When Gabrlele d'Annunzio offered himself recently as a common sailor in the Italian navy, some of his critics smiled and put it down to the theatricality of the man. But, apart from the fact that there is a different measure for theatricality in north and south, they were almost certainly wrong. The Italian authorities took him at his word, gave him a chance of varying his offer, and the poet of fifty-two is now a lieutenant in the army. Long ago, before the end of his military service, he won his stripes. Politically d'Annunzio is hard to place.