Here, earnest reader, I am in the same position as once before in these pages when I was relating certain early and happy experiences with the sweets of life and I added a warning not to confuse an act with the name it goes by, or to make the elementary mistake of dismissing something living and specific with a general term. For if I now set down the fact that for a number of months, until my departure from Frankfurt, I was on intimate terms with Rozsa, often stayed with her, secretly superintended the conquests she made on the street with those slanted, shimmering eyes and the gliding play of her underlip, sometimes, even, was there in hiding when she received her paying customers (occasions that gave me small grounds for jealousy) and did not disdain to accept a reasonable share of the proceeds, one might well be tempted to apply a short, ugly word to my way of life at that time and to lump me summarily with those dark gallants about whom I was talking above. Whoever thinks that actions make people equal may go ahead and take refuge in this simple procedure. For my own part, I am in agreement with folk wisdom which holds that when two persons do the same thing it is no longer the same.
From Thomas Mann, Confessions of Felix Krull, Confidence Man. Maybe people don't realize what a great comic novelist Mann is. "And yet the word 'refine' can claim a place here, which I withhold only in order to clarify my meaning." That's just it, you see. You should read The Holy Sinner, too.