THE LOBSTER QUADRILLE
as she went on. Her listeners were perfectly quiet till she got to the part about her repeating “You are old, Father William,” to the Caterpillar, and the words all coming different, and then the Mock Turtle drew a long breath, and said “That’s very curious.”
“It’s all about as curious as it can be,” said the Gryphon.
“It all came different!” the Mock Turtle repeated thoughtfully. “I should like to hear her try and repeat something now. Tell her to begin.” He looked at the Gryphon as if he thought it had some kind of authority over Alice.
“Stand up and repeat ‘’Tis the voice of the sluggard,’” said the Gryphon.
“How the creatures order one about, and make one repeat lessons!” thought Alice. “I might as well be at school at once.” However, she got up, and began to repeat it, but her head was so full of the Lobster Quadrille, that she hardly knew what she was saying, and the words came very queer indeed:—
“’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.
When the sands are all dry, he is gay as a lark,
And will talk in contemptuous tones of the Shark:
But, when the tide rises and sharks are around,
His voice has a timid and tremulous sound.”