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manding under pain of great forfeit, that every Scot should learn to shoot; yet neither the love of their country, the fear of their enemies, the avoiding of punishment, nor the receiv. ing of any profit that might come by it, could make them to be good archers which be unapt and unfit thereunto by God's providence and nature.
Therefore the Scots themselves prove Textor a liar, both with authority and also daily experience, and by a certain proverb that they have amongst their communication, whereby they give the whole praise of shooting honestly to Englishmen, saying thus : that's
erery English archer beareth under his girdle twenty-four Scots.”
But to let Textor and the Scots go, yet one thing would I wish for the Scots, and that is this; that seeing one God, one faith, one compass of the sea, one land and country, one tongue in speaking, one manner and trade in living, like courage and stomach in war, like quickness of wit to learning, hath made England and Scotland both one, they would suffer them no longer to be two; but give over the Pope, which seeketh none other thing (as many a noble and wise Scottish man doth know) but to feed
up dissension and parties betwixt them and us, procaring that thing to be two, which God, nature, and reason would have one.
How profitable such an * atonement were for Scotland, both Johannes Major and Hector Boetius, which wrote the Scots Chronicles, do tell, and also all the gentlemen of Scolland, with the poor commonalty, do well know; so that there is nothing that stoppeth this matter, save only a few friars, and such like, which, with the dregs of our English Papistry lurking amongst them, study nothing else but to brew battle and strife betwixt both the people; whereby only they hope to maintain their papistical kingdom, to the destruction of the noble blood of Scotland, that then they may with authority do that, which neither noble man nor poor man in Scotland yet doth know. And as Scottish men and English men be not enemies by nature, but by custom; not by our good will, but by their own folly; which should take more honour in being coupled to England, than we should take profit in being joined to Scotland.
Wales being heady and rebelling many years against us, lay wild, untilled, uninhabited, without law, justice, civility,
* Atonement is Union, or the act of setting at one.
and order; and then was amongst them more stealing than true dealing, more surety for them that studied to be naught, than quietness for them that laboured to be good; when now, thanked be God and noble England, there is no country better inhabited, more civil, more diligent in honest crafts, to get both true and plentiful living withal. And this felicity (my mind giveth me) should have chanced also to Scotland, by the godly wisdom of the most noble prince King Henry VIII. by whom God wrought more wonderful things than ever by any prince before, as banishing the bishop of Rome and heresy, bringing to light God's word and verity, establishing such justice and equity through every part of this realm, as never was seen before.
But Textor (I beshrew him) hath almost brought us from our communication of shooting. Now, sir, by my judgement, the artillery of England far exceedeth all other realms: but yet one thing I doubt, and long have surely in that point doubted, when, or by whom, shooting was first brought into England; and, for the same purpose, as I was once in company with Sir Thomas Eliot, knight, (which surely for his learning in all kind of knowledge, brought much worship to all the nobility of England,) I was so bold to ask him, if he at any
time had marked any thing, as concerning the bringing in of shooting into England: he answered me gently again, he had a work in hand, which he nameth, De rebus memorabilibus Angliæ, which I trust we shall see in print shortly, and, for the accomplishment of that book, he had read and perused over many old monuments of England ; and, in seeking for that purpose, he marked this of shooting in an exceeding old chronicle, the which had no name, that what time as the Saxons came first into this realm, in King Vortiger's days, when they had been here a while, and at last began to fall out with the Britons, they troubled and subdued the Britons with nothing so much as with their bow and shafts, which weapon being strange and not seen here before, was wonderful terrible unto them; and this beginning I can think very well to be true. But now as concerning many examples for the praise of English archers in war, surely I will not be long in a matter that no man doubteth in; and those few that I will name, shall either be proved by the history of our enemies, or else done by men that now live.
King Edward III. at the battle of Cressy, against Philip the French King, as Gaguinus, the French historiographer, plainly doth tell, slew that day all the nobility of France only with his archers.
Such like battle also fought the noble Black Prince Edward, beside Poictiers, where John the French King, with his son, and in a manner all the peers of France were taken, be. sides 30,000 which that day were slain, and very few English men, by reason of their bows.
King Henry V. a prince peerless, and most victorious conqueror of all that ever died yet in this part of the world, at the battle of Agincourt, with seven thousand fighting men, and yet many of them sick, being such archers, as the chronicle saith, that most part of them drew a yard, slew all the chivalry of France, to the number of forty thousand and more, and lost not past twenty-six Englishmen.
The bloody civil war of England betwixt the houses of York and Lancaster, where shafts flew of both sides to the destruction of many a yeoman of England, whom foreign battle could never have subdued, both I will pass over for the pitifulness of it, and yet may we highly praise God in the remembrance of it, seeing he, of his providence, hath so knit together those two noble houses, with so noble and pleasant a flower.
The excellent Prince Thomas Howard Duke of Norfolk, with bowmen of England, slew King James with many a noble Scot, even brant against Flodden hill; in which baule the stout archers of Cheshire and Lancashire, for one day bestowed to the death for their prince and country sake, hath gotten immortal name and praise for ever.
The fear only of English archers hath done more wonderful things than ever I read in any history, Greek or Latin, and most wonderful of all now of late, beside Carlisle, be twixt Esk and Leven, at Sandysikes, where the whole nobility of Scotland, for fear of the archers of England, (next the stroke of God,) as both English and Scottish men that were present hath told me, were drowned and taken prisoners.
Nor that noble act also, which although it be almost lost by time, cometh not behind in worthiness, which my singular good friend and master Sir William Walgrave, and Sir George Somerset did, with a few archers, to the number, as it is said, of sixteen, at the turnpike beside Hammes, where
they turned with so few archers so many Frenchmen te Aight, and turned so many out of their * jacks ; which turn turned all France to shame and reproach, and those two noble knights to perpetual praise and fame.
And thus you see, Philologus, in all countries, Asia, Africa, and Europe, 'in India, Ethiopia, Egypt, and Jewry, Parthia, Persia, Greece and Italy, Scythia, Turkey, and England, from the beginning of the world even to this day, that shoots ing hath had the chief stroke in war.
Phi. These examples surely, apt for the praise of shooting, not feigned by poets, but proved by true histories, distinct by time and order, hath delighted me exceeding much; but yet methinks that all this praise belongeth to strong shooting and drawing of mighty bows, not to pricking and near shooting, for which cause you and many other doth love and use shooting.
Tox. Evermore, Philologus, you will have some overthwart reason to draw forth more communication withal; but, nevertheless, you shall perceive if you will, that use of pricking, and desire of near shooting at home, are the only causes of strong shooting in war, and why? For you see that the strong men do not draw always the strongest shot, which thing proveth that drawing strong lieth not so much in the strength of man, as in the use of shooting. And experience teacheth the same in other things, for you shall see à weak smith, which will, with a + lipe and turning of his arm, take up a bar of iron, that another man, thrice as strong, cannot stir. And a strong man not used to shoot, hath his arms, breast, and shoulders, and other parts where with he should draw strongly, one hindering and stopping another, even as a dozen strong horses not used to the cart, lets and troubles one another. And so the more strong man not used to shoot, shooteth most unhandsomely; but yet if a strong man with use of shooting could apply all the parts of his body together, to their most strength, then should he both draw stronger than other, and also shoot better than other. But now a strong man not used to shoot, at a gird can heave up and pluck in sunder many a good bow, as wild horses at a' brunt doth race and pluck in pieces many a
* A jack is a coat of mail.
+ The word lipe I never saw, and know not whether I understand it: if it be the same as leap, it may mean a jerk or sudden motion.
strong cart. And thus strong men, without use, can do no thing in shooting to any purpose, neither in war nor peace ; but if they happen to shoot, yet they have done within a shot or two, when a weak man that is used to shoot, shall serve for all times and purposes, and shall shoot ten shafts against the other's four, and draw them up to the point every time, and shoot them to the most advantage, drawing and withdrawing his shaft when he list, marking at one man, yet letting drive at another man; which things, in a set battle, although a man shall not always use, yet in bickerings, and at overthwart meetings, when few archers be together, they do most good of all.
Again, he that is not used to shoot, shall evermore with untowardness of holding his bow, and knocking his shaft, not looking to his string betime, put his bow always in jeopardy of breaking, and then he were better to be at home : moreover he shall shoot very few shafts, and those full unhandsomely, some not half drawn, some too high and some too low; nor he cannot drive a shot at a time, nor stop a shot at a need, but out must it, and very oft to evil proof.
Phi. And that is best, I trow, in war, to let it go, and not to stop it.
Tox. No, not so, but some time to hold a shaft at the head; which, if they be but few archers, doth more good with the fear of it, than it should do if it were shot with the stroke of it.
Phi. That is a wonder to me, that the fear of a displeasure should do more harm than the displeasure itself.
Tox. Yes, ye know that a man which feareth to be banished out of his country, can neither be merry, eat, drink, nor sleep for fear; yet when he is banished indeed, he sleepeth and eateth as well as any other.
And many men, doubting and fearing whether they should die or no, even for very. fear of death, preventeth themselves with a more bitter death, than the other death should have been indeed. And thus fear is worse than the thing feared, as is prettily proved by the communication of Cyrus and Tigranes, the King's son of Armenia, in Xenophon.
Phi. I grant, Toxophilus, that use of shooting maketh a man draw strong, to shoot at most advantage, to keep his gear, which is no small thing in war; but yet methinks that the customable shooting at home, especially at butts and pricks, make nothing at all for strong shooting, which doth