Oh, Cousin Vincent, if the whole world were animated with a reasonable soul, as Plato thought it were, and if it had wit and understanding to mark and perceive everything, Lord God, how the ground on which a prince buildeth his palace would loud laugh its lord to scorn, when it saw him proud of his possession and heard him boast that he and his blood are for ever the very lords and owners of the land! For then would the ground think the while, to itself, “Ah, thou poor soul, who thinkest thou wert half a god, and art amid thy glory but a man in a gay gown! I who am the ground here, over whom thou art so proud, have had a hundred such owners of me as thou callest thyself, more than ever thou hast heard the names of. And some of them who went proudly over mine head lie now low in my belly, and my side lieth over them. And many a one shall, as thou dost now, call himself mine owner after thee, who shall neither be kin to thy blood nor have heard any word of thy name.”

Who owned your village, cousin, three thousand years ago?

(from ‘Dialogue of Comfort against Tribulation’, by St Thomas More)