The Art of Fencing eBook

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

You may on the same Engagement, remain engaged on purpose, in order to make the Adversary path strait; and in this Case, you must parry and risposte where he is uncovered, or take Time lowering the Body.

If after having engaged you he shou’d make a Feint, you must, by going to the Parade, give Light on purpose, and if he pushes, take him by a Contrary.

If he engages to make you disengage, in order to take the Time on your Disengagement, you must disengage and give him a little Light, and if he pushes at it, take him by a Rispost, or a Time opposite to his.

If you are engaged in Tierce with the Fort, you must cut under the Wrist in Seconde, and if with the Feeble, and the Hand in Quarte, disengage to Quarte within, or, by Way of Caution, make a Half-thrust; if the Adversary goes to the Parade, you must push where you have Light, and if he takes the Time, parry and risposte, or take a Time to his.

You may also upon an Engagement in Tierce, make a Feint below, and if he takes the Time, parry above and risposte below.  This Thrust is very good against a Man that’s disorder’d, who coming to the Parade above, gives room to hit him below.


Of several Guards, and the Manner of attacking them.

Tho’ all the Guards are Good when well defended, yet they are not equally good; because we ought not to look upon any thing as good, that does not procure us some Advantage, and an ill placed Guard, instead of being favourable, requires a great deal of Skill to be of any Use at all, being farther from a Posture of Defence, the midling Guard only carrying with it such a Disposition of the Point and Wrist as is sufficient to defend the Inside, the Outside, the Upper and Lower Parts of the Body with the Sword:  For as to the other Guards, whether Flat, High, or Low, or holding the Sword with both Hands, they leave some Part uncovered, either by reason of their Height, or their Line.

To attack a strait Guard.

No Man of Skill or Reason will give a considerable Open without a Design, and as the People who hold such a Guard as I am going to describe, have their several Designs, you must be cautious of them, in order not only to make them useless to them, but advantageous to yourself.

Some Men hold their Swords strait or flat,[3] whether ’tis because they are more used to Disengagements than Parades, or to take Advantage of the Superiority of their Stature, or of the Length of their Sword, to avoid the Attacks and Engagements to which the other Guards are more exposed; for you can hardly engage or feint on this Guard, the Point being too low; so that to attack him, you must bind the Sword, which you must do after placing yourself within his Sword, binding his Blade under yours, when he is out of Measure, to take, with more Ease, the Feeble of his Sword, crossing it with yours, raising your Hand in Seconde, and carrying the Point low, whilst gaining Measure, you form a little Circle with the two Points, and raising them up again, you push Seconde within, with the Body low.

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The Art of Fencing from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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