Puslapio vaizdai

guarding individual liberty and for not brigandage on such a scale that the guaranteeing the efficiency of public Fascisti were put to rout. service. The failure of the Govern- The movement remains typical and ment to heed these protests explains pure, however, in those provinces where the origin and the spread of the enlightened public sentiment is symFascista movement in various regions pathetically neutral toward it, deplorof Italy, for the movement assumes ing Fascista excesses as violations of different characteristics in different law, but thoroughly approving the regions.

results attained.

Armed with rifles, hand-grenades, 87


guns from the abandoned In the north of Italy, unquestion- munition dumps along the war front, ably, fascismo has represented the up- bands of young men, in numbers of rising of a tormented public against the from fifty to two hundred, would deexcesses and abuses of violent radical scend in army camions upon the Social-. ism. As the movement has spread, ist strongholds. The normal Fascista however, it has been merely a cloak raid is a fairly peaceful affair. Its for venting traditional spites and clan object is to tear down red flags, deface hatreds, one group or another seizing pictures of Lenine, restore the insignia the opportunity to do in the name of of the Italian nation where Bolshevist patriotism things that they would not enthusiasm has gone to extreme affront dare attempt in times when life flows of patriotic sentiment. This is particnormally.

ularly true in towns where Socialist In the province of Apulia, for local officials have used the authority example, where the landlords were as conferred on them by the ballot to tyrannical as the "Reds" of the North, institute the exterior semblances of fascismo covered a bloody reaction of revolution. property against peasant organizations Socialist headquarters are usually which have decidedly improved condi- dismantled or burned. In some cases tions of living in recent years. But Socialist deputies or local leaders have the counter-reaction of the farmers been publicly hazed, beaten, or actuwas terrible. They began a syste- ally killed. The offices and printing matic campaign of arson and assassin- plants of Socialist papers have been ation against the landlords, poisoning destroyed; the raids against the cattle, cutting down trees and vine “Avanti" in Milan and the “Difesa" yards, killing even women and children in Florence were conspicuous instances in reprisal. Apulian fascismo, behind of this kind. The raids are usually which a most unworthy cause was advertised and prosecuted as reprisals. skulking, was extirpated in short Let a Socialist jeer a patriot in public, order.

and a disciplinary foray is immediately Likewise in Sicily the landlords saw made by a Fascista force. The fain fascismo an opportunity for reassert- mous “Day of San Frediano" in ing themselves at a moment when Florence (February 25) was occasioned public opinion was engrossed by other by a bomb attack from anarchists things. Peasant leaders were assassi- upon a procession of students in honor nated, and this provoked a revival of of the Italian flag.



$ 8

This episode assumed the propor- tendency toward a break between the tions of a medieval tumult. Some conservative Nationalists and the more hot-blooded Fascisti, in reprisal for the progressive elements in the Fascista anarchist bomb, assassinated a Social- ranks. ist labor leader, Spartaco Lavagnini; But decidedly the most interesting, whereupon a general strike was called, not to say amusing, aspect of fascismo and the "reds" set up barricades in the in this phase was the stampede of the quarter of San Frediano, across the supposedly Socialist agrarian leagues Arno. A young Fascista was caught —those whose abuses were among the by the Socialists, stabbed, and thrown moving causes and justifications of the into the river. The whole city then fascista movement—to its banners. rose in arms, and escorted the Royal This astonishing phenomenon is not Guards, without much resistance, in incomprehensible, however. It is truth, into occupation of the rebellious fundamentally the old question of the district.

distinction between industrial and agricultural labor.

The present

leagues of northern Italy saw in the With the recent general elections the Socialist party an instrument for Fascista movement entered on a third obtaining desired reforms. With the political phase. By the first of May prestige of the Socialists daily declinnearly every town in northern or ing, the Italian peasants, in charactercentral Italy had its Fascista organiza- istic impulsiveness, turned elsewhere tion, and the middle classes generally for support. Since, moreover, the seemed to have intrusted leadership to Fascista movement is in notable part its young patriots. In this sudden and an agitation of ex-soldiers, many of delirious expansion of the movement whom are peasants, it was easy for a there was probably a deal of political name representing no fixed political noise, as the use politicians made of it principles to be turned to any purpose. clearly indicates. In towns where the The doctrine of peasant proprietorship, followers of Mr. Giolitti were predomi- the bulwark of European middle-class nant, the Fascisti banner was waved democracy, and as such inconsistent against his well-known opposition to with socialism and communism, was a the war. Not infrequently the atten- convenient rallying-point. We have, tion of the Fascisti was diverted from as a result, especially in the province of the Socialists-anti-Socialism being Ferrara, a new and powerful unit of

the only real principle of unity existing Fascisti, committed to a confiscatory among them—to this or that faction of policy as regards land. the bourgeoisie.

Agrarian fascismo is, however, only Dissension inevitably resulted, in its first stages. Just what effect it super-fascismo developing on the one will have on the later development of hand among the followers of D'Annun- the whole movement is still a matter of zio, who scornfully held aloof from the speculation. movement once it had become a popu

8 9 lar fad, and a rift appearing between the republican Fascisti and those loyal The attitude of the Government to the monarchy. There was also a toward the extra-legal activities and


violence of the Fascisti has been de Socialists into the new ministry, as termined by the complex situation in promised, quiet will doubtless again be Parliament. Mr. Giolitti has had restored. three important policies to enforce:

§ 10 the Treaty of Rapallo; the increase in the price of bread as the first of a series The result of the turmoil of the last of important reforms in finance and months has been to establish balance, taxation; and finally the application of almost a basis of understanding, be"workers' control,” or coöperative tween factions in Italy. The surprismanagement, in industry.

ing weakness of Socialist morale in the The premier could muster in the old face of a determined onslaught from Parliament a bare majority when their opponents has virtually termiassured of the support of the extreme nated the arrogance and insolence with conservatives, representing the manu- which they had been for three years facturing interests. This support he trampling the rights of the public has bought in the past by conceding a underfoot. The effect of this has been free hand to the Fascisti, finding him to restore confidence in the nation self relieved, into the bargain, of gain abroad and to quiet the absurd reports ing Socialist animosity by attacking of an impending social revolution in the evils to which the Fascisti have Italy that were damaging to the whole energetically attended. This explains work of the country's reconstruction. the occasional cooperation between The immediate goal of the fascista Fascisti and police and the official movement has not, on the other hand, indifference to the use by raiders of been achieved. Socialism has not army supplies and equipment.

been exterminated or even reduced in When, however, in the present economic strength. The Socialists Parliament, Giolitti comes to enforc- lost very little ground in the last elecing his industrial program, to which tions, once the considerable protest the manufacturers are bitterly and vote from non-Socialists obtained in unitedly opposed, he will have to de 1919 has been deducted. pend on Socialist support. This the As we said at the beginning, a great Socialists will give only in exchange for battle in public opinion has been fought protection from continued outrages. outside the Government, and the battle

The end of fascismo as a spectacular has decided that communism in Italy phenomenon in Italian life is thus is too weak in numbers and morale to already in sight. Indeed, the elections cause any serious concern; while were hardly over before the premier, Socialism, to have any standing in the reassured by political victory, began country at all, must continue as a party gently to apply restraint on public of progressive criticism, which its saner disorder. With the entrance of the elements have always constituted.

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T was something new, in the little usual and inevitable failure, sinking

old brick school-house, to read like heavily into his seat at the end. that. When it came her turn, the But the new girl kept right on as if strange girl, who had come for the she cared for nobody or nothing: first time that morning, rose promptly “The stag at eve had drunk his fill, and without embarrassment, and, Where danced the moon on Monan's unadmonished by teacher, with book

rill, in the left hand and head thrown back, And deep his midnight lair had made began without hesitation, “Page one In lone Glenartney's hazel shade." hundred fifty-three, lesson forty-nine; She read with mouth open, freely and 'The Chase."

without effort. Even then nobody expected it. It The boy looked up. Only a faint was usual enough to read out boldly flush on her freckled cheek showed that far. When the actual demand for that she was at all aware of herself. declamatory raising of the voice came, When she came to at the beginning of the piece, it was a wholly different affair. However

"As chief, who hears his warder call,

‘To arms! the foemen storm the wall,"” brave and full of momentum the start, at the first real need of courage the there was never such a "To arms!" voice sank, the head drooped, a dull The little boys jumped in their seats, glow of diffidence overspread the face, and sat with mouth and eyes wide and the unlucky reader went mechan- open. The little girls jumped, too, ically through the stanza aware of the and then simpered at one another. The big boys in the class, occupying image in his mind, and it was that of the front row of seats, looked hard a light-complexioned girl with whitish into their books, and their faces hair and freckles. He was not curious reddened with embarrassment. The of details. He was not interested in big girls looked up from the lesson at her as a girl; it was only the bold, teacher's face.

free reading that made him notice her The new girl was fourteen. The at all. When teacher had called boy, who sat just across the aisle, so school and he was in his seat, he near that he was aware of the aroma of thought no more of her beyond reher fresh-ironed apron, was not quite curring from time to time to the fifteen. It was the first morning after miracle of the reading. the holidays, and twenty below zero. The boy paid no attention to girls The windows were velvety with a frost and took no interest in them; boys so thick that the streaming level who were interested in them and did arrows of the sun were stripped of their pay attention to them were to him pale-gold sharpness as they entered, simply incomprehensible. He went and brought to the room only a tem- his way and let them go theirs, content pered glow.

enough except when occasionally he Fifth reader was dismissed. When found himself sacrificed by certain of recess came, and they all gathered his mates to new-found attractions. around the red-hot stove, holding out Then his indifference became disdain hands and elevating copper-toed boots or even anger. To share your sled to the narrow fender that ran about the with a girl instead of sliding down hill tall cylinder of the stove, the new girl with the rest of the boys, to stand by came swinging down the aisle to join the stove or sit on the edge of the them with a movement as free as that woodbox or lean and look out of the of her reading itself. For the first window with a girl, instead of ranging few seconds there was a certain lack of over banks of snow or careering on the ease among them. Despite teacher's sliding-place, was the supreme foolishexhortations, they had never supposed ness and the supreme offense. reading in that way really possible, Sometimes it was not only disdain; and they retained an impression as of it could be disappointment and real something painful. It was only the grief. Weeks had gone by, and he girl's open and natural way of break- had not yet recovered from the effect ing in upon their bashful silences that of having Tip, as they stood outside put them at greater ease. By the time the door one night after lodge, sudten of the fifteen minutes of recess had denly leave his side and walk away passed they had almost forgotten with Lucy. He was filled at first with that she was there for the first time. amazement, then with resentment,

, All but the boy, who was a little and finally with the sharpest, deepest more bashful than the others. He pain. felt the softness of her clothes, and Tip was to stay all night with him. the scent of the fresh-ironed apron From the time the boy was six years came once more into the field of his old they had been inseparable. When consciousness. He did not look at Tip finally came in, and they were deep her. She had already formed an under the quilts in the soft feather

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