Chris: Please sir can I be let off reading "Daniel Martin"?
Myself: That my boy is a matter for you and your conscience. Looking through your records for this term, I also notice that you have asked to be excused "A Fighter's Heart". Very well, from my authorised list I assign you "Alexander the Great" by Robin Lane Fox. As homework, however, I expect an essay at http://grumunkin.blogspot.com/ on the rewards of the biography of a man who, among other things, introduced crucifixion and decimation across his empire. In particular, why should that be less disturbing than the tale of a comparatively guileless working stiff who merely trains for Muay thai in Bangkok, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Rio, boxing in Oakland and MMA in Iowa?
Prodnose: It must be tremendously interesting to be a schoolmaster, to watch boys grow up and help them along; to see their characters develop and what they become when they leave school and the world gets hold of them. I don't see how you could ever get old in a world that's always young.
Myself: Silence! Silence! I'll have no more of it!
Prodnose: No more silence, sir?
Myself: I shall state silences more competently than ever a better man spangled the butterflies of vertigo.