THE ART OF DEFENCE and PURSUIT, With the Small-Sword.
Described in a Dialogue between a SCHOLAR and a MASTER, of that ART.
GOOD morrow Sir, I am glad that I have once found you at home, for I have called several times for you, and till now, could never have the good Fortune to meet with you.
I am sorry Sir that you should have been at that trouble, but now, seing we have met, What Service have you to command me with?
Sir, I hear you profess the Art of Fencing, and the great love and defire I have for that noble Art, made me desirous to be acquainted, with you, that I might be instructed in it.
Sir, Seeing your enquiring for m• is for that end, I shall with all diligence, and plainess explain, & demonstrate to you the principal grounds, requisite to be exactly understood by any who intend, either to profess, or understand this useful Art, of defending ones self, with the single Ra∣pier from their Enemy.
I pray you do so, and you shall be well re∣warded for your pains.
Sir I do not in the least doubt that.
Which is the first thing then you will shew me?
The first thing I intend to shew you, is the Division of the Sword.
I pray you let me hear it.
A Rapier then is Generally divided into two parts, *viz. The Hilt. A. B. C. And the Blade. C. D. E. as you have them marked in the first figure of the first Plate.
The Hilt is divided into three parts, viz. the Pomell, which is the Little ball at the farr end of the Hilt,* which in the fore∣named figure is marked with the Letter A. and is sometimes of a round, and some∣times of an Ovall-shape. 'Its use is to keep the rest of the Hilt fast, and to make a Sword well Mounted, That is to say light before the hand, the Handle marked B in Page [unnumbered]Page [unnumbered]
The Blade is divided into two parts, viz. the Strong part, and the Weak, the Fort,* and the Feeble, or the Prime, and the Se∣cond. The Strong, Fort, or Prime, of the Blade is Measured from the Shell C to the middle of the Blade D, and because it is the storng∣est part of the Blade it is therefore made use of in Parieing, or putting by thrusts and Blowes, the Weak, Feeble, or Second part of the Blade, is measured from the middle D. to the point E. and being the weakest part of the Blade, it is therefore made use of, in offending, or, in giving thrusts, or blowes, and this much for the division of the Sword.
What is the next thing you are to shew me?
The next thing I will doe, will be to Explain some termes belonging to this Art, which otherwise, might seem some∣what difficult to you, or any new beginner to understand.
Which are they?
They are these which follow.
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- A Guard.Is a posture which a Man patteth his body into for the better defending of him∣self from his Adversaries thrusts, or blowes. See the Figures of the Second, Tenth, and Eleventh Plates.
- To Parie.Is to put by a thrust, or blow, so that you are not touched with it. As you see in the Third Plate where the first Figure is pate∣ing the second, or in the three following plates, where the figures giving in the thrusts are Paried by the figures opposite to them.
- Quarte.When a Man holdeth the Nails of his Sword hand quite upwards, which the 2. Fi∣gure of the first Plate representeth at the letter F. then he is said to hold his hand in Quarte.
- Terce.When a Man holdeth the Nails of his Sword hand quite downwards, which the third figure of the first Plate representeth at the letter G. Then he is said to hold his hand in Terce.
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- Within the Sword.It is that part of your Body which (when our right-side is towards your Adversary) 〈◊〉 betwixt your Sword, and your left Breast, •nd is marked in the first figure of the third •late with the distance, A. B.
- Without the Sword.Is that part of your Body, which (when •o• hold your Sword towards your left side) •s above your Sword, the whole breadth of your Body, and is marked in the second figure of the eleventh plate with the di∣stance, C. D.
- To Approach, or Advance.A Man is said to Approach, or Advance, when being out of his Adversaries reach or at a pretty distance from him, he cometh nearer to him.
- To Retire.A Man is said to Retire, when being with∣in his Adversaries reach, he goeth out of it either by stepping or Jumping backwards from his Adversary upon a Streight line.
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- Measure.Is the distance betwixt a Man and his Adversary, which should be exactly ob∣served, that when he is Thrusting at you, You may be without his Measure or Reach, as the first figure of the third Plate is with∣out the Reach of the second figure, and when you are Thrusting at him, that your thrust may be home, and not short of him when you are at your Elonge, as for example, the distance betwixt the right foot of the first, and the right foot of the second figure of the second Plate, is called the Measure betwixt these two Figures.
- To Break Measure.Is just as your Adversary is thrusting at you, so to judge the distance he is from you as that his Thrust when he is at his full E∣longe, may be short of you, because you are out of, his Measure or reach as the first Fi∣gure of the third Plate, is without the reach of the second Figure, for I suppose that the first Figure, to make the Thrust of the second short of him, hath broke his Mea∣sure; the way of doing it shall be taught you hereafter.
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- To Elonge.Is to Streatch forward ones right Arm, and Legg, and to keep a closs left Foot. This a Man doth, when he giveth in a Thrust; and when he doth it, he is then said to make an Elonge, which is represented by the second Figure of the third Plate.
- Respost.Is when a Man hath given in a Thrust, and before he recovereth his Body receiveth a Thrust after his Adversary hath Paried his, then he is said to receive a Thrust upon the respost or back of the Parrade, which is the Safest thrust that a Man can give, for it is not possible for him, upon that Thrust to receive a Contre-Temps, which shall be immediately explained what is.
- Feinting, or, Falsifying.Is the deceiving of your Adversary, by causing him believe that you are to give your Thrust in one place, when you design really to give it him in another.
- Beating.Is the striking of the Feeble of your Ad∣versaries Page 8sword with the edge, and Fort of yours, either with one hand, or with the help of your left hand, joyned to the blade about a foot from the Hilt, as in the second figure of the 11. plate, to cause the Beat have the greater spring or force.
- Battery.The difference between Beating, and Bat∣tery, is, that Battery is the striking with the edge & Feeble of your sword, upon the edge, and Feeble of your Adversaries, whereas beat∣ing as I just now told, is done with the fort of your sword upon the feeble of your adver∣saries, and therefore secureth your Adversa∣ries sword a great deale better then Battery doth.
- Binding.Is the securing your Adversaries sword, with 8. or 10. Inches of yours, upon 5. or 6. of your Adversaries.
- Caveating, or Dis-engaging.Is the slipping of your Adversaries sword, when it is going to bind or secure yours.
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- To take time.Is either never to thrust, but when you have a fitt opportunity, or otherwise it is the thrusting at your Adversarie just as he is making of a Feint, or the slipping of him and giving him the thrust when he is either going to bind, or beat your sword; as you may see in plate 9. where the second figure hath taken time upon the first.
- Contre-Temps.Is when a man thrusts without having a good opportunity, or when he thrusts at the same time his Adversarie thrusts, and that each of them at that time receive a thrust.
- Quarting upon the streight Line.Is the keeping very much back of your head and shoulders from your Adversaries sword, when you are giving in a thrust within the sword, which is represented by the second figure of the third plate.
- Dequarting, Or Quarting off the streight Line.Is the throwing of your left foot and bo∣dy, Page 10backwards off the straight Line towards your Adversarie, and keeping your right foot fast, which is represented by the second figure of the 9. plate.
- Ʋolting.Is the leaping by your Adversaries left side, quite out of his measure. These are the terms of Art which ordinarly young be∣ginners understand not.
Are those all the termes of Art you have to explain to me?
Yes these are all the termes which I think need explaining, any other being easily understood without it.
What then do you intend to teach me in the next place?
Because you are still asking me that question, and that you may not put your self to the trouble of asking it again, I will shew you the method I intend to follow in teaching you this Art. And first I will teach you how to hold your sword in your hand, secondly, how many Guards there are, and how you are to stand to your Guard, Thirdly I shall explain to you the lessons defensive, which are called the Pa∣rade, Fourthly the Lessons offencive, to∣gether Page 11with their contraries, by shewing you how they must be played, Fiftly I shall teach you how each of the Guards are kept & how every one of them is to be pur∣sued, your Adversary keeping any of them, or defended your Adversary pursuing you after you have taken your self to any of them, Sixtly, I shall set you down some general rules to be observed, when you are playing either with blunts, or sharps, against those who understand, or against those who are altogether Ignorant of this Art.
Sir you have thought upon a very good Method, and I begg that you would be as plain in the discribing of the lessons you are to teach me as possible.
Sir I shall to the outmost of my pow∣er obey your desire.
As to the first then, how am I to hold my Sword in my hand?
CHAP. I. *Of holding the Sword.
You must hold your Sword after this manner; hold your Thumb upon the broad side of the Handle with your Fingers quite round it, as in the second Figure of the first Page 12Plate marked F. and not as some do, who put their foremost and middle Fingers thorow the two arms of the Hilt, thinking that by doing that, they hold their Sword firmer, some use onely to put their fore∣most Finger through, which the Spainards did of old, and many even to this day do it; but both wayes are most ridiculous, and dangerous.
I think any Man of common sense may perceive that, for when a Man holdeth his Sword in that fashion, with his Fingers through the arms of the Hilt, he is in danger of having his Fingers broken, if his Adversary should inclose with him, and offer to force the Sword out of his band, for holding it that way he cannot so easily quit with it, as he should, and therefore will infallibly in my opinion be in hazard of losing his Fingers, if not his life in the cause.
Sir, You have found out exactly the hazard that a Man is in, in holding his Sword after that manner, but when you hold it, as I have before told you, you must hold it fast and firm, and not gently, so that your Adversary with the least sudden beat or twist may force it out of your hand.
What is the hazard if I should hold it loosly in my hand?
The hazard of holding it loosly is Page 13this, * that when once you get a habit of hold∣ing your sword so, if you should have oc∣casion to play with sharps, you will be in ha∣zard of having it struck out of your hand, which may put your life in hazard. This I think a sufficient reason to cause you hold your Sword firm in your hand, but not so as to weary it.
Indeed it is so, and now when I consider it; Although a Man had not such a Strong reason as that you have given me to cause him hold his Sword fast, yet Peoples very laughing at men when they are playing with blunts, because they see at every other Thrust their Flurett beat out of their Hand, should be a sufficient argument to them to cause them hold it fast, and I my self when I have seen them quite with their Flurett so easily, al∣though I understood nothing of this Art my self, yet I thought it very un-handsome, and laughed at them as being as Ignorant of this Art as my self.
You had good reason to do so, and yet I have seen some who understood little or nothing of this Art, beat the Flurett out of their Adversaries hand, although he was very far above their play.
What should be the Reason of that?
The Reason why that sometimes falleth out, is because he that is playing with such an Ignorant, knoweth himself to Page 14be far above his play and therefore trusting too much to his Adversaries, * Ignorance neglects that which he should, and certainly would most if he were playing with one he thought understood as well as himself, take notice of, so that by the least sudden twist o•Beat, that his Adversarie giveth his flurett• (although more perhaps by chance the• Art) he and it is separate, and it is sometimes for such reasons as this, that by-standers who understand not this Art. Cry it doun and undervalue it as not worth the under∣standing, when they see one that getteth the Name of a Sword man, bafled by an Ig∣norant, never considering that it is the others inadvertancie. Therefore, to prevent all such inconveniencies, let a man alwayes hold his sword as firm in his hand as possibly he can, without wearie∣ing himself, and then he will be but in little hazard as to that: for I can assure him he will but find few unless it be such as are very expert in this Art, that will be able to Beat his sword with such a spring, as to cause it go out of his hand, but let us go to the next thing I am to teach you, which is.
CHAP. II Of keeping a Guard.
How am I to keep a Guard?
Before I shew you how to keep a •ard, you must know how many there 〈◊〉.
How many are there?
There are generally but two Guards, 〈◊〉. the Quart-Guard, and the Terce.*•ut these two Guards, are again sub-divided to other Guards.
The Quart-Guard is sub-divided in∣〈◊〉 two, viz. the Quart with a Streight point,•d the Quart with a Sloping point near to the •ound:* The Terce is likewise sub-di∣•ded into two, viz. The Terce with the •nt higher then the Hilt, and the Terce •th the point lower then the Hilt, There is •ewise another kind of Guard (but I have •t a proper Name to it,) in which you 〈◊〉 to hold your Sword with both your •ands. Now I shall teach you, how all •ose several Guards must be keept when I Page 16come to the Chapter that treateth of the• But because the Quart Guard with a Streig• point,* is most commonly made use of, 〈◊〉 shall in this place shew you how it is kept.
And first you must keep a thin Body which is done by only shewing your right side to your Adversary, let your Feet be i• a Streight line from him, so that when h• looketh to your Right Legg, it may hin∣der him to see the left, but let them not be too farr asunder, for that will make your Elonge the shorter, nor yet too closs, for then you cannot stand Firm, but keep them at a competent distance, and let the point of your right Foot be turned a little outwards from the Streight Line, but the broad-side of your Left must look towards your Adversary, As in the first figure of the second Plate.
What good doth the turning of my right Toe a Little outwards doe?
The turning of your Toe a little out∣wards from the Streight Line, Maketh you both Stand Firmer, and handsomelyer, you are also to sink with both your Thighs, but your left Knee must be a little more Bent then your Right, which is done by leaning a little Back upon your left thigh: when you present your Sword, you must hold the Page [unnumbered]Page [unnumbered]
The French way of Keeping the Quart Guard with a striaght Point, see pag: i6
The best way in my opinion of keeping the quart guard with a striaght point, see pag: i7
Sir your Directions are so plain, that I understand them very well, but is their no other way of keeping this Quart Guard?
Yes, that there is, for the way I have been shewing you is that which is ordi∣narly used by the French, but I shall shew you a way which is somewhat different from it, & which in my opinion is by farr the best, & safest, and it is as followeth: you know in the foregoing Guard, you are to set your left foot with the broad side of it towards your Adversary but in this, you must turn your left Page 18toe as farr out as conveniently you can. As in the Second Figure of the Second Plat.
What Good doth that?
The good it doth is, that of neces∣sity it causeth you turn out your left Thigh, and therefore maketh your Body so much the thinner, for when the Broad side of your Foot is towards your Adversary, you can by no means turn out your left Thigh, and so consequently it will be seen, or open to your Adversary to thrust at, and therefore in hazard of being wounded, which your would have prevented had you turned out your left Toe; you must remember also when you stand to your Guard this way to Sink as closs to the Ground with your breech as possible, without Thrusting of it out. As in the Second figure of the Second Plate.
I am convinced of the Advantage I have in turning out of my left Toe, but I doe not un∣derstand any advantage I have by Sinking so closs to the Ground with my Breech as you desire me.
The Advantage you have by Sink∣ing is also considerable, for when you Sink as I desire you, that part of your Body which is betwixt the Hilt of your Sword & your right thigh is quite covered, which, when you keep your Guard after the French Page 19way is quite discovered and open: You must also remember when you Stand to your Guard this way, to bow both your Knees alike, and rest equally with your Bo∣die upon both your Thighs, as in the Second Figure of the second Plate; you are to keep the rest your Body, according to the Di∣rections I gave you for the French way: At first this Guard is a little uneasie, but a lit∣tle custom will make it become as easie to the Body, as the foregoing Posture.
I am now convinced by the Reasons you give me, of the advantage this Latter way hath of the former.
Sir I am glad that you both under∣stand my meaning so well, and are con∣vinced by reason, of what is wrong, and what right, for that will incourage me to take the more pains to Instruct you: but you must now to the next thing I promised to teach you.
What was that?
You see I have taught you how to hold your Sword, and keep a Guard, the next thing I promised to teach you was the Lessons, which accordingly I will do, now I think the first thing a Man should learn, after that he can hold his Sword, and keep a Guard is to defend himself, for certain∣ly Page 20it is a great deal more necessary, and ho∣nourable, for a Man to defend himself and save his Enemy if possible, then fo• him either to kill his Enemy and have himself likewise killed, or, eve• kill his Enemy, and save himself, for th• design of teaching this Art, is not so muc• for to teach a man to offend, as to defend himself handsomely, and with ease, whe• it may be his Fortune to be attached, fo• this Art is called Fencing, or the A• of Defence. Therefore I think it fittest to begin with the Lessons Defensive, which are commonly called the Parade.
CHAP. III. Of the Lessons Defensive.
How am I then to defend my self?
Before I shew you how to defend your self, you must know how many Pa∣rades,* or wayes of defending there are.
How many Parades then are there?
There are generally but two Parades the Parade in Quart and the Parade Page 21in Terce. but they are again subdivided into other Parades, to wit, the Parade in Quart is subdivided into two, viz.* The Parade in Quart with the point a little higher then the Hilt, and the Parade in Quart, with the point Sloping towards our Adversaries right Thigh, & a thought without 〈◊〉. The Parade in Terce is likewise subdivided into two, viz. The Parade in Terce with the point 〈◊〉 little higher then the Hilt, and the Parade in •erce with the point Sloping towards the Left side •f your Adversaries Thigh.
You have no other Parades, then those you have named to me, have you?
Yes, I have yet another which although •t end alwayes in one of the four former Para∣des, yet there is a great difference betwixt the doing of them, and the doing of it, and I can give no other name to this Parade but the Conter-Caveating Parade, because, let your Ad∣versary make use of what lesson he pleaseth, or thrust upon what side He listeth, if you make use of this Parade as you should, you will infallibly meet with his Sword, & so cross all his designes the easilier, which making use of any of the four former, you might find somewhat more difficult to doe.
I would have you shew me why those Pa∣rades are called the Quart, and Terce Parades, be∣cause I know not for what Reason they are so called.
I shall, * the First Parade then is either called the Quart Parade, or the Parade within the Sword, because when you put by the thrust, you put it by upon the inside of your Sword, or upon that side the Nails of your Hand look to, and that Side is called Quart, or within the Sword: see the first Figure of the third Plate who is pareing the Thrust of the second Figure with the first Parade in Quart, and remember alwayes when I desire you to hold your hand, or Nails in Quart, that I mean you should hold your Nailes quit up∣wards, as in the second figure of the first plate marked F. The second Parade, is called the Terce Parade, or the Parade without the Sword, because you put by the thrust upon that side which is without your Sword, and as the other is called Quart, because it is within your Sword, or upon that side your Nails look too, so this is called Terce, be∣cause it is without your Sword, or upon that side the back of your hand looks too. See the second Figure of the 4th. Plate who is Pareing the thrust of the first figure with the first Parade in Terce. And remember also that when I desire you to hold your hand, or Nails in Terce, that I mean you should Page 23hold your Nails quite downwards as in the Third Figure of the first Plate marked G.
Sir I now by this Explanation under∣stand you very well.
Sir, any doubt you have, or any thing that I shew you which seemeth diffi∣cult to you, mind me of it, and according to my power I shall explain it to you.
I shall not faill to do it, but I pray you shew me how I must Parie after those five several wayes.
I shall shew you orderly one by one how you are to do them, * you must do the first Parade in Quart, with the point a little higher then the Hilt after this manner, when you are Standing to your Guard, and your Adversary offers to give you a Thrust home upon that side his Sword lyeth, which I suppose to be within your Sword, for this Thrust is done without Disengaging (which I shall explain to you hereafter) and is the plainest, and simplest Thrust which can be given with the small Sword, and yet a Man will sometimes be surprised with it; * I say when you perceive Him offer to give Home the Thrust, which is known by looking Steadfastly to the Hilt of his Sword, and not as Ignorants doe who look to their Adversaries eye, for I pray Page 24you how can a Man Judge, either upon what side of the Sword, or when the Thrust will be given, if he look to the Eve, when he is playing with one that Squints, cer∣tainly it is very uncertain; and therefore as a most certain Rule, and which will never fail you, Look alwayes to the Hilt of your Adversaries Sword, when you expect that he is going to Thrust. And when you see it moving towards you, (which will be in the Twinkling of an Eye, if he that giveth in the Thrust have a swift hand.) You must Immediately turn your wrest, with a little motion of the Arm, but so little that it may scarcely be perceived, to your Lest side, and so put his Sword by, (alwayes with the Fort of yours.) Upon your Left∣side, Still keeping the point of your Sword after your Parade towards his right Shoulder, which is represented by the first Figure of the Third Plate who is Pareing his Adversa∣ries Thrust given within his Sword,* with the first Parade in Quart. But I would have you, when you put by your Adversaries Sword, to do it with a little Beat, or Spring towards the Ground, which in my opinion is absolutely the best way of doing this Parade. When I say a Spring, I mean a little Beat, and immediately bring your Sword to it's Page [unnumbered]Page [unnumbered]
One Pareing his Adversarys thrust given within his sword 〈◊〉 first parrad in quart see pag: 23
One giveing in A thrust within The sword see pag: 39
Why think you this last way of doing this Parade, better then the former?
Because it is done with a Spring, and the former is not, so that using this last way as you should, you may often in the Pareing, Beat your Adversaries Sword out of his hand, which is no small Advantage; also this last way secureth your Adversaries Sword better then the Former doth, if you had a mind to give him a Thrust upon the Respost, or back of your Parade, but as I told you before, you must by any Page 22〈1 page duplicate〉Page 23〈1 page duplicate〉Page 24〈1 page duplicate〉Page [unnumbered]〈1 page duplicate〉Page [unnumbered]〈1 page duplicate〉Page 25〈1 page duplicate〉Page 26means remember to bring up your Sword to its right posture again, otherwise your Body would ly too open without your Sword for your Adversary to Thrust at. And therefore I say again, by any means forget not the bringing up of your Sword, in∣stantly after your Beat, and then I doubt not in the least, but you will rather approve of this last way of pareing then of the former.
Its very like I may, but in both thir Parades what advantage have I by keeping my Swords point towards my Adversaries right shoul∣der and not farther aside.
The Advantage you have by it is this, * that when you keep your Swords point towards your Adversaries right shoulder, after you have Paried him, you are readier to go to the Parade again if he should offer to Disengage, and Thrust upon the other Side, whereas if you keept your Swords point farther aside, you would have a greater way to make with it, if he should Immediately after his Thrust Disengage, and Thrust upon the other side, or without your Sword, and therefore you would be in Hazard of receiving the Thrust before you could meet with his Sword to put it by, also the keeping of your point, as Streight as possible upon your Adversary when you Page 27Parie in some manner aweth him, and hindereth him to thrust so Furiously (for fear of his receiving a Contre-temps) as other∣wise he might doe.
But why am I to make such a little Moti∣on with my Arm when I Parie. For one would think that the greater Motion one maketh with their Arm the farther they would put by their Adversaries Sword.
You are right, * in that you would put by your Adversaries Sword the farther, as you make the motion of your Arm the greater, but you perceive not the great dis∣advantage you have in so doing; For do you not see? That if you should make so great a Motion with your Arm, when you are Pareing, you would be infar greater haz∣ard of being hit, if your Adversary should make a Feint within your Sword, because then your Body would be quite discovered upon that side, upon which he is to give in his Thrust, which would have been in a manner secured, had you made as little a motion with your Arm as I before desir∣ed you, besides that the making of so great a Motion with your Arm, disordereth your Body, which should be keept in as good a posture for defence as possible.
I am now convinced by the Reasons you give, Page 28of the Advantage a Man hath by making a little motion with the Arm when he is Par•ing, as also by keeping of his Swords point, as Streight to his adversary as he can, after that he hath Paried him.
* I am glad of it, but now Secondly, you must doe the second Parade in Quart. with the point sloping towards your Ad∣versaries right Thigh, and a thought with∣out it, as followeth; when you perceive that he is Thrusting within your Sword, turn the Nails of your hand in Quart, with a Stretched Arm, and your hand as high as your Face, see Plate 5. Figure first. And at the very same time you do this, Slop your point as low as your Adversaries Thigh, and so put by his Thrust with the Fort of your Sword upon the weak of his. As I told you before in Page twenty four; for if a Man Parie right, he must alwayes do it, with the Fort of his Sword, * and not with the Feible.
Why, may not a Man sometimes Parie with the Feible of his Sword?
Yes, but then he runneth the risk of having the Thrust forced in upon him, which if his Adversaries Arm, or wrest, be stronger then his, may easily be done, and which is almost impossible to be done, if he hath the Parade right, and Parie with the Page 29Fort of his Sword, as he should.
I see now indeed that there can no Man be sure of the Parade, if he offer to Parie with the Feible of his Sword.
It is very true, and you must like∣wise when you make use of this Parade, Quart. your Head well, and look as it were by the outside of your Sword.
What Advantage have I by Quarting of my Head?*
The Advantage you have by Quart∣ing of your Head, is, that it will hinder your Adversary to hitt you so easily in the Face by way of Contre-temps, as otherwise he might doe.
I see so indeed, but how am I to do the first Parade in Terce, or without the Sword, with the point a little higher then the Hilt.
You are to doe the first Parade in Terce, or without the Sword, * with the point a little higher then the Hilt, after this Manner, when you perceive your Adversary giving in the Thrust without your Sword, im∣mediately turn your wrest: (With a little motion also of the Arm, as in the first Pa∣rade in Quart,) to that side until your Nails be in Terce, and so Parie his Thrust, see Plate 4th. figure second, you must remember in this Parade, to keep the point of your Page 30Sword, after you have Paried him towards his left Shoulder, * as in the first Parade in Quart you keep it towards his right, and that for the Reasons shewn you in page. 26. I would also have you to doe this Parade with a kind of a Spring, as I told you in the first Parade in Quart, and that same very way, as you have it set down to you there, which as I told you before is in my opinion the best way of doing this Parade, therefore I pray you to mind it.
I shall endeavour to do so, seing you re∣commend it so earnestly to me, but how am I to d• the second Parade in Terce, with a sloping point?
The second Parade in Terce, or with∣out the Sword, with the point sloping towards your Adversaries Thigh, * and a thought within it, is done as followeth; when you perceive your Adversarie giving in his thrust without and below your Sword, as it were at your arm pit, see plate fifth, figure 2. Immediatly let the point of your sword fall as low as his thigh, & turn your Nails quite round to your right side untill they look from you, and keep your hand as high as your head, and put his thrust by upon your right side, & in the time of your Parade let your head lye close almost under your arm. see plate 6. figure 1.
What advantage have I by holding my head so?
As in the second Parade in Quart, the Quarting of your head preserveth you from being hirt in the face, so the holding of your head close under your arm, when you make use of this second Parade in Terce preserveth your face from your Adversaries Scattering, or Contre temps thrusts: * you may also make use of this Parade in Terce with a sloping point, if your Adversarie should offer to thrust without and above your Sword, by puting by his thrust upon your left side, but then your point most not slop towards your Adversaries thigh, but by his right side; also in Pareing this way, you must Quart your Head well, whereas in the foregoing way, you are to hold it closs almost under your Arm. This is all, I have to say of the Quart and Terce Parades, either with the point a little higher then the Hilt, or with a sloping point, but I must tell you, that this last way of Pareing with the second Pa∣rade in Terce, with a sloping point, is seldom made use of except your Adversarie hath so gained the Feeble of your sword, that you could not Parie him with the first Parade in Terce.
I understand thir four wayes of Pareing Page 32which you have been shewing me very well, bu• their is yet another, which you call the Contr• caveating Parade, the way of doing it, you hav• not as yet shewn me.
* I am just going to shew you it, it i• the last Parade I named to you in page 〈◊〉 and is absolutly the best, and safest a ma• can make use of, the way of doing it is thu• when you perceive your Adversaries thru• coming home within your Sword, then In∣stantly slop the point of your sword an• bring it up again on the other side of you• Adversaries, which will be without hi• sword, and parie his thrust without you• sword, that was to be given within your Sword and in parieing neither turn your Nails i•Quart nor Terce, but keep them in the sam∣posture as when you presented your Sword this parade must also be done with a spring In like manner if you think that he is to giv• in his thrust without your sword, you must In stantly slop your point and bring it up a∣gain, upon the inside of his Sword, and so paric his thrust that was to be given without your sword, within your Sword, this Sloping of your point, and bringing of it up agai• upon the other side of your Adversarie Sword, must be done in the twinkling of a• Eye, otherwise your Adversaries Thru•Page 33will be home upon you, and so your Parade will signifie nothing: Therefore to pre∣vent the coming in of any Thrust, make use of this Parade, or of any other Parade you intend to use, with as quick a Motion as possibly you can, which if you doe, and judge exactly of the coming in of your Ad∣versaries Thrust, you will be but very sel∣dom hitt.
I see I must so indeed, but I pray you let me know what advantage this Parade hath of the other four.*
The advantage a man hath in mak∣ing use of this Contre-caveating Parade is very great, by what it is when he maketh use of any of the four former, because when a man maketh use of any of the other four Parades, he may be hitt with a Feint by Reason of his judging that the Thrust will be given without the Sword, when it is designed to be given with∣in the sword, or within the sword, when it is to be given without the sword; & so although he hath a quick enough Parade, and a good Eye, yet you see he may be hit by reason of his wrong Judging of the coming in of the Thrust, which would have been prevented had he made use of this Contre-caveating Parade, for •his Parade crosseth and confoundeth all Feints, yea not only Feints, but in a man∣ner Page 34all Lessons that can be played with the Small Sword, so that certainly it is by farr the best and safest Parade, and therefore I would advise you, that when once you can make use of it, never, (unless it be very seldom) to make use of another, and you will find it to be as I told you, the ab∣solutly safest Parade, and the Parade which should be most exactly understood, and frequently practised, by those who intend to be Masters of this Art.
Sir you have convinced me of the advan∣tage a Man hath in making use of this Contre-cavea∣ting Parade, and therefore I shall endeavour never to make use of any other, seing it is so general a Parade.
Your resolution Sir is good, and I am confident if you keep it, you will con∣fess that all that I have said, in commenda∣tion of this Parade, is but little in respect of what it deserveth.
I shall to the outmost of my power endea∣vour to •••p it, but have you no more to say of the Parades?
No, and what I have said concern∣ing the T•fensive part, or Parade, I am sure is so plain, and easie to be understood that the meanest capacity may be able to put it in practice, if the Directions which Page 35have given be seriously considered, and observed: we will now proceed to the Of∣fensive part, in which I shall endeavour to be as distinct, and easie in my Directions to you, as I have been in the Defensive.
The End of the Defensive part, or Parades.
CHAP. 4. Of the Lessons Offensive.
Which is your first Lesson in the Of∣fensive part?
Lesson 1. Of Approaching or Advancing.
My first Lesson is of Approaching, or Advancing.
How many wayes are there of Approaching?
Shew me how I am to approach these two wayes?
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.
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.
I see so indeed?
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.
Can a man make use of this single stepp in ragged Ground.
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.
Let me see how the double stepp is done?
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.
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?
Lesson 2. Of Retireing.
My second Lesson is of Retireing.
How many wayes can a man Retire?
Shew me them?
The first is with a single stepp and is done the same way, * as you approach with the single stepp, onely whereas in Approaching with the single stepp, you lift your right foot first, in Retireing with the single stepp you must lift your left foot first, you must observe the rest of the Directions given you in Ap∣proaching with the single stepp.
The second way is with a double stepp;* and is also done the same way as the Advancing with the double stepp, only whereas in Ap∣proaching with the double stepp you throw your lest Foot before your Right in Retiring with the Double stepp, you throw your right foot backwards, behind your le•t, the rest is to be done, as in Advancing with the double stepp.
The Retiring with the Single and Double Stepps, is made use of, upon the same Occasions and in the same Grounds, that the Advancing Page 39with the Single and Double Stepp is, is it not?
Yes, that it is, but the Third way of Retireing is done by jumping backwards upon the streight Line: The Reason why I call it the streight Line is, because you Jump streight back from your Adversarie, * as it were in a Streight Line, for there is play which must be played off the Streight Line, called Quarting, and Volting, which shall be taught you in its proper place, I say it is done by Jumping backwards upon the streight Line, with both your feet in the Air at once, but you must lift your Right Foot first, and after your Jump is done, stand to your Guard again, unless you intend to Redouble your Jump, that you may go far∣ther out of your Adversaries Measure.
Which is your Third Lesson?
Lesson 3. Of giving in a Thrust.
My Third Lesson is of giving in a Thrust, or making of an Elonge.
How am I to give in a Thrust?
You are to do it thus, when you are standing to your Guard,* and your Adver∣sary within your Measure, your Sword being presented either within or without your Ad∣versaries Sword as you please, but I sup∣pose Page 40it be within, then stretch forth your Right Arm, and step foreward with your Right Foot, as farr as you can, keeping the point of it streight forewards, and let the Motion of your Arm begin a thought before you move your Foot. see Plate 3. fi∣gure 2. For a thrust that is right given, may be compared to the shot of a Gun or Pistoll, for as he that is wounded with the shot of a Pistoll receiveth his wound, before he hear the report of the Pistol, so he that is wounded with a Sword receiveth his wound before he hear his Adversaries Right Foot touch the ground when he is giving in his Thrust, and the Reason of it is, because the Motion of his hand is begun, before that he move his right Foot, but the difference is so little, that it can scarcely be perceived, but by a very quick Eye, or Ear: when you are at your full stretch, keep your left hough stretched, and by any means keep a closs and couched left Foot, which is done by keeping your left heel and broad side of your foot closs to the Ground, without the least drawing it after you, the keeping of a closs left foot, is one of the Chiefest things to be most exact∣ly observed in all the Art of Fencing, when you give in your Thrust, throw your left hand behind your back as in Plate 3 figure 2. Page [unnumbered]Page [unnumbered]
One giving in a Thrust without and above The sword see pag:4i
One Parieing his Adversaries thrust given without his sword with the first Parade in •orce see pag: 2•
But what advantage have I by observing all those Rules, in giving in a Thrust, as when I thrust without the Sword, the holding of my Hilt lower then my Point, and the holding of my Head from my Adversaries Sword; as also the thrusting closs by the Feible of my Adversaries Sword; I pray you let me see, what Advantage I have by ob∣serving all those Directions.
As the Quarting of your head when you Thrust within the Sword,* preserveth you from your Adversaries Contre-temps Thrusts in the face. So also doth your Thrusting closs by the Fieble of his Sword, and the holding of your Hilt lower then the Point, when you Thrust without the sword, as also the holding of your head alwayes to the contrary side your Adversaries Sword is on, preserve you from Contre-temps. And observe this as a General Rule alwayes to keep your head to the contrary side your Adversaries Sword is on, upon whatever side you Thrust, for this will oftentimes preserve your face from being hitt, when otherwise it would, for a Page 43Man that in giving a Thrust receiveth ano∣ther at the same time, cannot be accounted 〈◊〉Master of this Art, for this Art is called the Art of Defence, and therefore the great use of it is to Defend ones self, and save their Adversary, (which a Man that is Master of •t, may easily doe.) and not to hurt their Adversary, and have themselves likewise wounded, for any Man that never had a Sword in his Hand can doe that: After that you have let in your Thrust, recover your Body instantly to the posture it was in when you stood to your Guard, and in the recovering, whither or not you think your Adversary intends to Thrust upon the Respost, go to his Sword or to the Parade, accord∣ingly as you judge he will give in his Thrust, if you think within the Sword, then Parie in Quart, if without the Sword, then Parie in Terce, or you may make use of the Contre-Caveating Parade which if you make use of it right will never fail you, let your Adversa∣ry Thrust as he pleaseth; this recovering of the Body is one of the chiefest things in the Small Sword, for many a Man for not re∣covering of his Body quickly enough, after the giving in of a Thrust, hath received one, which had he recovered his Body quickly he would have shuned; Therefore I pray Page 44you by any means, mind to recover you• Body as quickly as possible after every thr• and when you do recover, go to his Swor• and either Beat it or Bind it, as shall be taught you in it's propper place.
I shall, and I also was convinced of t• Excellency of this Contre eaveating Parade before, but cannot a Man give in a Thrust unless he ob∣serve exactly all the Directions which you have here given?
Yes that he may, and not observe one of them, but then his Thrust will not be given according to the Rules of this Art, and so it cannot be expected, but his Body will be exposed to a great deal of more hazard, then if he had exactlie observed the foregoing directions.
Sir you are very farr in the right, but go on to your next Lesson?
Lesson 4. Of Caveating or Dis-engaging.*
My fourth Lesson is of C•veating or Dis∣engaging, with your Adversaries Sword.
How am I to do it?
You must do it thus, when your Sword is presented within your Adversa∣ries Sword, and you would have it withoutPage 45his Sword, you must (keeping your Nails in Quart,) sloap your Swords point so low, that you may bring it up upon the out∣side, of your Adversaries, this sloaping must be done onlie with the wrest, and not with any motion at all of the Arm.
Because, if you should move your Arm, when you Dis-engade, as some Igno∣rants do, you would discover so much of your Body, in the time of your Dis-engag∣ing, that your Adversary would have a very good time to give in a Thrust, which he would want, had you only moved your wrest, this sloaping of your Point with the wrest, and bringing of it up again on the other side, resembleth somewhat the Motion of the Contre-caveating Parade, and it must be done very quickly.
It doth so indeed, but is this all I must do, when I intend to Dis-engage?
Yes, for if once you can Dis-engage, and go from the inside of your Adversaries Sword, to the outside, and then back a∣gain to the inside, you will know how to dis-en∣gage, and slip your Adversaries Sword, as oft as you please.
Which is your fifth Lessen?
Lesson. 5. Of Feinting or Falsifying.
My fifth Lesson is of Feinting, or Fa•∣sifying.
How am I to make a Feint?
Before I shew you how to make Feint, you must know that there are se• rall kinds of Feints.
I pray you shew me them?*
There is then the Ordinary single, Fein• and the Ordinary double Feint; the single Fei• at the Head; and the double Feint at the be• the low Feint, single, and double; the single and double Feint upon Battery; Volt-coupe, sing and double; all which Feints I shall shew y• orderly, as I have here set them down how they must be played.
I pray you do so, and let your Expla••∣tion of them be as distinct, * and easie, as possible that so I may the better understand your meaning.
I shall, you are to make your Or∣dinary single Feint then, after this manner (I suppose that you are alwayes standing 〈◊〉 a Guard, before you offer to play any Lesso• when you are within your Adversaries Swor•dis•engage and make your Feint without, which is done by giving a beat with your right fo• upon the ground, just as you disengagePage 47and your Sword upon the outside of your Adversaries, and instantly after you have dis-engaged, if you perceive him answer your Feint, by offering to Parie, dis-engage again, and give him the Thrust within the Sword, some use to make their Feint without any beat with their Right Foot, but I am whol∣ly against it, unless you were playing a∣gainst those who are expert in this Art.
What is your Reason for that?
My Reason is this, * that if you should give a beat with your Foot, when you are playing against such as understand this Art well, they would immediatly know it to be a Feint, and therefore would not answer it. Now to make your Feint, without any Motion of your Foot to them, is most reason∣able, because the making of it, as quick as you can, without any beat of your Foot will cause them believe that it is really a Thrust, coming in upon that side on which you make your Feint, and so cause them answer it, and then you have your design. But the matter is farr different, when you are playing with Ignorants, or with such who are in a manner but just grounded in this Art, for if you should make a Feint to them without giving a beat with your Foot, upon the ground, they would not answer Page 48it, not because they should not, (for ob∣serve this as a General Rule, never to an∣swer a Feint, unless you do it upon some design,) but because they have not as yet come the length of discerning such quick play. For your Feint without a beat of your Foot with it, would appear to them as no Feint at all, because of the quickness of the Motion, whereas upon the contrary, if you gave a beat with your Feint, you would surprize them, and in a manner make them start, when you made your Feint, and so make them go to the Parade, which was your design. Sometimes also a beat with ones Foot, without any Moti∣on at all of the Sword, will make some Ignorants brangle, which is no small advan∣tage to their Adversary.
I am now fully convinced of the necessity of Beating with the Foot, except when I am playing as you say, with such as are in a manner Masters of this Art.
I am glad you are convinced that what I say is true, for that will encourage me to take the more pains to instruct you in the rest of this Art, but let us now speak of the double Feint.
Shew me first how I am to play the single Feint, being without distance.
You must approach with your Feint.*
And with what stepp am I to approach whither with the single or double?
With the single, for if you approached with the double, you would discover your Body too much in the time of your approach∣ing, and so be in hazard of being hitt by your Adversary, besides that the double stepp is ordinarly never made use of, neither in approaching, nor Retiring, But upon the occasions I before told you in page 37. where I treated of them.
I indeed thought otherwise, but shew me now how I must play the ordinary double Feint.
Lesson 6. Of the Double-Feint.
Before I shew you how to play it, you must know what difference there is be∣twixt all Single Feints and Double Feints.
I am very well satisfied that you shew me it.
You are then in all single Feints to make two Motions, * with the first Motion you make your Feint, and with the next you give in the Thrust, and the Thrust in all Single Feints, (except when you make your Feint upon that Side your Sword lyeth, Page 50which is done without Dis-engaging, and i• the simplest of all Feints) is given in upon the side your Sword lay before you made your Feint, whereas in all Double Feints, you make 3. Motions, and the Thrust (Except when you make your first Motion on that side your sword was presented) is gi∣ven in upon the other side, and not in that side your Sword lay immediatly before you began to make your Feint. This is the difference betwixt Single and Double Feints.
Seing you have shewn me the difference betwixt them, pray shew me how I must play the ordinary Double Feint?*
There are then two wayes of playing your ordinary Double Feint, for when your Adversary is within your Measure, you play it one way, and when he is without your mea∣sure you are to play it another; when you are within distance, your Sword being presented within your Adversarys Sword, you must Dis-engage, and make your first Motion with∣out his Sword, and stand a thought upon it to see if he answereth you, by offering to go to the Parade, if he do not answer you, your Lesson will have no effect, and there∣fore in such a case, you must try another: But if he answer your first Motion, then Page 51instantly make your second Motion within his Sword, and your Third without the Sword again, by giving the Thrust, thir two last Motions must be as quick as pos∣sible, and remember at every Motion to give a beat with your Foot, and Dis engage alwayes with your Nails in Quart.
How am I to play it being without di∣stance?
When you are without distance,* you must first make a Motion to try if he will answer your Feint, and if you perceive him answer you, then begin again, and make your first Motion just as you did when you was within distance (but you must approach with it) and you must make your second Motion, and Third also as you did be∣fore.
Which is your contrary to the ordinary Single and Double Feints?
My Contrary to them is this, * when I perceive my Adversary make use of them against me, I then either make use of the Contre caveating Parade, or otherwise, I keep my Swords point immovable towards his face, with my Arm as stretched as Possible, and when I do that, I recover my Body, by drawing my right Foot closs to my left, & standing as it were upon my tipp-toes; and Page 52if for all his seeing me do that, he give home the Thrust, then I Contre-temps him in the Face, and Parie his Thrust with my left Hand, or otherwise when I see him make variety of Feints, then in the very time of his making them, I make a half Thrust at him, that is I Thrust but I go not home with it. This will make him go to the Parade, and so if I please, I may take the Pursuit, or when he maketh such variety of Feints, I give home a plain thrust as smartly as possible, and in the time I give it, I endeavour to defend my Body from a Contre-temps with my left Hand, as in Plate 5. fig. 1. or Plate 6. fig. 2. *
But which of these Contraries is the best, and safest?
In my Opinion the Contre-caveat∣ing Parade, for if you make right use of it you may defie his Feints, but making use of any of the other two Contraries you may be hitt, because you trust all to your left Hand. Not that I am against the making use of it, for upon the contrary, I think a Man can never give home a Thrust with∣out being in hazard of receiving a Contre∣temps (if his Adversary designe it,) unless he make use of his Left Hand, and there∣fore I advise you never to give in a Thrust Page 53but when you make use of your Left Hand, and if you make right use of it, you will find it save you from a great many Contre∣temps, which otherwise you would have received; But let not this cause you trust all to your Left Hand, and nothing to your Sword, for if you do that, it had been better for you that I had not given you the foregoing Advice: Which, ne∣vertheless I can assure you is very good, if you onely make use of it as a help to your Parade with the Sword, and not alone, for alone it is dangerous, but together with your Sword most safe and excellent.
Truely, Sir, I am much of your mind, and I shall endeavour first to come to a Parade with my Sword alone, and when I am Master of the Parade that way, then I think I may venture to make use of my Left Hand, without spoiling of my self?
That is the very Method you should take, for once being Master of the Parade with the Sword alone, you will then find the making use of your Left Hand very use∣ful to you, and you will I am confident, confess that it is of as great use to you, as I before told you it would.
Its like I may; But which is your seventh Lesson?
Lesson 7. Of the Single Feint at the Head.
My seventh Lesson is the Single Feint, a la Teste, or single Feint at the Head.
How am I to play it?
When you are within distance play it after this manner, * you may either present your Sword within or without your Adver∣saries Sword, if your Sword be presented without, make a Motion or Feint, at your Adversaries Face, by stretching out of your right Arm a little, and turning your nails upwards towards your Adversarie, when you make the Motion give a beat with your Right Foot, and if you perceive him answer your Feint, then instantlie give in your Thrust at your Adversaries Arm-pitt with your Head under your Right Arm, as I shew you in the second Parade in Terce, Page 30, and for the same reasons there gi∣ven, the Motion at the Face, stretching of your Arm, turning of your Nails, and beat with your Right Foot, must be all done together, your Thrust must be gi∣ven with your Nails in Terce, and you must hold your left Hand before you, with the palm of it, looking towards your Right Page [unnumbered]Page [unnumbered]
One Pareing his Adversaries thrust give•• without & below his sword with the second para in quart see pag: 28
One giving in a thrust without & below the sword after his making a feint at the head see pag: 54
Why must I stretch out my Arm, and make my Nails look upwards from my self to∣wards my Adversary.
Because the doing of it defends you from your Adversaries thrust, if he should Thrust without and above your sword, at the same time you are making the Motion at his Face.
Would I not also if I keept my Nails in Quart, when I make that Motion, Parie his Thrust, if he should Thrust at the same time I am making it?
Not at all, for do you not see, that if you made your Feint with your nails in Quart, your Body would be quite open without and above your sword, which mak∣ing your Feint with your Nails in Terce, is quite Guarded.
I see so indeed, but how must I play this Lesson, if at the first I had presented my Sword, within my Adversaries?
Just as I have been shewing you, but you must Disengage with the first Motion.
And how am I to play it being without distance?
Also just as I have been shewing you, only you must approach with your Feint.
Which is your Contrary to this single Feint at the Head?
When I perceive my Adversary make use of this Lesson against me, * then I either give him the Thrust upon time, which is just as he is making his Feint at my Face, then I give him the Thrust at that same very time, and that same way he should have given it me, or otherwise I Parie him with the second Parade in Terce, or with the Contre-caveating Parade, by making half a Circle with it, from my Right to my left side, which at last, will end in the second Parade in Quart. see Plate 5. fig. 1.
I understand you very well, but is their no contraries whereby a Man may win at his Adver∣sary although he make use of these Parades, when this Lesson is played upon him?
Yes, for each of these Parades, have a contrary, which you may make use of, when you perceive your Adversary, make use of any of those two foregoing Parades a∣gainst this Lesson.
I pray you shew me them?
Lesson 8. Of the Double Feint at the Head.
My Contrary to the first Parade,* is called the Double Feint, at the Head, and is done thus, when you are within distance, make your first Motion or Feint at the face as in the foregoing Lesson, then make your second Motion low towards your Adversa∣ries Belly without his Sword, and with the Third Motion give in the Thrust without and above your Adversaries Sword with the Nails of your Hand in Quart, and let your Head, Hand, and Foot, mark every Motion: also when you make your second Motion towards your Adversaries Belly, you must hold your Left-Hand as I told you when you was shewn to play the single Feint at the Head see Plate 5. figure 2. when you give in your Thrust above the Sword, you must Quart your Head well, because you are to give it in with your Nails in Quart.
Why am I in this Lesson to give in my Thrust without, and above my Adversaries Sword with my Nails in Quart, whereas in all other Thrusts without and above the Sword, I am to give in my Thrust, with my Nails in Terce?
The reason is this, that after you have made your second Motion, towards your Adversaries Belly, it lyeth more na∣turally to your Hand, to give in the Thrust with your Nails in Quart, then in Terce, and besides, you can give in your Thrust quicker this way then if you should Aim at the turning of your Nails in Terce, which if you did, your Body would be open to your Adversary within your Sword, if he should offer to Disengage and give you a Contre-temps, but when you give in your thrust with your Nails in Quart, your Body within your Sword is keept secure, especially if you Quart your Head well, and make use of your Left Hand as in Plate 5. Figure 2.
I perceive so indeed, but must I not when I am without distance, or my Sword presented within my Adversaries, and intends to play this Lesson, observe your Directions given me in play∣ing the single Feint, at the Head, without di∣stance?
Yes, and approach with your first Motion. *
How is this Contrary to be Paried?
Either with the Contre caveating Pa∣rade, or by answering every Motion, and so you will fall to Parie him with the first Parade, in Terce, see Plate 4 figure 2.
Which is your Contrary to the second Pa∣rade of the Single Feint at the Head?
Lesson 9. Of the Feint at the Head, upon the true Parade.
My Contrary to the second Parade is called the Feint at the Head, * upon the true Parade, and is to be done as followeth first you make your Motion at your Adversaries Fa•e, and then if you think that he intends to Parie you with the second or Contre-caveating parade, go quit round his Sword, by mak∣ing as it were a circle with your Sword, and so give him in the Thrust at his Arm-Pit, as in the Single Feint at the Head, and pre∣serve your self with your Left Hand, from a Contre temps as you do in it, see Plate 5. Figure 2. And if you be without distance, approach with your first Motion.
I understand not what good that going round my Adversaries Sword doth
Do you not see that by so doing you Caveat his sword and shun his parade.
I now see so indeed?
You may if you please make one, two or three circles as your Adversary Page 60followeth your sword, untill you have the opportunity of letting in your Thrust.
And how is this Contrary paried?
You may either parie it as you do the single Feint at the Head,* or you may make one or two Circles with the Contre-caveating parade, untill you meet with his sword, but if your Adversary still Caveat you, by going about, then make your Circle the Contrary way, and then certainly you will meet with his sword, and so prevent the giving in of the Thrust.
Which is your next Lesson?
Lesson 10. Of the Low Feint.
My next Lesson is, * the Low Feint, and when you intend to play it, you must remember to have your sword without your Adversaries, and when it is so, make ex∣actly the second Motion of the Double Feint, at the Head, and give in the Thrust above as you did in it, & when you are without di∣stance, approach with the Feint, or first Mo∣tion, and give the Thrust with the second.
May not a Man make a Double Feint up∣on this Lesson?
Yes very well, * by only making the Motion with which you was to give in your Thrust above the Sword, a Feint, and give in your Thrust as in the single Feint at the Head, at your Adversaries Arm-Pitt, and when you are without distance, approach with your first Feint or Motion.
Which is the Parade of this Lesson?
You may Parie it either by answer∣ing every Motion, * or otherwise make use of the Contre-caveating Parade.
Have you a Contrary to this Lesson?
Yes, you may whon your Adversa∣ry is making his Low Feint, take time,* and give him the Thrust above his Sword, with your Nails in Quart, or you may Quart, or Volt, which I shall shew you hereafter.
Which is your next Lesson?
Lesson 11. Of Battery.
My next Lesson is called Battery.
Why hath it that name?
I know no other reason for its having that name, but because it is done with a kind of Beat. But before I proceed further, I will Page 62tell you that there are many Names of Lessons in this Art, the meaning of which cannot be easily explain•d in English, to make the name, and the Lesson answer o∣ther, and therefore you need not trouble your self to ask a reason for their having such Names.
I shall not; But pray tell me why you ha• not English Names to them?
I can give you no other reason then this, that it is like those who brought this A• first to this Kingdom, out of other Coun∣tries, have still given the Lessons the proper names, which they had in their own coun∣try, and now those Lessons are so well known by the same names they give them at their first coming to this Kingdom, that they need no other.
I think indeed that must he the reason of it, but how must I play this Battery?
When you make use of this Lesson (for it is a kind of Beat) you may present your sword either without,* or within your Adver∣saries, if you present within his sword, and he within your-measure, you must lye with your sword about half a Foot from his, and when you intend to play the Lesson, give a little stroak with the Edge, and Feible of your sword, upon the Edge and Feible of Page 63your Adversaries, and in the very time you give the stroake give a beat with your Foot to surprize him: if he doth not in the least answer your stroak by offering to parie, give him the Thrust streight home to his Right Pap, as you give in a plain Thrust within the Sword, remember when you give the stroak, to make the Motion only with the wrest, for by so doing you keep your Body closs, and doth not disorder your self.
I understand you, but if he offer to an∣swer my stroak, what must I doe in that ease?
If you perceive him offer to go to the parade, then slip him, and give him the thrust without, and above the sword.
May not a man make a Double Feint upon this Lesson?
Yes very well.
How I pray you?
Thus, * when you perceive him going to the Parade, immediatly slip, and make your Feint in the other side, and give in the Thrust upon that side on which you gave the Beat.
Must I give a Beat with my Foot, at every Motion?
You may either give a beat at e∣very Motion you make, or otherwise, on∣ly Page 64at the first, just as you please, and when you are without distance, approach with the first Motion, and give the Beat with the Feible of your Sword, upon the Feible of your Adversaries.
And how am I to play this Lesson, my Sword being presented without my Adversaries?
You must observe exactly the same rules, your Sword being present∣ed without your Adversaries, as you do your Sword being presented within it, for you may play this Lesson upon any side, without dis∣engaging, after you have presented your Sword.
Which is your Contrary to this Battery?
My Contrary is this, you may either Park it with the Contre-caveating parade,* or otherwise, you may meet his stroak, and make a half Thrust at him, which will make him go to the parade, and so you be∣come the Pursuer.
Which is your next Lesson?
Lesson 12. Of Volt Coupe.
My next Lesson is Volt Coupe.
How is it to be played?
You are to play it thus, when your Sword is presented within your Adversaries,* and he within your measure, make a Feint at his Face, with your Nails in Quart, and when you do it, give a Beat with your Foot, and Quart your Head well, and if he an∣swer your Feint by offering to parie, and parieth high, then give him the Thrust in the Belly with your Nails in Terce, as in the single Feint at the Head, and hold your Left hand that same way, to defend your self from a contre-temps as you doe in it. see Plate 5. fig. 2.
But what if be parie Low?*
If he parie you with the first parade in Quart and very low, then make use of the Double Volt-coupe, which is done thus, after you have made your Feint, instead of giving him the Thrust in the Belly, you Slip his parade, and give him the Thrust with∣out and above the Sword which resembleth something the Double Battery, and when you are without distance, approach with the first Motion, or Feint.
How must I play this Lesson when my sword is presented without my Adversaries?
You must first Dis-engage.
Which is your contrary to this Lesson?
It is this, you may either Parie it Page 66with the second Parade in Quart, or you may take time,* and give him the Thrust, that same very way he was to give it you, just when he is making the Motion at your face or you may pass with your Thrust, which shall be shewn you when I come to speake of passing.
You have now described to me very plain∣ly the Feints, which you told me a little before of: as also their Contraries, I pray you now go on to your other Lessons, and be as plain in the discrib∣ing of them.
Lesson 13. Of Binding.
I shall, my next Lesson then is the Binding, or securing of your Adversaties Sword, which certainly is the chiefest Lesson, belonging to this Art. For a Man that can play it exactly, needeth almost no o∣ther.
Because you commend this Lesson so much, I shall hear you discribe it wth the more attentiveness, that I may the better understand it.
You will do well to do so, for it is the only secure play, belonging to the smal Sword.
I shall, therefore I pray you, let me hear how it is done?
Take notice to me then, * when you keep the Quart Guard, the first thing that ever you should doe, should be to se∣cure or Bind your Adversaries sword, which if it be well done, you will be but in little hazard of being hurt by him, and it is done after this manner, after your sword is presented either within, or without your Ad∣versaries, immediatlie overlapp Six, or seven Inches of your Adversaries Sword, with 8: or 10: of yours, the doing of with se∣cureth his Sword: this Binding must alwayes be done with the edge of your Sword, whi∣ther it be presented within or without your Ad∣versaries, and immediatlie after you have Bound his Sword, give him the Thrust streight home, keeping a closs Left Foot, and remember alwayes when you bind, to give a beat with your Foot, and Bind with a spring, that is to say, press his Sword almost to the Ground, but stay not with it, but instantlie bring up your Sword again, and give in the Thrust.
I begin to think that when a Man maketh use of this Lesson, he indeed secureth his Adversaries Sword better, and is in less hazard Page 68of being bitt by a Contre-temps, then when be maketh use of any of the preceeding Lessons.
That is most certain, otherwise I could not have had the confidence, to re∣commend it so earnestly to you.
Sir I am oblidged to you, for the pain• you take to informe me; but which is your parade against this Lesson?*
The best Parade absolutelie against this Lesson, is the Contre-caveating Parade.
Which is your contrary to binding?
My Contrary is Caveating, or Slip∣ping,* and you must do it before your Ad∣versarie feel your Sword, for your must understand, that this binding is done by feel∣ing, and not by seing, as the Lessons before shewn you are.
I pray you let me understand this way of playing by feeling.
It is known thus, when you over∣lap your Adversaries Sword, if he slipp you before you touch his Sword, (which is the feeling of it.) then your offering to bind is in vain, because he hath prevented it by Caveating your sword, but if you feel his sword before he Caveat you, then you may safely give home the thrust, because you did first secure it. Which you knew by your feeling, or touching of his sword, and which Page 69you, nor no man else, could have so well discerned by your sight.
But what must I doe to prevent my Ad∣versaries slipping of my Sword when I am going to seeure his?
You must (if you intend to Bind his Sword within,* and he slipp you) rebind his Sword again, either without, by making use of the first Parade in Terce, or within by making use of the Contre-caveating Parade, & after you have rebound him, give him home the Thrust, or if you intend to bind his sword without, and he slipp you, then either rebind him again within his sword, by making use of the first Parade in Quart, or without his sword, by making use of the Contre-caveating Parade, and remember that Binding or the Contre caveating parade, are only the contraries to slipping, and that slipping is ab∣solutely the best Contrary, either against the Contre caveating-Parade, or binding.
I understand you very well, but may I not play a Feint with Binding?
That you may, for you may make the ordinary single, and double Feint upon it, which resembleth very near the single, and double Feint upon battery, or you may bind his sword without, & give in your Thrust as you do when you play the single Feint at the Head.
When I am without distance and intends to bind my Adversaries sword, must I not approach with the binding?
Yes, that you must.
I find this to be a very useful Lesson, and therefore I will endeavour to practise it as much as lyeth in my power, that so I may become master of it.
If you do that, I am confident you will confess to me, that what I have said in commendation of it, is far less then it deserveth.
It may be so, but which is your Next Lesson?
Lesson 14. Of Flancanade.
My next Lesson is called Flancanade.
How am I to play this Lesson?
* You must play it thus, (for it is a kind of binding) when you have presented within your Adversaries sword, then over-lapp his sword within with about a foot of yours upon 8. Inches of his, and give him the Thrust in his right Flanck, upon the out∣side of his sword, and beneath it, with your Page [unnumbered]Page [unnumbered]
One Parieing his Adversaries thrust wt the 2d parade in •orce see pag: 30
One giving in: Flanconade see pag: ••
What Contrary have you to this Lesson?
There are only two Contraries to this Lesson, the first is by Parieing,* and the other by slipping, and the Parade is with the second Parade in Terce, when your Adver∣sarie is giving in the Thrust.
Which is your contrary to the Parade?
If I perceive him offer to Parie,* then I give him the thrust without, and above the sword, as in the double Feint at the Head, & if he slipp my overlapping, then I either make use of Binding, or the Contre∣caveating Parade.
When I am without distance must I not approach, with the overlapping or Binding?
Yes, that you must, and if your Sword be at first presented without your Adversaries, then before you can play this Lesson, you must first dis-engage.
Which is your next Lesson?
Lesson 15. Of Ʋnder-Counter.
My next Lesson is Ʋnder-Counter.
How do you play it?
It is almost played like Flancanade,* only whereas in it, after you have over∣lapped your Adversaries Sword, you give him the Thrust in his Flank, in this you must go quite under his Sword, turning your hand in Terce, & bring up his Sword, and give him the Thrust, as you give it when you play the single Feint at the Head, and hold your left hand that same very way also, as you do in it.
Which is your Contrary to this Lesson.*
There are also only two Contraries a∣gainst this Lesson, the first is by Parieing, and is done by making use of the second Parade in Quart, when he hath overlapped your Sword, and is giving in the Thrust, the Page 73second is by slipping, when he is overlapping your Sword, and giving the Thrust without and above his sword, by De-querting or Quart∣ing off the streight Line, which shall be shewn you in its proper place, and is represented by the second figure of the ninth plate.
Which is your contrary to this parade?
My contrary to this Parade,* is the Feint at the Head upon the true parade, and my contrary to his slipping, is either binding, or the Contre caveating Parade, when you are with∣out distance, you must also approach with your overlapping, and if at first your sword be presented without your Adversaries, you must before you offer to play this Lesson dis∣engage, because this Lesson is surer to be played when your Sword is presented with∣in your Adversaries, then when it is presented without, for when you have presented with∣in, you have the Advantage of overlapp∣ing your Adversaries Sword, which in some Manner secureth it, Which you can∣not at all do, when you have presented without, unless you first dis-engage.
Is this all you have to say of this Lesson?
Which is your Next then?
Lesson. 16. of Beating.
My next Lesson is, of the beating of your Adversaries Sword, with one or both hands.
I pray you shew me how that is done?
A Man should never offer to make use of this Lesson, untill he be almost Mas∣ter of this Art, because the doing of it dis∣ordereth his Body, besides that a Man is in hazard of being hitt, if he should miss his Beat, but because you are curious to know how it is done, I shall satisfie you.
I pray you do so?
You must do it after this manner, * when you intend to make use of this Lesson, you must let your Adversaries Sword be within yours, & then either only with your right hand, or otherwise, with your Left, joyned to your sword about 8. or 10. In∣ches from the hilt, as in Plate 11. Fig. 2. (To do it with the greater Force,) Dis engage, and beat your Adversaries Sword strongly, and smartly, upon the outside, with the strong of yours, upon the Feible of his, and Page 75do it with a spring, that is when you beat, let not the point of your sword fol∣low your Adversaries, but keep your point as near streight towards your Adversarie as possible, the doing of which will less dis∣order your Body, then if •e followed your Adversaries sword, for then your Body would be discovered within your sword, and so you would give your Adversarie, an op∣portunity to thrust at you, if you hapned to miss his sword.
I take you up very well, But what signi∣fyeth this beating?
It is very usefull, for if you beat your Adversaries sword smartly, * and with a spring, as I before told you, you will hardly ever fail, either to beat it, (unless he be all the better skill'd in this Art, and take the more notice to himself;) out of his hand, or if he keep his sword very firme, you may infallibly give him the Thrust, but remember if you intend to give the Thrust, to give it upon the streight Line, by keeping a Closs Left Foot, unless you in∣tend to Pass with your beat, as I shall teach your hereafter.
Well, but can I never make use of this Lesson, but when my Adversarie hath presented his sword within mine?
Yes, that you may very well.
Shew me then upon what occasions, * I should make use of it?
You may doe it upon thir occa∣sions, First, if your Adversarie offer to give in a plain Thrust, either within, or, without your sword, then before his Thrust come home to you, recovering your Body a little, Disengage, and beat his sword, if he Thrust within your sword, Disengage, and beat his sword, upon the out-side, and if he Thrust without, Disengage, and beat within, and instantly after the beat, give him home the Thrust. Secondly, if he should offer to make a Feint, within your sword, then im∣mediatly in the time of his making the Feint, Disengage, and beat his sword, and give him home the Thrust. Thirdly, if you should offer to make a Feint within his sword, and he should take time, and Thrust just as you are making your Feint, then in∣stantly Disengage and before his Thrust be home at you, beat his sword, and give him the Thrust, alwayes with a closs Left Foot; this I think as good a time for Beat∣ing of your Adversaries sword this way, as can be, but you must be sure not to miss his sword, for if you do, he is but an igno∣rant, if he miss you, And therefore, I Page 77think a man should be very Expert in the Parade, and judging of his Adversaries Measure, before he should offer to make use of this Lesson.
I am much of your opinion, considering what difficulty there is in playing of it well.
I can assure you, the more you practise this Lesson, the more you will find out the hazard a man is in, if he happen to miss his Adversaries Sword.
I believe it indeed, but can a Man ne∣ver play this Lesson without Disengaging?
Yes you may Beat your Adversaries Sword, after this same manner, without Disengaging, when he offereth to give in a plain Thrust, without your Sword, but then your Beat hath not such a spring with it, to cause him part with his Sword, as when he offereth to Thrust, either without or with∣in your Sword, and you Disengage, and Beat upon that time, which certainly is the best.
You are in the right now when I consi∣der it. But is their no other way, to Beat the sword, * to cause it go out of my Adversaries Hand?
Yes, there are yet two wayes which I have not as yet shewn you?
I pray you show me them?
The first way then is done thus, when your Adversary hath his sword pre∣sented Page 78within yours,* then on a sudden give a smart Beat, with the strong and edge of your sword, upon the Feible, and outter edge of his, and let your Beat be very strong, and quick.
Which is your second way?
The second way is done by a twist, and is just done as you play under-counter, on∣ly you must do it with a spring, * by throw∣ing of your point smartly up towards your Adversaries left side?
What contraries have you to this Beating of the sword?
A man must of necessity either slipp the Beat,* or otherwise hold his Sword so fast, that his Adversary Beat it not out of his Hand. I have no other contraries against it, but the slipping is absolutly the best, you must also remember that you can never make use of Beating, but when you are with∣in distance.
I shall, but is this all you have to say of the Beating of the sword?
Which is your next Lesson then?
Lesson 17. Of Passing.
My next Lesson is of Passing, or making of a pass.
Shew me how I am to do that?
Before I shew you the way of doing it, * you must know that there are two kinds of Passes, the first kind, (and that which most properly deserveth the name of a Pass) is that with which a man goeth quite by, and behind his Adversary, the second kind which is called a Pass, (but improperly,) is that with which a Man goeth only closs to his Adversary, and when he is closs at him commandeth his Sword, and this most pro∣perly is called an inclosing or commanding of your Adversaries Sword, and shall be the next Lesson I shall shew you.
Shew me then the way of making a true Pass?
The true Pass is done by runing quite by your Adversaries right side untill you be behind him, * and when you are run∣ing by, give him the Thrust at his right pap, if you give him the Thrust above the Sword Page 80but if you give it him below at his Arm Pitt, then you must in the time of you passing keep your head that same very way as you do when you play the single Feint 〈◊〉 the Head, and that to preserve your Fa• from a blow, or joyne your left hand 〈◊〉 your Sword, about half a Foot from th• point, and give him the thrust the very sam• way as it is represented by the 2d: figure o• the seventh plate. And when you think yo• are farr enough past your Adversary (which is that if he should turn about to you, yo• would be out of his measure,) You mu• then turn about, and stand to your ow• defence again, and remember alwayes whe• you intend to pass, to go quite thorow wit• it. And not (if you should chance not 〈◊〉take the time exactly,) to stop in the midle and offer to recover your Body. For the• is farr less hazard in going foreward, a• though you have not taken the occasion al∣together so exactly as you should, the• to offer to recover your self.
Sir I think there is a great deal of reason for what you say, for when a man offereth to pas• it surpriseth his Adversary, if he go quite thorow with it, although he should miss the giving 〈◊〉 the Thrust, but when a man offereth to pass, an• doth it not freely, it both disordereth himself
Page [unnumbered]Page [unnumbered]
One receiving a thrust after his adversary hath beat his sword see pag: 80.
One passing below the sword after a beat given wt both his hands see pag: 80.
You may Pass upon the very same occasions that you can beat your Adversa∣ries sword. * (I mean not the two last wayes of beating of it.) But then you must first beat, and immediatly after your beat, Pass, or you may pass without beating, with the single Feint at the Head, Volt-coupe, and Ʋnder-counter, those are the best times which I know for Passing, but you will by frequent practice know all the occasions, upon which you may either Beat, or Pass, according to your pleasure.
Which is your contrary to passing?
If your Adversarie make use of Passing after his beat,* then prevent his Pass∣ing by using the contrary to beating, for by preventing his beating, you prevent his pass∣ing after his beat, but if he offer to pass u∣pon any other occasion, then the best con∣traries I know, are either to parie him, or otherwise to break his Measure, or go off the streight Line, as shall be taught you here. after.
Which is your next Lesson?
Lesson 18. of Commanding the Sword.
I told you before that my next Lesson should be of Inclosing, or commanding your Adversaries Sword.
Which way do you that.
There are two kinds of Inclosing, the first kind is done, by runing close to your Adversarie, * as it were with half a Pass. Which I before said was improperly called a Pass, the second kind is done without run∣ing, Now I shall begin with the Inclosing, with half a Pass as it were, and shew you First how that is done, afterwards I shall go to the second kind, and also shew you the occasions you are to take to do it: as for the first kind then it is done thus, when you intend to Command your Adversaries sword, or inclose with him, you must run close to his right side, and take hold of the Hilt of his Sword, and not of his Arm, (as Igno∣rants do,) so that their Adversarie to be in a manner in equal terms with them again, hath nothing to do but to change Page 83his Sword, from his right hand to his Left, and then I pray you for what serveth the securing of the hand, seing the Sword is not secured.
Certainly a man should alwayes endea∣vour to secure the Sword rather as the Arm, but I think this a very dangerous kind of Lesson, for if I should run so upon my Adversarie as you tell me, be hath no more to doe, but to catch me upon the point of his Sword.
There will be no fear of that, if you but observe the directions which I shall give you.
Sir to the outmost of my power I shall, pray let me hear them?
They are these then which follow, *first when you intend to Command or Inclose this way, you must try if your Adversarie answereth Feints, if he do not answer them, then it will be hard to inclose with him this way, but if he do Answer and offereth to go to the Parade, then immedi∣atly Inclose with a plain thrust within his sword, at his belly, * by turning the point of your sword, towards the right side of his Belly, for the better resisting of his Parade if he should meet with your sword, before that you hitt him, and when you are run∣ing to give your Thrust, let your Nails be Page 84turned in Terce. Secondly, you may Inclose with an ordinary single,* or double Feint: Thirdly you may inclose the same way, * with Volt-Coupe. Fourthly you may also Inclose with half a Passe,* when you have secured your Adversaries sword without, and when you Passe, carry the point of your sword, towards your Adversaries Left pap, as when you give in the Thrust within the sword, you was to carry it towards the right side of his belly, and that also for the better resisting of his Parade, and when you Inclose with this thrust without the sword, carry your hilt low, to prevent his slipping of your sword, and giving you the Thrust, when you are runing to Inclose.
I understand you, but yet I see that a man in making use of this kind of inclosing, may be in a great deal of bazard, if he be not all the Experter in this Art.
Sir I tell you again that a Man should never offer to play any of thir Dif∣ficult Lessons, when he is assaulting, untill by practice upon a Masters breast, he hath become Master of them.
I see so indeed, but are there no wayes to prevent this kind of inclosing?
Yes that there are.
I would very gladly know them?
You may then prevent your Adver∣saries Commanding of your sword after this kind, as followeth, first then,* if your Ad∣versarie maketh use of the First, Second, or Third wayes, you may shun his Commanding, by throwing back your right Foot, and when you do it, Parie his Pass with the se∣cond parade in Terce.
But secondly, if he make use of the Fourth way, then you may prevent his Commanding Three wayes, First you may when he is Passing, if he hath not secured your sword all the better, throw back your right Legg, * and Parie his Passe with the First Parade in Terce, and in the mean time you may with your left hand secure his sword, Secondly, if he hath win the Feible of your sword, so that you cannot Parie him with the First Parade in Terce, then without moving your right Foot, Parie him with the second Parade in Terce, which I shew you in the Parade in page 31 if your Adversarie should Thrust with∣out, and above the sword. Thirdly, you may pre∣vent him by (just as he is going to run) giving him the thrust, by de-quarting, or quarting off the streight Line, which shall be shewn you in its proper place, and so I go on to the se∣cond kind of inclosing, which I told you of.
How am I to inclose after this second kind?
There are several occasions in which a man may make use of this Second kind of inclosing,* which is done without runing, as first if your Adversarie keep a high point and your sword be presented without his, & he within your measure; then with the Fort of your sword, and your Naills turned up∣wards from you, put up the point of his sword, and keeping your right soot close, throw forward your left almost close to your Adversaries right Foot, and then se∣cure his sword, as I have before told you. Secondly, if your Adversarie keep a low point, * then you may overcross his sword, with your strong upon his weak, and so pres∣sing down the point of his sword, near the ground, throw forward your left hand, and take hold of his sword with it, just at the hilt, and so wrest it out of his hand, when you make use of this occasion, you must keep a close left Foot. *Thirdly, when your Adver∣sarie giveth in a Thrust, within your sword, parie him with the first parade in Quart, and take hold of his sword that same very way you was to do it before. *Fourthly, when your Adversarie giveth in a Thrust at you, without your sword, immediatly Parie him with the first Parade in Terce, and in the very time of your Parade, throw your left Foot Page [unnumbered]Page [unnumbered]
One commanding his Adversaries sword by taking the fifth occasion see pag: 87
One commanded by the fifth occasion
Pray do so, for I was just going to desire it of you.
You may then prevent your Ad∣verlaries Commanding of your sword, * as fol∣loweth; first if your Adversarie should make use of the first occasion, you may shun his Commanding, by throwing back your right Foot, and in the time you throw it back, give him a blow upon the Left hand; this must be done, just as he is throwing in his Left Foot to command or you may, when you perceive him offer to Command, leape quite out of his measure. * Secondly, if your Adversarie make use of the second oc∣casion of Commanding, you may shun him thus, immediately when he hath overcrossed your Sword, and you perceive him bringing foreward his left Hand to secure yours, either with a leap half about to the right, change your Feet, by putting the left, where the right was, and the right where the left was, and instantly take hold of his Sword, and so long as you keep it in your hand, hold the point of yours to Page 89his Breast, you may perceive the advan∣ta•e, of making use of this contrary, pro∣viding you take the right time, for if you do it right, you not only shun his Com∣manding of you, but you at one time both prevent his inclosing with you, and you be∣come the pursuer, by Commanding of his Sword, whereas he should have Commanded yours, but as I said before, you must be sure, to take the right time, otherwise you will be disappointed.
But what is to be done, if he should catch hold of my Sword, before that I command his?
Truely, if that happen you must either yeild him your sword, or if you will not do that, but rather run the ha∣zard of receiving a Thrust, you must in∣stantly when you find that your sword is secured, turn your Hand in Terce, and strive to secure his sword likewise, before that he can get his sword free of you to harm you, but if you take this method, you must do it very quickly.
But although I turn my hand in Terce, may not my Adversary force my sword from me, before that I can take hold of his?
Yes that he may, by only (when you have turned your hand,) drawing your Page 90sword sidewise out of it, by raising of your Point, and pressing down your Hilt.
I understand all you say very well, but only that of taking the right time I understand not.
I shall explain it to you then, * there are two times, viz. A right and a wrong, for the wrong I have nothing to do with it in this place, because most commonly all people take it, but to take the right time, is that which at this time I am to explain to you, and shew you upon what occasions a man is said to take it, there are then two occasions in which a man is said to take the right time, * first, when a man hath an opportunity of playing of a Lesson, command∣ing, or giving in a Thrust, and neglecteth not that occasion, then he is said to take the right time.* The second is when a man pre∣venteth his Adversary, by playing the same or the like Lesson upon his Adversary, which his Adversary designed to play upon him, and to make use of this second occasion right, a man must be sure to be before his Adversa∣ry, that is to say, whatever Lesson he designes to prevent his Adversaries Lesson with, he must have it played before his Adversary hath played his, otherwise it will be a Con∣tre-temps, as for example, if your Adver∣sary should offer to give you in a Plain Page 91Thrust, and you in the very time of his giv∣ing of it in, should give him a plain Thrust, before that his be home at you, by Quart∣ing your head, and shoulders upon the streight Line; then I say you are Before him, because although he pursued first, yet you pre∣vented him▪ and was Before him, in so far as your Thrust, was sooner home at him, then his at you, which had it not been so, it would have been a Contre-temps, because you would have been hitt, had you not Quarted all the better upon the streight Line; In like manner if a man should offer to com∣mand your sword, by taking the second oc∣casion, and you should offer to prevent him, by the contrary to it, which I just be∣fore shew you, I say, you must then have your Contrary played, and his sword Com∣manded, before that he hath yours Com∣manded, otherwise you have neither taken the right time nor been Before him, and therefore your endeavouring to prevent him signified nothing. I think I have now sufficiently Explained to you, what the taking of the right time is.
You have so Sir and I understand you very well, but I pray you go on in what you was saying, Concerning the shuning of my Adversaries commanding my sword.
I shall, Thirdly then, if your Ad∣versarie should take the Third occasion you may prevent him thus, * either by reco∣vering of your Body, before that he catch hold of your sword, or if he do catch hold of it before that you can recover your Body, you must then Instantlie turn your hand in Terce, and before that he can have the time either to disarme you, or to get his sword free of you to command you, throw in your left foot & command his sword likewise, and then he that is strongest must carry it.
Fourthly, if your Adversary take the fourth occasion for Commanding,* you may either prevent him, by making use of the 5th occasion as in Plat 8. fig. 1. & so you command his sword, whereas he should have comman∣ded yours, or you may when he is throwing in his left foot, & going to take hold of your sword, immediately throw your Left Foot behind you, towards your Adversarie, and upon it, as a Center make a whole turn to the Left, and in the time you are tur∣ning, clapp the Feible of your sword, under your Left Arm Pitt, and so you both shun his Commanding of your sword, and you give him the Thrust, with your sword being placed as I told you, in his Left shoul∣der as you are turning, if you do this Page 93contrary right, the turn that you make upon your left Foot, will put you quite behind your Adversarie, and as I said in the very turning, you give him the Thrust, and after you have given it him, you must jump out of his Measure, and then stand to your Guard again, By this contrary you may see how ridiculous some people are, in thinking that a Man cannot be fairly woun∣ed in the back, I am sure, there is no ra∣tional Man that will deny the faireness of this Thrust, and yet you see it is given at your Adversaries back.
I see so indeed, and till now, I thought so my self, but now I see the contrary both of this, and other things, which before I could not, because of my Ignorance, but I think this turning? pretty kind of contrary.
It is so, but you would take heed that you play it not to your knowledge, up∣on any who know the contrary to it, for if you do, it is ten to one, but you meet with a reward, for your folly.
Why so, is their any hazard, in this turning?
Yes that there is, * for if your Adver∣sary should but thrust you off him with his Left Hand upon your left shoulder when you are turning, he may either certainly Page 94give you the thrust in the Back, or cause you fall if he thrust you off him with a little force, and in the mean time trip you with his left Foot.
I see now indeed that there is more ha∣zard in the making use of this turning, then at first I thought there was.
Sir if you were not convinced with the reasons I give you, * that what I say is right, I would think my labour lost: But to the purpose, if your Adversary should offer to command your sword, by taking the Fifth occasion for Inclosing, you may then make use of the contrary to the First occasion, but you must do it very quickly, otherwise you will not be Before him, and so he will have you commanded, before that you could prevent him with your contrary.
These are all the contraries to the several occasions a man can have to inclose, or command, are they not?
Yes, they are all which I think Necessary to shew you, and therefore I will proceed to my next Lesson.
Concerning what is it?
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?
Lesson 20. Of Redoubling of Thrusts.
It is of Redoubling of Thrusts, and Gathering up of your left Foot, which is to be done thus, after you have let in your Thrust, and that your Adversarie hath broken your Measure,* and you at your Elonge, keeping your right Foot closs, draw your left so near to it, that you can either ap∣proach, or make another Elonge, just as you please, and when you Redouble or give in another Thrust, First Bind, for it is the securest way, and then give in your Thrust, it you can play this Lesson well, you may pursue your Adversarie, by this Redoubling, (although he should break your Measure) half a paire or more according to your strength, and when you Redouble, remember as a general rule, alwayes either Page 99to Beat, or Bind your Adversaries sword, before you offer to give the Thrust, for it will preserve you from a great many Contre∣temps.
I think this a very useful Lesson, for I per∣ceive it is just the contrary to retireing, or break∣ing of measure, which is a great preventer of all thrusts.
It is so, and if you learn not to do this Redoubling exactly, your Adversary may many a time shun your thrust, which (had you known how to Redouble) he might certainly have gotten.
I perceive so indeed, but shew me your next Lesson?
Lesson 21. Of raising or gathering up of the sword.
* My next Lesson is of Raising or Gather∣ing up of your Adversaries sword, and I do it thus, when my Adversary either present∣eth his sword, with a very low point, so that I cannot easily bind it, or that he mak∣eth use of the Quart Guard, with a sloping point near to the Ground, then I present my Page 100sword within his, and brings his up with the edge of my sword, not farr from his point, and when I have raised it as high as my mid∣dle then I bind him in the outside, and so I give him the thrust, either streight home with∣out his sword, or I make a Feint without, and give the thrust within, you must know that this raising and binding of my Adversa∣ries sword, is done with two Motions, with the first I bring up his sword, and with the second I Bind, when you are without distance, you must approach with the raising or gathering up of the sword,
*Is this all you have to say of this Lesson?
Yes, only that the contrary to it, is slipping.
Which is your next Lesson?
Lesson 22. Of Quarting and Volting.
My next and last Lesson is called Quarting and Volting, and is to be played off the streight line.
I intreat you shew me how this lesson is to be played?
You must play it after this manner, * you may either only Quart, or Volt, or Quart and Volt immediatly after other, if you only Quart, you must when your Adversary offer∣eth to bind your sword without, immediatly before he touch your sword, give him the thrust, by slipping him, and in the very time you slipp him, throw your left foot behind you off the streight line backwards towards your adversary, & give him the thrust at his breast, by keeping your right legg close and stretched, this is called Dequarting or Quar∣ting off the streight line; see plat: 9. fig: 2. and if you intend to Volt, you may either take the same verie time, or when he is going to Bind you within, but this time is not so safe as the former, or you may Volt after you have Bound his sword, this is a verie good time, but whatsoever time you take, you must Volt, or leap with both your feet in the Air at once, quite by your Adversaries left shoul∣der, and in the time you Volt, Quart your head well, to prevent a Contre-temps, and give him the thrust at his left pap, and Volt quite out of his Measure, and then stand to your Guard again, and remember when you either Quart or Volt, alwayes to make use of your left hand for fear of a Contre-temps. But if you intend to Quart, and Volt immedi∣atly Page 102after other; then you must first quart as I have shewn you, but give not your thrust with your quarting, and afterwards volt, I say you must first quart, and secure his sword within, by binding in the verie time you quart, and immediatly after give him the thrust at his left Pap, by volting as I told you, now the properest time, of Quarting, and volting, immediatly after other, is when your Adversary giveth in a thrust within your Sword, or when he goeth to bind your Sword without, then immedi∣atly you Quart, and with the Quarting secur∣eth and Parieth his thrust as it were, although the Quarting of it self shuneth it sufficiently, yet it is farr surer first to secure his Sword, in the time you Quart, and then with your volt you give the thrust, as I before shew you.
I see this is a difficult Lesson, and should not be played, but when one hath a verie fair opportunity for in playing of it, a man throweth his body wholly open to his Adversarie.
Sir your observation is good, and I am glad to see you reflect upon the secu∣rity, and hazard a man may be in when he maketh use of such, and such a lesson, for it is a great signe that you will reap advantage, from what I have at pre∣sent Page 103been teaching you.
I pray you if you have a Contrary to this Quarting and Volting, shew me it?
There is no other contrary to this Lesson,* but when you perceive that your Adversary is either going to quart, or Volt, to Rebind him without his sword, by making use of the contre caveating Parade, and give him the Thrust streight home, or you may take time and Volt upon him.
And are you now Sir at an end with your Lessons?
But have you no more to say, before you go on to the pursuing and defending of the several Guards?
No, for although there might be a great deal more said, yet I think what I have taught you, sufficient to make you a Master of this Art, providing you practise it exactly, for the Lessons which I have shewn you, are those upon which this Art depends, so that a Man that can once play them exactlie, in my opinion needeth no other, besides that a Man when once he knoweth the common grounds, may ac∣cording to his own fancy, invent very good Lessons, together with their contraries, for his own practice, for all Lessons that can Page 104be invented, depend upon thir that I have been shewing you.
Sir I think there is a great deal of reason for what you say, but now let us go to the several Guards, and see how they must be pursued and defended
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.
CHAP. VI. General Rules to be observed, when a Man is playing either with Blunts or Sharps, against those who understand this Art, or against those who are altogether Ignorant of it.
I shall, and I must advertise you, that all that I have shewn you will signifie but just nothing, if you do not exactlie both remember, and put in practice the Rules which I am going to shew you, for as I told you in the Epistle to the Reader, that what I was to shew you in this Treatise was the Quintessence of this art, so I assure you that what I am now going to shew you is in effect the Quintessence not only of this Treatise, but Page [unnumbered]Page [unnumbered]
One keeping the quart guard wt a sloping point see pag: i08
One keeping the fifth kind of guard which hath no proper name see pag: iii
Sir I shall to the outmost of my power en∣deavour to observe them all, seing you say they are of so great importance.
I earnestlie entreat you for your own good that you would do so, they are those which follow.
In the First place then,* whither you be to play with Blunts, or Sharps, endeavour as much as you can to play Calmly, and without pasion, or anger, for besides that it appears to bystanders very unhandsome, it also disordereth your self, and for my part I would scarcely desire a greater advan∣tage of a man, then when I am playing with him that he should be passionat, for it putteth him quit from using any kind of Art; but you must not mistake Vigorous and BriskPage 138playing for Passionate playing, I assure you there is a vast difference betwixt them for a Passionate man can hardlie ever be a good Sword-Man, and upon the contrary, a Man can hardlie ever be a good Sword-Man, with∣out playing Vigorously, and Briskly, this is a great property in a Sword-Man, the other a great imperfection, and therefore I shall end this Rule with that saying of Seneca when he speaketh of anger, and it is a very true one, I shall therefore here give you it verbatim, The Hunts man is not angry with the wilde Boar, when he either pursues, or receives him; a good sword Man watches his opportunity, and keeps himself upon his Guard, whereas Passion layes a Man open: nay, (sayeth he) it is one of the prime Lessons in a Fencing School to learn not to be angry. And certainly without any manner of doubt, it is one of the dis∣advantagiousest faults that a Sword-Man can be guiltie of: Therefore you would do well to guard against it, as much as pos∣sible.
Secondly,* Remember alwayes to keep your sword fast and firm in your hand, after you have presented it, but not so as to weary it. Thirdly, What ever Guard you stand to, keep as thin a body as possible, * & the nearer you can (without constraining your self) sink Page 139to the ground, so much the better.
Fourthly,* Always when you give in a thrust within the sword, give it with your nails in Quart, and when without the sword, then with your nails in Terce, except when you play the Double Feint at the Head, and Flancanade, for in the first you must give your thrust with∣out the sword, with your nails in Quart, and in the other you must give it with your nails looking side-wayes, see Plate 6, Fig. 2: the Quarting of your Head, and holding your hand in Quart, when you thrust within the sword, and the holding your hand in Terce, and your head from your Adversaries sword, when you thrust without the sword, preserveth you from your Adversaries Con∣tre-temps thrusts.
Fifthly,* When you give in a thrust either without the sword, or within, thrust al∣ways closs by the Feible of your Adversaries sword, this is most proper when you give in a plain thrust, or make an Ordinar single or double Feint; and when you thrust by any means keep a closs left Foot, and a stretched hough, which will hinder you to fall a∣mongst your Adversaries feet, and also help you to recover your self the quicklyer; which you must not neglect to do instantly after every thrust, by first drawing back of Page 140your right foot a little when you are at your full Elonge, and going to your Adversaries sword both at one time, and either Beat, or Bind it, which will preserve you from his thrust upon the Respost or back of his Parade; For not observing of this fifth Rule many a Man getteth a thrust, which otherwise he would have shuned, therefore mind it well.
Sixthly,* The first thing you are ordinarly to do after you have presented your Sword, is to Secure your Adversaries by Binding of it, which if it be neatly done as it should, will infallibly cross all his designes, and hinder the violentness of his pursuit.
Seventhly,* Never let your Adversarie secure your sword, if you can by any means hinder him, which is done by alwayes Slipping of him, and Dis-engaging with his sword.
Eighthly,* Never answer a Feint unless you do it upon some designe.
Ninthly,* Play with Hand and Foot together, when you are either Falsifying, Binding, or Stricking your Adversaries Sword, especial∣ly when you are playing with Ignorants, for the Motion you make with your Foot in a manner surpriseth them, and maketh them answer your Feints the better, which nevertheless they should by no means doe, Page 141for when a Man answereth Feints, it is a great token of his ignorance.
Tenthly, * Parie most frequently with the Con∣tre-caveating Parade, for by so doing you will cross all your Adversaries designs.
Eleventhly,* when you are playing, look always to your Adversaries Hilt, and never to his Eye, for by looking to his Hilt you may perceive where he intends to give his thrust, which you cannot so easily doe, when you look to his Eye.
Twelfthly,* Before you play home any Lesson on your Adversary, endeavour first to sift and find him out, by trying him with Feints, or any other Lesson you think fit, but offer not to play them home upon him, untill by sifting of him, you find out whither or not they will have effect; and have a spe∣cial care that when you are trying him with these Lessons he take not time upon you.
Thirteenthly, When you are playing, * you •re to judge both your own, and your Ad∣versaries measure exactly, this is a chief Rule to be observed by any Sword Man, for the breaking of Measure Parieth more thrusts then the Parade doth, and sheweth more of Art.
Fourtheenthly,* When you intend to make any kind of Pass, go quite by, or closs Page 142to your Adversarie, according as your de∣sign is, and do not as some who stopp in the very middle of their Passe, because they did not take exactlie the Right time upon their Adversarie, for by so doing, they put themselves in a great deal of more hazard, then if they went quite forward with it.
Fifthteenthly,* Never offer to give home a Thrust unless you find a fit opportunitie for I assure you, the plainest Thrust you ca• give, in some manner disordereth you• body, and therefore you should not thru• in vain, but wait untill your Adversari• give you that opportunity.
Sixthteenthly.* If your Adversarie Break you Measure, then Redouble upon him, this R•∣doubling is most to be practised with Blunts although you may sometimes of necessity be forced to make use of it with Sharps,* bu• I am for as little making use of it then a possible, because a man disordereth him∣self in doing of it too often.
When you have occasion t• make use of Sharps, observe all the for• going Rules, in so far as they are no contradictorie to these I am going to she• you, but where you find them not agree th•u observe those which follow, I say Page 143you are to make use of Sharps.
First,* When you play with Sharps make not your Elonge too long, for fear of your feet slipping, which may put your life in hazard:
Secondly,* In playing with Sharps play not too difficult Lessons, for they dis∣order your body, and serve most to shew 〈◊〉 Mans art when he is playing with Blunts, but they are not proper to be made use of when Men are playing with Sharps; There∣fore make most ordinary use of a single Thrust, and Binding, together with the Con∣•re-caveating-Parade, or if you have the Pa∣•ade exactlie, you may take your self to the Defensive part, and Pursue upon the Res∣post, which is also a most secure kind of playing, if a Man be exactlie master of the Parade, but not otherwise; Now this play, and no other kind of play but this, can be cal∣led the secure play of the Smal sword, therefore mark it well.
Thirdly, In playing with sharps,* keep as streight a point towards your Adversarie as possible, with a stretched arm, but be sure to keep your point dis-engaged and al∣wayes moving, that so you may hinder his securing of it; if you observe this Rule well, you will find a great advantage by it.Page 144
Fourthly,* In playing with Sharps, have alwayes your left hand in readinesss to put by your Adversaries scattering, or Contre-temps Thrusts; if you make use of your left hand with Judgement, you will also find a great advantage in it, but trust not all to it, for it is only to be used as a help to your sword.
Fifthly,* When you are playing with sharpes, be not too desirous of giving many Thrusts upon the back one of another, without recovering of your body, and Jumping out of your Adversaries Measure, but rather be satisfied with the giving of one wound, although it should be neve• so slight, and immediatly jump out of your Adversaries Measure, which will preserve you mightily from his Thrusts upon the Respost.
Sixthly,* In playing with Sharps, if your Adversarie chance to Command your sword, delay not the delivering of it, unless you think you may graple with him without being in hazard of your life, but rather yeild it to him and come in his Mercy, for you can expect no good but rather evil by the delaying of it, as many one to their sad experience have found, for there is no stoutness, but rather rashneis Page 145and folly, in struggling for your sword, when you know your Adversary is ma∣ster of it, and so consequentlie of you. Therefore I advice you as a Friend, to fol∣low my advice, seing it is no disparage∣ment to any man, to deliver his sword, after his Adversarie hath commanded it. For there is no man invincible, and al∣though we must, and doe use the means, yet it is Providence that ruleth all. Now the reason why I give you this Advice, is because there is almost no Sword-Man, that will after he hath Commanded your Sword, stand and de∣bate the matter with you anent the delivering of it, but he will instantly after the Commanding of it, if you quite not with it, give you a Thrust, and the reason of it is, because by his delaying, he may loose his advantage, and you may, if you be very quick, and nimble, graple and come in equal terms with him, therefore people ordinarly, for fear of runing that hazard, after they have got the advantage immediatly after their securing of the sword if it be not instantly delivered to them, they give the Thrust, and therefore, that you may not run this risk if it should happen that your sword should be Commanded, I have given you this foregoing Advice, which Page 146seemeth to me not altogether impertinent although to others it may.
But if you are to play against Ignorants, then you must know, that there are only Two Humours of them, the First is a foreward Humour,* and that you will easily find out, at your very first ingaging with him, for he will immediately run full upon you, alwayes Thrusting irregularly, and not caring whither you hitt him or not, provid∣ing that he can but give you thrust for thrust Contre-temps wayes, this first Humour in Ignorants is most crossing; The second is of an Humour not so foreward, and therefore not so troublesome, for his design will be to let you pursue him, and when you give in a thrust, he will receive it, when he can do no better, and endeavour in the mean time to give you a Contre-temps. You see both their Humours have one and the same design, but to put their designes in execution, they use two dif∣ferent Methods, for the first humour to effectu∣ate his design becometh the pursuer, al∣though he knoweth not in the least how to defend himself upon his pursuit, the second again to have his design, he taketh himself to the Defensive part, although he knoweth as little, yea perhaps less to defend himself Page 147then the former, and it is a very great token when an Ignorant taketh himself to the De∣fensive part against •an Artist, that he under∣standeth not in the least what is any wayes for his advantage, * for I must in this place (although it belongeth not to our dis∣course, and is as it were a Rule for Ignorants against Artists) give such Ignorants an ad∣vice, and that is, that for an Ignorant to offer to take himself to the Defensive part against an Artist is most ridicoulous, therefore all that they can do, must be to pursue as vio∣lently as possible, to see if they can any wayes put the Artist in a confusion, so that he knoweth not what Contrary to use against them, and so force him to take his hazard of receiving one Thrust, and giving another, but if he be a compleat Artist that such an Ignorant hath to deal with, this will not do the busines, although it be all that an Ig∣norant can possibly doe to win at one who understandeth this Art, yet I say that will not doe against a Compleat Sword-Man; there∣fore, I would wish that such Ignorants would rather apply themselves a little to the un∣derstanding of what I have been teaching you, that so they might by Art both endea∣vour to Defend themselves, and master their Adversarys, that if it should be their fate Page 148to do it, they may be said to overcome by Art, and not by Ignorance: this only com∣ing in be the by I shall leave it, and fall on to shew you what I promised; the First of these Two humours which I told you of, it being by farr the most troublesome and worst to cross, I will therefore shew you first how to behave against it.
Seventhly,* when you see your Adversarie Pursuing violently, and without any kinde of Art, First, either inclose upon him with Half a pass, if you think you are strong enough to struggle with him, or if you think you are too weak for him, * then Secondly keep a streight point towards his face with a stretch∣ed arme, and make use of your Left hand with it fo• a Parade, by drawing back of your right foot to your left, and standing as it were upon your Tip-toes as in page 51. Where I spoke of the Contraries to Feints. Or Thirdly, you may play Off the streight line upon him, which is excellent against Igno∣rants of the First humour; But if all that take not away the violentness of his Pursuit; Then Fourthly, you must Break his Measure untill you see an opportunitie of Thrusting or Inclosing: If you make use of thir Contraries as you should, I doubt not in the least but you will Master him; But some I know Page 149will think this Last Advice I give you of Breaking his Measure (or giving ground as they call it) looketh too like a Coward; If they be rationall Men who have that opini∣of Breaking of Measure, which sheweth a Mans Art as much as any thing that is practised with the Small Sword, I think I may easi∣ly convince them of their errour, but if they be such as will not be convinced by reason, but will be obstinate in their opinion, in GOD'S Name let them enjoy it, which it is like they may repent, if they ever happen to receive a thrust, which they would have shuned, had they broken their Adversaries measure. But to the purpose, I say when a Man is engaged for his life, * he should use all the Art imaginable to pre∣serve it, now if he doe that, he must of neces∣sity allow the Breaking of Measure, because it is of as great use as the Parade, for why doth a Man make use of the Parade, is it not to save himself from being Killed? I say if that be his design, which I believe no Man will deny, then say I, they must al∣low the Breaking of Measure, for that Defend∣eth them yet better: but say they, when a Man retireth it looketh as if he were affraid that his Adversary should Kill him if he did it not, I deny not in the least that, and Page 150I pray for what end doth a Man endeavour to Parie his Adversaries thrust, is it not also for fear he should hitt him? I am sure no Man will deny that; therefore if they allow the Parade, they must of necessity allow the Breaking of measure, otherwise they must allow a Man no Defenee at all; because according to their Argument, it looketh as if a Man were affraid of being hitt, which is altogether ridiculous. But besides this there would also two inconveniences follow upon the not allowing the Breaking of measure to Artists. The first is, that all Art with the Sword hand alone would almost signifie no∣thing against a foreward Ignorant, for here I also suppose that a Man is not to make use of his left hand for a Parade, because allow∣ing the left hand to be made use of by an Artist, then certainly the Ignorant let him take himself to what Pursuit he pleaseth would have the disadvantage, because of his not understanding how to make use of his left hand as well as the Artist, but I say allow∣ing the Artist only the use of the sword-hand against a Forward Ignorant, his Art then will signifie to him but little, the Breaking of Measure not being allowed him, this is the First Inconveniency, and the Second is, that all Weak Men let them have never so much Page 151Art, would almost alwayes have the worst, if they were to ingage against stronger then themselves, if the use of the left hand, and Breaking of Measure, be not allowed to them, which two Inconveniences I prove as follow∣eth, First that all Art with the Sword-Hand alone would signifie but little, is most e∣vident thus, let the ablest Fencing Master in Christendom be engaged against a Foreward Ignorant, and the Fencing Master neither al∣lowed to Parie the Ignorants thrusts with his Left hand, nor to Breake his Measure, then in an instant they either Contre-temps upon o∣ther, or Inclose, and if they do either, then the Ignorant may be said to have as much the Advantage as the other, for if they Contre-tempts, there is no reason why the Ignorants thrust should not be as mortal as the Fenc∣ing Masters: And if they Inclose then still the strongest must carry it, which proveth the Second Inconveniency, in not allowing the use of the left hand, and the Breaking of Mea∣sure to Weak men against Strong, for they have nothing to Defend themselves with, a∣gainst those who are Stronger then them but their Art, which can signifie almost no∣thing to them if the Breaking of Measure, and the use of their left hand be not allowed, and so it is ten to one, but the Strongest Man Page 152carry it, unless by chance the Weak Man Contre-Temps the Strong in a more dangerous part of the Body then he doth the Weak, for if they inclose, undoubtedly the Strongest must carry it, and if they Contre-temps, then whose soever thrust is severest he must carry it, which cannot be said to be by Art, but meer Fortune; I know some will object that an expert Fencing-Master will not suffer an Ignorant to Contre-temps upon him, because he will first Parie the Ignorants thrust, and then give him a Thrust upon the Respost. I answer, that if the Breaking of Measure, and the use of the left-hand be not allowed, no Fencing Master can hinder an Ignorant either to Contre-temps, or Inclose, for if he be a Foreward Ignorant, (as I suppos∣ed) then if the Fencing-Master should offer to Parie his thrust with his Sword, before ever that he could well get him Paried, the Ignorant would run in and Inclose with him, because that he would just run to Inclose in the very time that he thrusteth, so that the Fencing-Master must of necessity, either ha∣zard a Contre-temps, or an Inclosing, any of which maketh the Ignorant in equall terms with him, which, had the Fencing-Master been allowed the Breaking of Measure, or the use of his left-hand, he could have easily Page 153prevented, but to the best of my knowledge hardly any other way. But here I am af∣fraid some persons may be so farr mistak∣en, as to think that what I have here said re∣flecteth somewhat upon the usefulness of this Art, because that I am in a manner letting them see, that a Man having no Art may be almost as safe when he is attacqued, either by an Ignorant or Artist, as one who under∣standeth this Art exactly can be when he is attacqued by either, and that by reason of the Ignorants Contre-temping, or Inclosing; but let not such persons be deceived, for if they but reflect a little upon what I have been say∣ing, they will find that to make the Igno∣rant in equall terms with the Artist, I have supposed two of the chiefest Defences in the Art of the Smal-Sword, not to be allowed the Artist, which almost no rationall Man will but allow him, and those are the Break∣ing of Measure, and the use of the left-hand for a Parade, now although I know that many will yet stickle at the allowing the breaking of measure, notwithstanding of all that I have said, both to shew the reasonable∣ness of allowing it, and the ridiculousnes of crying out against it, yet there is no Man I am sure so unreasonable, as not to allow the other, which is the Parieing with the left∣hand,Page 154for if he allow not that, he may as well allow no defence at all, and if he al∣low it, then Art will still be serviceable to any Man, against Ignorants of what ever Humour they be, because those who have Art will by it know how to make use of their left-hand, which the others being Igno∣rant cannot, and so consequently let an Artist be engaged against an Ignorant in ne∣ver so little bounds, where perhaps he can∣not Break measure although he would, yet still by his art he hath an advantage of the Ignorant, because by it he knoweth both to Defend himself with his Sword, and left-hand, a great deal better then the Ignorant can be supposed to doe, never having been taught it. I thought fit to set down thir few lines, to hinder such persons from thinking that by what I was saying before, in favours of the Ignorant against the Artist, I intended to prove the uselessness of this Art, you see both my opinion, and design are farr Con∣trary to it, and therefore I again desire both you and them, not to mistake me. But that I may return to my former discourse, although there can no Man be a greater friend to the Breaking of Measure then I am, both because I know the advantages Artists have in making right use of it, and the Page 155disadvantages which would of necessity (as I have been demonstrating to you) happen to Artists in not allowing it; yet notwith∣standing of all I have been saying in com∣mendation of it, and for as much as I ap∣prove of it, I allow not a mans still going back, and loosing of his ground, no, not at all, be∣cause there is a great difference betwixt yield∣ing of much ground, and the breaking of mea∣sure. For a Man may break Measure very handsomly without loosing much ground, as I before told you in page 96, where I taught you how to break measure; besides when a Mans Adversary pursueth hotly, if he get not immediately his Design, he groweth soon out of Breath, and then the other may do with him what he pleaseth: Therefore I maintain that a Man when he is engaged for his Life against one who is of a Forward, Hasty, or Passionate Humour, should yield a little Ground to him, for a• Peo∣ple ordinarly say, he will find the first Brunt of the Battle to be the worst, and when that is once over, he will have time enough to consider what to do with him next. This which I have been saying puteth me in mind of a very good Story I heard of a Famous Fencing Master, and a Gentleman of this Coun∣trey, whose name at present I forbear to Page 156mention; it is as followeth, and in my opi∣nion cometh in very fitly in this place; It seemeth the Gentleman came to the Fencing Masters School, upon whom the Feneing Ma∣ster passed the ordinar Complement of all Fencing Schools, viz. That he would play a Thrust, the Gentleman at the first refused, be∣cause said he, I know nothing of your Art; the Fencing Master then desired that he would take the Flurret and play his Natural Play, as he would do if he were to play with Sharps, which at last the Gentleman conde∣scended to do, so when they fell a playing the Gentleman pursued furiously and ignorantly, and by all probability as he would have done had he been making use of Sharps, in the mean time the Fencing Master took him∣self to the Parade, and broke the Gentlemans measure; so after they had played a while, the Gentlemans Arm wearied with his too vi∣olent pursuing, which the Fencing Master per∣ceiving, said to him, Now Sir have at you, the Gentleman cryed out, O you now take me at a disadvantage, because you see I am out of Breath; Saith the Fencing Master to him, now Sir is my only time of pursuing you when you are so, and then its like he gave him a Thrust or two. I think you may easily apply this Story to what I was before Page 157saying, That a Man may break his Adversaries Measure, and that as often as he thinketh it con∣v•nient for his own safety, without being any wayes accounted a Coward. I know very well that those who understand this Art will be of my opinion, because they know that the Judging of Distance exactly is one of the hard∣est things to be acquired in all the Art of the smal-Sword; and when once it is ac∣quired it is one of the usefulest things, and sheweth a Mans Art as much as any Lesson in it; but I am for no Mans Retiring too much, unless upon a very good Design, and that hardly any Ignorant of this Art can have, because what he doth (as the common Pro∣verb is) he doth by rule of Thumb, and not by Art.
Eighthly,* But if it be your Fortune to have to doe with an Ignorant of the second humour I before told you of, which is not so forward, for he will let you be the Pursuer,* you may then assure your self, that the only preju∣dice he can do you, is to endeavour to give you a Contre-temps, for he will never offer to Parie a Thrust, and good reason why, because he cannot; Now to win at this Igno∣rant, you must be sure alwayes to make use of Binding, and your left hand to preserve you from his Contre∣temps Page 158thrusts, and Thrust some times at his Face, if any thing make him endeavour to Parie as he can, that will: This is all I have to say, of this Humour of Ignorants, so that I think I have now omitted no Rule, which may be any wayes necessary to you in playing either with Blunts, or Sharps, against either Ignorants, or those who un∣derstand this Art, except this one which followeth, 'tis true it is against the Broad∣sword, but however, that you may be ignorant of nothing which belongeth to •Master of the small-sword; I therefore think fit that you should know it, and if I be not deceived you will think it very well worth your pains to understand it; It is this.
Ninthly,* If you are ingaged with a Small∣sword against a Man with a Broad,* or Shearing-Sword, you would be as Circum∣spect as possible, for you would first con∣sider the fashion of his Sword, as whether it be a Broad-Sword only for Striking, or a Shear∣ing Sword, so that he may either Strike, or Thrust as he pleaseth, for according to the Page 159Fashion of your Adversaries Sword, so are you to take your Measure, First then if your Adversary hath a Shearing-Sword, then you would be altogether as warry as if he had a Smal, because you are not sure but •he may Thrust at you, as well as Strike, and therefore the Judging of Distance in such a case is most necessary, especially if your Adversary understand any thing of the Smal-sword, for that will yet make it the harder for you, but there is nothing for him as I told you, but to expect the worst, and be as careful as you can that he Contre∣temps not upon you: But secondly, if it be a Broad sword that your Adversarie hath against you, so that you fear not so much •his Thrusts as his Blows, then I would ad∣vise you if you intend to take the Defen∣sive part, to stand to this posture, viz. Stand not to an Ordinary Guard,* for then he would Disable your sword Arm, there∣fore I would have you hold your sword quite Cross before your body, and your hand in Terce, see Plat: 12. Fig. 2. So that if he offer to strike at your Feet; you must first slipp his stroak, and immediatly Pass with a Thrust upon him before he can recover a second Stroak; and if he should of∣fer to strike at your Head or Hand, then you Page [unnumbered]
The posture which a Man is to stand to with the smal sword against a Broad see pag: i59
Now Sir, There is one thing which I would never have you want, and that is a well mounted sword by your side, that is to say, * which is light before the Hand, you may easily try if it be so, by only laying it cross your foremost Finger about three inches from the Shell, and then if the Hilt contre∣poise the Blade, it is well mounted, otherwise not; and also let it be of an indifferent good length which is about three quarters of an eln long in the Blade, this is a midle betwixt the two extreams, for it is neither too long,Page 162which would be unhandsome; nor too short, which is very inconvenient: For I can as∣sure you that if a Mans Arm be longer then his Adversaries, he hath by it some Ad∣vantage, although their Swords be of equal length, so seing there is Advantage in a long Arm, certainly there is more in a long Sword against a short. I will now give you my last Advice which I know many People will treat en ridicule; But I assure you, let People think or talk what they please, it is of greater importance then they imagine, and were it not out of Kindness to you, perhaps I would not so expose my self to their Censure; But seing I know it will be for your Advantage, I will proceed in giv∣ing it you, and undervalue what People may talk of me for it, * especially seing you nor no Man is forced to observe more of what I have been saying to you, then what you think is for your Advantage. Now my Advice is this, That you would never go to the Field in drink; but rather if you can by any means (without puting a tash upon your Honour) delay it until you be sober; For to Drunk and Pas∣sionate Men this Art signifieth but little or nothing, because neither of them have their Judgement a∣bout them to know how they should make use of it; And so I end.
Sir It is a very good one, and I thank you most heartily for it; But have you no more to shew me of this Art, but what you have already ex∣plained to me?
No Sir, and I am sure if what I have explained to you be exactly understood, and put in practice, whoever is able to do it, I say without vanity, that he will deserve the name of Master.
There is no doubt of that; But now Sir seing we are at a close with our discourse, I think it my duty to give you heartie thanks for the great Pains and Trouble you have taken t• instruct me; And that you may not think your labour lost, I promise to you that I shall endeavour to put in Pra∣ctice according to my power, what you have taught me; neither shall I ever be wanting to do you all the Service lyeth in my Power, either in recommending of Scholars to you, or making your Ability in this Art more publick; So Sir, wishing You all Health and Happiness, I bid You farewell.
Farewell, Dear Sir, and may you never have Occasion (but with Blunts) to Practice what I have taught you.