ENG 213 Handouts

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Excerpt from Pygmalian, Act 1:
The patrons at a theatre are all leaving and discussing the rain.  It is raining quite hard.  There is a family with a mother, son and daughter talking about how they are going to get home.  The son, Freddy, goes to get a cab for his family to ride in
Freddy:  Oh, very well, I'll go, I'll go.  (he opens his umbrella and dashes off Strandwards, but comes into collision with a flower girl who is hurrying in for shelter, knocking her basket out of her hands.  A blinding flash of lightning, followed instantly by a rattling peal of thunder, orchestrates the incident.)
THE FLOWER GIRL:  Nah then, Freddy:  look wh' y' gowin, deah.
FREDDY:  Sorry (he rushes off)
THE FLOWER GIRL:  (picking up her scattered flowers and replacing them in the basket):  Theres menners f' yer!  Te-oo branches o voylets trod into the mad.
THE MOTHER:  How do you know that my son's name is Freddy, pray?
THE FLOWER GIRL:  Ow, eez ye-ooa san, is e?  Wal, fewd dan y de-ooty bawmz a mather should, eed now bettern to spal a pore gels flahrzn than ran awy athaht pyin.  Will ye-oo py me fthem?  (here, with apologies, this desperate attempt to represent her dialect without a phonetic alphabet must be abandoned as unintelligible outside London).
There is a confrontation with a note taker and the flower girl
FLOWER GIRL:  I've 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 Shakespeare and Milton and The Bible; and don't sit there crooning like a bilious pigeon....You see this creature with her kerbstone English:  the English that will keep her in the gutter to the end of her days. Well, sir, in three months I could pass that girl off as a duchess at an ambassadors garden party.  I could even get her a place as  lady's maid or shop assistant, which required better English.

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