94. Of the Partisan, Bill, Javelin, and HalberdΒΆ

Deceits or falses, are more manifest and evident in these, then in short weapons which are handled only with one hand because both the arms are moved more slowly then one alone. And the reason thereof is, that considering they are more long, they therefore frame in their motions a greater compass: and this is perceived more in edgeblows then in thrusts. Therefore the best false that may be practiced in the handling of these weapons, is the false of the thrust, and that the edgeblow ought never or seldom to be used, except great necessity constrain, as shalbe declared. Wherefore in these weapons, I will frame four wards, three of them with the point forwards, of which three, the first is, the point of the sword being borne low, and the hind arm being lifted up.

The second is, the point high, the right arm being behind and borne at low. The third, the point equal and the arms equal: And in every one of these a man must false without, and drive it home within, or false within and deliver it without, or false aloft and strike beneath, and so contrariwise. But as he falses within or without, he ought to remember this note, which is, he must always to the intent he may go the better covered and warded, compass the hindfoot to that part, to the which the weapon shalbe directed to strike home after a false.

The fourth ward which is much used, and especially with the bill, shalbe to bear the weapon with the blunt end or heel forwards, the edge being lifted up on high. And this is much used, to the intent to expect the enemy’s blows, and that thereby a man may be better able to ward them, either with the heel or middle of the staff, and then to enter and strike delivering an edgeblow with the increase of a pace, the which manner of striking is most ready and nimble. The false which may be used in this ward, is when he has warded the enemy’s blow with the heel of his weapon, and then would increase forwards to deliver an edgeblow, if the enemy shall lift up or advance his weapon to defend himself from the said blow, then he shall give over to deliver that blow, by retiring his weapon, and give a thrust underneath, with the increase of a pace.

And this kind of blow is very likely to work his effectwithout danger, if he aptly and nimbly used.

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