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Meaning of “A Bow at A Venture” phrase of Idiom, definition and synonyms use in sentence for Kids and Students.

A Bow at A Venture

“And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the armour.”—s Kings xxii. 34.

The origin of this phrase is in the story of the death of King Ahab. The general interpretation of the phrase is that the man drew his bow without the intention of aiming at anything in particular. In other words, he acted at random, that is, negligently (Old French “randon,” from “rendir,” to run fast, gallop; with impetuosity and carelessness). Hence, a person who speaks haphazardly and without purpose talks “at random.” Shakespeare makes Margaret of Anjou say: “He talks at random ; sure the man is mad” (I Henry VI, v. iii).

When Walter Tirel, on August z, I roo, drew his bow at a venture in the New Forest, he little thought that, by his random shot, he would thus slay his friend “Rufus,” King of England.

“Psyche’s lover hurls his darts at random,” wrote a x 7th-century poet ; which is but another way of saying that Cupid draws his bow at a venture. There is always danger, how-ever, in this common practice of random shots. Some people will thus draw their bow when they hope thereby to elicit the admission of an unpleasant truth. There is no desire to give pain, but the result is the same. This is realised by Hamlet, in Shakespeare’s famous play, as he says to his friend Laertes :

“Let my disclaiming from a purposed evil

Free me so far in your most generous thoughts

That I have shot mine arrow o’er the house

And hurt my brother.”

—Hamlet, v. ii.

Thus, as the archer shoots his arrow into the air without any definite aim, in the hope that it may find a good billet—. a stag, maybe—and then discovers that he has instead killed the hind and that its infant offspring must now go unfed.

0, many a shaft, at random sent,

Finds mark the archer little meant I


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