March 3, 2020

From Gerald R. Lucas

Alternate Pygmalion Ending?


An alternate ending I found in The Bedford Introduction to Drama, Editor: Lee A. Jacobus, 1997. These are the last lines of the play, beginning about V.592.

[Mrs Higgins returns, dressed for the wedding. Eliza instantly becomes cool and elegant. ]
Mrs. Higgins: The carriage is waiting, Eliza. Are you ready?
Eliza: Quite. Is the Professor coming?
Mrs. Higgins: Certainly not. He cant behave himself in church. He makes remarks out loud all the time on the clergyman's pronunciation.
Eliza: Then I shall pot see you again, Professor. Goodbye. (She goes. to the door.)
Mrs. Higgins (coming to Higgins): Goodbye, dear.
Higgins: Goodbye, mother. (He is about to kiss her, when he recollects something.) Oh, by the way, Eliza, order a ham and a Stilton cheese, will you? And buy me a pair of reindeer gloves, number eights, and a tie to match that new suit of mine. You can choose the color. (His cheerful, careless, vigorous voice shews that he is incorrigible.)
Eliza (disdainfully): Number eights are too small for you if you want them lined with lamb's wool. You have three new ties that you have forgotten in the drawer of your washstand. Colonel Pickering prefers double Gloucester to Stilton; and you dont notice the difference. I telephoned Mrs Pearce this morning not to forget the ham. What you are to do without me I cannot imagine. (She sweeps out.)
Mrs. Higgins: I'm afraid youve spoilt that girl, Henry. I should be uneasy about you and her if she were less fond of Colonel Pickering.
Higgins: Pickering! Nonsense: she's going to marry Freddy. Ha ha! Freddy! Freddy!! Ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!
[He roars with laughter as the play ends.]

The change is in the last three lines of dialog. Higgins seems a bit more maniacal int his ending, though he’s a hard character to figure throughout.