A Weapon for the Duel

Following is some evidence that Swetnam viewed the rapier mainly as a weapon for the duel, in keeping with the idea of the rapier for honor, and the backsword for duty (who said that? I cannot recall).

Swetnam PDF p 20 [On rapier length]:
“Let thy rapier be of a reasonable length, rather too long then too short, foure foote at the least, except thine enemie do give or send thee the length of his weapon; then it is a point of manhoode to match him as neare as thou canst:”

And, again, he wants you to preserve your honor:

Swetnam PDF p 32 [On putting forth a token fight for honor’s sake]:
“…even so I wish all men, if the perceive themselves to be hardly matched, the wiser of them to yeelde upon composition, after reasonable triall made each one of the other, before any great hurt be done;”

Swetnam also advises that you use a quarterstaff if you carry a lot of money, and advises blunting your weapons for practice:

Swetnam PDF p 20 [On blunting tips]:
“Also in playing with sticks, without buttons, many (for want of skill) may loose an eie, as many have done heeretofore.”

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Published in: on April 6, 2009 at 3:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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