That I maie continue in the weapons which are most usuall and most commonly worne: After the Dagger, I come to the Cloade: The use whereof was first founde out by chaunce and after reduced into Arte. Neither was this for any other cause, then for that nature doth not onely delight to invent things, but also to preserve them being invented. And that shee may the better doe it, shee taketh for her help all those things that are commodious for her. Wherefore, as men in divers accidets have casually proved, that the Cload helpeth greatly (for as much as they are to weare it daily) they have devised how they may behave them selves in all that, in which the Cload may serve their turne. Which accidents, because they are infinite, & do not generally serve for our purpose, I wil restraine my selfe and speake of those onely which appertaine to this Arte, the which are such and so effectuall, that they may greatly helpe to the obteining of safe victorie, if they happen to be placed in such a man as knoweth howe to use and handle them. And for that in true Arte it doth little pervaile, the use thereof being in a manner altogether deceitfull, I was resolved to put over all this to the treatise of Deceit, as unto his proper place, Notwithstanding, to the ende it may not seeme strange to any man, to read nothing of the Cload in al the handling of true Art, I am minded to laye downe a certaine fewe blowes in the accustomed wardes, referring the more abundant handling thereof unto the treatise of Deceit.
AS the Cloake in this Arte, hath in it three things to be considered, to wit: length, largenesse, and flexibilitie: so it is to be wayed how far each of these will stretch, to serve the turne. Of which tree, one doth properly belong unto it, and that is flexibilitie, which maie neither be encreased nor diminished: The other two, may receive alteration. But yet it is at any hande to be provided, that these two also be not diminished. For the Cloake is no strong thing, which of it selfe may withstand the blowes of the weapon, being directly opposed against them.
And therefore he shall prove himselfe but a foole, who trusting to the Cloth wrapped about his arme, doth encounter any right edgeblowe therewith. For seeing the Cload is not flexible in that parte (which flexibilitie is his onely strength) litle prevaileth either length or largenes, wrapped about a solide substace. But being opposite in that parte thereof, where it hath length, largenes and flexibilitie (which is from the arme downwardes) it is available: for all three being joyned togither will warde any edgeblow: which manner of warding should not be so sure, if the cloade had onely leng th and flexibilitie: For having behind it litle ayre, which is the thing that doeth strengthen it, it may easily be beaten too, and cut, by any great blowe. Therefore, if a man have so much leisure, he ought to wrapp his Cloake once or twice about his arme, taking it by the Cape coller, and folding his arme therein up to the elbowe, and therewithall to warde all edgeblowes from the flanke thereof downwardes, aswell on the right side, as on the left side, alwaies remembring to carrie his foote differing from his arme, for the avoyding of danger that may rise by bearing his legg on the selfe same side, neere his cload knowing the Cload wardeth not when there is any harde substance behind it.
Thrustes also themselves, may be given without, if with the Cloake, or with the hand in the Cloak, the enimies sworde be beaten off, one handfull within the poynt thereof. For the edge having but small power in that case, is not hable in so litle time, to cut the hand. The blowes also, aswell of the poynt, as of the edge, from the flanke upwardes, ought to be warded with the sworde: For to lift the arme so high being burdened with the waight of the Cload, which naturally draweth downwards, as it is a violent thing it is also perilous, least the arme be placed in steede of the Cloade, and so rest wounded, or lest the arme or Cloade be placed before the eyes, which by that meanes remaine blinded.
THere are two waies (in these daies) to wrappe the Cloade, the one is, when one having leasure taketh the Cloake by the cape or coller, and so fouldeth it once or twice about his arme: The other is, as often times it falleth out, when letting the Cloke fall downe from the shoulder, it is happelie taken by one side, & so is turned once or twice about the arme.
Nowe as concerning striking, a man ought in the handling of these weapons as he would strike, first to increase and carrie the one foote neere to the other, and then farther to increase a halfe, not a whole pace, as in other weapons: For at these weapons, it is daungerous least (making a whole pace) he entangle his foote or feete in the Cloake and fall downe therewith. And this must be taken heede of, in the first and second foulding, but principallie in the second, because in it the Cloake is longer, and therefore doth more easilie touch the earth & intangle his feet: In the first fold, although the cloak touch not the earth, because the arme doth orderlie beare it, yet by reason of werines, the arme falleth & causeth the foresaid effect.
IN these maner of weapons, asin others, I will frame three wardes: The first by the foresaid reasons, shall be the high warde, which in these kind of wepons more then in anie other deserve the name of a ward. For the Rapier (something bending) wardeth as farre as the clok hand, and the clokhand down to the middle legg: soe that in this ward a man is warded from the top of the head down to the foot.
Therefore standing at this warde, whether it be with the right foote before or behinde, he may deliver a thrust with the encrease of a halfe pace forwards, staying himselfe in the lowe warde.
The right edgeblowe ought to be delivered from the wrist without any motion of the feete, resting in the lowe warde: but in delivering of the reverse, it is necessarie to fetch a whole pace, and in a manner straight. If the enimie warde it with his sworde, then the encounter of the enimies sworde, must be stayed suddenly with the Cloake-hand in the first part thereof, and a thrust be delivered underneath, with the encrease of a straight pace.
FOr the better avoyding of the hurts which proceede from the high warde: it is necessarie to stande at the lowe warde, in the which the thrust is to be warded iiii. manner of waies, to wit: either with the single sworde within and without, either with the single Cloade within and without. If with the single sword within, it is requisite to fetch a compas with the foot backwards on the right side. In like case to turne the bodie the same waie, to the intent, to carrie it out of the straight lyne (in which the blowe commeth) and to drive a reversed thrust at the face, the which thrust in such order delivered is the longest that is, and such a one, as thereby the hurt is not onely voyded, but also at the selfe same time, the enimie is stroken in the face, If it chaunce, that the sworde be encountred without then it is not onely profitable but also necessarie, to step forwardes and with the Cloade to encounter the enimies sworde in the first parte thereof. And recovering his owne sworde, to discharge a thrust underneath with the encrease of the right foote. And although it be laide down for a rule, not to use a whole pace in handling of the Cloade, this ought to be understoode in striking, in the which (whilest one endevoureth to strike with his sworde) it may be forgetting the Cloake, his arme may fall, by meanes whereof he may stumble against it: but in warding, it doth not so happen. For nature being carefull to defende her selfe (at every litle danger) lifteth up both her armes, yea, although they be oppressed with waight and burden.
Wherefore it is not to be feared, that in warding this thrust, the hand will be drawen downe by the waight of the Cloake.
The same wardes and defences may be used with the single Cloake, in the which, one must likewise strike, with the encrease of the right foote. This manner of warding is not verie sure, and therefore it requireth great activitie and deepe judgement, considering he ought to beare his Cloake and arme stretched out before him, & to make when the enimies swords poynt shall passe within the Cloakhand one handful or litle more: and not to suffer it to passe farther, but to beat it off, and encreasing to discharge a thrust underneath, with the encrease of a pace with the right foote. But as I have saide, this manner of warding hath litle certaintie and great perill in it, and yet it striketh well, if it be done in short time.
The right edgeblowe may in like manner be warded with the single sworde or cloake: but when it cometh aloft, it shall not be commodious to encounter it with the single cloake, for by that meanes the eyes blinde themselves. How much this importeth, let others judge. But, when the saide right blowe commeth in a manner lowe, so that it may well be warded, keeping the enimie in sight, then the cloake is to be opposed, with the encrease of the left pace, & presently thereupon, a thrust to be discharged, with the encrease of a right pace.
When one opposeth the single sworde against the right blowe, he must drive a thrust at the face, & fetch a compas with his hinder foote, cutting the face with the saide thrust and staie himselfe in the broad ward. The selfe same must be done, when he defendeth him selfe with both together, to wit, with the sword and cloake.
Against the reversed blowe, the sefle same manner is used in warding to wit, either with the one, or with the other, either with both joyned together.
With the cloake, by the encrease of a pace, and by encountring the enimies sworde, as farre forwards as is possible, that thereby it may be done the more comodiously, delivering a thrust therewithall underneath, with the encrease of a pace of the right foot.
With the single Rapier, the same defence may suffice, which is layde downe in the treatise of the single Rapier, and that is, to discharge a thrust at the enimies thigh, the which withstandeth the full of the reversed blowe.
Nowe, if one would defend himselfe with both these weapons joyned togither, he must encrease a pace with the right foot, & staying the enimies sword with his cloke, recover his owne sworde nimbly, and then diliver a thrust with the encrease of a pace of the right foote.
IN this warde, as well as in others, a man may both thrust and strike, yet diversly: For he may not discharge a right edgeblowe beneath. And the reverse is manifestly dangerous: So that, when he is to deliver it, he ought to perfourme it in this order.
First, he shall drive a thrust, fetching a compas with his hinder foote, that by that meanes it may reach the farther, then suddenly (without moving of himselfe) he shall discharge a right edgeblowe, from the wrist, after the which presently, the reverse must followe, with the encrease of a pace of the right foote: and further, must follow on with the thrust alreadie prepared, and increase the like pace.
TO him that will safely warde himselfe from the hurt of the broad warde, it is requisite, that he stand at the lowe warde. And when the thrust underneath hand commeth, he shall thrust at the face, fetching a compas with his hinder foote towardes the right side, with which kinde of thrust, it doth lightly happen that the enimie is hit in the face: but if it faile, yet for all that, the enimie obtaineth not his purpose, in the discharge of the thrust underneath, and compassing of the hinder foote, the bodie is carried out of the straight lyne: So that, as soone as the thrust is delivered at the face, and the enimie not strooken therewith, but passeth beyond his head, the reverse is to be turned at the face, and the foote to be plucked backe, setling in the broad warde. To warde the right and reversed blows, there is a thrust to be given at the thighes or some other place that may most hinder them, in the verie same time that such blowes are in their circle or compas. Although I do not beleve that there is any man so foolish, that (in this warde) will deliver a reverse onely.
THis warde is so straight and perilons, that no man ought to assure himself to deliver an edgeblow any manner of waie. For under any of them he may be easily strooken, and each of them may easily be warded with the Cloake. Therefore, he must diligently take heed, that he thrust onely, the which must never be discharged before the enimies sworde be found, and then as farre forwardes as is possible. So then finding it, he may thrust both within and without. Neither is there in this thrust any other advantage to be gotten, then to steale a halfe pace unwares of the enimie, which may be done verie commodiously, considering the cloak occupieth the enimies sight, And having drawen this halfe pace, and found the enimies sword, he must encrease an other halfe pace forwardes, and strike him, costing and forcing the enimies sworde, on that side where it may do no hurt. And this maie be used both within and without: But he whome it pleaseth, and who doubteth not to be entangled in the Cloake, maie (finding himselfe within) carrie his left foote making a pace therewith, and betweene his cloake & his sworde, close the enimies sworde, and deliver a thrust with the encrease of a pace of the right foote: And finding the enimies sword without, he may use the selfe same encrease and thrust. But if he finde not the enimies sword, he may deliver a litle edgeblow from the wrist of the hand, in such sorte, that the enimy have no leasure to enter in: And having found the Sword, to discharge a right or streight thrust, or else not voyding the enimies sword by the encrease of a left pace, to drive a thrust from aloft downwards, lifting up the fist somewhat high, and delivering it with the increase of a pace of the right foote.
TO the ende a man may warde himselfe from all the thrustes reckned in the hurtes of this warde, he neither ough, neither happely may doe any other thing then voide his bodie from the straight line, wherein the enimie purposeth to strike, making a left pace forwards, somewhat thwarting or crossing and striking the enimie safely. The which doth not so chaunce, when one defendeth himselfe, either with the single Cloake or single Rapier: For whilest he assaieth to defend himself, he cannot strike. And if the enimie do first move, and strike straight, in the which, his sworde is not carried much outwardes (and it is hardly done,) I saie, the enimie may be stealing of half paces, discharge a thrust perforce. And therefore he must take heede, that (as the enimie moveth) he encrease a slope pace (by that meanes voyding the hurt) then a thwart or crossing pace next, with the encrease of a straight pace of the right foote, to strike the enimie with a thrust underneath.
This may suffice, for the handling of these weapons as much as appertaineth to sure plaie. All that which remaines is referued to the treatise of deceit, in which place shall be seene manie handlings of the cloake no less profitable then pleasant.