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ITALY'S ARMS WHICH ARE PREPARING FOR
WAR ARE ATTACHED TO PRETTY ROMAN GIRllS
BL ALICE ROHE
Rome, Nov. 21 (By Mail to New
York). I sing not of "arms and the
man," but of "arms and the woman."
The arms which are beirig prepar
ed for war more vital than those of
which Virgil sang are attached to
the lovely shoulders of aristocratic
Roman women, young and old.
At the great Polyclinic hospital
they are steeped in strong antiseptic,
they are strained with burdens of
groaning humanity, they are busied
in quick and necessarily first aids to
And for what purpose? For war!
These sheltered Italian girls these
exquisite grande dames of the high
families are gathered every morn
ing at the Polyclinic to be instructed
in the art of becoming nurses, pre
paring to serve when Italy becomes
involved in the war. And they are
working fast and furiously, Teady to
be called into service at a moment's
This morning I attended a class of
the Samaritans, as this- special war
course is' called. Seated in the lec
ture hall while Dr. Amante stretched
before them a man with, a badly
wounded shoulder torn by a terrible
knife thrust I saw the Baroness de
Renzis di Montanaro, eagerly noting
every detail of the explanation. An
exquisite, eighteen year pld girl
daughter of one of the old Roman
families sat next to her.
On the other side of the aisle I saw
Signora-Ida Gayda, wife of Virginio
Gayda, author of the greatly dis
cussed study of modern Austria, "The
Crisis of an Empire" and "Italy Be
yond Its Borders." Signoro Gayda'
told me she had made but one stip
ulation in entering the course and
that was that she would be permitted
to go at once to the front if Italy,
became mvolyed in the war.
ternational conditions sat the daugh
ter of Levi Delia Vida, the financier;
beside her was the daughter of a for-
mer mayor of Rome, while nearby sat
I Signonna Ponao Vaglia, sister of the
famous general and former aide de
campto King Victor Emanuel.
Two strong forces of impressions
dominated the'lecture hall. One was
h the' assurance of approaching partici-
pauon in tne jfiurppean conflict,
which neutrality has avoided so 'far.
There is no question in the .mindp of
these women that war is not only in
evitable but imminent. The change
in the original plans of the Samari
tans courses from classes three
times a week to daily shows .their
belief that thaste is needed.
The other force that seemed to
dominate that lecture hall was the
realization of a new awakening
among Italian women. The sighit of
carefully sheltered, protected girls, of
eighteen, preparing for work as
nurses on the field of battle perhaps
or at least in hospitals, is some
thing which is entirely flew, even in
the Italy of today.
War has sounded a new note in
women's emancipation, not only in
Italy, but in all Europe. It is show
ing what women can do in reality and
not in theory. But in no land as in
Italy has the "young person" .been
kept in such protected obscurity.
That she has been permitted to
emerge into the light of active work
in the glare of approaching war is a
sight marveled at by Romans, them
selves. Seventy women of rank, ,ofc high
families ranging from the eighteen
year old daughters to the sixty year,
old dowagers, are enrolled in the
present' Samaritana course which
ends in the latter part" of December.
The. -application for entrance into this
class are so plentiful that an effprt
is-.being. made- to give instruction in
Near the wife of the wjriter on in- sojne af Jthe,djfferent hospitals. Th
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