The Soldier's Dream 3
Palazzo Belvedere
The scene is transformed and we are in the
elegant gardens of the Palazzo Belvedere within
the walls of the Vatican during the pontificate
of Alexander VI in, let us say, 1502.  A most
splendid and magnificent spectacle is just
beginning.  It is an evening entertainment near
the end of summer and His Holiness is
presiding over a gorgeous banquet, to be
followed by a grand masque, in which many of
the guests will participate in the singing and
dancing, a spectacle hardly to have been
equaled since the days of the emperors.  The
great Roman families are present, or at least
those on some terms short of open warfare with
the Holy Father, although they all, of course,
hate him--and he them, but that only adds to
the piquancy of the evening.  There is a true
embarrassment of riches in the form of
multitudes of spendid and exotic characters, a
glory for the cinematographer.  To gild the lily,
the "exuberant" children of the Pontiff, Cesare
and Lucretia, are seated on his right and left.  
The banquet has ended and the grand masque is
beginning with a court dance in which all the
guests participate.  The lover of glorious
images will have much to enjoy during the
banquet, but we will, reluctantly, only note that
it takes place and move along.