Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/149

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137
OPEN SPACES.

them have open space where the fresh wind may blow over them and their clothes, places where they may be less crowded and gain health. You never will, or can, really separate yourselves from your neighbours; accept then the nobler aim of making them such that you shall desire not separation—but union.

Among the small open spaces which we must hope to see thrown open to the people in the time to come in a greater or less degree are the squares. Of course I know that the ground in the square gardens is the property of the freeholder, and that with the leases of the surrounding houses are granted certain privileges with regard to the gardens, which neither can nor ought to be arbitrarily withdrawn. But I hope the day is not far distant when it may dawn upon the dwellers in our West End squares that during August and September not one in fifty of their families is in town, and that it is a rather awful responsibility to lock up the only little bit of earth