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“Several Days Passed”

November 25, 2011

“Was Mrs. Wilcox one of the unsatisfactory people–there are so many of them–who dangle intimacy and then withdraw it? They evoke our interests and affections, and keep the life of the spirit dawdling around them. Then they withdraw. When physical passion is involved, there is a definite name for such behavior–flirting–and if carried far enough it is punishable by law. But no law–not public opinion, even–punishes those who coquette with friendship, though the dull ache that they inflict, the sense of misdirected effort and exhaustion, may be as intolerable. Was she one of these? Margaret feared so at first, for, with a Londoner’s impatience, she wanted everything to be settled up immediately. She mistrusted the periods of quiet that are essential to true growth.”  – E.M. Forster, Howards End


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