Alice’s Adventures Under Ground Part 8

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_Please to fancy, if you can, that you are reading a real letter, from a real friend whom you have seen, and whose voice you can seem to yourself to hear wishing you, as I do now with all my heart, a happy Easter._

_Do you know that delicious dreamy feeling when one first wakes on a summer morning, with the twitter of birds in the air, and the fresh breeze coming in at the open window–when, lying lazily with eyes half shut, one sees as in a dream green boughs waving, or waters rippling in a golden light? It is a pleasure very near to sadness, bringing tears to one’s eyes like a beautiful picture or poem. And is not that a Mother’s gentle hand that undraws your curtains, and a Mother’s sweet voice that summons you to rise? To rise and forget, in the bright sunlight, the ugly dreams that frightened you so when all was dark–to rise and enjoy another happy day, first kneeling to thank that unseen Friend, who sends you the beautiful sun_?

_Are these strange words from a writer of such tales as “Alice”?

And is this a strange letter to find in a book of nonsense? It may be so. Some perhaps may blame me for thus mixing together things grave and gay; others may smile and think it odd that any one should speak of solemn things at all, except in church and on a Sunday: but I think–nay, I am sure–that some children will read this gently and lovingly, and in the spirit in which I have written it._

_For I do not believe G.o.d means us thus to divide life into two halves–to wear a grave face on Sunday, and to think it out-of-place to even so much as mention Him on a week-day. Do you think He cares to see only kneeling figures, and to hear only tones of prayer–and that He does not also love to see the lambs leaping in the sunlight, and to hear the merry voices of the children, as they roll among the hay? Surely their innocent laughter is as sweet in His ears as the grandest anthem that ever rolled up from the “dim religious light” of some solemn cathedral?_

_And if I have written anything to add to those stores of innocent and healthy amus.e.m.e.nt that are laid up in books for the children I love so well, it is surely something I may hope to look back upon without shame and sorrow (as how much of life must then be recalled!) when_ my _turn comes to walk through the valley of shadows._

_This Easter sun will rise on you, dear child, feeling your “life in every limb,” and eager to rush out into the fresh morning air_–_and many an Easter-day will come and go, before it finds you feeble and gray-headed, creeping wearily out to bask once more in the sunlight–but it is good, even now, to think sometimes of that great morning when the “Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in his wings.”_

_Surely your gladness need not be the less for the thought that you will one day see a brighter dawn than this–when lovelier sights will meet your eyes than any waving trees or rippling waters–when angel-hands shall undraw your curtains, and sweeter tones than ever loving Mother breathed shall wake you to a new and glorious day–and when all the sadness, and the sin, that darkened life on this little earth, shall be forgotten like the dreams of a night that is past!_

_Your affectionate friend_,


EASTER, 1876.



Lady dear, if Fairies may For a moment lay aside Cunning tricks and elfish play, ‘Tis at happy Christmas-tide.

We have heard the children say– Gentle children, whom we love– Long ago, on Christmas Day, Came a message from above.

Still, as Christmas-tide comes round, They remember it again– Echo still the joyful sound “Peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Yet the hearts must childlike be Where such heavenly guests abide: Unto children, in their glee, All the year is Christmas-tide!

Thus, forgetting tricks and play For a moment, Lady dear, We would wish you, if we may, Merry Christmas, glad New Year!


_Christmas, 1867._




ALICE’S ADVENTURES _IN_ WONDERLAND. With Forty-two Ill.u.s.trations by TENNIEL. (First published in 1865.) Crown 8vo, cloth, gilt edges, price 6_s._ Seventy-eighth Thousand.

AVENTURES D’ALICE AU PAYS DES MERVEILLES. Traduit de l’Anglais par Henri Bue. Ouvrage ill.u.s.tre de 42 Vignettes par JOHN TENNIEL.

(First published in 1869.) Crown 8vo, cloth, gilt edges, price 6_s._

ALICE’S ABENTEUER IM WUNDERLAND. AUS DEM ENGLISCHEN, VON ANTONIE ZIMMERMANN. MITT 42 ILl.u.s.tRATIONEN VON JOHN TENNIEL. (First published in 1869.) Crown 8vo, cloth, gilt edges, price 6_s._


Inglese da T. PIETROCLA-ROSSETTI. Con 42 Vignette di GIOVANNI TENNIEL. (First published in 1872.) Crown 8vo, cloth, gilt edges, price 6_s._

THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLa.s.s AND WHAT ALICE FOUND THERE. With Fifty Ill.u.s.trations by TENNIEL. (First published in 1871.) Crown 8vo, cloth, gilt edges, price 6_s._ Fifty sixth Thousand.

RHYME? AND REASON? With Sixty-five Ill.u.s.trations by ARTHUR B.

FROST, and Nine by HENRY HOLIDAY. (This book, first published in 1883, is a reprint, with a few additions, of the comic portion of “Phantasmagoria and other Poems,” published in 1869, and of “The Hunting of the Snark,” published in 1876. Mr. Frost’s pictures are new.) Crown 8vo, cloth, coloured edges, price 6_s._ Fifth Thousand.




A TANGLED TALE. Reprinted from _The Monthly Packet_. With Six Ill.u.s.trations by ARTHUR B. FROST. (First published in 1885.) Crown 8vo, cloth, gilt edges, 4_s._ 6_d._ Third Thousand.

THE GAME OF LOGIC. (With an Envelope containing a card diagram and nine counters–four red and five grey.) Crown 8vo, cloth, price 3_s._

N.B.–The Envelope, etc., may be had separately at 3_d._ each.

ALICE’S ADVENTURES UNDER GROUND. Being a Facsimile of the original MS. Book, afterwards developed into “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” With Thirty-seven Ill.u.s.trations by the Author.

Crown 8vo, cloth, gilt edges. 4_s._

THE NURSERY ALICE. A selection of twenty of the pictures in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” enlarged and coloured under the Artist’s superintendence, with explanations. [_In preparation._

Alice’s Adventures Under Ground Part 5

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“That’s not your business, Two!” said Seven.

“Yes, it is his business!” said Five, “and I’ll tell him: it was for bringing in tulip-roots to the cook instead of potatoes.”

Seven flung down his brush, and had just begun “well! Of all the unjust things–” when his eye fell upon Alice, and he stopped suddenly; the others looked round, and all of them took off their hats and bowed low.

“Would you tell me, please,” said Alice timidly, “why you are painting those roses?”

Five and Seven looked at Two, but said nothing: Two began, in a low voice, “why, Miss, the fact is, this 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. So, you see, we’re doing our best, before she comes, to–” At this moment Five, who had been looking anxiously across the garden called out “the Queen! the Queen!” and the three gardeners instantly 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, flat and oblong, with their hands and feet at the corners: next the ten courtiers; these were all ornamented 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, among whom 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 cushion, and, last of all this grand procession, came THE KING AND QUEEN OF HEARTS.


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, turning up her nose, and asked Alice “what’s your name?”

“My name is Alice, so please your Majesty,” said Alice boldly, for she thought to herself “why, they’re only a pack of cards! I needn’t be afraid of them!”

“Who are these?” said the Queen, pointing to the three gardeners lying round the rose tree, for, 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 courtiers, 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 minute, began in a voice of thunder “off with her–“

“Nonsense!” said Alice, very loudly and decidedly, and the Queen was silent.

The King laid his hand upon her arm, and said timidly “remember, 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 giddy.” And then, turning to the rose tree, she went on “what have you been doing here?”

“May it please your Majesty,” said Two very humbly, going down on one knee as he spoke, “we were trying–“

“I see!” said the Queen, who had meantime been examining the roses, “off with their heads!” and the procession moved on, three of the soldiers remaining behind to execute the three unfortunate gardeners, who ran to Alice for protection.

“You sha’n’t be beheaded!” said Alice, and she put them into her pocket: the three soldiers marched once round her, looking for them, and then quietly marched off after the others.

“Are their heads off?” shouted the Queen.

“Their heads are gone,” the soldiers shouted in reply, “if it please your Majesty!”

“That’s right!” shouted the Queen, “can you play croquet?”

The soldiers were silent, and looked at Alice, as the question was evidently meant for her.

“Yes!” shouted Alice at the top of her voice.

“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 little voice: she was walking by the white rabbit, who was peeping anxiously into her face.

“Very,” said Alice, “where’s the Marchioness?”

“Hush, hush!” said the rabbit in a low voice, “she’ll hear you.

The Queen’s the Marchioness: didn’t you know that?”

“No, I didn’t,” said Alice, “what of?”

“Queen of Hearts,” said the rabbit in a whisper, putting its mouth close to her ear, “and Marchioness of Mock Turtles.”

“What are they?” said Alice, but there was no time for the answer, for they had reached the croquet-ground, and the game began instantly.

Alice thought she had never seen such a curious croquet-ground in all her life: it was all in ridges and furrows: the croquet-b.a.l.l.s were live hedgehogs, the mallets live ostriches, and the soldiers had to double themselves up, and stand on their feet and hands, to make the arches.



The chief difficulty which Alice found at first was to manage her ostrich: she got its body tucked away, comfortably enough, under her arm, with its legs hanging down, but generally, just as she had got its neck straightened out nicely, and was going to give a blow with its head, it would twist itself round, and look up into her face, with such a puzzled expression that she could not help bursting out laughing: and when she had got its head down, and was going to begin again, it was very confusing to find that the hedgehog had unrolled itself, and was in the act of crawling away: besides all this, there was generally a ridge or a furrow in her way, wherever she wanted to send the hedgehog to, and as the doubled-up soldiers were always getting up and walking off to other parts of the ground, Alice soon came to the conclusion that it was a very difficult game indeed.

The players all played at once without waiting for turns, and quarrelled all the while at the tops of their voices, and in a very few minutes the Queen was in a furious pa.s.sion, and went stamping about and shouting “off with his head!” of “off with her head!” about once in a minute. All those whom she sentenced were taken into custody by the soldiers, who of course had to leave off being arches to do this, so that, by the end of half an hour or so, there were no arches left, and all the players, except the King, the Queen, and Alice, were in custody, and under sentence of execution.

Then the Queen left off, quite out of breath, and said to Alice “have you seen the Mock Turtle?”

“No,” said Alice, “I don’t even know what a Mock Turtle is.”

“Come on then,” said the Queen, “and it shall tell you its history.”

As they walked off together, Alice heard the King say in a low voice, to the company generally, “you are all pardoned.”

“Come, that’s a good thing!” thought Alice, who had felt quite grieved at the number of executions which the Queen had ordered.


They very soon came upon a Gryphon, which lay fast asleep in the sun: (if you don’t know what a Gryphon is, look at the picture): “Up, lazy thing!” said the Queen, “and take this young lady to see the Mock Turtle, and to hear its history. I must go back and see after some executions I ordered,” and she walked off, leaving Alice with the Gryphon. Alice did not quite like the look of the creature, but on the whole she thought it quite as safe to stay as to go after that savage Queen: so she waited.

The Gryphon sat up and rubbed its eyes: then it watched the Queen till she was out of sight: then it chuckled. “What fun!” said the Gryphon, half to itself, half to Alice.

“What is the fun?” said Alice.

“Why, she,” said the Gryphon; “it’s all her fancy, that: they never executes n.o.body, you know: come on!”

Alice’s Adventures Under Ground Part 1

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Alice’s Adventures Under Ground.

by Lewis Carroll.

Chapter 1


Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, and where is the use of a book, thought Alice, without pictures or conversations? So she was considering in her own mind, (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid,) whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain was worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when a white rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.

There was nothing very remarkable in that, nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the rabbit say to itself “dear, dear! I shall be too late!” (when she thought it over afterwards, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural); but when the rabbit actually took a watch out of its waistcoat-pocket, looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket or a watch to take out of it, and, full of curiosity, she hurried across the field after it, and was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge. In a moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again.

The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly, that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself, before she found herself falling down what seemed a deep well. Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her, and to wonder what would happen next. First, she tried to look down and make out what she was coming to, but it was too dark to see anything: then, she looked at the sides of the well, and noticed that they were filled with cupboards and book-shelves: here and there were maps and pictures hung on pegs. She took a jar down off one of the shelves as she pa.s.sed: it was labelled “Orange Marmalade,” but to her great disappointment it was empty: she did not like to drop the jar, for fear of killing somebody underneath, so managed to put it into one of the cupboards as she fell past it.

“Well!” thought Alice to herself, “after such a fall as this, I shall think nothing of tumbling down stairs! How brave they’ll all think me at home! Why, I wouldn’t say anything about it, even if I fell off the top of the house!” (which was most likely true.)

Down, down, down. Would the fall never come to an end? “I wonder how many miles I’ve fallen by this time?” she said aloud, “I must be getting somewhere near the centre of the earth. Let me see: that would be four thousand miles down, I think–” (for you see Alice had learnt several things of this sort in her lessons in the schoolroom, and though this was not a very good opportunity of showing off her knowledge, as there was no one to hear her, still it was good practice to say it over,) “yes that’s the right distance, but then what Longitude or Lat.i.tude-line shall I be in?” (Alice had no idea what Longitude was, or Lat.i.tude either, but she thought they were nice grand words to say.)

Presently she began again: “I wonder if I shall fall right through the earth! How funny it’ll be to come out among the people that walk with their heads downwards! But I shall have to ask them what the name of the country is, you know. Please, Ma’am, is this New Zealand or Australia?”–and she tried to curtsey as she spoke (fancy curtseying as you’re falling through the air! do you think you could manage it?) “and what an ignorant little girl she’ll think me for asking! No, it’ll never do to ask: perhaps I shall see it written up somewhere.”

Down, down, down: there was nothing else to do, so Alice soon began talking again. “Dinah will miss me very much tonight, I should think!” (Dinah was the cat.) “I hope they’ll remember her saucer of milk at tea-time! Oh, dear Dinah, I wish I had you here! There are no mice in the air, I’m afraid, but you might catch a bat, and that’s very like a mouse, you know, my dear. But do cats eat bats, I wonder?” And here Alice began to get rather sleepy, and kept on saying to herself, in a dreamy sort of way “do cats eat bats? do cats eat bats?” and sometimes, “do bats eat cats?” for, as she couldn’t answer either question, it didn’t much matter which way she put it. She felt that she was dozing off, and had just begun to dream that she was walking hand in hand with Dinah, and was saying to her very earnestly, “Now, Dinah, my dear, tell me the truth. Did you ever eat a bat?” when suddenly,!! down she came upon a heap of sticks and shavings, and the fall was over.

Alice was not a bit hurt, and jumped on to her feet directly: she looked up, but it was all dark overhead; before her was another long pa.s.sage, and the white rabbit was still in sight, hurrying down it. There was not a moment to be lost: away went Alice like the wind, and just heard it say, as it turned a corner, “my ears and whiskers, how late it’s getting!” She turned the corner after it, and instantly found herself in a long, low hall, lit up by a row of lamps which hung from the roof.


There were doors all round the hall, but they were all locked, and when Alice had been all round it, and tried them all, she walked sadly down the middle, wondering how she was ever to get out again: suddenly she came upon a little three-legged table, all made of solid gla.s.s; there was nothing lying upon it, but a tiny golden key, and Alice’s first idea was that it might belong to one of the doors of the hall, but alas! either the locks were too large, or the key too small, but at any rate it would open none of them. However, on the second time round, she came to a low curtain, behind which was a door about eighteen inches high: she tried the little key in the keyhole, and it fitted! Alice opened the door, and looked down a small pa.s.sage, not larger than a rat-hole, into the loveliest garden you ever saw. How she longed to get out of that dark hall, and wander about among those beds of bright flowers and those cool fountains, but she could not even get her head through the doorway, “and even if my head would go through,” thought poor Alice, “it would be very little use without my shoulders. Oh, how I wish I could shut up like a telescope! I think I could, if I only knew how to begin.” For, you see, so many out-of-the-way things had happened lately, that Alice began to think very few things indeed were really impossible.

There was nothing else to do, so she went back to the table, half hoping she might find another key on it, or at any rate a book of rules for shutting up people like telescopes: this time there was a little bottle on it–“which certainly was not there before”

said Alice–and tied round the neck of the bottle was a paper label with the words DRINK ME beautifully printed on it in large letters.

It was all very well to say “drink me,” “but I’ll look first,”

said the wise little Alice, “and see whether the bottle’s marked “poison” or not,” for Alice had read several nice little stories about children that got burnt, and eaten up by wild beasts, and other unpleasant things, because they would not remember the simple rules their friends had given them, such as, that, if you get into the fire, it will burn you, and that, if you cut your finger very deeply with a knife, it generally bleeds, and she had never forgotten that, if you drink a bottle marked “poison,”

it is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later.

However, this bottle was not marked poison, so Alice tasted it, and finding it very nice, (it had, in fact, a sort of mixed flavour of cherry-tart, custard, pine-apple, roast turkey, toffy, and hot b.u.t.tered toast,) she very soon finished it off.

“What a curious feeling!” said Alice, “I must be shutting up like a telescope.”

It was so indeed: she was now only ten inches high, and her face brightened up as it occurred to her that she was now the right size for going through the little door into that lovely garden.

First, however, she waited for a few minutes to see whether she was going to shrink any further: she felt a little nervous about this, “for it might end, you know,” said Alice to herself, “in my going out altogether, like a candle, and what should I be like then, I wonder?” and she tried to fancy what the flame of a candle is like after the candle is blown out, for she could not remember having ever seen one. However, nothing more happened so she decided on going into the garden at once, but, alas for poor Alice! when she got to the door, she found she had forgotten the little golden key, and when she went back to the table for the key, she found she could not possibly reach it: she could see it plainly enough through the gla.s.s, and she tried her best to climb up one of the legs of the table, but it was too slippery, and when she had tired herself out with trying, the poor little thing sat down and cried.


“Come! there’s no use in crying!” said Alice to herself rather sharply, “I advise you to leave off this minute!” (she generally gave herself very good advice, and sometimes scolded herself so severely as to bring tears into her eyes, and once she remembered boxing her own ears for having been unkind to herself in a game of croquet she was playing with herself, for this curious child was very fond of pretending to be two people,) “but it’s no use now,” thought poor Alice, “to pretend to be two people! Why, there’s hardly enough of me left to make one respectable person!”

Soon her eyes fell on a little ebony box lying under the table: she opened it, and found in it a very small cake, on which was lying a card with the words EAT ME beautifully printed on it in large letters. “I’ll eat,” said Alice, “and if it makes me larger, I can reach the key, and if it makes me smaller, I can creep under the door, so either way I’ll get into the garden, and I don’t care which happens!”

She ate a little bit, and said anxiously to herself “which way?

which way?” and laid her hand on the top of her head to feel which way it was growing, and was quite surprised to find that she remained the same size: to be sure this is what generally happens when one eats cake, but Alice had got into the way of expecting nothing but out-of-the way things to happen, and it seemed quite dull and stupid for things to go on in the common way.

So she set to work, and very soon finished off the cake.

“Curiouser and curiouser!” cried Alice, (she was so surprised that she quite forgot how to speak good English,) “now I’m opening out like the largest telescope that ever was! Goodbye, feet!” (for when she looked down at her feet, they seemed almost out of sight, they were getting so far off,) “oh, my poor little feet, I wonder who will put on your shoes and stockings for you now, dears? I’m sure I can’t! I shall be a great deal too far off to bother myself about you: you must manage the best way you can–but I must be kind to them,” thought Alice, “or perhaps they won’t walk the way I want to go! Let me see: I’ll give them a new pair of boots every Christmas.”


And she went on planning to herself how she would manage it “they must go by the carrier,” she thought, “and how funny it’ll seem, sending presents to one’s own feet! And how odd the directions will look! ALICE’S RIGHT FOOT, ESQ.


oh dear! what nonsense I am talking!”

Just at this moment, her head struck against the roof of the hall: in fact, she was now rather more than nine feet high, and she at once took up the little golden key, and hurried off to the garden door.

Poor Alice! it was as much as she could do, lying down on one side, to look through into the garden with one eye, but to get through was more hopeless than ever: she sat down and cried again.

“You ought to be ashamed of yourself,” said Alice, “a great girl like you,” (she might well say this,) “to cry in this way! Stop this instant, I tell you!” But she cried on all the same, shedding gallons of tears, until there was a large pool, about four inches deep, all round her, and reaching half way across the hall. After a time, she heard a little pattering of feet in the distance, and dried her eyes to see what was coming. It was the white rabbit coming back again, splendidly dressed, with a pair of white kid gloves in one hand, and a nosegay in the other.

Alice was ready to ask help of any one, she felt so desperate, and as the rabbit pa.s.sed her, she said, in a low, timid voice, “If you please, Sir–” the rabbit started violently, looked up once into the roof of the hall, from which the voice seemed to come, and then dropped the nosegay and the white kid gloves, and skurried away into the darkness, as hard as it could go.


Alice took up the nosegay and gloves, and found the nosegay so delicious that she kept smelling at it all the time she went on talking to herself–“dear, dear! how queer everything is today!

and yesterday everything happened just as usual: I wonder if I was changed in the night? Let me think: was I the same when I got up this morning? I think I remember feeling rather different.

But if I’m not the same, who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle!” And she began thinking over all the children she knew of the same age as herself, to see if she could have been changed for any of them.

“I’m sure I’m not Gertrude,” she said, “for her hair goes in such long ringlets, and mine doesn’t go in ringlets at all–and I’m sure I ca’n’t be Florence, for I know all sorts of things, and she, oh! she knows such a very little! Besides, she’s she, and I’m I, and–oh dear! how puzzling it all is! I’ll try if I know all the things I used to know. Let me see: four times five is twelve, and four times six is thirteen, and four times seven is fourteen–oh dear! I shall never get to twenty at this rate! But the Multiplication Table don’t signify–let’s try Geography.

London is the capital of France, and Rome is the capital of Yorkshire, and Paris–oh dear! dear! that’s all wrong, I’m certain! I must have been changed for Florence! I’ll try and say “How doth the little,”” and she crossed her hands on her lap, and began, but her voice sounded hoa.r.s.e and strange, and the words did not sound the same as they used to do:

“How doth the little crocodile Improve its shining tail, And pour the waters of the Nile On every golden scale!

“How cheerfully it seems to grin!

How neatly spreads its claws!

And welcomes little fishes in With gently-smiling jaws!”

“I’m sure those are not the right words,” said poor Alice, and her eyes filled with tears as she thought “I must be Florence after all, and I shall have to go and live in that poky little house, and have next to no toys to play with, and oh! ever so many lessons to learn! No! I’ve made up my mind about it: if I’m Florence, I’ll stay down here! It’ll be no use their putting their heads down and saying ‘come up, dear!’ I shall only look up and say ‘who am I then? answer me that first, and then, if I like being that person, I’ll come up: if not, I’ll stay down here till I’m somebody else–but, oh dear!” cried Alice with a sudden burst of tears, “I do wish they would put their heads down! I am so tired of being all alone here!”

As she said this, she looked down at her hands, and was surprised to find she had put on one of the rabbit’s little gloves while she was talking. “How can I have done that?” thought she, “I must be growing small again.” She got up and went to the table to measure herself by it, and found that, as nearly as she could guess, she was now about two feet high, and was going on shrinking rapidly: soon she found out that the reason of it was the nosegay she held in her hand: she dropped it hastily, just in time to save herself from shrinking away altogether, and found that she was now only three inches high.

“Now for the garden!” cried Alice, as she hurried back to the little door, but the little door was locked again, and the little gold key was lying on the gla.s.s table as before, and “things are worse than ever!” thought the poor little girl, “for I never was as small as this before, never! And I declare it’s too bad, it is!”


At this moment her foot slipped, and splash! she was up to her chin in salt water. Her first idea was that she had fallen into the sea: then she remembered that she was under ground, and she soon made out that it was the pool of tears she had wept when she was nine feet high. “I wish I hadn’t cried so much!” said Alice, as she swam about, trying to find her way out, “I shall be punished for it now, I suppose, by being drowned in my own tears!