THE MILLENNIUM FULCRUM EDITION 3.0
Down the Rabbit-Hole
Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister
on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had
peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no
pictures or conversations in it, `and what is the use of a book,'
thought Alice `without pictures or conversation?'
So she was considering in her own mind (as well as she could,
for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether
the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble
of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White
Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.
There was nothing so VERY remarkable in that; nor did Alice
think it so VERY much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to
itself, `Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!' (when she thought
it over afterwards, it occurred to her that she ought to have
wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural);
but when the Rabbit actually TOOK A WATCH OUT OF ITS WAISTCOAT-
POCKET, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to
her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never
before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to
take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the
field after it, and fortunately was just in time to see it pop
down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.
In another moment down went Alice after it, never once
considering how in the world she was to get out again.
The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way,
and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a
moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself
falling down a very deep well.
Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she
had plenty of time as she went down to look about her and to
wonder what was going to happen next. First, she tried to look
down and make out what she was coming to, but it was too dark to
see anything; then she looked at the sides of the well, and
noticed that they were filled with cupboards and book-shelves;
here and there she saw maps and pictures hung upon pegs. She
took down a jar from one of the shelves as she passed; it was
labelled `ORANGE MARMALADE', but to her great disappointment it
was empty: she did not like to drop the jar for fear of killing
somebody, so managed to put it into one of the cupboards as she
fell past it.
`Well!' thought Alice to herself, `after such a fall as this, I
shall think nothing of tumbling down stairs! How brave they'll
all think me at home! Why, I wouldn't say anything about it,
even if I fell off the top of the house!' (Which was very likely
Down, down, down. Would the fall NEVER come to an end! `I
wonder how many miles I've fallen by this time?' she said aloud.
`I must be getting somewhere near the centre of the earth. Let
me see: that would be four thousand miles down, I think--' (for,
you see, Alice had learnt several things of this sort in her
lessons in the schoolroom, and though this was not a VERY good
opportunity for showing off her knowledge, as there was no one to
listen to her, still it was good practice to say it over) `--yes,
that's about the right distance--but then I wonder what Latitude
or Longitude I've got to?' (Alice had no idea what Latitude was,
or Longitude either, but thought they were nice grand words to
Presently she began again. `I wonder if I shall fall right
THROUGH the earth! How funny it'll seem to come out among the
people that walk with their heads downward! The Antipathies, I
think--' (she was rather glad there WAS no one listening, this
time, as it didn't sound at all the right word) `--but I shall
have to ask them what the name of the country is, you know.
Please, Ma'am, is this New Zealand or Australia?' (and she tried
to curtsey as she spoke--fancy CURTSEYING as you're falling
through the air! Do you think you could manage it?) `And what
an ignorant little girl she'll think me for asking! No, it'll
never do to ask: perhaps I shall see it written up somewhere.'
Down, down, down. There was nothing else to do, so Alice soon
began talking again. `Dinah'll miss me very much to-night, I
should think!' (Dinah was the cat.) `I hope they'll remember
her saucer of milk at tea-time. Dinah my dear! I wish you were
down here with me! There are no mice in the air, I'm afraid, but
you might catch a bat, and that's very like a mouse, you know.
But do cats eat bats, I wonder?' And here Alice began to get
rather sleepy, and went on saying to herself, in a dreamy sort of
way, `Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats?' and sometimes, `Do
bats eat cats?' for, you see, as she couldn't answer either
question, it didn't much matter which way she put it. She felt
that she was dozing off, and had just begun to dream that she
was walking hand in hand with Dinah, and saying to her very
earnestly, `Now, Dinah, tell me the truth: did you ever eat a
bat?' when suddenly, thump! thump! down she came upon a heap of
sticks and dry leaves, and the fall was over.
Alice was not a bit hurt, and she jumped up on to her feet in a
moment: she looked up, but it was all dark overhead; before her
was another long passage, and the White Rabbit was still in
sight, hurrying down it. There was not a moment to be lost:
away went Alice like the wind, and was just in time to hear it
say, as it turned a corner, `Oh my ears and whiskers, how late
it's getting!' She was close behind it when she turned the
corner, but the Rabbit was no longer to be seen: she found
herself in a long, low hall, which was lit up by a row of lamps
hanging from the roof.
There were doors all round the hall, but they were all locked;
and when Alice had been all the way down one side and up the
other, trying every door, she walked sadly down the middle,
wondering how she was ever to get out again.
Suddenly she came upon a little three-legged table, all made of
solid glass; there was nothing on it except a tiny golden key,
and Alice's first thought was that it might belong to one of the
doors of the hall; but, alas! either the locks were too large, or
the key was too small, but at any rate it would not open any of
them. However, on the second time round, she came upon a low
curtain she had not noticed before, and behind it was a little
door about fifteen inches high: she tried the little golden key
in the lock, and to her great delight it fitted!
Alice opened the door and found that it led into a small
passage, not much larger than a rat-hole: she knelt down and
looked along the passage into the loveliest garden you ever saw.
How she longed to get out of that dark hall, and wander about
among those beds of bright flowers and those cool fountains, but
she could not even get her head though the doorway; `and even if
my head would go through,' thought poor Alice, `it would be of
very little use without my shoulders. Oh, how I wish
I could shut up like a telescope! I think I could, if I only
know how to begin.' For, you see, so many out-of-the-way things
had happened lately, that Alice had begun to think that very few
things indeed were really impossible.
There seemed to be no use in waiting by the little door, so she
went back to the table, half hoping she might find another key on
it, or at any rate a book of rules for shutting people up like
telescopes: this time she found a little bottle on it, (`which
certainly was not here before,' said Alice,) and round the neck
of the bottle was a paper label, with the words `DRINK ME'
beautifully printed on it in large letters.
It was all very well to say `Drink me,' but the wise little
Alice was not going to do THAT in a hurry. `No, I'll look
first,' she said, `and see whether it's marked "poison" or not';
for she had read several nice little histories about children who
had got burnt, and eaten up by wild beasts and other unpleasant
things, all because they WOULD not remember the simple rules
their friends had taught them: such as, that a red-hot poker
will burn you if you hold it too long; and that if you cut your
finger VERY deeply with a knife, it usually bleeds; and she had
never forgotten that, if you drink much from a bottle marked
`poison,' it is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or
However, this bottle was NOT marked `poison,' so Alice ventured
to taste it, and finding it very nice, (it had, in fact, a sort
of mixed flavour of cherry-tart, custard, pine-apple, roast
turkey, toffee, and hot buttered toast,) she very soon finished
* * * * * * *
* * * * * *
* * * * * * *
`What a curious feeling!' said Alice; `I must be shutting up
like a telescope.'
And so it was indeed: she was now only ten inches high, and
her face brightened up at the thought that she was now the right
size for going through the little door into that lovely garden.
First, however, she waited for a few minutes to see if she was
going to shrink any further: she felt a little nervous about
this; `for it might end, you know,' said Alice to herself, `in my
going out altogether, like a candle. I wonder what I should be
like then?' And she tried to fancy what the flame of a candle is
like after the candle is blown out, for she could not remember
ever having seen such a thing.
After a while, finding that nothing more happened, she decided
on going into the garden at once; but, alas for poor Alice!
when she got to the door, she found she had forgotten the
little golden key, and when she went back to the table for it,
she found she could not possibly reach it: she could see it
quite plainly through the glass, and she tried her best to climb
up one of the legs of the table, but it was too slippery;
and when she had tired herself out with trying,
the poor little thing sat down and cried.
`Come, there's no use in crying like that!' said Alice to
herself, rather sharply; `I advise you to leave off this minute!'
She generally gave herself very good advice, (though she very
seldom followed it), and sometimes she scolded herself so
severely as to bring tears into her eyes; and once she remembered
trying to box her own ears for having cheated herself in a game
of croquet she was playing against herself, for this curious
child was very fond of pretending to be two people. `But it's no
use now,' thought poor Alice, `to pretend to be two people! Why,
there's hardly enough of me left to make ONE respectable
Soon her eye fell on a little glass box that was lying under
the table: she opened it, and found in it a very small cake, on
which the words `EAT ME' were beautifully marked in currants.
`Well, I'll eat it,' said Alice, `and if it makes me grow larger,
I can reach the key; and if it makes me grow smaller, I can creep
under the door; so either way I'll get into the garden, and I
don't care which happens!'
She ate a little bit, and said anxiously to herself, `Which
way? Which way?', holding her hand on the top of her head to
feel which way it was growing, and she was quite surprised to
find that she remained the same size: to be sure, this generally
happens when one eats cake, but Alice had got so much into the
way of expecting nothing but out-of-the-way things to happen,
that it seemed quite dull and stupid for life to go on in the
So she set to work, and very soon finished off the cake.
* * * * * * *
* * * * * *
* * * * * * *
The Pool of Tears
`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 every Christmas.'
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 will look!
ALICE'S RIGHT FOOT, ESQ.
NEAR THE FENDER,
(WITH ALICE'S LOVE).
Oh dear, what nonsense I'm talking!'
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
`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
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
`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 to do:--
`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 poor Alice, 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 altogether.
`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. Her 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
`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 said nothing.
`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 me?'
`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 not.'
`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 and dogs.'
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
A Caucus-Race and a Long Tale
They were indeed a queer-looking party that assembled on the
bank--the birds with draggled feathers, the animals with their
fur clinging close to them, and all dripping wet, cross, and
The first question of course was, how to get dry again: they
had a consultation about this, and after a few minutes it seemed
quite natural to Alice to find herself talking familiarly with
them, as if she had known them all her life. Indeed, she had
quite a long argument with the Lory, who at last turned sulky,
and would only say, `I am older than you, and must know better';
and this Alice would not allow without knowing how old it was,
and, as the Lory positively refused to tell its age, there was no
more to be said.
At last the Mouse, who seemed to be a person of authority among
them, called out, `Sit down, all of you, and listen to me! I'LL
soon make you dry enough!' They all sat down at once, in a large
ring, with the Mouse in the middle. Alice kept her eyes
anxiously fixed on it, for she felt sure she would catch a bad
cold if she did not get dry very soon.
`Ahem!' said the Mouse with an important air, `are you all ready?
This is the driest thing I know. Silence all round, if you please!
"William the Conqueror, whose cause was favoured by the pope, was
soon submitted to by the English, who wanted leaders, and had been
of late much accustomed to usurpation and conquest. Edwin and
Morcar, the earls of Mercia and Northumbria--"'
`Ugh!' said the Lory, with a shiver.
`I beg your pardon!' said the Mouse, frowning, but very
politely: `Did you speak?'
`Not I!' said the Lory hastily.
`I thought you did,' said the Mouse. `--I proceed. "Edwin and
Morcar, the earls of Mercia and Northumbria, declared for him:
and even Stigand, the patriotic archbishop of Canterbury, found
`Found WHAT?' said the Duck.
`Found IT,' the Mouse replied rather crossly: `of course you
know what "it" means.'
`I know what "it" means well enough, when I find a thing,' said
the Duck: `it's generally a frog or a worm. The question is,
what did the archbishop find?'
The Mouse did not notice this question, but hurriedly went on,
`"--found it advisable to go with Edgar Atheling to meet William
and offer him the crown. William's conduct at first was
moderate. But the insolence of his Normans--" How are you
getting on now, my dear?' it continued, turning to Alice as it
`As wet as ever,' said Alice in a melancholy tone: `it doesn't
seem to dry me at all.'
`In that case,' said the Dodo solemnly, rising to its feet, `I
move that the meeting adjourn, for the immediate adoption of more
`Speak English!' said the Eaglet. `I don't know the meaning of
half those long words, and, what's more, I don't believe you do
either!' And the Eaglet bent down its head to hide a smile:
some of the other birds tittered audibly.
`What I was going to say,' said the Dodo in an offended tone,
`was, that the best thing to get us dry would be a Caucus-race.'
`What IS a Caucus-race?' said Alice; not that she wanted much
to know, but the Dodo had paused as if it thought that SOMEBODY
ought to speak, and no one else seemed inclined to say anything.
`Why,' said the Dodo, `the best way to explain it is to do it.'
(And, as you might like to try the thing yourself, some winter
day, I will tell you how the Dodo managed it.)
First it marked out a race-course, in a sort of circle, (`the
exact shape doesn't matter,' it said,) and then all the party
were placed along the course, here and there. There was no `One,
two, three, and away,' but they began running when they liked,
and left off when they liked, so that it was not easy to know
when the race was over. However, when they had been running half
an hour or so, and were quite dry again, the Dodo suddenly called
out `The race is over!' and they all crowded round it, panting,
and asking, `But who has won?'
This question the Dodo could not answer without a great deal of
thought, and it sat for a long time with one finger pressed upon
its forehead (the position in which you usually see Shakespeare,
in the pictures of him), while the rest waited in silence. At
last the Dodo said, `EVERYBODY has won, and all must have
`But who is to give the prizes?' quite a chorus of voices
`Why, SHE, of course,' said the Dodo, pointing to Alice with
one finger; and the whole party at once crowded round her,
calling out in a confused way, `Prizes! Prizes!'
Alice had no idea what to do, and in despair she put her hand
in her pocket, and pulled out a box of comfits, (luckily the salt
water had not got into it), and handed them round as prizes.
There was exactly one a-piece all round.
`But she must have a prize herself, you know,' said the Mouse.
`Of course,' the Dodo replied very gravely. `What else have
you got in your pocket?' he went on, turning to Alice.
`Only a thimble,' said Alice sadly.
`Hand it over here,' said the Dodo.
Then they all crowded round her once more, while the Dodo
solemnly presented the thimble, saying `We beg your acceptance of
this elegant thimble'; and, when it had finished this short
speech, they all cheered.
Alice thought the whole thing very absurd, but they all looked
so grave that she did not dare to laugh; and, as she could not
think of anything to say, she simply bowed, and took the thimble,
looking as solemn as she could.
The next thing was to eat the comfits: this caused some noise
and confusion, as the large birds complained that they could not
taste theirs, and the small ones choked and had to be patted on
the back. However, it was over at last, and they sat down again
in a ring, and begged the Mouse to tell them something more.
`You promised to tell me your history, you know,' said Alice,
`and why it is you hate--C and D,' she added in a whisper, half
afraid that it would be offended again.
`Mine is a long and a sad tale!' said the Mouse, turning to
Alice, and sighing.
`It IS a long tail, certainly,' said Alice, looking down with
wonder at the Mouse's tail; `but why do you call it sad?' And
she kept on puzzling about it while the Mouse was speaking, so
that her idea of the tale was something like this:--
`Fury said to a
mouse, That he
met in the
both go to
law: I will
I'll take no
must have a
to do. "
mouse to the
be jury, "
`You are not attending!' said the Mouse to Alice severely.
`What are you thinking of?'
`I beg your pardon,' said Alice very humbly: `you had got to
the fifth bend, I think?'
`I had NOT!' cried the Mouse, sharply and very angrily.
`A knot!' said Alice, always ready to make herself useful, and
looking anxiously about her. `Oh, do let me help to undo it!'
`I shall do nothing of the sort,' said the Mouse, getting up
and walking away. `You insult me by talking such nonsense!'
`I didn't mean it!' pleaded poor Alice. `But you're so easily
offended, you know!'
The Mouse only growled in reply.
`Please come back and finish your story!' Alice called after
it; and the others all joined in chorus, `Yes, please do!' but
the Mouse only shook its head impatiently, and walked a little
`What a pity it wouldn't stay!' sighed the Lory, as soon as it
was quite out of sight; and an old Crab took the opportunity of
saying to her daughter `Ah, my dear! Let this be a lesson to you
never to lose YOUR temper!' `Hold your tongue, Ma!' said the
young Crab, a little snappishly. `You're enough to try the
patience of an oyster!'
`I wish I had our Dinah here, I know I do!' said Alice aloud,
addressing nobody in particular. `She'd soon fetch it back!'
`And who is Dinah, if I might venture to ask the question?'
said the Lory.
Alice replied eagerly, for she was always ready to talk about
her pet: `Dinah's our cat. And she's such a capital one for
catching mice you can't think! And oh, I wish you could see her
after the birds! Why, she'll eat a little bird as soon as look
This speech caused a remarkable sensation among the party.
Some of the birds hurried off at once: one old Magpie began
wrapping itself up very carefully, remarking, `I really must be
getting home; the night-air doesn't suit my throat!' and a Canary
called out in a trembling voice to its children, `Come away, my
dears! It's high time you were all in bed!' On various pretexts
they all moved off, and Alice was soon left alone.
`I wish I hadn't mentioned Dinah!' she said to herself in a
melancholy tone. `Nobody seems to like her, down here, and I'm
sure she's the best cat in the world! Oh, my dear Dinah! I
wonder if I shall ever see you any more!' And here poor Alice
began to cry again, for she felt very lonely and low-spirited.
In a little while, however, she again heard a little pattering of
footsteps in the distance, and she looked up eagerly, half hoping
that the Mouse had changed his mind, and was coming back to
finish his story.
The Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill
It was the White Rabbit, trotting slowly back again, and
looking anxiously about as it went, as if it had lost something;
and she heard it muttering to itself `The Duchess! The Duchess!
Oh my dear paws! Oh my fur and whiskers! She'll get me
executed, as sure as ferrets are ferrets! Where CAN I have
dropped them, I wonder?' Alice guessed in a moment that it was
looking for the fan and the pair of white kid gloves, and she
very good-naturedly began hunting about for them, but they were
nowhere to be seen--everything seemed to have changed since her
swim in the pool, and the great hall, with the glass table and
the little door, had vanished completely.
Very soon the Rabbit noticed Alice, as she went hunting about,
and called out to her in an angry tone, `Why, Mary Ann, what ARE
you doing out here? Run home this moment, and fetch me a pair of
gloves and a fan! Quick, now!' And Alice was so much frightened
that she ran off at once in the direction it pointed to, without
trying to explain the mistake it had made.
`He took me for his housemaid,' she said to herself as she ran.
`How surprised he'll be when he finds out who I am! But I'd
better take him his fan and gloves--that is, if I can find them.'
As she said this, she came upon a neat little house, on the door
of which was a bright brass plate with the name `W. RABBIT'
engraved upon it. She went in without knocking, and hurried
upstairs, in great fear lest she should meet the real Mary Ann,
and be turned out of the house before she had found the fan and
`How queer it seems,' Alice said to herself, `to be going
messages for a rabbit! I suppose Dinah'll be sending me on
messages next!' And she began fancying the sort of thing that
would happen: `"Miss Alice! Come here directly, and get ready
for your walk!" "Coming in a minute, nurse! But I've got to see
that the mouse doesn't get out." Only I don't think,' Alice went
on, `that they'd let Dinah stop in the house if it began ordering
people about like that!'
By this time she had found her way into a tidy little room with
a table in the window, and on it (as she had hoped) a fan and two
or three pairs of tiny white kid gloves: she took up the fan and
a pair of the gloves, and was just going to leave the room, when
her eye fell upon a little bottle that stood near the looking-
glass. There was no label this time with the words `DRINK ME,'
but nevertheless she uncorked it and put it to her lips. `I know
SOMETHING interesting is sure to happen,' she said to herself,
`whenever I eat or drink anything; so I'll just see what this
bottle does. I do hope it'll make me grow large again, for
really I'm quite tired of being such a tiny little thing!'
It did so indeed, and much sooner than she had expected:
before she had drunk half the bottle, she found her head pressing
against the ceiling, and had to stoop to save her neck from being
broken. She hastily put down the bottle, saying to herself
`That's quite enough--I hope I shan't grow any more--As it is, I
can't get out at the door--I do wish I hadn't drunk quite so
Alas! it was too late to wish that! She went on growing, and
growing, and very soon had to kneel down on the floor: in
another minute there was not even room for this, and she tried
the effect of lying down with one elbow against the door, and the
other arm curled round her head. Still she went on growing, and,
as a last resource, she put one arm out of the window, and one
foot up the chimney, and said to herself `Now I can do no more,
whatever happens. What WILL become of me?'
Luckily for Alice, the little magic bottle had now had its full
effect, and she grew no larger: still it was very uncomfortable,
and, as there seemed to be no sort of chance of her ever getting
out of the room again, no wonder she felt unhappy.
`It was much pleasanter at home,' thought poor Alice, `when one
wasn't always growing larger and smaller, and being ordered about
by mice and rabbits. I almost wish I hadn't gone down that
rabbit-hole--and yet--and yet--it's rather curious, you know,
this sort of life! I do wonder what CAN have happened to me!
When I used to read fairy-tales, I fancied that kind of thing
never happened, and now here I am in the middle of one! There
ought to be a book written about me, that there ought! And when
I grow up, I'll write one--but I'm grown up now,' she added in a
sorrowful tone; `at least there's no room to grow up any more
`But then,' thought Alice, `shall I NEVER get any older than I
am now? That'll be a comfort, one way--never to be an old woman--
but then--always to have lessons to learn! Oh, I shouldn't like THAT!'
`Oh, you foolish Alice!' she answered herself. `How can you
learn lessons in here? Why, there's hardly room for YOU, and no
room at all for any lesson-books!'
And so she went on, taking first one side and then the other,
and making quite a conversation of it altogether; but after a few
minutes she heard a voice outside, and stopped to listen.
`Mary Ann! Mary Ann!' said the voice. `Fetch me my gloves
this moment!' Then came a little pattering of feet on the
stairs. Alice knew it was the Rabbit coming to look for her, and
she trembled till she shook the house, quite forgetting that she
was now about a thousand times as large as the Rabbit, and had no
reason to be afraid of it.
Presently the Rabbit came up to the door, and tried to open it;
but, as the door opened inwards, and Alice's elbow was pressed
hard against it, that attempt proved a failure. Alice heard it
say to itself `Then I'll go round and get in at the window.'
`THAT you won't' thought Alice, and, after waiting till she
fancied she heard the Rabbit just under the window, she suddenly
spread out her hand, and made a snatch in the air. She did not
get hold of anything, but she heard a little shriek and a fall,
and a crash of broken glass, from which she concluded that it was
just possible it had fallen into a cucumber-frame, or something
of the sort.
Next came an angry voice--the Rabbit's--`Pat! Pat! Where are
you?' And then a voice she had never heard before, `Sure then
I'm here! Digging for apples, yer honour!'
`Digging for apples, indeed!' said the Rabbit angrily. `Here!
Come and help me out of THIS!' (Sounds of more broken glass.)
`Now tell me, Pat, what's that in the window?'
`Sure, it's an arm, yer honour!' (He pronounced it `arrum.')
`An arm, you goose! Who ever saw one that size? Why, it
fills the whole window!'
`Sure, it does, yer honour: but it's an arm for all that.'
`Well, it's got no business there, at any rate: go and take it
There was a long silence after this, and Alice could only hear
whispers now and then; such as, `Sure, I don't like it, yer
honour, at all, at all!' `Do as I tell you, you coward!' and at
last she spread out her hand again, and made another snatch in
the air. This time there were TWO little shrieks, and more
sounds of broken glass. `What a number of cucumber-frames there
must be!' thought Alice. `I wonder what they'll do next! As for
pulling me out of the window, I only wish they COULD! I'm sure I
don't want to stay in here any longer!'
She waited for some time without hearing anything more: at
last came a rumbling of little cartwheels, and the sound of a
good many voices all talking together: she made out the words:
`Where's the other ladder?--Why, I hadn't to bring but one;
Bill's got the other--Bill! fetch it here, lad!--Here, put 'em up
at this corner--No, tie 'em together first--they don't reach half
high enough yet--Oh! they'll do well enough; don't be particular--
Here, Bill! catch hold of this rope--Will the roof bear?--Mind
that loose slate--Oh, it's coming down! Heads below!' (a loud
crash)--`Now, who did that?--It was Bill, I fancy--Who's to go
down the chimney?--Nay, I shan't! YOU do it!--That I won't,
then!--Bill's to go down--Here, Bill! the master says you're to
go down the chimney!'
`Oh! So Bill's got to come down the chimney, has he?' said
Alice to herself. `Shy, they seem to put everything upon Bill!
I wouldn't be in Bill's place for a good deal: this fireplace is
narrow, to be sure; but I THINK I can kick a little!'
She drew her foot as far down the chimney as she could, and
waited till she heard a little animal (she couldn't guess of what
sort it was) scratching and scrambling about in the chimney close
above her: then, saying to herself `This is Bill,' she gave one
sharp kick, and waited to see what would happen next.
The first thing she heard was a general chorus of `There goes
Bill!' then the Rabbit's voice along--`Catch him, you by the
hedge!' then silence, and then another confusion of voices--`Hold
up his head--Brandy now--Don't choke him--How was it, old fellow?
What happened to you? Tell us all about it!'
Last came a little feeble, squeaking voice, (`That's Bill,'
thought Alice,) `Well, I hardly know--No more, thank ye; I'm
better now--but I'm a deal too flustered to tell you--all I know
is, something comes at me like a Jack-in-the-box, and up I goes
like a sky-rocket!'
`So you did, old fellow!' said the others.
`We must burn the house down!' said the Rabbit's voice; and
Alice called out as loud as she could, `If you do. I'll set
Dinah at you!'
There was a dead silence instantly, and Alice thought to
herself, `I wonder what they WILL do next! If they had any
sense, they'd take the roof off.' After a minute or two, they
began moving about again, and Alice heard the Rabbit say, `A
barrowful will do, to begin with.'
`A barrowful of WHAT?' thought Alice; but she had not long to
doubt, for the next moment a shower of little pebbles came
rattling in at the window, and some of them hit her in the face.
`I'll put a stop to this,' she said to herself, and shouted out,
`You'd better not do that again!' which produced another dead
Alice noticed with some surprise that the pebbles were all
turning into little cakes as they lay on the floor, and a bright
idea came into her head. `If I eat one of these cakes,' she
thought, `it's sure to make SOME change in my size; and as it
can't possibly make me larger, it must make me smaller, I
So she swallowed one of the cakes, and was delighted to find
that she began shrinking directly. As soon as she was small
enough to get through the door, she ran out of the house, and
found quite a crowd of little animals and birds waiting outside.
The poor little Lizard, Bill, was in the middle, being held up by
two guinea-pigs, who were giving it something out of a bottle.
They all made a rush at Alice the moment she appeared; but she
ran off as hard as she could, and soon found herself safe in a
`The first thing I've got to do,' said Alice to herself, as she
wandered about in the wood, `is to grow to my right size again;
and the second thing is to find my way into that lovely garden.
I think that will be the best plan.'