They were standing
under a tree, each with an
arm round the other's
neck, and Alice knew which was
which in a moment, because one
of them had `DUM' embroidered
on his collar, and the other
`DEE.' `I suppose they've each
got "TWEEDLE" round at the back
of the collar,' she said to herself.
so still that she quite forgot
they were alive,
and she was just looking round
to see if the word "TWEEDLE" was
written at the back of each collar,
when she was startled by a voice
coming from the one marked `DUM.'
`If you think we're wax-works,'
he said, `you ought to pay, you
know. Wax-works weren't made
to be looked at for nothing,
`Contrariwise,' added the one
marked `DEE,' `if you think we're
alive, you ought to speak.'
`I'm sure I'm very sorry,'
was all Alice could say; for
the words of the old song kept
ringing through her head like
the ticking of a clock, and she
could hardly help saying them
out loud: --
`Tweedledum and Tweedledee
Agreed to have a battle;
For Tweedledum said Tweedledee
Had spoiled his nice new rattle.
Just then flew down
a monstrous crow,
As black as a tar-barrel;
Which frightened both the heroes so,
They quite forgot their quarrel.'
`I know what you're thinking
about,' said Tweedledum: `but
it isn't so, nohow.'
`Contrariwise,' continued Tweedledee,
`if it was so, it might be; and
if it were so, it would be; but
as it isn't, it ain't. That's
`I was thinking,' Alice said
very politely, `which is the
best way out of this wood: it's
getting so dark. Would you tell
But the little men only looked
at each other and grinned.
They looked so exactly like
a couple of great schoolboys,
that Alice couldn't help pointing
her finger at Tweedledum, and
saying `First Boy!'
`Nohow!' Tweedledum cried out
briskly, and shut his mouth up
again with a snap.
said Alice, passing on to Tweedledee,
felt quite certain he would only
shout out "Contrariwise!' and
so he did.
wrong!' cried Tweedledum. `The
in a visit is to say "How d'ye
do?" and shake hands!' And here
the two brothers gave each other
a hug, and then they held out
the two hands that were free,
to shake hands with her.
Alice did not like shaking
hands with either of them first,
for fear of hurting the other
one's feelings; so, as the best
way out of the difficulty, she
took hold of both hands at once:
the next moment they were dancing
found in a ring. This seemed
quite natural (she remembered
afterwards), and she was not
even surprised to hear music
playing: it seemed to come from
the tree under which they were
dancing, and it was done (as
well as she could make it out)
by the branches rubbing one across
the other, like fiddles and fiddle-sticks.
`But it certainly was funny,'
(Alice said afterwards, when
she was telling her sister the
history of all this,) `to find
myself singing "Here we go
round the mulberry bush." I
don't know when I began it, but
somehow I felt as if I'd been
singing it a long long time!'
The other two dancers were
fat, and very soon out of breath.
`Four times round is enough for
one dance,' Tweedledum panted
out, and they left off dancing
as suddenly as they had begun:
the music stopped at the same
Then they let
go of Alice's hands, and stood
looking at her
for a minute: there was a rather
awkward pause, as Alice didn't
know how to begin a conversation
with people she had just been
dancing with. `It would never
do to say "How d'ye do?" now,'
she said to herself: `we seem
to have got beyond that, somehow!'
`I hope you're not much tired?'
she said at last.
`Nohow. And thank you very much
for asking,' said Tweedledum.
`So much obliged!' added Tweedledee.
`You like poetry?'
`Ye-es. pretty well -- some poetry,'
Alice said doubtfully. `Would
you tell me which road leads
out of the wood?'
`What shall I repeat to her?'
said Tweedledee, looking round
at Tweedledum with great solemn
eyes, and not noticing Alice's
`"The Walrus and the Carpenter" is
the longest,' Tweedledum replied,
giving his brother an affectionate
Tweedledee began instantly:
`The sun was shining -- '
Here Alice ventured to interrupt
him. `If it's very long,'
she said, as politely as she
could, `would you please tell
me first which road -- '
Tweedledee smiled gently, and
`I like the Walrus best,' said
Alice: `because you see he was
a little sorry for the poor
`The sun was shining
on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright --
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.
The moon was shining
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done --
"It's very rude of him," she said,
"To come and spoil the fun!"
The sea was wet as wet
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying over head --
There were no birds to fly.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
"If this were only cleared away,"
They said, "it would
"If seven maids with
Swept it for half a year,
Do you suppose," the Walrus said,
"That they could get it clear?"
"I doubt it," said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.
"O Oysters, come and
walk with us!"
The Walrus did beseech.
"A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each."
The eldest Oyster looked
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head --
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.
But four young oysters
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat --
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn't any feet.
Four other Oysters followed
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more --
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.
"The time has come," the
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes -- and ships -- and sealing-wax --
Of cabbages -- and kings --
And why the sea is boiling hot --
And whether pigs have wings."
"But wait a bit," the
"Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!"
"No hurry!" said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.
"A loaf of bread," the
"Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed --
Now if you're ready Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed."
"But not on us!" the
Turning a little blue,
"After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!"
"The night is fine," the Walrus said
"Do you admire the view?
"It was so kind of you
And you are very nice!"
The Carpenter said nothing but
"Cut us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf --
I've had to ask you twice!"
"It seems a shame," the
"To play them such a trick,
After we've brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!"
The Carpenter said nothing but
"The butter's spread too thick!"
"I weep for you," the
"I deeply sympathize."
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size.
Holding his pocket handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.
"O Oysters," said the
"You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?"
But answer came there none --
And that was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.'
`He ate more than the Carpenter, though,' said Tweedledee. `You see he held
his handkerchief in front, so that the Carpenter couldn't count how many he
`That was mean!' Alice said indignantly. `Then I like the Carpenter best
-- if he didn't eat so many as the Walrus.'
`But he ate as many as he could get,' said Tweedledum.
This was a puzzler. After a pause, Alice began, `Well! They were both very
unpleasant characters -- ' Here she checked herself in some alarm, at hearing
something that sounded to her like the puffing of a large steam-engine in the
wood near them, thought she feared it was more likely to be a wild beast. `Are
there any lions or tigers about here?' she asked timidly.
`It's only the Red King snoring,' said Tweedledee.
`Come and look at him!' the brothers cried, and they each took one of Alice's
hands, and led her up to where the King was sleeping.
`Isn't he a lovely sight?" said
Alice couldn't say honestly that he was. He had a tall red night-cap on,
with a tassel, and he was lying crumpled up into a sort of untidy heap, and
snoring loud -- `fit to snore his head off!' as Tweedledum remarked.
`I'm afraid he'll catch cold with lying on the damp grass,' said Alice, who
was a very thoughtful little girl.
`He's dreaming now,' said Tweedledee: `and what do you think he's dreaming
Alice said `Nobody can guess that.'
`Why, about you!' Tweedledee exclaimed, clapping his hands triumphantly.
`And if he left off dreaming about you, where do you suppose you'd be?'
`Where I am now, of course,' said Alice.
`Not you!' Tweedledee retorted contemptuously. `You'd be nowhere. Why, you're
only a sort of thing in his dream!'
`If that there King was to wake,' added Tweedledum, `you'd go out -- bang!
-- just like a candle!'
`I shouldn't!' Alice exclaimed indignantly. `Besides, if I'M only a sort
of thing in his dream, what are you, I should like to know?'
`Ditto' said Tweedledum.
`Ditto, ditto' cried Tweedledee.
He shouted this so loud that Alice couldn't help saying, `Hush!
You'll be waking him, I'm afraid, if you make so much noise.'
`Well, it no use your talking about waking him,' said Tweedledum,
`when you're only one of the things in his dream. You know very well you're
`I am real!' said Alice and began to cry.
`You won't make yourself a bit realler by crying,' Tweedledee remarked: `there's
nothing to cry about.'
`If I wasn't real,' Alice said -- half-laughing though her tears, it all
seemed so ridiculous -- `I shouldn't be able to cry.'
`I hope you don't suppose those are real tears?' Tweedledum interrupted in
a tone of great contempt.
`I know they're talking nonsense,' Alice thought to herself: `and it's foolish
to cry about it.' So she brushed away her tears, and went on as cheerfully
as she could. `At any rate I'd better be getting out of the wood, for really
it's coming on very dark. Do you think it's going to rain?'
Tweedledum spread a large umbrella over himself and his brother, and looked
up into it. `No, I don't think it is,' he said: `at least -- not under here.
`But it may rain outside?'
`It may -- if it chooses,' said Tweedledee: `we've no objection. Contrariwise.'
`Selfish things!' thought Alice, and she was just going to say `Good-night'
and leave them, when Tweedledum sprang out from under the umbrella and seized
her by the wrist.
`Do you see that?' he said, in a voice choking with passion, and his
eyes grew large and yellow all in a moment, as he pointed with a trembling
finger at a small white thing lying under the tree.
`It's only a rattle,' Alice said, after a careful examination of the little
white thing. `Not a rattle snake, you know,' she added hastily, thinking
that he was frightened: only an old rattle -- quite old and broken.'
`I knew it was!' cried Tweedledum, beginning to stamp about wildly and tear
his hair. `It's spoilt, of course!' Here he looked at Tweedledee, who immediately
sat down on the ground, and tried to hide himself under the umbrella.
Alice laid her hand upon his arm, and said in a soothing tone, `You needn't
be so angry about an old rattle.'
`But it isn't old!' Tweedledum cried, in a greater fury than ever. `It's
new, I tell you -- I bought it yesterday -- my nice NEW RATTLE!' and
his voice rose to a perfect scream.
All this time Tweedledee was trying his best to fold up the umbrella, with
himself in it: which was such an extraordinary thing to do, that it quite took
off Alice's attention from the angry brother. But he couldn't quite succeed,
and it ended in his rolling over, bundled up in the umbrella, with only his
head out: and there he lay, opening and shutting his mouth and his large eyes
-- 'looking more like a fish than anything else,' Alice thought.
`Of course you agree to have a battle?' Tweedledum said in a calmer tone.
`I suppose so,' the other sulkily replied, as he crawled out of the umbrella:
`only she must help us to dress up, you know.'
So the two brothers went off hand-in-hand into the wood, and returned in
a minute with their arms full of things -- such as bolsters, blankets, hearth-rugs,
table-cloths, dish-covers and coal-scuttles. `I hope you're a good hand a pinning
and tying strings?' Tweedledum remarked. `Every one of these things has got
to go on, somehow or other.'
Alice said afterwards she had never seen such a fuss made about anything
in all her life -- the way those two bustled about -- and the quantity of things
they put on -- and the trouble they gave her in tying strings and fastening
buttons -- `Really they'll be more like bundles of old clothes that anything
else, by the time they're ready!' she said to herself, as he arranged a bolster
round the neck of Tweedledee, `to keep his head from being cut off,' as he
`You know,' he added very gravely, `it's one of the most serious things that
can possibly happen to one in a battle -- to get one's head cut off.'
Alice laughed loud: but she managed to turn it into a cough, for fear of
hurting his feelings.
`Do I look very pale?' said Tweedledum, coming up to have his helmet tied
on. (He called it a helmet, though it certainly looked much more like
`Well -- yes -- a little,' Alice replied gently.
`I'm very brave generally,' he went on in a low voice: `only to-day I happen
to have a headache.'
`And I've got a toothache!' said Tweedledee, who had overheard the
remark. `I'm far worse off than you!'
`Then you'd better not fight to-day,' said Alice, thinking it a good opportunity
to make peace.
`We must have a bit of a fight, but I don't care about going on long,'
said Tweedledum. `What's the time now?'
Tweedledee looked at his watch, and said `Half-past four.'
`Let's fight till six, and then have dinner,' said Tweedledum.
`Very well,' the other said, rather sadly: `and she can watch us --
only you'd better not come very close,' he added: `I generally hit everything
I can see -- when I get really excited.'
`And I hit everything within reach,' cried Tweedledum, `whether I
can see it or not!'
Alice laughed. `You must hit the trees pretty often, I should think,'
Tweedledum looked round him with a satisfied smile. I don't suppose,' he
said, `there'll be a tree left standing, for ever so far round, by the time
`And all about a rattle!' said Alice, still hoping to make them a little ashamed
of fighting for such a trifle.
`I shouldn't have minded it so much,' said Tweedledum, `if it hadn't been
a new one.'
`I wish the monstrous crow would come!' though Alice.
`There's only one sword, you know,' Tweedledum said to his brother: `but
you can have the umbrella -- it's quite as sharp. Only we must begin quick.
It's getting as dark as it can.'
`And darker.' said Tweedledee.
It was getting dark so suddenly that Alice thought there must be a thunderstorm
coming on. `What a thick black cloud that is!' she said. `And how fast it comes!
Why, I do believe it's got wings!'
`It's the crow!' Tweedledum cried out in a shrill voice of alarm: and the
two brothers took to their heels and were out of sight in a moment.
Alice ran a little way into the wood, and stopped under a large tree. `It
can never get at me here,' she thought: `it's far too large to squeeze
itself in among the trees. But I wish it wouldn't flap its wings so -- it make
quite a hurricane in the wood -- here's somebody's shawl being blown away!'