"Don't you mean 'purpose'?" said Alice.
"I mean what I say," the Mock Turtle replied, in an offended tone.
And the Gryphon added, "Come, let's hear some of _your_ adventures."
"I could tell you my adventures--beginning from this morning," said Alice a little timidly; "but it's no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then."
"Explain all that," said the Mock Turtle.
"No, no! The adventures first," said the Gryphon in an impatient tone: "explanations take such a dreadful time."
So Alice began telling them her adventures from the time when she first saw the White Rabbit. She was a little nervous about it, just at first, the two creatures got so close to her, one on each side, and opened their eyes and mouths so _very_ wide; but she gained courage as she went on. Her listeners were perfectly quiet till she got to the part about her repeating, "_You are old, Father William_,"
to the Caterpillar, and the words all coming different, and then the Mock Turtle drew a long breath, and said, "That's very curious!"
"It's all about as curious as it can be," said the Gryphon.
"It all came different!" the Mock Turtle repeated thoughtfully. "I should like to hear her try and repeat something now. Tell her to begin." He looked at the Gryphon as if he thought it had some kind of authority over Alice.
"Stand up and repeat, '_Tis the voice of the sluggard_,'" said the Gryphon.
"How the creatures order one about, and make one repeat lessons!"
thought Alice. "I might just as well be at school at once." However, she got up, and began to repeat it, but her head was so full of the Lobster-Quadrille, that she hardly knew what she was saying; and the words came very queer indeed:
"'Tis the voice of the Lobster: I heard him declare 'You have baked me too brown, I must sugar my hair.'
As a duck with its eyelids, so he with his nose Trims his belt and his buttons, and turns out his toes.
When the sands are all dry, he is gay as a lark, And will talk in contemptuous tones of the shark; But, when the tide rises and sharks are around, His voice has a timid and tremulous sound."
"That's different from what _I_ used to say when I was a child,"
said the Gryphon.
"Well, _I_ never heard it before," said the Mock Turtle, "but it sounds uncommon nonsense."
Alice said nothing: she had sat down with her face in her hands, wondering if anything would _ever_ happen in a natural way again.
"I should like to have it explained," said the Mock Turtle.
"She can't explain it," said the Gryphon hastily, "Go on with the next verse."
"But about his toes?" the Mock Turtle persisted. "How _could_ he turn them out with his nose, you know?"
"It's the first position in dancing," Alice said; but she was dreadfully puzzled by the whole thing, and longed to change the subject.
"Go on with the next verse," the Gryphon repeated: "it begins, '_I passed by his garden_!'"
Alice did not dare to disobey, though she felt sure it would all come wrong, and she went on in a trembling voice:--
"I passed by his garden and marked, with one eye, How the Owl and the Panther were sharing a pie: The Panther took pie-crust, and gravy, and meat, While the Owl had the dish as its share of the treat.
When the pie was all finished, the Owl, as a boon, Was kindly permitted to pocket the spoon: While the Panther received knife and fork with a growl, And concluded the banquet by--"
"What _is_ the use of repeating all that stuff?" the Mock Turtle interrupted, "if you don't explain it as you go on? It's by far the most confusing thing _I_ ever heard!"
"Yes, I think you'd better leave off," said the Gryphon, and Alice was only too glad to do so.
"Shall we try another figure of the Lobster Quadrille?" the Gryphon went on. "Or would you like the Mock Turtle to sing you another song?"
"Oh, a song, please, if the Mock Turtle would be so kind," Alice replied, so eagerly that the Gryphon said, in a rather offended tone, "Hm! No accounting for tastes! Sing her '_Turtle Soup_,' will you, old fellow?"
The Mock Turtle sighed deeply, and began, in a voice choked with sobs, to sing this:--
"Beautiful Soup, so rich and green, Waiting in a hot tureen!
Who for such dainties would not stoop?
Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!
Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!
Soo--oop of the e--e--evening, Beautiful, beautiful Soup!
"Beautiful Soup! Who cares for fish, Game, or any other dish?
Who would not give all else for two pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?
Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?
Soo--oop of the e--e--evening, Beautiful, beauti--FUL SOUP!"
"Chorus again!" cried the Gryphon, and the Mock Turtle had just begun to repeat it, when a cry of "The trial's beginning!" was heard in the distance.
"Come on!" cried the Gryphon, and, taking Alice by the hand, it hurried off without waiting for the end of the song.
"What trial is it?" Alice panted as she ran; but the Gryphon only answered, "Come on!" and ran the faster, while more and more faintly came, carried on the breeze that followed them, the melancholy words:
"Soo--oop of the e--e--evening, Beautiful, beautiful Soup!"
WHO STOLE THE TARTS?
By Lewis Carroll
The King and Queen of Hearts were seated on their throne when they arrived, with a great crowd assembled about them--all sorts of little birds and beasts, as well as the whole pack of cards: the Knave was standing before them, in chains, with a soldier on each side to guard him; and near the King was the White Rabbit, with a trumpet in one hand, and a scroll of parchment in the other.
In the very middle of the court was a table with a large dish of tarts upon it: they looked so good, that it made Alice quite hungry to look at them--"I wish they'd get the trial done," she thought, "and hand round the refreshments!" But there seemed to be no chance of this; so she began looking at everything about her to pass away the time.
Alice had never been in a court of justice before, but she had read about them in books, and she was quite pleased to find that she knew the name of nearly everything there.
"That's the judge", she said to herself, "because of his great wig."
The judge, by the way, was the King; and, as he wore his crown over the wig, he did not look at all comfortable, and it was certainly not becoming.