YOU can't think how glad I am to see you again,
you dear old thing!" said the Duchess, as she tucked her arm
affectionately into Alice's, and they walked off together.
Alice was very glad to find her in such a pleasant temper, and thought to herself that perhaps it was only the pepper that had made her so savage when they met in the kitchen.
"When I'm a Duchess,"
she said to herself (not in a very hopeful tone though), "I won't have
any pepper in my kitchen at all. Soup does very well without—Maybe it's
always pepper that makes people hot-tempered," she went on, very much
pleased at having found out a new kind of rule, "and vinegar that makes
them sour—and camomile that makes them bitter—and—barley-sugar and such
things that make children sweet-tempered. I only wish people knew that: then
they wouldn't be so stingy about it, you know——"
had quite forgotten the Duchess by this time, and was a little startled when
she heard her voice close to her ear. "You're thinking about something,
my dear, and that makes you forget to talk. I can't tell you just now what
the moral of that is, but I shall remember it in a bit."
it hasn't one," Alice ventured to remark.
tut, child!" said the Duchess. "Every thing's got a moral, if only
you can find it." And she squeezed herself up closer to Alice's side as
Alice did not much like her keeping
so close to her: first, because the Duchess was very ugly; and secondly,
because she was exactly the right height to rest her chin on Alice's
shoulder, and it was an uncomfortably sharp chin. However, she did not like
to be rude, so she bore it as well as she could. "The game's going on
rather better now," she said, by way of keeping up the conversation a
"'Tis so," said the Duchess:
"and the moral of that is—'Oh, 'tis love, 'tis love, that makes the
world go round!'"
Alice whispered, "that it's done by everybody minding their own
"Ah, well! It means much
the same thing," said the Duchess, digging her sharp little chin into
Alice's shoulder as she added, "and the moral of that is—'Take care of
the sense, and the sounds will take care of themselves.'"
fond she is of finding morals in things!" Alice thought to herself.
dare say you're wondering why I don't put my arm round your waist," the
Duchess said after a pause: "the reason is, that I'm doubtful about the
temper of your flamingo. Shall I try the experiment?"
might bite," Alice cautiously replied, not feeling at all anxious to
have the experiment tried.
said the Duchess: "flamingoes and mustard both bite. And the moral of
that is—'Birds of a feather flock together.'"
mustard isn't a bird," Alice remarked.
as usual," said the Duchess: "what a clear way you have of putting
"It's a mineral, I think," said Alice.
"Of course it is," said the Duchess,
who seemed ready to agree to everything that Alice said: "there's a
large mustard-mine near here. And the moral of that is—'The more there is of
mine, the less there is of yours.'"
I know!" exclaimed Alice, who had not attended to this last remark.
"It's a vegetable. It doesn't look like one, but it is."
quite agree with you," said the Duchess; "and the moral of that
is—'Be what you would seem to be'—or if you'd like it put more simply—'Never
imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others
that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had
been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.'"
think I should understand that better," Alice said very politely,
"if I had it written down: but I can't quite follow it as you say it."
nothing to what I could say if I chose," the Duchess replied, in a
"Pray don't trouble yourself
to say it any longer than that," said Alice.
don't talk about trouble!" said the Duchess. "I make you a present
of everything I've
said as yet."
"A cheap sort of
present!" thought Alice. "I'm glad they don't give birthday
presents like that!" But she did not venture to say it out loud.
again?" the Duchess asked with another dig of her sharp little chin.
a right to think," said Alice sharply, for she was beginning to feel a
"Just about as much right,"
said the Duchess, "as pigs have to fly; and the m——"
here, to Alice's great surprise, the Duchess's voice died away, even in the
middle of her favourite word "moral," and the arm that was linked
into hers began to tremble. Alice looked up, and there stood the Queen in
front of them, with her arms folded, frowning like a thunderstorm.
fine day, your Majesty!" the Duchess began in a low, weak voice.
I give you fair warning," shouted the Queen, stamping on the ground as
she spoke; "either you or your head must be off, and that in about half
no time! Take your choice!"
took her choice, and was gone in a moment.
go on with the game," the Queen said to Alice; and Alice was too much
frightened to say a word, but slowly followed her back to the
The other guests had taken advantage of the Queen's absence, and were resting in the shade: however, the moment they saw her, they hurried back to the game, the Queen merely remarking that a moment's delay would cost them their lives.
the time they were playing the Queen never left off quarrelling with the
other players, and shouting "Off with his head!" or "Off with
her head!" 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."
the thing Mock Turtle Soup is made from," said the Queen.
never saw one, or heard of one," said Alice.
on then," said the Queen, "and he shall tell you his history."
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!" she said to herself, for she had felt quite unhappy at the
number of executions the Queen had ordered.
very soon came upon a Gryphon, lying 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 his history. I must go back and see after some executions I have
ordered," and she walked off, leaving Alice alone with the Gryphon.
Alice did not quite like the look of the creature, but on the whole she
thought it would be quite as safe to stay with it 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
"What is the fun?" said Alice.
she," said the Gryphon. "It's all her fancy, that: they never
executes nobody, you know. Come on!"
"Everybody says 'come on!' here," thought Alice, as she went slowly after it: "I never was so ordered about in my life, never!"
had not gone far before they saw the Mock Turtle in the distance, sitting
sad and lonely on a little ledge of rock, and, as they came nearer, Alice
could hear him sighing as if his heart would break. She pitied him deeply.
"What is his sorrow?" she asked the Gryphon, and the Gryphon
answered, very nearly in the same words as before, "It's all his fancy,
that: he hasn't got no sorrow, you know. Come on!"
they went up to the Mock Turtle, who looked at them with large eyes full of
tears, but said nothing.
young lady," said the Gryphon, "she wants to know your history,
"I'll tell it her,"
said the Mock Turtle in a deep, hollow tone; "sit down, both of you,
and don't speak a word till I've finished."
they sat down, and nobody spoke for some minutes. Alice thought to herself,
"I don't see how he can ever finish, if he doesn't begin." But she
"Once," said the
Mock Turtle at last, with a deep sigh, "I was a real Turtle."
words were followed by a very long silence, broken only by an occasional
exclamation of "Hjckrrh!" from the Gryphon, and the constant heavy
sobbing of the Mock Turtle. Alice was very nearly getting up and saying
"Thank you, sir, for your interesting story," but she could not
help thinking there must be more to come, so she sat still and said nothing.
we were little," the Mock Turtle went on at last, more calmly, though
still sobbing a little now and then, "we went to school in the sea. The
master was an old Turtle—we used to call him Tortoise——"
did you call him Tortoise, if he wasn't one?" Alice asked.
called him Tortoise because he taught us," said the Mock Turtle
angrily: "really you are very dull!"
ought to be ashamed of yourself for asking such a simple question,"
added the Gryphon; and then they both sat silent and looked at poor Alice,
who felt ready to sink into the earth. At last the Gryphon said to the Mock
Turtle, "Drive on, old fellow. Don't be all day about it!" and he
went on in these words:
"Yes, we went to
school in the sea, though you mayn't believe it——"
never said I didn't!" interrupted Alice.
did," said the Mock Turtle.
your tongue!" added the Gryphon, before Alice could speak again. The
Mock Turtle went on:—
"We had the best of
educations—in fact, we went to school every day——"
been to a day-school, too," said Alice; "you needn't be so proud
as all that."
asked the Mock Turtle a little anxiously.
said Alice, "we learned French and music."
washing?" said the Mock Turtle.
"Certainly not!" said Alice indignantly.
"Ah! then yours
wasn't a really good school," said the Mock Turtle in a tone of relief.
"Now at ours they had at the end of the bill, 'French, music, and
"You couldn't have
wanted it much," said Alice; "living at the bottom of the sea."
couldn't afford to learn it," said the Mock Turtle with a sigh. "I
only took the regular course."
was that?" inquired Alice.
and Writhing, of course, to begin with," the Mock Turtle replied;
"and then the different branches of Arithmetic—Ambition, Distraction,
Uglification, and Derision."
heard of 'Uglification,'" Alice ventured to say. "What is it?"
Gryphon lifted up both its paws in surprise. "Never heard of uglifying!"
it exclaimed. "You know what to beautify is, I suppose?"
said Alice doubtfully: "it means—to—make—anything—prettier."
then," the Gryphon went on, "if you don't know what to uglify is,
you are a simpleton."
Alice did not feel
encouraged to ask any more questions about it, so she turned to the Mock
Turtle and said, "What else had you to learn?"
there was Mystery," the Mock Turtle replied, counting off the subjects
on his flappers, "—Mystery, ancient and modern, with Seaography: then
Drawling—the Drawling-master was an old conger-eel, that used to come once a
week: he taught us Drawling, Stretching, and Fainting in Coils."
was that like?" said Alice.
can't show it you myself," the Mock Turtle said: "I'm too stiff.
And the Gryphon never
"Hadn't time," said
the Gryphon: "I went to the Classical master, though. He was an old
crab, he was."
"I never went to him,"
the Mock Turtle said with a sigh: "he taught Laughing and Grief, they
used to say."
"So he did, so he did,"
said the Gryphon, sighing in his turn; and both creatures hid their faces in
"And how many hours a day did
you do lessons?" said Alice, in a hurry to change the subject.
hours the first day," said the Mock Turtle: "nine the next, and so
"What a curious plan!"
"That's the reason
they're called lessons," the Gryphon remarked: "because they
lessen from day to day."
This was quite a
new idea to Alice, and she thought over it a little before she made her next
remark. "Then the eleventh day must have been a holiday."
course it was," said the Mock Turtle.
how did you manage on the twelfth?" Alice went on eagerly.
enough about lessons," the Gryphon interrupted in a very decided tone:
"tell her something about the games now."