Alice folded her hands, and began:
`You are old, Father Williams,' 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 Williams 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?'
`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 the 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.'
`It is wrong from beginning to end,' said the Caterpillar, decidedly; and there was silence for some minutes.