The Art of Fencing eBook

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

The Joining in Passes within, without, and under, is the same as in their Lunges.

In whatever Manner you join you must present the Sword at a Distance, in order to hinder the Enemy from seizing it, or putting it off with his Left Hand to throw himself in upon you:  If the Enemy shou’d make a Difficulty of yeilding up his Sword, you must, in order to frustrate his Hopes of closing you, and to make him follow you, draw back the Left-foot behind the Right, and the Right behind the Left, at such a Distance as to be strong, at the same time moving the Point of your Sword circularly; by this Means, you are in a Condition either of giving or taking his Life, which you would not be if he could close you, by which you would be oblig’d to kill him, or render the Advantage doubtful by struggling.


Of engaging in Quarte in a midling Guard.

I Have hitherto treated of the Means whereby to make Thrusts, and in this and the following Chapters, I will shew on what Occasion they are to be made use of.  Tho’ there is an infinite Number of Figures or Postures, and that every Posture may be in Guard, whether within, or without, Prime, Seconde, Tierce, or Quarte, they proceed from the Midling Guard, the Strait, the High, or the Low Guard, each of which may be attacked and defended within or without.

Though there are many Means to disorder the Enemy by putting him out of Guard in order to hit him on that Occasion, they all depend either upon a Feint by the Side of his Sword to draw him on, or on a Motion of your Sword on his, to uncover him, taking his Sword from the Line of your Body, and placing yours on a Line with his, which is called engaging.  And there are several other Ways of coming to the Sword, which are the Beats, Crossings, Bindings, and Lashings; the Occasions of which, and the Manners of using them, I shall shew in their proper Places.  I begin with engaging in the midling Guard, as the neatest, the most used, and the best.

To engage this Guard within, it must be done with the Edge on the same Side, without going wide, in order to keep your Fort before you, and your Point before the Enemy, carrying both Parts alike; the Engagement must be made Feeble to Feeble, a little more to your Enemy’s than your own, because if it were with the Feeble to the Fort, the Enemy’s Sword would not be displaced, besides if he should push, you could not parry, being unable with your Feeble to resist his Fort; and if it were with the Fort to the Feeble, you wou’d be in Danger of being hit under, where there would be an Opening; besides you would be oblig’d to advance much, which would be dangerous.

On your Engagement, the Enemy may do Three things, either of which, produces several others.  First, either he will let you engage, or secondly, he will disengage, or thirdly, he will come to your Blade.

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The Art of Fencing from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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