If you look at a river, you will see that although its bed is always the same, the water flowing there is always different. The river always bears the same name – the Seine, the Thames, or the Mississippi – but its water is renewed every day.
The river’s inhabitants, the droplets of water, come and go, and as they flow on down towards the sea, they are immediately replaced by others. Once they reach the sea they are warmed by the sun and become light and subtle.
They rise into the atmosphere as water vapour and form clouds, until the day they fall to the earth as rain or snow, where they once again flow down the mountains in streams and torrents. Everything flows and is renewed in a continuing cycle.
Well, a country is like a river, in that it always has the same name but different inhabitants incarnate successively and come from elsewhere.
Or again, a country is like a house which is designed to be inhabited for a few years by one set of tenants, then for a further few years by another set. The first tenants were fond of music and singing, while their successors led either more commonplace or more restless lives.
And yet the house remains the same. This explains the changes that take place in the history of many countries.