Archer
The Archery Library
Old Archery Books, Articles and Prints
home - about - books - articles - prints faq - news - contact - search
   
Home > Books > Book of archery > Notes Section V
Notes Section V
1. Speed.
2. Pére Daniel, Milice Françoise, tom. i. liv. 4.
3. Sir N. H. Nicolas's "Agincourt."
4. The Commons of England, always extremely averse from allowing the exportation of these weapons, petitioned Edward III. that no "French alien priors, be permitted to reside within twenty miles of the coast, to prevent their sending bows and arrows abroad."--Rolls of Parliament, 47 Ed. III.
5. Prince's "Worthies of Devon."
6. The author is unknown; but the following extract from the work itself will show that he lived towards the close of the thirteenth, or at the beginning of the fourteenth, century:--

"And on my right hand I saw the King, Charles the Handsome, who hunting one day in the forest of Bertelly, in a thicket called La Boule Gueraldel, took twenty-six wild boars, without a single one escaping." Charles le Bel died in 1328.
7. The hand is three inches
8. Six feet six inches.
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.[1]

"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.


[1] We have here an explanation of the true size of an ancient "broad arrow".
10. Branches of trees broken off and thrown upon the paths of a wood, to impede the flight of a wounded deer, and enable the hounds more easily to come up with him.
11. Wind.
12. The female stag.
13. "At soil," i. e., whilst wallowing in the mire.
14. "Ah! the poaching old savage!" exclaim our sportsmen.
15. May not toxomania, or bow-madness, be as legitimate a coinage as the bibliomanis of Dr. Frognal Dibdin ?
16. St. Sebastian, the patron saint of archers, owing to his martyrdom by arrows.
Copyright © 1998 - 2017 | Disclaimer | Privacy Policy