Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the jabberwock, my son.

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beware the jubjub bird, and shun

The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand:

Long time the manxome foe he sought —

So rested he by the Tumtum tree,

And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,

The jabberwock, with eyes of flame,

Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,

And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through

The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!

He left it dead, and with its head

He went galumphing back.

“And has thou slain the jabberwock?

Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”

He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

“It seems very pretty,” she said when she had finished it, “but it’s rather hard to understand!” (You see she didn’t like to confess even to herself, that she couldn’t make it out at all.) “Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas — only I don’t exactly know what they are! However, somebody killed something: that’s clear, at any rate — -”

“But oh!” thought Alice, suddenly jumping up, “if I don’t make haste I shall have to go back through the Looking-glass, before I’ve seen what the rest of the house is like! Let’s have a look at the garden first!” She was out of the room in a moment, and ran downstairs — or, at least, it wasn’t exactly running, but a new invention for getting downstairs quickly and easily, as Alice said to herself. She just kept the tips of her fingers on the hand-rail, and floated gently down without even touching the stairs with her feet; then she floated on through the hall, and would have gone straight out at the door in the same way, if she hadn’t caught hold of the door-post. She was getting a little giddy with so much floating in the air, and was rather glad to find herself walking again in the natural way.

“The Garden of Live Flowers”

I SHOULD see the garden far better,” said Alice to herself, “if I could get to the top of that hill: and here’s a path that leads straight to it — at least, no, it doesn’t do that — -” (after going a few yards along the path, and turinng several sharp corners), “but I suppose it will at last. But how curiously it twists! It’s more like a corkscrew than a path! Well, this turn goes to the hill, I suppose — no, it doesn’t! This goes straight back to the house! Well then, I’ll try it the other way.”

And so she did: wandering up and down, and “trying turn after turn, but always coming back to the house, do what she would. Indeed, once, when she turned a corner rather more quickly than usual, she ran against it before she couId stop herself.

“It’s no use talking about it,” Alice said, looking up at the house and pretending it was arguing with her. “I’m not going in again yet. I know I should have to get through the Looking-glass again — back into the old room — and there’d be an end of all my adventures!”

So, resolutely turning her back upon the house she set out once more down the path, determined to keep straight on till she got to the hill. For a few minutes all went on well, and she was just saying, “I really shall do it this time — -” when the path gave a sudden twist and shook itself (as she described it afterwards), and the next moment she found herself actually walking in at the door.

“Oh, it’s too bad!” she cried. “I never saw such a house for getting in the way! Never!”

However, there was the hill full in sight, so there was nothing to be done but start again. This time she came upon a large flower-bed, with a border of daisies, and a willow-tree growing in the middle.

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Categories: Carroll, Lewis