Silas Marner Chapter 19
Silas and Eppie are at home, talking about the gold that has been returned to Silas. Silas tells Eppie how sad and desolate his life had been when all he had was his gold, and how his life changed when she was sent to him. He says that Eppie is a blessing to him and that the money can never compare to the love he has for her.
Silas says reflectively, "The money doesn't [take no hold on me]. I wonder if it ever could again - I doubt it might, if I lost you, Eppie. I might come to think I was forsaken again, and lose the feeling that God was good to me." Chapter 19, pg. 199.
Godfrey and Nancy visit the cottage to Silas and Eppie's surprise. Godfrey tells Silas that he feels that he owes Silas something - not just for the gold that Dunsey had stolen all those years ago. He and Nancy try to approach the subject of Eppie's true paternity with tact, using Eppie's desire for a garden to get her to come live with them at the Red House. Telling Silas that he would like to help him in his old age, Godfrey suggests that Eppie live with him and Nancy as their lawful daughter, for she is his natural daughter. After all, Eppie would greatly benefit from the wealth that will come her way, Godfrey tells Silas. He only wants to save Eppie from a hard life, marrying a workingman and living so poorly. Silas bitterly tells Godfrey that he should have taken Eppie sixteen years ago when she was found and before Silas could love her so deeply.
Silas tells Godfrey, "God gave her to me because you turned your back on her, and He looks upon her as mine; youv'e no right to her! When a man turns a blessing from his door, it falls to them as take it in." Chapter 19, pg. 203.
As Godfrey attempts to explain that Silas is unreasonable in his demand to keep Eppie, he declares that Silas is putting Eppie's welfare in danger and that he, as Eppie's natural father, intends to see to it that she is under his care.
To Godfrey and Nancy's surprise, Eppie staunchly refuses to leave Silas's side, speaking that she cannot leave Silas, the only family she has ever known, nor does she want to live like a lady. When Nancy reminds Eppie that she has a duty as a daughter to her father, Eppie replies that she only has a duty to the father who has raised her and loved her all these years. She adds that she cannot think of any other home than the home and the lifestyle she has now, and that she will marry a workingman.
Eppie declares that "we've been used to be happy together every day, and I can't think o' no happiness without him. And he says he'd nobody in the world till I was sent to him, and he'd have nothing when I was gone. And he's took care of me and loved me from the first, and I'll cleave to him as long as he lives, and nobody shall ever come between him and me." Chapter 19, pg. 206.
An enraged Godfrey leaves abruptly, with Nancy close behind him.