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

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

impossible to say whether the blows hurt it or not. “Oh, please mind what you’re doing!” cried Alice, jumping up and down in an agony of terror. “Oh, there goes his precious nose!”, as an unusually large saucepan flew close by it, and very nearly carried it off. “If everybody minded their own business,” the Duchess said, in a hoarse growl, “the world would go round a deal faster than it does.” “Which would not be an advantage,” said Alice, who felt very glad to get an opportunity of showing off a little of her knowledge. “Just think of what work it would make with the day and night! You see the earth takes twenty-four hours to turn round on its axis——” “Talking of axes,” said the Duchess, “chop off her head!” Alice glanced rather anxiously at the cook, to see if she meant to take the hint; but the cook was busily stirring the soup, and seemed not to be listening, so she went on again: “Twenty-four hours, I think; or is it twelve? I——” “Oh, don’t bother me!” said the Duchess. “I never could abide figures!” And with that she began nursing her child again, singing a sort of lullaby to it as she did so, and giving it a violent shake at the end of every line:— ? “Speak roughly to your little boy, ? And beat him when he sneezes: ? He only does it to annoy, ? Because he knows it teases.” CHORUS (in which the cook and the baby joined):— ? “Wow! Wow! Wow!” While the Duchess sang the second verse of the song, she kept tossing the baby violently up and down, and the poor little thing howled so, that Alice could hardly hear the words:— ? ? “I speak severely to my boy, ? I beat him when he sneezes; ? For he can thoroughly enjoy ? The pepper when he pleases!” CHORUS ? “Wow! wow! wow!” “Here! You may nurse it a bit, if you like!” the Duchess said to Alice, flinging the baby at her as she spoke. “I must go and get ready to play croquet with the Queen,” and she hurried out of the room. The cook threw a frying-pan after her as she went, but it just missed her. Alice caught the baby with some difficulty, as it was a queer-shaped little creature, and held out its arms and legs in all directions, “just like a star-fish,” thought Alice. The poor little thing was snorting like a steam-engine when she caught it, and kept doubling itself up and straightening itself out again, so that altogether, for the first minute or two, it was as much as she could do to hold it. As soon as she had made out the proper way of nursing it (which was to twist it up into a sort of knot, and then keep tight hold of its right ear and left foot, so as to prevent its undoing itself), she carried it out into the open air. “If I don’t take this child away with me,” thought Alice, “they’re sure to kill it in a day or two. Wouldn’t it be murder to leave it behind?” She said the last words out loud, and the little thing grunted in reply (it had left off sneezing by this time). “Don’t grunt,” said Alice; “that’s not at all a proper way of expressing yourself.” The baby grunted again, and Alice looked very anxiously into its face to see what was the matter with it. There could be no doubt that it had a very turn-up nose, much more like a snout than a real nose: also its eyes were getting extremely small for a baby: altogether Alice did not like the look of the thing at all. “But perhaps it was only sobbing,” she thought, and looked into its eyes again, to see if there were any tears. No, there were no tears. “If you’re going to turn into a pig, my dear,” said Alice, seriously, “I’ll have nothing more to do with you. Mind now!” The poor little thing sobbed again (or grunted, it was impossible to say which), and they went on for some while in silence. Alice was just beginning to think to herself, “Now, what am I to do with this creature, when I get it home?” when it grunted again, so violently, that she looked down into its face in some alarm. This time there could be no mistake about it: it was neither more nor less than a pig, and she felt that it would be quite absurd for her to carry it any further. So she set the little creature down, and felt quite relieved to see it trot away quietly into the wood. “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——” when she was a little startled by seeing the Cheshire-Cat sitting on a bough of a tree a few yards off. The Cat only grinned when it saw Alice. It looked good-natured, she thought: still it had very long claws and a great many teeth, so she felt 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 the Cat. “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 long enough.” Alice felt that this could not be denied, so she tried another question. “What sort of people live about here?” “In that direction,” the Cat said, waving its right paw round, “lives a Hatter: and in that direction,” waving the other paw, “lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they’re both mad.” “But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked. “Oh, you ca’n’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 that?” “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. “Do you play croquet with the Queen to-day?” “I should like it very much,” said Alice, “but I haven’t been invited yet.” “You’ll see me there,” said the Cat, and vanished. Alice was not much surprised at this, she was getting so used to queer things happening. While she was looking at the place where it had been, it suddenly appeared again. “By-the-bye, what became of the baby?” said

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