Through the Looking Glass by Carroll Lewis - HTML preview

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‘I know what you’re thinking about,’ said Tweedledum: ‘but ing, nohow!’

it isn’t so, nohow.’

‘Contrariwise,’ added the one marked ‘ Dee,’ ‘if you think

‘Contrariwise,’ continued Tweedledee, ‘if it was so, it might we’re alive, you ought to speak.’

be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s

‘I’m sure I’m very sorry,’ was all Alice could say; for the logic.’

words of the old song kept ringing through her head like the

‘I was thinking,’ Alice said very politely, ‘which is the best ticking of a clock, and she could hardly help saying them way out of this wood: it’s getting so dark. Would you tell out loud:—

me, please?’

But the little men only looked at each other and grinned.

‘Tweedledum and Tweedledee

They looked so exactly like a couple of great schoolboys, Agreed to have a battle;

that Alice couldn’t help pointing her finger at Tweedledum, For Tweedledum said Tweedledee

and saying ‘First Boy!’

Had spoiled his nice new rattle.

‘Nohow!’ Tweedledum cried out briskly, and shut his mouth up again with a snap.

‘Next Boy!’ said Alice, passing on to Tweedledee, though 26

Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll she felt quite certain he would only shout out ‘Contrari-

‘Four times round is enough for one dance,’ Tweedledum wise!’ and so he did.

panted out, and they left off dancing as suddenly as they had

‘You’ve been wrong!’ cried Tweedledum. ‘The first thing in begun: the music stopped at the same moment.

a visit is to say “How d’ye do?” and shake hands!’ And here Then they let go of Alice’s hands, and stood looking at her the two brothers gave each other a hug, and then they held for a minute: there was a rather awkward pause, as Alice out the two hands that were free, to shake hands with her.

didn’t know how to begin a conversation with people she Alice did not like shaking hands with either of them first, had just been dancing with. ‘It would never do to say “How for fear of hurting the other one’s feelings; so, as the best d’ye do?” Now,’ she said to herself: ‘we seem to have got way out of the difficulty, she took hold of both hands at beyond that, somehow!’

once: the next moment they were dancing round in a ring.

‘I hope you’re not much tired?’ she said at last.

This seemed quite natural (she remembered afterwards), and

‘Nohow. And thank you very much for asking,’ said she was not even surprised to hear music playing: it seemed Tweedledum.

to come from the tree under which they were dancing, and

‘So much obliged!’ added Tweedledee. ‘You like poetry?’

it was done (as well as she could make it out) by the branches

‘Ye-es. pretty well— some poetry,’ Alice said doubtfully.

rubbing one across the other, like fiddles and fiddle-sticks.

‘Would you tell me which road leads out of the wood?’

‘But it certainly was funny,’ (Alice said afterwards, when

‘What shall I repeat to her?’ said Tweedledee, looking round she was telling her sister the history of all this,) ‘to find my-at Tweedledum with great solemn eyes, and not noticing self singing “Here we go round the mulberry bush.” I don’t Alice’s question.

know when I began it, but somehow I felt as if I’d been

‘“The Walrus and the Carpenter” is the longest,’ Tweedledum singing it a long long time!’

replied, giving his brother an affectionate hug.

The other two dancers were fat, and very soon out of breath.

Tweedledee began instantly:


Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll

‘The sun was shining—’

The sea was wet as wet could be,

Here Alice ventured to interrupt him. ‘If it’s very long,’ she The sands were dry as dry.

said, as politely as she could, ‘would you please tell me first You could not see a cloud, because

which road—’

No cloud was in the sky:

Tweedledee smiled gently, and began again: No birds were flying over head—

There were no birds to fly.

‘The sun was shining on the sea,

Shining with all his might:

The Walrus and the Carpenter

He did his very best to make

Were walking close at hand;

The billows smooth and bright—

They wept like anything to see

And this was odd, because it was

Such quantities of sand:

The middle of the night.

“If this were only cleared away,”

They said, “it would be grand!” The moon was shining sulkily,

Because she thought the sun

“If seven maids with seven mops

Had got no business to be there

Swept it for half a year,

After the day was done—

Do you suppose,” the Walrus said,

“It’s very rude of him,” she said,

“That they could get it clear?”

“To come and spoil the fun!”

“I doubt it,” said the Carpenter,

And shed a bitter tear.


Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll

“O Oysters, come and walk with us!” Four other Oysters followed them,

The Walrus did beseech.

And yet another four;

“A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,

And thick and fast they came at last, Along the briny beach:

And more, and more, and more—

We cannot do with more than four,

All hopping through the frothy waves, To give a hand to each.”

And scrambling to the shore.

The eldest Oyster looked at him.

The Walrus and the Carpenter

But never a word he said:

Walked on a mile or so,

The eldest Oyster winked his eye,

And then they rested on a rock

And shook his heavy head—

Conveniently low:

Meaning to say he did not choose

And all the little Oysters stood

To leave the oyster-bed.

And waited in a row.

But four young oysters hurried up,

“The time has come,” the Walrus said, All eager for the treat:

“To talk of many things:

Their coats were brushed, their faces washed, Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—

Their shoes were clean and neat—

Of cabbages—and kings—

And this was odd, because, you know, And why the sea is boiling hot—

They hadn’t any feet.

And whether pigs have wings.”


Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll

“But wait a bit,” the Oysters cried,

“It was so kind of you to come!

“Before we have our chat;

And you are very nice!”

For some of us are out of breath,

The Carpenter said nothing but

And all of us are fat!”

“Cut us another slice:

“No hurry!” said the Carpenter.

I wish you were not quite so deaf—

They thanked him much for that.

I’ve had to ask you twice!”

“A loaf of bread,” the Walrus said,

“It seems a shame,” the Walrus said,

“Is what we chiefly need:

“To play them such a trick,

Pepper and vinegar besides

After we’ve brought them out so far, Are very good indeed—

And made them trot so quick!”

Now if you’re ready Oysters dear,

The Carpenter said nothing but

We can begin to feed.”

“The butter’s spread too thick!”

“But not on us!” the Oysters cried,

“I weep for you,” the Walrus said.

Turning a little blue,

“I deeply sympathize.”

“After such kindness, that would be With sobs and tears he sorted out

A dismal thing to do!”

Those of the largest size.

“The night is fine,” the Walrus said Holding his pocket handkerchief

“Do you admire the view?

Before his streaming eyes.


Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll

‘Are there any lions or tigers about here?’ she asked timidly.

“O Oysters,” said the Carpenter.

‘It’s only the Red King snoring,’ said Tweedledee.

“You’ve had a pleasant run!

‘Come and look at him!’ the brothers cried, and they each Shall we be trotting home again?”

took one of Alice’s hands, and led her up to where the King But answer came there none—

was sleeping.

And that was scarcely odd, because

‘Isn’t he a lovely sight?’ said Tweedledum.

They’d eaten every one.’

Alice couldn’t say honestly that he was. He had a tall red night-cap on, with a tassel, and he was lying crumpled up

‘I like the Walrus best,’ said Alice: ‘because you see he was into a sort of untidy heap, and snoring loud—‘fit to snore a little sorry for the poor oysters.’

his head off!’ as Tweedledum remarked.

‘He ate more than the Carpenter, though,’ said Tweedledee.

‘I’m afraid he’ll catch cold with lying on the damp grass,’

‘You see he held his handkerchief in front, so that the Car-said Alice, who was a very thoughtful little girl.

penter couldn’t count how many he took: contrariwise.’

‘He’s dreaming now,’ said Tweedledee: ‘and what do you

‘That was mean!’ Alice said indignantly. ‘Then I like the think he’s dreaming about?’

Carpenter best—if he didn’t eat so many as the Walrus.’

Alice said ‘Nobody can guess that.’

‘But he ate as many as he could get,’ said Tweedledum.

‘Why, about you!’ Tweedledee exclaimed, clapping his hands This was a puzzler. After a pause, Alice began, ‘Well! They triumphantly. ‘And if he left off dreaming about you, where were both very unpleasant characters—’ Here she checked do you suppose you’d be?’

herself in some alarm, at hearing something that sounded to

‘Where I am now, of course,’ said Alice.

her like the puffing of a large steam-engine in the wood near

‘Not you!’ Tweedledee retorted contemptuously. ‘You’d be them, though she feared it was more likely to be a wild beast.

nowhere. Why, you’re only a sort of thing in his dream!’


Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll

‘If that there King was to wake,’ added Tweedledum, ‘you’d

‘and it’s foolish to cry about it.’ So she brushed away her go out—bang!—just like a candle!’

tears, and went on as cheerfully as she could. ‘At any rate I’d

‘I shouldn’t!’ Alice exclaimed indignantly. ‘Besides, if I’m better be getting out of the wood, for really it’s coming on only a sort of thing in his dream, what are you, I should like very dark. Do you think it’s going to rain?’

to know?’

Tweedledum spread a large umbrella over himself and his

‘Ditto’ said Tweedledum.

brother, and looked up into it. ‘No, I don’t think it is,’ he

‘Ditto, ditto’ cried Tweedledee.

said: ‘at least—not under here. Nohow.’

He shouted this so loud that Alice couldn’t help saying,

‘But it may rain outside?’

‘Hush! You’ll be waking him, I’m afraid, if you make so much

‘It may—if it chooses,’ said Tweedledee: ‘we’ve no objec-noise.’

tion. Contrariwise.’

‘Well, it no use your talking about waking him,’ said

‘Selfish things!’ thought Alice, and she was just going to Tweedledum, ‘when you’re only one of the things in his say ‘Good-night’ and leave them, when Tweedledum sprang dream. You know very well you’re not real.’

out from under the umbrella and seized her by the wrist.

‘I am real!’ said Alice and began to cry.

‘Do you see that?’ he said, in a voice choking with passion,

‘You won’t make yourself a bit realler by crying,’ Tweedledee and his eyes grew large and yellow all in a moment, as he remarked: ‘there’s nothing to cry about.’

pointed with a trembling finger at a small white thing lying

‘If I wasn’t real,’ Alice said—half-laughing though her tears, under the tree.

it all seemed so ridiculous—‘I shouldn’t be able to cry.’

‘It’s only a rattle,’ Alice said, after a careful examination of

‘I hope you don’t suppose those are real tears?’ Tweedledum the little white thing. ‘Not a rattle snake, you know,’ she added interrupted in a tone of great contempt.

hastily, thinking that he was frightened: only an old rattle—

‘I know they’re talking nonsense,’ Alice thought to herself: quite old and broken.’


Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll

‘I knew it was!’ cried Tweedledum, beginning to stamp about So the two brothers went off hand-in-hand into the wood, wildly and tear his hair. ‘It’s spoilt, of course!’ Here he looked and returned in a minute with their arms full of things—

at Tweedledee, who immediately sat down on the ground, such as bolsters, blankets, hearth-rugs, table-cloths, dish-and tried to hide himself under the umbrella.

covers and coal-scuttles. ‘I hope you’re a good hand at pin-Alice laid her hand upon his arm, and said in a soothing ning and tying strings?’ Tweedledum remarked. ‘Every one tone, ‘You needn’t be so angry about an old rattle.’

of these things has got to go on, somehow or other.’

‘But it isn’t old!’ Tweedledum cried, in a greater fury than Alice said afterwards she had never seen such a fuss made ever. ‘It’s new, I tell you—I bought it yesterday—my nice about anything in all her life—the way those two bustled New rattle!’ and his voice rose to a perfect scream.

about—and the quantity of things they put on—and the All this time Tweedledee was trying his best to fold up the trouble they gave her in tying strings and fastening buttons—

umbrella, with himself in it: which was such an extraordi-

‘Really they’ll be more like bundles of old clothes that any-nary thing to do, that it quite took off Alice’s attention from thing else, by the time they’re ready!’ she said to herself, as the angry brother. But he couldn’t quite succeed, and it ended she arranged a bolster round the neck of Tweedledee, ‘to in his rolling over, bundled up in the umbrella, with only his keep his head from being cut off,’ as he said.

head out: and there he lay, opening and shutting his mouth

‘You know,’ he added very gravely, ‘it’s one of the most and his large eyes—’looking more like a fish than anything serious things that can possibly happen to one in a battle—

else,’ Alice thought.

to get one’s head cut off.’

‘Of course you agree to have a battle?’ Tweedledum said in Alice laughed aloud: but she managed to turn it into a a calmer tone.

cough, for fear of hurting his feelings.

‘I suppose so,’ the other sulkily replied, as he crawled out

‘Do I look very pale?’ said Tweedledum, coming up to have of the umbrella: ‘only she must help us to dress up, you know.’

his helmet tied on. (He called it a helmet, though it certainly 33

Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll looked much more like a saucepan.)

ever so far round, by the time we’ve finished!’

‘Well—yes—a little,’ Alice replied gently.

‘And all about a rattle!’ said Alice, still hoping to make them

‘I’m very brave generally,’ he went on in a low voice: ‘only a little ashamed of fighting for such a trifle.

to-day I happen to have a headache.’

‘I shouldn’t have minded it so much,’ said Tweedledum, ‘if

‘And I’ve got a toothache!’ said Tweedledee, who had over-it hadn’t been a new one.’

heard the remark. ‘I’m far worse off than you!’

‘I wish the monstrous crow would come!’ though Alice.

‘Then you’d better not fight to-day,’ said Alice, thinking it

‘There’s only one sword, you know,’ Tweedledum said to a good opportunity to make peace.

his brother: ‘but you can have the umbrella—it’s quite as

‘We must have a bit of a fight, but I don’t care about going sharp. Only we must begin quick. It’s getting as dark as it on long,’ said Tweedledum. ‘What’s the time now?’


Tweedledee looked at his watch, and said ‘Half-past four.’

‘And darker.’ said Tweedledee.

‘Let’s fight till six, and then have dinner,’ said Tweedledum.

It was getting dark so suddenly that Alice thought there

‘Very well,’ the other said, rather sadly: ‘and she can watch must be a thunderstorm coming on. ‘What a thick black us—only you’d better not come very close,’ he added: ‘I gen-cloud that is!’ she said. ‘And how fast it comes! Why, I do erally hit everything I can see—when I get really excited.’

believe it’s got wings!’

‘And I hit everything within reach,’ cried Tweedledum,

‘It’s the crow!’ Tweedledum cried out in a shrill voice of

‘whether I can see it or not!’

alarm: and the two brothers took to their heels and were out Alice laughed. ‘You must hit the trees pretty often, I should of sight in a moment.

think,’ she said.

Alice ran a little way into the wood, and stopped under a Tweedledum looked round him with a satisfied smile. ‘I large tree. ‘It can never get at me here,’ she thought: ‘it’s far don’t suppose,’ he said, ‘there’ll be a tree left standing, for too large to squeeze itself in among the trees. But I wish it 34

Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll wouldn’t flap its wings so—it makes quite a hurricane in the timidly: ‘Am I addressing the White Queen?’

wood—here’s somebody’s shawl being blown away!’

‘Well, yes, if you call that a-dressing,’ The Queen said. ‘It isn’t my notion of the thing, at all.’

Alice thought it would never do to have an argument at the very beginning of their conversation, so she smiled and said, CHAPTER V

‘If your Majesty will only tell me the right way to begin, I’ll do it as well as I can.’

Wool and Water

‘But I don’t want it done at all!’ groaned the poor Queen.

‘I’ve been a-dressing myself for the last two hours.’

She caught the shawl as she spoke, and looked about for It would have been all the better, as it seemed to Alice, if the owner: in another moment the White Queen came run-she had got some one else to dress her, she was so dreadfully ning wildly through the wood, with both arms stretched out untidy. ‘Every single thing’s crooked,’ Alice thought to her-wide, as if she were flying, and Alice very civilly went to self, ‘and she’s all over pins!—may I put your shawl straight meet her with the shawl.

for you?’ she added aloud.

‘I’m very glad I happened to be in the way,’ Alice said, as

‘I don’t know what’s the matter with it!’ the Queen said, in she helped her to put on her shawl again.

a melancholy voice. ‘It’s out of temper, I think. I’ve pinned The White Queen only looked at her in a helpless fright-it here, and I’ve pinned it there, but there’s no pleasing it!’

ened sort of way, and kept repeating something in a whisper

‘It can’t go straight, you know, if you pin it all on one side,’

to herself that sounded like ‘bread-and-butter, bread-and-Alice said, as she gently put it right for her; ‘and, dear me, butter,’ and Alice felt that if there was to be any conversa-what a state your hair is in!’

tion at all, she must manage it herself. So she began rather

‘The brush has got entangled in it!’ the Queen said with a 35

Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll sigh. ‘And I lost the comb yesterday.’

‘Living backwards!’ Alice repeated in great astonishment.

Alice carefully released the brush, and did her best to get

‘I never heard of such a thing!’

the hair into order. ‘Come, you look rather better now!’ she

‘—but there’s one great advantage in it, that one’s memory said, after altering most of the pins. ‘But really you should works both ways.’

have a lady’s maid!’

‘I’m sure mine only works one way.’ Alice remarked. ‘I can’t

‘I’m sure I’ll take you with pleasure!’ the Queen said.

remember things before they happen.’

‘Twopence a week, and jam every other day.’

‘It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards,’ the Alice couldn’t help laughing, as she said, ‘I don’t want you Queen remarked.

to hire me—and I don’t care for jam.’

‘What sort of things do you remember best?’ Alice ven-

‘It’s very good jam,’ said the Queen.

tured to ask.

‘Well, I don’t want any to-day, at any rate.’

‘Oh, things that happened the week after next,’ the Queen

‘You couldn’t have it if you did want it,’ the Queen said.

replied in a careless tone. ‘For instance, now,’ she went on,

‘The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday—but never sticking a large piece of plaster [band-aid] on her finger as jam to-day.’

she spoke, ‘there’s the King’s Messenger. He’s in prison now,

‘It must come sometimes to “jam to-day,”’ Alice objected.

being punished: and the trial doesn’t even begin till next

‘No, it can’t,’ said the Queen. ‘It’s jam every other day: to-Wednesday: and of course the crime comes last of all.’

day isn’t any other day, you know.’

‘Suppose he never commits the crime?’ said Alice.

‘I don’t understand you,’ said Alice. ‘It’s dreadfully confus-

‘That would be all the better, wouldn’t it?’ the Queen said, ing!’

as she bound the plaster round her finger with a bit of rib-

‘That’s the effect of living backwards,’ the Queen said bon.

kindly: ‘it always makes one a little giddy at first—’

Alice felt there was no denying that. ‘Of course it would be 36

Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll all the better,’ she said: ‘but it wouldn’t be all the better his of making herself heard. ‘Have you pricked your finger?’

being punished.’

‘I haven’t pricked it yet,’ the Queen said, ‘but I soon shall—

‘You’re wrong there, at any rate,’ said the Queen: ‘were you oh, oh, oh!’

ever punished?’

‘When do you expect to do it?’ Alice asked, feeling very

‘Only for faults,’ said Alice.

much inclined to laugh.

‘And you were all the better for it, I know!’ the Queen said

‘When I fasten my shawl again,’ the poor Queen groaned triumphantly.

out: ‘the brooch will come undone directly. Oh, oh!’ As she

‘Yes, but then I had done the things I was punished for,’

said the words the brooch flew open, and the Queen clutched said Alice: ‘that makes all the difference.’

wildly at it, and tried to clasp it again.

‘But if you hadn’t done them,’ the Queen said, ‘that would

‘Take care!’ cried Alice. ‘You’re holding it all crooked!’ And have been better still; better, and better, and better!’ Her she caught at the brooch; but it was too late: the pin had voice went higher with each ‘better,’ till it got quite to a slipped, and the Queen had pricked her finger.

squeak at last.

‘That accounts for the bleeding, you see,’ she said to Alice Alice was just beginning to say ‘There’s a mistake some-with a smile. ‘Now you understand the way things happen where—,’ when the Queen began screaming so loud that here.’

she had to leave the sentence unfinished. ‘Oh, oh, oh!’

‘But why don’t you scream now?’ Alice asked, holding her shouted the Queen, shaking her hand about as if she wanted hands ready to put over her ears again.

to shake it off. ‘My finger’s bleeding! Oh, oh, oh, oh!’

‘Why, I’ve done all the screaming already,’ said the Queen.

Her screams were so exactly like the whistle of a steam-

‘What would be the good of having it all over again?’

engine, that Alice had to hold both her hands over her ears.

By this time it was getting light. ‘The crow must have flown

‘What is the matter?’ she said, as soon as there was a chance away, I think,’ said Alice: ‘I’m so glad it’s gone. I thought it 37

Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll was the night coming on.’

‘I can’t believe that!’ said Alice.

‘I wish I could manage to be glad!’ the Queen said. ‘Only I

‘Can’t you?’ the Queen said in a pitying tone. ‘Try again: never can remember the rule. You must be very happy, liv-draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.’

ing in this wood, and being glad whenever you like!’

Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said: ‘one can’t

‘Only it is so very lonely here!’ Alice said in a melancholy believe impossible things.’

voice; and at the thought of her loneliness two large tears

‘I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen.

came rolling down her cheeks.

‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day.

‘Oh, don’t go on like that!’ cried the poor Queen, wringing Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things her hands in despair. ‘Consider what a great girl you are.

before breakfast. There goes the shawl again!’

Consider what a long way you’ve come to-day. Consider what The brooch had come undone as she spoke, and a sudden o’clock it is. Consider anything, only don’t cry!’

gust of wind blew the Queen’s shawl across a little brook.

Alice could not help laughing at this, even in the midst of The Queen spread out her arms again, and went flying after her tears. ‘Can you keep from crying by considering things?’

it, and this time she succeeded in catching it for herself.

she asked.

‘I’ve got it!’ she cried in a triumphant tone. ‘Now you shall

‘That’s the way it’s done,’ the Queen said with great deci-see me pin it on again, all by myself!’

sion: ‘nobody can do two things at once, you know. Let’s

‘Then I hope your finger is better now?’ Alice said very consider your age to begin with—how old are you?’

politely, as she crossed the little brook after the Queen.

‘I’m seven and a half exactly.’

‘Oh, much better!’ cried the Queen, her voice rising to a

‘You needn’t say “exactually,”’ the Queen remarked: ‘I can squeak as she went on. ‘Much be-etter! Be-etter! Be-e-e-etter!

believe it without that. Now I’ll give you something to be-Be-e-ehh!’ The last word ended in a long bleat, so like a lieve. I’m just one hundred and one, five months and a day.’

sheep that Alice quite started.


Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll She looked at the Queen, who seemed to have suddenly but the oddest part of it all was, that whenever she looked wrapped herself up in wool. Alice rubbed her eyes, and looked hard at any shelf, to make out exactly what it had on it, that again. She couldn’t make out what had happened at all. Was particular shelf was always quite empty: though the others she in a shop? And was that really—was it really a sheep that round it were crowded as full as they could hold.

was sitting on the other side of the counter? Rub as she could,

‘Things flow about so here!’ she said at last in a plaintive she could make nothing more of it: she was in a little dark tone, after she had spent a minute or so in vainly pursuing a shop, leaning with her elbows on the counter, and opposite large bright thing, that looked sometimes like a doll and to her was an old Sheep, sitting in an arm-chair knitting, sometimes like a work-box, and was always in the shelf next and every now and then leaving off to look at her through a above the one she was looking at. ‘And this one is the most great pair of spectacles.

provoking of all—but I’ll tell you what—’ she added, as a

‘What is it you want to buy?’ the Sheep said at last, looking sudden thought struck her, ‘I’ll follow it up to the very top up for a moment from her knitting.

shelf of all. It’ll puzzle it to go through the ceiling, I expect!’

‘I don’t quite know yet,’ Alice said, very gently. ‘I should But even this plan failed: the ‘thing’ went through the like to look all round me first, if I might.’

ceiling as quietly as possible, as if it were quite used to it.

‘You may look in front of you, and on both sides, if you

‘Are you a child or a teetotum?’ the Sheep said, as she took like,’ said the Sheep: ‘but you can’t look ALL round you—

up another pair of needles. ‘You’ll make me giddy soon, if unless you’ve got eyes at the back of your head.’

you go on turning round like that.’ She was now working But these, as it happened, Alice had not got: so she con-with fourteen pairs at once, and Alice couldn’t help looking tented herself with turning round, looking at the shelves as at her in great astonishment.

she came to them.

‘How can she knit with so many?’ the puzzled child thought The shop seemed to be full of all manner of curious things—

to herself. ‘She gets more and more like a porcupine every 39

Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll minute!’

‘In the water, of course!’ said the Sheep, sticking some of

‘Can you row?’ the Sheep asked, handing her a pair of knit-the needles into her hair, as her hands were full. ‘Feather, I ting-needles as she spoke.


‘Yes, a little—but not on land—and not with needles—’

Why do you say “feather” so often?’ Alice asked at last, Alice was beginning to say, when suddenly the needles turned rather vexed. ‘I’m not a bird!’

into oars in her hands, and she found they were in a little

‘You are,’ said the Sheet: ‘you’re a little goose.’

boat, gliding along between banks: so there was nothing for This offended Alice a little, so there was no more conversa-it but to do her best.

tion for a minute or two, while the boat glided gently on,

‘Feather!’ cried the Sheep, as she took up another pair of sometimes among beds of weeds (which made the oars stick needles.

fast in the water, worse then ever), and sometimes under This didn’t sound like a remark that needed any answer, so trees, but always with the same tall river-banks frowning Alice said nothing, but pulled away. There was something over their heads.

very queer about the water, she thought, as every now and

‘Oh, please! There are some scented rushes!’ Alice cried in then the oars got fast in it, and would hardly come out again.

a sudden transport of delight. ‘There really are—and such

‘Feather! Feather!’ the Sheep cried again, taking more beauties!’

needles. ‘You’ll be catching a crab directly.’

‘You needn’t say “please” to me about ‘em’ the Sheep said,

‘A dear little crab!’ thought Alice. ‘I should like that.’

without looking up from her knitting: ‘I didn’t put ‘em there,

‘Didn’t you hear me say “Feather”?’ the Sheep cried an-and I’m not going to take ‘em away.’

grily, taking up quite a bunch of needles.

‘No, but I meant—please, may we wait and pick some?’

‘Indeed I did,’ said Alice: ‘you’ve said it very often—and Alice pleaded. ‘If you don’t mind stopping the boat for a very loud. Please, where ARE the crabs?’



Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll

‘How am I to stop it?’ said the Sheep. ‘If you leave off scrambled back into her place, and began to arrange her new-rowing, it’ll stop of itself.’

found treasures.

So the boat was left to drift down the stream as it would, What mattered it to her just than that the rushes had be-till it glided gently in among the waving rushes. And then gun to fade, and to lose all their scent and beauty, from the the little sleeves were carefully rolled up, and the little arms very moment that she picked them? Even real scented rushes, were plunged in elbow-deep to get the rushes a good long you know, last only a very little while—and these, being way down before breaking them off—and for a while Alice dream-rushes, melted away almost like snow, as they lay in forgot all about the Sheep and the knitting, as she bent over heaps at her feet—but Alice hardly noticed this, there were the side of the boat, with just the ends of her tangled hair so many other curious things to think about.

dipping into the water—while with bright eager eyes she They hadn’t gone much farther before the blade of one of caught at one bunch after another of the darling scented the oars got fast in the water and wouldn’t come out again rushes.

(so Alice explained it afterwards), and the consequence was

‘I only hope the boat won’t tipple over!’ she said to herself.

that the handle of it caught her under the chin, and, in spite Oh, what a lovely one! Only I couldn’t quite reach it.’ ‘And of a series of little shrieks of ‘Oh, oh, oh!’ from poor Alice, it it certainly did seem a little provoking (‘almost as if it hap-swept her straight off the seat, and down among the heap of pened on purpose,’ she thought) that, though she managed rushes.

to pick plenty of beautiful rushes as the boat glided by, there However, she wasn’t hurt, and was soon up again: the Sheep was always a more lovely one that she couldn’t reach.

went on with her knitting all the while, just as if nothing

‘The prettiest are always further!’ she said at last, with a had happened. ‘That was a nice crab you caught!’ she re-sigh at the obstinacy of the rushes in growing so far off, as, marked, as Alice got back into her place, very much relieved with flushed cheeks and dripping hair and hands, she to find herself still in the boat.


Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll

‘Was it? I didn’t see it,’ Said Alice, peeping cautiously over

‘Then I’ll have one, please,’ said Alice, as she put the money the side of the boat into the dark water. ‘I wish it hadn’t let down on the counter. For she thought to herself, ‘They go—I should so like to see a little crab to take home with mightn’t be at all nice, you know.’

me!’ But the Sheep only laughed scornfully, and went on The Sheep took the money, and put it away in a box: then with her knitting.

she said ‘I never put things into people’s hands—that would

‘Are there many crabs here?’ said Alice.

never do—you must get it for yourself.’ And so saying, she

‘Crabs, and all sorts of things,’ said the Sheep: ‘plenty of went off to the other end of the shop, and set the egg up-choice, only make up your mind. Now, what do you want to right on a shelf.


‘I wonder why it wouldn’t do?’ thought Alice, as she groped

‘To buy!’ Alice echoed in a tone that was half astonished her way among the tables and chairs, for the shop was very and half frightened—for the oars, and the boat, and the river, dark towards the end. ‘The egg seems to get further away had vanished all in a moment, and she was back again in the the more I walk towards it. Let me see, is this a chair? Why, little dark shop.

it’s got branches, I declare! How very odd to find trees grow-

‘I should like to buy an egg, please,’ she said timidly. ‘How ing here! And actually here’s a little brook! Well, this is the do you sell them?’

very queerest shop I ever saw!’

‘Fivepence farthing for one—Twopence for two,’ the Sheep So she went on, wondering more and more at every step, as replied.

everything turned into a tree the moment she came up to it,

‘Then two are cheaper than one?’ Alice said in a surprised and she quite expected the egg to do the same.

tone, taking out her purse.

‘Only you must eat them both, if you buy two,’ said the Sheep.


Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll ment expecting him to fall.