Pygmalion (ACT IV, page 1 of 6)


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The Wimpole Street laboratory. Midnight. Nobody in the room. The clock
on the mantelpiece strikes twelve. The fire is not alight: it is a
summer night.

Presently Higgins and Pickering are heard on the stairs.

HIGGINS [calling down to Pickering] I say, Pick: lock up, will you. I
shan't be going out again.

PICKERING. Right. Can Mrs. Pearce go to bed? We don't want anything
more, do we?

HIGGINS. Lord, no!

Eliza opens the door and is seen on the lighted landing in opera cloak,
brilliant evening dress, and diamonds, with fan, flowers, and all
accessories. She comes to the hearth, and switches on the electric
lights there. She is tired: her pallor contrasts strongly with her dark
eyes and hair; and her expression is almost tragic. She takes off her
cloak; puts her fan and flowers on the piano; and sits down on the
bench, brooding and silent. Higgins, in evening dress, with overcoat
and hat, comes in, carrying a smoking jacket which he has picked up
downstairs. He takes off the hat and overcoat; throws them carelessly
on the newspaper stand; disposes of his coat in the same way; puts on
the smoking jacket; and throws himself wearily into the easy-chair at
the hearth. Pickering, similarly attired, comes in. He also takes off
his hat and overcoat, and is about to throw them on Higgins's when he
hesitates.

PICKERING. I say: Mrs. Pearce will row if we leave these things lying
about in the drawing-room.

HIGGINS. Oh, chuck them over the bannisters into the hall. She'll find
them there in the morning and put them away all right. She'll think we
were drunk.

PICKERING. We are, slightly. Are there any letters?

HIGGINS. I didn't look. [Pickering takes the overcoats and hats and
goes down stairs. Higgins begins half singing half yawning an air from
La Fanciulla del Golden West. Suddenly he stops and exclaims] I wonder
where the devil my slippers are!

Eliza looks at him darkly; then leaves the room.

Higgins yawns again, and resumes his song. Pickering returns, with the
contents of the letter-box in his hand.

PICKERING. Only circulars, and this coroneted billet-doux for you. [He
throws the circulars into the fender, and posts himself on the
hearthrug, with his back to the grate].

HIGGINS [glancing at the billet-doux] Money-lender. [He throws the
letter after the circulars].

Eliza returns with a pair of large down-at-heel slippers. She places
them on the carpet before Higgins, and sits as before without a word.

HIGGINS [yawning again] Oh Lord! What an evening! What a crew! What a
silly tomfoollery! [He raises his shoe to unlace it, and catches sight
of the slippers. He stops unlacing and looks at them as if they had
appeared there of their own accord]. Oh! they're there, are they?

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