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Excerpt from The Associated Charities: A Sermon Preached in the South Congregational Church, Boston, February 16, 1879
It is one of the characteristic traits of civilized men and women that people who live in cities always affect to be very fond of the country, and people who live in the country always hanker for the life of towns. There is, of course, a good deal of affectation in it. If we here really longed for orange-groves, as we pretend to, it is an easy matter to go and plant orange-trees, and we should do it. Or, if we really prized the freedom of Texas or Colorado, as we pretend, why, we should go there. Beneath the afiectation, however, there is a healthy feeling, on the side of the city and country both, that each has much to learn from the other. And, as Mr. Olmsted has said, the civilization of our time requires constant effort, both for the urbanizing of the country and the ruralizing of the cities. The introduction in the coun try of good roads and walks, conveniences for intercourse, ready purchase and sale, and so on, goes hand in hand with the efforts of cities to open parks, to introduce pure water, to plant living trees instead of dead ones, and to keep them alive when they have been planted. For all such work the best stimulus and guarantee is in the annual ebb and ow, which, every winter, brings into the cities the best of the inhabitants of the country, and every summer carries into the country the best of the inhabitants of the city. The results of such ebb and ow are well shown in England, where country life has more conveniences than anywhere else in the world; and where, on the other hand, even in London, though the largest of cities, the rate of health is better than it is in most even of the smaller cities of the world.
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