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Full text of "Roger Ascham Toxophilus 1545"


if it be wheate (fayth Columella) it wil turne into fye:
fo if a man be neuer fo apte to mote, nor neuer fo wel
taught in his youth to fhote, yet if he giue it ouer,
and not vfe to fhote, truly when he fhalbe eyther
compelled in war tyme for his country fake, or els
prouoked at home for his pleafure fake, to faule to his
bowe: he fhal become of a fayre archer, a ftark
fquyrter and dribber. Therefore in fhotynge, as in
all other thinges, there can neyther be many in num-
ber, nor excellent in dede : excepte thefe. iii. thynges,
Aptneffe, Knowledge, and Vfe goo togyther.

pfjil. Very well fayde Toxophzle^ and I promyfe you,
I agree to this iudgement of yours altogyther and
therefore I can not a lytle maruayle, why Englyffhe
men brynge no more helpe to fhotynge, then nature
it felfe gyueth them. For you fe that euea children
be put to theyr owne Ihiftes in fhotyng, hauing
nothynge taughte them : but that they maye chofe,
and chaunce to fhoote ill, rather then well, vn-
aptlye foner then fitlye, vntowardlye, more eafely then
welfauouredlye, whiche thynge caufeth manye neuer
begynne to fhoote: and moo to leaue it of when they
haue begone, and mooft of all to fhote both worfe and
weaker, then they might fhote, if they were taught.

But peraduenture fome men wyll faye, that wyth
vfe of fhootynge a man fhall learne to fhoote,, true it
is he fhall learne, but what fhal he learne? marye to
fhoote noughtly. For all Vfe, in all thynges, yf it be
not flayed with Cunnyng, wyll vene eafely brynge a
man to do yat thynge, what fo euer he goeth aboute
with muche illfauorednes and deformitie.

Which thinge how much harme it doth in learn-
ing both Craffus excellencie dothe prone in
Tullie, and I my felfe haue experiens in my e 'z'
lytle fhootyng. And therfore Toxophile, you mufl
nedes graunt me that ether Englifhe men do il, in not
ioynyng Knowlege of mooting to Vfe, or els there is
no knowlege or cunninge, which can be gathered of