Pygmalion (ACT I, page 1 of 8)

Previous Page
Next Page

Covent Garden at 11.15 p.m.

Torrents of heavy summer rain. Cab whistles

blowing frantically in all directions. Pedestrians running for shelter

into the market and under the portico of St. Paul's Church, where there

are already several people, among them a lady and her daughter in

evening dress. They are all peering out gloomily at the rain, except

one man with his back turned to the rest, who seems wholly preoccupied

with a notebook in which he is writing busily.

The church clock strikes the first quarter.

THE DAUGHTER [in the space between the central pillars, close to the

one on her left] I'm getting chilled to the bone. What can Freddy be

doing all this time? He's been gone twenty minutes.

THE MOTHER [on her daughter's right] Not so long. But he ought to have

got us a cab by this.

A BYSTANDER [on the lady's right] He won't get no cab not until

half-past eleven, missus, when they come back after dropping their

theatre fares.

THE MOTHER. But we must have a cab. We can't stand here until half-past

eleven. It's too bad.

THE BYSTANDER. Well, it ain't my fault, missus.

THE DAUGHTER. If Freddy had a bit of gumption, he would have got one at

the theatre door.

THE MOTHER. What could he have done, poor boy?

THE DAUGHTER. Other people got cabs. Why couldn't he?

Freddy rushes in out of the rain from the Southampton Street side, and

comes between them closing a dripping umbrella. He is a young man of

twenty, in evening dress, very wet around the ankles.

THE DAUGHTER. Well, haven't you got a cab?

FREDDY. There's not one to be had for love or money.

THE MOTHER. Oh, Freddy, there must be one. You can't have tried.

THE DAUGHTER. It's too tiresome. Do you expect us to go and get one


FREDDY. I tell you they're all engaged. The rain was so sudden: nobody

was prepared; and everybody had to take a cab. I've been to Charing

Cross one way and nearly to Ludgate Circus the other; and they were all


THE MOTHER. Did you try Trafalgar Square?

FREDDY. There wasn't one at Trafalgar Square.

THE DAUGHTER. Did you try?

FREDDY. I tried as far as Charing Cross Station. Did you expect me to

walk to Hammersmith?

THE DAUGHTER. You haven't tried at all.

THE MOTHER. You really are very helpless, Freddy. Go again; and don't

come back until you have found a cab.

FREDDY. I shall simply get soaked for nothing.

THE DAUGHTER. And what about us? Are we to stay here all night in this

draught, with next to nothing on. You selfish pig--

Previous Page
Next Page

Rate This Book

Current Rating: 3.1/5 (198 votes cast)

Review This Book or Post a Comment