The truest, and surest blowe that may be given when a man lyeth at the high warde, is, the thrust above hande, aswell for that it is in the straight lyne, as also, because it naturally stayeth it selfe in the lowe warde: So that from the beginning to the ending of this blowe, there is never any time given to the enimie to enter, by reason, that the point standeth alwayes directly against him. But in the discharging of this blowe, a man must remember to drawe his left foote neere his right foote, & deliver it as forcibly as he may, staying him selfe in the lowe warde.
True it is, that he may also deliver a right and reversed edgeblowe at the head: or els, strike downwardes from the wrist of the hand: but because he is not able to turne his wrist in so small a compasse, in the discharge of an edgeblowe, either high or lowe, but that the poynt of the sworde will be out of the straight lyne, by the length of a sworde, in the which (before it returne) the enimie hath sufficient time to strike: Therefore I would not councell any man to use them either alone, or both togither. But yet betweene two thrusts, they may be verie well used togither, by continuing the one after the other (though tye be voyded) untill the last thrust, the which doth safely rest it selfe in the lowe ward. The use of them is one this manner.
Now for the loftie edge-blowes, both right and reversed, the rules aforesaide may suffice: To witte, the edge-blowe sectheth a compasse. The blowe of the poynt or thrust is the shortest, & in this blowe, he that is nearest hitteth soonest: So then he must thrust under any of these edgeblowes. And farther, for asmuch as it is naturallie given to everie man to defend himselfe, he may encounter the right edge-blowe after an otherwaie, and that is, to encounter it with the edge of his sworde, and presentlie, to drive there withall a foote, towardes the right side behinde, to the ende, that the thrust may be lengthned and his bodie thereby covered, considering he shall then stand right behinde his sword.
This manner of defence, may serve to warde all right blows of the edg, delivered from the high ward, and it is the best waie of all other, because it doth not onely warde, but also in one and the selfesame time, both strike and defend safely.
This manner of thrust is called the reversed thrust. But if one would warde areverse, he must oppose the edge of his sword without, and therewithall increase a slope pace, & then deliver a thrust with the increase of a straight or right pace. And this may suffice for all that which may be used against a loftie, reversed, edgeblowe, as farfoorth as a man endevoureth to oppose himselfe against the weapon. And this is the verie same also which may be used for the warding of the thrust.
THe most sure, most true & principall blowe that may be used in this warde is the thrust underhand, so that a man draw his left foote neere his right foote, and then discharge it with the increase of the saide foote, and settle himselfe in the lowe warde.
He may also in this warde with the said increase of the right foote, deliver a right edgeblowe from the wrist of the hand, and stay himselfe in the low warde. And perchaunce he may (although with great daunger) bestowe also a reverse: yet considering he shall do it out of the straight lyne, in the which onely he striketh safely, I do not thinke it good, that he use either the saide reverse, either the saide right blowe except it be verie seldom, & for the same cause, assuring himselfe in the blow of the poynt, or thrust, the which he shall not give, except it be verie commodious, or that he be forced of necessitie, considering this thrust doth not onely easily and commodiously defend, but also, at one instant, safely strike, and offend, as shalbe shewed in the defence of this warde. That therefore which he may safely do, in this warde, is to expect and watch for the enimies commin.
IF a man would defend himselfe from the blowes of the foresaide broad warde, it is good that he stande against the enimie in the lowe warde: for whilest he is so opposite in the same warde, the enimie may neither easily enter, neither commodiously defend himselfe. So that he which is in the lowe warde may very easily withstand the downright blow, and the reverse by giving a thrust, for that he shall hit him first, And if he would onely oppose his sworde, and not strike also therewithall, he must encounter the enimies sword with the edge of his owne, and turning the same edge fetch a reverse, striking at the face of the enimie. And as he so turneth his hand and edge of his sworde, it shalbe good that he carrie his forefoote a halfe crooked or slope pace towards his right side, staying himselfe in the broad warde. For defence of the reverse, it is to be marked, when the enimie lifteth up the point of the Rapier out of the straight lyne, because then of force he fetcheth a compasse: And whilest he so doth, a man must make a straight pace forwardes, and with his left hande take holdfast of the sworde hande of the enimie, and incontinently wound him with a thrust underneath alreadie prepared.
Now, the verie same defence is to be used against the thrust underneath, which is against the right edgeblowe. Neither is there any other difference between these two defences, but that whilest the right blowe fetcheth his compas, a man may give a thrust and hit home first: For the thrust underneath, must onely of necessitie be warded, because, coming in the straight lyne, it ministreth no advantage or time to hit home first.
A Man may in like maner in this ward, as in others, deliver a thrust, a right blowe, and a reverse: but the true and principall effect of this warde, is to expect the enimie, aswell for that a man beareth him selfe without warinesse, as also, because it is apt and readie to defende all blowes either high or lowe: For being in the middle, it is as easily somewhat lifted up, as something borne downe: So that when one standeth in this warde, he may not (as for his advantage) be the first that shall give either the down-right blowe, or the reverse: for both the one and the other (departing out of the straight lyne) are deadly, because they give time to the enimie to enter nimbly with a thrust, The thrust therefore, may be only used when one meaneth to strike first, and it is practised either within, or without, alwaies regarding in either of the waies, so to beare and place his arme, that he have no neede (before he thrust) to drawe backe the same. And if the enimie warde it, by the traverse or crosse motion of his Rapier, as many use to do, then he ought to encrease a straight pace and lift up his sword hand, holding the point thereof downwards betwixt the enimies arme and his bodie, & with the encrease of a straight pace to deliver a thrust. And this maner of thrust doth easily speede, because it increaseth continually in the straight lyne in such sort that the enimie can do no other then give backe, and especially when it is done without, for then the sworde is safe from the traverse motion of the other sworde.
BEcause both the down-right blowe, and the reverse are verie easily defended in this warde, I will not stand to speake of any other then of the thrust, restraining my selfe thereunto. The which thrust, if at the first it be not withstoode, may prove verie mortall & deadly. Therefore, when this thrust is given within, it must be beaten inwardes with the edge of the Rapier, requiring the turne of the hand also inwards, and the compasse of the hinder foote, so farre towards the right side, as the hande goeth towardes the right side. And the enimie shall no sooner have delivered the thrust, and he found the sword, but he ought to turne his hand, and with a reverse to cut the enimies face, carying alwaies his forefoote on that side where his hand goeth. If the enimies thrust come outwardes, then it is necessarie, that with the turne of his hand he beat it outwards with the edge of his sword encreasing in the same instant one slope pace, by meanes whereof he delivereth his bodie from hurt. And therewithall (encreasing another straight pace, and delivering his thrust alreadie prepared) he doth most safely hurt the enimie.