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dren below which, after being period- o'clock, when I went out for a stroll, ically ordered off the face of the earth their mistress had not returned, and by the officious Marco and Todaro, when I came back to the Cà Loredan withdrew a short distance and then re- shortly after sunset I found that my assembled in exactly the same forma- earlier fears were justified; the Lortion as at first; Marietta came out into dessa had lost her way as soon as she the street and gazed with rapture at crossed the iron bridge near the Accathe musicians, and Marco's old crow, demia and had wandered, apparently, whose wicker cage hung on a nail near into the dilapidated region beyond the the front door, emitted a loud squawk Cannaregio. There she had revolved of disgust at frequent intervals. I de- aimlessly for a couple of hours until cided that the canaries belonged to the she came to a church (probably the strange Lordessa, and that the strange Madonna dell' Orto) and took refuge in Lordessa was an old maid.

it from the heat. After resting for She had already gone out, I was in- some time she set forth again, and, informed when I went downstairs. Ap- stead of finding her way to the Grand parently she had been seized with a Canal, seems to have worked across to desire to visit the office of the unro- the Arsenal, where a benevolent sentry mantic but indispensable Mr. Cook, and took pity on her and sent her back to disdaining a gondola, had set off to the Zattere with a small boy who knew walk there. I inferred from this that some English as her guide. When she she was no stranger to Venice or had a arrived she was on the verge of colbump of locality; otherwise, even with lapse, and had gone to her room at a map, she would almost certainly lose once. her way in the labyrinth of streets be- I uttered suitably sympathetic comtween the Campo San Vitale and the ments on this tale of woe, as revealed Piazza San Marco. I asked Zorzio by Marietta, but privately I decided why he had not advised her to go by that the Lordessa was a rather silly steamboat: Zorzio, it seemed, had at

person.

Nowhere in the world, certempted to do this, but his English, ac- tainly, is it so easy to lose one's way cording to Marietta, was quite incom- as in Venice, but even if one is ignoprehensible to the Signorina, who, for rant of Italian one can always find a her part, spoke a dialect which com- kindly native who will point out the pletely baffled Zorzio. The latter great proper direction. Also, lone females, linguist, finding mere words of no in my opinion, ought to refrain from avail, took to gesture, and by drawing tramping feverishly round foreign citelaborate pictures of steamboats in the ies when various other methods of locoair and making strange sounds repre- motion are available. The Lordessa's sentative of their puffing had appar- escapade had one good result: there ently frightened the poor Lordessa out was no repetition of the sounds which of the house. The episode seemed to had haunted me on the previous night. have caused Marietta some annoyance; Apparently it had tired her hugely, for she remarked that to expect forestieri she kept to her room all the following to speak Italian was, by the body of day. When I inquired after her health, Bacchus, no habit of hers, but an Eng. Marietta seemed to think that my ques. lishwoman should at least be able to tion concerned the unknown lady's converse in English.

mental condition, and replied that she I worked all the morning and for a was molto gentile, but somewhat simpart of the afternoon, whilst the cana- ple: she added that the Lordessa wrote ries sang both loud and clear. At five many letters but received few.

The strange lady's experience of the writing-table to a window that overVenetian labyrinth had evidently coun. looked Zorzio's backyard and strove to teracted any desire that she might have forget her. previously possessed of seeing the The singular state of affairs continsplendors of palace or paintings; she ued, as I said, for nearly a week, and remained all day in her room; her then, one evening when I came in late meals were served there-she lived, it from a theatre, I heard once again the seemed, on boiled eggs,-and she only sound of weeping in her room. It conwent out for a short walk on the Zat- tinued till far in the night, and at last tere very early in the morning. For I told myself that this was more than nearly a week we inhabited the same common humanity could bear, and I house, living within a yard or two of went to sleep with my head under the each other, but I did not see her once. bedclothes, swearing a mighty oath Every morning I heard her on the bal- that I would confront the Lordessa cony attending to the canaries, but on next morning and attempt to offer her no occasion did she speak to them or my sympathy and aid. encourage them to sing by whistling. I rose very early and dressed hastily. Not that they needed any encourage- for I was fearful of losing my one opment; the sun of Venice had intoxi- portunity of a meeting. At first I cated every one of the little prisoners, had intended to go out and walk up and they gave shrill thanks all day for and down the Zattere until she apits bounty—much to the detriment of peared; but second thoughts warned my work. That any one should come me that this course might startle herto Venice in September and be content for it was almost certain that she did to live in a bedroom and feed canaries not know me by sight,-and I decided was quite ridiculous and almost pa- to wait on the balcony until she came thetic: I could only conclude either that to feed the canaries. It was a long Miss Fane was unwell, which Marietta time before she appeared-probably she assured me was not the case, or that had only gone to sleep, poor thing. she was in trouble. If the latter con- when she was utterly worn out with clusion was the true one, it seemed to crying,--and when, at last, I saw her, I me that her method of living was both felt a great thrill of surprise, for she unhealthy and depressing. I felt in- was a young girl, and I had hypnotized clined to send her a note, saying that myself into the firm conviction that she there were such places as St. Mark's would be an antique and angular old and the Frari, the Lido and Torcello; spinster. She came out swiftly, and that the most maidenly of old maids without looking at the magnificent need have no fear in a gondola, and pageant of color that was glowing in that if she wanted an escort, I was the the early sunshine, went straight to most respectable of middle-aged Eng- her foolish canaries. Apparently she lishmen, and well known to the chap- had not realized that I was at the other lain of the church in the Campo San end of the balcony. Vio. The thought of her sitting all I prepared to attract her attention, alone, day after day, got on my nerves but before doing this I watched her for to such an extent that my work was a moment as she stooped to feed the ruined; but her desire for privacy was birds. Even my purblind masculine so obvious that I did not dare to send eye was able to perceive that she was a note, and it seemed that she was de- dressed in the extreme of fashion: she termined to give me no opportunity of wore a very tight skirt, which exposel meeting her in person.

I moved my a considerable length of dove-colored

me

silk stocking; the tops of her high- with an affected diction that was lackheeled boots matched the stockings; ing in charm. her smartly-cut blue coat was decorated

"Thank you.

You were mistaken," with little rows of quite superfluous she said. "Much obliged." buttons, and on her head was a black Her manner, rather than the stilted hat which seemed to me as large as an phrase, told

at once that she artist's umbrella, and was adorned, ap- meant to snub

me. Evidently the parently, with the whole wing of a canary could peck. I made another well-grown goose. In short, to the effort. purblind masculine eye she was over- "You're quite sure?" I asked. dressed--at any rate for her present "Positive," she replied, with a funny environment. She reminded me pain- jerk of her head. I waited in silence fully of the Front (I think that is the for a moment, watching her. This word) at Brighton.

seemed to annoy her; she turned her I uttered some conventional greeting, back on me and said in high staccato and she turned swiftly with an excla- accents, “Please go away. You have mation of surprise. I was impressed no right to come here. You know that at once by the incongruity of her quite well." clothes with the character of her face. This was definite, at any rate, and I She was pretty, with a faded, timid retreated ingloriously into my room. I kind of prettiness; her eyes were large regretted my interference, but was too and pale; her nose was too small, and much amused to be angry. There was her mouth was thịn and expressionless. only one word that completely deOddly enough, she reminded me at once scribed Miss Fane: she was plainly and of a canary-a foolish canary which unmistakably a shrew. Also, she had had tried to disguise itself in some the tart and snappish manner which is other bird's fine feathers. As she usually possessed by ill-bred persons stood there she looked furried, defiant, who have no sense of humor. I deand insignificant. With a truly damna- cided that I disliked her heartily, and ble lack of charity I concluded in- resolved that nothing on earth would stantly that it was a mosquito which induce me to speak to her again; and had made her cry.

yet-there was something pathetic She did not respond to my salutation, about her; that was undeniable. Her but stood looking at me, making. I lonely life, the flaunting incongruity of could see, an obvious effort to appear her clothes, her air of a pert boardself-possessed. I explained that I could school mistress who never forgets that not avoid imagining that she was in she has passed an examination and is trouble, and that if I could be of any therefore superior to nine-tenths of hu. use to her she had only to command manity,--all these peculiarities, which me. She froze at once; her mouth be- would have been merely irritating in came hard, and she stared at me with England, formed a problem on the Zat. a disdain that was rather overdone. tere. Why was she there? Then she spoke in chirping voice, and

St. John Luoas. Blackwood's Magazine.

(To be continued.)

THE AMERICAN VICE-PRESIDENCY.

comes

up, and

No attention has been given in Eng Presidency. Yet throughout that peland, and probably very little in Amer- riod the Constitution has to all appearica, to the candidates adopted at Chi- ances worked without the slightest cago and Baltimore for the Vice-Presi- derangement, and altogether unperdency of the United States. The post turbed by the absence of one of its offiis, indeed, one of the least satisfactory cial heads. features of the American Common- So thankless and impotent a post is wealth. John Adams was hardly ex- naturally not one to attract an aspiring aggerating when he described it as “the politician. He simply cannot afford to most insignificant office that ever the retire at what may be the very crisis of mind of man contrived or his imagina- his career into four years of more or tion conceived ” Mr. Bryce says of its less decorative obscurity. Indeed, all occupant that he is "aut Cæsar aut Americans who conceive that they nullus," either President or nothing. stand a chance of one day reaching As a possible President his potential the highest office of all, make a rush power is in many ways greater than for cover the moment the Vice-Presithat of a European monarch. As ac- dential nomination tual Vice-President, his authority is nothing will persuade them to emerge of the most trivial character. The du- until the danger is passed and some ties of the Vice-President begin and sacrificial victim who is not themselves end with presiding over the delibera- has been captured and bound. Ambitions of the Senate and giving a casting tion, self-interest, the desire to play a vote in the event of a tie. He has no part in great affairs, are influences that, influence, however, in directing the or- so far from attracting a man to the der of business in the Upper Chamber, Vice-Presidency, make him deliberately no power such as the Speaker of the avoid it. An unsought nomination for House of Representatives used to pos- the post is little more than a quiet hint sess of choosing the Committees that to commit political suicide, a token that do all the real work of legislation; he is the days of a man's real usefulness are bound to "recognize" the first Senator over, and a ceremonious interment of who rises to speak, and he has practi- whatever Presidential ambitions he cally no controlling authority over the may be cherishing. It has other uses, course of debate. He is not a mem

too.

If a man threatens to become ber of the Cabinet, and cannot claim more powerful than the party leaders the right to be present at its meetings, approve of, there is nothing like coopto be consulted as to its policy, or even ing him up in the Vice-Presidency. to be informed of its decisions. Noth- Those were the tactics pursued with ing, perhaps, could paint the ineffec- Mr. Roosevelt in 1900. The politicians tiveness of the Vice-Presidency more ef- needed his popularity to strengthen the fectually than the fact that its disap- Republican “ticket" and ensure Mr. Mcpearance makes no difference. For Kinley's election. At the same time thirty-five years since its foundation they wished to put him away and “sidethe American Government has been track” him once and for all; and they carried on without the co-operation of reasonably, but, as it turned out, the Vice-President. Either he has re- wrongly, calculated that his nominasigned through ill-health, or has died tion as the Vice-Presidential candidate while in office, or has succeeded to the would compass both ends. There are,

was

of course, men who voluntarily seek those of electioneering tactics. Thus and are glad to get the Vice-Presidency; if the Presidential candidate comes but they are almost invariably men from the East, it is thought a good move who have concluded they can never be to nominate the Vice-Presidential canPresident, or else they are elderly poli- didate from the West; and, of course, ticians who desire to bow themselves vice versa. And not only is it a general pleasantly out of public life through a rule that the Vice-Presidential candidignified sinecure. Deeply engraved date should hail from the other side of on the American mind is the parable the Alleghanies, but it is also considof the man who had two sons. One of ered of the first importance that he them went to sea; the other became should be the "favorite son" of some Vice-President. Neither

ever “doubtful" State. This it is hoped heard of afterwards.

will cause local patriotism to rally The fundamental trouble with the of. round him and so land his native State fice is, therefore, that it repels the best safely in the net. men while only the best men ought to But it sometimes happens that there bave it. The Vice-President may be- are rival candidates for the Presidential come the President. If the experience nomination within the party itself. of the past 123 years may be taken as Their rivalry need not be over any mattypical, there would always seem to be ter of principle or policy. It may be, one chance in six that he will. But and frequently is, a purely personal ripoliticians cannot afford to regard six- valry, but none the less acrimonious for to-one chances. All they think of is that. "In such circumstances," says what the Vice-Presidency is, not of Mr. Bryce, “it is a common practice to what it may be. They are engrossed offer a nomination for the Vice-Presiwith the needs of the present and can- dency to the disappointed candidate for not pay attention to the possibilities of Presidential honors, using the office, in the future. In choosing a Vice-Presi- fact, as a sort of consolation prize, an dential candidate they hardly ever stop olive branch, a propitiatory complito reflect that they are choosing a pos- ment." In the same way a powerful sible successor to the President. What leader who seems inclined to bolt the occupies their minds is the necessity of party ticket may be won over by being getting hold of a man who will allowed to nominate the candidate for strengthen the party ticket in some the Vice-Presidency; or a mutinous facdoubtful State, or whose personal influ- tion, or some special element in the ence will conciliate some particular sec- party that it is thought desirable to tion of the country, or restrain a medi- recognize, may be conciliated or entated "bolt." The nominating Con- couraged by having the Vice-Presidenvention does not take up the question tial nominee taken from its ranks. But of selecting a candidate for the Vice- this, though an easy way out of the imPresidency until the very end of its mediate difficulty, is fraught with treproceedings, when the crucial issue of mendous risks. It happens from time the Presidential nominee has been de- to time that the nominees for the Prescided and everyone is worn out and idency and the Vice-Presidency are not anxious to get home. Under the cir- only in acute personal antagonism, but cumstances any man whom the party represent entirely opposite principles leaders can agree upon is sure of being and policies, although both are nomadopted without discussion, and the inally members of the same party. considerations which guide the choice Their conjunction may be all very well of the party leaders are, in the main, for electioneering purposes and to keep

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