From “The First Men in the Moon” by H.G. Wells
In this passage, the character Bedford contemplates England’s colonized past as a Roman province through its architectural ruins. Typical of Wells, since the theme of colonialism ran pretty strong in War of the Worlds.
Personally, it reminded me of walking through Pompeii, and imagining the people who walked through centuries before my time.
“It was the big port of England in Roman times, Portus Lemanis, and now the sea is four miles away. All down the steep hill are boulders and masses of Roman brickwork, and from it old Watling Street, still paved in places, starts like an arrow to the north. I used to stand on the hill and think of it all, the galleys and legions, the captives and officials, the women and traders, the speculators like myself, all the swarm and tumult that came clanking in and out of the harbour. And now just a few lumps of rubble on a grassy slope, and a sheep or two—and I. And where the port had been were the levels of the marsh, sweeping round in a broad curve to distant Dungeness, and dotted here and there with tree clumps and the church towers of old medical towns that are following Lemanis now towards extinction.”
ETA: I have read some more from this novel, and Wells name drops more famous ruins while he lets his characters run around the moon and interact with its inhabitants.