84. The Second Part

84.1. Of Blows and Thrusts

Being come to the end of the true Art, and having declared all which seemed convenient and profitable for the attainment of true judgment in the handling of the weapon & of the entire knowledge of all advantages, by the which as well all disadvantages are known: It shall be good that I entreat of Deceit or Falsing, aswell to perform my promise, as also to satisfy those who are greatly delighted to skirmish, not with the pretense to hurt or overcome, but rather for their exercise and pastime:

In which it is a brave and gallant thing and worthy of commendations to be skillful in the apt managing of the body, feet and hands, in moving nimbly sometimes with the hand, sometimes with the elbow, and sometimes with the shoulder, in retiring, in increasing, in lifting the body high, in bearing it low in one instant: in brief, delivering swiftly blows aswell of the edge as of the point, both right and reversed, nothing regarding either time, advantage or measure, bestowin them at random every way. But diverse men being blinded in their own conceits, do in these actions certainly believe that they are either more nimble, either more wary & discreet then their adversary is: of which their foolish opinion they are beastly proud and arrogant:

And because it has many times happened them, either with a false thrust, or edge blow, to hurt or abuse the enemy, they become lofty, and presume thereon as though their blows were not to be warded. But yet for the most part it falls out, that by plain simple swab having only a good stomach and stout courage, they are chopped in with a thrust, and so miserably slain.For avoiding of this abuse, the best remedy is, that they exercise themselves in delivering these falses only in sport, and (as I have before said) for their practice and pastime: Resolving themselves for a truth, that when they are to deal with any enemy, & when it is upon danger of their lives, they must then suppose the enemy to be equal to themselves aswell in knowledge as in strength, & accustom themselves to strike in as little time as is possible, and that always being well warded. And as for these Falses or Slips, they must use them for their exercises & pastimes sake only, and not presume upon them, except it beagainst such persons, who are either much more slow, either know not the true principals of this Art. For Deceit or Falsing is no other thing, then a blow or thrust delivered, not to the intent to hurt or hit home, but to cause the enemy to discover himself in some part, by means whereof a man may safely hurt him in the same part. And look how many blows or thrusts there may be given, so many falses or deceits may be used, and a great many more, which shall be declared in their proper place: The defense likewise whereof shall in few words be last of all laid upon you.

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