Open main menu

Page:Carroll - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.djvu/167

This page has been validated.

THE MOCK TURTLE’S STORY


the Mock Turtle in a tone of great relief. “Now at ours they had at the end of the bill, ‘French, music, and washing—extra.’”

“You couldn’t have wanted it much,” said Alice; “living at the bottom of the sea.”

“I couldn’t afford to learn it.” said the Mock Turtle with a sigh. “I only took 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.”

“I never heard of ‘Uglification,’” Alice ventured to say. “What is it?”

The Gryphon lifted up both its paws in surprise. “Never heard of uglifying!” it exclaimed. “You know what to beautify is, I suppose?”

“Yes,” said Alice doubtfully: “it means—to—make—anything—prettier.”

“Well, then,” the Gryphon went on, “if you don’t know what to uglify is, you are a simpleton.”

Alice did not feel encouraged to ask any more questions about it, so she turned to the Mock Turtle, and said “What else had you to learn?”

“Well, there was Mystery,” the Mock Turtle replied, counting off the subjects on his flappers, “—Mystery, ancient and modern, with Seaography: then Drawling—the Drawling-master was an old conger-eel, that used

137