Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/190

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THE FUTURE OF OUR COMMONS.

part he may set aside for his children, that they may dig in it and plant it in their spare time; and a part of it he will devote probably to a flower-garden or a park; for he knows that the family has need of enjoyment and of rest, and that beauty sustains in them some higher life than the mere material one. Are we as a nation to have any flower-garden at all? Can we afford it? Do we care to set aside ground for it, or will we have beet-root and cabbages only? In other words, is all the land, so far as the people are concerned, from sea to sea, to be used for corn-growing, or building over only? Are those who own estates to have their gardens, and the people to have none? or, if any, how many and how pretty may they be? Is there only land enough for exercise near the big city, or can we have any for beauty far away from it?

Surely we want some beauty in our lives; they cannot be all labour, they cannot be all feeding. When the work is done, when the