‘Try another Subtraction sum. Take a bone from a dog: what remains?
Alice considered. ‘The bone wouldn’t remain, of course, if I took it -and the dog wouldn’t remain; it would come to bite me — and I’m sure I shouldn’t remain!’
‘Then you think nothing would remain?’ said the Red Queen.
‘I think that’s the answer.’
‘Wrong, as usual,’ said the Red Queen: ‘the dog’s temper would remain.’
‘But I don’t see how -’
‘Why, look here!’ the Red Queen cried. ‘The dog would lose its temper, wouldn’t it?’
‘Perhaps it would,’ Alice replied cautiously.
‘Then if the dog went away, its temper would remain!’ the Queen exclaimed triumphantly.’
`Thank you,’ said Alice, `it’s very interesting. I never knew so much about a whiting before.’
`I can tell you more than that, if you like,’ said the Gryphon. `Do you know why it’s called a whiting?’
`I never thought about it,’ said Alice. `Why?’
`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.
“I quite agree with you,” said the Duchess; “and the moral of that is–’Be what you would seem to be’–or if you’d like it put more simply–’Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.’”
“I think I should understand that better,” Alice said very politely, “`if I had it written down: but I can’t quite follow it as you say it.”
“That’s nothing to what I could say if I chose,” the Duchess replied, in a pleased tone.
“Pray don’t trouble yourself to say it any longer than that,” said Alice.
The executioner’s argument was, that you couldn’t cut off a head unless there was a body to cut it off from: that he had never had to do such a thing before, and he wasn’t going to begin at HIS time of life.
The King’s argument was, that anything that had a head could be beheaded, and that you weren’t to talk nonsense.
The Queen’s argument was, that if something wasn’t done about it in less than no time she’d have everybody executed, all round.