Introduction/Preface  | Chapter One  | Chapter Two  | Chapter Three  | Chapter IV  | Chapter V  | Chapter VI  | Chapter VII  | Chapter VIII  | Chapter IX  | Chapter X  | Chapter XI  | Chapter XII  | Chapter XIV  | Chapter XV  | Chapter XVI  | Chapter XVII  | Methodical order  | First play  | Second Play  | Third play

To His Lordship the Duke of Burgundy

Your Lordship,

It is very daring of me to put the name of a Prince, already admired all over the Earth, at the head of my book. The striking Glory in which you were born; the other Victories lying ahead of you, and all that Heavens promised of you, at the time of Your Birth, by obvious prognosis; lastly, My Lordship, all these Miracles you surprise the Universe with, seem to intimidate me in my design to dedicate to You my little works. But if I have been happy enough in finding some new knowledge in the profession I make of Arms, to Whom could I give them , if not you, my Lordship, whom the arms shall submit the whole World? I know well, that in order for you to be one day the Love and Terror of the Universe, you only need the lessons of Louis the Great, and of the Lights of His Majesty the Infant ; however if you are following their examples, they had no contempt for the exercise of the Arms, and their hands , doomed to chain Fortune, have sometimes let themselves be guided by some Masters of my profession. It is in this respect, My Lordship, that I am presenting myself before you, to present my arms to Your feet, and offer You my life with them. This generous kindness, which is natural to Great Princes, above all to the glorious lineage of the Burgunds, makes me hope that you will not regard my gift with contempt, and allow me to say with respect,

My Lordship,

Your very humble and very obedient servant

De Liancour


The most disciplined States have taken care in teaching their Youth to defend themselves against their enemies; this is why, under the reign of our greatest King, where all Arts and Exercises, as much for the Body as for the Mind, have been brought to perfection, every one should strive to bring the Profession to as great a height as their capacities will allow them to. I am well aware of the defence taken by His Majesty against singular premeditated combats that we call Duels, has led to some misunderstandings to some individuals that in some way our Exercise is useless, this is where they are wrong, in this that they couldn't know its aim, which is to defend oneself or attack only when the strength of Justice and the Law obliges us to. In this manner each Body can be compared to a whole State. Let us choose the most flourishing of all the States in the World, and let us follow for our particular causes the maxim of the Great King who governs it .

He attacked only when Justice commanded him to do so. As his neighbours wanted to weaken him, he showed how to defend himself. And having vanquished them he generously gave them, or rather forced them to accept , a Peace that he would never otherwise have obtained from them , had they been victorious over him. Let us from far follow these beautiful Lessons, and try to apply them to our particular interests. Let us fight only for just things, and even try to only do so defending, in order not to offend a King who shows us such great examples of Wisdom and Restraint.

But some will say, since there are no more occasions, it is not necessary to defend ourselves. This judgment can only stem from one who wants to be useless to his King and State. Athens and Rome, even in times of peace, were places where this Exercise was flourishing the most, and it was at the time these Cities where all the Nations in the World would go to exercise in Agility, in order to rid themselves of the name of "Barbarian" that was given to those untouched by fine Arts.

Because the reign of Louis the Great inspires each of his subjects to excel in the Profession, I call to my Colleagues to speak out loud the Truth about the Justice of my intentions, and to contribute with their knowledge in awakening this beautiful Exercise which seems to me as it had fallen asleep for the last years. I declare that I am not stubbornly holding my personal views, that my only grief is to see that today's Gentlemen do not have the same agility in our Exercise, that they used to have before.

In order for Them not to consider me as neglecting, I ask them to fraternally share with me the reasons why their principles are not according to mine, and I will follow theirs in good will. This would be more useful to Noblety than anything they could say against my work out of my presence when I cannot answer them

Extract of the King's Favour.

By Grace and Favour of the King, given at Versailles on 8th June 1686, signed Langlois, it is allowed for Andre Vernesson Lord of Liancour, Master at arms in Paris, to print, sell, and product by a Printer/Bookseller of his choice a book of his making, bearing the Title "the Master at Arms or the Exercise of the Sword Alone, in its Perfection", and this for a period of 12 years, and it is forbidden to anyone else to counterfeit, sell or product the above-mentioned book without permission, or they will be fined 3,000 pounds.

Finished printing on 25th June 1686

Exemplaries have been provided

The Master at Arms or the Exercise of the Sword Alone

Chapter One

How it is necessary to build a Sword and Choose a Blade.

How it is necessary to build a Sword and Choose a Blade

Before addressing the essential of the Exercise of Weapons for the Sword Alone, and explaining to you the true principles, it is relevant to learn the way to build a Sword: because for the knowledge of the parts it is made of, it is only fort the Blacksmith. No one knows what is the hilt, the handle, the blade and the scabbard; this is only what there is to know, without annoying a Gentleman's mind to speak of the Corps de Garde, of the Quillions, of the Plate, of the Pas-d'Asnes, and of all the manners of Gardes and Revers. So I will leave all these things that concern only my exercise regarding the Sword, and will first deal with how to have one put together.

.The Sword Must have either a Revers or Branche, as in this manner the hand is better protected. Although some prefer it without Revers .But even if I pronounce myself in favour of the first, judging it more appropriate for service, I am of the opinion that every one should choose it as they like it best; as it is true that if the Reverse is useful against the Coups D'estramaçon, and protects the fingers, it can become dangerous when gripping.

Firstly the Garde and pommel have to be well polished and pierced within; because it is because it is better that the opening of the Garde and of the Pommel be naturally big, than to have to file it as this modifies the Sword's Soie I mean the part of the blade in soft steel opposite the point, on which one slides the Garde, Handle and Pommel . And so the Blacksmith will only have to affix wood in little quantity to make it hold. Because normally, to save himself the effort of filing inside the Corps de Garde, they file the Soie too much and fill the vacant space with wood. And I advise that one sees it being built, as it happened to many that at the lightest parade or beat the Sword falls apart, which causes great accidents. Above all the Soiemust be held tight to the pommel.

Having talked about the properties of the Guard, it is presently necessary to say of the Blade, that at will one may choose it to be of a length of 2.5ft, 3 at the most.

It seems to me that this is the true length it should have. To test the quality, one will do well to inspect it from all aspects, from point to Soie, on the Arrete and within ,if it only has three squares and above both arretes if it has four to see if there is no Paille. Pailles are made like little holes .Some are transversal, some across the length. If you don't find any, you must push the Sword against a wall, and notice if it makes a good circle when bending. If you see a stop, that is if the bend stay around the point and the rest of the Blade remains straight, it is a great fault. But if it takes a good circle in its length, to about one ft. from the Garde, which is the fort, it is the sign of its quality. If by bending the whole blade stays falsed, it means that the quenching is not good, although it is better than not falsing at all. If it falses a little bit, this is not much of a fault, on the contrary it indicates that the quenching has been gently made, which is a sign of the bests quenchings. When it breaks, you will be informed of the nature of the quenching. It will be good to have the point cut slightly. If where it is broken you see some light grey colour, your blade is very good; white, the contrary. Others make it do a circle against the wall and drop it after a turn of the wrist, this is called Le Tour Du Chat As for myself, by choosing a blade after having inspected it as described, I still test it: because a blade may be in good order when trying it but can break afterwards at the first strain. As far as the handle is concerned it depends on tastes and above all from the size of the hand, some like it big, some small, some square, some round. For myself I like it big and square, one has a better grip and it feels more comfortable.

But each person must satisfy themselves as they please.

Chapter Two

Where it is spoken of the moves to succeed in the facts of Arms.

Let us move on to the principles of the Sword Alone. But because this matter doesn't need so much the politeness of our Speech that the clarity in explaining, and the naïveté in terms of the Art, I beg the Reader to look here for efficiency rather than pleasure. I shall first begin by everything regarding the core of my Exercise, without making any use of barbarian terms or ambiguous explanations that our Forefathers used to bring us to this knowledge. I will only say that in a Sword there is the Fort and the Feeble. The fort is from the hilt to the middle of the Blade and the rest is the Feeble. If I had proposed to avoid being embarrassing, I would use, as many do, the terms " Semi-Fort", "semi-Feeble" and even of "quarter". But this would be unnecessary. It is enough to see that the Sword having been well conditioned, one will use it in the following manner.

In order to use a Sword well, one has to consider that the the body being firm on the legs, is one of the necessary conditions; and this being observed, I will by this principle start by making students walk, before attacking. After having established these walks and attitudes for several times bearing the Weapons, it is necessary to bend the body from back to forth, bending the knees one after the other. When bending forward, one should stand firm on the left foot without twisting it, straighten the left knee , and bend the right one. Then to put it backwards on the left leg, and straighten the right , the body going backwards and forwards, retiring when bending backwards and advancing when bending forwards, to give this great liberty that is begotten by force of time and these moves, without which it is impossible to succeed therein. But when one will have acquired the facility of these moves, one will be apt to start anything, and the body being so disposed, will be able to start practising the following thrusts, with less pain and more safety. To make them more understandable, they should be exposed in several Plates. But since the number of the Principles would demand too great a number, I will be content with putting the main ones in this book and represent therein the most part of what I have to say.

Chapter Three

Wherein it is spoken of the Principles.

This plate contains five images, the first of which represents the action that has to be made to put the Sword in the hand. It is turned in this manner, withdrawing the body , slightly turning the right foot and the hip, looking at one's opponent in a near profile, holding the scabbard with the left hand and the handle with the right hand , putting the thumb near the hilt, bearing it high in a position to give a hit on the head (position d'estramaçon) if need be. Because by wanting to take out one's sword, one might find oneself too close to the enemy. Thus by fear of being surprised it is good to take precautions to be very soon en guarde. Some adopt their guard in prime, some in Second, some in Tierce, Quarte or Quinte. And in the same way that one pushes in these five manners, I will show in due time that for all of these guards there are as many thrusts.

The Third image on this Plate is the ordinary guard. One has to bring the left foot in the space of around 2 ft, behind the right, as seen , from where you will initiate a great step towards you enemy, as we can see from the fourth image. It shows bringing the left foot before the right, elevating and bearing the Sword advancing first the hand, before oneself, whilst turning the hand in Quarte withdrawing the left side very much, straightening both legs above all without bending them for fear of losing your force, because the body resting on the fore leg, even if you were to be surprised whilst striding, you would be able to defend yourself, as if you were in guard. But those with little knowledge of the Arms, will not stay in measure, since by advancing the other foot, you will be too close from your enemy. The fifth image represents the guard that should be normally used for attacking and defending. This is what I will instruct you with thereafter.

So it is from this first Plate and these five images that I will draw my first Principles, whilst making do and repeat several times these moves that make the firmness of the whole body. This is something the Masters have to study and as being the most important lesson to observe, and that we shall call the true principle. This is however what most don't pay any heed and something that they are guilty for since it is impossible to draw a good thrust from a body that won't have had these true principles. Great accident happened to a lot of people fighting, who didn't stand firm on their legs; and it is certain that some Masters are content with only putting them in Guard and make them thrust there and then, without showing them any moves. They are content with their student keeping on thrusting/pushing. Instead of showing them to walk on the first lines, bend it and as I said , forwards and backwards, and gain by this mean proficiency in attacking and retreating. I often saw people coming to my Salle who in retreating jumping on the left leg alone whilst elevating the right, so that they would fall on one side or another, and without any firmness not having learnt these principles, who did however push quite well from their leg. But were unable to get in guard.

So I am warning about my fifth image in this manner, to explain it. His body, as can be seen, is located on the rear side, resting it on the left leg which is slightly bent, knee more out than in, and the point of the left foot straight in traversing line , straight right leg, which bears nothing, and the right foot in direct line. His heel looks at the eye of the left foot in a distance of 2.5ft. Several have students have their heels on the same line, which I cannot approve of, and this for a sensible reason: this is that both heels on the same line have no strength. That can be experienced straight away. On the contrary, the right heel pointing to the eye of the left foot, it is in all strength, inasmuch as the strength of the foot lies not in the heel, but starts at the eye and goes to the point. The left heel answering to the fort of the foot, this is another reason to be even firmer on the legs. You can see there the right hip curved, that is because it gives more strength to push the body with swiftness, and the left hand close to the body, and not far from it as has been taught by some. The reason being that my left hand , away from the body is like a lost limb, and being tense in this length, take away force from the right arm. But being close to the body, all forces join and all these parts being gathered will help in this instance the thrust to go with greater speed. Other than being much better covered, holding the Sword well before oneself, the right arm being half extended to have more freedom. But whilst pushing, let it be totally extended, even after having thrusted and whilst recovering and coming back to guard, since it is still in measure. Let the right hand be turned in Half-Tierce, nails pointing to the ground, inasmuch as one needs only turn the hand to semi-quarte to parry thrusts given straight in Quarte in one's Arms, from the cutting edge of the blade. As well, if one wants to push/thrust from Quarte or Tierce, this will help in giving the Thrust with more ease because the movement of the wrist in Quarte or Tierce in the moment bears the thrust with more speed. One's left elbow mustn't be low, it should be rather elevated. The reason being that you want to set yourself to a thrust the low elbow will influence your body in going backwards, in such a manner that you don't have so much measure, nor has your thrust such force. But in elevating whilst pushing your leg the left arm won't fall or attract the body backwards and is only extended straight. We will discuss this in more details in due place.

Chapter IV

Where it is spoken of the Parade, from the Fort of the Sword within the Arms (sword); of the manner of thrusting /pushing in Quarte as well within the Arms (sword); of the thrust required to this Parade, known as Coup Coup, or demy-botte; of the retreats, and of measure.

In the two first Images you can see one parries, the other pushes. I make the students parry in Quarte, within the sword. This image is in ordinary Guard. The other thrusts in Quarte within the sword, along the whole Sword. He is stretched within a reasonable distance and without losing any forces, which is in accordance to the rules. It is therefore necessary that the body be leaning forwards, head kept in direct line with the Sword also slightly bent forwards, gaining by these means over one ft of measure.

This action is the most natural and firm. The left foot should be flat on the ground, without twisting it or only ever so slightly; left leg and thigh raised; and by these means the body shall always be standing firm on the ground, pavement and most slippery places. And not as many Masters who make their student's body stand straight in the middle of two weakened legs and bent to the ground; in this manner nothing supports the body, as it is neither on one leg nor another.

But the most appalling fault is to have the left foot twisted on the ground , totally lying on the surface, with head held upright, bearing the right hand high and the left hand low along the thigh, when thrusting in Quarte.

It is sufficient to use natural reason to notice these failures in the Arms, for the Quarte and all other thrusts. The first reason is that the body being straight, it will not have as long a reach as it would were it bent forwards , and won't be as firm as if it were bearing on the right leg, which is in this occasion the pillar that supports the body, and also that has more strength.

The twisted left foot is worthless, or of very little use. The reason is that the posture which is more natural and firm, is all flat. They will say that there is more measure twisted than flat. I will demonstrate the contrary, by these same reasons, by experimenting, to those driven by curiosity.

The head shouldn't be straight, it is more at risk of being hit than when it is bent forwards.

In addition, this length from the top of the shoulders to the top of the head leaves too wide an opening.

They will say that one covers the head with the Fort of his Sword, by raising the right arm and wrist in a high Quarte.

I will answer to this that by raising the arm to such an extent, forces are lost. This also causes the thrust to raise its aim and causes the most students to miss their aim, in meeting their enemies Sword; the thrust is lost and goes above the head, or sometimes at the face.

The raised arm is no longer centred, its centre being to shoulder height. It is necessary to slightly bend the head, in order to let the arm have all the force and the measure. As I have seen images in previous Books.

The right arm should be at the same height as both shoulders and in the same line as the extended arm, to be in the force, the left leg, as I said , firm and slightly raised; this is what allows the right arm to thrust with more speed; and it will go straight into the body, lowering the point slightly and raising the Fort of the Sword.

The Botte being pushed in Quarte, within the sword, as I said, the parry being made as you see it which is to the Fort of the Sword, extending the arm, one mustn't cross blades, but to oppose it with the left arm, in case one would like to turn the hand in Seconded. This will be the manner of parrying this Botte, I'd say in retreat. I do not approve that the right arm be extended in addition to having left an opening under the line of the arm; but on the contrary, in order to parry this Botte well, it will be by shortening slightly the arm and lowering the wrist a little; and upon meeting the enemy's sword, one will lower it, lower than the thrust given and out of danger from a thrust to the guts.

In this Plate I assume that one man that one man will have parried as some do, by raising the thrust as can be seen. And having noticed this after having pushed this estocade you will be able to retreat by passing the right foot before the left, the Sword absolutely in front of you, after which you can safely retreat out of measure, in order to avoid the riposte.

This retreat seemed most excellent to me, even though it is served in different manners by some, as in approaching the left foot, after having given a thrust and then letting go of the right foot backwards, and finally the left foot, to come back to guard. Others make students jump whilst retiring the right foot slightly and in another time jump with both feet at the same time, and do a great movement that causes them to lose their guard and forces.

The first is safest as I said, being stretched forwards it is only a matter of letting go from one foot to the other; and by these means you never lose the guard and have the Sword before you, without leaving the ground, and subsequently always firm on your feet..

The second one is not as bad as the last one although this means taking away the firmness of the blow if the approach is made from the left foot.

The last one is the least since you will lose contact with the ground, as you do great movements to fly into your retreat, so that your Sword is no longer in front of you; besides being of a certain age and not having all disposition it will be most difficult to jump out of measure, even on the pavement.

I recommend to follow the first one.

Having retreated you will walk a great natural pace, as I have said in the third chapter, which is a step from the left foot before the right foot, and following with the right before the left, in case you have distanced yourself from the measure; if you are not at such distance, you will only have to do a small step to take the measure.

This can be done in three manners.

The first will be to raise gently the right foot forward, to advance it of about one foot ,and to have the left foot follow, body backwards and upon bent left leg. The other will do so by advancing the right foot a little; if your enemy should move backwards in the meantime, you could do another step without lifting the left foot, that is while you arte feeling close enough,, you take on the left foot as quickly as possible , always with the body weighing on the left leg, then to undertake and do what you judge best in accordance to your enemy's movements.

The other manner is to advance the left foot next to the right foot without your enemy seeing it, to immediately advance the right foot and be ready to act.

One can easily, in this manner, steal measure as a consequence of knowing how to do it well.

As soon as the Swords meet distancing the bodies on the left legs, one is in measure.

Therefore it will be your responsibility to take heed of not entering it in too many occasions because of the danger. You may know it by all these means.

However, to enter it reasonably, the Swords have to cross in an appropriate manner. I assume that, having done all this, one must be in measure. Having noticed that the enemy has parried with the Sword, after one gave a thrust, as I have said, it is necessary to push a demy-Botte along his Sword as if wanting to thrust/deal a blow first.

That this feint that this feint make the enemy meet the sword, raising the Fort to cover his head, since the enemy can attack in the meantime, and having raised his hand and bent his head forwards, one will be out of danger.

In this manner one will force him to leave an opening below the sword, but beating the Sword firmly.

The right foot mustn't be advanced forwards too much when starting your attack. The body should go back whilst beating.

This representation well done of the previous attack will lead the enemy to believe that this is now a real attack and will come back to the same fault without fail, and will want to raise his Fort when parrying.

It is at this moment that he resists the blade.

Then without moving the wrist you have to let go of the attack, by cutting under the line of the arm in Quarte.

Since I have said that the wrist shouldn't be turned in any other manner than described; but the foot must be carried out of the line of the enemy's Sword, and by these means you will avoid receiving at the same time.

It is not sufficient to give this thrust, one must also look for means of a good retreat: this will result in the thrust having been given and being in the posture you can see on the Plate, you will raise your Sword to that of your enemy, without the sword, and will engage the Sword in Tierce, and thereafter bring your body upright and going to your ordinary guard, you will be able to uncover within the sword; in case he should want to attack having realised this, to riposte along your sword, without leaving it, you will be assured of a good retreat as I have written thereafter.

Chapter V

Of the Parade of the point or feeble within the sword; and of Disengagements.

Having spoken of the thrust made in Quarte within the Sword, and of the parade of the fort, we will presently talk about the feeble within the sword.

The parade of the Feeble is natural to those who haven't learnt, and therefore quite dangerous and very difficult to correct, giving the Master a lot of grief during the instruction.

You will only recognize those who parry it, by giving an estocade in Quarte; firstly they will not fail to parry it, as we can see from the two first images, of which one is parrying and the other thrusting. The one parrying allows the point to drop to parry, and upon meeting the blade, causes the line of the parrying sword to drop. This is the cause for seeing the one thrusting straight in Quarte, in the same situation depicted in the next Plate.

Having noticed this parade, you will retreat, lest be riposted at, and will come back to an ordinary measure as quickly as possible, which is as I said, by a great step, should you be distanced; or if you are close, by a small one, to take the measure; and in this measure, you will present him with the same attack done previously, leading him to believe that you are thrusting, in a manner called Feint within the arms, and you will not touch the blade.

In the time the feint is being done, the hand must be turned into Quarte, in uncrossing blades, distancing the body backwards.

The reason is that the hand in Quarte means more than the previous attack. When the enemy attacks in the meantime (which he may do)he won't be able to touch you, even less since the fort of your Sword is before you, and your body backwards, which breaks the measure in parts. In doing the feint, a little tapping of the right foot is needed, don't lift it too high, as many do and lose a great time. This will be used to signal the attack and at the same time as the enemy goes to parry it, and you will have to meet the blade, it is in this same time that by a little circle the size of a coin, that you will do around the Sword in Quarte, that you will thrust from all your length, as depicted in the last action of this Plate, this I find most certain.

Many have their students students thrust in Tierce, but this is not dictated to us by any absolute rule; because one thrusts in Tierce or in Seconde above the sword, but this is only because of the same time

If you thrust in Quarte, and that your enemy does so at the same time, the body being straight, you can both receive. But this action is different; because the enemy goes to parry and cannot in the same time conduct both actions of parrying and thrusting; because as he parries, one ca thrust above the sword in Quarte as depicted in the attack made on this Plate, his Sword being occupied with the parry. Some even parry with the point, by lowering it to the ground. In this manner there is nothing to fear from a contretemps.

Thrusting In Quarte above the sword is much more appropriate than in Tierce: this is a straight line which is difficult to parry. The Tierce is more of a transversal line and less reliable to adjust. Even though I do not consider this to be a general rule, always coming back to the same principle , which is to use Quarte within the sword, Tierce without the sword, and Seconde below the Sword, because of the time.

But in this place there is neither risk nor fear of an exchange, since he's going to parry. If upon your doing the Feint, your enemy doesn't go to parry, you will only have to promptly complete the attack straight, or , would he thrust in the meantime, you may still parry and riposte.

Finally, having given your thrust, it will be appropriate to come back to the Sword your fort on his feeble, albeit without forcing it, as I have spoken of before, to undertake other attacks that I will show you below.

Chapter VI

Wherein is spoken of Time.

Time is such a difficult thing to take in, with a Sword in hand, that I would not advise anybody to attempt it too much. I value more a good parry, our a good dry beat made straight along the enemy's Sword, without taking one's Sword from in front of one.

Because exchanging blows, attacking on the Times, and all those inappropriate voltes, are not much in practise in the combats I will talk about later.

I will say much in this chapter, but I have made the resolution only to speak of the essential, I will only say that it is a game of Salle, in which blows are exchanged quite often , but relatively rarely with a Sword in hand.

However, in accordance to my profession, I must inform you.

For instance , should the enemy feints within the sword to thrust above it, it will be your responsibility to notice that he will uncover himself within the sword; at this moment you will take the time by thrusting straight within the sword, supporting your attack well. Should you then meet the enemy's Sword, you will thrust with your fort on his feeble.

If it was a feint above the sword to thrust within, you will thrust straight in Tierce, to where he will be uncovered, that is above the sword, again your fort on his feeble, upon meeting the enemy's blade.

If one was giving a feint to the head, it will be necessary to thrust below, which is the part that will be uncovered, turning the hand in Seconde, and always come back to the Sword.

Generally in all these Feints , double feints, engagements, Tentements, crossing of Swords, sliding of the left foot forward, as much within, without, below, finally by all movements of the body one may hit and be hit.

It will be your responsibility to stick to these discoveries to take these times appropriately, and to strive not to be taken by surprise yourself.

When you take these times, do so always with a raised foot, as I will explain in my chapter about Passes , but as I have said, you would rather stick to a good parry, unless you can see some wide openings on the body or great movements, like running head first with a bent arm. In these occasions judgement will let you know how to react; because it is not always safe to give on the times.

This is why a well-taken time is quite a beautiful/meaningful move. But only a few succeed in doing so, even more so since some start the move from the body and raise the right foot quite high, which takes time , instead of moving the hand first. Others start at the same time, which implies that they both receive, which is popularly known as "Coup Fourré".

Therefore you will not fail, as I said, to move the hand first , and that should be whilst the enemy is finishing his attack; this will be the safest way to succeed.

Finally in order to avoid all the inconvenient related to the risks , let us be more attached to parries, as this is safer. However in parrying, the Sword shall remain in front, otherwise it will not be possible to come back to the parry. It is possible to parry a feint or even several with the parry in circle, which I will now explain.

Chapter VII

Of Parrying with the fort above the sword, raising the thrust.

Of Parrying with the fort above the sword, raising the thrust

Having spoken of actions within the sword, it now makes sense to talk about actions above the sword. I previously said that some people naturally parry with the point, I shall now speak of those who naturally parry from the fort, raising the thrust which causes them often to be hit in the face. So it is in this Plate that I show their parade, and the thrust to give accordingly. You can see in the first two Images, one thrusts and one parries. The one attacking does so to determine in what way they should be parrying the other.

As you notice that your enemy is parrying from the fort raising the Sword above the head , leaving an opening to the body, you will retreat to come back afterwards to the normal distance.

You will give him a feint to the head, and thrust below the sword in Seconde, where he is uncovered, as shown on the second action.

Then you will retreat again, to do as you judge best after this in accordance to your enemy's faults.

I will not speak of the manner of advancing and taking measure, as I have said all that was necessary before. Let us come back to the manner of pushing the Botte in the first action .

When you are in reasonable measure, you will thrust in Tierce above the sword. Some make students conduct this action badly, lowering the body too much, which causes it to drop, in the space of both legs; and the body being supported by nothing, the left hand has to be laid on the ground, lest one should fall on the nose.

Which is a great fault, since neither force, nor measure, nor adjustment as one can't measure, the field.

In order to conduct it correctly, the body must be lowered a little, it is sufficient that your sword's fort meet this of your enemy, without lowering it too much in order to protect the head. The body must be in line with the right thigh, in order to be its force, being supported by the thigh and leg, it is no longer necessary to lay the left hand on the ground.

Left hand and arm must be in direct line with the right hand and arm. Being turned to Tierce, the left hand must be the same.

And in thrusts the left hand should follow the right.

If one thrusts in Quarte , it must also be turned in Quarte, and the same applies to the other thrusts.

Otherwise, it would have a very nasty effect, and a strange contortion, one arm being turned in a manner, the second differently.

This however is how I have seen it demonstrated by a few Masters.

The left leg and thigh should be raised as well as the lower back as much as you can without lifting the left foot, as depicted ; and unlike some Images I have seen, on which left leg and thigh are lowered to near ground level, and the left foot entirely twisted on the ground.

Neither force, measure, nor adjustment of the action can ever be part of it in that manner, and one must stick to the one I describe.

Upon thrusting and meeting the enemy's Sword, as you see, there is no risk; and noticing the manner of parrying, you must promptly retreat out of measure, and let the feint come back to the head to lead him to commit the same fault again, which he almost always does.

They will say that in doing the feint, I can be caught in time. I will answer that there is no action without a counter-action, as I will show later; but at this place I will lead him into a parade, as can be seen in the next Image.

Upon his parrying, raising above, you will do the feint , feinting to the face, albeit without touching his Sword. In doing this feint, you will lower the body slightly.

As he will raise his sword to parry, he will also bring his arm up, leaving an opening below the sword, it is in this time that you will disengage, and give a thrust under the line of his right arm, turning the hand in Seconde, lowering the body, turning the wrist and raising it slightly more than you normally would in Tierce. This is called Seconde because it is a degree higher than the Tierce, Prime is a degree Higher to Seconde. I will explain this in time.

Beware that the hand go first in all your moves.

This is so necessary, that the thrust be given to the body before the foot is raised, and the action will be perfect.

Also beware not to hold body and legs in any other manner than the one I showed previously in Tierce.

After giving this thrust, you will retreat in this manner to safety.

Before raising the lowered body, one must secure the enemy's Sword, by making a little circle, to find it in Tierce above the sword; and having assured yourself of this, you will bring the body back up and will retreat safely, out of measure, and keeping the Sword in front of you. Should the enemy go to attack you as you retire, you could take him on the time, should you get to be surprised.

If he pursues you, you will , in order to parry in a more effective manner, to take action after the riposte.

There is yet another manner to go away, which is, having done your botte in Seconde, you may retire without coming back to the Sword, by lowering yours, the arm and the Sword out of the right thigh, which is known as Epee Perdue.

Your enemy seeing this, he will not fail to go to meet your lowered Sword; whilst he does this, do not suffer him to touch your blade; because this is when he will uncover himself.

You may redoubler below, after having recovered, in case he brings his arm up, then bring your Sword up to his, as I say, whereby, upon you uncovering yourself within the sword, he will apparently come to attack you there.

You will not fail to give him the riposte along the sword, without leaving it, opposing the left hand as I will later demonstrate.

Which is good with the Sword in hand.

Chapter VIII

Of the Parade of the foible or the point above the sword; and the action for this Parade.

Of the Parade of the foible or the point above the sword; and the action for this Parade

Several use this Parade, especially in foreign lands, as I have seen it practised, as well as the parade whilst "contre-dégageant" which is that one pushes them in Quarte within the sword, as you disengage, they « contredégagent » and parry above the sword.

In the same manner, if you thrust in Tierce whilst disengaging, they "contredégagent" and parry within the sword.

When in short distance, they have difficulties parrying, because they disengage as you push forwards. This is the reason for their receiving very often, as they try to disengage, and the thrust they are given often goes to the body, whilst they disengage, that they haven't thought of coming back to meet the Sword

The best Parade above the sword, is to turn the hand in Tierce, lowering the body slightly and the wrist in proportion, the point facing the enemy's body, raised a little, so that the Parade be from the fort aside.

In this manner, the riposte is easy to give, since upon parrying, your point doesn't leave your enemy's body.

On the contrary, parrying from the point above the sword, as is depicted in this Image, your Sword is taken away from before , and makes a cut to the wrist above the sword, which causes the thrust given speedily enters the body quickly.

How should one react to this Parade from the point, is that having the manner of parrying, as I explained previously , it is always necessary to undertake a botte for him to parry., which here is in Quarte within the sword.

The manner of doing it, as well as how it should be located, is described in Chapter II and III; having done your estocade, it is necessary to act fast, lest be riposted at, then come back to ordinary measure, and from there you will do the feint, or give the impression you are attacking where he was parrying turning the hand well in Quarte, the point facing the right shoulder , arm extended completely, raising the wrist to the level of the head in order to be well covered; and, with the fort in front of you, you will do a little circle around the enemy's point , you will present him the blade, as though you wanted to thrust in Quarte above the sword; and will tap your right foot, in order to signal this more effectively, keeping the left foot firm, the left shoulder well withdrawn, bringing the body backwards on the left leg.

By these means your enemy will not fail in turning his point away in an attempt to parry, as you can see in the first Image; and it is in this time that you mustn't let him touch your blade, as you will presently be disengaging in Quarte within the arms, and will attack straight into the body; if you do meet his blade, you will support your action and bring your fort in opposition to his feeble; because, as I often noticed, some neglect their parry, and their adversary doesn't stop attacking; because the weakness and forgetfulness in their parry will induce them to do so. This is why one must always support the action firmly until one is out of measure. Beware of not forcing the Sword whilst pushing, or you will not strike home, and if the enemy disengaged and thrusted in the meantime, you could receive the blow.

After having attacked, it is necessary to think about retreating, which is as I have demonstrated it, or alternatively to go back into Garde in the following.

You must retire the body first, the Sword in front of you and with extended arm, then retire your right foot, without moving the left by these means you will be back into ordinary guard.

You will leave an opening above the sword, you r enemy will not fail to thrust there, and in this time you will thrust in the manner I explained in Chapter V, to leave an opening below the sword, where you will riposte and retreat after this. You will also be able to, should you want to, parry aside in Tierce, above the sword, to riposte there along the blade, above the sword , without leaving it; then you will retreat, after which you can wait for your enemy; should he pursue you in this time, you will attempt to take on the times, but better still to stick to the parade; which will be easier, because you will see him coming to you; they will say about this botte in Quarte that in the time one has attacked, one could have taken below at the same time.

This is possible. But in this occasion, as I said , I make the enemy go to a parade, as a consequence he cannot conduct the two actions at the same time, that of parrying and that of thrusting. In due time, I will speak of the ones who take below on this action.

Chapter IX

Of the Parade of the fort within the sword, opposing the left hand; of the flanconnade and of the action named demi-volte.

There are many ways to conduct a Parade. I talked about this in Chapter IV, regarding the "Demy-Botte". In Chapter V, about the feint within, and pushed above. In Chapter VII, about the feint to the head and pushed below. In Chapter VIII, about the feint without , and pushed within.

It remains for me, as promised, to demonstrate to you the manner of parrying within the sword, whilst bringing the left hand in opposition. Which can be used for the second and third plates being the same parade for within the sword.

As far as the Image pushing in Quarte within the sword is concerned, the situation is similar to all others pushing in Quarte, other than as you can see his Sword is lower, inasmuch as the other one , by the force of his parry, causes him to lower his sword, creating an opening below the line of the arm. This parade will be made from the heel of the Sword, lowering the right hand slightly, bringing the left hand in opposition to the right from below it, without leaving it, otherwise it would no longer be an opposition of the hand, this would be parrying with the hand.

There is a significant difference between opposing the left hand and parrying with the left hand.

I will speak of the parades with the hand later, his blade having parried, the hand comes to the rescue. In case the enemy's Sword should make a traversing and angular line, like turning the hand into Seconde within the arms, there is no other way of parrying than this with the hand.

This doesn't prevent the Sword parries and is effective, the left hand being exclusively for the lines in Seconde. Therefore it will be easy to give a riposte, as you may see in this Plate, especially for the thrusts given within the sword. This riposte is given under the line of the arm , forcing the Sword a little, without leaving it , and goes to the side of the body, as is depicted: this is why it is called "flanconnade". Even you can redoubler, as long as you keep your enemy's Sword engaged with yours, and with the left hand.

Otherwise, without this opposition, he may well hit you, without in turn being hit, because whilst you are opposing the enemy Sword, without any opposition from your left hand, he would only need turning his hand and raising the wrist high, in Prime or Second, and you would be touched.

For your retreat, you can do it with the Epee Perdue, as I explained previously .

It remains to point out that in the time he'll want to run onto you, as often happens, you can use the feint to where he uncovers himself, you will not fail in stopping him, and he will go to parry in the time you are thrusting; only he will be in no condition to do so, inasmuch as neither his feet nor body will be firm as he is in motion; thus it will be easier to surprise him.

Several run forwards to force pushing into the enemy's openings. They can be hit at the first time; but this has to be with significant speed, as I taught at Chapter V on the times. This is why I say that with the Sword in hand, parades are better and absolutely necessary for the occasion. I cannot repeat this too many times.

There are another two Images , whereby a relatively peculiar action is depicted, that one must observe. This is once again for above the sword. If you are given a great botte above the sword, in Tierce or in Quarte, it doesn't matter, and they want to thrust to you from fort to feeble, forcing your Sword, you will not resist your opponent's sword; but you will give in to the force, and leave the sword, and you will do as depicted in this image which is made to explain it.

Your enemy having pushed this great botte above the sword, forcing your blade, you will drop the point in Quarte below the line of the right arm of your enemy, to give him, as you can see, turning the body half ways and spinning on the tip of your feet to make a Demy-volte , albeit without lifting or moving from where you stand.

Also, both arms and the eyes must be turned towards your enemy, the right arm to push and the left to oppose, in case of a cut from the Sword, and the eyes to watch what he is doing; then, spinning again, you will find yourself in your ordinary guard, and totally ready to act as you judge best, according to your enemy's movements, as much in order to recover, as to parry, as to riposte.

This action is unique, and different to those which turn completely , as I will demonstrate later.

Chapter X

Of a manner of Garde in the Italian fashion.

Some adopt a guard position with the wrist completely in Quarte, with a low point, bent knees, bent right arm, as you may see in the second image en garde.

The one I oppose to this, is a similar guard. I make the point drop, as when we have a guard to combat, it is appropriate to imitate it s much as possible, in order to be in a better condition to defend oneself and to attack.

They always strike on the times, and never parry, which generates, as I said, very dangerous actions : this is the reason why there is nothing more disturbing to them than the same guard and the same posture. Whoever willing to defend themselves against a guard, will therefore take the same posture, and being in reasonable distance and measure; he will strive to lure the enemy with Demy-Coups (demy_bottes), feints, uncovering of the body, to cause him to start; and as he will be attacking, one must not fail to parry and riposte along the line of the Sword, which will be used as a guide to get to his body, albeit without forcing it.

If where he thrusts to is within the sword, you will bring the left hand in opposition, as it is of great help to this manner of guards; as often happens after having by these great movements attacked straight in Quarte, they turn their hand in Seconde; and as they thrust as often in Quarte above the sword, this Demy-volte won't be inappropriate, provided you can do it at the right time.

Sometimes they coulent a Demi_Coup above the sword, uncovering within the sword, to force to disengage and thrust in Quarte within the sword; and as you will be thrusting, they take to the below.

Be sure not to be lured by this, since this is a bait to surprise you: you will rather do a demi-coup which will come close to the body, nearly touching it; and as they take to their below, you will come back to the blade along the line of his Sword, bringing the body back slightly as well as the right foot, without moving the left foot, and will lower the right hand, whilst opposing the left hand, you will parry with the heel or fort of your blade, and will instantly riposte along his Sword, without leaving it, thrusting straight to the enemy's body, that you will still find lowered: which causes them to sometimes they receive in the face, as they remain at the end of their thrust, and having spent their forces there, they will not be in condition neither of parrying, nor recovering.

To finish this Chapter and what concerns this Plate, there remains to demonstrate the following thrust, most frequently given to this manner of guards, the point of which is light, because they thrust and disengage as soon as you meet their Sword. This action will be that, holding the same guard as the enemy, you will couler a little step, and upon meeting his Sword, you will engage it within the sword, lowering your point along the blade, entering slightly in measure; you will do, without stopping, a little circle around his Sword, and whilst you are finishing this circle, you will turn your wrist below the sword in Seconde, and will conduct your action until it reaches the body, supporting the hand well.

Should he disengage in this time, you will not allow him to finish his action even if he started it, and it will be easier to hit him.

If upon acting he wants to draw the body back, you could pass the left foot, to gain more measure, and will finish your action by gripping his Sword, as depicted in the thirteenth Plate, and as I will explain it.

Should he bring the body forwards, his Sword in front of him, you will be able to grip the Garde as you will see later.

If he stays in the same place, you could, having conducted this attack, retreat, to do then what you see fit, according to the moves and your judgement.

Chapter XI

Of the Parades using the hand.

There are so many of them, a huge book would not be enough to list them, inasmuch as all humans naturally seek to use their hand to cast threatening blows away.

To show the most ordinary ones, I will start by pointing out the distinction between the parades of the left hand and the oppositions of the left hand, which few people know how to distinguish.

The opposition of the left hand, as I said in Chapter V, and is depicted on the fifth Plate, at the action of flanconnade , is that the Sword having been effective in parrying, it will be necessary to add the left hand and arm in this action, in case the ennemy Sword should come there to form any angular or transversal lines; because then the ennemy Sword will not be able to parry it, unless the ennemy voltes the body: which is very dangerous, as I will later demonstrate.

This is why this opposition was found to be appropriate, although only a few know how to use it.

I will deal in this Chapter with two strong Parades from the hand: the first will be by bringing the arm down, the other one by raising and throwing the thrust above the head.

Both are very dangerous, as it was witnessed many times in combats, that one pierces through the hand until it is nailed to the body. Thus is this manner of parrying very dangerous, as I will later show, because the parade of the sword is always neglected, in favour of the hand.

For example, if I deal with the one parrying with the hand and lowering the arm.

He goes to guard with a very much lowered right hand in half-tierce, bearing the Sword straight, which is known as Quinte, as depicted in this Plate. He bears the right shoulder and hand very much forwards, and thus uncovers a significant space on his body, in order to induce his opponent to thrust straight.

Beware not to do so, but instead to feint it, advancing the hand well and turning it into Quarte.. Let the thrust present itself straight to the chest, nearly touching the body, albeit without losing control. The ennemy, seeing this Demy-coup coming, or this feint to thrust there, will not fail in attempt to use his left hand to parry; it is in the time he parries, that you will disengage and thrust straight in Quarte around his left arm, and will strike him to "cravatte height; you will well succeed in this manner by opposing your left hand, as can be seen in this Plate, the two first Images. Should you find yourself to have been surprised at the same time, you would only need lowering your Sword to oppose his, also opposing the left hand. You my riposte by turning the hand into Prime and raising it, this is to say, that with your wrist very much above the head, and your point to his stomach, which is the thrust above the sword, and that pushes from above downwards.

The hand must be even more in Seconde, as in the Plate showing the two-handed sword . One will then be able to retreat; should one be too close, one may pass the left foot in the same posture, and come to the gripping I will later explain.

The other parade using the left hand, is that in pushing straight into the body, they throw the thrustabove the head with the palm of the hand, and are by these means able to parry the attack given, and then give a thrust to the body, by distancing their opponent's Sword from in front of him.

They go to guard as the other parade from the hand, and as you can see, with a lowered Sword, the parade is different.

The latter throw the thrust above the head, the other bring it down.

It will be easy to see this manner of parrying without chancing anything, that is as I said to the other parade, to give the ennemy a thrust that doesn't go as far as meeting the body;

In attempting to parry, he will not fail in allow you to see the manner of parrying. Having noticed this, you will retreat out of measure, after which you will come back to present him with the previous action, which is feinting a thrust in Quarte. He will not fail to attempt raising the thrust with his left hand, ; you will disengage in this time, turning around the hand, and strike him under the left hand(with which he will have sought to parry)thrusting in Quarte straight to cravatte height, and will push your estocadefirmly to the body, opposing the left hand, as you can see from the second action on this Plate: because in all these manners of attacks it is most necessary.

After your attack, you will retreat; and should your ennemy run forwards, do not take him on the time; but do yet again, as always, feint in hand, as I described it. Which is very good.

There is yet another thing to fear of parades of this kind; as there are some who parry with their left hand and thrust in the same action: but it will be easy to protect yourself from this .

In signalling a time or a demi-coup, to make them go, you will first see the actions of both arms; then you will do a beat to their Sword, and thrust straight in Quarte, along the line. You will use this beat as your parade. Then you will retreat.

Chapter XII

Of Those Who use the Sword with both hands.

Some go en garde holding their Sword with both hands, as can be seen in this Plate, handle with the right and blade with the left hand as can be seen in this Plate.

They all parry from the point or from the foible of the Sword, uncovering the body forwards. If they are thrusted at within the word, they also parry with the point, and will uncover themselves above the sword ,because of their significant movement in parrying.

They say to their reason, going to this guard, that they thus parry with more firmness and force, because they parry hard; and that the reason for their uncovering so much is that they then thrust with more speed and measure.

Having done this parade, they go at once straight to the body, releasing their left hand to the rear, and give the attack.

They bear their body very much forwards.

They bend the right knee, and make the left one rigid, in order to go more readily: however it is easy to strike them, inasmuch as their body is bent and close to measure. In attacking these strong guards, it should be avoided to enter the measure too much; because otherwise they would engage your Sword, and it would be very difficult to disengage.

If they come looking for your blade by leaving great openings, in an attempt to force it, do not let them touch it, and disengage in this time on the other side.

Have the point very light.

Should they seek it within the sword, disengage above, raising the wrist in Seconde. Should they seek it without the sword, disengage within, turning the hand in Prime, from above downwards, as depicted in this Plate, to the action parried and to the thrust given.

To surprise them again, one must feint to attack where they parry mot often: seeing this, they will not fail to uncover themselves very much, it is in this time that you must give them your estocade, in the manner I just taught, for within and above the sword, to the first in Prime, and to the other in Seconde.

Remains to note that in all these actions, the hand must always go before the foot; since it is not the foot, but the hand, which strikes: and by these means, all the actions will be perfect.

You will find these redundancies tiring, but I cannot take them away, being amongst the maxims most necessary to the Exercise. To put it shortly, it is the secret generally to all actions.

You see in this Plate, the way it is depicted. In the first, it is the one who parries; the other action is the thrust given in Prime within the sword. You see the postures of the body well depicted.

The one attacking in Prime, brings his back in order to act will full force, with a raised wrist, to protect it at the same time, left foot firm on the ground, to think of a good retreat, after having attacked, or to pass if necessary. And all this length will be in one line only, from the head to the left heel and along the back.

The head and the right arm also make a straight line, being supported by the right leg, of which the knee is bent to the natural state, answering the tip of the foot, in a straight line, and following the rule, and in all the forces, to do what is most appropriate, as parrying if need be and gripping the guard; and not as I saw depicted in some Books, where the Images were stretched too much without the forces, after having conducted their attack. I have demonstrated the errors of this.

Chapter XIII

Of some manners of German Guards.

It is appropriate now to entertain you with a guard that I have frequently seen used in foreign lands, especially in Germany and Holland, where I had several assaults with the most distinguished Maisters.

Several who wrote books about the Weapons, did not mention it. I do not think it be for lack of experience: but it doesn't seem to me that the subject should be neglected.

I have spoken of their manner of parrying, and of thrusting as they "contredégageant"I will by the way say here that their manner of parrying, and even their attacking whilst contredégageing is amongst the bests.

In this Chapter I will show their guard, their manner of attacking and defending themselves, and also the manner to attack them and defend oneself from them.

This guard seems very straining to whom has not practised it; but I will instruct with it those who have no knowledge of it. It is in all respect different from ours.

They place their body very much forwards, resting it on the right leg, also placing the head forwards and lower than the wrist, so that they are totally covered by their Sword's forthand turned in Prime or fort in Seconde, with a very low point, with a very bent right knee , as well as the left , their left hand brought very much forwards under the line of the right arm, to use it to parry, as one gives them a thrust in Seconde; and will not fail, after this parade from the hand, to thrust from above downwards, in Prime within the sword, or sometimes above.

It is necessary, with a low point, to bear the wrist higher. They bear themselves only on the tip of the left toe, all their force being forwards, and pretend that they have more freedom, and that the point is lighter to disengage.

It is true that they can use this guard very well; it is hard to find their Sword: therefore one must be very careful with them. They often thrust on the times, but cannot stretch very much. The reason for this is that the body leaning forwards on the right leg, is a burden. This prevents them from advancing the foot for over a foot in distance, and their ordinary thrusts, as they give, only touch slightly from the point.

They say that as we stretch to give great bottes, and they parry, we make their measure, and thus they do not need to stretch any further.

They are right as far as riposting actions are concerned, but for the attack, it must always be sought to stretch as far as one can, albeit without lifting the foot too much, on the contrary it must always stay to near ground level as the action is conducted; otherwise this would delay the action too much. But above all , hand first. Which I state always as the first principle.

And not, as several do, have everything go at once.

They find themselves so often impaired when in contact with the ennemy Sword, that they do not know how to disengage; because their right foot having been advanced, afore the thrust be given, this often causes the arm to go back, after having stretched itself forwards, as one finds themselves too close, and attempts to push as they parry. They immediately come back to seek the Sword, and force it considerably.

In order to oppose these foreign guards, it will be necessary to those seeking to defend themselves from them start by taking the same guard, if it is possible.

This is what most Maisters do not show their pupils, either because they can not do it or neglect it. Some presumptuous Maisters boast of knowing secret bottes ; however the most secret of them is the time and experience which teaches us all its secrets.

If a Master says he knows a good action, and can do it when he pleases, he must know several, since an action appropriate to one guard will not be so to another.

This is why a Master should know over a hundred of them, for all the different guards. Thus you will not pay any heed to the discourses of false prophets and ignorants.

I know of some Gentlemen who told me they paid ten crowns for a secret botte: and when I saw what it was, I showed them they had been deceived, and that there was no reason or foundation to the secret.

Let us come back to my Plate. To this guard, I oppose, in a similar situation but with more freedom, as you can see on the first two Images. I make him oppose his Sword to this of his ennemy. To give the thrust that befits this guard, you will disengage by doing a circle within the sword, turning the wrist in Quarte, where you will still find yourself opposing his Sword; you will, by the means of a little step, enter into measure, reaching the fort of his Sword, and will oppose your left hand to it.

In this time, you will also stretch to give a great botte, turning the hand well into Tierce, straight to the stomach, to cravatte height .

Thus he will not be able to parry with the left hand. In this posture, you will be able to repeat the same action two or three times without leaving his Sword; then you will retreat. You see the thrust given in the second action of this Plate.

Remains to note that normally, these who use this guard enter very much into measure: this is why you may use the time in which they walk to disengage, turning you hand well in Quarte within the sword, and strike firmly to the body, still opposing the left hand .

In this guards they often raise the point of their Sword: you must use this opportunity to strike below the line of the right arm, without, inasmuch as thy will find it difficult to parry, because they cannot carry their left arm so far; and consequently they often receive.

They also do many feints: it will be your responsibility to use this, as I taught you at the Chapter about Times.

But above all do not fail, in every action you will conduct against them, to bring the left hand in opposition; because so much can happen with these strong garde, you will find it very useful.

I have only dealt with the essential and with what I was given to witness myself. I cannot take responsibility over any action happening by pure chance, inasmuch as no one can boast of having an absolutely certain move; but I assure that the most instructed in this Exercise, having a good heart, will succeed against a hundred clumsy people, I mean one after the other, following the saying that Nullus Hercules contra duos .

Chapter XIV

Of the Passes within and without the blade.

Having spoken of the actions or estocades with the foot firmly on the ground, I will now speak of those known as Passes, which is that whilst striking, one passes the left foot afore the right. I only made two Plates to represent them: since too great a number of them would be required in order to show them all as Images.

In the first Plate two passes are depicted. The first is a pass in Quarte above the sword, the second a passe in Tierce without the sword, which I will now explain.

Normally, one mustn't pass, be it in the time that the ennemy lifts either his left foot or his right, as if one would want to take the time with a firm foot; however, it comes to pass in another manner quite often, that leaning forwards, with your ennemy out of measure, his body uncovered, you can still complete your action, passing the left foot afore the right, then coming to the gripping of the Sword, which I will show in the next Chapter.

Beware of not passing as your ennemy brings his body backwards, as is taught by many; as they will have no safety therein, inasmuch as their enemy's body is going backwards, distancing himself, he breaks the measure, and sees you coming: on the contrary, you will pass the left foot as your ennemy is lifting either the right or left foot, to advance forwards, as depicted in this Plate.; this will be how to succeed.

Therefore one must know how to and when to pass in Quarte within the sword; this will be done in many different ways.

If the ennemy should advance or lean the body forwards, seek your blade in the intention of forcing it,-I assume that you be engaged without the sword to his Sword-, you will advance hand first, by a little and very short disengagement, bringing your fort well to his foible, turning your wrist well in Quarte , and will go to give the thrust straight to the body, as depicted in the first action of this Plate.

This is another sure action, which is that in passing you will do a dry beat, and will complete your action in Quarte within the sword.

Normally, to lure the ennemy to this trap, one must do a tentement d'Epée to force the ennemy to seek the blade and your body, as much within as above the sword, as above for the passes and within and without.

This tentement d'Epée, for these who don't understand it is to beat the ennemy Sword twice, with yours, in a direct line, and also tap the foot twice, with an extended arm, bringing the body forwards slightly, but at the same time bringing it back dropping the point below the blade of your ennemy, to attract it towards you.

He will not fail to come to seek your blade, which is no longer in the line where you had tenté his Sword to lure it and make him go forward; and is this time you must strive to strike to the openings that you will have caused your ennemy to create by his movements.

One must notice, looking at these Images, that they are in full force. You see the reins raised, on which part of the forces depends.

The left thigh, leg and foot are not on the ground, as I have previously seen in Images in some Books, on which they lie near the ground; and are so much apart that it be difficult to give any attack at all; since it is easy to realise that a straight body, than one bent to the ground, and that this situation takes it away even from the arms and the body.

Forces in the arms and legs must always be conserved, without losing them in this way; you will add to this the speed of the wrist as you are passing, and in all your actions will take heed to clear by advancing the hand before the foot be lifted, as in the actions conducted with a foot firmly on the ground.

That the left knee, after you have parried, be but slightly bent, and the arm rigid and totally extended ;the left arm should also be extended in a straight line with the right arm, and not lying along the left thigh, as several make it do, which is the greatest fault one could ever have. I have explained its consequences in the previous Chapters.

The other action in this Plate, is a passe in Tierce, which is that after having completed your tentement d'Epée within the sword, and retiring the body backwards to force the ennemy to seek your blade, which will imply him uncovering above the sword, and will make you pass, then you will pass in Tierce within the sword, as is one depicted with lifted left foot, and the other has the right foot lifted.

Finally one can pass normally all the actions done with the foot on the ground; but there is more caution and more to do to preserve oneself, as I said; since there is always some risk. A very clear passe, in good time and with good judgement, is a very good action: but it is necessary to know the odds there are to succeed and the manner to lure one's ennemy by the tentements d'Epée I earlier explained in all passes . It is not a rule that one should always grip the adversary's sword , as one may as well go back to guard, as for the action conducted foot on the ground. One can as well be surprised by the ennemy going backwards, and in this case one should go back to guard as before. The judgement will inform of all these difficulties. Let us move on now to the next Plate.

Chapter XV

Of the Passe in Seconde above the sword; and of the gripping of the Sword.

Having secured the Sword above the arm, the ennemy uncovering below, raising the fort of his Sword, one can with speed advance the hand firs, extending the arm completely, throwing also the left totally extended, turning the wrist well in Seconde, and raising it quite high as the ennemy will want to raise his Sword, then bring the body forwards, as you see in this Plate of the first action.

You will pass the left foot afore the foot , bending it slightly, because as the body must be lowered, and be supported by the left leg, which is forwards, in a direct line from the knee to the stomach, and with the head a little more forwards, to continue the line along your Sword arm; which will prevent you from receiving to the head.

You will have your full measure in this manner, and you will strike with full force.

The right leg which is to the rear, is supported on the fort of the foot, on the rigid thigh, resuming the line to the top of the head; which makes all its force. One may also parry below the sword in other manners.

By the tentements d'Epée above the sword, to make uncover below; and it is in this time that one should parry; one may also feint to the head, and parry below, and always try to do so whilst the ennemy is advancing his body, as you see in this Plate. After having parried, on can also come back to ordinary guard, according to the enemy's movements, as I said to retreat.

And in this manner which I teach to parry, it will be very easy in the occasion to recover, or to grip the sword, as is depicted in this same Plate, and as I have I will show you. This can be used for all passes and other actions with a firm foot. Because the ennemy, in stretching, and you having parried his action, you may, by making a step of the left foot afore the right enter very well into measure, in case he retires in this time with his body backwards; or if he is too close to you, you can let the right foot behind the left.

The gripping of the Sword is made to the garde, not to the blade, as many have been deceived, and have lost their fingers, having gripped but the blade.

Other still , instead of gripping the garde, grip the arm. This is what you must beware of, because your ennemy will need to change hands gripping the Sword by the middle of the blade with the left hand, as often happened, and strike you to the body.

You would have thought you had gripped the garde, but it was only the arm. Which is expressed by the two other Images.

After having passé below, it is necessary to come back to your enemy's Sword, as I said, before bringing the body back up.

Then one must advance the right foot(which was behind), afore the left foot, then being close to your ennemy, both forts against each other, you will bring up your Sword in the shape of an Estramaçon, and leaving your enemy's blade, you will in the same time grip his garde, with your left hand , and will raise your Sword in a manner that he cannot reach it with his left hand.

You will turn the body by withdrawing the right shoulder, and bringing the front foot to the rear, in garde on the right as you are, you will find yourself to the left side.

The right arm, which gripped the garde must be fully extended in front of you, in case your ennemy would want to hurl himself onto you, you would stop him.

If you should feel you lack force because of his violent attack against you, you will only need letting go of one foot to the rear, and even follow this with the other one, if need be.

However, if he brings his body backwards , to attract you in attacking him, you could walk unto him great step, or two if need be.

And by these means, one succeeds always, one preserves the space, and always earns honour in combat, in such an occasion, without there being any accident or wound, or death.

If however the ennemy will not comply and that he be so stubborn as still wanting to thrust himself unto you, I think that one will not be able to spare the ordinary ways, following this saying better to kill than be killed. That the leg and the rear foot be firm, extended and not lying: that the front knee be a little bent, and the foot quite straight, as you see ; in this manner you will have your whole body firm. And not as some Images I have seen in previous Books, regarding the gripping of the Sword.

They make legs stand apart to much, and bend the body backwards, the front knee extended in such a manner that it is impossible to hold this posture, an to keep the forces; apart from the fact that at the least kick the body would fall down to the ground.

This is something that can often be witnessed in the Salles.

That is very dangerous a Sword in hand. As it is to hold the Sword very low, the point above the stomach. A gentleman having gripped his enemy's Sword by the garde and holding the point to his stomach, , the ennemy approaching the left hand, and having gripped the sword with a thick glove, he broke it and stroke with this Point to the body of the one who had gripped, of which he died, but the other saved his life thus.

This happened in Paris on Quai des Augustans, about 12 or 13 years ago .

This is what one must beware of . There are some who wrote about the manners to take away the Sword from the enemy's hands. As far as I am concerned, I would write strong ones, as I saw them practised in foreign lands; but this is not worth it, I found, as this is not very popular, and that would only puzzle a gentleman who would want to try them.

This is not in my usual method, although I do neither reprimand nor forbid to do it, if one can succeed, as taking or having the sword fall from the enemy's hands.

But the gripping of the Sword is more certain, because to grab a Sword away from the hands, it will sometimes only be through violence and force.

Should one succeed, the other one is in great danger. And this is not according to the rules of the Art.

Chapter XVI

Of the volting of the body, and of the completed action.

This action, of volter, is used by several, and few know how to use it, and believe they can very much, as, upon the slightest movement of their enemy, and upon the least estocades they are faced with, voltentwithout fail; Which causes them often to be hit in the back: and if sometimes they suceed, this will be by pure chance.

To practise this with more ease, and less risk, in dealing with a man standing in the ordinary guard, you will go to engage his Sword without the sword.

Having noticed that he is engaged, he will without fail intend to engage his Sword above the blade. You will bring your body en butte , presenting your body completely uncovered forward : and as he will in this same time be disengaging, you will retreat, with the body backwards, without lifting the feet.
Your enemy, seeing you far from him, will not fail to intent to complete his action, and will parry in Tierce above the sword;

It is in the time he passes, that you will volter from the body , as you see depicted, in the first action of this Plate, and that I am going to explain.

This manner of volting will be in the time that your enemy passes. You will disengage within the sword, turning the hand well in Quarte, and elevating it to the head of you enemy, above his arm,and volting as quickly as possible; you were facing your enemy, you must then find yourself turning your back on him, and your feet as you you would be standing in a left lead guard, passing the left foot behind the right; but this shouldn't be as in passes, whereby one must pass to the front; since, in this action, it must be to the rear. It is not sufficient to have volted and given the thrust, one must not remain in this position; but without delay or hesitation, bring the right foot back forwards, and join one's enemy, in such a manner as this right foot finds itself behind the enemy's feet, whilst still maintaining the left foot in front, pressing the right arm against his stomach, with the elbow, you will bring the hand of the same arm pressed against the enemy's garde.

In the same time as you grip the garde with your right hand, you must change hands with the sword, and take it in the left, by the middle of the blade, to threaten the life of the enemy, presenting him the point, as is depicted in this Plate, of the gripping of body and Sword.

Which can be done in many encounters, mainly when joining the enemy, or he throws himself unto you. One also can volter on the passes in Tierce above the sword, all at once.

But on the other actions, as passes in Quarte, this is very dangerous.

Which can very well be risked in a Salle: But I do not recommend it with the Sword in hand.

For the gripping, it will be always very-good, as I said, in all sorts of encounters.

The manner I taught takes all forces away from the enemy, and he can easily be thrown to the ground: which you may experiment.

Chapter XVII

Of the parades in the shape of a circle; and of the manners of Garde and actions in the Spanish fashion.

It remains for me to explain what is contained in this last Plate. It is made of three Figures above, and two below, which I am going to explain. I will start with the three first Images, which are parrying in the shape of a circle, very good and useful to serve in all sorts of actions, and in all sorts of occasions.

I have depicted three manners of doing this , which however end in being the same, the reserve of the opposition of the left hand, which the first and last represent.

The other one follows the same patterns, and doesn't fail in parrying in the same manner, without without opposition. I will explain the reasons for this.

The first Image, as you see, has several lines falling from his Sword, and from his Sword to his left arm. All these lines are as many thrusts given, as much from above downwards, as from below upwards, in a straight or transversal line.

This image does not fail to parry by the means of its circle it does, and of the left hand it is opposing.

In order to do this circle well, the usual guard must be adopted, and in the time one goes to attack in whatever manner, be it in Prime, in Seconde, in Tierce, in Quarte , or in Quinte, which make as many lines, high, straight, and low, evn all sorts of feints, you will start by a movement from the wrist in the shape of a circle, tuning it outwards, it will find itself with the nail upwards, wich is in Quarte; you will also lower the point of your Sword, and will also raise the wrist , although without removing the arm from its center, and will thus meet the thrusts coming to your body, with the Sword and the left hand in opposition.

If by chance you shouldn't meet the enemy Sword, you will start the circle again, raising your Sword, and at the same time will lower it again, coming back to the first position you see in the first Image, and as you previously were.

Thus you will without fail meet all lines of thrusts that could be given to you, from the head to the bottom of the body, this circle having been well made, and this left hand brought into opposition with judgement.

I make amn opposition of the left hand lower than on the two other Images, inasmuch as there are more lines or attacks to parry, which make transversal lines, and various angles.

The force of the Sword in parrying, has sent them to the left arm, although it doesn't leave the enemy's Sword; even in addtion I say, that this circle having been well made, this left hand well opposed, a man can surely parry four or five thrusts given at the same time, as you can see, provided it be not from behind.

I can be asked where the attacks come from, if it is a straight line, or an estocade in Quarte within the sword, which I do not parry straight from the fort of my Sword, as in the other previous attacks, without making this circle;

I answer that should one be reassured that this is a real thrust in a straight line, without feint, one can bring the left hand in opposition to parry it, as I have shown in the other Plates.

But ine can be deceived by feints, or demy-coups , and being surprised, this parade in circle will wrap all these thrusts that can be given to you, and will even cause all your annamy's intentions to be lost.

One can also parry as you see in the second figure; but this implies taking more risks, because of all the angular lines; and even after having parried, one cannot riposte without any danger,because, keeping the enemy's Sword engaged with the left hand, after the Sword had its effect, it is easy to give the thrust, inasmuch as the enemy no longer has a Sword in front of him. In this second Image, the body is well withdrawn, left hand behind the ear, the legs well located, the right arm fully extended; this will be for those not accustomed to opposing the left hand, not failing in well pattying in this manner; but as I said, without the same safety.

I give you this third Image in posture, in order to have you notice, that one may as well parry a straight thrust in Quarte, by the means of this circle: and the opposed left hand is not as low in this as in the first one, inasmuch as I assume that there be none of these transversal thrusts, s in Seconde and others, as I explained. Although I do not pronounce this to be a general thing, always coming back to my principles, which are of parrying in Quarte and in Tierce as I have taught in the chapter about Parades.

For a thrust in Seconde, this parade is very-good, as well as for all the other attacks that will surprise one, and is in such occasion the best of all parades.

The other two Images on the bottom represent what the Spaniards use most in combat, that is the coups d'estramaçon , after having been attacked.

I will not fail to discuss their other attacks which they use as often, as I noticed when practising them.

After I have explained the coup d'estramaçon, I will speak of the other most commonly employed. Too great a number of Plates would be required to show them all.

The first of the two Images you see, is a thrust given in Seconde below the sword, as you have seen explained at chapter V for its situation. The second is this Spanish action.

He has no other parade, as this of the body, in the time he is being thrusted at.

He retires the right foot beside the left, as well as the body, curving the hip inwards very much, advancing the arms and shoulders, to reach further from the coup d'estramaçon: since, in order to parry, it would be impossible to them, inasmuch as they hold their Sword quite badly that is passing two fingers as a hook through their garde, which is especially made with two rings, and the remaining three fingers on the handle; which enables them to have more freedom for their coups d'estramaçon.

However their estocades never have much force as one rushes onto them, which makes all their mesure, and do not lose time; since as soon as you have extended to them, they retire, as I said and come to give you two or thee coups d'estramaçons to the head with great speed. When they do not manage to retire the body promptly enough, they also receive the thrust in Seconde to the body; however they do not value these actions of estocades, they think themselves safer with the coup d'estramaçon , where they use all their agility, but also try to hit the eyes; these are their greatest actions.

Thus it will be appropriate, to protect oneself from the coup d'estramaçon, not to let oneself go at once, or at least, when attacking fast, not to stay at the end of the thrust; but rather to join the body to the action passing the left foot, and then grip the Sword. One can also force them by some demy-estocades to bring their body back; and in the time he is giving his coup d'estramaçon on the head, you will raise your Sword quite high above the head, in a traversing line, as is depicted in the second Image of the first Plate, and will ths parry this coup d'estramaçon. You will even think of parrying two of them, in case he does give them.

Then you will not fail to give him the riposte in Seconde, disengaging below the sword; and after this you will as quickly as possible come back to his Sword, to secure it; you will at once join with the body, and grip the sword, as I taught you.

They also go to guard upright, straight on their legs, , and according on our movements, they turn on the fort of the feet, without moving from the same place, the Sword always in front of them, and their point facing their enemy's head.
If you give them a straight botte in Quarte, they will without parrying it only retire the right foot aside the left, and cave their body greatly, and by this means take away the mesure from the thrust given to their body; they only extend their right arm, and advance their Sword to thrust straight to the eye.

They pretend this to be a beautiful coup , and say that thrusts to the body are not thrusts of skill, as thrusts to the eyes. They can surely succeed; but to prevent them, it is appropriate to have them attack first, as I already said, by demi-coups, which they will think of as completed actions. They will not fail to retire their body and bring their Sword forwards: but you not having quite stretched forwards, are not at any risk. A dry beat must be done, and thrust straight in Quarte within the sword, along their Sword, from fort to foible, and will slightly lower your point.

You will bring your left hand in opposition, and will immediately join, and grip the garde.

Often they contre-dégagent and attack to protect themselves.
You will have to disengage, in the intent to cause them to contre-dégager, and as they disengage, you will parry and attack at the same time, opposing the left arm; then you will retreat, or will join the body of your enemy and grip the garde, in accordance to the situation and his movements.

I would have liked to write against and for the lefthanded, however that would be a useless thing; as should you be dealing with a lefthanded, everything I have written in this Book, can be used against him, as for a right handed, by doing all the opposite.

For example, where one must thrust in Quarte, he will do so in Tierce, and so for the other actions.

Regarding the lefthanded against the lefthanded, it is enough to turn the plates the other way around, to find what is required, and this will be necessary and easy to use it.


Several persons of quality whom I have had the honour of teaching having asked me to add to my Book a discourse regarding the Method that I observed therein to teach them, I have decided to satisfy them, even more readily, since I thought that this work would be useful to many people.

The Maisters who will be of good faith will come to agree, that one can never come to perfection of the Weapons , without observing this Method.

I believe it to be especially of use to the Maisters chosen to teach to this Companies of Gentlemen, that the King has established in several of his fortified Cities : otherwise, if hence there be one who should succeed in this Exercise, he will rather owe his agility to the natural disposition, than to all his Master's pains.

And as little knowledge as one may have, it will be easy to practise the lessons that I will place in order.

Few people ignore the high reputation that Monsieur Renard has earned in this noble profession, which he practised in Paris for 60 years; he was the one who taught all the renowned Maisters; and it is also from him that I received this knowledge.

He communicated it to me without reserve, due as much to our particular friendship, as to our belonging to the same family. He gave me these influences with pleasure since my first years. Ever since, he continued to share with me all that had brought him above the others of his profession. Then , not wanting to follow the example of those who stubbornly limit themselves and are content to get to a certain point, I followed my natural curiosity, and went abroad, to see if I could discover something from the Foreigners that be concealed to me, and that be of use to my Exercise . I have had several conferences with them, we gave each others mutual lessons; and I have often paid much attention in listening to the reasons they use to defend their principles. I still declare today, that if I find a Master who has a particular knowledge in my Exercise, I will always with great pleasure make profit of it, and will never approve of the presumption of those I hear daily saying, that they know enough for the need they have of it.

It is not necessary, that one Master should always find a well-disposed body, to make it a skilful man; it is not such a great deal to complete what Nature has started so well; but where the science of the Master lies, is to know how to correct the faults of nature, and to have the secret to give a new form to this clumsy body.

To the contrary of those who know nothing better than spoil the good dispositions, and who, by their false principles, often make of a naturally well disposed man, what is called a true clumsy person.

I maintain that by the means of these principles, by constant work and the time needed for the Exercise, one will vanquish the clumsiest and rudest body.

A true Master at Arms must pay attention to six things, the first of which is how his Fleuret must be, and this of his Student, which is called class Fleuret. This of the Master must be light, because of the amount of time he must hold it in his hand, and in order for him to easily maintain it in front of him during the lessons: which he could not always do, should his arm be tired by the weight of the Fleuret; it mustn't be as long as those used for assaulting, in order for him to show the Student the difference between fort and foible. It should be longer than the class Fleuret, to make the Student understand the concept of measure, and to prevent him from entering it too much when extending his arm.

The class Fleuret must be without guard or cross, for two reasons: the first is that as the Student extends unto the body, his hand finds this guard or cross which resists him and makes him open his fingers; which takes away the good habit of holding his Sword firmly.

On the contrary when thrusting with a Fleuret without guard or cross, the hand having had to slide to the blade , forced by the resistance it will have encountered at the plastron, one corrects himself soon by gripping the handle in a better way.

The second reason is that when the Master will attack his Student, to teach him to parry, the Student, having no guard on his Fleuret, will have to parry well, which is the fort of his Sword in front of him, because if he parries solely from the point -which is a poor parade-, the Fleuret of the Master who is thrusting at him, will fall on his fingers, and hurt him; which will force him on the next occurrence to parry well, as much inside, above or below the sword.

This is something he would neglect, had he a guard to protect him.

One must hold the Fleuret well, with the thumb on the body of the guard.

(¤Chapt. II&III)The second thing that the Master must observe, is first to have the Student practise all the various movements I have talked about; ¤ and to make him repeat them at least for the first fifteen days, to influence him strongly with these principles, and this liberty which is so necessary to perfection in the Weapons. He will also have him do some drills(levee d'armes), of which I have briefly spoken at the beginning of this Book; but that I will here explain to you.

The first levée d'armes is that having placed the Student in a natural position, one will make him bring the right leg next to the left, the heel touching the start of the fort of the left foot, which will represent a half-cross.

This is the situation of the feet. The legs, thighs, body and head will be straight, the arms lowered along the thighs. In this posture one will make him raise both arms extended above his head, and elevate the body upright on the fort of the feet. One will make him turn the wrists inside, and lower the arms to the hip; rest the right arm on the Sword, the point to the tip of the foot, and the other arm to the side of his body, then immediately bring his Sword up, and bring it above the head in the shape of estramaçon ; then one will come with his Sword in front of him, demy-Tierce, and let go of the left foot behind, in the same line as the right, also bend the left leg, and straightening the right; the body well withdrawn, turning the left part very much, raising the arm, the elbow and the left hand behind the ear; and this will be the guard he must hold. One must be sure to make repeat all these movements several times.

The other drill is that being turned facing the Master, both feet together, heel against heel, toes pointing outwards, and the same for the legs and thighs, and the rest of the body quite straight, one will make him bring the arms along the thighs, and then bring them up quickly, turning the wrists in Quarte, besides the body, as high as he will be able to; then immediately turn them inwards, and lower them to rest on his sword, next to the point of the right foot, and an arm on the left hip ; at the same time bring both extended arms back up, and join both wrists together in front of him, to chest height, turning them into Quarte, then immediately separate them, turning them in Tierce; then dropping them in Quinte, next to/aside the body, then bringing the arms back up, and making a great circle above the head, with his Fleuret; After go back into his guard, turn the let part as quickly as possible, and also let go of the left foot to the rear, and the left hand to the ear. This will again be his ordinary guard.

The third thing a Master must observe, will be to take heed, in giving the lessons, not to advance the body, nor to precede the action, as the student comes to make his attack, as several do daily. Which is the greatest fault a Master could have, and to which the most part don't pay attention. Similarly as well to take the student's fleuret with the left hand, and bring it to his body, and even go to seek it before the student has attacked, to adjust it to their body. This is so contrary to the Exercise, that Reason alone will provide a knowledge of this fault, and without even knowing the Exercise one will be able to judge of this. Is it not better, that a Student should come to meet the Master's body, than the Master the Student's thrust? The student must be made to adjust from his own will to the body , the Master will bring his body backwards, in the time that the Student is giving the thrust. By this method one will learn to make the Student support his action on his own: he will always be firmer, and will know the measure better.

He will have more difficulties to begin with, however after this he will find it easy to adjust without any help.

Shouldn't the Master have his Fleuret to conduct the action of his Student, distancing his body, without going to seek the thrust to give it himself? And in the occasion will one find a man to bring the point of your Sword to his body? If the Student has this habit, it is certain that he will not have any accuracy; rather than to the body, he will go to the ground, until he falls.

Which oftentimes happened to me , having had Students who had learnt somewhere else. As I wanted to teach them my method, every time they were falling head first to the ground, because they would not meet any support, nor left hand, nor body forwards to support them: but with the help of time and this method, I find them most changed.

The fourth thing a Master must know, is to know ( Chapt. XII, VII, V, VI&XI) the bottes in Prime, Seconde, Tierce, Quarte and Quinte; to know how to mage them give, parry, and to apply them to the appropriate occasions. Few know what are Prime and Quinte.

The fifth thing which is necessary to the Master, is to know all manners of ripostes and parades. I have also explained them: but he will notice one thing to which few pay any attention, which is the manner of teaching his Student to parry. Which everyone will be able to notice seeing them give their lesson. As they must give a thrust to their Student, to make him parry, they are content with telling them to do so, solely presenting the point of their Fleuret in front of this of the Student, and simply touch the blade, without thrusting or lifting the right foot.

The Student then doesn't care to learn how to parry, because they are not being attacked; and in this manner, he neglects his parade, which is the most necessary thing for the occasion.

On the contrary, when making the Student parry, one must attack in accordance to the force one finds in him, and to the body. In this manner he will have to firmly meet the thrust, and therein using all his force. I am not saying that in the beginnings, one shouldn't be careful with the Student: but then gradually come to attack firmly, even to two attacks in a row, to then get him to give the riposte.

Which will make him firmer on his legs, and strengthen him a lot; and so he will take a good habit. It is also necessary, giving a lesson, to give a resolution to the Student as if he were dealing with his enemy; because this Exercise is not a game, since it is to the defence of his life, and to give him the skill to succeed in dangerous situations.

Finally, the sixth thing a Master will observe, it is that in giving the lesson, he must not take haughty attitudes, like posing and look at himself quite often. There are Masters who only strive to please the eyes of the spectators, and have care only for themselves, to gain the reputation of being graceful the weapons in hand. However they do not think of the bad habits of the Students, of whom they must at all times imitate the poor postures, to correct them.

This is what is not being thought of, when only thinking of oneself. Therefore the Master must constantly undo the poor ways of his Student, and even emphasize it more than necessary, to inspire a greater reluctance and then make a good movement according to the rules. You will no longer inspire to restrain what is good, by the knowledge you have created of what is bad. One must even show the faults particular to the knowledge, and have them be noticed.

Which he can never do, if he is always striving to be like a picturesque Master, and if he prefers to be pleasurable/agreeable to him, to the progresses of his Student. I admit that they will say of him, that he looks graceful with the weapons in hand; which I have do not regard as the least of qualities; but our true science does not depend on this, it consists more of knowledge of the different guards that will have to be fought against, and in the means to inspire a Gentleman to the skill and agility that he will need.

After having gone through all these different movements with the Student, after having made him quite firm on his legs, by the principles I have established, and having given him the freedom, by the agility of his body, he will have to start with stretching, as I taught it, to be in a good position, for some fifteen days. He will be taught these three first bottes, Tierce, Quarte, and Seconde; followed by the three Parades to these three actions.(Chapt.II & III):

After he will start the disengagements, to go back to guard and retreat. He must also start to do little feints in a straight line, as much within, without, as below the sword, in order for him to be able to undertake three main Plays( Ch. IV, V, VII& VIII), that I will bring in order, based on the three main actions of the Exercise, which are remaining, advancing, and retiring.

A Master who will observe them, and who will regularly have his Student practise them, , will be able to strengthen him to the highest degree, and even enable him to in turn become a Master.

Provided he doesn't neglect himself during the lessons and that his Student makes efforts, it will be impossible that they shall not succeed both; because the lack of care of the Master disgusts the Student, and causes him never to benefit .

On the contrary, taking all the care and making all the efforts required,

he will make the Student like the Exercise and will also like it more..

By these means more people will know how to defend themselves, and one will not see so many clumsy people, , who, at the first time they take the Sword in hand, do coups fourrés( dishonest moves), kill themselves, or get hurt, both of them, knowing neither how to parry, nor how to hold a Sword.

But if they have acquired the skill, they will preserve their life and their honour, in all encounters; and they will have more judgement and restraint, knowing the danger better.

The Masters taking care in all these circumstances, I am sure that the Exercise will be more flourishing, and the Gentlemen and Masters more satisfied.


This first Play here will be against those who stand still, this means that you will make your Student understand, that when dealing with a man who remains in one place, one must attack him with a firm footwork: and as the enemy is attacking, , he will defends himself with parades, and then b with ripostes, as I will show you.

I will not explain the first movements, the principles , walks and attitudes, retreats, big steps to advance forwards, nor the little steps to gain measure (Ch. II, II, and IV) nor the positions for the garde, nor the manners of parrying and thrusting, as much within, above, as below, having sufficiently talked about them in the Book itself.

The first action of the Play, will be that your Student being in measure, you will have him first make a great botte in Quarte straight within the sword, then go back to guard, bringing the body backwards on the left leg, the Sword half-Tierce, along yours, without leaving it; you will then uncover above the sword, and will make him do another botte in Quarte, then the retreat, the Sword well in front of him, and the right arm completely extended, because in bringing your body back it is still in measure.

You will make him come back to the ordinary measure, still with the Sword in half Tierce, then recover, to then make another one in the same way, then retreat, arm extended, and his Sword in front of him.

Then he will come back into measure, raising his Sword in Tierce, higher than the ordinary guard, to give him more freedom to give his thrust, which will be in two times, turning the hand in Quarte, without stopping, and will go straight to the body, tapping the right foot twice, albeit without lifting it so high ; then he will recover, his Sword in Tierce, to go again at once in Quarte, then retreat, and will come back into measure; he will rest his Sword on yours, within the sword, and will apply some weight on it, to force you to disengage: You will disengage, and will leave an opening above the sword (see disengaging, ch VI), and will have him take the time straight in Tierce; he will recover, and in this time you will disengage, and will leave an opening within the sword; he will again thrust to the opening, straight in Quarte, and then will retreat. He will come back into measure, and will again engage the Sword within the sword, to force you to disengage. You will disengage, and will come to engage his Sword, from the other side;

In this time one must beware that the Student let it be engaged by yours; but rather, in the time you go to meet it, make him contre-dégager and thrust to the body in Quarte within the sword, and tell him to pay attention that you shouldn't touch it. Then you will attempt to touch it, to teach him the speed for the disengagement, and will make him understand that every time you touch it, the action is worthless. This will seem difficult to him, but with time he will succeed. This is also the consequence for all other actions; because as he will be doing some feint or make believe he is thrusting, to force you into a parade, and as you will go to this parade, if you touch his Sword, his action will not be perfect: on the contrary, one must make him disengage in the moment you are conducting the first movement, to go seek his blade.

You will make him go through this contre-dégagements several times; and the last time, you will parry with the fort within the sword and will thereafter make him conduct b the thrust to this parade, to parry and riposte.

(explained at Ch.IV, first Plate) After your retreat, you will come back into measure, and will make him do the same contre-dégagement again: you will parry with the point, and will make him notice; and having noticed it, you will make him do the thrust to this parade: at the end of the thrust, he will recover, and you will thrust within the sword. He will riposte straight along the Sword, , without leaving it, then he will retreat(explained at Ch. V of third Plate), and will come back to measure, to do the appropriate actions above the sword

You will uncover above the sword, and will make your Student hold his Sword in Tierce, on the same side, and will make him give the botte in two times, straight in Tierce, to the body, tapping the right foot twice; then he will recover and will give another thrust in Tierce at once: then he will retreat, and come back into measure(Ch.VII), where you will have him rest his Sword on yours in Tierce above the sword, and will have him apply some weight on your blade.

In the time you will feel this resistance, you will disengage, and will leave an opening within the sword, and will make him thrust straight in Quarte, to take this time; after which he will retreat and come back into measure to once again put some weight on your blade, to make you disengage: you will disengage, and will come back to engage his blade.

In the time you will go to engage him, warn him not to let you touch his blade: but that he must contre-dégager as soon as possible, and that he should give the botte in Tierce, to the body.

After which he will come back to guard; and you will make him repeat several times this contr-dégagement, to teach him. Then you will parry with the fort, raising the thrust (see Ch.VII) above the head; then he will retreat, and will come back to measure to do the attack required to this parade, and the other following actions; then will retreat(Ch. VII, Ch. Of the 4th Plate, Ch.VII). He will come back again to measure, where you will do the feint to the head, and will tell him that should someone do this action to unsettle him, he should take the time and thrust below the sword: you will make him repeat the same action several times, and on the last one you will parry from the fort, lowering his thrust very much, and will point this out to him.

He will retreat, and will come back into measure, to do a feint below the sword, and thrust on it, then he will come back to guard, uncovering himself within the sword: you will attack him, and he will riposte straight in Quarte, along the line, without leaving your Sword, then will retreat, and will come back into measure, to do the same contre-dégagement again.

Then you will parry from the point to make him notice this way of parrying.

Then he will retreat; because as soon as the enemy parries, one must retire, by fear of the riposte. After this he will come back into measure to conduct the attack to this parade, and will come back to guard in the manner in which he will have attacked, which is in Quarte within the sword. Then you will make him uncover above the sword, and will give him a great botte. Upon this discovery, he will parry with the fort of his Sword, and will riposte under the line of the arm, in Seconde, below the sword; then will retreat, and will come back into measure, where you will make him do the last action of this Play, which is that holding the hand in Quarte, with the point low, you will cross his Sword with yours, pushing on it; and will tell him that he shouldn't bear this line weighing on his Sword: but that he should bring it up straight, by a movement of the wrist, with however the arm fully extended, making a time, the body backwards.

You will have him drop his Sword in Tierce within the sword, without following it with yours.

He will thrust to the body.

This botte is called coupé par dessus la pointe, and this action is also good for those who parry with the point within the sword. Then he will recover, uncovering to within the sword.

You will thrust at him, he will parry and riposte along the line of your Sword, without leaving it; then will retreat, arm extended and Sword well in front of him.

This is the end of the first Play which is for the firmness of the entire body and against those who always remain in one place. I establish all these parades, as one cannot parry too much in this Play. Every single thrust has its parade, and its riposte after that. The rules and order are observed.

After all the incidents that can happen within the sword, I will show these above and below the sword; One can well have this Play practised, at least for two months.

Let us move on to the second Play.

Second Play

There are some who, having parried a thrust, and seeing their enemy recover, or retreat in some way, will hurl themselves unto him, and advance with all their body, the Sword in front of them, in all their will to attack him. This Second play is to fight these chaotic actions.

The Student is in ordinary guard; having engaged your sword in Tierce above the sword, you will have him do a little disengaging. As quick as possible; having turned his hand in Quarte, he will beat your blade quickly without staying on it, holding his body back and distancing it on the left leg, and by another action but nearly at the same time, thrust firmly in Quarte within the sword, from fort to foible; if the enemy Sword (represented by yours) is far when he goes to beat it, he mustn't follow it; but thrust straight to the body and then go back to the usual guard, along your sword, in the same action, to recover straight in Quarte, and then retreat.

He does this beat to bring the Sword away and create an opening, because of the extended arm and of the sword in front of his enemy.

This recovering after going back into guard will be used to gain on time, because immediately after being thrusted at a first time, he will without fail advance his body, and throw himself forward.

Some turn their hand in Tierce in doing the beat, which I do not approve of, as one uncovers above the sword, and the time is also greater, as one turns the hand in Tierce,and then in Quarte, which are two movements: but turning it in Quarte, the Sword remains in front of you, and is sooner to the body, losing much less time.

All these beats can also be done straight along the Sword, without disengaging at all, be it above or below. As your Student will do these exrercises, at any time in the play, you will advance your body and will let him know that it is for those who want to run forward; and in the time he will be finishing this action, refrain to leave it forwards;on the contrary, bring it back as quickly as possible, distancing it on the left leg, to force your Student to go find it himself, without the help of your left hand , as I already said. By these means, he will learn measure, firmness and accuracy. This first action will be the instruction to all others in this Play, as much within the sword, as above and below.

After this redoublement, you will have him retreat , then come back into measure. Let us move on to the second action.

You will have him do the same beat again and thrust straight along the Sword; iun the time that you will have your Student recover, you will disengage and engqage his Sword in Tierce; as soon as he will have recovered, you will disengage; and he will take this time straight in Quarte , where you will have uncovered yourself, , and will go back to guard, to go again straight, in the time you will b advancing your body, then will retreat.

The third action will be that yourStudent being in measure, you will have him beat your Sword shortly and thrust straight, disengaging in Quarte within the sword, and will have him recover. In the time he will ber recovering, you will lower the point of your Sword, in the manner shown at the parades in the shape of a circle.

You will have him do the same action, opposing your blade to his , and will have him conduct the botte in the same situation as his Sword is, without raising the point, along the whole line of yours, to the body, and will have him bring the left hand in opposition; and in the time he will attack, you will turn the hand in Seconde, to show himn that had he not brought the left hand in opposition, he would have received.

After he will come back to the same position, and you will bring your Sword up in front of you. In the time you will be raising it, he will thrust straight in Quarte , than will recover and double his botte, to recover, then retreat, and will come back into measure. At the fourth action, he will once again beat your Sword, and will thrust straight and you will parry with the fort, with an extended arm.

Seeing that you parried, he will retreat, and come back into measure for the fifth action, do his demy-botte, cutting under the wrist (this being the thrust to those who parry with the fort extending the arm) and will do as I explained. Then he will retreat and come back into measure for the sixth action within the sword. You will again have him beat the sword and thrust straight, you will parry with the point and he will retreat. You will point out to him that you used the point of the Sword to parry. You will have him do the feint to the point and thrust on it; then you will have him recover to redoublerin Seconde below the sword, on the same side, and retreat, which is the seventh and last action within the sword.

Let us move on to the actions above the arms, for this same Play, for those who advance. The first action without the sword, will be for you to have your Student engage your Sword, within the sword, to disengage and give a dry beat above the sword, turning the wrist in Quarte, to turn your point away, which must be facing your Student.

Having chased it from before him, you will have him complete his action, straight in Tierce, then recover, to resume in the same line of Tierce.

After the retreat, you will have him come back into measure, to conduct the second action, which is to beat the Sword again above the sword, then thrust straight,and recover. In the time he will be recovering, you will uncover yourself under the arms, on purpose , to show him that you lifted the arm. And will have him redoubler below the sword.

After the retreat, you will have him come back again, which will be the third action. You will have him beat dry and thrust straight, then recover and come back to the blade.

In this time you will disengage; he will take this time again, straight in Wquarte, and will recover and retreat, and will come back to measure again, to do the fourth action.

You will have him beat the Sword dryly again whilst disengaging and recover. And in this time you will lower your point in the shape of a circle, as I said , and will make him oppose his Sword to yours, top thrust straight in Quarte, without leaving the blade, and opposing the left hand.

Even you will have him double, in the same position; after which he will retreat, making his circle, as I taught. You may pursue him, to have him take the time.

The fifth action in this Play is that you will again have him beat the sword and thrust straight. You will parry this thrust from the point without the sword gaining his fort ( which I explained at the first Play, last contre-dégagement) . then he will retreat, and come back into measure, to feint without and thrust within. After wshich he will recover toi resume straight in Quarte, then will retreat, and come back into measure to conduct the sixth action. You will again make him beat the Sword and thrust straight, you will parry from the fort, raising his thrust and he will retreat.

You will make him understand in what manner you parried, and will have him come back into measure to make him do the feint to the place you have parried. After the retreat, he will come back into measure, to conduct the seventh action of this play; whereby you will be able to do the same feint to him yourself that he diud before; you will have him take the time below the sword, and repeat another time, when you will parry with the fort, lowering his thrust.

You will make him understand the way you parried in, and make him do the feint below, and thrust above in Tierce, then double below and retreat.

He will come back to measure to conduct the eighth action. You will have him do the coup-coupéabove the point (explained in the last action of the first Play), apart from the fact that one mustn't parry; but resume below, you will uncover yourself by raising the arm on purpose.

You will have him take this time, and in the time you will be seeking his blade he must disengage without your blade touching his.

In the first Play one parries to each action, as one is dealing with someone who remains in the same place. In this Play one parries much less, not at all in fact, since one is dealing with someone coming forward and running. This is why at each action, one takes always on the times, even after your Student has retreated , you may walk after him, and get taken on the time in the manner you will judge best; you may also flee with one small step to bait the enemy, and in the time he will make a little step forward,you will uncover sometimes in Tierce, or sometimes in Quarte, and will feint to him, to make him take on all these times. This is a Play from which he will benefit very much, will be firmer on his legs, and will be well in condition, after two or threemonths, to move on to the third Play, which will be for those who go backwards. This is harder to practise and also harder to show.


In order to make your Student understand that he will use this Third Play when dealing with a man who goes back, you will make him understand that he must determine, by his first thrust, whether he is dealing with someone who goes back all the time.

This is why, at the first attack you will not fail to go back with a little step; and your Student, after you have gone back thus , and because you will have broken measure, will be distanced from you. When he will have understood this, you will do what I am about to explain.

You must have you student part more than usual, the Sword well in front of him. You will do so as well, which is to be in the same guard, and also more parted. In the same time you will have him engage above the sword, the wrist well turned in Tierce; and will have him disengage, the hand first, the arm well extended, turning the wrist in Quarte. As he will be disengaging, he must do a little step, starting wih the right foot forwards, of about one foot, and follow with the left , making the legs rigid, raising the body; and you will show him how to win the foible of your Sword, by advancing his fort to it. In the same time he will couler and will walk forwards, it will be your turn to do the same thing backwards, which he will have done forwards, except that you will have to, in the time he will be gaining mesure and will be attacking, distance your body backwards on the left leg, and will have him adjust from afar, to your body, to teach him to know the measure well.

Finally having gained the fort, as I said, he will complete his botte in Quarte: then you will have him retreat. This first action will be used for the understanding of the other coulements, as much within, above, as below .

The second action of this Play, will be that being in the same distance, as I said, you will have him couler within the sword, whilst disengaging.

He will again come to gain your foible, coming into measure, in this time you will not allow it; but will disengage, to take him on this time. His hand and body being forwards, he will only need to complete his thrust in Tierce; this will be to where you will have uncovered yourself. Even , he can redoubler there, after having recovered; or you can raise your hand and arm, to make him redoubler below; then his retreat, after having come back to the blade.

The third action is that having come back to the same measure and guard; and you above all having upon all his action your Sword well in front of you, the left part well withdrawn.

He will couler again to gain your foible with the same disengagement, and in the time he will meet your blade, you will resist the Sword, and in the time the blades are together, you will tell him to stop resisting the force, disengage above the sword , and thrust firmly to the body; then to make him recover to resume straight, or below, as you will see fit, and will retreatand will come back to do the forth action. He will couler again along the Sword; to this action you will parry with the fort within the sword, raising the arm a little, and he will retreat, then will come back to his usual distance, do the demy-botte(ch.IV), still along the blade, forcing it a little, and will thrust under the line of the arm, then will come back to engage the Sword above the sword, uncovering himself within the sword. You will thrust to the opening. He will parry and riposte along the line of your Sword, without leaving it(Ch. IX) under the line of his body arm because you must create an opening for him; and will have him oppose his left arm, then recover and redoubler straight in Quarte: after the retreat, he will come back to ordinary measure, to do this fifth and last action within the sword, which is en coulant again, disengaging and engaging your Sword, and attempting to gain your foible, you will have him turn the hand even more in Quarte, than in the other thrusts; which will create an angle contrary to the thrust he will be giving; and will have him force your blade. At the same time , you will have him turn the hand in Prime, on the same side, raising the wrist and the body very much. He will conduct his botte to the body, then will retreat, Epée Perdue . You will pursue him to engage his Sword, which will be low.

In this time you will warn him not to let you touch it, and disengage as quickly as possible, in Tierce below the sword. You will have him recover to tae agein below, then retreat. He will come back into measure to do the coulements and actions which have to be done above the sword, for this play. The first action above the sword, which you will have him do, will be that being both in the same guard, as for the previous actions, you will have him engage your Sword within the arms, without forcing anything, then you will have him do a little disengagement above the sword, turning the hand and wrist in Quarte, engaging the fort of your blade, and coulant along the line of your Sword, walking with a little step, to gain measure. In the time he will be walking, you will go back with a little step again, to make him understand that it is once again for those who go back, and will have him make both legs rigid, as he is walking forward.

Having left an opening below the sword, by gaining your foible with his fort, he will complete his thrust straight, turning the hand in Tierce to th body; then he will go back to guard, Sword in Tierce and slightly higher. You will go to seek it; in this same time you will have him take again below the sword.If you remain uncovered above the sword, you will have him take again straight in tierce, without disengaging. The second action above the sword, is that, being engaged within the sword, you will have him couler in Quarte above the sword, gaining your foible with his fort. You will disengage in this time: his Sword will find itself within the sword, by the disengaging you will have done, his Sword still being turned in Quarte. He will only have to complete his action straight along your Sword, to the body . he will recover to take again straight in Quarte, , without leaving your Sword, then will retreat, and then will come back into measure to conduct this third action. He will still engage his Sword within the sword, to then disengage and coulerabove the sword. This time he must meet your Sword and resist it. You will do the same. In the time that you will compete fort against fort, you will have him let go under the force; you will have him disengage within the sword, to thrust there straight in Quarte, from fort to foible; and at the same time he will recover to take again straight in Quarte, or some times for taking again you will have him disengage above the sword, or bring back his Sword opposite yours, as is the image in the shape of a circle, to(ch.XVII) take again in the same measure, then retreat. He will come back into measure for the fourth action. This one is that he must couler again above the sword, , and thrust straight; you will parry from the fort, raising his thrust. Seeing this parade, he will retreat, and will come back into measure; and you will have him do a coulement above the sword, turning the hand in Tierce. You will go to parry him, raising you Sword and seeking his; and in this time you will have him disengage in Seconde below the sword, then he will retreat, Epée Perdue, as I taught it, (Ch. VII), and the actions that must follow. The fifth action is that you will adopt a German guard( Ch.XIII), in the manner I explained, and will have your Student do the same , and will do the thrust appropriate to this guard, which is a coulement to gain measure; the sixth action (Ch.XI) is that you will go to guard, the Sword very low, which is named Quinte, the arm and Sword without the thigh. Your Student will adopt his ordinary guard, you will have him cross your Sword, turning his hand with nails towards the ground; in turning he must meet your sword; he will resist the blade and so will you; you will have him disengage above the sword, then recover and take again below, or you will disengage to have him take the time, then retreat and come back into measure; you will have him couleragain above the sword. Then you will disengage and in this time you can have him take the below. This last action is not very much in oractise, the Sword in hand. There is yet another action for the coulements, explained in Ch.X which is a guard in the Italian fashion. You will have it conducted in the manner I have taught as well.

It is necessary to notice in this Play, that as you will have him donall these coulements , walking, your Student will have to remain a little while to consider what the enemy might do; and you will point out to him all these movements that have to be made for this Play, which are to go back in the time he is coming towards you, and to have him adjust well, to the body, ateach action, without help fom the left hand, nor advancing the body. This Play has to be taught for longer than the others, being the most dificult.In this Play one will be able to teach the Student to turn; which is very necessary sometimes for the choice of the field, or for theSun. This will be done in this manner, that is that having thrusted and retreated, you will be able to approach the right foot besides the left, and lean the body on the left leg, making a big step besides the body; then you will advance the right foot in direct line to the left, by these means the body will find itselfonto another ground. You may then lift the left foot and ass the right foot forwrards, and repeat this faster several times, turning around your enemy. Which will be a walk to surprise him as he is turning. In the time he stops, you will also stop to adopt your ordinary guard, and to undertake all actions appropriate to wahatever faults he may have.

After having taught this last Play, you can still, for some times, have it repeated in a surer manner, although in a very easy manner to practise. As you Student is starting the previous Play, you will have him engage his Sword within the sword. You will have him resist your Sword, before starting entering into measure; and , by a little movement of the body , distancing it backwards, you will have him disengage above the sword, without touching your Sword, and in the same moment you will have him disengage and couler along your Sword, in the same manner as the other actions of the third Play, which in Quarte within the sword, to thrust straight. And the same for the following actions, except only at the beginning, before coming to couler and gain the fort of your Sword, you will have him do this little movement that I just taught; which is very good to surprise whoever one will be dealing with. You must also do, for the actions without the sword, the same movement, before starting any other action, which is , that being engaged above the sword, you will have him disengage with the point, turning the wrist in quarte within the sword, distancing the body backwards, without him finding your Sword; and then you will have him disengage and couler, the hand turned in Quarte , and at once turn it in Tierce, to complete his action; and so for the other actions described in this third Play.

After all these principles, these three different Plays, and following the third Play, the Student must still be taught all the manners to ward the enemy off, and to parry and riposte well.

Your Student having adopted the usual guard, you will have him engage his Sword within the sword; and at the same time you will have him do an appel

Disengaging and engaging his sword in Tierce above the sword. Th Student uncovering himself within the sword, you will without fail thrust to this opening. He will parry and riposte straight along your Sword, even in the time he will be doing his appel, you will disengage and will not wait for him to touch your blde; but make him parry well, and riposte at once under the line of the arm. Thus you will have him repeat this appel,and at ecah action you will give him an estocade, and will point out to him the movements of your Sword; that the first thrust must be riposted at straight and the second under the line of the arm, in Flanconnade, bringing the left arm in opposition; you will create an opening for him to do this; the third will be the demy-botte straight, without disengaging; and the fourth will be the feint straight, without thrusting above. You will also have him do the appels above the sword, by having him engage your Sword above the Sword, , to disengage and do his appel within the sword, to uncover himself above; In this time you will be thrusting to this opening, and will not let him find your Sword; but in the same time you will give him your bestocade to the body, to force him to parry. You will have him parry and riposte straight, and reiterate these appels . You will thrust at him, as I said, in the time he will be doing these appels ; at the second thrust he will parry and riposte in Seconde below the sword, and on the third , when he will riposte, you will parry with the point above the sword, and will do the feint straight without, and will disengage in Quarte within the sword. The fourth is that after the appel that you will give him, he will parry and do the feint below and will thrust above. Finally you will teach him to parry the demy-botte and the feint to the head, which you will show him; andwill thrust at him to the body. He will use the parade in shape of a circle, for both actions; and this will yet be the end of this Play. There are another two which tie in with this one, this is why it is not necessary to repeat all the actions thereof, I will only say that when you will have your Student do the appel , and that he will have found your sword, as much within as above, you will have him walk one step from the right foot only, without moving the left; and in the time he walks, you will give him your botte to the body. He will riposte, without lifting the left foot, to all the anounced actions. In the other play, as much within as bove, he will, to each action, do the appel and walk his step. Therefore to each action you will thrust at him and he will execute, according to the movements of your Sword, as I taught. The other will be as he will be doing his appel , disengaging or without disengaging,; because the appels can be done straight, as much within, as without, above as below, or disengaging.

Him having crossed your Sword, he must be made to walk one step from the right foot, without moving the left foot; and in this time he walks, you will do the same thing with the left foot, then will have him walk another step from the right foot, without moving the left, which will be two steps he will have done: and then you will have him, without leaving your blade, thrust in two times, to the place where you will have engaged his Sword. But one must always start within the sword, then without. You will also have him do all the other previous actions. After these two steps have been done, you will thrust at him. He will take the measure with the left foot, in parrying he will riposte to all attacks in turn, as much within,above or below(. Which I described previously and explained in the other Plays.

There are still these bottes in three times, which are shown as a rule, which is that of the single action one comes to a double action, and from there to the treble . To explain it. If the Student gives a botte firmly, as much within the sword as without or below, this is the single action, disengaging, r straight. If in attacking he gave a thrust to the body , he will without fail go back to it, as long as the enemy will not parry; but as soon as he does parry, he will feint to where the parry has been made, which will be the double action. If the enemy parries it, he will double the feint, which will be the triple action, or action in three times. And the same for the other actions , as much within, as above, as one after the other, as in the other Plays, when the feints have to be doubled, it is necessary, as I said, to straight it with a single action, then by the double, which is the feint, which I explained previously.

The three times that have to be done afterwards, or the double feint and thrust, will be to do feints to where the enemy will parry, tapping the right foot twice, at the second one the left foot must follow, if he goes backwards, making both legs rigid, the arm straight and completely extended, the Sword in front of one; and the enemy uncovering on the side where one will have done the last feint, to go to the parade, one will without fail go to this opening, even to redoubler , according to the situation of one's Sword. One can, at all the actions I have taught, do this bote in three times, provided it be, as I said , starting with the single action, followed by the double, then the triple; and that it be after the parades of the enemy; because in order to execute these lessons well, one must never do a feint, single or double , only after you will have noticed the place where he will have parried.

For example, to these dry beats and thrust straight, after having done them, if your enemy should parry or go back, you must do the same beat; and instead of thrusting straight, you would only feint to thrust straight, tapping the right foot, for the beat, and another tap at the sme time, from the same foot, having the left foot follow, in case he should go back, and will thrust straight above the sword. And the same for all other actions, following the same rule; this Play can also be done with firm foot, without having the left foot follow. This will be for those who do not go backwards;

You see that all come from these three firs main Plays: this is why without taking too much trouble, you can, as best as possible, have them executed; and you will see the benefit of them to your Student. After the practise of these plays, you will come to this of the other particular actions of my Book, as are the Passes, Voltes, Demy-Voltes, Gripping of the Sword, parades in the shape of a circle, actions in the Spanish fashion, that you can very well show, if you are keenly and seriously intending to.


Announcement: In this book, a mistake sneaked in which is considerable enough to make the Reader aware of it: Page 77, , 7th line, instead of "which I do not esteem" , there should have been " that I do not regard as the least"

Note of transl. The mistake's been amended, making Mr. De Liancour a more open-minded person through correct translation. And due to corrected original.

Translation: Elise Darchis, Oxford, England, 2007.