ITALY: Cannon Speech

To the despair of his best friends, Benito Mussolini has a penchant for crowning with a touch of the ridiculous even his greatest achievements. Last week, having created an entire new province for Italy by ditching, draining and damming the once pestilential Pontine Marshes, II Duce pronounced an oration niftily punctuated by cannon shots.

"Today, Blackshirts," he began, "I inaugurate the ninety-third province of Italy. (BANG!) So that this gigantic work shall not be disturbed (BANG!) it is necessary, Blackshirts and soldiers, that the nation be strong in armed force (BANG!). . ....

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