Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/136

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124
OPEN SPACES.

in it, and it might have been planted and thrown open easily. Last summer I wrote to the Quakers, hearing they were about to sell the ground for building, laying before them the reasons for devoting it to the public as a garden. After urging them to give it thus to the poor themselves, I added a request that if they did not see their way to do this, they would at least pause to enable me and my friends who were interested in such under-takings to see whether we could not raise enough money to secure it for the poor, even if they determined to exact for it full building-land value. I certainly could hardly believe that Quakers could thus sell land once devoted to their dead, and which had never brought them in rent, but I thought it just possible they might hesitate to give what belonged to the Society all to the poor. At any rate, I was determined no want of effort on my part should lose for the people so valuable and unique a space lying in the heart of a crowded