A complete and exact phonetic script is neither practicable nor necessary for ordinary use; but if we enlarge our alphabet to the Russian size, and make our spelling as phonetic as Spanish, the advance will be prodigious. (6)
I wish to boast that Pygmalion has been an extremely successful play, both on stage and screen, all over Europe and North America as well as at home. It is so intensely and deliberately didactic, and its subject is esteemed so dry, that I delight in throwing it at the heads of the wiseacres who repeat the parrot cry that art should never be didactic. It goes to prove my contention that great art can never be anything else. (6-7)
Happy is the man who can make a living by his hobby! (17)
THE NOTE TAKER [explosively] Woman: cease this detestable boohooing instantly; or else seek the shelter of some other place of worship.
THE FLOWER GIRL [with feeble defiance] Ive a right to be here if I like, same as you.
THE NOTE TAKER. A woman who utters such depressing and disgusting sounds has no right to be anywhere — no right to live. Remember that you are a human being with a soul and the divine gift of articulate speech: that your native language is the language of Shakespear and Milton and The Bible: and dont sit there crooning like a bilious pigeon. (18)
THE NOTE TAKER. Yes, you squashed cabbage leaf, you disgrace to the noble architecture of these columns, you incarnate insult to the English language: I could pass you off as the Queen of Sheba. (18)
an instrument for examining the larynx, or for inserting a tube through it.
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, shewing in section the vocal organs, and a box containing a supply of wax cylinders for the phonograph. (23)
HIGGINS [becoming excited as the idea grows on him] What is life but a series of inspired follies? The difficulty is to find them to do. Never lose a chance: it doesnt come every day. I shall make a duchess of this draggletailed guttersnipe. (29)
LIZA. Whood marry me?
HIGGINS [suddenly resorting to the most thrillingly beautiful low tones in his best elocutionary style] By George, Eliza, the streets will be strewn with the bodies of men shooting themselves for your sake before Ive done with you. (31)
PICKERING [in good-humored remonstrance] Does it occur to you, Higgins, that the girl has some feelings?
HIGGINS [looking critically at her] Oh no, I dont think so. Not any feelings that we need bother about. [Cheerily] Have you, Eliza?
LIZA. I got my feelings same as anyone else.
HIGGINS [to Pickering, reflectively] You see the difficulty?
PICKERING. Eh? What difficulty?
HIGGINS. To get her to talk grammar. (32)
MRS PEARCE. Mr Higgins: youre tempting the girl. It’s not right. She should think of the future.
HIGGINS. At her age! Nonsense! Time enough to think of the future when you havnt any future to think of. No, Eliza: do as this lady does: think of other people’s futures; but never think of your own. Think of chocolates, and taxis, and gold, and diamonds. (33)
PICKERING. Excuse me, Higgins; but I really must interfere. Mrs Pearce is quite right. If this girl is to put herself in your hands for six months for an experiment in teaching, she must understand thoroughly what she’s doing.
HIGGINS. How can she? She’s incapable of understanding anything. Besides, do any of us understand what we are doing? If we did, would we ever do it? (33-34)
PICKERING. Excuse the straight question, Higgins. Are you a man of good character where women are concerned?
HIGGINS [moodily] Have you ever met a man of good character where women are concerned?
PICKERING. Yes: very frequently.
HIGGINS [dogmatically, lifting himself on his hands to the level of the piano, and sitting on it with a bounce] Well, I havnt. I find that the moment I let a woman make friends with me, she becomes jealous, exacting, suspicious, and a damned nuisance. I find that the moment I let myself make friends with a woman, I become selfish and tyrannical. Women upset everything. When you let them into your life, you find that the woman is driving at one thing and youre driving at another.
PICKERING. At what, for example?
HIGGINS [coming off the piano restlessly] Oh, Lord knows! I suppose the woman wants to live her own life; and the man wants to live his; and each tries to drag the other on to the wrong track. One wants to go north and the other south; and the result is that both have to go east, though they both hate the east wind. [He sits down on the bench at the keyboard.] So here I am, a confirmed old bachelor, and likely to remain so. (37-38)
Take care of the pence and the pounds will take care of themselves is as true of personal habits as of money. (40)
PICKERING. Have you no morals, man?
DOOLITTLE [unabashed] Cant afford them, Governor. Neither could you if you was as poor as me. (45)
MISS EYNSFORD HILL [who considers Higgins quite eligible matrimonially] I sympathize. I havnt any small talk. If people would only be frank and say what they really think!
HIGGINS [relapsing into gloom] Lord forbid!
MRS EYNSFORD HILL [taking up her daughter's cue] But why?
HIGGINS. What they think they ought to think is bad enough, Lord knows; but what they really think would break up the whole show. Do you suppose it would be really agreeable if I were to come out now with what I really think?
MISS EYNSFORD HILL [gaily] Is it so very cynical?
HIGGINS. Cynical! Who the dickens said it was cynical? I mean it wouldnt be decent.
MRS EYNSFORD HILL [seriously] Oh! I’m sure you dont mean that, Mr Higgins.
HIGGINS. You see, we’re all savages, more or less. We’re supposed to be civilized and cultured — to know all about poetry and philosophy and art and science, and so on; but how many of us know even the meanings of these names? [To Miss Hill] What do y o u know of poetry? [To Mrs Hill] What do y o u know of science? [Indicating Freddy] What does h e know of art or science or anything else? What the devil do you imagine I know of philosophy?
MRS HIGGINS [warningly] Or of manners, Henry? (58)
HOSTESS. Oh, nonsense! She speaks English perfectly.
NEPOMMUCK. Too perfectly. Can you shew me any English woman who speaks English as it should be spoken? Only foreigners who have been taught to speak it speak it well. (71)
of or denoting a marriage in which neither the spouse of lower rank nor any children have any claim to the possessions or title of the spouse of higher rank.
Not necessarily legitimate, of course. Morganatic perhaps. But that is undoubtedly her class. (72)
HIGGINS. You might marry, you know. [He bites a large piece out of the apple and munches it noisily.] You see, Eliza, all men are not confirmed old bachelors like me and the Colonel. Most men are the marrying sort (poor devils!); and you’re not bad-looking: it’s quite a pleasure to look at you sometimes — not now, of course, because youre crying and looking as ugly as the very devil; but when youre all right and quite yourself, youre what I should call attractive. That is, to the people in the marrying line, you understand. You go to bed and have a good nice rest; and then get up and look at yourself in the glass; and you wont feel so cheap. (78)
LIZA. I sold flowers. I didnt sell myself. Now youve made a lady of me I’m not fit to sell anything else. I wish youd left me where you found me. (78)
a feeling of offense or deep resentment.
He turns on his heel and is about to go in extreme dudgeon. (80)
I have to live for others and not for myself: that’s middle class morality. (89)
The difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she’s treated. (95)
HIGGINS [seriously] The great secret, Eliza, is not having bad manners or good manners or any other particular sort of manners, but having the same manner for all human souls: in short, behaving as if you were in Heaven, where there are no third-class carriages, and one soul is as good as another. (99)
HIGGINS. Would the world ever have been made if its maker had been afraid of making trouble? Making life means making trouble. Theres only one way of escaping trouble; and thats killing things. Cowards, you notice, are always shrieking to have troublesome people killed. (101)
LIZA. Every girl has a right to be loved. (102)
HIGGINS. Can he m a k e anything of you? That’s the point.
LIZA. Perhaps I could make something of him. But I never thought of us making anything of one another; and you never think of anything else. I only want to be natural. (102)