|9. ||The following are the rules laid down by Gaston Phebus,
that most illustrious Nimrod of ancient France:--
"The sportsman's bow should be of yew, and measure twenty
palms (five feet) from one notch to the other, and, when
braced, have a hand's breadth between string and wood.
The string must ever be of silk. The bow should be weak,
because an archer over-bowed cannot take aim freely and
with address; besides, such a bow may be held half-drawn
a long time without fatigue, whilst the hunter stands in
wait for the deer.
"The wood of a well-formed arrow measures eight handsful
in length from the end of the nock to the barbs of the
head, which will be exactly four fingers broad, from the
point of one barb to the point of the other. It must be
duly proportioned in every part, well filed and
sharpened, and five fingers in length.
"When a deer is discovered approaching the archers, as
soon as they hear the hounds are slipped, they ought to
set their arrows on their bows, bringing the two arms
into such a position as to be prepared to shoot. For,
should the animal espy the men in motion whilst nocking
their shafts, he will assuredly escape in another
direction. Thus, a keen sportsman is ever cautiously on
the alert, ready to let his arrow fly without the
slightest motion, except that of drawing with the arms."
He then goes on to describe the different modes of
shooting at game in every possible position, somewhat
after the fashion of the text; and gives a remarkable
reason why an archer should point his shaft in a rather
slanting direction when the aim is at the stag's
broadside, in preference to straight forwards. He says,--
"There is peril to him who shoots directly at the side,
independently of great uncertainty of killing when the
arrow does prove fatal, it sometimes passes through and
through the beast, and may thus wound a companion on the
opposite side. Such an accident I did myself see once
happen to Messire Godfrey de Harcourt, who was pierced
through one of his arms."
This is a rough translation, the original being, like old
Modus, in very obscure and difficult French.
 We have here an explanation of the true size of an
ancient "broad arrow".