Archery

by Mrs. Ellinor F. Berens and Miss Beatrice P. M. Walrond

There is probably no weapon in modern use which can boast a more ancient and distinguished lineage than the bow, and so slight is the change it has undergone during its lengthened career, that the bow of the present day is in no-wise—save in strength and finish—dissimilar to the more deadly instrument of far-off times. In dealing with the history of Archery as relating only to women, a volume might be filled with the stories of the marvellous military exploits of the warlike ladies who lived in the East.

But leaving these and coming to medieval times we are told of a stirring incident, during the plundering of a village in Usbec Tartary, by some soldiers belonging to the Emperor Aurunzebe's army. An old woman warned the plunderers to desist, threatening them with the vengeance of her daughter should they continue. Her words having no effect the marauders collected their prisoners and booty and were retiring when a damsel rode up carrying bow and arrows and mounted on a warlike steed. She boldly summoned the soldiers to release their prisoners and return their plunder, and promised that if they did so their lives should be spared. Finding that no attention was paid to her, she then raised her bow and shooting three or four arrows, emptied a corresponding number of saddles among the enemy. In return the soldiers attempted to shoot her, but finding that their weak Indian weapons were not equal to her Tartar one, and that their numbers were being lessened by her incessant shower of arrows, the veracious historian tells us they released their captives, too late, however, for their own safety, as those who did not fall to her arrows were put to death by the sword. Truly a remarkable episode.

In Dr. Southey's History of the Cid, it is stated that Clorinda, a Moorish Queen, "was so skilful in drawing the Turkish bow, that it was held as a marvel," and it is said that they called her in Arabic, Nugneymat Turga, which is to say, "Star of the Archers."

Hansard, in the Book of Archery, writes of the Persian beauties of the Harem, who were permitted to amuse themselves with Archery. These oriental bow meetings he says, "take place within the recesses of the Royal Gardens where, their black-bearded tyrant and a bevy of female attendants excepted, no spectators are allowed to be present. The butts consist of moistened sand enclosed in a wooden frame, and beaten into a hard compact mass. These are set up in a slanting direction at the boundary of some verdant alley, where the over-hanging branches of vine and orange tree exclude the fierceness of an Eastern Sun. Consistent with that gorgeous taste so prevalent throughout the East, the whole exterior of this butt is covered with elegant scroll work and patterns of flowers. Gold and silver intermingled with various pigments of the most brilliant hues, are lavishly employed to produce this effect. A female Abyssinian slave stands beside the mark, provided with a large round pebble, to form and preserve an unbroken hollow in the centre, and at this cavity every arrow is directed. She repeats the operation several times whilst her mistresses are shooting: for the triumph of Persian archery consists not merely in a central shot, but also in making the arrow penetrate deeply into the sand at every discharge."

Still more striking are the words of a French traveller named Gentil, who speaks of a race of Amazons, seen by him in the retinue of an Indian Prince. They were about a hundred in number, were well paid, lived in the Palace, and accompanied the Prince when he hunted, or formed his body guard in time of war.

There are Prints and Records dating from the fourteenth century, which show the fondness of the English women for sports. We find them in the field with the men, sometimes taking part in shooting at the animals as they were driven past them, and proving themselves no mean markswomen. They are said often to have conducted a hunt entirely by themselves, "winding the horn, rousing the game," and following it without any help from the opposite sex. Strutt tells us that on these occasions, some of them went so far as to wear divided skirts and sit their horses like men, but we do not hear that the fashion became general.

From a Harleian MS. in the British Museum.

John Yonge, Somerset Herald, who attended Margaret Tudor, the daughter of Henry VII., on her journey to Scotland for her marriage to James IV., states under the date Alnwick, 27th July, 1503: "Two mylle from the sayd place, the sayd Erle (Northumberland) cam and mett hyr well accompayned, and brought hyr thorough hys park, when she kylde a Buk with hyr bow."

In Sir II. Nicolas' Household Expenses of Henry VIII. we find these entries:

May, 1530. Itm the same day paid to Scawsely for bowys, arrowys, shafts, brode hedds, bracer, and shooting glove for my Lady Anne xxxiijs iijd.

June. Itm the same daye paied to the King's Bowyer for iiij bowes for my ladye Anne at iiijs iiijd, a pece xxiiijs iiijd.

June, 1537. Itm payed to Charles Morley for Bowes, Arowes, a qwyver, wt other thinge for my lade g'ce xijs xd.

These show us that archery was among the Royal amusements of this time. Elizabeth is said to have been extremely fond of hunting, and to have been expert with her bow. Roger Ascham, a great lover of archery who wrote the first treatise on the pastime, and after whom the long cupboards so well known to every archer are named, was Elizabeth's tutor, though whether he initiated her in the mysteries of the art is not known, but certain it is that during this Queen's reign archery was a popular pastime among the ladies of the Court.

When Elizabeth was being entertained by Lord Montecute at Cowdray, in Sussex, it is stated in Nicol's Progresses that "On Munday at eight of the clock in the morning her Highnes tooke horse and rode into the parke, where was a delicate bowre prepared under the which were her Highnesse musicians placed, and a crossebowe by a Nymph with a sweet song, delivered to her hands, to shoot at the deere, about some thirtie in number, put into a paddock, of which number she killed three or four, and the Countesse of Kildare one. Aug. 18th, 1591."

It is stated on this occasion, that the Queen was surpassed in skill with the bow by her favourite Lady Desmond, the latter, however, courtierlike, avoided giving her mistress any cause for jealousy, by judiciously missing her quarry occasionally. Again Robert Cary, Earl of Monmouth, speaking of events which happened in 1596 says "the Queen came to dinner to Enfield House, and had butts set upon the park to shoot at marks after dinner."[5]

 Memories of Robert Cary, Earl of Monmouth.

Lady Berkeley is said to have "used the longbow, and was in those days, among her servants, so good an archer at the butts, that her side by her was not the weaker, whoes bowes, arrowes, gloves, braces, scarfe, and other ladylike accomodation, I have seen and heard herself speak of them in her elder year."[6]

 MS. Memoirs of the Berkeley Family.

Lady Shrewsbury also was an adept in the use of the bow, as we find Sir F. Leake writes to her husband: "My right honourable goode Lorde,—Your Lordeshyppe hath sent me a verie greatte and fatte stagge, the welcomer beynge stryken by your ryght honorable Ladie's hande; I trust by the grace of God, he shall be meanlie eaten at thes assizes, when your Lordeshyppe and my ladie shall be often remembered. My bold bucke lyves styll to wayte upon your Lordeshyppe and my Ladie's comyng hyther; howbeit I knoe her Ladishipp takes pitie of my bucke sense the last tyme yt pleases her to take the travell to shote att them. I am afræyde that my honourable Ladies Alathea and my Ladie Cavendish will commande their aroe heades to be verie sharpe: yett I charitablé trust that such good Ladies wyt be pittifull." (1605).

From this time until the revival of archery at the end of the last century, its practice among women appears to have been gradually abandoned.

The first Archery Society to be established in 1781 was the Royal Toxophilite, but this consisted only of men. Shortly afterwards many other societies were started, among them in 1787 the Royal British Bowmen, and to them belongs the honour of being the first to admit ladies as members, and very sociable, pleasant gatherings they seem to have had. Other societies soon followed this good example, some admitted ladies as members, and some like the Woodmen of Arden only as guests. The assemblies at Meriden are still held every year, the old customs being strictly kept up.

Hertfordshire Society of Archers

Women were not slow to appreciate the gracefulness of archery, and it soon became a fashionable amusement, the Lady Salisbury of the time being one of its most ardent supporters. Most of the societies adopted a distinctive dress, in which white and green predominated. The Royal British Bowmen adorned their Lady Patroness with a white feather in her hat, the other lady members being compelled to wear black ones, while their dresses were green with pink vandykes round the edge of skirt. The Harley Bush Bowmen were so fond of the distinctive colour, that they even had green boots, and it is pleasant to know that it was provided by the rules these should be "easy fitting!"

Archery was taken up very strongly in the closing years of the last century, and of the doings of this period many interesting particulars are to be found in the collections of Miss Bank Banks, daughter of Sir Joseph Banks, which are in the British Museum. They give descriptions of the various meetings, the balls given by the different societies at which both ladies and gentlemen appeared in uniform, and one of the anecdotes given may be worth quoting, as, if authentic, it shows greater success with the bow than has been achieved by any woman in modern times. "A match was shot at one hundred yards between Mr. Gilpin, Mr. Wyburgh, and Miss Littledale, in which the last was victorious: during the shooting, which lasted three hours, Miss Littledale hit the gold four times, and, what evinces superior skill, the three last hits made by Miss Littledale were in the gold."

Though archery was taken up so warmly, it died out a few years later, in consequence of the war, and it was not again taken up until the final conclusion of peace, in 1815, when it was revived. Many new societies were started and old ones restored, and from this time it has continued to flourish, not only in England but in many other parts of the world, notably in the United States of America, the Mauritius, and at Melbourne. Space prevents my mentioning these at length.

Besides these societies, which hold prize meetings at intervals, there are five public meetings in the year, beginning with the Leamington and Midland Counties' Meeting at Leamington, in June, where the Championships of the Midland Counties are competed for. The Crystal Palace Meeting follows, at which the Southern Counties' Championships are shot for in July. The Grand National Meeting, where the Championships of All England are shot for, and the Grand Western Archery Meeting, at which the Championships of the West are awarded, come next, either meeting being occasionally held before the other. The Grand Northern Meeting for the Northern Counties' Championships is usually the last held. These three meetings are held in a different place each year, to encourage archery in local clubs. At the Grand National, in addition to the prizes, badges and medals are given, and it is a great joy to the young archeress to get her first "spider," which is a little brooch in form of a target with three arrows placed through it.

Archery Dresses
(About 1832).

If you wish to compete at a public meeting you pay a subscription—unless you are an annual subscriber to that particular society—and a target entrance fee, besides which each archer subscribes sixpence a day, for the payment of the target boys. There are usually five or six competitors at each target, No. 3 is the captain or scorer, who has to keep order, instruct the boys how to pull the arrows out of the ground, and see that the judge comes to measure golds, etc. She is assisted in adding up and checking the scores at the target by No. 4, the lieutenant.

The first Grand National Meeting was held in 1844 but no ladies shot, and it was not until 1849 that the Double National Round was first shot by ladies, so that it is only possible to compare the shooting subsequent to this date. On this occasion the highest score (189) was made by Miss Temple, two years later Miss Villiers making 504 with 108 hits, the second score being only 293. The number of 600 was first reached by a lady in 1857, when Miss H. Chetwynd made 634, and this score remained unbeaten till Mrs. Horniblow scored 660, which in its turn was surpassed two years later by Miss Betham with 693.

It was not until 1870, at Bath, that 700 was attained, that score being made by Mrs. Horniblow. Mrs. W. Butt added 52 to this record in 1876, and this remained the top score until 1881, when Miss Legh made 763. The highest score made by any lady at any Grand National was Mrs. Bowly's 823 in 1894. Miss Legh's 866 at Leamington, in 1895, being the highest ever made by a lady at a public meeting, though perhaps the same shooter's score at Bath, in 1881, of 840, was an even better performance, as no arrow was dropped on either of the first two days, and only one on the third.

It will thus be seen what a great improvement has taken place in shooting during the last fifty years.

Beatrice P. M. Walrond.

Lombards and Co. 13, Pall Mall East.
MRS. BERENS.


ARCHERY.—II.

I have been asked to write the practical part of this article, though why I cannot imagine, for although I can sometimes pull off a good score with bow and arrow—when the wind does not blow and when my loose is good—I am of no use whatever with a pen, and never wrote an "article" on anything in my life. The Badminton book on Archery, with its valuable teaching, often stands me in good stead when I get into any of the innumerable tricks which beset the path of the archer, and which well nigh bring the beginner to despair of ever becoming a steady shot. How many beginners have I met who have had to learn by bitter experience that to shoot a good arrow is not so easy as appears at first sight, and that to make perhaps a very fine score of three hundred and odd, does not by any means prove that one has conquered all difficulties. There are so many things to think of at once, and though you may try to do this conscientiously you will find your performance often terribly inadequate. But after all the great fascination of archery consists in the continual battling against faults which creep upon the archer unawares. This we find to our cost on a windy day, for there is nothing like wind to prove that we do not get the real power out of bow and loose.

I always recommend to a beginner an inexpensive lancewood bow weighing about twenty-four to twenty-six pounds, the cost of which amounts to about twelve shillings, but when the archeress has practised sufficiently to understand what she requires and why, then I should advise a yew-backed yew of good quality as giving more cast and retaining it longer than other kinds. I should perhaps say that by cast is meant the rapidity and ease with which the arrow is delivered from the bow. Many shooters prefer to use a self yew bow, but it must be remembered that this is more delicate and requires to be drawn with great care. A three piece bow of yew, fustic and hickory, price about thirty shillings, will do good service, though the cast does not last so long if one practises constantly, as that of the yew-backed yew. There are many archers who have ruined their style and shooting with too heavy a bow, one weighing twenty-seven or twenty-eight pounds can do all that is necessary for the National Round of sixty and fifty yards if it is properly handled, and for the six dozen arrows at seventy yards, called the Hereford Round, I can use one of the same weight. For eighty yards, however, I prefer a bow of twenty-nine or thirty pounds, still my advice to all beginners is, "Do not shoot with a bow which is beyond your control."

Now to choose the bow. The first thing to see to is that the grain of the wood is straight, even, close, and free from knots or pins, more especially on the rounded part and within about six inches of each end. This applies to any sort of bow, but more especially to yew, as crysals are apt to develop wherever there is a pin. A crysal is a small crack in the wood, which at first is often difficult to detect, but which is a serious source of weakness and often ends in the breaking of the bow. The length of a lady's bow should be from 5 ft. 3 in. to 5 ft. 6 in.

To string the bow, place the lower horn against your right foot, the "back" or flat part of the bow towards the body, and taking the handle of the bow in your right hand, place the ball of your left thumb four inches from the top horn. Then while drawing it to you with the right hand, press it from you with the left and slip the upper loop of the string into the nock of the horn. The method of unstringing is precisely similar, except that the loop is slipped out instead of being passed in. When the bow is strung, the distance from the inside of the handle should be five-and-a-half inches to the string, which for one inch above and five inches below the handle should be neatly whipped with waxed thread or silk to prevent its being injured, should it strike the bracer. Then exactly opposite the top of the handle of the bow, the nocking point must be made, which should be sufficiently tight to retain the arrow when hanging downwards from the string. When strung the bow should be held, string uppermost, the lower horn resting on the ground, and on looking down the string, it should appear to cut the bow in the centre. In a good bow the centre sixteen inches should be rigid, and thence the bend should be regular and even. The string should be of the best hemp whipped with silk, and a nocking point neatly made exactly in the right spot. It is better looped at each end, as in the event of its being slack it can then be twisted up in a moment, thus avoiding all flurry of undoing in the old way of knotting the end. I have already said that it is better to have a string with loops spliced at each end, it is as well, however, to say how the loop can be made in a new string. The knot is a timber hitch, to make which take a turn of the lower end round the string and twist it three times round the loop. The string is whipped in the following manner: String the bow and find the exact spot where the nocking of the arrow will come, then wax the string for an inch and a half above, and five inches below the spot, and take some silk or carpet thread, also waxed, and lay half an inch of the thread along the string beginning at the upper portion. Then wrap the thread over that part of itself which has been laid down until the waxed portion is covered. In order to fasten off, take six or seven turns of the thread over the string in the reverse way, place the end of the thread against that part of the lapping that was last done, wrap the reverse turns of the thread over the end of the lapping of the string, then pull the end through and cut it off. The manner of putting on the knocking point is the same.

The weight of the arrow is mainly determined by that of the bow. Arrows are weighed against new silver, and when one talks of a 3/6 arrow, the allusion is to the weight, not to the price. For a beginner a 3/- or 3/3 arrow is about right for a 26 pounds bow, but all these little points are for the archer to work out for herself. If the experienced archer should find that she has to aim considerably below the target, she may increase the weight of the arrow with advantage, as the heavier the arrow, the lower will be the trajectory. It is bad economy to have any but the best arrows, and these should be made according to the archer's pattern, that is to say, as to the colours on them, and should have her name and the number painted on each. To prevent the paint from the target sticking to the arrows, it is well to wipe the ends of the latter with a little vaseline or sweet oil, and care should be taken to choose the arrows of as nearly as possible the same weight before shooting, as whatever they are marked, they are sure to vary slightly. The best arrows are footed as it is termed, i.e., they have a piece of hard wood dovetailed in at the pile end. The best shaped arrow for a beginner is the straight one, and care should be taken that it is stiff, and not weak at the feather end. There are two kinds of feathers, parabolic and straight, but there is very little difference in their flight. The best kind of feathers come from the wing of the peacock, turkey's wing feathers being the next best.

The other equipment required is an arm guard or bracer with straps, cut out of one piece of brown leather,—the leather bracers lined with silk having elastic fastenings are no good—and a belt with a quiver to hold six arrows, as the first shooter at a target at a big meeting should always have six arrows to shoot with, to avoid delay in the beginning. On this belt should hang a tassel for wiping dirty arrows, a pencil and scoring book, a little bag containing glove, extra string, a piece of wax and some silk to whip the bow string when necessary. It is also useful to have a knife, and a pair of scissors.

As to the question of gloves or tips, I always recommend a kid glove, a size larger than the ordinary wear, with pieces of smooth leather—not soft or spongy—neatly sewn on to the three first fingers, care being taken not to put the leather below the first joint of the finger. Many people, however, shoot with either knuckle or screw tips, which are bought ready made of the bow maker. If tips are used they should fit the fingers accurately, all three being of the same thickness. It is important to have two gloves or sets of tips for shooting in case of accident, and they should be exactly alike. Other necessaries are a waterproof bag for bow, and a wooden box with spaces for arrows.

The usual distances shot by women are sixty and fifty yards, four dozen arrows at sixty yards and two dozen at fifty yards, being what is called the National Round. Of late, shooting at seventy yards has been re-introduced, six dozen arrows at that distance followed by four dozen at sixty yards and two dozen at fifty yards, being named the Hereford Round.

The targets are four feet in diameter and are made of twisted bands of wheat straw fastened together with tar cord, then covered with painted canvas. There are five concentric rings painted on them, the centre gold, which scores nine, the red seven, blue five, black three, and white one, and in scoring, the arrow counts as being in the highest colour which it touches. The targets are supported by iron or wooden stands, the centre of the target being four feet from the ground, and slightly tilted back. They should not be placed at the exact distance it is intended to shoot at, but from two to four yards further back, a mark being placed in the ground at the correct distance for the archer to stand on, and no one should be allowed to stand in front of the targets except the archer who is actually shooting. It is important that quiet should be maintained behind the target, and archers, especially at public meetings, should assist the captain, whose duty it is to see that order is kept.

The ground should be as level and smooth as possible, and the targets should be placed exactly opposite each other; if more than one pair are in use, the ground will require squaring, in order that the pairs may be exactly opposite each other.

The directions given for the position for shooting hold good at all distances, and no alteration ought to be made with the exception that the left hand must be raised higher at the longer distance, greater elevation being required in order to obtain a sufficiently high flight. It is a great mistake to draw to a different place on the face, or not to draw the arrow fully up, at the shorter distance. Always draw the arrow till the pile reaches the bow and your hand the right place, viz., under your right jaw below the axis of vision of the right eye.

Having described most of the details to be attended to, we now come to the all important subject of how to shoot. I must first of all impress on all beginners that it is absolutely necessary there should be nothing on the dress which could by any means catch or interfere with the string. Nothing is more suitable than a plain tailor-made dress, or a skirt and blouse, the latter with no frills. The sleeves should be sufficiently easy to allow the elbow perfect play without being too large. In putting on the bracer care should be taken to keep the sleeve smooth, any fulness being drawn to the back of the arm, and the top of the sleeve pinned back out of the way.

Standing. Take up your position on the shooting spot, with feet six or eight inches apart, standing easily in an upright position, with the shoulders in a direct line between the targets. Care should be taken that the knees are perfectly straight, the balance of the body being on the heels, and the position of the shoulders must be obtained by moving the feet and not by twisting the body.

Nocking. The bow to be held in a perpendicular position, between the second knuckle of the first finger and the ball of the thumb of the left hand. The main grasp of the bow should be in the upper part of the hand, the other fingers being held close to the bow. The test as to whether you are holding the bow correctly is to drop the left arm by the side, the wrist being quite straight, and if the string touches the bracer, the position of the bow in the hand is not correct. The nocking is to be accomplished by bringing the arrow over the bow, which should be held directly in front, and fitting it on the nocking place, remembering to keep the cock feather—i.e., the one which is at right angles to the nock—uppermost, and not to alter the grasp of the bow until after all three arrows have been shot. Place the three fingers of the right hand evenly on the string, and do not pinch the arrow with the first finger, otherwise it will fall off the left hand at the moment of drawing. The right wrist should be held straight.

BEFORE THE DRAW.

Drawing. The usual position of archers before they actually begin to draw, is with the left elbow bent just above the hip, the bow being perpendicular, but to speak from my own experience, I find it better to hold the bow easily in the hand with the left elbow straight, though without stiffness, raising both arms simultaneously on a level with the point of aim. Then draw in a straight line with the target, till the pile of the arrow comes on to the bow, and the right hand with the fingers bent, is held in such a position that the thumb is pressed against the throat below the jaw and under the axis of vision of the right eye. The left arm should be straight but not rigid, the final grasp of the bow being made directly the aim is taken. The head must be erect, and turned towards the point of aim. The body should be erect and the weight thrown as much as possible on the heels. A common fault I have noticed with young archers, is to draw the right hand too high and rest it outside the jaw instead of underneath it. This should be guarded against. Bring the pile of the arrow on to the point of aim immediately, keeping the right elbow up as you do so and the shoulders pressed back. Every care, too, should be taken that the arrow does not "creep," i.e., that it is not allowed to slip forward on the bow.

Aiming. To aim correctly the archer should see the point of the arrow covering the point of aim. By "the point of aim" I mean some given spot on the target or ground, the height of which must be found by each archer for herself, as it is governed by so many things, such as difference in sight, height, weight, and cast of bow or arrow, etc., etc. If the archer finds that she has persistently to aim to the right or left of the target, there being no wind, it is a proof that something in her position, draw, or loose is incorrect, i.e. that she does not stand with shoulders in line with the targets, or that she does not keep her right hand in the proper position, or again that she does not loose the arrow evenly from all three fingers at once. I must caution every young archer against the terrible habit of merely glancing at the target and then loosing the arrow, without taking proper aim. Very many archers who have asked my advice on decreasing scores or inability to hit the target have had really no clear idea of any aim whatever. They "think they aim at the top of the target," perhaps, but by a system of catechising I discover that such is actually not the case, and until a real firm point of aim is found and known to the archer—though an occasional good score may be fluked—no lasting progress will be made. Therefore as soon as you have learnt to draw up properly, make it your next study to find your point of aim, and remember that this will vary with different bows and according to the direction of the wind, and also according to whether the atmosphere be heavy or light.

Loosing. Remember that the grip of the left hand on the bow must not give, nor the tension of the muscles be relaxed, until after the arrow has left the string. Keep the right hand tight to its place, with the thumb pressed under the jaw beneath the axis of vision of the right eye, taking care not to relax the pull on the string until the moment of release, or the arrow will creep. The release is effected by drawing the fingers back evenly towards the thumb, and the hand must on no account leave the face while this is being done, nor must it drop down or follow the string in ever so slight a degree. The wrist must be straight and the elbow well up. After the release keep up the bow hand and retain the right hand in its place till the arrow has reached its destination, then drop the right hand easily and without hurry, preparatory to nocking the next arrow. Nothing is more ugly or more likely to unsettle you than any flurry or undue haste.

It is well to warn beginners that great care must be taken of all the archer's equipment. If the bow or arrows at any time get wet, they should be carefully dried and the bow should not be replaced in its waterproof case for some time. The feathers of the arrows can be restored after being wet by passing them quickly backwards and forwards above a jug of boiling water. Neither bow nor arrows should be put near the fire. They should be kept in a dry even temperature.

It is a good thing if a beginner can find a friend who is able and willing to correct her and help her to overcome some of the faults into which she is almost certain to fall. But great care should be taken in the selection of this coach, and even after the beginner has obtained some degree of proficiency, she ought to be very careful whose opinion she takes as to her shooting. I have met many young archers who will ask anybody at the same target "if they would kindly tell them any faults they see in their shooting." But such general advice will do little good, for some people cannot detect a fault when it is there, much less describe it with any accuracy, and some again imagine faults which do not actually exist. Too many instructors thus spoil the archer, who will get hopelessly muddled with all the advice given her, and will often alter what she should leave alone, and not correct her real faults.

FULL DRAW.

The amount of nonsense heard on the archery field on the subject of "why that arrow did not go in" is to the old hand most entertaining, and to the young one extremely confusing. But I would give this advice to all beginners: strive to preserve an even temperament in all conditions of your shooting. Do not get too jubilant and excited when you make either a pin hole or three reds or golds at one end, and when it happens, as it certainly will, that what you believe to be three beautifully shot arrows fall exactly underneath the centre of the target, do not give way to any irritation of temper or manner, or your succeeding arrows will be affected. I know many archers who when they want to compete for any coveted challenge badge do not put down or add up their score, but I have always found when I tried this plan that ignorance cannot be kept up on one's score, as some kind friend will always come up and congratulate you on a dozen of eighty, or condole on one of thirty, and then you get more flustered than if you had known all there was to know. You should always endeavour to preserve a quite equable temperament even in great success until the round is over, and not go chattering all round the target as to what you have done or not done, for this upsets other competitors at your target, and does you no good.

To form a Club. An experienced archer knows well how to get a club formed if there are enough archers to subscribe to it, but for the beginner to start one is more difficult. Having first selected a ground, which should be about 80 yards in length, the width being proportionate to the number of targets it is intended to put up, and obtained targets and stands, fix one day and hour in the week for your club meeting, on which you can all meet and shoot your Club National Round. The subscription should not be high, and when the members get numerous, an entrance fee can be charged. Have a little paper pamphlet of rules based on those of the Grand National, or any well-known club founded on those principles. As soon as your members make scores of over a hundred, divide them into classes, and when you get members to join who can make first rate scores, let your classes be as follows:

Class I.Over 300 }{ made on your ground
Class II." 200 }{ or at any Public or
[7]Class III.Under 200 }{ Club Meeting.
 These scores might perhaps be slightly lowered for a young club.

BEFORE THE DRAW.

Have all targets pitched so as to begin your round punctually on your Club day, and begin by shooting the four dozen at sixty yards. When this is over, if tea is provided it is a pleasant rest, and then you will shoot the two dozen at fifty yards. It is a good thing to get some experienced archers to join a young club, and the system of classes will prevent their taking the beginners' prizes when the club has got on far enough to start a prize meeting. Prizes are usually given for best score in each class, and best gold. When men join the club, they must either shoot altogether at one target, or they must shoot at eighty yards at each end before the women shoot at sixty. Admission to a club is generally made by a proposer and seconder writing the name of a candidate to the Secretary, and having it entered in the candidates' book, which is put on the table for two meetings of the club. If a ballot should be demanded the members will all vote, and one blackball will exclude. When the club is well on its legs, I am an advocate for getting up a match with a neighbouring club, and I am also very much in favour of asking visitors to shoot at the prize meetings—a little prize for visitors adds to the amusement—it creates interest in the young club, and often gives the members opportunities of seeing good shooting.

After each weekly club meeting, the scores, hits, and golds of the members at every distance should be entered in a book kept for that purpose, and any prize won should be marked against the score.

Cordiality is a great element in a club's success. Let each member then take an interest in the scores of her fellow competitors and rejoice in their successes.

With regard to the literature on the subject of archery, the books are numerous and varied, but for all practical purposes it will be sufficient for the beginner to consult Butt's Ford, the Badminton Library Volume of Archery, and No. I. of Encyclopædia of Sport. I would recommend to all archers, either beginners or otherwise, to take an annual copy of the Archer's Register, which gives not only the scores of the Public and Club Meetings in England and abroad, but also contains many interesting and instructive articles on the subject.

Mrs. Ellinor F. Berens