Silas Marner: Novel Summary: Chapter 19

Godfrey and Nancy Cass are admitted to the home of Silas and Eppie that evening. Godfrey apologizes for the theft of the weaver’s gold by his brother so many years ago. Silas shrugs it off, saying Godfrey isn’t responsible anyway, and that he’d much rather have Eppie than the gold.
Soon Godfrey gets to the point. He tells Silas and Eppie, “But I have a claim on you Eppie— the strongest of all claims. It is my duty, Marner, to own Eppie as my child, and provide for her. She is my own child— her mother was my wife. I have a natural claim on her that must stand before every other.”
Silas responds, “God gave her to me because you turned your back upon her, and He looks upon her as mine: you’ve no right to her! When a man turns a blessing from his door, it falls to them as take it in.”
Following this, Eppie is asked whom she would rather stay with, and of course she chooses Silas, the only father she’s ever known.
Godfrey feels insulted and storms away without a polite farewell. Nancy does her best to cover for her husband’s rude departure by saying that both of them wish Eppie the best no matter with whom she lives.