Alice noticed a good deal of excitement going on among the Looking-Glass creatures : some of them were hurrying off expectantly in one direction, as fast as their legs would carry them, while others were trying to look as if nothing in particular was about to happen.
“Those mimsy-looking birds,” she said, catching sight of a group that did not look in the best of spirits, “those must be Borogoves. I’ve read about them somewhere; in some parts of the country they have to be protected. And, I declare, there is the White King coming through the Wood.”
Alice went to meet the King, who was struggling with a very unwieldy pencil to write something in a notebook. “It s a memorandum of my feelings, in case I forget them,” he explained. “Only,” he added,— *Tm not quite sure that I meant to put it that way.”
Alice peeped over his shoulder and read: “The High Commissioner may tumble off his post; he balances very badly.”
“Could you tell me,” she asked, “what all the excitement is about just now?”
“Haven’t an idea,” said the White King, ” unless it’s the awakening.”
“The what?” said Alice,
“The Red King, you know; he’s been asleep for ever so long, and he’s going to wake up to-day. Not that it makes any difference that 1 can see— he talks just as loud when he’s asleep.”
Alice remembered having seen the Red King, in rose-coloured armour that had got a little rusty, sleeping uneasily in the thickest part of the wood.
“The fact is,” the White King went on, “some of them think we’re only a part of his dream, and that we shall all go ‘ piff ‘ when he wakes up. That is what makes them so jumpy just now. Oh,” he cried, giving a little jump himself, “there go some more!”
“What are they?” asked Alice, as several strange creatures hurtled past, like puff-balls in a gale.
“They’re the Slithy Toves,” said the King, “Libimps and Jubjubs and Bandersnatches. They’re always gyring and gimbling wherever they can find a wabe.”
“Where are they all going in such a hurry? Alice asked.
“They’re going to the meeting to hear the Red King,” the White King said, in rather a dismal tone. “They’ve all got latchkeys,” he went on, “but they’d better not stay out too late.”
Here the White King gave another jump. “Whats the matter?” asked Alice.
“Why, I’ve just remembered that I’ve got a latchkey too, my very own ! I must go and find it.” And away went the White King into the wood.
“How these kings do run about!” thought Alice. “It seems to be one of the Rules of the Game that when one moves the other moves also.”
The next moment there was a deafening outburst of drums, and Alice saw the Red King rushing through the wood with a big roll of paper.
“Dear me!” she heard him say to himself as he passed, “I hope I shan’t be late for the meeting, and I wonder how they’ll take my speech.”
Alice noticed that the Borogoves made no attempt to follow, but tried to look as if they didn’t care a bit. And away in the distance she heard a sort of derisive booing, with a brogue in it. “That must be the Mome Raths outgribing,” she thought.