Of the Sworde & rounde Target.

THE round Target would require a long & most exquisite consideration because it is of cerculer forme, most capable, and most perfect of all others. But for that my purpose in this my worke, is to write that only which I know doth appertaine to this Arte, giving leave to every man to busie him selfe in his owne profession. And leaving a great part of this consideration to the Mathematicians & Historiographers to reason of his divers qualities or passions, either who was inventor thereof, either, whether it be a weapon of antiquitie, or of this our age, And comming to discourse of that, wherein it profiteth in this our time, (being a weapon sogreatly honoured and estemed of Princes, Lords, & Gentlemen, that besids thuse thereof in their affairs, as wel by day as by night, they also keepe their houses richly decked and beautified therewith,) And considering onely that thing, in the round Target, among al other weapons which may either profite or hurt in the handling thereof, I saie, that the said round Target hath beene diversely holden, borne and used, by divers men in divers ages, as well as the other square Target, and other weapons of defence, as well as of offence. And there want not also men in our time, who to the intent they be not wearied, beare it leaning on their thigh as though that in this exercise (in which only travaile and paines are availeable,) a man should onelie care for rest and quietnesse. For by meanes of these two, strength and activitie, (partes in the exercise of weapons, both important and necessarie) are obtained and gotten.

Other some, holding their whole Arme bowed togeither, have carried it altogeither flat against their bodie, not regarding either to warde their bellie, or utterlie to lose the sight of the enimie, but will at any hande stand (as they thinke) safe behind it, as behinde a wal, not knowing what a matter of weight it is, both to see the enimie, and worke other effects, which, (by so holding it) may not be brought to passe.

Of the maner how to holde the round Target.

IF a man would so beare the rounde Target, that it may cover the whole bodie, and yet nothing hinder him from seeing his enimie, which is a matter of great importance, it is requisite, that he beare it towardes the enimie, not with the convexe or outward parte thereof, altogither equall, plaine or even, neither to holde his arme so bowed, that in his elbowe there be made (if not a sharpe yet) at least a straight corner. For besides that (by so holding it) it wearieth the arme: it likewise so hindereth the sight, that if hee would see his enimie from the brest downwardes, of necessitie he must either abase his Target, or beare his head so peeping forwardes, that it may be sooner hurt than the Target may come to warde it. And farther it so defendeth, that onely so much of the bodie is warded, as the Target is bigg, or little more, because it cannot more then the halfe arme, from the elbowe to the shoulder, which is verie little, as everie man knoweth or may perceive: So that the head shal be warded with great paine, and the thighes shal altogether remaine discovered, in such sort, that to save the bellie, he shal leave all the rest of the bodie in jeopardie. Therefore, if he would so holde the said Target, that it may well defend all that part of the bodie, which is from the knee upwardes, and that he maie see his enimie, it is requisite that he beare his arme, if not right, yet at least bowed so little, that in the elbowe there be framed so blunt an angle or corner, that his eyebeames passing neere that part of the circumference of the Target, which is neere his hande, may see his enimie from the head to the foot. And by holding the saide convexe parte in this manner, it shall warde all the left side, and the circumference neere the hande shall with the least motion defend all the right side, the head and the thighes. And in this maner he shall keepe his enimie in sight & defend all that parte of the body, which is allotted unto the said Target. Therefore the said Target shall be born, th arme in a manner so streight towards the left side, that the eyesight may passe to beholde the enimie without mooving, for this onely occasion, either the head, or the Target.

IMAGE:  Duellist with rapier and round target.

The hurt of the high warde, at sworde and round Target.

BEcause the round Target containeth in it most great & sure defence, therefore ought not any edgeblowe which may easily warded with the single sword without the helpe of the Target be delivered. Thrustes also enter verie difficultlie to strike the bodie, because the Target, by meanes of the lest motion that is, seemeth to be, as it were a wall before the bodie. And to thrust at the legge is no sure plaie. That which remaineth to be done is, to thrust forcibly with the sworde: and when one perceiveth, that the point therof is entred within the circumference of the enimies Target, it is necessary that he encrease a left pace, and with the circumference of his owne Target, to beat off the enimies sworde and Target, to the end, it suffer the thrust so given of force to enter in. And (having so beaten & entred) to continue on the thrust in the straight lyne, with the encrease of a pace of the right foote.

When he findeth himselfe in the high ward, he shal encrease a halfe pace with the hinderfoote, gathering upon the enimie, as neere as he may without danger. And being so nigh that he may drive his sword within the circumference, then as soone as he perceiveth his sworde to be within it, (his arme being stretched out at the uttermost length) he ought suddenly to encrease a left pace, beating off with the circumference of his owne Target, the enimies Target: and with the increase of a pace of th right foote, to cause his thrust to enter perforce. This also he may practise when the enimie endevoureth, to withstand the entrace of the thrust, when it is alreadie past, within the circumference of his Target.

But if the enimie (as it may fall out) ward this thrust not with that parte of the circumference, which is neere his hand, but with that which is above it (by meanes whereof his target discovereth his eyes) then he may verie commodiously, encreasing his paces as aforesaid, recover his thrust above, and force it underneath, with the increase of a pace of the right foote. And this is a more sure waie of thrusting than any other.

The defence of the high ward, at Sword & round Target.

FOr the defending of the thrust of the high warde, it is most sure standing at the lowe warde, and to endevour to overcome the enimie, by the same skill by the which he himselfe would obtaine the victorie. In the very same time, that he delivereth his thrust, a man must suddenly encrease a slope pace with the lefte foote, beating of the enimies Target with his owne, & driving of a thrust perforce with the increase of a pace of the right foote. And with this manner of defence being done with such nimblenesse as is required, hee doth also safely strike the enimie, who cannot strike him againe, because, by meanes of the saide slope pace he is carried out of the lyne in which the enimie pretended to strike.

The hurt of the broad warde, at Sworde & round Target.

IT is verie difficulte to strike in this broad ward, if first with much compassing & gathering of the enimie, a man do not assaie with the circumference of his Target neere his hand, to beate off the enimies sworde. And being so beaten, to encrease a left pace, and farther by adding thereunto the increase of a pace of the right foote, to discharge a thrust. But it shall happely be better in the handling of these weapons, not to use this broad ward: for the hand is borne out of the straight lyne, in the which he may strike both safely and readily: And before it returne into the saide lyne, there is much time spent.

And farther, a man is not then in case with his Target to beate off the enimies sworde: But if happily he be, yet (though he be verie readie, aswell with the hand as foote) his thrust shall never enter so farre that it may hit home: For the enimie, with a verie small motion of his Target forwards, may verie easily drive thenimies sword out of the strait lyne. Therefore, he that would change or shifte out of this warde, to the intent to strike, must of necessitie be passing nimble & readie, and before he delivereth his blowe, must beat the enimies sword with his Target.

The defence of the broad warde, at Sword & round Target.

BEcause in everie occasion or accident a man standeth safe in the lowe warde, I will endevour in this case, to place him also in the same warde, for the encountring of the hurt of the broad warde. That therefore which by mine advise he shall do, is that he take great heede, not to suffer his sworde to be beaten off any manner of waie. And when the enimie without this beating presumeth to enter, he must in the selfesame time increase a left pace & safely deliver a thrust underneath with the increase of the right foote. And farther, when the enimie shall perfourme, that is, first finde the sworde and beate it off, (seeing of necessitie if he would enter and hit home, his sword must passe by the circumference of the Target neere the hande) then, to withstande the entrie, it is requisite that hee drive the enimies sworde outwards on the right side with his Target and with the increase of the said pace, that he enter and strike him.

The hurt of the lowe warde, at Sword & round Target.

A Man may strike in this ward, the right foote being behinde, and before, & in both waies, he may beare his sworde either within or without. If therefore he finde h imselfe to stande with the right foote behinde and without, he shall assaie at any hande, before he determine to strike, to finde the enimies sworde with his owne, and as soone as hee findes it shall clap to his Target, and strike perforce with a low thrust, encreasing with the right foote. But finding himselfe to stand within, no more with his sworde, then he doth with with his Target, he shall prove whether he can finde the enimies sworde, and having found it, shall straine it fast betweene his owne sworde and Target, & then shall deliver a thrust with the increase of a pace of the right foote, the which thrust of force speedeth: This being perfourmed, he shall settle himselfe in this, or in either of these waies in the lowe warde with the right foote before. And as he so standeth in this arde, he may after the same sorte strike either within or without.

Therefore finding himselfe within, he shall provide to meete with the enimies sword, and with the increase of a left pace, shal clap to his Target, for the more safetie, and then drive on a forcible thrust, with the increase of a pace of the right foote. And finding himselfe to beare his sword within the said ward, and with his right foote behind, he shall indevour to find the enimies sword with the Target, and having found it, shal close it in betwen his own sword and Target, & with the increase of a a left pace, shal perforce hurt the enimie, with the increaes of a pace of the right foote.

Now, all these thrusts, no doubt shall speede every time that the enimie either maketh no traverse mocion with his bodie, either as he striketh, commeth directlie forwards, or els beeing fearefull, goeth directly backwards, for it is not possible that one man go so fast directlie backwardes, as an other may forwardes. Yt is therefore diligently to be observed in this ward, never to determin to strike, either in the handling of these, or of any other kind of weapons, if (with one of them) he shall not first finde the enimies sworde. The which redowneth to the great profite of everie man, but especially of those, who have strong armes, for that they are the better hable to beate backe the enimies weapon.

Of the defence of the lowe warde, at Sword and round Target.

AL the foresaid thrusts are warded, by not suffering the sworde to be found by the enimie with either of his weapons. For the enimie (not finding it, will not sasure himselfe, or presume to enter, without first finding of the sworde) may most easilie be stroken and not strike, if a man increase a slope pace, (to the end he may voide his bodie from hurt,) and with the increase of a straight pace of the right foote, do also discharge a thrust beneath. And after htis order he may strike safelie, (not onelie when his sword is not found by the enimie, but also when it chanceth to be found) if he be readie and nimble to make his slope pace, and to beate off, as forcible as he may, the enimies Target with his owne sword and Target, thereby forcing a low thrust to enter in, with the increase of a pace with the right foote. And thus much concerning the true striking & defending of the sword and round Target.