Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/15

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3
OUR COMMON LAND.

are reached towards which all these lines of vehicles are tending—be it Epping, or Richmond, or Greenwich, or Hampstead—every place seems swarming with an undisciplined, but heartily happy, crowd. The swings, the roundabouts, the donkeys, the stalls, are beset by dozens or even hundreds of pleasure-seekers, gay and happy, though they are not always the gentlest or most refined. Look at the happy family groups—father, and mother, and children, with their picnic dinners neatly tied up in handkerchiefs; watch the joy of eager children leaning out of vans to purchase for a halfpenny the wonderful pink paper streamers which they will stick proudly in their caps; see the merry little things running untiringly up and down the bank of sand or grass; notice the affectionate father bringing out the pot of ale to the wife as she sits comfortably tucked up in shawls in the little cart, or treating the children to sweetmeats; sympathise in the hearty energy of the great