Education: Birching Block

Eton College (prep school), on whose playing fields the Battle of Waterloo was said (by the Duke of Wellington) to have been won, was bombed last month. When Etonians explored the ruins, they made a tingling discovery: the famed old "birching block," over which headmasters had birched (i.e., flogged) boys' bottoms for generations, was missing. Although many an Etonian was disposed to let well enough alone, antiquarians searched diligently, eventually found the birching block's remains in a bomb crater. Last week they reverently picked up the pieces, installed them in the Eton Museum.


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