§770 The March on Rome; Dictatorship of Mussolini (1919-1945): VII-32.

VII-32 (§770):

One of the Royal mountain shall be born of a hovel,
Who bets and is reliable, shall come to tyrannize,
Shall raise troops of the Milanese march,
Shall exhaust Faenza, Florence, wealth and the nation.

(Du mont Royal naistra d'une casane,
Qui cave, & comte viendra tyranniser,
Dresser copie de la marche Millane,
Favene, Florence d'or & gents expuiser.)

NOTES: The Royal mountain: « Rome sometimes is called “The Royal Mountain,” from its Capitoline Hill.» (Boswell, 1941, p.257).

(hovel): = « diminutif de casa, maison, taudis (diminutive of casa, house, hovel).» (Fontbrune, 1939, p.224).

One of the Royal mountain shall be born of a hovel: « Benito Mussolini was the son of Alessandro Mussolini, socialistic blacksmith and innkeeper of the hamlet Dovia, in Romagna. A “Sunday child,” like Goethe, the future Duce was born on July 29, 1883.» (Boswell, id.).

Who bets and is reliable, shall come to tyrannize
: « Mussolini organized the first Fascio di Combattimento in March, 1919, while he was in Milan editing Popolo d’Italia. Though Mussolini started fascism to combat the wave of anarchy sweeping Italy, he had to control all industries to keep them open and to provide jobs for the workers. Factories remained in the owners’ hands, but profits were controlled strictly. Fascism took over the entire national economy to provide a living for all Italians. Thus, Il Duce tyrannized ...» (Boswell, id.).

: = He bets; « CAVER. 1° Creuser (to hollow); 2° Faire mise d’une somme d’argent à certains jeux: poker, bouillotte (to bet a sum of money on certain games: poker, an old French card game).» (Petit Robert).

: = Compte = He is reliable; « COMPTER. ... 4° Être compté, avoir de l’importance (to be counted, to be of importance).» (Petit Robert).

Who bets and is reliable,
Shall raise troops of the Milanese march: « The wind of change was blowing in rather a different direction. By the second half of 1919 new types of ‘vanguard élites’ were making their appearance in Europe. They too were socialists. Marx was often in their pantheon. But they appealed to something broader than an abstract ‘proletariat’ which was mysteriously failing to respond – at any rate as an electoral or a fighting force – and their collective dynamic was not so much class as nation, even race. They also had a powerful and immediate grievance in common: dissatisfaction with the Treaty of Versailles. In Turkey, which had lost its Arab empire and appeared to be losing its western littoral also, Mustafa Kemal Pasha, soon to be ‘Ataturk’, likewise offered national socialism and was already proving that a settlement determined in Paris could not be enforced on the spot. Italy, too, though a big gainer, still had a grievance against Versailles: she had not got the Dalmatian coast. On 11 September, the poet and war-hero Gabriele d’Annunzio led a raggle-taggle force of army deserters into the port of Fiume. It was an impudent bluff: but Britain and France, the custodians of the settlement, backed down – an ominous portent. D’Annunzio, too, was a national socialist. From Milan, Mussolini sniffed this new wind and liked it, just as five years earlier he had caught the whiff of wartime excitement, and liked that too. The coming of war and his own determination to bring Italy into it had taken him right out of the official socialist party. It had made him a nationalist, not merely in the romantic-Left tradition of Mazzini but in the acquisitive tradition of the old Romans, whose fasces, turned into a radical emblem of the French Revolution, he found a useful symbol, just as Lenin had picked on the hammer and sickle of the old Social Democrats. It made him hate Lenin for taking Russia out of the war and so jeopardizing Italy’s promised gains. By 1919 Lenin’s economic failure had turned him away from the outright expropriation of industry. He now wanted to use and exploit capitalism rather than destroy it. But his was to be a radical revolution nonetheless, rooted in the pre-war ‘vanguard-élite’ Marxism and syndicalism (workers’ rule) which was to remain to his death the most important single element in his politics. Many other young Italian former socialists shared his radicalism while abandoning their internationalism. Internationalism had not worked either in 1914, when it had failed to stop war, or in 1917, when it had failed to respond to Lenin’s call for world revolution. But the desire to install a new economic Utopia remained. On 23 March 1919 Mussolini and his syndicalist friends founded a new party. Its programme was partial seizure of finance capital, control over the rest of the economy by corporative economic councils, confiscation of church lands and agrarian reform, and abolition of the monarchy and senate.» (Johnson, 1991, p.95-96); « Italy was not a happy or a well-governed country. It had appalling poverty, the highest birth-rate in Europe and, after Germany, one of the highest inflation-rates. The parliamentary regime was grievously corrupt. The monarchy was unloved. The state itself had been at daggers with the Church since 1871, and was denounced from every pulpit on Sundays. There was genuine fear of a Red Terror, for the Catholic newspapers were full of Lenin’s atrocities and the Russian famine. Mussolini was not personally identified with violence. On the contrary: he seemed to many to be the one to stop it. He had become a wonderful public speaker. He had learnt from d’Annunzio the gift of conducting a quasi-operatic dialogue with the crowd. But he was not just a demagogue. His speeches specialized in the wide-ranging philosophical reflections Italians love. Liberals from Benedetto Croce downwards attended his meetings. By the early autumn of 1922 his oratory had acquired a confident and statesmanlike ring [Who is reliable]. He was now in secret contact with the palace, the Vatican, the army, the police and big business. What, they all wanted to know, did he want? At Udine he told them, in the last of a series of major speeches given all over the country: ‘Our programme is simple: we wish to govern Italy.’ He would govern Italy as it had never been governed since Roman times: firmly, fairly, justly, honestly, above all efficiently. On 16 October 1922 Mussolini decided to force the issue [Who bets], believing that if he waited, Giolitti [in premiership in May 1892 – Dec. 1893 and in May 1906 – Dec. 1909], the one man he feared, might steal his role. He arranged for a march on Rome for the end of the month, by four divisions totalling 40,000 blackshirted men. Many army and police commanders agreed not to fire on them, and his paper, Il Popolo d’Italia, carried the banner: I grigioverdi fraternizzano con le Camicie Nere! [The graygreens (of the Italian Army uniforms) will fraternize with the Black Shirt (of the Fascists)!] Mussolini had a lifelong capacity for hovering uneasily between grandeur and farce. By the time his ill-equipped, badly clothed and unfed army had halted outside Rome, in pouring rain, on the evening of 28 October, it did not present a very formidable spectacle. The government, though weak, had a Rome garrison of 28,000 under a reliable commander and it agreed to proclaim a state of emergency. But Rome buzzed with rumours and misinformation. The little King Victor Emmanuel, tucked up in the Quirinale Palace, was told only 6,000 ill-disciplined troops faced a horde of 100,000 determined fascists. He panicked and refused to sign the decree, which had to be torn down from the walls where it had just been posted. At that point the government lost heart. Mussolini, for an impatient man, played his cards skilfully. When he was telephoned in Milan by the King’s
ADC, General Cittadini, and offered partial power in a new ministry, he simply replaced the receiver. The next day, 29 October, he graciously consented to form his own government, provide the invitation by phone was confirmed by telegram. The wire duly came, and that evening he went to Milan Station in state, wearing his black shirt, to catch the night-sleeper to Rome. As it happened, the wife of the British ambassador, Lady Sybil Graham, was also on the train. She saw Mussolini, who was surrounded by officials, impatiently consult his watch, and turn fiercely on the station-master. ‘I want the train to leave exactly on time,’ he said. ‘From now on, everything has got to function perfectly.’ Thus a regime, and a legend, were born. In the last decade of his life Mussolini became an increasingly tragic, even grotesque. figure. Looking back from this later perspective it is hard to grasp that, from the end of 1922 to the mid-1930s, he appeared to everyone as a formidable piece [Who is reliable] on the European chess-board. Once installed, he did not make any of Lenin’s obvious mistakes. He did not create a secret police [until 1926 when the Director General of police A. Bocchini created one] (Kitahara et al., 2008, p.492), or abolish parliament. The press remained free, opposition leaders at liberty. There were some murders, but fewer than before the coup. The Fascist Grand Council was made an organ of state and the Blackshirts were legalized, giving an air of menace to the April 1924 elections, which returned a large fascist majority. But Mussolini saw himself as a national rather than a party leader. He said he ruled by consent as well as force. He seems to have possessed not so much the will to power as the will to office. He wanted to remain there and become respectable; he wished to be loved.» (Johnson, id., p.99-100).

Exhaust Faenza, Florence
: = « épuiser l’Italie (to exhaust Italy).» (Ionescu, 1976, p.529).

Shall exhaust Faenza, Florence, wealth and the nation: « From the Corfu Incident of 1924 [sic; (1923)] to the attack on Abyssinia of 1935, [Mussolini] indulged in an aggressive foreign policy. Although at first hostile to Hitler’s Germany because of its ambitions in Austria (Italy’s neighbour), the similarity between the Fascist and Nazi systems and the international ostracism imposed on Italy because of the Abyssinian War led Mussolini to bring the two countries together in what he called the ‘Axis’ of 1936. At Easter 1939 he annexed Albania. He declared war on Britain and France on June 10th, 1940, when France was already defeated. On the following October 28th his troops invaded Greece but were repulsed and, soon after, suffered reverses in Libya and East Africa. These defeats weakened Mussolini’s prestige, especially as the Fascists had always sought to inculcate admiration for the glories of war. By the summer of 1941 Mussolini had become virtually a German pensionary but it was not until July 25th, 1943, that a coup by King Victor Emmanuel and Marshal Badoglio forced him to resign. He was imprisoned, but was rescued from the Appennines by German parachutists (September 12th, 1943) and set up a Republican Fascist Government which administered German-occupied northern Italy.» (Palmer, p.194-195).
© Koji Nihei Daijyo, 2018. All rights reserved.

Koji Nihei Daijyo

Author:Koji Nihei Daijyo
We have covered 143 quatrains (§588-§730) concerning the World Events in the 19th century after Napoleonic ages [1821-1900] in the Prophecies of Nostradamus, and 219 in the 20th [1901-2000] (§731-§949).

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