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Alice in Wonderland

ACT I

SCENE ONE

ALICE's home. LEWIS CARROLL is discovered, playing chess.

Golden-haired ALICE, in a little blue dress, a black kitten in her arms, stands watching him.

Alice

That's a funny game, uncle. What did you do then?

CARROLL

A red pawn took a white pawn; this way. You see, Alice, the chessboard is divided into sixty-four squares, red and white, and the white army tries to win and the red army tries to win. It's like a battle!

ALICE

With soldiers?

CARROLL

Yes, here are the Kings and Queens they are fighting for. That's the Red Queen and here's the White Queen.

ALICE

How funny they look!

CARROLL

See the crowns on their heads, and look at their big feet.

ALICE

It's a foot apiece, that's what it is! Do they hump along like this?

CARROLL

Here! You're spoiling the game. I must keep them all in their right squares.

ALICE

I want to be a queen!

CARROLL

Here you are [he points to a small white pawn] here you are in your little stiff skirt!

ALICE

How do you do, Alice!

CARROLL

And now you are going to move here.

ALICE

Let me move myself.

CARROLL

When you have traveled all along the board this way and haven't been taken by the enemy you may be a queen.

ALICE Why do people always play with kings and queens? Mother has them in her playing cards too. Look!

[ALICE goes to the mantel and takes a pack of playing cards from the ledge.] Here's the King of Hearts and here's his wife; she's the Queen of Hearts — isn't she cross-looking? wants to bite one's head off.

(CARROLL moves a pawn.] You're playing against yourself, aren't you?

CARROLL That's one way of keeping in practice, Alice; I have friends in the university who want to beat me.

[graphic]

ALICE

Oh! I never do! I'd scold myself hard. I always pretend I'm two people too. It's lots of fun, isn't it? Sometimes when I'm all alone I walk up to the looking glass and talk to the other Alice. She's so silly, that Alice; she can't do anything by herself. She just mocks me all the time. When I laugh, she laughs, when I point my finger at her, she points her finger at me, and when I stick my tongue out at her she sticks her tongue out at me! Kitty has a twin

you darling? [ALICE goes to the mirror to show Kitty her twin.]

too, haven't

CARROLL

I'll have to write a book some day about Alice Alice in wonderland, “ Child of the pure unclouded brow and dreaming eyes of wonder!"or, Alice through the looking glass!

ALICE

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Don't you wish sometimes you could go into looking-glass house? See!

[ALICE stands on an armchair and looks into the mirror. There's the room you can see through the glass; it's just the same as our living-room here, only the things go the other way. I can see all of it - all but the bit just behind the fireplace. Oh! I do wish I could see that bit! I want so much to know if they've a fire there. You never can tell, you know, unless our fire smokes. Then smoke comes up in that room too — but that may be just to make it look as if they had a fire —

just to pretend they had. The books are something like our books,

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