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Learn To Speed Read

Learn
To
Speed Read
KRIS MADDEN

krismadden.com
Copyright notice:
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-
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cense. To view a copy of this license, visit

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San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

Learn To Speed Read

Copyright © 2009 by Kristopher Madden
Interior design and composition by Kristopher Madden

www.krismadden.com

ISBN 13: 978-1-449547-83-7
ISBN 10: 1-449547-83-4
It’s been said that less than
1% of English speakers
read faster than
400 words per minute,
in that case,
this book
is dedicated to
the other
99%.
Contents

Introduction 1

Breaking Old Habits
Displacement 11

Disruption 53

Dishabituation 115

Building New Habits
Habituation 177

Visualization 241

Imigization 289

Closing 331

Resources
Bibliography 335
Introduction
STOP! Read This Introduction!
I know the introduction in other books is usually
trivial, and most of the time, it’s okay to skip over the in-
troduction, because it’s really an optional part of the book,
with info relatively irrelevant to the rest of the book, and
offers more fluff than substance to reader.
This is not one of those. Please do not skip ahead to
the first section, without reading this introduction. It will
give you an overall understanding of the concepts and ex-
ercises you’ll be working with throughout the course of the
book.
Let’s get started by learning about the two forms of
reading that you’ll be working on!

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2 Learn To Speed Read

Practice Reading
When you “practice read”, do not concern yourself
with comprehension. The goal of practice reading is to do
just that practice reading. Think of it like a baseball play-
er taking practice swings before he’s up to bat. Your goal
is to get used to the feeling of reading in a new way, it
will be awkward at first, but after practice it become more
nautral.
In each section there are five sets of exercises for
practice reading. The exercises increase in difficulty from
exercise #1, being easy, to exercise #5, being the most dif-
ficult. After working through all of the exercises, you’ll
move on to “Performance Reading”.

Performance Reading
“Performance Reading” is when your goal is com-
prehension. It is active reading, not passive reading. You
are constantly involved with the text, asking questions,
visualizing information, hearing characters speak in your
mind.
A writers write to communicate their thoughts and
ideas to readers. Regardless of the writer’s skill, commu-
nication with the reader is the goal of all writers. When
you “performance read”, you’ll be working on visualizing
and replicating the author’s mental picture in your mind.

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Learn To Speed Read 3

Breaking Old Habits
The first section deals with breaking old habits of
reading that readers have accumulated over years of vo-
calized reading. Vocalized reading is not necessarily a bad
way to read, but as a habit it limits the reader’s ability
to interpret text into meaning through other senses that
readers have available to them.
These exercises help the reader become more aware
of their subvocalization and assist in the lessening of this
habit through physcally internal and external activities.

Building New Habits
After breaking down your old habits, you can then
begin building new reading habits. In each of these chap-
ters, the reader will be presented with a new way to look
at text and begin building positive reading habits.
These lessons aid the reader in developing a strong
visual interpretation of the text, culminating with the
final chapter exercise that combines all of the previous
chapter exercises into one.
This does not mean that you can practice this ex-
ercise alone and gain the value of all others. The exercise
will most likely prove most difficult to near impossible
until you’ve worked through the exercises in the previous
chapters.

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4 Learn To Speed Read

Displacement
This chapter focuses on replacing your subvocalized
reading of the text with a common sound, phrase, number
count, etc. This displaces the voiced word with another
sound, forcing the reader to translate text into meaning
through visual perception.

Disruption
This chapter works to help disrupt your natural
internal tendency to subvocalize by practicing methods
that make it difficult to speak. In these exercises the text
is reproduced as-is, with the exclusion of chapter head-
ings, for a more streamlined practice reading session. The
performance reading section has the text reproduced ver-
batim with Chapter headings and original formatting.

Dishabituation
Dishabitiuation refers to the process in which a
person experiences a full-strength response to a common
stimulus that has become weakened over time. Readers
have developed a series of habits when they are presented
with text, and one of the best ways to break these habits,
is by presenting the text in a new way to the reader.
The exercises contain the text with characters that
are upside down, backwards, or alternating in their orien-
tation. The reader must decipher full words and phrases,
rather than letters alone, because of the way that the text
is presented.
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Learn To Speed Read 5

Habituation
Habituation is the process of reducing response to
a specific stimulus by means of repetition. These exercises
work to eliminate the top five most-common words in the
English language: “the”, “of”, “to”, “and”, and “a”. This is
accomplished by splicing these common words in between
the spaces of the text. At first the reader will, most likely,
read these words, but after practice will begin mentally
skipping these letters to extract meaning from the pas-
sage. In doing so, the reader will skip over words that
were in the original text without loss in comprehension.

Visualization
These exercises are the only exercises that require
writing in this book. Each exercise helps the reader in
developing concrete visual vocabulary. This lesson is espe-
cially important to visual learners and will increase
readers’ ability to sense when to interpret words into
sound and others into images, motion, context, etc.

“Imigization”
Ask yourself, if I can interpret meaning from sen-
tences at a glance, then couldn’t I extract meaning from
whole pages? These exercises help develop a reader’s abil-
ity to take in larger chunks of information at one time.
“Imigization” is a made-up word I use to describe the pro-
cess for these exercises, and refers to the process of taking
in the entire text on the page as a picture, or symbol.
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6 Learn To Speed Read

Closing
Words of encouragement on continuing your jour-
ney to becoming a speedy and efficient reader, as well as
advice on where to go after completing the work in this
book.

Bibliography
I’ve found many “speed reading” books have short
or superficial bibliographies, which is why I have included
all the books I have read on and around the subject mat-
ter. This is not to say that all of these books present posi-
tive speed reading habits, in fact, some of the books have
been helpful showing me what NOT to write and what
doesn’t work.
My goal was to be as comprehensive as possible in
writing this book, taking into account all the theories be-
hind speed reading, both the realistic and unrealistic, and
then building a course around that information to produce
positive reading habits in myself and my various volun-
teer student readers.

One Final Word...
In deciding the text that this book would utilize to
practice in each lesson, I took many things into consider-
ation. I wanted a text that was relatively short, something
that people were familiar with, something that was easy
to visualize, and something that everyone would enjoy.

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Learn To Speed Read 7
My choice: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
It fits all of these categories and then some.
The book was designed as a course workbook to be
completed over a period of six weeks, with each section
consisting of five exercises, one for each week day, and
the performance reading section to be completed over the
weekend.
If you decide to go faster, that is fine as well, but
I stress not skipping over chapters, because each one is
foundational and built upon previous lessons.
With that said, I should also let you know that
some of the exercises will be extremely difficult, but don’t
give up when you hit a rough patch of difficult practice
readings. Keep up the persistence and maintain your
reading schedule and you’ll continue to see the rewards in
your personal reading life.
Enjoy.

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Breaking
Old
Habits
a

Displ cement
Displacement refers to the method of replacing your
habit of vocalizing the words that are printed on the page
with a repetitious sound, word, or phrase. This distracts
you from physically voicing the word and forces the use
of another form of sensory perception to derive meaning
from the text.
To my knowledge, this method was first document-
ed in W. B. Secor’s 1899 study: “Visual Reading: A Study
in Mental Imagery”. In it, Secor writes:
“The subject was asked either to say the
alphabet aloud or to whistle a tune while
reading. The results of this method were
somewhat startling. It completely removed
all traces of articulatory movement”

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12 Learn To Speed Read

Practice Reading
In the exercise that follows, there will be a line of text and
above each word will be a number. Instead of saying the
word, say the number. If you catch yourself voicing the
words, take a break and then resume practice reading.

Exercise #1
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2
Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her
3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2
sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or
3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading,
2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
but it had no pictures or conversations in it, ‘and what is
2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2
the use of a book,’ thought Alice ‘without pictures or
3
conversation?’
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
So she was considering in her own mind (as well as she
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2
could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and
3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2
stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain
3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the
2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2
daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran
3 1 2
close by her.

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Learn To Speed Read 13

1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
There was nothing so VERY remarkable in that; nor did
2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2
Alice think it so VERY much out of the way to hear the
3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2
Rabbit say to itself, ‘Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!’
3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
(when she thought it over afterwards, it occurred to her
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
it all seemed quite natural); but when the Rabbit actually
2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
TOOK A WATCH OUT OF ITS WAISTCOAT-POCKET,
2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her
2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 23
before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2
watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she
3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
ran across the field after it, and fortunately was just in
2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the
2
hedge.
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
In another moment down went Alice after it, never
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2
once considering how in the world she was to get out

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14 Learn To Speed Read

1
again.
2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2
The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for
3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2
some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly
3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping her-
2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
self before she found herself falling down a very deep well.
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
Either the well was very deep, or she fell very
2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to
2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
look about her and to wonder what was going to happen
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
next. First, she tried to look down and make out what she
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
was coming to, but it was too dark to see anything; then
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
she looked at the sides of the well, and noticed that they
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
were filled with cupboards and book-shelves; here and
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
there she saw maps and pictures hung upon pegs. She
2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2
took down a jar from one of the shelves as she passed; it
3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
was labelled ‘ORANGE MARMALADE’, but to her great
2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
disappointment it was empty: she did not like to drop the

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Learn To Speed Read 15

1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
jar for fear of killing somebody, so managed to put it into
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
one of the cupboards as she fell past it.
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
‘Well!’ thought Alice to herself, ‘after such a fall as
2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2
this, I shall think nothing of tumbling down stairs! How
3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
brave they’ll all think me at home! Why, I wouldn’t say
1 2 3 1 23 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
anything about it, even if I fell off the top of the house!’
2 3 1 2 3
(Which was very likely true.)
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2
Down, down, down. Would the fall NEVER come
3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2
to an end! ‘I wonder how many miles I’ve fallen by this
3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
time?’ she said aloud. ‘I must be getting somewhere near
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
the centre of the earth. Let me see: that would be four
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
thousand miles down, I think—’ (for, you see, Alice had
2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
learnt several things of this sort in her lessons in the
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
schoolroom, and though this was not a VERY good
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
opportunity for showing off her knowledge, as there was
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2
no one to listen to her, still it was good practice to say it

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16 Learn To Speed Read

1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
over) ‘—yes, that’s about the right distance—but then I
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
wonder what Latitude or Longitude I’ve got to?’ (Alice
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
had no idea what Latitude was, or Longitude either, but
2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
thought they were nice grand words to say.)
1 2 3 1 2 3 12 3 1
Presently she began again. ‘I wonder if I shall fall
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
right THROUGH the earth! How funny it’ll seem to come
2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
out among the people that walk with their heads
2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
downward! The Antipathies, I think—’ (she was rather
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2
glad there WAS no one listening, this time, as it didn’t
3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2
sound at all the right word) ‘—but I shall have to ask
3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
them what the name of the country is, you know. Please,
2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2
Ma’am, is this New Zealand or Australia?’ (and she tried
3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2
to curtsey as she spoke—fancy CURTSEYING as you’re
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2
falling through the air! Do you think you could manage
3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
it?) ‘And what an ignorant little girl she’ll think me for
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
asking! No, it’ll never do to ask: perhaps I shall see it

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Learn To Speed Read 17

1 2 3
written up somewhere.’
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
Down, down, down. There was nothing else to do,
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
so Alice soon began talking again. ‘Dinah’ll miss me very
2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
much to-night, I should think!’ (Dinah was the cat.) ‘I
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
hope they’ll remember her saucer of milk at tea-time.
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2
Dinah my dear! I wish you were down here with me!
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
There are no mice in the air, I’m afraid, but you might
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
catch a bat, and that’s very like a mouse, you know. But
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
do cats eat bats, I wonder?’ And here Alice began to get
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2
rather sleepy, and went on saying to herself, in a dreamy
3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
sort of way, ‘Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats?’ and some-
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2
times, ‘Do bats eat cats?’ for, you see, as she couldn’t
2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
answer either question, it didn’t much matter which way
2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2
she put it. She felt that she was dozing off, and had just
3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
begun to dream that she was walking hand in hand with
2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2
Dinah, and saying to her very earnestly, ‘Now, Dinah, tell

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18 Learn To Speed Read

Practice Reading
In the exercise that follows, the text is separated into
chunks and above each chunk is a number. Instead of say-
ing the words within the chunk of text, say the number.
If you catch yourself voicing the words, take a break and
then resume practice reading.
Exercise #2
1 2 3 1
me the truth: did you ever eat a bat?’
2 3 1
when suddenly, thump! thump! down she
2 3 1
came upon a heap of sticks and
2 3 1
dry leaves, and the fall was over.
2 3 1
Alice was not a bit hurt, and
2 3 1
she jumped up on to her feet in
2 3 1
a moment: she looked up, but it
2 3 1
was all dark overhead; before her
2 3 1
was another long passage, and the White
2 3 1
Rabbit was still in sight, hurrying down it.
1 2 3
There was not a moment to be lost:
1 2 3 1
away went Alice like the wind, and was

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Learn To Speed Read 19

2 3 1
just in time to hear it say, as it turned
2 3 1
a corner, ‘Oh my ears and whiskers,
2 3 1
how late it’s getting!’ She was close
2 3 1
behind it when she turned the corner,
2 3 1
but the Rabbit was no longer
2 3 1
to be seen: she found herself in a
2 3 1
long, low hall, which was lit up
2 3 1
by a row of lamps hanging from
2 3 1
the roof. There were doors all round
2 3 1
the hall, but they were all locked; and
2 3 1
when Alice had been all the way down
2 3 1
one side and up the other, trying
2 3 1
every door, she walked sadly down the
2 3 1
middle, wondering how she was ever

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20 Learn To Speed Read

2 3
to get out again.
1 2
Suddenly she came upon a
3 1 2
little three-legged table, all made of solid
3 1 2
glass; there was nothing on it except a tiny
3 1 2
golden key, and Alice’s first thought
3 1 2
was that it might belong to one of the
3 1 2
doors of the hall; but, alas! either the locks
3 1 2
were too large, or the key was too small, but
3 1 2
at any rate it would not open any of them.
3 1 2
However, on the second time round, she came
3 1 2
upon a low curtain she had not noticed before,
3 1 2
and behind it was a little door about fifteen
3 1 2
inches high: she tried the little golden key in
3 1 2
the lock, and to her great delight it fitted!
3 1 2
Alice opened the door and found that it

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Learn To Speed Read 21

3 1 2
led into a small passage, not much larger
3 1 2
than a rat-hole: she knelt down and
3 1 2
looked along the passage into the loveliest
3 1 2
garden you ever saw. How she longed to get
3 1 2
out of that dark hall, and wander about
3 1 2
among those beds of bright flowers
3 1 2
and those cool fountains, but she could not

3 1 2
even get her head through the doorway;
3 1 2
and even if my head would go through,’
3 1 2
thought poor Alice, ‘it would be of very little
3 1 2
use without my shoulders. Oh, how I wish I
3 1 2
could shut up like a telescope! think I could, if I
3 1 2
only know how to begin.’ For, you see,
3 1 2
so many out-of-the-way things had
3
happened lately,

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22 Learn To Speed Read

1 2 3
that Alice had begun to think that very few
1 2 3
things indeed were really impossible.
1 2
There seemed to be no use in
3 1 2
waiting by the little door, so she went back
3 1 2
to the table, half hoping she might find another
3 1 2
key on it, or at any rate a book of rules for
3 1 2
shutting people up like telescopes: this time
3 1 2
she found a little bottle on it, (‘which
3 1 2
certainly was not here before,’ said Alice,) and
3 1 2
round the neck of the bottle was a paper label,
3 1 2
with the words ‘DRINK ME’ beautifully printed
3 1 2
on it in large letters. It was all very well to say
3 1 2
‘Drink me,’ but the wise little Alice was not
3 1 2
going to do THAT in a hurry. ‘No, I’ll look first,’
3 1 2
she said, ‘and see whether it’s marked

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Learn To Speed Read 23

3 1 2
“poison” or not’; for she had read several nice
3 1 2
little histories about children who had got
3 1 2
burnt, and eaten up by wild beasts and other
3 1 2
unpleasant things, all because they
3 1 2
WOULD not remember the simple rules their
3 1 2
friends had taught them: such as, that
3 1 2
a red-hot poker will burn you if you hold it too
3 1 2
long; and that if you cut your finger VERY
3 1 2
deeply with a knife, it usually bleeds; and she
3 1 2
had never forgotten that, if you drink much
3 1 2
from a bottle marked ‘poison,’ it is almost
3 1 2
certain to disagree with you, sooner
3 1 2
or later. However, this bottle was NOT
3
marked ‘poison,’

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24 Learn To Speed Read

Practice Reading
In the exercise that follows, there will be a line of text and
above each word will be a number. Instead of saying the
word, say the number. If you catch yourself voicing the
words, take a break and then resume practice reading.
Exercise #3
1 2
so Alice ventured to taste it,
1 2
and finding it very nice, (it
1 2
had, in fact, a sort of mixed
1 2
flavour of cherry-tart,
1 2
custard, pine-apple, roast turkey,
1 2
toffee, and hot buttered toast,)
1 2
she very soon finished it off.
1 2
‘What a curious feeling!’ said Alice;
1 2
‘I must be shutting up like
1 2
a telescope.’ And so it was
1 2
indeed: she was now only ten

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Learn To Speed Read 25

1 2
inches high, and her face
1 2
brightened up at the thought
1 2
that she was now the right
1 2
size for going through the
1 2
little door into that lovely garden.
1 2
First, however, she waited for
1 2
a few minutes to see if she
1 2
was going to shrink any further:
1 2
she felt a little nervous about
1 2
this; ‘for it might end, you
1 2
know,’ said Alice to herself,
1 2
‘in my going out altogether, like a
1 2
candle. I wonder what I should
1 2
be like then?’ And she tried

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26 Learn To Speed Read

1 2
to fancy what the flame of
1 2
a candle is like after
1 2
the candle is blown out,
1 2
for she could not remember
1 2
ever having seen such a thing.
1 2
After a while, finding that
1 2
nothing more happened, she
1 2
decided on going into the
1 2
garden at once; but, alas
1 2
for poor Alice! when she
1 2
got to the door, she
1 2
found she had forgotten
1 2
the little golden key,
1 2
and when she went back to

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Learn To Speed Read 27

1 2
he table for it, she found she
1 2
could not possibly reach it:
1 2
she could see it quite plainly
1 2
through the glass, and she
1 2
tried her best to climb up
1 2
one of the legs of the table,
1 2
but it was too slippery;
1 2
and when she had
1 2
tired herself out with trying,
1 2
the poor little thing
1 2
sat down and cried.
1 2
‘Come, there’s no use in crying
1 2
like that!’ said Alice
1 2
to herself, rather sharply;

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28 Learn To Speed Read

1 2
‘I advise you to leave off
1 2
this minute!’ She generally
1 2
gave herself very good
1 2
advice, (though she very seldom
1 2
followed it), and sometimes
1 2
she scolded herself so
1 2
severely as to bring tears
1 2
into her eyes; and once
1 2
she remembered trying to
1 2
box her own ears for having
1 2
cheated herself in a game
1 2
of croquet she was playing against
1 2
herself, for this curious child was
1 2
very fond of pretending to be two people.

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Learn To Speed Read 29

1 2
But it’s no use now,’ thought poor Alice,
1 2
‘to pretend to be two people!
1 2
Why, there’s hardly enough of me
1 2
left to make ONE respectable person!’
1 2
Soon her eye fell on a little
1 2
glass box that was lying under
1 2
the table: she opened it, and
1 2
found in it a very small cake,
1 2
on which the words ‘EAT ME’
1 2
were beautifully marked in currants. ‘Well,
1 2
I’ll eat it,’ said Alice, ‘and if it makes me
1 2
grow larger, I can reach the key; and if
1 2
it makes me grow smaller, I can creep under
1 2
the door; so either way I’ll get into the garden

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30 Learn To Speed Read

Practice Reading
In the exercise that follows, there will be a line of text and
above each word will be a number. Instead of saying the
words, say the number. If you catch yourself voicing the
words, take a break and then resume practice reading.
Exercise #4
1
and I don’t care
2
which happens!’
3
She ate a little bit,
4
and said anxiously
5
to herself, ‘Which way?
1
Which way?’,
2
holding her hand
3
on the top of
4
her head to feel
5
which way it
1
was growing,

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Learn To Speed Read 31

2
and she was
3
quite surprised
4
to find that she
5
remained the
1
same size: to
2
be sure, this
3
generally happens
4
when one eats
5
cake, but Alice
1
had got so much
2
into the way
3
of expecting nothing
4
but out-of-the-way
5
things to happen

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32 Learn To Speed Read

1
hat it seemed
2
quite dull and
3
stupid for life
4
to go on in the
5
common way.
1
So she set to
2
work, and very
3
soon finished
4
off the cake.
5
‘Curiouser and
1
curiouser!’ cried
2
Alice (she
3
was so
4
much surprised,

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Learn To Speed Read 33

4
that for the
5
moment she quite
1
forgot how to
2
speak good English);
3
‘now I’m opening
4
out like the
5
largest telescope
1
that ever was!
2
Good-bye, feet!’
3
(for when she looked
4
down at her feet, they
5
seemed to be almost out
1
of sight, they were
2
getting so far off).

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34 Learn To Speed Read

3
‘Oh, my poor
4
little feet, I
5
wonder who
1
will put on your
2
shoes and stockings
3
for you now, dears?
4
I’m sure I shan’t
5
be able! I shall
1
be a great deal
2
too far off to
3
trouble myself
4
about you:
5
you must manage
1
the best way

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Learn To Speed Read 35

2
you can;—but
3
I must be
4
kind to them,’
5
thought Alice,
1
‘or perhaps they
2
won’t walk
3
the way I want
4
to go! Let
5
me see:
1
I’ll give
2
them a
3
new pair
4
of boots
5
every Christmas.’

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36 Learn To Speed Read

Practice Reading
In the exercise that follows, there will be a line of text and
above each word will be a number. Instead of saying the
word, say the number. If you catch yourself voicing the
words, take a break and then resume practice reading.
Exercise #5
1
And she went on
2
planning to herself
1
how she would
2
manage it. ‘They
1
must go by
2
the carrier,’ she
1
thought; ‘and how
2
funny it’ll seem,
1
sending presents to one’s
2
own feet! And how odd
1
the directions will look!

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Learn To Speed Read 37

2
Oh dear, what
1
nonsense I’m
2
talking!’ Just then
1
her head struck
2
against the roof
1
of the hall: in
2
fact she was now
1
more than nine
2
feet high, and
1
she at once took
2
up the little golden
1
key and hurried
2
off to the
1
garden door.

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38 Learn To Speed Read

2
Poor Alice! It
1
was as much as
2
she could
1
do, lying
2
down on one side,
1
to look through
2
into the garden with
1
one eye; but
2
to get
1
through was
2
more hopeless than
1
ever: she sat
2
down and began
1
to cry again.

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Learn To Speed Read 39

2
‘You ought to
1
be ashamed
2
of yourself,’
1
said Alice, ‘a great
2
girl like you,’
1
(she might
2
well say this), ‘to go
1
on crying in this
2
way! Stop this
1
moment, I tell you!’
2
But she
1
went on all
2
the same, shedding
1
gallons of tears,

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40 Learn To Speed Read

2
until there was a
1
large pool all round her,
2
about four inches deep
1
and reaching half
2
down the
1
hall. After a
2
time she heard a
1
little pattering of
2
feet in the distance,
1
and she
2
hastily dried
1
her eyes to
2
see what
1
was coming.

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Learn To Speed Read 41

2
It was the
1
White Rabbit
2
returning, splendidly
1
dressed, with
2
a pair of white
1
kid gloves in one
2
hand and a large
1
fan in the other:
2
he came trotting
1
along in a great hurry,
2
muttering to himself a
1
s he came, ‘Oh! the
2
Duchess, the Duchess!
1
Oh! won’t she be savage

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42 Learn To Speed Read

Performance Reading
CHAPTER I. Down the Rabbit-Hole
Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sis-
ter on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice
she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but
it had no pictures or conversations in it, ‘and what is the
use of a book,’ thought Alice ‘without pictures or conversa-
tion?’
So she was considering in her own mind (as well as
she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and
stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain
would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the
daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran
close by her.
There was nothing so VERY remarkable in that;
nor did Alice think it so VERY much out of the way to
hear the Rabbit say to itself, ‘Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be
late!’ (When she thought it over afterwards, it occurred
to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the
time it all seemed quite natural); but when the Rabbit
actually TOOK A WATCH OUT OF ITS WAISTCOAT-
POCKET, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice
started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she
had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-
pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curi-
osity, she ran across the field after it, and fortunately was

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Learn To Speed Read 43
just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under
the hedge.
In another 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 her-
self before she found herself falling down a very deep well.
Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slow-
ly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look
about her and to wonder what was going to 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
she saw maps and pictures hung upon pegs. She took
down a jar from one of the shelves as she passed; it was
labelled ‘ORANGE MARMALADE’, but to her great disap-
pointment it was empty: she did not like to drop the jar
for fear of killing somebody, 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 very likely true.)

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44 Learn To Speed Read
Down, down, down. Would the fall NEVER come
to an end! ‘I wonder how many miles I’ve fallen by this
time?’ she said 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 op-
portunity for showing off her knowledge, as there was no
one to listen to her, still it was good practice to say it over)
‘—yes, that’s about the right distance—but then I wonder
what Latitude or Longitude I’ve got to?’ (Alice had no idea
what Latitude was, or Longitude either, but thought they
were nice grand words to say.)
Presently she began again. ‘I wonder if I shall fall
right THROUGH the earth! How funny it’ll seem to come
out among the people that walk with their heads down-
ward! The Antipathies, I think—’ (she was rather glad
there WAS no one listening, this time, as it didn’t sound
at all the right word) ‘—but I shall have to ask them what
the name of the country is, you know. Please, Ma’am, is
this New Zealand or Australia?’ (and she tried to curt-
sey as she spoke—fancy CURTSEYING as you’re falling
through the air! Do you think you could manage it?) ‘And
what an ignorant little girl she’ll think me for asking!
No, it’ll never do to ask: perhaps I shall see it written up
somewhere.’
Down, down, down. There was nothing else to do,
so Alice soon began talking again. ‘Dinah’ll miss me very

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Learn To Speed Read 45
much to-night, I should think!’ (Dinah was the cat.) ‘I
hope they’ll remember her saucer of milk at tea-time. Di-
nah my dear! I wish you were down here with me! There
are no mice in the air, I’m afraid, but you might catch a
bat, and that’s very like a mouse, you know. But do cats
eat bats, I wonder?’ And here Alice began to get rather
sleepy, and went on saying to herself, in a dreamy sort of
way, ‘Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats?’ and sometimes,
‘Do bats eat cats?’ for, you see, as she couldn’t answer ei-
ther question, it didn’t much matter which way she put
it. She felt that she was dozing off, and had just begun to
dream that she was walking hand in hand with Dinah,
and saying to her very earnestly, ‘Now, Dinah, tell me
the truth: did you ever eat a bat?’ when suddenly, thump!
thump! down she came upon a heap of sticks and dry
leaves, and the fall was over.
Alice was not a bit hurt, and she jumped up on to
her feet in a moment: she looked up, but it was all dark
overhead; before her was another long passage, and the
White Rabbit was still in sight, hurrying down it. There
was not a moment to be lost: away went Alice like the
wind, and was just in time to hear it say, as it turned a
corner, ‘Oh my ears and whiskers, how late it’s getting!’
She was close behind it when she turned the corner, but
the Rabbit was no longer to be seen: she found herself in a
long, low hall, which was lit up by a row of lamps hanging
from the roof.
There were doors all round the hall, but they were

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46 Learn To Speed Read
all locked; and when Alice had been all the way down one
side and up the other, trying every door, she walked sadly
down the middle, wondering how she was ever to get out
again.
Suddenly she came upon a little three-legged table,
all made of solid glass; there was nothing on it except a
tiny golden key, and Alice’s first thought was that it might
belong to one of the doors of the hall; but, alas! either the
locks were too large, or the key was too small, but at any
rate it would not open any of them. However, on the sec-
ond time round, she came upon a low curtain she had not
noticed before, and behind it was a little door about fifteen
inches high: she tried the little golden key in the lock, and
to her great delight it fitted!
Alice opened the door and found that it led into a
small passage, not much larger than a rat-hole: she knelt
down and looked along the passage into the loveliest gar-
den you ever saw. How she longed to get out of that dark
hall, and wander about among those beds of bright flowers
and those cool fountains, but she could not even get her
head through the doorway; ‘and even if my head would go
through,’ thought poor Alice, ‘it would be of very little use
without my shoulders. Oh, how I wish I could shut up like
a telescope! I think I could, if I only know how to begin.’
For, you see, so many out-of-the-way things had happened
lately, that Alice had begun to think that very few things
indeed were really impossible.
There seemed to be no use in waiting by the little

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Learn To Speed Read 47
door, so she went back to the table, half hoping she might
find another key on it, or at any rate a book of rules for
shutting people up like telescopes: this time she found a
little bottle on it, (‘which certainly was not here before,’
said Alice,) and round the neck of the bottle was a paper
label, with the words ‘DRINK ME’ beautifully printed on
it in large letters.
It was all very well to say ‘Drink me,’ but the wise
little Alice was not going to do THAT in a hurry. ‘No, I’ll
look first,’ she said, ‘and see whether it’s marked “poison”
or not’; for she had read several nice little histories about
children who had got burnt, and eaten up by wild beasts
and other unpleasant things, all because they WOULD
not remember the simple rules their friends had taught
them: such as, that a red-hot poker will burn you if you
hold it too long; and that if you cut your finger VERY
deeply with a knife, it usually bleeds; and she had never
forgotten that, if you drink much from a bottle marked
‘poison,’ it is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner
or later.
However, this bottle was NOT marked ‘poison,’ so
Alice ventured to taste it, and finding it very nice, (it had,
in fact, a sort of mixed flavour of cherry-tart, custard,
pine-apple, roast turkey, toffee, and hot buttered toast,)
she very soon finished it off.
* * *
‘What a curious feeling!’ said Alice; ‘I must be shutting up
like a telescope.’
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48 Learn To Speed Read
And so it was indeed: she was now only ten inches
high, and her face brightened up at the thought that she
was now the right size for going through the little door
into that lovely garden. First, however, she waited for a
few minutes to see if she was going to shrink any further:
she felt a little nervous about this; ‘for it might end, you
know,’ said Alice to herself, ‘in my going out altogether,
like a candle. I wonder what I should be like then?’ And
she tried to fancy what the flame of a candle is like after
the candle is blown out, for she could not remember ever
having seen such a thing.
After a while, finding that nothing more happened,
she decided on going into the garden at once; but, alas for
poor Alice! when she got to the door, she found she had
forgotten the little golden key, and when she went back to
the table for it, she found she could not possibly reach it:
she could see it quite plainly through the glass, and she
tried her best to climb up one of the legs of the table, but
it was too slippery; and when she had tired herself out
with trying, the poor little thing sat down and cried.
‘Come, there’s no use in crying like that!’ said Al-
ice to herself, rather sharply; ‘I advise you to leave off
this minute!’ She generally gave herself very good advice,
(though she very seldom followed it), and sometimes she
scolded herself so severely as to bring tears into her eyes;
and once she remembered trying to box her own ears for
having cheated herself in a game of croquet she was play-
ing against herself, for this curious child was very fond of

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Learn To Speed Read 49
pretending to be two people. ‘But it’s no use now,’ thought
poor Alice, ‘to pretend to be two people! Why, there’s hard-
ly enough of me left to make ONE respectable person!’
Soon her eye fell on a little glass box that was ly-
ing under the table: she opened it, and found in it a very
small cake, on which the words ‘EAT ME’ were beauti-
fully marked in currants. ‘Well, I’ll eat it,’ said Alice, ‘and
if it makes me grow larger, I can reach the key; and if it
makes me grow smaller, I can creep under the door; so
either way I’ll get into the garden, and I don’t care which
happens!’
She ate a little bit, and said anxiously to herself,
‘Which way? Which way?’, holding her hand on the top of
her head to feel which way it was growing, and she was
quite surprised to find that she remained the same size:
to be sure, this generally happens when one eats cake, but
Alice had got so much into the way of expecting nothing
but out-of-the-way things to happen, that it seemed quite
dull and stupid for life to go on in the common way.
So she set to work, and very soon finished off the
cake.

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50 Learn To Speed Read

CHAPTER II. The Pool of Tears

‘Curiouser and curiouser!’ cried Alice (she was so much
surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to
speak good English); ‘now I’m opening out like the larg-
est telescope that ever was! Good-bye, feet!’ (for when she
looked down at her feet, they seemed to be almost out of
sight, they were getting so far off). ‘Oh, my poor little feet,
I wonder who will put on your shoes and stockings for you
now, dears? I’m sure I shan’t be able! I shall be a great
deal too far off to trouble myself about you: you must
manage the best way you can;—but I must be kind to
them,’ thought Alice, ‘or perhaps they won’t walk the way
I want to go! Let me see: I’ll give them a new pair of boots
every Christmas.’
And she went on planning to herself how she would
manage it. ‘They must go by the carrier,’ she thought; ‘and
how funny it’ll seem, sending presents to one’s own feet!
And how odd the directions will look!
ALICE’S RIGHT FOOT, ESQ.
HEARTHRUG,
NEAR THE FENDER,
(WITH ALICE’S LOVE).
Oh dear, what nonsense I’m talking!’
Just then her head struck against the roof of the
hall: in fact she was now more than nine feet high, and

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Learn To Speed Read 51
she at once took up the little golden key and hurried off to
the garden door.
Poor Alice! It was as much as she could do, lying
down on one side, to look through into the garden with
one eye; but to get through was more hopeless than ever:
she sat down and began to cry again.
‘You ought to be ashamed of yourself,’ said Alice,
‘a great girl like you,’ (she might well say this), ‘to go on
crying in this way! Stop this moment, I tell you!’ But she
went on all the same, shedding gallons of tears, until
there was a large pool all round her, about four inches
deep and reaching half down the hall.
After a time she heard a little pattering of feet in
the distance, and she hastily dried her eyes to see what
was coming. It was the White Rabbit returning, splendid-
ly dressed, with a pair of white kid gloves in one hand and
a large fan in the other: he came trotting along in a great
hurry, muttering to himself as he came, ‘Oh! the Duchess,
the Duchess! Oh! won’t she be savage

krismadden.com
p !
Dis ru tion
To continue breaking the habit of subvocalizing,
readers can practice reading while doing things that nor-
mally prevent them from speaking.
Exercises may seem strange or feel awkward at
first, that is perfectly normal. The exercises are design to
help you become more aware of your habit of subvocaliza-
tion. When the exercises become more comfortable, this
will indicate your improvements in breaking your subvo-
calization habit.
In this section, you’re on your honor to follow the
exercise instructions because the print is reproduced ex-
actly as it appears in the book. So don’t cheat and fall
back into your old habits, you’re better than that.

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54 Learn To Speed Read

Practice Reading
In the exercise that follows, take three deep breaths and
then hold your breath for as long as possible. (CAUTION:
Anyone who is in a condition where holding one’s breath
is dangerous to their health should not practice this exer-
cise.) If you catch yourself voicing the words, take a break
and then resume practice reading.

Exercise #1
if I’ve kept her waiting!’ Alice felt so desperate that she
was ready to ask help of any one; so, when the Rabbit
came near her, she began, in a low, timid voice, ‘If you
please, sir—’ The Rabbit started violently, dropped the
white kid gloves and the fan, and skurried away into the
darkness as hard as he could go.
Alice took up the fan and gloves, and, as the hall
was very hot, she kept fanning herself all the time she
went on talking: ‘Dear, dear! How queer everything is to-
day! And yesterday things went on just as usual. I wonder
if I’ve been changed in the night? Let me think: was I the
same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can re-
member feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same,
the next question is, Who in the world am I? Ah, THAT’S
the great puzzle!’ And she began thinking over all the
children she knew that were of the same age as herself, to
see if she could have been changed for any of them.

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Learn To Speed Read 55
‘I’m sure I’m not Ada,’ she said, ‘for her hair goes
in such long ringlets, and mine doesn’t go in ringlets at
all; and I’m sure I can’t be Mabel, for I know all sorts of
things, and she, oh! she knows such a very little! Besides,
SHE’S she, and I’m I, and—oh dear, how puzzling it all
is! I’ll try if I know all the things I used to know. Let me
see: four times five is twelve, and four times six is thir-
teen, and four times seven is—oh dear! I shall never get
to twenty at that rate! However, the Multiplication Table
doesn’t signify: let’s try Geography. London is the capital
of Paris, and Paris is the capital of Rome, and Rome—no,
THAT’S all wrong, I’m certain! I must have been changed
for Mabel! I’ll try and say “How doth the little—”’ and she
crossed her hands on her lap as if she were saying les-
sons, and began to repeat it, but her voice sounded hoarse
and strange, and the words did not come the same as they
used to do:—

‘How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!

‘How cheerfully he seems to grin,
How neatly spread his claws,
And welcome little fishes in
With gently smiling jaws!’

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56 Learn To Speed Read
‘I’m sure those are not the right words,’ said poor
Alice, and her eyes filled with tears again as she went on,
‘I must be Mabel after all, and I shall have to go and live
in that poky little house, and have next to no toys to play
with, and oh! ever so many lessons to learn! No, I’ve made
up my mind about it; if I’m Mabel, I’ll stay down here!
It’ll be no use their putting their heads down and saying
“Come up again, dear!” I shall only look up and say “Who
am I then? Tell me that first, and then, if I like being
that person, I’ll come up: if not, I’ll stay down here till I’m
somebody else”—but, oh dear!’ cried Alice, with a sudden
burst of tears, ‘I do wish they WOULD put their heads
down! I am so VERY tired of being all alone here!’
As she said this she looked down at her hands, and
was surprised to see that she had put on one of the Rab-
bit’s little white kid gloves while she was talking. ‘How
CAN I have done that?’ she thought. ‘I must be growing
small again.’ She got up and went to the table to mea-
sure herself by it, and found that, as nearly as she could
guess, she was now about two feet high, and was going
on shrinking rapidly: she soon found out that the cause of
this was the fan she was holding, and she dropped it hast-
ily, just in time to avoid shrinking away altogether.
‘That WAS a narrow escape!’ said Alice, a good deal
frightened at the sudden change, but very glad to find
herself still in existence; ‘and now for the garden!’ and she
ran with all speed back to the little door: but, alas! the
little door was shut again, and the little golden key was

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Learn To Speed Read 57
lying on the glass table as before, ‘and things are worse
than ever,’ thought the poor child, ‘for I never was so
small as this before, never! And I declare it’s too bad, that
it is!’
As she said these words her foot slipped, and in an-
other moment, splash! she was up to her chin in salt wa-
ter. Her first idea was that she had somehow fallen into
the sea, ‘and in that case I can go back by railway,’ she
said to herself. (Alice had been to the seaside once in her
life, and had come to the general conclusion, that wher-
ever you go to on the English coast you find a number of
bathing machines in the sea, some children digging in the
sand with wooden spades, then a row of lodging houses,
and behind them a railway station.) However, she soon
made out that she was in the pool of tears which she had
wept when she was nine feet high.
‘I wish I hadn’t cried so much!’ said Alice, as she
swam about, trying to find her way out. ‘I shall be pun-
ished for it now, I suppose, by being drowned in my own
tears! That WILL be a queer thing, to be sure! However,
everything is queer to-day.’
Just then she heard something splashing about in
the pool a little way off, and she swam nearer to make out
what it was: at first she thought it must be a walrus or
hippopotamus, but then she remembered how small she
was now, and she soon made out that it was only a mouse
that had slipped in like herself.

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58 Learn To Speed Read
‘Would it be of any use, now,’ thought Alice, ‘to speak to
this mouse? Everything is so out-of-the-way down here,
that I should think very likely it can talk: at any rate,
there’s no harm in trying.’ So she began: ‘O Mouse, do you
know the way out of this pool? I am very tired of swim-
ming about here, O Mouse!’ (Alice thought this must be
the right way of speaking to a mouse: she had never done
such a thing before, but she remembered having seen in
her brother’s Latin Grammar, ‘A mouse—of a mouse—to
a mouse—a mouse—O mouse!’) The Mouse looked at her
rather inquisitively, and seemed to her to wink with one
of its little eyes, but it said nothing.
‘Perhaps it doesn’t understand English,’ thought
Alice; ‘I daresay it’s a French mouse, come over with Wil-
liam the Conqueror.’ (For, with all her knowledge of his-
tory, Alice had no very clear notion how long ago anything
had happened.) So she began again: ‘Ou est ma chatte?’
which was the first sentence in her French lesson-book.
The Mouse gave a sudden leap out of the water, and
seemed to quiver all over with fright. ‘Oh, I beg your par-
don!’ cried Alice hastily, afraid that she had hurt the poor
animal’s feelings. ‘I quite forgot you didn’t like cats.’
‘Not like cats!’ cried the Mouse, in a shrill, passion-
ate voice. ‘Would YOU like cats if you were me?’
‘Well, perhaps not,’ said Alice in a soothing tone:
‘don’t be angry about it. And yet I wish I could show you
our cat Dinah: I think you’d take a fancy to cats if you
could only see her. She is such a dear quiet thing,’ Alice

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Learn To Speed Read 59
went on, half to herself, as she swam lazily about in the
pool, ‘and she sits purring so nicely by the fire, licking her
paws and washing her face—and she is such a nice soft
thing to nurse—and she’s such a capital one for catching
mice—oh, I beg your pardon!’ cried Alice again, for this
time the Mouse was bristling all over, and she felt certain
it must be really offended. ‘We won’t talk about her any
more if you’d rather not.’
‘We indeed!’ cried the Mouse, who was trembling
down to the end of his tail. ‘As if I would talk on such a
subject! Our family always HATED cats: nasty, low, vul-
gar things! Don’t let me hear the name again!’
‘I won’t indeed!’ said Alice, in a great hurry to
change the subject of conversation. ‘Are you—are you
fond—of—of dogs?’ The Mouse did not answer, so Alice
went on eagerly: ‘There is such a nice little dog near our
house I should like to show you! A little bright-eyed ter-
rier, you know, with oh, such long curly brown hair! And
it’ll fetch things when you throw them, and it’ll sit up and
beg for its dinner, and all sorts of things—I can’t remem-
ber half of them—and it belongs to a farmer, you know,
and he says it’s so useful, it’s worth a hundred pounds!
He says it kills all the rats and—oh dear!’ cried Alice in a
sorrowful tone, ‘I’m afraid I’ve offended it again!’ For the
Mouse was swimming away from her as hard as it could
go, and making quite a commotion in the pool as it went.

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60 Learn To Speed Read

Practice Reading
In the exercise that follows, get a glass of water and take
a drink prior to reading, try to hold the water in your
mouth to the end of each page, and then swallow and
repeat. (CAUTION: Anyone who is in a condition where
holding water in one’s mouth is dangerous to their health
should not practice this exercise.) If you catch yourself
voicing the words, take a break and then resume practice
reading.

Exercise #2
So she called softly after it, ‘Mouse dear! Do come
back again, and we won’t talk about cats or dogs either,
if you don’t like them!’ When the Mouse heard this, it
turned round and swam slowly back to her: its face was
quite pale (with passion, Alice thought), and it said in a
low trembling voice, ‘Let us get to the shore, and then I’ll
tell you my history, and you’ll understand why it is I hate
cats and dogs.’
It was high time to go, for the pool was getting
quite crowded with the birds and animals that had fallen
into it: there were a Duck and a Dodo, a Lory and an Ea-
glet, and several other curious creatures. Alice led the
way, and the whole party swam to the shore. see if she
could have been changed for any of them.
They were indeed a queer-looking party that as-
sembled on the bank—the birds with draggled feathers,

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Learn To Speed Read 61
the animals with their fur clinging close to them, and all
dripping wet, cross, and uncomfortable.
The first question of course was, how to get dry
again: they had a consultation about this, and after a few
minutes it seemed quite natural to Alice to find herself
talking familiarly with them, as if she had known them
all her life. Indeed, she had quite a long argument with
the Lory, who at last turned sulky, and would only say, ‘I
am older than you, and must know better’; and this Alice
would not allow without knowing how old it was, and, as
the Lory positively refused to tell its age, there was no
more to be said.
At last the Mouse, who seemed to be a person of
authority among them, called out, ‘Sit down, all of you,
and listen to me! I’LL soon make you dry enough!’ They
all sat down at once, in a large ring, with the Mouse in the
middle. Alice kept her eyes anxiously fixed on it, for she
felt sure she would catch a bad cold if she did not get dry
very soon.
‘Ahem!’ said the Mouse with an important air, ‘are
you all ready? This is the driest thing I know. Silence all
round, if you please! “William the Conqueror, whose cause
was favoured by the pope, was soon submitted to by the
English, who wanted leaders, and had been of late much
accustomed to usurpation and conquest. Edwin and Mor-
car, the earls of Mercia and Northumbria—”’
‘Ugh!’ said the Lory, with a shiver.

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62 Learn To Speed Read
‘I beg your pardon!’ said the Mouse, frowning, but
very politely: ‘Did you speak?’
‘Not I!’ said the Lory hastily.
‘I thought you did,’ said the Mouse. ‘—I proceed.
“Edwin and Morcar, the earls of Mercia and Northumbria,
declared for him: and even Stigand, the patriotic arch-
bishop of Canterbury, found it advisable—”’
‘Found WHAT?’ said the Duck.
‘Found IT,’ the Mouse replied rather crossly: ‘of
course you know what “it” means.’
‘I know what “it” means well enough, when I find a
thing,’ said the Duck: ‘it’s generally a frog or a worm. The
question is, what did the archbishop find?’
The Mouse did not notice this question, but hur-
riedly went on, ‘”—found it advisable to go with Edgar
Atheling to meet William and offer him the crown. Wil-
liam’s conduct at first was moderate. But the insolence of
his Normans—” How are you getting on now, my dear?’ it
continued, turning to Alice as it spoke.
‘As wet as ever,’ said Alice in a melancholy tone: ‘it
doesn’t seem to dry me at all.’
‘In that case,’ said the Dodo solemnly, rising to its
feet, ‘I move that the meeting adjourn, for the immediate
adoption of more energetic remedies—’
‘Speak English!’ said the Eaglet. ‘I don’t know the
meaning of half those long words, and, what’s more, I

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Learn To Speed Read 63
don’t believe you do either!’ And the Eaglet bent down its
head to hide a smile: some of the other birds tittered audi-
bly.
‘What I was going to say,’ said the Dodo in an of-
fended tone, ‘was, that the best thing to get us dry would
be a Caucus-race.’
‘What IS a Caucus-race?’ said Alice; not that she
wanted much to know, but the Dodo had paused as if it
thought that SOMEBODY ought to speak, and no one else
seemed inclined to say anything.
‘Why,’ said the Dodo, ‘the best way to explain it is
to do it.’ (And, as you might like to try the thing yourself,
some winter day, I will tell you how the Dodo managed it.)
First it marked out a race-course, in a sort of circle,
(‘the exact shape doesn’t matter,’ it said,) and then all the
party were placed along the course, here and there. There
was no ‘One, two, three, and away,’ but they began run-
ning when they liked, and left off when they liked, so that
it was not easy to know when the race was over. However,
when they had been running half an hour or so, and were
quite dry again, the Dodo suddenly called out ‘The race is
over!’ and they all crowded round it, panting, and asking,
‘But who has won?’
This question the Dodo could not answer without a
great deal of thought, and it sat for a long time with one
finger pressed upon its forehead (the position in which
you usually see Shakespeare, in the pictures of him),

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64 Learn To Speed Read
while the rest waited in silence. At last the Dodo said,
‘EVERYBODY has won, and all must have prizes.’
‘But who is to give the prizes?’ quite a chorus of
voices asked.
‘Why, SHE, of course,’ said the Dodo, pointing to
Alice with one finger; and the whole party at once crowded
round her, calling out in a confused way, ‘Prizes! Prizes!’
Alice had no idea what to do, and in despair she put
her hand in her pocket, and pulled out a box of comfits,
(luckily the salt water had not got into it), and handed
them round as prizes. There was exactly one a-piece all
round.
‘But she must have a prize herself, you know,’ said
the Mouse.
‘Of course,’ the Dodo replied very gravely. ‘What
else have you got in your pocket?’ he went on, turning to
Alice.
‘Only a thimble,’ said Alice sadly.
‘Hand it over here,’ said the Dodo.
Then they all crowded round her once more, while
the Dodo solemnly presented the thimble, saying ‘We beg
your acceptance of this elegant thimble’; and, when it had
finished this short speech, they all cheered.
Alice thought the whole thing very absurd, but they
all looked so grave that she did not dare to laugh; and, as
she could not think of anything to say, she simply bowed,

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Learn To Speed Read 65
and took the thimble, looking as solemn as she could.
The next thing was to eat the comfits: this caused
some noise and confusion, as the large birds complained
that they could not taste theirs, and the small ones
choked and had to be patted on the back. However, it
was over at last, and they sat down again in a ring, and
begged the Mouse to tell them something more.
‘You promised to tell me your history, you know,’
said Alice, ‘and why it is you hate—C and D,’ she added in
a whisper, half afraid that it would be offended again.
‘Mine is a long and a sad tale!’ said the Mouse,
turning to Alice, and sighing.
‘It IS a long tail, certainly,’ said Alice, looking down with
wonder at the Mouse’s tail; ‘but why do you call it sad?’
And she kept on puzzling about it while the Mouse was
speaking, so that her idea of the tale was something like
this:—

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66 Learn To Speed Read

Practice Reading
In the exercise that follows, bite down gently on your
tongue holding it in place. (CAUTION: Anyone who is in
a condition where holding one’s tongue is dangerous to
their health should not practice this exercise.) If you catch
yourself voicing the words, take a break and then resume
practice reading.

Exercise #3
‘Fury said to a
mouse, That he
met in the
house,
“Let us
both go to
law: I will
prosecute
YOU.—Come,
I’ll take no
denial; We
must have a
trial: For
really this
morning I’ve

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Learn To Speed Read 67
nothing
to do.”
Said the
mouse to the
cur, “Such
a trial,
dear Sir,
With
no jury
or judge,
would be
wasting
our
breath.”
“I’ll be
judge, I’ll
be jury,”
Said
cunning
old Fury:
“I’ll
try the
whole

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68 Learn To Speed Read
cause,
and
condemn
you
to
death.”’
‘You are not attending!’ said the Mouse to Alice se-
verely. ‘What are you thinking of?’
‘I beg your pardon,’ said Alice very humbly: ‘you
had got to the fifth bend, I think?’
‘I had NOT!’ cried the Mouse, sharply and very an-
grily.
‘A knot!’ said Alice, always ready to make herself
useful, and looking anxiously about her. ‘Oh, do let me
help to undo it!’
‘I shall do nothing of the sort,’ said the Mouse, get-
ting up and walking away. ‘You insult me by talking such
nonsense!’
‘I didn’t mean it!’ pleaded poor Alice. ‘But you’re so
easily offended, you know!’
The Mouse only growled in reply.
‘Please come back and finish your story!’ Alice
called after it; and the others all joined in chorus, ‘Yes,
please do!’ but the Mouse only shook its head impatiently,
and walked a little quicker.

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Learn To Speed Read 69
‘What a pity it wouldn’t stay!’ sighed the Lory, as
soon as it was quite out of sight; and an old Crab took the
opportunity of saying to her daughter ‘Ah, my dear! Let
this be a lesson to you never to lose YOUR temper!’ ‘Hold
your tongue, Ma!’ said the young Crab, a little snappishly.
‘You’re enough to try the patience of an oyster!’
‘I wish I had our Dinah here, I know I do!’ said
Alice aloud, addressing nobody in particular. ‘She’d soon
fetch it back!’
‘And who is Dinah, if I might venture to ask the
question?’ said the Lory.
Alice replied eagerly, for she was always ready to
talk about her pet: ‘Dinah’s our cat. And she’s such a capi-
tal one for catching mice you can’t think! And oh, I wish
you could see her after the birds! Why, she’ll eat a little
bird as soon as look at it!’
This speech caused a remarkable sensation among
the party. Some of the birds hurried off at once: one old
Magpie began wrapping itself up very carefully, remark-
ing, ‘I really must be getting home; the night-air doesn’t
suit my throat!’ and a Canary called out in a trembling
voice to its children, ‘Come away, my dears! It’s high time
you were all in bed!’ On various pretexts they all moved
off, and Alice was soon left alone.
‘I wish I hadn’t mentioned Dinah!’ she said to her-
self in a melancholy tone. ‘Nobody seems to like her, down
here, and I’m sure she’s the best cat in the world! Oh, my

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70 Learn To Speed Read
dear Dinah! I wonder if I shall ever see you any more!’
And here poor Alice began to cry again, for she felt very
lonely and low-spirited. In a little while, however, she
again heard a little pattering of footsteps in the distance,
and she looked up eagerly, half hoping that the Mouse
had changed his mind, and was coming back to finish his
story.
It was the White Rabbit, trotting slowly back
again, and looking anxiously about as it went, as if it had
lost something; and she heard it muttering to itself ‘The
Duchess! The Duchess! Oh my dear paws! Oh my fur and
whiskers! She’ll get me executed, as sure as ferrets are
ferrets! Where CAN I have dropped them, I wonder?’ Alice
guessed in a moment that it was looking for the fan and
the pair of white kid gloves, and she very good-naturedly
began hunting about for them, but they were nowhere to
be seen—everything seemed to have changed since her
swim in the pool, and the great hall, with the glass table
and the little door, had vanished completely.
Very soon the Rabbit noticed Alice, as she went
hunting about, and called out to her in an angry tone,
‘Why, Mary Ann, what ARE you doing out here? Run
home this moment, and fetch me a pair of gloves and a
fan! Quick, now!’ And Alice was so much frightened that
she ran off at once in the direction it pointed to, without
trying to explain the mistake it had made.
‘He took me for his housemaid,’ she said to herself
as she ran. ‘How surprised he’ll be when he finds out who

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Learn To Speed Read 71
I am! But I’d better take him his fan and gloves—that is,
if I can find them.’ As she said this, she came upon a neat
little house, on the door of which was a bright brass plate
with the name ‘W. RABBIT’ engraved upon it. She went
in without knocking, and hurried upstairs, in great fear
lest she should meet the real Mary Ann, and be turned
out of the house before she had found the fan and gloves.
‘How queer it seems,’ Alice said to herself, ‘to be
going messages for a rabbit! I suppose Dinah’ll be sending
me on messages next!’ And she began fancying the sort of
thing that would happen: ‘”Miss Alice! Come here directly,
and get ready for your walk!” “Coming in a minute, nurse!
But I’ve got to see that the mouse doesn’t get out.” Only I
don’t think,’ Alice went on, ‘that they’d let Dinah stop in
the house if it began ordering people about like that!’
By this time she had found her way into a tidy
little room with a table in the window, and on it (as she
had hoped) a fan and two or three pairs of tiny white kid
gloves: she took up the fan and a pair of the gloves, and
was just going to leave the room, when her eye fell upon a
little bottle that stood near the looking-glass. There was
no label this time with the words ‘DRINK ME,’ but nev-
ertheless she uncorked it and put it to her lips. ‘I know
SOMETHING interesting is sure to happen,’ she said to
herself, ‘whenever I eat or drink anything; so I’ll just see
what this bottle does. I do hope it’ll make me grow large
again, for really I’m quite tired of being such a tiny little
thing!’

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72 Learn To Speed Read

Practice Reading
In the exercise that follows, open your mouth, as if you
are trying to yawn, and keep it open as long as possible
while reading the text (CAUTION: Anyone who is in a
condition where holding one’s mouth open is dangerous to
their health should not practice this exercise.) If you catch
yourself voicing the words, take a break and then resume
practice reading.

Exercise #4
It did so indeed, and much sooner than she had ex-
pected: before she had drunk half the bottle, she found her
head pressing against the ceiling, and had to stoop to save
her neck from being broken. She hastily put down the bot-
tle, saying to herself ‘That’s quite enough—I hope I shan’t
grow any more—As it is, I can’t get out at the door—I do
wish I hadn’t drunk quite so much!’
Alas! it was too late to wish that! She went on
growing, and growing, and very soon had to kneel down
on the floor: in another minute there was not even room
for this, and she tried the effect of lying down with one el-
bow against the door, and the other arm curled round her
head. Still she went on growing, and, as a last resource,
she put one arm out of the window, and one foot up the
chimney, and said to herself ‘Now I can do no more, what-
ever happens. What WILL become of me?’

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Learn To Speed Read 73
Luckily for Alice, the little magic bottle had now
had its full effect, and she grew no larger: still it was
very uncomfortable, and, as there seemed to be no sort of
chance of her ever getting out of the room again, no won-
der she felt unhappy.
‘It was much pleasanter at home,’ thought poor Al-
ice, ‘when one wasn’t always growing larger and smaller,
and being ordered about by mice and rabbits. I almost
wish I hadn’t gone down that rabbit-hole—and yet—and
yet—it’s rather curious, you know, this sort of life! I do
wonder what CAN have happened to me! When I used to
read fairy-tales, I fancied that kind of thing never hap-
pened, and now here I am in the middle of one! There
ought to be a book written about me, that there ought!
And when I grow up, I’ll write one—but I’m grown up
now,’ she added in a sorrowful tone; ‘at least there’s no
room to grow up any more HERE.’
‘But then,’ thought Alice, ‘shall I NEVER get any
older than I am now? That’ll be a comfort, one way—never
to be an old woman—but then—always to have lessons to
learn! Oh, I shouldn’t like THAT!’
‘Oh, you foolish Alice!’ she answered herself. ‘How
can you learn lessons in here? Why, there’s hardly room
for YOU, and no room at all for any lesson-books!’
And so she went on, taking first one side and then
the other, and making quite a conversation of it altogeth-
er; but after a few minutes she heard a voice outside, and
stopped to listen.
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74 Learn To Speed Read
‘Mary Ann! Mary Ann!’ said the voice. ‘Fetch me my
gloves this moment!’ Then came a little pattering of feet
on the stairs. Alice knew it was the Rabbit coming to look
for her, and she trembled till she shook the house, quite
forgetting that she was now about a thousand times as
large as the Rabbit, and had no reason to be afraid of it.
Presently the Rabbit came up to the door, and tried
to open it; but, as the door opened inwards, and Alice’s
elbow was pressed hard against it, that attempt proved a
failure. Alice heard it say to itself ‘Then I’ll go round and
get in at the window.’
‘THAT you won’t’ thought Alice, and, after wait-
ing till she fancied she heard the Rabbit just under the
window, she suddenly spread out her hand, and made a
snatch in the air. She did not get hold of anything, but
she heard a little shriek and a fall, and a crash of broken
glass, from which she concluded that it was just possible
it had fallen into a cucumber-frame, or something of the
sort.
Next came an angry voice—the Rabbit’s—’Pat! Pat!
Where are you?’ And then a voice she had never heard be-
fore, ‘Sure then I’m here! Digging for apples, yer honour!’
‘Digging for apples, indeed!’ said the Rabbit angrily.
‘Here! Come and help me out of THIS!’ (Sounds of more
broken glass.)
‘Now tell me, Pat, what’s that in the window?’

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Learn To Speed Read 75
‘Sure, it’s an arm, yer honour!’ (He pronounced it ‘arrum.’)
‘An arm, you goose! Who ever saw one that size?
Why, it fills the whole window!’
‘Sure, it does, yer honour: but it’s an arm for all
that.’
‘Well, it’s got no business there, at any rate: go and
take it away!’
There was a long silence after this, and Alice could
only hear whispers now and then; such as, ‘Sure, I don’t
like it, yer honour, at all, at all!’ ‘Do as I tell you, you cow-
ard!’ and at last she spread out her hand again, and made
another snatch in the air. This time there were TWO little
shrieks, and more sounds of broken glass. ‘What a num-
ber of cucumber-frames there must be!’ thought Alice. ‘I
wonder what they’ll do next! As for pulling me out of the
window, I only wish they COULD! I’m sure I don’t want to
stay in here any longer!’
She waited for some time without hearing anything
more: at last came a rumbling of little cartwheels, and
the sound of a good many voices all talking together: she
made out the words: ‘Where’s the other ladder?—Why, I
hadn’t to bring but one; Bill’s got the other—Bill! fetch it
here, lad!—Here, put ‘em up at this corner—No, tie ‘em
together first—they don’t reach half high enough yet—
Oh! they’ll do well enough; don’t be particular—Here,
Bill! catch hold of this rope—Will the roof bear?—Mind
that loose slate—Oh, it’s coming down! Heads below!’ (a

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76 Learn To Speed Read
loud crash)—’Now, who did that?—It was Bill, I fancy—
Who’s to go down the chimney?—Nay, I shan’t! YOU do
it!—That I won’t, then!—Bill’s to go down—Here, Bill! the
master says you’re to go down the chimney!’
‘Oh! So Bill’s got to come down the chimney, has
he?’ said Alice to herself. ‘Shy, they seem to put every-
thing upon Bill! I wouldn’t be in Bill’s place for a good
deal: this fireplace is narrow, to be sure; but I THINK I
can kick a little!’
She drew her foot as far down the chimney as
she could, and waited till she heard a little animal (she
couldn’t guess of what sort it was) scratching and scram-
bling about in the chimney close above her: then, saying
to herself ‘This is Bill,’ she gave one sharp kick, and wait-
ed to see what would happen next.
The first thing she heard was a general chorus of
‘There goes Bill!’ then the Rabbit’s voice along—’Catch
him, you by the hedge!’ then silence, and then another
confusion of voices—’Hold up his head—Brandy now—
Don’t choke him—How was it, old fellow? What happened
to you? Tell us all about it!’
Last came a little feeble, squeaking voice, (‘That’s
Bill,’ thought Alice,) ‘Well, I hardly know—No more,
thank ye; I’m better now—but I’m a deal too flustered
to tell you—all I know is, something comes at me like a
Jack-in-the-box, and up I goes like a sky-rocket!’
‘So you did, old fellow!’ said the others.

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Learn To Speed Read 77
‘We must burn the house down!’ said the Rabbit’s
voice; and Alice called out as loud as she could, ‘If you do.
I’ll set Dinah at you!’
There was a dead silence instantly, and Alice
thought to herself, ‘I wonder what they WILL do next!
If they had any sense, they’d take the roof off.’ After a
minute or two, they began moving about again, and Alice
heard the Rabbit say, ‘A barrowful will do, to begin with.’
‘A barrowful of WHAT?’ thought Alice; but she had
not long to doubt, for the next moment a shower of little
pebbles came rattling in at the window, and some of them
hit her in the face. ‘I’ll put a stop to this,’ she said to her-
self, and shouted out, ‘You’d better not do that again!’
which produced another dead silence.
Alice noticed with some surprise that the pebbles
were all turning into little cakes as they lay on the floor,
and a bright idea came into her head. ‘If I eat one of these
cakes,’ she thought, ‘it’s sure to make SOME change in
my size; and as it can’t possibly make me larger, it must
make me smaller, I suppose.’
So she swallowed one of the cakes, and was de-
lighted to find that she began shrinking directly. As soon
as she was small enough to get through the door, she ran
out of the house, and found quite a crowd of little animals
and birds waiting outside. The poor little Lizard, Bill, was
in the middle, being held up by two guinea-pigs, who were
giving it something out of a bottle. They all made a rush
at Alice the moment she appeared; but she ran off as hard
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78 Learn To Speed Read

Practice Reading
In the exercise that follows, put on your headphones and
listen to a song you know all the words to. Sing along to
yourself while reading. If you catch yourself voicing the
words, take a break and then resume practice reading.

Exercise #5
as she could, and soon found herself safe in a thick wood.
‘The first thing I’ve got to do,’ said Alice to herself,
as she wandered about in the wood, ‘is to grow to my right
size again; and the second thing is to find my way into
that lovely garden. I think that will be the best plan.’
It sounded an excellent plan, no doubt, and very
neatly and simply arranged; the only difficulty was, that
she had not the smallest idea how to set about it; and
while she was peering about anxiously among the trees, a
little sharp bark just over her head made her look up in a
great hurry.
An enormous puppy was looking down at her with
large round eyes, and feebly stretching out one paw, try-
ing to touch her. ‘Poor little thing!’ said Alice, in a coaxing
tone, and she tried hard to whistle to it; but she was ter-
ribly frightened all the time at the thought that it might
be hungry, in which case it would be very likely to eat her
up in spite of all her coaxing. as she could, and soon found
herself safe in a thick wood.

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Learn To Speed Read 79
‘The first thing I’ve got to do,’ said Alice to herself,
as she wandered about in the wood, ‘is to grow to my right
size again; and the second thing is to find my way into
that lovely garden. I think that will be the best plan.’
It sounded an excellent plan, no doubt, and very
neatly and simply arranged; the only difficulty was, that
she had not the smallest idea how to set about it; and
while she was peering about anxiously among the trees, a
little sharp bark just over her head made her look up in a
great hurry.
An enormous puppy was looking down at her with
large round eyes, and feebly stretching out one paw, try-
ing to touch her. ‘Poor little thing!’ said Alice, in a coaxing
tone, and she tried hard to whistle to it; but she was terri-
bly frightened all the time at the thought that it might be
hungry, in which case it would be very likely to eat her up
in spite of all her coaxing.
Hardly knowing what she did, she picked up a little
bit of stick, and held it out to the puppy; whereupon the
puppy jumped into the air off all its feet at once, with a
yelp of delight, and rushed at the stick, and made believe
to worry it; then Alice dodged behind a great thistle, to
keep herself from being run over; and the moment she
appeared on the other side, the puppy made another rush
at the stick, and tumbled head over heels in its hurry to
get hold of it; then Alice, thinking it was very like having
a game of play with a cart-horse, and expecting every mo-
ment to be trampled under its feet, ran round the thistle
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80 Learn To Speed Read
again; then the puppy began a series of short charges at
the stick, running a very little way forwards each time
and a long way back, and barking hoarsely all the while,
till at last it sat down a good way off, panting, with its
tongue hanging out of its mouth, and its great eyes half
shut.
This seemed to Alice a good opportunity for mak-
ing her escape; so she set off at once, and ran till she was
quite tired and out of breath, and till the puppy’s bark
sounded quite faint in the distance.
‘And yet what a dear little puppy it was!’ said Al-
ice, as she leant against a buttercup to rest herself, and
fanned herself with one of the leaves: ‘I should have liked
teaching it tricks very much, if—if I’d only been the right
size to do it! Oh dear! I’d nearly forgotten that I’ve got to
grow up again! Let me see—how IS it to be managed? I
suppose I ought to eat or drink something or other; but
the great question is, what?’
The great question certainly was, what? Alice
looked all round her at the flowers and the blades of
grass, but she did not see anything that looked like the
right thing to eat or drink under the circumstances. There
was a large mushroom growing near her, about the same
height as herself; and when she had looked under it, and
on both sides of it, and behind it, it occurred to her that
she might as well look and see what was on the top of it.
She stretched herself up on tiptoe, and peeped over
the edge of the mushroom, and her eyes immediately met
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those of a large caterpillar, that was sitting on the top
with its arms folded, quietly smoking a long hookah, and
taking not the smallest notice of her or of anything else.
The Caterpillar and Alice looked at each other for some
time in silence: at last the Caterpillar took the hookah out
of its mouth, and addressed her in a languid, sleepy voice.
‘Who are YOU?’ said the Caterpillar.
This was not an encouraging opening for a conver-
sation. Alice replied, rather shyly, ‘I—I hardly know, sir,
just at present—at least I know who I WAS when I got up
this morning, but I think I must have been changed sev-
eral times since then.’
‘What do you mean by that?’ said the Caterpillar
sternly. ‘Explain yourself!’
‘I can’t explain MYSELF, I’m afraid, sir’ said Alice,
‘because I’m not myself, you see.’
‘I don’t see,’ said the Caterpillar.
‘I’m afraid I can’t put it more clearly,’ Alice replied
very politely, ‘for I can’t understand it myself to begin
with; and being so many different sizes in a day is very
confusing.’
‘It isn’t,’ said the Caterpillar.

‘Well, perhaps you haven’t found it so yet,’ said Al-
ice; ‘but when you have to turn into a chrysalis—you will
some day, you know—and then after that into a butterfly,

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I should think you’ll feel it a little queer, won’t you?’
‘Not a bit,’ said the Caterpillar.
‘Well, perhaps your feelings may be different,’ said
Alice; ‘all I know is, it would feel very queer to ME.’
‘You!’ said the Caterpillar contemptuously. ‘Who
are YOU?’
Which brought them back again to the beginning of
the conversation. Alice felt a little irritated at the Cater-
pillar’s making such VERY short remarks, and she drew
herself up and said, very gravely, ‘I think, you ought to
tell me who YOU are, first.’
‘Why?’ said the Caterpillar.
Here was another puzzling question; and as Alice
could not think of any good reason, and as the Caterpil-
lar seemed to be in a VERY unpleasant state of mind, she
turned away.
‘Come back!’ the Caterpillar called after her. ‘I’ve
something important to say!’
This sounded promising, certainly: Alice turned
and came back again.
‘Keep your temper,’ said the Caterpillar.
‘Is that all?’ said Alice, swallowing down her anger
as well as she could.
‘No,’ said the Caterpillar.
Alice thought she might as well wait, as she had

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nothing else to do, and perhaps after all it might tell her
something worth hearing. For some minutes it puffed
away without speaking, but at last it unfolded its arms,
took the hookah out of its mouth again, and said, ‘So you
think you’re changed, do you?’
‘I’m afraid I am, sir,’ said Alice; ‘I can’t remember
things as I used—and I don’t keep the same size for ten
minutes together!’
‘Can’t remember WHAT things?’ said the Caterpil-
lar.
‘Well, I’ve tried to say “HOW DOTH THE LITTLE
BUSY BEE,” but it all came different!’ Alice replied in a
very melancholy voice.
‘Repeat, “YOU ARE OLD, FATHER WILLIAM,”’
said the Caterpillar.

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84 Learn To Speed Read

Performance Reading
if I’ve kept her waiting!’ Alice felt so desperate that she
was ready to ask help of any one; so, when the Rabbit
came near her, she began, in a low, timid voice, ‘If you
please, sir—’ The Rabbit started violently, dropped the
white kid gloves and the fan, and skurried away into the
darkness as hard as he could go.
Alice took up the fan and gloves, and, as the hall
was very hot, she kept fanning herself all the time she
went on talking: ‘Dear, dear! How queer everything is to-
day! And yesterday things went on just as usual. I wonder
if I’ve been changed in the night? Let me think: was I the
same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can re-
member feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same,
the next question is, Who in the world am I? Ah, THAT’S
the great puzzle!’ And she began thinking over all the
children she knew that were of the same age as herself, to
see if she could have been changed for any of them.
‘I’m sure I’m not Ada,’ she said, ‘for her hair goes
in such long ringlets, and mine doesn’t go in ringlets at
all; and I’m sure I can’t be Mabel, for I know all sorts of
things, and she, oh! she knows such a very little! Besides,
SHE’S she, and I’m I, and—oh dear, how puzzling it all
is! I’ll try if I know all the things I used to know. Let me
see: four times five is twelve, and four times six is thir-
teen, and four times seven is—oh dear! I shall never get
to twenty at that rate! However, the Multiplication Table

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doesn’t signify: let’s try Geography. London is the capital
of Paris, and Paris is the capital of Rome, and Rome—no,
THAT’S all wrong, I’m certain! I must have been changed
for Mabel! I’ll try and say “How doth the little—”’ and she
crossed her hands on her lap as if she were saying les-
sons, and began to repeat it, but her voice sounded hoarse
and strange, and the words did not come the same as they
used to do:—

‘How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!

‘How cheerfully he seems to grin,
How neatly spread his claws,
And welcome little fishes in
With gently smiling jaws!’

‘I’m sure those are not the right words,’ said poor Alice,
and her eyes filled with tears again as she went on, ‘I
must be Mabel after all, and I shall have to go and live
in that poky little house, and have next to no toys to play
with, and oh! ever so many lessons to learn! No, I’ve made
up my mind about it; if I’m Mabel, I’ll stay down here!

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86 Learn To Speed Read
It’ll be no use their putting their heads down and
saying “Come up again, dear!” I shall only look up and
say “Who am I then? Tell me that first, and then, if I like
being that person, I’ll come up: if not, I’ll stay down here
till I’m somebody else”—but, oh dear!’ cried Alice, with a
sudden burst of tears, ‘I do wish they WOULD put their
heads down! I am so VERY tired of being all alone here!’
As she said this she looked down at her hands, and
was surprised to see that she had put on one of the Rab-
bit’s little white kid gloves while she was talking. ‘How
CAN I have done that?’ she thought. ‘I must be growing
small again.’ She got up and went to the table to mea-
sure herself by it, and found that, as nearly as she could
guess, she was now about two feet high, and was going
on shrinking rapidly: she soon found out that the cause of
this was the fan she was holding, and she dropped it hast-
ily, just in time to avoid shrinking away altogether.
‘That WAS a narrow escape!’ said Alice, a good deal
frightened at the sudden change, but very glad to find
herself still in existence; ‘and now for the garden!’ and she
ran with all speed back to the little door: but, alas! the
little door was shut again, and the little golden key was
lying on the glass table as before, ‘and things are worse
than ever,’ thought the poor child, ‘for I never was so
small as this before, never! And I declare it’s too bad, that
it is!’
As she said these words her foot slipped, and in an-
other moment, splash! she was up to her chin in salt wa-

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ter. Her first idea was that she had somehow fallen into
the sea, ‘and in that case I can go back by railway,’ she
said to herself. (Alice had been to the seaside once in her
life, and had come to the general conclusion, that wher-
ever you go to on the English coast you find a number of
bathing machines in the sea, some children digging in the
sand with wooden spades, then a row of lodging houses,
and behind them a railway station.) However, she soon
made out that she was in the pool of tears which she had
wept when she was nine feet high.
‘I wish I hadn’t cried so much!’ said Alice, as she
swam about, trying to find her way out. ‘I shall be pun-
ished for it now, I suppose, by being drowned in my own
tears! That WILL be a queer thing, to be sure! However,
everything is queer to-day.’
Just then she heard something splashing about in
the pool a little way off, and she swam nearer to make out
what it was: at first she thought it must be a walrus or
hippopotamus, but then she remembered how small she
was now, and she soon made out that it was only a mouse
that had slipped in like herself.
‘Would it be of any use, now,’ thought Alice, ‘to
speak to this mouse? Everything is so out-of-the-way
down here, that I should think very likely it can talk:
at any rate, there’s no harm in trying.’ So she began: ‘O
Mouse, do you know the way out of this pool? I am very
tired of swimming about here, O Mouse!’ (Alice thought
this must be the right way of speaking to a mouse: she
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88 Learn To Speed Read
had never done such a thing before, but she remembered
having seen in her brother’s Latin Grammar, ‘A mouse—
of a mouse—to a mouse—a mouse—O mouse!’) The Mouse
looked at her rather inquisitively, and seemed to her to
wink with one of its little eyes, but it said nothing.
‘Perhaps it doesn’t understand English,’ thought
Alice; ‘I daresay it’s a French mouse, come over with Wil-
liam the Conqueror.’ (For, with all her knowledge of his-
tory, Alice had no very clear notion how long ago anything
had happened.) So she began again: ‘Ou est ma chatte?’
which was the first sentence in her French lesson-book.
The Mouse gave a sudden leap out of the water, and
seemed to quiver all over with fright. ‘Oh, I beg your par-
don!’ cried Alice hastily, afraid that she had hurt the poor
animal’s feelings. ‘I quite forgot you didn’t like cats.’
‘Not like cats!’ cried the Mouse, in a shrill, passion-
ate voice. ‘Would YOU like cats if you were me?’
‘Well, perhaps not,’ said Alice in a soothing tone:
‘don’t be angry about it. And yet I wish I could show you
our cat Dinah: I think you’d take a fancy to cats if you
could only see her. She is such a dear quiet thing,’ Alice
went on, half to herself, as she swam lazily about in the
pool, ‘and she sits purring so nicely by the fire, licking her
paws and washing her face—and she is such a nice soft
thing to nurse—and she’s such a capital one for catching
mice—oh, I beg your pardon!’ cried Alice again, for this

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time the Mouse was bristling all over, and she felt certain
it must be really offended. ‘We won’t talk about her any
more if you’d rather not.’
‘We indeed!’ cried the Mouse, who was trembling
down to the end of his tail. ‘As if I would talk on such a
subject! Our family always HATED cats: nasty, low, vul-
gar things! Don’t let me hear the name again!’
‘I won’t indeed!’ said Alice, in a great hurry to
change the subject of conversation. ‘Are you—are you
fond—of—of dogs?’ The Mouse did not answer, so Alice
went on eagerly: ‘There is such a nice little dog near our
house I should like to show you! A little bright-eyed ter-
rier, you know, with oh, such long curly brown hair! And
it’ll fetch things when you throw them, and it’ll sit up and
beg for its dinner, and all sorts of things—I can’t remem-
ber half of them—and it belongs to a farmer, you know,
and he says it’s so useful, it’s worth a hundred pounds!
He says it kills all the rats and—oh dear!’ cried Alice in a
sorrowful tone, ‘I’m afraid I’ve offended it again!’ For the
Mouse was swimming away from her as hard as it could
go, and making quite a commotion in the pool as it went.
So she called softly after it, ‘Mouse dear! Do come
back again, and we won’t talk about cats or dogs either,
if you don’t like them!’ When the Mouse heard this, it
turned round and swam slowly back to her: its face was
quite pale (with passion, Alice thought), and it said in a
low trembling voice, ‘Let us get to the shore, and then I’ll
tell you my history, and you’ll understand why it is I hate
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90 Learn To Speed Read
cats and dogs.’
It was high time to go, for the pool was getting quite
crowded with the birds and animals that had fallen into
it: there were a Duck and a Dodo, a Lory and an Eaglet,
and several other curious creatures. Alice led the way,
and the whole party swam to the shore.

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CHAPTER III. A Caucus-Race and
a Long Tale
They were indeed a queer-looking party that as-
sembled on the bank—the birds with draggled feathers,
the animals with their fur clinging close to them, and all
dripping wet, cross, and uncomfortable.

The first question of course was, how to get dry
again: they had a consultation about this, and after a few
minutes it seemed quite natural to Alice to find herself
talking familiarly with them, as if she had known them
all her life. Indeed, she had quite a long argument with
the Lory, who at last turned sulky, and would only say, ‘I
am older than you, and must know better’; and this Alice
would not allow without knowing how old it was, and, as
the Lory positively refused to tell its age, there was no
more to be said.
At last the Mouse, who seemed to be a person of
authority among them, called out, ‘Sit down, all of you,
and listen to me! I’LL soon make you dry enough!’ They
all sat down at once, in a large ring, with the Mouse in the
middle. Alice kept her eyes anxiously fixed on it, for she
felt sure she would catch a bad cold if she did not get dry
very soon.
‘Ahem!’ said the Mouse with an important air, ‘are
you all ready? This is the driest thing I know. Silence all

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92 Learn To Speed Read
round, if you please! “William the Conqueror, whose cause
was favoured by the pope, was soon submitted to by the
English, who wanted leaders, and had been of late much
accustomed to usurpation and conquest. Edwin and Mor-
car, the earls of Mercia and Northumbria—”’
‘Ugh!’ said the Lory, with a shiver.
‘I beg your pardon!’ said the Mouse, frowning, but
very politely: ‘Did you speak?’
‘Not I!’ said the Lory hastily.
‘I thought you did,’ said the Mouse. ‘—I proceed.
“Edwin and Morcar, the earls of Mercia and Northumbria,
declared for him: and even Stigand, the patriotic arch-
bishop of Canterbury, found it advisable—”’
‘Found WHAT?’ said the Duck.
‘Found IT,’ the Mouse replied rather crossly: ‘of
course you know what “it” means.’
‘I know what “it” means well enough, when I find a
thing,’ said the Duck: ‘it’s generally a frog or a worm. The
question is, what did the archbishop find?’
The Mouse did not notice this question, but hur-
riedly went on, ‘”—found it advisable to go with Edgar
Atheling to meet William and offer him the crown. Wil-
liam’s conduct at first was moderate. But the insolence of
his Normans—” How are you getting on now, my dear?’ it
continued, turning to Alice as it spoke.
‘As wet as ever,’ said Alice in a melancholy tone: ‘it

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doesn’t seem to dry me at all.’
‘In that case,’ said the Dodo solemnly, rising to its
feet, ‘I move that the meeting adjourn, for the immediate
adoption of more energetic remedies—’
‘Speak English!’ said the Eaglet. ‘I don’t know the
meaning of half those long words, and, what’s more, I
don’t believe you do either!’ And the Eaglet bent down its
head to hide a smile: some of the other birds tittered audi-
bly.
‘What I was going to say,’ said the Dodo in an of-
fended tone, ‘was, that the best thing to get us dry would
be a Caucus-race.’
‘What IS a Caucus-race?’ said Alice; not that she
wanted much to know, but the Dodo had paused as if it
thought that SOMEBODY ought to speak, and no one else
seemed inclined to say anything.
‘Why,’ said the Dodo, ‘the best way to explain it is
to do it.’ (And, as you might like to try the thing yourself,
some winter day, I will tell you how the Dodo managed it.)
First it marked out a race-course, in a sort of circle,
(‘the exact shape doesn’t matter,’ it said,) and then all the
party were placed along the course, here and there. There
was no ‘One, two, three, and away,’ but they began run-
ning when they liked, and left off when they liked, so that
it was not easy to know when the race was over. However,
when they had been running half an hour or so, and were
quite dry again, the Dodo suddenly called out ‘The race is

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over!’ and they all crowded round it, panting, and asking,
‘But who has won?’
This question the Dodo could not answer without a
great deal of thought, and it sat for a long time with one
finger pressed upon its forehead (the position in which
you usually see Shakespeare, in the pictures of him),
while the rest waited in silence. At last the Dodo said,
‘EVERYBODY has won, and all must have prizes.’
‘But who is to give the prizes?’ quite a chorus of
voices asked.
‘Why, SHE, of course,’ said the Dodo, pointing to
Alice with one finger; and the whole party at once crowded
round her, calling out in a confused way, ‘Prizes! Prizes!’
Alice had no idea what to do, and in despair she put
her hand in her pocket, and pulled out a box of comfits,
(luckily the salt water had not got into it), and handed
them round as prizes. There was exactly one a-piece all
round.
‘But she must have a prize herself, you know,’ said
the Mouse.
‘Of course,’ the Dodo replied very gravely. ‘What
else have you got in your pocket?’ he went on, turning to
Alice.
‘Only a thimble,’ said Alice sadly.
‘Hand it over here,’ said the Dodo.
Then they all crowded round her once more, while

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the Dodo solemnly presented the thimble, saying ‘We beg
your acceptance of this elegant thimble’; and, when it had
finished this short speech, they all cheered.
Alice thought the whole thing very absurd, but they
all looked so grave that she did not dare to laugh; and, as
she could not think of anything to say, she simply bowed,
and took the thimble, looking as solemn as she could.
The next thing was to eat the comfits: this caused
some noise and confusion, as the large birds complained
that they could not taste theirs, and the small ones
choked and had to be patted on the back. However, it
was over at last, and they sat down again in a ring, and
begged the Mouse to tell them something more.
‘You promised to tell me your history, you know,’
said Alice, ‘and why it is you hate—C and D,’ she added in
a whisper, half afraid that it would be offended again.
‘Mine is a long and a sad tale!’ said the Mouse,
turning to Alice, and sighing.
‘It IS a long tail, certainly,’ said Alice, looking down
with wonder at the Mouse’s tail; ‘but why do you call it
sad?’ And she kept on puzzling about it while the Mouse
was speaking, so that her idea of the tale was something
like this:—

‘Fury said to a
mouse, That he

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96 Learn To Speed Read
met in the
house,
“Let us
both go to
law: I will
prosecute
YOU.—Come,
I’ll take no
denial; We
must have a
trial: For
really this
morning I’ve
nothing
to do.”
Said the
mouse to the
cur, “Such
a trial,
dear Sir,
With
no jury
or judge,

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would be
wasting
our
breath.”
“I’ll be
judge, I’ll
be jury,”
Said
cunning
old Fury:
“I’ll
try the
whole
cause,
and
condemn
you
to
death.”’
‘You are not attending!’ said the Mouse to Alice se-
verely. ‘What are you thinking of?’
‘I beg your pardon,’ said Alice very humbly: ‘you
had got to the fifth bend, I think?’

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98 Learn To Speed Read
‘I had NOT!’ cried the Mouse, sharply and very angrily.
‘A knot!’ said Alice, always ready to make herself
useful, and looking anxiously about her. ‘Oh, do let me
help to undo it!’
‘I shall do nothing of the sort,’ said the Mouse, get-
ting up and walking away. ‘You insult me by talking such
nonsense!’
‘I didn’t mean it!’ pleaded poor Alice. ‘But you’re so
easily offended, you know!’
The Mouse only growled in reply.
‘Please come back and finish your story!’ Alice
called after it; and the others all joined in chorus, ‘Yes,
please do!’ but the Mouse only shook its head impatiently,
and walked a little quicker.
‘What a pity it wouldn’t stay!’ sighed the Lory, as
soon as it was quite out of sight; and an old Crab took the
opportunity of saying to her daughter ‘Ah, my dear! Let
this be a lesson to you never to lose YOUR temper!’ ‘Hold
your tongue, Ma!’ said the young Crab, a little snappishly.
‘You’re enough to try the patience of an oyster!’
‘I wish I had our Dinah here, I know I do!’ said
Alice aloud, addressing nobody in particular. ‘She’d soon
fetch it back!’
‘And who is Dinah, if I might venture to ask the
question?’ said the Lory.
Alice replied eagerly, for she was always ready to

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talk about her pet: ‘Dinah’s our cat. And she’s such a capi-
tal one for catching mice you can’t think! And oh, I wish
you could see her after the birds! Why, she’ll eat a little
bird as soon as look at it!’
This speech caused a remarkable sensation among
the party. Some of the birds hurried off at once: one old
Magpie began wrapping itself up very carefully, remark-
ing, ‘I really must be getting home; the night-air doesn’t
suit my throat!’ and a Canary called out in a trembling
voice to its children, ‘Come away, my dears! It’s high time
you were all in bed!’ On various pretexts they all moved
off, and Alice was soon left alone.
‘I wish I hadn’t mentioned Dinah!’ she said to her-
self in a melancholy tone. ‘Nobody seems to like her, down
here, and I’m sure she’s the best cat in the world! Oh, my
dear Dinah! I wonder if I shall ever see you any more!’
And here poor Alice began to cry again, for she felt very
lonely and low-spirited. In a little while, however, she
again heard a little pattering of footsteps in the distance,
and she looked up eagerly, half hoping that the Mouse
had changed his mind, and was coming back to finish his
story.

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CHAPTER IV. The Rabbit Sends
in a Little Bill
It was the White Rabbit, trotting slowly back
again, and looking anxiously about as it went, as if it had
lost something; and she heard it muttering to itself ‘The
Duchess! The Duchess! Oh my dear paws! Oh my fur and
whiskers! She’ll get me executed, as sure as ferrets are
ferrets! Where CAN I have dropped them, I wonder?’ Alice
guessed in a moment that it was looking for the fan and
the pair of white kid gloves, and she very good-naturedly
began hunting about for them, but they were nowhere to
be seen—everything seemed to have changed since her
swim in the pool, and the great hall, with the glass table
and the little door, had vanished completely.
Very soon the Rabbit noticed Alice, as she went
hunting about, and called out to her in an angry tone,
‘Why, Mary Ann, what ARE you doing out here? Run
home this moment, and fetch me a pair of gloves and a
fan! Quick, now!’ And Alice was so much frightened that
she ran off at once in the direction it pointed to, without
trying to explain the mistake it had made.
‘He took me for his housemaid,’ she said to herself
as she ran. ‘How surprised he’ll be when he finds out who
I am! But I’d better take him his fan and gloves—that is,
if I can find them.’ As she said this, she came upon a neat
little house, on the door of which was a bright brass plate
with the name ‘W. RABBIT’ engraved upon it. She went

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in without knocking, and hurried upstairs, in great fear
lest she should meet the real Mary Ann, and be turned
out of the house before she had found the fan and gloves.
‘How queer it seems,’ Alice said to herself, ‘to be
going messages for a rabbit! I suppose Dinah’ll be sending
me on messages next!’ And she began fancying the sort of
thing that would happen: ‘”Miss Alice! Come here directly,
and get ready for your walk!” “Coming in a minute, nurse!
But I’ve got to see that the mouse doesn’t get out.” Only I
don’t think,’ Alice went on, ‘that they’d let Dinah stop in
the house if it began ordering people about like that!’
By this time she had found her way into a tidy
little room with a table in the window, and on it (as she
had hoped) a fan and two or three pairs of tiny white kid
gloves: she took up the fan and a pair of the gloves, and
was just going to leave the room, when her eye fell upon a
little bottle that stood near the looking-glass. There was
no label this time with the words ‘DRINK ME,’ but nev-
ertheless she uncorked it and put it to her lips. ‘I know
SOMETHING interesting is sure to happen,’ she said to
herself, ‘whenever I eat or drink anything; so I’ll just see
what this bottle does. I do hope it’ll make me grow large
again, for really I’m quite tired of being such a tiny little
thing!’
It did so indeed, and much sooner than she had ex-
pected: before she had drunk half the bottle, she found her
head pressing against the ceiling, and had to stoop to save
her neck from being broken. She hastily put down the bot-
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tle, saying to herself ‘That’s quite enough—I hope I shan’t
grow any more—As it is, I can’t get out at the door—I do
wish I hadn’t drunk quite so much!’
Alas! it was too late to wish that! She went on
growing, and growing, and very soon had to kneel down
on the floor: in another minute there was not even room
for this, and she tried the effect of lying down with one el-
bow against the door, and the other arm curled round her
head. Still she went on growing, and, as a last resource,
she put one arm out of the window, and one foot up the
chimney, and said to herself ‘Now I can do no more, what-
ever happens. What WILL become of me?’
Luckily for Alice, the little magic bottle had now
had its full effect, and she grew no larger: still it was
very uncomfortable, and, as there seemed to be no sort of
chance of her ever getting out of the room again, no won-
der she felt unhappy.
‘It was much pleasanter at home,’ thought poor Al-
ice, ‘when one wasn’t always growing larger and smaller,
and being ordered about by mice and rabbits. I almost
wish I hadn’t gone down that rabbit-hole—and yet—and
yet—it’s rather curious, you know, this sort of life! I do
wonder what CAN have happened to me! When I used to
read fairy-tales, I fancied that kind of thing never hap-
pened, and now here I am in the middle of one! There
ought to be a book written about me, that there ought!
And when I grow up, I’ll write one—but I’m grown up
now,’ she added in a sorrowful tone; ‘at least there’s no

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room to grow up any more HERE.’
‘But then,’ thought Alice, ‘shall I NEVER get any
older than I am now? That’ll be a comfort, one way—never
to be an old woman—but then—always to have lessons to
learn! Oh, I shouldn’t like THAT!’
‘Oh, you foolish Alice!’ she answered herself. ‘How
can you learn lessons in here? Why, there’s hardly room
for YOU, and no room at all for any lesson-books!’
And so she went on, taking first one side and then
the other, and making quite a conversation of it altogeth-
er; but after a few minutes she heard a voice outside, and
stopped to listen.
‘Mary Ann! Mary Ann!’ said the voice. ‘Fetch me my
gloves this moment!’ Then came a little pattering of feet
on the stairs. Alice knew it was the Rabbit coming to look
for her, and she trembled till she shook the house, quite
forgetting that she was now about a thousand times as
large as the Rabbit, and had no reason to be afraid of it.
Presently the Rabbit came up to the door, and tried
to open it; but, as the door opened inwards, and Alice’s
elbow was pressed hard against it, that attempt proved a
failure. Alice heard it say to itself ‘Then I’ll go round and
get in at the window.’
‘THAT you won’t’ thought Alice, and, after wait-
ing till she fancied she heard the Rabbit just under the
window, she suddenly spread out her hand, and made a
snatch in the air. She did not get hold of anything, but

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104 Learn To Speed Read
she heard a little shriek and a fall, and a crash of broken
glass, from which she concluded that it was just possible
it had fallen into a cucumber-frame, or something of the
sort.
Next came an angry voice—the Rabbit’s—’Pat! Pat!
Where are you?’ And then a voice she had never heard be-
fore, ‘Sure then I’m here! Digging for apples, yer honour!’
‘Digging for apples, indeed!’ said the Rabbit angrily.
‘Here! Come and help me out of THIS!’ (Sounds of more
broken glass.)
‘Now tell me, Pat, what’s that in the window?’
‘Sure, it’s an arm, yer honour!’ (He pronounced it
‘arrum.’)
‘An arm, you goose! Who ever saw one that size?
Why, it fills the whole window!’
‘Sure, it does, yer honour: but it’s an arm for all
that.’
‘Well, it’s got no business there, at any rate: go and
take it away!’
There was a long silence after this, and Alice could
only hear whispers now and then; such as, ‘Sure, I don’t
like it, yer honour, at all, at all!’ ‘Do as I tell you, you cow-
ard!’ and at last she spread out her hand again, and made
another snatch in the air. This time there were TWO little
shrieks, and more sounds of broken glass. ‘What a num-
ber of cucumber-frames there must be!’ thought Alice. ‘I

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Learn To Speed Read 105
wonder what they’ll do next! As for pulling me out of the
window, I only wish they COULD! I’m sure I don’t want to
stay in here any longer!’
She waited for some time without hearing anything
more: at last came a rumbling of little cartwheels, and
the sound of a good many voices all talking together: she
made out the words: ‘Where’s the other ladder?—Why, I
hadn’t to bring but one; Bill’s got the other—Bill! fetch it
here, lad!—Here, put ‘em up at this corner—No, tie ‘em
together first—they don’t reach half high enough yet—
Oh! they’ll do well enough; don’t be particular—Here,
Bill! catch hold of this rope—Will the roof bear?—Mind
that loose slate—Oh, it’s coming down! Heads below!’ (a
loud crash)—’Now, who did that?—It was Bill, I fancy—
Who’s to go down the chimney?—Nay, I shan’t! YOU do
it!—That I won’t, then!—Bill’s to go down—Here, Bill! the
master says you’re to go down the chimney!’
‘Oh! So Bill’s got to come down the chimney, has
he?’ said Alice to herself. ‘Shy, they seem to put every-
thing upon Bill! I wouldn’t be in Bill’s place for a good
deal: this fireplace is narrow, to be sure; but I THINK I
can kick a little!’
She drew her foot as far down the chimney as
she could, and waited till she heard a little animal (she
couldn’t guess of what sort it was) scratching and scram-
bling about in the chimney close above her: then, saying
to herself ‘This is Bill,’ she gave one sharp kick, and wait-
ed to see what would happen next.
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106 Learn To Speed Read
The first thing she heard was a general chorus of
‘There goes Bill!’ then the Rabbit’s voice along—’Catch
him, you by the hedge!’ then silence, and then another
confusion of voices—’Hold up his head—Brandy now—
Don’t choke him—How was it, old fellow? What happened
to you? Tell us all about it!’
Last came a little feeble, squeaking voice, (‘That’s
Bill,’ thought Alice,) ‘Well, I hardly know—No more,
thank ye; I’m better now—but I’m a deal too flustered
to tell you—all I know is, something comes at me like a
Jack-in-the-box, and up I goes like a sky-rocket!’
‘So you did, old fellow!’ said the others.
‘We must burn the house down!’ said the Rabbit’s
voice; and Alice called out as loud as she could, ‘If you do.
I’ll set Dinah at you!’
There was a dead silence instantly, and Alice
thought to herself, ‘I wonder what they WILL do next!
If they had any sense, they’d take the roof off.’ After a
minute or two, they began moving about again, and Alice
heard the Rabbit say, ‘A barrowful will do, to begin with.’
‘A barrowful of WHAT?’ thought Alice; but she had
not long to doubt, for the next moment a shower of little
pebbles came rattling in at the window, and some of them
hit her in the face. ‘I’ll put a stop to this,’ she said to her-
self, and shouted out, ‘You’d better not do that again!’
which produced another dead silence.

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Alice noticed with some surprise that the pebbles
were all turning into little cakes as they lay on the floor,
and a bright idea came into her head. ‘If I eat one of these
cakes,’ she thought, ‘it’s sure to make SOME change in
my size; and as it can’t possibly make me larger, it must
make me smaller, I suppose.’
So she swallowed one of the cakes, and was de-
lighted to find that she began shrinking directly. As soon
as she was small enough to get through the door, she ran
out of the house, and found quite a crowd of little animals
and birds waiting outside. The poor little Lizard, Bill, was
in the middle, being held up by two guinea-pigs, who were
giving it something out of a bottle. They all made a rush
at Alice the moment she appeared; but she ran off as hard
as she could, and soon found herself safe in a thick wood.
‘The first thing I’ve got to do,’ said Alice to herself,
as she wandered about in the wood, ‘is to grow to my right
size again; and the second thing is to find my way into
that lovely garden. I think that will be the best plan.’
It sounded an excellent plan, no doubt, and very
neatly and simply arranged; the only difficulty was, that
she had not the smallest idea how to set about it; and
while she was peering about anxiously among the trees, a
little sharp bark just over her head made her look up in a
great hurry.
An enormous puppy was looking down at her with
large round eyes, and feebly stretching out one paw, try-
ing to touch her. ‘Poor little thing!’ said Alice, in a coaxing
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108 Learn To Speed Read
tone, and she tried hard to whistle to it; but she was terri-
bly frightened all the time at the thought that it might be
hungry, in which case it would be very likely to eat her up
in spite of all her coaxing.
Hardly knowing what she did, she picked up a little
bit of stick, and held it out to the puppy; whereupon the
puppy jumped into the air off all its feet at once, with a
yelp of delight, and rushed at the stick, and made believe
to worry it; then Alice dodged behind a great thistle, to
keep herself from being run over; and the moment she
appeared on the other side, the puppy made another rush
at the stick, and tumbled head over heels in its hurry to
get hold of it; then Alice, thinking it was very like having
a game of play with a cart-horse, and expecting every mo-
ment to be trampled under its feet, ran round the thistle
again; then the puppy began a series of short charges at
the stick, running a very little way forwards each time
and a long way back, and barking hoarsely all the while,
till at last it sat down a good way off, panting, with its
tongue hanging out of its mouth, and its great eyes half
shut.
This seemed to Alice a good opportunity for mak-
ing her escape; so she set off at once, and ran till she was
quite tired and out of breath, and till the puppy’s bark
sounded quite faint in the distance.
‘And yet what a dear little puppy it was!’ said Al-
ice, as she leant against a buttercup to rest herself, and
fanned herself with one of the leaves: ‘I should have liked

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Learn To Speed Read 109
teaching it tricks very much, if—if I’d only been the right
size to do it! Oh dear! I’d nearly forgotten that I’ve got to
grow up again! Let me see—how IS it to be managed? I
suppose I ought to eat or drink something or other; but
the great question is, what?’
The great question certainly was, what? Alice
looked all round her at the flowers and the blades of
grass, but she did not see anything that looked like the
right thing to eat or drink under the circumstances. There
was a large mushroom growing near her, about the same
height as herself; and when she had looked under it, and
on both sides of it, and behind it, it occurred to her that
she might as well look and see what was on the top of it.
She stretched herself up on tiptoe, and peeped over
the edge of the mushroom, and her eyes immediately met
those of a large caterpillar, that was sitting on the top
with its arms folded, quietly smoking a long hookah, and
taking not the smallest notice of her or of anything else.

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110 Learn To Speed Read

CHAPTER V. Advice from a
Caterpillar
The Caterpillar and Alice looked at each other
for some time in silence: at last the Caterpillar took the
hookah out of its mouth, and addressed her in a languid,
sleepy voice.
‘Who are YOU?’ said the Caterpillar.
This was not an encouraging opening for a conver-
sation. Alice replied, rather shyly, ‘I—I hardly know, sir,
just at present—at least I know who I WAS when I got up
this morning, but I think I must have been changed sev-
eral times since then.’
‘What do you mean by that?’ said the Caterpillar
sternly. ‘Explain yourself!’

‘I can’t explain MYSELF, I’m afraid, sir’ said Alice,
‘because I’m not myself, you see.’
‘I don’t see,’ said the Caterpillar.
‘I’m afraid I can’t put it more clearly,’ Alice replied
very politely, ‘for I can’t understand it myself to begin
with; and being so many different sizes in a day is very
confusing.’
‘It isn’t,’ said the Caterpillar.
‘Well, perhaps you haven’t found it so yet,’ said Al-
ice; ‘but when you have to turn into a chrysalis—you will

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Learn To Speed Read 111
some day, you know—and then after that into a butterfly,
I should think you’ll feel it a little queer, won’t you?’
‘Not a bit,’ said the Caterpillar.
‘Well, perhaps your feelings may be different,’ said
Alice; ‘all I know is, it would feel very queer to ME.’
‘You!’ said the Caterpillar contemptuously. ‘Who
are YOU?’
Which brought them back again to the beginning of
the conversation. Alice felt a little irritated at the Cater-
pillar’s making such VERY short remarks, and she drew
herself up and said, very gravely, ‘I think, you ought to
tell me who YOU are, first.’
‘Why?’ said the Caterpillar.
Here was another puzzling question; and as Alice
could not think of any good reason, and as the Caterpil-
lar seemed to be in a VERY unpleasant state of mind, she
turned away.
‘Come back!’ the Caterpillar called after her. ‘I’ve
something important to say!’
This sounded promising, certainly: Alice turned
and came back again.
‘Keep your temper,’ said the Caterpillar.
‘Is that all?’ said Alice, swallowing down her anger
as well as she could.
‘No,’ said the Caterpillar.

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112 Learn To Speed Read
Alice thought she might as well wait, as she had
nothing else to do, and perhaps after all it might tell her
something worth hearing. For some minutes it puffed
away without speaking, but at last it unfolded its arms,
took the hookah out of its mouth again, and said, ‘So you
think you’re changed, do you?’
‘I’m afraid I am, sir,’ said Alice; ‘I can’t remember
things as I used—and I don’t keep the same size for ten
minutes together!’
‘Can’t remember WHAT things?’ said the Caterpil-
lar.
‘Well, I’ve tried to say “HOW DOTH THE LITTLE
BUSY BEE,” but it all came different!’ Alice replied in a
very melancholy voice.
‘Repeat, “YOU ARE OLD, FATHER WILLIAM,”’
said the Caterpillar.

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Learn To Speed Read 113

krismadden.com
habituation
Dis
Dishabitiuation is the process in which a person ex-
periences a full-strength response to a common stimulus
that has become weakened over time.
In these exercises the text will be presented upside
down, backwards, sideways, and slantways, and just about
any other ways you can think of. The exercises will be very
slow at first, but with a little work, you will be reading the
text significantly faster. than before, and may read faster
than your performance reading.
As readers, we’ve developed the habit of seeing a
printed symbol and assigning it a vocalized sound, but
when we see a symbol we have the opportunity to decide
how we’re going to mentally interpret the symbol into
meaning.

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116 Learn To Speed Read

Practice Reading
In the exercise that follows, read as you normally would
from left to right. All of the letters are flipped upside
down, so in order to read them you’ll have to flip the char-
acters in your mind before being able to translate them
into meaning.

Exercise #1
Alice folded her hands, and began:
‘You are old, Father William,’ the young man
said,
‘And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head
Do you think, at your age, it is right?’

‘In my youth,’ Father William replied to his son,
‘I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I’m perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again.’

‘You are old,’ said the youth, ‘as I mentioned be-
fore,
And have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door

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Learn To Speed Read 117
Pray, what is the reason of that?’
In my youth,’ said the sage, as he shook his grey
locks,
‘I kept all my limbs very supple
By the use of this ointment—one shilling the
box—
Allow me to sell you a couple?’
‘You are old,’ said the youth, ‘and your jaws are
too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and
the beak—
Pray how did you manage to do it?’

‘In my youth,’ said his father, ‘I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength, which it gave to my
jaw,
Has lasted the rest of my life.’

‘You are old,’ said the youth, ‘one would hardly
suppose
That your eye was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose—

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118 Learn To Speed Read
What made you so awfully clever?’
‘I have answered three questions, and that is
enough,’
Said his father; ‘don’t give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I’ll kick you down stairs!’

‘That is not said right,’ said the Caterpillar.
‘Not QUITE right, I’m afraid,’ said Alice, tim-
idly; ‘some of the words have got altered.’
‘It is wrong from beginning to end,’ said the
Caterpillar decidedly, and there was silence for
some minutes.
The Caterpillar was the first to speak.
‘What size do you want to be?’ it asked.
‘Oh, I’m not particular as to size,’ Alice hast-
ily replied; ‘only one doesn’t like changing so often,
you know.’
‘I DON’T know,’ said the Caterpillar.
Alice said nothing: she had never been so
much contradicted in her life before, and she felt
that she was losing her temper.
‘Are you content now?’ said the Caterpillar.
‘Well, I should like to be a LITTLE larger, sir,
if you wouldn’t mind,’ said Alice: ‘three inches is

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Learn To Speed Read 119
such a wretched height to be.’
‘It is a very good height indeed!’ said the Cat-
erpillar angrily, rearing itself upright as it spoke
(it was exactly three inches high).
‘But I’m not used to it!’ pleaded poor Alice in a
piteous tone. And she thought of herself, ‘I wish the
creatures wouldn’t be so easily offended!’
‘You’ll get used to it in time,’ said the Cater-
pillar; and it put the hookah into its mouth and be-
gan smoking again.
This time Alice waited patiently until it chose
to speak again. In a minute or two the Caterpillar
took the hookah out of its mouth and yawned once
or twice, and shook itself. Then it got down off the
mushroom, and crawled away in the grass, merely
remarking as it went, ‘One side will make you grow
taller, and the other side will make you grow short-
er.’
‘One side of WHAT? The other side of
WHAT?’ thought Alice to herself.
‘Of the mushroom,’ said the Caterpillar, just
as if she had asked it aloud; and in another moment
it was out of sight.
Alice remained looking thoughtfully at the
mushroom for a minute, trying to make out which
were the two sides of it; and as it was perfectly
round, she found this a very difficult question.

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120 Learn To Speed Read
However, at last she stretched her arms round it as
far as they would go, and broke off a bit of the edge
with each hand.
‘And now which is which?’ she said to herself,
and nibbled a little of the right-hand bit to try the
effect: the next moment she felt a violent blow un-
derneath her chin: it had struck her foot!
She was a good deal frightened by this very
sudden change, but she felt that there was no time
to be lost, as she was shrinking rapidly; so she set
to work at once to eat some of the other bit. Her
chin was pressed so closely against her foot, that
there was hardly room to open her mouth; but she
did it at last, and managed to swallow a morsel of
the lefthand bit.
‘Come, my head’s free at last!’ said Alice in a
tone of delight, which changed into alarm in anoth-
er moment, when she found that her shoulders were
nowhere to be found: all she could see, when she
looked down, was an immense length of neck, which
seemed to rise like a stalk out of a sea of green
leaves that lay far below her.
‘What CAN all that green stuff be?’ said Al-
ice. ‘And where HAVE my shoulders got to? And
oh, my poor hands, how is it I can’t see you?’ She
was moving them about as she spoke, but no result
seemed to follow, except a little shaking among the
distant green leaves.
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Learn To Speed Read 121
As there seemed to be no chance of getting
her hands up to her head, she tried to get her head
down to them, and was delighted to find that her
neck would bend about easily in any direction,
like a serpent. She had just succeeded in curving it
down into a graceful zigzag, and was going to dive
in among the leaves, which she found to be nothing
but the tops of the trees under which she had been
wandering, when a sharp hiss made her draw back
in a hurry: a large pigeon had flown into her face,
and was beating her violently with its wings.
‘Serpent!’ screamed the Pigeon.
‘I’m NOT a serpent!’ said Alice indignantly.
‘Let me alone!’
‘Serpent, I say again!’ repeated the Pigeon, but
in a more subdued tone, and added with a kind of
sob, ‘I’ve tried every way, and nothing seems to suit
them!’
‘I haven’t the least idea what you’re talking
about,’ said Alice.
‘I’ve tried the roots of trees, and I’ve tried
banks, and I’ve tried hedges,’ the Pigeon went
on, without attending to her; ‘but those serpents!
There’s no pleasing them!’
Alice was more and more puzzled, but she
thought there was no use in saying anything more
till the Pigeon had finished.

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122 Learn To Speed Read

Practice Reading
In the exercise that follows, read as you normally would
from left to right. All of the consanants are flipped upside
down, but the vowels are right side up. In order to read
you’ll have to flip some characters, and not others, in your
mind before being able to translate them into meaning.

Exercise #2
‘As if it wasn’t trouble enough hatching the
eggs,’ said the Pigeon; ‘but I must be on the look-out
for serpents night and day! Why, I haven’t had a
wink of sleep these three weeks!’
‘I’m very sorry you’ve been annoyed,’ said Al-
ice, who was beginning to see its meaning.
‘And just as I’d taken the highest tree in the
wood,’ continued the Pigeon, raising its voice to a
shriek, ‘and just as I was thinking I should be free
of them at last, they must needs come wriggling
down from the sky! Ugh, Serpent!’
‘But I’m NOT a serpent, I tell you!’ said Alice.
‘I’m a—I’m a—
‘Well! WHAT are you?’ said the Pigeon. ‘I can
see you’re trying to invent something!’
‘I—I’m a little girl,’ said Alice, rather doubt-
fully, as she remembered the number of changes
she had gone through that day.

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Learn To Speed Read 123
‘A likely story indeed!’ said the Pigeon in a
tone of the deepest contempt. ‘I’ve seen a good many
little girls in my time, but never ONE with such a
neck as that! No, no! You’re a serpent; and there’s
no use denying it. I suppose you’ll be telling me
next that you never tasted an egg!’
‘I HAVE tasted eggs, certainly,’ said Alice,
who was a very truthful child; ‘but little girls eat
eggs quite as much as serpents do, you know.’
‘I don’t believe it,’ said the Pigeon; ‘but if they
do, why then they’re a kind of serpent, that’s all I
can say.’
This was such a new idea to Alice, that she
was quite silent for a minute or two, which gave
the Pigeon the opportunity of adding, ‘You’re look-
ing for eggs, I know THAT well enough; and what
does it matter to me whether you’re a little girl or a
serpent?’
‘It matters a good deal to ME,’ said Alice hast-
ily; ‘but I’m not looking for eggs, as it happens; and
if I was, I shouldn’t want YOURS: I don’t like them
raw.’
‘Well, be off, then!’ said the Pigeon in a sulky
tone, as it settled down again into its nest. Alice
crouched down among the trees as well as she could,
for her neck kept getting entangled among the
branches, and every now and then she had to stop

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124 Learn To Speed Read
and untwist it. After a while she remembered that
she still held the pieces of mushroom in her hands,
and she set to work very carefully, nibbling first at
one and then at the other, and growing sometimes
taller and sometimes shorter, until she had succeed-
ed in bringing herself down to her usual height.
It was so long since she had been anything
near the right size, that it felt quite strange at
first; but she got used to it in a few minutes, and
began talking to herself, as usual. ‘Come, there’s
half my plan done now! How puzzling all these
changes are! I’m never sure what I’m going to be,
from one minute to another! However, I’ve got back
to my right size: the next thing is, to get into that
beautiful garden—how IS that to be done, I won-
der?’ As she said this, she came suddenly upon an
open place, with a little house in it about four feet
high. ‘Whoever lives there,’ thought Alice, ‘it’ll nev-
er do to come upon them THIS size: why, I should
frighten them out of their wits!’ So she began nib-
bling at the righthand bit again, and did not ven-
ture to go near the house till she had brought her-
self down to nine inches high.
For a minute or two she stood looking at the
house, and wondering what to do next, when sud-
denly a footman in livery came running out of the
wood—(she considered him to be a footman because
he was in livery: otherwise, judging by his face

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Learn To Speed Read 125
only, she would have called him a fish)—and rapped
loudly at the door with his knuckles. It was opened
by another footman in livery, with a round face,
and large eyes like a frog; and both footmen, Al-
ice noticed, had powdered hair that curled all over
their heads. She felt very curious to know what it
was all about, and crept a little way out of the wood
to listen.
The Fish-Footman began by producing from
under his arm a great letter, nearly as large as him-
self, and this he handed over to the other, saying,
in a solemn tone, ‘For the Duchess. An invitation
from the Queen to play croquet.’ The Frog-Footman
repeated, in the same solemn tone, only changing
the order of the words a little, ‘From the Queen. An
invitation for the Duchess to play croquet.’
Then they both bowed low, and their curls got
entangled together.
Alice laughed so much at this, that she had
to run back into the wood for fear of their hear-
ing her; and when she next peeped out the Fish-
Footman was gone, and the other was sitting on the
ground near the door, staring stupidly up into the
sky.
Alice went timidly up to the door, and
knocked.
‘There’s no sort of use in knocking,’ said the

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126 Learn To Speed Read
Footman, ‘and that for two reasons. First, because
I’m on the same side of the door as you are; sec-
ondly, because they’re making such a noise inside,
no one could possibly hear you.’ And certainly there
was a most extraordinary noise going on within—a
constant howling and sneezing, and every now and
then a great crash, as if a dish or kettle had been
broken to pieces.
‘Please, then,’ said Alice, ‘how am I to get in?’
‘There might be some sense in your knocking,’
the Footman went on without attending to her, ‘if
we had the door between us. For instance, if you
were INSIDE, you might knock, and I could let you
out, you know.’ He was looking up into the sky all
the time he was speaking, and this Alice thought
decidedly uncivil. ‘But perhaps he can’t help it,’ she
said to herself; ‘his eyes are so VERY nearly at the
top of his head. But at any rate he might answer
questions.—How am I to get in?’ she repeated, aloud.
‘I shall sit here,’ the Footman remarked, ‘till
tomorrow—’
At this moment the door of the house opened,
and a large plate came skimming out, straight at
the Footman’s head: it just grazed his nose, and
broke to pieces against one of the trees behind him.
‘—or next day, maybe,’ the Footman contin-
ued in the same tone, exactly as if nothing had hap-

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Learn To Speed Read 127
pened.
‘How am I to get in?’ asked Alice again, in a
louder tone.
‘ARE you to get in at all?’ said the Footman.
‘That’s the first question, you know.’
It was, no doubt: only Alice did not like to be
told so. ‘It’s really dreadful,’ she muttered to her-
self, ‘the way all the creatures argue. It’s enough to
drive one crazy!’
The Footman seemed to think this a good op-
portunity for repeating his remark, with variations.
‘I shall sit here,’ he said, ‘on and off, for days and
days.’
‘But what am I to do?’ said Alice.
‘Anything you like,’ said the Footman, and be-
gan whistling.
‘Oh, there’s no use in talking to him,’ said
Alice desperately: ‘he’s perfectly idiotic!’ And she
opened the door and went in.
The door led right into a large kitchen, which
was full of smoke from one end to the other: the
Duchess was sitting on a three-legged stool in the
middle, nursing a baby; the cook was leaning over
the fire, stirring a large cauldron which seemed to
be full of soup.

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128 Learn To Speed Read

Practice Reading
In the exercise that follows, read as you normally would
from left to right. All of the vowels are flipped upside
down, but the consanants are right side up. In order to
read you’ll have to flip some characters, and not others, in
your mind before being able to translate them into mean-
ing.

Exercise #3
‘There’s certainly too much pepper in that
soup!’ Alice said to herself, as well as she could for
sneezing.
There was certainly too much of it in the air.
Even the Duchess sneezed occasionally; and as for
the baby, it was sneezing and howling alternately
without a moment’s pause. The only things in the
kitchen that did not sneeze, were the cook, and a
large cat which was sitting on the hearth and grin-
ning from ear to ear.
‘Please would you tell me,’ said Alice, a little
timidly, for she was not quite sure whether it was
good manners for her to speak first, ‘why your cat
grins like that?’
‘It’s a Cheshire cat,’ said the Duchess, ‘and
that’s why. Pig!’
She said the last word with such sudden vio-
lence that Alice quite jumped; but she saw in an-
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other moment that it was addressed to the baby,
and not to her, so she took courage, and went on
again:—
‘I didn’t know that Cheshire cats always
grinned; in fact, I didn’t know that cats COULD
grin.’
‘They all can,’ said the Duchess; ‘and most of
‘em do.’
‘I don’t know of any that do,’ Alice said very
politely, feeling quite pleased to have got into a
conversation.
‘You don’t know much,’ said the Duchess; ‘and
that’s a fact.’
Alice did not at all like the tone of this re-
mark, and thought it would be as well to introduce
some other subject of conversation. While she was
trying to fix on one, the cook took the cauldron of
soup off the fire, and at once set to work throwing
everything within her reach at the Duchess and
the baby—the fire-irons came first; then followed a
shower of saucepans, plates, and dishes. The Duch-
ess took no notice of them even when they hit her;
and the baby was howling so much already, that it
was quite impossible to say whether the blows hurt
it or not.
‘Oh, PLEASE mind what you’re doing!’ cried
Alice, jumping up and down in an agony of terror.

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‘Oh, there goes his PRECIOUS nose’; as an unusu-
ally large saucepan flew close by it, and very nearly
carried it off.
‘If everybody minded their own business,’ the
Duchess said in a hoarse growl, ‘the world would go
round a deal faster than it does.’
‘Which would NOT be an advantage,’ said
Alice, who felt very glad to get an opportunity of
showing off a little of her knowledge. ‘Just think of
what work it would make with the day and night!
You see the earth takes twenty-four hours to turn
round on its axis—’
‘Talking of axes,’ said the Duchess, ‘chop off
her head!’
Alice glanced rather anxiously at the cook, to
see if she meant to take the hint; but the cook was
busily stirring the soup, and seemed not to be lis-
tening, so she went on again: ‘Twenty-four hours, I
THINK; or is it twelve? I—’
‘Oh, don’t bother ME,’ said the Duchess; ‘I
never could abide figures!’ And with that she began
nursing her child again, singing a sort of lullaby to
it as she did so, and giving it a violent shake at the
end of every line:
‘Speak roughly to your little boy,
And beat him when he sneezes:

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He only does it to annoy,
Because he knows it teases.’
CHORUS.

(In which the cook and the baby joined):—

‘Wow! wow! wow!’
While the Duchess sang the second verse of
the song, she kept tossing the baby violently up and
down, and the poor little thing howled so, that Alice
could hardly hear the words:—
‘I speak severely to my boy,
I beat him when he sneezes;
For he can thoroughly enjoy
The pepper when he pleases!’
CHORUS.
‘Wow! wow! wow!’
‘Here! you may nurse it a bit, if you like!’ the
Duchess said to Alice, flinging the baby at her as
she spoke. ‘I must go and get ready to play croquet
with the Queen,’ and she hurried out of the room.
The cook threw a frying-pan after her as she went
out, but it just missed her.
Alice caught the baby with some difficulty,
as it was a queer-shaped little creature, and held
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132 Learn To Speed Read
out its arms and legs in all directions, ‘just like a
star-fish,’ thought Alice. The poor little thing was
snorting like a steam-engine when she caught it,
and kept doubling itself up and straightening itself
out again, so that altogether, for the first minute or
two, it was as much as she could do to hold it.
As soon as she had made out the proper way
of nursing it, (which was to twist it up into a sort
of knot, and then keep tight hold of its right ear
and left foot, so as to prevent its undoing itself,)
she carried it out into the open air. ‘IF I don’t take
this child away with me,’ thought Alice, ‘they’re
sure to kill it in a day or two: wouldn’t it be murder
to leave it behind?’ She said the last words out loud,
and the little thing grunted in reply (it had left
off sneezing by this time). ‘Don’t grunt,’ said Alice;
‘that’s not at all a proper way of expressing your-
self.’
The baby grunted again, and Alice looked
very anxiously into its face to see what was the
matter with it. There could be no doubt that it had
a VERY turn-up nose, much more like a snout than
a real nose; also its eyes were getting extremely
small for a baby: altogether Alice did not like the
look of the thing at all. ‘But perhaps it was only
sobbing,’ she thought, and looked into its eyes
again, to see if there were any tears.
No, there were no tears. ‘If you’re going to
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turn into a pig, my dear,’ said Alice, seriously, ‘I’ll
have nothing more to do with you. Mind now!’ The
poor little thing sobbed again (or grunted, it was
impossible to say which), and they went on for some
while in silence.
Alice was just beginning to think to herself,
‘Now, what am I to do with this creature when I get
it home?’ when it grunted again, so violently, that
she looked down into its face in some alarm. This
time there could be NO mistake about it: it was nei-
ther more nor less than a pig, and she felt that it
would be quite absurd for her to carry it further.
So she set the little creature down, and felt
quite relieved to see it trot away quietly into the
wood. ‘If it had grown up,’ she said to herself, ‘it
would have made a dreadfully ugly child: but it
makes rather a handsome pig, I think.’ And she
began thinking over other children she knew, who
might do very well as pigs, and was just saying to
herself, ‘if one only knew the right way to change
them—’ when she was a little startled by seeing
the Cheshire Cat sitting on a bough of a tree a few
yards off.
The Cat only grinned when it saw Alice. It
looked good-natured, she thought: still it had VERY

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134 Learn To Speed Read

Practice Reading
In the exercise that follows, read as you normally would
from left to right. All of the consanants are flipped upside
down, but the vowels are right side up. And, every other
line is captilized so that you get used to reading regard-
less of the cap-size.

Exercise #4
long claws and a great many teeth, so
she felt that it ought to be treated with respect.
‘Cheshire Puss,’ she began, rather
timidly, as she did not at all know whether it would
like the name: however, it only grinned
a little wider. ‘Come, it’s pleased so far,’ thought
Alice, and she went on. ‘Would you tell
me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’
‘That depends a good deal on where
you want to get to,’ said the Cat.
‘I don’t much care where—’ said Al-
ice.
‘Then it doesn’t matter which way
you go,’ said the Cat.
‘—so long as I get SOMEWHERE,’ Alice
added as an explanation.
‘Oh, you’re sure to do that,’ said the
Cat, ‘if you only walk long enough.’

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Alice felt that this could not be
denied, so she tried another question. ‘What sort of
people live about here?’
‘In THAT direction,’ the Cat said, waving its
right paw round, ‘lives a Hatter: and
in THAT direction,’ waving the other paw, ‘lives a
March Hare. Visit either you like: they’re
both mad.’
‘But I don’t want to go among mad
people,’ Alice remarked.
‘Oh, you can’t help that,’ said the
Cat: ‘we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.’
‘How do you know I’m mad?’ said
Alice.
‘You must be,’ said the Cat, ‘or you
wouldn’t have come here.’
Alice didn’t think that proved it
at all; however, she went on ‘And how do you know
that you’re mad?’
‘To begin with,’ said the Cat, ‘a dog’s not mad.
You grant that?’
‘I suppose so,’ said Alice.
‘Well, then,’ the Cat went on, ‘you
see, a dog growls when it’s angry, and wags its tail
when it’s pleased. Now I growl when I’m
pleased, and wag my tail when I’m angry. Therefore

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136 Learn To Speed Read
I’m mad.’
‘I call it purring, not growling,’ said Alice.
‘Call it what you like,’ said the Cat.
‘Do you play croquet with the Queen to-day?’
‘I should like it very much,’ said
Alice, ‘but I haven’t been invited yet.’
‘You’ll see me there,’ said the Cat,
and vanished.
Alice was not much surprised at
this, she was getting so used to queer things hap-
pening. While she was looking at the
place where it had been, it suddenly appeared
again.
‘By-the-bye, what became of the baby?’ said
the Cat. ‘I’d nearly forgotten to ask.’
‘It turned into a pig,’ Alice quietly said, just
as if it had come back in a natural
way.
‘I thought it would,’ said the Cat,
and vanished again.
Alice waited a little, half expect-
ing to see it again, but it did not appear, and after
a minute or two she walked on in the
direction in which the March Hare was said to live.
‘I’ve seen hatters before,’ she said to
herself; ‘the March Hare will be much the most in-

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teresting, and perhaps as this is May it
won’t be raving mad—at least not so mad as it was
in March.’ As she said this, she looked
up, and there was the Cat again, sitting on a branch
of a tree.
‘Did you say pig, or fig?’ said the Cat.
‘I said pig,’ replied Alice; ‘and I wish
you wouldn’t keep appearing and vanishing so sud-
denly: you make one quite giddy.’
‘All right,’ said the Cat; and this time it van-
ished quite slowly, beginning with the
end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which
remained some time after the rest of
it had gone.
‘Well! I’ve often seen a cat without
a grin,’ thought Alice; ‘but a grin without a cat! It’s
the most curious thing I ever saw in my
life!’
She had not gone much farther
before she came in sight of the house of the March
Hare: she thought it must be the right
house, because the chimneys were shaped like ears
and the roof was thatched with fur.
It was so large a house, that she did not like to go
nearer till she had nibbled some more
of the lefthand bit of mushroom, and raised herself
to about two feet high: even then she

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138 Learn To Speed Read
walked up towards it rather timidly, saying to her-
self ‘Suppose it should be raving mad
after all! I almost wish I’d gone to see the Hatter
instead!’
There was a table set out under a tree in
front of the house, and the March Hare
and the Hatter were having tea at it: a Dormouse
was sitting between them, fast asleep,
and the other two were using it as a cushion, rest-
ing their elbows on it, and talking
over its head. ‘Very uncomfortable for the Dor-
mouse,’ thought Alice; ‘only, as it’s
asleep, I suppose it doesn’t mind.’
The table was a large one, but the
three were all crowded together at one corner of it:
‘No room! No room!’ they cried out when
they saw Alice coming. ‘There’s PLENTY of room!’
said Alice indignantly, and she sat
down in a large arm-chair at one end of the table.
‘Have some wine,’ the March Hare
said in an encouraging tone.
Alice looked all round the table,
but there was nothing on it but tea. ‘I don’t see any
wine,’ she remarked.
‘There isn’t any,’ said the March Hare.
‘Then it wasn’t very civil of you to
offer it,’ said Alice angrily.

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‘It wasn’t very civil of you to sit
down without being invited,’ said the March Hare.
‘I didn’t know it was YOUR table,’
said Alice; ‘it’s laid for a great many more than
three.’
‘Your hair wants cutting,’ said the Hatter. He
had been looking at Alice for some time
with great curiosity, and this was his first speech.
‘You should learn not to make
personal remarks,’ Alice said with some severity;
‘it’s very rude.’
The Hatter opened his eyes very wide on hear-
ing this; but all he SAID was, ‘Why is a
raven like a writing-desk?’
‘Come, we shall have some fun now!’
thought Alice. ‘I’m glad they’ve begun asking
riddles.—I believe I can guess that,’ she
added aloud.
‘Do you mean that you think you
can find out the answer to it?’ said the March Hare.
‘Exactly so,’ said Alice.
‘Then you should say what you mean,’ the
March Hare went on.
‘I do,’ Alice hastily replied; ‘at least—at least I
mean what I say—that’s the same thing,
you know.’

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140 Learn To Speed Read

Practice Reading
In the exercise that follows, read as you normally would
from left to right. All of the letters are written backwards.
In order to read you’ll have to flip the characters in your
mind before being able to translate them into meaning.

Exercise #5
‘Not the same thing a bit!’ said the Hatter.
‘You might just as well say that “I see what I eat”
is the same thing as “I eat what I see”!’
‘You might just as well say,’ added the March
Hare, ‘that “I like what I get” is the same thing as
“I get what I like”!’
‘You might just as well say,’ added the Dor-
mouse, who seemed to be talking in his sleep, ‘that
“I breathe when I sleep” is the same thing as “I
sleep when I breathe”!’
‘It IS the same thing with you,’ said the Hat-
ter, and here the conversation dropped, and the par-
ty sat silent for a minute, while Alice thought over
all she could remember about ravens and writing-
desks, which wasn’t much.
The Hatter was the first to break the silence.
‘What day of the month is it?’ he said, turning to
Alice: he had taken his watch out of his pocket, and
was looking at it uneasily, shaking it every now
and then, and holding it to his ear.
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Alice considered a little, and then said ‘The
fourth.’
‘Two days wrong!’ sighed the Hatter. ‘I told
you butter wouldn’t suit the works!’ he added look-
ing 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 noth-
ing better to say than his first remark, ‘It was the
BEST butter, you know.’
Alice had been looking over his shoulder
with some curiosity. ‘What a funny watch!’ she re-
marked. ‘It tells the day of the month, and doesn’t
tell what o’clock it is!’
‘Why should it?’ muttered the Hatter. ‘Does
YOUR watch tell you what year it is?’
‘Of course not,’ Alice replied very readily: ‘but
that’s because it stays the same year for such a
long time together.’
‘Which is just the case with MINE,’ said the
Hatter.

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142 Learn To Speed Read
Alice felt dreadfully puzzled. The Hatter’s re-
mark seemed to have no sort of meaning in it, and
yet it was certainly English. ‘I don’t quite under-
stand you,’ she said, as politely as she could.
‘The Dormouse is asleep again,’ said the Hat-
ter, and he poured a little hot tea upon its nose.
The Dormouse shook its head impatiently,
and said, without opening its eyes, ‘Of course, of
course; just what I was going to remark myself.’
‘Have you guessed the riddle yet?’ the Hatter
said, turning to Alice again.
‘No, I give it up,’ Alice replied: ‘what’s the an-
swer?’
‘I haven’t the slightest idea,’ said the Hatter.
‘Nor I,’ said the March Hare.
Alice sighed wearily. ‘I think you might do
something better with the time,’ she said, ‘than
waste it in asking riddles that have no answers.’
‘If you knew Time as well as I do,’ said the
Hatter, ‘you wouldn’t talk about wasting IT. It’s
HIM.’
‘I don’t know what you mean,’ said Alice.
‘Of course you don’t!’ the Hatter said, tossing
his head contemptuously. ‘I dare say you never even
spoke to Time!’

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‘Perhaps not,’ Alice cautiously replied: ‘but I
know I have to beat time when I learn music.’
‘Ah! that accounts for it,’ said the Hatter.
‘He won’t stand beating. Now, if you only kept on
good terms with him, he’d do almost anything you
liked with the clock. For instance, suppose it were
nine o’clock in the morning, just time to begin les-
sons: you’d only have to whisper a hint to Time, and
round goes the clock in a twinkling! Half-past one,
time for dinner!’
(‘I only wish it was,’ the March Hare said to
itself in a whisper.)
‘That would be grand, certainly,’ said Alice
thoughtfully: ‘but then—I shouldn’t be hungry for
it, you know.’
‘Not at first, perhaps,’ said the Hatter: ‘but
you could keep it to half-past one as long as you
liked.’
‘Is that the way YOU manage?’ Alice asked.
The Hatter shook his head mournfully. ‘Not I!’
he replied. ‘We quarrelled last March—just before
HE went mad, you know—’ (pointing with his tea
spoon at the March Hare,) ‘it was at the great con-
cert given by the Queen of Hearts, and I had to sing

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144 Learn To Speed Read
“Twinkle, twinkle, little bat!
How I wonder what you’re at!”
You know the song, perhaps?’
‘I’ve heard something like it,’ said Alice.
‘It goes on, you know,’ the Hatter continued, ‘in this
way:—

“Up above the world you fly,
Like a tea-tray in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle—”’

Here the Dormouse shook itself, and began
singing in its sleep ‘Twinkle, twinkle, twinkle, twin-
kle—’ and went on so long that they had to pinch it
to make it stop.
‘Well, I’d hardly finished the first verse,’ said
the Hatter, ‘when the Queen jumped up and bawled
out, “He’s murdering the time! Off with his head!”’
‘How dreadfully savage!’ exclaimed Alice.
‘And ever since that,’ the Hatter went on in
a mournful tone, ‘he won’t do a thing I ask! It’s al-
ways six o’clock now.’
A bright idea came into Alice’s head. ‘Is that
the reason so many tea-things are put out here?’
she asked.

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‘Yes, that’s it,’ said the Hatter with a sigh:
‘it’s always tea-time, and we’ve no time to wash the
things between whiles.’
‘Then you keep moving round, I suppose?’ said
Alice.
‘Exactly so,’ said the Hatter: ‘as the things get
used up.’
‘But what happens when you come to the be-
ginning again?’ Alice ventured to ask.
‘Suppose we change the subject,’ the March
Hare interrupted, yawning. ‘I’m getting tired of
this. I vote the young lady tells us a story.’
‘I’m afraid I don’t know one,’ said Alice, rath-
er alarmed at the proposal.
‘Then the Dormouse shall!’ they both cried.
‘Wake up, Dormouse!’ And they pinched it on both
sides at once.
The Dormouse slowly opened his eyes. ‘I
wasn’t asleep,’ he said in a hoarse, feeble voice: ‘I
heard every word you fellows were saying.’
‘Tell us a story!’ said the March Hare.
‘Yes, please do!’ pleaded Alice.
‘And be quick about it,’ added the Hatter, ‘or
you’ll be asleep again before it’s done.’

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146 Learn To Speed Read

Performance Reading
Alice folded her hands, and began:—
‘You are old, Father William,’ the young man said,
‘And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head—
Do you think, at your age, it is right?’

‘In my youth,’ Father William replied to his son,
‘I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I’m perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again.’

‘You are old,’ said the youth, ‘as I mentioned before,
And have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door—
Pray, what is the reason of that?’

‘In my youth,’ said the sage, as he shook his grey locks,
‘I kept all my limbs very supple
By the use of this ointment—one shilling the box—
Allow me to sell you a couple?’

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‘You are old,’ said the youth, ‘and your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak—
Pray how did you manage to do it?’

‘In my youth,’ said his father, ‘I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw,
Has lasted the rest of my life.’

‘You are old,’ said the youth, ‘one would hardly suppose
That your eye was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose—
What made you so awfully clever?’

‘I have answered three questions, and that is enough,’
Said his father; ‘don’t give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I’ll kick you down stairs!’

‘That is not said right,’ said the Caterpillar.
‘Not QUITE right, I’m afraid,’ said Alice, timidly;
‘some of the words have got altered.’

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148 Learn To Speed Read
‘It is wrong from beginning to end,’ said the Cater-
pillar decidedly, and there was silence for some minutes.
The Caterpillar was the first to speak.
‘What size do you want to be?’ it asked.
‘Oh, I’m not particular as to size,’ Alice hastily re-
plied; ‘only one doesn’t like changing so often, you know.’
‘I DON’T know,’ said the Caterpillar.
Alice said nothing: she had never been so much
contradicted in her life before, and she felt that she was
losing her temper.
‘Are you content now?’ said the Caterpillar.
‘Well, I should like to be a LITTLE larger, sir, if
you wouldn’t mind,’ said Alice: ‘three inches is such a
wretched height to be.’
‘It is a very good height indeed!’ said the Caterpil-
lar angrily, rearing itself upright as it spoke (it was ex-
actly three inches high).
‘But I’m not used to it!’ pleaded poor Alice in a pite-
ous tone. And she thought of herself, ‘I wish the creatures
wouldn’t be so easily offended!’
‘You’ll get used to it in time,’ said the Caterpillar;
and it put the hookah into its mouth and began smoking
again.
This time Alice waited patiently until it chose to
speak again. In a minute or two the Caterpillar took the
hookah out of its mouth and yawned once or twice, and
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shook itself. Then it got down off the mushroom, and
crawled away in the grass, merely remarking as it went,
‘One side will make you grow taller, and the other side
will make you grow shorter.’
‘One side of WHAT? The other side of WHAT?’
thought Alice to herself.
‘Of the mushroom,’ said the Caterpillar, just as if
she had asked it aloud; and in another moment it was out
of sight.
Alice remained looking thoughtfully at the mush-
room for a minute, trying to make out which were the two
sides of it; and as it was perfectly round, she found this a
very difficult question. However, at last she stretched her
arms round it as far as they would go, and broke off a bit
of the edge with each hand.
‘And now which is which?’ she said to herself, and
nibbled a little of the right-hand bit to try the effect: the
next moment she felt a violent blow underneath her chin:
it had struck her foot!
She was a good deal frightened by this very sudden
change, but she felt that there was no time to be lost, as
she was shrinking rapidly; so she set to work at once to
eat some of the other bit. Her chin was pressed so closely
against her foot, that there was hardly room to open her
mouth; but she did it at last, and managed to swallow a
morsel of the lefthand bit.

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* * *
‘Come, my head’s free at last!’ said Alice in a tone
of delight, which changed into alarm in another moment,
when she found that her shoulders were nowhere to be
found: all she could see, when she looked down, was an
immense length of neck, which seemed to rise like a stalk
out of a sea of green leaves that lay far below her.
‘What CAN all that green stuff be?’ said Alice.
‘And where HAVE my shoulders got to? And oh, my poor
hands, how is it I can’t see you?’ She was moving them
about as she spoke, but no result seemed to follow, except
a little shaking among the distant green leaves.
As there seemed to be no chance of getting her
hands up to her head, she tried to get her head down to
them, and was delighted to find that her neck would bend
about easily in any direction, like a serpent. She had just
succeeded in curving it down into a graceful zigzag, and
was going to dive in among the leaves, which she found to
be nothing but the tops of the trees under which she had
been wandering, when a sharp hiss made her draw back
in a hurry: a large pigeon had flown into her face, and was
beating her violently with its wings.
‘Serpent!’ screamed the Pigeon.
‘I’m NOT a serpent!’ said Alice indignantly. ‘Let me
alone!’

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‘Serpent, I say again!’ repeated the Pigeon, but in
a more subdued tone, and added with a kind of sob, ‘I’ve
tried every way, and nothing seems to suit them!’
‘I haven’t the least idea what you’re talking about,’
said Alice.
‘I’ve tried the roots of trees, and I’ve tried banks,
and I’ve tried hedges,’ the Pigeon went on, without attend-
ing to her; ‘but those serpents! There’s no pleasing them!’
Alice was more and more puzzled, but she thought
there was no use in saying anything more till the Pigeon
had finished.
‘As if it wasn’t trouble enough hatching the eggs,’
said the Pigeon; ‘but I must be on the look-out for serpents
night and day! Why, I haven’t had a wink of sleep these
three weeks!’
‘I’m very sorry you’ve been annoyed,’ said Alice,
who was beginning to see its meaning.
‘And just as I’d taken the highest tree in the wood,’
continued the Pigeon, raising its voice to a shriek, ‘and
just as I was thinking I should be free of them at last,
they must needs come wriggling down from the sky! Ugh,
Serpent!’
‘But I’m NOT a serpent, I tell you!’ said Alice. ‘I’m
a—I’m a—’
‘Well! WHAT are you?’ said the Pigeon. ‘I can see
you’re trying to invent something!’

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152 Learn To Speed Read
‘I—I’m a little girl,’ said Alice, rather doubtfully,
as she remembered the number of changes she had gone
through that day.
‘A likely story indeed!’ said the Pigeon in a tone of
the deepest contempt. ‘I’ve seen a good many little girls in
my time, but never ONE with such a neck as that! No, no!
You’re a serpent; and there’s no use denying it. I suppose
you’ll be telling me next that you never tasted an egg!’
‘I HAVE tasted eggs, certainly,’ said Alice, who
was a very truthful child; ‘but little girls eat eggs quite as
much as serpents do, you know.’
‘I don’t believe it,’ said the Pigeon; ‘but if they do,
why then they’re a kind of serpent, that’s all I can say.’
This was such a new idea to Alice, that she was
quite silent for a minute or two, which gave the Pigeon
the opportunity of adding, ‘You’re looking for eggs, I know
THAT well enough; and what does it matter to me wheth-
er you’re a little girl or a serpent?’
‘It matters a good deal to ME,’ said Alice hastily;
‘but I’m not looking for eggs, as it happens; and if I was, I
shouldn’t want YOURS: I don’t like them raw.’
‘Well, be off, then!’ said the Pigeon in a sulky tone,
as it settled down again into its nest. Alice crouched down
among the trees as well as she could, for her neck kept
getting entangled among the branches, and every now
and then she had to stop and untwist it. After a while she
remembered that she still held the pieces of mushroom

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in her hands, and she set to work very carefully, nibbling
first at one and then at the other, and growing sometimes
taller and sometimes shorter, until she had succeeded in
bringing herself down to her usual height.
It was so long since she had been anything near the
right size, that it felt quite strange at first; but she got
used to it in a few minutes, and began talking to herself,
as usual. ‘Come, there’s half my plan done now! How puz-
zling all these changes are! I’m never sure what I’m going
to be, from one minute to another! However, I’ve got back
to my right size: the next thing is, to get into that beauti-
ful garden—how IS that to be done, I wonder?’ As she said
this, she came suddenly upon an open place, with a little
house in it about four feet high. ‘Whoever lives there,’
thought Alice, ‘it’ll never do to come upon them THIS
size: why, I should frighten them out of their wits!’ So she
began nibbling at the righthand bit again, and did not
venture to go near the house till she had brought herself
down to nine inches high.

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CHAPTER VI. Pig and Pepper
For a minute or two she stood looking at the house,
and wondering what to do next, when suddenly a footman
in livery came running out of the wood—(she considered
him to be a footman because he was in livery: otherwise,
judging by his face only, she would have called him a
fish)—and rapped loudly at the door with his knuckles.
It was opened by another footman in livery, with a round
face, and large eyes like a frog; and both footmen, Al-
ice noticed, had powdered hair that curled all over their
heads. She felt very curious to know what it was all about,
and crept a little way out of the wood to listen.
The Fish-Footman began by producing from under
his arm a great letter, nearly as large as himself, and this
he handed over to the other, saying, in a solemn tone,
‘For the Duchess. An invitation from the Queen to play
croquet.’ The Frog-Footman repeated, in the same solemn
tone, only changing the order of the words a little, ‘From
the Queen. An invitation for the Duchess to play croquet.’
Then they both bowed low, and their curls got en-
tangled together.
Alice laughed so much at this, that she had to run
back into the wood for fear of their hearing her; and when
she next peeped out the Fish-Footman was gone, and the
other was sitting on the ground near the door, staring stu-
pidly up into the sky.
Alice went timidly up to the door, and knocked.

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‘There’s no sort of use in knocking,’ said the Foot-
man, ‘and that for two reasons. First, because I’m on the
same side of the door as you are; secondly, because they’re
making such a noise inside, no one could possibly hear
you.’ And certainly there was a most extraordinary noise
going on within—a constant howling and sneezing, and
every now and then a great crash, as if a dish or kettle
had been broken to pieces.
‘Please, then,’ said Alice, ‘how am I to get in?’
‘There might be some sense in your knocking,’ the
Footman went on without attending to her, ‘if we had the
door between us. For instance, if you were INSIDE, you
might knock, and I could let you out, you know.’ He was
looking up into the sky all the time he was speaking, and
this Alice thought decidedly uncivil. ‘But perhaps he can’t
help it,’ she said to herself; ‘his eyes are so VERY nearly
at the top of his head. But at any rate he might answer
questions.—How am I to get in?’ she repeated, aloud.
‘I shall sit here,’ the Footman remarked, ‘till tomor-
row—’
At this moment the door of the house opened, and a
large plate came skimming out, straight at the Footman’s
head: it just grazed his nose, and broke to pieces against
one of the trees behind him.
‘—or next day, maybe,’ the Footman continued in
the same tone, exactly as if nothing had happened.

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156 Learn To Speed Read
‘How am I to get in?’ asked Alice again, in a louder
tone.
‘ARE you to get in at all?’ said the Footman. ‘That’s
the first question, you know.’
It was, no doubt: only Alice did not like to be told
so. ‘It’s really dreadful,’ she muttered to herself, ‘the way
all the creatures argue. It’s enough to drive one crazy!’
The Footman seemed to think this a good opportu-
nity for repeating his remark, with variations. ‘I shall sit
here,’ he said, ‘on and off, for days and days.’
‘But what am I to do?’ said Alice.
‘Anything you like,’ said the Footman, and began
whistling.
‘Oh, there’s no use in talking to him,’ said Alice des-
perately: ‘he’s perfectly idiotic!’ And she opened the door
and went in.
The door led right into a large kitchen, which was
full of smoke from one end to the other: the Duchess was
sitting on a three-legged stool in the middle, nursing a
baby; the cook was leaning over the fire, stirring a large
cauldron which seemed to be full of soup.
‘There’s certainly too much pepper in that soup!’
Alice said to herself, as well as she could for sneezing.
There was certainly too much of it in the air. Even
the Duchess sneezed occasionally; and as for the baby, it
was sneezing and howling alternately without a moment’s

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pause. The only things in the kitchen that did not sneeze,
were the cook, and a large cat which was sitting on the
hearth and grinning from ear to ear.
‘Please would you tell me,’ said Alice, a little tim-
idly, for she was not quite sure whether it was good man-
ners for her to speak first, ‘why your cat grins like that?’
‘It’s a Cheshire cat,’ said the Duchess, ‘and that’s
why. Pig!’
She said the last word with such sudden violence
that Alice quite jumped; but she saw in another moment
that it was addressed to the baby, and not to her, so she
took courage, and went on again:—
‘I didn’t know that Cheshire cats always grinned; in
fact, I didn’t know that cats COULD grin.’
‘They all can,’ said the Duchess; ‘and most of ‘em
do.’
‘I don’t know of any that do,’ Alice said very polite-
ly, feeling quite pleased to have got into a conversation.
‘You don’t know much,’ said the Duchess; ‘and
that’s a fact.’
Alice did not at all like the tone of this remark,
and thought it would be as well to introduce some other
subject of conversation. While she was trying to fix on
one, the cook took the cauldron of soup off the fire, and at
once set to work throwing everything within her reach at
the Duchess and the baby—the fire-irons came first; then

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followed a shower of saucepans, plates, and dishes. The
Duchess took no notice of them even when they hit her;
and the baby was howling so much already, that it was
quite impossible to say whether the blows hurt it or not.
‘Oh, PLEASE mind what you’re doing!’ cried Alice,
jumping up and down in an agony of terror. ‘Oh, there
goes his PRECIOUS nose’; as an unusually large sauce-
pan flew close by it, and very nearly carried it off.
‘If everybody minded their own business,’ the Duch-
ess said in a hoarse growl, ‘the world would go round a
deal faster than it does.’
‘Which would NOT be an advantage,’ said Alice,
who felt very glad to get an opportunity of showing off a
little of her knowledge. ‘Just think of what work it would
make with the day and night! You see the earth takes
twenty-four hours to turn round on its axis—’
‘Talking of axes,’ said the Duchess, ‘chop off her
head!’
Alice glanced rather anxiously at the cook, to see if
she meant to take the hint; but the cook was busily stir-
ring the soup, and seemed not to be listening, so she went
on again: ‘Twenty-four hours, I THINK; or is it twelve?
I—’
‘Oh, don’t bother ME,’ said the Duchess; ‘I never
could abide figures!’ And with that she began nursing her
child again, singing a sort of lullaby to it as she did so,
and giving it a violent shake at the end of every line:

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‘Speak roughly to your little boy,
And beat him when he sneezes:
He only does it to annoy,
Because he knows it teases.’

CHORUS.
(In which the cook and the baby joined):—
‘Wow! wow! wow!’

While the Duchess sang the second verse of the
song, she kept tossing the baby violently up and down,
and the poor little thing howled so, that Alice could hardly
hear the words:—
‘I speak severely to my boy,
I beat him when he sneezes;
For he can thoroughly enjoy
The pepper when he pleases!’

CHORUS.
‘Wow! wow! wow!’
‘Here! you may nurse it a bit, if you like!’ the Duch-
ess said to Alice, flinging the baby at her as she spoke. ‘I
must go and get ready to play croquet with the Queen,’

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and she hurried out of the room. The cook threw a frying-
pan after her as she went out, but it just missed her.
Alice caught the baby with some difficulty, as it
was a queer-shaped little creature, and held out its arms
and legs in all directions, ‘just like a star-fish,’ thought
Alice. The poor little thing was snorting like a steam-en-
gine when she caught it, and kept doubling itself up and
straightening itself out again, so that altogether, for the
first minute or two, it was as much as she could do to hold
it.
As soon as she had made out the proper way of
nursing it, (which was to twist it up into a sort of knot,
and then keep tight hold of its right ear and left foot, so
as to prevent its undoing itself,) she carried it out into the
open air. ‘IF I don’t take this child away with me,’ thought
Alice, ‘they’re sure to kill it in a day or two: wouldn’t it be
murder to leave it behind?’ She said the last words out
loud, and the little thing grunted in reply (it had left off
sneezing by this time). ‘Don’t grunt,’ said Alice; ‘that’s not
at all a proper way of expressing yourself.’
The baby grunted again, and Alice looked very
anxiously into its face to see what was the matter with
it. There could be no doubt that it had a VERY turn-up
nose, much more like a snout than a real nose; also its
eyes were getting extremely small for a baby: altogether
Alice did not like the look of the thing at all. ‘But perhaps
it was only sobbing,’ she thought, and looked into its eyes
again, to see if there were any tears.

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No, there were no tears. ‘If you’re going to turn
into a pig, my dear,’ said Alice, seriously, ‘I’ll have noth-
ing more to do with you. Mind now!’ The poor little thing
sobbed again (or grunted, it was impossible to say which),
and they went on for some while in silence.
Alice was just beginning to think to herself, ‘Now,
what am I to do with this creature when I get it home?’
when it grunted again, so violently, that she looked down
into its face in some alarm. This time there could be NO
mistake about it: it was neither more nor less than a pig,
and she felt that it would be quite absurd for her to carry
it further.
So she set the little creature down, and felt quite
relieved to see it trot away quietly into the wood. ‘If it
had grown up,’ she said to herself, ‘it would have made a
dreadfully ugly child: but it makes rather a handsome pig,
I think.’ And she began thinking over other children she
knew, who might do very well as pigs, and was just say-
ing to herself, ‘if one only knew the right way to change
them—’ when she was a little startled by seeing the
Cheshire Cat sitting on a bough of a tree a few yards off.
The Cat only grinned when it saw Alice. It looked
good-natured, she thought: still it had VERY long claws
and a great many teeth, so she felt that it ought to be
treated with respect.
‘Cheshire Puss,’ she began, rather timidly, as she
did not at all know whether it would like the name: how-
ever, it only grinned a little wider. ‘Come, it’s pleased so
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162 Learn To Speed Read
far,’ thought Alice, and she went on. ‘Would you tell me,
please, which way I ought to go from here?’
‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get
to,’ said the Cat.
‘I don’t much care where—’ said Alice.
‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the
Cat.
‘—so long as I get SOMEWHERE,’ Alice added as
an explanation.
‘Oh, you’re sure to do that,’ said the Cat, ‘if you only
walk long enough.’
Alice felt that this could not be denied, so she tried
another question. ‘What sort of people live about here?’
‘In THAT direction,’ the Cat said, waving its right
paw round, ‘lives a Hatter: and in THAT direction,’ wav-
ing the other paw, ‘lives a March Hare. Visit either you
like: they’re both mad.’
‘But I don’t want to go among mad people,’ Alice
remarked.
‘Oh, you can’t help that,’ said the Cat: ‘we’re all
mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.’
‘How do you know I’m mad?’ said Alice.
‘You must be,’ said the Cat, ‘or you wouldn’t have
come here.’
Alice didn’t think that proved it at all; however, she

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went on ‘And how do you know that you’re mad?’
‘To begin with,’ said the Cat, ‘a dog’s not mad. You
grant that?’
‘I suppose so,’ said Alice.
‘Well, then,’ the Cat went on, ‘you see, a dog growls
when it’s angry, and wags its tail when it’s pleased. Now I
growl when I’m pleased, and wag my tail when I’m angry.
Therefore I’m mad.’
‘I call it purring, not growling,’ said Alice.
‘Call it what you like,’ said the Cat. ‘Do you play
croquet with the Queen to-day?’
‘I should like it very much,’ said Alice, ‘but I haven’t
been invited yet.’
‘You’ll see me there,’ said the Cat, and vanished.
Alice was not much surprised at this, she was get-
ting so used to queer things happening. While she was
looking at the place where it had been, it suddenly ap-
peared again.
‘By-the-bye, what became of the baby?’ said the
Cat. ‘I’d nearly forgotten to ask.’
‘It turned into a pig,’ Alice quietly said, just as if it
had come back in a natural way.
‘I thought it would,’ said the Cat, and vanished
again.

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164 Learn To Speed Read
Alice waited a little, half expecting to see it again,
but it did not appear, and after a minute or two she
walked on in the direction in which the March Hare was
said to live. ‘I’ve seen hatters before,’ she said to her-
self; ‘the March Hare will be much the most interesting,
and perhaps as this is May it won’t be raving mad—at
least not so mad as it was in March.’ As she said this,
she looked up, and there was the Cat again, sitting on a
branch of a tree.
‘Did you say pig, or fig?’ said the Cat.
‘I said pig,’ replied Alice; ‘and I wish you wouldn’t
keep appearing and vanishing so suddenly: you make one
quite giddy.’
‘All right,’ said the Cat; and this time it vanished
quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and end-
ing with the grin, which remained some time after the
rest of it had gone.
‘Well! I’ve often seen a cat without a grin,’ thought
Alice; ‘but a grin without a cat! It’s the most curious thing
I ever saw in my life!’
She had not gone much farther before she came in
sight of the house of the March Hare: she thought it must
be the right house, because the chimneys were shaped
like ears and the roof was thatched with fur. It was so
large a house, that she did not like to go nearer till she
had nibbled some more of the lefthand bit of mushroom,
and raised herself to about two feet high: even then she

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walked up towards it rather timidly, saying to herself
‘Suppose it should be raving mad after all! I almost wish
I’d gone to see the Hatter instead!’

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CHAPTER VII. A Mad Tea-Party

There was a table set out under a tree in front of
the house, and the March Hare and the Hatter were hav-
ing tea at it: a Dormouse was sitting between them, fast
asleep, and the other two were using it as a cushion, rest-
ing their elbows on it, and talking over its head. ‘Very un-
comfortable for the Dormouse,’ thought Alice; ‘only, as it’s
asleep, I suppose it doesn’t mind.’
The table was a large one, but the three were all
crowded together at one corner of it: ‘No room! No room!’
they cried out when they saw Alice coming. ‘There’s
PLENTY of room!’ said Alice indignantly, and she sat
down in a large arm-chair at one end of the table.
‘Have some wine,’ the March Hare said in an en-
couraging tone.
Alice looked all round the table, but there was
nothing on it but tea. ‘I don’t see any wine,’ she remarked.
‘There isn’t any,’ said the March Hare.
‘Then it wasn’t very civil of you to offer it,’ said Al-
ice angrily.
‘It wasn’t very civil of you to sit down without being
invited,’ said the March Hare.
‘I didn’t know it was YOUR table,’ said Alice; ‘it’s
laid for a great many more than three.’

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‘Your hair wants cutting,’ said the Hatter. He had
been looking at Alice for some time with great curiosity,
and this was his first speech.
‘You should learn not to make personal remarks,’
Alice said with some severity; ‘it’s very rude.’
The Hatter opened his eyes very wide on hearing
this; but all he SAID was, ‘Why is a raven like a writing-
desk?’
‘Come, we shall have some fun now!’ thought Alice.
‘I’m glad they’ve begun asking riddles.—I believe I can
guess that,’ she added aloud.
‘Do you mean that you think you can find out the
answer to it?’ said the March Hare.
‘Exactly so,’ said Alice.
‘Then you should say what you mean,’ the March
Hare went on.
‘I do,’ Alice hastily replied; ‘at least—at least I
mean what I say—that’s the same thing, you know.’
‘Not the same thing a bit!’ said the Hatter. ‘You
might just as well say that “I see what I eat” is the same
thing as “I eat what I see”!’
‘You might just as well say,’ added the March Hare,
‘that “I like what I get” is the same thing as “I get what I
like”!’
‘You might just as well say,’ added the Dormouse,
who seemed to be talking in his sleep, ‘that “I breathe

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168 Learn To Speed Read
when I sleep” is the same thing as “I sleep when I
breathe”!’
‘It IS the same thing with you,’ said the Hatter, and
here the conversation dropped, and the party sat silent for
a minute, while Alice thought over all she could remember
about ravens and writing-desks, which wasn’t much.
The Hatter was the first to break the silence. ‘What
day of the month is it?’ he said, turning to Alice: he had
taken his watch out of his pocket, and was looking at it
uneasily, shaking it every now and then, and holding it to
his ear.
Alice considered a little, and then said ‘The fourth.’
‘Two days wrong!’ sighed the Hatter. ‘I told you but-
ter 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.’
Alice had been looking over his shoulder with some
curiosity. ‘What a funny watch!’ she remarked. ‘It tells the

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day of the month, and doesn’t tell what o’clock it is!’
‘Why should it?’ muttered the Hatter. ‘Does YOUR
watch tell you what year it is?’
‘Of course not,’ Alice replied very readily: ‘but that’s
because it stays the same year for such a long time to-
gether.’
‘Which is just the case with MINE,’ said the Hatter.
Alice felt dreadfully puzzled. The Hatter’s remark
seemed to have no sort of meaning in it, and yet it was
certainly English. ‘I don’t quite understand you,’ she said,
as politely as she could.
‘The Dormouse is asleep again,’ said the Hatter,
and he poured a little hot tea upon its nose.
The Dormouse shook its head impatiently, and
said, without opening its eyes, ‘Of course, of course; just
what I was going to remark myself.’
‘Have you guessed the riddle yet?’ the Hatter said,
turning to Alice again.
‘No, I give it up,’ Alice replied: ‘what’s the answer?’
‘I haven’t the slightest idea,’ said the Hatter.
‘Nor I,’ said the March Hare.
Alice sighed wearily. ‘I think you might do some-
thing better with the time,’ she said, ‘than waste it in ask-
ing riddles that have no answers.’
‘If you knew Time as well as I do,’ said the Hatter,

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170 Learn To Speed Read
‘you wouldn’t talk about wasting IT. It’s HIM.’
I don’t know what you mean,’ said Alice.
‘Of course you don’t!’ the Hatter said, tossing his
head contemptuously. ‘I dare say you never even spoke to
Time!’
‘Perhaps not,’ Alice cautiously replied: ‘but I know I
have to beat time when I learn music.’
‘Ah! that accounts for it,’ said the Hatter. ‘He won’t
stand beating. Now, if you only kept on good terms with
him, he’d do almost anything you liked with the clock. For
instance, suppose it were nine o’clock in the morning, just
time to begin lessons: you’d only have to whisper a hint to
Time, and round goes the clock in a twinkling! Half-past
one, time for dinner!’
(‘I only wish it was,’ the March Hare said to itself in
a whisper.)
‘That would be grand, certainly,’ said Alice thought-
fully: ‘but then—I shouldn’t be hungry for it, you know.’
‘Not at first, perhaps,’ said the Hatter: ‘but you
could keep it to half-past one as long as you liked.’
‘Is that the way YOU manage?’ Alice asked.
The Hatter shook his head mournfully. ‘Not I!’ he
replied. ‘We quarrelled last March—just before HE went
mad, you know—’ (pointing with his tea spoon at the
March Hare,) ‘—it was at the great concert given by the
Queen of Hearts, and I had to sing

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“Twinkle, twinkle, little bat!
How I wonder what you’re at!”

You know the song, perhaps?’
‘I’ve heard something like it,’ said Alice.
‘It goes on, you know,’ the Hatter continued, ‘in this
way:—

“Up above the world you fly,
Like a tea-tray in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle—”’

Here the Dormouse shook itself, and began sing-
ing in its sleep ‘Twinkle, twinkle, twinkle, twinkle—’ and
went on so long that they had to pinch it to make it stop.
‘Well, I’d hardly finished the first verse,’ said the
Hatter, ‘when the Queen jumped up and bawled out, “He’s
murdering the time! Off with his head!”’
‘How dreadfully savage!’ exclaimed Alice.
‘And ever since that,’ the Hatter went on in a
mournful tone, ‘he won’t do a thing I ask! It’s always six
o’clock now.’
A bright idea came into Alice’s head. ‘Is that the

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172 Learn To Speed Read
reason so many tea-things are put out here?’ she asked.
‘Yes, that’s it,’ said the Hatter with a sigh: ‘it’s al-
ways tea-time, and we’ve no time to wash the things be-
tween whiles.’
‘Then you keep moving round, I suppose?’ said
Alice.
‘Exactly so,’ said the Hatter: ‘as the things get used
up.’
‘But what happens when you come to the beginning
again?’ Alice ventured to ask.
‘Suppose we change the subject,’ the March Hare
interrupted, yawning. ‘I’m getting tired of this. I vote the
young lady tells us a story.’
‘I’m afraid I don’t know one,’ said Alice, rather
alarmed at the proposal.
‘Then the Dormouse shall!’ they both cried. ‘Wake
up, Dormouse!’ And they pinched it on both sides at once.
The Dormouse slowly opened his eyes. ‘I wasn’t
asleep,’ he said in a hoarse, feeble voice: ‘I heard every
word you fellows were saying.’
‘Tell us a story!’ said the March Hare.
‘Yes, please do!’ pleaded Alice.
‘And be quick about it,’ added the Hatter, ‘or you’ll
be asleep again before it’s done.’

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krismadden.com
Building
New
Habits
tuation habtituati
ituation habituati
bituation habituai
abituationhabitua
Habituation habi
Every day we translate text into meaning, provok-
ing a series of images and sounds and memories at the
glance of a word. When we see the word, “McDonald’s”,
many people think of the golden arches of the popular
fast food chain, and yet when we see these same words in
print, we feel the need to read them aloud.
Habituation refers to reducing the response to a
specific stimulus by means of repetition. These exercises
aid in the elimination of the top five most-common words
in the English language: “the”, “of”, “and”, “to”, and “a”.
See, you probably read the word “and” twice, and
now three times. How much faster could you read if you
eliminated these common words? Much, much faster...

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178 Learn To Speed Read

Practice Reading
In the exercise that follows, every other word is “the”. In
order to derive meaning from the text you’re going to have
to skip over “the”, to read the text. In turn, you’ll also be
skipping over the “the”s that are supposed to be there.

Exercise #1
‘Oncetheupontheathetimethetherethewerethethreethelit-
tlethesisters,’theDormousethebegantheintheathegreatthe
hurry;the’andthetheirthenamestheweretheElsie,theLacie-
,theandtheTillie;theandthetheythelivedtheatthebottomth
eoftheathewell—’the’Whatthedidthetheythelivetheon?’the
saidtheAlice,thewhothealwaysthetooktheathegreatthein-
teresttheinthequestionstheoftheeatingtheandthedrinking.
the’Theythelivedtheonthetreacle,’thesaidtheDormouse,the
afterthethinkingtheatheminutetheorthetwo.the’Theytheco
uldn’tthehavethedonethethat,theyoutheknow,’theAlicethe
gentlytheremarked;the’they’dthehavethebeentheill.’the’So
thetheythewere,’thesaidtheDormouse;the’VERYtheill.’the-
Alicethetriedthetothefancythetotheherselfthewhatthesuch
theantheextraordinarythewaystheofthelivingthewouldthe-
bethelike,thebuttheitthepuzzledtheherthetoothemuch,th
esotheshethewenttheon:the’Butthewhythedidthetheythel
ivetheatthebottomtheoftheathewell?’the’Takethesomethe
morethetea,’theMarchtheHarethesaidthetotheAlice,theve
rytheearnestly.the’I’vethehadthenothingtheyet,’theAlicet
herepliedtheintheantheoffendedthetone,the’sotheIthecan’
tthetakethemore.’the’Youthemeantheyouthecan’tthetaket
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Learn To Speed Read 179
heLESS,’thesaidtheHatter:the’it’stheverytheeasythetothe
taketheMOREthethanthenothing.’the’Nobodytheaskedthe
YOURtheopinion,’thesaidtheAlice.the’Who’sthemakingth
epersonaltheremarksthenow?’theHattertheaskedthetrium
phantly.theAlicethedidthenotthequitetheknowthewhatth-
etothesaythetothethis:thesotheshethehelpedtheherselfthe
tothesometheteatheandthebread-and-butter,theandtheth
entheturnedthetotheDormouse,theandtherepeatedtheher
thequestion.the’Whythedidthetheythelivetheatthebottom-
theoftheathewell?’theDormousetheagainthetooktheathemi
nutetheorthetwothetothethinktheabouttheit,theandthethe
nthesaid,the’Itthewastheathetreacle-well.’the’There’sthen
othesuchthething!’theAlicethewasthebeginningtheverythe
angrily,thebuttheHattertheandtheMarchtheHarethewen-
tthe’Sh!thesh!’theandtheDormousethesulkilytheremarked
,the’Iftheyouthecan’tthebethecivil,theyou’dthebetterthefin
ishthestorythefortheyourself.’the’No,thepleasethegotheon
!’theAlicethesaidtheverythehumbly;the’Ithewon’ttheinterr
upttheagain.theIthedarethesaythetherethemaythebetheO
NE.’the’One,theindeed!’thesaidtheDormousetheindignant
ly.theHowever,thehetheconsentedthetothegotheon.the’An
dthesothethesethethreethelittlethesisters—theythewereth
elearningthetothedraw,theyoutheknow—’the’Whatthedid
thetheythedraw?’thesaidtheAlice,thequitetheforgettingth-
eherthepromise.the’Treacle,’thesaidtheDormouse,thewit
houttheconsideringtheattheallthethisthetime.the’Ithewa-
nttheathecleanthecup,’theinterruptedtheHatter:the’let’st
heallthemovetheonetheplacetheon.’the’Oncetheupontheat
hetimethetherethewerethethreethelittlethesisters,’theDor
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180 Learn To Speed Read
mousethebegantheintheathegreatthehurry;the’andthe
theirthenamestheweretheElsie,theLacie,theandtheTillie;
theandthetheythelivedtheatthebottomtheoftheathewell—
’the’Whatthedidthetheythelivetheon?’thesaidtheAlice,the
whothealwaysthetooktheathegreattheinteresttheinthe-
questionstheoftheeatingtheandthedrinking.the’Theythe
livedtheonthetreacle,’thesaidtheDormouse,theafterthe
thinkingtheatheminutetheorthetwo.the’Theythecouldn’t
thehavethedonethethat,theyoutheknow,’theAlicethegently
theremarked;the’they’dthehavethebeentheill.’the’Sothe
theythewere,’thesaidtheDormouse;the’VERYtheill.’theAli-
cethetriedthetothefancythetotheherselfthewhatthesuchth
eantheextraordinarythewaystheofthelivingthewouldthebe
thelike,thebuttheitthepuzzledtheherthetoothemuch,theso
theshethewenttheon:the’Butthewhythedidthetheythelive
theatthebottomtheoftheathewell?’the’Takethesomethem-
orethetea,’theMarchtheHarethesaidthetotheAlice,thevery
theearnestly.the’I’vethehadthenothingtheyet,’theAlicethe
repliedtheintheantheoffendedthetone,the’sotheIthecan’tth
etakethemore.’the’Youthemeantheyouthecan’tthetakethe
LESS,’thesaidtheHatter:the’it’stheverytheeasythetotheta
ketheMOREthethanthenothing.’the’NobodytheaskedtheY
OURtheopinion,’thesaidtheAlice.the’Who’sthemakingthe
personaltheremarksthenow?’theHattertheaskedthetrium-
phantly.theAlicethedidthenotthequitetheknowthewhatthe
tothesaythetothethis:thesotheshethehelpedtheherselfthe
tothesometheteatheandthebread-and-butter,theandthe
thentheturnedthetotheDormouse,theandtherepeatedthehe
rthequestion.the’Whythedidthetheythelivetheatthe b o t t o

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Learn To Speed Read 181
mtheoftheathewell?’theDormousetheagainthetookthe ath-
eminutetheorthetwothetothethinktheabouttheit,theand
thethenthesaid,the’Itthewastheathetreacle-well.’the’
There’sthenothesuchthething!’theAlicethewasthebeginnin
gtheverytheangrily,thebuttheHattertheandtheMarchtheH
arethewentthe’Sh!thesh!’theandtheDormousethesulkilyth
eremarked,the’Iftheyouthecan’tthebethecivil,theyou’dtheb
etterthefinishthestorythefortheyourself.’the’No,thepleaset
hegotheon!’theAlicethesaidtheverythehumbly;the’Ithewon
’ttheinterrupttheagain.theIthedarethesaythetherethemay
thebetheONE.’the’One,theindeed!’thesaidtheDormousethe
indignantly.theHowever,thehetheconsentedthetothegothe
on.the’Andthesothethesethethreethelittlethesisters—they
thewerethelearningthetothedraw,theyoutheknow—’the’W
hatthedidthetheythedraw?’thesaidtheAlice,thequitethefor
gettingtheherthepromise.the’Treacle,’thesaidtheDormous
e,thewithouttheconsideringtheattheallthethisthetime.the’
Ithewanttheathecleanthecup,’theinterruptedtheHatter:th
e’let’stheallthemovetheonetheplacetheon.’theHethemoved
theontheasthehethespoke,theandtheDormousethefollowe-
dthehim:theMarchtheHarethemovedtheintotheDormouse
’stheplace,theandtheAlicetherathertheunwillinglythetook
theplacetheoftheMarchtheHare.theHatterthewastheonly-
theonethewhothegottheanytheadvantagethefromthechang
e:theandtheAlicethewastheathegoodthedealtheworsetheo
ffthethanthebefore,theastheMarchtheHarethehadthejust-
theupsetthemilk-jugtheintothehistheplate.theAlicethedid-
thenotthewishthetotheoffendtheDormousetheagain,thesot
heshethebegantheverythecautiously:the’ButtheIthedon’tt
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182 Learn To Speed Read
heunderstand.theWherethedidthetheythedrawthetreaclet-
hefrom?’the’Youthecanthedrawthewatertheouttheofthe
athewater-well,’thesaidtheHatter;the’sotheItheshouldth
ethinktheyouthecouldthedrawthetreacletheouttheofthe-
athetreacle-well—eh,thestupid?’the‘Butthetheythewereth
eINthewell,’theAlicethesaidthetotheDormouse,thenotthec
hoosingthetothenoticethethisthelasttheremark.the’Ofthe
coursethetheythewere’,thesaidtheDormouse;the’—wellth-
ein.’theThistheanswerthesotheconfusedthepoortheAlice,th
ethattheshethelettheDormousethegotheontheforthesome-
thetimethewithouttheinterruptingtheit.the’Theythewere-
thelearningthetothedraw,’theDormousethewenttheon,the
yawningtheandtherubbingtheitstheeyes,thefortheitthewa
sthegettingtheverythesleepy;the’andthetheythedrewthea
llthemannertheofthethings—everythingthethatthebegin-
sthewiththeantheM—’the’WhythewiththeantheM?’thesaid
theAlice.the’Whythenot?’thesaidtheMarchtheHare.theAli-
cethewasthesilent.theDormousethehadtheclosedtheitsthe
eyesthebythethisthetime,theandthewasthegoingtheoffthe
intotheathedoze;thebut,theonthebeingthepinchedthebyth
eHatter,theitthewoketheuptheagainthewiththeathelittlet
heshriek,theandthewenttheon:the’—thatthebeginsthewit
htheantheM,thesuchtheasthemouse-traps,theandthemoo
n,theandthememory,theandthemuchness—youtheknowth
eyouthesaythethingsthearethe”muchtheoftheathemuchne
ss”—didtheyoutheevertheseethesuchtheathethingtheast-
heathedrawingtheoftheathemuchness?’‘Really,thenowthey
outheasktheme,’thesaidtheAlice,theverythemuchtheconfu
sed,the’Ithedon’tthethink—’the‘Thentheyoutheshouldn’tth
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Learn To Speed Read 183
etalk,’thesaidtheHatter.theThisthepiecetheoftherude-
nessthewasthemorethethantheAlicethecouldthebear:thes
hethegottheuptheinthegreatthedisgust,theandthewalked
theoff;theDormousethefelltheasleeptheinstantly,theandt
heneithertheoftheothersthetooktheleastthenoticetheofthe-
herthegoing,thethoughtheshethelookedthebacktheonceth
eorthetwice,thehalfthehopingthethatthetheythewouldthe
calltheaftertheher:thelastthetimetheshethesawthethem,t
hetheythewerethetryingthetotheputtheDormousetheinto-
theteapot.the’AttheanytheratetheI’lltheneverthegotheTH-
EREtheagain!’thesaidtheAlicetheastheshethepickedtheh
erthewaythethroughthewood.the’It’sthestupidestthetea-
partytheItheeverthewastheattheintheallthemythelife!’the
Justtheastheshethesaidthethis,theshethenoticedthethatt
heonetheofthetreesthehadtheathedoortheleadingtheright-
theintotheit.the’That’stheverythecurious!’theshethethou
ght.the’Buttheeverything’sthecuriousthetoday.theItheth-
inktheIthemaytheasthewellthegotheintheattheonce.’theA
ndtheintheshethewent.theOncethemoretheshethefoundt-
heherselftheinthelongthehall,theandtheclosethetothelitt
letheglassthetable.the’Now,theI’llthemanagethebetterth
ethisthetime,’theshethesaidthetotheherself,theandthebe
ganthebythetakingthelittlethegoldenthekey,theandtheu
nlockingthedoorthethattheledtheintothegarden.theThen-
theshethewentthetotheworkthenibblingtheatthemushroo
mthe(shethehadthekepttheathepiecetheoftheittheinthehe
rthepocket)thetilltheshethewastheabouttheathefootthehig
h:thethentheshethewalkedthedownthelittlethepassage:th
eandtheTHEN—
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184 Learn To Speed Read

Practice Reading
In the exercise that follows, every other word is “of”. In or-
der to derive meaning from the text you’re going to have to
skip over “of”, to read the text. In turn, you’ll also be skip-
ping over the “of”s that are supposed to be there.

Exercise #2
‘Osheoffoundofherselfofatoflastofinoftheof beautifulofgard
en,ofamongoftheofbrightofflower-bedsofandoftheofcooloff-
ountains.ofAoflargeofrose-treeofstoodofnearoftheofentran-
ceoftheofgarden:oftheofrosesofgrowingofonofitofwereofwh
ite,ofbutofthereofwereofthreeofgardenersofatofit,ofbusilyo
fpaintingofthemofred.ofAliceofthoughtofthisofaofveryofcu
riousofthing,ofandofsheofwentofneareroftoofwatchofthem
,ofandofjustofasofsheofcameofupoftoofthemofsheofheardo-
foneofthemofsay,of’Lookofoutofnow,ofFive!ofDon’tofgoofsp
lashingofpaintofoverofmeoflikeofthat!’of’Iofcouldn’tofhelp
ofit,’ofsaidofFive,ofinofaofsulkyoftone;of’Sevenofjoggedofm
yofelbow.’ofOnofwhichofSevenoflookedofupofandofsaid,of’
That’sofright,ofFive!ofAlwaysoflayoftheofblameofonofothe
rs!’of’YOU’Dofbetterofnotoftalk!’ofsaidofFive.of’Iofheardo
ftheofQueenofsayofonlyofyesterdayofyouofdeservedoftoof-
beofbeheaded!’of’Whatoffor?’ofsaidoftheofoneofwhoofhad
ofspokenoffirst.of’That’sofnoneofYOURofbusiness,ofTwo!’
ofsaidofSeven.of’Yes,ofitofISofhisofbusiness!’ofsaidofFive
,of’andofI’lloftellofhim—itofwasofforofbringingoftheofcoo-
koftulip-rootsofinsteadofonions.’ofSevenofflungofdownofh

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Learn To Speed Read 185
isofbrush,ofandofhadofjustofbegunof’Well,ofalloftheofun
justofthings—’ofwhenofhisofeyeofchancedoftooffallofupono
fAlice,ofasofsheofstoodofwatchingofthem,ofandofheofcheck
edofhimselfofsuddenly:oftheofothersoflookedofroundofalso
,ofandofallofthemofbowedoflow.of’Wouldofyouoftellofme,’of
saidofAlice,ofaoflittleoftimidly,of’whyofyouofareofpainting
ofthoseofroses?’ofFiveofandofSevenofsaidofnothing,ofbutof
lookedofatofTwo.ofTwoofbeganofinofaoflowofvoice,of’Whyo
ftheoffactofis,ofyouofsee,ofMiss,ofthisofhereofoughtoftoofh
aveofbeenofaofREDofrose-tree,ofandofweofputofaofwhiteof
oneofinofbyofmistake;ofandofifoftheofQueenofwasoftooffin
dofitofout,ofweofshouldofallofhaveofourofheadsofcutofoff,o
fyouofknow.ofSoofyouofsee,ofMiss,ofwe’reofdoingofourofbe
st,ofaforeofsheofcomes,ofto—’ofAtofthisofmomentofFive,of
whoofhadofbeenofanxiouslyoflookingofacrossoftheofgarde-
n,ofcalledofoutof’TheofQueen!ofTheofQueen!’ofandofthe
ofthreeofgardenersofinstantlyofthrewofthemselvesofflat
ofuponoftheiroffaces.ofThereofwasofaofsoundofmanyoffoot
steps,ofandofAliceoflookedofround,ofeageroftoofseeoftheof
Queen.ofFirstofcameoftenofsoldiersofcarryingofclubs;ofthe
seofwereofallofshapedoflikeoftheofthreeofgardeners,ofoblo
ngofandofflat,ofwithoftheirofhandsofandoffeetofatoftheofc
orners:ofnextoftheoftenofcourtiers;oftheseofwereoforname
ntedofallofoverofwithofdiamonds,ofandofwalkedoftwoofan
doftwo,ofasoftheofsoldiersofdid.ofAfteroftheseofcameofthe
ofroyalofchildren;ofthereofwereoftenofthem,ofandoftheofli
ttleofdearsofcameofjumpingofmerrilyofalongofhandofinofh
and,ofinofcouples:oftheyofwereofallofornamentedofwithofh
earts.ofNextofcameoftheofguests,ofmostlyofKingsofandofQ
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186 Learn To Speed Read
ueens,ofandofamongofthemofAliceofrecognisedoftheofWhit
eofRabbit:ofitofwasoftalkingofinofaofhurriedofnervousofm
anner,ofsmilingofatofeverythingofthatofwasofsaid,ofandof
wentofbyofwithoutofnoticingofher.ofThenoffollowedoftheof
KnaveofHearts,ofcarryingoftheofKing’sofcrownofonofaofcr
imsonofvelvetofcushion;ofand,oflastofallofthisofgrandofpro
cession,ofcameofTHEofKINGofANDofQUEENofHEARTS.
ofAliceofwasofratherofdoubtfulofwhetherofsheofoughtof-
notoftooflieofdownofonofheroffaceoflikeoftheofthreeofgarde
ners,ofbutofsheofcouldofnotofrememberofeverofhavingofh
eardofsuchofaofruleofatofprocessions;of’andofbesides,ofwh
atofwouldofbeoftheofuseofaofprocession,’ofthoughtofshe,of’
ifofpeopleofhadofalloftooflieofdownofuponoftheiroffaces,ofs
oofthatoftheyofcouldn’tofseeofit?’ofSoofsheofstoodofstillofw
hereofsheofwas,ofandofwaited.ofWhenoftheofprocessionofc
ameofoppositeoftoofAlice,oftheyofallofstoppedofandoflooke
dofatofher,ofandoftheofQueenofsaidofseverelyof’Whoofisof
this?’ofSheofsaidofitoftooftheofKnaveofHearts,ofwhoofonly
ofbowedofandofsmiledofinofreply.of’Idiot!’ofsaidoftheofQue
en,oftossingofherofheadofimpatiently;ofand,ofturningoftoo
fAlice,ofsheofwentofon,of’What’sofyourofname,ofchild?’of
‘MyofnameofisofAlice,ofsoofpleaseofyourofMajesty,’ofsaid
ofAliceofveryofpolitely;ofbutofsheofadded,oftoofherself,of’
Why,ofthey’reofonlyofaofpackofcards,ofafterofall.ofIofnee-
dn’tofbeofafraidofthem!’of’AndofwhoofareofTHESE?’ofsai
doftheofQueen,ofpointingoftooftheofthreeofgardenersofw
hoofwereoflyingofroundoftheofrosetree;offor,ofyouofsee,of
asoftheyofwereoflyingofonoftheiroffaces,ofandoftheofpatt

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Learn To Speed Read 187
ernofonoftheirofbacksofwasoftheofsameofasoftheofrestoft
heofpack,ofsheofcouldofnotoftellofwhetheroftheyofwereof
gardeners,oforofsoldiers,oforofcourtiers,oforofthreeofherof
ownofchildren.of’HowofshouldofIofknow?’ofsaidofAlice,ofs
urprisedofatofherofownofcourage.of’It’sofnoofbusinessofM
INE.’ofTheofQueenofturnedofcrimsonofwithoffury,ofand,
ofafterofglaringofatofherofforofaofmomentoflikeofaofwild
ofbeast,ofscreamedof’Offofwithofherofhead!ofOff—’of’Non
sense!’ofsaidofAlice,ofveryofloudlyofandofdecidedly,ofand-
oftheofQueenofwasofsilent.ofTheofKingoflaidofhisofhando
fuponofherofarm,ofandoftimidlyofsaidof’Consider,ofmyofd
ear:ofsheofisofonlyofaofchild!’ofTheofQueenofturnedofang
rilyofawayoffromofhim,ofandofsaidoftooftheofKnaveof’Tur
nofthemofover!’ofTheofKnaveofdidofso,ofveryofcarefully,o
fwithofoneoffoot.of’Getofup!’ofsaidoftheofQueen,ofinofaofs
hrill,ofloudofvoice,ofandoftheofthreeofgardenersofinstantl
yofjumpedofup,ofandofbeganofbowingoftooftheofKing,ofth
eofQueen,oftheofroyalofchildren,ofandofeverybodyofelse.of
’Leaveofoffofthat!’ofscreamedoftheofQueen.of’Youofmakeo
fmeofgiddy.’ofAndofthen,ofturningoftooftheofrose-tree,ofs
heofwentofon,of’WhatofHAVEofyouofbeenofdoingofhere?’o
f’MayofitofpleaseofyourofMajesty,’ofsaidofTwo,ofinofaofve
ryofhumbleoftone,ofgoingofdownofonofoneofkneeofasofhe
ofspoke,of’weofwereoftrying—’of’Iofsee!’ofsaidoftheofQuee
n,ofwhoofhadofmeanwhileofbeenofexaminingoftheofroses.
of’Offofwithoftheirofheads!’ofandoftheofprocessionofmove
dofon,ofthreeoftheofsoldiersofremainingofbehindoftoofex
ecuteoftheofunfortunateofgardeners,ofwhoofranoftoofAli-
ceofforofprotection.of’Youofshan’tofbeofbeheaded!’of-
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188 Learn To Speed Read
saidofAlice,ofandofsheofputofthemofintoofaoflargeofflow
er-potofthatofstoodofnear.ofTheofthreeofsoldiersofwan-
deredofaboutofforofaofminuteoforoftwo,oflookingofforofthe
m,ofandofthenofquietlyofmarchedofoffofafteroftheofothers.
of ’Areoftheirofheadsofoff?’ofshoutedoftheofQueen.of’Thei-
rofheadsofareofgone,ofifofitofpleaseofyourofMajesty!’ofthe
ofsoldiersofshoutedofinofreply.of’That’sofright!’ofshoutedo
ftheofQueen.of’Canofyouofplayofcroquet?’ofTheofsoldiersof
wereofsilent,ofandoflookedofatofAlice,ofasoftheofquestiono
fwasofevidentlyofmeantofforofher.of’Yes!’ofshoutedofAlice.
of’Comeofon,ofthen!’ofroaredofoftheofQueen,ofandofAliceo
fjoinedoftheofprocession,ofwonderingofveryofmuchofwhat
ofwouldofhappenofnext.of’It’s—it’sofaofveryoffineofday!’of
saidofaoftimidofvoiceofatofherofside.ofSheofwasofwalkin-
gofbyoftheofWhiteofRabbit,ofwhoofwasofpeepingofanxiou
slyofintoofherofface.of’Very,’ofsaidofAlice:of’—where’softh
eofDuchess?’of’Hush!ofHush!’ofsaidoftheofRabbitofinofaof
low,ofhurriedoftone.ofHeoflookedofanxiouslyofoverofhisof
shoulderofasofheofspoke,ofandofthenofraisedofhimselfofu
ponoftiptoe,ofputofhisofmouthofcloseoftoofherofear,ofand
ofwhisperedof’She’sofunderofsentenceofexecution.’of’What
offor?’ofsaidofAlice.of’Didofyouofsayof”Whatofaofpity!”?’of
theofRabbitofasked.of’No,ofIofdidn’t,’ofsaidofAlice:of’Iofdo
n’tofthinkofit’sofatofallofaofpity.ofIofsaidof”Whatoffor?”’of
’SheofboxedoftheofQueen’sofears—’oftheofRabbitofbegan.
ofAliceofgaveofaoflittleofscreamoflaughter.of’Oh,ofhus
h!’oftheofRabbitofwhisperedofinofaoffrightenedoftone.
of’TheofQueenofwillofhearofyou!ofYouofsee,ofsheofcameo
fratheroflate,ofandoftheofQueenofsaid—’of’Getoftoofyour
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Learn To Speed Read 189
ofplaces!’ofshoutedoftheofQueenofinofaofvoiceofthunder,o
fandofpeopleofbeganofrunningofaboutofinofallofdirection
s,oftumblingofupofagainstofeachofother;ofhowever,ofthe
yofgotofsettledofdownofinofaofminuteoforoftwo,ofandofth
eofgameofbegan.ofAliceofthoughtofsheofhadofneverofsee-
nofsuchofaofcuriousofcroquet-groundofinofheroflife;ofitof
wasofallofridgesofandoffurrows;oftheofballsofwereoflive-
ofhedgehogs,oftheofmalletsofliveofflamingoes,ofandoftheo
fsoldiersofhadoftoofdoubleofthemselvesofupofandoftoofsta
ndofonoftheirofhandsofandoffeet,oftoofmakeoftheofarches.
ofTheofchiefofdifficultyofAliceoffoundofatoffirstofwasofinof
managingofherofflamingo:ofsheofsucceededofinofgettingof
itsofbodyoftuckedofaway,ofcomfortablyofenough,ofunderof
herofarm,ofwithofitsoflegsofhangingofdown,ofbutofgeneral
ly,ofjustofasofsheofhadofgotofitsofneckofnicelyofstraighten
edofout,ofandofwasofgoingoftoofgiveoftheofhedgehogofaof-
blowofwithofitsofhead,ofitofWOULDoftwistofitselfofround
ofandoflookofupofinofherofface,ofwithofsuchofaofpuzzledo-
fexpressionofthatofsheofcouldofnotofhelpofburstingofouto-
flaughing:ofandofwhenofsheofhadofgotofitsofheadofdown,
ofandofwasofgoingoftoofbeginofagain,ofitofwasofveryofpro
vokingoftooffindofthatoftheofhedgehogofhadofunrolledofit-
self,ofandofwasofinoftheofactofcrawlingofaway:ofbesideso
fallofthis,ofthereofwasofgenerallyofaofridgeoforoffurrowo-
finoftheofwayofwhereverofsheofwantedoftoofsendoftheofh
edgehogofto,ofand,ofasoftheofdoubled-upofsoldiersofwere-
ofalwaysofgettingofupofandofwalkingofoffoftoofotherof-
partsoftheofground,ofAliceofsoonofcameoftooftheofconclof
theofhedgehogs;ofandofinofaofveryofshortoftimeoftheof
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190 Learn To Speed Read

Practice Reading
In the exercise that follows, every other word is “and”. In
order to derive meaning from the text you’re going to have
to skip over “and”, to read the text. In turn, you’ll also be
skipping over the “and”s that are supposed to be there.

Exercise #3
Queenandwasandinandaandfuriousandpassion,andwenta
ndstampingandabout,andshoutingand’Offandwithandhisa
ndhead!’andorand’Offandwithandherandhead!’andabouta
ndonceandinandaandminute.andAliceandbeganandtoandf
eelandveryanduneasy:andtoandbeandsure,andsheandhad
andnotandasandyetandhadandanyanddisputeandwith-
andtheandQueen,andbutandsheandknewandthatanditand
mightandhappenandanyandminute,and’andandthen,’andt
houghtandshe,and’whatandwouldandbecomeandofandme?
andThey’reanddreadfullyandfondandofandbeheadingandp
eopleandhere;andtheandgreatandwonderandis,andthatan
dthere’sandanyandoneandleftandalive!’andSheandwasand
lookingandaboutandforandsomeandwayandofandescape-
,andwonderingandwhetherandsheandcouldandgetand-
awayandwithoutandbeingandseen,andwhenandsheandnot
icedandaandcuriousandappearanceandinandtheandair:an
ditandpuzzledandherandveryandmuchandatandfirst,andb
ut,andafterandwatchinganditandaandminuteandorandtw
o,andsheandmadeanditandoutandtoandbeandaandgrin,an
dsheandsaidandtoandherselfand’It’sandtheandCheshirea
ndCat:andnowandIandshallandhaveandsomebodyandtoan
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Learn To Speed Read 191
dtalkandto.’and’Howandareandyouandgettingandon?’ands
aidandtheandCat,andasandsoonandasandthereandwasan
dmouthandenoughandforanditandtoandspeakandwith.
andAliceandwaitedandtillandtheandeyesandappeared,and
thenandnodded.and’It’sandnoanduseandspeakingandtoan
dit,’andsheandthought,and’tillanditsandearsandhaveandc
ome,andorandatandleastandoneandofandthem.’andInand
anotherandminuteandtheandwholeandheadandappeared,
andthenandAliceandputanddownandherandflamingo,and
beganandanandaccountandofandtheandgame,andfeelinga
ndveryandgladandsheandhadandsomeoneandtoandliste-
nandtoandher.andTheandCatandseemedandtoandthink-
andthatandthereandwasandenoughandofanditandnowand
inandsight,andnoandmoreandofanditandappeared.and-
’Ianddon’tandthinkandtheyandplayandatandallandfairly,’
andAliceandbegan,andinandratherandaandcomplaininga
ndtone,and’andandtheyandallandquarrelandsoanddreadf
ullyandoneandcan’tandhearandoneselfandspeak—
andandtheyanddon’tandseemandtoandhaveandanyandrul
esandinandparticular;andatandleast,andifandthereandar
e,andnobodyandattendsandtoandthem—andandyou’veand
noandideaandhowandconfusinganditandisandallandthe-
andthingsandbeingandalive;andforandinstance,andthere’s
andtheandarchandI’veandgotandtoandgoandthroughand-
nextandwalkingandaboutandatandtheandotheranden-
dandofandtheandground—andandIandshouldandhaveand
croquetedandtheandQueen’sandhedgehogandjustandnow,
andonlyanditandranandawayandwhenanditandsawandmi
neandcoming!’and’HowanddoandyouandlikeandtheandQu
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192 Learn To Speed Read
een?’andsaidandtheandCatandinandaandlowandvoice.
and’Notandatandall,’andsaidandAlice:and’she’sandsoande
xtremely—’andJustandthenandsheandnoticedandthatand
theandQueenandwasandcloseandbehindandher,andlisteni
ng:andsoandsheandwentandon,and’—likelyandtoandwin,
andthatandit’sandhardlyandworthandwhileandfinishinga
ndtheandgame.’andTheandQueenandsmiledandpassedan
don.and’WhoandAREandyouandtalkingandto?’andsaidan
dtheandKing,andgoingandupandtoandAlice,andlookingan
datandtheandCat’sandheadandwithandgreatandcuriosity.
and’It’sandaandfriendandofandmine—aandCheshireandC
at,’andsaidandAlice:and’allowandmeandtoandintroducean
dit.’and’Ianddon’tandlikeandtheandlookandofanditandata
ndall,’andsaidandtheandKing:and’however,anditandmaya
ndkissandmyandhandandifanditandlikes.’and’I’dandrathe
randnot,’andtheandCatandremarked.and’Don’tandbeand-
impertinent,’andsaidandtheandKing,and’andanddon’tandl
ookandatandmeandlikeandthat!’andHeandgotandbehinda
ndAliceandasandheandspoke.and’Aandcatandmayandlook
andatandaandking,’andsaidandAlice.and’I’veandreada-
ndthatandinandsomeandbook,andbutandIanddon’tandre
memberandwhere.’and’Well,anditandmustandbeandremo
ved,’andsaidandtheandKingandveryanddecidedly,andhea
ndcalledandtheandQueen,andwhoandwasandpassinganda
tandtheandmoment,and’Myanddear!andIandwishandyoua
ndwouldandhaveandthisandcatandremoved!’andTheandQ
ueenandhadandonlyandoneandwayandofandsettlingan-
dallanddifficulties,andgreatandorandsmall.and’Offandwi-
thandhisandhead!’andsheandsaid,andwithoutandevenand
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Learn To Speed Read 193
lookingandround.and’I’llandfetchandtheandexecutioneran
dmyself,’andsaidandtheandKingandeagerly,andheandhur
riedandoff.andAliceandthoughtandsheandmightandasand
wellandgoandback,andseeandhowandtheandgameandwas
andgoingandon,andasandsheandheardandtheandQueen’s
andvoiceandinandtheanddistance,andscreamingandwitha
ndpassion.andSheandhadandalreadyandheardandherand-
sentenceandthreeandofandtheandplayersandtoandbean-
dexecutedandforandhavingandmissedandtheirandturns,a
ndsheanddidandnotandlikeandtheandlookandofandthing-
sandatandall,andasandtheandgameandwasandinandsu-
chandconfusionandthatandsheandneverandknewand-
whetheranditandwasandherandturnandorandnot.
andSoandsheandwentandinandsearchandofandherand-
hedgehog.andTheandhedgehogandwasandengagedandi-
nandaandfightandwithandanotherandhedgehog,andwhi-
chandseemedandtoandAliceandanandexcellentandoppor-
tunityandforandcroquetingandoneandofandthemandwith-
andtheandother:andtheandonlyanddifficultyandwas,and-
thatandherandflamingoandwasandgoneandacrossand-
toandtheandotherandsideandofandtheandgarden,and-
whereandAliceandcouldandseeanditandtryingandinan-
daandhelplessandsortandofandwayandtoandflyandupand-
intoandaandtreeandByandtheandtimeandsheandhadand
caughtandtheandflamingoandbroughtanditandback,andth
eandfightandwasandover,andbothandtheandhedgehogsan
dwereandoutandofandsight:and’butanditanddoesn’tandm
atterandmuch,’andthoughtandAlice,and’asandallandthea
ndarchesandareandgoneandfromandthisandsideando-
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194 Learn To Speed Read
fandtheandground.’andSoandsheandtuckedanditandaway
andunderandherandarm,andthatanditandmightandnotan
descapeandagain,andwentandbackandforandaandlittlean
dmoreandconversationandwithandherandfriend.andW-
henandsheandgotandbackandtoandtheandCheshireand-
Cat,andsheandwasandsurprisedandtoandfindandquiteand
aandlargeandcrowdandcollectedandroundandit:andtherea
ndwasandaanddisputeandgoingandonandbetweenandthe-
andexecutioner,andtheandKing,andtheandQueen,andwho
andwereandallandtalkingandatandonce,andwhileandalla
ndtheandrestandwereandquiteandsilent,andlookedandver
yanduncomfortable.andTheandmomentandAliceandappea
red,andsheandwasandappealedandtoandbyandallandthre
eandtoandsettleandtheandquestion,andtheyandrepeateda
ndtheirandargumentsandtoandher,andthough,andasandt
heyandallandspokeandatandonce,andsheandfoundand-
itandveryandhardandindeedandtoandmakeandoutandex-
actlyandwhatandtheyandsaid.andTheandexecutioner’san
dargumentandwas,andthatandyouandcouldn’tandcuta-
ndoffandaandheadandunlessandthereandwasandaand-
bodyandtoandcutanditandoffandfrom:andthatandheandha
dandneverandhadandtoanddoandsuchandaandthingandb
efore,andheandwasn’tandgoingandtoandbeginandatandHI
Sandtimeandofandlife.andTheandKing’sandargumentand
was,andthatandanythingandthatandhadandaandheadand
couldandbeandbeheaded,andthatandyouandweren’tandto
andtalkandnonsense.andTheandQueen’sandargumentand
was,andthatandifandsomethingandwasn’tanddoneandabo
utanditandinandlessandthanandnoandtimeandshe’dandh
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Learn To Speed Read 195
aveandeverybodyandexecuted,andallandround.and(Itand-
wasandthisandlastandremarkandthatandhadandmadean-
dtheandwholeandpartyandlookandsoandgraveand
anxious.)andAliceandcouldandthinkandofandnothingan-
delseandtoandsayandbutand’Itandbelongsandtoandthean
dDuchess:andyou’dandbetterandaskandHERandaboutand
it.’and’She’sandinandprison,’andtheandQueenandsaidand
toandtheandexecutioner:and’fetchandherandhere.’andthe
andexecutionerandwentandoffandlikeandanandarrow.an-
dTheandCat’sandheadandbeganandfadingandawayandthe
andmomentandheandwasandgone,andand,andbyandthea
ndtimeandheandhadandcomeandbackandwithandtheand
Duchess,anditandhadandentirelyanddisappeared;andso-
andtheandKingandtheandexecutionerandranandwildlyan-
dupanddownandlookingandforandit,andwhileandtheandr
estandofandtheandpartyandwentandbackandtoandthean-
dgame.and ’Youandcan’tandthinkandhowandgladandIand
amandtoandseeandyouandagain,andyouanddearandoldan
dthing!’andsaidandtheandDuchess,andasandsheandtucke
dandherandarmandaffectionatelyandintoandAlice’s,andth
eyandwalkedandoffandtogether.andAliceandwasandvery-
andgladandtoandfindandherandinandsuchandaandpleas-
antandtemper,andthoughtandtoandherselfandthatand-
perhapsanditandwasandonlyandtheandpepperandthat-
andhadandmadeandherandsoandsavageandwhenandthey-
andmetandinandtheandkitchen.and’WhenandI’Mandaand
Duchess,’andsheandsaidandtoandherself,and(notandinan
daandveryandhopefulandtoneandthough),and’Iandwon’ta
nd
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196 Learn To Speed Read

Practice Reading
In the exercise that follows, every other word is “to”. In or-
der to derive meaning from the text you’re going to have to
skip over “to”, to read the text. In turn, you’ll also be skip-
ping over the “to”s that are supposed to be there.

Exercise #4
havetoanytopeppertointomytokitchentoATtoALL.to-
Souptodoestoverytowelltowithout—Maybetoit’stoalwaysto
peppertothattomakestopeopletohot-tempered,’toshetowent
toon,toverytomuchtopleasedtoattohavingtofoundtoouttoat
onewtokindtooftorule,to’andtovinegartothattomakestothe
mtosour—andtocamomiletothattomakestothemtobitter—
and—andtobarley-sugartoandtosuchtothingstothattoma-
ketochildrentosweet-tempered.toItoonlytowishtopeopletok
newtothat:tothentotheytowouldn’ttobetosotostingytoabout
toit,toyoutoknow—’toShetohadtoquitetoforgottentothetoD
uchesstobytothistotime,toandtowastoatolittletostartledto
whentoshetoheardtohertovoicetoclosetohertoear.to-
’You’retothinkingtoabouttosomething,tomytodear,toandtot
hattomakestoyoutoforgettotalk.toItocan’ttotelltoyoutojustt
onowtowhattothetomoraltooftothattois,tobuttoItoshalltore
membertoittointoatobit.’to’Perhapstoittohasn’ttoone,’toAli
cetoventuredtoremark.to’Tut,totut,tochild!’tosaidtothetoD
uchess.to’Everything’stogottoatomoral,toiftoonlytoyoutoca
ntofindtoit.’toAndtoshetosqueezedtoherselftouptoclosertoA
lice’stosidetoastoshetospoke.toAlicetodidtonottomuchtolik

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Learn To Speed Read 197
etokeepingtosotoclosetoher:tofirst,tobecausetothetoDuches
stowastoVERYtougly;toandtosecondly,tobecausetoshetow
astoexactlytothetorighttoheighttoresttohertochintoupon-
toAlice’stoshoulder,toandtoittowastoantouncomfortablytos
harptochin.toHowever,toshetodidtonottoliketobetorude,to
sotoshetoboretoittoastowelltoastoshetocould.to’Thetog-
ame’stogoingtoontorathertobettertonow,’toshetosaid,tobyt
owaytooftokeepingtouptothetoconversationtoatolittle.to-
’’Tistoso,’tosaidtothetoDuchess:to’andtothetomoraltooftoth
attois—”Oh,to’tistolove,to’tistolove,tothattomakestotheto
worldtogotoround!”’to’Somebodytosaid,’toAlicetowhispered
,to’thattoit’stodonetobytoeverybodytomindingtotheirtoown
tobusiness!’to’Ah,towell!toIttomeanstomuchtothetosameto
thing,’tosaidtothetoDuchess,todiggingtohertosharptolittlet
ochintointotoAlice’stoshouldertoastoshetoadded,to’andtoth
etomoraltooftoTHATtois—”Taketocaretooftothetosense,to
andtothetosoundstowilltotaketocaretooftothemselves.”’to’
Howtofondtoshetoistooftofindingtomoralstointothings!’toA
licetothoughttoherself.to’Itodaretosaytoyou’retowondering
towhytoItodon’ttoputtomytoarmtoroundtoyourtowaist,’tot
hetoDuchesstosaidtoaftertoatopause:to’thetoreasontois,tot
hattoI’mtodoubtfultoabouttothetotempertooftoyourtoflami
ngo.toShalltoItotrytothetoexperiment?’to’HEtomighttobite
,’toAlicetocautiouslytoreplied,tonottofeelingtoattoalltoanxi
oustohavetothetoexperimenttotried.to’Verytotrue,’tosaidto
thetoDuchess:to’flamingoestoandtomustardtobothtobite.
toAndtothetomoraltooftothattois—”Birdstooftoatofeathert
oflocktotogether.”’to’Onlytomustardtoisn’ttoatobird,’toAlic
etoremarked.to’Right,toastousual,’tosaidtothetoDuchess:t
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198 Learn To Speed Read
o’whattoatocleartowaytoyoutohavetooftoputtingtothings!’t
o’It’stoatomineral,toItoTHINK,’tosaidtoAlice.to’Oftoc-
oursetoittois,’tosaidtothetoDuchess,towhotoseemedtoread
ytoagreetoeverythingtothattoAlicetosaid;to’there’stoatolar
getomustard-minetoneartohere.toAndtothetomoraltoofto-
thattois—”Thetomoretotheretoistooftomine,tothetolesstot
heretoistooftoyours.”’to’Oh,toItoknow!’toexclaimedtoAlice,
towhotohadtonottoattendedtothistolasttoremark,to’it’stoat
ovegetable.toIttodoesn’ttolooktoliketoone,tobuttoittois.’to’I
toquitetoagreetowithtoyou,’tosaidtothetoDuchess;to’andto
thetomoraltooftothattois—”Betowhattoyoutowouldtoseemt
obe”—ortoiftoyou’dtoliketoittoputtomoretosimply—”Never
toimaginetoyourselftonottobetootherwisetothantowhat-
toittomighttoappeartootherstothattowhattoyoutoweretoor-
tomighttohavetobeentowastonottootherwisetothantowhat-
toyoutohadtobeentowouldtohavetoappearedtothemtobe-
tootherwise.”’to’ItothinktoItoshouldtounderstandtothattob
etter,’toAlicetosaidtoverytopolitely,to’iftoItohadtoittowritt
entodown:tobuttoItocan’ttoquitetofollowtoittoastoyoutosay
toit.’to’That’stonothingtowhattoItocouldtosaytoiftoItochos
e,’tothetoDuchesstoreplied,tointoatopleasedtotone.to’Pray
todon’ttotroubletoyourselftosaytoittoanytolongertothantot
hat,’tosaidtoAlice.to’Oh,todon’ttotalktoabouttotrouble!’tos
aidtothetoDuchess.to’Itomaketoyoutoatopresenttooftoever
ythingtoI’vetosaidtoastoyet.’to’Atocheaptosorttooftopresen
t!’tothoughttoAlice.to’I’mtogladtotheytodon’ttogivetobirth
daytopresentstoliketothat!’toButtoshetodidtonottoventure
tosaytoittoouttoloud.to’Thinkingtoagain?’tothetoDuchesst
oasked,towithtoanothertodigtooftohertosharptolittletoch
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Learn To Speed Read 199
in.to’I’vetoatorighttothink,’tosaidtoAlicetosharply,tofortos
hetowastobeginningtofeeltoatolittletoworried.
to’Justtoabouttoastomuchtoright,’tosaidtothetoDuchess,to’
astopigstohavetofly;toandtothetom—’toButtohere,toAlice’s
togreattosurprise,tothetoDuchess’stovoicetodiedtoaway,to
eventointothetomiddletooftohertofavouritetowordto’mo-
ral,’toandtothetoarmtothattowastolinkedtointotoherstobe
gantotremble.toAlicetolookedtoup,toandtotheretostoodtot
hetoQueentointofronttooftothem,towithtohertoarmstofold
ed,tofrowningtoliketoatothunderstorm.to’Atofinetoday,toy
ourtoMajesty!’tothetoDuchesstobegantointoatolow,toweak
tovoice.to’Now,toItogivetoyoutofairtowarning,’toshoutedto
thetoQueen,tostampingtoontothetogroundtoastoshetospok
e;to’eithertoyoutoortoyourtoheadtomusttobetooff,toandtot
hattointoabouttohalftonototime!toTaketoyourtochoice!’toT
hetoDuchesstotooktohertochoice,toandtowastogonetointoa
tomoment.to’Let’stogotoontowithtothetogame,’tothetoQue
entosaidtoAlice;toandtoAlicetowastotootomuchtofrightene
dtosaytoatoword,tobuttoslowlytofollowedtohertobacktothe
tocroquet-ground.toThetoothertogueststohadtotakentoad-
vantagetooftothetoQueen’stoabsence,toandtoweretorestin
gtointothetoshade:tohowever,tothetomomenttotheytosawt
oher,totheytohurriedtobacktothetogame,tothetoQueentom
erelytoremarkingtothattoatomoment’stodelaytowouldtoco
sttothemtotheirtolives.toAlltothetotimetotheytowereto-
playingtothetoQueentonevertolefttoofftoquarrellingtow-
ithtothetoothertoplayers,toandtoshoutingto’Offtowithtohis
tohead!’toorto’Offtowithtohertohead!’toThosetowhomtoshe
tosentencedtoweretotakentointotocustodytobytothetosoldi
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200 Learn To Speed Read
ers,towhotooftocoursetohadtoleavetoofftobeingtoarchestod
otothis,tosotothattobytothetoendtooftohalftoantohourtoort
osototheretoweretonotoarchestoleft,toandtoalltothetoplaye
rs,toexcepttothetoKing,tothetoQueen,toandtoAlice,toweret
ointocustodytoandtoundertosentencetooftoexecution.to Th
entothetoQueentolefttooff,toquitetoouttooftobreath,toandt
osaidtoAlice,to’HavetoyoutoseentothetoMocktoTurtletoyet
?’to’No,’tosaidtoAlice.to’Itodon’ttoeventoknowtowhattoato
MocktoTurtletois.’to’It’stothetothingtoMocktoTurtletoSou
ptoistomadetofrom,’tosaidtothetoQueen.to’Itonevertosawt
oone,toortoheardtooftoone,’tosaidtoAlice.to’Cometoon,toth-
en,’tosaidtothetoQueen,to’andtohetoshalltotelltoyoutohist
ohistory,’toAstotheytowalkedtoofftotogether,toAlicetohear
dtothetoKingtosaytointoatolowtovoice,tothetocompanytog
enerally,to’Youtoaretoalltopardoned.’to’Come,toTHAT’Sto
atogoodtothing!’toshetosaidtoherself,tofortoshetohadtofelt
toquitetounhappytoattothetonumbertooftoexecutionstoth-
etoQueentohadtoordered.toTheytoverytosoontocametoupo
ntoatoGryphon,tolyingtofasttoasleeptointothetosun.to(IFt-
oyoutodon’ttoknowtowhattoatoGryphontois,tolooktoattoth
etopicture.)to’Up,tolazytothing!’tosaidtothetoQueen,to’and
totaketothistoyoungtoladytoseetothetoMocktoTurtle,toand
toheartohistohistory.toItomusttogotobacktoandtosee-
toaftertosometoexecutionstoItohavetoordered’;toandtoshet
owalkedtooff,toleavingtoAlicetoalonetowithtothetoGryph
on.toAlicetodidtonottoquitetoliketothetolooktooftothetocre
ature,tobuttoontothetowholetoshetothoughttoittowou-
ldtobetoquitetoastosafetostaytowithtoittoastogotoaftertoth
attosavagetoQueen:tosotoshetowaited.toThetoGryphontos
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Learn To Speed Read 201
attouptoandtorubbedtoitstoeyes:tothentoittowatchedtothe
toQueentotilltoshetowastoouttooftosight:tothentoittochuc
kled.to’Whattofun!’tosaidtothetoGryphon,tohalftoitself,toh
alftoAlice.to’WhattoIStothetofun?’tosaidtoAlice.to’Why,toS
HE,’tosaidtothetoGryphon.to’It’stoalltohertofancy,tothat:t
otheytonevertoexecutestonobody,toyoutoknow.toComet-
oon!’to’Everybodytosaysto”cometoon!”tohere,’tothoughttoA
lice,toastoshetowenttoslowlytoaftertoit:to’Itonevertowasto
sotoorderedtoabouttointoalltomytolife,tonever!’toTheytoh-
adtonottogonetofartobeforetotheytosawtothetoMocktoTur-
tletointothetodistance,tosittingtosadtoandtolonelytoontoat
olittletoledgetooftorock,toand,toastotheytocametonearer,t-
oAlicetocouldtoheartohimtosighingtoastoiftohistoheart-
towouldtobreak.toShetopitiedtohimtodeeply.to’Whattoisto
histosorrow?’toshetoaskedtothetoGryphon,toandtothetoGr
yphontoanswered,toverytonearlytointothetosametowordst
oastobefore,to’It’stoalltohistofancy,tothat:tohetohasn’ttogo
ttonotosorrow,toyoutoknow.toCometoon!’toSototheytowent
touptothetoMocktoTurtle,towhotolookedtoattothemtowith
tolargetoeyestofulltooftotears,tobuttosaidtonothing.to’This
toheretoyoungtolady,’tosaidtothetoGryphon,to’shetowants
tofortoknowtoyourtohistory,toshetodo.’to’I’lltotelltoittoher,
’tosaidtothetoMocktoTurtletointoatodeep,tohollowtotone:t
o’sittodown,tobothtooftoyou,toandtodon’ttospeaktoatoword
totilltoI’vetofinished.’toSototheytosattodown,toandtonobod
ytospoketofortosometominutes.toAlicetothoughttoherself,t
o’Itodon’ttoseetohowtohetocantoEVENtofinish,toiftohetod
oesn’ttobegin.’toButtoshetowaitedtopatiently.to’Once,’tosa
idtothetoMocktoTurtletoattolast,towithtoatodeeptosigh,as
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202 Learn To Speed Read

Practice Reading
In the exercise that follows, every other word is “a”. In or-
der to derive meaning from the text you’re going to have to
skip over “a”, to read the text. In turn, you’ll also be skip-
ping over the “a”s that are supposed to be there.

Exercise #5
followedabyaveryalongasilence,abrokenaonlyabyaanao
ccasionalaexclamationaofa’Hjckrrh!’afromatheaGryph
on,aandatheaconstantaheavyasobbingaofatheaMockaT
urtle.aAliceawasaveryanearlyagettingaupaandasaying
,a’Thankayou,asir,aforayourainterestingastory,’abutas
heacouldanotahelpathinkingathereaMUSTabeamorea
toacome,asoasheasatastillaandasaidanothing.a’Whena
weawerealittle,’atheaMockaTurtleawentaonaatalast,a
moreacalmly,athoughastillasobbingalittleanowaandath
en,a’weawentatoaschoolainatheasea.aTheamasterawasaa-
naoldaTurtle—weausedatoacallahimaTortoise—’a’Whya
didayouacallahimaTortoise,aifaheawasn’taone?’aAlicea
asked.a’WeacalledahimaTortoiseabecauseaheataughtau
s,’asaidatheaMockaTurtleaangrily:a’reallyayouaareave-
ryadull!’a’Youaoughtatoabeaashamedaofayourselfaforaa
skingasuchasimpleaquestion,’aaddedatheaGryphon;aan
dathenatheyabothasatasilentaandalookedaatapooraAlic
e,awhoafeltareadyatoasinkaintoatheaearth.aAtalastath
eaGryphonasaidatoatheaMockaTurtle,a’Driveaon,aoldaf
ellow!aDon’tabeaalladayaaboutait!’aandaheawentaonain
atheseawords:a’Yes,aweawentatoaschoolainatheasea,ath
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Learn To Speed Read 203
oughayouamayn’tabelieveait—’a’IaneverasaidaIadidn’t!’
ainterruptedaAlice.a’Youadid,’asaidatheaMockaTurtle.a
’Holdayouratongue!’aaddedatheaGryphon,abeforeaAlice
acouldaspeakaagain.aTheaMockaTurtleawentaon.a’Wea
hadatheabestaofaeducations—inafact,aweawentatoasch
oolaeveryaday—’a’I’VEabeenatoaday-school,atoo,’asaida
Alice;a’youaneedn’tabeasoaproudaasaallathat.’a’Withaex
tras?’aaskedatheaMockaTurtlealittleaanxiously.a’Yes,’a
saidaAlice,a’wealearnedaFrenchaandamusic.’a’Andawas
hing?’asaidatheaMockaTurtle.a’Certainlyanot!’asaidaAli
ceaindignantly.a’Ah!athenayoursawasn’tareallyagoodasc
hool,’asaidatheaMockaTurtleainatoneaofagreatarelief.a’
NowaataOURSatheyahadaatatheaendaofatheabill,a”Fre-
nch,amusic,aANDaWASHING—extra.”’a’Youacouldn’taha
veawantedaitamuch,’asaidaAlice;a’livingaatatheabottoma
ofatheasea.’a’Iacouldn’taaffordatoalearnait.’asaidatheaMo
ckaTurtleawithasigh.a’Iaonlyatookathearegularacourse.’a
’Whatawasathat?’ainquiredaAlice.a’ReelingaandaWrithin
g,aofacourse,atoabeginawith,’atheaMockaTurtleareplied;a
’andathenatheadifferentabranchesaofaArithmetic—Ambit
ion,Distraction,aUglification,aandaDerision.’a’Ianeverahe
ardaofa”Uglification,”’aAliceaventuredatoasay.a’Whataisa
it?’aTheaGryphonaliftedaupabothaitsapawsainasurprise.
a’What!aNeveraheardaofauglifying!’aitaexclaimed.a’Youa
knowawhatatoabeautifyais,aIasuppose?’a’Yes,’asaidaAlice
adoubtfully:a’itameans—to—make—anything—prettier.’a
‘Well,athen,’atheaGryphonawentaon,a’ifayouadon’ta
knowawhatatoauglifyais,ayouaAREasimpleton.’aAliceadi

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danotafeelaencouragedatoaaskaanyamoreaquestionsaabo
utait,asoasheaturnedatoatheaMockaTurtle,aandasaida’W
hataelseahadayouatoalearn?’a’Well,athereawasaMystery
,’atheaMockaTurtleareplied,acountingaoffatheasubjectsa
onahisaflappers,a’—Mystery,aancientaandamodern,awit
haSeaography:athenaDrawling—theaDrawling-mastera-
wasaanaoldaconger-eel,athatausedatoacomeaonceaweek:
aHEataughtausaDrawling,aStretching,aandaFaintingain
aCoils.’a’WhatawasaTHATalike?’asaidaAlice.a’Well,aIaca
n’tashowaitayouamyself,’atheaMockaTurtleasaid:a’I’mato
oastiff.aAndatheaGryphonaneveralearntait.’a’Hadn’tatim
e,’asaidatheaGryphon:a’IawentatoatheaClassicsamaster,
athough.aHeawasaanaoldacrab,aHEawas.’a’Ianeverawen
tatoahim,’atheaMockaTurtleasaidawithasigh:a’heataught
aLaughingaandaGrief,atheyausedatoasay.’a’Soaheadid,as
oaheadid,’asaidatheaGryphon,asighingainahisaturn;aand
abothacreaturesahidatheirafacesainatheirapaws.a’Andah
owamanyahoursadayadidayouadoalessons?’asaidaAlice,ai
nahurryatoachangeatheasubject.a’Tenahoursatheafirstad
ay,’asaidatheaMockaTurtle:a’nineatheanext,aandasoaon.’
a’Whatacuriousaplan!’aexclaimedaAlice.a’That’sathearea
sonathey’reacalledalessons,’atheaGryphonaremarked:a’be
causeatheyalessenafromadayatoaday.’aThisawasaquitean
ewaideaatoaAlice,aandasheathoughtaitaoveralittleabefor
easheamadeaheranextaremark.a’Thenatheaeleventhaday
amustahaveabeenaholiday?’a’Ofacourseaitawas,’asaidath
eaMockaTurtle.a’Andahowadidayouamanageaonatheatwe
lfth?’aAliceawentaonaeagerly.a’That’saenoughaaboutales
sons,’atheaGryphonainterruptedainaveryadecidedatone:a’
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tellaherasomethingaaboutatheagamesanow.’aTheaMocka
Turtleasighedadeeply,aandadrewatheabackaofaoneaflapp
eraacrossahisaeyes.aHealookedaataAlice,aandatriedatoas
peak,abutaforaminuteaoratwoasobsachokedahisavoice.a’S
ameaasaifaheahadaboneainahisathroat,’asaidatheaGryph
on:aandaitasetatoaworkashakingahimaandapunchingahi-
mainatheaback.aAtalastatheaMockaTurtlearecoveredahi
savoice,aand,awithatearsarunningadownahisacheeks,ahe
awentaonaagain:—a’Youamayanotahavealivedamuchaun
deratheasea—’a(‘Iahaven’t,’asaidaAlice)—’andaperhapsay
ouawereaneveraevenaintroducedatoalobster—’a(Aliceabe
ganatoasaya’Iaonceatasted—’abutacheckedaherselfahast-
ily,aandasaida’No,anever’)a’—soayouacanahaveanoaid-
eaawhatadelightfulathingaLobsteraQuadrilleais!’a’No,ain
deed,’asaidaAlice.a’Whatasortaofadanceaisait?’a’Why,’asa
idatheaGryphon,a’youafirstaformaintoalineaalongatheas
ea-shore—’a’Twoalines!’acriedatheaMockaTurtle.a’Seals,a
turtles,asalmon,aandasoaon;athen,awhenayou’veacleared
aallatheajelly-fishaoutaofatheaway—’a
‘THATagenerallyatakesasomeatime,’ainterruptedatheaGr
yphon.a’—youaadvanceatwice—’a’Eachawithalobsteraasa
partner!’acriedatheaGryphon.a’Ofacourse,’atheaMockaTu
rtleasaid:a’advanceatwice,asetatoapartners—’a’—changea
lobsters,aandaretireainasameaorder,’acontinuedatheaGr
yphon.a’Then,ayouaknow,’atheaMockaTurtleawentaon,a’
youathrowathe—’a’Thealobsters!’ashoutedatheaGryphon,
awithaboundaintoatheaair.a’—asafaraoutatoaseasayoua-
can—’a’Swimaafterathem!’ascreamedatheaGryphon.a’Tur

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nasomersaultainatheasea!’acriedatheaMockaTurtle,acape
ringawildlyaabout.a’Changealobstersaagain!’ayelledathea
Gryphonaatatheatopaofaitsavoice.a’Backatoalandaagain,
aandathat’saallatheafirstafigure,’asaidatheaMockaTurtle,
asuddenlyadroppingahisavoice;aandatheatwoacreatures,a
whoahadabeenajumpingaaboutalikeamadathingsaallathis
atime,asatadownaagainaveryasadlyaandaquietly,aandalo
okedaataAlice.a’Itamustabeaveryaprettyadance,’asaidaAl
iceatimidly.a’Wouldayoualikeatoaseealittleaofait?’asaidat
heaMockaTurtle.a’Veryamuchaindeed,’asaidaAlice.a’Com
e,alet’satryatheafirstafigure!’asaidatheaMockaTurtleatoa
theaGryphon.a’Weacanadoawithoutalobsters,ayouaknow.
aWhichashallasing?’a’Oh,aYOUasing,’asaidatheaGryphon
.a’I’veaforgottenatheawords.’aSoatheyabeganasolemnlyad
ancingaroundaandaroundaAlice,aeveryanowaandathenat
readingaonaheratoesawhenatheyapassedatooaclose,aanda
wavingatheiraforepawsatoamarkatheatime,awhileatheaM
ockaTurtleasangathis,averyaslowlyaandasadly:—a’”Willa
youawalkalittleafaster?”asaidawhitingatoasnail.aa”There
’saporpoiseacloseabehindaus,aandahe’satreadingaonamya
tail.aSeeahowaeagerlyathealobstersaandatheaturtlesaalla
advance!aaTheyaareawaitingaonatheashingle—willayoua
comeaandajoinatheadance?aWillayou,awon’tayou,awillay
ou,awon’tayou,awillayouajoinatheadance?aaWillayou,awo
n’tayou,awillayou,awon’tayou,awon’tayouajoinatheadance
?a”Youacanareallyahaveanoanotionahowadelightfulaitawi
llabeaaWhenatheyatakeausaupaandathrowaus,awithathe
alobsters,aoutatoasea!”aaButatheasnailareplieda”Tooafar
,atooafar!”aandagavealookaaskance—aaSaidaheathanked
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atheawhitingakindly,abutaheawouldanotajoinatheadance.
aWouldanot,acouldanot,awouldanot,acouldanot,awouldan
otajoinatheadance.aaWouldanot,acouldanot,awouldanot,a
couldanot,acouldanotajoinatheadance.a’”Whatamattersai
tahowafaraweago?”ahisascalyafriendareplied.aa”Thereais
aanotherashore,ayouaknow,auponatheaotheraside.aThea-
furtheraoffafromaEnglandatheaneareraisatoaFrance—aa
Thenaturnanotapale,abelovedasnail,abutacomeaandajoin
atheadance.aWillayou,awon’tayou,awillayou,awon’tayou,a
willayouajoinatheadance?aaWillayou,awon’tayou,awillayo
u,awon’tayou,awon’tayouajoinatheadance?”’a’Thankayou-
,ait’saveryainterestingadanceatoawatch,’asaidaAlice,afeel
ingaveryagladathataitawasaoveraatalast:a’andaIadoasoal
ikeathatacuriousasongaaboutatheawhiting!’a
‘Oh,aasatoatheawhiting,’asaidatheaMockaTurtle,a’they—
you’veaseenathem,aofacourse?’a’Yes,’asaidaAlice,a’I’veaoft
enaseenathemaatadinn—’asheacheckedaherselfahastily.a’
Iadon’taknowawhereaDinnamayabe,’asaidatheaMockaTur
tle,a’butaifayou’veaseenathemasoaoften,aofacourseayouak
nowawhatathey’realike.’a’Iabelieveaso,’aAlicearepliedatho
ughtfully.a’Theyahaveatheiratailsainatheiramouths—and
athey’reaallaoveracrumbs.’a’You’reawrongaaboutatheacru
mbs,’asaidatheaMockaTurtle:a’crumbsawouldaallawashao
ffainatheasea.aButatheyaHAVEatheiratailsainatheiramo
uths;aandatheareasonais—’ahereatheaMockaTurtleayaw
nedaandashutahisaeyes.—’Tellaheraaboutatheareasonaa
ndaallathat,’aheasaidatoatheaGryphon.a

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Performance Reading
‘Once upon a time there were three little sisters,’
the Dormouse began in a great hurry; ‘and their names
were Elsie, Lacie, and Tillie; and they lived at the bottom
of a well—’
‘What did they live on?’ said Alice, who always took
a great interest in questions of eating and drinking.
‘They lived on treacle,’ said the Dormouse, after
thinking a minute or two.
‘They couldn’t have done that, you know,’ Alice gen-
tly remarked; ‘they’d have been ill.’
‘So they were,’ said the Dormouse; ‘VERY ill.’
Alice tried to fancy to herself what such an extraor-
dinary ways of living would be like, but it puzzled her too
much, so she went on: ‘But why did they live at the bot-
tom of a well?’
‘Take some more tea,’ the March Hare said to Alice,
very earnestly.
‘I’ve had nothing yet,’ Alice replied in an offended
tone, ‘so I can’t take more.’
‘You mean you can’t take LESS,’ said the Hatter:
‘it’s very easy to take MORE than nothing.’
‘Nobody asked YOUR opinion,’ said Alice.
‘Who’s making personal remarks now?’ the Hatter
asked triumphantly.

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Alice did not quite know what to say to this: so she
helped herself to some tea and bread-and-butter, and then
turned to the Dormouse, and repeated her question. ‘Why
did they live at the bottom of a well?’
The Dormouse again took a minute or two to think
about it, and then said, ‘It was a treacle-well.’
‘There’s no such thing!’ Alice was beginning very
angrily, but the Hatter and the March Hare went ‘Sh! sh!’
and the Dormouse sulkily remarked, ‘If you can’t be civil,
you’d better finish the story for yourself.’
‘No, please go on!’ Alice said very humbly; ‘I won’t
interrupt again. I dare say there may be ONE.’
‘One, indeed!’ said the Dormouse indignantly. How-
ever, he consented to go on. ‘And so these three little sis-
ters—they were learning to draw, you know—’
‘What did they draw?’ said Alice, quite forgetting
her promise.
‘Treacle,’ said the Dormouse, without considering at
all this time.
‘I want a clean cup,’ interrupted the Hatter: ‘let’s
all move one place on.’
He moved on as he spoke, and the Dormouse fol-
lowed him: the March Hare moved into the Dormouse’s
place, and Alice rather unwillingly took the place of the
March Hare. The Hatter was the only one who got any
advantage from the change: and Alice was a good dea
worse off than before, as the March Hare had just upset
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210 Learn To Speed Read
the milk-jug into his plate.
Alice did not wish to offend the Dormouse again, so
she began very cautiously: ‘But I don’t understand. Where
did they draw the treacle from?’
‘You can draw water out of a water-well,’ said the
Hatter; ‘so I should think you could draw treacle out of a
treacle-well—eh, stupid?’
‘But they were IN the well,’ Alice said to the Dor-
mouse, not choosing to notice this last remark.
‘Of course they were’, said the Dormouse; ‘—well
in.’
This answer so confused poor Alice, that she let the
Dormouse go on for some time without interrupting it.
‘They were learning to draw,’ the Dormouse went
on, yawning and rubbing its eyes, for it was getting very
sleepy; ‘and they drew all manner of things—everything
that begins with an M—’
‘Why with an M?’ said Alice.
‘Why not?’ said the March Hare.
Alice was silent.
The Dormouse had closed its eyes by this time, and
was going off into a doze; but, on being pinched by the
Hatter, it woke up again with a little shriek, and went
on: ‘—that begins with an M, such as mouse-traps, and
the moon, and memory, and muchness—you know you say
things are “much of a muchness”—did you ever see such a

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thing as a drawing of a muchness?’
‘Really, now you ask me,’ said Alice, very much con-
fused, ‘I don’t think—’
‘Then you shouldn’t talk,’ said the Hatter.
This piece of rudeness was more than Alice could
bear: she got up in great disgust, and walked off; the Dor-
mouse fell asleep instantly, and neither of the others took
the least notice of her going, though she looked back once
or twice, half hoping that they would call after her: the
last time she saw them, they were trying to put the Dor-
mouse into the teapot.
‘At any rate I’ll never go THERE again!’ said Alice
as she picked her way through the wood. ‘It’s the stupid-
est tea-party I ever was at in all my life!’
Just as she said this, she noticed that one of the
trees had a door leading right into it. ‘That’s very curious!’
she thought. ‘But everything’s curious today. I think I
may as well go in at once.’ And in she went.
Once more she found herself in the long hall, and
close to the little glass table. ‘Now, I’ll manage better this
time,’ she said to herself, and began by taking the little
golden key, and unlocking the door that led into the gar-
den. Then she went to work nibbling at the mushroom
(she had kept a piece of it in her pocket) till she was about
a foot high: then she walked down the little passage: and
THEN—she found herself at last in the beautiful garden,
among the bright flower-beds and the cool fountains.

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CHAPTER VIII. The Queen’s
Croquet-Ground

A large rose-tree stood near the entrance of the
garden: the roses growing on it were white, but there
were three gardeners at it, busily painting them red. Alice
thought this a very curious thing, and she went nearer to
watch them, and just as she came up to them she heard
one of them say, ‘Look out now, Five! Don’t go splashing
paint over me like that!’
‘I couldn’t help it,’ said Five, in a sulky tone; ‘Seven
jogged my elbow.’
On which Seven looked up and said, ‘That’s right,
Five! Always lay the blame on others!’
‘YOU’D better not talk!’ said Five. ‘I heard the
Queen say only yesterday you deserved to be beheaded!’
‘What for?’ said the one who had spoken first.
‘That’s none of YOUR business, Two!’ said Seven.
‘Yes, it IS his business!’ said Five, ‘and I’ll tell
him—it was for bringing the cook tulip-roots instead of
onions.’
Seven flung down his brush, and had just begun
‘Well, of all the unjust things—’ when his eye chanced
to fall upon Alice, as she stood watching them, and he
checked himself suddenly: the others looked round also,

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and all of them bowed low.
‘Would you tell me,’ said Alice, a little timidly, ‘why
you are painting those roses?’
Five and Seven said nothing, but looked at Two.
Two began in a low voice, ‘Why the fact is, you see, Miss,
this here ought to have been a RED rose-tree, and we put
a white one in by mistake; and if the Queen was to find
it out, we should all have our heads cut off, you know. So
you see, Miss, we’re doing our best, afore she comes, to—’
At this moment Five, who had been anxiously looking
across the garden, called out ‘The Queen! The Queen!’ and
the three gardeners instantly threw themselves flat upon
their faces. There was a sound of many footsteps, and Al-
ice looked round, eager to see the Queen.
First came ten soldiers carrying clubs; these were
all shaped like the three gardeners, oblong and flat, with
their hands and feet at the corners: next the ten court-
iers; these were ornamented all over with diamonds,
and walked two and two, as the soldiers did. After these
came the royal children; there were ten of them, and the
little dears came jumping merrily along hand in hand,
in couples: they were all ornamented with hearts. Next
came the guests, mostly Kings and Queens, and among
them Alice recognised the White Rabbit: it was talking in
a hurried nervous manner, smiling at everything that was
said, and went by without noticing her. Then followed the
Knave of Hearts, carrying the King’s crown on a crimson
velvet cushion; and, last of all this grand procession, came
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214 Learn To Speed Read
THE KING AND QUEEN OF HEARTS.
Alice was rather doubtful whether she ought not
to lie down on her face like the three gardeners, but she
could not remember ever having heard of such a rule at
processions; ‘and besides, what would be the use of a pro-
cession,’ thought she, ‘if people had all to lie down upon
their faces, so that they couldn’t see it?’ So she stood still
where she was, and waited.
When the procession came opposite to Alice, they
all stopped and looked at her, and the Queen said severely
‘Who is this?’ She said it to the Knave of Hearts, who only
bowed and smiled in reply.
‘Idiot!’ said the Queen, tossing her head impatient-
ly; and, turning to Alice, she went on, ‘What’s your name,
child?’
‘My name is Alice, so please your Majesty,’ said Al-
ice very politely; but she added, to herself, ‘Why, they’re
only a pack of cards, after all. I needn’t be afraid of them!’
‘And who are THESE?’ said the Queen, pointing to
the three gardeners who were lying round the rosetree;
for, you see, as they were lying on their faces, and the pat-
tern on their backs was the same as the rest of the pack,
she could not tell whether they were gardeners, or sol-
diers, or courtiers, or three of her own children.
‘How should I know?’ said Alice, surprised at her
own courage. ‘It’s no business of MINE.’
The Queen turned crimson with fury, and, after
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glaring at her for a moment like a wild beast, screamed
‘Off with her head! Off—’
‘Nonsense!’ said Alice, very loudly and decidedly,
and the Queen was silent.
The King laid his hand upon her arm, and timidly
said ‘Consider, my dear: she is only a child!’
The Queen turned angrily away from him, and said
to the Knave ‘Turn them over!’
The Knave did so, very carefully, with one foot.
‘Get up!’ said the Queen, in a shrill, loud voice, and
the three gardeners instantly jumped up, and began bow-
ing to the King, the Queen, the royal children, and every-
body else.
‘Leave off that!’ screamed the Queen. ‘You make me
giddy.’ And then, turning to the rose-tree, she went on,
‘What HAVE you been doing here?’
‘May it please your Majesty,’ said Two, in a very
humble tone, going down on one knee as he spoke, ‘we
were trying—’
‘I see!’ said the Queen, who had meanwhile been
examining the roses. ‘Off with their heads!’ and the pro-
cession moved on, three of the soldiers remaining behind
to execute the unfortunate gardeners, who ran to Alice for
protection.
‘You shan’t be beheaded!’ said Alice, and she put
them into a large flower-pot that stood near. The three

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soldiers wandered about for a minute or two, looking for
them, and then quietly marched off after the others.
‘Are their heads off?’ shouted the Queen.
‘Their heads are gone, if it please your Majesty!’ the
soldiers shouted in reply.
‘That’s right!’ shouted the Queen. ‘Can you play cro-
quet?’
The soldiers were silent, and looked at Alice, as the
question was evidently meant for her.
‘Yes!’ shouted Alice.
‘Come on, then!’ roared the Queen, and Alice joined
the procession, wondering very much what would happen
next.
‘It’s—it’s a very fine day!’ said a timid voice at her
side. She was walking by the White Rabbit, who was
peeping anxiously into her face.
‘Very,’ said Alice: ‘—where’s the Duchess?’
‘Hush! Hush!’ said the Rabbit in a low, hurried
tone. He looked anxiously over his shoulder as he spoke,
and then raised himself upon tiptoe, put his mouth close
to her ear, and whispered ‘She’s under sentence of execu-
tion.’
‘What for?’ said Alice.
‘Did you say “What a pity!”?’ the Rabbit asked.
‘No, I didn’t,’ said Alice: ‘I don’t think it’s at all a

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pity. I said “What for?”’
‘She boxed the Queen’s ears—’ the Rabbit began.
Alice gave a little scream of laughter. ‘Oh, hush!’ the Rab-
bit whispered in a frightened tone. ‘The Queen will hear
you! You see, she came rather late, and the Queen said—’
‘Get to your places!’ shouted the Queen in a voice
of thunder, and people began running about in all direc-
tions, tumbling up against each other; however, they got
settled down in a minute or two, and the game began.
Alice thought she had never seen such a curious croquet-
ground in her life; it was all ridges and furrows; the balls
were live hedgehogs, the mallets live flamingoes, and the
soldiers had to double themselves up and to stand on their
hands and feet, to make the arches.
The chief difficulty Alice found at first was in man-
aging her flamingo: she succeeded in getting its body
tucked away, comfortably enough, under her arm, with
its legs hanging down, but generally, just as she had got
its neck nicely straightened out, and was going to give
the hedgehog a blow with its head, it WOULD twist itself
round and look up in her face, with such a puzzled expres-
sion that she could not help bursting out laughing: and
when she had got its head down, and was going to begin
again, it was very provoking to find that the hedgehog had
unrolled itself, and was in the act of crawling away: be-
sides all this, there was generally a ridge or furrow in the
way wherever she wanted to send the hedgehog to, and,
as the doubled-up soldiers were always getting up and
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218 Learn To Speed Read
walking off to other parts of the ground, Alice soon came
to the conclusion that it was a very difficult game indeed.
The players all played at once without waiting
for turns, quarrelling all the while, and fighting for the
hedgehogs; and in a very short time the Queen was in a
furious passion, and went stamping about, and shouting
‘Off with his head!’ or ‘Off with her head!’ about once in a
minute.
Alice began to feel very uneasy: to be sure, she had
not as yet had any dispute with the Queen, but she knew
that it might happen any minute, ‘and then,’ thought she,
‘what would become of me? They’re dreadfully fond of be-
heading people here; the great wonder is, that there’s any
one left alive!’
She was looking about for some way of escape, and
wondering whether she could get away without being
seen, when she noticed a curious appearance in the air:
it puzzled her very much at first, but, after watching it a
minute or two, she made it out to be a grin, and she said
to herself ‘It’s the Cheshire Cat: now I shall have some-
body to talk to.’
‘How are you getting on?’ said the Cat, as soon as
there was mouth enough for it to speak with.
Alice waited till the eyes appeared, and then nod-
ded. ‘It’s no use speaking to it,’ she thought, ‘till its ears
have come, or at least one of them.’ In another minute
the whole head appeared, and then Alice put down her

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Learn To Speed Read 219
flamingo, and began an account of the game, feeling very
glad she had someone to listen to her. The Cat seemed
to think that there was enough of it now in sight, and no
more of it appeared.
‘I don’t think they play at all fairly,’ Alice began, in
rather a complaining tone, ‘and they all quarrel so dread-
fully one can’t hear oneself speak—and they don’t seem to
have any rules in particular; at least, if there are, nobody
attends to them—and you’ve no idea how confusing it is
all the things being alive; for instance, there’s the arch
I’ve got to go through next walking about at the other end
of the ground—and I should have croqueted the Queen’s
hedgehog just now, only it ran away when it saw mine
coming!’
‘How do you like the Queen?’ said the Cat in a low
voice.
‘Not at all,’ said Alice: ‘she’s so extremely—’ Just
then she noticed that the Queen was close behind her,
listening: so she went on, ‘—likely to win, that it’s hardly
worth while finishing the game.’
The Queen smiled and passed on.
‘Who ARE you talking to?’ said the King, going up
to Alice, and looking at the Cat’s head with great curios-
ity.
‘It’s a friend of mine—a Cheshire Cat,’ said Alice:
‘allow me to introduce it.’
‘I don’t like the look of it at all,’ said the King: ‘how-
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220 Learn To Speed Read
ever, it may kiss my hand if it likes.’
‘I’d rather not,’ the Cat remarked.
‘Don’t be impertinent,’ said the King, ‘and don’t
look at me like that!’ He got behind Alice as he spoke.
‘A cat may look at a king,’ said Alice. ‘I’ve read that
in some book, but I don’t remember where.’
‘Well, it must be removed,’ said the King very de-
cidedly, and he called the Queen, who was passing at the
moment, ‘My dear! I wish you would have this cat re-
moved!’
The Queen had only one way of settling all difficul-
ties, great or small. ‘Off with his head!’ she said, without
even looking round.
‘I’ll fetch the executioner myself,’ said the King ea-
gerly, and he hurried off.
Alice thought she might as well go back, and see
how the game was going on, as she heard the Queen’s
voice in the distance, screaming with passion. She had
already heard her sentence three of the players to be ex-
ecuted for having missed their turns, and she did not like
the look of things at all, as the game was in such confu-
sion that she never knew whether it was her turn or not.
So she went in search of her hedgehog.
The hedgehog was engaged in a fight with another
hedgehog, which seemed to Alice an excellent opportunity
for croqueting one of them with the other: the only diffi-

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culty was, that her flamingo was gone across to the other
side of the garden, where Alice could see it trying in a
helpless sort of way to fly up into a tree.
By the time she had caught the flamingo and
brought it back, the fight was over, and both the hedge-
hogs were out of sight: ‘but it doesn’t matter much,’
thought Alice, ‘as all the arches are gone from this side of
the ground.’ So she tucked it away under her arm, that it
might not escape again, and went back for a little more
conversation with her friend.
When she got back to the Cheshire Cat, she was
surprised to find quite a large crowd collected round it:
there was a dispute going on between the executioner, the
King, and the Queen, who were all talking at once, while
all the rest were quite silent, and looked very uncomfort-
able.
The moment Alice appeared, she was appealed to
by all three to settle the question, and they repeated their
arguments to her, though, as they all spoke at once, she
found it very hard indeed to make out exactly what they
said.
The executioner’s argument was, that you couldn’t
cut off a head unless there was a body to cut it off from:
that he had never had to do such a thing before, and he
wasn’t going to begin at HIS time of life.
The King’s argument was, that anything that had a
head could be beheaded, and that you weren’t to talk
nonsense.
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The Queen’s argument was, that if something
wasn’t done about it in less than no time she’d have ev-
erybody executed, all round. (It was this last remark that
had made the whole party look so grave and anxious.)
Alice could think of nothing else to say but ‘It be-
longs to the Duchess: you’d better ask HER about it.’
‘She’s in prison,’ the Queen said to the executioner:
‘fetch her here.’
And the executioner went off like an arrow.
The Cat’s head began fading away the moment
he was gone, and, by the time he had come back with the
Duchess, it had entirely disappeared; so the King and the
executioner ran wildly up and down looking for it, while
the rest of the party went back to the game.

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CHAPTER IX. The Mock Turtle’s
Story

‘You can’t think how glad I am to see you again, you
dear old thing!’ said the Duchess, as she tucked her arm
affectionately into Alice’s, and they walked off together.
Alice was very glad to find her in such a pleasant
temper, and thought to herself that perhaps it was only
the pepper that had made her so savage when they met in
the kitchen.
‘When I’M a Duchess,’ she said to herself, (not in a
very hopeful tone though), ‘I won’t have any pepper in my
kitchen AT ALL. Soup does very well without—Maybe it’s
always pepper that makes people hot-tempered,’ she went
on, very much pleased at having found out a new kind of
rule, ‘and vinegar that makes them sour—and camomile
that makes them bitter—and—and barley-sugar and such
things that make children sweet-tempered. I only wish
people knew that: then they wouldn’t be so stingy about
it, you know—’
She had quite forgotten the Duchess by this time,
and was a little startled when she heard her voice close
to her ear. ‘You’re thinking about something, my dear,
and that makes you forget to talk. I can’t tell you just now
what the moral of that is, but I shall remember it in a bit.’
‘Perhaps it hasn’t one,’ Alice ventured to remark.

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‘Tut, tut, child!’ said the Duchess. ‘Everything’s got
a moral, if only you can find it.’ And she squeezed herself
up closer to Alice’s side as she spoke.
Alice did not much like keeping so close to her:
first, because the Duchess was VERY ugly; and secondly,
because she was exactly the right height to rest her chin
upon Alice’s shoulder, and it was an uncomfortably sharp
chin. However, she did not like to be rude, so she bore it
as well as she could.
‘The game’s going on rather better now,’ she said,
by way of keeping up the conversation a little.
‘’Tis so,’ said the Duchess: ‘and the moral of that
is—”Oh, ‘tis love, ‘tis love, that makes the world go
round!”’
‘Somebody said,’ Alice whispered, ‘that it’s done by
everybody minding their own business!’
‘Ah, well! It means much the same thing,’ said the
Duchess, digging her sharp little chin into Alice’s shoulder
as she added, ‘and the moral of THAT is—”Take care of
the sense, and the sounds will take care of themselves.”’
‘How fond she is of finding morals in things!’ Alice
thought to herself.
‘I dare say you’re wondering why I don’t put my
arm round your waist,’ the Duchess said after a pause:
‘the reason is, that I’m doubtful about the temper of your
flamingo. Shall I try the experiment?’

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‘HE might bite,’ Alice cautiously replied, not feeling
at all anxious to have the experiment tried.
‘Very true,’ said the Duchess: ‘flamingoes and mus-
tard both bite. And the moral of that is—”Birds of a feath-
er flock together.”’
‘Only mustard isn’t a bird,’ Alice remarked.
‘Right, as usual,’ said the Duchess: ‘what a clear
way you have of putting things!’
‘It’s a mineral, I THINK,’ said Alice.
‘Of course it is,’ said the Duchess, who seemed
ready to agree to everything that Alice said; ‘there’s a
large mustard-mine near here. And the moral of that is—
”The more there is of mine, the less there is of yours.”’
‘Oh, I know!’ exclaimed Alice, who had not attended
to this last remark, ‘it’s a vegetable. It doesn’t look like
one, but it is.’
‘I quite agree with you,’ said the Duchess; ‘and the
moral of that is—”Be what you would seem to be”—or if
you’d like it put more simply—”Never imagine yourself
not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others
that what you were or might have been was not otherwise
than what you had been would have appeared to them to
be otherwise.”’
‘I think I should understand that better,’ Alice said
very politely, ‘if I had it written down: but I can’t quite fol-
low it as you say it.’

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‘That’s nothing to what I could say if I chose,’ the
Duchess replied, in a pleased tone.
‘Pray don’t trouble yourself to say it any longer
than that,’ said Alice.
‘Oh, don’t talk about trouble!’ said the Duchess. ‘I
make you a present of everything I’ve said as yet.’
‘A cheap sort of present!’ thought Alice. ‘I’m glad
they don’t give birthday presents like that!’ But she did
not venture to say it out loud.
‘Thinking again?’ the Duchess asked, with another
dig of her sharp little chin.
‘I’ve a right to think,’ said Alice sharply, for she was
beginning to feel a little worried.
‘Just about as much right,’ said the Duchess, ‘as
pigs have to fly; and the m—’
But here, to Alice’s great surprise, the Duchess’s
voice died away, even in the middle of her favourite word
‘moral,’ and the arm that was linked into hers began to
tremble. Alice looked up, and there stood the Queen in
front of them, with her arms folded, frowning like a thun-
derstorm.
‘A fine day, your Majesty!’ the Duchess began in a
low, weak voice.
‘Now, I give you fair warning,’ shouted the Queen,
stamping on the ground as she spoke; ‘either you or your
head must be off, and that in about half no time! Take

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your choice!’
The Duchess took her choice, and was gone in a mo-
ment.
‘Let’s go on with the game,’ the Queen said to Al-
ice; and Alice was too much frightened to say a word, but
slowly followed her back to the croquet-ground.
The other guests had taken advantage of the
Queen’s absence, and were resting in the shade: however,
the moment they saw her, they hurried back to the game,
the Queen merely remarking that a moment’s delay would
cost them their lives.
All the time they were playing the Queen never left
off quarrelling with the other players, and shouting ‘Off
with his head!’ or ‘Off with her head!’ Those whom she
sentenced were taken into custody by the soldiers, who
of course had to leave off being arches to do this, so that
by the end of half an hour or so there were no arches left,
and all the players, except the King, the Queen, and Alice,
were in custody and under sentence of execution.
Then the Queen left off, quite out of breath, and
said to Alice, ‘Have you seen the Mock Turtle yet?’
‘No,’ said Alice. ‘I don’t even know what a Mock
Turtle is.’
‘It’s the thing Mock Turtle Soup is made from,’ said
the Queen.
‘I never saw one, or heard of one,’ said Alice.

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‘Come on, then,’ said the Queen, ‘and he shall tell
you his history,’
As they walked off together, Alice heard the King
say in a low voice, to the company generally, ‘You are all
pardoned.’ ‘Come, THAT’S a good thing!’ she said to her-
self, for she had felt quite unhappy at the number of ex-
ecutions the Queen had ordered.
They very soon came upon a Gryphon, lying fast
asleep in the sun. (IF you don’t know what a Gryphon is,
look at the picture.) ‘Up, lazy thing!’ said the Queen, ‘and
take this young lady to see the Mock Turtle, and to hear
his history. I must go back and see after some executions
I have ordered’; and she walked off, leaving Alice alone
with the Gryphon. Alice did not quite like the look of the
creature, but on the whole she thought it would be quite
as safe to stay with it as to go after that savage Queen: so
she waited.
The Gryphon sat up and rubbed its eyes: then it
watched the Queen till she was out of sight: then it chuck-
led. ‘What fun!’ said the Gryphon, half to itself, half to Al-
ice.
‘What IS the fun?’ said Alice.
‘Why, SHE,’ said the Gryphon. ‘It’s all her fancy,
that: they never executes nobody, you know. Come on!’
‘Everybody says “come on!” here,’ thought Alice, as
she went slowly after it: ‘I never was so ordered about in
all my life, never!’

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They had not gone far before they saw the Mock
Turtle in the distance, sitting sad and lonely on a little
ledge of rock, and, as they came nearer, Alice could hear
him sighing as if his heart would break. She pitied him
deeply. ‘What is his sorrow?’ she asked the Gryphon, and
the Gryphon answered, very nearly in the same words as
before, ‘It’s all his fancy, that: he hasn’t got no sorrow, you
know. Come on!’
So they went up to the Mock Turtle, who looked at
them with large eyes full of tears, but said nothing.
‘This here young lady,’ said the Gryphon, ‘she
wants for to know your history, she do.’
‘I’ll tell it her,’ said the Mock Turtle in a deep, hol-
low tone: ‘sit down, both of you, and don’t speak a word
till I’ve finished.’
So they sat down, and nobody spoke for some min-
utes. Alice thought to herself, ‘I don’t see how he can
EVEN finish, if he doesn’t begin.’ But she waited
patiently.
‘Once,’ said the Mock Turtle at last, with a deep
sigh, ‘I was a real Turtle.’
These words were followed by a very long silence,
broken only by an occasional exclamation of ‘Hjckrrh!’
from the Gryphon, and the constant heavy sobbing of the
Mock Turtle. Alice was very nearly getting up and saying,
‘Thank you, sir, for your interesting story,’ but she could
not help thinking there MUST be more to come, so she sat

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still and said nothing.
‘When we were little,’ the Mock Turtle went on at
last, more calmly, though still sobbing a little now and
then, ‘we went to school in the sea. The master was an old
Turtle—we used to call him Tortoise—’
‘Why did you call him Tortoise, if he wasn’t one?’
Alice asked.
‘We called him Tortoise because he taught us,’ said
the Mock Turtle angrily: ‘really you are very dull!’
‘You ought to be ashamed of yourself for asking
such a simple question,’ added the Gryphon; and then
they both sat silent and looked at poor Alice, who felt
ready to sink into the earth. At last the Gryphon said to
the Mock Turtle, ‘Drive on, old fellow! Don’t be all day
about it!’ and he went on in these words:
‘Yes, we went to school in the sea, though you
mayn’t believe it—’
‘I never said I didn’t!’ interrupted Alice.
‘You did,’ said the Mock Turtle.
‘Hold your tongue!’ added the Gryphon, before Alice
could speak again. The Mock Turtle went on.
‘We had the best of educations—in fact, we went to
school every day—’
‘I’VE been to a day-school, too,’ said Alice; ‘you
needn’t be so proud as all that.’

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‘With extras?’ asked the Mock Turtle a little
anxiously.
‘Yes,’ said Alice, ‘we learned French and music.’
‘And washing?’ said the Mock Turtle.
‘Certainly not!’ said Alice indignantly.
‘Ah! then yours wasn’t a really good school,’ said
the Mock Turtle in a tone of great relief. ‘Now at OURS
they had at the end of the bill, “French, music, AND
WASHING—extra.”’
‘You couldn’t have wanted it much,’ said Alice; ‘liv-
ing at the bottom of the sea.’
‘I couldn’t afford to learn it.’ said the Mock Turtle
with a sigh. ‘I only took the regular course.’
‘What was that?’ inquired Alice.
‘Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with,’ the
Mock Turtle replied; ‘and then the different branches of
Arithmetic—Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Deri-
sion.’
‘I never heard of “Uglification,”’ Alice ventured to
say. ‘What is it?’
The Gryphon lifted up both its paws in surprise.
‘What! Never heard of uglifying!’ it exclaimed. ‘You know
what to beautify is, I suppose?’
‘Yes,’ said Alice doubtfully: ‘it means—to—make—
anything—prettier.’

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‘Well, then,’ the Gryphon went on, ‘if you don’t
know what to uglify is, you ARE a simpleton.’
Alice did not feel encouraged to ask any more ques-
tions about it, so she turned to the Mock Turtle, and said
‘What else had you to learn?’
‘Well, there was Mystery,’ the Mock Turtle replied,
counting off the subjects on his flappers, ‘—Mystery, an-
cient and modern, with Seaography: then Drawling—the
Drawling-master was an old conger-eel, that used to come
once a week: HE taught us Drawling, Stretching, and
Fainting in Coils.’
‘What was THAT like?’ said Alice.
‘Well, I can’t show it you myself,’ the Mock Turtle
said: ‘I’m too stiff. And the Gryphon never learnt it.’
‘Hadn’t time,’ said the Gryphon: ‘I went to the Clas-
sics master, though. He was an old crab, HE was.’
‘I never went to him,’ the Mock Turtle said with a
sigh: ‘he taught Laughing and Grief, they used to say.’
‘So he did, so he did,’ said the Gryphon, sighing in
his turn; and both creatures hid their faces in their paws.
‘And how many hours a day did you do lessons?’
said Alice, in a hurry to change the subject.
‘Ten hours the first day,’ said the Mock Turtle: ‘nine
the next, and so on.’
‘What a curious plan!’ exclaimed Alice.

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‘That’s the reason they’re called lessons,’ the Gry-
phon remarked: ‘because they lessen from day to day.’
This was quite a new idea to Alice, and she thought
it over a little before she made her next remark. ‘Then the
eleventh day must have been a holiday?’
‘Of course it was,’ said the Mock Turtle.
‘And how did you manage on the twelfth?’ Alice
went on eagerly.
‘That’s enough about lessons,’ the Gryphon inter-
rupted in a very decided tone: ‘tell her something about
the games now.’

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CHAPTER X. The Lobster
Quadrille

The Mock Turtle sighed deeply, and drew the back
of one flapper across his eyes. He looked at Alice, and
tried to speak, but for a minute or two sobs choked his
voice. ‘Same as if he had a bone in his throat,’ said the
Gryphon: and it set to work shaking him and punching
him in the back. At last the Mock Turtle recovered his
voice, and, with tears running down his cheeks, he went
on again:—
‘You may not have lived much under the sea—’ (‘I
haven’t,’ said Alice)—’and perhaps you were never even
introduced to a lobster—’ (Alice began to say ‘I once tast-
ed—’ but checked herself hastily, and said ‘No, never’) ‘—
so you can have no idea what a delightful thing a Lobster
Quadrille is!’
‘No, indeed,’ said Alice. ‘What sort of a dance is it?’
‘Why,’ said the Gryphon, ‘you first form into a line
along the sea-shore—’
‘Two lines!’ cried the Mock Turtle. ‘Seals, turtles,
salmon, and so on; then, when you’ve cleared all the jelly-
fish out of the way—’
‘THAT generally takes some time,’ interrupted the
Gryphon.

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‘—you advance twice—’
‘Each with a lobster as a partner!’ cried the Gry-
phon.
‘Of course,’ the Mock Turtle said: ‘advance twice,
set to partners—’
‘—change lobsters, and retire in same order,’ con-
tinued the Gryphon.
‘Then, you know,’ the Mock Turtle went on, ‘you
throw the—’
‘The lobsters!’ shouted the Gryphon, with a bound
into the air.
‘—as far out to sea as you can—’
‘Swim after them!’ screamed the Gryphon.
‘Turn a somersault in the sea!’ cried the Mock Tur-
tle, capering wildly about.
‘Change lobsters again!’ yelled the Gryphon at the
top of its voice.
‘Back to land again, and that’s all the first figure,’
said the Mock Turtle, suddenly dropping his voice; and
the two creatures, who had been jumping about like mad
things all this time, sat down again very sadly and qui-
etly, and looked at Alice.
‘It must be a very pretty dance,’ said Alice timidly.
‘Would you like to see a little of it?’ said the Mock
Turtle.

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‘Very much indeed,’ said Alice.
‘Come, let’s try the first figure!’ said the Mock Tur-
tle to the Gryphon. ‘We can do without lobsters, you know.
Which shall sing?’
‘Oh, YOU sing,’ said the Gryphon. ‘I’ve forgotten
the words.’
So they began solemnly dancing round and round
Alice, every now and then treading on her toes when they
passed too close, and waving their forepaws to mark the
time, while the Mock Turtle sang this, very slowly and
sadly:—
‘”Will you walk a little faster?” said a whiting to a snail.
“There’s a porpoise close behind us, and he’s treading on
my tail.

See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance!
They are waiting on the shingle—will you come and join
the dance?

Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the
dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, won’t you join the
dance?

“You can really have no notion how delightful it will be

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When they take us up and throw us, with the lobsters,
out to sea!”
But the snail replied “Too far, too far!” and gave a look
askance—
Said he thanked the whiting kindly, but he would not
join the dance.

Would not, could not, would not, could not, would not join
the dance.
Would not, could not, would not, could not, could not join
the dance.

‘”What matters it how far we go?” his scaly friend replied.
“There is another shore, you know, upon the other side.
The further off from England the nearer is to France—
Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the
dance.

Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the
dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, won’t you join the
dance?”’

‘Thank you, it’s a very interesting dance to watch,’
said Alice, feeling very glad that it was over at last: ‘and I
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do so like that curious song about the whiting!’
‘Oh, as to the whiting,’ said the Mock Turtle,
‘they—you’ve seen them, of course?’
‘Yes,’ said Alice, ‘I’ve often seen them at dinn—’ she
checked herself hastily.
‘I don’t know where Dinn may be,’ said the Mock
Turtle, ‘but if you’ve seen them so often, of course you
know what they’re like.’
‘I believe so,’ Alice replied thoughtfully. ‘They have
their tails in their mouths—and they’re all over crumbs.’
‘You’re wrong about the crumbs,’ said the Mock
Turtle: ‘crumbs would all wash off in the sea. But they
HAVE their tails in their mouths; and the reason is—’
here the Mock Turtle yawned and shut his eyes.—’Tell
her about the reason and all that,’ he said to the Gryphon.

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V
IS
UALI
ZATION
These exercises focus on visualizing the meaning
that the text represents. Exercises in this chapter are
similar to some of the teaching methods behind “whole
language” reading instruction. Throughout this chapter
you’ll be shown pictures and asked to describe what you
see in the picture in a variety of ways. This will aid you in
developing concrete visual association with text.
These exercises can also be expanded outside of this
chapter and the methods can be applied to pictures that
you encounter throughout your everyday life. I also sug-
gest keeping a thesaurus and dictionary handy, to help
find the best words to fit each picture.
Remember, be as specific as possible when working
through these exercises.

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Practice Reading
In the exercise that follows, write down a description for
each picture on a piece of paper. Imagine that you are try-
ing to explain to someone the picture through your words.
What is the action in the picture? Who are the characters?
What do they look like? etc.

Exercise #1

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Practice Reading
In the exercise that follows, write down a title for each
picture on a piece of paper. Imagine that the picture is a
poster for an upcoming movie and you need to come up
with a title that will explain the characters, story, and
setting in the picture.

Exercise #2

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Practice Reading
In the exercise that follows, write down a list of items that
appear in each picture on a piece of paper. Imagine that
the picture is a representation of a laundry list of items,
leave nothing out.

Exercise #3

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Practice Reading
In the exercise that follows, write down “tags” for each
picture. “tags” are usualy single words used to describe an
item. You might tag this book as “educational”, or “info” or
“howto”. Write down as many as you can for each picture.

Exercise #4

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Practice Reading
In the exercise that follows, write down ONE word to rep-
resent the picture. These are all of the pictures that were
in previous exercises, and your goal is to find one word
that best represents each picture. It could be a character’s
names, or a setting, or a word from the text, but you only
use one word.

Exercise #5

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Performance Reading
‘The reason is,’ said the Gryphon, ‘that they
WOULD go with the lobsters to the dance. So they got
thrown out to sea. So they had to fall a long way. So they
got their tails fast in their mouths. So they couldn’t get
them out again. That’s all.’
‘Thank you,’ said Alice, ‘it’s very interesting. I never
knew so much about a whiting before.’
‘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 solemnly.
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 be-
lieve.’
‘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 curiosity.

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‘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 por-
poise, “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 with-
out a porpoise.’
‘Wouldn’t it really?’ said Alice in a tone of great sur-
prise.
‘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. And the Gryphon added ‘Come, let’s hear
some of YOUR adventures.’
‘I could tell you my adventures—beginning from
this morning,’ said Alice a little timidly: ‘but it’s no use
going back to yesterday, because I was a different person
then.’
‘Explain all that,’ said the Mock Turtle.
‘No, no! The adventures first,’ said the Gryphon
in an impatient tone: ‘explanations take such a dreadful
time.’
So Alice began telling them her adventures from

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the time when she first saw the White Rabbit. She was a
little nervous about it just at first, the two creatures got
so close to her, one on each side, and opened their eyes
and mouths so VERY wide, but she gained courage as she
went on. Her listeners were perfectly quiet till she got to
the part about her repeating ‘YOU ARE OLD, FATHER
WILLIAM,’ to the Caterpillar, and the words all coming
different, and then the Mock Turtle drew a long breath,
and said ‘That’s very curious.’
‘It’s all about as curious as it can be,’ said the Gry-
phon.
‘It all came different!’ the Mock Turtle repeated
thoughtfully. ‘I should like to hear her try and repeat
something now. Tell her to begin.’ He looked at the Gry-
phon as if he thought it had some kind of authority over
Alice.
‘Stand up and repeat “’TIS THE VOICE OF THE
SLUGGARD,”’ said the Gryphon.
‘How the creatures order one about, and make one
repeat lessons!’ thought Alice; ‘I might as well be at school
at once.’ However, she got up, and began to repeat it, but
her head was so full of the Lobster Quadrille, that she
hardly knew what she was saying, and the words came
very queer indeed:—
‘’Tis the voice of the Lobster; I heard him declare,
“You have baked me too brown, I must sugar my hair.”
As a duck with its eyelids, so he with his nose Trims his

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belt and his buttons, and turns out his toes.’ [later
editions continued as follows When the sands are all dry,
he is gay as a lark, And will talk in contemptuous tones
of the Shark, But, when the tide rises and sharks are
around, His voice has a timid and tremulous sound.]
‘That’s different from what I used to say when I
was a child,’ said the Gryphon.
‘Well, I never heard it before,’ said the Mock Turtle;
‘but it sounds uncommon nonsense.’
Alice said nothing; she had sat down with her face
in her hands, wondering if anything would EVER happen
in a natural way again.
‘I should like to have it explained,’ said the Mock
Turtle.
‘She can’t explain it,’ said the Gryphon hastily. ‘Go
on with the next verse.’
‘But about his toes?’ the Mock Turtle persisted.
‘How COULD he turn them out with his nose, you know?’
‘It’s the first position in dancing.’ Alice said; but
was dreadfully puzzled by the whole thing, and longed to
change the subject.
‘Go on with the next verse,’ the Gryphon repeated
impatiently: ‘it begins “I passed by his garden.”’
Alice did not dare to disobey, though she felt sure
it would all come wrong, and she went on in a trembling
voice:—

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276 Learn To Speed Read
‘I passed by his garden, and marked, with one
eye, How the Owl and the Panther were sharing a pie—’
[later editions continued as follows The Panther took pie-
crust, and gravy, and meat, While the Owl had the dish
as its share of the treat. When the pie was all finished,
the Owl, as a boon, Was kindly permitted to pocket the
spoon: While the Panther received knife and fork with a
growl, And concluded the banquet—]
‘What IS the use of repeating all that stuff,’ the
Mock Turtle interrupted, ‘if you don’t explain it as you go
on? It’s by far the most confusing thing I ever heard!’
‘Yes, I think you’d better leave off,’ said the Gry-
phon: and Alice was only too glad to do so.
‘Shall we try another figure of the Lobster Qua-
drille?’ the Gryphon went on. ‘Or would you like the Mock
Turtle to sing you a song?’
‘Oh, a song, please, if the Mock Turtle would be so
kind,’ Alice replied, so eagerly that the Gryphon said, in a
rather offended tone, ‘Hm! No accounting for tastes! Sing
her “Turtle Soup,” will you, old fellow?’
The Mock Turtle sighed deeply, and began, in a
voice sometimes choked with sobs, to sing this:—
‘Beautiful Soup, so rich and green, Wait-
ing in a hot tureen! Who for such dainties would not
stoop? Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup! Soup of
the evening, beautiful Soup! Beau—ootiful Soo—oop!
Beau—ootiful Soo—oop! Soo—oop of the e—e—evening,

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Beautiful, beautiful Soup! ‘Beautiful Soup! Who cares
for fish, Game, or any other dish? Who would not give
all else for two Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?
Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup? Beau—ootiful
Soo—oop! Beau—ootiful Soo—oop! Soo—oop of the
e—e—evening, Beautiful, beauti—FUL SOUP!’
‘Chorus again!’ cried the Gryphon, and the Mock
Turtle had just begun to repeat it, when a cry of ‘The tri-
al’s beginning!’ was heard in the distance.
‘Come on!’ cried the Gryphon, and, taking Alice by
the hand, it hurried off, without waiting for the end of the
song.
‘What trial is it?’ Alice panted as she ran; but the
Gryphon only answered ‘Come on!’ and ran the faster,
while more and more faintly came, carried on the breeze
that followed them, the melancholy words:—
‘Soo—oop of the e—e—evening, Beautiful, beau-
tiful Soup!’

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CHAPTER XI. Who Stole the Tarts?

The King and Queen of Hearts were seated on their
throne when they arrived, with a great crowd assembled
about them—all sorts of little birds and beasts, as well as
the whole pack of cards: the Knave was standing before
them, in chains, with a soldier on each side to guard him;
and near the King was the White Rabbit, with a trumpet
in one hand, and a scroll of parchment in the other. In the
very middle of the court was a table, with a large dish of
tarts upon it: they looked so good, that it made Alice quite
hungry to look at them—’I wish they’d get the trial done,’
she thought, ‘and hand round the refreshments!’ But
there seemed to be no chance of this, so she began looking
at everything about her, to pass away the time.
Alice had never been in a court of justice before,
but she had read about them in books, and she was quite
pleased to find that she knew the name of nearly every-
thing there. ‘That’s the judge,’ she said to herself, ‘because
of his great wig.’
The judge, by the way, was the King; and as he
wore his crown over the wig, (look at the frontispiece if
you want to see how he did it,) he did not look at all com-
fortable, and it was certainly not becoming.
‘And that’s the jury-box,’ thought Alice, ‘and those
twelve creatures,’ (she was obliged to say ‘creatures,’
you see, because some of them were animals, and some

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were birds,) ‘I suppose they are the jurors.’ She said this
last word two or three times over to herself, being rather
proud of it: for she thought, and rightly too, that very few
little girls of her age knew the meaning of it at all. How-
ever, ‘jury-men’ would have done just as well.
The twelve jurors were all writing very busily on
slates. ‘What are they doing?’ Alice whispered to the Gry-
phon. ‘They can’t have anything to put down yet, before
the trial’s begun.’
‘They’re putting down their names,’ the Gryphon
whispered in reply, ‘for fear they should forget them be-
fore the end of the trial.’
‘Stupid things!’ Alice began in a loud, indignant
voice, but she stopped hastily, for the White Rabbit cried
out, ‘Silence in the court!’ and the King put on his spec-
tacles and looked anxiously round, to make out who was
talking.
Alice could see, as well as if she were looking over
their shoulders, that all the jurors were writing down
‘stupid things!’ on their slates, and she could even make
out that one of them didn’t know how to spell ‘stupid,’
and that he had to ask his neighbour to tell him. ‘A nice
muddle their slates’ll be in before the trial’s over!’ thought
Alice.
One of the jurors had a pencil that squeaked. This
of course, Alice could not stand, and she went round the
court and got behind him, and very soon found an op-

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280 Learn To Speed Read
portunity of taking it away. She did it so quickly that the
poor little juror (it was Bill, the Lizard) could not make
out at all what had become of it; so, after hunting all
about for it, he was obliged to write with one finger for the
rest of the day; and this was of very little use, as it left no
mark on the slate.
‘Herald, read the accusation!’ said the King.
On this the White Rabbit blew three blasts on the
trumpet, and then unrolled the parchment scroll, and
read as follows:—
‘The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts, All
on a summer day: The Knave of Hearts, he stole those
tarts, And took them quite away!’
‘Consider your verdict,’ the King said to the jury.
‘Not yet, not yet!’ the Rabbit hastily interrupted.
‘There’s a great deal to come before that!’
‘Call the first witness,’ said the King; and the White
Rabbit blew three blasts on the trumpet, and called out,
‘First witness!’
The first witness was the Hatter. He came in with a
teacup in one hand and a piece of bread-and-butter in the
other. ‘I beg pardon, your Majesty,’ he began, ‘for bringing
these in: but I hadn’t quite finished my tea when I was
sent for.’
‘You ought to have finished,’ said the King. ‘When
did you begin?’

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The Hatter looked at the March Hare, who had fol-
lowed him into the court, arm-in-arm with the Dormouse.
‘Fourteenth of March, I think it was,’ he said.
‘Fifteenth,’ said the March Hare.
‘Sixteenth,’ added the Dormouse.
‘Write that down,’ the King said to the jury, and the
jury eagerly wrote down all three dates on their slates,
and then added them up, and reduced the answer to shil-
lings and pence.
‘Take off your hat,’ the King said to the Hatter.
‘It isn’t mine,’ said the Hatter.
‘Stolen!’ the King exclaimed, turning to the jury,
who instantly made a memorandum of the fact.
‘I keep them to sell,’ the Hatter added as an expla-
nation; ‘I’ve none of my own. I’m a hatter.’
Here the Queen put on her spectacles, and began
staring at the Hatter, who turned pale and fidgeted.
‘Give your evidence,’ said the King; ‘and don’t be
nervous, or I’ll have you executed on the spot.’
This did not seem to encourage the witness at all:
he kept shifting from one foot to the other, looking uneas-
ily at the Queen, and in his confusion he bit a large piece
out of his teacup instead of the bread-and-butter.
Just at this moment Alice felt a very curious sen-
sation, which puzzled her a good deal until she made out
what it was: she was beginning to grow larger again, and
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282 Learn To Speed Read
she thought at first she would get up and leave the court;
but on second thoughts she decided to remain where she
was as long as there was room for her.
‘I wish you wouldn’t squeeze so.’ said the Dor-
mouse, who was sitting next to her. ‘I can hardly breathe.’
‘I can’t help it,’ said Alice very meekly: ‘I’m grow-
ing.’
‘You’ve no right to grow here,’ said the Dormouse.
‘Don’t talk nonsense,’ said Alice more boldly: ‘you
know you’re growing too.’
‘Yes, but I grow at a reasonable pace,’ said the Dor-
mouse: ‘not in that ridiculous fashion.’ And he got up very
sulkily and crossed over to the other side of the court.
All this time the Queen had never left off star-
ing at the Hatter, and, just as the Dormouse crossed the
court, she said to one of the officers of the court, ‘Bring
me the list of the singers in the last concert!’ on which the
wretched Hatter trembled so, that he shook both his shoes
off.
‘Give your evidence,’ the King repeated angrily, ‘or
I’ll have you executed, whether you’re nervous or not.’
‘I’m a poor man, your Majesty,’ the Hatter began,
in a trembling voice, ‘—and I hadn’t begun my tea—not
above a week or so—and what with the bread-and-butter
getting so thin—and the twinkling of the tea—’
‘The twinkling of the what?’ said the King.

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‘It began with the tea,’ the Hatter replied.
‘Of course twinkling begins with a T!’ said the King
sharply. ‘Do you take me for a dunce? Go on!’
‘I’m a poor man,’ the Hatter went on, ‘and most
things twinkled after that—only the March Hare said—’
‘I didn’t!’ the March Hare interrupted in a great
hurry.
‘You did!’ said the Hatter.
‘I deny it!’ said the March Hare.
‘He denies it,’ said the King: ‘leave out that part.’
‘Well, at any rate, the Dormouse said—’ the Hatter
went on, looking anxiously round to see if he would deny
it too: but the Dormouse denied nothing, being fast asleep.
‘After that,’ continued the Hatter, ‘I cut some more
bread-and-butter—’
‘But what did the Dormouse say?’ one of the jury
asked.
‘That I can’t remember,’ said the Hatter.
‘You MUST remember,’ remarked the King, ‘or I’ll
have you executed.’
The miserable Hatter dropped his teacup and
bread-and-butter, and went down on one knee. ‘I’m a poor
man, your Majesty,’ he began.
‘You’re a very poor speaker,’ said the King.
Here one of the guinea-pigs cheered, and was im-

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284 Learn To Speed Read
mediately suppressed by the officers of the court. (As that
is rather a hard word, I will just explain to you how it was
done. They had a large canvas bag, which tied up at the
mouth with strings: into this they slipped the guinea-pig,
head first, and then sat upon it.)
‘I’m glad I’ve seen that done,’ thought Alice. ‘I’ve so
often read in the newspapers, at the end of trials, “There
was some attempts at applause, which was immediately
suppressed by the officers of the court,” and I never un-
derstood what it meant till now.’
‘If that’s all you know about it, you may stand
down,’ continued the King.
‘I can’t go no lower,’ said the Hatter: ‘I’m on the
floor, as it is.’
‘Then you may SIT down,’ the King replied.
Here the other guinea-pig cheered, and was sup-
pressed.
‘Come, that finished the guinea-pigs!’ thought Alice.
‘Now we shall get on better.’
‘I’d rather finish my tea,’ said the Hatter, with an
anxious look at the Queen, who was reading the list of
singers.
‘You may go,’ said the King, and the Hatter hur-
riedly left the court, without even waiting to put his shoes
on.
‘—and just take his head off outside,’ the Queen

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added to one of the officers: but the Hatter was out of
sight before the officer could get to the door.
‘Call the next witness!’ said the King.
The next witness was the Duchess’s cook. She car-
ried the pepper-box in her hand, and Alice guessed who
it was, even before she got into the court, by the way the
people near the door began sneezing all at once.
‘Give your evidence,’ said the King.
‘Shan’t,’ said the cook.
The King looked anxiously at the White Rabbit,
who said in a low voice, ‘Your Majesty must cross-examine
THIS witness.’
‘Well, if I must, I must,’ the King said, with a mel-
ancholy air, and, after folding his arms and frowning at
the cook till his eyes were nearly out of sight, he said in a
deep voice, ‘What are tarts made of?’
‘Pepper, mostly,’ said the cook.
‘Treacle,’ said a sleepy voice behind her.
‘Collar that Dormouse,’ the Queen shrieked out.
‘Behead that Dormouse! Turn that Dormouse out of court!
Suppress him! Pinch him! Off with his whiskers!’
For some minutes the whole court was in confusion,
getting the Dormouse turned out, and, by the time they
had settled down again, the cook had disappeared.
‘Never mind!’ said the King, with an air of great re-
lief. ‘Call the next witness.’ And he added in an undertone
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286 Learn To Speed Read
to the Queen, ‘Really, my dear, YOU must cross-examine
the next witness. It quite makes my forehead ache!’
Alice watched the White Rabbit as he fumbled over
the list, feeling very curious to see what the next witness
would be like, ‘—for they haven’t got much evidence YET,’
she said to herself. Imagine her surprise, when the White
Rabbit read out, at the top of his shrill little voice, the
name ‘Alice!’

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I m
i
g i
z
a t
i
o n
“Imigization” is an imaginary word I use to describe
the exercises in this chapter. The exercises help expand
your field of vision and helping you look at a page, not as a
container of multiple symbols, but a container of one sym-
bol. Think about all the different brush strokes that make
up a Van Gogh painting, but when we look at the painting
we do not look at each brush individually to see the whole
picture, instead we look at all of the strokes collectively
and see the painting entirely. These exercises assist read-
ers in developing skills used to see text in a way that one
sees a painting.
If you find this section too easy, make sure you are
not falling into your old habits of vocalizing the words, or
shifting your gaze from point to point.

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290 Learn To Speed Read

Practice Reading
In the exercise that follows, keep your eyes focused on the
“X” and count the numbers as you find them; first in as-
cending order and then descending, counting from 1 to 26.

Exercise #1

11
1 12

23
6
14 21
2

5
15 7

3 X
26
25 22
13
24
20
4
8
17 19
16
9
18
10

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21 11
1

23
12 2
13
3

22
25 19
4
26
14

5
X
20
16
15 6

7

8
17

24 9

10 18

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292 Learn To Speed Read

12
11
14

X
23

4 24

5 25 19
21
13
26
1
15

8
10
3
18 2 16

17
9
6
7
22

20

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2

5
24
17
12 11

23
1
4 26 21

15

6 14 16 3

25

22
7
X 9
13

18 19
8
10

20

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294 Learn To Speed Read

23
12

11
19

3
2 22

13 4
20 1

17 8
14
X
25
6
16
5
10 24
9

21

15

26
7 18

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1
2
11

3

15
5
21

12
7
8
22

X 14
23
25

13
4 16
24

18 26

6 9
19

17
20

10

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Practice Reading
In the exercise that follows, keep your eyes focused on the
“X” and say the alphabet as you find the letters; first in
ascending order and then descending, listing from a to z.

Exercise #2
w k
a d

l v
q
c
n
e
u
X g

m b
f
r
x
s

p t
o
j
h y
z
i

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a w
l
m x
k d

o
b v
c

e z
X
u
s
q
n
p

h g r

i j
f
t
y

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v
r
l
x
k
y
b
c
g
o w
e

f X
j d u

p a
q
h

s z
m

t i
n

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k n
a v
b

u
g
l
d
w e

x
m
X i

o
c
y

f
z
s
r h

p q t

j

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300 Learn To Speed Read

v

a b
m

d

k u o
e
x

r l

X p
z
n
h y
c

w q
g
j

f i

s t

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u

c
v
o

q n l
k

e
d w

x
X
m
h
a g
y
z
b p f

j
t
r
i
s

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302 Learn To Speed Read

Practice Reading
This exercise is analogous to Exercise #1, except the num-
bers are written as words. Keep your eyes focused on the
“X” and count the numbers as you find them, but instead
of seeing the letters, picture the number they represent.

Exercise #3
twelve
one twenty-one

twenty-four
three
seventeen

twenty-five
twenty-three
X twenty-six
eleven

thirteen fourteen
two
sixteen four six
eight

seven nine
fifteen
twenty-two

five
eighteen ten
twenty nineteen

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eleven
one
twelve

twenty-one two
eighteen

seventeen
twenty-three
twenty-two
sixteen thirteen

four
three

fifteen
X eight

six
twenty

five
twenty-four
nine
seven twenty-six

nineteen
ten fourteen
twenty-five

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304 Learn To Speed Read

X
seventeen
one

twenty-one twelve

four
two fourteen five

thirteen

twenty-three eleven
twenty-two

six twenty-six
seven
sixteen eight

twenty-five three
nineteen
ten fifteen

twenty-four

twenty nine
eighteen

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eighteen thirteen
two
six

sixteen eight eleven

five

ten
twenty-four

seven

one three twenty-two
four
fourteen
fifteen
twenty-five
nine
twenty-one
seventeen

nineteen twenty

twelve X
twenty-three
twenty-six

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306 Learn To Speed Read

one
two

twenty-six
eleven

twelve twenty-two
sixteen
six
three
fifteen twenty-four
X thirteen
twenty-three five
fourteen nine
ten twenty four
twenty-one
seven
nineteen
twenty-five seventeen

eight eighteen

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twenty-five

eleven twenty-one
one

ten twelve

thirteen

two
three twenty-three
five X
fifteen fourteen four
six
seven twenty-two
twenty-four
eighteen eight
nine
twenty-six
sixteen
seventeen
twenty
nineteen

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Practice Reading
To further develop the skill of visualizing a number with
text, each number is spliced in between its representa-
tive word. Keep your eyes focused on the “X” and count
the numbers as you find them, and place a priority on
not voicing any of the numbers, but line them up in a row
within your mind as you find each consecutive number.

Exercise #4
twe20nty-o1ne
se7ven o1ne

twe12lve ele11ven seve17nteen
fo4ur

twe20nty-th3ree fi5ve
X
t2wo
s6ix
ei8ght
twe20nty-t2wo twe20nty-fo4ur

eigh18teen
twe20nty-fi5ve
thir13teen
nine19teen th3ree

six16teen twe20nty-s6ix
ni9ne
t10en fif15teen twe20nty

four14teen

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ele11ven
o1ne

th3ree
X
twe20nty-t2wo

t2wo
twe20nty-o1ne
fo4ur four14teen
twe20nty-s6ix
se7ven six16teen ni9ne
fi5ve s6ix seve17nteen fif15teen

twe20nty-fo4ur eigh18teen

thir13teen twe20nty
twe12lve

ei8ght nine19teen twe20nty-th3ree
twe20nty-fi5ve
t10en

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o1ne

t2wo ele11ven
twe20nty-o1ne

twe12lve
twe20nty-t2wo
twe20nty-th3ree
thir13teen
th3ree
four14teen ni9ne
twe20nty-fo4ur fif15teen
s6ix
six16teen
twe20nty-s6ix
fi5ve
seve17nteen
twe20nty-fi5ve ei8ght
twe20nty

eigh18teen

fo4ur t10en se7ven
nine19teen

X
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o1ne twe12lve

X t2wo t10en twe20nty-th3ree

twe20nty-o1ne th3ree four14teen
ele11ven
fi5ve s6ix fo4ur se7ven
thir13teen
twe20nty-fo4ur
six16teen
fif15teen
seve17nteen
twe20nty-fi5ve eigh18teen

nine19teen twe20nty-t2wo twe20nty-s6ix

ei8ght
ni9ne twe20nty

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twe20nty-fo4ur

twe12lve
ei8ght
th3ree

ele11ven four14teen
fi5ve
twe20nty-fi5ve
o1ne twe20nty-t2wo

thir13teen seve17nteen
X
fif15teen six16teen twe20nty-s6ix

twe20nty-o1ne se7ven

eigh18teen
ni9ne t2wo
fo4ur
twe20nty

s6ix t10en
nine19teen
twe20nty-th3ree

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o1ne

twe20nty-o1ne
se7ven
thir13teen

twe20nty-t2wo t2wo
fif15teen
twe20nty-fo4ur
twe12lve
fi5ve
seve17nteen
X
six16teen
nine19teen
th3ree
fo4ur
ei8ght eigh18teen ele11ven
ni9ne
t10en s6ix
twe20nty

twe20nty-fi5ve twe20nty-s6ix

twe20nty-th3ree four14teen

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Practice Reading
This exercise utilizes the twelves days of Christmas pair-
ing together words and numbers. Keep your eyes focused
on the “X” and find each phrase in succeeding order, but
instead of visualizing the numbers, mentally visualize the
number of items or animals representated in each phrase,
not voicing the words, but lining them up in a row in your
mind.

Exercise #5
French 3 Hens
Partridge In 1 A Pear Tree
X
Turtle 2 Doves Gold 5 Rings

Calling 4 Birds Swans A 7 Swimming

Geese A 6 Laying Ladies 9 Dancing

Maids A 8 Milking
Lords A 10 Leaping Pipers 11 Piping

Drummers 12 Drumming

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Partridge In 1 A Pear Tree

French 3 Hens
Pipers 11 Piping

Lords A 10 Leaping

Maids A 8 Milking
Calling 4 Birds

Turtle 2 Doves

Ladies 9 Dancing
X Swans A 7 Swimming

Gold 5 Rings
Geese A 6 Laying

Drummers 12 Drumming

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Turtle 2 Doves

Geese A 6 Laying Maids A 8 Milking

Ladies 9 Dancing Pipers 11 Piping

Drummers 12 Drumming Calling 4 Birds

French 3 Hens Gold 5 Rings

Lords A 10 Leaping
X
Partridge In 1 A Pear Tree

Swans A 7 Swimming

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Partridge In 1 A Pear Tree

Geese A 6 Laying Gold 5 Rings

Lords A 10 Leaping

Maids A 8 Milking
Calling 4 Birds
Pipers 11 Piping

Ladies 9 Dancing

X Swans A 7 Swimming

Drummers 12 Drumming

Turtle 2 Doves French 3 Hens

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Partridge In 1 A Pear Tree

French 3 Hens

Gold 5 Rings
X

Ladies 9 Dancing
Swans A 7 Swimming
Calling 4 Birds

Geese A 6 Laying
Lords A 10 Leaping

Turtle 2 Doves
Pipers 11 Piping

Maids A 8 Milking

Drummers 12 Drumming

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Partridge In 1 A Pear Tree

French 3 Hens

X Gold 5 Rings

Ladies 9 Dancing

Turtle 2 Doves
Swans A 7 Swimming

Geese A 6 Laying

Maids A 8 Milking

Lords A 10 Leaping
Pipers 11 Piping
Calling 4 Birds

Drummers 12 Drumming

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320 Learn To Speed Read

Performance Reading
CHAPTER XII Alice’s Evidence

‘Here!’ cried Alice, quite forgetting in the flurry of
the moment how large she had grown in the last few min-
utes, and she jumped up in such a hurry that she tipped
over the jury-box with the edge of her skirt, upsetting all
the jurymen on to the heads of the crowd below, and there
they lay sprawling about, reminding her very much of a
globe of goldfish she had accidentally upset the week be-
fore.
‘Oh, I BEG your pardon!’ she exclaimed in a tone of
great dismay, and began picking them up again as quickly
as she could, for the accident of the goldfish kept running
in her head, and she had a vague sort of idea that they
must be collected at once and put back into the jury-box,
or they would die.
‘The trial cannot proceed,’ said the King in a very
grave voice, ‘until all the jurymen are back in their proper
places—ALL,’ he repeated with great emphasis, looking
hard at Alice as he said do.
Alice looked at the jury-box, and saw that, in her
haste, she had put the Lizard in head downwards, and
the poor little thing was waving its tail about in a mel-
ancholy way, being quite unable to move. She soon got it
out again, and put it right; ‘not that it signifies much,’ she

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Learn To Speed Read 321
said to herself; ‘I should think it would be QUITE as much
use in the trial one way up as the other.’
As soon as the jury had a little recovered from the
shock of being upset, and their slates and pencils had
been found and handed back to them, they set to work
very diligently to write out a history of the accident, all
except the Lizard, who seemed too much overcome to do
anything but sit with its mouth open, gazing up into the
roof of the court.
‘What do you know about this business?’ the King
said to Alice.
‘Nothing,’ said Alice.
‘Nothing WHATEVER?’ persisted the King.
‘Nothing whatever,’ said Alice.
‘That’s very important,’ the King said, turning to
the jury. They were just beginning to write this down on
their slates, when the White Rabbit interrupted: ‘UNim-
portant, your Majesty means, of course,’ he said in a very
respectful tone, but frowning and making faces at him as
he spoke.
‘UNimportant, of course, I meant,’ the King hastily
said, and went on to himself in an undertone,
‘important—unimportant—unimportant—impor-
tant—’ as if he were trying which word sounded best.
Some of the jury wrote it down ‘important,’ and
some ‘unimportant.’ Alice could see this, as she was near

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322 Learn To Speed Read
enough to look over their slates; ‘but it doesn’t matter a
bit,’ she thought to herself.
At this moment the King, who had been for some
time busily writing in his note-book, cackled out ‘Silence!’
and read out from his book, ‘Rule Forty-two. ALL PER-
SONS MORE THAN A MILE HIGH TO LEAVE THE
COURT.’
Everybody looked at Alice.
‘I’M not a mile high,’ said Alice.
‘You are,’ said the King.
‘Nearly two miles high,’ added the Queen.
‘Well, I shan’t go, at any rate,’ said Alice: ‘besides,
that’s not a regular rule: you invented it just now.’
‘It’s the oldest rule in the book,’ said the King.
‘Then it ought to be Number One,’ said Alice.
The King turned pale, and shut his note-book hast-
ily. ‘Consider your verdict,’ he said to the jury, in a low,
trembling voice.
‘There’s more evidence to come yet, please your
Majesty,’ said the White Rabbit, jumping up in a great
hurry; ‘this paper has just been picked up.’
‘What’s in it?’ said the Queen.
‘I haven’t opened it yet,’ said the White Rabbit,
‘but it seems to be a letter, written by the prisoner to—to
somebody.’

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Learn To Speed Read 323
‘It must have been that,’ said the King, ‘unless it
was written to nobody, which isn’t usual, you know.’
‘Who is it directed to?’ said one of the jurymen.
‘It isn’t directed at all,’ said the White Rabbit; ‘in
fact, there’s nothing written on the OUTSIDE.’ He unfold-
ed the paper as he spoke, and added ‘It isn’t a letter, after
all: it’s a set of verses.’
‘Are they in the prisoner’s handwriting?’ asked an-
other of the jurymen.
‘No, they’re not,’ said the White Rabbit, ‘and that’s
the queerest thing about it.’ (The jury all looked puzzled.)
‘He must have imitated somebody else’s hand,’ said
the King. (The jury all brightened up again.)
‘Please your Majesty,’ said the Knave, ‘I didn’t
write it, and they can’t prove I did: there’s no name signed
at the end.’
‘If you didn’t sign it,’ said the King, ‘that only
makes the matter worse. You MUST have meant some
mischief, or else you’d have signed your name like an hon-
est man.’
There was a general clapping of hands at this: it
was the first really clever thing the King had said that
day.
‘That PROVES his guilt,’ said the Queen.
‘It proves nothing of the sort!’ said Alice. ‘Why, you
don’t even know what they’re about!’

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324 Learn To Speed Read
‘Read them,’ said the King.
The White Rabbit put on his spectacles. ‘Where
shall I begin, please your Majesty?’ he asked.
‘Begin at the beginning,’ the King said gravely, ‘and
go on till you come to the end: then stop.’
These were the verses the White Rabbit read:—

‘They told me you had been to her,
And mentioned me to him:
She gave me a good character,
But said I could not swim.

He sent them word I had not gone
(We know it to be true):
If she should push the matter on,
What would become of you?

I gave her one, they gave him two,
You gave us three or more;
They all returned from him to you,
Though they were mine before.

If I or she should chance to be
Involved in this affair,
He trusts to you to set them free,
Exactly as we were.

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Learn To Speed Read 325
My notion was that you had been
(Before she had this fit)
An obstacle that came between
Him, and ourselves, and it.

Don’t let him know she liked them best,
For this must ever be
A secret, kept from all the rest,
Between yourself and me.’
‘That’s the most important piece of evidence we’ve
heard yet,’ said the King, rubbing his hands; ‘so now let
the jury—’
‘If any one of them can explain it,’ said Alice, (she
had grown so large in the last few minutes that she
wasn’t a bit afraid of interrupting him,) ‘I’ll give him six-
pence. I don’t believe there’s an atom of meaning in it.’
The jury all wrote down on their slates, ‘SHE
doesn’t believe there’s an atom of meaning in it,’ but none
of them attempted to explain the paper.
‘If there’s no meaning in it,’ said the King, ‘that
saves a world of trouble, you know, as we needn’t try to
find any. And yet I don’t know,’ he went on, spreading out
the verses on his knee, and looking at them with one eye;
‘I seem to see some meaning in them, after all. “—SAID I
COULD NOT SWIM—” you can’t swim, can you?’ he add-
ed, turning to the Knave.
The Knave shook his head sadly. ‘Do I look like it?’
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326 Learn To Speed Read
he said. (Which he certainly did NOT, being made entirely
of cardboard.)
‘All right, so far,’ said the King, and he went on
muttering over the verses to himself: ‘”WE KNOW IT TO
BE TRUE—” that’s the jury, of course—”I GAVE HER
ONE, THEY GAVE HIM TWO—” why, that must be what
he did with the tarts, you know—’
‘But, it goes on “THEY ALL RETURNED FROM
HIM TO YOU,”’ said Alice.
‘Why, there they are!’ said the King triumphantly,
pointing to the tarts on the table. ‘Nothing can be clearer
than THAT. Then again—”BEFORE SHE HAD THIS
FIT—” you never had fits, my dear, I think?’ he said to the
Queen.
‘Never!’ said the Queen furiously, throwing an ink-
stand at the Lizard as she spoke. (The unfortunate little
Bill had left off writing on his slate with one finger, as he
found it made no mark; but he now hastily began again,
using the ink, that was trickling down his face, as long as
it lasted.)
‘Then the words don’t FIT you,’ said the King, look-
ing round the court with a smile. There was a dead si-
lence.
‘It’s a pun!’ the King added in an offended tone, and
everybody laughed, ‘Let the jury consider their verdict,’
the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.
‘No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first—verdict
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Learn To Speed Read 327
afterwards.’
‘Stuff and nonsense!’ said Alice loudly. ‘The idea of
having the sentence first!’
‘Hold your tongue!’ said the Queen, turning purple.
‘I won’t!’ said Alice.
‘Off with her head!’ the Queen shouted at the top of
her voice. Nobody moved.
‘Who cares for you?’ said Alice, (she had grown to
her full size by this time.) ‘You’re nothing but a pack of
cards!’
At this the whole pack rose up into the air, and
came flying down upon her: she gave a little scream, half
of fright and half of anger, and tried to beat them off, and
found herself lying on the bank, with her head in the lap
of her sister, who was gently brushing away some dead
leaves that had fluttered down from the trees upon her
face.
‘Wake up, Alice dear!’ said her sister; ‘Why, what a
long sleep you’ve had!’
‘Oh, I’ve had such a curious dream!’ said Alice, and
she told her sister, as well as she could remember them,
all these strange Adventures of hers that you have just
been reading about; and when she had finished, her sister
kissed her, and said, ‘It WAS a curious dream, dear, cer-
tainly: but now run in to your tea; it’s getting late.’ So Al-
ice got up and ran off, thinking while she ran, as well she

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328 Learn To Speed Read
might, what a wonderful dream it had been.
But her sister sat still just as she left her, lean-
ing her head on her hand, watching the setting sun, and
thinking of little Alice and all her wonderful Adventures,
till she too began dreaming after a fashion, and this was
her dream:—
First, she dreamed of little Alice herself, and once
again the tiny hands were clasped upon her knee, and
the bright eager eyes were looking up into hers—she
could hear the very tones of her voice, and see that queer
little toss of her head to keep back the wandering hair
that WOULD always get into her eyes—and still as she
listened, or seemed to listen, the whole place around her
became alive the strange creatures of her little sister’s
dream.
The long grass rustled at her feet as the White Rab-
bit hurried by—the frightened Mouse splashed his way
through the neighbouring pool—she could hear the rattle
of the teacups as the March Hare and his friends shared
their never-ending meal, and the shrill voice of the Queen
ordering off her unfortunate guests to execution—once
more the pig-baby was sneezing on the Duchess’s knee,
while plates and dishes crashed around it—once more the
shriek of the Gryphon, the squeaking of the Lizard’s slate-
pencil, and the choking of the suppressed guinea-pigs,
filled the air, mixed up with the distant sobs of the miser-
able Mock Turtle.

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Learn To Speed Read 329
So she sat on, with closed eyes, and half believed
herself in Wonderland, though she knew she had but to
open them again, and all would change to dull reality—
the grass would be only rustling in the wind, and the pool
rippling to the waving of the reeds—the rattling teacups
would change to tinkling sheep-bells, and the Queen’s
shrill cries to the voice of the shepherd boy—and the
sneeze of the baby, the shriek of the Gryphon, and all the
other queer noises, would change (she knew) to the con-
fused clamour of the busy farm-yard—while the lowing of
the cattle in the distance would take the place of the Mock
Turtle’s heavy sobs.
Lastly, she pictured to herself how this same little
sister of hers would, in the after-time, be herself a grown
woman; and how she would keep, through all her riper
years, the simple and loving heart of her childhood: and
how she would gather about her other little children, and
make THEIR eyes bright and eager with many a strange
tale, perhaps even with the dream of Wonderland of long
ago: and how she would feel with all their simple sorrows,
and find a pleasure in all their simple joys, remembering
her own child-life, and the happy summer days.

THE END

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Closing
Congratulations!
You have made it to the end of this work book, and
have gained a new set of abilities and skills to use in your
everyday reading. But remember, like all skill, they
weaken, the less that you practice them.
My suggestion, practice an exercise, or a couple if
you like, prior to an extended reading session. This helps
in preventing you reverting back to your old habits. And
remember that voicing the words that are printed on a
page is not a bad skill. It is a great skil, but a bad habit.
You have four other senses at your disposal for extracting
meaning from a text. Your larynx has had the monopoly
for too long, it’s time for a change.
Now, go and read, read, read, read, read, read.

krismadden.com
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