Silas Marner
George Eliot
Contributed by Harvey Landy
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Chapter 19

Eppie and Silas are sitting alone at the cottage. The gold is lying on a table near them. Silas says that he feels that although the money was taken from him, it’s been waiting there for Eppie this whole time. 

Godfrey and Nancy come to the door. They offer to take Eppie since Silas is getting old and the money -- though a windfall -- may not last him for the rest of his life. Eppie would have an easier time of it with them, they suggest. Godfrey also offers to compensate Silas for letting Eppie come to them. 

Silas tells Eppie he won’t try to influence her decision. She approaches the Cass’s and says that she can’t leave her father and that furthermore, she doesn’t want to be "’a lady,’" which means that she doesn’t want to move to a higher station. 

Godfrey reveals himself to her now, telling her that he’s her father. Silas responds by asking him why he didn’t claim her sixteen years ago. He’s clearly distressed by the idea that Godfrey would take Eppie from him; he says it would be like cutting them in two. Godfrey pushes Silas, saying that he’d have thought that Silas would have wanted the best for Eppie. Eppie holds Silas’ hand firmly, saying that she’d have no happiness in her life if she were to think of Silas -- her "’father,’" she says -- sitting alone, without her. Silas cautions her to make sure that she’s doing the right thing. But Eppie is firm. She doesn’t want the life of the Cass’s. Silas is her father, she says: he’s the only one she can ever feel that way for. 

Godfrey and Nancy leave in great haste, quite upset.

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