joy--that He is wearying for them to be happy, and is not
hard and stern, but always doing things to make their days
brighter, and caring for them so tenderly, and wanting them to
run to Him with_ all _their little joys and sorrows, they are
not taught that. I do so long to make them trust Him as they
trust us, to feel that He will 'take their part' as they do with
us in their little woes, and to go to Him in their plays and
enjoyments and not only when they say their prayers. I was quite
grateful to one little dot, a short time ago, who said to his
mother 'when I am in bed, I put out my hand to see if I can feel_
JESUS _and my angel. I thought perhaps_ in the dark _they'd touch
me, but they never have yet.' I do so want them to_ want _to go
to Him, and to feel how, if He is there, it_ must _be happy._"
_Let me add--for I feel I have drifted into far too serious a vein
for a preface to a fairy-tale--the deliciously naïve remark of a
very dear child-friend, whom I asked, after an acquaintance of two
or three days, if she had read 'Alice' and the 'Looking-Glass.' "Oh
yes," she replied readily, "I've read both of them! And I think"
(this more slowly and thoughtfully) "I think 'Through the
Looking-Glass' is_ more _stupid than 'Alice's Adventures.' Don't_
you _think so?" But this was a question I felt it would be hardly
discreet for me to enter upon._
* * * * *
AN EASTER GREETING
EVERY CHILD WHO LOVES
_Please to fancy, if you can, that you are reading a real letter,
from a real friend whom you have seen, and whose voice you can
seem to yourself to hear wishing you, as I do now with all my
heart, a happy Easter._
_Do you know that delicious dreamy feeling when one first wakes
on a summer morning, with the twitter of birds in the air, and
the fresh breeze coming in at the open window--when, lying lazily
with eyes half shut, one sees as in a dream green boughs waving,
or waters rippling in a golden light? It is a pleasure very near
to sadness, bringing tears to one's eyes like a beautiful picture
or poem. And is not that a Mother's gentle hand that undraws your
curtains, and a Mother's sweet voice that summons you to rise? To
rise and forget, in the bright sunlight, the ugly dreams that
frightened you so when all was dark--to rise and enjoy another
happy day, first kneeling to thank that unseen Friend, who sends
you the beautiful sun_?
_Are these strange words from a writer of such tales as "Alice"?
And is this a strange letter to find in a book of nonsense? It
may be so. Some perhaps may blame me for thus mixing together
things grave and gay; others may smile and think it odd that any
one should speak of solemn things at all, except in church and on
a Sunday: but I think--nay, I am sure--that some children will
read this gently and lovingly, and in the spirit in which I have
_For I do not believe God means us thus to divide life into two
halves--to wear a grave face on Sunday, and to think it
out-of-place to even so much as mention Him on a week-day. Do you
think He cares to see only kneeling figures, and to hear only
tones of prayer--and that He does not also love to see the lambs
leaping in the sunlight, and to hear the merry voices of the
children, as they roll among the hay? Surely their innocent
laughter is as sweet in His ears as the grandest anthem that ever
rolled up from the "dim religious light" of some solemn
_And if I have written anything to add to those stores of
innocent and healthy amusement that are laid up in books for the
children I love so well, it is surely something I may hope to
look back upon without shame and sorrow (as how much of life must
then be recalled!) when_ my _turn comes to walk through the
valley of shadows._
_This Easter sun will rise on you, dear child, feeling your "life
in every limb," and eager to rush out into the fresh morning
air_--_and many an Easter-day will come and go, before it finds
you feeble and gray-headed, creeping wearily out to bask once
more in the sunlight--but it is good, even now, to think
sometimes of that great morning when the "Sun of Righteousness
shall arise with healing in his wings."_
_Surely your gladness need not be the less for the thought that
you will one day see a brighter dawn than this--when lovelier
sights will meet your eyes than any waving trees or rippling
waters--when angel-hands shall undraw your curtains, and sweeter
tones than ever loving Mother breathed shall wake you to a new
and glorious day--and when all the sadness, and the sin, that
darkened life on this little earth, shall be forgotten like the
dreams of a night that is past!_
_Your affectionate friend_,
* * * * *
[FROM A FAIRY TO A CHILD.]
Lady dear, if Fairies may
For a moment lay aside
Cunning tricks and elfish play,
'Tis at happy Christmas-tide.
We have heard the children say--
Gentle children, whom we love--
Long ago, on Christmas Day,
Came a message from above.
Still, as Christmas-tide comes round,
They remember it again--
Echo still the joyful sound
"Peace on earth, good-will to men!"
Yet the hearts must childlike be
Where such heavenly guests abide:
Unto children, in their glee,
All the year is Christmas-tide!
Thus, forgetting tricks and play
For a moment, Lady dear,
We would wish you, if we may,
Merry Christmas, glad New Year!
* * * * *
WORKS BY LEWIS CARROLL.
MACMILLAN AND CO., LONDON.
ALICE'S ADVENTURES _IN_ WONDERLAND. With Forty-two Illustrations
by TENNIEL. (First published in 1865.) Crown 8vo, cloth, gilt
edges, price 6_s._ Seventy-eighth Thousand.
AVENTURES D'ALICE AU PAYS DES MERVEILLES. Traduit de l'Anglais
par Henri Bué. Ouvrage illustré de 42 Vignettes par JOHN TENNIEL.
(First published in 1869.) Crown 8vo, cloth, gilt edges, price
ALICE'S ABENTEUER IM WUNDERLAND. AUS DEM ENGLISCHEN, VON ANTONIE
ZIMMERMANN. MITT 42 ILLUSTRATIONEN VON JOHN TENNIEL. (First
published in 1869.) Crown 8vo, cloth, gilt edges, price 6_s._
LE AVVENTURE D'ALICE NEL PAESE DELLE MERAVIGLIE. Tradotte dall'
Inglese da T. PIETROCÒLA-ROSSETTI. Con 42 Vignette di GIOVANNI
TENNIEL. (First published in 1872.) Crown 8vo, cloth, gilt edges,
THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS AND WHAT ALICE FOUND THERE. With Fifty
Illustrations by TENNIEL. (First published in 1871.) Crown 8vo,
cloth, gilt edges, price 6_s._ Fifty sixth Thousand.
RHYME? AND REASON? With Sixty-five Illustrations by ARTHUR B.
FROST, and Nine by HENRY HOLIDAY. (This book, first published in
1883, is a reprint, with a few additions, of the comic portion of
"Phantasmagoria and other Poems," published in 1869, and of "The
Hunting of the Snark," published in 1876. Mr. Frost's pictures
are new.) Crown 8vo, cloth, coloured edges, price 6_s._ Fifth
* * * * *
WORKS BY LEWIS CARROLL.
MACMILLAN AND CO., LONDON.
A TANGLED TALE. Reprinted from _The Monthly Packet_. With Six
Illustrations by ARTHUR B. FROST. (First published in 1885.)
Crown 8vo, cloth, gilt edges, 4_s._ 6_d._ Third Thousand.
THE GAME OF LOGIC. (With an Envelope containing a card diagram
and nine counters--four red and five grey.) Crown 8vo, cloth,
N.B.--The Envelope, etc., may be had separately at 3_d._ each.
ALICE'S ADVENTURES UNDER GROUND. Being a Facsimile of the
original MS. Book, afterwards developed into "Alice's Adventures
in Wonderland." With Thirty-seven Illustrations by the Author.
Crown 8vo, cloth, gilt edges. 4_s._
THE NURSERY ALICE. A selection of twenty of the pictures in
"Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," enlarged and coloured under the
Artist's superintendence, with explanations. [_In preparation._
* * * * *
N.B. In selling the above-mentioned books to the Trade, Messrs.
Macmillan and Co. will abate 2_d._ in the shilling (no odd
copies), and allow 5 per cent. discount for payment within six
months, and 10 per cent. for cash. In selling them to the Public
(for cash only) they will allow 10 per cent. discount.
* * * * *
MR. LEWIS CARROLL, having been requested to allow "AN EASTER
GREETING" (a leaflet, addressed to children, first published in
1876, and frequently given with his books) to be sold separately,
has arranged with Messrs. Harrison, of 59, Pall Mall, who will
supply a single copy for 1_d._, or 12 for 9_d._, or 100 for 5_s._
* * * * *
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