...in illustrating of any point touching the stirring personages and events of the time he would be as apt to cite some historic character or incident of antiquity as that he would cite from the moderns. He seemed unmindful of the circumstance that to his bluff company such remote allusions, however pertinent they might really be, were altogether alien to men whose reading was mainly confined to the journals....except that in fact none of my students will note the irony, since for those who understand that passage it won't apply, and those who really do feel that frustration won't understand this passage either.
-- Herman Melville, Billy Budd, Chapter 7
Ah students! Ah humanity!