Through the Looking-Glass,
and What Alice Found There
by Lewis Carroll
Photo: Alice’s Shop in Oxford, Alice Liddell used to buy sweets there.
- For instance, the pictures on the wall
next the fire seemed to be all alive, and the very clock on the
chimney-piece (you know you can only see the back of it in the
Looking-glass) had got the face of a little old man, and grinned at her.
- — You may call it “nonsense” if you
like, — she said, — but I’ve heard nonsense, compared with which that
would be as sensible as a dictionary!
- — It’s a great huge game of chess
that’s being played — all over the world — if this IS the world at all,
- — 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!
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!
- — Don’t keep him waiting, child! Why,
his time is worth a thousand pounds a minute!
- — Twopence
a week, and jam every other day.
Alice couldn’t help laughing, as she said, — I don’t want you to hire
ME — and I don’t care for jam.
— It’s very good jam, — said the Queen.
— Well, I don’t want any TO-DAY, at any rate.
— You couldn’t have it if you DID want it, — the Queen said. — The
rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday — but never jam to-day.
- She couldn’t make out
what had happened at all. Was she in a shop? And was that really — was it
really a SHEEP that was sitting on the other side of the counter? Rub as
she could, she could make nothing more of it: she was in a little dark
shop, leaning with her elbows on the counter, and opposite to her was a
old Sheep, sitting in an arm—chair knitting, and every now and then
leaving off to look at her through a great pair of spectacles.
- The shop seemed to be full of all manner of curious things — but the
oddest part of it all was, that whenever she looked hard at any shelf, to
make out exactly what it had on it, that particular shelf was always quite
empty: though the others round it were crowded as full as they could hold.
— Things flow about so here! — she said at last in a plaintive tone.
- Well, this is the
very queerest shop I ever saw!
- — They’ve a temper, some of them —particularly verbs,
they're the proudest — adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs
— however, _I_ can manage the whole of them! Impenetrability! That’s what
- — That’s enough to begin with, — Humpty Dumpty interrupted: — there
are plenty of hard words there. “BRILLIG” means four o'clock in the
afternoon — the time when you begin BROILING things for dinner.
— That'll do very well, — said Alice: and “SLITHY”?
— Well, “SLITHY” means “lithe and slimy.” “Lithe” is the same as
“active.” You see it’s like a portmanteau — there are two meanings packed
up into one word.
— I see it now, — Alice remarked thoughtfully: — and what are
— Well, “TOVES — are something like badgers — they're something like
lizards — and they're something like corkscrews.
— They must be very curious looking creatures.
— They are that, — said Humpty Dumpty: — also they make their nests
under sun—dials — also they live on cheese.
— Andy what’s the “GYRE” and to “GIMBLE”?
— To “GYRE” is to go round and round like a gyroscope. To “GIMBLE” is
to make holes like a gimblet.
— And “THE WABE” is the grass—plot round a sun—dial, I suppose? said
Alice, surprised at her own ingenuity.
— Of course it is. It’s called “WABE,” you know, because it goes a
long way before it, and a long way behind it
— And a long way beyond it on each side, — Alice added.
— Exactly so. Well, then, “MIMSY” is “flimsy and miserable” (there’s
another portmanteau for you). And a “BOROGOVE” is a thing shabby—looking
bird with its feathers sticking out all round something like a live mop.
— And then “MOME RATHS”? — said Alice. — I’m afraid I’m giving you a
great deal of trouble.
— Well, a “RATH” is a sort of green pig: but “MOME” I’m not certain
about. I think it’s short for “from home” — meaning that they'd lost their
way, you know.
— And what does “OUTGRABE” mean?
— Well, “OUTGRIBING” is something between bellowing and whistling,
with a kind of sneeze in the middle: however, you'll hear it done, maybe —
down in the wood yonder — and when you’ve once heard it you'll be QUITE
content. Who’s been repeating all that hard stuff to you?
- — I see nobody on the road, — said Alice.
— I only wish _I_ had such eyes, — the King remarked in a fretful
tone. — To be able to see Nobody! And at that distance, too! Why, it’s as
much as _I_ can do to see real people, by this light!
- — They're at it again!..
are at it again? — she ventured to ask.
— Why the Lion and the Unicorn, of course, — said the King.
— Fighting for the crown?
— Yes, to be sure, — said the King: — and the best of the joke is,
that it’s MY crown all the while! Let’s run and see them. — And they
trotted off, Alice repeating to herself, as she ran, the words of the old
— The Lion and the Unicorn were fighting for the crown:
The Lion beat the Unicorn all round the town.
Some gave them white bread, some gave them brown;
Some gave them plum—cake and drummed them out of town.
- — Would you — be good enough, — Alice panted out, after running a
little further, — to stop a minute — just to get — one’s breath again?
— I’m GOOD enough, — the King said, — only I’m not strong enough. You
see, a minute goes by so fearfully quick. You might as well try to stop a
- — What — is — this? — he said at last.
— This is a child! — Haigha replied eagerly, coming in front of Alice
to introduce her, and spreading out both his hands towards her in an
Anglo-Saxon attitude. — We only found it to-day. It’s as large as life,
and twice as natural!
— I always thought they were fabulous monsters! — said the Unicorn. —
Is at alive?
— It can talk, — said Haigha, solemnly. The Unicorn looked dreamily
at Alice, and said — Talk, child. Alice could not help her lips curing up
into a smile as she began:
Do you know, I always thought Unicorns were fabulous monsters, too! I
never saw one alive before!
— Well, now that we HAVE seen each other, — said the Unicorn, — if
you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you. Is that a bargain?
- — I say, this isn’t fair! — cried the Unicorn, as Alice sat with the
knife in her hand, very much puzzled how to begin. — The Monster has given
the Lion twice as much as me!
- — Can you do
Division? Divide a loaf by a knife — what’s the answer to that?
— I suppose — Alice was beginning, but the Red Queen answered for
her. — Bread-and-butter, of course.
- — A little kindness — and putting her hair in papers — would do
wonders with her.
- — Pudding — Alice; Alice
— Pudding. Remove the pudding!