As we are a doomed race, chained to a sinking ship (her favourite reading as a girl was Huxley and Tyndall, and they were fond of these nautical metaphors), as the whole thing is a bad joke, let us, at any rate, do our part; mitigate the sufferings of our fellow-prisoners (Huxley again); decorate the dungeon with flowers and air-cushions ; be as decent as we possibly can. Those ruffians, the Gods, shan't have it all their own way,— her notion being that the Gods, who never lost a chance of hurting, thwarting and spoiling human lives were seriously put out if, all the same, you behaved like a lady.
Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf, Maureen Howard

Virginia Woolf - Mrs. Dalloway