by Bernard Shaw
Henry Higgins

A speech therapist Henry Higgins is bet that he can’t make this common street follower vendor a lady just by changing the way she pronounces words. He is a pompous egotistical man who has a high British accent and treats everyone as if they have no feelings but in a almost humorous way.

Don’t cry, you silly girl. Sit down. Nobody is going to touch your money. But someone will touch you, with a broomstick, if you don’t stop sniveling. Sit down.  If you think I’m as bad as a father, Ha! If I decide to teach you, Eliza I’ll be worse than two fathers to you.  Here (hands her a handkerchief).  What is it for?   You silly girl its to wipe your eyes with. To wipe any part of your face that feels moist. Remember: that is your handkerchief; and that is your sleeve. Don’t mistake the one for the other if you wish to become a lady in a flower shop.   (Turning to his friend Pickering) Really Pickering, if I can teach this, this thing, how to speak properly and pass her off as a lady at the ambassadors garden party, you’ll pay for the expenses and for her lessons? (Tempted, looking at Eliza) it’s almost irresistible. She’s so deliciously low-so horribly dirty-   I shall make a duchess of this draggletailed guttersnipe.  Yes: in six months-in three if she has a good ear and a quick tongue-I’ll take her anywhere and pass her off as anything. We’ll start today: now! This moment! Take her away and clean her, Mrs. Pearce. Use dish soap if it won’t come off any other way. Is there a good fire going in the kitchen? Good then Mrs. Pearce take all her clothes and burn them.  Ring up Whitney’s shop or somebody’s for new ones, and wrap her up in brown paper until they come. (Turning to face incredulous remarks and looks from both Pickering and Mrs. Pearce)  Me! being unreasonable with this baggage of a girl?!!  I walk over everybody?! My dear Mrs. Pearce, my dear Pickering, I never had the slightest intension of walking over anyone.  All I propose is that we should be kind to this poor girl.  We must help her to prepare and fit herself for her new station in life.  If I did not express myself clearly it was because I did not wish to hurt her delicacy, or yours.  It’s no use explaining this sort of thing to a girl like Eliza. As a military man Pickering you ought to know that.  Give her her orders: that’s enough for her. Eliza: you are to live here for the
next six months, learning how to speak beautifully, like a lady in a florist’s shop. If your good and do whatever you’re told, you shall sleep in a proper bedroom, and have lots to eat, and money to buy chocolates and take rides in taxies.  If you’re naughty and idle you will sleep in the back kitchen among the black beetles, and be walloped by Mrs. Pearce with a broomstick.  At the end of six months you shall go to the Buckingham palace in a carriage, beautifully dressed. If the king finds out you’re not a lady, you will be taken by the police to the Tower of London, where your head will be cut off as a warning to other presumptuous flower girls.  If you are not found out, you shall have a present of seven-and-six-pence to start life with as a lady in a shop.  If you refuse this offer you will be the most ungrateful wicked girl; and the angels will weep for you. (To Pickering)
Now are you satisfied Pickering?  (To Mrs. Pearce) Can I put it more plainly and fairly, Mrs. Pearce?  Good, then bundle her off to the bathroom.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s