When you have your guard, it is not enough to know it, but to keep it so long as you are within reach or danger of your enemy. There is no way better to get the true observation of distance. For if you have been used to setting your feet abroad in your former practice, as most men do, then it will be hard for you to leave your old wont.
Meet with your enemy in the night.
When you break a thrust, you must but let fall the point of your dagger, but not your dagger arm. You may see your enemy plainly and clearly. I have known men of good skill deceived by trusting to the point, or dagger only for the defence of a blow.
You must step in with your left foot. By an active and nimble shift of the body by falling back with the right foot, and the danger being past to change hastily.
Presently pluck back your hand again.
In your practice make trial which does fit best withal. You have discretion to lie at watch discreetly. A reverse is to be made, when your enemy by gathering in upon you, causes you to fall back.
A man cannot be too ready, nor too sure in his guard.
You may fall into diverse hazards. Proffer or faine a thrust at the fairest part of your enemy's body which lies most unguarded.
I will make it plainer by and by, because I would have you understand it wisely. There is no certain defense in a close, then is a passage, for they are both very dangerous.
As every lesson on a fiddle has several kinds of Offence, and Defence, but here you shall find the Defence that belongs unto many of them, and the rest I left out of leisure to write them, but they shall follow in the next Impression.
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