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Home > Books > Book of archery > Notes Section X
Notes Section X
1. The late meeting of the Kendal archers was well attended, and afforded much sport. The populace, however, crowded so near the targets, that a tanner and two tailors received shots not intended for them. The tanner's hide was proof against the keenest shafts: one of the tailors was happily preserved from danger, by the glancing of the arrow against his goose, and he received merely a flesh wound. The other is thought to be in some danger principally arising from fright. World, Oct. 7. 1791. Banke's MSS
2. The real length of the ancient war arrow has been much contested.
3. Extract from an original MS. in the possession of Dr. Leith, entitled " A Complete List of the Royal Navy of England, in the year 1599.
At the Tower of London.
Bowes with ccciiijvi decaied, 8185. Wrecked of Bowstaves, 983.
Arrowes, viz.

Livery arrowes, 14,125 shafts, whereof 731 shafts to be repayred, and 30 shafts decaied. Crosbowe arrowes, dacaied, 500. Muskett arrowes, with 56 To be new feathered, 892. Longbowe arrowes with firewoorkes, 98 shefe decaied, &c. &c.
4. A famous Dublin fishing-tackle maker.
5. I interpret my friend's Latin for the ladies' sake: Eas minimo digito, crassiores; bicubitales que et hamato præfixas ferro, ingentibus ligneis intor quent: they (the English) shoot arrows, somewhat thicker than a man's little finger, two cubits (36 inches) long, and headed with barbed steel points. from wooden bows of extraordinary size and strength.
6. Bicubitales que -- two cubits long.
7. It is known, but not very generally, that the celebrated Merino, and other breeds of Spanish sheep, repurchased by our graziers at enormous prices, were originally derived from English stock. A small parcel of choice rams and ewes, reared on the Gloucestershire Cotswold hills, was sent as a present to the Spanish monarch, whose battles Edward's heroic son had so successfully fought.
8. Claudius, D. 2.
9. The Agincourt arrow in my possession agrees exactly with this description. In the list of curiosities preserved at Don Saltero's coffee house, Chelsea, are mentioned, two ancient broad-headed arrows, once belonging to Robin Hood.
10. I and another boy went from York towards Scotland, with a horse whereupon we carried a chest of arrows, for the use of the king's army, which afterwards won the fight of Flodden."--Life of old Parr.
11. A singular kind of boat formed of basket work, at the present da covered with painted sailcloth, but anciently with skins. They are so light that the fisherman when he wishes to cross to another stream, or avoid the trouble of threading the serpentine mazes so characteristic of Welsh rivers, takes his coracle upon his head bottom upwards, and thus, like a snail in his shell, journeys along. These boats are as old, and older than Cæsar's invasion of Britain, and it is stated that when the Romans withdrew from the island, the Picts and Scots began to infest its inhabitants, by crossing over the friths and forties, "in little wicker boats covered with leather."
12. The date of the Battle of Agincourt.
13. Grimaldi's Origines Genealogicæ.
14. There is no necessity for supposing this word a misprint for hazel, as Roberts thinks. Ascham mentions it again in connection with Fustic, Turkey, and Sugar Chest, all foreign woods, from warm climates.
15. A kind of large pistol.
16. Voyage into the Levant, by H. B. 1637.
17. Arrow makers.
18. "Item suppliant les communes, pour profit du roy et du roiaume, que comme les flechiers of the city of London and elsewhere, within the said kingdom, have in all time heretofore used and do use to make all manner of arrowes and 'autre archerie' of the material called aspe, and of no other material,--les ditz patyn-makers," &c. &c.--Rolls of Parliament, temp, Henry V.
19. Drayton's Polyolbion, song 26
20. Journal of Plantation, &c. 1620.
21. Synonymous with notch; but always spelt and pronounced as above.
22. "To animate and influence the hearts of all noble gentlemen who desire to see the world, and by order and command of the most high, most puissant, and most redoubtable Lord Philip, by the grace of God, Duke of Burgundy, Lorraine, Brabant, and Limburg, Count of Flanders, &c., I, Bertrand de la Broqulière, native of the duchy of Guienne, Lord of Vieux Chateau, Councillor, and first Squire trenchant of the said most redoubtable Lord, Seigneur, have been induced to write the little journey that I made."--De Broquière's Travels, A.D. 1432. King's Lib. Paris.
23. Cook's Voyages, vol. ii. p. 147.
24. Cross-bow arrows are so named. The word is derived from quarrè, square; in allusion to the form of the head.
25. A gentleman of Berkshire being asked counsel of a certain burgess in the same shire, what he thought expedient and worthy to be proposed in parliament on his first taking his seat there, said, that it was a matter of importance, the killing of so many goslings and grean geas, and that for special reasons; the first for that the force and mighte of England was consisting in such artillery as bowes and arrowes, which required the wings of well grown geas.--MS. Common Place Book, belonging to the eldest son of George Fox, the historian, A.D. 1635.
26. MS. Cott. Nero, C. viii.
27. Oriental Collections.
28. Demetrius Cantimir, p. 319. note.
29. "Eagles' feathers joined to other feathers in quivers of arrows, &c. will devour them, especially goose feathers."
30. Note, page 7.
31. Bodleian Library.
32. To the honour of the English be it spoken, they never, like the Spaniards, resorted to the hateful expedient of using poisoned arrows. Yet, as some information on this subject may be acceptable to the reader, I will insert a description of the mode of preparing those deadly weapons, common to the red warriors of Guiana and other portions of the South American continent.

When the Indian intends to chase the paccari, surprise the deer, or rouse the tapir from his marshy retreat, he carries his bows and arrows instead of the blow-pipe.

The bow, which is generally about six or seven feet long, is strung with a cord spun from the silk grass. The forests of Guiana furnish many species of hard, tough, and elastic wood, out of which beautiful and excellent bows are formed.

The arrows are from four to five feet in length, made of a yellow reed, without a knot or joint, which is found in great plenty up and down through out Guiana A piece of hard wood, about nine inches long, is inserted into the end of the reed, and fastened with cotton well waxed. A square hole, an inch deep, is then made in the end of this piece of hard wood, done tight round with cotton to keep it from splitting. Into this the Indian inserts a spike of poisoned coucourite wood, which may be kept there or taken out at pleasure. A joint of bamboo, about as thick as your finger, is fitted over the poisoned spike, to prevent accidents, and defend it from the rain, and is taken off when the arrow is about to be used. Lastly, two feathers are fastened on the other end of the reed to steady it in its flight. Besides his bow and arrows, the Indian carries a little box, made of bamboo, which holds a dozen or fifteen poisoned spikes, six inches long, and prepared in the following manner:--A small piece of wood having been dipped in the poison, with this they give the spike a first coat, and expose it to the sun or fire. When dry, it receives another coat, and a second drying; then a third, and some times even a fourth, taking great care to put the poison on thicker at the middle than at the sides, by which means the spike retains the shape of a two-edged sword. It being rather a tedious operation to make one of these arrows complete, and the Indian not being famed for industry, except when pressed by hunger, he has hit upon a plan for preserving his arrrows which deserves notice. About a quarter of an inch above the part where the coucourite spike is fixed into the square hole, he cuts it half through; and thus, when it has entered the animal, the weight causing the arrow to break off there, it falls uninjured to the ground, so that should he have no other arrow with him, and a second shot immediately occur, he has only to take another poisoned spike out of the little bamboo box, fit it on his arrow, and send it to its destination. Thus armed with deadly poison, and hungry as the hyena, he ranges through the forest, in quest of the wild beasts' track. No hound can act a surer part. Without clothes to fetter him, or shoes to bind his feet, he the footsteps of the game, where an European eye could not discern the smallest vestige. He pursues it through all its turnings and windings with astonishing perseverance, and success generally crowns his efforts. The animal, after receiving the poisoned arrow, seldom retreats two hundred paces before it drops.

The Indian's of the settlement of Macoushia seem to depend more on the wourali poison for killing their game than any thing else. Their blowpipes hung from the roof of the hut, carefully suspended by a silk grass cord; and on taking a nearer view of them, no dust seemed to have settled there, nor had the spider spun the smallest web on them, which showed they were in constant use. The quivers were close by them, with the jaw-bone of the fish pirai, tied by a string to their brim, and a small wicker basket of wild cotton, which hung down to the centre: they were nearly full of poisoned arrows. It was with difficulty these Indians could be persuaded to part with any of the wourali poison, though a good price was offered for it. They gave us to understand it was powder and shot to them, and very difficult to be procured.

In passing over land from Essequibo to the Demerara, we fell in with a herd of wild hogs. Though encumbered with baggage, and fatigued with a hard day's walk,' an Indian got his bow ready, and let fly a poisoned arrow at one of them. It entered the cheek-bone and broke off. The wild hog was found dead about one hundred and seventy paces from the place where he had been shot, and afforded us an excellent and wholesome supper.

One day, while we were eating a red monkey, erroneously-called the baboon in Demerara, an Arowack Indian told an affecting story of what happened to a comrade of his. He was present at his death. As it did not interest this Indian in any point to tell a falsehood, it is very probable his account is a true one. If so, there appears no certain antidote for the wourali poison, or at least no antidote that could be resorted to in a case of urgent need; for the Indian gave up all thoughts of life as soon as he was wounded.

The hunter just alluded to, said that, about four years ago, whilst he and his companion were ranging the forest in quest of game, the latter discharged a poisoned arrow at a red monkey in a tree above him. It was nearly a perpendicular shot. The arrow missed the monkey, and in its descent struck his arm, a little above the elbow. He was convinced it was all over with him. 'I shall never,' said he in a faltering voice, and looking at his bow, as he uttered the words, ' I shall never bend this bow again.' And with that; he took off his little bamboo poison box, which hung across his shoulder, and putting it, with his bow and arrows, on the ground, laid himself down close by them. bade his companion farewell, and never spoke more."-- Waterton's Wanderings in South America.
33. Joinville, vol. ii. page 152
34. Vol. i. page 96.
35. He was a Huguenot, or Protestant, and, with one other individual, alone escaped the dreadful massacre of St. Bartholomew, of which he was an eyewitness. He tells us that he was called in to dress the wounds of Admiral Coligny, after the first unsuccessful attempt to assassinate that great and virtuous individual on the same memorable occasion. He also gives a very virtuous interesting narrative of his campaigning adventures, from which it appears that he underwent much suffering and personal inconvenience, and was unable to confine his practice wholly within professional bounds. Speaking of a " Sergeant of Chastellat," one of his patients, he says, "I performed towards him the office of physician, surgeon, apothecary, and cook," dressing his dinner as well as his wounds until the time that he was completely cured. " Le Dieu le guerisse toujours," adds the doctor, so that we may infer his patient's gratitude, for these accumulated benefits, did not evaporate with the causes which had elicited them; a source of complaint very familiar to the medical experience of modern times. Our curiosity respecting the amount of remuneration given to professional men in the sixteenth century, is afterwards gratified by the following statement:--" The men at arms attached to Messire de Rohan's company gave me each a crown, and the archers half-a-crown." He then adds, " I protest to God that three different times I was on the point of being starved to death, not from any want of money, but because we could obtain no provisions, except by force; the base peasants having deserted their farms, and taken refuge, with all their cattle and effects, in castles or walled towns, as if we were church robbers, or something worse."
36. Stele--the wooden shaft of an arrow.
37. Sir N. H. Nicholas.
38. Ibid.
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