Lewis Carroll: Through the Looking Glass


They looked so exactly like a couple of great schoolboys, that Alice couldn't help pointing her finger at Tweedledum, and saying `First Boy!'

`Nohow!' Tweedledum cried out briskly, and shut his mouth up again with a snap.

`Next Boy!' said Alice, passing on to Tweedledee, though she felt quite certain he would only shout out `Contrariwise!' and so he did.

`You've been wrong!' cried Tweedledum. `The first thing in a visit is to say "How d'ye do?" and shake hands!' And here the two brothers gave each other a hug, and then they held out the two hands that were free, to shake hands with her.

Alice did not like shaking hands with either of them first, for fear of hurting the other one's feelings; so, as the best way out of the difficulty, she took hold of both hands at once: the next moment they were dancing round in a ring. This seemed quite natural (she remembered afterwards), and she was not even surprised to hear music playing: it seemed to come from the tree under which they were dancing, and it was done (as well as she could make it out) by the branches rubbing one across the other, like fiddles and fiddle-sticks.

`But it certainly WAS funny,' (Alice said afterwards, when she was telling her sister the history of all this,) `to find myself singing "HERE WE GO ROUND THE MULBERRY BUSH." I don't know when I began it, but somehow I felt as if I'd been singing it a long long time!'

The other two dancers were fat, and very soon out of breath. `Four times round is enough for one dance,' Tweedledum panted out, and they left off dancing as suddenly as they had begun: the music stopped at the same moment.

Then they let go of Alice's hands, and stood looking at her for a minute: there was a rather awkward pause, as Alice didn't know how to begin a conversation with people she had just been dancing with. `It would never do to say "How d'ye do?" NOW,' she said to herself: `we seem to have got beyond that, somehow!'

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