Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/203

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191
THE FUTURE OF OUR COMMONS.

also depend more and more each year on finding some neighbourhood where there is a heath, or forest, or moor which is public. He does not take his wife and children away only to breathe fresher air, nor is the small lodging-house garden all they want to spend the day in. To walk merely along the roads, if these roads pass between parks or fields barricaded from entrance, frets the human love of freedom which makes us want to wander farther, to escape the dusty prescribed track, to break away over the hills, or pause in the meadow by the pool or the river, or gather the flowers in the wood. The more these are and must be closed, the more intensely precious does the common or forest, safe for ever from inclosure, become. It is not only the suburban common, it is the rural also which is of value to us as a people.

Nor does the allotment scheme, admirable as it is in giving the landless classes a share in our common soil, in the least degree meet