`What a curious plan!’ exclaimed Alice.
`That’s the reason they’re called lessons,’ the Gryphon remarked: `because they lessen from day to day.’
This was quite a new idea to Alice, and she thought it over a little before she made her next remark. `Then the eleventh day must have been a holiday?’
`Of course it was,’ said the Mock Turtle.
`And how did you manage on the twelfth?’ Alice went on eagerly.
`That’s enough about lessons,’ the Gryphon interrupted in a very decided tone: `tell her something about the games now.’
The Lobster Quadrille
The Mock Turtle sighed deeply, and drew the back of one flapper across his eyes. He looked at Alice, and tried to speak, but for a minute or two sobs choked his voice. `Same as if he had a bone in his throat,’ said the Gryphon: and it set to work shaking him and punching him in the back. At last the Mock Turtle recovered his voice, and, with tears running down his cheeks, he went on again:—
`You may not have lived much under the sea—’ (`I haven’t,’ said Alice)— `and perhaps you were never even introduced to a lobster—’ (Alice began to say `I once tasted—’ but checked herself hastily, and said `No, never’) `—so you can have no idea what a delightful thing a Lobster Quadrille is!’
`No, indeed,’ said Alice. `What sort of a dance is it?’
`Why,’ said the Gryphon, `you first form into a line along the sea-shore—’
`Two lines!’ cried the Mock Turtle. `Seals, turtles, salmon, and so on; then, when you’ve cleared all the jelly-fish out of the way—’
`That generally takes some time,’ interrupted the Gryphon.
`—you advance twice—’
`Each with a lobster as a partner!’ cried the Gryphon.
`Of course,’ the Mock Turtle said: `advance twice, set to partners—’
`—change lobsters, and retire in same order,’ continued the Gryphon.
`Then, you know,’ the Mock Turtle went on, `you throw the—’
`The lobsters!’ shouted the Gryphon, with a bound into the air.
`—as far out to sea as you can—’
`Swim after them!’ screamed the Gryphon.
`Turn a somersault in the sea!’ cried the Mock Turtle, capering wildly about.
`Change lobsters again!’ yelled the Gryphon at the top of its voice.
`Back to land again, and that’s all the first figure,’ said the Mock Turtle, suddenly dropping his voice; and the two creatures, who had been jumping about like mad things all this time, sat down again very sadly and quietly, and looked at Alice.
`It must be a very pretty dance,’ said Alice timidly.
`Would you like to see a little of it?’ said the Mock Turtle.
`Very much indeed,’ said Alice.
`Come, let’s try the first figure!’ said the Mock Turtle to the Gryphon. `We can do without lobsters, you know. Which shall sing?’