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Home > Books > The Art of Archerie > Chapter XVI
Chapter XVI
Of the third Posture; which is Drawing.

Drawing well, is the best part of shooting; the Ancients in times past, used another manner of drawing then we do: for they drew low at the breast, and to the right Pap; as is described in Homer: The noble women of Scythia, used the same fashion of shooting low at the breast , and because their left Paps hindered them, they caused them to be cut away when they were young, upon which action, they took to themselves the name of Amazons. But now in these days, contrary to that custom, we draw to right ear, & not to the Pap; now whether the old way in drawing low tot he Pap, or the new way to draw aloft to the ear be better; Percopius ane excellent Greek author does decide: showing that the old fashion in drawing to the Pap was naught, having no pith in it, and therefore (says he) is artillery dispraised of Homer, who calls it weak, and able to do no good. But drawing to the war, he greatly praises, as a way whereby men shoot stronger, loner, and deeper; drawing therefore to the ear, is better then to draw to the breast: and now I call it into my mind, I never read in any author whatsoever, of any other kind of shooting, then drawing with a mans hand either to the breast, or to the ear, and yet I have turned over all Homer, Herodotus, and Plutarch, which makes me not a little wonder, how and when crossbows first came up, seeing they are so forgotten by the best historians: Leo the Emperor would have his soldiers draw quickly inward, affirming it made a shaft fly fast: but in shooting at pricks, hasty drawing is neither sure nor comely. Therefore to draw easily and uniformly, (that is to say) not wagging your hand upward nor downward, but still observing one time and fashion, until you come to the ridge or shouldering of the head, is best both for profit, skill and comeliness.

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