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Thread: Silver's Brief Instructions 11.7's reference to 4.12

  1. #1

    Silver's Brief Instructions 11.7's reference to 4.12

    In 11.7 of Silver's BI, he apparently makes reference to 4.12 in response to a hypothetical question, but it seems to me that 4.12 does answer this hypothetical question. 11.7 states (emphasis added by me):

    If he lies upon the thrust then you lie with your space narrow lying up or down with your point in such sort as you may cross his staff, & thereby you shall be able to put or beat by his thrust before it is in full force, & then strike or thrust, ever remembering your governors.

    If upon this any will object that if this is true, then it is in vain to strike, to thrust, because he that does it is still in danger, this doubt is answered in the short single sword fight, in the 12th ground thereof
    Chapter 4 of BI deals with the short sword fight, but 4.12 states:

    But if all this will not serve & although he has received many wounds, will continually run to come in, & forcibly break your distance, then may you safely take the grip of him, & hurt him at your pleasure with your sword, as appears in the chapter of the grip, & he can neither hurt nor take the grip of you, because the number of his feet are too many, to bring his hand in place in due time, for such a one ever gives you the place, therefore be sure to take your time therein.
    To me, it feels like this passage isn't articularly relevant to the hypothetical question bolded in 11.7.

    Am I missing something here? I would love to hear what you guys think!

  2. #2
    I tried to check to see if the transcription from the original was correct or not, but I can't seem to find the original printed version. However, all versions I can find online, do refer to the "12th ground." It could be the case they are all working from the same, incorrect, transcription, or this is actually what was printed but items were renumbered at one point and this reference no longer points to the correct place... or, it points to the correct place, and I too fail to see the reference.

    I will say, that this sword vs polearm technique is referenced earlier in "How to strike from a ward" (Chap. 5, section 9 and 10), and then again in "Sword vs Rapier" (Chap. 8, section 12). Both are dealing with a threatening point, how to cross it (gain it, find it, dominate it, etc) then parry/ward and immediately counter.

    I don't think your bolded section is all that necessary to understand the effectiveness of the technique, but I do see the frustration in trying to make the link that he does.


  3. #3
    Hi Rob,

    Thanks for trying to track down the possible mis-transcription, and I'm glad to see that I am not the only one who could not see the reference. I also found the passages you suggested to be helpful, although as you said, it's rather frustrating to not be able to make the link that Silver does and have a more definite answer to the hypothetical question posed.

    Best wishes,

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