Alice in Wonderland.
How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!
`How cheerfully he seems to grin,
How neatly spread his claws,
And welcome little fishes in
With gently smiling jaws!'
Alice sat next to her sister under some trees. She had nothing to do. She looked at her sister's book but it had no pictures in it. Alice thought it wasn't very interesting to look at a book with no pictures
Suddenly a white rabbit with pink eyes ran by. Well that wasn't so strange:
- Oh dear, oh dear. I'll be late. Oh , my fur and whiskers!
But then the rabbit took a watch out of its pocket. Alice thought this was very strange she went after the rabbit. Suddenly Alice fell into a rabbit's hole. She was falling down and down...
--I wonder if I'll fall right THROUGH the earth! How funny it'll seem to come out among the people that walk with their heads downward! The Antipathies
Down, down, down. Would the fall NEVER come to an end!» when suddenly, she came upon a heap of dry leaves, and the fall was over.
Lot's of different things happened to Alice that day. We'll tell you about some of them...
The part in which Alice tries to find out who she is
After a time she heard somebody coming. It was the White Rabbit
--Oh! the Duchess, the Duchess! Oh! won't she be savage if I've kept her waiting!'
Alice was ready to ask help of any one
--If you please, sir--
But the rabbit ran away into the darkness.
--Dear, dear! How queer everything is today! And yesterday things went on just as usual. I wonder if I've been changed in the night? Let me think: was I the same when I got up this morning? But if I'm not the same, the next question is, Who in the world am I? Ah, THAT'S the great puzzle!'
And she began thinking
--I'm sure I'm not Ada, for her hair is so long and I'm sure I can't be Mabel, for I know all sorts of things, and she, oh! she knows such a very little! Besides, SHE'S she, and I'm I. Let me see: four times five is twelve, and four times six is thirteen, and four times seven is--oh dear! I'll never get to twenty at that rate! let's try Geography. London is the capital of Paris, and Paris is the capital of Rome, and Rome--no, THAT'S all wrong, I must have been changed for Mabel!
The part in which Alice finds herself in a rabbit's houseThe Duchess! The Duchess! Oh my dear paws! Oh my fur and whiskers! She'll get me executed, as sure as ferrets are ferrets! Where CAN I have dropped them, I wonder?'
Very soon the Rabbit noticed Alice, as she went hunting about, and called out to her in an angry tone:
-- Why, Mary Ann, what ARE you doing out here? Run home this moment, and fetch me a pair of gloves and a fan! Quick, now!
And Alice was so much frightened that she ran off at once in the direction it pointed to. She took up the fan and a pair of the gloves, and was just going to leave the room, when her eye fell upon a little bottle that stood near the looking- glass. There was a label with the words `DRINK ME,' and she drank it.
-`I know SOMETHING interesting is sure to happen,' she said to herself, `whenever I eat or drink anything. so I'll just see what this bottle does. I do hope it'll make me grow large again, for really I'm quite tired of being such a tiny little thing!'
It did much sooner than she had expected: before she had drunk half the bottle, she
found her head pressing against the ceiling,
-Oh, you foolish Alice! `How can you learn lessons in here? Why, there's hardly room for YOU, and no room at all for any lesson-books!'
And so she went on, taking first one side and then the other, and making a conversation but after a few minutes she heard a voice outside, and stopped to listen.
-Mary Ann! Mary Ann!Fetch me my gloves this moment!'
Then came a little pattering of feet on the stairs. Alice knew it was the Rabbit coming to look for her, and she was quite frightened. The Rabbit came up to the door, and tried to open it; but, Alice pressed hard against it. She heard it say to itself
-Then I'll go round and get in at the window.' `
she heard the Rabbit just under the window, she suddenly spread out her hand, and made a snatch in the air. She did not get hold of anything, but she heard a fall, and a crash of broken glass, from which she understood that it had fallen into a cucumber-frame, Next came she heard an angry voice(the Rabbit's)
-`Pat! Pat! Where are you?' And then a voice she had never heard before, `
-Sure then I'm here! Digging for apples, yer honour!'
-Digging for apples, indeed!' said the Rabbit angrily. `Here!
Come and help me out of THIS!' (Sounds of more broken glass.) Now tell me, Pat, what's that in the window?'
- `Sure, it's an arm, yer honour!'
-An arm, you goose! Who ever saw one that size? Why, it fills the whole window!'
-Sure, it does, yer honour: but it's an arm for all that.'
-Well, it's got no business there, at any rate: go and take it away!'
`Sure, I don't like it, yer honour, at all, at all!'
-Do as I tell you, you coward! go down the chimney?
--Nay, I shan't! -Bill's to go down-- Here, Bill! the master says you're to go down the chimney!' `Oh! So Bill's got to come down the chimney, has he?' I wouldn't be in Bill's place, this fireplace is narrow, to be sure; but I THINK I can kick a little!'
she heard a little animal scratching about in the chimney
-This is Bill,' she gave one kick, and waited to see what would happen next.
The first thing she heard was
-There goes Bill!
Then the Rabbit's voice along
--`Catch him, you by the hedge!
then silence, and then another confusion of voices
--`Hold up his head--What happened to you? Tell us all about it!'
--Well, I hardly know--No more, thank ye; I'm better now--all I know is, something comes at me and up I go like a sky-rocket!'
--So you did, old fellow!' said the others.
--We must burn the house down!' said the Rabbit's voice; and Alice called out as loud as she could, `If you do. I'll set Dinah at you!'
--A barrowful will do, to begin with.'
--A barrowful of WHAT?
next moment a shower of little pebbles came in at the window. But then she found out that the pebbles were turning into little cakes.
--If I eat one of these cakes,' she thought, `it's sure to make SOME change in my size; it must make me smaller, I think.
So she ate one of the cakes, and found that she she was getting smaller. As soon as she was small enough to get through the door, she ran out of the house and soon found herself safe in a
The part in which Alice visits a Mad Tea-Party
There was a table set out under a tree in front of the house, and the March Hare and the Hatter were
having tea at it
--No room! No room!
they cried out when they saw Alice coming.
--There's PLENTY of room!
said Alice and she sat down at one end of the table.
--Have some wine,
the March Hare said (in an encouraging tone).Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea.
--I don't see any wine,
--There isn't any,'( said the March Hare).
--Then it wasn't very civil of you to offer it
(said Alice angrily).
--It wasn't very civil of you to sit down without being invited,' (said the March Hare).
--I didn't know it was YOUR table, it's laid for a great many more than three.'
The Hatter opened his eyes very wide on hearing this; but all he SAID was,
--Why is a raven like a writing-desk?'
--Come, we'll have some fun now! I believe I can guess that,' she added aloud.
--Do you mean that you think you can find out the answer to it?' said the March Hare.
`Exactly so,' said Alice.
`Then you should say what you mean,' the March Hare went on.
`I do, at least--at least I mean what I say--that's the same thing, you know.'
`Not the same thing a bit!' said the Hatter. `You might just as well say that "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 Dormouse, who seemed to be talking in his sleep,) `that "I
breathe when I sleep" is the same thing as "I sleep when I breathe"!'
`It IS the same thing with you,' said the Hatter,
and here the conversation dropped, and the party sat silent for a minute, while Alice thought over all she could remember about ravens and writing-desks, which wasn't much.
The Hatter was the first to break the silence.
--What day of the month is it?' he said, turning to Alice: he
had taken his watch out of his pocket, and was looking at it uneasily, shaking it every now and then,
and holding it to his ear. Alice considered a little, and then said `The fourth.'
`Two days wrong!' sighed the Hatter. `I told you butter wouldn't suit the works!' he added looking
angrily at the March Hare.
`It was the BEST butter,' the March Hare meekly replied.
`Yes, but some crumbs must have got in as well,' the Hatter grumbled: `you shouldn't have put it in
with the bread-knife.'
The March Hare took the watch and looked at it gloomily: then he dipped it into his cup of tea, and
looked at it again: but he could think of nothing better to say than his first remark, `
--It was the BEST butter, you know.'
--What a funny watch, It tells the day of the month, and doesn't tell what o'clock it is!'
--Why should it? Does YOUR watch tell you what year it is?'
--Of course not, but that's because it stays the same year for such a long time together.'
`Which is just the case with MINE,' said the Hatter.
Alice felt dreadfully puzzled. The Hatter's remark seemed to have no sort of meaning in it, and yet it
was certainly English. `I don't quite understand you,' she said, as politely as she could.
`The Dormouse is asleep again,' said the Hatter, and he poured a little hot tea upon its nose.
The Dormouse shook its head impatiently, and said, without opening its eyes, `Of course, of course;
just what I was going to remark myself.'
`Have you guessed the riddle yet?' the Hatter said, turning to Alice again.
`No, I give it up,' Alice replied: `what's the answer?'
`I haven't the slightest idea,' said the Hatter.
`Nor I,' said the March Hare.
Alice sighed wearily. `I think you might do something better with the time,' she said, `than waste it in
asking riddles that have no answers.'
`If you knew Time as well as I do,' said the Hatter, `you wouldn't talk about wasting IT. It's HIM.'
`I don't know what you mean,' said Alice.
`Of course you don't!' the Hatter said, tossing his head contemptuously. `I dare say you never even
spoke to Time!'
`Perhaps not,' Alice cautiously replied: `but I know I have to beat time when I learn music.'
`Ah! that accounts for it,' said the Hatter. `He won't stand beating. Now, if you only kept on good
terms with him, he'd do almost anything you liked with the clock. For instance, suppose it were nine
o'clock in the morning, just time to begin lessons: you'd only have to whisper a hint to Time, and
round goes the clock in a twinkling! Half-past one, time for dinner!'
(`I only wish it was,' the March Hare said to itself in a whisper.)
`That would be grand, certainly,' said Alice thoughtfully: `but then--I shouldn't be hungry for it, you
`Not at first, perhaps,' said the Hatter: `but you could keep it to half-past one as long as you liked.'
`Is that the way YOU manage?' Alice asked.
The Hatter shook his head mournfully. `Not I!' he replied. `We quarrelled last March--just before HE
went mad, you know--' (pointing with his tea spoon at the March Hare,) `--it was at the great concert
given by the Queen of Hearts, and I had to sing
"Twinkle, twinkle, little bat!
How I wonder what you're at!"
You know the song, perhaps?'
`I've heard something like it,' said Alice.
`It goes on, you know,' the Hatter continued, `in this
"Up above the world you fly,
Like a tea-tray in the sky.
Here the Dormouse shook itself, and began singing in its
sleep `Twinkle, twinkle, twinkle, twinkle--' and went on
so long that they had to pinch it to make it stop.
`Well, I'd hardly finished the first verse,' said the Hatter, `when the Queen jumped up and bawled out,
"He's murdering the time! Off with his head!"'
How dreadfully savage!' exclaimed Alice.
`And ever since that,' the Hatter went on in a mournful tone, `he won't do a thing I ask! It's always six
A bright idea came into Alice's head. `Is that the reason so many tea-things are put out here?' she
`Yes, that's it,' said the Hatter with a sigh: `it's always tea-time, and we've no time to wash the things
`Then you keep moving round, I suppose?' said Alice.
`Exactly so,' said the Hatter: `as the things get used up.'
`But what happens when you come to the beginning again?' Alice ventured to ask.
`Suppose we change the subject,'
This piece of rudeness was more than Alice could bear: she got up in great disgust, and walked off; the last time she saw them, they were trying to put the Dormouse into the teapot.
`At any rate I'll never go THERE again!