'Any idiot can face a crisis; it's this day-to-day living that wears you out," wrote Chekov. As limp talks between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael begin, it is to be hoped both "day-to-day living" and the mounting series of crises inform their discussions.
Whether they like it or not, the two Civil War parties have been forced into lock-step by history, and their long-term survival may well hinge on working together.
They have weathered something of an electoral storm, their weaknesses exposed by the electorate, but there still exists an opportunity to recover strength by rallying for the greater benefit.
Real progress is generally only made at the end of one's comfort zone. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin have come to a perilous place: they may either take the plunge or wait to be swept aside.
Should they drown, at least they will have the cover of claiming they were heading for the shore. Should they be cast aside it will be because their individual needs to control won out over any altruistic drive to create something far more significant for the country.
For, as Tánaiste Simon Coveney reminded us, we are now heading into very deep waters on Brexit.
The agreement of a future trade relationship between the European Union and the UK now turns on the implementation of an Irish Sea border.
Mr Coveney has highlighted that should the UK fail to implement the Irish protocol, it could "significantly damage" the prospects for even the most basic free trade agreement with the EU by the end of the year. His concerns were endorsed by EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.
There are now real worries London is seeking ways to avoid putting checks in place.
It should be remembered the treaty signed between the EU and UK is an international one.
But we should be under no illusions but that the Irish Sea border will again become a bargaining chip. The clouds are darkening over the trade talks.
As German European Affairs Minister Michael Roth put it: "My message is crystal clear to our friends in London: Keep your promises based on the protocol."
We need to be braced for what is coming and we need to present a united front to avoid being taken advantage of. After meeting Mr Martin, Mr Varadkar said he "encouraged Fianna Fáil to continue engaging with other parties with a view to forming a government". He claimed: "Fine Gael continues to prepare for opposition." Hardly the resonant statement of resolve the country needs.
Internal party power-plays must not take priority in the face of gathering uncertainty.
Throughout Brexit, Ireland enjoyed maximum solidarity from the EU.
A show of solidarity from our own political leaders in a demonstration of enthusiasm to form a government instead of running away from it might be in order - not as a last resort, but as a first duty.