Silas Marner Chapter 10
Dunsey's disappearance does not concern anybody, for he had disappeared before for a period of six weeks. The mystery of Silas's stolen money is still argued by the townspeople: some believe that the thief is the peddler, others are certain that the mystery is unexplainable. While the townspeople argue, Silas is grieving over the loss of his precious gold, feeling even more lonely and isolated than before.
The townspeople feel more kindly toward the crotchety man after they hear of his great loss. Mr. Macey visits him, advising him to buy a new Sunday suit and attend church, for church will make him feel good. Next to visit Silas is Mrs. Dolly Winthrop, the wife of Ben Winthrop, the town wheelwright. Dolly is a good-hearted, kind, and patient woman, a woman who is loved and admired by all in Raveloe. She and her youngest son, Aaron, bring a plate of lard-cakes for Silas. The cakes have the initials I.H.S. on them. Dolly always makes the initials on her cakes even though she cannot read them and has no idea what they mean. She knows that the letters are associated with the good name of the church, and that fact alone is good enough for her to put them on all her cakes. Dolly pities that Silas does not attend church and that he works even on Sundays. She, too, advises him to attend church and is surprised to hear that he did not go to church - Silas had attended a chapel. Dolly advises that "it's niver too late to turn over a new leaf, and if you've niver had no church, there's no telling the good it'll do you." Chapter 10, pg. 102. Aaron sings a Christmas carol at his mother's request, but Dolly's efforts in convinving Silas to attend church is useless, for Silas does not recognize that the Christmas carol is religious nor does he associate the ringing of the church bells with Sunday service. As Dolly and Aaron prepare to leave, Dolly begs Silas to give up weaving on Sunday. Silas is relieved when Dolly leaves, "her simple view of life and its comforts, by which she had tried to cheer him, was only like a report of unknown objects, which his imagination could not fashion." Chapter 10, pg. 105.
On Christmas Day, Silas spends the day alone and sad, while Raveloe is full of happy, cheerful people singing and laughing at parties and in church. The biggest party of the season is not the Christmas party, but the glamorous New Year's Eve celebration Squire Cass throws. Members of high society of Raveloe and the neighboring town of Tarley congregate at the party. Godfrey Cass is looking forward to spending time with Nancy Lammeter there.