38. Of the Form of the BucklerΒΆ

As the form of the Buckler is round and small, and ought to be a shield and safeguard of the whole body, which is far greater then it: So it is to be understood how it may accomplish the same, being a matter in a manner impossible.  Let every one therefore know, that the little Buckler is not equal in bigness to the body simply, but after a certain manner, from which springs this commodity, that he which understands it, shall be resolved of the manner how to bear and handle it, and shall know that in it, which shall not only advantage him in the use thereof, but also of many other weapons.

It is to be understood, that the Buckler bears the self same respect to the body, which the little prick or sight, on the top of the harquebus artillery or such like bears to the object which they respect and behold. For when a Harquebuser or Gunner, discharges happily against a Pigeon or Tower, if they behold and find that the Prick strikes the object, although the prick or sight be very little, and of a thousand parts one: yet I say, the said prick of the Harquebuser shall cover the whole Pigeon, and that of the Artillery in a manner the whole Tower: The effect proceeding of no other thing then of the distance. And it is in this manner. The eye beholding directly through the straight sight, as soon as it arrives at the object, and may not pass through, tears it, and sends through a line sidewise, spreading itself like unto two sides of a Triangle, the which overthrows the foundation of that thing which it strikes: The which foundation, the instrument strikes with which the discharge was made. And if it work otherwise, that comes either of that defect of the instrument, or of that it was not firm.

Wherefore, applying this example to our purpose I say, that the enemy’s sword is as the line of the eyesight, The Buckler, even as the little prick or sight in the Harquebus, the body of him that holds the Buckler, as the object unto which the stroke is directed: And so much the rather the Buckler shall be the more like this prick or sight, and have power to cover the whole body, by how much it shall be the further of from the thing that is to cover.

As concerning his greatness, standing still on the form of the Buckler, by how much the greater it is, by so much the better it voids the blows. But it is to be regarded, that it hinder not the eye sight, or at least as little as is possible. Besides this, there is required, that about the middle thereof, there be a little strong circle of Iron, well nailed and hollowed from the Buckler, so that between that circle and the Buckler the Sword may enter, by means whereof, a man may either take holdfast of the sword, or break a piece of the point. But, this is done rather by chance then that any rule may be given how a man should so take hold and break it, for the sword comes not with such slowness, and in such quantity of time, as is requisite in that behalf.

It shall be also very profitable, that in the midst of the Buckler, there be a sharp point or stert of Iron, to the end the enemy may be struck therewith when occasion serves.

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