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Chapter IX. The Mock Turtle's Story
'You can't think how glad I am to see you
again, you dear old thing!' said the
Duchess, as she tucked her arm
affectionately into Alice's, and they
walked off together.
Alice was very glad to find her in such a
pleasant temper, and thought to herself
that perhaps it was only the pepper that
had made her so savage when they met in the
'When I'M a Duchess,' she said to herself,
(not in a very hopeful tone though), 'I
won't have any pepper in my kitchen AT ALL.
Soup does very well without--Maybe it's
always pepper that makes people hot-
tempered,' she went on, very much pleased
at having found out a new kind of rule,
'and vinegar that makes them sour--and
camomile that makes them bitter--and--and
barley-sugar and such things that make
children sweet-tempered.
I only wish people knew that: then they
wouldn't be so stingy about it, you know--'
She had quite forgotten the Duchess by this
time, and was a little startled when she
heard her voice close to her ear.
'You're thinking about something, my dear,
and that makes you forget to talk.
I can't tell you just now what the moral of
that is, but I shall remember it in a bit.'
'Perhaps it hasn't one,' Alice ventured to
'Tut, tut, child!' said the Duchess.
'Everything's got a moral, if only you can
find it.'
And she squeezed herself up closer to
Alice's side as she spoke.
Alice did not much like keeping so close to
her: first, because the Duchess was VERY
ugly; and secondly, because she was exactly
the right height to rest her chin upon
Alice's shoulder, and it was an
uncomfortably sharp chin.
However, she did not like to be rude, so
she bore it as well as she could.
'The game's going on rather better now,'
she said, by way of keeping up the
conversation a little.
''Tis so,' said the Duchess: 'and the moral
of that is--"Oh, 'tis love, 'tis love, that
makes the world go round!"'
'Somebody said,' Alice whispered, 'that
it's done by everybody minding their own
'Ah, well!
It means much the same thing,' said the
Duchess, digging her sharp little chin into
Alice's shoulder as she added, 'and the
moral of THAT is--"Take care of the sense,
and the sounds will take care of
'How fond she is of finding morals in
Alice thought to herself.
'I dare say you're wondering why I don't
put my arm round your waist,' the Duchess
said after a pause: 'the reason is, that
I'm doubtful about the temper of your
Shall I try the experiment?'
'HE might bite,' Alice cautiously replied,
not feeling at all anxious to have the
experiment tried.
'Very true,' said the Duchess: 'flamingoes
and mustard both bite.
And the moral of that is--"Birds of a
feather flock together."'
'Only mustard isn't a bird,' Alice
'Right, as usual,' said the Duchess: 'what
a clear way you have of putting things!'
'It's a mineral, I THINK,' said Alice.
'Of course it is,' said the Duchess, who
seemed ready to agree to everything that
Alice said; 'there's a large mustard-mine
near here.
And the moral of that is--"The more there
is of mine, the less there is of yours."'
'Oh, I know!' exclaimed Alice, who had not
attended to this last remark, 'it's a
It doesn't look like one, but it is.'
'I quite agree with you,' said the Duchess;
'and the moral of that is--"Be what you
would seem to be"--or if you'd like it put
more simply--"Never imagine yourself not to
be otherwise than what it might appear to
others that what you were or might have
been was not otherwise than what you had
been would have appeared to them to be
'I think I should understand that better,'
Alice said very politely, 'if I had it
written down: but I can't quite follow it
as you say it.'
'That's nothing to what I could say if I
chose,' the Duchess replied, in a pleased
'Pray don't trouble yourself to say it any
longer than that,' said Alice.
'Oh, don't talk about trouble!' said the
'I make you a present of everything I've
said as yet.'
'A cheap sort of present!' thought Alice.
'I'm glad they don't give birthday presents
like that!'
But she did not venture to say it out loud.
'Thinking again?' the Duchess asked, with
another dig of her sharp little chin.
'I've a right to think,' said Alice
sharply, for she was beginning to feel a
little worried.
'Just about as much right,' said the
Duchess, 'as pigs have to fly; and the m--'
But here, to Alice's great surprise, the
Duchess's voice died away, even in the
middle of her favourite word 'moral,' and
the arm that was linked into hers began to
Alice looked up, and there stood the Queen
in front of them, with her arms folded,
frowning like a thunderstorm.
'A fine day, your Majesty!' the Duchess
began in a low, weak voice.
'Now, I give you fair warning,' shouted the
Queen, stamping on the ground as she spoke;
'either you or your head must be off, and
that in about half no time!
Take your choice!'
The Duchess took her choice, and was gone
in a moment.
'Let's go on with the game,' the Queen said
to Alice; and Alice was too much frightened
to say a word, but slowly followed her back
to the croquet-ground.
The other guests had taken advantage of the
Queen's absence, and were resting in the
shade: however, the moment they saw her,
they hurried back to the game, the Queen
merely remarking that a moment's delay
would cost them their lives.
All the time they were playing the Queen
never left off quarrelling with the other
players, and shouting 'Off with his head!'
or 'Off with her head!'
Those whom she sentenced were taken into
custody by the soldiers, who of course had
to leave off being arches to do this, so
that by the end of half an hour or so there
were no arches left, and all the players,
except the King, the Queen, and Alice, were
in custody and under sentence of execution.
Then the Queen left off, quite out of
breath, and said to Alice, 'Have you seen
the Mock Turtle yet?'
'No,' said Alice.
'I don't even know what a Mock Turtle is.'
'It's the thing Mock Turtle Soup is made
from,' said the Queen.
'I never saw one, or heard of one,' said
'Come on, then,' said the Queen, 'and he
shall tell you his history,'
As they walked off together, Alice heard
the King say in a low voice, to the company
generally, 'You are all pardoned.'
'Come, THAT'S a good thing!' she said to
herself, for she had felt quite unhappy at
the number of executions the Queen had
They very soon came upon a Gryphon, lying
fast asleep in the sun.
(IF you don't know what a Gryphon is, look
at the picture.)
'Up, lazy thing!' said the Queen, 'and take
this young lady to see the Mock Turtle, and
to hear his history.
I must go back and see after some
executions I have ordered'; and she walked
off, leaving Alice alone with the Gryphon.
Alice did not quite like the look of the
creature, but on the whole she thought it
would be quite as safe to stay with it as
to go after that savage Queen: so she
The Gryphon sat up and rubbed its eyes:
then it watched the Queen till she was out
of sight: then it chuckled.
'What fun!' said the Gryphon, half to
itself, half to Alice.
'What IS the fun?' said Alice.
'Why, SHE,' said the Gryphon.
'It's all her fancy, that: they never
executes nobody, you know.
Come on!'
'Everybody says "come on!" here,' thought
Alice, as she went slowly after it: 'I
never was so ordered about in all my life,
They had not gone far before they saw the
Mock Turtle in the distance, sitting sad
and lonely on a little ledge of rock, and,
as they came nearer, Alice could hear him
sighing as if his heart would break.
She pitied him deeply.
'What is his sorrow?' she asked the
Gryphon, and the Gryphon answered, very
nearly in the same words as before, 'It's
all his fancy, that: he hasn't got no
sorrow, you know.
Come on!'
So they went up to the Mock Turtle, who
looked at them with large eyes full of
tears, but said nothing.
'This here young lady,' said the Gryphon,
'she wants for to know your history, she
'I'll tell it her,' said the Mock Turtle in
a deep, hollow tone: 'sit down, both of
you, and don't speak a word till I've
So they sat down, and nobody spoke for some
Alice thought to herself, 'I don't see how
he can EVEN finish, if he doesn't begin.'
But she waited patiently.
'Once,' said the Mock Turtle at last, with
a deep sigh, 'I was a real Turtle.'
These words were followed by a very long
silence, broken only by an occasional
exclamation of 'Hjckrrh!' from the Gryphon,
and the constant heavy sobbing of the Mock
Alice was very nearly getting up and
saying, 'Thank you, sir, for your
interesting story,' but she could not help
thinking there MUST be more to come, so she
sat still and said nothing.
'When we were little,' the Mock Turtle went
on at last, more calmly, though still
sobbing a little now and then, 'we went to
school in the sea.
The master was an old Turtle--we used to
call him Tortoise--'
'Why did you call him Tortoise, if he
wasn't one?'
Alice asked.
'We called him Tortoise because he taught
us,' said the Mock Turtle angrily: 'really
you are very dull!'
'You ought to be ashamed of yourself for
asking such a simple question,' added the
Gryphon; and then they both sat silent and
looked at poor Alice, who felt ready to
sink into the earth.
At last the Gryphon said to the Mock
Turtle, 'Drive on, old fellow!
Don't be all day about it!' and he went on
in these words:
'Yes, we went to school in the sea, though
you mayn't believe it--'
'I never said I didn't!' interrupted Alice.
'You did,' said the Mock Turtle.
'Hold your tongue!' added the Gryphon,
before Alice could speak again.
The Mock Turtle went on.
'We had the best of educations--in fact, we
went to school every day--'
'I'VE been to a day-school, too,' said
Alice; 'you needn't be so proud as all
'With extras?' asked the Mock Turtle a
little anxiously.
'Yes,' said Alice, 'we learned French and
'And washing?' said the Mock Turtle.
'Certainly not!' said Alice indignantly.
'Ah! then yours wasn't a really good
school,' said the Mock Turtle in a tone of
great relief.
'Now at OURS they had at the end of the
bill, "French, music, AND WASHING--extra."'
'You couldn't have wanted it much,' said
Alice; 'living at the bottom of the sea.'
'I couldn't afford to learn it.' said the
Mock Turtle with a sigh.
'I only took the regular course.'
'What was that?' inquired Alice.
'Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin
with,' the Mock Turtle replied; 'and then
the different branches of Arithmetic--
Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and
'I never heard of "Uglification,"' Alice
ventured to say.
'What is it?'
The Gryphon lifted up both its paws in
Never heard of uglifying!' it exclaimed.
'You know what to beautify is, I suppose?'
'Yes,' said Alice doubtfully: 'it means--
'Well, then,' the Gryphon went on, 'if you
don't know what to uglify is, you ARE a
Alice did not feel encouraged to ask any
more questions about it, so she turned to
the Mock Turtle, and said 'What else had
you to learn?'
'Well, there was Mystery,' the Mock Turtle
replied, counting off the subjects on his
flappers, '--Mystery, ancient and modern,
with Seaography: then Drawling--the
Drawling-master was an old conger-eel, that
used to come once a week: HE taught us
Drawling, Stretching, and Fainting in
'What was THAT like?' said Alice.
'Well, I can't show it you myself,' the
Mock Turtle said: 'I'm too stiff.
And the Gryphon never learnt it.'
'Hadn't time,' said the Gryphon: 'I went to
the Classics master, though.
He was an old crab, HE was.'
'I never went to him,' the Mock Turtle said
with a sigh: 'he taught Laughing and Grief,
they used to say.'
'So he did, so he did,' said the Gryphon,
sighing in his turn; and both creatures hid
their faces in their paws.
'And how many hours a day did you do
lessons?' said Alice, in a hurry to change
the subject.
'Ten hours the first day,' said the Mock
Turtle: 'nine the next, and so on.'
'What a curious plan!' exclaimed Alice.
'That's the reason they're called lessons,'
the Gryphon remarked: 'because they lessen
from day to day.'
This was quite a new idea to Alice, and she
thought it over a little before she made
her next remark.
'Then the eleventh day must have been a
'Of course it was,' said the Mock Turtle.
'And how did you manage on the twelfth?'
Alice went on eagerly.
'That's enough about lessons,' the Gryphon
interrupted in a very decided tone: 'tell
her something about the games now.'
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Chapter 09 - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll - The Mock Turtle's Story

6317 Folder Collection
游恬田 published on October 18, 2015
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