Chapter 23: On handing over a sword and saluting

Comment/Interpretation:

Chapter 23 concerns the etiquette of fencing. As De Brea points out, a gentleman should always remove his hat, smallsword and cape before fencing.

Translation:

Chapter XXIII

On handing over a sword and saluting

If two gentlemen wish to use this Noble Art to exercise or enjoy themselves, then one of the fencers should take the foils in his right hand. He should cross the blades ensure that the hilts are together. He should then go to wherever his friend or competitor is waiting. He should stand upright in fourth position and extend the hilts of the sword to his friend so that he may take whichever he prefers and leave the fencer with the remaining one. At the same time, they should both remove their hats and move their right feet so that they both assume the third stance. This can be seen in figures one and two of plate eighteen.

Fig 1 and 2 Plate 18

After this, they should retire to remove their own smallswords or capes, if they are wearing one. They should also put on some gloves to avoid any wounds.

To begin the process of saluting, the two fencers should come forward onto the line of the diameter with their hats in their hand. This can be seen in figure three. Each fencer should stand upright with his feet together in third position and with his arm and sword, each fencer should describe a partial, circular movement in the air. This circular movement should end with the sword in first diagonal as if the fencer were about to perform a cut. This can be seen in figure four.

Fig 4 Plate 18

Each fencer should then return to second stance and at the same time perform a vertical cut along the line of the diameter. He should end in the same position as can be seen in figure three.

Fig 3 Plate 18

The fencer should stamp slightly as he places his right foot down and then immediately adopt third position with his feet and stand upright and he should hold his foil with the point pointing straight up as well as can be seen in figure five.

Fig 5 Plate 18

 

Once this has been done, the fencer will have performed a three-part salute, although it is made up of various movements.

Original Text:

CAPITULO XXIII.
Modo de alargar el arma, y de saludar 6 hacerla cortesía. Si dos caballeros tratasen de exercitarse ó divertirsef ü este tan noble arte, tomará el uno de ellos los dos floretes
en la mano derecha, cruzando las dos hojas, y unidas las guarniciones ITÍ donde se halle su amigo ó competidor, y puesto de quadrado en su qxiarta posición de pies, se los alargará para que tome el que le parezca, quedándose con el uno, y al mismo tiempo con la mano izquierda se quitarán el sombrero, sacando el pie derecho á su tercera posición, como lo manifiestan las figuran señaladas con el nüm. i y 2 de la estampa núm. 17; después se retirarán á quitarse el espadín ó capa si la tienen, y se pondrán sus guantes, que no les harán daño. Para dar principio á la cortesía, se presentarán los dos
combatientes con el sombrero en la mano, ocupando la línea del diámetro, cómalo manifiesta la figura señalada con el núm. 3 , y levantáadose á su plano superior forniaián en el ayre con ai brazo y florete una porción de círculo, ccwno si fuesen á formar un revés, quedándose en su primera diagonal y tercera posición de pies, según lo demuestra la figura señalada con el nüm. 4 . Y volviéndose á su segnoda pknta formando un tajo vertical, quedarán en la línea del diámetro, y en los términos que lo manifiesta la misma figura señalada con. el núm. 3 , dando en el tientpo un gaipeci^o eti el suelo al sentar el pie dereclio» é inmediatamente se volverán á levantar’ ái sa plano superior y tercera posición de pies, levantando en el tiempo la punta del florete á modo de rectitud, como lo manifiesta la figura señalada coa el númu J.. Hecho todo en los términos referidos se habrá executado la cortesía compuesta de tres partes, aunque de varios movimientos.

 

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