Friday, February 09, 2007

Lovecraft Goes to Church: Part 1 (1923)

In a letter to Samuel Loveman (1) of 5 January 1924, Lovecraft described an adventure with CM Eddy and Mortonius that had them prowling about the First Baptist Church of Providence. One wonders how they could fritz about the ancient landmark with no interference by the staff, bot it seems to be a true event.

"Then we began to climb flight after flight of hand-hewn Georgian steps into the steeple, till finally we were beside the massive bell - cast in 1775 in London, weighing 2500 pounds, and having the following inscription:

"For Freedom of conscience the town was first planted,
Persuasion not force was us'd by the people;
This church is the eldest and has not recanted,
Enjoying and granting bell, temple, and steeple.

"...Suddenly a great iron clappr we had not seen descended on the bell from the outside in twelve measur'd strokes, shaking the air with swelling reverberations. It was the striking of the great clock, by which all the antient men of the village set their bulbous watches. But no sooner had this clapper caes'd its beats, that the great bell itself began to heave; so that in a moment the whole scene was a riot of extatick clangour. ... as I stood there in that Georgian steeple, looking out over the quaint Colonial town and vibrating with the peals of that bell rung from elder custom, I swell'd with a new consciousness of the past ... the Union Jack of our fathers flew over that white Colony-House belfry ... GOD SAVE THE KING!"

However, stand by and we will see what the consumate spin doctor, Mr. Lovecraft, has done with his words...

1. HP Lovecraft: Letters to Samuel Loveman and Vincent Starrett, Necronomicon, 1994.

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