Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/119

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107
OPEN SPACES.

manage so to build that a working man could pay for two or even three rooms; it is true that we have learned that the extreme narrowness of our courts and alleys, and the tiny spaces, often only four or five feet square, called by courtesy "yards," which are to be found at the back of many of the houses filled with families of the poor, appear to us insufficient. We wish we could enlarge them, we wish that Building Acts had prevented landlords thus covering with rent-producing rooms the gardens or larger yards which once existed at the back of high houses; and we are alive to the duty of trying to obviate, as soon as may be, this want of space, to any degree to which it may yet be possible. But there is a way in which some compensation for this evil may be provided, which appears only to have begun lately to dawn upon the perception of men. I mean the provision of small open spaces, planted and made pretty, quite near the homes of the