Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/106

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94
A WORD ON GOOD CITIZENSHIP.

or, better still, to give time which might have made money, I shall certainly not complain of you. But do not think there is no scope for beneficent gifts of money because soup-kitchens and free dormitories are not beneficent. There is abundant scope for large gifts, large enough to please the proudest of you. Are there no great gifts of open spaces to be made for the rich and poor to share alike in the time to come—spaces which shall be to the child no more corrupting than the mountain to the Highlander, or the long sea horizon to the fisherman’s lad? They will come to him as an inheritance he possesses as a Londoner or an English child; most likely being taken, like light and air, straight from God, and not in any way tending to remind him of men’s gifts, still less to pauperise him. But if a memory of you as a donor comes to him as youth ripens into manhood, long after you are in your grave, the thought is more likely to incite him to make some great, abidingly useful