Dear Carrol,

> And Eliot might have at some time or another observed a woman leaning
> on
> an area gate, but he certainly did not perceive a _housewife_ so
> leaning
> because that is a relationship, not a physical fact, and so cannot be
> observed.

You are right; Eliot did not perceive a _housewife_ so leaning. He did
however conceive of housemaids:

I am aware of the damp souls of housemaids
Sprouting despondently at area gates.

It is, I believe, a fact that no housemaid is here leaning on any area
gates (though I reckon plenty of them did, as one and one's neighbours
still do, gossiping and chatting): rather he is aware of their damp
souls sprouting despondently at area gates.

It is curious to me that you put the woman (and mistake her for another
kind of woman) where Eliot does not.

Yours, Jennifer