|SCENE THREE: OUTSIDE HIGGINS' HOUSE IN WIMPOLE STREET.
FREDDY STANDS BENEATH A STREET LAMP, LOOKING UP AT ELIZA'S BEDROOM.
HE SEES THE LIGHTS GOING OUT.
FREDDY: Goodnight, darling, darling, darling...
TO HIS SURPRISE, ELIZA OPENS THE FRONT DOOR AND COMES OUT. SHE STARTS TO MOVE DOWN THE STREET BUT SEES FREDDY. HE STOPS SINGING.
ELIZA: Freddy! Whatever are you doing here?
FREDDY: Nothing. I spend most of my nights here. It's the only
place where I am happy. - Don't laugh at me Miss Doolittle.
ELIZA: Don't you call me Miss Doolittle, do you hear? Liza's
good enough for me. (SHE BREAKS DOWN AND GRABS HIM
BY THE SHOULDERS) Freddy: you don't think I'm a heartless
guttersnipe. do you?
FREDDY: Oh, no, no, darling: how can you imagine such a thing?
You are the loveliest, dearest....
HE LOSES ALL SELF-CONTROL AND SMOTHERS HER WITH KISSES. SHE, HUNGRY FOR COMFORT RESPONDS. THEY STAND THERE IN ONE ANOTHER'S ARMS.
FREDDY; Where were you going?
ELIZA: To the river.
FREDDY: What for?
ELIZA: To make a hole in it.
FREDDY: (HORRIFIED) Eliza, darling! What do you mean? What 's the matter?
ELIZA: It doesn't matter now. There's nobody in the world now but you
and me, is there?
FREDDY: Not a soul.
THEY KISS AGAIN. ELIZA NOTICES A TAXI.
ELIZA; Oh Freddy, a taxi. The very thing.
FREDDY: But damn it, I've no money.
ELIZA: I have plenty. We'll drive about all night; and in the morning I'll
call on old Mrs Higgins and ask her what I ought to do.
FREDDY: Righto! Ripping!
THEY RUSH OFF ARM IN ARM TO THE TAXI.
SCENE FOUR: MRS HIGGINS' GARDEN, THE FOLLOWING MORNING.
MRS HIGGINS IS PAINTING. ELIZA RUSHES OUT OF THE HOUSE.
ELIZA; Mrs Higgins! Your son Henry has arrived!
He is downstairs with Colonel Pickering!
They're using the telephone. Telephoning to the police
MRS H: Right. Go upstairs, quick, before they see you. Don't come down
until I send for you.
ELIZA STARTS TO RUN BACK IN, BUT HIGGINS IS ON HIS WAY OUT. SHE HAS TO HIDE BEHIND THE STATUE.
HIGGINS: Look here mother: here's a confounded thing!
MRS H: Yes dear, good morning.
SHE KISSES HER SON AND AT THE SAME TIME SIGNALS BEHIND HIS BACK FOR ELIZA TO SNEAK BACK INTO THE HOUSE DURING THE KISS. ELIZA MANAGES TO GET AWAY.
What is it?
HIGGINS: Eliza's bolted.
MRS H: (CALMLY CONTINUING WITH HER PAINTING) You must
have frightened her.
HIGGINS: Frightened her! Nonsense! She was left last night, as usual to
turn off the lights and all that, and instead of going to bed, she
changed her clothes and went right off. Her bed wasn't slept in.
What am I to do?
MRS H: Do without, I'm afraid Henry. The girl has a perfect right to leave
if she choses.
HIGGINS: (WANDERING DISTRACTEDLY AROUND THE GARDEN) But
I can't find anything. I don't know what appointments I've got..
PICK: (ENTERING) Good morning Mrs Higgins. Has Henry told you?
HIGGINS: What does that ass of a police inspector say? Have you
offered a reward?
MRS H: (RISING WITH INDIGNANT AMAZEMENT) You don't mean to
say you have set the police after Eliza?
HIGGINS: Of course. What are the police for?
PICK: The inspector made a lot of difficulties. I really think he
suspected us of some improper purpose.
MRS H: Of course he did. What right have you to go to the police
and give the girl's name as if she were a thief or a lost umbrella or
PICK: We can't let her go like this, you know, Mrs Higgins.
What were we to do?
MRS H: You have no more sense, either of you, than two children.
ENTER DOOLITTLE - DRESSED LIKE A GROOM. HE MAKES A BEE-LINE FOR HIGGINS.
DOOLITTLE:There you are, you, you.....
HIGGINS: Mr Doolittle - the dustman!
DOOLITTLE:The gentleman - thanks to you. You see this hat? See this
coat? Look at it. You done this, you...you...
PICKERING: Have you found Eliza?
DOOLITTLE:Have you lost her?
DOOLITTLE:Count yourself lucky. I ain't found her. But she'll find me soon
enough, after what you (POINTING TO HIGGINS) have done to
MRS H: But what has my son done to you?
DOOLITTLE:He's ruined me! Destroyed my happiness! Tied me up and
delivered me into the hands of middle class morality!
HIGGINS: You're drunk.
DOOLITTLE:Drunk am I? Did you or did you not write a letter to an old millionaire blighter in America called Ezra D.
Wallingford, telling him all about me?
HIGGINS: Wallingford - but he's dead.
DOOLITTLE:Yes, he's dead and I'm done for. You wrote to him, didn't
you, telling him that the best speaker on morals in this
country was me - Alfred Doolittle, a common dustman,
HIGGINS: Oh, after your first visit I remember making some silly
joke of the kind...
DOOLITTLE:Joke? JOKE! Them words is in his will. Thanks to your
silly joke, Mr Edward D. Wallingford has left three
thousand a year to me, on condition that I lecture for his
Wannafeller Moral Reform World League six times a year!
PICKERING: I wouldn't worry. They won't ask you twice.
DOOLITTLE:It ain't the lecturing I mind. I'll lecture them till I'm
blue in the face. It's making a gentleman of me that I
I was happy. I was free. I squeezed money out anyone when
I wanted it - like I squeezed it out of you. Now everyone
wants to squeeze it out of me! A year ago I hadn't a relative in
the world. Now I have fifty.
Now I have to live for others and not for myself - that's
middle class morality.
MRS H: But my dear Mr Doolittle, you don't have to accept the
DOOLITTLE:That's the tragedy of it, ma'am. I haven't the nerve.
Intimidated, that's what I am, intimidated.
MRS H: Well! At least this solves the problem of Eliza's future.
You can provide for her now.
HIGGINS: (JUMPING UP) Nonsense! She doesn't belong to him.
I paid him five pounds for her! You took the money for the girl.
You have no right to take her now.
MRS H: Henry - don't be absurd. If you want to know where Eliza
is, she's upstairs.
HIGGINS: (AMAZED) Upstairs! Then I shall jolly soon fetch her
downstairs. (HE MAKES RESOLUTELY FOR THE DOOR)
MRS H; Be quiet, Henry. Sit down.
MRS H: Sit down, dear, and listen to me.
HIGGINS: Oh very well. (HE SITS)
MRS H: Eliza came to me this morning. She told me of the brutal
way you two treated her.
HIGGINS: (BOUNDING UP AGAIN) What?
PICK: My dear Mrs Higgins, she's been telling you stories. We
didn't treat her brutally. We hardly said a word to her;
and we parted on particularly good terms. (TURNING TO
HIGGINS) Higgins: did you bully her after I went to bed?
HIGGINS: Just the other way about. She threw my slippers in my
face. She behaved in the most outrageous way. The
slippers came bang into my face the moment I entered the
room, without the slightest provocation.
PICK: But why? What did we do to her?
MRS H: I think I know pretty well what you did. The girl is very
affectionate, isn't she Mr Doolittle...
DOOLITTLE:Very tender hearted Maam. Take after me.
MRS H: She had become very attached to you both, and when the
great day of trial came, and she did this wonderful thing for you without making single mistake, you two sat there
and never said a word. Only talked together of how glad
you were that it was all over and how you had been bored
with the whole thing. And then you were surprised because
she threw your slippers at you. I should have thrown the
grand piano at you!
HIGGINS: We said nothing except that we were tired and wanted to
go to bed. Did we, Pick?
PICK: That was all.
MRS H: You didn't thank her, or admire her, or tell her how splendid she had been?
HIGGINS: (IMPATIENTLY) But she knew all that.
PICK: (CONSCIENCE STRICKEN) Perhaps we were a little inconsiderate. Is she very angry?
MRS H: Well I'm afraid she won't go back with you to Wimpole
Street. But she says she is quite willing to meet you on
friendly terms and to let bygones be bygones.
HIGGINS: (FURIOUS) Is she, by George? Ho!
MRS H: If you promise to behave yourself, Henry, I'll ask her to
come down. If not, go home, for you have taken up quite
enough of my time.
HIGGINS: Oh all right. Very well, Pick: you behave yourself.
Let us put on our best Sunday manners for this creature that
we have picked out of the mud.
MRS H: Mr Doolittle. Will you be so kind as to hide over there for a
MRS HIGGINS MOVES DOOLITTLE AWAY.
DOOLITTLE:As you wish, lady - but I can't stay. I have to get to the chu...
MRS H: You see I don't want Eliza to have the shock of your news until
she has made up with these two gentlemen.
DOOLITTLE:No, listen. I have to get going to the ch...
MRS HIGGINS HUSHES DOOLITTLE AND HIDES HIM BEHIND A BUSH.
MRS H: (CALLING OFF) Hudson? Ask Miss Doolittle to come down,
(RETURNING TO HENRY) Now Henry. Be good.
HIGGINS: I am behaving myself perfectly.
PICK: He is doing his best, Mrs Higgins.
PAUSE AS THEY ALL WAIT.
HIGGINS: (SPRINGING UP, OUT OF PATIENCE) Where the devil is that girl! Are we to wait all day?
ELIZA ENTERS, SUNNY, SELF-POSESSED AND AT EASE. SHE CARRIES A LITTLE WORK BASKET AND IS VERY MUCH AT HOME.
ELIZA: How do you do, Professor Higgins? Are you quite well?
HIGGINS: (CHOKING) Am I..... (HE CAN SAY NO MORE)
ELIZA; So glad to see you again, Colonel Pickering. Quite chilly
this morning, isn't it. (SHE SITS DOWN AND TAKES SOME
NEEDLEWORK FROM HER BASKET.)
HIGGINS; (MOVING TO HER) Don't you dare try this game on me.
I taught it to you and it doesn't take me in. Get up and
come home, and don't be a fool.
MRS H: Very nicely put indeed, Henry. No woman could resist such
HIGGINS: You let her alone mother. Let her speak for herself. You
will jolly soon see whether she has an idea I haven't put
into her head or a word that I haven't put into her mouth.
I tell you I have created this thing out of the squashed cabbage
leaves of Covent Garden; and now she pretends to play the fine
lady with me.
MRS H: (PLACIDLY) Yes dear, but you'll sit down, won't you?
HIGGINS SITS DOWN SAVAGELY.
ELIZA; (TO PICKERING) Will you drop me altogether, now that the
experiment is over, Colonel Pickering?
PICKERING: Oh don't. You mustn't think of it as an experiment. It
shocks me, somehow.
ELIZA: I'm only a squashed cabbage leaf...
PICKERING: (IMPULSIVELY) No.
ELIZA: ...but I owe so much to you that I should be very unhappy
if you forgot me.
PICKERING: It's very kind of you to say so Miss Doolittle.
ELIZA: It was from you that I learnt really nice manners; and
that is what makes a lady. isn't it? You see it was so very difficult
for me with the example of Professor Higgins always before me.
PICK: Oh that's only his way, you know. Still, he taught you to speak;
and I couldn't have done that, you know.
ELIZA: (TRIVIALLY) Of course. That is his profession.
ELIZA: (CONTNUING) It was just like learning to dance in the
fashionable way: there was nothing more than that in it.
But do you know what began my real education?
ELIZA: Your calling me Miss Doolittle that day when I first came
to Wimpole Street. That was the beginning of self-respect
for me. You see really and truly, the difference between a lady
and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she is treated.
I shall always be a flower girl to Professor Higgins, because he
always treats me as a flower girl. But I know I can be a lady to you
because you always treat me as a lady, and always will.
MRS H: Please don't grind your teeth, Henry.
PICK: Well, this is really very nice of you, Miss Doolittle.
ELIZA: I should like you to call me Eliza now, if you would.
PICK: Thank you. Eliza. Of course.
ELIZA: And I should like Professor Higgins to call me Miss
HIGGINS: I'll see you damned first.
MRS H: Henry!
DOOLITTLE APPEARS UPSTAGE, AGITED, IMPATIENT TO LEAVE. HE TRIES SIGNALLING DISCRETELY TO MRS HIGGINS.
PICK: But you're coming back to Wimpole Street. You'll forgive
HIGGINS: (RISING) Forgive! Will she by George! Let her go. Let her
find out how she can get on without us. She will relapse
into the gutter in three weeks without me at her elbow.
PICK: He's incorrigible, Eliza. You won't relapse, will you?
ELIZA: No: not now. Never again. I have learnt my lesson. I
don't believe I could utter one of the old sounds if I
FINALLY DOOLITTLE CREEPS ROUND UPSTAGE OF ELIZA. HE TOUCHES HER ON HER SHOULDER. ELIZA STARTLES.
HIGGINS: Aha! Just so! 'AAaaa-oooo-wooh' Victory! Victory!
DOOLITTLE:Don't look at me like that. I've come into a bit of money.
ELIZA TRIES TO TALK.
- No time to explain. I'm in a hurry. I'm dressed special
today. Your stepmother Hilda - wants to marry me. Now I'm
respectable, she wants to be respectable.
ELIZA: You're not going to let yourself down to marry that low
PICKERING: He ought to Eliza.
DOOLITTLE:Won't you put your hat on and come to St George's church
to see me married? Come on - we got to hurry.
ELIZA STARES AT HIGGINS.
ELIZA: Oh very well. Just to show there's no ill feeling. I'll be back in a
ELIZA GOES INTO THE HOUSE TO FETCH HER HAT.
DOOLITTLE:I'm feeling very nervous about the ceremony, Colonel.
I wish you'd come and see me through it.
PICKERING: But you've been through it before. You were married to
DOOLITTLE:Who told you that? That ain't the natural way. That's the
middle class way. But don't tell Eliza.
MRS H: May I come, Mr Doolittle. I should be very sorry to miss
DOOLITTLE:I would be honoured. Only we better hurry, maam.
MRS H: I'll order the carriage and get ready.
ELIZA ENTERS FROM THE HOUSE.
Eliza. I'm coming with you to see your father married.
You come in carriage with me. Colonel Pickering can go
with the bridegroom.
MRS HIGGINS ENTERS THE HOUSE.
PICKERING: You, Doolittle. You're the bridegroom.
DOOLITTLE:'Bridegroom!' Ooo what a word!
Come on. It's time to go. So long Henry. See you at St
George's Church, Eliza.
PICKERING FOLLOWS BUT STOPS FOR A MOMENT TO SPEAK TO ELIZA.
PICKERING:Do stay with us, Eliza.
ELIZA SAYS NOTHING. SHE STARES AT HIGGINS. PICKERING LEAVES.
HIGGINS: Well, Eliza. You've had a bit of your own back, as you call it.
Have you had enough? Are you going to be reasonable, or do you
ELIZA: You want me back only to pick up your slippers and put up
with your tempers and fetch and carry for you.
HIGGINS: If you come back I shall treat you just as I have always
treated you. I can't change my nature and I don't intend
to change my manners. My manners are exactly the same as
ELIZA: That's not true. He treats a flower girl as if she was a duchess.
HIGGINS: And I treat a duchess as if she was a flower girl.
ELIZA: I see. The same to everybody.
I can do without you. Don't think I can't.
HIGGINS: I know. You never asked yourself I suppose, whether I
could do without you.
ELIZA: Don't try to get round me. You'll have to do without me.
HIGGINS: I can do without anybody. I have my own soul: my own spark of divine fire.
But, (WITH SUDDEN HUMILITY) I shall miss you, Eliza.
I have learnt something from your idiotic notions. I confess that humbly and gratefully.
And I have grown accustomed to your voice and
appearance. I like them, rather.
ELIZA: Oh you are a devil. You can twist the heart in a girl as
easily as some would twist her arms to hurt her. You
don't care a bit for me.
HIGGINS: I care for life, for humanity; and you are a part of it.
ELIZA: I won't care for anyone who doesn't care for me.
HIGGINS: You call me a brute because you couldn't buy a claim on
me by fetching my slippers. You were a fool. I think a
woman fetching a man's slippers is a disgusting sight.
Did I ever fetch your slippers? I think a good deal more
of you for throwing them in my face. No use slaving for
me and then saying you want to be cared for: who cares
for a slave?
ELIZA: What did you do it for if you didn't care for me?
HIGGINS: (HEARTLIY) Why because it was my job.
ELIZA: What am I to come back for?
HIGGINS: (BOUNCING UP AND LEANING OVER TO HER)
For the fun of it. That's why I took you on.
ELIZA: And you may throw me out tomorrow if I don't do
everything you want me to?
HIGGINS: Yes. And you may walk out tomorrow if I don't do
everything you want me to.
ELIZA: And live with my stepmother?
HIGGINS: Yes, or sell flowers.
ELIZA: Oh if only I could go back to my flower basket! Why did
you take my independence from me? I'm a slave now, for
all my fine clothes.
HIGGINS: Not a bit. I'll adopt you as my daughter and settle money
on you if you like. Or would you rather marry Pickering?
ELIZA: (LOOKING FIERCELY ROUND AT HIM) I wouldn't marry you
if you asked me, and you're nearer my age than what he is.
HIGGINS: (GENTLY) Than he is: not 'than what he is.'
ELIZA: (LOSING HER TEMPER AND RISING) I'll talk as I like. You're not my teacher now.
HIGGINS: (REFLECTIVELY) I don't suppose Pickering would, though.
He's as confirmed an old batchelor as I am.
ELIZA: That's not what I want, and don't you think it. I've always had
chaps wanting me that way. Freddy Hill writes to me twice and
three times a day. Sheets and sheets.
HIGGINS: (DISAGREEABLY SURPRISED) Damn his impudence!
ELIZA: He has a right to, if he likes, poor lad. And he does love me.
HIGGINS: You have no right to encourage him.
ELIZA: Every girl has a right to be loved.
HIGGINS: By fools like that?
ELIZA: Freddy's no fool. And if he's weak and poor and wants me,
may be he'd make me happier than my betters that bully me
and don't want me.
HIGGINS: In short, you want me to be as infatuated about you as
Freddy. Is that it?
ELIZA: (MUCH TROUBLED) I want a little kindness. I know I'm just
a common ignorant flower girl, and you're a book-learned
gentleman; but I'm not dirt under your feet. What I
done....(CORRECTING HERSELF) what I did was not for the
dresses and the taxis: I did it because we were pleasant
together, and I come....I came to care for you; not to want you to make love to me, and not forgetting the difference between us, but more friendly like.
HIGGINS: Well, of course. That's just how I feel. And how Pickering feels.
Eliza, you're a fool.
ELIZA: That's not the proper answer to give me.
SHE SINKS BACK DOWN ON THE GARDEN CHAIR IN TEARS.
HIGGINS: It's all you'll get until you stop being a common idiot.
If you can't stand the coldness of my sort of life, go
back to the gutter. Work til you're more a brute than a
human being; then cuddle and squabble and drink till you
fell asleep. Oh, it's a fine life, the life of the gutter. It's real,
it's warm: it's violent. You can feel it through the thickest of skin:
you can taste it and smell it without any training or any work.
Not like science and literature and Art. You find me cold,
unfeeling, selfish, don't you? Very well: be off with you
to the sort of people you like. Marry some sentimental hog or
other, with lots of money, and a thick pair of lips to kiss you with,
and a thick pair of boots to kick you with. If you can't appreciate
what you've got, you'd better get what you can appreciate.
ELIZA: (DESPERATE) Oh you are a cruel tyrant. You know I can't
go back into the gutter, as you call it, and that I have no real
friends in the world except you and the Colonel. You know well I couldn't bear to live with a low common
man after you two, and it's wicked and cruel of you to
insult me by pretending I could.
You think I must go back to Wimpole Street because I have
nowhere else to go. But don't you be too sure you have me
under your feet to be trampled on and talked down. I'll
marry Freddy, I will, as soon as I'm able to support him.
HIGGINS: (THUNDERSTRUCK) Freddy! That young fool! That poor devil who couldn't get a job as a postman!
Woman - do you not understand that I have made you a consort for a king?
ELIZA: Freddy loves me: that makes him king enough for me.
I don't want him to work. He wasn't brought up to it as I was. I'll go and be a teacher.
HIGGINS: What will you teach, in heaven's name?
ELIZA: (GAINING CONFIDENCE) What you taught me. I'll teach phonetics.
HIGGINS: Ha! Ha! Ha!
ELIZA: What a fool I was not to think of it before! You can't take away
the knowledge you gave to me. (PURPOSELY DROPPING HER
AICTCHES TO ANNOY HIM) That's done you 'Enry 'Iggins, it az.
Now I don't care that (SNAPPING HER FINGERS) for your
bullying and and your big talk. I'll advertise in the papers that
your duchess is only a flower girl that you taught, and that she'll
teach anybody to be a duchess just the same in six months for a
HIGGINS STANDS BACK AND WATCHES WITH AMAZEMENT.
ELIZA: Oh when I think of myself crawling under your feet and
being trampled on, and called names when all the time I
had only to lift up my little finger to be as good as you, I could
just kick myself.
HIGGINS: (WONDERING AT HER) You damned impudent slut! But it's better than snivelling; better than fetching slippers, isn't it?
(RISING) By George, Eliza, I said I'd make a woman out of you,
and I have. I like you like this.
ELIZA: Yes. You turn round and make up to me now that I'm not
afraid of you, and can do without you.
HIGGINS: Of course I do, you little fool. Five minutes ago you were a
millstone around my neck. Now you're a tower of strength.
You and I and Pickering will be three old batchelors together,
instead of only two men and a silly girl.
MRS HIGGINS RETURNS. MAYBE SHE HAS BEEN LISTENING DISCRETELY ALL THE TIME.
MRS H: Our carriage is waiting, Eliza. Are you ready?
ELIZA: Quite. Is the professor coming?
MRS H: Certainly not. He cannot behave himself in Church.
He usually breaks wind during the clergyman's sermon.
ELIZA: (SOFTLY TO HIGGINS) Then I shall not see you again, Professor. Goodbye.
SHE GOES TOWARDS THE HOUSE, TO COLLECT HER HAT.
MRS H: (COMING TO HIGGINS) Goodbye, dear.
HIGGINS: Goodbye, mother. ( HE IS ABOUT TO KISS HER WHEN HE RECOLLECTS SOMETHING) Oh by the way, Eliza.
Order me a ham and a stilton cheese, will you?
And buy me a pair of reindeer gloves, number eights,
and a tie to match that new suit of mine.
You can choose the colour.
ELIZA: (STOPPING AND TURNING TO HIM Number eights are too
small for you if you want them lined with lamb's wool.
You have three new ties that you have forgotten in the drawer of
your washstand. Colonel Pickering prefers double Gloucester to
Stilton, and you don't notice the difference. I telephoned Mrs
Pearce this morning not to forget the ham. What you are to do
without me I cannot imagine.
ELIZA SWEEPS OFF INTO THE HOUSE.
MRS H: (QUIETLY TO HIGGINS) I'm afraid you've spoilt that girl,
Henry. I should be uneasy about you and her if she were
less fond of Colonel Pickering.
HIGGINS: Pickering! Nonsense: she's going to marry Freddy. Ha-ha!
MRS HIGGINS LEAVES. THE MUSIC STARTS. ELIZA RETURNS FROM THE HOUSE WITH HER HAT. SHE LOOKS DOWNSTAGE AT HIGGINS AS SHE SLOWLY WALKS OFF TO FOLLOW MRS HIGGINS. FINALLY SHE EXITS AS THE MUSIC ENDS.