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Patten, William / The Junior Classics — Volume 6 Old-Fashioned Tales
"I advise you to leave off this minute!" She generally
gave herself very good advice (though she very seldom followed it),
and sometimes she scolded herself so severely as to bring tears into
her eyes; and once she remembered trying to box her own ears for
having cheated herself in a game of croquet she was playing against
herself, for this curious child was very fond of pretending to be two
people. "But it's no use now," thought poor Alice, "to pretend to be
two people! Why, there's hardly enough of me left to make _one_
respectable person!"

Soon her eye fell on a little glass box that was lying under the
table: she opened it, and found in it a very small cake, on which the
words "EAT ME" were beautifully marked in currants. "Well, I'll eat
it," said Alice, "and if it makes me grow larger, I can reach the key;
and if it makes me grow smaller, I can creep under the door: so either
way I'll get into the garden, and I don't care which happens!"

She ate a little bit, and said anxiously to herself, "Which way? Which
way?" holding her hand on the top of her head to feel which way it was
growing; and she was quite surprised to find that she remained the
same size. To be sure, this is what generally happens when one eats
cake; but Alice had got so much into the way of expecting nothing but
out-of-the-way things to happen, that it seemed quite dull and stupid
for life to go on in the common way.

So she set to work, and very soon finished off the cake.

* * * * *




THE POOL OF TEARS

By Lewis Carroll


"Curiouser and curiouser!" cried Alice (she was so much surprised,
that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English). "Now
I'm opening out like the largest telescope that ever was! Good-by,
feet!" (for when she looked down at her feet, they seemed to be almost
out of sight, they were getting so far off). "Oh, my poor little feet,
I wonder who will put on your shoes and stockings for you now, dears?
I'm sure _I_ shan't be able! I shall be a great deal too far off
to trouble myself about you: you must manage the best way you can--but
I must be kind to them," thought Alice, "or perhaps they won't walk
the way I want to go! Let me see. I'll give them a new pair of boots
every Christmas."

And she went on planning to herself how she would manage it. "They
must go by the carrier," she thought; "and how funny it'll seem,
sending presents to one's own feet! And how odd the directions will
look!

_Alice's Right Foot, Esq.,
Hearthrug,
near the Fender,
(with Alice's love)._

Oh dear, what nonsense I'm talking!"

Just at this moment her head struck against the roof of the hall: in
fact she was now rather more than nine feet high, and she at once took
up the little golden key and hurried off to the garden door.

Poor Alice! It was as much as she could do, lying down on one side, to
look through into the garden with one eye; but to get through was more
hopeless than ever: she sat down and began to cry again.

"You ought to be ashamed of yourself," said Alice, "a great girl like
you" (she might well say this), "to go on crying in this way! Stop
this moment, I tell you!"

But she went on all the same, shedding gallons of tears, until there
was a large pool all round her, about four inches deep, and reaching
half down the hall.

After a time she heard a little pattering of feet. In the distance, and
she hastily dried her eyes to see what was coming. It was the White
Rabbit returning, splendidly dressed, with a pair of white kid-gloves
in one hand and a large fan in the other: he came trotting along in a
great hurry, muttering to himself, as he came, "Oh! The Duchess, the
Duchess! Oh! _Won't_ she be savage if I've kept her waiting!"

Alice felt so desperate that she was ready to ask help of any one: so,
when the Rabbit came near her, she began, in a low, timid voice, "If
you please, Sir--" The Rabbit started violently, dropped the white
kid-gloves and the fan, and skurried away into the darkness as hard
as he could go.

Alice took up the fan and gloves, and, as the hall was very hot, she
kept fanning herself all the time she went on talking. "Dear, dear!
How queer everything is to-day! And yesterday things went on just as
usual. I wonder if I've been changed in the night? Let me think: _was_
I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember
feeling a little different. But if I'm not the same, the next question
is, 'Who in the world am I?' Ah, _that's_ the great puzzle!"

And she began thinking over all the children she knew that were of the
same age as herself, to see if she could have been changed for any of
them.

"I'm sure I'm not Ada," she said, "for her hair goes in such long
ringlets, and mine doesn't go in ringlets at all; and I'm sure I can't
be Mabel, for I know all sorts of things, and she, oh, she knows such
a very little! Besides, _she's_ she, and _I'm_ I, and--oh dear, how
puzzling it all is! I'll try if I know all the things I used to know.
Let me see: four times five is twelve, and four times six is thirteen,
and four times seven is--oh dear! I shall never get to twenty at that
rate! However, the Multiplication-Table doesn't signify: let's try
Geography. London is the capital of Paris, and Paris is the capital of
Rome, and Rome--no, _that's_ all wrong, I'm certain! I must have been
changed for Mabel! I'll try and say '_How doth the little_--,'" and
she crossed her hands on her lap, as if she were saying lessons, and
began to repeat it, but her voice sounded hoarse and strange, and the
words did not come the same as they used to do:--

"How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!"

"How cheerfully he seems to grin,
How neatly spreads his claws,
And welcomes little fishes in
With gently smiling jaws!"

"I'm sure those are not the right words," said poor Alice, and her
eyes filled with tears again as she went on, "I must be Mabel after
all, and I shall have to go and live in that poky little house, and
have next to no toys to play with, and oh, ever so many lessons to
learn! No, I've made up my mind about it: if I'm Mabel, I'll stay down
here! It'll be no use their putting their heads down and saying, 'Come
up again, dear!' I shall only look up and say, 'Who am I, then? Tell
me that first, and then, if I like being that person, I'll come up: if
not, I'll stay down here till I am somebody else'--but, oh dear!"
cried Alice, with a sudden burst of tears, "I do wish they _would_ put
their heads down! I am so _very_ tired of being all alone here!"

As she said this she looked down at her hands, and was surprised to
see that she had put on one of the Rabbit's little white kid-gloves
while she was talking.

"How _can_ I have done that?" she thought. "I must be growing small
again." She got up and went to the table to measure herself by it, and
found that, as nearly as she could guess, she was now about two feet
high, and was going on shrinking rapidly: she soon found out that the
cause of this was the fan she was holding, and she dropped it hastily,
just in time to save herself from shrinking away altogether.

"That _was_ a narrow escape!" said Alice, a good deal frightened at
the sudden change, but very glad to find herself still in existence.
"And now for the garden!" And she ran with all speed back to the
little door; but, alas! the little door was shut again, and the little
golden key was lying on the glass table as before, "and things are
worse than ever," thought the poor child, "for I never was so small as
this before, never! And I declare it's too bad, that it is!"

As she said these words her foot slipped, and in another moment,
splash! she was up to her chin in salt-water.

Her first idea was that she had somehow fallen into the sea, "and in
that case I can go back by railway," she said to herself. (Alice had
been to the seaside once in her life, and had come to the general
conclusion that, wherever you go to on the English coast, you find a
number of bathing machines in the sea, some children digging in the
sand with wooden spades, then a row of lodging-houses, and behind them
a railway station.) However, she soon made out that she was in the
pool of tears which she had wept when she was nine feet high.

"I wish I hadn't cried so much!" said Alice, as she swam about, trying
to find her way out. "I shall be punished for it now, I suppose, by
being drowned in my own tears! That _will_ be a queer thing, to be
sure! However, everything is queer to-day."

Just then she heard something splashing about in the pool a little way
off, and she swam nearer to make out what it was: at first she thought
it must be a walrus or hippopotamus, but then she remembered how small
she was now, and she soon made out that it was only a mouse that had
slipped in like herself.

"Would it be of any use, now," thought Alice, "to speak to this mouse?
Everything is so out-of-the-way down here, that I should think very
likely it can talk: at any rate, there's no harm in trying." So she
began: "O Mouse, do you know the way out of this pool? I am very tired
of swimming about here, O Mouse!" (Alice thought this must be the
right way of speaking to a mouse: she had never done such a thing
before, but she remembered having seen, in her brother's Latin
Grammar, "A mouse--of a mouse--to a mouse--a mouse--O mouse!")

The Mouse looked at her rather inquisitively, and seemed to her to
wink with one of its little eyes, but it said nothing.

"Perhaps it doesn't understand English," thought Alice. "I dare say
it's a French mouse, come over with William the Conqueror." (For with
all her knowledge of history, Alice had no very clear notion how long
ago anything had happened.)

So she began again: "Où est ma chatte?" which was the first sentence
in her French lesson-book.

The Mouse gave a sudden leap out of the water, and seemed to quiver
all over with fright. "Oh, I beg your pardon!" cried Alice hastily,
afraid that she had hurt the poor animal's feelings. "I quite forgot
you didn't like cats."

"Not like cats!" cried the Mouse in a shrill, passionate voice. "Would
_you_ like cats if you were me?"

"Well, perhaps not," said Alice in a soothing tone: "don't be angry
about it. And yet I wish I could show you our cat Dinah. I think you'd
take a fancy to cats, if you could only see her. She is such a dear
quiet thing," Alice went on, half to herself, as she swam lazily about
in the pool, "and she sits purring so nicely by the fire, licking her
paws and washing her face--and she is such a nice soft thing to
nurse--and she's such a capital one for catching mice--oh, I beg your
pardon!" cried Alice again, for this time the Mouse was bristling all
over, and she felt certain it must be really offended. "We won't talk
about her any more, if you'd rather not."

"We, indeed!" cried the Mouse, who was trembling down to the end of
its tail. "As if _I_ would talk on such a subject! Our family always
_hated_ cats: nasty, low, vulgar things! Don't let me hear the name
again!"

"I won't indeed!" said Alice, in a great hurry to change the subject
of conversation. "Are you--are you fond--of--of dogs?" The Mouse did
not answer, so Alice went on eagerly: "There is such a nice little
dog, near our house, I should like to show you! A little bright-eyed
terrier, you know, with oh, such long curly brown hair! And it'll
fetch things when you throw them, and it'll sit up and beg for its
dinner, and all sorts of things--I can't remember half of them--and it
belongs to a farmer, you know, and he says it's so useful, it's worth
a hundred pounds! He says it kills all the rats, and--oh dear!" cried
Alice in a sorrowful tone, "I'm afraid I've offended it again!" For
the Mouse was swimming away from her as hard as it could go, and
making quite a commotion in the pool as it went.

So she called softly after it, "Mouse dear! Do come back again, and we
won't talk about cats, or dogs either, if you don't like them!" When
the Mouse heard this, it turned round and swam slowly back to her: its
face was quite pale (with passion, Alice thought), and it said, in a
low trembling voice, "Let us get to the shore, and then I'll tell you
my history, and you'll understand why it is I hate cats and dogs."

It was high time to go, for the pool was getting quite crowded with
the birds and animals that had fallen into it: there was a Duck and a
Dodo, a Lory and an Eaglet, and several other curious creatures.

Alice led the way, and the whole party swam to the shore.




A CAUCUS-RACE AND A LONG TALE

By Lewis Carroll


They were, indeed, a queer-looking party that assembled on the
bank--the birds with draggled feathers, the animals with their fur
clinging close to them, and all dripping wet, cross, and
uncomfortable.

The first question of course was, how to get dry again: they had a
consultation about this, and after a few minutes it seemed quite
natural to Alice to find herself talking familiarly with them, as if
she had known them all her life. Indeed, she had quite a long argument
with the Lory, who at last turned sulky, and would only say, "I'm
older than you, and must know better."

And this Alice would not allow, without knowing how old it was, and,
as the Lory positively refused to tell its age, there was no more to
be said.

At last the Mouse, who seemed to be a person of some authority among
them, called out, "Sit down, all of you, and listen to me! _I'll_ soon
make you dry enough!" They all sat down at once, in a large ring, with
the Mouse in the middle. Alice kept her eyes anxiously fixed on it,
for she felt sure she would catch a bad cold if she did not get dry
very soon.

"Ahem!" said the Mouse with an important air. "Are you all ready? This
is the driest thing I know. Silence all round, if you please! 'William
the Conqueror, whose cause was favored by the pope, was soon submitted
to by the English, who wanted leaders, and had been of late much
accustomed to usurpation and conquest. Edwin and Morcar, the earls of
Mercia and Northumbria--'"

"Ugh!" said the Lory, with a shiver.

"I beg your pardon!" said the Mouse, frowning, but very politely. "Did
you speak?"

"Not I!" said the Lory, hastily.

"I thought you did," said the Mouse. "I proceed. 'Edwin and Morcar,
the earls of Mercia and Northumbria, declared for him; and even
Stigand, the patriotic archbishop of Canterbury, found it
advisable--'"

"Found _what_!" said the Duck.

"Found _it_," the Mouse replied, rather crossly: "of course you
know what 'it' means."

"I know what 'it' means well enough, when _I_ find a thing," said the
Duck; "it's generally a frog, or a worm. The question is, what did the
archbishop find?"

The Mouse did not notice this question, but hurriedly went on,
"'--found it advisable to go with Edgar Atheling to meet William and
offer him the crown. William's conduct at first was moderate. But the
insolence of his Normans--' How are you getting on now, my dear?" it
continued, turning to Alice as it spoke.

"As wet as ever," said Alice, in a melancholy tone: "it doesn't seem
to dry me at all."

"In that case," said the Dodo, solemnly, rising to its feet, "I move
that the meeting adjourn, for the immediate adoption of more energetic
remedies--"

"Speak English!" said Eaglet. "I don't know the meaning of half those
long words, and, what's more, I don't believe you do either!" And the
Eaglet bent down its head to hide a smile: some of the other birds
tittered audibly.

"What I was going to say," said the Dodo in an offended tone, "was,
that the best thing to get us dry would be a Caucus-race."

"What _is_ a Caucus-race?" said Alice; not that she much wanted to
know, but the Dodo had paused as if it thought that _somebody_ ought
to speak, and no one else seemed inclined to say anything.

"Why," said the Dodo, "the best way to explain it is to do it." (And,
as you might like to try the thing yourself, some winter day, I will
tell you how the Dodo managed it.)

First it marked out a race-course, in a sort of circle ("the exact
shape doesn't matter," it said), and then all the party were placed
along the course, here and there.

There was no "One, two, three, and away!" but they began running when
they liked, and left off when they liked, so that it was not easy to
know when the race was over. However, when they had been running half
an hour or so, and were quite dry again, the Dodo suddenly called out
"The race is over!" and they all crowded round it, panting, and
asking, "But who has won?"

This question the Dodo could not answer without a great deal of
thought, and it stood for a long time with one finger pressed upon its
forehead (the position in which you usually see Shakespeare, in the
pictures of him), while the rest waited in silence.

At last the Dodo said, "_Everybody_ has won, and _all_ must have
prizes."

"But who is to give the prizes?" quite a chorus of voices asked.

"Why, _she_, of course," said the Dodo, pointing to Alice with one
finger; and the whole party at once crowded round her, calling out, in
a confused way, "Prizes! Prizes!"

Alice had no idea what to do, and in despair she put her hand in her
pocket, and pulled out a box of comfits (luckily the salt water had
not got into it), and handed them round as prizes. There was exactly
one a-piece, all round.

"But she must have a prize herself, you know," said the Mouse.

"Of course," the Dodo replied very gravely. "What else have you got in
your pocket?" it went on, turning to Alice.

"Only a thimble," said Alice sadly.

"Hand it over here," said the Dodo.

Then they all crowded round her once more, while the Dodo solemnly
presented the thimble, saying:

"We beg your acceptance of this elegant thimble"; and, when it had
finished this short speech, they all cheered.

Alice thought the whole thing very absurd, but they all looked so
grave that she did not dare to laugh; and, as she could not think of
anything to say, she simply bowed, and took the thimble, looking as
solemn as she could.

The next thing was to eat the comfits: this caused some noise and
confusion, as the large birds complained that they could not taste
theirs, and the small ones choked and had to be patted on the back.

However, it was over at last, and they sat down again in a ring, and
begged the Mouse to tell them something more.

"You promised to tell me your history, you know," said Alice, "and why
it is you hate--C and D," she added in a whisper, half afraid that it
would be offended again.

"Mine is a long and a sad tale!" said the Mouse, turning to Alice, and
sighing.

"It _is_ a long tail, certainly," said Alice, looking down with wonder
at the Mouse's tail; "but why do you call it sad?" And she kept on
puzzling about it while the Mouse was speaking, so that her idea of
the tale was something like this:

"Fury said to
a mouse, That
he met in the
house, Let
us both go
to law: _I_
will prose--
cute _you_.--
Come I'll
take no
denial: We
must have
the trial;
For really
this morning
I've
nothing
to do.
Said the
mouse to
the cur,
'Such a
trial, dear
sir. With
no jury
or judge,
would
be wasting
our
breath.'
'I'll be
judge,
I'll be
jury,'
said
cunning
old
Fury:
'I'll
try
the
whole
cause,
and
condemn
you to
death.'"

"You are not attending!" said the Mouse to Alice, severely. "What are
you thinking of?"

"I beg your pardon," said Alice very humbly: "you had got to the fifth
bend, I think?"

"I had _not_!" cried the Mouse, sharply and very angrily.

"A knot!" said Alice, always ready to make herself useful, and looking
anxiously about her.



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