April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


TC TO THOMAS BALLANTYNE ; 8 August 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18440808-TC-TB-01; CL 18: 171-172


Chelsea, 8th Augt., 1844.

My dear Sir—… I rejoice heartily in the project you have in view, and hope to-day's meeting will be prosperous and productive. On the subject of Parks and Public Places of innocent Recreation in large Towns I have indeed nothing more to say at present than what I have already said: but I think often enough of it; and trust those whose hands are within reach of such a business will everywhere, the noble part of them, begin doing in it, without more saying than is needful. Among the thousand things which the Working People of large towns do, in the Supreme Court of All, mutely but imperatively demand of their richer Fellow-Citizens, this of open green spaces to breathe in for a half hour now and then, seems to me the most accomplishable, and by no means the least needful. It could be done, this thing; there are nine hundred and ninety-nine other things that cannot just at present be done. Begin with this thing! This well done, the next thing will have become doabler. I do sincerely hope you will get on with it,—for the sake of the poor little sickly children, and the dusty toilsome men, to whom, for a thousand years, generation after generation, it may be a blessing!—

You are right, I think, to try for Four Parks if you can have a chance.1 It were good also if in any Building Acts, or such like, you could silently introduce facilities for having enlargements added to your Parks. In the climate of Manchester too there certainly ought to be roofed spaces,—large rooms, kept under mild but strict order, into which the poorest man that would behave himself like a man, might have means of procuring access. Good Heavens, what benefit might be accomplished would brave men with hearts and heads but bestir themselves a very little! …

Yours always truly,