NOTE: This translation is only as reliable as is so far known and ARMA makes no claim as to its accuracy.  

PALLAS ARMATA
THE GENTLEMAN'S ARMORY

Book I
PARS PRIOR:

The first part of the first Book;

Containing how a Right-handed man is
to play against a Right-handed man
at single Rapier.


Chapter I
Treateth of things that must be known
before we proceed to the subject itself.

First of all we are to know that the Rapier is divided into two parts, namely into the Prime and the Secunde.

The Prime is measured from the Hilt to the midst of the Rapier, and being the strongest part, is consequently to be made only use of in putting by thrusts or blows.

The Secunde is taken from the midst of the Rapier to the point, and being the weakest of the Rapier is therefore only to be used in offending or making of thrusts.

As for the posture or the carriage of the body and for making of thy thrusts at thine adversary, observe with me these rules following.

Thy Rapier thou must hold with a bended arm, so that the point of thy Rapier be lineally answerable to thine elbow.

Thy left hand thou art to hold over thy left eye to put by a sudden thrust withal which by chance at either of thine eyes might be directed.

Thou art only to show thy right side, yet if thou dost consider with theyself, then wilt thou find it only advantageous to thee when thou standest upon thy defense, for it will be something hard for thine adversary to hit thee I must needs confess, but if thou meanest to offend thine adversary it is a small advantage or none at all, for first of all, thy thrust thou canst not make with such a force when thou standest altogether with a half body, as when thou showest something of they breast, and then besides, when thou makest a thrust at thine adversary stepping forwards with thy right leg towards him thou comest to stand with a half body, and then if he did aim at that part of thy breast which thou didst show he will miss it, if thou dost but thrust at the selfsame instant his thrust approacheth, therefore every discreet Teacher and judicious Master ought to leave that free to his Scholars, being that it is a thing of no great moment.

Thy left leg must be something bended, and thy right leg too, but not altogether so much as thy left leg, upon which all the weight of thy body must lie.

Thy feet they must be placed not very far from one another, that thou mayst make a long thrust upon any occasion, and they must be placed like a great Roman L upwards, or an turned backward, just as in dancing, that thou mayst have the greater strength in thy left thigh to recall thy body suddenly when thou hast performed they thrust.

When thou wilt make a thrust, then reach out thy right arm, and step forward with thy right foot and let them both go together at one and the selfsame time and when thou steppest forward with thy right foot, but do not stir thy left foot; the weight of thy body must wholly lie upon thy right thigh, as soon as thou hast performed thy thrust, instantly recall thy body again, so that the weight of thy body come to rest upon they left thigh again (as it did before thou made thy thrust) not recalling thy right leg, with which thou didst formerly step forwards, but, in the meanwhile thou bindest him after thy thrust remove by little and little thy left leg towards thy right leg, for thus doing thou canst thrust home at thine adversary again as soon as thou hast occasion.

Thy thrust thou must make close to thine adversary’s Rapier, as if thou wouldest strike fire out of his weapon, which if thou dost not do, you will both be hurt if neither of you have skill; if one of you have but skill, and knoweth to observe this then he only will be endangered that doth not thrust close to his adversary’s Rapier.

Yet this is not all, but thou must likewise thust close to the Secunde or weakest part of the Rapier, with they Prime or strongest part of thy Rapier, for if thou canst do that, he cannot put thee by.

When thou dost thrust at thine adversary without, over his right arm, thou must do it with a Secunde. When thou makest a thrust at thine adversary within, thou art to do it with a Quarte.

Even when thou hast made a thrust at thine adversary, stringere him on the same side thou didst thrust, in the recalling of thy body, not removing thy point from his; for else he may wound thee too upon thy coming off.


Chapter II
The foreign terms of Art,
that do occur in this Treatise, are unfolded

Stringering is the touching of thine adversary’s point with thy point, which thou art to do upon any occasion, that thou mayst secure thyself on either side from a thrust, which commonly is termed binding.

To Cavere, is to turn thy point under thine adversary’s Rapier on the other side, when thou art bound, or he doth thrust at thee.

Tempo is, that thou takest heed never to make a thrust or blow at thine adversary, without thou hast a fair opportunity to hit, or requisite measure, that he be within thy reach.

Mensure is the distance betwixt thee and thine adversary, whereof thou art to judge (if thou canst reach him or no) before thou thrustest, that thou mayst not offend in vain.

To Parere, is to decline, to put by, and to turn off a thrust or blow.

Finda is called in the Italian tongue a deceit or cousinage, and metaphorically brought into fencing, when I do as if I would thrust into one part of thy body and seeing that thou dost catch after my thrust to put me by, I then recalling my point do thrust somewhere else, at which place I in the beginning did not aim, before thou strovest to put me by.

To Passere is when thou doest thrust at thine adversary without or within towards his breast, and he doth put by the thrust upwards, and thou in the meanwhile he lifteth up his arm, bowest thy body, and letting thy point sink down into a Secunde under his right arm do pass behind him.

To thrust Contratempo, is to thrust the selfsame line thine adversary do thrust.

To Battere, is to beat or knock either with the Rapier or foot.

To Voltere is, when thine adversary doth thrust at thee, and thou first parering his thrust, doest just upon the approaching of his thrust turn thy body round about towards thy left side out upon thy right leg, so that thy back cometh towards thine adversary, and thy left leg between thy right, and thine adversary’s right leg, and thrusteth him with a Quarte at his right breast: But this is a trick altogether full of danger, unless it be used to avoid the Passade withal.


Chapter III
Concerning the Guards

There are but four guards according to the four ways thou canst turn thy hand, viz. Prime, Secunde, Tertz, and Quarte.

The Prime is when thou holdest thy Rapier in such a manner that the outside side of thy hand doth look towards thy left side out, and the inside of thy hand look towards thy right side out. This is subdivided into a straight Prime, when thy point looketh straight forwards, and into a hanging Prime, when thy point doth look towards the ground.

The Secunde is, when thou holdest thy Rapier in such a sort that the outside of thy hand looketh upwards, and the inside of thy hand towards the ground. This is likewise subdivided into a straight Secunde when thy point looketh straight forwards; into a handing Secunde, when thy point looketh downwards towards the ground, and finally into the middle Secunde, when thou holdest thy Rapier with a Secunde and a bowed arm, so that the point of thy Rapier looks sheer out towards thy left side.

The Tertz is when thou dost hold thy Rapier in such fashion that the outside of thy hand looks towards thy right side out, and the inside of thy hand towards thy left side out.

This again is subdivided into the High Tertz when thou holdest thy point upwards yet with bended arm, so that thy hilt equalize thy Right breast in height; into a middle Tertz, when thou holdest thy weapon with a bent arm that the point looks straight out forwards, so that the Hilt in height equalize thy waist: And lastly into a lowTertz, when thou holdest thy weapon with a straight arm downwards, so that thy Hilt be equal to thy knee in height, or a little below.

The Quarte is when thou holdest thy Rapier in such a manner with a bended arm, that the outside of thy hand look down towards the ground, but the inside upwards. This is likewise subdivided into a straight Quarte when thou holdest thy Rapier with a Quarte and let the point sink down.


Chapter IV
How to make use of all the four guards,
and upon what occasion each of them may be used,
as being different from one another

The Prima is only to be thrusted at the outside of thine adversary’s Rapier over his right arm, and is never to be used within, and is the weakest of all the guards.

An example how thou shalt use the Prime

If thine adversary lie open within, then stringere him within as soon as he maketh a thrust at thee without, and turneth his point under thy Rapier, instantly thrust at him with a Tertz over his right arm close to the weak of his Rapier, if then he doth strive to put by thy thrust towards his right side, then turning thy Tertz into Prime thrust at his right breast.

The Secunde is used without over the right arm in a long thrust, and in a Passade, then likewise under the arm in a Passade without, and again within in a long thrust and in a Passade.

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Examples how to use the Secunde without

If thine adversary be open within then stringere him within, as soon as he maketh a thrust at thee without, over the Prime on the strongest part of thy Rapier, then put it by with a Quarte towards thy right side out, and at the same instant thou dost put by, change the Quarte into a Secunde and thrust over his right arm at his right breast, or Passere.

How to Passere with the Secunde without

If thine adversary lie open without, then thrust him over his right arm without, if he then should parere thy thrust upwards, then while he is parering upwards, bow thy body and let the point sink down into a Secunde under his right arm, and Passere him, but passing behind him clap thy left hand upon his Hilt, for fear he should knock thee passing, with the Hilt.

How to use the Secunde within

If thine adversary lie open within, then thrust him within with a Quarte as soon as he doth put by thy thrust towards his left side out, yet so that the point of his Rapier looketh towards thy body, then change thy Quarte into a Secunde close to his Rapier, and make a long thrust at his right breast: But if he doth parere towards his left side, that the point of his Rapier likewise doth look towards his left side out, then change likewise thy Quarte into a Secunde and Passere him: And if he doth parere thy thrust upwards let thy point sink in under his arm within and do the same.

The Tertz is only used without, over the arm, never in the making of a Passada.

An example how to use the Tertz without

If thine adversary lie open within, then stringere him within, as soon as he makes a thrust at thee without, then thrust him over the Secunde or weakest part of his Rapier with a Tertz, and with thy Hilt go low.

The Quarte is for the most part used at the inside of the Rapier, yet sometimes without over the right arm, and then the Quarte is called Riversa, as having changed her nature and property, because she only ought to be used within.

An example how to use the Quarte within

If thine adversary lie open without, then Stringere him without, as soon as he doth make a thrust at thee within, then thrust with the Quarte close to the Secunde or the weakest part of his Rapier between his right arm and his right breast, and when thou hast performed thy thrust, then presently stringere within.

Another manner

Let thine adversary stringere thee without, then make a finda at him within, as soon as he doth catch after thy finda towards his left side out, then let thy point sink down under his right arm, and thrust him with a Quarte under his right arm at his right side.

An example how to use the Quarte without

If thine adversary be open without, thrust him with a Secunde or Tertz over his right arm, close to the Secunde or weakest part of his Rapier, if he then doth put by thy thrust with a Quarte towards his right side out, then at an instant turn thy Secunde or Tertz into a Quarte, and thrust home at his right breast, or Voltere if thou please: And if thou wilt thou mayst clap thy left hand upon his Rapier within, when thou dost touch him with thy Quarte, not catching hold of it, but only turn his blade away towards the left side, and thou wilt easily turn his weapon out of his hand.

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Chapter V
Treateth how to stringere right, and of other things
that are to be observed here in
stringering

When thou art to play with thine adversary, and dost intend to offend him, thou must either assault him with stringering, or with a contra-posture (whereof we will hear in the ninth Chapter following) besides these two ways there is none other. Yet stringering is the chiefest, which if thou wilt use, it behooveth thee to be very wary that thou mayst not incur any hazard; mark therefore these following Rules.

On what side thine adversary lieth open there thou art to stringere him, not lying too hard upon his Rapier, because he may let his point suddenly sink down, and then thou following his point downwards dost open thy body too much, that he may easily turn over his point, and thrust thee without over thy right arm, or within, before thou canst recover thy weapon.

If thine adversary lie open without, thou must stringere him without, if he lie open within, thou must stringere him within.

Towards that side where thou wilt stringere him, thou must step: And if thou meanest to stringere him without, then step with thy right leg towards thy right side, and let thy point look towards thy right side over his Rapier: If thou makest account to stringere thine adversary within, then thou must step with thy left leg towards thy left side, and let the point of thy Rapier look over his point towards thy left side out.

If he holdeth his weapon so that he is open on both sides, it is all one, on which side thou dost stringere him.

If thine adversary will not suffer himself to be stringer’d, what thou art to do

If thine adversary shakes the point of his Rapier from one side to another, because thou shalt not stringere him, make a half thrust at him as it were a Finda or falsifying, thus thou doest force him to come to thy Rapier and put by thy thrust; when he now hath parered thy thrust and is come to thy Rapier, then cavere instantly to the other side of his Rapier where he is open, and stringere him; when thou hast attained to thy purpose, then follow his Rapier close, according to the thirteenth chapter following.

How to avoid thine adversary’s stringering

If thine adversary doth mean to stringere thee either without or within, then before he doth touch thy Rapier, lift the point of thy Rapier over his, and thrust him either with a Quarte if he doth prosecute thy Rapier without, or without over his arm with a Secunde, if he doth prosecute thy Rapier within.

As for Example

If thine adversary doth make account to stringere thee without, then lift the point of thy Rapier towards thy right side over his point, and thrust him with a Quarte at the inside of thy Rapier close to the Secunde or weakest part of his weapon.

If he make a count to stringere thee within, then before he doth touch thy point with his weapon, lift the point of thy Rapier over his point towards thy left side, and thrust him at the outside of his Rapier with a Secunde at his right breast.

Thou canst likewise avoid stringering with Cavering; namely, when thine adversary will stringere thee without, then before he doth touch thy point, cavere or turn thy point, cavere or turn thy point from thy left side towards thy right side under his Rapier, and thrust him with a Quarte within at his right breast close to his Secunde or weakest part of his Rapier.

When he will stringere thee within, then turn the point of thy Rapier from thy right side towards thy left side under his Rapier, before he doth touch thy point, and thrust with a Secunde at the outside of his weapon at his right breast.

Else canst thou avoid stingering likewise with making of Finda’s, namely, when he will stringere thee without, then before he doth touch thy Rapier, make a Finda at him within, as if thou didst mean to thrust at him within with a Quarte, as soon as he doth catch after thy thrust towards his left side with his Rapier, then recalling thy point thrust him at the outside of his Rapier over his right arm with a Secunde, at his right breast.

When he will stringere thee within, then before he doth touch thy Rapier within, make a Finda at him without, as if thou didst intend to thrust over his right arm; as soon as he doth catch after that, thrust towards his right side, then turn thy point under his Rapier, and thrust him at the inside of his weapon with a Quarte at his right breast.

How thou shalt make thyself loose again when thou art stringered

If thine adversary hath stringered thee without, then let the point of thy Rapier by degrees sink downwards, if he then doth follow thy point with his point, Cavere instantly from thy left side towards thy right side under his Rapier, and battiering him first at the inside of his Rapier, thrust with a Quarte at his right breast at the inside of his Rapier at his right breast.

But if he will not follow thy Rapier downwards when thou lettest thy point sink, but makes a thrust at thee, then thrust Secunde Contra-tempo, or at the coming of his thrust at one and the selfsame time, at the outside of his Rapier at his right breast, or else Quarte contra-tempo at the inside of his weapon at his right breast.

If thine adversary hath stringered thee without, then cavere from thy left side towards thy right side under his Rapier, but slowly, and cavering turn thy hand into a Secunde, then thou art open within yet loose from his Rapier, if he then maketh a thrust at the inside of his Rapier, thrust him a Quarte within at his right breast.

Or when he doth follow thy point towards his left side with the point of his Rapier, so that thou art not in danger of his point, then let thy point sink down under his Rapier, and stepping in Passere him with a Secunde at the inside of his weapon.

If thine adversary hath stringered thee without, then retire, stepping only backward with thy left leg, in so much that the weight of thy body come wholly to lie upon thy left thigh, and when thou steppest back with thy left leg, draw thine arm to thee in a Secunde bowed, that the point of thy Rapier look quite out towards thy left side, as soon as he cometh to stringere thee again, then cavere from thy left side towards thy right side under his Rapier, and thrust him with a Quarte within at his right breast.

Or when thou hast retired, and he cometh to stringere thee again without, then thrust him over the Secunde or weakest part of his Rapier, with thy Prime or strongest part of thy weapon at the outside of his weapon, over his right arm at his right breast.


Chapter VI
Treateth how and upon what occasion thou art to Cavere

Cavere took its beginning from a Cock fight; for Camillo Agrippa, a reverend Master of defense at Rome fifty years ago (who was the inventor of the Dagger) seeing two Cocks combat together, and observing, how when one of the Cocks leaped up to strike the other with his claw, the other seeing him come leaping at him went quite under him on the other side, conceived that he might make use of this in his Art, and coming home made trial of it, and found it a very useful and remarkable observation.

Cavereing is therefore only to be made use of, when thine adversary doth thrust at thee over the Secunde or weakest part of thy Rapier, because thou canst not parere his thrust, thy point being unable to resist.

And if thine adversary doth thrust thee on either side of thy Rapier, over the Prime near thy Hilt, then thou art to Parere and put by his thrust, for if thou dost Cavere then, thou wilt surely be wounded, because before thou canst end thy Cavereing, his point will be upon thy breast, by reason of the Circular motion of thy Cavereing which is slow, his thrust being both swift and straight: yet here is a remedy for it, namely if thine adversary maketh a thrust at thee over the Prime or the strongest part of thy Rapier (viz. near thy Hilt) and thou wilt cavere, then just when thou dost cavere, stepping back with thy left leg, so that the weight of thy body come wholly to rest upon thy left thigh, break him the Mensure, that is, come out of his reach. Examples how to use Cavereing I will specify in the following Chapter.


Chapter VII
Treateth of diverse ways, how thou shall put by all sorts of thrusts that are made at thee,
at the outside of thy Rapier

If thine adversary be open within, then stringere him within, thus doing thou wilt compel him to make a thrust at thee without over thy right arm, as soon as he thrusteth at thee over thy right arm, and it be over the Prime or strongest part of thy Rapier near thy hilt, then parere his trust towards thy right side with a Quarte not stirring thine arm but only turning the wrest, so that the point of thy Rapier look towards thy right side out, having parered and turned off his thrust, speedily change thy Quarte into a Secunde, and make a long thrust at the outside of his Rapier at his right breast.

Or stringere thine adversary with a Tertz at the inside of his Rapier as soon as his thrust approacheth towards thy right breast over thy right arm, and over the Prime or strongest part of thy Rapier, then not turning thy Tertz into a Quarte as before, but only with a stayed arm turn thy point in a Tertz towards thy right side, so that thy Rapier doth slide along his blade towards his point, at the outside of his Rapier; when thou hast parared his thrust with thy Tertz, then change thy Tertz into a Secunde, and thrust at his right breast over his right arm.

Hold thy Rapier with a Tertz, so that the point of thy Rapier stands upwards a little, and let thy right arm be something bended that thou be open without over thy right arm, then only stretch thy bended arm, and his thrust will be deluded; when thou hast pareret his thrust, then turn thy hand into a Secunde and thrust him over his right arm at his right breast.

If thine adversary makes a long thrust at thee without, then as soon as thou seest him make at thee, make a long step in upon him with thy right foot, and then with thy left foot, and put by his Rapier with a Quarte downwards towards thy right side, coming so suddenly in upon him, thou dost, as it were, disarm him, thrust then at an instant with a Secunde over his right arm at his breast.

If thou dost stringere thine adversary at the outside of his Rapier, and he doth make a thrust at thy thigh outwardly, then let the point of thy Rapier sink down into a hanging Secunde and parere it, this done, instantly Passere under his Rapier, or when thou hast parered, then thrust with a Secunde home, over his right arm.

But if he doth thrust over the Secunde or weakest part of thy Rapier over thy right arm, being that the Secunde is too weak to resist, then cavere from thy left hand towards thy right hand under his Rapier, and first battiering at the inside of his weapon thrust the Quarte close to his Rapier at his right breast.

If thine adversary doth thrust again at the outside of thy Rapier, over the Secunde or the weakest part near the point, then let thy point sink down into a hanging Quarte, lifting up the hilt behind, thus thou dost touch his Secunde or the weakest part with thy Prime or the strongest part of thy Rapier, thrust then with the Quarte at th inside of his Rapier at his right thigh.


Chapter VIII
How to decline those thrusts that are made within

If thine adverary doth make a thrust at thee within close to the Prime of thy Rapier, then parere it with a Secunde down towards thy left side, and at the same instant thou parerest change thy Secunde into a Quarte close to thy adversary’s Rapier, and thrust at his right breast, at the inside of his weapon.

Thou mayst likewise battiere him within upon his Rapier when his thrust cometh, and in the same moment thrust the Quarte at his right breast.

But if he when he makes his thrust, doth thrust close to the Secunde or weakest part of thy Rapier, then cavere from thy right hand towards thy left hand under his Rapier, and thrust with the Secunde over the weakest part of his Rapier, at the outside of his Rapier at his right breast.

Or when his thrust approacheth, cavere towards thy left side under his Rapier, and Passere under his weapon, or under his right arm with a Secunde.

Or else when his thrust cometh, let the point of thy Rapier sink down into a Secunde at the outside of his Rapier, and parere it towards thy right side out, and having parered, passere with a Secunde without at his right thigh; or when thou thus hast parered, then thrust a long thrust with a Secunde over his right arm, at his right breast.

If thine adversary doth thrust at thee within close to the Secunde of thy Rapier, then stepping back with thy left leg so that the weight of thy body come wholly to rest upon thy left thigh, draw thy Rapier to thee, letting it slide along his Rapier within towards his point, thus doing thou comest with the strongest part of thy Rapier close to his weaker part, and having this advantage make a long thrust at him within close to his Rapier with a Quarte at his right breast.

But if thine adversary doth thrust lowly at thee, then let thy point sink down into a Quarte, and thrust him with a Quarte at the inside of his weapon at his right thigh.


Chapter IX
How thou art to demean thyself against many sorts of guards

Against the Secunde

If thine adversary doth lie in a high Secunde with a stretched arm and is open within, then stringere him within; as soon as he will thrust at thee without over thy right arm, then thrust the Tertz at the same time his thrust approacheth, over the Secunde of his Rapier without, at his right breast, and with thy hilt go something low, when thy thrust is now arrived at his breast, that he may not be able to cavere.

If he doth lie again in a high Secunde as before, and is open within, then Stringere him within, in the midst of his Rapier with a bended arm in a Tertz, so that the point of thy Rapier stands upwards and thy hilt low; as soon as he will thrust at thee without, over thine arm, then changing thy Tertz into a Secunde Passere under his right arm, not touching his Rapier.

But if he lie open without then stringere him without, as soon as he doth thrust at thee within, then let the point of thy Rapier sink down into a Secunde, close to the outside of thy adversary’s Rapier, and Passere him with the Secunde at his right thigh.

If he lie again in a high Secunde with a straight arm, but doth open himself on both sides of his Rapier, then go with the Tertz just under his Rapier, that the point of thy Rapier be directed towards his hilt, whether soever he doth thrust at thee, thrust Secunde contra-tempo at the outside of his Rapier over his right arm, and at his right breast.

If he doth lie in the middle Secunde, and the point of his Rapier doth look quite towards his right side out, then Stringere him at the outside of his Rapier, and stingering go towards thy right side about like in a Circle, thus thou wilt force thine adversary to make a thrust at thee within, when his thrust approacheth, then Voltere with the Quarte at the inside of his Rapier at his right breast.

If he doth lie in a middle Secunde again, then stringere him at the outside of his Rapier, and suddenly make a finda at his face upwards with a Tertz, if he lifteth up his arm to defend his face, then passere him under his right arm: but if he doth put it by with a Quarte towards his right side, let him not touch thy Rapier, but lift thy point over his point, and thrust him with a Quarte within, at his right breast: Or if he will put it by with a Quarte towards his right side, then let him not touch thy Rapier, but cavere towards thy right side under his Rapier, and thrust the Quarte at the inside of his Rapier at his right breast.

Against the Tertz

If thine adversary doth lie in a high Tertz with a bended arm, so that the point of his Rapier doth stand upright, then make a finda at him within; when he doth intend to put by thy feigned thrust towards his left side, let him not touch thy Rapier but cavere towards thy left side under his Rapier and thrust with the Quarte without over his right arm, at his right breast: If he will not regard thy finda, then thrust with the Quarte at his right breast within: when he doth parere thy thrust, then turn thy Quarte into a Secunde and passere him. In the interim observe (that if thou meanest to stringere him within) if he doth towards his left side life the point of his Rapier over thine to thrust thee over thy right arm; thou then caverest towards thy right side under his Rapier and thrustest a Quarte at him within.

If thine adversary doth hold his weapon in the Tertz and with a straight arm, then stringere him within, and stringering him step towards thy left side, and go about as it were in a circle, then he will be forced to thrust at thee without; as soon as his thrust approacheth, bow thy body, and not touching his Rapier, passe behind him under his right arm.

Or when thou dost stringere him within, make a finda at his face with a Quarte upwards as soon as he lifteth up his arm, then let thy point sink down under his right arm, and passe behind him.

Or stringere him within, and make thy finda downwards at his belly, when he doth catch after it downwards, then cavere towards thy left side under his Rapier and thrust with a Secunde over his right arm.

Against the Quarte

If thine adversary doth hold his Rapier in a Quarte, so that the point of his Rapier doth look towards his right side out, that he be open within, then hold thy Rapier in a Secunde, and direct the point of thy Rapier towards his Hilt within, as soon as he doth thrust at thee within, then Voltere with thy Quarte at his right breast within.

Against one that lies with a stretched arm, and the point upwards

If thine adversary doth lie with a stretched arm, so that his point standeth upright, as it were in a Triangle, then go with a high Secunde and a stretched arm at the inside of his Rapier, and make him a finda at the outside of his Rapier, as if thou didst mean to thrust him at his right breast, over his arm; as soon as he will put it by towards his right side out, then recall thy point towards thy right side under his Rapier, and changing thy Secunde into a Quarte, thrust with a Quarte at the inside of his Rapier, at his right breast.

Or when thou art at the inside of his Rapier with thy Secunde, then make a Finda within at his face, as soon as he doth catch after thy Finda towards thy left side, then cavere towards thy left side under his Rapier and thrust him with a Secunde, or with a reverse (a Quarte so called because thrusted without, view the fourth Chapter, the ninth number) at the outside of his Rapier over his right arm.

Or if he lieth again as formerly he did, then go with the high Secunde and a stretched arm at the outside of his Rapier about as in a circle, and thy point hold towards his right eye, doing thus thou shalt compel him to put by thy point upwards; when thou seest him lifting up his arm, then let thy point sink in under his right arm, and bowing thy body pass behind him under his right arm.

If thine adversary holdeth his left hand behind his hilt
for to parere thy thrusts, how thou art to deceive his left hand

Make a thrust at thine adversary close to the outside of his Rapier over his right arm, when thine adversary doth endeavor to parere thy thrust towards his right side over his right arm with his left hand, then let him not touch thy Rapier with his hand, but just as he is coming towards thy weapon with his hand, lift the point of thy Rapier over his left hand towards thy right side out, and thrust him with a Secunde over his left hand, and his right arm.

Or when he doth catch after thy Rapier towards his right side, over his right arm with his left hand, then let him miss thy Rapier, letting thy point sink in under his left arm, and thrusting him with a Secunde at his breast as before, and over his right arm.

Thrust at him at the inside of his Rapier with a Quarte, as soon as he holding his left hand behind his hilt, doth mean to parere thy thrust with his left hand towards his left side out, then lift the point of thy Rapier towards thy left side over his left hand, and thrust him with a Quarte at the inside of his Rapier at his right breast.

Or when he doth catch after thy thrust towards his left side, then cavere from thy right side towards thy left side under his left hand, and thrust him with a Quarte at the inside of his Rapier at his right breast.

But if he doth strive to put by thy inward thrust with his left hand, towards his right side, under his right arm, then let him miss thy Rapier and cavere towards thy right side under his left hand and thrust him with a Quarte over his left arm.

Or when he doth mean to put by thy thrust under his right arm towards his left side out, then let thy point sink in under his left arm, and thrust with the Quarte at his belly.


Chapter X
How thou mayst escape the Passada

The best way to avoid the Passade that thine adversary shall not be able to use the same against thee without, is to parere all thrusts that are made without with a Quarte (according to the first rule of the seventh Chapter). As for the inward Passade to elude, is to make use of the second rule of the eighth Chapter.

But if thou wilt (of purpose to elude him) give him occasion to make a Passade upon thee without, lift up thy arm and put his thrust by upwards, and as soon as he lets his point sink down under thy right arm, then Voltere with a Quarte at his right breast, thus doing thou wilt escape his Passade, for his point doth pass in the turning of thy body about.

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Or when thou puttest by his thrust upwards, and he lets his point sink down into a Secunde under thy Rapier for to Passiere thee, then let thou likewise sink thy point downwards into a Secunde, and first parering his Rapier towards thy right side make a Passade upon him without, under his Rapier.

Or when he will Passere, then step back only with thy left foot, so that thou comest out of his Mensure and reach, and the weight of thy body come wholly to rest upon thy left thigh, and stepping back with thy left leg, cavere under his thrust towards thy left side, and Passere him without under his Weapon.

Or else when he will Passere thee without under thy right arm, then step back, (not with thy left leg as before) but with thy right leg behind thy left leg, which thou art not to stir, so that thy left side be only seen, and parering his thrust towards thy right side out with thy left hand, thrust with a Secunde at his right breast.


Chapter XI
Remedies for the Volte

The best way to shun the Volte is, that thou always thrustest with a Secunde over his right arm at his right side, then he can neither Voltere thee within, nor without with a reverse over thy right arm, without danger of his life.

But if thine adversary doth Voltiere at thee of his own accord, then let thy point sink down into a hanging Quarte, and make a long thrust at him at the inside of his Rapier, at his right thigh.

Or Voltiere with him contra-tempo, and thrust at his right breast.

Else when he turneth himself about and will make a Volte at thee within, then let the hilt of thy Rapier sink down close to the weakest part of his Rapier, and holding thy point upright, thrust him with the point into his back.


Chapter XII
How thou art to behave thee
against thine adversary’s
Finda’s or falsifying

If thine adversary by falsifying doth strive to make thee doubtful of his thrust, and where thou shalt look for his thrust, then let him not deceive thee, but go straight in upon him, and thy right arm or Rapier do not stir, holding thy point straight forwards in a right line, then will thine adversary, when thou comest too near him, be contrained to make a thrust at thee, or to put by thy Rapier’s point; whither soever he then doth thrust, within or without, parere it according to the rules prescirbed in the seventh and eigth Chapters precedent; and if he puts by thy point towards what side soever it be, then cavere instantly under his Rapier, and thrust either with a Secunde without, or with a Quarte within, according as he puts by thy thrust towards his right or left side.

Or else hold thy Rapier in a low Tertz with a straight arm downwards near thy knee, then he can do thee no hurt with his findas, as soon as he doth make a thrust at thee, then thrust Secunde contra-tempo at the outside of his Rapier over his right arm.


Chapter XIII
How thou must prosecute thine adversary’s Rapier
when thou hast
stringered him

Stringere thine adversary within, as soon as he doth cavere under thy Rapier towards his left side and makes a thrust at the outside of thy Rapier over thy right arm, then stepping in with thy right leg, put by his thrust without, then let thy Rapier rest at the outside of his Rapier and stringere him without, as soon as he steps back and will make a thrust at thee within, then step in towards him with thy left leg before thy right leg and put that thrust by towards thy left side resting likewise with thy weapon at the inside of his Rapier till that he be in thy mensure or reach, and then thrust where thou pleasest, ever looking and observing his point, neither would I wish thee to regard or listen to those who speaking against all reason and known experience will make thee believe that thou art only to observe his eye, which may easily deceive thee (as if he be squint-eyed) by observing thine adversary’s point thou art less endangered; for the Rapier is guided by the eye, not the eye by the Rapier, and being so that thou canst not for certain know by the eye where he will thrust I hence do conclude that it is better and safer to regard and watch the point which doth endanger thee, than the eye which is deceiving.


Chapter XIV
Containing observations against
the seventh preceding Chapter

Make a thrust at thine adversary without, over the Prime or strongest part of his Rapier near the hilt, as soon as he doth parere it with a Quarte towards his right side out, then let the point of thy Rapier sink down into a hanging Quarte lifting up the Hilt behind, thus doing thou dost touch the weakest part of his Rapier with the strongest part of thine, thrust then with the Quarte at his right thigh.

Or when he doth put by thy thrust with a Quarte, let thy point sink down into a hanging Secunde, and thrust at the inside of his Rapier, at his right thigh.

Or if he doth put by thy thrust with his Quarte towards his right side downwards, then stepping towards thy left side with thy left foot, lift the Hilt of thy Rapier over the weakest part of his weapon, though close to it, and let thy Hilt sink down at the outside of his Rapier and stringere him, or thrust if thou pleasest: This may likewise be used in the fifth Chapter.

Make a thrust at thine adversary without over the Secunde or weakest part of his Rapier, if he then cavere towards his right side under thy Rapier for to thrust a Quarte at thee within, then let the point of thy Rapier sink down into a hanging Secunde at the outside of his Rapier, and break his Cavereing, and then at an instant Passere him at the outside under his Rapier.

Thrust at thine adversary with the Secunde, over the weakest part of his Rapier, without, as soon as he doth cavere under thine approaching thrust with the Quarte towards his right side out, for to thrust at thee within, then seeing him cavere change thy Secunde into a hanging Quarte, and letting thy point sink down at the inside of his Rapier thrust him with the said Quarte at his right thigh.

Or when thou dost thrust at him without over his Secunde or the weakest part of his Rapier, and he doth cavere towards his right side under they thrust with a Quarte, of an intent to thrust Quarte contra-tempo with thee, then stay thy intended thrust, and battiere him at the inside of his Rapier with thy Rapier, and thrust him at the same instant thou battierest with a Quarte at the inside of his weapon, at his right breast.

Or when he cavereth again towards his right side under thy thrust, then cavere thou at the selfsame time towards thy left side under his Rapier when he doth cavere, and thrust him with a Secunde at the outside of his Rapier at this right breast.


Chapter XV
Containing observations against the eighth precedent Chapter

Thrust at thine adversary within close to the Prime or strongest part of his Rapier near his hilt, as soon as he parereth thy thrust towards his left side out with a Secunde, then change thy Quarte into Secunde, and passing behind him thrust at his right thigh.

Or when he parereth thy Quarte with a Secunde towards his left side, then step with thy right foot towards thy right side, and letting the point of thy Rapier close to his weapon towards thy right side, over the Secunde of his Rapier, and stringere him within, and as soon as thou hast stringered him battiere him at the inside of his weapon, and presently upon it thrust with the Quarte at the inside of his weapon at his right breast.

Or when he parereth thy thrust with a Secunde towards his left side, then step with they left leg towards thy left side, and thrust him with a Quarte under his right arm at his belly.

Thrust at thine adversary within, over the Secunde of his Rapier with a Quarte, when thou seest him cavere towards his left side under thy thrust, of an intent to thrust thee without over thy right arm with a Secunde contra-tempo, then change thy Quarte into a Secunde, and thrust him over his right arm, at the outside of his Rapier, at his right breast.

Thrust at thine adversary again within close to the Secunde of his Rapier with a Quarte, as soon as he doth cavere towards his left side under his thrust, for to thrust Secunde contra-tempo over thy right side under his cavering with the Quarte, and battiering him first at the inside of his Rapier thrust instantly upon it with the Quarte at the inside of his Rapier at his right breast.

Here endeth the first part of the first Book,
treating how to use a single Rapier against a Right-handed man.

GO TO BOOK II

 
 

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