The introduction to “The art of Swordsmanship” by the 15th Cnetury Italian master, Philoppo Di Vadi Pisano

Let us begin then to explain our intention, with the aid and grace of the omnipotent God whose name will be blessed forever…
Reminding and admonishing all, in plain words, to not dare attempt this art and science unless they are bold, generous and full of courage.

Wisdom, strength and boldness act
With him who desires honour in arms,
Lacking these, he must exercise more

If loyalty for them gives you (their) love,
You can talk to princes and kings,
Because this art is used by them.

Because they are expected to govern
And each to maintain justice,
For widows, orphans and other affairs.

And she maintains in herself such dignity,
That it always warms your heart,
Driving out cowardice.

I have kept her firmly imprisoned,
But as I release her, I truly swear
She gave me wealth, and as it happened to me,
So it will be for those in whom we find this virtue.”

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