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other story; and that is, when Saul was slain by the Philistines, being mighty bowmen, and Jonathan his son with him, that was so good a shooter, as the Scripture saith, that he never shot shaft in vain, and that the kingdom, after Saul's death, came unto David ; the first statute and law that ever David made after he was King, was this, that all the children of Israel should learn to shoot, according to a law made many a day before that time, for the setting out of shooting, as it is written (saith Scripture) in Libro Justorum, which book we have not now. And thus we see plainly what great use of shooting, and what provision even from the beginning of the world for shooting, was among the Jews.
The Ethiopians, which inhabit the farthest part south in the world, were wonderful bowmen; insomuch that when Cambyses King of Persia, being in Egypt, sent certain ambassadors into Ethiopia to the King, there with many great gifts ; the King of Ethiopia, perceiving them to be spies, took them up sharply, and blamed Cambyses greatly for such unjust enterprises ; but after that he had princely entertained them, he sent for a bow, and bent it and drew it, and then unbent it again, and said unto the ambassadors, you shall commend me to Cambyses, and give him this bow from me, and bid him, when any Persian can shoot in this bow, let him set upon the Ethiopians; in the mean while let him give thanks unto God, which doth not put in the Ethiopians minds to conquer any other man's land!
This bow, when it came among the Persians, never one man in such an infinite host (as Herodotus doth say) could stir the string, save only Smerdis, the brother of Cambyses, which stirred it two fingers, and no further; for the which act Cambyses had such envy at him, that he afterward slew him ; as doth appear in the story:
Sesostris, the most mighty King that ever was in Egypt, overcame a great part of the world, and that by archers : he subdued the Arabians, the Jews, the Assyrians: he went farther in Scythia than any man else: he overcame Thracia, even to the borders of Germany. And, in token how he overcame all men, he set up in many places great images to his own likeness, having in one hand a bow, in the other a sharp headed shaft; that men might know what weapon his host used in conquering so many people.
Cyrus, counted a God among the Gentiles, for his nobleness and felicity in war; yet, at the last, when he set upon the Massagetes, (which people never went without their bow ñor their quiver, neither in war nor peace,) he and all his were slain, and that by shooting, as appeareth in the story.
Polycrates, the Prince of Samos (a very little isle), was lord over all the Greek seas, and withstood the power of the Persians, only by the help of a thousand archers.
The people of Scythia, of all other men, loved and used most shooting; the whole riches and household stuff of a man in Scythia was a yoke of oxen, a plough, his nag and his dog, his bow and his'quiver ; which quiver was covered with the skin of a man, which he took or slew first in battle, The Scythians to be invincible, by reason of their shooting, the great voyages of so many conquerors, spent in that coun try in vain, doth well prove: but especially that of Darius the mighty King of Persia, which, when he had tartied there a great space and done no good, but had forwea. ried his host with travail and hunger; at last the men of Scythia sent an ambassador with four gifts, a bird, a frog, a mouse, and five shafts. Darius, marvelling at the strange ness of the gifts, asked the messenger what they signified: the messenger answered, that he had no further command ment, but only to deliver his gifts and return again with all speed: « But I am sure,” saith he, " you Persians for your great wisdom can soon bolt out what they mean." When the messenger was gone, every man began to say
his verdict. Darius's judgement was this: that the Scythians gave over into the Persians' hands their lives, their whole power
both by land and sea, signifying by the mouse the earth, by the frog the water, in which they both live; by the bird theit lives, which live in the air ; by the shaft their whole power and empite, that was maintained always by shooting." Gobryas, à noble and wise captain amongst the Persians, was of a clean contrary mind, saying, “ Nay, not so, but the Scy: thians mean thus by their gifts ; that except we get us wings, and fly into the air like birds, or run into the holes of the earth like mice, or else lie lurking in fens and marshes like frogs, we shall never return home again, before we be utterly undone with their shafts :" which sentence sank so sore into their hearts, that Darius, with all speed possible, broke up his cainp and got himself homeward. Yet how much the
Persians themselves set by shooting, whereby they increased their empire so much, doth appear by three manifest reasons: First, that they brought up their youth in the school of shooting under twenty years of age, as divers noble Greek
Again, because the noble King Darius thought himself to be praised by nothing so much as to be counted a good shooter, as doth appear by his sepulchre, wherein he caused to be written this sentence :
authors do say.
Darius the King lieth buried here,
That in shooting and riding had never peer. Thirdly, the coin of the Persians, both gold and silver, had the arms of Persia upon it, as is customably used in other realms, and that was bow and arrows; by the which feat they declared how much they set by them.
The Grecians also, but especially the noble Athenians, had all their strength lying in artillery; and, for that purpose, the city of Athens had a thousand men, which were only archers, in daily wages, to watch and keep the city froni all jeopardy, and sudden danger; which archers also should carry to prison and ward any misdoer, at the commandment of the high officers, as plainly doth appear in Plato. And surely the bowmen of Athens did wonderful feats in many battles, but especially when Demosthenes, the valiant captain, slew and took prisoners all the Lacedæmonians, beside the city of Pylos, where Nestor some time was lord : the shafts went so thick that day (saith Thucydides) that no man could see their enemies. A Lacedæmonian, taken prisoner, was asked of one at Athens, whether they were stout fellows that were slain or no, of the Lacedæmonians? He answered nothing else but this: “Make much of those shafts of yours, for they know neither stout nor unstout;" meaning thereby, that no man (though he were never so stout) came in their walk that escaped without death.
Herodotus, describing the mighty host of Xerxes, especially doth mark out what hows and shafts they used, signifying that therein lay their chief strength. And at the same time Atossa, mother of Xerxes, wife to Darius, and daughter of Cyrus, doth enquire (as Æschylus showeth in a tragedy) of a
certain messenger that came from Xerxes's host, what strong and fearful bows the Grecians used : whereby it is plain, that artillery was the thing wherein both Europe and Asia in those days trusted most upon.,
The best part of Alexander's host were archers, as plainly doth appear by Arrian, and other that wrote his life ; and those so strong archers, that they only, sundry times overcame their enemies before any other needed to fight; as was seen in the battle which Nearchus, one of Alexander's captains, had beside the river Thomeron. And therefore, as concerning all these kingdoms and commonwealths, I may, conclude with this sentence of Pliny, whose words be, as I
suppose, thus : “ If any man would remember the Ethiopians, Egyptians, Arabians, the men of India, of Scythia, so many people in the east of the Sarmatians, and all the kingdoms of the Parthians, he shall perceive half the part of the world to live in subjection, overcome by the might and power of shooting."
In the commonwealth of Rome, which exceeded all other in virtue, nobleness, and dominion, little mention is made of shooting, not because it was little used amongst them, but rather because it was so necessary and common, that it was thought a thing not necessary or required of any man to be spoken upon; as if a man should describe a great feast, he would not once naine bread, although it be most common and necessary of all; but surely, if a feast, being never so great, lacked bread, or had fusty and naughty bread, all the other dainties should be unsavoury and little regarded, and then would men talk of the commodity of bread, when they lack it, that would not once name it before, when they had it; and even so did the Romans, as concerning shooting. Seldom is shooting named, and yet it did the most good in war, as did appear very plainly in that battle which Scipio Africanus had with the Numantines in Spain, whom he could never overcome, before he set bowmen amongst his horsemen, by whose might they were clean vanquished.
Again, Tiberius, fighting with Arminius and Inquiomerus, princes of Germany, had one wing of archers on horseback, another of archers on foot, by whose might the Germans were slain downright, and so scattered and beat out of the field, that the chase lasted ten miles; the Germans climbed up into trees for fear, but the Romans did fetch them down with their shafts, as they had been birds, in which battle the Romans lost few or none, as doth appear the history:
But, as I began to say, the Romans did not so much pra the goodness of shooting when they had it, as they did ment the lack of it when they wanted it; as Leo V. t noble Emperor doth plainly testify in sundry places, in the books which he wrote in Greek, of the sleights and polic of war.
Phi. Surely of that book I have not heard before; and he came you to the sight of it?
Tox. The book is rare truly; but this last year, wh Master Cheke translated the said book out of Greek in Latin, to the King's Majesty, Henry the Eighth, of nol memory, he, of his gentleness, 'would have me very oft his chamber, and, for the familiarity that I had with hi more than many other, would suffer me to read of it, wh I would; the which thing to do surely I was very desira and glad, because of the excellent handling of all thir that ever he taketh in hand. And verily, Philologus, as as I remember the departing of that man from the Univ sity, (which thing I do not seldom,) so oft do I well perce our most help and furtherance to learning, to have go away.with him. For, by the great commodity that we to in hearing him read privately in his chamber, all Hom Sophocles, and Euripides, Herodotus, Thucydides, Xer phon, Isocrates, and Plato, we feel the great discommod in not hearing of him Aristotle and Demosthenes, whi two authors, with all diligence, last of all, he thought have read unto us. And when I consider how many m be succoured with his help, and his aid to abide here learning, and how all men were provoked and stirred up his counsel and daily example how they should come learning, surely I perceive that sentence of Plato to be tru which sayeth : “ that there is nothing better in any cor monwealth, than that there should be always one or oth excellent passing man, whose life and virtue should plu forward the wil), diligence, labour, and hope of all othe that, following his footsteps, they might come to the san end, whereunto labour, learning, and virtue had convey him before."
The great hinderance of learning, in lacking this ma greatly I should lament, if this discommodity of ours we not joined with the commodity and wealth of the who