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Ruth
Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

Page 1 of 874

L
RUTH 

CHAPTER I 

THE DRESSMAKER'S APPRENTICE AT WORK 

There is an assize-town in one of the eastern counties which was
much distinguished by the Tudor Sovereigns, and, in consequence
of their favour and protection, attained a degree of importance
that surprises the modern traveller. 

A hundred years ago its appearance was that of picturesque
grandeur.  The old houses, which were the temporary residences of
such of the county families as contented themselves with the
gaieties of a provincial town, crowded the streets, and gave them
the irregular but noble appearance yet to be seen in the cities
of Belgium.  The sides of the streets had a quaint richness, from
the effect of the gables, and the stacks of chimneys which cut
against the blue sky above; while, if the eye fell lower down,

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