ALICE LUNCHES AT WESTMINSTER

“I THINK I would rather not hear it just now.” said Alice politely.

“It is expressly intended for publication,” said Humpty Dumpty; “1 don’t suppose there’ll be a paper to-morrow that won’t be talking about it.”

“In that case I suppose I may as well hear it,” said Alice, with resignation.

“The scene,” said Humpty Dumpty, “is Before Ladysmith, and the time — well, the time is After Colenso:

I sent a message to the White
To tell him–if you must^ you might.

But then, I said, you p’raps might not
(The weather was extremely hot).

This query, too, I spatchcock-slid.
How would you do it, if you did?

I did not know, I rather thought–
And then I wondered if I ought.”

“Its dreadfully hard to understand,” said Alice.

“It gets easier as it goes on,” said Humpty Dumpty, and resumed–

They tried a most malignant scheme,
They put dead- horses in the stream;

(With One at home I saw it bore
On preference for a horseless war).

But though I held the war might cease,
At least I never held my peace.

I held the key; it was a bore
I could not hit upon the door.

Then One suggested, in my ear,
It would be well to persevere.

The papers followed in that strain,
They said it very loud and plain.

I simply answered with a grin,

“Why, what a hurry they are in!”

I went and played a waiting game;
Observe, I got there just the same.

And if you have a better man,
Well, show him to me, if you can.

“Thank you very much,” said Alice; “it s very interesting, but Tm afraid it won’t help to cool the atmosphere much.”

“I could tell you lots more like that,” Humpty Dumpty began, but Alice hastily interrupted him.

“I hear a lot of fighting going on in the wood; don’t you think I had better hear the rest some other time?”


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