Education: Absent-Minded Professor

Professor Mario Attilio Levi, a lean, walrus-mustached scholar of 60, is well known in Italy as an authority on Dante; among his colleagues he is also known to be a trifle absentminded. Riding home on a streetcar to his apartment in Rome that hot July day in 1948, he was as usual too engrossed in a book to keep close watch on his packages. But when he got to his stop and missed them, Professor Levi raised a fervent alarm.

One package contained only a new pair of shoes. The other—a big, official envelope with...

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