Lesson 19. Of Breaking of Measure.
It is of Breaking of Measure, which is a thing as Necessary to be understood, as any Lesson I have as yet shewn you, and it sheweth a Mans art very much, if he do it neatly.
I pray you shew me then how it is done?
It is done thus, * when you per∣ceive your Adversary thrusting at you, and you are not very certain of the Parade, then Break his measure, or make his thrust short of you, by either stepping a Foot, or half a foot back, with the single stepp, for if you Judge your Adversaries distance or mea∣sure well, half a foot will Break his measure as well as ten Ells: You are to Judge the distance your Adversary is from you by First considering the Distance his right Foot is from you, Secondly the Distance that there is betwixt his Feet. Now you must observe thir two Directions for although his right Foot be at a reasonable distance from you, yet if his Feet be near to other, then he will Page 96reach you as farr of, as if his right Foot had been nearer to you, and his Feet at a greater Distance, because the nearer that his Feet are together, the farther will his •orge reach: this needs no demonstration if you will but seriously consider it. So now in Judging of Distance, there are two things to be observed, first the Distance his right Foot is from you, Secondly, the distance betwixt his Feet, if you observe thir two Directions you cannot but judge your Ad∣versaries distance exactly, which is a chief point, in the Art of the small Sword, but as I said, * after you have Judged it, then to break it, you must when he is thrusting break it according to the Distance you think he is from you, by either throwing your Body backwards, and drawing your right foot a little to your left, which you must keep fast, this way of breaking of measure, is sore for ones back, and is not used, but when your Adversaries Thrust would not go farr by you; or you may, as I told you before, go back half a foot, a foot, o• as you Judge your Adversaries Distance, with the single stepp. This is the most ordinary, and, in my opinion, the best way of breaking of measure; or you may break your Adver∣saries measure, by Jumping backwards from Page 97him upon the streight line, but this way of breaking of measure is not much made use of, except just after you have given in a thrust your self, because it hindereth extreamly your Adversaries pursuit upon the respost, and therefore is a great deal more proper to be used upon that occasion, then upon any other, for in the ordinary breaking of Measure, if people should jump alwayes so far out of their Adversaries reach, people would have really ground to cry out against the breaking of Measure, for it would indeed look too like yielding of ground, which I am very farr against, it looking some what like cowardliness, but upon the contrarie, I am altogether for Judging of distance, and breaking of Measure. For I never accompt a Man a compleat Sword Man, untill he both know how to Judge distance, and break Measure, and also putteth them in practice, but I am altogether against yielding ground, unless it be done out of a good de∣sign which no Coward can do.
Sir this is an extraordinary fine Lesson you have been explaining to me, and I am very much convinced of the usefulness of it.
Sir, people may talk what they please of breaking of Measure, but I assure you, it sheweth a Man's art, as much as Page 98any thing in all this art I have been explain∣ing to you.
Really it doth so, and upon that ao∣count, I will indeavour to become Master of it, but which is your next Lesson?