|© 1994, 2000 Richard J. Orli - Credits
||Di Grasse - His true Art of Defense||X|
Cloak - more general term for outerware, may be sleeved.
Cape - usually sleeveless garment with a hood (the 'cape' itself).
Mantel - sleeveless outerware without a hood. Characteristically worn over the left shoulder.
Reversa - indirect blow (imbrocatta) delivered angled from the left.
Full-pace - Pass
Void - evasive move of the body away from the line of attact
Steal a pace - slide rear(left) foot close up to the right.
Take another half pace - fencing step advance, or lunge
Forcing action - thrust maintaining blade contact, such as a glide.
X. Rapier and Cloak
The next most
commonly available weapon a gentleman will have at hand, after the dagger, is the cloak.
Here I will discuss it in straightforward use. I will complete my discussion of the art of
the cloak in the treatise on Deceit.
Handling the Cloak
The cloak's use is determined by its length, size, and
flexibility. Flexibility, and not strength, is indeed the hallmark of the cloak. One
trusting to the strength of a cloak by wrapping it about the arm to absorb a strong right
cut will prove himself a fool. One must use the length and flexibility of the cloak, and
with that any blow can be warded.
Edgeblows delivered high should be warded with the sword,
since lifting the arm and a heavy cloak high is as violent as it is perilous. This is so
because the arm is exposed, and you risk blinding yourself by your own cape.
The High Ward of the Rapier and Cloak
From the high ward, the edgeblow should be delivered without any motion of the feet.
The Reversa should be done with a full pace. The enemy's parry should be followed with and
stayed by the cloak, while a thrust is delivered underneath.
In defense against the high, the thrust should be taken with a void, left foot moving
behind and to the right, while hitting the face in a reverse thrust. If the enemy's sword
is encountered without, then step forward with the cloak and encounter the enemy's sword
with it. Thrust with a lunge underneath.
Parrying with the cloak while hitting, without a void, has little certainty and great
peril in it, and yet if well done is excellent. Great acuity and deep judgement is needed,
for as the enemy's point approaches, you must wait until it is just within the hand's
reach, and then beat it down with the cloak while delivering a blow yourself.
From the broad ward, I recommend the following sequence. First thrust while sliding the
rear foot in a circle to your right, then cut, then thrust with a lunge. Attacks may often
be effectively stopped by a counter attack to the left thigh.
The Low Ward of the Rapier and Cloak
If the opponent is in the low ward, do not cut (since this may be easily warded and
counter attacked), but thrust only. Use the cloak to occupy the enemy's sight while you
steal a half-pace on him. Then take another half-pace, and strike with a forcing action on
\At this period, capes and mantels may be short - to the waist - or long to below the knees, depending on the season's fashion. They were worn by all classes, year round.
Since a thrust high to the face often opens the defender as he wards, you may have an opportunity to continue with a slope pace to the left, and reverse at the legs.
Counter attack in this case means a stop-thrust