3568 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.
disposed of France, Belgium, England,
and Russia, he would punish Italy for her
'flight.' " Such sayings came, of course,
to Italian ears, and did not tend to increase
The Teutons were fully alive to the
importance of keeping Italy from entering
the war against them, and alternately used
threats and blandishments to that end.
In December, 1915, former German Imperial Chancellor Prince von Bulow arrived
at Rome, as Ambassador Extraordinary
to the Quirinal, for the purpose of guarding
Teutonic interests. As his wife was an
Italian and he lived much of the time in
Italy, it was hoped that he would be able
to wield great influence.
On December 3, Premier Salandra had
announced that the policy for the present
would be one of "armed, alert neutrality."
The army was put upon a war footing.
Thousands of Italians living abroad were
summoned to the colors, and great numbers
of horses and large quantities of military
supplies were bought in America and elsewhere; while the Italian factories were
kept busy turning out weapons, ammunition, and shells. Exactly what these
preparations would lead to was not known
by anyone outside the Government, probably not by the Government itself; but
meanwhile, the Allied diplomatic agents
Prince von Bulow endeavored to turn
Italian thoughts from the region of Trent
and Trieste to Nice, Savoy, Corsica, Tunis,
Algeria, and other French possessions.
But much of this territory lay beyond
the sea, and the Italians could not but
wonder how they were to overcome the
formidable barrier interposed by the French
and British navies. Besides the dream
of reclaiming "Italia Irredenta," with
its people of Italian blood and aspirations,