The Second Dayes
Discourse, of Rapier and

IMAGE:  Two duelists on guard in the second ward of rapier and dagger.


Luke. I Have been so well satisfied with this firste ward of Rapier and Dagger, that I should thinke my selfe verye happie, to put in practise, as much as you delivered unto in precept: but I will not spare any labour to exercise all. But now you shal doe me muchpleasure, if you will teach mee the other warde, which you call Puncta riversa.

V. I have discoursed unto you, how profitable the former wardes bee, as well to learne as to fight, beeing well understoode and practised: and even so will I now make you acquainted with the worthines of this ward, and of what importance it is, notwithstanding that it is quite contrary to the other: especially, in learning of it. Therfore he that will teach that warde, must place his scholler even as at single Rapier, that is, that his feete stand both equall with toe and heele, even as if hee were to sitte downe, and that his Rapier handle to be held within side of his right knee, and that somwhat shorte, and that his Dagger be helde out at length with his arme stretched out, holding the point of his rapier continuallie upon the face of his maister, who ought to set himselfe in the same ward, and to give a stoccato in the middle of the Rapier, in punta riversa to his scholler, or else betweene the arme and the Rapier, or in the bellie, or in the face, escaping a little backeward with his right foot, accompanied somewhat with his left, towards his lefte side.

L. What shall the scholler doe in the meanewhile?

V. While your maister giveth you the thrust, you shall not strike it by with your dagger, but onelie turning your Rapier hand, passe with your lefte foote towards his right side, and the point of your Rapier being placed above his, and thrust forwarde, shall enter right into his bellie.

L. And what shall the maister doe to save himselfe?

V. When he giveth the thrust, and you passe towards his right side, hee shall with great nimblenes recoyle a little backward with his right foot, accompanied with the left toward the left side, bearing his bodie backward, and pearching your Rapier with his dagger, shall strike it outward from his left side, and give you a Mandritta at the head.

L. Then what remaines for me to doe?

V. You shal come with your right foote, to the place where your maisters right foot was, and shal give him a thrust in the belly or in the face, receiving the mandritta upon your Rapier and Dagger, and the event will be no othern then the same of the former ward: and by this meanes you shall become very nimble and quick, both with foote, hand, and bodie: otherwise, if you have not all these partes readie and perfect, by offering the stoccata, you hazard yourself gretly & dangerously. For while you thrust, if your adversarie surpasse you in nimblenesse, and bee readie, he may enter with his lefte foot and put you in great danger, bringing your weapon into his owne power. Therefore when you wyll give this thrust either in the bellye or face, passe with your right foot towards the right side of your enemy, so that your right foote bee somewhat on the out-side of your enemies right foote, and so being in right measure, you may give him the said thrust either in the bellie or in the face with great celeritie and aptnesse, recoiling somewhat with your left foot, accompanied wyth the right: and if your enemie enter with his left foote, you shall speedily turne your bodie on your lefte side, whereby, the more secretly your enemie commeth upon you, and the more forcibly hee entereth, the more hurt shall he doo himselfe, and the more easily shal you be able to master him, and become Lorde of his owne weapon.

Besides, if you place your right foot a little towards your enemies right foot, you may make a thrust toward his right side, but in thrusting, see you bring your right foote towardes your enemies left side: if you see that hee goeth about to enter with his left legge, turne your bodie well on your right side, for then if hee enter with his left legge, the point of his Rapier will go by the out side of your bodie, and you may give him a riversa upon his legge with your Rapier, and stabbe him with your dagger in the bodie. All which you must do with great celeritie and quicknesse, turning your bodie with great nimblenesse on your left side, and recoiling somwhat with your left foote, being accompanied with the right, and so you shal deliver your selfe and your rapier withall out of the power of your enemie, but if you bee not passing readie with your foot, and in turning your bodie wel and fitly on your right side, your enemie entering maye thrust you in the bellie with his Rapier, and give you a stabbe with his Dagger besides. Therefore I advertise you to exercise your selfe continually, that occasion being offered you to fight, you maie perfourme the same with much readinesse, and without daunger, otherwise, if you onely faile in one and even the least point, you endanger your life. For it is not maine force that doth the deede, but readinesse, dexteritie, and use of knowledge and arte. You must therefore labour and take paines, which beeing joyned to the greate desire and love you beare to this arte, will bring you to the perfection therof. Insomuch that you shall bee able to turne and winde your bodie which waye you will, and therewithall know how and which waie you ought to turne it.

Againe to the purpose: If your enemie make towardes your right side, and offer a thrust, happilie pressing too much forward, you shall immediatelie turne your bodie on the left side, so that the point of his Rapier passing beside your bodie, you maye give him a stoccata: or you may plaie with your bodie, and beate his Rapier pointe outward from your right side wyth your Dagger, and give him a punta riversa over his Rapier in the belly or face. Or also while hee thrusteth, you may beate it by with your Dagger, and carrying your right foote towarde his right side, give him the same thrust. Or againe, whilest hee doeth thrust, you maye stande firmelie, turning your bodie a little upon your lefte side, and strike by his Rapier pointe with your Dagger, and therewithall give him a riversa upon the legge. And if hee bee skilfull in managing his weapon, take heede in anie case that you let him not get within you, or winne grounde of you, but seeke still to growe uppon him with your foote, that is, that your right foote bee without side of his right foote, and when hee gives the forsaide thrust, take heed you strike neither with your Rapier nor Dagger, if you meane to enter upon him with a passata, because hee having once gained of you both opportunitie of time and measure of grounde, you endaunger your selfe verie much: but you shall onelye turne your Rapier hande inwarde, passing speedelie with your lefte foot to his right foote, placing the middest of your right foote just at the heele of your lefte foote, holding your bodie on the left side.

As for your Dagger, that must bee helde up with the pointe alofte, to the ende that it maie bee master of his Rapier: and so shall hurte him either under or above his Dagger. But you must beware and take greate heede, not to passe directlie right uppon him, when you make your passata with your lefte foote towarde his right foote, for if that he bee anie thing skilfull, hee maie give you a stoccata or imbroccata. Wherfore when you make towards him, see you throw your selfe wholie on the lefte side, accompanying your left foot with your right, in the manner aforesaid.

Furthermore, if you percieve your enemies Rapier pointe to bee borne towardes your right side, having gotten uppon him with your right foote, passe with your lefte foote verie speedilie and quicklie to his right foote, and carrying your Dagger, as in the manner aforesaid, and give him an imbroccata upon his Rapier. But if you finde his Rapier point born upon your bodie, you shall turne your bodie on your lefte side, and with great celeritie drawe your point under his Rapier, that hte point therof be upon his bellie, and your left foote by the right, your dagger being readie with the point upward, to command his rapier, resting your bodie on your right side.

Furthermore, if you percieve his Rapier to be long, and the point therof borne somewhat high, you shall neverthelesse answere him in this ward: now not holding your Rapier hand on the inside of your knee, but carrying your dagger straight out, and winding your bodie on your lefte side, you shall make semblaunce to beate by his weapon with your dagger, and with great quicknesse you shall draw the point of your dagger under his Rapier, readily turning your bodie uppon your right side, and carrying your right foote together with your left somewhat towards his left side, &c. But beware how you use this passata, unlesse you bee well practised in it, and see you holde stiffe your dagger hande, for if you suffer your hand to swarve aniething downward, your enemie maie give you an imbroccata in the face.

Moreover, in your passata lift not your dagger too high, because (if he bee skilfull with whome you fight) whilest you lifte up your dagger, or holde your Rapier and Dagger to open, and not inough closed, hee maie retire a little, and so give you a stoccata or imbroccata, insomuch that you must have an especiall care of all, or or else you cannot avoide daunger of death. A gaine, when you make this passata, see that you remaine not with your lefte foote, because he may give you a mandritta uppon the legge, or else a stoccata in the bellie. Also in the same passata, see that your bodie rest not wholie uppon your lefte side, because that so dooing, you shall your selfe beare your enemies Rapier pointe upon your face.

Besides this, when you lie in this warde, and make uppon your enemie towardes his right side, if you perceive that hee holde his Rapier hand somewhat high and farre off from his bodie, followe you well in this warde, and getting sufficient grounde of him, you maie give him a stoccata in the bellie: and in giving it, see that the pointe of your Rapier enter under the middest of his, being your selfe readie to winde awaie with your bodie.

Furthermore, in charging him, if you finde that his pointe bee carried to the ground-ward, turne steadfastly uppon your lefte side, and holde your dagger out in length towards his right side: and if you can beate the middest of his Rapier with your Dagger, at the same instant give him a stoccata. You maie also in the same warde make a passata with your lefte foote. But if perhappes your enemie when you lie in this warde, should make semblaunce to thrust you, not meaning so to do, but onelie for vauntage, so you bee in equall measure, answere him, and loose not that time: but if you be not in equall reach, thrust not earnestly, nor make a passata uppon him, for so you shoulde endaunger your lyfe: but in aunswering him make but a short thrust at him, to the ende that ifyour enemie or adversarie afterwarde make a true thrust, or else come forwarde with his lefte foote, to make a passata uppon you, you maie sodainly turne your bodie on your lefte side, and place your Dagger-hand right with your right knee. And so you maie give him a stoccata in the bellie, or else a riversa upon the legge, and become maister of his weapon: and by howe much the more strongly hee thrusteth, and the more furiouslie hee entereth with the passata, by so much the more easilie may you hurt him: but have a great and speciall regarde to doo it with much nimblenesse and dexteritie both of bodie and hand.

Furthermore, if you find his Rapier long, in charging him you maie strike the middle of his Rapier with yours, and sodainely give him the punta riversa: but it must be done with great quicknesse of the hand, beeing readie with your right foote to steppe towardes your enemies right side, or else to recoile somewhat with your bodie backwardes as swiftly as you canne: for else if your enemie at that instant shoulde enter with a passata something fiercelye, your lyfe were in greate hazarde, and especiallye if you shoulde make your thrust straight, carrying your foote right towards his, as manie doo: but if you steppe with your right foote aside, you maie verie easilye avoide the daunger.

Againe, if you finde his Rapier point out at length, you maie strike his Rapier with yours, and give him a greate mandritta or riversa at the head, but with greate swiftnesse of hand and b odie. Also lying in the same warde towardes the right side of your enemie, you may give a false stoccata at his bellie, and fi your enemie doo happe to strike it backe with his Rapier, you shall sodainely put the pointe of your Rapier over his, and give him a stoccata or punta riversa upon his face, or his bellie, if hee shoulde too much hang downe his hand, at which time you must beare your right foote aside towardes his right side. You maie also offer a false thrust at his face, and if hee go about to strike it by with his Rapier, you maie put your pointe under his Rapier, and carrying your right foot side- waie, give him a stoccata in the bellie: or in both these false thrusts, when he beateth them by with his rapier, you may with much sodainnesse make a passata with your lefte foote, and your Dagger commaunding his Rapier, you maie give him a punta, either dritta, or riversa.

Moreover, if your enemie finding you with your Rapier point borne out in length, should strike by your rapier with his, in the verie instant that he striketh, you maie passe with your right foote towards his right side, and with great quicknes putting your Rapier over his, give him a punta riversa in the face, and if hee bee not verie skilfull at his weapon, you may sodainly make a passata upon him, and this maie happen upto you verie often: but you ought to be well exercised in these pointes, which may make you verie nimble and quicke with your foot, body, and hand, least for want of knowledge and practise in the facultie, you fal not into some inconvenience and dishonour, for in the verie least point consisteth life and death.

Therefore neglect not htese thinges, but rather take pains and travaile in the knowledge of them, honoring and esteeming them both excellent and profitable: neither have I entered into this charge, to discourse and explaine these pointes for their sakes that hate valour and knowledge, for unto such doo I not directe my speech, but unto those that love, regarde, and honour vertue: who beeing worthie of this knowledge, may alwaies commaund my service.

But to returne to our purpose: if your enemie find you in this sayde warde, holding your bodie towardes your left side, and towardes his right side, and give you a mandritta at the head, you shall speedilye and with greate agility turne your bodie on your right side, and receiving his mandritta uppon your Dagger, retourne him a stoccata either in the bellie or in the face. Likewise, if hee give you an imbroccata over the Dagger, you shall (turning your bodie uppon your right side) aunswere him with a stoccata. But if hee when you lie in this warde, give you a riversa at the heade, you may immediatelye make a passata with the lefte foote, and so presentlye requite him with a stoccata.

If you think it not convenient, and therefore will not passe with your lefte foote at the same instaunce that hee giveth the riversa, you shall turne your bodie on your lefte side, and so have your choice eyther to give him a stoccata in the bellie, or a riversa at the legges: and if you bee thoroughly exercised and practised in charging, you may give him a dirtta or a riversa at his legges, being the first to strike.

Many things more may you doe in this warde, according as your enemie fighteth: and you maye use this warde after many manners, so you be throughlye acquainted with it, and have by continuall practise brought your foote, hand and bodie to it. But this shall suffise untill another daye.