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Fiore de'i Liberi/Sword in Two Hands/Wide Play

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Morgan Transcription [edit]
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Getty Transcription [edit]
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[26] The Sword, I am mortal against any weapon; no spear, no pollaxe, no dagger, is effective against me; long or short I can do. And I will come to the Close Play; and come to sword disarms and to wrestling; with my art I can do breaks and binds, I know well how to make covers and injuries; always in these I want to finish. I will make those who fight against me weep. And I am Royal and I maintain the justice; I increase goodness and I destroy malice. Those who will look at me making my crosses, of facts of armed combat I will make famous and vose.

[27] By crossing with you at the tip of the sword
I have settled my point in your chest from the other side.

Here commences play of the two-handed sword, Gioco Largo (Wide Play). This Master, who crosses with this player, in the point of sword, says, "when I am crossed in point of sword, I immediately turn (volta) my sword and I injure him from the other side, with a fendente downwards into the head and arms, or I thrust him in the face, as you see drawn after".

Here begins the long play of the sword in two hands with a little crossing; the honor will be to whoever will know to make it. This Master that is here crossed with this player says "When I am crossed at the tip of the sword, I quickly give a turn to my sword and thus I strike with a downward blow from the other side (that is, through the head and through the arms), or I thrust the point into his face as you see hereafter in my depiction."

[In the Paris, both Masters have their right feet forward.]

[28] With the strike of which the Master spoke who came before,
I have put my point in your face as said my Master that came before.

I positioned a thrust in your face, like the master which was before said. Also, I could have done what he says, that is, retract my sword immediately when I was crossed by the right side: I had to turn my sword on the left side in a fendente to the head and arms, like my Master said, who was before me.

I have set my point in his face as said my Master who came before. Also, I could have made the [other] play that he said, that is, to have attacked with my sword immediately when I was beside the crossing of the right side: from the other side, that is from the left, I should have immediately turned my sword into a downward blow to the head and to the arms, as has said my Master that came before.

[29] By crossing at mid-sword, I will strike your left arm;
I will do this quickly because the time is short.

Again, I am crossed at Gioco Largo at the middle of the blade. And immediately when I cross [swords], I let my sword slip over his hands, and if I want to pass with my right foot out of the way, I can deliver a thrust in his chest, as is drawn hereafter.

[In the Getty, the Master on the right is missing his crown.]

Again I am crossed here for the long play, at mid-sword. And immediately when I am crossed, I allow my sword to run off over his hands, and if I want to step out of the way with my right foot, I can thrust my point into his chest as is depicted hereafter.

[30] From the Master who crosses at mid-sword,
I do well that which he said.

The play of my master has been completed, because I have done his cover, and immediately done what he said, that first I have injured the arms, then I have positioned the point/thrust in his chest.

The play of my Master I have completed, in that I have made his cover and I have quickly executed his saying: I have struck first his arms, and then I have placed my point in his chest.

[31] Also from this same crossing
I have grasped your sword in this way:
And before your sword escapes my hand,
By striking I will deal with you like a foul villain.

My Master, who is before, taught me that when I am crossed in the middle of the blade, I have to immediately step forward (acresser inanci) and grab his sword, to wound with a cut or a thrust. Also, I can incapacitate his leg in the way you can see drawn here by injuring him with my foot over the back of the leg or under the knee.

My Master who came before has taught me that when I am crossed at the mid-sword, I should immediately advance forward and grab his sword (as in this match) in order to strike him with edge or point. Also, I can waste his leg in the way that you will be able to see depicted hereafter by striking with my foot over the back of his leg or under his knee.

[32] There is no question of the saying of the earlier Master,
And I make with intent the play that he has said.

The student which is before says that his Master, and mine, taught him this play, and for ________ I do it. There is no problem for me to do it easily.

The Scholar who came before me says of his Master and mine that he has taught this play, and I do it to crumple [my opponent]. Without a doubt, to do it is little trouble to me.

[33] I have uncovered you well by stepping out of the way
And I will surely strike your arm while turning.

This play is called colpi di villano ('Peasant Strike'), and is made in this way. That is, you have to wait for the villano to strike with his sword, and the one who is waiting has to stay in little pass with the left foot advanced. And immediately when the villano attacks to wound, step forward/advance (acresse) with your left foot out of the way, towards the right side. And with the right foot pass traversing out of the way, taking his blow in the middle of your sword. And let slide his sword groundwards, and immediately respond with a fendente in the head or in the arms, or with a thrust to his chest, as is drawn. Also, this play is also good with a sword against an pollaxe, against a big stick, serious or liziero (practice?).

[In the Getty, the Master is missing his crown.]

This play is called the Villain's Strike (Colpo del Vilano) and is made in this way, that is, that one should await the villain in this way until he strikes with his sword. And he that awaits the blow should stand in a small stance with the left foot forward. And in that moment when the villain attacks to harm you, advance your left foot out of the way toward the right side. And with your right foot step out of the way to the side, catching his blow at the mid-sword and allowing his sword to run off toward the ground, and then quickly respond with a downward blow (through the head or through the arms) or with your point in the chest as depicted here, this is also good.

[In the Morgan, the Master is missing his crown.]

[34] The strike to your arms, that play I make,
And from the narrow play I will cause you other trouble.

This before me is the colpo del villano ('Peasant Strike'), which I have positioned my point/thrust in his chest well. And in the same way, I could have made a blow at his head and at his arms with a fendente, as said before. Also, if the player wants against me to injure me with the riverso under my arms, I immediately step forward/advance (acresco) the left foot, and put my sword over his, and he can do nothing to me.

This is the Villain's Strike which appeared here before me, so that I have put my point into his chest well. And so I could [also] have made a cut through the head and through the arms with a downward blow as was said before. Also, if the player wanted to come against me such that he would strike me with a backhand blow under my arms, I would immediately advance my left foot and thrust my sword over his, and then he cannot do anything to me.

[35] When a sword flies for your leg
Make a downward blow to his face or around to his throat:
His arms will be wasted more quickly than his head,
Because the distance is manifest for a shorter time.

When someone strikes to your leg, step back/slip (discresse) with your forefoot. You retreat backwards and strike a fendente in his head as shown here. With a two-handed sword you can not strike well from the knee downwards, because it is very dangerous for the one who strikes, because the one who attacks the leg remains all uncovered. Unless one has fallen on the ground, then he can injure the leg well, otherwise you can not, being sword against sword.

When one strikes for your leg, withdraw the foot that is forward or return it behind, and throw a downward blow to his head as depicted here. Note that the sword in two hands should not attack from the knee down, because the danger to he that attacks is too great. He that attacks for the leg remains wholly uncovered, unless he would drop to the ground—then he could strike the leg well, but otherwise [he could] not when fighting sword to sword.

[36] When I am crossed with someone and come to the narrow,
I strike his testicles with my right foot.

This partido (division/finish) I will do, with my foot in your bollocks, I do it to cause you pain, and to make you loose the cover. Because this play has to be done immediately, not to have doubts against it. The counter to this play has to be done quickly, which is; the player has to grab the student's right leg with his left hand, and he can throw him to the ground.

In this match I strike you with my foot in your testicles, and I do it to give you pain and to make your cover waver. Thus, in making this play I want to do it suddenly so that the counter is doubtful.

The counter of this play wants to be made quickly, such that the player should catch the Scholar by the right leg with his left hand, and then he can throw him to the ground.

MS Ludwig XV 13 26v-a.jpg

[37] This is a cruel exchange of thrusts:
In the art, a more deceptive thrust than this cannot be made.
You attacked me with the point and I have given you this;
And I can make more secure it by voiding out of the way.

This play is called 'Exchanging Thrusts' (scambiar de punta), and you have to do it in this way: When someone delivers you a thrust, immediately step forward/advance (acresse) your forefoot, out of the way, and with the other foot pass traversing (a la traversa) again out of the way, crossing (traversando) his sword with your arms lowered and with the point of your sword high, to his head or his chest, as is drawn.

This play, which is called the Exchange of Thrusts (Scambiare de Punta), is made in this way, that is, that when he attacks with the point, quickly advance your forward foot out of the way and with your other foot step to the side (also out of the way), crossing his sword with your arms low and with the point of your sword up in his face or in his chest, as is depicted here.

MS Ludwig XV 13 26v-b.jpg

[38] Because of your hilt, which I hold in my hand,
I will make you bleed with my point in your face.

From this Exchanging Thrusts which is before me, comes this play. That immediately that the student which is before me does not stab the thrust in the face of the player, and letting it not be delivered in the face or chest, and because it was that the player was armoured, immediately this student has to pass forward with his left foot, and he has to grab in this way. And he can injure him well with his sword, because the player has grabbed his sword and can not flee.

From this exchange of thrusts that came before me comes this play. Given that the Scholar who came before me did not immediately thrust his point into the face of the player, or that he failed such that he could not thrust into [the player's] face nor into his chest, or that the player was armored, then immediately the Scholar should step with his left foot forward, and he should grab [the player] in this manner, and his sword should throw a good strike because the player has his sword caught and he cannot flee.

MS Ludwig XV 13 26v-c.jpg

[39] Here we stand crossed near the ground:
And more knowledge of plays will be given.

This is another defence to do against a thrust, which is when someone delivers a thrust at you, as I told you in the Exchanging Thrusts, in the second play which is before me, you have to step forward/advance (acresser) and pass out of the way. In the same way you have to do this play, except that the Exchanging Thrusts goes with a thrust, and with the arms lowered, and with the point of the sword high as I said before. But this is called 'Breaking Thrust' (rompere de punta), because the student goes with his arms high, and snatches [gives] a fendente in stepping forward (acresser) and passing out of the way, and strikes across the thrust, nearly to the middle of the sword, to beat (rebaterla) it to the ground. And immediately comes to the close.

[The Paris resembles the Pisani-Dossi image.]

MS Ludwig XV 13 26v-d.jpg

[40] I beat your point to the ground very quickly
And in this way, I strike you without a doubt.

The student which is before me has beaten the player's sword to the ground, and I complete his play in this way. Having beaten his sword to the ground, I put my right foot strongly onto his sword. I can break it, or I can grab it in a way that he can not ___ any more. And if this is not enough for me, immediately when I put my foot on his sword, I injure him with the false edge of my sword, under his beard, in his neck. And immediately I return with a fendente of my sword, to his arms or to his hands, as is drawn.

[In the Pisani-Dossi, the Scholar stomps with his left foot and his opponent's right foot is forward; the Scholar's opponent is also left-handed.]

MS Ludwig XV 13 27r-a.jpg

[41] From the crossing at the ground which the Scholar makes
I come to cut your face because of my swiftness;
And your sword will remain bent or broken
And it will no more be able to work or deal.

Again, this is a play of Breaking Thrust, which is as the second play which is before me. That when I have beaten (rebatuda) the sword to the ground, I immediately put my right foot on his sword. And in that deed, I injure him in the head, as you can see.

[In the Pisani-Dossi, the Scholar stomps with his left foot and his opponent's right foot is forward.]

MS Ludwig XV 13 27r-b.jpg

[42] From the play that came before, I enter into this one:
I make it quickly and cut your face.

This is also another play of Breaking Thrust, because if the player being broken (because I have broken his thrust), lifts his sword to cover from mine, then I immediately put the pommel of my sword in the part of his right arm near his right hand. And then I immediately grab my sword with my left hand near the point, and I injure the player in his head. And if I want, I can put it to his neck, to slice the windpipe of his throat.

[43] I will make you turn by pinching your elbow
And with that, I will strike you without any delay.

Also, when I have beaten back the thrust, or when I am crossed [swords] with a player, I put my hand behind his right elbow, and I pinch it strongly in a way that makes him turn and uncover himself, and then I injure him in that turning I make him do.

[44] Because of the turn that I have given you by the elbow
I have quickly struck your head from behind.

This student who is before me, says the truth, because of the turn he makes you do. In this way, I will cut you in the back of your head. Also, before you could return to your cover, I could give you an open wound in your back with a thrust.

[45] I appear to come from the right, but I enter on the left
To give you this thrust with great pain and harm;
I make myself called Deceitful Thrust by name;
And I am so cruel as I exchange the point of the sword.

This play is called 'False Thrust' (punta falsa) and 'Short Thrust' (punta curta), and I will tell you how I do it. I pretend to come with a great force to injure the player with a mezano blow in his head, and immediately when he does the cover, I strike his sword lightly. And immediately turn (volto) my sword on the other side, grabbing my sword almost in the middle with my left hand, and immediately I put the point/thrust in his throat or chest. And this play is better in armour than without.

[The Getty resembles the Pisani-Dossi image.]

[46] To the Deceitful Thrust that you wanted to strike at me,
I have struck the counter by turning myself and my sword
Such that I have positioned my point in your face,
In this way I have removed all of your plays.

This is the counter to the play before me, which is False Thrust, or Short Thrust. And this counter is done in this way; when the student strikes my sword, in that turning he does with his sword, I immediately turn mine in the way he is turning his, but I pass across/to the traverse, to find the fellow more uncovered. And then I put my point in his face. And this counter is good in armour and without.

[No Image]

[47] Here finishes the Gioco Largo (Wide Play) with the two-handed sword, which has united plays, which has plays that are the remedies and counters from the right and from the left sides, and counter-thrusts, and counter-cuts for every reason, with breaks, covers, injuring and binds; which are things that are all easily understandable.

  1. Added later: "dixit".
  2. Added later: "con? ut."
  3. "m'a insegnato che" partially effaced.
  4. Word bisected by sword.
  5. Added later: "per oprearj".