Alice In Wonderland

This Is An Exam­ple of Using “Page Breaks” to split up long-form sto­ries.

Alice was begin­ning to get very tired of sit­ting by her sis­ter on the bank, and of hav­ing noth­ing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sis­ter was read­ing, but it had no pic­tures or con­ver­sa­tions in it, ‘and what is the use of a book,’ thought Alice ‘with­out pic­tures or con­ver­sa­tions?’

So she was con­sid­er­ing in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stu­pid), whether the plea­sure of mak­ing a daisy-chain would be worth the trou­ble of get­ting up and pick­ing the daisies, when sud­den­ly a White Rab­bit with pink eyes ran close by her.

There was noth­ing so very remark­able in that; nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the Rab­bit say to itself, ‘Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!’ (when she thought it over after­wards, it occurred to her that she ought to have won­dered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite nat­ur­al); but when the Rab­bit actu­al­ly took a watch out of its waist­coat-pock­et, and looked at it, and then hur­ried on, Alice start­ed to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had nev­er before seen a rab­bit with either a waist­coat-pock­et, or a watch to take out of it, and burn­ing with curios­i­ty, she ran across the field after it, and for­tu­nate­ly was just in time to see it pop down a large rab­bit-hole under the hedge.

In anoth­er moment down went Alice after it, nev­er once con­sid­er­ing how in the world she was to get out again.

The rab­bit-hole went straight on like a tun­nel for some way, and then dipped sud­den­ly down, so sud­den­ly that Alice had not a moment to think about stop­ping her­self before she found her­self falling down a very deep well.

Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slow­ly, for she had plen­ty of time as she went down to look about her and to won­der what was going to hap­pen next. First, she tried to look down and make out what she was com­ing to, but it was too dark to see any­thing; then she looked at the sides of the well, and noticed that they were filled with cup­boards and book-shelves; here and there she saw maps and pic­tures hung upon pegs. She took down a jar from one of the shelves as she passed; it was labelled ‘ORANGE MARMALADE’, but to her great dis­ap­point­ment it was emp­ty: she did not like to drop the jar for fear of killing some­body, so man­aged to put it into one of the cup­boards as she fell past it.

Well!’ thought Alice to her­self, ‘after such a fall as this, I shall think noth­ing of tum­bling down stairs! How brave they’ll all think me at home! Why, I wouldn’t say any­thing about it, even if I fell off the top of the house!’ (Which was very like­ly true.)

Down, down, down. Would the fall nev­er come to an end! ‘I won­der how many miles I’ve fall­en by this time?’ she said aloud. ‘I must be get­ting some­where near the cen­tre of the earth. Let me see: that would be four thou­sand miles down, I think — ’ (for, you see, Alice had learnt sev­er­al things of this sort in her lessons in the school­room, and though this was not a very good oppor­tu­ni­ty for show­ing off her knowl­edge, as there was no one to lis­ten to her, still it was good prac­tice to say it over) ‘ — yes, that’s about the right dis­tance — but then I won­der what Lat­i­tude or Lon­gi­tude I’ve got to?’ (Alice had no idea what Lat­i­tude was, or Lon­gi­tude either, but thought they were nice grand words to say.)

Present­ly she began again. ‘I won­der if I shall fall right through the earth! How fun­ny it’ll seem to come out among the peo­ple that walk with their heads down­ward! The Antipathies, I think — ’ (she was rather glad there was no one lis­ten­ing, this time, as it didn’t sound at all the right word) ‘ — but I shall have to ask them what the name of the coun­try is, you know. Please, Ma’am, is this New Zealand or Aus­tralia?’ (and she tried to curt­sey as she spoke — fan­cy curt­sey­ing as you’re falling through the air! Do you think you could man­age it?) ‘And what an igno­rant lit­tle girl she’ll think me for ask­ing! No, it’ll nev­er do to ask: per­haps I shall see it writ­ten up some­where.’

Down, down, down. There was noth­ing else to do, so Alice soon began talk­ing again. ‘Dinah’ll miss me very much to-night, I should think!’ (Dinah was the cat.) ‘I hope they’ll remem­ber her saucer of milk at tea-time. Dinah my dear! I wish you were down here with me! There are no mice in the air, I’m afraid, but you might catch a bat, and that’s very like a mouse, you know. But do cats eat bats, I won­der?’ And here Alice began to get rather sleepy, and went on say­ing to her­self, in a dreamy sort of way, ‘Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats?’ and some­times, ‘Do bats eat cats?’ for, you see, as she couldn’t answer either ques­tion, it didn’t much mat­ter which way she put it. She felt that she was doz­ing off, and had just begun to dream that she was walk­ing hand in hand with Dinah, and say­ing to her very earnest­ly, ‘Now, Dinah, tell me the truth: did you ever eat a bat?’ when sud­den­ly, thump! thump! down she came upon a heap of sticks and dry leaves, and the fall was over.

Alice was not a bit hurt, and she jumped up on to her feet in a moment: she looked up, but it was all dark over­head; before her was anoth­er long pas­sage, and the White Rab­bit was still in sight, hur­ry­ing down it. There was not a moment to be lost: away went Alice like the wind, and was just in time to hear it say, as it turned a cor­ner, ‘Oh my ears and whiskers, how late it’s get­ting!’ She was close behind it when she turned the cor­ner, but the Rab­bit was no longer to be seen: she found her­self in a long, low hall, which was lit up by a row of lamps hang­ing from the roof.

There were doors all round the hall, but they were all locked; and when Alice had been all the way down one side and up the oth­er, try­ing every door, she walked sad­ly down the mid­dle, won­der­ing how she was ever to get out again.

Sud­den­ly she came upon a lit­tle three-legged table, all made of sol­id glass; there was noth­ing on it except a tiny gold­en key, and Alice’s first thought was that it might belong to one of the doors of the hall; but, alas! either the locks were too large, or the key was too small, but at any rate it would not open any of them. How­ev­er, on the sec­ond time round, she came upon a low cur­tain she had not noticed before, and behind it was a lit­tle door about fif­teen inch­es high: she tried the lit­tle gold­en key in the lock, and to her great delight it fit­ted!

Alice opened the door and found that it led into a small pas­sage, not much larg­er than a rat-hole: she knelt down and looked along the pas­sage into the loveli­est gar­den you ever saw. How she longed to get out of that dark hall, and wan­der about among those beds of bright flow­ers and those cool foun­tains, but she could not even get her head through the door­way; ‘and even if my head would go through,’ thought poor Alice, ‘it would be of very lit­tle use with­out my shoul­ders. Oh, how I wish I could shut up like a tele­scope! I think I could, if I only knew how to begin.’ For, you see, so many out-of-the-way things had hap­pened late­ly, that Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed were real­ly impos­si­ble.

There seemed to be no use in wait­ing by the lit­tle door, so she went back to the table, half hop­ing she might find anoth­er key on it, or at any rate a book of rules for shut­ting peo­ple up like tele­scopes: this time she found a lit­tle bot­tle on it, (‘which cer­tain­ly was not here before,’ said Alice,) and round the neck of the bot­tle was a paper label, with the words ‘DRINK ME’ beau­ti­ful­ly print­ed on it in large let­ters.

It was all very well to say ‘Drink me,’ but the wise lit­tle Alice was not going to do that in a hur­ry. ‘No, I’ll look first,’ she said, ‘and see whether it’s marked “poi­son” or not’; for she had read sev­er­al nice lit­tle his­to­ries about chil­dren who had got burnt, and eat­en up by wild beasts and oth­er unpleas­ant things, all because they would not remem­ber the sim­ple rules their friends had taught them: such as, that a red-hot pok­er will burn you if you hold it too long; and that if you cut your fin­ger very deeply with a knife, it usu­al­ly bleeds; and she had nev­er for­got­ten that, if you drink much from a bot­tle marked ‘poi­son,’ it is almost cer­tain to dis­agree with you, soon­er or lat­er.

How­ev­er, this bot­tle was not marked ‘poi­son,’ so Alice ven­tured to taste it, and find­ing it very nice, (it had, in fact, a sort of mixed flavour of cher­ry-tart, cus­tard, pine-apple, roast turkey, tof­fee, and hot but­tered toast,) she very soon fin­ished it off.

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What a curi­ous feel­ing!’ said Alice; ‘I must be shut­ting up like a tele­scope.’

And so it was indeed: she was now only ten inch­es high, and her face bright­ened up at the thought that she was now the right size for going through the lit­tle door into that love­ly gar­den. First, how­ev­er, she wait­ed for a few min­utes to see if she was going to shrink any fur­ther: she felt a lit­tle ner­vous about this; ‘for it might end, you know,’ said Alice to her­self, ‘in my going out alto­geth­er, like a can­dle. I won­der what I should be like then?’ And she tried to fan­cy what the flame of a can­dle is like after the can­dle is blown out, for she could not remem­ber ever hav­ing seen such a thing.

After a while, find­ing that noth­ing more hap­pened, she decid­ed on going into the gar­den at once; but, alas for poor Alice! when she got to the door, she found she had for­got­ten the lit­tle gold­en key, and when she went back to the table for it, she found she could not pos­si­bly reach it: she could see it quite plain­ly through the glass, and she tried her best to climb up one of the legs of the table, but it was too slip­pery; and when she had tired her­self out with try­ing, the poor lit­tle thing sat down and cried.

Come, there’s no use in cry­ing like that!’ said Alice to her­self, rather sharply; ‘I advise you to leave off this minute!’ She gen­er­al­ly gave her­self very good advice, (though she very 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! Why, there’s hard­ly enough of me left to make one respectable per­son!’

Soon her eye fell on a lit­tle glass box that was lying under the table: she opened it, and found in it a very small cake, on which the words ‘EAT ME’ were beau­ti­ful­ly marked in cur­rants. ‘Well, I’ll eat it,’ said Alice, ‘and if it makes me grow larg­er, I can reach the key; and if it makes me grow small­er, I can creep under the door; so either way I’ll get into the gar­den, and I don’t care which hap­pens!’

She ate a lit­tle bit, and said anx­ious­ly to her­self, ‘Which way? Which way?’, hold­ing her hand on the top of her head to feel which way it was grow­ing, and she was quite sur­prised to find that she remained the same size: to be sure, this gen­er­al­ly hap­pens when one eats cake, but Alice had got so much into the way of expect­ing noth­ing but out-of-the-way things to hap­pen, that it seemed quite dull and stu­pid for life to go on in the com­mon way.

So she set to work, and very soon fin­ished off the cake.

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