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Chapter VII

The Romance of Archery
Part 2 of 4

Following Longfellow I should take something from Homer, particularly that passage in the Odyssey, about the return of Ulysses and the slaying of his wife's suitors. There are many more passages, both in the Odyssey and the Iliad which make excellent reading. With these, as with other selections, it might be desirable to have certain members of the class told beforehand that they would be required to learn or to read certain passages. Give each archer some definite story or poem. Then, when a rainy day occurs, have the different students give the contexts and the passages they have selected.

Howard Carter's "The Tomb of Tut-ank-Amen," particularly Volume II, tells much about the love that this boy king had for his bow. It gives many illustrations of hunting scenes and pictures of the bows found in the tomb.

Robin Hood furnishes the most picturesque material in the English language. There are several stories at present about this famous and probably mythical character. To my mind the best is Gilbert's version although this is somewhat lacking in the ready wit of the book by Pyle. We all know that our friend Robin appears in "Ivanhoe " as Locksley, much to the consternation of the doughty Hubert. His exploit in this connection is the origin of the wand shoot.

"Archery," by my good friend Dr. Elmer has many interesting notes on archery, both historic and prehistoric. His article under the same heading in the new Encyclopaedia Britannica is also full of references of this nature. Dr. Elmer has promised us a new book before long, or at least a revised edition of his last one that will probably be even more complete.

No mention of archery romance would be complete without reference to "Toxophilus " by that early English author and archer, Roger Ascham. Written in 1545, from that day to this it has been used as a foundation for all the teaching of archery technique. The method of shooting described in this book, as far as I know, marks the first time that any one has attempted to deviate from the five points set down by this famous author.