ITALY: Eh, Well

Four weeks ago, canny Giovanni Vis-conti-Venosta, Premier Bonomi's Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, got tired of trying to work through the Roman dusk by candle and carbide light.* One afternoon when Britain's High Commissioner, prim Sir Noel Charles, was to call, Visconti-Venosta personally ordered every candle and sputtering carbide light in the Palazzo Chigi doused. Sir Noel walked into Stygian gloom, groped his way through the Chigi's interminable passages and waiting rooms, conferred ghost-to-ghost with Visconti-Venosta. whose face never cracked a smile. Next day Visconti-Venosta wrote Sir Noel a note reviewing the discussions: "As we were saying yesterday in...

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