Transcript #7: My Fair Lady

A classic musical comedy about English pronunciation, social class and romance.

DVD cover - My Fair Lady

My Fair Lady, Mi bella dama, Minha Linda Lady, Minha Bela Dama, Moja lepa gospođice, Moja draga dama, Benim tatli melegim, Minu veetlev leedi, 마이 페어 레이디, 『マイ・フェア・レディ』(, Моя прекрасная леди

The stars of the film are Eliza Doolittle and Professor Henry Higgins. Eliza is a poor London flower seller and she starts the film with a very strong working-class London accent.

The film script by Lerner and Loewe is based on the theatre play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. The film was made by George Cukor in 1964 and stars Audrey Hepburn (Eliza Doolittle), Rex Harrison (Professor Henry Higgins), Wilfrid Hyde-White (Colonel Pickering) and Stanley Holloway (Eliza’s father Alfred P. Doolittle).

Levels: Advanced to Mastery (C1 to C2)

Welcome to the transcript!

 

 

SCENE - COVENT GARDEN, LONDON.

IN 1912, COVENT GARDEN WAS A FLOWER MARKET OUTSIDE THE NATIONAL OPERA HOUSE. AN OPERA HAS JUST FINISHED AND ALL THE BEAUTFUL PEOPLE ARE COMING OUT. THEY WANT TAXIS

TAXI DRIVER 1. Sorry, sir, I’ve already got a fare.
TAXI DRIVER 2. I’m free, sir, over here! Over here, sir!

IT STARTS TO RAIN HARD. THE OPERA-GOERS PUT UP UMBRELLAS OR SHELTER UNDER THE PORTICO OF THE CHURCH; WORKERS IN THE FLOWER MARKET START TO COVER UP THE FLOWERS

MRS EYNSFORD-HILL. Freddie, go and find a cab.
MRS EYNSFORD-HILL. Don't just stand there, Freddie, go and find a cab.
FREDDIE. All right, I'll go, I’ll go.

HE STANDS IN THE ROAD AND WHISTLES FOR A TAXI. ELIZA RUNS ACROSS THE ROAD. SHE BUMPS INTO HIM FROM BEHIND, FALLS OVER AND DROPS HER FLOWER BASKET

ELIZA. Ah-aw-oo. Look where you're going, dear, look where you're going!
FREDDIE. I'm so sorry.
ELIZA. Two bunches of violets trod in the mud. A full day's wages!
MRS EYNSFORD-HILL. Freddie! Freddie! Go and find a cab!
FREDDIE. Yes, mother.
ELIZA [TO MRS EYNSFORD-HILL]. Oh, he's your son, is he? 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 paying.
MRS EYNSFORD-HILL. Oh, go about your business, my girl.
ELIZA. And you wouldn't go off without paying either. Two bunches of violets trod in the mud.

SHE SITS DOWN UNDER THE CHURCH PORTICO, WITH HER FLOWER BASKET ON HER KNEE

PICKERING. Good heavens!
MRS EYNSFORD-HILL. Oh, sir, is there any sign of it stopping?
PICKERING. I'm afraid not. It's worse than before.
MRS EYNSFORD-HILL. Oh, dear.

My Fair Lady - Eliza Doolittle
ELIZA. If it's worse it's a sign it's nearly over. Cheer up, captain. Buy a flower off a poor girl.
PICKERING. I'm sorry, I haven't any change.
ELIZA. Oh, I can change half a crown. Here, take this for tuppence.
PICKERING. I told you, I'm awfully sorry I haven't ... oh, wait a minute. Oh, yes, here's three ha’pence, if that's any use to you.
ELIZA. Thank you, sir.
ONLOOKER 1 [TO ELIZA] Here, you be careful. Better give him a flower for it. There's a bloke here, behind that pillar, taking down every blessed word you're saying.
ELIZA. I ain't done nothing wrong by speaking to the gentleman. I've a right to sell flowers if I keep off the kerb. [SHE STARTS SHOUTING] I'm a respectable girl, so help me, I never spoke to him except to ask him to buy a flower off me.
ONLOOKER 2. Oh, don’t start.
ONLOOKER 3. What's all the blooming noise?
ONLOOKER 4. It’s a ‘tec [detective] taking her down.
ELIZA. Well, I'm making an honest living!
ONLOOKER 5. What’s all that shouting?
ONLOOKER 6. Where’s it coming from?
ELIZA. Oh, sir, don't let him charge me. You don’t know what it means to me. They'll take away my character and drive me on the streets for speaking to gentlemen!
HIGGINS. 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. Then what did you take down my words for? How do I know you took me down right? You just show me what you wrote about me.

HE SHOWS HER HIS NOTEBOOK, BUT THE WRITING IS IN CODE

My Fair Lady - Covent Garden

ELIZA. Oh. What's that? That ain't proper writing. I can't read it.
HIGGINS. I can. "I say, cap'n, n' buy ya flar orf a poor gel."
ELIZA. Oh, it's because I called him captain. I meant no harm. Oh, sir, don't let him lay a charge against me for a word like that!
PICKERING. Charge? I'll make no charge. Really, sir, if you are a detective you needn't begin protecting me against molestation from young women until I ask you. Anyone can tell the girl meant no harm.
ONLOOKER 2. He ain't no ‘tec, he's a gentleman, look at his boots.
HIGGINS. How are all your people down at Selsey?
ONLOOKER 2. Who told you my people come from Selsey?
HIGGINS. Never mind; they do. [TO ELIZA] How did you come to be so far east? You were born in Lisson Grove.
ELIZA. Ooh, what harm is there in my leaving Lisson Grove? It weren't fit for pigs to live in, and I had to pay four-and-six.
HIGGINS. 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.
ONLOOKER 2 [TO HIGGINS] Where do I come from?
HIGGINS. Hoxton.
ONLOOKER 2. Well, who said I didn't? Blimey, you know everything, you do!
MRS EYNSFORD-HILL. You, sir, do you think you could find me a taxi?
HIGGINS. I don't know whether you've noticed it, madam, but it's stopped raining. You can get a motorbus to ... Hampton Court. Well, that's where you live, isn't it?
MRS EYNSFORD-HILL. What impertinence!
ONLOOKER 1. Here, tell him where he comes from if you want to go fortune-telling.
HIGGINS. Cheltenham, Harrow, Cambridge, and ... er ... India?
PICKERING. Quite right!
ONLOOKER 1. Blimey. He ain't a tec, he's a blooming busybody. That's what he 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 to 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. 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. Woman, cease this detestable boohooing instantly, or else seek the shelter of some other place of worship.
ELIZA. I've a right to be here if I like, same as you.
HIGGINS. A woman who utters such disgusting and depressing noises 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. Ah-ah-aw-aw-oo-oo!
HIGGINS:
Look at her, a prisoner of the gutters,
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. Ah-ah-aw-aw-oo-oo!
HIGGINS "Ah-ah-aw-aw-oo-oo" Heavens! what a sound!
This is what the British population
Calls an elementary education.
PICKERING. Come, sir; I think you’ve picked a poor example.
HIGGINS. Did I...?
Hear them down in Soho Square,
Dropping "h"s everywhere,
Speaking English any way they like.
You sir, did you go to school?
ONLOOKER 3. What do you take me for, 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.
ELIZA. Garn!
HIGGINS. "Garn" - I ask you, sir, what sort of word is that?
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. I beg your pardon.
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 ...
... Set a good example to people whose English is painful to your ears.
The Scotch and the Irish leave you close to tears!
There are even places where English completely disappears
Why, in America they haven't used it for years.
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.
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?

HE SITS AND DRINKS A CUP OF TEA. ELIZA LOOKS AT HIM WITH HER MOUTH OPEN]

HIGGINS. Thank you. 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. Here, 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. Ah-how-ow! You don't believe that, captain?
PICKERING. Anything's possible. I myself am a student of Indian dialects.
HIGGINS. 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' Universal Alphabet.
PICKERING. I came from India to meet you.
HIGGINS. I was going to India to meet you!
PICKERING. Higgins!
HIGGINS. Pickering! 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.
HIGGINS. Indian dialects have always fascinated me.
ELIZA. Buy a flower, kind sir. I'm short for me lodging.
HIGGINS. Liar. You said you could change half-a-crown.
ELIZA. You ought to be stuffed with nails, you ought! [SHE DROP-KICKS HER BASKET AT HIM] Here, take the whole blooming basket for sixpence!
HIGGINS. A reminder. [HE BOWS TO ELIZA AND DROPS SOME COINS IN THE BASKET]
HIGGINS. How many are there, actually?
PICKERING. How many what?
HIGGINS. Er, Indian dialects.
PICKERING. No fewer than a hundred and forty seven distinct languages are recorded as vernacular.
ELIZA. Aaah-ow-ooh! [SHE GOES TO THE BASKET AND COUNTS THE MONEY]
ONLOOKER 4. Shouldn't we stand up, gentlemen, we've got a blooming heiress in our midst.
ONLOOKER 5. Would you be looking for a good butler, Eliza?
ELIZA. Well, you won't do!
ONLOOKER 5:
It's rather dull in town,
I think I'll take me to Paree.
ONLOOKER 3. The missus wants to open up the castle in Capri.
ONLOOKER 4. My doctor recommends a quiet summer by the sea.
CHORUS:
Mmmm-mmm.
Mmmm-mmm.
Wouldn't it be lovely?
ONLOOKER 3. Where are you bound for this year, Eliza, Biarritz?
ELIZA:

My Fair Lady - wouldn't it be lovely
All I want is a room somewhere
Far away from the cold night air
With one enormous chair,
Oh, wouldn't it be loverly ?[=LOVELY]
Lots of chocolate for me to eat
Lots of coal making lots of heat
Warm face, warm hands, warm feet,
Oh, wouldn't it be loverly?
Oh, so lovely sitting abso-blooming-lutely still!
I would never budge 'til Spring crept over the window sill.
Someone's head resting on my knee
Warm and tender as he can be
Who takes good care of me.
Oh, wouldn't it be loverly?
Lovely, lovely, lovely, lovely.
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 chocolate for me to eat
Lots of coal making lots of heat
Warm face, warm hands, warm feet,
Oh, wouldn't it be loverly?
Oh, so lovely sitting abso-blooming-lutely still!
I would never budge 'til Spring crept over my window sill.
CHORUS:
Someone's head resting on my knee
Warm and tender as he can be
ELIZA.
Who takes good care of me
Oh, wouldn't it be loverly?

ELIZA CLIMBS INTO THE BACK OF A REFUSE CART TO GO HOME

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SCENE - THE SAME PLACE A FEW HOURS LATER. IT’S VERY EARLY IN THE MORNING AND THERE ARE NO PEOPLE. ELIZA’S FATHER ALFRED P. DOOLITTLE ARRIVES WITH TWO FRIENDS

My Fair Lady - Alfie Doolittle

JAMIE. Come on Alfie, let's go home now; this place is giving me the willies.
DOOLITTLE. Home! What do you want to go home for? It nearly five o'clock, my daughter Eliza'll be along soon. She ought to be good for half a crown for her father what loves her!
HARRY. Loves her? That's a laugh! You ain't been near her for months.
DOOLITTLE. What's that got to do with it? What's half a crown after all I've given her?
JAMIE. When did you ever give her anything?
DOOLITTLE. Anything? I gave her everything; I gave her the greatest gift a human being can give to another - life! I introduced her to this here 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 of London to roam around in, selling her blooming flowers. I gave her all that; then I disappears and leaves her on her own to enjoy it. Now, if that ain't worth half a crown now and then, I'll take my belt off and give her what for!
JAMIE. You've got a good heart Alfie, but if you want half a crown out of Eliza you’d better have a good story to go with it.
DOOLITTLE. Leave that to me, my boy. [HE WALKS UP TO A MAN SLEEPING IN A CART]. Good morning, George.
GEORGE. Not a brass farthing. [ALFRED NODS, TURNS AWAY AND WALKS UP TO THE PUB]
DOOLITTLE. Good morning, Algernon.
PUBLICAN. Not a brass farthing!

THEY WAIT. PEOPLE START ARRIVING FOR WORK AT THE FLOWER MARKET

My Fair Lady - 'op along Charlie

DOOLITTLE. There she is. Why, Eliza, what a surprise!
WOMAN ONLOOKER. 'Op along, Charlie, you're too old for me!
HARRY. Don't know your own daughter, Alfie?
JAMIE. How are you going to find her if you don't know what she looks like?
DOOLITTLE. I know her, I know her! Come on, I'll find her.

[HE FINDS HER]

DOOLITTLE. Eliza, what a surprise!
ELIZA. Not a brass farthing.
DOOLITTLE. Hey! Here - you come here, Eliza!

My Fair Lady - not a brass farthing
ELIZA. Oy! I ain’t going to take my hard-earned wages and let you pass them on to a bloody pub-keeper!
DOOLITTLE. Cor! Eliza, you wouldn't have the heart to send me home to your stepmother without a drop of liquid protection, now, would you?
ELIZA. Stepmother, indeed!
DOOLITTLE. Well, I'm willing to marry her. It's me that suffers by it. I'm a slave to that woman Eliza; just because I ain't her "lawful husband". Ah, come on, slip your old dad just half a crown to go home on.
ELIZA. Well, I had a bit of luck myself last night, so here. But don't keep coming around counting on half crowns from me!
DOOLITTLE. Thank you, Eliza; you're a noble daughter. Beer, beer, glorious beer. Fill yourself right up! Beer, beer, glorious beer, fill yourselves right up to here!

[ELIZA WALKS AWAY, THINKING ABOUT WHAT PROFESSOR HIGGINS SAID - “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 ... You disgrace to the noble architecture of these columns! ... I could even get her a job as a lady's maid or a shop assistant, which requires better English”]

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SCENE - THE STUDY OF PROFESSOR HIGGINS’ HOUSE. COLONEL PICKERING IS LISTENING TO PROFESSOR HIGGINS MAKING STRANGE NOISES:

My Fair Lady - Professor Higgins and Colonel Pickering

HIGGINS. Now how many vowel sounds do you think you've heard altogether?
PICKERING. 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.
PICKERING. Must I? I'm really quite done up for one morning.

SCENE - AT PROFESSOR HIGGINS’ FRONT DOOR:

BUTLER. Your name, please? Your name, miss?
ELIZA. My name is of no concern to you whatsoever.
BUTLER. One moment please.
ELIZA. Oh, London is getting so dirty these days.
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.

IN PROFESSOR HIGGINS’ STUDY:

MRS PEARCE. Mr Higgins.
HIGGINS. What is it, Mrs Pearce?
MRS PEARCE. There's a young woman who wants to see you, sir.
HIGGINS. A young woman! What does she want?
MRS PEARCE. 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 machine.
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. 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 first in Bell's Visible Speech, then in broad Romic; 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.
MRS PEARCE. This is the young woman, sir.
ELIZA. Good morning, my good man. Might I have the pleasure of a word with your ...
HIGGINS. 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. Now be off with you, I don't want you.
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 giving 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 you. Now you know, don't you? I'm come to have lessons, I am. And to pay for them too, make no mistake.
HIGGINS Well! 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 Oh-ah-ah-ow-ow-ow-oo! I won't be called a baggage; not when I've offered to pay like any lady.
PICKERING. What do you want, my girl?
ELIZA. I ... I want to be a lady in a flower shop instead of selling at the corner of 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. I know what lessons cost as well as you do, and I'm ready to pay.
HIGGINS. How much?
ELIZA. 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. You'd had a drop in, hadn't you, eh?
HIGGINS. Sit down.
ELIZA. Oh, well, if you're going to make a compliment of it ...
HIGGINS. Sit down!
MRS PEARCE. Sit down, girl. Do as you're told.
ELIZA. Oh...
PICKERING. What's your name?
ELIZA. Eliza Doolittle.
PICKERING. Won't you sit down, Miss Doolittle?
ELIZA. I don't mind if I do.
HIGGINS. Now, 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 eighteen pence an hour from a real French gentleman. Well, you wouldn't have the face to ask the same for teaching me my own language as you would for French; so I won't give more than a shilling. Take it or leave it.
HIGGINS. 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 ... er ... sixty or seventy pounds for a millionaire. By George, it's enormous! it's the biggest offer I ever had.
ELIZA. Sixty pounds! What are you talking about? Where would I get sixty pounds? I never offered you sixty pounds.
HIGGINS. Hold your tongue.
ELIZA. But I ain't got sixty pounds. Oh ...
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. Sit down!!
ELIZA. Oh, anyone would think you was my father.
HIGGINS. If I decide to teach you, I'd be worse than two fathers to you. Oh, here.
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.
ELIZA. 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 can 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, captain.
HIGGINS. You know, it's almost irresistible. She's so deliciously low. So horribly dirty.
ELIZA. 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. Oh-ah-ow!
HIGGINS. 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. Yes, but -
HIGGINS. 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. I'll call the police, I will!
MRS PEARCE. But I've got no place to put her.
HIGGINS. Well, put her in the dustbin.
ELIZA. Oh-ah-ow!
PICKERING. Come, Higgins! Be reasonable.
MRS PEARCE. You must be reasonable, Mr. Higgins; really you must. You can't walk over everybody like this.
HIGGINS. 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. 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. Here, I'm going. He's off his chump, he is. I don't want no barmies teaching me.
HIGGINS. Oh, mad, am I? Alright, Mrs Pearce, don't ring up and order those new clothes. 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. 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. 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 we need worry about. Well, have you, Eliza?
ELIZA. I got me feelings, the 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 all right 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. You ought to be ashamed of yourself, you ought.

My Fair Lady - chocolate
HIGGINS. Have some chocolates, Eliza.
ELIZA. How do I know what might be in them? I've heard of girls being drugged by the likes of you.
HIGGINS A pledge of good faith. I'll take one half [HE PUTS ONE HALF IN IS MOUTH] and you take the other. There are boxes of them, barrels of them, every day. You'll live on them, eh?
ELIZA. 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, and taxis, and gold, and diamonds!
ELIZA. Oh-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. Hmmm. 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. But if you are not found out, you shall have a present of seven [SHILLINGS]-and-six[PENCE] 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. 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. Come with me, Eliza.
HIGGINS. That's right, Mrs Pearce. Bundle her off to the bathroom.
ELIZA. 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.
HIGGINS. 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.

SCENE - UPSTAIRS AT PROFESSOR HIGGINS’ HOUSE

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. 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. Oooh! what's this? This where you wash clothes?
MRS PEARCE. 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 myself all over? Not me! I shall catch my death.
MRS PEARCE. Come along now; come along; take your clothes off ... come on girl, do as you're told, take your clothes off. Here, come on, girls...
ELIZA. Oh-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!

SCENE - IN PROFESSOR HIGGINS’ STUDY

PICKERING. 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. 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 a 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, never 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 were 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, contemplate, 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 masse
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.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SCENE - COVENT GARDEN. ALFRED DOOLITTLE AND HIS FRIENDS ARE BEING THROWN OUT OF A PUB.

PUBLICAN Get out of here! Come on Doolittle, and remember, beer’s to be paid for or not drunk.
DOOLITTLE. Ha-ha! Thanks for your hospitality George. Send the bill to Buckingham Palace. Come on.
JAMIE. Eh, Alfie, there's nothing 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. 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 of luck.
DOOLITTLE:

My Fair Lady - with a little bit of luck
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 of luck
With a little bit of luck
Someone else'll do the blinking work!
ALL THREE IN CHORUS:
With a little bit...with a little bit...
With a little bit of 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 of luck
With a little bit of luck
When temptation comes you'll give right in!
CHORUS
With a little bit...with a little bit...
With a little bit of luck you'll give right in.
DOOLITTLE.
Oh you can walk the straight and narrow
But with a little bit of 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 of luck
With a little bit of luck
You can it have it all and not get hooked!
CHORUS.
With a little bit...with a little bit...
With a little bit of luck you won't get hooked.
With a little bit...with a little bit...
With a little bit of blooming luck.
DOOLITTLE.
They're always throwing goodness at you,
But with a little bit of 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 of luck,
With a little bit of luck,
When he comes around you won't be home!

OLD COCKNEY WOMAN. Ah! Why here's the lucky man now, the honourable Alfie Doolittle.
DOOLITTLE. What are you doing 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 talking about?
OLD COCKNEY WOMAN. Your daughter, Eliza. Oh you're lucky man, Alfie Doolittle.
DOOLITTLE. Well, what about Eliza?
OLD COCKNEY WOMAN.
Ah! He don't know. Her own father and he don't know. 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. And what things does she want? Her birdcage, and a Chinese fan. But, she says "never mind about sending any clothes".
DOOLITTLE. 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 of luck,
With a little bit of luck,
They'll go out and start supporting you!
Oh it's a crime for man to go philandering,
And fill his wife's poor heart with grief and doubt.
Oh it's a crime for man to go philandering but
With a little bit of luck,
With a little bit of luck,
You can see the bloodhound don't find out!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SCENE - HIGGINS’ HOUSE. ELIZA IS DOING PRONUNCIATION EXERCISES, CONNECTED TO A MACHINE

MRS PEARCE. The mail, sir.
HIGGINS. Oh, pay the bills and say no to the invitations.
ELIZA. Aaaaaaaa... Aaaaaaaa... Aaaaaaaa...
MRS PEARCE. 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 millionaire, Ezra D. Wallingford. He still wants you to lecture for his Moral Reform League.
HIGGINS. Yes, well throw it away.
MRS PEARCE. It's the third letter he's written you, sir; you should at least answer it.
HIGGINS. Oh all right; leave it in the desk, Mrs Pearce. I'll try and get to it.
BUTLER. 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. Phew! I say!
HIGGINS. 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. No, I think not. Any trouble to be had, he'll have it with me, not I with him.
BUTLER. Doolittle, sir.
DOOLITTLE. Professor Higgins.
HIGGINS. Here!
DOOLITTLE. Where? Oh. Good morning, guv’nor. I come about a very serious matter, guv’nor.
HIGGINS. Brought up in Hounslow; mother Welsh, I should think. What is it 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. What?
HIGGINS. Take her away. You think I'm going to keep your daughter for you?
DOOLITTLE. Now, now, is this reasonable, guv’nor? 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, guv’nor.
HIGGINS. The police shall take you up. This is a plant, a plot to extort money by threats. I shall telephone the police.

My Fair Lady - I'm willing to tell you
DOOLITTLE. Have I asked you for a brass farthing? I leave it to this gentleman here, 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, guv’nor.
HIGGINS. Alfred, you sent her here on purpose!
DOOLITTLE. So help me, guv’nor, I never did.
HIGGINS. Then how did you know she was here?
DOOLITTLE. I'll tell you, guv’nor, 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. 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, guv’nor? 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, guv’nor. That's right.
HIGGINS. Yes. Mrs Pearce! Ah, Mrs Pearce, Eliza's father has come to take her away. Give her to him will you.
DOOLITTLE. Now, wait a minute guv’nor. 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. Here, guv’nor, I've took a sort of a fancy to you and if you want the girl, well, I ain't so set on having her back home again but what I might be open to is, er, 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 nothing. I can see you're one of the straight sort, guv’nor. 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, guv’nor. If I thought they wasn't, I'd ask fifty.
HIGGINS. Do you mean to say you'd sell your daughter for £50?
PICKERING. Have you no morals, man?

 

 

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