Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/200

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relate each to a small area, and may not come before the public simultaneously, the gravity of the issue may not be generally perceived. It is no less a one than what proportion of the soil of England—of its commons, charts, and forests, its scars, fells, and moorlands—shall be retained to be used in common by her people as open unappropriated space both now and in the time to come.

Such, however, has been the growth of public opinion, that we may assume that Parliament would not sanction the inclosure of a common in the near neighbourhood of any large and populous town. But there seems some danger lest our legislators and the public should not duly consider how rapid is the growth of many towns, and that some which are not large and closely packed now may in a few years become so, and may need commons in their vicinity; nor how in many places suburb stretches beyond suburb as year succeeds year,