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|Born||ca. 1550s-early 1560s|
|Died||date of death unknown|
|Notable work(s)||Paradoxes of Defence|
|Concordance by||Michael Chidester, Stephen Hand|
George Silver (ca.1550s- early 1560s - 1620s) was a 16th - 17th century British nobleman and fencing enthusiast. He was likely born in the 1550s or early 1560s, the eldest of four brothers; apparently at least one of them, Toby, was also an accomplished swordsman. Silver is described as a gentleman in his treatise, and the fencing historian Aylward claims that he was eleventh in descent from Sir Bartholomew Silver, who was knighted by Edward II . On March 24th 1580 (1579 in the old calendar then in use in England), he was married to Mary Haydon in London, England. 
Silver's martial lineage is unknown, but as a member of the gentry he was not affiliated with the lower class London Masters of Defence and would not have been a fencing master himself as the latter were classed as vagrants under the relevant act of 1529 . In spite of this, he was possessed of strong opinions about the proper method of fencing and was strongly opposed to the contemporary Continental fencing traditions. He was particularly critical of the Italian masters who had set up schools in London, including Rocco Bonetti and Vincentio Saviolo. He and Toby went so far as to challenge Saviolo to a public fencing match to demonstrate the superiority of his British arts, but even though they placarded London, Southwark, and Westminster with the challenge, and had it carried to Saviolo personally on the appointed day, Silver states that no formal match occurred. Silver challenged Saviolo to fence him at ten weapons, beginning with the single rapier and rapier and dagger, which suggests that Silver had at least a passing familiarity with those weapons.
In 1599, Silver published a treatise entitled Paradoxes of Defence and dedicated it to Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex and also Saviolo's patron. Silver uses "paradox" in the sense of heresy and in this work he speaks against the wildly popular rapier, detailing what he sees as its inherent flaws as well as those of the foreign fencing styles that emphasize it. A second volume, entitled Brief Instructions upon My Paradoxes of Defence and explaining his own British fencing style, was written at a later date. The manuscript is undated but refers to Great Britain and so must have been written after James I's introduction of that term in late 1604. Bref Instructions remained unpublished for unknown reasons.
Silver's activities after the publication of his book are unclear. Aylward claims that he was alive in 1622, when he was visited (a kind of audit of people claiming noble or gentlemanly status) by Cooke, Clarenceux King-of-Arms.  However, Robert Cooke died in 1593. The Clarenceux King-of Arms in 1622 was William Camden, but as he became paralyzed in 1622 and died in 1623 it is doubtful whether he visited Silver either.
Paradoxes of Defence
| PARADOXES OF DEFENCE,
Wherein is proved the true grounds of fight to be the short ancient weapons and that the short sword has advantage over the long sword or the long rapier. And the weakness and imperfection of the rapier-fights displayed. Together with an admonition to the noble, ancient, victorious, valiant, and most brave nation of Englishmen, to beware of false teachers of defence, and how they forsake their own natural fights. With a brief commendation of the noble science or exercising of arms.
by George Silver, Gentleman.
| PARADOXES OF DEFENCE,
WHEREIN IS PROVED THE TRVE grounds of Fight to be in the ſhort auncient weapons, and that the ſhort Sword hath aduantage of the long Sword or long Rapier. And the weakeneſſe and imperfection of the Rapier-fights diſplayed. Together with an Admonition to the noble, ancient, victorious, valiant, and moſt braue nationof Engliſhmen, to beware of falſe teachers of Defence, and how they forſake their owne naturall fights : with a briefe commendation of the noble ſcience or exerciſing of Armes.
By George Siluer Gentleman.
| To the right honorable, my singular good lord, Robert, Earl of Essex and Ewe, Earl Marshall of England, Viscount Hereford, Lord Ferrers of Chartley, Bourchier and Louaine, Master of the Queens Majesty's horse, & of the Ordinance, Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, Knight of the most Noble order of the Garter, and one of her highness most honorable Privy Council.
Fencing (Right honorable) in this new fangled age, is like our fashions, every day a change, resembling the chameleon, who alters himself into all colors save white. So fencing changes into all wards save the right. That it is so, experience teaches us, why it is so, I doubt not but your wisdom does conceive. There is nothing permanent that is not true, what can be true that is uncertain? How can that be certain, that stands upon uncertain grounds? The mind of man a greedy hunter after truth, finding the seeming truth but changing, not always one, but always diverse, forsakes the supposed, to find out the assured certainty, and searching everywhere save where it should, meets with all save what it would. Who seeks & finds not, seeks in vain. Who seeks in vain, must if he will find seek again, yet all in vain. Who seeks not what he would, as he should, and where he should, as in other things (Right Honorable), so in fencing: the mind desirous of truth, hunts after it, and hating falsehood, flies from it, and therefore having missed it once, it assays the second time. If then he thrives not, he tries another way. When he has failed, he adventures on the third & if all these fail him, yet he never fails to change his weapon, his fight, his ward, if by any means he may compass what he most affects, for because men desire to find out a true defence for themselves in their fight, therefore they seek it diligently, nature having taught us to defend ourselves, and Art teaching us how, and because we miss it in one way, we change to another. But though we often chop and change, turn and return, from ward to ward, from fight to fight, in this constant search, yet we never rest in any, and that because we never find the truth, and therefore we never find it, because we never seek it in that weapon where it may be found. For, to seek for a true defence in an untrue weapon, is to angle on the earth for fish, and to hunt in the sea for hares. Truth is ancient though it seems an upstart. Our forefathers were wise, though our age accounts them foolish, valiant though we repute them cowards. They found out the true defences for their bodies in short weapons by their wisdom, they defended themselves and subdued their enemies, and those weapons with their valor.1 And (Right Honorable) if we have this true defence, we must seek it where is is, in short swords, short staves, the half pike, partisans, glaives, or such like weapons of perfect lengths, not in long swords, long rapiers, nor frog pricking poniards: for if there is no certain grounds for defence, why do they teach it? If there be, why have they not found it? Not because it is not so. To say so, were to gainsay the truth. But because it is not certain in those weapons which they teach. To prove this, I have set forth these my Paradoxes, different I confess from the main current of our outlandish teachers, but agreeing I am well assured to the truth, and tending as I hope to the honor of our English nation. The reason which moved me to adventure so great a task, is the desire I have to bring the truth to light, which has a long time lain hidden in the cave of contempt, while we like degenerate sons, have forsaken our forefathers virtues with their weapons, and have lusted like men sick of a strange ague, after the strange vices and devices of Italian, French, and Spanish fencers, little remembering, that these apish toys could not free Rome from Brennius's sack, not France from the King Henry the Fifth his conquest. To this desire to find out truth the daughter of time, begotten of Bellona, I was also moved, that by it I might remove the great loss of our English gallants, which we daily suffer by these imperfect fights, wherein none undertake the combat, be his cause never so good, his cunning never so much, his strength and agility never so great, but his virtue was tied to fortune Happy man, happy dolt, kill or be killed is the dreadful issue of the devilish imperfect fight. If the man were now alive, which beat the masters for the scholars fault, because he had no better instructed him, these Italian fencers could not escape his censure, who teach us offense, not defence, and to fight, as Diogenes' scholars were taught to dance, to bring their lives to an end by Art. Was Ajax a coward because he fought with a seven folded buckler, or are we mad to go naked into the field to try our fortunes, not our virtues. Was Achilles a runaway, who wore that well tempered armor, or are we desperate, who care for nothing but to fight, and learn like the the pygmies, with bodkins, or weapons of like defence? Is it valorous for a man to go naked against his enemy? Why then did the Lacedemonians punish him as desperate, whom they rewarded for his valor with a laurel crown? But that which is most shameful, they teach men to butcher one another here at home in peace, wherewith they cannot hurt their enemies abroad in war.2 For, your honor well knows, that when the battle is joined, there is no room for them to draw their bird-spits, and when they have them, what can they do with them? Can they pierce his corslet with the point? Can they unlace his helmet, unbuckle his armor, hew asunder their pikes with a Stocata, a Reversa, a Dritta, a Stramason or other such tempestuous terms? No, these toys are fit for children, not for men, for straggling boys of the camp, to murder poultry, not for men of honor to try the battle with their foes. Thus I have (Right Honorable) for the trial of the truth, between the short sword and the long rapier, for the saving of the lives of our English gallants, who are sent to certain death by their uncertain fights, & for abandoning of that mischievous and imperfect weapon, which serves to kill our friends in peace, but cannot much hurt our foes in war, have I at this time given forth these Paradoxes to the view of the world. And because I know such strange opinions had need of stout defence, I humbly crave your Honorable protection, as one in whom the true nobility of our victorious ancestors has taken up residence. It will suit to the rest of your Honors most noble complements, to maintain the defence of their weapons whose virtues you profess. It agrees with your Honorable disposition, to receive with favor what is presented with love. It sorts well with your Lordship's high authority, to weigh with reason, what is fit for marshal men. It is an unusual point of your Honor, which wins your Lordship love in your country, to defend the truth in whomsoever, and it adds a supply to that which your Lordship have of late begun to your unspeakable honor and inestimable benefit, to reduce the wearing of swords with hilts over the hands,3 to the Roman discipline, no longer then they might draw them under their arms, or over their shoulders. In all or any of these respects, I rest assured that your Lordship will vouchsafe to receive with favor and maintain with honor these Paradoxes of mine, which if they be shrouded under so safe a shield, I will not doubt but to maintain with reason among the wise, and prove it by practice upon the ignorant, that there is no certain defence in the rapier, and that there is great advantage in the short sword against the long rapier, or all manner of rapiers in general, of what length soever. And that the short staff has the advantage against the long staff of twelve, fourteen, sixteen or eighteen feet long, or of what length soever. And against two men with their swords and daggers, or two rapiers, poniards & gauntlets, or each of them a case of rapiers, which whether I can perform or not, I submit for trial to your Honors martial censure, being at all times ready to make it good, in what manner, and against what man soever it shall stand upon your Lordship's good liking to appoint. And so I humbly commend this book to your Lordship's wisdom to peruse, and your Honor to the Highest to protect in all health and happiness now and ever
| TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE, MY SINGVLAR GOOD LORD, ROBERT EARLE OF Eſſex and Ewe, Earle Marſhall of England, Viſcount Hereford, Lord Ferrers of Chartley, Bourchier and Louaine, Maiſter of the Queenes Maieſties horſe , & of the Ordenance , Chancellor of the Vniuerſitie of Cambridge, Knight of the moſt noble order of the Garter , and one of her Highneſſe moſt honorable Priuy Counſell.
FEncing (Right honorable) in this new fangled age, is like our faſhions , euerie daye a change , reſembling the Camelion, who altereth himſelfe into all colours ſaue white : ſo Fencing changeth into all wards ſaue the right. That it is ſo , experience teacheth vs : why it is ſo , I doubt not but your wiſedome doth concerne. There is nothing permanent that is not true, what can be true that is vncertaine ? how can that be certaine, that ſtands vpon vncertain grounds? The mind of man a greedie hunter after truth, finding the ſeeming truth but chaunging, not alwayes one, but alwayes diuerſe, forſakes the ſuppoſed, to find out the allured certaintie : and ſearching euery where ſaue where it ſhould , meetes with all ſaue what it would. VVho ſeekes & finds not, ſeekes in vaine ; who ſeekes in vaine, muſt if he wil find ſeeke againe: and ſeeke he may againe and againe , yet all in vaine. VVho ſeekes not what he would , as he ſhould, and where he ſhould , as in all other things ( Right honourable ) ſo in Fencing : the mind deſirous of truth, hunts after it, and hating falſhood, flies from it, and therfore hauing miſſed it once, it aſſayes the ſecond time : if then he thriues not, he tries another way : whē that hath failed he aduentures on the third : & if all theſe faile him , yet he neuer faileth to chaunge his weapon, his fight, his ward, if by any meanes he may compaſſe what he moſt affects : for becauſe men deſire to find out a true defence for themſelues in their fight , therefore they ſeeke it diligently, nature hauing taught vs to defend our ſelues, and Art teaching how : and becauſe we miſſe it in one way we chaunge to another. But though we often chop and change, turne and returne, from ward to ward, from fight to fight, in this vnconſtant ſearch, yet wee neuer reſt in anie, and that becauſe we neuer find the truth: and therefore we neuer find it, becauſe we neuer ſeeke it in that weapon where it may be found. For , to ſeeke for a true defence in an vntrue weapon, is to angle on the earth for fiſh, and to hunt in the ſea for Hares: truth is ancient though it ſeeme an vpſtart : our forefathers were wiſe, though our age account them fooliſh , valiant though we repute them cowardes : they found out the true defence for their bodies in ſhort weapons by their wiſdome, they defended them ſelues and ſubdued their enemies , with thoſe weapons with their valour. And (Right honorable) if we will haue this true Defence, we muſt ſeeke it where it is, in ſhort Swords, ſhort Staues the halfe Pike , Partiſans , Gleues , or ſuch like weapons of perfect lēgths , not in long Swords, long Rapiers , nor frog pricking Poiniards : for if there be no certain grounds for Defence, why do they teach it ? if there be , why haue they not found it? Not becauſe it is not : to ſay ſo, were to gaineſay the truth : but becauſe it is not certaine in thoſe weapons which they teach. To proue this, I haue ſet forth theſe my Paradoxes, different I confeſſe from the maine current of our outlandiſh teachers, but agreeing I am well aſſured to the truth, and tending as I hope to the honor of our Engliſh nation. The reaſon which moued me to aduenture ſo great a taske , is the deſire I haue to bring the truth to light , which hath long time lyen hidden in the caue of contempt, while we like degenerate ſonnes, haue forſaken our forefathers vertues with their weapons,and haue luſted like men ſicke oſ a ſtrange ague, after the ſtrange vices and deuiſes of Italian, French and Spaniſh Fencers, litle remembring , that theſe Apiſh toyes could not free Rome from Brennius ſacke, nor Fraunce from King Henrie the fift his conqueſt. To this deſire to find out truth the daughter of time, begotten of Bellona, I was alſo moued ,that by it I might remoue the great loſſe of our Engliſh gallants, which we daily ſuffer by theſe imperfect fights, wherein none vndertake the combat , be his cauſe neuer ſo good , his cūning neuer ſo much, his ſtrength and agilitie neuer ſo great , but his vertue was tied to fortune : happie man, happie doale , kill or be killed is the dreadfull iſſue of this diuelliſh imperfect fight. If that man were now aliue, which beat the Maiſter for the ſcholers fault , becauſe he had no better inſtructed him , theſe Italian Fencers could not eſcape his cenſure , who teach vs Offence , not Defence, and to fight, as Diogenes ſcholers were taught to daunce, to bring their liues to an end by Art. VVas Aiax a coward becauſe he fought with a ſeuen foulded Buckler, or are we mad to go naked into the field to trie our fortunes , not our vertues? VVas Achilles a run-away , who ware that well tempered armour , or are we deſperat, who care for nothing but to fight, and learn like the Pigmeys, to fight with bodkins, or weapons of like defence? Is it valour for a man to go naked againſt his enemie? why then did the Lacedemonians puniſh him as deſperate, whom they rewarded for his vallour with a Lawrell crowne? But that which is moſt ſhamefull, they teach mē to butcher one another here at home in peace, wherewith they cannot hurt their enemies abrode in warre. For, your Honour well knowes, that when the battels are ioyned , and come to the charge, there is no roome for them to drawe their Bird-ſpits , and when they haue them, what can they doe with them ? can they pierce his Corſlet with the point? can they vnlace his Helmet, vnbuckle his Armour, hew aſunder their Pikes with a Stocata, a reuerſa, a Dritta, a Stramaſon, or other ſuch like tēpeſtuous termes? no, theſe toyes are fit for children, not for men, for ſtragling boyes of the Campe , to murder poultrie, not for men of Honour to trie the battell with their foes. Thus I haue (right Honorable) for the trial of the truth, betweene the ſhort Sword and the long Rapier, for the ſauing of the liues of our Engliſh gallants , who are ſent to certaine death by their vncertaine fights , & for abandoning of that miſchieuous and imperfect weapon, which ſerues to kill our friēds in peace, but cannot much hurt our foes in warre , haue I at this time giuen forth theſe Paradoxes to the view of the world . And becauſe I knowe ſuch ſtraunge opinions had need of ſtout defence , I humbly craue your Honorable protection , as one in whom the true nobility of our victorious Aunceſtors hath taken vp his reſidence. It will ſute to the reſt of your Honours moſt noble cōplements , to maintaine the defence of their weapons whoſe vertues you poſſeſſe. It agrees with your Honourable diſpoſition , to receiue with fauour what is preſented with loue. It ſorts with your Lordſhips high authority , to weigh with reaſon, what is fit for marſhall men. It is an vſuall point of your Honor , which winnes your Lordſhip loue in your countrey , to defend the truth in whomſoeuer : and it addeth a ſupply to that which your Lordſhip haue of late begun to your vnſpeakeable honor and our ineſtimable benefite, to reduce the wearing of ſwordes with hilts ouer the hands, to the Romane diſcipline, no longer then they might draw them vnder their armes, or ouer their ſhoulders. In all or any of theſe reſpects, I reſt aſſured that your Lordſhip will vouchſafe to receiue vvith fauor and maintaine vvith honour theſe Paradoxes of mine, vvhich if they be ſhrouded vnder ſo ſafe a ſhield, I will not doubt but to maintaine with reaſon amongſt the wiſe, and proue it by practiſe vpon the ignorant, that there is no certaine defence in the Rapier , and that there is great aduantage in the ſhort Sword againſt the long Rapier, or all maner of Rapiers in generall , of what length ſoeuer. And that the ſhort Staffe hath the vauntage againſt the long Staffe of twelue, foureteene, ſixteene or eighteene foote long, or of what length ſoeuer. And againſt two men with their Swordes and Daggers, or two Rapiers, Poiniards & Gantlets, or each of them a caſe of Rapiers : which whether I can performe or not, I ſubmit for triall to your Honors martiall cenſure , being at all times readie to make it good, in vvhat maner, and againſt what man ſoeuer it ſhall ſtand vvith your Lordſhips good liking to appoint. And ſo I humbly commend this booke to your Lordſhips vviſedome to peruſe, and your Honour to the Higheſt to protect in all health and happineſſe nowe and euer.
Your Honors in all dutie,
| AN ADMONITION to the noble, ancient, victorious, valiant, and most brave nation of Englishmen.
|| AN ADMONITION TO THE NOBLE, ANCIENT, VICTORIOVS, VALIANT, AND MOST BRAVE NATION OF ENGLISHMEN.
1 GEorge Siluer hauing the perfect knowledge of all maner of weapōs, and being experiēced in all maner of fights, thereby perceiuing the great abuſes by the Italian Teachers of Offence done vnto them, the great errors, inconueniences, & falſe reſolutions they haue brought them into, haue inforced me, euen of pitie of their moſt lamentable wounds and ſlaughters, & as I verily thinke it my bounden dutie, with all loue and humilitie to admoniſh them to take heed, how they ſubmit themſelues into the hands of Italian teachers of Defence, or ſtraungers whatſoeuer; and to beware how they forſake or ſuſpect their owne naturall fight, that they may by caſting off of theſe Italianated, weake, fantaſticall, and moſt diuelliſh and imperfect fights, and by exerciſing of their owne ancient weapons, be reſtored, or atchieue vnto their natural, and moſt manly and victorious fight againe, the dint and force whereof manie braue nations haue both felt and feared. Our ploughmen haue mightily preuailed againſt them, as alſo againſt Maiſters of Defence both in Schooles and countries, that haue taken vpon thē to ſtand vpon Schooletrickes and iugling gambolds: whereby it grew to a common ſpeech among the countrie-men, Bring me to a Fencer, I will bring him out of his fence trickes with good downe right blowes, I will make him forget his fence trickes I will warrant him. I ſpeake not againſt Maiſters of Defence indeed, they are to be honoured, nor againft the Science, it is noble, and in mine opiniō to be preferred next to Diuinitie; for as Diuinitie preſerueth the foule from hell and the diuell, ſo doth this noble Science defend the bodie from wounds & ſlaughter. And moreouer, the exerciſing of weapons putteth away aches, griefes, and diſeaſes, it increaſeth ſtrength, and ſharpneth the wits, it giueth a perfect iudgement, it expelleth melancholy, cholericke and euill conceits, it keepeth a man in breath, perfect health, and long life. It is vnto him that hath the perfection thereof, a moil friendly and comfortable companion when he is alone, hauing but only his weapon about him, it putteth him out of all feare, & in the warres and places of moſt danger it maketh him bold, hardie, and valiant.
| And for as much as this noble and most mighty nation of Englishmen, of their good natures, are always most loving, very credulous, & ready to cherish & protect strangers, yet that through their good natures they never more by strangers or false teachers may be deceived, once again I most humbly to admonish them, or such as shall find in themselves a disposition or desire to learn their weapons of them, that from henceforth as strangers shall take upon them to come hither to teach this noble & most valiant & victorious nation to fight, that first, before they learn of them, they cause a sufficient trial to be very requisite & reasonable, even such as I myself would be contented withal, if I should take upon me to go in their country to teach their nation to fight. And this is the trial: They shall play with such weapons as they profess to teach withal,4 three bouts apiece with three of the best English masters of defence & three bouts apiece with three unskillful valiant men, and three bouts apiece with three resolute men half drunk. Then if they can defend themselves against these masters of defence, and hurt, and go free from the rest, then are they be honored, cherished, and allowed for perfect good teachers, and what countrymen soever they be. But if any of these they take fail, then they are imperfect in their profession, their fight is false, & they are false teachers, deceivers and murderers, and to be punished accordingly, yet no worse punishment unto them I wish, than such as in their trial they shall find.
|| And for as much as this noble and moſt mightie nation of Engliſhmen, of their good natures, are alwayes moſt louing, verie credulous, & ready to cheriſh & protect ftrāgers : yet that through their good natures they neuer more by ſtrangers or falſe teachers may be deceiued, once againe I am moſt humbly to admoniſh thē, or ſuch as ſhal find in themſelues a diſpoſition or deſire to learne their weapons of them, that from henceforth as ſtrangers ſhall take vpon them to come hither to teach this noble & moſt valiant, & victorious nation to fight, that firſt, before they learne of them, they cauſe a ſufficient triall of them to be made, whether the excellencie of their skill be ſuch as they profeſſe or no, the triall to be very requiſite & reaſonable, euen ſuch as I my ſelfe would be contented withall, if I ſhould take vpon me to go in their countrie to teach their nation to fight. And this is the triall: they ſhall play with ſuch weapōs as they profeſſe to teach withall, three bouts apeece with three of the beſt Engliſh Maiſters of Defence, & three bouts apeece with three vnskilful valiant men, and three bouts apeece with three reſolute men half drunke. Then if they can defend thēſelues againſt theſe maiſters of Defence, and hurt, and go free from the reſt, then are they to be honored, cheriſhed, and allowed for perfect good teachers, what countrey men ſoeuer they be: but if of anie of theſe they take foile, then are they imperfect in their profeſſion, their fight is falſe, & they are falſe teachers, deceiuers and murtherers, and to be puniſhed accordingly, yet no worſe puniſhment vnto them I wiſh, then ſuch as in their triall they ſhall find.
| There are four special marks to know the Italian fight is imperfect, & that the Italian teachers and setters forth of books of defence, never had the perfection of the true fight.
2 The first mark is, they seldom fight in their own country unarmed, commonly in this sort, a pair of gauntlets upon their hands,5 and a good shirt of mail upon their bodies.
| There are ſoure eſpeciall markes to know the Italian fight is imperfect. & that the Italian teachers and ſetters forth of books of Defence, neuer had the perfection of the true fight.
2 The firſt marke is, they ſeldome fight in their owne country vnarmed, commonly in this ſort, a paire of Gantlettes vpon their hands, and a good ſhirt of maile vpon their bodies.
|The second mark is, that neither the Italian nor any of their best scholars do never fight, but they are most commonly sore hurt, or one or both of them slain.||The ſecōd marke is, that neither the Italians, nor any of their beſt ſcholers do neuer fight, but they are moſt cōmonly ſore hurt, or one or both of them ſlaine.|
|The third mark is, they never teach their scholars, nor set down in their books any perfect length of their weapons, without which no man can by nature or art against the perfect length fight safe, for being too short, their times are too long, and spaces too wide for their defence, and being too long, they will be upon every cross that shall happen to be made, whether it shall be done by skill or chance, in great danger of death, because the rapier being too long, the cross cannot be undone in due time, but may be done by going back with the feet, but that time is always too long to answer the time of the hand, therefore every man ought to have a weapon according to his own stature, the tall man must have his sword longer than the man of mean stature, else he has wrong in his defence, & the man of mean stature must have his weapon longer than the man of small stature, else he has wrong in his defence, & the man of small stature must beware he does not feed himself with this vain conceit, that he will have his weapon long, to reach as far as the tall man, for therein he shall have great disadvantage, both with the making of a strong cross, and also in uncrossing again, and in keeping his point from crossing, and when a cross is made upon him, to defend himself, or in danger his enemy, or to redeem his lost times. Again, rapiers longer than is convenient to accord with the true statures of men, are always too long or too heavy to keep their bodies in due time from the cross of the light short sword of perfect length, the which being made by the skillful out of any of the four true times, upon any of the four chief actions, by reason of the uncertainty & great swiftness in any of these times, they are in great danger of a blow, or of a thrust in the hand, arm, head, or face, & in every true cross in the uncrossing, in great danger of a blow upon the head, or full thrust in the body or face, and being taken in that time & place, the first mover in uncrossing speeds the rapier man of imperfect length, whether it is too long, too short or too heavy, and goes free himself by the direction of his governors.||The third marke is, they neuer teach their ſcholers, nor ſet downe in their bookes anie perfect lengthes of their weapons, without the which no man can by nature or Art againſt the perfect lēgth fight ſafe, for being too ſhort, their times are too long, and ſpaces too wide for their defence, and being too long, they wilbe vpon euerie croſſe that ſhall happen to be made, whether it be done by skil or chance, in great danger of death ; becauſe the Rapier being too long, the croſſe cannot be vndone in due time, but may be done by going backe with the feete ; but that time is alwaies too long to anſwere the time of the hand, therfore euery man ought to haue a weapon according to his owne ſtature : the tall man muſt haue his weapon longer then the man of meane ſtature, or elſe he hath wrong in his defence, & the man of meane ſtature muft haue his weapon longer then the man of ſmal ſtature, or else he hath wrong in his defence; & the man of ſmal ſtature muſt beware that he feed not himſelf with this vaine cōceipt, that he wil haue his weapon long, to reach as farre as the tall man, for therin he ſhal haue great diſaduantage, both in making of a ſtrong croſſe, and alſo in vncroſſing againe, and in keeping his point from croſſing, and when a croſſe is made vpon him, to defend himſelf, or indanger his enemie, or to redeeme his loſt times. Againe Rapiers longer, then is conuenient to accord with the true ſtatures of men, are alwaies too long or too heauie to keepe their bodies in due time from the croſſe of the light ſhort ſword of perfect length, the which being made by the skilfull out of any of the foure true times, vpon any of the foure chiefe Actions, by reaſon of the vncertaintie & great ſwiftneſſe in any of theſe times, they are in great danger of a blow, or of a thruſt in the hand, arme, head, body, or face, & in euerie true croſſe in the vncroſſing, in great danger of a blow vpon the head, or a full thruſt in the bodie or face : and being taken in that time & place, the firſt mouer in vncroſſing ſpeedeth the Rapier man of imperfect lēgth, whether it be too long, too ſhort or too heauie, and goeth free himſelfe by the direction of his gouernours.|
|The fourth mark is, the crosses of their rapiers for true defence of their hands are imperfect, for the true carriage of the guardant fight, without which all fights are imperfect.||The fourth marke is, the croſſes of their Rapiers for true defence of their hands are imperfect, for the true cariage of the guardant fight, without the which all fights are imperfect.|
| Of six chief causes, that many valiant men think themselves by their practices to be skillful in their weapons, are yet many times in their fights sore hurt, and many times slain by men of small skill or none at all.
3 The first and chief cause is, the lack of the four governors, without which it is impossible to fight safe, although a man should practice most painfully and most diligently all the days of his life.
| Of ſixe chiefe cauſes, that many valiant men thinking themſelues by their practiſes to be skilfull in their weapons, are yet manie times in their fight ſore hurt, and manie times ſlaine by en of ſmall skill, or none at all.
3 THe firſt and chiefeſt cauſe is, the lacke of the foure Gouernours, without the which it is impoſſible to fight ſafe, although a man ſhould practiſe moſt painfully and moſt diligently all the daies of his life.
|The second cause is, the lack of the knowledge in due observance of the four actions, the which we shall call bent, spent, lying spent, and drawing back. These actions every man fights upon, whether they are skillful or unskillful, he that observes them is safe, he that observes them not, is in continual danger of every thrust that shall be strongly made against him.||The ſecond cauſe is, the lacke of knowledge in the due obſeruance of the foure Actions, the which we cal bent, ſpent, lying ſpent, and drawing backe : theſe Actions euerie man fighteth vpon, whether they be skilfull or vnskilfull, he that obſerueth them is ſafe, he that obſerueth thē not, is in cōtinuall danger of euerie thruſt that ſhalbe ſtrongly made againſt him.|
|The third cause is, they are unpracticed in the four true times, neither do they know the true times from the false, therefore the true choice of their times are most commonly taken by chance, and seldom otherwise.||The third cauſe is, they are vnpractiſed in the foure true times, neither do they know the true times frō the falſe: therefore the true choiſe of their times are moſt commonly taken by chance, and ſeldome otherwiſe.|
|The fourth cause is, they are unacquainted out of what fight, or in what manner they are to answer the variable fight, and therefore because the variable fight is the most easy fight of all others, most commonly do answer the variable fight with the variable fight, which ought never be but in the first distance, or with the short sword against the long, because if both or one of them shall happen to press, and that in due time of either side's fight be changed, the distance, by reason of the narrowness of space, is broken, the place is won and lost of both sides, then he that thrusts first, speedeth: if both happen to thrust together, they are both in danger. Therefore things sometimes by true times, by change of fights, by chance are avoided.||The fourth cauſe is, they are vnacquainted out of what fight, or in what maner they are to anſwer the variable fight : and therefore becauſe the variable fight is the moft eaſieſt fight of all other, moſt cōmonly do anſwer the variable fight with the variable fight, which ought neuer to be but in the firſt diſtance, or with the ſhort Sword againſt the long, becauſe if both or one of them ſhall happen to preſe, and that in due time of neither ſide fight be changed, the diſtance, by reason of narrowneſſe of ſpace, is broken, the place is won and loſt of both ſides, then he that thruſteth firſt, ſpeedeth : if both happen to thruſt together, they are both in dāger. Theſe things ſometimes by true times, by change of fights, by chance are auoided.|
|The fifth cause is, their weapons are most commonly too long to uncross without going back with the feet.||The fift cauſe is, their weapons are moſt commonly too long to vncroſſe without going backe with the feet.|
|The sixth cause is, their weapons are most commonly too heavy both to defend and offend in due time, & by these two last causes many valiant men have lost their lives.||The ſixt cauſe is, their weapons are moſt commonly too heauie both to defend and offend in due time, & by theſe two laſt cauſes many valiāt mē haue loſt their liues.|
| What is the cause that wisemen in learning or practicing their weapons, are deceived with Italian Fencers.
There are four causes. The first, their schoolmaster are imperfect. The second is, that whatsoever they teach, is both true & false; true in their demonstrations, according with their force & time in gentle play,6 & in their actions according with the force & time in rough play or fight, false. For example, there is much difference between these two kinds of fight, as there is between the picture of Sir Beuis of Southhampton and Sir Beuis himself, if he were living. The third, none can judge of the craft but the craftsman, the unskilled, be he never so wise, can not truly judge of his teacher, or skill, the which he learns, being unskilled himself. Lastly, & to confirm for truth all that shall be amiss, not only in this excellent science of defence, but in all other excellent secrets, most commonly the lie bears as good a show of truth, as truth itself.
| What is the cauſe that wiſe men in learning or practiſing their weapons, are deceived with Italian Fencers.
THere are foure cauſes: the firſt, their schoolmaiſters are imperfect : the ſecond is, that whatſoeuer they teach, is both true & falſe; true in their demōſtrations, according with their ſorce & time in gētle play, & in their actions according with true force & time in rough play or fight, falſe: for exāple, there is as much difference betwixt theſe two kind of fights, as there is betwixt the true picture of Sir Beuis of Southampton, & Sir Beuis himſelf, if he were liuing. The third, none cā iudge of the Craft but the Crafts-man ; the vnskilfull, be he neuer ſo wiſe, can not truly iudge of his teacher, or skill, the which he learneth, being vnskilful himſelfe. Laſtly, & to confirme for truth all that ſhal be amiſſe, not only in this excellēt Science of Defence, but in all other excellent ſecrets, moſt commonly the lye beareth as good a ſhew of truth, as truth it ſelfe.
| Of the false resolutions and vain opinions of Rapier men and of the danger of death thereby ensuing.
4 It is a great question, & especially among the rapier men, who has the advantage, the thruster or the warder? Some hold strongly, that the warder has the advantage. Others say, it is most certain that the thruster has the advantage. Now, when two do happen to fight, being both of one mind, that the thruster has the advantage, they make all shift they can, who shall give the first thrust, as for example, two captains at Southhampton even as they were going to take shipping upon the key, fell at strife, drew their rapiers, and presently, being desperate, hardy or resolute, as they call it, with all force and over great speed, ran with their rapiers one at the other, & were both slain. Now when two of the contrary opinion shall meet and fight, you shall see very peaceable wars between them. For they verily think that he that first thrusts is in great danger of his life, therefore with all speed do they put themselves in ward, or Stocata, the surest guard of all other, as Vincentio says, and thereupon they stand sure, saying the one to the other, "thrust if you dare", and says the other, "thrust if you dare", or "strike or thrust if you dare", says the other. Then says the other,"strike or thrust if you dare, for your life". These two cunning gentlemen standing long time together, upon this worthy ward, they both depart in peace, according to the old proverb: "It is good sleeping in a whole skin." Again if two shall fight, the one of opinion, that the warder has the advantage, then most commonly, the thruster being valiant, with all speed thrusts home, and by reason of the time and swift motion of his hand, they are most commonly with the points of their rapiers, or daggers, or both, one or both of them hurt or slain because their spaces of defence in this kind of fight, are too wide in due time to defend, and the place being won, the eye of the patient by the swift motion of the agents hand is deceived. Another resolution they stand sure upon for their lives, to kill their enemies. in the which they are most commonly slain themselves: that is this: When they find the point of their enemy's rapier out of the right line, they say, they may boldly make home a thrust with a Passata, the which they observe, and do accordingly. But the other having a shorter time with his hand, as nature many times teaches him, suddenly turns his wrist, whereby he meets the other in his passage just with the point of his rapier in the face or body. And this false resolution has cost many a life.
| Of the falſe reſolutions and vaine opinions of Rapier-men, and of the danger of death thereby enſuing.
4 IT is a great queſtion, & eſpecially amōgſt the Rapier-men, who hath the vantage of the thruſter, or of the warder. Some hold ſtrongly, that the warder hath the vantage : others ſay, it is moſt certain that the thruſter hath the vantage. Now when two do happē to fight, being both of one mind, that the thruſter hath the vantage, they make all ſhiſt they can, who ſhall giue the firſt thruſt: as for example, two Captaines at Southampton euen as they were going to take ſhipping vpon the key, fel at ftrife, drew their Rapiers, and preſently, being deſperate, hardie or reſolute, as they call it, with all force and ouer great ſpeed, ran with their rapiers one at the other, & were both ſlaine. Now when two of the contrary opinion ſhall meet and fight, you ſhall ſee verie peaceable warres betweene them : for they verily thinke that he that firſt thruſteth is in great danger of his life, therefore with all ſpeede do put themſelues in ward, or Stocata, the ſureſt gard of all other, as Vincentio ſaith, and therevpon they ſtand ſure, ſaying the one to the other, thruſt and thou dare ; and ſaith the other, thruſt and thou dare, or ſtrike or thruſt and thou dare, faith the other : then faith the other, ſtrike or thruſt and thou dare for thy life. Theſe two cunning gentlemen ſtanding long time together, vpon this worthie ward, they both depart in peace, according to the old prouerbe : It is good ſleeping in a whole skinne. Againe if two ſhall fight, the one of opinion, that he that thrufteth hath the vantage, and the other of opinion, that the warder hath the vantage, then most commonly the thruſter being valiant, with all ſþeed thruſteth home, and by reaſon of the time and ſwiſt motion of his hand, they are moſt commonly with the points of their rapiers, or daggers, or both, one or both of them hurt or ſlaine ; becauſe their ſpaces of defence in that kind of fight, are too wide in due time to defend, and the place being wonne, the eye of the Patient by the ſwift motion of the Agents hand, is deceiued. Another reſolution they ſtand ſure vpon for their liues, to kill their enemies, in the which they are moſt commonly ſlaine themſelues : that is this : When they find the point of their enemies rapier out of the right line, they ſay, they may boldly make home a thruſt with a Paſſata, the which they obſerue, and do accordingly : but the other hauing a ſhorter time with his hand, as nature manie times teacheth him, ſodainly turneth his wriſt, whereby he meeteth the other in his paſſage iuſt with the point of his rapier in the face or body. And this falſe reſolution hath coſt manie a life.
| That the cause that many are so often slain, and many sore hurt in fight with long rapier is not by reason of their dangerous thrusts, nor cunning of that Italianated fight, but in the length and unwieldiness thereof.
5 It is most certain, that men may with short swords both strike, thrust, false and double, by reason of their distance and nimbleness thereof, more dangerously than they can with long rapiers. And yet, when two fight with short swords, having true fight, there is no hurt done. Neither is it possible in any reason, that any hurt should be done between them of either side, and this is well known to all such as have the perfection of the true fight. By this it plainly appears, that the cause of the great slaughter, and sundry hurts done by long rapiers, consists not in their long reach, dangerous thrusts, nor cunningness of the Italian fight, but in the inconvenient length, and unwieldiness of their long rapiers, whereby it commonly falls out, that in all their actions appertaining to their defence, they are unable, in due time to perform, and continually in danger of every cross, that shall happen to be made with their rapier blades, which being done, within the half rapier; (unless both are of one mind with all speed to depart, which seldom or never happens between men of valiant disposition,) it is impossible to uncross, or get out, or avoid the stabs of the daggers. And this has fallen(?) out many times among valiant men at those weapons.
| That the cauſe that manie are ſo often ſlaine, and manie ſore hurt in fight with long Rapiers is not by reaſon of their dangerous thruſts, nor cunningneſſe of that It alienated fight, but in the length and vnweildineſſe thereof.
5 IT is moſt certaine, that men may with ſhort ſwords both ſtrike, thruſt, falſe and double , by reaſon of their diſtance and nimbleneſſe thereof , more dangerouſly then they can with long Rapiers: and yet when two fight with ſhort ſwordes , hauing true fight, there is no hurt done: neither is it poſſible in anie reaſon, that anie hurt ſhould be done betwixt them of either ſide , and this is well knowne to all ſuch as haue the perfection of true fight. By this it plainely appeareth, that the cauſe of the great daughter , and ſundrie hurts done by long Rapiers, confiſteth not in long Reach , dangerous thruſtes, nor cunningneſſe of the Italian fight, but in the inconuenient length, and vnweildineſſe of their long Rapiers: whereby it commonly falleth out, that in all their Actions appertaining to their defence, they are vnable, in due time to performe, and continually in danger of euerie croſſe, that ſhall happen to be made with their rapier blades, which being done, within the halfe rapier; (vnleſſe both be of one mind with all ſpeed to depart, which ſeldome or neuer happneth betweene men of valiant diſpoſition ,) it is impoſſible to vncroſſe, or get out , or to auoid the ftabbes of the Daggers. And this hath falne out manie times amongſt valiant men at thoſe weapons.
| Of running and standing safe in rapier fight, the runner has the advantage.
6 If two valiant men fight being both cunning in running, & that they both use the same at one instant, their course is doubled, the place is won of both sides, and one or both of them will commonly be slain or sore hurt. And if one of them shall run, and the other stand fast upon the Imbrocata or Stocata, or however, the place will be at one instant won of one side, and gained of the other, and one or both of them will be hurt or slain. If both shall press hard upon the guard, he that first thrusts home in true place, hurts the other, & if both thrust together, they are both hurt. Yet some advantage the runner has, because he is an uncertain mark, and in his motion. The other is a certain mark, and in dead motion, And by reason of this many times the unskillful man takes advantage he knows not how, against him that lies watching upon his ward or Stocata guard.
| Of running and ſtanding faſt in Rapier fight, the runner hath the vantage.
6 IF two valiant men do fight being both cunning in running, & that they both vſe the ſame at one inſtant, their courſe is doubled, the place is wonne of both ſides, and one or both of them will commonly be ſlaine or ſore hurt: and if one of them ſhall runne, and the other ſtand faſt vpon the Imbrocata or Stocata, or howſoeuer, the place wilbe at one inſtant wonne of one ſide, and gained of the other, and one or both of them wilbe hurt or ſlaine: if both ſhall preſe hard vpon the guard, he that firſt thruſteth home in true place, hurteth the other : & if both thruſt together, they are both hurt : yet ſome vantage the runner hath, becauſe he is an vncertaine marke, and in his motion : the other is a certaine marke, and in a dead motion : and by reaſon thereof manie times the vnskilfull man taketh vantage he knoweth not how , againſt him that lyeth watching vpon his ward or Stocata guard.
| Of striking and thrusting both together.
7 It is strongly held by many, that if in a fight they find their enemy to have more skill than themselves, they presently will continually strike & thrust just with him, whereby they will make their fight as good as his, and thereby have as good advantage as the other with all his skill. But if their swords be longer than the other, then their advantage is great. For it is certain (say they) that an inch will kill a man. But if their swords be much longer than the other, then their advantage is so great, that they will be sure by striking and thrusting just with the other, that they will always hurt him that has the short sword, and go clear themselves, because they will reach him, when he shall not reach them. These men speak like such as talk of Robin Hood, that never shot with his bow, for to strike or thrust just together with a man of skill, lies not in the will of the ignorant, because a skillful man always fights upon the true times, by which the unskillful is still disappointed of both place and time, and therefore driven of necessity still to watch the other, when & what he will do. That is, whether he will strike, thrust, or false. If the unskillful strike or thrust in the time of falsing, therein he neither strikes or thrusts just with the other. He may say, he has struck or thrust before him, but not just with him, not to any good purpose. For in the time of falsing, if he strikes or thrusts, he strikes or thrusts too short. For in that time he has neither time nor place to strike home, and as it is said, the unskillful man, that will take upon him to strike or thrust just with the skillful, must first behold what the man of skill will do, and when he will do it, and therefore of necessity is driven to suffer the skillful man to be the first mover, and entered into his action, whether it is blow or thrust. The truth of this cannot be denied. Now judge whether it is possible for an unskillful man to strike or thrust just together with a man of skill. But the skillful man can most certainly strike and thrust just with the unskillful, because the unskillful fights upon false times, which being too long to answer the true times, the skillful fighting upon the true times, although the unskillful is the first mover, & entered into his action, whether it is blow or thrust, yet the shortness of the true times make at the pleasure of the skillful a just meeting together. In the perfect fight two never strike or thrust together, because they never suffer place nor time to perform it.
| Of ſtriking and thruſting both together.
7 It is ſtrongly holden of manie, that if in fight they find their enemy to haue more skill then themſelues, they preſently will continually ſtrike, & thruſt iuſt with him, whereby they will make their fight as good as his, and thereby haue as good aduantage as the other with all his skill : but if their ſwordes be longer then the other, then their aduantage is great; for it is certaine (ſay they) that an inch will kill a man : but if their ſwordes be much longer then the other, then their aduantage is ſo great, that they wilbe ſure by thruſting and ſtriking iuſt with the other, that they will alwaies hurt him that hath the ſhort ſword, and go cleare themſelues, becauſe they will reach him, when he ſhall not reach them. Theſe men ſpeake like ſuch as talke of Robin Hoode, that neuer ſhot in his bow ; for to ſtrike or thruſt iuſt together with a man of skill, lyeth not in the will of the ignorant, becauſe the skilfull man alwaies fighteth vpon the true times, by the which the vnskilfull is ſtill diſappointed of both place and time, and therefore driuen of neceſſitie ſtill to watch the other, when & what he will doe; that is, whether he will ſtrike , thruſt, or falſe: if the vnskilfull ſtrike or thruſt in the time of falſing , therein he neither ſtriketh nor thruſteth iuſt with the other : he may ſaie, he hath ſtroke or thruſt before him , but not iuſt with him, nor to anie good purpoſe; for in the time of falſing, if he ſtrike or thruſt, he ſtriketh or thruſteth too ſhort: for in that time he hath neither time nor place to ſtrike home, and as it is ſaid, the vnskilfull man , that will take vpon him to ſtrike or thruſt iuſt with the skilfull, muſt firſt behold what the man of skil will doe, and when he will doe it , and therfore of neceſſitie is driuen to ſuffer the skilfull man to be the firſt mouer, and entred into his Action, whether it be blow or thruſt, the truth therof in reaſon cannot be denied. Now iudge whether it be poſſible for an vnskilfull man to ſtrike or thruſt iuſt together with a man of skill ; but the skilfull man can moſt certainly ſtrike and thruſt iuſt together with the vnskilfull , becauſe the vnskilfull fighteth vpon falſe times, which being too long to anſwere the true times, the skilfull fighting vpon the true times, although the vnskilfull be the firſt mouer, & entred into his Action , whether it be blow or thruſt ; yet the ſhortneſſe of the true times maketh at the pleaſure of the skilfull a iuſt meeting together: in perfect fight two neuer ſtrike or thruſt together, becauſe they neuer ſuffer place nor time to performe it.
|Two unskillful men many times by chance strike or thrust together, chance unto them, because they know not what they do, or how it comes to pass. But the reasons or causes are these. Sometimes two false times meet & make a just time together, & sometimes a true time and a false time meet and make a just time together, and sometimes two true times meet and make a just time together. And all this happens because the true time and place is unknown unto them.||Two vnskilfull men manie times by chance ſtrike and thruſte together, chance vnto them, becauſe they know not what they doe , or how it commeth to paſſe: but the reaſons or cauſes be theſe. Sometimes two falſe times meet & make a iuſt time together, & ſometimes a true time and a falſe time meeteth and maketh a iuſt time together , and ſometimes two true times meet and make a iuſt time together . And all this hapneth becauſe the true time and place is vnknowne vnto them.|
| George Silver his resolution upon that hidden or doubtful question, who has the advantage of the Offender or Defender.
8 The advantage is strongly held by many to be in the offender, yea insomuch, that if two minding to offend in their fight, it is thought to be in him that first strikes or thrusts. Others strongly hold opinion that the warder absolutely has still the advantage, but these opinions as they are contrary the one to the other, so are they contrary to true fight, as may well be seen by these short examples. If the advantage be in the warder, than it is not good any time to strike or thrust: if the advantage is in the striker or thruster, then were it a frivolous thing to learn to ward, or at any time to seek to ward, since in warding lies disadvantage. Now may it plainly by these examples appear, that if there is any perfection in fight, that both sides are deceived of their opinions, because if the striker or thruster has the advantage, then is the warder still in danger of wounds or death. If again, if the warder has the advantage, then is the striker or thrust in as great danger to defend himself against the warder, because the warder from his wards, takes advantage of the striker or thruster upon every blow or thrust, that shall be made against him. Then thus do I conclude, that if there is perfection in the Science of Defence, they are all in their opinions deceived. And that the truth may appear for the satisfaction of all men, this is my resolution: that there is no advantage absolutely, nor disadvantage in striker, thruster, or warder, and their is great advantage in the striker, thruster & warder, but in this manner. In the perfection of fight the advantage consists in fight between party and party, that is, whosoever wins or gains the place in true pace, space and time, has the advantage, whether he is striker, thruster or warder. And that is my resolution.
| George Siluer his reſolution vpon that hidden or doubtfull queſtion, who hath the aduantage of the Offender or Defender.
8 The aduantage is ſtrongly holden of many to be in the offender , yea in ſomuch, that if two minding to offend in their fight , it is thought to be in him that firſt ſtriketh or thruſteth . Others ſtrongly hold opinion that the wardr abſolutely hath ſtill the aduantage, but theſe opinions as they are contrary the one to the other : ſo are they contrarie to true fight, as may well be ſeene by theſe ſhort examples. If the aduantage be in the warder, then it is not good anie time to ſtrike or thruſt : if the aduantage be in the ſtriker or thruſter, then were it a friuolous thing to learne to ward, or at anie time to ſeeke to ward , ſince in warding lieth diſaduantage. Now may it plainly by theſe examples appeare , that if there be anie perfection in fight , that both ſides are deceiued in their opinions , becauſe if the ſtriker or thruſter haue the aduantage , then is the warder ſtill in danger of wounds or death . And againe, if the warder hath the aduantage , then is the ſtriker or thruſter in as great daunger to defend himſelfe againſt the warder , becauſe the warder from his wards , taketh aduantage of the ſtriker or thruſter vpon euerie blow or thruſt, that ſhall be made againſt him. Then thus I conclude, that if there be perfection in the Science of Defence, they are all in their opinons deceiued; and that the truth may appeare for the ſatisfaction of all men, this is my reſolution: there is no aduantage abſolutely, nor diſaduantage in ſtriker, thruſter, or warder: and there is a great aduantage in the ſtriker thruſter & warder : but in this maner , in the perfection of fight the aduantage conſiſteth in fight betweene partie and partie : that is, whoſoeuer winneth or gaineth the place in true pace , ſpace and time , hath the aduantage , whether he be ſtriker , thruſter or warder . And that is my reſolution.
| Of Spanish fight with the Rapier.
9 The Spaniard is now thought to be a better man with his rapier than is the Italian, Frenchman, high Almaine (German -- ST) or any other country man whatsoever, because they in their rapier-fight stand upon so many intricate tricks that in all the course of a man's life it shall be hard to learn them, and if they miss in doing the least of them in their fight, they are in danger of death. But the Spaniard in his fight, both safely to defend himself, and to endanger his enemy, has but one lying, and two wards to learn, wherein a man with small practice in a very short time may become perfect.
| Of Spanish fight with the Rapier.
9 THe Spaniard is now thought to be a better man with his Rapier then is the Italian, Frenchman, high Almaine, or anie other countrie man whatſoeuer, becauſe they in their Rapier-fight ſtand vpon ſo manie intricate trickes, that in all the courſe of a mans life it ſhall be hard to learne them, and if they miſſe in doing the leaſt of them in their fight, they are in danger of death. But the Spaniard in his fight, both ſafely to defend himſelfe , and to endanger his enemie, hath but one onely lying, and two wards to learne , wherein a man with ſmall practiſe in a verie ſhort time may become perfect.
|There was a cunning Doctor at his first going to sea, being doubtful that he should be sea sick, an old woman perceiving the same, said unto him: "Sir, I pray, be of good comfort, I will teach you a trick to avoid that doubt. Here is a fine pebble stone, if you please to accept it, take it with you, and when you are on ship board, put it in your mouth, and as long you shall keep the same in your mouth, upon my credit you shall never vomit." The Doctor believed her, and took it thankfully at her hands, and when he was at sea, he began to be sick, whereupon he presently put the stone in his mouth, & there kept it so long as he possibly could, but through his extreme sickness the stone with vomit was cast out of his mouth. Then presently he remembered how the woman had mocked him, and yet her words were true.||There was a cunning Doctor at his firſt going to ſea , being doubtfull that he ſhould be ſea-ſicke, an old woman perceiuing the ſame, ſaid vnto him: Sir, I pray, be of good comfort , I will teach you a tricke to auoid that doubt; here is a fine pibble ſtone, if you pleaſe to accept it, take it with you, and when you be on ſhip-bord, put it in your mouth , and as long as you ſhall keepe the fame in your mouth , vpon my credit you ſhall neuer vomit : the Doctor beleeued her , and tooke it thankfully at her hands, and when he was at ſea, he began to be ſicke, whereupon he preſently put the ſtone in his mouth , & there kept it ſo long as he poſſibly could, but through his extreme ſickneſſe the ſtone with vomit was caſt out of his mouth : then preſently he remēbred how the woman had mocked him, and yet her words were true.|
|Even so a Spaniard having his rapier point put by, may receive a blow on the head, or a cut over the face, hand, or arm, or a thrust in the body or face, and yet his Spanish fight perfect, so long as he can keep straight the point of his rapier against the face or body of his adversary; which is as easy in that manner of fight to be done, as it was for the Doctor in the extremity of his vomit to keep the stone in his mouth.||Euen ſo a Spaniard hauing his Rapier point put by , may receiue a blow on the head, or a cut ouer the face, hand, or arme, or a thruſt in the body or face, and yet his Spaniſh fight perfect, ſo long as he can keepe ſtraight the point of his Rapier againſt the face or body of his aduerſarie: which is as eaſie in that maner of fight to be done, as it was for the Doctor in the extremity of his vomite to keepe the ſtone in his mouth.|
|Yet one other pretty jest more, scarce worth the reading, in commendation of outlandish fight. There was an Italian teacher of Defence in my time, who so excellent in his fight, that he would hit any English man with a thrust, just upon any button in his doublet, and this was much spoken of.||Yet one other pretie ieſt more, ſcarce worth the reading, in commendation of outlandiſh fight. There was an Italian teacher of Defence in my time, who was ſo excellent in his fight, that he would haue hit anie Engliſh man with a thruft, iuſt vpon any button in his doublet, and this was much ſpoken of.|
|Also there was another cunning man in catching of wild-geese, he would have made no more ado, when he had heard them cry, as the manner of wild-geese is, flying one after another in rows, but presently looking up, would tell them, if there had been a dozen, sixteen, twenty, or more, he would have taken every one. And this tale was many times told by men of good credit, and much marvelled at by their hearers, and the man who would have taken the wild-geese, was of good credit himself. Merry they said, indeed he did never take any, but at any time when he looked up, and seen them fly in that manner, he would with all his heart have taken them, but he could no more tell how to do it, then could the cunning Italian Fencer tell how to hit an Englishman, with a thrust just upon any one of his buttons, when he listed.||Alſo there was another cunning man in catching of wildgeeſe, he would haue made no more ado , when he had heard them crie, as the maner of wildgeeſe is, flying one after another in rowes, but preſently looking vp, would tell them, if there had bene a doſen, fixteene, twētie, or more, he would haue taken euerie one. And this tale was manie times told by men of good credit, and much maruelled at by the hearers: & the man that wold haue taken the wildgeeſe, was of good credite himſelfe: marie they ſaid, indeed he did neuer take anie, but at anie time when he had looked vp, and ſeene them flie in that maner, he would with all his heart haue taken thē, but he could no more tell how to do it, then could the cunning Italian Fencer tell how to hit an Engliſhman, with a thruſt iuſt vpon any one of his buttons, when he liſted.|
| Illusions for the maintenance of imperfect weapons & false fights, to fear or discourage the unskillful in their weapons, from taking a true course or use, for attaining to the perfect knowledge of true fight.
10 First, for the rapier (says the Italian, or false teacher) I hold to be a perfect good weapon, because the cross hinders not to hold the handle in the hand, to thrust both far & straight, & to use all manner of advantages in the wards, or suddenly to call the same at the adversary, but with the sword you are driven with all the strength of the hand to hold fast the handle. And in the wars I would wish no friend of mine to wear swords with hilts, because when they are suddenly set upon, for haste they set their hands upon their hilts instead of their handles, in which time it happens many times before they can draw their swords, they are slain by their enemies.7 And for Sword and Buckler fight, it is imperfect, because the buckler blinds the fight, neither would I have any man lie aloft with his hand above his head, to strike sound blows. Strong blows are naught, especially being set above the head, because therein all the face and body are discovered. Yet I confess, in old times, when blows were only used with short Swords & Bucklers, & back Swords, these kinds of fights were good & most manly, now a days fight is altered. Rapiers are longer for advantage than swords were wont to be. When blows were used, men were so simple in their fight, that they thought him a coward, that would make a thrust or a blow beneath the girdle.8 Again if their weapons were short, as in times past they were, yet fight is better looked into these days, than then it was. Who is it in these days sees not that the blow compasses round like a wheel, whereby it has a long way to go, but the thrust passes in a straight line, and therefore comes a nearer way, and done in a shorter time than is the blow, and is more deadly than is the blow? There fore there is no wise man that will strike, unless he is weary of his life. It is certain, that the point for advantage every way in fight is to be used, the blow is utterly naught, and not to be used. He that fights upon the blow especially with a short sword, will be sore hurt or slain. The devil can say no more for the maintenance of errors.
| Illuſionsfor the maintenance of imperfect weapons & falſe fights , to feare or diſcourage the vnskilfull in their weapons , from taking a true courſe or vfe, for attaining to the perſect knowledge of true fight.
10 FIrſt, for the Rapier (ſaith the Italian, or falſe teacher) I hold it to be a perfect good weapō, becauſe the croſſe hindreth not to hold the handle in the hand, to thruſt both far & ſtraight, & to vſe all maner of aduantages in the wards, or ſodainly to caſt the ſame at the aduerſarie , but with the Sword you are driuen with all the ſtrength of the hand to hold faſt the handle. And in the warres I would wiſh no friend of mine to weare Swords with hilts, becauſe when they are ſodainly ſet vpon, for haſte they ſet their hands vpon their hilts in ſteed of their handles : in which time it hapneth manie times before they can draw their ſwords, they are ſlaine by their enemies. And for Sword and Buckler fight , it is imperfect, becauſe the buckler blindeth the fight , neither would I haue anie man lie aloft with his hand aboue his head, to ſtrike ſound blowes. Strong blowes are naught, eſpecially being ſet aboue the head , becauſe therein all the face and bodie is diſcouered. Yet I confeſſe , in old times , when blowes were only vſed with ſhort Swords & Bucklers, & back Sword, theſe kind of fights were good & moſt māly, but now in theſe daies fight is altered. Rapiers are lōger for aduātage thē ſwords were wōt to be: whē blowes were vſed, men were ſo ſimple in their fight , that they thought him to be a coward, that wold make a thruſt or ſtrike a blow beneath the girdle. Againe, if their weapōs were ſhort, as in times paſt they were , yet fight is better looked into in theſe dayes, than then it was. Who is it in theſe daies ſeeth not that the blow cōpaſſeth round like a wheele , whereby it hath a longer way to go , but the thruſt paſſeth in a ſtraight line , and therefore commeth a nearer way , and done in a ſhorter time thē is the blow, and is more deadly then is the blow ? Therefore there is no wiſe man that will ſtrike , vnleſſe he be wearie of his life. It is certaine , that the point for aduantage euerie way in fight is to be vſed , the blow is vtterly naught, and not to be vſed. He that fighteth vpon the blow eſpecially with a ſhort ſword , wilbe ſore hurt or ſlaine. The deuill can ſay no more for the maintenance of errors.
| That a blow comes continually as near as a thrust, and most commonly nearer, stronger, more swift, and is sooner done.
11 The blow, by reason that it compasses round like a wheel, whereby it has a longer way to come, as the Italian Fencer says, & that the thrust passing in a straight line, comes a nearer way, and therefore is sooner done than a blow, is not true, these are the proofs.9
| That a blow commeth continually as neare a way as a thruſt , and moſt commonly nearer , ſtronger , more ſwifter, and is ſooner done.
11 THe blow, by reaſō that it compaſſeth round like a wheele, whereby it hath a longer way to come , as the Italian Fenſer ſaith, & that the thruſt paſſing in a ſtraight line, commeth a nearer way, and therefore is ſooner done then a blow , is not true : these be the proofes.
|Let two lie in their perfect strengths and readiness, wherein the blades of their rapiers by the motion of the body, may not be crossed of either side, the one to strike, and the other to thrust. Then measure the distance or course wherein the hand and hilt passes to finish the blow of the one, and the thrust of the other, and you shall find them both by measure, in distance all one. At let any man of judgement being seen in the exercise of weapons, not being more addicted unto novelties of fight, than unto truth itself, put in measure, and practice these three fights, variable, open, and guardant, and he shall see, that whenever any man lies at the thrust at the variable fight, (where of necessity most commonly he lies, or otherwise not possible to keep his rapier from crossing at the blow & thrust, upon the open or guardant fight,) that the blows & thrusts from these two fighters, come a nearer way, and a more stronger and swifter course than does the thrust, out of the variable fight. And thus for a general rule, wheresoever the thruster lies, or out of what fight soever he fights, with his rapier, or rapier and dagger, the blow in his course comes as near, and nearer, and more swift and stronger than does the thrust.||Let two lie in their perfect ſtrengths and readineſſe , wherein the blades of their Rapiers by the motion of the body, may not be croſſed of either ſide , the one to ſtrike, and the other to thruſt. Then meaſure the diſtance or courſe wherein the hand and hilt paſſeth to finiſh the blow of the one, and the thruſt of the other , and you ſhall find them both by meaſure, in diſtance all one . And let anie man of iudgement being ſeene in the exerciſe of weapons, not being more addicted vnto nouelties of fight, then vnto truth it ſelfe, put in meaſure, and practiſe theſe three fights , variable , open , and guardant, and he ſhall ſee, that whenſoeuer anie man lyeth at the thruft vpon the variable fight , ( where of neceſſitie moſt commonly he lyeth , or otherwiſe not poſfiblie to keepe his Rapier from croſſing at the blow & thruft, vpon the open or gardant fight, ) that the blowes & thruſtes from theſe two fightes, come a nearer way, and a moreſtronger and ſwiſter courſe then doth the thruft , out of the variable fight. And thus for a generali rule , whereſoeuer the Thruſter lyeth, or out of what fight ſoeuer he fighteth, with his Rapier, or Rapier and Dagger, the blow in his courſe commeth as neare, and nearer, and more ſwift and ſtronger then doth the thruſt.|
| Perfect fight stands upon both blow and thrust, therefore the thrust is not only to be used.
12 That there is no fight perfect without both blow and thrust: neither is there any certain rule to be set down for the use of the point only,10 these are the reasons: In fight there are many motions, with the hand, body, and feet, and in every motion the place of the hand is altered, & because by the motions of the hand, the altering of the places of the hand, the changes of lyings, wards, and breaking of thrusts, the hand will sometimes be in place to strike, some times to thrust, sometimes after a blow to thrust, sometimes after a thrust to strike, & sometimes in a place where you may strike, and cannot thrust without loss of time, and sometimes in place where you may thrust, and cannot strike without loss of time, and sometimes in a place where you can neither strike nor thrust, unless you fight upon both blow and thrust, nor able to defend yourself by ward or going back, because your space will be too wide, and your distance lost. And sometimes when you have made a thrust, a ward or breaking is taken in such sort with the dagger or blade of the sword, that you can neither thrust again, nor defend yourself unless you do strike, which you may soundly do, and go free, and sometimes when you strike, a ward will be taken in such sort, that you cannot strike again, nor defend yourself, unless you thrust, which you may safely do and go free. So to conclude, there is no perfection in the true fight, without both blow and thrust, nor certain rule to be set down for the point only.
| Perfect fight ſtandeth vpon both blow and thruſt , therefore the thruſt is not onely to be vſed.
12 THat there is no fight perfect without both blow and thruſt : neither is there anie certaine rule to be ſet downe for the vſe of the point onely, theſe be the reaſons : In fight there are manie motions , with the hand , bodie , and feet, and in euerie motion the place of the hand is altered, & becauſe by the motions of the hand , the altering of the places of the hand , the changes of lyings , wards, and breaking of thruſtes, the hand will ſometimes be in place to ſtrike, ſometimes to thruſt , ſometimes after a blow to thruſt , and ſometimes after a thruſt to ſtrike, & ſometimes in place where you may ſtrike, and cannot thruſt without loſſe of time , and ſometimes in place where you may thruſt, and cannot ſtrike without loſſe of time , and ſometimes in place where you can neither ſtrike nor thruſt, vnleſſe you fight vpon both blow and thruſt , nor able to defend your ſelfe by ward or going backe , becauſe your ſpace wilbe too wide, and your diſtance loſt . And ſometimes when you haue made a thruſt , a ward or breaking is taken in ſuch ſort with the Dagger or blade of the Sword, that you cā neither thruſt againe, nor defend your ſelfe vnleſſe you do ſtrike, which you may ſoundly doe, and go free, and ſometimes when you ſtrike, a ward wilbetaken in ſuch ſort, that you cannot ſtrike againe , nor defend your ſelfe , vnleſſe you thruſt, which you may ſafely doe and goe free . So to conclude , there is no perfection in the true fight , without both blow and thruſt, nor certaine rule to be ſet downe for the point onely.
| That the blow is more dangerous and deadly in fight than a thrust, for proof thereof to be made according with Art, and Englishman holds argument against an Italian.
13 Which is more dangerous or deadly in fight of a blow or a thrust?
| That the blow is more dangerous and deadly in fight , then a thruſt , ſor proofe thereof to be made according with Art , an Englishman holdeth argument againſt an Italian.
13 WHich is more dangerous or deadly in fight of a blow or a thruſt?
This question is not propounded according to art, because there is no fight perfect without both blow and thrust.
This queſtion is not propounded ac-cording to art , becauſe there is no fight perfect without both blow and thruſt.
Let it be so, yet opinions are otherwise held, that the thrust is only to be used, because it comes a near way, and is more dangerous and deadly, for these reasons: first, the blow compasses round like a wheel, but the thrust passes in a straight line, therefore the blow by reason of this compass has a longer way to go than the thrust & is therefore longer in doing, but the thrust passes in a straight line, therefore has a shorter way to go than has the blow, & is therefore done in a shorter time, & is therefore much better than the blow, & more dangerous and deadly, because if a thrust does hit the face or body, it endangers life, and most commonly death ensues, but if the blow hits the body, it is not so dangerous.
Let it be ſo, yet opinions are otherwiſe holden , that the thruſt is onely to be vſed, becauſe it commeth a nearer way, and is more dangerous and deadly , for theſe reaſons : firſt the blow compaſſeth round like a wheele , but the thruſt paſſeth in a ſtraight line, therfore the blow by reaſon of the compaſſe , hath a longer way to go then the thruſt, & is therefore longer in doing, but the thruſt paſſeth in a ſtraight line, therfore hath ſhorter way to go thē hath the blow, & is therfore done in a ſhorter time, & is therfore much better then the blow, & more dangerous and deadly , becauſe if a thruſt do hit the face or bo-die, it indangereth life, and moſt commonly death en-ſueth : but if the blow hit the bodie, it is not ſo dāgerous.
Let your opinions be what they will, but that the thrust comes a nearer way, & is sooner done that the blow, is not true, and for proof thereof read the twelfth paradox. And now will I set down possible reasons, that the blow is better than the thrust, and more dangerous and deadly.11 First, the blow comes as near a way, & most commonly nearer than does the thrust, & is therefore done in a shorter time than is the thrust. Therefore in respect of time, whereupon stands the perfection of fight, the blow is much better than the thrust. Again, the force of the thrust passes straight, therefore any cross being indirectly made, the force of a child may put it by. But the force of the blow passes indirectly, therefore must be directly warded in the countercheck of his force, which cannot be done but by the convenient strength of a man, & with true cross in true time, or else will not safely defend him, and is therefor much better, & more dangerous than the thrust. And again, the thrust being made through the hand, arm, or leg, or in many places of the body and face, are not deadly, neither are they maims, or loss of limbs or life, neither is he much hindered for the time in his fight, as long as the blood is hot: for example:
Let your opiniōs be what they wil, but that the thruſt cōmeth a nearer way, & is ſooner done then the blow , is not true : & for proofe thereof reade the twelfth Paradox. And now will I ſet downe probable reaſons, that the blow is better then the thruſt, and more dangerous and deadly. Firſt, the blow commeth as neare a way , & mod cōmonly nearer then doth the thruſt, & is therfore done in a ſhorter time then is the thruſt : therfore in reſpect of time, wherupon ſtādeth the perfection of fight, the blow is much better then the thruſt. Againe , the force of the thruſt paſſeth ſtraight , therefore any croſſe being indirectly made , the force of a child may put it by: but the force of a blow paſſeth indirectly, therefore must be directly warded in the counterchecke of his force: which cānot be done but by the cōuenient ſtrength of a man, & with true croſſe in true time, or elſe will not ſafely defēd him: and is therfore much better, & more dāgerous thē the thruſt , and againe, the thruſt being made through the hand, arme, or leg, or in many places of the body and face, are not deadly , neither are they maimes , or loſſe of limmes or life, neither is he much hindred for the time in his fight, as long as the bloud is hot: for example.
| I have known a gentleman hurt in rapier fight, in nine or ten places through the body, arms, and legs, and yet has continued in his fight, & afterward has slain the other, and come home and has been cured of all his wounds without maim, & is yet living. But the blow being strongly made, takes sometimes clean away the hand from the arm, has many times been seen.12 Again, a full blow upon the head or face with a short sharp sword, is most commonly death. A full blow upon the neck, shoulder, arm, or leg, endangers life, cuts off the veins, muscles, and sinews, perishes the bones: these wounds made by the blow, in respect of perfect healing, are the loss of limbs, or maims incurable forever.
|| I haue knowne a Gētlemā hurt in Rapier fight, in nine or ten places through the bodie, armes, and legges, and yet hath continued in his fight, & afterward hath ſlaine the other , and come home and hath bene cured of all his woūds without maime, & is yet liuing. But the blow being ſtrōgly made, taketh ſomtimes cleane away the hand from the arme , hath manie times bene ſeene. Againe, a full blow vpon the head or face with a ſhort ſharpe Sword, is moſt commonly death. A full blow vpon the necke, ſhoulder, arme, or legge, indangereth life , cutteth off the veines , muſcles , and ſinewes, periſheth the bones : theſe wounds made by the blow , in reſpect of perfect healing , are the loſſe of limmes, or maimes incurable for euer.
| And yet more for the blow: a full blow upon the head, face, arm, leg, or legs, is death, or the party so wounded in the mercy of him that shall so wound him. For what man shall be able long in fight to stand up, either to revenge, or defend himself, having the veins, muscles, sinews of his hand, arm, or leg clean cut asunder? Or being dismembered by such wound upon the face or head, but shall be enforced thereby, and through the loss of blood, the other a little dallying with him, to yield himself, or leave his life in his mercy?13
|| And yet more for the blow: a ful blow vpon the head, face, arme, leg, or legs, is death, or the partie so wounded in the mercie of him that ſhall ſo wound him. For what man ſhall be able long in fight to ſtand vp , either to reuenge, or defend himſelfe , hauing the veines, muſcles, and finewes of his hand, arme, or leg cleane cut aſunder? or being diſmembred by ſuch wound vpon the face or head, but ſhall be enforced therby, and through the loſſe of bloud, the other a litle dallying with him, to yeeld himſelf , or leaue his life in his mercie?
|And for plainer deciding this controversy between the blow and the thrust, consider this short note. The blow comes many ways, the thrust does not so. The blow comes a nearer way than the thrust most commonly, and is therefore sooner done. The blow requires the strength of a man to be warded, but the thrust may be put by by the force of a child. A blow upon the hand, arm, or leg is maim incurable, but a thrust in the hand, arm, or leg is to be recovered. The blow has many parts to wound, and in every of them commands the life, but the thrust has but a few, as the body or face, and not in every part of them either.||And for plainer deciding this cōtrouerſie betweene the blow and the thruſt , conſider this ſhort note. The blow commeth manie wayes, the thruſt doth not ſo. The blow commeth a nearer way then a thruſt moſt commonly, and is therefore ſooner done. The blow requireth the ſtrength of a man to be warded ; but the thruſt may be put by , by the force of a child. A blow vpon the hand , arme, or legge is a maime incurable; but a thruſt in the hand , arme, or legge is to be recouered. The blow hath manie parts to wound , and in euerie of them commaundeth the life ; but the thruſt hath but a few , as the bodie or face , and not in euerie part of them neither.|
| Of the difference between the true fight & the false. Wherein consists (the Principles being had with the direction of the four Governors) the whole perfection of fight with all manner of weapons.
14 The true fights be these: whatsoever is done with the hand before the foot or feet is true fight. The false fights are these: whatsoever is done with the foot or feet before the hand, is false, because the hand is swifter than the foot, the foot or feet being the slower mover than the hand, the hand in that manner of fight is tied to the time of the foot or feet, and being tied thereto, has lost his freedom, and is made thereby as slow in his motions as the foot or feet, and therefor that fight is false.
| Of the difference betwixt the true fight & the falſe: wherin conſiſteth (the Principles being had with the direction of the foure Gouernors) the whole perfection of fight with all maner of weapons.
14 THe true fights be theſe : whatſoeuer is done with the hand before the foot or feet is true fight. The falſe fights be theſe : whatſoeuer is done with the foot or feet before the hand, is falſe, becaufe the hand is ſwifter then the foot , the foot or feet being a ſlower mouer then the hand: the hand in that maner of fight is tied to the time of the foot or feet, and being tied thereto, hath loſt his freedome , and is made thereby as flow in his motions as the foot or feet: and therfor that fight is falſe.
| Of evil orders or customs in our English Fence schools, & of the old or ancient teaching of weapons, & things very necessary to be continued for the avoiding of errors, and reviving and continuance of our ancient weapons, and most victorious fight again.
15 There is in my opinion in our fence schools an evil order or custom in these days used, the which, if it might stand with the liking of our Masters of Defence, I think it necessary to be left. For as long as it is used, it shall be hard to make a good scholar. That is this, at the single sword, sword and dagger, & sword and buckler, they forbid the thrust, & at the single rapier, and rapier & dagger, they forbid the blow. Either they are both together best, or the thrust altogether best, or the blow altogether best. If the thrust is best, why do we not use it at the single sword, sword & dagger, & sword & buckler? If the blow is best, why do we not use it at the single rapier, rapier & poniard? But knowing by the art of arms, that no fight is perfect without both blow and thrust, why do we not use and teach both blow and thrust? But however this we daily see, that when two met in fight, whether they have skill or none, unless such as have tied themselves to that boyish, Italian, weak, imperfect fight, they both strike and thrust, and how shall he then do, that being much taught in school, that never learned to strike, nor how to defend a strong blow? And how shall he then do, that being brought up in a fencing school, that never learned to thrust with the single sword, sword and dagger, and sword and buckler, nor how at these weapons to break a thrust? Surely, I think a down right fellow, that never came in school, using such skill as nature yielded out of his courage, strength, and agility, with good downright blows and thrust among, as shall best frame in his hands, should put one of these imperfect scholars greatly to his shifts. Besides, there are now in these days no grips, closes, wrestlings, striking with the hilts, daggers, or bucklers, used in fencing schools. Our plowmen will by nature will do these things with great strength & agility. But the schoolmen is altogether unacquainted with these things. He being fast tied to such school-play as he has learned, has lost thereby the benefit of nature, and the plowman is now by nature without art a far better man than he. Therefore in my opinion as long as we bar any manner of play in school, we shall hardly make a good scholar. There is no manner of teaching comparable to the old ancient teaching, that is, first their quarters, then their wards, blows, thrusts, and breaking of thrusts, then their closes and grips, striking with the hilts, daggers, bucklers, wrestlings, striking with the foot or knee in the cods, and all these are safely defended in learning perfectly of the grips.14 And this is the ancient teaching, and without this teaching, there shall never scholar be made able, do his uttermost, nor fight safe. Again their swords in schools are too long by almost half a foot to uncross, without going back with the feet, within distance or perfectly to strike or thrust within the half or quarter sword. And in serving of the prince, when men do meet together in public fight, are utterly naught and unserviceable. The best length for perfect teaching of the true fight to be used and continued in fence schools, to accord with the true statures of all men, are these. The blade to be a yard and an inch for men of mean stature, and for men of tall statures, a yard and three or four inches, and no more.15 And I would have the rapier continued in schools, always ready for such as shall think themselves cunning, or shall have delight to play with that imperfect weapon. Provided always, that the schoolmaster or usher play with him with his short sword, plying him with all manner of fight according to the true art. This being continued the truth shall flourish, the lie shall be beaten down, and all nations not having the true science, shall come with all gladness to the valiant and most brave English masters of defence to learn the true fight for their defence.
| Oſ euill orders or cuſtomes in our English Fēce-ſchools , & of the old or ancient teaching of weapons , & things very neceſſarie to be continued for the auoiding of errors, and reuiuing and continuance of our ancient vveapons, and moſt victorious fight againe.
15 THere is in my opiniō in our Fence-fchooles an euill order or cuſtome in theſe dayes vſed, the which, if it might ſtand with the good liking of our Maifters of Defence , I thinke it neceſſarie to be left : for as long as it is vſed , it ſhall be hard to make a good Scholler. That is this, at the ſingle Sword, Sword and Dagger , & Sword and Buckler , they forbid the thruſt, & at the ſingle Rapier, and Rapier & Dagger, they forbid the blow. Either they are both together beſt, or the thruſt altogether beſt, or the blow altogether beſt. If the thruſt be beſt, why do we not vie it at the ſingle Sword, Sword & Dagger, & Sword and Buckler. If the blow be beſt, why do we not vſe it at the ſingle Rapier, Rapier & Poinyard? But knowing by the Art of Armes, that no fight is perfect without both blow and thruſt , why do we not vſe and teach both blow and thruſt? But howſoeuer this we dayly ſee, that whē two meet in fight, whether they haue skill or none, vnleſſe ſuch as haue tied thēſelues to that boyiſh, Italian, weake, imperfect fight, they both ſtrike and thruſt, and how ſhall he then do , that being much taught in ſchoole, neuer learned to ſtrike, nor how to defend a ſtrong blow? & how ſhall he thē do, that being brought vp in Fēce-ſchoole, that neuer learned to thruſt with the ſingle Sword, Sword and Dagger, and Sword and Buckler, nor how at theſe weapōs to breake a thruſt? Surely , I thinke a downe right fellow, that neuer came in ſchoole, vſing ſuch skill as nature yeeldeth out of his courage, ſtrength, and agilitie, with good downe right blowes and thruſts among , as ſhall beſt frame in his hands, ſhold put one of theſe imperfect ſchollers greatly to his ſhifts. Beſides, there are now in theſe dayes no gripes, cloſes, wreſtlings, ſtriking with the hilts, daggers, or bucklers, vſed in Fence-ſchooles. Our ploughmen by nature wil do all theſe things with great ſtrēgth & agility: but the Schooleman is altogether vnacquainted with theſe things. He being faſt tyed to ſuch ſchoolplay as he hath learned , hath loſt thereby the benefite of nature, and the plowman is now by nature without art a farre better man then he. Therefore in my opinion, as long as we barre anie maner of play in ſchoole, we ſhall hardly make a good ſcholler : there is no maner of teaching comparable to the old ancient teaching, that is, firſt their quarters, then their wardes, blowes, thruſts, and breaking of thruſtes, then their Cloſes and Gripes, ſtriking with the hilts, Daggers, Bucklers, Wraſtlings, ſtriking with the foote or knee in the Coddes, and all theſe are ſafely defended in learning perfectly of the Gripes. And this is the ancient teaching, the perfected & moſt beſt teaching ; and without this teaching, there ſhall neuer ſcholler be made able , doe his vttermoſt, nor fight ſafe. Againe their ſwordes in ſchooles are too long by almoſt halfe a foote to vncroſſe, without going backe with the feete , within diſtance or perfectly to ſtrike or thruſt within the halfe or quarter ſword. And in ſeruing of the Prince, when men do meet together in publique fight , are vtterly naught and vnſeruiceable . The beſt lengthes for perfect teaching of the true fight to be vſed and continued in Fence ſchooles , to accord with the true ſtatures of all men, are theſe. The blade to be a yard and an inch for meane ſtatures, and for men of tall ſtatures, a yard and three or foure inches, and no more . And I would haue the Rapier continued in ſchooles, alwaies readie for ſuch as ſhall thinke themſelues cunning, or ſhall haue delight to play with that imperfect weapon. Prouided alwaies, that the Schoole-maiſter or Vſher play with him with his ſhort Sword, plying him with all maner of fight according to the true art: this being continued the truth ſhall flouriſh, the lye ſhalbe beaten downe , and all nations not hauing the true ſcience, ſhall come with all gladneſſe to the valiant and moſt braue Engliſh maisters of Defence to learne the true fight for their defence.
| The grounds or Principles of true fight with all manner of weapons.
16 First judgement, lyings, distance, direction, pace, space, place, time, indirection, motion, action, general and continual motion, progression, regression, traversing, and treading of ground, blows, thrusts, falses, doubles, slips, wards, breaking of thrusts, closings, grips, & wrestlings, guardant fight, open fight, variable fight, and close fight, and four governors.
| The grounds or Principles of true fight with all maner of weapons.
16 FIrſt Iudgement, Lyings, Diſtance, Direction, Paſe, Space, Place, Time, Indirection, Motion, Action, generali and continuali Motion , Progreſſion , Regreſſion , Trauerſing, and Treading of groundes, Blowes, Thruftes, Faulſes, Doubles, Slipes, Wardes, breakings of Thruſts, Cloſings, Gripes, & Wraſtlings, Guardant fight, Open fight, Variable fight, and Cloſe fight, and foure Gouernours.
| The wards of all manner of weapons.
17 All single weapons have four wards, and all double weapons have eight wards. The single sword has two with the point up, and two with the point down. The staff and all manner of weapons to be used with two hands have the like.
| The wardes of all maner of weapons.
17 AL ſingle weapons haue foure wardes, and all double weapons haue eight wardes. The ſingle ſword hath two with the point vp, and two with the point downe. The Staffe and all maner of weapons to be vſed with both handes haue the like.
|The sword and buckler, and the sword and dagger are double weapons, and have eight wards, two with the point up, and two with the point down, and two for the legs with the point down, the point to be carried for both sides of the legs, with the knuckles downward, and two wards with the dagger or buckler for the head. The forest bill is a double weapon by reason of the head, and therefore has eight wards, four with the staff, four with the head, four of them to be used as with the staff, and the other four with the head, the one up, the other down, and the other sideways.||The Sword and Buckler, and Sword and Dagger are double weapons, and haue eight wardes, two with the point vp, and two with the point downe, and two for the legges with the point downe, the point to be caried for both ſides of the legges, with the knuckles downeward, and two wardes with the Dagger or Buckler for the head. The Forreſt bill is a double weapon by reaſon of the head, and therefore hath eight wardes, foure with the Staffe, foure with the head, foure of them to be vied as with the ſtaffe, and the other foure with the head, the one vp, the other downe, and the other ſidewaies.|
| The names and numbers of times appertaining unto fight both true and false.
18 There are eight times, whereof four are true, and four are false. The true times are these.
| The names and numbers of times appertaining vnto fight both true and falſe.
18 THere are eight times , whereof foure are 18 true , and foure are falſe: the true times be theſe.
The time of the hand.
| The false times are these.
|| The falſe times be theſe.
The time of the foote.
|Thus have I thought good to separate and make known the true times from the false, with the true wards thereto belonging, that thereby the rather in practicing of weapons a true course may be taken for the avoiding of errors and evil customs, and speedy attaining of good habit or perfect being in the true use and knowledge of all manner of weapons.||Thus haue I thought good to ſeparate and make knowne the true times from the falſe , with the true wardes thereto belonging, that thereby the rather in practiſing of weapons , a true courſe may be taken for the auoiding of errours and euill cuſtomes, and ſpeedie attaining of good habit or perfect being in the true vſe and knowledge of all maner of weapons.|
| Of the length of weapons, and how every man may fit himself to the perfect length of his weapon, according to his own stature, with brief reasons wherefore they ought to be so.
19 To know the perfect length of your sword, you shall stand with your sword and dagger drawn, as you see this picture, keeping out straight your dagger arm, drawing back your sword as far as conveniently you can, not opening the elbow joint of your sword arm, and look what you can draw within your dagger, that is the just length of your sword, to be made according to your own stature.16
| Of the length of weapons, and how euerie man may fit himſelfe in the perfect length of his weapon, according to his owne ſtature , with briefe reaſons wherefore they ought to be ſo.
19 TO know the perfect length of your Sword, you ſhall ſtand with your ſword and dagger drawn, as you ſee this picture, keeping out ſtraight your dagger arme, drawinge backe your ſword as far as conueniently you can, not opening the elbow ioynt of your ſword arme: and looke what you can draw within your dagger, that is the iuſt length of your ſword,to be made according to your owne ſtature.
|As I have here made a figurative demonstration, to know the perfect length of the sword, as afore is said, so have I in the page following, for the plainer understanding of the reader, set forth a form of standing, to know the lengths of the short staff, half pike, forest bill, partisan, and gleve, or such like weapons of advantage, as shall also best fit the statures of all men.||AS I haue here made a figuratiue demonſtration, to know the perfect length of the Sword, as afore is ſayd; ſo haue I in the page following , for the plainer vnderſtanding of the Reader, fet foorth a forme of ſtanding, to know the lengths of the ſhort Staffe , halfe Pike, Foreſt Bill, Partiſan and Gleue, or ſuch like weapons of aduantage, as ſhall alſo beſt fit the ſtatures of all men.|
|The perfect length of your two handed sword is, the blade to be the length of the blade of your single sword.||The perfect length of your two hand ſword is, the blade to be the length of the blade of your ſingle ſword.|
|To know the perfect length of your short staff, or half pike, forest bill, partisan, or glaive, or such like weapons of vantage and perfect lengths, you shall stand upright, holding the staff upright close by your body, with your left hand, reaching with your right hand your staff as high as you can, and then allow to that length a space to set both your hands, when you come to fight, wherein you may conveniently strike, thrust, and ward, & that is the just length to be made according to your stature. And this note, that these lengths will commonly fall out to be eight or nine foot long, and will fit, although not just, the statures of all men without any hindrance at all unto them in their fight, because in any weapon wherein the hands may be removed, and at liberty, to make the weapon longer of shorter in fight at his pleasure, a foot of the staff being behind the backmost hand does no harm. And wherefore these weapons ought to be of the lengths aforesaid, and no shorter, these are the reasons: If they should be shorter, then the long staff, morris pike, and such like weapons over and above the perfect length, should have great advantage over them, because he may come boldly and safe without any guard or ward, to the place where he may thrust home, and at every thrust put him in danger of his life, then can the long staff, the morris pike, or any longer weapon lie nowhere within the compass of the true cross, to cross and uncross, whereby he may safely pass home to the place, where he may strike or thrust him that has the long weapon, in the head, face, or body at his pleasure.||To know the perfect length of your ſhort ſtaffe, or half Pike, Forreſt bil, Partiſan,or Gleue,or ſuch like weapons of vantage and perfect lengths, you ſhall ſtand vpright, holding the ſtaffe vpright cloſe by your body, with your left hād, reaching with your right hand your ſtaffe as high as you can, and then allow to that length a ſpace to ſet both your hands, when you come to fight, wherein you may conueniently ſtrike, thruſt, and ward, & that is the iuft length to be made according to your nature. And this note, that theſe lengths will commonly fall out to be eight or nine foot long, and will fit, although not iuſt, the ſtatures of all men, without any hindrance at all vnto them in their fight, becauſe in any weapon wherin the hands may be remoued, and at libertie, to make the weapon lōger or ſhorter in fight at his pleaſure, a foot of the ſtaffe behind the backmoſt hand doth no harme. And wherfore theſe weapons ought to be of the lengths aforeſaid, and no ſhorter , theſe are the reaſons : If they ſhould be ſhorter, then the long ſtaffe, Morris Pike, and ſuch like weapons ouer and aboue the perfect length, ſhould haue great vantage againſt them, becauſe he may come boldly and ſafe without anie gard or ward, to the place where he may thruſt home, and at euery thruſt put him in danger of his life: but if theſe weapons be of their perfect lengths , then can the long ſtaffe, the Morris Pike, or anie other longer weapon ly nowhere in true ſpace, but ſhall be ſtill within compaſſe of the croſſe, to croſſe and vncroſſe, wherby he may ſafely paſſe home to the place, where he may ſtrike or thruſt him that hath the long weapon, in the head, face, or body at his pleaſure.|
| Of the lengths of the battle axe, halberd, or black bill, or such like weapons of weight, appertaining unto guard or battle.
20 In any of these weapons there needs no just length, but commonly they are, or ought to be five or six foot long, & may not well be used much longer, because of their weights, and being weapons for the wars and battle, when men are joined close together, may thrust, & strike sound blows, with great force both strong and quick. And finally for the just lengths of all other shorter or longer weapons to be governed with both hands, there is none. Neither is their any certain lengths in any manner of weapons to be used with one hand, over or under the just length of the single sword.
Thus ends the length of weapons.
| Of the lengths of the Battel axe, Halbard, or blacke Bill, or ſuch like weapons of weight, appertaining vnto gard or battell.
20 IN anie of theſe weapons there needeth no iuſt length, but commonly they are, or ought to be fiue or ſixe foot long, & may not well be vſed much longer, becauſe of their weights: and being weapons for the warres or battell, when men are ioyned cloſe together, may thruſt, & ſtrike ſound blowes, with great force both ſtrong and quicke : and finally for the iuſt lengths of all other ſhorter or longer weapons to be gouerned with both hands, there is none: neither is there anie certaine lengthes in anie maner of weapons to be vſed with one hand, ouer or vnder the iuſt length of the ſingle ſword.
Thus endeth the length of weapons.
| Of the vantages of weapons in their kinds, places, & times, both in private and public fight.
21 First I will begin with the worst weapon, an imperfect and insufficient weapon, and not worth the speaking of, but now being highly esteemed, therefore not to be unremembered. That is, the single rapier, and rapier and poniard.
| Of the vantages of weapons in their kinds, places, & times, both in priuate and publike fight.
21 FIrſt I will begin with the worſt weapon, an imperfect and inſufficient weapon, and not worth the ſpeaking of ; but now being highly eſteemed, therefore not to be left vnremembred ; that is , the ſingle Rapier, and Rapier and Poiniard.
|The single sword has the vantage against the single rapier.||The ſingle Sword hath the vantage againſt the ſingle Rapier.|
|The sword and dagger has the vantage against the rapier and poniard.||The Sword and Dagger hath the vantage againſt the Rapier and Poiniard.|
|The sword & target has the advantage against the sword and dagger, or the rapier and poniard.||The Sword & Target hath aduātage againſt the Sword and Dagger, or Rapier and Poiniard.|
|The sword and buckler has advantage against the sword and target, the sword and dagger, or rapier and poniard.||The Sword and Buckler hath aduantage againſt the Sword and Target, the Sword and Dagger, or Rapier and Poiniard.|
|The two handed sword has the vantage against the sword and target, the sword and buckler, the sword and dagger, or rapier and poniard.||The two hand Sword, hath the vantage againſt the Sword and Target, the Sword and Buckler, the Sword and Dagger, or Rapier and Poiniard.|
|The battle axe, the halberd, the black-bill, or such like weapons of weight, appertaining unto guard or battle, are all one in fight, and have advantage against the two handed sword, the sword and buckler, the sword and target, the sword and dagger, or the rapier and poniard.||The Battel-axe, the Halbard, the Blacke-bill, or ſuch like weapons of weight, appertaining vnto guard or battell, are all one in fight, and haue aduantage againſt the two hand Sword, the Sword and Buckler, the Sword and Target, the Sword & dagger, or the Rapier & Poiniard.|
|The short staff or half pike, forest bill, partisan, or glaive, or such like weapons of perfect length, have the advantage against the battle axe, the halberd, the black bill, the two handed sword, the sword and target, and are too hard for two swords and daggers, or two rapier and poniards with gauntlets, and for the long staff and morris pike.||The ſhort ſtaffe or halfe Pike, Forreſt-bill, Partiſan, or Gleue, or ſuch like weapons of perfect length, haue the vantage againſt the Battel-axe , the Halbard , the Blacke-bill, the two hand ſword, the Sword and Target, and are too hard for two Swords and Daggers, or two Rapiers and Poiniards with Gantlets, and for the long ſtaffe and Morris Pike.|
|The long staff, morris pike, or javelin, or such like weapons above the perfect length, have advantage against all manner of weapons, the short staff, the Welch hook, partisan, or glaive, or such like weapons of vantage excepted, yet are too weak for two swords and daggers or two sword and bucklers, or two rapiers and poniards with gauntlets, because they are too long to thrust, strike, and turn speedily. And by reason of the large distance, one of the sword and dagger-men will get behind him.||The long Staffe, Morris Pike,or Iauelin, or ſuch like weapons aboue the perfect length, haue aduantage againſt all maner of weapons, the ſhort ſtaffe, Welch hooke, Partiſan, or Gleue, or ſuch like weapons of vantage excepted: yet too weake for two Swords and Daggers or two Swords and Bucklers, or two Rapiers and Poiniards with Gantlets, becauſe they are too long to thruſt, ſtrike, and turne ſpeedily : and by reaſon of the large diſtance, one of the Sword and Dagger-men will get behind him.|
|The Welch hook or forest bill, has advantage against all manner of weapons whatsoever.||The Welch hooke or Forreſt bill, hath aduantage againſt all maner of weapons whatſoeuer.|
|Yet understand, that in battles, and where variety of weapons are, among multitudes of men and horses, the sword and target, the two handed sword, battle axe, the black bill, and halberd, are better weapons, and more dangerous in their offense and forces, than is the sword and buckler, short staff, long staff, or forest bill. The sword and target leads upon shot, and in troops defends thrusts and blows given by battle axe, halberds, black bill, or two handed swords, far better than can the sword and buckler.||Yet vnderſtand, that in battels , and where varietie of weapons be, amongſt multitudes of men and horſes, the Sword and Target, the two hand Sword, the Battel-axe, the Blacke-bill, and Halbard, are better weapons , and more dangerous in their offence and forces , then is the Sword and Buckler, ſhort ſtaffe , long ſtaffe, or Forreſt bill. The Sword and Target leadeth vpon Shot , and in troupes defendeth thruſts and blowes giuen by battelaxe, Halbards, Blacke-bill, or two hand ſwords, far better then can the Sword and Buckler.|
|The morris pike defends the battle from both horse and man, much better than can the short staff, long staff, or forest bill. Again the battle axe, the halberd, the black bill, the two handed sword, and sword & target, among armed men and troops, by reason of their weights, shortness, and great force, do much more offend the enemy, & are then much better weapons, than is the short staff, the long staff, or the forest bill.||The Morris Pike defendeth the battell from both horſe and man , much better then can the ſhort ſtaffe, long ſtaffe, or Forreft bill. Againe, the Battel-axe , the Halbard, the Blacke bill,the two hand ſword, and Sword & Target, amongſt armed men and troopes, when men are come together, by reaſon of their weights, ſhortneſſe, and great forces , do much more offend the enemie, & are then much better weapons, then is the ſhort ſtaffe, the long Staffe, or Forreſt bill.|
| Of the insufficiency and disadvantages of the rapiers-fight in battle.
22 For the single rapier, or rapier & poniard, they are imperfect & insufficient weapons: and especially in service of the prince, when men shall join together, what service can soldier do with a rapier, a childish toy wherewith a man can do nothing but thrust, nor that neither, by reason of the length, and in every moving when blows are a dealing, for lack of a hilt is in danger to have his hand or arm cut off, or his head cloven. And for wards and grips, they have none, neither can any of these fine rapier men, for lack of use, tell how to strike a sound blow.
| Of the inſufficiencie and diſaduantages of the Rapiers-fight in Battell.
22 FOr the ſingle Rapier, or Rapier & Poiniard, they are imperfect & inſufficient weapons : and eſpecially in the ſeruice of the Prince, when men ſhall ioyne together, what ſeruice can a ſouldier do with a Rapier, a childiſh toy wherwith a man can do nothing but thruſt, nor that neither, by reaſon of the length, and in euerie mouing when blowes are a dealing , for lacke of a hilt is in daunger to haue his hand or arme cut off, or his head clouen . And for Wardes and Gripes , they haue none , neither can any of theſe fine Rapiermen, for lacke of vſe, tell howe to ſtrike a ſound blow.
| Of the vantages and sufficiency of the short sword fight in battle.
23 The short sword, and sword and dagger, are perfect good weapons, and especially in service of the prince. What a brave weapon is a short sharp light sword, to carry, to draw, to be nimble withal, to strike, to cut, to thrust both strong and quick. And what a good defence is a strong single hilt, when men are clustering and hurling together, especially where variety of weapons are, in their motions to defend the hand, head, face, and bodies, from blows, that shall be given sometimes with swords, sometimes with two handed swords, battle axes, halberds, or black bills, and sometimes men shall be so near together, they shall have no space, scarce to use the blades of their swords below their waist, then their hilts (their hands being aloft) defend from the blows their hands, arms, heads, faces and bodies. Then they lay on, having the use of blows and grips, by force of their arms with their hilts, strong blows, at the head, face, arms, bodies, and shoulders, and many times hurling together, scope is given to turn down their points, with violent thrusts at the faces and bodies, by reason of the shortness of their blades, to the mighty annoyance, discomfort, and great destruction of their enemies. One valiant man with a sword in his hand, will do better service, than ten Italians, or Italianated with their rapiers.
| Of the vantages and ſufficiencie of the short Sword fight in battell.
23 THe ſhort Sword, and Sword and Dagger, are perfect good weapons , and eſpecially in ſeruice of the Prince. What a braue weapon is a ſhort ſharpe light Sword, to carie, to draw, to be nimble withall, to ſtrike, to cut, to thruſt both ſtrong and quicke. And what a goodly defence is a ſtrong ſingle hilt, when men are cluſtering and hurling together , eſpecially where varietie of weapons be , in their motions to defend the hand , head, face, and bodies , from blowes, that ſhalbe giuen ſometimes with Swordes, ſometimes with two handed Swordes, battell Axe, Halbardes , or blacke Billes , and ſometimes men ſhalbe ſo neare together , that they ſhall haue no ſpace, ſcarce to vſe the blades of their Swordes belowe their waſtes, then their hilts (their handes being aloft) defendeth from the blowes, their handes, armes, heads, faces, and bodies : then they lay on, hauing the vſe of blowes and Gripes , by force of their armes with their hilts, ſtrong blowes, at the head , face , armes , bodies , and ſhoulders, and manie times in hurling together , ſcope is giuen to turne downe their points, with violent thruſts at their faces, and bodies, by reafon of the ſhortneſſe of their blades, to the mightie annoyance , diſcomfort , and great deſtruction of their enimies. One valiant man with a Sword in his hand, will doe better ſeruice, then ten Italians, or Italienated with the Rapiers.
| That all manner of double weapons, or weapons to be used with both hands, have advantage against the single rapier or single sword, there is no question to be made.
That the sword and buckler has the vantage against the sword and dagger.
24 The dagger is an imperfect ward, although borne out straight, to make the space narrow, whereby a little moving of the hand, may be sufficient to save both sides of the head, or to break the thrust from the face or body, yet for lack of the circumference his hand will lie too high or low, or too weak, to defend both blow and thrust. If he lies straight with a narrow space, which is to break the thrust, then he lies too weak, and too low to defend his head from a strong blow. If he lies high, that is strong to defend his head, but then his space will be too wide to break the thrust from his body. The dagger serves well at length to put by a thrust, and at the half sword to cross the sword blade, to drive out the agent, and put him in danger of his life, and safely in any of these two actions defend himself. But the buckler, by reason of his circumference and weight, being well carried, defends safely in all times and places, whether it be at the point, half sword, the head, body, and face, from all manner of blows and thrusts whatsoever, yet I have heard many hold opinion, that the sword and dagger has the advantage of the sword and buckler, at the close, by reason of the length and point of the dagger, and at the point of the sword, they can better see to ward than with a buckler. But I never knew any, that won the close with the dagger upon the sword and buckler, but did with himself out again: for distance being broken, judgement fails, for lack of time to judge, and the eye is deceived by the swift motion of the hand, and for lack of true space with the dagger hand, which cannot be otherwise, for lack of circumference to defend both blow and thrust, it is impossible for lack of true space in just time, the agent having gotten the true place, to defend one thrust or blow of a hundred. And it is most certain, whosoever closes with sword and dagger against the sword and buckler, is in great danger to be slain. Likewise at the point within distance, if he stand to defend both blow and thrust with his dagger, for lack of true space and distance, if he has the best eye of any man, and could see perfectly, which way the thrust or blow comes, and when it comes, as it is not to deny that he may, yet his space being too large, it helps him nothing, because one man's hand being as swift as another man's hand, both being within distance, he that strikes or thrusts, hurts the warder. The reason is this: the agent being in the first motion although in his offense, further to go than the warder to defend, yet the warder's space being too large, the blow or thrust will be performed home, before the warder can come to the true place to defend himself, and although the warder does perfectly see the blow or thrust coming, so shall he see his own ward so far from the true place of his defence, that although he does at that instant time, plainly see the blow or thrust coming, it shall be impossible for him to recover the true place of his ward, 'til he his wounded. But let the warder with his dagger say, that it is not true which I have said, for the eyes to behold the blow or thrust coming, so has he as good time to defend himself. Herein he shall find himself deceived to, this is the reason: the hand is the swiftest motion, the foot is the slowest, without distance the hand is tied to the motion of the feet, whereby the time of the hand is made as slow as the foot, because whereby we redeem every time lost upon his coming in by the slow motion of the foot & have time thereby to judge, when & how he can perform any action whatsoever, and so have we the time of the hand to the time of the feet. Now is the hand in his own course more swift than the foot or eye, therefore within distance the eye is deceived, & judgement is lost, and that is another cause that the warder with the dagger, although he has perfect eyes, is still within distance deceived.17 For proof that the hand is swifter than the eye & therefore deceives the eyes: let two stand within distance, & let one of them stand still to defend himself, & let the other flourish & false with his hand, and he shall continually with the swift motions of his hand, deceive the eyes of him that stands watching to defend himself, & shall continually strike him in diverse places with his hand. Again, take this for an example, that the eyes by swift motions are deceived: turn a turn-wheel swift, & you shall not be able to discern with your best eyes how many spokes are on the wheel, no nor whether there are any spokes at all, or whereof the wheel is made, and yet you see when the wheel stands still there is a large distance between every spoke. He that will not believe that the swift motion of the hand in fight will deceive the eye, shall stare abroad with his eyes, & feel himself soundly hurt, before he shall perfectly see how to defend himself. So those that trust to their fight, the excellency of a good eye, their great cunning, & perfect wards of the daggers, that they can see better to ward than with a buckler, shall ever be deceived. And when they are wounded, they say the gent was a little too quick for them. Sometimes they say they bear their dagger a little too low. Sometimes they are thrust under the dagger, then they say, they bear it a little too high. Sometimes a thrust being strongly made, they being soundly paid therewith, say, they were a little too slow, & sometimes they be soundly paid with a thrust,& they think they were a little too quick. So they that practice or think to be cunning in the dagger ward, are all the days of their lives learning, and are never taught.18
| That all maner of double weapons , or weapons to be vſed with both handes, haue aduantage againſt the ſingle Rapier or ſingle Sword, there is no queſtion to be made.
That the Sword and Buckler hath the vantage againſt the Sword and Dagger.
24 THe Dagger is an imperfect ward , although borne out ſtraight , to make the Space narrow, whereby by a litle mouing of the hand, may be ſufficient to ſaue both fides of the head, or to breake the thruſt from the face or body, yet for lacke of the circumference his hand will lie too high or too low, or too weake, to defend both blow and thruſt: if he lye ſtraight with narrow ſpace, which is beſt to breake the thruſt, then he lieth too weake, and too lowe to defend his head from a ſtrong blow : if he lye high , that is ſtrong to defend his head, but then his ſpace wilbe too wide to breake the thruſt from his bodie. The Dagger ſerueth well at length to put by a thruſt , and at the halfe Sword to croſſe the Sword blade, to driue out the Agent, and put him in danger of his life, and ſafely in anie of theſe two actions to defend himſelfe. But the Buckler, by reaſon of his circumference and weight, being well caried, defendeth ſafely in all times and places, whether it be at the point, halfe Sword, the head, bodie, and face, from all maner of blowes and thruſtes whatſoeuer, yet I haue heard manie hold opinion, that the Sword and Dagger hath aduantage of the Sword and Buckler, at the Cloſe, by reaſon of the length and point of the Dagger : and at the point of the Sword , they can better fee to ward then with a Buckler. But I neuer knew anie, that wanne the Cloſe with the Dagger vpon the Sword and Budkler , but did with himſelfe out againe: for diſtance being broken, iudgement faileth, for lacke of time to iudge , and the eie is deceiued by the ſwift motion of the hand , and for lacke of true Space with the dagger hand, which cannot be otherwiſe , for lacke of the circumference to defend both blow and thruſt , it is impoſſible for lacke of true Space in iuſt time , the agent hauing gotten the true place, to defend one thruſt or blow of an hundred . And it is moſt certaine, whoſoeuer cloſeth with Sword and Dagger, againſt the Sword and Buckler, is in great danger to be ſlaine . Likewiſe at the point within diſtance, if he ſtand to defend both blow and thruſt with his Dagger , for lacke of true ſpace and diſtance , if he had the bed eye of anie man, and could ſee perfectly , which way the thruſt or blow commeth , and when it commeth , as it is not to be denied but he may, yet his ſpace being too large, it helpeth him nothing , becauſe one mans hand being as ſwift as another mans hand , both being within diſtance, he that ſtriketh or thruſteth, hurteth the warder: the reaſon is this : the Agent being in the firſt motion although in his offence , further to go then the warder to defend , yet the warders ſpace being too large, the blow or thruſt wilbe performed home, before the warder can come to the true plaee to defend himſelfe, and although the warder doe perfectly ſee the blow or thruſt comming, ſo ſhall he ſee his owne ward ſo farre from the true place of his defence , that although he doe at that inſtant time, plainly ſee the blow or thruſt comming, it ſhalbe impoſſible for him to recouer the true place of his ward, till he be wounded. But let the warder with the dagger ſay , that it is not true which I haue ſaid, for as he hath eies to behold the blow or thruſt coming, ſo hath he as good time to defend himſelf. Herein he ſhai find himſelf deceiued to; this is the reaſon : the hand is the ſwifteſt motion, the foot is the ſloweſt, without diſtance the hand is tied to the motion of the feet, wherby the time of the hand is made as ſlow as the foot, becauſe thereby we redeeme euerie time loſt vpon his comming by the ſlow motion of the foot, & haue time therby to iudge , whē & how he can performe any actiō whatſoeuer , and ſo haue we the time of the hand to the time of the feet. Now is the hād in his owne courſe more ſwifter then the foot or eye, therfore within diſtance the eye is deceiued, & judgement is loſt ; and that is another cauſe that the warder with the dagger, although he haue perfect eyes, is ſtil within diſtance deceiued. For proofe that the hand is more ſwifter then the eye, & thereby deceiueth the eyes: let two ſtand within diſtance, & let one of thē ſtand ſtill to defend himſelf, & let the other floriſh & falſe with his hand, and he ſhall continually with the ſwift motions of his hand, deceiue the eyes of him that ſtandeth watching to defend himſelfe, & ſhal continually ſtrike him in diuerſe places with his hand. Againe, take this for an example, that the eyes by ſwift motions are deceiued : turne a turne-wheele ſwift, & you ſhall not be able to diſcerne with your beſt eies how many ſpokes be in the wheele, no nor whether there be any ſpokes at all, or whereof the wheele is made, and yet you ſee when the wheele ſtandeth ſtill there is a large diſtance betweene euerie ſpoke. He that will not beleeue that the ſwift motion of the hand in fight will deceiue the eye, ſhal ſtare abroad with his eyes, & feele himſelf ſoundly hurt, before he ſhall perfectly ſee how to defend himſelfe. So thoſe that truſt to their ſight,the excellēcy of a good eye, their great cunning, & perfect wards of the daggers, that they can better ſee to ward then with a buckler, ſhall euer be deceiued. And whē they be wounded, they ſay the Agēt was a litle too quicke for them ; ſometimes they ſay they bare their dagger a litle too low : ſometimes they are thruſt vnder the dagger,then they ſay, they bare it a litle too high : ſometimes a thruſt being ſtrongly made , they being ſoundly paid therewith, ſay, they were a litle too ſlow, & ſometimes they be ſoundly paid with a thruſt, & they thinke they were a litle too quick. So they that practice or thinke to be cunning in the dagger ward, are all the dayes of their liues learning, and are neuer taught.
| That the sword and buckler has the vantage against the sword and target.
25 The sword & target together has but two fights, that is the variable fight, & the close fight, for the close fight, the number of his feet are too many to take against any man of skill having the sword & buckler, & for the variable fight although not so many in number, yet too many to win the place with his foot and strike home. The sword & buckler man out of his variable, open & guardant fight can come bravely off & on, false & double, strike & thrust home, & make a true cross upon every occasion at his pleasure. If the sword & target man will fly to his guardant fight, the breadth of the target will not suffer it, if to his open fight, then has the sword & buckler man in effect the sword and buckler to the single, for in that fight by reason of the breadth, the target can do little good or none at all.
| That the Sword and Buckler hath the vantage against the Sword and Target.
25 THe Sword & Target together hath but two fights; that is, the variable fight, & the cloſe fight, for the cloſe fight, the nūber of his feet are too many to take againſt any mā of skill hauing the Sword & buckler, & for the variable fight although not ſo many in number, yet too many to win the place with his foot to ſtrike or thruſt home. The ſword & buckler-man can out of his variable, opē & gardāt fight, come brauely off & on, ſalle and double, ſtrike & thruſt home , & make a true croſſe vpon euery occaſion at his pleaſure: if the Sword & Target mā will flie to his gardāt fight, the bredth of his Target will not ſuffer it , if to his open fight, thē hath the Sword & Buckler man in effect the ſword and Buckler to the ſingle , for in that fight by reaſon of the bredth, the target can do litle good or none at all.
| The short staff.
26 Now for the vantage of the short staff against the sword and buckler, sword & target, two handed sword, single sword, sword and dagger, or rapier and poniard, there is no great question to be in any of these weapons. Whensoever any blow or thrust shall be strongly made with the staff, they are ever in false place, in the carriage of the wards, for if at any of these six weapons he carries his ward high & strong for his head, as of necessity he must carry it very high, otherwise it will be too weak to defend a blow being strongly made at the head, then will his space be too wide, in due time to break the thrust from his body. Again, if he carries his ward lower, thereby to be in equal space for readiness to break both blow & thrust, then in that place his ward is too low, and too weak to defend the blow of the staff: for the blow being strongly made at the head upon that ward, will beat down the ward and his head together, and put him in great danger of his life. And here is to be noted, that if he fights well, the staff man strikes but at the head, and thrusts presently under at the body. And if a blow is first made, a thrust follows, and if a thrust is first made, a blow follows, and in doing of any of them, the one breeds the other. So that however any of these six weapons shall carry his ward strongly to defend the first, he shall be too far in space to defend the second, whether it be blow or thrust.
| The short Staffe.'
26 NOw for the vantage of the ſhort Staffe a-gainſt the Sword and Buckler , Sword & Target, two hand ſword , fingle Sword , Sword and Dagger , or Rapier and Poiniard, there is no great queſtion to be made in anie of theſe weapons : whenſoeuer anie blow or thruſt ſhall be ſtrongly made with the ſtaffe, they are euer in falſe place, in the cariage of the wards, for if at any of theſe ſixe weapons he carie his ward high & ſtrōg for his head , as of neceſfitie he muſt carie it verie high, otherwiſe it will be too weake to defend a blow being ftrongly made at the head , then will his ſpace be too wide, in due time to breake the thruſt from his bodie. Againe, if he carie his ward lower , thereby to be in e-quall ſpace for readineſſe to breake both blow & thruſt, then in that place his ward is too low, and too weake to defend the blow of the ſtaffe : for the blow being ſtrongly made at the head vpon that ward , will beate downe the ward and his head together, and put him in great danger of his life. And here is to be noted, that if he fight well, the ſtaffe-man neuer ſtriketh but at the head, and thruſteth preſently vnder at the body : and if a blow be firſt made, a thruſt followeth ; & if a thruſt be firſt made, a blow followeth ; and in doing of any of them , the one breedeth the other : ſo that howſoeuer anie of theſe ſixe weapons ſhall carie his ward ſtrongly to defend the firſt, he ſhall be too farre in ſpace to defend the ſecond, whether it be blow or thruft.
|Yet again for the short staff: the short staff has the vantage against the battle axe, black bill, or halberd: the short staff has the advantage, by reason of the nimbleness and length: he will strike and thrust freely, and in better and swifter time than can the battle axe, black bill, or halberd, and by reason of his judgement, distance and time, fight safe. And this resolve upon, the short staff is the best weapon against all manner of weapons, the forest bill excepted.||Yet againe for the ſhort ſtaffe : the ſhort ſtaffe hath the vantage againſt the Battel-axe, blacke-bill, or Halbard: the ſhort ſtaffe hath the vantage, by reaſon of the nimbleneſſe and length : he will ſtrike and thruſt freely , and in better and ſwifter time then can the Battel-axe, Blacke-bill, or Halbard: and by reaſon of his iudgement, diſtance and time, fight ſafe. And this reſolue vpon, the ſhort ſtaffe is the beſt weapon againſt all maner of weapons, the Forreſt bill excepted.|
| Also the short staff has advantage against two swords and daggers, or two rapiers, poniards and gauntlets,19 the reasons and causes before are for the most part set down already, the which being well considered, you shall plainly see, that whensoever any one of the sword & dagger men, or rapier and poniard men shall break his distance, or suffer the staff man to break his, that man which did first break his distance, or suffer the distance to be one against him, is presently in danger of death. And this cannot in reason be denied, because the distance appertaining to the staff man, either to keep or break, stands upon the moving of one large space always at the most, both for his offense or safety. The other two in the breach of their distance to offend the staff man, have always four paces at the least therein they fall too great in number with their feet, and too short in distance to offend the staff man. Now there rests no more to be spoken of, but how the staff man shall behave himself to keep that distance, that one of the sword & dagger men get not behind him, while the other shall busy him before. To do that is very easy, by reason of the small number of his feet, as it were in the center point of a wheel, the other two to keep their distance, are driven to run twenty feet for one, as it were upon the uttermost part of the circle of the wheel, all this while the staff man is very well. Then it comes thus to pass, whether they both labor to get behind him, or one keeps directly before him while the other gets behind him, yet before that is brought to pass, they shall either be both before him or just against both sides of him, at which time soever the staff man finding either within distance, he presently in making of his play, slays, with blow or thrust one of them, or at the least puts him in great danger of his life. If the staff man takes his time, when they are both before him, that is to say, before they come to the half ring, just against both sides of the staff man, then he that is nearest within distance is slain by blow or thrust, or put in great danger of his life. But if the sword and dagger men do keep their distance until they come to the just half ring against the sides of the staff man, and then break distance, that man that first breaks distance is slain with blow or thrust, or sore hurt, and in great danger of death, and the staff man in making that play at that instant, must turn with one large pace, which he may easily do, before the other can get near enough to offend him by reason that he has to make with his feet but one large pace, but the other has at the least three paces. But if the sword and dagger men will in the time they are before him, keep their distance in the time of their being upon the middle part of the outside of the circle, right against both sides of him, & will labor with all heed & diligence to be both or one of them behind him, that troubles the staff man nothing at all, for in that very time, when he finds them past the middle part of the circle, he presently turns, by the which he shall naturally set himself as it were in a triangle, and both the sword and dagger-men, shall thereby stand both before him in true distance of three paces, from offending of him at the least, as at the first they did. And take this for a true ground, there is no man able to ward a sound blow with the sword and dagger, nor rapier, poniard and gauntlet, being strongly made at the head, with the staff, and run in withal, the force of hands in such, being in his full motion and course, that although the other carries his ward high and strong with both hands, yet his feet being moving from the ground, the great force of the blow will strike him with his ward, and all down flat to ground. But if he stands fast with his feet, he may with both weapons together, strongly defend his head from the blow, but then you are sufficiently instructed, the thrust being presently made, after the blow full at the body, it is impossible in due time to break it, by reason of the largeness of his space.
|| Alſo the ſhort ſtaffe hath aduantage againſt two Swords and Daggers , or two Rapiers, Poiniards and Gantlets, the reaſons and cauſes before are for the moſt part ſet downe already , the which being well conſidered, you ſhall plainely ſee, that whenſoeuer anie one of the Sword & Dagger men, or Rapier and Poiniard men ſhall breake his diſtance , or ſuffer the Staffe-man to breake his, that man which did firſt breake his diſtāce, or ſuffer the diſtance to be won againſt him, is preſently in danger of death. And this cānot in reaſon be denied, becauſe the diſtance appertaining to the Staſfe-man, either to keepe or breake, ſtandeth vpon the mouing of one large ſpace alwayes at the moſt, both for his offence or ſafety. The other two in the breach of their diſtance to offend the Staffe-man , haue alwayes foure paces at the leaſt therin they fall too great in number with their feet , and too ſhort in diſtance to offend the Staffe-man. Now there reſteth no more to be ſpoken of , but how the Staffe-man ſhall behaue himſelfe to keepe that diſtance, that one of the Sword & Dagger men get not behind him, while the other ſhal buſie him before: to do that is very eaſie,by reaſon of the ſmal nūber of his feet, for by a verie ſmall turning of his feet, as it were in the Center point of a wheele, the other two to keepe their diſtance, are driuen to runne twentie foote for one, as it were vpon the vttermoſt part or circle of the wheele : all this while the Staffe-man is verie well. Then it commeth thus to paſſe, whether they both labour to get behind him, or one keepe directly before him whileſt the other get behind him , yet before that be brought to paſſe, they ſhal either be both before him or iuft againſt both ſides of him: at which time ſoeuer the Staſfe-man finding either of them within diſtance, he preſently in making of his play, ſlayeth with blow or thruſt one of thē, or at the leaſt putteth him in great danger of his life. If the Staſfe-man take his time , when they are both before him, that is to ſay, before they come to the half ring, iuſt againſt both ſides of the Staſfe-man , then he that is neareſt within diſtance is ſlain by blow or thruſt, or put in great danger of his life. But if the Sword and Dagger men do keepe their diſtance vntill they come to the iuſt halfe ring right againſt the ſides of the Staffe-man , and then breake diſtance, that man that firſt breaketh diſtance is ſlaine with blow or thruſt, or ſore hurt, and in great danger of death: and the Staſfe-man in making that play at that inſtant, muſt turne with one large pace, the which he may eaſily do , before the other can get neare enough to offend him , by reaſon that he hath to make with his feet but one large pace , but the other hath at the leaſt three paces. But if the Sword and Dagger-men will in the time that they be before him , keep their diſtance in the time of their being vpon the middle part of the outſide of the circle, right againſt both ſides of him, & will labor with all heed & diligence to be both or one of thē behind him , that troubleth the Staffe-man nothing at all, for in that very time, when he findeth them paſt the middle part of the circle, he preſently turneth, by the which he ſhall naturally ſet himſelfe as it were in a triangle , and both the ſword and dagger-men, ſhall thereby ſtand both before him in true diſtance of three paces , from offending of him at the leaſt , as at the firſt they did. And take this for a true ground, there is no man able to ward a ſound blow with the Sword and Dagger, nor Rapier, Poinyard, and Gantlet , being ftrongly made at the head , with the Staffe , and run in withall, the force of both handes is ſuch, being in his full motion and courſe, that although the other do carie his ward high and ſtrong with both handes , yet his feete being mouing from the ground , the great force of the blow will ſtrike him with his ward, and all downe flat to ground. But if he ſtand faſt with his feete, he may with both weapons together, ſtrongly defend his head from the blow, but then you are ſufficiently inſtructed, the thruſt being preſently made , after the blow full at the bodie, it is impoſſible in due time to breake it, by reafon of the largeneſſe of his ſpace.
| The short staff has the vantage against the long staff, and Morris pike, and the Forest Bill against all manner of weapons.
27 The reasons are these. The short staff has the vantage of the long staff and Morris pike in the strength & narrowness of space in his four wards of defence. And the Forest bill has the vantage of all manner of weapons in his strength and narrowness of space in his eight wards of defence. And the rather because the bill has two wards for one against the staff or Morris pike, that is to say, four with the staff, and four with the head, and is more offensive than is the staff or Morris pike. Yet a question20 may be made by the unskillful, concerning the fight between the long staff and the short, in this sort: Why should not the long staff have advantage against the short staff, since that the long staff man, being at liberty with his hands, may make his staff both long and short for his best advantage, when he shall think it good, and therefore when he shall find himself overmatched in the length of his staff, by the strength of the short staff, and narrowness of space of his four wards of defence, he can presently by drawing back of his staff in his hands, make his staff as short as the other's, and so be ready to fight him with at his own length? To this I answer,21 that when the long staff man is driven there to lie, the length of his staff that will lie behind him, will hinder him to strike, thrust, ward, or go back in due time. Neither can he turn the contrary end of his staff to keep out the short staff man from the close, nor safely to defend himself at his coming in.
| The short Staffe bath the vantage against the long ftaffe, and Morris Pike, and the Forreft bill againft all maner of weapons.
27 THe reaſons are theſe . The ſhort Staffe hath the vantage of the long Staffe and Morris Pike in his ſtrength & narrownes of ſpace in his foure wardes of defence. And the Forreſt bill hath the vantage of all maner of weapons in his ſtrength and narrownes of ſpace in his eight wardes of defence : and the rather because the Bill hath two wardes for one againſt the Staffe or Morris Pike, that is to ſay, foure with the Staffe, and foure with the head, and is more offenſiue then is the Staffe or Morris Pike : yet a queſtiō may be made by the vnskilfull, concerning the fight between the long Staffe and the ſhort , in this ſort : Why ſhould not the long Staffe haue aduantage againſt ſhort Staffe, ſince that the long Staſfe-man, being at libertie with his handes, may make his long Staffe both long and ſhort for his beſt aduantage , when he ſhall thinke it good , and therefore when he ſhall find himſelfe ouermatched in the length of his Staffe, by the ſtrength of the ſhort Staffe, and narrowneſſe of ſpace in his foure wardes of defence, he can preſently by drawing backe of his Staffe in his handes , make his Staffe as ſhort as the others , and ſo be readie to fight with him at his owne length. To this I anſwere, that when the long Staffe-man is driuen there to lye, the length of his Staffe that will lye behind him, will hinder him to ſtrike, thruſt , ward , or goe backe in due time. Neither can he turne the contrarie end of his Staffe to keepe out the ſhort Staffe man from the Cloſe, nor ſafely to defend himſelfe at his comming in.
| Again of the vantages of weapons.
28 Make this for a general rule, all long staves, Morris pikes, Forest bills, Javelins, or such like long weapons, of what sort soever, being above the true lengths, the shortest has the advantage, because they can cross and uncross in shorter time than can the longer. And all manner of short weapons to be used with both hands, as staves, and such like, being under the perfect lengths, the longest have the advantage, and all manner of weapons to be used with one hand, that are above the perfect length of the single sword, the shortest has the vantage, and all manner of weapons under the just length of the short sword, as falchions, skaines, or hangers, woodknives, daggers, and such like short weapons of imperfect lengths, the longest has the advantage, because the fight of these weapons consist within the half or quarter sword, wherein by the swift motions of their hands, their eyes are deceived, and in those weapons, commonly for their hands lie no defence. And if two shall fight with staves or swords, or what weapons soever, the one of them having his weapon longer than the perfect length, and the other shorter than the perfect length, he that has the longer has the vantage, because the shorter can make no true cross in true time. The short staff or half pike, Forest bill, Partisan, or glaive, or such like weapons of perfect length, to be used with both hands, have the advantage against two swords and daggers, or two rapiers, poniards and gauntlets, and against all other weapons whatsoever, the Forest bill excepted.
| Againe of the vantages of weapons.
28 TAke this for a general rule, all long Staues, Morris Pikes, Forreſt bils , Iauelins , or ſuch like long weapons, of what ſort ſoeuer , being aboue the true lengthes , the ſhorteſt haue the aduantage , becauſe they can croſſe and vncroſſe in ſhorter time then can the longer: and all maner of ſhort weapons to be vſed with both handes, as ſtaues, and ſuch like, being vnder the perfect lengthes, the longeſt haue the aduantage, and all maner of weapons to be vied with one hand, that are aboue the perfect length of the ſingle Sword, the ſhorteſt haue the vantage, and all maner of weapons vnder the iuſt length of the ſhort Sword, as Fauchions, Skaines, or Hangers. Woodkniues, Daggers, and ſuch like ſhort weapons of imperfect lengthes, the longeſt haue the aduantage, becauſe the fight of theſe weapons conſiſt within the halfe or quarter Sword, wherein by the ſwift motions of their handes, their eyes are deceiued, and in thoſe weapons, commonly for their handes lieth no defence. And if two ſhall fight with ſtaues or Swordes, or what weapons ſoeuer, the one of them hauing his weapon longer then the perfect length, and the other his weapon ſhorter then the perfect length, he that hath the longeſt hath the vantage, becauſe the ſhorteſt can make no true Croſſe in true time. The ſhort Staffe or halfe Pike, Forreſt bill , Partiſan, or Gleue, or ſuch like weapons of perfect length , to be vſed with both handes , haue the aduantage againſt two Swordes and Daggers, or two Rapiers, Poiniardes, and Gantlets, and againſt all other weapons whatſoeuer, the Forreſt bill excepted.
| Again for the short staff or half pike.
29 The short staff is most commonly the best weapon of all others, although other weapons may be more offensive, and especially against many weapons together, by reason of his nimbleness and swift motions, and is not much inferior to the Forest bill, although the Forest bill is more offensive, and has more wards, because the Staff is very uncertain, but the Bill is a more certain mark, by reason of the breadth of the head, whereby as the Bill has advantage in his wards in the head, so therefor has the staff the like defence, or rather more, to play upon the head of the bill, not only to make a perfect good ward, but thereby, the rather to cast the Bill out of the right line, whereby the staff man may thrust safe, and endanger the Bill-man: and the rather because therein he is the first mover, wherein there is great vantage, both in time and force. And if the Bilman is not very skillful (all vantages and disadvantages of both sides being considered,) the short Staff will prove the better weapon. Lastly note this,22 that long Staves, Morris pikes, and such like weapons of imperfect lengths, being to be used with both hands, notwithstanding their imperfect lengths, are perfect weapons to be used, the one against the other, and their fights therein perfect, because in drawing of them back betwixt their hands, their motion is swifter backwards, than is the time of the agents feet forwards, by which all their lost times are redeemed. Therefore these weapons in their fights, the one against the other are perfect. And these weapons in the night are the best weapons of all others, and have great advantage against the Forest bill, short staff, or any manner of short weapons whatsoever, for these causes: they boldly make home their fights, and if need be against desperate men, that will venture themselves to run in, they redeem their lost times. But the other with shorter weapons for lack of light, can make no true defence. Thus ends the vantages of weapons.
| Againe for the short Staffe or halfe Pike.
29 THe ſhort Staffe is moſt commonly the beſt weapon of all other , although other weapons may be more offenſiue, and eſpecially againſt manie weapons together, by reaſon of his nimbleneſſe and ſwift motions , and is not much inferiour to the Forreſt bill, although the Forreſt bill be more offenſiue, and hath more wardes , becauſe the Staffe is verie vncertaine , but the Bill is a more certaine marke, by reaſon of the breadth of the head, wherby as the Bill hath aduantage in his wardes in the head, ſo therefore hath the Staffe the like defence, or rather more, to play vpon the head of the Bill , not onely to make a perfect good ward, but thereby, the rather to caſt the Bill out of the right line, whereby the Staſfe-man may thruſt: ſafe, and endanger the Bill-man : and the rather becauſe therein he is the firſt mouer, wherin there is great vantage, both in time and force. And if the Bilman be not very skilfull (all vantages and diſaduantages of both ſides conſidered,) the ſhort Staffe will proue the better weapon. Laſtly note this, that long Staues, Morris Pikes, and ſuch like weapons of imperfect lengthes, being to be vſed with both hands, notwithſtanding their imperfect lengthes, are perfect weapons to be vſed, the one againſt the other, and their fightes therein perfect, becauſe in drawing of them backe betwixt their handes, their motions are ſwifter backewardes, then is the time of the Agents feet forwardes, by the which all their loſt times are redeemed : therefore theſe weapons in their fightes, the one againſt the other are perfect. And theſe weapons in the night are the beſt weapons of all other, and haue great aduantage againſt the forreſt Bill , ſhort Staffe, or anie maner of ſhort weapons whatſoeuer : for theſe cauſes, they boldly make home their fightes , and if neede be againſt deſperate men , that will venture themſelues to run in, they redeeme their loſt times. But the other with ſhorter weapons for lacke of light , can make no true defence. Thus endeth the vantages of weapons.
| Questions and answers between the scholar and the master, of the vantages and disadvantages between a tall man, and a man of mean stature, having both the perfect knowledge in their weapons.
30 Who has the advantage in fight, of a tall man, or a man of mean stature?
| Queſtions and anſwers betweene the Scholler and the Maiſter, of the vantages and diſaduantages betweene a tall man, and a man of meane ſtature, hauing both the perfect knowledge in their weapons.
30 WHo hath the aduantage in fight, of a tall man, or a man of meane ſtature?
The tall man has the vantage, for these causes:23 his reach being longer, and weapon unto his stature accordingly, he has thereby a shorter course with his feet to win the true place, wherein by the swift motion of his hand, he may strike or thrust home, in which time a man of mean stature cannot reach him, & by his large pace, in his true pace in his regression further, sets himself out of danger, & these are the vantages that a tall man has against any man of shorter reach than himself.
The tall man hath the vantage , for theſe cauſes : his reach being longer, and weapon vnto his nature accordingly , he hath thereby a ſhorter courſe with his feet to win the true place, wherin by the ſwift motion of his hand , he may ſtrike or thruſt home: in the which time a man of meane ſtature cannot reach him, & by his large pace , in his true pace in his regreſſion further, ſetteth himſelf out of all danger, & theſe are the vantages that a tall man hath againſt anie man of ſhorter reach then himſelfe.
What vantage has a man of mean stature against a tall man?
What vantage hath a man of meane ſtature againſt a tall man?
He has none: because the true times in fight, and actions accordingly, are to be observed and done, as well by a tall man, as by a man of mean stature.
He hath none : becauſe the true times in fight, and actions accordingly, are to be obſerued and done, as well by a tall man, as by a man of meane ſtature.
Why then if this is true, that tall men have the vantage against men of mean stature, it should seem in fight there is no perfection, other then this, when men of like stature, reach, & length of weapon, shall fight together, the which will seldom or never happen, but either in the length of their weapons, statures or reaches (if their swords should be of just length) some difference most commonly will be in their reaches.
Why then if this be true, that tall men haue the vantage againſt me of meane ſtature, it ſhold ſeeme in fight there is no perfection, other then this, when men of like ſtature, reach, & length of weapon, ſhall fight together, the which will ſeldome or neuer happen, but either in the length of their weapons, ſtatures or reaches (if their ſwords ſhould be of iuſt length) ſome difference moſt commonly there will be in their reaches.
Yes verily, the tall man has still the vantage, and yet the fight is perfect, although the men that shall happen to fight, shall happen to be unequal in their statures, reaches, or lengths of their weapons.
Yes verily, the tall man hath ſtill the vantage, and yet the fight is perfect, although the men that ſhall happen to fight, ſhall happē to be vnequall in their ſtatures, reaches, or lengths of their weapons.
That can I hardly believe, unless you can tell me by art how to avoid or safely defend my self, being but a man of mean stature, against a tall man.
That can I hardly beleeue, vnleſſe you can tell me by Art how to auoid or ſafely defend my ſelfe , being but a man of meane ſtature, againſt a tall man.
I will tell you. There belongs unto this art of defence only to be used with the feet, progression, regression, traversing, and treading of grounds. In any of these you playing the part of the patient, or patient agent, your feet are swifter in their motion than are the agents, because his weight and number of his feet in his coming in to win the place to strike or thrust home, are greater than yours, and therefore the true time is yours to avoid him, or safely to defend yourself. So the art is still true, and the tall man has still the vantage.
I will tell you : there belongeth vnto this Art of defence onely to be vſed with the feet, progreſſion, regreſſion, trauerſing, and treading of grounds : in any of theſe you playing the part of the Patient, or Patient Agent, your feete are ſwifter in their motions then are the Agents, becauſe his weight and number of his feet in his comming to win the true place to ſtrike or thruſt home, are greater then yours , and therefore the true time is yours to auoid him, or ſafely to defend your ſelfe: ſo the Art is ſtill true, and the tall man hath ſtill the vantage.
Yet I am not fully satisfied herein, because you tell me still that the tall man has the vantage, and notwithstanding you say the art is true, wherein then has the tall man the vantage, when by your art you can defend yourself against him?
Yet I am not fully ſatisfied herein , becauſe you tell me ſtill that the tall man hath the vantage, and notwithſtanding you ſay the Art is true , wherein then hath the tall man the vantage, when by your Art you can defend your ſelfe againſt him.
I will satisfy you herein thus. The tall man has the vantage, he can maintain his fight, both by nature and by art, with more ease than can the man of mean stature, because the man of mean stature has thereby a further course with his feet to pass to the place, wherein he may strike or thrust home, and in winning of that place, is driven by art to come guarded under his wards to defend himself, because in the time of his coming, the tall man may have both naturally or artificially strike or thrust home, in which time, if the man of mean stature should fail in the least iota of his art, he should be in great danger of death or hurt. But the tall man can naturally24 and safely come to the true place open, without any artificial wards at all, and therein also endanger the other, or drive him still to traverse his ground, with all the artificial skill that he has to defend himself, and all this the tall man does by reason of his length of weapon, large pace, short course, and long reach, with great safety, pleasure and ease. And for those causes the tall man has still the vantage of men of mean stature, and not withstanding the noble science of defence most perfect and good.
I will ſatisfie you therein thus. The tall man hath the vantage, he can maintaine his fight, both by nature and Art, with more eaſe then can the man of meane ſtature , becauſe the man of meane ſtature hath thereby a further courſe with his feete to paſſe to the place, wherein he may ſtrike or thruſt home , and in winning of that place , is driuen by Art to come garded vnder his wards to defend himſelfe, becauſe in the time of his comming, the tall man may both naturally or artificially ſtrike or thruſt home, in the which time, if the mā of meane ſtature ſhould faile in the leaſt iote of his Art, he ſhould be in great daunger of death or hurt. But the tall man can naturally and ſafely come to the true place open, without any artificiall wards at all, and therein al-ſo endanger the other, or driue him ftill to trauerſc his ground, with all the artificiall skill that he hath to defend himſelfe ; and all this the tall man doth by reaſon of his length of weapon, large pace, ſhort courſe, and long reach, with great ſafetie, pleaſure and eaſe. And for thoſe cauſes the tall man hath ſtill the vantage of men of meane ſtature, and yet notwitſtāding the noble Science of Defence moſt perfect and good.
| Of the single rapier fight between valiant men, having both skill, he that is the best wrestler, or if neither of them can wrestle, the strongest man most commonly kills the other, or leaves him at his mercy.
|| Of the long ſingle Rapier fight betweene valiant men, hauing both skill , he that is the beſt wraſtler, or if neither of them can wraſtle , the ſtrongeſt man moſt commonly killeth the other, or leaueth him at his merci.
31 WHen two valiant men of skill at ſingle Rapier do fight, one or both of them moſt cōmonly ſtanding vpon their ſtrength or skill in wraſtling, will preſently ſeeke to run into the cloſe ; but hauing both skill , not without ſpeciall care of their gard or croſſe, the which they may ſafely do, by reaſon of the length of their Rapiers : but hapning both of one mind , the rather do bring themſelues together : that being done, no skil with Rapiers auaileth, they preſently grapple faſt their hilts , wriſts , armes , bodies or neckes, as in luſtring, wraſtling, or ſtriuing together, they may beſt find for their aduantages : wherby it moſt commonly falleth out, that he that is the beſt wraſtler, or ſtrongeſt man (if neither of them can wraſtle) ouercommeth, wreſtling by ſtrength , or fine skill in wraſtling, the Rapier from his aduerſarie , or caſting him frō him, either to the ground, or to ſuch diſtance, that he may by reaſon therof, vſe the edge or point of his rapier, to ſtrike or thruſt him , leauing him dead or aliue at his mercie. But if but one of theſe valiant men ſhall ſeeke to run into the cloſe , and that the other ſhall vſe his skill in trauerſing of his ground , or otherwiſe by ſtanding vpon his gard or Stocata ward , to take all maner of aduātages at his cōming, yet all auaileth him not, becauſe the Rapiers being long, the croſſing of the blades cannot be auoided : that being made , the oppreſſor runneth faſter forwards then can the defendant backwards , and ſo are brought together, as in the firſt aſſault they were, & euerie action therein accordingly performed.
| Of the rapier and poniard fight betwixt valiant men, having both skill.
32 If two valiant men do fight at rapier and poniard having both skill, one or both of them will presently press hard to win the place, wherein in his judgement he may thrust home. If both are of one mind, the time is doubled in winning the same, whereby it comes to pass, that then he that first thrusts, endangers, kills or hurts the other, and if they both thrust together, as they may do by the equal time of their feet, then they are most commonly both slain, or both hurt. And this is well known unto all men of skill, that the place being once gotten, there is neither judgement, space, pace, nor time, either by wards with their rapier blades, or by breaking with their poniards, or flying back, that can preserve or defend them. But if but one of them will seek to win by passage, hard pressing, or otherwise the place, wherein in his judgement he may thrust home, it is impossible for the other to deny him the same, because the length of the rapiers wins him the cross. The cross being taken, the place is had. The place being had, he that first thrusts, first speeds: if both thrust together, they are both in dange: then presently follows (unless it please God otherwise to have it) the stabs with their daggers, wherein there lies no defence.
| Of the Rapier and Poiniard-fight betwixt valiant men, hauing both skill.
32 IF two valiant men do fight at Rapier and Poiniard hauing both skill , one or both of them will preſently preſſe hard to winne the place, wherein in his iudgement he may thruſt home. If both be of one mind , the time is doubled in winning the ſame : whereby it commeth to paſſe , that then he that firſt thruſteth, endangereth, killeth or hurteth the other : and if they both thruſt together , as they may do by the equall time of their feet , then they are moſt commonly both ſlaine , or both hurt. And this is well knowne vnto all men of skill , that the place being once gotten, there is neither iudgement, ſpace, pace, nor time, either by wards with their Rapier blades, or by breaking with their Poiniards , or flying backe , that can preſerue or defend them . But if but one of them will ſeeke to win by paſſage, hard preſſing, or otherwiſe the place, wherin in his iudgement he may thruſt home , it is impoſſible for the other to denie him the fame , becauſe the length of the Rapiers winneth him the croſſe ; the croſſe being taken, the place is had ; the place being had, he that firſt thruſteth, firſt ſpeedeth : if both thruſt together, they are both in danger : thē preſently followeth, (vnleſſe it pleaſe God otherwiſe to haue it) the ſtabs with their daggers, wherein there lieth no defence.
| Of the long rapier & Poniard fight between two valiant men, the one having skill, the other none, he that has no skill has the vantage.
33 When two valiant men shall fight with long rapiers and poniards, the one having skill, the other none, he that has no skill most commonly proves himself the better man, for these causes or reasons following. First the skillful man as knowing the other to have no skill, or find it to be so by his shape or manner of coming towards him, will presently yield to take the advantage of his coming, or else with all speed put himself into his short ward, to be ready at his coming to make a strong Stocata (as the Italians call it) the other knowing his imperfection in fight, assures himself there can be no great good for him to stand long out at the point, presently redoubles or revives his spirits with perfect resolution, to make short work, courageously with some offensive action, such as nature shall best yield unto him, flies in with all force and agility. The skillful man stands watching to take such advantage as his schoolmaster has taught him, in which time, many times it falls out, he is taught a new time, seen by an unskillful man that never fought before, is sore hurt or slain. And if it happens they both miss in their offensive actions, then by reason thereof, and of the imperfect length of their rapiers, they come to stabbing with their poniards, wherein their lies no defence, because distance being broken, judgement fails, time is lost, and their eyes (by the swift motions of their hands) are deceived.
| Of the long Rapier & Poiniard fight betweene two valiant men, the one hauing skil, the other none : that he that hath no skill hath the vantage.
33 WHen two valiant men ſhal fight with lōg Rapiers and Poiniards , the one hauing skill , and the other none, he that hath no skill moſt commōly proueth himſelf the better mā, for theſe cauſes or reaſons following. Firſt the skilfull man as knowing the other to haue no skill , or finding it to be ſo by his ſhape or maner of comming towardes him , will preſently yeeld to take the aduantage of his comming , or elſe with all ſpeed put himſelfe into his ſhort ward , to be readie at his comming to make out a ſtrong Stocata ( as the Italians call it: ) the other knowing his imperfection in fight , aſſureth himſelfe there can be no great good for him to ſtand long out at the point, preſently redoubleth or reuiueth his ſpirits with perfect reſolution , to make ſhort worke, couragiouſly with ſome offenſiue action , ſuch as nature ſhall beſt yeeld vnto him, flieth in with all force and agilitie : the skilfull man ſtandeth watching to take ſuch aduantages as his ſchoolemaiſter hath taught him , in the which time , manie times it falleth out , he is taught a new time, euen by an vnskilfull man that neuer fought before , is lore hurt or ſlaine : and if it happen they both miſſe in their offenſiue actions , then by reaſon thereof , and of the imperfect length of their Rapiers, they come to ſtabbing with their Poiniards, wherin there lyeth no defence , becauſe diſtance being broken, iudgement faileth, time is loſt,and their eies (by the ſwift motions of their handes) are deceiued.
| Of the long single rapier, or rapier and poniard fight between two unskillful men being valiant.
34 When two unskillful men (being valiant) shall fight with long single rapiers, there is less danger in that kind of fight, by reason of their distance in convenient length, weight, and unwieldiness, than is with short rapiers, whereby it comes to pass, that what hurt shall happen to be done, if any with the edge or point of their rapiers is done in a moment, and presently will grapple and wrestle together, wherein most commonly the strongest or best wrestler overcomes, and the like fight falls out between them, at the long rapier and poniard, but much more deadly, because instead of close and wrestling, they fall most commonly to stabbing with their poniards.
| Of the long ſingle Rapier , or Rapier and Poiniard-fight betweene two vnskilfull men being valiant.
34 WHen two vnskilfull men ( being valiant ) ſhall fight with long ſingle Rapiers , there is leſſe danger in that kind of fight, by reaſon of their diſtance in conuenient length, waight, and vnweildineſſe , then is with ſhort Rapiers: whereby it commeth to paſſe , that what hurt ſhall happen to be done , if anie with the edge or point of their Rapiers is done in a moment , and preſently will grapple and wraſtle together, wherin moſt commonly the ſtrongeſt or beſt Wraſtler ouercommeth, and the like fight falleth out betweene them , at the long Rapier and Poiniard , but much more deadly , becauſe in ſtead of Cloſe and Wraſtling, they fall moſt commonly to ſtabbing with their Poiniardes.
| Of the imperfection and insufficiency of rapiers in general, of what length soever they are.
35 If two fight with long rapiers, upon every cross made with the half rapier,25 if they have poniards, they most commonly stab each other, which cannot be avoided, because the rapiers being long, the cross cannot be undone of either side, without going back with their feet, the which likewise in due time cannot be done, because the hand is more swift than the feet, and the feet more swift in their course forwards than backwards, neither can the cross be prevented, because the point of necessity lies too far off in his offense, or else within compass of the true time of the hand and body, by reason of his imperfect length, and so by the like reason, if two fight with long single rapiers, upon every cross made therewith, within the half rapier, the close cannot be avoided, whereby it comes to pass most commonly, that the strongest man or best wrestler overcomes. Now if two do fight with short rapiers, or rapiers of convenient length, such rapiers are inconvenient also for lack of hilt to defend the hand and head from the blow. For no eye (in making a perfect ward for the head, to defend the blow, can discern to take the same within three or four inches, whereby it may as well and as often fall upon the hand, as upon the blade of the rapier. Again, the hilt as well serves to defend the head as the hand, and is a more sure and strong ward, than is the blade of the rapier. And further, understand this for truth, that in gardant and open fight, the hand without a hilt lies open to most blows that shall be struck by the agent, out of gardant or open fight, because in the true carriage of the gardant fight, the hand must lie above the head, in such straightness and narrowness of space, that which way soever the agent shall strike or thrust at the head, face, or body, the removing of two or four inches shall save all. And now somewhat more for the shortness or convenient length of rapiers.
| Of the imperfection and inſufficiencie of Rapiers in generall, of what length ſoeuer they be.
35 IF two fight with long Rapiers , vpon euerie Croſſe made within the halfe Rapier, if they haue Poiniardes , they moſt commonly ſtabbe each other, which cannot be auoided , because the Rapiers being long, the Croſſe cannot be vndone of either ſide, without going backe with their feete , the which likewiſe in due time cannot be done , becauſe the hand is more ſwifter then the feete, and the feete more ſwifter in their courſe forwardes then backwardes , neither can the Croſſe be preuented , becauſe the point of neceſſitie lyeth too farre off in his offence, or elſe within compaſſe of the true time of the hand and bodie, by reaſon of his imperfect length: and ſo by the like reaſons, if two fight with long fingle Rapiers , vpon euerie Croſſe made therewith, within the halfe Rapier, the Cloſe cannot be auoided, wherby it commeth to paſſe moſt commonly , that the ſtrongeſt man or beſt Wraſtler ouercommeth . Now if two do fight with ſhort Rapiers, or Rapiers of conuenient length , ſuch Rapiers be inconuenient and inſufficient alſo for lacke of an hilt to defend the hand and head from the blow ; for no eie (in making a perfect ward for the head , to defend a blow , can diſcerne to take the ſame within three or foure inches , wherby it may as well and as often fall vpon the hand, at vpon the bladeof the Rapier. Againe, the hilt as well ferueth to defend the head as the hand , and is a more ſure and ſtrong ward , then is the blade of the Rapier. And further, vnderſtand this for truth, that in gardant and open fight , the hand without an hilt lieth open to moſt blowes that ſhalbe ſtroken by the Agent, out of the gardant or open fight , becauſe in the true cariage of the gardant fight, the hand muſt lie aboue the head, in ſuch ſtraightnes and narrownes of ſpace, that which way ſoeuer the Agent ſhall ſtrike or thruſt at the head , face, or bodie , the remouing of two or foure inches ſhall ſaue all. And now ſomewhat more for the ſhortneſſe or conuenient length of Rapiers.
|Rapiers having no hilts to defend the head, the rapier man is driven of necessity to lie at the variable fight or low ward, and being there he can neither defend in due time, head, face nor body from the blows or thrusts of him, that shall fight out of the gardant or open fight, but is continually in great danger of the agent, for these causes following. First, because his space is too wide to defend his head from blow or thrust. Secondly his pace standing upon that fight, will be of necessity too great or too narrow. If too narrow, too weak, if too large, his weight and number of his feet, are too great to endanger him, that is upon his gardant or open fight.||Rapiers hauing no hilts to defend the head, the Rapier-man is driuen of neceſſitie to lie at the variable fight or low ward, and being there he can neither defend in due time , head , face , nor bodie from the blowes or thruſtes of him, that ſhall fight out of the gardant or open fight, but is continually in great danger of the Agent, for theſe cauſes following. Firſt, becauſe his ſpace is too wide to defend his head from blow or thruſt. Secondly his Pace ſtanding vpon that fight , wilbe of neceſſitie too great or too narrow: if too narrow, too weak: if too large, his weight and number of his feet , are too great to endanger him, that is vpon his gardant or open fight.|
| Of the imperfection and insufficiency of the fight of the single rapier, rapier and poniard, rapier and buckler, rapier and cloak, and rapier and glove of mail.
36 The rapier fight, whether it is single or accompanied with the poniard, buckler, cloak, or glove of mail, is still by reason of the insufficiency or imperfection of the rapier, an imperfect fight. Imperfect instruments can make no perfect music, neither can imperfect weapons make perfect fight. Let men that handle them have all the knowledge that may be in all manner of weapons, yes the full height, or perfection, and habit by his great labor and industry, even as it were naturally effected in him, yet if the weapons that they shall fight withal be imperfect or insufficient to perform whatsoever appertains unto true fight, as concerning the perfection of their safety, it avails them nothing. What shall we then say for the rapier? Is the rapier an imperfect or insufficient weapon to perform whatsoever appertains unto true fight? Yes. Wherefore? Because unto the true fight there appertains four fights, gardant fight, open fight, variable fight, and close fight, without all four of these fights it is impossible to fight safe. But the rapier for lack of a hilt is an imperfect weapon, and therefore insufficient to fight safe upon these four fights, for the are already set down in the Paradox before, but is inferred to loose the benefit of two of the best fights, gardant and open fight, and to fly from them, and trust only unto variable fight, and close fight. Now having proved through the imperfection or insufficiency of the rapier, the imperfections of the rapier fight, it remains that I speak of the rest of the weapons, or instruments appertaining unto rapier fight.
| Of the imperfection and inſufficiencie of the fight of the ſingle Rapier, Rapier and Poiniard , Rapier and Buckler , Rapier and Cloke , and Rapier and Gloue of maile.
|The rapier and poniard fight, the rapier & buckler fight, the rapier and cloak fight, & the rapier & glove of mail fight, all these fights by reason of the imperfection of the rapier, and the rapier fight, are also imperfect fights, for proof of the uncertainty and impossibilities of the safety in any of these fights, thus it stands. These fights depend altogether upon variable fight and close fight. In any of these fights it is impossible in true space of offense to keep the blades of their rapiers from crossing, or from breaking with the poniards, buckler, cloak or breaking or catching with the glove of mail, because in any of these two fights, the agent has still in true space the blade of the patients rapier to work upon. These things by letters cannot be made more plain, neither is it unknown to the skilful, or in fight by any means to be avoided. The weapon being too far in true space to be wrought upon, the place cannot be denied, do the patient Agent what he can for his life to the contrary, either by blows, thrusts, falsing or doubling of thrusts, going back, indirections, or turnings of the body, or what else soever may in the highest touch of wit or strength, or agility of body be devised or done, to keep out the agent: but still the agent by narrowness of space brings himself by strong guard to the place, where being brought, it is impossible to fight safe, as it is for two desperate men set together being both blind. Because in the true place (won in rapier or variable fight) their eyes by the swift motions of their hands are deceived, the crosses in that fight are false, their distance, judgement and times are lost, either to offend in safety, or safely to defend themselves, and these reasons, rules, or grounds of the feats of arms are infallible or invincible.||The Rapier and Poiniard fight, the Rapier & Buckler fight, the Rapier and cloke fight, & the Rapier & gloue of male fight : all theſe fights by reaſon of the imperfection of the Rapier, and Rapier fight, are all alſo imperfect fights : and for proofe of the vncertaintie and impoſſibilities of ſafetie in any of theſe fights, thus it ſtandeth. Theſe fights depend altogether vpō variable fight and cloſe fight : in anie of theſe fights it is impoſſible in true ſpace of Offence to keepe the blades of their Rapiers from croſſing, or frō breaking with the Poiniards, buckler, cloke, or breaking or catching with the gloue of male ; becauſe in anie of theſe two fights , the Agent hath ſtill in true ſpace the blade of the Patients Rapier to worke vpon. Theſe things by letters cannot be made more plaine , neither is it vnknowne to the skilfull , or in fight by anie meanes to be auoided , the weapon being too farre in true ſpace to be wrought vpon, the place cannot be denied , do the patient Agent what he can for his life to the contrarie, either by blowes, thrufts, falſing, or doubling of thruſts, going backe, indirections, or turnings of the body, or what elſe ſoeuer may in the higheſt touch of wit or ſtrength , or agilitie of bodie be deuiſed or done, to keepe out the Agent: but ſtill the Agent by narrowneſſe of ſpace bringeth himſelf by ſtrōg gard to the place, where being brought, it is as impoſſible to fight ſafe, as it is for two deſperate men ſet together being both blind; becauſe in the true place (wonne in Rapier or variable fight ) their eyes by the ſwift motions of their hands are deceiued , the croſſes in that fight are falſe, their diſtance, iudgements and times are loſt, either to offend in ſafetie, or ſafely to defend themſelues : and theſe reaſons, rules, or grounds of the feates of armes are infallible and inuincible.|
|Now, oh you Italian teachers of defence, where are your Stocatas, Imbrocatas, Mandrittas, Puntas, & Punta Reversas, Stramisons, Passatas, Carricados, Amazzas, & Incartatas, & playing with your bodies, removing with your feet a little aside, circlewise winding of your bodies, making of three times with your feet together, marking with one eye the motion of the adversary, & with the other eye the advantage of thrusting? What is become of all these juggling gambols, apish devices, with all the rest of your squint eyed tricks, when as through your deep studies, long practices, & apt bodies, both strong and agile, you have attained to the height of all these things? What then avails it you, when you shall come to fight for your lives with a man of skill? You shall have neither time, nor place, in due time to perform any one of them, nor gardant nor open fight safely to keep out a man of skill, a man of no skill, or scholar of your own teaching, from the true place, the place of safety, the place of uncertainty or mischief, the place of wounds or death, but are enforced to stand in that mischievous, uncertain, dangerous, and most deadly place, as two men having lost in part their chiefest senses, most furiously with their rapiers or poniards, wounding or slaying each other.||Now , ô you Italian teachers of Defence , where are your Stocatas, Imbrocatas , Mandritas , Puntaj, & Puynta reuerſas, Stramiſons , Paſſatas, Carricados, Amazzas, & Incartatas, & playing with your bodies , remouing with your feet a litle aſide, circle wiſe winding of your bodies, making of three times with your feet together, marking with one eye the motion of the aduerſary, & with the other eye the aduātage of thruſting? What is become of all theſe iugling gambalds , Apiſh deuiſes, with all the reſt of your ſquint-eyed trickes , when as through your deepe ſtudies, long practiſes, & apt bodies, both ſtrong & agilious, you haue attained to the height of all theſe things? What then auaileth it you, when you fhal come to fight for your Hues with a man of skill? you ſhall haue neither time, nor place, in due time to performe any one of them , nor gardant nor open fight ſafely to keep out a man of skill, a man of no skill, or ſcholler of your owne teaching, from the true place, the place of ſafetie , the place of vncertaintie or miſchiefe , the place of wounds or death, but are there inforced to ſtand in that miſchieuous, vncertaine, dangerous, and moſt deadly place, as two men hauing loſt in part their chiefeſt fences, moſt furiouſly with their rapiers or poiniards , wounding or ſlaying each other.|
| Thus ends the imperfect fights of the rapier with all manner of weapons or instruments thereto appertaining, with their imperfections, through the true grounds and rules of the art of arms, truly displayed & brought to light.
All laud be unto the Almighty God.
| Thus endeth the imperfect fights of the rapier with all maner of weapons or inſtruments thereto appertaining, with their imperfections, through the true groūds and rules of the Art of armes, truly diſplayed & brought to light
All laud be vnto the Almighty God.
| That the reasons used by the Italian fencers in commending the use of the rapier and poniard, because it makes peace, makes against themselves.
37 It has been commonly held, that since the Italians have taught the rapier fight, by reason of the dangerous use thereof, it has bred great civility among our English nation, they will not now give the lie, nor with such foul speeches abuse themselves, therefore there are fewer frays26 in these times than were wont to be. It cannot be denied but this is true, that we are more circumspect of our words, and more fearful to fight than heretofore we have been. But whereof comes it? Is it from this, that the rapier makes peace in our minds; or from hence, that it is not so sufficient defence for our bodies in our fight? He that will fight when he is armed, will not fight when he is naked: is it therefore good to go naked to keep peace? he that would fight with his sword and buckler, or sword and dagger, being weapons of true defence, will not fight with his rapier and poniard, wherein no true defence or fight is perfect: are these insufficient weapons therefore the better, because not being sufficient to defend us in fight, they force us into peace? What else is it, but to say, it is good for subjects to be poor, that they not go to law: or to lack munition, that they may not fight, nor go to the wars: and to conclude, what more follows through the imperfect works of the Italian peacemakers? They have made many a strong in his fight weak, many a valiant man fearful, many a worthy man trusting to their imperfect fight, has been slain, and many of our desperate boys and young youths, to become in that rapier fight, as good men as England yielded, and the tallest men of this land, in that fight as very boys as they and no better. This good have the Italian teachers of Offense done us, they have transformed our boys into men, and our men into boys, our strong men into weakness, our valiant men doubtful, and many worthy men resolving themselves upon their false resolutions, have most willfully in the field, with their rapiers ended their lives. And lastly, have left to remain among us after their deaths, these inconveniences behind them, false fencing books, imperfect weapons, false fights, and evil customs, whereby for lack of use and practice in perfect weapons and true fight, we are disabled for the service of our prince, defence of our country, and safety of our lives in private fight.
| That the reaſons vſed by the Italian Fencers in commending the vſe of the Rapier and Poiniard, becauſe it maketh peace, maketh againft themſelues.
37 IT hath bin commonly held , that ſince the Italians haue taught the Rapier fight, by reaſon of the dangerous vſe therof, it hath bred great ciuilitie amongſt our Engliſh nation, they will not now giue the lye, nor with ſuch ſoule ſpeeches abuſe themſelues , therefore there are fewer frayes in theſe times then were wont to be: it cannot be denied but this is true, that we are more circumſpect of our words, and more fearefull to fight, then heretofore we haue bene. But whereof commeth it ? Is it from this, that the Rapier maketh peace in our minds; or from hence, that it is not ſo ſufficient defence for our bodies in our fight? He that will fight when he is armed , will not fight when he is naked : is it therefore good to go naked to keepe peace ? he that would fight with his Sword and Buckler, or Sword and Dagger, being weapons of true defence, will not fight with his Rapier and Poiniard , wherein no true defence or fight is perfect: are theſe inſufficiēt weapōs therfore the better, becauſe not being ſufficiēt to deſēd vs in fight, they force vs vnto peace ? What elſe is it, but to ſay, it is good for ſubiects to be poore, that they may not go to law : or to lacke munition , that they may not fight, nor go to the warres : and to conclude, what more followeth through the imperfect workes of theſe Italian peacemakers? They haue made many a ſtrong man in his fight weake, many a valiant man fearefull, manie a worthie man truſting to their imperfect fight, hath bene ſlaine, and manie of our deſperate boyes and young youthes, to become in that Rapier-fight, as good men as England yeeldeth, and the talleſt men in this land, in that fight as verie boyes as they and no better. This good haue the Italian teachers of Offence done vs, they haue transformed our boyes into men, and our men into boyes, our ſtrong men into weakeneſſe, our valiant men doubtfull, and manie worthie men reſoluing themſelues vpon their falſe reſolutions, haue moſt wilfully in the field, with their Rapiers ended their Hues. And laſtly , haue left to remaine amongſt vs after their deathes, theſe inconueniences behind them, falſe Fence-bookes, imperfect weapons, falſe fightes, and euill cuſtomes, whereby for lacke of vſe and practiſe in perfect weapons and true fight, we are diſabled for the ſeruice of our Prince, defence of our country, and ſafetie of our liues in priuate fight.
| That the short sword has the advantage against the long sword or long rapier.
38 Whereas for the most part opinions are generally held, that the long sword, or long rapier, has the vantage in fight against the short sword, which the Italian teachers of defence, by their false demonstrations have brought us to believe. I have thought good that the truth may appear which has the vantage, to add my help unto the reasons they use in their own behalf, for that yet I could never hear them make a sound reason for the same. These are the reasons.27 First with my long rapier, I will put myself into my guard or Stocata, holding my hilt back by the outside of my right thigh, keeping in short the point of my rapier, so as he that has the short sword, shall not be able to reach the point of my rapier, to make his ward or cross with his dagger, buckler, sword, or cloak, without stepping in with his foot, the which time is too long to answer the time of the hand, by reason of my distance. I can there stand safe without danger of blow or thrust, playing the patient's part. If you strike or thrust you do it too short, by reason of my distance. If you seek to come nearer, you must do it with the time of your foot, in which time I may safely thrust home. If in that distance you break it not, you are slain. If you do break it, yet you do me no harm, by reason of my distance, and I may stand fast and thrust again, or fly back at my pleasure. So have you put yourself in danger of your life, and having hardly escaped, are driven again to begin a new bout, as at the first you did. Again, if I please, I can be the oppressor, keeping the same guard, and my point in short as I did before, and pressing strongly by putting in by little and little of my feet, until the place of my foot is gotten, wherein (in my judgement) I may thrust home, the which I may boldly and safely do, without respect of any ward at all, by reason of my distance, in which time of my coming he must strike, thrust, ward, or go back. If he goes back, it is a great disgrace, if he strikes or thrusts, it is too short, if he stands to defend, the place being already gotten, where I may thrust home, the thrust being very quick & strongly made, such is the force and swiftness thereof, that it is impossible by nature or art, for any man to break one thrust of an hundred. These reasons in my opinion may suffice to confirm the wise, that there is no question to be made, but that the long rapier has the advantage against the short sword.
| That the short Sword hath the aduantage againſt the long Sword or long Rapier.
38 WHereas for the moſt part opinions are generally holden, that the long Sword, or long Rapier, hath the vantage in fight againft the ſhort Sword, which the Italian teachers of Defence, by their falſe de monſtratiōs haue brought vs to beleeue. I haue thought good that the truth may appeare which hath the vantage, to adde my helpe vnto the reaſons they vſe in their owne behalfe, for that yet I could neuer heare them make a ſound reaſon for the ſame. Theſe are the reaſons. Firſt with my long Rapier, I will put my ſelfe into my gard or Stocata, holding my hilt backe by the outſide of my right thigh, keeping in ſhort the point of my Rapier, ſo as he that hath the ſhort Sword, ſhall not be able to reach the point of my Rapier, to make his ward or Croſſe with his Dagger , Buckler , Sword , or Cloke , without ſtepping in of his foote, the which time is too long to anſwere the time of the hand, by reaſon of my diſtance. I can there ſtand ſafe without danger of blow or thruſt, playing the Patients part : if you ſtrike or thruſt you do it too ſhort, by reaſon of my diſtance : if you ſeek to come nearer , you muſt do it with the time of your foote, in the which time I may ſafely thruſt home : if in that diſtance you breake it not, you are ſlaine : if you do breake it, yet you do me no harme, by reaſon of my diſtance, and I may ſtand faſt and thruſt againe , or flie backe at my pleaſure : ſo haue you put your ſelfe in danger of your life, and hauing hardly eſcaped, are driuen againe to begin a new bought , as at the firſt you did. Againe, if I pleaſe, I can be the oppreſſour , keeping the ſame gard , and my point in ſhort as I did before, and preſſing ſtrongly by putting in by litle and litle of my feete, vntill the place with my foote be gotten, wherein (in my iudgement) I may thruſt home, the which I may boldly and ſafely do, without reſpect of anie ward at all, by reaſon of my diſtance, in which time of my comming he muſt ſtrike, thruſt, ward, or go backe : if he go backe, it is a great diſgrace : if he ſtrike or thruſt, it is too ſhort: if he ſtand to defend, the place being alreadie gotten, where I may thruſt home, the thruſt being verie quicke & ſtrongly made, ſuch is the force and ſwiſtneſſe thereof, that it is impoſfible by nature or art, for anie man to breake one thruſt of an hundred. Theſe reaſons in my opinion may ſuffice to confirme the wife , that there is no queſtion to be made , but that the long Rapier hath the aduantage againſt the ſhort Sword.
|Sir you have prettily handled your discourse,28 concerning the vantages of the long rapier against the short sword, especially at the first show, and according to common sense, but for the substance and truth of the true fight, you have said nothing, because for the performance of any of your allegations, you have neither true pace, place, time, nor space. These are the reasons. Your pace of necessity must be too large, because otherwise you cannot keep safe the point of your long rapier, from the cross of the short sword, unless you will with a narrow pace keep back your hilt so far, that the space of your offense will be too large or too long in distance, and your body unapt to move and thrust both strong and quick in due time, nor aptly to keep your distance, to win the place with your feet, to thrust home. So now you may plainly see, if you have skill in the art or science of defence, that is to perform anything which you have alleged, you have neither true pace, place, time nor space. But if you will stand upon the largeness of your pace, to keep back or save the point of your long rapier from the ward or cross of the short sword, or upon your Passatas, in all these you have great disadvantages. And these are my reasons. Your number will be too great, as thus. Whenever you mean out of your large pace to thrust home, you must of necessity make four times with your feet, and one with your hand, or two times with your feet, and one with your hand at least. And whensoever you make any of your passages, the number of your feet are greater than the greatest of any of these times done out of the large pace. But the patient with his short sword, to avoid you, or disappoint you of your thrust, has but one time with his foot, at or before the which time, as he in his judgement shall find you in your motion, has by the slow and great number of your motions or times, sufficient time safely out of all danger to make himself ready to take his cross with his short sword. Now sir, whether you thrust or not thrust, whether you play the part of an agent, or patient, it helps you nothing, for he that has the short sword has four times or motions against the long rapier, namely bent, spent, lying spent, and drawing back, in all manner of fights these are to be observed both by the patient and agent. Now note, he that has the long rapier must of necessity play upon one of these four motions, or be patient, which soever he shall do, he is still in great danger of the cross of the short sword, because if he is agent, his number is too great, he falls into one of the four motions, the patient with his short sword, having but the time of his hand, or hand & foot, safely upon these actions or times takes his cross with the short sword. That being done, he presently uncrosses and strikes or thrusts at his pleasure him that has the long rapier, in the head, face, or body. Now here is again to be noted, that when the cross is made, if he that has the long rapier stands fast, he is wounded presently in the uncrossing of the short sword, if he steps or leaps back to save himself, yet the time of the hand being swifter than the time of the foot, overtakes him, with blow or thrust in the arm, hand, head, face and body. Now if he that has the long rapier will be patient & make no play, but lie still watching to make his thrust or Stocata just in the coming or moving of the agent's feet with his short sword, then he has as great disadvantage as he had when he was patient, because then the agent with his short sword has but hand and foot to make his cross, which is most safely to be done in that time, which we call bent, and is as impossible for the rapier man to prevent, as it is for an unskillful to strike or thrust just together with a man of skill. Then thus do I conclude, that he that fights with a long rapier, against him that fights with short sword, can do nothing in due time to defend himself, or hurt the other, but is still in danger of his life, or at the mercy of him that has the short sword, or else has no safe way to help himself, but only Cob's Traverse.29 This Cob was a great quarreler, and did delight in great bravery to give foul words to his betters, and would not refuse to go into the field to fight with any man, and when he came to the field, would draw his sword to fight, for he was sure by the cunning of his traverse, not to be hurt by any man. For at any time finding himself overmatched would suddenly turn his back and run away with such swiftness, that it was thought a good horse would scarce take him. And this when I was a young man, was very much spoken of by many gentlemen of the Inns of the Court, and was called Cob's Traverse and those that had seen any go back too fast in his fight, would say, he did tread Cob's Traverse.|| Sir you haue pretily handled your diſcourſe, concerning the vantages of the long Rapier againſt the ſhort Sword , especially at the firſt ſhew, and according to common ſence, but for the ſubſtance and truth of the true fight, you haue ſaid nothing, becauſe for the performance of anie of your allegations, you haue neither true Pace, Place, Time, nor Space: theſe are the reaſons. Your Pace of neceſſitie muſt be too large, becauſe other wife you cannot keepe ſafe the point of your long Rapier , from the Croſſe of the ſhort Sword, vnleſſe you will with a narrow Pace keepe backe your hilt ſo farre, that the ſpace of your offence wilbe too large or too long in diſtance, and your bodie vnapt to moue and to thruſt both ſtrong and quicke in due time, nor aptly to keepe your diſtance, to win the place with your feete, to thruft home . So now you may plainely ſee , if you haue skill in the art or ſcience of Defence, that to performe anie thing which you haue alleadged , you haue neither true Pace, Place, time nor Space . But if you will ſtand vpon the largeneſſe of your Pace, to keepe backe or ſaue the point of your long Rapier from the ward or Croſſe of the ſhort Sword , or vpon your Paſſatos, in all theſe you haue great diſaduantages : and theſe are my reaſons: Your number will be too great as thus: whenſoeuer you meane out of your large pace to thruſt home, you muſt of neceſſitie make foure times with your feet, and one with your hand, or two times with your feet, and one with your hand at the leaſt : and whenſoeuer you make any of your paſſages, the nūber of your feet are greater then the greateſt of any of theſe times done out of the large pace : but the patient with his ſhort ſword , to auoyd you , or diſappoint you of your thruſt, hath but one time with his foot, at or before the which time, as he in his iudgemēt ſhall find you in your motion, hath by the ſlow and great number of your motions or times, ſufficient time ſafely out of all danger to make himſelfe readie to take his croſſe with his ſhort ſword. Now Sir, whether you thruſt or not thruſt, whether you play the part of an Agent, or Patient, it helpeth you nothing, for he that hath the ſhort ſword hath foure times or motions againſt the long Rapier, namely, bent, ſpent, lying ſpent, and drawing backe, in all maner of fights theſe are to be obſerued both by the Patient and Agent . Now note, he that hath the long Rapier muſt of neceſſitie play vpon one of theſe foure motions , or be Patient , which ſoeuer he ſhall do , he is ſtill in great danger of the croſſe of the ſhort ſword, becauſe if he be Agent , his number is too great , he falleth into one of the foure motions, the Patient with his ſhort ſword, hauing but the time of the hand, or hād & foot , ſafely vpon theſe actions or times taketh his croſſe with the ſhort Sword : that being done, he preſently vncroſſeth and ſtriketh or thruſteth at his pleaſure him that hath the long Rapier, in the head, face, or bodie. Now here is againe to be noted, that when the croſſe is made, if he that hath the long Rapier ſtand faſl, he is wounded preſently in the vncroſſing of the ſhort ſword, if he ſtep or leape backe to ſaue himſelfe , yet the time of the hand being ſwifter then the time of the foot, ouertaketh him , with blow or thruſt in the arme, hand, head, face and bodie. Now if he that hath the long Rapier will be patient & make no play, but lie ſtill watching to make his thruſt or Stocata iuſt in the comming or mouing of the Agents feete with his ſhort ſword, then he hath as great diſaduantage as he had when he was Patient, becauſe thē the Agent with his ſhort Sword hath but hand and foot to make his croſſe: which is moſt ſafely to be done in that time, which we call Bent, and is as impoſſible for the Rapier-man to preuent, as it is for an vnskilfull to ſtrike or thruſt iuſt together with a man of skill. Then thus I conclude , that he that fighteth with a long Rapier, againſt him that fighteth with a ſhort Sword, can do nothing in due time to defend himſelfe, or hurt the other , but is ſtill in daunger of his life, or at the mercie of him that hath the ſhort Sword, or elſe hath no ſafe way to helpe himſelfe, but onely Cobs Trauerſe. This Cob was a great quareller , and did delight in great brauerie to giue ſoule words to his betters , and would not refuſe to go into the field to fight with any man , and when he came into the field, would draw his Sword to fight, for he was ſure by the cunning of his Trauerſe , not to be hurt by anie man : for at anie time finding himſelfe ouermatched would ſuddenly turne his backe and runne away with ſuch ſwiftneſſe , that it was thought a good horſe would ſcarce take him . And this when I was a young man, was verie much ſpoken of by many Gentlemen of the Innes of the Court , and was called Cobs Trauerſe and thoſe that had ſeene anie go backe too fail in his fight, would ſay , he did tread Cobs Trauerve.
| George Silver his military riddle, truly set down between the perfection and imperfection of fight. Containing the handling of the four fights, wherein true consists the whole sum and full perfection of the true fight, with all manner of weapons, with an invincible conclusion.
Gardant fight stays, puts back, or beats gardant fight.
| George Siluer his militarie riddle , truly ſet downe betweene the Perfection and Imperfection of fight : containing the handling of the foure fights: wherein true conſiſteth the whole ſumme and full perfection of the true fight, with all maner of weapons, with an inuicible concluſion.
GArdant fight ſtayeth , putteth backe, or beateth gardant fight.
|Open fight stays, puts back, or beats open fight.||Open fight ſtayeth , putteth backe, or beateth open fight.|
|Variable fight answers variable fight in the first distance, and not otherwise, except it be with perfect length against imperfect.||Variable fight anſwereth variable fight in the firſt diſtance, and not otherwiſe, except it be with the perfect length againſt the imperfect.|
|Close fight is beaten by gardant fight.||Cloſe fight is beaten by gardant fight.|
|Variable close & gardant fight, beats gardant fight, open fight, variable fight, and close fight.||Variable cloſe & gardant fight, beateth gardant fight, open fight, variable fight, and cloſe fight.|
|Gardant fight in the imperfection of the agent or patient, wins the half sword, and presently the close, and whosoever first ventures the close, looses it, and is in great danger of death, and not possible to escape or get out again without great hurt.||Gardant fight in the imperfection of the Agent or Patient, winneth the halfe ſword , and preuenteth the cloſe , and whoſoeuer firſt ventureth the cloſe, looſeth it, and is in great danger of death, and not poſſible to eſcape or get out againe without great hurt.|
|There attends most diligently upon these four fights four offensive actions, which we call certain, uncertain, first, before, just, and afterward. They are to be performed through judgement, time, measure, number and weight, by which all manner of blows thrusts, falses, doubles, or slips, are prevented, or most safely defended. And thus ends my riddle.||There attendeth moſt diligently vpon theſe foure fights foure offenſiue actions , which we call certaine, vncertaine, firſt, before, iuſt, and afterwards : they are to be performed through iudgement, time, meaſure, number and waight , by which all maner of blowes , thruſts , falſes , doubles , or flips , are preuented, or moſt ſafely defended. And thus endeth my riddle.|
| Now follows the conclusion, that whosoever shall think or find himself in his fight too weak for the agent's, or patient agent, and therefore, or by reason of his drunkenness, or unreasonable desperateness shall press within the half sword, or desperately run in of purpose to give hurt, or at least for taking of one hurt, to give another, shall most assuredly be in great danger of death or wounds, and the other shall still be safe and go free.
| Now followeth the concluſion, that whoſoeuer ſhall thinke or find himſelfe in his fight too weake for the Agent , or Patient Agent, and therefore, or by reaſon of his drunkenneſſe, or vnreaſonable deſperateneſſe ſhall preſe within the halfe Sword, or deſerately runne in of purpoſe to giue hurt, or at leaſt for taking of one hurt, to giue another, ſhall moſt aſſuredly be in great daunger of death or wounds, and the other ſhall ſtill be ſafe and go free.
| A BRIEF NOTE OF THREE ITALIAN TEACHERS OF OFFENSE30
There were three Italian teachers of offense in my time. The first was Signior Rocco, the second was Jeronimo, that was Senior Rocco his boy, that taught gentlemen in the Black Friars, as usher for his master in stead of a man. The third was Vincentio. This Senior Rocco came into England about some thirty years past. He taught the noblemen & gentlemen of the court. He caused some of them to wear leaden soles in their shoes, the better to bring to nimbleness of the feet in their fight. He disbursed a great sum of money for the lease of a fair house in Warwick lane, which he called his college, for he thought it great disgrace for him to keep a fence school, he being then thought to be the only famous master of the art of arms in the whole world. He caused to be fairly drawn and set round about his school all the noblemen's and gentlemen's arms that were his scholars, amd hanging right under their arms their rapiers, daggers, gloves of mail and gauntlets. Also, he has benches and stools, the room being very large, for gentlemen to sit round about his school to behold his teaching. He taught none commonly under twenty, forty, fifty, or a hundred pounds. And because all things should be very necessary for the noblemen & gentlemen, he had in his school a large square table, with a green carpet, done round with a very broad rich fringe of gold, always standing upon it a very fair Standish covered with crimson velvet, with ink, pens, pen-dust, and sealing wax, and quivers of very excellent fine paper gilded, ready for the noblemen & gentlemen (upon occasion) to write their letters, being then desirous to follow their fight, to send their men to dispatch their business. And to know how the time passed, he had in one corner of his school a clock, with very fair large dial. He had within his school, a room the which was called the privy school, with many weapons therein, where he did teach his scholars his secret fight, after he had perfectly taught them their rules. He was very much beloved in the court.
| A BRIEFE NOTE OF THREE ITAlian Teachers of Offence.
THere were three Italian Teachers of Offence in my time . The firſt was Signior Rocko : the ſecond was Ieronimo, that was Signior Rocko his boy , that taught Gentlemen in the Blacke-Fryers, as Vſher for his maiſter in ſteed of a man. The third was Vincentio. This Signior Rocko came into England about ſome thirtie yeares paſt: he taught the Noblemen & Gentlemen of the Court ; he cauſed ſome of them to weare leaden ſoales in their ſhoes, the better to bring them to nimbleneſſe of feet in their fight. He disburſed a great ſumme of mony for the leaſe of a faire houſe in Warwicke lane, which he called his Colledge , for he thought it great diſgrace for him to keepe a Fence-ſchoole, he being then thought to be the onely famous Maifter of the Art of armes in the whole world. He cauſed to be fairely drawne and ſet round about his Schoole all the Noblemens and Gentlemens armes that were his Schollers, and hanging right vnder their armes their Rapiers, daggers, gloues of male and gantlets. Alſo, he had benches and ſtooles, the roome being verie large, for Gentlemē to ſit round about his Schoole to behold his teaching. He taught none commonly vnder twentie, fortie, fifty, or an hundred pounds. And becauſe all things ſhould be verie neceſſary for the Noblemē & gentlemē, he had in his ſchoole a large ſquare table, with a greene carpet, done round with a verie brode rich fringe of gold, alwaies ſtanding vpon it a verie faire Standiſh couered with Crimſon Veluet, with inke, pens, pin-duſt, and ſealing waxe , and quiers of verie excellent fine paper gilded, readie for the Noblemen & Gentlemen (vpon occaſion ) to write their letters , being then deſirous to follow their fight, to ſend their men to diſpatch their buſineſſe. And to know how the time paſſed, he had in one corner of his ſchoole a Clocke, with a verie faire large Diall, he had within that ſchoole , a roome the which was called his priuie ſchoole , with manie weapons therein, where he did teach his ſchollers his ſecret fight, after he had perfectly taught them their rules. He was verie much beloued in the Court.
|There was one Austin Bagger, a very tall gentleman of his hands, not standing much upon his skill, but carrying the valiant heart of an Englishman, upon a time being merry among his friends, said he would go fight with Signior Rocco, presently went to Signior Rocco his house in the Blackfriers, and called to him in this manner: Signior Rocco, you are thought to be the only cunning man in the world with your weapon, you that takes upon yourself to hit any Englishman with a thrust upon any button, you that takes upon yourself to come over the sea, to teach the valiant noblemen and gentlemen of England to fight, you cowardly fellow, come out of your house if you dare for your life, I am come to fight with thee. Signior Rocco, looking out at a window, perceiving him in the street to stand ready with his sword and buckler, with his two hand sword drawn, with all speed ran into the street, and manfully let fly at Austin Bagger, who most bravely defended himself, and presently closed with him, and struck up his heels, and cut him over the breech, and trod upon him, and most grievously hurt him under his feet. Yet in the end Austin of his good nature gave him his life, and there left him. This was the first and last fight that ever Signior Rocco made, save once at Queen Hith he drew his rapier upon a waterman, where he was thoroughly beaten with oars and stretchers, but the odds of their weapons were as great against his rapier, as was his two hand sword against Austin Bagger's sword and buckler, therefore for that fray he was to be excused.||There was one Auſten Bagger , a verie tall gentleman of his handes, not ſtanding much vpon his skill, but carving the valiant hart of an Fngliſhman , vpon a time being merrie amongſt his friendes , ſaid he would go fight with Signior Rocco , preſently went to Signior Rocco his houſe in the Blackeſriers, and called to him in this maner: Signior Rocco , thou that art thought to be the onely cunning man in the world with thy weapon, thou that takeſt vpon thee to hit anie Engliſhman with a thruſt vpon anie button, thou that takeſt vpon thee to come ouer the ſeas, to teach the valiant Noblemen and Gentlemen of England to fight, thou cowardly fellow come out of thy houſe if thou dare for thy life , I am come to fight with thee. Signior Rocco looking out at a window , perceiuing him in the ſtreet to ſtand readie with his Sword and Buckler , with his two hand Sword drawne, with all ſpeed ran into the ſtreet, and manfully let flie at Auſten Bagger, who moſt brauely defended himſelfe, and preſently cloſed with him, and ſtroke vp his heeles, and cut him ouer the breech, and trode vpon him, and moſt grieuouſly hurt him vnder his feet : yet in the end Auſten of his good nature gaue him his life, and there left hin. This was the firſt and laſt fight that euer Signior Rocco made , ſauing once at Queene Hith he drew his Rapier vpon a waterman, where he was throughly beaten with Oares and Stretchers , but the oddes of their weapons were as great againſt his Rapier, as was his two hand Sword againſt Auſten Baggers Sword and Buckler, therefore for that fray he was to be excuſed.|
|Then came Vincentio and Jeronimo, they taught rapier fight at the court, at London, and in the country, by the space of seven or eight years or thereabouts. These two Italian fencers, especially Vincentio, said Englishmen were strong men, but had no cunning, and they would go back too much in their fight, which was great disgrace unto them. Upon these words of disgrace against Englishmen, my brother Toby Silver and myself, made challenge against them both, to play with them at the single rapier, rapier and dagger, the single dagger, the single sword, the sword and target, the sword and buckler, & two hand sword, the staff, battle axe, and Morris pike, to be played at the Bell Savage upon the scaffold, where he that went in his fight faster back than he ought, of Englishmen or Italian, should be in danger to break his neck off the scaffold. We caused to that effect, five or six score bills of challenge to be printed, and set up from Southwarke to the Tower, and from thence throughout London unto Westminster, we were at the place with all these weapons at the time appointed, within a bow shot of their fence school. Many gentlemen of good account, carried many of the bills of challenge unto them, telling them that now the Silvers were at the place appointed, with all their weapons, looking for them, and a multitude of people there to behold the fight, saying unto them, now come and go with us (you shall take no wrong) or else you are shamed for ever. Do the gentlemen what they could, these gallants would not come to the place of trial. I verily think their cowardly fear to answer this challenge, had utterly shamed them indeed, had not the masters of Defence of London, within two or three days after, been drinking of bottled ale hard by Vincentio's school, in a hall where the Italians must of necessity pass through to go to their school, and as they were coming by, the masters of Defence did pray them to drink with them. But the Italians being very cowardly, were afraid, and presently drew their rapiers. There was a pretty wench standing by, that loved the Italians. She ran with outcry into the street: "Help! Help! The Italians are like to be slain." The people with all speed came running into the house, and with their capes and such things as they could, parted the fray, for the English masters of Defence, meant nothing less than to soil their hands upon these two faint hearted fellows. The next morning after, all the court was filled, that the Italian teachers of fence had beaten all the masters of defence in London, who set upon them in a house together. This won the Italian fencers their credit again, and thereby got much, still continuing their false teaching to the end of their lives.||Then came in Vincentio and Ieronimo, they taught Rapier-fight at the Court, at London, and in the countrey, by the ſpace of ſeauen or eight yeares or thereabouts. Theſe two Italian Fencers, eſpecially Vincentio, ſaid that Engliſhmen were ſtrong men , but had no cunning, and they would go backe too much in their fight, which was great diſgrace vnto them. Vpon theſe words of diſgrace againſt Engliſhmen, my brother Toby Siluer and my ſelfe, made challenge againſt them both, to play with them at the ſingle Rapier, Rapier and Dagger, the ſingle Dagger, the ſingle Sword, the Sword and Target, the Sword and Buckler, & two hand Sword , the Staffe, battell Axe , and Morris Pike, to be played at the Bell Sauage vpon the Scaffold, where he that went in his fight faſter backe then he ought, of Englishman or Italian, ſhold be in danger to breake his necke off the Scaffold. We cauſed to that effect, fiue or ſixe ſcore Bils of challenge to be printed, and ſet vp from Southwarke to the Tower, and from thence through London vnto Weſtminſter , we were at the place with all theſe weapons at the time apointed, within a bow ſhot of their Fence ſchoole: many gentlemen of good accompt, caried manie of the bils of chalenge vnto them, telling them that now the Siluers were at the place appointed , with all their weapons, looking for them , and a multitude of people there to behold the fight, ſaying vnto them, now come and go with vs ( you ſhall take no wrong ) or elſe you are ſhamed for euer . Do the gentlemen what they could , theſe gallants would not come to the place of triall. I verily thinke their cowardly feare to anſwere this chalenge, had vtterly ſhamed them indeed, had not the maiſters of Defence of London, within two or three daies after, bene drinking of bottell Ale hard by Vincentios ſchoole, in a Hall where the Italians muſt of neceſſitie paſſe through to go to their ſchoole: and as they were comming by, the maiſters of Defence did pray them to drinke with them, but the Italians being verie cowardly, were afraide, and preſently drew their Rapiers: there was a pretie wench ſlanding by, that loued the Italians, ſhe ran with ourcrie into the ſtreet, helpe, helpe, the Italians are like to be ſlaine : the people with all ſpeede came running into the houſe, and with their Cappes and ſuch things as they could get, parted the fraie, for the Engliſh maiſters of Defence, meant nothing leſſe then to foile their handes vpon theſe two faint-harted fellowes. The next morning after, all the Court was filled, that the Italian teachers of Fence had beaten all the maiſters of Defence in London, who ſet vpon them in a houſe together. This wan the Italian Fencers their credit againe, and thereby got much, ſtill continuing their falſe teaching to the end of their liues.|
| The Vincentio proved himself a stout man not long before he died, that it might be seen in his lifetime he had been a gallant, and therefore no marvel he took upon him so highly to teach Englishmen to fight, and to set forth books of the feats of arms. Upon a time at Wels in Somersetshire, as he was in great bravery among the many gentlemen of good account, with great boldness he gave out speeches, that he had been thus many years in England, and since the time of his first coming, there was not yet one Englishman, that could touch him at the single rapier, or the rapier and dagger. A valiant gentleman being there among the rest, his English heart did rise to hear this proud boaster, secretly sent a messenger to one Bartholomew Bramble, a friend of his, a very tall man of both his hands and person, who kept a school of defence in the town. The messenger by the way made the master of defence acquainted with the mind of the gentleman that sent for him, and of all what Vincentio had said. This master of defence presently came, and among all the gentlemen with his cap off, prayed master Vincentio, that he would be pleased to take a quart of wine with him. Vincentio very scornfully looking upon him, said unto him: "Wherefore should you give me a quart of wine?" "Merry sir" said he, "because I hear you are a famous man at your weapon." Then presently said the gentleman that sent for the master of defence: "He is a man of your profession." "My profession?" said Vincentio, "What is my profession?" Then said the the gentleman, "He is a master of the noble science of defence." "Why," said Vincentio "God made him a good man." But the master of defence would not thus leave him, but prayed him again he would be pleased to take a quart of wine of him. Then said Vincentio: "I have no need of your wine." Then said the master of defence: "Sir I have a school of defence in the town, will it please you to go thither?" "Your school?" said master Vincentio, "What shall I do at your school?" "Play with me (said the master) at the rapier and dagger, if it please you." "Play with you?" said master Vincentio,"If I play with you, I will hit you 1, 2, 3, 4 thrusts in the eye together." Then said the master of defence: "If you can do so, it is the better for you, and the worse for me, but surely I can hardly believe that you can hit me. But yet once again I heartily pray you good sir, that you will go to my school and play with me." "Play with you?" said master Vincentio (very scornfully), "by God let me scorn to play with you." With the word scorn, the master of defence was very much moved, and up with his great English fist, and struck master Vincentio such a box on the ear that he fell over and over, his legs just against a buttery hatch, whereon stood a great black jack. The master of defence fearing the worst, against Vincentio his rising, caught the black jack into his hand, being more than half full of beer. Vincentio lustily started up, laying his hand upon his dagger, & with the other hand pointed with his finger, saying, very well: "I will cause to lie in the Gaile for this geare(?), 1, 2, 3, 4 years." And well said the master of defence: "Since you will drink no wine, will you pledge me in beer? I drink to all cowardly knaves in England, and I think you to be the very most coward of them all." With that he cast all the beer upon him, notwithstanding Vincentio having nothing but his gilt rapier, and dagger about him, and the other for his defence the black jack, would not at that time fight it out: but the next day met with the master of defence in the street, and said unto him: "you remember how misused a me yesterday, you were to blame, me being an excellent man, me teach you to thrust two feet further than any Englishman, but first come you with me." Then he brought him to a mercers shop, and said to the mercer: "Let me see your best silken points." The mercer then did presently show him some of seven groats a dozen. Then he paid fourteen groats for two dozen, and said to the master of defence: "There is one dozen for you, and one dozen for me." This was one of the valiant fencers that came from beyond the seas, to teach Englishmen how to fight, and this was one of the many frays, that I have heard of, that ever he made in England, wherein he showed himself a far better man in his life, than in his profession he was. For he professed arms, but in his life a better Christian. He set forth in print a book for the use of the rapier and dagger, the which he called his practice, I have read it over, and because I find therein neither true rule for the perfect teaching of the true fight, nor true ground of the true fight, neither sense nor reason for due proof thereof. I have thought it frivolous to recite any part therein contained: yet that the truth thereof may appear, let two men being well experienced in the rapier and dagger fight, chose any of the best branches in the same book, & make trial with force and agility, without which the truth between the true & false fight cannot be known, & they shall find great imperfections therein. And again, for proof that there is no truth, neither in his rules, grounds or rapier fight, let trial be made in this manner31. Set two unskillful men together at the rapier and dagger, being valiant, and you shall see, that once in two bouts there shall either one or both of them be hurt. Then set two skillful men together, being valiant at the rapier and dagger, and they shall do the like. Then set a skillful rapier and dagger man, the best that can be had, and valiant man having no skill together at rapier & dagger, and once in two bouts upon my credit in all the experience I have in fight, the unskillful man, do the other what he can for his life for the contrary, shall hurt him, and most commonly if it were in continuance of fight, you shall see the unskillful man to have the advantage. And if I should choose a valiant man for service of the prince, or to take part with me or any friend of mine in a good quarrel, I would chose the unskillful man, because unencumbered with false fights, because such a man stands free in his valor with strength and agility of body, freely takes the benefit of nature, fights most brave, by loosing no opportunity, either soundly to hurt his enemy, or defend himself. But the other standing for his defence, upon cunning Italian wards, Punta reversa, the Imbrocata, Stocata, and being fast tied unto these false fights, stands troubled in his wits, and nature thereby racked through the largeness or false lyings or spaces, whereby he is in his fight as a man half maimed, loosing the opportunity of times and benefit of nature, & whereas before being ignorant of these false rapier fights, standing in the free liberty of nature given to him by God, he was able in the field with his weapons to answer the most valiant man in the world, but now being tied unto that false, fickle uncertain fight, thereby has lost in nature his freedom, is now become scarce half a man, and every boy in that fight is become as good a man as himself.
|| This Vincentio proued himſelfe a ſtout man not long before he died , that it might be ſeene in his life time he had bene a gallant, and therefore no maruaile he tooke vpon him ſo highly to teach Engliſhmen to fight, and to let forth bookes of the feates of Armes. Vpon a time at Wels in Somerſetſhire, as he was in great brauerie amongſt manie gentlemen of good accompt , with great boldneſſe he gaue out ſpeeches, that he had bene thus manie yeares in England , and ſince the time of his firſt comming , there was not yet one Engliſhman, that could once touch him at the ſingle Rapier, or Rapier and Dagger. A valiant gentleman being there amongſt the reſt, his Engliſh hart did riſe to heare this proude boaſter, ſecretly lent a meſſenger to one Bartholomew Bramble a friend of his, a verie tall man both of his hands and perſon, who kept a ſchoole of Defence in the towne, the meſſenger by the way made the maiſter of Defence acquainted with the mind of the gentleman that ſent for him, and of all what Vincentio had ſaid, this maiſter of Defence preſently came, and amongſt all the gentlemen with his cap off, prayed maiſter Vincentio, that he would be pleaſed to take a quart of wine of him. Vincentio verie ſcornefully looking vpon him, ſaid vnto him. Wherefore ſhould you giue me a quart of wine? Marie Sir, ſaid he, becauſe I heare you are a famous man at your weapon . Then preſently ſaid the gentleman that ſent for the maiſter of Defence: Maiſter Vincentio, I pray you bid him welcome, he is a man of your profeſſion. My profeſſion ſaid Vincentio? what is my profeſſion. Then ſaid the gentleman, he is a maiſter of the noble ſcience of Defence. Why ſaid maiſter Vincētio, God make him a good man. But the maiſter of Defence wold not thus leaue him, but prayed him againe he would be pleaſed to take a quart of wine of him. Thē ſaid Vincetio, I haue no need of thy wine. Then ſaid the maiſter of Defence : Sir I haue a ſchoole of Defence in the towne, will it pleaſe you to go thither. Thy ſchoole, ſaid maiſter Vincentio? what ſhall I do at thy ſchoole? play with me (ſaid the maiſter) at the Rapier and Dagger, if it pleaſe you. Play with thee ſaid maiſter Vincentio? if I play with thee, I will hit thee 1. 2. 3. 4. thruſtes in the eie together. Then ſaid the maiſter of Defence, if you can do ſo, it is the better for you, and the worſe for me, but ſurely I can hardly beleeue that you can hit me: but yet once againe I hartily pray you good Sir, that you will go to my ſchoole, and play with me. Play with thee ſaid maiſter Vincentio (verie ſcornefully?) by God me ſcorne to play with thee. With that word ſcorne, the maiſter of Defence was verie much moued, and vp with his great Engliſh fiſt, and ſtroke maiſter Vincentio ſuch a boxe on the eare that he fell ouer and ouer , his legges iuſt againſt a Butterie hatch , whereon ſtood a great blacke lacke : the maiſter of Defence fearing the worſt, againſt Vincentio his riſing, catcht the blacke Iacke into his hand, being more then halfe full of Beere. Vincentio luſtily ſtart vp, laying his hand vpon his Dagger, & with the other hand pointed with his finger, ſaying, very well : I will cauſe to lie in the Gaile for this geare, 1. 2. 3. 4. yeares. And well ſaid the maiſter of Defence, ſince you will drinke no wine, will you pledge me in Beere? I drinke to all the cowardly knaues in England, and I thinke thee to be the verieſt coward of them all : with that he caſt all the Beere vpon him : notwithſtanding Vincentio hauing nothing but his guilt Rapier, and Dagger about him, and the other for his defence the blacke Iacke, would not at that time fight it out : but the next day met with the maiſter of Defence in the ſtreete, and ſaid vnto him, you remember how miſuſed a me yeſterday, you were to blame, me be an excellent man, me teach you how to thruſt two foote further then anie Engliſhman, but firſt come you with me : then he brought him to a Mercers ſhop, and ſaid to the Mercer, let me ſee of your beſt ſilken Pointes, the Mercer did preſently ſhew him ſome of ſeauen groates a dozen, then he payeth fourteene groates for two dozen , and ſaid to the maiſter of Defence, there is one dozen for you, and here is another for me. This was one of the vaianteſt Fencers that came from beyond the ſeas , to teach Engliſhmen to fight, and this was one of the manlieſt frayes, that I haue hard of, that euer he made in England, wherin he ſhewed himſelfe a farre better man in his life, then in his profeſſion he was, for he profeſſed armes, but in his life a better Chriſtian. He ſet forth in print a booke for the vſe of the Rapier and Dagger , the which he called his practiſe, I haue read it ouer , and becauſe I finde therein neither true rule for the perfect teaching of true fight, not true ground of true fight, neither fence or reaſon for due proofe thereof. I haue thought it friuolous to recite any part therin contained : yet that the truth hereof may appeare, let two mē being wel experienced in the Rapier and Dagger fight, chooſe any of the beſt branches in the ſame booke, & make trial with force and agility, without the which the truth betweene the true & falſe fight cannot be knowne , & they ſhall find great imperfections therein. And againe, for proofe that there is no truth, neither in his rules, groūds or Rapier-fight, let triall be made in this maner : Set two vnskilfull men together at the Rapier and Dagger, being valiant , and you ſhall fee, that once in two boutes there ſhall either one or both of them be hurt. Then ſet two skilfull men together, being valiant at the Rapier and Dagger, and they ſhall do the like. Then ſet a skilful Rapier and Dagger-man the beſt that can be had, and a valiant man hauing no skill together at Rapier & Dagger, and once in two bouts vpon my credit in all the experience I haue in fight, the vnskilful man, do the other what he can for his life to the contrarie, ſhall hurt him, and moſt commonly if it were in continuance of fight, you ſhall ſee the vnskilfull man to haue the aduantage. And if I ſhould chuſe a valiant man for ſeruice of the Prince, or to take part with me or anie friend of mine in a good quarrell, I would chuſe the vnskilfull man, being vnencombred with falſe fights, becauſe ſuch a man ſtandeth free in his valour with ſtrength and agilitie of bodie, freely taketh the benefit of nature, fighteth moſt braue, by looſing no oportunitie, either ſoundly to hurt his enemie, or defend himſelfe, but the other ſtanding for his Defence, vpon his cunning Italian wardes, Pointa reuerſa, the Imbrocata, Stocata, and being faſt tyed vnto theſe falſe fightes, ſtandeth troubled in his wits, and nature therby racked through the largeneſſe or falſe lyings or Spaces, whereby he is in his fight as a man halfe maimed, loofing the oportunity of times & benefit of nature, & whereas before being ignorant of theſe falſe Rapier fightes, ſtanding in the free libertie of nature giuen him by god, he was able in the field with his weapō to anſwere the valianteſt man in the world, but now being tied vnto that falſe fickle vncertaine fight, thereby hath loſt in nature his freedome, is now become ſcarce halfe a man, and euerie boye in that fight is become as good a man as himſelfe.
| Jeronimo: this gallant was valiant, and would fight indeed, and did, as you shall hear. He being in a coach with a wench that he loved well, there was one Cheese, a very tall man, in his fight natural English, for he fought with his sword and dagger, and in rapier fight had no skill at all. This Cheese having a quarrel to Jeronimo, overtook him upon the way, himself being on horseback, did call to Jeronimo, and bade him come forth of the coach or he would fetch him, for he was come to fight with him. Jeronimo presently went forth of the coach and drew his rapier and dagger, put himself into his best ward or Stocata, which ward was taught by himself and Vincentio, and by them best allowed of, to be the best ward to stand upon in fight for life, either to assault the enemy, or stand and watch his coming, which ward it should seem he ventured his life upon, but howsoever with all the fine Italianated skill Jeronimo had, Cheese with his sword within two thrusts ran him into the body and slew him. Yet the Italian teachers will say, that an Englishman cannot thrust straight with a sword, because the hilt will not suffer him to put the forefinger upon the blade, nor to hold the pommel in the hand, whereby we are of necessity to hold fast the handle in the hand. By reason whereof we are driven to thrust both compass and short, whereas with the rapier they can thrust both straight and much further than we can with the sword, because of the hilt. And these are the reasons they make against the sword.
| Ieronimo this gallant was valiant, and would fight indeed, and did, as you ſhall heare. He being in a Coch with a wench that he loued well, there was one Cheeſe, a verie tall man, in his fight naturall Engliſh, for he fought with his Sword and Dagger, and in Rapier-fight had no skill at all. This Cheeſe hauing a quarrell to Ieronimo, ouertooke him vpon the way, himſelfe being on horſebacke, did call to Ieronimo, and bad him come forth of the Coch or he would fetch him, for he was come to fight with him. Ieronimo preſently went forth of the Coch and drew his Rapier and dagger, put himſelf into his beſt ward or Stocata, which ward was taught by himſelfe and Vincentio, and by them beſt allowed of, to be the beſt ward to ſtand vpon in fight for life, either to aſſault the enemie, or ſtand and watch his comming, which ward it ſhould ſeeme he ventured his life vpon, but howſoeuer with all the fine Italienated skill Ieronimo had, Cheeſe with his Sword within two thruſtes ran him into the bodie and ſlue him. Yet the Italian teachers will ſay, that an Engliſhmā cannot thruſt ſtraight with a Sword, becauſe the hilt will not ſuffer him to put the forefinger ouer the Croſſe, nor to put the thumbe vpon the blade, nor to hold the pummell in the hand, whereby we are of neceſſitie to hold faſt the handle in the hand : by reaſon whereof we are driuen to thruſt both compaſſe and ſhort, whereas with the Rapier they can thruſt both ſtraight and much further then we can with the Sword, becauſe of the hilt: and theſe be the reaſons they make againſt the Sword.
Brief Instructions upon My Paradoxes of Defence
| BRIEF INSTRUCTIONS UPON MY PARADOXES OF DEFENCE for the true handling of all manner of weapons together with the four grounds and the four governors which governors are left out in my paradoxes without the knowledge of which no man may fight safe.
by George Silver Gentleman
| Bref Instructions Vpõ My Pradoxes Of Defence for the true handling of all Mannr of weapons together wt the fower grownds & the fower gournors wch gouernours are left out in my pradoxes wtout the knowledge of wch no Man can fight saf
By George Silver Gentleman
| TO THE READER.
For as much as in my Paradoxes of Defence I have admonished men to take heed of false teachers of defence, yet once again in these my brief instructions I do the like, because divers have written books treating of the noble science of defence, wherein they rather teach offence than defence, rather showing men thereby how to be slain than to defend themselves from the danger of their enemies, as we may daily see to the great grief and overthrow of many brave gentlemen and gallant of our ever victorious nation of Great Britain, and therefore for the great love and care that I have for the well doing and preservation (?) of my countrymen, seeing their daily ruin and utter overthrow of the diverse gallant gentlemen and others which trust only to that imperfect fight of that rapier, yes (?) although they daily see their own overthrow and slaughter thereby, yet because they are trained up therein, they think and do fully persuade themselves that there is no fight so excellent and whereas among diverse other their opinions yet leads them to this errors one of that chiefest is, because there be so many slain with these weapons and therefore they hold them so excellent, but these things do chiefly happen, first because their fight is imperfect for that they use neither the perfect grounds of true fight, neither yet the four governors without which no man can fight safe, neither do they use such other rules which are required in the right use of perfect defence, and also their weapons for the most part being of an imperfect length, must of necessity make an imperfect defence because they cannot use them in due time and place, for had these valorous minded men the right perfection of the true fight with the short sword and also of other weapons of perfect length, I know that men would come safer out of the field from such bloody bankets and that such would be their perfections herein that it would save many hundred mens lives. But how should men learn perfection out of such rules as nothing else but very imperfection itself? And as it is not fit for a man which desires the clear light of the day to go down into the bottom of a deep and dark dungeon, believing to find it there, so is it as impossible for men to find perfect knowledge of this noble science where as in all their teachings every thing is attempted and acted upon imperfect rules, for there is but one truth in all things, which I wish very heartily were taught and practiced here among us, and that those imperfect and murderous kind of false fights might be by them abolished. Leave now to quaff and gulp no longer of that filthy and brineish puddle, seeing you may now drink of that fresh and clear spring.
| To The Reader.
For as much as in my padoxes of Defence I haue admonyſhed Men to take heede of falſe teachers of Defence, yet once againe in these my bref inſtructions I do the lyke, becauſe Diuers have wryten books treating of the noble ſcience of Defence, wherin they rather teach offence then Defence, rather ſhewing men therby how to be ſlayne than to defend them ſelves frõ the Dangr of their enemys, as we may dayly ſe to the great grief & ouerthrowe of many braue gentlemen & gallent of or ever victorious nation of great brytaine, And therforefor the great loue & Care yt I haue for the well Doing & prſ,vation of my Countrymen, ſeeing their Dayly ruens & vtter> ourthrow of Diurs gallant gent: & others wch trust only to that Impfyt fyght of yt Rapior, yeaſe although they Deyly ſe their owne ourthrowes & ſlaughter therby, yet becaus they are trayned vp therin, they thinke & do fully pſwade them ſelues that ther is no fight ſo excellent & wher as amongſt divrs other their oppynyons yt leadeth them to this errous on of yt cheifeſt is, becauſe ther be ſo many ſlayne wt theſe weapons & therfore they hold them ſo exelent but theſe thinges do cheifly happen, firſt becauſe their fyght is Imprfyt for that they vſe nether the prfyt gronds of true fyght, nether yet the 4 gournors wtout wch no man can fight ſaf, nether do they vſe such other rules wchare required in the right vſe of prfyt defence, and also their weapons for ye most prte beinge of an Imprfyt length, muſt of neceſſytie make an Imprfyt Defence becauſe they Cannot vſe them in due tyme & place, for had theſe valerous mynded men the right prfection of the true fyght wt the ſhort ſword, & alſo of other weapons of pryft length, I know yt men would com ſaffer out of the field frõ ſuch bloddye bankets & that ſuch would be their prfections her in, that it would ſaue many 100 mens lyues. But how ſhould men lerne prfection out of ſuch rules as are nothing els but very Imprfectiõ it ſelf. And as it is not fyt for a man wch deſyreth ye clere lyght of the Day to go downe into the bottom of a deepe & Darke Dungion, belyvinge to fynd it there, ſo is it as Impoſſyble for men to fynd the prfyt knowledge of this noble ſcience wher as in all their teachings every thinge is attempted & acted vpõ Imprfyt rules, for ther is but one truth in all things, wch I wiſh very hartely were taught & practysed here amongſt vs, & yt thoſe Imprfyt & murtherous kynde of falſe fyghts might be by them abolyſhed. Leaue now to quaf & gull any Longer of that fylthy brynyſh puddle, seeing yõ may now drink of yt freſh & clere ſprynge.
|O that men for their defence would but give their mind to practice the true fight indeed and learn to bear true British wards for their defence, which if they had it in perfect practice, I speak it of my own knowledge that those imperfect Italian devices with rapier and poniard would be clean cast aside and of no account of all such as blind affections do not lead beyond the bounds of reason. Therefore for the very zealous and unfeigned love that I bear unto your high and royal person my countrymen pitying their causes that so may brave men should be daily murdered and spoiled for want of true knowledge of this noble science and as some imagine to be, only the excellence of the rapier fight, and where as my paradoxes of defence is to the most sort as a dark riddle in many things therein set down, therefore I have now this second time taken pains to write these few brief instructions there upon where by they may better attain to the truth of this science and laying open here all such things as was something intricate for them to understand in my paradoxes and therefore yet I have the full perfection and knowledge of the perfect use of all manner of weapons, it does embolden me here to write for the better instruction of the unskillful.||O that men for their Defence would but geve their mynde to practiſe the true fyght in deed, & lerne to bere true brytiſh wards for thire defence, wch yf they had it in prfyt practyſe, I ſpeak it of myne owne knowledge yt thoſe Imprfyt Italyon Devyſes wt rapyor & poynardwould be clene caſt aſyde & of no account of al ſuch as blind offections do not lead beyond the bonds of reaſon. Therfore for the verye zealous & unfayned loue yt I beare vnto yor high & royal prſon my Cuntrymen pyttiing their cauſes yt ſo many braue men ſhould bedayly murthered, & spoyled for want of true knowledge of this noble ſcience & not as ſom Imagyn to be, only ye excelence of ye rapior fyght, & wher as my padoxes of defence is to the most sorte as a darke ryddle in many things ther in ſet downe, therfore I have now this ſecond tyme taken ſom paynes to write theſe few breef Inſtructions ther uppõ wher by they may the better attayne to the truth of this ſcyence & laying open here all ſuch things as was ſom thinge Intrycat for them to vndrſtand in my prdoxes & therfor yt I haue the fulprfectiõ & knowledge of the prfyt vſe of all mannr of weapons, it Doth embolden me here in to wryte for the better Inſtructiõ of the Vnſkylfull.|
|And I have added to these my brief instructions certain necessary admonitions which I wish every man not only to know but also to observe and follow, chiefly all such as are desirous to enter into the right usage and knowledge of their weapons and also I have thought it good to annex here unto my paradoxes of defence because in these my brief instructions, I have referred the reader to divers rules therein set down.||And I haue added to theſe my breef Inſtructions crtaine neceſarie admonytions wch I wiſh every man not only to know, but alſo to obſrve & follow, Chiefly al ſuch as are deſyrous to enter into the right vſage & knowledge of their weapons, & alſo I haue thought it good to Annexe here vnto my prdoxes of Defence because in theſe my bref Inſtructions, I haue referred ye reader to divrs rules ther in ſet down.|
|This I have written for an infallible truth and a note of remembrance to our gallant gentlemen & others of our brave minded nation of Great Britain, which here be minded to defend themselves and to win honor in the field by their actions of arms and single combats.||This haue I wryten for an Infallible truth & a note of remembrance to or gallant gent: & others of or brave mynded Nation of great bryttaine, wch bere a mynde to defend them ſelues & to wyn honour in the feeld by their Actions of armes & ſyngle Combats.|
|And know that I write not this for vainglory, but out of an entire love that I owe unto my native countrymen, as one who laments their losses, sorry that so great an error should be so carefully nourished as a serpent in their bosoms to their utter confusion, as of long time have been seen, whereas they would but seek the truth here in they were easily abolished, therefore follow the truth and fly ignorance.||And know yt I write not this for vaineglorie, but out of An entyre loue yt I owe vnto my natyve Cuntrymen, as on who lamentith their Loſſes, ſorrye yt ſo great an errour ſhould be ſo Carefully noryſhed as a ſrpant in their boſoms to their vttr confusfyõ, as of long tymehaue byn ſeene, wher as yf they would but ſeeke the truth her in they were eaſyly abolyshed, therfore follow the truth & fly Ignorance.|
| And consider that learning has no greater enemy than ignorance, neither can the unskillful ever judge the truth of my art to them unknown, beware of rash judgment and accept my labors thankfully as I bestow them willingly, censure me justly, let no man despise my work herein causeless, and so I refer myself to the censure of such as are skillful herein and I commit you to the protection of the almighty Jehovah.
|| And conſydr yt learnyng hath no greater enemye than Ignorance, nether can the vnſkylfull euer Judge the truth of my arte to them unknowen, beware of raſh Judgement & accept my labours as thankfully as I beſtow them willingly, cenſuer me Justly, let no man Diſpiſe myworke herin Cauſeles, & ſo I refere my ſelf to the cenſuer of ſuch as are skylful herin & ſo I cõmyt yõ to the prtection of the almyghty Jehovah.
| ADMONITIONS to the gentlemen and brave gallants of Great Britain against quarrels and brawls written by George Siluer. Gent.
Whereas I have declared in my paradoxes of defence of the false teaching of the noble science of defence used here by the Italian fencers willing men therein to take heed how they trusted there unto sufficient reasons and proofs why.
| Admonytions To The Gentlemen & Brave Gallants Of Great Britaine Against Quarrels & Braules Writen By George Siluer. Gent.
Wheras I have declaired in my prdoxes of defence of the falſe teachinge of the noble ſcyence of defence vſed here by the Italyon fencers willing men therin to take heed how they trusted ther vnto wt ſuffytient reaſons & profs why.
|And whereas there was a book written by Vincentio an Italian teacher whose ill using practices and unskillful teaching were such that it has cost the lives of many of our brave gentlemen and gallants, the uncertainty of whose false teaching does yet remain to the daily murdering and overthrow of many, for he and the rest of them did not teach defence but offence, as it does plainly appear by those that follow the same imperfect fight according to their teaching or instructions by the orders from them proceeding, for be the actors that follow them never so perfect or skillful therein one or both of them are either sore hurt or slain in their encounters and fights, and if they allege that we use it not rightly according to the perfection thereof, and therefore cannot defend ourselves, to which I answer if themselves had any perfection therein, and that their teaching had been a truth, themselves would not have been beaten and slain in their fights, and using of their weapons, as they were.||And wher as ther was a booke wryten by Vincentio an Italiõ teacher whoſe yll vſinge practiſes & vnſkylfull teaching were ſuch yt it hath coſt the lyves of many of or brave gentlemen & gallants, the vncrtaintye of whoſe falſe teaching doth yet remayne to ye daylymurthering & ouer throw of many, for he & the reſt of them did not teach Defence but offence, as it doth playnlye appere by thoſe yt follow the ſame Imprfyt fyght according to their teaching or inſtructiõs by the orders from them prceedinge, for be the actors yt follow them neuer so prfyt or ſkylfull therin one or both of them are eyther ſore hurt of ſlaine in their Incountrs & fyghts, & yf they alledge yt we vſe it not rightly according to ye prfectiõ therof, & therfore cannot defend or ſelues, to wch I anſwer yf themſelues had had anyprfection therin, & that their teaching had byn a truth, themſelues would not have byn beaten & ſlayne in their fyghts, & vſing of their weapons, as they were.|
|And therefore I prove where a man by their teaching can not be safe in his defence following their own ground of fight then is their teaching offence and not defence, for in true fight against the best no hurt can be done. And if both have the full perfection of true fight, then the one will not be able to hurt the other at what perfect weapon so ever.||And therfore I proue wher a man by their teaching can not be ſaf in his defence following their owne grounde of fyght then is their teaching offence & not defence, for in true fyght againſt the beſt no hurt can be don. And yf both haue the full prfection of true fyght, then one will not be able to hurt the other at what prfyt weapon ſo ever.|
|For it cannot be said that if a man go to the field and cannot be sure to defend himself in fight and to come safe home, if God be not against him whether he fight with a man of skill or no skill it may not be said that such a man is master of the noble science of defence, or that he has the perfection of the true fight, for if both have the perfection of their weapons, if by any device, one should be able to hurt the other, there were no perfection in the fight of weapons, and this firmly hold in your mind for a general rule, to be the hayth(?) and perfection of the true handling of all manner of weapons.||For it cannot be ſayd yt yf a man go to the feld & cannot be ſure to defend him ſelf in fight & to com ſaf home, yf goid be not againſt him whither he fyght wt a man of ſkyll of no ſkil it may not be ſaid yt ſuch a man is Mastr of the Noble ſcyence of defence, or that he hath the prfection of true fyght; for yf both haue the prfection of their weapons, yf by any Device, on ſhould be able to hurt the other, ther were no prfection in the fyght of weapons, & this firmely hold in yor mynd for a generall rule, to be the hayth & prfection of the true handling of al maner of weapons.|
|And also whereas that said Vincentio in that same book has written discourses of honor and honorable quarrels, making many reasons to prove means and ways to enter the field and combat, both for the lie and other disgraces, all which diabolical devices tends only to villainy and destruction as hurting, maiming and murdering or killing.||And alſo wheras yt ſaid Vincentio in yt ſame booke hath written diſcours of honour & honorable quarrels making many reaſons to prve meanes & ways to enter ye feeld &cõbat, both for the lye & other diſgraces, al wch diabolicall devyces tendeth only to villayne &diſtruction as hurtynge, Maymynge & Murtheringe or kyllinge.|
|Animating the minds of young gentlemen and gallants to follow those rules to maintain their honors and credits, but the end thereof for the most part is either killing or hanging or both to the utter undoing and great grief of themselves and their friends, but then to late to call it again. They consider not the time and place that we live in, nor do not thoroughly look into the danger of the law 'til it be too late, and for that in divers other countries in these things they have a larger scope than we have in these our days.||Annymating ye mynds of yonge gentlemen & gallants to follow those rules to maintaine their honors & credits, but the end ther of for the moſt prte is eyther kyllinge or hanginge or both to their vtter vndoinge & great gref of themſelues, & their friends, but then to late to call it againe. they conſyder not the tyme & place that we lyue in, nor do not throughly looke into the danger of the lawe til it be too late, & for that in diuers other cuntryes in theſe things they have a larger ſcope than we have in these our dayes.|
|Therefore it behooves us not upon every abuse offered whereby our blood shall be inflamed, or our choler kindled, presently with the sword or with the stab, or by force of arms to seek revenge, which is the proper nature of wild beasts in their rage so to do, being void of the use of reason, which thing should not be in men of discretion so much to Degenerate, but he that will not endure an injury, but will seek revenge, then he ought to do it by civil order and proof, by good and wholesome laws, which are ordained for such causes, which is a thing far more fit and requisite in a place of so civil a government as we live in, then is the other, and who so follow these my admonitions shall be accounted as valiant a man as he that fights and far wiser. For I see no reason why a man should adventure his life and estate upon every trifle, but should rather put up divers abuses offered unto him, because it is agreeable to the laws of God and our country.||Therfore it behoveth vs not upõ euery abuſe offered wher by or bloud ſhalbe Inflamed, or or choler kindled prſently wt the ſword of wt the ſtabb, or by force of Armes to ſeeke Reuenge, wch is the propre nature of wild beaſts in their rage ſo to do, being voyde of the vſe of reaſon, wch thinge ſhould not be in Men of diſcreatiõ ſo much to Degenerate, but he yt wil not endure an Iniurye, but will seeke revenge, then he ought to do it by Cyvill Order & prof, by good & holſom lawes, wch are ordayned for ſuch Cauſes, wch is a thinge far more fyt& requiſted in a place of ſo Cyvell a gournment as we lyve in, then is the other, & who ſo followt these my Admonycions ſhalbe accounted as valyent a Man as he yt fyghteth & farr wyſer. for I ſee no reaſon why a Man ſhould adventure hys lyf & esftate vpõ every tryfle, but ſhould rather put vp diurs abuſes offerd vnto him, becauſe it is agreeable both to the Lawes of god & or Cuntrye.|
|Why should not words be answered with words again, but if a man by his enemy be charged with blows then may he lawfully seek the best means to defend himself and in such a case I hold it fit to use his skill and to show his force by his deeds, yet so, that his dealing be not with full rigor to the others confusion if possible it may be eschewed.||Why ſhould not words be Anſwered wt words againe, but yf a Man by his enemye be charged wt blowes then may he Lawfully ſeeke the beſt meanes to defend him self, & In ſuch a Caſe I hold it fyt to vſe his ſkyll & to ſhow his force by his Deeds, yet ſo, yt his dealyngebe not wt full Rygour to the others conſuſyon yf poſſyble it may be eſchewed.|
|Also take heed how you appoint the field with your enemy publicly because our laws do not permit it, neither appoint to meet him in private sort lest you wounding him he accuse you of felony saying you have robbed him, etc. Or he may lay company close to murder you and then report he did it himself valiantly in the field.||Alſo take heed how yõ appoynt the field wt yor Enemye publickly because or Lawes do not prmyt yt, neyther appoint to meet him in pryvat ſort lest yõ wounding him he accuſe yõ of fellownye ſaying you have robbed him &c. Or he may laye companye cloſely to Murtheryou & then to report he dyd it him ſelf valyently in the feld.|
|Also take heed of your enemy's stratagems, lest he find means to make you look aside upon something, or cause you to show whether you have on a privy coat, and so when you look from him, he hurt or kill you.||Alſo take heed of thyne Enemyes Stratagems, leſt he fynd Meanes to make yõ to looke a syde vpõ ſomthing, of cauſe yõ to ſhew whether yõ have on a prvye Coat, & ſo when you Looke from him, he hurt or kyll you.|
|Take not arms upon every light occasion, let not one friend upon a word or trifle violate another but let each man zealously embrace friendship, and turn not familiarity into strangeness, kindness into malice, nor love into hatred, nourish not these strange and unnatural alterations.||Take not armes vpõ every light occaſyon, let not one fryend vpon a word or a tryfle violate another but let ech man zealouſly embrace fryendſhyp, & turne not famylyaritie into ſtrangnes, kyndnes into mallice, nor loue into hatred, noriſh not theſe ſtrange & vnnaturall Alterations.|
|Do not wickedly resolve one to seek to the other's overthrow, do not confirm to end your malice by fight because for the most part it ends by death.||Do not wyckedly reſolue one to ſeeke the others ourthrowe, do not confyrme to end thy Mallice by fight becauſe for the moſt prte yt endeth by Death.|
|Consider when these things were most used in former ages they sought not so much by envy the ruin and destruction one of another, they never took trial by sword but in the defence of innocence to maintain blotless honor.||Conſyder when theſe things were moſt vſed in former Ages they ſought not ſo much by envye the ruen & diſtruction on of another. they never tooke tryall by ſword but in defence of Innocencye to maintayne blotleſs honour.|
|Do not upon every trifle make an action of revenge, or of defence.||Do not vpon Euery tryfle make an Action of revenge, or of Defyance.|
|Go not into the field with your friend at his entreaty to take his part but first know the manner of the quarrel how justly or unjustly it grew, and do not therein maintain wrong against right, but examine the cause of the controversy, and if there be reason for his rage to lead him to that mortal resolution.||Go not into the feeld wt thy fryend at his Intreatye to take his prte but firſt know ye mannr of ye quarrell how Juſtly or vniuſtlye it grow, & do not ther in maintaine wronge againſt ryght, but examyne the cauſe of the contravercye, & yf ther be reaſon for his rage to lead him to yt mortall reſolution.|
|Yet be the cause never so just, go not with him neither further nor suffer him to fight if possible it may be by any means to be otherwise ended and will him not to enter into so dangerous an action, but leave it until necessity requires it.||Yet be the cauſe neuer ſo Juſt, go not wt him neyther further nor ſuffer him to fight yf poſſyble it may by any meanes be otherwyſe ended & wyll him not to enter into so dangerous an action, but leaue it till necceſytie requireth it.|
|And this I hold to be the best course for it is foolishness and endless trouble to cast a stone at every dog that barks at you. This noble science is not to cause one man to abuse another injuriously but to use it in their necessities to defend them in just causes and to maintain their honor and credits.||And this I hold to be the beſt Courſe for it is fooliſhness & endleſſe troble to caſt a ſtone at euery Dogge yt barks at you. this noble ſcyence is not to cauſe on man to abuſe another iniuriosſlye but to vſe it in their neceſſyties to defend them in their Juſt Cauſes & tomaintaine thier honour & Credits.|
|Therefore fly all rashness, pride and doing of injury all foul faults and errors herein, presume not upon this, and thereby to think it lawful to offer injury to any, think not yourself invincible, but consider that often a very wretch has killed a tall man, but he that has humanity, the more skillful he is in this noble science, the more humble, modest and virtuous he should show himself both in speech and action, no liar, no vaunter nor quarreller, for these are the causes of wounds, dishonor and death.||Therfore flye al raſhnes, pryde, & doynge of Iniurie all foule faults & errours herin, prſume not on this, & therbye to think it lawfull to offer Iniurye to Anye, think not yorſelf Invincible, but conſyder yt often a verye wretch hath kylled a taule man, but he yt hathhumanytie, the more skylful he is in this noble ſcience, the more humble, modeſt, & Vrtuous he ſhould ſhew him ſelf both in ſpeech & Action, no lyer, no vaunter nor quarreller, for theſe are the cauſes of Wounds, Diſhonour & Death.|
|If you talk with great men of honorable quality with such chiefly have regarde to frame your speeches and answers so reverently, that a foolish word, or forward answer give no occasion of offence for often they breed deadly hatred, cruel murders and extreme ruin etc.||Yf you talke wt great men of honourable qualitie wt ſuch chiefly haue regarde to frame yor ſpeeches & Anſwer ſo reverent, yt a fooliſh word, or froward Anſwer geve no occaſyon of offence for often they breed Deadly hatred, Cruell murthers & extreem ruens &c.|
| Ever shun all occasions of quarrels, but marshal (martial) men chiefly generals and great commanders should be excellent skillful in the noble science of defence, thereby to be able to answer quarrels, combats and challenges in defence of their prince and country.
| Ever ſhun al occaſyons of quarrels, but marſhall men cheiflye generals & great com̅anders ſhould be exelent skylfull in the noble ſcience of defence, therby to be able to anſwer quarrels, Combats & Chalenges in Defence of their prince & Cuntry.
| Brief Instructions upon my Paradoxes of Defence for the true handling of all manner of weapons together with the four grounds and the four governors which governors are left out in my paradoxes without the knowledge of which no man can fight safe.
The four grounds or principals of that true fight at all manner of weapons are these four, viz.
| Bref Inſtructions vpõ my pradoxes of Defence for the trye handlying of all Mannr of weapons together wt the fower grownds & the fower gournors wch gouernours are left out in my pradoxes wtout the knowledge of wch no Man can fight ſaf.
The fower grownds or principls of yt true fyght at all manner of Weapons are theſe 4, viz.
|The reason whereof these 4 grounds or principals be the first and chief, are the following, because through judgment, you keep your distance, through distance you take your time, through time you safely win or gain the place of your adversary, the place being won or gained you have time safely either to strike, thrust, ward, close, grip, slip or go back, in which time your enemy is disappointed to hurt you, or to defend himself, by reason that he has lost his place, the reason that he has lost his true place is by the length of time through the numbering of his feet, to which he is out of necessity driven to that will be agent.||The reaſon wherof theſe 4 grownds or prnciples be the fyrſt & cheefeſt, are the followinge, becauſe through Judgement, yõ kepe yor dyſtance, through Diſtance yõ take yor Tyme, through Tyme yõ ſafly wyne or gayne the Place of yor adurſarie, the Place beinge woon orgayned yõ haue tyme ſafly eyther to ſtryke, thruſt, ward, cloze, grype, ſlyp or go back, in the wch tyme yor enemye is diſapoynted to hurt yõ, or to defend himself, by reason that he hath loſt his true Place, the reaſon yt he hath loſt his True place is by the length of Tymethrough the numbr of his feet to wch he is of neceſſytie Dryven to yt wilbe Agent.|
| The 4 governors are those that follow
|| The 4 gournors are thoſe yt follow.
| Certain general rules which must be observed in that perfect use of all kind of weapons.
1. First when you come into the field to encounter with your enemy, observe well the scope, evenness and unevenness of your ground, put yourself in readiness with your weapon, before your enemy comes within distance, set the sun in his face traverse if possible you can, still remembering your governors.
| Certaine general rules wch muſt be obſyved in yt prfyt vſe of al kynde of weapons
1. Fyrſt when you com into the feeld to encounter wt yor Enemy, obſyve wel the ſcope, Evenness & vneunnes of yor grounde, put yorſelf in redynes wt yor weapon, before yor enemye Com wtin diſtance, ſet the ſvnn in his face travers yf poſſible yõ can ſtillremembrynge yor gournors.
| 2. Let all your lying be such as shall best like yourself, ever considering out what fight your enemy charges you, but be sure to keep your distance, so that neither head, arms, hands, body, nor legs be within his reach, but that he must first of necessity put in his foot or feet, at which time you have the choice of 3 actions by which you may endanger him & go free yourself.
|| 2. Let all yor lyinge be ſuch as ſhal beſt like yorſelf. euer conſyderinge out what fyght yor Enemye chargeth yõ, but be ſure to kepe yor diſtance, ſo yt nether hed, Armes, hands, body, nor legges be wtin hys reach, but yt he muſt fyrſt of neceſſytie put in his foote or feet, at wch tyme yõ haue the Choyſe of iij Actions by the wch yõ may endangr him & go free yorſelf.
|But ever remember that in the first motion of your adversary towards you, that you slide a little back so shall you be prepared in due time to perform any of the 3 actions aforesaid by disappointing him of his true place whereby you shall safely defend yourself & endanger him.||but euer remember yt in the fyrſt motion of your Adverſarye towarde yõ, yt yõ ſlyde a lyttle back ſo ſhall yõ be prpred in due tyme to prforme anye of the iij Actions Aforeſaid, by diſdappointynge him of his true place, wherebyyõ ſhall ſaflye defend yorſelf & endanger him.|
|Remember also that if through fear or policy, he strike or thrust short, & therewith go back, or not go back, follow him upon your twofold governors, so shall your ward & slip be performed in like manner as before, & you yourself still be safe.||remember alſo yt yf through fear or polyſye, he strike or thuſt ſhort, & ther wt go back, or not go back, follow him vpon yor twofold gournors, ſo ſhall yor warde & ſlype be prformed in lyke mannr as before, & yorſelf ſtil be ſaf.|
|3. Keep your distance & suffer not your adversary to win or gain the place of you, for if he shall so do, he may endanger to hurt or kill you. Know what the place is, when one may strike or thrust home without putting in of his foot.||3. Kepe yor dyſtance & ſuffer not yor adurſarie to wyn or gayne the place of you, for yf he ſhall ſo do, he may endanger to hurt or kyll you. Know yt the place is, when on may ſtryke or thruſt home wtout puttinge in of his foot.|
|It may be objected against this last ground, that men do often strike & thrust at the half sword & the same is perfectly defended, where to I answer that the defence is perfectly made by reason that the warder has true space before the striker or thruster is in force or entered into his action.||Yt may be obiected againſt thys laſt ground, yt men do often ſtrike & thruſt at the half ſword, & yet the ſame is prfytly defended, wher to ansfwer yt that defence is prfytly made by reason yt the warder hath his true ſpace before the ſtryker or thruſter is in his force or entred into his action.|
|Therefore always do prevent both blow & thrust, the blow by true space, & the thrust by narrow space that is true crossing it before the same come in to their full force, otherwise the hand of the agent being as swift as the hand of the patient, the hand of the agent being the first mover, must of necessity strike or thrust that part of the patient which shall be struck or thrust at because the time of the hand to the time of the hand, being of like swiftness the first mover has the advantage.||Therfor alwaies do prvent both blow & thruſt, the blow by true ſpace, & the thruſt by narrow ſpace yt is true croſſinge it before the ſame com into their full force, other wyſe the hand of the Agent beinge as ſwyft as ye hand of the patient, the hand of ye Agent beinge the fyrsft mour, muſt of necessytie ſtrike of thruſt yt prte of ye patient wch ſhalbe ſtryken or thruſt at becauſe the tyme of yt hand to the tyme of ye hand, beinge of lyke ſwyftnes the fyrſtmour hath ye aduantage.|
|4. When your enemy shall press upon you, he will be open in one place or other, both at single & double weapon, or at least he will be to weak in his ward upon such pressing, then strike or thrust at such open or weakest part that you shall find nearest.||4. When yor enemy ſhall preſs vpon you, he wilbe Open in one place or other, both at ſyngal & dubble weapon, or at the leaſt he wilbe to weake in his ward vpon ſuch prſſinge, then ſtrike or thruſt at such open or weakeſt prte ytyo ſhal fynd neereſt.|
|5. When you attempt to win the place, do it upon guard, remembering your governors, but when he presses upon you & gains you the place, then strike or thrust at him in his coming in.||5. When yõ attempt to wyn the place, do it vpon gard, remembringe yor gournors, but when he prſſeth vpõ yõ & gayneth yõ The place, then ſtrike of thruſt at him in his cõmynge in|
|Or if he shall strike or thrust at you, then ward it & strike or thrust at him from your ward, & fly back instantly according to your governors, so shall you escape safely, for that first motion of the feet backward is more swift, than the first motion of the feet forward, where by your regression will be more swift, than his course in progression to annoy you, the reason is, that in the first motion of his progression his number & weight is greater than yours are, in your first motion of your regression, nevertheless all men know that the continual course of the feet forward is more swift than the continual course of the feet backwards.||Or yf he ſhal ſtryke or thruſt at yõ, then Ward it, & ſtryke of thruſt at him from yor warde, & fly backe Inſtantly accordinge to yor gournors, ſo ſhall yõ eſcape ſaflie, for that the fyrſt Motion of the feete forwarde, wher byyorregreſſyon wilbe more ſwyfter, then his courſe in prgreſſyon to Anoye you, the reaſon is, that in the fyrſt motyon of his prgreſſyon his Numbr & Waight is greater then yors are, in yor firſt motyon of yor regreſſyon, neurtheleſsal men knowe that the cõtynual courſe of the feet forwarde is more ſwyft then the Contynuall Courſe of ye feet backwards.|
|6. If your enemy lies in the variable fight, & strikes or thrusts at you then be sure to keep your distance & strike or thrust at such open part of him as are nearest unto you, at the hand, arm, head or leg of him, & go back withal.||6. yf yor enemye lye in varyable fyght, & ſtryke or thruſt at yõ then be ſure to kepe yor Diſtance & ſtrike or thruſt at ſuch open prte of him as are neereſt vnto you, viz, at the hand, Arme, hed, or legg of himm, & go back wt all,|
|7. If 2 men fight at the variable fight, & if within distance, they must both be hurt, for in such fight they cannot make a true cross, not have time truly to judge, by reason that the swift motion of the hand, being a swifter mover, then the eye deceives the eye, at what weapon soever you shall fight withal, as in my paradoxes of defence in the --- chapter thereof does appear.||7. yf ij men fight at varyable fyght. & yf wtin disftance, they must both be hurt, for in ſuch fight they Cannot make a true Croſſe, nor haue tyme trulye to Judge, by reaſon yt the ſwyft motyon of the hand, beinge a ſwyfter mouer, then the eye Deceyveth the eye, at what weapon soeuer you ſhal fyght wtall, as in my pradoxes of defence in the chapter therof doth appere.|
|8. Look to the grip of your enemy, & upon his slip take such ward as shall best fit your hand, from which ward strike or thrust, still remembering your governors.||8. Looke to the grype of yor Enemye, & vpõ his ſlype take ſuch a warde as ſhal beſt fyt your hand, from wch warde ſtrike or thruſt, sftil remembrynge yor gouernors,|
|9. If you can indirect your enemy at any kind of weapon, then you have the advantage, because he must move his feet to direct himself again, & you in the mean time may strike or thrust at him, & fly out safe, before he can offer anything at you, his time will be so long.||9. yf yõ can Indirect yor enemye at any kynde of weapon, then yõ haue the aduantage, becauſe he muſt moue his feet to direct him ſelf Againe, & yõ in the meane tyme may ſtike or thruſt at him, & fly out faſt, before he can offer anything at you, his tyme wilbe ſo longe.|
|10. When you shall ward blow & thrust, made at your right or left part, with any kind of weapon, remember to draw your hind foot a little circularly, from that part to which the same shall be made, whereby you shall stand the more apt to strike or thrust from it.||10. When you ſhal Ward blow of thruſt, made at yor right or left prte, wt any kynd of weapon, remembr to Draw yor hynde foot a lyttle crculerlye, from that prte to wch the fame ſhalbe made, wher by yõ ſhall make yor defence the more prfyt, & ſhal ſtand the more Apt to strike or thuſt from yt.|
| A declaration of all the 4 general fights to be used with the sword at double or single, long or short, & with certain particular rules to them annexed.
1. Open fight is to carry your hand and hilt aloft above your head, either with point upright, or point backward, which is best, yet use that, which you shall find most apt, to strike, thrust, or ward.
| A declaraton of al the 4 generall fyghts to be uſed wt the ſword at dubble of ſyngle, longe or ſhort, & wt Certaine prticuler rules to them Annexed.
1. Open fyght is to Carrye yor hand & hylt a loft aboue yor hed, eyther wt poynt vpright, or point backwards wch is beſt, yet vse that wch yõ ſhall fynd moſt apteſt, to ſtrike, thruſt, or ward.
|2. Guardant fight in general is of 2 sorts, the first is true guardant fight, which is either perfect or imperfect.||2. Gardant fyght in genrall is of ij ſorts, ye fyrsft is true gardant fyght, wch is eyther prfyt or Imprfyt.|
|The perfect is to carry your hand & hilt above your head with your point down towards your left knee, with your sword blade somewhat near your body, not bearing out your point but rather declining it a little towards your said knee, that your enemy cross not your point & so hurt you, stand bolt upright in his fight, & if he offers to press in then bear your head & body a little backward.||The prfyt is to carry yor hand & hylt aboue yor hed wt yor poynt doune to wards yor left knee, wt yor ſword blade ſomewhat neer yor bodye, not bearing out your poynt, but rather declyninge in a lyttle towards yor ſaid knee,yt yor enemye croſe not yor poynt & ſo hurt you, ſtand bolt vpright in this fyght, & yf he offer to preſſe in then bere yor hed & body a lyttle backwarde.|
|The imperfect is when you bear your hand & sword hilt perfect high above your head, as aforesaid, but leaning or stooping forward with your body & thereby your space will be wide on both sides to defend the blow struck at the left side of your head or too wide to defend a thrust from the right side of the body.||The Imprfyt is when yõ bere yor hand & ſword hylt prfyt hayth aboue yor hed, as aforeſayd but leanynge or ſtoopinge forwarde wt yor body & therby yor ſpace wilbe to Wyde on both ſyds to defend the blow ſtryken at the feft ſyde of yor hed or to wyde to defend a thruſt from the ryght ſyde of the body,|
|Also it is imperfect, if you bear your hand & hilt as aforesaid, bearing your point too far out from your knee, so that your enemy may cross, or strike aside your point, & thereby endanger you.||Alſo it is Imprfyt, yf yõ bere yor hand & hylt as aforeſayd, berynge yor poynt to farr out from yor kneee, ſo yt yor enemy May Croſ, of ſtrike Aſyde yor poynt, & therby endanger you,|
|The second is the bastard guardant fight which is to carry your hand & hilt below your head, breast high or lower with your point downward toward your left foot, this bastard guardant ward is not to be used in a fight, except it be to cross your enemy's ward at his coming in to take the grip of him or such advantage, as in divers places of the sword fight is set forth.||The ſecond is baſtard gardant fyght wch is to Carrye yor hand & hylt below yor hed, breſt hye or lower wt yor poynt downwarde towarde yor left foote, this baſtard gardant ward is not to be vsed in fyght, ecept it be to Crosseyor enemyes Ward at his comynge in to take the grype of him of ſuch other aduantage, as in diurs placs or ye ſword fyght is ſet forth.|
|3. Close fight is when you cross at the half sword either above at the forehand ward that is with the point high, & hand & hilt low, or at the true or bastard guardant ward with both your points down.||3. Cloſe fyght is when yõ Croſ at ye half ſword eyther aboue at forehand wardyt is wt poynt hye, & hande & hylt lowe, or at true or baſtard gardant ward wt both yor poynts doun.|
|4. Close is all manner of fights wherein you have made a true cross at the half sword with your space very narrow & not crossed, is also close fight.||Cloſe is all mannr of fyghts wherin yõ have made a true Croſe at the half ſword wt yor ſpace very narrow & not Croſt, is alſo cloſe fyght.|
| Variable fight is all other manner of lying not here before spoken of, whereof these 4 that follow are the chiefest of them.
|| 4. Variable fyght is al other mannr of lyinge not here before ſpoken of, wher of theſe 4 that follow are the cheefest of them.
|Also any other kind of variable fight or lying whatsoever a man can devise not here expressed, is contained under this fight.||Alſo any other kynd of varyable fyght or lyeinge whatſoeuer a man can deviſe not here expreſſed, is cōtayned vnder this fight.|
| Of the short single sword fight against the like weapon.
1. If your enemy lie aloft, either in the open or true guardant fight, & then strike at the left side of your head or body your best ward to defend yourself, is to bear it with true guardant ward, & if he strike & come in to the close, or to take the grip of you, you may then safely take the grip of him as it appears in the chapter on the grip.
| Of the ſhort ſyngle ſword fyght againſt the lyke weapon.
1. Yf yor enemye lye a loft, eyther in the open or true gardant fight, & then ſtrike at the left ſyde of yor hed or body yor beſt ward to defend yorſelf, is to bere it wt true gardant ward & yf he ſtrike & com in to the cloze, or to take the grype of you yõ may then ſafly take the grype of him as it appereth in the chapter of the grype,
|2. But if he does strike & not come in, then instantly upon your ward, uncross & strike him either on the right or left side of the head, & fly out instantly.||2. but yf he do ſtryke & not com in, then inſtantly vpõ yor ward, vncroſe & ſtrike him either on the right or left ſyde of ye hed, & fly out inſtantly.|
|3. If you bear this with forehand ward, be sure to ward his blow, or keep your distance, otherwise he shall deceive you with every false, still endangering your head, face, hand, arms, body, & bending knee, with blow or thrust. Therefore keep well your distance, because you can very hardly discern (being within distance), by which side of your sword he will strike, nor at which of those parts aforesaid, because of the swift motion of the hand deceives the eye.||3. Yf yõ bere this wt forhand ward, be ſure to ward his blowe, or kepe yor diſtance, otherwuſe he ſhall decue you wt euery falſe, ſil endanggeringe yor hed, face, hand, Armes, bodye, & bendynge knee, wt blow or thruſt. Therforekepe well yor dyſtance, becauſe yõ can very hardly deſerne (being wtin dyſtance), by wch ſyde of yor ſword he will ſtryke, nor at wch of thoſe prts aforeſayd, becauſe the ſwyft motion of ye hand deveyveth the eye,|
|4. If he lies aloft & strike as aforesaid at your head, you may endanger him if you thrust at his hand, or arm, turning your knuckles downward, but fly backward withal in the instant you thrust.||4. yf he lye a loft & ſtrike as aforeſaid at yor head, yõ may endanger him yf yõ thruſt at his hand, hilt or Arme, turninge yor knuckles dounwarde, but fly back wt all in the inſtant yt yõ thruſt,|
|5. If he lies aloft as aforesaid, & strike aloft at the left side of your head, if you will ward his blow with forehand ward, then be sure to keep your distance, except he come so certain that you sure to ward his blow, at which time if he comes in withal, you may endanger him from that ward, either by blow thrust or grip.||5. yf he lye a loft as aforeſaid, & ſtrike a loft at the left ſyde of yor hed, yf yõ wil ward his blow wt forehand ward, then be ſure to kepe yor diſtance, except he com ſo crtaine that yõ be ſure to ward his blow, at wch tyme yf he comin wt all, yõ may endanger him from yt ward eyther by blow, thruſt or grype,|
|6. If he lies aloft & you lie low with your sword in the variable fight, then if you offer to ward his blow made at your head, with true guardant ward your time will be too long due in time to make a sure ward, so that it is better to bear it with the forehand ward, but be sure to keep your distance, to make him come in with his feet, whereby his time will be too long to do what he intended.||6. yf he lye a loft & yõ lye a lowe wt yor ſword inthe varyable fyght, then yf yõ offer to ward his blow made at yor hed, wt true gardant ward yor tyme wilbe to longe Due in tyme to make a ſure ward, for that it is bettr to bere it wt forehand ward, but be ſure t okepeyor diſtance, to make him com in wt his feet, wher by his tyme wilbe to longe to do yt he intendeth.|
|7. If 2 men fight both upon open fight, he that first breaks his distance, if he attempts to strike the other's head, shall be surely struck on the head himself, if the patient agent strike there at his coming in, & slip a little back withal, for that sliding back makes an indirection, whereby your blow crosses his head, & makes a true ward for your own, this will that be, because the length of time in his coming in.||7. yf ij Men fight both vpõ open fyght he yt firſt breaketh his diſtance, yf he attempt to ſtryke at the others hed, ſhalbe ſurely ſtryken on the hed himſelf, yf the patient Agent ſtrike ther at in his Comynge in, & ſlyp a lyttle back wt all, for yt ſlydinge back maketh an indirection, wherby yor blow Croſſeth his hed, & maketh a true ward for yor owne, this will yt be, becauſe of his length of tyme in his comynge in,|
|8. Also if 2 fight upon open fight, it is better for the patient to strike home strongly at the agent's head, when the said agent shall press upon him to win the place than to thrust, because the blow of the patient is not only hurtful to the agent, but also makes a true cross to defend his own head.||8. Alſo yf ij fyght, it is better for the patient to ſtrike home ſtrongly at the Agents hed, when the ſaid Agent ſhal preſs vpon him to wyn the place then to thruſt, becauſe the blow of the patient is not only hurtful to the Agent, but it alſo maketh a true Croſe to defend his owne hed,|
|9. If he charge you aloft, out of the open or true guardant fight, if you answer him with the imperfect guardant fight, with your body leaning forward, your space will be too wide on both sides to make a true ward in due time, & your arm and body will be too near unto him, so that with the bending of the body with the time of hand & foot, he may take the grip of you.||9. yf he charge yõ a loft, out of the open or true gardant fyght, yf yõ anſwer him wt ye Imprfyt gardant fyght, wt yor body leanynge forwarde, yor ſpace wilbe to wyde on both ſyde to make a true ward in due tyme, & yor arme And body wilbe to neere vnto him, ſo that wt the bending in of his body wt the tyme of hand & foote, he may take the grype of you,|
|But if you stand upright in true guardant fight, then he cannot reach to take the grip of you, nor otherwise to offend you if you keep your distance, without putting in of his foot or feet wherein his number will be too great, & so his time will be too long, & you in that time may by putting in of your body take the grip of him, if he press to come in with using only your hand, or hand or foot, & there upon you may strike or thrust with your sword & fly out withal according to your governors, see more of this, in the chapter of the grip.||but yf yõ ſtand vpright in true gardant fyght, then he cannot reach to take the grype of you, nor otherwiſe to offend yõ yf you kepe yor diſtance, wtout puttinge in of his foote or feete wherin his number wilbe to great, & ſo histyme wilbe to longe, & yõ in that tyme may by puttinge in of yor body take the grype of him, yf he preſs to com in wt vſing only yor hand, or hand & foote, & ther vpon yõ may ſtryke or thruſt wt yor ſword & fly out wtallaccordinge to yor governors, ſe more of this, in the chapter of the grype|
|10. If he will still press forcibly aloft upon you, charging you out of the open fight or the true guardant fight, intending to hurt you in the face or head, or to take the grip of you, against such a one, you must use both guardant & open fight, whereby upon every blow or thrust that he shall make at you, you may from your wards, strike or thrust him on the face, head, or body as it appears more art large in the 5th chapter of these my instructions.||10. yf he wil ſtil prſſe forcibly a loft vpõ you, Charginge yõ out of the open fyght or true gardant, fyght, Intendinge to hurt yõ in the face of hed, or to take the grype of yõ Againſt ſuch a on, you muſt vſe both gardant & open fyght, wherby vpon euery blow or thruſt that he ſhall make at you, you may from yor wards ſtrike or thruſt him on the face hed or bodye as it appeareth more at large in the 5th Chapter of theſe my Inſtructions.|
|11. If you fight with one standing only upon his guardant fight or if he seeks to come in to you by the same fight, then do you strike & thrust continually at all manner of open places that shall come nearest unto you, still remembering your governors, so shall he continually be in danger, & often wounded, & wearied in that kind of fight, & you shall be safe, the reason is, he is a certain mark to you, & you are an uncertain mark to him.||11. yf yõ fyght wt on yt ſtandeth only vpon his gardant fyght or yf he ſeeke to com in to yõ by the ſame fyght, then do yõ ſtrike & thruſt Contynually at al mannr of open place that ſhall com neereſt vnto you, ſtill remembringe yor gournors, ſo ſhall he Contynually be in dangr, & often wounded, & weryed in that kynd of fyght, & you ſhalbe ſaf, the reaſon is, he is a crtaine marke to you, & yõ are an uncertaine marke to hym.|
|And further because he ties himself into one kind of fight only, he shall be wearied for want of change of lying, & you by reason of many changes shall not only fight at ease, & much more brave, but you have likewise 4 fights to his one, to wit, guardant, open, closed and variable fight, to his guardant only, therefore that fight only is not to be stood upon or used.||And further becauſe he tyeth him ſelf unto on kynd of fyght only, he ſhalbe wearyed for want of Change of lyinge, & yõ by reaſon of many changes ſhal not only ſtyll fyght at eaſe, & much more braue, but you haue lykewyſeiiij fyghts to his one, to wytt, gardant, open, cloſe, & variable fyght, to his gardant only, therfore yt fight only is not to be ſtode vpon or vsed.|
|12. But if all this will not serve & although he has received many wounds, will continually run to come in, & forcibly break your distance, then may you safely take the grip of him, & hurt him at your pleasure with your sword, as appears in the chapter of the grip, & he can neither hurt nor take the grip of you, because the number of his feet are too many, to bring his hand in place in due time, for such a one ever gives you the place, therefore be sure to take your time therein.||12. But yf al this will not ſrue, & although he hath receyved Many Wounds, wyl contynually run on to com in, & forcibly breake yor dyſtance, then may you ſaffly take the grype of him, & hurt him at yor pleaſure wt yor ſword, as appreareth in the chapter of the grype, & he can nether hurt nor take ye grype of yõ, becauſe the numbr of his feet are to many, to bringe his hand in place in due tyme, for ſuch a on ever geueth yõ the place, therfore beſure to take yor tyme herin.|
|In the like sort may you do at sword & dagger, or sword & buckler, at such time as I say, that you may take the grip at the single sword fight, you may then instead of the grip, soundly strike him with your buckler on the head or stab him with your dagger & instantly either strike up his heels or fly out, & as he likes a cooling card to his hot brain, sick fit, so let him come for another.||In the lyke ſort may yõ do at ſword & daggr, or ſword & buckler, at ſuch tyme as I ſay, yt yõ Maye take the grype at the ſyngle ſword fyght, yõ may then inſteed of the grype, ſoundly ſtryke him wt yor buckler on the hed or ſtabb him wt yor daggr & inſtantly eytherſtryke vp his heeles or fly out, & as he lyketh yt coolinge card to his hot braine, ſyck fyt, ſo let him com for another.|
|If 2 fight & both lie upon the true guardant fight & that one of them will need seek to win the half sword by pressing in, that may you safely do, for upon that fight the half sword may safely be won, but he that first comes in must first go out, & that presently, otherwise his guard will be too wide above to defend his head, or if fit for that defence, then will it be too wide underneath to defend that thrust from his body which things the patient agent may do, & fly out safe, & that agent cannot avoid it, because the moving of his feet makes his ward unequal to defend both parts in due time, but the one or the other will be deceived & in danger, for he being agent upon his first entrance his time (by reason of the number of his feet) will be too long, so that the patient agent may first enter into his action, & the agent must be of force an after doer, & therefore cannot avoid this offense aforesaid.||13. yf ij fyght & that both lye vpõ the true gardant fyght & that one of them will neede ſeek to wyn the half ſword by preſſinge in, yt may yõ ſaflye do, for vpõ yt fyght the half ſworde may ſafflye be woon, but he yt firſt cometh in, Muſt fyrſt go out, & yt prſently, otherwiſe his gard wilbe to wyde aboue to defend his hed, or yf fyt for yt defence, then wil it be to wyde vndrneath to defend yt thruſt frõ his body wch things the patient Agent may do, & fly out ſaf, & yt Agent cannot avoyd it, becauſe the moving of his feet maketh his ward vnequall to defend both prts in due tyme, but the one or the other wilbe diſceived & in danger, for he being Agent vpon his firſt entrance histyme (by reason of yt numbr of his feet), wilbe to longe, ſo yt ye patient Agent may firſt enter into his action, & the Agent muſt be of force an after doer, & therfore cannote avoyde this offence aforeſaid.|
|14. If he come in to encounter the close & grip upon the bastard guardant ward, then you may cross his blade with yours upon the like guardant ward also, & as he comes in with his feet & have gained you the place, you may presently uncross & strike him a blow on the head, & fly out instantly, wherein he cannot offend you by reason of his lost time, nor defend himself upon the uncrossing, because his space is too wide whereby his time will be too long in due time to prevent your blow, this may you do safely.||14. yf he com in to encounter the Cloze & grype vpõ ye baſtard gardant ward, then yõ Maye Croſſe his blade wt yors vpõ the lyke gardant ward alſo, & as he cometh in wt his feet & haue gayned yõ the place, yõ may prſently vncfoſſe & ſtryke him a ſound blowe on yehed, & fly out inſtantly, wher in he cannot offend yõ by reaſon of his loſt tyme, nor defend him ſelf vpon yor vncroſſing, becauſe his ſpace is to wyde wherby his tyme wilbe to longe in due tyme to prvent yor blowe, this may yõ do ſafly.|
|15. If he comes in upon the bastard guardant ward, bearing his hilt lower than his head, or but breast high or lower, then strike him soundly on the head which thing you may easily do, because his space is too wide in due time to ward the same.||15. yfhe cõ in vpon the baſtard gardant ward, bearing his hylt lower than his hed, or but breſt hye or lower, then ſtrik him ſoundly on the hed wch thinge yõ may eaſylye do, becauſe his ſpace is to wyde in due tyme to ward the ſame.|
|16. If your enemy charge you upon his Stocata fight, you may lie variable with large distance & uncertainty with your sword & body at your pleasure, yet so you may strike, thrust or ward, & go forth & back as occasion is, to take the advantage of this coming in, whether he does it out of the Stocata, or Passata, which advantage you shall be sure to have, if you observe this rule & be not too rash in your actions, by reason that the number of his feet will be great, & also because when those 2 fights are met together, it is hard to make a true cross, therefore without large distance be kept of them, commonly they are both hurt or slain, because in narrow distance their hands have free course & are not tied to the time of the foot, by which swift motion of the hand the eye is deceived, as you may read more at large in the --- chapter of my paradoxes of defence. You may also use this fight, against the long sword, or long rapier, single or double.||16. yf yor Enemy charge you vpõ his Stocata fyght, yõ May ly variable wt large Diſtance & vncrtaine wt yor ſword & bodye at yor pleaſure, yet ſo yt yõ may ſtryke, thruſt or Ward, & go forth & back as occasion is, to take ye advantage of this cõmynge in, whether he doth it out of the Stocata, or paſſata, wch advantage yõ ſhalbe ſure to haue, yf yõ obſrue this rule & be not to raſh in yor actions, by reaſon yt ye numbr of his feet wilbe great, & alſo becauſe when thoſe ij fyghts are met together, it is hard to Make a true Croſſe, therfore wtout Large dyſdance be kept of them, Commonly they are both hurt of ſlayne, becauſe in narrow diſtance their hands haue free Courſe & are not tyed to the tyme of ye foote, by wch ſwyft motion of the hand the eye is deceyved, as yõ may read more at large in the cap: of my prdoxes of defence. You may alſo vſe this fyght againſt the longe ſword, or longe rapior, ſyngle & dubble,|
|Upon this ground some shallow witted fellow may say, if the patient must keep large distance, then he must be driven to go back still, to which I answer that in the continual motion & traverses of his ground he is to traverse circularly, forewards, backwards, upon the right hand, & upon the left hand, the which traverses are still a certainty to be used within himself, & not to be prevented by the agent, because the agent comes one upon a certain mark, for when he thinks to be sure of his purpose, the patient is sometimes on the one side, & sometimes on the other side, sometimes too far back, & sometimes too near, so still the agent must use the number of his feet which will be too long to answer the hand of the patient agent, & it cannot be denied but the patient agent by reason of his large distance, still sees what the agent does in his coming, but the agent cannot see what the other doeth, 'til the patient agent be into his action, therefore too late for him either to hurt the patient, or in due time to defend himself, because he entered into his action upon the knowledge of the patient, be he knows not what the patient agent will do 'til it is to late.||vpon this ground ſom ſhallow wytted fellow may ſay, the patient muſt keep large diſtance then he muſt be dryven to goback ſtyll, to wch I anſwer yt in the contynnuall motion & travers of his ground he is to travers circuler wyſe, forwards, backwards, vpõ the right hand, & vpõ the left hand, the wch travers is still a certaintye to be vſed wtin him ſelf, & not to be prvented by ye Agent, becauſe the Agent cõmeth one vpõ an vncrtaine marke, for when he thinketh to be ſure of his purpoſe, the patient is ſometymes on the on ſyde, & ſom tymes on ye other ſyde, ſomtymes to far back, & ſomtymes to neere, ſo yt ſtil the Agent muſt vſe the numbr of his feet wch wilbe to longe to anſwer ye hand of ye patient Agent, & it cannot be denyed but the patient Agent, by reaſon of his large diſtance, ſtil ſeeth what ye Agent doth in his cõmyng, but the Agent cannot ſe what the other doth, til the patient Agent be into his Action, therfore to late for him eyther to hurt the patient or in due tyme to defend him ſelf, becauſe he entereth his actiõ vpõ ye knowledge of the patient, but he knowt not what ye patient Agent will do til it be to late.|
|17. If the agent says that then he will stand fast upon sure guard and sometimes moving & traversing his ground, & keep large distance as the patient does, to which I answer, that when 2 men shall meet that have both the perfection of their weapons, against the best no hurt can be done, otherwise if by any device one should be able to hurt the other, then were there no perfection in the use of weapons, this perfection of fight being observed, prevents both close fight, & all manner of closes, grips & wrestling & all manner of such devices whatsoever.||17. yf the Agent ſay yt then he will ſtand faſt vpon som ſure gard & xſomtymes moving & travrſing his ground, & kepe large distance as ye patient do, to wch I answer, yt when ij men ſal meete yt haue both the prfection of their weapons, againſt the beſt no hurt canbedon other wiſe yf by any deviſe on ſhould be able to hurt the other, then wherther no prfection in ye vse of weapons, this prfection of fyght being obſrved, prventeth both cloſe fyght, & al mannr of clozes, grype & wreſtling & al mannr of ſuch other devics what ſo euer.|
|18. Also if he charges you upon his Stocata, or any other lying after that fashion, with his point low & large paced, then lie you aloft with your hand & hilt above your head, either true guardant, or upon the open fight, then he cannot reach you if you keep your distance without putting in his foot or feet, but you may reach him with the time of your hand, or with the time of your hand & body, or of the hand, body & foot, because he has already put in his body within your reach & has gained you the place,& you are at liberty & without his reach, 'til he puts in his foot or feet, which time is too wide in that place to make a ward in due time to defend his head, arms & hand, one of which will be always within your reach. Note still in this that your weapons be both short and of equal & convenient length of the short sword.||18. Alsfo yf he charge yõ vpõ his Stocata, or any other lying aftr yt faſhion, wt his poynt low & large paced, then lye yõ a loft yor hand & hylt aboue yor hed, eyther true gardant, or vpõ the open fight, then he cannot reach yõ yf yõ kepe yor diſtance wtout putting in his foot or feet, but yõ may reach him wt the tyme of your hand & body, or of hand, body & foot, becauſe he hath al redy put in his body wtin yor reach & haue gayned yõ the place, & yõ are at lybertye & wtout his reach, til he put in his foot or feete, wch tyme isto longe to anſwer the tyme of yor hand, & his ſpace is to wyde in that place to make a ward in due tyme to defend his hed, Armes & hande, one of wch wilbe alwaies wtin yor reach. note ſtil in this yt yor weapons be both ſhort of ye Equal & convenient length of ye ſhort ſword.|
|19. If out of this variable fight he strikes at the right or left side of the head or body, then your best ward is to bear with the forehand ward, otherwise your space will be too wide & too far to make your ward in due time.||19. yf out of his varyable fyght he ſtrike at ye right or left ſyde of the hed or body, then yor beſt ward is to bere it wt fore hand ward, otherwiſe yor ſpace wilbe to wyde & to far to make yor ward in due tyme.|
|20. If he lies variable after the manner of the Passata then if you lie aloft as is above said, you have the advantage, because he that lies variable cannot reach home, at head, hand or arm, without putting in his foot or feet, & therefore it cannot be denied, but that he that plays aloft, has still the time of the hand to the time of the foot, which fight being truly handled is invincible advantage.||20. Yf he lye variable aftr the mannr of the paſſata then yf yõ lye a loft as is aboue ſaid, yõ haue the Advantage, becauſe he yt lyeth varyable cannot reach home, at hed hand or arme, wtout putting in his foote of feet, & therfore it cannot be denyed, but yt he ytplayeth aloft, hath ſtil the tyme of the hand to the tyme of ye foot, wch fight beinge truly handled is aduantage invincible.|
|21. If he lies variable upon the Imbrocata, then make a narrow space with your point upward, & suddenly if you can cross his point with your blade, put aside his point strongly with your sword & strike or thrust at him, & fly out instantly, ever remembering your governors that he deceive you not in taking his point.||21. yf he lye variable vpõ the Imbrocata, then make a narrow ſpace wt yor poynt vpwarde, & ſodainly yf yõ can Croſe his poynt wt yor blade put aſyde his poynt ſtrongly wt yor ſword & ſtrik or thruſt at him, & fly out inſtantly, euer remembring yor gouernors yt hedeceve yõ not in taking of his poynt.|
|22. If he strike or thrust at your leg or lower part out of any fight, he shall not be able to reach the same unless you stand large paced with bending knee, or unless he comes in with his foot or feet, the which if he shall so do, then you may strike or thrust at his arm or upper part for then he puts them into the place gaining you the place whereby you make strike home upon him & he cannot reach you. But if he stands large paced with bending knee, then win the place & strike home freely at his knee, & fly back therewith.||22. yf he ſtrike or thruſt at yor lege or lower prte out of any fyght, he ſhal not be able to reach the ſame vnleſs yõ ſtand large paced wt bendinge knee, of vnleſs he com in wt his foote or feet, the wch he ſhal ſo do, then yõ may ſtrikor thruſt at his arme or vpper prte for then he putteth them into the place gayning yõ the place wherby you may ſtrike home vpõ him & he cannot reach yõ. but yf he ſtand large paced wt bendinge knee then wyn the place & ſtrike home freely at his knee, & fly back ther wt|
|23. If he comes to the close fight with you & that you are both crossed aloft at the half sword with both your points upward, then if he comes in withal in his crossing bear strongly your hand & hilt over his wrist, close by his hilt, putting in over at the backside of his hand & hilt pressing down his hand & hilt strongly, in your entering in, & so thrust your hilt in his face, or strike him upon the head with your sword, & strike up his heels, & fly out.||23. yf he com to the cloſe fight wt yõ & yt yõ are both crost aloft at ye half ſword wt both yor points vpwards, then yf he com in wt all in his Croſſing bere ſtrongly yor hand & hylt our his wriſt, cloſe by his hylt putting it ouer at yebackſyde of his hand & hylt prſſinge doune his hand & hylt ſtrongly & ſodainly, in yor entring in, & ſo thruſt yor hylt in his face, of ſtrike him vpõ ye hed ſword, & ſtrike vp his heeles, & fly out,|
|24. If you are both so crossed at the bastard guardant ward, & if he then presses in, then take the grip of him as is shown in the chapter of the grip.||24. yf yõ are both ſo croſt at ye baſtard gardant ward, & yf he then preſs in, then take the grype of him as is shewed in ye chapter of ye grype,|
|Or with your left hand or arm, strike his sword blade strongly & suddenly toward your left side by which means you are uncrossed, & he is discovered, then may you thrust him in the body with your sword & fly out instantly, which thing he cannot avoid, neither can he offend you.||Or wt yor left hand or arme, ſtrike his ſword blade ſtrongly & ſodainly towarde yor left ſyde by wch meanes yõ are uncroſt, & he is diſcoured,, then may yõ thruſt him in the body wt yor ſword & fly out inſtantly, wch thinge he cannot avoyd, nether can he offend yõ|
|Or being so crossed, you may suddenly uncross & strike him upon the head & fly out instantly which thing you may safely do & go out free.||Or being ſo croſt, yõ may ſodainly vncroſe & ſtrike him vpõ the hed & fly out inſtantly wch thinge yõ may ſafly do & go out free.|
|25. If you be both crossed at the half sword with his point up & your point down in the true guardant ward, then if he presses to come in, then either take the grip of him, as in the chapter of the grip, or with your left hand or arm, strike out his sword blade towards your left side as aforesaid, & so you may thrust him in the body with your sword & fly out instantly.||25. yf yõ be both croſt at ye half ſword wt hys poynt vp & yor poynt doune in the true gardant ward, then yf he preſs to com in, then eyther take ye grype of him, as in the chapter of the grype, or wt yor left hand or arme, ſtrike out his ſword blade towards yor left ſydeas aforeſaid, & ſo yõ may thruſt him in the body wt yor ſword & fly out inſtantly.|
|26. Do you never attempt to close or come to grip at these weapons unless it be upon the slow motion or disorder of your enemy,||26. Do yõ neuer attempt to cloze or com to ye grype at theſe weapons vnleſsit be vpõ the slow motiõ or diſorder of yor enemye,|
|But if he will close with you, then you may take the grip of him safely at his coming in, for he that first by strong pressing in adventures the close looses it, & is in great danger, by reason that the number of his feet are too great, whereby his time will be too long, in due time to answer the hand of the patient agent, as in the chapter of the grip does plainly appear.||but yf he will cloze wt you, then yõ may take the grype of him ſafly at his cõmynge in, for he yt firſt by ſtronge preſſing in adventureth the cloze looſeth it, & is in great danger, by reaſon yt the numbr of his feet are to great,whereby his tyme wilbe to longe, in due tyme to anſwer the hand of ye patient Agent, as in the chapter of the grype doth plainly appere,|
|27. Always remembering if you fight upon the variable fight that you ward upon forehand ward, otherwise your space will be too wide in due time to make a true guardant ward, to defend yourself.||27. Alwaies remembring yf yõ fyght vpõ the variable fight yt yõ ward vpõ forehand ward, otherwise yor ſpace wilbe to wyde in due tyme to make a true gardant ward, to defend yorſelf.|
|28. If you fight upon open fight, or true guardant fight, never ward upon forehand ward for then your space will be too wide also, in due time to make a sure ward.||28. yf yõ fyght vpõ open fyght, or true gardant fyght, neuer ward vpõ forehand ward for then yor ſpace wilbe to wyde alſo, in due tyme to make a ſureward,|
|29. If he lies aloft with his point towards you, after the manner of the Imbrocata, then make your space narrow with your point, & strike or thrust as aforesaid but be sure herein to keep your distance, that he deceive you not in taking of his point.||29. yf he lye aloft wt his poynt towarde you, aftr the mannr of the Imbrocata, then make yor ſpace narrow wt yor point vpwarde & put by his poynt, & ſtrike or thruſt as aforeſaid but be ſure herin to kepe yor diſtance, yt he deceve you not in taking of his poynt.|
| Of diverse advantages that you may take by striking from your ward at the sword fight.
1. If your enemy strikes at the right side of your head, you lying true guardant, then put your hilt a little down, mounting your point, so that your blade may cross across your face, so shall you make a true ward for the right side of your head, from which ward you may instantly strike him on the right or left side of the head, or turn down your point, & thrust him in the body, or you may strike him on the left side of the body, or on the outside of his left thigh.
| Of divrs aduantages yt you may take by strykinge frõ yor warde at ye ſword fyght.
1. YF yor enemy ſtrike at the right ſyde of yor hed, yõ lyinge true gardant, then put yor hilt a little doune, Mounting yor poynt, ſo that yor blade May Croſſe a thwart yor face, ſo ſhal yõ make A true ward for the right ſyde of yorhed, from the wch ward yõ may inſtantly ſtrike him on the ryght or left ſyde of the hed, or to turne doune yor poynt, & thruſt him in the bodye, or you may ſtrike him on the left ſyde of the body, or on the out ſyde of the body, or on the out ſyde of his left thygh.
|Or you may strike him on the outside of the right thigh, one of those he cannot avoid if he fly not back instantly upon his blow, because he knows not which of these the patient agent will do.||Or yõ may ſtrike him on the out ſyde of the right thygh, on of thoſe he cannot avoyd yf he fly not back inſtantly vpõ his blowe, becauſe he knowt not wch of theſe the patient Agent wil do.|
|2. If you lie upon your true guardant ward, & he strikes at the left side of your head, you have the choice from your ward to strike him from it, on the right or left side of the head, or to turn down your point, & thrust him in the body, or you may strike him on the outside of the right or left thigh, for the reason above said in the last rule, except he flies out instantly upon his blow.||2. Yf yõ lye vpõ yor true gardant ward, & he ſtrike at the left ſyde of yor hed, yõ haue the choyſe from yor ward to ſtrike him from yt, on the right or left ſyde of the hed, or to turne doune yor poynt, & thruſt him in the bodye, oryõ May ſtryke him on the out ſyde of the right or left thygh, for the reaſon aboue ſayde in the laſt rule, except he fly out inſtantly vpõ his blowe.|
|3. If he charge you upon the open or the true guardant fight, if you will answer him with the like, then keep your distance, & let your gathering be always in your fight to ward his right side so shall you with your sword choke up any blow that he can make at you, from the which ward you may strike him on the right or left side of the head, or thrust him in the body.||3. Yf he charge yõ vpon the open or true gardant fyght, yf yõ wil anſwer him wt the lyke, then kepe yor diſtance, & let yor gatheringe be all waies in yt fyght to warde his right ſyde ſo ſhal yõ wt yor ſword choake vp any blowe that he can make at yõ, from the wchward yõ May ſtryke him on the right or left ſyde of ye hed, or thruſt him in the bodye.|
|But if he thrust at your face or body, then you may out of your guardant fight break it downward with your sword bearing your point strongly towards your right side, from the which breaking of his thrust you may likewise strike him from the right or left side of the head, or thrust him in the body.||but yf he thruſt at your face or body, then yõ may out of yor gardant fight break it doune warde wt yor ſword bering yor poynt ſtrongly towarde yor right ſyde, from the wch breaking of his thruſt yõ may likwiſe ſtrike him frõ the right or left ſyde of ye hed, or thruſt him in the bodye.|
|4. If you meet with one that cannot strike from his ward, upon such a one you may both double & false & so deceive him, but if he is skillful you must not do so, because he will be still so uncertain in his traverse that he will still prevent you of time & place, so that when you think to double & false, you shall gain him the place & there upon he will be before you in his action, & your coming he will still endanger you.||4. Yf yõ meet wt on yt cannot ſtrike frõ his warde, vpõ ſuch a on you may both dubble & faulſe & ſo deceue him, but yf he be skylful yõ muſt not do ſo, becauſe he wilbe ſtil ſo vncrtain in his traverſe that he will ſtyll prvent you of tyme & place, ſo yt when yõ think todubble & falſe, yõ ſhal gaynehim the place & ther vpõ he wilbe before yõ in his action, & in yor comynge he will ſtil endanger yõ,|
|5. If you fight upon the variable fight, & that you receive a blow with forehand ward, made at the right side of your head or body, you have the choice of 8 offensive actions from that ward, the first to strike him on the right side, either on the head, shoulder, or thigh, or to thrust him in the body, or to strike him on the left side either on the head, shoulder or thigh, or to thrust him in the body, the like you may do if he strike ever at your left side, as is above said, if you bear it with your forehand ward.||5. yf yõ fyght vpõ the variable fyght, & that yõ receue a blow wt forehand ward, made at the right ſyde of yor hed or body, yõ haue ye choiſe of viij offenciue Actions frõ yt ward, the firſt to ſtryke him on the right ſyde, eyther on the hed ſhouldr, or thygh, or to thruſt him in the body, or to ſtryke him on the left ſyde either on the hed ſholdr or thygh, or to thruſt him in the body, the lyke may yõ do yf he ſtrike eur at yor left ſyde, as is aboue ſaid, yf yõbere it wt fore hand ward.|
|6. In this forehand ward keep your distance, & take heed that he deceives you not with the downright blow at your head out of his open fight, for being within distance the swift motion of the hand may deceive your eye, because you know not by which side of your sword his blow will come.||6. In this forehand ward kepe yor diſtance, & take heed yt he deceue yõ not wt the dounright blowe at yor hed out of his open fyght, for being wt in diſtance ye ſwift motion of ye hand May deceue yor eye, becauſe yõ know not by wch ſyde of yor ſword his blow wilcom|
|7. Also see that he deceive you not upon any false offering to strike at the one side, & then thereby you have turned your point aside, then to strike on the other side, but if you keep distance you are free from that, therefore still in all your actions remember your governors.||7. Alſo ſe yt he deceue yõ not vpõ any falſe offerynge to ſtryke at the on ſyde, & when therby yõ haue turned yor poynt aſyde, then to ſtrike on the other ſyde, but yf yõ kepe diſtance yõ are free from yt, therfore ſtyll in all yor actions remembr y gournors|
|8. If he will do nothing but thrust, answer him as it is set down in the 16th ground of the short sword fight & also in diverse places of the 8th chapter.||8. yf he wil do nothinge but thruſt, Anſwer him as it is ſet doune in the 16th ground of ye ſhort ſword fyght & alſo in divrs places of the 8th chaptr.|
|9. Also consider if he lies at the thrust upon the Stocata or Passata, & you have no way to avoid him, except you can cross his sword blade with yours, & so indirect his point, therefore keep narrow space upon his point, & keep well your distance in using your traverses.||9. Alſo conſyder yf he lye at the thruſt vpon ye ſtocata, or paſſata, & yõ haue no waye to avoyde him, except yõ can Croſſe his ſword blade wt yors, & ſo Indirect his poynt, therfore kepe well yor diſtance in vſing yor travers.|
|But if he puts forth his point so that you may cross it with forehand ward, for if you watch for his thrust then lie upon forehand ward with point a little up if he lies with his pointed mounted, & if you single your thrust upon the outside of your sword to ward your right side, or back of your sword hand, strike or bear his point out towards your right side, & thereupon putting forward your body & left foot circularly toward his right side you may strike him upon his sword arm, head, face or body.||but yf he put forth his poynt ſo yt yõ may Croſs it wt fore hand ward, for yf yõ wacth for his thruſt then lye vpõ forehand ward wt poynt alittle vp. yf he lye wt his poynt Mounted, & yf yõ ſyngle yor thruſt vpõ the out ſyde of yor ſword hand, ſtrike or bere his poynt out towarde yor right ſyde, & ther vpon putting forward yor body & left foote Circuler wyſe to warde his right ſyde yõ May ſtrike him vpõ his ſword Arme, hed, face or bodye.|
|Or if you take it on the inside of your sword blade to ward your left side then with your sword put by his point strongly & suddenly towards your left side, drawing your left circularly back behind the heel of your right foot, & strike him on the inside of his sword hand or arm or on the head, face, or body, & fly out according to your governors.||Or yf yõ take it on the Inſyde of yor ſword put by his poynt ſtrongly & ſodainly towarde yor left ſyde, drawing yor left foote Circuler wyſe back behind the heele of yor right foote, & ſtrike him on the inſyde of his ſword hand orArme or on the hed, face, or body, & fly out accordinge to yor gournors|
|This may you use against the sword & dagger long or short, or rapier & poniard, or sword & buckler.||This May yõ vſe againſt ye ſword & daggr longe or ſhort, or rapior & poynard, or ſword & buckler.|
|10. Also remember if he has a long sword & you a short sword, ever to make your space too narrow, that you may always break his thrust before that be in force if possible you may, & also to keep large distance whether he charge you out of the Stocata, Passata, or Imbrocata, etc. Of this you may see more at large in the 8th chapter.||10. Alſo remembr yf he haue a longe ſword, & yõ a ſhort ſword, euer to Make yor ſpace ſo narrow, yt yõ may alwaies break his thruſt before yt be in force yf poſſible yõ may, & alſo to kepe large diſtance whether he charge yõ out of the Stocata, paſſata, or Imbrocata &c, of this yõ may ſe more at large in the 8th chapter.|
| The manner of certain grips & closes to be used at the single short sword fight, etc.
1. If he strike aloft at the left side of your head, and run in withal to take the close or grip of you, then ward it guardant, & enter in with your left side putting in your left hand, on the inside of his sword arm, near his hilt, bearing your hand over his arm, & wrap in his hand & sword under your arm, as he comes in, wresting his hand & sword close to your body turning back your right side from him, so shall he not be able to reach your sword, but you shall still have it at liberty to strike or thrust him & endanger the breaking of his arm, or the taking away of his sword by that grip.
| The mannr of Certaine gryps & Clozes to be uſed at ye ſyngle ſhort ſword fyght &c.
1. Yf he ſtrike aloft at the left ſyde of yor hed, and run in wt all to take the Cloze or grype of you, then ward it gardant, & enter in wt yor left ſyde putting in yor left hand, on the inſyde of his ſword Arme, neere his hylte, bering yor hand our his Arme, & Wrape in his hand &ſworde vndr yor Arme, as he cometh in, Wreſting his hand & ſword cloſe to your bodye turninge back yor right ſyde from him, ſo ſhal he not be able to reach yor ſword, but yõ ſhall ſtyll haue it at lybertye to ſtryke or thruſt him & endanger the breakinge of his Arme, or the takinge away of his ſword by yt grype.
|2. If you are both crossed in the close fight upon the bastard guardant ward low(?), you may put your left hand on the outside of his sword at the back of his hand, near or at the hilt of his sword arm & take him on the inside of the arm with your hand, above his elbow is best, & draw him towards you strongly, wresting his knuckles downward & his elbow upwards so may endanger to break his arm, or cast him down, or to wrest his sword out of his hand, & go free yourself.||2. Yf yõ are both Croſt in Cloſe fyght vpon the baſtard gardant ward alowe, yõ May put yor left hand on the out ſyde of his ſword at the back of his hand, neere, or at the hylte of his ſword Arme & take him on the inſyde of yt arme wt yor hand, aboue his elbowe is beſt, & draw him in towarde yõ ſtrongly, wreſtinge his knuckles dounewarde & his elbowe vpwarde ſo may yõ endangr to break his arme, or caſt him doune or to wreſt his ſword out of his hand, & go free yor ſelf.|
|3. In like sort upon this kind of close, you may clap your left hand upon the wrist of his sword arm, holding it strongly & therewith thrust him hard from you, & presently you may thrust him in the body with your sword for in that instant he can neither ward, strike, nor thrust.||3. in like ſort vpõ this kynd of cloze, yõ may clape yor left hand vpõ the wriſt of his ſword arme, holding it ſtrongly & ther wt thruſt him hard from yõ, & prſently yõ may thruſt him in the body wt yor ſword for in yt Inſtant he can nether ward, ſtrike, nor thruſt,|
|4. If he strike home at the left side of your head, & there withal come in to take the close or grip of your hilt or sword arm with his left hand, first ward his blow guardant, & be sure to put in your left hand under your sword & take hold on the outside of his left hand, arm or sleeve, putting your hand under the wrist of his arm with the top of your fingers upward, & your thumb & knuckles downward, then pluck him strongly towards your left side, so shall you indirect his feet, turning his left shoulder toward you, upon which instant you may strike or thrust him with your sword & fly out safe, for his feet being indirected, although he has his sword at liberty, yet shall he be not able to make any offensive fight against you because his time will be too long to direct his feet again to use his sword in due time.||4. yf he ſtrike home at the left ſyde of yor hed, & ther wt all com in to take the cloze or grype of your hilt of ſword arme wt his left hand, firſt ward his blow gardant, & be ſure to put in yor left hand undr yor ſword & take hold on the out ſyde of his left hand, Arme orſleve, putting yor hand vnder the wrist of his Arme wt the toppe of yor fingrs vpwarde, & yor thumb & knuckles dounewarde, then pluck him ſtrongly towarde yor left ſyde, ſo ſhal yõ indirect his feet turning hys left ſhouldr towarde yõ, vpõ wch inſtant yõ Mayeſtrike or thruſt him wt yor ſword & fly out ſaf, for his feet being indirected, although he hath his ſword at lyberty, yet ſhal he not be able to Make any offencyve fight againſt yõ becauſe his tyme wilbe to longe to direct his feet againe to vſe his ſword in due tyme.|
|5. Also if he attempts to close or grip with you upon his bastard guardant ward, then cross his sword with the like ward, & as he comes in with his feet you have the time of your hand & body, whereby with your left hand or arm you may put by his sword blade, which thing you must suddenly & strongly do, casting it towards your left side, so may you uncross & thrust him in the body with your sword & fly out instantly, for if you stay there he will direct his sword again & endanger you, this may safely be done, or you may uncross & turn your point up, & strike him on the head, & fly out instantly.||5. Alſo yf he attempt the cloze or grype wt you vpon his baſtard gardant ward, then croſſe his ſword wt the lyke ward, & as he cometh in wt his feet you haue the tyme of yor hand & bodye, wherby wt yor left hand or Arme yõ May put by his ſword blade, wch thingeyou muſt ſodainly & ſtrongly do, caſting it towarde yor left ſyde ſo may yõ uncroſſe & thruſt him in ye body wt yor ſword & fly out inſtantlye, for yf yõ ſtay ther he wil direct his ſword againe & endanger yõ, this may ſafly be don, or yõ May vncroſſe & turne yorpoynt vp, & ſtrike him on the hed, & fly out inſtantly.|
|6. If he presses in to the half-sword upon a forehand ward, then strike a sound blow at the left side of his head turning strongly your hand & hilt pressing down his sword hand & arm strongly, & strike your hilt full in his face, bearing your hilt strongly upon him, for your hand being uppermost you have the advantage of the grip, for so may you break his face with your hilt, & strike up his heels with your left foot, and throw him a great fall, all this may safely be done by reason that he is weak in his coming in by that moving of his feet, & you repel him in the fullness of your strength, as appears in the chapter of the short single sword fight, in the 23rd ground of the same.||6. Yf he preſſe in to the half ſword vpõ a forehand ward, then ſtrike a ſound blow at the left ſyde of his hed turnyng ſtrongely yor hand & hylt preſſing doun his ſword hand & arme ſtrongly, & ſtrike yor hilt full in his face, beringe yor hilt ſtrongly vpõ him, for yor handbeinge vpprmoſt yõ haue the aduantage in yt grype, for ſo May yõ breake his face wt yor hylt, & ſtrike vp his heels wt yor left foote, and throwe him a great fall, al this May ſafly be don by reaſon yt he is weake in his cõmynge in by yt moving of his feet, & yõrepell him in ye fulnes of yor ſtrength, as appeareth in the Chapter of ye ſhort ſingle ſword fyght, in the 23rd grownde of the ſame,|
|7. Remember that you never attempt the close nor grip but look to his slip, consider what is said in the 8th general rule in the second chapter, & also in the 26th ground of the single sword fight in the 4th chapter.||7. remember that yõ neur attempt the Cloſe nor grype but looke to his ſlyppe, Conſyder what is said in the 8th genrall rule in the Second Chapter, & alſo in the 26th ground of the ſyngle ſword fyght in the 4th Chapter.|
| Of the short sword & dagger fight against the like weapon
1. Observe at these weapons the former rules, defend with your sword & not your dagger, yet you may cross his sword with your dagger, if you may conveniently reach the same therewith, without putting in your foot, only by bending in your body, otherwise your time will be too long, & his time will be sufficient to displace his own, so that you shall not hit it with your dagger, & so he may make a thrust upon you, this time that I here mean, of putting by of his sword is, when he lies out spent with his sword point towards you, & not else, which thing if you can do without putting in your foot, then you may use your dagger & strike strongly & suddenly his sword point therewith up, or down, to indirect the same, that done, instantly therewith strike or thrust at him with your sword.
| Of the ſhort ſword & dagger fyght Againſt the lyke Weapon.
1. Obsrve at theſe weapons the formr rules, defend wt yor ſword & not wt yor daggr, yet yõ may croſs his ſword wt yor daggr, yf yõ may conveniently reach the ſame therwt, wt out puttinge in of yor foote, only by bendinge in of yor body, other wyſe yor tyme wilbeto longe, & this tyme wilbe ſufficient to diſplace his owne, ſo yt yõ ſhal not hyt it wt yor daggr, & ſo he may make a thruſt vpon yõ, this tyme yt I here Meane, of puttinge by of his ſword is, When he lyeth out ſpent wt his ſword poynt towarde you, & not elſe, wchthinge yf yõ can do wtout puttinge in of yot foote, then yõ may vſe yor daggr, & ſtrike ſtrongly & ſodainlye his ſword poynt ther wt ſtrike or thruſt at him wt yor ſword,
|2. Also you may put by his sword blade with your dagger when your swords are crossed, either above at forehand ward, or below at the bastard guardant ward & therewith instantly strike or thrust with your sword & fly out according to your governors, of this you may see more at large in the chapter of the single sword fight in the 24th ground of the same.||2. Alſo yõ may put by his ſword blade wt yor daggr When yor ſwords are Croſt, eyther aboue at forehand ward, or belowe at the baſtard gardant ward & ther wt inſtantly ſtrike or thruſt wt yor ſword & fly out accordinge to yor gournors, of this yõ may ſee more at large in ye Chapter of the ſyngle ſword fyght in the 24th ground of the ſame.|
|3. Also if he is so foolhardy to come to the close, then you may guard with your sword & stab with your dagger, & fly out safe, which thing you may do because his time is too long by the number of his feet, & you have but the swift time of your hand to use, & he cannot stab 'til he has setted in his feet, & so his time is to late to endanger you or to defend himself.||3. Alſo yf he be ſo foolehardye to com to the cloze, then yõ may gard wt yor ſword & stabb wt yor daggr, & fly out ſaf, wch thinge yõ may do because his tyme is to longe by the numbr of his feet, & yõ haue but the ſwyft tyme of yor hand to uſe, & he cannot stabbtil he haue ſetted in his feete, & ſo his time is to late to endangr yõ, or to defend himſelf.|
|4. Know that if you defend yourself with your dagger in other sort than is aforesaid, you shall be in danger to be hurt, because the space of your dagger will be still too wide to defend both blow & thrust for lack of circumference as the buckler has.||4. Know yt yf yõ defend yorſelf wt yr dagger in other ſort than is aforesaid, yõ shalbe endangr to be hurt, because the ſpace of yor daggr wilbe ſtill to wyde to defend both blow & thruſt for lacke of Circomference as ye buckler hath.|
|5. Also note when you defend blow & thrust with your sword, you have a nearer course to offend your enemy with your sword than when you ward with your dagger, for then you may for the most part from your ward strike or thrust him.||5. Alſo note when yõ defend blow & thruſt wt yor ſword yõ haue a neerer courſe to offend yor enemye wt yor ſword then when yõ ward wt yor daggr, for then yõ may for the moſt prte from yor warde ſtrike or thruſt him.|
|6. You must neither close nor come to the grip at these weapons, unless it is by the slow motion or disorder of your adversary, yet if he attempts to close, or to come to the grip with you, then you may safely close & hurt him with your dagger or buckler & go free yourself, but fly out according to your governors & thereby you shall put him from his attempted close, but see you stay not at any time within distance, but in due time fly back or hazard to be hurt, because the swift motion of the hand being within distance will deceive the eye, whereby you shall not be able to judge in due time to make a true ward, of this you may see more in the chapter of the back sword fight in the 12th ground of the same.||6. Yõ muſt neyther Cloze nor com to the grype at theſe weapons, vnleſs it be by the ſlow motyon or diſordour of yor advrſarie, yet yf he attempt ye Cloze, or to com to the grype wt yõ, then yõ may ſafly Cloze & hurt him wt yor daggr or buckler & go free yor ſelf, but fly out according to yor gournors & ther by yõ ſhal put him from his attempted Cloze, but ſe yõ ſtay not at any tyme wtin diſtance, but in due tyme fly back or hazard to be hurt, becauſe ye ſwyft motion of the hand being wtin diſtance will deceue the eye, wher byyõ ſhall not be able to Judge in due tyme to make a true ward, of this yõ may ſe in the chapter of the back ſword fyght in the 12th ground of the ſame.|
|7. If he extends forth his dagger hand you may make your fight the same, remembering to keep your distance & to fly back according to your governors. Every fight & ward with these weapons, made out of any kind of fight, must be made & done according as is taught in the back sword fight, but only that the dagger must be used as is above said, instead of the grip.||7. yf he extend forth his daggr hand yõ may make yor fyght at the ſame, remembring to kepe diſtance & to fly back according to yor gournors. Every fight & ward wt theſe weapons, made out of any kynd of fyght, must be made & don according as is taught in the back ſword fyght, but only yt the daggr muſt be vſed as is abouſaid, in steed of the grype.|
|8. If he lies bent upon his Stocata with his sword or rapier point behind his dagger so you cannot reach the same without putting in your foot, then make all your fight at his dagger hand, so that you may cross his sword blade with yours, then make narrow space upon him with your point & suddenly & strongly strike or bear his point towards his right side, indirecting the same, & instantly strike or thrust him on the head, face arm or body, & fly back therewith out of distance still remembering your governors.||8. yf he lye bent vpõ his Stocata wt his ſworde or rapior poynt behind his daggr ſo yt yõ cannot reach the ſame wtout putting in of yor foote, then make al yor fight at his daggr hand, euer remembring yor gournors, & then yf he draw in his daggr hand, ſo that yõ mayCroſe his ſworde blade wt yors, then make narrow ſpace vpõ him wt yor poynt & ſodainly & strongely ſtryke or bere his poynt towarde his right ſyde, indirecting the ſame, & inſtantly ſtrike or thruſt him on the hed, face, Arme, or body, & fly back ther wt out of diſtance ſtil remembring yor gournors.|
|9. If he lies spent upon his variable fight then keep your distance & make your space narrow upon him, 'til you may cross his sword or rapier point with your sword point, whereupon, you having won or gained the place, strike or thrust instantly.||9. yf he lye ſpent vpõ his variable fyght then kepe yor diſtance & make yor ſpace narrow vpõ him, til yõ may Croſſe his ſword or rapior point wt yor ſword poynt, wher vpon, yõ having won or gayned the place, ſtrike or thruſt inſtantly.|
|10. If he lies bent or spent upon the Imbrocata bear up your point, & make your space narrow & do the like.||10. yf he lye bent or ſpent vpõ the Imbrocata bere vp yor point, & make yor ſpace narrow & do the lyke.|
| Of the short sword & dagger fight against the long sword & dagger or long rapier & poniard.
1. If you have the short sword & dagger, defend with your sword & not with your dagger, except you have a gauntlet or hilt upon your dagger hand, then you may ward upon forehand ward, upon the double with the point of your sword towards his face.
| Of the ſhort ſword & dagger fyght againſt the longe ſword & dagger or longe rapior & poinard.
1. YF yõ haue the ſhort ſword & daggr, defend wt yor ſword & not wt yor daggr, except yõ haue a gautlet or hylt vpõ yor dagger hand, then yõ may ward vpon the dubble wt the poynt of yor ſword towarde his face.
|2. Lie not aloft with your short sword if he lies low variable upon the Stocata or Passata, etc., for then your space will be too wide to make a true cross in due time, or too far in his course to make your space narrow, which space take heed to make very narrow, yes, so that if it touches his blade, it is better.||2. Lye not aloft wt yor ſhort ſword yf he lye alowe variable on the Stocata or passata &c, for then ſpace wilbe to wyde to make a true Croſe in due tyme, or to farr in his courſe to make yor ſpace narrow, the wch ſpace take heede yõ make very narrow, yea, ſo yt yf it touch his blade, it is better.|
|3. I say make your space narrow until you can cross his sword blade strongly & suddenly, so shall you put by his point out of the right line, & instantly strike or thrust, & slip back according to your governors. But take heed unless you can surely & safely cross go not in, but although you can so cross, & thereupon you enter in, stay no by it but fly out according to your governors.||3. I ſay make yor ſpace narrow vntil yõ can croſe his ſword blade ſtrongly & ſodainly, ſo ſhal you put by his point out of the right lyne, & inſtantly ſtrike or thruſt, & ſlyp back according to yor gournors, but take heede unleſs yõ can ſurely & ſafly croſe go not in, but although yõ can ſo croſe, & ther vpon yõ enter in, ſtay not by yt but fly out according to yor gournors,|
|4. If with his long sword or rapier he charges you aloft out of his open or true guardant fight, striking at the right side of your head, if you have a gauntlet or closed hilt upon your dagger hand, then ward it double with forehand ward, bearing your sword hilt to ward your right shoulder, with your knuckles upward & your sword point to ward the right side of his breast or shoulder, crossing your dagger on your sword blade, resting it there upon the higher side of your sword bearing both your hilts close together with your dagger hilt a little behind your sword bearing both your hands right out together spent or very near spent when you ward his blow, meeting him so upon your ward that his blow may light at your half sword or within, so that his blade may slide from your sword & rest with your dagger, at which instant time thrust forth your point at his breast & fly out instantly, so shall you continually endanger him & go safe yourself.||4. yf wt his longe ſword or rapior he charge you aloft out of his open or true gardant fyght strykyng at the right ſyde of yor hed, yf yõ haue a gautlet or cloſe hylt vpon yor daggr hand then ward it dubble wt forehand ward, bering yor ſword hylt to warde yor right ſhouldr, wt yor knuckles upwarde & yor ſword poynt to warde the right ſyde of his brest or sholder, croſſing yor dagger on yor ſword blade reſting yt ther on vpon ye hyer ſyde of yor ſword beringe yor hylts cloſe together wt yor dagger hilt a little behind yorſword hilt bering both yor hands right out together ſpent or verye neere ſpent when yõ ward his blowe, Meetinge him ſo vpon yor ward that his blow may light at yor half ſword or wtin, ſo that his blade may ſlyde from yor ſword & reſt on yor daggr, at wch inſtanttyme thruſt forth yor poynt at his breſt & fly out inſtantly, ſo ſhal yõ cõtynually endanger him & go ſaf yor ſelf.|
|5. If he strikes a loft at the left side of your head, ward as aforesaid, bearing your sword hilt towards your left shoulder with your knuckles downward, & your sword point towards the left side of his breast or shoulder, bowing your body & head a little towards him, & remember to bear your ward to both sides that he strike you not upon the head, then upon his blow meet his sword as aforesaid with your dagger crossed over your sword blade as before, when his sword by reason of his blow upon your sword shall slide down & rest upon your dagger, then suddenly cast his sword blade out toward your left side with your dagger, to indirect his point, & therewith thrust at his breast from your ward & fly out instantly, the like may you do if his sword glance out from yours, upon his blow. All this may safely be done with the short sword & closed hilted dagger or gauntlet.||5. Yf he ſtrike a loft at the left ſyde of yor hed, ward as aforesaid, bering yor knuckles doun warde, & yor ſword poynt towarde the left ſyde of his brest or sholdr, bowing yor body & hed a little forewarde towarde him, & remembr to bere yor warde on both ſyds yt he ſtrike you not vpon the hed, then vpõ his blow meet his ſword as is aforesaid wt yor dagger croſt our yor ſword blade as before, & when his ſword by reason of his blowe vpon yor ſword ſhal ſlyde doune & resft vpon yor dagger, then ſodainly caſt his ſword blade out to warde yor left ſyde wt yor dagger, to indirect his point, & ther wt thruſt at his breſt frõ yor ward & fly out inſtantly, the like may you do yf his ſword glance out frõ yors, vpõ his blowe. al this may ſafly be don wt ye ſhort ſword & cloſe hylted dagger or gautlet|
|6. Stay not within distance of the long sword or rapier with your short sword, nor suffer him to win the place of you, but either cross his sword, or make your space very narrow to cross it before his blow or thrust be in force, yet keeping your distance whereby he shall strike or thrust at nothing, & so shall be subject to the time of your hand against the time of his feet.||6. Stay not wtin diſtance of the longe ſword or rapior wt yor ſhort ſword, nor ſuffer him to wyn the place of you, but eyther Croſe his ſword, or make yor ſpace verye narrow to croſe it before his blow or thrust be in force, yet keping yor diſtance wher by he ſhall ſtrike or thruſt at nothing, & ſo he ſhalbe ſubject to the tyme of yor hand againſt the tyme of his feet.|
|7. Keep distance & lie as you think best for your ease & safety, yet so that you any strike, thrust or ward, & when you find his point certain, then make your space narrow & cross his sword, so shall you be the first mover, & enter first into your action, & he being an after doer, is not able to avoid your cross, not narrow space, nor any such offense as shall be put into execution against him.||7. Kepe diſtance & lye as yõ thinke beſt for yor eaſe & ſafty, yet ſo yt yõ may ſtrike, thruſt, or ward, & when yõ find his poynt Certaine, then make yor ſpace narrow & croſe his ſword, ſo ſhal yõ be the first mour, & enter firſt into yor action, & he beinge an aftr doer, is not able to avoyd yor Croſe, nor narrow ſpace, nor any such offence as shalbe put in execution against hym.|
|8. Having crossed his long sword or rapier with your short sword blade, & put his point out of the straight line by force then strike or thrust at him with your sword & fly out instantly according to your governors.||8. havinge Crost his longe ſword or rapior wt yor ſhort ſword blade, & put his poynt out of the ſtrait lyne by force then ſtrike or thruſt at him wt yor ſword & fly out inſtantly accordinge to y gournors.|
|9. Stand not upon guardant fight only, for so he will greatly endanger you out of his other fights because you have made yourself a certain mark to him, for in continuing in that fight only you shall not only weary yourself, but do also exclude yourself from the benefit of the open, variable, & closed fights, & so shall he have four fights to your one, as you may see in the chapter of the short single sword fight in the 15th ground thereof.||9. Stand not vpõ gardant fyght only, for ſo he will greatlye endanger yõ out of his other fyghts because yõ haue made yorſelf a crtaine marke to him, for in contynuynge in yt fyght only yõ ſhal not only weary yor ſelf, but do alſo exclude yorſelf frõ the benyfyt of the Open, variable, & cloſe fyghts, & ſo ſhal he haue four fyghts to yor one, as yõ may ſe in the Chapter of the ſhort ſyngle ſword fyght in the 15th ground therof|
|If he lies in open or true guardant fight, then you may upon your open or guardant fight safely bring yourself to the half sword, & then you may thrust him in the body, under his guard or sword when he bears it guardant, because he is too weak in his guard, but fly out instantly, & he cannot bring in his point to hurt you, except he goes back with his foot or feet, which time is too long to answer the swift time of the hand.||10. Yf he lye in Open or true gardant fyght, then yõ may vpon yor open & gardant fight ſafly bringe yor ſelf to the half ſword, & then you may thruſt him in the body, vnder his gard or ſword when he beareth it gardant, becauſe he is weak in his garde, but fly out inſtantly, & he cannot bringe in his point to hurt yõ except he go back wt his foote or feet, wch tyme is to longe to anſwer the ſwyft tyme of the hand.|
|If he puts down his sword lower to defend that thrust then will his head be open, so that you may strike him on the head over his sword & fly out therewith, which thing he cannot defend, because his space is too wide to put up his blade in due time to make a true ward for the same.||yf he put doune his ſword lower to defend yt thruſt then will his hed be open, ſo yt yõ may ſtrike him on the hed our his ſword & fly out ther wt, wch thinge he cannot defend, because his ſpace is to wyde to put vp his blade in due tyme to make a true ward foo the ſame.|
|11. Understand that the whole sum of the long rapier fight is either upon the Stocata, Passata, Imbrocata, or Mountanta, all these, and all the rest of their devices you may safely prevent by keeping your distance, because thereby you shall still drive him to use the time of his feet, whereby you shall still prevent him of the true place, & therefore he cannot in due time make any of these fights offensive upon you by reason that the number of his feet will still be too great, so that he shall still use the slow time of his feet to the swift time of your hand.||11. Understand yt the whole ſom if the long rapior fyght is eyther upon the Stocata, Paſſata, Imbrocata, or Mountanta, al theſe, and al the reſt of their devyces you may ſafly prevent by kepinge yor diſtance, becauſe therby you ſhal stil dreue him to vſe the tyme of his feet, wherby yõ ſhal ſtil prvent him of ye true place, & therfore he cannot in due tyme make any of theſe fyghts offencive vpon you by reason yt the number of his feet will ſtil be to great, ſo yt he ſhal ſtil vſe the ſlow tyme of his feet to the ſwyft tyme of yor hand, &therfore yõ may ſafly defend yor ſelf & offend him,|
|Now you can plainly see how to prevent all these, but for the better example note this, whereas I say by keeping of distance some may object that then the rapier man will come in by degrees with such ward as shall best like him, & drive back the sword man continually, to whom I answer, the he can not do, by reason that the sword man's traverses are made circularly, so that the rapier man in his coming in has no place to carry the point of his rapier, in due time to make home his fight, but that still his rapier will lie within the compass of the time of the sword man's hand, to make a true cross upon him, the which cross being made with force he may safely uncross, & hurt the rapier man in the arm, head, face or body, with blow or thrust, & fly out safe before he shall have tie to direct his point again to make his thrust upon the sword man,||Now you may plainly ſe how to prvent al theſe, but for the bettr example note this, wher as I ſay by kepeinge of diſtance ſom may obiect yt then the rapior man will com in by degrees wt ſuch warde as ſhall beſt lyke him, & dryve back the ſword man contynually, towhome I anſwer, yt can he not do, by reaſon yt ye ſword mans travers is made crculer wyſe, ſo yt the rapior man in his cõmyng hath no place to carrye the poynt of his rapior, in due tyme to make home his fyght, but yt ſtil his rapior wil lye wt in the compaſs of thetyme of the ſword mans hand, to make a true croſſe vpon him, the wch croſe beinge made wt force he may ſafly vncroſe, & hurt the rapior man in the Arme, hed, face or body, wt blow or thruſt, & fly out ſaf before he ſal haue tyme to direct his poynt againe to make his thruſt vpõ ye ſword man.|
|12. If the rapier man lies upon the Stocata, first make your space narrow with your short sword, & take heed that he strikes not down your sword point with his dagger & so jump in & hurt you with the thrust of his long rapier, which thing he may do because he has commanded your sword, & so you are left open & discovered & left only unto the uncertain ward of your dagger, which ward is to single for a man to venture his life on, which if you miss to perform never so little you are hurt or slain.||12. Yf ye rapior man lye vpon the ſtocata, firſt make yor ſpace narrow wt yor ſhort ſword, & take heed yt he ſtrike not doune yor ſworde poynt wt his dagger & ſo Jump in & hurt you wt the thruſt of his longe rapior, wch thing he may do becauſe he haue cõmaundedyour ſword, & ſo yõ are left open & diſcovred & left onlye vnto the vncrtaine ward of yor daggr, wch ward is to ſyngle for a man to venter his lyf on, wch yf yõ myſſe to prforme Neuer ſo lyttle yõ are hurt or ſlaine.|
|13. To prevent this danger you must remember your governors, & presently upon his least motion be sure of your distance, & your narrow space, then do as follows.||13. To prvent this danger yõ muſt remember your gournors, & prſently vpon his leaſt motion be ſure of yor diſtance, & yor narrow ſpace, then do as followð.|
|14. If he lies upon his Stocata, with his rapier point within or behind his dagger hand out straight, then lie upon variable in measure with your right foot before & your sword point out directly with your space very narrow as near his rapier point as you may, between his rapier point & his dagger hand, from which you may suddenly with a wrist blow, lift up your point & strike him on the outside or inside of his dagger hand, & fly out withal, then make your space narrow as before, then if he thrust home at you, you are already prepared for his thrust, or you may thrust at his dagger hand, doing which you may think best, but your blow must be only by moving your wrist, for if you lift up your hand & arm to fetch a large blow then your time will be too long, & your space to wide in due time to make a true ward to defend yourself from his thrust, so shall you hurt him although he has a gauntlet thereon, for your thrust will run up between his fingers, & your blow will cut off the fingers of his gauntlet, for he cannot defend himself from one blow or thrust of 20, by reason that you have the place to reach home at his hand, & for that cause he cannot prevent it, neither can he reach home to you without putting in his foot or feet, because the distance is too large, but upon every blow or thrust that you make at his hand slip back a little, so you shall still upon every blow or thrust that you make at him, be out of his reach.||14. Yf he lye vpõ his ſtocata, wt his rapior point wt in or behind his daggr hand out strait, then lye yõ variable in Meaſure wt yor right foote before & yor ſword poynt out directly forth wt yor ſpace very narrow as neere his rapior poynt as yõ may, betwixt his rapiorpoynt & his dagger hand, from wch yõ may ſodainly wt a wriſt blow, lyft vp yor poynt & ſtrike him on the out ſyde or in ſyde of his daggr hand, & fly out wt all, then make yor ſpace narrow as before, then yf he thruſt home at yõ, yõ are redy prpred for hys thruſt, or yõ may thruſt at his dagger hand, do wch yõ ſhal thinke beſt, but yor blow muſt be but only by moving of yor wriſt, for yf yõ lyft vp yor hand and Arme to fetch a large blowe then yor tyme wilbe to longe, & yor ſpace to wyde in due tyme to make a true ward to defend yor ſelf from his thruſt, ſo shall yõ hurt him although he haue a gantlet therone, for yor thruſt wil run vp between his fing, & yor blow wil cut ofthe fyng of his gantlet, for he cannot defend himſelf from on blow or thruſt of 20, by reaſon that yõ haue the place to reach home at his hand, & for yt cauſe he cannot prvent it, nether can he rech home to you wtout putting in of his foot or feet, becauſe his diſtance is to large, but upon eur blow or thruſt yt yõ make at his hand ſlypp back a little, ſo ſhal yõ ſtill vpõ eur blow or thruſt yt yõ make at him, be out of his reach,|
|But if upon your blow or thrust he will enter in with his foot or feet to make home his Stocata or thrust upon you, then by reason of you sliding back, you shall be prepared in due time to make a perfect ward to defend yourself with your sword. Therefore ever respect his rapier point & remember to make & keep narrow space upon it with your sword point, that you may be sure to break his thrust before it is in full force.||but yf vpon yor blow or thruſt he wil enter in wt his foote or feet to make home his stocata or thruſt vpõ you, then by reaſon of yor ſlydynge back, you ſhalbe prepared in due tyme to make a prfyt ward to defend yorſelf wt yor ſworde. Therfore euer reſpect his rapior poynte & remember to make & kepe narrow ſpace upon it wt yor ſword poynt, that yõ may be ſure to break his thruſt before it be in ful force.|
|15. If he thrust at your higher parts with his point a little mounted, then make narrow your space with your point upon his, if you cross his blade on the inside between his rapier & his dagger, if he presses in then from your cross beat or bear back his point strongly towards his right side, & having indirected his point, strike him on the inside of the rapier or dagger hand or arm, or on the head, face, or body, & fly out instantly.||15. Yf he thruſt at yor hyer prts wt his poynt a lyttle mounted, then make narrow yor ſpace wt yor poynt vpon his, yf yõ Croſe his blade on the inſyde between his rapior & his daggr, yf he preſ in then frõ yor croſe beat or bere backe his poynt ſtrongly towarde his right ſyde, and havinge indirected his poynt, ſtrike him on the inſyde of the rapior or daggr hand or Arme, or on the hed, face, or body, & fly out inſtantly,|
|Or you may upon his pressing in with his thrust slip your point down as he comes in, & put up your hilt & ward it guardant, & therewith from that ward cast out his point, & suddenly strike him in one of the places aforesaid, & fly out instantly remembering your governors.||Or you may vpon his prſſinge in wt his thruſt Slypp yor poynt doune as he cõmeth in, & put vp yor hylt & ward it gardant, & ther wt from that ward caſt out his poynt & ſodainly ſtrike him in one of the placs aforeſaid, & fly out inſtantlye remembringe yorgournors.|
|16. If he lies fast & does not come in, then strike & thrust at his dagger hand, with your wrist blow & slip back therewith every time.||16. Yf he lye faſt & do not com in, then ſtrike & thruſt at his daggr hand, wt yor wriſt blow and ſlypp back ther wt euery tyme|
|17. But if he lies fast & beats down your point with his dagger, & then thrusts at you from his Stocata then turn up your hilt with your knuckles upward & your nails downward, taking his blade upon the backside of yours towards your left side & bear it guardant towards that side, & so may you offend him as before is said upon that ward.||17. but if he lye faſt & beat doune yor poynt wt his dagger, & then thruſt at you from his Stocata then turne vp yor hilt wt yor knuckles vpwarde & yor nayles dounwarde, takinge his blade vpõ the backſyde of yors towarde yor left ſyde & bere it gardant towarde ytſyde, & ſo may yõ offend him as before is ſaid vpõ yt ward.|
|18. The like may you do upon him if he lays out his point, when you have crossed the same with yours, & then strike it to either side, & so indirect his point, and then strike or thrust & fly out.||18. The lyke may yõ do vpon him yf he lye out wt his poynt, when yõ haue croſt ye ſame wt yors, & ſtrike it to eyther ſyde, & ſo indirect his poynt, and then ſtrike or thruſt & fly out.|
|19. The like you must do, if he lies with his point direct towards your belly.||19. The lyke muſt yõ do, yf he lye with his point directly towarde yor bellye|
|20. But if you cross his point so mounted or directed as above said, upon the outside of your sword with his point a little higher than your hilt, so that you may cross his blade, then if he thrust over your blade single uncrossing the same, then you may break it with your forehand ward out towards your right side, & if he comes in therewith, then strike him on the outside of his rapier hand or arm, or on the head or face, & fly out therewith.||20. but yf yõ croſe his poynt ſo mounted or dyrect as aboueſaid, vpõ ye out ſyde of yor ſword wt his poynt a little hyer than yor hylt, ſo yt you may croſe his blade, then yf he thruſt ouer yor blade ſyngle uncroſſing the ſame, then may you break it wt yor forehand ward out towarde yor right ſyde, & yf he com in ther wt, then ſtrike him on the out ſyde of his rapior hand or Arme, or on the hed or face, & fly out ther wt|
|21. But if he thrusts in over your sword as above said & presses in his blade strongly double with the help of his dagger, then put down your point & turn up your hilt guardant, so shall you safely defend it bearing it guardant out towards your left side & from that strike him in between his rapier and dagger in one of the aforesaid places & fly out. But if from the cross he slips his point down to thrust under your sword, then strike down his point towards his left foot & therewith strike him on the outside of his rapier hand or arm, head, face, or body & fly out instantly, according to your governors.||21. but yf he thruſt in ouer yor ſword as aboueſaid & preſ in his blade ſtrongly dubble wt the helpe of his dagger, then put doune yor poynt & turne vp yor hylt gardant, ſo ſhal yõ ſafly defend it beringe it gardant out towarde yor left ſyde & from yt ſtrike him in between his rapior and dagger in on of the foreſaid places, & fly out, but yf from this croſe he ſlypp his poynt doune to thruſt vndr yor ſword, then ſtrike doune his poynt towarde his left foote & ther wt ſtrike him on the out ſyde of his rapior hand or arme, hed, face, or body, & fly out inſtantly according to yor gournors.|
|Also you may upon this of his point down, then turn your point short over his blade in your stepping back, & put your point down in the inside of his blade, turning up your hilt guardant as aforesaid, & then if he thrusts at you, bear it guardant towards your left side, & then have you the same offensive blows & thrusts against him as is above said upon the same ward.||Alſo yõ may vpon this of his poynt doune, then turne yor poynt ſhort ouer his blade in yor ſteppinge back, & put yor poynt doune in the inſyde of his blade turnynge vp yor hilt gardant as aforeſaid, & then yf he thruſt at yõ, bere it gardant towarde yor left ſyde, & then haue you the ſame offencive blowes & thruſts againſt him as is aboveſaid vpõ ye ſame ward.|
|22. If he lies after the Stocata with his point down towards your foot, then cross his blade on the outside, & if he turns his point over your blade to make his thrust upon you, bear it out towards your left side, & from that ward offend him as aforesaid.||22. Yf he lye aftr the Stocata wt his poynt doune towarde yor foote, then croſe his blade on ye out ſyde, & yf he turne his poynt our yor hilt & bere it gardant as aboveſaid, bearing it out towarde yor left ſyde, & frõ yt ward offend him as aboveſaid|
|23. Also in this fight take heed that he thrusts you not in the sword hand or arm, therefore ever respect to draw it back in due time, remembering therein your twofold governor, in your coming in, to make your cross or narrow space.||23. Alſo in this fyght take heed yt he thruſt yõ not in the ſword hand or arme, therfore euer reſpect to draw it back in due tyme, remembring therin yor twofold gournor, in yor comyng in, to make yor croſe or narrow ſpace.|
|24. If at sword & dagger or buckler he strikes in at the outside of your right leg ward it with the back of your sword, carrying your point down, bearing you knuckles downward & your nails upward, bearing your sword out strongly towards your right side, upon which ward, you may strike him on the outside of the left leg, or thrust him in the thigh or belly.||24. Yf at ſword & dagger or buckler he ſtrike in at the out ſyde of yor right legge ward it wt the back of yor ſword, carrying yor poynt doune holding yor knuckles dounwarde & yor Nayles upwarde, bering yor ſword out ſtrongly towarde yor right ſyde, vpon wch ward yõ may ſtrike him on the out ſyde of the left legge, or thruſt him in ye thigh or belly|
|25. The like may you do if he strike at your other side, if you ward his blow with the edge of your sword your hand and knuckles as aforesaid, casting out his sword blade towards your left side, this may be used at short or long sword fight.||25. The lyke may yõ do yf he ſtrik at yor other ſyde, yf yõ ward his blowe wt the edge of yor ſword yor hand & knuckles as aforeſaid, caſting out his ſword blade towarde yor left ſyde, this may be vſed at ſhort or longe ſword fyght.|
|26. You must never use any fight against the long rapier & dagger with your short sword but the variable fight, because your space will be too wide & your time too long, to defend or offend in due time.||26. you muſt never vſe any fyght againſt the longe rapior & daggr wt yor ſhort ſword but variable fyght, becauſe yor ſpace wilbe to wyde, & yor time to longe, to defend of offend in due tyme.|
|27. Also you must use very large distance ever, because out of that fight you can hardly make a true cross because being within distance, the eye is deceived to it in due time.||27. Alſo yõ muſt uſe large diſtance euer, becauſe out of yt fyght yõ can hardly make a true croſe becauſe being wt in diſtance ye eye is deceived to do it in due tyme|
|28. Remember in putting forth your sword point to make your space narrow, when he lies upon his Stocata, or any thrust, you must hold the handle thereof as it were along your hand, resting the pommel thereof in the hollow part of the middle of the heel of your hand towards the wrist, & the former part of the handle must be held between the forefinger & thumb, without the middle joint of the forefinger towards the top thereof, holding that finger somewhat straight out gripping round your handle with your other 3 fingers, & laying your thumb straight towards his, the better to be able to perform this action perfectly, for if you grip your handle close out- thwart(?) in your hand, then you cannot lay your point straight upon his to make your space narrow, but that your point will still lie too wide to do the same in due time, & this is the best way to hold your sword in all kinds of variable fight.||28. remembr in putting forth yor ſword point to make yor ſpace narrow, when he lyeth vpõ his ſtocata, or any thruſt, yõ muſt hold ye handle thereof as it were a longſt yor hand, reſting the po~mmell thereof in the hollow prte of the mydl of the heele of yor handtowarde the wriſt, & the former prte of the handle muſt be holden between the fore fynger & thumbe, wtout the Myddle Joynt of the fore fynger towarde the topp ther of, holding yt fynger ſomethinge ſtrait out gryping round yor handle wt yor other iij fingers, & laying yor thumbe ſtrait out vpõ the handle, ſo yt yor thumbe lye al alonge vpon ye ſame, ſo ſhal yõ lay yor point out ſtrait towarde his, the better to be able to prforme this actiõ prfytly, for yf yõ grype yor handle cloſe ourthwart in yor hand, then can yõ not lay yorpoynt ſtrait vpon his to make yor ſpace narrow, but yt yor poynt wil ſtil lye to wyde to doe the ſame in due tyme, & this is the beſt way to hold yor ſword in al kinde of variable fyght|
|29. But upon your guardant or open fight then hold it with full gripping it in your hand, & not laying your thumb along the handle, as some use, then shall you never be able to strongly to ward a strong blow.||29. but vpõ yor gardant or open fyght then hold it wt ful gryping it in yor hand, & not laying yor thumb alonge ye handle, as ſom vſe, then ſhal you neuer be able ſtrongly to ward a ſtronge blowe.|
|30. This have I written out of my entire love that I bear to my countrymen, wishing them yet once again to follow the truth, & to fly the vain imperfect rapier fight, the better to save themselves from wounds & slaughter, for who so attains to the perfection of this true fight which I have here set forth in these my brief instructions, & also in paradoxes of defence, shall not only defend themselves, but shall thereby bring those that fight upon the imperfect fight of the rapier under their mercy, or else put them in Cobb's traverse, where of you may read in the 38th chapter of my paradoxes aforesaid.||30. This haue I written out of myne entyre loue yt I bere to my country men, wiſhing them yet once againe to follow the truth, & to fly the vaine Imprfyt rapior fight, the bettr to ſaue themſelues from wounds & ſlawghter, for who ſo attayneth to the prfectiõ of this truefyght wch I haue here ſet forth in theſe my bref Inſtructions, & alſo in my pradoxes of defence, ſhal not only defend them ſelues, but ſhal ther by bring thoſe that fyght vpõ that Imprfyt fyght of ye rapior vndr their mercye, or elſe put them in Cobbs travers, where ofyõ may read in the 38 Chapter of my pradoxes aforeſaid.|
| Of the sword & buckler fight.
Sword & Buckler fight, & sword & dagger fight are all one, saving that you may safely defend both blow & thrust, single with your buckler only, & in like sort you may safely ward both blows & thrusts double, that is with sword & buckler together which is a great advantage against the sword & dagger, etc., & is the surest fight of all short weapons.
| Of ye ſword & Buckler fyght,
Sword & Buckler fight, & ſword & daggr fyght are al one, ſaving yt yõ ſafly defend both blowe & thruſt, ſyngle wt yor buckler only, & in likeſort yõ may ſafly ward both blowes & thruſts dubble, yt is wt ſword & buckler together wch is great aduantage againſt ye ſword & daggr, &c, & is the ſureſt ſight of al ſhort weapons.
| Of the two hand sword fight against the like weapon.
These weapons are to be used in the fight as the short staff, if both play upon double & single hand, at the 2 hand sword, the long sword has the advantage if the weight thereof is not too heavy for his strength that has it, but if both play only upon double hand, then his blade which is convenient length agreeing with his stature that has it, which is according with the length of the measure of his single sword blade, has the advantage of the sword that is too long for the stature of the contrary party, because he that can cross & uncross, strike & thrust, close & grip in shorter time than the other can.
| Of the two hand ſword fight againſt ye like weapon.
These weapons are to be vſed in fight as the ſhort ſtaf, yf both play vpõ dubble & ſyngle hand, at the ij hand ſword, the long ſword hath the advantage yf the waight ther of be not to heavye for his ſtrength yt hath it, but yf both play only vpon dubble hand, then his blade wch is of cõvenyent length agreeing wt his ſtature yt hath it, wch is according with the length of the meaſure of his ſyngle ſwordblade, hath the advantage of ye ſword yt is to long for ye ſtature of the contrarye prtye, becauſe he can croſe & uncroſe, ſtrike & thruſt,cloze & grype in ſhorter tyme than the other can.
|1. At these weapons ever lie so you may be able to thrust single & double, & to ward, strike, or thrust in due time, so shall your enemy, if he strikes only upon double hand be driven of necessity, seeking to win the place, to gain you the place whereby you may safely hurt him, & go free yourself by reason of your distance, & where you shall seek to win the place upon him he shall not be able to gain the place upon you, nor keep the place from you whereby he shall either be hurt, or in great danger of hurt, by reason of your large reach, true place & distance, your fight being truly handled keeping itself from close & grip.||1. At theſe weapons euer lye ſo that yõ may be able to thruſt ſyngle & dubble, & to ward, ſtrike, or thruſt in due tyme, ſo ſhal yor enemye, yf he fyght only vpõ dubble hand be driuen of neceſſitie, ſeeking to wyn the place, to gayne yõ the place wher by yõ may ſaflyhurt him, & go free yor ſelf by reaſon of yor diſtance, & when yõ ſhal ſeeke to wyn the place vpon him he ſhal not be able to gaine the place vpon you, nor to kepe the place frõ you wher by he ſhal eyther be hurt, or in great danger of hurt, by reaſon of yor large reach, true place & diſtance, yor fight being truly handled keeping it ſelf from Cloze & grype.|
|2. And in like sort shall it be between two, which shall play upon the best, that is, if they play both double & single handed.||2. And in like ſort ſhal it be betweene two, wch ſhal play vpon the beſt, yt is, yf they play both dubble & ſyngle handed.|
|3. If you find yourself too strong for your adversary in any manner of ward, whether the same be above or below, put by his staff with force, & then strike or thrust him from it,||3. yf yõ fynd yor ſelf to ſtrong for yor adurſarie in any mannr of ward, whether the ſame be aboue or belowe, put by his ſtaf wt force, & then ſtrike or thruſt from it,|
|4. But if you find him too strong for you upon his blows from aloft, so that you can hardly bear them upon your ward, then when he strikes in aloft at your head, & by his main strength would beat down your staff, & so give you a hurt before you shall be able to come again into your ward.||4. but yf yõ fynd him to ſtrong for yõ vpõ hys blowes from a loft, ſo yt yõ can hardly bere them vpon yor ward, then when he ſtryketh in a loft at yor hed, & by hys maine ſtrength would beat doune yor ſtaf, & ſo geue yõ a hurt before yõ ſhalbe able to com againeinto yor ward,|
|Against such a one give a slip in the sort, suddenly draw back the higher part of your body a little & your foremost foot withal, & slip in the point of your staff under his staff, & thrust single at him, & fly out with all, so shall you be sure to hit him & go out free.||Againſt ſuch a on giue the ſlypp in this ſort, ſodainly dray back the hyer prte of yor body a lyttle & yor for moſt foote wt all, & ſlyp in the poynt of yor ſtaf vndr his ſtaf, & thruſt ſingle at him, & fly out wt all, ſo ſhal you be ſure to hyt him & go out free,|
|5. If he lies aloft with his staff, then you lie with your back hand low, with your point upwards towards his staff, making your space narrow because you may cross his staff to ward his blow before it comes into full force, & then strongly & suddenly misdirect his point & so thrust at him single, the which you may do before he can remove his feet, by reason of the swiftness of your hand or fly out therewith, do this for both sides of the head if cause requires it, so shall you save both your head, body, and all parts, for your upper parts are guarded, & your lower parts far out of his reach.||5. yf he lye a loft wt his ſtaf, then lye yõ wt your hindr hand alowe, wt yor poynt vptowards his ſtaf making yor ſpace narrow becauſe yõ may croſe hys ſtaf to ward his blow before it com in ful force, & then ſtrongly & ſodainlye indirect his poynt, & ſo thruſt at himſyngle, the wch yõ may do before he can remoue his feet, by reaſon of the ſwyſtnes of yor hand & fly out ther wt do this for both ſyds of ye hed yf cauſe require yt, ſo ſhal yõ ſaue both yor hed, body, and al prts, for yor vppr parts are garded, & yor lower prts tofarr out of his reach.|
|6. If he lies low with his point down, then lie you with your point down also, with your foremost hand low & your hind most hand high, so that you may cross his staff, & do all things as said in the other.||6. yf he lye a lowe wt his poynt doune, then lye yõ wt yor poynt alſo, wt yor foremoſt hand lowe & yor hindr moſt hand hye, for ſo yt yõ may croſe his ſtaf, & do in al things as is before ſaid in the other|
|7. If he lies upon the thrust then you lie with your space narrow lying up or down with your point in such sort as you may cross his staff, & thereby you shall be able to put or beat by his thrust before it is in full force, & then strike or thrust, ever remembering your governors. If upon this any will object that if this is true, then it is in vain to strike, to thrust, because he that does it is still in danger, this doubt is answered in the short single sword fight, in the 12th ground thereof.||7. yf he lye vpõ the thruſt then lye yõ wt yor ſpace narrow lying vp or doune wt yor poynt in ſuch ſort as you may croſe his ſtaf, & therby yõ ſhal be able to put by or beat by this thruſt before it be in ful force, & then ſtrike or thruſt, euer remembring yor gouernors. yf vpon this any wil obiect yt yf this betrue, then it is in vaine to ſtrike, or thruſt, becauſe he yt doth it is ſtil in danger, this doubt is answered in the ſhort ſingle ſword fight, in the 12th ground therof|
|8. If your adversary strikes aloft at any side of your head or body, ward it with your point up & making your space so narrow that you may cross his staff before it comes in full force bearing or beating down his blow strongly, back again towards that side that he strikes in at you, & out of that ward, then instantly, either strike from that ward turning back your staff, & strike him on that side of the that is next to your staff.||8. Yf yor adurſarie ſtrike a loft at any ſyde of yor hed or body, ward it wt yor point vp & making yor ſpace ſo narrow yt yõ may croſe his ſtaf before it com in ful force bearing or beating doune his blow ſtrongly, back againe towards yt ſyde yt he ſtryketh in at you, & out of yt ward, then Inſtantly, eyther ſtrike frõ yt ward, turning back yor ſtaf, & ſtrike him on yt ſyde of the hed yt is next yor ſtaf,|
|Or lift up your staff again, & so strike him on the head or body, or thrust at his body double or single, as you may find your best advantage ever in holding your staff, let there be such convenient space between your hands, wherein you shall find yourself most apt to ward, strike or thrust to your best liking.||Or lyft vp yor ſtaf againe, & ſo ſtrike him on the hed or body, or thruſt at his body dubble or ſyngle, as yõ may find yor beſt aduantage ever in holding yor ſtaf, let ther be ſuch convenient ſpace between yor hands, wher in you ſhal fynd yor ſelf apteſt to ward, ſtrike or thruſt to yor beſt lyking|
|9. If you play with your staff with your left hand before and your right hand back behind, as many men find themselves most apt when that hand is before, & if your adversary upon his blow comes in to take the close of you, when you find his staff crossed with yours near his hand, then suddenly slip up you right hand close to the hind side of your foremost hand, & presently loosing the hind side of your foremost hand & put in under your own staff, & then cross or put by his staff therewith your hand take hold of his staff in such sort that your little finger be towards the point of his staff, & your thumb & forefinger towards his hands, & presently with your right hand mount the point of your own staff casting the point thereof over your right shoulder, with your knuckles downwards, & so stab him in the body or face with the hind end of your staff, but be sure to stab him at his coming in, whether you catch his staff or not, for sometimes his staff will lie to far out that upon his coming in you cannot reach it, then catch that arm in his coming in which he shall first put forth within your reach, but be sure to stab, for his staff can do you no hurt, and having so done, if you find yourself too strong for him, strike up his heels, if too weak fly out.||9. Yf yõ play wt yor ſtaf wt yor left hand before & yor right hand back behind, as many men do fynd them ſelues moſt apteſt when yt hand is before, & yf yor aduerſarie vpõ his blowe com in to take the cloze of you, when yõ fynd his ſtaf croſt wt yors neere his hand then ſodainlye ſlyp vp yor right hand close to the hindr ſyde of yor formoſt hand, & prſently looſing yor for muſt hand & put it vndr your owne ſtaf, & then croſe or put by his ſtaf ther wt & wt yor hand take hold of his ſtaf in such ſort yt yor lyttle fyngr be towards the poynt of his ſtaf , & yor thumb & fore fingr towards his hands, & prſently wt yor right hand mount ye point of yor owne ſtaf caſting the point thereof back ouer yor right ſholdr, yor knuckles doun wards, & yor nayles vpwards, & ſo ſtabb him in the body or face wt the hindr end of ye ſtaf, but be ſure to ſtabb him at his cõmyng in, whether yõ catch his ſtaf or not, for ſomtymes his ſtaf will lye ſo farr out yt vpon his cõmyng in yõ cannot reach it, then catch yt arme in his comynge in wch he ſhal firſt put forth wt in yorreach, but be ſure to ſtabb, for his ſtaf can do yõ no hurt, and having ſo don, yf yõ fynd yor ſelf to ſtrong for him, ſtrike vp his heeles, yf to weake fly out.|
|10. The like must you do if you play with your right hand before, & your left hand back behind, but if you need not to slide forth your left hand, because your right hand is in the right place on your staff already to use in that action, but then you must displace your left hand to take hold of his staff, or the grip as is aforesaid, & to use the stab as is above said.||10. The like muſt yõ do yf yõ play wt yor right hand before, & yor left hand back behind, but yt yõ neede not to ſlyde forth yor left hand, becauſe yor right hand is in the right place of yor ſtaf alredye to vſe in yt action, but then yõ muſt diſplace yor left hand to take hold of his ſtaf, or the grype as is a foreſaid, & to vſe the ſtabb as is aboue ſaid,|
|11. If both lie aloft as aforesaid, & play with the left hand before, if he strikes at the right side of your head or body then must you cross his staff before his blow is in full force, by making your space narrow, & then strike it strongly back again towards his left side, & from that ward you may turn back your staff & strike him backward & therewith on the left side of his head, or lift up your staff & strike him on the right or left side of the head, body, or arm, or thrust him in the body, the like blows or thrusts any you make at him whether he strikes or thrusts, having put by his staff, remembering your governors. The like order must you use in playing with the right hand foreward.||11. yf both lye a loft as aforeſaid, & play wt ye left hand before, yf he ſtrike at the Ryght ſyde of yor hed or body then muſt yõ croſe his ſtaf before his blow be in ful force, by making yor ſpace narrow, & then ſtrike it ſtrongly back againe towards his left ſyde, & from ytward yõ may turne back yor ſtaf & ſtrike him backwards ther wt on the left ſyde of the hed, or lyft vp yor ſtaf & ſtrike him on the right or left ſyde of the hed, body, or arme, or thruſt him in the body, the lyke blowes or thruſts may you make at him whether he ſtrike or thruſt, having put by his ſtaf, remembring yor gournors. The like ordr muſt yõ vſe in playing with the right hand before,|
|12. But if he thrust at you continually then ever have a special care to consider, whether he lies aloft or below, & do continually thrust at you there from, then look that you ever lie so that you make your space so narrow upon him, that you be sure to cross his staff with yours, & put it before it be in full force, and from that ward, thrust at him single or double as you find it best, & if he remember not to fly back at that instant when he thrusts it will be too late for him to avoid any thrust that you shall make at him.||12. but yf he thruſt at yõ cõtynually then euer have a ſpeciall care to cõſyder, whether he lye a loft or belowe, & do continually thruſt at yõ ther from, then looke that yõ euer lye ſo yt yõ make yor ſpace ſo narrow vpon him, yt yõ be ſure to croſe his ſtaf wt yors, & put it before it be in full force, and frõ yt ward, thruſt at him ſyngle or dubble as yõ fynd it beſt, & yf he remembr not to fly back at yt inſtant when he thruſteth it wilbe to late for him to avoyd any thruſt yt yõ ſhal make at him,|
| Of the short staff fight against the long staff.
1. If you have a staff of the convenient length against a staff of longer length than is convenient, then make your space narrow, & seek not to offend until you have strongly & swiftly put by his point which you shall with ease accomplish, by reason of your narrow space & your force, then strike or thrust him as you shall think best.
| Of the fhort ſtaf fyght againſt the longe ſtaf.
1. Yf yõ haue a ſtaf of longer length than is cõvenient then make yor ſpace narrow, & ſeeke not to offend vntil yõ haue ſtrongly & ſwyftly put by his point the wch yõ ſhal wt eaſe accompliſh, by reaſon of yor narrow ſpace & yor force, then ſtrike or thruſt as yõ ſhalthinke beſt.
|2. This short staff fight against the long staff is done in the same sort that short staff fight to short staff fight is done, but that the man with the short staff must always remember to keep narrow space upon the long staff, where so ever the long staff shall lie, high or low, continually make your space narrow upon him, so shall you be sure if he strikes or thrusts at you, to take the same before it is into its full force & by reason that your force is more with your short staff than his can be at the point of his long staff you shall cast his staff so far out of the straight line with your short staff, that you may safely enter in with your feet, & strike or thrust home at him.||2. This ſhort ſtaf fight againſt ye longe ſtaf is don in the ſame ſort that ſhort ſtaf fight to ſhort ſtaf is don, but yt the man wt the ſhort ſtaf muſt alwaies remembr to kepe a narrow ſpace vpon ye long ſtaf, wher ſo euer the longe ſtaf ſhal lye, Hye or lowe, cõtinually make yor ſpace narrow vpõ, ſo shall yõ be ſure yf he ſtrike or thruſt at yõ, to take the ſame before it be into his full force, & by reaſon yt yor force is more wt yor ſhort ſtaf than his can be at the poynt of his longe ſtaf, yõ ſhal caſt his ſtaf ſo farr out of ye ſtreit lyne wt yorſhort ſtaf, yt yõ may ſafly enter in wt yor feet, & ſtrike or thruſt home at him.|
|3. Yet this present shift he has at that instant, he may slip back his staff in his hands, which time is swifter then your feet coming forward, whereby he will have his staff as short as yours, yet by reason that at the first you cast his staff so far out of the right line, that you had time to enter with your feet, you shall then be so near him, that you make narrow space upon him again, so that he shall have no time to slip foreward his staff again in his former place, nor go back with his feet, & so to recover the hind end of his staff again, because if he slips forth his staff to strike or thrust at you, that may you safely defend because of your narrow space upon him, & therewithal you may strike or thrust him from your ward, either at single or double.||3. Yet this prſent ſhift he hath at yt inſtant, he may ſlypp back his ſtaf in his hands, wch tyme is ſwyfter then yor feet in cõmynge forwarde, wher by he will haue his ſtaf as ſhort as yors, yet by reaſon yt at ye firſt yõ caſt his ſtaf ſo farr out of the right lyne, that yõ hadtyme to enter in wt yor feet, yõ ſhal then be ſo neere him, yt yõ may make narrow ſpace vpõ him againe, ſo yt he ſhal haue no tyme to ſlyp forwarde his ſtaf agayne in his former place, nor to go back wt his feet, & ſo to recour the hindr end of his ſtaf againe, becauſeyf he ſlyp forth his ſtaf to ſtrike or thruſt at you, that may yõ ſafly defend becauſe of your narrow ſpace vpõ him, & ther wt al yõ may ſtrike or thruſt him frõ yor warde, eyther at ſyngle or dubble,|
|4. But if he will go back with his feet thinking by that means to recover the whole length of his staff again, that can he not do in convenient time because the time of your hand is swifter than the time of his feet, by reason whereof you may strike or thrust him in his going back.||4. but yf he wil go back wt his feet thinking by yt meanes to recour the whole length of hys ſtaf againe, yt can he not do in cõvenyent tyme because the tyme of yor hand is ſwyftr than ye tyme of his feet, by reaſon wherof yõ may ſtrike or thruſt him in his goyngback.|
|5. Again it is to be remembered in that time that you keep him at bay, upon the drawing in of his staff, the hind end thereof lying so far back behind will be so troublesome for him, that he can make no perfect fight against you & commonly in his drawing in of his staff it will be too short to make a true fight against you, neither to offend you or make himself safe.||5. Againe it is to be remembred in yt tyme yt yõ keepe him at yt bay, vpõ the drawing in of his ſtaf, the hindr end therof lying ſo farr back behind him wilbe ſo trobbleſom vnto him, that he can make no prfyt fight againſt yõ & cõmonly in his drawing in of his ſtaf itwilbe to ſhort to make true fight against you, nether to offend yõ nor defend him ſelf.|
|6. If he attempts the close with you then stab him with the hind end of your staff as said in the fight of the 2 short staves of convenient length, in the 9th ground thereof.||6. yf he attempt the Cloze wt yõ then ſtabb him wt the hindr end of yor ſtaf as is ſaid in ye fyght of ye ij ſhort ſtaves of cõvenyent length, in the 9th ground therof.|
|Note: Remember that at the Morris pike, forest bill, long staff & two handed sword, that you lie in such sort upon your wards that you may both ward, strike & thrust both double & single, & then return to your former wards slips & lie again & then are you as you were before. The like fight is to be used with the javelin, partisan, halberd, black bill, battle axe, glaive, half pike, etc.||Note. Remembr yt at Morris pyke, forreſt byll, longe ſtaf & two hand ſword, yt yõ lye in ſuch ſort vpõ yor wards yt yõ may both ward, ſtrike, & thruſt, both dubble & ſyngle, & then returne to yor former wards ſlyps & lyinge againe & then are yõ as yõ wer before The like fight is to be vſed wt ye Javelen, prtyſon, halbard, black byll. battle Axe, gleve half pyke &c.|
| Of the fight of the forest bill against the like weapon & against the staff
1. The forest bill has the fight of the staff but it has 4 wards more with the head of the bill, that is one to bear it upwards, another to beat it downwards so that the carriage of your bill head is with the edge neither up nor down but sideways.
| Of the fight of the forreſt byll againſt the like weapon & againſt the ſtaf.
1. The forreſt byl haue the fyght of the ſtaf but yt it hath iiij wards more wt the hed of the byll, yt is one to bere it vpwards, another to beat it dounwards ſo yt the carrage of yor byll hed be wt the edge neyther nor doune but ſyde wyſe.
|The other 2 wards are one to cast his bill head downwards towards the right side, & the other towards the left. And upon either one of these wards or catches run up to his hands with the head of your bill & then by reason that you have put his staff out of the right line, you may catch at his head, neck, arm or legs, etc., with the edge of your bill, & hook or pluck him strongly to you & fly out withal.||The other ij wards are on to cast his byl hed towards the ryght ſyde, thother towards ye left ſyde. And vpon eir on of theſe wards of catches run vp to his hands wt the hed of yor byll & then by reaſon yt yõ haueput his ſtaf out of ye right lyne, yõ may catch at his hed neck arme or leggs &c wt ye edge of yor byll, & hook or pluck him ſtrongly to you & fly out wtall.|
|2. If you cast his staff so far out that your bill slides not up to his hands, then you may safely run in sliding your hands within one yard of the head of your bill, & so with your bill in one hand take him by the leg with the blade of your bill & pluck him to you & with your other hand defend yourself from his gripping if he offers to grapple with you.||2. Yf yõ caſt his ſtaf ſo farr out yt yor byll ſlyde not vp to his hands, then you may ſafly run in ſlyding yor hands wtin one yard of ye hed of yor byll, & ſo wt yor byl in one hand take him by ye legg wt the blade of yor byll & pluck him to yõ & wt yor other hand defend yor ſelf from his grips yf he offer to grype wt you.|
|3. If you fight bill to bill do the like in all respects as with the staff in your fight, for your bill fight & staff fight is all one, but only for the defence & offense with the head of the bill, & where the staff man upon the close if he uses the stab with the butt end of his staff, the bill man at that time is to use the catch at the leg with the edge of his bill in the second ground above is said.||3. Yf you fight byll to byll do the like in al reſpects as wt ye ſtaf in yor fyght, for yor byll fight & ſtaf fyght is al one, but only for the defence & offence wt the hed of ye byll, & wher ye ſtaf man vpõ the cloze yf he vſe ye ſtabb wt the butt end of his ſtaf, the byll man atyt tyme is to vſe ye catch at he legg wt ye edge of his byll, as in ye ſecond ground above is ſaid.|
|4. Remember ever in all your fights with this weapon to make your space narrow whether it is against the staff or bill so that whatsoever he shall do against you, you shall still make your ward before he is in his full force to offend you.||4. Remembr euer in al yor fyght wt this weapon to make yor ſpace narrow whether it be againſt the ſtaf or byll ſo yt what ſo euer he ſhal do againſt you, yõ ſhal ſtill make yor ward before he be in his ful force to offend you.|
|5. Also if you can reach within the head of his bill with the head of your bill then suddenly with the head of your bill snatch his bill head strongly towards you, & therewithal indirect his bill head & forcibly run up your bill head to his hands, so have you the like advantage as above said, whereas I spoke of running up towards his hands.||5. Alſo yf yõ can reach wtin the hed of yor byll then ſodainly wt the hed of yor byll ſnach his byll hed ſtrongly towards you, & therwtall indirect his byl hed & forcibly run vp yor byl hed to his hands, ſo haue yõ the lyke advantage as aboueſaid, wheras I ſpake ofrunyng vp towards his hands.|
|6. If he lies low with this bill head then if you can put your bill head in over the head of his bill, & strongly put down his bill staff with your bill head, bearing it flat, then you may presently run up your bill head single handed to his hands & fly out therewith, so shall you hurt him in the hands & go free yourself.||6. Yf he lye alowe wt his byl hed then yf yõ can put yor byll hed in our the hed of his bylle & ſtronglye put doune his byl ſtaf wt yor byl hed, bearinge it flat, then yõ may prſently run vp yor byll hed ſingle handed to his hands, & fly out therwt, ſo ſhal yõ hurt him inye hand & go free yorſelf.|
|7. The like may you do with your bill against the short staff if you can press it down in the like sort, but if he has a long staff then run up double handed with both hands upon your bill, which thing you may safely do because you are in your strength & have taken him in the weak part of his staff.||7. The like may yõ do wt yor byll againſt the ſhort ſtaf yf yõ can preſs it doune in ye lyke ſort, but yf he haue a longe ſtaf then run up dubble handed wt both hands vpon yor byll, wch thynge yõ may ſafly do becauſe yõ are in yor ſtrength & haue taken him in the weak prte of his ſtaf.|
|8. If he lies high with his bill head then put up your bill head under his & cast out his bill to the side that you shall find most fit, so have you the advantage to thrust or hook at him & fly out.||8. Yf he lye hye wt his byll hed then put vp yor byll hed undr his & caſt his byll out to yt ſyde yt yõ ſhal fynd fyteſt, ſo haue yõ the aduantage to thruſt or hook at him & fly out.|
|Or if you cast out his bill far out of the right line then run in & take him by the leg with the edge of your bill, as is said in the 2nd ground of this chapter.||Or yf yõ caſt his byl farr out of the right lyne then run in & take him by the legg wt ye edge of yor byll, as is ſaid in the 2nd ground of this chapter.|
|9. If you ward his blow with the bill staff within your bill head then answer him as with the short staff.||9. If yõ ward his blow wt yor byll ſtaf wtin yor byll hed, then anſwer him as wt ye ſhort ſtaf.|
|Note: That as the bill man's advantage is to take the staff with the head of the bill so that the staff man by reason that the head of the bill is a fair mark has the advantage of him in the casting aside of the head of the bill with his staff or beating it aside, the which if the bill man looks not very well into the staff man thereupon will take all manner of advantages of the staff fight against him.||Note yt as the byl mans aduantage is to tak the ſtaf wt ye hed of ye byll ſo the ſtaf man by reason yt ye hed of ye byll is a faire mark hath ye aduantage of him in ye caſting aſyde of the hed of the byll wt his ſtaf or beating yt aſyde, the wch yf ye byll man looke not very well into it the staff man ther vpon wil take al mannr of aduantages of ye ſtaf fyght againſt him.|
| Of the fight of the morris pike against the like weapon
1. If you fight with your enemy having both morris pikes with both points of your pikes forewards, low upon the ground, holding the butt end of the pike in one hand single with knuckles upwards & the thumb underneath, with the thumb & forefinger towards your face & the little finger towards the point of the pike, bearing the butt end of the pike from the one side to the other right before your face, then lie you with your arm spent & your body open with your hand to your right side with your knuckles downwards & your nails upwards.
| Of the fyght of ye morris pyke againſt the lyke weapon.
1. Yf yõ fight wt yor enemy having both morris pyks wt both poynts of yor pyks forwards, alowe upon ye ground, holding the butt end of the pyke in one hand ſyngle wt knuckles vpwards & the thumb undrneth, wt the thumbe& forefingr towards yor face & the lyttle fynger towards the poynt of ye pyke, bering the butt end of the pyke frõ the one ſyde to ye other right before the face, then lye yõ wt yor ſpent & yor body open wt yor hand to ye rightſyde wt yor knuckles Dounwards & yor nailes vpwards.
|Or you may lie in that sort, with your hand over to the left side with your knuckles upwards & your nails downwards, whereby all your body will be open, if then he shall suddenly raise up the point of his pike with his other hand & come thrust at you, then in the mounting of his point or his coming in, suddenly toss the point of your pike with your hand single & so thrust him in the legs with your pike & fly out therewith.||Or yõ may lye in yt ſort, wt yor hand over to the left ſyde wt yor knuckles vpwards & yor nayles Dounwards, wherby al yor body wilbe Open. yf then he ſhal ſodainlye rayſe vp the point of his pyke wt his other hand & com to thruſt at yõ, then in the Mountinge of his poynt or his cõynge in ſodainlye toſſe vp the poynt or yor pyke wt yor hand ſyngle & ſo thruſt him in the leggs wt yor pyke & fly out therwt.|
|Or else you may stand upon your ward & not toss up your point but break his thrust by crossing the point of his pike with the middle of your pike by casting up your hand, with the butt end of your pike above your head, & so bearing over his point with your staff, to the other side as for example.||Or els you May ſtand vpõ yor ward & Not toſſe vp yor pykes poynt but breake his thruſt by croſſynge the poynt of his pyke wt the Mydds of yor pyke by caſting vp yor hand, wt the butt end of yor pyke aboue yor hed, & ſo bering ouer hys point wt yor ſtaf, to the other ſyde as for example,|
|2. If you lie with your hand spent towards the left side of your body, then suddenly bear his point over strongly towards your right side. If you lie with your hand spent towards your right side then bear his point towards your left side, & thereupon gather up your pike with your other hand & thrust him & fly out.||2. Yf yõ lye wt yor hand ſpent towards the left ſyde of yor bodye, then ſodainlye bere his poynt ouer ſtrongly towards yor right ſyde. Yf yõ lye wt yor hand ſpent towards yor right ſyde then bere his poynt towards yor left ſyde, & ther vpon gather vp yor pyke wt yor other hand & thruſt at him & fly out.|
|If he continues his fight with his point above, & you lie with your pike breast high & higher with you hand & point so, that you make your thrust at his face or body with your point directly towards his face, holding your pike with both your hands on your back hand with your knuckles upwards & your foreward hand with your knuckles downwards & there shaking your pike & falsing at his face with your point as near his face as you may, then suddenly make out your thrust single handed at his face & fly out withal, which thrust he can hardly break one of 20 by reason that you made your space so narrow upon his guard, so that you being first in your action he will still be too late in his defence to defend himself.||Yf he cõtynew his fyght wt his point aboue, & yõ lye wt yor pyke brest hye & hyer wt your hand & point ſo, yt yõ may Make yor thruſt at his face or body wt yor poynt Directly towards his face, holding yor pyke wt both your hands on yor ſtaf yor hinder hand wtyor knuckles vpwards & yor formuſt hand wt yor knuckles dounwards & ther ſhaking yor pyke & faulſing at his face wt yor poynt as Neere his face as you may, then ſodainlye Make out yor thruſt ſyngle handed at his face & fly backe wtall, wch thruſt he can hardly breake one of 20 by reaſon yt yõ haue make yor ſpace ſo narrow vpon his gard, ſo yt yõ beinge firſt in yor action he wil ſtil be to late in his defence to defend himſelf.|
|4. But note while you lie falsing to deceive him look to your legs that he in the mean time toss not up the point of his pike single handed & hurt you therewith in the shins.||4. but note while yõ lye faulfinge to Deceve him looke well to yor leggs yt he in the Meane tyme toſſe not vp the poynt of his pyke ſyngle handed & hurt yõ therwt in ye ſhynes.|
|5. If he lies so with his point up aloft as you do then make your space narrow mounting your point a little & cross his pike with yours & strongly and suddenly cast his point out of the right line & thrust home from the same single or double as you find your best advantage, & fly out therewith.||5. If he lye ſo wt his poynt vp a loft as you do then Make yor ſpace Narrow Mountinge yor point a lyttle & croſe his pyke wt yors & ſtronglye and ſodainly caſt his poynt out of the right lyne and thruſt whome from the ſame ſyngle or dubble as you fynd yor beſtaduantage, & fly out therwt|
|Or you may run in when you have cast out his point finding both your hands on your staff 'til you come within 3 quarters of a yard of the head of your pike & stab him through with one hand & with the other keep him from the grip.||Or yõ may run in when yõ haue caſt out his poynt ſlydinge both yor hands on yor ſtaf til yõ com wtin iij quarters of a yard of the hed of yor pyke & ſtabb him therwt wt one hand & wt yor other hand kepe him of from ye grype.|
|6. Now if he is a man of skill, notwithstanding the making of the fault in suffering you to do so yet this help he has, as you are coming in he will suddenly draw in his pike point & fly back withal, then have you no help but to fly out instantly to the middle of your pike & from thence back to the end & then are you as at the first beginning of your fight you were.||6. Now yf he be a man of ſkyll, notwtſtandinge ye Making of yt faulte in ſuffering you to do ſo yet this help he hath, as yõ aer cõmynge in he will ſodainlye draw in his pyke poynt & fly back wtall, then haue yõ no helpe but to fly out inſtantly to the myddle of yorpyke & from thence backeto ye end & then are yõ as at the firſt begynnynge of yor fyght yõ were.|
|7. If you find that he lies far out of the right line with his point or that you can so far indirect the same then cast your pike out of your hands, cross over upon the middle of his pike, by which means you shall entangle his pike, then while he does strive to get his pike at liberty, run you in suddenly drawing your dagger & strike or staff at him.||7. Yf you fynd yt he lye farr out of ye right lyne wt his poynt or yt yõ can ſo farr Indirect ye ſame then caſt yor pyke out of yor hands, croſe over vpon the myds of his pyke, by wch meanes yõ ſhal entangle his pyke, then while he doth ſtryve to get his pyke atlybertye, run you in ſodainly drawing yor Daggr & ſtrike or ſtabb at him.|
|8. Then if he has the perfection of this fight as well as you, he will be ready with his dagger as you are with yours, then must you fight it out at the single dagger fight as is shown in the 15th chapter: then he that has not the perfection of that fight goes to ruin.||8. Then yf he haue the prfection of this fyght as well as you, he wilbe as reddy wt his daggr as yõ are wt yors, then muſt yõ fyght it out at the ſyngle daggr fyght as is ſhewed in the 15th Cap: then he yt hath not the prfection of yt fyght gowt to wracke.|
|9. And here note that in all the course of my teaching of these my brief instructions if both the parties have the full perfection of the true fight then the one will not be able to hurt the other at what perfect weapon soever.||9. And here note yt in al the courſe of my teachinge of theſe my breef Inſtructions yf both prtyes haue the ful prfection of ye true fyght then the on will not be able to hurt thother at what prfyt weapon ſo euer.|
|10. But if a man that has the perfection of fight shall fight with one that has it not then must that unskillful man go to ruin & the other go free.||10. But yf a Man yt haue the prfection of fight ſhal fight wt on yt haue it not then muſt yt vnſkylful man go to wrack & thother goe free.|
| Of the single dagger fight against the like weapon
1. First know that to this weapon there belongs no wards or grips but against such a one as is foolhardy & will suffer himself to have a full stab in the face or body or hazard the giving of another, then against him you may use your left hand in throwing him aside or strike up his heels after you have stabbed him.
| Of the ſingle Dager fyght againſt the lyke weapon.
1. First know yt to this weapon ther belongeth no Wards nor gryps but againſt ſuch a one as is foolehardy & will ſuffer himſelf to haue a ful ſtabb in the face or bodye to hazard the geving of Another, then againſt him yõ may vſe yor left hand in throwinge him aſydeor ſtrike vp his heeles aftr yõ haue ſtabd him.
|2. In this dagger fight, you must use continual motion so shall he not be able to put you to the close or grip, because your continual motion disappoints him of his true place, & the more fierce he is in running in, the sooner he gains you the place, whereby he is wounded, & you not anything the rather endangered.||2. In this daggr fyght, yõ muſt vſe cotynual motion ſo ſhal he not be able to put yõ to ye cloze of grype, becauſe yor contynuall motion diſappointeth him of his true place, & the more ferce he is in runnynge in, the ſoonr he gayneth you the place, whereby he is wounded, & yõ not any thing the rather endangered.|
|3. The manner of handling your continual motion is this, keep out of distance & strike or thrust at his hand, arm, face or body, that shall press upon you, & if he defends blow or thrust with his dagger make your blow or thrust at his hand.||3. The mannr of handling yor cõtynuall motion is this, kepe out of diſtance & ſtrik or thruſt at his hand, Arme, face or body, yt ſhal preſs vpon yõ, & yf he defend blow or thruſt wt his daggr make yõ blow or thruſt at his hand.|
|4. If he comes in with his left leg forewards or with the right, do you strike at that part as soon as it shall be within reach, remembering that you use continual motion in your progression & regression according to your twofold governors.||4. Yf he com in wt his left legg forewards or wt the right, do you ſtrike at yt prte as ſoone as it ſhalbe wtin yor reach, remembring yt yõ vſe contynual motion in yor prgreſſion & regreſſyon according to yor twyfold gournors.|
| 5. Although the dagger fight is thought a very dangerous fight by reason of the shortness & singleness thereof, yet the fight thereof being handled as is aforesaid, is as safe & as defensive as the fight of any other weapon, this ends my brief instructions.
| 5. Although the daggr fyght be thought a verye dangerous fyght by reaſon of ye ſhortnes & ſynglenes therof, yet the fight therof being handled as is aforeſaid, is as ſaf & as defencive as is the fight of any other weapon, this endeth my Inſtructions.
The proper placement of these pages cannot be determined without examining scans of the Sloane MS No.376.
| Sundry kinds of play or fight. Thornborow
|| Sundry kinds of play or fight. Thornborow
| 3 different kinds of fight:
|| iij different kinds of fight
| all these with an imperfect ward & out of the way.
|| wt an Imprfit ward & out of ye way.
|Know this order of play else you best may be deceived, to be used against all these differences & bring the goodness thereof in suspicion, for all these pays are good in their kind, time & occasion offered by diversity of play, but not one of them to be continually used & played upon as perfection against every assault.||Know this ordr of play els ye beſt may be deceaved, to be uſed againſt al theſe differencs & bring ye goodnes therof in ſuſpitiõ, for al theſe plaies are good in their kynd, tyme & occaſiõ offered by divrſitie of play, but not on of them to be continually uſed & playedvpon as a prfectiõ againſt euery aſſault.|
|1. In the naked play you must set your self upright with your feet in a small space, observing the place of your hand where you may strike or thrust most quickly & readily & so take the time of him that presses on (using the time of his feet) with your blow or thrust where he is most open.||1. In ye naked play yõ muſt ſet yorſelf vpright wt yor feet in a ſmale ſpace, obſrving ye place of yor hand wher yõ may ſtike or thruſt moſt quickly & redely & ſo tke ye tyme of him yt prſſeth on (vſing ye tyme of his feet) wt yor blowe or thruſt wher he is moſt open.|
|1. In the variable play, you drive him to his shifts changing yourself into sundry kinds of blows thrusts & lyings, which you must not stay upon,||1. In ye variable play, yõ dryve him to his ſhyfts changing yorſelf into ſundry kynds of blowes thruſts & lyings, wch yõ muſt not ſtay upon,|
|2. Seeking to cross him still in his playing as you may, whereby you shall force him to fly, or else to stand to the proof of his backsword play.||2. ſeeking to + him ſtil in his playes as yõ may, wherby yõ ſhal force him to fly, or els to ſtand to ye proof of his B ſword play.|
|3. The guardant play is to be used against the blow, thrust or Passata that comes within danger of hurt, for treading that right way & keeping your place & hand in space & strength you cannot loose time to defend from either of these offers.||3. the gardant play is to be vſed againſt ye blowe, thruſt & paſſata yt cometh wtin dangr of hurt, for treading ye right way & keping yor place & hand in ſpace & ſtrength you cannot looſe ye tyme to defend frõ either of thoſe offers.|
|These judged of in reason & known by some practice will make you deal safely against all sorts, skillful or unskillful, so that fear of anger hinders not your knowledge.||theſe Judged of in reaſon & known by ſom practiſe wil make yõ deale ſafly againſt al ſorts, ſkilful or vnſkilful, ſo yt feare or Angr hinder not yor Knowledge.|
| Of Times
The time of the
| Of Tymes.
The tyme of ye
| Of place space, strength, & time
|| Of place ſpace, ſtrength & tyme.
|There is but 1 good way to gather upon your enemy, guardant. All other are dangerous & subject to the blows on the head or thrust on the body. For no way can ward both but as aforesaid.||ther is but i good way to gather vpõ yor enemy, gardant. Al other are dangerous & ſubiect to ye blowe on ye hed or thruſt on ye body. for no way can ward both but as aforſd.|
|Your hand & feet in good play must go together, whether it is in quick or in slow motion.||yor hand & feet in good play muſt go together, whether it be in quick or ſlow motion.|
|In gathering forewards or towards your right side your hand falls from your place, space, time, & strength, & so falls out the loss of time.||In gathering forwards or towrdss yor right ſyde yor hand falleth frõ yor place, ſpace, & ſtrength & ſo falleth our ye loſs of tyme.|
|When you gather & suffer that govern your fight, defend only. When you do, be single, or not fixed towards any single lying, but also the quickness of your hand in its proper place carried.||when yõ gather & ſuffer gourne yor fight, defend only. when yõ do, be ſingle, or not fixed towards on any lying but alſo ye quicknes of yor hand in its prpr place carried,|
|In breaking the thrust when you lie aloft single or guardant & space your arm somewhat bowing in warding the blow, have respect to your place of hand & strength, your arm straight. This course in your time is best performed, the one of these with your hand aloft your point down the other your hand in place your more high your space less curious.||In breaking ye thruſt when yõ lye aloft ſingle or gardant & ſpace yor arme ſomwhat bowing in warding ye blowe, haue reſpect to yor place of hand & ſtrength, yor arme ſtrait. this courſe in yor tyme is beſt prformed, the on of theſe wt yor hand aloft yor point downe thotheryor hand in place yor more high yor ſpace leſ curious.|
| II. 93re
Time is chiefly to be observed in both actions upon which place or space waits.
| II 93r
tyme is cheefly to be obſrved in both actions vpõ wch (place ſpace) waiteth.
|Upon these 3 the 4 following, upon these 4 the first 3, upon these the latter 3.||Upon theſe 3 ye 4 following, vpon theſe 4 ye firſt 3, upon theſe ye later 3.|
|To hurt or defend, a time in both is observed to the furtherance of which place is to be gotten, without which time will be too long to perform that which is intended, the space is to be noted between 2 opponents & in respect of touching, or in regard of saving as also for preserving of time, by the small way it has either to the body, or putting by the weapon.||to hurt or defend, a tyme in both is to be obſrved to ye furtherance of wch place is to be gotten, wtout wch tyme wilbe to long to prform yt wch is intended, ye ſpace is to be noted betwene ij oppoſits & in reſpect of touching, or in regard of ſaving as alſo for prſving of tyme, by ye ſmale way it hath either to ye body, or puting by ye weapon.|
|The next 4 must be used together to perform the other 3 rules, for the hand being nimble & quick of itself may else be hindered in the want of any of these, the weapon must be framed & inclined to serve the agility of the hand either in hurting or defending.||the next 4 muſt be vſed together to prforme thother iij rules, for ye hand being nymble & quick of itſelf may els be hindered in ye want of any of theſe, the weapon muſt be framed & inclyned to srve ye agilitie of ye hand eyther in hurting or defending.|
|4. The body upright or leaning to the weapon, that it hinders not the disposition of the other 2 the foot answerable to them plying the hand & ward all in straight space, the ward with the hand high with the point down, the arm straight out as ready for both actions||4. the body vpright or leanyng to ye weapon, yt it hindr not ye diſpoſitiõ of thother ij the foot anſwerable to them plying ye hand & ward al in ſtrait ſpace, ye w wt hand high ye point downe, the arme ſtrait out as redy for both actions.|
|The way under the ward withdrawing the body from harm, the motion slow that the action of the hand is not hindered.||the way vndr ye w wtdrawing ye body from harmes, the motiõ ſlowe yt ye actiõ of ye hand be not hindered.|
| The rest are the dispositions of the placed displaced handlings
|| the reſt are ye diſpoſitions of ye placed diſplaced handlings|
|When you seek to offend with blow or thrust, your place of the hand is lost, the way to redeem it is to slide back under your lofty ward as aforesaid always that your adversary lie aloft ready to strike or thrust or use his hand only.||When yõ ſeek to offend blow or thruſt, yor place of hand is loſt, ye way to redeeme it is to ſlyde back vndr yor lofty ward as aforeſd alwaies yt yor adurſarie lye aloft redy to ſtrike or thruſt or vſe his hand only,|
|If you would offend him that lies low upon the thrust when you displace your weapon from aloft you may after your blow at head or arm or nearest place, stand & thrust before you go back because he is out of place & space & cannot cross, & thereby losses his time to annoy you & you may thrust & retire for a new assault.||yf yõ would offend him yt lyeth lowe vpõ ye thruſt then when yõ diſplace yor weapon frõ aloft yõ may aftr yor blow at hed or arme or neereſt place, ſtand & thruſt before yõ go backe becauſe he is out of place & ſpace & cannot +, & therby looſeth his tyme to annoy yõ & yõ may thruſt & retyre for a new aſſault.|
| this is not so sound, In striking or thrusting never hinder your hand with putting forth your foot but keep the place thereof 'til you have offended with the one only the bending of your body very little foreward any suffice, else you loose a double time, one in setting forth your foot, the other in recovering your lost place of your foot both to the loss of time & your purpose.
|| this is not ſo ſownd, In ſtriking or thruſting neur hindr yor hand wt puting forth yor foote but kepe ye place therof til yõ haue offended wt ye one only ye bending of yor body very little foreward may ſuffucte, els yõ looſe a dubble tyme, on in ſetting forth yor foot thother in recouring yor loſt place of yor fõt both to ye loſs of tyme & yor purpoſte.|
| The 3 fold defence: warding the blow, breaking or putting by the thrust, flying back under your hanging ward
|| the iij fold defence in warding ye blow breaking or puting bye ye thruſt ſlyding back vndr yor hanging ward.
| All under play is beaten with most agile, single & the lofty the lofty with the guardant, His when with his foot he seeks the low lying is out of place to offend defend or not so for lack of time space & crossing, if he lies out with his longer weapon it is put by from aloft, who has place, time & reach of body & arm all with the cross.
|| al vndr play is beaten wt moſt agil, ſingle & ye lofty the lofty wt ye gardant, His when wt his foot he ſeeke ye low lying is out of place to ofend defend or not ſo for lack of tyme ſpace & croſſing, yf he lye out wt his longr weapõ it is put bye frõ aloft, who hath place tyme & reach of body & arme al wt ye +.
|The lofty naked play is beaten with the ward because of cross, space, time. To defend, the lofty naked single loose play serves to win the time of the low & double play.||the lofty naked play is beaten wt ye ward becs of Croſs ſpace tyme to Defend, ye lofty naked ſingle looſe play ſrveth to win ye Tyme of ye lowe & dubble play.|
|The bent guardant requires your arm straight high & outside the point towards (93 re II well) the body & foot that way inclined||the bent gardant requireth yor arme ſtrait high & out ye point down towards (93 re II wel) ye body & foote yt way inclyned.|
|[Remaining text forthcoming]|
Copyright and License Summary
- di Grassi, Giacomo; Saviolo, Vincentio; Silver, George. Three Elizabethan Fencing Manuals. Ed. James Louis Jackson. Scholars Facsimilies & Reprint, 1972. ISBN 978-0820111070
- Silver, George. The Works of George Silver. Ed. Cyril G. R. Matthey. London: George Bell and Sons, 1898.
- Wagner, Paul. Master Of Defence: The Works of George Silver. Boulder, CO: Paladin Press, 2008. ISBN 978-1581607239
- J.D. Aylward, The English Master at Arms from the Twelfth to the Twentieth Century. London 1956, p. 62
- Ibid, p. 63
- Ibid. p. 19
- George Silver, Paradoxes of Defence, London 1599, pp. 66-67
- Ibid, p. 66
- J.D. Aylward, The English Master at Arms from the Twelfth to the Twentieth Century, London 1956, p. 62
- S. Hand, Swordplay in the Age of Shakespeare, In Press