Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/114

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102
A WORD ON GOOD CITIZENSHIP.

them, by oratorios, by excursions, by the gift of beautiful things. I will only point out now that as guardians or vestrymen the most influential sphere of work presents itself. If you try to get into Parliament, many men of equal education, high principles, and refinement probably contest the place with you; if you succeed they fail; if you try to make a name among the fashionable or wealthy circles, you may or may not succeed; but if you fail no one misses you much. But if, instead of trying to get high up, you were to try to get down low, what a position of usefulness you would have! You would learn much from vigorous colleagues, much I fancy which would make you ashamed; but what might not they gain, what might not the locality gain, if the administration of its affairs were carried on under the influence of men of education! As guardians, how you might see to the poor, leading them back to independence in most thoughtful ways, watching over them individually that no