Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/148

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136
OPEN SPACES.

energetic spirit scorns the bounds of the narrow court, and seeks wider fields with freer power of movement, but who has no chance, even when July comes, of climbing cliffs or jumping ditches? Should not the few spaces be available for these latter to the very utmost of your power? And again, do you really think now, people who live in comfortable houses, that you do or can escape infection by any precautions if small-pox and fever rage in the back courts of your city? You take all manner of precautions, I know (except, perhaps, what I should call the best of all), but you have no idea how near you, how all round you, this infection is, if it be indeed the subtle thing doctors say. The shops you enter, the cabs you travel in, the clothes you wear, the food you eat, all bring you into communication with those who are coming in contact with patients whenever disease is rife. Depend on it, your best chance of escape is to make the places inhabited by the poor healthy, to let