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




THE Mock Turtle sighed deeply, and drew the back of one flapper
across his eyes. He looked at Alice and tried to speak, but, for a
minute or two, sobs choked his voice. “Same as if he had a bone in
his throat,” said the Gryphon; and it set to work shaking him and
punching him in the back. At last the Mock Turtle recovered his
voice, and, with tears running down his cheeks, he went on
again:“You may not have lived much under the sea-” (“I haven’t,”
said Alice)- “and perhaps you were never even introduced to a
lobster-” (Alice began to say “I once tasted-” but checked herself
hastily, and said “No, never”) “-so you can have no idea what a
delightful thing a Lobster-Quadrille is!” “No, indeed,” said Alice.
“What sort of a dance is it?” “Why,” said the Gryphon, “you first
form into a line along the sea-shore-” “Two lines!” cried the Mock
Turtle. “Seals, turtles, salmon, and so on: then, when you’ve
cleared all the jelly-fish out of the way-” “That generally takes
some time,” interrupted the Gryphon.

“-you advance twice-” “Each with a lobster as a partner!” cried the

“Of course,” the Mock Turtle said: “advance twice, set to partners-”
“-change lobsters, and retire in same order,” continued the

“Then, you know,” the Mock Turtle went on, “you throw the-”
“The lobsters!” shouted the Gryphon, with a bound into the air.

“-as far out to sea as you can-” “Swim after them!” screamed the

“Turn a somersault in the sea!” cried the Mock Turtle, capering
wildly about.

“Change lobsters again!” yelled the Gryphon at the top of its voice.
“Back to land again, and-that’s all the first figure,” said the Mock
Turtle, suddenly dropping his voice; and the two creatures, who
had been jumping about like mad things all this time, sat down
again very sadly and quietly, and looked at Alice.

“It must be a very pretty dance,” said Alice timidly.
“Would you like to see a little of it?” said the Mock Turtle.
“Very much indeed,” said Alice.

“Come, let’s try the first figure!” said the Mock Turtle to the
Gryphon. “We can do it without lobsters, you know. Which shall
sing?” “Oh, you sing,” said the Gryphon. “I’ve forgotten the
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