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.

Lesson 1. Of Approaching or Advancing.

Ma.

My first Lesson is of Approaching, or Advancing.

Sch.

How many wayes are there of Approaching?

Ma.

Two.

Sch.

Shew me how I am to approach these two wayes?

Ma.

The first way then is with a single stepp and is done thus, * when you are standing to your Guard, and your Adversary without your measure, so that your Thrust cannot reach him, without Approaching, then lift your right foot forewards about a foot, Page  36and immediatly let your left foot follow clos by the Ground, and keeping your left knee bowed, observing alwayes at the end of every stepp, that your feet be at the same distance they were at when you first presented your Sword, or rather nearer.

Sch.

Why nearer?

Ma.

You must understand that in your ap∣preaching with the single step the nearer you bring your feet together, (yea even so closs that your heels almost touch one another) your advantage is the greater, because your Elonge will come as much nearer to your Adversary, as you brought your left foot, nearer to your right.

Sch.

I see so indeed?

Ma:

And you must remember always to Redouble this stepp, or any other you in∣tend to make use of, untill you come so near to your Adversary that you think he is within your Measure, or that your Elonge will reach him.

Sch.

Can a man make use of this single stepp in ragged Ground.

Ma.

Not easily, for this single stepp is on∣ly to be made use of in plain Ground, * where there is nothing that may occasion a Man's falling, but the double stepp, which I am going to shew you is most proper to be Page  37made use of, in stony or ragged Ground, where a man cannot make use of the single stepp, without being in hazard of falling; for with the double stepp, you may step over a little furrow, or a rickle of stones, which is almost impossible for you to doe, with the single stepp, without being in hazard of falling, which is as much as your life is worth.

Sch.

Let me see how the double stepp is done?

Ma.

The double stepp is done as followeth, * you must first throw your left foot, before your right (By raising of your Body a little on your right foot to doe it with the better grace,) about a foot, then bring forewards your right foot again, as farr be∣fore the left, as it was when you presented your Sword, thir two Motions must be done immediatly after other, otherwise the doing of this stepp, will appear very un∣handsome. Remember when you make use of this double stepp, to keep as thin a Body as possible, because the throwing of your left foot before your right, casts your Body open, and therefore you must guard against it. You must also as I told you before redouble this stepp, according to the distance you are from your Adverlary.

Sch.

Since I now know how this double stepp is Page  38done, I perceive that it is indeed, properest to use it in uneven Ground, and the single in a plain field. But which is your second Lesson?