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Our somewhat verbose narrator waxes philosophic about how hard it is to move to new places.
Silas might as well be an alien in the midst of the merry crew of Raveloe peasants. He feels like God has deserted him.
All work and no play makes Silas a rich man. He only starts weaving for something to do, but the first time he gets his hands on that gold something magical happens. It's more money than he's ever had in his life, and now he's got the bug.
Around the same time, Silas tries to make friends. He hooks up the cobbler's wife, Sally Oates, with some medicine made of foxglove (a flower that even today doctors use to make the drug digitalis for people with heart disease).
The medicine works so well that Silas has a new problem on his hands: he's popular for all the wrong reasons. The villagers think he's some kind of witch, but, instead of trying to burn him, they flood him with requests for charms.
He sends them away, and the villagers respond by blaming him for all their woes.
Meanwhile, Silas adds to his money collection. He doesn't need the money, but he sure likes piling it up. (Who wouldn't?) At night, Silas hangs out with his hoard, admiring the shape and color of the coins. He keeps it hidden, even though he doesn't really fear robbers.
Silas gradually starts to wither and shrink, as misers do.
Beside money, the only thing he loves is an old clay pot. When he breaks it one day, he keeps the pieces as a kind of shrine.
This goes on for fifteen years: Silas weaves all day and fondles his money all night. Then everything changes.