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Cranford - Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

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Cranford by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, 1907 Edition.


IN the first place, Cranford is in possession of the Amazons; all 
the holders of houses above a certain rent are women.  If a married 
couple come to settle in the town, somehow the gentleman 
disappears; he is either fairly frightened to death by being the 
only man in the Cranford evening parties, or he is accounted for by 
being with his regiment, his ship, or closely engaged in business 
all the week in the great neighbouring commercial town of Drumble, 
distant only twenty miles on a railroad.  In short, whatever does 
become of the gentlemen, they are not at Cranford.  What could they 
do if they were there?  The surgeon has his round of thirty miles, 
and sleeps at Cranford; but every man cannot be a surgeon.  For 
keeping the trim gardens full of choice flowers without a weed to 
speck them; for frightening away little boys who look wistfully at 
the said flowers through the railings; for rushing out at the geese 
that occasionally venture in to the gardens if the gates are left 
open; for deciding all questions of literature and politics without 
troubling themselves with unnecessary reasons or arguments; for 
obtaining clear and correct knowledge of everybody's affairs in the 
parish; for keeping their neat maid-servants in admirable order; 
for kindness (somewhat dictatorial) to the poor, and real tender 
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