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arms, and so stand like a rood. To go on a man's tiptoes, stretching out the one of his arms forward, the other backward, which, if he bleared out his tongue also, might be thought to dance antic very properly. To tumble over and over, to top over tail; to set back to back, and see who can heave another’s heels highest, with other much like; which exercises surely must needs be natural, because they be so childish, and they may be also wholesome for the body; but surely as for pleasure to the mind, or honesty in the doing of them, they be as like shooting as York is foul Sutton. Therefore to look on all pastimes and exercises wholesome for the body, pleasant for the mind, comely for every man to do, honest for all others to look on, profitable to be set by of every man, worthy to be rebuked of no man, fit for all ages, persons, and places, only shooting shall appear, wherein all these commodities may be found.
Phi. To grant, Toxophilus, that students may at times convenient use shooting as most wholesome and honest pastime, yet to do as some do, to shoot hourly, daily, weekly, and in a manner the whole year, neither I can praise, nor any
wise man will allow, nor you yourself can honestly defend.
Tox. Surely, Philologus, I am very glad to see you come to that point that most lieth in your stomach, and grieveth you and others so much. But I trust, after I have said my mind in this matter, you shall confess yourself that you do rebuke this thing more than you need, rather than you shall find that any man may spend by any possibility, more time in shooting than he ought. For first and foremost, the whole time is divided into two parts, the day and the night; whereof the night may be both occupied in many honest businesses, and also spent in much unthriftiness, but in no wise it can be applied to shooting. And here you see that half our time, granted to all other things in a manner both good and ill, is at one swap quite taken away from shooting. Now let us go forward, and see how much of half this time of ours is spent in shooting. The whole year is divided into four parts, spring-time, summer, fall of the leaf, and winter. Whereof the winter, for the roughness of it, is clean taken away
from shooting; except it be one day amongst twenty, or one year amongst forty. In summer, for the fervent heat, a man may say likewise, except it be some time against night. Now then spring-time and fall of the leaf be those which we abuse in shooting
But if we consider how mutable and changeable the weather is in those seasons, and how that Aristotle himself saith, that most part of rain falleth in these two times; we shall well perceive, that where a man would shoot one day, he shall be fain to leave off four. Now when time itself granteth us but a little space to shoot in, let us see if shooting be not hindered amongst all kinds of men as much other ways.
First, young children use not; young men, for fear of them whom they be under, too much dare not; sage men, for other greater business, will not; aged men, for lack of strength, cannot; rich men, for covetousness sake, care not; poor men, for cost and charge, may not; masters, for their household keeping, heed not; servants, kept in by their masters, very oft shall not; craftsmen, for getting of their living, very much leisure have not; and many there be that oft begins, but, for inaptness, proves not; and most of all, which when they be shooters give it over and list not; só that generally men every where,
for one or other consideration, much shooting use not. Therefore these two things, straitness of time, and every man's trade of living, are the causes that so few men shoot, as you may see in this great town, where, as there be a thousand good men's bodies, yet scarce ten that useth any great shooting. And those whoni you see shoot the most, with how many things are they drawn, or rather driven, from shooting. For first, as it is many a year or they begin to be great shooters, even so the great heat of
shooting is gone within a year or two; as you know divers, Philologus, yourself, which were some time the best shooters, and now they be the best students.
If a man fall sick, farewell shooting, may fortune as long as he liveth. If he have a wrench, or have taken cold in his arm,
his bow (I warrant you) for a season. A little blain, a small cut, yea a silly poor worm in his finger, may keep him from shooting well enough. Breaking and ill luck in bows I will pass over, with a hundred more serious things, which chanceth every day to them that shoot most, whereof the least of them may compel a man to leave shooting; And these things be so true and evident, that it is impossible either for me craftily to feign them, or else for you justly to deny them. Then seeing how many hundred things
uired altogether to give a man leave to shoot, and, any one of them denied, a man cannot shoot; and seeing
every one of them may chance, and doth chance every day; I marvel any wise man will think it possible that any great time can be spent in shooting at all.
Phi. If this be true that you say, Toxophilus, and in deed I can deny nothing of it, I marvel greatly how it chanceth, that those which use shooting be so much marked of men, and oft-times blamed for it, and that in a manner as much as those which play at cards and dice. And I shall tell you what I heard spoken of the saine matter. A man, no shooter (not long ago), would defend playing at cards and dice, if it were honestly used, to be as honest pastime as your shooting; for he laid for him, that a man might play for a little at cards and dice, and also a man might shoot away all that ever he had. He said a pair of cards cost not past two-pence, and that they needed not so much reparation as bow and shafts, they would never hurt a man's hand, nor never wear his gear. A man should never slay a man with shooting wide at the cards. In wet and dry, hot and cold, they would never forsake a man : he showed what great variety there is in them for every man's capacity; if one game were hard, he might easily learn another: if a man have a good game there is great pleasure in it; if he have an ill game the pain is short, for he may soon give it over and hope for a better ; with many other more reasons. But at the last he concluded, that betwixt playing and shooting, well used or ill used, there was no difference; but that there was less cost and trouble, and a great deal more pleasure, in playing than in shooting.
Tox. I cannot deny but shooting (as all other good things) may be abused. And good things ungodly used are not good, saith an honourable Bishop in an earnester matter than this is; yet we must be ware that we lay not men's faults upon
the thing which is not worthy, for so nothing should be good. And as for shooting, it is blamed and marked of men for that thing (as I have said before) which should be rather a token of honesty to praise it, than any sign of naughtiness to disallow it, and that is because it is in every man's sight; it seeketh no corners, it hideth it not: if there be never so little fault in it, every man seeth it, it accuseth itself. For one hour spent in shooting is more seen, and further talked of, than twenty nights spent in dicing, even as a little white stone is seen amongst three hundred (black. Of these that blame shooting and shooters, I will
say no more at this time but this, that beside that they stop. and hinder shooting, which the statutes would have forward, they be not much unlike in this point to Will Sommer the King's fool, which smiteth him that standeth always before his face, be he nerer so worshipful a man, and never greatly looks for him which lurks behind another man's back, that hurt him in deed.
But to him that compared gaming with shooting somewhat will I answer : and because he went before me in a comparison; and comparisons, saith learned men, make plain matters ; I will surely follow him in the same. Honest things (saith Plato) be known from unhonest things by this difference: unhonesty hath ever present pleasure in it, having neither good pretence going before, nor yet any profit following after; which saying, describeth generally both the nature of shooting and gaming, which is good, and which is evil, very well.
Gaming hath joined with it a vain present pleasure; but there followeth loss of name, loss of goods, and winning of a hundred gouty, dropsy diseases, as every man can tell. Shooting is a painful pastime, whereof followeth health of body, quickness of wit, and ability to defend our country, as our enemies can bear record.
Loth I am to compare these things together, and yet I do it, not because there is any comparison at all betwixt them, but thereby a man shall see how good the one is, how evil the other. For I think there is scarce so much contrariousness betwixt hot and cold, virtue and vice, as is betwixt these two things : for whatsoever is in the one, the clean contrary is in the other, as shall plainly appear, if we consider both their beginnings, their increasings, their fruits, and their ends, which I will soon rid over.
The first bringer into the world of shooting was Apollo, which, for his wisdom, and great commodities brought amongst men by him, was esteemed worthy to be counted as a God in heaven.
Dicing surely is a bastard born, because it is said to have two fathers, and yet both naught: the one was an ungracious God, called Theuth, which, for his naughtiness, came never in other Gods' companies, and therefore Homer doth despise once to name him in all his works. The other was a Lydian born, which people, for such games and other unthriftiness, as bowling and haunting of taverns, have been ever had in most vile reputation in all stories and writers.
The fosterer of shooting is labour, that companion of virtue, the maintainer of honesty, the increase of health and wealthiness, which admitteth nothing, in a manner, into his company that standeth not with virtue and honesty; and thereforé saith the old poet Epicharmus very prettily in Xenophon, that God selleth virtue and all other good things to men for labour. The nurse of dice and cards is wearisome idleness, enemy of virtue, the drowner of youth that tarrieth in it, and, as Chaucer doth say very well in the Parson's Tale, the green path-way to hell, having this thing appropriate unto it, that whereas other vices have some cloak of honesty, only idleness can neither do well nor yet think well. Again, shooting hath two tutors to look upon it, out of whose company shooting never stirreth, the one called daylight, the other open place, which two keep shooting from evil company, and suffer it not to have too much swing, but evermore keepeth it under awe, that it dare do nothing in the open face of the world but that which is good and honest. Likewise, dicing and carding have two tutors, the one named solitariousness, which lurketh in holes and corners; the other called night, an ungracious cover of naughtiness, which two things be very inn-keepers and receivers of all naughtiness and naughty things, and thereto they be in a manner ordained by nature. For, in the night time and in corners, spirits and thieves, rats and mice, toads and owls, night-crows and pole-cats, foxes and * foumards, with all other vermin and noisome beasts, use most stirring ; when in the day-light and open places, which be ordained of God for honest things, they dare not once come, which thing Euripides noteth very well, saying,
Ill things the night, good things the day, doth haunt and use. Companions of shooting, be providentness, good heedgiving, true meeting, honest comparison, which things agree with virtue very well. Carding and dicing have a sort of good fellows also going commonly in their company, as blind fortune, stumbling chance, spittle luck, false dealing,
* Foumards, by others called fumarts, are, I believe, what we now call more commonly Stoats.