Through the Looking-Glass
Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871) is a famous children's novel by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgeson), similar to his novel, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
- One thing was certain, that the white kitten had had nothing to do with it: — it was the black kitten's fault entirely. For the white kitten had been having its face washed by the old cat for the last quarter of an hour (and bearing it pretty well, considering); so you see that it couldn't have had any hand in the mischief.
- "Do you hear the snow against the window-panes, Kitty? How nice and soft it sounds! Just as if some one was kissing the window all over outside. I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, "Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again." And when they wake up in the summer, Kitty, they dress themselves all in green, and dance about — whenever the wind blows — oh, that's very pretty!" cried Alice, dropping the ball of worsted to clap her hands. "And I do so wish it was true! I'm sure the woods look sleepy in the autumn, when the leaves are getting brown."
- In another moment Alice was through the glass, and had jumped lightly down into the Looking-glass room. The very first thing she did was to look whether there was a fire in the fireplace, and she was quite pleased to find that there was a real one, blazing away as brightly as the one she had left behind. "So I shall be as warm here as I was in the old room," thought Alice: "warmer, in fact, because there'll be no one here to scold me away from the fire. Oh, what fun it'll be, when they see me through the glass in here, and can't get at me!"
- "The horror of that moment," the King went on, "I shall never never forget!"
"You will, though," the Queen said, "if you don't make a memorandum of it."
- White King and Queen
- Twas brillig and the slithy toves,
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son,
the jaws that bite and claws that scratch
Beware the jubjub bird
and shun the frumious bandersnatch."
- From Jabberwocky, st. 1, first shown in mirror writing this is widely considered to be one of the greatest nonsense poems ever written, and has played an inspirational role in many later works by other authors, including "Mimsy Were The Borogoves" (1943) by Lewis Padgett, and the film which was a very loose adapation of that story, The Last Mimzy (2007).
- 'It seems very pretty,' she said when she had finished it, 'but it's rather hard to understand!' (You see she didn't like to confess, ever to herself, that she couldn't make it out at all.) "Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas — only I don't exactly know what they are!"
- He chortled in his joy.
- "O Tiger-lily," said Alice, addressing herself to one that was waving gracefully about in the wind, "I wish you could talk!"
"We can talk," said the Tiger-lily: "when there's anybody worth talking to."
- The Red Queen shook her head, "You may call it "nonsense" if you like," she said, "but I've heard nonsense, compared with which that would be as sensible as a dictionary!"
- "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!"
- Red Queen
- "Contrariwise," continued Tweedledee, "if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic."
- "The time has come", the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes — and ships — and sealing wax —
Of cabbages — and Kings —
And why the Sea is boiling hot —
And whether pigs have wings."
- Tweedledee, reciting The Walrus and the Carpenter, st. 11
- 'I weep for you', the Walrus said,
'I deeply sympathise.'
- Walrus and Carpenter, st. 17
- 'He's dreaming now,' said Tweedledee: 'and what do you think he's dreaming about?'
Alice said 'Nobody can guess that.'
'Why, about you!' Tweedledee exclaimed, clapping his hands triumphantly. 'And if he left off dreaming about you, where do you suppose you'd be?'
'Where I am now, of course,' said Alice.
'Not you!' Tweedledee retorted contemptuously. 'You'd be nowhere. Why, you're only a sort of thing in his dream!'
'If that there King was to wake,' added Tweedledum, 'you'd go out — bang! — just like a candle!'
'I shouldn't!' Alice exclaimed indignantly. 'Besides, if I'm only a sort of thing in his dream, what are you, I should like to know?'
'Ditto' said Tweedledum.
'Ditto, ditto!' cried Tweedledee.
He shouted this so loud that Alice couldn't help saying, 'Hush! You'll be waking him, I'm afraid, if you make so much noise.'
'Well, it no use your talking about waking him,' said Tweedledum, 'when you're only one of the things in his dream. You know very well you're not real.'
'I am real!' said Alice and began to cry.
'You won't make yourself a bit realler by crying,' Tweedledee remarked: 'there's nothing to cry about.'
'If I wasn't real,' Alice said — half-laughing through her tears, it all seemed so ridiculous — 'I shouldn't be able to cry.'
'I hope you don't suppose those are real tears?' Tweedledum interrupted in a tone of great contempt.
'I know they're talking nonsense,' Alice thought to herself: 'and it's foolish to cry about it.' So she brushed away her tears, and went on as cheerfully as she could.
- "You know," he added very gravely, "it's one of the most serious things that can possibly happen to one in a battle — to get one's head cut off."
- "The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday — but never jam to-day."
- The White Queen
- "I don't understand you," said Alice. "It's dreadfully confusing!"
"That's the effect of living backwards," the Queen said kindly: "it always makes one a little giddy at first."
- It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.
- The White Queen
- "I'm just one hundred and one, five months and a day."
"I can't believe that!" said Alice.
"Can't you?" the Queen said in a pitying tone. "Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes."
Alice laughed. "There's no use trying," she said: "one can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
- "Feather! Feather!" the Sheep cried again, taking more needles. "You'll be catching a crab directly."
- "My name is Alice, but — "
"It's a stupid name enough!" Humpty Dumpty interrupted impatiently. "What does it mean?"
"Must a name mean something?" Alice asked doubtfully.
"Of course it must," Humpty Dumpty said with a short laugh: "my name means the shape I am — and a good handsome shape it is, too. With a name like yours, you might be any shape, almost."
- "When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master— that's all."
- "I see nobody on the road," said Alice.
"I only wish I had such eyes," the King remarked in a fretful tone. "To be able to see Nobody! And at that distance, too! Why, it's as much as I can do to see real people, by this light!"
- "He's an Anglo-Saxon Messenger — and those are Anglo-Saxon attitudes. He only does them when he's happy."
- White King
- "I beg your pardon?" said Alice.
"It isn't respectable to beg," said the King.
- White King
- "You alarm me!" said the King. "I feel faint — Give me a ham sandwich!"
- White King
- "It's too late to correct it," said the Red Queen: "when you've once said a thing, that fixes it, and you must take the consequences."
- "Make a remark," said the Red Queen: "It's ridiculous to leave all conversation to the pudding!"
- As large as life and twice as natural.
- Ever drifting down the stream —
Lingering in the golden gleam —
Life, what is it but a dream?
- Free eBook of Through the Looking-Glass at Project Gutenberg
- HTML version with over 170 Illustrations by various artists.
- Through the Looking-Glass quotes analyzed; study guide with themes, character analyses, literary devices, teacher resources