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.

First, Directions for fighting upon horse-back with Pistols.

Ma.

You must then in the first place provide your self if possible with a well mouthed horse,* that is to say with a Horse that will answer your Bridle-Hand, and spurres, as you shall please to make use of them, so that with the least touch of them he will go whither you direct him, he would also be bold and fore∣ward, and not affrighted at the report or fire of the Pistol, now after you have provided your self with a Horse having those qualities, and that you know how to govern him, for that Page  123is a chief point, because a good Horse with∣out a good Rider signifieth not much; I say then if you have a Horse with the fore∣nam'd qualities, and your self also Master of him, you may (if you be not a Coward your self) very confidently venture to engage against any Man. When you are come to the feild then, and have all in order viz. Your Pistols charged, Tutch holes cleared and Primed, and good flints, by any means neglect not that, for upon the goodness, orbadness of them may your life almost depend, therefore be sure to be well provided as to them; you would also have your stirrups short∣er then ordinary, in case you should be forc∣ed after the discharging of your Pistols to make use of your sword, that so you may pitch your self upon them, to make your Blows or Thrusts reach the farther: being thus provided of all, and after that you have passed your last complement upon your Adversary, so that you are both of you to doe the best you can to Master other, then step, Trot or put your Horse into a gen∣tle Hand-gallop untill you be without Pistol shot of him, and in the mean time you are going from him draw your sword being tyed about the plumet with a strong riband, and hang it upon your right wrest, this you must al∣wayes Page  124wayes do to have it in readiness after your Pistols are discharged, for it is alwayes sup∣posed that a Man may have to doe with his sword after that his Pistols are discharged, and therefore it is fit to have it in readiness, af∣ter you have done that, then draw your right Pistol and Bending her put her into your bridle-hand, holding her near the work betwixt your formest finger and thumb, then im∣mediately draw your left, and bend her likewise holding her in your right hand with her mu∣zel upwards, this you are all to doe in the going from your Adversary, therefore it must be all done in a minute, and when you are at the distance I before spoke of, which I suppose to be about fiftie or sixtie paces, then gently turn your Horse and come at a Hand∣gallop untill you be within a pair, or less of your Adversary, keeping still up the muzell of your Pistol till then, when you are about a pair from him, make a brusch closs by him so that you may almost touch his leg with yours in the passing, and after the time that you begin your brusch, let the muzel of your Pistol fall so by degrees, that it may at your coming at him, or passing him be level with the middle of his Body, so that in passing you may almost touch him with it, and then fire upon him, this they call (in Page  125French, Tirer a Brule pourpoint, or) to fire so near that you may almost with the fire of your Pistol, singe your Adversaries Doublet or Coat, for you must know that one shot given this near may be reckon'd worth two or three shot at a greater distance, & so consequently not so dangerous being shot in a manner at randome, whereas a shot given this near, if your Pistol be in order as she should, will hardly ever fail to do execution, immedi∣ately when you are past him, drop the Pistol you fired, and take the Pistol which is already Cocked in your Left-hand, into your right, and in the mean time you are taking your Pistol into your right-hand, change your Horse to the right, and so Gallop on at a hand-gallop untill you be within a pair again of your ad∣versary (if you have gone so far by him) and then behave just as you did with the first Pistol remembering alwayes after you have passed your Adversary instantly to turn your Horse to the right, that so you may shun his Gain∣ing of your Crouper (which is called in French, Gainer la croup) if after both your Pistols are fired, you have done no Execution upon nei∣ther side, which will seldom fall out if you fire so near as I desire you, especially if you have accustomed your selfe to Shoot at a mark with your Pistolls, and that you know how they Page  126shoot, this is an Exercise which all Gentle∣men should practise; and therefore I ear∣nestly recommend it to you: But I say if it should happen that there be no execution done upon neither side, then you will both of you be necessitat to decide the quarel with your Swords, the which that you may with the more Art and Advantage against your Adversarie doe, thir few following Directions will not be unnecessarie.

Sch

Sir, I am extremely well pleased with what ye have been saying, therefore pray go on.