Contents | Dedication | Advertisement | Poem | Introduction | CHAP. I. | CHAP. II. | CHAP. III. | CHAP. IV. | CHAP. V. | CHAP. VI. | CHAP. VII. | Postscript


An Explication of most of the Terms of Art, made use of in Fencing.

IF this Piece, were only to fall amongst the hands of Knowing Sword Men and True Artists, I should not trouble my self with the Explication of the following Terms of Art, seing it is supposed, such persons do already understand the true Meaning and Import of them, having also done it already, but after a much shorter Method, in The Scots Fencing-Master; but seing it is not designed for such, by reason, that no doubt many Novices, will be curious to know what Discoveries it contains and it were hard wholly to disappoint them.

THEREFORE, not only for their greater ease and satisfaction, but also, that this small Treatise may be of use alone and by it self, (even in the Ordinary Method, for such as will still adhere to it) without the assistance of any of those, I formerly published upon this Gentlemanly Subject; I have thought fit, to explain in this Chapter, most of those Terms of Art which are of greatest import to be known; and without the understanding whereof, the following Rules and Directions, would not be perhaps altogether so intelligible: I shall also take care to explain them, after such an unusual, tho' plain manner, as to my knowledge, hath never been done hitherto, by any Writer upon this Subject; and I doubt not, but the perusal of them, will be not only diverting and useful to Scholars, but even grateful and acceptable, to Masters themselves.

BUT before I proceed, I think fit to acquaint the Reader, that the most part of the modern Terms of Art,made use of in Fencing, are derived from the French Language, altho' the French themselves, were at first beholding to the Italians and Spaniards for them, who were certainly the first great Improvers (the Invention, whatever some Nations may pretend to, being certainly owing to the Old and Warlike Romans) of this most useful Art of Defence, as well as of that other Heroick, and Gentlemanly Exercise of Horsemanship, or Riding the Great Horse; so that for the better understanding, the true derivation of some of the Terms, of both those Arts, a Man ought to understand a little of these two Languages; which Knowledge, not only upon this, but several other accounts, is lookt upon now a-days, as a very Gentlemanly Improvement, and Qualification.

IT may be also thought by some, and not without appearance of Reason, that the Explication of these Terms of Art, many of which, are also Lessons in the Art, and frequently practised in the common Method, would have come in more properly at the beginning of this Essay, and immediately after the first Chapter, wherein the keeping of this Hanging-Guard is explained, than here, where I have placed them; because it is generally usual, in explaining of any Art, to begin with the Terms belonging to it.

THIS I readily acknowledge, and would also have done it if my great Design in this Piece, had not been to recommend this Hanging-Guard, by discovering its Advantages, and the Objections that might be made against it; but that being my chief Intention, I judged it more proper to begin with these that so the Reader's Curiosity, might be the more quickly satisfied, with respect to the usefulness of this New Method, and not kept in suspence, as to his Information, of the great Benefit and Advantage, redounding to him from this Guard, for a General Defence.

So this being the Reason, of my delaying the Observations, I had to make upon the Terms of Art; I hope it will sufficiently remove this Objection, especially seing I bring them in, in this Chapter, which is immediately before those; wherein I give any Directions, either for the Defence or Pursuit from this New Guard; which being the chief Heads in this Book, and to which the Terms of Art have the greatest and most immediat Relation; I cannot see, but I have brought then in as seasonably, as I could possibly have done any where else, not withstanding of the common practice of Writers upon other Arts, who for the most part begin with the Explication of theirs.

NOW amongst the Terms of Art belonging to Fencing, some respect the Weapon, which altho' of several kinds, yet I shall here confine to the Sword in particular; others again respect the Person, who is to make use of that Sword, and which are to flow from the several Members of the Body; for some are general, in which the whole Body, or several of its members are concerned in excecuting them; and others more particular, wherein only the Sword-Hand, or the Leggs, are chiefly concerned in the time of performing them: I say chiefly, because if taken in a stricter Sense, it is scarcely possible for a Man to move either Hand or Foot, without making the rest of his Body in some Degree, concerned in their motion, such a mutual dependance have all our Members upon each other.

I shall therefore, first Name such as I intend to Discourse upon, as near as I can in the Order I have mentioned; that the Reader may have them all at once under his view, and then shall proceed to the Explication of each, altho' not in the same Order, as they are set down in the following List; but as they do more naturally flow from, and depend upon these which immediatly proceed them.

FOR altho' they are pretty exactly Classed in the List, according as the particular Members of the Body are concerned in them; yet it sometimes falls out, that the explication of a Term belonging to a particular Member, will fall in a great deal more naturally to be discoursed of, immediately after a Term which is more general, than it would do after a particular Term of Art even belonging to the same Member; and therefore in my Explication I judgd it a great deal more proper and methodical, to follow the very same Method that I would take, were I to Teach and Communicate them to a Scholar, than confine my self to the Order of the following List; which however has its own use, because of the easie and regular Method I have taken, to Class the Terms of Art, for their more ready Retention in the Reader's Memory, and which is altogether new. I shall also in setting down the List, mark such as are Lessons, that the Reader may more readily distinguish, betwixt such as are only Terms of Art, and such as are both Lessons and Terms of Art.

A List of the most material Terms of Art made use of in Fencing.

First. TErms of Art relating to the Weapon.
1.   Fort }of the Sword.
2.   Foible


Secondly. Relating chiefly to the Body in general.
1.   A Guard.  
2.   Measure or Distance.  
3.   Judging of Measure.  
4.   Thrusting, Lesson.
5.   Escarting,  
6.   Elongeing, Lesson.
7.   Pass, Lesson.
8.   Half-Pass, Lesson.
9.   Volting, Lesson.
10.   Enclosing. Lesson.


Thirdly. Relating chiefly to the Sword-Hand.
1.   Prime.  
2.   Seconde.  
3.   Tierce.  
4.   Quarte.  
5.   Quinte.  
6.   Within }the Sword
7.   Without
8.   Parieing.  
9.   Parade.  
10.   Contre-caveating Parade.  
11.   Caveating. Lesson.
12.   Feint, Lesson.
13.   Time, Lesson.
14.   Contre-temps.  
15.   Exchanged Thrust.  
16.   Beating, Lesson.
17.   Binding, Lesson.
18.   Risposte, Lesson.


Fourthly. Relating chiefly to the Leggs.
1.   Approaching.  
2.   Retireing.  
3.   Breaking of Measure.  
4.   Redoubling, Lesson.

HERE are no less than Thirty four Terms of Art, thirteen whereof are Lessons; for altho' strictly speaking, all the Terms of Art, may be so far called Lessons, as they must be descrived and communicat by a Master to his Scholar, when he is a Teaching him; yet in this List, I only name such for Lessons,as either directly belong to the Ofensive part, or at least, being a Means whereby a Man may prevail over his Adversary, have a Tendency to it.

HAVING thus reduced the Terms of Art into four Classes, according as they chiefly relate, to either Weapon, Body, Sword-Hand or Leggs, I shall now go thorow them in a more gradual Method, as if I were to descrive them to a young Scholar; and in descriving them, shall make such true Remarks, as I have gathered from near Thirty Years Experience, and Observation.


Of a Guard in general.

THE Word Guard has succeeded in the Art of Fencing, to the old Term Ward, which signifies a place of Security; for long ago, to say that a Person was under Ward, was as much as to say, he was under Custody; from whence also Warden, a Guardian, or Keeper; and so when a Man is said to be in Guard, or upon his Guard, is as much as to say, that he has put himself into the most secure Posture he can, for the Defence and Preservation of his person; also when a Man is Taken up and Secured, we say He is under Guard; for a Man may be Secured, or under Custody, upon two very different Accounts, either when he hath committed some Crime, and then he is Secured, that he may undergo the just and Legal Punishment he deserves; or a Man may be Secured and put under Custody, or Guard, for his Preservation, when engaged in any Quarrel, or when there is any bad design against his Life; and it is in this last Acceptation that I here understand, and explain the Word Guard. The old Term Ward, is no more in use amongst Sword-Men, and therefore I shall say no more of it; it is enough that I have shown the import of the Word.

As for this modern Term Guard, it is in Fencing alwise taken, for that Posture of the Body, wherein a Man puts himself for his greater security when he has occasion to make use of his Weapons; now altho' a Man's Guard may be justly reputed a Posture of Security, yet it is not his Defence, albeit may contribute much to it; it is only the Parade flowing from it, which can justly be called his true Defence: For one Man may keep a very good and close Guard, and have an exceeding loose and uncertain Parade or Defence; whereas, another may have, and sometimes also of design, may stand to a very open Guard, and yet have a most firm and secure Defence.

SO that I may properly enough, compare a good Guard, to the place wherein a Man is to be kept safe from any bad attempt against him; the Sword-Hand to the Keeper or Sentinel, & the Sword from whence the Defence or Parade flows to the Key that locks in and secures all: For, as a Person may be put into a very close Room, for Custody or Security, and yet if the Door be neither lockt, nor a Sentinel put upon him, he is almost as loose and unsecure, from the malicious Attempts of his Enemies, as if he were at large, and no safeguard about him; so may a Man keep a good and close Guard, and yet be very unsecure from the vigorous Assaults and Attacks, of his mailcious and ill designing Adversary, if he not be the Master of a firm and sure Defence, whereby he may exclude his Adversary, from having access (notwithstanding of his most cunning and subtle Addresses) upon him, to the hazard and prejudice of his Person.

AND therefore, as the only way to keep any person safe and secure, from the bad and malicious Designs, which may be intended against him, is not only to put him into a good close Room, with Sentinels upon him, but also to Secure him absolutely, by turning the Key, and so locking him in, that there may be no access to him, buy by those to whom the Sentinels and Turn-Key shall grant liberty: So the only way to preserve a Man's Person at Sharps, from the quick and subtle Attacks of his Adversary; is, besides putting himself into a good Guard, to be Master of such a firm and sure Parade, as that his Sword-Hand, which is as the Sentinel or Keeper, may at pleasure turn the Key or Sword, and so lock him up safe, from his Adversary's having any access to him, for the prejudice and hurt of his person, except when he shall himself comply with it, and voluntarily grant an Open, which he judges may tend to his own Advantage.

THIS is a homely, but natural Allegory, whereby it will clearly appear; that altho' the keeping of a neat and close Guard be good, yet if it be not accompanied with a firm and sure Defence, a Man's Person can never be secure: The keeping then of a close Guard is good, but it is the Parade flowing from it, which is a Man's Defence and Security; therefore, never have so much regard, to the Posture of Defence, to which a Man at first pitches himself, as to the Parade you find him draw from it: Neither is it the Posture of the Body, and the Position of the Sword, in this Hanging-Guard, which I do so much admire and recommend, as the secure and safe Parade, or General Defence which most Naturally flows from it; and which the more a Man reflects upon, the more he will still value and approve of.

THERE is not that Posture, which any Man can put himself into, but may properly enough be called a Guard, if he draw a Defence from it, and the Reason is, because as I said, the Posture of a Man's Guard, is not at all his Defence, but the Parade he draws from it; altho' the more close the Posture be, the more readily will he draw a good and secure Parade from it.

IT is upon this account, that there may be as many Guards, as there are Postures of the Body, or Positions of the Sword-Hand; but because such a prodigious Number, would amuse and confound People, therefore, Sword-Men have reduced them to five, viz. Prime, Seconde, Tierce, Quarte and Quinte, which is one more than the ordinary Positions of the Sword-Hand, as you will immediatly understand.

I here only Name them, that you may know there are so many; and of the Five, you see I have pickt out, rejecting all the rest, the Seconde, as the only true Guard, and pure Source from whence all true Defence must proceed; as I think, I have made sufficiently appear, by the preceeding Advantages; I shall likewise in a few Words, give my Opinion of the other Four, by only naming them, as I judge they ought to be preferred, conform to the Security of the Defences that may be drawn from them.

*NEXT then, to this excellent Guard in Seconde, I prefer the Quarte, with the point level or a little elevat, the Body sinking very low; then the Tierce; then the Quinte, which is nothing but the Quarte with a sloping point; and last of all the Prime; of which I may say, we have nothing but its Name; for this Seconde, is alwise made use of in place of it; because of the most constrained Position of the Sword-Hand, when a Man attempts to pitch himself to it.

*[The Choice of a Guard, when a Man will obstinately reject this New One.]

SO that if the Reader intend to reject the Guard in Seconde, which I with so much earnestness recommend to him, because of the general, and excellent Defence that may be drawn from it; I cannot but out of the great regard I have for his safety, recommend to him in its place (if he wil still jogg on in the common Road of Fencing) the Guard in Quarte, with the Body sinking very low, equally poised upon his two Leggs, and with his Sword-Hand in Quarte, and kept but just above his right Knee, which perfectly secures all the lower parts of the Body; a Direction much to be observed at Sharps. This next to the Hanging-Guard in Seconde, whose great Advantage, is the chief Subject of this New Method, is what I do earnestly recommend to him; but then it is only in case, of his totally undervaluing and rejecting this New Method; for I should be heartily sorry, after all the Perswasions and convincing Arguments, I have used for it.


Of the different Positions of the Sword-Hand, viz. Prime, Seconde, Tierce and Quarte.

When a Man presents his Sword perfectly streight, or in a manner upon a level, he may, by keeping his Arm stretched, & turning it, as it were upon a Center, from its Articulation in the Scapula or shoulder-blade, for in this Case, the whole Arm must turn, as well as the Wrest, tho' not quite so much form a perfect Circle; so that with respect to this Circle, the Sword-Hand may have as many different Positions, as there are Degrees in a Circle, which are 360; but such a Number of different Positions, being of no great use in Fencing, the Masters of Old, were satisfied to reduce them to Four, that so they might answer, tho' not altogether exactly, to the four Quarters of a Circle; and this division has been kept by most Masters, even to this Day, and are called Prime, Seconde, Tierce and Quarte, which as much to say the First, Second, Third, and Fourth Position of the Sword-Hand, altho' some of late have added a Fifth which they call Quinte.


*THE Prime or first Position, is reputed that Position of the Hand, with which a Man draws his Sword, at first out of its Scabard; but indeed falsly; because if it be strictly considered, People do really alwise draw their Swords, with their Hand in Seconde, and not in that which is truely the Prime; for in the true Prime, the Nails of the Sword-Hand, are turned up as much as possible, toward the right-side outwards; and is a most constrained Posture, no Man being able to keep it any considerable time, therefore is scarcely ever made use of; so that we have in a manner, only its Name in Fencing.


**SECONDE, or the second Position; is that Position of the Sword-Hand, which is performed by holding the Sword, with the Thumb quite downward; the Nails of the hand quite outwards, towards the right-side, and the back of the Hand towards the left or in-side. This Position is a great deal more easie than the Prime, and is exactly the Position of the Sword-Hand, wherewith People commonly draw their Swords, and wherewith this Hanging-Guard, I have been so much commending, is also to be kept; and truely I may say, it serves for both Prime and Seconde, for when ever Prime is ordered, the Position is so constrained, that the Hand falls naturally from it into the Seconde; see the Positions of the Sword-Hands, of Fig. 1. and 2.


***THE Tierce is the third Position, and the Sword-Hand in forming it, makes a full quarter of a Circle from the Seconde, whereas from the Prime to the Seconde, it alters but a very few degrees; this Position is yet more easie than the Seconde, and is kept with the back of the Hand, and Knucles quite upwards, and the Nails down; and is that Position of the Hand, wherewith the Thrusts without and above the Sword in the Common Method, are generally performed, altho' they are many times given in, with the Hand in Quarte.


****THE Quarte or fourth Position of the Hand, is still more easily kept than the Tierce; it is kept with the Thumb quite upwards, the back of the Hand outwards, towards the right-side; and the Nails of the Fingers towards the Left, but inclining a very Thought upwards, see Fig. 4. The Sword-Hand in forming the Quarte, altereth also from the Tierce, a full quarter of a Circle, as the Tierce did from the Seconde; and is the strongest Position of any, seing a Man can keep his Sword longest firm upon it, without wearying of his arm; it is also that Postition, wherein, in the Ordinary Method of Fencing, most of the Thrusts within the Sword, are performed: As likewise, that very Position of the Hand; wherein a Man keeps the Quarte-Guard with a sloping point; see Fig.5.


*****NOW it is to be observed, that the Position of the Sword-Hand, in its circular passing forwards, from one of those four Quarters of a Circle, to that next it, retains still the same Denomination it had, when it was in the immediatly preceeding Quarter; as for Example, when a Hand is in Prime, it is said, notwithstanding of its being a little altered towards the Seconde, to be still in Prime, untill it fall in to the exact Seconde; and when it is in Seconde, it continues in Seconde, notwithstanding of its varying from it, in its turning towards the Tierce; and never alters its Denomination, until it be fully upon that Quarter, which forms the Tierce; and so of the rest.

*****[An useful Remark upon the Positions of the Sword-Hand]

IT is therefore a Mistake, which some Masters fall into, when they call the True Quarte, the Demy Quarte, and that only Quarte which is nothing but a variation of the Sword-Hand from the True Quarte Point, towards a greater Degree of Quarte, or towards the Prime quarter; wherein the Nails of the Hand are kept quite upwards, and which is so very constrained a Posture, that a Man can scarcely turn his Hand to it, let alone keep it for any considerable time.

I confess indeed, that this Position is still a Quarte, untill as I said, the Position of the Nails of the Hand arrive at, or at least near to, the other quarter of the Circle, wherewith the Prime begins, altho' the Hand be in quite opposite Position, than when it formed the Prime, being now almost quite turned about: But still this is no more a Quarte, than what they call a Demy-Quarte, and is so difficult, that we have really no more of it in Fencing, but its Name; altho' many Masters order their Scholars, to deliver their Thrusts within and above the Sword, in this constrained Position, which is not only a considerable Error, but almost impracticable, the Position being so constrained; as I shall make it appear, when I come to Discourse of Thrusting. Therefore, what those Masters call the Demy-Quarte, ought to be called the True Quarte, as well as that Variation of the Hand toward the Tierce quarter, which they call only the Quarte: This is an Observation wholly new, and very well worth noticing, for the better, and more readily distinguishing, of the Four different Positions of the Sword-Hand.

******THERE is also a Quinte, or fifth Position, as they pretend, of the Sword-Hand, mentioned by some Masters, particularly Monsieur de Liancour; but seeing it is not so properly, a different Position of the Sword-Hand, as a different Situation of the Sword, whereby it is kept with the Point sloping towards the Ground, the Hand being in the same Position with Quarte; and is also as I said, the very same Posture, with what we call the Quarte-Guard with a sloping Point, I shall say no more of it, seing it is enough, that I have, by naming it discovered, that another distinct Position of the Sword-Hand, is not in the least meant by it, but only, a different Situation of the Sword; for which see Fig. 5.


HAVING explained the four Positions of the Sword-Hand, viz. Prime, Seconde, Tierce and Quarte, I must tell you, that for the most part, two of them are rejected, in this New Method, I am about to establish, so that in place of the Four, I only make use of Two; to wit, the Seconde, in which this Hanging-Guard is kept, and the Quarte, which is sometimes for the Thrusts, given without and above the Sword; so that I wholly reject the Prime and Tierce, and only make use of the Seconde and Quarte; the Seconde both for the Posture of the Guard, and the Thrusts as well within and beneath the Sword, upon the right-side, as without and above the Sword, upon the Left; and the Quarte now and then for Thrusts, without and above the Sword, towards the left-side, as the Practitioner shall judge it most convenient.

ALTHO' to give my own Opinion frankly in this Matter, I have very little regard to the Positions of the Sword-Hand; because, provided a Man make a good Cross, with his Weapon upon his Adversary's, for his Defence, when upon the Defensive part; or wound his Adversary with his Thrust, when upon the Offensive part, and recover himself quickly again, to his Cross, or so opposing Posture; I think upon the main, it is no great Matter, whether it be with his Hand in Seconde, Tierce, or Quarte, seing with safety, he performs what he designed; for it is the Cross upon his Adversary's

Sword, not the Position of the Sword-Hand, that procures safety to a Man, in either Defending or Thrusting.


Of the Fort and Foible of a Sword

THERE are few People, but know the Parts which compose a Sword, therefore I shall but just Name them, for the Information of the younger fort of Scholars; a Rapier, hath its Hilt and Blade; the Hilt hath its Pomel, Handle, Shell, and Cross-Barrs; and if it be a Shearing-Sword, hath commonly also a Back-wand, as a kind of Preservation, or Defence for the Hand: Every Man pleases his own Fancy, both with regard to a round or square, full of small Handle, as well as the other Furniture of the Hilt; but as for the Blade, whatever kind it be, whether Rapier or Shearing-Sword, certainly the lighter it be, provided it be stiff enough, and of good tough Mettal, so much the better; for any Blade had much better continue on the Bend, (which is what we call A poor Man's Blade) than be so brittle as to be apt to break, and fly in pieces upon every little stroak, or stress it may meet with.

BUT whatever kind of Sword, a Man make choice of for the pleasing of his Fancy, yet there are two Things, which it is absolutely requisite that he take Notice to; the First is, That his Sword be well Mounted, which is known, by laying it cross his fore-finger, within two or three Inches of its Hilt, and if the Hilt, with the Assistance of these two or three Inches, Counter-ballance the rest of the Blade, then it is well mounted; otherwise not; seing it will be too weighty before the Hand.

THE Second is, That whenever he has an Occasion to draw it for Service, he alwise keep it fixt and firm in his Hand, so that it be not beat out of it, by every sudden Jerk or Stroak, that his Adversary makes upon it. Nothing is more unseemly, nor makes a Sword-Man look more out of Countenance, than when his Sword either drops accidentally, or is really of design, by his Adversary, beat out of his Hand; therefore every good Sword-Man ought to prevent it, not only for his own greater Safety, but even for Decency, that he may not be smiled at.

HAVING thus briefly, given an Account of the Parts of a Sword in general, I shall now show, how a Sword-Blade is divided by Sword-Men, when they come to Discourse, or make use of their Art and Skill.

THE Fencing Masters of Old, divided the Blades of their Swords, from the Hilt to the Point, sometimes onto twelve Parts or Divisions, and sometimes into four; which served for no other use that I know, but to perplex and embarass their Scholars; upon which account, I wholly disapprove and reject it, and shall with the Moderns, who have a great deal more Reason for it, divide the Blade into two equal Parts; so that I generally call the Fort or strong part of the Blade, that division or half, which is betwixt the Hilt and the middle of the Blade; and the Foible or weak part, that half which is betwixt the middle of it and the Point.

THE Fort is so called, because it is of greatest Strength, as being nearer to the Hand or Center, and is therefore most proper for the Parieing, or putting off Thrusts or Blows.

THE Foible is so called, because it is of least Strength, by which, as it is less capable to Defend, or Parie a Thrust or Blow; so it is most proper, because of its quick and surprising Motion to Offend, either by Thrusting or Striking.

BUT this division of the Sword in the middle, into Fort and Foible, must not be understood so strictly; but that with respect to either the Strong or Weak Operation, of the Adversary's

Sword against it, or of it against the Adversary's; that which was at one time the Fort, may not be at another time the Foible; and that which is now the Foible, may not become at another time the Fort; this being occasioned really, not only by the impression and power which one Sword hath over another, according to the degrees of Weight, whereby it over-powers and Masters its Adversary's, when it hath Crossed or over-lapped it, but even according to the strength and impulse, it receives from the Hand and Wrist of the person, who is making use of it; as for instance, If with eight Inches from the Point of my Sword, I overlap only five or six of my Adversary, not withstanding of those eight Inches, being properly indeed a part of my Sword's Foible, yet with respect to that of my Adversary's which it overlaps, it may very well be called the Strong, because it hath the same effect upon my Adversary's Sword, as if it were really that part, which is properly called the Fort.

AGAIN if my Fort, for Instance a Foot from the Hilt, should be overlapped, with only eight or ten of my Adversary's from its Hilt; in that Case, I say my Fort, with respect to the Impression and Command my Adversary's Sword hath over it, may very properly be called the Foible.

AND, which is yet more surprising, this ordinary Division of Fort and Foible, is not only altered as I said, by the impression and power of one Sword over another, according to the Degrees of Weight, whereby it Masters and over-powers its Adversary's, after it hath overlapped it; but even by the different Degrees of strength and impulse, made use of by the Adversary's Sword-Hand, either in Parieing, or Binding; so that in such a Case, my Foot, or 12 Inches of Fort from the Hilt, shall even Master my Adversary's eight or six from his; or my five or six of Foible from my Point, shall by the strength and impulse, I add to it from my Wrest, Master eight or ten of my Adversary's from its Point, he noways assisting to resist me, by the strength of his Sword-Hand or Wrest.

SO that after all, strictly speaking, the Fort and Foible of a Sword, notwithstanding of the former Division, can only really be called such, according as either my Sword operats upon my Adversary's, or my Adversary's operats upon mine; so that the most part of the Blade of a Man's

Sword, even almost from the Hilt, to within five or six Inches of the Point, may become either all Fort, if it overpowers its Adversary's, or all Foible, if it be mastered and overpowered by his,

either by its own weight and pressure, or by the strength and impulse of his Sword-Hand: And this is the only true Explication, I can give of the Fort and Foible of a Sword; the former, altho' generally true, being yet at the bottom so variable, as not to be wholly rely'd upon. However, for the more ordinary sort of Players, I shall keep to my former Division; but for those who are more expert, and consequently greater Critiks, and more nice as to this Point, I earnestly recommend, this extraordinarily and useful Observation I have made, which is not to be found in any Author.


Of Within and Without the Sword.

Within and Without the Sword, may be considered with two Respects, either with respect to the Division of a Man's Body by his Sword-Arm, or with respect to the particular Position of his Sword-Hand; when he either presents his Sword, or when he forms the Cross of his Parade; if with respect to the division of the Body by the Sword-Arm, then that part, betwixt his Sword-Arm and Left-side, (if a Right-Handed Man) is alwise called within the Sword, as the opposite side is called without the Sword, and they never alter, let the Position of the Sword-handbe what it will; but if they are considered, with respect to the particular Positions of the Sword-hand, or Cross made in Parieing, then they are not so fixed; because what was within the Sword, with respect to the division of the Body by the Sword-Arm, or that distance betwixt the Sword-Arm and Left-side; by the alteration of the Position of the Sword-hand onto Seconde, will become without and above the Sword; and that which was without the Sword, will be either without and above, or without and below the Sword, just as a Man's Adversary Paries him: And this is the Reason, that there is no within the Sword to Thrust at, upon a person who takes himself to this Hanging-Guard.

BUT it being chiefly, with respect to the Division of the Body by the Sword-Arm, and not with respect to the Positions of the Sword-Hand, or Cross made by the Parade, that Masters commonly denominat the within and without of the Sword; Therefore I shall generally give them, their Denomination from the same Ground, except where I particularly otherwise mention it; altho' I do really think, it were more agreeable to Reason, to have only regard to the Positions of the Sword Hand, in these two Terms (as I have Classed them in the List,) and Cross formed in Parieing: But seing, so great an alteration of these two Terms, would be fair to startle a great many Masters, who cannot willingly quit with any Old Rot, tho' never so much contrary to Reason, I shall therefore comply with them so far, as generally to keep to the Old Denomination.

AND yet strictly speaking, even with respect to the ordinary Division of the Body by the Sword-Arm, and if we decide according to the nicest Rules, which is considering both how People generally present their Swords, and how every Thrust terminats, with respect to the Cross made upon the Weapon paried; there is hardly any such thing to be found in Fencing, as a True Within or Without the Sword, either to Thrust at, or terminated by a Thrust, which I make evident thus;

To make an exact Within or Without the Sword, a Man must, whatever Guard he pitch himself to; keep his Sword exactly level, and his Adversary must also oppose it, with his Sword perfectly parallel to it, as to its heighth, upon what side soever he present it; for if the Adversary's Sword make the least Cross upon his Sword, then there is no more an exact Within or Without the Sword; but immediatly what might have been properly enough called Within the Sword, while the two Swords were parallel, must now, if the Cross be made with the point a little elevat, be called, Within and above the Sword, if the Adversary's Sword was presented towards the Right: And if the Cross be made with the point sloping, then it will be either within and above or beneath the Sword, according to the Cross which the Parade makes; so great an Alteration, does either the different Positions of the Sword-hand, or the Cross made by the Parade make, upon the termination of a Thrust, that it have its true Denomination: But this Position of parallel Swords so rarely happening, even when persons Swords, are at first presented to one another, and I may say almost never, in the performing or finishing of any Thrust, because of the adverse Party; alwise endeavouring to defend himself, and whose Parade framing still a Cross, either towards the Left or Right-side, makes it so fall out, that all Thrusts terminat either Within and below, or Within and above, or Without and below, or Githout and above; and never almost in an exact Within or Without the Sword, is but in a manner a Supposition, and what possibly may happen, but I may positively affirm, does not once in the performing of several Thousands of Thrusts; and has really a false Denomination, from the Division that is made of the Body, with respect to the Sword-Arm in genereal; but which would be perfectly rectified, were the particular Positions of the Adversary's Sword-Hand and Cross formed by the Parades more regarded, and the Within and Without regulat only according to these: But this being a little nice, I despair to get it wholly rectified; altho what I have said, is most agreeable to Reason, and may perhaps, convince the more judicious.


Of Measure, or Distance.

WHEN two personls are to Engage, either for their Diversion, or in Earnest, there is alwise a certain space or distance betwixt them; which distance is termed by Sword-Men, Measure; and altho, generally speaking, this Measure or Distance, may only be distinguished, into that which is greater, and that which is less, yet seing this Division agrees equally to all kinds of Distances I am to explain, I shall here take Measure in a stricter sense, in which I reckon three Kinds, wherein Sword-Men are chiefly concerned; and in one of which, the Adversaries will alwise of necessity find themselves, which ever one of them either Offends of Defends, which is the Reason that I have brought in this Term of Art, as well as the next following, before these of Parieing or Thrusting; because before a Man can either Defend or Offend, there is a necessity, that he and his Adversary, be not only separat from other, by one of the Three following Measures or Distances, but also (by one of them at least, Approaching or Advancing, which is the next Term of Art) bring themselves into it, if they chance to be altogether without Measure or Reach.

THE first whereof is, when a Man is so near to his Adversary, that he can reach him without Elongeing, or stepping out, by only stretching out of his Sword-Arm, and inclining forwards with his Body, without moving in the least his advanced Foot.

NO good Sword-Man who regards his own safety, will make use of this kind of Measure, because it obliges him to be so very near to his Adversary, that he may readily be surprised by him, either by a quick plain Thrust, a subtle Feint, or a sudden Commanding.

THEREFORE in place of it, Sword-Men make more frequently use of the second kind of Measure or Distance, which is as it were a Medium betwixt the first, which needs no stepping out, and the third Distance, which is alwise performed by Approaching or Advancing, altho not constantly by Stepping Out or Elongeing; because the Approaching, may bring a Man so near to his Adversary, that there is no necessity for him to step out, but only to make a stretch with his Body and Sword-Arm, that so he may reach his Adversary.

THIS second kind of Measure, is that which is most commonly made use of by good Sword-Men, especially those who regard their own Security, when they have an occasion with Sharps: For this obliges their Adversary, to come to Half-Sword as we say, whereby a Man's true Skill and Dexterity, is a great deal better discovered; especially in the Defensive part, than it is possible for it to be, when playing at the third kind of Distance, or without Distance, as it is commonly termed in the Schools.

THE Third kind of Measure is that, wherein a Man is necessitat to advance a step or two, yea sometimes more, before he can reach his Adversary; and altho it be less dangerous for the person who makes use of it, than the first kind of Distance, being not so subject to surprise, yet it is not near so secure and safe as the second kind of Distance; because a Man is very much disordered by Approaching, let him perform it never so warily; whereas when he plays at Half-Sword, or Within Distance, as we call it, he neither disorders himself so much before he discharge his Thrust, nor is so liable to be surprised by the Avdancing Motions of his Adversary, which are much prevented, by his keeping him alwise engaged at Half-Sword; so that in such a Cause the Victory depends chiefly, upon the surest and firmest Parade, and quickest Riposte; the only true and secure Method of Fighting upon an Occasion, not only from the Ordinary, but even in this New, Method of Fencing, from the Hanging-Guard, in Seconde.

SO that of the Three above mentioned Distances, the First is the most dangerous; the Third the next best; and the Second the most secure of all the Three, being that, which is generally made use of by the greatest Sword-Men, by reason of its great benefit and use in an occasion with Sharps; where all nice Breast-plate Lessons, and other such like School-Tricks, (for they deserve no better Name, being only proper for a diverting Assault with Blunts) are to be avoided, as a Man tenders his own Preservation and Safety.


Of Approaching, or Advancing.

AS there is alwise a certain distance betwixt two Persons before they engage, so they must of necessity be placed at that Distance or Measure, by either the one, or both of them Approaching or Advancing upon each other; so that, as unless two Antagonists be in the first or second kind of Measure, it is impossible for either of them to Parie or Thrust, because of their Adversaries not being within reach of them; even so it is impossible for them, without one or both of them first Approaching or Advancing, to place themselves in any of the three above-mentioined Measures; and consequently, it is no less proper to discourse of this Approaching before Parieing or Thrusting, than it was to explain before them, the different kinds of Distances immediatly preceeding.

WHEN a Man is within reach of his Adversary, or in the first or second Measure above described, there is no need of his Approaching: It is then only when a Man's Adversary is out of his reach, that he must come within Distance of him, before he offer to launch out a Thrust; because if he should offer to discharge his Thrust before he be within Measure or Reach of his Adversary, they would be all lost in the Air, and consequently his Mettal and Vigour would be spent to no purpose: To prevent which, when a Man finds himself without Distance, he is indispensibly obliged, if he intend to be the Pursuer, to Approach or Advance so much, until he judge himself sufficiently within Measure, to reach his Adversary with an Elonge.

INDEED if he design that his Adversary shall be the Pursuer, then the Advancing of his Adversary will bring him likewise within Measure, without his moving of himself in the least until he deliver his Thrust; which I must confess is an excellent method of Play, because it is a great token of a Man's being absolutely Master of the Parade, whereby he not only keeps himself in a firm Posture of Defence, and puts upon his Adversary the disadvantage of Approaching, wherby, at best, he is somewhat disordered, but also procures to himself the advantage of playing from the Riposte, which of all the Methods of Fencing is the most commendable, and safest; but then, as I have said, it is only to such as are Masters of the Parade; which is a quality rare enough to be found, even amongst the greatest Sword-Men.

*NOW there are two ways of Approaching or Advancing towards a Man's Adversary: The first, and indeed most natural, is that, by which all Persons, who have never been instructed in the Art, advance towards their Adversary, when they are out of Measure from him; which is by an ordinary Walk, such as People commonly make use of, in going from one Place to another: But Masters finding, that a Man in making use of this ordinary Step, was subject to advance too much his left Side and Shoulder, whereby his Body became the more open, and consequently in greater danger, by being thereby exposed to his Adversary's Thrusts; I say being sensible of this Disadvantage, they not only ordered a Man, when making use of this ordinary Step, to keep back well with his left Shoulder, or Side, that he might thereby make his Body a narrower mark for his Adversary to thrust at; but also fell upon

*[The Natural or Double Step.]

**THE Artificial, or second and most safe way of Approaching, called the Single Step, which is by keeping the Legs still in the same Position wherein a Man stands to his Guard, that is the one alwise behind the other, and only making the hind Foot advance, as much, by slipping as it were along the Ground, as the right or formest Foot advanced, or stept forewards; and by this Method they found, that not only a Man did not so much expose his Body; by the advancing of his left Shoulder, which is alwise forced in a manner forewards upon the ordinary Double Step; but also that it was kept a great deal more firm, while performing this SIngle Step, than when he made use of the former: So that ever since, this Method of Approaching hath been look't upon as not only the most becoming and graceful, but also the most secure and safe for a Man's Person, that so he may not receive a Wound as it were by Surprise in Approaching.

**[The Artificial or Single Step.]

I CANNOT indeed deny, but Masters are in the right of it as to this Determination, when a Man is almost within Measure of his Adversary, or even being within Measure, would yet come nearer to him; so that in these two Cases, this last Method of Advancing with the Single Step, is much preferable to, and hath the Advantage of the former, because the left side of the Body is not so much exposed by it in Approaching, as it is by the Double Step.

BUT if the Matter be considered a little more narrowly, it will be found, that there is no more Disadvantage in advancing with the Double Step, when a Man is a great way out of his Adversary's Measure, than there is in advancing with the Single; for seing a Man is only to Advance with the Double Step until he be almost within his Adversary's Measure, and not until he be quite within it (the Single Step being indeed only proper for that) he is certainly all that time a good deal without his Adversary's reach, and if he be so much without his reach, it is no great Matter if he approach not only with his left Shoulder and Side exposed, but even with a full Body upon his Adversary, seing at that Distance he is in no hazard of being Hit by him; but it is alwise with this Provision, That so soon as ever he judges him self within Five or Six Yards of his Adversary's Measure, he immediatly Thin his Body as much as possible, by throwing back of his left Shoulder, and taking in the remainder of the Measure, for his greater Security, with the single Step, and all this without the least Constraint; a Rule to be strictly observed in all the Directions of Fencing.

FROM whence I conclude, That a Man may very safely make use of either of the preceeding Steps without the least hazard, so long as he is at a great distance; but if he be pretty near to or even within his Adversary's Measure, and yet would approach near to him, to make his Thrust the more effectual; in this case, he is indispensibly obliged for his greater Security, not only to prefer and make alwise use of the Single Step, unless he have some little Furrow or Strand to step over, for which the Double Step is most proper, but also in performing it, to endeavour as much as possible, to prevent his Adversary's surprising of him, by Thrusting in Time.

***AND this brings me to a very useful Direction, to be punctually observed, upon all Occasions where a Man shall draw his Sword in good Earnest; which is, That instantly upon Drawing it, he Jump, or go back five or six Yards, if he have so much free Space, that so may not be surprised by his Adversary's sudden Attack, and then immediatly Advance towards him upon a good Guard, and with the Single Step, either to Attack, or receive him: The exact Observation of this Direction, will many times prevent more than can be expressed, a Man's being surprised by his Adversary's sudden and vigorous Attack, before he hath well put himself in Guard.

***[A good Direction at first Drawing of one's Sword.]

****BUT if a Man when he quarrels, shall be so near to his Adversary, and so straitned with Room, that he cannot possibly observe the above Direction, without perhaps running himself into a greater inconveniency, if either going closs to a Wall, or falling into a more disadvantageous Ground, or part of the Street, if it be a Rencounter in a Town; then he is upon Drawing of his Sword, immediatly to pitch himself to his Guard, and engaging firmly his Adversary's Sword, make a vigorous half, or whole pursute upon him from the Binding or Crossing of the Sword, having alwise his left Hand in readiness to prevent a Contretemps; And thus he will not only keep his Ground, which when a Man is thus Straitned, is very Precious, but also force upon his Adversary the Disadvantage, unless he be a very great Sword-man, of becoming the Defender; And if his Adversary should prevent him by becoming the Pursuer, then if he have

Space enough, he is either to break his Measure a little, until the violence of his Attack be over, and then to become the Pursuer; or if he be confined in a narrow Bounds, so that he cannot conveniently break his Measure, then he is to Defend himself the best way he can, by a firm and dry beating Parade, attacking him from it by the Riposte, and assisting his Parade by the dexterous use of his left Hand, which in such a juncture he will find it very serviceable to him, it being one of the most difficult Circumstances wherewith a Sword-man can be tristed, That is, a Rude, Irregular, and Pasionat Antagonist, having a most violent Pursute, joined with a very narrow and small limited Bounds.

****[This and the former Paragraphs being of great use, ought to be got by Heart.]

THESE two or three last Directions, are of such a singular use to Sword-men, in an occasion with Sharps, that I cannot but earnestly recommend then to the Reader.


Of Parieing and Parade.

WHATEVER Guard a Man designs to ply and take himself to; after he once understands the preceeding Terms of Art, it is full time for him to be taught, first to Defend himself, and then to Offend his Adversary; which are the Significations of the two following Terms of Art, Parieing and Thrusting: For to Parie, is to turn or keep off a Blow or Thrust, so that a Man is nowise prejudiced or wounded by it; and from hence is the Word Parade derived, which signifies not only the Defence of any particular Blow or Thrust, but even the whole Definitive Part belonging to the Art Thus we say, such a Parade is good against such an Attack, or such a Lesson, when the Person makes use of a peculiar and proper Defence, against a Thrust that was discharged against him: Again when it is made use of in a general Acceptation, we say, that such a Person hath a good, sure, and firm Parade; that is, he is much Master of the Defensive part of the Art.

THERE are two considerable Errors, that have by Degrees creept into the common Method, of communicating the Art of the Sword, with relation to the Parade or Defence; which I would gladly convince the Fencing Masters of, that they may be hereafter rectified; because it is not to be imagin'd, what great prejudice the arguing for them, as well as the putting them too frequently in practice, have done to the True Art of Defence.

THE First relates to the Parade or Defensive part, of the whole Art in general. The Second, to the manner of performing every particular Paradem against any Blow or Thrust, that a Man shall be obliged to Parie, for his better Preservation and Defence.

*AS to the First, I cannot but affirm, that the great neglect of the Parade or Defensive part, that is generally observed in the Schools, hath been one great Reason, of the uncertainty which most people have hitherto, in the defence of their Persons in an Occasion; and consequently, the chief Ground of that unreasonable Neglect and Contempt, which many persons have of late had for the Art.

*[Error 1]

IF a Man will but a little frequent the Schools, he cannot fail to observe, that in most of them,the Offensive part, or Pursuit, is much more recommended and put in practice, than the Parade or Defensive; and yet, it is from the great usefulness of this Art in Defending, that it is justly Termed, The Art of Defence.

THE Offensive part is no doubt very useful, but its chief Design ought not to be, to destroy our Adversaries, but rather a kind of means, whereby a Man may the more certainly effectuat the compleating of his Defence; according to the Maxim, That the best way to defend a Man's own Property, is to incroach upon, and invade his Neighbours. So that I don't at all condemn, or diswade Masters from Teaching the Pursuit, but only advise them to regulat, or rather renverie their Method, and alot that long time, (which formerly they allowed to their Scholars, for rendering them dexterous in the Pursuit;) for making them Adroit, and Firm in their Defence: And the very inconsiderable Moment, that they used commonly to give to the practising of the Parade, that they would bestow only that, to teach them, how they may handsomly destroy and kill, according to the Rules as they pretend; for which I am perswaded, there were never any designed by either GOD or Nature; but such is the pravity of Mankind, that we cannot so much as think of doing our selves the least good, if at the same time, we do not endeavour to plague, and do our Adversaries all the evil and mischief, we can possibly contrive and invent.

AND this pernicious Custom, of making the usefulness of the Art to consist chiefly in the Pursuit, hath had no doubt its rife, from those who were the first Improvers, of the Art of the Sword; that is, who from making only use of the Edge or Blow, for a Pursuit, added to it the great benefit of the Point, as a surprising and most destructive Offense.

FOR without all doubt, the Art of the Back-Sword, is the Fountain and Source of all True Defence; and that of the Small, only a Branch proceeding and separat from it; and had the Improvement of the Small, been kept within its just Bounds, it would certainly have been a very great Addition to the Art: But so bent are most People, after the prosecution of any thing that is New, and so fond of pushing their own Inventions to the greatest heighth, that by their daily refining upon it, That which was at first designed as an Aid to, and Improvement of the True Art of Defence, hath had quite this other Effect, that it has tended much to its disadvantage; by lessening (by reason of its fickle and uncertain Defence) a great deal of its Reputation: so that it may be but too justly asserted, that the greatest benefit, the Art of Defence reaps now a-days in most Schools, is that by having the Parade or Defensive part, too much neglected, and the benefit of the Point or Thrusting, too far pusht; the generality of Masters, are like to push and thrust all True Defence out of their Schools

HOWEVER, if notwithstanding of what is past, Masters would be for the future, but so kind to themselves and just to their Scholars, as to follow the Advice I just now gave them, of making their Scholars ply more the Defensive, and less the Offensive part in their School Lessons, (for believe it, all of us Naturally incline but too much to offend; and the Pursuit, so much at least of it as is needful, for the making good of our Defence, will, without giving our selves much trouble about it, force itself upon us, whether almost we will or not) we should in a very short time, find the Art of Defence recover its ancient Reputation; the Masters and Proffessors of it, had more in

Esteem, and their Fencing Schools so crowded, with Scholars of all Degrees and Ranks, that no Gentleman would be thought really to deserve that Epithet, who were not delirous to be an advantageous sharer, in the possession of the most Heroik and Useful Art of Defence.

**THE Second Error, respects the manner of performing every particular Parade, and which the Masters of the Back-Sword are more guilty of, than the Proffessors of the Small; and that is, the making of the Hilts or Shells of their Swords, for the most part defend the Blow or Thrust, that is discharged against them, in place of making that True Cross with their Sword-Blade, which is absolutely necessary, for the performing of a True and Secure Defence.

**[Error 2]

WHATEVER Guard the Back-Sword Masters take themselves to, whether this Hanging-Guard in Seconde, or the Medium Guard, this Error in Parieing or Defending alwise upon the Hilt, os most visible; for they never almost make a True Cross, but receive all upon the Hilt of their Sword; so that they are beholding more for any Defence they draw, (according to the common Practice) from those Guards, to the strength and thickness of their Sword-Hilts than to any True Cross or Parade they draw from them.

TO make this the more evident, I will only ask them this Question, How they would defend themselves, either with a Rapier, Shearing-Sword, or Sabre? none of which have close Hilts, and yet are the Swords now a-days most commonly made use of, not only for walking about the Streets, but the two last also in time of War, in a Battle; they certainly could not answer me, that they would defend themselves, with the common Parades, which they usually draw from the Hanging and Meduim Guards; because, if they did attempt to do it once, they would perhaps scarcely have a Finger wherewith to hold their Sword, against the second or third Blow their Adversary would discharge against them; if smartly delivered, and planted with a true Edge: So much is their Sword-Hand, in making use of such a false Parade, exposed to the Adversary's Weapon.

AND this hazard to which the Sword-Hand is exposed, is much more so upon the Medium-Guard than upon the Hanging-Guard, because in the Parade; which they commonly make from the Hanging-Guard, they sometimes form a little Cross, and so receive the Blow now and then upon the Sword's Blade, altho' not once in many stroaks; but in the common Parade they draw from the Medium Guard, they almost never form a Cross, but receive all the Blows upon the in or out-side of the Sword-Hilt; so that had they not a good and closs Hilt upon their Sword, their Fingers would in striking, slide alwise along their Sword-Blade, and fall upon their Sword-Hand and wound it: by all which it follows of consequence, that there can be no certain Defence from any of these Guards, but what is made by forming a true Cross, upon the Adversary's Sword in Parieing; and that those Parades commonly drawn, from the Hanging or Medium-Guard, are most imperfect and false; by reason of their being for the most part, performed by the Sword-Hilt, and very rarely by the forming of a good Cross.

FOR, so very little is true Art concerned in this kind of Defence, that any Man who is furnished with Back, Breast and Head-Piece, as may as well be said to defend himself by Art,from the Thrusts and Blows that are made against him, as such Persons, who make all their Defence with their closs Hilts, and without performing a good Cross, may be said truely to defend themselves by Art, and according to the just Rules of Defence; because the latter owes no less his Defence to the trueness of the Mettal, whereof his Hilt is made, than the other does his, to his Proved Armour; and therefore all such false Defences ought to be rejected by true Artists, and That only approved and made use of, which forms a true and safe Cross, such as I all along draw, from the Hanging-Guard in this New Method.

THE very same may be said, of the common Parades within, and without the Sword, drawn from the Quarte-Guard, when they are performed, by the Angle the Adversary's Sword makes upon the Shell of the Hilt; or by the Breadth of a certain kind of German Blades, called Konnigsbergs, and which Breadth is no Advantage under Heaven in Parieing as some People fancy; because, if I make a true Cross in Parieing, I will defend my self as well with a Blade no bigger than a Lark-Spit provided it be strong enough, as I can possibly do with a Konnigsberg Blade, yea or with one of three Inches broad in the Blade, which is double the breadth of any Konnigsberg I did ever see; for as none of these Parades make a true Cross, so none of them are safe and secure, even when a Man's Adversary Thrusts close by his Sword; but far less so, when he Thrusts at a distance from it, and very irregularly; which is an Error in the Parade, that most Fencing Masters are guilty of, particularly the French.

FOR they scarcely know, in Parieing a plain Thrust within, or without the Sword, what it is to form a good Cross, but only to turn their Sword-Hand a little, either to a Quarte, when they Parie within the Sword, or to a Tierce, when they Parie without; so that if their Adversary Thrust any way out of the straight Line, and at a distance from their Sword, or fall low without, and observe not alwise a regular Method, in Thrusting close by their Weapon, they are in a perfect confusion, and know not where to meet with his Sword; which is the Reason of so many Contre-temps and Exchanged Thrusts, passing betwixt Persons in an occasion, who altho' very dextrous at the Pursuit, know no other Method of Defence; but which would certainly be prevented, did they apply themselves more, to the forming of a good Cross upon their Adversary's Sword, by which they could not fail, of a true and sure Defence.

FOR, to my certain knowledge I can affirm, that no People in the World, have a swifter Hand in Thrusting, nor any, a more loose or uncertain Parade, than the French: But now that the Error is discovered, and may perhaps by this Piece, or some other Means, come to their Ears, I doubt not but they will quickly rectify it; no People on Earth being more capable to do it than they, when once they earnestly set about it. and especially, when I hope they shall have the good Example, of some of our most candid and judicious British Masters, to show and lead them the way.

***FOR, to have a firm and sure Parade from the Ordinary Quarte Guard, a Man ought not only to form a good Cross, with a firm and dry Beat or Jerk, but to render it, especially upon the Inside of the Sword, the more certain, is many times obliged, even to make that Cross upon his Adversary's Sword, with his Sword-Hand close almost to his own Body, that so he may gain the more readily, the Weak or Foible of his Adversary's Sword; which, should he only turn his Wreist with his Arm almost streight, which is the common French Parade from the Quarte Guard, he would certainly miss, and so receive the Thrust; because his Cross, in place of meeting with his Adversary's Foible, would fall upon his Adversary's Fort, which would render his Parade or Defence altogether imperfect. This is a Nicety, in Parieing not only from the Ordinary Quarte Guard, but even from this Hanging-Guard in Seconde, which not one Scholar in a hundred knows; nay, not even many Masters, who think themselves most topping and skillful in their Profession: And therefore, I earnestly recommend the practice of it to all such, as are desirous to become Masters, of a good and sure Parade, which can only be such, when a good Cross is performed by it; and that not only upon the Fort, but upon the Foible of the Adversary's Sword, and many times also, almost close to a Man's own Body; (especially as I said, when the Thrust is given Within the Sword) to render it the more certain.

***[A most nice, but true Direction; to become Master of a firm and sure Parade from all Guards.]

ALTHO I have been pretty long already upon this Term of Art, yet seing it relates to the chiefest part of the Art, to wit, The Defensive, I cannot quit with it until I have spoke a little to that Parade in the Ordinary Method, which I have alwise so much admired, and to which, in my former Pieces upon this Subject, I have given the Name of Contre-caveating Parade.


Of the Contre-caveating Parade.

THIS Parade was called long ago by many Masters Contre Gavache, which is as much to say, A Parade against all Clounish, Pitiful, or Ignorant Fellows; it being supposed that none but such kind of People would neglect, to improve themselves in the True and Useful Art of Defence. For Gavache in French, signifies a Scoundrel, or Pitiful Fellow. And such persons being commonly very forward, and irregular in their Pursuit and Thrusts, because of their ignorance and want of Art; and this Cross Parade being the only best defence against them, therefore it seems, the ancient Fencing-Masters did chiefly appropriat and recommend it, as a Sure Defence against them.

NOW, altho I am abundantly well satisfied, as well of the usefulness as justice of this Appropriation; yet I cannot but declare, because of the excellency of this Parade, that I think the Derivation of its Name, is taken from too mean and despicable a Source: And therefore in my former Pieces upon this Subject, I endeavoured to derive its Denomination from a more rational, as well as generous Spring; so that in place of Contre-Gavache, I called it the Contre-Caveating Parade; and my Reason for it was, That its former Name in a manner supposed, that it was only necessary and useful against such, as were wholly Rustick and ignorant of the Art; whereas by Experience, we find the quite contrary; and that it is as much, if not more useful, against such as have the most subtle Disengagement, as well as the greatest dexterity in making of Feints: And therefore Disengaging and variety of Feints, which depend much upon quick and subtle Disengaging, being that kind of Play, which is most difficult to oppose in the most Expert Artists, who take themselves to that Method of Point-Play. And this Cross Parade being the only sure one against it, I was fully convinced, that I had a sufficient Reason to alter its Mean and rustick Name of Conter-Gavache, to the more refined and genteel one of Contre-caveating Parade, for indeed it is the only true Crosser and Opposer of all Disengagings, or Feints flowing from them; and therefore being a certain Contrary and Parade for them, it has very justly, I think, acquired from me the Name of Contre-Caveating Parade.

THIS Contre-Caveating, or Crossing Parade, is a Circular Parade, that is a Man in performing it, forms with his Sword not only one, but sometimes (according as his Adversary shall Caveat or shun it) two or three Circles, without in the least altering the Position of his Sword Hand, until he meet with, and Cross, or Oppose his Adversary's Sword; which is the Reason that it is so very excellent a Parade in the Ordinary Method, both against Multiplicity of Feints, and also against the wide, irregular, and stragling Thrusts, of forward and rambling Pursuers, as well Ignorants as others; and consequently excellent in an Evening or Night Rencounter, when a Man has not so much the benefit of his Sight, and therefore is necessitate to supply it with that of Feeling, which is done by making dexterously use of this Circular Parade; whereas the other Parades in Quarte, Tierce, and Seconde, forming but a very small part of the Arch of a Circle, a Man's Adversary may the more easily Caveat and shun his Sword, especially in the Dark, and so give home the Thrust upon that open; which, had this Contre-Caveating Parade been made use of, would have been quite closed and secure.

SO that, as I have said in discoursing of a Guard; if any Parade whatsoever, may be properly enof compared to a Key, which locks up and secures a Man from the Pursuit, or offending Designs of his Adversary; then this Contre-Caveating Parade, may most justly be compared to a strong Key with a Double Cast, as we say, or hath Two Turns; so very secure and safe are all such Persons who have the Practice and Adress to perform it dextrously; for against all the Pursuits from the ordinary Guards, it is a most certain and general Defence, and no particular Parade can be compared to it.

NAY, even upon this Hanging Guard in Seconde, it may very well be made use of , tho' not altogether with so firm and strong a Jerk or Spring, as when the Sword Hand is kept in that Position, which is called the Quarte: and the Reason of its being not so strong from this Guard, does not proceed so much from the Position of the Sword-Hand in Seconde, as that in forming the Contre-Caveating Parade from this Hanging Guard, the Adversary's Sword is only carried aside, and upwards; whereas, against the Pursuit from the Ordinary Guards, the Adversary's Sword, is by this Contre-Caveating Parade beat violently, not only aside, but downwards.

NOW, all Motions of the Sword Hand, which tend downwards, being both more quick and strong, than those which are carried upwards; as I have made evident in the Reasons for Advantage Second, to which I remit the Reader: It follows, that it is chiefly the Tendency of the Motion of the Sword Hand, to raise the Adversary's Sword alittle, in carrying of it off, and not the Position of the Sword Hand in Seconde, that is the cause of this Contre-Caveating Parade, being some what more weakly performed from this Hanging Guard, than when it is performed with the Sword Hand in Quarte; Therefore it may be very well made use of in this new Method of Defence, as well as in the ordinary one; altho not with such a firm and masterly Spring, and that for the above-mentioned Reason, of the oblique elevating Motion, which the Sword Hand makes in performing it.

AND indeed, it is too good and excellent a Parade to be wholly shuffled out of any Method of Defence whatsoever, when a Man can possibly make use of it; which has made me frequently admire, why the French Masters, who know very well the great Use and Benefit of this excellent Defence, yet never almost make use of it; but I judge the Reason of it to be this; that they are generally much taken (altho' very often to their Cost, because of its loosness and uncertainty when they have any occasion with Sharps) with that Method of Play. which is not only most Genteel, but also yields greatest variety of Pursuit to themselves, and Diversion to the Spectators; and this the constant use of the common Parades in Quarte, Tierce, and Seconde, sufficiently allows to them, because they can Play readily enough all the Lessons, against a Person who frequently make use of these Parades; whereas the truth is, this Contre-Caveating, Circular, or Cross Parade, confounds all, and if rightly made use of, so crosses and opposes all the common Lessons designed against it, that a very good Swordman is many times put to his shifts, to contrive, and find out Means, not only to pursue it, but even to disengage, and ridd himself from it.

*THEREFORE, I earnestly recommend it in all Engagements with Sharps, especially against foreward Ramblers, or when a Man shall be engaged, either in the Twee-Light or Dark; when being most uncertain of finding out, and opposing his Adversary's Sword, by any of the other Parades, he must dispair of certainly meeting with it, unless he take himself to, and wholly rely upon this, which is a most secure and general Parade; and such a one, as I can never enof recommend to all truely lovers of a good firm and certain Defence; for in such a Juncture, a Man ought only to regard his own Safety and Preservation, not the Satisfaction and Diversion of the Spectators, by making use of a more genteel, tho' not near so secure and general a Parade, as this most certainly is,and which when judiciously and dexterously made use of, will rarely fail any Man upon a Pinch, let his Adversary's Skill or Temper be what it will.

*[The Contre-Caveating Parade, most useful in the Dark or Night time.]


Of the Risposte.

THIS Term of Art comes most properly in after the Parade; and depends so very much upon it, that without it, there would be no such thing as a risposte in Fencing; for a Man may have many Opportunities of Attempting, and Performing other Lessons and Thrusts; but for the risposte, it is impossible for a Man to give it, until his Adversary either voluntarily, or by compulsion, offers to launch in a Thrust; seing it is consequential to, and must of necessity be performed, immediatly upon the back of a Man's own Parade, and that after the Adversary's Thrusting, otherwise it absolutly loses its Denomination, and becomes quite another kind of Thrust.

RISPOSTE, is an old French Word, and signifies A sudden returning of an Answer, or rather, A quick and smart Repartee; it is now a-days rarely made use of, except in the Art of Fencing, where its signification is much of the Nature with the former: For amongst Sword-Men, Risposte, (which in the Schools is commonly called Parieing and Thrusting,) is a quick and smart returning of a Thrust, after a Man hath Paried his Adversary's; for if a Man do not first Parie his Adversary's Thrust, then it will be either an exchanged Thrust, or a returned Thrust in the time of the Adversary's recovering of himself, or going off, and not a True Risposte: Which excellent Method of Play, shows a Man to be a great Master of the Parade; and altogether with Binding, as shall be more fully shown hereafter, is the only true battle (especially upon the Ordinary Method,) with Sharps.

FOR in performing any of the other Lessons, a Man cannot promise to himself, but that he may receive a Contre-temps, or an exchanged Thrust upon his Pursuit, unless he oppose very dexterously his Adversary's Sword with his Left-hand; which is indeed very useful at all times, but requires a great deal of Practice, and long habite to become dexxterous with it: Whereas if he play from the Risposte, he in a manner, incapacitats his Adversary from exchanging a Thrust; and that by reason, that his Adversary's Thrust is spent, and his Body thereby somewhat disordered, before he offer to attack him from the Risposte; so that his Adversary being upon his Stretch, and consequently disordered, his Body being off its true Posture of Defence; it is almost impossible for him to prevent a Wound from the Risposte, especially if rightly timed, unless he be more than ordinary Dexterous, at Opposing and Parieing with his Left-Hand; the which together with a most quick Recovery of the Body, are the only best, altho' I cannot say certain, Contrary, that I know of, against a Thrust Truely and Smartly given in from the Risposte; which is the only Lesson I may say in the Art of the Sword, which when right Timed, swiftly Delivered, and exactly Planted, cannot be with certainty prevented; altho' as I said, it may be now and then by Chance, by the most dexterous Use of the Left-hand.

*I cannot therefore enof recommend this excellent and secure Method of Play from the Risposte, in using this New Guard, and more especially when Playing from the Ordinary Method; but then it is only to such as are Masters of a quick, firm, and sure Parade; which may be very soon acquired by this New Method of Fencing, by reason of the great Cross performed in Parieing; so that by a little Practice, the Risposte will come as quickly from it, as from the ordinary Parades in Quarte and Tierce above the Adversary's Sword, altho' I must confess, not altogether with such a firm and strong Spring: **Whereas if Novices, or half-skilled Persons, should attempt it, it would but lead them to their more quick and certain destruction, seing they endeavour a Pursuit from the Parade, which they are not as yet absolutly Masters of; however the sooner any Man accustoms himself in School-Play, to this excellent and safe Pursuit from the Risposte, the sooner will he become Master of it, to adventure upon ut in an Occasion with Sharps, especially, when the truely designs prejudice to his Adversary.

*[An Excellent Advice in an occasion with Sharps, for such as are Masters of a firm and sure Parade.]

**[A Caveat for Novices, or such as have an imperfect Parade.]

BECAUSE, if he have not a real Design upon his Adversary's Life, but only to Master him by a more gentle Method, he ought to take himself, to some less bloody Pursuit and Offence, such as Commanding, or making Thrusts at the Wrests, Thighs, of Leggs, (any of which will Disable) and wholly forbear this which flowing from the Risposte, is a most strong, sure, and destructive kind of Pursuit; seing the Thrusts from it, come alwise very full and smartly home, and are therefore with great difficulty defended.


Of Thrusting and Ecarting the Head.

A Man is said to Thrust when he makes an Attempt to hit his Adversary with the Point of his Weapon: It differs from the following term Elongeing, in this, that a Man may Thrust without offering to Elonge, because he may be so near to his Adversary, that the very Spring of his Sword-Arm, especially when accompany'd with the inclining of the Trunk of his Body forewards) may carry the Point home to his Adversary's Body; whereas Elongeing is vere seldom performed, without attempting to Thrust: But this nearness to a Man's Adversary, falls out so rarely, that when People generally Talk of Thrusting, Elongeing is almost alwise understood to accompany it.

THERE are several Errors committed in the Schools, with Relation to Thrusting, which I shall name, That Masters may Consider upon them, and Advise, whether they are so material, as that it will be worth their while to rectify them; for my own part, I think they ought to be rectified, seing they are no less contrary to Reason, than to the true Rules of the Art.

*THE First is, their ordering all plain Thrusts to be given in alwise closs by the Foible of the Adversary's Sword, a thing that can only be performed upon a Master's Breast-Plate; because it is scarcely possible almost, to get an opportunity to do it in an Assault, or at Sharps, unless a Man resolve never almost to Hit or Wound his Adversary at all: For it is most certain, that the Thrusting, or disengaging closs by the Foible of the Adversary's Sword, retards the swiftness of the Thrust extremly; whereas, if a Man designs to make a swift Thrust, he should be so far from attempting, to Thrust, he should be so far from attempting, to Thrust closs by the Foible of his Adversary's Sword, that he ought indispensibly to Cut beneath the Hilt and never offer to disengage to Thrust, until his Sword Point be advanced upon the same side it is presented, even beyond the Adversary's Hilt; and thus he cannot fail to make a swift and subtle Thrust, either within and above, or below; or without and above the Sword, but especially within and below; if he also observe to make the Trunk of his Body and Hand move together, and both of them alwise before his Advanced Leg, if he is to Elonge.

*[Error 1.]

YEA, to make a Thrust the more effectual, a good Artist will not only Cut or carrie his Thrust home swiftly beneath his Adversary's Hilt, but to make it resist the better his Parade, and take more upon his Body, will also many times Thrust with a Quarte Position of the Sword Hand, without and above the Sword; carraying his Hilt high, and Point low towards his Adversary's left side; and with a Tierce Position of the Sword Hand, within and beneath it; carrying his Hilt low, and as it were from his Adversary's Sword, towards his Adversary's left side, and the Point high towards his right, which will take so very much upon the Adversary's Body, Within and Beneath the Sword, that unless he have an exceeding quick and firm Parade, especially in the common Method of Parieing from other Guards, (for upon the Hanging Guard, this manner of Thrusting cannot possibly be performed) he will be fair to receive the Thrust: whereas the ready way to render a Thrust slow and of little effect, is, according to the imperfect Direction of most Masters, to attempt alwise to Thrust or Disengage, close by the Foible of the Adversary's Sword; a Directioin most ridiculous, and which I admire they have not of themselves rectified long e're now.

WHAT I have said, against Thrusting closs by the Foible of the Adversary's Sword, in performing any plain Thrust, holds much more, when a Man shall either play from Binding, or from the Risposte; for in all these Cases, he ought to be so far from keeping by the Adversary's Sword in Thrusting, that he should immediatly after Binding or Securing his Sword, quit with it, and launch home the Thrust as strong and swiftly to the Body as possible, and then immediatly recover again to his defensive Posture. The same is also to do when he plays from the Riposte.

**THE Second is, the ordering them alwise to Plant or Thrust high, and with the Sword Hand also too much in Quarte, which is just a piece with the former; for by Thrusting with the Hand so much in Quarte,and carrying the Sword so high, a Man creats to himself Three Disadvantages; The First is, That he directs his Thrust to that part of the Body, I mean the Breast and Ribs, which are strongest, and consequently most difficult to Penetrat or Wound, being defended with strong Cartilages and Bones; the Second and Third are, That his Thrust is rendered thereby, the shorter and weaker, the further his Sword Hand is turned to Quarte, and the more high the Thrust is planted.

**[Error 2.]

***FOR it is a nice, but true Rule in planting a Thrust, to endeavour, as much as nature of the Thrust will allow, to keep the Sword and Arm constantly upon a level with the Shoulder; which makes not only alwise the longest Line; that being likewise the shortest distance betwixt that part of your Adversary's Body and you, when upon your Stretch; but it also falls to be directed against those parts of the Body, which are not only most difficult to defend, but also a great deal more easily pierced, I mean the lower part of the Stomach and Belly: Also when the Hand is kept in the true Quarte, and the fingers not too much turned up, the Thrust is the stronger; the Sword kept the firmer in a Man's hand, and consequently not so easily beat out of it; which is a Fault, no less undecent in an Assault, than dangerous in an Occasion; therefore it is good thus to prevent it.

***[A good Direction in Planting a Thrust.]

****THE Third is, the ordering of their Schollars, alwise to Ecart their Head and Shoulders, at the performing of every Thrust they design Within and Above, or Below, or Without and Above their Adversary's Sword; giving for a Reason, that this Ecarting of the Head (which they also wrongoully Term Decarting) together with the Thrusting close to the Foible of the Adversary's Sword, saves them from a Contre-Temps, or a Thrust at the same time; whereas there is nothing more false.

****[Error 3.]

FOR this Ecarting of the Head, which in French signifies to keep it from the streight Line, or out of the way of the Enemies Sword, is of little or no use at all, for the preventing of an exchanged Thrust, if a Man's Adversary design it, no more than the attempting to Thrust closs by the Foible of the Sword, or with the Sword-Hand in such and such a Position, of Tierce, Quarte, or Seconde do. Because First, however a Man may be humor'd to Thrust by the Foible of the Sword upon a Master's Breast-Plate; yet he shall not perhaps in several Assaults, get one Opportunity to do it; especially if his Adversary understand to Cross and Bind his Sword. Secondly, Suppose he should Thrust by the Foible of the Sword, and Ecart his Head, yet that can only save him upon one Line; and his Adversary has no more to do, but to Shift and Alter his Sword, and catch him upon its Point in another Line, for a Man's Sword cannot be in, nor, when he is Thrusting, Guard or Defend, two different places, at one and the same time.

*****THEREFORE the only true, and swift way of Thrusting a plain Thrust, either Within and Above, or Beneath the Sword; or Without and Above; is, as I before said by alwise disengaging, or Cutting, as we say beneath the Hilt, let the Position of your Sword Hand be what it will; and carrying the Sword as level home as possible, with the Head, directly above your Sword Arm: unless you intend to Thrust in Quarte without the Sword; in which case, you are, as I said, to carry your Hilt, high and Point low, towards your Adversary's left side: or in Tierce within the Sword; and then you are to carry your Sword Arm and Hand low, towards your Adversary's left side, and Point high, towards his right: Now in these Cases your Head can not be directly above your Sword Arm, because of your putting your Sword Hand, voluntarly out of the streight Line in Thrusting, that it may take the more upon your Adversary's Body; and for preventing of an exchanged Thrust, if your Adversary design one, there is no other more certain Method under Heaven, than to oppose, and carry off his Sword with your left Hand, in the time you are delivering your Thrust.

*****[An excellent Direction for Thrusting a swift & subtle Thrust.]

THESE Directions are as good and safe as they are great Rectifications in the common Method of Teaching: And are also kind of Secrets, if there be any such in Fencing, whereby to Thrust swift and subtily most kind of Thrusts, especially upon the inside.

******AND this brings me to the Fourth Error; which is the ordering their Schollars, to throw their left Hand either behind them, or to stretch it out along their left-side at the delivery of every Thrust; and the Reason they give for it is, because say they, it ballances a Man's Body, and so makes him the more firm, when he is upon his Elonge.

******[Error 4.]

I shall not deny, but this keeping back of the Left-hand may ballance the Body a little; but I am very certain, a Man sustains a far greater Prejudice, by his losing in a manner the benefit of his Left-hand for the oppposing of his Adversary's Sword, and thereby preventing a Contre-temps, or Exchanged Thrust, when in an Occasion, than he can possibly reap Advantage by the assistance it gives him, for the more easie ballancing of his Body: Because when a Man's Left-hand is thus thrown out of the way, upon the delivery of every Thrust, he loses almost a whole Time, before he can bring it forward again, either to oppose his Adversary's Sword, for the better defending himself from a Contretemps, exchanged Thrust, or Thrust from the Risposte, if his Adversary should design any of these against him; or, before he can be ready with it, to catch hold of his Adversary's Sword, when himself intends, either to Enclose and Grapple, or Command.

SO that the only true Way for a Man in an Occasion is not only to make use of a good and firm Parade when he is upon the Defence, but also to assist it with the left Hand, when needful; and which he ought therefore to have alwise in readiness, upon the delivery of all his Thrusts, and not to bring from behind his Back, when he does perhaps need it, either to oppose his Adversary's Thrust; secure himself upon his own in case of a designed Contre-temps, and Exchanged Thrust; (against which, it is absolutely one of the best Remedies Sword-Men have) or to catch hold of his Adversary's Sword, if he should resolve to Enclose upon, and Command him.

THESE are the Benefits which a good Sword-Man reaps, by a seasonable assiting himself with his left Hand; all which he is frustrat of, when it is, contrary to all Reason, thrown behind him: Therefore I with this Abuse, or rather Neglect of the Assistance of the left Hand, may be rectified, with the abovementioned Errors in Thrusting. For the right placing of which Hand, either when a Man pitches himself first to his Guard, or when Thrusting: see the Positions of the left Hands of Fig. 1. 4. 5. and 9.

THE exact Method of Parieing dexterously, and Thrusting swiftly and subtly a Plain Thrust, being the Foundation of all True Fencing, has been the occasion of my being more particular upon these two terms of Art, than upon several of the rest; and indeed they are of such Consequence to all who really intend to become good Sword Men, that it were in some measure better for them, to be almost altogether ignorant of many of the other Branches of Fencing, than of these Two; because, altho' a Man be pretty expert, in the performing most of the other Lessons, commonly Taught in the Ordinary Method, yet if he be imperfect in the Practice of these Two Terms of Art, the understanding of the rest, will avail him but very little, especially in an Occasion with Sharps; whereas if he be absolutly Master of a firm and sure Parade, and of a quick and subtile Method of Delivering a Smart Plain Thrust, he may very well dispense with a great many of the other Lessons, which are Taught in the Schools more out of Form, and for the rendring a Man more Adroit and Dexterous, at the delivering of a True Plain Thrust, than for any other great benefit can redound to him from them, in an Encounter with Sharps.

THERFORE I intreat my Reader, that for his greater, & more certain Improvement in this most Useful Art, he would chiefly apply himself to the Practice of them; either while he is at School, under the Conduct and Instruction of a Fencing Master; or in his own Chamber, where he is only assisted by the natural Address, and assiduous Application, of a smart and judicious Comerad; and let him rely upon my Word for it, that he shall not be long, without reaping the benefit I propose to him by it: For, not to be Master of a Good and Sure Parade, and of a quick and subtile Method of delivering a Plain Thrust, and to be a good and dexterous Sword-Man; are, in my Opinion, very incompatible.


Of Elongeing or making an Elonge.

WHEN a Man is not so near to his Adversary, as that he can reach him, by only stretching out of his Sword-Arm, and inclining forewards with his Body, without moving of his Advanced Foot; then there is a Necessity for him, to step out with his right Foot, that so his Thrust may take effect; and this is what we call an Elonge.

Elongeing then, is a vigorous, sudden, and quick moving foreward of the right Foot, keeping at the same time, the Left immoveable; and is performed with a pretty violent kind of Stretch, occasioned by the eager desire of the Pursuer, to hit or wound his Adversary; and without which, he could not many times reach him: It is derived from the French Word Alonger, which signifies to lengthen, or to stretch out; and indeed in this Action, a Man both lengthens his Thrust, and stretches his Limbs, many times, to the full, otherwise he would often come short of his Adversary, and so Thrust in vain.

SOME Masters advise their Scholars, that they may the better keep their left Foot fixed, (which is a very material Circumstance in Elongeing,) to Couch the inside of it towards the Ground; pretending that they are kept thereby more fixt, and not so apt to stumble, or fall forewards towards their Adversary. Others again, disapprove of this Method, and direct the keeping only of the left Heel close to the Ground, and affirm that this keeps a Man altogether as firm upon his Limbs in an Elonge, as the former doth; and in my Opinion of these two Methods, this last is the best and most sure; because it is by fixing of the left Heel, and not the Toe, or Couching the Foot, that all the Body is kept firm upon an Elonge; for if the Heel be loose, a Man can never have any Assurance of a quick Recovery from a Stretch, which is the only End for which it is directed.

AGAIN, there are other Masters, and those of the greatest Esteem, particularly Mon: De Lioncour, who condemn both the former Methods, of either Couching the left Foot, or keeping its Heel fixed in an Elonge; and in place of both, order a Man to keep his left Foot flate and firm upon its Sole, without altering of it; and maintain, that a Man is not only as firm upon an Elonge this way, but also that he will Elonge or Stretch, as far this Way, as when his Foot is Couched to one side.

AS to this last Assertion, of a Man's stretch being fully as long this way, as when his Foot is Couched, I confess I can not agree to it; because certainly, when a Man's Foot is upon its Sole as he is stretching, there is a kind of Angle formed at the Ancle, betwixt the Inside of the Foot and Legg, when he makes his Stretch, which certainly shortens his Elonge; wheras, the Couching of the Foot, advances a little the left Legg in stretching, and so takes away the above-mentioned Angle; which if it do, must certainly so much lengthen the Elonge, as it self was advanced: But as for the other, which is a Man's being as firm and fixed upon it, as when the Heel only is kept fast; I altogether approve of it, especially in an Occasion with Sharps; because, whatever large Stretches a Man may venture upon in a School-Assault, by Couching of his Foot, yet it is dangerous, either in the Fields, or upon a Street, to make such Overreaches, from whence a Man can scarcely recover himself, without the assistance, sometimes, of his left Hand upon the Ground, to keep him from falling forwards.

*FOR altho' in the Schools, great and long Stretches, make a good Appearance, and are mightily cryed up; yet in an Engagement, nothing can be more dangerous, because of the Opportunity it gives a Man's Adversary to Risposte him, before he can recover to his Defence; and therefore one of the chief Directions at Sharps is, never either to Couch the left Foot, nor to Elonge too unreasonably; the First, keeping a Man firm and fixed; and the Other, assisting him to a quick Recovery of his Body after his Elonge, that thereby he may prevent his Adversary's Thrusts from the Risposte.

*[Elongeing too far, dangerous in an Occasion]

ALL Elongeing ought to be performed Vigorously, and with Life; at which the French are most dexterous; which gives them generally so swift a Hand in performing a Plain Thrust, that it comes gome upon a Man with such swiftness, as if it were darted from a Cross-Bow; for nothing is more unbecoming, and appears more dull, than to see a Man Elongeing, as if he were half asleep, and had neither Strength nor Spirits: And as the Stretching is to be performed with Mettle and Earnestness, so with no less Vigour and Quickness ought the Recovery to be finished; without which, a Man can never Pretend to come off safe, from an Exchanged and Risposted Thrust.


Of Caveating or Dissengaging.

WHETHER it was the Observing the Natural, but cunning Motions, which Cocks make with their Heads in Fighting, to shun and evite the Strokes of their Adversary's Beaks, or some other such like Observation, that gave the first Rise to this Term of Art in Fencing, is neither certain, nor very material to be known; but to give a short and true Definition of it, is, I think, altogether propper and necessary; and the rather, that it was this very Caveating or Dissengaging, which gave the chief Rise to this New Method of Fencing, or New Guard, I have all along been so much Recommending.

CAVEATING or Dissengaging, is a Motion, whereby a Man brings in an instant, his Sword which was presented upon any side of his Adversary's, generally beneath its Hilt to the opposite side; and this he can do so often as he pleases from Within to Without, and from Without to Within; from having its Point High to be Low, and from having it Low to be High; either upon the same side it is presented, or upon the opposite side.

IT is so very necessary a Motion in Fencing, that without it, there could be scarcely any Offensive Part or Pursuit, at all, at least it would be but very slow; and it is also so easily and quickly performed against the Ordinary Tierce and Quarte Guards, that it gives a constant Opportunity, to make Variety of most Quick and Subtile Feints against them; which by reason of the Small Cross, made by the Weapons upon these Guards, makes the Pursuit very easie, and the Defence or Parade extremely difficult; as I have clearly demonstrate in the Second Advantage, to which I remit the Reader.

IT was indeed the great Opportunity, those Guards alwise give for a sudden disengaging, (which is the source of all quick and subtle Feints, and consequently of a great uncertainty in the Defence;) that first put me upon the search of this New Method, which by reason of its great Cross upon the Adversary's Sword, renders the Disengaging, or making of Feints more slow, and consequently the Pursuit or offensive Part; and for the very same Reason, the Parade more certain: so that hereby, the ordinary Method is quite renversed, and in place of the Pursuit being quick, and the Parade uncertain, whereby a Man's Life was in continual hazard, the Pursuit is now rendered slow, and the Parade a great deal more certain, and thereby a Man's Life is not in near so great danger, which was my whole and only aim; and which I hope, will meet with an Approbation as general, as the Parade or Defence flowing from it, is secure and Universal. I shall therefore say no more in Commendation of it here, having done it sufficiently by a Mathematical Demonstration, in the Scheme, in the middle of the Plate, to which I refer the Reader; and which I take to be a sufficient Warrand for all I can possibly offer, or say in its behalfe.


Of Feints.

A Feint is much of the same Nature with Caveating or Disengaging, and is a Motion, whereby a Man's Adversary with any kind of Weapon, endeavours, either only to make an Open upon him, whereby he may have an opportunity to Thrust, or make him believe, that he designs to give home his Thrust at one part of the Body, when he really intends to give it on upon another; It is but an uncertain kind of Play, and not much to be ventur'd upon in an Occasion, except when it is preceeded by Binding.

AS there are two Methods of making of Feints, so there are several kinds of Feints, which I shall but just Name, that this may serve as a common place, where they may be all found at one view; having descrived them exactly in the Scots Fencing Master. It is certain, that a Man may make a Feint towards any part of the Body, and in this respect, there may be as many Feints, as there are different parts of a Man's Body to aim them at; but as this would but lead Men into Confusion, therefore it hath been thought fit to restrict them chiefly to these seven following.

1mo. THERE are the Single and Double Feints, within and without the Sword; for a Triple Feint is not to be made use of, by reason of the great Opportunity, it gives to a Man's Adversary to take Time upon him; which is alwise most conveniently done, either upon a Man's Advancing, as he is a raising of his advanced Foot to Approach, or as he is making of any Feint, which is not preceeded, by a Securing of the Sword or Binding.

2do. THE Single and Double Feints Above and Without the Sword, commonly called the Single and Double Feints at the Head or Eyes.

3tio. THE Low Feints at the Belly without the Sword, Single and Double. And

4to. THE single Feint within and Above the Sword, called in the Schools Volte Coupx0329, but improperly, for the true Name in French is , Botte Coupx0329; which is as much as to say, a Thrust cut short of its expected Reach; for Botte in French signifies a Thrust; so that this Feint being made Within and Above the Sword, with the Hand turned a little more in Quarte than ordinary, and then instantly falling low with the Thrust, towards the Belly, the Sword Hand but altered a little more to the Tierce, than when the Feint was made, it is very properly denominat a Cut, or Foreshortn'd Thrust; because the Feint, which was expected to be the motion of the Thrust, is stopt, and converted into a Thrust at the Belly, Within and Below the Sword.

THESE are the most frequently practiced Feints, in the common Method of Fencing, and altho, a Man may invent many more Feints, to other parts of the Body, yet the most of them will alwise terminate, in one of these Seven I have named. But indeed, this New Method I am now upon, will not well admit so many, for I restrict it chiefly, to the Single and Double Feints Without and Above, and Without and Beneath the Sword; seing many would but Embarass a Man, and not answer so well my Design, which is to set down no Directions or Lessons, but what are in a manner absolutly necessary.

NOW, as there are several kinds of Feints, so there are, as I before hinted, two Methods of making Feints. The First and least secure, are these I have named, by reason that they are only simple Motions made with the Sword (without being preceeded with any Spring, or securing Cross upon the Adversary's Sword) to Deceive and Cheat a Man's Adversary, out of the Security he puts himself into, by keeping a good Posture of Defence, from whence he may bring a firm and sure Parade; and therefore, as I said, a Man may be readily surprized, and catch'd upon the performing of them, by a right tristed time; whereas the Second, and most secure Method of making Feints is, by first engaging as it were the Adversary's Sword, either by Binding or a springing Cross, which are much about one, before a Man attempt to make either his Single or Double Feint, for by thus securing of his Adversary's Sword, before he make his Feint, he not only in a manner makes good the design of his Feint, whether Single or Double, but also very much incapacitats his Adversary, from catching him upon Time; therefore, if a Man will make use of Feints, let him make chiefly use of these last mentioned, which are alwise preceeded by a Beat, Binding, or a springing Cross; and then he may venture upon them, not only with the more Confidence & assurance, but also rely upon them for a greater Success, than if he should wholly attempt them, without any such Pre-engagement of his Adversary's Sword.

THERE is also another Point in Relation to Feints, which deserves to be decided; and that is, whether a Man in making of his Feints, should accompany each Motion of his Sword with an

Appel, as the French call it, or with a Beat upon the Ground with his advanced Foot, or not?

THOSE who are for it, assert, That the Appel or Challenge of the advanced Foot, surprizes a Man oft times more, than the Motion of the Sword, and so obliges him more certainly to give an Open, than if the Feint were only performed with the Sword alone; because that Motion, may be sometimes so very quick and subtle, as scarcely to be decerned; wheras the Noice of the Adversary's Foot upon the Ground, where the Challenge or Appel is given to answer it, is a kind of Advertisement and Allarm, which a Man can scarcely resist or restrain from answering.

TO giue my Opinion in this matter, I think both Methods are good, according to the Adversary that a Man hath to deal with; for if it be with an unskilful Person, then certainly an Appel or Challenge, sometimes with the Foot, accompanying the Motion of the Sword, can never do prejudice, but rather make the Allarm the stronger, whereby the Open will be the more readily given.

BUT if the Adversary be an Artist, and especially if the Engagement be upon the Street, or in the Fields, then, in both these Cases I am altogether against the Appel, or Motion of the advanced Foot, accompanying the Motion of the Feint, and that for two Reasons.

First The Appel or Motion with the Foot, certainly retards the swiftness of the Feint, which being thus rendered slow, makes the Thrust long a coming home, and so will but very rarely take against a good Artist; and that it does retarde the Motion of the Feint, is what cannot be denyed, by any having the least Knowledge in Feincing: For it is most evident, that a quick and swift handed Artist, is capable from the Quarte Guard, without the Appel or Motion of his Advanced Foot, to make so subtle a Feint, that it shall appear but as the twinkle of an Eye, and not take half the time, that a Man must of necessity take to raise his Foot, and set it down again, which he must do in an Appel.

Secondly, If the Engagement be upon the Street, or in the Fields, then, the Appel or Allarm of the Advanced Foot, is still of less use; because in this Case it cannot be heard, as upon a Fencing-School Floor; and therefore all it would signify, would be to render slow the Feint, and thereby give a Man's Adversary, the better Opportunity to Parie it.

FROM whence I conclude, that when a Man designs only to make a Slow Feint, as if it were to Sift, and Try his Adversary, to know how they will take with him; in that Case, he may accompany the Motion of his Sword-Hand, with that Appel, or Allarm of his Advanced Foot; but if he intend to make a Feint, that Execution may really follow upon it, then he is not only, not to give any Appel or Challenge with his advanced Foot, but also, to make the Motion with his Sword as quick, and subtil, as it is possible for him to perform it; that so he may the more certainly delude his Adversary.

THIS is my Opinion as to Feints, made from the Ordinary Quarte, and Tierce Guards; but such quick and subtile Feints cannot be performed against this Hanging-Guard in Seconde, I so much commend; by reason of the great Angle it makes with the Adversary's Sword, which certainly retards them: and therefore teh constant use of it, is an excellent Contrary to Feints; by reason of its Sloping Point, for which it ought to be mightily Valued, and Esteemed before any other Guard whatsoever; especially seing this Sloping Position of it, answers exactly the greatest Contrary, which the French Masters have against the common Feints Within and Without the Sword, when they order alwise their Scholars, upon variety of their Adversary's Feints, either to take time and Thrust upon him, or otherwise to Baisser la Pointe, or slop their Swords Point; in my Opinion, the much more Rational, as well as Secure Direction, and Contrary of the two.


Of Time.

IN the Language of Sword-Men, by Time, is not meant that continual flux of Moments, whereof our short duration in this World is composed; for certainly in this Acceptation, there can be neither Motion, nor Thrust, but what is truely performed in Time, that is, there are alwise some Moments of Time required, wherein to execute them; but by Time in the Art of Fencing , is understood, a certain Opportunity which a Man takes the benefit of, either to perform some kind of Lesson or Thrust, while his Adversary, by wounding him and saving of himself, in the very same instant of Time, that his Adversary is Advancing upon, or Thrusting at him, and this without so much as offering, first to Cross or secure his Adversary's Sword, before he attempt it; and it is alwise as I said, performed upon the first moving of the Adversary's advanced Foot.

NOW, as there is nothing more commendable in an expert Sword-Man, than his never losing, but upon the contrary, his performing alwise his Designs, upon the First Kind of Artificial Time; so in my Opinion, there is nothing more uncertain and dangerous, than for a Man frequently to make use of this Last, for Prevention; yea I am so much against it, that whatever be allowed to a Man, for his Divertisement in School-Play, yet in an Occasion, the taking the opportunity of it, ought to be much condemned, that in such a Juncture, it should not be so much as thought of, let alone put in Practice.

FOR even in taking the First kind of Time, no Man can be sure, except it be from the Risposte, or that he oppose his left Hand, but he may receive an Exchanged Thrust, before he recover to a Posture of Defence, from his Discharged Thrust; how much uncertainty then must there be, and to how much in an occasion with Sharps, by making use of the Last and most uncertain kind of Time, which is performed, without the least Securing of the Adversary's Sword?

I know that the taking this kind of Time, tho' most Dangerous, is much approved of, and admired by many, even great Masters in this Art; for my own part, I wish them good Success in it, but shall never advise my Friends to make use of it out of an Assaulting School, unless they intend, that their Life shall be as short continuance, as the uncertain Time, wherein they designed to bereave their Adversaries of theirs.

*THEREFORE, wholly disapproving of such an Uncertain, Deceitful, and Dangerous kind of Play, especially with Sharps, which does many times occasion the loss of Men's Lives; many People, by reason of the wrong Notion they have of it, being frequently induced to make use of it, even with Sword in Hand; I earnestly recommend to all Skilful Persons, who have any regard for their Lives, that in an Occasion with Sharps, they never so much as think (except upon the greatest Pinch imaginable) of Thrusting upon Time; that is; without first Engaging, Crossing, or Securing their Adversary's Sword, or forcing it out of the way, by a Springing Beat before they Thrust themselves; it being impossible for any Man to venture upon it, without at the same time hazarding his Life, and in a manner, by a seen Disadvantage, exposing himself to his Enemy.

*[A safe Advice at Sharps.]

LET then this Ventorious, Uncertain, and Dangerous Play upon Time, never take place, (except, as I said upon a great Necessity,) but only for a Man's Divertisement, when he is Assaulting in the Schools; and even then, let it be accompanyed with the assistance of the Left Hand, for the better preventing of a Contre-temps or Exchanged-Thrust: This Advice is of very great Importance, to such as intend to become truely great Sword-Men, by being Masters of a firm and sure Defence, and consequently of a secure Method of Play, against all kind of Humors whatsoever, for the better Preservation of their Honour and Lives.


Of a Contre-Temps, and an Exchanged Thrust; and how they differ.

IN Fencing Schools, by a Contre-temps is commonly understood, a Thrust given in the same time that a Man's Adversary Thrusts, which I think but a very imperfect Definition of it; because, certainly for any Man to Thrust without having an Open, as we commonly term it, or some part of his Adversary's Body so discovered, as that he has reason to make a Thrust upon it; or without having by the Neglect of his Adversary, or by his own forcing it upon him, a reasonable Opportunity to give in a Thrust is as much to Thrust in Contre-temps, as to Thrust at the very same time, a Man's Adversary is discharging of his Thrust against him and therefore by a Contre-temps is to be understood, every attempt to Thrust, without having a convenient Opportunity offered, either voluntarily by ones Adversary, or thro' his Ignorance and Neglect; or without having at least forced an Open upon him, which is certainly the safest of any; because a Man's Adversary may discover the first out of a design; but this last kind of Open, or Opportunity, is what he cannot prevent, it being in a manner altogether forced upon him, and he compelled to it, quite contrary to his Inclination; so that by this Explication, you see the Signification of the word Contre-temps, is of greater extent, than what hath been allowed to it formerly by most Masters: And indeed, nothing discovers more a Man's Ignorance in Fencing, than to be frequently guilty of offering Thrusts in Contre-temps, when himself hath neither forced nor his Adversary given any opportunity or Open; or by alwise Thrusting upon his Adversary's Thrust, without offering first to Parie; whereby Contre-temps and Exchanged Thrusts, do most frequently follow.

MANY People confound a Contre-temps with an Exchanged Thrust, fancying, that whatever is an Exchanged Thrust, must also be a Contre-temps, in which they are mightily mistaken, for tho' it cannot be denyed, but where there is a Contre-temps made, there may also proceed an Exchanged Thrust from it, and vice versa, a Contre-temps may be rightly denominat such, upon the giving of some certain Exchanged Thrusts; yet strictly speaking, there may be a Contre-temps where there is no Exchanged Thrust; and an Exchanged Thrust given, which was not at all in Contre-temps.

FOR instance, when a Man, as I said, Thrusts upon his Adverary, without any design, or having the least opportunity for it, then he certainly Thrusts in Contre-temps, altho' no Exchanged Thrust follow upon it: Again, when a Man's Adversary Thrusts upon him, and wounds him; yet he, before his Adversary recovers his Body, or goes out of his Measure, gives home a Thrust upon him, whereby he wounds his Adversary; in this case it cannot be denyed, but that here is a fair Exchanged Thrust; but I am sure, without the least appearance of a Contre-temps; for there could not be a more proper opportunity for him, to return the equivalent of the Wound he received, than in the time his Adversary's Body was recovering from his Thrust with which he had wounded him; and with which his Adversary's Body was certainly disordered, not only as he gave it in, but also in the recovering of the Body, to a Posture of Defence after it.

BUT to make this yet more clear, you are to know, that there are Three very different kinds of Thrusts, which any Man may receive upon his Pursuit, besides that upon Time, and which few Masters know how to (at least do not) distinguish as they ought; which Neglect, or Inadvertancy hath been certainly the rife of the foregoing Mistake, and of the false definition, of a true Contre-temps; and these Three arel First, a Thrust from the true Risposte or Back of a Man's own Parade; Secondly, A Thrust upon the Adversary's recovering of his Body, or going off when he hath not given the Wound; And the Third is, an Exchanged Thrust upon the Adversary's recovery, or going off after he hath fairly given a Thrust or Wound: Now you see all these three Thrusts differ, and yet they are taken by many, for one and the same kind of Thrust, and except that from the true Risposte, go for the most part under the name of a Contre-temps; whereas there is nothing more false, because the other two Times for returning a Thrust, have not only nothing of a Contre-temps in them, but are also very true and good Times, to return and repay the equivalent, of what a Man may have received from his Adversary; so that it is hereby very evident, that a true Contre-temps, and an Exchanged Thrust, are not alwise one and the same thing, altho' sometimes they indeed are; and therefore I judged it not amiss to discover this Distinction, which many have hitherto Disputed.

I remember also, that I have also heard it Debate, Whether or not, an Ignorant could possibly take Time, and consequently give an Artist a Contretemps; and it was my Opinion, and still is, That no Man altogether ignorant of the Art of the Sword; can either certainly take a true Time upon an Artist, or Contretemps him; and my Reason for it was, that being ignorant of, and not sensible when his Adversary gave Opens to him, he could not reap the Advantage of these Opportunities.

BUT to be ingenuous, theis is but Fencing-School Quibble; for altho' an Ignorant cannot, as an Artist doth, either certainly take a true offered Time, or Contretemps, upon his Adversary's taking of one against him; yet he can do that which is equivalent; which is, he may either by Chance, Thrust at the same time his Adversary is Thrusting, by which means both may come to receive a Wound; or he may Thrust by Chance so seasonably, after his Adversary has spent his Thrust upon him, that before his Adversary recovers to his Defence, he may receive a Thrust from him; and I hope, a Thrust is a Thrust, whether it be given by way of Contretemps, or Exchanged Thrust.

SO that, if an Ignorant can wound an Artist any way, tho' but meer Chance, then it is ridiculous to say, that he hath not thereby gained an Advantage over the Artist, altho' the Thrust can neither be said to be given in a true Time, nor upon a designed Contretemps; as it was folly in a certain Person, as the Story goes, to be extremely dissatisfied at himself, because of his wounding his Adversary with the Sword Hand in Quarte; whereas in his Opinion, the Thrust ought to have been given, according to the Rules, with his Sword-Hand either in Tierce or Seconde.

AND this also discovers, another Mistake many Masters are in, who maintain, that a true taken Time hath no Contrary; 'tis true, strictly speaking, and according to the nicest Rule, a true taken Time has no Contrary; but then it may meet with that which is equivalent, that is, with an Exchanged Thrust: For as I have said, after a Man hath taken most exactly and nicely, a true Time upon his Adversary, yet if he do not recover quickly enof after his Thrust, to a true Defence; or more properly defend himself, by opposing his Left hand in his going off from his Thrust, he may come to receive a Wound; by which it appears, that a upon a true taken Time, a Man can receive an Exchanged Thrust, which altho' strictly speaking, it be no Contrary to it, nor is it indeed occasioned by his taking of the Time, but by his slow recovering of himself, yet seing he received it upon that occasion, it is of the same Nature, with a true Contrary to Time, and brings the same prejudice to his Person as it were one, or as if the taking this dangerous and uncertain Time, had been the cause of it: For Wounds are still Wounds, let a Man receive them as he will; and altho' they may differ, with respect to the artificial Distinction given to them, by some too nice, and critical Artists, which at best, is but a jangle of Words; yet upon the Matter, by their Effects, and with respect to the Person who has the misfortune to receive them, they are the very same, as if they were true Contrarys to the taking of Time, and do alike bring many times, certain and inevitable Death along with them.

THEREFORE, wholly disapproving of such Quibbling and Fallacious Distinctions, which are of no other use, but to deceive People many times out of their Lives; I wish, Sword-Men would rather endeavour to support, and defend their Art by sollid Reasoning, and a firm and secure Method of Play, than by such weak Sophisms; which in place of encouraging and advantaging, do rather a great deal of prejudice, both to the Art, and those who profess it.


Of Dequarting and Volting.

DEQUARTING and Volting, being both of them formed upon Time, and also off the streight Line; the First, by Volting or turning the Body backwards, upon the Foot next to one's Adversary, as the Center, giving him at the same time the Thrust, (and opposing the Left-hand to prevent a Contretemps) in the time the Adversary is either passing of giving in a Plain Thrust Within, or Without the Sword; which are the most proper times for this Lesson. And the Second, by making a kind of Circular leap, toward the Adversary's Left-side in giving in the Thrust, as he is also either a Passing, or Thrusting upon you; I place them in the same Categorie with a Time, and advise no Man, to make use of either of them upon an Occasion, unless that by his thus ventorious and dangerous turning from the streight Line, (the only true Line at Sharps, when a Man is not to break Measure) he resolve, to have his Soul very quickly and suddenly turned out, of its fickle and Circulating Habitation.

FOR certainly, such an uncertain, dangerous, and Pyroising kind of Play, is only proper for a School Assault, and can never be approved of at Sharps by any, but such, whose Judgements are as little to be relyed upon, as the fickle, dangerous, and uncertain Play, which they do so fervently, but indeed most unreasonably Patronize: So I leave them to enjoy their beloved Opinion, in which, altho' I may wish them, yet I am certain, they can never have a very great Success; especially in an Occasion; wherein it is not possible for any Man to be too wary, and secure in the Method of his Pursuit, because of the bad Consequences which may attend it, were it otherwise; that is, being dangerous as well as uncertain, by running all upon taking of Time, or Dequarting alone; or Dequarting and Volting after other. All very diverting Lessons indeed with Foils in a School, but most uncertain and dangerous Pursuits, at Sharps in the Field: Besides, that the Thrusts commonly delivered from them, are so feeble and weak, that they are many times scarcely capable, of piercing to the Ribs, far less thorow them, or the Cartilage of the Breast; the ordinary parts People plant at, (altho' very disadvantageously) according to the common Directions for Planting: whereas I never value a Thrust, but what by the smartness and strength of it, is capable to enter the Body, at least five or six Inches; and even pierce the edge of a Rib of Cartilage, should it meet with them in its Passage.

FOR this strong, and Manly Method of Thrusting, not only penetrats to the quick, but even to the Noble and Inward Parts; whereas, the other upon Time, is in a manner only Superficial and Scurfing; that is, more proper for Diversion in an Assault, than for obtaining a just Satisfaction in the Field.


Of Dequarting and Volting.

DEQUARTING and Volting, being both of them formed upon Time, and also off the streight Line; the First, by Volting or turning the Body backwards, upon the Foot next to one's Adversary, as the Center, giving him at the same time the Thrust, (and opposing the Left-hand to prevent a Contretemps) in the time the Adversary is either passing of giving in a Plain Thrust Within, or Without the Sword; which are the most proper times for this Lesson. And the Second, by making a kind of Circular leap, toward the Adversary's Left-side in giving in the Thrust, as he is also either a Passing, or Thrusting upon you; I place them in the same Categorie with a Time, and advise no Man, to make use of either of them upon an Occasion, unless that by his thus ventorious and dangerous turning from the streight Line, (the only true Line at Sharps, when a Man is not to break Measure) he resolve, to have his Soul very quickly and suddenly turned out, of its fickle and Circulating Habitation.

FOR certainly, such an uncertain, dangerous, and Pyroising kind of Play, is only proper for a School Assault, and can never be approved of at Sharps by any, but such, whose Judgements are as little to be relyed upon, as the fickle, dangerous, and uncertain Play, which they do so fervently, but indeed most unreasonably Patronize: So I leave them to enjoy their beloved Opinion, in which, altho' I may wish them, yet I am certain, they can never have a very great Success; especially in an Occasion; wherein it is not possible for any Man to be too wary, and secure in the Method of his Pursuit, because of the bad Consequences which may attend it, were it otherwise; that is, being dangerous as well as uncertain, by running all upon taking of Time, or Dequarting alone; or Dequarting and Volting after other. All very diverting Lessons indeed with Foils in a School, but most uncertain and dangerous Pursuits, at Sharps in the Field: Besides, that the Thrusts commonly delivered from them, are so feeble and weak, that they are many times scarcely capable, of piercing to the Ribs, far less thorow them, or the Cartilage of the Breast; the ordinary parts People plant at, (altho' very disadvantageously) according to the common Directions for Planting: whereas I never value a Thrust, but what by the smartness and strength of it, is capable to enter the Body, at least five or six Inches; and even pierce the edge of a Rib of Cartilage, should it meet with them in its Passage.

FOR this strong, and Manly Method of Thrusting, not only penetrats to the quick, but even to the Noble and Inward Parts; whereas, the other upon Time, is in a manner only Superficial and Scurfing; that is, more proper for Diversion in an Assault, than for obtaining a just Satisfaction in the Field.


Of Binding or Securing the Sword; and Beating.

HAVING discovered the uncertainty and danger, as well of Playing frequently off the Streight Line, by Dequarting or Volting, as of much using, what Artists call Taking of Time; and disswaded People from the frequent Practice of either, especially at Sharps; I shall now proceed to a Term of Art, from whence a much more secure and safe Method of Pursuit does flow, than from that of either taking of Time, Dequarting or Volting; and it is binding, Securing, or Crossing the Sword with a Pressure, accommpanied with a spring from the Wrest, as it is a performing.

YOU are to know, that by these Three different Words, I mean one and the same thing; and as the Play flowing from this, is Diametrically opposite to that of Taking Time, so as that from Time is, (as I have frequently said, and cannot repeat too often) a most uncertain, and dangerous Method of Pursuit, this is a most Masterful and Secure one; for, unless a Man by some kind of Cross, Secure as it were, or render his Adversary's Sword incapable to offend him, during the time of his performing a Lesson upon him, it is impossible for him go be certain; but that he may receive from his Adversary, either a Fortuitous Contre-temps, or an Exchanged Thrust, before the Recovery of his Body, or going off after a Thrust; But if he disorder his Adversary's Sword, by Beating it with a Crossing kind of Spring, out of the Streight Line, before he deliver his own Thrust, then he may look upon himself in such a Condition, as that he may safely perform his designed Lesson, and that still with the more certainty, if it be Judicially accompanied at the time of its delivery, with the opposing of the Left-hand.

IN this excellent Method, of Crossing with a Spring the Adversary's Sword, before the performing most Lessons, does wholly consist the True and Safe Method of Fencing, especially in an Occasion; And whatever Lessons are not preceeded by this, are not to be reputed of any Security; so that a Man can never attempt the performing of them, particularly those upon Time, but at the same time he mightily exposes himself: Whereas, by this first Binding, or Crossing his Adversary's Sword with a kind of Spring, he is much more Secure, and in a manner Defended, in the very time that he is Offending, by rendring his Adversary in some measure incapable, not only to Offend him in the time of his Pursuit, but also himself better prepared for his own Defence; which he is not at all, when he Plays upon Time.

*BESIDES, it is worth Observation, that, when a Sword-Man who understands it, quitts this secure Method of Play from Binding, or Securing his Adversary's Sword, and offers frequently at the Catching him upon Time, especially at Sharps, it is I say, a very shroud Token, that he is brought to a great Pinch; and being sensible, that he is not capable to make good, either his Pursuit or Defence, according to true Art, because of his own Imperfection therein, is therefore resolved; by thus abandoning it, to rely more upon Chance than Skill, either for his own Preservation, or for the overcoming his Adversary. A Method so very uncertain and desparate, that it ought not to be so much as thought of, far less put in Practice by a good Sword-Man, until he be reduced to the greatest Extremity, and as it were, beyond the very utmost Limits of all true Art and Skill, so that it can be of no use to him; which is a Circumstance not to be supposed: Because, when a Man fails in the certainty of his Defence, it proceeds alwise from his own frail Weakness and Maladroitness, and never from any imperfection or unsufficiency in the Art; which if judiciously put in practice, is undoubtedly capable to furnish a true and most certain Defence. Besides, that it is always more sure, as well as more reasonable, for a Man so far as he can, to keep still by the Principles and true Rules of Art, than wholly to abandon them, and by frequent catching at Time, inconsideratly submit himself, for his preservation or Victory, to the uncertain Determination of a blind and fortuitous Chance.

*A good Observation and Advice.

**I know, that the great Objection, made by some People, particularly those Time-Catchers, against the frequent use of Binding is; That when a Man in performing it, cleaves too much to his Adversary's Sword, he is liable to his Adversary's Sword, he is liable to his Adversary's Slipping of him, and consequently, of receiving either a Plain Thrust, or one from a Feint. But this Objection is easily answered; For First, It ought to be a Man's chiefest Care, who makes much use of Binding, to prevent as much as possible his Adversary's Slipping of his Sword, while he is in that Action; which he may easily do, if he perform it with Judgement, and with a Springing Motion as I said, of the Wrest, so that he suffer not his Sword, to go too far from the streight LInd of his Adversary's Body. Secondly, If thro' eagerness, he do Cleave a little more to his Adversary's Sword is needful, yet he ought always to be so ready with the Cross, or Circulating Contre-caveating Parade, as still to be in readiness to meet with, and Cross his Adversary's Sword, should he offer to Slip him when he is going to Bind; and whoever neglects these two most useful Precautions in Binding, or Securing his Adversary's Sword, is guilty of a gross Escape in Fencing, according to its strictest Rules.

**Two most useful Precautions for Binding with Safety.

BUT why should we be surprized, at Peoples making many Times great Escapes in Fencing, contrary to all its safe Injunctions and excellent Rules? especially, when what they are to execute either by way of Prevention, or otherwise, is for the most part so quick and sudden, that they have scarcely time allowed them for a Thought, far less to Consider and Reflect upon what ought to be done, according to its nicest Rules; when even the best of Men, make frequently gross, and most unaccountable Escapes in point of Morals, notwithstanding of their having the Opportunity and time, for a sedate and serious Reflection, whereby they might with the more case prevent them. The Proverb then is but too generally true, and holds no less in Fencing, than in other Subjects, That it is far more Easie to give, than to take or follow, a good Advice and Counsel.

SEING then, the frequent taking of Time, is not only uncertain, but most dangerous in an Occasion, where a Man's Life is at Stake, and that a Man by so doing, bids in a manner, a voluntar Adien, to all True and Sure Art; by Fencing, as we say, At Random or HAp-hazard, and without the least Certainty; I say, seing this Hazardous, or rather Lottery Method of Play, (for it deserves no better Name) is so very little to be relyed upon, especially at Sharps, because of its sickleness and uncertainty; may the Security procedding form a Springing Cross upon your Adversary's Sword, commonly called Binding, highly recommended to you, not withstanding of the former weak Objection, the frequent Practice of it, whereby you will not only prevent many a Contre-temps, and even Exchanged Thrust, before Recovery, or going off after your Thrust, but also acquire That,which is the cheif Scope and Design, not only of this Essay, but truely also of the whole Art it self; that is, A Judicious, Safe and Regular Method of Offence, and A Firm, Vigorous, and Secure Defence, which are all necessarly requisite before a Man can justly pretend to that very Desirable and much wished for, but indeed rarely deserved Character, of being really a Great Master, of the most Noble, Heroik, and truely Useful Art of Defence. An Art possessed by very few, tho coveted by many; An Art that will never decieve or fail any who practise it truely and judiciously; and which is contemned by none, but such as are wholly ignorant and destitute, not only of its Worth and Use, but also of that Couragious Boldness and Assurance, it gratefully bestows, upon all who admire and with Judgement practise it.

***FOR what I have said more relative to Binding, and which is very material to be known, I remit the Reader to the Terms of Art, Fort and Foible, explained in the 3d. Article of this Chapter. As for Beating, the difference betwixt Binding and it, consists chiefly in this , that Binding is performed not only with a kind of Spring, but also a Man in performing it, keeps by and engages (by a kind of Pressure) more his Adversary's Sword than when he Beats; for which Reason binding is more proper, when a Man intends to become the Pursuer: Whereas Beating being performed by a kind of Jerk, or Dry Stroak, it is chiefly designed for the Defensive Partor Parade, that so a Man may return the quicker Risposte from it; seing his Sword if the Beat be rightly performed, will in some measure rebound as it were, from his Adversary's Sword, and so assist him to make the quicker Risposte; besides, that this Jerk or Dry Beat upon the Parade, forces the Adversary's Sword considerably out of the Streight Line, which makes the Risposte still more certain; and which cannot be done with near that Certainty nor Strength, with the Ordinary French Parades, Within and Without the Sword from the Quarte Guard, which is the Reason I so much condemn then in an Occasion.

***The difference betwixt Binding and Beating.

****THERE are two kinds of Beats, the First is performed with the Foible of a Man's Sword, upon the Foible of his Adversary's; which in the Schools is commonly called Baterie, from the French Word Batre, and is proper enof to be made use of upon a Man's Pursuit, to make an Open upon his Adversary; but this is not comparable to Binding for this purpose, because, this Baterie is not only performed at a pretty Distance, and not at Half-Sword, but also puts the Adversary's Sword only a little out of the Streight Line of the Body so that he quickly brings it in again; whereas Binding being performed not only with a Spring, but a kind of Cleaving to, or Pressure upon the Adversary's Sword; it is therefore, the only true and certain Method upon a Man's Pursuit, to force an Open upon his Adversary; and therefore I much preferr it to this first kind of Beating, which goes under the Name of Baterie.

****Two kinds of Beats.

THE Second and best kind of Beat, is performed with the Fort of a Man's Sword, upon the Foible of his Adversary's not with a Spring as Binding is, but with a Jerk or Dry Beat, and is therfore most proper for the Parades Without or Within the Sword as I said; because of the Rebound a Man's Sword has thereby from his Adversary's, whereby he procures to himself the better and surer Opportunity of Risposting; altho' it may be also made use of in the Pursuit to force an Open, as well as Baterie; but neither of them being so Strong, or rather Forcing, as Binding; I therefore prefer it far to either of them, for the procuring an Open from the Adversary upon a Pursuit: And this Second kind of Beat (that is with the Fort upon the Adversary's Foible, or with a dry Beat or Jerk,) before the other, for a good sure and firm Parade upon the Ordinary Quarte Guard; the Ordinary or French Parade, in Quarte and Tierce, by only turning of the Wrest of the Sword-Hand, without performing this Dry Beat, being most false and uncertain, especially in an Occasion when a Man's Life is at Stake, and where his Safety and Preservation, depends in great measure upon his good, firm, and certain Parade: which can only be such when it is performed by performing a good Cross, with a strong, firm, and Dry Beat, upon the Adversary's Sword.


Of Judging of Measure, or Distance;

HAVING in the Fifth article discoursed of Measure simply, I shall now consider and lay down, the most exact Rules whereby a Man is to judge of it; for the truely judging of Measure, which is the Distance betwixt a Man and his Adversary, is perhaps, one of the nicest, as well as most useful Things in the whole Art of the Sword; because, as the understanding of it perfectly, may save a Man many times from being wounded by his Adversary, so the slighting, or not duely observing it with that justness that it really requires, may cost a Man his Life.

IT should be therefore the Business of every Adroit Sword-Man, to be able to judge of it to a Nicety; because, let him be never so Adroit and Nimble, and also Master of a very sure and firm Parade; yet if he fail as much in the just Computation of Distance, especially at Sharps, he may come to lose any Benefit he might really have by his Art; and that by his being unexpectedly surprized, with his Adversary's Thrust reaching him, which he certainly lookt upon to be out of Distance, or without reach of him: To prevent which inconveniency, it will not be amiss, to lay down a few plain and easie Directions, for a Man's more exactly judging of it.

'TIS true, that when Persons, either in a School-Assault, or at Sharps, Play at Half-Sword, then there is no need of their having so great regard to the Distance betwixt them and their Adversary; because in such a Case, they are always within Measure of other: but in all other Methods of Play, except when Engaged at Half-Sword, a Man is indispensibly obliged to have regard to it, and endeavour to judge it as exactly as possible. Therefore,

THE first thing that a Man is to consider in judging of Distance is, whether he is to judge of it, with respect to his own Thrusting upon his Adversary, or of his Adversary's Thrusting upon him; for altho' it be most certain, that a Man may so order it, that (upon his Adversary's standing fixed to his Guard, and only discharging a Thrust at him without the least Approaching) his Adversary cannot reach him, and that nevertheless he himself shall be within reach of his Adversary; yet the Directions for both these Circumstances, are very little different. But seing I know this will seem a Paradox to many, how a Man may so order his Position to his Adversary, that he may reach his Adversary, and yet at the same time, his Adversary not be in a Condition, without approaching to reach him: I shall first explain how that may come to pass, before I proceed to the Directions for each Circumstance.

*THE Secret then consists in this, when a Man designs to set himself so as that he may reach his Adversary, and that at the same time his Adversary shall not, without Approaching, reach him; after he is on Guard, and that he has judged how far he thinks his Adversary by Elongeing may reach him, to do which, shall be immediatly taught; He must instantly, either by Approaching or Retireing, place his Advanced Leg about a Foot without that Distance from his Adversary (for I would not have any Man to allow himself less, neither is this Trick to be ventured upon at Sharps) bringing at the same time his Hind-Leg, or that farthest from his Adversary, within half a Foot or thereby, of the other; by which means you may easily perceive, that having a fuller Elonge to make them ordinary, which is occasioned by the nearest of his two Feet, he will certainly reach his Adversary; seeing he judged his Adversary's Elonge upon him within a Foot, and that his own Elonge, not only takes in that Foot, but a full Foot more, an ordinary Person's full Elonge from most Guards, being about two Foot; whereas, if his Adversary will have Thrusted, he would alter his Elonge, been about a Foot short of him, according to the judged distance, and the very same may a Man's Adversary practice against himself, if he take not Care to prevent it: Now this being so Pretty and Nice a Circumstance in Fencing, and known to so very few; Nay, not to many who profess the Teaching of it, I judged the Discovery of it would not be Ungrateful, especially to such as are Curious, and desire to improve themselves in all the Niceties of the Art: I shall now proceed to the Directions for Judging of Distance.

*[A pretty kind of Nicety in judging of Measure.]

**IN the First Circumstance, when a Man is to judge of it, with respect to his own Thrusting upon his Adversary, he is chiefly to consider two things. The First is, That if he and his Adversary be standing to their ordinary Guards, without any extraordinary Position of their Legs or Sword-Hands, and that he can over-lap a Foot and a half, or so, of his Adversary's Sword, then he may conclude, that he can reach his Adversary with a full Elonge. The Second is, That even altho' he can scarcely with the point of his Sword reach that of his Adversary's; yet if his own Feet be very near to one an other, he will still reach his Adversary's Body with a full Elonge, his Adversary being still upon an Ordinary Guard, which is occasioned by the Position of his hind Foot, being so close to that of his Advanced; whereby, altho' strictly speaking, his Elonge can be no longer than when he is upon the ordinary Posture of a Guard; for no man can Elonge further than he distance betwixt his two Feet, when at full Stretch; yet his hind Foot being thus advanced so near to his foremost Foot, causes his Stretch to advance so much further, than it would do upon an Ordinary Posture, that he thereby reaches his Adversary, which he otherwise could not possibly do without Advancing; which is all that is meant by his Elonge being longer, than upon an Ordinary Guard.

**[Directions for judging of Distances.]

AGAIN in the Second Circumstance, where a Man has respect to his Adversary's reaching of him, then he is to consider, First, That whatever Position his Adversary's Leggs are in, yet if his own be at a pretty Distance from each other, he can easilyer shun his Adversary's Thrust, by the bending back or declining of his Body from his Adversary, (which is indeed a kind of breaking of Measure, as shall be immediatly explained) than if his own Feet were placed very near to other; for being so very near, it is impossible for a Man, to Decline his Body considerably from his Adversary without being in hazard of falling, because his Body being much off the Equilibre upon his left Haunch, he would have nothing whereby to support it, which his hind Legg does abundantly well, when it is kept at a pretty Distance from the other. Secondly, as to the Adversary's Position, he is chiefly to consider what Distance his Adversary's hind Foot is from him.

***FOR to be short, and to make the judging of Distance most easie to you, without multiplying of Directions; which altho' true and useful, would yet but perplex: The whole Mystery of it, consists in the exact observing, how far your Adversary's

hind Foot is distant from you, and then you are to compute, if his Elonge, which as I said in Men of ordinary Stature, is about two Foot, and the length of his Arm and Sword, will all all of them together make up the Distance betwixt his hind Foot and your Advanced Thigh; if you think it will, then is your Adversary within reach of you, and consequently, it will be fit for you to retire a little with the single Step, to set your self without his Measure: But if you are perswaded, that his Elonge, Arm and Length of his Sword, will not all of them together make up that Distance, then you may conclude, that he is without Measure of you; cannot reach you; and that consequently, you are safe from any Thrust he can make upon you, unless he first Approach. This is a Short, Sure, and Infallible Rule, for the judging, not only

if your Adversary can reach you, but if you can reach your Adversary; and therefore I beg, it may be thorowly understood and practised, by all who intend to be Masters, of this so verty nice and useful a Point in Fencing.

***[An excellent Rule whereby to judge exactly of Distance]


Of Breaking of Measure.

BREAKING of Measure, is but a Genteel Term, Sword-Men have given to a Moderat Retiring, or Giving of Ground; and is no less needful to be understood by a compleat Sword-Man, that thereby in a Strait, he may evite and shun his Adversary's Thrust; than it is absolutely fit for him to understand exactly the Judging of Distance, both to prevent his spending his own Thrusts in vain, and that he may be without reach of his Adversary's, when they are directed against him; so that in a manner, they mutually depend upon each other: But because many People have a wrong Notion of Breaking of Measure, and look upon it as the same with still Going Back and Losing of Ground, I shall endeavour a little to undeceive them.

AS there is nothing more unbecoming a Man of Honour, and who is dextrous at his Weapons, than an unreasonable, untimely and preposterously confused Retreat, or Yielding of Ground; so in the whole Art of Fencing, there is not any one thing sometimes of more use, and which discovers more of a Man's Art and Adroiss, than a Moderat and Judicious Breaking of Measure.

*I know some people have such an Aversion to it, and look upon it as so Cowardly a Practice, that they think it reflects upon a Man's Courage; if he give the least Ground; and they fancy a Man is obliged to forbear it, if his Adversary only call him to Stand. But such Persons would be pleased to know, that the Breaking of Measure neatly and judiciously being as useful a Branch as in the whole Art : So they may as well call to a Man not to defend by Parade, the Thrust they design against him, as oblige him, by forbearing to Break Measure, to continue immoveable in one place,and become fixt Butt for their irregular and violent Pursuit; because both of them being Defences allowed by Art, I know no Reason, why the one should be more condemned as the other; for Valour has no doubt its Bounds as well as other Vertues, which once transgressed, the next step is into the Territories of Vice; so that by having too large a Proportion if this Heroik Vertue, unless a Man be very perfect in its Limits, which upon the Confines are very hard to discern; he may very easily unawares run into Temerity, Obstinacy, and Folly.

*Reasons in vindication of a moderat Breaking of Measure.

MONTAIGNE in his first Volume of Essays, Discoursing of Constancy, hath a very apposite Passage to this Purpose, which I shall set down in his own Words, that other Peoples Judgements, and those none of the meanest, may be known in this Matter, as well as my own.

THERE is, says he, no Motion of the Body, nor any Guard in the handling of Arms, how irregular or ungraceful soever, that we dislike or condemn, if theyserve to deceive or defend the Blow that is made against us; in so much, that several Warlike Nations have made use of a Retiring and Flying way of Flight, as a thing of singular Advantage; and by so doing, have made their Backs more dangerous than their Faces to theirEnemies. And Socrates in Plato laughs at Laches, who had defined Fortitude, to be a standing firm in their Ranks against the Enemy. What (says he) would it then be reputed Cowardice, to overcome them by giving Ground? urging at the same time, the Authority of Homer, who commends x0320neas for his Skill in running away, that thereby he might catch Advantage of his Enemy.

AND even with respect to Fire Arms, altho' as to what concerns Cannon Shot, when a Body of Men are drawn up in the face of a Train of Artillery, or to maintain an advantageous Post against another Battalion, as the occasion of War does often require, 'tis unhandsome for any Man to quite his Post to avoid the Danger and a foolish thing to boot; for as much as, by reason of the violence and swiftness of the Bullets, we account it in a mannner, inevitable; and many a one by Shifting his Post, Ducking, or Stepping aside, and such other Motions of Irresolution and Fear, has been sufficiently laugh'd at by his Companions, yet we have Examples where they have succeeded: For Instance, Lorenzo de Medici Duke of Vibin, laying Siege to Mondolpho, a Place in the Territories of the Vicariat in Italy, seeing the Cannoneer give Fire to a Piece, that he judged pointed directly against him, it was well for him that he Ducked; for otherwise the Shot, that only raz'd the top of his Head, had doubtless hit him full in the Breast. Thus far my Author. I shall only add, that Colonel Bringfield was not so sharp Sighted last Campaign, else he had preserved his Head, which was struck off at the Battel of Ramellies by a Cannon Bullet, as he was a Remounting his Grace the Duke of Marlborough; but it seems, he was then more intent upon the Preservation of his General's Life, than upon the Saving of his own, wherein he discovered himself to be no less a faithful Soldier, than a Man of true Generosity and Honour, for which his Name will stand Recorded to Posterity, as well as his Grace's, for the Glory of that great Victory obtained over the French, wherein he showed himself to be no less Brave and Forward, than Fortunate.

BUT to return, however such Inconstancy and Irresolute like Motions may be condemned, in Persons who are obliged to engage in a Body with others, particularly in Officers, who have the Conduct and Charge of Leading on their Soldiers committed to them, or of Commanding in a Detachment; by reason that it would not only give a bad Example to their Fellow Soldiers, but also a means, by reason of such continual irregular Motions and Inconstancy, to bring them into Confusion; and also, that the same kind of Motion by which Fortune favoured their Apprehension, to make them evite the Shot at one time, may be a means at another time, as well to make them step into the Danger, as to avoid it; yet in a single Combat with Fire-Arms, either a-Foot or Horseback, that Fixedness and Constancy of Body, is in my Opinion, no more to be required, than it is in a Duel or Rencounter with Swords: And there are in that Case, such Measures to be taken, as if execute with Judgement, and that presence of Mind, as in such a Juncture is necessary, may be very useful (I will not say certain) to make any Man a great deal more difficult Aim to shoot at, than otherwise he would, did he altogether neglect them.

AND now, seing I am upon Fire-Arms, I think it will be neither improper, nor unacceptable to to the Reader to make short Digression, wherein I shall give three or four of the very best Rules that I know, for his more dexterous Behaviour, when he shall be obliged either to make use of his Pistol, in place of his Sword; or of both immediatly after other. I have, it's true, been pretty particular as to this Point in The Scots Fencing Master, to which I also refer him; but hower, that shall not make me omit at present, any thing that is absolutly necessary in such an Occasion; besides, that my Directions now, differ considerably from what I gave then.

**I do it also the more willingly, because good Sword-Men are frequently threatened with it, as if a Man's being a Good Sword-Man, did undoubtedly uncapacitat him from being likewise a Good Marks-Man; altho, according to the nice Rules of giving Satisfaction, I see no Tye, nor Point of Honour obliging any Man, more to Answer his Adversary with Fire-Arms, if his Adversary pretend to any Advantage by them, than his Adversary was obliged to Answer him, with the Weapon he is most dexterous at: But the person who receives the Appeal, being alwise Master of making choice of his Weapon, which wholly removes that Debate; therefore I would have every Sword-Man so Adroit, not only at his Weapons, but also with Fire-Arms, that he may never be taken at a Disadvantage, let the Arms pitch't upon be what they will. The Directions I am to give, will be also very useful in Pickeering, (which altho' now a-days much out of Fashion, yet a Man may come to be engaged in it,) and therefore upon th at Account, they are not to be contemned nor neglected, especially by those who Serve in the Army, whether Horse or Dragoons, as well Officers as others.

**A very useful Advice to all but Gentlemen

***IN the First place then, (after you have drawn your Sword, and hung it by a Riband upon the Wrest of your Sword-Hand; Cock'd both your Pistols, which I alwise suppose are in good Trim; and put one of them into your Bridle-hand, betwixt the Fore-finger and Thumb, for your greater readiness to make use of it, when the first Pistol shall be discharged, which before Fireing, you are to keep with its Muzle up; and put your Horse to a gentle Hand-Gallop for Engaging) never advance upon your Adversary with a full Body, but alwise with your Side towards him, which will make your Body but half the Aim it would be, did you come up full Breast upon him; for which end it will be fit, to keep your Horse's Side, not his Head, as much towards your Adversary as possible, and so make your Horse advance Side-ways upon him; therefore in this Case, a ready and well Mouth'd Horse is most necessary and useful. And when a Man cannot have the Conveniency of such a Horse, my Advice to him is, not to let him go off the Trot; because in such a Juncture it is much safer that a Man be Master of his Horse, than his Horse Master of him; which if he should be put to a Gallop, he might (not being well Mouth'd,) very probably be.

***Excellent Directions for Fighting with Sword & Pistol, either a-Foot of Horseback.

SECONDLY, You are not only to Advance Sideways upon your Adversary, but you are also to do it in a Serpentine Line, and not in a streight one; that is, you are to make your Horse Gallop gently, first to one hand, and then to the other, about two or three of his Lengths each time, according to your Distance, but still with his and your Side respecting your Adversary, and not with a full and open Body.

THIRDLY, You are to endeavour as much as possible, to attack your Adversary alwise upon that side opposite to the Hand wherewith he holds his Pistol, which will likewise much surprize him, and make his Aim the more uncertain, not being accustomed to shoot over his Left Arm; and therefore to be dexterous your self in that way of Shooting, accustom yourself to the shooting of a Mark, both a-Foot and Horse-back, with your opposite side towards the Mark, and not that side, with the hand whereof you hold your Pistol: By Practice, a Man will find this Direction of great use to him.

FOURTHLY, Never offer to Fire your self, until you be within two or three Yards at most of your Adversary, nay even nearer if you have Resolution enof to wait it; this the French call Tirer a Brule Pourpoint or to Singe the Doublet; and perform it alwise with a Brush, and with your Arm stretched and at full length, whereby you will seldom fail to make a good Aim, and consequently a sure and bloody Shot.

Firing at a greater Distance, is but Spending in a manner your Shot in vain; therefore observe not only this of Firing near, but also as much as your Courage will permit, keep up your Shot; but do it with so much Judgement and presence of Mind, as not to give your Adversary the least Advantage by it; therefore, when you come to your true and desired Distance, which the nearer the surer, discharge upon him; And when you do intend to to keep up your Fire a little, make your Horse perform his Serpentine Motion, as quick and lively as possible, that you may thereby render your Adversary's Aim still the more uncertain; until you gain the Advantage of him which you intended: Remembering Alwise as you pass your Adversary, whatever side it be upon; (altho' I indeed prefer to the Left) to cause your Horse, after his Brush or Career, turn suddenly again upon him, by a kind of Half-Pyroit, both to prevent his gaining of your Rear, and for your more ready gaining of his, which is termed by the French, Gainer la Croupe, and is, when obtain'd, a singular Advantage, if the Person who has got it, knows how to prosecute it.

FIFTHLY, If it shall happen that both of you have discharged both your Pistols, without doing Execution, which will rarely fall out, if you Fire so near as I order; then you are imediatly to take hold of your Sword, (which is already drawn and hanging by a Riband upon your Wrist) and pitch your self with it to the Hanging Guard in Seconde, recommended in this New Method; for which see the Plate at Fig 14. and make use of your Art from it, both for Defence and Offence, according to the Directions given in the two following Chapters, and as your Judgement shall direct you; it being the only true and safest Guard, that any Man can possibly take himself to, who is engaged with his Sword either singly, or ina Tumultuary Confusion and Crowd, either a-Foot or Horse-back, where they commonly come to close Sabreing: No other Guard in the Sword for a general Defence, being in the least to be compared to it; and therefore I cannot but again recommend it to all Serving in the Army, who are many times concerned in such Engagements. There is only this one thing to be chiefly observed, that when both your Pistols are discharged, and your Adversary has one of his yet to Fire, that you are not in the least to hesitate, but with a Sudden Brush, run Full Tilt at him with your Sword; nay many are of Opinion, that at first Engaging, it is no great Disadvantage to a Man, thus to make use of his Sword, and forbear making use of his Pistols at all; but this I look upon to be too Ventorious, and therefore would alwise first make use of my Fire.

THE very same Directions which I have desired to be observed upon Horse back, will serve a Foot, either with Pistol, or Carabin; only the better to imitate the Swift Motion which a Horse makes, you are to quicken and accelerat your own Motion a-Foot; that thereby your Adversary may be the more uncertain of his Aim, by both advancing upon him as I said, in a Serpentin Line, and with your Side, not your full Body, alwise opposite to him. I had almost forgot to tell you, that whenever your first Pistol is discharged, you are (that you may lose no Time) to drop it, and immediatly to take the other Pistol from your Bridle-Hand, and continue your Fight according to the former Directions.

BY the exact Observation of these few Directions, if a Man to be a compleat Sword-Man, and has also accustomed himself to Shoot dexterously at a Mark, and frequently over his Left Arm, he may appear in the Field, with either Sword of Pistol against any Man: and seing, Art can never take away or abate True Courage, his being likewise a good Marks-Man, will make his Art in the Sword to be the more beneficial and useful to him, and prevent People's so readily undervaluing of his Skill as a Sword-Man, by alwise threatening him with a Pistol, or other Fire-Arms: And thus much for the making use of Fire-Arms either a-Foot or Horseback, which was the occasion of my Digression; let us now return to the Breaking of Measure, when we are to make use of our Sword only, of which I shall also very freely give my own Sentiment, and then proceed to the Directions for it.

I confess, there is nothing more unbecoming, and which discovers more the want of Resolution and Courage, than a continual Giving Back, and no Man can condemn it more than I do; but then that Feint-heartedness is down right a Timorous Retreat, not an Artificial Breaking of Measure; and as this is to be practiced and valued by all Knowing Sword-Men, so is that as much to be contemned and derided by all Men of Courage and true Honour: They differ also in this, that a constant Giving of Ground, produces a Retreat; whereas a Judicious Breaking of Measure, is so far from deserving that Name, that it not only procures a Sure Defence, but frequently also produces an Occasion for a True and Vigourous Pursuit. Losing of Ground then, or Retiring, is only so far to be allowed and approved of, as it resembles the truely Useful, and Artificial Breaking of Measure; and only so far to be disapproved of and condemned, as it resembles the Dishonourable and Cowardly Practice, of constantly Giving Ground, or Retiring.

AS for the Directions for Breaking Measure according to the nicest Rules of Art, they are as follows. FIRST, When you judge that your Adversary's Thrust, without his Approaching, (for indeed when a Man's Adversary Approaches before he makes his Thrust, it is most difficult to determin how far his Elonge will reach; and therefore in that Case, this First Method of Breaking of Measure is not to be ventured upon) I say, when you judge, that your Adversary's Thrust without his Approaching, will over-reach the nearest Parts of your Body, only the matter of six or seven Inches; then you may easily Break that Measure and evite his Thrust, by only Declining, or bending back your whole Body, supporting it by your Left Legg and Thigh; and this is to be done without the least Retracting of your Right Legg; because the keeping the Right Foot firm, is a kind of Stay or Counter-Support to your Body, the which should you make it follow the Motion of the rest of your Body, would inevitably procure an Advantage to your Adverary, by your falling backwards, which by such a sudden Motion of the Body, can scarcely be prevented, but by keeping the Right Foot firm and steddy, which must be alwise observed in this First Method of Breaking of Measure.

SECONDLY, If your Adversary Approach upon you before he Thrust, then there are two Methods of Breaking Measure, which you may make use of as you think fit; the First whereof is upon a Streight Line, and the second upon a Circular.

IF you design to Break his Measure upon the Streight Line, then as he Approaches or Gains Ground upon you, which is commonly performed with the single Step; you are at the same very time, to recover as much Distance again from him, by Breaking his Measure, with the single Step backwards: but if he reiterat often his Approaching, and press you hard, then you are not to humour him so much, as still to Break his Measure; for that were indeed to convert, your Breaking of Measure into a perfect Cowardly Retreat: A Practice alwise to be condemned and avoided by a Man of Honour; but are instantly to put a stop to his violent Pursuit, by encouraging him to Thrust, if you are much Master of the Parade, and then take him upon the Risposte; or otherwise making use of your Left Hand for a Defence, immediatly become the Pursuer, by Thrusting upon him at the same time you are Parieing with your Hand. There is no better Method than this, for either Breaking your Adversary's Measure, upon the Streight Line, when he Approaches upon you; or for putting a Stop to a Violent and Furious Pursuit, by whom ever it may be attempted against you, whether Artist or Ignorant Rambler; and therefore I earnestly recommend the Practise of it: A great deal of a Man's Safety, in an Occasion with Sharps, depending upon it.

THE Second, and indeed best Method of Breaking your Adversary's Measure, when he Approaches upon you before he Thrust, is upon a Circular Line; and the Reason of it is, because when a Man Breaks Measure much upon a Streight Line, he not only loses much Ground, which as I said, (in the Opinion of the Vulgar) is a kind of Reflection upon his Courage, but he must also have a considerable Bounds to perform it in, otherwise he is immediatly driven to his utmost Limits, and perhaps fixed against some Wall, Fore-Stair, or in some Corner of a Room if the Quarrel be within Doors, where he can go no further altho' he would; whereas, when he makes use of a Circular Motion of his Feet, or Breaks Measure Circularly, he not only requires less Space or Bounds for it, but also prevents the appearance of an unmanly Retreat, and comes as well to his Purpose, in eviting his Adversary's Thrust by that Method of Breaking his Measure, as if he had broke it upon the Streight Line: Neither is there any Difference in performing the one and the other but only that in the one, the hinde Foot moves backwards in a Streight Line, and is so followed by the advanced Foot; whereas in the Circular Method, both the Leggs move Circularly, first the hind Legg is removed Circularly backwards, and then the Right, taking care at the same time, to keep the Body as thinn, or little exposed as possible; and observing the same Direction for the use of the Left-Hand, and Thrusting upon the Risposte or Back of the Parade, as in the former Method upon the Streight Line. But by Approving and Recommending this Circular Breaking of Measure, it must not be thereby understood, as if I in the least approved of that most dangerous, and uncertain Circular kind of Play at Sharps, called Dequarting, or Quarting, and Volting: You may see my Sentiment of these under their proper Title Article 16. so that by a Circular Line, or Motion in this place, I only mean that, wherby a Man may, by taking up Less space, and by making a shorter Retreat, Break his Adversary's Measure, with a great deal of more Ease, less Confusion, and without the least appearance of a mean and cowardly Retreat.

I have been the more paricular upon these two last Terms of Art, the Judging of Distance, and The Breaking of Measure, because in the whole Art of Defence, there is not any thing which discovers more Skill and Judgement; nor from which a True Sword-Man reaps more Benefit and Advantage, whether against a Skillful or Unskillful Adversary, especially at Sharps, than he does from the right Performance, of what is comprehended under them; which because of their mutual Dependance upon each other, I thought fit to explain immediatly after other, that so my Directions for both, might be the better understood, and retained by the Reader.


Of Redoubling.

THIS Term of Art, comes most seasonably to be Considered after the Breaking of Measure, and almost explains it self; for it is only the Redoubling or Reiterating of a Thrust, either when a Man being within Distance, hath misplanted it, and that he finds he hath a sufficient Open discovered to him yet to Thrust at: or when his Adversary Breaks his Measure; so that he is at his Elonge or Stretch, he is necessitat to Gather, as we say, or bring up his Left-Foot towards his right, and then renew his Thrust by Elongeing; that so it may reach his Adversary.

HOWEVER, it is a great deal more proper in this last Case, against a Man's Adversary's Breaking of his Measure, than when a Man is sufficiently within Distance; because when a Man frequently Redoubles his Thrust being within Distance, altho' it is true he disorders his Adversary by it, yet he also very much exposes himself, and runs the hazard of being Catched upon Time, or by a Contre-temps; whereas, when it is performed only as a Contrary to the Breaking of Measure, a Man does not so much run that risk.

THIS Redoubling, is indeed the true Contrary to a small or moderat Breaking of Measure; for when a Man's Adversary goes only a little out of his Distance to evite a Thrust, what more proper Method can he take than to Approach him with this Gathering up of his Left-Foot and keeping the Right fixed, until by alwise either Thrusting and Elongeing, or by Approaching, he come within Measure of his Adversary to Reach him.

'TIS true, when one's Adversary Skips, or Jumps far out of Measure, then a Man may Advance upon him, with the Artificial Step, as descrived in the Article of Approaching; but if his Adversary Break Measure, only just so much as to frustrat his Thrust, and make him deliver it in vain; then the only Method is, to recover the lost Measure, by thus Gathering up of the Left-Foot, and then Redoubling the Thrust with Elongeing; and this may be done twice or thrice, nay oftner if he finds it convenient, and upon a proper Ground, that is, not too uneven and rough to perform it in.

*FOR there are two Things chiefly to be observed in Redoubling; the First is, That when you are engaged in bad and unequal Ground, you prosecute it as little as possible, because of the Advantage it may give your Adversary over you, by renewing his Pursuit, should you make a wrong or false Step; besides the Hazard you may run by falling, in such an unconvenient Ground. The Second is, to take great care when you are to Redouble, upon your Adversary's Breaking of Measure but a very little; that he either Take not Time, or endeavour to Contre-temps you: and therefore in this Case, be sure to have alwise your Left-Hand in readiness to prevent both.

*Two good Directions to be observed in Redoubling.

THIS last Caution is no less to be observed in Redoubling of a Thrust, when a Man is within Distance of his Adversary, and hath consequently no need of Gathering up his Left Foot; because in this Case, his Adversary will be as apt to endeavour to Contre-temps him, ans in the former, and that by Reason, that this great nearness encourages him to it: Therefore great care ought to be taken, especially in an Occasion with Sharps, to prevent such Contre-temps; which can only best be done, by either Opposing the Left-Hand in the time of Redoubling. or otherwise, by Playing only from the Riposte.


Of the True-Pass, and Half-Pass.

THE English Masters give the Term Pass, indifferently to every Thrust that a Man makes against his Adversary; so that whatever kind of Thrust a Man makes, they then say, he has made such and such a Pass upon, or against him; which is not at all conform to the strict Signification of this Term of Art; because there is a very great Difference betwixt a True-Pass and a Thrust; as I shall immediatlly make appear.

ACCORDING to the Rules, a True-Pass is a running Motion, which a Man makes bye his Adversary's Right-Side, in the time he is performing his Thrust against him; whereas a Thrust is commonly delivered with a close and fixed Left-Foot. 'Tis true, both of them terminat in a Thrust; but there is this Difference, that in all Thrusts wherein the different Lessons terminat, the Left-Foot is generally kept fixed; whereas Passing is performed, as I said, by a running Motion, the Body stooping forewards, and the Thrust delivered, just as a Man is passing bye his Adversary's Right-Side.

THERE is also another very material Difference betwixt them, which is, that at Sharps, or in an Occasion, which are all one; a Man cannot well Offend his Adversary without making Thrusts at him; whereas True-Passes are indeed only for Variety, and Diversion in School-Play, and scarcely practicable at Sharps; because of necessity, and almost whether a Man will or not, they convert themselves into that, which is called the Half-Pass: And the Reason for it is, that a Man in making of a True-Pass, must either design to give his Adversary a Thrust in Passing or not, then his Pass is of no effect nor use to him, and in that Case, it is the same as if there were no such Lesson in the Art; and if he do, then by the violence of the running Motion, he will certainly Sheath, or run his Sword into his Adversary's Body up to the very Hilt; (for when once a Sword enters, especially upon so violent a Motion, as that of a True-Pass, it is not possible either to stop or to retract it, as a Man can do a blunt Flaret, in making a True-Pass in School Play) so consequently if a Man should attempt it at Sharps, he must either Halt when he comes the length of his Adversary's Body, which alters the Nature of the True-Pass designed, and Converts it into an Half-One, or otherwise must quite with his Sword, which is fixt in it, and which I fancy no Man upon Life and Death will venture; that it may be only said, he hath made with his Body a True-Pass, bye or beyond his Adversary. By all which it is evident, that there is no such thing at Sharps, as what in School Play goes under the name of a True Pass.

HOWEVER to render that running Motion performed, in making the True-Pass with Blunts, also useful at Sharps, Masters have fallen upon that Lesson, which, in The Scots Fencing Master, I call the Half-Pass; because it is performed both upon the very same Times and Opens, besides a great many others with the former, and also with the same running Motion of the Body; only in place of passing beyond a Man's Adversary, a Man runs only close to him, executing his designed Thrust in the time of his running, and then immediatly stopping upon the finding of his Sword fixed: For indeed should he misplant and quite miss his Adversary, I see then no Reason, why in that Case he might not convert his Half-Pass, into a Full or True One, by running quite beyond his Adversary until out of his Measure, and then recover himself to his Defensive Posture again.

BUT this gross misplanting, very rarely happening upon a Half-Pass, by reason of this kind of murthering Lesson, being never almost attempted at Sharps; (in respect of the violent Motion wherewith it is performed, and Disorder it puts a Man into, when he misplants) but when a Man is in a manner certain effectuat it: therefore it is, as I said, that at Sharps we have nothing of the True-Pass, but only in its place the Half-Pass, which if rightly performed, I cannot but acknowledge to be a most Firm, Sure and Bloody Lesson, the Thrust if rightly planted, rarely failing to be very dangerous if not mortal. Besides, altho' the True-Pass were useful at Sharps, yet a Man can only make use of it Without and Above, or Without and Below his Adversary's Sword, by Reason of his being obliged alwise to pass upon his Adversary's Right Side; whereas the Half-Pass may be performed from most Lessons, both Without, Within and Below the Sword, to either side of a Man's Adversary; and therefore is much the better, as well as safer Lesson of the two.

BY what is said, I think it very clear, that unless a Man design wholly to misplant his Thrust, he cannot possibly make at Sharps, what is Truely a Pass; neither in Fencing is a True-Pass and a Thrust all one, as some English Masters would make us believe, and therefore they ought hereafter to rectify that Mistake, in the signification of this Term, and not let the Termination of most Lessons go under the Name of a Pass, when they are really Thrusts.


Of Enclosing and Commanding

MANY People, and those none of the most Ignorant, take Enclosing and Commanding, for one and the same thing, wherein they are mightily mistaken, for there is as great a Difference betwixt them, as almost betwixt any two Terms of Art, as I shall immediatly make appear by the following Example.

IF A should quarrel with B, whereupon an Occasion in the Field, or Rencounter follows; and if A should Enclose upon B, then according to the common Acception of Enclosing, the Report would run, th at upon such a Day and in such a Place, A and B had an Occasion together, and A had the Advantage of B, because he Enclosed upon him; whereas it is as probable, it may have been quite otherwise, and upon the Enclosing, B did command A.

FOR the better and truer understanding of which, you are to know, that a Man may Enclose upon another, upon two very different Designs; either when he finds himself strong enof to grapple with his Adversary, and upon the Enclosing, really intends to Command him; or when he finds himself too weak for his Adversary, and therefore for his own safety Encloses upon him, that his Adversary may have the opportunity of Commanding him; for it is a great Escape, not to say Folly, in any Man, really to attempt a Commanding of the Adversary's Sword, unless he look upon himself to be above, at least equal to his Adversary in Strength; because he being Weak, and his Adversary Vigorous and Strong, it is ten to one, but after he hath really made a fair Attempt to Command, and has actually taken hold of his Adversary's Sword near to the Hilt, (which is the most proper part to catch hold of it, the better to prevent the cutting of his Hand or Fingers) but his Adversary may turn the Chase upon him, by reason of his Weakness, and in place of allowing himself to be Commanded, Command and Master him. Whereby it is clear, that A's Enclosing upon B, is no Argument of his having the better of him; and that therefore in such a Case, People should suspend their Judgements, until they know which of the two not only Enclosed upon other, but Commanded the other's Sword; for it is in the Securing and Commanding of the Adversary's Sword, and not in the Enclosing that the true Advantage lyes.

BY all which it appears, that Enclosing and Commanding are not at all Reciprocal Terms; but that there are many times Enclosings, where there is not the least Design to Command, as in the former Case of a Man's Enclosing for his better Preservation; and also frequently Commandings, where the Person Commanding did not at all Enclose; but took the Opportunity for it, upon his Adversary's attempting to Enclose upon him.

THIS false Judgement, which People make upon a Man's Enclosing upon his Adversary, is of a piece with what many People make upon a Man's Breaking of Measure; for no sooner do By-standers, observe a Man in a Rencounter to give a little back, but immediately they conclude, that he is at a Disadvantage by it; whereas if it be any ways voluntar, it is commonly quite otherwise, and the Person who Breaks Measure, if an Artist, by giving a little Ground, gains the Opportunity, of not only letting pass his Adversary's sudden and violent Passion, but also of procuring to himself a more effectual Pursuit against him, either from the Riposte, or by making a real Attack, when the other's furious Pursuit is somewhat abated. Therefore, in both these Cases, as well in Breaking of Measure, as in Enclosing upon one's Adversary, a Man ought to be too ready in giving his Judgement, or determining who hath had the better on't; but if he be a Witness to the Engagement, ought to suspend his Sentance, until he see the Consequence and Event of either; and according as he finds a Man come off, either upon his Breaking of Measure, or Enclosing; so he is to pass his Verdict, but not sooner, unless he is resolved to give it at random; which no Man of Judgement and Prudence will desire to be thought guilty of.

ENCLOSING, also resembles so very much the Half-Pass, that many Persons likewise, make no Distinction betwixt these Lessons, therefore it will not be a-miss, that I also clear a little of this Matter.

IT is certainly so far true, that Enclosing and the Half-Pass resemble other, as both of them may be performed upon the the same Occasions and Opens, which any one of them can be; but then the great Difference lyes in their Termination; which wholly depends upon the Design of the Performer.

FOR when a Man designs a true Half-Pass, it terminats almost alwise in a Wound, unless the Misplanting, or the Adversary's Parade prevent it; whereas in Enclosing, a Man's Design being as I said one of two, either to Terminat it in a Commanding of his Adverary's Sword, if he be strong enof to grapple with and Master him; or only in a forcing of himself close upon his Adversary for his own security, that his Adversary may have the Opportunity to Command his Sword: A Man I say, in both these Cases, makes but a delusory or seeming Motion with his Sword, as if he designed to adjust and carry home the Thrust to the Body, but does really not design it, as in the Half-Pass, but voluntarly suffers it to go aside, that his Adversary humoring and following that squint Motion of his Sword, he may thereby have the better Opportunity, either to Enclose upon him, or Command him.

WHEREBY it is very evident, that altho' an Enclosing and a Half-Pass resemble other much, both as to their Motions, and the Opportunities and Opens whereupon they may be both performed, yet they differ widely as to their Termination or Design: the First being only designed either for a Man's own Security, or to Command and Master his Adversary, if strong enof for him; but the Later with a real Intention to do execution by wounding, if possible, his Adversary.

IT is also from the great Ease and Readiness a Man finds to Enclose, or even Command, if he designs it, that I draw one of the great Advantages of this Hanging-Guard in Seconde hath over other Guards; but seing I intend to make as few Repetitions as possible, I remit you to the perusal of the Sixth Advantage, where that is sufficiently made appear.

I shall make only one Observation more upon one of these two Terms; which is Commanding: That as no Man, who is very weak and feeble, ought to attempt to Command an Adversary's Sword, who is very Robust, Strong and Vigorous, but rather endeavour to win at and Master him with his Art some other way; so it is as great Rashness and Folly in any Man, unless he be most Vigorous, Active and Nimble, to offer to make Opposition and Struggle,when once his Sword is really Commanded; for as it is a Dishonour for no Man, to be mastered by another Man of Honour in an Honourable Quarrel (all that is required of a Man to save his Honour, being but Couragiously to venture his Person, not alwise to Master and overcome his Adversary) so all the benefit that a Man can reasonably expect, from such an unreasonable opposition and Struggling, is, that he draws more suddenly down his own Destruction upon himself, by obliging his Adversary, who is Master of his Sword, to make himself also Master of his Life, by dispatching him: because no Good Sword-Man, who understands to make use of the benefit of his Art, will stand Dallying and Communing with his Adversary, after he has once catched hold of his Sword, but will immediatly with the same very Breath, oblige him altogether to yield to him, by quitting of his Sword, or receiving perhaps a Mortal Wound; and therefore when a Man's Sword is once Commanded, he ought (unless some very extraordinary Opportunity encourage him to the contrary) to yeild it, and submit himself to his Adversary's Generosity; who if a Man of Honour, will certainly treat him, as one Gentleman ought to treat another in such a Juncture.

THUS have I gone, gradually thorow the whole Material Terms of Art, belonging to Fencing, as I would have done, had I been to explain them to the greatest Novice; begining with a Guard, which is that wherewith a Man upon all Occasions, ought to begin, and ending, with Enclosing and Commanding, which many times also puts a Conclusion to the Quarrel. And altho' I make no Doubt, but several things which I have advanced in explaining them, will surprize a great many Masters, as well as others, who pretend to a considerable Knowledge in the Theory of this Art, yet I make no Scruple, not only to assert them, but even to maintain them for Truths, not withstanding of many of them being so opposite, and in a manner Contradictory to the Common Method; for Experience perswades me, that I am in the Right; and Truth founded upon Reason and Experience, will alwise hold Foot; and I hope, Convince every impartial and unprejudg'd Reader, of the great Benefit that will redoound to the Art, by the Discoveries I have made, of many very material Errors, which have from time to time, crept into it; and which I heartily wish may be hereafter rectified, by the more Knowing, and Judicious Masters.

IF my Expectations be likewise seriously considered, they will be found to contain, not only the Grounds of a great many Lessons, but even the nicest,as well as most useful Theory, relating to the whole Art, most of which was never before made publick; so that should some Persons thorow meet Obstinacy or ill Nature, wholly disaprove of, and reject this Essay, with respect to the New Method of Defence, I am so earnestly endeavouring to establish by it, yet it cannot but prove of singular use to them, even for their better understanding the Theory of the Grounds and Principles, whereupon the Lessons of the Common Method ought to be founded; and which are alwise very well worth understanding, by everyone who designs to become a good Sword-Man, whichever of the Methods he most approves of, and takes himself to. So that, with whatever Design this Piece be perused, whether for the establishing of this New Method, or for the better understanding the Theory of the Old, it must still prove most useful, which sufficiently Answers my Design, in being so very full upon all the Terms of Art, many of which, as I have said, are also Lessons in the Common Method; wheras, had I only designed to Discourse of such of them, as are absolutely necessary and useful in this New One, their Number would have been but small; the Simplicity and Plainness of it, (which is indeed its excellency,) requiring but a few, for its being fully understood.

BUT the Theory and Judgement of the whole Art, being so interwoven with its Terms, I made it my Choise, rather to bring into this Essay the exact Explication of the most useful Terms of Art, (altho' this New Method might have been very well described without them) that so I might the more regularly and orderly, discover the Theory and Judgement of the whole Art, kept alwise hitherto, in a manner as a Secret, than to make this Piece so much the shorter by wholly omitting them; and the rather, because it is alwise in the option of the Reader to pass them over at pleasure, and only peruse what really belongs to the perfecting of him, on the practice of this New Method, all which is briefly contained in the First, Fifth, and Sixth Chapters: the rest being more for the Explication of the Theory and Judgement of the Common Method, than for the Illustration of this New One.