Quercus suber L. - Campo, Valongo
When you find a thick bush of marjoram or a well-filled nest of Spanish flies you are in direct communication with the natural world which the Lord created with undifferentiated possibilities of good and evil until man could exercise his own free will on it.
But the 'nobles' aren´t like that; all they live by has been handled by others. They find us ecclesiastics useful to reassure them about eternal life, just as you herbalists are here to procure them soothing or stimulating drinks. And by that I don't mean they're bad people; quite the contrary. They're just different; perhaps they appear so strange to us because they have reached a stage towards which all those who are not saints are moving, that of indifference to earthly goods through surfeit. Perhaps it's because of that they take so little notice of things that are of great importance to us; those on mountains don't worry about mosquitoes on plains, nor do the people in Egypt about umbrellas. Yet the former fear landslides, the latter crocodiles, which are no worry to us. For them new fears have appeared of which we're ignorant; I've seen Don Fabrizio get quite testy, wise and serious though he is, because of a badly ironed collar to his shirt; and I know for certain that the Prince of Làscari didn't sleep for a whole night from rage because he was wrongly placed at one of the Viceroy's dinners. Now don't you think that a human being who is put out only by bad washing or protocol must be happy, and thus superior?
Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, The Leopard (trad. Archibald Colquhoun, The Folio Society, 2000)