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Title: Lewis Carroll in Wonderland and at Home - The Story of His Life
Author: Moses, Belle
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Lewis Carroll in Wonderland and at Home - The Story of His Life" ***

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LEWIS CARROLL

IN WONDERLAND AND AT HOME



[Illustration: LEWIS CARROLL.]



  LEWIS CARROLL IN WONDERLAND AND AT HOME

  _THE STORY OF HIS LIFE_


  BY BELLE MOSES

  AUTHOR OF "LOUISA MAY ALCOTT"


  D. APPLETON AND COMPANY
  NEW YORK AND LONDON
  1910



  COPYRIGHT, 1910, BY
  D. APPLETON AND COMPANY

  _Published October, 1910_

  Printed in the United States of America



TO E. M. M. and M. J. M.



INTRODUCTION.


Lewis Carroll discovered a new country, simply by rowing up and down the
river, and telling a story to the accompaniment of dipping oars and
rippling waters, as the boat glided through. It is not everyone who can
discover a country, people it with marvelous, fanciful shapes, and give it
a place in our mental geography. But Lewis Carroll was not "everyone"--in
fact he was like no one else to the many who called him friend. He had the
magic power of creating something out of nothing, and gave to the eager
children who had tired of "Aunt Louisa's Picture Books," and "Garlands of
Poetry," something to think about, to guess about, and to talk about.

If he had written nothing else but "Alice in Wonderland," that one book
would have been quite enough to make him famous, but his pen was never
idle, and the world of children has much for which to thank him. How much,
and for what, the following pages will strive to tell, and if they succeed
in conveying to their readers half the charm that lay in the life of this
man, who did so much for others, they will not have been written in vain.

In telling the story of his life I am indebted to many, for courtesy and
assistance. I wish specially to thank my brother, Montrose J. Moses.
Columbia Library, Astor Library, St. Agnes Branch of the Public Library,
and Miss Brown, of the Traveling Library, have all been exceedingly kind
and helpful. To Messrs. E. P. Dutton and Company I extend my thanks for
permission to quote from Miss Isa Bowman's interesting reminiscences, and
to the American and English editors of _The Strand_ I am also indebted for
a similar courtesy.

BELLE MOSES.

NEW YORK, _October, 1910_.



CONTENTS


  CHAPTER                                              PAGE

     I.--THERE WAS ONCE A LITTLE BOY                      1

    II.--SCHOOL DAYS AT RICHMOND AND RUGBY               15

   III.--HOME LIFE DURING THE HOLIDAYS                   30

    IV.--OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP AND HONORS                   42

     V.--A MANY-SIDED GENIUS                             60

    VI.--UP AND DOWN THE RIVER WITH THE REAL ALICE       80

   VII.--ALICE IN WONDERLAND AND WHAT SHE DID THERE      98

  VIII.--LEWIS CARROLL AT HOME AND ABROAD               125

    IX.--MORE OF "ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS"      146

     X.--"HUNTING OF THE SNARK" AND OTHER POEMS         176

    XI.--GAMES, RIDDLES AND PUZZLES                     202

   XII.--A FAIRY RING OF GIRLS                          221

  XIII.--"ALICE" ON THE STAGE AND OFF                   242

   XIV.--A TRIP WITH SYLVIE AND BRUNO                   272

    XV.--LEWIS CARROLL--MAN AND CHILD                   287



LEWIS CARROLL.



CHAPTER I.

THERE WAS ONCE A LITTLE BOY.


There was once a little boy whose name was _not_ Lewis Carroll. He was
christened Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, in the parish church of Daresbury,
England, where he was born, on January 27, 1832. A little out-of-the-way
village was Daresbury, a name derived from a word meaning oak, and
Daresbury was certainly famous for its beautiful oaks.

The christening of Baby Charles must have been a very happy occasion. To
begin with, the tiny boy was the first child of what proved to be a
"numerous family," and the officiating clergyman was the proud papa. The
name of Charles had been bestowed upon the eldest son for generations of
Dodgsons, who had carried it honorably through the line, handing it down
untarnished to this latest Charles, in the parish church at Daresbury.

The Dodgsons could doubtless trace their descent much further back than a
great-great-grandfather, being a race of gentlemen and scholars, but the
Rev. Christopher Dodgson, who lived quite a century before Baby Charles
saw the light, is the earliest ancestor we hear of, and he held a living
in Yorkshire. In those days, a clergyman was dependent upon some noble
patron for his living, a living meaning the parish of which he had charge
and the salary he received for his work, and so when the Rev.
Christopher's eldest son Charles also took holy orders, he had for _his_
patron the Duke of Northumberland, who gave him the living of Elsden in
Northumberland, a cold, bleak, barren country. The Rev. Charles took what
fell to his lot with much philosophy and a saving sense of humor.

He suffered terribly from the cold despite the fact that he snuggled down
between two feather beds in the big parlor, which was no doubt the best
room in a most uncomfortable house. It was all he could do to keep from
freezing, for the doors were rarely closed against the winds that howled
around them. The good clergyman was firmly convinced that the end of the
world would come by frost instead of fire. Even when safely in bed, he
never felt _quite_ comfortable unless his head was wrapped in three
nightcaps, while he twisted a pair of stockings, like a cravat, around his
suffering throat. He generally wore two shirts at a time, as washing was
cheap, and rarely took off his coat and his boots.

This uncomplaining, jovial clergyman finally received his reward. King
George III bestowed upon him the See of Elphin, which means that he was
made bishop, and had no more hardships to bear. This gentleman, who was
the great-grandfather of our Charles, had four children; Elizabeth Anne,
the only daughter, married a certain Charles Lutwidge of Holmrook in
Cumberland. There were two sons who died quite young, and Charles, the
eldest, entered the army and rose to the rank of captain in the 4th
Dragoon Guards. He lost his life in the performance of a perilous duty,
leaving behind him two sons; Charles, the elder, turned back into the ways
of his ancestors and became a clergyman, and Hassard, who studied law, had
a brilliant career.

This last Charles, in 1830, married his cousin, Frances Jane Lutwidge, and
in 1832 we find him baptizing another little Charles, in the parish church
at Daresbury, his eldest son, and consequently his pride and hope.

The living at Daresbury was the beginning of a long life of service to the
Church. The father of our Charles rose to be one of the foremost clergymen
of his time, a man of wide learning, of deep piety, and of great charity,
beloved by rich and poor. Though of somewhat sober nature, in moments of
recreation he could throw off his cares like a boy, delighting his friends
by his wit and humor, and the rare gift of telling anecdotes, a gift his
son inherited in full measure, long before he took the name of "Lewis
Carroll," some twenty years after he was received into the fold of the
parish church at Daresbury.

Little Charles headed the list of eleven young Dodgsons, and the mother
of this infant brigade was a woman in a thousand. We all know what mothers
are; then we can imagine this one, so kind and gentle that never a harsh
word was known to pass her lips, and may be able to trace her quiet,
helpful influence on the character of our Boy, just as we see her delicate
features reproduced in many of his later pictures.

A boy must be a poor specimen, indeed, if such a father and mother could
not bring out the best in him. Saddled as he was, with the responsibility
of being the oldest of eleven, and consequently an example held up to
younger brothers and sisters, Charles was grave and serious beyond his
years. Only an eldest child can appreciate what a responsibility this
really is. You mustn't do "so and so" for fear one of the younger ones
might do likewise! If his parents had not been very remarkable people,
this same Charles might have developed into a virtuous little prig. "Good
Brother Charles who never does wrong" might have grown into a terrible
bugbear to the other small Dodgsons, had he not been brimful of fun and
humor himself. As it was he soon became their leader in all their games
and plays, and the quiet parsonage on the glebe farm, full a mile and a
half from even the small traffic of the village, rang at least with the
echoes of laughter and chatter from these youngsters with strong healthy
lungs.

We cannot be quite sure whether they were good children or bad children,
for time somehow throws a halo around childhood, but let us hope they were
"jes' middlin'." We cannot bear to think of all those prim little saints,
with ramrods down their backs, sitting sedately of a Sunday in the family
pew--perhaps it took two family pews to hold them--with folded hands and
pious expressions. We can't believe these Dodgsons were so silly; they
were reverent little souls doubtless, and probably were not bad in church,
but oh! let us hope they got into mischief sometimes. There was plenty of
room for it in the big farm parsonage.

  "An island farm 'mid seas of corn,
  Swayed by the wand'ring breath of morn.
  The happy spot where I was born,"

wrote Lewis Carroll many years after, when "Alice in Wonderland" had made
him famous.

Glebe farms were very common in England; they consisted of large tracts of
land surrounding the parsonage, which the pastor was at liberty to
cultivate for his own use, or to eke out his often scanty income, and as
the parsonage at Daresbury was comparatively small, and the glebe or farm
lands fairly large, we can be sure these boys and girls loved to be out of
doors, and little Charlie at a very early age began to number some queer
companions among his intimate friends. His small hands burrowing in the
soft, damp earth, brought up squirming, wriggling things--earthworms,
snails, and the like. He made pets of them, studying their habits in his
"small boy" way, and having long, serious talks with them, lying on the
ground beside them as they crawled around him. An ant-hill was to him a
tiny town, and many a long hour the child must have spent busying himself
in their small affairs, settling imaginary disputes, helping the workers,
supplying provisions in the way of crumbs, and thus early beginning to
understand the ways of the woodland things about which he loved to write
in after years. He had, for boon companions, certain toads, with whom he
held animated conversations, and it is said that he really taught
earthworms the art of warfare by supplying them with small pieces of pipe
with which to fight.

He did not, like Hiawatha in the legend, "Learn of ev'ry bird its
language," but he invented a language of his own, in which no doubt he
discoursed wisely to the toads and snails who had time to listen; he
learned to speak this language quite fluently, so that in later years when
eager children clustered about him, and with wide eyes and peals of
laughter listened to his nonsense verses, full of the queerest words they
ever heard, they could still understand from the very tones of his voice
exactly what he meant. Indeed, when little Charles Lutwidge Dodgson grew
up to be Lewis Carroll, he worked this funny language of his by equally
funny rules, so that, as he said, "a perfectly balanced mind could
understand it."

Of course, there were other companions for the Dodgson children--cats and
dogs, and horses and cows, and in the village of Warrington, seven miles
away, there were children to be found of their own size and age, but
Daresbury itself was very lonely. A canal ran through the far end of the
parish, and here bargemen used to ply to and fro, carrying produce and
fodder to the near-by towns. Mr. Dodgson took a keen interest in these men
who seemed to have no settled place of worship.

In a quiet, persuasive way he suggested to Sir Francis Egerton, a large
landholder of the country, that it would be nice to turn one of the barges
into a chapel, describing how it could be done for a hundred pounds, well
knowing, clever man, that he was talking to a most interested listener;
for a few weeks later he received a letter from Sir Francis telling him
that the chapel was ready. In this odd little church, the first of its
kind, Mr. Dodgson preached every Sunday evening.

But at Daresbury itself life was very monotonous; even the passing of a
cart was a great event, and going away was a great adventure. There was
one never-to-be-forgotten occasion when the family went off on a holiday
jaunt to Beaumaris. Railroads were then very rare things, so they made the
journey in three days by coach, allowing also three days for the return
trip.

It was great fun traveling in one of those old-time coaches with all the
luggage strapped behind, and all the bright young faces atop, and four
fast-trotting horses dashing over the ground, and a nice long holiday with
fine summer weather to look forward to. But in winter, in those days,
traveling was a serious matter; only a favored few could squeeze into the
body of the coach; the others still sat atop, muffled to the chin, yet
numb with the cold, as the horses went faster and faster, and the wind
whistled by, and one's breath froze on the way. Let us hope the little
Dodgsons went in the summer time.

Daresbury must have been a beautiful place, with its pleasant walks, its
fine meadows, its deep secluded woods, and best of all, those wonderful
oak trees which the boy loved to climb, and under whose shade he would lie
by the hour, filling his head with all those quaint fancies which he has
since given to the world. He was a clever little fellow, eager to learn,
and from the first his father superintended his education, being himself a
scholar of very high order. He had the English idea of sending his eldest
son along the path he himself had trod; first to a public school, then to
Oxford, and finally into the Church, if the boy had any leaning that way.

Education in those days began early, and not by way of the kindergarten;
the small boy had scarcely lost his baby lisp before he was put to the
study of Latin and Greek, and Charles, besides, developed a passion for
mathematics. It is told that when a very small boy he showed his father a
book of logarithms, asking him to explain it, but Mr. Dodgson mildly
though firmly refused.

"You are too young to understand such a difficult subject," he replied; "a
few years later you will enjoy the study--wait a while."

"_But_," persisted the boy, his mind firmly bent on obtaining information,
"please explain." Whether the father complied with his request is not
recorded, but we rather believe that explanations were set aside for the
time. Certain it is, they were demanded again and again, for the boy soon
developed a wonderful head for figures and signs, a knowledge which grew
with the years, as we shall see later.

When he was still quite a little boy, his mother and father went to Hull
to visit Mrs. Dodgson's father who had been ill. The children, some five
or six in number--the entire eleven had not yet arrived--were left in the
care of an accommodating aunt, but Charles, being the eldest, received a
letter from his mother in which he took much pride, his one idea being to
keep it out of the clutches of his little sisters, whose hands were always
ready for mischief. He wrote upon the back of the note, forbidding them to
touch his property, explaining cunningly that it was covered with slimy
pitch, a most uncomfortable warning, but it was "the ounce of prevention,"
for the letter has been handed down to us, and a sweet, cheery letter it
was, so full of mother-love and care, and tender pride in the little brood
at home. No wonder he prized it!

This is probably the first letter he ever received, and it takes very
little imagination to picture the important air with which he carried it
about, and the care with which he hoarded it through all the years.

There is a dear little picture of our Boy taken when he was eight years
old. Photography was not yet in use, so this black print of him is the
copy of a silhouette which was the way people had their "pictures taken"
in those days. It was always a profile picture, and little Charles's
finely shaped head, with its slightly bulging forehead and delicate
features, stands sharply outlined. We have also a silhouette of Mrs.
Dodgson, and the resemblance between the two is very marked.

When the boy was eleven, a great change came into his life. Sir Robert
Peel, the famous statesman, presented to his father the Crown living of
Croft, a Yorkshire village about three miles from Darlington. A Crown
living is always an exceptionally good one, as it is usually given by
royal favor, and accompanied by a comfortable salary. Mr. Dodgson was
sorry to leave his old parishioners and the little parsonage where he had
seen so much quiet happiness, but he was glad at the same time, to get
away from the dullness and monotony of Daresbury. With a growing family of
children it was absolutely necessary to come more into contact with
people, and Croft was a typical, delightful English town, famous even
to-day for its baths and medicinal waters. Before Mr. Dodgson's time it
was an important posting-station for the coaches running between London
and Edinburgh, and boasted of a fine hotel near the rectory, used later by
gentlemen in the hunting season.

Mr. Dodgson's parish consisted not only of Croft proper, but included the
neighboring hamlets of Halnaby, Dalton and Stapleton, so he was a pretty
busy man going from one to the other, and the little Dodgsons were busy,
too, making new friends and settling down into their new and commodious
quarters.

The village of Croft is on the river Tees, in fact it stands on the
dividing line between Yorkshire and Durham. A bridge divides the two
counties, and midway on it is a stone which marks the boundary line. It
was an old custom for certain landholders to stand on this bridge at the
coming of each new Bishop of Durham, and to present him with an old sword,
with an appropriate address of welcome. This sword the Bishop returned
immediately.

The Tees often overflowed its banks--indeed, floods were not infrequent in
these smiling English landscape countries, kept so fertile and green by
the tiny streams which intersect them. Two or three heavy rainfalls will
swell the waters, sending them rushing over the country with enormous
force. Jean Ingelow in her poem "High Tide on the Coast of Lincolnshire"
paints a vivid picture of the havoc such a flood may make in a peaceful
land:

  "Where the river, winding down,
  Onward floweth to the town."

But the quaint old church at Croft has doubtless weathered more than one
overflow from the restless river Tees.

The rectory, a large brick house, with a sloping tile roof and tall
chimneys, stood well back in a very beautiful garden, filled with all
sorts of rare plants, intersected by winding gravel paths. As in all
English homes, the kitchen garden was a most attractive spot; its high
walls were covered with luxuriant fruit trees, and everybody knows that
English "wall fruit" is the most delicious kind. The trees are planted
very close to the wall, and the spreading boughs, when they are heavy with
the ripening fruit, are not bent with the weight of it, but are thoroughly
propped and supported by these walls of solid brick, so the undisturbed
fruit comes to a perfect maturity without any of the accidents which occur
in the ordinary orchard. The garden itself was bright with kitchen greens,
filled with everything needed for household use.

With so much space the little Dodgsons had room to grow and "multiply" to
the full eleven, and fine times they had with plays and games, usually
invented by their clever brother. One of the principal diversions was a
toy railroad with "stations" built at various sections of the garden,
usually very pretty and rustic looking, planned and built by Charles
himself. He also made a rude train out of a wheelbarrow, a barrel, and a
small truck, and was able to convey his passengers comfortably from
station to station, exacting fare at each trip.

He was something of a conjurer, too, and in wig and gown, could amaze his
audience for hours with his inexhaustible supply of tricks. He also made
some quaint-looking marionettes, and a theater for them to act in, even
writing the plays, which were masterpieces in their way. Once he traced a
maze upon the snow-covered lawn of the rectory.

Mazes were often found in the real old-time gardens of England; they
consisted of intersecting paths bordered by clipped shrubbery and
generally arranged in geometrical designs, very puzzling to the unwary
person who got lost in them, unable to discover a way out, until by some
happy accident the right path was found. "Threading the Maze" was a
fashionable pastime in the days of the Tudors; the maze at Hampton Court
being one of the most remarkable of that period.

Charles's early knowledge of mathematics made his work on the snow-covered
lawn all the more remarkable, for the love of that particular branch of
learning certainly grew with his growth.

Meanwhile, it was a very serious, earnest little boy, who looked down the
long line of Dodgsons, saying with a choke in his voice: "I must leave you
and this lovely rectory, and this fair, smiling countryside, and go to
school."

He was shy, and the thought struck terror; but everybody who is anybody in
England goes to some fine public school before becoming an Oxford or a
Cambridge student, and for that reason Charles Lutwidge Dodgson buried his
regrets beneath a smiling face, bade farewell to his household, and at the
mature age of twelve, armed with enough Greek and Latin to have made a
dictionary, with a knowledge of mathematics that a college "don" might
well have envied, set forth to this alluring world of books and learning.



CHAPTER II.

SCHOOL DAYS AT RICHMOND AND RUGBY.


With the removal to Croft, Mr. Dodgson was brought more and more into
prominence; he was appointed examing chaplain to the Bishop of Ripon, and
finally he was made Archdeacon of Richmond and one of the Canons of Ripon
Cathedral.

The Grammar School at Richmond was well known in that section of England.
It was under the rule of a certain Mr. Tate, whose father, Dr. Tate, had
made the school famous some years before, and it was there that our Boy
had his first taste of school life.

Holidays in those days were not arranged as they are now, for one of the
first letters of Charles, sent home from Richmond, was dated August 5th;
so it is probable that the term began in midsummer. This special letter
was written to his two eldest sisters and gives an excellent picture of
those first days, when as a "new boy" he suffered at the hands of his
schoolmates. As advanced as he was in Latin and Greek and mathematics,
this letter, for a twelve-year-old boy, does not show any remarkable
progress in English. The spelling was precise and correct, but the
punctuation was peculiar, to say the least.

Still his description of the school life, when one overcame the presence
of commas and the absence of periods, presented a vivid picture to the
mind. He tells of the funny tricks the boys played upon him because he was
a "new boy." One was called "King of the Cobblers." He was told to sit on
the ground while the boys gathered around him and to say "Go to work";
immediately they all fell upon him, and kicked and knocked him about
pretty roughly. Another trick was "The Red Lion," and was played in the
churchyard; they made a mark on a tombstone and one of the boys ran toward
it with his finger pointed and eyes shut, trying to see how near he could
get to the mark. When _his_ turn came, and he walked toward the tombstone,
some boy who stood ready beside it, had his mouth open to bite the
outstretched finger on its way to the mark. He closes his letter by
stating three uncomfortable things connected with his arrival--the loss of
his toothbrush and his failure to clean his teeth for several days in
consequence; his inability to find his blotting-paper, and his lack of a
shoe-horn.

The games the Richmond boys played--football, wrestling, leapfrog and
fighting--he slurred over contemptuously, they held no attraction for him.

A schoolboy or girl of the present day can have no idea of the discomforts
of school life in Charles Dodgson's time, and the boy whose gentle
manners were the result of sweet home influence and association with
girls, found the rough ways of the English schoolboy a constant trial.
Strong and active as he was, he was always up in arms for those weaker and
smaller than himself. Bullying enraged him, and distasteful as it was, he
soon learned the art of using his fists for the protection of himself and
others. These were the school-days of _Nicholas Nickleby_, _David
Copperfield_, and _Little Paul Dombey_. Of course, all schoolmasters were
not like _Squeers_ or _Creakle_, nor all schoolmasters' wives like _Mrs.
Squeers_, nor indeed all schools like Dotheboys' Hall or Salem Hall, or
_Dr. Blimber's_ cramming establishment, but many of the inconveniences
were certainly prominent in the best schools.

Flogging was considered the surest road to knowledge; kind, honest,
liberal-minded teachers kept a birch-rod and a ferrule within gripping
distance, and the average schoolboy thus treated like a little beast,
could be pardoned for behaving like one. In spring or summer the big,
bare, comfortless schoolhouses were all very well, but when the days grew
chill, the small boy shivered on his hard bench in his draughty corner,
and in winter time the scarcity of fires was trying to ordinary flesh and
blood. The poor unfortunate who rose at six, and had to fetch and carry
his own water from an outdoor pump, or if he had taken the precaution to
draw it the night before, had found it frozen in his pitcher, was not to
be blamed if washing was merely a figure of speech.

Mr. and Mrs. Tate were most considerate to their boys, and Richmond was a
model school of its class. Charles loved his "kind old schoolmaster" as he
called him, and he was not alone in this feeling, for Mr. Tate's influence
over the boys was maintained through the affection and respect they had
for him. Of course he let them "fight it out" among themselves according
to the boy-nature; but the earnest little fellow with the grave face and
the eager, questioning eyes, attracted him greatly, and he began to study
him in his keen, kind way, finding much to admire and praise in the
letters which he wrote to his father, and predicting for him a bright
career. Admitting that he had found young Dodgson superior to other boys,
he wisely suggested that he should never know this fact, but should learn
to love excellence for its own sake, and not for the sake of excelling.

Charles made quite a name for himself during those first school days.
Mathematics still fascinated him and Latin grew to be second nature; he
stood finely in both, and while at Richmond he developed another taste,
the love of composition, often contributing to the school magazine. The
special story recorded was called "The Unknown One," but doubtless many a
rhyme and jingle which could be traced to him found its way into this same
little magazine, not forgetting odd sketches which he began to do at a
very early age. They were all rough, for the most part grotesque, but full
of simple fun and humor, for the quiet studious schoolboy loved a joke.

Charles stayed at the Richmond school for three years; then he took the
next step in an English boy's life, he entered Rugby, one of the great
public schools.

In America, a public school is a school for the people, where free
instruction is given to all alike; but the English public school is
another thing. It is a school for gentlemen's sons, where tuition fees are
far from small, and "extras" mount up on the yearly bills.

Rugby had become a very celebrated school when the great Dr. Arnold was
Head-Master. Up to that time it was neither so well known nor so popular
as Eton, but Dr. Arnold had governed it so vigorously that his hand was
felt long after his untimely death, which occurred just four years before
Charles was ready to enter the school. The Head-Master at that time was,
strangely enough, named Tait, spelt a little differently from the Richmond
schoolmaster. Dr. Tait, who afterwards became Archbishop of Canterbury,
was a most capable man, who governed the school for two of the three years
that our Boy was a pupil. The last year, Dr. Goulburn was Head-Master.

Charles found Rugby a great change from the quiet of Richmond. He went up
in February of 1846, the beginning of the second term, when football was
in full swing. The teams practiced on the broad open campus known as
"Big-side," and a "new boy" could only look on and applaud the great
creatures who led the game. Rugby was swarming with boys--three hundred at
least--from small fourteen-year-olders of the lowest "form," or class, to
those of eighteen or twenty of the fifth and sixth, the highest forms.
They treated little Dodgson in their big, burly, schoolboy fashion, hazed
him to their hearts' content when he first entered, shrugging their
shoulders good-naturedly over his love of study, in preference to the
great games of cricket and football.

To have a fair glimpse of our Boy's life at this period, some little idea
of Rugby and its surroundings might serve as a guide. Those who visit the
school to-day, with its pile of modern, convenient, and ugly architecture,
have no conception of what it was over sixty years ago, and even in 1846
it bore no resemblance to the original school founded by one Lawrence
Sheriffe, "citizen and grocer of London" during the reign of Henry VIII.
To begin with, it is situated in Shakespeare's own country, Warwickshire
on the Avon River, and that in itself was enough to rouse the interest of
any musing, bookish boy like Charles Dodgson.

From "Tom Brown's School Days," that ever popular book by Thomas Hughes,
we may perhaps understand the feelings of the "new boy" just passing
through the big, imposing school gates, with the oriel window above, and
entering historic Rugby.

What first struck his view was the great school field or "close" as they
called it, with its famous elms, and next, "the long line of gray
buildings, beginning with the chapel and ending with the schoolhouse, the
residence of the Head-Master where the great flag was lazily waving from
the highest round tower."

As we follow _Tom Brown_ through _his_ first day, we can imagine our Boy's
sensations when he found himself in this howling wilderness of boys. The
eye of a boy is as keen as that of a girl regarding dress, and before _Tom
Brown_ was allowed to enter Rugby gates he was taken into the town and
provided with a cat-skin cap, at seven and sixpence.

"'You see,' said his friend as they strolled up toward the school gates,
in explanation of his conduct, 'a great deal depends on how a fellow cuts
up at first. If he's got nothing odd about him and answers
straightforward, and holds his head up, he gets on.'"

Having passed the gates, _Tom_ was taken first to the matron's room, to
deliver up his trunk key, then on a tour of inspection through the
schoolhouse hall which opened into the quadrangle. This was "a great room,
thirty feet long and eighteen high or thereabouts, with two great tables
running the whole length, and two large fireplaces at the side with
blazing fires in them."

This hall led into long dark passages with a fire at the end of each, and
this was the hallway upon which the studies opened.

Now, to Charles Dodgson as well as to _Tom Brown_, a study conjured up
untold luxury; it was in truth a "Rugby boy's citadel" usually six feet
long and four feet broad. It was rather a gloomy light which came in
through the bars and grating of the one window, but these precautions had
to be taken with the studies on the ground floor, to keep the small boys
from slipping out after "lock-up" time.

Under the window was usually a wooden table covered with green baize, a
three-legged stool, a cupboard, and nails for hat and coat. The rest of
the furnishings included "a plain flat-bottom candlestick with iron
extinguisher and snuffers, a wooden candle-box, a staff-handle brush,
leaden ink-pot, basin and bottle for washing the hands, and a saucer or
gallipot for soap." There was always a cotton curtain or a blind before
the window. For such a mansion the Rugby schoolboy paid from ten to
fifteen shillings a year, and the tenant bought his own furniture. _Tom
Brown_ had a "hard-seated sofa covered with red stuff," big enough to hold
two in a "tight squeeze," and he had, besides, a good, stout, wooden
chair. Those boys who had looking-glasses in their rooms were able to comb
their own locks, those who were not so fortunate went to what was known
as the "combing-house" and had it done for them.

Unfortunately there are recorded very few details of these school-days at
Rugby. We can only conjecture, from our knowledge of the boy and his
studious ways, that Charles Dodgson's study was his castle, his home, and
freehold while he was in the school. He drew around him a circle of
friends, for the somewhat sober lad had the gift of talking, and could be
jolly and entertaining when he liked.

The chapel at Rugby was an unpretentious Gothic building, very imposing
and solemn to little Dodgson, who had been brought up in a most
reverential way, but the Rugbeans viewed it in another light. _Tom
Brown's_ chosen chum explained it to him in this wise:

"That's the chapel you see, and there just behind it is the place for
fights; it's most out of the way for masters, who all live on the other
side and don't come by here after first lesson or callings-over. That's
when the fights come off."

All this must have shocked the simple, law-abiding son of a clergyman. It
took from four to six years to tame the average Rugby boy, but little
Charles needed no discipline; he was not a "goody-goody" boy, he simply
had a natural aversion to rough games and sports. He liked to keep a whole
skin, and his mind clear for his studies; he was fond of tramping through
the woods, or fishing along the banks of the pretty, winding Avon, or
rowing up and down the river, or lying on some grassy slope, still weaving
the many odd fancies which grew into clearer shape as the years passed.
The boys at Rugby did not know he was a genius, he did not know it
himself, happy little lad, just a bit quiet and old-fashioned, for the
noisy, blustering life about him. In fact, strange as it may seem, Charles
Dodgson was never really a little boy until he was quite grown up.

He easily fell in with the routine of the school, but discipline, even as
late as 1846, was hard to maintain. The Head-Master had his hands full;
there were six under-masters--one for each form--and special tutors for
the boys who required them, and from the fifth and sixth forms, certain
monitors were selected called "præposters," who were supposed to preserve
order among the lower forms. In reality they bullied the smaller boys, for
the system of fagging was much abused in those days, and the poor little
fags had to be bootblacks, water-carriers, and general servants to very
hard task-masters, while the "præposter" had little thought of doing any
service for the service he exacted; in fact the unfortunate fag had to
submit in silence to any indignity inflicted by an older boy, for if by
chance a report of such doings came to the ears of the Head-Master or his
associates, the talebearer was "sent to Coventry," in other words, he was
shunned and left to himself by all his companions.

Injustice like this made little Dodgson's blood boil; he submitted of
course with the other small boys, but he always had a peculiar distaste
for the life at Rugby. He owned several years later that none of the
studying at Rugby was done from real love of it, and he specially bewailed
the time he lost in writing out impositions, and he further confessed that
under no consideration would he live over those three years again.

These "impositions" were the hundreds of lines of Latin or Greek which the
boys had to copy out with their own hands, for the most trifling
offenses--a weary and hopeless waste of time, with little good
accomplished.

In spite of many drawbacks, he got on finely with his work, seldom
returning home for the various holidays without one or more prizes, and we
cannot believe that he was quite outside of all the fun and frolic of a
Rugby schoolboy's life. For instance, we may be sure that he went bravely
through that terrible ordeal for the newcomer, called "singing in Hall."
"Each new boy," we are told, "was mounted in turn upon a table, a candle
in each hand, and told to sing a song. If he made a false note, a violent
hiss followed, and during the performance pellets and crusts of bread were
thrown at boy or candles, often knocking them out of his hands and
covering him with tallow. The singing over, he descended and pledged the
house in a bumper of salt and water, stirred by a tallow candle. He was
then free of the house and retired to his room, feeling very
uncomfortable."

"On the night after 'new boys' night' there was chorus singing, in which
solos and quartets of all sorts were sung, especially old Rugby's
favorites such as:

  "'It's my delight, on a shiny night
  In the season of the year,'

and the proceedings always wound up with 'God save the Queen.'"

Guy Fawkes' Day was another well-known festival at Rugby. There were
bonfires in the town, but they were never kindled until eight o'clock,
which was "lock-up" time for Rugby school. The boys resented this as it
was great fun and they were out of it, so each year there was a lively
scrimmage between the Rugbeans and the town, the former bent on kindling
the bonfires before "lock-up" time, the latter doing all they could to
hold back the ever-pressing enemy. Victory shifted with the years, from
one side to the other, but the boys had their fun all the same, which was
over half the battle.

Charles must have gone through Rugby with rapid strides, accomplishing in
three years' time what _Tom Brown_ did in eight, and when he left he had
the proud distinction of being among the _very_ few who had never gone up
a certain winding staircase leading, by a small door, into the Master's
private presence, where the rod awaited the culprit, and a good heavy rod
it was.

During these years Dickens was doing his best work, and while at Rugby,
Charles read "David Copperfield," which came out in numbers in the _Penny
Magazine_. He was specially interested in _Mrs. Gummidge_, that mournful,
tearful lady, who was constantly bemoaning that she was "a lone lorn
creetur," and that everything went "contrairy" with her. Dickens's humor
touched a chord of sympathy in him, and if we go over in our minds, the
weeping animals we know in "Alice in Wonderland" and "Through the
Looking-Glass," we will find many excellent portraits of _Mrs. Gummidge_.

He also read Macaulay's "History of England," and from it was particularly
struck by a passage describing the seven bishops who had signed the
invitation to the Pretender. Bishop Compton, one of the seven, when
accused by King James, and asked whether he or any of his ecclesiastical
brethren had anything to do with it, replied: "I am fully persuaded, your
Majesty, that there is not one of my brethren who is not innocent in the
matter as myself." This tickled the boy's sense of humor. Those touches
always appealed to him; as he grew older they took even a firmer hold upon
him and he was quick to pluck a laugh from the heart of things.

His life at Rugby was somewhat of a strain; with a brain beginning to teem
with a thousand fairy fancies that the boys around him could not
appreciate, he was forced to thrust them out of sight. He flung himself
into his studies, coming out at examinations on top in mathematics, Latin,
and divinity, and saving that other part of him for his sisters, when he
went home for the holidays.

Meantime he continued to write verses and stories and to draw clever
caricatures. There is one of these drawings peculiarly Rugbean in
character; it is supposed to be a scene in which four of his sisters are
roughly handling a fifth, because she _would_ write to her brother when
they wished to go to Halnaby and the Castle. This noble effort he signed
"Rembrandt."

The picture is really very funny. The five girls have very much the
appearance of the marionettes he was fond of making, especially the
unfortunate correspondent who has been pulled into a horizontal position
by the stern sister. The whole story is told by the expression of the eyes
and mouth of each, for the clever schoolboy had all the secrets of
caricature, without quite enough genius in that direction to make him an
artist.

The Rugby days ended in glory; our Boy, no longer little Dodgson, but
young Dodgson, came home loaded with honors. Mr. Mayor, his mathematical
master, wrote to his father in 1848, that he had never had a more
promising boy at his age, since he came to Rugby. Mr. Tait also wrote
complimenting him most highly not only for his high standing in
mathematics and divinity, but for his conduct while at Rugby, which was
all that could be desired.

We can now see the dawning of the two great loves of his life, but there
was another love, which Rugby brought forth in all its beauty and
strength, the love for girls. From that time he became their champion,
their friend, and their comrade; whatever of youth and of boyhood was in
his nature came out in brilliant flashes in their company. Boys, in his
estimation, _had_ to be, of course--a necessary evil, to be wrestled with
and subdued. But girls--God bless 'em! were girls; that was enough for
young Dodgson to the end of the chapter.



CHAPTER III.

HOME LIFE DURING THE HOLIDAYS.


When Charles came home on his holiday visits, he was undoubtedly the
busiest person at Croft Rectory. We must remember there were ten eager
little brothers and sisters who wanted the latest news from "the front,"
meaning Rugby of course, and Charles found many funny things to tell of
the school doings, many exciting matches to recount, many a thrilling
adventure, and, alas! many a tale of some popular hero's downfall and
disgrace. He had sketches to show, and verses to read to a most
enthusiastic audience, the girls giggling over his funny tales, the boys
roaring with excitement as in fancy they pictured the scene at "Big-side"
during some great football scrimmage, for Charles's descriptions were so
vivid, indeed he was such a good talker always, that a few quaint
sentences would throw the whole picture on the canvas.

Vacation time was devoted to literary schemes of all kinds. From little
boyhood until he was way up in his "teens," he was the editor of one
magazine or another of home manufacture, chiefly, indeed, of his own
composition, or drawn from local items of interest to the young people of
Croft Rectory. While he was still at Richmond School, _Useful and
Instructive Poetry_ was born and died in six months' time, and many others
shared the same fate; but the young editor was undaunted.

This was the age of small periodicals and he had caught the craze; it was
also the age when great genius was burning brightly in England. Tennyson
was in his prime; Dickens was writing his stories, and Macaulay his
history of England. There were many other geniuses who influenced his
later years, Carlyle, Browning and others, but the first three caught his
boyish fancy and were his guides during those early days of editorship.
_Punch_, the great English magazine of wit and humor, attracted him
immensely, and many a time his rough drawings caught the spirit of some of
the famous cartoons. He never imagined, as he laughed over the broad humor
of John Tenniel, that the great cartoonist would one day stand beside him
and share the honors of "Alice in Wonderland."

One of his last private efforts in the editorial line was _The Rectory
Umbrella_, a magazine undertaken when he was about seventeen or eighteen
years old, on the bridge, one might say, between boyhood and his
approaching Oxford days. His mind had developed quickly, though his views
of life did not go far beyond the rectory grounds. He evidently took his
title out of the umbrella-stand in the rectory hall, the same stand
doubtless which furnished him with "The Walking Stick of Destiny," a story
of the lurid, exciting sort, which made his readers' hair rise. The
magazine also contained a series of sketches supposed to have been copied
from paintings by Rembrandt, Sir Joshua Reynolds and others whose works
hang in the Vernon Gallery. One specially funny caricature of Sir Joshua
Reynolds's "Age of Innocence" represents a baby hippopotamus smiling
serenely under a tree not half big enough to shade him.

Another sketch ridicules homeopathy and is extremely funny. Homeopathy is
a branch of medical science which believes in _very_ small doses of
medicine, and this picture represents housekeeping on a homeopathic plan;
a family of six bony specimens are eating infinitesimal grains of food,
which they can only see through the spectacles they all wear, and their
table talk hovers round millionths and nonillionths of grains.

But the cleverest poem in _The Rectory Umbrella_ is the parody on
"Horatius," Macaulay's famous poem, which is supposed to be a true tale of
his brothers' adventures with an obdurate donkey. It is the second of the
series called "Lays of Sorrow," in imitation of Macaulay's "Lays of
Ancient Rome," and the tragedy lies in the sad fact that the donkey
succeeds in getting the better of the boys.

"Horatius" was a great favorite with budding orators of that day. The
Rugby boys declaimed it on every occasion, and reading it over in these
modern times of peace, one is stirred by the martial note in it. No wonder
boys like Charles Dodgson loved Macaulay, and it is pretty safe to say
that he must have had it by heart, to have treated it in such spirited
style and with such pure fun. Indeed, fun bubbled up through everything he
wrote; wholesome, honest fun, which was a safety valve for an over-serious
lad.

This period was his halting time, and the humorous skits he dashed off
were done in moments of recreation. He was mapping out his future in a
methodical way peculiarly his own. Oxford was to be his goal, divinity and
mathematics his principal studies, and he was working hard for his
examinations. The desire of the eldest son to follow in his father's
footsteps was strengthened by his own natural inclination, for into the
boy nature crept a rare golden streak of piety. The reverence for holy
things was a beautiful trait in his character from the beginning to the
end of his life; it never pushed itself aggressively to the front, but it
sweetened the whole of his intercourse with people, and was perhaps the
secret of the wonderful power he had with children.

The intervening months between Rugby and Oxford were also the
boundary-line between boyhood and young manhood, that most important
period when the character shifts into a steadier pose, when the young
eyes try vainly to pierce the mists of the future, and the young
heart-throbs are sometimes very painful. Between those Rugby school-days
and the more serious Oxford ones, something happened--we know not
what--which cast a shadow on our Boy's life. He was young enough to live
it down, yet old enough to feel keenly whatever sorrow crossed his path,
and as he never married, we naturally suspect that some unhappy love
affair, or death perhaps, had cut him off from all the joys so necessary
to a young and deep-feeling man. Whatever it was--and he kept his own
secret--it did not mar the sweetness of his nature, it did not kill his
youth, nor deaden the keen wit which was to make the world laugh one day.
It drew some pathetic lines upon his face, a wistful touch about mouth and
eyes, as we can see in all his portraits.

A slight reserve hung as a veil between him and people of his own age, but
it opened his heart all the wider to the children, whose true knight he
became when, as "Lewis Carroll" he went forth to conquer with a laugh. We
say "children," but we mean "girls." The little boy might just as well
have been a caged animal at the Zoo, for all the notice he inspired. Of
course, there were some younger brothers of his own to be considered, but
he had such a generous provision of sisters that he didn't mind, and then,
besides, one's own people are different somehow; we know well enough we
wouldn't change _our_ brothers and sisters for the finest little paragons
that walk. So with Lewis Carroll; he strongly objected to everybody else's
little brothers but his own, and it is even true that in later years there
were some small nephews and boy cousins, to whom he was extremely kind.
But as yet there is no Lewis Carroll, only a grave and earnest Charles
Lutwidge Dodgson, reading hard to enter Christ Church, Oxford, that grand
old edifice steeped in history, where his own father had "blazed a trail."

Mathematics absorbed many hours of each day, and Latin and Greek were
quite as important. English as a "course" was not thought of as it is
to-day; the classics were before everything else, although ancient and
modern history came into use.

For lighter reading, Dickens was a never-failing source of supply. All
during this holiday period "David Copperfield" was coming out in monthly
instalments, and though the hero was "only a boy," there was something in
the pathetic figure of lonely little _David_, irresistibly appealing to
the young fellow who hated oppression and injustice of any kind, and was
always on the side of the weak. While the dainty picture of _Little Em'ly_
might have been his favorite, he was keenly alive to the absurdities of
_Mrs. Gummidge_, the doglike devotion of _Peggotty_, and the horrors of
the "cheap school," which turned out little shivering cowards instead of
wholesome hearty English boys.

Later on, he visited the spot on which Dickens had founded _Dotheboys
Hall_ in "Nicholas Nickleby." "Barnard's Castle" was a most desolate
region in Yorkshire. He tells of a trip by coach, over a land of dreary
hills, into Bowes, a Godforsaken village where the original of _Dotheboys
Hall_ was still standing, though in a very dilapidated state, actually
falling to pieces. As we well know, after the writing of "Nicholas
Nickleby," government authorities began to look into the condition of the
"cheap schools" and to remedy some of the evils. Even the more expensive
schools, where the tired little brains were crammed to the brim until the
springs were worn out and the minds were gone, were exposed by the great
novelist when he wrote "Dombey and Son" and told of _Dr. Blimber's_
school, where poor little _Paul_ studied until his head grew too heavy for
his fragile body. The victims of these three schools--_David_, _Smike_,
and _Little Paul_--twined themselves about the heartstrings of the
thoughtful young student, and many a humorous bit besides, in the works of
Lewis Carroll, bears a decided flavor of those dips into Dickens.

Macaulay furnished a more solid background in the reading line. His
history, such a complete chronicle of England from the fall of the Stuarts
to the reign of Victoria, appealed strongly to the patriotism of the
English boy, and the fact that Macaulay was not only a _writer_ of English
history, but at the same time a _maker_ of history, served to strengthen
this feeling.

If we compare the life of Lord Macaulay with the life of Lewis Carroll,
we will see that there was something strangely alike about them. Both were
unmarried, living alone, but with strong family ties which softened their
lives and kept them from becoming crusty old bachelors. It is very
probable, indeed, that the younger man modeled his life somewhat along the
lines of the older, whom he greatly admired. Both were parts of great
institutions; Macaulay stood out from the background of Parliament, as
Lewis Carroll did from Oxford or more particularly Christ Church, and both
names shone more brilliantly outside the routine of daily life.

But the influence that crept closer to the heart of this boy was that of
Tennyson. The great poet with the wonderful dark face, the piercing eyes,
the shaggy mane, sending forth clarion messages to the world in waves of
song, was the inspiration of many a quaint phrase and poetic turn of
thought which came from the pen of Lewis Carroll. For Tennyson became to
him a thing of flesh and blood, a friend, and many a pleasant hour was
spent in the poet's home in later years, when the fame of "Alice" had
stirred his ambition to do other things. Many a verse of real poetry could
trace its origin to association with the great man, who was quick to
discover that there were depths in the soul of his young friend where
genius dwelt.

Meantime Charles Dodgson read his poems over and over, in the seclusion of
Croft Rectory, during that quiet pause in his life before he went up to
Oxford.

There was a village school of some importance in Croft, and members of the
Dodgson family were interested in its welfare, often lending a hand with
the teaching, and during those months, no doubt, Charles took his turn.
For society, his own family seemed to be sufficient. If he had any boy
friends, there are no records of their intercourse; indeed, the only
friend mentioned is T. Vere Bayne, who in childish days was his playfellow
and who later became, like himself, a Student of Christ Church. This
association cemented a lasting friendship. One or two Rugbeans claimed
some intimacy, but his true friendships were formed when Lewis Carroll
grew up and really became young.

Walking was always a favorite pastime; the woods were full of the things
he loved, the wild things whose life stirred in the rustling of the leaves
or the crackle of a twig, as some tiny animal whisked by. The squirrels
were friendly, the hares lifted up their long ears, stared at him and
scurried out of sight. Turtles and snails came out of the river to sun
themselves on the banks; the air was full of the hum of insects and the
chirp of birds.

As he lay under the friendly shelter of some great tree, he thought of
this tree as a refuge for the teeming life about it; the beauty of its
foliage, its spreading branches, were as nothing to its convenience as a
home for the birds and chipmunks and the burrowing things that lived
beneath its roots or in the hollows of its trunk.

These creatures became real companions in time. He studied their ways and
habits, he looked them up in the Natural History, and noting their
peculiarities, tucked them away in that quaint cupboard of his which he
called his memory.

How many things were to come out of that cupboard in later days! He
himself did not know what was hidden there. It reminded one of a chest
which only a special key could open, and he did not even know there _was_
a key, until on a certain "golden afternoon" he found it floating on the
surface of the river. He grasped it, thrust it into the rusty lock, and
lo!--but dear me, we are going too far ahead, for that is quite another
chapter, and we have left Charles Dodgson lying under a tree, watching the
lizards and snails and ants at their work or play, weaving his quaint
fancies, dreaming perhaps, or chatting with some little sister or other
who chanced to be with him. There was always a sister to chat with, which
in part accounted for his liking for girls.

So, through a long vista of years, we have the picture of our Boy, between
eighteen and nineteen, when he was about to put boyhood by forever and
enter the stately ranks of the Oxford undergraduates. As he stands before
us now, young, ardent, hopeful, and inexperienced, we can see no glimmer
of the fairy wand which turned him into a wizard.

We see only a boy, somewhat old for his years, very manly in his ways,
with a well-formed head, on which the clustering dark hair grew thick; a
sensitive mouth and deep blue eyes, full of expression. He was clever,
imitative, and consequently a good actor in the little plays he wrote and
dramatized; he was very shy, but at his best in the home circle. He
enjoyed nothing so much as an argument, always holding his ground with
great obstinacy; a fine student, frank and affectionate, brimful of wit
and humor, fond of reading, with a quiet determination to excel in
whatever he undertook. With such weapons he was well equipped to "storm
the citadel" at Oxford.

On May 23, 1850, he went up to matriculate--that is, to register his name
and go through some examinations and the formality of becoming a student.
Christ Church was to be his college, as it had been his father's before
him. Archdeacon Dodgson was much gratified by the many letters he received
congratulating him on the fact that he had a son worthy to succeed him,
for he was well remembered in the college, where he had left a brilliant
record behind him.

It certainly sounds a little queer to have the name of a church attached
to one of the colleges of a university, but our colleges in America are
comparatively so new that we cannot grasp the vastness and the antiquity
of the great English universities. Under the shelter of Oxford, and
covering an area of at least five miles, twenty colleges or more were
grouped, each one a community in itself, and all under the rule of the
Chancellor of Oxford. Christ Church received as students those most
interested in the divinity courses, though in other respects the
undergraduates could take up whatever studies they pleased, and Charles
Dodgson put most of his energy into mathematics and the necessary study of
the classics.

Seven months intervened between his matriculation and his real entrance
into Oxford; these seven months we have just reviewed, full of study and
pleasant family associations, with youthful experiments in literature,
full of promise for the future--and something deeper still--which must
have touched him just here, "where the brook and river meet."

Into all our lives at some time or other comes a solemn silence; it may
spring from many causes, from a joy which cannot be spoken, or from a
sorrow too deep for utterance, but it comes, and we cover it gently and
hide it away, as something too sacred for the common light of every day.

This was the silence which came to Lewis Carroll on the threshold of his
career; but lusty youth was with him as he stood before the portal of a
brilliant future, and there was courage and high hope in his heart as he
knocked for entrance.



CHAPTER IV.

OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP AND HONORS.


On January 24, 1851, just three days before his nineteenth birthday,
Charles Dodgson took up his residence at Christ Church, and from that time
to the day of his death his name was always associated with the fine old
building which was his _Alma Mater_. The men of Christ Church called it
the "House," and were very proud of their college, as well they might be,
for Oxford could not boast of a more imposing structure. There is a great
difference between a university and a college. A university is great
enough to shelter many colleges, and its chancellor is ruler over all.
When we reflect that Christ Church College, alone, included as many
important buildings as are to be found in some of our modern American
universities, we may have some idea of the extent of Oxford University,
within whose boundaries twenty such colleges could be counted.

Their names were all familiar to the young fellow, and many a time, in
those early days, he could be found in his boat upon the river, floating
gently down stream, the whole panorama of Oxford spread out before him.

  "Now rising o'er the level plain,
    'Mid academic groves enshrined.
  The Gothic tower, the Grecian fane,
    Ascend in solemn state combined."

The spire of St. Aldates (pronounced St. Olds); Sir Christopher Wren's
domed tower over the entrance to Christ Church; the spires of the
Cathedral of St. Mary; the tower of All Saints; the twin towers of All
Souls; the dome of Radcliffe Library; the massive tower of Merton, and the
beautiful pinnacles of Magdalen, all passed before him, "rising o'er the
level plain" as the verse puts it, backed by dense foliage, and sharply
outlined against the blue horizon.

History springs up with every step one takes in Oxford. The University can
trace its origin to the time of Alfred the Great. Beginning with only
three colleges, each year this great center of learning became more
important. Henry I built the Palace of Beaumont at Oxford, because he
wished frequent opportunities to talk with men of learning. It was from
the Castle of Oxford that the Empress Maud escaped at dead of night, in a
white gown, over the snow and the frozen river, when Stephen usurped the
throne. It was in the Palace of Beaumont that Richard the Lion-Hearted was
born, and so on, through the centuries, great deeds and great events could
be traced to the very gates of Oxford.

But most of all, the young student's affections centered around Christ
Church, and indeed, for the first few years of his college life, he had
little occasion to go outside of its broad boundaries unless for a row
upon the river.

Christ Church really owes its foundation to the famous Cardinal Wolsey.
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson had its history by heart; how the wicked old
prelate, wishing to leave behind him a monument of lasting good to cover
his many misdeeds, obtained the royal license to found the college as
early as 1525; how, in 1529, as Shakespeare said, he bade "a long farewell
to all his greatness," and his possessions, including Cardinal College as
it was then called, fell into the ruthless hands of Henry VIII; and how,
after many ups and downs, the present foundation of Christ Church was
created under "letters patent of Henry VIII dated November 4, 1546."

Christ Church, with its imposing front of four hundred feet, is built
around the Great Quadrangle, quite famous in the history of the college.
It includes in the embrace of its four sides the library and picture
gallery, the Cathedral and the Chapter House, and the homes of the dean
and his associates. There was another smaller quadrangle called Peckwater
Quadrangle, where young Dodgson had his rooms when he first entered
college, but later when he became a tutor or a "don" as the instructors
were usually called, he moved into the Great Quadrangle. A beautiful
meadow lies beyond the south gate, spreading out in a long and fertile
stretch to the river's edge.

The massive front gate has towers and turrets on either side, while just
above it is the great "Tom Tower," the present home of "Tom" the famous
bell, measuring over seven feet in diameter and weighing over seven tons.
This bell was originally dedicated to St. Thomas of Canterbury, and bore a
Latin inscription in praise of the saint. It was brought from the famous
Abbey of Oseney, when that cloister was transferred to Oxford, and on the
accession of Queen Mary, the ruling dean rechristened it Mary, out of
compliment to her; but this was not a lasting change; "Tom" was indeed the
favored name. After "Bonnie Prince Charlie" came into his own, and
Christopher Wren's tower was completed, the great bell was moved to the
new resting place, where it rang first on the anniversary of the
Restoration, May 29, 1684, and since then has rung each morning and
evening, at the opening and closing of the college gates.

"Tom Tower," as it is called, overlooks that portion of the Great
Quadrangle popularly known as "Tom Quad," and it was in this corner of the
Great Quadrangle that Lewis Carroll had his rooms. He speaks of it often
in his many reminiscences, as he also spoke of the new bell tower over the
hall staircase in the southeast corner. This new tower was built to hold
the twelve bells which form the famous Christ Church peal, some twenty
years after his entrance as an undergraduate. This, and the new entrance
to the cathedral from "Tom Quad," were designed by the architect, George
Bodley, and Lewis Carroll, who was then a very dignified and retiring
"don," ridiculed his work in a clever little booklet called "The Vision of
the Three T's."

In it he calls the new tower the "Tea-chest," the passage to the cathedral
the "Trench," the entrance itself the "Tunnel" (here we have the three
T's). The architect, whose initials are G. B., he thinly disguises as
"Jeeby," and his disapproval is expressed through "Our Willie," meaning
William E. Gladstone, who gives vent to his rage in this fashion:

  "For as I'm true knight, a fouler sight,
  I'd never live to see.
  Before I'd be the ruffian dark,
  Who planned this ghastly show,
  I'd serve as secretary's clerk [pronounced _clark_]
  To Ayrton or to Lowe.
  Before I'd own the loathly thing,
  That Christ Church Quad reveals,
  I'd serve as shoeblack's underling
  To Odger and to Beales."

But no thought of ridicule entered the earnest young scholar's mind during
those early days at Oxford. Everything he saw in his surroundings was most
impressive. There was much about the college routine to remind him of the
old Rugby days. Indeed, it was not so very long before his time that the
birch-rod was laid aside in Oxford; the rules were still very strict, and
the student was forced to work hard to gain any standing whatever.

Young Dodgson went into his studies, as he did into everything else, with
his whole soul. He devoted a great deal of his time to mathematics, and
quite as much to divinity, but just as he had settled down for months of
serious work, the news of his mother's sudden death sent him hurrying back
to Croft Rectory to join the sorrowing household. It was a terrible blow
to them all; with this young family growing up around her, she could ill
be spared, and the loss of her filled those first Oxford days with dark
shadows for the boy--he was only a boy still for all his nineteen
years--and we can imagine how deeply he mourned for his mother.

What we know of her is very faint and shadowy. That her influence was
keenly felt for many years, we can only glean from the love and reverence
with which the memory of her was guarded; for this English home hid its
grief in the depths of its heart, and only the privileged few might enter
and console.

This was the first and only break in the family for many years. Charles
went back to Oxford immediately after the funeral, and took up his studies
again with redoubled zeal.

Thomas Gaisford was dean of Christ Church during the four years that
Charles Dodgson was an undergraduate. He was a most able man, well known
as scholar, writer, and thinker, but he died, much lamented, in 1855, just
as the young student was thinking seriously of a life devoted to his
college. George Henry Liddell came into residence as dean of Christ
Church, an office which he held for nearly forty years, and as Dean
Liddell stood for a great deal in the life of Charles Dodgson, we shall
hear much of him from time to time, dating more especially from the
comradeship of his three little daughters, who were the first "really
truly" friends of Lewis Carroll.

But we are jumping over too many years at once, and must go back a few
steps. His hard study during the first year won him a Boulter scholarship;
the next year he took First Class honors in mathematics, and a second in
classical studies, and on Christmas Eve, 1852, he was made a Student of
Christ Church College.

To become a Student of Christ Church was not only a great honor, conferred
only on one altogether worthy of it, but it was a very serious step in
life for a young man. A Student remained unmarried and always took Holy
Orders; he was of course compelled to be very regular at chapel service,
and to be devoted, heart and soul, to the interests of Christ Church, all
of which this special young Student had no difficulty in following to the
letter.

From that time forth he ordered his life as he planned his mathematics,
clearly and simply, and once his career was settled, Charles Lutwidge
Dodgson dropped from his young shoulders--he was only twenty--the mantle
of over-seriousness, and looked about for young companionship. He found
what he needed in the households of the masters and the tutors, whose
homes looked out upon the Great Quadrangle. Here on sunny days the nurses
brought the children for an airing; chubby little boys in long trousers
and "roundabouts," dainty little girls, with corkscrew ringlets and long
pantalets and muslin "frocks" and poke bonnets, in the depths of which
were hidden the rosebud faces. These were the favorites of the young
Student, whose slim figure in cap and gown was often the center of an
animated group of tiny girls; one on his lap, one perhaps on his shoulder,
several at his knee, while he told them stories of the animals he knew,
and drew funny little pictures on stray bits of paper. The "roundabouts"
went to the wall: they were only boys!

His coming was always hailed with delight. Sometimes he would take them
for a stroll, always full of wonder and interest to the children, for
alone, with these chosen friends of his, his natural shyness left him, the
sensitive mouth took smiling curves, the deep blue eyes were full of
laughter, and he spun story after story for them in his quaint way,
filling their little heads with odd fancies which would never have been
there but for him. The "bunnies" held animated conversations with these
small maids; every chirp and twitter of the birds grew to mean something
to them. He took them across the meadow, and showed them the turtles
swimming on the river bank; sometimes even--oh, treat of treats!--he took
them in his boat, and pulling gently down the pretty rippling stream, told
them stories of the shining fish they could see darting here and there in
its depths, and of wonderful creatures they could _not_ see, who would not
show themselves while curious little girls were staring into the water.

These were hours of pure recreation for him. The small girls could not
know what genuine pleasure they gave; the young undergraduates could never
understand his lack of sympathy with their many sports. Athletics never
appealed to him, even boating he enjoyed in his own mild way; a quiet pull
up or down the river, a shady bank, an hour's rest under the trees, a
companion perhaps, generally some small girl, whose round-eyed interest
inspired some remarkable tale--this was what he liked best. On other days
a tramp of miles gave just the exercise he needed.

His busy day began at a quarter past six, with breakfast at seven, and
chapel at eight. Then came the day's lectures in Greek and Latin,
mathematics, divinity, and the classics.

Meals were served to the undergraduates in the Hall. The men were divided
into "messes" just as in military posts; each "mess" consisted of about
six men, who were served at a small table. There were many such tables
scattered over the Hall, a vast and ancient room, completed at the time of
Wolsey's fall, 1529, an interesting spot full of memorials of Henry VIII
and Wolsey. The great west window with its two rows of shields, some with
a Cardinal's hat, others with the royal arms of Henry VIII, is most
interesting, while the wainscoting, decorated with shields also arranged
in orderly fashion, is very attractive. The Hall is filled with portraits
of celebrities, from Henry VIII, Wolsey and Elizabeth to the many
students, and famous deans, who have added luster to Christ Church.

In Charles Dodgson's time, the meals were poorly served. The Hall was
lighted at night with candles in brass candlesticks made to hold three
lights each. The undergraduates were served on pewter plates, and the poor
young fellows were in the hands of the cook and butler, and consequently
were cheated up to their eyes. They did not complain in Charles Dodgson's
time, but after he graduated and became a master himself he no doubt took
part in what was known as the "Bread and Butter" campaign, when the
undergraduates rose up in a body and settled the cook and butler for all
time, appointing a steward who could overlook the doings of those below in
the kitchen.

This kitchen is a very wonderful old place, the first portion of Wolsey's
work to be completed, and so strongly was it built, and so well has it
lasted, that it seems scarcely to have been touched by time. Of course
there are some modern improvements, but the great ranges are still there,
and the wide fireplace and spits worked by a "smoke jack." Wolsey's own
gridiron hangs just above the fireplace, a large uncouth affair, fit for
cooking the huge hunks of meat the Cardinal liked best.

We must not imagine that the years at Oxford were "all work and no play,"
for Charles Dodgson's many vacations were spent either at home, where his
father made much of him, his brothers looked up to him, and his sisters
petted and spoiled him, or on little trips of interest and amusement.

Once, during what is known as the "Long Vacation," he visited London at
the time of the Great Exhibition, and wrote a vivid letter of description
to his sister Elizabeth. What seemed to interest him most was the vastness
of everything he saw, the huge crystal fountain and the colossal statues
on either side of the central aisle. One statue he particularly noticed.
It was called the "Amazon and the Tiger," and many of us have doubtless
seen the picture, the strong, erect, girlish figure on horseback, and the
tiger clinging to the horse, his teeth buried in his neck, the girl's face
full of terror, the horse rearing with fright and pain. He always liked
anything that told a story, either in statues or in pictures, and in after
years, when he became a skilled photographer, he was fond of taking his
many girlfriends in costume, for somehow it always suggested a story.

He was also very fond of the theater, and he made many a trip to London to
see a special play. Shakespeare was his delight, and "Henry VIII" was
certainly the most appropriate play for a Student of Christ Church College
to see. The great actor, Charles Kean, took the part of _Cardinal Wolsey_,
and Mrs. Kean shone forth as poor _Queen Katharine_, the discarded wife of
Henry VIII. What impressed him most was the vision of the sleeping queen,
the troops of floating angels with palm branches in their hands, which
they waved slowly over her, while shafts of light fell upon them from
above. Then as the Queen awoke they vanished, and raising her arms she
called "Spirits of peace, where are ye?" Poor Queen, no wonder her
audience shed tears! Henry VIII was not an easy man to get along with,
even in his sweetest mood!

In 1854, Charles Dodgson began hard study for final examinations, working
sometimes as many as thirteen hours a day during the last three weeks, but
the subjects which he had to prepare were philosophy and history, neither
of which were special favorites, and though he passed fairly well, his
name was not among the first.

During the following Long Vacation he went to Whitby, where he prepared
for final examination in mathematics, and so well did he work that he took
First Class honors and became quite a distinguished personage among the
undergraduates. His prowess in so difficult a subject traveled even beyond
the college walls, and congratulations poured in upon him until he
laughingly declared that if he had shot the Dean there could not have been
more commotion. This meant a great deal to him; to begin with, he stood
head on the list of five very able men who were close to him in the
marking. He came out number 279 and the lowest of the five was 213, so it
was a hard fight in a hard subject, and Lewis Carroll might be forgiven
for a little quiet "bragging" in the letter he wrote his father, telling
the result of the examinations. Of one thing he was now quite sure--a
future lectureship in Christ Church College.

On December 18, 1854, he graduated, taking the degree of Bachelor of Arts,
and the following year, October 15, 1855, to celebrate the appointment of
Dean Liddell, he was made a "Master of the House," meaning that under the
roof of Christ Church College he had all the privileges of a Master of
Arts, which is the next higher degree; but he did not become a Master of
Arts in the University until two years later. When a college graduate puts
B.A. after his name, we know that means Bachelor of Arts, the first
college degree, and M.A. means Master of Arts, the second degree.

The young Student was glad to be free of college restraint and to begin
work. Archdeacon Dodgson was not a rich man, and though his son had never
faced the trials of poverty, he was anxious to become independent. Now
that the "grinding" study was over, his thoughts turned fondly to a
literary life. His numerous clever sketches, too, gave him hope of better
work hereafter, and this we know had been his dream through his boyish
years; it was his dream still, but where his talent would lie he had no
idea, though hazy poems and queer jumbles of words popped into his mind on
the slightest notice. Still he could not settle down seriously to such
work just at first; there was other work at hand and he must learn to
wait. During the first year of tutorship he took many private pupils,
besides lecturing in mathematics, his chosen profession, from three to
three and a half hours a day. The next year he was one of the regular
lecturers, and often lectured seven hours a day, not counting the time it
took him to prepare his work.

Mathematicians are born, not made; this young fellow had not only the
power of solving problems, but the rare gift of being able to teach others
to solve them also, and many a student has been heard to declare that
mathematics was never a dull study with Mr. Dodgson to explain. We can
imagine the slight, youthful figure of the young college "don," his
clean-cut, refined face, full of light and interest, his blue eyes
flashing as he tackled some difficult problem, wrestled with it before his
class in the lecture-hall, and undid the tangle without the slightest
trouble.

He "took to" problems as naturally as a duck to water; the harder they
were the more resolutely he bent to his task. Sometimes the tussle kept
him awake half the night, often he was up at dawn to renew the battle, but
he usually "won out," and this is what made him so good a teacher--he
_never_ "let go." Whatever mathematical ax he had to grind, he always
managed to put a keen edge upon it sooner or later.

To his many friends, especially his many girl friends, this side of his
character was most remarkable. How this fun-making, fun-loving,
story-telling nonsense rhymer could turn in a twinkling into the grave,
precise "don" and discourse on rectangles, and polygons, and parallel
lines, and unknown quantities was more than they could understand.

Girls, the best of them, the rarest and finest of them, are not, as a
rule, fond of mathematics. They "take" it in school, as they "take"
whooping cough and measles at home, but in those days they seldom went
further than the "first steps" in plain arithmetic. Girls, especially the
little girls of Charles Dodgson's immediate circle, rarely went to school;
they were usually in the care of governesses who helped them along the
narrow path of learning which they themselves had trod, and these little
maids could truly say, with all their hearts:

  "Multiplication is vexation,
    Division is as bad,
  The Rule of Three, it puzzles me,
    And Fractions drive me mad!"

It was certainly thought quite unnecessary to educate girls in higher
mathematics; those were not the days when colleges for girls were thought
of. The little daughters of the wise Oxford men were considered finely
grounded if they had mastered the three R's--("Reading, 'Riting, and
'Rithmetic") and the young "don" knew pretty well how far they were led
along these paths, for if we remember our "Alice in Wonderland" we may
easily recall that interesting conversation between _Alice_, the _Mock
Turtle_ and the _Gryphon_, about schools, the _Mock Turtle_ remarking with
a sigh:

"I took only the regular course."

"What was that?" inquired Alice.

"Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with," the Mock Turtle replied,
"and then the different branches of Arithmetic--Ambition, Distraction,
Uglification, and Derision."

"What else had you to learn?" asks Alice later on.

"Well, there was Mystery," the Mock Turtle replied, counting off the
subjects on his flappers, "Mystery--ancient and modern--with Seography;
then Drawling--the Drawling-master was an old Conger-eel that used to come
once a week; _he_ taught us Drawling, Stretching, and Fainting in Coils."
[Drawing, sketching, and painting in oils.] Lewis Carroll loved this play
upon words.

"What was _that_ like?" said Alice.

"Well, I can't show it you myself," the Mock Turtle said, "I'm too stiff.
And the Gryphon never learnt it."

"Hadn't time," said the Gryphon. "I went to the Classical master though.
He was an old Crab, _he_ was."

"I never went to him," the Mock Turtle said, with a sigh; "he taught
Laughing and Grief, they used to say."

"So he did, so he did," said the Gryphon, sighing in his turn, and both
creatures hid their faces in their paws.

It is doubtful if any little girl in Lewis Carroll's time ever learned
"Laughing and Grief" unless she was _very_ ambitious, but many a quick,
active young mind absorbed the simple problems which he was constantly
turning into games for them.

So the years passed over the head of this young Student of Christ Church.
They were pleasantly broken by long vacations at Croft Rectory, by trips
through the beautiful English country, by one special journey to the
English lakes, where Wordsworth, Southey, and Coleridge lived and wrote
their poems. These trips were often afoot, and Charles Dodgson was very
proud of the long distances he could tramp, no matter what the wind or the
weather. There was nothing he liked better unless it was the occasional
visits he made to the Princess's Theatre in London.

On June 16, 1856, he records seeing "A Winter's Tale," where he was
specially pleased with little Ellen Terry, a beautiful tiny creature, who
played the child's part of _Mamillius_ in the most charming way. This was
the first of many meetings with the famous actress, who became one of his
child-friends in later years. But that was when he was Lewis Carroll. As
yet he was only Charles Dodgson, a struggling young Student, anxious for
independence, interested in his work, simple, sincere, devout, a dreamer
of dreams which had not yet taken shape, and above all, a true lover of
little girls, no matter how plain, or fretful, or rumpled, or even dirty.
His kindly eyes could see beneath the creases on the top, his gentle
fingers clasped the shrinking, trembling little hands; his low voice
charmed them all unconsciously, and no doubt the children he loved did for
him as much as he did for them. If he felt the strain of overwork nothing
soothed him like a romp with his favorites, and young as he was, when
dreaming of the future and the magic circle in which he would write his
name, it was not of the great world he was thinking, but of bright young
faces, with dancing eyes and sunny curls, and eager voices continually
demanding--"One more story."



CHAPTER V.

A MANY-SIDED GENIUS.


We have traveled over the years with some speed, from the time that little
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was christened by his proud papa to the moment
when the same proud father heard that his eldest son was made a student of
Christ College--a good large slice out of a birthday-cake--twenty
candles--if one counts birthdays by candles. It's a charming old German
fashion, for the older one grows the brighter the lights become, and if
you chance to get _real_ old--a fine "threescore and ten"--why, if there's
a candle for each year, there you are--in a perfect blaze of glory!

We have just passed over the very oldest part of our Boy's life; from the
time he became Lewis Carroll, Charles Dodgson began to go backward; he did
a lot of things backward, as we shall see later. He wrote letters
backward, he told stories backward, he spelled and counted backward--in
fact, he was so fond of doing things backward we do not wonder that he
stepped out from the circle of the years, and turned backward to find the
boyhood he had somehow missed before. This is when Lewis Carroll was born;
but that is a story in itself.

Outwardly the life of the young Student seemed unchanged, but that is all
we mortals know about it; the fairies were already at work. In moments of
leisure little poems went forth to the world--a world which at first
consisted of Croft Rectory--for there was another and last family
magazine, of which he was sole editor and composer. He named it
_Misch-Masch_, a curious old German word, which in our English means
Hodge-Podge, and everybody, young and old, knows what a jumble Hodge-Podge
is--something like New England succotash.

_Misch-Masch_ was started by this enterprising young editor during the
year after his graduation. He had become a person of vast experience
between _Misch-Masch_ and the days of _The Rectory Umbrella_, having been
editor of _College Rhymes_, his college paper. He also wrote stories for
the _Oxonian Advertiser_ and the _Whitby Gazette_, and this printed
matter, together with many new and original ideas and drawings, found a
place in his new home venture.

His mathematical genius blossomed forth in a wonderful labyrinth or maze,
a geometrical design within a given square form, of a tangle of
intersecting lines and angles containing a hidden pathway to the center.
These designs, that seem so remarkable to outsiders, were very simple to
the editor of _Misch-Masch_, who was always inventing puzzles of some
sort.

He also wrote a series of "Studies from the English Poets," which he
illustrated himself. One specially good drawing was of the following line
from one of Keats's poems. "She did so--but 'tis doubtful how or whence."
The picture represents a very fat old lady, with a capitally drawn placid
face, perched on a post marked "_Dangerous_," seemingly in midwater. In
her chubby hand is a basket with the long neck of a goose hanging out.

Mr. Stuart Collingwood, Lewis Carroll's nephew, gives a most interesting
account of these early editorial efforts, in an article written for the
_Strand_, an English magazine. Speaking of the above illustration he says:

"Keats is the author whom our artist has honored, and surely the shade of
that much neglected songster owes something to a picture which must
popularize one passage at least in his works.

"The only way I can account for the lady's hazardous position is by
supposing her to have attempted to cross a frozen lake after a thaw has
set in. The goose, whose long neck projects from her basket, proves that
she has just returned from market; probably the route across the lake was
her shortest way home. We are to suppose that for some time she proceeded
without any knowledge of the risk she was running, when suddenly she felt
the ice giving way under her. By frantic exertions she succeeded in
reaching the notice-board, to which she clung for days and nights
together, till the ice was all melted and a deluge of rain caused the
water to rise so many feet that at last she was compelled for dear life to
climb to the top of the post." We can now understand how well the
illustration fits in with the line:

"She did so, but 'tis doubtful how or whence."

Mr. Collingwood continues:

"Whether she sustained life by eating raw goose is uncertain. At least she
did not follow Father William's example by devouring the beak. The
question naturally suggests itself: Why was she not rescued? My answer is
that either such a dense fog enveloped the whole neighborhood that even
her bulky form was invisible, or that she was so unpopular a character
that each man feared the hatred of the rest if he should go to her
succor."

Mr. Collingwood concludes his article with the following riddle which the
renowned editor of _Misch-Masch_ presented to his readers; there must be
an answer, and it is therefore worth while guessing, for Lewis Carroll
would never have written a riddle without one:

  A monument, men all agree--
  Am I in all sincerity;
    Half-cat, half-hindrance made
  If head and tail removed shall be
  Then, most of all you strengthen me.
  Replace my head--the stand you see
    On which my tail is laid.

_Misch-Masch_ had a short but brilliant career, for magazines with a wider
circulation than Croft Rectory began to claim his attention. _The Comic
Times_ was a small periodical very much on the order of _Punch_. Edmund
Yates was the editor, and among the writers and artists were some of the
best known in England. Charles Dodgson's poetry and sketches were too
clever to hide themselves from public view, and he became a regular
contributor. Later, _The Comic Times_ changed hands, and the old staff
started a new magazine called _The Train_, in 1856, and the quiet Oxford
"don" found his poetry in such demand that after talking it over with the
editor, he decided to adopt a suitable pen name. He first suggested
"Dares" in compliment to his birthplace, Daresbury, but the editor
preferred a _real_ name. Then he took his first two names, Charles
Lutwidge, and transposing them he got two names, Edgar Cuthwellis or Edgar
U. C. Westhill, neither of which sounded in the least interesting. Finally
he decided to take the two names and look at them backward--this very
queer young fellow always preferred to look at things backward--Lutwidge
Charles. That was certainly not promising. Then he took one name at a time
and analyzed it in his own quaint way. Lutwidge was surely derived from
the Latin word Ludovicus--which in good sound English meant Lewis--ah,
that was not bad! Now for Charles. Its Latin equivalent was Carolus--which
could be easily changed in Carroll. The whole thing worked out like one
of his own word puzzles, and Lewis Carroll he was, henceforth, whenever he
made his appearance in print.

There was not much ceremony at _this_ christening. Just two clever men put
their heads together and the result was--Lewis Carroll! Charles Lutwidge
Dodgson retired to his rooms at Christ Church College, where he prepared
his lectures on mathematics and wrote the most learned text-books for the
University; but Lewis Carroll peeped out into the world, which he found
full of light and laughter and happy childhood, and as Lewis Carroll he
was known to that world henceforth.

The first poem to appear with his new name was called "The Path of Roses,"
a very solemn, serious poem about half a yard long and not specially
interesting, save as a contribution to a most interesting little paper.
_The Train_ was really very ambitious, full, indeed, of the best talent of
the day. There were short stories and serials, poems, timely articles,
jokes, puns, anecdates--in short, all the attractions that help toward the
making of an attractive magazine, and though the illustrations were
nothing but old-fashioned woodcuts, the reading was quite as good, and in
many cases better than what we find in the average magazine of to-day.

Many of the little poems Lewis Carroll wrote at this time he tucked away
in some cubby-hole and made use of later in one or the other of his books.
One of his very earliest printed bits is called:

MY FANCY.

  I painted her a gushing thing,
    With years perhaps a score,
  I little thought to find they were
    At least a dozen more.
  My fancy gave her eyes of blue,
    A curly auburn head;
  I came to find the blue--a green,
    The auburn turned to red.

  She boxed my ears this morning,
    They tingled very much;
  I own that I could wish her
    A somewhat lighter touch.
  And if you were to ask me how
    Her charms might be improved,
  I would not have them _added_ to,
    But just a few _removed_!

  She has the bear's ethereal grace,
    The bland hyena's laugh,
  The footstep of the elephant,
    The neck of the giraffe;
  I love her still, believe me,
    Tho' my heart its passion hides--
  "She is all my fancy painted her,"
    But, oh--_how much besides_!

The quoted line--"She is all my fancy painted her"--is the line upon which
he built the poem; he was very fond of doing this, and though no special
mention is made of the fact, it is highly probable that these three
telling verses found their way into _Misch-Masch_, among the "Studies
from the Poets." It is unfortunate, too, that we have not some funny
drawing of this wonderful "gushing thing" of the giraffe neck, "the bear's
ethereal grace," and the "footstep of the elephant," for Lewis Carroll's
drawings generally followed his thoughts; a pencil and bit of paper were
always ready in some inner pocket, for illustrating purposes, and it is
doubtful if any celebrated artist could produce more sketches on such a
variety of subjects. His power to make his pencil "talk" impressed his
sisters and brothers greatly; they caught every scrap of paper that
fluttered from his hands, treasured it, and if the drawing was distinct
enough, they colored it with crayons or touched it up in black and white,
for the use of _The Rectory Umbrella_ and the later publication of
_Misch-Masch_. In his secret soul he longed to be an artist; he certainly
possessed genius of a queer sort. A few strokes would tell the story,
usually a funny one or a quaint one, but all his art failed to make his
people look quite real or natural--just dolls stuffed with sawdust. But
they were fine caricatures, and the young artist had to content himself
with this smaller talent.

_The Train_ published many of his poems during 1856-57. "Solitude,"
"Novelty and Romancement," "The Three Voices," followed one another in
quick succession, but the best of all was decidedly "Hiawatha's
Photographing," and this for more reasons than one. In the first place,
from the time he went into residence at Christ Church photography was his
great delight; he "took" people whenever he could--canons, deacons, deans,
students, undergraduates and children. The "grown-ups" submitted with a
gentle sort of patience, but he made his camera such a point of attraction
for the youngsters that he could "take" them as often as he liked, and he
has left behind him a wonderful array of photographs, many of well-known,
even celebrated people, among whom we may find Tennyson, the Rossetti
family, Ellen and Kate Terry, John Ruskin, George Macdonald, Charlotte M.
Yonge, Sir John Millais, and many others known to fame; and considering
that photography had not reached its present perfection, Lewis Carroll's
photographs show remarkable skill. He would not have been Lewis Carroll if
he had not gone into this fascinating pastime with his whole soul.
Whenever he met a new face which interested him, we may be sure it was not
long before the busy camera was at work. There is no doubt that his
admiring family suffered agonies in posing, to say nothing of his friends
who were not always beautiful enough to produce "pretty pictures"; their
criticisms were often based entirely on their disappointment: hence the
poem,

HIAWATHA'S PHOTOGRAPHING.

[_With no apology to Mr. Longfellow._]

  From his shoulder Hiawatha
  Took the camera of rosewood,
  Made of sliding, folding rosewood;
  Neatly put it all together,
  In its case it lay compactly,
  Folded into nearly nothing;
  But he opened out the hinges,
  Pushed and pulled the joints and hinges
  Till it looked all squares and oblongs,
  Like a complicated figure
  In the second book of Euclid.

  This he perched upon a tripod--
  Crouched beneath its dusky cover--
  Stretched his hand, enforcing silence--
  Said, "Be motionless, I beg you!"
  Mystic, awful was the process.
  All the family in order
  Sat before him for their pictures:
  Each in turn, as he was taken,
  Volunteered his own suggestions,
  His ingenious suggestions.

All of which during the course of the poem succeeded in driving poor
Hiawatha to the verge of madness, until--

  Finally my Hiawatha
  Tumbled all the tribe together
  ("Grouped" is not the right expression),
  And, as happy chance would have it,
  Did at last obtain a picture
  Where the faces all succeeded:
  Each came out a perfect likeness.

  Then they joined and all abused it,
  Unrestrainedly abused it,
  As "the worst and ugliest picture
  They could possibly have dreamed of."

     *       *       *       *

  All together rang their voices,
  Angry, loud, discordant voices,
  As of dogs that howl in concert,
  As of cats that wail in chorus.

  But my Hiawatha's patience,
  His politeness and his patience,
  Unaccountably had vanished,
  And he left that happy party.
  Neither did he leave them slowly,
  With the calm deliberation,
  The intense deliberation,
  Of a photographic artist:
  But he left them in a hurry,
  Left them in a mighty hurry,
  Stating that he would not stand it,
  Stating in emphatic language
  What he'd be before he'd stand it.

  Hurriedly he packed his boxes:
  Hurriedly the porter trundled
  On a barrow all his boxes:
  Hurriedly he took his ticket:
  Hurriedly the train received him:
  Thus departed Hiawatha.

But perhaps the cleverest part of the poem is the seemingly innocent
paragraph of introduction which reads as follows:

"In an age of imitation, I can claim no special merit for this slight
attempt at doing what is known to be so easy. Any fairly practiced writer,
with the slightest ear for rhythm, could compose, for hours together, in
the easy running meter of 'The Song of Hiawatha.' Having, then, distinctly
stated that I challenge no attention in the following little poem to its
merely verbal jingle, I must beg the candid reader to confine his
criticism to its treatment of the subject."

Notice how metrically this sounds. Tune up to the Hiawatha pitch and you
will have the same swinging measure in the above sentences.

Lewis Carroll's real acquaintance with Tennyson began in that eventful
year of 1856. The odd, shaggy man, with the fine head and the keen,
restless eyes, fascinated the young Student greatly. He went often to
Tennyson's home and did his best to be interested in the poet's two little
boys, Hallam and Lionel. Had they been girls there would have been no
difficulty, but he always had strained relations with boys; still, as
these "roundabouts" belonged to the little Tennysons, we find a sort of
armed truce kept up between them. He bargained with Lionel to exchange
manuscripts, and he got both boys to sign their names in his album; he
even condescended to play a game of chess with Lionel, checkmating him in
six moves, but he distinctly refused to allow that young gentleman to give
him a blow on the head with a mallet in exchange for some of his verses.
However, we may be pretty sure that Lewis Carroll's visits to the
Tennysons were much pleasanter when the "roundabouts" were not visible.

That same year he made the acquaintance of John Ruskin, and the great art
critic turned out to be a very valuable friend, as was also Sir James
Paget, the eminent surgeon, who gave him many hints on medicine and
surgery, in which Charles Dodgson was deeply interested. His medical
knowledge was quite remarkable, and the books he collected on the subject
would have been valuable additions to any physician's library. In the year
1857 he met Thackeray, who had come to Oxford to deliver his lecture on
George III, and liked him very much. The Oxford "dons" were certainly
fortunate in meeting all the "great ones" and seeing them generally at
their best.

The year 1858 was an uneventful year; college routine varied by much
reading, afternoons on the river or in the country, and evenings devoted
to preparations for the morrow's work. Lewis Carroll kept a diary which
harbored many fine thoughts and noble resolves, many doubts and fears,
many hopes, many plans for the future, for he was making up his mind to
the final step in the life of a Christ Church Student--that of taking
Holy Orders, in other words, of being ordained as a clergyman.

There were one or two points to be considered: first, regarding an
impediment in his speech which would make constant preaching almost
impossible. He stammered, not on all occasions, but quite enough to make
steady speaking an effort, painful to himself and his hearers. The other
objection lay in the fact that Christ Church had rigid laws for its clergy
concerning amusements. Charles Dodgson had no wish to be shut out of the
world; he was fond of theaters and operas, and he did not see that he was
doing any special good to his fellow-creatures by putting them out of his
life. But at last, after battling with his conscience, and earnest
consultation with a few wise friends, he decided that he would be
ordained, though he would not become a regular preaching clergyman.

It took him two years to reach this decision, for he was slow to act on
such occasions, but strong of purpose when the step was taken. On October
17, 1859, the young Prince of Wales (the late King Edward VII) came into
residence at Christ Church College. This was a mark of special favor to
Dean Liddell, who had for many years been chaplain to Queen Victoria and
her husband, the Prince Consort. Of course there was much ceremony
attending the arrival of his Royal Highness; the Dean went in person to
the station to meet him, and all the "dons" were drawn up in a body in
Tom Quadrangle to give him the proper sort of greeting. "Hiawatha" had
his camera along--"in its case it lay compactly," but his poor little
Highness had been "served up" on the camera to his utter disgust, and
nothing would induce him to be photographed.

Later in the season, the Queen, the Prince Consort, and several princes
and princesses came up to Oxford and surprised everybody. Christ Church
was certainly in a flutter, and the day was turned into a gala occasion.
There was a brilliant reception that evening at Dean Liddell's and
_tableaux vivants_, to which we may be sure our modest Lewis Carroll gave
much assistance. He was already on intimate terms with the three little
Liddells, Lorina, Alice, and Edith, and as the children were to pose in a
tableau, he was certainly there to help and suggest with a score of quaint
ideas.

He had a pleasant talk with the Prince of Wales, who shook hands cordially
and condescended to ask several questions of the young photographer,
praising the photographs which he had seen, and promised to choose some
for himself some day. He regarded the pleasant-looking, chatty young
fellow as just one of the college "dons"; he had never even heard of Lewis
Carroll, indeed that gentleman was too newly born to be known very well
anywhere outside of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson's study, and it is extremely
doubtful if the grave Student himself knew of half the fun and merriment
hidden away in the new name. As a result of his interview with the prince,
Lewis Carroll obtained his autograph, which was quite a gem among his
collection.

There is no doubt he had many fine autographs and also an album, as he
mentions several times. Autograph-hunting was not carried to the excess
that it was later on, and is to-day. It is, to put it mildly, a very bad
habit. Total strangers have no hesitancy in asking this favor of
celebrities, who, as a rule, object to the wholesale signing of their
names.

But the signatures in Lewis Carroll's album were those of friends, which
was quite another matter, and it was consequently most interesting to turn
the leaves of the precious volume, and see in what friendly esteem he was
held by the foremost men and women of his time. To him a letter or a
sentiment would have had no meaning nor value if not addressed personally
to himself; whereas, the autograph fiend of the present day would be
content with the signature no matter to whom addressed. Lewis Carroll
suffered from these pests in later years, as well as from the photograph
fiend, to him as malicious as a hornet, and from whom he fled in terror.

Yet we find many good pictures of him, notwithstanding, the one which we
have chosen for our frontispiece being the youngest and most
attractive--Lewis Carroll at the age of twenty-three. There is another
taken some two years later, when the dignity of the Oxford "don" set well
on the slim young figure. His face was always curiously youthful in
expression: the eyes, deep blue, looked childlike in their innocent trust;
a child had but to gaze into their depths and claim a friend. Little
girls, particularly, remembered their beauty, for they felt a thrill at
their youthful heartstrings when those eyes, brimful of kindliness, turned
upon them and warmed their childish souls. They were quick to feel the
gentle pressure of his hand, his touch upon their shoulders or on their
heads, which drew these little magnets close to his side where he loved to
have them, for behind the shyness and reserve of Lewis Carroll was a great
wealth of tenderness and love which only his girl friends understood,
because it was only to them that he cared to show this part of himself.

Of course in his own home this side of him expanded in the sunny
companionship of seven younger sisters. Naturally they did not look upon
him with the awe of the later generation, but they brought to the surface
many winning characteristics which might never have come to light but for
them.

It had been his delight from early boyhood to tackle problems and to solve
them; the "girl problem" he had studied from the very beginning, in all
its stages, and so it is small wonder that he knew girls quite as well as
he did mathematics, and loved them even better, if the truth must be
told, though they were often quite as puzzling.

On December 22, 1861, in spite of many doubts and misgivings as to his
worthiness, Charles Dodgson was ordained deacon by the Bishop of Oxford.
He did this partly from his duty as a Student of Christ Church, but more
because of the influence it would give him among the undergraduates, whose
welfare he had so much at heart. He preached often but he never became a
regular officiating clergyman, and his sermons were always delightful
because they were never what we call "preachy."

He was so truly good and religious, his faith was so simple, his desire to
do right was so unfailing, that in spite of the slight drawback in his
speech he had the gift of impressing his hearers deeply. His sermons were
dedicated to the service of God, and he was content if they bore good
fruit; he did not care what people said about them. He often preached at
the evening service for the college servants; but most of all he loved to
preach to children, to see the earnest young faces upturned to him, to
feel that they were following each word. It was then that he put his whole
heart into the task before him; the light grew in his eyes, he forgot to
stammer, forgot everything, save the young souls he was leading, in his
eagerness to show them the way.

Such was the character of Lewis Carroll up to the year 1862, that
momentous year in which he found the golden key of Fairyland. He had often
peeped through the closed gates but he had never been able to squeeze
through; he might have jumped over them, but that is forbidden in
Fairyland, where everything happens in the most natural way.

He had succeeded beyond his hopes in his efforts for independence; he was
establishing a brilliant record as a mathematical lecturer; he had several
scholarships which paid him a small yearly sum, and he was also
sublibrarian. His little poems were making their way into public notice
and his more serious work had been "Notes on the First Two Books of
Euclid," "Text-Books on Plane Geometry and Plane Trigonometry," and "Notes
on the First Part of Algebra."

Socially, the retiring "don" was scarcely known beyond the University. He
ran up to London whenever the theaters offered anything tempting; he
visited the studios of well-known artists, who were all fond of him, and
he cultivated the friendship of men of learning and letters. If these
gentlemen happened to have attractive little daughters, he cultivated
their acquaintance also. One special anecdote we have of a visit to the
studio of Mr. Munroe, where he found two of the children of George
Macdonald, the author of many books, among them "At the Back of the North
Wind," a most charming fairy tale. These two children, a boy and a girl,
instantly made friends with Lewis Carroll, who suggested to the boy,
Greville, that he thought a marble head would be such a useful thing, much
better than a real one because it would not have to be brushed and combed.
This appealed to the small boy, whose long hair was a torment, but after
consideration he decided that a marble head would not be able to speak,
and it was better to have his hair pulled and be able to cry out. In the
case of the general small boy Lewis Carroll preferred marble, but he was
overruled. Mr. Macdonald's two daughters, Lily and Mary, were, however,
great favorites of his; indeed, his girl friends were rapidly multiplying.
Sometimes they came to see him in the pleasant rooms at Christ Church
College, which were full of curious things that children love. Sometimes
they had tea with him or went for a stroll, for Oxford had many beautiful
walks about her colleges.

A visit to him was always a great event, but perhaps those who enjoyed him
most were his intimates in "Tom Quadrangle." The three little Liddell
girls were at that time his special favorites; their bright companionship
brought forth the many sides of his genius; under the spell of their
winsome chatter the long golden afternoon would glide happily by, while
under _his_ spell they would sit for hours listening to the wonder tales
he spun for them.



CHAPTER VI.

UP AND DOWN THE RIVER WITH THE REAL ALICE.


We generally speak of Oxford-on-the-Thames. Indeed, if we were to journey
by water from London to Oxford, we would certainly go by way of the
Thames, and a pleasant journey that would be, too, gliding between
well-wooded, fertile shores with charming landscape towns on either side
and bits of history peeping out in unexpected places. But into the heart
of Oxford itself the Thames sends forth its tributaries in opposite
directions; the Isis on one side, the Cherwell on the other. The Cherwell
is what is called a "canoe river," the Isis is the race course of Oxford,
where all the "eights" (every racing crew consists of eight men) come to
practice for the great day and the great race, which takes place sometimes
at Henley, sometimes at Oxford itself, when the Isis is gay with bunting
and flags.

On one side of Christ Church Meadow is a long line of barges which have
been made stationary and which are used as boathouses by the various
college clubs; these are situated just below what is known as Folly
Bridge, a name familiar to all Oxford men, and the goal of many pleasant
trips. The original bridge was destroyed in 1779, but tradition tells us
that the first bridge was capped by a tower which was the study or
observatory of Roger Bacon, the Franciscan Friar who invented the
telescope, gunpowder, and many other things unknown to the people of his
time. It was even hinted that he had cunningly built this tower that it
might fall instantly on anyone passing beneath it who proved to be more
learned than himself. One could see it from Christ Church Meadow, and
doubtless Lewis Carroll pointed it out to his small companions, as they
strolled across to the water's edge, where perhaps a boat rocked lazily at
its moorings.

It was the work of a moment to steady it so that the eager youngsters
could scramble in, then he stepped in himself, pushing off with his oar,
and a few long, steady strokes brought them in midstream. This was an
ordinary afternoon occurrence, and the children alone knew the delights of
being the chosen companions of Lewis Carroll. He would let them row, while
he would lounge among the cushions and "spin yarns" that brought peals of
merry laughter that rippled over the surface of the water. He knew by
heart every story and tradition of Oxford, from the time the Romans
reduced it from a city of some importance to a mere "ford for oxen to pass
over," which, indeed, was the origin of its name, long before the
Christian era.

He had a story or a legend about every place they passed, but most of all
they loved the stories he "made up" as he went along. He had a low,
well-pitched voice, with the delightful trick of dropping it in moments of
profound interest, sometimes stopping altogether and closing his eyes in
pretended sleep, when his listeners were truly thrilled. This, of course,
produced a stampede, which he enjoyed immensely, and sometimes he would
"wake up," take the oars himself, and pull for some green shady nook that
loomed invitingly in the distance; here they would land and under the
friendly trees they would have their tea, perhaps, and then they _might_
induce him to finish the story--if they were _ever_ so good.

It was on just such an occasion that he chanced to find the golden key to
Wonderland. The time was midsummer, the place on the way up the river
toward Godstow Bridge; the company consisted of three winsome little
girls, Lorina, Alice, and Edith Liddell, or _Prima_, _Secunda_, and
_Tertia_, as he called them by number in Latin. He tells of this himself
in the following dainty poem--the introduction to "Alice in Wonderland":

  All in the golden afternoon
    Full leisurely we glide;
  For both our oars, with little skill,
    By little arms are plied,
  While little hands make vain pretence
    Our wanderings to guide.

  Ah, cruel Three! In such an hour,
    Beneath such dreamy weather,
  To beg a tale, of breath too weak
    To stir the tiniest feather!
  Yet what can one poor voice avail
    Against three tongues together?

  Imperious Prima flashes forth
    Her edict "to begin it"--
  In gentler tone Secunda hopes
    "There will be nonsense in it"--
  While Tertia interrupts the tale,
    Not _more_ than once a minute.

  Anon, to sudden silence won,
    In fancy they pursue
  The dream-child moving through a land
    Of wonders wild and new,
  In friendly chat with bird or beast--
    And half believe it true.

  And ever as the story drained
    The wells of fancy dry,
  And faintly strove that weary one
    To put the subject by,
  "The rest next time"--"It _is_ next time!"
    The happy voices cry.

  Thus grew the tale of Wonderland:
    Thus slowly one by one,
  Its quaint events were hammered out--
    And now the tale is done,
  And home we steer, a merry crew,
    Beneath the setting sun.

  Alice! a childish story take,
    And with a gentle hand
  Lay it where Childhood's dreams are twined
    In Memory's mystic band,
  Like pilgrims' withered wreath of flowers
    Plucked in a far-off land.

It was a very hot day, the fourth of July, 1862, that this special little
picnic party set out for its trip up the river. Godstow Bridge was a
quaint old-fashioned structure of three arches. In the very middle it was
broken by a tiny wooded island, and guarding the east end was a
picturesque inn called _The Trout_. Through the middle arch they could
catch a distant glimpse of Oxford, with Christ Church spire quite plainly
to be seen. They had often gone as far as the bridge and had their tea in
the ruins of the old nunnery near by, a spot known to history as the
burial-place of Fair Rosamond, that beautiful lady who was supposed to
have been poisoned by Queen Eleanor, the jealous wife of Henry II. But
this day the sun streamed down on the little party so pitilessly that they
landed in a cool, green meadow and took refuge under a hayrick. Lewis
Carroll stretched himself out at full length in the protecting shade,
while the expectant little girls grouped themselves about him.

"Now begin it," demanded Lorina, who was called _Prima_ in the poem.
_Secunda_ [Alice] probably knew the story-teller pretty well when she
asked for nonsense, while tiny _Tertia_, the youngest, simply clamored for
"more, more, more," as the speaker's breath gave out.

Now, as Lewis Carroll lay there, a thousand odd fancies elbowing one
another in his active brain, his hands groping in the soft moist earth
about him, his fingers suddenly closed over that magic Golden Key. It was
a queer invisible key, just the kind that fairies use, and neither Lorina,
Alice, nor Edith would have been able to find it if they had hunted ever
so long. He must have found it on the water and brought it ashore quite by
accident, for there was the gleam of sunlight still upon it, and it was
very shady under the hayrick. Perhaps there was a door somewhere that the
key might fit; but no, there was only the hayrick towering above him, and
only the brown earth stretching all about him. Perhaps a white rabbit
_did_ whisk by, perhaps the real Alice _really_ fell asleep, at any rate
when _Prima_ said "Begin it," that is how he started. The Golden Key
opened the brown earth--in popped the white rabbit--down dropped the
sleeping Alice--down--down--down--and while she was falling, clutching at
things on the way, Lewis Carroll turned, with one of his rare sweet
smiles, to the eager trio and began the story of "Alice's Adventures
Underground."

The whole of that long afternoon he held the children spellbound. He did
not finish the story during that one sitting. Summer has many long days,
and the quiet, prudent young "don" was not reckless enough to scatter
_all_ his treasures at once; and, besides, all the queer things that
happened to Alice would have lost half their interest in the shadow of a
hayrick, and how could one conjure up _Mock Turtles_ and _Lorys_ and
_Gryphons_ on the dry land? Lewis Carroll's own recollection of the
beginning of "Alice" is certainly dated from that "golden afternoon" in
the boat, and any idea of publishing the web of nonsense he was weaving
never crossed his mind. Indeed, if he could have imagined that his small
audience of three would grow to be as many millions in the years to come,
the book would have lost half its charm, and the real child that lay
hidden under the cap and gown of this grave young Student of thirty might
never have been known to the world.

Into his mind, with all the freshness of unbidden thought, popped this
story of _Alice_ and her strange adventures, and while he chose the name
of Alice in seeming carelessness, there is no doubt that the little maid
who originally owned the name had many points in common with the Rev.
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, never suspected save by the two most concerned.

To begin with, the real Alice had an Imagination; any child who demands
nonsense in a story has an Imagination. Nothing was too impossible or
absurd to put into a story, for one could always "make believe" it was
something else you see, and a constant "make believe" made everything seem
quite real. Dearly as he loved this posy of small girls, Lewis Carroll
could not help being just the _least_ bit partial to Alice, because, as he
himself might have quaintly expressed it, she understood everything he
said, even before he said it.

She was a dear little round, chubby child, a great camera favorite and
consequently a frequent visitor to his rooms, for he took her picture on
all occasions. One, as a beggar child, has become quite famous. She is
pictured standing, with her ragged dress slipping from her shoulders and
her right hand held as if begging for pennies; the other hand rests upon
her hip, and her head is bent in a meek fashion; but the mouth has a
roguish curve, and there is just the shadow of a laugh in the dark eyes,
for of course it's only "make believe," and no one knows it better than
Alice herself. Lewis Carroll liked the little bit of acting she did in
this trifling part. A child's acting always appealed to him, and many of
his youngest and best friends were regularly on the stage.

He took another picture of the children perched upon a sofa; Lorina in the
center, a little sister nestling close to her on either side, making a
pretty pyramid of the three dark heads. Yet in studying the faces one can
understand why it was Alice who inspired him. Lorina's eyes are looking
straight ahead, but the lids are dropped with a little conscious air, as
if the business of having one's picture taken was a very serious matter,
to say nothing of the responsibility of keeping two small sisters in
order. Edith is staring the camera out of countenance, uncertain whether
to laugh or to frown, a pretty child with curls drooping over her face;
but Alice, with the elf-locks and the straight heavy "bang," is looking
far away with those wonderful eyes of hers; perhaps she was even then
thinking of Wonderland, perhaps even then a light flashed from her to
Lewis Carroll in the shape of a promise to take her there some day. At any
rate, if it hadn't been for Alice there would have been no Wonderland, and
without Wonderland, childhood is but a tale half-told, and even to this
day, nearly fifty years since that "golden afternoon," every little girl
bearing the name of Alice who has read the book and has anything of an
imagination, firmly believes that _she_ is the sole and only Alice who
could venture into Lewis Carroll's Wonderland.

After he had told the story and the original Alice had expressed her
approval, he promised to write it out for her to keep. Of course this took
time, because, in the first place, his writing was not quite plain enough
for a child to read easily, so every letter was carefully printed. Then
the illustrations were troublesome, and he drew as many as he could,
consulting a book on natural history for the correct forms of the queer
animals _Alice_ found. The _Mock Turtle_ was his own invention, for there
never _was_ such an animal on land or sea.

This book was handed over to the small Alice, who little dreamed at that
time of the treasure she was to have in her keeping. Over twenty years
later, when Alice had become Mrs. Reginald Hargreaves, the great
popularity of "Alice in Wonderland" tempted the publishers to bring out a
reproduction of the original manuscript. This could not be done without
borrowing the precious volume from the original Alice, who was willing to
trust it in the hands of her old friend, knowing how over-careful he would
be, and, as he resolved that he would not allow any workman to touch it,
he had some funny experiences.

To reproduce a book it must first be photographed, and of course Lewis
Carroll consulted an expert. He offered to bring the book to London, to go
daily to his studio and hold it in position to be photographed, turning
over the pages one by one, but the photographer wished to do all that
himself. Finally, a man was found who was willing to come to Oxford and do
the work in Lewis Carroll's own way, while he stood near by turning over
the pages himself rather than let him touch them.

The photographer succeeded in getting a fine set of negatives, and in
October, 1880, Lewis Carroll sent the book in safe custody back to its
owner, thinking his troubles were over. The next step was to have plates
made from the pictures, and these plates in turn could pass into print.
The photographer was prompt at first in delivering the plates as they were
made, but, finally, like the _Baker_ in "The Hunting of the Snark," he
"softly and suddenly vanished away," holding still twenty-two of the fine
blocks on which the plates were made, leaving the book so far--incomplete.

There ensued a lively search for the missing photographer. This lasted for
months, thereby delaying the publication of the book, which was due
Christmas. Then, as suddenly as he had disappeared, he reappeared like a
ghost at the publishers, left eight of the twenty-two zinc blocks, and
again vanished. Finally, when a year had passed and poor Lewis Carroll, at
his wits' end, had resolved to borrow the book again in order to
photograph the remaining fourteen pages, the man was frightened by threats
of arrest, and delivered up the fourteen negatives which he had not yet
transferred to the blocks.

The distracted author was glad to find them, even though he had to pay a
second time for getting the blocks done properly. However, the book was
finished in time for the Christmas sale of 1886, just twenty-one years
after "Alice" made her first bow, and the best thing about it was that
all the profits were given to the Children's Hospitals and Convalescent
Homes for Sick Children. It was thoroughly illustrated with thirty-seven
of the author's own drawings, and the grown-up "Alice" received a
beautiful special copy bound in white vellum; but pretty as it was, it
could not take the place of that other volume carefully written out for
the sole pleasure of one little girl. Nothing was too much trouble if it
succeeded in giving pleasure to any little girl whom Lewis Carroll knew
and loved; even those he did not really know, and consequently could not
love, he sought to please, just because they were "little girls."

Alice was among the chosen few who retained his friendship through the
years. She was his first favorite, and she was indirectly the source of
his good luck, and we may be sure there was a certain winsomeness about
her long after the elf-locks were gathered into decorous coils of dark
hair.

True, the formal old bachelor came forward in their later association, and
the numerous letters he wrote her always began "My dear Mrs. Hargreaves,"
but his fondness for her outlived many other passing affections.

To go back to the little Alice and the fair smiling river, and that wizard
Lewis Carroll, who told the wonder tales so long ago. Once the children
had a taste of "Alice," she grew to be a great favorite; sometimes a
chapter was told on the river, sometimes in his study, often in the
garden or after tea in Christ Church Meadows--in fact, wherever they
caught a glimpse of the grave young man in cap and gown, the trio of small
Liddells fell upon him, and in this fashion, as he tells us himself, "the
quaint events were hammered out."

When he presented the promised copy it might have passed forever from his
mind, which was full of the higher mathematics he was teaching to the
young men of Christ Church, but he chanced one day to show the manuscript
to George Macdonald, the well-known writer, who was so charmed with it
that he advised his friend to send it to a publisher. He accordingly
carried it to London, and Macmillan & Co. took it at once. This was a
great surprise. He never dreamed of his nonsense being considered
seriously, and growing suddenly about as young as a great, big, bashful
boy, he refused to allow his own rough illustrations to appear in print,
so he hunted over the long list of his artist friends, for the genius who
could best illustrate the adventures of his dream-child. At last his
friend, Tom Taylor, a well-known dramatist, suggested Mr. Tenniel, the
clever cartoonist for _Punch_, who was quite willing to undertake this
rather odd bit of work, and on July 4, 1865, exactly three years since
that memorable afternoon, Alice Liddell received the first printed copy of
"Alice in Wonderland," the name the author finally selected for his book.

His first idea, as we know, was "Alice's Adventures Underground," the
second was "Alice's Hour in Elfland," but the last seemed best of all, for
Wonderland might mean any place where wonderful things could happen. And
this was Lewis Carroll's idea; anywhere the dream "Alice" chose to go
would be Wonderland, and none knew better than he did how eagerly the
child-mind paints its own fairy nooks and corners.

He was not at all excited about his first big venture; no doubt Alice
herself took much more interest. To feel that you are about to be put into
print is certainly a great experience, almost as great as being
photographed; and, knowing how conscientious Lewis Carroll was about
little things, we may be quite sure that her suggestions crept into many
of the pictures, while it is equally certain that the few additions he
made to the original "Alice" were carefully considered and firmly insisted
upon by this critical young person.

The first edition of two thousand copies was a great disappointment; the
pictures were badly printed, and all who had bought them were asked to
send them back with their names and addresses, as a new edition would be
printed immediately and they would then receive perfect copies. The old
copies Lewis Carroll gave away to various homes and hospitals, while the
new edition, upon which he feared a great loss, sold so rapidly that he
was astonished, and still more so when edition after edition was demanded
by the public, and far from being a failure, "Alice in Wonderland"
brought her author both fame and money.

From that time forward, fortune smiled upon him; there were no strenuous
efforts to increase his income. "Alice" yielded him an abundance each
year, and he was beset by none of the cares and perplexities which are the
dragons most writers encounter with their literary swords. He welcomed the
fortune, not so much for the good it brought to him alone, but for the
power it gave him to help others. His countless charities are not recorded
because they were swallowed up in the "little things" he did, not in the
great benefits which are trumpeted over the world. His own life, so
simple, so full of purpose, flowed on as usual; he was not one to change
his habits with the turn of Fortune's wheel, no matter what it brought
him.

Of course, everyone knew that a certain Lewis Carroll had written a
clever, charming book of nonsense, called "Alice in Wonderland"; that he
was an Oxford man, very much of a scholar, and little known outside of the
University. What people did not know was that this same Lewis Carroll had
for a double a certain "grave and reverend" young "don," named Charles
Lutwidge Dodgson, who, while "Alice" was making the whole world laugh,
retired to his sanctum and wrote in rapid succession the following learned
pamphlets: "The Condensation of Determinants," "An Elementary Treatise on
Determinants," "The Fifth Book of Euclid, treated Algebraically," "The
Algebraic Formulæ for Responsions."

Now, whatever these may be, they certainly did not interest children in
the least, and Charles Lutwidge Dodgson did not care in the least, so long
as he could smooth the thorny path of mathematics for his struggling
undergraduates. But Lewis Carroll was quite a different matter. So long as
the children were pleased, little he cared for algebra or geometry.

A funny tale is told about Queen Victoria. It seems that Lewis Carroll
sent the second presentation copy of "Alice in Wonderland" to Princess
Beatrice, the Queen's youngest daughter. Her mother was so pleased with
the book that she asked to have the author's other works sent to her, and
we can imagine her surprise when she received a large package of learned
treatises by the mathematical lecturer of Christ Church College.

Who can tell through what curious byways the thought of the dream-child
came dancing across the flagstones of the great "Tom Quad." Yet across
those same flagstones danced the little Liddells when they thought there
was any possibility of a romp or a story; for Lewis Carroll lived in the
northwest angle, while the girls lived in the beautiful deanery in the
northeast angle, and it was only a "puss-in-the-corner" game to get from
one place to the other.

"Alice" was written on the ground floor of this northwest angle, and it
was in this sunny room that Lewis Carroll and the real Alice held many a
consultation about the new book.

All true fame is to a certain extent due to accident; an act of heroism is
generally performed on the spur of the moment; a great poem is an
inspiration; a great invention, though preceded possibly by years of
study, is born of a single moment's inspiration; so "Alice" came to Lewis
Carroll on the wings of inspiration. His study of girls and their varying
moods has left its impress on a world of little girls, and there is
scarcely a home to-day, in England or America, where there is not a
special niche reserved for "Alice in Wonderland," while this interesting
young lady has been served up in French, German, Italian, and Dutch, and
the famous poem of _Father William_ has even been translated into Arabic.
Whether the Chinese or the Japanese have discovered this funny little
dream-child we cannot tell, but perhaps in time she may journey there and
amuse the little maids with the jet-black hair, the creamy skin, and the
slanting eyes. Perhaps she may even stir them to laughter.

Surely all must agree that the _Gryphon_ himself bears a strong
resemblance to the Chinese dragons, and it _might_ be, such are the
wonders of Wonderland, that the _Mock Turtle_ can be found in Japan. Who
knows! At any rate the little English Alice never thought of the
consequences of that "golden afternoon"; it was good to be in the boat, to
pull through the rippling waters and stir a faint breeze as the oars

     "with little skill--
  By little arms are plied";

then to gather under the friendly shade of the hayrick and listen to the
wonder tale "with lots of nonsense in it."

Dear little Alice of Long Ago! To you we owe a debt of gratitude. All the
little Alices of the past and all the little Alices of the future will
have their Wonderland because, while floating up and down the river with
the real Alice, Lewis Carroll found the Golden Key.



CHAPTER VII.

ALICE IN WONDERLAND AND WHAT SHE DID THERE.


A certain little girl who had been poring over "Through the Looking-Glass
and What Alice Found There" with eager interest, when asked which of the
"Alices" she preferred, answered at once that she thought "Through the
Looking-Glass" was "stupider" than "Alice in Wonderland," and when people
laughed she was surprised, for she had enjoyed both books.

_Stupid_ was certainly not the word she meant to use, nor yet _silly_,
which might have suggested itself if she had stopped to think. _Nonsense_
is really what she meant, and only very poor nonsense can be stupid or
silly. Good nonsense is exceedingly clever; it takes clever people to
write it and only clever people can understand and appreciate it, so when
the real Alice hoped "there would be nonsense in it" she was only looking
for what she was sure to find: something odd, bright, and funny, with a
laugh tucked away in unexpected places.

Nonsense is very ancient and respectable, tracing its origin back to the
days of the Court Fool, whose office it was to make merry for the king and
courtiers. An undersized man was usually selected, one with some deformity
being preferred, whereat the courtiers might laugh; one with sharp tongue
and ready wit, to make the time fly. He was clothed in "motley"--that is,
his dress, cut in the fashion of the times, was of many ill-assorted hues,
while the fool's cap with its bells, and the bauble or rattle which he
held in his hand, completed his grotesque appearance.

To the Fool was allowed the freedom of the court and a close intimacy with
his royal master, to whom he could say what he pleased without fear of
offense; his duty was to amuse, and the sharper his wit the better. It was
called nonsense, though a sword could not thrust with keener malice, and
historic moments have often hung upon a fool's jest. The history of the
Court Fool is the history of mediæval England, France, Spain, and Italy,
of a time when a quick figure of speech might turn the tide of war, and
the Fool could reel off his "nonsense" when others dared not speak. No one
was spared; the king himself was often the victim of the fool's tongue,
and under the guise of nonsense much wisdom lurked.

So it has been ever since; the Court Jester has passed away with other old
court customs, but the nonsense that was "writ in books" lived after
them, so good, so wholesome that we laugh at it with its old-time swing
and sting.

The nonsense that we find in books to-day is of a higher order than that
of the poor little Court Fool who, swaggering outwardly, trembled
inwardly, as he sent his barbed shaft of wit against some lordly breast.
The wisdom hides in the simple fun of everyday that makes life a thing of
sunshine and holds the shadows back.

Lewis Carroll had this gift of nonsense more than any other writer of his
time. Dickens and Thackeray possessed wit and humor of a high quality, but
they could not command so large an audience, for children turn to healthy
nonsense as sunflowers to the sun, and Lewis Carroll gave them all they
wanted. "Grown-ups," too, began to listen, detecting behind the fun much,
perhaps, which had escaped even the author himself, until he put on his
"grown-up" glasses and began to ponder.

Where the real charm lies in "Alice in Wonderland" would be very difficult
to say. If a thousand children were asked to pick out their favorite
parts, it is probable that not ten of them would think alike. A great many
would say "I like _any_ part," and really with such a fascinating book how
can one choose? The very opening is enough to cure any little girl of
drowsiness on a summer day, and the picture of the pompous little _White
Rabbit_ with his bulging waistcoat and his imposing watch chain, for all
the world like an everyday Englishman, is a type no doubt that the lively
little girls and the grave young "don" knew pretty well.

Every page gives one something to think about. To begin with, the fact
that _Alice_ is dreaming, is plain from the beginning, and that very odd
sensation of falling through space often comes during the first few
moments of sleep. A busy dreamer can accomplish a great deal in a very
short time, as we all know, and the most remarkable things happen in the
simplest way. There is a story, for instance, of one little girl, who,
after a nice warm bath, was carried to bed and tucked in up to her rosy
chin. Her heavy eyes shut immediately and lo! in half a minute she was
back in the big porcelain tub, splashing about like a little mermaid; then
nurse pulled the stopper out, and through the waste-pipe went water, small
girl, and all. When she opened her eyes with a start, she found she had
been dreaming _not quite two minutes_. So suppose the real Alice had been
dreaming a half an hour; it was quite long enough to skip through
"Wonderland," and to have delightful and curious things constantly
happening.

It was the _White Rabbit_ talking to himself that first attracted her, but
a short stay in "Wonderland" got her quite used to all sorts of animals
and their funny talk, and the way _she_ had of growing larger or smaller
on the shortest notice was very puzzling and amusing. How like real people
was this dream-child; how many everyday folks find themselves too small
for great places, and too great for the small ones, and how many
experiments they try to make themselves larger or smaller! You see Lewis
Carroll thought of all this, though he did not spoil his story by stopping
to explain. It is, indeed, poor nonsense that has to be explained every
step of the way.

The dream "Alice" just at first was apt to cry if anything unusual or
unpleasant happened; a bad habit with some children, the _real_ Alice was
given to understand. At any rate, when she drank out of the bottle that
tasted of "cherry tart, custard, pineapple, roast turkey, toffy, and hot
buttered toast," and found herself growing smaller and smaller, she cried,
because she was only ten inches high and could not possibly reach the
Golden Key on the glass table. Then she took herself to task very sharply,
saying: "Come, there's no use in crying like that! I advise you to leave
off this minute!"

"She generally gave herself very good advice (though she seldom followed
it), and sometimes she scolded herself so severely as to bring tears into
her eyes, and once she remembered trying to box her own ears for having
cheated herself in a game of croquet she was playing against herself, for
this curious child was very fond of pretending to be two people. 'But it's
no use now,' thought poor Alice, 'to pretend to be two people, when
there's hardly enough left of me to make _one_ respectable person.'"

Then when she found the little glass box with a cake in it marked "_Eat
Me_" in currants, she decided that if she ate it something different might
happen, for otherwise she would go out like a candle if she grew any
smaller. Of course, as soon as she swallowed the whole cake, she took a
start and soon stood nine feet high in her slippers.

"'Curiouser and curiouser!' cried Alice (she was so surprised that for the
moment she quite forgot to speak good English), 'now I'm opening out like
the largest telescope that ever was. Good-bye, feet!' (for when she looked
down at her feet they seemed to be almost out of sight, they were getting
so far off.) 'Oh, my poor little feet! I wonder who will put on your shoes
and stockings for you now, dears? I'm sure _I_ shan't be able! I shall be
a great deal too far off to trouble myself about you; you must manage the
best way you can; but I must be kind to them,' thought Alice, 'or perhaps
they won't walk the way I want to go! Let me see: I'll give them a new
pair of boots every Christmas.'"

"And she went on planning to herself how she would manage it. 'They must
go by the carrier,' she thought; 'and how funny it'll seem, sending
presents to one's own feet, and how odd the directions will look!

  _Alice's Right Foot, Esq.,
          Hearthrug,
              near the Fender,
                  (with Alice's love)._

Oh, dear, what nonsense I'm talking.'"

Perhaps it was just here that the children's merriment broke forth; the
idea of _Alice_ being nine feet high was _too_ ridiculous, but the poor
dream "Alice" didn't think so, for she sat down and began to cry again.

"'You ought to be ashamed of yourself,' said Alice, 'a great girl like
you' (she might well say this) 'to go on crying in this way! Stop this
moment I tell you!' But she went on all the same, shedding gallons of
tears until there was a large pool all around her about four inches deep
and reaching half down the hall."

This change she found more puzzling still: everything seemed mixed up, the
Multiplication Table, Geography, even the verses which had been familiar
to her from babyhood. She tried to say "_How doth the little busy bee_,"
but the words would not come right; instead she began repeating, in a
hoarse, strange voice, the following noble lines:

  "How doth the little crocodile
    Improve his shining tail,
  And pour the waters of the Nile
    On every golden scale!

  "How cheerfully he seems to grin,
    How neatly spreads his claws,
  And welcomes little fishes in,
    With gently smiling jaws!"

Naturally this produced a sensation, for where is the child who speaks
English who does not know that the busy bee "improves the shining hours!"

When the book was translated into French, however, this odd little rhyme
not being known to the French children, the translator, M. Henri Bué, had
to substitute something else which they could understand--one of their own
French rhymes made into a parody of La Fontaine's "Maître Corbeau" (Master
Raven).

When _Alice_ began to shrink again, she went suddenly _splash_ into that
immense pool of tears she had shed when she was nine feet high. _Now_ she
was only two feet high and the water was up to her chin. It was so salty,
being tear-water, that she thought she had fallen into the sea, and in
this sly fashion Lewis Carroll managed to smuggle in a timely word about
the sad way some little girls have of shedding "oceans of tears" on the
most trifling occasion.

It was on this briny trip that she fell in with the numbers of queer
animals who had also taken refuge in the "Pool of Tears," from the _Mouse_
to the _Lory_, who had all fallen into the water and were eagerly swimming
toward the shore. They gained it at last and sat there, "the birds with
draggled feathers, the animals with their fur clinging close to them, and
all dripping wet, cross, and uncomfortable," including _Alice_ herself,
whose long hair hung wet and straggling on her shoulders.

The _Lory_, of all the odd animals, was probably the oddest. _Alice_ found
herself talking familiarly with them all, and entering into quite a
lengthy argument with the _Lory_ in particular about how to get dry. But
the _Lory_ "turned sulky and would only say: 'I am older than you and must
know better,' and this 'Alice' would not allow without knowing how old it
was, and as the 'Lory' positively refused to tell its age, there was
nothing more to be said."

Lewis Carroll himself made some interesting notes on the life history of
this remarkable animal, which were first produced in _The Rectory
Umbrella_ long before he thought of popping it into "Wonderland." "This
creature," he writes, "is, we believe, a species of parrot. Southey
informs us that it is a bird of gorgeous plumery [plumage], and it is our
private opinion that there never existed more than one, whose history, as
far as practicable, we will now lay before our readers."

"The time and place of the Lory's birth is uncertain; the egg from which
it was hatched was most probably, to judge from the color of the bird, one
of those magnificent Easter eggs which our readers have doubtless seen.
The experiment of hatching an Easter egg is at any rate worth trying."

After a lengthy and confusing description he winds up as follows:

"Having thus stated all we know and a great deal we don't know on this
interesting subject, we must conclude."

_Alice_ looked upon this domineering old bird of uncertain age quite as a
matter of course, as, indeed, she looked upon everything that happened in
Wonderland.

There is fun bubbling over in every situation. Sir John Tenniel has given
us a clever picture of the wet, woe-begone animals, all clustering around
the _Mouse_, who had undertaken to make them dry. "Ahem!" said the Mouse,
with an important air, "are you all ready? This is the driest thing I
know," and off he rambled into some dull corner of English history, most
probably taken out of _Alice's_ own lesson book, not unknown to Lewis
Carroll.

The Caucas race was suggested by the _Dodo_ as an excellent method for
getting dry, and as it was a race in which everyone came in ahead,
everyone of course was satisfied, and in the distribution of prizes no one
was forgotten. _Alice_ herself received her own thimble, which she fished
out of her pocket, and which the _Dodo_ solemnly handed back to her,
"saying: 'We beg your acceptance of this elegant thimble,' and when it had
finished this short speech they all cheered."

Dinah, the real Alice's real cat, plays an important part in the drama of
Wonderland, although she was left at home dozing in the sun; _Alice_
mortally offended the _Mouse_, and frightened many of her bird friends
almost to death, simply by bringing her into the conversation.

It is certainly delightful to follow in the footsteps of this dream-child
of Lewis Carroll's; we lose ourselves in the mazes of Wonderland, and even
as we grow older we do not feel that we have to stoop in the least to pass
through the portals.

There was a certain air of sociability in Wonderland that pleased _Alice_
immensely, for her visiting-list was quite astonishing, and she was
continually meeting new--well, not exactly people, but experiences. Her
talk with a caterpillar during one of those periods when she was barely
tall enough to peep over the mushroom on which he was sitting is "highly
amusing and instructive."

"'Who are you?' said the Caterpillar.

"This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied
rather shyly: 'I--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 changed several
times since then.'

"'What do you mean by that?' said the Caterpillar sternly. 'Explain
yourself!'

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

"'I don't see,' said the Caterpillar.

"'I'm afraid I can't put it more clearly,' Alice replied, very politely,
'for I can't understand it myself to begin with, and being so many
different sizes in a day is very confusing.'

"'It isn't,' said the Caterpillar.

"'Well, perhaps you haven't found it so yet,' said Alice, '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?'

"'Not a bit,' said the Caterpillar.

"'Well, perhaps your feelings may be different,' said Alice; 'all I know
is, it would feel very queer to _me_.'

"'You!' said the Caterpillar, contemptuously, 'Who are _you_?' Which
brought them back again to the beginning of the conversation."

It was the _Caterpillar_ who asked her to recite "You are old, Father
William," and _Alice_ began in this fashion:

  "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?"

  "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."

  "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?"

  "In my youth," said the sage, as he shook his gray locks,
    "I kept all my limbs very supple
  By the use of this ointment--one shilling the box--
    Allow me to sell you a couple."

  "You are old," said the youth, "and your jaws are too weak
    For anything tougher than suet;
  Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak--
    Pray, how did you manage to do it?"

  "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."

  "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?"

  "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 downstairs!"

Now _Alice_ knew well enough that she had given an awful twist to a pretty
and old-fashioned piece of poetry, but for the life of her the old words
refused to come. It seemed that with her power to grow large or small on
short notice, her memory performed queer antics; she was never sure of it
for two minutes together.

One odd thing about her change of size was that she never grew up or
dwindled away unless she ate something or drank something. Now every
little girl has had similar experience when it came to eating and
drinking. "Eat so and so," says a "grown-up," "and you will be tall and
strong," and "if you _don't_ eat this thing or that, you will be little
all your life," so _Alice_ was only going through the same trials in
Wonderland.

Her meeting with the _Duchess_ and the peppery _Cook_, and the screaming
_Baby_, and the grinning _Cheshire Cat_, occupied some thrilling moments.
She found the _Duchess_ conversational but cross, and the _Cook_
sprinkling pepper lavishly into _the_ soup she was stirring, and _out_ of
it for the matter of that, so that everybody was sneezing. The _Cat_ was
the sole exception; it sat on the hearth and grinned from ear to ear.
_Alice_ opened the conversation by asking the _Duchess_, who was holding
the _Baby_ and jumping it up and down so roughly that it howled dismally,
why the _Cat_ grinned in that absurd way.

"'It's a Cheshire Cat,' said the Duchess, and that's why. 'Pig!' She said
the last word with such sudden violence that Alice quite jumped; but she
saw in another moment that it was addressed to the Baby and not to her, so
she took courage and went on again:

"'I didn't know that Cheshire Cats always grinned--in fact I didn't know
that Cats _could_ grin.'

"'They all can,' said the Duchess, 'and most of 'em do.'

"'I don't know of any that do,' said Alice, very politely, feeling quite
pleased to have got into a conversation.

"'You don't know much,' said the Duchess; 'and that's a fact.'

"Alice did not like the tone of this remark and thought it would be well
to introduce some other subject of conversation."

Then the _Cook_ began throwing things about, and the _Duchess_, to quiet
the howling _Baby_, sang the following beautiful lullaby, which she
emphasized by a violent shake at the end of every line. Considering Lewis
Carroll's rather strong feeling on the boy question, they were most
appropriate lines, indeed.

      Speak roughly to your little boy,
        And beat him when he sneezes;
      He only does it to annoy,
        Because he know it teases.

              _Chorus._
  (In which the Cook and the Baby joined.)
           Wow! wow! wow!

      I speak severely to my boy,
        I beat him when he sneezes,
      For he can thoroughly enjoy
        The pepper when he pleases!

              _Chorus._
           Wow! wow! wow!

Imagine the quiet "don" beating time to this beautiful measure, his blue
eyes gleaming with fun, his expressive voice shaded to just the right
tones to give color to the chorus, while the little girls chimed in at the
proper moment. It was no trouble for him to make rhymes, being endowed
with this wonderful gift of nonsense, and in conversation he was equally
clever. He gave the _Duchess_ quite the air of a learned lady, even though
she did not know that mustard was a vegetable. When _Alice_ suggested that
it was a mineral, she was quite ready to agree. "'There's a large mustard
mine near here,' she observed, 'and the moral of that is' [the Duchess had
a moral for everything], 'The more there is of mine--the less there is of
yours.' 'Oh, I know!' exclaimed Alice, who had not attended to this last
remark, 'it's a vegetable. It doesn't look like one but it is.'

"'I quite agree with you,' said the Duchess, 'and the moral of that is,
"Be what you would seem to be," or if you'd like to put it more simply,
"Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to
others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what
you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise."'

"'I think I should understand that better,' said Alice, very politely, 'if
I had it written down, but I can't quite follow it as you say it.'

"'That's nothing to what I could say if I chose,'" the Duchess replied in
a pleasant tone.

_Alice's_ talk with the _Cheshire Cat_, which had the remarkable power of
appearing and vanishing in portions, the table gossip at the Mad Tea
Party, to which she was an uninvited guest, are too well-known to quote.
Many a time the Mad Tea Party has been the theme of some nursery play or
school entertainment. The _Mad Hatter_ and the _March Hare_ were certainly
the maddest things that ever were. When the _Hatter_ complained of his
watch being two days wrong, he turned angrily to the _March Hare_, saying:

"'I told you butter wouldn't suit the works.'

"'It was the _best_ butter,' the March Hare meekly replied.

"'Yes, but some crumbs must have got in as well,' the Hatter grumbled;
'you shouldn't have put it in with the bread knife.'

"The March Hare took the watch and looked at it gloomily; then he dipped
it into his cup of tea and looked at it again; but he could think of
nothing better to say than his first remark, 'It was the _best_ butter you
know.'"

Surely nothing could be more amusing that this party of mad ones, and the
sleepy _Dormouse_, who sat between the _March Hare_ and the _Hatter_,
contributed his share to the fun, while the _Hatter's_ songs, which he
sang at the concert given by the _Queen of Hearts_, was certainly very
familiar to _Alice_. It began:

  Twinkle, twinkle, little bat--
  How I wonder what you're at!
  Up above the world you fly,
  Like a tea tray in the sky.
       Twinkle, twinkle.

Who but Lewis Carroll could invent such a scene? Who could better plan the
little sparkling sentences which gave the nonsense just the glitter which
children found so fascinating and so laughable. Yet what did they laugh at
after all? What do we laugh at even to-day in glancing over the familiar
pages? What is it in the mysterious depths of childhood which Lewis
Carroll has caught in his golden web? Perhaps, it is not all mere
childhood; we are ourselves but "children of a larger growth," and deep
down within us at some time or other fancy runs riot and imagination does
the rest. So it was with Lewis Carroll, only _his_ fancy soared into
genius, carrying with it, as someone has said, "a suggestion of clear and
yet soft laughing sunshine. He never made us laugh _at_ anything, but
always _with_ him and his knights and queens and heroes of the nursery
rhymes."

Behind much of the world's laughter tears may be hiding, but not so in the
case of Lewis Carroll; all is pure mirth that flows from him to us, and
above all he possesses that indescribable thing called charm. It lurks in
the quaint conversations, in the fluent measure of the songs, in the
fantastic scenes so full of ideas that seem to vanish before we quite
grasp them--like the _Cheshire Cat_--leaving only the smile behind.

To those of us--the world in short--who were denied the privilege of
hearing Lewis Carroll tell his own story, the Tenniel pictures bring
Wonderland very close. Our natural history alone would not help us in the
least when it came to classifying the many strange animals _Alice_ met on
her journey. The _Mock Turtle_, the _Gryphon_, the _Lory_, the _Dodo_, the
_Cheshire Cat_, the _Fish_ and _Frog_ footmen--how could we imagine them
without the Tenniel "guidebook"? The numberless transformations of _Alice_
could hardly be understood without photographs of her in the various
stages. And certainly at the croquet party, given by the _Queen of
Hearts_, how could anyone imagine a game played with bent-over soldiers
for wickets, hedgehogs for croquet balls, and flamingoes for mallets,
unless there were accompanying illustrations?

One specially interesting picture shows the _Gryphon_ in the foreground;
he and _Alice_ paid a visit to the _Mock Turtle_, who, by way of
entertaining his guests, gave the following description of the Lobster
Quadrille. With tears running down his cheeks he began:

"'You have never lived much under the sea' ('I haven't,' said Alice) 'and
perhaps you were never introduced to a lobster--' (Alice began to say 'I
once tasted--' but she 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 seashore.'

"'Two lines!' cried the Mock Turtle. 'Seals, turtles, salmon, and so on;
then when you've cleared all the jellyfish out of the way--'

"'_That_ generally takes some time,' interrupted the Gryphon.

"'You advance twice.'

"'Each with a lobster as a partner!' cried the Gryphon.

"'Of course,' the Mock Turtle said; 'advance twice, set to partners--'

"'Change lobsters and retire in same order,' continued the Gryphon.

"'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 Gryphon.

"'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."

Who could read this without laughing, with no reason for the laugh but
sheer delight and sympathy with the story-teller, and with dancing and
motion and all the rest of it. If anyone begins to hunt for the reasons
why we like "Alice in Wonderland" that person is either very, very sleepy,
or she has left her youth so far behind her that, like the _Lory_, she
absolutely refuses to tell her age, in which case she must be as old as
the hills.

Then the dance, which the two gravely performed for the little girl, and
who can forget the song of the _Mock Turtle_?

  "Will you walk a little faster!" said a whiting to a snail,
  "There's a porpoise close behind us, and he's treading on my tail.
  See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance!
  They are waiting on the shingle--will you come and join the dance?
  Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you join the dance?
  Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you join the dance?

  "You can really have no notion how delightful it will be
  When they take us up and throw us, with the lobsters, out to sea!"
  But the snail replied, "Too far, too far!" and gave a look askance--
  Said he thanked the whiting kindly, but he would not join the dance.
  Would not, could not, would not, could not, would not join the dance.
  Would not, could not, would not, could not, could not join the dance.

  "What matters it how far we go?" his scaly friend replied,
  "There is another shore, you know, upon the other side,
  The farther off from England the nearer is to France;
  Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance.
  Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you join the dance?
  Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you join the dance?"

Then _Alice_ tried to repeat "'Tis the voice of the Sluggard," but she was
so full of the Lobster Quadrille that the words came like this:

  'Tis the voice of the lobster, I heard him declare,
  "You have baked me too brown, I must sugar my hair."
  As a duck with its eyelids, so he with his nose
  Trims his belt and his buttons, and turns out his toes.

The whole time she was in Wonderland she never by any chance recited
anything correctly, and through all of her wanderings she never met
anything in the shape of a little boy, except the infant son of the
_Duchess_, who after all turned out to be a pig and vanished in the woods.
The "roundabouts" played no parts in "Alice in Wonderland," and yet--to a
man--they love it to this day.

When at last _Alice_ bade farewell to the _Mock Turtle_, she left it
sobbing of course, and singing with much emotion the following song,
entitled:

TURTLE SOUP.

  Beautiful Soup, so rich and green,
  Waiting in a hot tureen!
  Who for such dainties would not stoop?
  Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!
  Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!
          Beau--ootiful Soo--oop!
          Beau--ootiful Soo--oop!
  Soo--oop of the e--e--evening,
          Beautiful, beautiful Soup!

  Beautiful Soup! Who cares for fish,
  Game, or any other dish
  Who would not give all else for two
  pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?
          Beau--ootiful Soo--oop!
          Beau--ootiful Soo--oop!
  Soo--oop of the e--e--evening,
          Beautiful, beauti--FUL SOUP!

We might spend a whole chapter over the great trial scene of the _Knave of
Hearts_. We all know that the wretched fellow stole some tarts upon a
summer's day, and that he was brought in chains before the _King_ and
_Queen_, to face the charges. What we did not know was that it was the
fourth of July, and that _Alice_ was one of the witnesses.

This, in a certain way, is the cleverest chapter in the book, for all the
characters in Wonderland take part in the proceedings, which are so like,
and yet so comically unlike, a real court. We forget, as _Alice_ did, that
all these royalties are but a pack of cards, and follow all the evidence
with the greatest interest, including the piece of paper which the _White
Rabbit_ had just found and presented to the Court. It contained the
following verses:

  They told me you had been to her,
    And mentioned me to him:
  She gave me a good character,
    But said I could not swim.

  He sent them word I had not gone
    (We know it to be true):
  If she should push the matter on,
    What would become of you?

  I gave her one, they gave him two,
    You gave us three or more:
  They all returned from him to you,
    Though they were mine before.

  If I or she should chance to be
    Involved in this affair,
  He trusts to you to set them free,
    Exactly as we were.

  My notion was that you had been
    (Before she had this fit)
  An obstacle that came between
    Him, and ourselves, and it.

  Don't let him know she liked them best,
    For this must ever be
  A secret, kept from all the rest,
    Between yourself and me.

This truly clear explanation touches the _Queen of Hearts_ so closely that
the outsider is led to believe that she is indirectly responsible for the
theft, that the poor knave is but the tool of her Majesty, whose fondness
for tarts led her into temptation. Lewis Carroll had a keen eye for the
dramatic climax--the packed court room, the rambling evidence, the
mystifying scrap of paper, and _Alice's_ defiance of the _King_ and
_Queen_.

"'Off with her head!' the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody
moved. 'Who cares for you?' said Alice (she had grown to her full size by
this time), 'you're nothing but a pack of cards.'

"At this, the whole pack rose up in the air and came flying down upon her;
she gave a little scream, half of fright, half of anger, and tried to beat
them off and found herself lying on the bank, with her head in the lap of
her sister, who was gently brushing away some dead leaves that had
fluttered down from the trees on to her face...."

And so Alice woke up, shook back the elf-locks, and laughed as she rubbed
her eyes.

"Such a curious dream!" she said, as the wonder of it all came back to
her, and she told her sister of the queer things she had seen and heard,
and long after she had run away, this big sister sat with closed eyes,
dreaming and wondering.

"The long grass rustled at her feet as the White Rabbit hurried by; the
frightened Mouse splashed his way through the neighboring pool; she could
hear the rattle of the teacups as the March Hare and his friends shared
their never-ending meal, and the shrill voice of the Queen ordering off
her unfortunate guests to execution. Once more the pig-baby was sneezing
on the Duchess's knee, while plates and dishes crashed around it; once
more the shriek of the Gryphon, the squeaking of the Lizard's slate
pencil, and the choking of the suppressed Guinea Pigs filled the air,
mixed up with the distant sob of the miserable Mock Turtle."

Yet when she opened her eyes she knew that Wonderland must go. In reality
"the grass would only be rustling in the wind, and the pool rippling to
the waving of the reeds, the rattling teacups would change to tinkling
sheep bells and the Queen's shrill cries to the voice of the shepherd boy,
and the sneeze of the baby, the shriek of the Gryphon, and all the other
queer noises would change ... to the confused clamor of the busy farmyard,
while the lowing of the cattle in the distance would take the place of
the Mock Turtle's heavy sobs."

So _we_ have dreamed of Wonderland from that time till now, when Lewis
Carroll looks out from the pages of his book and says:

"That's all--for to-night--there may be more to-morrow."



CHAPTER VIII.

LEWIS CARROLL AT HOME AND ABROAD.


The popularity of "Alice in Wonderland" was a never-ending source of
surprise to the author, who had only to stand quietly by and rake in his
profits, as edition after edition was swallowed up by a public incessantly
clamoring for more, and Lewis Carroll was not too modest to enjoy the
sensation he was creating in the literary world. His success came to him
unsought, and was all the more lasting because the seeds of it were
planted in love and laughter. Let us see what he says in the preface to
"Alice Underground," the forerunner, as we know, of "Alice in Wonderland."

"The 'why' of this book cannot and need not be put into words. Those for
whom a child's mind is a sealed book, and who see no divinity in a child's
smile, would read such words in vain; while for any one who has ever loved
one true child, no words are needed. For he will have known the awe that
falls on one in the presence of a spirit, fresh from God's hands, on whom
no shadow of sin, and but the outermost fringe of the shadow of sorrow,
has yet fallen; he will have felt the bitter contrast between the haunting
selfishness that spoils his best deeds and the life that is but an
overflowing love--for I think a child's first attitude to the world is a
simple love for all living things--and he will have learned that the best
work a man can do is when he works for love's sake only, with no thought
of name or gain or earthly reward. No deed of ours, I suppose, on this
side of the grave is really unselfish, yet if one can put forth all one's
powers in a task where nothing of reward is hoped for but a little child's
whispered thanks, and the airy touch of a little child's pure lips, one
seems to have come somewhere near to this."

In the appendix to the same book he writes regarding laughter:

"I do not believe God means us to divide life into two halves--to wear a
grave face on Sunday, and to think it out of place even so much as to
mention Him on a week-day.... Surely the children's innocent laughter is
as sweet in His ears as the grandest anthem that ever rolled up from 'the
dim religious light' of some solemn cathedral; and if I have written
anything to add to those stores of innocent and healthy amusement that are
laid up in books for the children I love so well, it is surely something I
may hope to look back upon without shame or sorrow ... when my turn comes
to walk through the valley of shadows."

Such was the man who filled the world with laughter, and wrote "nonsense"
books; a man of such deeply religious feeling that a jest that touched
upon sacred things, however innocent in itself, was sure to bring down his
wrath upon the head of the offender. There is a certain strain of sadness
in those quoted words of his, which surely never belonged to those "golden
summer days" when he made merry with the three little Liddells. We must
remember that twenty-one years had passed between the telling of the story
and the reprint of the original manuscript, and Lewis Carroll was just a
little graver and considerably older than on that eventful day when the
_White Rabbit_ looked at his watch as if to say: "Oh--my ears and
whiskers! What will the Duchess think!" as he popped down the hole with
_Alice_ at his heels.

But we are going a little too far ahead. After the writing of "Alice,"
with the accompanying excitement of seeing his first-born win favor, Lewis
Carroll went quietly forward in his daily routine. He had already become
quite a famous lecturer, being, indeed, the only mathematical lecturer in
Christ Church College, so Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was not completely
overshadowed by the glory of Lewis Carroll.

From the beginning he was careful to separate these two sides of his life,
and the numbers of letters which soon began to pour in upon the latter
were never recognized by the grave, precise "don," whose thoughts flowed
in numbers, and so it was all through his life. When anyone wrote to him,
addressing him by his real name, and praising him for the "Alice" books,
he sent a printed reply which he kept "handy," saying that as C. L.
Dodgson was so often approached as the author of books bearing another
name, it must be understood that Mr. Dodgson never acknowledged the
authorship of a book which did not bear his name. He was most careful in
the wording of this printed form, that it should bear no shadow of
untruth. It was only his shy way of avoiding the notice of strangers, and
it succeeded so well that very few people knew that the Rev. Charles
Dodgson and Lewis Carroll were one and the same person. It was also
hinted, and very broadly, too, that many of the queer characters _Alice_
met on her journey through Wonderland were very dignified and stately
figures in the University itself, who posed unconsciously as models. The
_Hatter_ is an acknowledged portrait, and no doubt there were many other
sly caricatures, for Lewis Carroll was a born humorist.

"Alice" has been given to the public in many ways besides translations.
There have been lectures, plays, magic lantern slides of Tenniel's
wonderful pictures, tableaux; and many scenes find their way, even at this
day, in the nursery wall-paper covered over with Gryphons and Mock Turtles
and the whole Court of Cards--a most imposing array. It has been truly
stated that, with the exception of Shakespeare's plays, no books have
been so often quoted as the two "Alices."

After the publication of "Alice in Wonderland," Lewis Carroll contributed
short stories to the various periodicals which were eager for his work. As
early as 1867, he sent to _Aunt Judy's Magazine_ a short story called
"Bruno's Revenge," the foundation of "Sylvie and Bruno," which was never
published in book form until 1889, twenty-two years after.

The editor of the magazine, Mrs. Gatty, in accepting the story, gave the
author some wholesome advice wrapped up in a bundle of praise for the
dainty little idyll. She reminded him that mathematical ability such as he
possessed was also the gift of hundreds of others, but his story-telling
talent, so full of exquisite touches, was peculiarly his own, and whatever
of fame might come to him would be on the wings of the fairies, and not
from the lecture room.

In "Bruno's Revenge" we have, for the first time in any of his stories, a
little boy. It was a sort of unwilling tribute Lewis Carroll paid to the
poor despised "roundabouts," and for all the winsome fairy ways and merry
little touches, _Bruno_ was never _quite_ the real thing; at any rate the
story was put away to simmer, and as the long years passed, it was added
to bit by bit until--but _that_ is another story.

Between the publication of "Alice" and the summer vacation of 1867 he
wrote several very learned mathematical works that earned him much
distinction among the Christ Church undergraduates, who found it hard to
believe that Mr. Dodgson and Lewis Carroll were so closely connected. It
was during this summer (1867) that he and Dr. Liddon took a short tour on
the Continent.

The two men had much in common and were firm friends. Both had the true
Oxford spirit, both were churchmen, Dr. Liddon being quite a famous
preacher, and both were men of high intelligence with a good supply of
humor; consequently the prospect of a trip to Russia together was a very
delightful one. Lewis Carroll kept a journal which was such a complete
record of his experiences that at one time he thought of publishing it,
though it was never done.

He went up to London on July 12th, remarking in his characteristic way
that he and the Sultan of Turkey arrived on the same day, _his_ entrance
being at Paddington station--the Sultan's at Charing Cross, where, he was
forced to admit, the crowd was much greater. He met Dr. Liddon at Dover
and they crossed to Calais, finding the passage unusually smooth and
uneventful, feeling in some way that they had paid their money in vain,
for the trip across the channel is generally one of storm and stress.

All such tours have practically the same object--to see and to enjoy--and
the young "don" came out of his den for this express purpose. It had been
impossible in the busy years since his graduation to take his holidays far
away from home, but at the age of thirty-five he felt that he had earned
the right, and proceeded to use it in his own way. Their route lay through
Germany, stopping at Cologne, Danzig, Berlin and Königsberg, among other
places, and he feasted on the beauties which these various cities had to
offer him; the architecture and paintings, the pageantry of strange
religions, the music in the great cathedrals, and last, but not least, the
foreign drama interested him greatly. The German acting was easy enough to
follow, as he knew a little of the language; but the Russian tongue was
beyond him, and he could only rely upon the gestures and expression.

Their special object in going to Russia was to see the great fair at
Nijni-Novgorod. This fair brought all the corners of the earth together;
Chinese, Persians, Tartars, native Russians, mingled in the busy, surging
life about them, and lent color and variety to every step. The two friends
spent their time pleasantly, for the fame of Dr. Liddon's preaching had
reached Russia, and the clergy opened their doors to the travelers and
took them over many churches and monasteries, which otherwise they might
never have seen. They stopped in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kronstadt,
Warsaw, taking in Leipzig, Giessen, Ems, and many smaller places on the
homeward road.

They visited a famous monastery while in Moscow, and were even shown the
subterranean cells of the hermits. At Kronstadt they had a most amusing
experience. They went to call upon a friend, and Dr. Liddon, forgetting
his scanty knowledge of the Russian language, rashly handed his overcoat
to one of the servants. When they were ready to leave there was a
waiting-maid in attendance--but no overcoat. The damsel spoke no English,
the gentleman spoke no Russian, so Dr. Liddon asked for his overcoat with
what he considered the most appropriate gesture. Intelligence beamed upon
the maiden's face; she ran from the room, returning with a clothes brush.
No, Dr. Liddon did not want his coat brushed; he tried other gestures,
succeeding so beautifully that the girl was convinced that he wanted to
take a nap on the sofa, and brought a cushion and a pillow for that
purpose. Still no overcoat, and Dr. Liddon was in despair until Lewis
Carroll made a sketch of his friend with one coat on, in the act of
putting on another, in the hands of an obliging Russian peasant. The
drawing was so expressive that the maid understood at once; the mystery
was solved--and the coat recovered.

With this gift of drawing a situation, it is remarkable that Lewis Carroll
never became an artist. With all his artistic ideas, and with his real
knowledge of art, it seems a pity that he could not have gratified his
ambition, but after serious consultation with John Ruskin, who as critic
and friend examined his work, he decided that his natural gift was not
great enough to push, and sensibly resolved not to waste so much precious
time. Still, to the end of his life, he drew for amusement's sake and for
the pleasure it gave his small friends.

Altogether their tour was a very pleasant one, and their return was
through Germany, that most interesting country of hills and valleys and
pretty white villages nestling among the trees. What Lewis Carroll
specially liked was the way the old castles seemed to spring out of the
rock on which they had been built, as if they had grown there without the
aid of bricks and mortar. He admired the spirit of the old architects,
which guided them to plan buildings naturally suited to their
surroundings, and was never tired of the beautiful hills, so densely
covered with small trees as to look moss-grown in the distance.

On his return to Oxford, he plunged at once into very active work. The new
term was beginning--there were lectures to prepare and courses to plan,
and undergraduates to interview, all of which kept him quite busy for a
while, though it did not interfere with certain cozy afternoon teas, when
he related his summer adventures to his numerous girl friends, and kept
them in a gale of laughter over his many queer experiences.

But these same little girls were clamoring for another book, and a hundred
thousand others were alike eager for it, to judge by the heavy budgets of
mail he received, so he cast about in that original mind of his for a
worthy sequel to "Alice in Wonderland." He was willing to write a sequel
then, for "Alice" was still fresh and amusing to a host of children, and
its luster had been undimmed as yet by countless imitations. To be sure
"Alice in Blunderland" had appeared in _Punch_, the well-known English
paper of wit and humor, but then _Punch_ was _Punch_, and spared nothing
which might yield a ripple of laughter.

When it was known that he had finally determined to write the book, a
leading magazine offered him two guineas a page (a sum equal to about ten
dollars in our money) for the privilege of printing it as a serial. This
story as we know was called "Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice
Found There," though few people take time to use the full title. It is
usually read by youngsters right "on top" of "Alice in Wonderland." They
speak of the two books as the "Alices," and some of the best editions are
even bound together, so closely are the stories connected.

With Lewis Carroll's aptness for doing things backward, is it any wonder
that he pushed Alice through the Looking-Glass? And so full of grace and
beauty and absurd situations is the story he has given us, we quite forget
that it was written for the public, and not entirely for three little
girls "all on a summer's day." No doubt they heard the chapters for they
were right there across "Tom Quad" and could be summoned by a whistle, if
need be, along with some other little girls who had sprung up within the
walls of Christ Church.

At any rate the story turned out far beyond his expectations and he was
again fortunate in securing Tenniel as his illustrator. It was no easy
task to illustrate for Lewis Carroll, who criticised every stroke, and
being quite enough of an artist to know exactly what he wanted, he was
never satisfied until he had it. This often tried the patience of those
who worked with him, but his own good humor and unfailing courtesy
generally won in the end.

In the midst of this pleasant work came the greatest sorrow of his life,
the death of his father, Archdeacon Dodgson, on June 21, 1868. Seventeen
years had passed since his mother's death, which had left him stunned on
the very threshold of his college life; but he was only a boy in spite of
his unusual gravity, and his youth somehow fought for him when he battled
with his grief. In those intervening years, he and his father had grown
very close together. One never took a step without consulting the other.
Christ Church and all it meant to one of them was alike dear to the other.
The archdeacon took the keenest interest in his son's outside work, and we
may be quite sure that "Alice" was as much read and as thoroughly enjoyed
by this grave scholar as by any other member of his household. It was the
suddenness of his death which left its lasting mark on Lewis Carroll, and
the fact that he was summoned too late to see his father alive. It was a
terrible shock, and a grief of which he could never _speak_. He wrote some
beautiful letters about it, but those who knew him well respected the wall
of silence he erected.

In truth, our quiet, self-contained "don" was a man of deep emotions; the
quiet, the poise, had come through years of inward struggle, and he
maintained it at the cost of being considered a little cold by people who
never could know the trouble it had been to smother the fire. He put away
his sorrow with other sacred things, and on his return to Oxford went to
work in his characteristic way on a pamphlet concerning the Fifth Book of
Euclid, written principally to aid the students during examinations, and
which was considered an excellent bit of work.

In November, 1868, he moved into new quarters in Christ Church and, as he
occupied these rooms for the rest of his life, a little description of
them just here would not be out of place.

"Tom Quad," we must not forget, was the Great Quadrangle of Christ Church,
where all the masters and heads of the college lived with their families.
This was called being _in residence_, and a pretty sight it was to see the
great stretch of green, and its well-kept paths gay with the life that
poured from the doors and peeped through the windows of this wonderful
place; a sunny day brought out all the young ones, and just here Lewis
Carroll's closest ties were formed.

The angles of "Tom Quad" were the choice spots for a lodging, and Lewis
Carroll lived in the west angle, first on the ground floor, where, as we
know, "Alice in Wonderland" was written; then, when he made his final
move, it was to the floor above, which was brighter and sunnier, giving
him more rooms and more space. This upper floor looked out upon the flat
roof of the college, an excellent place for photography, to which he was
still devoted, and he asked permission of those in charge to erect a
studio there. This was easily obtained, and could the walls tell tales
they would hum with the voices of the celebrated "flies" this clever young
"spider" lured into his den. For he took beautiful photographs at a time
when photography was not the perfect system that it is now, and nothing
pleased him better than posing well-known people. All the big lights of
Oxford sat before his camera, including Lord Salisbury, who was Chancellor
at that time. Artists, sculptors, writers, actors of note had their
pleasant hour in Lewis Carroll's studio.

Our "don" was very partial to great people, that is, the truly great, the
men and women who truly counted in the world, whether by birth and
breeding or by some accomplished deed or high aim. Being a cultured
gentleman himself, he had a vast respect for culture in other people--not
a bad trait when all is told, and setting very naturally upon an
Englishman born of gentle stock, with generations of ladies and gentlemen
at his back. One glance into the sensitive, refined face of Charles
Dodgson would convince us at once that no friendship he ever formed had
anything but the highest aim for him. He might have chosen for his motto--

     "Only what thou art in thyself, not what thou hast, determines thy
     value."

Even among his girl friends, the "little lady," no matter how poor or
plain, was his first object; that was a strong enough foundation. The rest
was easy.

But here we have been outside in the studio soaring a bit in the sky, when
our real destination is that suite of beautiful big rooms where Lewis
Carroll lived and wrote and entertained his many friends, for hospitality
was one of his greatest pleasures, and his dining-room and dinner parties
are well remembered by every child friend he knew, to say nothing of those
privileged elders who were sometimes allowed to join them. He was very
particular about his dinners and luncheons, taking care to have upon the
table only what his young guests could eat.

He had four sitting rooms and quite as many bedrooms, to say nothing of
store-rooms, closets and so forth. His study was a great room, full of
comfortable sofas and chairs, and stools and tables, and cubby-holes and
cupboards, where many wonderfully interesting things were hidden from
view, to be brought forth at just the right moment for special
entertainment.

Lewis Carroll had English ideas about comfortable surroundings. He loved
books, and his shelves were well filled with volumes of his own choosing;
a rare and valuable library, where each book was a tried friend.

A man with so many sitting rooms must certainly have had use for them all,
and knowing how methodical he was we may feel quite sure that the room
where he wrote "Through the Looking-Glass" was not the sanctum where he
prepared his lectures and wrote his books on Logic and Higher Mathematics;
it _might_ have served for an afternoon frolic or a tea party of little
girls; _that_ would have been in keeping, as probably he received the
undergraduates in his sanctum.

As for the other two sitting rooms, "let's pretend," as Alice herself
says, that one was dedicated to the writing of poetry, and the other to
the invention of games and puzzles; he had quite enough work of all kinds
on hand to keep every room thoroughly aired. We shall hear about these
rooms again from little girls whose greatest delight it was to visit them.
What we want to do now is to picture Lewis Carroll in his new quarters,
energetically pushing Alice through the Looking-Glass, while at the same
time he was busily writing "Phantasmagoria," a queer ghost poem which
attracted much attention. It was published with a great many shorter
poems in the early part of 1869, preceding the publication of the new
"Alice," on which he was working chapter by chapter with Sir John Tenniel.

It was wonderful how closely the artist followed the queer mazes of Lewis
Carroll's thought. He was able to draw the strange animals and stranger
situations just as the author wished to have them, but there came a point
at which the artist halted and shook his head.

"I don't like the 'Wasp Chapter,'" was the substance of a letter from
artist to author, and he could not see his way to illustrating it. Indeed,
even with his skill, a wasp in a wig was rather a difficult subject and,
as Lewis Carroll wouldn't take off the wig, they were at a standstill.
Rather than sacrifice the wig it was determined to cut out the chapter,
and as it was really not so good as the other chapters, it was not much
loss to the book, which rounded out very easily to just the dozen, full of
the cleverest illustrations Tenniel ever drew. It was his last attempt at
illustrating: the gift deserted him suddenly and never returned. His
original cartoon work was always excellent, but the "Alices" had brought
him a peculiar fame which would never have come to him through the columns
of _Punch_, and Lewis Carroll, always generous in praising others, was
quick to recognize the master hand which followed his thought. There was
something in every stroke which appealed to the laughter of children, and
the power of producing unthinkable animals amounted almost to inspiration.
No doubt there may be illustrators of the present day quite as clever in
their line, but Lewis Carroll stood alone in a new world which he created;
there were none before him and none followed him, and his Knight of the
Brush was faithful and true.

"Through the Looking-Glass" was published in 1871, and at once took its
place as another "Alice" classic. There is much to be said about this
book--so much, indeed, that it requires a chapter of its own, for many
agree in considering it even more of a masterpiece than "Alice in
Wonderland," and though more carefully planned out than its predecessor,
there is no hint of hard labor in the brilliant nonsense.

Those who have known and loved the man recognize in the "Alices" the best
and most attractive part of him. In spite of his persistent stammering, he
was a ready and natural talker, and when in the mood he could be as
irresistibly funny as any of the characters in his book. His knowledge of
English was so great that he could take the most ordinary expression and
draw from it a new and unexpected meaning; his habit of "playing upon
words" is one of his very funniest traits. When the _Mock Turtle_ said in
that memorable conversation with _Alice_ which we all know by heart: "no
wise fish would go anywhere without a porpoise," he meant, of course,
without a _purpose_, and having made the joke he refused explanations and
seemed offended that _Alice_ needed any. Another humorous idea was that
the whitings always held their tails in their mouths.

"The reason is," said the Gryphon, "that they _would_ go with the lobsters
to the dance. So they were thrown out to sea. So they had to fall a long
way. So they got their tails fast in their mouths. So they couldn't get
them out again. That's all."

This is not the natural position of the whiting, as we all know, but the
device of the fishmonger to make his windows attractive, and _Alice_
herself came perilously near saying that she had eaten them for dinner
cooked in that fashion and sprinkled over with bread crumbs. It was just
Lewis Carroll's funny way of viewing things, in much the same fashion that
one of his child-friends would look at them. His was a real child's mind,
full of wonder depths where all sorts of impossible things existed,
two-sided triangles, parallel lines that met in a point, whitings who had
their tails in their mouths, and many other delightful contradictions,
some of which he gave to the world. Others he stored away for the benefit
of the numberless little girls who had permission to rummage in the
store-house.

"Alice through the Looking-Glass" made its bow with a flourish of
trumpets. All the "Nonsense" world was waiting for it, and for once
expectation was not disappointed and the author found himself almost
hidden beneath his mantle of glory. People praised him so much that it is
quite a wonder his head was not completely turned. Henry Kingsley, the
novelist, thought it "perfectly splendid," and indeed many others fully
agreed with him.

As for the children--and after all they were his _real_ critics--the
little girl who thought "Through the Looking-Glass" "stupider" than
Wonderland, voiced the popular sentiment. Those who were old enough to
read the book themselves soon knew by heart all the fascinating poetry,
and if the story had no other merit, "The Jabberwocky" alone would have
been enough to recommend it. Of all the queer fancies of a queer mind,
this poem was the most remarkable, and even to-day, with all our clever
verse-makers and nonsense-rhymers, no one has succeeded in getting out of
apparently meaningless words so much real meaning and genuine fun as are
to be found in this one little classic.

Many people have tried in vain to trace its origin; one enterprising lady
insisted on calling it a translation from the German. Someone else decided
there was a Scandinavian flavor about it, so he called it a "Saga." Mr. A.
A. Vansittart, of Trinity College, Cambridge, made an excellent Latin
translation of it, and hundreds of others have puzzled over the many
"wrapped up" meanings in the strange words.

We shall meet the poem later on and discuss its many wonders. At present
we must follow Charles Dodgson back into his sanctum where he was eagerly
pursuing a new course--the study of anatomy and physiology. He was
presented with a skeleton, and laying in the proper supply of books, he
set to work in earnest. He bought a little book called "What to do in
Emergencies" and perfected himself in what we know to-day as "First Aid to
the Injured." He accumulated in this way some very fine medical and
surgical books, and had more than one occasion to use his newly acquired
knowledge.

Most men labor all their lives to gain fame. Lewis Carroll was a hard
worker, but fame came to him without an effort. Along his line of work he
took his "vorpal" sword in hand and severed all the knots and twists of
the mathematical Jabberwocky. It was when he played that he reached the
heights; when he touched the realm of childhood he was all conquering, for
he was in truth a child among them, and every child felt the youthfulness
in his glance, in the wave of his hand, in the fitting of his mood to
theirs, and his entire sympathy in all their small joys sorrows--such
great important things in their child-world. He often declared that
children were three fourths of his life, and it seems indeed a pity that
none of his own could join the band of his ardent admirers.

Here he was, a young man still in spite of his forty years, holding as his
highest delight the power he possessed of giving happiness to other
people's children. Yet had anyone ventured to voice this regret, he would
have replied like many another in his position:

"Children--bless them! Of course I love them. I prefer other people's
children. All delight and no bother. One runs a fearful risk with one's
own." And he might have added with his whimsical smile, "And supposing
they _might_ have been boys!"



CHAPTER IX.

MORE OF "ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS."


Six years had passed since _Alice_ took her trip through Wonderland, and,
strange to say, she had not grown very much older, for Time has the trick
of standing still in Fairyland, and when Lewis Carroll pushed her through
the Looking-Glass she told everyone she met on the other side that she was
seven years and six months old, not very much older, you see, than the
Alice of Long Ago, with the elf-locks and the dreamy eyes. The real Alice
was in truth six years older now, but real people never count in
Fairyland, and surely no girl of a dozen years or more would have been
able to squeeze through the other side of a Looking-Glass. Still, though
so very young, _Alice_ was quite used to travel, and knew better how to
deal with all the queer people she met after her experiences in
Wonderland.

Mirrors are strange things. _Alice_ had often wondered what lay behind the
big one over the parlor mantel, and _wondering_ with _Alice_ meant
_doing_, for presto! up she climbed to the mantelshelf. It was easy
enough to push through, for she did not have to use the slightest force,
and the glass melted at her touch into a sheet of mist and there she was
on the other side!

In the interval between the two "Alices," a certain poetic streak had
become strongly marked in Lewis Carroll. To him a child's soul was like
the mirror behind which little _Alice_ peeped out from its "other side,"
and gave us the reflection of her child-thoughts.

"Only a dream," we may say, but then child-life is dream-life. So much is
"make-believe" that "every day" is dipped in its golden light. It was a
dainty fancy to hold us spellbound at the mirror, and many a little girl,
quite "unbeknownst" to the "grown-ups," has tried her small best to
squeeze through the looking-glass just as _Alice_ did. In the days of our
grandmothers, when the cheval glass swung in a frame, the "make believe"
came easier, for one could creep under it or behind it, instead of through
it, with much the same result. But nowadays, with looking-glasses built in
the walls, how _can_ one pretend properly!

If fairies only knew what examples they were to the average small girl and
small boy, they would be very careful about the things they did.
Fortunately they are old-fashioned fairies, and have not yet learned to
ride in automobiles or flying-machines, else there's no telling what might
happen.

_Alice_ was always lucky in finding herself in the very best
society--nothing more or less than royalty itself. But the Royal Court of
Cards was not to be compared with the Royal Court of Chessmen, which she
found behind the fireplace when she jumped down on the other side of the
mantel. Of course, it was only "pretending" from the beginning; a romp
with the kittens toward the close of a short winter's day, a little girl
curled up in an armchair beside the fire with the kitten in her lap, while
Dinah, the mother cat, sat near by washing little Snowdrop's face, the
snow falling softly without, _Alice_ was just the least bit drowsy, and so
she talked to keep awake.

"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. 'I do so
_wish_ it was true. I'm sure the woods look sleepy in the autumn when the
leaves are getting brown.'"

We are sure, too, _Alice_ was getting sleepy in the glow of the firelight
with the black kitten purring a lullaby on her lap. She had probably been
playing with the Chessmen and pretending as usual, so it is small wonder
that the heavy eyes closed, and the black kitten grew into the shape of
the _Red Queen_--and so the story began.

It was the work of a few minutes to be on speaking terms with the whole
Chess Court which _Alice_ found assembled. The back of the clock on the
mantelshelf looked down upon the scene with the grinning face of an old
man, and even the vase wore a smiling visage. There was a good fire
burning in this looking-glass grate, but the flames went the other way of
course, and down among the ashes, back of the grate, the Chessmen were
walking about in pairs.

Sir John Tenniel's picture of the assembled Chessmen is very clever. The
_Red King_ and the _Red Queen_ are in the foreground. The _White Bishop_
is taking his ease on a lump of coal, with a smaller lump for a footstool,
while the two _Castles_ are enjoying a little promenade near by. In the
background are the _Red_ and _White Knights_ and _Bishops_ and all the
_Pawns_. He has put so much life and expression into the faces of the
little Chessmen that we cannot help regarding them as real people, and we
cannot blame _Alice_ for taking them very much in earnest.

She naturally found difficulty in accustoming herself to Looking-Glass
Land, and the first thing she had to learn was how to read Looking-Glass
fashion. She happened to pick up a book that she found on a table in the
Looking-Glass Room, but when she tried to read it, it seemed to be written
in an unknown language. Here is what she saw:

[Illustration]

Then a bright thought occurred to her, and holding the book up before a
looking-glass, this is what she read in quite clear English, no matter how
it looks, for there is certainly no intelligent child who could fail to
understand it.

JABBERWOCKY.

  '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, the claws that catch!
  Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
    The frumious Bandersnatch!"

  He took his vorpal sword in hand:
    Long time the manxome foe he sought--
  So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
    And stood awhile in thought.

  And, as in uffish thought he stood,
    The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
  Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
    And burbled as it came!

  One, two! One, two! And through and through
    The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
  He left it dead, and with its head
    He went galumphing back.

  "And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
    Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
  O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
    He chortled in his joy.

  'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
  All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

_Alice_ of course puzzled over this for a long time.

"'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, even 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! However,
_somebody_ killed _something_--that's clear at any rate.'"

For pure cleverness the poem has no equal, we will not say in the English
language, but in any language whatsoever, for it seems to be a medley of
all languages. Lewis Carroll composed it on the spur of the moment during
an evening spent with his cousins, the Misses Wilcox, and with his
natural gift of word-making the result is most surprising. The only verse
that really needs explanation is the first, which is also the last of the
poem. Out of the twenty-three words the verse contains, there are but
twelve which are pure, honest English.

In Mr. Collingwood's article in the _Strand Magazine_ we have Lewis
Carroll's explanation of the remaining eleven, written down in learned
fashion, brimful of his own quaint humor. For a real guide it cannot be
excelled, and, though we laugh at the absurdities, we learn the lesson.
Here it is:

     _Brillig_ (derived from the verb to _bryl_ or _broil_), "the time of
     broiling dinner--i. e., the close of the afternoon."

     _Slithy_ (compounded of slimy and lithe), "smooth and active."

     _Tove_ (a species of badger). "They had smooth, white hair, long hind
     legs, and short horns like a stag; lived chiefly on cheese."

     _Gyre_ (derived from Gayour or Giaour, a dog), "to scratch like a
     dog."

     _Gymble_ (whence Gimblet), "to screw out holes in anything."

     _Wabe_ (derived from the verb to swab or soak), "the side of a hill"
     (from its being _soaked_ by the rain).

     _Mimsy_ (whence mimserable and miserable), "unhappy."

     _Borogove_, "an extinct kind of parrot. They had no wings, beaks
     turned up, and made their nests under sun-dials; lived on veal."

     _Mome_ (hence solemome, solemne, and solemn), "grave."

     _Raths._ "A species of land turtle, head erect, mouth like a shark;
     the forelegs curved out so that the animal walked on his knees;
     smooth green body; lived on swallows and oysters."

     _Outgrabe_ (past tense of the verb to outgribe; it is connected with
     the old verb to grike or shrike, from which are derived "shriek" and
     "creak"), "squeaked."

"Hence the literal English of the passage is--'It was evening, and the
smooth active badgers were scratching and boring holes in the hillside;
all unhappy were the parrots, and the green turtles squeaked out.' There
were probably sun-dials on the top of the hill, and the borogoves were
afraid that their nests would be undermined. The hill was probably full of
the nests of 'raths' which ran out squeaking with fear on hearing the
'toves' scratching outside. This is an obscure yet deeply affecting relic
of ancient poetry."

                                                      (Croft--1855. Ed.)

This lucid explanation was evidently one of the editor's contributions to
_Misch-Masch_ during his college days, so this classic poem must have
"simmered" for many years before Lewis Carroll put it "Through the
Looking-Glass." But when _Alice_ questioned the all-wise _Humpty-Dumpty_
on the subject he gave some simpler definitions. When asked the meaning of
"mome raths," he replied:

"Well, _rath_ is a sort of green pig; but _mome_ I'm not certain about. I
think it's short for 'from home,' meaning they'd lost their way, you
know."

Lewis Carroll called such words "portmanteaus" because there were two
meanings wrapped up in one word, and all through "Jabberwocky" these queer
"portmanteau" words give us the key to the real meaning of the poem. In
the preface to a collection of his poems, he gives us the rule for the
building of these "portmanteau" words. He says: "Take the two words
'fuming' and 'furious.' Make up your mind that you will say both words,
but leave it unsettled which you will say first. Now open your mouth and
speak. If your thoughts incline ever so little toward 'fuming' you will
say 'fuming-furious'; if they turn by even a hair's breadth toward
'furious' you will say 'furious-fuming'; but if you have that rarest of
gifts, a perfectly balanced mind, you will say 'frumious.'"

It is hard to tell what he had in mind when he wrote of this deed of
daring--for such it was. Possibly, St. George and the Dragon inspired him,
and like the best of preachers he turned his sermon into wholesome
nonsense. The Jabberwock itself was a most awe-inspiring creature, and
Tenniel's drawing is most deliciously blood-curdling; half-snake,
half-dragon, with "jaws that bite and claws that scratch," it is yet saved
from being utterly terrible by having some nice homely looking buttons on
his waistcoat and upon his three-clawed feet, something very near akin to
shoes.

The anxious father bids his brave son good-bye, little dreaming that he
will see him again.

  "Beware the Jubjub bird--and shun
  The frumious Bandersnatch"

are his last warning words, mostly "portmanteau" words, if one takes the
time to puzzle them out. Then the brave boy goes forth into the "tulgey
wood" and stands in "uffish thought" until with a "whiffling" sound the
"burbling" Jabberwock is upon him.

Oh, the excitement of that moment when the "vorpal" sword went
"snicker-snack" through the writhing neck of the monster! Then one can
properly imagine the youth galloping in triumph (hence the "portmanteau"
word "galumphing," the first syllable of gallop and the last syllable of
triumph) back to the proud papa, who says: "Come to my arms, my 'beamish
boy' ... and 'chortles in his joy,'" But all the time these wonderful
things are happening, just around the corner, as it were, the "toves" and
the "borogoves" and the "mome raths" were pursuing their never-ending
warfare on the hillside, saying, with Tennyson's _Brook_:

  "Men may come and men may go--
  But _we_ go on forever,"

no matter how many "Jabberwocks" are slain nor how many "beamish boys"
take their "vorpal swords in hand."

In preparing the second "Alice" book for publication, Lewis Carroll's
first idea was to use the "Jabberwocky" illustration as a frontispiece,
but, in spite of the reassuring buttons and shoes, he was afraid younger
children might be "scared off" from the real enjoyment of the book. So he
wrote to about thirty mothers of small children asking their advice on the
matter; they evidently voted against it, for, as we all know, the _White
Knight_ on his horse with its many trappings, with _Alice_ walking beside
him through the woods, was the final selection, and the smallest child has
grown to love the silly old fellow who tumbled off his steed every two
minutes, and did many other dear, ridiculous things that only children
could appreciate.

Looking-glass walking puzzled _Alice_ at first quite as much as
looking-glass writing or reading. If she tried to walk downstairs in the
looking-glass house "she just kept the tips of her fingers on the hand
rail and floated gently down, without even touching the stairs with her
feet." Then when she tried to climb to the top of the hill to get a peep
into the garden, she found that she was always going backwards and in at
the front door again. Finally, after many attempts, she reached the
wished-for spot, and found herself among a talkative cluster of flowers,
who all began to criticise her in the most impertinent way.

"Oh, 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" ... At length, as the Tiger-lily went on waving about, she spoke again
in a timid voice, almost in a whisper:

"And can _all_ the flowers talk?"

"As well as _you_ can," said the Tiger-lily, "and a great deal louder."

"It isn't manners for us to begin, you know," said the Rose, "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've the right color
and that goes a long way."

"I don't care about the color," the Tiger-lily remarked. "If only her
petals curled up a little more, she'd be all right."

Alice didn't like being criticised, so she began asking questions:

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

"There's the tree in the middle," said the Rose. "What else is it good
for?"

"But what could it do if any danger came?" Alice asked.

"It could bark," said the Rose.

"It says 'bough-wough'," cried a Daisy. "That's why its branches are
called boughs."

"Didn't you know that?" cried another Daisy. And here they all began
shouting together.

Lewis Carroll loved this play upon words, and children, strange to say,
loved it too, and were quick to see the point of his puns. The _Red
Queen_, whom _Alice_ met shortly after this, was a most dictatorial
person.

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

Alice attended to all these directions, and explained as well as she could
that she had lost her way.

"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?" she
added in a kinder tone. "Curtsey while you're thinking what to say. It
saves time."

Alice wondered a little at this, but she was too much in awe of the Queen
to disbelieve it.

"I'll try it when I go home," she thought to herself, "the next time I'm a
little late for dinner."

Evidently some little girls were often late for dinner.

"It's time for you to answer now," the Queen said, looking at her watch;
"open your mouth a _little_ wider when you speak and always say 'Your
Majesty.'"

"I only wanted to see what your garden was like, your Majesty."

"That's right," said the Queen, patting her on the head, which Alice
didn't like at all, "though when you say 'garden,' _I've_ seen gardens
compared with which this would be a wilderness."

Alice didn't dare to argue the point, but went on: "And I thought I'd try
and find my way to the top of that hill--"

"When you say 'hill,'" the Queen interrupted, "_I_ could show you hills in
comparison with which you'd call this a valley."

"No, I shouldn't," said Alice, surprised into contradicting her at last.
"A hill _can't_ be a valley you know. That would be nonsense--"

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!"

Which last remark seemed to settle the matter, for _Alice_ had nothing
further to say on the subject.

Nonsense, indeed; and what delightful nonsense it is! Is it any wonder
that the little girls for whom Lewis Carroll labored so lovingly should
reward him with their laughter?

_Alice_ entered Checker-Board Land in the _Red Queen's_ company; she was
apprenticed as a pawn, with the promise that when she entered the eighth
square she would become a queen [she probably was confusing chess with
checkers], and the _Red Queen_ explained how she would travel.

"A pawn goes two squares in its first move, you know, so you'll go very
quickly through the third square, by railway, I should think, and you'll
find yourself in the fourth square in no time. Well, _that_ square belongs
to Tweedledum and Tweedledee, and the fifth is mostly water, the sixth
belongs to Humpty Dumpty, ... the seventh square is all forest. However,
one of the knights will show you the way, and in the eighth square we
shall be queens together, and its all feasting and fun."

The rest of her adventures occurred on those eight squares--sometimes in
company with the _Red Queen_ or the _White Queen_ or both. Things went
more rapidly than in Wonderland, the people were brisker and smarter. When
the _Red Queen_ left her on the border of Checker-Board Land, she gave her
this parting advice:

"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!"

How many little girls have had the same advice from their governesses or
their mamma--"Turn out your toes when you walk, and remember who you are!"

This is what made Lewis Carroll so irresistibly funny--the way he had of
bringing in the most common everyday expressions in the most uncommon,
unexpected places. Only in _Alice's_ case it took her quite a long time to
remember who she was, just because the _Red Queen_ told her not to forget.
Children are very queer about that--little girls in particular--at least
those that Lewis Carroll knew, and he certainly was acquainted with a
great many who did remarkably queer things.

_Alice's_ meeting with the two fat little men named _Tweedledum_ and
_Tweedledee_ recalled to her memory the old rhyme:

  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.

Fierce little men they were, one with _Dum_ embroidered on his collar, the
other showing _Dee_ on his. They were not accustomed to good society nor
fine grammar. They were exactly alike as they stood motionless before her,
their arms about each other.

"I know what you're thinking about," said Tweedledum, "but it isn't
so--nohow." [Behold the _beautiful_ grammar.]

"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."

Now, _Alice_ particularly wanted to know which road to take out of the
woods, but somehow or other her polite question was never answered by
either of the funny little brothers. They were very sociable and seemed
most anxious to keep her with them, so for her entertainment _Tweedledum_
repeated that beautiful and pathetic poem called:

THE WALRUS AND THE CARPENTER.

  The sun was shining on the sea,
    Shining with all his might;
  He did his very best to make
    The billows smooth and bright--
  And this was odd, because it was
    The middle of the night.

  The moon was shining sulkily,
    Because she thought the sun
  Had got no business to be there
    After the day was done--
  "It's very rude of him," she said,
    "To come and spoil the fun!"

  The sea was wet as wet could be,
    The sands were dry as dry,
  You could not see a cloud, because
    No cloud was in the sky;
  No birds were flying overhead--
    There were no birds to fly.

  The Walrus and the Carpenter
    Were walking close at hand;
  They wept like anything to see
    Such quantities of sand;
  "If this were only cleared away,"
    They said, "it _would_ be grand!"

  "If seven maids with seven mops
    Swept it for half a year,
  Do you suppose," the Walrus said,
    "That they would get it clear?"
  "I doubt it," said the Carpenter,
    And shed a bitter tear.

Then comes the sad and sober part of the tale, when the _Oysters_ were
tempted to stroll along the beach, in company with these wily two, who
lured them far away from their snug ocean beds.

  The Walrus and the Carpenter
    Walked on a mile or so,
  And then they rested on a rock
    Conveniently low;
  And all the little Oysters stood
    And waited in a row.

  "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."

  "But wait a bit," the Oysters cried,
    "Before we have our chat;
  For some of us are out of breath,
    And all of us are fat!"
  "No hurry!" said the Carpenter.
    They thanked him much for that.

  "A loaf of bread," the Walrus said,
    "Is what we chiefly need;
  Pepper and vinegar besides
    Are very good, indeed;
  Now, if you're ready, Oysters, dear,
    We can begin to feed."

Then the _Oysters_ became terrified, as they saw all these grewsome
preparations, and their fate loomed up before them. So the two old
weeping hypocrites sat on the rocks and calmly devoured their late
companions.

  "It seems a shame," the Walrus said,
    "To play them such a trick,
  After we've brought them out so far,
    And made them trot so quick!"
  The Carpenter said nothing but,
    "The butter's spread too thick!"

  "I weep for you," the Walrus said,
    "I deeply sympathize."
  With sobs and tears he sorted out
    Those of the largest size,
  Holding his pocket-handkerchief
    Before his streaming eyes.

  "O Oysters," said the Carpenter,
    "You've had a pleasant run!
  Shall we be trotting home again?"
    But answer came there none.
  And this was scarcely odd, because
    They'd eaten every one.

The poor dear little _Oysters_! How any little girl, with a heart under
her pinafore, could read these lines unmoved it is hard to say. Think of
those innocent young dears, standing before these dreadful ogres.

    All eager for the treat;
  Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
    Their shoes were clean and neat;
  And this was odd, because, you know,
    They hadn't any feet.

All the same, Tenniel has made most attractive pictures of them, feet and
all. And think--oh, horror! of _their_ supplying the treat! It was indeed
an awful tragedy. Yet behind it all there lurks some fun, though Lewis
Carroll was too clever to let us _quite_ into his secret. All the young
ones want is the story, but those who are old enough to love their Dickens
and to look for his special characters outside of his books will certainly
recognize in the _Walrus_ the hypocritical _Mr. Pecksniff_, whose tears
flowed on every occasion when he was not otherwise employed in robbing his
victims, and other little pleasantries. And as for the _Carpenter_, there
is something very scholarly in the set of his cap and the combing of his
scant locks; possibly a caricature of some shining light of Oxford, for we
know there were many in his books. Indeed, the whole poem may be something
of an allegory, representing examination; the _Oysters_, the undergraduate
victims before the college faculty (the _Walrus_ and the _Carpenter_) who
are just ready to "eat 'em alive"--poor innocent undergraduates!

But whatever the hidden meaning, _Tweedledum_ and _Tweedledee_ were not
the sort of people to look deep into things, and _Alice_, being a little
girl and very partial to oysters, thought the _Walrus_ and the _Carpenter_
were _very_ unpleasant characters and had no sympathy with them at all.

Dreaming by a ruddy blaze in a big armchair keeps one much busier than if
one fell asleep in a rocking boat or on the river bank on a golden summer
day.

The scenes and all the company changed so often in Looking-Glass Land that
_Alice_ had all she could do to keep pace with her adventures. For you see
all this time she was only a pawn, moving over an immense chess-board from
square to square, until in the end she should be made queen. The _White
Queen_ whom _Alice_ met shortly was a very lopsided person, quite unlike
the _Red Queen_, who was neat enough no matter how sharp her tongue.
_Alice_ had to fix her hair, and straighten her shawl, and set her right
and tidy.

"Really, you should have a lady's maid," she remarked.

"I'm sure I'll take _you_ with pleasure," the Queen said. "Twopence a
week, and jam every other day."

Alice couldn't help laughing as she said:

"I don't want you to hire _me_, and I don't care for jam."

"It's very good jam," said the Queen.

"Well, I don't want any _to-day_ at any rate."

"You couldn't have it if you _did_ want it," the Queen said. "The rule
is--jam to-morrow and jam yesterday, but never jam _to-day_."

"It _must_ come sometimes to 'jam to-day,'" Alice objected.

"No, it can't," said the Queen. "It's jam every other day; to-day isn't
any _other_ day, you know."

"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--"

"Living backwards!" Alice remarked in great astonishment. "I never heard
of such a thing!"

"But there's one great advantage in it, that one's memory works both
ways."

"I'm sure _mine_ only works one way," Alice remarked. "I can't remember
things before they happen."

"It's a poor memory that only works backwards," the Queen remarked.

"What sort of things do _you_ remember best?" Alice ventured to ask.

"Oh, the things that happened the week after next," the Queen replied in a
careless tone. "For instance, now," she went on, sticking a large piece of
plaster on her finger as she spoke, "there's the king's messenger. He's in
prison now, being punished, and the trial doesn't begin till next
Wednesday; and of course the crime comes last of all." Then the _Queen_
for further illustration began to scream--

"Oh, oh, oh!" shouted the Queen.... "My finger's bleeding! Oh, oh, oh,
oh!"

Her screams were so exactly like the whistle of a steam engine that Alice
had to hold both her hands over her ears.

"What _is_ the matter?" she said.... "Have you pricked your finger?"

"I haven't pricked it yet," the Queen said, "but I soon shall--oh, oh,
oh!"

"When do you expect to do it?" Alice asked, feeling very much inclined to
laugh.

"When I fasten my shawl again," the poor Queen groaned out, "the brooch
will come undone directly. Oh, oh!" As she said the words the brooch flew
open, and the Queen clutched wildly at it and tried to clasp it again.

"Take care!" cried Alice, "you're holding it all crooked!" and she caught
at the brooch; but it was too late; the pin had slipped, and the Queen had
pricked her finger.

"That accounts for the bleeding, you see," she said to Alice, with a
smile. "Now you understand the way things happen here."

_Alice's_ meeting with _Humpty-Dumpty_ in the sixth square has gone down
in history. It has been played in nurseries and in private theatricals,
and many ingenious Humpty-Dumptys have been fashioned by clever people.

Possibly the dear old rhyme which generations of childhood have handed
about as a riddle is responsible for our great interest in
_Humpty-Dumpty_.

  Humpty-Dumpty sat on the wall,
  Humpty-Dumpty had a great fall,
  All the King's horses and all the King's men,
  Couldn't put Humpty-Dumpty in his place again.

This is an old version, but modern children have made a better ending,
thus:

  Couldn't put Humpty-Dumpty up again.

Then there's a mysterious pause, and some eager small boy or girl asks,
"Now _what_ is it?" and before one has time to answer, someone calls out--

"It's an egg; it's an egg!" and the riddle is a riddle no longer.

One clever mechanical Humpty was made of barrel hoops covered with stiff
paper and muslin. The eyes, nose, and mouth were connected with various
tapes, which the inventor had in charge behind the scenes, and so well did
he work them that Humpty in his hands turned out a fine imitation of the
_Humpty-Dumpty_ Sir John Tenniel has made us remember; the same
_Humpty-Dumpty_ who asked _Alice_ her name and her business, and who
informed her proudly that if he did tumble off the wall, "_The King has
promised me with his very own mouth--to--to--_"

"To send all his horses and all his men--" Alice interrupted rather
unwisely.

"Now I declare that's too bad!" Humpty-Dumpty cried, breaking into a
sudden passion. "You've been listening at doors, and behind trees, and
down chimneys, or you wouldn't have known it."

"I haven't, indeed!" Alice said, very gently. "It's in a book."

"Ah, well! They may write such things in a _book_," Humpty-Dumpty said in
a calmer tone. "That's what you call a History of England, that is. Now
take a good look at me. I'm one that has spoken to a King, _I_ am; mayhap
you'll never see such another; and to show you I'm not proud you may shake
hands with me...."

"Yes, all his horses and all his men," _Humpty-Dumpty_ went on. "They'd
pick me up in a minute, _they_ would. However, this conversation is going
on a little too fast; let's go back to the last remark but one."

Such a nice, common old chap is _Humpty-Dumpty_, so "stuck-up" because he
has spoken to a King; and argue! Well, _Alice_ never heard anything like
it before, and found difficulty in keeping up a conversation that was
disputed every step of the way. She found him worse than the _Cheshire
Cat_ or even the _Duchess_ for that matter, and not half so well-bred.

He too favored _Alice_ with the following poem, which he assured her was
written entirely for her amusement, and here it is, with enough of Lewis
Carroll's "nonsense" in it to let us know where it came from:

  In winter, when the fields are white,
  I sing this song for your delight:--

  In spring, when woods are getting green,
  I'll try and tell you what I mean:

  In summer, when the days are long,
  Perhaps you'll understand the song:

  In autumn, when the leaves are brown,
  Take pen and ink, and write it down.

  I sent a message to the fish:
  I told them: "This is what I wish."

  The little fishes of the sea,
  They sent an answer back to me.

  The little fishes' answer was:
  "We cannot do it, Sir, because----"

  I sent to them again to say:
  "It will be better to obey."

  The fishes answered, with a grin:
  "Why, what a temper you are in!"

  I told them once, I told them twice:
  They would not listen to advice.

  I took a kettle large and new,
  Fit for the deed I had to do.

  My heart went hop, my heart went thump:
  I filled the kettle at the pump.

  Then someone came to me and said:
  "The little fishes are in bed."

  I said to him, I said it plain:
  "Then you must wake them up again."

  I said it very loud and clear:
  I went and shouted in his ear.

  But he was very stiff and proud:
  He said: "You needn't shout so loud!"

  And he was very proud and stiff:
  He said: "I'd go and wake them, if----"

  I took a corkscrew from the shelf;
  I went to wake them up myself.

  And when I found the door was locked,
  I pulled and pushed and kicked and knocked.

  And when I found the door was shut,
  I tried to turn the handle, but----

With which highly satisfactory ending _Humpty_ remarked:

"That's all. Good-bye."

Alice got up and held out her hand.

"Good-bye till we meet again," she said, as cheerfully as she could.

"I shouldn't know you if we _did_ meet," Humpty-Dumpty replied in a
discontented tone, giving her one of his fingers to shake. "You're so
exactly like other people."

The next square--the seventh--took _Alice_ through the woods. Here she met
some old friends: the _Mad Hatter_ and the _White Rabbit_ of Wonderland
fame, mixed in with a great many new beings, including the _Lion_ and the
_Unicorn_, who, as the old ballad tells us, "were fighting for the
crown"; and then as the _Red Queen_ had promised from the beginning, the
_White Knight_--after a battle with the _Red Knight_ who held _Alice_
prisoner--took her in charge to guide her through the woods. Whoever has
read the humorous and yet pathetic story of "Don Quixote" will see at once
where Lewis Carroll found his gentle, valiant old _White Knight_ and his
horse, so like yet so unlike the famous steed _Rosenante_.

He, too, had a song for _Alice_, which he called "The Aged, Aged Man," and
which he sang to her, set to very mechancholy music. It is doubtful if
_Alice_ understood it for she wasn't thinking of age, you see. She was
only seven years and six months old, and probably paid no attention. She
was thinking instead of the strange kindly smile of the knight, "the
setting sun gleaming through his hair and shining on his armor in a blaze
of light that quite dazzled her; the horse quietly moving about with the
reins hanging loose on his neck, cropping the grass at her feet, and the
black shadows of the forest behind." Certainly Lewis Carroll could paint a
picture to remain with us always. The poem is rather too long to quote
here, but the experiences of this "Aged, Aged Man" are well worth reading.

_Alice_ was now hastening toward the end of her journey and events were
tumbling over each other. She had reached the eighth square, where, oh,
joy! a golden crown awaited her, also the _Red Queen_ and the _White
Queen_ in whose company she traveled through the very stirring episodes of
that very famous dinner party, when the candles on the table all grew up
to the ceiling, and the glass bottles each took a pair of plates for
wings, and forks for legs, and went fluttering in all directions.
Everything was in the greatest confusion, and when the _White Queen_
disappeared in the soup tureen, and the soup ladle began walking up the
table toward _Alice's_ chair, she could stand it no longer. She jumped up
"and seized the tablecloth with both hands; one good pull, and plates,
dishes, guests, and candles came crashing down together in a heap on the
floor." And then _Alice_ began to shake the _Red Queen_ as the cause of
all the mischief.

"The Red Queen made no resistance whatever; only her face grew very small,
and her eyes got large and green; and still, as Alice went on shaking her,
she kept on growing shorter, and fatter, and softer, and rounder, and--and
it really _was_ a kitten after all."

And _Alice_, opening her eyes in the red glow of the fire, lay snug in the
armchair, while the Looking-Glass on the mantel caught the reflection of a
very puzzled little face. The "dream-child" had come back to everyday, and
was trying to retrace her journey as she lay there blinking at the
firelight, and wondering if, back of the blaze, the Chessmen were still
walking to and fro.

And Lewis Carroll, as he penned the last words of "Alice's Adventures
through the Looking-Glass," remembered once more the little girl who had
been his inspiration, and wrote a loving tribute to her at the very end of
the book, an acrostic on her name--Alice Pleasance Liddell.

  A boat, beneath a sunny sky
  Lingering onward dreamily
  In an evening of July.

  Children three that nestle near,
  Eager eye and willing ear,
  Pleased a simple tale to hear.

  Long has paled that sunny sky;
  Echoes fade and memories die:
  Autumn frosts have slain July.

  Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
  Alice moving under skies,
  Never seen by waking eyes.

  Children yet, the tale to hear,
  Eager eye and willing ear,
  Lovingly shall nestle near.

  In a Wonderland they lie,
  Dreaming as the days go by,
  Dreaming as the summers die:

  Ever drifting down the stream,
  Lingering in the golden gleam,
  Life, what is it but a dream?



CHAPTER X.

"HUNTING THE SNARK" AND OTHER POEMS.


There is no doubt that the second "Alice" book was quite as successful as
the first, but regarding its merit there is much difference of opinion. As
a rule the "grown-ups" prefer it. They like the clever situations and the
quaint logic, no less than the very evident good writing; but this of
course did not influence the children in the least. They liked "Alice" and
the pretty idea of her trip through the Looking-Glass, but for real
delight "Wonderland" was big enough for them, and to whisk down into a
rabbit-hole on a summer's day was a much easier process than squeezing
through a looking-glass at the close of a short winter's afternoon, not
being _quite_ sure that one would not fall into the fire on the other
side.

The very care that Lewis Carroll took in the writing of this book deprived
it of a certain charm of originality which always clings to the pages of
"Wonderland." Each chapter is so methodically planned and so well carried
out that, while we never lose sight of the author and his cleverness,
fairyland does not seem quite so real as in the book which was written
with no plan at all, but the earnest desire to please three children. Then
again there was a certain staidness in the prim little girl who pushed her
way through the Looking-Glass. And there were no wonderful cakes marked
"eat me," and bottles marked "drink me," which kept the Wonderland _Alice_
in a perpetual state of growing or shrinking; so the fact that nothing
happened to _Alice_ at all during this second journey lessened its
interest somewhat for the young ones to whom constant change is the spice
of life. A very little girl, while she might enjoy the flower chapter, and
might be tempted to build her own fanciful tales about the rest of the
garden, would not be so attracted toward the insect chapter, which may
possibly have been written with the praiseworthy idea of teaching children
not to be afraid of these harmless buzzing things that are too busy with
their own concerns to bother them.

There are, in truth, little "cut and dried" speeches in the Looking-Glass
"Alice," which we do not find in "Wonderland." A real hand is moving the
Chessman over the giant board, and the _Red_ and the _White Queen_ often
speak like automatic toys. We miss the savage "off with his head" of the
_Queen of Hearts_, who, for all her cardboard stiffness, seemed a thing of
flesh and blood. But the poetry in the two "Alices" is of very much the
same quality.

In his prose "nonsense" anyone might notice the difference of years
between the two books, but Lewis Carroll's poetry never loses its youthful
tone. It was as easy for him to write verses as to teach mathematics, and
that was saying a good deal. It was as easy for him to write verses at
sixty as at thirty, and that is saying even more. From the time he could
hold a pencil he could make a rhyme, and his earlier editorial ventures,
as we know, were full of his own work which in after years made its way to
the public, either through the magazines or in collection of poems, such
as "Rhyme and Reason," "Phantasmagoria," and "The Three Sunsets."

In _The Train_, that early English magazine before mentioned, are several
poems written by him and signed by his newly borrowed name of Lewis
Carroll, but they are very sentimental and high-flown, utterly unlike
anything he wrote either before or after.

Between the publication of "Through the Looking-Glass" and "The Hunting of
the Snark" was a period of five years, during which, according to his
usual custom, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, in the seclusion of Christ Church,
calmly pursued his scholarly way, smiling sedately over the literary
antics of Lewis Carroll, for the Rev. Charles was a sober, over-serious
bachelor, whose one aim and object at that time was the proper treatment
of Euclid, for during those five years he wrote the following pamphlets:
"Symbols, etc., to be used in Euclid--Books I and II," "Number of
Propositions in Euclid," "Enunciations--Euclid I-VI," "Euclid--Book V.
Proved Algebraically," "Preliminary Algebra and Euclid--Book V," "Examples
in Arithmetic," "Euclid--Books I and II."

He also wrote many other valuable pamphlets concerning the government of
Oxford and of Christ Church in particular, for the retiring "don" took a
keen interest in the University life, and his influence was felt in many
spicy articles and apt rhymes, usually brought forth as timely skits.
_Notes by an Oxford Chiel_, published at Oxford in 1874, included much of
this material, where his clever verses, mostly satirical, generally hit
the mark.

And all this while, Lewis Carroll was gathering in the harvest yielded by
the two "Alices," and planning more books for his child-friends, who, we
may be sure, were growing in numbers.

We find him at the Christmas celebration of 1874, at Hatfield, the home of
Lord Salisbury, as usual, the central figure of a crowd of happy children.
On this occasion he told them the story of _Prince Uggug_, which was
afterwards a part of "Sylvie and Bruno." Many of the chapters of this book
had been published as separate stories in _Aunt Judy's Magazine_ and other
periodicals, and, as such, they were very sweet and dainty as well as
amusing. It was Lewis Carroll's own special charm in telling these stories
which really lent them color and drew the children; they lost much in
print, for they lacked the sturdy foundations of nonsense on which the
"Alices" were built.

On March 29, 1876, "The Hunting of the Snark" was published, a new effort
in "nonsense" verse-making, which stands side by side with "Jabberwocky"
in point of cleverness and interest.

The beauty of Lewis Carroll's "nonsense" was that he never tried to be
funny or "smart." The queer words and the still queerer ideas popped into
his head in the simplest way. His command of language, including that
important knowledge of how to make "portmanteau" words, was his greatest
aid, and the poem which he called "An Agony in Eight Fits" depends
entirely upon the person who reads it for the cleverness of its meaning.
To children it is one big fairy tale where the more ridiculous the
situations, the more true to the rules of fairyland. The Snark, being a
"portmanteau" word, is a cross between a _snake_ and a _shark_, hence
_Snark_, and the fact that he dedicated this wonderful bit of word-making
to a little girl, goes far to prove that the poem was intended as much for
children as for "grown-ups."

The little girl in this instance was Gertrude Chataway, and the verses are
an acrostic on her name:

  Girt with a boyish garb for boyish task,
    Eager she wields her spade: yet loves as well
  Rest on a friendly knee, intent to ask
    The tale he loves to tell.

  Rude spirit of the seething outer strife,
    Unmeet to read her pure and simple spright,
  Deem, if you list, such hours a waste of life,
    Empty of all delight!

  Chat on, sweet maid, and rescue from annoy,
    Hearts that by wiser talk are unbeguiled;
  Ah, happy he who owns that tenderest joy,
    The heart-love of a child!

  Away, fond thoughts, and vex my soul no more!
    Work claims my wakeful nights, my busy days,
  Albeit bright memories of that sunlit shore
    Yet haunt my dreaming gaze!

There was scarcely a little girl who claimed friendship with Lewis Carroll
who was not the proud possessor of an acrostic poem written by him--either
on the title-page of some book that he had given her, or as the dedication
of some published book of his own.

"The Hunting of the Snark" owed its existence to a country walk, when the
last verse came suddenly into the mind of our poet:

  "In the midst of the word he was trying to say,
    In the midst of his laughter and glee,
  He had softly and suddenly vanished away--
    For the Snark _was_ a Boojum, you see."

In a very humorous preface to the book, Lewis Carroll attempted some sort
of an explanation, which leaves us as much in the dark as ever. He
writes:

"If--and the thing is wildly possible--the charge of writing nonsense was
ever brought against the author of this brief but instructive poem, it
would be based, I feel convinced, on the line:

  "'Then the bowsprit got mixed with the rudder sometimes.'

"In view of this painful possibility, I will not (as I might) appeal
indignantly to my other writings as a proof that I am incapable of such a
deed; I will not (as I might) point to the strong moral purpose of the
poem itself, to the arithmetical principles so cautiously inculcated in
it, or to its noble teachings in Natural History. I will take the more
prosaic course of simply explaining how it happened.

"The Bellman, who was almost morbidly sensitive about appearances, used to
have the bowsprit unshipped once or twice a week to be revarnished; and
more than once it happened, when the time came for replacing it, that no
one on board could remember which end of the ship it belonged to. They
knew it was not of the slightest use to appeal to the Bellman about it--he
would only refer to his Naval Code and read out in pathetic tones
Admiralty Instructions which none of them had ever been able to
understand, so it generally ended in its being fastened on anyhow across
the rudder. The Helmsman used to stand by with tears in his eyes; _he_
knew it was all wrong, but, alas! Rule 4, of the Code, '_No one shall
speak to the man at the helm_,' had been completed by the Bellman himself
with the words, '_and the man at the helm shall speak to no one_,' so
remonstrance was impossible and no steering could be done till the next
varnishing day. During these bewildering intervals the ship usually sailed
backward."

Is it any wonder that a poem, based upon such an explanation, should be a
perfect bundle of nonsense? But we know from experience that Lewis
Carroll's nonsense was not stupidity, and that not one verse in all that
delightful bundle missed its own special meaning and purpose.

We do not propose to find the key to this remarkable work--for two
reasons: first, because there are different keys for different minds; and
second, because the unexplainable things in many cases come nearer the
"mind's eye," as Shakespeare calls it, without words. We cannot tell _why_
we understand such and such a thing, but we _do_ understand it, and that
is enough--quite according to Lewis Carroll's ideas, for he always appeals
to our imagination and that is never guided by rules. The higher it soars,
the more fantastic the region over which it hovers, the nearer it gets to
the land of "make believe," "let's pretend" and "supposing," the better
pleased is Lewis Carroll. In a delightful letter to some American
children, published in _The Critic_ shortly after his death, he gives his
own ideas as to the meaning of the _Snark_.

"I'm very much afraid I didn't mean anything but nonsense," he wrote;
"still you know words mean more than we mean to express when we use them,
so a whole book ought to mean a great deal more than the writer means. So
whatever good meanings are in the book, I shall be glad to accept as the
meaning of the book. The best that I've seen is by a lady (she published
it in a letter to a newspaper) that the whole book is an allegory on the
search after happiness. I think this fits beautifully in many ways,
particularly about the bathing machines; when people get weary of life,
and can't find happiness in towns or in books, then they rush off to the
seaside to see what bathing machines will do for them."

Taking this idea for the foundation of the poem, it is easy to explain
_Fit the First_, better named _The Landing_, though where they landed it
is almost impossible to say.

"Just the place for a Snark," the Bellman cried, and, as he stated this
fact three distinct times, it was undoubtedly true. That was the
_Bellman's_ rule--once was uncertain, twice was possible, three times was
"dead sure." And the _Bellman_ being a person of some authority, ought to
have known. The crew consisted of a _Boots_, a _Maker of Bonnets and
Hoods_, a _Barrister_, a _Broker_, a _Billiard-marker_, a _Banker_, a
_Beaver_, a _Butcher_, and a nameless being who passed for the _Baker_,
and who, in the end, turned out to be the luckless victim of the Snark. He
is thus beautifully described:

  "There was one who was famed for a number of things
    He forgot when he entered the ship:
  His umbrella, his watch, all his jewels and rings,
    And the clothes he had brought for the trip.

  "He had forty-two boxes, all carefully packed,
    With his name painted clearly on each:
  But, since he omitted to mention the fact,
    They were all left behind on the beach.

  "The loss of his clothes hardly mattered, because
    He had seven coats on when he came,
  With three pair of boots--but the worst of it was,
    He had wholly forgotten his name.

  "He would answer to 'Hi!' or to any loud cry,
    Such as 'Fry me!' or 'Fritter my wig!'
  To 'What-you-may-call-um!' or 'What-was-his-name!'
    But especially 'Thing-um-a-jig!'

  "While, for those who preferred a more forcible word,
    He had different names from these:
  His intimate friends called him 'Candle-ends,'
    And his enemies 'Toasted-cheese.'

  "'His form is ungainly, his intellect small'
    (So the Bellman would often remark);
  'But his courage is perfect! and that, after all,
    Is the thing that one needs with a Snark.'

  "He would joke with hyenas, returning their stare
    With an impudent wag of the head:
  And he once went a walk, paw-in-paw with a bear,
    'Just to keep up its spirits,' he said.

  "He came as a Baker: but owned when too late--
    And it drove the poor Bellman half-mad--
  He could only bake Bride-cake, for which I may state,
    No materials were to be had."

Notice how ingeniously the actors in this drama are introduced; all the
"B's," as it were, buzzing after the phantom of happiness, which eludes
them, no matter how hard they struggle to find it. Notice, too, that all
these beings are unmarried, a fact shown by the _Baker_ not being able to
make a bride-cake as there are no materials on hand. All these creatures,
while hunting for happiness, came to prey upon each other. The _Butcher_
only killed _Beavers_, the _Barrister_ was hunting among his fellow
sailors for a good legal case. The _Banker_ took charge of all their cash,
for it certainly takes money to hunt properly for a _Snark_, and it is a
well-known fact that bankers need all the money they can get.

_Fit the Second_ describes the _Bellman_ and why he had such influence
with his crew:

  The Bellman himself they all praised to the skies:
    Such a carriage, such ease, and such grace!
  Such solemnity, too! One could see he was wise,
    The moment one looked in his face!

  He had bought a large map representing the sea,
    Without the least vestige of land:
  And the crew were much pleased when they found it to be
    A map they could all understand.

  "What's the good of Mercator's North Poles and Equators,
    Tropics, Zones, and Meridian Lines?"
  So the Bellman would cry: and the crew would reply,
    "They are merely conventional signs!"

  "Other maps are such shapes, with their islands and capes!
    But we've got our brave Captain to thank"
  (So the crew would protest), "that he's bought _us_ the best--
    A perfect and absolute blank!"

And true enough, the _Bellman's_ idea of the ocean was a big square basin,
with the latitude and longitude carefully written out on the margin. They
found, however, that their "brave Captain" knew very little about
navigation, he--

  "Had only one notion for crossing the ocean,
    And that was to tingle his bell."

He thought nothing of telling his crew to steer starboard and larboard at
the same time, and then we know how--

  The bowsprit got mixed with the rudder sometimes.
    "A thing," as the Bellman remarked,
  "That frequently happens in tropical climes,
    When a vessel is, so to speak, 'snarked.'"

The _Bellman_ had hoped, when the wind blew toward the east, that the ship
would not travel toward the west, but it seems that with all his nautical
knowledge he could not prevent it; ships are perverse animals!

  "But the danger was past--they had landed at last,
    With their boxes, portmanteaus, and bags:
  Yet at first sight the crew were not pleased with the view,
    Which consisted of chasms and crags."

Now that they had reached the land of the Snark, the _Bellman_ proceeded
to air his knowledge on that subject.

"A snark," he said, "had five unmistakable traits--its taste, 'meager and
mellow and crisp,' its habit of getting up late, its slowness in taking a
jest, its fondness for bathing machines, and, fifth and lastly, its
ambition." He further informed the crew that "the snarks that had feathers
could bite, and those that had whiskers could scratch," adding as an
afterthought:

  "'For although common Snarks do no manner of harm,
    Yet I feel it my duty to say,
  Some are Boojums--' The Bellman broke off in alarm,
    For the Baker had fainted away."

_Fit the Third_ was the _Baker's_ tale.

  "They roused him with muffins, they roused him with ice,
    They roused him with mustard and cress,
  They roused him with jam and judicious advice,
    They set him conundrums to guess."

Then he explained why it was that the name "Boojum" made him faint. It
seems that a dear uncle, after whom he was named, gave him some wholesome
advice about the way to hunt a snark, and this uncle seemed to be a man of
much influence:

  "'You may seek it with thimbles, and seek it with care;
    You may hunt it with forks and hope;
  You may threaten its life with a railway-share;
    You may charm it with smiles and soap----'"

  "'That's exactly the method,' the Bellman bold
    In a hasty parenthesis cried,
  'That's exactly the way I have always been told
    That the capture of Snarks should be tried!'"

  "'But, oh, beamish nephew, beware of the day,
    If your Snark be a Boojum! For then
  You will softly and suddenly vanish away,
    And never be met with again!'"

This of course was a very sad thing to think of, for the man with no name,
who was named after his uncle, and called in courtesy the _Baker_, had
grown to be a great favorite with the crew; but they had no time to waste
in sentiment--they were in the Snark's own land, they had the _Bellman's_
orders in _Fit the Fourth_--the Hunting:

  "To seek it with thimbles, to seek it with care;
    To pursue it with forks and hope;
  To threaten its life with a railway share;
    To charm it with smiles and soap!

  "For the Snark's a peculiar creature, that won't
    Be caught in a commonplace way.
  Do all that you know, and try all that you don't:
    Not a chance must be wasted to-day!"

Then they all went to work according to their own special way, just as we
would do now in our hunt for happiness through the chasms and crags of
every day.

_Fit the Fifth_ is the _Beaver's_ Lesson, when the _Butcher_ discourses
wisely on arithmetic and natural history, two subjects a butcher should
know pretty thoroughly, and this is proved:

  "While the Beaver confessed, with affectionate looks
    More eloquent even than tears,
  It had learned in ten minutes far more than all books
    Would have taught it in seventy years."

The _Barrister's_ Dream occupied _Fit the Sixth_, and here our poet's keen
wit gave many a slap at the law and the lawyers.

The _Banker's_ Fate in _Fit the Seventh_ was sad enough; he was grabbed by
the Bandersnatch (that "frumious" "portmanteau" creature that we met
before in the _Lay of the Jabberwocky_) and worried and tossed about until
he completely lost his senses. Some bankers are that way in the pursuit of
fortune, which means happiness to them; but fortune may turn, like the
Bandersnatch, and shake their minds out of their bodies, and so they left
this _Banker_ to his fate. That is the way of people when bankers are in
trouble, because they were reckless and not always careful to

  "Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
  The frumious Bandersnatch."

_Fit the Eighth_ treats of the vanishing of the Baker according to the
prediction of his prophetic uncle. All day long the eager searchers had
hunted in vain, but just at the close of the day they heard a shout in the
distance and beheld their _Baker_ "erect and sublime" on top of a crag,
waving his arms and shouting wildly; then before their startled and
horrified gaze, he plunged into a chasm and disappeared forever.

  "'It's a Snark!' was the sound that first came to their ears.
      And seemed almost too good to be true.
  Then followed a torrent of laughter and cheers,
      Then the ominous words, 'It's a Boo----'

  "Then, silence. Some fancied they heard in the air
      A weary and wandering sigh
  That sounded like 'jum!' but the others declare
      It was only a breeze that went by.

  "They hunted till darkness came on, but they found
      Not a button, or feather, or mark
  By which they could tell that they stood on the ground
      Where the Baker had met with the Snark.

  "In the midst of the word he was trying to say,
      In the midst of his laughter and glee,
  He had softly and suddenly vanished away--
      For the Snark _was_ a Boojum, you see."

What became of the _Bellman_ and his crew is left to our imagination.
Perhaps the _Baker's_ fate was a warning, or perhaps they are still
hunting--not _too_ close to the chasm. Lewis Carroll, always so particular
about proper endings, refuses any explanation. The fact that this special
Snark was a "Boojum" altered all the rules of the hunt. Nobody knows what
it is, but all the same nobody wishes to meet a "Boojum." That's all there
is about it.

"Now how absurd to talk such nonsense!" some learned school girl may
exclaim; undoubtedly one who has high ideals about life and literature.
But is it nonsense we are talking, and does the quaint poem really teach
us nothing? Anything which brings a picture to the mind must surely have
some merit, and there is much homely common sense wrapped up in the queer
verses if we have but the wit to find it, and no one is too young nor too
old to join in this hunt for happiness.

Read the poem over and over, put expression and feeling into it, treat the
_Bellman_ and his strange crew as if they were real human beings--there's
a lot of the human in them after all--and see if new ideas and new
meanings do not pop into your head with each reading, while the verses,
all unconsciously, will stick in your memory, where Tennyson or
Wordsworth or even Shakespeare fails to hold a place there.

Of course, Lewis Carroll's own especial girlfriends understood "The
Hunting of the Snark" better than the less favored "outsiders." First of
all there was Lewis Carroll himself to read it to them in his own
expressive way, his pleasant voice sinking impressively at exciting
moments, and his clear explanation of each "portmanteau" word helping
along wonderfully. We can fancy the gleam of fun in the blue eyes, the
sweep of his hand across his hair, the sudden sweet smile with which he
pointed his jests or clothed his moral, as the case might be. Indeed, one
little girl was so fascinated with the poem which he sent her as a gift
that she learned the whole of it by heart, and insisted on repeating it
during a long country drive.

"The Hunting of the Snark" created quite a sensation among his friends.
The first edition was finely illustrated by Henry Holiday, whose clever
drawings show how well he understood the poem, and what sympathy existed
between himself and the author.

"Phantasmagoria," his ghost poem, deals with the friendly relations always
existing between ghosts and the people they are supposed to haunt; a
whimsical idea, carried out in Lewis Carroll's whimsical way, with lots of
fun and a good deal of simple philosophy worked out in the verses. One
canto is particularly amusing. Here are some of the verses:

  Oh, when I was a little Ghost,
    A merry time had we!
  Each seated on his favorite post,
  We chumped and chawed the buttered toast
    They gave us for our tea.

  "That story is in print!" I cried.
    "Don't say it's not, because
  It's known as well as Bradshaw's Guide!"
  (The Ghost uneasily replied
    He hardly thought it was.)

  It's not in Nursery Rhymes? And yet
    I almost think it is--
  "Three little Ghostesses" were set
  "On postesses," you know, and ate
    Their "buttered toastesses."

"The Three Voices," his next ambitious poem, is rather out of the realm of
childhood. A weak-minded man and a strong-minded lady met on the seashore,
she having rescued his hat from the antics of a playful breeze by pinning
it down on the sands with her umbrella, right through the center of the
soft crown. When she handed it to him in its battered state, he was
scarcely as grateful as he might have been--he was rude, in fact,

  For it had lost its shape and shine,
  And it had cost him four-and-nine,
  And he was going out to dine.

  "To dine!" she sneered in acid tone.
  "To bend thy being to a bone
  Clothed in a radiance not its own!"

  "Term it not 'radiance,'" said he:
  "'Tis solid nutriment to me.
  Dinner is Dinner: Tea is Tea."

  And she "Yea so? Yet wherefore cease?
  Let thy scant knowledge find increase.
  Say 'Men are Men, and Geese are Geese.'"

The gentleman wanted to get away from this severe lady, but he could see
no escape, for she was getting excited.

  "To dine!" she shrieked, in dragon-wrath.
  "To swallow wines all foam and froth!
  To simper at a tablecloth!

  "Canst thou desire or pie or puff?
  Thy well-bred manners were enough,
  Without such gross material stuff."

  "Yet well-bred men," he faintly said,
  "Are not unwilling to be fed:
  Nor are they well without the bread."

  Her visage scorched him ere she spoke;
  "There are," she said, "a kind of folk
  Who have no horror of a joke.

  "Such wretches live: they take their share
  Of common earth and common air:
  We come across them here and there."

  "We grant them--there is no escape--
  A sort of semihuman shape
  Suggestive of the manlike Ape."

So the arguing went on--her Voice, his Voice, and the Voice of the Sea. He
tried to joke away her solemn mood with a pun.

  "The world is but a Thought," said he:
  "The vast, unfathomable sea
  Is but a Notion--unto me."

  And darkly fell her answer dread
  Upon his unresisting head,
  Like half a hundredweight of lead.

  "The Good and Great must ever shun
  That reckless and abandoned one
  Who stoops to perpetrate a pun.

  "The man that smokes--that reads the _Times_--
  That goes to Christmas Pantomimes--
  Is capable of _any_ crimes!"

Anyone can understand these verses, but it is very plain that the poem is
a satire on the rise of the learned lady, who takes no interest in the
lighter, pleasanter side of life; a being much detested by Lewis Carroll,
who above all things loved a "womanly woman." As he grew older he became
somewhat precise and old-fashioned in his opinions--that is perhaps the
reason why he was so lovable. His ideals of womanhood and little girlhood
were fixed and beautiful dreams, untouched by the rush of the times. The
"new woman" puzzled and pained him quite as much as the pert, precocious,
up-to-date girl. Would there were more Lewis Carrolls in the world; quiet,
simple, old-fashioned, courteous gentlemen with ideals!

Here is a clever little poem dedicated to girls, which he calls

A GAME OF FIVES.

  Five little girls, of five, four, three, two, one:
  Rolling on the hearthrug, full of tricks and fun.

  Five rosy girls, in years from ten to six:
  Sitting down to lessons--no more time for tricks.

  Five growing girls, from fifteen to eleven:
  Music, drawing, languages, and food enough for seven!

  Five winsome girls, from twenty to sixteen:
  Each young man that calls I say, "Now tell me which you _mean_!"

  Five dashing girls, the youngest twenty-one:
  But if nobody proposes, what is there to be done?

  Five showy girls--but thirty is an age
  When girls may be _engaging_, but they somehow don't _engage_.

  Five dressy girls, of thirty-one or more:
  So gracious to the shy young men they snubbed so much before!

  Five _passé_ girls. Their age? Well, never mind!
  We jog along together, like the rest of human kind:
  But the quondam "careless bachelor" begins to think he knows
  The answer to that ancient problem "how the money goes!"

There was no theme, in short, that Lewis Carroll did not fit into a rhyme
or a poem. Some of them were full of real feeling, others were sparkling
with nonsense, but all had their charm. No style nor meter daunted him; no
poet was too great for his clever pen to parody; no ode was too heroic for
a little earthly fun; and when the measure was rollicking the rhymer was
at his best. Of this last, _Alice's_ invitation to the Looking-Glass world
is a fair example:

  To the Looking-Glass world it was Alice that said,
  "I've a scepter in hand, I've a crown on my head.
  Let the Looking-Glass creatures, whatever they be,
  Come and dine with the Red Queen, the White Queen, and me!"

      Then fill up the glasses as quick as you can,
      And sprinkle the table with buttons and bran;
      Put cats in the coffee, and mice in the tea,
      And welcome Queen Alice with thirty-times-three!

  "O Looking-Glass creatures," quoth Alice, "draw near!
  'Tis an honor to see me, a favor to hear;
  'Tis a privilege high to have dinner and tea
  Along with the Red Queen, the White Queen, and me!"

  Then fill up the glasses with treacle and ink,
  Or anything else that is pleasant to drink;
  Mix sand with the cider, and wool with the wine,
  And welcome Queen Alice with ninety-times-nine!

The real sentiment always cropped out in his verses to little girls; from
youth to age he was their "good knight and true" and all his fairest
thoughts were kept for them. Many a grown woman has carefully hoarded
among her treasures some bit of verse from Lewis Carroll, which her happy
childhood inspired him to write; but the dedication of "Alice through the
Looking-Glass" was to the unknown child, whom his book went forth to
please:

  Child of the pure, unclouded brow
    And dreaming eyes of wonder!
  Though time be fleet, and I and thou
    Are half a life asunder,
  Thy loving smile will surely hail
  The love-gift of a fairy tale.

  I have not seen thy sunny face,
    Nor heard thy silver laughter:
  No thought of me shall find a place
    In thy young life's hereafter,
  Enough that now thou wilt not fail
  To listen to my fairy tale.

  A tale begun in other days,
    When summer suns were glowing,
  A simple chime, that served to time
    The rhythm of our rowing,
  Whose echoes live in memory yet,
  Though envious years would say "forget."

  Come, hearken then, ere voice of dread,
    With bitter tidings laden,
  Shall summon to unwelcome bed
    A melancholy maiden!
  We are but older children, dear,
  Who fret to find our bedtime near.

  Without, the frost, the blinding snow,
    The storm-wind's moody madness;
  Within, the firelight's ruddy glow,
    And childhood's nest of gladness.
  The magic words shall hold thee fast;
  Thou shalt not heed the raving blast.

  And though the shadow of a sigh
    May tremble through the story,
  For "happy summer days" gone by
    And vanished summer glory,
  It shall not touch, with breath of bale,
  The pleasance of our fairy tale.

These are only a meager handful of his many poems. Through his life this
gift stayed with him, with all its early spirit and freshness; the added
years but added grace and lightness to his touch, for in the "Story of
Sylvie and Bruno" there are some gems: but that is another chapter and we
shall hear them later.

And so the years passed, and the writer of the "Alices" and the
"Jabberwocky" and "The Hunting of the Snark" and other poems fastened
himself slowly but surely into the loyal hearts of his many readers, and
the grave mathematical lecturer of Christ Church seemed just a trifle
older and graver than of yore. He was very reserved, very shy, and kept
somewhat aloof from his fellow "dons"; but let a little girl tap _ever_ so
faintly at his study door, the knock was heard, the door flung wide,
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson vanished into some inner sanctum, and Lewis
Carroll stood smiling on the threshold to welcome her with open arms.



CHAPTER XI.

GAMES, RIDDLES, AND PROBLEMS.


Lewis Carroll had a mind which never rested in waking hours, and as is the
case with all such active thinkers, his hours of sleeping were often
broken by long stretches of wakefulness, during which time the thinking
machinery set itself in motion and spun out problems and riddles and odd
games and puzzles.

"Puzzles and problems of all sorts were a delight to Mr. Dodgson," writes
Miss Beatrice Hatch in the _Strand Magazine_. "Many a sleepless night was
occupied by what he called a 'pillow problem'; in fact his mathematical
mind seemed always at work on something of the kind, and he loved to
discuss and argue a point connected with his logic, if he could but find a
willing listener. Sometimes, while paying an afternoon call, he would
borrow scraps of paper and leave neat little diagrams or word puzzles to
be worked out by his friends."

Logic was a study of which he was very fond. After he gave up in 1881 the
lectureship of mathematics which he had held for twenty-five years he
determined to make literature a profession; to devote part of his time to
more serious study, and a fair portion to the equally fascinating work for
children.

"In his estimation," says Miss Hatch, "logic was a most important study
for every one; no pains were spared to make it clear and interesting to
those who would consent to learn of him, either in a class that he begged
to be allowed to hold in a school or college, or to a single individual
girl who showed the smallest inclination to profit by his instructions."

He took the greatest delight in his subject and wisely argued that all
girls should learn, not only to reason, but to reason properly--that is,
logically. With this end in view he wrote for their use a little book
which he called "The Game of Logic," and the girls, whose footsteps he had
guided in childish days through realms of nonsense, were willing in many
instances to journey with him into the byways of learning, feeling sure he
would not lead them into depths where they could not follow. The little
volume contains four chapters, and the whimsical headings show us at once
that Lewis Carroll was the author, and not Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.

  Chapter I.......New Lamps for Old.
  Chapter II......Cross Questions.
  Chapter III.....Crooked Answers.
  Chapter IV......Hit or Miss.

To be sure this is not a "play" book, and even as a "game" it is one which
requires a great deal of systematic thinking and reasoning. The girl who
has reached thinking and reasoning years and does not care to do either,
had better not even peep into the book; but if she is built on sturdier
lines and wishes to peep, she must do more--she must read it step by step
and study the carefully drawn diagrams, if she would follow intelligently
the clear, precise arguments. The book is dedicated--

TO MY CHILD-FRIEND.

  I charm in vain: for never again,
  All keenly as my glance I bend,
    Will memory, goddess coy,
    Embody for my joy
  Departed days, nor let me gaze
    On thee, my Fairy Friend!

  Yet could thy face, in mystic grace,
  A moment smile on me, 'twould send
    Far-darting rays of light
    From Heaven athwart the night,
  By which to read in very deed
    Thy spirit, sweetest Friend!

  So may the stream of Life's long dream
  Flow gently onward to its end,
    With many a floweret gay,
    Adown its billowy way:
  May no sigh vex nor care perplex
    My loving little Friend!

His preface is most enticing. He says: "This Game requires nine
Counters--four of one color and five of another; say four red and five
gray. Besides the nine Counters, it also requires one Player _at least_. I
am not aware of any game that can be played with _less_ than this number;
while there are several that require more; take Cricket, for instance,
which requires twenty-two. How much easier it is, when you want to play a
game, to find _one_ Player than twenty-two! At the same time, though one
Player is enough, a good deal more amusement may be got by two working at
it together, and correcting each other's mistakes.

"A second advantage possessed by this Game is that, besides being an
endless source of amusement (the number of arguments that may be worked by
it being infinite), it will give the Players a little instruction as well.
But is there any great harm in that, so long as you get plenty of
amusement?"

To explain the book thoroughly would take the wit and clever handling of
Lewis Carroll himself, but to the beginner of Logic a few of these
unfinished syllogisms may prove interesting: a syllogism in logical
language consists of what is known as two _Premisses_ and one
_Conclusion_, and is a very simple form of argument when you get used to
it.

For instance, supposing someone says: "All my friends have colds"; someone
else may add: "No one can sing who has a cold"; then the third person
draws the conclusion, which is: "None of my friends can sing," and the
perfect logical argument would read as follows:

  1. Premise--"All my friends have colds."
  2. Premise--"No one can sing who has a cold."
  3. Conclusion--"None of my friends can sing."

That is what is called a perfect syllogism, and in Chapter IV, which he
calls _Hit or Miss_, Lewis Carroll has collected a hundred examples
containing the two _Premisses_ which need the _Conclusion_. Here are some
of them. Anyone can draw her own conclusions:

  Pain is wearisome;
  No pain is eagerly wished for.

In each case the student is required to fill up the third space.

  No bald person needs a hairbrush;
  No lizards have hair.

  No unhappy people chuckle;
  No happy people groan.

  All ducks waddle;
  Nothing that waddles is graceful.

  Some oysters are silent;
  No silent creatures are amusing.

  Umbrellas are useful on a journey;
  What is useless on a journey should be left behind.

  No quadrupeds can whistle;
  Some cats are quadrupeds.

  Some bald people wear wigs;
  All your children have hair.

The whole book is brimful of humor and simple everyday reasoning that the
smallest child could understand.

Another "puzzle" book of even an earlier date is "A Tangled Tale"; this is
dedicated--

TO MY PUPIL.

  Belovéd pupil! Tamed by thee,
    Addish, Subtrac-, Multiplica-tion,
  Division, Fractions, Rule of Three,
    Attest the deft manipulation!

  Then onward! Let the voice of Fame,
    From Age to Age repeat the story,
  Till thou hast won thyself a name,
    Exceeding even Euclid's glory!

In the preface he says: "This Tale originally appeared as a serial in _The
Monthly Packet_, beginning in April, 1880. The writer's intention was to
embody in each Knot (like the medicine so deftly but ineffectually
concealed in the jam of our childhood) one or more mathematical questions,
in Arithmetic, Algebra, or Geometry, as the case might be, for the
amusement and possible edification of the fair readers of that Magazine.

    "October, 1885.                       L. C."

These are regular mathematical problems and "posers," most of them, and it
seems that the readers, being more or less ambitious, set to work in right
good earnest to answer them, and sent in the solutions to the author under
assumed names, and then he produced the real problem, the real answer, and
all the best answers of the contestants. These problems were all called
_Knots_ and were told in the form of stories.

Knot I was called _Excelsior_. It was written as a tale of adventure, and
ran as follows:

"The ruddy glow of sunset was already fading into the somber shadows of
night, when two travelers might have been observed swiftly--at a pace of
six miles in the hour--descending the rugged side of a mountain; the
younger bounding from crag to crag with the agility of a fawn, while his
companion, whose aged limbs seemed ill at ease in the heavy chain armor
habitually worn by tourists in that district, toiled on painfully at his
side."

Lewis Carroll is evidently imitating the style of some celebrated
writer--Henry James, most likely, who is rather fond of opening his story
with "two travelers," or perhaps Sir Walter Scott. He goes on:

"As is always the case under such circumstances, the younger knight was
the first to break the silence.

"'A goodly pace, I trow!' he exclaimed. 'We sped not thus in the ascent!'

"'Goodly, indeed!' the other echoed with a groan. 'We clomb it but at
three miles in the hour.'

"'And on the dead level our pace is--?' the younger suggested; for he was
weak in statistics, and left all such details to his aged companion.

"'Four miles in the hour,' the other wearily replied. 'Not an ounce more,'
he added, with that love of metaphor so common in old age, 'and not a
farthing less!'

"''Twas three hours past high noon when we left our hostelry,' the young
man said, musingly. 'We shall scarce be back by supper-time. Perchance
mine host will roundly deny us all food!'

"'He will chide our tardy return,' was the grave reply, 'and such a rebuke
will be meet.'

"'A brave conceit!' cried the other, with a merry laugh. 'And should we
bid him bring us yet another course, I trow his answer will be tart!'

"'We shall but get our deserts,' sighed the older knight, who had never
seen a joke in his life, and was somewhat displeased at his companion's
untimely levity. ''Twill be nine of the clock,' he added in an undertone,
'by the time we regain our hostelry. Full many a mile have we plodded this
day!'

"'How many? How many?' cried the eager youth, ever athirst for knowledge.

"The old man was silent.

"'Tell me,' he answered after a moment's thought, 'what time it was when
we stood together on yonder peak. Not exact to the minute!' he added,
hastily, reading a protest in the young man's face. 'An' thy guess be
within one poor half hour of the mark, 'tis all I ask of thy mother's son!
Then will I tell thee, true to the last inch, how far we shall have
trudged betwixt three and nine of the clock.'

"A groan was the young man's only reply, while his convulsed features and
the deep wrinkles that chased each other across his manly brow revealed
the abyss of arithmetical agony into which one chance question had plunged
him."

The problem in plain English is this: "Two travelers spend from three
o'clock till nine in walking along a level road, up a hill, and home
again, their pace on the level being four miles an hour, up hill three,
and down hill six. Find distance walked: also (within half an hour) the
time of reaching top of hill."

_Answer._ "Twenty-four miles: half-past six."

The explanation is very clear and very simple, but we will not give it
here. This first knot of "A Tangled Tale" offers attractions of its own,
for like the dream _Alice_ someone may exclaim, "A Knot! Oh, do let me
help to undo it!"

The second problem or "Tale" is called _Eligible Apartments_, and deals
with the adventures of one _Balbus_ and his pupils, and contains two
"Knots." One is: "The Governor of ---- wants to give a _very_ small dinner
party, and he means to ask his father's brother-in-law, his brother's
father-in-law, and his brother-in-law's father, and we're to guess how
many guests there will be." The answer is _one_. Perhaps some ambitious
person will go over the ground and prove it. The second knot deals with
the _Eligible Apartments_ which _Balbus_ and his pupils were hunting. At
the end of their walk they found themselves in a square.

"'It _is_ a Square!' was Balbus's first cry of delight as he gazed around
him. 'Beautiful! Beau-ti-ful! _And_ rectangular!' and as he plunged into
Geometry he also plunged into funny conversations with the average English
landlady, which we can better follow:

"'Which there is _one_ room, gentlemen,' said the smiling landlady, 'and a
sweet room, too. As snug a little back room----'

"'We will see it,' said Balbus gloomily as they followed her in. 'I knew
how it would be! One room in each house! No view I suppose.'

"'Which indeed there _is_, gentlemen!' the landlady indignantly protested
as she drew up the blind, and indicated the back garden.

"'Cabbages, I perceive,' said Balbus. 'Well, they're green at any rate.'

"'Which the greens at the shops,' their hostess explained, 'are by no
means dependable upon. Here you has them on the premises, _and_ of the
best.'

"'Does the window open?' was always Balbus's first question in testing a
lodging; and 'Does the chimney smoke?' his second. Satisfied on all
points, he secured the refusal of the room, and moved on to the next house
where they repeated the same performance, adding as an afterthought: 'Does
the cat scratch?'

"The landlady looked around suspiciously as if to make sure the cat was
not listening. 'I will not deceive you, gentlemen,' she said, 'it _do_
scratch, but not without you pulls its whiskers. It'll never do it,' she
repeated slowly, with a visible effort to recall the exact words between
herself and the cat, 'without you pulls its whiskers!'

"'Much may be excused in a cat so treated,' said Balbus as they left the
house, ... leaving the landlady curtseying on the doorstep and still
murmuring to herself her parting words, as if they were a form of
blessing, 'not without you pulls its whiskers!'"

He has given us a real Dickens atmosphere in the dialogue, but the
medicinal problem tucked into it all is too much like hard work.

There were ten of these "Knots," each one harder than its predecessor, and
Lewis Carroll found much interest in receiving and criticising the
answers, all sent under fictitious names.

This clever mathematician delighted in "puzzlers," and sometimes he found
a kindred soul among the guessers, which always pleased him.

One of his favorite problems was one that as early as the days of the
_Rectory Umbrella_ he brought before his limited public. He called it
_Difficulty No. 1_.

"Where in its passage round the earth does the day change its name?"

This question pursued him all through his mathematical career, and the
difficulty of answering it has never lessened. Even in "A Tangled Tale"
neither Balbus nor his ambitious young pupils could do much with the
problem.

_Difficulty No. 2_ is very humorous, and somewhat of a "catch" question.

"Which is the best--a clock that is right only once a year, or a clock
that is right twice every day?"

In March, 1897, _Vanity Fair_, a current English magazine, had the
following article entitled:

     _"A New Puzzle."_

     "The readers of _Vanity Fair_ have, during the last ten years, shown
     so much interest in Acrostics and Hard Cases, which were at first
     made the object of sustained competition for prizes in the journal,
     that it has been sought to invent for them an entirely new kind of
     Puzzle, such as would interest them equally with those that have
     already been so successful. The subjoined letter from Mr. Lewis
     Carroll will explain itself, and will introduce a Puzzle so entirely
     novel and withal so interesting that the transmutation [changing] of
     the original into the final word of the Doublets may be expected to
     become an occupation, to the full as amusing as the guessing of the
     Double Acrostics has already proved."

     "Dear Vanity," Lewis Carroll writes:--"Just a year ago last Christmas
     two young ladies, smarting under that sorest scourge of feminine
     humanity, the having "nothing to do," besought me to send them "some
     riddles." But riddles I had none at hand and therefore set myself to
     devise some other form of verbal torture which should serve the same
     purpose. The result of my meditations was a new kind of Puzzle, new
     at least to me, which now that it has been fairly tested by a year's
     experience, and commended by many friends, I offer to you as a newly
     gathered nut to be cracked by the omnivorous teeth that have already
     masticated so many of your Double Acrostics.

     "The rules of the Puzzle are simple enough. Two words are proposed,
     of the same length; and the Puzzle consists in linking these together
     by interposing other words, each of which shall differ from the next
     word _in one letter only_. That is to say, one letter may be changed
     in one of the given words, then one letter in the word so obtained,
     and so on, till we arrive at the other given word. The letters must
     not be interchanged among themselves, but each must keep to its own
     place. As an example, the word 'head' may be changed into 'tail' by
     interposing the words 'heal, teal, tell, tall.' I call the two given
     words 'a Doublet,' the interposed words 'Links,' and the entire
     series 'a Chain,' of which I here append an example:

          Head
          heal
          teal
          tell
          tall
          Tail

     "It is perhaps needless to state that the links should be English
     words, such as might be used in good society.

     "The easiest 'Doublets' are those in which the consonants in one word
     answer to the consonants in the other, and the vowels to vowels;
     'head' and 'tail' constitute a Doublet of this kind. Where this is
     not the case, as in 'head' and 'hare,' the first thing to be done is
     to transform one member of the Doublet into a word whose consonants
     and vowels shall answer to those in the other member ('head, herd,
     here'), after which there is seldom much difficulty in completing the
     'Chain.'...

     "LEWIS CARROLL."

"Doublets" was brought out in book form in 1880, and proved a very
attractive little volume.

"The Game of Logic" and "A Tangled Tale" are also in book form, the latter
cleverly illustrated by Arthur B. Frost.

It would take too long to name all the games and puzzles Lewis Carroll
invented. Some were carefully thought out, some were produced on the spur
of the moment, generally for the amusement of some special child friend.
Indeed, the puzzles and riddles and games had accumulated to such an
extent that he was arranging to publish a book of them with illustrations
by Miss E. Gertrude Thomson, but after his death the plans fell through,
and many literary projects were abandoned.

Acrostic writing was one of his favorite pastimes, and he wrote enough of
these to have filled a good fat little volume.

His Wonderland Stamp-Case, one of his own ingenious inventions, might come
under the head of "Puzzles and Problems," and, oddly enough, an
interesting description of this stamp-case was published only a short time
ago in _The Nation_. The writer describes his own copy which he bought
when it was new, some twenty years ago. There is first an envelope of red
paper, on which is printed:

  The "Wonderland" Postage Stamp-Case,
  Invented by Louis Carroll, Oct. 29, 1888.
  This case contains 12 separate packets for
  Stamps of different values, and 2 Coloured
  Pictorial Surprises, taken from "Alice in
  Wonderland." It is accompanied with 8 or
  9 Wise Words about Letter-Writing.

  1st, post-free, 13d.

On the flap of the envelope is:

  Published by Emberlin & Son,
            4 Magdalen Street, Oxford.

"The Stamp-Case," the writer tells us, "consists of a stiff paper folded
with the pockets on the inner leaves and a picture on each outer leaf.
This Case is inclosed in a sliding cover, and in this way the pictorial
surprise becomes possible. A picture of _Alice_ holding the _Baby_ is on
the front cover, and when this is drawn off, there is underneath a picture
of _Alice_ nursing a pig. On the back cover is the famous _Cat_, which
vanishes to a shadowy grin on the pictures beneath."

The booklet which accompanied this little stamp-case found its way to many
of his girl friends. Now, whether they bought it, or whether, under guise
of giving a present, this clever friend of theirs sent them the stamp-case
with the "eight or nine words of advice" slyly tucked in, we cannot say,
but in the case of Isa Bowman and of Beatrice Hatch the booklet evidently
made a deep impression, for both quote from it very freely, and some of
the "wise words" are certainly worth heeding, for instance:

     "_Address and stamp the envelope._"

     "What! Before writing the letter?"

     "Most certainly; and I'll tell you what will happen if you don't. You
     will go on writing till the last moment, and just in the middle of
     the last sentence you will become aware that 'time's up!' Then comes
     the hurried wind-up--the wildly scrawled signature--the hastily
     fastened envelope which comes open in the post--the address--a mere
     hieroglyphic--the horrible discovery that you've forgotten to
     replenish your stamp-case--the frantic appeal to everyone in the
     house to lend you a stamp--the headlong rush to the Post Office,
     arriving hot and gasping, just after the box has been closed--and
     finally, a week afterwards, the return of the letter from the dead
     letter office, marked, 'address illegible.'"

     "_Write legibly._

     "The average temper of the human race would be perceptibly sweetened
     if everybody obeyed this rule. A great deal of bad writing in the
     world comes simply from writing _too quickly_. Of course you reply,
     'I do it to save time.' A very good object no doubt; but what right
     have you to do it at your friend's expense? Isn't his time as
     valuable as yours? Years ago I used to receive letters from a
     friend--and very interesting letters too--written in one of the most
     atrocious hands ever invented. It generally took me about a week to
     read one of his letters! I used to carry it about in my pocket and
     take it out at leisure times to puzzle over the riddles which
     composed it--holding it in different positions, till at last the
     meaning of some hopeless scrawl would flash upon me, when I at once
     wrote down the English under it; and when several had thus been
     guessed, the context would help me with the others till at last the
     whole series of hieroglyphics was deciphered. If all one's friends
     wrote like that, life would be entirely spent in reading their
     letters!"

     _"My Ninth Rule._--When you get to the end of a note-sheet, and find
     you have more to say, take another piece of paper--a whole sheet or
     a scrap, as the case may demand, but whatever you do, _don't cross_!
     Remember the old proverb 'Cross-writing makes cross-reading.' 'The
     _old_ proverb?' you say inquiringly. 'How old?' Why, not so _very_
     ancient, I must confess. In fact--I'm afraid I invented it while
     writing this paragraph. Still, you know 'old' is a _comparative_
     term; I think you would be quite justified in addressing a chicken
     just out of the shell as 'Old Boy!' _when compared_ with another
     chicken that was only half out!"

     "Don't try to have the last word," he tells us--and again, "_Don't_
     fill more than a page and a half with apologies for not having
     written sooner."

     "_On how to end a letter_," he advises the writer to "refer to your
     correspondent's last letter, and make your winding up _at least as
     friendly as his_; in fact, even if a shade more friendly, it will do
     no harm."

     "When you take your letters to the post, _carry them in your hand_.
     If you put them in your pocket, you will take a long country walk (I
     speak from experience), passing the post office twice, going and
     returning, and when you get home you will find them still in your
     pocket."

Letter-writing was as much a part of Lewis Carroll as games, and puzzles,
and problems, and mathematics, and nonsense, and little girls. Indeed, as
we view him through the stretch of years, we find him so many-sided that
he himself would have done well to draw a new geometrical figure to
represent a nature so full of strange angles and surprising shapes. If one
is fond of looking into a kaleidoscope, and watching the ever-changing
facets and colors and designs, one would be pretty apt to understand the
constant shifting of that active mind, always on the alert for new ideas,
but steady and fixed in many good old ones, which had become firm habits.

He was fond of giving his child-friends "nuts to crack," and nothing
pleased him more than to be the center of some group of little girls,
firing his conundrums and puzzles into their minds, and watching the
bright young faces catching the glow of his thoughts. He knew just how far
to go, and when to turn some dawning idea into quaint nonsense, so that
the young mind could grasp and hold it. Dear maker of nonsense, dear
teacher and friend, dear lover of children, can they ever forget you!



CHAPTER XII.

A FAIRY RING OF GIRLS.


In a little poem called "A Sea Dirge," which Lewis Carroll wrote about
this time, we find some very strange, uncomplimentary remarks, considering
the fact that most of his vacations was spent at the seashore. Eastbourne,
in the summer time, was as much his home--during the last fifteen years of
his life--as Christ Church during the Oxford term. His pretty house in a
shady, quiet street was a familiar spot to every girl friend of his
acquaintance, and many of his closest and most interesting friendships
were begun by the sea, yet he says:

  There are certain things, as a spider, a ghost,
    The income-tax, gout, an umbrella for three--
  That I hate, but the thing that I hate the most
    Is a thing they call the Sea.

  Pour some salt water over the floor--
    Ugly I'm sure you'll allow it to be;
  Suppose it extended a mile or more,
    _That's_ very like the Sea.

     *       *       *       *

  I had a vision of nursery maids;
    Tens of thousands passed by me--
  All leading children with wooden spades,
    And this way by the Sea.

  Who invented those spades of wood?
    Who was it cut them out of the tree?
  None, I think, but an idiot could--
    Or one that loved the Sea.

     *       *       *       *

  If you like your coffee with sand for dregs,
    A decided hint of salt in your tea,
  And a fishy taste in the very eggs--
    By all means choose the Sea.

  And if, with these dainties to drink and eat,
    You prefer not a vestige of grass or tree,
  And a chronic state of wet in your feet,
    Then--I recommend the Sea.

Did he mean all this, we wonder, this genial gentleman, who haunted the
seashore in search of little girls, his pockets bulging with games and
puzzles? He had also a good supply of safety-pins, in case he saw someone
who wanted to wade in the sea, but whose skirts were in her way and who
had no pin handy. Then he would go gravely up to her and present her with
one of his stock.

In the earlier days he used to go to Sandown, in the Isle of Wight, and
there he met little Gertrude Chataway, who must have been a very charming
child, for he promptly fell in love with her. This was in 1875, and, from
her description of him, he must have been a _very, very_ old
gentleman--forty-three at least. He happened to live next door to
Gertrude, and during those summer days she used to watch him with much
interest, for he had a way of throwing back his head and sniffing in the
salt air that fascinated Gertrude, whose joy bubbled over when at last he
spoke to her. The two became great friends. They used to sit for hours on
the steps of their house which led to the beach, and he would delight the
little girl with his wonderful stories, often illustrating them with a
pencil as he talked. The great charm of these stories lay in the fact that
some chance remark of Gertrude's would wind him up; some question she
asked would suggest a story, and as it spread out into "lovely nonsense"
she always felt in some way that she had helped to make it grow.

This little girl was one of the child-friends who clung to the sweet
association all her life, just as the little Liddell girls never grew
quite away from his love and interest. It was to Gertrude that he
dedicated "The Hunting of the Snark," and she was the proud possessor not
only of his friendship, but of many interesting letters, covering a period
of at least ten years, during which time Gertrude passed from little
girlhood, though he never seemed to realize the change.

Two of his prime favorites in the earlier days were Ellen Terry, the
well-known English actress, and her sister Kate, who was also an actress
of some note.

Lewis Carroll, being always very fond of the drama, found it through life
his keenest delight, and it was his good fortune to see little Ellen Terry
in the first prominent part she ever took. This was in 1856, when Mr. and
Mrs. Charles Kean played in "The Winter's Tale," and Ellen took the
child's character of _Mamillius_, the little son of the King. Lewis
Carroll was carried away with the tiny actress, and it did not take him
long after that to make her acquaintance. This no doubt began in the usual
way, a chat with the child behind the scenes, a call upon her father and
mother, and, finally, an introduction to the whole family which, being
nearly as large as his own, could not fail to interest him deeply.

There were two other little Terry girls, who attracted him and to whom he
was very kind, Florence and Marion. The boys, and there were five of them,
he never noticed of course, but the four little girls came in for a good
share of the most substantial petting. Many a day at the seaside he gave
them--these busy little actresses--many a feast in his own rooms, many a
daytime frolic, for night was their working time--not that they minded in
the least, for they loved their work. There was much talk in those days
about the harm in allowing children to act at night, when they should be
snug in their beds dreaming of fairies. But Lewis Carroll thought nothing
of the kind; he delighted in the children's acting, and he knew, being
half a child himself, that the youngsters took as much delight in their
work as he did in seeing them. He always contended that acting comes
naturally to children; from babyhood they "pretend," and if they happen,
as in Ellen Terry's case and the case of other little stage people he
knew, to be born in the profession, why, this "pretending" is the finest
kind of _play_ not _work_. So he was always on the side of the little
actors and actresses who did not want to be taken away from the theater
and put to bed.

Ellen Terry proved also to be one of his lifelong friends; the talented
actress found his praise a most precious thing, and his criticism, always
so honest, and usually so keen and true, she accepted with the grace of
the great artist. Often, too, he asked her aid for some other girl friend
with dramatic talent, and she never failed to lend a helping hand when she
could. From first to last her acting charmed him. Often he would take a
little girl to some Shakespearean treat at the theater, and would raise
her to the "seventh heaven" of delight by penciling a note to Miss Terry
asking for an interview or perhaps a photograph for his small companion,
and these requests were never refused.

Every Christmas the Rev. Charles Dodgson spent with his sisters, who since
their father's death had lived at Guildford, in a pretty house called _The
Chestnuts_. His coming at Christmas was always a great event, for of
course some very youthful ladies in the neighborhood were in a state of
suppressed excitement over his yearly arrival, which meant Christmas
jollity--with charades and tableaux and all sorts of odd and interesting
games, and, _of course_, stories.

One of his special Guildford favorites was Gaynor Simpson, to whom he
wrote several of his clever letters. In one, evidently an answer to hers,
he begged her never again to leave out the g in the name Dodgson, asking
in a very plaintive manner what _she_ would think if he left out the G in
_her_ name and called her "Aynor" instead of Gaynor.

In this same letter he confessed that he never danced except in his own
peculiar way, that the last house he danced in, the floors broke through,
but as the beams were only six inches thick, it was a very poor sort of
floor, when one came to think--that stone arches were much better for
_his_ sort of dancing.

Indeed, the poem he wrote about the sea must have been just a bit of a
joke, for it was at Margate, another seaside resort, that he met Adelaide
Paine, another of his favorites, and to her he presented a copy of "The
Hunting of the Snark," with an acrostic on her name written on the fly
leaf. This little maid was further honored by receiving a photograph, not
of Lewis Carroll, but of Mr. Dodgson, and in a note to her mother he
begged in his usual odd way that she would never let any but her intimate
friends know anything about the name of "Lewis Carroll," as he did not
wish people who had heard of him to recognize him in the street.

The friendships that were not cemented at the seaside or under the shelter
of old "Tom Quad" were very often begun in the railway train. English
trains are not like ours in America. In Lewis Carroll's time the
"first-class" accommodations were called _carriages_, in which four or
five people, often total strangers, were shut up for hours together,
actually locked in by the guard; and if one of these people chanced to be
Lewis Carroll, and another a restless, active little girl, why, in the
twinkling of an eye the sign of fellowship had flashed between them, and
they were friends.

One special friend made in this fashion was a dear little maid named
Kathleen Eschwege, who stayed a child to him always during their eighteen
years of friendship, in spite of all the changes the years brought in
their train; her marriage among the rest, on which occasion he wrote her
that as he never gave wedding presents, he hoped the inclosed he sent in
his letter she would accept as an _unwedding_ present.

This letter bore the date of January 20, 1892; five years later he wrote
to acknowledge a photograph she had sent him in January, 1892, also her
wedding-card in August of the same year. But he salved his conscience by
reminding her that a certain biscuit-box--decorated with "Looking-Glass"
pictures--which he had sent her in December, 1892, had never been
acknowledged by _her_.

Our "don's" memory sometimes played him tricks we see, especially in later
years. On one occasion, failing to recognize someone who passed him on the
street, he was much chagrined to find out that he had been the gentleman's
guest at dinner only the night before.

Another pleasant railway friendship was established with three little
Drury girls, as early as 1869. They did not know who he was until he sent
them a copy of "Alice in Wonderland"--with the following verse on the fly
leaf:

TO THREE PUZZLED LITTLE GIRLS.

(_From the Author._)

  Three little maidens weary of the rail,
  Three pairs of little ears listening to a tale,
  Three little hands held out in readiness
  For three little puzzles very hard to guess.
  Three pairs of little eyes and open wonder-wide
  At three little scissors lying side by side,
  Three little mouths that thanked an unknown friend
  For one little book he undertook to send.
  Though whether they'll remember a friend or book or day--
  In three little weeks is very hard to say.

Edith Rix was another favorite but apparently beyond the usual age, for
his letters to her have quite a grown-up tone, and he helped her through
many girlish quandaries with his wholesome advice.

There are scores of others--so many that their very names would mean
nothing to us unless we knew the circumstances which began the
acquaintance, and the numerous incidents which could only occur in the
company of Lewis Carroll.

As we know, there were three great influences in his life: his reverence
for holy things, his fondness for mathematics, and his love of little
girls. It is this last trait which colors our picture of him and makes him
stand forth in our minds apart from other men of his time. There have been
many great preachers and eminent mathematicians, and these brilliant men
may have loved childhood in a certain way, but to step aside from their
high places to mingle with the children would never have occurred to them.
The small girls who were "seen and not heard" dropped their eyes bashfully
when the great ones passed, and bobbed a little old-fashioned curtsy in
return for a stately preoccupied nod. But not so Lewis Carroll. No
childish eyes ever sought his in vain. His own blue ones always smiled
back, and there was something so glowing in this smile which lit up his
whole face, that children, all unconsciously, drew near the warmth of it.

His love for girls speaks well for the home-life and surroundings of his
earlier years, when in the company of his seven sisters he learned to know
girls pretty thoroughly. These girls of whom we have such scant knowledge
possessed, we are sure, some potent charm to make this "big brother"
forever afterwards the champion of little girls, and being a thoughtful
fellow, he must have watched with pleasure the way they bloomed from
childhood to girlhood and from girlhood to womanhood, in the sweet
seclusion of Croft Rectory. It was this intimacy and comradeship with his
sisters which made him so easily the intimate and comrade of so many
little girls, understanding all their traits and peculiarities and their
"girl nature" better sometimes than they did themselves.

Some of his friends moved in royal circles. Princess Beatrice, who
received the second presentation copy of "Alice in Wonderland," was one of
them; but in later years the two children of the Duchess of Albany (Queen
Victoria's daughter-in-law), Alice and the young Duke, claimed his
friendship, and despite his preference for girls, Lewis Carroll could not
help liking the lad, whose gentle disposition and studious habits set him
somewhat apart from other boys.

Near home, that is to say in Oxford, or more properly, within a stone's
throw of Christ Church itself, dwelt the Rev. E. Hatch and his bright and
interesting family of children, with all of whom Lewis Carroll was on the
most intimate terms, though his special favorite was Beatrice, better
known as Bee. This little girl came so close upon the Liddell children in
his long list of friends that she almost caught the echo of those happy
days of "Wonderland," and she has much to say about this association in
an interesting article published in the _Strand Magazine_ some years ago.

"My earliest recollections of Mr. Dodgson," she writes, "are connected
with photography. He was very fond of this art at one time, though he had
entirely given it up for many years latterly. He kept various costumes and
'properties' with which to dress us up, and of course that added to the
fun. What child would not thoroughly enjoy personating a Japanese or a
beggar child or a gypsy or an Indian? Sometimes there were excursions to
the roof of the college, which was easily accessible from the windows of
the studio. Or you might stand by your tall friend's side in the tiny dark
room, and watch him while he poured the contents of several little
strong-smelling bottles on the glass picture of yourself that looked so
funny with its black face; and when you grew tired of this there were many
delights to be found in the cupboards in the big room downstairs. Musical
boxes of different colors and different tunes, the dear old woolly bear
that walked when he was wound up, toys, picture-books, and packets of
photographs of other children, who had also enjoyed these mornings of
bliss.

"The following letter written to me in 1873, about a large wax doll that
Mr. Dodgson had presented to me, and which I left behind when I went on a
visit from home, is an interesting specimen. Emily and Mabel [referred to
in the letter] were other dolls of mine and known also by him, but though
they have long since departed this life, I need hardly say I still possess
_the_ doll 'Alice.'

"'My dear Birdie: I met her just outside Tom Gate, walking very stiffly
and I think she was trying to find her way to my rooms. So I said, "Why
have you come here without Birdie?" So she said, "Birdie's gone! and
Emily's gone! and Mabel isn't kind to me!"' And two little waxy tears came
running down her cheeks.

"Why, how stupid of me! I've never told who it was all the time! It was
your own doll. I was very glad to see her, and took her to my room, and
gave her some Vesta matches to eat, and a cup of nice melted wax to drink,
for the poor little thing was very hungry and thirsty after her long walk.
So I said, 'Come and sit by the fire and let's have a comfortable chat?'
'Oh, no! no!' she said, 'I'd _much_ rather not; you know I do melt so
_very_ easily!' And she made me take her quite to the other side of the
room, where it was _very_ cold; and then she sat on my knee and fanned
herself with a pen-wiper, because she said she was afraid the end of her
nose was beginning to melt.

"'You have no _idea_ how careful we have to be--we dolls,' she said. 'Why,
there was a sister of mine--would you believe it?--she went up to the fire
to warm her hands, and one of her hands dropped right off! There now!' 'Of
course it dropped _right_ off,' I said, 'because it was the _right_
hand.' 'And how do you know it was the _right_ hand, Mister Carroll?' the
doll said. So I said, 'I think it must have been the _right_ hand because
the other hand was _left_.'

"The doll said, 'I shan't laugh. It's a very bad joke. Why, even a common
wooden doll could make a better joke than that. And besides they've made
my mouth so stiff and hard that I _can't_ laugh if I try ever so much.'
'Don't be cross about it,' I said, 'but tell me this: I'm going to give
Birdie and the other children one photograph each, whichever they choose;
which do you think Birdie will choose?' 'I don't know,' said the doll;
'you'd better ask her!' So I took her home in a hansom cab. Which would
you like, do you think? Arthur as Cupid? or Arthur and Wilfred together?
or you and Ethel as beggar children? or Ethel standing on a box? or, one
of yourself?

  "'Your affectionate friend,
  "'LEWIS CARROLL.'"

There were, as you see, special occasions when boys were accepted, or
rather tolerated, and special boys with whom he exchanged courtesies from
time to time. The little Hatch boys were favored, we cannot say for their
own small sakes, but because there were two little sisters and _their_
feelings had to be considered. Lewis Carroll even took their pictures, and
went so far as to write a little prologue for Beatrice and her brother
Wilfred. The "grown-ups" were to give some private theatricals which the
children were to introduce in the following dialogue:

     (Enter Beatrice leading Wilfred. She leaves him at center [front],
     and after going round on tiptoe to make sure they are not overheard,
     returns and takes his arm.)

         B. Wiffie! I'm _sure_ that something is the matter!
            All day there's been-oh, such a fuss and clatter!
            Mamma's been trying on a funny dress--
            I never saw the house in such a mess!
                     (_Puts her arms around his neck._)
            _Is_ there a secret, Wiffie?

         W. (_Shaking her off._) Yes, of course!

         B. And you won't tell it? (_Whimpers._) Then you're very cross!
            (_Turns away from him and clasps her hands ecstatically._)
            I'm sure of this! It's something _quite_ uncommon!

         W. (Stretching up his arms with a mock heroic air.)
            Oh, Curiosity! Thy name is woman!
                     (_Puts his arm round her coaxingly._)
            Well, Birdie, then I'll tell! (_Mysteriously._)
            What should you say
            If they were going to act--a little play?

         B. (_Jumping up and clapping her hands._)
            I'd say, "How nice!"

         W. (_Pointing to audience._)
            But will it please the rest?

         B. Oh, yes! Because, you know, they'll do their best!
                     (_Turns to audience._)
            You'll praise them, won't you, when you've seen the play?
            Just say, "How nice!" before you go away!
                     (_They run away hand in hand._)

Of course the little girl had the last word, but then, as Lewis Carroll
himself would say, "Little girls usually had."

This prologue, Miss Hatch tells us, was Lewis Carroll's only attempt in
the dramatic line, and the two tots made a pretty picture as they ran off
the stage.

"Mr. Dodgson's chief form of entertaining," writes Miss Hatch, "was giving
dinner parties. Do not misunderstand me, nor picture to yourself a long
row of guests on either side of a gayly-decorated table. Mr. Dodgson's
theory was that it was much more enjoyable to have your friends singly,
consequently these 'dinner parties,' as he liked to call them, consisted
almost always of one guest only, and that one a child friend. One of his
charming and characteristic little notes, written in his clear writing,
often on a half sheet of note paper and signed with the C.L.D. monogram
[Monogram: CLD] would arrive, containing an invitation, of which the
following is a specimen." [Though written when Beatrice was no longer a
little girl.]

     Ch. Ch. Nov. 21, '96.

     "'MY DEAR BEE:--The reason I have for so long a time not visited the
     hive is a _logical_ one," (he was busy on his symbolic _Logic_),
     "'but is not (as you might imagine) that I think there is no more
     honey in it! Will you come and dine with me? Any day would suit me,
     and I would fetch you at 6:30.

       "'Ever your affectionate
       "'C.L.D.'

"Let us suppose this invitation has been accepted.... After turning in at
the door of No. 7 staircase, and mounting a rather steep and winding
stair, we find ourselves outside a heavy black door, of somewhat
prisonlike appearance, over which is painted 'The Rev. C. L. Dodgson.'
Then a passage, then a door with glass panels, and at last we reach the
familiar room that we love so well. It is large and lofty and extremely
cheerful-looking. All around the walls are bookcases and under them the
cupboards of which I have spoken, and which even now we long to see opened
that they may pour out their treasures.

"Opposite to the big window with its cushioned seat is the fireplace; and
this is worthy of some notice on account of the lovely red tiles which
represent the story of 'The Hunting of the Snark.' Over the mantelpiece
hang three painted portraits of child friends, the one in the middle being
the picture of a little girl in a blue cap and coat who is carrying a pair
of skates."

This picture is a fine likeness of Xie (Alexandra) Kitchin, the little
daughter of the Dean of Durham, another of his Oxford favorites.

"Mr. Dodgson," continues Miss Hatch, "seats his guest in a corner of the
red sofa, in front of the fireplace, and the few minutes before dinner are
occupied with anecdotes about other child friends, small or grown up, or
anything in particular that has happened to himself.... Dinner is served
in the smaller room, which is also filled with bookcases and books....
Those who have had the privilege of enjoying a college dinner need not be
told how excellent it is.... The rest of the evening slips away very
quickly, there is so much to be shown. You may play a game--one of Mr.
Dodgson's own invention-- ... or you may see pictures, lovely drawings of
fairies, whom your host tells you 'you can't be sure don't really exist.'
Or you may have music if you wish it."

This was of course before the days of the phonograph, but Lewis Carroll
had the next best thing, which Miss Hatch describes as an organette, in a
large square box, through the side of which a handle is affixed. "Another
box holds the tunes, circular perforated cards, all carefully catalogued
by their owner. The picture of the author of 'Alice' keenly enjoying every
note as he solemnly turns the handle, and raises or closes the lid of the
box to vary the sound, is more worthy of your delight than the music
itself. Never was there a more delightful host for a 'dinner-party' or one
who took such pains for your entertainment, fresh and interesting to the
last."

One of the first things a little girl learned in her intercourse with
Lewis Carroll was to be methodical and orderly, as he was himself, in the
arrangement of papers, photographs, and books; he kept lists and registers
of everything. Miss Hatch tells of a wonderful letter register of his own
invention "that not only recorded the names of his correspondents and the
dates of their letters, but also noted the contents of each communication,
so that in a few seconds he could tell you what you had written to him
about on a certain day in years gone by.

"Another register contained a list of every menu supplied to every guest
who dined at Mr. Dodgson's table. Yet," she explains, "his dinners were
simple enough, never more than two courses. But everything that he did
must be done in the most perfect manner possible, and the same care and
attention would be given to other people's affairs, if in any way he could
assist or give them pleasure.

"If he took you up to London to see a play, you were no sooner seated in
the railway carriage than a game was produced from his bag and all the
occupants were invited to join in playing a kind of 'Halma' or 'draughts'
of his own invention, on the little wooden board that had been specially
made at his design for railway use, with 'men' warranted not to tumble
down, because they fitted into little holes in the board."

Children, little girls especially, remember through life the numberless
small kindnesses that are shown to them. Is it any wonder, then, that the
name of Lewis Carroll is held in such loving memory by the scores of
little girls he drew about him? Beatrice Hatch was only one among many to
feel the warmth of his love. This quiet, almost solitary, man whose home
was in the shadow of a great college, whose daily life was such a long
walk of dull routine, could yet find time to make his own sunshine and to
draw others into the light of it.

But the children did _their_ part too. He grew dependent on them as the
years rolled on; a fairy circle of girls was always drawing him to them,
and he was made one of them. They told him their childish secrets feeling
sure of a ready sympathy and a quick appreciation. He seemed to know his
way instinctively to a girl's heart; she felt for him an affection, half
of comradeship, half of reverence, for there was something inspiring in
the fearless carriage of the head, the clear, serene look in the eyes,
that seemed to pierce far ahead upon the path over which their own young
feet were stumbling, perhaps.

With the passing of the years, some of the seven sisters married, and a
fair crop of nieces and nephews shot up around him, also some small
cousins in whom he took a deep interest. It is to one of these that he
dedicated his poem called "Matilda Jane," in honor of the doll who bore
the name, which meant nothing in the world to such an unresponsive bit of
doll-dom.

  Matilda Jane, you never look
  At any toy or picture book;
  I show you pretty things in vain,
  You must be blind, Matilda Jane!

  I ask you riddles, tell you tales,
  But all our conversation fails;
  You never answer me again,
  I fear you're dumb, Matilda Jane!

  Matilda, darling, when I call,
  You never seem to hear at all;
  I shout with all my might and main,
  But you're _so_ deaf, Matilda Jane!

  Matilda Jane, you needn't mind,
  For though you're deaf and dumb and blind,
  There's some one loves you, it is plain,
  And that is _me_, Matilda Jane!

A little tender-hearted, ungrammatical, motherly "_me_"--how well the
writer knew the small "Bessie" whose affection for this doll inspired the
verses!

In after years when more serious work held him close to his study, and he
made a point of declining all invitations, he took care that no small girl
should be put on his black list. "If," says Miss Hatch, "you were very
anxious to get him to come to your house on any particular day, the only
chance was _not_ to _invite_ him, but only to inform him that you would be
at home; otherwise he would say 'As you have _invited_ me, I cannot come,
for I have made a rule to decline all _invitations_, but I will come the
next day,'" and in answer to an invitation to tea, he wrote her in his
whimsical way:

"What an awful proposition! To drink tea from four to six would tax the
constitution even of a hardened tea-drinker. For me, who hardly ever
touches it, it would probably be fatal."

If only we could read half the clever letters which passed between Lewis
Carroll and his girl friends, what a volume of wit and humor, of sound
common sense, of clever nonsense we should find! Yet behind it all, that
underlying seriousness which made his friendship so precious to those who
were so fortunate as to possess it. The "little girl" whose loving picture
of him tells us so much lived near him all her life; she felt his
influence in all the little things that go to make up a child's day, long
after the real childhood had passed her by. And so with all the girls who
knew and loved him, and even those to whom his name was but a suggestion
of what he really was.

Surely this fairy ring of girls encircles the English-speaking world, the
girls whom Lewis Carroll loved, the hundreds he knew, the millions he had
never seen.



CHAPTER XIII.

"ALICE" ON THE STAGE AND OFF.


When the question of dramatizing the "Alice" books was placed before the
author, by Mr. Savile Clarke, who was to undertake the work, he consented
gladly enough. It was to be an operetta of two acts; the libretto, or
story part, by Mr. Clarke himself, the music by Mr. Walter Slaughter, and
the only condition Lewis Carroll made was that nothing should be written
or acted which should in any way be unsuitable for children.

Of course, everything was done under his eye, and he wrote an extra song
for the ghosts of the _Oysters_, who had been eaten by the _Walrus_ and
the _Carpenter_; he also finished that poetic gem, "'Tis the Voice of the
Lobster."

  "'Tis the voice of the Lobster," I heard him declare,
  "You baked me too brown, I must sugar my hair."
  As a duck with its eyelids, so he with his nose,
  Trims his belt and his buttons, and turns out his toes.
  When the sands are all dry, he is gay as a lark
  And talks with the utmost contempt of a shark;
  But when the tide rises and sharks are around,
  His words have a timid and tremulous sound.

  I passed by his garden, and marked with one eye
  How the Owl and the Panther were sharing a pie:
  The Panther took pie, crust and gravy and meat,
  While the Owl had the dish, for his share of the treat.
  When the pie was all finished, the Owl--as a boon
  Was kindly permitted to pocket the spoon;
  While the Panther received knife and fork with a growl,
  And concluded the banquet----

That is how the poem originally ended, but musically that would never do,
so the last two lines were altered in this fashion:

  "But the Panther obtained both the fork and the knife,
  So when _he_ lost his temper, the Owl lost his life,"

and a rousing little song it made.

The play was produced at the Prince of Wales' Theater, during Christmas
week of 1886, where it was a great success. Lewis Carroll himself
specially praises the Wonderland act, notably the Mad Tea Party. The
_Hatter_ was finely done by Mr. Sidney Harcourt, the _Dormouse_ by little
Dorothy d'Alcourt, aged six-and-a-half, and Phoebe Carlo, he tells us,
was a "splendid _Alice_."

He went many times to see his "dream child" on the stage, and was always
very kind to the little actresses, whose dainty work made _his_ work such
a success. Phoebe Carlo became a very privileged young person and
enjoyed many treats of his giving, to say nothing of a personal gift of a
copy of "Alice" from the delighted author.

After the London season, the play was taken through the English provinces
and was much appreciated wherever it went. On one occasion a company gave
a week's performance at Brighton, and Lewis Carroll happening to be there
one afternoon, came across three of the small actresses down on the beach
and spent several hours with them. "Happy, healthy little girls" he
called them, and no doubt that beautiful afternoon they had the time of
their lives.

These children, he found--and he had made the subject quite a study--had
been acting every day in the week, and twice on the day before he met
them, and yet were energetic enough to get up each morning at seven for a
sea bath, to run races on the pier, and to be quite ready for another
performance that night.

On December 26, 1888, there was an elaborate revival of "Alice" at the
Royal Globe Theater. In the _London Times_ the next morning appeared this
notice:

     "'Alice in Wonderland,' having failed to exhaust its popularity at
     the Prince of Wales' Theater, has been revived at the Globe for a
     series of matinées during the holiday season. Many members of the old
     cast remain in the bill, but a new 'Alice' is presented in Miss Isa
     Bowman, who is not only a wonderful actress for her years, but also a
     nimble dancer.

     "In its new surroundings the fantastic scenes of the story--so
     cleverly transferred from the book to the stage by Mr. Savile
     Clarke--lose nothing of their original brightness and humor. 'Alice's
     Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass' have the rare
     charm of freshness for children and for their elders, and the many
     strange personages concerned--the White Rabbit, the Caterpillar, the
     Cheshire Cat, the Hatter, the Dormouse, the Gryphon, the Mock Turtle,
     the Red and White Kings and Queens, the Walrus, Humpty-Dumpty,
     Tweedledum and Tweedledee, and all the rest of them--being seen at
     home, so to speak, and not on parade as in an ordinary pantomime.
     Even the dreaded Jabberwock pays an unconventional visit to the
     company from the 'flies,' and his appearance will not be readily
     forgotten. As before, Mr. Walter Slaughter's music is an agreeable
     element to the performance...."

The programme of this performance certainly spreads a feast before the
children's eyes. First of all, think of a forest in autumn! (They had to
change the season a little to get the bright colors of red and yellow.)
Here it is that _Alice_ falls asleep and the Elves sing to her. Then there
is the awakening in Wonderland--such a Wonderland as few children dreamed
of. And then all our favorites appear and do just the things we always
thought they would do if they had the chance. The _Cheshire Cat_ grins and
vanishes, and then the grin appears without the cat, and then the cat
grows behind the grin, and everything is so impossible and wonderful that
one shivers with delight. There is a good old fairy tale that every child
knows; it is called "Oh! if I could but shiver!" and everyone who really
enjoys a fairy tale understands the feeling--the delight of shivering--to
see the Jabberwock pass before you in all his terrifying, delicious
ugliness, flapping his huge wings, rolling his bulging eyes, and opening
and shutting those dreadful jaws of his; and yet to know he isn't
"_really, real_" any more than Sir John Tenniel's picture of him in the
dear old "Alice" book at home, that you can actually go with _Alice_
straight into Wonderland and back again, safe and sound, and really see
what happened just as she did, and actually squeeze through into
Looking-Glass Land, all made so delightfully possible by clever scenery
and acting.

A more charming, dainty little "Alice" never danced herself into the heart
of anyone as Isa Bowman did into the heart of Lewis Carroll. She came into
his life when all of his best-beloved children had passed forever beyond
the portals of childhood, never to return; loved more in these later days
for the memory of what they had been. But here was a child who aroused all
the associations of earlier years, who had made "Alice" real again, whose
clever acting gave just that dreamlike, elfin touch which the real Alice
of Long Ago had suggested; a sweet-natured, lovable, most attractive
child, the child perhaps who won his deepest affections because she came
to him when the others had vanished, and clung to him in the twilight.

There must have been several little Bowmans. We know of four little
sisters--Isa, Emsie, Nellie, and Maggie, and Master Charles Bowman was the
_Cheshire Cat_ in the revival of "Alice in Wonderland," and to all of
these--we are considering the girls of course, the boy never
counted--Lewis Carroll showed his sweetest, most lovable side. They called
him "Uncle," and a more devoted uncle they could not possibly have found.
As for Isa herself, there was a special niche all her own; she was, as he
often told her, "_his_ little girl," and in a loving memoir of him she has
given to the world of children a beautiful picture of what he really was.

There was something in the grip of his firm white hands, in his glance so
deeply sympathetic, so tender and kind, that always stirred the little
girl just as her sharp eyes noted a certain peculiarity in his walk. His
stammer also impressed her, for it generally came when he least expected
it, and though he tried all his life to cure it, he never succeeded.

His shyness, too, was very noticeable, not so much with children, except
just at first until he knew them well, but with grown people he was, as
she put it, "almost old-maidishly prim in his manner." This shyness was
shown in many ways, particularly in a morbid horror of having his picture
taken. As fond as he was of taking other people, he dreaded seeing his own
photograph among strangers, and once when Isa herself made a caricature of
him, he suddenly got up from his seat, took the drawing out of her hands,
tore it in small pieces and threw it into the fire without a word; then he
caught the frightened little girl in his strong arms and kissed her
passionately, his face, at first so flushed and angry, softening with a
tender light.

Many and many a happy time she spent with him at Oxford. He found rooms
for her just outside the college gates, and a nice comfortable dame to
take charge of her. The long happy days were spent in his rooms, and every
night at nine she was taken over to the little house in St. Aldates ("St.
Olds") and put to bed by the landlady.

In the morning the deep notes of "Great Tom" woke her and then began
another lovely day with her "Uncle." She speaks of two tiny turret rooms,
one on each side of his staircase in Christ Church. "He used to tell me,"
she writes, "that when I grew up and became married, he would give me the
two little rooms, so that if I ever disagreed with my husband, we could
each of us retire to a turret until we had made up our quarrel."

She, too, was fascinated by his collection of music-boxes, the finest, she
thought, to be found anywhere in the world. "There were big black ebony
boxes with glass tops, through which you could see all the works. There
was a big box with a handle, which it was quite hard exercise for a little
girl to turn, and there must have been twenty or thirty little ones which
could only play one tune. Sometimes one of the musical boxes would not
play properly and then I always got tremendously excited. Uncle used to
go to a drawer in the table and produce a box of little screw-drivers and
punches, and while I sat on his knee, he would unscrew the lid and take
out the wheels to see what was the matter. He must have been a clever
mechanist, for the result was always the same--after a longer or shorter
period, the music began again. Sometimes, when the musical boxes had
played all their tunes, he used to put them in the box backwards, and was
as pleased as I was at the comic effect of the music 'standing on its
head,' as he phrased it.

"There was another and very wonderful toy which he sometimes produced for
me, and this was known as 'The Bat.' The ceilings of the rooms in which he
lived were very high, indeed, and admirably suited for the purposes of
'The Bat.' It was an ingeniously constructed toy of gauze and wire, which
actually flew about the room like a bat. It was worked by a piece of
twisted elastic, and it could fly for about half a minute. I was always a
little afraid of this toy because it was too lifelike, but there was a
fearful joy in it. When the music boxes began to pall, he would get up
from his chair and look at me with a knowing smile. I always knew what was
coming, even before he began to speak, and I used to dance up and down in
tremendous anticipation.

"'Isa, my darling,' he would say, 'once upon a time there was someone
called Bob, the Bat! and he lived in the top left-hand drawer of the
writing table. What could he do when Uncle wound him up?'"

"And then I would squeak out breathlessly: 'He could really _fly_!'"

And Bob the Bat had many wonderful adventures. She tells us how, on a hot
summer morning when the window was wide open, Bob flew out into the garden
and landed in a bowl of salad that one of the servants was carrying to
someone's room. The poor fellow was so frightened by this sudden
apparition that he promptly dropped the bowl, breaking it into countless
pieces.

Lewis Carroll never liked "his little girl" to exaggerate. "I remember,"
she tells us, "how annoyed he once was when, after a morning's sea bathing
at Eastbourne, I exclaimed: 'Oh, this salt water, it always makes my hair
as stiff as a poker!'

"He impressed upon me quite irritably that no little girl's hair could
ever possibly get as _stiff as a poker_. 'If you had said "as stiff as
wires" it would have been more like it, but even that would have been an
exaggeration.' And then seeing I was a little frightened, he drew for me a
picture of 'The little girl called Isa, whose hair turned into pokers
because she was always exaggerating things.'

"'I nearly died of laughing' was another expression that he particularly
disliked; in fact, any form of exaggeration generally called from him a
reproof, though he was sometimes content to make fun. For instance, my
sisters and I had sent him 'millions of kisses' in a letter.' Here is his
answer:

     "'Ch. Ch. Oxford. Ap. 14, 1890.

     "'MY OWN DARLING:

     "'It's all very well for you and Nellie and Emsie to write in
     millions of hugs and kisses, but please consider the _time_ it would
     occupy your poor old very busy uncle! Try hugging and kissing Emsie
     for a minute by the watch and I don't think you'll manage it more
     than 20 times a minute. "Millions" must mean two millions at least.'"

     Then follows a characteristic example in arithmetic:

          20)2,000,000 hugs and kisses.
          ------------
            60)100,000 minutes.
            ----------
              12)1,666 hours.
              --------
                 6)138 days (at twelve hours a day).
                 -----
                    23 weeks.

     "I couldn't go on hugging and kissing more than 12 hours a day; and I
     wouldn't like to spend _Sundays_ that way. So you see it would take
     _23_ weeks of hard work. Really, my dear child, I cannot spare the
     time.

     "Why haven't I written since my last letter? Why, how could I have
     written _since the last time I did_ write? Now you just try it with
     kissing. Go and kiss Nellie, from me, several times, and take care to
     manage it so as to have kissed her _since the last time you did_ kiss
     her. Now go back to your place and I'll question you.

     "'Have you kissed her several times?'

     "'Yes, darling Uncle.'

     "'What o'clock was it when you gave her the _last_ kiss?'

     "'Five minutes past 10, Uncle.'

     "'Very well, now, have you kissed her _since_?'

     "'Well--I--ahem! ahem! ahem! (excuse me, Uncle, I've got a bad cough)
     I--think--that--I--that is, you know, I--'

     "'Yes, I see! "Isa" begins with "I," and it seems to me as if she was
     going to _end_ with "I" _this_ time!'"

     The rest of the letter refers to Isa's visit to America, when she
     went to play the little _Duke of York_ in "Richard III."

     "Mind you don't write me from there," he warns her. "Please,
     _please_, no more horrid letters from you! I _do_ hate them so! And
     as for kissing them when I get them, why, I'd just as soon
     kiss--kiss--kiss--_you_, you tiresome thing! So there now!

     "Thank you very much for those 2 photographs--I liked
     them--hum--_pretty_ well. I can't honestly say I thought them the
     very best I had ever seen.

     "Please give my kindest regards to your mother, and 1/2 of a kiss to
     Nellie, and 1/200 of a kiss to Emsie, 1/2000000 of a kiss to
     yourself. So with fondest love, I am, my darling,

       "Your loving Uncle,
       "C. L. DODGSON."

And at the end of this letter, teeming with fun and laughter, could
anything be sweeter than this postscript?

"I've thought about that little prayer you asked me to write for Nellie
and Emsie. But I would like first to have the words of the one I wrote for
_you_, and the words of what they say _now_, if they say any. And then I
will pray to our Heavenly Father to help me to write a prayer that will be
really fit for them to use."

In letter-writing, and even in his story-telling, Lewis Carroll made
frequent use of italics. His own speech was so emphatic that his writing
would have looked odd without them, and many of his cleverest bits of
nonsense would have been lost but for their aid.

Another time Isa ended a letter to him with "All join me in lufs and
kisses." Now Miss Isa was away on a visit and had no one near to join her
in such a message, but that is what she would have put had she been at
home, and this is the letter he wrote in reply:

     "7 Lushington Road, Eastbourne,
     "Aug. 30, '90.

     "Oh, you naughty, naughty, bad, wicked little girl! You forgot to put
     a stamp on your letter, and your poor old Uncle had to pay
     _Twopence_! His _last_ Twopence! Think of that. I shall punish you
     severely for this, once I get you here. So tremble! Do you hear? Be
     good enough to tremble!

     "I've only time for one question to-day. Who in the world are the
     'all' that join you in 'lufs and kisses'? Weren't you fancying you
     were at home and sending messages (as people constantly do) from
     Nellie and Emsie, without their having given any? It isn't a good
     plan--that sending messages people haven't given. I don't mean it's
     in the least _untruthful_, because everybody knows how commonly they
     are sent without having been given; but it lessens the pleasure of
     receiving messages. My sisters write to me 'with best love from all.'
     I know it isn't true, so don't value it much. The other day the
     husband of one of my 'child-friends' (who always writes 'your
     loving') wrote to me and ended with 'Ethel joins me in kindest
     regards.' In my answer I said (of course in fun)--'I am not going to
     send Ethel kindest regards, so I won't send her any message _at
     all_.' Then she wrote to say she didn't even know he was writing. 'Of
     course I would have sent best love,' and she added that she had
     given her husband a piece of her mind. Poor Husband!

       "Your always loving Uncle,
       "C.L.D."

These initials were always joined as a monogram and written backward,
thus, [Monogram: CLD], which no doubt, after the years of practice he had,
he dashed off with an easy flourish. His general writing was not very
legible, but when he was writing for the press he was very careful. "Why
should the printers have to work overtime because my letters are
ill-formed and my words run into each other?" he once said, and Miss
Bowman has put in her little volume the facsimile of a diary he once wrote
for her, where every letter was carefully formed so that Isa could read
every word herself.

"They were happy days," she writes, "those days in Oxford, spent with the
most fascinating companion that a child could have. In our walks about the
old town, in our visits to the Cathedral or Chapel Hall, in our visits to
his friends, he was an ideal companion, but I think I was always happiest
when we came back to his rooms and had tea alone; when the fire glow (it
was always winter when I stayed in Oxford) threw fantastic shadows about
the quaint room, and the thoughts of the prosiest people must have
wandered a little into fairyland. The shifting firelight seemed almost to
etherealize that kindly face, and as the wonderful stories fell from his
lips, and his eyes lighted on me with the sweetest smile that ever a man
wore, I was conscious of a love and reverence for Charles Dodgson that
became nearly an adoration."

"He was very particular," she tells us, "about his tea, which he always
made himself, and in order that it should draw properly he would walk
about the room, swinging the teapot from side to side, for exactly ten
minutes. The idea of the grave professor promenading his book-lined study
and carefully waving a teapot to and fro may seem ridiculous, but all the
minutiæ of life received an extreme attention at his hands."

The diary referred to, which he so carefully printed for Isa, covered
several days' visit to Oxford in 1888, which oddly enough happened to be
in midsummer, and being her first, was never forgotten. It was written in
six "chapters" and jotted down faithfully the happenings of each day. What
little girl could resist the feast of fun and frolic he had planned for
those happy days!

First, he met her at Paddington station; then he took her to see a
panorama of the Falls of Niagara, after which they had dinner with a Mrs.
Dymes, and two of her children, Helen and Maud, went with them to Terry's
Theater to see "Little Lord Fauntleroy" played by Vera Beringer, another
little actress friend of Lewis Carroll. After this they all took the
Metropolitan railway; the little Dymes girls got off at their station, but
Isa and the Aged Aged Man, as he called himself, went on to Oxford. There
they saw everything to be seen, beginning with Christ Church, where the
"A.A.M." lived, and here and there Lewis Carroll managed to throw bits of
history into the funny little diary. They saw all the colleges, and Christ
Church Meadow, and the barges which the Oxford crews used as boathouses,
and took long walks, and went to St. Mary's Church on Sunday, and lots of
other interesting things.

Every year she stayed a while with him at Eastbourne, where she tells us
she was even happier if possible. Her day at Eastbourne began very early.
Her room faced his, and after she was dressed in the morning she would
steal into the little passage quiet as a mouse, and sit on the top stair,
her eye on his closed door, watching for the signal of admission into his
room; this was a newspaper pushed under his door. The moment she saw that,
she was at liberty to rush in and fling herself upon him, after which
excitement they went down to breakfast. Then he read a chapter from the
Bible and made her tell it to him afterwards as a story of her own,
beginning always with, "Once upon a time." After which there was a daily
visit to the swimming-bath followed by one to the dentist--he always
insisted on this, going himself quite as regularly.

After lunch, which with him consisted of a glass of sherry and a biscuit,
while little Miss Isa ate a good substantial dinner, there was a game of
backgammon, of which he was very fond, and then a long, long walk to the
top of Beachy Head, which Isa hated. She says:

"Lewis Carroll believed very much in a great amount of exercise, and said
one should always go to bed physically wearied with the exercise of the
day. Accordingly, there was no way out of it, and every afternoon I had to
walk to the top of Beachy Head. He was very good and kind. He would invent
all sorts of new games to beguile the tedium of the way. One very curious
and strange trait in his character was shown in these walks. I used to be
very fond of flowers and animals also. A pretty dog or a hedge of
honeysuckle was always a pleasant event upon our walk to me. And yet he
himself cared for neither flowers nor animals. Tender and kind as he was,
simple and unassuming in all his tastes, yet he did not like flowers....
He knew children so thoroughly and well, that it is all the stranger that
he did not care for things that generally attract them so much.... When I
was in raptures over a poppy or a dog-rose, he would try hard to be as
interested as I was, but even to my childish eyes it was an effort, and he
would always rather invent some new game for us to play at. Once, and once
only, I remember him to have taken an interest in a flower, and that was
because of the folklore that was attached to it, and not because of the
beauty of the flower itself.

"... One day while we sat under a great tree, and the hum of the myriad
insect life rivaled the murmur of the far-away waves, he took a foxglove
from the heap that lay in my lap, and told me the story of how it came by
its name; how in the old days, when all over England there were great
forests, like the forest of Arden that Shakespeare loved, the pixies, the
'little folks,' used to wander at night in the glades, like Titania and
Oberon and Puck, and because they took great pride in their dainty hands
they made themselves gloves out of the flowers. So the particular flower
that the 'little folks' used came to be called 'folks' gloves.' Then,
because the country people were rough and clumsy in their talk, the name
was shortened into 'foxgloves,' the name that everyone uses now."

This special walk always ended in the coastguard's house, where they
partook of tea and rock cake, and here most of his prettiest stories were
told. The most thrilling part occurred when "the children came to a deep
dark wood," always described with a solemn dropping of the voice; by that
Isa knew that the exciting part was coming, then she crept nearer to him,
and he held her close while he finished the tale. Isa, as was quite
natural, was a most dramatic little person, so she always knew what
emotions would suit the occasion, and used them like the clever little
actress that she was.

We find something very beautiful in this intimacy between the grave
scholar and the light-hearted, innocent little girl, who used to love to
watch him in some of those deep silences which neither cared to break.
This small maid understood his every mood. A beautiful sunset, she tells
us, touched him deeply. He would take off his hat and let the wind toss
his hair, and look seaward with a very grave face. Once she saw tears in
his eyes, and he gripped her hand very hard as they turned away.

Perhaps, what caught her childish fancy more than anything else, was his
observance of Sunday. He always took Isa twice to church, and she went
because she wanted to go; he did not believe in forcing children in such
matters, but he made a point of slipping some interesting little book in
his pocket, so in case she got tired, or the sermon was beyond her, she
would have something pleasant to do instead of staring idly about the
church or falling asleep, which was just as bad. Another peculiarity, she
tells us, was his habit of keeping seated at the entrance of the choir. He
contended that the rising of the congregation made the choir-boys
conceited.

One could go on telling anecdotes of Lewis Carroll and this well-beloved
child, but of a truth his own letters will show far better than any
description how he regarded this "star" child of his. So far as her acting
went, he never spared either praise or criticism where he thought it just.
Here is a letter criticising her acting as the little _Duke of York_:

     "Ch. Ch. Oxford. Ap. 4, '89.

     "MY LORD DUKE:--The photographs your Grace did me the honor of
     sending arrived safely; and I can assure your Royal Highness that I
     am very glad to have them, and like them _very_ much, particularly
     the large head of your late Royal Uncle's little, little son. I do
     not wonder that your excellent Uncle Richard should say 'off with his
     head' as a hint to the photographer to print it off. Would your
     Highness like me to go on calling you the Duke of York, or shall I
     say 'my own darling Isa'? Which do you like best?

     "Now, I'm gong to find fault with my pet about her acting. What's the
     good of an old Uncle like me except to find fault?"

     Then follows some excellent criticism on the proper emphasis of
     words, explained so that the smallest child could understand; he also
     notes some mispronounced words, and then he adds:

     "One thing more. (What an impertinent uncle! Always finding fault!)
     You're not as _natural_ when acting the Duke as you were when you
     acted Alice. You seemed to me not to forget _yourself_ enough. It was
     not so much a real prince talking to his brother and uncle; it was
     Isa Bowman talking to people she didn't care much about, for an
     audience to listen to. I don't mean it was that all _through_, but
     _sometimes_ you were _artificial_. Now, don't be jealous of Miss
     Hatton when I say she was _sweetly_ natural. She looked and spoke
     like a real Prince of Wales. And she didn't seem to know there was
     any audience. If you ever get to be a _good_ actress (as I hope you
     will) you must learn to forget 'Isa' altogether, and _be_ the
     character you are playing. Try to think 'This is _really_ the Prince
     of Wales. I'm his little brother and I'm _very_ glad to meet him, and
     I love him _very_ much, and this is _really_ my uncle; he is very
     kind and lets me say saucy things to him,' and _do_ forget that
     there's anybody else listening!

     "My sweet pet, I _hope_ you won't be offended with me for saying what
     I fancy might make your acting better.

       "Your loving old Uncle,
       "CHARLES.

       "X for Nellie.
       "X for Maggie.
       "X for Emsie.
       "X for Isa."

The crosses were unmistakably kisses. He was certainly a most affectionate
"Uncle." He rarely signed his name "Charles." It was only on special
occasions and to very "special" people.

Here is another letter written to Isa's sister Nellie, thanking her for a
"tidy" she made him. (He called it an Antimacassar.) "The only ordinary
thing about it," Isa tells us, "is the date." The letter reads backward.
One has to begin at the very bottom and read up, instead of reading from
the top downward:

     "Nov. 1, 1891.

     "C.L.D., Uncle loving your! Instead grandson his to it give to had
     you that so, years 80 or 70 for it forgot you that was it pity a what
     and; him of fond so were you wonder don't I and, gentleman old nice
     very a was he. For it made you that _him_ been have _must_ it see you
     so: _Grandfather_ my was, _then_ alive was that, 'Dodgson Uncle' only
     the, born was _I_ before long was that see you then But. 'Dodgson
     Uncle for pretty thing some make I'll now,' it began you when
     yourself to said you that, me telling her without, knew I course of
     and: ago years many great a it made had you said she. Me told Isa
     what from was it? For meant was it who out made I how know you do!
     Lasted has it well how and Grandfather my for made had you
     Antimacassar pretty that me give to you of nice so was it, Nellie
     dear my."

He had often written a looking-glass letter which could only be read by
holding it up to a mirror, but this sort of writing was a new departure.

In one of her letters Isa sent "sacks full of love and baskets full of
kisses."

"How badly you _do_ spell your words!" he answered her. "I _was_ so
puzzled about the 'sacks full of love and baskets full of kisses.' But at
last I made out that, of course, you meant a 'sack full of _gloves_ and a
basket full of _kittens_.'" Then he composed a regular nonsense story on
the subject. Isa and her sisters called it the "glove and kitten letter"
and read it over and over with much delight, for it was full of quaint
fancies, such as Lewis Carroll loved to shower upon the children.

When "Bootle's Baby" was put upon the stage, Maggie Bowman, though but a
tiny child, played the part of _Mignon_, the little lost girl, who walked
into the hearts of the soldiers, and especially one young fellow, to whom
she clung most of all. Lewis Carroll, besides taking a personal interest
in Maggie herself, was charmed with the play, which appealed to him
strongly, so when little Maggie came to Oxford with the company she was
treated like a queen. She stayed four days, during which time her "Uncle"
took her to see everything worth looking at, and made a rhyming diary for
her which he called--

MAGGIE'S VISIT TO OXFORD.

  When Maggie once to Oxford came
    On tour as "Bootle's Baby,"
  She said: "I'll see this place of fame,
    However dull the day be!"

  So with her friend she visited
    The sights that it was rich in,
  And first of all she poked her head
    Inside the Christ Church Kitchen.

  The cooks around that little child
    Stood waiting in a ring;
  And every time that Maggie smiled,
    Those cooks began to sing--
  Shouting the Battle-cry of Freedom!

          "Roast, boil, and bake,
          For Maggie's sake!
          Bring cutlets fine
          For _her_ to dine;
          Meringues so sweet
          For _her_ to eat--
          For Maggie may be
          Bootle's Baby."

There are a great many verses describing her walks and what she saw, among
other wonders "a lovely Pussy Cat."

  And everywhere that Maggie went
  That Cat was sure to go--
  Shouting the Battle-cry of Freedom!

          "Miaow! Miaow!
          Come make your bow!
          Take off your hats,
          Ye Pussy Cats!
          And purr and purr
          To welcome _her_--
          For Maggie may be
          Bootle's Baby!"

  So back to Christ Church-not too late
    For them to go and see
  A Christ Church Undergraduate,
    Who gave them cakes and tea.

     *       *       *       *

  In Magdalen Park the deer are wild
    With joy that Maggie brings
  Some bread, a friend had given the child,
    To feed the pretty things.

  They flock round Maggie without fear,
    They breakfast and they lunch,
  They dine, they sup, those happy deer--
    Still as they munch and munch,
  Shouting the Battle-cry of Freedom!

          "Yes, deer are we,
          And dear is she.
          We love this child
          So sweet and mild:
          We all are fed
          With Maggie's bread--
          For Maggie may be
          Bootle's Baby!"

     *       *       *       *

  They met a Bishop on their way--
    A Bishop large as life--
  With loving smile that seemed to say
    "Will Maggie be my wife?"

  Maggie thought _not_, because you see
    She was so _very_ young,
  And he was old as old could be--
    So Maggie held her tongue.

  "My Lord, she's Bootle's Baby; we
    Are going up and down,"
  Her friend explained, "that she may see
    The sights of Oxford-town."

  "Now, say what kind of place it is!"
    The Bishop gayly cried,
  "The best place in the Provinces!"
    The little maid replied.

     *       *       *       *

  Away next morning Maggie went
    From Oxford-town; but yet
  The happy hours she there had spent
    She could not soon forget.

     *       *       *       *

      "Oxford, good-bye!
      She seemed to sigh,
      You dear old City
      With gardens pretty,
      And lawns and flowers
      And College towers,
      And Tom's great Bell,
      Farewell! farewell!
      For Maggie may be
      Bootle's Baby!"

Here is just a piece of a letter which shows that Lewis Carroll could
tease when he liked. It is evident that Isa washed to buy the "Alice" book
in French, to give to a friend, so she naïvely wrote to headquarters to
ask the price. This is the reply:

     "Eastbourne.

     "MY OWN DARLING ISA,--The value of a copy of the French 'Alice' is
     £45: but, as you want the 'cheapest' kind, and as you are a great
     friend of mine, and as I am of a very noble, generous disposition, I
     have made up my mind to a _great_ sacrifice, and have taken £3, 10s,
     0d, off the price, so that you do not owe me more than £41, 10s, 0d,
     and this you can pay me, in gold or bank notes, _as soon as you ever
     like_. Oh, dear! I wonder why I write such nonsense! Can you explain
     to me, my pet, how it happens that when I take up my pen to write a
     letter to _you_, it won't write sense. Do you think the rule is that
     when the pen finds it has to write to a nonsensical, good-for-nothing
     child it sets to work to write a nonsensical, good-for-nothing
     letter? Well, now I'll tell you the real truth. As Miss Kitty Wilson
     is a dear friend of yours, of course she's a _sort_ of a friend of
     mine. So I thought (in my vanity) 'perhaps she would like to have a
     copy "from the author" with her name written in it.' So I sent her
     one--but I hope she'll understand that I do it because she's _your_
     friend, for you see I had never _heard_ of her before; so I wouldn't
     have any other reason."

When he published his last long story, "Sylvie and Bruno," the dedication
was to her, an acrostic on her name; but as "Sylvie and Bruno" will be
spoken of later on, perhaps it will be more interesting to give the dainty
little verses where they belong. He sent his pet a specially bound copy of
the new book, with the following letter:

     "Christ Church, May 16, '90.

     "DEAREST ISA:--I had this bound for you when the book first came out,
     and it's been waiting here ever since Dec. 17, for I really didn't
     dare to send it across the Atlantic--the whales are _so_
     inconsiderate. They'd have been sure to want to borrow it to show to
     the little whales, quite forgetting that the salt water would be sure
     to spoil it.

     "Also I've been waiting for you to get back to send Emsie the
     'Nursery Alice.' I give it to the youngest in a family generally, but
     I've given one to Maggie as well, because she travels about so much,
     and I thought she would like to have one to take with her. I hope
     Nellie's eyes won't get _quite_ green with jealousy at two (indeed
     three) of her sisters getting presents, and nothing for her! I've
     nothing but my love to send her to-day, but she shall have _something
     some_ day.--Ever your loving

     "UNCLE CHARLES."

The "Nursery Alice" he refers to was arranged by himself for children
"from naught to five" as he quaintly puts it. It contained twenty
beautiful colored drawings from the Tenniel illustrations, with a cover
designed by E. Gertrude Thomson, of whose work he was very fond. The words
were simplified for nursery readers.

In another letter to Isa he talks very seriously about "social position."

"Ladies," he writes, "have to be _much_ more particular in observing the
distinctions of what is called 'social position,' and the _lower_ their
own position is (in the scale of 'lady' ship) the more jealous they seem
to be in guarding it.... Not long ago I was staying in a house with a
young lady (about twenty years old I should think) with a title of her
own, as she was an earl's daughter. I happened to sit next to her at
dinner, and every time I spoke to her she looked at me more as if she was
looking down on me from about a mile up in the air, and as if she was
saying to herself, 'How _dare_ you speak to _me_! Why you're not good
enough to black my shoes!' It was so unpleasant that next day at luncheon
I got as far from her as I could.

"Of course we are all _quite_ equal in God's sight, but we _do_ make a lot
of distinctions (some of them quite unmeaning) among ourselves!"

However, he was not always so unfortunate among great people, the "truly
great" that is. In Lord Salisbury's house he was always a welcome and
honored guest, for in a letter to "his little girl" from Hatfield House he
tells her of the Duchess of Albany and her two children.

"She is the widow of Prince Leopold (the Queen's youngest son), so her
children are a Prince and a Princess; the girl is Alice, but I don't know
the boy's Christian name; they call him 'Albany' because he is the Duke of
Albany.

"Now that I have made friends with a real live little Princess, I don't
intend ever to _speak_ to children who haven't any titles. In fact, I'm so
proud, and I hold my chin so high, that I shouldn't even _see_ you if we
met! No, darlings, you mustn't believe _that_. If I made friends with a
_dozen_ Princesses, I would love you better than all of them together,
even if I had them all rolled up into a sort of child-roly-poly.

"Love to Nellie and Emsie.--Your loving Uncle,

  "C.L.D.
    "XXXXXXX
      "[kisses]."

Nothing could give us a better glimpse of the wholesome nature of this
quiet "don" of ours than these letters to a little child; a wholesome
child like himself, whose every emotion was to him like the page of some
fairy book, to be read and read again. Isa Bowman could not know, child as
she was, _what_ she was to this man, who with all his busy life, and all
his gifts and talents, and all his many friendships, was so curiously
lonely. But later, when she was grown, and wrote the little book of
memories from which we have drawn so many sweet lessons, she doubtless
realized, as she rolled back the years, what they had been to her--and
what to Lewis Carroll.



CHAPTER XIV.

A TRIP WITH SYLVIE AND BRUNO.


  Is all our life, then, but a dream,
  Seen faintly in the golden gleam
  Athwart Time's dark resistless stream?

  Bowed to the earth with bitter woe,
  Or laughing at some raree-show,
  We flitter idly to and fro.

  Man's little day in haste we spend,
  And from its merry noontide send
  No glance to meet the silent end.

This beautiful dedication to little Isa Bowman, on the front page of
"Sylvie and Bruno," was much prized by her on account of the double
acrostic cleverly woven in the lines. The first letter of each line read
downward was one way she could see her name, and the first three letters
in the first line of each verse was another, but naturally the
light-hearted child missed the note of deep sadness underlying the tuneful
words. Lewis Carroll had reached that milestone in a man's life, _not_
when he pauses to look backward, but when his one desire is to press
forward to the heights--to the goal. His thoughts were not so much colored
by memories of earlier years as by anticipation, even dreams of what the
future might hold. Therefore, in our trip with _Sylvie_ and _Bruno_ into
the realms of dreamland, we must bear in mind in reading the story that
the _man_ is the dreamer, and not the _children_, nor does he see _quite_
through their eyes in his views of men and things. Children, as a rule,
live in the present; neither the past nor the future perplexes them, and
"Mister Sir," as little _Bruno_ called their friend, the Dreamer, looked
on these fairy children, dainty _Sylvie_ and graceful _Bruno_, as gleams
of light in his shadowy way, little passing gleams, as elusive as they
were brilliant.

The day of the irresponsible, bubbling nonsense is over; we catch flashes
of it now and then, but the fun is forced, and however much of a dear
_Sylvie_ may be, and however much of a darling _Bruno_ may be, they are
not _quite_ natural.

In a very long and very serious preface, wholly unlike his usual style,
the author tells us something of the history of the book. As early as 1867
the idea of "Sylvie and Bruno" first came to him in the shape of a little
fairy tale which he wrote for _Aunt Judy's Magazine_, but it was not until
long after the publication of "Alice Through the Looking-Glass" that he
determined to turn the adventures of these fairy children into something
more than stray stories. The public, at least, the insatiable children,
wanted something more from him, and as the second "Alice" had been so
satisfactory, he decided to venture again into the dream-world; he would
not hurry about it; he would take his time; he would pluck a flower here
and there as the years passed, and press it for safe-keeping; he would
create something poetic and beautiful in the way of children, culled from
the best of all the children he ever knew. This work should be a gem, cut
and polished until its luster eclipsed all other work of his.

And so from 1874 to 1889, a period of fifteen years, he jotted down quaint
fancies and bits of dialogue which he thought would work well into the
story. During this interval he passed from the prime of life into serious
middle age, though there was so little change in his outward living and in
his general appearance (he was always very boyish-looking) that even he
himself failed to recognize the gulf of time between forty-two and
fifty-seven.

In this interval he had become deeply interested in the study of logic and
when he began to gather together the mass of material he had collected for
his book, he found so much matter which stepped outside of childish realms
that he decided to please both the "grown-ups" and the youngsters by
weaving it all into a story, which he accordingly did, with the result
that he pleased no one. The children would not take the trouble to wade
through the interwoven love story, while their elders, who from
experience had expected something fresh and breezy from the pen of Lewis
Carroll, who longed to get away from the world of facts and logic and deep
discussions which buzzed about them, were even more sorely disappointed.

All flights of genius are short and quick. Had our author sat down when
the idea of a long story first came to him, and written it off in his
natural style, "Sylvie and Bruno" might have been another of the world's
classics; but he put too much thought upon it, and the chapters show most
plainly where the pen was laid down and where taken up again.

But for all that the book sold well, chiefly, indeed, because it was Lewis
Carroll who wrote it; though its popularity died down in a short time.
About six years ago, however (1904), the enterprising publishers brought
forth a new edition of the book, leaving out all the grown-up part, and
bringing the fairy children right before us in all their simple
loveliness. The experiment, so far as the story went, was most successful,
and to those who have not a previous acquaintance with "Sylvie and Bruno"
this little volume would give much more pleasure than the big two-volume
original.

One of Lewis Carroll's special objects in writing this story was a sort of
tardy appreciation of the much-despised boy. In the character of _Bruno_
he has given us a sweet little fellow, but we cannot get over the feeling
that he is a girl in boy's clothes, his bits of mischief are all so
dainty and alluring; but we would like to beat him with, say, a spray of
goldenrod for such a fairy child, every time he says politely and
priggishly "Mister Sir" to his invisible companion. What boy was _ever_
guilty of using such a term! The street urchin would naturally say
"Mister," but the well-bred home boy would say "Sir," so the combination
sounds absurd.

_Sylvie_ and _Bruno_ were supposed to be the fairies that teach children
to be good, and to do this they wandered pretty well over the earth in
their fairy way. Somehow we miss the real children through all their
dainty play and laughter, but the pictures of the two children, by Harry
Furniss, are beautiful enough to make us really believe in fairies. There
is a question Lewis Carroll asks quite gravely in his book--"What is the
best time for seeing Fairies?" And he answers it in truly Lewis Carroll
style:

"The first rule is, that it must be a _very_ hot day--that we may consider
as settled: and you must be a _little_ sleepy--but not too sleepy to keep
your eyes open, mind. Well, and you ought to feel a little what one may
call 'fairyish' the Scotch call it 'eerie,' and perhaps that's a prettier
word; if you don't know what it means, I'm afraid I can hardly explain it;
you must wait till you meet a Fairy and then you'll know.

"And the last rule is, that the crickets should not be chirping. I can't
stop to explain that; you must take it on trust for the present.

"So, if all these things happen together, you have a good chance of seeing
a Fairy, or at least a much better chance than if they didn't."

Later on he tells us the rule about the crickets. "They always leave off
chirping when a Fairy goes by, ... so whenever you're walking out and the
crickets suddenly leave off chirping you may be sure that they see a
Fairy."

Another dainty description is _Bruno's_ singing to the accompaniment of
tuneful harebells, and the song was a regular serenade:

  Rise, oh, rise! The daylight dies,
    The owls are hooting, ting, ting, ting!
  Wake, oh, wake! Beside the lake
    The elves are fluting, ting, ting, ting!
  Welcoming our Fairy King,
    We sing, sing, sing.

  Hear, oh, hear! From far and near
    The music stealing, ting, ting, ting!
  Fairy bells adorn the dells
    Are merrily pealing, ting, ting, ting!
  Welcoming our Fairy King,
    We ring, ring, ring.

  See, oh, see! On every tree
    What lamps are shining, ting, ting, ting!
  They are eyes of fiery flies
    To light our dining, ting, ting, ting!
  Welcoming our Fairy King,
    They swing, swing, swing.

  Haste, oh, haste, to take and taste
    The dainties waiting, ting, ting, ting!
  Honey-dew is stored----

But here _Bruno's_ song came to a sudden end and was never finished.
Fairies have the oddest ways of doing things, but then _Sylvie_ was coming
through the long grass, that charming woodland child that little _Bruno_
loved and teased.

The artist put all his skill into the drawing of this tiny maiden, skill
assisted by Lewis Carroll's own ideas of what a fairy-girl should look
like, and the fact that Mr. Furniss took _seven years_ to illustrate this
book to the author's satisfaction and his own, shows how very particular
both were to get at the spirit of the story.

Indeed, the great trouble with the story is that it is all spirit; there
is no _real_ story to it, and this the keen scent of everyday children
soon discovered.

But in one thing it excels: the verses are every bit as charming as either
the Wonderland or Looking-Glass verses, with all the old-time delicious
nonsense. Take, for instance--

THE GARDENER'S SONG.

  He thought he saw an Albatross
    That fluttered round the lamp;
  He looked again, and found it was
    A Penny-Postage-Stamp.
  "You'd best be getting home," he said:
  "The nights are very damp!"

  He thought he saw an Argument
    That proved he was the Pope;
  He looked again, and found it was
    A Bar-of-Mottled-Soap.
  "A fact so dread," he faintly said,
    "Extinguishes all hope!"

  He thought he saw a Banker's-Clerk
    Descending from the Bus;
  He looked again, and found it was
    A Hippopotamus.
  "If this should stay to dine," he said,
    "There won't be much for us!"

  He thought he saw a Buffalo
    Upon the chimney-piece;
  He looked again, and found it was
    His Sister's-Husband's-Niece.
  "Unless you leave this house," he said,
    "I'll send for the police!"

  He thought he saw a Coach-and-Four
    That stood beside his bed;
  He looked again, and found it was
    A Bear without a head.
  "Poor thing!" he said, "poor, silly thing!
    It's waiting to be fed!"

  He thought he saw a Garden-Door
    That opened with a key;
  He looked again, and found it was
    A Double-Rule-of-Three.
  "And all its mystery," he said,
    "Is clear as day to me!"

  He thought he saw a Kangaroo
    That worked a coffee-mill;
  He looked again, and found it was
    A Vegetable-Pill.
  "Were I to swallow this," he said,
    "I should be very ill!"

  He thought he saw a Rattlesnake
    That questioned him in Greek;
  He looked again, and found it was
    The Middle-of-Next-Week.
  "The one thing I regret," he said,
    "Is that it cannot speak!"

The gardener was a very remarkable person, whose time was spent raking the
beds and making up extra verses to this beautiful poem; the last one ran:

  He thought he saw an Elephant
    That practiced on a fife;
  He looked again, and found it was
    A letter from his wife.
  "At length I realize," he said,
    "The bitterness of Life!"

"What a wild being it was who sung these wild words! A gardener he seemed
to be, yet surely a mad one by the way he brandished his rake, madder by
the way he broke ever and anon into a frantic jig, maddest of all by the
shriek in which he brought out the last words of the stanza.

"It was so far a description of himself that he had the _feet_ of an
elephant, but the rest of him was skin and bone; and the wisps of loose
straw that bristled all about him suggested that he had been originally
stuffed with it, and that nearly all the stuffing had come out."

In "Sylvie and Bruno," probably to a greater extent than in all his other
books, are some clever caricatures of well-known people. The two
professors are certainly taken from life, probably from Oxford. One is
called "The Professor" and one "The Other Professor." The _Baron_, the
_Vice-Warden_ and _my Lady_ were all too real, and as for the fat _Prince
Uggug_, well, any kind feeling Lewis Carroll may have had toward boys when
he fashioned _Bruno_ had entirely vanished when _Prince Uggug_ came upon
the scene. All the ugly, rough, ill-mannered, bad boys Lewis Carroll had
ever heard of were rolled into this wretched, fat, pig of a prince; but
the story of this prince proved fascinating to the _real_ little royalties
to whom he told it during one Christmas week at Lord Salisbury's. Most
likely he selected this story with an object, in order to show how
necessary it was that those of royal blood should behave like true princes
and princesses if they would be truly loved. Our good "don" was fond of
pointing a moral now and then. _Uggug_, with all his badness, somehow
appeals to the human child, far more than _Bruno_, with his baby talk and
his old-man wisdom and his odd little "fay" ways. _Sylvie_ was much more
natural. _Bruno_, however, was a sweet little songster; it needed no
urging to set him to music, and he always sang quite plainly when he had
real rhymes to tackle. One of his favorites was called:

THE BADGERS AND THE HERRINGS.

  There be three Badgers on a mossy stone,
    Beside a dark and covered way.
  Each dreams himself a monarch on his throne,
    And so they stay and stay--
  Though their old Father languishes alone,
    They stay, and stay, and stay.

  There be three Herrings loitering around,
    Longing to share that mossy seat.
  Each Herring tries to sing what she has found
    That makes life seem so sweet
  Thus, with a grating and uncertain sound,
    They bleat, and bleat, and bleat.

  The Mother-Herring, on the salt sea-wave,
    Sought vainly for her absent ones;
  The Father-Badger, writhing in a cave,
    Shrieked out, "Return, my sons!
  You shall have buns," he shrieked, "if you'll behave!
    Yea buns, and buns, and buns!"

  "I fear," said she, "your sons have gone astray.
    My daughters left me while I slept."
  "Yes'm," the Badger said, "it's as you say.
    They should be better kept."
  Thus the poor parents talked the time away,
    And wept, and wept, and wept.

But the thoughtless young ones, who had wandered from home, are having a
good time, a rollicking good time, for the _Herrings_ sing:

  Oh, dear, beyond our dearest dreams,
    Fairer than all that fairest seems!
  To feast the rosy hours away,
    To revel in a roundelay!
        How blest would be
        A life so free--
  Ipwergis pudding to consume
  And drink the subtle Azzigoom!

  And if in other days and hours,
    'Mid other fluffs and other flowers,
  The choice were given me how to dine--
    "Name what thou wilt: it shall be thine!"
        Oh, then I see
        The life for me--
  Ipwergis pudding to consume
  And drink the subtle Azzigoom!

  The Badgers did not care to talk to Fish;
    They did not dote on Herrings' songs;
  They never had experienced the dish
    To which that name belongs.
  "And, oh, to pinch their tails" (this was their wish)
    "With tongs, yea, tongs, and tongs!"

  "And are not these the Fish," the eldest sighed,
    "Whose mother dwells beneath the foam?"
  "They _are_ the Fish!" the second one replied,
    "And they have left their home!"
  "Oh, wicked Fish," the youngest Badger cried,
    "To roam, yea, roam, and roam!"

  Gently the Badgers trotted to the shore--
    The sandy shore that fringed the bay.
  Each in his mouth a living Herring bore--
    Those aged ones waxed gay.
  Clear rang their voices through the ocean's roar.
    "Hooray, hooray, hooray!'"

Most of Lewis Carroll's best nonsense rhymes abounded with all sorts of
queer animals. In earlier years he had made quite a study of natural
history, so that he knew enough about the habits of the animals who
figured in his verses to make humorous portraits of them. Yet we know,
apart from the earth-worms and snails of "little boy" days, he never cared
to cultivate their acquaintance except in a casual way. He was never
unkind to them, and fought with all his might against vivisection (which
in plain English means cutting up live animals for scientific purposes),
as well as against the cruel pastime of English cross-country hunting,
where one poor little fox is run to earth and torn in pieces by the savage
hounds. Big hunting, where the object was a man-eating lion or some other
animal which menaced human life, he heartily approved of, but wanton
cruelty he could not abide. Yet the dog he might use every effort to save
from the knife of science did not appeal to him as a pet; he preferred a
nice, plump, rosy-cheeked, bright-eyed, ringleted little girl--if _she_
liked dogs, why, very well, only none of them in _his_ rooms, thank you!

These fairy children, _Sylvie_ and _Bruno_, travel many leagues in the
story, for good fairies must be able to go from place to place very
quickly. We find them in Elfland, and Outland, and even Dogland.

A quaint episode in this book is the loss of Queen Titania's baby.

"We put it in a flower," Sylvie explained, with her eyes full of tears.
"Only we can't remember _which_!" And there's a real fairy hunt for the
missing baby, which must have been found somewhere, for fairies are never
completely lost. All through this fairy tale move real people doing real
things, acting real parts, coming often in contact with their good
fairies, but parting always on the borderland, bearing with them but a
memory of the beautiful children, and an echo of _Sylvie's_ song as it
dies away in the distance.

  Say, what is the spell, when her fledglings are cheeping,
    That lures the bird home to her nest?
  Or wakes the tired mother, whose infant is weeping,
    To cuddle and croon it to rest?
  What's the magic that charms the glad babe in her arms,
    Till it cooes with the voice of the dove?
  'Tis a secret, and so let us whisper it low--
    And the name of the secret is Love!
              For I think it is Love,
              For I feel it is Love,
        For I'm sure it is nothing but Love!

  Say, whence is the voice that, when anger is burning,
    Bids the whirl of the tempest to cease?
  That stirs the vexed soul with an aching--a yearning
    For the brotherly hand-grip of peace?

  Whence the music that fills all our being--that thrills
    Around us, beneath, and above?
  'Tis a secret; none knows how it comes, how it goes;
    But the name of the secret is Love!
              For I think it is Love,
              For I feel it is Love,
        For I'm sure it is nothing but Love!

  Say, whose is the skill that paints valley and hill,
    Like a picture so fair to the sight?
  That decks the green meadow with sunshine and shadow,
    Till the little lambs leap with delight?
  'Tis a secret untold to hearts cruel and cold,
    Though 'tis sung by the angels above,
  In notes that ring clear for the ears that can hear--
    And the name of the secret is Love!
              For I think it is Love,
              For I feel it is Love,
        For I'm sure it is nothing but Love!



CHAPTER XV.

LEWIS CARROLL--MAN AND CHILD.


Love was indeed the keynote of Lewis Carroll's life. It was his rule,
which governed everything he did, whether it was a lecture on mathematics
or a "nonsense" story to a group of little girls. It was, above all, his
religion, and meant much more to him than mere church forms, though the
beautiful services at Oxford always impressed him deeply. Living as he
did, apart from the stir and bustle of a great city, in a beautiful old
town, full of historic associations, the heart and center of English
learning, where men had time for high thoughts and high deeds, it is no
wonder that his ideals should soar beyond the limits of an everyday world,
and no one who watched the daily routine of this quiet, self-contained,
precise "don" could imagine how the great heart beneath the student's
clerical coat craved the love of those for whom he truly cared.

Outsiders saw only a busy scholar, absorbed in his work, to all
appearances somewhat of a recluse. It is true, however, that his last busy
years, devoted to a book on "Symbolic Logic," kept him tied to his study
during most of the Oxford term, and that in consequence he had little time
for sociability, if he wished to complete his work.

The first part of "Symbolic Logic" was published in 1896, and although
sixty-four years old at the time, his writing and his reasoning were quite
as clear as in the earlier days. He never reached the point of "going down
hill." Everything that he undertook showed the vigorous strain in him, and
though the end of his life was not far off, those who loved him were never
tortured by a long and painful illness. As he said of himself, his life
had been so singularly free from the cares and worries that assail most
people, the current flowed so evenly that his mental and physical health
endured till the last.

In later years the tall, slim figure, the clean-shaven, delicate, refined
face, the quiet, courteous, rather distant manner, were much commented
upon alike by friends and strangers. With "grown-ups" he had always the
air of the absent-minded scholar, but no matter how occupied, the presence
of a little girl broke down the crust of his reserve and he became
immediately the sunny companion, the fascinating weaver of tales, the old,
enticing Lewis Carroll.

But he was above all things what we would call "a settled old bachelor."
He had little "ways" essentially his own, little peculiarities in which
no doubt he took a secret and childish pride. With children these were
always more or less amusing.

If he was going on a railway journey, for instance, he mapped out every
minute of his time; then he would calculate the amount of money to be
spent, and he always carried two purses, arranging methodically the sums
for cabs, porters, newspapers, refreshments, and so forth, in different
partitions, so he always had the correct change and always secured the
best of service. In packing he was also very particular; everything in his
trunk had to be separately wrapped up in a piece of paper, and his luggage
(he probably traveled with several trunks) always preceded him by a day or
so, while his only encumbrance was a well-known little black bag which he
always carried himself.

In dress, he was also a trifle "odd." He was scrupulously neat and very
scholarly in appearance, with frock coat and immaculate linen, but he
never wore an overcoat no matter how cold the weather, and in all seasons
he wore a pair of gray and black cotton gloves and a tall hat.

He had a horror of staring colors, especially in little girls' dresses. He
loved pink and gray, but any child visiting him, who dared to bring with
her a dress of startling hue, such as red or green or yellow, was
forbidden to wear it in his company.

His appetite was unusually small, and he used to marvel at the good solid
food his girl friends managed to consume. Once, when he took a special
favorite out to dine, he warned his hostess to be careful in helping her
as she ate far too much.

In writing, he seldom sat down; how he managed we are not told, but most
likely his desk was a high one.

He was a great walker in all winds and weather. Sometimes he overdid it,
and came home with blistered feet and aching joints, sometimes soaked to
the skin when overtaken by an unexpected rain; but always elated over the
distance he had traveled. He forgot, in the sheer delight of active
exercise, that he was not absolutely proof against illness, and that added
years needed added care; and as we find that the many severe colds which
now constantly attacked him came usually in the winter, there is every
reason to believe that human imprudence weakened a very strong
constitution, and that Lewis Carroll minus an overcoat meant Lewis Carroll
plus a very bad cold.

On one occasion (February, 1895) he was laid up with a ten days' attack of
influenza, with very high and alarming fever. Yet as late as December,
1897, a few weeks before his death, he boasted of sitting in his large
room with no fire, an open window, and a temperature of 54°.

Another time he had a severe attack of illness which prevented him from
spending his usual Christmas with his sisters at Guildford. He was a
prisoner in his room for over six weeks, but in writing to one of his
beloved child friends he joked over it all, his only regret being the loss
of the Christmas plum pudding.

From the time of the publication of "Alice in Wonderland" Lewis Carroll
was a man of independent means; had he wished, he might have lived in
great style and luxury, but being simple and unassuming in his tastes, he
was content with his spacious book-lined rooms, with their air of solid,
old-fashioned comfort. The things around him, which he cared for most,
were things endeared by association, from the pictures of his girl friends
upon the walls to that delightful and mysterious cupboard in which
generations of children had loved to rummage.

He was fond, too, of practicing little economies where one would least
expect them. In giving those enjoyable dinners of his, he kept neatly cut
pieces of cardboard to slip under the plates and dishes; table mats he
considered a needless luxury and a mere waste of money, while the
cardboard could be renewed from time to time, with little trouble or
expense. But if he wished to buy books for himself or take some little
girl pet off for a treat, he never seemed to count the cost, and he gave
so generously that many a child of the old days has cause to remember. On
one occasion he found a crowd of ragamuffins surrounding the window of a
shop where they were cooking cakes. Something in the wistful glances of
the little street urchins stirred him strangely as he was passing by, a
little girl on either side of him. Suddenly he darted into the shop, and
before long came out, his arms piled with the freshly made cakes, which he
passed around to the hungry, big-eyed little fellows, leaving the small
girls inside the shop, where they could enjoy the pretty scene which
stamped itself forever in their memories.

His charities were never known, save that he gave freely in many
directions. He was opposed to _lending_ money, but if the case was worthy
he was willing to _give_ whatever was necessary, and this he did with a
kindliness and grace peculiarly his own. He was interested in hospitals,
especially the children's wards, and many a donation of books and pictures
and games and puzzles found their way to these pathetic little sufferers,
whose heavy hours were lightened by his thoughtfulness. Hundreds of the
"Alice" books were given in this fashion and many a generous check
anonymously sent eased the pain of a great big sorrowful world of sick
children. After his death his old friends, wishing that something special
should be done to honor his memory, subscribed a sum of money to endow a
cot in the Children's Hospital in Great Ormond Street. This was called the
"Alice in Wonderland" cot, and is devoted to little patients connected
with the stage, in which he had always shown such an interest.

Much has been said of Lewis Carroll's reverence for sacred things; from
the days of his solemn little boyhood this was a most noticeable trait of
his character. He had, as we have seen, no "cut and dried" notions
regarding religion, but he was old-fashioned in many of his ideas, and
while he did not believe in making the Sabbath a day of dull, monotonous
ordeal, he set it apart from other days, and made of it a beautiful day of
rest. He put from him the weekly cares and worries, brushing aside all
work, and requiring others connected with him to do likewise. He wrote to
Miss E. Gertrude Thomson, who was illustrating "The Three Sunsets"--his
last collection of poems--(published in 1898), that she would oblige him
greatly by making no drawings or photographs for him on a Sunday.

When he could, especially during the last years of his life, he gave a
sermon, either at Guildford, Eastbourne, or at Oxford. It was through his
influence that the Sunday dinner hour at the University was changed from
seven to six o'clock, in order that the servants might be able to attend
services. These he often conducted himself, and sometimes, in his direct
and earnest talks, appealed to many who were hard to reach. Above all,
however, a flock of children inspired his best efforts, and the simple
fact that he always practiced what he preached made his words all the more
impressive. In short, but for the impediment in his speech, he would have
made a great preacher.

It was this simple, childlike faith of his that kept him always young--in
touch with the youth about him. Old age was never associated with him, and
constant exercise made him as lithe and active as a boy. There is an
amusing tale of some distinguished personage who went to call on the Rev.
Mr. Hatch, and while waiting for his host, he heard a great commotion
under the dining table. Stooping down he saw children's legs waving
frantically below, and, diving down himself to join the fun, he came face
to face with Lewis Carroll, who had been the foundation of this animated,
wriggling mass.

On another occasion Lewis Carroll went to call upon a friend, and finding
her out, was about to turn away, when the maid, who had come from the
front door to answer the bell at the gate, gave a startled cry--for the
door had blown shut, and she was locked out of the house. Lewis Carroll
was, as usual, equal to the occasion; he borrowed a ladder from some kind
neighbor, climbed in at the drawing-room window, and after performing
numerous acrobatic feats of the "small boy" type, managed to open the
front door for the anxious maid.

His constant association with children made his activity in many ways
equal to theirs. He certainly could outwalk them, for eighteen to twenty
miles could not daunt him, and many a small girl who was brave enough to
accompany him on what he called "a short walk" had tired feet and aching
joints when the walk was over.

On December 23, 1897, he made ready for his yearly visit to Guildford,
where he spent the usual happy Christmas, but in the early part of the New
Year a slight hoarseness heralded the return of his old enemy--influenza.
At first there seemed to be nothing alarming in his illness, but the
disease spread very rapidly. The labored breathing, the short, painful
gasps, quickly sapped his strength. On January 14, 1898, before his
anxious family could quite realize it, the blow had fallen; the life which
had meant so much to them, to everyone, went out, as Lewis Carroll folded
his hands, closed his eyes, and said with that unquestioning faith, which
had been his mainstay through the years: "Father, Thy will be done!"

Through the land there was mourning. Countless children bowed their sunny
heads as the storm of grief passed over them, and it seemed as if, during
the quiet funeral, a hush had come upon the world. They laid him to rest
beneath the shadow of a tall pine, and a pure white cross bearing his own
name and the name of "Lewis Carroll" rose to mark the spot, that the
children who passed by might never forget their friend.

It seems, indeed, now that the years have passed, that the Angel of Death
was very gentle with this fair soul. After all, does he not live in the
happy fun and laughter he has left behind him, and will not the coming
generations of children find in the wonder tales the same fascination that
held the children of long ago? While childhood lasts on earth, while the
memory of him lives in millions of childish hearts, Lewis Carroll can
never die.


THE END.



Transcriber's Notes:

Passages in italics are indicated by _italics_.

The illustration noted on page 150 is the title and first stanza of the
poem "Jabberwocky" printed as a mirror image.

Punctuation has been corrected without note.

The following misprints have been corrected:
  "remakable" corrected to "remarkable" (page 16)
  "heartrug" corrected to "hearthrug" (page 197)
  "Cupil" corrected to "Cupid" (page 233)
  "childen" corrected to "children" (page 242)
  "perfomance" corrected to "performance" (page 244)
  "ememy" corrected to "enemy" (page 295)





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we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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