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Let me read to something written by Oscar Wilde. Oscar Wilde was a playwrite in the 19th century who was one of the leaders of the Decadence Movement of his era. In modern use, decadence is often defined as a decline in or loss of excellence, obstructing the pursuit of ideals. It is typified by the elevation of cleverness, education, and intellectual pretension over experience and tradition, and is often considered materialistic.

“The gods had given me almost everything. But I let myself be lured into long spells of senseless and sensual ease...Tired of being on the heights, I deliberately went to the depths in search for new sensation. What the paradox was to me in the sphere of thought, perversity became to me in the sphere of passion. I grew careless of the lives of others. I took pleasure where it pleased me, and passed on. I forgot that every little action of the common day makes or unmakes character, and that therefore what one has done in the secret chamber, one has some day to cry aloud from the house-top. I ceased to be lord over myself. I was no longer the captain of my soul, and did not know it. I allowed pleasure to dominate me. I ended in horrible disgrace.”

Oscar Wilde, quoted by Wm. Barclay, Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians, p. 100

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