68. Of the Hurt of the Low Ward at Two RapiersΒΆ

The low ward shall be framed after two ways, the one with the right foot before, the other with the left, and each of them may strike, either within, either without. The way which strikes within, has one blow, the way which strikes without has two, and in all, they are six. I will lay down but three, because they differ not from the other three, but only in the hand and foot, which must be place before, so that they are the self same, for I have already presupposed, that he who takes upon him to handle these weapons, can aswell use the one hand, as he can the other. He may therefore find himself to stand with his right foot before and within, (I understand by within, when he bears one of his swords between both his enemy’s swords, and likewise when the enemy carries one of his, between the other two. It is likewise true, that this also may be said within, to wit, when both weapons are borne in the middle between the other two. But I suppose no man so foolish, who handling these weapons, will suffer both his swords to be without, being a very unsure ward whereof I leave to speak.

That therefore, which he is to do, (finding himself with both his rapiers below, and within, with his right foot before, and after the said first way of being within) shalbe, that marking when he may close in the enemy’s Rapier, between the which the enemy’s rapier shall be so shut in and barred, that it may do no hurt, and one of the two Rapiers, that is to say, the right Rapier shall passe under the enemy’s rapier, and thrust safely. And his other Rapier, albeit, it may thrust directly, yet (for the better saving of himself, from the enemy’s other Rapier that is at liberty) he shall bear it somewhat abasing his hand, with the point upwards, the which point shall safeguard him, from the enemy’s said Rapier, although this last note, be superfluous.  For seeing the enemy must ward himself from the thrust that hurts him, he has no leisure, nor happily minds to strike, but only to defend himself, either by voiding his body, or else by some other shift, which he shall then find out.

The way of warding without, may strike directly after two ways: The first, by beating off the enemy’s Rapier, with his own that is before, and by delivering a thrust, either at the breast or head, with the Rapier that is behind, increasing therewithall a slope pace, and settling himself in the low ward, with his left foot before.

The second is, by taking opportunity, which he may do, if he be nimble. And he ought with the increase of a slope pace, to drive the point of his former Rapier directly towards the enemy, and above the enemy’s Rapier. And his other own rapier, which before the increase was behind, he must force on, under the enemy’s rapier. And thus, not giving over, these two thrusts must be strongly and nimbly driven towards the enemy, by means whereof being overtaken, the enemy has no other remedy to save himself, then to retire back: for he may not come forwards, but he must run himself upon the weapons, and that he will not do. So then, the enemy retiring himself may be followed, as far as the increase of the right foot will bear, then, settling in the low ward.

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