Table of contents (TOC)
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Below follows an example with random excerpts from a couple of wonderful story books. (No need to learn latin here.)
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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
||26 November 1865|
|Followed by||Through the Looking-Glass|
Advice from a Caterpillar
'What size do you want to be?' it asked. 'Oh, I'm not particular as to size,' Alice hastily replied; 'only one doesn't like changing so often, you know.' 'I DON'T know,' said the Caterpillar. Alice said nothing: she had never been so much contradicted in her life before, and she felt that she was losing her temper. 'Are you content now?' said the Caterpillar. 'Well, I should like to be a LITTLE larger, sir, if you wouldn't mind,' said Alice: 'three inches is such a wretched height to be.' 'It is a very good height indeed!' said the Caterpillar angrily, rearing itself upright as it spoke (it was exactly three inches high). 'But I'm not used to it!' pleaded poor Alice in a piteous tone. And she thought of herself, 'I wish the creatures wouldn't be so easily offended!' 'You'll get used to it in time,' said the Caterpillar; and it put the hookah into its mouth and began smoking again. This time Alice waited patiently until it chose to speak again. In a minute or two the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth and yawned once or twice, and shook itself. Then it got down off the mushroom, and crawled away in the grass, merely remarking as it went, 'One side will make you grow taller, and the other side will make you grow shorter.' 'One side of WHAT? The other side of WHAT?' thought Alice to herself. 'Of the mushroom,' said the Caterpillar, just as if she had asked it aloud; and in another moment it was out of sight. Alice remained looking thoughtfully at the mushroom for a minute, trying to make out which were the two sides of it; and as it was perfectly round, she found this a very difficult question. However, at last she stretched her arms round it as far as they would go, and broke off a bit of the edge with each hand. 'And now which is which?' she said to herself, and nibbled a little of the right-hand bit to try the effect: the next moment she felt a violent blow underneath her chin: it had struck her foot! She was a good deal frightened by this very sudden change, but she felt that there was no time to be lost, as she was shrinking rapidly; so she set to work at once to eat some of the other bit. Her chin was pressed so closely against her foot, that there was hardly room to open her mouth; but she did it at last, and managed to swallow a morsel of the lefthand bit. 'Come, my head's free at last!' said Alice in a tone of delight, which changed into alarm in another moment, when she found that her shoulders were nowhere to be found: all she could see, when she looked down, was an immense length of neck, which seemed to rise like a stalk out of a sea of green leaves that lay far below her. 'What CAN all that green stuff be?' said Alice. 'And where HAVE my shoulders got to? And oh, my poor hands, how is it I can't see you?' She was moving them about as she spoke, but no result seemed to follow, except a little shaking among the distant green leaves. As there seemed to be no chance of getting her hands up to her head, she tried to get her head down to them, and was delighted to find that her neck would bend about easily in any direction, like a serpent. She had just succeeded in curving it down into a graceful zigzag, and was going to dive in among the leaves, which she found to be nothing but the tops of the trees under which she had been wandering, when a sharp hiss made her draw back in a hurry: a large pigeon had flown into her face, and was beating her violently with its wings. 'Serpent!' screamed the Pigeon. 'I'm NOT a serpent!' said Alice indignantly. 'Let me alone!' 'Serpent, I say again!' repeated the Pigeon, but in a more subdued tone, and added with a kind of sob, 'I've tried every way, and nothing seems to suit them!'
Pig and Pepper
'I don't know of any that do,' Alice said 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 at all like the tone of this remark, and thought it would be as well to introduce some other subject of conversation. While she was trying to fix on one, the cook took the cauldron of soup off the fire, and at once set to work throwing everything within her reach at the Duchess and the baby—the fire-irons came first; then followed a shower of saucepans, plates, and dishes. The Duchess took no notice of them even when they hit her; and the baby was howling so much already, that it was quite impossible to say whether the blows hurt it or not. 'Oh, PLEASE mind what you're doing!' cried Alice, jumping up and down in an agony of terror. 'Oh, there goes his PRECIOUS nose'; as an unusually large saucepan flew close by it, and very nearly carried it off. 'If everybody minded their own business,' the Duchess said in a hoarse growl, 'the world would go round a deal faster than it does.' 'Which would NOT be an advantage,' said Alice, who felt very glad to get an opportunity of showing off a little of her knowledge. 'Just think of what work it would make with the day and night! You see the earth takes twenty-four hours to turn round on its axis—' 'Talking of axes,' said the Duchess, 'chop off her head!' Alice glanced rather anxiously at the cook, to see if she meant to take the hint; but the cook was busily stirring the soup, and seemed not to be listening, so she went on again: 'Twenty-four hours, I THINK; or is it twelve? I—' 'Oh, don't bother ME,' said the Duchess; 'I never could abide figures!' And with that she began nursing her child again, singing a sort of lullaby to it as she did so, and giving it a violent shake at the end of every line: While the Duchess sang the second verse of the song, she kept tossing the baby violently up and down, and the poor little thing howled so, that Alice could hardly hear the words:— 'Here! you may nurse it a bit, if you like!' the Duchess said to Alice, flinging the baby at her as she spoke. 'I must go and get ready to play croquet with the Queen,' and she hurried out of the room. The cook threw a frying-pan after her as she went out, but it just missed her. Alice caught the baby with some difficulty, as it was a queer-shaped little creature, and held out its arms and legs in all directions, 'just like a star-fish,' thought Alice. The poor little thing was snorting like a steam-engine when she caught it, and kept doubling itself up and straightening itself out again, so that altogether, for the first minute or two, it was as much as she could do to hold it. As soon as she had made out the proper way of nursing it, (which was to twist it up into a sort of knot, and then keep tight hold of its right ear and left foot, so as to prevent its undoing itself,) she carried it out into the open air. 'IF I don't take this child away with me,' thought Alice, 'they're sure to kill it in a day or two: wouldn't it be murder to leave it behind?' She said the last words out loud, and the little thing grunted in reply (it had left off sneezing by this time). 'Don't grunt,' said Alice; 'that's not at all a proper way of expressing yourself.' The baby grunted again, and Alice looked very anxiously into its face to see what was the matter with it. There could be no doubt that it had a VERY turn-up nose, much more like a snout than a real nose; also its eyes were getting extremely small for a baby: altogether Alice did not like the look of the thing at all.
The Lobster Quadrille
'IT DOES THE BOOTS AND SHOES.' the Gryphon replied very solemnly. Alice was thoroughly puzzled. 'Does the boots and shoes!' she repeated in a wondering tone. 'Why, what are YOUR shoes done with?' said the Gryphon. 'I mean, what makes them so shiny?' Alice looked down at them, and considered a little before she gave her answer. 'They're done with blacking, I believe.' 'Boots and shoes under the sea,' the Gryphon went on in a deep voice, 'are done with a whiting. Now you know.' 'And what are they made of?' Alice asked in a tone of great curiosity. 'Soles and eels, of course,' the Gryphon replied rather impatiently: 'any shrimp could have told you that.' 'If I'd been the whiting,' said Alice, whose thoughts were still running on the song, 'I'd have said to the porpoise, "Keep back, please: we don't want YOU with us!"' 'They were obliged to have him with them,' the Mock Turtle said: 'no wise fish would go anywhere without a porpoise.' 'Wouldn't it really?' said Alice in a tone of great surprise. 'Of course not,' said the Mock Turtle: 'why, if a fish came to ME, and told me he was going a journey, I should say "With what porpoise?"' 'Don't you mean "purpose"?' said Alice. 'I mean what I say,' the Mock Turtle replied in an offended tone. And the Gryphon added 'Come, let's hear some of YOUR adventures.' 'I could tell you my adventures—beginning from this morning,' said Alice a little timidly: 'but it's no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.' 'Explain all that,' said the Mock Turtle. 'No, no! The adventures first,' said the Gryphon in an impatient tone: 'explanations take such a dreadful time.' So Alice began telling them her adventures from the time when she first saw the White Rabbit. She was a little nervous about it just at first, the two creatures got so close to her, one on each side, and opened their eyes and mouths so VERY wide, but she gained courage 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.' [later editions continued as follows 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.] 'That's different from what I used to say when I was a child,' said the Gryphon. 'Well, I never heard it before,' said the Mock Turtle; 'but it sounds uncommon nonsense.' Alice said nothing; she had sat down with her face in her hands, wondering if anything would EVER happen in a natural way again. 'I should like to have it explained,' said the Mock Turtle. 'She can't explain it,' said the Gryphon hastily. 'Go on with the next verse.' 'But about his toes?' the Mock Turtle persisted.
Who Stole the Tarts?
'Give your evidence,' said the King; 'and don't be nervous, or I'll have you executed on the spot.' This did not seem to encourage the witness at all: he kept shifting from one foot to the other, looking uneasily at the Queen, and in his confusion he bit a large piece out of his teacup instead of the bread-and-butter. Just at this moment Alice felt a very curious sensation, which puzzled her a good deal until she made out what it was: she was beginning to grow larger again, and she thought at first she would get up and leave the court; but on second thoughts she decided to remain where she was as long as there was room for her. 'I wish you wouldn't squeeze so.' said the Dormouse, who was sitting next to her. 'I can hardly breathe.' 'I can't help it,' said Alice very meekly: 'I'm growing.' 'You've no right to grow here,' said the Dormouse. 'Don't talk nonsense,' said Alice more boldly: 'you know you're growing too.' 'Yes, but I grow at a reasonable pace,' said the Dormouse: 'not in that ridiculous fashion.' And he got up very sulkily and crossed over to the other side of the court. All this time the Queen had never left off staring at the Hatter, and, just as the Dormouse crossed the court, she said to one of the officers of the court, 'Bring me the list of the singers in the last concert!' on which the wretched Hatter trembled so, that he shook both his shoes off. 'Give your evidence,' the King repeated angrily, 'or I'll have you executed, whether you're nervous or not.' 'I'm a poor man, your Majesty,' the Hatter began, in a trembling voice, '-and I hadn't begun my tea—not above a week or so—and what with the bread-and-butter getting so thin—and the twinkling of the tea—' 'The twinkling of the what?' said the King. 'It began with the tea,' the Hatter replied. 'Of course twinkling begins with a T!' said the King sharply. 'Do you take me for a dunce? Go on!' 'I'm a poor man,' the Hatter went on, 'and most things twinkled after that—only the March Hare said—' 'I didn't!' the March Hare interrupted in a great hurry. 'You did!' said the Hatter. 'I deny it!' said the March Hare. 'He denies it,' said the King: 'leave out that part.' 'Well, at any rate, the Dormouse said—' the Hatter went on, looking anxiously round to see if he would deny it too: but the Dormouse denied nothing, being fast asleep. 'After that,' continued the Hatter, 'I cut some more bread-and-butter—' 'But what did the Dormouse say?' one of the jury asked. 'That I can't remember,' said the Hatter. 'You MUST remember,' remarked the King, 'or I'll have you executed.' The miserable Hatter dropped his teacup and bread-and-butter, and went down on one knee. 'I'm a poor man, your Majesty,' he began. 'You're a very poor speaker,' said the King. Here one of the guinea-pigs cheered, and was immediately suppressed by the officers of the court. (As that is rather a hard word, I will just explain to you how it was done. They had a large canvas bag, which tied up at the mouth with strings: into this they slipped the guinea-pig, head first, and then sat upon it.) 'I'm glad I've seen that done,' thought Alice. 'I've so often read in the newspapers, at the end of trials, "There was some attempts at applause, which was immediately suppressed by the officers of the court," and I never understood what it meant till now.' 'If that's all you know about it, you may stand down,' continued the King. 'I can't go no lower,' said the Hatter: 'I'm on the floor, as it is.' 'Then you may SIT down,' the King replied. Here the other guinea-pig cheered, and was suppressed. 'Come, that finished the guinea-pigs!' thought Alice. 'Now we shall get on better.' 'I'd rather finish my tea,' said the Hatter, with an anxious look at the Queen, who was reading the list of singers. 'You may go,' said the King, and the Hatter hurriedly left the court, without even waiting to put his shoes on. ' - and just take his head off outside'
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
|Author||L. Frank Baum|
|Illustrator||W. W. Denslow|
|Genre||Fantasy Children's novel|
|Publisher||George M. Hill Company|
|Publication date||17 May 1900|
|Followed by||The Marvelous Land of Oz|
The Journey to the Great Oz
"I haven't the faintest idea," said the Tin Woodman, and the Lion shook his shaggy mane and looked thoughtful. But the Scarecrow said, "We cannot fly, that is certain. Neither can we climb down into this great ditch. Therefore, if we cannot jump over it, we must stop where we are." "I think I could jump over it," said the Cowardly Lion, after measuring the distance carefully in his mind. "Then we are all right," answered the Scarecrow, "for you can carry us all over on your back, one at a time." "Well, I'll try it," said the Lion. "Who will go first?" "I will," declared the Scarecrow, "for, if you found that you could not jump over the gulf, Dorothy would be killed, or the Tin Woodman badly dented on the rocks below. But if I am on your back it will not matter so much, for the fall would not hurt me at all." "I am terribly afraid of falling, myself," said the Cowardly Lion, "but I suppose there is nothing to do but try it. So get on my back and we will make the attempt." The Scarecrow sat upon the Lion's back, and the big beast walked to the edge of the gulf and crouched down. "Why don't you run and jump?" asked the Scarecrow. "Because that isn't the way we Lions do these things," he replied. Then giving a great spring, he shot through the air and landed safely on the other side. They were all greatly pleased to see how easily he did it, and after the Scarecrow had got down from his back the Lion sprang across the ditch again. Dorothy thought she would go next; so she took Toto in her arms and climbed on the Lion's back, holding tightly to his mane with one hand. The next moment it seemed as if she were flying through the air; and then, before she had time to think about it, she was safe on the other side. The Lion went back a third time and got the Tin Woodman, and then they all sat down for a few moments to give the beast a chance to rest, for his great leaps had made his breath short, and he panted like a big dog that has been running too long. They found the forest very thick on this side, and it looked dark and gloomy. After the Lion had rested they started along the road of yellow brick, silently wondering, each in his own mind, if ever they would come to the end of the woods and reach the bright sunshine again. To add to their discomfort, they soon heard strange noises in the depths of the forest, and the Lion whispered to them that it was in this part of the country that the Kalidahs lived. "What are the Kalidahs?" asked the girl. "They are monstrous beasts with bodies like bears and heads like tigers," replied the Lion, "and with claws so long and sharp that they could tear me in two as easily as I could kill Toto. I'm terribly afraid of the Kalidahs." "I'm not surprised that you are," returned Dorothy. "They must be dreadful beasts." The Lion was about to reply when suddenly they came to another gulf across the road. But this one was so broad and deep that the Lion knew at once he could not leap across it. So they sat down to consider what they should do, and after serious thought the Scarecrow said: "Here is a great tree, standing close to the ditch. If the Tin Woodman can chop it down, so that it will fall to the other side, we can walk across it easily." "That is a first-rate idea," said the Lion. "One would almost suspect you had brains in your head, instead of straw." The Woodman set to work at once, and so sharp was his axe that the tree was soon chopped nearly through. Then the Lion put his strong front legs against the tree and pushed with all his might, and slowly the big tree tipped and fell with a crash across the ditch, with its top branches on the other side.
The Cowardly Lion
So once more the little company set off upon the journey, the Lion walking with stately strides at Dorothy's side. Toto did not approve this new comrade at first, for he could not forget how nearly he had been crushed between the Lion's great jaws. But after a time he became more at ease, and presently Toto and the Cowardly Lion had grown to be good friends. During the rest of that day there was no other adventure to mar the peace of their journey. Once, indeed, the Tin Woodman stepped upon a beetle that was crawling along the road, and killed the poor little thing. This made the Tin Woodman very unhappy, for he was always careful not to hurt any living creature; and as he walked along he wept several tears of sorrow and regret. These tears ran slowly down his face and over the hinges of his jaw, and there they rusted. When Dorothy presently asked him a question the Tin Woodman could not open his mouth, for his jaws were tightly rusted together. He became greatly frightened at this and made many motions to Dorothy to relieve him, but she could not understand. The Lion was also puzzled to know what was wrong. But the Scarecrow seized the oil-can from Dorothy's basket and oiled the Woodman's jaws, so that after a few moments he could talk as well as before. "This will serve me a lesson," said he, "to look where I step. For if I should kill another bug or beetle I should surely cry again, and crying rusts my jaws so that I cannot speak." Thereafter he walked very carefully, with his eyes on the road, and when he saw a tiny ant toiling by he would step over it, so as not to harm it. The Tin Woodman knew very well he had no heart, and therefore he took great care never to be cruel or unkind to anything. "You people with hearts," he said, "have something to guide you, and need never do wrong; but I have no heart, and so I must be very careful. When Oz gives me a heart of course I needn't mind so much." They were obliged to camp out that night under a large tree in the forest, for there were no houses near. The tree made a good, thick covering to protect them from the dew, and the Tin Woodman chopped a great pile of wood with his axe and Dorothy built a splendid fire that warmed her and made her feel less lonely. She and Toto ate the last of their bread, and now she did not know what they would do for breakfast. "If you wish," said the Lion, "I will go into the forest and kill a deer for you. You can roast it by the fire, since your tastes are so peculiar that you prefer cooked food, and then you will have a very good breakfast." "Don't! Please don't," begged the Tin Woodman. "I should certainly weep if you killed a poor deer, and then my jaws would rust again." But the Lion went away into the forest and found his own supper, and no one ever knew what it was, for he didn't mention it. And the Scarecrow found a tree full of nuts and filled Dorothy's basket with them, so that she would not be hungry for a long time. She thought this was very kind and thoughtful of the Scarecrow, but she laughed heartily at the awkward way in which the poor creature picked up the nuts. His padded hands were so clumsy and the nuts were so small that he dropped almost as many as he put in the basket. But the Scarecrow did not mind how long it took him to fill the basket, for it enabled him to keep away from the fire, as he feared a spark might get into his straw and burn him up. So he kept a good distance away from the flames, and only came near to cover Dorothy with dry leaves when she lay down to sleep. These kept her very snug and warm, and she slept soundly until morning. When it was daylight, the girl bathed her face in a little rippling brook, and soon after they all started toward the Emerald City.
The Queen of the Field Mice
"If ever you need us again," she said, "come out into the field and call, and we shall hear you and come to your assistance. Good-bye!" "Good-bye!" they all answered, and away the Queen ran, while Dorothy held Toto tightly lest he should run after her and frighten her. After this they sat down beside the Lion until he should awaken; and the Scarecrow brought Dorothy some fruit from a tree near by, which she ate for her dinner. It was some time before the Cowardly Lion awakened, for he had lain among the poppies a long while, breathing in their deadly fragrance; but when he did open his eyes and roll off the truck he was very glad to find himself still alive. "I ran as fast as I could," he said, sitting down and yawning, "but the flowers were too strong for me. How did you get me out?" Then they told him of the field mice, and how they had generously saved him from death; and the Cowardly Lion laughed, and said: "I have always thought myself very big and terrible; yet such little things as flowers came near to killing me, and such small animals as mice have saved my life. How strange it all is! But, comrades, what shall we do now?" "We must journey on until we find the road of yellow brick again," said Dorothy, "and then we can keep on to the Emerald City." So, the Lion being fully refreshed, and feeling quite himself again, they all started upon the journey, greatly enjoying the walk through the soft, fresh grass; and it was not long before they reached the road of yellow brick and turned again toward the Emerald City where the Great Oz dwelt. The road was smooth and well paved, now, and the country about was beautiful, so that the travelers rejoiced in leaving the forest far behind, and with it the many dangers they had met in its gloomy shades. Once more they could see fences built beside the road; but these were painted green, and when they came to a small house, in which a farmer evidently lived, that also was painted green. They passed by several of these houses during the afternoon, and sometimes people came to the doors and looked at them as if they would like to ask questions; but no one came near them nor spoke to them because of the great Lion, of which they were very much afraid. The people were all dressed in clothing of a lovely emerald-green color and wore peaked hats like those of the Munchkins. "This must be the Land of Oz," said Dorothy, "and we are surely getting near the Emerald City." "Yes," answered the Scarecrow. "Everything is green here, while in the country of the Munchkins blue was the favorite color. But the people do not seem to be as friendly as the Munchkins, and I'm afraid we shall be unable to find a place to pass the night." "I should like something to eat besides fruit," said the girl, "and I'm sure Toto is nearly starved. Let us stop at the next house and talk to the people." So, when they came to a good-sized farmhouse, Dorothy walked boldly up to the door and knocked. A woman opened it just far enough to look out, and said, "What do you want, child, and why is that great Lion with you?" "We wish to pass the night with you, if you will allow us," answered Dorothy; "and the Lion is my friend and comrade, and would not hurt you for the world." "Is he tame?" asked the woman, opening the door a little wider. "Oh, yes," said the girl, "and he is a great coward, too. He will be more afraid of you than you are of him." "Well," said the woman, after thinking it over and taking another peep at the Lion, "if that is the case you may come in, and I will give you some supper and a place to sleep." So they all entered the house, where there were, besides the woman, two children and a man. The man had hurt his leg, and was lying on the couch in a corner. They seemed greatly surprised to see so strange a company, and while the woman was busy laying the table the man asked: "Where are you all going?"