Monsieur L’Abbat recommends the turning on the Edge of the Left-foot in a Lunge, as may be seen by the Attitudes. This Method indeed was formerly practised by all Masters, and would be very good, if their Scholars had not naturally run into an Error, by turning the Foot so much as to bring the Ancle to the Ground, whereby the Foot became so weak as to make the Recovery difficult, for want of a sufficient Support from the Left-foot, which, in recovering, bears the whole Weight of the Body: Therefore I would not advise the turning on the Edge of the Foot to any but such as, by long Practice on the Flat, are able to judge of the Strength of their Situation, and consequently, will not turn the Foot more than is consistent therewith.
It may sometimes be necessary to turn on the Edge, on such Ground whereon the Flat would slip, and the Edge would not, if it were properly turned; but even in this Case, by turning it too much it would have no Hold of the Terrace, and therefore would be as dangerous as keeping it on the Flat.
The chief Reason for turning on the Edge, is that the Length of the Lunge is greater by about three Inches, which a Man who is a Judge of Measure need never have recourse to, because he will not push but when he knows he is within Reach.
Some of the Subscribing Gentlemen will, perhaps, be surprized, when they find this Book published in my Name, after having taken Receipts, for the first Moiety of their Subscription Money, in the Name of Mr. Campbell, to whom I am obliged for his Assistance in the Translation, he being a better Master of the French Tongue than I am. Indeed to the chief Reasons why they were not signed in my Name, are, First, because I was, at the Time of their being signed, a Stranger in this city, being then lately come from England. And secondly, lest I should meet with such Opposition as might perhaps have frustrated my Design of publishing this book, I thought proper to conceal my being concerned in it, ’till Mr. Campbell had shown the Translation to all the principal Masters in Town, and gained their Approbation much in Favour of it.
ART of FENCING;
USE of the SMALL-SWORD.
Of chusing and mounting a Blade.
Courage and Skill being often of little Use without a good Weapon, I think it necessary, before I lay down Rules for using it, to shew how to chuse a good Blade, and how it ought to be mounted.
The Length of the Blade ought to be proportionable to the Stature of the Person who is to use it: The longest Sword, from Point to Pommel, should reach perpendicularly from the Ground to the Navel, and the shortest, to the Waste; being large in Proportion to its Length, and not extremely large, nor very small, as some People wear them; the over large Blades being unweildy, unless very hollow, which makes them weak, and the narrow ones being not sufficient to cover the Body enough.