At last Godfrey turned his head towards her, and their eyes met, dwelling in that meeting without any movement on either side. That quiet mutual gaze of a trusting husband and wife is like the first moment of rest or refuge from a great weariness or a great danger – not to be interfered with by speech or action which would distract the sensations from the fresh enjoyment of repose.
— from Silas Marner by George Eliot, 1861
The above is my favorite quote from this lovely little book. I suppose it is especially nice because Godfrey doesn’t start out as the ideal husband. In fact, this book doesn’t start out with much loveliness at all. The characters mature a great deal. And, while hardships and tough consequences continue throughout the storyline, the way the characters respond to them is increasingly better. It is a story of maturity and the turning point happens upon the arrival of a little child.
I am left on the last page with great hope in the future, and respect for all manner of humankind.