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Some clergymen can be an awful lot of fun

I’ve known more than a few clergymen in my time and not all of them have been dry old sticks. Some of them, in fact, have been the epitome of civilized and convivial company. One such was Henry Aldrich (1647–1710), a philosopher and theologian who was Vice Chancellor of Oxford University and Rector of Wem in the county of Shropshire, England.

I never met Henry—he was after all about 100 years before my time—but, aside from being an outstanding academic, he was an absolute hoot at the dinner table. He wrote a book on logic—in Latin, naturally—that was still being used in the mid–19th Century. No doubt it would still be in use today if modern students weren’t such terrible slouches at languages.

In addition to composing a number of fine anthems and church services, he set much of the music of Palestrina and Carissimi to English. He also wrote the well–known catch, Hark, the bonny Christ Church bells as well as some side–splitting poems. My personal favorite is one giving five reasons for drinking alcohol:

Si bene quid memini, causae sunt quinque bibendi;
Hospitis adventus, praesens sitis atque futura,
Aut vini bonitas, aut quaelibet altera causa.

A rough translation for those unversed in Latin:

If all be true that I do think,
There are five reasons we should drink;
Good wine — a friend — or being dry —
Or lest we should be by and by —
Or any other reason why.

From this you can see that our new Cookie Walk 2011 Cook Book—a comprehensive guide to the art of making and mixing beverages, both alcoholic and non–alcoholic—is solidly within the Anglican tradition. So please answer our call for your recipes for punches, teas, shrubs, smoothies, malts, shakes, hot and cold drinks, and flavored alcoholic drinks. Anything you love that is potable.

Please bring your favorite recipes to church or email our editor Peter Threadgill (the best way) at All recipes must be in no later than Sunday November 6th. Thanks awfully! ISAAC

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