Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/147

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135
OPEN SPACES.

London unbearable? Is it the children who, if their little cheeks look pale, or their strength flags after an illness, are at once sent under careful supervision to Hastings or Malvern? Is it even the children whose sturdy and vigorous father has amassed a little money, and delights to take them by train on a Saturday afternoon to Richmond, Bushey, or Erith? Or is it not rather the tiny child of the hard-working widow, whose frail form seems almost to grow smaller year by year instead of larger? Is it not the pale child with great sunken eyes, just discharged from the hospital, the bed being wanted, convalescent, but to whom fresh air and a little quiet are still so needful? Is it not to the careful, motherly, little elder sister, patient nurse of eight or nine years old, hugging the heavy, round-cheeked baby, with two or three other children clinging to her dress, she who cannot get as far as the park? Is it not the sturdy urchin, son of a costermonger perhaps, whose hardy and