BOOK VI. THE WIDOW AND THE WIFE.
56. CHAPTER LVI.
"How happy is he born and taught
That serveth not another's will;
Whose armor is his honest thought,
And simple truth his only skill!
. . . . . . .
This man is freed from servile bands
Of hope to rise or fear to fall;
Lord of himself though not of lands;
And having nothing yet hath all."
--SIR HENRY WOTTON.
Dorothea's confidence in Caleb Garth's knowledge, which had begun
on her hearing that he approved of her cottages, had grown fast
during her stay at Freshitt, Sir James having induced her to take
rides over the two estates in company with himself and Caleb,
who quite returned her admiration, and told his wife that Mrs. Casaubon
had a head for business most uncommon in a woman. It must be
remembered that by "business" Caleb never meant money transactions,
but the skilful application of labor.
"Most uncommon!" repeated Caleb. "She said a thing I often used
to think myself when I was a lad:--`Mr. Garth, I should like
to feel, if I lived to be old, that I had improved a great piece
of land and built a great many good cottages, because the work
is of a healthy kind while it is being done, and after it is done,
men are the better for it.' Those were the very words: she sees
into things in that way."
"But womanly, I hope," said Mrs. Garth, half suspecting that
Mrs. Casaubon might not hold the true principle of subordination.
"Oh, you can't think!" said Caleb, shaking his head. "You would
like to hear her speak, Susan. She speaks in such plain words,
and a voice like music. Bless me! it reminds me of bits in the
`Messiah'--`and straightway there appeared a multitude of the
heavenly host, praising God and saying;' it has a tone with it
that satisfies your ear."
Caleb was very fond of music, and when he could afford it went
to hear an oratorio that came within his reach, returning from it
with a profound reverence for this mighty structure of tones,
which made him sit meditatively, looking on the floor and throwing
much unutterable language into his outstretched hands.