Alice Through The Looking-Glass

Illustrated children's book by Lewis Carroll - online version

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112
HUMPTY DUMPTY
" Let's hear it," said Hunipty Dumpty. "I can
explain all the poems that ever were invented------
and a good many that haven't been invented just yet."
This sounded very hopeful, so Alice repeated the first verse:
" 'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe: All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe."
" That's enough to begin with," Humpty Dumpty interrupted : " there are plenty of hard words there. ' Brillig' means four o'clock in the
afternoon------the time when you begin broiling
things for dinner."
" That'll do very well," said Alice: " and ' slithy' ? "
" Well,' slithy' means ' lithe and slimy.' ' Lithe' is the same as ' active.' You see it's like a port­manteau------there are two meanings packed up
into one word."
" I see it now," Alice remarked thoughtfully: " and what are ' toves' ? "
" Well, ' toves ' are something like badgers------
they're something like lizards------and they're
something like corkscrews."
" They must be very curious-looking creatures."