Pickering. We’re always talking Eliza.
Higgins. Teaching Eliza.
Pickering. Dressing Eliza.
Mrs. Higgins. What!
Higgins. Inventing new Elizas.
Higgins and Pickering, speaking together:
Higgins. You know, she has the most extraordinary
Pickering. I assure you, my dear Mrs. Higgins, that girl
Higgins. just like a parrot. I’ve tried her with every
Pickering. is a genius. She can play the piano quite
Higgins. possible sort of sound that a human being can make—
Pickering. We have taken her to classical concerts and to music
Higgins. Continental dialects, African dialects, Hottentot
Pickering. halls; and it’s all the same to her: she plays
Higgins. clicks, things it took me years to get hold of; and
Pickering. she hears right off when she comes home, whether it’s
Higgins. she picks them up like a shot, right away, as if she
Pickering. Beethoven and Brahms or Lehar and Lionel Morickton;
Higgins. been at it all her life.
Pickering. though six months ago, she’d never as much as touched
Mrs. Higgins [putting her fingers in her ears, as they are by this time shouting one another down with an intolerable noise] Sh—sh—sh—sh! [They stop].
Pickering. I beg your pardon. [He draws his chair back apologetically].
Higgins. Sorry. When Pickering starts shouting nobody can get a word in edgeways.
Mrs. Higgins. Be quiet, Henry. Colonel Pickering: don’t you realize that when Eliza walked into Wimpole Street, something walked in with her?
Pickering. Her father did. But Henry soon got rid of him.
Mrs. Higgins. It would have been more to the point if her mother had. But as her mother didn’t something else did.
Pickering. But what?
Mrs. Higgins [unconsciously dating herself by the word] A problem.
Pickering. Oh, I see. The problem of how to pass her off as a lady.
Higgins. I’ll solve that problem. I’ve half solved it already.
Mrs. Higgins. No, you two infinitely stupid male creatures: the problem of what is to be done with her afterwards.
Higgins. I don’t see anything in that. She can go her own way, with all the advantages I have given her.
Mrs. Higgins. The advantages of that poor woman who was here just now! The manners and habits that disqualify a fine lady from earning her own living without giving her a fine lady’s income! Is that what you mean?