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.
Page  15

CHAP. II Of keeping a Guard.

Sch

How am I to keep a Guard?

Ma.

Before I shew you how to keep a ard, you must know how many there 〈◊〉.

Sch.

How many are there?

Ma.

There are generally but two Guards, 〈◊〉. the Quart-Guard, and the Terce.*ut these two Guards, are again sub-divided to other Guards.

Sch.

How?

Ma.

The Quart-Guard is sub-divided in∣〈◊〉 two, viz. the Quart with a Streight point,d the Quart with a Sloping point near to the ound:* The Terce is likewise sub-di∣ded into two, viz. The Terce with the nt higher then the Hilt, and the Terce th the point lower then the Hilt, There is ewise another kind of Guard (but I have t a proper Name to it,) in which you 〈◊〉 to hold your Sword with both your ands. Now I shall teach you, how all ose several Guards must be keept when I Page  16come to the Chapter that treateth of the But because the Quart Guard with a Streig point,* is most commonly made use of, 〈◊〉 shall in this place shew you how it is kept.

And first you must keep a thin Body which is done by only shewing your right side to your Adversary, let your Feet be i a Streight line from him, so that when h looketh to your Right Legg, it may hin∣der him to see the left, but let them not be too farr asunder, for that will make your Elonge the shorter, nor yet too closs, for then you cannot stand Firm, but keep them at a competent distance, and let the point of your right Foot be turned a little outwards from the Streight Line, but the broad-side of your Left must look towards your Adversary, As in the first figure of the second Plate.

Sch.

What good doth the turning of my right Toe a Little outwards doe?

Ma.

The turning of your Toe a little out∣wards from the Streight Line, Maketh you both Stand Firmer, and handsomelyer, you are also to sink with both your Thighs, but your left Knee must be a little more Bent then your Right, which is done by leaning a little Back upon your left thigh: when you present your Sword, you must hold the Page  [unnumbered]Page  [unnumbered]

[illustration]
Plat 2

For pag i6
[illustration]
Fig: i

The French way of Keeping the Quart Guard with a striaght Point, see pag: i6
[illustration]
Fig 2

The best way in my opinion of keeping the quart guard with a striaght point, see pag: i7
Page  [unnumbered]Page  17Nails of your Sword Hand in Quart: (and t is from that, that this Guard hath its Name) the Hilt of your Sword as high as your right Papp, your Arm must be a little ent, For the better pursuing, or for giving in a Thrust the quicker, and the point of your Sword must look towards your Adversaries Right Side, and about two or three Inches lower then your Hilt, your left Hand must be held as high as your left Ear, and some more then half a Foot from it with the palm of it looking Streight towards your Adversary, and the points of your Fingers must not look up∣wards, but pointing towards your Adversa∣ry. All which Directions are represented to you, by the first Figure of the Second Plate. *

Sch.

Sir your Directions are so plain, that I understand them very well, but is their no other way of keeping this Quart Guard?

Ma.

Yes, that there is, for the way I have been shewing you is that which is ordi∣narly used by the French, but I shall shew you a way which is somewhat different from it, & which in my opinion is by farr the best, & safest, and it is as followeth: you know in the foregoing Guard, you are to set your left foot with the broad side of it towards your Adversary but in this, you must turn your left Page  18toe as farr out as conveniently you can. As in the Second Figure of the Second Plat.

Sch.

What Good doth that?

Ma.

The good it doth is, that of neces∣sity it causeth you turn out your left Thigh, and therefore maketh your Body so much the thinner, for when the Broad side of your Foot is towards your Adversary, you can by no means turn out your left Thigh, and so consequently it will be seen, or open to your Adversary to thrust at, and therefore in hazard of being wounded, which your would have prevented had you turned out your left Toe; you must remember also when you stand to your Guard this way to Sink as closs to the Ground with your breech as possible, without Thrusting of it out. As in the Second figure of the Second Plate.

Sch.

I am convinced of the Advantage I have in turning out of my left Toe, but I doe not un∣derstand any advantage I have by Sinking so closs to the Ground with my Breech as you desire me.

Ma.

The Advantage you have by Sink∣ing is also considerable, for when you Sink as I desire you, that part of your Body which is betwixt the Hilt of your Sword & your right thigh is quite covered, which, when you keep your Guard after the French Page  19way is quite discovered and open: You must also remember when you Stand to your Guard this way, to bow both your Knees alike, and rest equally with your Bo∣die upon both your Thighs, as in the Second Figure of the second Plate; you are to keep the rest your Body, according to the Di∣rections I gave you for the French way: At first this Guard is a little uneasie, but a lit∣tle custom will make it become as easie to the Body, as the foregoing Posture.

Sch.

I am now convinced by the Reasons you give me, of the advantage this Latter way hath of the former.

Ma.

Sir I am glad that you both under∣stand my meaning so well, and are con∣vinced by reason, of what is wrong, and what right, for that will incourage me to take the more pains to Instruct you: but you must now to the next thing I promised to teach you.

Sch.

What was that?

Ma.

You see I have taught you how to hold your Sword, and keep a Guard, the next thing I promised to teach you was the Lessons, which accordingly I will do, now I think the first thing a Man should learn, after that he can hold his Sword, and keep a Guard is to defend himself, for certain∣ly Page  20it is a great deal more necessary, and ho∣nourable, for a Man to defend himself and save his Enemy if possible, then fo him either to kill his Enemy and have himself likewise killed, or, eve kill his Enemy, and save himself, for th design of teaching this Art, is not so muc for to teach a man to offend, as to defend himself handsomely, and with ease, whe it may be his Fortune to be attached, fo this Art is called Fencing, or the A of Defence. Therefore I think it fittest to begin with the Lessons Defensive, which are commonly called the Parade.