32. The Defense of the Thrust, Right and Reversed Blows of the High Ward at Rapier and CloakΒΆ

For the better avoiding of the hurts which proceed from the high ward: it is necessary to stand at the low ward, in the which the thrust is to be warded iiii manner of ways, to wit: either with the single sword within or without, either with the single Cloak within or without. If with the single sword within, it is requisite to fetch a compass with the foot backwards on the right side. In like case to turn the body the same way, to the intent, to carry it out of the straight line (in which the blow comes) and to drive a reversed thrust at the face, the which thrust in such order delivered is the longest that is, and such a one, as thereby the hurt is not only voided, but also at the self same time, the enemy is struck in the face. If it chance, that the sword be encountered without then it is not only profitable but also necessary, to step forwards and with the Cloak to encounter the enemy’s sword in the first part thereof. And recovering his own sword, to discharge a thrust underneath with the increase of the right foot. And although it be laid down for a rule, not to use a whole pace when handling the Cloak, this ought to be understood in striking, the which (whilst one endeavors to strike with the sword) it may be forgetting the Cloak, his arm may fall, by means whereof he may stumble against it: but in warding, it does not so happen. For nature being careful to defend herself (at every little danger) lifts up both her arms, yea, although they be oppressed with weight and burden. Wherefore it is not to be feared, that in warding this thrust, the hand will be drawn down by the weight of the Cloak.

The same wards and defenses may be used with the single Cloak, in the which, one must likewise strike, with the increase of the right foot. This manner of warding is not very sure, and therefore it requires great activity and deep judgment, considering he ought to bear his Cloak and arm stretched out before him, and to mark when the enemy’s swords point shall pass within the Cloakhand one handful or little more: and not to suffer it pass farther, but to beat it off, and increasing to discharge a thrust underneath, with the increase of a pace with the right foot. But as I have said, this manner of warding has little certainty and great peril in it, and yet it strikes well, if it be done in short time.

The right edgeblow may in like manner be warded with the single sword or Cloak: but when it comes aloft, it shall not be commodious to encounter it with the single Cloak, for by that means the eyes blind themselves. How much this imports, let others judge. But, when the said right blow comes in a manner low, so that it may well be warded, keeping the enemy in sight, then the Cloak is to be opposed, with the increase of the left pace, and presently thereupon, a thrust to be discharged, with the increase of a right pace.

When one opposes the single sword against the right blow, he must drive a thrust at the face, and fetch a compass with his hindfoot, cutting the face with the said thrust and stay himself in the broad ward. The self same must be done, when he defends himself with both together, to wit, with the sword and Cloak.

Against the reversed blow, the self same manner is used in warding to wit, either with the one, or with the other, either with both joined together.

With the Cloak, by the increase of a pace, and by encountering the enemy’s sword, as far forwards as is possible, that thereby it may be done the more commodiously, delivering a thrust therewithall underneath, with the increase of a pace of the right foot.

With the single Rapier, the same defense may suffice, which is laid down in the treatise of the single Rapier, and that is, to discharge a thrust at the enemy’s thigh, the which withstands the fall of the reverse blow.

Now, if one would defend himself with both these weapons joined together, he must increase a pace with the right foot, and staying the enemy’s sword with his cloak, recover his own sword nimbly, and then deliver a thrust with the increase of a pace of the right foot.

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