Page:The Preservation of Places of Interest or Beauty, 1907.djvu/8
PRESERVATION OF PLACES
the population, failure to some extent has to be acknowledged. At the same time the conception of a corporate life, and of corporate action, has grown with astonishing rapidity. And where has this growth been most rapid? Not in our old Cathedral cities, not in the Capital of the Empire, but in the great towns of the North and the Midlands. Amongst these Manchester stands in the first line. In its early development of powers of self-government, in the magnitude of its corporate enterprizes, and in the spirit of citizenship which it has evolved, Manchester stands as a type of eager civic life. It is to communities instinct with this life, and taking a wide view of their responsibilities to all classes of their citizens, rather than to places which live on the achievements of the past, that those who desire to preserve the continuity of national life by the preservation of national monuments whether the work of nature or of man, turn with the greatest hope. Manchester stood first amongst our town populations in contributing to the purchase by the National Trust of Aira-Force and the beautiful national park at Gowbarrow on Ullswater.
Scope of Lecture.
Our subject is the preservation of places of Interest and Beauty. A few words on the collocation of these two attributes. It may be said that there is little in common between an old earth-work, or the wall of an old town, and a glorious mountain-side or a lovely waterfall.
No doubt the old-fashioned antiquary was often a man who cared nothing for beauty, and a great deal for mere rarity. Many of the antiquarian bodies have in the past been anxious rather to examine and to discuss than to preserve. On the other hand, many persons see the value of a beautiful landscape,and feel the joy of a wide moor or furze-grown common, who care little for a building or an earth-