Silas might have driven a profitable trade in charms as well as in his small list of drugs; but money on this condition was no temptation to him: he had never known an impulse towards falsity, and he drove one after another away with growing irritation, for the news of him as a wise man had spread even to Tarley, and it was long before people ceased to take long walks for the sake of asking his aid.
They would be obliged to "run away" — a course as dark and dubious as a balloon journey.
During Silas' turn, the deacon died. Nancy shows only regret when she replies that if he had told her that before, they could have done part of their duty to the child. Eliot partly explains Nancy's character and partly lets it be shown through her reminiscences.
In that far-off time superstition clung easily round every person or thing that was at all unwonted, or even intermittent and occasional merely, like the visits of the pedlar or the knife-grinder.
Silas exclaims that he has been robbed. As time passes, the child creates new links with the world for Silas.
The time of this section stretches from the burial to some indeterminate point apparently several years later. He asked her if she wished to break off their engagement; but she denied this: their engagement was known to the church, and had been recognised in the prayer-meetings; it could not be broken off without strict investigation, and Sarah could [Pg 16] render no reason that would be sanctioned by the feeling of the community.
Nancy says that "another man 'ud hanker more than he does.