The compleat fencing-master in which is fully described the whole guards, parades & lessons belonging to the small-sword : as also the best rules for playing against either artists or ignorants with blunts or sharps : together with directions how to behave in a single combat on horse-back : illustrated with figures representing the most necessary postures
Hope, William, Sir.
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My Lords and Gentlemen,

I HERE present to You a SCOTS Fenc∣ing-Master, who going to appear pub∣lickly in the World, cannot but at is first outsetting expect some Enemies, ntil his Art make him more Famous, nd therefore he humbly adresseth him∣self to you, as the fittest persons to defend him from the Censures of these his evil Wishers, because he knoweth that it is by Page  [unnumbered]such Young Persons as you, that he and his Art must be Maintained and Defended, for if such hopeful Youths as You are en∣courage not his Art, it were then altogether in vain for him to offer his Service to the Publick; But upon the contrary, if you do, he hopeth that in a short time his Ability in this Art will be so well known, that there shall be but few in the Kingdom who will not enquire after him. And, My Lords and Gentlemen, I the more earnestly recommend him to you, because he is my intimate Acquaintance, and of whose A∣bilities I have also certain Proofs; there∣fore if there be any thing to lay to his Charge, let your Complaint be to Me, and if I be not able to answer for him, let not his Ignorance be imputed to him, but Page  [unnumbered]to Me, for I am the occasion of it; But I hope I need fear no such Complaints; I am also to let you know that he hath so much Respect for the rest of the Fencing-Masters of this Kingdom, that he pretendeth to do nothing without their Concurrence, for he will accept of no Scholars (except such as are of an extraordinary Capacity) until they be at first grounded by the other Masters of this Kingdom, for I know he hath Lessons which would not be well un∣derstood by many altogether ignorant of his Art; & therefore I thought fit to adver∣tise you, that it is fittest to begin with any o∣other Master you please, & to make him your last, who will, I assure you perfect what the others have begun. I might here say some∣thing in Commendation of the Art he pro∣fesseth, Page  [unnumbered]but I shall do that in another place; S all I crave of You now, My Lords a Gentlemen, is that You would do me the F vour to receive Him into Your Protection and take a Tryal of Him; If He please You I have my Designe; if not, it will make M the more warryin time coming, to put ei∣ther You or My self to the like trouble; but however at this time I hope You will look Favourably upon Him, and incourage his Imployment, seing he is so earnestly re∣commended to You by Me, who will take it as one of the greatest Obligations imagi∣nable done to

My Lords, and Gentlemen,

Your Humble, and Obedient Servant, WIL. HOPE.