For a minute or two she stood
looking at the house, and wondering
what to do next, when suddenly
a footman in livery came running
out of the wood--(she considered
him to be a footman because he
was in livery: otherwise, judging
by his face only, she would have
called him a fish)--and rapped
loudly at the door with his knuckles.
It was opened by another footman
in livery, with a round face,
and large eyes like a frog; and
both footmen, Alice noticed,
had powdered hair that curled
all over their heads. She felt
very curious to know what it
was all about, and crept a little
way out of the wood to listen.
The Fish-Footman began by producing
from under his arm a great letter,
nearly as large as himself, and
this he handed over to the other,
saying, in a solemn tone, `For
the Duchess. An invitation from
the Queen to play croquet.' The
Frog-Footman repeated, in the
same solemn tone, only changing
the order of the words a little,
`From the Queen. An invitation
for the Duchess to play croquet.'
Then they both bowed low, and
their curls got entangled together.
Alice laughed so much at this,
that she had to run back into
the wood for fear of their hearing
her; and when she next peeped
out the Fish-Footman was gone,
and the other was sitting on
the ground near the door, staring
stupidly up into the sky.
Alice went timidly up to the
door, and knocked.
`There's no sort of use in
knocking,' said the Footman,
`and that for two reasons. First,
because I'm on the same side
of the door as you are; secondly,
because they're making such a
noise inside, no one could possibly
hear you.' And certainly there
was a most extraordinary noise
going on within--a constant howling
and sneezing, and every now and
then a great crash, as if a dish
or kettle had been broken to
`Please, then,' said Alice,
`how am I to get in?'
`There might be some sense
in your knocking,' the Footman
went on without attending to
her, `if we had the door between
us. For instance, if you were
INSIDE, you might knock, and
I could let you out, you know.'
He was looking up into the sky
all the time he was speaking,
and this Alice thought decidedly
uncivil. `But perhaps he can't
help it,' she said to herself;
`his eyes are so VERY nearly
at the top of his head. But at
any rate he might answer questions.--How
am I to get in?' she repeated,
`I shall sit here,' the Footman
remarked, `till tomorrow--'
At this moment the door of
the house opened, and a large
plate came skimming out, straight
at the Footman's head: it just
grazed his nose, and broke to
pieces against one of the trees
`--or next day, maybe,' the
Footman continued in the same
tone, exactly as if nothing had
`How am I to get in?' asked
Alice again, in a louder tone.
`ARE you to get in at all?'
said the Footman. `That's the
first question, you know.'
It was, no doubt: only Alice
did not like to be told so. `It's
really dreadful,' she muttered
to herself, `the way all the
creatures argue. It's enough
to drive one crazy!'
The Footman seemed to think
this a good opportunity for repeating
his remark, with variations.
`I shall sit here,' he said,
`on and off, for days and days.'
`But what am I to do?' said
`Anything you like,' said the
Footman, and began whistling.
`Oh, there's no use in talking
to him,' said Alice desperately:
`he's perfectly idiotic!' And
she opened the door and went
The door led right into a large
kitchen, which was full of smoke
from one end to the other: the
Duchess was sitting on a three-legged
stool in the middle, nursing
a baby; the cook was leaning
over the fire, stirring a large
cauldron which seemed to be full
`There's certainly too much
pepper in that soup!' Alice said
to herself, as well as she could
There was certainly too much
of it in the air. Even the Duchess
sneezed occasionally; and as
for the baby, it was sneezing
and howling alternately without
a moment's pause. The only things
in the kitchen that did not sneeze,
were the cook, and a large cat
which was sitting on the hearth
and grinning from ear to ear.
`Please would you tell me,'
said Alice, a little timidly,
for she was not quite sure whether
it was good manners for her to
speak first, `why your cat grins
`It's a Cheshire cat,' said
the Duchess, `and that's why.
She said the last word with
such sudden violence that Alice
quite jumped; but she saw in
another moment that it was addressed
to the baby, and not to her,
so she took courage, and went
`I didn't know that Cheshire
cats always grinned; in fact,
I didn't know that cats COULD
`They all can,' said the Duchess;
`and most of 'em do.'
`I don't know of any that do,'
Alice said very politely, feeling
quite pleased to have got into
`You don't know much,' said
the Duchess; `and that's a fact.'
Alice did not at all like the
tone of this remark, and thought
it would be as well to introduce
some other subject of conversation.
While she was trying to fix on
one, the cook took the cauldron
of soup off the fire, and at
once set to work throwing everything
within her reach at the Duchess
and the baby --the fire-irons
came first; then followed a shower
of saucepans, plates, and dishes.
The Duchess took no notice of
them even when they hit her;
and the baby was howling so much
already, that it was quite impossible
to say whether the blows hurt
it or not.
`Oh, PLEASE mind what you're
doing!' cried Alice, jumping
up and down in an agony of terror.
`Oh, there goes his PRECIOUS
nose'; as an unusually large
saucepan flew close by it, and
very nearly carried it off.
`If everybody minded their
own business,' the Duchess said
in a hoarse growl, `the world
would go round a deal faster
than it does.'
`Which would NOT be an advantage,'
said Alice, who felt very glad
to get an opportunity of showing
off a little of her knowledge.
`Just think of what work it would
make with the day and night!
You see the earth takes twenty-four
hours to turn round on its axis--'
`Talking of axes,' said the
Duchess, `chop off her head!'
Alice glanced rather anxiously
at the cook, to see if she meant
to take the hint; but the cook
was busily stirring the soup,
and seemed not to be listening,
so she went on again: `Twenty-four
hours, I THINK; or is it twelve?
`Oh, don't bother ME,' said
the Duchess; `I never could abide
figures!' And with that she began
nursing her child again, singing
a sort of lullaby to it as she
did so, and giving it a violent
shake at the end of every line:
`Speak roughly to your little
boy, And beat him when he sneezes:
He only does it to annoy, Because
he knows it teases.'
(In which the cook and the
`Wow! wow! wow!'
While the Duchess sang the
second verse of the song, she
kept tossing the baby violently
up and down, and the poor little
thing howled so, that Alice could
hardly hear the words:--
`I speak severely to my boy,
I beat him when he sneezes; For
he can thoroughly enjoy The pepper
when he pleases!'
`Wow! wow! wow!'
`Here! you may nurse it a bit,
if you like!' the Duchess said
to Alice, flinging the baby at
her as she spoke. `I must go
and get ready to play croquet
with the Queen,' and she hurried
out of the room. The cook threw
a frying-pan after her as she
went out, but it just missed
Alice caught the baby with
some difficulty, as it was a
queer- shaped little creature,
and held out its arms and legs
in all directions, `just like
a star-fish,' thought Alice.
The poor little thing was snorting
like a steam-engine when she
caught it, and kept doubling
itself up and straightening itself
out again, so that altogether,
for the first minute or two,
it was as much as she could do
to hold it.
As soon as she had made out
the proper way of nursing it,
(which was to twist it up into
a sort of knot, and then keep
tight hold of its right ear and
left foot, so as to prevent its
undoing itself,) she carried
it out into the open air. `IF
I don't take this child away
with me,' thought Alice, `they're
sure to kill it in a day or two:
wouldn't it be murder to leave
it behind?' She said the last
words out loud, and the little
thing grunted in reply (it had
left off sneezing by this time).
`Don't grunt,' said Alice; `that's
not at all a proper way of expressing
The baby grunted again, and
Alice looked very anxiously into
its face to see what was the
matter with it. There could be
no doubt that it had a VERY turn-up
nose, much more like a snout
than a real nose; also its eyes
were getting extremely small
for a baby: altogether Alice
did not like the look of the
thing at all. `But perhaps it
was only sobbing,' she thought,
and looked into its eyes again,
to see if there were any tears.
No, there were no tears. `If
you're going to turn into a pig,
my dear,' said Alice, seriously,
`I'll have nothing more to do
with you. Mind now!' The poor
little thing sobbed again (or
grunted, it was impossible to
say which), and they went on
for some while in silence.
Alice was just beginning to
think to herself, `Now, what
am I to do with this creature
when I get it home?' when it
grunted again, so violently,
that she looked down into its
face in some alarm. This time
there could be NO mistake about
it: it was neither more nor less
than a pig, and she felt that
it would be quite absurd for
her to carry it further.
So she set the little creature
down, and felt quite relieved
to see it trot away quietly into
the wood. `If it had grown up,'
she said to herself, `it would
have made a dreadfully ugly child:
but it makes rather a handsome
pig, I think.' And she began
thinking over other children
she knew, who might do very well
as pigs, and was just saying
to herself, `if one only knew
the right way to change them--'
when she was a little startled
by seeing the Cheshire Cat sitting
on a bough of a tree a few yards
The Cat only grinned when it
saw Alice. It looked good- natured,
she thought: still it had VERY
long claws and a great many teeth,
so she felt that it ought to
be treated with respect.
`Cheshire Puss,' she began,
rather timidly, as she did not
at all know whether it would
like the name: however, it only
grinned a little wider. `Come,
it's pleased so far,' thought
Alice, and she went on. `Would
you tell me, please, which way
I ought to go from here?'
`That depends a good deal on
where you want to get to,' said
`I don't much care where--'
`Then it doesn't matter which
way you go,' said the Cat.
`--so long as I get SOMEWHERE,'
Alice added as an explanation.
`Oh, you're sure to do that,'
said the Cat, `if you only walk
Alice felt that this could
not be denied, so she tried another
question. `What sort of people
live about here?'
`In THAT direction,' the Cat
said, waving its right paw round,
`lives a Hatter: and in THAT
direction,' waving the other
paw, `lives a March Hare. Visit
either you like: they're both
`But I don't want to go among
mad people,' Alice remarked.
`Oh, you can't help that,'
said the Cat: `we're all mad
here. I'm mad. You're mad.'
`How do you know I'm mad?'
`You must be,' said the Cat,
`or you wouldn't have come here.'
Alice didn't think that proved
it at all; however, she went
on `And how do you know that
`To begin with,' said the Cat,
`a dog's not mad. You grant that?'
`I suppose so,' said Alice.
`Well, then,' the Cat went
on, `you see, a dog growls when
it's angry, and wags its tail
when it's pleased. Now I growl
when I'm pleased, and wag my
tail when I'm angry. Therefore
`I call it purring, not growling,'
`Call it what you like,' said
the Cat. `Do you play croquet
with the Queen to-day?'
`I should like it very much,'
said Alice, `but I haven't been
`You'll see me there,' said
the Cat, and vanished.
Alice was not much surprised
at this, she was getting so used
to queer things happening. While
she was looking at the place
where it had been, it suddenly
`By-the-bye, what became of
the baby?' said the Cat. `I'd
nearly forgotten to ask.'
`It turned into a pig,' Alice
quietly said, just as if it had
come back in a natural way.
`I thought it would,' said
the Cat, and vanished again.
Alice waited a little, half
expecting to see it again, but
it did not appear, and after
a minute or two she walked on
in the direction in which the
March Hare was said to live.
`I've seen hatters before,' she
said to herself; `the March Hare
will be much the most interesting,
and perhaps as this is May it
won't be raving mad--at least
not so mad as it was in March.'
As she said this, she looked
up, and there was the Cat again,
sitting on a branch of a tree.
`Did you say pig, or fig?'
said the Cat.
`I said pig,' replied Alice;
`and I wish you wouldn't keep
appearing and vanishing so suddenly:
you make one quite giddy.'
`All right,' said the Cat;
and this time it vanished quite
slowly, beginning with the end
of the tail, and ending with
the grin, which remained some
time after the rest of it had
`Well! I've often seen a cat
without a grin,' thought Alice;
`but a grin without a cat! It's
the most curious thing I ever
say in my life!'
She had not gone much farther
before she came in sight of the
house of the March Hare: she
thought it must be the right
house, because the chimneys were
shaped like ears and the roof
was thatched with fur. It was
so large a house, that she did
not like to go nearer till she
had nibbled some more of the
lefthand bit of mushroom, and
raised herself to about two feet
high: even then she walked up
towards it rather timidly, saying
to herself `Suppose it should
be raving mad after all! I almost
wish I'd gone to see the Hatter