Scene: My British Literature survey class. I'm having the class go around the room reading Satan's elegaic speech to the fallen angels on the lake ("Fairwell happy fields / Where joy forever dwells! Hail horrors, hail / Infernal world").
One of my students, perhaps going a bit too fast reads this:
"And thou, profoundest Hell,
Receive thy New Professor, one who brings
A mind not to be changed by place or time!"
The poor kid was pretty embarassed. But after I assured him that as a New Professor I wasn't the least offended, was really quite flattered, he seemed to relax.
It was hard to keep a straight face. It's nice to know I'm on their minds, even if it is in connection with hell.
I kept comparing Charles I to George W. Bush in class today, though not in so many words. I said "Here is a ruler who wants to make his own rules, who ignores the views of Parliament when they disagree with him. Here is someone whose power is out of control." I couldn't tell if more than two of them noticed.