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Pol Hausbuch (MS 3227a)/64r - 65r

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Complete Translation Complete translation
by Thomas Stoeppler

Transcription [edit]
by Dierk Hagedorn

Here the plays and the prescriptions of the unarmored fencing of Master Liechtenauer are recapped and and elaborated differently with shorter and simpler speech so as to grant greater and better understanding and comprehension than as it was written before in the rhymes and glosses, unclearly and incomprehensibly. Thus with this short conversation, that will be overcome.

First note and know that Liechtenauer's fencing lays entirely upon the five words: 'Before', 'After', 'Weak', 'Strong', 'Within'. These are the foundation, the core and fundamentals of all fencing. And however much one is able to fence, if he doesn't know about the fundamentals, he will often be shamed by his art. And these same words were often explained before. At that moment, they were just getting at someone being in constant motion and to not celebrate nor idle so that the opponent cannot come to blows. Because 'before' and 'after' signify 'forestrike' and 'afterstrike' as was often written before.

And this gets to that which is called 'start and finish', 'beginning and end'. Because a good, earnest fencer fences with someone such that he will slay them with his art and not become struck and this cannot be done without 'beginning and end'. If he will subsequently begin well, then he will ensure that he always has and wins the forestrike and not the opponent. Because the one who strikes at their opponent, they are always surer and better prepared by reason that the opponent must take heed of and watch out for your strike.

When he subsequently executes and wins the forestrike, whether he hits or misses, he shall then immediately and without pause in that same rush, execute the afterstrike. That is, the second, the third, the fourth or fifth strikes, be it hew or stab in such a way that he is always in motion and executes one after another without pause so that he does not allow them to ever come to blows.

Liechtenauer says about this: "I say to you truthfully, no one defends themselves without danger (and without harm).[1] If you have understood this, he can hardly come to blows". Just do as was often written before and be in motion.

The word 'Within' gets at the words 'before', 'after' because when one executes the forestrike and the opponent wards it, 'within' and during the moment that opponent wards it and defends themselves, they can come to the afterstrike well.

It also gets at the words 'weak', 'strong'. These here signify 'the feeling' because when one is on the sword with their opponent, and feels whether they are strong or weak. Thereafter they then execute according to the often written lessons.

And the fundamentals will have these principles in all confrontations: Speed, audacity, prudence, astuteness and ingenuity, etc. And also measure in all things.

Now if he wins the forestrike, then he shall not do it so entirely forceful so that he cannot recover himself for the good of the afterstrike and shall also not step too wide so that he can recover himself for the good of another step forwards or backwards, if it bears itself.

As Liechtenauer spoke: "Thereupon you hold, all things have length and measure". Therefore one shall not be hasty and shall think through ahead for themselves what they will execute and then shall bravely execute and driving that swiftly to the head or to the body and never to the sword.

Because if one quite wisely hews that at the head or at the body, that is, to the four openings; they nevertheless often comes to the sword without permission. If the opponent defends themselves such that he defends themselves with the sword, then in this way it comes to the sword.

Czu dem ersten merke vnd wisse / das lichtnawers fechten leit gar an den fünff wörter· vor · noch · swach · stark · Indes · / Dy eyn grunt / kern vnd fundament / seyn alles fechtens / vnd wy vil eyner fechtens kan · weis her nür des fundamentz nicht / zo wirt her oft bey seyner kunst beschemet / vnd dy selben wörter sint vor oft aus gelegt / wen si nür of das gehen das eyner vmmermer in motu sey vnd nicht veyer ader lasse · das iener icht czu slage kome / wen · vor · noch / bedewten / vorslag / vnd nochslag / als vor oft ist geschreben / vnd das gehet of das / daz do heisset / principium vnd finis / anhebunge vnd endunge / wen eyn ernster guter fechter · ficht dorüm mit eyme / das her mit syner kunst eynen wil slaen / vnd nicht geslagen werden / vnd das mag her nicht tuen an anhebunge vnd ane endunge / wil her denne wol anheben / zo schaffe her das her io den vorslag / habe vnd gewinne / vnd nicht iener / den eyner der do slet of eynen / der ist io / [64v] sicher / vnd bas bewart / dez halben denne iener der / der slege mus war nemen · vnd · warten / wen her denne den vorslag gewint vnd tuet / her treffe ader vele / zo sal her denne dornoch / immediate ane vnderloz in dem selben rawsche den nochslag tuen / das ist den andern slag / den dritten den vierden ader den fümften / is sey haw ader stich alzo das her vmmermer in motu sey / Vnd eyns noch dem andern treibe / ane vnderloz das her io ienen nicht las czu slage komen / Dorüm spricht lichtnawer Ich sage vorware / sich schützt keyn man ane vare + {sine dampno} / Hastu vornomen / czu slage mag her kleyne komen / Tu / nür als vor oft geschreben ist / vnd bis in motu / Das wort Indes get of dy wörter · vor · noch · den wen eyner den vorslag tuet / vnd iener den weret · Indes · vnd dyweile das in iener weret vnd sich schützt zo mag deser wol czu dem nochslag / komen / Auch get is of dy wörter · swach · stark / dy do bedewten daz fülen / den wen eyner an dem swerte ist / mit ieme · vnd fület · ab iener stark ader swach ist / dornoch tut her denne noch der oft geschreben lere / [65r] andern schretes hindersich ader vorsich ab sichs gepürt möchte irholen / als lichtnawer spricht Dorof dich · zoße / alle dink haben lenge vnd moße / Dorvm sal eyner nicht gehe syn / vnd sal sich vor / wol bedenken was her treiben wil vnd das selbe sal her denne künlich treiben vnd eyme rischlich dar varn czu koppe ader czu leibe / vnd mit nichte czum swerte / wen ab eyner im eyme gar gewislich eyme hewt czu koppe ader czu leibe / daz ist czu den vier blossen / dennoch kumpt ist oft czum swerte an eyns dank / Is das sich iener schützt / |zo schützt her sich mit dem swerte / alzo das is dennoch czum swerten kumpt /

Liechtenauer says about this:

xvi Do not hew to the sword,
 Rather, stand watch for the openings
xvii In the head, in the body
 If you wish to remain without harm
xviii You hit or miss
 Aspiring thus so that you target the openings
xix In every lesson,
 Turn the point against the openings.
xx Whoever hews around widely,
 They will often be shamed severely.
xxi At the closest of all,
 Deliver sudden hews, stabs wisely.
And always restrain yourself
 So that the opponent does not come before you
Then you can stand up well
 Right before a good man.
  1. latin: dampno => damno => harm
  2. The word »Nicht«, which cannot be clearly assigned, is added on the side of the page.