SCENE THREE: MRS HIGGINS' GARDEN. MRS HIGGINS IS PLAYING CROQUET. HENRY HIGGINS ENTERS. HE PLACES ELIZA BEHIND A BUSH AND TELLS HER TO WAIT. HE APPROACHES HIS MOTHER BUT SHE DOESN'T SEE HIM AT FIRST AND ACCIDENTALLY HITS HIM WITH HER STICK AS SHE PREPARES TO SHOOT.
MRS H: (DISMAYED) Henry! What are you doing here today?
HIGGINS: I''ve a job for you. A phonetic job. I've picked up a girl.
MRS H: Does that mean some girl has picked you up?
HIGGINS: Not at all. I don't mean a love affair.
MRS H: What a pity.
MRS H: Well, you never fall in love with anyone under forty-
five. When will you discover that there are some rather
nice looking young women about?
HIGGINS: Oh I can't be bothered with young women. My idea of a
loveable woman is somebody as much like you as possible.
HIGGINS KISSES HIS MOTHER AGAIN.
MRS H; Now, tell me about the girl.
HIGGINS: She's come to see you. She's a common flower girl.
I picked her off the kerbstone.
MRS H: And invited her to my home!
HIGGINS: Oh that's all right. I've taught her to speak properly;
and she has strict orders as to her behavior. She's to keep to two
subjects: the weather and everybody's health - fine day and how
do you do, you know.... That will be safe.
MRS H: Safe! To talk about our insides?
HIGGINS: Well she must talk about something. Oh she'll be all right.
Don't you fuss. Pickering is in it with me. I've a sort of bet on
that I can pass her off as a duchess....
AS HIGGINS PREPARES TO FETCH ELIZA - ENTER MRS EYNSFORD HILL.
MRS E; (CALLING OFF) Freddy! Come along.
MRS H: Mrs Eynsford Hill!
HIGGINS: Oh, lord!
MRS E: (APPROACHING MRS HIGGINS) How do you do?
MRS H: How do you do? (THEY SHAKE HANDS) My son, Henry.
MRS E: (TURNING TO HIGGINGS) Ah, your celebrated son! I have so longed to meet you, Professor Higgins.
HIGGINS: (GLUMLY) Delighted.
MRS E: How do you do?
HIGGINS: I've seen you somewhere before. I haven't the ghost of a
notion where, but I've heard your voice.
MRS H: I'm sorry to say that my celebrated son has no manners.
You mustn't mind him.
MRS E: I don't. Not at all.
FREDDY: (OFF) Hello!
HIGGINS: (ANNOYED AT BEING DELAYED FROM FETCHING ELIZA)
God in heaven! Another of them. Damn it!
MRS H: Oh Henry! Really!
MRS E: Have we come at the wrong time?
MRS H: No, no. You couldn't have come more fortunately: we want
you to meet a friend of ours.
HIGGINS: (TURNING HOPEFULLY) Yes, by George! We'll want two or
three people. You'll do as well as anyone else.
FREDDY: (ENTERING) Ahdedo?
MRS E: My son, Freddy.
MRS H: My son, Professor Higgins.
HIGGINS IGNORES FREDDY AND GOES OVER TO FETCH ELIZA.
ELIZA ENTERS, NERVOUSLY.
HIGGINS; I would like to present Miss Doolittle.
ELIZA, WHO IS EXQUISITELY DRESSED, PRODUCES AN EXPRESSION OF SUCH REMARKABLE DISTINCTION OF BEAUTY AS SHE ENTERS, THAT THEY ALL RISE, QUITE FLUTTERED. GUIDED BY HENRY'S SIGNALS, SHE COMES TO MRS HIGGINS WITH STUDIED GRACE.
ELIZA; (SPEAKING WITH PEDANTIC CORRECTNESS OF
PRONOUNCIATION) How do you do, Mrs Higgins? Mr Higgins
told me I might come.
MRS H: (CORDIALLY) Quite right. I'm very glad indeed to see you.
MRS E: I feel sure we have met before, Miss Doolittle. I remember your
ELIZA: How do you do?
FREDDY: (APPROACHING) I've certainly had the pleasure.
MRS E: My son, Freddy.
ELIZA: Air, hair lair....
A LONG PAINFUL SILENCE ENSUES.
MRS H; (AT LAST, CONVERSATIONALLY) Will it rain, do you think?
ELIZA: The shallow depression in the west of these islands is
likely to move in an easterly direction. There are no
indications of any great changes in the barometrical
FREDDY: Ha! Ha! How awfully funny!
ELIZA: What is wrong with that, young man? I bet I got it right.
MRS E: I'm sure it won't turn cold. There's so much influenza
ELIZA: (DARKLY) My aunt died of influenza: so they said.
MRS EYNSFORD HILL CLICKS HER TONGUE SYMPATHETICALLY.
But it's my belief they done the old woman in.
MRS H: 'Done her in?'
ELIZA: Yeeees, lord love you!
ELIZA TAKES THE CROQUET STICK AND BEGINS KNOCKING BALLS ABOUT. FREDDY IS KEEN TO FETCH BALLS FOR HER.
Why would she die of influenza? She come through diphtheria
right enough the year `before. Fairly blue with is, she was. They
all thought she was dead, but my father, he kept ladling gin
down her throat til she came to - so sudden, she bit the bowl off
MRS E: (STARTLED) Dear me!
ELIZA: (PILING UP THE INDICTMENT) What would a woman with
that`strength in her have to die of influenza? What become of
her new straw hat that`should have come to me? Somebody pinched it, and what I say is - them as pinched it done her in.
MRS E: What does 'doing her in' mean?
HIGGINS: (HASTILY) Oh that's the new small talk. To do a person in
means to kill them.
MRS E: You surely don't mean that your aunt was killed?
ELIZA: Do I not! Them she lived with would have killed her for a
ELIZA: Not her. Gin was mothers' milk to her. Besides, he's poured so
much down his own throat, that he knew the good of it.
MRS E: Do you mean that he drank?
ELIZA: My word, something chronic.
MRS E: How dreadful for you!
ELIZA: Not a bit. It never did him no harm what I could see...
ELIZA STOPS AND TURNS TO FREDDY, WHO IS NOW INCONVULSIONS OF SUPPRESSED LAUGHTER.
- Here! What`are you sniggering at?
FREDDY: The new small talk. You do it so awfully well.
ELIZA: If I was doing it proper, what was you laughing at?
(TO HIGGINS) Have I anything I oughtn't?
MRS H: (INTERPOSING) Not at all, Miss Doolittle.
ELIZA: (DELIGHTED) Well! That's a mercy, anyhow. (EXPANSIVELY) What I always say is......
ELIZA MOVES TO FREDDY AND MRS EYNSFORD HILL AND ENGAGES IN CONVERSATION UPSTAGE WHILE HIGGINS AND HIS MOTHER QUIETLY DISCUSS HER DOWNSTAGE.
HIGGINS: (QUIETLY) Well? Is Eliza presentable?
MRS H: You silly boy. Of course she's not presentable. If you
suppose she doesn't give herself away in every sentence
that she utters, then you must be perfectly in love with her.
HIGGINS: But in time I shall be able to remove the improper element from
MRS H: Not as long as she is in your hands.
- Tell me dearest, what is the exact state of things in Wimpole
Street? Where does this girl live?
HIGGINS: With us, Pickering and me. Where should she live?
MRS H: But on what terms? Is she a servant? If not, what is she?
HIGGINS: I don't know what you mean. I've had to work hard at the
girl every day for months to get her to her present pitch.
Besides, she's useful. She knows where my things are and
remembers my appointments and so forth.
MRS H: You certainly are a baby, playing with your live doll..
MRS H: But what on earth are you going to do with her when you
have finished 'making her presentable?'
HIGGINS: Don't you worry about her...
THEY BOTH LOOK UPSTAGE TO FIND ELIZA EMBARRASSING HERSELF.
HIGGINS: (GRABBING ELIZA'A ATTNETION JUST IN TIME) Ahem!
ELIZA: (TAKING THE HINT) Well, I must go. (TO MRS HIGGINS)
So pleased to have met you. Goodbye.
MRS H: Goodbye.
MRS E: Goodbye.
FREDDY: Are you walking across the park, Miss Doolittle? If so...
ELIZA: (WITH PERFECTLY ELEGANT DICTION) Walk? Fuck that!
I am going home in a taxi.
ELIZA GOES, LEAVING THE GUESTS IN A STATE OF SHOCK.
MRS E; (FINALLY) Well! I daresay I am very old-fashioned; but I
hope you won't be using that expression, Freddy.
FREDDY: I find the new small talk delightful and quite innocent.
MRS E: Well, after that, I think it is time for us to go.
MRS EYNSFORD HILL MAKES A SWIFT EXIT. FREDDY MOVES OVER TO SHAKE HANDS WITH MRS HIGGINS.
MRS H: (TO FREDDY) Goodbye. Would you like to meet Miss
FREDDY: (EAGERLY) Yes. I would. Most awfully.
FREDDY GOES TO SHAKE HIGGINS' HAND.
HIGGINS; Goodbye. Be sure to try on that small talk with whoever
you meet from now on. Don't be nervous about it. Pitch it
FREDDY: I will. Goodbye. Such nonsense. All this early Victorian prudery!
HIGGINS: (TEMPTING HIM) Such damned nonsense!
FREDDY: (AS HE LEAVES) Such bloody nonsense!
HIGGINS: Damn, blast and bugger!
MRS E: (OFF) - FREDDY!
THEY BOTH EXIT.
PAUSE AS HIGGINS WAITS TO BE ALONE WITH HIS MOTHER.
HIGGINS KISSES HIS MOTHER.
HIGGINS: Goodbye mother.
MRS HIGGINS SIGHS AND TURNS TO THE AUDIENCE.
MRS H; Oh men! Men! Men!
END OF ACT ONE.
ACT TWO. PROLOGUE: WIMPOLE STREET STUDY. OVER THE INTRODUCTION TO THE BALL MUSIC, WE SEE PICKERING GIVING ELIZA A FINAL LESSON IN COMPORTMENT AND DANCE.
PICK: Well Eliza? Now for it. Are you ready?
ELIZA: Are you nervous, Colonel?
PICK: Frightfully. I feel exactly as I felt before my first
battle. It's the first time that frightens.
ELIZA: It is not the first time for me, Colonel. I have done this fifty times
in my day dreams. I am in a dream now. Promise me not to let
Professor Higgins wake me, for if he does, I shall forget
everything, and talk as I used to in Drury Lane.
PICK: Not a word. Now. Ready?
HIGGINS: (OFF) Eliza! Bloody hell - where are you! We shall be
late for this bloody ball!
ACT TWO: SCENE ONE: THE SUMMER BALL.
GUESTS MINGLE, DRINK AND DANCE. NEPOMMUCK CLOCKS HIGGINS IN A CORNER AND GOES OVER.
NEPPO: Maestro! Maestro! (HE EMBRACES HIGGINS AND KISSES
HIM ON BOTH CHEEKS) You remember me?
HIGGINS: No I don't. Who the devil are you?
NEPPO: I am your pupil. Your first pupil. Your best and greatest
pupil. I am little Nepommuck, the marvellous boy. I have
made your name famous throughout Europe. You teach me
phonetic. You cannot forget ME?
HIGGINS: Why don't you shave?
NEPPO: I have not your imposing appearance, your chin, your brow. Nobody notice me when I shave. Now I am famous, they call me
Hairy Faced Dick.
HIGGINS: And what are you doing among all these swells?
NEPPO: I am interpreter. I speak 32 languages. I am indispensable at
these international parties. You are great cockney specialist:
you place a man anywhere in London the moment he open his
mouth. I place any man in Europe.
NEPPOMUCK POINTS OUT SOMEONE IN THE AUDIENCE.
See that German professor? He speaks English so horribly
that he dare not utter a word of it without his students
laughing off their socks. I help him to speak like the
Prince of Wales - but I make him pay through the nose.
I make them all pay. Ha-ha!
NEPOMMUCK HURRIES AWAY. THE DANCING CONTINUES. PICKERING JOINS HIGGINS.
PICK: Is that fellow really an expert? Can he find out Eliza and
HIGGINS: We shall see. If he finds her out I lose my bet.
THE DANCING CONTINUES.
ELIZA FINALLY MAKES HER ENTRANCE. THE GUESTS ARE IMPRESSED AND IN AWE.THE HOSTESS FINALLY GOES UP TO ELIZA.
HOSTESS: How do you do?
ELIZA: How do you do?
ELIZA PASSES ON TO THE DRAWING ROOM.
HOSTESS: Is that your adopted daughter, Colonel Pickering?
She will make a sensation.
PICK: Most kind of you to invite her for me.
HE PASSES ON.
HOSTESS: (CALLING OVER NEPOMMUCK) Find out all about her.
NEPPO: (BOWING) Excellency.
HE GOES INTO THE CROWD.
THE DANCING CONTINUES. ELIZA DANCES AND CLEARLY DAZZLES THE OTHER GUESTS.
THE HOSTESS FINALLY FINDS NEPOMMUCK ONCE MORE. PICKERING OVERHEARS.
HOSTESS: Ah, here you are at last, Nepommuck. Have you found out
all about the Doolittle lady?
NEPPO: I have. She is a fraud.
HOSTESS: A fraud! Oh no.
NEPPO: YES. She cannot deceive me. Her name cannot be Doolittle.
NEPPO: Because Doolittle is an English name. And she is not English.
HOSTESS: Nonsense! She speaks English perfectly.
NEPPO: Too perfectly. Can you show me any English woman who
speaks English as it should be spoken? Only foreigners
who have been taught to speak it, speak it well.
HOSTESS: But if she is not English, what is she?
NEPPO: Hungarian. And of royal blood. I am Hungarian. My blood
HIGGINS: Did you speak to her in Hungarian?
NEPPO: I did. She was very clever. She said 'Please speak to me
in English. I do not understand French.'
- French! She pretend not to know the difference between
French and Hungarian. Impossible: she know both.
HIGGINS: And the royal blood? How did you find that out?
NEPPO: Instinct, meastro, Instinct. She is a princess.
HOSTESS: What do you say, Professor?
HIGGINS: I say an ordinary London girl out of the gutter and taught to
speak by an expert. I place her in Drury Lane.
NEPPO: (LAUGHING WITH INCREDULITY) Oh Maestro, maestro – you
are mad on the subject of cockney dialects. The London gutter
is the whole world for you.
HIGGINS: What does your excellency say?
HOSTESS: Oh of course I agree with Nepommuck. She must be a princess at least.
THE DANCING CONTINUES. LATER, PICKERING FINDS ELIZA OUT ON THE BALCONY ALONE.
ELIZA: I don't think I can bear much more. The people all stare
so at me. An old lady has just told me I speak exactly like Queen
Victoria I am sorry if I have lost your bet. I have done my best;
but nothing can make me the same as these people.
PICK: (LEADING ELIZA BACK INTO THE CROWD) You have not lost
it my dear. You have won it ten times over.
AS ELIZA STEPS FORWARD, THE CROWD RESPOND WITH APPLAUSE AND BOWS.
HIGGINS: (STEPPING FORWARD FINALLY AND DRAGGING ELIZA
AWAY) Let's get out of this. I have had enough of chattering to
ELIZA AND HIGGINS EXIT, LEAVING THE OTHER ACTORS TO CONTINUE WALTZING UPSTAGE, BRINGING ON SET FOR THE FOLLOWING SCENE.
SCENE TWO: THE WIMPOLE STREET LABORATORY.
ELIZA STANDS IN THE CORNER, TAKING OFF HER COAT, STILL IN A DREAM. HIGGINS AND PICKERING ARE HEARD ON THE STAIRS.
HIGGINS: I say, Pick: lock up, will you? I shant be going out again.
PICK: Right. Can Mrs Pearce go to bed? We don't want anything
more, do we?
HIGGINS: Lord no!
HIGGINS ENTERS THE LABORATORY AND SITS, TO TAKE OFF HIS SHOES. HE DOES NOT SEE ELIZA. HE HUMS THE MELODIES FROM THE BALLROOM.
PICK: (STILL OFF) I say, Mrs Pearce will row if we leave these
things lying about.
HIGGINS: Oh, chuck them over the bannisters into the hall. She'll
find them in the morning and put them away all right.
She'll think we were drunk.
HIGGINS LOOKS AROUND THE FLOOR AS HE UNTIES HIS COLLAR.
Bloody hell....Where the devil are my slippers!
ELIZA QUIETLY EXITS, RETURNING MOMENTS AFTER WITH SLIPPERS, WHICH SHE PLACES BESIDE HIS CHAIR. SHE RETURNS TO HER PLACE. HIGGINS DOESN'T APPEAR TO SEE HER.
HIGGINS: Oh Lord! What an evening! What a silly tomfoolery!
(SEEING THE SLIPPERS BESIDE THE CHAIR) Oh. There
PICKERING ENTERS YAWNING. HE TOO DOES NOT SEE ELIZA AT FIRST.
PICK: Well I feel a bit tired. It's been a long day. But you've won your
bet, Higgins. Eliza did the trick, and something to spare, eh?
HIGGINS: Thank God it's all over.
PICK: Were you nervous at the party? I was. Eliza didn't seem a
HIGGINS: Oh, she wasn't nervous. I knew she'd be all right. No, it's the
strain of putting the job through all these months that has told
on me. It was interesting enough at first, while we were on the
phonetics; but after that I got deadly sick of it. It was a silly
notion. The whole thing has been a bore.
PICK: Oh come! The party was frightfully exciting. My heart
began beating like anything.
HIGGINS: Yes, for the first three minutes. But when I began to see
we were going to win hands down, I felt like a bear in a
cage, hanging about, doing nothing.
PICK: Anyhow, it was a great success.
HIGGINS: But it is all over and done with; and I can go to bed at last without
ELIZA'S BEAUTY BECOMES MURDEROUS.
PICK: I think I shall turn in too. Still, it's been a great occasion: a
triumph for you.
PICK TURNS TO GO AND SEES ELIZA. HE IS SHOCKED THAT`SHE WAS THERE ALL THE TIME.
PICKERING LEAVES. HIGGINS STILL HAS HIS BACK TO ELIZA.
THE TWO ARE ALONE FOR A MOMENT. HIGGINS GETS AND GOES OUT, RETURNING MOMENTS LATER TO SPEAK TO ELIZA.
Put out the lights Eliza, and tell Mrs Pearce not to make
coffee in the morning: I'll take tea.
HIGGINS EXITS. ELIZA IS ABOUT TO EXPLODE. SHE GOES OVER TO HIGGINS' CHAIR AND SITS.HIGGINS ENTERS MOMENTS LATER.
HIGGINS: What the devil have I done with my slippers?
ELIZA: (SNATCHING UP THE SLIPPERS FROM THE FLOOR AND
THROWING THEM AT HIGGINS) There are your slippers.
And may you never have a day's luck with them!
HIGGINS: (ASTOUNDED) What on earth...! (HE COMES TO HER) What's
the matter? (HE PULLS HER UP) Get up. Anything wrong?
ELIZA: (BREATHLESS) Nothing wrong - with you. I've won your bet for you, haven't I? That's enough for you. I don't matter I
HIGGINS: You won my bet! YOU? I won it! Why did you throw those
slippers at me?
ELIZA: Because I wanted to smash your face. I'd like to kill you,
you selfish brute. You thank God it's all over, and that now you
can throw me back in the gutter!
HIGGINS: The creature is nervous, after all....
ELIZA GIVES A SUFFOCATED SCREAM OF FURY. SHE THROWS THE VASE OF FLOWERS AT HIM AND THEN POUNCES ON HIM. THEY FIGHT ON THE FLOOR.
THROWING HER DOWN) How dare you show your temper to
me? Sit down and be quiet.
ELIZA: What's to become of me?
HIGGINS: How the devil do I know?
ELIZA: You don't care. You wouldn't care if I was dead. I'm nothing to
you - not so much as them slippers.
HIGGINS: (THUNDERING) THOSE slippers.
ELIZA: (WITH BITTER SUBMISSION) Those slippers. I didn't think it made any difference now. Oh God, I wish I was dead.
HIGGINS: Why? In heaven's name why?
Perhaps you're tired after the strain of the day. You go bed like a
good girl and sleep it off. Have a little cry and say your prayers:
that will make you comfortable.
ELIZA: I heard your prayers. 'Thank God it's all over.'
HIGGINS: (IMPATIENTLY) Well don't you thank God it's all over? Now
you are free to do what you like.
ELIZA: What am I fit for? Where am I to go? What am I to do?
What's to become of me?
ELIZA CONTINUES TO SOB.
HIGGINS THRUSTS HIS HANDS INTO HIS POCKETS, AND WALKS ABOUT IN HIS USUAL MANNER, RATTLING THE CONTENTS OF HIS POCKETS, AS IF CONDESCENDING TO A TRIVIAL SUBJECT OUT OF PURE KINDNESS.
HIGGINS: I shouldn't bother about that if I were you. I should
imagine you won't have much difficulty in settling yourself
somewhere or other, though I hadn't quite realised that you were
HIGGINS BEGINS TO PICK UP THE FLOWERS.
You might marry, you know. You see Eliza, all men are not
looking. It's quite a pleasure to look at you sometimes....
- not now of course because you're crying and looking as ugly as
the very devil.
You go to bed and have a nice rest; and then get up and look at
yourself in the glass; and you won't feel so cheap.
ELIZA STILL SOBS SILENTLY, UNIMPRESSED WITH HIGGINS' ADVICE.
HIGGINS: I daresay my mother could find some chap or other who could do
ELIZA: We were above that at the corner of Tottenham Court Road.
HIGGINS: What do you mean?
ELIZA: I sold flowers. I didn't sell myself. Now you've made a lady of me
I'm not fit to sell anything else.
HIGGINS: Tosh, Eliza. Don't insult human relations by dragging all this
cant about buying and selling into it. You needn't marry the
fellow if you don't like him.
ELIZA: What else am I to do?
HIGGINS: Oh lots of things. What about your old idea of a florist's shop?
Pickering could set you up in one. He has lots of money.
Come, you'll be all right. I must clear off to bed.
I'm devillish sleepy.
By the way. I came down for something: I forget what it was.
ELIZA: Your slippers.
HIGGINS: Oh yes. Of course. You shied them at me.
HIGGINS FINDS THEM AND MAKES TO LEAVE.
ELIZA: Do my clothes belong to me or to Colonel Pickering?
HIGGINS: What the devil use would they be to Pickering?
ELIZA: He might want them for the next girl you pick up to
HIGGINS: (SHOCKED AND HURT) Is that the way you feel towards us?
ELIZA: All I want to know is whether anything belongs to me.
My own clothes were burnt.
HIGGINS: But what does it matter? Why do you need to start bothering
about that in the middle of the night?
ELIZA: I want to know what I may take away with me. I don't want
to be accused of stealing.
HIGGINS: (NOW DEEPLY WOUNDED) Stealing! You shouldn't have said that, Eliza. That shows a want of feeling.
ELIZA: I'm sorry. I'm only a common ignorant girl. There can't be any
feelings between the like of you and the like of me. Please will
you tell me what belongs to me and what doesn't.
HIGGINS: (VERY SULKY) You may take the whole damned houseful if
you like. Except the jewels. They're hired. Will that satisfy you?
(HE STARTS TO GO)
ELIZA: Stop! Please.
HIGGINS TURNS. ELIZA TAKES OFF HER JEWELS.
Will you take these to your room and keep them safe?
I don't want to run the risk of their being missing.
HIGGINS: (FURIOUS) Hand them over. (SHE PUTS THEM INTO HIS
HANDS) If these belonged to me instead of the jeweller, I'd ram
them down your undgrateful throat. (HE THRUSTS THE
JEWELS INTO HIS POCKET)
ELIZA: (TAKING OFF HER RING) This ring isn't the jeweller's:
it's the one you bought me in Brighton. I don't want it now.
HIGGINS TAKES THE RING AND THROWS IT ONTO THE FLOOR. HE TURNS ON ELIZA AND SHE COWERS BACK IN FEAR.
- Don't you hit me!
HIGGINS: Hit you! It is you who have hit me. You have wounded me
to the heart.
ELIZA: (THRILLING WITH HIDDEN JOY) I'm glad! I've got a little