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Home -> Lewis Carroll -> Through the Looking-Glass -> Chapter 12

Through the Looking-Glass - Chapter 12

1. Chapter 1

2. Chapter 2

3. Chapter 3

4. Chapter 4

5. Chapter 5

6. Chapter 6

7. Chapter 7

8. Chapter 8

9. Chapter 9

10. Chapter 10

11. Chapter 11

12. Chapter 12


Which Dreamed it?

'Your majesty shouldn't purr so loud,' Alice said, rubbing her
eyes, and addressing the kitten, respectfully, yet with some
severity. 'You woke me out of oh! such a nice dream! And you've
been along with me, Kitty--all through the Looking-Glass world.
Did you know it, dear?'

It is a very inconvenient habit of kittens (Alice had once made
the remark) that, whatever you say to them, they ALWAYS purr.
'If they would only purr for "yes" and mew for "no," or any rule
of that sort,' she had said, 'so that one could keep up a
conversation! But how CAN you talk with a person if they always
say the same thing?'

On this occasion the kitten only purred: and it was impossible
to guess whether it meant 'yes' or 'no.'

So Alice hunted among the chessmen on the table till she had
found the Red Queen: then she went down on her knees on the
hearth-rug, and put the kitten and the Queen to look at each
other. 'Now, Kitty!' she cried, clapping her hands triumphantly.
'Confess that was what you turned into!'

('But it wouldn't look at it,' she said, when she was
explaining the thing afterwards to her sister: 'it turned away
its head, and pretended not to see it: but it looked a LITTLE
ashamed of itself, so I think it MUST have been the Red Queen.')

'Sit up a little more stiffly, dear!' Alice cried with a merry
laugh. 'And curtsey while you're thinking what to--what to
purr. It saves time, remember!' And she caught it up and gave
it one little kiss, 'just in honour of having been a Red Queen.'

'Snowdrop, my pet!' she went on, looking over her shoulder at
the White Kitten, which was still patiently undergoing its
toilet, 'when WILL Dinah have finished with your White Majesty, I
wonder? That must be the reason you were so untidy in my dream--
Dinah! do you know that you're scrubbing a White Queen?
Really, it's most disrespectful of you!

'And what did DINAH turn to, I wonder?' she prattled on, as she
settled comfortably down, with one elbow in the rug, and her chin
in her hand, to watch the kittens. 'Tell me, Dinah, did you turn
to Humpty Dumpty? I THINK you did--however, you'd better not
mention it to your friends just yet, for I'm not sure.

'By the way, Kitty, if only you'd been really with me in my
dream, there was one thing you WOULD have enjoyed--I had such a
quantity of poetry said to me, all about fishes! To-morrow
morning you shall have a real treat. All the time you're eating
your breakfast, I'll repeat "The Walrus and the Carpenter" to
you; and then you can make believe it's oysters, dear!

'Now, Kitty, let's consider who it was that dreamed it all.
This is a serious question, my dear, and you should NOT go on
licking your paw like that--as if Dinah hadn't washed you this
morning! You see, Kitty, it MUST have been either me or the Red
King. He was part of my dream, of course--but then I was part
of his dream, too! WAS it the Red King, Kitty? You were his
wife, my dear, so you ought to know--Oh, Kitty, DO help to
settle it! I'm sure your paw can wait!' But the provoking
kitten only began on the other paw, and pretended it hadn't heard
the question.

Which do YOU think it was?


A boat beneath a sunny sky,
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July--

Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear--

Long has paled that sunny sky:
Echoes fade and memories die.
Autumn frosts have slain July.

Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.

Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:

Ever drifting down the stream--
Lingering in the golden gleam--
Life, what is it but a dream?


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