In Silas Marner, describe the talk among the men during the dancing at the New Year's Eve party.

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The New Year's Eve party is narrated to us in full in Chapter 11 of this great novel. As the dancing finally commences, and Godfrey achieves his desire of opening the dancing with the object of his affection, Nancy, a group of men including Mr. Macey and a "few other privileged villagers" assemble as spectators, watching the action. Mostly their conversation focuses on what they see, and the various merits and drawbacks of the upper classes they are allowed to observe. For example, they talk about who is the best dancer, who is most nimble out of the assemblage and then criticise some of the latest developments in fashion. They then discuss Godfrey and Nancy, and we are told that he pursued her for a while, and then stopped, and now is obviously pursuing her again:

"And one while he was allays after Miss Nancy, and then it all went off again, like a smell o'hot porridge, as I may say. That wasn't my way, when I went a-courting."

Action then moves to Godfrey and Nany, who the men see walking away from the dance to gain some privacy. They of course interpret this in the manner we would expect.