The Art of Fencing eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 81 pages of information about The Art of Fencing.
an effort, that you have not Power to parry; but Experience sufficiently shows that you may easily parry and spring back.  Indeed on a moving Sand, or slippery Ground, it is very difficult to leap back; and if we consider things rightly, we cannot find our purpose answered at all times and places; and tho’ the first Retreat that I recommended, and which these Gentlemen esteemed, is very good, yet if you are followed closely in retreating thus, as the two Steps do not place you at so great a Distance, by much, as the springing back, you may be put to a Nonplus by a redouble.

When you know the just Length of your Adversary’s Thrust, you may break or steal out of measure, by leaning back the Body, without stirring the Foot.

If in the Field, you have the Disadvantage of the Ground, the Wind, or the Sun, or that in a School, you are exposed to too much Light, or, pushing with an awkard Man; in order to obviate these Inconveniencies, you must go round him, which may be done within or without according as you have Room.

The Turning must be done out of Measure, and with great Caution:  When ’tis within your Sword, you must begin with your Left-foot, carrying it to that Side, and then bring the Right-foot to it’s proper Line and Distance; and if your Adversary turns on the Outside, you must carry the Right-foot to that Side, and the Left in Guard, as well to avoid his Thrusts, as to lay hold on every favourable Opportunity, in case he should persist in his Demarche.

You should never give Measure but to your Inferior:  Giving Measure, is when the Body and Feet advance too much, or in Disorder; or advancing before you are well situated, although corrected in the Demarche, or advancing when you are near enough, except you be much superior to the Enemy.

The Measure should be given to oblige the Adversary to push; in order to get an Opportunity of taking the Time, or of risposting.

CHAP.  XII.

Of Disengagements.

There is nothing more nice, or more necessary in Fencing, than Disengagements; the nicest Motion, being the smoothest and finest, and the most necessary, there being but few Thrusts where you ought not to disengage, and to several more than once; and there is no better Means of avoiding the Advantage that a strong Man has when he presses on your Sword.

If we confine ourselves, strictly, to the Meaning of Disengagements, we shall find it to be of three Sorts; which are, upon the Blade, over the Point, and under the Wrist:  But as this might be too intricate in Lessons, and a Learner mistake one for another; none should be called a Disengagement, but that which is made on the Blade; and though the others are, in effect, Disengagements, especially that over the Point, which is done closer than those under the Wrist, yet they are distinguished from Disengagements, by calling them Cuts over the Point, and under the Wrist, according as they are used.

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The Art of Fencing from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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