Clay Meredith Greene
Release Date: 01 August 2007
AUTHORS NOTE This little book is published only because good friends in The Lambs who liked the plays when they heard them at club gambols, it. suggested So I dedicate it to them for what it is worth, in the hope that their judgment was not misplaced, should others, not so friendly, happen to read it. C. M. G. The Dispensation may not be used for public presentation except by special arrangement author. with the THE DISPENSATION A PLAY IN ONE ACT CHARACTERS His HOLINESS THE POPE. CARDINAL SITELLI. CARDINAL RAVENNA. JOSEPH VESTANI, a Missionary Priest of Roumania. THE DISPENSATION SCENE. Private Audience Chamber of His Holi- nal ness the Pope, a dignified solemn room with hangings of deep red, and embroidered with the Papal insignia. The Papal throne is on a low dais on L. of stage, over which is a heavy canopy of red, emblazoned with, the Papal insignia in gold. There is an arched doorway C. with heavy curtains and a door R. similarly closed with draperies. Above the R. D. is a small altar, with golden crucifix and lighted candles. At rise of curtain, Cardinal Sitelli is discovered kneeling in prayer at the altar. When the curtain is up, he rises, crosses himself, and goes a little to L. At the same time Cardinal Ravenna enters hastily R. and stops on seeing Sitelli. Sitelli is of severe and saturnine countenance, while Ravenna is quite the reverse, being rotund of form, and pleasant in demeanour. Ravenna somewhat anxiously. Well, Cardi- Sitelli moodily. You have won. Ravenna. Then His Holiness has granted an extraordinary audience with my young friend Sitelli. He Has, against my earnest protesta- Ravenna. And you continued to oppose it, after the long and painful conference which de-cided nothing Sitelli. I did, earnestly and vehemently, Down to L. C. Ravenna. Since a tie vote of the Cardinals left the matter of Joseph Vestanis appeal entirely in the hands of the Holy Father, may I ask why you still continue your opposition Sitelli. Must I answer now, or will you He so polite as to first grant me a reply to a question of my own Ravenna obsequiously. Politeness, my dear Cardinal, is so often a cloak for duplicity, that I shrink from being so impolite as to cavil at any wish of my superior. This speech is -finished by a low bow. Sitelli eyeing him severely. Thats duplicity. Ravenna smuing. Am I so transparent then Ah, well Had I been perfect, who knows but I might have been mentioned for the Holy See my- self Sitelli proudly. I have been so mentioned twice. Ravenna. I remember that distinctly. But then you are perfect, my lord Cardinal. Sitelli with a searching glance. I remember .something else. Ravenna. Something that I may hear Sitetti. Oh, yes. I was not perfect enough then for you to support me. Ravenna as if taken unawares, and trying to change the subject . Er the question you spoke of just now, what was it I will answer without reserve. Sitelli. Who is this young and obscure Mis- sionary Priest from Roumania, who can secure a private audience with His Holiness, when older and better servants of the Church have been turned away Ravenna. Older perhaps, but there are no bet- ter servants of the Church than Joseph Vestani, my Lord Cardinal. And, he is not obscure. Sitelli. How do you know all that Ravenna. So many questions without one re- ply, cannot but confuse us both. Joseph Vestani of Bukharest, scion of a noble Catholic family, which for centuries, hassquandered its millions and shed its blood in the service of the Cross, for- sook the religion of his fathers, renounced power, political distinction, military glory, the lust of the flesh and the lures of fame, to become a priest of the Church. Sitelli...
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