The ART of


or, the USE of the


"Courage and skill being often of little use without a good Weapon, I think it necessary, before I lay down rules for using it, to show how to choose a good blade, and how it ought to be mounted"

The Sword, since it's first Invention, has been used in different Manners: First, with a Shield or Buckler; Secondly, with a Helmet, and Thirdly, with a Dagger, which is still used in Spain and Italy.

Mr. Patinotris, who taught at Rome, introduced, and laid down Rules for the Use of the Small Sword alone, which has since been much improved by the French and our Nations.

As the Art of Fencing consists in attacking and defending with the Sword, it is necessary that every Motion and Situation tend to these two principal Points, viz. In offending to be defended, and in defending to be in an immediate Condition to offend.

There is no Guard but has it's Thrust, and no Thrust without it's Parade, no Parade without it's Feint, no Feint without it's opposite Time or Motion, no opposite Time or Motion but has it's Counter, and there is even a Counter to that Counter.

Some injudicious Persons have objected to Mr. L'abbat's Manner of Fencing, that it is too beautiful and nice, without observing that if it be beautiful, it cannot be dangerous, Beauty consisting in Rule, and Rule in the Safety of attacking and defending.

In Fencing, there are five Figures of the Wrist, viz. Prime, Seconde, Tierce, Quart, and Quinte. The first is of very little Use, and the last of none at all.

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