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Chapter 2
"`Dime; no ves aquel caballero que hacia nosotros viene sobre un caballo rucio
rodado que trae puesto en la cabeza un yelmo de oro?' `Lo que veo y columbro,'
respondio Sancho, `no es sino un hombre sobre un as no pardo como el mio,
que trae sobre la cabeza una cosa que relumbra.' `Pues ese es el yelmo de
Mambrino,' dijo Don Quijote."--CERVANTES.
"`Seest thou not yon cavalier who cometh toward us on a dapple-gray steed, and
weareth a golden helmet?' `What I see,' answered Sancho, `is nothing but a man
on a gray ass like my own, who carries something shiny on his head.' `Just so,'
answered Don Quixote: `and that resplendent object is the helmet of Mambrino.'"
"Sir Humphry Davy?" said Mr. Brooke, over the soup, in his easy smiling way,
taking up Sir James Chettam's remark that he was studying Davy's Agricultural
Chemistry. "Well, now, Sir Humphry Davy; I dined with him years ago at
Cartwright's, and Wordsworth was there too--the poet Wordsworth, you know.
Now there was something singular. I was at Cambridge when Wordsworth was
there, and I never met him--and I dined with him twenty years afterwards at
Cartwright's. There's an oddity in things, now. But Davy was there: he was a poet
too. Or, as I may say, Wordsworth was poet one, and Davy was poet two. That
was true in every sense, you know."
Dorothea felt a little more uneasy than usual. In the beginning of dinner, the party
being small and the room still, these motes from the mass of a magistrate's mind
fell too noticeably. She wondered how a man like Mr. Casaubon would support
such triviality. His manners, she thought, were very dignified; the set of his iron-
gray hair and his deep eye-sockets made him resemble the portrait of Locke. He
had the spare form and the pale complexion which became a student; as
different as possible from the blooming Englishman of the red-whiskered type
represented by Sir James Chettam.
"I am reading the Agricultural Chemistry," said this excellent baronet, "because I
am going to take one of the farms into my own hands, and see if something
cannot be done in setting a good pattern of farming among my tenants. Do you
approve of that, Miss Brooke?"
"A great mistake, Chettam," interposed Mr. Brooke, "going into electrifying your
land and that kind of thing, and making a parlor of your cow-house. It won't do. I
went into science a great deal myself at one time; but I saw it would not do. It
leads to everything; you can let nothing alone. No, no--see that your tenants don't
sell their straw, and that kind of thing; and give them draining-tiles, you know. But
your fancy farming will not do--the most expensive sort of whistle you can buy:
you may as well keep a pack of hounds."
"Surely," said Dorothea, "it is better to spend money in finding out how men can
make the most of the land which supports them all, than in keeping dogs and
horses only to gallop over it. It is not a sin to make yourself poor in performing
experiments for the good of all."
She spoke with more energy than is expected of so young a lady, but Sir James
had appealed to her. He was accustomed to do so, and she had often thought
that she could urge him to many good actions when he was her brother-in-law.