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  82

Lesson 18. of Commanding the Sword.

Ma.

I told you before that my next Lesson should be of Inclosing, or commanding your Adversaries Sword.

Sch.

Which way do you that.

Ma.

There are two kinds of Inclosing, the first kind is done, by runing close to your Adversarie, * as it were with half a Pass. Which I before said was improperly called a Pass, the second kind is done without run∣ing, Now I shall begin with the Inclosing, with half a Pass as it were, and shew you First how that is done, afterwards I shall go to the second kind, and also shew you the occasions you are to take to do it: as for the first kind then it is done thus, when you intend to Command your Adversaries sword, or inclose with him, you must run close to his right side, and take hold of the Hilt of his Sword, and not of his Arm, (as Igno∣rants do,) so that their Adversarie to be in a manner in equal terms with them again, hath nothing to do but to change Page  83his Sword, from his right hand to his Left, and then I pray you for what serveth the securing of the hand, seing the Sword is not secured.

Sch.

Certainly a man should alwayes endea∣vour to secure the Sword rather as the Arm, but I think this a very dangerous kind of Lesson, for if I should run so upon my Adversarie as you tell me, be hath no more to doe, but to catch me upon the point of his Sword.

Ma.

There will be no fear of that, if you but observe the directions which I shall give you.

Sch.

Sir to the outmost of my power I shall, pray let me hear them?

Ma.

They are these then which follow, *first when you intend to Command or Inclose this way, you must try if your Adversarie answereth Feints, if he do not answer them, then it will be hard to inclose with him this way, but if he do Answer and offereth to go to the Parade, then immedi∣atly Inclose with a plain thrust within his sword, at his belly, * by turning the point of your sword, towards the right side of his Belly, for the better resisting of his Parade if he should meet with your sword, before that you hitt him, and when you are run∣ing to give your Thrust, let your Nails be Page  84turned in Terce. Secondly, you may Inclose with an ordinary single,* or double Feint: Thirdly you may inclose the same way, * with Volt-Coupe. Fourthly you may also Inclose with half a Passe,* when you have secured your Adversaries sword without, and when you Passe, carry the point of your sword, towards your Adversaries Left pap, as when you give in the Thrust within the sword, you was to carry it towards the right side of his belly, and that also for the better resisting of his Parade, and when you Inclose with this thrust without the sword, carry your hilt low, to prevent his slipping of your sword, and giving you the Thrust, when you are runing to Inclose.

Sch.

I understand you, but yet I see that a man in making use of this kind of inclosing, may be in a great deal of bazard, if he be not all the Experter in this Art.

Ma.

Sir I tell you again that a Man should never offer to play any of thir Dif∣ficult Lessons, when he is assaulting, untill by practice upon a Masters breast, he hath become Master of them.

Sch.

I see so indeed, but are there no wayes to prevent this kind of inclosing?

Ma.

Yes that there are.

Sch.

I would very gladly know them?

Page  85
Ma.

You may then prevent your Adver∣saries Commanding of your sword after this kind, as followeth, first then,* if your Ad∣versarie maketh use of the First, Second, or Third wayes, you may shun his Commanding, by throwing back your right Foot, and when you do it, Parie his Pass with the se∣cond parade in Terce.

But secondly, if he make use of the Fourth way, then you may prevent his Commanding Three wayes, First you may when he is Passing, if he hath not secured your sword all the better, throw back your right Legg, * and Parie his Passe with the First Parade in Terce, and in the mean time you may with your left hand secure his sword, Secondly, if he hath win the Feible of your sword, so that you cannot Parie him with the First Parade in Terce, then without moving your right Foot, Parie him with the second Parade in Terce, which I shew you in the Parade in page 31 if your Adversarie should Thrust with∣out, and above the sword. Thirdly, you may pre∣vent him by (just as he is going to run) giving him the thrust, by de-quarting, or quarting off the streight Line, which shall be shewn you in its proper place, and so I go on to the se∣cond kind of inclosing, which I told you of.

Sch.

How am I to inclose after this second kind?

Page  86
Ma.

There are several occasions in which a man may make use of this Second kind of inclosing,* which is done without runing, as first if your Adversarie keep a high point and your sword be presented without his, & he within your measure; then with the Fort of your sword, and your Naills turned up∣wards from you, put up the point of his sword, and keeping your right soot close, throw forward your left almost close to your Adversaries right Foot, and then se∣cure his sword, as I have before told you. Secondly, if your Adversarie keep a low point, * then you may overcross his sword, with your strong upon his weak, and so pres∣sing down the point of his sword, near the ground, throw forward your left hand, and take hold of his sword with it, just at the hilt, and so wrest it out of his hand, when you make use of this occasion, you must keep a close left Foot. *Thirdly, when your Adver∣sarie giveth in a Thrust, within your sword, parie him with the first parade in Quart, and take hold of his sword that same very way you was to do it before. *Fourthly, when your Adversarie giveth in a Thrust at you, without your sword, immediatly Parie him with the first Parade in Terce, and in the very time of your Parade, throw your left Foot Page  [unnumbered]Page  [unnumbered]

[illustration]
Plat. 8

For pag 86
[illustration]
Fig i

One commanding his Adversaries sword by taking the fifth occasion see pag: 87
[illustration]
Fig 2

One commanded by the fifth occasion
Page  87forward near to his right, and then secure his sword, when you do this, you must keep a close Right Foot, and remember alwayes, after you have taken hold of your Adversaries sword, to draw back your right Legg, and Arm, and hold your swords point to his Breast, as in Plat. 8. Fig. 1. So that if he do not immediately yield you his sword, * you may either give him the Thrust, or spare him, as you please. Fiftly, you may Command your Adversaries sword after this fashion, which is a very good time for Commanding, and that is imme∣diately after you have given in a Thrust without the sword, and that your Adversarie hath paried it, you must then immediately, leap half about to the right, changing your Feet, by putting the Left where the Right was, and the right where the Left was, and in the very time you are changing your Feet, bring your sword which was under your Adversaries, quite over your head, and in the mean time you do this, throw your left arme over your Adversaries sword and so secure it, under your Left arm as in Plat. 8. Fig. 1. The changing of your Feet, bringing your sword over your head, and securing of your Adversaries sword un∣der your Arm must be all done together, Page  88otherwise, the offering to take this occasion of Commanding, will signifie nothing. I now go to shew you, how you are to pre∣vent a man's taking of these occasions to In∣close with you?

Sch.

Pray do so, for I was just going to desire it of you.

Ma.

You may then prevent your Ad∣verlaries Commanding of your sword, * as fol∣loweth; first if your Adversarie should make use of the first occasion, you may shun his Commanding, by throwing back your right Foot, and in the time you throw it back, give him a blow upon the Left hand; this must be done, just as he is throwing in his Left Foot to command or you may, when you perceive him offer to Command, leape quite out of his measure. * Secondly, if your Adversarie make use of the second oc∣casion of Commanding, you may shun him thus, immediately when he hath overcrossed your Sword, and you perceive him bringing foreward his left Hand to secure yours, either with a leap half about to the right, change your Feet, by putting the left, where the right was, and the right where the left was, and instantly take hold of his Sword, and so long as you keep it in your hand, hold the point of yours to Page  89his Breast, you may perceive the advan∣tae, of making use of this contrary, pro∣viding you take the right time, for if you do it right, you not only shun his Com∣manding of you, but you at one time both prevent his inclosing with you, and you be∣come the pursuer, by Commanding of his Sword, whereas he should have Commanded yours, but as I said before, you must be sure, to take the right time, otherwise you will be disappointed.

Sch.

But what is to be done, if he should catch hold of my Sword, before that I command his?

Ma.

Truely, if that happen you must either yeild him your sword, or if you will not do that, but rather run the ha∣zard of receiving a Thrust, you must in∣stantly when you find that your sword is secured, turn your Hand in Terce, and strive to secure his sword likewise, before that he can get his sword free of you to harm you, but if you take this method, you must do it very quickly.

Sch.

But although I turn my hand in Terce, may not my Adversary force my sword from me, before that I can take hold of his?

Ma.

Yes that he may, by only (when you have turned your hand,) drawing your Page  90sword sidewise out of it, by raising of your Point, and pressing down your Hilt.

Sch.

I understand all you say very well, but only that of taking the right time I understand not.

Ma.

I shall explain it to you then, * there are two times, viz. A right and a wrong, for the wrong I have nothing to do with it in this place, because most commonly all people take it, but to take the right time, is that which at this time I am to explain to you, and shew you upon what occasions a man is said to take it, there are then two occasions in which a man is said to take the right time, * first, when a man hath an opportunity of playing of a Lesson, command∣ing, or giving in a Thrust, and neglecteth not that occasion, then he is said to take the right time.* The second is when a man pre∣venteth his Adversary, by playing the same or the like Lesson upon his Adversary, which his Adversary designed to play upon him, and to make use of this second occasion right, a man must be sure to be before his Adversa∣ry, that is to say, whatever Lesson he designes to prevent his Adversaries Lesson with, he must have it played before his Adversary hath played his, otherwise it will be a Con∣tre-temps, as for example, if your Adver∣sary should offer to give you in a Plain Page  91Thrust, and you in the very time of his giv∣ing of it in, should give him a plain Thrust, before that his be home at you, by Quart∣ing your head, and shoulders upon the streight Line; then I say you are Before him, because although he pursued first, yet you pre∣vented him▪ and was Before him, in so far as your Thrust, was sooner home at him, then his at you, which had it not been so, it would have been a Contre-temps, because you would have been hitt, had you not Quarted all the better upon the streight Line; In like manner if a man should offer to com∣mand your sword, by taking the second oc∣casion, and you should offer to prevent him, by the contrary to it, which I just be∣fore shew you, I say, you must then have your Contrary played, and his sword Com∣manded, before that he hath yours Com∣manded, otherwise you have neither taken the right time nor been Before him, and therefore your endeavouring to prevent him signified nothing. I think I have now sufficiently Explained to you, what the taking of the right time is.

Sch.

You have so Sir and I understand you very well, but I pray you go on in what you was saying, Concerning the shuning of my Adversaries commanding my sword.

Page  92
Ma.

I shall, Thirdly then, if your Ad∣versarie should take the Third occasion you may prevent him thus, * either by reco∣vering of your Body, before that he catch hold of your sword, or if he do catch hold of it before that you can recover your Body, you must then Instantlie turn your hand in Terce, and before that he can have the time either to disarme you, or to get his sword free of you to command you, throw in your left foot & command his sword likewise, and then he that is strongest must carry it.

Fourthly, if your Adversary take the fourth occasion for Commanding,* you may either prevent him, by making use of the 5th occasion as in Plat 8. fig. 1. & so you command his sword, whereas he should have comman∣ded yours, or you may when he is throwing in his left foot, & going to take hold of your sword, immediately throw your Left Foot behind you, towards your Adversarie, and upon it, as a Center make a whole turn to the Left, and in the time you are tur∣ning, clapp the Feible of your sword, under your Left Arm Pitt, and so you both shun his Commanding of your sword, and you give him the Thrust, with your sword being placed as I told you, in his Left shoul∣der as you are turning, if you do this Page  93contrary right, the turn that you make upon your left Foot, will put you quite behind your Adversarie, and as I said in the very turning, you give him the Thrust, and after you have given it him, you must jump out of his Measure, and then stand to your Guard again, By this contrary you may see how ridiculous some people are, in thinking that a Man cannot be fairly woun∣ed in the back, I am sure, there is no ra∣tional Man that will deny the faireness of this Thrust, and yet you see it is given at your Adversaries back.

Sch.

I see so indeed, and till now, I thought so my self, but now I see the contrary both of this, and other things, which before I could not, because of my Ignorance, but I think this turning? pretty kind of contrary.

Ma.

It is so, but you would take heed that you play it not to your knowledge, up∣on any who know the contrary to it, for if you do, it is ten to one, but you meet with a reward, for your folly.

Sch.

Why so, is their any hazard, in this turning?

Ma.

Yes that there is, * for if your Adver∣sary should but thrust you off him with his Left Hand upon your left shoulder when you are turning, he may either certainly Page  94give you the thrust in the Back, or cause you fall if he thrust you off him with a little force, and in the mean time trip you with his left Foot.

Sch.

I see now indeed that there is more ha∣zard in the making use of this turning, then at first I thought there was.

Ma.

Sir if you were not convinced with the reasons I give you, * that what I say is right, I would think my labour lost: But to the purpose, if your Adversary should offer to command your sword, by taking the Fifth occasion for Inclosing, you may then make use of the contrary to the First occasion, but you must do it very quickly, otherwise you will not be Before him, and so he will have you commanded, before that you could prevent him with your contrary.

Sch.

These are all the contraries to the several occasions a man can have to inclose, or command, are they not?

Ma.

Yes, they are all which I think Necessary to shew you, and therefore I will proceed to my next Lesson.

Sch.

Concerning what is it?