Liza. Don’t you believe the old liar. He’d as soon you set a bull-dog on him as a clergyman. You won’t see him again in a hurry.
Higgins. I don’t want to, Eliza. Do you?
Liza. Not me. I don’t want never to see him again, I don’t. He’s a disgrace to me, he is, collecting dust, instead of working at his trade.
Pickering. What is his trade, Eliza?
Liza. Talking money out of other people’s pockets into his own. His proper trade’s a navvy; and he works at it sometimes too—for exercise—and earns good money at it. Ain’t you going to call me Miss Doolittle any more?
Pickering. I beg your pardon, Miss Doolittle. It was a slip of the tongue.
Liza. Oh, I don’t mind; only it sounded so genteel. I should just like to take a taxi to the corner of Tottenham Court Road and get out there and tell it to wait for me, just to put the girls in their place a bit. I wouldn’t speak to them, you know.
Pickering. Better wait til we get you something really fashionable.
Higgins. Besides, you shouldn’t cut your old friends now that you have risen in the world. That’s what we call snobbery.
Liza. You don’t call the like of them my friends now, I should hope. They’ve took it out of me often enough with their ridicule when they had the chance; and now I mean to get a bit of my own back. But if I’m to have fashionable clothes, I’ll wait. I should like to have some. Mrs. Pearce says you’re going to give me some to wear in bed at night different to what I wear in the daytime; but it do seem a waste of money when you could get something to show. Besides, I never could fancy changing into cold things on a winter night.
Mrs. Pearce [coming back] Now, Eliza. The new things have come for you to try on.
Liza. Ah—ow—oo—ooh! [She rushes out].
Mrs. Pearce [following her] Oh, don’t rush about like that, girl [She shuts the door behind her].
Higgins. Pickering: we have taken on a stiff job.
Pickering [with conviction] Higgins: we have.
It is Mrs. Higgins’s at-home day. Nobody has yet arrived. Her drawing-room, in a flat on Chelsea embankment, has three windows looking on the river; and the ceiling is not so lofty as it would be in an older house of the same pretension. The windows are open, giving access to a balcony with flowers in pots. If you stand with your face to the windows, you have the fireplace on your left and the door in the right-hand wall close to the corner nearest the windows.