The Guard

The combatants engaged with the left foot forward and the buckler held in front of the body, with the arm extended, but not stiff, while the sword hand must be ' kept closer to the body, and somewhat under the shelter of the buckler (Plate 17)

Marozzo gives twelve guards or positions of the sword for attack, which, when assumed consecutively, are known as tiprogressions." These movements are extremely picturesque, and should be performed at an 11 Assault of Arms" previously to commencing the combat. When there are four combatants, A, B, C, and D, they should take their places at the four corners of the stage, A and B occupying those nearest to the audience. At a signal from A, from whom they will take their time, they will step forth with the right foot, and advance towards the centre, A meeting D, and B meeting C.

At each step a guard is to be formed as laid down below; and when the four meet in the centre they will salute each one his opposite, by raising the sword-hilt in line with the mouth, and then extending the sword very high to the front, with the arm quite straight, so that all the points shall cross in the centre. After this they will lower their points, step back one pace, and at the same time give two beats on the buckler with the back of the sword, when A will engage B near the audience, and C will engage D farther back; and when this time is up the Marshal, or M.C., will stop C and D first, and will proceed, accompanied by them, to stop A and B, on which all four will retire together.

Plate 17: Engaging Guard. After Marozzo.

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