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lewis carroll Quotes

Lewis Carroll Quotes

Birth Date: 1864-09-29 (Thursday, September 29th, 1864)
Date of Death: 1898-01-14 (Friday, January 14th, 1898)


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Lewis Carroll tells Alice Liddell a story that would grow into Alice s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequels.Friday, July 4th, 1862


    • I charm in vain; for never again, All keenly as my glance I bend, Will Memory, goddess coy, Embody for my joy Departed days, nor let me gaze On thee, my fairy friend!
    • IF - and the thing is wildly possible - the charge of writing nonsense were ever brought against the author of this brief but instructive poem, it would be based, I feel convinced, on the line (in Fit the Second) 'Then the bowsprit got mixed with the rudder sometimes.' In view of this painful possibility, I will not (as I might) appeal indignantly to my other writings as a proof that I am incapable of such a deed: I will not (as I might) point to the strong moral purpose of this poem itself, to the arithmetical principles so cautiously inculcated in it, or to its noble teachings in Natural History - I will take the more prosaic course of simply explaining how it happened...
    • As this poem is to some extent connected with the lay of the Jabberwock, let me take this opportunity of answering a question that has often been asked me, how to pronounce 'slithy toves.' The 'i' in 'slithy' is long, as in 'writhe'; and 'toves' is pronounced so as to rhyme with 'groves.' Again, the first 'o' in 'borogoves' is pronounced like the 'o' in 'borrow.' I have heard people try to give it the sound of the 'o' in 'worry.' Such is Human Perversity.
    • 'Just the place for a Snark!' the Bellman cried, As he landed his crew with care; Supporting each man on the top of the tide By a finger entwined in his hair.
    • 'Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice: That alone should encourage the crew. Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice: What I tell you three times is true.'
    • There was one who was famed for the number of things He forgot when he entered the ship: His umbrella, his watch, all his jewels and rings, And the clothes he had bought for the trip. He had forty-two boxes, all carefully packed, With his name painted clearly on each: But, since he omitted to mention the fact, They were all left behind on the beach.
    • He had bought a large map representing the sea, Without the least vestige of land: And the crew were much pleased when they found it to be A map they could all understand.
    • 'Other maps are such shapes, with their islands and capes! But we've got our brave captain to thank' (So the crew would protest) 'that he's bought us the best - A perfect and absolute blank!'
    • Then the bowsprit got mixed with the rudder sometimes: A thing, as the Bellman remarked, That frequently happens in tropical climes, When a vessel is, so to speak, 'snarked.'
    • But the principal failing occurred in the sailing, And the Bellman, perplexed and distressed, Said he had hoped, at least, when the wind blew due East That the ship would not travel due West!
    • You may seek it with thimbles - and seek it with care; You may hunt it with forks and hope; You may threaten its life with a railway-share; You may charm it with smiles and soap - ('That's exactly the method,' the Bellman bold In a hasty parenthesis cried, 'That's exactly the way I have always been told That the capture of Snarks should be tried!') ''But oh, beamish nephew, beware of the day, If your Snark be a Boojum! For then You will softly and suddenly vanish away, And never be met with again!'
    • You may charge me with murder - or want of sense - (we are all of us weak at times): But the slightest approach to a false pretence was never among my crimes! I said it in Hebrew - I said it in Dutch - I said it in German and Greek: But I wholly forgot (and it vexes me much) That English is what you speak!
    • As to temper the Jubjub's a desperate bird, Since it lives in perpetual passion: Its taste in costume is entirely absurd - It is ages ahead of the fashion.
    • They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care; They pursued it with forks and hope; They threatened its life with a railway-share; They charmed it with smiles and soap.
    • In the midst of the word he was trying to say, In the midst of his laughter and glee, He had softly and suddenly vanished away - For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.
    • Is all our Life, then but a dream Seen faintly in the goldern gleam Athwart Time's dark resistless stream? Bowed to the earth with bitter woe Or laughing at some raree-show We flutter idly to and fro. Man's little Day in haste we spend, And, from its merry noontide, send No glance to meet the silent end.
    • I do not know if 'Alice in Wonderland' was an original story - I was, at least, no conscious imitator in writing it - but I do know that, since it came out, something like a dozen story-books have appeared, on identically the same pattern. The path I timidly explored believing myself to be 'the first that ever burst into that silent sea' - is now a beaten high-road: all the way-side flowers have long ago been trampled into the dust: and it would be courting disaster for me to attempt that style again.
    • I believe this thought, of the possibility of death - if calmly realised, and steadily faced would be one of the best possible tests as to our going to any scene of amusement being right or wrong. If the thought of sudden death acquires, for you, a special horror when imagined as happening in a theatre, then be very sure the theatre is harmful for you, however harmless it may be for others; and that you are incurring a deadly peril in going. Be sure the safest rule is that we should not dare to live in any scene in which we dare not die. But, once realise what the true object is in life - that it is not pleasure, not knowledge, not even fame itself, 'that last infirmity of noble minds' - but that it is the development of character, the rising to a higher, nobler, purer standard, the building-up of the perfect Man - and then, so long as we feel that this is going on, and will (we trust) go on for evermore, death has for us no terror; it is not a shadow, but a light; not an end, but a beginning!
    • I suppose every child has a world of his own - and every man, too, for the matter of that. I wonder if that's the cause for all the misunderstanding there is in Life?
    • He thought he saw an Elephant, That practised on a fife: He looked again, and found it was A letter from his wife. 'At length I realise,' he said, 'The bitterness of Life!'
    • He thought he saw a Banker's Clerk Descending from the bus: He looked again, and found it was A Hippopotamus: 'If this should stay to dine,' he said, 'There won't be much for us!'
    • The West is the fitting tomb for all the sorrow and the sighing, all the errors and the follies of the Past: for all its withered Hopes and all its buried Loves! From the East comes new strength, new ambition, new Hope, new Life, new Love! Look Eastward! Aye, look Eastward!'
    • Fading, with the Night, the memory of a dead love, and the withered leaves of a blighted hope, and the sickly repinings and moody regrets that numb the best energies of the soul: and rising, broadening, rolling upward like a living flood, the manly resolve, and the dauntless will, and the heavenward gaze of faith - the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen! 'Look Eastward! Aye, look Eastward!'
    • They did things very simply in those days: if you had a lot of money, you just dug a hole under the hedge, and popped it in: then you said you had 'put it in the bank'
    • My best love to yourself-to your mother my kindest regards-to your small, fat, impertinent, ignorant brother my hatred.
    • Some children have a most disagreeable way of getting grown-up: I hope you won't do anything of that sort before we meet again.
    • As to dancing, my dear, I never dance, unless I am allowed to do it in my own peculiar way. There is no use trying to describe it: it has to be seen to be believed. The last house I tried it in, the floor broke through. But then it was a poor sort of floor--the beams were only six inches thick, hardly worth calling beams at all: stone arches are much more sensible, when any dancing, of my peculiar kind, is to be done. Did you ever see the Rhinoceros, and the Hippopotamus, at the Zoological Gardens, trying to dance a minuet together? It is a touching sight. Give any message from me to Amy that you think will be most likely to surprise her.
    • Of course you know what a Snark is? If you do, please tell me: for I haven't an idea what it is like.
    • All old Dadgerson's dodges one conning one's copying and that's what wonderland's wanderlad'll flaunt to the fair.
    • Poems by Lewis Carroll at
    • The Lewis Carroll Society
    • Lewis Carroll Society of North America
    • Looking for Lewis Carroll
    • 'The Genesis of Sylvie and Bruno: from Chaos to Cosmos' by Pascale Renaud-Grosbras as translated by Mike Leach
    • 'Dodgson's Dodges' by Thomas Christensen
    • Lewis Carroll's Logic Game
    • Lewis Carroll at
    • Contrariwise; the Association for New Lewis Carroll Studies
    • Works by Lewis Carroll at Project Gutenberg
    • The Photography of Lewis Carroll
    • 'Did all those famous people really have epilepsy?' by John R. Hughes. Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago. Epilepsy & Behavior, Volume 6, Issue 2, p.115 - 139. March 2005.
    • 1982 audio interview with Edward Guilino, biographer of Lewis Carroll. Interview by Don Swaim of CBS Radio - RealAudio
    • Musical Compositions Inspired by Lewis Carroll
    • lewis carroll

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