Of course, of course. People feel better, feel more confident and secure, if they believe.
They say the devil is choking the monks here every night.
FAT MONK (laughing)
Nonsense. (To the Gray Monk passing by) Father Vissarion, come here a moment. Sit down. Mr. Tropinin’s son here says the devil chokes us every night. Have you heard about it? (The two monks laugh good-naturedly as they look at each other)
Some of the monks can’t sleep well because they have overeaten, so they think they are being choked. Why, young man, the devil can’t enter within our sacred precincts.
But suppose he does suddenly put in an appearance? What will, you do then?
We’ll get after him with the holy-water sprinkler, that’s what we’ll do. “Don’t butt in where you have no business to, you black-faced booby!” (The monk laughs)
Here comes King Herod.
Wait a while, Father Vissarion. (To Savva) You talk about faith and such things. There’s a man for you—look at him—see how he walks. And yet he has chains on him weighing four hundred pounds. He doesn’t walk, he dances. He visits us every summer, and I must say he is a very valuable guest. His example strengthens others in their faith. Herod! Ho, Herod!
What do you want?
Come here a minute. This gentleman doubts the existence of God. Talk to him.
What’s the matter with yourself? Are you so full of booze that you can’t wag your own tongue?
You heretic! What a heretic! (Both monks laugh)
KING HEROD (approaching)
KING HEROD (scrutinizing him)
He doubts? Let him doubt. It’s none of my business.
Why, what did you think?
Sit down, please.
Never mind. I’d rather stand.