Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures Under Ground - Pages
Copyright © The British Library Board
In a moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the
world she was to get out again.
The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly
down, so suddenly, that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself,
before she found herself falling down what seemed a deep well. Either the well
was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went
down to look about her, and to wonder what would happen next. First, she tried
to look down and make out what she was coming to, but it was too dark to see anything:
then, she looked at the sides of the well, and noticed that they were filled with
cupboards and book-shelves: here and there were maps and pictures hung on pegs.
She took a jar down off one of the shelves as she passed: it was labelled "Orange
Marmalade," but to her great disappointment it was empty: she did not like to
drop the jar, for fear of killing somebody underneath, so managed to put it into
one of the cupboards as she fell past it.
"Well!" thought Alice to herself, "after such a fall as this, I shall think nothing
of tumbling down stairs! How brave they'll all think me at home! Why, I wouldn't
say anything about it, even if I fell off the top of the house!" (which was most
Down, down, down. Would the fall never come to an end? "I wonder how many
miles I've fallen by this time?" said she aloud, "I must be getting somewhere
near the centre of the earth. Let me see: that would be four thousand miles down,
I think - " (for you see Alice had learnt several things of this sort in her lessons
in the schoolroom, and though this was not a very good opportunity of showing
off her knowledge, as there was no one to hear her, still it was good practice
to say it over,) "yes, that's the right distance, but then what Longitude or Latitude-line
shall I be in?"