Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/122

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110
OPEN SPACES.

own family, or to their fellow-citizens. Somehow you wonder whether, when one of them is carried out by the undertaker at last, to use a common old saying, "His room is not worth more than his company," so fearful is the life to which people take under such conditions, so terribly does the need of a little more space strike you, so impossible seems any quiet in which tone might be recovered by these exhausted creatures. And yet every one of those living beings, crowding almost under your feet, having to move from doorway or stair as you enter, has a human form, a human character too; somebody knows and loves him, some mother, father, sister, brother, child, watches for that face among the many, and would feel a great gap left in the world if that one came never any more up the court. Even the reeling drunkard would be missed. Each is surrounded by a love which makes him precious, each has also some germ and gleam of good in him, something you can