Eliza opens the door and is seen on the lighted landing
in opera cloak, brilliant evening dress, and diamonds,
with fan, flowers, and all accessories. She comes to
the hearth, and switches on the electric lights there.
She is tired: her pallor contrasts strongly with her
dark eyes and hair; and her expression is almost
tragic. She takes off her cloak; puts her fan and
flowers on the piano; and sits down on the bench,
brooding and silent. Higgins, in evening dress, with
overcoat and hat, comes in, carrying a smoking jacket
which he has picked up downstairs. He takes off the hat
and overcoat; throws them carelessly on the newspaper
stand; disposes of his coat in the same way; puts on
the smoking jacket; and throws himself wearily into the
easy-chair at the hearth. Pickering, similarly attired,
comes in. He also takes off his hat and overcoat, and
is about to throw them on Higgins's when he hesitates.
I say: Mrs. Pearce will row if we leave
these things lying about in the drawing-room.
Oh, chuck them over the bannisters into the
hall. She'll find them there in the morning and put
them away all right. She'll think we were drunk.
We are, slightly. Are there any letters?
I didnt look. [Pickering takes the overcoats
and hats and goes down stairs. Higgins begins half
singing half yawning an air from La Fanciulla del
Golden West. Suddenly he stops and exclaims] I wonder
where the devil my slippers are!
Eliza looks at him darkly; then rises suddenly and
leaves the room.
Pickering returns, with the contents of the letter-box
in his hand.
Only circulars, and this coroneted
billet-doux for you. [He throws the circulars into the
fender, and posts himself on the hearthrug, with his
back to the grate].
HIGGINS [glancing at the billet-doux] Money-lender. [He
throws the letter after the circulars].
Eliza returns with a pair of large down-at-heel
slippers. She places them on the carpet before Higgins,
and sits as before without a word.
HIGGINS [yawning again] Oh Lord! What an evening! What
a crew! What a silly tomfoollery! [He raises his shoe
to unlace it, and catches sight of the slippers. He
stops unlacing and looks at them as if they had
appeared there of their own accord]. Oh! theyre there,
PICKERING [stretching himself] Well, I feel a bit
tired. It's been a long day. The garden party, a dinner
party, and the opera! Rather too much of a good thing.
But youve won your bet, Higgins. Eliza did the trick,
and something to spare, eh?
Eliza flinches violently; but they take no notice of
her; and she recovers herself and sits stonily as
Were you nervous at the garden party? I was.
Eliza didnt seem a bit nervous.
Oh, she wasnt nervous. I knew she'd be all
right. No: it's the strain of putting the job through
all these months that has told on me. It was
interesting enough at first, while we were at the
phonetics; but after that I got deadly sick of it. If I
hadnt backed myself to do it I should have chucked the
whole thing up two months ago. It was a silly notion:
the whole thing has been a bore.
Oh come! the garden party was frightfully
exciting. My heart began beating like anything.
Yes, for the first three minutes. But when I
saw we were going to win hands down, I felt like a bear
in a cage, hanging about doing nothing. The dinner was
worse: sitting gorging there for over an hour, with
nobody but a damned fool of a fashionable woman to talk
to! I tell you, Pickering, never again for me. No more
artificial duchesses. The whole thing has been simple
Youve never been broken in properly to the
social routine. [Strolling over to the piano] I rather
enjoy dipping into it occasionally myself: it makes me
feel young again. Anyhow, it was a great success: an
immense success. I was quite frightened once or twice
because Eliza was doing it so well. You see, lots of
the real people cant do it at all: theyre such fools
that they think style comes by nature to people in
their position; and so they never learn. Theres always
something professional about doing a thing
Yes: thats what drives me mad: the silly
people dont know their own silly business. [Rising]
However, it's over and done with; and now I can go to
bed at last without dreading tomorrow.
I think I shall turn in too. Still, it's
been a great occasion: a triumph for you. Good-night.
HIGGINS [following him] Good-night. [Over his shoulder,
at the door] Put out the lights, Eliza; and tell Mrs.
Pearce not to make coffee for me in the morning: I'll
take tea. [He goes out].
Eliza tries to control herself and feel indifferent as
she rises and walks across to the hearth to switch off
the lights. By the time she gets there she is on the
point of screaming. She sits down in Higgins's chair
and holds on hard to the arms. Finally she gives way
and flings herself furiously on the floor raging.
HIGGINS [in despairing wrath outside] What the devil
have I done with my slippers? [He appears at the door].
LIZA [snatching up the slippers, and hurling them at
him one after the other with all her force] There are
your slippers. And there. Take your slippers; and may
you never have a day's luck with them!
HIGGINS [astounded] What on earth--! [He comes to her].
Whats the matter? Get up. [He pulls her up]. Anything
LIZA [breathless] Nothing wrong--with y o u. Ive won
your bet for you, havnt I? Thats enough for you. I dont
matter, I suppose.
Y o u won my bet! You! Presumptuous insect! I
won it. What did you throw those slippers at me for?
Because I wanted to smash your face. I'd like to
kill you, you selfish brute. Why didnt you leave me
where you picked me out of--in the gutter? You thank God
it's all over, and that now you can throw me back again
there, do you? [She crisps her fingers frantically].
HIGGINS [looking at her in cool wonder] The creature i
s nervous, after all.
LIZA [gives a suffocated scream of fury, and
instinctively darts her nails at his face] !!
HIGGINS [catching her wrists] Ah! would you? Claws in,
you cat. How dare you shew your temper to me? Sit down
and be quiet. [He throws her roughly into the
LIZA [crushed by superior strength and weight] Whats to
become of me? Whats to become of me?
How the devil do I know whats to become of
you? What does it matter what becomes of you?
You dont care. I know you dont care. You wouldnt
care if I was dead. I'm nothing to you--not so much as
HIGGINS [good-humored again] This has been coming on
you for some days. I suppose it was natural for you to
be anxious about the garden party. But thats all over
now. [He pats her kindly on the shoulder. She writhes].
Theres nothing more to worry about.
No. Nothing more for y o u to worry about. [She
suddenly rises and gets away from him by going to the
piano bench, where she sits and hides her face]. Oh
God! I wish I was dead.
HIGGINS [staring after her in sincere surprise] Why? in
heaven's name, why? [Reasonably, going to her] Listen
to me, Eliza. All this irritation is purely subjective.
It's only imagination. Low spirits and nothing
else. Nobody's hurting you. Nothing's wrong. You go to
bed like a good girl and sleep it off. Have a little
cry and say your prayers: that will make you
I heard y o u r prayers. "Thank God it's all
HIGGINS [impatiently] Well, dont you thank God it's all
over? Now you are free and can do what you like.
LIZA [pulling herself together in desperation] What am
I fit for? What have you left me fit for? Where am I to
go? What am I to do? Whats to become of me?
HIGGINS [enlightened, but not at all impressed] Oh,
thats whats worrying you, is it? [He thrusts his hands
into his pockets, and walks about in his usual manner,
rattling the contents of his pockets, as if
condescending to a trivial subject out of pure
kindness]. I shouldnt bother about it if I were you. I
should imagine you wont have much difficulty in
settling yourself somewhere or other, though I hadnt
quite realized that you were going away. [She looks
quickly at him: he does not look at her, but examines
the dessert stand on the piano and decides that he will
eat an apple]. You might marry, you know. [He bites a
large piece out of the apple, and munches it noisily].
You see, Eliza, all men are not confirmed old bachelors
like me and the Colonel. Most men are the marrying sort
(poor devils!); and youre not bad-looking; it's quite a
pleasure to look at you sometimes--not now, of course,
because youre crying and looking as ugly as the very
devil; but when youre all right and quite yourself,
youre what I should call attractive. That is, to the
people in the marrying line, you understand. You go to
bed and have a good nice rest; and then get up and look
at yourself in the glass; and you wont feel so cheap.
Eliza again looks at him, speechless, and does not
The look is quite lost on him: he eats his apple with a
dreamy expression of happiness, as it is quite a good
HIGGINS [a genial afterthought occurring to him] I
daresay my mother could find some chap or other who
would do very well.
We were above that at the corner of Tottenham
I sold flowers. I didnt sell myself. Now youve
made a lady of me I'm not fit to sell anything else. I
wish youd left me where you found me.
HIGGINS [slinging the core of the apple decisively
into the grate] Tosh, Eliza. Dont you insult human
relations by dragging all this cant about buying and
selling into it. You neednt marry the fellow if you
dont like him.
Oh, lots of things. What about your old idea
of a florist's shop? Pickering could set you up in one:
hes lots of money. [Chuckling] He'll have to pay for
all those togs you have been wearing today; and that,
with the hire of the jewellery, will make a big hole in
two hundred pounds. Why, six months ago you would have
thought it the millennium to have a flower shop of your
own. Come! youll be all right. I must clear off to bed:
I'm devilish sleepy. By the way, I came down for
something: I forget what it was.
HIGGINS [dropping the slippers in his surprise at her
calling him Sir] Eh?
Do my clothes belong to me or to Colonel
HIGGINS [coming back into the room as if her question
were the very climax of unreason] What the devil use
would they be to Pickering?
He might want them for the next girl you pick up
to experiment on.
HIGGINS [shocked and hurt] Is t h a t the way you feel
I dont want to hear anything more about that. All
I want to know is whether anything belongs to me. My
own clothes were burnt.
But what does it matter? Why need you start
bothering about that in the middle of the night?
I want to know what I may take away with me. I
dont want to be accused of stealing.
HIGGINS [now deeply wounded] Stealing! You shouldnt
have said that, Eliza. That shews a want of feeling.
I'm sorry. I'm only a common ignorant girl; and
in my station I have to be careful. There cant be any
feelings between the like of you and the like of me.
Please will you tell me what belongs to me and what
HIGGINS [very sulky] You may take the whole damned
houseful if you like. Except the jewels. Theyre hired.
Will that satisfy you? [He turns on his heel and is
about to go in extreme dudgeon].
LIZA [drinking in his emotion like nectar, and nagging
him to provoke a further supply] Stop, please. [She
takes off her jewels]. Will you take these to your room
and keep them safe? I dont want to run the risk of
their being missing.
HIGGINS [furious] Hand them over. [She puts them into
his hands]. If these belonged to me instead of to the
jeweler, I'd ram them down your ungrateful throat. [He
perfunctorily thrusts them into his pockets,
unconsciously decorating himself with the protruding
ends of the chains].
LIZA [taking a ring off] This ring isnt the jeweler's:
it's the one you bought me in Brighton. I dont want it
now. [Higgins dashes the ring violently into the
fireplace, and turns on her so threateningly that she
crouches over the piano with her hands over her face,
and exclaims] Dont you hit me.
Hit you! You infamous creature, how dare you
accuse me of such a thing? It is you who have hit me.
You have wounded me to the heart.
LIZA [thrilling with hidden joy] I'm glad. Ive got a
little of my own back, anyhow.
HIGGINS [with dignity, in his finest professional
style] You have caused me to lose my temper: a thing
that has hardly ever happend to me before. I prefer to
say nothing more tonight. I am going to bed.
LIZA [pertly] Youd better leave a note for Mrs. Pearce
about the coffee; for she wont be told by me.
HIGGINS [formally] Damn Mrs. Pearce; and damn the
coffee; and damn you; and damn my own folly in having
lavished hard-earned knowledge and the treasure of my
regard and intimacy on a heartless guttersnipe. [He
goes out with impressive decorum, and spoils it by
slamming the door savagely].
Eliza smiles for the first time; expresses her feelings
by a wild pantomime in which an imitation of Higgins's
exit is confused with her own triumph; and finally goes
down on her knees on the hearthrug to look for the