Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/192

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THE FUTURE OF OUR COMMONS.

us on the moorlands proceed, indeed, from His mouth with audible power, and memories of them haunt us with ennobling and consoling thought in the bustle, the struggle, and the pain to which we must return. This as individuals we know. There are signs that, as a Nation, we are beginning to see it.

A very remarkable change with regard to the relative value of different uses of land has taken place in England during the last thirty years, as the course taken by the Legislature sufficiently proves. Mr. Cross, in introducing the Commons Act of last year, laid stress upon this change. He pointed out that the Inclosure Act of 1845 was framed when the notion of statesmen was that England must depend, at any rate in case of war, wholly on herself for the wheat which her people needed. The Corn Laws were not then repealed; the country was not nearly so thickly populated; space was far more abundant; and the production of wheat seemed the best possible