Was Mrs. Wilcox one of the unsatisfactory people- there are 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 behaviour- 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?
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Author: E.M. Forster