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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.
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 your self and me.
copyright by Lewis Carroll Lithographs by Tenniel
from Alice in Wonderland
Wonderful and truthful endearments from
Lewis Carroll was the pseudonym for Charles Lutwidge Dodgson who was born in England in 1832 and educated at Rugby and Oxford. His qualifications were that of a minister but he never served in a church as one and rarely preached anywhere. Instead, he taught math and wrote works on Euclid, Algebra and Mathematical Logic. He also tried his hand at photography although much of his work was destroyed. It is claimed that he wrote Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass and The Hunting of the Snark for the daughter of the Dean of Christ Church, Alice Liddell, although much of his writing has been paralleled as doubling for political commentary. Whatever the reason, I find it refreshing sometimes to read these books over again when political intrigue seems to be a little heavy. He died peacefully in 1898 two weeks before he would turn 66.