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‘I speak severely to my boy,

^ I beat him when he sneezes;

For he can thoroughly enjoy

The pepper when he pleases!’

CHORUS

‘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 her.

Alice caught the baby with some difficulty, as it was a

queershaped 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 it-

self 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

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51

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 ex-

pressing yourself.’

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 ex-

tremely 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

52

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

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 re-

spect.

‘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 Al-

ice, 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 expla-

nation.

‘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 an-

other 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 re-

marked.

‘Oh, you can’t help that,’ said the Cat: ‘we’re all mad here.

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53

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. There-

fore 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

54

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

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 mad—at 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 rav-

ing mad after all! I almost wish I’d gone to see the Hatter

instead!’

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55

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 sup-

pose 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 encourag-

ing 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 an-

grily.

‘It wasn’t very civil of you to sit down without being in-

vited,’ said the March Hare.

‘I didn’t know it was your table,’ said Alice; ‘it’s laid for a

great many more than three.’

56

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

‘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 rude.’

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 least—at least I mean what

I say—that’s the same thing, you know.’

‘Not the same thing a bit!’ said the Hatter. ‘You might

just as well say that ‘I see what I eat’ is the same thing as ‘I

eat what I see’!’

‘You might just as well say,’ added the March Hare, ‘that

‘I like what I get’ is the same thing as ‘I get what I like’!’

‘You might just as well say,’ added the Dormouse, who

seemed to be talking in his sleep, ‘that ‘I breathe when I

sleep’ is the same thing as ‘I sleep when I breathe’!’

‘It is the same thing with you,’ said the Hatter, and here

the conversation dropped, and the party sat silent for a min-

ute, while Alice thought over all she could remember about

ravens and writing-desks, which wasn’t much.

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57

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 gloom-

ily: 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 cu-

riosity. ‘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 be-

cause it stays the same year for such a long time together.’

‘Which is just the case with mine,’ said the Hatter.

Alice felt dreadfully puzzled. The Hatter’s remark seemed

to have no sort of meaning in it, and yet it was certainly

English. ‘I don’t quite understand you,’ she said, as politely

as she could.

‘The Dormouse is asleep again,’ said the Hatter, and he

58

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

poured a little hot tea upon its nose.

The Dormouse shook its head impatiently, and said,

without opening its eyes, ‘Of course, of course; just what I

was going to remark myself.’

‘Have you guessed the riddle yet?’ the Hatter said, turn-

ing 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 rid-

dles that have no answers.’

‘If you knew Time as well as I do,’ said the Hatter, ‘you

wouldn’t talk about wasting it. It’s him.’

‘I don’t know what you mean,’ said Alice.

‘Of course you don’t!’ the Hatter said, tossing his head

contemptuously. ‘I dare say you never even spoke to Time!’

‘Perhaps not,’ Alice cautiously replied: ‘but I know I have

to beat time when I learn music.’

‘Ah! that accounts for it,’ said the Hatter. ‘He won’t stand

beating. Now, if you only kept on good terms with him, he’d

do almost anything you liked with the clock. For instance,

suppose it were nine o’clock in the morning, just time to be-

gin lessons: you’d only have to whisper a hint to Time, and

round goes the clock in a twinkling! Half-past one, time for

dinner!’

(’I only wish it was,’ the March Hare said to itself in a

whisper.)

‘That would be grand, certainly,’ said Alice thoughtfully:

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59

‘but then—I 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

1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

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