Whatever may have been the immediate genesis of the myth - and it may well be sought in the heartless forest laws - its vitality was assured by the English love of archery and historical repetition.
But when the Hundred Years' War brought a real national conflict between England and France, when archery became of supreme importance, and a large proportion even of the cavalry were mercenary soldiers, then the exigencies of serious warfare swept away much of that outward display and those class-conventions on which chivalry had always rested.
In Hawaii there was a peculiar system of marriage Wrestling and boxing, a kind of hockey and football, canoe and foot races, walking-matches, swimming, archery, cockfighting, fishing-matches and pigeon-catching are among their pastimes.
Apollo, in any case, is the young and beautiful archer-god of Homer; Artemis, his sister, is the goddess of archery, who takes her pastime in the chase.
From the remains of fortifications there he argues that the Hyksos were uncivilized desert people, skilled in the use of the bow, and must thus have destroyed by their archery the Egyptian armies trained to fight hand-tohand; further;, that their hordes were centered in Syria, but were driven thence by a superior force in the East to take refuge in the islands and became a sea-power--whence the strange description "Hellenic" in Manetho, which most editors have corrected to CtXAoi, "others."
The English king, forgetting his fathers experiences, endeavoured to ride down the enemy by headlong frontal charges of his men-at-arms, and made practically no attempt to use his archery to advantage.
For the devices employed against the Scottish schiltrons of pikemen at Dupplin and Halidon, were the same as those which won all the great battles of the Hundred Years Warthe combination of archery, not with cavalry (the old system of Hastings and Falkirk), but with dismounted menat-arms. The nation, meanwhile prosperous, not vexed by overmuch taxation, and proud of its young king, was ready and willing to follow him into any adventure that he might indicate.
They were defeated by English archery, as usual, at Homildon hill: Murdoch and Douglas were captured.