Deceits or Falsings of the single Sword, or single Rapier

AS I take not Victorie to be the end and scope of falsing, but rather nimblenes of bodie and dexteritie in plaie: So, casting aside the consideration how a man is either covered or discovered, and how he hath more or less advantage) I saie that there maie be framed at the single sword so manie wards, as there be waies how to move the arme hand and foot.

Therefore in falsinge there may bee framed the high, lowe, and brode warde, with the right foote behind and before: a man may beare his sword with the poynt backewardes and forwardes: he may beare his right hand on the left sid, with his swords poynt back wards: he may stand at the low warde with the point backewardes and forwardes, bending towardes the grounde. And standing in all these waies, he may false a thrust above, and force it home beneath: and contrarie from beneth above, he may false it without and deliver it within, or contrariwise.

And according to the saide manner of thrusting he may deliver edge-blowes, right, reversed, high and lowe, as in that case shal most advantage him. Farther he may false an edgeblow, and deliver it home: as for example, to false a right blowe on highe, and deliver home a right and reverse blowe, high or lowe. In like sort the reverse is falsed, by delivering right or reverse blowes, high or lowe.

But it is to be considered, that when he beareth his sworde with his poynt backewardes, he false no other than the edgeblow, for then thrusts are discommodius. And because men do much use at this weapon, to beate off the poynt of the sworde with their handes: therefore he must in that case for his greater redines & advantage, suffer his sword to swaie to that side, whether the enemy beateth it, joyning to that motion as much force as he may, performing therin a ful circuler blowe, and delivering it at the enemie.

And this blow is most readie, and so much the rather, it is possible to be performed, by how much the enemie thinketh not, that the sword will passe in full circle that waie, for the enemie being somwhat disapoynted, by beating off the sworde, after which beating, he is also to deliver his thrust, he canot so speedely sped both those times but that he shalbe first stroke with the edge of the sworde, which he had before so beaten off.

Generall advertisementes concerning the defences.

BEcause it chaunceth commonly, that in managing of the handes, men beare no great regard, either to time or advantage, but do endevour themselves after divers & sundry waies & meanes to encounter the enemies sword: therfore in these cases, it is verie profitable to knowe how to strike, and what may be done in shortest time.

The enemies sword is encountred alwaies either above, either in the midle, either beneath: & in al these waies a man findeth himself to stand either above, either beneth, either within, either without. And it fales out alwaies that men finde themselves undernethe with the sword at the hanging warde, when they are to ward high edgeblowes or thrusts: and this waie is most commonly used: The manner whereof is, when the hand is lifted up to defend the sword being thwarted, and the poynt turned downewards: when one findeth himselfe so placed, he ought not to recover his sworde from underneath, and then to deliver an edge-blowe, for that were to long, but rather to strike nimbly that part of the enemie underneath, which is not warded, so that he shall do no other then turne his hand & deliver an edge-blow at the legges which surely speedeth.

But if he finde himselfe in defence either of the reverse or thrust, to beare his sword aloft and without, and not hanging, in this the safest thing is, to increase a pace, and to seasyn upon the enimies hand or arme.

The selfe same he ought to doe, finding himselfe in the midle, without and underneath: But if he finde himselfe within, he cannot by any meanes make anie seasure, because he shall be then in greate perill to invest himselfe on the poynt of the enemies sworde.

Therefore to avoide the saide poynt or thrust, he must turne his fist and deliver an edge-blow at the face, and withdraw himselfe by voiding of his foote towardes the broad ward. And if he finde himselfe beneath, & have encountred the enemies edgeblow, either with the edge, or with the false or backe of the sword, being beneath: then without any more adoe, he ought to cut the legges, and voide himself from the enimies thrust. And let this be taken for a generall rule: the bodie must be borne as far of from the enimy as it may. And blowes alwaies are to be delivered on that parte which is founde to be most near, be the stroke great or little. And each man is to be advertised that when he findes the enimies weapon underneath at the hanging ward, he may safely make a seisure: but it would be done nimbly and with good courage, because he doth then increase towards his enimie in the streight lyne, that is to saie increase on pace, and therewithall take holdfast of the enemies sword, nere the hiltes thereof, yea though his hand were naked, and under his owne sworde presently turning his hand outwardes, which of force wresteth the sworde out of the enimies hand: neither ought he to feare to make seisure with his naked hand, for it is in such a place, that if he should with his hand encounter a blowe, happely it would not cut because the weapo hath there verie small force. All the hazard wil be if the enimie should drawe backe his sword, which couseth it to cutte. For in such sorte it will cut mightily: but he may not give leasure or time to the enimie to drawe backe, but as soone as the seisure is made, he must also turne his hand outwards: in which case, the enimie hath no force at all.

These maner of strikings ought and maie be practised at all other weapons. Therefore this rule ought generally to be observed, and that is, to beare the bodie different from the enimies sword, and to strike litle or much, in as small time as is possible.

And if one would in delivering of a great edge blowe, use small motion and spende little time hee ought as soone as he hath stroken, to drawe or slide his sword, thereby causing it to cute: for otherwise an edge-blowe is to no purpose, although it be verie forcibly delivered, especialy when it lighteth on any soft or limber thing: but being drawen, it doth every way cute greatly.