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Cranford by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
page 1 of 233 (00%)


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
good offices to each other whenever they are in distress, the
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