Crossbow > Its Construction,
History and Management > Preface
> page vii
In this volume I have endeavored to describe the history mechanism and
manipulation of the crossbow; medieval and modern, military and sporting.
Though there are numerous books essays and manuscripts, which deal exhaustively
with the longbow, the subject of the crossbow has not previously been treated,
other than in a very cursory manner by writers on the armour and weapons
of the Middle Ages.
I cannot, in any language, discover a work exclusively devoted to the
crossbow, though this arm was carried by hundreds of thousands of solders
in medieval warfare, and has ever since been popular on the Continent for
sporting or target use.
In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the longbow was the cherished
weapon of the English, while the crossbow held a similar position in France
Germany Italy and Spain.
The longbow, glorious as its achievements were in the hands of our ancestors,
but was a hewn stick of foreign yew of no intrinsic value.
On the other hand, the crossbow gave the artist, the engraver, the inlayer
and the mechanic every chance of exercising their talents to the utmost.
There are but one or two English longbows in existence; there are, however,
numbers of beautifully constructed medieval crossbows to be seen in armouries
and museums; weapons which
> Its Construction, History and Management
> Preface > page vii
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