The Art of Fencing eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 94 pages of information about The Art of Fencing.

And thirdly, that your situation be as rear to the guard as possible, as to favour your riposte.

The ripostes.

In order to riposte well, you must observe the adversary’s time and recovery in guard.  The time is to be taken in the thrusts of opposition when he is recovering, and the other as soon as you have parryed.  There are three ways of riposting on the adversary’s recovery in guard:  when he does not come enough to the sword, or not at all:  the second, when he comes too much, and the third, when his recovery and parade are just.  To the first, you must riposte strait; to the second by disengaging, or cutting over or under, according as you see light; and to the last, by making a strait feint or Half-thrust, to oblige the adversary to come to the parade, and then pushing where there is an opening, which is called baulking the parade.


Of the demarches, or manner of advancing and retiring.

Most of the Faults committed in making Thrusts when the Measure is to be closed, proceed from the Disorder of the Body, occasioned by that of the Feet, so that for want of moving well, you are not only in danger of being taken on your Time, but likewise you cannot execute your Thrusts neatly, justly, nor swiftly; the Body being disordered and weak.  There are ten Demarches in Fencing; four in advancing, five in retiring, and one to turn your Adversary, or hinder him from turning you.  The first Demarche in advancing, is made by lifting and carrying your Left-foot the length of your Shoe before the right, keeping it turned as in guard, with the Knee bent, lifting up the Heel of the Right-foot, leaning the body forward, which, on this occasion, gives it more strength and a better air; then carrying the Right-foot about two foot before the left, in order to be in Guard, which is done by a smart Beat of the Right-foot.

The same Demarche in retiring, is made by lifting and carrying the Right foot the Length of the Shoe behind the Left, with the Knee a little bent, then carrying the Left-foot on the Line, and to the Distance of Guard.

The second Demarche is called closing the Measure; which is done by lifting and advancing the Right-foot a bout a Foot with a Beat, drawing the Left the same Length; because by drawing it more or less you would lose your Strength or your Measure, which few People have observed.

There is such a Demarche backward, which is called breaking Measure; which is done by lifting and carrying the Left-foot a Foot back, drawing or bringing back the Right in Proportion according as the Ground will permit.

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The Art of Fencing from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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