How we cite our quotes:
The presence of this happy animal life was not the only change which had come over the interior of the stone cottage. There was no bed now in the living-room, and the small space was well filled with decent furniture, all bright and clean enough to satisfy Dolly Winthrop's eye. (2.16.26)
If something is "bright and clean," you know a woman can't be far away. And look, there's Eppie! Eppie has brought new life to Silas's heart and also to his home. Although he never married, Eppie can act like a wife in making his house beautiful and inviting. Creepy father-daughter relationships? Totally a thing in Victorian literature.
A great change has come over the dark wainscoted parlour since we saw it in Godfrey's bachelor days, and under the wifeless reign of the old Squire. Now all is polish, on which no yesterday's dust is ever allowed to rest, from the yard's width of oaken boards round the carpet, to the old Squire's gun and whips and walking-sticks, ranged on the stag's antlers above the mantelpiece. (2.16.2)
Silas's cottage isn't the only one that's improved since we first met it. The Red House is looking pretty spruce these days, thanks to Nancy. The Squire's tools of manhood—whips, gun, stick—are up on the mantel being decorative, while Nancy's industriousness makes the house shine.
"And I don't want to be a lady—thank you all the same" (here Eppie dropped another curtsy). "I couldn't give up the folks I've been used to." (2.19.29)
Home is where the heart is. Given the opportunity to live an awesome life—well, awesome if all you care about is money—Eppie refuses. She can't bear to leave home, and, for her, home means living in close proximity to the people she knows and loves. A young plant can be moved, but a grown one has roots that go too deep.