Photo: Alice’s Shop in Oxford, Alice Liddell used to buy sweets there.
And what is the use of abook without pictures or conversations?
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
way 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.
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.
Alice ventured to taste it, and, finding it very nice (it had, in fact, a sort of mixed flavor of cherrytart, custard, pine apple, roast turkey, toffee, and hot buttered toast), she very soon finished it off.
Curiouser and curiouser!
“Who are YOU?” said the Caterpillar.
This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice
replied, rather shyly, “I—I hardly know, sir, just at present—
at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think
I must have been changed several times since then.”
“What do you mean by that?” said the Caterpillar sternly.
“I can’t explain MYSELF, I’m afraid, sir” said Alice, “because
I’m not myself, you see.”
One side will make you grow taller, and other side will make you grow shorter.
“There’s no sort of use in knocking,” said the Footman, “and
that for two reasons. First, because I’m on the same side of the
door as you are; secondly, because they’re making such a noise
inside, no one could possibly hear you.”
“Please would you tell me,” said Alice, a little timidly, for
she was not quite sure whether it was good manners for her to
speak first, “why your cat grins like that?”
“It’s a Cheshire cat,” said the Duchess, “and that’s why.
She said the last word with such sudden violence that Alice
quite jumped; but she saw in another moment that it was addressed
to the baby, and not to her, so she took courage, and went on
I didn’t know that Cheshire cats always grinned; in fact, I
didn’t know that cats COULD grin.”
“They all can,” said the Duchess; “and most of ’em do.”
“I don’t know of any that do,” Alice said very politely,
feeling quite pleased to have got into a conversation.
“If it had grown up,”
she said to herself, “it would have made a dreadfully ugly child:
but it makes rather a handsome pig, I think.” And she began
thinking over other children she knew, who might do very well as
pigs, and was just saying to herself, “if one only knew the right
way to change them”
The Cat only grinned then it saw Alice. It looked good-natured, she thought: still it had very long claw and a great many teeth, so she fet that it ought to be treated with respect.
“Cheshire Puss,” she began, rather timidly, as she did not at
all know whether it would like the name: however, it only
grinned a little wider. “Come, it’s pleased so far,” thought
Alice, and she went on. “Would you tell me, please, which way I
ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said
“I don’t much care where—” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“—so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk
“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here.
I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”
Alice didn’t think that proved it at all; however, she went on
“And how do you know that you’re mad?”
“To begin with,” said the Cat, “a dog’s not mad. You grant
“I suppose so,” said Alice.
“Well, then,” the Cat went on, “you see, a dog growls when it’s
angry, and wags its tail when it’s pleased. Now I growl when I’m
pleased, and wag my tail when I’m angry. Therefore I’m mad.”
“I call it purring, not growling,” said Alice.
“Call it what you like,” said the Cat.
“Well! I”ve often seen a cat without a grin,” thought Alice; “but a grin without a cat! It’s the most curious thing I ever saw in all my life!”
“Then you should say what you mean,” the March Hare went on.
“I do," Alice hastily replied; “at least — at least I mean what I say — that’s the same thing, you know.”
“Not the same thing a bit!” said the Hatter. “Why, you might just as ‘I eat what I see’!”
“You might just as well say,” added the Dormouse, which seemed to be talling in its sleep, “that ‘I breathe when I sleep’ is the same thing as ‘I sleep when I breathe’!”
“It is the same thing with you.”
“They were learning to draw,” the Dormouse went on, yawning and
rubbing its eyes, for it was getting very sleepy; “and they drew
all manner of things—everything that begins with an M—”
“Why with an M?” said Alice.
“Why not?” said the March Hare.
Alice was silent.
The Dormouse had closed its eyes by this time, and was going
off into a doze; but, on being pinched by the Hatter, it woke up
again with a little shriek, and went on: “—that begins with an
M, such as mouse-traps, and the moon, and memory, and muchness—
you know you say things are “much of a muchness”—did you ever
see such a thing as a drawing of a muchness?”
Maybe it’s always pepper that makes people hot-tempered and vinegar that makes them sour — and camomile that makes them bitter — and — and barleysugar and such things that make children sweet-tempered. I only wish people knew that.
Everything’s got a moral, if only you can find it.
Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might apper to other that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.
“What do you know about this business?” the King said to
“Nothing,” said Alice.
“Nothing WHATEVER?” persisted the King.
“Nothing whatever,” said Alice.
“That’s very important,” the King said, turning to the jury.
They were just beginning to write this down on their slates, when
the White Rabbit interrupted: “UNimportant, your Majesty means,
of course,” he said in a very respectful tone, but frowning and
making faces at him as he spoke.
“UNimportant, of course, I meant,” the King hastily said, and
went on to himself in an undertone, “important—unimportant—
unimportant—important—” as if he were trying which word
Some of the jury wrote it down “important,” and some
“unimportant.” Alice could see this, as she was near enough to
look over their slates; “but it doesn’t matter a bit,” she
thought to herself.