CHAPTER VI
SACRED EGOISM

IN this war Italy has suffered at the hands of her friends. It is her own statesmen as well as many of her officious apologists in foreign countries who have lauded her policy as one of naked egoism, unashamed and boastful. Yet there is another Italy, fine-spirited and generous, which fights for as high ideals and as noble purposes as in the days of the Risorgimiento and is heavens above the chaffering group of politicians and journalists who have actually controlled her policy in this war. When, therefore, in this chapter I speak of Italy I have in mind not the whole population, and not at all her ardent democrats and liberals, but a little band of ultra-nationalists, who at a critical moment caught the common imagination and confidently and ignorantly led the people to disaster.

Italy, declare her apologists, "is waging above all a war of expansion and conquest." The Italian population "set out for this war, for 'its war,' with the most definite idea of its interests. It was informed, and it perfectly understood, that it was not waging a war for the sake of magnificence nor for the sake of principles; that it was fighting for it

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