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THE MOCK TURTLE’S STORY.
“YOU ca’n’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 kitchen.
“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-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
ca’n’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 her 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 on 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
business!” “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 themselves.’” “How fond she is of finding
morals in things!” Alice thought to herself.