`Curiouser and curiouser!' cried
Alice (she was so much surprised,
that for the moment she quite
forgot how to speak good English);
`now I'm opening out like the
largest telescope that ever was!
Good-bye, feet!' (for when she
looked down at her feet, they
seemed to be 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_ shan't be able!
I shall be a great deal too far
off to trouble 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
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
ALICE'S RIGHT FOOT, ESQ.
NEAR THE FENDER,
(WITH ALICE'S LOVE).
Oh dear, what nonsense I'm
Just then her head struck against
the roof of the hall: in fact
she was now 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 began
to cry again.
`You ought to be ashamed of
yourself,' said Alice, `a great
girl like you,' ( she might well
say this), `to go on crying in
this way! Stop this moment, I
tell you!' But she went on all
the same, shedding gallons of
tears, until there was a large
pool all round her, about four
inches deep and reaching half
down the hall .
After a time she heard a little
pattering of feet in the distance,
and she hastily dried her eyes
to see what was coming. It was
the White Rabbit returning ,
splendidly dressed, with a pair
of white kid gloves in one hand
and a large fan in the other:
he came trotting along in a great
hurry, muttering to himself as
he came, `Oh! the Duchess, the
Duchess! Oh! won't she be savage
if I've kept her waiting!' Alice
felt so desperate that she was
ready to ask help of any one;
so, when the Rabbit came near
her, she began, in a low, timid
voice, `If you please, sir--'
The Rabbit started violently,
dropped the white kid gloves
and the fan, and skurried away
into the darkness as hard as
he could go.
Alice took up the fan and gloves,
and, as the hall was very hot,
she kept fanning herself all
the time she went on talking:
`Dear, dear! How queer everything
is to-day! And yesterday things
went on just as usual. I wonder
if I' ve been changed in the
night? Let me think: was I the
same when I got up this morning?
I almost think I can remember
feeling a little different. But
if I'm not the same, the next
question is, Who in the world
am I? Ah, THAT'S the great puzzle!'
And she began thinking over all
the children she knew that were
of the same age as herself, to
see if she could have been changed
for any of them.
`I'm sure I'm
not Ada,' she said, `for her
hair goes in such
long ringlets, and mine doesn't
go in ringlets at all; and I'm
sure I can't be Mabel, 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--oh dear! I shall never get
to twenty at that rate! However,
the Multiplication Table doesn't
signify: let's try Geography.
London is the capital of Paris,
and Paris is the capital of Rome,
and Rome--no, THAT'S all wrong,
I'm certain! I must have been
changed for Mabel! I'll try and
say "How doth the little--"'
and she crossed her hands on
her lap as if she were saying
lessons, and began to repeat
it, but her voice sounded hoarse
and strange, and the words did
not come the same as they used
`How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail, And
pour the waters of the Nile On
every golden scale!
`How cheerfully he seems to
grin, How neatly spread his claws,
And welcome little fishes in
With gently smiling jaws!'
`I'm sure those
are not the right words,' said
and her eyes filled with tears
again as she went on, `I must
be Mabel 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 Mabel, I'll stay down
here! It'll be no use their putting
their heads down and saying "Come
up again, dear!" I shall only
look up and say "Who am I then?
Tell 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 VERY tired of being
all alone here!'
As she said this she looked
down at her hands, and was surprised
to see that she had put on one
of the Rabbit's little white
kid gloves while she was talking
. `How CAN I have done that?'
she thought. `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:
she soon found out that the cause
of this was the fan she was holding,
and she dropped it hastily, just
in time to avoid shrinking away
`That WAS a narrow escape!'
said Alice, a good deal frightened
at the sudden change, but very
glad to find herself still in
existence; `and now for the garden!'
and she ran with all speed back
to the little door: but, alas!
the little door was shut again,
and the little golden key was
lying on the glass table as before,
`and things are worse than ever,'
thought the poor child, `for
I never was so small as this
before, never! And I declare
it's too bad, that it is!'
As she said these words her
foot slipped, and in another
moment, splash! she was up to
her chin in salt water. He first
idea was that she had somehow
fallen into the sea, `and in
that case I can go back by railway,'
she said to herself. (Alice had
been to the seaside once in her
life, and had come to the general
conclusion, that wherever you
go to on the English coast you
find a number of bathing machines
in the sea, some children digging
in the sand with wooden spades,
then a row of lodging houses,
and behind them a railway station.)
However, she soon made out that
she was in the pool of tears
which 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! That WILL be a
queer thing, to be sure! However,
everything is queer to-day.'
Just then she heard something
splashing about in the pool a
little way off, and she swam
nearer to make out what it was:
at first she thought it must
be a walrus or hippopotamus,
but then she remembered how small
she was now, and she soon made
out that it was only a mouse
that had slipped in like herself.
`Would it be of any use, now,'
thought Alice, `to speak to this
mouse? Everything is so out-of-the-way
down here, that I should think
very likely it can talk: at any
rate, there's no harm in trying.'
So she began: `O Mouse, do you
know the way out of this pool?
I am very tired of swimming about
here, O Mouse!' (Alice thought
this must be the right way of
speaking to a mouse: she had
never done such a thing before,
but she remembered having seen
in her brother's Latin Grammar,
`A mouse--of a mouse--to a mouse--a
mouse--O mouse!' The Mouse looked
at her rather inquisitively,
and seemed to her to wink with
one of its little eyes, but it
`Perhaps it doesn't understand
English,' thought Alice; `I daresay
it's a French mouse, come over
with William the Conqueror.'
(For, with all her knowledge
of history, Alice had no very
clear notion how long ago anything
had happened.) So she began again:
`Ou est ma chatte?' which was
the first sentence in her French
lesson-book. The Mouse gave a
sudden leap out of the water,
and seemed to quiver all over
with fright. `Oh, I beg your
pardon!' cried Alice hastily,
afraid that she had hurt the
poor animal's feelings. `I quite
forgot you didn't like cats.'
`Not like cats!' cried the Mouse,
in a shrill, passionate voice.
`Would YOU like cats if you were
`Well, perhaps not,' said Alice
in a soothing tone: `don't be
angry about it. And yet I wish
I could show you our cat Dinah:
I think you'd take a fancy to
cats if you could only see her.
She is such a dear quiet thing,'
Alice went on, half to herself,
as she swam lazily about in the
pool, `and she sits purring so
nicely by the fire, licking her
paws and washing her face--and
she is such a nice soft thing
to nurse--and she's such a capital
one for catching mice--oh, I
beg your pardon!' cried Alice
again, for this time the Mouse
was bristling all over, and she
felt certain it must be really
offended. `We won't talk about
her any more if you'd rather
`We indeed!' cried the Mouse,
who was trembling down to the
end of his tail. `As if I would
talk on such a subject! Our family
always HATED cats: nasty, low,
vulgar things! Don't let me hear
the name again!'
`I won't indeed!' said Alice,
in a great hurry to change the
subject of conversation. `Are
you--are you fond--of--of dogs?'
The Mouse did not answer, so
Alice went on eagerly: `There
is such a nice little dog near
our house I should like to show
you! A little bright-eyed terrier,
you know, with oh, such long
curly brown hair! And it'll fetch
things when you throw them, and
it'll sit up and beg for its
dinner, and all sorts of things--I
can't remember half of them--
and it belongs to a farmer, you
know, and he says it's so useful,
it's worth a hundred pounds!
He says it kills all the rats
and--oh dear!' cried Alice in
a sorrowful tone, `I'm afraid
I've offended it again!' For
the Mouse was swimming away from
her as hard as it could go, and
making quite a commotion in the
pool as it went.
So she called softly after it,
`Mouse dear! Do come back again,
and we won't talk about cats
or dogs either, if you don't
like them!' When the Mouse heard
this, it turned round and swam
slowly back to her: its face
was quite pale (with passion,
Alice thought), and it said in
a low trembling voice, `Let us
get to the shore, and then I'll
tell you my history, and you'll
understand why it is I hate cats
It was high time to go, for
the pool was getting quite crowded
with the birds and animals that
had fallen into it: there were
a Duck and a Dodo, a Lory and
an Eaglet, and several other
curious creatures. Alice led
the way, and the whole party
swam to the shore.