ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND
RETOLD IN WORDS OF ONE SYLLABLE
By MRS. J.C. GORHAM
A.L. BURT COMPANY PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK COPYRIGHT 1905
* * * * *
CHAPTER I. DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE
CHAPTER II. THE POOL OF TEARS
CHAPTER III. A RACE
CHAPTER IV. THE RABBIT SENDS IN A BILL
CHAPTER V. A CATERPILLAR TELLS ALICE WHAT TO DO
CHAPTER VI. PIG AND PEPPER
CHAPTER VII. A MAD TEA PARTY
CHAPTER VIII. THE QUEEN'S CROQUET GROUND
CHAPTER IX. THE MOCK TURTLE
CHAPTER X. THE LOBSTER DANCE
CHAPTER XI. WHO STOLE THE TARTS?
CHAPTER XII. ALICE ON THE STAND
DOWN THE RAB-BIT HOLE.
Al-ice had sat on the bank by her sis-ter till she was tired. Once or twice she had looked at the book her sis-ter held in her hand, but there were no pict-ures in it, "and what is the use of a book," thought Alice, "with-out pict-ures?" She asked her-self as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel quite dull, if it would be worth while to get up and pick some dai-sies to make a chain. Just then a white rab-bit with pink eyes ran close by her.
That was not such a strange thing, nor did Alice think it so much out of the way to hear the Rab-bit say, "Oh dear! Oh, dear! I shall be late!" But when the Rab-bit took a watch out of its pock-et, and looked at it and then ran on, Al-ice start-ed to her feet, for she knew that was the first time she had seen a Rab-bit with a watch. She jumped up and ran to get a look at it, and was just in time to see it pop down a large rab-bit hole near the hedge.
As fast as she could go, Al-ice went down the hole af-ter it, and did not once stop to think how in the world she was to get out.
The hole went straight on for some way and then turned down with a sharp bend, so sharp that Al-ice had no time to think to stop till she found her-self fall-ing in what seemed a deep well.
She must not have moved fast, or the well must have been quite deep, for it took her a long time to go down, and as she went she had time to look at the strange things she passed. First she tried to look down and make out what was there, but it was too dark to see; then she looked at the sides of the well and saw that they were piled with book-shelves; here and there she saw maps hung on pegs. She took down a jar from one of the shelves as she passed. On it was the word Jam, but there was no jam in it, so she put it back on one of the shelves as she fell past it.
"Well," thought Al-ice to her-self, "af-ter such a fall as this, I shall not mind a fall down stairs at all. How brave they'll all think me at home! Why, I wouldn't say a thing if I fell off the top of the house." (Which I dare say was quite true.)
Down, down, down. Would the fall nev-er come to an end? "I should like to know," she said, "how far I have come by this time. Wouldn't it be strange if I should fall right through the earth and come out where the folks walk with their feet up and their heads down?"
Down, down, down. "Di-nah will miss me to-night," Al-ice went on. (Di-nah was the cat.) "I hope they'll think to give her her milk at tea-time. Di-nah, my dear! I wish you were down here with me! There are no mice in the air, but you might catch a bat, and that's much like a mouse, you know. But do cats eat bats?" And here Al-ice must have gone to sleep, for she dreamed that she walked hand in hand with Di-nah, and just as she asked her, "Now, Di-nah, tell me the truth, do you eat bats?" all at once, thump! thump! down she came on a heap of sticks and dry leaves, and the long fall was o-ver.
Al-ice was not a bit hurt, but at once jumped to her feet. She looked up, but all was dark there. At the end of a long hall in front of her the white rab-bit was still in sight. There was no time to be lost, so off Al-ice went like the wind, and was just in time to hear it say, "Oh, my ears, how late it is!" then it was out of sight. She found she was in a long hall with a low roof, from which hung a row of light-ed lamps.
There were doors on all sides, but when Al-ice had been all round and tried each one, she found they were all locked. She walked back and forth and tried to think how she was to get out. At last she came to a stand made all of glass. On it was a ti-ny key of gold, and Al-ice's first thought was that this might be a key to one of the doors of the hall, but when she had tried the key in each lock, she found the locks were too large or the key was too small—it did not fit one of them. But when she went round the hall once more she came to a low cur-tain which she had not seen at first, and when she drew this back she found a small door, not much more than a foot high; she tried the key in the lock, and to her great joy it fit-ted!
Al-ice found that the door led to a hall the size of a rat hole; she knelt down and looked through it in-to a gar-den of gay flow-ers. How she longed to get out of that dark hall and near those bright blooms; but she could not so much as get her head through the door; "and if my head would go through," thought Al-ice, "it would be of no use, for the rest of me would still be too large to go through. Oh, how I wish I could shut up small! I think I could if I knew how to start."
There seemed to be no use to wait by the small door, so she went back to the stand with the hope that she might find a key to one of the large doors, or may-be a book of rules that would teach her to grow small. This time she found a small bot-tle on it ("which I am sure was not here just now," said Al-ice), and tied round the neck of the bot-tle was a tag with the words "Drink me" printed on it.
It was all right to say "Drink me," but Al-ice was too wise to do that in haste: "No, I'll look first," she said, "and see if it's marked 'poi-son' or not," for she had been taught if you drink much from a bot-tle marked 'poi-son,' it is sure to make you sick. This had no such mark on it, so she dared to taste it, and as she found it nice (it had, in fact, a taste of pie, ice-cream, roast fowl, and hot toast), she soon drank it off.
"How strange I feel," said Al-ice. "I am sure I am not so large as I was!"
And so it was; she was now not quite a foot high, and her face light-ed up at the thought that she was now the right size to go through the small door and get out to that love-ly gar-den.
Poor Al-ice! When she reached the door she found that she had left the key on the stand, and when she went back for it, she found she could by no means reach it. She could see it through the glass, and she tried her best to climb one of the legs of the stand, but it was too sleek, and when she was quite tired out, she sat down and cried.
"Come, there's no use to cry like that!" Al-ice said to her-self as stern as she could speak. "I tell you to leave off at once!"
Soon her eyes fell on a small glass box that lay on the floor. She looked in it and found a tiny cake on which were the words "Eat me," marked in grapes. "Well, I'll eat it," said Al-ice, "and if it makes me grow tall, I can reach the key, and if it makes me shrink up, I can creep un-der the door; so I'll get out some way."
So she set to work and soon ate all the cake.
THE POOL OF TEARS.
"How strange! Oh my!" said Al-ice, "how tall I am, and all at once, too! Good-by, feet." (For when she looked down at her feet they seemed so far off, she thought they would soon be out of sight.) "Oh, my poor feet, who will put on your shoes for you now, dears? I'm sure I shan't do it. I shall be a great deal too far off to take care of you; you must get on the best way you can; but I must be kind to them," thought Al-ice, "or they won't walk the way I want to go! Let me see: I'll give them a pair of new shoes each, Christ-mas."
She stopped to think how she would send them. "They must go by the mail," she thought; "and how fun-ny it'll seem to send shoes to one's own feet. How odd the ad-dress will look!
AL-ICE'S RIGHT FOOT, ESQ., Hearth-rug, Near the Fire. (With Al-ice's love.)
Oh dear, there's no sense in all that."
Just then her head struck the roof of the hall; in fact she was now more than nine feet high, and she at once took up the small key and went back to the door.
Poor Al-ice! It was as much as she could do, when she lay down on one side, to look through to the gar-den with one eye: but to get through was not to be hoped for, so she sat down and had a good cry.
"Shame on you," said Al-ice, "a great big girl like you" (she might well say this) "to cry in this way! Stop at once, I tell you!" But she went on all the same, and shed tears till there was a large pool all round her, and which reached half way down the hall.
At last she heard the sound of feet not far off, then she dried her eyes in great haste to see who it was. It was the White Rab-bit that had come back, dressed in fine clothes, with a pair of white kid gloves in one hand, and a large fan in the oth-er. He trot-ted on in great haste, and talked to him-self as he came, "Oh! the Duch-ess, the Duch-ess! Oh! won't she be in a fine rage if I've made her wait?"
Al-ice felt so bad and so in need of help from some one, that when the Rab-bit came near, she said in a low tim-id voice, "If you please, sir—" The Rab-bit started as if shot, dropped the white kid gloves and the fan and ran off in-to the dark as fast as his two hind feet could take him.
Al-ice took up the fan and gloves and as the hall was quite hot, she fanned her-self all the time she went on talk-ing. "Dear, dear! How queer all things are to-day! Could I have been changed in the night? Let me think: was I the same when I got up to-day? Seems to me I didn't feel quite the same. But if I'm not the same, then who in the world am I?" Then she thought of all the girls she knew that were of her age, to see if she could have been changed for one of them.
"I'm sure I'm not A-da," she said, "for her hair is in such long curls and mine doesn't curl at all; and I'm sure I can't be Ma-bel, for I know all sorts of things, and she, oh! she knows such a lit-tle! Then, she's she, and I'm I, and—oh dear, how strange 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 thir-teen, and four times sev-en is—oh dear! that is not right. I must have been changed for Ma-bel! I'll try if I know 'How doth the lit-tle—'" and she placed her hands on her lap, as if she were at school and tried to say it, but her voice was hoarse and strange and the words did not come the same as they used to do.
"I'm sure those are not the right words," said poor Al-ice, and her eyes filled with tears as she went on, "I must be Ma-bel af-ter all, and I shall have to go and live in that po-ky house and have next to no toys to play with, and oh! such hard things to learn. No, I've made up my mind; if I'm Ma-bel, I'll stay down here! It'll be no use for them to put their heads down and say, 'Come up, dear!' I shall look up and say, 'Who am I, then? Tell me that first, and then if I like it, I'll come up; if not, I'll stay down here till I'm some one else'—but, oh dear," cried Al-ice with a fresh burst of tears, "I do wish they would put their heads down! I am so tired of this place!"
As she said this she looked down at her hands and saw that she had put on one of the Rab-bit's white kid gloves while she was talk-ing. "How can I have done that?" she thought. "I must have grown small once more." She got up and went to the glass stand to test her height by that, and found that as well as she could guess she was now not more than two feet high, and still shrink-ing quite fast. She soon found out that the cause of this, was the fan she held and she dropped it at once, or she might have shrunk to the size of a gnat.
Al-ice was, at first, in a sad fright at the quick change, but glad that it was no worse. "Now for the gar-den," and she ran with all her speed back to the small door; but, oh dear! the door was shut, and the key lay on the glass stand, "and things are worse than ev-er," thought the poor child, "for I nev-er was so small as this, nev-er! It's too bad, that it is!"
As she said these words her foot slipped, and splash! she was up to her chin in salt wa-ter. At first she thought she must be in the sea, but she soon made out that she was in the pool of tears which she had wept when she was nine feet high.
"I wish I hadn't cried so much!" said Al-ice as she swam round and tried to find her way out. "I shall now be drowned in my own tears. That will be a queer thing, to be sure! But all things are queer to-day."
Just then she heard a splash in the pool a lit-tle way off, and she swam near to make out what it was; at first she thought it must be a whale, but when she thought how small she was now, she soon made out that it was a mouse that had slipped in the pond.
"Would it be of an-y use now to speak to this mouse? All things are so out-of-way down here, I should think may-be it can talk, at least there's no harm to try." So she said: "O Mouse, do you know the way out of this pool? I have swum here till I'm quite tired, O Mouse!" The Mouse looked at her and seemed to her to wink with one of its small eyes, but it did not speak.
"It may be a French Mouse," thought Al-ice, so she said: "Ou est ma chatte?" (Where is my cat?) which was all the French she could think of just then. The Mouse gave a quick leap out of the wa-ter, and seemed in a great fright, "Oh, I beg your par-don," cried Al-ice. "I quite for-got you didn't like cats."
"Not like cats!" cried the Mouse in a shrill, harsh voice. "Would you like cats if you were me?"
"Well, I guess not," said Al-ice, "but please don't get mad. And yet I wish I could show you our cat, Di-nah. I'm sure you'd like cats if you could see her. She is such a dear thing," Al-ice went on half to her-self as she swam round in the pool, "and she sits and purrs by the fire and licks her paws and wash-es her face—and she is such a nice soft thing to nurse—and she's a fine one to catch mice—Oh, dear!" cried Al-ice, for this time the Mouse was in a great fright and each hair stood on end. "We won't talk of her if you don't like it."
"We talk!" cried the Mouse, who shook down to the end of his tail. "As if I would talk of such low, mean things as cats! All rats hate them. Don't let me hear the name a-gain!"
"I won't," said Al-ice, in great haste to change the theme. "Are you fond—of—of dogs?" The mouse did not speak, so Al-ice went on: "There is such a nice dog near our house, I should like to show you! A ti-ny bright-eyed dog, you know, with oh! such long cur-ly brown hair! And it'll fetch things when you throw them, and it'll sit up and beg for its meat and do all sorts of things—I can't tell you half of them. And it kills all the rats, and m—oh dear!" cried Al-ice in a sad tone, "I've made it mad a-gain!" For the Mouse swam off from her as fast as it could go, and made quite a stir in the pool as it went.
So she called it in a soft, kind voice, "Mouse dear! Do come back and we won't talk of cats or dogs if you don't like them!" When the Mouse heard this it turned round and swam back to her; its face was quite pale (with rage, Al-ice thought), and it said in a low, weak voice, "Let us get to the shore, and then I'll tell you why it is I hate cats and dogs."
It was high time to go, for the pool was by this time quite crowded with the birds and beasts that had slipped in-to it. Al-ice led the way and they all swam to the shore.
They were a queer look-ing crowd as they stood or sat on the bank—the wings and tails of the birds drooped to the earth; the fur of the beasts clung close to them, and all were as wet and cross as could be.
The first thought, of course, was how to get dry. They had a long talk a-bout this, and Al-ice joined with, them as if she had known them all her life. But it was hard to tell what was best.
"What I want to say," at last spoke up the Do-do, "is that the best thing to get us dry would be a race."
"What kind of race?" asked Al-ice, not that she much want-ed to know, but the Do-do had paused as if it thought that some one ought to speak, and no one else would say a word. "Why," said the Do-do, "the best way to make it plain is to do it." (And as you might like to try the thing some cold day, I'll tell you how the Do-do did it.)
First it marked out a race-course in a sort of ring (it didn't care much for the shape), and then all the crowd were placed on the course, here and there. There was no "One, two, three, and here we go," but they ran when they liked and left off when they liked, so that no one could tell when the race was ended. When they had been running half an hour or so and were all quite dry, the Do-do called out, "The race is o-ver!" and they all crow-ded round it and and asked, "But who has won?"
This the Do-do could not, at first, tell, but sat for a long time with one claw pressed to its head while the rest wait-ed, but did not speak. At last the Do-do said, "All have won and each must have a prize."
"But who is to give them?" all asked at once.
"Why, she of course," said the Do-do, as it point-ed to Al-ice with one long claw; and the whole par-ty at once crowd-ed round her as they called out, "A prize, a prize!"
Al-ice did not know what to do, but she pulled from her pock-et a box of lit-tle cakes (by a strange, good luck they did not get wet while she was in the pool) and hand-ed them round as priz-es. There was one a-piece all round.
"But she must have a prize, you know," said the Mouse.
"Of course," the Do-do said. "What else have you got?" he went on as he turned to Al-ice.
"A thim-ble," said Al-ice looking quite sad.
"Hand it here," said the Do-do.
Then they all crowd-ed round her once more, while the Do-do hand-ed the thim-ble back to Al-ice and said, "We beg that you accept this fine thim-ble;" and when it had made this short speech they all cheered.
Al-ice thought the whole thing quite fool-ish, but they all looked so grave that she did not dare to laugh, and as she could not think what to say she bowed and took the thim-ble, while she looked as staid as she could.
The next thing was to eat the cakes: this caused some noise, as the large birds said they could not taste theirs, and the small ones choked and had to be pat-ted on the back. It was o-ver at last and they sat down in a ring and begged the Mouse to tell them a tale.
"You said you would tell us why you hate cats and dogs," said Al-ice.
"Mine is a long and a sad tale," said the Mouse, as it turned to Al-ice with a sigh.
"It is a long tail, I'm sure," said Al-ice, look-ing down at the Mouse's tail; "but why do you call it sad?"
"I shall not tell you," said the Mouse, as it got up and walked off.
"Please come back and tell us your tale," called Al-ice; and all joined in, "Yes, please do!" but the Mouse shook its head and walked on and was soon out of sight.
"I wish I had our Di-nah here, I know I do!" said Al-ice. "She'd soon fetch it back."
"And who is Di-nah, if I may dare to ask such a thing?" said one of the birds.
Al-ice was glad to talk of her pet. "Di-nah's our cat; and she's such a fine one to catch mice, you can't think. And oh, I wish you could see her chase a bird! Why she'll eat a bird as soon as look at it!"
This speech caused a great stir in the par-ty. Some of the birds rushed off at once; one old jay wrapped it-self up with care and said, "I must get home; the night air doesn't suit my throat!" and a wren called out to her brood, "come, my dears! It's high time you were all in bed."
Soon they all moved off and Al-ice was left a-lone.
"I wish I hadn't told them of Di-nah," she said to her-self. "No one seems to like her down here, and I'm sure she's the best cat in the world! Oh, my dear Di-nah! Shall I ev-er see you an-y more?" And here poor Al-ice burst in-to tears, for she felt ver-y sad and lone-ly. In a short time she heard the pat-ter of feet, and she looked up with the hope that the Mouse had changed its mind and come back to tell his "long and sad tale."
THE RAB-BIT SENDS IN A BILL.
It was the White Rab-bit who trot-ted back a-gain. It looked from side to side as it went as if it had lost some-thing; and Al-ice heard it say to it-self, "The Duch-ess! The Duch-ess! Oh, my dear paws! She'll get my head cut off as sure as rats are rats! Where can I have lost them!" Al-ice guessed at once that he was in search of the fan and the pair of white kid gloves, and like the good girl that she was, she set out to hunt for them, but they were not to be found. All things seemed to have changed since her swim in the pool; the great hall with the glass stand and the lit-tle door—all were gone. Soon the Rab-bit saw Al-ice and called out to her, "Why, Ann, what are you out here for? Run home at once, and fetch me a pair of gloves and a fan! Quick, now!" And Al-ice was in such a fright that she ran off and did not wait to tell it who she was.
"He took me for his house-maid," she said to her-self as she ran. "What will he think when he finds out who I am! But I must take him his fan and gloves—that is if I can find them."
As she said this she came to a small neat house on the door of which was a bright brass plate with the name W. Rab-bit on it. She ran up-stairs in great fear lest she should meet Ann and be turned out of the house be-fore she had found the fan and gloves.
"How queer it seems that I should do things for a Rab-bit! I guess Di-nah'll send me to wait on her next!"
By this time she had made her way to a ti-dy room with a ta-ble near the wall, and on it, as she had hoped, a fan and two or three pairs of small white kid gloves. She took up the fan and a pair of gloves, and turned to leave the room, when her eye fell up-on a small bot-tle that stood near. There was no tag this time with the words "Drink me," but Al-ice put it to her lips. "I know I am sure to change in some way, if I eat or drink any-thing; so I'll just see what this does. I do hope it'll make me grow large a-gain, for I'm quite tired of this size," Al-ice said to her-self.
It did as she had wished, for in a short time her head pressed the roof so hard she couldn't stand up straight. She put the bot-tle down in haste and said, "That's as much as I need—I hope I shan't grow an-y more—as it is, I can't get out at the door—I do wish I hadn't drunk so much!"
But it was too late to wish that! She grew and grew, till she had to kneel down on the floor; next there was not room for this and she had to lie down. Still she grew and grew and grew till she had to put one arm out the window and one foot up the chim-ney and said to her-self, "Now I can do no more, let come what may." There seemed no sort of chance that she could ev-er get out of the room.
"I wish I was at home," thought poor Al-ice, "where I wouldn't change so much, and where I didn't have to do things for mice and rab-bits. I wish I hadn't gone down that rab-bit hole—and yet—and yet—it's queer, you know, this sort of life! When I used to read fair-y tales, I thought they were just made up by some one, and now here I am in one my-self. When I grow up I'll write a book a-bout these strange things—but I'm grown up now," she added in a sad tone, "at least there's no room to grow an-y more here."
She heard a voice out-side and stopped to list-en.
"Ann! Ann!" said the voice, "fetch me my gloves, quick!" Then came the sound of feet on the stairs. Al-ice knew it was the Rab-bit and that it had come to look for her. She quaked with fear till she shook the house. Poor thing! She didn't think that she was now more than ten times as large as the Rab-bit, and that she had no cause to be a-fraid of it.
Soon the Rab-bit came to the door and tried to come in, but Al-ice's arm pressed it so hard the door would not move. Al-ice heard it say, "Then I'll go round and get in at the win-dow."
"That you won't!" thought Al-ice; then she wait-ed till she heard the Rab-bit quite near the win-dow, then spread out her hand and made a snatch in the air. She did not get hold of it, but she heard a shriek and a fall.
Next came an an-gry voice—the Rab-bit's—"Pat! Pat! Where are you?" And then a voice which was new to her, "Sure then, I'm here! Dig-ging for apples, yer hon-or!"
"Dig-ging for ap-ples, in-deed!" said the Rab-bit. "Here! Come and help me out of this! Now, tell me, Pat, what's that in the win-dow?"
"Sure it's an arm, yer hon-or"
"An arm, you goose! Who-ever saw one that size? Why, it fills the whole win-dow!"
"Sure it does, yer hon-or; but it's an arm for all that."
"Well, it has no right there; go and take it out!"
For a long time they seemed to stand still, but now and then Al-ice could hear a few words in a low voice, such as, "Sure I don't like it, yer hon-or, at all, at all!"
"Do as I tell you, you cow-ard!" and at last she spread out her hand and made a snatch in the air. This time there were two lit-tle shrieks.
"I should like to know what they'll do next! As to their threats to pull me out, I on-ly wish they could. I'm sure I don't want to stay in here."
She wait-ed for some time, but all was still; at last came the noise of small cart wheels and the sound of voi-ces, from which she made out the words, "Where's the oth-er lad-der? Why, I hadn't to bring but one; Bill's got the oth-er. Bill, fetch it here, lad! Here, put 'em up at this place. No, tie 'em first—they don't reach half as high as they should yet—oh, they'll do. Here, Bill! catch hold of this rope—Will the roof bear? Mind that loose slate—oh, here it comes! Look out. (A loud crash.)—Now who did that? It was Bill, I guess—Who's to go down the chim-ney? Nay, I shan't! You do it!—That I won't then!—Bill's got to go down—Here, Bill, you've got to go down the chim-ney!"
"Oh, so Bill's got to come down, has he?" said Al-ice to her-self. "Why, they seem to put all the work on Bill. I wouldn't be in Bill's place for a good deal; this fire-place is small, to be sure, but I think I can kick some."
She drew her foot as far down as she could, and wait-ed till she heard a small beast (she couldn't guess of what sort it was) come scratch! scratch! down the chim-ney quite close to her; then she said to her-self: "This is Bill," gave one sharp kick and wait-ed to see what would hap-pen next.
The first thing she heard was, "There goes Bill!" then the Rab-bit's voice, "Catch him, you by the hedge!" Then all was still, then the voices—"Hold up his head—Wine now—Don't choke him—How was it, old fel-low? What sent you up so fast? Tell us all a-bout it!"
Last came a weak voice ("That's Bill," thought Al-ice), "Well, I don't know—no more, thank'ye, I'm not so weak now—but I'm a deal too shocked to tell you—all I know is, a thing comes at me like a Jack-in-the-box, and up I goes like a rocket."
"So you did, old fel-low," said the oth-ers.
"We must burn the house down," said the Rab-bit's voice, and Al-ice called out as loud as she could, "If you do, I'll set Di-nah at you!"
At once all was still as death, and Al-ice thought, "What will they do next? If they had an-y sense, they'd take the roof off."
Then she heard the Rab-bit say, "One load will do to start with."
"A load of what?" thought Al-ice, but she had not long to doubt, for soon a show-er of small stones came in at the win-dow, and some of them hit her in the face. "I'll put a stop to this," she said to her-self, and shout-ed out, "You stop that, at once!" A-gain all was still as death.
Al-ice saw that the stones all changed to small cakes as they lay on the floor, and a bright thought came to her. "If I eat one of these cakes," she said, "it is sure to make some change in my size; and as it can't make me larg-er, I hope it will change me to the size I used to be."
So she ate one of the cakes and was glad to see that she shrank quite fast. She was soon so small that she could get through the door, so she ran out of the house and found quite a crowd of beasts and birds in the yard. The poor liz-ard, Bill, was in the midst of the group, held up by two guin-ea pigs, who gave it some-thing to drink out of a bot-tle. They all made a rush at Al-ice, as soon as she came out, but she ran off as hard as she could, and was soon safe in a thick wood.
"The first thing I've got to do," said Al-ice to her-self, as she walked round in the wood, "is to grow to my right size again; and the next thing is to find my way to that love-ly gar-den. I think that will be the best plan."
It was a fine scheme, no doubt, and well planned, but the hard thing was that she did not in the least know how she should start to work it out; and while she peered round through the trees, a sharp bark just o-ver her head made her look up in great haste.
A great pup-py looked down at her with large round eyes, stretched out one paw and tried to touch her. "Poor thing!" said Al-ice in a kind tone and tried hard to show it that she wished to be its friend, but she was in a sore fright, lest it should eat her up.
Al-ice could not think what to do next, so she picked up a bit of stick and held it out to the pup-py. It jumped from the tree with a yelp of joy as if to play with it; then Al-ice dodged round a large plant that stood near, but the pup-py soon found her and made a rush at the stick a-gain, but tum-bled head o-ver heels in its haste to get hold of it. Al-ice felt that it was quite like a game with a cart horse, and looked at each turn to be crushed 'neath its great feet. At last, to her joy, it seemed to grow tired of the sport and ran a good way off and sat down with its tongue out of its mouth and its big eyes half shut.
This seemed to Al-ice a good time to get out of its sight, so she set out at once and ran till she was quite tired and out of breath, and till the pup-py's bark sound-ed quite faint.
"And yet what a dear pup-py it was," said Al-ice, as she stopped to rest and fanned her-self with a leaf: "I should have liked so much to teach it tricks, if—if I'd been the right size to do it! Oh dear! I've got to grow up a-gain! Let me see—how am I to do it? I guess I ought to eat or drink some-thing, but I don't know what!"
Al-ice looked all round her at the blades of grass, the blooms, the leaves, but could not see a thing that looked like the right thing to eat or drink to make her grow.
There was a large mush-room near her, a-bout the same height as she was, and when she had looked all round it, she thought she might as well look and see what was on the top of it. She stretched up as tall as she could, and her eyes met those of a large blue cat-er-pil-lar that sat on the top with its arms fold-ed, smok-ing a queer pipe with a long stem that bent and curved round it like a hoop.
A CAT-ER-PIL-LAR TELLS ALICE WHAT TO DO.
The Cat-er-pil-lar looked at Al-ice, and she stared at it, but did not speak. At last, it took the pipe from its mouth and said, "Who are you?" Al-ice said, "I'm not sure, sir, who I am just now—I know who I was when I left home, but I think I have been changed two or three times since then."
"What do you mean by that?" asked the Cat-er-pil-lar.
"I fear I can't tell you, for I'm sure I don't know, my-self; but to change so man-y times all in one day, makes one's head swim."
"It doesn't," said the Cat-er-pil-lar.
"Well, may-be you haven't found it so yet," said Al-ice, "but when you have to change—you will some day, you know—I should think you'd feel it queer, won't you?"
"Not a bit," said the Cat-er-pil-lar.
"Well, you may not feel as I do," said Al-ice; "all I know is, it feels queer to me to change so much."
"You!" said the Cat-er-pil-lar with its nose in the air. "Who are you?"
Which brought them back to the point from which they start-ed. Al-ice was not pleased at this, so she said in as stern a voice as she could, "I think you ought to tell me who you are first."
"Why?" said the Cat-er-pil-lar.
As Al-ice could not think what to say to this and as it did not seem to want to talk, she turned a-way.
"Come back!" said the Cat-er-pil-lar. "I have some-thing to say to you!"
Al-ice turned and came back.
"Keep your tem-per," said the Cat-er-pil-lar.
"Is that all?" asked Al-ice, while she hid her an-ger as well as she could.
"No," said the Cat-er-pil-lar.
Al-ice wait-ed what seemed to her a long time, while it sat and smoked but did not speak. At last, it took the pipe from its mouth, and said, "So you think you're changed, do you?"
"I fear I am, sir," said Al-ice, "I don't know things as I once did—and I don't keep the same size, but a short while at a time."
"What things is it you don't know?"
"Well, I've tried to say the things I knew at school, but the words all came wrong."
"Let me hear you say, 'You are old, Fath-er Wil-liam,'" said the Cat-er-pil-lar.
Al-ice folded her hands, and be-gan:—
"'You are old, Fath-er Wil-liam,' the young man said, 'And your hair has be-come ver-y white, And yet you stand all the time on your head— Do you think, at your age, it is right?'
"'In my youth,' Fath-er Wil-liam then said to his son, 'I feared it might in-jure the brain; But now that I know full well I have none, Why, I do it a-gain and a-gain.'
"'You are old,' said the youth, 'shall I tell you once more? And are now quite as large as a tun; Yet you turned a back som-er-set in at the door— Pray, tell me now, how was that done?'
"'In my youth,' said the sage, as he shook his gray locks. I kept all my limbs ver-y sup-ple By the use of this oint-ment—one shil-ling the box— Al-low me to sell you a coup-le.'
"'You are old,' said the youth, and your jaws are too weak For an-y thing tough-er than su-et; Yet you ate up the goose, with the bones and the beak: Pray, how did you man-age to do it?'
"'In my youth,' said his fath-er, 'I took to the law And ar-gued each case with my wife; And the ver-y great strength, which it gave to my jaw, Has last-ed the rest of my life.'
"'You are old,' said the youth; 'one would hard-ly sup-pose That your eye was as stead-y as ev-er; Yet you bal-ance an eel on the end of your nose— What makes you al-ways so clev-er?'
"'I have re-plied to three ques-tions, and that is e-nough,' Said the fath-er; 'don't give your-self airs! Do you think I can lis-ten all day to such stuff? Be off, or I'll kick you down-stairs!'"
"That is not said right," said the Cat-er-pil-lar.
"Not quite right, I fear," said Al-ice, "some of the words are changed."
"It is wrong from first to last," said the Cat-er-pil-lar; then did not speak for some time. At last it said, "What size do you want to be?"
"Oh, I don't care so much as to size, but one does'nt like to change so much, you know."
"I don't know," it said.
Al-ice was too much vexed to speak, for she had nev-er, in all her life, been talked to in that rude way.
"Do you like your size now?" asked the Cat-er-pil-lar.
"Well, I'm not quite so large as I would like to be," said Al-ice; "three inch-es is such a wretch-ed height to be."
"It is a good height, in-deed!" said the Cat-er-pil-lar, and reared it-self up straight as it spoke. (It was just three inch-es high.)
"But I'm not used to it!" plead-ed poor Al-ice. And she thought, "I wish the things wouldn't be so ea-sy to get mad!"
"You'll get used to it in time," the Cat-er-pil-lar said, and put the pipe to its mouth, and Al-ice wait-ed till it should choose to speak. At last it took the pipe from its mouth, yawned once or twice, then got down from its perch and crawled off in the grass. As it went it said, "One side will make you tall, and one side will make you small.
"One side of what?" thought Al-ice to her-self.
"Of the mush-room," said the Cat-er-pil-lar, just as if it had heard her speak; soon it was out of sight.
Al-ice stood and looked at the mush-room a long time and tried to make out which were the two sides of it; as it was round she found this a hard thing to do. At last she stretched her arms round it as far as they would go, and broke off a bit of the edge with each hand.
"And now which is which?" she said to her-self, and ate a small piece of the right-hand bit, to try what it would do. The next mo-ment she felt her chin strike her foot with a hard blow.
She was in a sore fright at this quick change, but she felt that there was no time to be lost as she was shrink-ing so fast; so she set to work at once to eat some from the left hand bit.
* * * * *
"Come, my head's free at last!" said Al-ice, with great joy, which changed to fear when she found that her waist and hands were no-where to be seen. All she could see when she looked down was a vast length of neck, which seemed to rise like a stalk out of a sea of green leaves that lay far be-low her.
"What can all that green stuff be?" said Al-ice. "And where has my waist got to? And oh, my poor hands, how is it I can't see you?" She moved them as she spoke; the green leaves shook as if to let her know her hands were there, but she could not see them.
As there seemed to be no chance to get her hands up to her head, she tried to get her head down to them and was pleased to find that her neck would bend a-bout like a snake. Just as she had curved it down and meant to dive in the sea of green, which she found was the tops of the trees 'neath which she had been walk-ing, a sharp hiss made her draw back in haste. A large bird had flown in-to her face, and struck her with its wings.
"Snake! snake!" screamed the bird.
"I'm not a snake," said Al-ice. "Let me a-lone!"
"Snake, I say, Snake!" cried the bird, then add-ed with a kind of sob, "I've tried all ways, but I can-not suit them."
"I don't know what you mean," said Al-ice.
The bird seemed not to hear her, but went on, "I've tried the roots of trees, and I've tried banks, and I've tried a hedge; but those snakes! There's no way to please them. As if it were not hard work to hatch the eggs, but I must watch for snakes night and day! Why I haven't had a wink of sleep these three weeks!"
"It's too bad for you to be so much put out," said Al-ice, who be-gan to see what it meant.
"And just as I had built my nest in this high tree," the bird went on, rais-ing its voice to a shriek, "and just as I thought I should be free of them at last, they must needs fall down from the sky! Ugh! Snake!"
"But I'm not a snake, I tell you!" said Al-ice. "I'm a—I'm a—"
"Well! What are you?" said the bird. "I can see you will not tell me the truth!"
"I—I'm a lit-tle girl," said Al-ice, though she was not sure what she was when she thought of all the chang-es she had gone through that day.
"I've seen girls in my time, but none with such a neck as that!" said the bird. "No! no! You're a snake; and there's no use to say you're not. I guess you'll say next that you don't eat eggs!"
"Of course I eat eggs," said Al-ice, "but girls eat eggs quite as much as snakes do, you know."
"I don't know," said the bird, "but if they do, why then they're a kind of snake, that's all I can say."
This was such a new thing to Al-ice that at first, she did not speak, which gave the bird a chance to add, "You want eggs now, I know that quite well."
"But I don't want eggs, and if I did I should-n't want yours. I don't like them raw."
"Well, be off, then!" said the bird as it sat down in its nest.
Al-ice crouched down through the trees as well as she could, for her neck would twist round the boughs, and now and then she had to stop to get it off. At last, she thought of the mush-room in her hands, and set to work with great care, to take a small bite first from the right hand, then from the left, till at length she brought her-self down to the right size.
It was so long since she had been this height, that it felt quite strange, at first, but she soon got used to it.
"Come, there's half my plan done now!" she said. "How strange all these things are! I'm not sure one hour, what I shall be the next! I'm glad I'm back to my right size: the next thing is, to get in-to that gar-den—how is that to be done, I should like to know?" As she said this, she saw in front of her, a small house, not more than four feet high. "Who lives there?" thought Al-ice, "it'll not do at all to come up-on them this size: why I should scare them out of their wits!"
So she ate some of the right hand bit, a-gain and did not dare to go near the house till she had brought her-self down to nine inch-es high.
PIG AND PEP-PER.
For a while Al-ice stood and looked at the house and tried to think what to do next, when a foot-man ran out of the wood (from the way he was dressed, she took him to be a foot-man; though if she had judged by his face she would have called him a fish) and knocked at the door with his fist. A foot-man with a round face and large eyes, came to the door. Al-ice want-ed to know what it all meant, so she crept a short way out of the wood to hear what they said.
The Fish-Foot-man took from un-der his arm a great let-ter and hand-ed it to the oth-er and said in a grave tone "For the Duch-ess; from the Queen." The Frog-Foot-man said in the same grave tone, "From the Queen, for the Duch-ess." Then they both bowed so low that their heads touched each oth-er.
All this made Al-ice laugh so much that she had to run back to the wood for fear they would hear her, and when she next peeped out the Fish-Foot-man was gone, and the oth-er sat on the ground near the door and stared up at the sky.
Al-ice went up to the door and knocked.
"There's no sort of use for you to knock," said the Foot-man, "I'm on the same side of the door that you are, and there is so much noise in the room that no one could hear you." There was, in-deed, a great noise in the house—a howl-ing and sneez-ing, with now and then a great crash, as if a dish or a pot had been bro-ken to piec-es.
"Please, then," said Al-ice, "how am I to get in?"
"There might be some sense in your knock-ing," the Foot-man went on, "if we were not both on the same side of the door. If you were in the room, you might knock and I could let you out, you know." He looked up at the sky all the time he was speak-ing, which Al-ice thought was quite rude. "But per-haps he can't help it," she thought, "his eyes are so near the top of his head. Still he might tell me what I ask him—How am I to get in?" she asked.
"I shall sit here," the Foot-man said, "till to-mor-row—"
Just then the door of the house flew o-pen and a large plate skimmed out straight at his head; it just grazed his nose and broke on one of the trees near him. "—or next day, may-be," he went on in the same tone as if he had not seen the plate.
"How am I to get in?" Al-ice asked as loud as she could speak.
"Are you to get in at all?" he said. "That's the first thing, you know."
It was, no doubt; but Al-ice didn't like to be told so.
The Foot-man seemed to think this a good time to say a-gain, "I shall sit here on and off, for days and days."
"But what am I to do?" said Al-ice.
"Do what you like," he said.
"Oh, there's no use to try to talk to him," said Al-ice; "he has no sense at all." And she o-pened the door and went in.
The door led right in-to a large room that was full of smoke from end to end: the Duch-ess sat on a stool and held a child in her arms; the cook stood near the fire and stirred a large pot which seemed to be full of soup.
"There's too much pep-per in that soup!" Al-ice said to her-self as well as she could for sneez-ing. There was too much of it in the air, for the Duch-ess sneezed now and then; and as for the child, it sneezed and howled all the time.
A large cat sat on the hearth grin-ning from ear to ear.
"Please, would you tell me," said Al-ice, not quite sure that it was right for her to speak first, "why your cat grins like that?"
"It's a Che-shire cat," said the Duch-ess, "and that's why. Pig!"
She said the last word so loud that Al-ice jumped; but she soon saw that the Duch-ess spoke to the child and not to her, so she went on:
"I didn't know that Che-shire cats grinned; in fact, I didn't know that cats could grin."
"They all can," said the Duch-ess; "and most of 'em do."
"I don't know of an-y that do," Al-ice said, quite pleased to have some one to talk with.
"You don't know much," said the Duch-ess; "and that's a fact."
Al-ice did not at all like the tone in which this was said, and thought it would be as well to speak of some-thing else. While she tried to think of what to say, the cook took the pot from the fire, and at once set to work throw-ing things at the Duch-ess and the child—the tongs came first, then pots, pans, plates and cups flew thick and fast through the air. The Duch-ess did not seem to see them, e-ven when they hit her; and the child had howled so loud all the while, that one could not tell if the blows hurt it or not.
"Oh, please mind what you do!" cried Al-ice, as she jumped up and down in great fear, lest she should be struck.
"Hold your tongue," said the Duch-ess; then she be-gan a sort of song to the child, giv-ing it a hard shake at the end of each line.
At the end of the song she threw the child at Al-ice and said, "Here, you may nurse it a bit if you like; I must go and get read-y to play cro-quet with the Queen," and she left the room in great haste. The cook threw a pan after her as she went, but it just missed her.
Al-ice caught the child, which held out its arms and legs on all sides, "just like a star-fish," Al-ice thought. The poor thing snort-ed like a steam en-gine when she caught it, and turned a-bout so much, it was as much as she could do at first to hold it.
As soon as she found out the right way to nurse it, (which was to twist it up in a sort of knot, then keep tight hold of its right ear and left foot), she took it out in the fresh air. "If I don't take this child with me," thought Al-ice, "they're sure to kill it in a day or two; wouldn't it be wrong to leave it here?" She said the last words out loud, and the child grunt-ed (it had left off sneez-ing by this time). "Don't grunt," said Al-ice, "that is not at all the right way to do."
The child grunt-ed a-gain and Al-ice looked at its face to see what was wrong with it. There could be no doubt that it had a turn-up nose, much more like a snout than a child's nose. Its eyes were quite small too; in fact she did not like the look of the thing at all.
"Per-haps that was not a grunt, but a sob," and she looked to see if there were tears in its eyes.
No, there were no tears. "If you're go-ing to turn in-to a pig, my dear," said Al-ice, "I'll have no more to do with you. Mind now!" The poor thing sobbed once more (or grunted, Al-ice couldn't say which).
"Now, what am I to do with this thing when I get it home?" thought Al-ice. Just then it grunt-ed so loud that she looked down at its face with some fear. This time there could be no doubt a-bout it—it was a pig!
So she set it down, and felt glad to see it trot off in-to the wood.
As she turned to walk on, she saw the Che-shire Cat on the bough of a tree a few yards off. The Cat grinned when it saw Al-ice. It looked like a good cat, she thought; still it had long claws and large teeth, so she felt she ought to be kind to it.
"Puss," said Al-ice, "would you please tell me which way I ought to walk from here?"
"That de-pends a good deal on where you want to go to," said the Cat.
"I don't much care where—" said Al-ice.
"Then you need not care which way you walk," said the Cat.
"—so long as I get somewhere," Al-ice add-ed.
"Oh, you're sure to do that if you don't stop," said the Cat.
Al-ice knew that this was true, so she asked: "What sort of peo-ple live near here?"
"In that way," said the Cat, with a wave of its right paw, "lives a Hat-ter; and in that way," with a wave of its left paw, "lives a March Hare. Go to see the one you like; they're both mad."
"But I don't want to go where mad folks live," said Al-ice.
"Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat, "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad!" asked Al-ice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."
Al-ice didn't think that proved it at all, but she went on; "and how do you know that you are mad?"
"First," said the Cat, "a dog's not mad. You grant that?"
"Well, then," the Cat went on, "you know a dog growls when it's angry, and wags its tail when it's pleased. Now I growl when I'm pleased, and wag my tail when I'm an-gry. So you see, I'm mad."
"I say the cat purrs; I do not call it a growl," said Al-ice.
"Call it what you like," said the Cat. "Do you play cro-quet with the Queen to-day?"
"I should like it, but I haven't been asked yet," said Al-ice.
"You'll see me there," said the Cat, then fa-ded out of sight.
Al-ice did not think this so queer as she was now used to strange things. While she still looked at the place where it had been, it came back a-gain, all at once.
"By-the-by, what be-came of the child?" it asked.
"It turned in-to a pig," Al-ice said.
"I thought it would," said the Cat, then once more fa-ded out of sight.
Al-ice wait-ed a while to see if it would come back, then walked on in the way in which the March Hare was said to live.
"I've seen Hat-ters," she said to her-self; "so I'll go to see the March Hare." As she said this, she looked up, and there sat the Cat on a branch of a tree.
"Did you say pig, or fig?" asked the Cat.
"I said pig; and I wish you wouldn't come and go, all at once, like you do; you make one quite gid-dy."
"All right," said the Cat; and this time it faded out in such a way that its tail went first, and the last thing Al-ice saw was the grin which stayed some time af-ter the rest of it had gone.
"Well, I've seen a cat with-out a grin," thought Al-ice; "but a grin with-out a cat! It's the strang-est thing I ev-er saw in all my life!"
She soon came in sight of the house of the March Hare; she thought it must be the right place, as the chim-neys were shaped like ears, and the roof was thatched with fur. It was so large a house, that she did not like to go too near while she was so small; so she ate a small piece from the left-hand bit of mush-room, and raised her-self to two feet high. Then she walked up to the house, though with some fear lest it should be mad as the Cat had said.
A MAD TEA-PARTY.
There was a ta-ble set out, in the shade of the trees in front of the house, and the March Hare and the Hat-ter were at tea; a Dor-mouse sat be-tween them, but it seemed to have gone to sleep.
The ta-ble was a long one, but the three were all crowd-ed at one cor-ner of it. "No room! No room!" they cried out as soon as they saw Al-ice. "There's plen-ty of room," she said, and sat down in a large arm-chair at one end of the table.
"Have some wine," the March Hare said in a kind tone.
Al-ice looked all round the ta-ble, but there was not a thing on it but tea. "I don't see the wine," she said.
"There isn't an-y," said the March Hare.
"Then it wasn't po-lite of you to ask me to have wine," said Al-ice.
"It wasn't po-lite of you to sit down when no one had asked you to have a seat," said the March Hare.
"I didn't know it was your ta-ble," said Al-ice; "it's laid for more than three."
"Your hair wants cut-ting," said the Hat-ter. He had looked hard at Al-ice for some time, and this was his first speech.
"You should learn not to speak to a guest like that," said Al-ice; "it is ve-ry rude."
The Hat-ter stretched his eyes quite wide at this; but all he said was, "Why is a rav-en like a desk?"
"Come, we shall have some fun now," thought Al-ice. "I think I can guess that," she added out loud.
"Do you mean that you think you can find out the an-swer to it?" asked the March Hare.
"I do," said Al-ice.
"Then you should say what you mean," the March Hare went on.
"I do," Al-ice said; "at least—at least I mean what I say—that's the same thing, you know."
"Not the same thing a bit!" said the Hat-ter. "Why, you might just as well say, 'I see what I eat' is the same thing as 'I eat what I see'!"
"You might just as well say," added the March Hare, that 'I like what I get' is the same thing as 'I get what I like'!"
"You might just as well say," added the Dor-mouse, who seemed to be talk-ing in his sleep, "that 'I breathe when I sleep' is the same thing as 'I sleep when I breathe'!"
"It is the same with you," said the Hat-ter.
No one spoke for some time, while Al-ice tried to think of all she knew of rav-ens and desks, which wasn't much.
The Hat-ter was the first to speak. "What day of the month is it?" he said, turn-ing to Al-ice. He had his watch in his hand, looked at it and shook it now and then while he held it to his ear.
Al-ice thought a-while, and said, "The fourth."
"Two days wrong!" sighed the Hat-ter. "I told you but-ter wouldn't suit this watch," he add-ed with a scowl as he looked at the March Hare.
"It was the best but-ter," the March Hare said.
"Yes, but some crumbs must have got in," the Hat-ter growled; "you shouldn't have put it in with the bread-knife."
The March Hare took the watch and looked at it; then dipped it in-to his cup of tea and looked at it a-gain; but all he could think to say was, "it was the best but-ter, you know."
"Oh, what a fun-ny watch!" said Al-ice. "It tells the day of the month and doesn't tell what o'clock it is!"
"Why should it?" growled the Hat-ter.
"Does your watch tell what year it is?"
"Of course not," said Al-ice, "but there's no need that it should, since it stays the same year such a long time."
"Which is just the case with mine," said the Hat-ter; which seemed to Al-ice to have no sense in it at all.
"I don't quite know what you mean," she said.
"The Dor-mouse has gone to sleep, once more," said the Hat-ter, and he poured some hot tea on the tip of its nose.
The Dor-mouse shook its head, and said with its eyes still closed, "Of course, of course; just what I want-ed to say my-self."
"Have you guessed the rid-dle yet?" the Hat-ter asked, turn-ing to Al-ice.
"No, I give it up," she said. "What's the an-swer?"
"I do not know at all," said the Hat-ter.
"Nor I," said the March Hare.
Al-ice sighed. "I think you might do bet-ter with the time than to waste it, by ask-ing rid-dles that have no an-swers."
"If you knew Time as well as I do, you wouldn't say 'waste it.' It's him."
"I don't know what you mean," Al-ice said.
"Of course you don't!" said the Hat-ter with a toss of his head. "I dare say you nev-er e-ven spoke to Time."
"May-be not," she said, "but I know I have to beat time when I learn to sing."
"Oh! that's it," said the Hat-ter. "He won't stand beat-ing. Now if you kept on good terms with him, he would do an-y-thing you liked with the clock. Say it was nine o'clock, just time to go to school; you'd have but to give a hint to Time, and round goes the clock! Half-past one, time for lunch."
"I wish it was," the March Hare said to it-self.
"That would be grand, I'm sure," said Al-ice: "but then—I shouldn't be hun-gry for it, you know."
"Not at first, per-haps, but you could keep it to half-past one as long as you liked," said the Hat-ter.
"Is that the way you do?" asked Al-ice.
The Hat-ter shook his head and sighed. "Not I," he said. "Time and I fell out last March. It was at the great con-cert giv-en by the Queen of Hearts and I had to sing:
'Twin-kle, twin-kle, lit-tle bat! How I wonder what you're at!'
You know the song, per-haps?"
"I've heard some-thing like it," said Alice.
"It goes on, you know," the Hat-ter said, "in this way:
'Up a-bove the world you fly, Like a tea-tray in the sky, Twin-kle, twin-kle——'"
Here the Dor-mouse shook it-self and sang in its sleep, "twin-kle, twin-kle, twin-kle, twin-kle——" and went on so long that they had to pinch it to make it stop.
"Well, while I sang the first verse," the Hat-ter went on, "the Queen bawled out 'See how he mur-ders the time! Off with his head!' And ev-er since that, he won't do a thing I ask! It's al-ways six o'clock now."
A bright thought came in-to Al-ice's head. "Is that why so man-y tea things are put out here?" she asked.
"Yes, that's it," said the Hat-ter with a sigh: "it's al-ways tea-time, and we've no time to wash the things."
"Then you keep mov-ing round, I guess," said Al-ice.
"Just so," said the Hat-ter; "as the things get used up."
"But when you come to the place where you started, what do you do then?" Al-ice dared to ask.
"I'm tired of this," yawned the March Hare. "I vote you tell us a tale."
"I fear I don't know one," said Al-ice.
"I want a clean cup," spoke up the Hat-ter.
He moved on as he spoke, and the Dor-mouse moved in-to his place; the March Hare moved in-to the Dor-mouse's place and Al-ice, none too well pleased, took the place of the March Hare. The Hat-ter was the on-ly one to get an-y good from the change; and Al-ice was a good deal worse off, as the March Hare had up-set the milk-jug in-to his plate.
"Now, for your sto-ry," the March Hare said to Al-ice.
"I'm sure I don't know,"—Alice be-gan, "I—I don't think—"
"Then you shouldn't talk," said the Hat-ter.
This was more than Al-ice could stand; so she got up and walked off, and though she looked back once or twice and half hoped they would call af-ter her, they didn't seem to know that she was gone. The last time she saw them, they were trying to put the poor Dor-mouse head first in-to the tea-pot.
"Well, I'll not go there a-gain," said Al-ice as she picked her way through the wood. "It's the dull-est tea-par-ty I was ev-er at in all my life."
As Al-ice said this, she saw that one of the trees had a door that led right in-to it. "That's strange!" she thought; "but I haven't seen a thing to-day that isn't strange. I think I may as well go in at once." And in she went.
Once more she found her-self in a long hall, and close to the lit-tle glass stand. She took up the lit-tle key and un-locked the door that led to the gar-den. Then she set to work to eat some of the mush-room which she still had with her. When she was a-bout a foot high, she went through the door and walked down the lit-tle hall; then—she found herself, at last, in the love-ly garden, where she had seen the bright blooms and the cool foun-tains.
THE QUEEN'S CRO-QUET GROUND.
A large rose tree stood near the gar-den gate. The blooms on it were white, but three men who seemed to be in great haste were paint-ing them red. Al-ice thought this a strange thing to do, so she went near-er to watch them. Just as she came up to them, she heard one of them say, "Look out now, Five! Don't splash paint on me like that!"
"I couldn't help it," said Five, "Six knocked my arm."
On which Six looked up and said, "That's right, Five! Don't fail to lay the blame on some one else."
"You needn't talk," said Five. "I heard the Queen say your head must come off."
"What for?" asked the one who spoke first.
"What is that to you, Two?" said Six.
"It is much to him and I'll tell him," said Five. "He brought the cook tu-lip roots for on-ions."
Six flung down the brush and said, "Well, of all the wrong things—" Just then his eyes chanced to fall on Al-ice, who stood and watched them, and he checked him-self at once; Five and Two looked round al-so, and all of them bowed low.
"Would you tell me, please," said Al-ice, "why you paint those ros-es?"
Five and Six did not speak, but looked at Two, who said in a low voice, "Why, the fact is, you see, Miss, this here ought to have been a red rose tree, and by mis-take a white one was put in, and if the Queen was to find it out, we should all have our heads cut off, you know. So you see, Miss, we are hard at work to get it paint-ed, so that she may not—" Just then Five, who had stood and watched the gate for some time, called out, "The Queen! the Queen!" and the three men at once threw them-selves flat up-on their fa-ces. Al-ice heard the tramp of feet and looked round, glad if at last she could see the Queen.
First came ten sol-diers with clubs; these were all shaped like the three men at the rose tree, long and flat like cards, with their hands and feet at the cor-ners; next came ten men who were trimmed with di-a-monds and walked two and two like the sol-diers. The ten chil-dren of the King and Queen came next; and the little dears came with a skip and a jump hand in hand by twos. They were trimmed with hearts.
Next came the guests, most of whom were Kings and Queens. Al-ice saw the White Rab-bit, with them. He did not seem at ease though he smiled at all that was said. He didn't see Al-ice as he went by. Then came the Knave of Hearts with the King's crown on a red vel-vet cush-ion; and last of all came The King and Queen of Hearts.
At first Al-ice thought it might be right for her to lie down on her face like the three men at the rose tree, "but what would be the use of such a fine show," she thought, "if all had to lie down so that they couldn't see it?" So she stood where she was and wait-ed.
When they came to where she stood, they all stopped and looked at her, and the Queen said in a stern voice, "Who is this?" She spoke to the Knave of Hearts, who bowed and smiled but did not speak.
"Fool!" said the Queen with a toss of her head; then she turned to Al-ice and asked, "What's your name, child?"
"My name is Al-ice, so please your ma-jes-ty," said Al-ice, but she thought to her-self, "Why they're a mere pack of cards. I need have no fears of them."
"And who are these?" asked the Queen, as she point-ed to the three men who still lay round the rose tree; for you see as they all lay on their faces and their backs were the same as the rest of the pack, she could not tell who they were.
"How should I know?" said Al-ice, and thought it strange that she should speak to a Queen in that way.
The Queen turned red with rage, glared at her for a mo-ment like a wild beast, then screamed, "Off with her head! Off—"
"Non-sense!" said Al-ice, in a loud, firm voice, and the Queen said no more.
The King laid his hand on the Queen's arm and said, "Think, my dear, she is but a child!"
The Queen turned from him with a scowl and said to the Knave, "Turn them o-ver!"
The Knave did so, with one foot.
"Get up!" said the Queen in a shrill loud voice, and the three men jumped up, at once, and bowed to the King, and Queen and to the whole crowd.
"Leave off that!" screamed the Queen; "you make me gid-dy." Then she turned to the rose tree and asked, "What have you been do-ing here?"
"May it please your ma-jes-ty," said Two, and went down on one knee as he spoke, "we were try-ing—"
"I see!" said the Queen, who in the mean time had seen that some of the ros-es were paint-ed red and some were still white. "Off with their heads!" and the crowd moved on, while three of the sol-diers stayed to cut off the heads of the poor men, who ran to Al-ice for help.
"They shan't hurt you," she said, as she hid them in a large flow-er pot that stood near. The three sol-diers walked round and looked for them a short while, then marched off.
"Are their heads off?" shout-ed the Queen.
"Their heads are gone, if it please your ma-jes-ty," the sol-diers shouted back.
"That's right!" shouted the Queen. "Can you play cro-quet?" she asked Al-ice.
"Yes," shouted Al-ice.
"Come on then!" roared the Queen, and Al-ice went on with them.
"It's—it's a fine day!" said a weak voice at her side. It was the White Rab-bit who peeped up in-to her face.
"Yes," said Al-ice: "where's the Duch-ess?"
"Hush! Hush!" said the Rab-bit, in a low tone. He looked back as he spoke, then raised up on tip-toe, put his mouth close to her ear and whis-pered, "She's to have her head cut off."
"What for?" asked Al-ice.
"Did you say, 'What a pit-y!'?" the Rab-bit asked.
"No, I didn't," said Al-ice: "I don't think it's at all a pit-y. I said 'What for?'"
"She boxed the Queen's ears—" the Rab-bit be-gan. Al-ice gave a lit-tle scream of joy.
"Oh, hush!" the Rab-bit whis-pered in a great fright. "The Queen will hear you! You see she came late, and the Queen said—"
"Each one to his place!" shout-ed the Queen in a loud voice, and peo-ple ran this way and that in great haste and soon each one had found his place, and the game be-gan.
Al-ice thought she had nev-er seen such a strange cro-quet ground in all her life: it was all ridges; the balls were live hedge-hogs; the mal-lets were live birds, and the sol-diers bent down and stood on their hands and feet to make the arch-es.
At first Al-ice found it hard to use a live bird for a mal-let. It was a large bird with a long neck and long legs. She tucked it un-der her arm with its legs down, but just as she got its neck straight and thought now she could give the ball a good blow with its head, the bird would twist its neck round and give her such a queer look, that she could not help laugh-ing; and by the time she had got its head down a-gain, she found that the hedge-hog had crawled off. Then too there was al-ways a ridge or a hole in the way of where she want-ed to send her ball; and she couldn't find an arch in its place, for the men would get up and walk off when it pleased them. Al-ice soon made up her mind that it was a ve-ry hard game to play.
The Queen was soon in a great rage, and stamped a-bout, shout-ing "Off with his head!" or "Off with her head!" with each breath.
Al-ice felt quite ill at ease; to be sure, she had not as yet had cause to feel the wrath of the Queen, but she knew not how soon it might be her turn; "and then," she thought, "what shall I do?"
As she was look-ing round for some way to get off with-out be-ing seen, she saw a strange thing in the air, which she at last made out to be a grin, and she said to her-self, "It's the Cat; now I shall have some one to talk to."
"How do you do?" said the Cat as soon as its whole mouth came out.
Al-ice wait-ed till she saw the eyes, then nod-ded. "It's no use to speak to it till its ears have come, or at least one of them." In a short time the whole head came in view, then she put down her bird and told him of the game; glad that she had some one that was pleased to hear her talk.
"I don't think they are at all fair in the game," said Al-ice with a scowl; "and they all talk so loud that one can't hear one's self speak—and they don't have rules to play by; at least if they have, they don't mind them—and you don't know how bad it is to have to use live things to play with. The arch I have to go through next walked off just now to the far end of the ground—and I should have struck the Queen's hedge-hog, but it ran off when it saw that mine was near!"
"How do you like the Queen?" asked the Cat in a low voice.
"Not at all," said Al-ice, "she's so—" Just then she saw that the Queen was be-hind her and heard what she said; so she went on, "sure to win that it's not worth while to go on with the game."
The Queen smiled and passed on.
"Who are you talk-ing to?" said the King, as he came up to Al-ice and stared at the Cat's head as if it were a strange sight.
"It's a friend of mine—a Che-shire Cat," said Al-ice.
"I don't like the look of it at all," said the King; "it may kiss my hand if it likes."
"I don't want to," said the Cat.
"Don't be rude; and don't look at me like that," said the King.
"A cat may look at a king," said Al-ice. "I've read that in some book, but I can't tell where."
"Well, it must get off from here," said the King in a firm voice, and he called to the Queen, who was near, "My dear! I wish you would see that this cat leaves here at once!"
The Queen had but one cure for all ills, great or small. "Off with his head," she said, and did not so much as look round.
"I'll fetch the sol-dier my-self," said the King, and rushed off.
Al-ice thought she might as well go back, and see how the game went on. She heard the Queen's voice in the dis-tance, as she screamed with rage, "Off with his head! He has missed his turn!" Al-ice did not like the look of things at all, for the game was so mixed she could not tell when her turn came; so she went off to find her hedge-hog.
She came up with two hedge-hogs in a fierce fight, and thought now was a good time to strike one of them, but her mal-let was gone to the oth-er side of the ground, and she saw it in a weak sort of way as it tried to fly up in-to a tree.
By the time she had caught the bird and brought it back, the fight was o-ver, and both hedge-hogs were out of sight. "I don't care much," thought Al-ice, "for there is not an arch on this side the ground." So she went back to have some more talk with her friend.
When she reached the place, she found quite a crowd round the Cat. The King and the Queen and the sol-dier who had come with the axe, to cut off the Cat's head, were all talking at once, while all the rest stood with closed lips and looked quite grave.
As soon as they saw Al-ice, they want-ed her to say which one was right, but as all three spoke at once, she found it hard to make out what they said.
The sol-dier said that you couldn't cut off a head unless there was a bod-y to cut it off from; that he had nev-er had to do such a thing, and he wouldn't be-gin it now, at his time of life.
The King said that all heads could be cut off, and that you weren't to talk non-sense.
The Queen said, if some-thing wasn't done in less than no time, heads should come off all round. (It was this last threat that had made the whole crowd look so grave as Al-ice came up.)
Al-ice could think of nothing else to say but, "Ask the Duch-ess, it is her Cat."
"Fetch her here," the Queen said to the sol-dier, and he went off like an ar-row.
The Cat's head start-ed to fade out of sight as soon as he was gone, and by the time he had come back with the Duch-ess, it could not be seen at all; so the King and the man ran up and down look-ing for it, while the rest went back to the game.
THE MOCK TUR-TLE.
"You can't think how glad I am to see you once more, you dear old thing!" said the Duch-ess as she took Al-ice's arm, and they walked off side by side.
Al-ice was glad to see her in such a fine mood, and thought to her-self that the Duch-ess might not be so bad as she had seemed to be when they first met.
Then Al-ice fell in-to a long train of thought as to what she would do if she were a Duch-ess.
She quite lost sight of the Duch-ess by her side, and was star-tled when she heard her voice close to her ear.
"You have some-thing on your mind, my dear, and that makes you for-get to talk. I can't tell you just now what the mor-al of that is, but I shall think of it in a bit."
"Are you sure it has one?" asked Al-ice.
"Tut, tut, child!" said the Duch-ess; "all things have a mor-al if you can but find it." And she squeezed up close to Al-ice's side as she spoke.
Al-ice did not much like to have the Duch-ess keep so close, but she didn't like to be rude, so she bore it as well as she could.
"The game is not so bad now," Al-ice said, think-ing she ought to fill in the time with talk of some kind.
"'Tis so," said the Duch-ess, "and the mor-al of that is—'Oh, 'tis love, 'tis love, that makes the world go round!'"
"Some one said, it's done by each one mind-ing his own work," said Al-ice.
"Ah! well, it means much the same thing," said the Duch-ess, then add-ed, "and the mor-al of that is—'Take care of the sense and the sounds will take care of themselves.'"
"How she likes to find mor-als in things," said Al-ice.
"Why don't you talk more and not think so long?" asked the Duch-ess.
"I've a right to think," said Al-ice in a sharp tone, for she was tired and vexed.
"Just as much right," said the Duch-ess, "as pigs have to fly; and the mor—"
But here the voice of the Duch-ess died out in the midst of her pet word, "mor-al," and Al-ice felt the arm that was linked in hers shake as if with fright. Al-ice looked up and there stood the Queen in front of them with her arms fold-ed, and a dark frown up-on her face.
"A fine day, your ma-jes-ty!" the Duch-ess be-gan in a weak voice.
"Now, I warn you in time," shout-ed the Queen, with a stamp on the ground as she spoke; "ei-ther you or your head must be off, and that in a-bout half no time! Take your choice!"
The Duch-ess took her choice and was gone in a mo-ment.
"Let's go on with the game," the Queen said to Al-ice; and Al-ice was in too great a fright to speak, but went with her, back to the cro-quet ground.
The guests had all sat down in the shade to rest while the Queen was a-way, but as soon as they saw her they rushed back to the game; while the Queen said if they were not in their pla-ces at once, it would cost them their lives.
All the time the game went on the Queen kept shout-ing, "Off with his head!" or "Off with her head!" so that by the end of half an hour there was no one left on the grounds but the King, the Queen, and Al-ice.
Then the Queen left off, quite out of breath, and said to Al-ice, "Have you seen the Mock Tur-tle yet?"
"No," said Al-ice, "I don't know what a Mock-tur-tle is."
"It is a thing Mock Tur-tle Soup is made from," the Queen said.
"I've nev-er seen or heard of one," Alice said.
"Come on then, and he shall tell you his sto-ry," said the Queen.
As they walked off, Al-ice heard the King say in a low tone to those whom the Queen had doomed to death, "You may all go free!" "Come, that's a good thing," thought Al-ice, for she felt ver-y sad that all those men must have their heads cut off.
They soon came to where a Gry-phon lay fast a-sleep in the sun. (If you don't know what it is like, look at the pic-ture.) "Up, dull thing!" said the Queen, "and take this young la-dy to see the Mock Tur-tle. I must go back now;" and she walked a-way and left Al-ice with the Gry-phon. Al-ice was by no means pleased with its looks, but she thought she would be quite as safe with it as she would be with the Queen; so she wait-ed.
The Gry-phon sat up and rubbed its eyes; then watched the Queen till she was out of sight; then it laughed. "What fun!" it said, half to it-self, half to Alice.
"What is the fun?" she asked.
"Why, she," it said. "It's all a whim of hers; they nev-er cut off those heads, you know. Come on."
Soon they saw the Mock Tur-tle sitting sad and lone on a ledge of rock, and as they came near, Al-ice could hear him sigh as if his heart would break. "What makes him so sad?" Al-ice asked.
"It's all a whim of his," said the Gry-phon; "he hasn't got no grief, you know. Come on!"
So they went up to the Mock Tur-tle, who looked at them with large eyes full of tears, but did not speak.
"This here young la-dy," said the Gry-phon, "she wants for to know a-bout your past life, she do."
"I'll tell it to her," said the Mock Tur-tle in a deep, sad tone: "sit down both of you and don't speak a word till I get through."
So they sat down, and no one spoke for some time.
"Once," said the Mock Tur-tle at last, with a deep sigh, "I was a re-al Tur-tle. When we were young we went to school in the sea. We were taught by an old Tur-tle—we used to call him Tor-toise—"
"Why did you call him Tor-toise, if he wasn't one?" Al-ice asked.
"He taught us, that's why," said the Mock Tur-tle: "you are quite dull not to know that!"
"Shame on you to ask such a sim-ple thing," add-ed the Gry-phon; then they both sat and looked at poor Al-ice, who felt as if she could sink into the earth.
At last the Gry-phon said to the Mock Tur-tle, "Drive on, old fellow! Don't be all day a-bout it!" and he went on in these words:
"Yes, we went to school in the sea, though you mayn't think it's true—"
"I didn't say I did not!" said Al-ice.
"You did," said the Mock Tur-tle.
"Hold your tongue," add-ed the Gry-phon.
The Mock Tur-tle went on:
"We were well taught—in fact we went to school each day—"
"I've been to a day school too," said Alice; "you needn't be so proud as all that."
"Were you taught wash-ing?" asked the Mock Tur-tle.
"Of course not," said Al-ice.
"Ah! then yours wasn't a good school," said the Mock Tur-tle. "Now at ours they had at the end of the bill, 'French, mu-sic, and wash-ing—ex-tra.'"
"You couldn't have need-ed it much in the sea," said Al-ice.
"I didn't learn it," said the Mock Tur-tle, with a sigh. "I just took the first course."
"What was that?" asked Al-ice.
"Reel-ing and Writh-ing, of course, at first," the Mock Tur-tle said. "An old eel used to come once a week. He taught us to drawl, to stretch and to faint in coils."
"What was that like?" Al-ice asked.
"Well, I can't show you, my-self," he said: "I'm too stiff. And the Gry-phon didn't learn it."
"How man-y hours a day did you do les-sons?" asked Al-ice.
"Ten hours the first day," said the Mock Tur-tle; "nine the next and so on."
"What a strange plan!" said Al-ice.
"That's why they're called les-sons," said the Gry-phon: "they les-sen from day to day."
This was such a new thing to Al-ice that she sat still a good while and didn't speak. "Then there would be a day when you would have no school," she said.
"Of course there would," said the Mock Tur-tle.
"What did you do then?" asked Al-ice.
"I'm tired of this," said the Gry-phon: "tell her now of the games we played."
THE LOB-STER DANCE.
The Mock Tur-tle sighed, looked at Al-ice and tried to speak, but for a min-ute or two sobs choked his voice. "Same as if he had a bone in his throat," said the Gry-phon, and set to work to shake him and punch him in the back. At last the Mock Tur-tle found his voice and with tears run-ning down his cheeks, he went on:
"You may not have lived much in the sea"—("I have-n't," said Al-ice) "so you can not know what a fine thing a Lob-ster Dance is!"
"No," said Al-ice. "What sort of a dance is it?"
"Why," said the Gry-phon, "you first form in a line on the sea-shore—"
"Two lines!" cried the Mock Tur-tle. "Seals, tur-tles, and so on; then when you've cleared all the small fish out of the way—"
"That takes some time," put in the Gry-phon.
"You move to the front twice—"
"Each with a lob-ster by his side!" cried the Gry-phon.
"Of course," the Mock Tur-tle said: "move to the front twice—"
"Change and come back in same way," said the Gry-phon.
"Then, you know," the Mock Tur-tle went on, "you throw the—"
"The lob-sters!" shout-ed the Gry-phon, with a bound in-to the air.
"As far out to sea as you can—"
"Swim out for them," screamed the Gry-phon.
"Turn heels o-ver head in the sea!" cried the Mock Tur-tle.
"Change a-gain!" yelled the Gry-phon at the top of his voice.
"Then back to land, and—that's all the first part," said the Mock Tur-tle.
Both the Gry-phon and the Mock Tur-tle had jumped a-bout like mad things all this time. Now they sat down quite sad and still, and looked at Al-ice.
"It must be a pret-ty dance," said Al-ice.
"Would you like to see some of it?" asked the Mock Tur-tle.
"Oh, yes," she said.
"Come, let's try the first part!" said the Mock Tur-tle to the Gry-phon. "We can do it without lob-sters, you know. Which shall sing?"
"Oh, you sing," said the Gry-phon. "I don't know the words."
So they danced round and round Al-ice, now and then tread-ing on her toes when they passed too close. They waved their fore paws to mark the time, while the Mock Tur-tle sang a queer kind of song, each verse of which end-ed with these words:
"'Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you join the dance?
Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you join the dance?'"
"Thank you, it's a fine dance to watch," said Al-ice, glad that it was o-ver at last.
"Now," said the Gry-phon, "tell us a-bout what you have seen and done in your life."
"I could tell you of the strange things I have seen to-day," said Al-ice, with some doubt as to their wish-ing to hear it.
"All right, go on," they both cried.
So Al-ice told them what she had been through that day, from the time when she first saw the White Rab-bit. They came up quite close to her, one on each side, and sat still till she got to the part where she tried to say, "You are old, Fath-er Wil-liam," and the words all came wrong. Then the Mock Tur-tle drew a long breath and said, "That's quite strange!"
"It's all as strange as it can be," said the Gry-phon.
"It all came wrong!" the Mock Tur-tle said, while he seemed to be in deep thought. "I should like to hear her try to say some-thing now. Tell her to be-gin." He looked at the Gry-phon as if he thought it had the right to make Al-ice do as it pleased.
"Stand up and say, 'Tis the voice of the Slug-gard,'" said the Gry-phon.
"How they do try to make one do things!" thought Al-ice. "I might just as well be at school at once." She stood up and tried to re-peat it, but her head was so full of the Lob-ster Dance, that she didn't know what she was say-ing, and the words all came ver-y queer, in-deed:
"'Tis the voice of the lob-ster; I heard him de-clare, 'You have baked me too brown, I must su-gar my hair.' As a duck with its eye-lids, so he with his nose Trims his belt and his but-tons, and turns out his toes."
"That's not the way I used to say it when I was a child," said the Gry-phon.
"Well, I never heard it before," said the Mock Tur-tle, "but there's no sense in it at all."
Al-ice did not speak; she sat down with her face in her hands, and thought, "Will things nev-er be as they used to an-y more?"
"I should like you to tell what it means," said the Mock Tur-tle.
"She can't do that," said the Gry-phon. "Go on with the next verse."
"But his toes?" the Mock Tur-tle went on. "How could he turn them out with his nose, you know?"
"Go on with the next verse," the Gry-phon said once more; "it begins 'I passed by his gar-den.'"
Al-ice thought she must do as she was told, though she felt sure it would all come wrong, and she went on:
"I passed by his gar-den and marked with one eye, How the owl and the oys-ter were shar-ing the pie."
"What is the use of say-ing all that stuff!" the Mock Tur-tle broke in, "if you don't tell what it means as you go on? I tell you it is all non-sense."
"Yes, I think you might as well leave off," said the Gry-phon, and Al-ice was but too glad to do so.
"Shall we try the Lob-ster dance once more?" the Gry-phon went on, "or would you like the Mock Tur-tle to sing you a song?"
"Oh, a song please, if the Mock Tur-tle would be so kind," Al-ice said with so much zest that the Gry-phon threw back his head and said, "Hm! Well, each one to his own taste. Sing her 'Tur-tle Soup,' will you, old fel-low?"
The Mock Tur-tle heaved a deep sigh, and in a voice choked with sobs, be-gan his song, but just then the cry of "The tri-al is on!" was heard a long way off.
"Come on," cried the Gry-phon. He took her by the hand, ran off, and did not wait to hear the song.
"What trial is it?" Al-ice pant-ed as she ran, but the Gry-phon on-ly said, "Come on!" and still ran as fast as he could.
WHO STOLE THE TARTS?
The King and Queen of Hearts were seat-ed on their throne when Al-ice and the Gry-phon came up, with a great crowd a-bout them. There were all sorts of small birds and beasts, as well as the whole pack of cards. The Knave stood in front of them in chains, with a sol-dier on each side to guard him; and near the King was the White Rab-bit, with a trum-pet in one hand and a roll of pa-per in the other. In the mid-dle of the court was a ta-ble with a large dish of tarts on it. They looked so good that it made Al-ice feel as if she would like to eat some of them. "I wish they'd get the tri-al done," she thought, "and hand round the pies!" But there seemed no chance of this, so to pass the time a-way she looked round at the strange things a-bout her.
This was the first time Al-ice had been in a court of this kind, and she was quite pleased to find that she knew the names of most things she saw there. "That's the judge," she thought, "I know him by his great wig."
The judge, by the way, was the King, and as he wore his crown on top of his wig, he looked quite ill at ease.
"And that's the ju-ry box," thought Al-ice, "and those twelve things" (she had to say "things," you see, for some of them were beasts and some were birds), "I guess are the ju-rors." She said this last word two or three times as she was proud that she knew it; for she was right when she thought that few girls of her age would have known what it all meant.
The twelve ju-rors all wrote on slates.
"What can they have to write now?" Al-ice asked the Gry-phon, in a low tone. "The tri-al has not be-gun yet."
"They're put-ting down their names," the Gry-phon said, "for fear they should for-get them."
"Stu-pid things!" Al-ice said in a loud voice, but stopped at once, for the White Rab-bit cried out, "Si-lence in court!" and the King looked round to make out who spoke.
Al-ice could see quite well that the ju-rors all wrote down "stu-pid things!" on their slates, she could e-ven make out that one of them didn't know how to spell "stu-pid" and that he asked the one by his side to tell him, "A nice mud-dle their slates will be in by the time the tri-al's ended," thought Al-ice.
One of the ju-rors had a pen-cil that squeaked as he wrote. This, of course, Al-ice could not stand, so she went round near him, and soon found a chance to get it from him. This she did in such a way that the poor ju-ror (it was Bill, the Liz-ard) could not make out at all where it was, so he wrote with one fin-ger for the rest of the day. Of course, this was of no use, as it left no mark on the slate.
"Read the charge!" said the King.
On this the White Rab-bit blew three blasts on the trum-pet, and then from the pa-per in his hand read:
"The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts, All on a sum-mer day: The Knave of Hearts, he stole those tarts, And took them quite a-way!"
"The ju-ry will now take the case," said the King.
"Not yet, not yet!" the Rab-bit said in haste. "There is a great deal else to come first."
"Call the first wit-ness," said the King, and the White Rab-bit blew three blasts on the trum-pet, and called out, "First wit-ness."
The first to come was the Hat-ter. He came in with a tea cup in one hand and a piece of bread and but-ter in the oth-er.
"I beg par-don, your ma-jes-ty," he said, "but I had to bring these in, as I was not quite through with my tea when I was sent for."
"You ought to have been through," said the King. "When did you be-gin?"
The Hat-ter looked at the March Hare, who had just come in-to court, arm in arm with the Dor-mouse. "Fourth of March, I think it was," he said.
"Fifth," said the March Hare.
"Sixth," add-ed the Dor-mouse.
"Write that down," said the King to the ju-ry, and they wrote down all three dates on their slates, and then added them up and changed the sum to shil-lings and pence.
"Take off your hat," the King said to the Hat-ter.
"It isn't mine," said the Hat-ter.
"Stole it!" cried the King, as he turned to the jury, who at once wrote it down.
"I keep them to sell," the Hat-ter added. "I've none of my own. I'm a hat-ter."
Here the Queen put on her eye-glass-es and stared hard at the Hat-ter, who turned pale with fright.
"Tell what you know of this case," said the King; "and don't be nerv-ous, or I'll have your head off on the spot."
This did not seem to calm him at all, he shift-ed from one foot to the other and looked at the Queen, and in his fright he bit a large piece out of his tea-cup in place of the bread and but-ter.
Just then Al-ice felt a strange thrill, the cause of which she could not make out till she saw she had be-gun to grow a-gain.
"I wish you wouldn't squeeze so," said the Dor-mouse. "I haven't room to breathe."
"I can't help it," said Al-ice; "I'm grow-ing."
"You've no right to grow here," said the Dor-mouse.
"Don't talk such non-sense," said Al-ice. "You know you grow too."
"Yes, but not so fast as to squeeze the breath out of those who sit by me." He got up and crossed to the oth-er side of the court.
All this time the Queen had not left off star-ing at the Hat-ter, and just as the Dor-mouse crossed the court, she said to one of the men, "Bring me the list of those who sang in the last con-cert," on which the poor Hat-ter trembled so, that he shook both his shoes off.
"Tell what you know of this case," the King called out a-gain, "or I'll have your head off, if you do shake."
"I'm a poor man, your ma-jes-ty," the Hat-ter be-gan in a weak voice, "and I hadn't but just be-gun my tea, not more than a week or so, and what with the bread and but-ter so thin—and the twink-ling of the tea—"
"The twink-ling of what?" asked the King.
"It be-gan with the tea," the Hat-ter said.
"Of course twink-ling be-gins with a T!" said the King. "Do you take me for a dunce? Go on!"
"I'm a poor man," the Hat-ter went on, "and most things twink-led af-ter that—but the March Hare said—"
"I didn't," said the March Hare in great haste.
"You did," said the Hat-ter.
"I de-ny it," said the March Hare.
"He de-nies it," said the King: "leave out that part."
"Well, I'm sure the Dor-mouse said—" the Hat-ter went on, with a look at the Dor-mouse to see if he would de-ny it too, but he was fast a-sleep.
"Then I cut some more bread and—"
"But what did the Dor-mouse say?" asked one of the ju-ry.
"That I can't tell," said the Hat-ter.
"You must tell or I'll have your head off," said the King.
The wretch-ed Hat-ter dropped his cup and bread, and went down on one knee.
"I'm a poor man," he be-gan.
"You're a poor speak-er," said the King.
Here one of the guin-ea pigs cheered, and one of the men seized him, thrust him in-to a bag which tied up with strings, and then sat up-on it.
"If that's all you know, you may stand down," the King said.
"I'm as low as I can get now," said the Hat-ter; "I'm on the floor as it is."
"Then you may sit down," the King said.
"I'd like to get through with my tea first," said the Hat-ter with a look at the Queen who still read the list in her hand.
"You may go," said the King, and the Hat-ter left the court in such haste that he did not e-ven wait to put his shoes on.
"And just take his head off out-side," the Queen add-ed to one of the sol-diers, but the Hat-ter was out of sight be-fore the man could get to the door.
"Call the next wit-ness," said the King.
The next to come was the Duch-ess' cook, and Al-ice guessed who it was by the way the peo-ple near the door sneezed all at once.
"Tell what you know of this case," said the King.
"Shan't," said the cook.
The King looked at the White Rab-bit, who said in a low voice, "Your ma-jes-ty must make her tell."
"Well, if I must, I must," said the King with a sad look. He fold-ed his arms and frowned at the cook till his eyes were al-most out of sight, then asked in a stern voice, "What are tarts made of?"
"Pep-per, most-ly," said the cook.
"Sug-ar," said a weak voice near her.
"Catch that Dor-mouse," the Queen shrieked out. "Off with his head! Turn him out of court! Pinch him! Off with his head!"
The whole court ran here and there, get-ting the Dor-mouse turned out, and by the time this was done, the cook had gone.
"That's all right," said the King, as if he were glad to be rid of her. "Call the next," and he add-ed in a low tone to the Queen, "Now, my dear, you must take the next wit-ness in hand; it quite makes my head ache!"
Al-ice watched the White Rab-bit as he looked o-ver the list. She thought to her-self, "I want to see what the next witness will be like, for they haven't found out much yet."
Think, if you can, how she felt when the White Rab-bit read out, at the top of his shrill lit-tle voice, the name "Al-ice!"
AL-ICE ON THE STAND.
"Here!" cried Al-ice, but she quite for-got how large she had grown in the last few min-utes, and jumped up in such haste that the edge of her skirt tipped the ju-ry box and turned them all out on the heads of the crowd be-low; and there they lay sprawl-ing a-bout, which made her think of a globe of gold-fish which she had up-set the week be-fore.
"Oh, I beg your par-don!" she said, and picked them up and put them backed in the ju-ry box as fast as she could.
"The tri-al can not go on," said the King in a grave voice, "till all the men are back in place—all," he said with great force and looked hard at Al-ice.
She looked at the ju-ry box and saw that in her haste she had put the Liz-ard in head first and the poor thing was wav-ing its tail in the air, but could not move. She soon got it out and put it right; "not that it mat-ters much," she thought; "I should think it would be quite as much use in the tri-al one way up as the oth-er."
As soon as their slates and pen-cils had been hand-ed back to them, the ju-ry set to work to write out an ac-count of their fall, all but the Liz-ard, who seem-ed too weak to write, but sat and gazed up in-to the roof of the court.
"What do you know of this case?" the King asked Al-ice.
"Not one thing," said Al-ice.
"Not one thing, at all?" asked the King.
"Not one thing, at all," said Al-ice.
"Write that down," the King said to the ju-ry.
The King sat for some time and wrote in his note-book, then he called out, "Si-lence!" and read from his book, "Rule For-ty-two. Each one more than a mile high to leave the court."
All looked at Al-ice.
"I'm not a mile high," said Al-ice.
"You are," said the King.
"Not far from two miles high," add-ed the Queen.
"Well, I shan't go," said Al-ice, "for I know that's a new rule you have just made."
"It's the first rule in the book," said the King.
"Then it ought to be Rule One," said Al-ice.
The King turned pale and shut his note-book at once.
"The ju-ry can now take the case," he said in a weak voice.
"There's more to come yet, please your ma-jes-ty," said the White Rab-bit, as he jumped up; "this thing has just been picked up."
"What's in it?" asked the Queen.
"I haven't read it yet," said the White Rab-bit, "but it seems to be a note from the Knave of Hearts to some one."
"Whose name is on it?" said one of the ju-rors.
"There's no name on it," said the White Rab-bit; he looked at it with more care as he spoke, and add-ed, "it isn't a note at all; it's a set of rhymes."
"Please your ma-jes-ty," said the Knave, "I didn't write it, and they can't prove that I did; there's no name signed at the end."
"If you didn't sign it," said the King, "that makes your case worse. You must have meant some harm or you'd have signed your name like an hon-est man."