`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.
`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.
`We called him Tortoise because he taught us,' said the Mock Turtle angrily: `really you are very dull!'
At last the Gryphon said to the Mock Turtle, `Drive on, old fellow!
`With extras?' asked the Mock Turtle a little anxiously.
then yours wasn't a really good school,' said the Mock Turtle in a tone of great relief.
`I couldn't afford to learn it.' said the Mock Turtle with a sigh.
`Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with,' the Mock Turtle replied; `and then the different branches of Arithmetic-- Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.'
Alice did not feel encouraged to ask any more questions 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, ancient 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.'
`Well, I can't show it you myself,' the Mock Turtle said: `I'm too stiff.