`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.