Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/202

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190
THE FUTURE OF OUR COMMONS.

The field shut up for hay in the remote country has so small a chance of being trampled on, that the farmer, hospitably or carelessly, leaves the gate unlocked; but as the neat little rows of lodging-houses come to be built near it, or as substantial villas multiply in the neighbourhood, and the buttercups tempt the more numerous little children to run in among the tall grass near the path, or the great boughs of may induce the big boys to make long trampled tracks beside the hedge, the farmer is obliged to lock his gate, put up his notices, or, if "right of way" exist, erect a fence which should leave the narrowest admissible pathway for the public. So it is, so it will be, year by year increasingly, with all private property. It is not only the artisan who, on his day's holiday, will depend more and more on the common or public park; the professional man, the shopkeeper who is able to take a house or lodgings for a few weeks in August or September for his family, will