There is a hobby, not always shyly indulged, for revealing, as a counterpoint to cramped circumstances, that some ancestor did something famous in a battle, or lived in a castle or was the King of Wongolia or whatever it might be. Reflecting on this I thought of the following reverse scenario.
A noted landowner with estates stretching over half the county is sitting on a seat in his garden, sipping a cup of tea his maid has brought from the kitchen. Presumably, it is too heavy for him to carry to this place with his own hands. Having won the lottery of supernatural wishes he is able , for one afternoon only, to peer into the future and see how his descendants have used the advantages he bestowed on them.
The Landowner takes a sip of tea and peers into the magic glass. He see’s his direct descendant playing a musical instrument outside some railway station. The man is dressed in rags and has a hat on the ground before him in which the Landowner can see a few coins. “Bloody Hell Cameron” he says to his gardener , “What the blazes is going on here”( no swearing allowed on a family Blog, even by the very wealthy). “He seems to have come upon hard times Sir” suggests the tactful gardener.
As they peer into the glass the Grandee’s descendant says to the world and no-one, ” My ancestor used to own this town and half the county.” . “Hard Times” says the gruff Landowner ” He looks like a bloody beggar to me”. “Look into the glass and see what ghastly progeny you and Elspeth have burdened the world with”. The polite gardener peers into the glass, and says as quietly as possible, “He seems to be Prime Minister your Lordship”,
“I beg your pardon”, says his employer, too startled to make sense of this assertion. He peers into the glass and sure enough, sees a man who looks a bit like his gardener, but slightly chubbier and dressed in an expensive suite, coming out of 10 Downing Street and surrounded by journalists. “This is an abomination Cameron” says the Landowner. “Whats the meaning of this”. “I’m as mystified as you sir”, says the embarrassed gardener. The fortune of his descendant will not save the gardener from the wrath of his employer, just as the Landowner’s current position will not place more coins in the hat of his heir.
Clearly the lottery of supernatural wishes was not as kindly a gift as the tea sipping “master of all he surveyed” initially thought. Everything he did now would be wasted in the hands of his descendants, while his gardener, who apparently did nothing more than muck around with a few tulips, might be celebrated in the annals of history. “This is not reasonable” he says to Cameron. “possibly not” replies the tactful servant, mindful of his job. “Shall I return your teacup to the kitchen”