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The Pel Quintain—XIV. Century

The Pel Quintain—XIV. Century.jpg The Saracen QuintainThumbnailsSword-DanceThe Saracen QuintainThumbnailsSword-DanceThe Saracen QuintainThumbnailsSword-Dance

The quintain in its original state was not confined to the exercise of young warriors on horseback: it was an object of practice for them on foot, in order to acquire strength and skill in assaulting an enemy with their swords, spears, and battle-axes. I met with a manuscript in the Royal Library, written early in the fourteenth century, entitled "Les Etablissmentz des Chevalerie," wherein the author, who appears to have been a man scientifically skilled in the military tactics of his time, strongly recommends a constant and attentive attack of the pel (from the Latin palus), for so he calls the post-quintain. The pel, he tells us, ought to be six feet in height above the ground, and so firmly fixed therein as not to be moved by the strokes that were laid upon it. The practitioner was then to assail the pel, armed with sword and shield in the same manner as he would an adversary, aiming his blows as if at the head, the face, the arms, the legs, the thighs, and the sides; taking care at all times to keep himself so completely covered with his shield, as not to give any advantage supposing he had a real enemy to cope with.

Author
The Sports and Pastimes of the People of England from the Earliest Period to the Present Time
By Joseph Strutt
Published 1845
Available from gutenberg.org
Keywords
England, Shield, Sword
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