Alices adventures in won.., p.21
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       Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass, p.21

           Lewis Carroll
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  "Shouldn't do that--shouldn't do that--" the Frog muttered. "Wexes it, you know." Then he went up and gave the door a kick with one of his great feet. "You let it alone," he panted out, as he hobbled back to his tree, "and it'll let you alone, you know."

  At this moment the door was flung open, and a shrill voice was heard singing:

  "To the Looking-Glass world it was Alice that said,

  'I've a sceptre in hand, I've a crown on my head;

  Let the Looking-Glass creatures, whatever they be,

  Come and dine with the Red Queen, the White Queen and me!' "

  And hundreds of voices joined in the chorus:

  "Then fill up the glasses as quick as you can,

  And sprinkle the table with buttons and bran:

  Put cats in the coffee, and mice in the tea--

  And welcome Queen Alice with thirty-times-three!"

  Then followed a confused noise of cheering, and Alice thought to herself, "Thirty times three makes ninety. I wonder if any one's counting?" In a minute there was silence again, and the same shrill voice sang another verse:

  " 'O Looking-Glass creatures,' quoth Alice, 'draw near!

  'Tis an honor to see me, a favor to hear:

  'Tis a privilege high to have dinner and tea

  Along with the Red Queen, the White Queen, and me!' "

  Then came the chorus again:

  "Then fill up the glasses with treacle and ink,

  Or anything else that is pleasant to drink;

  Mix sand with the cider, and wool with the wine--

  And welcome Queen Alice with ninety-times-nine!" 8

  "Ninety times nine!" Alice repeated in despair. "Oh, that'll never be done! I'd better go in at once--" and in she went, and there was a dead silence the moment she appeared.

  Alice glanced nervously along the table, as she walked up the large hall, and noticed that there were about fifty guests, of all kinds: some were animals, some birds, and there were even a few flowers among them. "I'm glad they've come without waiting to be asked," she thought: "I should never have known who were the right people to invite!"

  There were three chairs at the head of the table; the Red and White Queens had already taken two of them, but the middle one was empty. Alice sat down in it, rather uncomfortable at the silence, and longing for some one to speak.

  At last the Red Queen began. "You've missed the soup and fish," she said. "Put on the joint!" And the waiters set a leg of mutton before Alice, who looked at it rather anxiously, as she had never had to carve a joint before.

  "You look a little shy; let me introduce you to that leg of mutton," said the Red Queen: "Alice--Mutton; Mutton--Alice." The leg of mutton got up in the dish and made a little bow to Alice; and Alice returned the bow, not knowing whether to be frightened or amused.

  "May I give you a slice?" she said, taking up the knife and fork, and looking from one Queen to the other.

  "Certainly not," the Red Queen said, very decidedly: "it isn't etiquette to cutx any one you've been introduced to. Remove the joint!" And the waiters carried it off, and brought a large plum-pudding in its place.

  "I won't be introduced to the pudding, please," Alice said rather hastily, "or we shall get no dinner at all. May I give you some?"

  But the Red Queen looked sulky, and growled "Pudding--Alice; Alice--Pudding. Remove the pudding!" and the waiters took it away so quickly that Alice couldn't return its bow.

  However, she didn't see why the Red Queen should be the only one to give orders so, as an experiment, she called out "Waiter! Bring back the pudding!" and there it was again in a moment, like a conjuring-trick. It was so large that she couldn't help feeling a little shy with it, as she had been with the mutton; however, she conquered her shyness by a great effort, and cut a slice and handed it to the Red Queen.

  "What impertinence!" said the Pudding. "I wonder how you'd like it, if I were to cut a slice out of you, you creature!"

  It spoke in a thick, suety sort of voice, and Alice hadn't a word to say in reply: she could only sit and look at it and gasp.

  "Make a remark," said the Red Queen: "It's ridiculous to leave all the conversation to the pudding!"

  "Do you know, I've had such a quantity of poetry repeated to me to-day," Alice began, a little frightened at finding that, the moment she opened her lips, there was dead silence, and all eyes were fixed upon her; "and it's a very curious thing, I think--every poem was about fishes in some way. Do you know why they're so fond of fishes, all about here?"

  She spoke to the Red Queen, whose answer was a little wide of the mark. "As to fishes," she said, very slowly and solemnly, putting her mouth close to Alice's ear, "her White Majesty knows a lovely riddle--all in poetry--all about fishes. Shall she repeat it?"

  "Her Red Majesty's very kind to mention it," the White Queen murmured into Alice's other ear, in a voice like the cooing of a pigeon. "It would be such a treat! May I?"

  "Please do," Alice said very politely.

  The White Queen laughed with delight, and stroked Alice's cheek. Then she began:

  " ' First, the fish must be caught.'

  That is easy: a baby, I think, could have caught it.

  'Next, the fish must be bought.'

  That is easy: a penny, I think would have bought it.

  'Now cook me the fish!'

  That is easy, and will not take more than a minute.

  'Let it lie in a dish!'

  That is easy, because it already is in it.

  'Bring it here! Let me sup!'

  It is easy to set such a dish on the table.

  'Take the dishcover up!'

  Ah, that is so hard that I fear I'm unable!

  For it holds it like glue--

  Holds the lid to the dish, while it lies in the middle:

  Which is easiest to do,

  Un-dish-cover the fish, or dishcover the riddle?"

  "Take a minute to think about it, and then guess," said the Red Queen. "Meanwhile we'll drink your health--Queen, Alice's health!" she screamed at the top of her voice, and all the guests began drinking it directly, and very queerly they managed it: some of them put their glasses upon their heads like extinguishers, and drank all that trickled down their faces--others upset the decanters, and drank the wine as it ran off the edges of the table--and three of them (who looked like kangaroos) scrambled into the dish of roast mutton, and began eagerly lapping up the gravy, "just like pigs in a trough!" thought Alice.

  "You ought to return thanks in a neat speech," the Red Queen said, frowning at Alice as she spoke.

  "We must support you, you know," the White Queen whispered, as Alice got up to do it, very obediently, but a little frightened.

  "Thank you very much," she whispered in reply, "but I can do quite well without."

  "That wouldn't be at all the thing," the Red Queen said very decidedly: so Alice tried to submit to it with a good grace.

  ("And they did push so!" she said afterwards, when she was telling her sister the history of the feast. "You would have thought they wanted to squeeze me flat!")

  In fact it was rather difficult for her to keep in her place while she made her speech: the two Queens pushed her so, one on each side, that they nearly lifted her up into the air: "I rise to return thanks--" Alice began: and she really did rise as she spoke, several inches; but she got hold of the edge of the table, and managed to pull herself down again.

  "Take care of yourself!" screamed the White Queen, seizing Alice's hair with both her hands. "Something's going to happen!"

  And then (as Alice afterwards described it) all sorts of things happened in a moment. The candles all grew up to the ceiling, looking something like a bed of rushes with fireworks at the top. As to the bottles, they each took a pair of plates, which they hastily fitted on as wings, and so, with forks for legs, went fluttering about in all directions: "and very like birds they look," Alice thought to herself, as well as she could in the dreadful confusion that was beginning.

  At this mom
ent she heard a hoarse laugh at her side, and turned to see what was the matter with the White Queen; but, instead of the Queen, there was the leg of mutton sitting in the chair. "Here I am!" cried a voice from the soup-tureen, and Alice turned again, just in time to see the Queen's broad good-natured face grinning at her for a moment over the edge of the tureen, before she disappeared into the soup.

  There was not a moment to be lost. Already several of the guests were lying down in the dishes, and the soup-ladle was walking up the table towards Alice's chair, and beckoning to her impatiently to get out of its way.

  "I can't stand this any longer!" she cried as she jumped up and seized the table-cloth with both hands: one good pull, and plates, dishes, guests, and candles came crashing down together in a heap on the floor.

  "And as for you," she went on, turning fiercely upon the Red Queen, whom she considered as the cause of all the mischief--but the Queen was no longer at her side--she had suddenly dwindled down to the size of a little doll, and was now on the table, merrily running round and round after her own shawl, which was trailing behind her.

  At any other time, Alice would have felt surprised at this, but she was far too much excited to be surprised at anything now. "As for you," she repeated, catching hold of the little creature in the very act of jumping over a bottle which had just lighted upon the table, "I'll shake you into a kitten, that I will!"



  She took her off the table as she spoke, and shook her backwards and forwards with all her might.

  The Red Queen made no resistance whatever; only her face grew very small, and her eyes got large and green: and still, as Alice went on shaking her, she kept on growing shorter--and fatter--and softer--and rounder--and--



  --and it really was a kitten, after all.



  "Your Red Majesty shouldn't purr so loud," Alice said, rubbing her eyes, and addressing the kitten, respectfully, yet with some severity. "You woke me out of oh! such a nice dream! And you've been along with me, Kitty--all through the Looking-Glass world. Did you know it, dear?"

  It is a very inconvenient habit of kittens (Alice had once made the remark) that, whatever you say to them, they always purr. "If they would only purr for 'yes,' and mew for 'no,' or any rule of that sort," she had said, "so that one could keep up a conservation! But how can you talk with a person if they always say the same thing?"

  On this occasion the kitten only purred: and it was impossible to guess whether it meant 'yes' or 'no.'

  So Alice hunted among the chessmen on the table till she had found the Red Queen's then she went down on her knees on the hearth-rug, and put the kitten and the Queen to look at each other. "Now, Kitty!" she cried, clapping her hands triumphantly. "Confess that was what you turned into!"

  ("But it wouldn't look at it," she said, when she was explaining the thing afterwards to her sister: "it turned away its head, and pretended not to see it: but it looked a little ashamed of itself, so I think it must have been the Red Queen.")

  "Sit up a little more stiffly, dear!" Alice cried with a merry laugh. "And curtsey while you're thinking what to--what to purr. It saves time, remember!" And she caught it up and gave it one little kiss, "just in honor of its having been a Red Queen."

  "Snowdrop, my pet!" she went on, looking over her shoulder at the White Kitten, which was still patiently undergoing its toilet, "when will Dinah have finished with your White Majesty, I wonder? That must be the reason you were so untidy in my dream.--Dinah! Do you know that you're scrubbing a White Queen? Really, it's most disrespectful of you!

  "And what did Dinah turn to, I wonder?" she prattled on, as she settled comfortably down, with one elbow on the rug, and her chin in her hand, to watch the kittens. "Tell me, Dinah, did you turn to Humpty Dumpty? I think you did--however, you'd better not mention it to your friends just yet, for I'm not sure.

  "By the way, Kitty, if only you'd been really with me in my dream, there was one thing you would have enjoyed--I had such a quantity of poetry said to me, all about fishes! To-morrow morning you shall have a real treat. All the time you're eating your breakfast, I'll repeat 'The Walrus and the Carpenter' to you; and then you can make believe it's oysters, dear!

  "Now, Kitty, let's consider who it was that dreamed it all. This is a serious question, my dear, and you should not go on licking your paw like that--as if Dinah hadn't washed you this morning! You see, Kitty, it must have been either me or the Red King. He was part of my dream, of course--but then I was part of his dream, too! Was it the Red King, Kitty? You were his wife, my dear, so you ought to know--Oh, Kitty, do help to settle it! I'm sure your paw can wait!" But the provoking kitten only began on the other paw, and pretended it hadn't heard the question.

  Which do you think it was?

  A BOAT, beneath a sunny sky,

  Lingering onward dreamily

  In an evening of July--

  Children three that nestle near,

  Eager eye and willing ear,

  Pleased a simple tale to hear--

  Long has paled that sunny sky:

  Echos fade and memories die:

  Autumn frosts have slain July.

  Still she haunts me, phantomwise,

  Alice moving under skies

  Never seen by waking eyes.

  Children yet, the tale to hear,

  Eager eye and willing ear,

  Lovingly shall nestle near.

  In a Wonderland they lie,

  Dreaming as the days go by,

  Dreaming as the summers die.

  Ever drifting down the stream--

  Lingering in the golden gleam--

  Life, what is it but a dream?9



  1 (p. 18) she very soon finished it off: Carroll placed asterisks after Alice takes a drink from the bottle and again in chapter 5 after she eats cake, to indicate those moments immediately before Alice's adventures become more unbelievable.

  2 (p. 26) "How doth the little crocodile. . . . With gently smiling jaws!": This short ballad is a parody of British minister and hymn-writer Isaac Watts's song "Against Idleness and Mischief," from Dream Songs for Children (1715). The first two stanzas of Watts's song are: "How doth the Little busy Bee/Improve each shining Hour,/And gather Honey all the Day/From every opening Flower!//How skillfully she builds her Cell!/How neat she spreads the Wax;/And labours hard to store it well/With the sweet Food she makes."

  3 (p. 57) "Repeat 'You are old, Father William' ": This poem is a parody of "The Old Man's Comforts, and How He Gained Them" (1799), by Robert Southey. The first two stanzas of Southey's poem are: "You are old, Father William, the young man cried,/ The few locks which are left you are grey;/You are hale, Father William, a hearty old man,/Now tell me the reason, I pray.//In the days of my youth, Father William replied,/I remember'd that youth would fly fast,/And abused not my health and my vigour at first/That I never might need them at last."

  4 (p. 79) "Why is a raven like a writing-desk?": Carroll provided an answer to this riddle: "Because it can produce a few notes, though they are very flat; and it is nevar [sic] put with the wrong end in front!" (see p. 3).


  1 (p. 164) JABBER WOCKY: When Carroll first wrote "Jabberwocky," he titled it "A Stanza of Anglo-Saxon Poetry" and had it printed in what looked like Old English script. See the "Comments & Questions" section in this edition for the author's annotations on the poem.

  2 (pp. 167-168) This time she came upon a large flowerbed: The incident of the live flowers is taken from Alfred, Lord Tennyson's Maud (1855), in which a lover awaits his beloved in a garden filled with talking flowers.

  3 (p. 169) "It says 'Bough-wough!' ": Carroll here philosophizes upon the etymologies of words, questioning whether they have any intrinsic meaning or are merely arbitrary signs.

  4 (p. 191) "The
sun was shining on the sea . . .": This poem is composed in the same meter as "The Dream of Eugene Aram" (1829), by Thomas Hood, about a schoolteacher who is also a murderer.

  5 (p. 215) "Must a name mean something?" . . . "With a name like yours, you might be any shape almost": Humpty Dumpty argues that words have an intrinsic relationship to the things they name. Elsewhere he will argue that names are entirely arbitrary.

  6 (p. 237) This time it was a White Knight: Many commentators have speculated that the White Knight is in fact Carroll.

  7 (p. 246) 'I give thee all, I can no more': Alice is referring to "My Heart and Lute," by Thomas Moore (1779-1852). The first line of Moore's poem is: "I give thee all,--I can no more,/Though poor the off'ring be;/My heart and lute are all the store/That I can bring to thee."

  8 (p. 261) "To the Looking-Glass world. . . . ninety-times-nine!": This poem is a parody of "Bonny Dundee" (1830), by Sir Walter Scott. Following is Scott's first stanza: "To the Lords of Convention 'twas Claver'se who spoke./'Ere the King's crown shall fall there are crowns to be broke;/So let each Cavalier who loves honour and me,/Come follow the bonnet of Bonny Dundee./Come fill up my cup, come fill up my can,/Come saddle your horses, and call up your men;/Come open the West Port and let me gang free,/And it's room for the bonnets of Bonny Dundee!' "

  9 (p. 272) A bcat, beneath a sunny sky. . . . Life, what is it but a dream?: The first letters of each of the lines combine to spell "Alice Pleasance Liddell."

  Inspired by Alice's Adventures

  in Wonderland and Through

  the Looking-Glass


  The wonderfully curious Alice has been appearing on the silver screen since 1903, the year she debuted in British director Cecil Hepworth's Alice in Wonderland, a silent, eight-minute movie that depicts the young girl's propensity to grow and shrink. Alice, played by May Clark, encounters the White Rabbit and the Queen (both played by Hepworth's wife), the Frog-Footman (Hepworth himself), and a slew of playing cards who walk upright in the Tenniel-drawn fashion. In 1910 Thomas Edison's film company produced the second Alice adaptation, also a silent film, this time ten minutes long. Shot in the Bronx, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (A Fairy Comedy), features similar growing and shrinking effects on the part of Alice, played by Gladys Hulette. The first full-length Alice in Wonderland (running time: fifty-two minutes) premiered in 1915 under the stewardship of director W. W. Young. Starring Viola Savoy as Alice and shot on Long Island, this film's imagery derives, as faithfully as the technology of the time would allow, from Tenniel's illustrations.

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