Read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll book online free

By | August 11, 2017
Category: Fantasy Fiction Public Domain Books>>Read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll book online free

and then, “we went to school in the sea. The master was an old Turtle—we used to call him Tortoise——” “Why did you call him Tortoise, if he wasn’t one?” Alice asked. “We called him Tortoise because he taught us,” said the Mock Turtle angrily. “Really you are very dull!” “You ought to be ashamed of yourself for asking such a simple question,” added the Gryphon; and then they both sat silent and looked at poor Alice, who felt ready to sink into the earth. At last the Gryphon said to the Mock Turtle “Drive on, old fellow! Don’t be all day about it!”, and he went on in these words:— “Yes, we went to school in the sea, though you mayn’t believe it——” “I never said I didn’t!” interrupted Alice. “You did,” said the Mock Turtle. “Hold your tongue!” added the Gryphon, before Alice could speak again. The Mock Turtle went on. “We had the best of educations—in fact, we went to school every day——” “I’ve been to a day-school, too,” said Alice; “you needn’t be so proud as all that.” “With extras?” asked the Mock Turtle, a little anxiously. “Yes,” said Alice, “we learned French and music.” “And washing?” said the Mock Turtle. “Certainly not!” said Alice indignantly. “Ah! then yours wasn’t a really good school,” said the Mock Turtle in a tone of great relief. “Now, at ours, they had at the end of the bill, ‘French, music, and washing—extra.’” “You couldn’t have wanted it much,” said Alice; “living at the bottom of the sea.” “I couldn’t afford to learn it,” said the Mock Turtle with a sigh. “I only took the regular course.” “What was that?” inquired Alice. “Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with,” the Mock Turtle replied; “and then the different branches of Arithmetic—Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.” “I never heard of ‘Uglification,’” Alice ventured to say. “What is it?” The Gryphon lifted up both its paws in surprise. “What! Never heard of uglifying!” it exclaimed. “You know what to beautify is, I suppose?” “Yes,” said Alice doubtfully: “it means—to—make—anything—prettier.” “Well, then,” the Gryphon went on, “if you don’t know what to uglify is, you are a simpleton.” Alice did not feel encouraged to ask any more questions about it: so she turned to the Mock Turtle, and said “What else had you to learn?” “Well, there was Mystery,” the Mock Turtle replied, counting off the subjects on his flappers, —“Mystery, ancient and modern, with Seaography: then Drawling—the Drawling-master was an old conger-eel, that used to come once a week: he taught us Drawling, Stretching, and Fainting in Coils.” “What was that like?” said Alice. “Well, I ca’n’t show it you myself,” the Mock Turtle said: “I’m too stiff. And the Gryphon never learnt it.” “Hadn’t time,” said the Gryphon: “I went to the Classical master, though. He was an old crab, he was.” “I never went to him,” the Mock Turtle said with a sigh. “He taught Laughing and Grief, they used to say.” “So he did, so he did,” said the Gryphon, sighing in his turn; and both creatures hid their faces in their paws. “And how many hours a day did you do lessons?” said Alice, in a hurry to change the subject. “Ten hours the first day,” said the Mock Turtle: “nine the next, and so on.” “What a curious plan!” exclaimed Alice. “That’s the reason they’re called lessons,” the Gryphon remarked: “because they lessen from day to day.” This was quite a new idea to Alice, and she thought it over a little before she made her next remark. “Then the eleventh day must have been a holiday?” “Of course it was,” said the Mock Turtle. “And how did you manage on the twelfth?” Alice went on eagerly. “That’s enough about lessons,” the Gryphon interrupted in a very decided tone. “Tell her something about the games now.” 10 Chapter The Lobster-Quadrille The Mock Turtle sighed deeply, and drew the back of one flapper across his eyes. He looked at Alice and tried to speak, but, for a minute or two, sobs choked his voice. “Same as if he had a bone in his throat,” said the Gryphon; and it set to work shaking him and punching him in the back. At last the Mock Turtle recovered his voice, and, with tears running down his cheeks, he went on again:— “You may not have lived much under the sea—” (“I haven’t,” said Alice)—“and perhaps you were never even introduced to a lobster—” (Alice began to say “I once tasted——” but checked herself hastily, and said “No, never”) “——so you can have no idea what a delightful thing a LobsterQuadrille is!” “No, indeed,” said Alice. “What sort of a dance is it?” “Why,” said the Gryphon, “you first form into a line along the sea-shore——” “Two lines!” cried the Mock Turtle. “Seals, turtles, salmon, and so on: then, when you’ve cleared all the jelly-fish out of the way——” “That generally takes some time,” interrupted the Gryphon. “—you advance twice——” “Each with a lobster as a partner!” cried the Gryphon. “Of course,” the Mock Turtle said: “advance twice, set to partners——” “—change lobsters, and retire in same order,” continued the Gryphon. “Then, you know,” the Mock Turtle went on, “you throw the——” “The lobsters!” shouted the Gryphon, with a bound into the air. “—as far out to sea as you can——” “Swim after them!” screamed the Gryphon. “Turn a somersault in the sea!” cried the Mock Turtle, capering wildly about. “Change lobsters again!” yelled the Gryphon at the top of its voice. “Back to land again, and—that’s all the first figure,” said the Mock Turtle, suddenly dropping his voice; and the two creatures, who had been jumping about like mad things all this time, sat down again very sadly and quietly, and looked at Alice. “It must be a very pretty dance,” said Alice timidly. “Would you like to see a little of it?” said the Mock Turtle. “Very much indeed,” said Alice. “Come, let’s try the first figure!” said the Mock Turtle to the Gryphon. “We can do without lobsters, you know. Which shall sing?” “Oh, you sing,” said the Gryphon. “I’ve forgotten the words.” So they began solemnly dancing round and round Alice, every now and then treading on her toes when they passed too close, and waving their fore-paws to mark the time, while the Mock Turtle sang this, very slowly and sadly:— “Will you walk a little faster?” said a whiting to a snail, “There’s a porpoise close behind us, and he’s treading on my tail. See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance! They are waiting on the shingle—will you come and join the dance? Will you, wo’n’t you, will you, wo’n’t you, will you join the dance? Will you, wo’n’t you, will you, wo’n’t you, wo’n’t you join the dance? “You can really have no notion how delightful it will be When they take us up and throw us, with the lobsters, out to sea!” But the snail replied “Too far, too far!”, and gave a look askance— Said he thanked the whiting kindly, but he would not join the dance. Would not, could not, would not, could not, would not join the dance. Would not, could not, would not, could not, could not join the dance. “What matters it how far we go?” his scaly friend replied. “There is another shore, you know, upon the other side. The further off from England the nearer is to France— Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance. Will you, wo’n’t you, will you, wo’n’t you, will you join the dance? Will you, wo’n’t you, will you, wo’n’t you, wo’n’t you join the dance?” “Thank you, it’s a very interesting dance to watch,” said Alice, feeling very glad that it was over at last: “and I do so like that curious song about the whiting!” “Oh, as to the whiting,” said the Mock Turtle, “they—you’ve seen them, of course?”

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