George Eliot captures a moment in which two people deeply attracted to one another manage to feign indifference, each deriving satisfaction from their stand off, like a drug addict who has held back. 

‘They had begun the morning with an indifferent salutation, and both had rejoiced in being aloof from each other, like a patient who has actually done without his opium, in spite of former failures of resolution.’


Source: George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss (London: Oxford University Press, 1963), p. 461

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