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Fiore de'i Liberi/Spear vs. Other Weapons

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Morgan Transcription [edit]
Open for editing

Getty Transcription [edit]
Open for editing

MS Ludwig XV 13 31r-c.jpg
MS Ludwig XV 13 31r-d.jpg

[11] In this way I wait with the dagger and with the staff:
The staff will make a cover, the dagger will strike you in the chest.
And that which I do with a staff, I could also do with a sword,
Although I could find much stronger plays with the sword.

This master waits for these two with their spears. The first wants to deliver the thrust over-hand, and the other wants to stab under-hand, as is seen. The master who waits with the stick and with the dagger; when one of these wants to attack with his spear, the master moves (piega=fold) the stick from (inverso=inverting) the right side that is almost in a Tutta di Porto Ferro (Full Iron Door), turning the body, not moving the feet nor the stick from the ground. And the Master remains in guard. And as one of these [attackers] strikes, he beats back (rebatter) the spear with the stick, and with the dagger in his left hand, if he must, and with that beat back (rebatter) he passes and injures. And this is his defence, as we will find after in these two spearmen.

For this play, which is of staff and dagger against a lance, the Scholar awaits him of the lance in the Full Iron Gate (Tuta Porta di Ferro), turning his body but not moving his feet from the ground nor his staff toward the right side. And as he of the lance attacks the Scholar with his lance, the Scholar advances his left foot out of the way, beating and voiding the lance. And he steps close to him without delay and with the dagger he can strike him. This play he wants to make without fail.

[12] We were both ready to injure this master, but, according to what he said, we could do nothing. Except if we manage it in this way; that is, we turn (volteremo) our spear heads backwards, and stab with the butt (pedale=the rear of the shaft) of the spear. And when he beats back (rebatterà) the butt (pedale) of the spear, we will turn (volteremo) our spears and injure him on the other side with the spear heads. And this will be his contrario (counter).

[13] In that way that the previous Master has said,
I strike that one in the chest with the dagger.

This is the play of the master who waits for those two with two spears. The master has in his right hand a dagger, and in the left holding the stick straight in front of him. He can do the play, and I do it for him in exchange. But if this player knew well how to do it, he could have avoided the dagger's point. If he had lifted the hands on the spear, and with the rest of the spear which remains behind he had covered under my dagger, that is crossed (incrosado), this would not have happened to him. And with his spear he could have wounded me, if he knew how to do this contrario (counter) to me.

[14] I wait here with two sticks and a dagger:
The one I will throw at you and with the other I will cover, coming to the narrow,
And quickly I will strike you in the chest with my dagger.

This master will do a defence with these two sticks against the spear in this way: When the one with the spear is near enough to attack, the master, with his right hand, attacks with the stick at the head of the one with the spear. And immediately with this attack comes with the other stick covering at the spear, and with his dagger injures him in the chest, following what is drawn hereafter.

[15] That which the Master has said, so do I do,
I have placed the dagger in your chest without trouble.

I do what was said by the Master before. If you knew the contrario (counter), you would have caused me problems in this way: You have to lift your hands with your spear under my dagger, and in this way you could have stopped me wounding you. Have this, because you did not know what to do!


Here are three companions who want to strike this Master: the first wants to strike underhand and carries his weapon at half-lance; the other carries his weapon in rest at full-lance; the third wants to throw his lance. And they are agreed that none should strike more than one blow per man, and that they should do it one by one.

[17] Even if Rolando and Pulicano were to make me an invitation with lances,
I would await them in this match with spear or with staff;
I will beat their lances and I will strike their heads
As I depart from this guard.

Come one by one whoever wants to come, and I will run from no one. Again, I am positioned in the Boar's Tusk to wait, and when the lance will come against me (carried or thrown by hand) immediately I avoid its path, that is, I advance my right foot out of the way and with my left I step on the traverse, beating the lance that comes to strike me such that of a thousand, I couldn't fail to beat even one. This I do with the spear, and with the staff or with the sword I would also do it, and the defense that I make which is against the spear, I could also make against the sword or the staff. I ask that you view the plays that are hereafter.

[18] I cut you in the head with my spear
From the guard of the Master which is so quick.

This play belongs to the Master who came before, who awaits him of the horse with his spear in Boar's Tusk. In stepping out of the way and beating as he does, he enters into this play and so that it is understood, I do according to his word and with the edge and the point I could strike him in the head, since I carry my spear with such readiness.

[19] With the butt I have struck you with my spear,
But I have another point that is even sharper.

Again is this the play of the aforesaid Master who was previously in the Stance of the Boar. In his stead I do this, which he also could have done: when the lance is beaten, I turn my spear and I strike him with the butt (since it is well-tempered iron).

  1. A tiny note (M, perhaps) may have been removed above “agitando”.
  2. Added later: "+ hoc ego".
  3. Added later: "nomen properum". Partially obliterated
  4. Added later: "nomen properum".
  5. Added later: "de fresne".
  6. To the right of the first two lines, there appear to be three lines of smudgy pencil (most likely M or F), but nothing specific can be made out.
  7. Added later: "matreque?".
  8. Added later: "four words that might be latin".
  9. Berthaut has prementum
  10. "e" changed to "r".
  11. Added later: "reparer renouvelir".