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Poet, Musician and Man 107
drink hard and to live low lives."25 Undoubtedly Stephen became a hard drinker and his associates were of the convivial kind suggested in his song "Comrades, Fill Nb Glass for Me." But he did not live a low life in any contemptible sense of the word. Perhaps the best summing up was that made by Young E. Allison. He granted26 that Stephen had a "weak and fatal love of drink, which seems to have developed after he was twenty-five"; but he made the point that "Foster's drinking habit, however unfortunate it proved to him, did not affect the quality of his art as he bequeathed it to us."