MRS. HIGGINS [calmly continuing her writing] You must
have frightened her.
Frightened her! nonsense! She was left last
night, as usual, to turn out the lights and all that;
and instead of going to bed she changed her clothes and
went right off: her bed wasnt slept in. She came in a
cab for her things before seven this morning; and that
fool Mrs. Pearce let her have them without telling me a
word about it. What am I to do?
Do without, I'm afraid, Henry. The girl
has a perfect right to leave if she chooses.
HIGGINS [wandering distractedly across the room] But I
cant find anything. I dont know what appointments Ive
got. I'm-- [Pickering comes in. Mrs. Higgins puts down
her pen and turns away from the writing-table].
PICKERING [shaking hands] Good-morning, Mrs. Higgins.
Has Henry told you? [He sits down on the ottoman].
What does that ass of an inspector say? Have
you offered a reward?
MRS. HIGGINS [rising in indignant amazement] You dont
mean to say you have set the police after Eliza?
Of course. What are the police for? What else
could we do? [He sits in the Elizabethan chair].
The inspector made a lot of difficulties. I
really think he suspected us of some improper purpose.
Well, of course he did. What right have
you to go to the police and give the girl's name as if
she were a thief, or a lost umbrella, or something?
Really! [She sits down again, deeply vexed].
Only her father: the fellow we told you
THE PARLOR-MAID [announcing] Mr. Doolittle. [She
Doolittle enters. He is brilliantly dressed in a new
fashionable frock-coat, with white waistcoat and grey
trousers. A flower in his buttonhole, a dazzling silk
hat, and patent leather shoes complete the effect. He
is too concerned with the business he has come on to
notice Mrs. Higgins. He walks straight to Higgins, and
accosts him with vehement reproach.
DOOLITTLE [indicating his own person] See here! Do you
see this? You done this.
Eliza! not she. Not half. Why would she buy
Good-morning, Mr. Doolittle. Wont you sit
DOOLITTLE [taken aback as he becomes conscious that he
has forgotten his hostess] Asking your pardon, maam.
[He approaches her and shakes her proffered hand].
Thank you. [He sits down on the ottoman, on Pickering's
right]. I am that full of what has happened to me that
I cant think of anything else.
I shouldnt mind if it had only happened to
me: anything might happen to anybody and nobody to
blame but Providence, as you might say. But this is
something that you done to me: yes, you, Henry Higgins.
You have all the luck, you have. I aint
found her; but she'll find me quick enough now after
what you done to me.
But what has my son done to you, Mr.
Done to me! Ruined me. Destroyed my
happiness. Tied me up and delivered me into the hands
of middle class morality.
HIGGINS [rising intolerantly and standing over
Doolittle] Youre raving. Youre drunk. Youre mad. I gave
you five pounds. After that I had two conversations
with you, at half-a-crown an hour. Ive never seen you
Oh! Drunk! am I? Mad! am I? Tell me this.
Did you or did you not write a letter to an old
blighter in America that was giving five millions to
found Moral Reform Societies all over the world, and
that wanted you to invent a universal language for him?
What! Ezra D. Wannafeller! Hes dead. [He sits
down again carelessly].
Yes: hes dead; and I'm done for. Now did you
or did you not write a letter to him to say that the
most original moralist at present in England, to the
best of your knowledge, was Alfred Doolittle, a common
Oh, after your last visit I remember making
some silly joke of the kind.
Ah! you may well call it a silly joke. It
put the lid on me right enough. Just give him the
chance he wanted to shew that Americans is not like us:
that they recognize and respect merit in every class of
life, however humble. Them words is in his blooming
will, in which, Henry Higgins, thanks to your silly
joking, he leaves me a share in his Pre-digested Cheese
Trust worth three thousand a year on condition that I
lecture for his Wannafeller Moral Reform World League
as often as they ask me up to six times a year.
The devil he does! Whew! [Brightening
suddenly] What a lark!
A safe thing for you, Doolittle. They wont
ask you twice.
It aint the lecturing I mind. I'll lecture
them blue in the face, I will, and not turn a hair.
It's making a gentleman of me that I object to. Who
asked him to make a gentleman of me? I was happy. I was
free. I touched pretty nigh everybody for money when I
wanted it, same as I touched you, Henry Higgins. Now I
am worrited; tied neck and heels; and everybody touches
me for money. It's a fine thing for you, says my
solicitor. Is it? says I. You mean it's a good thing
for you, I says. When I was a poor man and had a
solicitor once when they found a pram in the dust cart,
he got me off, and got shut of me and got me shut of
him as quick as he could. Same with the doctors: used
to shove me out of the hospital before I could hardly
stand on my legs, and nothing to pay. Now they finds
out that I'm not a healthy man and cant live unless
they looks after me twice a day. In the house I'm not
let do a hand's turn for myself: somebody else must do
it and touch me for it. A year ago I hadnt a relative
in the world except two or three that wouldnt speak to
me. Now Ive fifty, and not a decent week's wages among
the lot of them. I have to live for others and not for
myself: thats middle class morality. You talk of losing
Eliza. Dont you be anxious: I bet shes on my doorstep
by this: she that could support herself easy by selling
flowers if I wasnt respectable. And the next one to
touch me will be you, Henry Higgins. I'll have to learn
to speak middle class language from you, instead of
speaking proper English. Thats where youll come in; and
I daresay thats what you done it for.
But, my dear Mr. Doolittle, you need not
suffer all this if you are really in earnest. Nobody
can force you to accept this bequest. You can repudiate
it. Isnt that so, Colonel Pickering?
DOOLITTLE [softening his manner in deference to her
sex] Thats the tragedy of it, maam. It's easy to say
chuck it; but I havent the nerve. Which of us has?
We're all intimidated. Intimidated, maam: thats what we
are. What is there for me if I chuck it but the
workhouse in my old age? I have to dye my hair already
to keep my job as a dustman. If I was one of the
deserving poor, and had put by a bit, I could chuck it;
but then why should I, acause the deserving poor might
as well be millionaires for all the happiness they ever
has. They dont know what happiness is. But I, as one of
the undeserving poor, have nothing between me and the
pauper's uniform but this here blasted three thousand a
year that shoves me into the middle class. (Excuse the
expression, maam: youd use it yourself if you had my
provocation). Theyve got you every way you turn: it's a
choice between the Skilly of the workhouse and the Char
Bydis of the middle class; and I havnt the nerve for
the workhouse. Intimidated: thats what I am. Broke.
Bought up. Happier men than me will call for my dust,
and touch me for their tip; and I'll look on helpless,
and envy them. And thats what your son has brought me
to. [He is overcome by emotion].
Well, I'm very glad youre not going to do
anything foolish, Mr. Doolittle. For this solves the
problem of Eliza's future. You can provide for her now.
DOOLITTLE [with melancholy resignation] Yes, maam: I'm
expected to provide for everyone now, out of three
thousand a year.
HIGGINS [jumping up] Nonsense! he cant provide for her.
He shant provide for her. She doesnt belong to him. I
paid him five pounds for her. Doolittle: either youre
an honest man or a rogue.
DOOLITTLE [tolerantly] A little of both, Henry, like
the rest of us: a little of both.
Well, you took that money for the girl; and
you have no right to take her as well.
Henry: dont be absurd. If you really want
to know where Eliza is, she is upstairs.
HIGGINS [amazed] Upstairs!!! Then I shall jolly soon
fetch her downstairs. [He makes resolutely for the
MRS. HIGGINS [rising and following him] Be quiet,
Henry. Sit down.
Oh very well, very well, very well. [He throws
himself ungraciously on the ottoman, with his face
towards the windows]. But I think you might have told
me this half an hour ago.
Eliza came to me this morning. She passed
the night partly walking about in a rage, partly trying
to throw herself into the river and being afraid to,
and partly in the Carlton Hotel. She told me of the
brutal way you two treated her.
PICKERING [rising also] My dear Mrs. Higgins, shes been
telling you stories. We didnt treat her brutally. We
hardly said a word to her; and we parted on
particularly good terms. [Turning on Higgins]. Higgins
did you bully her after I went to bed?
Just the other way about. She threw my
slippers in my face. She behaved in the most outrageous
way. I never gave her the slightest provocation. The
slippers came bang into my face the moment I entered
the room--before I had uttered a word. And used
perfectly awful language.
PICKERING [astonished] But why? What did we do to her?
I think I know pretty well what you did.
The girl is naturally rather affectionate, I think.
Isnt she, Mr. Doolittle?
Very tender-hearted, maam. Takes after me.
Just so. She had become attached to you
both. She worked very hard for you, Henry! I dont think
you quite realize what anything in the nature of brain
work means to a girl like that. Well, it seems that
when the great day of trial came, and she did this
wonderful thing for you without making a single
mistake, you two sat there and never said a word to
her, but talked together of how glad you were that it
was all over and how you had been bored with the whole
thing. And then you were surprised because she threw
your slippers at you! I should have thrown the
fire-irons at you.
We said nothing except that we were tired and
wanted to go to bed. Did we, Pick?
You didn't thank her, or pet her, or
admire her, or tell her how splendid she'd been.
HIGGINS [impatiently] But she knew all about that. We
didnt make speeches to her, if thats what you mean.
PICKERING [conscience stricken] Perhaps we were a
little inconsiderate. Is she very angry?
MRS. HIGGINS [returning to her place at the
writing-table] Well, I'm afraid she wont go back to
Wimpole Street, especially now that Mr. Doolittle is
able to keep up the position you have thrust on her;
but she says she is quite willing to meet you on
friendly terms and to let bygones be bygones.
If you promise to behave yourself, Henry,
I'll ask her to come down. If not, go home; for you
have taken up quite enough of my time.
Oh, all right. Very well. Pick: you behave
yourself. Let us put on our best Sunday manners for
this creature that we picked out of the mud. [He flings
himself sulkily into the Elizabethan chair].
DOOLITTLE [remonstrating] Now, now, Henry Higgins! have
some consideration for my feelings as a middle class
Remember your promise, Henry. [She
presses the bell-button on the writing-table]. Mr.
Doolittle: will you be so good as to step out on the
balcony for a moment. I dont want Eliza to have the
shock of your news until she has made it up with these
two gentlemen. Would you mind?
As you wish, lady. Anything to help Henry to
keep her off my hands. [He disappears through the
The parlor-maid answers the bell. Pickering sits down
in Doolittle's place.
Ask Miss Doolittle to come down, please.
HIGGINS [springing up, out of patience] Where the devil
is that girl? Are we to wait here all day?
Eliza enters, sunny, self-possessed, and giving a
staggeringly convincing exhibition of ease of manner.
She carries a little work-basket, and is very much at
home. Pickering is too much taken aback to rise.
How do you do, Professor Higgins? Are you quite
But of course you are: you are never ill. So glad
to see you again, Colonel Pickering. [He rises hastily;
and they shake hands]. Quite chilly this morning, isnt
it? [She sits down on his left. He sits beside her].
Dont you dare try this game on me. I taught it
to you; and it doesnt take me in. Get up and come home;
and dont be a fool.
Eliza takes a piece of needlework from her basket, and
begins to stitch at it, without taking the least notice
of this outburst.
Very nicely put, indeed, Henry. No woman
could resist such an invitation.
You let her alone, mother. Let her speak for
herself. You will jolly soon see whether she has an
idea that I havnt put into her head or a word that I
havnt put into her mouth. I tell you I have created
this thing out of the squashed cabbage leaves of Covent
Garden; and now she pretends to play the fine lady with
MRS. HIGGINS [placidly] Yes, dear; but youll sit down,
LIZA [continuing quietly]--but I owe so much to you that
I should be very unhappy if you forgot me.
It's very kind of you to say so, Miss
It's not because you paid for my dresses. I know
you are generous to everybody with money. But it was
from you that I learnt really nice manners; and that is
what makes one a lady, isnt it? You see it was so very
difficult for me with the example of Professor Higgins
always before me. I was brought up to be just like him,
unable to control myself, and using bad language on the
slightest provocation. And I should never have known
that ladies and gentlemen didnt behave like that if you
hadnt been there.
LIZA [stopping her work for a moment] Your calling me
Miss Doolittle that day when I first came to Wimpole
Street. That was the beginning of self-respect for me.
[She resumes her stitching]. And there were a hundred
little things you never noticed, because they came
naturally to you. Things about standing up and taking
off your hat and opening door--
Yes: things that shewed you thought and felt
about me as if I were something better than a
scullery-maid; though of course I know you would have
been just the same to a scullery-maid if she had been
let in the drawing-room. You never took off your boots
in the dining room when I was there.
You mustnt mind that. Higgins takes off his
boots all over the place.
I know. I am not blaming him. It is his way, isnt
it? But it made such a difference to me that you didnt
do it. You see, really and truly, apart from the things
anyone can pick up (the dressing and the proper way of
speaking, and so on), the difference between a lady and
a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how shes
treated. I shall always be a flower girl to Professor
Higgins, because he always treats me as a flower girl,
and always will; but I know I can be a lady to you,
because you always treat me as a lady, and always will.
PICKERING [laughing] Why dont you slang back at him?
Dont stand it. It would do him a lot of good.
I cant. I could have done it once; but now I cant
go back to it. Last night, when I was wandering about,
a girl spoke to me; and I tried to get back into the
old way with her; but it was no use. You told me, you
know, that when a child is brought to a foreign
country, it picks up the language in a few weeks, and
forgets its own. Well, I am a child in your country. I
have forgotten my own language, and can speak nothing
but yours. Thats the real break-off with the corner of
Tottenham Court Road. Leaving Wimpole Street finishes
PICKERING [much alarmed] Oh! but youre coming back to
Wimpole Street, arnt you? Youll forgive Higgins?
HIGGINS [rising] Forgive! Will she, by George! Let her
go. Let her find out how she can get on without us. She
will relapse into the gutter in three weeks without me
at her elbow.
Doolittle appears at the centre window. With a look of
dignified reproach at Higgins, he comes slowly and
silently to his daughter, who, with her back to the
window, is unconscious of his approach.
Hes incorrigible, Eliza. You wont relapse,
No: Not now. Never again. I have learnt my
lesson. I dont believe I could utter one of the old
sounds if I tried. [Doolittle touches her on her left
shoulder. She drops her work, losing her
self-possession utterly at the spectacle of her
father's splendor] A-a-a-a-a-ah-ow-ooh!
HIGGINS [with a crow of triumph] Aha! Just so.
A-a-a-a-ahowooh! A-a-a-a-ahowooh! A-a-a-a-ahowooh!
Victory! Victory! [He throws himself on the divan,
folding his arms, and spraddling arrogantly].
Can you blame the girl? Dont look at me like
that, Eliza. It aint my fault. Ive come into some
You must have touched a millionaire this time,
I have. But I'm dressed something special
today. I'm going to St. George's, Hanover Square. Your
stepmother is going to marry me.
LIZA [angrily] Youre going to let yourself down to
marry that low common woman!
PICKERING [quietly] He ought to, Eliza. [To Doolittle]
Why has she changed her mind?
DOOLITTLE [sadly] Intimidated, Governor. Intimidated.
Middle class morality claims its victim. Wont you put
on your hat, Liza, and come and see me turned off?
If the Colonel says I must, I--I'll [almost
sobbing] I'll demean myself. And get insulted for my
pains, like enough.
Dont be afraid: she never comes to words
with anyone now, poor woman! respectability has broke
all the spirit out of her.
PICKERING [squeezing Eliza's elbow gently] Be kind to
them, Eliza. Make the best of it.
LIZA [forcing a little smile for him through her
vexation] Oh well, just to shew theres no ill feeling.
I'll be back in a moment. [She goes out].
DOOLITTLE [sitting down beside Pickering] I feel
uncommon nervous about the ceremony, Colonel. I wish
youd come and see me through it.
But youve been through it before, man. You
were married to Eliza's mother.
Well, nobody told me. But I
No: that aint the natural way, Colonel: it's
only the middle class way. My way was always the
undeserving way. But dont say nothing to Eliza. She
dont know: I always had a delicacy about telling her.
Quite right. We'll leave it so, if you dont
And youll come to the church, Colonel, and
put me through straight?
With pleasure. As far as a bachelor can.
May I come, Mr. Doolittle? I should be
very sorry to miss your wedding.
I should indeed be honored by your
condescension, maam; and my poor old woman would take
it as a tremenjous compliment. Shes been very low,
thinking of the happy days that are no more.
MRS. HIGGINS [rising] I'll order the carriage and get
ready. [The men rise, except Higgins]. I shant be more
than fifteen minutes. [As she goes to the door Eliza
comes in, hatted and buttoning her gloves]. I'm going
to the church to see your father married, Eliza. You
had better come in the brougham with me. Colonel
Pickering can go on with the bridegroom.
Mrs. Higgins goes out. Eliza comes to the middle of the
room between the centre window and the ottoman.
Pickering joins her.
Bridegroom! What a word! It makes a man
realize his position, somehow. [He takes up his hat and
goes towards the door].
Before I go, Eliza, do forgive him and come
back to us.
I dont think papa would allow me. Would you, dad?
DOOLITTLE [sad but magnanimous] They played you off
very cunning, Eliza, them two sportsmen. If it had been
only one of them, you could have nailed him. But you
see, there was two; and one of them chaperoned the
other, as you might say. [To Pickering] It was artful
of you, Colonel; but I bear no malice: I should have
done the same myself. I been the victim of one woman
after another all my life; and I dont grudge you two
getting the better of Eliza. I shant interfere. It's
time for us to go, Colonel. So long, Henry. See you in
St. George's, Eliza. [He goes out].
PICKERING [coaxing] Do stay with us, Eliza. [He follows
Eliza goes out on the balcony to avoid being alone with
Higgins. He rises and joins her there. She immediately
comes back into the room and makes for the door; but he
goes along the balcony quickly and gets his back to the
door before she reaches it.
Well, Eliza, youve had a bit of your own back,
as you call it. Have you had enough? and are you going
to be reasonable? Or do you want any more?
You want me back only to pick up your slippers
and put up with your tempers and fetch and carry for
About you, not about me. If you come back I
shall treat you just as I have always treated you. I
cant change my nature; and I dont intend to change my
manners. My manners are exactly the same as Colonel
Thats not true. He treats a flower girl as if she
was a duchess.
And I treat a duchess as if she was a flower
I see. [She turns away composedly, and sits on
the ottoman, facing the window]. The same to everybody.
HIGGINS [grinning, a little taken down] Without
accepting the comparison at all points, Eliza, it's
quite true that your father is not a snob, and that he
will be quite at home in any station of life to which
his eccentric destiny may call him. [Seriously] The
great secret, Eliza, is not having bad manners or good
manners or any other particular sort of manners, but
having the same manner for all human souls: in short,
behaving as if you were in Heaven, where there are no
third-class carriages, and one soul is as good as
You never asked yourself, I suppose, whether I
could do without y o u.
LIZA [earnestly] Dont you try to get round me. Youll h
a v e to do without me.
HIGGINS [arrogant] I can do without anybody. I have my
own soul: my own spark of divine fire. But [with sudden
humility] I shall miss you, Eliza. [He sits down near
her on the ottoman]. I have learnt something from your
idiotic notions: I confess that humbly and gratefully.
And I have grown accustomed to your voice and
appearance. I like them, rather.
Well, you have both of them on your gramophone
and in your book of photographs. When you feel lonely
without me, you can turn the machine on. It's got no
feelings to hurt.
I cant turn your soul on. Leave me those
feelings; and you can take away the voice and the face.
They are not you.
Oh, you a r e a devil. You can twist the heart in
a girl as easy as some could twist her arms to hurt
her. Mrs. Pearce warned me. Time and again she has
wanted to leave you; and you always got round her at
the last minute. And you dont care a bit for her. And
you dont care a bit for me.
I care for life, for humanity; and you are a
part of it that has come my way and been built into my
house. What more can you or anyone ask?
I wont care for anybody that doesnt care for me.
Commercial principles, Eliza. Like
[reproducing her Covent Garden pronunciation with
professional exactness] s'yollin voylets [selling
violets], isnt it?
I have never sneered in my life. Sneering
doesnt become either the human face or the human soul.
I am expressing my righteous contempt for
Commercialism. I dont and wont trade in affection. You
call me a brute because you couldnt buy a claim on me
by fetching my slippers and finding my spectacles. You
were a fool: I think a woman fetching a man's slippers
is a disgusting sight: did I ever fetch y o u r
slippers? I think a good deal more of you for throwing
them in my face. No use slaving for me and then saying
you want to be cared for: who cares for a slave? If you
come back, come back for the sake of good fellowship;
for youll get nothing else. Youve had a thousand times
as much out of me as I have out of you; and if you dare
to set up your little dog's tricks of fetching and
carrying slippers against my creation of a Duchess
Eliza, I'll slam the door in your silly face.
What did you do it for if you didnt care for me?
You never thought of the trouble it would make
Would the world ever have been made if its
maker had been afraid of making trouble? Making life
means making trouble. Theres only one way of escaping
trouble; and thats killing things. Cowards, you notice,
are always shrieking to have troublesome people killed.
I'm no preacher: I dont notice things like that.
I notice that you dont notice me.
HIGGINS [jumping up and walking about intolerantly]
Eliza: youre an idiot. I waste the treasures of my
Miltonic mind by spreading them before you. Once for
all, understand that I go my way and do my work without
caring twopence what happens to either of us. I am not
intimidated, like your father and your stepmother. So
you can come back or go to the devil: which you please.
Oh! if I only c o u l d go back to my flower
basket! I should be independent of both you and father
and all the world! Why did you take my independence
from me? Why did I give it up? I'm a slave now, for all
my fine clothes.
Not a bit. I'll adopt you as my daughter and
settle money on you if you like. Or would you rather
LIZA [looking fiercely round at him] I wouldnt marry y
o u if you asked me; and youre nearer my age than what
HIGGINS [gently] Than he is: not "than what he is."
LIZA [losing her temper and rising] I'll talk as I
like. Youre not my teacher now.
HIGGINS [reflectively] I dont suppose Pickering would,
though. Hes as confirmed an old bachelor as I am.
Thats not what I want; and dont you think it. Ive
always had chaps enough wanting me that way. Freddy
Hill writes to me twice and three times a day, sheets
HIGGINS [disagreeably surprised] Damn his impudence!
[He recoils and finds himself sitting on his heels].
He has a right to if he likes, poor lad. And he
does love me.
HIGGINS [getting off the ottoman] You have no right to
Freddy's not a fool. And if hes weak and poor and
wants me, may be hed make me happier than my betters
that bully me and dont want me.
Can he m a k e anything of you? Thats the
Perhaps I could make something of him. But I
never thought of us making anything of one another; and
you never think of anything else. I only want to be
In short, you want me to be as infatuated
about you as Freddy? Is that it?
No I dont. Thats not the sort of feeling I want
from you. And dont you be too sure of yourself or of
me. I could have been a bad girl if I'd liked. Ive seen
more of some things than you, for all your learning.
Girls like me can drag gentlemen down to make love to
them easy enough. And they wish each other dead the
Of course they do. Then what in thunder are we
LIZA [much troubled] I want a little kindness. I know
I'm a common ignorant girl, and you a book-learned
gentleman; but I'm not dirt under your feet. What I
done [correcting herself] what I did was not for the
dresses and the taxis: I did it because we were
pleasant together and I come--came--to care for you; not
to want you to make love to me, and not forgetting the
difference between us, but more friendly like.
Well, of course. Thats just how I feel. And
how Pickering feels. Eliza: youre a fool.
Thats not a proper answer to give me [she sinks
on the chair at the writing-table in tears].
It's all youll get until you stop being a
common idiot. If youre going to be a lady, youll have
to give up feeling neglected if the men you know dont
spend half their time snivelling over you and the other
half giving you black eyes. If you cant stand the
coldness of my sort of life, and the strain of it, go
back to the gutter. Work til you are more a brute than
a human being; and then cuddle and squabble and drink
til you fall asleep. Oh, it's a fine life, the life of
the gutter. It's real: it's warm: it's violent: you can
feel it through the thickest skin: you can taste it and
smell it without any training or any work. Not like
Science and Literature and Classical Music and
Philosophy and Art. You find me cold, unfeeling,
selfish, dont you? Very well: be off with you to the
sort of people you like. Marry some sentimental hog or
other with lots of money, and a thick pair of lips to
kiss you with and a thick pair of boots to kick you
with. If you cant appreciate what youve got, youd
better get what you can appreciate.
LIZA [desperate] Oh, you are a cruel tyrant. I cant
talk to you: you turn everything against me: I'm always
in the wrong. But you know very well all the time that
youre nothing but a bully. You know I cant go back to
the gutter, as you call it, and that I have no real
friends in the world but you and the Colonel. You know
well I couldnt bear to live with a low common man after
you two; and it's wicked and cruel of you to insult me
by pretending I could. You think I must go back to
Wimpole Street because I have nowhere else to go but
father's. But dont you be too sure that you have me
under your feet to be trampled on and talked down. I'll
marry Freddy, I will, as soon as hes able to support
HIGGINS [sitting down beside her] Rubbish! you shall
marry an ambassador. You shall marry the
Governor-General of India or the Lord-Lieutenant of
Ireland, or somebody who wants a deputy-queen. I'm not
going to have my masterpiece thrown away on Freddy.
You think I like you to say that. But I havnt
forgot what you said a minute ago; and I wont be coaxed
round as if I was a baby or a puppy. If I cant have
kindness, I'll have independence.
Independence? Thats middle class blasphemy. We
are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on
LIZA [rising determinedly] I'll let you see whether I'm
dependent on you. If you can preach, I can teach. I'll
go and be a teacher.
I'll offer myself as an assistant to Professor
HIGGINS [rising in a fury] What! That impostor! that
humbug! that toadying ignoramus! Teach him my methods!
my discoveries! You take one step in his direction and
I'll wring your neck. [He lays hands on her]. Do you
LIZA [defiantly non-resistant] Wring away. What do I
care? I knew youd strike me some day. [He lets her go,
stamping with rage at having forgotten himself, and
recoils so hastily that he stumbles back into his seat
on the ottoman]. Aha! Now I know how to deal with you.
What a fool I was not to think of it before! You cant
take away the knowledge you gave me. You said I had a
finer ear than you. And I can be civil and kind to
people, which is more than you can. Aha! Thats done
you, Henry Higgins, it has. Now I dont care that
[snapping her fingers] for your bullying and your big
talk. I'll advertize it in the papers that your duchess
is only a flower girl that you taught, and that she'll
teach anybody to be a duchess just the same in six
months for a thousand guineas. Oh, when I think of
myself crawling under your feet and being trampled on
and called names, when all the time I had only to lift
up my finger to be as good as you, I could just kick
HIGGINS [wondering at her] You damned impudent slut,
you! But it's better than snivelling; better than
fetching slippers and finding spectacles, isnt it?
[Rising] By George, Eliza, I said I'd make a woman of
you; and I have. I like you like this.
Yes: you turn round and make up to me now that
I'm not afraid of you, and can do without you.
Of course I do, you little fool. Five minutes
ago you were like a millstone round my neck. Now youre
a tower of strength: a consort battleship. You and I
and Pickering will be three old bachelors together
instead of only two men and a silly girl.
Mrs. Higgins returns, dressed for the wedding. Eliza
instantly becomes cool and elegant.
The carriage is waiting, Eliza. Are you
Good-bye, mother. [He is about to kiss her,
when he recollects something]. Oh, by the way, Eliza,
order a ham and a Stilton cheese, will you? And buy me
a pair of reindeer gloves, number eights, and a tie to
match that new suit of mine, at Eale & Binman's. You
can choose the color. [His cheerful, careless, vigorous
voice shows that he is incorrigible].
LIZA [disdainfully] Buy them yourself. [She sweeps
I'm afraid you've spoiled that girl,
Henry. But never mind, dear: I'll buy you the tie and
HIGGINS [sunnily] Oh, dont bother. She'll buy em all
right enough. Good-bye.
They kiss. Mrs. Higgins runs out. Higgins, left alone,
rattles his cash in his pocket; chuckles; and disports
himself in a highly self-satisfied manner.