Model of Decorum

QUARTET (A Model of Decorum and Tranquility)


ARBITER
Iím on the case
Canít be fooled
Any objection
Is overruled
Donít try to tempt me
Youíve no hope
I donít like women
I donít take dope
Iím the Arbiter, my word is law
From square one Iím watching you

(Lyrics below are as revised and used throughout the run)
ARBITER
By all the pawns
On Heaven's board
Of all officials,
Why me, oh Lord?
The greatest insult
Suffered yet
By my profession,
But do not forget
I'm the Arbiter, my word is law
From square one I'll be watching you

MOLOKOV
We wish, no must, make our disgust
For this abuse perfectly clear
We're here for chess - are the US?
If so why foul the atmosphere?

FLORENCE
I must protest - our delegation has a host of valid points to raise
Our player's sporting attitude's beyond all praise
As any neutral would attest
But we concede
The fact his masters bend the rules is not a player's fault
We'll over look their crude political assault
And under protest will proceed

MOLOKOV (simultaneously with FLORENCE's speech above)
We wish, no must, make our disgust
At this abuse perfectly clear
We're here for chess - are the US?
If so, why foul the atmosphere?

MOLOKOV
If your man's so sweet
Then why his fighting talk?
If he's not a cheat
Then why on earth
Did he go take a walk?

Why let him loose?
He'll soon reduce
This great event
To a brawl

It's very sad
To see the ancient and
Distinguished game
That used to be
ARBITER
I call this tune
No-one's immune
To my power
Once in this hall

FLORENCE
I am not surprised He wanted fresher air
Once he realized
There was no hope
Of your lot playing fair

How sad to see
What used to be

MOLOKOV + FLORENCE
A model of decorum and tranquility
Become like any other sport
A battleground for rival ideologies
To slug it out with glee

ANATOLY
Through the elegant yelling
Of this compelling
Dispute
Comes the ghastly suspicion
My opposition's
A fruit

FLORENCE

I don't suppose
You understand the strain and
pressure getting where he's got
For then you'd simply call him
highly-strung and not
Imply that he was one of those
ANATOLY
But how can you
Work for one who
Treats you like dirt?
Pay must be good

FLORENCE
I'm not getting rich
My only interest
Is in something which
Gives me the chance
Of working with the best

ANATOLY
I can only say
I hope your dream comes true
Till that far-off day
I hope you cope
With helping number two

MOLOKOV
We wish, no must
Make our disgust
At this abuse perfectly clear
We're here for chess - are the US?
If so why foul the atmosphere?


ARBITER
I must insist
That you desist
If you value
Your livelihood



MOLOKOV
It seems to us
There's little point in waiting
Here all night for his return
And since a peaceful match is
our soul concern
We won't make an official fuss

In short we rise
Above your guy's
Tantrums, dramas,
Dirty tricks


ARBITER
Get this straight, I
Will not stand by
While you play at
Politics


ANATOLY, FLORENCE, ARBITER & MOLOKOV (together)
A model of decorum and tranquility
Become like any other sport
A battleground for rival ideologies
To slug it out with glee

ARBITER
Enough of this piety! If the players do not return to the arena within 24 hours, the match is null and void - the game is greater than its players.

The ARBITER leaves, as does ANATOLY. FLORENCE and MOLOKOV remain to salvage the situation.

Florence and Molokov set a meeting to resolve the stalemate MOLOKOV
The game is greater than its players, Miss Vassy - how true!

I don't know how you can allow this
Harm to be done to chess, and how this
Baby of yours can be persuaded
Back to the game

FLORENCE
Easy. You stop playing politics and you start playing chess.

I don't know how you have the gall to
Criticise us when it is all too
Obvious this is what you wanted -
We get the blame

Your man, following orders, was up to some sort of bust-up from the word go...

MOLOKOV
You really are mad! He has no orders!
Now let me put my cards upon your table
If he is aggrieved then who can blame him?
He is up against a man who's less than stable

FLORENCE
Freddie less than stable? You're goading him -

Who rocked his chair throughout the match then?
Who sniffed and coughed, began to scratch then
Played with his flag and tapped his fingers?
Then took a walk!
Your precious boy!

MOLOKOV
A piccydillo -

FLORENCE
Peccadillo.

MOLOKOV
- peccadillo compared with the neurotic behavior of Trumper -

FLORENCE
Listen, you Plutocratic throwback
You and your cronies want to go back
Home to your dachas, not the saltmines?
We better talk

MOLOKOV
I wish, Florenz (he mispronounces her name) -

FLORENCE
Florence.

MOLOKOV
- you would refrain from cheap political jibes at a time when cooperation between us is vital. Besides, I thought you would be reluctant to criticise fellow Eastern Europeans

FLORENCE
Fellow Eastern Europeans! I was born a Hungarian. Remember Hungary? I wish I could. I was only five when you bastards moved in. I have no memory of my homeland, my people, my mother and father - all taken from me by you-

And you call yourself a fellow Eastern European!

MOLOKOV
Come now, Miss Vassy, we're digressing
Back to the point, let's start addressing
All our attention to the World Chess Championship -

FLORENCE
(after a long pause in which she wonders whether to contemplate any further dealings with this man. She decides she has to. She takes out a piece of paper from her bag)
The Merano Mountain Inn - famous for its peace and tranquility - that's where I want you to deliver me one Soviet Grandmaster...


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