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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I Must here before I proceed further let you know, that all the Directions for the Lessons which are described in this following Treatise, especially in the Lessons Offensive, are for one Right handed-Man against another, for the Lessons De∣fensive, or Parades are to be done the same way by Lest-handed Men as by Right, and therefore the following Directions will serve for both, in the Defensive part: but that yow may with the more ease, whither you be either Right or Left-Handed, understand what followeth in the Offensive part, I shall here give you some few Directions which in my Opinion will make the following Discourse of more use to you then otherwise it would.

First then, if you are a Right Handed-Man, and are to ingadge against another who is Right-Handed, you must as near as possible observe all the following Dire∣ctions, for the more exact you are in obser∣ving of them, the better Sword-Man will you be.

Secondly, if you are a Right Handed-Man, and are to ingadge against one who Page  [unnumbered]Left-Handed, you must know that that which is called within the Left Handed-Mans Sword, is the distance betwixt his Left-Arm and his Right, when he hath pre∣sented his Sword with his Left-Hand, and tat which is called without or above the Sword〈◊〉 that part of his body, which when he oldeth his Sword towards his Right side is bove it the whole breadth of his Body; & ou must remember this one general Rule hen you are playing against a Left Han∣ed-Man, (for I think I need give you no o∣her, because by a little practice and experi∣ence you will find them out) that when you give in a Thrust within his Sword you must give it with your Nails in Terce, and let your head lie under your Arm as you give in the hrust, when you play the single Feint at the Head, see plate 5. figure 2. and when you give it without the Sword, then you must give it with your Nails in Quart, and Quart your head well, see plate 3. figure 2. This directi∣on is just contrary to what ye are to observe in playing against a Right Handed Man; now what Quart and Terce are you will find explained in page 4th: so that any other difference betwixt playing with a Right-Handed Man and a Left, you will as I said before with a little practice easily find out.

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Thirdly, If you are a Left-Handed-Man and are to engage against a Right, then you must also observe the preceeding Dire∣ction, which is, to give the Thrust within the Right-Handed-Mans Sword in Terce, and without his Sword in Quart, what within and without the Sword of a Right-Handed-Man is, you will find it explained in Page 5. Any other difference I leave it to your own Judgement to find out, because it would be too Tedious in this place to set them all down, but this one which I have given you is the most important.

Fourthly and Lastly, if you are a Left-Handed Man and are To engage against another who is Left-Handed, then you must both of you observe the following Directions as exactly as if you were both Right-Handed, and the Truer you play the following Lessons, in so much less danger will your Body be of being hitt by a Contre-Temps, what a Contre-Temps is you have it shewn you in page 9. I doubt not but by thir few lines you will under∣stand the following Directions better then if I had ommited them, especially if you be Left-Handed.