Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/25
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OUR COMMON LAND.
And do not let us be too ready to see the question dealt with as a matter of mere money compensation. It is much to be feared lest the short-sighted cupidity of one generation of rural commoners may lose a great possession for future times. This danger is imminent because we are all so accustomed to treat money value as if it were the only real value! Can we wonder if the eyes of poor men are often fixed rather on the immediate money value to themselves than on the effect of changes for their descendants? Should we stand by, we who ought to see farther, and let them part with what ought to be a possession to the many in the future? A few coals at Christmas, which rapidly come to be looked upon as a charity graciously accorded
persons actually themselves commoners, by authorising any public body, or public-spirited individual, to interfere in the case of any such inclosures, and put the lord to strict proof of his right.”