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Nuremberg Hausbuch (MS 3227a)/64r - 65r

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Draft Translation Draft translation
by Christian Trosclair

Transcription [edit]
by Dierk Hagedorn

Here the plays and the prescriptions of the unarmored fencing of Master Liechtenauer are recapped and elaborated differently with shorter and simpler speech so as to grant greater and better understanding and comprehension than as it was written before in the rhymes and glosses, unclearly and incomprehensibly. Thus with this short conversation, that will be overcome.

First note and know that Liechtenauer's fencing lays entirely upon the five words: Before, After, Weak, Strong, Within. These are the foundation, the core and fundamentals of all fencing. And however much one is able to fence, if he doesn't know about the fundamentals, he will often be shamed by his art. And these same words were often explained before. At that moment, they were just getting at someone being in constant motion and to not celebrate nor idle so that the opponent cannot come to blows. Because before and after signify 'forestrike' and 'afterstrike' as was often written before.

And this gets to that which is called 'start and finish', 'beginning and end'. Because a good, earnest fencer fences with someone such that he will slay them with his art and not become struck and this cannot be done without 'beginning and end'. If he will subsequently begin well, then he will ensure that he always has and wins the forestrike and not the opponent. Because the one who strikes at their opponent, they are always surer and better prepared by reason that the opponent must take heed of and watch out for your strike.

When he subsequently executes and wins the forestrike, whether he hits or misses, he shall then immediately and without pause in that same rush, execute the afterstrike. That is, the second, the third, the fourth or fifth strikes, be it hew or stab in such a way that he is always in motion and executes one after another without pause so that he does not allow them to ever come to blows.

Liechtenauer says about this: I say to you truthfully, no one defends themselves without danger (and without harm).[1] If you have understood this, he can hardly come to blows. Just do as was often written before and be in motion.

The word Within gets at the words before, after because when one executes the forestrike and the opponent wards it, 'within' and during the moment that opponent wards it and defends themselves, they can come to the afterstrike well.

It also gets at the words 'weak', 'strong'. These here signify 'the feeling' because when one is on the sword with their opponent, and feels whether they are strong or weak. Thereafter they then execute according to the often written lessons.

And the fundamentals will have these principles in all confrontations: Speed, audacity, prudence, astuteness and ingenuity, etc. And also measure in all things.

Now if he wins the forestrike, then he shall not do it so entirely forceful so that he cannot recover himself for the good of the afterstrike and shall also not step too wide so that he can recover himself for the good of another step forwards or backwards, if it bears itself.

As Liechtenauer spoke: Thereupon you hold, all things have length and measure. Therefore one shall not be hasty and shall think through ahead for themselves what they will execute and then shall bravely execute and driving that swiftly to the head or to the body and never to the sword.

Because if one quite wisely hews that at the head or at the body, that is, to the four openings; they nevertheless often comes to the sword without permission. If the opponent defends themselves such that he defends themselves with the sword, then in this way it comes to the sword.

| |Czu dem ersten merke vnd wisse / das lichtnaw°s fechten leit gar an den fünff wört°n · |vor · noch · swach · stark · Indes · / |Dy eyn gru~t / kern vnd fu~dament / seyn alles fechtens / |vnd wy vil eyner fechtens kan · |weis her nür des fu~damentz nicht / |zo wirt her oft bey seyner ku~st beschemet / |vnd dy selben wörter sint vor oft aus gelegt / |wen si nür of das gehe~ das eyner vm~erm° in motu sey |vnd nicht veyer ader lasse · |das ien° icht czu slage kome / |wen · vor · noch / bedewten / vorslag / vnd nochslag / |als vor oft ist geschrebñ / |vnd das gehet of das / daz do heisset / p°ncipiu~ vnd finis / anhebu~ge vnd endunge / |wen eyn ernst° gut° fechter · |ficht dorvem mit eyme / |das her mit syner ku~st eyne~ wil slaen / |vnd nicht geslage~ w°den / |vnd das mag her nicht tue~ an anhebu~ge vnd ane endu~ge / |wil her deñe wol anhebñ / |zo schaffe her das her io den vorslag / habe vnd gewiñe / |vnd nicht iener / |den eyner der do slet of eyne~ / |der ist io / [64v] sicher / vnd bas bewart / dez halben |deñe iener der / dirslege mus war nemen · |vnd · warten / |wen her deñe den vorslag gewint vnd tuet / her treffe ader vele / |zo sal her deñe dornoch / im~ediate ane vnderloz in dem selben rawsche den nochslag tuen / |das ist den and°n slag / den dritten den vierdñ ader den fümften / is sey haw ader stich |alzo das her vm~ermer in motu sey / |Vnd eyns noch dem and°n treibe / ane vnderloz das her io ienen nicht las czu slage kome~ / |Dorvem spricht lichtnawer |Ich sage vorware / sich schützt key~ man ane vare + [sine ?ãpn(?)o] |Hastu vornomen / czu slage mag her kleyne komen / |Tu / nür als vor oft geschrebñ ist / |vnd bis in motu / |Das wort Indes get of dy wörter · |vor |noch · |den wen eyner den vorslag tuet / vnd ien° den weret · Indes · vnd dyweile das in ien° weret vnd sich schützt zo mag deser wol czu dem nochslag / komen / |Auch get is of dy wörter · swach · stark · dy do bedewten daz fülen / |den wen eyner an dem sw°te ist / mit ieme vnd fület ab ien° stark ader swach ist / |dornoch tut her deñe noch der oft geschrebñ lere / |Vnd das fu~dame~t wil vor allen sachen dy pñcipia habñ / |Kunheit / |Rischeit / |Vorsichtikeit / |list / vnd |klukheit / etc · |Vnd och yn allen dingen moze / |ab her nü den vorslag gewiñet / den sal her nicht zo gar swinde tuen |das her sich deste bas des nochslags irholen mag / |vnd sal och nicht czu weit schreiten / |das d her sich deste bas ey~s [65r] and°n schretes hindersich ader vorsich ab sichs gepürt möchte irholen / |als lichtnaw° spricht |Dorof dich· zoße / alle dink habñ lenge vnd moße / |Dorvm sal eyner nicht gehe syn / |vnd sal sich vor / wol bedenken was her treibñ wil |vnd das selbe sal her deñe künlich treibñ |vnd eyme rischlich dar varn czu koppe ader czu leibe / vnd mit nichte czu~ swerte / |wen ab eyn° im eyme gar gewislich eyme hewt czu koppe ader czu leibe / daz ist czu den vier blossen / |deñoch ku~pt ist oft czu~ sw°te an eyns dank / |Is das sich iener schützt / |zo schützt her sich mt dem sw°te / |alzo das is deñoch czu~ sw°te~ ku~pt /

Liechtenauer says about this:

xvi Do not hew to the sword,
 Rather, stand watch for the openings
xvii In the head, in the body
 If you wish to remain without harm
xviii You hit or miss
 Aspiring thus so that you target the openings
xix In every lesson,
 Turn the point against the openings.
xx Whoever hews around widely,
 They will often be shamed severely.
xxi At the closest of all,
 Deliver sudden hews, stabs wisely.
And always restrain yourself
 So that the opponent does not come before you
Then you can stand up well
 Right before a good man.
  1. latin: dampno => damno => harm
  2. »Nicht« appears in the margin, but its proper placement is unclear.