and what Alice
"It's my own invention", Lewis Carroll, Seite 4 ( von 8 )
There was a short silence after this, and then the Knight went on again.
"I'm a great hand at inventing things. Now, I daresay you noticed, the
last time you picked me up, that I was looking rather thoughtful?"
"You were a
little grave," said Alice.
"Well, just then I was inventing a new way of getting over a gate - would
you like to hear it?"
"Very much indeed," Alice said politely.
"I'll tell you how I came to think of it," said the Knight. "You
see, I said to myself, 'The only difficulty is with the feet: the
head is high
enough already.' Now, first I put my head on the top of the gate - then the
head's high enough - then I stand on my head - then the feet are high enough,
you see - then I'm over, you see."
"Yes, I suppose you'd be over when that was done," Alice said
thoughtfully: "but don't you think it would be rather hard?"
"I haven't tried it yet," the Knight said, gravely: "so I can't
tell for certain - but I'm afraid it
would be a
He looked so vexed at the idea, that Alice changed the subject hastily.
"What a curious helmet you've got!" she said cheerfully. "Is
that your invention too?"
The Knight looked down proudly at his helmet, which hung from the saddle.
"Yes," he said, "but I've invented a better one than that - like
a sugar-loaf. When I used to wear it, if I fell off the horse, it always
touched the ground directly. So I had a
very little way
to fall, you see - But there
was the danger
of falling into
it, to be sure. That happened to me once - and the worst of it was, before I
could get out again, the other White Knight came and put it on. He thought it
was his own helmet."
The Knight looked so solemn about it that Alice did not dare to laugh.
"I'm afraid you must have hurt him," she said in a trembling voice,
"being on the top of his head."
"I had to kick him, of course," the Knight said, very seriously.
"And then he took the helmet off again - but it took hours and hours to
get me out. I was as fast as - as lightning, you know."
"But that's a different kind of fastness," Alice objected.
The Knight shook his head. "It was all kinds of fastness with me, I can
assure you!" he said. He raised his hands in some excitement as he said
this, and instantly rolled out of the saddle, and fell headlong into a deep
Alice ran to the side of the ditch to look for him. She was rather startled by
the fall, as for some time he had kept on very well, and she was afraid that he
really was hurt
this time. However, though she could see nothing but the soles of his feet, she
was much relieved to hear that he was talking on in his usual tone. "All
kinds of fastness," he repeated: "but it was careless of him to put
another man's helmet on - with the man in it, too."
you go on talking so quietly, head downwards?" Alice asked, as she dragged
him out by the feet, and laid him in a heap on the bank.
The Knight looked surprised at the question. "What does it matter where my
body happens to be?" he said. "My mind goes on working all the same.
In fact, the more head downwards I am, the more I keep inventing new
"Now the cleverest thing of the sort that I ever did," he went on
after a pause, "was inventing a new pudding during the meat-course."
"In time to have it cooked for the next course?" said Alice.
"Well, that was quick work,
"Well, not the next course,"
the Knight said in a slow thoughtful tone: "no, certainly not the next