FEATS OF SWORDSMANSHIP
By Professor GREGORY
The Richard Coeur de Lion Feat - severing a heavy Bar of Lead at one blow of the Sabre.
The Saladin Feat - Cutting a Silk Scarf while floating in the air.
The Sir Charles Napier Feat - Severing a lemon on the naked hand, striking perpendicularly with a sharp sword.
The Indian Feat - Dividing the lime under the naked heel.
The Japanese Feat - Cutting into halves an apple enveloped in a silk handkerchief without injuring the fabric.
Dr. Bachoffner's Feat - Severing a broom-stick while resting on the inner edges of two glasses of water,
INTERESTING ASSAULT OF ARMS - On Wednesday, and interesting exhibition of foil, stick and sabre play was presented at the Metropolitan Athenaeum, in the Strand. The intent of the performers was to aid the funds for decorating the large room of the erewhile Crown and Anchor, an apartment hallowed in the memory of Westminster electors, as having echoed the oratory of England's most popular advocates in times when public opinion had but few of the organs it now happily possesses. The play commenced with foils, Messrs. Latham and Nicholls, Lusignan and Marshall, receiving applause fully merited by their adroitness. Mr. Fennings and Mr. Hooper, with the sticks, acquitted themselves manfully, taking and giving thwacks with the tough ash-plant, with equality and the bonhommie only to be acquired in schools where man meets man on equal terms. Messrs. Nicholls and Westley, Lusignan and Law, Cotton and Marshall, followed with the foils. The foil-play subsequently, between Messrs. Hooper and Marshall, elicited great applause, Mr. Marshall, who is quite a youngster, giving evidences of a something in the way of fencing that may make him an antagonist worthy of a first rate opponent. A spirited sabre bout, between Messrs. Latham and Fennings, preceded the sword feats of Professor Shury, the superintendent of the fencing class. These appeareed to give most delight to the numerous audience. The Saladin exploit, so familiar to all romance readers, from its picturesque and delightful description, in the immortal Scott's "Tales of the Crusaders", here became common place. Not satisfied with severing the slight floating silk scarf in its descent upon the edge of a keen Damascus blade (forged, we suspect, at Birmingham or Sheffield), Mr. Shury cut the fragile fabric into minute fragments, by seven or eight successive sweeps of the keen weapon, as it rested upon its recurved edge. The severance of two triangular ingots of lead-solder was also effected by a single cut, No.5, at each substance, suspended by a slight piece of packthread. A leg of mutton, suspended from a triangle, was next operated on, the goodly thigh, of about a dozen pounds, being obliquely cut through its thickest part by a single stroke of an ordinary boarding cutlass. A knuckle of veal was similarly sliced and finally a feather pillow was cut through, with the oriental-shaped sword that had been used for the sleight of wrist trick, immortalised by romance. The band of the Artillery Company lent an agreeable aid to the evening's amusements, which we trust proved proftable to the fund for which they were projected.
admin wrote:... there is hardly any evidence for European swordsmen before the 19thC practicing cutting at all. Hugh Knight has a whole rant about this on his blog and whilst I disagree with a fair amount that he says in general, he does make some valid points...
From the notebook of Henry Wilkinson (1849):
General Sir William Morrison informs me that he has seen a native of India who would take a raw egg and place it on a lump of clay on a tripod formed of three bamboos - at the first cut he took off the top and then in each successive cut he took off fine thin rings (approximately ten) without cracking them, the inside of the egg flew about into the faces of the spectators. General Cartheed was present and also Mr C Russell, the chairman of the Great Western railway there in India.
The same man also cut through an almond in the outer shell stuck on the clay.
Cutting through a large leg of Mutton at one stroke is now often done, also Saladin's feat with silk handkerchiefs which I have often done myself.
A broom stick placed on the edge of two tumblers between two tables I have often cut in two without breaking the tumblers or spilling the water if filled.
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