Pygmalion (1912) by george bernard shaw




Дата канвертавання20.04.2016
Памер79.49 Kb.




PYGMALION (1912)

BY GEORGE BERNARD SHAW

[Excerpt. Scene includes MRS. PEARCE, HIGGINS, THE FLOWER GIRL, and PICKERING.]




ACT TWO

[…]

MRS. PEARCE

(returning)

This is the young woman, sir.

(THE FLOWER GIRL enters in state. She has a hat with three ostrich feathers, orange, sky-blue, and red. She has a nearly clean apron, and the shoddy coat has been tidied a little. The pathos of this deplorable figure, with its innocent vanity and consequential air, touches Pickering, who has already straightened himself in the presence of Mrs. Pearce. But as to Higgins, the only distinction he makes between men and women is that when he is neither bullying nor exclaiming to the heavens against some featherweight cross, he coaxes women as a child coaxes its nurse when it wants to get anything out of her. )

HIGGINS


(brusquely, recognizing her with unconcealed disappointment, and at once, baby-like, making an intolerable grievance of it)

Why, 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; and I'm not going to waste another cylinder on it. (To the GIRL) Be off with you: I don't want you.


THE FLOWER GIRL

Don't you be so saucy. You ain't heard what I come for yet. (To Mrs. Pearce, who is waiting at the door for further instruction) 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?


THE FLOWER GIRL

Oh, we are proud! 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?


THE FLOWER GIRL

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

(stupent)

WELL!!! (recovering his breath with a gasp) What do you expect me to say to you?
THE FLOWER GIRL

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 throw her out of the window?


THE FLOWER GIRL

(running away in terror to the piano, where she turns at bay)

Ah—ah—ah—ow—ow—ow—oo! (Wounded and whimpering) I won't be called a baggage when I've offered to pay like any lady.

(Motionless, the two men stare at her from the other side of the room, amazed.)


PICKERING

(gently)

What is it you want, my girl?
THE FLOWER GIRL

I want to be a lady in a flower shop stead 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 favor—and he treats me as if I was dirt.


MRS. PEARCE

How can you be such a foolish ignorant girl as to think you could afford to pay Mr. Higgins?


THE FLOWER GIRL

Why shouldn't I? I know what lessons cost as well as you do; and I'm ready to pay.


HIGGINS

How much?


THE FLOWER GIRL

(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?
HIGGINS

(peremptorily)

Sit down.
THE FLOWER GIRL

Oh, 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 places the stray chair near the hearthrug between Higgins and Pickering, and stands behind it waiting for the GIRL to sit down.)
THE FLOWER GIRL

Ah—ah—ah—ow—ow—oo!


(She stands, half rebellious, half bewildered.)
PICKERING

(very courteous)

Won't you sit down?
THE FLOWER GIRL

(coyly)


Don't mind if I do.
(She sits down. PICKERING returns to the hearthrug).
HIGGINS

What's your name?


THE FLOWER GIRL

Liza Doolittle.


HIGGINS

(declaiming gravely)

Eliza, Elizabeth, Betsy and Bess, They went to the woods to get a birdsnes'

PICKERING

They found a nest with four eggs in it.
HIGGINS

They took one apiece, and left three in it.


(They laugh heartily at their own wit.)
LIZA

Oh, don't be silly.


MRS. PEARCE

You mustn't speak to the gentleman like that.


LIZA

Well, why won't he speak sensible to me?


HIGGINS

Come back to business. How much do you propose to pay me for the lessons?


LIZA

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 me 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

(walking up and down the room, rattling his keys and his cash in his pockets)

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 to sixty or seventy guineas from a millionaire.
PICKERING

How so?


HIGGINS

Figure it out. A millionaire has about 150 pounds a day. She earns about half-a-crown.


LIZA

(haughtily)

Who told you I only—
HIGGINS

(continuing)

She offers me two-fifths of her day's income for a lesson. Two-fifths of a millionaire's income for a day would be somewhere about 60 pounds. It's handsome. By George, it's enormous! it's the biggest offer I ever had.
LIZA

(rising, terrified)

Sixty pounds! What are you talking about? I never offered you sixty pounds. Where would I get—
HIGGINS

Hold your tongue.


LIZA

(weeping)

But I ain't got sixty pounds. Oh—
MRS. PEARCE

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.


LIZA

(obeying slowly)

Ah—ah—ah—ow—oo—o! One would think you was my father.
HIGGINS

If I decide to teach you, I'll be worse than two fathers to you. Here!


(He offers her his silk handkerchief.)
LIZA

What's this for?


HIGGINS

To wipe your eyes. To wipe any part of your face that feels moist. Remember: that's your handkerchief; and that's your sleeve. Don't mistake the one for the other if you wish to become a lady in a shop.


(LIZA, utterly bewildered, stares helplessly at him.)

MRS. PEARCE

It's no use talking to her like that, Mr. Higgins: she doesn't understand you. Besides, you're quite wrong: she doesn't do it that way at all
(She takes the handkerchief.)
LIZA

(snatching it)

Here! You give me that handkerchief. He give it to me, not to you.
PICKERING

(laughing)

He did. I think it must be regarded as her property, Mrs. Pearce.
MRS. PEARCE

(resigning herself)

Serve you right, Mr. Higgins.
PICKERING

Higgins: I'm interested. What about the ambassador's garden party? I'll say you're the greatest teacher alive if you make that good. I'll bet you all the expenses of the experiment you can't do it. And I'll pay for the lessons.


LIZA

Oh, you are real good. Thank you, Captain.


HIGGINS

(tempted, looking at her)

It's almost irresistible. She's so deliciously low—so horribly dirty—
LIZA

(protesting extremely)

Ah—ah—ah—ah—ow—ow—oooo!!! I ain't dirty: I washed my face and hands afore I come, I did.
PICKERING

You're certainly not going to turn her head with flattery, Higgins.


MRS. PEARCE

(uneasy)

Oh, don't say that, sir: there's more ways than one of turning a girl's head; and nobody can do it better than Mr. Higgins, though he may not always mean it. I do hope, sir, you won't encourage him to do anything foolish.
HIGGINS

(becoming excited as the idea grows on him)

What is life but a series of inspired follies? The difficulty is to find them to do. Never lose a chance: it doesn't come every day. I shall make a duchess of this draggletailed guttersnipe.
LIZA

(strongly deprecating this view of her)

Ah—ah—ah—ow—ow—oo!
HIGGINS

(carried away)

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. Monkey Brand, 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. Ring up Whiteley or somebody for new ones. Wrap her up in brown paper till they come.
LIZA

You're no gentleman, you're not, to talk of such things. I'm a good girl, I am; and I know what the like of you are, I do.


HIGGINS

We want none of your Lisson Grove prudery here, young woman. You've got to learn to behave like a duchess. Take her away, Mrs. Pearce. If she gives you any trouble wallop her.


LIZA

(springing up and running between PICKERING and MRS. PEARCE for protection)

No! I'll call the police, I will.
MRS. PEARCE

But I've no place to put her.


HIGGINS

Put her in the dustbin.


LIZA

Ah—ah—ah—ow—ow—oo!


PICKERING

Oh 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, thus scolded, subsides. The hurricane is succeeded by a zephyr of amiable surprise.)


HIGGINS

(with professional exquisiteness of modulation)

I walk over everybody! My dear Mrs. Pearce, my dear Pickering, I never had the slightest intention 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.
(LIZA, reassured, steals back to her chair.)
MRS. PEARCE

(to PICKERING)

Well, did you ever hear anything like that, sir?
PICKERING

(laughing heartily)

Never, Mrs. Pearce: never.
HIGGINS

(patiently)

What's the matter?
MRS. PEARCE

Well, the matter is, sir, that 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.


LIZA

Garn!
HIGGINS

There! As the girl very properly says, Garn! Married indeed! Don't you know that a woman of that class looks a worn out drudge of fifty a year after she's married.
LIZA

Who'd marry me?


HIGGINS

(suddenly resorting to the most thrillingly beautiful low tones in his best 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.
MRS. PEARCE

Nonsense, sir. You mustn't talk like that to her.


LIZA

(rising and squaring herself determinedly)

I'm going away. He's off his chump, he is. I don't want no balmies teaching me.
HIGGINS

(wounded in his tenderest point by her insensibility to his elocution)

Oh, indeed! I'm mad, am I? Very well, Mrs. Pearce: you needn't order the new clothes for her. Throw her out.
LIZA

(whimpering)

Nah—ow. You got no right to touch me.
MRS. PEARCE.

You see now what comes of being saucy. (Indicating the door) This way, please.

LIZA

(almost in tears)



I didn't want no clothes. I wouldn't have taken them (she throws away the handkerchief). I can buy my own clothes.
HIGGINS

(deftly retrieving the handkerchief and intercepting her on her reluctant way to the door)

You're an ungrateful wicked girl. This is my return for offering to take you out of the gutter and dress you beautifully and make a lady of you.
MRS. PEARCE

Stop, Mr. Higgins. I won't allow it. It's you that are wicked. Go home to your parents, girl; and tell them to take better care of you.


LIZA

I ain't got no parents. They told me I was big enough to earn my own living and turned me out.


MRS. PEARCE

Where's your mother?


LIZA

I ain't got no mother. Her that turned me out was my sixth stepmother. But I done without them. And I'm a good girl, I am.


HIGGINS

Very well, then, what on earth is all this fuss about? The girl doesn't belong to anybody—is no use to anybody but me. (He goes to MRS. PEARCE and begins coaxing). You can adopt her, Mrs. Pearce: I'm sure a daughter would be a great amusement to you. Now don't make any more fuss. Take her downstairs; and—


MRS. PEARCE

But what's to become of her? Is she to be paid anything? Do be sensible, sir.


HIGGINS


Oh, pay her whatever is necessary: put it down in the housekeeping book. (Impatiently) What on earth will she want with money? She'll have her food and her clothes. She'll only drink if you give her money.
LIZA

(turning on him)

Oh you are a brute. It's a lie: nobody ever saw the sign of liquor on me.
(She goes back to her chair and plants herself there defiantly.)
PICKERING

(in good-humored remonstrance)

Does it occur to you, Higgins, that the girl has some feelings?
HIGGINS

(looking critically at her)

Oh no, I don't think so. Not any feelings that we need bother about. (Cheerily) Have you, Eliza?
LIZA

I got my feelings same as anyone else.


HIGGINS

(to PICKERING, reflectively)

You see the difficulty?
PICKERING

Eh? What difficulty?


HIGGINS

To get her to talk grammar. The mere pronunciation is easy enough.


LIZA

I don't want to talk grammar. I want to talk like a lady.


MRS. PEARCE

Will you please keep to the point, Mr. Higgins. I want to know on what

terms the girl is to be here. Is she to have any wages? And what is to become of her when you've finished your teaching? You must look ahead a little.
HIGGINS

(impatiently)

What's to become of her if I leave her in the gutter? Tell me that, Mrs. Pearce.
MRS. PEARCE

That's her own business, not yours, Mr. Higgins.


HIGGINS

Well, when I've done with her, we can throw her back into the gutter; and then it will be her own business again; so that's all right.


LIZA

Oh, you've no feeling heart in you: you don't care for nothing but yourself (she rises and takes the floor resolutely). Here! I've had enough of this. I'm going (making for the door). You ought to be ashamed of yourself, you ought.


HIGGINS

(snatching a chocolate cream from the piano, his eyes suddenly beginning to twinkle with mischief)

Have some chocolates, Eliza.
LIZA

(halting, tempted)

How do I know what might be in them? I've heard of girls being drugged by the like of you.
(HIGGINS whips out his penknife; cuts a chocolate in two; puts one half into his mouth and bolts it; and offers her the other half.)
HIGGINS

Pledge of good faith, Eliza. I eat one half you eat the other.


(LIZA opens her mouth to retort: he pops the half chocolate into it.)
HIGGINS (CONT.)

You shall have boxes of them, barrels of them, every day. You shall live on them. Eh?


LIZA

(who has disposed of the chocolate after being nearly choked by it)

I wouldn't have ate it, only I'm too ladylike to take it out of my mouth.
HIGGINS

Listen, Eliza. I think you said you came in a taxi.


LIZA

Well, what if I did? I've as good a right to take a taxi as anyone else.


HIGGINS

You have, Eliza; and in future you shall have as many taxis as you want. You shall go up and down and round the town in a taxi every day. Think of that, Eliza.


MRS. PEARCE

Mr. Higgins: you're tempting the girl. It's not right. She should think of the future.


HIGGINS

At her age! Nonsense! Time enough to think of the future when you haven't any future to think of. No, Eliza: do as this lady does: think of other people's futures; but never think of your own. Think of chocolates, and taxis, and gold, and diamonds.


LIZA

No: I don't want no gold and no diamonds. I'm a good girl, I am.


(She sits down again, with an attempt at dignity.)

HIGGINS


You shall remain so, Eliza, under the care of Mrs. Pearce. And you shall marry an officer in the Guards, with a beautiful moustache: the son of a marquis, who will disinherit him for marrying you, but will relent when he sees your beauty and goodness—
PICKERING

Excuse me, Higgins; but I really must interfere. Mrs. Pearce is quite right. If this girl is to put herself in your hands for six months for an experiment in teaching, she must understand thoroughly what she's doing.


HIGGINS

How can she? She's incapable of understanding anything. Besides, do any of us understand what we are doing? If we did, would we ever do it?


PICKERING

Very clever, Higgins; but not sound sense. (To Eliza) Miss Doolittle—


LIZA

(overwhelmed)

Ah—ah—ow—oo!
HIGGINS

There! That's all you get out of Eliza. Ah—ah—ow—oo! No use explaining. As a military man you ought to know that. Give her her orders: that's what she wants. 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 you're 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 taxis. 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 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-sixpence to start life with as a lady in a shop. If you refuse this offer you will be a most ungrateful and 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?


MRS. PEARCE

(patiently)

I think you'd better let me speak to the girl properly in private. I don't know that I can take charge of her or consent to the arrangement at all. Of course I know you don't mean her any harm; but when you get what you call interested in people's accents, you never think or care what may happen to them or you. Come with me, Eliza.
HIGGINS

That's all right. Thank you, Mrs. Pearce. Bundle her off to the bath-room.


LIZA

(rising reluctantly and suspiciously)

You're a great bully, you are. I won't stay here if I don't like. I won't let nobody wallop me. I never asked to go to Bucknam Palace, I didn't. I was never in trouble with the police, not me. I'm a good girl—
MRS. PEARCE

Don't answer back, girl. You don't understand the gentleman. Come with me.


(She leads the way to the door, and holds it open for ELIZA.)
LIZA

(as she goes out)



Well, what I say is right. I won't go near the king, not if I'm going to have my head cut off. If I'd known what I was letting myself in for, I wouldn't have come here. I always been a good girl; and I never offered to say a word to him; and I don't owe him nothing; and I don't care; and I won't be put upon; and I have my feelings the same as anyone else—

[End of excerpt.]



База данных защищена авторским правом ©shkola.of.by 2016
звярнуцца да адміністрацыі

    Галоўная старонка