Alice's Adventures in Wonderland "It Was The Best Butter"

Lewis Carroll

"It Was The Best Butter"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a lecturer of mathematics at Oxford University, is remembered chiefly by his pen-name, Lewis Carroll, the author of imaginative children's stories in which his young friend, Alice Lid-dell, has the key role. In Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Alice, bored with sitting beside her sister who is reading, follows a White Rabbit and falls a great distance down the rabbit hole. At the end of the fall, Alice, discovering herself in a queer land, has many strange adventures; for instance, she attends a tea with the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, and a sleepy Dormouse, and finds the conversation disjointed and peculiar. The Hatter, asking what day it is, looks at his watch; and when Alice says it is the fourth, the ensuing conversation is typically nonsensical:

"Two days wrong!" sighed the Hatter. "I told you butter wouldn't suit the works!" he added, looking angrily at the March Hare.
"It was the best butter," the March Hare meekly replied.
"Yes, but some crumbs must have got in as well," the Hatter grumbled: "you shouldn't have put it in with the bread-knife."
The March Hare took the watch and looked at it gloomily: then he dipped it into his cup of tea, and looked at it again: but he could think of nothing better to say than his first remark, "It was the best butter, you know."