Project Gutenberg's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at
Title: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Author: Lewis Carroll
Release Date: June 25, 2008 [EBook #11]
[Last updated: December 20, 2011]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII
Produced by David Widger
By Lewis Carroll
Down the Rabbit-Hole
The Pool of Tears
A Caucus-Race and a Long Tale
The Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill
Advice from a Caterpillar
Pig and Pepper
A Mad Tea-Party
The Queen's Croquet-Ground
The Mock Turtle's Story
The Lobster Quadrille
Who Stole the Tarts?
Alice's Evidence
CHAPTER I. Down the Rabbit-Hole
Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having
nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had
no pictures or conversations in it, 'and what is the use of a book,' thought Alice 'without
pictures or conversation?'
So she was considering in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her
feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth
the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink
eyes ran close by her.
There was nothing so VERY remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so VERY much
out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself, 'Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!' (when she
thought it over afterwards, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at
the time it all seemed quite natural); but when the Rabbit actually TOOK A WATCH OUT
OF ITS WAISTCOAT-POCKET, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her
feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a
waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the
field after it, and fortunately was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under
the hedge.
In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world
she was to get out again.
The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly
down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she
found herself falling down a very deep well.
Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she
went down to look about her and to wonder what was going to happen next. First, she tried
to look down and make out what she was coming to, but it was too dark to see anything;
then she looked at the sides of the well, and noticed that they were filled with cupboards
and book-shelves; here and there she saw maps and pictures hung upon pegs. She took
down a jar from one of the shelves as she passed; it was labelled 'ORANGE
MARMALADE', but to her great disappointment it was empty: she did not like to drop the
jar for fear of killing somebody, so managed to put it into one of the cupboards as she fell
past it.
'Well!' thought Alice to herself, 'after such a fall as this, I shall think nothing of tumbling
down stairs! How brave they'll all think me at home! Why, I wouldn't say anything about it,
even if I fell off the top of the house!' (Which was very likely true.)
Down, down, down. Would the fall NEVER come to an end! 'I wonder how many miles
I've fallen by this time?' she said aloud. 'I must be getting somewhere near the centre of the
earth. Let me see: that would be four thousand miles down, I think' (for, you see, Alice
had learnt several things of this sort in her lessons in the schoolroom, and though this was
not a VERY good opportunity for showing off her knowledge, as there was no one to listen
to her, still it was good practice to say it over) 'yes, that's about the right distancebut
then I wonder what Latitude or Longitude I've got to?' (Alice had no idea what Latitude
was, or Longitude either, but thought they were nice grand words to say.)
Presently she began again. 'I wonder if I shall fall right THROUGH the earth! How funny
it'll seem to come out among the people that walk with their heads downward! The
Antipathies, I think' (she was rather glad there WAS no one listening, this time, as it
didn't sound at all the right word) 'but I shall have to ask them what the name of the
country is, you know. Please, Ma'am, is this New Zealand or Australia?' (and she tried to
curtsey as she spokefancy CURTSEYING as you're falling through the air! Do you think
you could manage it?) 'And what an ignorant little girl she'll think me for asking! No, it'll
never do to ask: perhaps I shall see it written up somewhere.'
Down, down, down. There was nothing else to do, so Alice soon began talking again.
'Dinah'll miss me very much to-night, I should think!' (Dinah was the cat.) 'I hope they'll
remember her saucer of milk at tea-time. Dinah my dear! I wish you were down here with
me! There are no mice in the air, I'm afraid, but you might catch a bat, and that's very like a
mouse, you know. But do cats eat bats, I wonder?' And here Alice began to get rather
sleepy, and went on saying to herself, in a dreamy sort of way, 'Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat
bats?' and sometimes, 'Do bats eat cats?' for, you see, as she couldn't answer either question,
it didn't much matter which way she put it. She felt that she was dozing off, and had just
begun to dream that she was walking hand in hand with Dinah, and saying to her very
earnestly, 'Now, Dinah, tell me the truth: did you ever eat a bat?' when suddenly, thump!
thump! down she came upon a heap of sticks and dry leaves, and the fall was over.
Alice was not a bit hurt, and she jumped up on to her feet in a moment: she looked up,
but it was all dark overhead; before her was another long passage, and the White Rabbit was
still in sight, hurrying down it. There was not a moment to be lost: away went Alice like the
wind, and was just in time to hear it say, as it turned a corner, 'Oh my ears and whiskers,
how late it's getting!' She was close behind it when she turned the corner, but the Rabbit
was no longer to be seen: she found herself in a long, low hall, which was lit up by a row of
lamps hanging from the roof.
There were doors all round the hall, but they were all locked; and when Alice had been
all the way down one side and up the other, trying every door, she walked sadly down the
middle, wondering how she was ever to get out again.
Suddenly she came upon a little three-legged table, all made of solid glass; there was
nothing on it except a tiny golden key, and Alice's first thought was that it might belong to
one of the doors of the hall; but, alas! either the locks were too large, or the key was too
small, but at any rate it would not open any of them. However, on the second time round,
she came upon a low curtain she had not noticed before, and behind it was a little door
about fifteen inches high: she tried the little golden key in the lock, and to her great delight
it fitted!
Alice opened the door and found that it led into a small passage, not much larger than a
rat-hole: she knelt down and looked along the passage into the loveliest garden you ever
saw. How she longed to get out of that dark hall, and wander about among those beds of
bright flowers and those cool fountains, but she could not even get her head through the
doorway; 'and even if my head would go through,' thought poor Alice, 'it would be of very
little use without my shoulders. Oh, how I wish I could shut up like a telescope! I think I
could, if I only know how to begin.' For, you see, so many out-of-the-way things had
happened lately, that Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed were really
There seemed to be no use in waiting by the little door, so she went back to the table, half
hoping she might find another key on it, or at any rate a book of rules for shutting people up
like telescopes: this time she found a little bottle on it, ('which certainly was not here
before,' said Alice,) and round the neck of the bottle was a paper label, with the words
'DRINK ME' beautifully printed on it in large letters.
It was all very well to say 'Drink me,' but the wise little Alice was not going to do THAT
in a hurry. 'No, I'll look first,' she said, 'and see whether it's marked "poison" or not'; for she
had read several nice little histories about children who had got burnt, and eaten up by wild
beasts and other unpleasant things, all because they WOULD not remember the simple rules
their friends had taught them: such as, that a red-hot poker will burn you if you hold it too
long; and that if you cut your finger VERY deeply with a knife, it usually bleeds; and she
had never forgotten that, if you drink much from a bottle marked 'poison,' it is almost
certain to disagree with you, sooner or later.
However, this bottle was NOT marked 'poison,' so Alice ventured to taste it, and finding
it very nice, (it had, in fact, a sort of mixed flavour of cherry-tart, custard, pine-apple, roast
turkey, toffee, and hot buttered toast,) she very soon finished it off.
* * * * * * *
* * * * * *
* * * * * * *
'What a curious feeling!' said Alice; 'I must be shutting up like a telescope.'
And so it was indeed: she was now only ten inches high, and her face brightened up at the
thought that she was now the right size for going through the little door into that lovely
garden. First, however, she waited for a few minutes to see if she was going to shrink any
further: she felt a little nervous about this; 'for it might end, you know,' said Alice to herself,
'in my going out altogether, like a candle. I wonder what I should be like then?' And she
tried to fancy what the flame of a candle is like after the candle is blown out, for she could
not remember ever having seen such a thing.
After a while, finding that nothing more happened, she decided on going into the garden
at once; but, alas for poor Alice! when she got to the door, she found she had forgotten the
little golden key, and when she went back to the table for it, she found she could not
possibly reach it: she could see it quite plainly through the glass, and she tried her best to
climb up one of the legs of the table, but it was too slippery; and when she had tired herself
out with trying, the poor little thing sat down and cried.
'Come, there's no use in crying like that!' said Alice to herself, rather sharply; 'I advise
you to leave off this minute!' She generally gave herself very good advice, (though she very
seldom followed it), and sometimes she scolded herself so severely as to bring tears into her
eyes; and once she remembered trying to box her own ears for having cheated herself in a
game of croquet she was playing against herself, for this curious child was very fond of
pretending to be two people. 'But it's no use now,' thought poor Alice, 'to pretend to be two
people! Why, there's hardly enough of me left to make ONE respectable person!'
Soon her eye fell on a little glass box that was lying under the table: she opened it, and
found in it a very small cake, on which the words 'EAT ME' were beautifully marked in
currants. 'Well, I'll eat it,' said Alice, 'and if it makes me grow larger, I can reach the key;
and if it makes me grow smaller, I can creep under the door; so either way I'll get into the
garden, and I don't care which happens!'
She ate a little bit, and said anxiously to herself, 'Which way? Which way?', holding her
hand on the top of her head to feel which way it was growing, and she was quite surprised
to find that she remained the same size: to be sure, this generally happens when one eats
cake, but Alice had got so much into the way of expecting nothing but out-of-the-way
things to happen, that it seemed quite dull and stupid for life to go on in the common way.
So she set to work, and very soon finished off the cake.
* * * * * * *
* * * * * *
* * * * * * *
CHAPTER II. The Pool of Tears
'Curiouser and curiouser!' cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment
she quite forgot how to speak good English); 'now I'm opening out like the largest telescope
that ever was! Good-bye, feet!' (for when she looked down at her feet, they seemed to be
almost out of sight, they were getting so far off). 'Oh, my poor little feet, I wonder who will
put on your shoes and stockings for you now, dears? I'm sure I shan't be able! I shall be a
great deal too far off to trouble myself about you: you must manage the best way you
can;but I must be kind to them,' thought Alice, 'or perhaps they won't walk the way I
want to go! Let me see: I'll give them a new pair of boots every Christmas.'
And she went on planning to herself how she would manage it. 'They must go by the
carrier,' she thought; 'and how funny it'll seem, sending presents to one's own feet! And how
odd the directions will look!
Oh dear, what nonsense I'm talking!'
Just then her head struck against the roof of the hall: in fact she was now more than nine
feet high, and she at once took up the little golden key and hurried off to the garden door.
Poor Alice! It was as much as she could do, lying down on one side, to look through into
the garden with one eye; but to get through was more hopeless than ever: she sat down and
began to cry again.
'You ought to be ashamed of yourself,' said Alice, 'a great girl like you,' (she might well
say this), 'to go on crying in this way! Stop this moment, I tell you!' But she went on all the
same, shedding gallons of tears, until there was a large pool all round her, about four inches
deep and reaching half down the hall.
After a time she heard a little pattering of feet in the distance, and she hastily dried her
eyes to see what was coming. It was the White Rabbit returning, splendidly dressed, with a
pair of white kid gloves in one hand and a large fan in the other: he came trotting along in a
great hurry, muttering to himself as he came, 'Oh! the Duchess, the Duchess! Oh! won't she
be savage if I've kept her waiting!' Alice felt so desperate that she was ready to ask help of
any one; so, when the Rabbit came near her, she began, in a low, timid voice, 'If you please,
sir' The Rabbit started violently, dropped the white kid gloves and the fan, and skurried
away into the darkness as hard as he could go.
Alice took up the fan and gloves, and, as the hall was very hot, she kept fanning herself
all the time she went on talking: 'Dear, dear! How queer everything is to-day! And
yesterday things went on just as usual. I wonder if I've been changed in the night? Let me
think: was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a
little different. But if I'm not the same, the next question is, Who in the world am I? Ah,
THAT'S the great puzzle!' And she began thinking over all the children she knew that were
of the same age as herself, to see if she could have been changed for any of them.
'I'm sure I'm not Ada,' she said, 'for her hair goes in such long ringlets, and mine doesn't
go in ringlets at all; and I'm sure I can't be Mabel, for I know all sorts of things, and she, oh!
she knows such a very little! Besides, SHE'S she, and I'm I, andoh dear, how puzzling it
all is! I'll try if I know all the things I used to know. Let me see: four times five is twelve,
and four times six is thirteen, and four times seven isoh dear! I shall never get to twenty
at that rate! However, the Multiplication Table doesn't signify: let's try Geography. London
is the capital of Paris, and Paris is the capital of Rome, and Romeno, THAT'S all wrong,
I'm certain! I must have been changed for Mabel! I'll try and say "How doth the little"'
and she crossed her hands on her lap as if she were saying lessons, and began to repeat it,
but her voice sounded hoarse and strange, and the words did not come the same as they
used to do:
'How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!
'How cheerfully he seems to grin,
How neatly spread his claws,
And welcome little fishes in
With gently smiling jaws!'
'I'm sure those are not the right words,' said poor Alice, and her eyes filled with tears
again as she went on, 'I must be Mabel after all, and I shall have to go and live in that poky
little house, and have next to no toys to play with, and oh! ever so many lessons to learn!
No, I've made up my mind about it; if I'm Mabel, I'll stay down here! It'll be no use their
putting their heads down and saying "Come up again, dear!" I shall only look up and say
"Who am I then? Tell me that first, and then, if I like being that person, I'll come up: if not,
I'll stay down here till I'm somebody else"but, oh dear!' cried Alice, with a sudden burst
of tears, 'I do wish they WOULD put their heads down! I am so VERY tired of being all
alone here!'
As she said this she looked down at her hands, and was surprised to see that she had put
on one of the Rabbit's little white kid gloves while she was talking. 'How CAN I have done
that?' she thought. 'I must be growing small again.' She got up and went to the table to
measure herself by it, and found that, as nearly as she could guess, she was now about two
feet high, and was going on shrinking rapidly: she soon found out that the cause of this was
the fan she was holding, and she dropped it hastily, just in time to avoid shrinking away
'That WAS a narrow escape!' said Alice, a good deal frightened at the sudden change, but
very glad to find herself still in existence; 'and now for the garden!' and she ran with all
speed back to the little door: but, alas! the little door was shut again, and the little golden
key was lying on the glass table as before, 'and things are worse than ever,' thought the poor
child, 'for I never was so small as this before, never! And I declare it's too bad, that it is!'
As she said these words her foot slipped, and in another moment, splash! she was up to
her chin in salt water. Her first idea was that she had somehow fallen into the sea, 'and in
that case I can go back by railway,' she said to herself. (Alice had been to the seaside once
in her life, and had come to the general conclusion, that wherever you go to on the English
coast you find a number of bathing machines in the sea, some children digging in the sand
with wooden spades, then a row of lodging houses, and behind them a railway station.)
However, she soon made out that she was in the pool of tears which she had wept when she
was nine feet high.
'I wish I hadn't cried so much!' said Alice, as she swam about, trying to find her way out.
'I shall be punished for it now, I suppose, by being drowned in my own tears! That WILL be
a queer thing, to be sure! However, everything is queer to-day.'
Just then she heard something splashing about in the pool a little way off, and she swam
nearer to make out what it was: at first she thought it must be a walrus or hippopotamus, but
then she remembered how small she was now, and she soon made out that it was only a
mouse that had slipped in like herself.
'Would it be of any use, now,' thought Alice, 'to speak to this mouse? Everything is so
out-of-the-way down here, that I should think very likely it can talk: at any rate, there's no
harm in trying.' So she began: 'O Mouse, do you know the way out of this pool? I am very
tired of swimming about here, O Mouse!' (Alice thought this must be the right way of
speaking to a mouse: she had never done such a thing before, but she remembered having
seen in her brother's Latin Grammar, 'A mouseof a mouseto a mousea mouseO
mouse!') The Mouse looked at her rather inquisitively, and seemed to her to wink with one
of its little eyes, but it said nothing.
'Perhaps it doesn't understand English,' thought Alice; 'I daresay it's a French mouse,
come over with William the Conqueror.' (For, with all her knowledge of history, Alice had
no very clear notion how long ago anything had happened.) So she began again: 'Ou est ma
chatte?' which was the first sentence in her French lesson-book. The Mouse gave a sudden
leap out of the water, and seemed to quiver all over with fright. 'Oh, I beg your pardon!'
cried Alice hastily, afraid that she had hurt the poor animal's feelings. 'I quite forgot you
didn't like cats.'
'Not like cats!' cried the Mouse, in a shrill, passionate voice. 'Would YOU like cats if you
were me?'
'Well, perhaps not,' said Alice in a soothing tone: 'don't be angry about it. And yet I wish
I could show you our cat Dinah: I think you'd take a fancy to cats if you could only see her.
She is such a dear quiet thing,' Alice went on, half to herself, as she swam lazily about in
the pool, 'and she sits purring so nicely by the fire, licking her paws and washing her face
and she is such a nice soft thing to nurseand she's such a capital one for catching mice
oh, I beg your pardon!' cried Alice again, for this time the Mouse was bristling all over, and
she felt certain it must be really offended. 'We won't talk about her any more if you'd rather
'We indeed!' cried the Mouse, who was trembling down to the end of his tail. 'As if I
would talk on such a subject! Our family always HATED cats: nasty, low, vulgar things!
Don't let me hear the name again!'
'I won't indeed!' said Alice, in a great hurry to change the subject of conversation. 'Are
youare you fondofof dogs?' The Mouse did not answer, so Alice went on eagerly:
'There is such a nice little dog near our house I should like to show you! A little bright-eyed
terrier, you know, with oh, such long curly brown hair! And it'll fetch things when you
throw them, and it'll sit up and beg for its dinner, and all sorts of thingsI can't remember
half of themand it belongs to a farmer, you know, and he says it's so useful, it's worth a
hundred pounds! He says it kills all the rats andoh dear!' cried Alice in a sorrowful tone,
'I'm afraid I've offended it again!' For the Mouse was swimming away from her as hard as it
could go, and making quite a commotion in the pool as it went.
So she called softly after it, 'Mouse dear! Do come back again, and we won't talk about
cats or dogs either, if you don't like them!' When the Mouse heard this, it turned round and
swam slowly back to her: its face was quite pale (with passion, Alice thought), and it said in
a low trembling voice, 'Let us get to the shore, and then I'll tell you my history, and you'll
understand why it is I hate cats and dogs.'
It was high time to go, for the pool was getting quite crowded with the birds and animals
that had fallen into it: there were a Duck and a Dodo, a Lory and an Eaglet, and several
other curious creatures. Alice led the way, and the whole party swam to the shore.
CHAPTER III. A Caucus-Race and
a Long Tale
They were indeed a queer-looking party that assembled on the bankthe birds with
draggled feathers, the animals with their fur clinging close to them, and all dripping wet,
cross, and uncomfortable.
The first question of course was, how to get dry again: they had a consultation about this,
and after a few minutes it seemed quite natural to Alice to find herself talking familiarly
with them, as if she had known them all her life. Indeed, she had quite a long argument with
the Lory, who at last turned sulky, and would only say, 'I am older than you, and must know
better'; and this Alice would not allow without knowing how old it was, and, as the Lory
positively refused to tell its age, there was no more to be said.
At last the Mouse, who seemed to be a person of authority among them, called out, 'Sit
down, all of you, and listen to me! I'LL soon make you dry enough!' They all sat down at
once, in a large ring, with the Mouse in the middle. Alice kept her eyes anxiously fixed on
it, for she felt sure she would catch a bad cold if she did not get dry very soon.
'Ahem!' said the Mouse with an important air, 'are you all ready? This is the driest thing I
know. Silence all round, if you please! "William the Conqueror, whose cause was favoured
by the pope, was soon submitted to by the English, who wanted leaders, and had been of
late much accustomed to usurpation and conquest. Edwin and Morcar, the earls of Mercia
and Northumbria"'
'Ugh!' said the Lory, with a shiver.
'I beg your pardon!' said the Mouse, frowning, but very politely: 'Did you speak?'
'Not I!' said the Lory hastily.
'I thought you did,' said the Mouse. 'I proceed. "Edwin and Morcar, the earls of Mercia
and Northumbria, declared for him: and even Stigand, the patriotic archbishop of
Canterbury, found it advisable"'
'Found WHAT?' said the Duck.
'Found IT,' the Mouse replied rather crossly: 'of course you know what "it" means.'
'I know what "it" means well enough, when I find a thing,' said the Duck: 'it's generally a
frog or a worm. The question is, what did the archbishop find?'
The Mouse did not notice this question, but hurriedly went on, '"found it advisable to
go with Edgar Atheling to meet William and offer him the crown. William's conduct at first
was moderate. But the insolence of his Normans" How are you getting on now, my dear?'
it continued, turning to Alice as it spoke.
'As wet as ever,' said Alice in a melancholy tone: 'it doesn't seem to dry me at all.'
'In that case,' said the Dodo solemnly, rising to its feet, 'I move that the meeting adjourn,
for the immediate adoption of more energetic remedies'
'Speak English!' said the Eaglet. 'I don't know the meaning of half those long words, and,
what's more, I don't believe you do either!' And the Eaglet bent down its head to hide a
smile: some of the other birds tittered audibly.
'What I was going to say,' said the Dodo in an offended tone, 'was, that the best thing to
get us dry would be a Caucus-race.'
'What IS a Caucus-race?' said Alice; not that she wanted much to know, but the Dodo had
paused as if it thought that SOMEBODY ought to speak, and no one else seemed inclined to
say anything.
'Why,' said the Dodo, 'the best way to explain it is to do it.' (And, as you might like to try
the thing yourself, some winter day, I will tell you how the Dodo managed it.)
First it marked out a race-course, in a sort of circle, ('the exact shape doesn't matter,' it
said,) and then all the party were placed along the course, here and there. There was no
'One, two, three, and away,' but they began running when they liked, and left off when they
liked, so that it was not easy to know when the race was over. However, when they had
been running half an hour or so, and were quite dry again, the Dodo suddenly called out
'The race is over!' and they all crowded round it, panting, and asking, 'But who has won?'
This question the Dodo could not answer without a great deal of thought, and it sat for a
long time with one finger pressed upon its forehead (the position in which you usually see
Shakespeare, in the pictures of him), while the rest waited in silence. At last the Dodo said,
'EVERYBODY has won, and all must have prizes.'
'But who is to give the prizes?' quite a chorus of voices asked.
'Why, SHE, of course,' said the Dodo, pointing to Alice with one finger; and the whole
party at once crowded round her, calling out in a confused way, 'Prizes! Prizes!'
Alice had no idea what to do, and in despair she put her hand in her pocket, and pulled
out a box of comfits, (luckily the salt water had not got into it), and handed them round as
prizes. There was exactly one a-piece all round.
'But she must have a prize herself, you know,' said the Mouse.
'Of course,' the Dodo replied very gravely. 'What else have you got in your pocket?' he
went on, turning to Alice.
'Only a thimble,' said Alice sadly.
'Hand it over here,' said the Dodo.
Then they all crowded round her once more, while the Dodo solemnly presented the
thimble, saying 'We beg your acceptance of this elegant thimble'; and, when it had finished
this short speech, they all cheered.
Alice thought the whole thing very absurd, but they all looked so grave that she did not
dare to laugh; and, as she could not think of anything to say, she simply bowed, and took
the thimble, looking as solemn as she could.
The next thing was to eat the comfits: this caused some noise and confusion, as the large
birds complained that they could not taste theirs, and the small ones choked and had to be
patted on the back. However, it was over at last, and they sat down again in a ring, and
begged the Mouse to tell them something more.
'You promised to tell me your history, you know,' said Alice, 'and why it is you hateC
and D,' she added in a whisper, half afraid that it would be offended again.
'Mine is a long and a sad tale!' said the Mouse, turning to Alice, and sighing.
'It IS a long tail, certainly,' said Alice, looking down with wonder at the Mouse's tail; 'but
why do you call it sad?' And she kept on puzzling about it while the Mouse was speaking,
so that her idea of the tale was something like this:
'Fury said to a
mouse, That he
met in the
"Let us
both go to
law: I will
I'll take no
denial; We
must have a
trial: For
really this
morning I've
to do."
Said the
mouse to the
cur, "Such
a trial,
dear Sir,
no jury
or judge,
would be
"I'll be
judge, I'll
be jury,"
old Fury:
try the
'You are not attending!' said the Mouse to Alice severely. 'What are you thinking of?'
'I beg your pardon,' said Alice very humbly: 'you had got to the fifth bend, I think?'
'I had NOT!' cried the Mouse, sharply and very angrily.
'A knot!' said Alice, always ready to make herself useful, and looking anxiously about
her. 'Oh, do let me help to undo it!'
'I shall do nothing of the sort,' said the Mouse, getting up and walking away. 'You insult
me by talking such nonsense!'
'I didn't mean it!' pleaded poor Alice. 'But you're so easily offended, you know!'
The Mouse only growled in reply.
'Please come back and finish your story!' Alice called after it; and the others all joined in
chorus, 'Yes, please do!' but the Mouse only shook its head impatiently, and walked a little
'What a pity it wouldn't stay!' sighed the Lory, as soon as it was quite out of sight; and an
old Crab took the opportunity of saying to her daughter 'Ah, my dear! Let this be a lesson to
you never to lose YOUR temper!' 'Hold your tongue, Ma!' said the young Crab, a little
snappishly. 'You're enough to try the patience of an oyster!'
'I wish I had our Dinah here, I know I do!' said Alice aloud, addressing nobody in
particular. 'She'd soon fetch it back!'
'And who is Dinah, if I might venture to ask the question?' said the Lory.
Alice replied eagerly, for she was always ready to talk about her pet: 'Dinah's our cat.
And she's such a capital one for catching mice you can't think! And oh, I wish you could see
her after the birds! Why, she'll eat a little bird as soon as look at it!'
This speech caused a remarkable sensation among the party. Some of the birds hurried
off at once: one old Magpie began wrapping itself up very carefully, remarking, 'I really
must be getting home; the night-air doesn't suit my throat!' and a Canary called out in a
trembling voice to its children, 'Come away, my dears! It's high time you were all in bed!'
On various pretexts they all moved off, and Alice was soon left alone.
'I wish I hadn't mentioned Dinah!' she said to herself in a melancholy tone. 'Nobody
seems to like her, down here, and I'm sure she's the best cat in the world! Oh, my dear
Dinah! I wonder if I shall ever see you any more!' And here poor Alice began to cry again,
for she felt very lonely and low-spirited. In a little while, however, she again heard a little
pattering of footsteps in the distance, and she looked up eagerly, half hoping that the Mouse
had changed his mind, and was coming back to finish his story.
CHAPTER IV. The Rabbit Sends in
a Little Bill
It was the White Rabbit, trotting slowly back again, and looking anxiously about as it
went, as if it had lost something; and she heard it muttering to itself 'The Duchess! The
Duchess! Oh my dear paws! Oh my fur and whiskers! She'll get me executed, as sure as
ferrets are ferrets! Where CAN I have dropped them, I wonder?' Alice guessed in a moment
that it was looking for the fan and the pair of white kid gloves, and she very good-naturedly
began hunting about for them, but they were nowhere to be seeneverything seemed to
have changed since her swim in the pool, and the great hall, with the glass table and the
little door, had vanished completely.
Very soon the Rabbit noticed Alice, as she went hunting about, and called out to her in an
angry tone, 'Why, Mary Ann, what ARE you doing out here? Run home this moment, and
fetch me a pair of gloves and a fan! Quick, now!' And Alice was so much frightened that
she ran off at once in the direction it pointed to, without trying to explain the mistake it had
'He took me for his housemaid,' she said to herself as she ran. 'How surprised he'll be
when he finds out who I am! But I'd better take him his fan and glovesthat is, if I can find
them.' As she said this, she came upon a neat little house, on the door of which was a bright
brass plate with the name 'W. RABBIT' engraved upon it. She went in without knocking,
and hurried upstairs, in great fear lest she should meet the real Mary Ann, and be turned out
of the house before she had found the fan and gloves.
'How queer it seems,' Alice said to herself, 'to be going messages for a rabbit! I suppose
Dinah'll be sending me on messages next!' And she began fancying the sort of thing that
would happen: '"Miss Alice! Come here directly, and get ready for your walk!" "Coming in
a minute, nurse! But I've got to see that the mouse doesn't get out." Only I don't think,' Alice
went on, 'that they'd let Dinah stop in the house if it began ordering people about like that!'
By this time she had found her way into a tidy little room with a table in the window, and
on it (as she had hoped) a fan and two or three pairs of tiny white kid gloves: she took up
the fan and a pair of the gloves, and was just going to leave the room, when her eye fell
upon a little bottle that stood near the looking-glass. There was no label this time with the
words 'DRINK ME,' but nevertheless she uncorked it and put it to her lips. 'I know
SOMETHING interesting is sure to happen,' she said to herself, 'whenever I eat or drink
anything; so I'll just see what this bottle does. I do hope it'll make me grow large again, for
really I'm quite tired of being such a tiny little thing!'
It did so indeed, and much sooner than she had expected: before she had drunk half the
bottle, she found her head pressing against the ceiling, and had to stoop to save her neck
from being broken. She hastily put down the bottle, saying to herself 'That's quite enough
I hope I shan't grow any moreAs it is, I can't get out at the doorI do wish I hadn't drunk
quite so much!'
Alas! it was too late to wish that! She went on growing, and growing, and very soon had
to kneel down on the floor: in another minute there was not even room for this, and she tried
the effect of lying down with one elbow against the door, and the other arm curled round
her head. Still she went on growing, and, as a last resource, she put one arm out of the
window, and one foot up the chimney, and said to herself 'Now I can do no more, whatever
happens. What WILL become of me?'
Luckily for Alice, the little magic bottle had now had its full effect, and she grew no
larger: still it was very uncomfortable, and, as there seemed to be no sort of chance of her
ever getting out of the room again, no wonder she felt unhappy.
'It was much pleasanter at home,' thought poor Alice, 'when one wasn't always growing
larger and smaller, and being ordered about by mice and rabbits. I almost wish I hadn't gone
down that rabbit-holeand yetand yetit's rather curious, you know, this sort of life! I
do wonder what CAN have happened to me! When I used to read fairy-tales, I fancied that
kind of thing never happened, and now here I am in the middle of one! There ought to be a
book written about me, that there ought! And when I grow up, I'll write onebut I'm grown
up now,' she added in a sorrowful tone; 'at least there's no room to grow up any more
'But then,' thought Alice, 'shall I NEVER get any older than I am now? That'll be a
comfort, one waynever to be an old womanbut thenalways to have lessons to learn!
Oh, I shouldn't like THAT!'
'Oh, you foolish Alice!' she answered herself. 'How can you learn lessons in here? Why,
there's hardly room for YOU, and no room at all for any lesson-books!'
And so she went on, taking first one side and then the other, and making quite a
conversation of it altogether; but after a few minutes she heard a voice outside, and stopped
to listen.
'Mary Ann! Mary Ann!' said the voice. 'Fetch me my gloves this moment!' Then came a
little pattering of feet on the stairs. Alice knew it was the Rabbit coming to look for her, and
she trembled till she shook the house, quite forgetting that she was now about a thousand
times as large as the Rabbit, and had no reason to be afraid of it.
Presently the Rabbit came up to the door, and tried to open it; but, as the door opened
inwards, and Alice's elbow was pressed hard against it, that attempt proved a failure. Alice
heard it say to itself 'Then I'll go round and get in at the window.'
'THAT you won't' thought Alice, and, after waiting till she fancied she heard the Rabbit
just under the window, she suddenly spread out her hand, and made a snatch in the air. She
did not get hold of anything, but she heard a little shriek and a fall, and a crash of broken
glass, from which she concluded that it was just possible it had fallen into a cucumber-
frame, or something of the sort.
Next came an angry voicethe Rabbit's'Pat! Pat! Where are you?' And then a voice
she had never heard before, 'Sure then I'm here! Digging for apples, yer honour!'
'Digging for apples, indeed!' said the Rabbit angrily. 'Here! Come and help me out of
THIS!' (Sounds of more broken glass.)
'Now tell me, Pat, what's that in the window?'
'Sure, it's an arm, yer honour!' (He pronounced it 'arrum.')
'An arm, you goose! Who ever saw one that size? Why, it fills the whole window!'
'Sure, it does, yer honour: but it's an arm for all that.'
'Well, it's got no business there, at any rate: go and take it away!'
There was a long silence after this, and Alice could only hear whispers now and then;
such as, 'Sure, I don't like it, yer honour, at all, at all!' 'Do as I tell you, you coward!' and at
last she spread out her hand again, and made another snatch in the air. This time there were
TWO little shrieks, and more sounds of broken glass. 'What a number of cucumber-frames
there must be!' thought Alice. 'I wonder what they'll do next! As for pulling me out of the
window, I only wish they COULD! I'm sure I don't want to stay in here any longer!'
She waited for some time without hearing anything more: at last came a rumbling of little
cartwheels, and the sound of a good many voices all talking together: she made out the
words: 'Where's the other ladder?Why, I hadn't to bring but one; Bill's got the other
Bill! fetch it here, lad!Here, put 'em up at this cornerNo, tie 'em together firstthey
don't reach half high enough yetOh! they'll do well enough; don't be particularHere,
Bill! catch hold of this ropeWill the roof bear?Mind that loose slateOh, it's coming
down! Heads below!' (a loud crash)'Now, who did that?It was Bill, I fancyWho's to
go down the chimney?Nay, I shan't! YOU do it!That I won't, then!Bill's to go
downHere, Bill! the master says you're to go down the chimney!'
'Oh! So Bill's got to come down the chimney, has he?' said Alice to herself. 'Shy, they
seem to put everything upon Bill! I wouldn't be in Bill's place for a good deal: this fireplace
is narrow, to be sure; but I THINK I can kick a little!'
She drew her foot as far down the chimney as she could, and waited till she heard a little
animal (she couldn't guess of what sort it was) scratching and scrambling about in the
chimney close above her: then, saying to herself 'This is Bill,' she gave one sharp kick, and
waited to see what would happen next.
The first thing she heard was a general chorus of '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 headBrandy nowDon't choke himHow was it, old fellow? What
happened to you? Tell us all about it!'
Last came a little feeble, squeaking voice, ('That's Bill,' thought Alice,) 'Well, I hardly
knowNo more, thank ye; I'm better nowbut I'm a deal too flustered to tell youall I
know is, something comes at me like a Jack-in-the-box, and up I goes like a sky-rocket!'
'So you did, old fellow!' said the others.
'We must burn the house down!' said the Rabbit's voice; and Alice called out as loud as
she could, 'If you do. I'll set Dinah at you!'
There was a dead silence instantly, and Alice thought to herself, 'I wonder what they
WILL do next! If they had any sense, they'd take the roof off.' After a minute or two, they
began moving about again, and Alice heard the Rabbit say, 'A barrowful will do, to begin
'A barrowful of WHAT?' thought Alice; but she had not long to doubt, for the next
moment a shower of little pebbles came rattling in at the window, and some of them hit her
in the face. 'I'll put a stop to this,' she said to herself, and shouted out, 'You'd better not do
that again!' which produced another dead silence.
Alice noticed with some surprise that the pebbles were all turning into little cakes as they
lay on the floor, and a bright idea came into her head. 'If I eat one of these cakes,' she
thought, 'it's sure to make SOME change in my size; and as it can't possibly make me larger,
it must make me smaller, I suppose.'
So she swallowed one of the cakes, and was delighted to find that she began shrinking
directly. As soon as she was small enough to get through the door, she ran out of the house,
and found quite a crowd of little animals and birds waiting outside. The poor little Lizard,
Bill, was in the middle, being held up by two guinea-pigs, who were giving it something out
of a bottle. They all made a rush at Alice the moment she appeared; but she ran off as hard
as she could, and soon found herself safe in a thick wood.
'The first thing I've got to do,' said Alice to herself, as she wandered about in the wood, 'is
to grow to my right size again; and the second thing is to find my way into that lovely
garden. I think that will be the best plan.'
It sounded an excellent plan, no doubt, and very neatly and simply arranged; the only
difficulty was, that she had not the smallest idea how to set about it; and while she was
peering about anxiously among the trees, a little sharp bark just over her head made her
look up in a great hurry.
An enormous puppy was looking down at her with large round eyes, and feebly
stretching out one paw, trying to touch her. 'Poor little thing!' said Alice, in a coaxing tone,
and she tried hard to whistle to it; but she was terribly frightened all the time at the thought
that it might be hungry, in which case it would be very likely to eat her up in spite of all her
Hardly knowing what she did, she picked up a little bit of stick, and held it out to the
puppy; whereupon the puppy jumped into the air off all its feet at once, with a yelp of
delight, and rushed at the stick, and made believe to worry it; then Alice dodged behind a
great thistle, to keep herself from being run over; and the moment she appeared on the other
side, the puppy made another rush at the stick, and tumbled head over heels in its hurry to
get hold of it; then Alice, thinking it was very like having a game of play with a cart-horse,
and expecting every moment to be trampled under its feet, ran round the thistle again; then
the puppy began a series of short charges at the stick, running a very little way forwards
each time and a long way back, and barking hoarsely all the while, till at last it sat down a
good way off, panting, with its tongue hanging out of its mouth, and its great eyes half shut.
This seemed to Alice a good opportunity for making her escape; so she set off at once,
and ran till she was quite tired and out of breath, and till the puppy's bark sounded quite
faint in the distance.
'And yet what a dear little puppy it was!' said Alice, as she leant against a buttercup to
rest herself, and fanned herself with one of the leaves: 'I should have liked teaching it tricks
very much, ifif I'd only been the right size to do it! Oh dear! I'd nearly forgotten that I've
got to grow up again! Let me seehow IS it to be managed? I suppose I ought to eat or
drink something or other; but the great question is, what?'
The great question certainly was, what? Alice looked all round her at the flowers and the
blades of grass, but she did not see anything that looked like the right thing to eat or drink
under the circumstances. There was a large mushroom growing near her, about the same
height as herself; and when she had looked under it, and on both sides of it, and behind it, it
occurred to her that she might as well look and see what was on the top of it.
She stretched herself up on tiptoe, and peeped over the edge of the mushroom, and her
eyes immediately met those of a large caterpillar, that was sitting on the top with its arms
folded, quietly smoking a long hookah, and taking not the smallest notice of her or of
anything else.
CHAPTER V. Advice from a
The Caterpillar and Alice looked at each other for some time in silence: at last the
Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth, and addressed her in a languid, sleepy voice.
'Who are YOU?' said the Caterpillar.
This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, 'II
hardly know, sir, just at presentat least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning,
but I think I must have been changed several times since then.'
'What do you mean by that?' said the Caterpillar sternly. 'Explain yourself!'
'I can't explain MYSELF, I'm afraid, sir' said Alice, 'because I'm not myself, you see.'
'I don't see,' said the Caterpillar.
'I'm afraid I can't put it more clearly,' Alice replied very politely, 'for I can't understand it
myself to begin with; and being so many different sizes in a day is very confusing.'
'It isn't,' said the Caterpillar.
'Well, perhaps you haven't found it so yet,' said Alice; 'but when you have to turn into a
chrysalisyou will some day, you knowand then after that into a butterfly, I should think
you'll feel it a little queer, won't you?'
'Not a bit,' said the Caterpillar.
'Well, perhaps your feelings may be different,' said Alice; 'all I know is, it would feel
very queer to ME.'
'You!' said the Caterpillar contemptuously. 'Who are YOU?'
Which brought them back again to the beginning of the conversation. Alice felt a little
irritated at the Caterpillar's making such VERY short remarks, and she drew herself up and
said, very gravely, 'I think, you ought to tell me who YOU are, first.'
'Why?' said the Caterpillar.
Here was another puzzling question; and as Alice could not think of any good reason, and
as the Caterpillar seemed to be in a VERY unpleasant state of mind, she turned away.
'Come back!' the Caterpillar called after her. 'I've something important to say!'
This sounded promising, certainly: Alice turned and came back again.
'Keep your temper,' said the Caterpillar.
'Is that all?' said Alice, swallowing down her anger as well as she could.
'No,' said the Caterpillar.
Alice thought she might as well wait, as she had nothing else to do, and perhaps after all
it might tell her something worth hearing. For some minutes it puffed away without
speaking, but at last it unfolded its arms, took the hookah out of its mouth again, and said,
'So you think you're changed, do you?'
'I'm afraid I am, sir,' said Alice; 'I can't remember things as I usedand I don't keep the
same size for ten minutes together!'
'Can't remember WHAT things?' said the Caterpillar.
'Well, I've tried to say "HOW DOTH THE LITTLE BUSY BEE," but it all came
different!' Alice replied in a very melancholy voice.
'Repeat, "YOU ARE OLD, FATHER WILLIAM,"' said the Caterpillar.
Alice folded her hands, and began:
'You are old, Father William,' the young man said,
'And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head
Do you think, at your age, it is right?'
'In my youth,' Father William replied to his son,
'I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again.'
'You are old,' said the youth, 'as I mentioned before,
And have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door
Pray, what is the reason of that?'
'In my youth,' said the sage, as he shook his grey locks,
'I kept all my limbs very supple
By the use of this ointmentone shilling the box
Allow me to sell you a couple?'
'You are old,' said the youth, 'and your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak
Pray how did you manage to do it?'
'In my youth,' said his father, 'I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw,
Has lasted the rest of my life.'
'You are old,' said the youth, 'one would hardly suppose
That your eye was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose
What made you so awfully clever?'
'I have answered three questions, and that is enough,'
Said his father; 'don't give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I'll kick you down stairs!'
'That is not said right,' said the Caterpillar.
'Not QUITE right, I'm afraid,' said Alice, timidly; 'some of the words have got altered.'
'It is wrong from beginning to end,' said the Caterpillar decidedly, and there was silence
for some minutes.
The Caterpillar was the first to speak.
'What size do you want to be?' it asked.
'Oh, I'm not particular as to size,' Alice hastily replied; 'only one doesn't like changing so
often, you know.'
'I DON'T know,' said the Caterpillar.
Alice said nothing: she had never been so much contradicted in her life before, and she
felt that she was losing her temper.
'Are you content now?' said the Caterpillar.
'Well, I should like to be a LITTLE larger, sir, if you wouldn't mind,' said Alice: 'three
inches is such a wretched height to be.'
'It is a very good height indeed!' said the Caterpillar angrily, rearing itself upright as it
spoke (it was exactly three inches high).
'But I'm not used to it!' pleaded poor Alice in a piteous tone. And she thought of herself,
'I wish the creatures wouldn't be so easily offended!'
'You'll get used to it in time,' said the Caterpillar; and it put the hookah into its mouth and
began smoking again.
This time Alice waited patiently until it chose to speak again. In a minute or two the
Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth and yawned once or twice, and shook itself.
Then it got down off the mushroom, and crawled away in the grass, merely remarking as it
went, 'One side will make you grow taller, and the other side will make you grow shorter.'
'One side of WHAT? The other side of WHAT?' thought Alice to herself.
'Of the mushroom,' said the Caterpillar, just as if she had asked it aloud; and in another
moment it was out of sight.
Alice remained looking thoughtfully at the mushroom for a minute, trying to make out
which were the two sides of it; and as it was perfectly round, she found this a very difficult
question. However, at last she stretched her arms round it as far as they would go, and broke
off a bit of the edge with each hand.
'And now which is which?' she said to herself, and nibbled a little of the right-hand bit to
try the effect: the next moment she felt a violent blow underneath her chin: it had struck her
She was a good deal frightened by this very sudden change, but she felt that there was no
time to be lost, as she was shrinking rapidly; so she set to work at once to eat some of the
other bit. Her chin was pressed so closely against her foot, that there was hardly room to
open her mouth; but she did it at last, and managed to swallow a morsel of the lefthand bit.
* * * * * * *
* * * * * *
* * * * * * *
'Come, my head's free at last!' said Alice in a tone of delight, which changed into alarm in
another moment, when she found that her shoulders were nowhere to be found: all she
could see, when she looked down, was an immense length of neck, which seemed to rise
like a stalk out of a sea of green leaves that lay far below her.
'What CAN all that green stuff be?' said Alice. 'And where HAVE my shoulders got to?
And oh, my poor hands, how is it I can't see you?' She was moving them about as she
spoke, but no result seemed to follow, except a little shaking among the distant green
As there seemed to be no chance of getting her hands up to her head, she tried to get her
head down to them, and was delighted to find that her neck would bend about easily in any
direction, like a serpent. She had just succeeded in curving it down into a graceful zigzag,
and was going to dive in among the leaves, which she found to be nothing but the tops of
the trees under which she had been wandering, when a sharp hiss made her draw back in a
hurry: a large pigeon had flown into her face, and was beating her violently with its wings.
'Serpent!' screamed the Pigeon.
'I'm NOT a serpent!' said Alice indignantly. 'Let me alone!'
'Serpent, I say again!' repeated the Pigeon, but in a more subdued tone, and added with a
kind of sob, 'I've tried every way, and nothing seems to suit them!'
'I haven't the least idea what you're talking about,' said Alice.
'I've tried the roots of trees, and I've tried banks, and I've tried hedges,' the Pigeon went
on, without attending to her; 'but those serpents! There's no pleasing them!'
Alice was more and more puzzled, but she thought there was no use in saying anything
more till the Pigeon had finished.
'As if it wasn't trouble enough hatching the eggs,' said the Pigeon; 'but I must be on the
look-out for serpents night and day! Why, I haven't had a wink of sleep these three weeks!'
'I'm very sorry you've been annoyed,' said Alice, who was beginning to see its meaning.
'And just as I'd taken the highest tree in the wood,' continued the Pigeon, raising its voice
to a shriek, 'and just as I was thinking I should be free of them at last, they must needs come
wriggling down from the sky! Ugh, Serpent!'
'But I'm NOT a serpent, I tell you!' said Alice. 'I'm aI'm a'
'Well! WHAT are you?' said the Pigeon. 'I can see you're trying to invent something!'
'II'm a little girl,' said Alice, rather doubtfully, as she remembered the number of
changes she had gone through that day.
'A likely story indeed!' said the Pigeon in a tone of the deepest contempt. 'I've seen a
good many little girls in my time, but never ONE with such a neck as that! No, no! You're a
serpent; and there's no use denying it. I suppose you'll be telling me next that you never
tasted an egg!'
'I HAVE tasted eggs, certainly,' said Alice, who was a very truthful child; 'but little girls
eat eggs quite as much as serpents do, you know.'
'I don't believe it,' said the Pigeon; 'but if they do, why then they're a kind of serpent,
that's all I can say.'
This was such a new idea to Alice, that she was quite silent for a minute or two, which
gave the Pigeon the opportunity of adding, 'You're looking for eggs, I know THAT well
enough; and what does it matter to me whether you're a little girl or a serpent?'
'It matters a good deal to ME,' said Alice hastily; 'but I'm not looking for eggs, as it
happens; and if I was, I shouldn't want YOURS: I don't like them raw.'
'Well, be off, then!' said the Pigeon in a sulky tone, as it settled down again into its nest.
Alice crouched down among the trees as well as she could, for her neck kept getting
entangled among the branches, and every now and then she had to stop and untwist it. After
a while she remembered that she still held the pieces of mushroom in her hands, and she set
to work very carefully, nibbling first at one and then at the other, and growing sometimes
taller and sometimes shorter, until she had succeeded in bringing herself down to her usual
It was so long since she had been anything near the right size, that it felt quite strange at
first; but she got used to it in a few minutes, and began talking to herself, as usual. 'Come,
there's half my plan done now! How puzzling all these changes are! I'm never sure what I'm
going to be, from one minute to another! However, I've got back to my right size: the next
thing is, to get into that beautiful gardenhow IS that to be done, I wonder?' As she said
this, she came suddenly upon an open place, with a little house in it about four feet high.
'Whoever lives there,' thought Alice, 'it'll never do to come upon them THIS size: why, I
should frighten them out of their wits!' So she began nibbling at the righthand bit again, and
did not venture to go near the house till she had brought herself down to nine inches high.
CHAPTER VI. Pig and Pepper
For a minute or two she stood looking at the house, and wondering what to do next, when
suddenly a footman in livery came running out of the wood(she considered him to be a
footman because he was in livery: otherwise, judging by his face only, she would have
called him a fish)and rapped loudly at the door with his knuckles. It was opened by
another footman in livery, with a round face, and large eyes like a frog; and both footmen,
Alice noticed, had powdered hair that curled all over their heads. She felt very curious to
know what it was all about, and crept a little way out of the wood to listen.
The Fish-Footman began by producing from under his arm a great letter, nearly as large
as himself, and this he handed over to the other, saying, in a solemn tone, 'For the Duchess.
An invitation from the Queen to play croquet.' The Frog-Footman repeated, in the same
solemn tone, only changing the order of the words a little, 'From the Queen. An invitation
for the Duchess to play croquet.'
Then they both bowed low, and their curls got entangled together.
Alice laughed so much at this, that she had to run back into the wood for fear of their
hearing her; and when she next peeped out the Fish-Footman was gone, and the other was
sitting on the ground near the door, staring stupidly up into the sky.
Alice went timidly up to the door, and knocked.
'There's no sort of use in knocking,' said the Footman, 'and that for two reasons. First,
because I'm on the same side of the door as you are; secondly, because they're making such
a noise inside, no one could possibly hear you.' And certainly there was a most
extraordinary noise going on withina constant howling and sneezing, and every now and
then a great crash, as if a dish or kettle had been broken to pieces.
'Please, then,' said Alice, 'how am I to get in?'
'There might be some sense in your knocking,' the Footman went on without attending to
her, 'if we had the door between us. For instance, if you were INSIDE, you might knock,
and I could let you out, you know.' He was looking up into the sky all the time he was
speaking, and this Alice thought decidedly uncivil. 'But perhaps he can't help it,' she said to
herself; 'his eyes are so VERY nearly at the top of his head. But at any rate he might answer
questions.How am I to get in?' she repeated, aloud.
'I shall sit here,' the Footman remarked, 'till tomorrow'
At this moment the door of the house opened, and a large plate came skimming out,
straight at the Footman's head: it just grazed his nose, and broke to pieces against one of the
trees behind him.
'or next day, maybe,' the Footman continued in the same tone, exactly as if nothing had
'How am I to get in?' asked Alice again, in a louder tone.
'ARE you to get in at all?' said the Footman. 'That's the first question, you know.'
It was, no doubt: only Alice did not like to be told so. 'It's really dreadful,' she muttered to
herself, 'the way all the creatures argue. It's enough to drive one crazy!'
The Footman seemed to think this a good opportunity for repeating his remark, with
variations. 'I shall sit here,' he said, 'on and off, for days and days.'
'But what am I to do?' said Alice.
'Anything you like,' said the Footman, and began whistling.
'Oh, there's no use in talking to him,' said Alice desperately: 'he's perfectly idiotic!' And
she opened the door and went in.
The door led right into a large kitchen, which was full of smoke from one end to the
other: the Duchess was sitting on a three-legged stool in the middle, nursing a baby; the
cook was leaning over the fire, stirring a large cauldron which seemed to be full of soup.
'There's certainly too much pepper in that soup!' Alice said to herself, as well as she could
for sneezing.
There was certainly too much of it in the air. Even the Duchess sneezed occasionally; and
as for the baby, it was sneezing and howling alternately without a moment's pause. The only
things in the kitchen that did not sneeze, were the cook, and a large cat which was sitting on
the hearth and grinning from ear to ear.
'Please would you tell me,' said Alice, a little timidly, for she was not quite sure whether
it was good manners for her to speak first, 'why your cat grins like that?'
'It's a Cheshire cat,' said the Duchess, 'and that's why. Pig!'
She said the last word with such sudden violence that Alice quite jumped; but she saw in
another moment that it was addressed to the baby, and not to her, so she took courage, and
went on again:
'I didn't know that Cheshire cats always grinned; in fact, I didn't know that cats COULD
'They all can,' said the Duchess; 'and most of 'em do.'
'I don't know of any that do,' Alice said very politely, feeling quite pleased to have got
into a conversation.
'You don't know much,' said the Duchess; 'and that's a fact.'
Alice did not at all like the tone of this remark, and thought it would be as well to
introduce some other subject of conversation. While she was trying to fix on one, the cook
took the cauldron of soup off the fire, and at once set to work throwing everything within
her reach at the Duchess and the babythe fire-irons came first; then followed a shower of
saucepans, plates, and dishes. The Duchess took no notice of them even when they hit her;
and the baby was howling so much already, that it was quite impossible to say whether the
blows hurt it or not.
'Oh, PLEASE mind what you're doing!' cried Alice, jumping up and down in an agony of
terror. 'Oh, there goes his PRECIOUS nose'; as an unusually large saucepan flew close by it,
and very nearly carried it off.
'If everybody minded their own business,' the Duchess said in a hoarse growl, 'the world
would go round a deal faster than it does.'
'Which would NOT be an advantage,' said Alice, who felt very glad to get an opportunity
of showing off a little of her knowledge. 'Just think of what work it would make with the
day and night! You see the earth takes twenty-four hours to turn round on its axis'
'Talking of axes,' said the Duchess, 'chop off her head!'
Alice glanced rather anxiously at the cook, to see if she meant to take the hint; but the
cook was busily stirring the soup, and seemed not to be listening, so she went on again:
'Twenty-four hours, I THINK; or is it twelve? I'
'Oh, don't bother ME,' said the Duchess; 'I never could abide figures!' And with that she
began nursing her child again, singing a sort of lullaby to it as she did so, and giving it a
violent shake at the end of every line:
'Speak roughly to your little boy,
And beat him when he sneezes:
He only does it to annoy,
Because he knows it teases.'
(In which the cook and the baby joined):
'Wow! wow! wow!'
While the Duchess sang the second verse of the song, she kept tossing the baby violently
up and down, and the poor little thing howled so, that Alice could hardly hear the words:
'I speak severely to my boy,
I beat him when he sneezes;
For he can thoroughly enjoy
The pepper when he pleases!'
'Wow! wow! wow!'
'Here! you may nurse it a bit, if you like!' the Duchess said to Alice, flinging the baby at
her as she spoke. 'I must go and get ready to play croquet with the Queen,' and she hurried
out of the room. The cook threw a frying-pan after her as she went out, but it just missed
Alice caught the baby with some difficulty, as it was a queer-shaped little creature, and
held out its arms and legs in all directions, 'just like a star-fish,' thought Alice. The poor
little thing was snorting like a steam-engine when she caught it, and kept doubling itself up
and straightening itself out again, so that altogether, for the first minute or two, it was as
much as she could do to hold it.
As soon as she had made out the proper way of nursing it, (which was to twist it up into a
sort of knot, and then keep tight hold of its right ear and left foot, so as to prevent its
undoing itself,) she carried it out into the open air. 'IF I don't take this child away with me,'
thought Alice, 'they're sure to kill it in a day or two: wouldn't it be murder to leave it
behind?' She said the last words out loud, and the little thing grunted in reply (it had left off
sneezing by this time). 'Don't grunt,' said Alice; 'that's not at all a proper way of expressing
The baby grunted again, and Alice looked very anxiously into its face to see what was the
matter with it. There could be no doubt that it had a VERY turn-up nose, much more like a
snout than a real nose; also its eyes were getting extremely small for a baby: altogether
Alice did not like the look of the thing at all. 'But perhaps it was only sobbing,' she thought,
and looked into its eyes again, to see if there were any tears.
No, there were no tears. 'If you're going to turn into a pig, my dear,' said Alice, seriously,
'I'll have nothing more to do with you. Mind now!' The poor little thing sobbed again (or
grunted, it was impossible to say which), and they went on for some while in silence.
Alice was just beginning to think to herself, 'Now, what am I to do with this creature
when I get it home?' when it grunted again, so violently, that she looked down into its face
in some alarm. This time there could be NO mistake about it: it was neither more nor less
than a pig, and she felt that it would be quite absurd for her to carry it further.
So she set the little creature down, and felt quite relieved to see it trot away quietly into
the wood. 'If it had grown up,' she said to herself, 'it would have made a dreadfully ugly
child: but it makes rather a handsome pig, I think.' And she began thinking over other
children she knew, who might do very well as pigs, and was just saying to herself, 'if one
only knew the right way to change them' when she was a little startled by seeing the
Cheshire Cat sitting on a bough of a tree a few yards off.
The Cat only grinned when it saw Alice. It looked good-natured, she thought: still it had
VERY long claws and a great many teeth, so she felt that it ought to be treated with respect.
'Cheshire Puss,' she began, rather timidly, as she did not at all know whether it would like
the name: however, it only grinned a little wider. 'Come, it's pleased so far,' thought Alice,
and she went on. 'Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?'
'That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat.
'I don't much care where' said Alice.
'Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat.
'so long as I get SOMEWHERE,' Alice added as an explanation.
'Oh, you're sure to do that,' said the Cat, 'if you only walk long enough.'
Alice felt that this could not be denied, so she tried another question. 'What sort of people
live about here?'
'In THAT direction,' the Cat said, waving its right paw round, 'lives a Hatter: and in
THAT direction,' waving the other paw, 'lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they're
both mad.'
'But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
'Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: 'we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.'
'How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
'You must be,' said the Cat, 'or you wouldn't have come here.'
Alice didn't think that proved it at all; however, she went on 'And how do you know that
you're mad?'
'To begin with,' said the Cat, 'a dog's not mad. You grant that?'
'I suppose so,' said Alice.
'Well, then,' the Cat went on, 'you see, a dog growls when it's angry, and wags its tail
when it's pleased. Now I growl when I'm pleased, and wag my tail when I'm angry.
Therefore I'm mad.'
'I call it purring, not growling,' said Alice.
'Call it what you like,' said the Cat. 'Do you play croquet with the Queen to-day?'
'I should like it very much,' said Alice, 'but I haven't been invited yet.'
'You'll see me there,' said the Cat, and vanished.
Alice was not much surprised at this, she was getting so used to queer things happening.
While she was looking at the place where it had been, it suddenly appeared again.
'By-the-bye, what became of the baby?' said the Cat. 'I'd nearly forgotten to ask.'
'It turned into a pig,' Alice quietly said, just as if it had come back in a natural way.
'I thought it would,' said the Cat, and vanished again.
Alice waited a little, half expecting to see it again, but it did not appear, and after a
minute or two she walked on in the direction in which the March Hare was said to live. 'I've
seen hatters before,' she said to herself; 'the March Hare will be much the most interesting,
and perhaps as this is May it won't be raving madat least not so mad as it was in March.'
As she said this, she looked up, and there was the Cat again, sitting on a branch of a tree.
'Did you say pig, or fig?' said the Cat.
'I said pig,' replied Alice; 'and I wish you wouldn't keep appearing and vanishing so
suddenly: you make one quite giddy.'
'All right,' said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of
the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone.
'Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin,' thought Alice; 'but a grin without a cat! It's the
most curious thing I ever saw in my life!'
She had not gone much farther before she came in sight of the house of the March Hare:
she thought it must be the right house, because the chimneys were shaped like ears and the
roof was thatched with fur. It was so large a house, that she did not like to go nearer till she
had nibbled some more of the lefthand bit of mushroom, and raised herself to about two feet
high: even then she walked up towards it rather timidly, saying to herself 'Suppose it should
be raving mad after all! I almost wish I'd gone to see the Hatter instead!'
CHAPTER VII. 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: a Dormouse was sitting between them, fast asleep, and the
other two were using it as a cushion, resting their elbows on it, and talking over its head.
'Very uncomfortable for the Dormouse,' thought Alice; 'only, as it's asleep, I suppose it
doesn't mind.'
The table was a large one, but the three were all crowded together at one corner of it: 'No
room! No room!' they cried out when they saw Alice coming. 'There's PLENTY of room!'
said Alice indignantly, and she sat down in a large arm-chair at one end of the table.
'Have some wine,' the March Hare said in an encouraging tone.
Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea. 'I don't see any wine,'
she remarked.
'There isn't any,' said the March Hare.
'Then it wasn't very civil of you to offer it,' said Alice angrily.
'It wasn't very civil of you to sit down without being invited,' said the March Hare.
'I didn't know it was YOUR table,' said Alice; 'it's laid for a great many more than three.'
'Your hair wants cutting,' said the Hatter. He had been looking at Alice for some time
with great curiosity, and this was his first speech.
'You should learn not to make personal remarks,' Alice said with some severity; 'it's very
The Hatter opened his eyes very wide on hearing this; but all he SAID was, 'Why is a
raven like a writing-desk?'
'Come, we shall have some fun now!' thought Alice. 'I'm glad they've begun asking
riddles.I believe I can guess that,' she added aloud.
'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,' Alice hastily replied; 'at leastat least I mean what I saythat'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.'
Alice had been looking over his shoulder with some curiosity. 'What a funny watch!' she
remarked. 'It tells the day of the month, and doesn't tell what o'clock it is!'
'Why should it?' muttered the Hatter. 'Does YOUR watch tell you what year it is?'
'Of course not,' Alice replied very readily: '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
'The Dormouse is asleep again,' said the Hatter, and he poured a little hot tea upon its
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
'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
('I only wish it was,' the March Hare said to itself in a whisper.)
'That would be grand, certainly,' said Alice thoughtfully: 'but thenI shouldn't be hungry
for it, you know.'
'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 way:
"Up above the world you fly,
Like a tea-tray in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle"'
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 o'clock now.'
A bright idea came into Alice's head. 'Is that the reason so many tea-things are put out
here?' she asked.
'Yes, that's it,' said the Hatter with a sigh: 'it's always tea-time, and we've no time to wash
the things between whiles.'
'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,' the March Hare interrupted, yawning. 'I'm getting tired
of this. I vote the young lady tells us a story.'
'I'm afraid I don't know one,' said Alice, rather alarmed at the proposal.
'Then the Dormouse shall!' they both cried. 'Wake up, Dormouse!' And they pinched it on
both sides at once.
The Dormouse slowly opened his eyes. 'I wasn't asleep,' he said in a hoarse, feeble voice:
'I heard every word you fellows were saying.'
'Tell us a story!' said the March Hare.
'Yes, please do!' pleaded Alice.
'And be quick about it,' added the Hatter, 'or you'll be asleep again before it's done.'
'Once upon a time there were three little sisters,' the Dormouse began in a great hurry;
'and their names were Elsie, Lacie, and Tillie; and they lived at the bottom of a well'
'What did they live on?' said Alice, who always took a great interest in questions of
eating and drinking.
'They lived on treacle,' said the Dormouse, after thinking a minute or two.
'They couldn't have done that, you know,' Alice gently remarked; 'they'd have been ill.'
'So they were,' said the Dormouse; 'VERY ill.'
Alice tried to fancy to herself what such an extraordinary ways of living would be like,
but it puzzled her too much, so she went on: 'But why did they live at the bottom of a well?'
'Take some more tea,' the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.
'I've had nothing yet,' Alice replied in an offended tone, 'so I can't take more.'
'You mean you can't take LESS,' said the Hatter: 'it's very easy to take MORE than
'Nobody asked YOUR opinion,' said Alice.
'Who's making personal remarks now?' the Hatter asked triumphantly.
Alice did not quite know what to say to this: so she helped herself to some tea and bread-
and-butter, and then turned to the Dormouse, and repeated her question. 'Why did they live
at the bottom of a well?'
The Dormouse again took a minute or two to think about it, and then said, 'It was a
'There's no such thing!' Alice was beginning very angrily, but the Hatter and the March
Hare went 'Sh! sh!' and the Dormouse sulkily remarked, 'If you can't be civil, you'd better
finish the story for yourself.'
'No, please go on!' Alice said very humbly; 'I won't interrupt again. I dare say there may
be ONE.'
'One, indeed!' said the Dormouse indignantly. However, he consented to go on. 'And so
these three little sistersthey were learning to draw, you know'
'What did they draw?' said Alice, quite forgetting her promise.
'Treacle,' said the Dormouse, without considering at all this time.
'I want a clean cup,' interrupted the Hatter: 'let's all move one place on.'
He moved on as he spoke, and the Dormouse followed him: the March Hare moved into
the Dormouse's place, and Alice rather unwillingly took the place of the March Hare. The
Hatter was the only one who got any advantage from the change: and Alice was a good deal
worse off than before, as the March Hare had just upset the milk-jug into his plate.
Alice did not wish to offend the Dormouse again, so she began very cautiously: 'But I
don't understand. Where did they draw the treacle from?'
'You can draw water out of a water-well,' said the Hatter; 'so I should think you could
draw treacle out of a treacle-welleh, stupid?'
'But they were IN the well,' Alice said to the Dormouse, not choosing to notice this last
'Of course they were', said the Dormouse; 'well in.'
This answer so confused poor Alice, that she let the Dormouse go on for some time
without interrupting it.
'They were learning to draw,' the Dormouse went on, yawning and rubbing its eyes, for it
was getting very sleepy; 'and they drew all manner of thingseverything that begins with
an M'
'Why with an M?' said Alice.
'Why not?' said the March Hare.
Alice was silent.
The Dormouse had closed its eyes by this time, and was going off into a doze; but, on
being pinched by the Hatter, it woke up again with a little shriek, and went on: 'that
begins with an M, such as mouse-traps, and the moon, and memory, and muchnessyou
know you say things are "much of a muchness"did you ever see such a thing as a drawing
of a muchness?'
'Really, now you ask me,' said Alice, very much confused, 'I don't think'
'Then you shouldn't talk,' said the Hatter.
This piece of rudeness was more than Alice could bear: she got up in great disgust, and
walked off; the Dormouse fell asleep instantly, and neither of the others took the least
notice of her going, though she looked back once or twice, half hoping that they would call
after her: 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!' said Alice as she picked her way through the
wood. 'It's the stupidest tea-party I ever was at in all my life!'
Just as she said this, she noticed that one of the trees had a door leading right into it.
'That's very curious!' she thought. 'But everything's curious today. I think I may as well go
in at once.' And in she went.
Once more she found herself in the long hall, and close to the little glass table. 'Now, I'll
manage better this time,' she said to herself, and began by taking the little golden key, and
unlocking the door that led into the garden. Then she went to work nibbling at the
mushroom (she had kept a piece of it in her pocket) till she was about a foot high: then she
walked down the little passage: and THENshe found herself at last in the beautiful
garden, among the bright flower-beds and the cool fountains.
A large rose-tree stood near the entrance of the garden: the roses growing on it were
white, but there were three gardeners at it, busily painting them red. Alice thought this a
very curious thing, and she went nearer to watch them, and just as she came up to them she
heard one of them say, 'Look out now, Five! Don't go splashing paint over me like that!'
'I couldn't help it,' said Five, in a sulky tone; 'Seven jogged my elbow.'
On which Seven looked up and said, 'That's right, Five! Always lay the blame on others!'
'YOU'D better not talk!' said Five. 'I heard the Queen say only yesterday you deserved to
be beheaded!'
'What for?' said the one who had spoken first.
'That's none of YOUR business, Two!' said Seven.
'Yes, it IS his business!' said Five, 'and I'll tell himit was for bringing the cook tulip-
roots instead of onions.'
Seven flung down his brush, and had just begun 'Well, of all the unjust things' when
his eye chanced to fall upon Alice, as she stood watching them, and he checked himself
suddenly: the others looked round also, and all of them bowed low.
'Would you tell me,' said Alice, a little timidly, 'why you are painting those roses?'
Five and Seven said nothing, but looked at Two. Two began in a low voice, 'Why the fact
is, you see, Miss, this here ought to have been a RED rose-tree, and we put a white one in
by mistake; and if the Queen was to find it out, we should all have our heads cut off, you
know. So you see, Miss, we're doing our best, afore she comes, to' At this moment Five,
who had been anxiously looking across the garden, called out 'The Queen! The Queen!' and
the three gardeners instantly threw themselves flat upon their faces. There was a sound of
many footsteps, and Alice looked round, eager to see the Queen.
First came ten soldiers carrying clubs; these were all shaped like the three gardeners,
oblong and flat, with their hands and feet at the corners: next the ten courtiers; these were
ornamented all over with diamonds, and walked two and two, as the soldiers did. After
these came the royal children; there were ten of them, and the little dears came jumping
merrily along hand in hand, in couples: they were all ornamented with hearts. Next came
the guests, mostly Kings and Queens, and among them Alice recognised the White Rabbit:
it was talking in a hurried nervous manner, smiling at everything that was said, and went by
without noticing her. Then followed the Knave of Hearts, carrying the King's crown on a
crimson velvet cushion; and, last of all this grand procession, came THE KING AND
Alice was rather doubtful whether she ought not to lie down on her face like the three
gardeners, but she could not remember ever having heard of such a rule at processions; 'and
besides, what would be the use of a procession,' thought she, 'if people had all to lie down
upon their faces, so that they couldn't see it?' So she stood still where she was, and waited.
When the procession came opposite to Alice, they all stopped and looked at her, and the
Queen said severely 'Who is this?' She said it to the Knave of Hearts, who only bowed and
smiled in reply.
'Idiot!' said the Queen, tossing her head impatiently; and, turning to Alice, she went on,
'What's your name, child?'
'My name is Alice, so please your Majesty,' said Alice very politely; but she added, to
herself, 'Why, they're only a pack of cards, after all. I needn't be afraid of them!'
'And who are THESE?' said the Queen, pointing to the three gardeners who were lying
round the rosetree; for, you see, as they were lying on their faces, and the pattern on their
backs was the same as the rest of the pack, she could not tell whether they were gardeners,
or soldiers, or courtiers, or three of her own children.
'How should I know?' said Alice, surprised at her own courage. 'It's no business of
The Queen turned crimson with fury, and, after glaring at her for a moment like a wild
beast, screamed 'Off with her head! Off'
'Nonsense!' said Alice, very loudly and decidedly, and the Queen was silent.
The King laid his hand upon her arm, and timidly said 'Consider, my dear: she is only a
The Queen turned angrily away from him, and said to the Knave 'Turn them over!'
The Knave did so, very carefully, with one foot.
'Get up!' said the Queen, in a shrill, loud voice, and the three gardeners instantly jumped
up, and began bowing to the King, the Queen, the royal children, and everybody else.
'Leave off that!' screamed the Queen. 'You make me giddy.' And then, turning to the
rose-tree, she went on, 'What HAVE you been doing here?'
'May it please your Majesty,' said Two, in a very humble tone, going down on one knee
as he spoke, 'we were trying'
'I see!' said the Queen, who had meanwhile been examining the roses. 'Off with their
heads!' and the procession moved on, three of the soldiers remaining behind to execute the
unfortunate gardeners, who ran to Alice for protection.
'You shan't be beheaded!' said Alice, and she put them into a large flower-pot that stood
near. The three soldiers wandered about for a minute or two, looking for them, and then
quietly marched off after the others.
'Are their heads off?' shouted the Queen.
'Their heads are gone, if it please your Majesty!' the soldiers shouted in reply.
'That's right!' shouted the Queen. 'Can you play croquet?'
The soldiers were silent, and looked at Alice, as the question was evidently meant for her.
'Yes!' shouted Alice.
'Come on, then!' roared the Queen, and Alice joined the procession, wondering very
much what would happen next.
'It'sit's a very fine day!' said a timid voice at her side. She was walking by the White
Rabbit, who was peeping anxiously into her face.
'Very,' said Alice: 'where's the Duchess?'
'Hush! Hush!' said the Rabbit in a low, hurried tone. He looked anxiously over his
shoulder as he spoke, and then raised himself upon tiptoe, put his mouth close to her ear,
and whispered 'She's under sentence of execution.'
'What for?' said Alice.
'Did you say "What a pity!"?' the Rabbit asked.
'No, I didn't,' said Alice: 'I don't think it's at all a pity. I said "What for?"'
'She boxed the Queen's ears' the Rabbit began. Alice gave a little scream of laughter.
'Oh, hush!' the Rabbit whispered in a frightened tone. 'The Queen will hear you! You see,
she came rather late, and the Queen said'
'Get to your places!' shouted the Queen in a voice of thunder, and people began running
about in all directions, tumbling up against each other; however, they got settled down in a
minute or two, and the game began. Alice thought she had never seen such a curious
croquet-ground in her life; it was all ridges and furrows; the balls were live hedgehogs, the
mallets live flamingoes, and the soldiers had to double themselves up and to stand on their
hands and feet, to make the arches.
The chief difficulty Alice found at first was in managing her flamingo: she succeeded in
getting its body tucked away, comfortably enough, under her arm, with its legs hanging
down, but generally, just as she had got its neck nicely straightened out, and was going to
give the hedgehog a blow with its head, it WOULD twist itself round and look up in her
face, with such a puzzled expression that she could not help bursting out laughing: and
when she had got its head down, and was going to begin again, it was very provoking to
find that the hedgehog had unrolled itself, and was in the act of crawling away: besides all
this, there was generally a ridge or furrow in the way wherever she wanted to send the
hedgehog to, and, as the doubled-up soldiers were always getting up and walking off to
other parts of the ground, Alice soon came to the conclusion that it was a very difficult
game indeed.
The players all played at once without waiting for turns, quarrelling all the while, and
fighting for the hedgehogs; and in a very short time the Queen was in a furious passion, and
went stamping about, and shouting 'Off with his head!' or 'Off with her head!' about once in
a minute.