“Next Boy!” said Alice, passing on to Tweedledee, though she felt quite certain he would only shout out “Contrariwise!” and so he did.
“You’ve begun wrong!” cried Tweedledum.
“The first thing in a visit is to say, “How d’ye do?’ and shake hands!” And here the two brothers gave each other a hug, and then they held out the two hands that were free, to shake hands with her.
Alice did not like shaking hands with either of them first, for fear of hurting the other one’s feelings; so, as the best way out of the difficulty, she took hold of both hands at once: the next moment they were dancing round in a ring. This seemed quite natural (she remembered afterwards), and she was not even surprised to hear music playing: it seemed to come from the tree under which they were dancing, and it was done (as well as she could make it out) by the branches rubbing one across the other, like fiddles and fiddlesticks.
“But it certainly was funny” (Alice said afterwards, when she was telling her sister the history of all this) “to find myself singing “Here we go round the mulberry bush.’ I don’t know when I began it, but somehow I felt as if I’d been singing it a long, long time!”
The other two dancers were fat, and very soon out of breath. “Four times round is enough for one dance,” Tweedledum panted out, and they left off dancing as suddenly as they had begun: the music stopped at the same moment.
They then let go of Alice’s hands, and stood looking at her for a minute: there was a rather awkward pause, as Alice didn’t know how to begin a conversation with people she had just been dancing with. “It would never do to say “How d’ye do?’ now,” she said to herself: “we seem to have got beyond that, somehow!”
“I hope you’re not much tired?” she said at last.
“Nohow. And thank you very much for asking,” said Tweedledum.
“So much obliged!” added Tweedledee. “You like poetry?”
“Ye-es, pretty well — some poetry,” Alice said doubtfully. “Would you tell me which road leads out of the wood?”
“What shall I repeat to her?” said Tweedledee looking round at Tweedledum with great solemn eyes, and not noticing Alice’s question.
“’The Walrus and the Carpenter’ is the longest,” Tweedledum replied, giving his brother an affectionate hug. Tweedledee began instantly:
“The sun was shining- — ”
Here Alice ventured to interrupt. “If it’s very long,” she said, as politely as she could, “would you tell me first which road — -”
Tweedledee smiled gently, and began again:
“The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright —
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.
The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done —
’It’s very rude of him,’ she said,
“To come and spoil the fun!’
The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead —
There were no birds to fly.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
’If this were only cleared away,’
They said, ’it would be grand!’
’If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year.
Do you suppose,’ the Walrus said,
’That they could get it clear?’
’I doubt it,’ said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.
’O Oysters, come and walk with us.!’
The Walrus did beseech.
’A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each.’
The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his, eye,
And shook his heavy head —
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.
But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat: