INTERROGATORY RECAPITULATION: A catechism for the Georgian fencer, c 1784
F O R
Grounding the Learner Scientifically in the Principals.
According to John McArthur
As Set Down in:
The The Army and Navy Gentleman’s Companion:
or, a New and Complete Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Fencing.
Displaying the Intricacies of Small-Sword Play:
And Reducing the Art to the Most Easy and Familiar Principals by Regular Progressive Lessons.
Illustrated by Mathamatical Figures, and Adorned with Elegant Engravings after Paintings from Life,
Executed in the most Masterly Manner.
Published London: J.Murray, 1784 edition.
Edited by Tim Klotz (McArthur's spelling has been meticulously preserved)
Quest. How many Guards are there in small-sword play?
Answ. There are two, termed Carte and Tierce- or inside and outside Guards.
Quest. How many engagements are there?
Answ. There are two, termed also Carte and Tierce.- Engagement is a synonomous term with Guard.
Quest. How many Parades are there ; and how are they divided?
Answ: Six simple parades, and six compound ones.- They are divided into upper and lower, inward and outward: - carte and tierce are the upper; semicircle, octave, prime, and seconde, are lower; Carte, semicircle, and Prime are the three inward parades;- and tierce, octave, and seconde are the three outward parades.
Quest. How are compound parades formed?
Answ: By circles of equal magnitude, from thence termed round parades.
Quest. How are Parades to be used most advantageously, against your adversaries feignts or compound movements?
Answ. By using the round parades upper and lower alternately, in persuit of my adversaries blade.
Quest. Which of the guards and parades are esteemed the best by proficients?
Answ. Tierce Guard, or the engagement of tierce; and the round parades of tierce and octave.
Quest. Why are they esteemed the best parades?
Answ. Because on the engagement of tierce, they will parry every thrust and
movement that an adversary can attempt against me ; my returned thrust will be
more sure and powerful, and I have better opportunities for beating my adversary’s
Quest. How many thrusts are there ; and how are they divided?
Answ. There are six natural of correspondent thrusts with the six simple parades;
They are of the same denomination, and are divided, in the same manner: - Besides,
there are several other thrusts made use of; such as carte over the arm, thrust of
extension, thrust of wrist, time thrust, &c.
Quest. How are thrusts in general executed?
Answ. With a longe towards my adversary’s body, either straight without disengaging, or by previous feignts and counter disengagements.
Quest. What constitutes a good longe?
Answ. First by forming a just position of extension, and from thence quickly extending myself out on the longe, the proportional distance of my stature; being well covered in the line of direction, with my point well fixed to my adversary’s breast in delivering my intended thrust. And all these movements should be comprehended in the same moment of time.
Quest. What are the best motions in offensive attacks against an adversary?
Answ. Appels and glizades, previous to or at the moment of executing feints.
Quest. What is the best mode of attacking an adversary considerably taller in stature than yourself?
Answ. I would make appels and glizades, and endeavour to decieve him with low feints and thrusts.
Quest. What parades would you prefer in guarding yourself against the offensive attacks of such an adversary?
Answ. I would in general prefer my upper round parades.
Quest. What is the most eligible method in attempting to disarm your adversary?
Answ. I would attempt to disarm him by abrupt beats on the outside of the his blade, either while on guard, or after parying any of his thrusts.- Or in serious affairs, I would attempt to touch him in the wrist, or between the thumb and first finger, while he was in the act of forming a low parade against any feint I might make for that purpose.
Quest. Has an adversary that is considerably taller than yourself superior advantages over you in attempts to disarm?
Answ. Yes; Because his height will give him a more powerful command over my blade in the abrupt beats; and if I should answer any of his feints with a low parade, he can with greater facility wound me in the wrist, by his having a greater command over my shell or guard.
F I N I S
Edited by Tim Klotz