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




FOR a minute or two she stood looking at the house, and
wondering what to do next, when suddenly a footman in livery
came running out of the wood-(she considered him to be a
footman because he was in livery: otherwise, judging by his face
only, she would have called him a fish)- and rapped loudly at the
door with his knuckles. It was opened by another footman in
livery, with a round face, and large eyes like a frog; and both
footmen, Alice noticed, had powdered hair that curled all over
their heads. She felt very curious to know what it was all about,
and crept a little way out of the wood to listen.

The Fish-Footman began by producing from under his arm a great
letter, nearly as large as himself, and this he handed over to the
other, saying, in a solemn tone, “For the Duchess. An invitation
from the Queen to play croquet.” The Frog-Footman repeated, in
the same solemn tone, only changing the order of the words a little,
“From the Queen. An invitation for the Duchess to play croquet.”
Then they both bowed low, and their curls got entangled together.
Alice laughed so much at this, that she had to run back into the
wood for fear of their hearing her; and, when she next peeped out,
the Fish-Footman was gone, and the other was sitting on the
ground near the door, staring stupidly up into the sky.

Alice went timidly up to the door, and knocked.
“There’s no sort of use in knocking,” said the Footman, “and that
for two reasons. First, because I’m on the same side of the door as
you are: secondly, because they’re making such a noise inside, no
one could possibly hear you.” And certainly there was a most
extraordinary noise going on within-a constant howling and
sneezing, and every now and then a great crash, as if a dish or
kettle had been broken to pieces.

“Please, then,” said Alice, “how am I to get in?” “There might be
some sense in your knocking,” the Footman went on, without
attending to her, “if we had the door between us. For instance, if
you were inside, you might knock, and I could let you out, you
know.” He was looking up into the sky all the time he was
speaking, and this Alice thought decidedly uncivil. “But perhaps
he ca’n’t help it,” she said to herself; “his eyes are so very nearly at
the top of his head. But at any rate he might answer questions.-
How am I to get in?” she repeated, aloud.
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