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“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 murder-

ing the time! Off with his head!‘

‘How dreadfully savage!’ exclaimed Alice.

60

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

‘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 inter-

rupted, 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 fel-

lows 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 Dor-

mouse 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

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61

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 nothing.’

‘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 treacle-well.’

‘There’s no such thing!’ Alice was beginning very angri-

ly, 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 inter-

62

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

rupt 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 sisters—

they 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 be-

fore, 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-

well—eh, stupid?’

‘But they were in the well,’ Alice said to the Dormouse,

not choosing to notice this last remark.

‘Of course they were’, said the Dormouse; ‘—well in.’

This answer so confused poor Alice, that she let the Dor-

mouse go on for some time without interrupting it.

‘They were learning to draw,’ the Dormouse went on,

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63

yawning and rubbing its eyes, for it was getting very sleepy;

‘and they drew all manner of things—everything that be-

gins 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 muchness— you 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

64

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

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 then—she found herself at last

in the beautiful garden, among the bright flower-beds and

the cool fountains.

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65

Chapter VIII.

The Queen’s Croquet-

Ground

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 him—it 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 him-

self suddenly: the others looked round also, and all of them

66

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

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 be-

gan 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 in-

stantly 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 QUEEN

^ OF HEARTS.

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67

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 proces-

sions; ‘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 court-

iers, or three of her own children.

‘How should I know?’ said Alice, surprised at her own

courage. ‘It’s no business of mine.’

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.

68

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

The King laid his hand upon her arm, and timidly said

‘Consider, my dear: she is only a child!’

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 gid-

dy.’ 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 try-

ing—’

‘I see!’ said the Queen, who had meanwhile been exam-

ining 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 sol-

diers shouted in reply.

‘That’s right!’ shouted the Queen. ‘Can you play cro-

quet?’

The soldiers were silent, and looked at Alice, as the ques-

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69

tion 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’s—it’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 whis-

pered 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 set-

tled 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

70

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

feet, to make the arches.

The chief difficulty Alice found at first was in manag-

ing 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
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