Of sword and dagger, or Rapier and dagger.

AL the wardes which are laide downe for the single sword, may likewise be given for the sworde and dagger. And there is greater reason why they should be termed wardes in the handling of this, than of the single sword, because albeit the sword is borne unorderly, & with such disadvantage, that it wardeth in a maner no parte of the bodie, yet there is a dagger which continually standeth at his defence, in which case, it is not convenient that a man lift up both his armes and leave his bodie open to the enimie: for it is neither agreeable to true, neither to false arte considering that in each of them the endevor is to overcome. And this manner of lifting up the armes, is as if a man wold of purpose be overcome: Therefore, when in this deceitfull and false arte, one is to use two weapons, he must take hede that he beare the one cotinually at his defence, and to handle the other everie waye to molest the enimie: somtime framing one warde, somtimes an other: and in each of them to false, that is to faine a thrust, and deliver a thrust, to false a thrust, and give an edge-blowe: and otherwise also, to false an edge-blowe, and to deliver an edge-blowe. And in all these wayes to remember, that the blowe be continually different from the false: That is, if the thrust be falsed above to drive it home belowe: If within, yet to strike it without, and falsing an edgeblowe above, to bestowe it beneath: or falsing a right blowe, to strike with the reverse: or sometimes with a right blowe, but yet differing from the other. And after an edgeblowe on high, to deliver a reverse belowe. In fine, to make all such mixture of blowes, as may beare all these contrarieties following, to wit, the point, the edge, high, lowe, right, reversed, within, without. But, I see not howe one may practise any deceit with the dagger, the which is not openly daungerous. As for example, to widen it and discover some part of the bodie to the enemie, thereby provoking him to move, and then warding, to strike him, being so disapointed: but in my opinion, these sortes of falses of discovering the bodie, ought not to be used: For it behoveth a man, first, safely to defend himselfe, and then to offend the enimie, the which he cannot do, in the practise of the said falses, if he chaunce to deale with an enimie that is couragious and skilfull. But this manner of falsing next following, is to be practised last of all other, and as it were in desperate cases. And it is, either to faine, as though he would forcibly fling his dagger at the enemies face, (fro the which false, he shal doubtles procure the enemie to warde himselfe, either by lifting up his armes, or by retyring himself, or by moving towards one side or other, in which travaile & time, a man that is verie warie and nimble, may safely hurt him:) or els in steede of falsing a blowe, to fling the dagger in deede at the enimies face. In which chaunce or occasion, it is necessarie that he have the skill how to sticke the dagger with the poynt. But het howsoever it chaunce, the comming of the dagger in such sort, doth so greatly trouble and disorder the enemie, that if a man step in nimbly, he may safely hurt him.

These deceits and falses, of the sword and dagger, may be warded according as a man findes it most commodious either with the sworde, or els with the dagger, not regarding at all (as in true arte) to defend the left side with the dagger, and the right side with the sword: For in this false arte men consider not either of advantage, time, or measure, but alwaies their manner is (as soone as they have found the enimies sword) to strike by the most short waie, be it either with the edge, or point, notwithstanding the blowe be not forcible, but onely touch weakely & scarsly: for in plaie, so it touch any waie, it is accounted for victorie.

Concerning taking holdfast, or seising the enimies sword, I commend not in an y case, that seisure be made with the left hand, by casting away of the dagger, as else where I have seene it practised: but rather that it be done keeping the sword and dagger fast in hand. And although this seeme unpossible, yet every one that is nimble & strong of arme, may safely do it. And this seisure is used aswell under an edgeblowe, as under a thrust in manner following.

When the edge blowe or thrust commeth above, it must be incountred with the sword without, on the third or fourth parte of the enimies sword, and with the dagger borne within, on the first or second parte thereof: having thus sodenly taken the enimies sword in the middle, to turne forciblie the enimies sword outwardes with the dagger, keeping the sword stedfast, and as streight towards the enimie as is possible by meanes whereof it may the more easely be turned. And there is no doubt but the enimies sworde may be wrong out of his hand, and looke how much nearer the poynt it is taken, so much the more easelie it is turned or wrested outwards, because it maketh the greater circle, and the enimie hath but smal force to resist that motion.