November 3, 2006


Category: Literature,Miscellaneous :: Permalink

St. Ives had always felt at home in Captain Powers’ shop, although he would have been in a hard way to say just how.  His own home — the home of his childhood — hadn’t resembled it in the slightest.  His parents had prided themselves in being modern, and would brook no tobacco or liquor.  His father had written a treatise on palsy, linking the disease to the consumption of meat, and for three years no meat crossed the threshold.  It was a poison, an abomination, carrion — like eating broiled dirt, said his father.  And tobacco: his father wuold shudder at the mention of the word.  St. Ives could remember him standing atop a crate beneath a leafless oak, he couldn’t say just where — St. James Park, perhaps — shouting at an indifferent croud about the evils of general intemperance.

His theories had declined from the scientific to the mystical and then into gibberish, and now he wrote papers still, sometimes in verse, from the confines of a comfortable, barred cellar in north Kent.  St. Ives had decided by the time he was twelve that intemperance in the pleasures of the senses was, in the main, less ruinous than was intemperance along more abstract lines.  Nothing, it seemed to him, was worth losing your sense of proportion and humor over, least of all a steak pie, a pint of ale, and a pipe of latakia (James P. Blaylock, Homunculus, pp. 22-23).

Posted by John Barach @ 2:23 am | Discuss (0)

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