92. Falsing of Blows, Of the Two Hand SwordΒΆ

For the deceits and falses of the two hand sword, there is no more regard to be taken in the handling thereof single, that is, one to one, then there is, when it is used among many: only this end is to be purposed, to wit, to move and handle with all nimbleness and dexterity, aswell the edge as the point, fetching those great circular and unruly compassings, therewith as his form, greatness, and manner of holding requires.

Neither ought a man so much regard to fetch a small or great compass, or to strike more with the point then with the edge, but must believe only that the victory consists in the nimble and active guiding there of any manner of way. Therefore there may be framed many wards, of all the which, being a thing superfluous to reason of, I will handle only six of them, which are most commodious and usual: whereof the first may be called the high ward, the second the broad ward, the third the low ward, from which there springs all other three, towards the other side, making six in all.

The high ward is framed by bearing the sword and arms lifted up on high and wide from the body, with the point of sword turned towards that part, as that arm is, whose hand is place by the cross, that is to say, if the right hand shalbe at the cross, and the right foot before, to bear also the sword, with his point towards that side.

There is also an other high ward opposite to this and that is, without moving the feet at all to turn the point towards the other side, that is, towards the left side and to cross the arms. And it is to be noted, that in this high ward, be it on what side it will, the sword is to be borne with the point turned downwards.

The second is the broad ward, and must be framed with the arms widened from the body, not high but straight. And from this springs and is framed another broad ward, turned towards the other side by crossing of the arms.

And the third is the low ward, and in this the sword would be borne with the point somewhat upwards. And this ward has his opposite or contrary, by turning the sword on the other side, and crossing the arms. There may be framed many other wards: As for example, to bear the sword on high, with the point backwards, to the intent to drive a down right, or cleaving edgeblow: or else to bear it low with the point backwards, to the intent to drive it from beneath upwards. But in these wards falses are to small purpose: And if there be any one of them worth using, it should be the false of an edgeblow, the which at two hand sword is not to be used at all, because there is much time lost considering that immediately after the false, he must strike home with an edgeblow. For it is not commodious at the two hand sword, to false an edgeblow, and deliver home a thrust, because the weight or swing of the sword in delivering an edgeblow, transports the arms beyond their strength, so that they may very difficultly withhold the blow to such purpose, that they may be ale as it were in that instant to deliver a thrust. Therefore the false that should be used at the two hand sword, ought always to be framed with a thrust, and then an edgeblow right or reversed to be delivered, or else to false a high thrust, and deliver it beneath or elsewhere. But yet if one would needs false an edgeblow, let him do it with the false edge of the sword, then turning it in full circle, to deliver home the edgeblow, and in striking always to increase a pace. But when this false of the back or false edge is practiced, the arms being crossed, then if he would step forwards to strike he must increase a pace with the right foot. And if in any of these wards he would false a thrust, which is the best that may be used at the two hand sword, he must observe the very same notes and rules concerning the increasing of the pace. Further the thrust is falsed, and the edgeblow delivered home at the two hand sword for no other cause or consideration, then for that the said edgeblow is far more forcible then the thrust: For the two hand sword is long, by means whereof, in the delivery of the edgeblow, it makes a great circle. And moreover, it so weighty that very little and small strength, makes and forces the blow to go with great violence. But for as much as the striking with the edge is ery dangerous considering it spends much time, and especially in the great compassing of the two hand sword, under which time wary and active persons may with the sword or other weapon give a thrust, Therefore for the avoiding of this danger, he must before he determine with himself to strike with the edge, first drive on a thrust, rather resolute then falsed, and as far forwards as both arms will stretch. In doing of the which, he shall force the enemy to retire so much, that he may easily thereupon deliver his edgeblow with the increase of a pace, nothing doubting that the enemy will strike home first with a thrust. Therefore when one stands at the high ward, one either side he must false a thrust, and increase a pace delivering therewithal such an edgeblow, as shall be most commodious to serve his turn, either right or reversed. And further may practice the like in the broad and low wards, in either of the which, it is more easy to false the said thrust, then in the other.

And it is to be considered, when the edgeblow after the falsed thrust, is by a slope pace voided, that he suffer not his arms and sword by reason of the weight or swing thereof, far transported beyond his strength, that the sword light either on the ground or that he be forced thereby to discover all that part of his body which is before. Therefore the best remedy is, as soon as he shall perceive that he has delivered his blow in vain, that he suffer his sword to go (not with a full thwart circle, and so about his head) until the point be backwards beneath in such sort, that the circle or compass direct him to the high ward, in the which he may presently resolve himself and return either to strike again, or else defend himself on either side, so handling his weapon, as shall in that case be most for his advantage.

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