Old English Sports

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T.F. Unwin, 1907 - 361 psl.
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17 psl. - How often have I blest the coming day, When toil remitting lent its turn to play, And all the village train, from labour free, Led up their sports beneath the spreading tree...
106 psl. - ... with a little more precaution than before, it lighted right upon that of his competitor, which it split to shivers. The people who stood around were so astonished at his wonderful dexterity that they could not even give vent to their surprise in their usual clamour. 'This must be the devil, and no man of flesh and blood,' whispered the yeomen to each other; 'such archery was never seen since a bow was first bent in Britain.
114 psl. - With Spanish yew so strong, Arrows a cloth-yard long, That like to serpents stung, Piercing the weather; None from his fellow starts, But playing manly parts, And like true English hearts, Stuck close together.
106 psl. - ... added he, walking deliberately to the other end of the lists, and sticking the willow wand upright in the ground, "he that hits that rod at five-score yards, I call him an archer fit to bear both bow and quiver before a king, an it were the stout King Richard himself.
106 psl. - drew a good bow at the battle of Hastings, and never shot at such a mark in his life — and neither will I. If this yeoman can cleave that rod, I give him the bucklers ; or rather I yield to the devil that is in his jerkin, and not to any human skill.
58 psl. - Of human dealings. If I do prove her haggard, Though that her jesses were my dear heart-strings, I'd whistle her off, and let her down the wind, To prey at fortune.
170 psl. - And now that the two sides have fairly sundered, and each occupies its own ground, and we get a good look at them, what absurdity is this ? You don't mean to say that those fifty or sixty boys in white trousers, many of them quite small, are going to play that huge mass opposite ? Indeed I do, gentlemen.
106 psl. - Locksley returned almost instantly with a willow wand about six feet in length, perfectly straight, and rather thicker than a man's thumb. He began to peel this with great composure, observing at the same time, that to ask a good woodsman to shoot at a target so broad as had hitherto been used, was to put shame upon his skill.
106 psl. - Hubert resumed his place, and not neglecting the caution which he had received from his adversary, he made the necessary allowance for a very light air of wind, which had just arisen, and shot so successfully that his arrow alighted in the very centre of the target. " A Hubert! a Hubert!" shouted the populace, more interested in a known person than in a stranger. " In the clout! — in the clout! — a Hubert forever!" " Thou canst not mend that shot, Locksley," said the Prince, with an insulting...
107 psl. - ... occasion looked with attention to his weapon, and changed the string, which he thought was no longer truly round', having been a little frayed by the two former shots. He then took his aim with some deliberation, and the multitude awaited the event in breathless silence. The archer • vindicated their opinion of his skill : his arrow split the willow rod against which it was aimed. A jubilee of acclamations followed ; and even Prince John, in admiration of Locksley's skill, lost for an instant...

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