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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

Teutonic popularity.

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

were busy.

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,