Investiture

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Speeches from the plays  -  3.

from Strasbourg Goose

 

[Later: Lord Reason is replaced]:

 

 

Narrator

Her briefing is brief. Half an hour over breakfast

with Chancellor Serious.

Chancellor Serious

A-later dis morning

you will receive your letters patent.

Emily X

Letters patent?

Chancellor Serious

Is ovvious. Your mace -

Emily X

As in bash 'em?

Chancellor Serious

And your seal -

Emily X

Me and a seal? Bark bark?

Chancellor Serious

Seal of office.

Emily X

O. Why?

Chancellor Serious

Ah I

should'a tell you. Told you. You take charge

of the Court of Tír na nOg. 

Emily X

My first

seagoing command!

Chancellor Serious

Here are details of the case.

Narrator

He passes over a thin, exiguous file.

Emily X

But I've no legal training!

Narrator

The famous high-shouldered Serious shrug:

Chancellor Serious

'Oo 'as? You'll be all right. Make it up as you

go along. Make your own rules. You'll soon get -

Emily X

The hang of it? You bet I will.

Chancellor Serious

Investiture

at eleven. Before that, an interview arranged,

Meet The Press, in the person of Leonard

Bevin, a columnist for top people in that

exalted daily, The Spaces. I go fetch him.

Emily X

He who was once my lover. I wonder has he changed much.

What was it we fought over back in those wild sixties?

Does it matter. Yes it does. And I said to him...

Chancellor Serious

A-meester a-Bevin!

Emily X

And I said to him -

say you love me a little.

Leonard Bevin

And he said -

I love you a little.

Emily X

Pig! said she,

and that's how the row started! How are you?

Leonard Bevin

As well I hope as you are. You haven't exactly

stayed the same.

Emily X

On Guard to the last.

Leonard Bevin

Ah but you're incomparable.

Impregnable.

Emily X

How many years is that now?

Leonard Bevin

Let us not count them. Actually it's minutes I have to watch,

they told me no more than ten. Shall we sit?

First allow me to congratulate you -

Emily X

It's a job.

Leonard Bevin

 - on your elevation to the ranks of the Imperturbables. About

the case this little French runt is bringing -

well he's Irish technically, if technically's the word -

Emily X

Probably a load of old cobblers - not wishing to...

Leonard Bevin

Not wishing to prejudge the issue. Quite. What

would you most like to achieve during your term of office?

Emily X

Something for women. For years we have endured - suttee,

footbinding, rape, virginity, pornography, and much else.

'Bout time we had a turn.

Leonard Bevin

Would not all these serve

to bolster the case put forward by the plaintiff,

Bert Stump, Monsieur-Camus-to-be as was?

Emily X

Not so. These are specialized instruments

devised by men to keep the women down. They

cannot form part of a general complaint.

Leonard Bevin

Seafaring, mining, war & human sacrifice,

were devised by whom to keep whom down?

Emily X

Not by women anyway. You won't catch me Leonard Bevin...

Leonard Bevin

But in terms of your own argument -

Emily X

You needn't try to pretend it's all my argument -

Leonard Bevin

But it is your argument!

Emily X

That wouldn't entitle you

to use it against me! Don't think you can

straddle ram or bull your way thru here!

Leonard Bevin

Emily my dear - if cow, ewe, or mare will not stand,

stallion cannot straddle, ram tup, nor bull bull!

Emily X

OFFSIDE! Don't take fright - I'm only practising.

Leonard Bevin

Practising what?

Emily X

Being farouche! Making the rules.

How'm I doing - Imperturbable enough?

Leonard Bevin

You're better than imperturbable - you're indescribable.

Emily X

You're very sweet. Go on. Your interview.

Leonard Bevin

O it's all right, I can make it up. It's only

a morale booster for the Angelic Delegation.

Anything you do say will be written up

in the most favourable light. The grilling

was just an old habit.

No but seriously, and off the record -

if there were established grounds for agreeing

that men and women might actually be different

- not just in body but every way -

Emily X

Are you trying to charm me into something?

Leonard Bevin

- would your people have the honesty to admit it?

Emily X

Honesty Leonard Bevin is a patriarchal construct...

Leonard Bevin

Yes but even at that, suppose it was agreed that action,

action and waste that is, were peculiar to the male and that

passivity, currently perceived as demeaning, were seen to be

proper to the female and a more valuable and fulfilling

role?

Emily X

      Have you quite finished? Get out of here!

First you make a mess of us, of our sons of our daughters,

and then you try to butter it over with

sociology and codology and guff!

Leonard Bevin

Emily my dear. Imperturbable, remember?

Emily X

Pig! O but you make me wild.

Leonard Bevin

Aha ha.

You'll be fine.

Emily X

Will you be in court?

Leonard Bevin

Probably not. I avoid them when I can.

The Angelic Delegation - they'll be the ones with the haloes -

they're all Imperturbables too. Bye now.

Hope our side wins. Ta ta. Am I forgiven.

Emily X

You are. Be good. Be devious.

Leonard Bevin

This is the life this is!

Emily X

Go on. Scrape yourself out! Bye Lenny…

 

 

 

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