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CHAPTER VI

‘It’s very provoking,’ Humpty Dumpty said after a long silence, looking away from Alice as he spoke, ‘to be called an Humpty Dumpty

egg— very!’

‘I said you looked like an egg, Sir,’ Alice gently explained.

However, the egg only got larger and larger, and more and

‘And some eggs are very pretty, you know’ she added, hop-more human: when she had come within a few yards of it, ing to turn her remark into a sort of a compliment.

she saw that it had eyes and a nose and mouth; and when

‘Some people,’ said Humpty Dumpty, looking away from she had come close to it, she saw clearly that it was Humpty her as usual, ‘have no more sense than a baby!’

Dumpty himself. ‘It can’t be anybody else!’ she said to her-Alice didn’t know what to say to this: it wasn’t at all like self. ‘I’m as certain of it, as if his name were written all over conversation, she thought, as he never said anything to her; his face.’

in fact, his last remark was evidently addressed to a tree—so It might have been written a hundred times, easily, on that she stood and softly repeated to herself: —

enormous face. Humpty Dumpty was sitting with his legs crossed, like a Turk, on the top of a high wall—such a nar-

‘Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall:

row one that Alice quite wondered how he could keep his Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

balance—and, as his eyes were steadily fixed in the opposite All the King’s horses and all the King’s men direction, and he didn’t take the least notice of her, she Couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty in his place again.’

thought he must be a stuffed figure after all.

‘And how exactly like an egg he is!’ she said aloud, standing

‘That last line is much too long for the poetry,’ she added, with her hands ready to catch him, for she was every mo-almost out loud, forgetting that Humpty Dumpty would 43

Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll hear her.

‘What tremendously easy riddles you ask!’ Humpty Dumpty

‘Don’t stand there chattering to yourself like that,’ Humpty growled out. ‘Of course I don’t think so! Why, if ever I did Dumpty said, looking at her for the first time, ‘but tell me fall off—which there’s no chance of—but if I did—’ Here your name and your business.’

he pursed his lips and looked so solemn and grand that Alice

‘My name is Alice, but—’

could hardly help laughing. ‘ If I did fall,’ he went on, ‘ The

‘It’s a stupid enough name!’ Humpty Dumpty interrupted king has promised mewith his very own mouth—to—to—’

impatiently. ‘What does it mean?’

‘To send all his horses and all his men,’ Alice interrupted,

Must a name mean something?’ Alice asked doubtfully.

rather unwisely.

‘Of course it must,’ Humpty Dumpty said with a short

‘Now I declare that’s too bad!’ Humpty Dumpty cried, laugh: ‘ My name means the shape I am—and a good hand-breaking into a sudden passion. ‘You’ve been listening at some shape it is, too. With a name like yours, you might be doors—and behind trees—and down chimneys—or you any shape, almost.’

couldn’t have known it!’

‘Why do you sit out here all alone?’ said Alice, not wishing

‘I haven’t, indeed!’ Alice said very gently. ‘It’s in a book.’

to begin an argument.

‘Ah, well! They may write such things in a book,’ Humpty

‘Why, because there’s nobody with me!’ cried Humpty Dumpty said in a calmer tone. ‘That’s what you call a His-Dumpty. ‘Did you think I didn’t know the answer to that?

tory of England, that is. Now, take a good look at me! I’m Ask another.’

one that has spoken to a King, I am: mayhap you’ll never see

‘Don’t you think you’d be safer down on the ground?’ Alice such another: and to show you I’m not proud, you may shake went on, not with any idea of making another riddle, but hands with me!’ And he grinned almost from ear to ear, as simply in her good-natured anxiety for the queer creature.

he leant forwards (and as nearly as possible fell of the wall in

‘That wall is so very narrow!’

doing so) and offered Alice his hand. She watched him a 44

Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll little anxiously as she took it. ‘If he smiled much more, the nothing.

ends of his mouth might meet behind,’ she thought: ‘and

‘Seven years and six months!’ Humpty Dumpty repeated then I don’t know what would happen to his head! I’m afraid thoughtfully. ‘An uncomfortable sort of age. Now if you’d it would come off!’

asked my advice, I’d have said “Leave off at seven”—but it’s

‘Yes, all his horses and all his men,’ Humpty Dumpty went too late now.’

on. ‘They’d pick me up again in a minute, they would! How-

‘I never ask advice about growing,’ Alice said indignantly.

ever, this conversation is going on a little too fast: let’s go

‘Too proud?’ the other inquired.

back to the last remark but one.’

Alice felt even more indignant at this suggestion. ‘I mean,’

‘I’m afraid I can’t quite remember it,’ Alice said very po-she said, ‘that one can’t help growing older.’

litely.

One can’t, perhaps,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘but two can.

‘In that case we start fresh,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘and it’s With proper assistance, you might have left off at seven.’

my turn to choose a subject—’ (‘He talks about it just as if it

‘What a beautiful belt you’ve got on!’ Alice suddenly re-was a game!’ thought Alice.) ‘So here’s a question for you.

marked. (They had had quite enough of the subject of age, How old did you say you were?’

she thought: and if they really were to take turns in choosing Alice made a short calculation, and said ‘Seven years and subjects, it was her turn now.) ‘At least,’ she corrected her-six months.’

self on second thoughts, ‘a beautiful cravat, I should have

‘Wrong!’ Humpty Dumpty exclaimed triumphantly. ‘You said—no, a belt, I mean—I beg your pardon!’ she added in never said a word like it!’

dismay, for Humpty Dumpty looked thoroughly offended,

‘I though you meant “How old are you?”’ Alice explained.

and she began to wish she hadn’t chosen that subject. ‘If I

‘If I’d meant that, I’d have said it,’ said Humpty Dumpty.

only knew,’ the thought to herself, ‘which was neck and which Alice didn’t want to begin another argument, so she said was waist!’

45

Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll Evidently Humpty Dumpty was very angry, though he said Dumpty. ‘How many days are there in a year?’

nothing for a minute or two. When he did speak again, it

‘Three hundred and sixty-five,’ said Alice.

was in a deep growl.

‘And how many birthdays have you?’

‘It is a— mostprovoking—thing,’ he said at last, ‘when a

‘One.’

person doesn’t know a cravat from a belt!’

‘And if you take one from three hundred and sixty-five,

‘I know it’s very ignorant of me,’ Alice said, in so humble a what remains?’

tone that Humpty Dumpty relented.

‘Three hundred and sixty-four, of course.’

‘It’s a cravat, child, and a beautiful one, as you say. It’s a Humpty Dumpty looked doubtful. ‘I’d rather see that done present from the White King and Queen. There now!’

on paper,’ he said.

‘Is it really?’ said Alice, quite pleased to find that she had Alice couldn’t help smiling as she took out her memoran-chosen a good subject, after all.

dum-book, and worked the sum for him:

‘They gave it me,’ Humpty Dumpty continued thoughtfully, as he crossed one knee over the other and clasped his 365

hands round it, ‘they gave it me—for an un-birthday present.’

-1

‘I beg your pardon?’ Alice said with a puzzled air.

___

‘I’m not offended,’ said Humpty Dumpty.

364

‘I mean, what IS an un-birthday present?’

‘A present given when it isn’t your birthday, of course.’

Humpty Dumpty took the book, and looked at it carefully.

Alice considered a little. ‘I like birthday presents best,’ she

‘That seems to be done right—’ he began.

said at last.

‘You’re holding it upside down!’ Alice interrupted.

‘You don’t know what you’re talking about!’ cried Humpty

‘To be sure I was!’ Humpty Dumpty said gaily, as she turned 46

Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll it round for him. ‘I thought it looked a little queer. As I was Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a saying, that seems to be done right—though I haven’t time minute Humpty Dumpty began again. ‘They’ve a temper, to look it over thoroughly just now—and that shows that some of them—particularly verbs, they’re the proudest—

there are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs—how-get un-birthday presents—’

ever, I can manage the whole lot of them! Impenetrability!

‘Certainly,’ said Alice.

That’s what I say!’

‘And only one for birthday presents, you know. There’s glory

‘Would you tell me, please,’ said Alice ‘what that means?’

for you!’

‘Now you talk like a reasonable child,’ said Humpty

‘I don’t know what you mean by “glory,”’ Alice said.

Dumpty, looking very much pleased. ‘I meant by “impen-Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. ‘Of course you etrability” that we’ve had enough of that subject, and it would don’t—till I tell you. I meant “there’s a nice knock-down be just as well if you’d mention what you mean to do next, as argument for you!”’

I suppose you don’t mean to stop here all the rest of your

‘But “glory” doesn’t mean “a nice knock-down argument,”’

life.’

Alice objected.

‘That’s a great deal to make one word mean,’ Alice said in

‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a a thoughtful tone.

scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean—

‘When I make a word do a lot of work like that,’ said neither more nor less.’

Humpty Dumpty, ‘I always pay it extra.’

‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words

‘Oh!’ said Alice. She was too much puzzled to make any mean so many different things.’

other remark.

‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be

‘Ah, you should see ‘em come round me of a Saturday night,’

master—that’s all.’

Humpty Dumpty went on, wagging his head gravely from 47

Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll side to side: ‘for to get their wages, you know.’

‘Well, “Slithy” means “lithe and slimy.” “Lithe” is the same (Alice didn’t venture to ask what he paid them with; and so as “active.” You see it’s like a portmanteau—there are two you see I can’t tell you.)

meanings packed up into one word.’

‘You seem very clever at explaining words, Sir,’ said Alice.

‘I see it now,’ Alice remarked thoughtfully: ‘and what are

‘Would you kindly tell me the meaning of the poem called

Toves”?’

“Jabberwocky”?’

‘Well, “Toves” are something like badgers—they’re some-

‘Let’s hear it,’ said Humpty Dumpty. ‘I can explain all the thing like lizards—and they’re something like corkscrews.’

poems that were ever invented—and a good many that haven’t

‘They must be very curious looking creatures.’

been invented just yet.’

‘They are that,’ said Humpty Dumpty: ‘also they make This sounded very hopeful, so Alice repeated the first verse: their nests under sun-dials—also they live on cheese.’

‘Andy what’s the “gyre” and to “gimble”?’

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

‘To “gyre” is to go round and round like a gyroscope. To Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;

gimble” is to make holes like a gimlet.’

All mimsy were the borogoves,

‘And “the wabe” is the grass-plot round a sun-dial, I sup-And the mome raths outgrabe.

pose?’ said Alice, surprised at her own ingenuity.

‘Of course it is. It’s called “wabe,” you know, because it

‘That’s enough to begin with,’ Humpty Dumpty inter-goes a long way before it, and a long way behind it—’

rupted: ‘there are plenty of hard words there. “Brillig” means

‘And a long way beyond it on each side,’ Alice added.

four o’clock in the afternoon—the time when you begin

‘Exactly so. Well, then, “mimsy” is “flimsy and miserable” broiling things for dinner.’

(there’s another portmanteau for you). And a “borogove” is a

‘That’ll do very well,’ said Alice: and “Slithy”?’

thin shabby-looking bird with its feathers sticking out all 48

Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll round—something like a live mop.’

ing her remark,’ was written entirely for your amusement.’

‘And then “mome raths”?’ said Alice. ‘I’m afraid I’m giving Alice felt that in that case she really ought to listen to it, so you a great deal of trouble.’

she sat down, and said ‘Thank you’ rather sadly.

‘Well, a “rath” is a sort of green pig: but “mome” I’m not certain about. I think it’s short for “from home”—meaning

‘In winter, when the fields are white, that they’d lost their way, you know.’

I sing this song for your delight—

‘And what does “outgrabe” mean?’

‘Well, “outgrabing” is something between bellowing and only I don’t sing it,’ he added, as an explanation.

whistling, with a kind of sneeze in the middle: however, you’ll

‘I see you don’t,’ said Alice.

hear it done, maybe—down in the wood yonder—and when

‘If you can see whether I’m singing or not, you’ve sharper you’ve once heard it you’ll be quite content. Who’s been re-eyes than most.’ Humpty Dumpty remarked severely. Alice peating all that hard stuff to you?’

was silent.

‘I read it in a book,’ said Alice. ‘But I had some poetry repeated to me, much easier than that, by—Tweedledee, I

‘In spring, when woods are getting green, think it was.’

I’ll try and tell you what I mean.’

‘As to poetry, you know,’ said Humpty Dumpty, stretching out one of his great hands, ‘ I can repeat poetry as well as

‘Thank you very much,’ said Alice.

other folk, if it comes to that—’

‘Oh, it needn’t come to that!’ Alice hastily said, hoping to

‘In summer, when the days are long, keep him from beginning.

Perhaps you’ll understand the song:

‘The piece I’m going to repeat,’ he went on without noticIn autumn, when the leaves are brown, 49

Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll Take pen and ink, and write it down.’

The fishes answered with a grin,

‘I will, if I can remember it so long,’ said Alice.

“Why, what a temper you are in!”

‘You needn’t go on making remarks like that,’ Humpty I told them once, I told them twice: Dumpty said: ‘they’re not sensible, and they put me out.’

They would not listen to advice.

‘I sent a message to the fish:

I took a kettle large and new,

I told them “This is what I wish.”

Fit for the deed I had to do.

The little fishes of the sea,

My heart went hop, my heart went thump; They sent an answer back to me.

I filled the kettle at the pump.

The little fishes’ answer was

Then some one came to me and said,

“We cannot do it, Sir, because—”’

“The little fishes are in bed.”

‘I’m afraid I don’t quite understand,’ said Alice.

I said to him, I said it plain,

‘It gets easier further on,’ Humpty Dumpty replied.

“Then you must wake them up again.”

‘I sent to them again to say

I said it very loud and clear;

“It will be better to obey.”

I went and shouted in his ear.’

50

Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll Humpty Dumpty raised his voice almost to a scream as he

‘That’s all,’ said Humpty Dumpty. ‘Good-bye.’

repeated this verse, and Alice thought with a shudder, ‘I This was rather sudden, Alice thought: but, after such a wouldn’t have been the messenger for anything!’

very strong hint that she ought to be going, she felt that it would hardly be civil to stay. So she got up, and held out her

‘But he was very stiff and proud;

hand. ‘Good-bye, till we meet again!’ she said as cheerfully He said “You needn’t shout so loud!” as she could.

‘I shouldn’t know you again if we did meet,’ Humpty And he was very proud and stiff;

Dumpty replied in a discontented tone, giving her one of He said “I’d go and wake them, if—” his fingers to shake; ‘you’re so exactly like other people.’

‘The face is what one goes by, generally,’ Alice remarked in I took a corkscrew from the shelf:

a thoughtful tone.

I went to wake them up myself.

‘That’s just what I complain of,’ said Humpty Dumpty.

‘Your face is the same as everybody has—the two eyes, so—’

And when I found the door was locked, (marking their places in the air with this thumb) ‘nose in the I pulled and pushed and kicked and knocked.

middle, mouth under. It’s always the same. Now if you had the two eyes on the same side of the nose, for instance—or And when I found the door was shut, the mouth at the top—that would be some help.’

I tried to turn the handle, but—’

‘It wouldn’t look nice,’ Alice objected. But Humpty Dumpty only shut his eyes and said ‘Wait till you’ve tried.’

There was a long pause.

Alice waited a minute to see if he would speak again, but as

‘Is that all?’ Alice timidly asked.

he never opened his eyes or took any further notice of her, 51

Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll she said ‘Good-bye!’ once more, and, getting no answer to more always fell over him, so that the ground was soon cov-this, she quietly walked away: but she couldn’t help saying ered with little heaps of men.

to herself as she went, ‘Of all the unsatisfactory—’ (she re-Then came the horses. Having four feet, these managed peated this aloud, as it was a great comfort to have such a rather better than the foot-soldiers: but even they stumbled long word to say) ‘of all the unsatisfactory people I ever met—’

now and then; and it seemed to be a regular rule that, when-She never finished the sentence, for at this moment a heavy ever a horse stumbled the rider fell off instantly. The confu-crash shook the forest from end to end.

sion got worse every moment, and Alice was very glad to get out of the wood into an open place, where she found the White King seated on the ground, busily writing in his CHAPTER VII

memorandum-book.

‘I’ve sent them all!’ the King cried in a tone of delight, on The Lion and the Unicorn

seeing Alice. ‘Did you happen to meet any soldiers, my dear, as you came through the wood?’

The next moment soldiers came running through the wood,

‘Yes, I did,’ said Alice: ‘several thousand, I should think.’

at first in twos and threes, then ten or twenty together, and

‘Four thousand two hundred and seven, that’s the exact at last in such crowds that they seemed to fill the whole number,’ the King said, referring to his book. ‘I couldn’t forest. Alice got behind a tree, for fear of being run over, and send all the horses, you know, because two of them are wanted watched them go by.

in the game. And I haven’t sent the two Messengers, either.

She thought that in all her life she had never seen soldiers They’re both gone to the town. Just look along the road, so uncertain on their feet: they were always tripping over and tell me if you can see either of them.’

something or other, and whenever one went down, several

‘I see nobody on the road,’ said Alice.

52

Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll

‘I only wish I had such eyes,’ the King remarked in a fretful H. ‘The other Messenger’s called Hatta. I must have two, tone. ‘To be able to see Nobody! And at that distance, too!

you know—to come and go. Once to come, and one to go.’

Why, it’s as much as I can do to see real people, by this light!’

‘I beg your pardon?’ said Alice.

All this was lost on Alice, who was still looking intently

‘It isn’t respectable to beg,’ said the King.

along the road, shading her eyes with one hand. ‘I see some-

‘I only meant that I didn’t understand,’ said Alice. ‘Why body now!’ she exclaimed at last. ‘But he’s coming very one to come and one to go?’

slowly—and what curious attitudes he goes into!’ (For the

‘Didn’t I tell you?’ the King repeated impatiently. ‘I must messenger kept skipping up and down, and wriggling like have Two—to fetch and carry. One to fetch, and one to an eel, as he came along, with his great hands spread out like carry.’

fans on each side.)

At this moment the Messenger arrived: he was far too much

‘Not at all,’ said the King. ‘He’s an Anglo-Saxon Messen-out of breath to say a word, and could only wave his hands ger—and those are Anglo-Saxon attitudes. He only does them about, and make the most fearful faces at the poor King.

when he’s happy. His name is Haigha.’ (He pronounced it

‘This young lady loves you with an H,’ the King said, in-so as to rhyme with ‘mayor.’)

troducing Alice in the hope of turning off the Messenger’s

‘I love my love with an H,’ Alice couldn’t help beginning, attention from himself—but it was no use—the Anglo-Saxon

‘because he is Happy. I hate him with an H, because he is attitudes only got more extraordinary every moment, while Hideous. I fed him with—with—with Ham-sandwiches and the great eyes rolled wildly from side to side.

Hay. His name is Haigha, and he lives—’

‘You alarm me!’ said the King. ‘I feel faint—Give me a

‘He lives on the Hill,’ the King remarked simply, without ham sandwich!’

the least idea that he was joining in the game, while Alice On which the Messenger, to Alice’s great amusement, was still hesitating for the name of a town beginning with opened a bag that hung round his neck, and handed a sand-53

Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll wich to the King, who devoured it greedily.

here first. However, now you’ve got your breath, you may

‘Another sandwich!’ said the King.

tell us what’s happened in the town.’

‘There’s nothing but hay left now,’ the Messenger said,

‘I’ll whisper it,’ said the Messenger, putting his hands to peeping into the bag.

his mouth in the shape of a trumpet, and stooping so as to

‘Hay, then,’ the King murmured in a faint whisper.

get close to the King’s ear. Alice was sorry for this, as she Alice was glad to see that it revived him a good deal. ‘There’s wanted to hear the news too. However, instead of whisper-nothing like eating hay when you’re faint,’ he remarked to ing, he simply shouted at the top of his voice ‘They’re at it her, as he munched away.

again!’

‘I should think throwing cold water over you would be

‘Do you call that a whisper?’ cried the poor King, jumping better,’ Alice suggested: ‘or some sal-volatile.’

up and shaking himself. ‘If you do such a thing again, I’ll

‘I didn’t say there was nothing better,’ the King replied. ‘I have you buttered! It went through and through my head said there was nothing like it.’ Which Alice did not venture like an earthquake!’

to deny.

‘It would have to be a very tiny earthquake!’ thought Alice.

‘Who did you pass on the road?’ the King went on, hold-

‘Who are at it again?’ she ventured to ask.

ing out his hand to the Messenger for some more hay.

‘Why the Lion and the Unicorn, of course,’ said the King.

‘Nobody,’ said the Messenger.

‘Fighting for the crown?’

‘Quite right,’ said the King: ‘this young lady saw him too.

‘Yes, to be sure,’ said the King: ‘and the best of the joke is, So of course Nobody walks slower than you.’

that it’s my crown all the while! Let’s run and see them.’ And

‘I do my best,’ the Messenger said in a sulky tone. ‘I’m sure they trotted off, Alice repeating to herself, as she ran, the nobody walks much faster than I do!’

words of the old song:—

‘He can’t do that,’ said the King, ‘or else he’d have been 54

Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll

‘The Lion and the Unicorn were fighting for the crown: Unicorn by his horn.

The Lion beat the Unicorn all round the town.

They placed themselves close to where Hatta, the other Some gave them white bread, some gave them brown; messenger, was standing watching the fight, with a cup of Some gave them plum-cake and drummed them out of tea in one hand and a piece of bread-and-butter in the other.

town.’

‘He’s only just out of prison, and he hadn’t finished his tea when he was sent in,’ Haigha whispered to Alice: ‘and they

‘Does—the one—that wins—get the crown?’ she asked, as only give them oyster-shells in there—so you see he’s very well as she could, for the run was putting her quite out of hungry and thirsty. How are you, dear child?’ he went on, breath.

putting his arm affectionately round Hatta’s neck.

‘Dear me, no!’ said the King. ‘What an idea!’

Hatta looked round and nodded, and went on with his

‘Would you—be good enough,’ Alice panted out, after bread and butter.

running a little further, ‘to stop a minute—just to get—

‘Were you happy in prison, dear child?’ said Haigha.

one’s breath again?’

Hatta looked round once more, and this time a tear or two

‘I’m good enough,’ the King said, ‘only I’m not strong trickled down his cheek: but not a word would he say.

enough. You see, a minute goes by so fearfully quick. You

‘Speak, can’t you!’ Haigha cried impatiently. But Hatta only might as well try to stop a Bandersnatch!’

munched away, and drank some more tea.

Alice had no more breath for talking, so they trotted on in

‘Speak, won’t you!’ cried the King. ‘How are they getting silence, till they came in sight of a great crowd, in the middle on with the fight?’

of which the Lion and Unicorn were fighting. They were in Hatta made a desperate effort, and swallowed a large piece such a cloud of dust, that at first Alice could not make out of bread-and-butter. ‘They’re getting on very well,’ he said which was which: but she soon managed to distinguish the in a choking voice: ‘each of them has been down about eighty-55

Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll seven times.’

very much surprised at his taking it so quietly.

‘Then I suppose they’ll soon bring the white bread and the

‘No use, no use!’ said the King. ‘She runs so fearfully quick.

brown?’ Alice ventured to remark.

You might as well try to catch a Bandersnatch! But I’ll make

‘It’s waiting for ‘em now,’ said Hatta: ‘this is a bit of it as a memorandum about her, if you like—She’s a dear good I’m eating.’

creature,’ he repeated softly to himself, as he opened his There was a pause in the fight just then, and the Lion and memorandum-book. ‘Do you spell “creature” with a double the Unicorn sat down, panting, while the King called out

“e”?’

‘Ten minutes allowed for refreshments!’ Haigha and Hatta At this moment the Unicorn sauntered by them, with his set to work at once, carrying rough trays of white and brown hands in his pockets. ‘I had the best of it this time?’ he said bread. Alice took a piece to taste, but it was very dry.

to the King, just glancing at him as he passed.

‘I don’t think they’ll fight any more to-day,’ the King said

‘A little—a little,’ the King replied, rather nervously. ‘You to Hatta: ‘go and order the drums to begin.’ And Hatta went shouldn’t have run him through with your horn, you know.’

bounding away like a grasshopper.

‘It didn’t hurt him,’ the Unicorn said carelessly, and he was For a minute or two Alice stood silent, watching him. Sud-going on, when his eye happened to fall upon Alice: he turned denly she brightened up. ‘Look, look!’ she cried, pointing round rather instantly, and stood for some time looking at eagerly. ‘There’s the White Queen running across the coun-her with an air of the deepest disgust.

try! She came flying out of the wood over yonder—How

‘What—is—this?’ he said at last.

fast those Queens can run!’

‘This is a child!’ Haigha replied eagerly, coming in front of

‘There’s some enemy after her, no doubt,’ the King said, Alice to introduce her, and spreading out both his hands without even looking round. ‘That wood’s full of them.’

towards her in an Anglo-Saxon attitude. ‘We only found it

‘But aren’t you going to run and help her?’ Alice asked, to-day. It’s as large as life, and twice as natural!’

56

Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll

‘I always thought they were fabulous monsters!’ said the looked very tired and sleepy, and his eyes were half shut.

Unicorn. ‘Is it alive?’

‘What’s this!’ he said, blinking lazily at Alice, and speaking

‘It can talk,’ said Haigha, solemnly.

in a deep hollow tone that sounded like the tolling of a great The Unicorn looked dreamily at Alice, and said ‘Talk, child.’

bell.

Alice could not help her lips curling up into a smile as she

‘Ah, what is it, now?’ the Unicorn cried eagerly. ‘You’ll never began: ‘Do you know, I always thought Unicorns were fabu-guess! I couldn’t.’

lous monsters, too! I never saw one alive before!’

The Lion looked at Alice wearily. ‘Are you animal—veg-

‘Well, now that we have seen each other,’ said the Unicorn, etable —or mineral?’ he said, yawning at every other word.

‘if you’ll believe in me, I’ll believe in you. Is that a bargain?’

‘It’s a fabulous monster!’ the Unicorn cried out, before Alice

‘Yes, if you like,’ said Alice.

could reply.

‘Come, fetch out the plum-cake, old man!’ the Unicorn

‘Then hand round the plum-cake, Monster,’ the Lion said, went on, turning from her to the King. ‘None of your brown lying down and putting his chin on this paws. ‘And sit down, bread for me!’

both of you,’ (to the King and the Unicorn): ‘fair play with

‘Certainly—certainly!’ the King muttered, and beckoned the cake, you know!’

to Haigha. ‘Open the bag!’ he whispered. ‘Quick! Not that The King was evidently very uncomfortable at having to one—that’s full of hay!’

sit down between the two great creatures; but there was no Haigha took a large cake out of the bag, and gave it to Alice other place for him.

to hold, while he got out a dish and carving-knife. How

‘What a fight we might have for the crown, now!’ the Uni-they all came out of it Alice couldn’t guess. It was just like a corn said, looking slyly up at the crown, which the poor conjuring-trick, she thought.

King was nearly shaking off his head, he trembled so much.

The Lion had joined them while this was going on: he

‘I should win easy,’ said the Lion.

57

Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll

‘I’m not so sure of that,’ said the Unicorn.

and carried the dish round, and the cake divided itself into

‘Why, I beat you all round the town, you chicken!’ the three pieces as she did so. ‘ Now cut it up,’ said the Lion, as Lion replied angrily, half getting up as he spoke.

she returned to her place with the empty dish.

Here the King interrupted, to prevent the quarrel going

‘I say, this isn’t fair!’ cried the Unicorn, as Alice sat with the on: he was very nervous, and his voice quite quivered. ‘All knife in her hand, very much puzzled how to begin. ‘The round the town?’ he said. ‘That’s a good long way. Did you Monster has given the Lion twice as much as me!’

go by the old bridge, or the market-place? You get the best

‘She’s kept none for herself, anyhow,’ said the Lion. ‘Do view by the old bridge.’

you like plum-cake, Monster?’

‘I’m sure I don’t know,’ the Lion growled out as he lay But before Alice could answer him, the drums began.

down again. ‘There was too much dust to see anything. What Where the noise came from, she couldn’t make out: the air a time the Monster is, cutting up that cake!’

seemed full of it, and it rang through and through her head Alice had seated herself on the bank of a little brook, with till she felt quite deafened. She started to her feet and sprang the great dish on her knees, and was sawing away diligently across the little brook in her terror, and had just time to see with the knife. ‘It’s very provoking!’ she said, in reply to the the Lion and the Unicorn rise to their feet, with angry looks Lion (she was getting quite used to being called ‘the Mon-at being interrupted in their feast, before she dropped to her ster’). ‘I’ve cut several slices already, but they always join on knees, and put her hands over her ears, vainly trying to shut again!’

out the dreadful uproar.

‘You don’t know how to manage Looking-glass cakes,’ the

‘If that doesn’t “drum them out of town,”’ she thought to Unicorn remarked. ‘Hand it round first, and cut it after-herself, ‘nothing ever will!’

wards.’

This sounded nonsense, but Alice very obediently got up, 58

Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll tumbled off his horse.