Part 2 out of 7
in the lecture-rooms, his afternoons in the country or on the
river--he was very fond of boating--and his evenings in his room,
reading and preparing for the next day's work. But in spite of all
this outward calm of life, his mind was very much exercised on the
subject of taking Holy Orders. Not only was this step necessary if he
wished to retain his Studentship, but also he felt that it would give
him much more influence among the undergraduates, and thus increase
his power of doing good. On the other hand, he was not prepared to
live the life of almost puritanical strictness which was then
considered essential for a clergyman, and he saw that the impediment
of speech from which he suffered would greatly interfere with the
proper performance of his clerical duties.
[Illustration: The Bishop of Lincoln. _From a photograph by
The Bishop of Oxford, Dr. Wilberforce, had expressed the opinion that
the "resolution to attend theatres or operas was an absolute
disqualification for Holy Orders," which discouraged him very much,
until it transpired that this statement was only meant to refer to the
parochial clergy. He discussed the matter with Dr. Pusey, and with Dr.
Liddon. The latter said that "he thought a deacon might lawfully, if
he found himself unfit for the work, abstain from direct ministerial
duty." And so, with many qualms about his own unworthiness, he at last
decided to prepare definitely for ordination.
On December 22, 1861, he was ordained deacon by the Bishop of Oxford.
He never proceeded to priest's orders, partly, I think, because he
felt that if he were to do so it would be his duty to undertake
regular parochial work, and partly on account of his stammering. He
used, however, to preach not unfrequently, and his sermons were always
delightful to listen to, his extreme earnestness being evident in
[Illustration: Bishop Wilberforce. _From a photograph by
"He knew exactly what he wished to say" (I am quoting from an article
in _The Guardian_), "and completely forgot his audience in his
anxiety to explain his point clearly. He thought of the subject only,
and the words came of themselves. Looking straight in front of him he
saw, as it were, his argument mapped out in the form of a diagram, and
he set to work to prove it point by point, under its separate heads,
and then summed up the whole."
One sermon which he preached in the University Church, on Eternal
Punishment, is not likely to be soon forgotten by those who heard it.
I, unfortunately, was not of that number, but I can well imagine how
his clear-cut features would light up as he dwelt lovingly upon the
mercy of that Being whose charity far exceeds "the measure of man's
mind." It is hardly necessary to say that he himself did not believe
in eternal punishment, or any other scholastic doctrine that
contravenes the love of God.
He disliked being complimented on his sermons, but he liked to be told
of any good effects that his words had had upon any member of the
congregation. "Thank you for telling me that fact about my sermon," he
wrote to one of his sisters, who told him of some such good fruit that
one of his addresses had borne. "I have once or twice had such
information volunteered; and it is a _great_ comfort--and a kind
of thing that is _really_ good for one to know. It is _not_
good to be told (and I never wish to be told), 'Your sermon was so
_beautiful_.' We shall not be concerned to know, in the Great
Day, whether we have preached beautiful sermons, but whether they were
preached with the one object of serving God."
He was always ready and willing to preach at the special service for
College servants, which used to be held at Christ Church every Sunday
evening; but best of all he loved to preach to children. Some of his
last sermons were delivered at Christ Church, Eastbourne (the church
he regularly attended during the Long Vacation), to a congregation of
children. On those occasions he told them an allegory--_Victor and
Arnion,_ which he intended to publish in course of time--putting
all his heart into the work, and speaking with such deep feeling that
at times he was almost unable to control his emotion as he told them
of the love and compassion of the Good Shepherd.
I have dwelt at some length on this side of his life, for it is, I am
sure, almost ignored in the popular estimate of him. He was
essentially a religious man in the best sense of the term, and without
any of that morbid sentimentality which is too often associated with
the word; and while his religion consecrated his talents, and raised
him to a height which without it he could never have reached, the
example of such a man as he was, so brilliant, so witty, so
successful, and yet so full of faith, consecrates the very conception
of religion, and makes it yet more beautiful.
On April 13, 1859, he paid another visit to Tennyson, this time at
After dinner we retired for about an hour to the
smoking-room, where I saw the proof-sheets of the "King's
Idylls," but he would not let me read them. He walked
through the garden with me when I left, and made me remark
an effect produced on the thin white clouds by the moon
shining through, which I had not noticed--a ring of golden
light at some distance off the moon, with an interval of
white between--this, he says, he has alluded to in one of
his early poems ("Margaret," vol. i.), "the tender amber." I
asked his opinion of Sydney Dobell--he agrees with me in
liking "Grass from the Battlefield," and thinks him a writer
of genius and imagination, but extravagant.
On another occasion he showed the poet a photograph which he had taken
of Miss Alice Liddell as a beggar-child, and which Tennyson said was
the most beautiful photograph he had ever seen.
[Illustration: Alice Liddell as Beggar-child. _From a
photograph by Lewis Carroll_.]
Tennyson told us he had often dreamed long passages of
poetry, and believed them to be good at the time, though he
could never remember them after waking, except four lines
which he dreamed at ten years old:--
May a cock sparrow
Write to a barrow?
I hope you'll excuse
My infantile muse;
--which, as an unpublished fragment of the Poet Laureate,
may be thought interesting, but not affording much promise
of his after powers.
He also told us he once dreamed an enormously long poem
about fairies, which began with very long lines that
gradually got shorter, and ended with fifty or sixty lines
of two syllables each!
On October 17, 1859, the Prince of Wales came into residence at Christ
Church. The Dean met him at the station, and all the dons assembled in
Tom Quadrangle to welcome him. Mr. Dodgson, as usual, had an eye to a
photograph, in which hope, however, he was doomed to disappointment.
His Royal Highness was tired of having his picture taken.
During his early college life he used often to spend a few days at
Hastings, with his mother's sisters, the Misses Lutwidge. In a letter
written from their house to his sister Mary, and dated April 11, 1860,
he gives an account of a lecture he had just heard:--
I am just returned from a series of dissolving views on the
Arctic regions, and, while the information there received is
still fresh in my mind, I will try to give you some of it.
In the first place, you may not know that one of the objects
of the Arctic expeditions was to discover "the intensity of
the magnetic needle." He [the lecturer] did not tell us,
however, whether they had succeeded in discovering it, or
whether that rather obscure question is still doubtful. One
of the explorers, Baffin, "_though_ he did not suffer
all the hardships the others did, _yet_ he came to an
untimely end (of course one would think in the Arctic
regions), _for instance_ (what follows being, I
suppose, one of the untimely ends he came to), being engaged
in a war of the Portuguese against the Prussians, while
measuring the ground in front of a fortification, a
cannon-ball came against him, with the force with which
cannon-balls in that day _did_ come, and killed him
dead on the spot." How many instances of this kind would you
demand to prove that he did come to an untimely end? One of
the ships was laid up three years in the ice, during which
time, he told us, "Summer came and went frequently." This, I
think, was the most remarkable phenomenon he mentioned in
the whole lecture, and gave _me_ quite a new idea of
On Tuesday I went to a concert at St. Leonard's. On the
front seat sat a youth about twelve years of age, of whom
the enclosed is a tolerably accurate sketch. He really was,
I think, the ugliest boy I ever saw. I wish I could get an
opportunity of photographing him.
[Illustration: Sketch from St. Leonard's Concert-Room.]
The following note occurs in his Journal for May 6th:--
A Christ Church man, named Wilmot, who is just returned from
the West Indies, dined in Hall. He told us some curious
things about the insects in South America--one that he had
himself seen was a spider charming a cockroach with flashes
of light; they were both on the wall, the spider about a
yard the highest, and the light was like a glow-worm, only
that it came by flashes and did not shine continuously; the
cockroach gradually crawled up to it, and allowed itself to
be taken and killed.
A few months afterwards, when in town and visiting Mr.
Munroe's studio, he found there two of the children of Mr.
George Macdonald, whose acquaintance he had already made:
"They were a girl and boy, about seven and six years old--I
claimed their acquaintance, and began at once proving to the
boy, Greville, that he had better take the opportunity of
having his head changed for a marble one. The effect was
that in about two minutes they had entirely forgotten that I
was a total stranger, and were earnestly arguing the
question as if we were old acquaintances." Mr. Dodgson urged
that a marble head would not have to be brushed and combed.
At this the boy turned to his sister with an air of great
relief, saying, "Do you hear _that_, Mary? It needn't
be combed!" And the narrator adds, "I have no doubt combing,
with his great head of long hair, like Hallam Tennyson's,
was _the_ misery of his life. His final argument was
that a marble head couldn't speak, and as I couldn't
convince either that he would be all the better for that, I
[Illustration: George Macdonald and his daughter Lily.
_From a photograph by Lewis Carroll._]
In November he gave a lecture at a meeting of the Ashmolean Society on
"Where does the Day begin?" The problem, which was one he was very
fond of propounding, may be thus stated: If a man could travel round
the world so fast that the sun would be always directly above his
head, and if he were to start travelling at midday on Tuesday, then in
twenty-four hours he would return to his original point of departure,
and would find that the day was now called Wednesday--at what point of
his journey would the day change its name? The difficulty of answering
this apparently simple question has cast a gloom over many a pleasant
On December 12th he wrote in his Diary:--
Visit of the Queen to Oxford, to the great surprise of
everybody, as it had been kept a secret up to the time. She
arrived in Christ Church about twelve, and came into Hall
with the Dean, where the Collections were still going on,
about a dozen men being in Hall. The party consisted of the
Queen, Prince Albert, Princess Alice and her intended
husband, the Prince of Hesse-Darmstadt, the Prince of Wales,
Prince Alfred, and suite. They remained a minute or two
looking at the pictures, and the Sub-Dean was presented:
they then visited the Cathedral and Library. Evening
entertainment at the Deanery, _tableaux vivants_. I
went a little after half-past eight, and found a great party
assembled--the Prince had not yet come. He arrived before
nine, and I found an opportunity of reminding General Bruce
of his promise to introduce me to the Prince, which he did
at the next break in the conversation H.R.H. was holding
with Mrs. Fellowes. He shook hands very graciously, and I
began with a sort of apology for having been so importunate
about the photograph. He said something of the weather being
against it, and I asked if the Americans had victimised him
much as a sitter; he said they had, but he did not think
they had succeeded well, and I told him of the new American
process of taking twelve thousand photographs in an hour.
Edith Liddell coming by at the moment, I remarked on the
beautiful _tableau_ which the children might make: he
assented, and also said, in answer to my question, that he
had seen and admired my photographs of them. I then said
that I hoped, as I had missed the photograph, he would at
least give me his autograph in my album, which he promised
to do. Thinking I had better bring the talk to an end, I
concluded by saying that, if he would like copies of any of
my photographs, I should feel honoured by his accepting
them; he thanked me for this, and I then drew back, as he
did not seem inclined to pursue the conversation.
A few days afterwards the Prince gave him his autograph, and also
chose a dozen or so of his photograph (sic).
[Illustration: Mrs. Rossetti and her children Dante Gabriel,
Christina, and William. _From a photograph by Lewis Carroll._]
* * * * *
Jowett--Index to "In Memoriam"--The Tennysons--The beginning
of "Alice"--Tenniel--Artistic friends--"Alice's Adventures
in Wonderland"--"Bruno's Revenge"--Tour with Dr.
Liddon--Cologne--Berlin architecture--The "Majesty of
Justice"--Peterhof--Moscow--A Russian wedding--Nijni--The
Troitska Monastery--"Hieroglyphic" writing--Giessen.
It is my aim in this Memoir to let Mr. Dodgson tell his own story as
much as possible. In order to effect this object I have drawn largely
upon his Diary and correspondence. Very few men have left behind them
such copious information about their lives as he has; unfortunately it
is not equally copious throughout, and this fact must be my apology
for the somewhat haphazard and disconnected way in which parts of this
book are written. That it is the best which, under the circumstances,
I have been able to do needs, I hope, no saying, but the circumstances
have at times been too strong for me.
Though in later years Mr. Dodgson almost gave up the habit of dining
out, at this time of his life he used to do it pretty frequently, and
several of the notes in his Diary refer to after-dinner and Common
Room stories. The two following extracts will show the sort of facts
_January 2, 1861._--Mr. Grey (Canon) came to dine and
stay the night. He told me a curious old custom of millers,
that they place the sails of the mill as a Saint Andrew's
Cross when work is entirely suspended, thus x, but in an
upright cross, thus +, if they are just going to resume
work. He also mentioned that he was at school with Dr.
Tennyson (father of the poet), and was a great favourite of
his. He remembers that Tennyson used to do his
school-translations in rhyme.
_May 9th._--Met in Common Room Rev. C.F. Knight, and
the Hon'ble. F.J. Parker, both of Boston, U.S. The former
gave an amusing account of having seen Oliver Wendell Holmes
in a fishmonger's, lecturing _extempore_ on the head of
a freshly killed turtle, whose eyes and jaws still showed
muscular action: the lecture of course being all "cram," but
accepted as sober earnest by the mob outside.
Old Oxford men will remember the controversies that raged from about
1860 onwards over the opinions of the late Dr. Jowett. In my time the
name "Jowett" only represented the brilliant translator of Plato, and
the deservedly loved master of Balliol, whose sermons in the little
College Chapel were often attended by other than Balliol men, and
whose reputation for learning was expressed in the well-known verse of
"The Masque of Balliol":--
First come I, my name is Jowett.
There's no knowledge but I know it;
I am Master of this College;
What I don't know isn't knowledge.
But in 1861 he was anything but universally popular, and I am afraid
that Mr. Dodgson, nothing if not a staunch Conservative, sided with
the majority against him. Thus he wrote in his Diary:--
_November 20th._--Promulgation, in Congregation, of the
new statute to endow Jowett. The speaking took up the whole
afternoon, and the two points at issue, the endowing a
_Regius_ Professorship, and the countenancing Jowett's
theological opinions, got so inextricably mixed up that I
rose to beg that they might be kept separate. Once on my
feet, I said more than I at first meant, and defied them
ever to tire out the opposition by perpetually bringing the
question on (_Mem_.: if I ever speak again I will try
to say no more than I had resolved before rising). This was
my first speech in Congregation.
At the beginning of 1862 an "Index to In Memoriam," compiled by Mr.
Dodgson and his sisters, was published by Moxon. Tennyson had given
his consent, and the little book proved to be very useful to his
On January 27th Morning Prayer was for the first time read in English
at the Christ Church College Service. On the same day Mr. Dodgson
moved over into new rooms, as the part of the College where he had
formerly lived (Chaplain's Quadrangle) was to be pulled down.
During the Easter Vacation he paid another visit to the Tennysons,
which he describes as follows:--
After luncheon I went to the Tennysons, and got Hallam and
Lionel to sign their names in my album. Also I made a
bargain with Lionel, that he was to give me some MS. of his
verses, and I was to send him some of mine. It was a very
difficult bargain to make; I almost despaired of it at
first, he put in so many conditions--first, I was to play a
game of chess with him; this, with much difficulty, was
reduced to twelve moves on each side; but this made little
difference, as I check-mated him at the sixth move. Second,
he was to be allowed to give me one blow on the head with a
mallet (this he at last consented to give up). I forget if
there were others, but it ended in my getting the verses,
for which I have written out "The Lonely Moor" for him.
Mr. Dodgson took a great interest in occult phenomena, and was for
some time an enthusiastic member of the "Psychical Society." It was
his interest in ghosts that led to his meeting with the artist Mr.
Heaphy, who had painted a picture of a ghost which he himself had
seen. I quote the following from a letter to his sister Mary:--
During my last visit to town, I paid a very interesting
visit to a new artist, Mr. Heaphy. Do you remember that
curious story of a ghost lady (in _Household Words_ or
_All the Year Round_), who sat to an artist for her
picture; it was called "Mr. H.'s Story," and he was the
writer.... He received me most kindly, and we had a very
interesting talk about the ghost, which certainly is one of
the most curious and inexplicable stories I ever heard. He
showed me her picture (life size), and she must have been
very lovely, if it is like her (or like it, which ever is
the correct pronoun).... Mr. Heaphy showed me a most
interesting collection of drawings he has made abroad; he
has been about, hunting up the earliest and most authentic
pictures of our Saviour, some merely outlines, some coloured
pictures. They agree wonderfully in the character of the
face, and one, he says, there is no doubt was done before
the year 150.... I feel sure from his tone that he is doing
this in a religious spirit, and not merely as an artist.
On July 4, 1862, there is a very important entry: "I made an
expedition _up_ the river to Godstow with the three Liddells; we
had tea on the bank there, and did not reach Christ Church till
[Illustration: Lorina, Alice, and Edith Liddell. _From a
photograph by Lewis Carroll_.]
On the opposite page he added, somewhat later, "On which occasion I
told them the fairy-tale of 'Alice's Adventures Underground,' which I
undertook to write out for Alice."
These words need to be supplemented by the verses with which he
prefaced the "Wonderland":--
All in the golden afternoon
Full leisurely we glide;
For both our oars, with little skill,
By little arms are plied,
While little hands make vain pretence
Our wanderings to guide.
Ah, cruel Three! In such an hour,
Beneath such dreamy weather,
To beg a tale of breath too weak
To stir the tiniest feather!
Yet what can one poor voice avail
Against three tongues together?
Imperious Prima flashes forth
Her edict "to begin it"--
In gentler tones Secunda hopes
"There will be nonsense in it!"
While Tertia interrupts the tale
Not _more_ than once a minute.
Anon, to sudden silence won,
In fancy they pursue
The dream-child moving through a land
Of wonders wild and new,
In friendly chat with bird or beast--
And half believe it true.
And ever, as the story drained
The wells of fancy dry,
And faintly strove that weary one
To put the subject by,
"The rest next time"--"It _is_ next time!"
The happy voices cry.
Thus grew the tale of Wonderland:
Thus slowly, one by one,
Its quaint events were hammered out--
And now the tale is done,
And home we steer, a merry crew,
Beneath the setting sun.
"Alice" herself (Mrs. Reginald Hargreaves) has given an account of the
scene, from which what follows is quoted:--
Most of Mr. Dodgson's stories were told to us on river
expeditions to Nuneham or Godstow, near Oxford. My eldest
sister, now Mrs. Skene, was "Prima," I was "Secunda," and
"Tertia" was my sister Edith. I believe the beginning of
"Alice" was told one summer afternoon when the sun was so
burning that we had landed in the meadows down the river,
deserting the boat to take refuge in the only bit of shade
to be found, which was under a new-made hayrick. Here from
all three came the old petition of "Tell us a story," and so
began the ever-delightful tale. Sometimes to tease us--and
perhaps being really tired--Mr. Dodgson would stop suddenly
and say, "And that's all till next time." "Ah, but it is
next time," would be the exclamation from all three; and
after some persuasion the story would start afresh. Another
day, perhaps, the story would begin in the boat, and Mr.
Dodgson, in the middle of telling a thrilling adventure,
would pretend to go fast asleep, to our great dismay.
"Alice's Adventures Underground" was the original name of the story;
later on it became "Alice's Hour in Elfland." It was not until June
18, 1864, that he finally decided upon "Alice's Adventures in
Wonderland." The illustrating of the manuscript book gave him some
trouble. He had to borrow a "Natural History" from the Deanery to
learn the correct shapes of some of the strange animals with which
Alice conversed; the Mock Turtle he must have evolved out of his inner
consciousness, for it is, I think, a species unknown to naturalists.
He was lucky enough during the course of the year to see a ceremony
which is denied to most Oxford men. When degrees are given, any
tradesman who has been unable to get his due from an undergraduate
about to be made a Bachelor of Arts is allowed, by custom, to pluck
the Proctor's gown as he passes, and then to make his complaint. This
law is more honoured in the breach than in the observance; but, on the
occasion of this visit of Mr. Dodgson's to Convocation, the Proctor's
gown was actually plucked--on account of an unfortunate man who had
gone through the Bankruptcy Court.
When he promised to write out "Alice" for Miss Liddell he had no idea
of publication; but his friend, Mr. George Macdonald, to whom he had
shown the story, persuaded him to submit it to a publisher. Messrs.
Macmillan agreed to produce it, and as Mr. Dodgson had not sufficient
faith in his own artistic powers to venture to allow his illustrations
to appear, it was necessary to find some artist who would undertake
the work. By the advice of Tom Taylor he approached Mr. Tenniel, who
was fortunately well disposed, and on April 5, 1864, the final
arrangements were made.
[Illustration: George MacDonald. _From a photograph by
The following interesting account of a meeting with Mr. Dodgson is
from the pen of Mrs. Bennie, wife of the Rector of Glenfield, near
Some little time after the publication of "Alice's
Adventures" we went for our summer holiday to Whitby. We
were visiting friends, and my brother and sister went to the
hotel. They soon after asked us to dine with them there at
the _table d'hote._ I had on one side of me a gentleman
whom I did not know, but as I had spent a good deal of time
travelling in foreign countries, I always, at once, speak to
any one I am placed next. I found on this occasion I had a
very agreeable neighbour, and we seemed to be much
interested in the same books, and politics also were touched
on. After dinner my sister and brother rather took me to
task for talking so much to a complete stranger. I said.
"But it was quite a treat to talk to him and to hear him
talk. Of one thing I am quite sure, he is a genius." My
brother and sister, who had not heard him speak, again
laughed at me, and said, "You are far too easily pleased."
I, however, maintained my point, and said what great delight
his conversation had given me, and how remarkably clever it
had been. Next morning nurse took out our two little twin
daughters in front of the sea. I went out a short time
afterwards, looked for them, and found them seated with my
friend of the _table d'hote_ between them, and they
were listening to him, open-mouthed, and in the greatest
state of enjoyment, with his knee covered with minute toys.
I, seeing their great delight, motioned to him to go on;
this he did for some time. A most charming story he told
them about sea-urchins and Ammonites. When it was over, I
said, "You must be the author of 'Alice's Adventures.'" He
laughed, but looked astonished, and said, "My dear Madam, my
name is Dodgson, and 'Alice's Adventures' was written by
Lewis Carroll." I replied, "Then you must have borrowed the
name, for only he could have told a story as you have just
done." After a little sparring he admitted the fact, and I
went home and proudly told my sister and brother how my
genius had turned out a greater one than I expected. They
assured me I must be mistaken, and that, as I had suggested
it to him, he had taken advantage of the idea, and said he
was what I wanted him to be. A few days after some friends
came to Whitby who knew his aunts, and confirmed the truth
of his statement, and thus I made the acquaintance of one
whose friendship has been the source of great pleasure for
nearly thirty years. He has most generously sent us all his
books, with kind inscriptions, to "Minnie and Doe," whom he
photographed, but would not take Canon Bennie or me; he said
he never took portraits of people of more than seventeen
years of age until they were seventy. He visited us, and we
often met him at Eastbourne, and his death was indeed a
great loss after so many happy years of friendship with one
we so greatly admired and loved.
He spent a part of the Long Vacation at Freshwater, taking great
interest in the children who, for him, were the chief attraction of
Every morning four little children dressed in yellow go by
from the front down to the beach: they go by in a state of
great excitement, brandishing wooden spades, and making
strange noises; from that moment they disappear
entirely--they are never to be seen _on_ the beach. The
only theory I can form is, that they all tumble into a hole
somewhere, and continue excavating therein during the day:
however that may be, I have once or twice come across them
returning at night, in exactly the same state of excitement,
and seemingly in quite as great a hurry to get home as they
were before to get out. The evening noises they make sound
to me very much like the morning noises, but I suppose they
are different to them, and contain an account of the day's
His enthusiasm for photography, and his keen appreciation of the
beautiful, made him prefer the society of artists to that of any other
class of people. He knew the Rossettis intimately, and his Diary shows
him to have been acquainted with Millais, Holman Hunt, Sant,
Westmacott, Val Prinsep, Watts, and a host of others. Arthur Hughes
painted a charming picture to his order ("The Lady with the Lilacs")
which used to hang in his rooms at Christ Church. The Andersons were
great friends of his, Mrs. Anderson being one of his favourite
child-painters. Those who have visited him at Oxford will remember a
beautiful girl's head, painted by her from a rough sketch she had once
made in a railway carriage of a child who happened to be sitting
[Illustration: J. Sant. _From a photograph by Lewis
His own drawings were in no way remarkable. Ruskin, whose advice he
took on his artistic capabilities, told him that he had not enough
talent to make it worth his while to devote much time to sketching,
but every one who saw his photographs admired them. Considering the
difficulties of the "wet process," and the fact that he had a
conscientious horror of "touching up" his negatives, the pictures he
produced are quite wonderful. Some of them were shown to the Queen,
who said that she admired them very much, and that they were "such as
the Prince would have appreciated very highly, and taken much pleasure
[Illustration: Holman Hunt. _From a photograph by Lewis
On July 4, 1865, exactly three years after the memorable row up the
river, Miss Alice Liddell received the first presentation copy of
"Alice's Adventures in Wonderland": the second was sent to Princess
The first edition, which consisted of two thousand copies, was
condemned by both author and illustrator, for the pictures did not
come out well. All purchasers were accordingly asked to return their
copies, and to send their names and addresses; a new edition was
prepared, and distributed to those who had sent back their old copies,
which the author gave away to various homes and hospitals. The
substituted edition was a complete success, "a perfect piece of
artistic printing," as Mr. Dodgson called it. He hardly dared to hope
that more than two thousand copies would be sold, and anticipated a
considerable loss over the book. His surprise was great when edition
after edition was demanded, and when he found that "Alice," far from
being a monetary failure, was bringing him in a very considerable
income every year.
[Illustration: Sir John Millais. _From a photograph by
A rough comparison between "Alice's Adventures Underground" and the
book in its completed form, shows how slight were the alterations that
Lewis Carroll thought it necessary to make.
The "Wonderland" is somewhat longer, but the general plan of the book,
and the simplicity of diction, which is one of its principal charms,
are unchanged. His memory was so good that I believe the story as he
wrote it down was almost word for word the same that he had told in
the boat. The whole idea came like an inspiration into his mind, and
that sort of inspiration does not often come more than once in a
lifetime. Nothing which he wrote afterwards had anything like the same
amount of freshness, of wit, of real genius. The "Looking-Glass" most
closely approached it in these qualities, but then it was only the
following out of the same idea. The most ingenuous comparison of the
two books I have seen was the answer of a little girl whom Lewis
Carroll had asked if she had read them: "Oh yes, I've read both of
them, and I think," (this more slowly and thoughtfully) "I think
'Through the Looking-Glass' is more stupid than 'Alice's Adventures.'
Don't you think so?"
The critics were loud in their praises of "Alice"; there was hardly a
dissentient voice among them, and the reception which the public gave
the book justified their opinion. So recently as July, 1898, the
_Pall Mall Gazette_ conducted an inquiry into the popularity of
children's books. "The verdict is so natural that it will surprise no
normal person. The winner is 'Alice in Wonderland'; 'Through the
Looking-Glass' is in the twenty, but much lower down."
"Alice" has been translated into French, German, Italian, and Dutch,
while one poem, "Father William," has even been turned into Arabic.
Several plays have been based upon it; lectures have been given,
illustrated by magic-lantern slides of Tenniel's pictures, which have
also adorned wall-papers and biscuit-boxes. Mr. Dodgson himself
designed a very ingenious "Wonderland" stamp-case; there has been an
"Alice" birthday-book; at schools, children have been taught to read
out of "Alice," while the German edition, shortened and simplified for
the purpose, has also been used as a lesson-book. With the exception
of Shakespeare's plays, very few, if any, books are so frequently
quoted in the daily Press as the two "Alices."
In 1866 Mr. Dodgson was introduced to Miss Charlotte M. Yonge, whose
novels had long delighted him. "It was a pleasure I had long hoped
for," he says, "and I was very much pleased with her cheerful and easy
manners--the sort of person one knows in a few minutes as well as many
in many years."
[Illustration: C. M. Yonge. _From a photograph by Lewis
In 1867 he contributed a story to _Aunt Judy's Magazine_ called
"Bruno's Revenge," the charming little idyll out of which "Sylvie and
Bruno" grew. The creation of Bruno was the only act of homage Lewis
Carroll ever paid to boy-nature, for which, as a rule, he professed an
aversion almost amounting to terror. Nevertheless, on the few
occasions on which I have seen him in the company of boys, he seemed
to be thoroughly at his ease, telling them stories and showing them
I give an extract from Mrs. Gatty's letter, acknowledging the receipt
of "Bruno's Revenge" for her magazine:--
I need hardly tell you that the story is _delicious_.
It is beautiful and fantastic and childlike, and I cannot
sufficiently thank you. I am so _proud_ for _Aunt
Judy_ that you have honoured _her_ by sending it
here, rather than to the _Cornhill_, or one of the
To-morrow I shall send the Manuscript to London probably;
to-day I keep it to enjoy a little further, and that the
young ladies may do so too. One word more. Make this one of
a series. You may have great mathematical abilities, but so
have hundreds of others. This talent is peculiarly your own,
and as an Englishman you are almost unique in possessing it.
If you covet fame, therefore, it will be (I think) gained by
this. Some of the touches are so exquisite, one would have
thought nothing short of intercourse with fairies could have
put them into your head.
Somewhere about this time he was invited to witness a rehearsal of a
children's play at a London theatre. As he sat in the wings, chatting
to the manager, a little four-year-old girl, one of the performers,
climbed up on his knee, and began talking to him. She was very anxious
to be allowed to play the principal part (Mrs. Mite), which had been
assigned to some other child. "I wish I might act Mrs. Mite," she
said; "I know all her part, and I'd get an _encore_ for every
During the year he published his book on "Determinants." To those
accustomed to regard mathematics as the driest of dry subjects, and
mathematicians as necessarily devoid of humour, it seems scarcely
credible that "An Elementary Treatise on Determinants," and "Alice in
Wonderland" were written by the same author, and it came quite as a
revelation to the undergraduate who heard for the first time that Mr.
Dodgson of Christ Church and Lewis Carroll were identical.
The book in question, admirable as it is in many ways, has not
commanded a large sale. The nature of the subject would be against it,
as most students whose aim is to get as good a place as possible in
the class lists cannot afford the luxury of a separate work, and have
to be content with the few chapters devoted to "Determinants" in works
on Higher Algebra or the Theory of Equations, supplemented by
references to Mr. Dodgson's work which can be found in the College
The general acceptance of the book would be rather restricted by the
employment of new words and symbols, which, as the author himself
felt, "are always a most unwelcome addition to a science already
burdened with an enormous vocabulary." But the work itself is largely
original, and its arrangement and style are, perhaps, as attractive as
the nature of the subject will allow. Such a book as this has little
interest for the general reader, yet, amongst the leisured few who are
able to read mathematics for their own sake, the treatise has found
In the Summer Vacation of 1867 he went for a tour on the Continent,
accompanied by Dr. Liddon, whom I have already mentioned as having
been one of his most intimate friends at this time. During the whole
of this tour Mr. Dodgson kept a diary, more with the idea that it
would help him afterwards to remember what he had seen than with any
notion of publication. However, in later years it did occur to him
that others might be interested in his impressions and experiences,
though he never actually took any steps towards putting them before
the public. Perhaps he was wise, for a traveller's diary always
contains much information that can be obtained just as well from any
guide-book. In the extracts which I reproduce here, I hope that I have
not retained anything which comes under that category.
[Illustration: Dr. Liddon. _From a photograph by Lewis
_July 12th_.--The Sultan and I arrived in London almost
at the same time, but in different quarters--_my_ point
of entry being Paddington, and _his_ Charing Cross. I
must admit that the crowd was greatest at the latter place.
Mr. Dodgson and Dr. Liddon met at Dover, and passed the night at one
of the hotels there:--
_July 13th_.--We breakfasted, as agreed, at eight, or
at least we then sat down and nibbled bread and butter till
such time as the chops should be done, which great event
took place about half past. We tried pathetic appeals to the
wandering waiters, who told us, "They are coming, sir," in a
soothing tone, and we tried stern remonstrance, and they
then said, "They are coming, sir," in a more injured tone;
and after all such appeals they retired into their dens, and
hid themselves behind side-boards and dish-covers, and still
the chops came not. We agreed that of all virtues a waiter
can display, that of a retiring disposition is quite the
The pen refuses to describe the sufferings of some of the
passengers during our smooth trip of ninety minutes: my own
sensations were those of extreme surprise, and a little
indignation, at there being no other sensations--it was not
for _that_ I paid my money....
We landed at Calais in the usual swarm of friendly natives,
offering services and advice of all kinds; to all such
remarks I returned one simple answer, _Non!_ It was
probably not strictly applicable in all cases, but it
answered the purpose of getting rid of them; one by one they
left me, echoing the _Non_! in various tones, but all
expressive of disgust.
At Cologne began that feast of beautiful things which his artistic
temperament fitted him so well to enjoy. Though the churches he
visited and the ceremonies he witnessed belonged to a religious system
widely different from his own, the largeness and generosity of his
mind always led him to insist upon that substratum of true
devotion--to use a favourite word of his--which underlies all forms of
We spent an hour in the cathedral, which I will not attempt
to describe further than by saying it was the most beautiful
of all churches I have ever seen or can imagine. If one
could imagine the spirit of devotion embodied in any
material form, it would be in such a building.
In spite of all the wealth of words that has been expended upon German
art, he found something new to say on this most fertile subject:--
The amount of art lavished on the whole region of Potsdam is
marvellous; some of the tops of the palaces were like
forests of statues, and they were all over the gardens, set
on pedestals. In fact, the two principles of Berlin
architecture appear to me to be these. On the house-tops,
wherever there is a convenient place, put up the figure of a
man; he is best placed standing on one leg. Wherever there
is room on the ground, put either a circular group of busts
on pedestals, in consultation, all looking inwards--or else
the colossal figure of a man killing, about to kill, or
having killed (the present tense is preferred) a beast; the
more pricks the beast has, the better--in fact a dragon is
the correct thing, but if that is beyond the artist, he may
content himself with a lion or a pig. The beast-killing
principle has been carried out everywhere with a relentless
monotony, which makes some parts of Berlin look like a
He never missed an opportunity of studying the foreign drama, which
was most praiseworthy, as he knew very little German and not a word of
At the hotel [at Danzig] was a green parrot on a stand; we
addressed it as "Pretty Poll," and it put its head on one
side and thought about it, but wouldn't commit itself to any
statement. The waiter came up to inform us of the reason of
its silence: "Er spricht nicht Englisch; er spricht nicht
Deutsch." It appeared that the unfortunate bird could speak
nothing but Mexican! Not knowing a word of that language, we
could only pity it.
_July 23rd._--We strolled about and bought a few
photographs, and at 11.39 left for Koenigsberg. On our way to
the station we came across the grandest instance of the
"Majesty of Justice" that I have ever witnessed. A little
boy was being taken to the magistrate, or to prison
(probably for picking a pocket). The achievement of this
feat had been entrusted to two soldiers in full uniform, who
were solemnly marching, one in front of the poor little
urchin and one behind, with bayonets fixed, of course, to be
ready to charge in case he should attempt an escape.
_July 25th._--In the evening I visited the theatre at
Koenigsberg, which was fairly good in every way, and very
good in the singing and some of the acting. The play was
"Anno 66," but I could only catch a few words here and
there, so have very little idea of the plot. One of the
characters was a correspondent of an English newspaper. This
singular being came on in the midst of a soldiers' bivouac
before Sadowa, dressed very nearly in white--a very long
frock-coat, and a tall hat on the back of his head, both
nearly white. He said "Morning" as a general remark, when he
first came on, but afterwards talked what I suppose was
broken German. He appeared to be regarded as a butt by the
soldiers, and ended his career by falling into a drum.
From Koenigsberg the travellers went on to St. Petersburg, where they
stayed several days, exploring the wonderful city and its environs:--
There is a fine equestrian statue of Peter the Great near
the Admiralty. The lower part is not a pedestal, but left
shapeless and rough like a real rock. The horse is rearing,
and has a serpent coiled about its hind feet, on which, I
think, it is treading. If this had been put up in Berlin,
Peter would no doubt have been actively engaged in killing
the monster, but here he takes no notice of it; in fact, the
killing theory is not recognised. We found two colossal
figures of lions, which are so painfully mild that each of
them is rolling a great ball about like a kitten.
_Aug. 1st_.--About half-past ten Mr. Merrilies called
for us, and with really remarkable kindness gave up his day
to taking us down to Peterhof, a distance of about twenty
miles, and showing us over the place. We went by steamer
down the tideless, saltless Gulf of Finland; the first
peculiarity extends through the Baltic, and the second
through a great part of it. The piece we crossed, some
fifteen miles from shore to shore, is very shallow, in many
parts only six or eight feet deep, and every winter it is
entirely frozen over with ice two feet thick, and when this
is covered with snow it forms a secure plain, which is
regularly used for travelling on, though the immense
distance, without means of food or shelter, is dangerous for
poorly clad foot passengers. Mr. Merrilies told us of a
friend of his who, in crossing last winter, passed the
bodies of eight people who had been frozen. We had a good
view, on our way, of the coast of Finland, and of Kronstadt.
When we landed at Peterhof, we found Mr. Muir's carriage
waiting for us, and with its assistance, getting out every
now and then to walk through portions where it could not go,
we went over the grounds of two imperial palaces, including
many little summer-houses, each of which would make a very
good residence in itself, as, though small, they were fitted
up and adorned in every way that taste could suggest or
wealth achieve. For varied beauty and perfect combination of
nature and art, I think the gardens eclipse those of Sans
Souci. At every corner, or end of an avenue or path, where a
piece of statuary could be introduced with effect, there one
was sure to find one, in bronze or in white marble; many of
the latter had a sort of circular niche built behind, with a
blue background to throw the figure into relief. Here we
found a series of shelving ledges made of stone, with a
sheet of water gliding down over them; here a long path,
stretching down slopes and flights of steps, and arched over
all the way with trellises and creepers; here a huge
boulder, hewn, just as it lay, into the shape of a gigantic
head and face, with mild, sphinx-like eyes, as if some
buried Titan were struggling to free himself; here a
fountain, so artfully formed of pipes set in circles, each
set shooting the water higher than those outside, as to form
a solid pyramid of glittering spray; here a lawn, seen
through a break in the woods below us, with threads of
scarlet geraniums running over it, and looking in the
distance like a huge branch of coral; and here and there
long avenues of trees, lying in all directions, sometimes
three or four together side by side, and sometimes radiating
like a star, and stretching away into the distance till the
eye was almost weary of following them. All this will rather
serve to remind me, than to convey any idea, of what we saw.
But the beauties of Peterhof were quite eclipsed by the Oriental
splendours of Moscow, which naturally made a great impression upon a
mind accustomed to the cold sublimity of Gothic architecture at
We gave five or six hours to a stroll through this wonderful
city, a city of white houses and green roofs, of conical
towers that rise one out of another like a foreshortened
telescope; of bulging gilded domes, in which you see, as in
a looking-glass, distorted pictures of the city; of churches
which look, outside, like bunches of variegated cactus (some
branches crowned with green prickly buds, others with blue,
and others with red and white) and which, inside, are hung
all round with _eikons_ and lamps, and lined with
illuminated pictures up to the very roof; and, finally, of
pavement that goes up and down like a ploughed field, and
_drojky_-drivers who insist on being paid thirty per
cent. extra to-day, "because it is the Empress's birthday."...
_Aug. 5th._--After dinner we went by arrangement to Mr.
Penny, and accompanied him to see a Russian wedding. It was
a most interesting ceremony. There was a large choir, from
the cathedral, who sang a long and beautiful anthem before
the service began; and the deacon (from the Church of the
Assumption) delivered several recitative portions of the
service in the most magnificent bass voice I ever heard,
rising gradually (I should say by less than half a note at a
time if that is possible), and increasing in volume of sound
as he rose in the scale, until his final note rang through
the building like a chorus of many voices. I could not have
conceived that one voice could have produced such an effect.
One part of the ceremony, the crowning the married couple,
was very nearly grotesque. Two gorgeous golden crowns were
brought in, which the officiating priest first waved before
them, and then placed on their heads--or rather the unhappy
bridegroom had to wear _his_, but the bride, having
prudently arranged her hair in a rather complicated manner
with a lace veil, could not have hers put on, but had it
held above her by a friend. The bridegroom, in plain evening
dress, crowned like a king, holding a candle, and with a
face of resigned misery, would have been pitiable if he had
not been so ludicrous. When the people had gone, we were
invited by the priests to see the east end of the church,
behind the golden gates, and were finally dismissed with a
hearty shake of the hand and the "kiss of peace," of which
even I, though in lay costume, came in for a share.
One of the objects of the tour was to see the fair at Nijni Novgorod,
and here the travellers arrived on August 6th, after a miserable
railway journey. Owing to the breaking down of a bridge, the
unfortunate passengers had been compelled to walk a mile through
We went to the Smernovaya (or some such name) Hotel, a
truly villainous place, though no doubt the best in the
town. The feeding was very good, and everything else very
bad. It was some consolation to find that as we sat at
dinner we furnished a subject of the liveliest interest to
six or seven waiters, all dressed in white tunics, belted at
the waist, and white trousers, who ranged themselves in a
row and gazed in a quite absorbed way at the collection of
strange animals that were feeding before them. Now and then
a twinge of conscience would seize them that they were,
after all, not fulfilling the great object of life as
waiters, and on these occasions they would all hurry to the
end of the room, and refer to a great drawer which seemed to
contain nothing but spoons and corks. When we asked for
anything, they first looked at each other in an alarmed way;
then, when they had ascertained which understood the order
best, they all followed his example, which always was to
refer to the big drawer. We spent most of the afternoon
wandering through the fair, and buying _eikons_, &c. It
was a wonderful place. Besides there being distinct quarters
for the Persians, the Chinese, and others, we were
constantly meeting strange beings with unwholesome
complexions and unheard-of costumes. The Persians, with
their gentle, intelligent faces, the long eyes set wide
apart, the black hair, and yellow-brown skin, crowned with a
black woollen fez something like a grenadier, were about the
most picturesque we met. But all the novelties of the day
were thrown into the shade by our adventure at sunset, when
we came upon the Tartar mosque (the only one in Nijni)
exactly as one of the officials came out on the roof to
utter the muezzin cry, or call to prayers. Even if it had
been in no way singular in itself, it would have been deeply
interesting from its novelty and uniqueness, but the cry
itself was quite unlike anything I have ever heard before.
The beginning of each sentence was uttered in a rapid
monotone, and towards the end it rose gradually till it
ended in a prolonged, shrill wail, which floated overhead
through the still air with an indescribably sad and
ghostlike effect; heard at night, it would have thrilled one
like the cry of the Banshee.
This reminds one of the wonderful description in Mr. Kipling's "City
of Dreadful Night." It is not generally known that Mr. Dodgson was a
fervent admirer of Mr. Kipling's works; indeed during the last few
years of his life I think he took more pleasure in his tales than in
those of any other modern author.
Dr. Liddon's fame as a preacher had reached the Russian clergy, with
the result that he and Mr. Dodgson found many doors open to them which
are usually closed to travellers in Russia. After their visit to Nijni
Novgorod they returned to Moscow, whence, escorted by Bishop Leonide,
Suffragan Bishop of Moscow, they made an expedition to the Troitska
_August 12th_.--A most interesting day. We breakfasted
at half-past five, and soon after seven left by railway, in
company with Bishop Leonide and Mr. Penny, for Troitska
Monastery. We found the Bishop, in spite of his limited
knowledge of English, a very conversational and entertaining
fellow-traveller. The service at the cathedral had already
begun when we reached it, and the Bishop took us in with
him, through a great crowd which thronged the building, into
a side room which opened into the chancel, where we remained
during the service, and enjoyed the unusual privilege of
seeing the clergy communicate--a ceremony for which the
doors of the chancel are always shut, and the curtains
drawn, so that the congregation never witness it. It was a
most elaborate ceremony, full of crossings, and waving of
incense before everything that was going to be used, but
also clearly full of much deep devotion.... In the afternoon
we went down to the Archbishop's palace, and were presented
to him by Bishop Leonide. The Archbishop could only talk
Russian, so that the conversation between him and Liddon (a
most interesting one, which lasted more than an hour) was
conducted in a very original fashion--the Archbishop making
a remark in Russian, which was put into English by the
Bishop; Liddon then answered the remark in French, and the
Bishop repeated his answer in Russian to the Archbishop. So
that a conversation, entirely carried on between two people,
required the use of three languages!
The Bishop had kindly got one of the theological students,
who could talk French, to conduct us about, which he did
most zealously, taking us, among other things, to see the
subterranean cells of the hermits, in which some of them
live for many years. We were shown the doors of two of the
inhabited ones; it was a strange and not quite comfortable
feeling, in a dark narrow passage where each had to carry a
candle, to be shown the low narrow door of a little cellar,
and to know that a human being was living within, with only
a small lamp to give him light, in solitude and silence day
His experiences with an exorbitant _drojky_-driver at St.
Petersburg are worthy of record. They remind one of a story which he
himself used to tell as having happened to a friend of his at Oxford.
The latter had driven up in a cab to Tom Gate, and offered the cabman
the proper fare, which was, however, refused with scorn. After a long
altercation he left the irate cabman to be brought to reason by the
porter, a one-armed giant of prodigious strength. When he was leaving
college, he stopped at the gate to ask the porter how he had managed
to dispose of the cabman. "Well, sir," replied that doughty champion,
"I could not persuade him to go until I floored him."
After a hearty breakfast I left Liddon to rest and write
letters, and went off shopping, &c., beginning with a call
on Mr. Muir at No. 61, Galerne Ulitsa. I took a
_drojky_ to the house, having first bargained with the
driver for thirty _kopecks_; he wanted forty to begin
with. When we got there we had a little scene, rather a
novelty in my experience of _drojky_-driving. The
driver began by saying "_Sorok_" (forty) as I got out;
this was a warning of the coming storm, but I took no notice
of it, but quietly handed over the thirty. He received them
with scorn and indignation, and holding them out in his open
hand, delivered an eloquent discourse in Russian, of which
_sorok_ was the leading idea. A woman, who stood by
with a look of amusement and curiosity, perhaps understood
him. _I_ didn't, but simply held out my hand for the
thirty, returned them to the purse and counted out
twenty-five instead. In doing this I felt something like a
man pulling the string of a shower-bath--and the effect was
like it--his fury boiled over directly, and quite eclipsed
all the former row. I told him in very bad Russian that I
had offered thirty once, but wouldn't again; but this, oddly
enough, did not pacify him. Mr. Muir's servant told him the
same thing at length, and finally Mr. Muir himself came out
and gave him the substance of it sharply and shortly--but he
failed to see it in a proper light. Some people are very
hard to please.
When staying at a friend's house at Kronstadt he wrote:--
Liddon had surrendered his overcoat early in the day, and
when going we found it must be recovered from the
waiting-maid, who only talked Russian, and as I had left the
dictionary behind, and the little vocabulary did not contain
_coat_, we were in some difficulty. Liddon began by
exhibiting his coat, with much gesticulation, including the
taking it half-off. To our delight, she appeared to
understand at once--left the room, and returned in a minute
with--a large clothes-brush. On this Liddon tried a further
and more energetic demonstration; he took off his coat, and
laid it at her feet, pointed downwards (to intimate that in
the lower regions was the object of his desire), smiled with
an expression of the joy and gratitude with which he would
receive it, and put the coat on again. Once more a gleam of
intelligence lighted up the plain but expressive features of
the young person; she was absent much longer this time, and
when she returned, she brought, to our dismay, a large
cushion and a pillow, and began to prepare the sofa for the
nap that she now saw clearly was the thing the dumb
gentleman wanted. A happy thought occurred to me, and I
hastily drew a sketch representing Liddon, with one coat on,
receiving a second and larger one from the hands of a
benignant Russian peasant. The language of hieroglyphics
succeeded where all other means had failed, and we returned
to St. Petersburg with the humiliating knowledge that our
standard of civilisation was now reduced to the level of
[Illustration: Instance of hieroglyphic writing of the date
MDCCCLXVII--Interpretation. "There is a coat here, left in the care of
a Russian peasant, which I should be glad to receive from him."]
At Warsaw they made a short stay, putting up at the Hotel
Our passage is inhabited by a tall and very friendly
grey-hound, who walks in whenever the door is opened for a
second or two, and who for some time threatened to make the
labour of the servant, who was bringing water for a bath, of
no effect, by drinking up the water as fast as it was
From Warsaw they went on to Leipzig, and thence to Giessen, where they
arrived on September 4th.
We moved on to Giessen, and put up at the "Rappe Hotel" for
the night, and ordered an early breakfast of an obliging
waiter who talked English. "Coffee!" he exclaimed
delightedly, catching at the word as if it were a really
original idea, "Ah, coffee--very nice--and eggs? Ham with
your eggs? Very nice--" "If we can have it broiled," I said.
"Boiled?" the waiter repeated, with an incredulous smile.
"No, not _boiled_," I explained--"_broiled_." The
waiter put aside this distinction as trivial, "Yes, yes,
ham," he repeated, reverting to his favourite idea. "Yes,
ham," I said, "but how cooked?" "Yes, yes, how cooked," the
waiter replied, with the careless air of one who assents to
a proposition more from good nature than from a real
conviction of its truth.
_Sept. 5th_.--At midday we reached Ems, after a journey
eventless, but through a very interesting country--valleys
winding away in all directions among hills clothed with
trees to the very top, and white villages nestling away
wherever there was a comfortable corner to hide in. The
trees were so small, so uniform in colour, and so
continuous, that they gave to the more distant hills
something of the effect of banks covered with moss. The
really unique feature of the scenery was the way in which
the old castles seemed to grow, rather than to have been
built, on the tops of the rocky promontories that showed
their heads here and there among the trees. I have never
seen architecture that seemed so entirely in harmony with
the spirit of the place. By some subtle instinct the old
architects seem to have chosen both form and colour, the
grouping of the towers with their pointed spires, and the
two neutral tints, light grey and brown, on the walls and
roof, so as to produce buildings which look as naturally
fitted to the spot as the heath or the harebells. And, like
the flowers and the rocks, they seemed instinct with no
other meaning than rest and silence.
And with these beautiful words my extracts from the Diary may well
conclude. Lewis Carroll's mind was completely at one with Nature, and
in her pleasant places of calm and infinite repose he sought his
rest--and has found it.
[Illustration: Sir John Tenniel. _From a photograph by
* * * * *
Death of Archdeacon Dodgson--Lewis Carroll's rooms at Christ
Church--"Phantasmagoria"--Translations of "Alice"--"Through
the Looking-Glass"--"Jabberwocky" in Latin--C.S.
Calverley--"Notes by an Oxford
Chiel"--Hatfield--Vivisection--"The Hunting of the Snark."
The success of "Alice in Wonderland" tempted Mr. Dodgson to make
another essay in the same field of literature. His idea had not yet
been plagiarised, as it was afterwards, though the book had of course
been parodied, a notable instance being "Alice in Blunderland," which
appeared in _Punch_. It was very different when he came to write
"Sylvie and Bruno"; the countless imitations of the two "Alice" books
which had been foisted upon the public forced him to strike out in a
new line. Long before the publication of his second tale, people had
heard that Lewis Carroll was writing again, and the editor of a
well-known magazine had offered him two guineas a page, which was a
high rate of pay in those days, for the story, if he would allow it to
appear in serial form.
The central idea was, as every one knows, the adventures of a little
girl who had somehow or other got through a looking-glass. The first
difficulty, however, was to get her through, and this question
exercised his ingenuity for some time, before it was satisfactorily
solved. The next thing was to secure Tenniel's services again. At
first it seemed that he was to be disappointed in this matter; Tenniel
was so fully occupied with other work that there seemed little hope of
his being able to undertake any more. He then applied to Sir Noel
Paton, with whose fairy-pictures he had fallen in love; but the artist
was ill, and wrote in reply, "Tenniel is _the_ man." In the end
Tenniel consented to undertake the work, and once more author and
artist settled down to work together. Mr. Dodgson was no easy man to
work with; no detail was too small for his exact criticism. "Don't
give Alice so much crinoline," he would write, or "The White Knight
must not have whiskers; he must not be made to look old"--such were
the directions he was constantly giving.
On June 21st Archdeacon Dodgson died, after an illness of only a few
days' duration. Lewis Carroll was not summoned until too late, for the
illness took a sudden turn for the worse, and he was unable to reach
his father's bedside before the end had come. This was a terrible
shock to him; his father had been his ideal of what a Christian
gentleman should be, and it seemed to him at first as if a cloud had
settled on his life which could never be dispelled. Two letters of
his, both of them written long after the sad event, give one some idea
of the grief which his father's death, and all that it entailed,
caused him. The first was written long afterwards, to one who had
suffered a similar bereavement. In this letter he said:--
We are sufficiently old friends, I feel sure, for me to have
no fear that I shall seem intrusive in writing about your
great sorrow. The greatest blow that has ever fallen on
_my_ life was the death, nearly thirty years ago, of my
own dear father; so, in offering you my sincere sympathy, I
write as a fellow-sufferer. And I rejoice to know that we
are not only fellow-sufferers, but also fellow-believers in
the blessed hope of the resurrection from the dead, which
makes such a parting holy and beautiful, instead of being
merely a blank despair.
The second was written to a young friend, Miss Edith Rix, who had sent
him an illuminated text:
My dear Edith,--I can now tell you (what I wanted to do when
you sent me that text-card, but felt I could not say it to
_two_ listeners, as it were) _why_ that special
card is one I like to have. That text is consecrated for me
by the memory of one of the greatest sorrows I have
known--the death of my dear father. In those solemn days,
when we used to steal, one by one, into the darkened room,
to take yet another look at the dear calm face, and to pray
for strength, the one feature in the room that I remember
was a framed text, illuminated by one of my sisters, "Then
are they glad, because they are at rest; and so he bringeth
them into the haven where they would be!" That text will
always have, for me, a sadness and a sweetness of its own.
Thank you again for sending it me. Please don't mention this
when we meet. I can't _talk_ about it.
Always affectionately yours,
C. L. DODGSON.
The object of his edition of Euclid Book V., published during the
course of the year, was to meet the requirements of the ordinary Pass
Examination, and to present the subject in as short and simple a form
as possible. Hence the Theory of Incommensurable Magnitudes was
omitted, though, as the author himself said in the Preface, to do so
rendered the work incomplete, and, from a logical point of view,
valueless. He hinted pretty plainly his own preference for an
equivalent amount of Algebra, which would be complete in itself. It is
easy to understand this preference in a mind so strictly logical as
So far as the object of the book itself is concerned, he succeeded
admirably; the propositions are clearly and beautifully worked out,
and the hints on proving Propositions in Euclid Book V., are most
In November he again moved into new rooms at Christ Church; the suite
which he occupied from this date to the end of his life was one of the
best in the College. Situated at the north-west corner of Tom Quad, on
the first floor of the staircase from the entrance to which the Junior
Common Room is now approached, they consist of four sitting-rooms and
about an equal number of bedrooms, besides rooms for lumber, &c. From
the upper floor one can easily reach the flat college roof. Mr.
Dodgson saw at once that here was the very place for a photographic
studio, and he lost no time in obtaining the consent of the
authorities to erect one. Here he took innumerable photographs of his
friends and their children, as indeed he had been doing for some time
under less favourable conditions. One of his earliest pictures is an
excellent likeness of Professor Faraday.
[Illustration: Prof. Faraday. _From a photograph by Lewis
His study was characteristic of the man; oil paintings by A. Hughes,
Mrs. Anderson, and Heaphy proclaimed his artistic tastes; nests of
pigeon-holes, each neatly labelled, showed his love of order; shelves,
filled with the best books on every subject that interested him, were
evidence of his wide reading. His library has now been broken up and,
except for a few books retained by his nearest relatives, scattered to
the winds; such dispersions are inevitable, but they are none the less
regrettable. It always seems to me that one of the saddest things
about the death of a literary man is the fact that the breaking-up of
his collection of books almost invariably follows; the building up of
a good library, the work of a lifetime, has been so much labour lost,
so far as future generations are concerned. Talent, yes, and genius
too, are displayed not only in writing books but also in buying them,
and it is a pity that the ruthless hammer of the auctioneer should
render so much energy and skill fruitless.
[Illustration: Lewis Carroll's Study at Christ Church,
Lewis Carroll's dining-room has been the scene of many a pleasant
little party, for he was very fond of entertaining. In his Diary, each
of the dinners and luncheons that he gave is recorded by a small
diagram, which shows who his guests were, and their several positions
at the table. He kept a _menu_ book as well, that the same people
might not have the same dishes too frequently. He sometimes gave large
parties, but his favourite form of social relaxation was a _diner a
At the beginning of 1869 his "Phantasmagoria," a collection of poems
grave and gay, was published by Macmillan. Upon the whole he was more
successful in humorous poetry, but there is an undeniable dignity and
pathos in his more serious verses. He gave a copy to Mr. Justice
Denman, with whom he afterwards came to be very well acquainted, and
who appreciated the gift highly. "I did not lay down the book," he
wrote, "until I had read them [the poems] through; and enjoyed many a
hearty laugh, and something like a cry or two. Moreover, I hope to
read them through (as the _old man_ said) 'again and again.'"
[Illustration: Justice Denman. _From a photograph by Lewis
It had been Lewis Carroll's intention to have "Phantasmagoria"
illustrated, and he had asked George du Maurier to undertake the work;
but the plan fell through. In his letter to du Maurier, Mr. Dodgson
had made some inquiries about Miss Florence Montgomery, the authoress
of "Misunderstood." In reply du Maurier said, "Miss Florence
Montgomery is a very charming and sympathetic young lady, the daughter
of the admiral of that ilk. I am, like you, a very great admirer of
"Misunderstood," and cried pints over it. When I was doing the last
picture I had to put a long white pipe in the little boy's mouth until
it was finished, so as to get rid of the horrible pathos of the
situation while I was executing the work. In reading the book a second
time (knowing the sad end of the dear little boy), the funny parts
made me cry almost as much as the pathetic ones."
A few days after the publication of "Phantasmagoria," Lewis Carroll
sent the first chapter of his new story to the press. "Behind the
Looking-Glass and what Alice saw there" was his original idea for its
title; it was Dr. Liddon who suggested the name finally adopted.
During this year German and French translations of "Alice in
Wonderland" were published by Macmillan; the Italian edition appeared
in 1872. Henri Bue, who was responsible for the French version, had no
easy task to perform. In many cases the puns proved quite
untranslatable; while the poems, being parodies on well-known English
pieces, would have been pointless on the other side of the Channel.
For instance, the lines beginning, "How doth the little crocodile" are
a parody on "How doth the little busy bee," a song which a French
child has, of course, never heard of. In this case Bue gave up the
idea of translation altogether, and, instead, parodied La Fontaine's
"Maitre Corbeau" as follows:--
Maitre Corbeau sur un arbre perche
Faisait son nid entre des branches;
Il avait releve ses manches,
Car il etait tres affaire.
Maitre Renard par la passant,
Lui dit: "Descendez donc, compere;
Venez embrasser votre frere!"
Le Corbeau, le reconnaissant,
Lui repondit en son ramage!--
The dialogue in which the joke occurs about "tortoise" and "taught us"
("Wonderland," p. 142) is thus rendered:--
"La maitresse etait une vieille tortue; nous l'appelions
chelonee." "Et pourquoi l'appeliez-vous chelonee, si ce
n'etait pas son nom?" "Parcequ'on ne pouvait s'empecher de
s'ecrier en la voyant: Quel long nez!" dit la Fausse-Tortue
d'un ton fache; "vous etes vraiment bien bornee!"
At two points, however, both M. Bue and Miss Antonie Zimmermann, who
translated the tale into German, were fairly beaten: the reason for
the whiting being so called, from its doing the boots and shoes, and
for no wise fish going anywhere without a porpoise, were given up as
At the beginning of 1870 Lord Salisbury came up to Oxford to be
installed as Chancellor of the University. Dr. Liddon introduced Mr.
Dodgson to him, and thus began a very pleasant acquaintance. Of course
he photographed the Chancellor and his two sons, for he never missed
an opportunity of getting distinguished people into his studio.
[Illustration: Lord Salisbury and his two sons. _From a
photograph by Lewis Carroll_.]
In December, seven "Puzzles from Wonderland" appeared in Mrs. Gatty's
paper, _Aunt Judy's Magazine_. They had originally been written
for the Cecil children, with whom Lewis Carroll was already on the
best terms. Meanwhile "Through the Looking-Glass" was steadily
progressing--not, however, without many little hitches. One question
which exercised Mr. Dodgson very much was whether the picture of the
Jabberwock would do as a frontispiece, or whether it would be too
frightening for little children. On this point he sought the advice of
about thirty of his married lady friends, whose experiences with their
own children would make them trustworthy advisers; and in the end he
chose the picture of the White Knight on horseback. In 1871 the book
appeared, and was an instantaneous success. Eight thousand of the
first edition had been taken up by the booksellers before Mr. Dodgson
had even received his own presentation copies. The compliments he
received upon the "Looking-Glass" would have been enough to turn a
lesser man's head, but he was, I think, proof against either praise or
I can say with a clear head and conscience [wrote Henry
Kingsley] that your new book is the finest thing we have had
since "Martin Chuzzlewit." ... I can only say, in comparing
the new "Alice" with the old, "this is a more excellent song
than the other." It is perfectly splendid, but you have,
doubtless, heard that from other quarters. I lunch with
Macmillan habitually, and he was in a terrible pickle about
not having printed enough copies the other day.
Jabberwocky was at once recognised as the best and most original
thing in the book, though one fair correspondent of _The Queen_
declared that it was a translation from the German! The late Dean of
Rochester, Dr. Scott, writes about it to Mr. Dodgson as follows:--
Are we to suppose, after all, that the Saga of Jabberwocky
is one of the universal heirlooms which the Aryan race at
its dispersion carried with it from the great cradle of the
family? You must really consult Max Mueller about this. It
begins to be probable that the _origo originalissima_
may be discovered in Sanscrit, and that we shall by and by
have a _Iabrivokaveda_. The hero will turn out to be
the Sun-god in one of his _Avatars_; and the Tumtum
tree the great Ash _Ygdrasil_ of the Scandinavian
In March, 1872, the late Mr. A.A. Vansittart, of Trinity College,
Cambridge, translated the poem into Latin elegiacs. His rendering was
printed, for private circulation only, I believe, several years later,
but will probably be new to most of my readers. A careful comparison
with the original shows the wonderful fidelity of this translation:--
Coesper erat: tunc lubriciles ultravia circum
Urgebant gyros gimbiculosque tophi;
Moestenui visae borogovides ire meatu;
Et profugi gemitus exgrabuere rathae.
O fuge Iabrochium, sanguis meus! Ille recurvis
Unguibus, estque avidis dentibus ille minax.
Ububae fuge cautus avis vim, gnate! Neque unquam
Faedarpax contra te frumiosus eat!
Vorpali gladio juvenis succingitur: hostis
Manxumus ad medium quaeritur usque diem:
Jamque via fesso, sed plurima mente prementi,
Tumtumiae frondis suaserat umbra moram.
Consilia interdum stetit egnia mente revolvens:
At gravis in densa fronde susuffrus erat,
Spiculaque ex oculis jacientis flammea, tulscam
Per silvam venit burbur? Iabrochii!
Vorpali, semel atque iterum collectus in ictum,
Persnicuit gladio persnacuitque puer:
Deinde galumphatus, spernens informe cadaver,
Horrendum monstri rettulit ipse caput.
Victor Iabrochii, spoliis insignis opimis,
Rursus in amplexus, o radiose, meos!
O frabiose dies! CALLO clamateque CALLA!
Vix potuit laetus chorticulare pater.
Coesper erat: tunc lubriciles ultravia circum
Urgebant gyros gimbiculosque tophi;
Moestenui visae borogovides ire meatu;
Et profugi gemitus exgrabuere rathae.
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogroves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that scratch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"
He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought--
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.
And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood
And burbled as it came!
One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.
"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogroves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
The story, as originally written, contained thirteen chapters, but the
published book consisted of twelve only. The omitted chapter
introduced a wasp, in the character of a judge or barrister, I
suppose, since Mr. Tenniel wrote that "a _wasp_ in a _wig_
is altogether beyond the appliances of art." Apart from difficulties
of illustration, the "wasp" chapter was not considered to be up to the
level of the rest of the book, and this was probably the principal
reason of its being left out.
"It is a curious fact," wrote Mr. Tenniel some years later, when
replying to a request of Lewis Carroll's that he would illustrate
another of his books, "that with 'Through the Looking-Glass' the
faculty of making drawings for book illustration departed from me,
and, notwithstanding all sorts of tempting inducements, I have done
nothing in that direction since."
[Illustration: _Facsimile of a letter from Sir John Tenniel
to Lewis Carroll, June_ 1, 1870.]
"Through the Looking Glass" has recently appeared in a solemn judgment
of the House of Lords. In _Eastman Photographic Materials Company v.
Comptroller General of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks_ (1898),
the question for decision was, What constitutes an invented word? A
trademark that consists of or contains an invented word or words is
capable of registration. "Solio" was the word in issue in the case.
Lord Macnaghten in his judgment said, when alluding to the
distinguishing characteristics of an invented word:
I do not think that it is necessary that it should be wholly
meaningless. To give an illustration: your lordships may
remember that in a book of striking humour and fancy, which
was in everybody's hands when it was first published, there
is a collection of strange words where "there are" (to use
the language of the author) "two meanings packed up into one
word." No one would say that those were not invented words.
Still they contain a meaning--a meaning is wrapped up in
them if you can only find it out.
Before I leave the subject of the "Looking-Glass," I should like to
mention one or two circumstances in connection with it which
illustrate his reverence for sacred things. In his original manuscript
the bad-tempered flower (pp. 28-33) was the passion-flower; the sacred
origin of the name never struck him, until it was pointed out to him
by a friend, when he at once changed it into the tiger-lily. Another
friend asked him if the final scene was based upon the triumphal
conclusion of "Pilgrim's Progress." He repudiated the idea, saying
that he would consider such trespassing on holy ground as highly
He seemed never to be satisfied with the amount of work he had on
hand, and in 1872 he determined to add to his other labours by
studying anatomy and physiology. Professor Barclay Thompson supplied
him with a set of bones, and, having purchased the needful books, he
set to work in good earnest. His mind was first turned to acquiring
medical knowledge by his happening to be at hand when a man was seized
with an epileptic fit. He had prevented the poor creature from
falling, but was utterly at a loss what to do next. To be better
prepared on any future occasion, he bought a little manual called
"What to do in Emergencies." In later years he was constantly buying
medical and surgical works, and by the end of his life he had a
library of which no doctor need have been ashamed. There were only two
special bequests in his will, one of some small keepsakes to his
landlady at Eastbourne, Mrs. Dyer, and the other of his medical books
to my brother.
Whenever a new idea presented itself to his mind he used to make a
note of it; he even invented a system by which he could take notes in
the dark, if some happy thought or ingenious problem suggested itself
to him during a sleepless night. Like most men who systematically
overtax their brains, he was a poor sleeper. He would sometimes go
through a whole book of Euclid in bed; he was so familiar with the
bookwork that he could actually see the figures before him in the
dark, and did not confuse the letters, which is perhaps even more
Most of his ideas were ingenious, though many were entirely useless
from a practical point of view. For instance, he has an entry in his
Diary on November 8, 1872: "I wrote to Calverley, suggesting an idea
(which I think occurred to me yesterday) of guessing well-known poems
as acrostics, and making a collection of them to hoax the public."
Calverley's reply to this letter was as follows:--
My dear Sir,--I have been laid up (or laid down) for the
last few days by acute lumbago, or I would have written
before. It is rather absurd that I was on the point of
propounding to you this identical idea. I realised, and I
regret to add revealed to two girls, a fortnight ago, the
truth that all existing poems were in fact acrostics; and I
offered a small pecuniary reward to whichever would find out
Gray's "Elegy" within half an hour! But it never occurred to
me to utilise the discovery, as it did to you. I see that it
might be utilised, now you mention it--and I shall instruct
these two young women not to publish the notion among their
This is the way Mr. Calverley treated Kirke White's poem "To an early
Primrose." "The title," writes C.S.C. "might either be ignored or
omitted. Possibly carpers might say that a primrose was not a rose."
Mild offspring of a dark and sullen sire!
Whose modest form, so delicately fine, Wild
Was nursed in whistling storms Rose
And cradled in the winds!
Thee, when young Spring first questioned Winter's sway,
And dared the sturdy blusterer to the fight, W a R
Thee on this bank he threw
To mark his victory.
In this low vale, the promise of the year,
Serene thou openest to the nipping gale,
Unnoticed and alone I ncognit O
Thy tender elegance.
So Virtue blooms, brought forth amid the storms
Of chill adversity, in some lone walk
Of life she rears her head L owlines S
Obscure and unobserved.
While every bleaching breeze that on her blows
Chastens her spotless purity of breast,
And hardens her to bear D isciplin E
Serene the ills of life.
In the course of their correspondence Mr. Calverley wrote a
Shakespearian sonnet, the initial letters of which form the name of
William Herbert; and a parody entitled "The New Hat." I reproduce them
When o'er the world Night spreads her mantle dun,
In dreams, my love, I see those stars, thine eyes,
Lighting the dark: but when the royal sun
Looks o'er the pines and fires the orient skies,
I bask no longer in thy beauty's ray,
And lo! my world is bankrupt of delight.
Murk night seemed lately fair-complexioned day;
Hope-bringing day now seems most doleful night.
End, weary day, that art no day to me!
Return, fair night, to me the best of days!
But O my rose, whom in my dreams I see,
Enkindle with like bliss my waking gaze!
Replete with thee, e'en hideous night grows fair:
Then what would sweet morn be, if thou wert there?
THE NEW HAT.
My boots had been wash'd, well wash'd, by a shower;
But little I car'd about that:
What I felt was the havoc a single half-hour
Had made with my beautiful Hat.
For the Boot, tho' its lustre be dimm'd, shall assume
New comeliness after a while;
But no art may restore its original bloom,
When once it hath fled, to the Tile.
I clomb to my perch, and the horses (a bay
And a brown) trotted off with a clatter;
The driver look'd round in his humorous way,
And said huskily, "Who is your hatter?"
I was pleased that he'd noticed its shape and its shine;
And, as soon as we reached the "Old Druid,"
I begged him to drink to its welfare and mine
In a glass of my favourite fluid.
A gratified smile sat, I own, on my lips
When the barmaid exclaimed to the master,
(He was standing inside with his hands on his hips),
"Just look at that gentleman's castor."
I laughed, when an organman paus'd in mid-air--
('Twas an air that I happened to know,
By a great foreign _maestro_)--expressly to stare
At ze gent wiz _ze joli chapeau_.
Yet how swift is the transit from laughter to tears!
How rife with results is a day!
That Hat might, with care, have adorned me for years;
But one show'r wash'd its beauty away.
How I lov'd thee, my Bright One! I pluck in remorse
My hands from my pockets and wring 'em:
Oh, why did not I, dear, as a matter of course,
Ere I purchas'd thee purchase a gingham?
Mr. Dodgson spent the last night of the old year (1872) at Hatfield,
where he was the guest of Lord Salisbury. There was a large party of
children in the house, one of them being Princess Alice, to whom he
told as much of the story of "Sylvie and Bruno" as he had then
composed. While the tale was in progress Lady Salisbury entered the
room, bringing in some new toy or game to amuse her little guests,
who, with the usual thoughtlessness of children, all rushed off and
left Mr. Dodgson. But the little Princess, suddenly appearing to
remember that to do so might perhaps hurt his feelings, sat down again
by his side. He read the kind thought which prompted her action, and
was much pleased by it.
As Mr. Dodgson knew several members of the _Punch_ staff, he used
to send up any little incidents or remarks that particularly amused
him to that paper. He even went so far as to suggest subjects for
cartoons, though I do not know if his ideas were ever carried out. One
of the anecdotes he sent to _Punch_ was that of a little boy,
aged four, who after having listened with much attention to the story
of Lot's wife, asked ingenuously, "Where does salt come from that's
_not_ made of ladies?" This appeared on January 3, 1874.
The following is one of several such little anecdotes jotted down by
Lewis Carroll for future use: Dr. Paget was conducting a school
examination, and in the course of his questions he happened to ask a
small child the meaning of "Average." He was utterly bewildered by the
reply, "The thing that hens lay on," until the child explained that he
had read in a book that hens lay _on an average_ so many eggs a
Among the notable people whom he photographed was John Ruskin, and, as
several friends begged him for copies, he wrote to ask Mr. Ruskin's
leave. The reply was, "Buy Number 5 of _Fors Clavigera_ for 1871,
which will give you your answer." This was not what Mr. Dodgson
wanted, so he wrote back, "Can't afford ten-pence!" Finally Mr. Ruskin
gave his consent.
[Illustration: John Ruskin. _From a photograph by Lewis
About this time came the anonymous publication of "Notes by an Oxford
Chiel," a collection of papers written on various occasions, and all
of them dealing with Oxford controversies. Taking them in order, we
have first "The New Method of Evaluation as applied to [_pi_],"
first published by Messrs. Parker in 1865, which had for its subject
the controversy about the Regius Professorship of Greek. One extract
will be sufficient to show the way in which the affair was treated:
"Let U = the University, G = Greek, and P = Professor. Then G P =
Greek Professor; let this be reduced to its lowest terms and call the
result J [i.e., Jowett]."
The second paper is called "The Dynamics of a Parti-cle," and is quite
the best of the series; it is a geometrical treatment of the contest
between Mr. Gathorne Hardy and Mr. Gladstone for the representation of
the University. Here are some of the "Definitions" with which the
subject was introduced:--
_Plain Superficiality_ is the character of a speech, in
which any two points being taken, the speaker is found to
lie wholly with regard to those two points.
_Plain Anger_ is the inclination of two voters to one
another, who meet together, but whose views are not in the
When two parties, coming together, feel a Right Anger, each
is _said_ to be _complimentary_ to the other,
though, strictly speaking, this is very seldom the case.
_A surd_ is a radical whose meaning cannot be exactly
As the "Notes of an Oxford Chiel" has been long out of print, I will
give a few more extracts from this paper:--
The effect of Differentiation on a Particle is very
remarkable, the first differential being frequently of
greater value than the original particle, and the second of
For example, let L = "Leader", S = "Saturday", and then LS =
"Leader in the Saturday" (a particle of no assignable
value). Differentiating once, we get L.S.D., a function of
great value. Similarly it will be found that, by taking the
second Differential of an enlightened Particle (_i.e.,_
raising it to the Degree D.D.), the enlightenment becomes
rapidly less. The effect is much increased by the addition
of a C: in this case the enlightenment often vanishes
altogether, and the Particle becomes Conservative.
PROP. I. PR.
_To find the value of a given Examiner_.
_Example_.--A takes in ten books in the Final
Examination and gets a 3rd class; B takes in the Examiners,
and gets a 2nd. Find the value of the Examiners in terms of
books. Find also their value in terms in which no
Examination is held.
PROP. II. PR.
_To estimate Profit and Loss_.
_Example_.--Given a Derby Prophet, who has sent three
different winners to three different betting-men, and given
that none of the three horses are placed. Find the total
loss incurred by the three men (_a_) in money,
(_b_) in temper. Find also the Prophet. Is this latter
PROP. IV. TH.
_The end_ (i.e., "_the product of the extremes")
justifies_ (i.e., "_is equal to_"--_see Latin
"aequus") the means_.
No example is appended to this Proposition, for obvious
PROP. V. PR.
_To continue a given series._
_Example_.--A and B, who are respectively addicted to
Fours and Fives, occupy the same set of rooms, which is
always at Sixes and Sevens. Find the probable amount of
reading done by A and B while the Eights are on.
The third paper was entitled "Facts, Figures, and Fancies." The best
thing in it was a parody on "The Deserted Village," from which an
extract will be found in a later chapter. There was also a letter to
the Senior Censor of Christ Church, in burlesque of a similar letter
in which the Professor of Physics met an offer of the Clarendon
Trustees by a detailed enumeration of the requirements in his own
department of Natural Science. Mr. Dodgson's letter deals with the
imaginary requirements of the Mathematical school:--
Dear Senior Censor,--In a desultory conversation on a point
connected with the dinner at our high table, you
incidentally remarked to me that lobster-sauce, "though a
necessary adjunct to turbot, was not entirely wholesome!"
It is entirely unwholesome. I never ask for it without
reluctance: I never take a second spoonful without a feeling
of apprehension on the subject of a possible nightmare. This
naturally brings me to the subject of Mathematics, and of
the accommodation provided by the University for carrying on
the calculations necessary in that important branch of
As Members of Convocation are called upon (whether
personally, or, as is less exasperating, by letter) to
consider the offer of the Clarendon Trustees, as well as
every other subject of human, or inhuman, interest, capable
of consideration, it has occurred to me to suggest for your
consideration how desirable roofed buildings are for
carrying on mathematical calculations: in fact, the variable
character of the weather in Oxford renders it highly
inexpedient to attempt much occupation, of a sedentary
nature, in the open air.
Again, it is often impossible for students to carry on
accurate mathematical calculations in close contiguity to
one another, owing to their mutual conversation;
consequently these processes require different rooms in
which irrepressible conversationalists, who are found to
occur in every branch of Society, might be carefully and
It may be sufficient for the present to enumerate the
following requisites--others might be added as funds
A. A very large room for calculating Greatest Common
Measure. To this a small one might be attached for Least
Common Multiple: this, however, might be dispensed with.
B. A piece of open ground for keeping Roots and practising
their extraction: it would be advisable to keep Square Roots
by themselves, as their corners are apt to damage others.
C. A room for reducing Fractions to their Lowest Terms. This
should be provided with a cellar for keeping the Lowest
Terms when found, which might also be available to the
general body of Undergraduates, for the purpose of "keeping
D. A large room, which might be darkened, and fitted up with
a magic lantern, for the purpose of exhibiting circulating
Decimals in the act of circulation. This might also contain
cupboards, fitted with glass doors, for keeping the various
Scales of Notation.
E. A narrow strip of ground, railed off and carefully
levelled, for investigating the properties of Asymptotes,
and testing practically whether Parallel Lines meet or not:
for this purpose it should reach, to use the expressive
language of Euclid, "ever so far."
This last process of "continually producing the lines," may
require centuries or more; but such a period, though long in
the life of an individual, is as nothing in the life of the
As Photography is now very much employed in recording human
expressions, and might possibly be adapted to Algebraical
Expressions, a small photographic room would be desirable,
both for general use and for representing the various
phenomena of Gravity, Disturbance of Equilibrium,
Resolution, &c., which affect the features during severe
May I trust that you will give your immediate attention to
this most important subject?
Next came "The New Belfry of Christ Church, Oxford; a Monograph by
D.C.L." On the title-page was a neatly drawn square--the figure of
Euclid I. 46--below which was written "East view of the New Belfry,
Christ Church, as seen from the meadow." The new belfry is fortunately a
thing of the past, and its insolent hideousness no longer defaces Christ
Church, but while it lasted it was no doubt an excellent target for
Lewis Carroll's sarcasm. His article on it is divided into thirteen
chapters. Three of them are perhaps worth quoting:--
Sec.1. _On the etymological significance of the new Belfry, Ch. Ch_.