Quotes by Lewis Carroll
Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Lewis Carroll. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.
Wikipedia Summary for Lewis Carroll
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898), better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English writer of children's fiction, notably Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass. He was noted for his facility with word play, logic, and fantasy. The poems "Jabberwocky" and The Hunting of the Snark are classified in the genre of literary nonsense. He was also a mathematician, photographer, inventor, and Anglican deacon.
Carroll came from a family of high-church Anglicans, and developed a long relationship with Christ Church, Oxford, where he lived for most of his life as a scholar and teacher. Alice Liddell, daughter of the Dean of Christ Church, Henry Liddell, is widely identified as the original for Alice in Wonderland, though Carroll always denied this. Scholars are divided about whether his relationship with children included an erotic component.
In 1982, a memorial stone to Carroll was unveiled in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey. There are Lewis Carroll societies in many parts of the world dedicated to the enjoyment and promotion of his works.
Speak roughly to your little boy and beat him when he sneezes! He only does it to annoy, because he knows it teases!
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.'
They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care; They pursued it with forks and hope; They threatened its life with a railway-share; They charmed it with smiles and soap.
To me it seems that to give happiness is a far nobler goal than to attain it: and that what we exist for is much more a matter of relations to others than a matter of individual progress: much more a matter of helping others to heaven than of getting there ourselves.
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.
If you want to inspire confidence, give plenty of statistics. It does not matter that they should be accurate, or even intelligible, as long as there is enough of them.
I have often seen a cat without a grin -- but a grin without a cat -- remember the cat kept appearing and disappearing slowly bit by bit.
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.
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.
There's nothing a well-regulated child hates so much as regularity. I believe a really healthy boy would thoroughly enjoy Greek Grammar -- if only he might stand on his head to learn it!
And as to being in a fright,
Allow me to remark
That Ghosts have just as good a right
In every way, to fear the light,
As Men to fear the dark.
All right, said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone.
I wish I dared dispense with all costume. Naked children are so perfectly pure and lovely; but Mrs. Grundy would be furious -- it would never do.
But I was thinking of a way
To feed oneself on batter,
And so go on from day to day
Getting a little fatter.
Is all our Life, then but a dream Seen faintly in the golden gleam Athwart Time's dark resistless stream?
You know what the issue is with this world? Everyone wants some magical solution to their problem and everyone refuses to believe in magic.
But it's no use now, thought poor Alice, to pretend to be two people! Why, there's ahrdly enough of me left to make one respectable person!
The Hatter's remark seemed to her to have no sort of meaning in it, and yet it was certainly English. I don't quite understand you, she said, as politely as she could.
It's too late to correct it, said the Red Queen: when you've once said a thing, that fixes it, and you must take the consequences.
Beautiful soup! Who cares for fish, game or any other dish? Who would not give all else for two pennyworth of beautiful soup?
I once delivered a simple ball, which I was told, had it gone far enough, would have been considered a wide.
In most gardens, the Tiger-lily said, they make the beds too soft-so that the flowers are always asleep.
Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
If only I could manage, without annoyance to my family, to get imprisoned for 10 years, without hard labour, and with the use of books and writing materials, it would be simply delightful!
Anon, to sudden silence won, In fancy they pursue The dream-child moving through the land Of wonders wild and new, In friendly chat with bird or beast -- And half believe it true.
If I was not assured by the best authority on earth that the world is to be destroyed by fire, I should conclude that the day of destruction is at hand, but brought on by means of an agent very opposite to that of heat.
You're thinking about something, my dear, and that makes you forget to talk.
You're thinking about something, my dear, and that makes you forget to talk. I can't tell you just now what the moral of that is, but I shall remember it in a bit." "Perhaps it hasn't one," Alice ventured to remark. "Tut, tut, child!" said the Duchess. "Everything's got a moral, if only you can find it.
In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again.
If it had grown up, it would have made a dreadfully ugly child; but it makes rather a handsome pig, I think.
I wonder if I've been changed in the night. Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I'm not the same, the next question is 'Who in the world am I?' Ah, that's the great puzzle!
Who ARE You? 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 been changed several times since then.
I think I should understand that better, if I had it written down: but I can't quite follow it as you say it.
Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin,' thought Alice 'but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing i ever saw in my life!
One of the deepest motives (as you are aware) in the human beast (so deep that many have failed to detect it) is Alliteration.
So she sat on with closed eyes, and half believed herself in Wonderland, though she knew she had but to open them again, and all would change to dull reality.
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.
This was charming, no doubt; but they shortly found out That the Captain they trusted so well Had only one notion for crossing the ocean, And that was to tingle his bell.
Where do you come from? And where are you going? Look up, speak nicely, and don't twiddle your fingers all the time.
As life draws nearer to its end, I feel more and more clearly that it will not matter in the least, at the last day, what form of religion a man has professed-nay, that many who have never even heard of Christ, will in that day find themselves saved by His blood.
Be who you are, said the Duchess to Alice, or, if you would like it put more simply, never try to be what you might have been or could have been other than what you should have been.
Come, hearken then, ere voice of dread, with bitter tiding laden, shall summon to unwelcome bed a melancholy maiden! We are but older children, dear, who fret to find our bedtime near.
The recent extraordinary discovery in Photography, as applied in the operations of the mind, has reduced the art of novel-writing to the merest mechanical labour.
It's a great huge game of chess that's being played -- all over the world -- if this is the world at all, you know. Oh, what fun it is! How I wish I was one of them! I wouldn't mind being a Pawn, if only I might join -- though of course I should like to be a Queen, best.
In proceeding to the dining-room, the gentleman gives one arm to the lady he escorts -- it is unusual to offer both.
To the Looking-Glass world it was Alice that said 'I've a sceptre 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.
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!
It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!
Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that.
Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!
I can explain all the poems that were ever invented -- and a good many that haven't been invented just yet.
One thing was certain, that the white kitten had had nothing to do with it -- it was the black kitten's fault entirely.
I see nobody on the road, said Alice. I only wish I had such eyes, the King remarked in a fretful tone. To be able to see Nobody! And at that distance too! Why, it's as much as I can do to see real people, by this light.
Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here? That depends a good deal on where you want to get to. I don't much care where -- Then it doesn't matter which way you go.
It is always allowable to ask for artichoke jelly with your boiled venison; however there are houses where this is not supplied.
I said it in Hebrew--I said it in Dutch-- I said it in German and Greek; But I wholly forgot (and it vexes me much) That English is what you speak!
Forbid the day when vivisection shall be practised in every college and school, and when the man of science, looking forth over a world which will then own no other sway than his, shall exult in the thought that he has made of this fair earth, if not a heaven, at least a hell for animals.
Mad Hatter: Would you like a little more tea? Alice: Well, I haven't had any yet, so I can't very well take more. March Hare: Ah, you mean you can't very well take less. Mad Hatter: Yes. You can always take more than nothing.
When you are describing, A shape, or sound, or tint; Don't state the matter plainly, But put it in a hint; And learn to look at all things, With a sort of mental squint.
Well, then,' the Cat went on, 'you see, a dog growls when it's angry, and wags its tail when it's pleased. Now I growl when I'm pleased, and wag my tail when I'm angry. Therefore I'm mad.
I know what you're thinking about, said Tweedle-dum, But it ain't so, nohow. 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.
Beware the Jabberwock, my son
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!
As a general rule, do not kick the shins of the opposite gentleman under the table, if personally unaquainted with him; your pleasantry is liable to be misunderstood -- a circumstance at all times unpleasant.
Here is a golden Rule.... Write legibly. The average temper of the human race would be perceptibly sweetened, if everybody obeyedthis Rule!
But then, shall I never get any older than I am now? That'll be a comfort, one way -- never to be an old woman -- but then -- always to have lessons to learn!
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 he spreads his claws, And welcomes little fishes in, With gently smiling jaws!
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.
For first you write a sentence, And then you chop it small; Then mix the bits and sort them out Just as they chance to fall: The order of the phrases makes no difference at all.
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.
When you have made a thorough and reasonably long effort, to understand a thing, and still feel puzzled by it, stop, you will only hurt yourself by going on.
May we not then sometimes define insanity as an inability to distinguish which is the waking and which the sleeping life? We often dream without the least suspicion of unreality: 'Sleep hath its own world', and it is often as lifelike as the other.
If you set to work to believe everything, you will tire out the believing-muscles of your mind, and then you'll be so weak you won't be able to believe the simplest true things.
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?
A tale begun in other days, When summer suns were glowing -- A simple chime, that served to time The rhythm of your rowing -- Whose echoes live in memory yet, Though envious years would say 'forget.
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 on a journey, I should say 'With what porpoise?
I wish I hadn't cried so much! said Alice, as she swam about, trying to find her way out. I shall be punished for it now, I suppose, by being drowned in my own tears! That will be a queer thing, to be sure! However, everything is queer today.
Like a fable, Night when a Milky Way goes through the other Milky Way
My hope is standing
He walked with the speed of memories.
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.
The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things: Of shoes and ships -- and sealing wax -- of cabbages and kings.
'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.'
I'm getting rather hoarse, I fear,
After so much reciting:
So, if you don't object, my dear,
We'll try a glass of bitter beer -
I think it looks inviting.
You have to run as fast as you can just to stay where you are. If you want to get anywhere, you'll have to run much faster.
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!
I'd give all the wealth that years have piled, the slow result of life's decay, To be once more a little child for one bright summer day.
The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts,
All on a summer day:
The Knave of Hearts, he stole those tarts,
And took them quite away!
One novel has been all my reading, Our Mutual Friend, one of the cleverest that Dickens has written.
You see, a dog growls when it's angry, and wags its tail when it's pleased. Now I growl when I'm pleased, and wag my tail when I'm angry. Therefore I'm mad.
And how do you know that you're mad?
And how do you know that you're mad? "To begin with," said the Cat, "a dog's not mad. You grant that?" I suppose so, said Alice. "Well then," the Cat went on, "you see a dog growls when it's angry, and wags it's tail when it's pleased. Now I growl when I'm pleased, and wag my tail when I'm angry. Therefore I'm mad.
There is a place. Like no place on Earth. A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger! Some say to survive it: You need to be as mad as a hatter. Which luckily I am.
Alice had begun with 'Let's pretend we're kings and queens;' and her sister, who liked being exact, had argued that they couldn't, because there were only two of them, and Alice hand been reduced at last to say, 'Well, you can be one of them then, and I'll be the rest.
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?
Reeling and Writhing of course, to begin with,' the Mock Turtle replied, 'and the different branches of arithmetic-ambition, distraction, uglification, and derision.
Speak in French when you can't think of the English for a thing --
turn your toes out when you walk -- -
And remember who you are!
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.
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.
They've a temper, some of them -- particularly verbs, they're the proudest -- adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs.
First, I hate all theological controversy: it is wearing to the temper, and is I believe (at all events when viva voce) worse than useless.
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 been changed several times since then.
Why it's simply impassible!
Alice: Why, don't you mean impossible?
Door: No, I do mean impassible. (chuckles) Nothing's impossible!
I have proved by actual trial that a letter, that takes an hour to write, takes only about 3 minutes to read!
It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.
It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards,' says the White Queen to Alice.
While the laughter of joy is in full harmony with our deeper life, the laughter of amusement should be kept apart from it. The danger is too great of thus learning to look at solemn things in a spirit of mockery, and to seek in them opportunities for exercising wit.
'But I don't want to go among mad people,' said Alice. 'Oh, you can't help that,' said the cat. 'We're all mad here.'
There comes a pause, for human strength will not endure to dance without cessation; and everyone must reach the point at length of absolute prostration.
'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'