103 Quotes & Sayings By Hp Lovecraft

H.P. Lovecraft (August 20, 1890 – March 15, 1937) was an American author of horror, fantasy, and science fiction, who is known as the "Father of the Modern Weird Tale." He was one of the key stylists of the early twentieth-century movement known as weird fiction and a prolific writer of short stories and novellas. His works were influential in the fantasy genre, and helped define the fantasy genre itself.

Almost nobody dances sober, unless they happen to be insane.
Almost nobody dances sober, unless they happen to be insane. H.P. Lovecraft
I never ask a man what his business is, for it never interests me. What I ask him about are his thoughts and dreams. H.P. Lovecraft
Contrary to what you may assume, I am not a pessimist but an indifferentist- that is, I don't make the mistake of thinking that the... cosmos... gives a damn one way or the other about the especial wants and ultimate welfare of mosquitoes, rats, lice, dogs, men, horses, pterodactyls, trees, fungi, dodos, or other forms of biological energy. H.P. Lovecraft
All life is only a set of pictures in the brain, among which there is no difference betwixt those born of real things and those born of inward dreamings, and no cause to value the one above the other. H.P. Lovecraft
We all know that any emotional bias -- irrespective of truth or falsity -- can be implanted by suggestion in the emotions of the young, hence the inherited traditions of an orthodox community are absolutely without evidential value.. If religion were true, its followers would not try to bludgeon their young into an artificial conformity; but would merely insist on their unbending quest for truth, irrespective of artificial backgrounds or practical consequences. With such an honest and inflexible openness to evidence, they could not fail to receive any real truth which might be manifesting itself around them. The fact that religionists do not follow this honourable course, but cheat at their game by invoking juvenile quasi-hypnosis, is enough to destroy their pretensions in my eyes even if their absurdity were not manifest in every other direction. . H.P. Lovecraft
In search of Truth the hopeful zealot goes, But all...
In search of Truth the hopeful zealot goes, But all the sadder tums, the more he knows! H.P. Lovecraft
Religion is still useful among the herd - that it helps their orderly conduct as nothing else could. The crude human animal is in-eradicably superstitious, and there is every biological reason why they should be. Take away his Christian god and saints, and he will worship something else... H.P. Lovecraft
I neither knew nor cared whether my experience was insanity,...
I neither knew nor cared whether my experience was insanity, dreaming, or magic; but was determined to gaze on brilliance and gaiety at any cost. H.P. Lovecraft
That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with...
That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die. H.P. Lovecraft
If we knew what we are, we should do as...
If we knew what we are, we should do as Sir Arthur Jermyn did; and Arthur Jermyn soaked himself in oil and set first to his clothing one night. H.P. Lovecraft
I am a student of life, and don't want to...
I am a student of life, and don't want to miss any experience. There's poetry in this sort of thing, you know--or perhaps you don't know, but it's all the same. H.P. Lovecraft
At night, when the objective world has slunk back into its cavern and left dreamers to their own, there come inspirations and capabilities impossible at any less magical and quiet hour. No one knows whether or not he is a writer unless he has tried writing at night. H.P. Lovecraft
A serious adult story must be true to something in life. Since marvel tales cannot be true to the events of life, they must shift their emphasis towards something to which they can be true; namely, certain wistful or restless moods of the human spirit, wherein it seeks to weave gossamer ladders of escape from the galling tyranny of time, space, and natural law. H.P. Lovecraft
The one test of the really weird (story) is simply this--whether or not there be excited in the reader a profound sense of dread, and of contact with unknown spheres and powers; a subtle attitude of awed listening, as if for the beating of black wings or the scratching of outside shapes and entities on the known universe's utmost rim. H.P. Lovecraft
Any magazine-cover hack can splash paint around wildly and call it a nightmare, or a witches sabbath or a portrait of the devil; but only a great painter can make such a thing really scare or ring true. That's because only a real artist knows the anatomy of the terrible, or the physiology of fear. H.P. Lovecraft
I am, indeed, an absolute materialist so far as actual belief goes; with not a shred of credence in any form of supernaturalism–religion, spiritualism, transcendentalism, metempsychosis, or immortality. H.P. Lovecraft
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its content. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into peace and safety of a new dark age. H.P. Lovecraft
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age. H.P. Lovecraft
I couldn't live a week without a private library -...
I couldn't live a week without a private library - indeed, I'd part with all my furniture and squat and sleep on the floor before I'd let go of the 1500 or so books I possess. H.P. Lovecraft
The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear.
The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear. H.P. Lovecraft
Ultimate horror often paralyses memory in a merciful way.
Ultimate horror often paralyses memory in a merciful way. H.P. Lovecraft
That's because only a real artist knows the actual anatomy of the terrible or the physiology of fear - the exact sort of lines and proportions that connect up with latent instincts or hereditary memories of fright, and the proper colour contrasts and lighting effects to stir the dormant sense of strangeness. H.P. Lovecraft
I was nearly unnerved at my proximity to a nameless...
I was nearly unnerved at my proximity to a nameless thing at the bottom of a pit. H.P. Lovecraft
It might, too, have been the singular cold that alienated...
It might, too, have been the singular cold that alienated me; for such chilliness was abnormal on so hot a day, and the abnormal always excites aversion, distrust, and fear. H.P. Lovecraft
You have been my friend in the cosmos; you have been my only friend on this planet - the only soul to sense and seek for me within the repellent form which lies on this couch. We shall meet again - perhaps in the shining mists of Orion’s Sword, perhaps on a bleak plateau in prehistoric Asia. Perhaps in unremembered dreams tonight; perhaps in some other form an aeon hence, when the solar system shall have been swept away. H.P. Lovecraft
For I have always been a seeker, a dreamer, and...
For I have always been a seeker, a dreamer, and a ponderer on seeking and dreaming... H.P. Lovecraft
But are not the dreams of poets and the tales...
But are not the dreams of poets and the tales of travellers notoriously false? H.P. Lovecraft
When Randolph Carter was thirty he lost the key of...
When Randolph Carter was thirty he lost the key of the gate of dreams. H.P. Lovecraft
There are so many persons who know what wonders are opened to them in the stories and visions of their youth; for when as children we listen and dream, we think but half-formed thoughts, and when as men we try to remember, we are dulled and proasic with the poison of life. H.P. Lovecraft
Well did the traveler know those garden lands that lie betwixt the wood of the Cerenerian Sea, and blithely did he follow the singing river Oukranos that marked his course. The sun rose higher over gentle slopes of grove and lawn, and heightened the colors of the thousand flowers that starred each knoll and dangle. A blessed haze lies upon all this region, wherein is held a little more of the sunlight than other places hold, and a little more of the summer's humming music of birds and bees; so that men walk through it as through a faery place, and feel greater joy and wonder than they ever afterward remember. H.P. Lovecraft
A certain atmosphere of breathless and unexplainable dread of outer, unknown forces must be present; and there must be a hint, expressed with a seriousness and portentousness becoming its subject, of that most terrible conception of the human brain - a malign and particular suspension or defeat of those laws of Nature which are our only safeguard against the assaults of chaos and the daemons of unplumbed space. . Therefore we must judge a weird tale not by the author's intent, or by the mere mechanics of the plot; but by the emotional level which it attains at its least mundane point.. The one test of the really weird is simply this - whether or not there be excited in the reader a profound sense of dread, and of contact with unknown spheres and powers; a subtle attitude of awed listening, as if for the beating of black wings or the scratching of outside shapes and entities on the known universe's utmost rim. H.P. Lovecraft
Down through this verdant land Carter walked at evening, and saw twilight float up from the river to the marvelous golden spires of Thran. And just at the hour of dusk he came to the southern gate, and was stopped by a red-robed sentry till he had told three dreams beyond belief, and proved himself a dreamer worthy to walk up Thran's steep mysterious streets and linger in the bazaars where the wares of the ornate galleons were sold. Then into that incredible city he walked; through a wall so thick that the gate was a tunnel, and thereafter amidst curved and undulant ways winding deep and narrow between the heavenward towers. Lights shone through grated and balconied windows, and, the sound of lutes and pipes stole timid from inner courts where marble fountains bubbled. Carter knew his way, and edged down through darker streets to the river, where at an old sea tavern he found the captains and seamen he had known in myriad other dreams. There he bought his passage to Celephais on a great green galleon, and there he stopped for the night after speaking gravely to the venerable cat of that inn, who blinked dozing before an enormous hearth and dreamed of old wars and forgotten gods. H.P. Lovecraft
By noon Carter reached the jasper terraces of Kiran which slope down to the river's edge and bear that temple of loveliness wherein the King of Ilek-Vad comes from his far realm on the twilight sea once a year in a golden palanquin to pray to the god of Oukranos, who sang to him in youth when he dwelt in a cottage by its banks. All of jasper is that temple, and covering an acre of ground with its walls and courts, its seven pinnacled towers, and its inner shrine where the river enters through hidden channels and the god sings softly in the night. Many times the moon hears strange music as it shines on those courts and terraces and pinnacles, but whether that music be the song of the god or the chant of the cryptical priests, none but the King of Ilek-Vad may say; for only he had entered the temple or seen the priests. Now, in the drowsiness of day, that carven and delicate fane was silent, and Carter heard only the murmur of the great stream and the hum of the birds and bees as he walked onward under the enchanted sun. . H.P. Lovecraft
There is in certain ancient things a trace Of some dim essence --More than form or weight; A tenuous aether, indeterminate, Yet linked with all the laws of time and space. A faint, veiled sign of continuities That outward eyes can never quite descry; Of locked dimensions harboring years gone by, And out of reach except for hidden keys. H.P. Lovecraft
We are all roamers of vast spaces and travelers in many ages. H.P. Lovecraft
While my chosen form of story-writing is obviously a special and perhaps a narrow one, it is none the less a persistent and permanent type of expression, as old as literature itself. There will always be a certain small percentage of persons who feel a burning curiosity about unknown outer space, and a burning desire to escape from the prison-house of the known and the real into those enchanted lands of incredible adventure and infinite possibilities which dreams open up to us, and which things like deep woods, fantastic urban towers, and flaming sunsets momentarily suggest. H.P. Lovecraft
Atmosphere, not action, is the great desideratum of weird fiction. Indeed, all that a wonder story can ever be is a vivid picture of a certain type of human mood. The moment it tries to be anything else it becomes cheap, puerile, and unconvincing. Prime emphasis should be given to subtle suggestion - imperceptible hints and touches of selective associative detail which express shadings of mood and build up a vague illusion of the strange reality of the unreal. Avoid bald catalogues of incredible happenings which can have no substance or meaning apart from a sustaining cloud of colour and symbolism. H.P. Lovecraft
An isolated person requires correspondence as a means of seeing his ideas as others see them, and thus guarding against the dogmatisms and extravagances of solitary and uncorrected speculation. No man can learn to reason and appraise from a mere perusal of the writing of others. If he live not in the world, where he can observe the public at first hand and be directed toward solid reality by the force of conversation and spoken debate, then he must sharpen his discrimination and regulate his perceptive balance by an equivalent exchange of ideas in epistolary form. H.P. Lovecraft
Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again. He knows where They have trod earth's fields, and where They still tread them, and why no one can behold Them as They tread. H.P. Lovecraft
Heaven knows where I'll end up - it's a safe bet I'll never be at the top of anything! Nor do I particularly care to be. H.P. Lovecraft
So through endless twilights I dreamed and waited, though I knew not what I waited for. Then in the shadowy solitude my longing for light grew so frantic that I could rest no more, and I lifted entreating hands to the single black ruined tower that reached above the forest into the unknown outer sky. And at last I resolved to scale that tower, fall through I might; since it were better to glimpse the sky and perish, than to live without even beholding day. H.P. Lovecraft
I expect nothing of man, and disown the race. The only folly is expecting what is never attained; man is most contemptible when compared with his own pretensions. It is better to laugh at man from outside the universe, than to weep for him within. H.P. Lovecraft
I shall never be very merry or very sad, for I am more prone to analyse than to feel. H.P. Lovecraft
The cloudless day is richer at its close; A golden glory settles on the lea; Soft, stealing shadows hint of cool repose To mellowing landscape, and to calming sea. And in that nobler, gentler, lovelier light, The soul to sweeter, loftier bliss inclines; Freed form the noonday glare, the favour’d sight Increasing grace in earth and sky divines. But ere the purest radiance crowns the green, Or fairest lustre fills th’ expectant grove, The twilight thickens, and the fleeting scene Leaves but a hallow’d memory of love! . H.P. Lovecraft
Outside, across the putrid moat and under the dark mute trees, I would often lie and dream for hours about what I read in the books; and would longingly picture myself amidst gay crowds in the sunny world beyond the endless forests. H.P. Lovecraft
Wise men have interpreted dreams, and the gods have laughed. H.P. Lovecraft
Have only this consolation--that he was never a fiend or even truly a madman, but only an eager, studious, and curious boy whose love of mystery and of the past was his undoing. He stumbled on things no mortal ought ever to know, and reached back through the years as no one ever should reach; and something came out of those years to engulf him. H.P. Lovecraft
It is good to be a cynic – it is better to be a contented cat – and it is best not to exist at all. H.P. Lovecraft
From even the greatest of horrors irony is seldom absent. H.P. Lovecraft
I have seen the dark universe yawning Where the black planets roll without aim, Where they roll in their horror unheeded, Without knowledge, or lustre, or name. H.P. Lovecraft
There are horrors beyond life's edge that we do not suspect, and once in a while man's evil prying calls them just within our range. H.P. Lovecraft
Bunch together a group of people deliberately chosen for strong religious feelings, and you have a practical guarantee of dark morbidities expressed in crime, perversion, and insanity. H.P. Lovecraft
The basis of all true cosmic horror is violation of the order of nature, and the profoundest violations are always the least concrete and describable. H.P. Lovecraft
I could not help feeling that they were evil things-- mountains of madness whose farther slopes looked out over some accursed ultimate abyss. That seething , half-luminous cloud-background held ineffable suggestions of a vague, ethereal beyondness far more than terrestrially spatial; and gave appalling reminders of the utter remoteness, separateness, desolation, and aeon-long death of this untrodden and unfathomed austral world. H.P. Lovecraft
There are black zones of shadow close to our daily paths, and now and then some evil soul breaks a passage through. When that happens, the man who knows must strike before reckoning the consequences. H.P. Lovecraft
I'll tell you something of the forbidden horrors she led me into - something of the age-old horrors that even now are festering in out-of-the-way corners with a few monstrous priests to keep them alive. Some people know things about the universe that nobody ought to know, and can do things that nobody ought to be able to do. H.P. Lovecraft
The end is near. I hear a noise at the door, as of some immense slippery body lumbering against it. It shall not find me. God, that hand! The window! The window! H.P. Lovecraft
For the things in the chair, perfect to the last, subtle detail of microscopic resemblance - or identity - were the face and hands of Henry Wentworth Akeley. H.P. Lovecraft
He talked about terrible meetings in lonely places, of cyclopean ruins in the heart of the Maine woods beneath which vast staircases led down to abysses of nighted secrets, of complex angles that led through invisible walls to other regions of space and time, and of hideous exchanges of personality that permitted explorations in remote and forbidden places, on other worlds, and in different space-time continua. H.P. Lovecraft
As I shivered and brooded on the casting of that brain-blasting shadow, I knew that I had at last pried out one of earth's supreme horors-one of those nameless blights of outer voids whose faint demon scratchings we sometimes hear on the farthest rim of space, yet from which our own finite vision has given us a merciful immunity. H.P. Lovecraft
By necessity practical and by philosophy stern, these folk were not beautiful in their sins. H.P. Lovecraft
In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming. H.P. Lovecraft
Ocean is more ancient than the mountains, and freighted with the memories and the dreams of Time. H.P. Lovecraft
Only a cynic can create horror--for behind every masterpiece of the sort must reside a driving demonic force that despises the human race and its illusions, and longs to pull them to pieces and mock them. H.P. Lovecraft
Perhaps I should not hope to convey in mere words the unutterable hideousness that can dwell in absolute silence and barren immensity. H.P. Lovecraft
Children will always be afraid of the dark, and men with minds sensitive to hereditary impulse will always tremble at the thought of the hidden and fathomless worlds of strange life which may pulsate in the gulfs beyond the stars, or press hideously upon our own globe in unholy dimensions which only the dead and the moonstruck can glimpse.”– “Supernatural Horror in Literature H.P. Lovecraft
When the stars were right, They could plunge from world to world through the sky; but when the stars were wrong, They could not live. H.P. Lovecraft
Damn it, it wasn’t quite fresh enough! H.P. Lovecraft
Would to Heaven we had never approached them at all, but had run back at top speed out of that blasphemous tunnel with the greasily smooth floors and the degenerate murals aping and mocking the things they had superseded-run back, before we had seen what we did see, and before our minds were burned with something which will never let us breathe easily again! H.P. Lovecraft
No death, no doom, no anguish can arouse the surpassing despair which flows from a loss of ide H.P. Lovecraft
As we drew nearer the green shore the bearded man told me of that land, the Land of Zar, where dwell all the dreams and thoughts of beauty that come to men once and then are forgotten. And when I looked upon the terraces again I saw that what he said was true, for among the sights before me were many things I had once seen through the mists beyond the horizon and in the phosphorescent depths of the ocean. H.P. Lovecraft
It cannot be described, this awesome chain of events that depopulated the whole Earth; the range is too tremendous for any to picture of encompass. Of the people of Earth's unfortunate ages, billions of years before, only a few prophets and madman could have conceived that which was to come - could have grasped visions of the still, dead lands, and long-empty sea-beds. The rest would have doubted.. doubted alike the shadow of change upon the planet and the shadow of doom upon the race. For man has always thought himself the immortal master of natural things.. H.P. Lovecraft
I have seen beyond the bounds of infinity and drawn down daemons from the stars.. .. I have harnessed the shadows that stride from world to world to sow death and madness.. .. H.P. Lovecraft
Art has been wrecked by a complete consciousness of the universe which shews that the world is to each man only a rubbish-heap limned by his individual perception. It will be saved, if at all, by the next and last step of disillusion; the realisation that complete consciousness and truth are themselves valueless, and that to acquire any genuine artistic titillation we must artificially invent limitations of consciousness and feign a pattern of life common to all mankind--most naturally the simple old pattern which ancient and groping tradition first gave us. H.P. Lovecraft
But of these things I must not now speak. I will tell only of the lone tomb in the darkest of the hillside thickets. H.P. Lovecraft
May the merciful god, if indeed there be such, guard those hours when no power of the will, or drug that the cunning of man devises, can keep me from the chasm of sleep. Death is merciful, for there is no return therefrom, but with him who has come back out of the nethermost chambers of night, haggard and knowing, peace rests nevermore. H.P. Lovecraft
It’s hard to have done all one’s growing up since 33 – but that’s a damn sight better than not growing up at all. H.P. Lovecraft
Of the animals I saw, I could write volumes. All were wild; for the Great Race's mechanised culture had long since done away with domestic beasts, while food was wholly vegetable or synthetic. H.P. Lovecraft
That Crawford Tilinghast should ever have studied science and philosophy was a mistake. These things should be left to the frigid and impersonal investigator for they offer two equally tragic alternatives to the man of feeling and action; despair, if he fail in his quest, and terrors unutterable and unimaginable if he succeed. H.P. Lovecraft
If I am mad, it is mercy! May the gods pity the man who in his callousness can remain sane to the hideous end! H.P. Lovecraft
Throw a stick, and the servile dog wheezes and pants and stumbles to bring it to you. Do the same before a cat, and he will eye you with coolly polite and somewhat bored amusement. And just as inferior people prefer the inferior animal which scampers excitedly because someone else wants something, so do superior people respect the superior animal which lives its own life and knows that the puerile stick-throwings of alien bipeds are none of its business and beneath its notice. The dog barks and begs and tumbles to amuse you when you crack the whip. That pleases a meekness-loving peasant who relishes a stimulus to his self importance. The cat, on the other hand, charms you into playing for its benefit when it wishes to be amused; making you rush about the room with a paper on a string when it feels like exercise, but refusing all your attempts to make it play when it is not in the humour. That is personality and individuality and self-respect -- the calm mastery of a being whose life is its own and not yours -- and the superior person recognises and appreciates this because he too is a free soul whose position is assured, and whose only law is his own heritage and aesthetic sense. . H.P. Lovecraft
Through all this horror my cat stalked unperturbed. Once I saw him monstrously perched atop a mountain of bones, and wondered at the secrets that might lie behind his yellow eyes. H.P. Lovecraft
Some of them stole off to those cryptical realms which are known only to cats and which villagers say are on the moon's dark side, whither the cats leap from tall housetops; but one small black kitten crept upstairs and sprang in Carter's lap to purr and play, and curled up near his feet when he lay down at last on the little couch whose pillows were stuffed with fragrant drowsy herbs. H.P. Lovecraft
The dog appeals to cheap and facile emotions; the cat to the deepest founts of imagination and cosmic perception in the human mind. It is no accident that the contemplative Egyptians, together with such later poetic spirits as Poe, Gautier, Baudelaire, and Swinburne, were all sincere worshippers of the supple grimalkin. H.P. Lovecraft
It is said that in Ulthar, which lies beyond the river Skai, no man may kill a cat; and this I can verily believe as I gaze upon him who sitteth purring before the fire. For the cat is cryptic, and close to strange things which men cannot see. He is the soul of antique Aegyptus, and bearer of tales from forgotten cities in Meroë and Ophir. He is the kin of the jungle’s lords, and heir to the secrets of hoary and sinister Africa. The Sphinx is his cousin, and he speaks her language; but he is more ancient than the Sphinx, and remembers that which she hath forgotten. H.P. Lovecraft
The cat is such a perfect symbol of beauty and superiority that it seems scarcely possible for any true aesthete and civilised cynic to do other than worship it. H.P. Lovecraft
The cat .. . is for the man who appreciates beauty as the one living force in a blind and purposeless universe. H.P. Lovecraft
The cool, lithe, cynical, and unconquered lord of the housetops. H.P. Lovecraft
A dog is a pitiful thing, depending wholly on companionship, and utterly lost except in packs or by the side of his master. Leave him alone and he does not know what to do except bark and howl and trot about till sheer exhaustion forces him to sleep. A cat, however, is never without the potentialities of contentment. Like a superior man, he knows how to be alone and happy. Once he looks about and finds no one to amuse him, he settles down to the task of amusing himself; and no one really knows cats without having occasionally peeked stealthily at some lively and well-balanced kitten which believes itself to be alone. H.P. Lovecraft
Now all my tales are based on the fundemental premise that common human laws and interests and emotions have no validity or significance in the vast cosmos-at-large.. To achieve the essence of real externality, whether of time or space or dimension, one must forget that such things as organic life, good and evil, love and hate, and all such local attributes of a negligible and temporary race called mankind, have any existence at all. H.P. Lovecraft
He had read much of things as they are, and talked with too many people. Well-meaning philosophers had taught him to look into the logical relations of things, and analyse the processes which shaped his thoughts and fancies. Wonder had gone away, and he had forgotten that all life is only a set of pictures in the brain, among which there is no difference betwixt those born of real things and those born of inward dreamings, and no cause to value the one above the other. H.P. Lovecraft
The daemon wind died down, and the bloated, fungoid moon sank reddeningly in the west. H.P. Lovecraft
Atal felt a spectral change in the air, as if the laws of earth were bowing to greater laws. H.P. Lovecraft
Warped and bigoted with preconceived illusions of justice, freedom, and consistency, they cast off the old lore and the old way with the old beliefs; nor ever stopped to think that the lore and those ways were the sole makers of their present thoughts and judgments, and the sole guides and standards in a meaningless universe without fixed aims or stable points of reference. H.P. Lovecraft
To be bitter is to attribute intent and personality to the formless, infinite, unchanging and unchangeable void. We drift on a chartless, resistless sea. Let us sing when we can, and forget the rest.. H.P. Lovecraft
Success is a relative thing―and the victory of a boy at marbles is equal to the victory of an Octavius at Actium when measured by the scale of cosmic infinity. H.P. Lovecraft
The social prestige of wine at table and at the club must be destroyed through lofty example and polite ridicule; forces which are not always available, and for whose successful operation much time will be required. But the outstanding fact remains, that the world has come to regard liquor in a new and clearer light. Our next generation of poets will contain but few Anacreons, for the thinking element of mankind has robbed the flowing bowl of its fancied virtues and fictitious beauties. The grape, so long permitted to masquerade as the inspirer of wit and art, is now revealed as the mother of ruin and death. The wolf at last stands divested of its sheep’s clothing. H.P. Lovecraft
It is no longer necessary to preach sonorously of the sinful and deleterious effect of liquor on the human mind and body; the essential evil is recognised scientifically, and only the sophistry of conscious immorality remains to be combated. Brewers and distillers still strive clumsily to delude the public by the transparent misstatements of their advertisements, and periodicals of easy conscience still permit these advertisements to disgrace their pages; but the end of such pernicious pretension is not remote. The drinker of yesterday flaunted his voice before all without shame; the average drinker of today must needs resort to excuses. H.P. Lovecraft
Though at times interested in reforms, notably prohibition (I have never tasted alcoholic liquor), I was inclined to be bored by ethical casuistry; since I believed conduct to be a matter of taste and breeding, with virtue, delicacy, and truthfulness as symbols of gentility. Of my word and honour I was inordinately proud, and would permit no reflections to be cast upon them. I thought ethics too obvious and commonplace to be scientifically discussed, and considered philosophy solely in its relation to truth and beauty. I was, and still am, pagan to the core. . H.P. Lovecraft
And even in the open air the stench of whiskey was appalling. To this fiendish poison, I am certain, the greater part of the squalor I saw is due. Many of these vermin were obviously not foreigners– I counted at least five American countenances in which a certain vanished decency half showed through the red whiskey bloating. Then I reflected upon the power of wine, and marveled how self-respecting persons can imbibe such stuff, or permit it to be served upon their tables. It is the deadliest enemy with which humanity is faced. Not all the European wars could produce a tenth of the havock occasioned among men by the wretched fluid which responsible governments allow to be sold openly. Looking upon that mob of sodden brutes, my mind’s eye pictured a scene of different kind; a table bedecked with spotless linen and glistening silver, surrounded by gentlemen immaculate in evening attire–and in the reddening faces of those gentlemen I could trace the same lines which appeared in full development of the beasts of the crowd. Truly, the effects of liquor are universal, and the shamelessness of man unbounded. How can reform be wrought in the crowd, when supposedly respectable boards groan beneath the goblets of rare old vintages? Is mankind asleep, that its enemy is thus entertained as a bosom friend? But a week or two ago, at a parade held in honour of the returning Rhode Island National Guard, the Chief Executive of this State, Mr. Robert Livingston Beeckman, prominent in New York, Newport, and Providence society, appeared in such an intoxicated condition that he could scarce guide his mount, or retain his seat in the saddle, and he the guardian of the liberties and interests of that Colony carved by the faith, hope, and labour of Roger Williams from the wilderness of savage New-England! I am perhaps an extremist on the subject of prohibition, but I can see no justification whatsoever for the tolerance of such a degrading demon as drink. . H.P. Lovecraft