Pygmalion HTML version
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
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.
HIGGINS [as he shuts the last drawer] Well, I think that's the whole show.
PICKERING. It's really amazing. I haven't taken half of it in, you know.
HIGGINS. Would you like to go over any of it again?