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More Absinthe

We are pursuing this absinthe matter further (see 3/25 "Friday's Brews You Can Use"). Per our request, Dale Ahlquist, Publisher of Gilbert Magazine and President of the American Chesterton Society, passed along seven passages from works of G.K. Chesterton that mention it. Here are three of them:

"[Robert Louis] Stevenson seemed to say to the semi-suicides drooping round him at the cafe tables; drinking absinthe and discussing atheism: 'Hang it all, the hero of a penny-dreadful play was a better man than you are!'" Robert Louis Stevenson

"When Stevenson set about to describe Villon and his gang of ragamuffins, under the snow and gargoyles of mediaeval Paris, he carved his grotesque as carefully as a gargoyle and balanced his story as beautifully as a French ballade. He did not take opium and absinthe and then sit down to wait for nameless cosmic energies to pour into his soul from nowhere. His spirit was a spirit utterly different from the mystical scepticism common in his time. He was responsible; he was deliberate; he was thrifty; he thoroughly deserved the dignified title of a working man." Robert Louis Stevenson

"The hour of absinthe is over. We shall not be much further troubled with the little artists who found Dickens too sane for their sorrows and too clean for their delights. But we have a long way to travel before we get back to what Dickens meant: and the passage is along a rambling English road, a twisting road such as Mr. Pickwick travelled. But this at least is part of what he meant; that comradeship and serious joy are not interludes in our travel; but that rather our travels are interludes in comradeship and joy, which through God shall endure for ever. The inn does not point to the road; the road points to the inn. And all roads point at last to an ultimate inn, where we shall meet Dickens and all his characters: and when we drink again it shall be from the great flagons in the tavern at the end of the world." Charles Dickens