After a while the noise seemed
gradually to die away, till all
was dead silence, and Alice lifted
up her head in some alarm. There
was no one to be seen, and her
first thought was that she must
have been dreaming about the
Lion and the Unicorn and those
still lying at her feet, on which
she had tried to cut the plum-
cake, `So I wasn't dreaming,
after all,' she said to herself,
`unless -- unless we're all part
of the same dream. Only I do
hope it's my dream, and
not the Red King's! I don't like
belonging to another person's
dream,' she went on in a rather
complaining tone: `I've a great
mind to go and wake him, and
At this moment her thoughts
were interrupted by a loud shouting
of `Ahoy! Ahoy! Check! and a
Knight dressed in crimson armour,
came galloping down upon her,
brandishing a great club. Just
as he reached her, the horse
stopped suddenly: `You're my
prisoner!' the Knight cried,
as he tumbled off his horse.
Startled as she was, Alice
was more frightened for him than
for herself at the moment, and
watched him with some anxiety
as he mounted again. As soon
as he was comfortably in the
saddle, he began once more `You're
my -- ' but here another voice
broke in `Ahoy! Ahoy! Check!'
and Alice looked round in some
surprise for the new enemy.
This time it was a White Knight.
He drew up at Alice's side, and
tumbled off his horse just as
the Red Knight had done: then
he got on again, and the two
Knights sat and looked at each
other for some time without speaking.
Alice looked from one to the
other in some bewilderment.
`She's my prisoner,
you know!' the Red Knight said
`Yes, but then I came
and rescued her!' the White Knight
`Well, we must fight for her,
then,' said the Red Knight, as
he took up his helmet (which
hung from the saddle, and was
something the shape of a horse's
head, and put it on.
`You will observe the Rules
of Battle, of course?' the White
Knight remarked, putting on his
`I always do,' said the Red
Knight, and they began banging
away at each other with such
fury that Alice got behind a
tree to be out of the way of
`I wonder, now, what the Rules
of Battle are,' she said to herself,
as she watched the fight, timidly
peeping out from her hiding-place:
`one Rule seems to be, that if
one Knight hits the other, he
knocks him off his horse, and
if he misses, he tumbles off
himself -- and another Rule seems
to be that they hold their clubs
with their arms, as if they were
Punch and Judy -- What a noise
they make when they tumble! Just
like a whole set of fire- irons
falling into the fender! And
how quiet the horses are! They
let them get on and off them
just as if they were tables!'
Another Rule of Battle, that
Alice had not noticed, seemed
to be that they always fell on
their heads, and the battle ended
with their both falling off in
this way, side by side: when
they got up again, they shook
hands, and then the Red Knight
mounted and galloped off.
`It was a glorious victory,
wasn't it?' said the White Knight,
as he came up panting.
`I don't know,' Alice said
doubtfully. `I don't want to
be anybody's prisoner. I want
to be a Queen.'
`So you will, when you've crossed
the next brook,' said the White
Knight. `I'll see you safe to
the end of the wood -- and then
I must go back, you know. That's
the end of my move.'
`Thank you very much,' said
Alice. `May I help you off with
your helmet?' It was evidently
more than he could manage by
himself; however, she managed
to shake him out of it at last.
`Now one can breathe more easily,'
said the Knight, putting back
his shaggy hair with both hands,
and turning his gentle face and
large mild eyes to Alice. She
thought she had never seen such
a strange-looking soldier in
all her life.
He was dressed in tin armour,
which seemed to fit him very
badly, and he had a queer-shaped
little deal box fastened across
his shoulder, upside-down, and
with the lid hanging open. Alice
looked at it with great curiosity.
`I see you're admiring my little
box.' the Knight said in a friendly
tone. `It's my own invention
-- to keep clothes and sandwiches
in. You see I carry it upside-down,
so that the rain can't get in.'
`But the things can get out,'
Alice gently remarked. `Do you
know the lid's open?'
`I didn't know it,' the Knight
said, a shade of vexation passing
over his face. `Then all the
things much have fallen out!
And the box is no use without
them.' He unfastened it as he
spoke, and was just going to
throw it into the bushes, when
a sudden though seemed to strike
him, and he hung it carefully
on a tree. `Can you guess why
I did that?' he said to Alice.
Alice shook her head.
`In hopes some bees my make
a nest in it -- then I should
get the honey.'
`But you've got a bee-hive
-- or something like one -- fastened
to the saddle,' said Alice.
`Yes, it's a very good bee-hive,'
the Knight said in a discontented
tone, `one of the best kind.
But not a single bee has come
near it yet. And the other thing
is a mouse-trap. I suppose the
mice keep the bees out -- or
the bees keep the mice out, I
don't know which.'
`I was wondering what the mouse-trap
was for,' said Alice. `It isn't
very likely there would be any
mice on the horse's back.'
`Not very likely, perhaps,'
said the Knight: `but if they do come,
I don't choose to have them running
`You see,' he went on after
a pause, `it's as well to be
provided for everything.
That's the reason the horse has
all those anklets round his feet.'
`But what are they for?' Alice
asked in a tone of great curiosity.
`To guard against the bites
of sharks,' the Knight replied.
`It's an invention of my own.
And now help me on. I'll go with
you to the end of the wood --
What's the dish for?'
`It's meant for plum-cake,'
`We'd better take it with us,
the Knight said. `It'll some
in handy if we find any plum-cake.
Help me to get it into this bag.'
This took a very long time
to manage, though Alice held
the bag open very carefully,
because the Knight was so very awkward
in putting in the dish: the first
two or three times that he tried
he fell in himself instead. `It's
rather a tight fit, you see,'
he said, as they got it in a
last; `There are so many candlesticks
in the bag.' And he hung it to
the saddle, which was already
loaded with bunches of carrots,
and fire-irons, and many other
`I hope you've got your hair
well fastened on?' he continued,
as they set off.
`Only in the usual way,' Alice
`That's hardly enough,' he
said, anxiously. `You see the
wind is so very strong
here. It's as strong as soup.'
`Have you invented a plan for
keeping the hair from being blown
off?' Alice enquired.
`Not yet,' said the Knight.
`But I've got a plan for keeping
it from falling off.'
`I should like to hear it,
`First you take an upright
stick,' said the Knight. `Then
you make your hair creep up it,
like a fruit-tree. Now the reason
hair falls off is because it
hangs down -- things never
fall upwards, you know.
It's a plan of my own invention.
You may try it if you like.
It didn't sound a comfortable
plan, Alice thought, and for
a few minutes she walked on in
silence, puzzling over the idea,
and every now and then stopping
to help the poor Knight, who
certainly was not a good
Whenever the horse stopped
(which it did very often), he
fell off in front; and whenever
it went on again (which it generally
did rather suddenly), he fell
off behind. Otherwise he kept
on pretty well, except that he
had a habit of now and then falling
off sideways; and as he generally
did this on the side on which
Alice was walking, she soon found
that it was the best plan not
to walk quite close to
`I'm afraid you've not had
much practice in riding,' she
ventured to say, as she was helping
him up from his fifth tumble.
The Knight looked very much
surprised, and a little offended
at the remark. `What makes you
say that?' he asked, as he scrambled
back into the saddle, keeping
hold of Alice's hair with one
hand, to save himself from falling
over on the other side.
`Because people don't fall
off quite so often, when they've
had much practice.'
`I've had plenty of practice,'
the Knight said very gravely:
`plenty of practice!'
Alice could think of nothing
better to say than `Indeed?'
but she said it as heartily as
she could. They went on a little
way in silence after this, the
Knight with his eyes shut, muttering
to himself, and Alice watching
anxiously for the next tumble.
`The great art of riding,'
the Knight suddenly began in
a loud voice, waving his right
arm as he spoke, `is to keep
-- ' Here the sentence ended
as suddenly as it had begun,
as the Knight fell heavily on
the top of his head exactly in
the path were Alice was walking.
She was quite frightened this
time, and said in an anxious
tone, as she picked him up, `I
hope no bones are broken?'
`None to speak of,' the Knight
said, as if he didn't mind breaking
two or three of them. `The great
art of riding, as I was saying,
is -- to keep your balance properly.
Like this, you know -- '
He let go the bridle, and stretched
out both his arms to show Alice
what he meant, and this time
he fell flat on his back, right
under the horse's feet.
`Plenty of practice?' he went
on repeating, all the time that
Alice was getting him on his
feet again. `Plenty of practice!'
`It's too ridiculous!' cried
Alice, losing all her patience
this time. `You ought to have
a wooden horse on wheels, that
`Does that kind go smoothly?'
the Knight asked in a tone of
great interest, clasping his
arms round the horse's neck as
he spoke, just in time to save
himself from tumbling off again.
`Much more smoothly than a
live horse,' Alice said, with
a little scream of laughter,
in spite of all she could do
to prevent it.
`I'll get one,' the Knight
said thoughtfully to himself.
`One or two -- several.'
There was a short silence after
this, and then the Knight went
on again. `I'm a great hand at
inventing things. Now, I daresay
you noticed, that last time you
picked me up, that I was looking
`You were a little grave,'
`Well, just then I was inventing
a new way of getting over a gate
-- would you like to hear it?'
`Very much indeed,' Alice said
you how I came to think of
it,' said the Knight.
`You see, I said to myself, "The
only difficulty is with the feet:
the head is high enough
already." Now, first I put my
head on the top of the gate --
then I stand on my head -- then
the feet are high enough, you
see -- then I'm over, you see.'
`Yes, I suppose you'd be over
when that was done,' Alice said
thoughtfully: `but don't you
think it would be rather hard?'
`I haven't tried it yet,' the
Knight said, gravely: `so I can't
tell for certain -- but I'm afraid
it would be a little hard.'
He looked so vexed at the idea,
that Alice changed the subject
hastily. `What a curious helmet
you've got!' she said cheerfully.
`Is that your invention too?'
The Knight looked down proudly
at his helmet, which hung from
the saddle. `Yes,' he said, `but
I've invented a better one than
that -- like a sugar loaf. When
I used to wear it, if I fell
of the horse, it always touched
the ground directly. So I had
a very little way to fall,
you see -- But there was the
danger of falling into it,
to be sure. That happened to
me once -- and the worst of it
was, before I could get out again,
the other White Knight came and
put it on. He thought it was
his own helmet.'
The knight looked so solemn
about it that Alice did not dare
to laugh. `I'm afraid you must
have hurt him,' she said in a
trembling voice, `being on the
top of his head.'
`I had to kick him, of course,'
the Knight said, very seriously.
`And then he took the helmet
off again -- but it took hours
and hours to get me out. I was
as fast as -- as lightning, you
`But that's a different kind
of fastness,' Alice objected.
The Knight shook his head.
`It was all kinds of fastness
with me, I can assure you!' he
said. He raised his hands in
some excitement as he said this,
and instantly rolled out of the
saddle, and fell headlong into
a deep ditch.
Alice ran to the side of the
ditch to look for him. She was
rather startled by the fall,
as for some time he had kept
on very well, and she was afraid
that he really was hurt
this time. However, though she
could see nothing but the soles
of his feet, she was much relieved
to hear that he was talking on
in his usual tone. `All kinds
of fastness,' he repeated: `but
it was careless of him to put
another man's helmet on -- with
the man in it, too.'
`How can you go on talking
so quietly, head downwards?'
Alice asked, as she dragged him
out by the feet, and laid him
in a heap on the bank.
The Knight looked surprised
at the question. `What does it
matter where my body happens
to be?' he said. `My mind goes
on working all the same. In fact,
the more head downwards I am,
the more I keep inventing new
`Now the cleverest thing of
the sort that I ever did,' he
went on after a pause, `was inventing
a new pudding during the meat-
`In time to have it cooked
for the next course?' said Alice.
`Well, not the next course,'
the Knight said in a slow thoughtful
tone: `no, certainly not the
`Then it would have to be the
next day. I suppose you wouldn't
have two pudding-courses in one
`Well, not the next day,'
the Knight repeated as before:
`not the next day. In
fact,' he went on, holding his
head down, and his voice getting
lower and lower, `I don't believe
that pudding ever was cooked!
In fact, I don't believe that
pudding ever will be cooked!
And yet it was a very clever
pudding to invent.'
`What did you mean it to be
made of?' Alice asked, hoping
to cheer him up, for the poor
Knight seemed quite low-spirited
It began with blotting paper,'
the Knight answered with a groan.
`That wouldn't be very nice,
I'm afraid -- '
`Not very nice alone,'
he interrupted, quite eagerly:
`but you've no idea what a difference
it makes mixing it with other
things -- such as gunpowder and
sealing-wax. And here I must
leave you.' They had just come
to the end of the wood.
Alice could only look puzzled:
she was thinking of the pudding.
`You are sad,' the Knight said
in an anxious tone: `let me sing
you a song to comfort you.'
`Is it very long?' Alice asked,
for she had heard a good deal
of poetry that day.
`It's long,' said the Knight,
`but very, very beautiful.
Everybody that hears me sing
it -- either it brings the tears into
their eyes, or else -- '
`Or else what?' said Alice,
for the Knight had made a sudden
else it doesn't, you know.
of the song is called "Haddocks'
`Oh, that's the name of the
song, is it?' Alice said, trying
to feel interested.
`No, you don't understand,'
the Knight said, looking a little
vexed. `That's what the name
is called. The name really is "The
Aged Aged Man."'
`Then I ought
to have said "That's
what the song is called"?'
Alice corrected herself.
`No, you oughtn't: that's quite
another thing! The song is
called "Ways and Means":
but that's only what it's called,
`Well, what is the song,
then?' said Alice, who was by
this time completely bewildered.
`I was coming to that,' the
Knight said. `The song really is "A-sitting
On A Gate": and the tune's
my own invention.'
So saying, he stopped his horse
and let the reins fall on its
neck: then, slowly beating time
with one hand, and with a faint
smile lighting up his gentle
foolish face, as if he enjoyed
the music of his song, he began.
Of all the strange things that
Alice saw in her journey Through
The Looking-Glass, this was the
one that she always remembered
most clearly. Years afterwards
she could bring the whole scene
back again, as if it had been
only yesterday -- the mild blue
eyes and kindly smile of the
Knight -- the setting sun gleaming
through his hair, and shining
on his armour in a blaze of light
that quite dazzled her -- the
horse quietly moving about, with
the reins hanging loose on his
neck, cropping the grass at her
feet -- and the black shadows
of the forest behind -- all this
she took in like a picture, as,
with one hand shading her eyes,
she leant against a green, watching
the strange pair, and listening,
in a half dream, to the melancholy
music of the song.
`But the tune isn't his
own invention,' she said to herself:
`it's "I give thee all, i
can no more."' She stood
and listened very attentively,
but no tears came into her eyes.
As the Knight sang the last words
of the ballad, he gathered up the
reins, and turned his horse's head
along the road by which they had
come. `You've only a few yards
to go,' he said,' down the hill
and over that little brook, and
then you'll be a Queen - -But you'll
stay and see me off first?' he
added as Alice turned with an eager
look in the direction to which
he pointed. `I shan't be long.
You'll wait and wave your handkerchief
when I get to that turn in the
road? I think it'll encourage me,
`I'll tell thee everything
There's little to relate.
I saw an aged aged man,
A-sitting on a gate.
"Who are you, aged man?' I said.
"and how is it you live?"
And his answer trickled through my head
Like water through a sieve.
He said "I
look for butterflies
That sleep among the wheat:
I make them into mutton-pies,
And sell them in the street.
I sell them unto men,' he said,
"Who sail on stormy seas;
And that's the way I get my bread --
A trifle, if you please."
But I was thinking of
To dye one's whiskers green,
And always use so large a fan
That they could not be seen.
So, having no reply to give
To what the old man said,
I cried, "Come, tell me how you live!"
And thumped him on the head.
His accents mild took
up the tale:
He said "I go my ways,
And when I find a mountain-rill,
I set it in a blaze;
And thence they make a stuff they call
Rolands' Macassar Oil --
Yet twopence-halfpenny is all
They give me for my toil."
But I was thinking of
To feed oneself on batter,
And so go on from day to day
Getting a little fatter.
I shook him well from side to side,
Until his face was blue:
"Come, tell me how you live," I cried,
"And what it is you do!"
He said "I
hunt for haddocks' eyes
Among the heather bright,
And work them into waistcoat-buttons
In the silent night.
And these I do not sell for gold
Or coin of silvery shine
But for a copper halfpenny,
And that will purchase nine.
dig for buttered rolls,
Or set limed twigs for crabs;
I sometimes search the grassy knolls
For wheels of Hansom-cabs.
And that's the way" (he gave a wink)
"By which I get my wealth --
And very gladly will I drink
Your Honour's noble health."
I heard him then, for
I had just
Completed my design
To keep the Menai bridge from rust
By boiling it in wine.
I thanked much for telling me
The way he got his wealth,
But chiefly for his wish that he
Might drink my noble health.
And now, if e'er by
chance I put
My fingers into glue
Or madly squeeze a right-hand foot
Into a left-hand shoe,
Or if I drop upon my toe
A very heavy weight,
I weep, for it reminds me so,
Of that old man I used to know --
Whose look was mild,
whose speech was slow,
Whose hair was whiter than the snow,
Whose face was very like a crow,
With eyes, like cinders, all aglow,
Who seemed distracted with his woe,
Who rocked his body to and fro,
And muttered mumblingly and low,
As if his mouth were full of dough,
Who snorted like a buffalo --
That summer evening, long ago,
A-sitting on a gate.'
`Of course I'll wait,' said
Alice: `and thank you very much
for coming so far -- and for
the song -- I liked it very much.'
`I hope so,' the Knight said
doubtfully: `but you didn't cry
so much as I thought you would.'
So they shook hands, and then
the Knight rode slowly away into
the forest. `It won't take long
to see him off, I expect,'
Alice said to herself, as she
stood watching him. `There he
goes! Right on his head as usual!
However, he gets on again pretty
easily -- that comes of having
so many things hung round the
horse -- ' So she went on talking
to herself, as she watched the
horse walking leisurely along
the road, and the Knight tumbling
off, first on one side and then
on the other. After the fourth
or fifth tumble he reached the
turn, and then she waved her
handkerchief to him, and waited
till he was out of sight.
`I hope it encouraged him,'
she said, as he turned to run
down the hill: `and now for the
last brook, and to be a Queen!
How grand it sounds!' A very
few steps brought her to the
edge of the brook. `The Eighth
Square at last!' she cried as
she bounded across,
* * * * * * *
* * * * * *
* * * * * * *
and threw herself down to rest
on a lawn as soft as moss, with
little flower-beds dotted about
it here and there. `Oh, how glad
I am to get here! And what is this
on my head?' she exclaimed in
a tone of dismay, as she put
her hands up to something very
heavy, and fitted tight all round
`But how can it have
got there without my knowing
it?' she said to herself, as
she lifted it off, and set it
on her lap to make out what it
could possibly be.
It was a golden crown.