26. The Hurt of the Low Ward at Rapier and DaggerΒΆ

In each ward, when one stands bearing the point of the sword towards the enemy, it does much disadvantage him to strike with the edge. And if in any sort it be lawful so to do, it is, when he stands at the low ward: For it is commodious, and there is spent but little time in the bestowing of an edgeblow between thrusts. or, the rather to try the enemy, there may be delivered an edgeblow from the wrist of the hand, in the which as there is spent little time, so the point is carried but a little out of the straight line, so that the enemy may very hardly enter to strike under either of these blows. But it is better, not to use them, resolving rather to discharge thrust after thrust, then any edgeblow.

This warde may (as the high ward) be framed after two sorts, to wit: with the right foot behind, and the same foot before : but that with the right foot behind, is used rather to respect the enemy than to strike first. For although it carries great force by reason that the sword is far off from hurting, and before it hits home, it spends much time, yet the hurt thereof may be easily warded, either with the weapon, or by retiring a pace. I will speak of that only which is framed with the right foot before. And in this, one may strike two ways, to wit: either within or without: By (Within) I understand, when his sword is borne between the enemy’s sword and dagger. By (Without) I mean, when any one of them is borne in the middle against the other.

When one finds himself within, at the half of the enemy’s sword, the point whereof, is directed to strike at the right side, he must very swiftly increase a slope pace, and in a manner straight, to the end he may approach the nearer his enemy, and therewithall suddenly barring the enemy’s sword in the middle with his own sword and dagger, increase a straight pace, and deliver a thrust.

This may be done after another plainer way, and that is: when he stands at the half sword, to beat the enemy’s swords point out of the straight line on that side which shall be most commodious, and in that line increasing his foot forwards to drive a forcible thrust, at the enemy’s face or breast.

But standing without, he may (with the increase of his foot forwards) give a thrust at the face, which the enemy of necessity must defend with his sword : but therein the sword and the point thereof is commonly carried out of the straight line, in which case he may (with the increase of a slope pace) turn a reverse at the legs, and then presently something withdrawing his sword, deliver a thrust underneath with the increase of a straight pace.

He may also after a second manner, give a right edgeblow from the wrist, as short and strong as is possible, not so much pretending to strike as to find the enemy’s sword : And it being suddenly found he must with the increase of a slope or crooked pace, lift up his hand and drive a thrust downwards, with the increase of a straight pace.

After a third sort also, he may strike, and that is to deliver the aforesaid blow from the wrist, and having met with the enemy’s sword, to make presently a slope pace, and stay the sword with his dagger, and then nimbly recovering his own sword, to thrust underneath with the increase of a straight pace.

These be sufficient, concerning that which may be done in this warde with the sword both within and without, at least, for so much as may be done by true Art.

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27. The Defense of the Low Ward at Rapier and Dagger

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