29. The Manner How to Handle the CloakΒΆ

As the Cloak in this Art, has in it three things to be considered, to wit: length, largeness, and flexibility: so it is to be weighed how far each of these will stretch, to serve the turn. of which three, one does properly belong to it, and that is flexibility, which may neither be increased nor diminished: The other two, may receive alteration. But yet it is at any hand to be provided, that these two also be not diminished. For the Cloak is no strong thing, which of itself may withstand the blows of the weapon, being directly opposed against them.

And therefore he shall prove himself but a fool, who trusting to the cloth wrapped about his arm, does encounter any right edgeblow therewith. For seeing the Cloak is not flexible in that part (which flexibility is his only strength) little prevails either length or largeness, wrapped about a solid substance. But being opposite in that part thereof, where it has length, largeness and flexibility (which is from the arm downwards) it is available: for all three being joined together will warde any edgeblow: the which manner of warding should not be so sure, if the Cloak had only length and flexibility: For having behind it little air, which is the thing that does strengthen it, it may be easily be beaten too, and cut, by any great blow. Therefore, if a man have so much leisure, he ought to wrap his Cloak once or twice about his arm, taking it by the Cape or collar, and folding his arm therein up to the elbow, and therewithall to warde all edgeblows from the flank thereof downwards, as well on the right side, as on the left side, always remembering to carry his foot differing from his arm, for the avoiding of danger that may arise by bearing his leg on the selfsame side, near his cloak knowing the Cloak wards not when there is any hard substance behind it. Thrusts also themselves, may be given without, if with the Cloak, or with the hand in the Cloak, the enemy’s sword be beaten off, one handful within the point thereof. For the edge having but small power in that case, is not able in so little time, to cut the hand. The blows also, aswell of the point, as of the edge, from the flank upwards, ought to warded with the sword: For to lift the arm so high being burdened with the weight of the Cloak, which naturally draws downwards, as it is a violent thing it is also perilous, least the arm be placed instead of the Cloak, and so rest wounded, or lest the arm or Cloak be placed before the eyes, which by that means remain blinded.

low ward with rapier and cape

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30. An Advertisement Concerning the Wrapping and Warding of the Cloak

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