[Page] GIACOMO Di Grassi his true Arte of Defence, plainlie teaching by infallable Demonstrations, apt Figures and perfect Rules the manner and forme how a man without other Teacher or Master may safelie handle all sortes of Weapons aswell offensiue as defensiue: VVith a Treatise Of Disceit or Falsinge: And with a waie or meane by priuate Industrie to obtaine Strength, Iudgement and Actiuitie.

First written in Italian by the fore­said Author, And Englished by I. G. gentleman.

Printed at London for I. I and are to be sold wi hin Temple Barre at the Signe of the Hand and Starre 1594.

To the Right Honorable my L. Borrow Lord Gouernor of the Breil, and Knight of the most ho­norable order of the Garter, T. C. wisheth con­tinuall Honor, worthines of mind, and learned knowledg, with increas of worldlie Fame, & hea­uenlie felicitie.

HAuing a restlesse desier in the dailie exercises of Pen to present some acceptable peece of work to your L. and finding no one thing so fit for my purpose and your honorable disposition, as the knowledge of Armes and Weapons, which defends life, countrie, & honour, I presumed to preferre a booke to the print (translated out of the Italyan language) of a gentle mans doing that is not so gredie of glory as many glorious writers that eagerly would snatch Fame out of other mens mouthes, by a little labour of their own, But rather keeps his name vnknowen to the world (vnder a shamefast clowd of silence) knowing that vertue shynes best & getteth greatest prayes where it maketh smallest bragg: for the goodnes of the mind seekes no glorious gwerdon, but hopes to reap the reward of well doing among the rypest of iudgement & worthiest of sound consideration, like vnto a man that giueth his goods vnto the poore, and maketh his treasure­house in heauen, And further to be noted, who can tarrie til the seed sowen in the earth be almost rotten or dead, shal be sure in a boūtiful haruest to reap a goodly crop of corne And better it is to abyde a happie season to see how things will proue, than soddainly to seeke profite where slowlye comes commoditie or any benefit wil rise. Some say, that good writers doe purchase small praise till they be dead, (Hard is that opinion.) and then their Fame shal flowrish & bring foorth the fruite that long lay hid in the earth. [Page] This gentleman, perchaunce, in the like regard smothers vp his credit, and stands carelesse of the worlds report: but I cannot see him so forgotten for his paines in this worke is not little, & his merite must be much that hath in our En­glish tongue published so necessarie a volume in such apt termes & in so bigg a booke (besides the liuely descriptions & models of the same) that shews great knowledge & cun­ning, great art in the weapon, & great suretie of the man that wisely can vse it, & stoutly execute it. All manner of men allowes knowledge: then where knowledge & cou­rage meetes in one person, there is ods in that match, what­soeuer manhod & ignorance can say in their own behalfe. The sine book of ryding hath made many good hors-men: and this booke of Fencing will saue many mens lyues, or put comon quarrels out of vre, because the danger is death if ignorant people procure a combate. Here is nothing set downe or speach vsed, but for the preseruation of lyfe and honour of man: most orderly rules, & noble obseruations, enterlaced with wise councell & excellent good wordes, penned from a fowntaine of knowledge and flowing witt, where the reasons runnes as freely as cleere water cōmeth from a Spring or Conduite. Your L. can iudge both of the weapon & words, wherefore there needes no more com­mendation of the booke: Let it shewe it self, crauing some supportation of your honourable sensure: and finding fa­uour and passage among the wise, there is no doubt but all good men will like it, and the bad sort will blush to argue against it, as knoweth our liuing Lord, who augment your L. in honour & desyred credit.

Your L. in all humbly at commaundement. Thomas Churchyard.

The Authors Epistle vnto diuers Noble men and Gentle-men.

AMong all the Prayers, wherein through the whole course of my life, I haue asked any great thing at Gods hands, I haue alwayes most earnestly beseeched, that (although at this pre­sent I am verie poore and of base Fortune) he would not­withstanding giue me grace to be thankefull and mindfull of the good turnes which I haue receiued. For among all the disgraces which a man may incurre in this world, there is none in mine opinion which causeth him to become more odious, or a more enimie to mortall men (yea, vnto God himselfe) than ingratitude. VVherefore being in Treuiso, by your honours courteously intreated, and of all honourably vsed, although I practised litle or nought at all to teach you how to handle weapons, for the which purpose I was hyred with an honourable stipend, yet to shewe my selfe in some sort thankefull, I haue determined to bestowe this my worke vpon your honours, imploying my whole indeuour to shewe the way how to handle all sortes of weapons with aduantage and safetie. The which my worke, because it shall finde your noble hearts full of valure, will bring foorth such fruite, being but once attentiuely read ouer, as that in your said honors will be seene in actes and deedes, which in other men scarsely is comprehended by imagination. And I, who haue beene and am most feruently affected to serue your Ls. forasmuch as it is not graunted vnto me, (in respect of your diuers affaires) to applie the same, and take some paines inteaching as I al­waies desired, haue yet by this other waie, left all that imprinted in your noble mindes, which in this honourable exercise may bring a valiant man vnto perfection.

Therefore I humbly beseech your honours, that with the same liberall mindes, with the which you accepted of mee, your Ls: will also receiue these my indeuours, & vouchsafe so to protect them, as I haue alwaies, and wil de­fend your honours most pure and vndesiled. VVherein, if I perceiue this my first childbirth (as I haue only published it to thentent to help & teach others) to be to the generall satisfaction of all I will so straine my endeuours in an other worke which shortly shall shew the way both how to handle all those weapons on horse-backe which here are taught on foote, as also all other weapons whatsoeuer.

Your honours most affectionate seruant. Giacomo di Grassi of Modena.

The Author, to the Reader.

EVen as from our swathing bands wee carrie with vs (as it were) an vnbridled desire of knowledge: So afterwardes, hauing attained to the perfection ther­of, there groweth in vs a certaine laudable and fer­uent affection to teach others: The which, if it were not so, the world happily should not be seene so replenished with Artes and Sciences.

For if men generally were not apt to contemplation and sear­ching out of things: Or if God had not bestowed vpon euery man the grace, to be able to lift vp his minde from the earth, and by searching to finde out the causes thereof, and to imparte them to those who are lesse willing to take any paines therein: it would come to passe, that the one parte of men, as Lordes and Masters, should beare rule, and the other parte as vyle slaues, wrapped in perpetuall darknesse, should suffer and lead a life vn­worthie the condition of man. Wherefore, in mine opinion it standes with great reason that a man participate that vnto others which he hath searched and found out by his great studie & tra­uaile. And therefore, I being euen from my childhood greatly delighted in the handling of weapons: after I had spent much time in the exercise thereof, was desyrous to see and beholde the most excellent and expert masters of this Arte, whome I haue ge­nerally marked, to teach after diuers wayes, much differing one from another, as though this misterie were destitute of order & rule, or depended onely vpon imagination, or on the deuise of him who professeth the same: Or as though it were a matter im­possible to find out in this honourable exercise (as well as in all other Artes and Sciences) one onely good and true way, where­by a man may attaine to the intire knowledge of as much as may be practised with the weapon, not depending altogether vpon his owne head, or learning one blowe to day of one master, on the morowe of another, thereby busying himselfe about per­ticulars, the knowledge whereof is infinite, therefore impossi­ble. Whereupon being forced, through a certaine honest desire which I beare to helpe others, I gaue my selfe wholy to the con­templation [Page] thereof: hoping that at the length, I shoulde finde out the true principles and groundes of this Arte, and reduce the confused and infinite number of blowes into a compendious summe and certaine order: The which principles being but fewe, and therefore easie to be knowen and borne away, without doubt in small time, and little trauaile, will open a most large en­trance to the vnderstanding of all that which is contained in this Arte. Neither was I in this frustrate at all of my expectation: For in conclusion after much deliberation, I haue found out this Arte, from the which onely dependeth the knowledge of all that which a man may performe with a weapon in his hand, and not onely with those weapons which are found out in these our dayes, but also with those that shall be inuented in time to come: Considering this Arte is grounded vpon Offence and Defence, both the which are practised in the straight and circuler lynes, for that a man may not otherwise either strike or defend.

And because I purpose to teach how to handle the Weapon, as orderly and plainly as is possible: I haue first of all layd down the principles or groundes of all the Arte, calling them Aduer­tisements, the which, being of their owne nature verie well kno­wen to all those that are in their perfect wittes: I haue done no other then barely declared them, vvithout rendring any further reason, as being a thing superfluous.

These principles being declared, I haue next handled those things, vvhich are, and be, of themselues, Simple, then (ascen­ding vp to those that are Compound) I shewe that vvhich may be generally done in the handling of all Weapons. And because, in teaching of Artes and Sciences, Things are more to be estee­med of than VVordes, therefore I vvould not choose in the han­dling hereof a copious and sounding kinde of speach, but rather that vvhich is more briefe and familiar. Which maner of speach as in a small bundle, it containeth diuers weightie things, so it craueth a slowe and discreete Reader, who will soft and faire pearce into the verie Marrowe thereof.

For this cause I beseech the gentle Reader to shewe himselfe such a one in the reading of this my present worke, assuring him selfe by so reading it, to reape great profite and honour thereby. [Page] Not doubting but that he (who is sufficientlie furnished with this knowledge, and hath his bodie proporcionably exercised there­unto) shall far surmount anie other although he be indewed with equal force and swiftnes.

Moreouer, because this art is a principal member of the Mili­tarte profession, vvhich alltogether (vvith learning) is the ornament of all the World, Therefore it ought not to be exercised in Braules and Fraies, as men commonlie practise in eue­rie shire, but as honorable Knights, ought to re­serue themselues, & exercise it for the ad­uantage of their Cuntry, the honour of vveomen, and conqueringe of Hostes and armies.

An Aduertisement to the curteous reader.

GOod Reader, before thou enter into the discourse of the hidden knowledge of this honourable excerise of the weapon now layd open and manifested by the Author of this worke, & in such perfectnes tran­slated out of the Italian tongue, as all or most of the marshal mynded gentlemen of England cannot but commend, and no one person of indifferent iudgement can iustly be offended with, seeing that whatsoeuer herein is discoursed, tendeth to no other vse, but the defence of mans life and repu­tation: I thought good to aduertise thee that in some places of this booke by reason of the aequiuo­cation of certaine Italian wordes, the weapons may doubtfully be construed in English. Therefore sometimes fynding this worde Sworde generally vsed, I take it to haue beene the better transla­ted, if in steede thereof the Rapier had beene inser­ted: a weapon more vsuall for Gentlemens wea­ring, and fittest for causes of offence and defence: Besides that, in Italie where Rapier and Dagger is commonly worne and vsed, the Sworde (if it be not an arming Sworde) is not spoken of. Yet would I not the sence so strictly to be construed, that the vse of so honourable a weapon be vtterly [Page] reiected, but so redd, as by the right and perfect vnderstanding of the one, thy iudgement may som what be augmented in managing of the other: Knowing right well, that as the practise and vse of the first is commendable amongst them, so the second cannot so farre be condemned, but that the wearing thereof may well commend a man of va­lour and reputation amongst vs. The Sworde and Buckler fight was long while allowed in England (and yet practise in all sortes of weapons is prais­worthie,) but now being layd downe, the sworde but with Seruing-men is not much regarded, and the Rapier fight generally allowed, as a wapon because most perilous, therefore most feared, and thereupon priuate quarrels and common frayes soonest shunned.

But this peece of work, gentle Reader, is so gal­lantly set out in euery point and parcell, the obscu­rest secrets of the handling of the weapon so clere­ly vnfolded, and the perfect demeaning of the bo­die vpon all and sudden occasions so learnedly dis­coursed, as will glad the vnder stander thereof, & sound to the glory of all good Masters of Defence, because their Arte is herein so honoured, and their knowledge (which some men count infinite) in so singuler a science, drawen into such Grounds and Principles, as no wise man of an vnpartiall iudge­ment, [Page] and of what profession soeuer, but will con­fesse himself in curtesie farre indebted both to the Author & Translator of this so necessarie a Trea­tise, whereby he may learne not onely through reading & remembring to furnish his minde with resolute instructions, but also by practise and ex­ercise gallantly to perfourme any conceited enter­prise with a discreete and orderly carriage of his bodie, vpon all occasions whatsoeuer.

Gentle Reader, what other escapes or mista­kings shall come to thy viewe, either friendly in­treate thee to beare with them, or curteously with thy penne for thine owne vse to amend them.


The Sortes of VVeapons handled in this Treatise.
  • [Page]THe single Rapier, Or single Sworde.
  • The rapier and dagger &c.
  • The rapier and Cloak &c.
  • The sword and Buckler.
  • The Sword and square target.
  • The sworde and round target.
  • The Case of Rapiers.
  • The two hand Sword.
  • The weapons of the Staffe, As
  • The Bil, Partesan, Holberd and Iauelin.
Falsing of Blowes and Thrusts.
  • At single rapier &c.
  • At rapier and dagger &c.
  • At Cloak and rapier.
  • At sword & buckler, square target and round target.
  • At the two rapiers
  • At the two hand sword
  • At the Bill, Partesan, Iauelin, and Holberd.
  • At the Pike.

The true Art of Defence exactlie teachinge the manner how to handle wea­pons safelie, aswel offensiue as defen­siue, With a Treatise of Disceit or Falsing, And with a mean or waie how a man may practise of himselfe to gett Strength, Iudgement, and Actiuitie.

THere is no doubt but that the Honorable exercise of the Weapon is made right perfect by meanes of two thinges, to witt: Iudgment and Force: Because by the one, we know the manner and time to handle the we­pon (how, or whatsoeuer occasion serueth:) And by the other we haue power to execute there­with, in due time with aduauntage.

And because, the knowledge of the manner and Time to strike and defende, dooth of it selfe teach vs the skil how to reason and dispute there­of onely, and the end and scope of this Art con­sisteth not in reasoning, but in dooinge: There­fore to him that is desierous to proue so cun­ning in this Art, as is needfull, It is requisite not onelie that he be able to iudge, but also that he be stronge and actiue to put in execution all that which his iudgement comprehendeth and seeth. And this may not bee done without strength and actiuitie of bodie: The which if happelie it bee [Page] feeble, slowe, or not of power to sustaine the weight of blowes, Or if it take not aduauntage to strike when time requiereth, it vtterlie remaineth ouertaken with disgrace and daunger: the which falts (as appeareth) proceed not from the Art, but from the Instrument badly handled in the action.

Therefore let euerie man that is desierous to practise this Art, indeuor himselfe to get strength and agilitie of bodie, assuringe himself, that iudg­ment without this actiuitie and force, auaileth li­tle or nothinge: Yea, happelie giueth occasion of hurt and spoile. For men beinge blinded in their owne iudgements, and presuminge thereon, because they know how, and what they ought to doo, giue manie times the onset and enterprise, but yet, neuer perfourme it in act.

But least I seeme to ground this Art vppon dreames and monstrous imaginations (hauinge before laid downe, that strength of bodie is very necessarie to attaine to the perfection of this Art, it beinge one of the two principall beeginninges first layd downe, and not as yet declared the way how to come by and procure the same) I haue determined in the entrance of this worke, to pre­scribe first the manner how to obtaine iudgemēt, and in the end thereof by way of Treatise to shew the meanes (as farre forth as appertaineth to this Art) by the which a man by his owne indeuoure and trauaile, may get strength and actiuitie of bo­die, to such purpose and effect, that by the iustruc­tions [Page] and reasons, which shal be here giuen him, he may easely without other master or teacher, become both stronge, actiue and skilful.

The meanes how to obtain Iudgement.

ALthough I haue verye much in a manner in all quarters of Italie, seene most excellent professors of this Art, to teach in their Schols, and practise priuately in the Listes to traine vp their Schollers. Yet I doo not remember that euer I saw anie man so throughly indewed with this first part, to wit, Iudgement, as is in that behalfe required.

And it may bee that they keep it in secreat of purpose: for amongst diuers disorderlie blowes, you might haue seen some of them most gallant­lie bestowed, not without euident coniecture of deepe iudgment. But howsoeuer it bee seeinge I purpose to further this Art, in what I may, I wil speak of this first part as aptly to the purpose, as I can.

It is therefore to be considered, that man by so much the more waxeth fearefull or boulde, by how much the more he knoweth how t'auoid [Page] or not to eschew daunger.

But to attain to this knowledg, it is most ne­cessarie that he alwaies kepe stedfastly in memo­rie all these aduertisements vnderwritten, from which springeth al the knowledg of this Art. Ne­ther is it possible without them to performe any perfect action for the which a man may giue a re­son. But if it so fall out that any man (not ha­uing the knowledg of these aduertisements) per­forme any sure act, which may be said to be hand led with iudgement, that proceedeth of no other thing, then of very nature, and of the mind, which of it selfe naturally conceiueth all these aduertise­mentes.

1 First, that the right or streight Line is of all o­ther the shortest: wherefore if a man would strike in the shortest lyne, it is requisite that he strike in the streightline.

2 Secondly, he that is neerest, hitteth soo­nest. Out of which aduertisment a man may reap this profit, that seeing the enemies sword farr off, aloft and readie to strik, he may first strik the ene­mie, before he himselfe be striken.

3 Thirdly, a Circle that goeth compassinge beareth more force in the extremitie of the cir­cumference, then in the center thereof.

4 Fourthly, a man may more easely with­stand a small then a great force.

5 Fifthly, euerie motion is accomplished in tyme.

That by these Rules a man may get iudgment, [Page] it is most cleere, seing there is no other thinge re­quired in this Art, then to strike with aduantage, and defend with safetie.

This is done, when one striketh in the right line, by giuing a thurst, or by delyuering an edge­blow with that place of the sword, where it car­rieth most force, first striking the enemie beefore he be stroken: The which is perfounned, when he perceiueth him selfe to be more nere his ene­mie, in which case, he must nimbly deliuer it. For there are few nay there is no man at all, who (per­ceiuing himselfe readie to be stroken) giues not back, and forsaketh to performe euerie other mo­tion which he hath begun.

And forasmuch, as he knoweth that euery mo­tion is made in time, he indeuoreth himselfe so to strik and defend, that he may vse as few motions as is possible, and therein to spend as litle time, And as his enemie moueth much in diuers times he may be aduertised hereby, to strike him in one or more of those times, so out of al due time spent.

The diuision of the Art.

BEfore I come to a more perticuler de claration of this Art, it is requisite I vse some generall diuision. Where­fore it is to be vnderstood, that as in all other arts, so likewise in this (men forsaking the true science thereof, in hope perad­uenture [Page] to ouercome rather by disceit then true manhood) haue found out a new maner of skir­mishing ful of falses and slips. The which because it some what and some times preualeth against those who are either fearfull or ignorant of their groundes and principals, I am constrayned to di­uide this Art into two Arts or Sciences, callinge thone the True, the other, the False art: But with­all giuing euerie man to vnderstand, that false­hood hath no aduauntage against true Art, but rather is most hurtfull and deadlie to him that v­seth it.

Therefore casting away deceit for this present, which shal hereafter be hādled in his proper place and restraining my selfe to the truth, which is the true and principall desier of my hart, presuppo­sing that Iustice (which in euerie occasion appro­cheth neerest vnto truth) obteineth allwaies the superioritie, I say whosoeuer mindeth to exercise himselfe in this true and honorable Art or Sci­ence it is requisite that he be indued with deep Iudgement, a valiant hart and great actiuitie, In which thre qualities this exercise doth as it were delight, liue and florish.

Of the Sword.

ALbeit Wepons aswel offensiue as defen­siue be infinite, because all that whatsoe­uer a man may handle to offend an other or defend himselfe, either by flinging or kepinge [Page] fast in his hand may in my opinion be tearmed Weapon. Yet notwithstāding, because, as I haue before said, they be innumerable so that if I shold perticularly handle euerie one, besides the great toile and trauaile I should sustaine, it would also doubtles be vnprofitable, because the principels and groundes which are laid downe in this Art, serue only for such weapons as are commonlye practised, or for such as happely men will vse: and so leauing al those which at this present make not for my purpose, I affirme, that amongst al the we­pons vsed in these daies, there is none more ho­norable, more vsual or more safe then the sword.

Comming therefore first to this weapon, as vnto that on which is grounded the true know­ledge of this Art, beeinge of reasonable length, and hauing edges and point, wherein it seemeth to resemble euerie other weapon, It is to be consi­dered, that forasmuch as it hath no more thē two edges and one point, a man may not strike with anie other then with these, nether defend himself with anie other then with these. Further all edg blowes, be they right or reuersed, frame either a circle or part of a circle: Of the which the hand is the Center, and the length of the sworde, the Diameter.

Whereupon he that would giue either an edg blow in a great compasse, either thrust with the point of the sword, must not onely be nimble of hand, but also must obserue the time of aduātag, which is, to know when his own sword is more [Page] nere and readie to strik then his enemies. For when the enemie fetcheth a compasse with his sword in deliuering his stroke, at the length of the arme: if he then perceiue himselfe to be nerer by halfe an arme, he ought not to care to defend himselfe, but with all celeritie to strike. For as he hitteth home first, so he preuenteth the fal of his enemies sword. But if he be forced to defend him selfe from anie edge blow, he must for his greater safetie and ease of doinge it, go and incounter it on the halfe sword that is hindermost: in which place as the enemies sword carrieth lesse force, so is he more nere at hand to offend him.

Concerning thrustinge, or the most perilous blowes of the point, he must prouide so to stand with his bodie, feet and armes, that he be not for­ced, when he wold strik, to lose time: The which he shal do, if he stand either with his arme so for­ward, either with his feete so backward, either with his bodie so disorderly, that before he thrust he must needs draw back his arme, helpe himself with his feet, or vse some daungerous motion of the bodie, the which when the enemie percey­ueth, he may first strik before he be stroken. But when a man standeth in due order (which shall hereafter be declared) and perceiueth that there is lesse distance from the point of his sword, vnto his enemie, then there is from his enemies sword vnto him, In that case he must nimbly force on a strong thrust to the end he may hitt home first.

The diuision of the sword.

FOR as much as the Effectes which procede from the lēgth of the sword, are not in euerie part thereof equall or of like force: It stands with reson be­sides the declaration of the cause, that I find out also the propertie and name of ech part, to the end euerie man may vnderstand, which are the parts of the length wherewith he ought to strike, and which the parts, wherewith he must defend.

I haue said elswhere, that the sword in strikinge frameth either a Circle, either a part of a Circle, of which the hand is the center. And it is manifest that a wheel, which moueth circulerly, is more forcible and swift in the circumference then to­wards the Center: The which wheel ech sworde resembleth in striking. Whereuppon it seemeth conuenient, that I diuide the sworde into sower equal parts: Of the which that which is most nee­rest the hand, as most nigh to the cause, I will call the first part: the next, I wil terme the second, then the third, and so the fourth: which fowerth parte conteineth the point of the sword. Of which fow­er partes, the third and fowerth are to be vsed to strike withal. For seeing they are neerest to the cir­cumference, they are most swift. And the fowerth part (I mean not the tip of the point, but fower fingers more within it) is the swiftest and strong­est of all the rest: for besides that it is in the circum ference, which causeth it to be most swift, it hath [Page] also fower fingers of counterpeize therby making the motion more forcible. The other two partes, to wit, the first and second are to be vsed to warde withall, because in striking they draw litle com­pas, and therefore carrie with them but smal force And for that their place is neere the hande, they are for this cause strong to resist anie violence.


[Page] THE Arme likewise is not in eue­rie part of equall force and swift­nes but differeth in euerie bow­ing thereof, that is to saie in the wrist, in the elboe and in the shoulder: for the blowes of the wrist as they are more swift, so they are lesse stronge: And the other two, as they are more strong, so they are more slow, because they performe a greater compas. Therefore by my counsel, hee that would deliuer an edgeblow shall fetch no compasse with his shoulder, becaus whilest he beareth his sword farre off, he giueth time to the warie enemie to enter first: but he shall onely vse the compas of the elboe and the wrist: which, as they be most swift, so are they stronge inough, if they be orderly handled.

That euerie blow of the point of the sword striketh circulerly and how he that striketh with the point, striketh streight.

HAuing before said and laid down for one of the principels of this art, that the streit Line is the shortest of all others (which is most true.) It seemeth needfull that I make demonstration thereof. And further hauing suggested for a troth, that the blow of the point is [Page] the streight strook, this not being simplie true, I think it expendient before I wade anie further, to shew in what maner the blowes of the point are stroken circulerly, and how streightly. And this I will straine my self to performe as plainly and as briefly as possibly I maie. Neither wil I strech so farre as to reason of the blowes of the edg, or how all blowes are stroken circulerly, because it is suf­ficiently and clerely handled in the diuision of the Arme and sword.

Comming then to that which is my principall intent to handle in this place, I wil shew first how the arme when it striketh with the point, striketh circulerlie.

It is most euident, that all bodies of streight or longe shape, I mean when they haue a firme and immoueable head or beginninge, and that they moue with an other like head, alwaies of necessi­tie in their motion, frame either a wheel or part of a circuler figure. Seeing then the Arme is of like figure and shape, and is immoueably fixed in the shoulder, and further moueth onely in that parte which is beneth it, there is no doubt, but that in his motion it figureth also a circle, or some parte thereof. And this euerie man may perceiue if in mouing his arme, he make trial in himselfe.

Finding this true, as without controuersie it is, it shal also be as true, that all those thinges which are fastned in the arme, and do moue as the Arme doth, must needs moue circulerlie. Thus much concerning my first purpose in this Treatise.

[Page] Now I wil come to my second, and wil declare the reasons and waies by which a man strikinge with the point striketh straightly. And I say, that when soeuer the sworde is moued by the onelie mocion of the Arme, it must alwaies of necesitie frame a cirkle by the reasons before alleaged. But if it happen, as in a manner it doth alwaies, that the arme in his motion make a circle vpwardes, and the hand mouing in the wrist frame a part of a circle downewards then it wil com to passe, that the sword being moued by two contrarie motiōs in going forwards striketh straightly.

But to thentent that this may be more plainlie perceiued, I haue framed this present figure for the better vnderstāding wherofit is to be known, that as the arme in his motion carrieth the sworde with it, and is the occasion that beeing forced by the saide motion, the sworde frameth a circle vp­wards, So the hand mouing it selfe in the wrist, maie either lift vp the point of the sword vpwards or abase it downwards. So that if the hand do so much let fal the point, as the arme dothlift vp the handle▪ it commeth to passe that the swords point thrusteth directly at an other prick or point then that it respecteth.

Wherefore let A. B. be the circle which is fra­med by the motion of the arme: which arme, if (as it carrieth with it the sword in his motion) it would strike at the point D. it should be constrai­ned through his motion to strik at the point B. And from hence procedeth the difficultie of thru­stinge or [Page] striking with the point. If therefore the arm wold strik directly at the point D. it is necessary that as much as it lifteth the hādle vpwards, the hādwrist do moue it self circulerlie downward, making this circle AC & cariyng with it the point of the sword downewardes, of force it striketh at the point D. And this would not so come to passe, if with the only motion of tharme, a man should thrust forth thesword, considering the arme moueth onelie aboue the center E.

Therefore seing by this discourse it is manifest that the blow of the point, or a thrust, can not bee deliuered by one simple motion directly made, but by two circuler motions, the one of the Arme the other of the hand, I wil hence foreward in all this work tearme this blow the blow of the streit Line. Which considering the reasons before allea­ged, shall breed no inconuenience at all.


MOst great is the care and considerations which the paces or footstepps requier in this exercise, because from them in a ma­ner more thē from anie other thing sprin­geth all offence and defence. And the bodie like­wise ought with all diligence to be kept firme and stable, turned towards the enemie, rather with the right shoulder, then with the brest. And that bee­cause a man ought to make himself as smal a mark to thenemie as is posible, And if he be occasioned to bēd his body any way, he must bend it rather backwards then forwards, to thende that it be far of from danger, considering the bodie can neuer [Page] greatly moue it selfanie other waie more then that and that same waie the head maie not moue being a member of so great importance.

Therefore when a man striketh, either his feet or his arme are thrust forwards, as at that instant it shall make best for his aduauntage. For when it hapneth that he may strongly offend his enemie without the increase of a pace, he must vse his arm onely to perfourme the same, bearing his bodie alwaies as much as he maie and is required, firme and immoueable.

For this reason I commend not their maner of fight, who continually as they fight, make thēselus to shew sometimes litle, sometimes great, some­times wresting themselues on this side, somtimes on that side, much like the mouing of snailes. For as all these are motions, so can they not be accom­plished in one time, for if when they beare their bodies low, they would strike aloft, of force they must first raise them selues, and in that time they may be stroken. So in like maner when their bo­dies are writhed this way or that waie.

Therefore let euerie man stand in that order, which I haue first declared, straining himself to the vttermost of his power, when he would ether strik or defend, to performe the same not in two times or in two motions, but rather in half a time or mo­tion, if it were possible.

As concerninge the motion of the feete, from which grow great occasions aswell of offence as defence, I saie and haue seene by diuers examples that [Page] as by the knowledg of their orderlie and discreet motion, aswel in the Listes as in common fraies, ther hath bin obtained honorable victorie, so their busie and vnrulie motion haue bine occasion of shamefull hurts and spoils. And because I can not laie downe a certein measure of motion, conside­ring the difference betwene man and man, some being of great and some oflitle stature: for to some it is comodious to make his pace the length of an arme, and to other some half the length or more. Therefore I aduertise euerie man in al his wards to frame a reasonable pace, in such sort that if hee would step forward to strik, he lengthen or increas one foot, and if he would defend himself, he with­draw as much, without peril offalling.

And because the feet in this exercise doe moue in diuers maners, it shall be good that I shew the name of euerie motion, to thend that vsinge those names through al this work, they maie the better be vnderstood.

It is to be knowen that the feete moue either streightly, either circulerly: If streitly, then either forwardes or backwards: but when they moue di­rectly forwards, they frame either a halfe or a whol pace. By whole pace is vnderstood, when the foot is carried from behind forwards, kepinge stedfast the forefoot. And this pace is sometimes made streight, sometimes crooked. By streight is meant when it is done in the streit line, but this doths el­dome happen. By croked or slope pace is vnder­stood, when the hinderfoot is brought also fore­wardes, [Page] but yet a thwarte or crossing: and as it groweth forwardes, it carieth the bodie with it, out of the straight line, where the blowe is giuen.

The like is ment by the pace that is made direct­ly backwardes: but this backe pace is framed more often streight then croked. Now the midle of these backe and fore paces, I will terme the halfe pace: and that is, when the hinder-foote being brought nere the foore foote, doth euen there rest: or when from thence the same foote goeth forwardes. And likewise when the fore-foote is gathered into the hinder-foote, and there doth rest, and then retireth it selfe from hēce backwards. These half paces are much vsed, both streit & croked, forwards & back­wardes. And in like sorte, halfe paces forwardes & backewardes, streight and crooked.

Circuler paces, are no otherwise vsed than halfe paces, and they are made thus: When one hath fra­med his pace, he must fetch a cōpasse with his hin­der foote or fore foote, on the right or lefte side: so that circuler paces are made either when the hinder-footstanding fast behinde, doth afterwards moue it selfe on the lefte or right side, or when the fore-foote being setled before doth moue likewise on the right or left side: with all these sort of paces a man may moue euerie waie both forwardes and backewardes.


Streight Line A. B. Streight Pace C. D Crokedor slope pace C. E. Streighte halfe pace C. F. Circuler halfe pace C. G

Of the Agreement of the Foot and Hand.

THe right legge ought alwaies to be the strength of the right hand, and likewise the lefte legge of the left hand: So that if at any time it shall happen a thrust to bee forciblie deliuered, reson would that it be accom­panied [Page] with the legge: for otherwise, by meanes of the force and waight, which is without the per­pendiculer or hanging line of the body, hauing no prope to sustain it, a man is in daunger of falling. And it is to be vnderstood, that the pace doth na­turally so much increase or diminish his motion, as the hand. Therefore we see when the right foote is behinde, the hand is there also: so that who so straineth himselfe to stand otherwise, as he offereth violence vnto nature, so hee canne neuer indure it: wherefore when he standeth at his ward, bearing his hand wide, there also the foote helpeth by his strength, being placed towards that parte: & when the hand is borne a lowe, & the right foote before, if then he would lifte his hand alofte, it is necessa­rie that he draw backe his foote: And there is so much distance from the place where the foot doth parte, to ioyne it selfe to the other foote, as there is from the place whence the hande parteth, to that place wher it remaineth stedfast, litle more or lesse: wherefore, presupposing the said rules to be true, he must haue great care to make his pace, & moue his hand at one time together: And a boue all, not to skip or leape, but keepe one foote alwaies firme and stedfast: and when he would moue it, to do it vpon some great occasion, considering the foote ought chiefely to agree in motion with the hand, which hande, ought not in any case what soeuer happen to varie from his purpose, either in striking or defending.



Of wardes

WArds in weapons are such sites, positions or placings which withstand the ene­mies blowes, and are as a shield or safegarde against them. For he who hath no skill to carrie his bodie and beare these weapons order lie, which either couer, or easely maie couer the whole bodie, cannot be saide to stand in warde, insomuch that a man ought to vse great diligence in the apt carriyng of his bodie and weapons, For manie times he ought to settle and repose himself in his ward, therein deliberating vpon some new deuise, or expecting when his enemie wil minister occasion to enter vpon him.

The Wards which maie be vsed with the single sword are threefold, Neither in my opinion maie they be anie more: for that one onlie straight line, which is the sword, maie not couer, defend and easelie offend after anie other maner.

The high ward.

THis high warde, which also might be called the first, beeinge the very same which euery man frameth at the dra­ing of the sword out of the sheath, may so farre foorth, and in somuch be termed a warde, in how much, by turning the poynt of the sworde downewarde, it wardeth the [Page] whole person, and for that, by gathering in of the hinderfoote, & incresing forwardes with the right foote, a man may discharge a strong thurst aboue hande at his enemie.

In this, and in al other wardes, it is diligently to be noted, that he beare his weapons so orderly dis­posed, that the streight lyne which goeth from the swords point be stil bēt to strike the enemy, ether in the face or in the brest: for if the point be so borne that it respect ouer the enemies head, the enemie may easely first enter vnderneth & strike before the fall or discend thereof: And by holding the poynt two lowe, he may by beating it somewhat down­wards cause it to be quit void of his bodie, and so safelie come in to strik, the which hath bine manie times sene.

The high ward. The low ward.
The broad ward.

THis second warde from the effecte shall be called the broad or wide warde, because the Arme widning and stretching it selfe directlie as much as is possible from the right side, beareth the sword so farre off from the bodie, that it seemeth to giue great scope to the enimie to enter, albe it in truth it be nothing so. For although the hand & the handle of the sworde, be both farr from the bodie, and quite out of the streight line, yet the poynt of the sworde, from which principallie procedeth the offence, is not [Page] without the saide lyne: For it is borne so bending to­warde the left side that it respecteth directlie to strike the enimie, and being borne in that sorte, it may verie well both strike and defend. And when the poynt of the sword is borne out of the streight lyne, as the hand and handle is, then a man is in daunger to bee hurte caselie by the enimie, the which happeneth not when the poynt is bending, for in such order, it is as a barre and defence to the whole bodie.

The low Ward.

THis also from the effect is called the base ward or lock: Neither is this name improperlie giuen by the Professors of this Art, for that it is more strong, sure and commo dious then anie other ward, and in the which a man may more easelie strik, ward & stand therein with lesse paine. This ward is framed in the Schools after dy­uers fashions, either bearing the hand low before the knee, either verie much stretched forwardes, either betweene both the knees. All which fashions, (if we regard naturall reason, and the motions vsed therein) are to small purpose: for, besides that they are all vio­lent, and for a small time to be endured, they are also such, in the which a man may not strike but in two tymes, or at the least in one, and then verie weakly. Wherefore, casting all these aside, I will frame such a warde, as shalbe applyed, to time, to nature, and to safetie: And it is, when one beareth his arme directly downwardes neere his knee (but yet without it) and his sworde with the point somewhat raysed, and bea­ring [Page] towards the left side, to the end, it may arme and defend that part also, in such sort, that (being borne without violence) he may continue long. And if he would strike, he may in one time, forcibly deliuer a great thrust. But this he cannot do, if he beare his sword directly befor him, for then he must ether draw backe his arme when he would strike, or els strike in one time, but verie weakly.

This warde therfore must be framed with the arme stretched downwards neere the knee, but yet on the outside thereof, because after this manner a man stan­deth safely, commodiously, and more readie, both to strike and defend.


The manner how to strike.

WIthout all doubt, the thrust is to be preferred before the edge­blowe, aswell because it striketh in lesse time, as also for that in the saide time, it doth more hurt. For which consideratiō, the Ro­manes (who were victorious in all enterprises) did accustome their souldiers of the Legions to thrust onely: Alleaging for their reason, that the blowes of the edge, though they were great, yet they are verie fewe that are deadly, and that thrustes, though litle & weake, when they enter but iij. fingers in to the bodie, are wont to kill. Therefore I laye down this for a firme and certaine rule, that the thrust doth many times more readily strike, and giue the greater blowe against the enimie. And to the end, a man may thrust it out with the greatest force at the most aduantage, and vttermost length that may be, he must alwaies remember to carrie his left foote com­passing behinde him in such sort, that the hinderfoot so compassing may alwaies be in the straight lyne of the hand and sworde, as a Diameter in the middest of a Circle. And in finishing of the blowe, to drawe his hinder-foote a halfe pace forwardes, and so by that meanes the blow is longer & stronger, and the shoul­der and side are onely opposite to the enimie, and so farre off from him, that they may not be strooken: and it is not possible for a man to frame a longer blowe than this.

VVhen it is better to strike with the edge.

FOr no other cause, the edge is preferred before the poynt, then for the time: the shortnes whereof, is so to be esteemed a­boue all other things in this Arte, that (o­mitting the point and edge) it ought to be giuen for the best and chiefe counsell, that same to be the better blowe, in which a man spendeth least time. And ther­fore when this happeneth and may be done with the edg, then the edg is to be preferred before the point: the which as occasion serueth shalbe further declared.

When I reasoned of the blow of the point or thurst I said, that a man ought to thrust when the point is in the straight line, because the blowe is then performed in one time. But the edg differeth from the point, in that that being out of the strait line, it indeuoreth to come in to the same againe. Therefore when it hap­neth the point to be born either on the right, either on the left side, either aloft, out of the strait line, if then on would thrust in the right line, he can not performe it but in two times, whereas if he would strik with thedg be it right or reuersed, or downwards, he may do it in one time. It shalbe also verie commodious rather to strik with the edg, when as sometime a man bearinge his sword in the strait line, and the enimie ther finding it, doth with his hand beat it on this side or that side: In which case, if he would return it again into the said line of purpose to strik, he shalbe constrained to doe it whith great violence and much time.

For these reasons I hold it better to let the sworde swaie to that side, whereto the enemie beateth it, and to ioin vnto it such force, as he may to help the motion, and (fetching withall a compas) to strik with the edg.

[Page] The which blow is so readie & strong, that theni­mie can hardly haue time to withstand it, being alredy occupied in beating aside the sword & pretending to strik: nothing at al expecting that thaduersaries sworde wil strik again either so quickly, or with the edge, on that side from which it was beaten.

The Line of the edg is from A to B, The line of the point from C. to D. and from D. to E.

The meanes to defend

THE meanes of defending a blowe giuen either with the edg or point of the sword, are three. One is when the weapon is opposed to the blow, in such sort that the weapon which cometh striking either at the head or at the bodie, cannot hit home to the place whereūto it is directed, but hindered by some thing or other then set against it, be it sword, dagger, target, bil, Iauelin, or anie thing els, which at that instant a man hath in his hand. For it chanceth not alwaies to weare or carrie weapons of purpose, or ordained to that entent. Neither happelie is it thought souldier or gentlemanlike, not to know how to strike or defend, but onely with wepons framed to that end: for which cause, it may wel be said, that the soldier differenth from other men, not because he is more skilful in handling the sword or iauelyn, but for that he is expert in euerie occasion to know the best aduantage & with iudge­ment both to defend himself with anie thing whatso­euer, and therewithal safelie to offend the enimie: In which & no other thing consisteth true skirmishing.

He that perswads himself that he can learn this Art by the exercise of a few perticuler stroks of the point and edg is vtterlie deceiued: for besids, that by those perticuler triks, there is smal knowledge gotten: So the chaunces in this Arte are so daungerous & di­uers, that it is impossible to deliberat suddenly, except he haue the vniuersall knowledg and vnderstandinge of all the rules and principels hereof, being groun­ded vpon offending & defending, and not only vpon the sword, the dagger, the target, the iauelin & the bil. For a man at al times (when he is occasioned to strike [Page] or defend) doth not carrie these weapons about him, but is constrained to defend himselfe with a peece of wood from a Iavelyn, with a stoole or fourme from a sworde, or with a cloake from a dagger, in which case men commonly vse many other things not ordained for that purpose, doing that therewith which naturall instinct teacheth them. And this instinct is no other thing then the knowledge of the rules before laide downe: which knowledge, because it is naturally graffed in the mynde, is something the rather holpen and quallified by Arte, and maketh a man so assured and bolde, that he dares to enter on any great daun­ger, and iudgeth (when he seeth the qualitie of the wea pon, and the syte wherein it is placed) what it maye do, or in how many waies it may either strike or de­fend. From which his iudgement springs the know­ledge of all that he hath to do, and how he hath to handle himselfe to encounter any danger.

But returning to my purpose, to wit, of the way how to defend, which is to carrie the weapon oppo­site, this maner is commonly vsed, but is not so pro­fitable, being vsed as it is. And the reason is, because when men endeuour themselues to encounter or op­pose themselues against the weapon which commeth to strike them, (neither making bolde that their wea­pon can, neither knowing how it should defend) they withdraw their bodie with their foote, and commit all these faultes following.

1 First, by withdrawing of themselues, they en­counter the enimies sworde towardes the poynt, in which place it beareth most force, and therefore with great difficultie they sustaine the blowe.

[Page] 2 Another is, if they would strike the enimie, of force they must returne their feete and weapons thi­ther, where they were before, and yet encrease for­wards somewhat more, if they would strongly strike him: And in this they spend so much time, that the enimie may not onely easily defend, but also, verie well and safely strike. To him then that woulde vse this manner of defence without danger, it is necessa­rie and needefull, when he encountreth the enimies sworde, that he do not withdrawe himselfe, but with his left foote increase a crooked or slope pace for­wardes, the which shall encounter the sword, which before was comming striking with the edge, on that parte thereof, in which it hath least power to offend, and shal by that meanes easily withstand the blowe. But if the sworde come with a thrust, he must finde it and beat it aside: for euery litle motion is sufficient to driue the poynt farre enough from danger of hurte. And there is this aduantage gotten, aswel in the blow of the edge as of the point, that the bodie is voided out of the straight lyne, by meanes of the said slope pace: and it standeth so apt and so neere to offende the enimie, that one may strike in the verie instant, neither can the enimie so much withdrawe himselfe as is sufficient to auoyde the stroke: For a man hath to vse the straight pace of the right foote to follow the enimie, which pace is so strong and so swift, that the enimie may not auoide it. And because this ma­ner of defence, in mine opinion, seemeth to be most sure and short, I will vse it aboue all other.

There is another waie, to wit, when one percei­ueth the enimies sworde in the deliuerie of an edge­blowe, [Page] to fetch a great compasse, he may strike him before the fall of his sword with a thrust: or els when the enimie thrusteth, (but yet spendeth many times in doing thereof) he may likewise strike him in as shorte time as may be. The which manner of defending is most profitable, & perchaunce the better of the two. For there is no man that will runne himselfe hedlong vpon the weapon, or that, perceiuing himselfe readie to be strooken, will not suddenly drawe backe and with-hold that blowe which he had alreadie prepared to discharge. And although there be some, who be­ing strooken runne rashly on, yet generally, men wil not so do, albeit they be strooken when they are most collorick, but will, when they are strooken or woun­ded, giue backe and be dismayed and by reason of the bloud which goeth from them, alwaies more & more be weakened.

But yet when they be so wounded, it shall be for their profit to be well aduised, and not to discomfort themselues for the greatnes of the blowe, but to beare it paciently: for that which they doe in disdaine and furie shal turne them to much displeasure.

3 The third manner of defence is, when the bodie voideth out of the straight lyne towardes this or that side, but this is seeldome vsed alone & by it selfe, but rather accompanied with the opposing of the wea­pon, or with the second manner of defence aforesaid. If it be vsed alone, the manner is to let slipp the blow, and to strike the enimie in the same time that he is o­uer reached in his blowe.



The methode which shalbe vsed in handling the Chapters following.

FOrasmuch as I ought in the Chapters fo­lowing to teach more particularly all the blowes and defences in euery warde, (to the ende that no man doe meruaile why I do not perfourme the same, and do thinke that the in­struction is therefore imperfect) I thinke good (be­cause my purpose is now to intreat of that only which pertaineth to true Arte, to the which the blow of the point, or thrustes, are most agreeable, being more rea­die and strong than any other) to handle them prin­cipally, [Page] and yet not so, but that I will also talke of edg­blows when in my treatise I come to that place where it shalbe commodious to strike therewith, placing them neere to their wardes and defenses, although against all edgeblows this is the best defence, to strike by the right lyne before the fall of the enimies sword, for, being deliuered in shorter time, it withstandeth their fall and lighting. The order I say, which I will obserue, shalbe, to laie downe euery warde, their blowes and defences, but principally of the poynt, then of the edge, if neede require.

The hurt of the high warde at single Rapier.

THE truest, and surest blowe that may be gi­uen when a man lyeth at the high warde, is, the thrust aboue hande, aswell for that it is in the straight lyne, as also, because it natu­rally stayeth it selfe in the lowe warde: So that from the beginning to the ending of this blowe, there is neuer any time giuen to the enimie to enter, by rea­son, that the point standeth alwayes directly against him. But in the discharging of this blowe, a man must remember to drawe his left foote neere his right foote, and then to encrease forwardes with the right foote, & deliuer it as forcibly as he may, staying him selfe in the lowe warde.

True it is, that he may also deliuer a right and re­uersed edgeblowe at the head: or els, strike down­wardes from the wrist of the hand: but because he is notable to turne his wrist in so small a compasse, in the discharge of an edgeblowe, either high or lowe, [Page] but that the poynt of the sworde will be out of the straight lyne, by the length of a sworde, in the which (before it returne) the enimie hath sufficient time to strike: Therefore I would not counsell any man to vse them either alone, or both togither. But yet be­tweene two thrustes, they may be verie well vsed to­gither, by continuing the one after the other (though they be voyded) vntill the last thrust, the which doth safely rest it selfe in the lowe ward. The vse of them is on this manner.

When one hauing discharged a thrust from the high warde, perceiueth that it doth not hurt, because it was voyded by the enimies sworde, he must turne a right edgeblowe from the wrist athwart the enimies head, fetching a compasse with his foote behind him toward the rightside, to the ende the blowe may be the longer, which is the longest blowe of all others. But if the enimie voide this in like case (which is very difficult) then he must suddenly turne the reuerse from his elbowe encreasing therewithall a slope pace with the hinder foote. And it is to be noted, that in deliuering a reuerse, the slope pace is in a manner al­waies to be vsed, to the ende he may go foorth of the straight lyne, in the which (if he should deliuer it) he may easily be strooken. Hauing vsed this pace & re­uerse, whether it hit or not, the sworde in the same in­stant is something to be drawen or slyded: which drawing is profitable in this, that in giuing the reuerse it doth both cause the weapon to cut, and make the greater blowe. Wherefore it is to be vnderstoode, that all edgeblowes ought so to be deliuered, that they may cut: for being directly giuen without any [Page] drawing, they cause but a small hurt.

Comming therefore to my purpose, I say: that as soone as he hath so drawen his sworde, he ought with the straight pace of the right foote, discharge a thrust vnderneath, being already prepared, the whrich thrust is so strong, both for the aptnes thereof and encrease of the pace, that it pearceth through any impediment withstanding it. And all these blowes (beginning from the thrust aboue hand, till the ende of the thrust vnderneath) being roundly deliuered one after ano­ther with such swiftnes as is required, are in a manner not to be warded. Besides, they haue so great increase of pace, that it is not almost possible for the enimie to retyre so much backwarde, as these encrease vpon him forward.

The defence of the thrust of the high warde at single Rapier.

ALL the furie in striking before spoken of, is vt­terly frustrated, when, as here it may be seene, a man withstandeth and incountreth the first thrust. For the defence whereof it is needefull that he stand at the lowe warde, and as the thrust cōmeth, that he encounter it without, with the edge of the sword, and increase a slope pace forward, with the hin der foote at the verie same time, by which pace he mo­ueth out of the streight line, and passeth on the right side of the enimie. And he must remember to beare alwaies the poynt of the sword toward the enimie: So that the enimie in comming forwardes, ether runneth himselfe on the sword, which may easely happen, and so much the rather, when he commeth resolutelie de­termined [Page] to strike, or else if he come not so farre for­wardes that he encountreth the sword, yet he may be safelie stroken, with the encrease of a streight pace: to which pace, hauing suddenly ioyned a slope pace, a man must returne and increase againe though the eni­mie were strooken at the first increase of that pace: For if at the first stroak and increase, the enimie were not hit in the eye, it shall be to small purpose. There­fore as soone as he hath vsed the croked or slope pace, he must presentlie encrease an other streight pace, the which doth so much gather vpon the enimie, that if he would strike him in the brest, he may thrust his sword vp to the hiltes.

Now for the loftie edge-blowes, both right and re­uersed, the rules aforesaide may suffice: To witte, the edge-blowe fectheth a compasse. The blowe of the poynt or thrust is the shortest, & in this blowe, he that is nearest hitteth soonest: So then he must thrust vnder any of these edgeblowes. And farther, for asmuch as it is naturallie giuen to euerie man to defend him­selfe, he may encounter the right edge-blowe after an other waie, and that is, to encounter it with the edge of his sworde, and presentlie, to driue there withall a thrust at the enimies face, and to compasse his hinder­foote, towardes the right side behinde, to the ende, that the thrust may be lengthned and his bodie there­by couered, considering he shall then stand right be­hinde his sword.

This manner of defence, may serue to warde all right blows of the edg, deliuered from the high ward, and it is the best waie of all other, because it doth not onely warde, but also in one and the selfesame time, [Page] both strike and defend safely.

This manner of thrust is called the reuersed thrust. But if one would warde a reuerse, he must oppose the edge of his sword without, and therewithall increase a slope pace, & then deliuer a thrust with the increase of a straight or right pace. And this may suffice for all that which may be vsed against a loftie, reuersed, edgeblowe, as farfoorth as a man endeuoureth to op­pose himselfe against the weapon. And this is the verie same also which may be vsed for the warding of the thrust.

The hurt of the broad warde at single Rapier.

THe most sure, most true & principall blowe that may be vsed in this warde is the thrust vnder­hand, so that a man draw his left foote neere his right foote, and then discharge it with the increase of the saide foote, and settle himselfe in the lowe warde.

He may also in this warde with the said increase of the right foote, deliuer a right edgeblowe from the wrist of the hand, and stay himselfe in the low warde. And perchaunce he may (although with great daun­ger) bestowe also a reuerse: yet considering he shall do it out of the straight lyne, in the which onely he striketh safely, I do not thinke it good, that he vse ei­ther the saide reuerse, either the saide right blowe ex­cept it be verie seldom, & for the same cause, assuring himselfe in the blow of the poynt, or thrust, the which he shall not giue, except it be verie commodious, or that he be forced of necessitie, considering this thrust doth not onely easily and commodiously defend, but [Page] also, at one instant, safely strike, and offend, as shal be shewed in the defence of this warde. That there­fore which he may safely do, in this warde, is to ex­pect and watch for the enimies comming.

The Defence of the broad VVard at single Rapier.

IF a man would defend himselfe from the blowes of the foresaide broad warde, it is good that he stande against the enimie in the lowe warde: for whilest he is so opposite in the same warde, the enimie may nei­ther easily enter, neither commodiously defend him­selfe. So that he which is in the lowe warde may very easily withstand the downright blow, and the reuerse by giuing a thrust, for that he shall hit him first, And if he would onely oppose his sworde, and not strike al­so therewithall, he must encounter the enimies sword with the edge of his owne, and turning the same edge fetch a reuerse, striking at the face of the enimie. And as he so turneth his hand and edge of his sworde, it shalbe good that he carrie his forefoote a halfe croo­ked or slope pace towards his right side, staying him­selfe in the broad warde. For defence of the reuerse, it is to be marked, when the enimie lifteth vp the point of the Rapier out of the straight lyne, because then of force he fetcheth a compasse: And whilest he so doth, a man must make a straight pace forwardes, and with his left hande take holdfast of the sworde hande of the enimie, and incontinently wound him with a thrust vnderneath alreadie prepared.

Now, the verie same defence is to be vsed against the thrust vnderneath, which is against the right edge­blow. [Page] Neither is there any other difference between these two defences, but that whilest the right blowe fetcheth his compas, a man may giue a thrust and hit home first: For the thrust vnderneath, must onely of necessitie be warded, because, cōming in the straight lyne, it ministreth no aduantage or time to hit home first.

The hurt of the Lowe warde at single Rapier.

A Man may in like maner in this ward, as in others, deliuer a thrust, a right blowe, and a reuerse: but the true and principall effect of this warde, is to expect the enimie, aswell for that a man beareth him-selfe without warinesse, as also, because it is apt and readie to defende all blowes either high or lowe: For being in the middle, it is as easily somewhat lifted vp, as something borne downe: So that when one standeth in this warde, he may not (as for his aduantage) be the first that shall giue either the down-right blowe, or the reuerse: for both the one and the other (depar­ting out of the straight lyne) are deadly, because they giue time to the enimie to enter nimbly with a thrust. The thrust therefore, may be only vsed when one meaneth to strike first, and it is practised either within, or with out, alwaies regarding in either of the waies, so to beare and place his arme, that he haue no neede (before he thrust) to drawe backe the same. And if the enimie warde it, by the trauerse or crosse motion of his Rapier, as many vse to do, then he ought to encrease a straight pace and lift vp his sword hand, holding the point thereof downwards betwixt the enimies arme and his bodie, & with the encrease [Page] of a straight pace to deliuer a thrust. And this man­ner of thrust doth easily speede, because it increaseth continually in the straight lyne in such sort that the enimie can do no other then giue backe, and especi­ally when it is done without, for then the sworde is safe from the trauerse motion of the other sworde.

The Defence of the Lowe warde at single Rapier.

BEcause both the down-right blowe, and the reuerse are varie easily defended in this warde, I will not stand to speake of any other then of the thrust, restrai­ning my selfe thereunto. The which thrust, if at the first it be not withstoode, may proue verie mortall & deadly. Therefore, when this thrust is giuen with­in, it must be beaten inwardes with the edge of the Rapier, requiring the turne of the hand also inwards, and the compasse of the hinder foote, so farre towards the right side, as the hande goeth towardes the right side. And the enimie shall no sooner haue deliuered the thrust, and he found the sword, but he ought to turne his hand, and with a reuerse to cut the enimies face, carying alwaies his forefoote on that side where his hand goeth. If the enimies thrust come out­wardes, then it is necessarie, that with the turne of his hand he beat it outwards with the edge of his sword encreasing in the same instant one slope pace, by meanes whereof he deliuereth his bodie from hurt. And therewithall (encreasing another straight pace, and deliuering his thrust alreadie prepared) he doth most safely hurt the enimie.

The Rapier and Dagger.

HAuing as briefely as I might possibly fini­shed all that which might be saide, of true knowledge of single Rapier: it seemeth conuenient, that comming from the sim­ple to the compound, I handle those weapons first, which from the Rapier forwards are either most sim­ple or least compound: And especially those which nowe adayes are most vsed, and in the which men are most exercised, the which weapons are the Rapier & Dagger accompanied togither, and are a great en­crease and furtherance both in striking and defen­ding.

Wherefore, it is first to be considered, that with these and the like weapons, a man may practise that most desired and renowmed manner of skirmishing, which is saide to strike and defend both in one time, which is thought to be impossible to be done with the single Rapier, and yet in truth it is not so: For there are some kinde of blows in the defence of which one may also strike (as in the blowes of the edge, downe right and reuersed) both high and lowe, and other high blowes which here are not spoken of.

Wherefore seing with these weapons a man may verie commodiously, both strike and defend, for that the one is a great helpe to the other, it is to bee remembred, that because these weapons are two, and the one of lesser quantitie then the other, to eache one bee allotted that part both of defen­dinge and strikinge, which it is best hable to sup­port. So that to the Dagger, by reason of his short­nes, is assigned the left side to defend downe to the knee▪ and to the sword all the right side, & the right [Page] and left side ioyntly downwardes from the knee. Neither may it seeme strange that the onely Dagger ought to defend all the blowes of the left side: for it doth most easily sustaine euerie edgeblowe, when it encountreth the sworde in the first and second parte thereof.

But yet let no man assure himselfe, to beare any blowe, with his only Dagger when he meeteth with the sword on the thirde and fourth parte thereof, be­cause that parte carrieth more force with it then may be sustained with the onely Dagger. And yet for all that, no man ought to accustome himselfe to defende blowes with the Rapier and Dagger both together, which manner of defending is now commonly vsed because men beleeue, that they stand more assuredly by that meanes, although in trueth it is not so. For the Rapier and Dagger are so bound thereby, that they may not strike before they be recouered, and therein are spent two tymes, vnder the which a man may be strooken when he that striketh continuing by the straight lyne, encreaseth forwards, perceiuing his enimie to be occupied and troubled in defending of himselfe. And albeit this is not seene to come to passe many times yet that is because the aduantage is notknowen, or being known, men either are not rea­die to execute it, either stand greatly in feare to do it.

Therefore leauing aside this maner of defence, let each man vse to oppose, one only weapon against the enimies sworde, keeping the other free, that he may be able to strike at his pleasure.

And it is diligently to be noted, that not onely the blowes of the sworde, but also of any other weapon [Page] be it neuer so great, may with the onely Dagger be sustained and defended, when a man doth boldly en­counter it towards the hand.

It is therefore to be knowen, that in the handling of these two weapons one may with lesse danger giue a blowe with the edge then at the single Rapier: For albeit the poynt of the Rapier be moued out of the straight lyne: yet for all that there is not free power giuen to the enimie to strike, considering there is an other weapon contrariwise prepared to defend: but this doth not so fall out at the single Rapier, which bearing it selfe farre off when it striketh with the edge, doth present & giue the meanes to the enimie to hit home first. And yet for all that, I would counsell no man, either in this or in any other sort of weapon to accustome himselfe to giue blowes with the edge: for that he may vnder them be most easily strooken by a thrust.

Of the Wardes.

IN the handling of these weapons, men vse to frame manie wardes, all which, be­cause many of them carrie no reason, for that they are ether out of the streight line, either vnder them a man maie easelie bee stroken, I wil cast aside as impertinent to my purpose, & restrain my self vnto those three with the which a man may safelie strike & defend, wherunto all the rest maie be reduced.

How to defend with the Dagger.

I Haue said elswhere that the left side of the person is that part which the dagger ought to defend, that is [Page] to saie, from the knee vpwards: the lower parts toge­ther with the right side ought wholy to bee warded with the sword.

Concerning the dagger, that which is to bee done therewith, it is to be noted, that for great aduantage, it would be holden before with the arme streched forth & the point respecting the euemie, which although it be far from him, yet in that it hath a point, it giueth him occasion to bethink himself.

Now whether a man ought to holde his Dagger with the edge or flatt towardes the enimie, it may be left to the iudgement of him that handleth it, so to vse it, as shalbe most for his aduantage. I haue seene some, who beare it with the elge towards the enimie, alledging this to be their aduantage, that as they en­counter the enimies sworde (which commeth with the edge or poynt) in the first and second parte therof, & therewithall do increase a pace forwards, of force the hand turneth and placeth the edge of the Dagger there where the flatt was first: So that they are to driue the enimies sword farre from them without any great trouble, because each little motion in the first parte of the sworde causeth verie great varietie in the poynt, from whence principally proceedeth the hurt. In which case, it shalbe very profitable to haue a good large Dagger.

There be other some, whome it pleaseth to carrie their Dagger with the flatt towardes the enimie, vsing for their defence, not onely the Dagger, but also the guardes thereof with the which (they saye) they take holdfast of the enimies sword: and to the ende they may do it the more easily, they haue daggers of pur­pose, [Page] which beside their ordinarie hilts, haue also two long sterts of Iron, foure fingers length, and are di­stant from the dagger the thicknes of a bow-string, in­to which distance, when it chaunceth the enimies sworde to be driuen, they suddenly straine and holde fast the sworde, the which may come to passe, but I holde it for a thing rather to be immagined then pra­ctised, the case so standing, that in the heate of fight, where disdaine bickereth with feare, little doth a man discerne whether the sworde be in that straight or no. And when he is to premeditate and marke, endeuou­ring and striuing in his liuely iudgement, he must ad­uise himselfe to perfourme it with the exquisite know­ledge and perfect discerning of the enimies motions, his neerenesse and farrensse, and to resolue himselfe to strike by the shortest way that may be: for therehence springeth the victorie.

Let euery man therefore holde his dagger with the edge or flatt towardes the enimie, as it shall most ad­uantage him, or as he hath beene most accustomed. True it is, that by holding the edge towards the eni­mie there is this aduantage gotten, that with the dag­ger he may strike with the edge, which he may not do the other waie. But let euery man hold it as he wil, yet he ought to carrie his arme stretched out before him, with the poynt in manner aforesaide, to the end he may be able to finde the enimies sworde a great deale before it hitteth his person.

Besides this, he ought to obserue for an infallible rule, that when the poynt or edge commeth on the left side, he must beat it from that side with the dag­ger. And in like sort defending himselfe with the [Page] sword, to driue it from the right side, for doing other­wise: that is, if he force the blowes giuen on the left­side outwardes on the right side (forasmuch as the enimies sworde hath by that meanes two motions, the one crossing, which is alreadie giuen, the other straight which the enimie giueth it, continuing the one with the other) it may be, that in the straight mo­tion, it may hit the person, before that (by the thwart or crossing motion) it be driuen quite outwardes.

Therefore all blowes shalbe beaten outwards toward that side or parte of the bodie which is least to the end it may the sooner auoide daunger. And those blowes that come on the right side must be beaten towards the right side: and those on the left side must in like manner be voided from the same side.

Now, as concerning the fashion of the Dagger, thus much is to be saide: that it would be strong, able to beare and incounter the blowes of the sword: in­differently long) that it may be quickly drawen out of the sheath somewhat short: and those that are of the middle size would be chosen.

The offence of the High warde at Rapier and Dagger.

AS in handling the single Rapier, so likewise in this, it shall not be amisse to begin with the High warde, which in managing these two weapons may be framed after two sortes. The one with the right foote before, which I will call the first: and the other with the same foot behind, which I will terme the second. This second requireth a [Page]


greater time, because the point of the sworde is far­ther off from the enimie. The first (being more neere) with the onely encrease of the foote forwardes, stri­keth more readily, yet not more forcible than the se­cond, which, when it striketh with the encrease of a straight pace, ioyneth to the force of the arme & hand, the strength of the whole bodie.

Beginning then with the first, as with that which each man doth most easelie find: I saie, he ought if he will keepe himselfe within the boundes of true Arte, to thrust onely with the increase of the foote forwards, setling himselfe in the lowe warde.

[Page] In the second waie, which is framed with the righte foote behind, the sword alofte, and the dagger before, & borne as aforesaid, he ought in like sorte discharge a thrust as forciblie as he may, with the increase of a straight pace, staying himselfe in the lowe warde. Nei­ther ought anie man in the handling of these weapōs to assure himselfe to deliuer edgeblowes, because he▪ knoweth that there is an other weapon which defen­deth: For he that defendeth hath the selfe same aduā ­tage, to witt, to be able with one weapon (and happe­lie the weaker,) to defend himself and strike with the stronger. The which stroake is painfully warded by him, who hath alreadie bestowed all his force and power, in deliuering the saide edgeblowe, by meanes whereof, because there remaineth in him small power to withstand anie great encounter, let him prouide to thrust onelie.

Of all, or of the greater parte of the edgeblowes, as­well of striking as defending, I will reason at large in the Treatise of Deceite.

Of the defence of high VVarde at Rapier and Dagger.

TO speake of the manner how to withstand the blowes of the edge, hauing alreadie saide that all such blowes may easelie be warded by giuinge a thrust, I omit as superfluous. But for the defences of both sides of the bodie: I saie, it is greate vantage, to stand at the lowe warde, with the right foote forwardes, by the which manner of stand­ing, the right side is put fourth towarde the enimie, [Page] whereunto he will direct all his thrustes: and those may be encountred after three sortes, that is to saye: with the Dagger onely: with the Sworde onely: and with both ioyned together. But in each of them, a man must remember to encrease a slope pace, where­by that parte of the bodie which was to be strooken is voided out of the straight lyne.

When one wardeth with his Dagger onely, he shall encrease a pace, and beare his arme forwards, and hauing found the enimies sworde, he shall (with the encrease of a straight pace) strike him with a thrust vnderneath, alreadie prepared.

When he wardeth with his sworde onely, it is re­quisite, that making a slope pace, he lift vp his sworde, and beare it outwards, or els, as soon as he hath found the enimies sworde, that with his dagger he strike at the temples of his enimies head, staying his sworde with his owne: or els in steede of striking with the Dagger, therewith to staie the enimies sword, & with it, (encreasing another straight pace) to deliuer a thrust: but it is verie commodious to strike with the Dagger.

The thirde waie: As soone as he hath made the slope pace, and found the enimies sworde, he ought to staie it with his Dagger, and therewithall, with­drawing his owne sworde, to discharge a thrust vn­derneath with the encrease of a straight pace.

The hurt of the broad ward: at Rapier and Dagger.

IN each weapon and warde, I haue layde downe as a generall precept, that no man ought, (either for [Page] the procuring of any aduantage, either for striking the enimie more readily) deliuer blowes of the edge. And in like sorte, I haue saide, that easily and with small danger, one may be strooken vnder any such blowe: which precepts, as in each time and place, they ought to be obserued: so in this warde princi­pally they may not be forgotten. For a man may not without great discommoditie and losse of time, strike with any edgeblowe, as he standeth at this warde.

It resteth therefore, that the thrust be onely vsed, which ought to be deliuered with the encrease of the foote forwards, alwaies regarding before it be giuen, if it be possible) to beate awaie the point of the eni­mies sworde with the Dagger.

The defence of the broad warde at Rapier and Dagger.

THis thrust also as well as the other may be warded after three sortes, to wit: with the Dagger only, with the sword only, and with both ioyned together. But for a mans defence in any of these waies, it is good to stande at the lowe warde. And when he wardeth with the dagger only, he must make a slope pace, and finding the enimies sworde, with his said dagger, discharge a thrust vnder­neath with the increase of a straight pace.

And when he wardeth with the sworde onely (which is the best of any other, both to strike the eni­mie, and defend himselfe) he must oppose the edge of his sworde against the enimies, and driue a thrust at his face, fetching a compasse with his hinderfoote, both for the lengthning of the thrust, and assuring of [Page] himselfe.

It is possible to withstand the thrust with the sworde and dagger ioyned together: but it is so dis­commodious and so ridiculous a waie, that I leaue to speake thereof, as of a waye nothing safe to be pra­ctised.

The hurt of the lowe warde at Rapier and dagger.

IN each warde, when one standeth bea­ring the poynt of the sworde towards the enimie, it doth much disaduantage him to strike with the edge. And if in any sorte it be lawfull so to do, it is, when he standeth at the lowe warde: For it is commodious, and there is spent but little time in the bestowing of an edgeblowe betweene thrustes. Or, the rather to trie the enimie, there may be deliuered an edgeblow from the wrist of the hand, in the which as there is spent little time, so the poynt is carried but a litle out of the straight lyne, so that the enimie may very hard­ly enter to strike vnder either of these blowes. But it is better, not to vse them, resoluing rather to discharge thrust after thrust, then any edgeblowe.

This warde may (as the high ward) be framed af­ter two sortes, to wit: with the right foote behinde, and the same foote before: but that with the right foote behind, is vsed rather to expect the enimie than to strike first. For although it carrieth great force by reason that the sworde is farre off from hurting, and before it hitteth home, it spendes much time, yet the hurt thereof may easily be warded, either with the weapon, or by retyring a pace. I will speake of that [Page] onely which is framed with the right foote before. And in this, one may strike two waies, to wit: either within or without: By (Within) I vnderstand, when his sworde is borne betweene the enimies sword & dagger. By (Without) I meane, when any one of them is borne in the middle against the other.

When one findeth himselfe within, at the halfe of the enimies sword, the poynt whereof, is directed to strike at the right side, he must verie swiftly encrease a slope pace, and in a manner straight, to the ende he may approch the neerer his enimie, and therewithall suddenly barring the enimies sworde in the middle with his owne sworde and dagger, encrease a straight pace, and deliuer a thrust.

This may be done after another plainer waie, and that is: when he standeth at the halfe sworde, to beat the enimies swordes point out of the straight lyne on that side which shalbe most commodious, and in that lyne encreasing his foote forwards to driue a forcible thrust, at the enimies face or brest.

But standing without, he maie (with the encrease of his foote forwards) giue a thrust at the face, which the enimie of necessitie must defend with his sword: but therein the sworde and the poynt thereof is common­ly carried out of the straight line, in which case he may (with the encrease of a slope pace) turne a reuerse at the legges, and then presently something withdraw­ing his sworde, deliuer a thrust vnderneath with the encrease of a straight pace.

He may also after a second manner, giue a right edgeblow from the wrist, as short and strong as is pos­sible, not so much pretending to strike as to finde the [Page] enimies sworde: And it being suddenly found, hee must with the encrease of a slope or crooked pace, lift vp his hand and driue a thrust downwards, with the increase of a straight pace.

After a thirde sort also, he may strike, and that is to deliuer the foresaid blowe from the wrist, and hauing met with the enimies sworde, to make presently a slope pace, and staie the sworde with his dagger, and then nimbly recouering his owne sworde, to thrust vnderneath with the increase of a straight pace.

These be sufficient, concerning that which may be done in this warde with the sworde both within and without, at least, for so much as may be done by true Arte.

The defence of the lowe warde at Rapier & Dagger.

ALthough in the defence of blowes in eche warde, there is great consideration & heede to be taken: yet in this especially is required a farr more excellent iudgement and readines in action. For this warde doth oppose it selfe against all others. And the grea­ter part of blowes which are of importance, proceed from this warde.

Besides, euery man doth naturally more accustom himself to staie and repose himselfe in it, than in any other. Neither is it (as I beleeue) for any other cause, then that he knoweth, by so bearing himselfe, he may easilie both strike and defend. And because in this warde, as I haue before saide, in the hurt or offence thereof, it is more commodious to strike with the edge than in any other warde, albeit, it is not there giuen for counsell to be good to vse it. But yet be­cause [Page] it may easily happen, there shall be here layde downe some defence for it: calling this principle be­fore any other to remembrance, (He that is nearest, hitteth soonest,) to the ende, that knowing what way either sworde maketh, each man may resolue him­selfe to deliuer a thrust vnder an edgeblowe, by the which is preuented the fall of the saide blowe.

But because none, but such as are endued with deepe iudgement, great actiuitie, and stout courage, do or may safely put this in practise: And to the end also, that those, who accustom to defend euery blow, perfourming that in two times which might aswell be done in one, may rest satisfied: I will laye downe the defence of the edgeblow.

Therefore, whensoeuer edgeblows are giuen, they are either right or reuersed, high or low.

Against the right high blowe, either the onely dag­ger is to be opposed, either the sworde and Dagger both together. When the onely dagger is vsed, then a straight pace must be encreased, & the dagger hande lifted vp to encounter the enimies sword in the wea­kest parte thereof, & being suddenly found a straight pace is to be encreased, and a thrust vnderneath (al­readie prepared) to be discharged. But if the sword and dagger be both together opposed, they both must be lifted vp, and as soone as the blowe is encoun­tred, the enimies face is to be cut by discharging a reuerse, with the onely turne of the hand, resting & staying it selfe in the brode warde.

The right blowe, giuen beneath, or belowe, must be warded after no other manner, then by driuing a thrust at the enimies thigh, which thrust is to this pur­pose, [Page] that it hitteth home safely vnder that blow, and farther is a let, or barre, to the enimies sword, so that it maie not light on the legges, considering that in the discharge of the saide thrust, the hinder foote must necessarily go compassing towardes the right side behinde.

Reuerses also, are either high or low. If high: they may be warded with the dagger onely, therewithall discharging a thrust vnderneath, with the encrease of a straight pace, as soone as the dagger hath met with the enimies sworde. Either, they may be warded with the sworde onely encreasing a straight pace with the left foote, therewithall discharging a thrust (alrea­die lifted vp in the warde) with the encrease of a straight pace of the right legge. And this manner of warding, is more according to Arte, because it hath beene saide, That all blowes on the left side, are to be warded with the dagger onely.

The reuerse blowe would be warded with giuing a thrust which safely hitteth, and hindreth the swotde to light on the legges. This blowe also, may be warded after other and diuers manners, which shalbe declared in the treatise of Disceit: for this is not their proper place.

There is great regarde to be taken in warding of thrustes, to wit: to beare the bodie out of the straight lyne, because this is the safest waie that may be found to voide them, because it verie difficult to meete with them, when they come barred and closed in, and are forciblie discharged. For when a thrust commeth within (at the verie time that the enimie striketh) hee ought to encrease a slope pace, ensuring himself of the [Page] enimies sword with his dagger, and then to discharge a thrust with the increase of a straight pace.

The thrust without is warded after the first maner, to wit, when the enimie striketh, to encrease a slope pace (whereby the bodie voideth danger) & to giue a thrust with the encrease of a straight pace. In this order one may warde himselfe from other wayes of stryking.

In like case, when the enimie (onely to trye and prouoke) doth deliuer an edgeblowe from the wrist of the hande: let euery man be aduised, as soone as the blowe is deliuered, to encrease a slope pace, and deliuer a thrust with the encrease of a straight pace, before the enimie (after his blowe giuen) do deter­mine to discharge any more. This may suffice, for the handling of the Rapier and Dagger truely, with aduantage.

The Rapier and Cloake.

THat I maie continue in the weapons which are most vsuall and most commonly worne: After the Dagger, I come to the Cloake: The vse whereof was first founde out by chaunce, and after reduced into Arte. Neither was this for any other cause, then for that nature doth not onely delight to inuent things, but also to preserue them being inuented. And that shee may the bet­ter doe it, shee taketh for her helpe all those things that are commodious for her. Wherefore, as men in diuers accidēts haue casually proued, that the Cloak helpeth greatly (for as much as they are to weare it [Page] daily) they haue deuised how they may behaue them selues in all that, in which the Cloak may serue their turne. Which accidents, because they are infinite, & do not generally serue for our purpose, I wil restraine my selfe and speake of those onely which appertaine to this Arte, the which are such and so effectuall, that they may greatly helpe to the obteining of safe vic­torie, if they happen to be placed in such a man as knoweth howe to vse and handle them. And for that in true Arte it doth little preuaile, the vse thereof be­ing in a manner altogether deceitfull, I was resolued to put ouer all this to the treatise of Deceit, as vnto his proper place. Notwithstanding, to the ende it may not seeme strange to any man, to read nothing of the Cloak in al the handling of true Art, I am min­ded to laye downe a certaine fewe blowes in the ac­customed wardes, referring the more abundant han­dling thereof vnto the treatise of Deceit.

The manner how to handle the Cloake.

AS the Cloake in this Arte, hath in it three things to be considered, to wit: length, largenesse, and flexibilitie: so it is to be wayed how far each of these will stretch, to serue the turne. Of which three, one doth properly belong vnto it, and that is flexibilitie, which maie neither be encreased nor diminished: The other two, may receiue alteration. But yet it is at any hande to be prouided, that these two also be not diminished. For the Cloake is no strong thing, which of it selfe may withstand the blowes of the weapon, being directly opposed against them.

[Page] And therefore he shall proue himselfe but a foole, who trusting to the Cloth wrapped about his arme, doth encounter any right edgeblowe therewith. For seeing the Cloake is not flexible in that parte (which flexibilitie is his onely strength) litle preuaileth either length or largenes, wrapped about a solide substāce. But being opposite in that parte thereof, where it hath length, largenes and flexibilitie (which is from the arme downwardes) it is auailable: for all three be­ing ioyned togither will warde any edgeblow: which manner of warding should not be so sure, if the cloake had onely length and flexibilitie: For hauing behind it litle ayre, which is the thing that doeth strengthen it, it may easily be beaten too, and cut, by any great blowe. Therefore, if a man haue so much leisure, he ought to wrapp his Cloake once or twice about his arme, taking it by the Cape or coller, and folding his arme therein vp to the elbowe, and therewithall to warde all edgeblowes from the flanke thereof down­wardes, aswell on the right side, as on the left side, al­waies remembring to carrie his foote differing from his arme, for the auoyding of danger that may rise by bearing his legg on the selfe same side, neere his cloak knowing the Cloak wardeth not when there is any harde substance behind it.

Thrustes also themselues, may be giuen without, if with the Cloake, or with the hand in the Cloak, the enimies sworde be beaten off, one handfull within the poynt thereof. For the edge hauing but small power in that case, is not hable in so litle time, to cut the hand. The blowes also, aswell of the poynt, as of the edge, from the slanke vpwardes, ought to be [Page] warded with the sworde: For to lift the arme so high being burdened with the waight of the Cloak, which naturally draweth downwards, as it is a violent thing it is also perilous, least the arme be placed in steede of the Cloake, and so rest wounded, or lest the arme or Cloake be placed before the eyes, which by that meanes remaine blinded.

An Aduertisement concerning the warding and wrapping of the Cloake.

THere are two waies (in these daies) to wrappe the Cloake, the one is, when one hauing leasure taketh the Cloake by the cape or coller, and so fouldeth it once or twice about his arme: The other is, as often times it falleth out, when letting the Cloke fall downe from the shoulder, it is happelie taken by one side, & so is turned once or twice about the arme.

Nowe as concerning striking, a man ought in the handling of these weapons as he would strike, first to increase and carrie the one foote neere to the other, and then farther to increase a halfe, not a whole pace, as in other weapons: For at these weapons, it is daun­gerous least (making a whole pace) he entangle his foote or feete in the Cloake and fall downe therewith. And this must be taken heede of, in the first and se­cond foulding, but principallie in the second, because in it the Cloake is longer, and therefore doth more ea­silie touch the earth & intangle his feet: In the first fold, although the cloak touch not the earth, because the arme doth orderlie beare it, yet by reason of weri­nes, the arme falleth & causeth the foresaid effect.



The hurt of the high ward at Rapier and Cloke

IN these maner of weapons, asin others, I will frame three wardes: The first by the foresaid reasons, shall be the high warde, which in these kind of wepons more then in anie other deserue the name of a ward. For the Ra­pier (something bending) wardeth as farre as the clok hand, and the clok hand down to the middle legg: soe that in this ward a man is warded from the top of the head down to the foot.

[Page] Therefore standing at this warde, whether it be▪ with the right foote before or behinde, he may deli­uer a thrust with the encrease of a halfe pace forwards, staying himselfe in the lowe warde.

The right edgeblowe ought to be deliuered from the wrist without any motion of the feete, resting in the lowe warde: but in deliuering of the reuerse, it is necessarie to fetch a whole pace, and in a manner straight. If the enimie warde it with his sworde, then the encounter of the enimies sworde, must be stayed suddenly with the Cloake-hand in the first part there­of, and a thrust be deliuered vnderneath, with the en­crease of a straight pace.

The defence of the thrust, right and reuersed blowes of the high warde at Rapier and Cloake.

FOr the better auoyding of the hurts which proceede from the high warde: it is neces­sarie to stande at the lowe warde, in the which the thrust is to be warded iiij. man­ner of waies, to wit: either with the single sworde within and without, either with the single Cloake within and without. If with the single sword with­in, it is requisite to fetch a compas with the foot back­wards on the right side. In like case to turne the bo­die the same waie, to the intent, to carrie it out of the straight lyne (in which the blowe commeth) and to driue a reuersed thrust at the face, the which thrust in such order deliuered is the longest that is, and such a one, as thereby the hurt is not onely voyded, but also at the selfe same time, the enimie is stroken in the face. If it chaunce, that the sworde be encountred without [Page] then it is not onely profitable but also necessarie, to step forwardes and with the Cloake to encounter the enimies sworde in the first parte thereof. And reco­uering his owne sworde, to discharge a thrust vnder­neath with the encrease of the right foote. And al­though it be laide down for a rule, not to vse a whole pace in handling of the Cloake, this ought to be vn­derstoode in striking, in the which (whilest one ende­uoureth to strike with his sworde) it may be forget­ting the Cloake, his arme may fall, by meanes where­of he may stumble against it: but in warding, it doth not so happen. For nature being carefull to defende her selfe (at euery litle danger) lifteth vp both her armes, yea, although they be oppressed with waight and burden.

Wherefore it is not to be feared, that in warding this thrust, the hand will be drawen downe by the waight of the Cloake.

The same wardes and defences may be vsed with the single Cloake, in the which, one must likewise strike, with the encrease of the right foote. This ma­ner of warding is not verie sure, and therefore it re­quireth great actiuitie and deepe iudgement, conside­ring he ought to beare his Cloake and arme stretched out before him, & to marke when the enimies swords poynt shall passe within the Cloakhand one handful or litle more: and not to suffer it to passe farther, but to beat it off, and encreasing to discharge a thrust vn­derneath, with the encrease of a pace with the right foote. But as I haue saide, this manner of warding hath litle certaintie and great perill in it, and yet it stri­keth well, if it be done in short time.

[Page] The right edgeblowe may in like manner be war­ded with the single sworde or cloake: but when it cō ­meth aloft, it shall not be commodious to encounter it with the single cloake, for by that meanes the eyes blinde themselues. How much this importeth, let others iudge. But, when the saide right blowe com­meth in a manner lowe, so that it may well be war­ded, keeping the enimie in sight, then the cloake is to be opposed, with the encrease of the left pace, & pre­sently thereupon, a thrust to be discharged, with the encrease of a right pace.

When one opposeth the single sworde against the right blowe, he must driue a thrust at the face, & fetch a compas with his hinder foote, cutting the face with the saide thrust, and staie himselfe in the broad ward. The selfe same must be done, when he defendeth him selfe with both together, to wit, with the sword and cloake.

Against the reuersed blowe, the selfe same manner is vsed in warding to wit, either with the one, or with the other, either with both ioyned together.

With the cloake, by the encrease of a pace, and by encountring the enimies sworde, as farre forwards as is possible, that thereby it may be done the more co­modiously, deliuering a thrust therewithall vnder­neath, with the encrease of a pace of the right foot.

With the single Rapier, the same defence may suf­fice, which is layde downe in the treatise of the single Rapier, and that is, to discharge a thrust at the enimies thigh, the which withstandeth the fall of the reuersed blowe.

Nowe, if one would defend himselfe with both [Page] these weapons ioyned togither, he must encrease a pace with the right foot, & staying the enimies sword with his cloke, recouer his owne sworde nimbly, and then diliuer a thrust with the encrease of a pace of the right foote.

The hurt of the broad warde, at Rapier and Cloake.

IN this warde, as well as in others, a man may both thrust and strike, yet diuersly: For he may not discharge a right edge­blowe beneath. And the reuerse is mani­festly dangerous: So that, when he is to deliuer it, he ought to perfourme it in this order.

First, he shall driue a thrust, fetching a compas with his hinder foote, that by that meanes it may reach the farther, then suddenly (without mouing of himselfe) he shall discharge a right edgeblowe, from the wrist, after the which presently, the reuerse must followe, with the encrease of a pace of the right foote: and fur­ther, must follow on with the thrust alreadie prepa­red, and increase the like pace.

The defence of the broad warde, at Rapier and Cloake.

TO him that will safely warde himselfe from the hurt of the broad warde, it is requisite, that he stand at the lowe warde. And when the thrust vnderneath hand commeth, he shall thrust at the face, fetching a compas with his hinder foote towardes the right side, with which kinde of thrust, it doth lightly happen that the enimie is hit in the face: [Page] but if it faile, yet for all that, the enimie obtaineth not his purpose, in the discharge of the thrust of the broad warde: For by deliuering the thrust vnderneath, and compassing of the hinder foote, the bodie is carried out of the straight lyne: So that, as soone as the thrust is deliuered at the face, and the enimie not strooken therewith, but passeth beyond his head, the reuerse is to be turned at the face, and the foote to be plucked backe, setling in the broad warde. To warde the right and reuersed blows, there is a thrust to be giuen at the thighes or some other place that may most hin­der them, in the verie same time that such blowes are in their circle or compas. Although I do not beleue that there is any man so foolish, that (in this warde) will deliuer a reuerse onely.

Of the hurt of the lowe warde, at Rapier and Cloake.

THis warde is so straight and perilons, that no man ought to assure himself to deliuer an edgeblow any manner of waie. For vnder any of them he may be easily stroo­ken, and each of them may easily be warded with the Cloake. Therefore, he must diligently take heed, that he thrust onely, the which must neuer be discharged before the enimies sworde be found, and then as farre forwardes as is possible. So then finding it, he may thrust both within and without. Neither is therein this thrust any other aduantage to be gotten, then to steale a halfe pace vnwares of the enimie, which may be done verie commodiously, considering the cloak occupieth the enimies sight, And hauing drawen this [Page] halfe pace, and found the enimies sword, he must en­crease an other halfe pace forwardes, and strike him, costing and forcing the enimies sworde, on that side where it may do no hurt. And this maie be vsed both within and without: But he whome it pleaseth, and who doubteth not to be entangled in the Cloake, maie (finding himselfe within) carrie his left foot ma­king a pace therewith, and betweene his cloake & his sworde, close the enimies sworde, and deliuer a thrust with the encrease of a pace of the right foote: And sin­ding the enimies sword without, he may vse the selfe same encrease and thrust. But if he finde not the eni­mies sword, he may deliuer a litle edgeblow from the wrist of the hand, in such sorte, that the enimy haue no leasure to enter in: And hauing found the Sword, to to discharge a right or streight thrust, or else not voy­ding the enimies sword by the encrease of a left pace, to driue a thrust from aloft downwards, lifting vp the fist somewhat high, and deliuering it with the increase of a pace of the right foote.

Of the defence of the lowe VVarde at Rapier and Cloak.

TO the ende a man may warde himselfe from all the thrustes reckned in the hurtes of this warde, he neither ought, neither happely may doe any other thing then voide his bodie from the straight line, wherein the enimie purposeth to strike, making a left pace forwards, somewhat thwarting or crossing and striking the enimie safely. The which doth not so chaunce, when one defendeth himselfe [Page] either with the single Cloake or single Rapier: For whilest he assaieth to defend himself, he cannot strike. And if the enimie do first moue, and strike straight, in the which, his sworde is not carried much outwardes (and it is hardly done,) I saie, the enimie may by stealing of half paces, discharge a thrust perforce. And therefore he must take heede, that (as the enimie mo­ueth) he encrease a slope pace (by that meanes voy­ding the hurt) then a thwart or crossing pace next, with the encrease of a straight pace of the right foote, to strike the enimie with a thrust vnderneath.

This may suffice, for the handling of these weapons as much as appertaineth to sure plaie. All that which remaines is reserued to the treatise of deceit, in which place shall be seene manie handlings of the cloake no lesse profitable then pleasant.

Of the Sworde and Buckler.

FOrasmuch as the Buckler is a weapon verie commodious & much vsed, it is reason that I handle it next after the Cloak. For my pur­pose is, to reason of those weapons first which men do most ordinarily vse, then of those that are extraor­dinarie and lesse accustomed, discoursing vpon eache of them, as much as is requisite when I come vnto them. Therefore I will first consider of the Buckler, therewith proceeding orderly.

First his fourme, as much as appertaineth to this Arte. Next the manner how to vse it, giuing euery man to vnderstand that the Buckler and other wea­pons (which are said to be weapons only of warding) [Page] may also be of striking, as I will declare in his proper place.

Of the Forme of the Buckler.

AS the forme of the Buckler is round and small, and ought to be a shilde & safegard of the whole bodie, which is farr greater then it: So it is to be vnderstood how it may accomplish the same, being a matter in a manner impossible.

Let euery one therefore know, that the litle Buck­ler is not equall in bignes to the bodie simplie, but af­ter a certaine sorte or manner, from which springeth this cōmoditie, that he which vnderstandeth it, shall be resolued of the manner how to beare and handle it, and shall know that in it, which shal not onelie ad­uantage him in the vse thereof, but also of many other weapons.

It is to bee vnderstoode, that the Buckler bea­reth the selfe same respect to the bodie, which the litle prike or sighte, on the toppe of the harque­bush artilirie or such like beareth to the obiect which they respect and behold. For when a Harquebusher or Gonner, dischargeth happelie against a Pigion or Tower, if they behold and finde that the Prike striketh the obiect, although that prike or sight be verie litle, and of a thousand partes one: yet I saie, the said prike of the Harquebush shal couer the whole Pigion, and that of the Artilery in a manner the whole Tower: The effect procedinge of no other thing then of the distance. And it is in this manner. The eye behoulding directlie through the straight sight, as soone as it arri­ueth at the obiect, and may not passe through, teareth [Page] it, and sendeth through a lyne sidewise, spreading it selfe like vnto the two sides of a triangle, the which ouerthroweth the foundation of that thing which it striketh: The which foundation, the instrument stri­keth with which the discharge was made. And if it worke otherwise, that commeth either of the defect of the instrument, or of that it was not firme.

Wherefore, applying this example to our purpose I saie, that the enimies sworde is as the lyne of the eie­sight, The Buckler, euen as the litle pricke or sight in the Harquebush, the bodie of him that holdeth the Buckler, as the obiect vnto the which the strok is di­rected: And so much the rather the Buckler shall be the more like this pricke or sight, and haue power to couer the whole bodie, by how much it shall be the further of from the thing that is to couer.

As concerning his greatnesse, standing still on the forme of the Buckler, by how much the greater it is, by so much the better it voydeth the blowes. But it is to be regarded, that it hinder not the eye sight, or at least as litle as is possible. Besides this, there is requi­red, that about the middle thereof, there be a litle strong circle of Iron, well nayled and hollowed from the Buckler, so that betwene that circle & the Buckler the Sword may enter, by meanes whereof, a man may either take holdfast of the sword, or breake a peece of the poynt. But this is done rather by chaunce then that any rule may be giuen how a man should so take hold and breake it, for the sword commeth not with such slowenes, and in such quantitie of time, as is requisite in that behalfe.

It shall be also verie profitable, that in the midst of [Page] the Buckler, there be a sharpe poynt or stert of Iron, to the end the enimie may be stroken therwith when occasion serueth.

The manner how to handle the Buckler.

IF a man would, that the Buckler worke the saide effect, to wit: that it may be ha­ble with his smalnesse to couer the whole bodie, he must holde and beare it in his fist, as farre off from the bodie as the arme may pos­sibly stretch foorth, mouing alwaies the arme & buc­kler together, as one entire and solide thing, hauing no bending, or as if the arme were vnited to the buc­kler, turning continually al the flatt thereof towards the enimie. From which kinde of holding proceed all these commodities following.

1 The first is, that the arme (standing directly be­hinde the Buckler) is wholy couered, neither may be strooken by any manner of thing which is before it.

2 The second, that all edgeblows are of force en­countred in the firste and second parte thereof, where they carrie least force: neither can it fall out other­wise, if the enimie woulde (in manner as he ought) strike either at the head or bodie. For if the enimie would strik them, it is necessarie, that his sword come within the buckler so much as the arme is long: for otherwise it shal neuer hit home. And in this case he may well warde each great blow, and therewithal ea­sily strike, and that in short time.

3 The thirde commoditie is, that all thrustes are most easily warded: for the Buckler being rounde, [Page] with the directly flatt opposite against the enimie, & wardinge all the bodie, the enimie will not resolue himselfe to giue a thrust but onely against those partes which are so well couered by the Buckler, as, the head, the thighes, or some parte of the bodie, being found discouered by ill bearing of the Buckler. And seeing that these thrustes, hauing to hit home, ought to enter so farre in, as is from the buckler to the bodie & more (and that it is the length of an arme) they maye easily and without doubt (making lesse motion, and therefore in little time) be driuen outwardes by the Buckler before they come to the bodie.

There are many other commodities to be gathe­red by so holding of the buckler, which at this present are not to be recyted.

Wherefore being to finish this Chapter, I say, that the Buckler ought not to defend, but onely down to the knee and lesse. And reason would that it should defend no farther than the arme can stretch it selfe, that is to the middle thigh. In the act of fighting a man standeth alwaies somewhat bowing, therefore a little more is allowed. The rest of the bodie down­wardes, must be warded with the Sword onely.

Of the hurt of the high warde at Sword & Buckler.

BEcause it is a verie easie matter to ward both the right and reuersed blowes of the edge: And for that a man may easily strike vnder them, I will not lay down either for the one or the other their strikings or defendings, but onely talke of the thrust. I saye, the thrust aboue may be [Page]


deliuered in two sortes, the one with the right foote behinde, the other with the right foote before.

When the thrust is discharged that carrieth the right foote behinde, there must (in deliuerie thereof) be encreased a straight pace of the right foote. And it must be driuen & forced with all that strength which it requireth, and that is verie great, then setling in the lowe warde.

When one would deliuer a thrust with the right foote before he must remember in any case, first (vna­wares of the enimie) to steale a halfe pace, that is to saie: to drawe the hinder foote neere the forefoote, & then to cast a thrust with the encrease of a halfe pace [Page] forwardes, setling himselfe after the deliuerie thereof in the lowe warde.

Of the defence of the high warde at Sworde & Buckler.

AS a man standeth at the lowe warde he may easily defend both those loftie thrustes. When they come, he standing at the saide warde, it shall be best to driue them outwardes, with the encrease of a left pace, and with his sword and buckler to staie the eni­mies sworde. And because this left pace is a great in­crease: and likewise the enimie, driuing his thrustes, commeth with great force, it may easily come to passe that both may approch so neare one to the other, that he may with his bukler giue the enimie, the Mustachio, in the face, but that must be done when fit occasion is offered, and then further recouering his own sword to discharge a thrust vnderneath with the encrease of a pace of the right foote.

Of the hurt of the broad VVarde, at Sworde and Buckler.

IF a man would stepp forward, and strike as he stan­deth in the broad warde, it is not lawfull for him to vse any other than the thrust, considering the right & reuersed blowes may not be deliuered without great perill and danger. For in the site or placing of this warde, the sword is farre off from the bodie. And as he moueth to fetch a right or reuersed edgeblowe, his sworde of force wil be much farther: So that it may not be done without great danger. Therefore he shall vse the thrust onely: in forcing and deliuerie wherof, [Page] he shall proceede first to carrie his hinder foote a halfe pace forwardes, and then to driue it on with the en­crease of another halfe pace of the right foote, staying himselfe in the broad warde.

The defence of the broad warde at Sword and Buckler.

AGainst the thrust of the broad warde, the Buckler is to be opposed, standing at the lowe warde. And when the enimie commeth resolutely to thrust, then without warding it at all, he shall driue a thrust at the face, carrying the hinder foote in a compasse towards the right side aswell to lengthen the thrust, as also to carrie himselfe out of the straight lyne, in the which the enimie commeth resolued to strike, who, by this manner of thrust is easily hurt.

The hurt of the lowe warde at Sworde and Buckler.

AS this lowe warde is framed two maner of waies, that is to saie, with the right foot before & behind: So likewise a man may strike therein after two sortes, Standing with the right foote behinde (leauing aside, the blowes of the edge, being to small purpose) he shal deliuer a thrust with the encrease of a pace of the right foote, betweene the enimies sworde and buckler, or els, if it be more commodious without the sword and buckler, setling in the lowe warde, with the right foot before, in which warde, a man may strike two manner of waies, within and without. Finding himself with­out, hauing first met the enimies sword with his own, he shall encrease a left pace, not to the intent to auoid himselfe from the enimies sworde, but shall with his [Page] buckler also, staie the enimies sworde, and forasmuch as he did not at the first deliuer the said thrust, he shal then continue and force it on directly with the en­crease of a pace of the right foote. Finding himselfe within, the same thrust is to be vsed but more strōgly. For, with the encrease of a pace, leauing his buckler or thenimies sworde, he shutteth it in betweene his own sword & the buckler: and keping it in that strait, (wherby he is sure the enimy can deliuer no edgblow because it may not moue neither vpwards nor down­wards, neither forwards, but is then without the bo­die,) he shal continue on, & resolutely deliuer this maner of thrust, with the encrease of a pace of the right foote.

The defence of the lowe warde, at Sword & buckler.

FOr the defence of all these thrusts, it is neces­sarie that he stand at the lowe warde, & stan­ding therat, whilest the thrust cometh which is deliuered with the right foote behinde, he shal do no other, than in the selfesame time, deliuer a thrust at the thigh or brest, turning the hilte of his sword a­gainst the enimies sworde, & compassing his hinder foot, withal bearing his body out of the straite line, in which the enimie striketh. And this maner of war­ding doth not only defend, but also safely hurt.

For the defence of the other two thrustes, the one within, & the other without, a man must take great heede, and it is verie necessarie that as the enimie en­creaseth (pretending to strike safely) he carrie a slope pace with the left foot & deliuer a thrust aboue hand, [Page] vp on the which the enimie of himselfe shal runne & inuest himselfe. And it is to be considered, that in these thrustes, he that defendeth hath great aduan­rage: For the enimie cometh resolutely to strike, not thinking that it may in any other sort be warded then by giuing backe, But he that wardeth by encreasing, defending & drawing neere vnto the enimie, is so placed, that he may easily hurt him.

Of the Sworde & Target, called the Square Target.

IT is most manifest, that the Target is a most aunci­ent weapon, found out only for the vse of warfare, & not for frayes & peculiar quarels betweene man & man: albeit, since the finding therof, there haue beene deuised by the industrie of man a thousand waies to serue them at their neede: From whence it hath come to passe, (because it seemed conuenient vnto the pro­fessors of this Art) that this weapon was verie como­dious & profitable, aswel for his fashion, as for that it is a meane or middle wepon, between the buckler & the round Target: That they haue framed a speciall kinde of plaie therwith, although it differeth from the other two weapons in no other thing then in the fa­shion. Therefore, diuers professors of this Arte, being moued, some by reason of the forme, some by the big­nes, & some by the heauinesse thereof, haue accusto­med to beare it after diuers wayes. Those who make most account of the heauines, would for some consi­deration, that the right & proper bearing thereof, was to hold it leaning on the thigh, not mouing there­hence, but being greatly constrained thereunto.

[Page] Others, who esteemed the forme & bignes thereof, because it seemed vnto them that the Target with­out any other motion was most apt of it selfe to ward all that parte of the bodie which is betwixt the neck & and the thigh, bare it with their arme drawne backe close to their brest. The which opinion, I meane not at this present to confute, forasmuch as by the shewing of mine owne opinion, it shall appeare how mightily they were deceiued in the holding thereof, from the true holding whereof springeth all the profite which his forme and bignes doth giue it.

The manner how to holde the square Target.

BEing desirous to beare great respect aswel to all the qualities of this Target (which are, the forme, the bignesse, and heauines) as vnto that wherwith it may either helpe or hurt, I saie (if a man woulde that the fourme thereof do bring him profit without hurt) it is to be holden with the high poynt therof vpwards respecting the head: the parte opposit, the low partes of the bodie: the right parte therof, the right side, and the left, the left side: from this manner of bearing spring these aduantages. First, a man may more easi­ly see his enimie, and view what he doth by the point of the corner, which is on the one side, and that is by the high point, by which, if he woulde beholde his enimie, from the head to the feete, it is requisite that he carrie his Target, so lowe, that he discouer not too much of his bodie which is aboue it: to the warding whereof he cannot come againe, but discommodi­ously, and in long time.

Besides, the said commoditie of beholding the eni­mie, [Page] there is also another that is of warding: For the Target being borne after this manner (framing a tri­angle) the sharpe corner thereof respecteth the fore­head, and the sides thereof so spread themselues, that through the least motion, any bigg man whosoeuer, may stand safe behind them. And if blowes come at the head, be they thrustes or edgeblows, al of them light vpon one of the saide sides, behinde which stan­deth the head safe without hindering of the eyesight. The other two sides of the Target, right, & left, with verie small motion, warde the right and left side of the bodie, in such sort, that a man may also draw back his arme: For the left side of the Target wardeth the el­bowe, which it doth not do, when the high side there­of is carried equall. To conclude therefore, that in holding the Target, his bignes may the better warde, for the causes aboue said being superfluous to be re­peated againe, I counsell, it to be holden with the arme stretched forth from the bodie, not accompting the heauines to be hurtfull, because a man continueth not long in so holding it: and if the too long holding be painfull, he may drawe back his arme, and rest him selfe. The better to do this and to be able to see the enimie, I saie, he shall hold it, his arme stertched out, with the high point outwards, respecting the forehed.

The hurt of the high warde, at Sworde & square Target.

MAnie Deceites, Falses, and Wardes, may bee practised in the handling of these weapons: All which I reserue to the trea­tise of Deceite or falsing, as vnto his pro­per [Page]


place, framing likewise in this as in all the rest, three ordinarie wardes, vpon which, all the rest de­pend, and against which they may be opposed.

Standing at this high warde, and pretending to strike the enimie, it is first of all to be prouided, that one steale a falfe pace from behinde, and then dis­charge a thrust aboue hande, with the increase of an other half pace forwards, which being warded by the enimie with his target onely, not mouing his bodie, he may then increase a straght pace of the left foote, & (somewhat lifting vp his hand, and abasing the poynt of his sworde) force a thrust from aboue downwards [Page] betweene the Target & bodie of the enimie, with the encrease of a pace of the right foote: the which thrust will safely speede the enimie, if his bodie be not fitst voided. The selfe same thrust may be deliuered in this high ward, standing with the right foote behind.

The defence of the high warde, as Sworde & square Target.

THE foresaid thrust may easily be warded, if in the verie time that it commeth it be en­countred with the high poynt of the Target, but yet with that side which bendeth towardes the right hand. And as soone as the enimies sworde is come one handfull within the Target, it must be strongly beaten off by the Target towardes the right hand, increasing the same instant a left pace. Then with as great an increase of a pace of the right foote as may be possible, a thrust vnderneath most be giuen, already prepared, because a man ought to stand at the lowe warde for the warding of the thrust abouehand.

The hurt of the broad warde, at Sworde and square Target.

IN this warde likewise, the enimie may be inuested on the poynt of the sworde, by going forwardes as straightly as is possible, and by striking quickly before the enimie. For the Target (whose charge is onely to defend) is so great, that it may easily warde all edge­blowes, & those chiefely which come from the knee vpwardes. Farther, when a blowe is pretended to be deliuered, it is manifest, that a thrust doth enter by a more narrowe straight than any edgeblowe doth. [Page] And therefore, when one woulde strike the enimie standing at the locke or lowe warde, he must remem­ber that he approch as neere him as he may possible: and being so neere, that with his Target put forth one handfull more forwards, he may beate awaie the eni­mies sworde, then by so beating of it, he shal encrease a left pace, and presently after it, with the increase of a pace of the right foote, deliuer him a thrust, if it so chaunce that at the first encounter he strake him not strongly.

The defence of the broad warde, at Sworde and Square Target.

STanding at the lowe ward, one may warde and de­fend the thrust of the broad warde, diuers waies, a­mong all which, there is one waie, verie easie and sure and thus it is.

For the defence of this thrust, it is necessarie, that he stande at the lowe warde, his sword and arme be­ing in their proper place: and that with his Target something stretched out from his bodie, he prouoke the enimie, who being determined in himselfe, and comming resolutely to giue a thrust, hee then ought with the increase of a pace of the right foote, to strike the enimie with a lowe thrust, vnderneath both his owne and his enimies Target.

Of the hurt of the lowe warde, at Sworde and Square Target.

THere are manie blowes to be bestowed, standing at the lowe warde, all which I esteeme as vaine & to no purpose, considering the manifold and abundant defence of the Target. Therefore I will restraine my [Page] selfe vnto two onely which are verie strong and hard­ly to be warded. And they are two thrustes, the one within, the other without, with the right foote both before and behinde.

When one findeth himselfe within, with his right foote before, and so neere his enimie, that by the increase of a left pace, he may with the right side of his Target, beate awaie the enimies sworde in the middle thereof, then he ought nimblie to encrease that lefte pace, and (closing in the enimies sworde between his Target and his owne sworde) to deliuer a forcible thrust at the thighes, with the encrease of a pace of the right foote. He may also do the verie selfesame when he findeth himselfe to stande with his right foote be­hinde, but then he must farther increase a pace of the right foote first, and then continuing still force his sworde and paces directly onwards, if he hit not the enimie as he would at the first.

But if it chaunce that he finde himselfe without, then he must (hauing first found out fit opportunitie to beate off the enimies sworde with his Target) en­crease a left pace, and placing the high side of his Tar­get vnder the enimies sworde, and his owne sworde vpon it closing it in, in the middle, encrease a pace of the right foote, and discharge a forcible thrust, at the brest or face. And he may do the selfe same, when he standeth with the right foote behind.

Of the defence of the high warde at Sworde and square Target.

FOr the warding of those two thrustes of the lowe warde, it is necessarie, that a man stande at the same [Page] warde. And as the enimie commeth resolutely de­termined to thrust within, he must as soone, or more redily then he, encrease a left pace, and with the right side of his Target close in the enimies sword, between it and his owne sworde, and then to enter perforce, & thrust either betweene the two Targets or els vnder them, with the increase of a pace of the right foote.

But if the enimie come without, he must encrease the selfe same slope pace, & with the right side of his Target beat off the point of the enimies sword, & then thrust either aboue, either beneath, as in that occasion it shal be most for his aduantage with the increase of the pace of the right foote. And when in considerati­on of the aboundant defence of the Target, he may neither increase his paces, nor deliuer a thrust, he must settle himselfe in the lowe warde with the right foote behinde, which ward I will largely handle in the trea­tise of deceite or falsing, being as it were his proper place, here ending the true handling of the sword and square Target.

Of the Sword and rounde Target.

THE round Target would require a long & a most exquisite consideration because it is of circuler forme, most capable, and most perfect of all others. But for that my purpose in this my worke, is to write that only which I know doth appertaine to this Arte, giuing leaue to euery man to busie him selfe in his owne profession. And leauing a great part of this con­sideration [Page] to the Mathematicians & Historiographers to reason of his diuers qualities or passions, either who was inuentor thereof, either, whether it be a weapon of antiquitie, or of this our age, And com­ming to discourse of that, wherein it profiteth in this our time, (being a weapon sogreatly honoured and estemed of Princes, Lords, & Gentlemen, that besids thvse thereof in their affairs, as wel by day as by night, they also keepe their houses richly decked and beau­tified therewith,) And considering onely that thing, in the round Target, among al other weapons which may either profite or hurt in the handling thereof, I said, that the said round Target hath beene diuersely holden, borne and vsed, by diuers men in diuers ages, aswell as the other square Target, and other weapons of defence, as well as of offence. And there want not also men in our time, who to the intent they be not wearied, beare it leaning on their thigh as though that in this exercise (in which only trauaile and paines are auaileable,) a man should onelie care for rest and quietnesse. For by meanes of these two, strength and actiuitie, (partes in the exercise of weapons, both im­portant and necessarie) are obtained and gotten.

Other some, holding their whole Arme bowed to­geither, haue carried it altogeither flat against their bodie, not regarding either to warde their bellie, or vtterlie to lose the sight of the enimie, but will at any hande stand (as they thinke) safe behind it, as behinde a wal, not knowing what a matter of weight it is, both to see the enimie, and worke other effects, which, (by so holding it) may not be brought to passe.

Of the maner how to holde the round Target.

IF a man woulde so beare the rounde Target, that it may couer the whole bodie, and yet nothing hin­der him from seeing his enimie, which is a matter of great importance, it is requisite, that he beare it to­wardes the enimie, not with the conuexe or outward parte thereof, altogither equall, plaine or euen, neither to holde his arme so bowed, that in his elbowe there be made (if not a sharpe yet) at least a straight corner. For besides that (by so holding it) it wearieth the arme: it likewise so hindereth the sight, that if hee would see his enimie from the brest downwardes, of necessitie he must either abase his Target, or beare his head so peeping forwardes, that it may be sooner hurt than the Target may come to warde it. And farther it so defendeth, that onely so much of the bodie is warded, as the Target is bigg, or little more, because it cannot more then the halfe arme, from the elbowe to the shoulder, which is verie little, as euerie man kno­weth or may perceiue: So that the head shal be war­ded with great paine, and the thighes shal altogether remaine discouered, in such sort, that to saue the bel­lie, he shal leaue all the rest of the bodie in ieopardie. Therefore, if he would so holde the said Target, that it may well defend all that part of the bodie, which is from the knee vpwardes, and that he maie see his enimie, it is requisite that he beare his arme, if not right, yet at least bowed so little, that in the elbowe there be framed so blunt an angle or corner, that his eyebeames passing neere that part of the circumfe­rence of the Target, which is neere his hande, may see his enemie from the head to the foot. And by hol­ding [Page] the saide conuexe parte in this manner, it shall warde all the left side, and the circumference neere the hande shall with the least motion defend all the right side, the head and the thighes. And in this ma­ner he shall keepe his enimie in sight & defend all that parte of the body, which is allotted vnto the said Tar­get. Therefore the said Target shall be born, tharme in a manner so streight towards the left side, that the eye­sight may passe to beholde the enimie without moo­uing, for this onely occasion, either the head, or the Target.


The hurt of the high warde, at sworde and round Target.

BEcause the round Target containeth in it most great & sure defence, therefore ought not any edge­blowe which may be easily warded with the single sword without the helpe of the Target be deliuered. Thrustes also enter verie difficultlie to strike the bo­die, because the Target, by meanes of the lest motion that is, seemeth to be, as it were a wall before the bo­die. And to thrust at the legge is no sure plaie. That which remaineth to be done is, to thrust forcibly with the sworde: and when one perceiueth, that the point therof is entred within the circumference of the eni­mies Target, it is necessary that he encrease a left pace, and with the circumference of his owne Target, to beat off the enimies sworde and Target, to the end, it suffer the thrust so giuen of force to enter in. And (hauing so beaten & entred) to continue on the thrust in the straightlyne, with the encrease of a pace of the right foote.

When he findeth himselfe in the high ward, he shal encrease a halfe pace with the hinderfoote, gathering vpon the enimie, as neere as he may without danger. And being so nigh that he may driue his sword with­in the circumference, then as soone as he perceiueth his sworde to be within it, (his arme being stretched out at the vttermost length) he ought suddenly to en­crease a left pace, beating off with the circumference of his owne Target, the enimies Target: and with the increase of a pace of the right foote, to cause his thrust to enter perforce. This also he may practise when the enimie endeuoureth, to withstand the en­trance of the thrust, when it is alreadie past, within the [Page] circumference of his Target.

But if the enimie (as it may fall out) ward this thrust not with that parte of the circumference, which is neere his hande, but with that which is aboue it (by meanes whereof his Target discouereth his eyes) then he may verie commodiously, encreasing his paces as aforesaid, recouer his thrust aboue, and force it vnder­neath, with the increase of a pace of the right foote. And this is a more sure waie of thrusting than any o­ther.

The defence of the high warde, at Sword & round Target.

FOr the defending of the thrust of the high warde, it is most sure standing at the lowe warde, and to en­deuour to ouercome the enimie, by the same skill by the which he himselfe would obtaine the victorie. In the very same time, that he deliuereth his thrust, a man must suddenly encrease a slope pace with the lefte foote, bearing of the enimies Target with his owne, & driuing of a thrust perforce with the increase of a pace of the right foote. And with this manner of defence being done with such nimblenesse as is required, hee doth also safely strike the enimie, who cannot strike him againe, because, by meanes of the saide slope pace he is carried out of the lyne in the which the enimie pretended to strike.

The hurt of the broad warde, at Sworde & round Target.

IT is verie difficult to strike in this broad ward, if first with much compassing & gathering of the enimie, a man do not assaie with the circumferēce of his Target [Page] neere his hand, to beate off the enimies sworde. And being so beaten, to encrease a left pace, and farther by adding thereunto the increase of a pace of the right foote, to discharge a thrust. But it shall happely be better in the handling of these weapons, not to vse this broad ward: for the hand is borne out of the straight lyne, in the which he may strike both safely and readi­ly: And before it returne into the saide lyne, there is much time spent.

And farther, a man is not then in case with his Tar­get to beate off the enimies sworde: But if happily he be, yet (though he be verie readie, aswell with the hand as foote) his thrust shall neuer enter so farre that itmay hit home: For the enimie, with a verie small motion of his Target forwards, may verie easily driue thenimies sword out of the strait lyne. Therefore, he that would change or shifte out of this warde, to the intent to strike, must of necessitie be passing nimble & readie, and before he deliuereth his blowe, must beat the enimies sword with his Target.

The defence of the broad warde, at Sword & round Target.

BEcause in euerie occasion or accident a man stan­deth safe in the lowe warde, I will endeuour in this case, to place him also in the same warde, for the en­countring of the hurt of the broad warde. That there­fore which by mine aduise he shall do, is, that he take great heede, not to suffer his sworde to be beaten off any manner of waie. And when the enimie without this beating presumeth to enter, he must in the selfe­same time increase a left pace & safely deliuer a thrust [Page] vnderneath with the increase of the right foote. And farther, when the enimie shall perfourme, that is, first finde the sworde and beate it off, (seeing of necessitie if he would enter and hit home, his sword must passe by the circumference of the Target neere the hande) then, to withstande the entrie, it is requisite that hee driue the enimies sworde outwards on the right side with his Target and with the increase of the said pace, that he enter and strike him.

The hurt of the lowe warde, at Sword & round Target.

A Man may strike in this ward, the right foote being behinde, and before, & in both waies, he may beare his sworde either within or without. If therefore he finde himselfe to stande with the right foote behinde and without, he shall assaie at any hande, before he de­termine to strike, to finde the enimies sworde with his owne, and as soone as hee findes it shall clap to his Target, and strike perforce with a low thrust, encrea­sing with the right foote. But finding himselfe to stand within, no more with his sworde, then he doth with his Target, he shall proue whether he can finde the enimies sworde, and hauing found it, shall straine it fast betweene his owne sworde and Target, & then shall deliuer a thrust with the increase of a pace of the right foote, the which thrust of force speedeth: This being perfourmed, he shall settle himselfe in this, or in either of these waies in the lowe warde with the right foote before. And as he so standeth in this warde, he may after the same sorte strike either within or without.

[Page] Therefore finding himselfe within, he shall prouide to meete with the enimies sword, and with the increase of a left pace, shal clap to his Target, for the more safe­tie, and then driue on a forcible thrust, with the in­crease of a pace of the right foote. And finding him­selfe to beare his sword within in the said ward, and with his right foote behind, he shall indeuour to find the enimies sword with the Target, and hauing found it, shal close it in betwen his own sword and Target, & with theincrease of a left pace, shal perforce hurt the enimie, with the increase of a pace of the right foote.

Now, all these thrusts, no doubt shall speede euery time that the enimie either maketh no trauerse mo­cion with his bodie, either as he striketh, commeth di­rectlie forwards, or els beeing fearefull, goeth directly backwards, for it is not possible that one man go so fast directlie backwardes, as an other may forwardes. Yt is therefore diligently to be obserued in this ward, neuer to determin to strike, either in the handling of these, or of any other kind of weapons, if (with one of them) he shall not first finde the enimies sworde. The which redowneth to the great profite of euerie man, but especially of those, who haue strong armes, for that they are the better hable to beate backe the enimies weapon.

Of the defence of the lowe warde, at Sword and round Target.

AL the foresaid thrusts are warded, by not suffering the sworde to be found by the enimie with either of his weapons. For the enimie (not finding it will not assure himselfe, or presume to enter, without first finding of the sworde) may most easilie be stroken and [Page] not strike, if a man increase a slope pace, (to the end he may voide his bodie from hurt,) and with the in­crease of a straight pace of the right foote, do also dis­charge a thrust beneath. And after this order he may strike safelie, (not onelie when his sword is not found by the enimie, but also when it chanceth to be found) if he be readie and nimble to make his slope pace, and to beate off, as forcible as he may, the enimies Target with his owne sword and Target, thereby forcing a low thrust to enter in, with the increase of a pace with the right foote. And thus much concerning the true striking & defending of the sword and round Target.

Of the Case of Rapyers.

THere are also vsed now adaies, aswell in the scholles, as in the lists, two Swordes or Ra­piers, admitted, and approued both of Prin­ces, and of the professors of this art, for honoura­ble and knightlie weapons, albeit they be not vsed in the warres. Wherfore I shall not varie from my pur­pose, if I reason also of these, as farre as is agreeable to to true art. To him that would handle these weapons, it is necessary that he can aswell manage the left hand as the right, which thing shalbe (if not necessarie) yet most profitable in euery other kind of weapon. But in these principally he is to resolue himselfe, that he can do no good, without that kind of nimblenes and dex­teritie. For seeing they are two weapons, & yet of one self same kind, they ought equally and indifferently to be handled, the one performing that which the other doth, & euery of thē being apt aswel to strik as defend. [Page] And therefore a man ought to accustome his bodie, armes and handes aswell to strike as defend. And he which is not much practised and exercised therein, ought not to make profession of this Arte: for he shal finde himselfe to be vtterly deceiued.

The manner how to handle two Rapiers.

IT is most manifest that both these weapons may strike in one and the same time: for there may be deliuered ioyntly togither two downright edge­blowes on high and two beneath: two reuerses, and two thrustes, and are so rich and plentifull in striking, that it seemeth they may be vsed onely to strike. But this ought not to be practised, neither may it without great daunger For all that, whatsoeu er may be done with either of them, is deuided into striking and de­fendinge. That this is true, it may be perceiued in the single Sworde, which assaieth both to strike and defend. And those who haue taken no such heede, but haue beene bent onely to strike being moued ei­ther through coller, either beleeuing, that they had to deale with an ignorant person, haue remained therby mightily wounded. Of this, there might be laid downe infinite examples, which I leaue to the entent I may not swarue from my purpose. I saie therefore that of the two Rapiers which are handled, the one must be applyed towardes the other to strike, regar­ding alwaies to vse that first which wardeth, then that which striketh: for first a man must endeuour to de­fend himselfe, and then to strike others.



Of the high ward at two Rapiers.

PResupposing alwaies, that either hand is very well exercised, aswell in striking as in defen­ding, this high ward shalbe framed after two waies, which yet in a manner is all one. The one with the right foot, the other with the left, so wor­king continually, that the hinder arme be aloft, the former beneath in maner, as when the lowe warde is framed at the single sword. And as a man striketh, he must alwaies maintaine & continue this high warde, which at the two rapiers, is the most perfect & surest, [Page] and he may easily performe & do it: for whilest he en­treth to giue a high thrust with his hinder foote, al­though that foot be behind yet it must accompanie the arme vntil it hath finished his thrust, & settled it self in the low ward. The other sword & hand (which was borne togither with the former foote in the lowe ward) remaining behind by reason of the encrease of the high thrust, must presently be lifted vp, & be pla­ced in the same high ward.

Therfore it is to be noted, that whosoeuer meaneth to shift from this ward & strike, whether it be with his right or left foot, before or behinde, it is requisite that he stand without, & when he would strike, he shal first proue with his low sworde, whether he can finde the enimies weapons, & hauing suddenly found them, he shal nimbly beate them back, and (in a maner) in the same instant force on a high thrust, with the increase of a pace of the right foot: from the which, if the enimie (for sauing of himselfe) shal hastily and directly giue backwards, he shal follow him, deliuering presently the other high thrust behind, alreadie lifted vp. And this thrust wil safely hit home & speede, because it is not possible that one may go so fast backwards, as an other may forwards.

Farther, aswel in this ward, as in others, the warde may be framed with the right foote before, & the right arme lifted, & so cōtrariwise. But because there is smal force in this ward, both in the feete & handes, which stand not comodiously either to strike or defend, and seeing there is required in the handling of those wea­pons, great strength and stedfastnes I haue thought good, not to laie it downe, as to small purpose.

[Page] THe direct opposition & defence of the high warde is the lowe ward, the manner whereof shal be seen in his proper place. That which principally is to be considered (for the lowe warde also, in like sort as the other may be framed after two sorts) is this, that of ne­nessitie a man stand with the same foote before as the enimie doth, to wit: if he beare the right foot before, to put foorth the right foote also, and to endeuour as the enimie doth, to stand without, for of both wayes this is of the more aduantage and safetie. Finding himselfe therefore without, in the lowe ward, he must not refuse, but rather suffer his sword to be found and beaten by the enimie: for this doth redowne much more to his owne aduantage then to his enimies be­cause the enimie carrieth small force in his low hande wherewith he endeuoureth to finde and beat off the sword, considering it is born to farre off frō the other: for that which is slēderly vnited, is lesse forcible: wher­as standing at the low ward, he bereth both his hands low neere togither and sufficiently strong. Therfore as soone as the enimie hauing beaten back the sword, shal resolue himself to giue a thrust, he must encrease a slope pace, & with his hinder low sword, driue the eni mies high thrust outwardes towarde the right side, if it chaunce that he were in the low warde with his right foot before, And suddenly with the other low sword behind (which was suffered to be beatē off by the eni­mie, because it might turne the more to his disaduan­tage: for seeing the enimies sword being slenderly vni­ted, as I haue saide before, carried but small force, it was the rather beaten off and disappointed: So that as soone as the slope pace is encreased, and the [Page] saide high thrust warded, before the enimie place his other sworde also in the high warde, hee may with the straight pace of the right foot deliuer a low thrust continuing still to beate downe the enimies sworde with his owne lowe sworde, that is borne before. And this manner of warding is most safe and sure: for besides that it striketh the enimy with the slope pace, it doth likewise in such sort deliuer the bodie from hurte, that of force the enimie is disapointed. Nei­ther is there any other sure waie to warde this high thrust, being so strong, and besides, hauing so great encrease of pace.

This manner of defence is most strong and sure, & is done with that sworde which is farthest off. Yet there is another waie, & that is, with the low sworde before, the which is no lesse stronger and sure than the other, but yet much shorter. For looke in what time the other defendeth, this striketh.

Therefore in the low ward it is to be noted, (when the enimie moueth, pretending to beate off the sword and there withall to enter,) that then the poynt of the sword before be lifted vpp, keeping the hand so sted­fast, that it oppose it selfe and keepe outwards the eni­mies high thrust, and hauing made this barre, to keepe out his weapons, then & in the self same time, he shall encrease a straight pace, & with the low sword behind shal strike the enimie in the brest, to whome it is im­possible to do any effectual thing, or to auoid the said stroke, for that (by meanes of the point of the sworde lifted vp in maner aforesaid) both his swordes are so hindred, that they may not safely strike, either with the edge or point.

Of the hurt of the broad warde at the two Rapyers.

THis broad ward, may in the selfe same maner be framed two waies, and it may deliuer the self same blows, in the one as in the other: This ward is framed with one foote before, and one foote behind, the arme (which is borne on the side of the hinder foote) being stretched wide, & broad out­wards. Therfore when one standeth at this ward, and would deliuer as strayght and as safe a thrust as is pos­sible, he shal first proue with his low Rapyer, whether he can find the enimies Rapier, which being found, he shal turne his fist outwards, and force the enimies Ra­pier somuch, that it may do no hurt, and then withall increasing presentlie a slope pace, shall go forewards to strike the enimie in the thigh, with the wide thrust. He might aswell also thrust him in the flanke, or in the head, but yet the other thrust is vsed, because the Ra­pier, which is directed to the thigh, is in place to hin­der the enimies other Rapier to light on the legges.

And as in the high ward, so likewise in this, he must alwaies stand without, and hauing deliuered the wide thrust, he ought presentlie to widen the other arme, and settle himselfe in the broad ward.

Of the defence of the broad ward at the two Rapyers.

FOr the defence of the thrust of the broad ward, it is necessarie that a man stand at the lowe ward, and there withall diligently obserue, the mocions of the enimies bodie, how it compasseth and passeth to and froe, by knowledge and due considerations whereof, he may easilie defende himselfe. Yf therefore the right [Page] arme be stretched out wide, the right foote also (being behind) shall be in like maner widened, the which, when it increaseth forwards, shall also carrie with it the right shoulder, voyding alwayes with the left side.

And the selfe same must be considered, & practised, when he standeth at his ward, the contrarie way. That therefore which he must doe, for the defence of him selfe, shalbe to voide that part of his bodie, which may be hurt by the enimies wide and broad thrust, and to oppose himselfe against that part of his enimie, which commeth forwards pretending to strike: And this he shall doe, at what time the enimie (finding the sword) would come forwards in his thrust. And in the selfe same time, (assuring himself with his own low sword) shall increase a slope pace, thereby inuesting and in­countring that part of the enimie, which came striking, and with the which he framed the broad ward. Nei­ther can it be safe striking at any other place, for either he shall find nothing to incounter, by meanes of the mocion of the bodie, or els if he do not oppose him­selfe against that shoulder of the enimie which carri­eth the hurt, he is in hazard to be stroken by the eni­mies broad thrust.

Of the hurt of the low ward at the two Rapyers.

THe low ward shall be framed after two waies, the one with the right foote before, the other with the left, and each of them may strike, either within, either without. The way which striketh within, hath one blow, the way which striketh without hath two, and [Page] in all, they are sixe. I will lay downe but three, because they differ not from the other three, but onelie in the hand and foote, which must be placed before, so that they are the selfe same, for I haue alreadie presuppo­sed, that he who taketh vpon him to handle these weapons, can aswell vse the one hand, as he can the other. He may therefore finde himselfe to stand with his right fooote before and within, (I vnderstand by within, when he beareth one of his swordes betwene both his enimies swordes, and likewise when the eni­mie carieth one of his, betwene the other two. Yt is likewise true, that this also may be said within, to witt, when both weapons are borne in the middle be­tweene the other two. But I suppose no man so foo­lish, who handling these weapons, will suffer both his swordes to be without, being a verie vnsure ward whereof I leaue to speake.

That therefore, which he is to do, (finding himselfe with both his rapiers below, & within, with his right foote before, after the said first way of being within) shalbe, that marking when he may close in the enimies Rapier, betwene the which the enimies rapier shall be so shut in and barred, that it may do no hurt, and one of the two Rapiers, that is to say, the right Rapier shall passe vnder the enimies rapier, and thurst safelie. And his other Rapier albeit, it may thrust directly, yet (for the better sauing of himselfe, from the enimies other Rapier that is at libertie) he shall beare it some­what abasing his hand, with the point vpwardes, the which point shall sauegarde him, from the eni­mies said Rapier, although this last note, be super­fluous. For seeing the enimie must ward himselfe [Page] from the thrust that hurteth him, he hath no leasure, nor happilie mindeth to strike, but onely to defend himselfe, either by voyding his bodie, or els by some other shift, which he shall then find out.

The waie of warding without, may strike directlie after two waies: The first, by beating off the enimies Rapier, with his owne that is before, and by deliue­ring a thrust, either at the brest or head, with the Rapier that is behinde, increasing therwithall a slope pace, and setling himselfe in the low ward, with his left foote before.

The second is, by taking oportunitie, which he may do, if he be nimble. And he ought with the increase of a slope pace, to driue the point of his former Rapyer directlie towards the enimie, and aboue the enimies Rapier. And his other owne rapier, which before the increase was behind, he must force on, vnder the eni­mies rapier. And thus, not giuing ouer, these two thrusts must be stronglie and nimblie driuen towards the enimie, by meanes whereof being ouertaken, the enimie hath no other remedie to safe himselfe, then to retire backe: for he may not come forwardes, but he must runne himselfe vpon the weapons, and that he will not doe. So then, the enimie retiring himselfe may be followed, as farre as the increase of the right foote will beare, then, setling in the low ward.

Of the defence of the low ward at the two Rapyers.

AL three thrusts of the low ward, by standing at the same ward, may easilie be warded, and that after one maner. If a man remember first to void his bodie from hurt, by the increase of a pace, that is verie slope, [Page] or crooked, either before the enimie commeth thrus­ting, either as soone as he moueth himselfe for the same purpose, or if he be actiue and nimble to trauerse, and in defending himselfe to strike the enimie.

Therfore when any of the same three thrusts come, and before he perceiueth his Rapier to be closed, and barred in, he shall moue a slope pace, to th'entent to auoid himselfe from hurt, and with his Rapier, which is at libertie, he shall go forwards and deliuer a thrust at the enimies face, which thrust, doth surelie speede, if he be resolute to enter.

Of the Two hand Sword.

THE two hand Sword, as it is vsed now a daies being fower handfulls in the handle, or more, hauing also the great crosse, was found out, to the end it should be handled one to one at an equall match, as other weapons, of which I haue in­treated. But because one may with it (as a galleon, among many gallies) resist many Swordes, or other weapons: Therefore in the warres, it is vsed to be pla­ced neere vnto the Ensigne or Auncient, for the de­fence thereof, because, being of it selfe hable to con­tend with manie, it may the better sauegard the same. And it is accustomed to be carried in the Citie, aswell by night as by day, when it so chaunceth that a few are constrayned to withstand a great manie. And because his waight and bignes, requiers great strength, there­fore those onelie are allotted to the handling thereof, which are mightie and bigge to behould, great and stronge in bodie, of stoute and valiant courage. [Page] Who (forasmuch as they are to incounter manie, and to the end they may strike the more safelie, and amase them with the furie of the Sword) do altogether vse to deliuer great edge blowes, downe right and reuersed, fetching a full circle, or compasse therin, staying them selues sometimes vpon one foote, sometimes on the other, vtterlie neglecting to thrust, and perswading themselues, that the thrust serueth to amaze one man onelie, but those edge blowes are of force to incounter many. The which maner of skirmishing, besides that, it is most gallant to behold, being accompanied with exceeding swiftnes in deliuerie, (for otherwise it work­eth no such effect) it is also most profitable, not pro­perly of it selfe, but because men considering the furie of the sword, which greatly amaseth them, are not reso­lute to do that, which otherwise they could not choose but doe. That is, either to incounter the sword in the middle towardes the handle, when it carieth small force, or els to stand far off, watching whilest the sword goeth, & is caried compassing in his great cirkle, being of the compasse of tenne armes, or more, & then to run vnder it, and deliuer a thrust. And these two waies are effectual, when such men are mett withall, who are ex­ercised to enter nimblie and strike, or such as dare, and haue the spirit & courage, to set, and oppose themselues single against the two hand sword, euen as the single two hand sword aduentureth to oppose it selfe against many. Neither is this thing to be maruailed at, for in these our daies, there be things performed of greater actiuitie & daunger. And there be some which dare do this with the sword and round Target, but yet they are not resolute to strike first, but will receaue and sustain [Page] the blow, with the round Target, and then enter and thrust, this trulie betokeneth great courage & actiuitie, although not such as is required in this behalfe.

Thus much concerning that, which appertaineth to the defence of the circuler blowes, of the two hand sword, when it indeuoreth to oppose itself against ma­nie. And forasmuch as men haue, and sometimes do vse, both in the lists & other places, to fight single com­bats, one to one with the single two hand sword, I wil also declare my opinion touching the same.

Of the maner how to handle the Two hand Sword, in single combat.

TO those, who would cunninglie handle the Two hand Sword in single combat, it is prin­cipally necessarie that (as in other weapons) they be practised and haue the skil, to vse the one hand aswell as the other, and that they be both actiue in bo­die, and strong in the armes which are required in the managing of each weapon. And farther it is requisite that they carie the principles of this Art, surelie fixed in their mindes and memories, by meanes wherof they may become bolde and resolute, in as much as they haue to do, either in striking or defending.

They ought furthermore to consider, how the two hand Sword is vsed, and how it ought to be vsed.

Touching the first, All men vse to deliuer thrustes, aswell as edge blowes, downe right, and reuersed, with both hands to the Sword, which way albeit, it be pro­fitable in the bestowing of edge blowes, as being the better hable to sustain the Sword, yet in discharging of thrustes it is hurtfull, for it causeth them to be much shorter, then they would be, if in the beginning, they [Page] were forciblie deliuered with both the handes, and then, by taking away one hand from the crosse, they were springed as farre forth, as the pomel hand, foote, and all the bodie of that side, may be stretched out. For, being discharged in this maner, if they hit home they make great passage, and if they be voyded, yet the Two hand sword may be quicklie had againe, by the retyring of a pace, and of the hand and arme, pla­cing the other hand there where it was, and so setling in the low ward. Therefore, when one findes himself to stand in the high ward, (the which at the two hand Sword, is framed, either with the right side towardes the enimie, either with the left, in either of which waies, the armes would be borne aloft, and farre off from the bodie, causing the point somewhat to bend bothtowards the ground and the bodie, to the end it may defend both the length of the bodie, and couer it in a maner thwarting or crossing, it being so farre off from the sword.

Farther, in this ward, the hand that is towards the enimie, must take hold fast of the handle neere the crosse, and vnderneath, the other hand aboue, and neere the pomell. I say standing thus at the high ward, he may either deliuer a thrust, either a downe right blow of the edge.

The thrust is discharged (as soone as the enimies sworde is found) as farre in the beginning as he may with both armes: Then, taking away the crosse hand, he shal force it farther on with the pomel hand, as much as he may stretch it foorth, alwayes in the discharge, increasing a slope pace. And the thrust beeing thus deliuered, hee shall presentlie retyre his [Page] saide pace, and returne his hand againe to the crosse, setling himselfe either in the high or lowe warde. But if he would deliuer a down-right blow with the edge which I counsell him not to doe, because he may ea­sily be stroken vnder it, he shall first discharge a thrust with both his handes, and then encreasing a pace, shal turne the saide downright blowe, stretching out the arme as much as he maie. In the deliuerie of which blowe, if he meete with the enimies sworde, he shall take awaie his hand from the crosse, & stretch out the pommel hand as much as he may, with the encrease of a pace. And farther, turning the said hand which holdeth the sworde vpwardes, to the end, to lengthen the thrust, he shall driue, and force it on, and presently retire himselfe in manner aforesaid.


Of the defence of the high ward, at the two hand sword.

THe low ward, shal be the defence of the high ward, and it may be framed with the right foote before & behind, in such sort, as the said high warde, the which shal be declared in his proper place.

Therefore, regarding to place himselfe for his de­fence in the low ward (and that directly contrarie to his enimie, that is to say: if the enimie stande with the right foote before, to put his left foote foremost, and as the thrust of the downright blowe comes) he shall encounter it without, and as soone as he hath founde the enimies sword, he shall voide his crosse hand, and encrease a pace, and therewithall deliuer a thrust, with the pommell hand, as farre as it wil stretch out. The which thrust wil easily speed, if the enimie come reso­lutely in deliuering of his blowe: for he shal come di­rectly to encounter the point of the sworde, with that part of his bodie which encreaseth forwardes. Thus much for the defence of the high thrust.

The downright blowe may be warded, if whilest the enimies sword is in his compasse, he nimbly deli­uer a thrust vnder it. Or els, if he would encounter it, (as soone as he hath so done) he do voide his crosse hand, and with the encrease of a pace, thrust as farre foorth as the pommell hand will stretch out.

Of the hurt of the low ward, at the two hand sworde.

BEcause the broad warde in handling of this wea­pon is painfull and vnsure, I leaue to speake therof, and come to the lowe warde, which is framed two waies, to wit: either with the right or with the lefte [Page] foote before, and in either waie, one may strike both within and without. Within, is rather to warde, then to strike: for the enimie that stands without, hath the greater aduantage.

Finding himselfe therefore within, and bearing the sworde firmely, he shal force and driue on a thrust, as farie as both armes maie stretch out together, encrea­sing a pace and setling in the lowe warde, if he do not speede

But finding himself to stand without, and as soone as he hath found the enimies sworde, he shall deliuer a thrust, first, at the length of both armes, then, voy­ding the crosse hand, encrease a pace and deliuer it out at vttermost length of the pommell hand, and imme­diatly after the thrust, retire his hand and pace, staying himselfe againe in the said lowe warde.

The defence of the low warde, at the two hand sword.

IT is a generall rule, that the true defence of all blows is the lowe warde. Therefore, when one standeth thereat, if there come a thrust without (because it is necessarie in this case to stand within,) he shall do no other then encounter the enimies sworde, and thrust his arme forwards, to the end he may void it from his bodie, and farther retyre his foote more backwards, & as it were, in a compasse, thereby the better sauing his bodie from the hurt.

But if the thrust come within (by reason wherof he should stand without) as soone as the enimies sword is encountred, he shall deliuer a thrust with both his hands, and then voiding his crosse hande, he shall [Page] deliuer it strongly with his pommell hand, with the encrease of a pace. And this thrust doth safely speed. Neither is it to be doubted, that by holding the sword with one hand, the enimie may take holdfast therof, for he hath inough to do, to retyre himselfe, and ward the thrust, neither can he perfourme so many things in one time.

Of the weapons of the Staffe, namely, the Bill, the Partisan, the Holbert, and the Iauelin.

BEcause it may seeme strange vnto many, that I haue here placed these iiij. sortes of weapons together, as though I woulde frame but one only waie for the handling of all, although they differ in forme, from which form is gathered their difference in vse. Therefore, foras­much as I am of opinion, that all of them may be han­dled in manner after one waye, it shall not be amisse, if I declare the reason thereof, speaking first of euery one seuerally by it selfe, and then generally of all to­gither, holding and maintaining alwaies for my con­clusion, that the skill of handling of them, helpeth a man to the knowledge of all the rest, for as much as concerneth true Arte.

Of the Partesan.

COmming therefore to the Partesan, as vnto the plainest, and as vnto that, whereupon all the rest depend, omitting to shewe who was the inuenter thereof, as being to small purpose: I saie, that it was [Page] found out to no other end, then for that the foot men in the warres, might be able with them to hurt those horsemen (whome they might not reach with their swords) aswell with their point as with their edge. Further, weapons which are to be cast, or sprong forth at the length of the arme, are for the most part deceit­full, by meanes whereof, they might hurt aswell the Archers on horsebacke, as other horsemen.

Therefore, these Partesans were made bigg and of great paize, and of perfect good steele, to the end they might breake the maile and deuyde the Iron.

And that this is true, it is to be seene in the aunci­ent weapons of this sort, which are great and so well tempered, that they are of force to cut any other Iron. Afterwardes, as men had considered, that as this wea­pon was only to strike, it might in some part thereof, haue aswell somthing to warde withall, whereby it might be said to be a perfect weapon, they deuised to add vnto it two crookes or forkes, by the which, that blow might be warded, which parting from the point and continuing downe along the staffe, would come to hurt the person. And these forkes, or (I may saie) these defences were by some men placed on that part of the Iron, which next adioyneth to the staffe, ma­king them crooked & sharp, & a handfull long, & for the most part, with the pointes toward the enimie, to the end they might serue not only to defend, but also to strike. And to the end, the bignesse and weight of the Partesan, (which ought to be apt and commodi­ous to be handled) might not be encreased, they dimi­nished part of the Iron thereof, and gaue the same to the forkes or defences: And by that meanes they [Page] framed another weapon called a Iauelin, which (be­cause the broadnes, and happily the weight and paize thereof is diminished) is not verie forcible to strike with the edge, but all his power consisteth in three thrustes. Othersome afterwards would not that these defēces should be placed at the lower-most part of the Iron, but in the middle thereof. And these men bea­ring great respect to the blowes of the edge, left the Iron which should serue for the defence behinde, in his bredth and waight, adioyning thereunto in the opposite parte of the right edge, a most sharpe point of Iron, to the end, that what way soeuer it were mo­ued, it might strike and hurt. But if any man obiet & saie: if the said point of Iron were put there in respect of striking, they might also as well haue left there an edge, which being longer would strike more easily. I answere, that the blowes of the false (that is to saye, the hinder or backe edge of the weapon) are verie weake, and the point doth strike and hurt more easily then the edge. And therefore it was requisite that there be facilitie where there was weaknes. These men by these meanes framed the auncient weapon called the Holberd, out of the which, men of our age haue di­riued & made another kind of Holberd & Bill. And these bearing also respect to some one profitable thing or other, did maintaine the defence, and encrease the hurting or offence. The respect was, that as they dis­coursed & pondred with themselues, at length they verie warily perceiued that a man with weapon in his hand, might make sixe motions, that is to saie, one to­wards the head, one towards the feete, one towardes the right side, one towards the left, one forwards & to­wards [Page] the enimie, the other backward & toward him selfe. Of all the which, fiue of them might verie well strike, & the last might neither strike nor defend. Ther fore, prouiding that this last motion also should not be idle & vnprofitable, they added a hook with the point turned towards the handle, with the which one might verie easily teare armour, & draw perforce men from their horses. Those, who framed the middle or meane Holbert, would that the said hooke should be placed in the safe or backer edge. And those that deuised the Bill, would haue it on the right edge, leauing the edge so long that the hook might not altogether hinder the blow of the edge, but rather (to the end the edg might make the greater effect) they would that the hooke shuld beare an edg & be cutting in euery part therof. Where I gather, that the Bil is the most perfect weapō of all others, because it striketh & hurteth in euery of these sixe motiōs, & his defences both cut & prick: which the new kind of Holbert doth not perform, be­ing framed after the said fashion, & rather for lightnes aptnes & brauerie, then for that it carrieth any great profit with it: for the edge is not so apt to strike, & the point thereof is so weake, that hitting any hard thing, either it boweth or breaketh: neither is it much regar­ded in the warres, the Harquebush & the Pike being now adaies the strength of all armyes.

Hereby it may be gathered, that with the Partesan, a man may strike with the point & edge in fiue moti­ons: with the Iauelin, with the point onely, & in such motions as it may: with the Holberd and Bill, both with the point and edge, in sixe motions. But be­cause these weapons for the most part are exercised, [Page] and vsed to enter through diuers Pikes & other wea­pons, and to breake and disorder the battell raye, to which ende, and purpose, if it be vsed, then that manner of mannaging and handling is verie conue­nient which is practised now adaies, and thus it is: The Partesan, Holberd, and Bill (but not the Iauelin, being in this case nothing effectuall because it hath small force in the edge) must be borne in the middle of the staffe, with the heele thereof before, and verie lowe, and the point neere a mans head. And with the said heele, or halfe staffe vnderneath, from the hande downwardes, he must warde and beat off the pointes and thrustes of the Pikes and other weapons, and ha­uing made waie, must enter with the encrease of a pace of the hinder foote, and in the same instant, let fall his weapon as forcibly as he maie, and strike with the edge athwart the Pikes. This kinde of blowe is so strong (being deliuered as it ought, considering it commeth from aboue downwardes, and the weapon of it selfe is verie heauie) that it will cut asunder not onely Pikes, but also any other forcible impediment. In these affaires the Iauelin is not vsed, bicause it wor­keth no such effect. But when one is constrained to vse it, he ought neither to beat off, neither to warde with the staffe, but altogether with the Iron and his de­fences, remembring, as soone as he hath beaten off & made waie of entrance, to thrust onely: for to handle it in deliuering of edgeblowes preuaileth not, consi­dering the small force it carrieth in that maner of stri­king. And as among all the foresaide iiij. weapons, the Iauelin in this kinde of skirmish, is least profitable, so the Partesan is most excellent & commodious, for [Page] hauing no other defence, it is prouided in the staffe, and is most forcible, to cut the Pikes by meanes of his heauines and waight, and the rather, because it is vn­furnished and voide of other things, which in this case might let and hinder the edge blow. Therefore the Partesan shalbe vsed (as in his owne proper qualitie) to enter among the Pikes, and cut them a sunder, and other weapons also partlie for that cause, and partlie to skirmish single, one to one. Which although it be not ordinarily accustomed, yet neuerthelesse, because both this, and the rest of the weapons, may be handled in single combate, and do containe in them, aswell of­fence, as defence, Farther, to the end, the wise and discreete (happening to be in such affaires) may be skillfull to determin with themselues, what they may and ought to doe: I will shew my opinion what may be done with these weapons in single combat, reaso­ning iointly of the Iauelyn, Bill, and Holberd, be­cause there is but a smal difference in the Iauelyn, And the Bill, and the Holberd, are in a maner all one, and the verie selfe same.

Of Bill against Bill, Holberd against Holberd, or Holberd against Bill.

FOrasmuch, as the Bill and Holberd, haue the selfe same offence and defence, and be of one length: I thought it not good to make two Treatises thereof, because I should be forced to repeat the selfe same thing in both, the which, being superfluous, would breed loathsomenes. I say therefore, that whosoeuer would handle the Bill or Holberd, which beeing all [Page]


one, I will name indifferently, by the name of the Hol­berd, I say, to him that would vse them, & strike aswell with the point, as with the edge, which blowes at these weapons are mightie and forcible, it is necessarie, that he consider the difficultie in striking with the point, and the daunger in striking with the edge. That it is difficult to strike with the point, it is most cleere, be­cause the full course of the point, may verie easilie be hindered and tyed, by meanes of so many hookes and forkes which are in the Holberd.

And that it is perilous to strike with the edge, hath bin declared when I intreated of the single Rapier, [Page] which perill ought the more to be considered in this weapon, because by meanes of his length, it frameth a greater cirkle, and therein giueth more time to enter vnder it.

Therefore no man may safelie handle the Holberd, if first he do not consider these two thinges, the one, (which he may verie hardlie withstand) and that is the thrust, because these hookes and forkes, are proper­lie belonging vnto it, and are impossible to bee vntyed and taken away, when a man would, the forme being as it is. 2. The peril of the edge blow, may some time be voided, if he be nimble and bold, performing all that in due time, which shall heere be laid down for his instruction.

How to strike with the Holberd.

IN the handling of this weapon, there shall be fra­med (by my counsel) no more then one ward, bea­ring the hands, for the more suertie in the middle of the staffe. And that ward must be the lowe ward. The hands must be somewhat distant one from an other, and the point of the weapon directlie towards the eni­mie, regarding alwaies to place himselfe with the con­trarie foote before, to that, which the enimie shall set forth, that is to say: Yf the enimie be before with the left foote, then to stand with his right foote, or con­trarie wise. And standing in maner aforesaid, he must alwaies proue & trie (before he be determined to de­liuer a thrust) to beat off the enimies weapon, which being done, presently deliuer a forcible thrust toward the enimie. But because it may lightly so fall out, that in [Page] beating off the enimies weapon (the enimie happelie pretending to do the like) the weapons be intangled fast together. Therefore, as soone as it is perceaued that they be grappled fast, standing sure, and firmelie on his feete, he shall increase a pace towardes the eni­mie, lifting vp aloft the enimies weapon, together with his owne by force of the said intangling, and then with the heele, or the blunt end of the Holberd shall strike the enimie in the brest, (for which considera­tion it should not dislike me, if for that purpose, there be fastned in the said blunt end, a strong and sharpe pike of iron) and as soone as he hath stroken with the said blunt end, (because, by meanes of the said lifting vpp, the weapons shall be now vnhooked) and rety­ring that pace which he had before increased, without remouing of his hands, he shall deliuer a strong edge blow, which then is verie commodious.

And it is to be vnderstood, that this edge blow be­ing deliuered in this maner, is so strong, that it is apt to cutt the enimies sword, if it be opposed in his ward. Only that which is to be regarded in the deliuering of this blow, is, that he be nimble, and of stout courage, not doubting that he shal be strooken againe, because he is to goe so neere his enimie, for besides, that he is in such case, that he may easilie ward any blowe, the enimie findeth no waie, to strike, except he performe it in two times, to witt, by retyring his pace and Hol­berd, and then by deliuering a thrust.

That this waie of striking is good, after the tying, and intangling of the weapons, it may be hereby vn­derstood, that as a man indeuoreth to vntye, and vn­loosen the weapons, either by retyring himselfe, either [Page] by carying them on the one side, to the intent to strike, he may then go foorth of the straight lyne, by going to one of the both sides, or els lose one time, by retyring himselfe, vnder which two inconueniences, either he must needes be hurt, or els defending himselfe, tye fast the weapons againe. But these inconueniences hap­pen not in the foresaid maner of striking.

Farther, a man may strike after an other way to wit, as soone as by the intangling of the weapons they are lifted vpp, to the intent to vnhooke, and vntye them, he must chaunge his hands, and deliuer an edge blow, either a thwart, either on high, either a low, for it is commodious any way, so that he chaunge his hands and retyre a pace. But this is not so commodious in the other waie, because he may not strike but onelie downwards. But in this maner of chaunging hands, he may easilie strike the enimie in that place, where he perceaueth him to be most discouered, be it aboue or beneath.

Of the defence of the heele, or blunt ende of the Holberd.

FOr the defence of the abouesaid two blowes, it is requisite as I haue alreadie said, that a man stand with the contrarie foote before, to that, of the enimies. And as the enimie (after the fastning of the weapons) endeuoreth to lift them vpp, (being well awares ther­of) he ought to recouer his Holberd by the increase of a pace, and strike with the heele at the enimies thigh or bellie, and then chaunging his handes, he shall de­liuer an edge blow, without any other retyring of him selfe, or mouing of his hands, The which blow shall [Page] lightlie speede, being nimblie deliuered. And when it speedeth not, yet, it will safelie ward the edge blow, which the enimie shall giue. And this may suffise for asmuch as concerneth the blowes of the Holberd in single combat, wherein there is anie difficultie to be found, the which, a man must seeke to auoide by all meanes, especiallye endeuouryng by all possible wayes to deliuer thrustes, without tying or intangling of his weapon. But although the enimies weapon, may not be tyed to any prescript law or order, (for he also vseth, all the pollicie he may to auoid daunger) yet these blowes with their fastnings are laid downe, be­cause I presuppose, that who so is skilfull to strike, not­withstanding these difficulties, will be much more ad­uentrous, in striking when he shall find little, or no­thing to hinder him, As for example, when in fight he meeteth with a weapon of the Staffe, of the selfe same, or of greater length, but yet, void of hookes or forkes: For seeing his owne weapon, is onlie hable to hooke, and driue outwards the enimies weapon, he may safe­lie deliuer an edge blow, with the increase of a pace, be­ing sure, that he may not be stroken againe, but onelie with a thrust, which the enimie may not deliuer, but of force, must either retyre his staffe, either his feete, vnder which time, an edge blow may be deliuered without daunger.

Of the hurt and ward of the Iauelyn.

THe selfe same ward, shalbe framed with the Iauelyn, as with the Holberd. And because, of necessitie, the weapons will be intangled, [Page] I say, the verie same thrusts shal be giuen therwith, as are deliuered with the Holberd. But because the edge of the Iauelyn is weake, and the pacing which is made when the weapons are fastned, is onelie profitable for the giuing of the edge blow: Therfore in handling of the Iaueling, this intangling or fastning, is by al means possible to be auoided. But when a man is to strike his enimie, let him first proue, to beat off his Iauelyn, and then to force on a thrust, in this maner.

Finding the enimies Iauelyn to be within, (by with­in, I vnderstand, when the Iauelyn is betwene the eni­mies armes, or against them) then he must force it outwards, and driue a thrust with his owne Iauelyn, at the length of the staffe (without mouing of his feete) at the enimies face. Finding it without, he ought to beat it backwards, and increasing a pace, to launch out the Iauelyn at the enimies face, at the length of the staffe and arme, immediatlie retyring his pace, & hand, and afterwards settle himselfe in the same low ward.

Of the defence of the thrustes of the Iauelyn.

FOr him that would defend himselfe from those two thrusts, and strike vnder them, it is necessarie to call to remembraunce the most subtill consideration of times, without knowledge whereof, there is no man that may safelie beare himselfe vnder anie weapon: Comming therefore to the said consideration, I saie, that if the enimie would beate of the Iauelyn, (his owne Iauelyn beeing either within, either without) of force hee must enlarge and widen it from out the [Page] straight lyne, if he would as aforesaid forciblie beat off the other Iauelyn. Therefore at what time soeuer a man seeth the enimies Iauelyn wide of the straight lyne, then, and in the same time (in the which it com­meth purposing to beat off) he must nimblie deliuer a thrust. And in like maner, finding himselfe, either within, either without, and the enimies Iauelyn some­thing wide of the straight lyne, then before it come into the said lyne againe, he shall with the increase of a pace deliuer a thrust, at the length of the hinder arme, and then retyring his said pace, settle himselfe at his ward againe.

Of the Partisan.

IF a any would handle the Partisan in single combat, they shall not strike with the edge, because the time is too long, and they may easilie be stroken vnder the same. Therefore practizing the thrust, they shall vse the selfe same of­fence and defence, which I haue shewed in the Iaue­lyn, to the which I referre them.

Of the Pike

AS among all other weapons, which are worn by the side, the single sword is the most ho­norable, as beeing such a one which is left capable of deceit of any other: So among the weapons of the Staffe, the Pike is the most plaine, most honorable, and most noble weapon of all the rest.

[Page] Therefore among renowned knightes and great Lords this weapon is highly esteemed, because it is as well voide of deceite, as also, for that in well handling thereof, there is required great strength of bodie, ac­companied with great valure and deepe iudgement: for there is required in the vse thereof a most subtill & delicate knowledge and consideration of times, and motions, and a readie resolution to strike. These qualities may not happen or be resident in any per­sons, but in such as are strong of armes and couragi­ous of stomacke. Neither may they procure to get any other aduantage in the handling thereof, then to be more quick and resolute both in iudgement and hande than their enimie is. Therefore seeing euery man may hereby knowe what is necessarie for him so to handle it, as he may obtaine victorie thereby: let him resolue himselfe either to giue it ouer quite, or els to handle it as he ought, and is required.

The manner how to handle the Pyke.

THis renowmed weapon hath beene of diuers di­uersly handled, in single combat: (for the manner of vsing it in the warres, maketh not at this present for my purpose.) Therefore it shall not be amisse, if (spea­king of the manner of his vse in these our daies) I de­clare also mine opinion concerning the same. There haue beene some (who greatly regarding ease & little paine) would haue the Pike to be borne in the midle. Other some, more strong of arme, but weaker of hart, (to the end they might be the farther off, from hurte) accustomed to beare it at the beginning neere the [Page] heele or blunt end thereof: which two waies in my iudgement are to be refused, the one being too daun­gerous (I meane the bearing of it in the middle) the other too difficult (I mean, the bearing it at the blunt end,) because a man is not able to stande long at his ward, neither to defend himselfe strongly, nor offend safely, considering, much of his force is taken away, by susteining and bearing it at the said end. So that, when a forcible blow commeth he hath not sufficient power to beat it off. And forasmuch as the Pike is a long straight lyne, which hath his motion in the head or beginning thereof, which motion be it neuer so small, neere the hand, is yet verie great at the point, it is requisite, if he would strike iust and straight, (when he so holdeth it at the end) that he be greatly practi­sed, and haue great strength whereby he may be both skilfull & able to beare it so iust & euen, that the point thereof strik or hit there where the hand & eie would haue it. This is verie hardly accomplished, aswel bee­cause it is a thing impossible to strike by the straight lyne, as also for that the armes being weakened with the paize of the Pike, do shake and deliuer it vnsted­fastly. Therefore, for the auoyding of these two in­conueniences, the Pike must be born within an armes length of the said heele or blunt end, in which place, it is sufficiently distant from hurt, & it is not borne with much difficultie if the hands be placed an armes lēgth one from another of the which the hinder hand must be stedfast, I meane, holde the Pike harde, and the forehand somewhat loose: So that the Pike may shift thorough it to and fro.



For what cause the Pike maketh greater passage with the point then any other shorter weapon.

IT is most manifest, that the Pike maketh greater pas­sage with his point than any other weapon: and the twohand sworde, more then the ordinarie sword: & the sword more then the dagger. And among al wea­pons, this is generaly true, that the longer the weapon is, the greater passage it maketh with the point, and the greater blow with the edge. Neither doeth this so chaunce, because the weapon is more heauie, neither because there is applyed more force vnto it in action, as most men suppose, but rather through a naturall cause which is as followeth. [Page] If there be two circles, the one greater then the other, and are moued by one manner of motion, the greater shall be more swift then the lesse: for being greater in circumference & turning round, in the same time that the lesse turneth it must needes be, that it goeth more swiftly. So it commeth to passe, that one selfe-same hand may deliuer a greater blow with the two hande sworde than with a single sworde, and with a long sworde, then one that is shorter, and with that, then with the dagger: And with a Bill, a greater blowe, then with the two hand sworde, and so likewise in all other weapons. Wherefore it is most cleere, that of edgeblowes that maketh the greater stroke, which is deliuered with the longer weapon. It remaineth now to be considered, how this falleth out in the blowes of the point. I saie therefore, the blowes of the point are also circuler, so that the Pike being verie long, ma­keth the greater circle, and by consequence the grea­ter blowe of the point or the greater thrust. That the blowes of the point are circuler, may be shewed by this reason. The arme (being as a straight line, & fixed fast in one parte, as for example in the shoulder, and mouable in the other, as in the hand, standing I saye, fixed as a straight lyne, and the one end mouing from the other) shall alwaies moue circulerly: So that the arme cannot otherwise moue, except when it is bo­wed, and would then make it selfe straight againe, the which motion also is doubtfull, whether it be straight yea or no. Therfore imagining that on the mouable parte of this arme, or straight lyne, there be also ano­ther thwart lyne, to wit, a Pike, a sworde, or any other weapon, then the arme mouing, carrieth also, circu­lerly [Page] with it, the said thwart lyne: which lyne, by how much, the longer it is, by so much it maketh the grea­ter circle, as may be seene in this figure.


Whereby, it is manifest, that the Pike, the longer it is, it frameth the greater circle, and consequently, is more swifte, and therefore maketh the greater passage. The like is to be vnderstood of all other weapons, which the longer they are being moued by the arme, cause the greater edgeblow, and greater passage with the point.

Of the wardes of the Pike.

IN mine opinion, if a man would either strike, or de­fend with the Pike, he may not otherwise vse it, [Page] then by framing of two wardes, in one of which, he shal strike the bodie from the middle vpwards, & this I will terme the low warde: the other shall strike the bodie from the middle downwards, & shalbe called the high ward. Neither shal they be so termed for any other cause, then for that it is verie necessarie for him that striketh, first to beat off the enimies Pike, & then to deliuer his owne. But yet it should breed great in­conuenience, & there would be two much time spent if finding it good & comodious to strike in the lowe warde, he would first beat off the enimies weapon, & then shift from the lowe to the high warde. For that cause I will frame the high warde, which shal bee, when one beareth his armes high, & the point of the Pike low. And the low warde is, when the armes are low, & the point of the Pike high. There is another warde which would be framed as a meane betweene these two, & that is, when the Pike is borne directly towards the enimie. And it falleth out that it is most sure & long, when it is opposed against any of the o­ther two aforesaid, because then a man is in case both to beat off the weapon & to enter therewithall with great aduantage. But putting the case, the enimie do likewise directly oppose himselfe against this warde, then the Pikes may not beat off one another, but both parties are like to be inuested & runne through at one instant, without any defence or warding thereof.

So that this straight ward may not be vsed except it be against one of the two aforsaid. And when the enimie standeth in any of the said two, then a man must reso­lutly bring his weapon into the said straight ward, for as he getteth therby the greater aduātage both of length & time, so he may very easily beat off the enimies Pike.

Of the maner how to strike in the said wardes.

WHen the enimie is in the low ward, a man ought alwayes to stand either at the high or straight ward. And contrarilie, in the low or straight ward, when the enimie is in the high ward. And must inde­uour as forciblie and as nimblie as he may, first of all, to beat off the enimies Pike, whether it be within or without, but yet in such sort, that he depart not much from the straight lyne, and be therby constrayned, to spend much time in returning thither againe, And as soone as he hath beaten off the enimies weapon, to thrust▪ bearing his bodie contrarie to his armes, to the end, he may be the more couered from the thrustes, and deliuer his owne thrusts with the more force, al­waies regarding in the high ward, to thrust downe­wards, and in the low ward, vpwards, & in the straight ward, in the middle: for this maner of thrusting, is ve­rie commodious, and consumeth little time.

Of the defence of the wardes.

THe hurts of these wardes, are defended in the selfe same maner, as those of the Iauelyne are, to which Chapter, (hauing there reasoned sufficiently) I referre you, to the intent I may not repeat one thing often.

And it is to be considered, that there is greater re­gard to be had of the times in managing this weapon then in any other, because it is not furnished with any forkes, or other defences which may helpe a man, but all hope of victorie consisteth in the iudgement of the times, and in dexteritie of deliuerie.

I will not therfore at this present stand to declare [Page] any more of the true knowledge of the weapon, then that, which onelie appertayneth to be spoken in this worke, but will hereafter at my more leasure, handle it more at large, at what time, it shal be knowen, that men (giuing ouer all other false & vain kind of skirmishing) ought to settle them selues in this, by meanes wherof, their iudgements are perfected, and they more insured vnder their weapons, and so by consequence are made more bold and hardie. And forasmuch as all this ought to be verified in deedes, and not in wordes, it shall be euery mans part, that will exercise himselfe in this Art, first diligentlie to learne the principles, & afterwards by exercise of the weapon to attaine to the most subtil and delicate knowledge & consideration of the times, without which (as I haue said els where) it is not pos­sible to profit therin. For although there be happilie some, who (being strong of arme, and nimble in deli­uering falses, either right, reuersed, or straight) haue bin in our time accompted for tall men, yet for al that, those who are skilfull in this true Art, ought not to giue cre­dite vnto it, because they know assuredlie that not right or reuersed edge blowes, get the masterie, but rather the thrusts of the point, neither the bestowing of them euery way, but with aduantage and in due time. Nei­ther ought a man to strike, therby to be stroken againe, (which is the part and point, rather of a bruite beast, then of a reasonable man) but to strime and remaine without daunger. All which things by this true Art are easilie learned.


THE Second Part intreatinge of De­ceites and Falsinges of Blowes and Thrustes.

BEinge come to the end of the true Arte, and hauing declared all that which seemed conueni­ent and profitable for the at­taynement of true iudgement in the handling of the weapon & of the entire knowledg of al aduātages, by the which as well al disaduantages are knowen: It shall be good that I intreat of Deceite or Falsing, aswel to performe my promise, as also to satisfie those who are greatly de­lighted to skirmish, not with pretence to hurt or ouer come but rather for their exercise & pastime:

In which it is a braue and gallant thing and worthy of commendations to be skilfull in the apte mana­ging of the bodie, feete and hands, in mouing nim­blie sometimes with the hand, some-times with the elbow, and sometimes with the shoulder, in retiring, in increasing, in lifting the bodie high, in bearing it low in one instant: in breif, deliuering swiftlie blows aswell of the edge as of the point, both right and re­uersed, nothing regarding either time, aduantage or measure, bestowing them at randone euerie waie.

But diuers men being blinded in their owne con­ceites, do in these actions certainly beleeue that they are either more nimble, either more warie & discreet [Page] then theire aduersarie is: Of which their folish opini­on they are all beastlie proud and arrogant:

And because it hath manie times happened them, either with a false thrust, or edge blowe, to hurte or abuse the enemie, they become loftie, and presume thereon as though their blowes were not to be war­ded. But yet for the most part it falleth out, that by a plain simple swad hauing onely a good stomack and stout courage, they are chopt in with a thrust, and so miserablie slaine.

For auoiding of this abuse, the best remedie is, that they exercise themselues in deliuering these falses on­lie in sport, and (as I haue before said) for their prac­tise & pastime: Resoluing themselues for a truth, that when they are to deal with anie enemie, & when it is vpon danger of their liues, they must then suppose the enemie to be equall to themselues aswel in kno­ledge as in strength, & accustome themselues to strik in as litle time as is possible, and that alwaies beeing wel warded. And as for these Falses or Slips, they must vse them for their exercise & pastimes sake one­lie, and not presume vpon them, except it bee against such persons, who are either much more slow, either know not the true principels of this Art. For Disceit or Falsing is no other thing, then a blow or thrust de­uered, not to the intent to hurt or hitt home, but to cause the enemie to discouer himselfe in some parte, by meanes whereof a man maie safely hurt him in the same part. And looke how manie blowes or thrusts there maie be giuen, so manie falses or deceits may be vsed, and a great manie more, which shal be declared in their proper place: The defence likewise whereof [Page] shal in few words be last of all laid open vnto you.

Deceits or Falsings of the single Sword, or single Rapier

AS I take not Victorie to be the end and scope of falsing, but rather nimblenes of bodie and dexteritie in plaie: So, casting aside the consideration how a man is ei­ther couered or discouered, and how he hath more or lesse aduantage) I saie that there maie be framed at the single sword so manie wards, as there be waies how to moue the arme hand and foot.

Therefore in falsinge there may bee framed the high, lowe, and brode warde, with the right foote be­hind and before: a man may beare his sword witht the poynt backewardes and forwardes: he may beare his right hand on the left sid, with his swords poynt back wards: he may stand at the low warde with the point backewardes and forwardes, bending towardes the grounde. And standing in all these waies, he may false a thrust aboue, and force it home beneath: and contrarie from beneth aboue, he may false it without and deliuer it within, or contrariwise.

And according to the saide manner of thrusting he may deliuer edge-blowes, right, reuersed, high and lowe, as in that case shal most aduantage him. Farther he may false an edgeblow, and deliuer it home: as for example, to false a right blowe on highe, and deliuer home a right and reuerse blowe, high or lowe. In like sortthe reuerse is falsed, by deliuering right or reuerse blowes, high or lowe.

[Page] But it is to be considered, that when he beareth his sworde with his poynt backewardes, he false no other than the edgeblow, for then thrusts are discom­modius. And because men do much vse at this wea­pon, to beate off the poynt of the sworde with their handes: therefore he must in that case for his greater redines & aduantage, suffer his sword to swaie to that side, whether the enemy beateth it, ioyning to that motion as much force as he may, performing therin a ful circuler blowe, and deliuering it at the enemie.

And this blow is most readie, and so much the ra­ther, it is possible to be performed, by how much the enemie thinketh not, that the sword will passe in full circle that waie, for the enemie being somwhat disa­poynted, by beating off the sworde, after which bea­ting, he is also to deliuer his thrust, he cānot so speede­ly spēd both those times but that he shalbe first strokē with the edge of the sworde, which he had before so beaten off.

Generall aduertisementes concerning the defences.

BEcause it chaunceth commonly, that in managing of the handes, men beare no great regard, either to time or aduantage, but do endeuour themselues after diuers & sundry waies & meanes to encounter the enemies sword: therfore in these cases, it is verie profitable to knowe how to strike, and what may be done in shortest time.

The enemies sword is encountred alwaies either a­boue, either in the midle, either beneath: & in al these [Page] waies a man findeth himself to stand either aboue, ei­ther beneth, either within, either without. And it fales out alwaies that men finde themselues vndernethe with the sword at the hanging warde, when they are to ward high edgeblowes or thrusts; and this waie is most commonly vsed: The manner whereof is, when the hand is lifted vp to defend the sword being thwar ted, and the poynt turned downewards: when one findeth himselfe so placed, he ought not to recouer his sworde from vnderneath, and then to deliuer an edge-blowe, for that were to long, but rather to strike nimbly that part of the enemie vnderneath, which is not warded, so that he shall do no other then turne his hand & deliuer an edge-blow at the legges which surely speedeth.

But if he finde himselfe in defence either of the re­uerse or thrust, to beare his sword aloft and without, and not hanging, in this the safest thing is, to increase a pace, and to seasyn vpon the enimies hand or arme.

The selfe same he ought to doe, finding himselfe in the midle, without and vnderneath: But if he finde himselfe within, he cannot by any meanes make anie seasure, because he shall be then in greate perill to in­uest himselfe on the poynt of the enemies sworde.

Therefore to avoide the saide poynt or thrust, he must turne his fist and deliuer an edge-blow at the face, and withdraw himselfe by voiding of his foote towardes the broad ward. And if he finde himselfe beneath, & haue encountred the enemies edgeblow, either with the edge, or with the false or backe of the sword, being beneath: then without any more adoe, he ought to cut the legges, and void himself from the [Page] enimies thrust. And let this be taken for a generall rule: the bodie must be borne as far of from the enimy as it may. And blowes alwaies are to be deliuered on that parte which is founde to be most neare, be the stroke great or little. And each man is to be aduertised that when he findes the enimies weapon vnderneath at the hanging ward, he may safely make a seisure: but it would be done nimbly and with good courage, because he doth then increase towards his enimie in the streight lyne, that is to saie, increase on pace, and therewithall take holdfast of the enemies sword, nere the hiltes thereof, yea though his hand were naked, and vnder his owne sworde presently turning his hand outwardes, which of force wresteth the sworde out of the enimies hand: neither ought he to feare to make feisure with his naked hand, for it is in such a place, that if he should with his hand encounter a blowe, happely it would not cut because the weapō hath thereverie small force. All the hazard wil be, if the enimie should drawe backe his sword, which cau­seth it to cutte. For in such sorte it will cut mightily: but he may not giue leasure or time to the enimie to drawe backe, but as soone as the seisure is made, he must also turne his hand outwards: in which case, the enimie hath no force at all.

These maner of strikings ought and maie be practi­sed at all other weapons. Therefore this rule ought generally to be obserued, and that is, to beare the bo­die different from the enimes sword, and to strike litle or much, in as small time as is possible.

And if one would in deliuering of a great edge-blowe, vse small motion and spende little time hee [Page] ought as soone as he hath stroken, to drawe or slide his sword, thereby causing it to cute: for otherwise an edge-blowe is to no purpose, although it be verie for­cibly deliuered, especialy when it lighteth on any soft or limber thing: but being drawen, it doth euery way cute greatly.

Of sword and dagger, or Rapier and dagger.

AL the wardes which are laide downe for the single sword, may likewise be giuen for the sworde and dagger. And there is greater reason why they should be ter­med wardes in the handling of this, than of the single sword, because albeit the sword is borne vnorderly, & with such disaduantage, that it wardeth in a maner no parte of the bodie, yet there is a dagger which continually standeth at his defence, in which case, it is not conuenient that a man lift vp both his armes and leaue his bodie open to the enimie: for it is neither agreeable to true, neither to false arte consi­dering that in each of them the endeuor is to ouer­come. And this manner of lifting vp the armes, is as if a man wold of purpose be ouercome: Therfore, when in this deceitfull and false arte, one is to vse two weapons, he must take hede that he beare the one cō ­tinually at his defence, and to handle the other euerie waye to molest the enimie: somtime framing one warde, somtimes an other: and in each of them to false, that is, to faine a thrust, and deliuer a thrust, to false a thrust, and giue an edge-blowe: and otherwise also, to false an edge-blowe, and to deliuer an edge-blowe. [Page] And in all these wayes to remember, that the blowe be continually different from the false: That is, if the thrust be falsed aboue to driue it home be­lowe: If within, yet to strike it without, and falsing an edgeblowe aboue, to bestowe it beneath: or fal­sing a right blowe, to strike with the reuerse: or some­times with a right blowe, but yet differing from the other. And after an edgeblowe on high, to deliuer a reuerse belowe. In fine, to make all such mixture of blowes, as may beare all these contrarieties follow­ing, to wit, the point, the edge, high, lowe, right, reuersed, within, without. But, I see not howe one may practise any deceit with the dagger, the which is not openly daungerous. As for example, to widen it and discouer some part of the bodie to the enemie, thereby prouoking him to moue, and then warding, to strike him, being so disapointed: but in my opini­on, these sortes of falses of discouering the bodie, ought not to be vsed: For it behoueth a man, first, safely to defend himselfe, and then to offend the eni­mie, the which he cannot do, in the practise of the said falses, if he chaunce to deale with an enimie that is couragious and skilfull. But this manner of fal­sing next following, is to be practised last of all other, and as it were in desperate cases. And it is, either to faine, as though he would forcibly fling his dagger at the enemies face, (frō the which false, he shal doubt­les procure the enemie to warde himselfe, either by lifting vp his armes, or by retyring himself, or by mo­uing towards one side or other, in which trauaile & time, a man that is verie warie and nimble, may safely hurt him:) or els in steede of falsing a blowe, to fling [Page] the dagger in deede at the enimies face. In which chaunce or occasion, it is necessarie that he haue the skill how to sticke the dagger with the poynt. But yet howsoeuer it chaunce, the comming of the dag­ger in such sort, doth so greatly trouble and disorder the enemie, that if a man step in nimbly, he may safe­ly hurt him.

These deceits and falses, of the sword and dagger, may be warded according as a man findes it most commodious either with the sworde, or els with the dagger, not regarding at all (as in true arte) to defend the left side with the dagger, and the right sid with the sword: For in this false arte men consider not ei­ther of aduantage, time, or measure, but alwaies their manner is (as soone as they haue found the enimies sword) to strike by the most short waie, be it either with the edge, or point, notwithstanding the blowe be not forcible, but onely touch weakely & scarslv: for in plaie, so it touch any waie, it is accounted for victorie.

Concerning taking holdfast, or seising the enimies sword, I commend not in any case, that seisure be made with the left hand, by casting a way of the dag­ger as else where I haue seene it practised: but rather that it be done keeping the sword and dagger fast in hand. And although this seeme vnpossible, yet euery one that is nimble & strong of arme, may safely do it. And this seisure is vsed aswell vnder an edgeblowe, as vnder a thrust in manner following.

When the edgeblowe or thrust commeth aboue, it must be incountred with the sword without, on the third or fourth parte of the enimies sword, and with [Page] the dagger borne within, on the first or second parte thereof hauing thus sodenly taken the enimies sword in the middle, to turne forciblie the enimies sword outwardes with the dagger, keeping the sword sted­fast, and as streight towards the enimie as is possible by meanes whereof it may the more easely be tur­ned. And there is no doubt but the enimies sworde may be wrong out of his hand, and looke how much nearer the poynt it is taken, so much the more easelie it is turned or wrested outwards, because it maketh the greater circle, and the enimie hath but smal force to resist that motion.

Of Sword and Cloke, or Rapier and Cloke.

FOR to disceyue the enimie with the cloake, it is necessarie to know how ma­ny waies it may serue the turne, and to be skilfull how to fould it orderly about the arme, and how to take aduantage by the largenes thereof: and farther to vnderstand how to defend, and how to offend and hinder the enimie therewith, because it fales not out alwaies, that men fight with their cloake wrapped about the arme, and the sword in hand, Therefore it is the parte of a wise man, to knowe also how to handle the cloake after any other manner.

Wherefore one may get the aduātage of the cloke, both when it is about his bodie, and when it is fol­ded about his arme: The cloke being about the arme in this maner. When it chaunceth any man to bicker [Page] with his enimie, with whom he is at poynt to ioyne, but yet happelie weareth about him at that instant no kind of weapon, whereas his enimie is weaponed, & threatneth him, then by taking both sides of the cloake as neare the coller as is possible, he may draw it ouer his owne head, and throwe it at his enimies face, who then being in angled and blinded there with, may either be throwen downe, or disfurni­shed of his weapon very easely by him that is nimble, especially if he haue to deale against one that is slow. A man may after another manner take the aduantage of the cloake which the enimie weareth, by taking with one hande both sides thereof, neere the coller: which sides being strongly holden, cause the cloak to be a ginne or snare about the enimes necke, the which ginne being violently haled, and plucked with one hande, he may so forciblie strike him with the other on the face or visage, that he will goe neere hande to breake his necke.

There be manie other waies whereby one may preuaile with the cloake, to the greatest parte where­of, men of meane iudgment may easely attaine vnto. Therefore when one hath his cloake on his arme, and sword in his hand, the aduantage that he getteth ther­by, besides the warding of blowes, for that hath bene declared in the true arte is, that he may molest his eni­mie by falsing to fling his cloake, and then to flinge it in deed. But to false the flingyng of the clok is verie daungerous, because it may not be done but in long time. And the verie flinging of the cloake, is as it were a preparation to get the victorie, and is in a manner rather true art then deceit, cōsidering it is don by the [Page] streyght or some other shorte line: neither for any other cause is this the rather here laide downe, in de­ceite, then before in true arte, then for that when one ouercometh by theis meanes, he seemes not to con­quere manfully, because he strikes the enimie before blinded with the cloake. wherefore when one mind­eth to flinge his cloake, he may either do it from and with his arme, or else with his sword: and in so doing it is necessarie, that he haue not the cloake too much wrapped about his arme: I saie, not aboue twice, nei­ther to hold it streight or fast with his hande, that thereby he may be the better able when occasion ser­ueth to fling it the more easelie. If therefore he would fling it with his arme, and haue it goe with such fury, and make such effect as is required, he must of force ioyne to the flinging thereof the increase of a pace, on that side where the cloake is, but first of all he must in­counter, either finde, either so ensure the enimies sword, that by the meanes of the increase of that pace it may do no hurte.

And it is requisite in euerie occasion, that he finde himselfe to stand without: and when either an edge­blow or a thrust comes, be it aboue or in the middle, as soone as he hath warded it with his sword, he shall increase a pace and fling his cloake, how soeuer it be folded, either from the coller, either from any other parte, or else to hale it off from his shoulder, although it bee on his shoulder: and in this order it is easelie throwne, & is thereby the more widned in such sort, that the enimie is the more entangled and snared therewith.

Concerning the flinging of the cloake with the [Page] sword, I saie, it may be throwen either with the point, either with the edge: with the poynt when one stan­deth at the lowe warde with the right foote behinde, and the cloake before: In which case the cloake would be well and thicke doubled and placed on the arme, but not wrapped. And in steed of driuing a thrust with the poynt which shalbe hidden behinde the cloake, he shal take the cloake on the poynt of the sworde, and with the increase of a pace, force it at the enimies face. And in this maner the cloake is so for­cib lie, and so couertly deliuered and flinged, that the enimie is neither a ware of it, neither can avoyde it, but of force it lighteth on his face, by meanes where­of, he may be stroken at pleasure in any parte of the bodie.

The cloake may be flong or throwen with the edge of the sworde, when one standeth at the lowe warde, with the poynt of the sword turned backe­wardes, one the left side and the cloake vpon it, fol­ded at large vpon the arme vp to the elbowe: but not fast wrapped about it, and whilest he falseth a reuerse, he may take the cloake on the edge of the sword and fling it towards the enimie, and then strike him with such a blow as shal be then most fit for his aduantage deliuer.

Manie other deceites there might be declared of the cloake, aswell of flinging as of falsing it: but be­cause I thinke these to be sufficient for an example to frame manie other by, I make an ende.

Of Sword and buckler, square Target and round Target.

BEing of opinion that as touching deceite, there is but one consideration to be had of all these three weapons, and for because all the difference which may be betwen them is laide downe and declared in the true arte, in the consideration of the forme of each ofthem: There­fore I am willing rather to restraine my selfe, then to indeuoure to fill the leafe with the idle repetition of one thing twice.

All theis three weapons ought to be borne in the fist the arme stretched outforwardes and this is eui­dently seene in the square Target and buckler: the round Target also, because by reason of his greatnes and waight, it may not be holden in the onelie fist, & forwarde, in which kind of holding, it would warde much more is borne on the arme, being stretched foorth with the fist forwardes, which is in manner all one, o the selfe same. Therefore one may false as much with the one as with the other, considering there is no other false vsed with them then to disco­uer and frame diuers wards, bering no respect to any aduantage. And yet there is this difference betwene them that with the round Target, one may easely warde both edgeblowes and thrustes, and with the square Target, better than with any other, he may warde edgeblowes, because it is of square forme: and the edge of the sword may easely be retained with the streight side thereof, which is not so easely done with the buckler: for ouer and besides the warding of thrustes, the buckler is not so sure of itself, but re­quireth [Page] aide of the sworde. Edge-blowes also when they come a thwart (for in that case, they incounter the circumference thereof: the which if it chaunce, the sword not to encounter on the diameter, or halfe, in which place the sword is onelie staied, but doth en­counter it, either beneath, either aboue the said dia­meter (maie easelie slippe and strike either the heade or thighs: therfore let euetie man take heede and re­member, that in striking at the buckler, either with the poynte or edge of the sword, he deliuer it crossing or a thwarte.

As concerning the falses and deceites, which may be vsed in the handling of theis weapons, as at the single sworde, they are infinite, so at theis weapons they are much more, if the number of infinite may be exceded. For besides, that with the sword one may false a thrust, an edgeblowe, on high, a lowe, within without, and frame diuers other vnorderlie wardes, There remaineth one deceite or false properlie be­lōging vnto theis, which is, to beare the bukler, squar Target, or round Target, wide from the bodie, and therewithall to discouer himselfe, to the end the eni­mie may be hindred, and lose time in striking, being therewithal sure & nimble to defend himself & offēd the enimie. And this he may practise in euerie ward, but more easelie with the square Target than with the other two, because it is bigge and large inough, & may easelie encounter and find the enimies when it commeth striking: but this happeneth not in the rounde Target, because his forme is circuler, neither in the buckler, because, besides his roundnes, it is also small: by meanes of which two things, blowes are [Page] very hardly encountred, except a man be very much exercised in the handling thereof. And because there are two weapons, the one of offence, and the other of defence: it is to be considered, that when by meanes of a false thrust or edgblowe, the enimies round Tar­get, square Target or buckler, is onely bound to his warde, and his sword remaines free and at libertie, one resolue not himselfe to strike immediatly after the falced thrust, for then he may verie easelie be hurt by the enimies sword. Therefore let him remember for the most parte, to false such thrustes, against the which, besides the weapon of defence, the sword be also bound to his warde, or else to false edgeblowes from the knee downewards: for seeing the round tar­get, or any of the other two, may not be vsed in that place, of force the sword must be there placed at his defence, which as soone as it is found, and thereby ensured that it may do no hurte, a man may then step forwardes, and deliuer such a blowe as he best may without daunger.

An aduertisement concerning the defences of the false of the round Target.

EVerie time that one vseth to false with round Target, square Target, and buckler, or as I may better saie, with the sword accompanied with them, he falseth either an edge-blowe, either a thrust, either leaueth some parte of the bo­die before discouered. Against all the falces of the edge, which come from the knee vpwards, the round Target or any of the rest, must be oppressed, and then [Page] suddenly vnder them a thrust be deliuered, against that parte which is most disarmed. But if blowes come from the knee downwardes, they of force must be encountred with the sword, and alwaies with the false, or backe edge thereof, whether that the blowe be right or reuersed: & therewithall the enimies legge must be cutt with the edge prepared without mouing either the feete or bodie. And this manner of striking is so shorte that it safely spedeth. Moreouer, all thrusts and other edgeblowes, aswell high as lowe may, naie rather ought to be warded, by accompaning the tar­get or other weapon of defence with the sword, whose poynt would be bent towards the enimie, & assoone as the enimies sword is encountred, if it be done with the false edge of the sword, there is no o­ther to be done, then to cut his face or legges.

But if the sword be encountred with the right edge then if he would strik with the edge, he must offorce first turne his hand and so cute. And this manner of striking and defending, doth properlie belong vnto the round Target, square Target and buckler, and all other waies are but vaine and to small purpose: for to encounter first and then to strike, causeth a man to finde himselfe either within the enimies Target or sword, by which meanes he may easelie strike, before either the sword or Target may warde againe.

But if any man aske why this kind of blowe car­rieth small force, and is but weake? I aunswer, true it is, the blowe is but weake, if it were deliuered with an axe or a hatchet, which as they saie, haue but short edges, and maketh but one kind of blowe, but if it be deliuered with a good sword in the foresaide [Page] manner, because it beareth a long edge, it doth com­modiously cut, as soone as the edge hath founde the enimies sword, and especially on those partes of the bodie which are fleshly and full of sinnowes. There­fore speaking of deceite or falsing, a man must alwaies with the sword and round Target and such like, goe and encounter the enimies blowes, being accom­panied to gether. And as soone as he hath found the enimies sword, he shall within it, cute either the face or the leggs, without any farthar recouerie of his sword, to the intent to deliuer either thrustes, or grea­ter edgeblowes: for if one would both defende and strike togeither, this is the most shorte waie that is.

But when the enimie discouereth some parte of his bodie, thereby prouoking his aduersary to strike, and then would beate off the blowe and strike with­all: in this case, either a man must not strike if he per­ceue not that his sword is more neare the enimy, then his owne Target is to the enimies sword, or else if he strik and be further off, he must recouer his sword & void the enimies blowe, striking comodiously ether aboue ether some wher els. And it is a very easie ma­ter to lose much time, for the Target and such like are heauie, And if these motions meete with no ob­iect or steye, they passe beyond their strength. But if it so happen or chaunce, as I haue before saide, that a man findes himselfe more neare to hurte the enimie, then the enimie is readie to defend himselfe, then he must not false a blow first, & then recouer his sword, but strik & driue it home at the first, as resolutlie, & as nimblie as he may possiblie: & this maner of striking pertaineth rather to true art then to deceit or falsing.

Of the falses of the two Swordes: or Rapiers.

THEIS kind of weapons haue so great li­bertie of striking or warding, and are so entermedled the one with the other, as no other sorte of weapon is, which I may compare with theis. There may be fram­ed an infinite cōpanie of wardes with theis weapons, and all of them sure, except two, which are framed and borne without, and are theis as followeth.

To bear both swords with their points backward: for this maner of warding, is as if one would of pur­pose cause himselfe to be slaine: or else to beare both aloft, which a man may hardlie sustaine, considering the paizes of the swords are naturally heauie and tend downewardes, so that the armes are much cumbred thereby. Therefore from theis two which are framed without, shalbe laide downe, all those which may be founde and may be framed in the handling of theis weapons: as for example, high wardes, lowe, wide, al­tered, diminished, and al those wards which are mixt, as to frame with one sworde the high warde, with the other the broad warde, and to frame the lowe and broad warde, the high and lowe ward, two lowe wardes, and two broade wardes: but yet these last two are as painfull as the two high wardes, and therefore shall not be vsed. Moreouer, a man may beare one sworde with the poynt forwards, and the other backewards, and he may further, verie easely finde out and practise diuers other waies, if he con­sider in how manie waies a man may moue his hands [Page] his armes, his feete, and his whole person: for each of theis motions are sufficient of themselues, to alter the warde. In all theis wardes, he may with either hande and sword, practise to false against the enimie, some­times by fayning, sometimes by discouerie. And this is properlie belonginge to theis weapons, to wit, to false with one, and to strike home, either with the selfe same, or with the other weapon: & likewise dis­couer with the one, and ward with the selfe same, or with the other, the which neuer yet to this daie was or might be done with any other weapon. For in the handling of other weapons, that which falceth, doth in like manner strike home, so that of force, there are spent two times: for which consideration men hold opinion, that falsing is occasion both of great hurte, and also of losse of time. But yet this happeneth not in these weapons, which forasmuch as they are two, and are of equall power both in striking and defend­ing, may be handled both after one fashion. And pre­supposing alwaies that one is as skilful to handle the one aswelas the other, he may discharge at selfe same time two thrustes, two edgeblowes, both right & re­uersed.

But if he would exercise himselfe onelie in sporte & plaie, he shal then continually vse to strike his eni­mie with one, and defend his person with the other. Therefore when one dealeth against an enimie that hath two swords, one of the which maie alwaies en­crease a pace, and strike either with a thrust, or with the edge, from that sword he must take heede to warde himeselfe, for it is verie forcible, and alwaies bringeth great daunger and perill with it: The other [Page] sword which was before, maketh no increase of pace and therefore cannot strike more then the defence & strength of the arme will beare, and that is weake to strike, but yet verie strong to defend: and the self same accidentes and qualities, which are found to be in the enimie, are incident also to our selues. Wherefore when one findes that he standeth with his right foot before, be it in any warde whatsoeuer, he may false with the forsword and strik home with the same, or else he may false with his hinder sword, & strike with the selfe same: or else after a third waie, to wite, to false with the one, and hit home with the other: And this kind of false, doth more properlie belong to the two swords then any other, but yet he must take heede and veriewell remember that whilest he falceth with the one, and would also strike home with the same, that he beare the other directly opposite against the enimie. For whilest the enimy is bound to warde the false, and homeblowe of the one sword, he may come in with the other and strike, if he finde any place ei­ther discouered or easie to enter: So that bearing this rule continuallie in remembrance, which is in the fight of two swords, to beare alwaies the one direct­ly against the enimie, to the entent to hinder him, that he resolue not himself to enter, he shall indeuour to false, sometimes with the one, and sometimes with the other sword, some times a thrust, some times an edgeblowe, and then to driue it home, either with the same sword that falceth, or else with the other. But in the practise, and doing of all this, it is required that he be of deepe iudgement, knowing presently vp­on the false, what parte of the bodie the enimie disco­uereth, [Page] increasing thither, and inuesting the enimie with that sword which is most nigh to that parte, and with the which he may most safelie strike.

And it is to be considered, that it is a verie strong & short waie of striking, to false with the fore sworde either a thrust or an edgeblowe, and to false them not once or twice, but diuers times, now alofte, now be­neath, some times with a thrust, some times with an edgeblowe, to the entent, to blinde and occupie the enimies both swords, and at the last when fit occasiō serueth, to strike it home with the hinder sworde: but yet alwaies with the encrease of a pace. The falce which may be practised with the hinder sword, is vn profitable being made without the motion of a pace, for it is so shorte that it is to no purpose. Therefore it cannot busie the enimies swordes in such manner, that it may force him either to discouer or disorder his bodie. From whence it may be gathered, that af­ter this false of the hinder sword, it is no sure plaie to strike either with theselfe same hinder sword, or else with the fore sword; because the enimie was neither in any parte discouered or troubled. The best thing therfore that may be don, if one would false with the hindersword, is, to driue either a thrust or an edge­blow, resolutelie striking with the encrease of a pace, and as the enimie moueth to defend him selfe, to strike him with the same sworde, in some place that is discouered: For he cannot strike with the other sword for that by meanes of the encrease of the hin­der sword, that sword which was before, remaineth now behinde, So that it may not strike, except it en­crease a pace, and to encrease againe, were to spende [Page] much time. Therefore when one endeuoreth with the encrease of a pace to force his sword within, he shall assaie to strike it home, with the selfe same sword because as I haue before said, to strike with the other were to long. Wherefore I wil laie downe this for a rule, in the handling of theis weapons, that if a man false with the foresword, he may also strik home with the same, or else with the other, so that he increase a pace. And if he false with the hinder sword, he shall presently, and resolutely force the blow home with the same sword, but yet with the increase of a pace: but if he doe not fullie deliuer it, he shall againe pro­cure immediatly to strike home with the selfe same sword, either with a thrust, or edgeblowe, be it high or lowe, as at that instant shall be most commodius to serue the turne.

An aduertisement concerning the defences of the two Swordes, or Rapiers.

IN sport or plaie one may stande euerie waie against the enimie, to witte, if the e­nimie be on high, to settle himselfe at his warde, lowe or broad. But it is more gallant to beehold and more commodi­us indeed to place himself against thenimy in the very self same manner as he findeth him, with the self same foote before, and in the very same site that he is in, either high or lowe. For standing in such manner, the enimie may hardly endeuour with his false, to troble or busie both swords. And moreouer it must be con­sidered, that the fore sworde is that which wardeth [Page] both falses, and resolute blowes, the which it doth verie easily perfourme: For if it be borne aloft, then by the bending of the point down, it defendeth that part of the bodie, to the which it is turned. Remem­bring therefore these rules, which are, to stand euery way as the enimie doth, & to warde his falses with the fore-sworde, I saie, where any falses or blowes come: then as soone as he hath warded them with the fore-sword, he shall encrease a slope pace, & with the hinder sworde deliuer either a thrust at some dis­couered place, either a right blowe with the edge at the legges, or els (which is better) shall fetch a re­uerse, either athwart the face, or els athwart the armes, and this blowe doth most easily speede: for the enimies fore-sworde is occupied, and his hinder sworde cannot come to oppose it selfe against this blowe: neither may it so easily strike, because (by en­crease of the foresaid slope pace) the bodie is moued out of the straight lyne, so that the enimie may not so commodiously strike with his hinder sword, but that he shalbe first stricken on the face or on the armes.

Wherefore, let euery man resolue himselfe, (as soone as he hath encountred the enimies sword with his owne foresworde) that he step in and strike with his hinder sworde. Neither, let him stand in feare of the enimies hinder sworde: for either it cannot hurt because the bodie is voyded (as I haue saide,) or els, if it may, it must presently prouide to stand to his de­fence, and thereto is so bound, that it may do no manner of hurte.

Of the two hand sword

FOr the deceites & falses of the two hande sworde, there is no more regarde to be ta­ken in the handling thereof single, that is, one to one, then there is, when it is vsed among manie: onelie this end is to be purposed, to witte, to moue and handle with all nimblenesse and dexterity, aswel the edge as the poynt, fetching those great circuler and vnruly compassinges, therewith as his fourme, greatnesse, and manner of holding requi­reth.

Nether ought a man so much to regard to fetch a small or great compasse, or to strike more with the point, then with the edg, but must beliue onely that the victorie consisteth in the nimble and actiue gui­ding thereof anie manner of waie. Therefore there may be framed manie wards, of al the which, beinge a thinge superfluous to reason of, I will han­dle onely sixe of them, which are most commodius and vsuall: wherof the first may be called the high warde, the second the broad warde, the third, the low warde, from which there springeth all other three, towardes the other side, making sixein all.

The high warde is framed by bearing the sworde and arms lifted vp on high and wide from the body, with the poynt of sword turned towardes that parte, as that arme is, whose hand is placed by the crosse, that is to saie, if the right hand shalbe at the crosse, & the right foote befoore, to beare also the sword, with his poynt towardes that side.

There is an other hie warde opposite to this & that is, without mouing the feete at all to turne the poynt towardes the other side, that is, towardes the left side [Page] and to crosse the armes. And it is to be noted, that in this high warde, be it on what side it wil, the sword is to be borne with the poynt turned downewardes.

The second is the broad warde, & must be framed with the armes widened from the body, not high but straight. And from this springeth and is framed an o­ther broad warde, turned towards the other side by crossing of the armes.

The third is the lowe warde, and in this the sword would be borne with the poynt some what vpp­wardes. And this warde hath his opposite or contra­rie, by turning the sword on the other side, and cros­sing the armes. There may be framed manie other wardes: As for example, to beare the sword on high, with the poynt backewardes, to the entent to driue a downe right, or cleauing edge-blowe: or else to beare it lowe with the poynt backwardes, to the entēt to driue it from beneath vpwards. But in theese wardes falses are to small purpose: And if there be a­ny one of them worth the vsing, it should be the false of an edgeblowe, the which at the two hand sworde is not to be vsed at all, because there is much time lost considering that immediatlie after the false, he must strike home with an edgeblow. For it is not commo­dius at the two hand sword, to false an edgeblowe, & deliuer home a thrust, because the waight or swing of the sword in deliuering an edge-blowe, transpor­teth the arms beyond their strength, so that they may verie difficultlie withhold the blow to such purpose, that they may be able as it were in that instant to de­liuer a thrust. Therefore the false that should be vsed at the two hand sword, ought alwaies to be framed [Page] with a thrust, and then an edgeblow right or reuersed to be deliuered, or else to false a high thrust, and deli­uer it beneath or else where. But yet if one would needes false an edgeblowe, let him do it with the false edge of the sword, then turning it in full circle, to de­liuer home the edgeblowe, and in striking alwaies to encrease a pace. But when this false of the backe or false edge is practised, the armes being crossed, & that presentlie after the false, one would deliuer home a reuerse, then he must encrease a left pace, And when he findeth in himself any other warde, his hands not being crossed, then if he would step forwards to strike he must encrease a pace with the right foote. And if in any of theese wardes he would false a thrust, which is the best that may be vsed at the two hand sword, he must obserue the verie same notes and rules concer­ning encreasing of the pace. Further the thrust is fal­sed, and the edge-blowe deliuered home at the two hand sword for no other cause or consideration, then for that the saide edgeblowe is farre more forcible then the thrust: For the two hand sword is long, by meanes whereof, in the deliuerie of the edgeblow, it maketh a great circle. And moreouer, it is so weightie that verie litle and small strength, maketh & forceth the blow to goe with great violence. But for as much as the striking with the edge is verie daungerous cō ­sidering it spendeth much time, and especially in the great compassing of the two hand sworde, vnder which time warie & actiue persons may with sword or other wepon giue a thrust, Therefore for the avoi­ding of this dāger, he must before he determin with himself to strik with the edg, first driue on a thrust, ra­ther [Page] resolut then falsed, and as farr forwardes as both armes will stretch. In doing of the which, he shal force the enimie to retire so much, that he may easely there­vpon deliuer his edgeblowe with the encrease of a pace, nothing douting that the enimy wil strike home first with a thrust. Therefore when one standeth at the high warde, on either side he must false a thrust, & encrease a pace deliuering there withal such an edge­blowe, as shal be most commodius to serue his turne, either right or reuersed. And further may practise the like in the broad and lowe wardes, in either of the which, it is more easye to false the said thrust, then in the other.

And it is to be considered, when the edgeblow af­ter the falced thrust, is by a slope voided, that he suf­fer not his arms and sword by reason of the waight or swinge thereof, to be so farr transported beyonde his strength, that the sword light ether on the groūd or that he be forced thereby to discouer all that parte of his bodie which is before. Therefore the best re­medie is, as soone as he shal perceiue that he hath de­liuered his blowe in vaine, that he suffer his sword to go (not with a full thwarte circle, and so about his head) vntill the poynt be backwardes beneath in such sort, that the circle or compasse direct him to the high warde, in the which he may presently resolue himself and returne either to strike againe, or else defend him selfe on either side, so handlinghis weapon, as shal in that case be most for his aduantage.

The Defences of the two Hand sword.

THe defences of the two hand sworde require a stout hearte, for that the susteining of such great blowes, by reason whereof, a man considereth not the aduātage of time, being the most principal thing of al, causeth him to flie or retire backe holding for a certaintie that euerie blowe giuen ther­with, is not possible to be warded. Therefor when he dealeth against an enimie, who vseth likewise the two hand sword, he shall appose himselfe in the low ward: And when a false thrust commeth, if it come so fare forwardes that it may ioyne home, he ought first to beate it off, and then to forse a thrust at the enimies face, or deliuer an edgeblow downwards at the armes but not lifting vp the sword in a cōpasse. But for that theese falced thrustes for the most part are farr off, & come not to the bodie, being vsed onelie to fere the enimie, and cause him to retire, that therby one may haue the more time to deliuer an edge-blow with the encrease of a pace (which pace causeth the blowe to go with greater violence:) nd farther may discern & iudge, by nearenesse of the enimy, whether the blow will hit home yea or no, for it is easelie knowen howe much the armes may be stretched forth: Therefore when this false thrust doth not ioyne or hit home, he ought not to endeuour to beate it off, but to expect when his enimie deliuereth his edgeblowe, & then to encrease a pace, and strike him with a thrust.

But if it happen him to deale against a two hande sworde, with a single sword or dagger, assuring him selfe that the two hand sword cannot strike but with a thrust or an edgeblow, for the defence of the thrust [Page] he may beate it off and retire himselfe, but if it be an edgeblowe, then, as soone as the two hand sword is lifted vp, in the same time he must encrease forwards and deliuer a thrust, or else if he haue no time to strike he must encounter & beare the blow in the first parte of the sworde, which is neare the hiltes, taking holde thereof with one hande, and striking with the other. And this he may performe, if he be nimble & actiue, because the twohand sword carieth but smal force in that place.

Of the Partesan, Bil, Iauelin and Holberde.

DEceites or falses, are all more manifest and euident in these, then in shorte weapons which are handled onely with one hand be­cause both the arms are moued more slow­ly then one alone. And the reason thereof is, that cō ­sidering they are more long, they therefore frame in their motions a greater compasse: and this is percei­ued more in edgeblowes then in thrustes. Therefore the best false that may be practised in the handling of these weapons, is the false of the thrust, and that the edgeblow ought neuer or seldome to be vsed, except great necessitie constrain, as shalbe declared. Where­fore in these weapons, I wil frame foure wards, three of them with the poynt forwardes, of which three, the first is, the poynt of the sword being borne lowe, and the hinder arme being lifted vpp.

The second is, the poynt high, the right arme being behinde and borne alowe.

[Page] The third, the poynt equall and the armes equall: And in euerie on of these a man must false without, and driue it home within, or false within and deliuer it without, or false aloft and strike beneth, & so con­trariewise. But as he falseth within or without, he ought to remember this note, which is, he must al­waies to the entent he may goe the better couered & warded, compasse the hinderfoot to that parte, to the which the weapon shalbe directed to strike home af­ter a false.

The fourth warde which is much vsed, and especi­ally with the bill, shalbe to beare the weapon with the bluntende or heele forwardes, the edge being lifted vpp on high. And this is much vsed, to the entent to expect the enimies blowes, and that thereby a man may be better able to warde them, either with the heel or midle of the staff, & then to enter & strik deli­uering an edgblo with thencreas of a pace, the which maner of striking is most ready and nimble. The false, which may be vsed in this ward, is whē he hath war­ded thenimies blo with the heel of his wepon, & thē would encrease forwardes to deliuer an edgeblowe, if the enimie shall lift vpp or aduance his weapon to defend himselfe from the said blowe, then he shall giue ouer to deliuer that blowe, by retiring his wea­pon, and giue a thrust vnderneath, with the encrease of a pace.

And this kind of blowe is verie likely to work his effect without danger, if it be aptly and nimbly vsed.

Of the Pike.

THere may be vsed some deceite also in the Pike, although it be a weapon voide of any crooked forkes, and is much more apte to shew great valure then deceite. And for as much as it hath no other then a poynt to offend, and length to defend, for that cause there may be vsed no other deceit therewith, then with the poynt: & con­sidering true art, is not the mark that is shot at in this place: I saie, it may be borne after diuers fashions, as shalbe most for a mannes aduantage, as either at the ende, either in the midle, either more backewardes, either more forwardes, as shal be thought most com­modius to the bearer. Likewise, one may frame three wardes therewith, to witte, the first streight, with the arms equall: the second with the poynt low, the third, the poynt high, falsing in each of them a thrust, either within, either without, ether high, either lowe, and then immediatly forcing it on resolutely, but contrarie to the false, and carying alwais the hin­der foote towardes that side, to the which the Pike is directed to strike. In handling of the pike, a man must alwaies diligentlie consider, so to worke that the hin­der hand be that which may rule, driue on, draw back and gouerne the Pike, and that the fore hand serue to no other purpose then to helpe to susteine it.

The defences of the deceites of the weapons of the Staffe.

I Haue not as yet laide downe the defence of the Bil, and the rest, because they are all one with this of the Pike. And I minde to handle them briefelie all togeither, considering that in these [Page] a man may not either render false for false, or take holdfast of the weapon. And although it might bee done, I commend it not, because it is a verie difficult matter to extort a weapon that is holden fast with both handes. That therefore which one may doe to defend himselfe, is to haue recourse vnto true Art, re­membring so to warde the enimies falce, as if it were a true blowe, and to strike before the enimie spend an other time, in deliuering his resolute thrust, And to take heede in deliuerie of his blowes, that he be nim­ble and carrie his bodie and armes so aptlie and or­derlie applied, that the weapon wherewith he striketh may couer it wholy.

And here I make an ende of disceit, in practising of the which, there is this consideration to be had, so, alwaies to false, that if the enimie prouide not to ward, it may reach & hit home, becaus being deliue­red in such order, it loseth but little time.

The ende of the false Arte.

How a man by priuat practise may obtain strength of bodie therby

IF nature had bestowed strength vpon men (as manie beleeue) in such sorte as she hath giuen sight, hearing and other sences, which are such in vs, that they may not by our endeuour either be encreased, ordiminished, it should be no lesse superfluous, then ridiculus to teach howe strength should be obtained, then it were if one should say, he would instruct a man how to heare and see better then he doth alreadie by nature. Neither albeit he that becommeth a Painter or a Musition seeth the propor­tions [Page] much better then he did before, or by hearing ler­neth the harmonie and conformitie of voices which he knew not, ought it therefore besaide, that he seeth or he­reth more then he did? For that procedeth not of bet­ter hearing or seeing, but of seeing and hearing with more reason. But in strength it doth not so come to passe: For it is manifestlie seene, that a man of ripe age and strength, cannot lift vpp a waight to daie which he canne doe on the morrowe, or some other time. But contrarie, if a man proue with the selfe same sight on the morroe or some other time to see a thing which yesterday he sawe not in the same distance, he shall but trouble him­selfe in vaine, and be in daunger rather to see lesse then more, as it commonlie happeneth to studentes and other such, who do much exercise their sight. Therefore there is no doubt at all but that mans strength may be encreased by reasonable exersise, And so likewise by too much rest it may be diminished: the which if it were not manifest, yet it might be proued by infinite examples. You shall see Gentlemen, Knights and others, to bee most strong and nimble, in running or leaping, or in vawting, or in turning on Horse-backe, and yet are not able by a great deale to beare so great a burthen as a Cuntrie man or Porter: But contrarie in running and leaping, the Porter and Cuntrie­man are most slow and heauie, neither know they howe to vawte vpon their horse without a ladder. And this proce­deth of no other cause, then for that euerie man is not ex­ercised in that which is most esteemed: So that if in the ma­naging of these weapons, a man would gette strength, it shalbe conuenient for him to exercise himselfe in such sort as shalbe declared.

For the obtaining of this strength and actiuitie, three things ought to be considered, to witte, the armes, the feete and the leggs, in each of which it is requisite that eue­rie one be greatlie exercised, considering that to know wel how to mannage the armes, and yet to bee ignorant in the motion of the feete, wanting skill how to goe forwardes [Page] and retire backewardes, causeth men oftentimes to ouer­throwe themselues.

And on the other side, when one is exercised in the go­uerning of his feete, but is ignorant in the timelie motion of his armes, it falleth out that he goeth forwards in time, but yet wanting skill how to moue his armes, he doth not onelie not oftend the enimie, but also manie times remai­neth hurte and oftended himself. The bodie also by great reason ought to be borne and susteyned vpon his founda­tion. For when it boweth either too much backewardes or forwardes, either on the on or other side, streight waie the gouernment of the arms and leggs are frustrate and the bodie, will or nill, remaineth striken. Therefore I will declare the manner first how to exercise the Armes, se­condliethe Feete, thirdly the Bodie, Feete & Armes, ioynly:

Of the exercise and strength of the armes.

LET a man be neuer so strong and lustie, yet he shall deliuer a blowe more slowe and with lesse force th [...]n an other shall who is lesse strong, but more exercised: & without doubt he shall so werie his armes, handes and bodie, that he cannot long endure to labour in any such busines. And there hath beene manie, who by reason of such sud­den wearines, haue suddenlie dispaired of themselues, gi­uing ouer the exercise of the wepon, as not appertaining vnto them. Wherein they deceiue themselues, for such wearines is vanquished by exercise, by meanes whereof it is not long, but that the bodie feete & armes are so strengh­ned that heauie things seem light, & that they are able to handle verie nimblie anie kinde of weapon, and in briefe ouercome all kind of difficulty and hardnesse. Therefore when one would exercise his armes, to the entent to gette strength, he must endeuour continuallie to ouercome wea­rines, resoluing himselfe in his iudgement, that paines is [Page] not caused, through debilitie of nature, but rather hangs a­bout him, because he hath not accustomed to exercise his members thereunto.

There are two things to be considered in this exercise, to wit the hand that moueth, and the thing that is moued, which two things being orderlie laid downe, I hope I shall obtaine as much as I desire. As touching the hand and arme, according as I haue alreadie saide, it was deuided in the treatise of the true Arte, in three partes, that is to saie, into the wrist, the elbowe, and the shoulder, In euerie of the which it is requisite, that it moue most swiftlie and stronglie, regarding alwaies in his motion the qualitie of the weapon that is borne in the hande, the which may be infinite, and therefore I will leaue them and speake onelie of the single sword, because it beareth a certaine proporti­on and agreement vnto all the rest.

The sword as each man knowes, striketh either with the poynt or with the edge. To strike edgewise, it is required that a man accustome himselfe to strike edgewise as well right as reuersed with some cudgell or other thing apt for the purpose, First practising to fetch the compasse of the shoulder, which is the strongest, and yet the slowest edge­blowe that may be giuen: Next and presentlie after, the cō ­passe of the elbowe, then that of the wrist, which is more preste and readie then any of the rest. After certaine daies that he hath exercised these three kindes of compassing edgeblows on after an other as swiftly as he may possible And when he feleth in him selfe that he hath as it were vn­losed all those three knittings or ioyntes of the arme, and can strike and deliuer stronglie from two of those ioyntes, to witte the Elbowe & the Wrist, he shal then let the Shoulder ioynt stand, and accustome to strike stronglie and swiftlie with those two of the Elbow and the Wrist, yet at the lengh and in the ende of all shal onlie in a maner practise that of the VVrist, when he perceiueth his hand-wrist to be well strengthened, deliuering this blowe of the Wrist, twice or thrice, sometimes right, sometims reuersed, once [Page] right, and once reuersed, two reuerses and one right, and likewise, two right and one reuersed, to the ende that the hande take not a custome to deliuer a righte blowe im­mediatlie after a reuerse. For sometimes it is commodius, and doth much aduantage a man to deliuer two right, and two reuersed, or else after two right, one reuersed: and these blowes, ought to be exercised, as well with one hand as with the other, standing stedfast in one resonable pace, practising them now alofte, now beneath, now in the mid­dle. As touching the waight or heft, which is borne in the hande, be it sword or other weapon, I commend not their opinion any waie, who will for the strengthning of a mans arme that he handle first a heauie weapon, because being first vsed to them, afterwardes, ordinarie weapons will seeme the lighter vnto him, but I think rather the contra­rie, to wite, that first to the end, he doe not ouer burthen & choak his strength, he handle a verie light sword, & such a one, that he maie most nimblie moue. For the ende of this arte is not to lifte vp or beare great burdens, but to moue swiftelie. And there is no doubt but he vanquisheth which is most nimblie, and this nimblenesse is not obtai­ned by handling of great heftes or waightes, but by often mouing.

But yet after that he hath sometime trauailed with a light weapon, then it is necessarie according as he feeleth himselfe to increase in strength of arme, that he take an o­ther in hande, that is something heauier, and such a one as will put him to a little more paine, but yet not so much, that his swiftnes in motion be hindred thereby. And as his strength encreaseth, to encrease likewise the waight by li­tle and litle. So will it not be long, but that he shalbe able to mannage verie nimblie any heauie sword. The blowe of the poynt or the thrust, cannot be handled without the consideration of the feete and body, because the strong de­liuering of a thrust, consisteth in the apt and timelie moti­on of the armes feete and bodie: For the exercise of which, it is necessarie that he knowe how to place them in euerie [Page] of the three wardes, to the ende, that from the warde he may deliuer strongly a thrust in as little time as is possible. And therefore he shall take heede that in the low warde, he make a reasonable pace, bearing his hande without his knee, forsing on the thrust nimblie, and retiring his arme backward, and somewhat encreasing his forefoote more forwardes, to the end the thrust may reach the farther: But if he chance to increase the forefoot a litle too much, so that the breadth thereof be painfull vnto him, then for the auoiding of inconueniences, he shall draw his hinderfoot so much after, as he did before increase with the forefoote, And this thrust must be oftentimes ierked or sprong forth, to the end to lengthen the arme, accustoming to driue it on vvithout retyring of it selfe, that by that meanes it may the more readily settle in the broad vvarde, For that is fra­med (as it is well knowen) with the arme & foote widened outwards, but not lengthened towards the enimie. And in thrusting let him see, that he deliuer them as str ight as he can possibly, to the end, they may reach out the longer.

At what time one would deliuer a thruste, it is re­quisite that he moue the body & feete behind; so much in a compasse, that both the shoulders, arme & feet be vnder one self same straight lyne. Thus exercisinge him selfe he shal nimbly deliuer a verie great & strong thrust. And this manner of thrusting ought oftentimes to be practised, accustoming the bodie & feete (as before) to moue in a compasse: for this mocion is that which instructeth one, how he shall voide his bodie. The thrust of the high warde is hardest of all other not of it selfe, but because it seemes that the high ward (especially with the right foote before) is verie painfull. And because there are few who haue the skil to place themselues as they ought to deliuer the thrust in as little time as is possible. The first care therefore in this ward is, so to place himselfe, that he stande steddily. And the syte thereof is in this manner, to wite: To stande vvith the arme aloft, and as right ouer the bodie as is pos­sible, to the end he may force on the thrust vvithout dravv­ing [Page] back of the arme or loosing of time. And vvhilest the arme is borne straight on high (to the end it may be borne the more streight, & vvith lesse paines) the feete also vvould stand close and vnited together, & that because, this vvard is rather to strike than to defend, and therefore it is necessarie that it haue his increase prepared: so that vvhen the thrust is discharged, he ought therevvithall to increase the forefoote so much that it make a reasonable pace, and then to let fal the hand dovvn to the lovve vvarde, from the vvhich if he vvould depart againe, and assend to the high vvard, he must also retire his forefoot, neer vnto the hinder foote, or els the hinderfoote to the forefoot, And in this manner he shall practise to deliuer his thrust oftentimes alvvaies placing himselfe in this high vvarde vvith his feet vnited, discharging the thrust vvith the increase of the fore foot. But vvhen it seems tedious and painfull to frame this vvarde, then he must vse, for the lengthninge of his arme, to fasten his hande and take houldefast on some nooke or stafe, that standeth out in a vvall, as high as he may liftvpp his arme, turning his hand as if he held a svvord, for this shall helpe very much to strengthen his arme, and make his bodie apt to stand at his vvarde. Novv vvhen he hath ap­plied this excercise, for a reasonable time, so that he may perceiue by himselfe that he is nimble and actiue in deli­uering these blovves and thrusts simplie by themselues, then he shall practise to compound them, that is to saie, after a thrust to deliuer a right blovve from the vvrist, then a reuerse, and after that an other thrust, alwaies remem­bring vvhen he deliuereth a blovve from the vvrist, after a thrust to compasse his hinderfoote, to the end, the blovve may be the longer: And vvhen, after this right blovve, he vvould discharge a reuerse, he must encrease a slope pace, that presently after it, he maie by the encrease of a streight pace, forse on a stronge thrust vnderneath. And so to ex­ercise himselfe to deliuer manie of those orderlie blovves togeither, but yet alvvaies vvith the true motion of the feet and bodie, and vvith as great nimblenesse, and in as shorte [Page] time as is possible, taking this alwaies for a most sure and certaine rule, that he moue the armes & feete, keeping his body firme and stedfast, so that it go not beastly forwarde, (and especially the head being a member of so great im­portance) but to keepe alvvaies his bodie bovved rather backvvard than forvvard, neither to turne it but onely in a compasse to voide blovves and thrustes.

More ouer, it shall not be amisse, after he hath learned to strike, (to the end to strengthen his armes) if he cause an other to force at him, either vvith a cudgell, or some other heauie thing, both edgeblovves & thrustes, and that he encounter & sustaine them vvith a sworde, & ward thrustes by auoyding his bodie, and by encreasing forvvardes. And likevvise vnder edgeblovves, either strike before they light, or els encounter them on their first partes, vvith the en­crease of a pace, that thereby he may be the more readie to deliuer a thrust, and more easily sustaine the blovve. Farther, vvhen he shall perceiue, that he hath conueniently qualified and strengthned this instrument of his bodie, it shall remaine, that he onely haue recourse in his minde to the fiue aduertisements, by the vvhich a man obtaineth iudgement. And that next, he order and gouerne his mo­tions according to the learning & meaning of those rules. And aftervvardes take aduise of himselfe hovv to strike & defend, knovving the aduantage in euery perticular blow. And there is no doubt at all, but by this order he shall attaine to that perfection in this Arte vvhich he desireth.


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