`I should see the garden far
better,' said Alice to herself,
`if I could get to the top of
that hill: and here's a path
that leads straight to it --
at least, no, it doesn't do that
-- ' (after going a few yards
along the path, and turning several
sharp corners), `but I suppose
it will at last. But how curiously
it twists! It's more like a corkscrew
than a path!
Well, this turn goes to the hill, I suppose -- no, it doesn't! This goes
straight back to the house! Well then, I'll try it the
And so she did: wandering up
and down, and trying turn after
turn, but always coming back
to the house, do what she would.
Indeed, once, when she turned
a corner rather more quickly
than usual, she ran against it
before she could stop herself.
`It's no use
talking about it," Alice said,
looking up at the house and
pretending it was
arguing with her. `I'm not going
in again yet. I know I should
have to get through the Looking-glass
again -- back into the old room
-- and there'd be an end of all
So, resolutely turning back
upon the house, she set out once
more down the path, determined
to keep straight on till she
got to the hill. For a few minutes
all went on well, and she was
just saying, `I really shall do
it this time -- ' when the path
gave a sudden twist and shook
itself (as she described it afterwards),
and the next moment she found
herself actually walking in at
'Oh, it's too bad!' she cried.
`I never saw such a house for
getting in the way! Never!'
However, there was the hill
full in sight, so there was nothing
to be done but start again. This
time she came upon a large flower-bed,
with a border of daisies, and
a willow-tree growing in the
`O Tiger-lily,' said Alice,
addressing herself to one that
was waving gracefully about in
the wind, `I wish you
`We can talk,'
said the Tiger-lily: `when
anybody worth talking to."
Alice was so astonished that
she could not speak for a minute:
it quite seemed to take her breath
away. At length, as the Tiger-lily
only went on waving about, she
spoke again, in a timid voice
-- almost in a whisper. `And
can all the flowers talk?'
`As well as all can,'
said the Tiger-lily. `And a great
`It isn't manners
for us to begin, you know,'
said the Rose,
`and I really was wondering when
you'd speak! Said I to myself, "Her
face has got some sense
in it, thought it's not a clever
one!" Still, you're the right
colour, and that goes a long
`I don't care about the colour,'
the Tiger-lily remarked. `If
only her petals curled up a little
more, she'd be all right.'
Alice didn't like being criticised,
so she began asking questions.
`Aren't you sometimes frightened
at being planted out here, with
nobody to take care of you?'
`There's the tree in the middle,'
said the Rose: `what else is
it good for?'
`But what could it do, if any
danger came?' Alice asked.
`It says "Bough-wough!" cried
a Daisy: `that's why its branches
are called boughs!'
`Didn't you know that?'
cried another Daisy, and here
they all began shouting together,
till the air seemed quite full
of little shrill voices. `Silence,
every one of you!' cried the
Tiger- lily, waving itself passionately
from side to side, and trembling
with excitement. `They know I
can't get at them!' it panted,
bending its quivering head towards
Alice, `or they wouldn't dare
to do it!'
`Never mind!' Alice said in
a soothing tone, and stooping
down to the daisies, who were
just beginning again, she whispered,
`If you don't hold your tongues,
I'll pick you!'
There was silence in a moment,
and several of the pink daisies
`That's right!' said the Tiger-lily.
`The daisies are worst of all.
When one speaks, they all begin
together, and it's enough to
make one wither to hear the way
they go on!'
`How is it you can all talk
so nicely?' Alice said, hoping
to get it into a better temper
by a compliment. `I've been in
many gardens before, but none
of the flowers could talk.'
`Put your hand down, and feel
the ground,' said the Tiger-lily.
`Then you'll know why.
Alice did so. `It's very hard,'
she said, `but I don't see what
that has to do with it.'
`In most gardens,' the Tiger-lily
said, `they make the beds too
soft -- so that the flowers are
This sounded a very good reason,
and Alice was quite pleased to
know it. `I never thought of
that before!' she said.
`It's my opinion that
you never think at all,' the
Rose said in a rather severe
`I never say anybody that looked
stupider,' a Violet said, so
suddenly, that Alice quite jumped;
for it hadn't spoken before.
`Hold your tongue!'
cried the Tiger-lily. `As if you ever
saw anybody! You keep your head
under the leaves, and snore away
there, till you know no more
what's going on in the world,
that if you were a bud!'
`Are there any more people
in the garden besides me?' Alice
said, not choosing to notice
the Rose's last remark.
`There's one other flower in
the garden that can move about
like you,' said the Rose. `I
wonder how you do it -- ' (`You're
always wondering,' said the Tiger-lily),
`but she's more bushy than you
`Is she like me?' Alice asked
eagerly, for the thought crossed
her mind, `There's another little
girl in the garden, somewhere!'
`Well, she has the same awkward
shape as you,' the Rose said,
`but she's redder -- and her
petals are shorter, I think.'
`Her petals are done up close,
almost like a dahlia,' the Tiger-lily
interrupted: `not tumbled about
anyhow, like yours.'
`But that's not your fault,'
the Rose added kindly: `you're
beginning to fade, you know --
and then one can't help one's
petals getting a little untidy.'
Alice didn't like this idea
at all: so, to change the subject,
she asked `Does she ever come
`I daresay you'll see her soon,'
said the Rose. `She's one of
the thorny kind.'
`Where does she wear the thorns?'
Alice asked with some curiosity.
`Why all round her head, of
course,' the Rose replied. `I
was wondering you hadn't
got some too. I thought it was
the regular rule.'
`She's coming!' cried the Larkspur.
`I hear her footstep, thump,
thump, thump, along the gravel-walk!'
Alice looked round eagerly,
and found that it was the Red
Queen. `She's grown a good deal!'
was her first remark. She had
indeed: when Alice first found
her in the ashes, she had been
only three inches high -- and
here she was, half a head taller
than Alice herself!
`It's the fresh air that does
it,' said the Rose: `wonderfully
fine air it is, out here.'
"I think I'll
go and meet her,' said Alice,
for, though the flowers
were interesting enough, she
felt that it would be far grander
to have a talk with a real Queen.
`You can't possibly do that,'
said the Rose: `I should
advise you to walk the other
This sounded nonsense to Alice,
so she said nothing, but set
off at once towards the Red Queen.
To her surprise, she lost sight
of her in a moment, and found
herself walking in at the front-door
A little provoked, she drew
back, and after looking everywhere
for the queen (whom she spied
out at last, a long way off),
she thought she would try the
plan, this time, of walking in
the opposite direction.
It succeeded beautifully. She
had not been walking a minute
before she found herself face
to face with the Red Queen, and
full in sight of the hill she
had been so long aiming at.
`Where do you come from?' said
the Red Queen. `And where are
you going? Look up, speak nicely,
and don't twiddle your fingers
all the time.'
Alice attended to all these
directions, and explained, as
well as she could, that she had
lost her way.
`I don't know what you mean
by your way,' said the
Queen: `all the ways about here
belong to me -- but why
did you come out here at all?'
she added in a kinder tone. `Curtsey
while you`re thinking what to
say, it saves time.'
Alice wondered a little at
this, but she was too much in
awe of the Queen to disbelieve
it. `I'll try it when I go home,'
she thought to herself. `the
next time I'm a little late for
`It's time for you to answer
now,' the Queen said, looking
at her watch: `open your mouth
a little wider when you
speak, and always say "your Majesty."'
`I only wanted to see what
the garden was like, your Majesty--'
said the Queen, patting her
on the head, which
Alice didn't like at all, `though,
when you say "garden," -- I've seen
gardens, compare with which this
would be a wilderness.'
Alice didn't dare to argue
the point, but went on: `-- and
I thought I'd try and find my
way to the top of that hill --
`When you say "hill,"'
the Queen interrupted, `I could
show you hills, in comparison
with which you'd call that a
`No, I shouldn't,' said Alice,
surprised into contradicting
her at last: `a hill can't be
a valley, you know. That would
be nonsense -- '
The Red Queen
shook her head, `You may call
it "nonsense" if
you like,' she said, ` but I've heard
nonsense, compared with which
that would be as sensible as
Alice curtseyed again, as she
was afraid from the Queen's tone
that she was a little offended:
and they walked on in silence
till they got to the top of the
For some minutes Alice stood
without speaking, looking out
in all directions over the country
-- and a most curious country
it was. There were a number of
tiny little brooks running straight
across it from side to side,
and the ground between was divided
up into squares by a number of
little green hedges, that reached
from brook to brook.
`I declare it's marked out
just like a large chessboard!'
Alice said at last. `There ought
to be some men moving about somewhere
-- and so there are!' She added
in a tone of delight, and her
heart began to beat quick with
excitement as she went on. `It's
a great huge game of chess that's
being played -- all over the
world -- if this is the
world at all, you know. Oh, what
fun it is! How I wish I
was one of them! I wouldn't mind
being a Pawn, if only I might
join -- though of course I should like to
be a Queen, best.'
She glanced rather shyly at
the real Queen as she said this,
but her companion only smiled
pleasantly, and said, `That's
easily managed. You can be the
White Queen's Pawn, if you like,
as Lily's too young to play;
and you're in the Second Square
to began with: when you get to
the Eighth Square you'll be a
Queen -- ' Just at this moment,
somehow or other, they began
Alice never could quite make
out, in thinking it over afterwards,
how it was that they began: all
she remembers is, that they were
running hand in hand, and the
Queen went so fast that it was
all she could do to keep up with
her: and still the Queen kept
crying `Faster! Faster!' but
Alice felt she could not go
faster, thought she had not breath
left to say so.
The most curious part of the
thing was, that the trees and
the other things round them never
changed their places at all:
however fast they went, they
never seemed to pass anything.
`I wonder if all the things move
along with us?' thought poor
puzzled Alice. And the Queen
seemed to guess her thoughts,
for she cried, `Faster! Don't
try to talk!'
Not that Alice had any idea
of doing that. She felt
as if she would never be able
to talk again, she was getting
so much out of breath: and still
the Queen cried `Faster! Faster!'
and dragged her along. `Are we
nearly there?' Alice managed
to pant out at last.
`Nearly there!' the Queen repeated.
`Why, we passed it ten minutes
ago! Faster! And they ran on
for a time in silence, with the
wind whistling in Alice's ears,
and almost blowing her hair off
her head, she fancied.
`Now! Now!' cried the Queen.
`Faster! Faster!' And they went
so fast that at last they seemed
to skim through the air, hardly
touching the ground with their
feet, till suddenly, just as
Alice was getting quite exhausted,
they stopped, and she found herself
sitting on the ground, breathless
The Queen propped her up against
a tree, and said kindly, `You
may rest a little now.'
Alice looked round her in great
surprise. `Why, I do believe
we've been under this tree the
whole time! Everything's just
as it was!'
`Of course it is,' said the
Queen, `what would you have it?'
`Well, in out country,'
said Alice, still panting a little,
`you'd generally get to somewhere
else -- if you ran very fast
for a long time, as we've been
`A slow sort of country!' said
the Queen. `Now, here,
you see, it takes all the running you can
do, to keep in the same place.
If you want to get somewhere
else, you must run at least twice
as fast as that!'
`I'd rather not try, please!'
said Alice. `I'm quite content
to stay here -- only I am so
hot and thirsty!'
`I know what you'd like!'
the Queen said good-naturedly,
taking a little box out of her
pocket. `Have a biscuit?'
Alice thought it would not
be civil to say `No,' though
it wasn't at all what she wanted.
So she took it, and ate it as
well as she could: and it was very dry;
and she thought she had never
been so nearly choked in all
`While you're refreshing yourself,'
said the Queen, `I'll just take
the measurements.' And she took
a ribbon out of her pocket, marked
in inches, and began measuring
the ground, and sticking little
pegs in here and there.
`At the end of two yards,'
she said, putting in a peg to
mark the distance, `I shall give
you your directions -- have another
`No, thank you,' said Alice,:**
`one's quite enough!'
`Thirst quenched, I hope?'
said the Queen.
Alice did not know what to
say to this, but luckily the
Queen did not wait for an answer,
but went on. `At the end of three yards
I shall repeat them -- for fear
of your forgetting them. At then
end of four, I shall say
good-bye. And at then end of five,
I shall go!'
She had got all the pegs put
in by this time, and Alice looked
on with great interest as she
returned to the tree, and then
began slowly walking down the
At the two-yard peg she faced
round, and said, `A pawn goes
two squares in its first move,
you know. So you'll go very quickly
through the Third Square -- by
railway, I should think -- and
you'll find yourself in the Fourth
Square in no time. Well, that square
belongs to Tweedledum and Tweedledee
-- the Fifth is mostly water
-- the Sixth belongs to Humpty
Dumpty -- But you make no remark?'
`I -- I didn't know I had to
make one -- just then,' Alice
`You should have
said,' `"It's extremely kind of you
to tell me all this" -- however,
we'll suppose it said -- the
Seventh Square is all forest
-- however, one of the Knights
will show you the way -- and
in the Eighth Square we shall
be Queens together, and it's
all feasting and fun!' Alice
got up and curtseyed, and sat
At the next peg the Queen turned
again, and this time she said,
`Speak in French when you can't
think of the English for a thing
-- turn out your toes as you
walk -- and remember who you
are!' She did not wait for Alice
to curtsey this time, but walked
on quickly to the next peg, where
she turned for a moment to say
`good-bye,' and then hurried
on to the last.
How it happened, Alice never
knew, but exactly as she came
to the last peg, she was gone.
Whether she vanished into the
air, or whether she ran quickly
into the wood (`and she can run
very fast!' thought Alice), there
was no way of guessing, but she
was gone, and Alice began to
remember that she was a Pawn,
and that it would soon be time
for her to move.