Doolittle [with fatherly pride] Well, I never thought she’d clean up as good looking as that, Governor. She’s a credit to me, ain’t she?
Liza. I tell you, it’s easy to clean up here. Hot and cold water on tap, just as much as you like, there is. Woolly towels, there is; and a towel horse so hot, it burns your fingers. Soft brushes to scrub yourself, and a wooden bowl of soap smelling like primroses. Now I know why ladies is so clean. Washing’s a treat for them. Wish they saw what it is for the like of me!
Higgins. I’m glad the bath-room met with your approval.
Liza. It didn’t: not all of it; and I don’t care who hears me say it. Mrs. Pearce knows.
Higgins. What was wrong, Mrs. Pearce?
Mrs. Pearce [blandly] Oh, nothing, sir. It doesn’t matter.
Liza. I had a good mind to break it. I didn’t know which way to look. But I hung a towel over it, I did.
Higgins. Over what?
Mrs. Pearce. Over the looking-glass, sir.
Higgins. Doolittle: you have brought your daughter up too strictly.
Doolittle. Me! I never brought her up at all, except to give her a lick of a strap now and again. Don’t put it on me, Governor. She ain’t accustomed to it, you see: that’s all. But she’ll soon pick up your free-and-easy ways.
Liza. I’m a good girl, I am; and I won’t pick up no free and easy ways.
Higgins. Eliza: if you say again that you’re a good girl, your father shall take you home.
Liza. Not him. You don’t know my father. All he come here for was to touch you for some money to get drunk on.
Doolittle. Well, what else would I want money for? To put into the plate in church, I suppose. [She puts out her tongue at him. He is so incensed by this that Pickering presently finds it necessary to step between them]. Don’t you give me none of your lip; and don’t let me hear you giving this gentleman any of it neither, or you’ll hear from me about it. See?
Higgins. Have you any further advice to give her before you go, Doolittle? Your blessing, for instance.
Doolittle. No, Governor: I ain’t such a mug as to put up my children to all I know myself. Hard enough to hold them in without that. If you want Eliza’s mind improved, Governor, you do it yourself with a strap. So long, gentlemen. [He turns to go].
Higgins [impressively] Stop. You’ll come regularly to see your daughter. It’s your duty, you know. My brother is a clergyman; and he could help you in your talks with her.
Doolittle [evasively] Certainly. I’ll come, Governor. Not just this week, because I have a job at a distance. But later on you may depend on me. Afternoon, gentlemen. Afternoon, ma’am. [He takes off his hat to Mrs. Pearce, who disdains the salutation and goes out. He winks at Higgins, thinking him probably a fellow sufferer from Mrs. Pearce’s difficult disposition, and follows her].