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.

Secondly, Directions for the sheering Sword upon Horse-Back.

Ma.

Both your Pistols being Discharged,* and no execution upon neither side done, drop your last fired Pistol also, and then (your stirrups being as I said before, some∣what shorter then ordinary) take hold of your sword, which I suppose all this time to have been hanging at your wrest, and pitch your self exactly to the Terce Guard with a sloping point, see page 112 and plat: 10 fig. 2. It cannot be expected that you can make use of your left hand with this Guard upon horse∣back, as you do upon Foot, because you Page  127are to hold your bridle with it, but except∣ing that, keep exactly the posture of the forementioned Figure and lean with your bo∣dy a little forewards that so you may the better Defend your Horses head, as for your Defence upon this Guard, if you lean well forewards by standing upon your stirrups to Defend your horses head, your Adversary will but have little variety of play to make use of against you, for he can but strick at you two wayes, and that is either without and above the sword, by stricking at your Head, and then you are to Defend your self with the second parade in Terce, as is shewn you in page 31, or he must strick at you without and below the sword at your wrest, and then you are also to parie him with the second pa∣rade in Terce, but not as you was to do it be∣fore, but as it is shewn you in the preceeding page viz. pag: 30: There is no other persuit upon horse-back that is any thing worth except this, and the gaining of your Crouper, or left band, which is almost all your Ad∣versary can do against you, you must in∣deed take good notice that your Adversary gain not your Crouper, for if he gain that, he will have the greatest advantage imagin∣able, but you may easily prevent it by keeping your right side alwayes towards Page  128him, and as he turneth to go behind you, turn you also your horse alwayes that way, and then it will not be possible for him to gain it, the gaining of the crouper, is one of the greatest advantages that can be gotten upon horse back, and therefore you must by any means prevent it, whither you be either making use of pistol, or sword, for if once your crouper be gained, and your Adversary be∣hind you upon your left hand, he is absolut∣ly master of you, if by great chance it hap∣neth not otherwise; you must also in∣deavour as much as possible to defend your horses face, and his bridle reins, because when once a horse getteth a smart blow in the face, it maketh him afterwards insteed of advane∣ing, to retire, which will be a great disad∣vantage to you, also if your bridle reins should be cutt, you would be but in a bad condition, but if you pitch your self to a right Guard as I desired you, you may easi∣ly defend both, and that you may the bet∣ter do it, as you advance upon your Ad∣versary, keep your horses head alwayes from your Adversary, by making your horse go side wise towards him, and alwayes keep your Adversary upon your sword hand, that so he gain not your crouper. Any other persuit up∣on horse-back, as inclosing, dismounting, or the Page  129like, I altogether disapprove, because it is not possible to doe them without both disorder∣ing your self, and also very often giving your Adversary as good an opportunity, of either Dismounting, or wounding your self as you thought to have got of him, and therefore the only Pursuit upon Horse-back is a plain stroak either at your Adversary or his horse, then parie his stroak and doe you Re∣double upon the back of your parade, for Feints upon horse-back are worth nothing, especially if you pitch your self to the Guard I before desired you, this is all I think necessary to say of Fighting upon horse-back, either with Pistol or sword, and had it not been upon your earnest entreaty, I had not in the least at this time spoken of it, seing it did not at all concern our present discourse.

Sch.

Sir I shall only trouble you with one other question, and then we shall go on where we left.

Ma.

Let me hear it then, and if I can, I shall answer it.

Sch.

It this is, you know you ordered me to provide a well mouth'd horse, but I pray you what shall a Man doe that in such a case is not master of such a horse, neither can perhaps for money have one?

Ma.

Really Sir if that happen, I would advise you to provide yourself with one that can but stand still, and turn about in one Page  130place as you would have him, without of∣fering to Run away, for let your Horse be ne∣ver so stiff, if he be not a Runn-away-jade, you may alwayes turn as soon in the ground your horse is standing upon, as your Ad∣versary can make a tour about you, so that what ever part of the Gircumference your Ad∣versaries Horse maketh, let him be never so nimble, you may at the same time with your Horse (being as it were the Centre) in a great deal less time make the same, and by con∣sequence keep alwayes your Horses head to∣wards your Adversary, which will hinder him to Gain your Crouper, and you are to defend your self that same very way as if your horse were well managed; you must also know that when you come to make use of your sword, A Carrier, or Brushing, are altogether un∣necessary, for they are properest to be made use of when you are to discharge your Pistols, but when you come to make use of your Sword, then there is nothing necessary but a gentle Hand-gallop, except it fall out that you have a horse which will not answer you, and then you are as I told you before, to stand still in one place with him, alwayes keep∣ing his head towards your Adversary, that by so doing you may hinder him to gain your Crouper.

Page  131
Sch.

Sir all which you have been saying I think extreme good, but you seem to me at the begin∣ning of this discourse to give an unnecessary advice, which is the providing of a well mouth'd Horse, whereas afterwards you say that a Man may de∣snd himself as well, if his Horse will but stand still in one place with him, which in my opinion is as much as to say, that there is no difference in a single combat upon Horse-back, betwixt a well managed, and nimble Horse, and a Horse that can but stand still in one place, which is contrary almost to the opinion of all the World, there fore I would gladly hear what your opinion is as to that?

Ma.

I shall likewise Sir seing you desire it, * give you my Opinion as to that, First then in a Single Combat only with Swords upon Horse-back, and also where there is but one Man ingaged against another, I realy think that there is but little, or no advan∣tage at all in having a Managed Horse, for suppose I were upon a well Managed Horse and you upon another, who will hardlle stirr out of his place, where I pray lyeth my ad∣vantage in having mine Managed? for you know it is supposed that we are only to make use of our Swords, now that being sup∣posed; where lyeth my advantage? For before I can strick at you to doe you any harme, I must first come within reach of Page  132you, and if I be within reach of you, you will also be within reach of me; for it is not to be expected, that a man can Judge his Adversaries Measure as exactly upon Horse-back, as he can doe upon Foot, to cause himselfe be within reach of his Ad∣versarie, and yet his Adversarie without reach of him, which if he be an Artist he may doe upon Foot but not upon Horse back; therefore if I must before I can touch you, be within reach of you, and when I am within reach of you, you are also within reach of me; then certainly who ever is the best Sword Man should carry it, so that my Mastering of you dependeth not somuch upon the goodness of my Horse as upon the swiftness of my Parade and Stroak, then sup∣pose after I have given a stroak at you, I should go off you again, I may if I please make my Horse go from hand to hand twenty times, but what signifieth it, seing before that I can do you any harme I must have you within my reach, and when you are so, I am within yours, so as I said before, our Mastering of each other depend∣eth upon our own Art, and not upon our Horses being Well or ill Managed, I conclude then that in a single fight upon horse-back on∣ly with the sword, and that also only be∣tween two persons, a Managed horse is but Page  133little if any advantage at all; * But I will now let you see wherein the advantage of having a Managed Horse consisteth; A Managed Horse then is absolutely necessary either in time of warr, for it may then happen that you may be surrounded with two or three persons a∣gainst your self alone, and in such a case a well mouth'd Horse, and one that answereth the Spurrs is very useful, for if your Horse in such a case will not answer you, you are certainly undone, whereas if he did answer your Hand and Spurrs, you might perhaps find a way to get your self ridd of them, which if your Horse stand still with you is impossible: Or he is also very useful in a single Combat with pistols, because if both your Pistols be Discharged, and your Adversarie should have yet one of his to Discharge against you, you may if you have a good Horse, make such motions and turnings with him as may readily make your Adversary miss you, whereas if your Horse cannot stirr with you, you are in a manner in the same con∣dition as if you were tyed to a Post, because your Adversary can come closs, and Dis∣charge his Pistol upon you, and you can make no kind of motion, which may oc∣casion his missing of you, which had you had a Managed Horse you could have done; Page  134so now the great use of a Managed Horse, is either in a Battel, or where you are to make use of your Pistols, for if you are to make use of your Sword only, then there will be no great miss of him, and that for the rea∣sons I before told you; Now the reason why I desired you at first to provide a well mouth'd Horse, was because as I told you in the begining of this discourse, people now a∣dayes seldome or never make only use of their swords upon Horse-Back, but first of their Pistols, and then of their swords, there∣fore that being the custome, I think a Ma∣naged Horse absolutely necessary, but were it not upon that account, I think the want of one might be dispensed with, I have now I suppose satisfied you as to that doubt.

Sch.

You have so Sir, but you have not as yet shewn me how I am to behave upon Horse-back with the Smal-sword.*

Ma.

I indeed forgot that, but now se∣ing you have put me in mind of it, I shall give you some directions for it also, you are then if you have a Smal-sword your self, to observe what fashion of sword your ad∣versary hath, if he have a Broad sword and you a Small, then when you Pursue him, insteed of stricking at him, Thrust, and that Page  135must only be a plain Thrust beneath the sword, as you give in the Single Feint at the head, u∣pon Foot; see page 54, and Plat: 5. Fig. 2. If he Pursue you with his Broad sword, defend his Blows as you was taught with your Sheir∣ing sword, for you must pitch your self to the same Guard with your Small sword, as you do with your Broad, and also defend your self the same very way as you do with it, and be sure to Parie with the Fort of your sword, because if you do it not, he may easilie wound your Sword-hand, for when you have a Small-sword, you have neither a Basket-hilt, nor a Back Wand to Defend your hand, which ordinarly Sheering swords have, and therefore you must supplie the want of them with your Parade, by Pareing his stroaks alwise with the Fort of your sword cross your head: but if both your adversary and you have Small-swords, then you are in your pursuit only to make use of Binding, as it is shewn you in pag 67. And in your Defence only of the Con∣tre caveating-Parade as is shewn you in pag. 32 This is all that is needful to be said of the De∣fence, or pursuit of the Smal-sword, either against the Broad, or Smal-sword upon Horse∣back, and therefore let us fall on to our old discourse where we left.

Sch.

Withall my heart Sir, for I bringing Page  136in this discourse but be the by, it will not now be amiss (having said all you think necessary anent it) to fall on and shew me those rules, which cer∣qinly cannot but be very necessary, and useful.