Monday, 24 March 2014

Soles and Eels

Soles and Eels, an illustration by JVL in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Artists' Choice Editions, 2009.

'I can tell you more than that, if you like,' said the Gryphon. 'Do you
know why it's called a whiting?'

'I never thought about it,' said Alice. 'Why?'

 'IT DOES THE BOOTS AND SHOES.' the Gryphon replied very

Alice was thoroughly puzzled. 'Does the boots and shoes!' she
repeated in a wondering tone.

'Why, what are YOUR shoes done with?' said the Gryphon. 'I mean,
what makes them so shiny?'

Alice looked down at them, and considered a little before she gave
her answer. 'They're done with blacking, I believe.'

'Boots and shoes under the sea,' the Gryphon went on in a deep
voice, 'are done with a whiting. Now you know.'

'And what are they made of?' Alice asked in a tone of great

'Soles and eels, of course,' the Gryphon replied rather impatiently:
'any shrimp could have told you that.'

'If I'd been the whiting,' said Alice, whose thoughts were still
running on the song, 'I'd have said to the porpoise, "Keep back,
please: we don't want YOU with us!"'

'They were obliged to have him with them,' the Mock Turtle said:
'no wise fish would go anywhere without a porpoise.'

'Wouldn't it really?' said Alice in a tone of great surprise.

'Of course not,' said the Mock Turtle: 'why, if a fish came to ME, and
told me he was going a journey, I should say "With what porpoise?"'

'Don't you mean "purpose"?' said Alice.

'I mean what I say,' the Mock Turtle replied in an offended tone.

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