|Alice preparing Tweedledum and Tweedledee for battle|
Tweedledum and Tweedledee
Agreed to have a battle;
For Tweedledum said Tweedledee
Had spoiled his nice new rattle.
Just then flew down a monstrous crow,
As black as a tar-barrel;
Which frightened both the heroes so,
They quite forgot their quarrel.
(English nursery rhyme)
The backstabbing and self-immolation of leading Brexit Leave politicians Michael Gove and Boris Johnson (aka Brexit Dumpty) has not seen its like on the British stage since Macbeth and Hamlet.
But was it all a tempest in a teapot, with Theresa May now prepared to inter them both as Conservative Party leader?
One again, Lewis Carroll seems to have had the last word on the Gove/Johnson spat:
“Of course you agree to have a battle?” Tweedledum said in a calmer tone.
“I suppose so,” the other sulkily replied, as he crawled out of the umbrella: “only she must help us to dress up, you know.”
So the two brothers went off hand-in-hand into the wood, and returned in a minute with their arms full of things— such as bolsters, blankets, hearth-rugs, table-cloths, dish-covers and coal-scuttles. “I hope you’re a good hand at pinning and tying strings?” Tweedledum remarked. “Every one of these things has got to go on, somehow or other.”
Alice said afterwards she had never seen such a fuss made about anything in all her life—the way those two bustled about—and the quantity of things they put on—and the trouble they gave her in tying strings and fastening buttons— “Really they’ll be more like bundles of old clothes than anything else, by the time they’re ready!” she said to herself, as he arranged a bolster round the neck of Tweedledee, “to keep his head from being cut off,” as he said.
“You know,” he added very gravely, “it’s one of the most serious things that can possibly happen to one in a battle— to get one’s head cut off.”
Alice laughed loud; but she managed to turn it into a cough, for fear of hurting his feelings.
“Do I look very pale?” said Tweedledum, coming up to have his helmet tied on. (He called it a helmet, though it certainly looked much more like a saucepan.)
“Well—yes—a little,” Alice replied gently.
“I’m very brave generally,” he went on in a low voice: “only to-day I happen to have a headache.”
“And I’ve got a toothache!’ said Tweedledee, who had overheard the remark. “I’m far worse off than you!”
“Then you’d better not fight to-day,” said Alice, thinking it a good opportunity to make peace.
“We must have a bit of a fight, but I don’t care about going on long,” said Tweedledum. “What’s the time now?”
Tweedledee looked at his watch, and said “Half-past four.”
“Let’s fight till six, and then have dinner,” said Tweedledum.
(Through the Looking-Glass And What Alice Found There, 1871, pp. 86 – 88)
posted from Bloggeroid