1545 - Ascham, Roger - Toxophilus

From International Robin Hood Bibliography
Date 1545
Author Ascham, Roger
Title Toxophilus
Mentions Robin Hood; [archery]
Roger Ascham (from Wikipedia).

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2013-08-07. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2021-01-07.


But as for shooting, surely I suppose that you can not perswade me, by no meanes, that a man can be earnest in it, and earnest at his booke to: but rather I thynke that a man wt a bowe on his backe, and shaftes vnder hys girdell, is more fit to wayte vpon Robin Hoode, than vpon Apollo or the Muses. TOX. Ouer ernest shooting surely I will not ouer ernestlye defende, for I euer thought shooting shoulde be a wayter vpon lerning not a mastres ouer learning. Yet this I maruell not a litle at, that ye thinke a man with a bowe on hys backe is more like Robin Hoode seruaūt, than Appllose, seing that Apollo him selfe in Alcestis of Euripides, whiche tragidie you red openly not long ago, in a maner glorieth saying this verse.

It is my wont alwaies my bowe with me to beare[1]

Source notes

Marginal note to the line quoted in the quotation: "Euripid. in Alcest."

IRHB comments

The first work in the English language on the practice of archery, Toxophilus is in the form of a dialogue between Philologus and Toxophilus. The words in the quotation as far as "TOX" are spoken by Philologus. Having decided that archery is appropriate for laymen, Philologus and Toxophilus are here discussing whether it is also an acceptable activity for scholars. At this point, Philologus is not yet convinced this is the case.