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Nik Marcel (2Language Books)

Monday, 17 June 2013

Alice in Wonderland (English)

Alice in Wonderland
Alice au Pays des Merveilles
Copyright © 2013 Nik Marcel
All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be decompiled, reverse engineered, reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) now known or hereinafter invented, without the prior written permission of the copyright owner of this book.
This dual-language (bilingual) edition, including its compartmentalised structure, its formatting, and its translation, is owned by Nik Marcel.
2Language Books
(A Bilingual Dual-Language Project)

I. Down the Rabbit-Hole
Alice was sitting beside her sister on the grass; she was beginning to feel bored, staying there with nothing to do;
one or two times she had cast her eyes into the book her sister was reading, but what... no images, and no dialogues! “A great plan,” thought Alice, “having a book without pictures or conversation?”
So she took to reflecting (for better or for worse, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and dull), whether the pleasure of making a garland of daisies was worth the hassle of getting up and picking the flowers, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes passed by her.
There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Alice even think it extraordinary to hear the Rabbit say to itself, “Ah! I will arrive late!”
(When she thought it over afterwards, it seemed to her that she should have been astonished, but at the time it all seemed completely natural.)
However, when the Rabbit came to draw a watch out of its pocket, look at it, and then take off at a delightful pace, Alice jumped to her feet; she was struck by the idea that she had never seen a rabbit with a waistcoat pocket, nor a watch.
Swept along with curiosity, she rushed in his footsteps; traversing the field, and arriving just in time to see it disappear down a large hole under a hedge.
In another moment, Alice was in pursuit of it: going down into the earth, without considering how she could come back out.
For a long way, the hole went straight on like a tunnel; then, all of a sudden, it plunged vertically, in a manner so suddenly that Alice felt she was falling down a profoundly deep well — without even having a thought as to how to arrest the fall.
It was one of two things: either the well was really deep, or she was falling very slowly — for she had idle time during the drop to look all around, and to ponder incredulously over what was going to happen next.
First of all she stared into the depths of the hole to figure out where she was going; but it was much too dark to see anything there.
Then she shifted her attention to the walls of the well, and observed that they were fitted with cupboards and shelving; here and there she saw, hanging on nails, some geographic maps and pictures.
As she past a shelf she grabbed a jar of jam; it bore this label: ‘Orange Marmalade’. However, to her great disappointment, the jar was empty. She did not dare drop the jar for fear of killing someone; so she managed, in a fashion when passing, to deposit it in one of the cupboards.
“For sure,” thought Alice, “after fall like that, I will not be bothered by tumbling down the stairs!
At home then, how brave they will think me! If I fell from rooftop I would not make a complaint.” (This was highly likely the case.)
Falling, falling, falling! “Will this fall never finish? I am curious to know how many miles I have already covered,” she said out loud.
“I must be well near the centre of the earth. Let me see then: that would be at four thousand miles in depth... it seems to me.”
(For, you see, Alice had learnt many of these things in her lessons. Although it certainly was not the best occasion to make a show of her knowledge — seeing that no one could listen to her — still, it was a good exercise to repeat her lessons.)
“Yes, this is pretty close to it; but then at what degree of latitude or longitude is it that I now find myself?” (Alice had not the least idea what she meant by latitude or longitude, but thought they were grand words, and they seemed to have a certain beauty and resonance.)
After a pause she recommenced: “What if I should traverse the entire earth? It would be funny if I come out among the people that walk with their heads upside down. It is the Antipathies, I believe.”
(She was not annoyed this time that there was no one listening, for to her the word did not sound quite right.)
“So then, I must ask them the name of their country. Excuse me madam, is this here New Zealand or Australia?”
(And she tried to do a curtsey as she spoke... what absurdity! Making a curtsey in mid-air! Tell me, just briefly, how would you do it?)
“‘What a little fool!’ This is what the lady would say when I posed this question. No, I will not ask them this; maybe I will see it written down somewhere.”
Falling, falling, falling! Alice therefore — not having anything better to do — started to speak to herself again: “Dinah will note my absence tonight for sure!” (Dinah was her cat.)
“I hope that they do not forget to put out her saucer of milk at tea time. Dinah, my pussy-cat, it is a shame that you are not here with me! There are no mice in the air, I am afraid to say; but you might catch a bat, and they very much resemble a mouse, you know. But do cats eat bats?”
Alice then began to be taken over by sleep. She said again, while half asleep: “do cats eat bats; do cats eat bats?” and sometimes: “do bats eat cats?” For, you should well know, she could not answer either the one or the other, no matter the manner in which they were posed.
She was snoozing already, and begun to dream that she was promenading, taking Dinah by the hand; saying to her very seriously: “Now look here, Dinah, tell me the truth, have you ever eaten a bat?” ...when all of a sudden, thump! She was splayed out on a pile of twigs and dry leaves, and she had finished falling.
Alice was not in the least hurt. She was promptly back on her feet, and looked up in the air; but all was dark up there. She saw that in front of her was a long corridor, showing the way to the White Rabbit, who ran quickly on his little legs.
There was not a moment to lose. Alice went like the wind, and arrived just in time to hear the rabbit say, as it turned a corner: “By my moustache and my ears, how late it is!”
She was not more than two steps away from it; but when she turned the corner, the rabbit had disappeared. She then found herself in a long, low hall, lit up by a row of lamps hanging from the ceiling.
There were doors all around the hall. The doors were all closed, and, after having tried in vain to open all those on the right side, then those on the left side, Alice walked sadly down the middle of the room, wondering to herself how she could get out.
While meandering she suddenly came upon a little table with three legs, made of solid glass. There was nothing on it except a tiny golden key. Alice immediately thought that it could be for one of the doors, but alas! either the locks were too large, or the key was too small; anyhow, she could not open any of them.
Nevertheless, after making a second tour of the room, she noticed a very low placed curtain; she had not seen that before. Behind it she found yet another door; it was almost fifteen inches in height; she tried the little golden key in the lock, and to her great delight, found that it slotted in perfectly!
Alice opened the door and saw that it led into a narrow passage, not much larger than a rat hole. She knelt down, and casting her eyes down the passage, discovered the most enchanting garden in the world.
Oh how she longed to get out of that dark room, and wander in the midst of those beds of brilliant flowers, and around the fresh fountains! However, not even her head could pass through the doorway.
“And even if my head could pass through,” thought Alice, “to what use would it serve without my shoulders? Oh, how I wish I had the ability to retract like a telescope! Maybe I could do so, if I only knew how to begin.”
For, you see, so many extraordinary things had already happened lately, that Alice had begun to think that hardly anything was impossible.
It seemed nothing would come from waiting in front of the door, so Alice returned to the table, half hoping she might find another key on it, or at least a spell book with instructions on how to retract like a telescope.
On the table she this time found a little bottle (which certainly was not there earlier). Around the neck of this little bottle was attached a paper label with the words ‘Drink Me’ magnificently imprinted in large letters.
It was fine to say ‘Drink me,’ but Alice was too prudent to simply obey blindly.
“I will examine it first,” she said, “and see whether it is marked ‘poison’ or not;” for she had read wonderful stories about children who had got burnt, and eaten alive by wild beasts, and the happening of other most disagreeable things, all because they would not remember the simple advice that their parents had given them;
like for example that a red to white hot poker burns the hands that take hold of it for too long; and, if you cut your finger very deeply with a knife, it is sure to bleed; and she had never forgotten that other warning: if you drink excessively from a bottle marked ‘poison,’ sooner or later it will make you sick.
However, as this bottle was not marked ‘poison,’ Alice ventured to taste the contents, and finding it delicious, (in fact it had a sort of mixed flavour of cherries, cream, pine-apple, roast turkey, toffee, and buttered toast,) she soon had it all gulped down.
“I feel completely weird,” said Alice; “one might say that I am shutting up like a telescope.”
And in effect this was indeed happening: she was no more than ten inches high; and her pretty face shone with joy at the thought that she was now the right height to pass through the door, and enter the lovely garden.
She waited a few minutes to see if she was going to shrink any further. It certainly made her feel a little anxious.
“Consider then,” said Alice to herself, “that I might well end up extinguishing myself, like a candle. What would become of me then?” And she tried to imagine what the flame of a candle is like after it is blown out, for she could not remember ever having seen anything of the sort.
And waiting for some time, and seeing that nothing new was happening, she set about entering the garden;
but alas... poor Alice! When she arrived at the door, she found she had forgotten the little golden key. She retraced her steps to retrieve it from the table; but it was impossible to reach the key that she could see clearly through the glass. She then made every possible effort to climb up one of the legs of the table, but it was much too slippery; and finally, overcome by fatigue, the poor child sat down and wept.
“Come now, of what good is it giving in to tears!” said Alice sternly to herself. “I advise you instead, little Miss, to immediately stop that whining!” Generally she gave herself very good advice, (though she rarely then followed it,) and sometimes she scolded herself so severely that tears streamed down her cheeks;
one time she even gave herself some slaps for having cheated in a game of croquet which she was playing against herself, for this unusual child was very fond of pretending to be two people.
“But,” thought poor Alice, “it is no use pretending to be two people. Why, at present there is hardly enough of me left to make one!”
And then, she noticed a little crystal box that was lying under the table; she opened it, and found inside a very small cake, on which, with the use of currents, was written in beautiful characters ‘Eat Me’.
“Well, I will eat it,” said Alice, “and if it makes me grow a lot, I can reach the key; and if it makes me grow smaller, I can creep under the door; so one way or another I will enter the garden, and then, what will be will be!”
So, she ate a little piece of cake, and placing her hand on her head, exclaimed anxiously: “Which way is it? Which way is it?” She wanted to know if she would grow or shrink, and she was completely surprised to find that she remained the same size.
Sure, this is what generally happens to all those who eat cake, but Alice had been so used to seeing extraordinary things, that it seemed a really boring and stupid thing to grow like everybody normally does.
So she returned to the task, and in a few instants finished off the whole cake.
II. The Pool of Tears
“Very curious and always more curious!” cried Alice (her surprise was so much that she could no more express herself correctly); “now I am elongating like the longest telescope that ever was! Goodbye my feet!” (for when she looked down at her feet, they seemed to be far away, and almost out of sight).


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