What did Silas do for Sally Oates in Silas Marner?

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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On Chapter II, Part 1 we find the character of Sally Oates, a  cobbler's wife, who was sitting by the fire suffering from symptoms of "heart disease and dropsy" which reminded him of the symptoms his own mother experienced prior to dying. Silas remembered that a certain concoction made of "foxglove" which is referred to as "the stuff".

Silas remembered that such concoction made his mother believe that she was getting better, and (in order to ease Sally's pain), he brought her some of "the stuff" and held a high esteem in Sally's eyes since it did the same effect on Sally as it did with Silas's mother. The only condition was that the woman could not tell the local doctor about what Silas was doing because (as expected) the doctor did not agree with those local cures that play with the psyche of others.

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