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" Decadence, decadence, he said to himself. They’ve lost everything and gained nothing. The French had merely daubed on the finishing touches at the end of a process which had begun five hundred years ago, at least. Their intuitive moral desires coincided with the ideals embodied in the formulas of their religion, yet they could live in accordance neither with those deepest impulses nor with the precepts of the religion, because society came in between with all the pressure of its tradition. No one could afford to be honest or generous or merciful because every one of them distrusted all the others; often they had more confidence in a Christian they were meeting for the first time than in a Moslem they had known for years. "

Paul Bowles , The Spider's House

pressuredeepestbegunpreceptstouchesmeetinggenerousidealsafforda processformulasgainedmercifulimpulsesaccordancea Christianfinishingthe idealsthe finishing touchesThe FrenchMoslemembodiedintuitivemore confidencethe preceptsthe formulasdistrustedcoincideda Moslemall the pressuredaubedTheir intuitive moral desiresthose deepest impulses