The irritation displayed by Bismarck at the Francophil attitude of Italy towards the end of the Franco-German War gave place to a certain show of goodwill when the great chancellor found himself in his turn involved in a struggle against the Vatican and when the policy of Thiers began to strain Franco-Italian relations.
Since the war of i866 the Left had advocated an ItaloPrussian alliance in opposition to the Francophil the Left, tendencies of the Right.
But on 9th November the European situation was suddenly modified by the formation of the Gambetta cabinet, and, in view of the policy of revenge with which Gambetta was supposed to be identified, it became imperative for Bismarck to assure himself that Italy would not be enticed into a Francophil attitude by any concession Gambetta might offer.
So great was Bismarcks distrust of Italian parliamentary instability, his doubts of Italian capacity for offensive warfare and his fear of the Francophil tendencies of Depretis, that fof many weeks the Italian ambassador at Berlin was unable te obtain audience of the chancellor.
At the same time he mitigated the Francophil tendencies of some of his colleagues, accompanied King Humbert and Queen Margherita on their visit to Homburg in September 1897, and, by loyal observance of the spirit of the triple alliance, retained for Italy the confidence of her allies without forfeiting the goodwill of France.
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