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<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll


hurrying down it. There was not a moment to be lost: away went
Alice like the wind, and was just in time to hear it say, as it turned
a corner, “Oh my ears and whiskers, how late it’s getting!” She was
close behind it when she turned the corner, but the Rabbit was no
longer to be seen: she found herself in a long, low hall, which was
lit up by a row of lamps hanging from the roof.

There were doors all round the hall, but they were all locked; and
when Alice had been all the way down one side and up the other,
trying every door, she walked sadly down the middle, wondering
how she was ever to get out again.

Suddenly she came upon a little three-legged table, all made of
solid glass: there was nothing on it but a tiny golden key, and
Alice’s first idea was that this might belong to one of the doors of
the hall; but, alas! either the locks were too large, or the key was
too small, but at any rate it would not open any of them.

However, on the second time round, she came upon a low curtain
she had not noticed before, and behind it was a little door about
fifteen inches high: she tried the little golden key in the lock, and to
her great delight it fitted! Alice opened the door and found that it
led into a small passage, not much larger than a rat-hole: she knelt
down and looked along the passage into the loveliest garden you
ever saw. How she longed to get out of that dark hall, and wander
about among those beds of bright flowers and those cool fountains,
but she could not even get her head through the doorway; “and
even if my head would go through,” thought poor Alice, “it would
be of very little use without my shoulders. Oh, how I wish I could
shut up like a telescope! I think I could, if I only knew how to
begin.” For, you see, so many out-of-the-way things had happened
lately, that Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed
were really impossible.

There seemed to be no use in waiting by the little door, so she went
back to the table, half hoping she might find another key on it, or at
any rate a book of rules for shutting people up like telescopes: this
time she found a little bottle on it, (“which certainly was not here
before,” said Alice), and tied round the neck of the bottle was a
paper label, with the words “DRINK ME” beautifully printed on it
in large letters.

It was all very well to say “Drink me,” but the wise little Alice was
not going to do that in a hurry. “No, I’ll look first,” she said, “and
see whether it’s marked ‘poison’ or not”; for she had read several
nice little stories about children who had got burnt, and eaten up
by wild beasts, and other unpleasant things, all because they
would not remember the simple rules their friends had taught
<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

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