CHAP. V. How the several Guards, are to be keept, pursued, and defended, and
First, Of the Quart Guard with a streight point.
I shall begin then with the quart guard with a streight point, for a man that can pur∣sue, or defend well upon that Guard, will easily pursue, or defend, upon any of the rest: Now because I have shewn you already in the beginning of our discourse, in Page 16. and 17. How this Guard was to be keept, I shall not in this place trouble you with the repetition of it, but shall refer you to the Page and Plate wherein it is described. viz. Page 16. and Plat. 2. Fig. 1. or 2. but for my own part I preferr the second figure of the same Plate farr before the first but you may take your choise of either.
Before I shew you how to pursue it particularly, you must know that all Guards as well as this, are Generally pursued by ••∣ther, Falsefying, Binding, Bearing, or a Plain Thrust, now if you intend to persue your Adversary, he keeping this Quart Guard, with a streight point, you may first try him with Feints, and if you perceive that he an∣swer your Feints, then you need make use of no other Lesson against him, but if he do not answer your ordinary single, and Double Feints,•hen try him with your other Feints, viz, the •ingle, and Double Feint at the head, Battery •ngle, and Double, or volt-coupe, and if you •e that none of those Lessons will have •flect; the second pursuit you must make •se of, must be by Binding of his sword, for 〈◊〉 you can do that well, you will force Thrusts upon him, whereas by the for∣•er, you strive first to deceive him, and •en to give him the Thrust, Thirdly you •ay pursue him by striking of his sword, •ith one, or both your Hands, and either •ive him the Thrust with a closs left Foot, 〈◊〉 if you see a fit oppurtunity Pass immedi∣•ly after your stroak, & either give him the •hrust, or Command him: Fourthly, if he •pp you when you are either going to Bind,Page 106or Beat his sword, then immediatly Rebind him by making use of the Contre-caveating-Parade, Fifthly, you may try him with all sorts of Lessons, and what Lesso•s you find have most effect, those use most frequent∣ly against him, if he Break your Measure, then Redouble your Thrust again, and wha• ever Lesson you design to play upon him, by any means remember to have a care that he take not time upon it, you would mind this Rule well, for it is of great importance to a sword Man, I might fill a Volume with the description of Lessons with their contraries together with their contraries, as also with the contraries of those contraries, all which would in a manner signifie nothing to you• but to Embarasse your Judgement. There∣fore I think what I have said to you, con∣cerning the Pursuit of this Guard sufficient seing you understand all the Lessons, and may make use of any of them as you think fit.
I think Sir you are in the right, f•• if a Man once know the grounds, he may easi•• of himself invent Lessons, to win at, and cros• his Adversarie.
'Tis very true he may so, and it 〈◊〉 upon that account, I have cut my dis¦course so short, thinking any more con∣cerning Page 107the Pursuit of this Guard altoge∣ther unnecessary.
But how am I to defend my self, if my Adversarie should pursue me, I keeping this Guard?
You must Defend your self two wayes, either by parieing,* or by using con∣traries to the Lessons your Adversarie playes upon you, if you intend to Defend your self by parieing, which certainlie is the best way, when once a Man is Master of it, then use any of the five Parades I shew you in the Defensive part according to your discretion, and Judgment, but if you intend to use Contraries, then make use of the Contraries which belongeth to the Lessons you Judge your Adversarie is to play upon you, the which Contraries you know, all alongst, I have set down, immediate∣lie after the Lessons they belong to, and therefore, I think a repetition of them in this place, altogether unnecessarie, seing it is but your pains to look back to the pages, where they are set down, and that you may make use of them according to your Judgement, and pleasure.
It is so, but which is your next Guard?
Secondly Of the Quart Guard, with the point sloping near to the ground.
My second Guard, * is the Quart Guard, with a sloping point, and is to be keept thus, you must stand a great deal streight∣er then you did in the Quart Guard, with a streight point, and you must slop the point of your sword within half a Foot of the ground, or nearer if you please, your Hilt as low as your fore pocket, with a bent Arm, and your Nails betwixt Quart, and Terce, you are in this Guard to make use of your left Hand, and therefore to make use of it with the more case, it will be fit to advance your left shoulder, almost as farr forward as your right, and keep in your belly well, and out your breast, and hold your left Hand, as high as your Head, just as one doth that puteth up his Hand, to save the Sun from his Face, but where∣as he holdeth his closs to his brow, yours must be held somewhat more then half a Foot from it, this is a very Open Guard, but yet very surprising to those who know not how to Pursue it. See Plat. 11. Fig. 1.
How is it to be pursued?
There are onlie Four wayes of pursuing this Guard, the First is by Raising,* or Gathering up of your Adversaries sword, as is shewn you in Lesson the 21. the Second is by striking at his sword, and making half Thrusts at his Body, and so make him doubtful when you will give in the Thrust, and when you think you have an opportunity, then give it home, and al∣wayes when you Pursue this Guard, have your left hand in readiness to Parie your Adversaries thrust, if he should thrust just as you at thrusting; for that is only his de∣sign, to thrust when you are thrusting, and to Parie your thrust with his left hand; or sometimes with his sword, just as he pleas∣eth, Which is all the defence upon this Guard: Thirdly you may also after you Beat at his sword, give a Stroak at his left hand, and see if you can force him by so doing to take himself to another Guard, or Fourthly, you may Volt, and give him the thrust in the time of your Volting, which if neatly done, will easily surprise him; this is all the Pursute, and Defence, can be used upon this Guard.
Which is your next Guard?
Thirdly, Of the Terce Guard, with the Point higher then the Hilt.
My Third Guard, is the Terce Guard with the point higher then the Hilt,* and is to be keept thus: you must hold your Nails in Terce, and your hand some lower then in the Quart Guard, with a streight point, the point of your Sword must be presented towards your Adversaries left shoulder 〈◊〉 he be a tall man, but if little, then to his left eye, you must keep your arme a little bent, as in the Quart Guard, for the better pursuing: you are also to lean a little forward with your bodie, as in the foregoing Guard and to make use of your left hand for a Pa∣rade, but it must be held lower then you hold it in the fore-going Guard, the rest o• your bodie must be keept after the same manner, as in the Quart Guard, with 〈◊〉 streight point. See Plat. 10: fig: 1.
How is this Guard to be pursued?*
It is to be pursued either with striking Binding, Volting, or Passing, for your feint upon this Guard will signifie nothing, i• your Adversarie understand it, for, as i•Page [unnumbered]Page [unnumbered]
One keeping the terce guard wt the point a little higher then the hilt see pag: ii0
One keeping the Terce guard wt a sloping point see pag: ii0
Which is your fourth Guard?
Fourthly, Of the Terce Guard, with the point Lower then the Hilt.
My Fourth Guard is the Terce Guard, with the point lower then the Hilt,* and is just Kept with your body in that posture, as when you give in the Thrust, when you play the single Feint at the Head, but only your Feet must be at their just distance, and not as when you are at your full Elonge, and your left hand must be also just held after that same manner, as it is held when you play that Lesson, but your swords point must be presented towards your Adversaries left side, and make use of your left hand, for a Parade: it is to be pursued and defended, just as the preceeding Terce Guard, only when you defend it, you need not make so much use of your left Hand, as in the Page 113foregoing, but more of your sword, you may make use of either, according to your Fancy. See Plat. 10. Fig. 2.
Which is your Fifth Guard?
Fifthly, Of a Guard, in which a Man is to hold his sword, with both hands.
To my Fifth and last Guard I have no proper Name, * but as I told you in the beginning of this Treatise, Page-15-you are to hold your sword with both your hands, and you are to do it thus, keep your body Exactlie in the posture of the Quart Guard, with a streight point, but for your sword, you are to join your left hand to it, about 8. or 10. Inches from the Hilt, and hold the Blade betwixt your formest finger and thumb, just as you do, when you are going to beat your Adversa∣ries sword with both hands, as in page 7, and Plat. 11. Fig. 2. and secure your self within your sword immediatly when you present it, that is, present your swords point towards your Adversaries right thigh, and a thought without it, with your point slop∣ing, a little towards the ground For to Pur∣suePage 114this Guard, you must First strive to take away your Adversaries left hand, by striking at it, and immediatly after the stroak, of∣fer to Thrust at his body, and so make him doubtful when you will give your Thrust: the Pursuit of this Guard, is some∣what like the Pursuit of the Quart Guard, with a sloping point; you may try him with Feints, but if he understand the Defence of this Guard as he should, they will signifie nothing, because he will not answer them: any other way of Pursuing thir Five Guards, then what I have set you down, is left wholly to your own discretion, which you may easily, with a little consideration find out, but these which I have given you are the safest, and most proper Persuites, belonging to each Guard: if you take your self to this Guard, and your Adversarie Pursue you upon it, you know you are se∣cured upon one side, so that if he give you a Thrust, it must certainlie be upon that side in which you are discovered, unless it be your own Fault, by answering of his fal∣sisies, I say if he Pursue you upon it, your Defence is only to wait his Thrust, and when he is giving it, Beat his sword, and give him home the Thrust, and prevent as much as you can his Hitting you upon the Page 115left hand, which you must doe, by sometimes making half Thrusts at him, and other times, drawing back your sword near your Body, by doing of which you slipp his stroak; the judging of your Adver∣saries measure in this Guard, as well as in all the rest, is most requisit, therefore, I intreat you to remember it. I have now ex∣plained to you the Five several Guards, with their defences and Pursuits, which you may make use of; according to your own fan∣cie, the next and last thing I will shew you, will be some Rules to be observed, (As I told you in page eleventh) when you are playing with either Blunts, or Sharps, against those who understand this Art, or against those who are altogether Ignorant of it.
Sir before you do that, I would gladly have you shew me, which of thir five Guards, is the best, and safest to be made use of, if a man were going to venture his life.*
This is a very pertinent Question, and I shall quicklie according to my own opinion resolve it to you; I think then either for Pursuing or Defending, the Quart Guard, with a streight point, absolutelie without com∣parison the best. For if you intend to be the pursuer, then without debate this Guard is Page 116the best, because when you keep it, you are in a readier posture for offending, then when you keep any of the other four; and if you intend to be the defender, then also is it the best, both because you are in as ready a posture to defend, as when you keep any of the other, and also because in it as well as in any of the other, you may make use of your Left Hand, so it hath this advantage of the rest, that when you keep it, your Body is more at liberty, and not so con∣strained to observe one posture, and one Parade, as you must do for the most part, when you keep any of the rest, for they are more proper for the Defensive part, then for the pursuit; yet next the Quart Guard with a streight point, I esteem the Terce Guard, with the point higher then the Hilt, next to it is the Terce Guard with the point lower then the Hilt, to be chosen, next to it is the Quart Guard, with the point sloping towards the Ground, and last of all, is the Fifth Guard, which is on∣ly for the Defensive part, especially when a Mans sword-hand is wearied, this is my o∣pinion as to the choice of a guard for safety, yet there may be some of another opinion, but every Man chooseth the guard he hath most liking to: and so I leave it to you, to make your choose also; according to Page 117your Fancy; although I think in reason you should choose that which I have recommen∣ded to you as the best.
Sir, I think there is all the reason imagin∣able that I should, for seing I am not so able to judge of the goodness, and badness of them as you are, why should I not then approve of your choice? But Sir, I will yet put you to the trouble, of an∣swering me one Question, before you proceed to those rules, you were just now speaking of; and that is, if two men of equall Art, and courage, were engaged against other, the one with a Broad Sword, and the other with a Small, which of them, * in your opinion would have the advan∣tage?
Sir there is very little difficulty in answering of this Question, for there is no rationall man that understandeth both the Art of the Small Sword, and the Broad, but will confess that the Small hath a very great advantage of the other, if these who are to make use of those different kinds of swords be engaged for their lives, and the reason is this, that a man with a Small Sword, may Contre-Temps with him that hath the Broad, so that each of them receiveth a wound, but he that had the Broad Sword shall be killed, because there can be but few wounds given with the small Sword, in a mans Body, but Page 118what prove mortall, whereas a man may receive many cutts in the Body, yea, even in the Head, with a Broad Sword, which will not be mortall, yea even hardly so disabling, as that a Man with a small sword may not (betwixt the time of his receiv∣ing his wound, and being disabled) kill his Adversary, but I assure you, if a Man be run thorow with a small-Sword, it either immediatly killeth him or disableth him so, that he can hardly keep his feet, let alone to resist any longer.
Truely Sir your argument is very strong, and in my opinion, there can little be said against it, yet I have heard those in their Schools, who taught the Broad-Sword, say that they would hitt a Man oftner with the Broad Sword, or Cudgell, then a Man could hitt them with a small sword or Flourret?
I shall likewise easily answer you as to that, First every Man endeavoureth to maintain the excellency of the Art he pro∣fesseth above other Arts of that nature, as much as possible, that so he may be the better imployed, and really a Man can hard∣ly be condemned for so doing, Secondly in playing with Blunts, I think the Cudgell hath as farr the advantage of the Flourret, as in sharps the small-sword, hath of the broad,Page 119and my reason is, because one good smart blow, of a bazle stick is worth a dozen of Thrusts given with a Flourret, and so is a Thrust with a small-sword, which is right planted, worth half a dozen, yea I may say a dozen of such wounds as ordinarly people who understand the broad sword receive when they are playing with sharps: But Thirdly, as for a Man's hitting oftner with the cudgell then another who understandeth the Art of the small-sword, will with a Flourret, I alto∣gether deny it, unless a Man can hitt oft∣ner with the Broad-sword, or cudgell without being hitt by his Adversary, then his Ad∣versary with a small-sword, or Flourret can hitt him without being hitt himself, I say unless he hitt without being hitt himself with a Contre-temps, or upon the respost, he cannot be said to hitt oftener. Now if he be playing with one that is Master of the small∣sword. I positivelydeny, that ever he will hitt him without receiving a Thrust, either by way of Contre-temps or upon the respost, if he with the small-sword have a mind for it; which if he do, he cannot be said to hit oftner, and so consequently, his Art is not better: I know that the grounds of the Art of the Broad Sword are almost the same, with the grounds of this Art, but still when a man commeth Page 120to practise with sharps, the small sword hath the advantage, both because of the reasons I just now gave you, and also because it's Motions are a great deal more Subtil, and quicker, then those of the Broad Sword, and I appeal to any rational indifferent person, if what I say be not grounded upon Reason, but for all this, I am so farr from under∣valuing the Art of the Broad Sword, that upon the contrary I think it both very pro∣fitable, and pleasant, and hath it's own use as well as the Small, for as upon Foot the Small is most commonly used (although it be also very usefull upon Horse-back,) so upon Horse-back is the Broad most ordinarly to be made use of, and I really think that all Gentlemen should understand, how to Defend themselves with both, for a Man can never be called a compleat Sword-Man, untill he can Defend himself with all kindes of Swords, against all sorts his Adversary can choose against him.
Indeed Sir I agree with you in that, now this question, I have heard many times debated, and till now could never be resolved of it, so that by the reasons you have given me in favours of the small-sword against the broad, I am fully of your opinion, and I think they are of such force, that no rationall Man will deny them; but seeing you Page 121mention the usefulness of the sword upon horse-back, I earnestly beg that before you proceed farther, you would doe me the favour to shew me how to make use of it that way, which will be to me a singular obligation.
Sir at your earnest desire I shall not much care, to put a little stop to our pre∣sent discourse▪ that so I may inform you in what you desire to know concerning the fighting with the sword upon horse-back.
In doing that Sir, I shall be so much behold∣en to you, that I am affraid I shall never be able to recompence it.
Sir I earnestly beg of you to leave your complements, for seing at present I am in the station of a Master to you, it is but ra∣tionall, that I should answer according to my ability any question you can put to me, either concerning the small or broad∣sword, upon Foot or Horse-back: To begin then, although the directions which I am to give you be mostly (according to your de∣sire) designed for the sword upon horse-back, yet I think I cannot well shun saying something of the Pistol, because now a dayes people seldom fight upon horse-back with the sword alone, but ordinarly with sword & Pistol, I should rather say Pistol and sword, because before they come to make use of their swordsPage 122they first discharge their Pistols, so that in my opinion it is properest to put the Pistol before the sword, and therefore following that me∣thod, I shal in the first place (before I say any thing of the sword) teach you how to discharge your Pistols against your Adversa∣ry with the greatest advantage, which you may learn by the following directions if you seriously consider them.
Sir you need not in the least fear my not taking notice to them, for there is nothing that I would so gladly know.
First, Directions for fighting upon horse-back with Pistols.
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.
Sir, I am extremely well pleased with what ye have been saying, therefore pray go on.
Secondly, Directions for the sheering Sword upon Horse-Back.
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.
Sir I shall only trouble you with one other question, and then we shall go on where we left.
Let me hear it then, and if I can, I shall answer it.
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?
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.
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∣s•nd 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?
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.
You have so Sir, but you have not as yet shewn me how I am to behave upon Horse-back with the Smal-sword.*
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.
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.