Pygmalion (ACT II, page 1 of 19)


Previous Page
Next Page

Next day at 11 a.m. Higgins's laboratory in Wimpole Street. It is a
room on the first floor, looking on the street, and was meant for the
drawing-room. The double doors are in the middle of the back hall; and
persons entering find in the corner to their right two tall file
cabinets at right angles to one another against the walls. In this
corner stands a flat writing-table, on which are a phonograph, a
laryngoscope, a row of tiny organ pipes with a bellows, a set of lamp
chimneys for singing flames with burners attached to a gas plug in the
wall by an indiarubber tube, several tuning-forks of different sizes, a
life-size image of half a human head, showing in section the vocal
organs, and a box containing a supply of wax cylinders for the
phonograph.

Further down the room, on the same side, is a fireplace, with a
comfortable leather-covered easy-chair at the side of the hearth
nearest the door, and a coal-scuttle. There is a clock on the
mantelpiece. Between the fireplace and the phonograph table is a stand
for newspapers.

On the other side of the central door, to the left of the visitor, is a
cabinet of shallow drawers. On it is a telephone and the telephone
directory. The corner beyond, and most of the side wall, is occupied by
a grand piano, with the keyboard at the end furthest from the door, and
a bench for the player extending the full length of the keyboard. On
the piano is a dessert dish heaped with fruit and sweets, mostly
chocolates.

The middle of the room is clear. Besides the easy chair, the piano
bench, and two chairs at the phonograph table, there is one stray
chair. It stands near the fireplace. On the walls, engravings; mostly
Piranesis and mezzotint portraits. No paintings.

Pickering is seated at the table, putting down some cards and a
tuning-fork which he has been using. Higgins is standing up near him,
closing two or three file drawers which are hanging out. He appears in
the morning light as a robust, vital, appetizing sort of man of forty
or thereabouts, dressed in a professional-looking black frock-coat with
a white linen collar and black silk tie. He is of the energetic,
scientific type, heartily, even violently interested in everything that
can be studied as a scientific subject, and careless about himself and
other people, including their feelings. He is, in fact, but for his
years and size, rather like a very impetuous baby "taking notice"
eagerly and loudly, and requiring almost as much watching to keep him
out of unintended mischief. His manner varies from genial bullying when
he is in a good humor to stormy petulance when anything goes wrong; but
he is so entirely frank and void of malice that he remains likeable
even in his least reasonable moments.

Previous Page
Next Page


Rate This Book

Current Rating: 3.0/5 (177 votes cast)



Review This Book or Post a Comment