65. The Defense of the High Ward at Two RapiersΒΆ

The direct opposition and defense of the high ward is the low ward, the manner whereof shall be seen in his proper place. That which principally is to be considered (for the low ward also, in like sort as the other may be framed after two sorts) is this, that of necessity a man stand with the same foot before as the enemy does, to wit: if he bear the right foot before, to put forth the right foot also, and to endeavor as the enemy does, to stand without, for of both ways that is of the more advantage and safety. Finding himself therefore without, in the low ward, he must not refuse, but rather suffer his sword to be found and beaten by the enemy: for this does redown much more to his advantage then to his enemy’s because the enemy carries small force in his low hand wherewith he endeavors to find and beat off the sword, considering it is borne to far off from the other: for that which is slenderly united, is less forcible: whereas standing at the low ward, he bears both his hands low near together and sufficiently strong. Therefore as soon as the enemy having beaten back the sword, shall resolve himself to give a thrust, he must increase a slope pace, and with his hind low sword, drive the enemy’s high thrust outwards toward the right side, if it chance that he were in the low ward with his right foot before, And suddenly with the other low sword behind (which was suffered to be beaten off by the enemy, because it might turn the more to his disadvantage: for seeing the enemy’s sword being slenderly united, as I have said before, carried but small force, it was the rather beaten off and disappointed: So that as soon as the slope pace is increased, and the said high thrust warded, before the enemy place his other sword also in the high ward, he may with the straight pace of the right foot deliver a low thrust continuing still to eat down the enemy’s sword with his own low sword, that is borne before. And this manner of warding is most safe and sure: for besides that it strikes the enemy with the slope pace, it does likewise in such sort deliver the body from hurt, that of force the enemy is disappointed. Neither is there any other sure way to ward this high thrust, being so strong, and besides, having so great increase of pace.

This manner of defense is most strong and sure, and is done with that sword which is farthest off. Yet there is another way, and that is, with the low sword before, the which is no less stronger and sure than the other, but yet much shorter. For look in what time the other defends, this strikes.

Therefore in the low ward it is to be noted, (when the enemy moves, pretending to beat off the sword and therewithall to enter,) that then the point of the sword be lifted up, keeping the hand so steadfast, that it oppose itself and keeping outwards the enemy’s high thrust, and having made this bar, to keep out his weapons, then and in the self same time, he shall increase a straight pace, and with the low sword behind shall strike the enemy in the breast, to whom it is impossible to do any effectual thing, or to avoid the said stroke, for that (by means of the point of the sword lifted up in the manner aforesaid) both his swords are so hindered, that they may not safely strike, either with the edge or point.

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64. Of the High Ward at Two Rapiers

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