The Dickinson Feud

of the earth. The scientific value of such a trip I was not competent to estimate, but apparently there were a good many eclipses, all in pleasant seas. Professor Todd also took an interest in Mars, and from time to time newspapers ascribed to him a plan to go up in a balloon high enough to wave a flag or something at that planet on the chance that someone there would wave back at him. Mrs. Todd I met at faculty receptions and at other more or less public gatherings. She and her husband did not seem to mingle much with general Amherst society. I constantly heard of their daughter, Millicent, who at that time was away at school or college, and who, as I was repeatedly told, had a fine mind and an admirable character, and would some day be heard from. Because the Todds at that time were living a retired life, I have only a faint impression of Emily's editor, by Mrs. Todd seemed to me endowed with a good deal of that feminine charm which operates without words. She must have done her share of the talking, but I cannot remember a single remark of hers. I got the impression that her interest in books or in writing was not great, and I thought she avoided rather than cultivated the society of the students. This attitude was unusual in a small college, especially since she was attractive, and her husband in his own way was popular with the boys. They took him even less seriously than did his colleagues, but they were genuinely fond of him. During my Amherst stay they made up a song about him, a parody of: "Everybody Works But Father," which they sang lustily whenever he appeared. Two local allusion in the text need annotation; the College Chaplain, Professor Preserved Smith, was known as Pickles; President Harris had recently got into toe newspapers by telling the alumni he'd be glad if every student had a dinner coat. Now the classic will be clear.

Everybody works but Davy,
He sits 'round all day,
Gazing at the stars,
Now and then drawing his pay.
Prexie works for dress-suits,
Pickles works for God,
Everybody works in Amherst
But Davy Todd,
The--old loafer.
Professor Todd's pleasure at being so immortalized seemed genuine.

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Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved.
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Last updated on March 10, 2008

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