Silas Marner HTML version

There was one time of the year which was held in Raveloe to be especially
suitable for a wedding. It was when the great lilacs and laburnums in the old-
fashioned gardens showed their golden and purple wealth above the lichen-tinted
walls, and when there were calves still young enough to want bucketfuls of
fragrant milk. People were not so busy then as they must become when the full
cheese-making and the mowing had set in; and besides, it was a time when a
light bridal dress could be worn with comfort and seen to advantage.
Happily the sunshine fell more warmly than usual on the lilac tufts the morning
that Eppie was married, for her dress was a very light one. She had often
thought, though with a feeling of renunciation, that the perfection of a wedding-
dress would be a white cotton, with the tiniest pink sprig at wide intervals; so that
when Mrs. Godfrey Cass begged to provide one, and asked Eppie to choose
what it should be, previous meditation had enabled her to give a decided answer
at once.
Seen at a little distance as she walked across the churchyard and down the
village, she seemed to be attired in pure white, and her hair looked like the dash
of gold on a lily. One hand was on her husband's arm, and with the other she
clasped the hand of her father Silas.
"You won't be giving me away, father," she had said before they went to church;
"you'll only be taking Aaron to be a son to you."
Dolly Winthrop walked behind with her husband; and there ended the little bridal
There were many eyes to look at it, and Miss Priscilla Lammeter was glad that
she and her father had happened to drive up to the door of the Red House just in
time to see this pretty sight. They had come to keep Nancy company to-day,
because Mr. Cass had had to go away to Lytherley, for special reasons. That
seemed to be a pity, for otherwise he might have gone, as Mr. Crackenthorp and
Mr. Osgood certainly would, to look on at the wedding-feast which he had
ordered at the Rainbow, naturally feeling a great interest in the weaver who had
been wronged by one of his own family.
"I could ha' wished Nancy had had the luck to find a child like that and bring her
up," said Priscilla to her father, as they sat in the gig; "I should ha' had something
young to think of then, besides the lambs and the calves."
"Yes, my dear, yes," said Mr. Lammeter; "one feels that as one gets older.
Things look dim to old folks: they'd need have some young eyes about 'em, to let
'em know the world's the same as it used to be."
Nancy came out now to welcome her father and sister; and the wedding group
had passed on beyond the Red House to the humbler part of the village.
Dolly Winthrop was the first to divine that old Mr. Macey, who had been set in his
arm-chair outside his own door, would expect some special notice as they
passed, since he was too old to be at the wedding-feast.
"Mr. Macey's looking for a word from us," said Dolly; "he'll be hurt if we pass him
and say nothing--and him so racked with rheumatiz."