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Part 2


TRANSCRIBED BY Graham (hepburn@unforgettable.com)


Part 1/2

 
  Covent Garden in the evening. People are leaving the opera and heading for their taxis and cars which are pulling up outside, directed by a footman. It starts to rain torrents and all of a sudden there is a bustle as everyone rushes for shelter in the market or under the portico of St. Paul's Church whilst the street vendors in the market rush to cover their goods.

  Two of the opera-goers are Mrs. Eynsford-Hill and her son, young Freddie Eynsford-Hill. They are hurrying out of the rain to the church.

 
  MRS. EYNSFORD-HILL [impatiently] Freddie, go and find a cab.

  A young flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, is rushing for shelter also and almost walks into a barrow, pushed by its owner.

  BARROW BOY [without stopping] Sorry, lovey.
  ELIZA. Get on with it, love. [She hurries on her way].
  MRS. EYNSFORD-HILL [standing next to her son between two of the columns of the church] Don't just stand there, Freddie, go and find a cab.
  FREDDIE. Alright. I'm going, I'm going. [He opens his umbrella and heads off across the street whistling for a cab, but he collides with Eliza who is rushing in the opposite direction. She falls to the ground spilling her flowers].
  ELIZA [seeing the mess] Ah-aw-oo. Look where you're goin, dear, look where you're goin!
  FREDDIE [bending down to help pick up her flowers] I'm so sorry.
  ELIZA [picking up her scattered flowers and replacing them in the basket] Two bunches o' violets trod in the mud. A full day's wages! [Shakes her head disapprovingly at him and heads across the street towards the church].
  MRS. EYNSFORD-HILL [from across the street] Freddie! Freddie! Go find a cab.
  FREDDIE. Yes mother. [He rushes off].
  ELIZA [walks up to Freddie's mother] Oh, e's your son, is e? Well if you'd done your duty by him as a mother should, you wouldn't let him spoil a poor girl's flowers and then run away without payin'.
  MRS. EYNSFORD-HILL [looking out into the rain after Freddie] Oh, go about your business, my girl. [She walks away].
  ELIZA. And you wouldn't go on without payin' either. [Muttering to herself as she sits down on the plinth of the column] Two bunches o' violets trod in the mud.

  An elderly gentleman, Pickering, rushes in out of the rain, folding his umbrella.

  PICKERING. Geor— good heavens!
  MRS. EYNSFORD-HILL [turning to Pickering] Oh, sir, is there any sign of it stopping?
  PICKERING. I'm afraid not. It's worse than before.
  MRS. EYNSFORD-HILL. Oh dear.
  ELIZA [to Pickering; who puts his foot on the plinth of the column and stoops down to attend to his wet trouser ends] If it's worse it's a sign it's nearly over. Cheer up cap'n; buy a flower off a poor girl.
  PICKERING. I'm sorry I haven't any change.
  ELIZA. Oh, I can change half a crown. [She eagerly holds up some flowers to him] 'Ere, take this for tuppence.
  PICKERING. I told you, I'm awfully sorry I haven't—oh wait a minute [tries his pockets]. Oh, yes, here's three haypennies, if that's any use to you. [He walks away].
  ELIZA [disappointed; drying the money on her coat] Thank you, sir.
  BYSTANDER 1 [approaches from behind the column] 'Ere, you be careful: better give him a flower for it. There's a bloke 'ere, behind that pillar, takin' down ev'ry blessed word you're sayin'. [He walks off].
  ELIZA [leans around pillar curiously, then springs up terrified] I ain't done nothin' wrong by speaking to the gentleman. I've a right to sell flowers if I keep off the kerb. [Hysterically] I'm a respectable girl: so help me, I never spoke to him 'cept so far as to buy a flower off me.

  Various bystanders, roused by her outburst, are curious as to what the fuss is about and begin to gather round.

  BYSTANDER 2. What's all the bit of a noise?
  BYSTANDER 3. 'S a tec takin 'er down.
  ELIZA [some bytanders act sympathetic to Eliza who is defending herself] Well I'm makin an honest livin'!

  There are further words of: What's all that shouting? Where's it coming from?, etc.

  ELIZA [sees Pickering and turns to him for support, crying wildly] Oh, sir, don't let him charge me. He dunno what it means to me. They'll take away me character and drive me on the streets for speakin' t' gentleman!
  HIGGINS [Professor Higgins appears from around the pillar] There, there, there, there! who's hurting you, you silly girl? What do you take me for?
  ELIZA. On my Bible oath I never spoke a word—
  HIGGINS. Oh, shut up, shut up. Do I look like a policeman?
  ELIZA [suspicious at this stranger] Then what d'ya take down me words for? How do I know y' took me down right? You just show me what you wrote about me. [Higgins opens up his book and holds it steadily under her nose].
  ELIZA. Oh-ow-oo. [We see it contains strange shorthand symbols] What's that? That ain't proper writin'. I can't read it.
  HIGGINS. I can. [He reads from the book, tracing the words with his pen for her, and reproducing her pronunciation precisely] "I say, cap'n; n' baw ya flahr orf a pore gel."
  ELIZA. Oh, it's cause I called 'im cap'n. [To Pickering and much distressed] I meant no harm. Oh, sir, don't let him lay a charge against me for a word like that!
  PICKERING [calming her] Charge? I'll make no charge. [To Higgins, who has started taking down notes again] Really, sir, if you are a detective you needn't begin protecting me against molestation from young women until I ask for it. Anyone can tell the girl meant no harm.
  BYSTANDER 2. 'E ain't no tec, he's a gentleman: look at 'is boots.
  HIGGINS [without looking up at the bystander] How are all your people down at Selsey?
  BYSTANDER 2. Who told you my people come from Selsey?
  HIGGINS [smugly, continuing to take notes] Never mind; they do. [To the girl] How did you come to be so far east? [Inspecting his notes] You were born in Lisson Grove.
  ELIZA [appalled] Oooh, what 'arm is my in leavin' Lisson Grove? It weren't fit for pigs to live in; and I had to pay four-and-six. [She bursts into tears].
  HIGGINS [walking away, appalled] Oh, live where you like but stop that noise.
  PICKERING. Come, come! he can't touch you: you've a right to live where you please.
  ELIZA. I'm a good girl, I am!
  PICKERING. Yes, yes.
  BYSTANDER 2 [to Higgins] Where do I come from?
  HIGGINS. Hoxton.
  BYSTANDER 2. Well, who said I didn't? Blimey, you know ev'ryfink, you do!
  MRS. EYNSFORD-HILL [she approaches this bystander] You, sir, do you think you could find me a taxi?
  HIGGINS [looking at the sky] I don't know whether you've noticed it madam but it's stopped raining. You can get a motorbus to Hampton Court. [Turning to her directly] Well that's where you live, isn't it?
  MRS. EYNSFORD-HILL [to Higgins, who has already started walking away] What impertinence!
  BYSTANDER 1 [to Higgins] 'Ere, tell him where 'e comes from 'f ya wanna go fortune-tellin'.
  HIGGINS [thoughtfully] Cheltenham, Harrow, Cambridge, and er—[glances at his notes]—India?
  PICKERING. Quite right!
  BYSTANDER 1. Blimey. 'E ain't a tec, he's a bloomin' busy-body. That's what 'e is.
  PICKERING. If I may ask, sir, do you do this sort of thing for a living, in a music hall?
  HIGGINS. Well I have thought of it. Perhaps I will one day.
  ELIZA. He's no gentleman; he ain't interfere with a poor girl.
  PICKERING. How do you do it, may I ask?
  HIGGINS. Simple phonetics. The science of speech. That's my profession: also my hobby. Anyone can spot an Irishman or a Yorkshireman by his brogue, but I can place a man within six miles. I can place him within two miles in London. Sometimes within two streets.
  ELIZA [speaking up from her resumed position sitting on the plinth] Ought to be ashamed of himself, unmanly coward!
  PICKERING. Is there a living in that?
  HIGGINS. Oh yes. Quite a fat one.
  ELIZA. Let him mind his own business and leave a poor girl—
  HIGGINS [explosively] Woman: cease this detestable boohooing instantly; or else seek the shelter of some other place of worship.
  ELIZA [with feeble defiance] I've a right to be here if I like, same as you.
  HIGGINS. A woman who utters such disgusting and depressing noise has no right to be anywhere—no right to live. Remember that you are a human being with a soul and the divine gift of articulate speech: that your native language is the language of Shakespeare and Milton and The Bible; don't sit there crooning like a bilious pigeon.
  ELIZA [indignant] Ah-ah-aw-aw-oo-oo!
      HIGGINS.
      Look at her: a prisoner of the gutter,
      Condemned by every syllable she utters,
      By right she should be taken out and hung,
      For the cold-blooded murder of the English tongue.
  ELIZA [very indignant] Ah-ah-aw-aw-oo-oo!
  HIGGINS [whipping out his book] "Ah-ah-aw-aw-oo-oo" Heavens! what a sound!
      HIGGINS.
      This is what the British population,
      Calls an elementary education.
  PICKERING. Come, sir; I think you picked a poor example.
  HIGGINS. Did I...?
      HIGGINS.
      Hear them down in Soho Square,
      Dropping "h"s everywhere,
      Speaking English anyway they like.
      You sir: did you go to school? [sitting down beside a bystander]
      A BYSTANDER.
      What d'ya tike me faw, a fool?
      HIGGINS.
      Well, no one taught him "take" instead if "tike".
      Hear a Yorkshireman, or worse,
      Hear a Cornishman converse;
      They'd rather hear a choir singing flat.
      Chickens, cackling in a barn;
      Just like this one. [He points to Eliza].
  ELIZA [laughingly] Garn!
  HIGGINS [noting in his book] "Garn"—I ask you, sir: what sort of word is that?
      HIGGINS.
      It's "ow" and "garn" that keep her in her place,
      Not her wretched clothes and dirty face.
      Why can't the English teach their children how to speak?
      This verbal class distinction, by now, should be antique.
      If you spoke as she does, sir, instead of the way you do,
      Why you might be selling flowers too.
  PICKERING [not sure what to make of this] I beg your pardon.

  Higgins walks over to the coffee stand.

      HIGGINS.
      An Englishman's way of speaking absolutely classifies him.
      The moment he talks, he makes some other Englishman despise him.
      One common language I'm afraid we'll never get.
      Oh why can't the English learn to— [paying for his coffee]
      Set a good example to people, who's English, is painful to your ears.
      The Scotch and the Irish leave you close to tears!
      There are even places where English completely disappears, [receives his change]
      Why, in America they haven't used it for years. [The bystanders laugh].
      Why can't the English teach their children how to speak?
      Norwegians learn Norwegian; the Greeks are taught their Greek.
      In France every Frenchman knows his language from "A" to "Zed"—
      The French don't care what they do, actually, as long as they pronounce it properly. [Chuckles from the bystanders].

  Higgins sits next to Eliza on the plinth with his coffee.

      HIGGINS.
      Arabians learn Arabian with the speed of summer lightning.
      The Hebrews learn it backwards which is absolutely frightening.
      Use proper English, you're regarded as a freak.
      Oh why can't the English—
      Why can't the English learn to speak?
  HIGGINS [to a bystander; handing his cup to him] Thank you. [Turning to Pickering] You see this creature with her kerbstone English: the English that will keep her in the gutter till the end of her days. Well, sir, in six months I could pass her off as a duchess at an embassy ball. I could even get her a job as a lady's maid or a shop assistant, which requires better English.
  ELIZA [curiously] 'Ere, what's that you say?
  HIGGINS. Yes, you squashed cabbage leaf. You disgrace to the noble architecture of these columns! You incarnate insult to the English language! I could pass you off as, er, the Queen of Sheba.
  ELIZA [laughing] Ah-how-ow! [To Pickering] You don't believe that, cap'n?
  PICKERING. Anything's possible. I myself am a student of Indian dialects.
  HIGGINS [eagerly] Are you? Do you know Colonel Pickering, the author of Spoken Sanscrit?
  PICKERING. I am Colonel Pickering. Who are you?
  HIGGINS I'm Henry Higgins, author of Higgins's Universal Alphabet.
  PICKERING [with enthusiasm] I came from India to meet you.
  HIGGINS. I was going to India to meet you!
  PICKERING [shaking Higgins's hand] Higgins!
  HIGGINS. Pickering! [They both laugh]. Pickering, where are you staying?
  PICKERING. At the Carlton.
  HIGGINS. No you're not: you're staying at 27A Wimpole Street! You come along with me; we'll have a little jaw over supper.
  PICKERING. Right you are. [They turn and walk away].
  HIGGINS. Indian dialects have always fascinated me.
  ELIZA [Eliza stands and approaches them, presenting a flower eagerly to Higgins] Buy a flower, kind sir. I'm short for me lodging.
  HIGGINS [stopping to answer her] Liar. You said you could change half-a-crown.
  ELIZA [shouting to Higgins as they walk away] You ought to be stuffed with nails, you ought! Here, take the 'ole bloomin' basket for sixpence! [She kicks the basket at Higgins].

  The church clock strikes. The street is now largely empty, except for some vendors finishing up in the market.

  HIGGINS [Hearing the church bell he turns and raises his hat solemnly] A reminder. [He then drops a handful of money into the basket and continues on with Pickering].
  HIGGINS. How many are there actually?
  PICKERING. How many what?
  HIGGINS. Er, Indian dialects.
  PICKERING. No fewer than a hundred and fourty seven distinct languages are recorded as vernacular. [They disappear down the street].
  ELIZA [picking up the coins] Aaah-ow-ooh! [Counting them in her hand] Aaaaaah-ow-oh!! [Eliza turns to watch Higgins as he walks away, confused by his apparent change in personality].
  COCKNEY 1. Shouldn't we stand up, gentleman: we've got a bloomin' heiress in our midst.
  COCKNEY 2. Would you be lookin' for a good butler Eliza?
  ELIZA. Well you won't do. [The vendors laugh].
      COCKNEY 3.
      It's rather dull in town,
      I think I'll take me to Paree.
      COCKNEY 1.
      The missus wants to open up the castle in Capri.
      COCKNEY 2.
      Me doctor recommends a quiet summer by the sea.
      CHORUS.
      Mmmm-mmm.
      Mmmm-mmm.
      Wouldn't it be loverly?
  COCKNEY 1. Where're y' bound for this year, Eliza: Biarritz?
      ELIZA.
      All I want is a room somewhere;
      Far away from the cold night air.
      With one enormous chair;
      Oh wouldn't it be loverly?
      Lots of choc'late for me to eat;
      Lots of coal makin' lots of heat;
      Warm face, warm 'ands, warm feet,
      Oh wouldn't it be loverly?
      Oh, so loverly sittin' abso-bloomin'-lutely still!
      I would never budge 'til Spring crep over me winder sill.
      Someone's head restin' on my knee;
      Warm and tender as he can be,
      Who takes good care of me;
      Oh wouldn't it be loverly?
      Loverly, loverly, loverly, loverly.
      CHORUS.
      All I want is a room somewhere;
      Far away from the cold night air.
      With one enormous chair;
      ELIZA.
      Oh wouldn't it be loverly?
      Lots of choc'late for me to eat;
      Lots of coal makin' lots of heat;
      Warm face, warm 'ands, warm feet,
      Oh wouldn't it be loverly?
      Oh, so loverly sittin' abso-bloomin'-lutely still!
      I would never budge 'till Spring crep over me winder sill.
      CHORUS.
      Someone's head restin' on my knee;
      Warm and tender as he can be,
      ELIZA.
      Who takes good care of me;
      Oh wouldn't it be loverly?
      CHORUS.
      Loverly,
      ELIZA.
      Loverly,
      CHORUS.
      Loverly.
      ELIZA.
      Oh wouldn't it be loverly?
      CHORUS.
      Loverly,
      ELIZA.
      Loverly,
      CHORUS.
      Loverly.
      Wouldn't it be loverly?

  The vendors wave goodbye to Eliza as she is carried away on a horse-drawn cart.

 

  Covent Garden the next day just before 5.00 a.m. It is deserted except for three scruffy-looking gentlemen milling around by the columns of the church. These are Eliza's father, Alfred P. Doolittle, and his two friends: Jamie and Harry.

 
  JAMIE. Come on Alfie, let's go home now; this place is givin' me the willies.
  DOOLITTLE. Home! What d'ya wanna go home for? It nearly five o'clock: my daughter Eliza'll be along soon. She oughtta be good for half-a-crown for her father what loves 'er!
  HARRY. Loves 'er? That's a laugh! You ain't bin near 'er for months.
  DOOLITTLE. What's that got to do with it? What's half-a-crown after all I've give her?
  JAMIE. When did you ever give her anythink?
  DOOLITTLE. Anythin'? I give 'er everythin'; I give 'er the greatest gift a human being can give to another: life! I introduced 'er to this 'ere planet I did, with all its wonders and marvels. The sun that shines; the moon that glows; Hyde Park to walk through on a fine spring night. The whole ruddy city o' London to roam around in, sellin' 'er blimmin flowers. I give 'er all that; then I disappears and leaves 'er on 'er own to enjoy it. Now, if that ain't worth half-a-crown now and then, I'll take my belt orf and give 'er what for!
  JAMIE. You've got a good 'art Alfie, but you want half-a-crown out of Eliza you better have a good story to go with it.
  DOOLITTLE [eyeing someone propped up on a cart, asleep] Leave that to me my boy. [Cheerily; to the person on the cart] Good mornin', George.
  GEORGE [without opening his eyes] Not a brass farthing.
  DOOLITTLE [unphased, he winks to his friends who follow him over to the nearby pub where the barman is cleaning the windows on the inside] Good mornin', Algernon.
  BARTENDER [harshly; slamming the pub door] No brass farthing!

  The men turn to watch people—pedestrians, and various people carrying or carting goods—filling the Square. Soon all is a bustle of activity in the market as the working day begins.

  DOOLITTLE [eyeing the crowd, he spots someone] There she is. [He walks to her and taps her on the shoulder] Why, Eliza: what a surprise!
  COCKNEY WOMAN [she turns around; laughing] Hop along, Charlie; you're too old for me!
  HARRY. Don't know your own daughter, Alfie?
  JAMIE. How you gonna find 'er if you don't know what she looks like?
  DOOLITTLE. I know 'er, I know 'er! Come on, I'll find 'er.

  They make their way over to the flower sellers. He sees Eliza, who is hunched over her basket, sorting through some flowers.

  DOOLITTLE [in his most genial voice] Eliza, what a surprise!
  ELIZA [without looking up from her work] Not a brass farthing.
  DOOLITTLE [harshly; pulling her up by the arm] Hey! 'Ere— you come 'ere, Eliza!
  ELIZA. Oi! [Shakes herself free] Y'ain't gonna take me 'ard-earned wages and pass 'em on to a bloody pub-keeper! [She walks away].
  DOOLITTLE [flabbergasted] Cor. [He regathers himself and winks to his friends to follow him. He approaches Eliza again and sits down beside her as she busies herself with her flowers]. Eliza: you wouldn't 'ave the 'art to send me home to your stepmother without a drop o' liquid protection, now, would ya?
  ELIZA [without looking up] Stepmother indeed.
  DOOLITTLE. Well, I'm willin' to marry 'er. It's me that suffers by it. I'm a slave to that woman Eliza; just because I ain't 'er "lawful husband". [He puts his arm around her] Ah, come on; slip your old dad just half-a-crown to go home on.
  ELIZA. Well, I had a bit o' luck meself last night, so 'ere. [She gives him a coin]. But don't keep coming around counting half crowns from me!
  DOOLITTLE. [to her back as she leaves] Thank you, Eliza; you're a noble daughter. [He tries to stand on his feet but it takes his friends' help to pull him up] Beer, beer, g l o r i o u s beer. Fill yourself right up!

  Eliza walks over by a group of workers sitting around in a circle, shelling peas. She playfully steals some out of someone's basket. As she eats, Eliza hears the church bells—"a reminder":

  "You see this creature with her kerbstone English: the English that'll keep her in the gutter till the end of her days ... in six months I could pass her off as a duchess at an Embassy ball ... I could even get her a job as a lady's maid, or a shop assistant, which requires better English ..."

  She walks over to the pillars of the church.

  "You disgrace to the noble architecture of these columns!"

  She sits down on the plinth of the column.

  "I could even get her a job as a lady's maid, or a shop assistant, which requires better English."

  Eliza stands up by the pillar, thoughtfully.

 

  Later that morning at Higgins's study in Wimpole Street. The study is on the ground floor of the house and has a stairwell leading up to a top encircling level containing the library.

  Higgins and Pickering are studying sounds. Pickering is seated next to a desk covered in phonetics apparatus and, on his other side, a chart, containing strange symbols. On a small table opposite him is a phonograph and a rack full of many tuning forks of different sizes.

  Higgins takes a tuning fork from the rack and makes it resound by striking it on the desk. He runs through different sounds to the pitch of the tuning fork while Pickering takes notes.

 
  HIGGINS. Aaaa-eeee-eeuu-aaaa. Now how many vowel sounds do you think you've heard altogether?
  PICKERING [looking at his notes] I believe I counted twenty-four.
  HIGGINS. Wrong by a hundred.
  PICKERING. What?
  HIGGINS. To be exact you heard a hundred and thirty. Now listen to them one at a time. [He rolls up the chart hanging from the mechanism revealing another behind it].
  PICKERING. Must I? I'm really quite done up for one morning.

  Higgins turns on the phonograph. It emits similar sounds as what Higgins just pronounced only more slowly. They both listen intently: Higgins pointing to the chart while Pickering compares his notes.

  Whilst they continue, outside in the hall the butler answers the door. It is Eliza.

  BUTLER. Your name, please? [Eliza, unfamiliar with this procedure simply looks at him] Your name, miss?
  ELIZA. My name is of no concern to you whatsoever. [She walks through past the butler, oblivious to protocol].
  BUTLER [quickly overtaking her in the hall before she goes any further] One moment please. [He leaves].

  A maid is cleaning nearby and stops, staring at Eliza.

  ELIZA [seeing that it is her dirty face the maid is staring at she walks over to a nearby mirror, wiping her face] Oh, London is gettin' so dirty these days. [In the reflection she notices Mrs. Pearce behind her].
  MRS. PEARCE. I'm Mrs Pearce, the housekeeper. Can I help you?
  ELIZA. Oh good morning, missus. I'd like to see the professor, please.
  MRS. PEARCE. Could you tell me what it's about?
  ELIZA. It's business of a personal nature.
  MRS. PEARCE. Oh. One moment please.

  Mrs. Pearce enters the study nearby. Eliza can hear the strange sounds from the phonograph and listens curiously outside.

  MRS. PEARCE. Mr Higgins.
  HIGGINS [looking up from the chart he and Pickering are studying] What is it Mrs Pearce?
  MRS. PEARCE [speaking over the noise of the phonograph] There's a young woman who wants to see you, sir.
  HIGGINS. A young woman! [He reaches over and turns off the phonograph] What does she want?
  MRS. PEARCE. Well, she's quite a common girl, sir. Very common indeed. I should have sent her away only I thought perhaps you wanted her to talk into your machines.
  HIGGINS. Has she an interesting accent?
  MRS. PEARCE. Simply ghastly, Mr Higgins.
  HIGGINS. Good. Let's have her in. Show her in, Mrs. Pearce.
  MRS. PEARCE [only half resigned to it] Very well, sir. It's for you to say.
  HIGGINS. You know, this is rather a bit of luck. I'll show you how I make records. We'll set her talking; and then I'll take her down [points to the chart] first in Bell's Visible Speech, then in broad Romic; [walking over to his main desk at the other side of the room] and then we'll get her on the phonograph so that you can turn her on whenever you want with the written transcript before you. [He switches on the other phonograph on his desk to record].
  MRS. PEARCE [entering with Eliza behind her] This is the young woman, sir.
  ELIZA. Good mornin' my good man. Might I have the pleasure of a word with your—
  HIGGINS [brusquely, recognizing her with unconcealed disappointment] Oh no, no, no. This is the girl I jotted down last night. She's no use: I've got all the records I want of the Lisson Grove lingo; I'm not going to waste another cylinder on that. [To Eliza, without looking at her; walking over to the other side of the room] Now be off with you, I don't want you. [He starts putting away the phonograph].
  ELIZA. Don't you be so saucy. You ain't heard what I come for yet. [To Mrs. Pearce] Did you tell him I come in a taxi?
  MRS. PEARCE. Nonsense, girl! What do you think a gentleman like Mr. Higgins cares what you came in?
  ELIZA. Oh, we are proud! Well he ain't above givin' lessons, not him: I heard him say so. Well, I ain't come here to ask for any compliment; and if my money's not good enough I can go elsewhere.
  HIGGINS. Good enough for what?
  ELIZA. Good enough for ye-oo. Now you know, don't you? I'm come to have lessons, I am. And to pay for 'em too: make no mistake.
  HIGGINS W e l l ! And what do you expect me to say?
  ELIZA. Well, if you was a gentleman, you might ask me to sit down, I think. Don't I tell you I'm bringing you business?
  HIGGINS. Pickering: shall we ask this baggage to sit down or shall we just throw her out of the window?
  ELIZA Ah-ah-ah-ow-ow-ow-oo! [Wounded and whimpering] I won't be called a baggage; not when I've offered to pay like any lady.
  PICKERING [gently] What do you want, my girl?
  ELIZA. I want to be a lady in a flower shop 'stead of sellin' at the corner o' Tottenham Court Road. But they won't take me unless I can talk more genteel. He said he could teach me. Well, here I am ready to pay him—not asking any favour—and he treats me as if I was dirt. [Turning to Higgins] I know what lessons cost as well as you do; and I'm ready to pay.
  HIGGINS. How much?
  ELIZA [coming back to him, triumphant] Now you're talking! I thought you'd come off it when you saw a chance of getting back a bit of what you chucked at me last night. [Confidentially] You'd had a drop in, hadn't you, eh?
  HIGGINS [peremptorily] Sit down.
  ELIZA. Oh, well, if you're going to make a compliment of it?
  HIGGINS [thundering at her] Sit down!
  MRS. PEARCE [severely] Sit down, girl. Do as you're told. [She points to a chair, and stands behind it waiting for her to sit down].
  ELIZA. Ah-ah-ah-ow-ow-oo! [She stands, half rebellious, half bewildered].
  PICKERING. What's your name?
  ELIZA. Eliza Doolittle.
  PICKERING [very courteous] Won't you sit down, Miss Doolittle?
  ELIZA [coyly] Oh. I don't mind if I do. [She sits].
  HIGGINS. Now [he motions to Pickering that the phonograph is recording and sits down at his desk with his notebook ready], how much do you propose to pay me for these lessons?
  ELIZA Oh, I know what's right. A lady friend of mine gets French lessons for eighteenpence an hour from a real French gentleman. Well, you wouldn't have the face to ask the same for teachin' me my own language as you would for French; so I won't give more than a shillin'. Take it or leave it.
  HIGGINS [he pauses; then rises thoughtfully] You know, Pickering, if you consider a shilling, not as a simple shilling, but as a percentage of this girl's income, it works out as fully equivalent of erm... sixty or seventy pounds for a millionaire. By George, it's enormous! it's the biggest offer I ever had.
  ELIZA [rising, terrified] Sixty pounds! What are you talking about? Where would I get sixty pounds? I never offered you sixty pounds.
  HIGGINS. Hold your tongue.
  ELIZA [weeping] But I ain't got sixty pounds. Oh-ho—
  MRS. PEARCE. Oh don't cry, you silly girl. Sit down. Nobody is going to touch your money.
  HIGGINS. Somebody is going to touch you, with a broomstick, if you don't stop snivelling. [Sharply] Sit down.
  ELIZA [sitting down] Anyone would think you was my father.
  HIGGINS. If I decide to teach you, I'll be worse than two fathers to you. Oh, here [he offers her his silk handkerchief].
  ELIZA. What's this for?
  HIGGINS. To wipe your eyes. To wipe any part of your face that feels moist. And remember: that's your handkerchief; and that's your sleeve; and don't confuse the one with the other if you wish to become a lady in a shop.
  MRS. PEARCE. It's no use to talk to her like that, Mr. Higgins: she doesn't understand you [she takes the handkerchief off Eliza].
  ELIZA [snatching it] Here, give that handkerchief to me! He give it to me, not to you.
  PICKERING. Higgins: I'm interested. What about your boast that you could pass her off as a duchess at the Embassy Ball, eh? I'll say you're the greatest teacher alive if you make that good. I'll bet you all the expenses of the experiment that you can't do it. I'll even pay for the lessons.
  ELIZA. Oh you're real good. Thank you, cap'n.
  HIGGINS [tempted, looking at her] You know: it's almost irresistible. She's so deliciously low. So horribly dirty.
  ELIZA [protesting extremely] I ain't dirty: I washed my face and hands before I come, I did.
  HIGGINS. I'll take it! I'll make a duchess of this draggle-tailed guttersnipe.
  ELIZA [strongly deprecating this view of her] Ah-ah-ah-ow-ow-oo!
  HIGGINS [carried away] We'll start today: now! this moment! Take her away, Mrs. Pearce, and clean her. Sandpaper, if it won't come off any other way. Is there a good fire in the kitchen?
  MRS. PEARCE [protesting] Yes, but—
  HIGGINS [storming on] Take all her clothes off and burn them and ring up and order new ones. Just wrap her in brown paper till they come.
  ELIZA. You're no gentleman, you're not, to talk of such things. I'm a good girl, I am; and I know what the likes of you are, I do.
  HIGGINS. We want none of your slum prudery here, young woman. You've got to learn to behave like a duchess. Now take her away, Mrs. Pearce, and if she gives you any trouble wallop her.
  ELIZA [springing up and running behind Mrs. Pearce for protection] I'll call the police, I will!
  MRS. PEARCE. But I've no place to put her.
  HIGGINS. Well put her in the dustbin.
  ELIZA. Ah-ah-ah-ow-ow-oo!
  PICKERING. Come, Higgins! be reasonable.
  MRS. PEARCE [resolutely] You must be reasonable, Mr. Higgins; really you must. You can't walk over everybody like this.
  HIGGINS [with complete innocence] I walk over everybody! My dear Mrs. Pearce, my dear Pickering, I'd no intention of walking over anybody. I merely suggested that we should be kind to this poor girl. I didn't express myself clearly because I didn't wish to hurt her delicacy, or yours.
  MRS. PEARCE. But sir, you can't take a girl up like that as if you were picking up a pebble on the beach.
  HIGGINS. Why not?
  MRS. PEARCE. Why not! But you don't know anything about her. What about her parents? She may be married.
  ELIZA. Garn!
  HIGGINS. There! As the girl very properly says, "Garn!"
  ELIZA. Who'd marry me?
  HIGGINS [turning on his most impressive elocutionary style] By George, Eliza, the streets will be strewn with the bodies of men shooting themselves for your sake before I've done with you.
  ELIZA [rising] 'Ere, I'm goin'. He's off his chump, he is. I don't want no balmies teaching me.
  HIGGINS. Oh mad, am I? All right, Mrs. Pearce: don't ring up and order those new clothes. [Deftly retrieving the handkerchief from Eliza on her way to the door] Throw her out.
  MRS. PEARCE. Stop, Mr Higgins. I won't allow it. Go home to your parents, girl.
  ELIZA. I ain't got no parents.
  HIGGINS [impatiently] Well, there you are, she ain't got no parents. What's all the fuss about? Nobody wants her—she's no use to anybody but me—so take her upstairs.
  MRS. PEARCE. But what's to become of her? Is she to be paid anything? Oh do be sensible, sir.
  HIGGINS What would she do with money? She'll have her food and her clothes. She'll only drink if you give her money.
  ELIZA. Oh you are a brute. It's a lie: nobody ever saw the sign of liquor on me. [To Pickering] Oh sir, you're a gentleman: don't let him speak to me like that.
  PICKERING. Does it occur to you, Higgins, the girl has some feelings?
  HIGGINS. Oh no, I don't think so. No feelings that we should worry about. [Turning to face her] Well have you, Eliza?
  ELIZA. I got me feelings same as anyone else.
  MRS. PEARCE. Mr. Higgins: I must know on what terms the girl is to be here. What is to become of her when you've finished your teaching? You must look ahead a little, sir.
  HIGGINS. What's to become of her if we leave her in the gutter? Answer me that, Mrs. Pearce.
  MRS. PEARCE. That's her own business, not yours, Mr. Higgins.
  HIGGINS. When I've done with her, we'll throw her back in the gutter; and then it will be her own business again; that'll be alright won't it?
  ELIZA. You've no feeling heart in you: you don't care for nothing but yourself. Here! I've had enough of this. I'm going, I am [making for the door]. You ought to be ashamed of yourself, you ought.
  HIGGINS [snatching a tray from the piano, holding them up to her] Have some chocolates, Eliza.
  ELIZA [halfway through the door she turns, tempted] How do I know what might be in them? I've heard of girls being drugged by the like of you.

  Higgins takes a chocolate and breaks it in two.

  HIGGINS Pledge of good faith. I'll take one half [he pops half in his mouth: and you take the other. [Eliza opens her mouth to retort but he pops the half chocolate into it]. There are boxes of them, barrels of them, every day. You'll live on them, eh?
  ELIZA [finishes chewing] I wouldn't have ate it, only I'm too ladylike to take it out of my mouth.
  HIGGINS. Think of it, Eliza. Think of chocolates [takes her hand and heads for the stairs in the hallway], and taxis, and gold, and diamonds!
  ELIZA [pulling free of him] Ah-ah-ah-ow-ow! I don't want no gold and no diamonds. I'm a good girl, I am.
  PICKERING. Higgins: I really must interfere. Mrs. Pearce is quite right. If this girl is going to put herself in your hands for six months for an experiment in teaching, she must understand thoroughly what she's doing.
  HIGGINS [acknowledging, thoughtfully] Hmmm. [He turns to her] Eliza: you are to stay here for the next six months learning how to speak beautifully, like a lady in a florist shop. If you're good and do whatever you are told, you shall sleep in a proper bedroom, have lots to eat, and money to buy chocolates and take rides in taxis. But if you are naughty and idle you shall sleep in the back kitchen amongst the black beetles, and be walloped by Mrs. Pearce with a broomstick. At the end of six months you shall be taken to Buckingham Palace in a carriage, beautifully dressed. If the King finds out that you are not a lady, the police will take you to the Tower of London, where your head will be cut off as a warning to other presumptuous flower girls [Eliza looks up at him terrified]. But if you are not found out, you shall have a present of seven-and-six to start life with as a lady in a shop. If you refuse this offer you will be a most ungrateful wicked girl; and the angels will weep for you. [Seeing by Eliza's reaction that she has understood every word he turns to Pickering, his former tone instantly changed to one of good humour] Now are you satisfied, Pickering?
  PICKERING. I don't understand a word you're talking about.
  HIGGINS [To Mrs. Pearce] Well, could I put it more plainly or fairly, Mrs. Pearce?
  MRS. PEARCE [half-resigned to it she follows his instruction] Come with me, Eliza.
  HIGGINS. That's right, Mrs. Pearce. Bundle her off to the bathroom.
  ELIZA [led by Mrs. Pearce up the stairs] You're a great bully, you are. I won't stay here if I don't like and I won't let nobody wallop me.
  MRS. PEARCE. Don't answer back, girl.
  ELIZA. If I'd known what I would've let myself in for I wouldn't come here. I've always been a good girl, I have, and I won't be put upon. [They disappear up the stairs].
  HIGGINS [to Pickering, on their way back to the study] In six months—in three if she has a good ear and a quick tongue—I'll take her anywhere and I'll pass her off as anything. I'll make a queen of that barbarous wretch.

  A maid runs a bath in the bathroom adjoining Eliza's new bedroom. Mrs. Pearce and Eliza are making their way up the stairs.

  ELIZA. I've never had a bath in me life; not what you'd call a proper one.
  MRS. PEARCE. You know, you can't be a nice girl inside if you're dirty outside. I'll have to put you in here. This will be your bedroom.
  ELIZA [looks about the room in awe] Oh, couldn't sleep here missus; it's too good for the likes of me. I shall be afraid to touch anything. I ain't a duchess yet, you know. [She sees the room a maid is leaving and notices a tub inside, full of water, with steam pouring from it] Oooh! what's this? This where you wash clothes?
  MRS. PEARCE [rolling up her sleeves] This is where we wash ourselves Eliza; and where I'm going to wash you.
  ELIZA. You expect me to get into that and wet meself all over? Not me! [Two maids enter the room followed by Mrs. Pearce who shuts the door emphatically behind her. Eliza sees with unbelief what is going to happen]. I shall catch me death.
  MRS. PEARCE. Come along now; come along; take your clothes off. [Seeing no reaction from Eliza] Come on girl, do as you're told: take your clothes off. [Realising that Eliza clearly isn't interested] Here, come on, girls...
  ELIZA [shrieking as they proceed to clutch at her clothing] Ah-ah-ah-ow-ow! Get your hands off me! No! I won't! Let go of me! I'm a good girl I am! It ain't right! It ain't decent! I'm a good girl I am!

  Higgins is looking at a book in the library overlooking the floor of the study from where he can hear the commotion in the bathroom. Curiously, he opens the door which connects to the second floor hallway and sees the two maids carrying off Eliza's things. He then returns to his work in the study.

  PICKERING [looking up to Higgins above] Higgins, forgive the bluntness, but if I'm to be in this business I shall feel responsible for the girl. I hope it's clearly understood that no advantage is to be taken of her position.
  HIGGINS. What! That thing? Sacred, I assure you.
  PICKERING. Come now, Higgins, you know what I mean. This is no trifling matter. Are you a man of good character where women are concerned?
  HIGGINS [moodily] Have you ever met a man of good character where women are concerned?
  PICKERING. Yes, very frequently.
  HIGGINS. Well, I haven't. I find that the moment I let any woman make friends with me, she becomes jealous, exacting, suspicious, and a damned nuisance. And I find that the moment that I make friends with a woman, I become selfish and tyrannical. So here I am, a confirmed old bachelor, and likely to remain so.
      HIGGINS.
      Well after all, Pickering,
      I'm an ordinary man,
      who desires nothing more than just an ordinary chance,
      to live exactly as he likes, and do precisely what he wants...
      An average man am I, of no eccentric whim,
      Who likes to live his life, free of strife,
      doing whatever he thinks is best for him,
      Well... just an ordinary man...
      BUT, let a woman in your life
      and your serenity is through,
      she'll redecorate your home,
      from the cellar to the dome,
      and then go to the enthralling fun of overhauling you...
      Let a woman in your life,
      and you're up against a wall,
      make a plan and you will find,
      she has something else in mind,
      and so rather than do either you do something else that neither likes at all.
      You want to talk of Keats or Milton, she only wants to talk of love,
      You go to see a play or ballet, and spend it searching for her glove,
      Let a woman in your life and you invite eternal strife,
      Let them buy their wedding bands for those anxious little hands...
      I'd be equally as willing for a dentist to be drilling than to ever let
      a woman in my life.
      I'm a very gentle man,
      even-tempered and good-natured whom you never hear complain,
      Who has the milk of human kindness by the quart in every vein,
      A patient man am I, down to my fingertips,
      The sort who never could, ever would, let an insulting remark escape his lips.
      A very gentle man.
      BUT, let a woman in your life, and patience hasn't got a chance.
      She will beg you for advice,
      your reply will be concise, and she'll listen very nicely,
      and go out and do precisely what she wants!
      You are a man of grace and polish who never spoke above a hush,
      now all at once you're using language that would a sailor blush,
      Let a woman in your life, and you're plunging in a knife,
      Let the others of my sex, tie the knot around their necks,
      I'd prefer a new edition of the Spanish Inquisition than to ever let a
      woman in my life.
      I'm a quiet living man,
      who prefers to spend the evenings in the silence of his room,
      who likes an atmosphere as restful as an undiscovered tomb,
      A pensive man am I, of philosophic joys,
      who likes to meditate, comtemplate, free from humanity's mad inhuman noise,
      A quiet living man.
      BUT, let a woman in your life, and your sabbatical is through,
      in a line that never ends come an army of her friends,
      come to jabber, and to chatter, and to tell her what the matter is with YOU!
      She'll have a booming boisterous family,
      who will descend on you en mass,
      She'll have a large wagnerian mother, with a voice that shatters glass.
      Let a woman in your life, let a woman in your life,
      I shall never let a woman in my life.
 

  Covent Garden a little later and Doolittle and his friends are being thrown out of the pub. The other patrons, amused by this, look on from the inside.

 
  BARTENDER [as he throws the two out the pub] Get out of here! [The two land on their backsides in front of the door. To Doolittle, who he shows out] Come on Doolittle, and remember: better to be paid for or not drunk. [Snatches the pint that Alfred is holding in his hand].
  DOOLITTLE. Ha-ha! Thanks for your hospitality George. Send the bill to Buckingham Palace [the patrons laugh. To his friends] Come on.
  JAMIE. Eh Alfie, there's nothin' else to do. I guess it's back to work.
  DOOLITTLE. What! Don't you dare mention that word in my presence again. Look at all these poor blighters down here [he points to some workers digging a drain]. I used to do that sort of thing once, just for exercise. Not worth it: takes up your whole day. Ah don't worry boys, we'll get out of this somehow.
  HARRY. How do you think you're going to do that, Alfie?
  DOOLITTLE. Same as always: faith, hope, and a little bit o' luck.
      DOOLITTLE.
      The Lord above gave man an arm of iron,
      So he could do his job and never shirk.
      The Lord above gave man an arm of iron but
      With a little bit o' luck,
      With a little bit o' luck,
      Someone else'll do the blinkin' work!
      THE THREE.
      With a little bit...with a little bit...
      With a little bit o' luck you'll never work.
      DOOLITTLE.
      The Lord above made liquor for temptation,
      To see if man could turn away from sin.
      The Lord above made liquor for temptation but
      With a little bit o' luck
      With a little bit o' luck,
      When temptation comes you'll give right in!
      THE THREE.
      With a little bit...with a little bit...
      With a little bit o' luck you'll give right in.
      DOOLITTLE.
      Oh you can walk the straight and narrow
      But with a little bit o' luck you'll run amuck.
      The gentle sex was made for man to marry,
      To share his nest and see his food is cooked.
      The gentle sex was made for man to marry but
      With a little bit o' luck,
      With a little bit o' luck,
      You can it have it all and not get hooked!
      THE THREE.
      With a little bit...with a little bit...
      With a little bit o' luck you won't get hooked.
      With a little bit...with a little bit...
      With a little bit o' bloomin' luck.
      DOOLITTLE.
      They're always throwin goodness at you,
      But with a little bit o' luck a man can duck.
      The Lord above made man to help his neighbour,
      No matter where: on land or sea or foam.
      The Lord above made man to help his neighbour but
      With a little bit o' luck,
      With a little bit o' luck,
      When he comes around you won't be home!
      JAMIE & HARRY [as Alfred marches with a line of suffragettes passing by]
      With a little bit...with a little bit...
      With a little bit o' luck you won't get home.
      With a little bit...with a little bit...
      With a little bit o' bloomin' luck.

  As Alfred finishes, there are cheers and shouts from the crowd: You'll make a good suffragette, etc.

  An old cockney woman calls to Doolittle as he walks past.

  OLD COCKNEY WOMAN [calling out from her basement-level window] Ah! Why here's the lucky man now: the honourable Alfie Doolittle.
  DOOLITTLE [he stoops down to talk to her] What are you doin' in Eliza's house?
  OLD COCKNEY WOMAN. Her former residence—ha! You can buy your own things now, Alfie Doolittle: fallen into a tub of money, you have.
  DOOLITTLE. What are you talkin' about?
  OLD COCKNEY WOMAN. Your daughter, Eliza. Oh you're lucky man, Alfie Doolittle.
  DOOLITTLE. Well, what about Eliza?
  OLD COCKNEY WOMAN [to various bystanders listening with interest] Ah! He don't know. Her own father and he don't know [the bystanders laugh] Moved in with a swell, Eliza has. Left here in a taxi all by herself smart as paint and ain't been home for three days.
  DOOLITTLE. Go on.
  OLD COCKNEY WOMAN. Then this morning I gets a message from her: she wants her things sent over to 27A Wimpole Street, care of Professor Higgins [laughs]. And what things does she want? Her birdcage, and a Chinese fan. But, she says [mysteriously]: "never mind about sending any clothes". [She and the bystanders, laugh].
  DOOLITTLE [laughing] I knew she had a career in front of her. Harry-boy: we're in for a booze-up. The sun is shining on Alfred P. Doolittle!
      DOOLITTLE.
      A man was made to help support his children,
      Which is the right and proper thing to do.
      A man was made to help support his children but
      With a little bit o' luck,
      With a little bit o' luck,
      They'll go out and start supporting you!
      THE THREE.
      With a little bit...with a little bit...
      With a little bit o' luck they'll work for you.
      With a little bit...with a little bit...
      With a little bit o' bloomin' luck.
      DOOLITTLE.
      Oh it's a crime for man to go philanderin',
      And fill his wife's poor heart with grief and doubt.
      Oh it's a crime for man to go philanderin' but
      With a little bit o' luck,
      With a little bit o' luck,
      You can see the bloodhound don't find out!
      THE THREE.
      With a little bit...with a little bit...
      With a little bit o' luck she won't find out.
      With a little bit...with a little bit...
      With a little bit o' bloomin' luck,
      With a little bit o' bloomin' luck.
 

  Later on that day at Higgins's house. Higgins is in the hallway carrying some books to the study and is intercepted by Mrs. Pearce.

 
  MRS. PEARCE. The mail, sir.
  HIGGINS [absently] Oh, pay the bills and say no to the invitations.

  Higgins walks to the door of his study but stops and looks in on Eliza instead, whom Higgins has put to work on some pronunciation exercises in the adjacent laboratory. She is connected to a machine via a cable which runs from her diaphragm to an apparatus that is drawing a graph on a sheet of paper wrapped around a rotating drum.

  ELIZA [slowly and weakly, she pronounces her "a"s—apparently she has been doing this for some time] Aaaaaaaa... Aaaaaaaa... Aaaaaaaa... [She stops as Higgins walks in].

  As Higgins inspects the output of the machine on the paper, Eliza sneezes into a handkerchief. Higgins replaces the paper on the apparatus and motions to her to continue.

  ELIZA [feebly continuing] Aaaaaaaa... [Higgins leaves and after shutting the door behind himself she adds, with angry defiance] A a a a a a a a ! ! !

  Higgins enters the study. Mrs. Pearce is waiting for him, while Pickering is sat down reading a newspaper.

  MRS. PEARCE [to Higgins, as he proudly presents the read-out from the machine to Pickering] You simply cannot go on working the girl this way: making her say her alphabet over and over, from sun up to sundown, even during meals. You'll exhaust yourself. When will it stop?
  HIGGINS. When she does it properly, of course. Is that all, Mrs Pearce?
  MRS. PEARCE. There's another letter from that American millionnaire, Ezra D. Wallingford. He still wants you to lecture for his Moral Reform League.
  HIGGINS. Yes, well throw it away.
  MRS. PEARCE [as he walks up the stairwell to the library] Oh it's the third letter he's written you, sir; you should at least answer it.
  HIGGINS. Oh alright; leave it in the desk, Mrs Pearce. I'll try and get to it.

  Mrs. Pearce leaves the study and the butler enters.

  BUTLER [to Higgins, who is busy with some books upstairs] If you please, sir, there's a dustman downstairs, Alfred P. Doolittle, who wants to see you. He says you have his daughter here.
  PICKERING [rising] Phew! I say!
  HIGGINS [promptly] Well, send the blackguard up.
  PICKERING. He may not be a blackguard, Higgins.
  HIGGINS. Oh nonsense: of course he's a blackguard, Pickering.
  PICKERING. Whether he is or not, I'm afraid we'll have some trouble with him.
  HIGGINS [confidently] No: I think not. Any trouble to be had he'll have it with me, not I with him.
  BUTLER [at the door] Doolittle, sir. [He admits Doolittle and leaves].

  Alfred Doolittle enters, still dressed in his scruffy dustman's clothes.

  DOOLITTLE [approaches Pickering] Professor Higgins.
  HIGGINS [calling out from above] Here!
  DOOLITTLE. Where? [Looks up] Oh. Good mornin', Guvnor. I come about a very serious matter, Guvnor.
  HIGGINS. Brought up in Houndslow; mother Welsh, I should think. What do you want, Doolittle?
  DOOLITTLE. I want my daughter: that's what I want. See?
  HIGGINS. Well of course you do. You're her father, aren't you? I'm glad to see you have some spark of family feeling left. She's in there; yes, take her away at once.
  DOOLITTLE [taken aback] What!
  HIGGINS. Take her away. You think I'm going to keep your daughter for you?
  DOOLITTLE. Now, now, is this reasonable, Guvnor? Is it fairity to take advantage of a man like this? The girl belongs to me. You got her: where do I come in?
  HIGGINS. How dare you come here and attempt to blackmail me? You sent her here on purpose.
  DOOLITTLE. No, no, don't take a man up like that, Guvnor.
  HIGGINS [making his way down the stairs] The police shall take you up. This is a plant, a plot to extort money by threats. I shall telephone the police [he goes resolutely to the telephone and opens the directory].
  DOOLITTLE. Have I asked you for a brass farthing? I leave it to this gentleman here: [to Pickering] have I said a word about money?
  HIGGINS. Well what else did you come for?
  DOOLITTLE. Well, what would a bloke come for? Be human, Guvnor [he laughs hoarsely into Higgins's face].
  HIGGINS [wipes his face with his handkerchief] Alfred: you sent her here on purpose!
  DOOLITTLE. So help me, Guvnor, I never did.
  HIGGINS. Then how did you know she was here?
  DOOLITTLE. I'll tell you, Guvnor, if you'll only let me get a word in. I'm willing to tell you. I'm wanting to tell you. I'm waiting to tell you.
  HIGGINS. You know Pickering: this chap has a certain natural gift of rhetoric. Observe the rhythm of his native woodnotes wild. "I'm willing to tell you: I'm wanting to tell you: I'm waiting to tell you." That's the Welsh strain in him. [To Doolittle] How did you know Eliza was here if you didn't send her?
  DOOLITTLE. Well, she sent back for her luggage and I got to hear about it. She said she didn't want no clothes. What was I to think from that, Guvnor? I ask you, as a parent: what was I to think?
  HIGGINS. So you came here to rescue her from worse than death, eh?
  DOOLITTLE. Just so, Guvnor. That's right.
  HIGGINS. Yes. Mrs Pearce! [To Mrs. Pearce, who enters at once] Ah, Mrs Pearce: Eliza's father has come to take her away. Give her to him will you.
  DOOLITTLE. Now, wait a minute Guvnor. Wait a minute. You and me is men of the world, ain't we?
  HIGGINS. Oh! Men of the world, are we? Yes, well you'd better go Mrs Pearce.
  MRS. PEARCE. I think so indeed, sir.
  DOOLITTLE. 'Ere Guvnor: I've took a sort of a fancy to you and—[he laughs hoarsely into Higgins face, who quickly moves away] if you want the girl, well I ain't so set on havin' her back home again but what I might be open to is er, [confidentially] an arrangement. All I ask is my rights as a father. You're the last man alive to expect me to let her go for nothin'. I can see you're one of the straight sort, Guvnor. So, er, what's a five pound note to you? And what's Eliza to me?
  PICKERING. I think you ought to know, Doolittle, that Mr. Higgins's intentions are entirely honourable.
  DOOLITTLE. Well course they are, Guvnor. If I thought they wasn't, I'd ask fifty.
  HIGGINS [revolted] Do you mean to say you'd sell your daughter for 50?
  PICKERING. Have you no morals, man?
  DOOLITTLE [unabashed] No, no. Can't afford 'em, Guvnor. Neither could you if you was as poor as me. Not that I mean any harm, mind you. But if Liza is goin' to have a bit out of this, why not me too? Eh, why not? Well, look—[he dusts of the seat of a chair with his dirty hat then sits down. Higgins, offended, tests the shoulder for dust] look at it my way. What am I? I ask you, what am I? I'm one of the undeservin' poor: that's what I am. Now think what that means to a man. It means he's up against middle class morality for all o' time. If there's anythin' goin', and I puts in for a bit of it, it's always the same story: "You're undeservin'; so you can't have it." But my needs is as great as the most deservin' widows that ever got money out of six different charities in one week for the death of the same husband. I don't need less than a deservin' man: I need more. I don't eat less hearty than he does; and I drink—oh, a lot more. I'm playin' straight with you. I ain't pretendin' to be deservin'. No I'm undeservin'; and I mean to go on bein' undeservin'. I like it; and that's the truth. But will you take advantage of a man's nature to do him out of the price of his own daughter what he's brought up and fed and clothed by the sweat of his brow until shes growed big enough to be interestin' to you two gentlemen? Well is five pounds unreasonable? I put it to you; and I leave it to you.
  HIGGINS. Pickering: if we were to take this man in hand for three months, he could choose between a seat in the Cabinet and a popular pulpit in Wales. We'd better give him a fiver.
  PICKERING. He'll make a bad use of it, I'm afraid.
  DOOLITTLE. Ah not me, Guvnor, so help me I won't. Just one good spree for myself and the missus, givin' pleasure to ourselves and enjoyment to others, and satisfaction to you to know it ain't been thrown away. You couldn't spend it better.
  HIGGINS [taking out his pocket book] This is irresistible. Let's give him ten.
  DOOLITTLE. No. The missus wouldn't have the heart to spend ten. Ten pounds is a lot of money: it makes a man feel prudent like; and then goodbye to happiness. You just give me what I ask you, Guvnor: not a penny less, and not a penny more.
  PICKERING. I rather draw the line at encouraging this sort of immorality, Doolittle. Why don't you marry that missus of yours, eh? After all, marriage isn't so frightening: you married Eliza's mother.
  DOOLITTLE. Who told you that Guvnor?
  PICKERING. Well, nobody told me: I concluded, naturally. [Alfred shakes his head and winks at him].
  HIGGINS. If we listen to this man another minute, we shall have no convictions left. [Giving Doolittle a note] Five pounds I think you said.
  DOOLITTLE. Thank you, Guvnor. Thank you.
  HIGGINS. Are you sure you won't have ten?
  DOOLITTLE [hurrying to the door, anxious to get away with his booty] Ah no; perhaps another time.
  ELIZA [approaching from the laboratory in a temper] I won't! I won't! I won't!!! [Entering the study she collides with Doolittle]
  DOOLITTLE [not recognising his daughter] I beg your pardon, miss.
  ELIZA [her attention fixed on Higgins] I won't say those ruddy vowels one more time.
  DOOLITTLE. Blimey, it's Eliza. Well I never thought she'd clean up so good lookin'. She does me credit, don't she, Guvnor?
  ELIZA [she turns to him suspiciously] 'Ere: what you doin' here?
  DOOLITTLE. Now, now, now: you hold your tongue and don't you give these gentlemen none of your lip. [To Higgins] If you have any trouble with her, Guvnor, give her a few licks of the strap. That's the way to improve her mind. Well good mornin', gentlemen. Cheerio, Eliza [smacks her behind].
  ELIZA [sticking out her tongue as he leaves] Maaaah!
  HIGGINS [to Pickering] There's a man for you. A philosophical genius of the first water. Mrs. Pearce: write to Mr. Ezra Wallingford and tell him that if he wants a lecturer to get in touch with Mr. Alfred P. Doolittle, a common dustman, one of the most original moralists in England.
  MRS. PEARCE. Yes, sir. [She leaves].
  ELIZA. 'Ere, what'd he come for?
  HIGGINS. Say your vowels.
  ELIZA. I know my vowels. I knew 'em before I come.
  HIGGINS. If you know them, say them.
  ELIZA. A, e, i, o, u.
  HIGGINS. Stop! [articulating them clearly] "A", "e", "i", "o", "u".
  ELIZA. That's what I said: a, e, i, o, u. That's what I've been saying for three days and I won't say 'em no more.
  PICKERING [kindly, he lays his hand on her shoulder] I know it's difficult, Miss Doolittle, but try to understand.
  HIGGINS. It's no use explaining, Pickering. As a military man you ought to know that. Drilling is what she needs. Now you leave her alone or she'll be turning to you for sympathy.
  PICKERING. Very well, if you insist. [As Pickering leaves] But have a little patience with her, Higgins.
  HIGGINS. Of course. [To Eliza, sternly] Now say, "a".
  ELIZA [defiantly] You ain't got no heart, you ain't!
  HIGGINS. "A".
  ELIZA. [loudly] "A".
  HIGGINS. "A".
  ELIZA [with growing defiance; as Higgins starts to leave up the stairs] "A".
  HIGGINS. "A".
  ELIZA [almost shouting] "A".
  HIGGINS [pausing on the stairs] Eliza: I promise you you'll say your vowels correctly before this day is out or there'll be no lunch, no dinner, and no chocolates. [He disappears up the stairs].

  Tempted to take make another angry exchange, Eliza runs to the top of the stair but sees him disappear into a room on the next floor.

      ELIZA.
      Just you wait 'enry 'iggins, just you wait!
      You'll be sorry, but your tears'll be too late!
      You'll be broke and I'll have money;
      Will I help you? Don't be funny!
      Just you wait, 'enry 'iggins, just you wait!
      Just you wait 'enry 'iggins, till you're sick,
      And you screams to fetch a doctor double quick!
      I'll be off a second later,
      And go straight to the the-atre!
      Ah-ha-ha, 'enry 'iggins,
      Just you wait!
      Oooooh, 'enry 'iggins!
      Just you wait until we're swimmin' in the sea!
      Oooooh, 'enry 'iggins!
      And you gets a cramp a little ways from me!
      When you yell you're gonna drown,
      I'll get dressed and go to town!
      Oh-ho-ho, 'enry 'iggins,
      Oh-ho-ho, 'enry 'iggins,
      Just you wait!
      One day I'll be famous!
      I'll be proper and prim!
      Go to Saint James so often I will call it Saint Jim.
      One evening the King will say,
      "Oh Liza, old thing,
      I want all of England your praises to sing."
      KING.
      "Next week, on the twentieth of May,
      I proclaim Liza Doolittle Day!
      All the people will celebrate the glory of you,
      And whatever you wish and want
      I gladly will do."
      ELIZA.
      "Thanks a lot, King," says I, in a manner wellbred;
      "But all I want is 'enry 'iggins 'ead!"
      KING.
      "Done,"
      ELIZA.
      says the King, with a stroke.
      KING.
      "Guards, run and bring in the bloke!"
      ELIZA.
      Then they'll march you, 'enry 'iggins, to the wall;
      And the king will tell me:
      KING.
      "Liza, sound the call."
      ELIZA.
      As they raise their rifles higher,
      I'll shout: "Ready! Aim! Fire!"
      Oh-ho-ho, 'enry 'iggins,
      Down you'll go! 'enry 'iggins!
      Just you wait!

  Higgins appears at the top of the stairs, waking Eliza from her fantasy. She looks down at the empty spot where he was dead a moment ago, then again up at him standing there in person.

  HIGGINS. "A".
  ELIZA [obeying, she retreats slowly to the laboratory] "A" ... "a" ... "a" ...

  Higgins, satisfied, leaves up the stairs.

 

  Some days later, perhaps. Higgins is in the laboratory with Eliza. He is instructing her with a chart of mouth positions while she reads from a book.

  HIGGINS. Alright, Eliza, say it again.
  ELIZA. The rine in Spine stays minely in the pline.
  HIGGINS [impatiently] The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain.
  ELIZA. Didn't I say that?
  HIGGINS. No, Eliza, you didn't "sie" that; you didn't even say that. Now every morning where you used to say your prayers, I want you to say [points to the text in the book] "the rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain" fifty times. You'll get much further with the Lord if you learn not to offend his ears. Now for your "h"s. [Taking a rubber tube from a shelf, he motions her to follow him. They walk into the study where Pickering is reading]. Pickering: this is going to be ghastly.
  PICKERING [looking up from his book] Told yourself, Higgins: give the girl a chance.
  HIGGINS. Well, I suppose you can't expect her to get it right the first time. Come here, Eliza, and watch closely. [Walking to the desk with the phonetics apparatus, he lights a burner, plugs the tube into the bottom of it, and sets a rotating drum with mirrored sides running]. Now, you see that flame. Every time you pronounce the letter "h" correctly the flame will waver, and every time you drop your "h" the flame will remain stationary. That's how you'll know if you've done it correctly. In time your ear will hear the difference. [Sitting down at the apparatus, he holds up the open end of the tube to his mouth] Now listen carefully. [Emphasising the "h"s] In Hartford, Hereford and Hampshire, hurricanes hardly ever happen. Now you repeat that after me. [He stands up, handing Eliza a sheet to read from as she sits down].
  ELIZA. In 'artford, 'ereford and 'ampshire, 'urricanes 'ardly hever 'appen.
  HIGGINS. Oh, no, no, no. Have you no ear at all?
  ELIZA [eagerly] Shall I do it over?
  HIGGINS. No, please. Start from the very beginning. Just do this: go, "har, har, har, har".
  ELIZA. Har, har, har, har [the flame wavers correctly and she looks up at him proudly].
  HIGGINS. Go on, go on, go on.
  ELIZA. Har, har, har, har,...

  He walks over to Pickering, leaving Eliza to continue on her own.

  HIGGINS. Does the same thing hold true in India, Pickering? Is there the peculiar habit of, not only dropping a letter like the letter "h", but using it where it doesn't belong: like "hever" instead of "ever". Or like the Slavs when they learn English have a tendency to do it with their "g"s: they say "linner" instead of "linger", then they turn right round and say "sin-ger" instead of "singer". Whereas the Slavs using it where it isn't needed, they learn English they have to do it with their "g"s.

  While Higgins is busy talking to Pickering, Eliza becomes hypnotised by the reflection of the flame in the rotating mirrors and absently she lets the sheet of paper drop until it touches the flame and catches fire. She stares at the burning sheet blankly. Pickering however, noticing the burning smell, looks round and rises, alarmed.

  PICKERING. The girl, Higgins!
  HIGGINS [without looking round; thinking that she has merely stopped her exercise] Go on, go on, go on, go on.

  Eliza obeys nonetheless, the paper still burning.

      SERVANTS' CHORUS.
      Poor Professor Higgins,
      Poor Professor Higgins.
      Night and day he slaves away.
      Oh, poor Professor Higgins.
      All day long on his feet.
      Up and down until he's numb.
      Doesn't rest, doesn't eat,
      Doesn't touch a crumb.

  Another day and Higgins is in the study, still at work with Eliza. He and Pickering, who is sat at the coffee table, are enjoying themselves with some cake and tea. Higgins is stood at a xylophone while Eliza sits nearby, awaiting his instruction.

  HIGGINS. Again, Eliza: [playing the pitch of each word on the xylophone as he speaks it] "how kind of you to let me come."
  ELIZA. How kind of you to let me come.
  HIGGINS. No, no. "Kind of you", "kind of you", "kind—", "how kind of you to let me come".
  ELIZA. How kind of you to let me come.
  HIGGINS. No, no, no, no. "Kind of you", "kind of you". Say, "cup of tea"; "kind of you". Say, "cup of tea".
  ELIZA [looking with longing at the cup of tea he is holding] Cup o' tea.
  HIGGINS. No, no: "a cup of tea". [To Pickering] Awfully good cake this. I wonder where Mrs Pearce gets it?
  PICKERING. Mmmm. First rate; and those strawberry tarts are delicious. Did you try the [in a cockney accent] pline cike? [He looks at Higgins, bewildered at what he just said. Higgins doesn't answer but refills his cup].
  HIGGINS. Try it again.
  PICKERING. Did you try the—
  HIGGINS. Pickering! [To Eliza] Again, Eliza.
  ELIZA [still longing after the cup of tea] Cup o' tea.
  HIGGINS [he continues, oblivious to her thirst] Oh no. Can't you hear the difference? Put your tongue forward until it squeezes on the top of your lower teeth and then say: "cup".
  ELIZA. Cup.
  HIGGINS. Then say: "of".
  ELIZA. Of.
  HIGGINS. Then say: "cup, cup, cup, cup, of, of, of, of".
  HIGGINS & ELIZA. Cup, cup, cup, cup, of, of, of, of.
  ELIZA. Cup, cup, cup, of, of, of—[she tapers off, staring at Higgins's cake which he inserts delicately into his mouth].
  PICKERING. By jove, Higgins, that was a glorious tea. Why don't you finish that last strawberry tart? I couldn't eat another thing.
  HIGGINS. No, I couldn't touch it.
  PICKERING. Shame to waste it.
  HIGGINS. Oh it won't be wasted: I know of someone who's immensely fond of strawberry tarts. [Eliza looks up hopefully as Higgins picks up the tart. However, he walks to the birdcage and bends down to feed the tart to the bird]. Cheep! cheep! Cheep! cheep! cheep!
  ELIZA [appalled] Aw-ah-ah-ow-ow-oo!!!
      SERVANTS' CHORUS.
      Poor Professor Higgins,
      Poor Professor Higgins.
      On he plods against all odds.
      Oh, poor Professor Higgins.
      Nine p.m., ten p.m.,
      On through midnight every night.
      One a.m., two a.m., three—

  At night in the library above the study. Higgins and Eliza are sat at a table. Higgins is inserting marbles, one after the other, into Eliza's mouth as she sits helplessly.

  HIGGINS [counting as he inserts the marbles]—four, five, six marbles. Now I want you to read this, and I want you to enunciate every word just as if the marbles were not in your mouth. [Reading from a sheet of paper] "With blackest moss the flower pots were thickly crusted one and all." [Handing the sheet to Eliza] Each word clear as a bell.
  ELIZA [reading from the sheet] Wiv bra'ess moss the flo'er poss—[in despair] I can't. [Pleading with him] I can't!
  PICKERING [speaking up from the opposite side of the library] I say, Higgins, are those pebbles really necessary?
  HIGGINS. If they were necessary for Demosthenes, they are necessary for Eliza Doolittle. Go on, Eliza.
  ELIZA. Wiv bra'evs moss the flo'er poss were thi'y crus'ed one an'—
  HIGGINS [screwing up his face in disgust] I can't understand a word! not a word!
  ELIZA [her tone becoming desperate] Wiv bra'evs moss the flo'er poss were thi'y crus'ed one an' aw.
  PICKERING [speaking over Eliza who continues with the exercise] Higgins: perhaps that poem's a little too difficult for the girl. Why don't you try something simpler, like the owl and the pussycat? Oh yes! that's charming one.
  HIGGINS [annoyed] Pickering: I can't hear a word the girl is saying.

  Eliza emits a large "gulp", her eyes wide in horror.

  HIGGINS [seeing Eliza's expression] What's the matter?
  ELIZA [anxiously; emptying the marbles from her mouth into her hand] I swallowed one.
  HIGGINS [calmly] Oh, it doesn't matter; I've got plenty more. Open your mouth. One, two—[he continues filling her mouth].
      SERVANTS' CHORUS.
      Quit, Professor Higgins,
      Quit, Professor Higgins.
      Hear our plea or payday we will
      Quit, Professor Higgins.
      "A", not "I", "O" not "Ow",
      Pounding, pounding in our brain,
      "A", not "I", "O" not "Ow",
      Don't say "Rine" say "Rain".

  Higgins's study very late at night. Higgins is laid back in a chair, with his feet up on his desk and a hotwater bottle over his forehead. Pickering is sitting down half-asleep in the armchair, with a newspaper over his face. Eliza is sitting on the sofa exhausted, holding a book.

  HIGGINS [wearily] The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain.
  ELIZA [in despair] I can't. I'm so tired. I'm so tired...
  PICKERING. For God's sake, Higgins, it must three o'clock in the morning. Do be reasonable.
  HIGGINS [rising] I am always reasonable. Eliza: if I can go on with a blistering headache, you can.
  ELIZA. I got an 'eadache too.
  HIGGINS. Oh. Here [passes her his hotwater bottle]. I know your head aches; I know you're tired; I know your nerves are as raw as meat in a butcher's window. But think what you're trying to accomplish. [Sits down beside her]. Think what you're dealing with. The majesty and grandeur of the English language: it's the greatest possession we have. The noblest thoughts that ever flowed through the hearts of men are contained in its extraordinary, imaginative, and musical mixtures of sounds. And that's what you've set yourself out to conquer Eliza: and conquer it you will.

  Eliza simply looks at him. Higgins lets out a sigh having done all he can and makes his way back to his desk.

  HIGGINS [leans his head against his hand with a sigh] Now try it again.
  ELIZA [very tentatively, yet enunciating correctly] The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain.
  HIGGINS [he looks up, disbelieving] What was that?
  ELIZA [slowly but more surely] The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain. [Eliza's expression changes to one of astonishment at herself].
  HIGGINS [sitting up] Again.
      ELIZA.
      The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain.
      HIGGINS.
      I think she's got it, I think she's got it.
      ELIZA.
      The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain!
      HIGGINS.
      By George she's got it!
      By George she's got it!
      Now once again: where does it rain?
      ELIZA.
      On the plain! On the plain!
      HIGGINS.
      And where's that soggy plain?
      ELIZA.
      In Spain! In Spain!
      THE THREE.
      The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain! [Higgins pats Eliza on the back with a Bravo!].
      The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain! [shaking Pickering's hand].

  Higgins walks over to the xylophone.

      HIGGINS.
      In Hartford, Hereford, and Hampshire...?
      ELIZA.
      Hurricanes hardly happen.

  Higgins plays the notes to the phrase "How kind of you to let me come" on the xylophone.

      ELIZA
      How kind of you to let me come.
      HIGGINS.
      Now once again: where does it rain?
      ELIZA.
      On the plain! On the plain!
      HIGGINS.
      And where's that blasted plain?
      ELIZA.
      In Spain! In Spain!
      THE THREE.
      The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain! [They laugh].
      The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain!
  HIGGINS. Pickering! Pickering: [lifts up his red handkerchief to Pickering, miming a matador] ole! ole! [Pickering obliges, running through the handkerchief] Ole!

  Higgins takes up Eliza and they dance around the room together. She stands on a chair, clapping, as Higgins and Pickering dance round back to back. They then have one last playful dance and fall back onto the chairs and sofa, exhausted and laughing.

  HIGGINS [putting away his handkerchief] Ah! We're making fine progress, Pickering. I think the time has come to try her out.
  MRS. PEARCE [she enters the study wearing a dressing-gown] Are you feeling alright, Mr. Higgins?
  HIGGINS. Yes I'm feeling fine, Mrs Pearce; how are you?
  MRS. PEARCE. Very well, sir, thank you.
  HIGGINS. Oh good. [To Pickering] Let's test her in public and see how she fairs.
  MRS. PEARCE. Mr. Higgins: I was awakened by a dreadful pounding; do you know what it might have been?
  HIGGINS [feigning innocence] Pounding? I didn't hear any pounding; did you Pickering?
  PICKERING. No.
  HIGGINS. No, if this goes on Mrs Pearce you'd better see a doctor. [Continuing, eagerly, to Pickering] I know: we'll take her to the races.
  PICKERING. The races?
  HIGGINS. My mother's box at Ascot.
  PICKERING. You've consulted mother first, of course?
  HIGGINS. Oh yes, of course. [He sees Eliza, who has fallen into in a reverie, staring at him] Er, no, I think perhaps we'd better surprise her. [Standing up] Now let us go to bed. First thing in the morning we'll go out and we'll buy her a dress. [Turning back on his way out] Now get on with your work, Eliza.
  MRS. PEARCE. But, Mr Higgins, it's early in the morning.
  HIGGINS. What better time to work than early in the morning? [He leaves the study with Pickering] Where does one buy a lady's gown?
  PICKERING. Whiteley's, of course.
  HIGGINS [stopping, puzzled] How do you know that?
  PICKERING. Common knowledge.
  HIGGINS [starting up the stairs] Let's not buy her anything too flowery: I despise those gowns with, sort of, [gesticulating in the air] weeds here, and weeds there. I want to buy something so it's simple, modest, and elegant's what's called for. [Describing on Pickering's person what is in his mind's eye] Perhaps with a— with a bow. [Analysing his imagined creation] Yes, I think that's just right. [Pickering chuckles as they leave up the stairs].

  Mrs. Pearce shakes her head as she watches them leave.

  MRS. PEARCE. You've all been working much too hard; I think the strain is beginning to show. Eliza, I don't care what Mr Higgins says, you must put down your books and go to bed.

  In her reverie, Eliza doesn't look up as Mrs. Pearce takes her books off her. She sings as Mrs. Pearce leads her upstairs to bed.

      ELIZA.
      Bed, bed, I couldn't go to bed.
      My head's too light to try to set it down.
      Sleep, sleep, I couldn't sleep tonight,
      Not for all the jewels in the crown.
      I could have danced all night,
      I could have danced all night,
      And still have begged for more.
      I could have spread my wings
      And done a thousand things
      I've never done before.
      I'll never know what made it so exciting
      Why all at once my heart took flight.
      I only know when he began to dance with me
      I could have danced, danced, danced all night!

  Two servants overlook Mrs. Pearce from the stair above as she shows Eliza to her room.

      SERVANT 1.
      It's after three now.
      SERVANT 2.
      Don't you agree now,
      SERVANT 1 & 2.
      She ought to be in bed.

  Eliza and the maids sing as they prepare Eliza for bed.

      ELIZA / MAIDS.
      I could have danced all night,
      You're tired out, you must be dead.
      I could have danced all night,
      Your face is drawn, your eyes are red.
      And still have begged for more.
      Now say goodnight; please turn out the light; please, it's really time for you to be in bed.
      I could have spread my wings,
      Do come along, do as you're told
      And done a thousand things
      Or Mrs. Pearce is apt to scold.
      I've never done before.
      You're up too late; please, in your state, Miss, you'll catch a cold.
      I'll never know
      What made it so exciting
      Why all at once my heart took flight.
      I only know when he began to dance with me
      Put down your book, the work will keep; Now settle down and go to sleep.
      I could have danced, danced, danced all night!

  The maids retire and Mrs. Pearce puts Eliza to bed.

      MRS. PEARCE.
      I understand, dear.
      It's all been grand, dear.
      But now it's time to sleep.

  Mrs. Pearce turns off the light and closes the door behind her.

      ELIZA.
      I could have danced all night,
      I could have danced all night,
      And still have begged for more.
      I could have spread my wings,
      And done a thousand things
      I've never done before.
      I'll never know
      What made it so exciting
      Why all at once my heart took flight.
      I only know when he
      Began to dance with me
      I could have danced, danced, danced
      All night!

  Eliza collapses on her pillow and falls asleep.
 
Ascot Opening Day. The ladies and gentlemen, dressed elegantly in this year's Ascot fashion, are waiting for the start of the opening race.
 
      LADIES & GENTLEMEN.
      Ev'ry duke and earl and peer is here
      Ev'ryone who should be here is here.
      What a smashing, positively dashing
      Spectacle: the Ascot op'ning day.
      At the gate are all the horses
      Waiting for the cue to fly away.
      What a gripping, absolutely ripping
      Moment at the Ascot op'ning day.
      Pulses rushing!
      Faces flushing!
      Heartbeats speed up!
      I have never been so keyed up!
      Any second now, they'll begin to run.
      Hark! A bell is ringing,
      They are springing forward
      Look! It has begun...!

  They raise their field glasses, looking out at the track. The sound of the approaching horses grows into a thunder as they storm past the spectators. The spectators lower their field glasses again.

      LADIES & GENTLEMEN.
      What a frenzied moment that was!
      Didn't they maintain an exhausting pace?
      'Twas a thrilling, absolutely chilling
      Running of the Ascot op'ning race.

  Higgins arrives, looking completely out of place in his brown suit. He sees his mother, whom he recognises from behind by her hat. She is busy talking to some friends.

  HIGGINS. Mother.
  MRS. HIGGINS [turning around to face him] Henry! what a disagreeable surprise.
  HIGGINS. Hello mother [he kisses her on the cheek]. How nice you look.
  MRS. HIGGINS. What are you doing here? You promised never to come to Ascot. Go home at once.
  HIGGINS. I can't mother. I'm here on business.
  MRS. HIGGINS. Oh no, Henry, you mustn't. I'm quite serious, you'll offend all my friends: the moment they've met you I've never see them again. Besides, you're not even dressed for Ascot. [She turns back to her friends].
  HIGGINS. I changed my shirt. [Taking her up by the arm before she can continue; walking towards her box] Now, listen mother, I've got a job for you; a phonetics job. I picked up a girl—
  MRS. HIGGINS [pleased] Henry.
  HIGGINS. Oh no, dear, not a love affair; she's a flower girl. I'm taking her to the annual Embassy Ball but I wanted to try her out first.
  MRS. HIGGINS. I beg your pardon.
  HIGGINS. Well, you know the Embassy Ball?
  MRS. HIGGINS. Of course I know the ball, but—
  HIGGINS. So I invited her to your box today, do you understand?
  MRS. HIGGINS. A common flower girl!
  HIGGINS. Oh, it's alright, I taught her how to speak properly. She has strict instructions as to her behaviour. She's to keep to two subjects: the weather and everybody's health; "fine day", and "how do you do", and not just let herself go on things in general. Help her along, darling, you'll be quite safe.
  MRS. HIGGINS Safe! to talk about one's health in the middle of a race?
  HIGGINS [looking away; expecting Eliza and Pickering to arrive any moment] Well, you've got to talk about something.
  MRS. HIGGINS. Where's the girl, now?
  HIGGINS. She's being pinned; some of the clothes they bought her didn't quite fit. I told Pickering we should have taken her with us.

  A group of four people—an older couple and Mrs. Eynsford-Hill and her son, Freddie—come to join Mrs. Higgins in her box.

  MRS. HIGGINS. Ah! Mrs Eynsford-Hill.
  MRS. EYNSFORD-HILL. Good afternoon, Mrs Higgins.
  MRS. HIGGINS [pointing to Higgins who is still looking out for Eliza] You know my son: Henry?
  MRS. EYNSFORD-HILL. How do you do?
  HIGGINS. I've seen you somewhere before?
  MRS. EYNSFORD-HILL. I don't know.
  HIGGINS. Oh, it doesn't matter. You'd better sit down.
  MRS. HIGGINS [greeting the other lady] Lady Boxington.
  HIGGINS [anxiously] Where the devil can they be?
  MRS. HIGGINS [greeting him] Lord Boxington.
  HIGGINS [with delight; seeing Pickering arriving with Eliza, who is dressed spectactularly] Ah! [He motions for them to come over].

  Eliza and Pickering walk towards them, but Eliza appears slightly nervous. Pickering reassures her and she relaxes. They join them in the box. Higgins scrutinises Eliza's behaviour as they are introduced.

  MRS. HIGGINS. Colonel Pickering, you're just in time for tea.
  PICKERING. Thank you, Mrs Higgins. May I introduce Miss Eliza Doolittle.
  MRS. HIGGINS. My dear Miss Doolittle.
  ELIZA. How kind of you to let me come. [Higgins nods to himself, satisfied with her elocution].
  MRS. HIGGINS. Delighted, my dear. [Presenting her to Eliza] Lady Boxington.
  LADY BOXINGTON. How do you do?
  ELIZA. How do you do?
  MRS. HIGGINS. Lord Boxington.
  LORD BOXINGTON. How do you do?
  ELIZA. How do you do?
  MRS. HIGGINS. Mrs Eynsford-Hill: Miss Doolittle.
  MRS. EYNSFORD-HILL. How do you do?
  ELIZA. How do you do?

  Freddie motions eagerly to Mrs. Higgins not to forget him.

  MRS. HIGGINS. And Freddie Eynsford-Hill.
  ELIZA. How do you do?
  FREDDIE [taking a great interest in her] How do you do?
  HIGGINS [tipping his hat] Miss Doolittle.
  ELIZA. Good afternoon, Professor Higgins.

  Eliza forgets to sit down like the others so Higgins discreetly mimes the action to remind her. She does so.

  FREDDIE [sitting by her, infatuated] The first race was very exciting Miss Doolittle; I'm so sorry that you missed it.
  MRS. HIGGINS. Will it rain, do you think?
  ELIZA. The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain. [Higgins tries to recover the situation by doing a sort of Spanish dance. Embarrassed, he stops.] But in Hartford, Hereford and Hampshire, hurricanes hardly ever happen.
  FREDDIE. Ha! ha! How awfully funny!
  ELIZA. What is wrong with that, young man? I bet I got it right.
  FREDDIE. Smashing!
  LADY BOXINGTON. Hasn't it suddenly turned chilly?
  MRS. EYNSFORD-HILL. I do hope we won't have any unseasonable cold spells. They bring on so much influenza and the whole of our family is susceptible to it.
  ELIZA. My aunt died of influenza—so they said—but it's my belief they done the old woman in. [Higgins and Pickering look at each other, worried].
  LADY BOXINGTON [not understanding] Done her in?
  ELIZA. Yes, Lord love you. Why should she die of influenza when she come through diptheria right enough the year before? Fairly blue with it, she was. They all thought she was dead, but my father, he kept ladling gin down her throat.
  HIGGINS [to himself as he turns away in depair] Oh...
  ELIZA. Then she come to so sudden she bit the bowl off the spoon. [Freddie chuckles].
  MRS. EYNSFORD-HILL. Dear me!
  ELIZA. Now what call would a woman with that strength in her have to die of influenza? And 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.
  LORD BOXINGTON. Done her in? Done her in, did you say?
  LADY BOXINGTON [perplexed] Whatever does it mean?
  HIGGINS [hastily] Ah, now that's the new small-talk: er, to do somebody in means to kill them.
  MRS. EYNSFORD-HILL. But you surely don't believe your aunt was killed?
  ELIZA. Do I not! Them she lived with would have killed her for a hat-pin, let alone a hat.

  Higgins winces and looks over at Pickering who has his head buried in his hands.

  MRS. EYNSFORD-HILL. But it can't have been right for your father to pour spirits down her throat like that. It might have killed her.
  ELIZA. Not her. Gin was mother's milk to her. [Higgins takes his hat off and bows, discreetly retreating to the back behind Pickering] Besides, he'd poured so much down his own throat, he knew the good of it.
  LORD BOXINGTON. Did you mean that he drank?
  ELIZA. Drank! My word! Something chronic. [Higgins gasps in despair. To Freddie, who is giggling at her again] Here! what are you sniggering at?
  FREDDIE. It's the new small talk: you do it so awfully well.
  ELIZA. Well, if I was doing it proper, what was you sniggering at? [Innocently] Have I said something I oughtn't?
  HIGGINS. Oh, no...
  MRS. HIGGINS [interposing] Not at all, my dear.
  ELIZA. Well, that's a mercy, anyhow.

  As Eliza starts to continue, Higgins gently pulls Pickering up by the arm.

  PICKERING [startled] What? [To Higgins; realising what he wants] Yes, yes, oh yes. [To Eliza; taking up her arm] I don't know whether there's enough time before the next race to place a bet, but come, my dear.
  MRS. HIGGINS. I don't suppose so.
  FREDDIE [to Eliza; as she is leaving] I have a bet on number seven. I should be so happy if you would take it. You'll enjoy the race ever so much more.
  ELIZA [as she takes the card from Freddie] That's very kind of you.
  FREDDIE. His name is Dover.
  PICKERING. Come along, my dear, come along.

  They make their way down to the fence where the other spectators have gathered.

      LADIES & GENTLEMEN.
      There they are again, lining up to run.
      Now they're holding steady,
      They are ready for it
      Look! It has begun!

  Everyone stands silent, waiting for the horses' approach.

  ELIZA [looking out at the track] Come on...come on, Dover. [Becoming more excited as the horses near] Come on...come on, Dover. Come on. [Shouting; as the horses race past] Come on, Dover! Move yer bloomin' arse!!
  Everyone gasps in shock; Higgins covers his mouth, suppressing a laugh; a lady faints; and Pickering quietly lowers his hat.

  At the end of the day, Higgins and his mother are leaving with the crowd who are making for their cars.

  MRS. HIGGINS. You're not serious, Henry: you don't expect to take her to the Embassy Ball?
  HIGGINS. Don't you think she's ready for it?
  MRS. HIGGINS. Dear Henry: she's ready for a canal barge.
  HIGGINS. Well, her language may need a little refining, but er...
  MRS. HIGGINS. Oh! really, Henry! If you cannot see how impossible this whole project is then you must be absolutely potty about her. I advise you to give it up now and not put yourself and this poor girl through any more.
  HIGGINS [shocked] Give it up? Why, it's the most fascinating venture I've ever undertaken. Pickering and I are at it from morning to night; it fills our whole lives: teaching Eliza, talking to Eliza, listening to Eliza, dressing Eliza.
  MRS. HIGGINS. What? You're a pretty pair of babies, playing with your live doll. [Looking around] Ah, here's the car.
  HIGGINS. Ah.

  He shows his mother to her car as it pulls up. She climbs in and he waves her off.

 

  Later that evening in Higgins's study. Eliza is sitting on the sofa, dejected. Pickering pats her on the shoulder sympathetically and sits down beside her.

  Meanwhile, outside on the street, Freddie is waiting, carrying a bunch of flowers. A taxi pulls up outside number 27A and Higgins gets out and pays the driver.

  FREDDIE. I say, sir, er—

  Higgins pretends not to hear, and runs up the steps to the door and goes inside.

  Inside, the butler greets Mr. Higgins.

  BUTLER. Good evening, sir.
  HIGGINS [in good spirits] Ah! Is dinner ready? I'm famished.
  BUTLER. Immediately, sir.
  MRS. PEARCE [on her way to the study, carrying a glass of water on a tray] Good evening, Professor Higgins.

  Without a word Higgins takes the glass and enters the study. Mrs. Pearce shakes her head and leaves.

  Outside, on the street, Freddie walks up to Higgins's door and rings the bell.

      FREDDIE.
      When she mentioned how her aunt bit off the spoon,
      She completely done me in.
      And my heart went on a journey to the moon,
      When she told about her father and the gin.
      And I never saw a more enchanting farce
      Than the moment when she shouted: "Move your bloomin'—"

  He stops as Mrs. Pearce opens the front door.

  MRS. PEARCE. Yes, sir?
  FREDDIE. Ah, is, is Miss Doolittle in?
  MRS. PEARCE. Whom shall I say is calling?
  FREDDIE. Freddie Eynsford-Hill. Oh, and if she doesn't remember who I am, tell her I'm the chap who was sniggering at her.
  MRS. PEARCE. Yes, sir.
  FREDDIE. And will you give her these [he gives her the flowers].
  MRS. PEARCE Yes, sir. Wouldn't you like to come in, sir? They're having dinner but you may wait in the hall.
  FREDDIE. No, no, thank you. I want to drink in the street where she lives. [Mrs. Pearce closes the door].
      FREDDIE.
      I have often walked down this street before
      But the pavement always stayed beneath my feet before;
      All at once, am I
      Several stories high.
      Knowing I'm on the street where you live.
      Are there lilac trees in the heart of town?
      Can you hear a lark in any other part of town?
      Does enchantment pour
      Out of ev'ry door?
      No, it's just on the street where you live.
      And oh! The towering feeling
      Just to know somehow you are near.
      The overpowering feeling
      That any second you may suddenly appear.
      People stop and stare. They don't bother me
      For there's nowhere else on earth that I would rather be.
      Let the time go by,
      I won't care if I
      Can be here on the street where you live.
  MRS. PEARCE [calling out to him across the street] Oh, sir! [Freddie rushes to the steps]. I'm terribly sorry, sir, Miss Doolittle says she doesn't want to see anyone ever again.
  FREDDIE. But why? She was unbelievable.
  MRS. PEARCE. So I've been told, sir. Is there any further message?
  FREDDIE. Yes: tell her that I'll wait.
  MRS. PEARCE. Oh but it might days, sir; even weeks!
  FREDDIE. But don't you see: I'll be happier here. [Mrs. Pearce returns indoors shaking her head].
      FREDDIE.
      People stop and stare. They don't bother me
      For there's nowhere else on earth that I would rather be.
      Let the time go by,
      I won't care if I
      Can be here on the street where you live.

  Inside, in the study, and Higgins and Pickering are eating dinner. Eliza sits at the table, downcast.

  PICKERING. It really is, Higgins, it's inhuman to continue. Do you realise what you've got to try and teach this poor girl in a few weeks? You've got to teach her walk, talk; address a Duke, a Lord, a Bishop, an ambassador. It's absolutely imposs—[he stops, seeing that Higgins has been too busy eating to be paying attention] Higgins, I'm trying to tell you that I want to call off the bet. I know you're a stubborn man, but so am I. This experiment is over; and nothing, short of an order from the King, could force me to recant. Now if you'd excuse me [he stands up]. Do you understand, Higgins: it's over.
 

  The evening of the Embassy Ball. Higgins and Pickering are in the hall upstairs, dressed for the ball.

  PICKERING. Higgins. Higgins: if there's any mishap at the Embassy tonight—if Miss Doolittle suffers any embarrassment whatever—it'll be on your head alone.
  HIGGINS. Eliza can do anything.
  PICKERING. Suppose she's discovered. Remember Ascot. Suppose she makes another ghastly mistake!
  HIGGINS. They'll be no horses at the ball, Pickering.

  They head down the stairs.

  PICKERING. Think how agonizing it would be. Oh! If anything happened tonight, I don't what I'd do.
  HIGGINS. Well, you could always rejoin your regiment.
  PICKERING. This is no time for flipancy, Higgins. The way you've driven the girl in the last six weeks has exceeded all bounds of common decency. For God's sake, Higgins, stop pacing up and down; can't you settle somewhere?
  HIGGINS. Have some port, it'll quieten your nerves.
  PICKERING. I'm not nervous. [After a pause] Where is it?
  HIGGINS. On the piano.

  As Pickering goes to the piano the butler enters.

  BUTLER. The car is here, sir.
  HIGGINS. Oh good. Tell Miss Doolittle, please.
  BUTLER. Yes, sir.
  PICKERING [pouring himself a glass from the decanter] Tell Miss Doolittle, indeed; I bet you that damn gown doesn't fit. I warned you about these French designers. We should have gone to a good English shop where we'd have known that everyone had been on our side. Have a glass of port?
  HIGGINS [warming himself with his back to the fire] No, thank you.
  PICKERING. Are you so sure this girl will retain everything you've hammered into her?
  HIGGINS. Well, we shall see.
  PICKERING. And if she doesn't?
  HIGGINS [simply; sitting down on the seat in the corner] I lose my bet.
  PICKERING. Higgins, it's one thing I can't stand about you that's your confounded complacency. At a moment like this with so much at stake it's utterly indecent that you don't need a glass of port. [He takes a sip from his]. And what about the girl: you act as though she doesn't matter at all.
  HIGGINS. Oh rubbish, Pickering. Of course she matters. What do you think I've been doing all these months? What could possibly matter more than to take a human being and change her into a different human being by creating a new speech for her? It's filling up the deepest gap that separates class from class and soul from soul. Oh, she matters immensely.

  Higgins looks up and Pickering turns round as Eliza appears at the stairs, dressed in her ballgown. She walks slowly down and Pickering meets her at the bottom.

  PICKERING. Miss Doolittle, you look beautiful. Don't you think so, Higgins?
  HIGGINS [walks over to her, looking over her from top to bottom] Hmmm, not bad. Not bad at all.

  Higgins walks through the open door to the study. He takes his boutonniere and pins it on. Seeing that everyone is busy in the other room getting ready, he sneaks himself a glass of port. He returns to the hallway where the butler puts his cape on him. Higgins turns to leave for the door but checks himself and walks back to Eliza, where he presents her his arm. She takes it and the two of them walk out together, followed by Pickering.

 
— INTERMISSION —


My Fair Lady, Transcribed by Graham (hepburn@unforgettable.com)


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