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


soup off the fire, and at once set to work throwing everything
within her reach at the Duchess and the baby-the fire-irons came
first; then followed a shower of sauce-pans, plates, and dishes. The
Duchess took no notice of them even when they hit her; and the
baby was howling so much already, that it was quite impossible to
say whether the blows hurt it or not.

“Oh, please mind what you’re doing!” cried Alice, jumping up and
down in an agony of terror. “Oh, there goes his precious nose!” as
an unusually large saucepan flew close by it, and very nearly
carried it off.

“If everybody minded their own business,” the Duchess said, in a
hoarse growl, “the world would go round a deal faster than it
does.” “Which would not be an advantage,” said Alice, who felt
very glad to get an opportunity of showing off a little of her
knowledge. “Just think what work it would make with the day and
night! You see the earth takes twenty-four hours to turn round on
its axis-” “Talking of axes,” said the Duchess, “chop off her head!”
Alice glanced rather anxiously at the cook, to see if she meant to
take the hint; but the cook was busily stirring the soup, and seemed
not to be listening, so she went on again: “Twenty-four hours, I
think; or is it twelve? I-” “Oh, don’t bother me!” said the Duchess.
“I never could abide figures!” And with that she began nursing her
child again, singing a sort of lullaby to it as she did so, and giving
it a violent shake at the end of every line: “Speak roughly to your
little boy, And beat him when he sneezes: He only does it to annoy,
Because he knows it teases.”

(in which the cook and the baby joined):“Wow! wow! wow!”
While the Duchess sang the second verse of the song, she kept
tossing the baby violently up and down, and the poor little thing
howled so, that Alice could hardly hear the words:
“I speak severely to my boy, I beat him when he sneezes; For he
can thoroughly enjoy The pepper when he pleases!”

“Wow! wow! wow!”
“Here! You may nurse it a bit, if you like!” the Duchess said to
Alice, flinging the baby at her as she spoke. “I must go and get
ready to play croquet with the Queen,” and she hurried out of the
room. The cook threw a frying-pan after her as she went, but it just
missed her.

Alice caught the baby with some difficulty, as it was a queer-
shaped little creature, and held out its arms and legs in all
directions, “just like a star-fish!” thought Alice. The poor little
thing was snorting like a steam-engine when she caught it, and
<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

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