Alice In Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass By Lewis Carroll



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Alice In Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass

By Lewis Carroll

Adapted for the stage by Karen Gath-McClain


ACT I

Scene 1
Alice

And what is the use of a book, without pictures or conversations?


Lorena

Alice, you’re such a child.


Alice

Well, yes…


Edith

Lorena, leave her be, she’s merely a curious.


Lorena

Curiousity killed the cat.


Alice

Oh, poor Dinah, she’s very curious.


Lorena

She is. She is always hiding in something that belongs to me.


Edith

Why should you be any different? Dinah is the most curious cat I’ve ever seen.


Alice

That is why she’s so amusing.


Lorena

Well, if that is what you call it.


Alice

There isn’t anything to do. I am so bored.

(wanders off))
White Rabbit

(going down the rabbit hole)

Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!
Alice

Mr. Rabbit, where are you going?


White Rabbit

I’m late!!!


Alice

Why, how impolite of him. I asked him a civil question, and he pretended not to hear me. I wonder if I might follow him. Why not? I will follow him. Wait for me, Mr. White Rabbit. I'm coming, too! [Falling from offstage] How curious. I never realized that rabbit holes were so dark . . . and so long . . . and so empty. I believe I have been falling for five minutes, and I still can't see the bottom! I wonder how many miles I've fallen by this time. Oh, I think I see the bottom.


White Rabbit

Oh my ears and whiskers, how late it's getting!


Alice

Mr. White Rabbit? Curiouser and curiouser…


Scene 2
White Rabbit

(dropping fan and glove)

Oh! the Duchess, the Duchess! Oh! won't she be savage if I've kept her waiting!

Alice

If you please, sir----Dear, dear! How strange everything is to-day! I almost think I am feeling a little different. But if I'm not the same, the next question is, who in the world am I? (mouse enters) Ah! O Mouse, do you know the way out of here? Have you seen my cat?

Mouse

Eeeeeeek!


Alice

Oh, I beg your pardon! I quite forgot you didn't like cats.


Mouse

Not like cats! Would_you_ like cats if you were me?


Alice

Well, perhaps not. Don’t be angry about it. I wish I could show you our cat Dinah. I think you’d take a fancy to cats if you could see her. She is such a dear quiet thing. And she’s such a capital one for catching mice…OH! I beg your pardon! We won’t talk about her anymore if you’d rather not.


Mouse

We, indeed. As if I would talk on such a subject. Our family always hated cats: nasty, low, vulgar things! Don’t let me hear the name again!

Alice

I won't indeed! Are you--are you fond--of--of dogs? There is such a nice little dog near our house, he belongs to a farmer, you know, and he says it's so useful, it kills all the rats and--oh dear! I’m afraid I've offended it again! Mouse dear! Do come back again, and we won't talk about cats or dogs either, if you don't like them.


Mouse

Let us get over there, and then I'll tell you my history, and you'll understand why it is I hate cats and dogs.


Duck

You are sitting in my spot.


Toucan

I should know better than you. YOU are sitting in MY spot.


Lory

I am older than you, and must know better.


Alice

How old are you?


Toucan

Very old…


Lory

Impertinence!


Eaglet

I should say, the Lory is very old.


Lory

IMPERTINENCE!


Duck

I’m wet. How shall I become dry?


Toucan

You should not spend so much time in the pond.


Duck

I’m a duck.


Toucan

Then you should not complain about being wet.


Duck

I should like to be dry.

Mouse

Sit down, all of you, and listen to me! Ahem! Are you all ready? Silence all round, if you please! This is the dryest thing I know: 'William the Conqueror, whose cause was favoured by the pope, was soon submitted to by the English, who wanted leaders, and had been of late much accustomed to usurpation and conquest. Edwin and Morcar, the earls of Mercia and Northumbria—‘

Lory

Uhg…
Mouse

I beg your pardon! Did you speak?
Lory

Not I!
Mouse

I thought you did--I proceed. 'Edwin and Morcar,

the earls of Mercia and Northumbria, declared for him: and even

Stigand, the patriotic Archbishop of Canterbury, found it advisable—‘
Duck

Found what?


Mouse

Found….it…of course you know what 'it' means.


Duck

I know what 'it' means well enough, when _I_ find a thing,

it's generally a frog or a worm. The question is, what did the

archbishop find?


Mouse

‘—found it advisable to go with Edgar Atheling to meet William and offer him the

crown. William's conduct at first was moderate. But the insolence of his

Normans--' How are you getting on now?


Duck

As wet as ever, didn't seem to dry me at all.


Toucan

In that case, I move that the meeting adjourn, for the immediate adoption of more energetic remedies----


Eaglet

Speak English! I don't know the meaning of half those long words, and, what's more, I don't believe you do either!

Toucan

What I was going to say was that the best thing to get him dry would be a Caucus-race."


Alice

What _is_ a Caucus-race?


Toucan

Why, the best way to explain it is to do it. First you mark out a race-course, in a sort of circle, the exact shape doesn't matter.


Eaglet

And then everyone is placed placed along the course, here and there.

(they all start to run around, a dance)
Toucan

The race is over!


Alice

But who has won?


Toucan

Everybody_ has won, and _all_ must have prizes.


Duck

But who is to give the prizes?


Toucan

Why, _she_, of course. Prizes! Prizes!


Alice

(finding candies in her pocket)

Oh, here you go.

Mouse

But she must have a prize herself, you know.

Lory

Of course. What else have you got in your pocket?


Alice

Only a thimble.


Toucan

Hand it over here. We beg your acceptance of this elegant thimble.


(animals all cheer)

Alice


(bowing to them)

I humbly accept your gift of a thimble. You promised to tell me your history, you know, and why it is you hate--C and D.


Mouse

Mine is a long and sad tale!


Alice

It _is_ a long tail, certainly, but why do you call it sad?


Mouse

You insult me by talking such nonsense!


Alice

I didn't mean it! But you're so easily offended, you know! Please come back and finish your story!

Lory

What a pity it wouldn't stay!


Alice

I wish I had our Dinah here. She'd soon fetch it back!


Lory

And who is Dinah, if I might venture to ask the question?


Alice

Dinah's our cat. And she's such a capital one for catching mice. And oh, I wish you could see her after the birds! Why, she'll eat a little bird as soon as look at it!


(birds start to scurry off)
Eaglet

I really must be getting home; the night-air doesn't suit my throat.


Duck

Come away, my dears! It's high time we were all in bed!


Alice

I wish I hadn't mentioned Dinah! Nobody seems to like her, down here, and I'm sure she's the best cat in the world! Oh, my dear Dinah! I wonder if I shall ever see you

any more!
Scene 3
Alice

I should see the garden far better, if I could get to the top of that hill: and here's a path that leads straight to it. O Tiger-lily, I wish you could talk!


Tiger-lily

We can talk, when there's anybody worth talking to.


Alice

Can all the flowers talk?

Tiger-lily

As well as you can, and a great deal louder.

Rose

It isn't manners for us to begin, you know, and I really was wondering when you'd speak! Said I to myself, "Her face has got SOME sense in it, though it's not a clever one!" Still, you're a good colour, and that goes a long way.


Daisy

I don't care about the colour, if only her petals curled up a little more, she'd be all right.


Alice

Aren’t you sometimes frightened at being planted out here, with nobody to take care of you?


Rose

There's the tree in the middle, what else is it good for?


Alice

But what could it do, if any danger came?


Daisy

It says "Bough-wough! That's why its branches are called boughs!


Violet

Didn't you know that?

(Clamor)
Tiger-lily

Silence, every one of you! They know I can't get at them! Or they wouldn't dare to do it!


Alice

Never mind! If you don't hold your tongues, I'll pick you! How is it you can all talk so nicely? I've been in many gardens before, but none of the flowers could talk.


Tiger-lily

Put your hand down, and feel the ground, then you'll know why.


Alice

It's very hard, but I don't see what that has to do with it.

Tiger-lily

In most gardens, they make the beds too soft—so that the flowers are always asleep.


Alice

I never thought of that before!


Rose

It's my opinion that you never think at all.


Violet

I never saw anybody that looked stupider.


Tiger-lily

Hold your tongue! As if you ever saw anybody! You keep your head under the leaves, and snore away there, till you know no more what's going on in the world, than if you were a bud!


Violet

Well! I never! I must have my beauty sleep. And if I were you, I’d consider it as well!


Tiger-lily

OH!

Alice

Excuse me, are there any more people in the garden besides me?

Rose

There's one other flower in the garden that can move about like you, I wonder how you do it—


Daisy

You're always wondering. Surprising it doesn’t get you into more trouble.


Rose

But she's more bushy than you are.


Alice

Is she like me? There's another little girl in the garden, somewhere!


Daisy

Not quite, she’s really rather…awkward…


Rose

Well, she has the same awkward shape as you, but she's redder—and her petals are shorter, I think.


Tiger-lily

Her petals are done up close, almost like a dahlia, not tumbled about anyhow, like yours.


Rose

But that's not your fault, you're beginning to fade, you know—and then one can't help one's petals getting a little untidy.


Alice

Does she ever come out here?


Daisy

I daresay you'll see her soon. She's one of the thorny kind.


Violet

Quite thorny really…


Alice

Where does she wear the thorns?


Rose

Why all round her head, of course, I was wondering you hadn't got some too. I thought it was the regular rule.


Violet

She's coming! I hear her footstep, thump, thump, thump, along the gravel-walk!


Alice

I think I'll go and meet her.


Rose

You can't possibly do that. I should advise you to walk the other way.


Violet

Oh dear!!!


Daisy

Oh No!!! She’s so loud!


Red Queen

Where do you come from? And where are you going? Look up, speak nicely, and don't twiddle your fingers all the time.


Alice

I’ve lost my way.

Red Queen

I don't know what you mean by YOUR way,' said the Queen: 'all the ways about here belong to ME—but why did you come out here at all? Curtsey while you're thinking what to say, it saves time. It's time for you to answer now, open your mouth a little wider when you speak, and always say "your Majesty."

Alice

I only wanted to see what the garden was like, your Majesty—

Red Queen

(Patting Alice’s head) That's right, though, when you say "garden,"—I’ve seen gardens, compared with which this would be a wilderness.


Alice

—and I thought I'd try and find my way to the top of that hill—


Red Queen

When you say "hill," I could show you hills, in comparison with which you'd call that a valley.


Alice

No, I shouldn't, a hill can’t be a valley, you know. That would be nonsense—


Red Queen

You may call it "nonsense" if you like, but I'VE heard nonsense, compared with which that would be as sensible as a dictionary!


Alice

I’m so thirsty.


Red Queen

I know what you’d like! Have a biscuit? Did you enjoy that? Have another biscuit?


Alice

No, thank you, one's QUITE enough!


Red Queen

Thirst quenched, I hope? Now I’ll help you find your way. You'll go very quickly by railway, I should think—then you’ll find your way to Tweedledum and Tweedledee—and then, Humpty Dumpty—But you make no remark?


Alice

I—I didn't know I had to make one—just then.


Red Queen

You SHOULD have said, "It's extremely kind of you to tell me all this"—however, we'll suppose it said—then is the forest—however, perhaps one of the Knights will show you the way— Speak in French when you can't think of the English for a thing—turn out your toes as you walk—and remember who you are!

(Exits leaving Alice standing alone)
Scene 4
Caterpillar

Who are _you_?


Alice


I hardly know, sir, just at present--at least I know who I _was_ when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.
Caterpillar

What do you mean by that? Explain yourself!

Alice

I can't explain _myself_, I'm afraid, sir, because I'm not myself, you see.

Caterpillar

I don't see.


Alice

I'm afraid I can't put it more clearly, for I can't understand it myself to begin with; it is very confusing.


Caterpillar

It isn't.


Alice

Well, perhaps you haven't found it so yet, but when you have to turn into a chrysalis--you will some day, you know--and then after that into a butterfly, I should think you'll feel it a little queer, won't you?


Caterpillar

Not a bit.


Alice

Well, perhaps your feelings may be different, all I know

is, it would feel very strange to _me_.
Caterpillar

You! Who are _you_?


Alice

I think you ought to tell me who _you_ are, first.


Caterpillar

Why?


(Alice turns to leave)
Caterpillar

Come back! I’ve something important to say!

(Alice turns back)
Caterpillar

Keep your temper.


Alice

Is that all?


Caterpillar

No…So you think you're changed, do you?


Alice

I'm afraid I am, sir, I can't remember things as I used--and I don't keep the same size for ten minutes together!


Caterpillar

Can't remember _what_ things?


Alice

Well, I've tried to say '_How doth the little busy bee_,' but it all came different!


Caterpillar

Let us repeat '_You are old, Father William_


Caterpillar

"You are old, Father William," the young man said,

"And your hair has become very white;

And yet you incessantly stand on your head--

Do you think, at your age, it is right?"
Alice

"In my youth," Father William replied to his son,

"I feared it might injure the brain;

But, now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,

Why, I do it again and again."

Caterpillar

"You are old," said the youth, "as I mentioned before,

And have grown most uncommonly fat;

Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door--

Pray, what is the reason of that?"

Alice

"In my youth," said his father, "I took to the law

And argued each case with my wife;

And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw,

Has lasted the rest of my life."
Caterpillar

"You are old," said the youth, "one would hardly suppose

That your eye was as steady as ever;

Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose--

What made you so awfully clever?"
Alice

"I have answered three questions, and that is enough,"

Said his father; "don't give yourself airs!

Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?

Be off, or I'll kick you down stairs!"
Caterpillar

That is not said right!


Alice

Not _quite_ right, I'm afraid.


Caterpillar

It is wrong from beginning to end

(Awkward silence)
Caterpillar

What size do you want to be?


Alice

Oh, I'm not particular as to size, only one doesn't like changing so often, you know.


Caterpillar

I _don't_ know. Are you content now?


Alice

Well, I should like to be a _little_ larger, sir, if you wouldn't mind, three inches is such a wretched height to be.


Caterpillar

It is a very good height indeed!


Alice

But I'm not used to it! I wish the creatures wouldn't be so easily offended!


Caterpillar

You'll get used to it in time. One side will make you grow taller, and the other side will make you grow shorter.


Alice

One side of _what_? The other side of _what_?


Caterpillar

(Agitated)

Of the mushroom!
Alice

And now which is which?


(She grows a tiny bit)
Alice

Well, something happened, but I’m not quite sure what it was.


Pigeon

(Enters)


Serpent!
Alice

I'm _not_ a serpent! Let me alone!

Pigeon

Serpent, I say again. I've tried every way, and nothing seems to suit them!

Alice

I haven't the least idea what you're talking about.


Pigeon

I've tried the roots of trees, and I've tried banks, and I've tried hedges, but those serpents! There's no pleasing them! As if it wasn't trouble enough hatching the eggs.

but I must be on the look-out for serpents night and day! Why, I haven't had a wink of sleep these three weeks!
Alice

I'm very sorry you've been annoyed.


Pigeon

And just as I'd taken the highest tree in the wood, and just as I was thinking I

should be free of them at last, they must needs come wriggling down from

the sky! Ugh, Serpent!


Alice

But I'm _not_ a serpent, I tell you! I'm a---- I'm a----"


Pigeon

Well! _What_ are you? I can see you're trying to invent something!


Alice

I--I'm a little girl," said Alice, rather doubtfully, as she remembered the number of changes she had gone through that day.


Pigeon

A likely story indeed! I've seen a good many little girls in my time, but never_one_ with such a neck as that! No, no! You're a serpent; and there's no use denying it. I suppose you'll be telling me next that you never tasted an egg!


Alice


I _have_ tasted eggs, certainly, but little girls eat eggs quite as much as serpents do, you know.
Pigeon

I don't believe it, if they do, why then they're a kind of serpent, that's all I can say. You're looking for eggs, I know _that_ well enough; and what does it matter to me whether you're a little girl or a serpent?


Alice

It matters a good deal to _me_, but I'm not looking for eggs, as it happens; and if I was, I shouldn't want _yours_: I don't like them raw.


Pigeon

Well, be off, then!

Alice

These creatures all seem to me quite cross. How puzzling all these changes are! I'm never sure what I'm going to be, from one minute to another! Oh, hello---please don’t be cross with me.

Bread and Butterfly

What are you?


Rocking Horse-fly

Do you like insects?


Alice

I like them when they can talk. None of them ever talk, where I come from.


Rocking Horse-fly

They don’t talk? What a primitive place that must be!


Gnat

What sort of insects do you rejoice in, where YOU come from?


Alice

I don't REJOICE in insects at all, because I'm rather afraid of them—at least the large kinds. But I can tell you the names of some of them.


Snap Dragon-fly

Of course they answer to their names?


Alice

I never knew them do it.


Bread and Butterfly

What's the use of their having names if they won't answer to them?


Snap Dragon-fly

Yes, what’s the use??


Alice

No use to them, but it's useful to the people who name them, I suppose. If not, why do things have names at all?


Gnat

I can't say. Further on, in the wood down there, they've got no names—however, go on with your list of insects: you're wasting time.


Alice

Well, there's the Horse-fly.


Gnat

Here you see a Rocking-horse-fly, if you look.


Alice

What do you live on?


Rocking horse-fly

Sap and sawdust.


Gnat

Go on with the list.


Alice

And there's the Dragon-fly.


Gnat

Here is a snap-dragon-fly. Its body is made of plum-pudding, its wings of holly-leaves, and its head is a raisin burning in brandy.


Alice

And what do you live on?


Snap Dragon-fly

Frumenty and mince pie, and I make my nest in a Christmas box.


Alice

And then there's the Butterfly.

Gnat

Here you may observe a Bread-and-Butterfly. Its wings are thin slices of Bread-and-butter, its body is a crust, and its head is a lump of sugar.

Alice

And what do you live on?


Bread-and-Butterfly

Weak tea with cream in it.


Alice

Supposing you couldn't find any?


Bread-and-Butterfly

Then I would die, of course.


Alice

But that must happen very often.


Rocking horse-fly

It always happens.


Gnat

I suppose you don't want to lose your name?


Alice

No, indeed.


Gnat

And yet I don't know, only think how convenient it would be if you could manage to go home without it! For instance, if the governess wanted to call you to your lessons, she would call out "come here—," and there she would have to leave off, because there wouldn't be any name for her to call, and of course you wouldn't have to go, you know.


Alice

That would never do, I'm sure, the governess would never think of excusing me lessons for that. If she couldn't remember my name, she'd call me "Miss!" as the servants do.


Snap dragon-fly

Well, if she said "Miss," and didn't say anything more, of course you'd miss your lessons. That's a joke. I wish you had made it.


Alice

Why do you wish I had made it? It's a very bad one. Hello, where are you going. Oh dear, I think I’ve offended again---


Scene 5
Tweedledum

If you think we're wax-works, you ought to pay, you know. Wax-works weren't made to be looked at for nothing, nohow!

Tweedledee

Contrariwise, if you think we're alive, you ought to speak.


Alice

I'm sure I'm very sorry. Oh, I know you!

'Tweedledum and Tweedledee

Agreed to have a battle;

For Tweedledum said Tweedledee

Had spoiled his nice new rattle.

Just then flew down a monstrous crow,

As black as a tar-barrel;

Which frightened both the heroes so,

They quite forgot their quarrel.'

Tweedledum

I know what you're thinking about, but it isn't so, nohow.


Tweedledee

Contrariwise, 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.


Alice

I was thinking, which is the best way out of this wood? Would you tell me, please?

(The little men only looked at each other and grinned)

First Boy!


Tweedledum

Nohow!
Alice

Next Boy!
Tweedledee

Contrariwise!


Tweedledum

You've been wrong! The first thing in a visit is to say "How d'ye do?" and shake hands!

(She shakes hands with both at the same time and they do a little dance)

Four times round is enough for one dance.


Alice

I hope you're not much tired?


Tweeledum

Nohow. And thank you VERY much for asking.


Tweedledee

So much obliged! You like poetry?


Alice

Ye-es, pretty well—some poetry. Would you tell me which road leads out of the wood?


Tweedledee

What shall I repeat to her?


Tweedledum

"The Walrus and the Carpenter" is the longest.


Tweedledee

'The sun was shining—'


Alice

If it's very long, would you please tell me first which road—

(There is a snoring noise)

Are there any lions or tigers about here?


Tweedledee

It's only the Red King snoring.


Tweedledum and Tweedledee

Come and look at him!


Tweedledum

Isn't he a lovely sight? 'fit to snore his head off!


Alice

I'm afraid he'll catch cold with lying on the damp grass.


Tweedledee

He's dreaming now. And what do you think he's dreaming about?


Alice

Nobody can guess that.


Tweedledee

Why, about YOU! And if he left off dreaming about you, where do you suppose you'd be?

Alice

Where I am now, of course.

Tweedledee

Not you! You'd be nowhere. Why, you're only a sort of thing in his dream!


Tweedledum

If that there King was to wake, you'd go out—bang!—just like a candle!

Alice

I shouldn't! Besides, if I’m only a sort of thing in his dream, what are you, I should like to know?


Tweedledum

Ditto.
Tweedledee

Ditto, ditto!
Alice

Hush! You'll be waking him, I'm afraid, if you make so much noise.


Tweedledum

Well, it no use your talking about waking him, when you're only one of the things in his dream. You know very well you're not real.


Alice

I am real!


Tweedledee

You won't make yourself a bit realler by crying, there's nothing to cry about.


Alice

If I wasn't real, I shouldn't be able to cry.


Tweedledum

I hope you don't suppose those are real tears?

Alice

I know you’re talking nonsense, and it's foolish to cry about it. At any rate I'd better be getting out of the wood.



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