Rapier fighters are from Mars, Fencers are from Venus

Okay, this one needs an emphasized disclaimer. While it may appear in The Big Book of Atlantian Rapier, it is solely my own work. The opinions expressed here are mine, mine, mine. Alone. No other person in the Kingdom is responsible, nor was involved in its creation. The use of any names is nothing more than a product of my over-active imagination. So ignore Kynny.

Any relationship to Atlantians, living, dead, undead, inactive — particularly the inactive ones, they’re the most dangerous, as in “poke it with a stick and see if it’s really dead….AAAH! FUCK!” kind of dangerous — is purely co-incidental. Don’t make me come up there and/or turn this car around. You’ve been warned. Get off my lawn.
There is within the SCA rapier community (sorry, Alan, there just still isn’t a better term) a difference of philosophy as to the purpose of rapier fighting. At its most basic, there is the “sport” camp,

"I am much more poofta than you"
“I am WAY more poofta than you.”

and there is the “combat” camp.
okay it's a dagger, but still...
Big baby; you still have another eye.

Each have their proponents and detractors. However, given that a “sport” fencer almost got Atlantian rapier killed off in its crib, all while getting himself banished, AND that we were saved by a new “combat” mentality among the early leaders of the game, many Atlantians, I included, are solidly in the “combat” camp.

This does not mean we don’t respect the “sport” camp; we don’t, but it isn’t because of that. It’s because fencing isn’t period, isn’t realistic, and generally isn’t fun; at least not as much fun as symbolically killing your friends, family, close associates and bystanders.

different culture, different armor standards, still rapier
Different culture, different armor standards, still rapier.

This difference between the two can be compared to that between the sexes. Much has been made about the differences between men and women, there was even a book or two-thousand written about it. In keeping with my desire to labor as little as possible, I just stole from them.


Observe this interaction between a rapier fighter we’ll call “Kynny”, and a fencer we’ll call “douchebag”:

Kynny: Rapier fighters get our sense of self from achievement. We tend to be task-oriented, and being self-reliant is very important to us. You put those two together, and you get people who hate to ask for directions , hate to ask for help, pretty much just plain hate. I’ll wander in a store for 15 minutes trying to find something to destroy. For us, asking for another’s opinion is an admission that we’re wussies.
Douchebag: Fencers get our sense of self from relationships. Where rapier fighters are task-oriented, we are relational-oriented. Our connections to other people are the most important thing to us. Instead of going after prizes, we tend to enjoy the connectedness to other people, especially other fencers. For us, both asking about rules and offering to help write rules is a compliment; we’re saying, “Let me build a bridge between us. I value you, and it’ll bind us. Nice outfit.”

Kynny: Rapier fighters usually focus on a goal. We want to get to the bottom line, to the end of something, usually our opponent. And their family.
Douchebag: But fencers tend to enjoy the process. Not that reaching a goal isn’t important, but we like getting there too. That’s why melees are so very different for rapier fighters and fencers; the rapier fighters want to get to their destinations and beat the living shit out of someone, and we sort of treasure the time to talk and look and maybe discuss conventions of the list along the way!

Kynny: Rapier fighters are often more logical and analytical than fencers. Like the Bard said, “the quickest way to a man’s heart is thru his chest”. Well, some Bard said it.
Douchebag: And we tend to be more intuitive than rapier fighters. This isn’t some sort of mystic claim; there was a study at Stanford University that discovered that fencers catch subliminal messages faster and more accurately than rapier fighters. Rapier fighters catch beefs from marshals, who are usually fencers and also heralds.

Kynny: This difference is evident in brain activity. Rapier fighters have some; fencers don’t.
Douchebag: Huh?

Kynny: Rapier fighters are action-oriented. When we feel hostile, our first instinct is to release it physically. And when we’re upset, the way for us to feel better is to actively smite your fucking ass.
Douchebag: Fencers are verbal. They want to discuss every exchange, did you feel that, was it tippy…
Kynny: …blahblahblah until you just want to smack them.

Compare and Contrast

We (rapier fighters) said – They (fencers) said

We – this is a combat sport
They – No one should get hurt

We – attitude helps you get into the killing mode
They – No one should even THINK about hurting someone

They – This is supposed to be fun
We – I have the best fun when I’m killing you

They – fencing is an art
We – fuck you
Of course, within the SCA, we don’t want anyone injured. But even sports involve hurts and boo-boo’s. Trying to avoid them at all costs just cheapens what we’re trying to do here.

So just remember: when re-creating a combat form that got turned into a pansy-assed Olympic after thought, go to the original and work backwards until you’re pretty sure nobody will actually die. Then, stop; you are done.

"Hallo. My name is Inigo Montoya. You almost killed my dream. Prepare to yield."
“Hallo. My name is Inigo Montoya. You almost killed my dream. Prepare to yield.”


The MoD’s

[It’s all Wistric’s fault]

photo by Sunneva de Cleia
photo by Sunneva de Cleia


    (Here come the men in black)
    It’s the MoD’s, uh, here come the MoD’s
    Here come the men in black (men in black)
    They make sure you remember

    Nah nah nah
    Poofy guys dress in black, remember that
    Just in case you ever corps-a-corps and make contact
    The title held by thee, MoD
    Means what you think you saw, you did not see
    So don’t blink or that sword is now gone
    The black suits with the big ruff on

    Walk in shadow, move in silence
    Guard against intra-kingdom violence
    Swords zoom, on the impending doom
    But then like boom black suits fill the room up
    Saw somethin’ strange, watch your back (Ooh, ooh)
    ‘Cause you never quite know where the MoD’s at

    Uh, eh
    Here come the men in black, men in black
    Society defenders (Oho oho oho)
    Here come the men in black, men in black
    They make suret you remember (Won’t let you remember)

    Ain’t no MoD’s, can I please?

    Do what we say, that’s the way we kick it
    D’ya know what I mean (Hmm, hmm)
    I see my noisy Wistric get wicked on ya
    We’re your first, last and only line of defense
    Against the worst scum on the field of fence

    So don’t fear us, cheer us
    If you ever get near us, don’t jeer us, just beer us
    MoD’s freezin’ up all the flack (What’s that stand for?)
    Men in black

    The Men in black (Uh, eh)
    The Men in black (Uh, eh)
    Let me see ya just parry with me
    Just parry with me (parry with me)
    Just parry with me
    Come on, let me see ya just sidestep with me
    Just sidestep with me (sidestep)
    Just sidestep with me (sidestep)
    Come on, let me see ya take a walk with me
    Just walk with me (Walk with me)
    Take a walk with me
    Come on and make your neck work
    Now thrust! (Ohh)

    Here come the Men in black, Men in black
    Society defenders (Oho oho oho)
    Here come the Men in black, Men in black
    They make sure you remember (make sure you remember)


NOTE: This is a summary of a doctoral thesis on the saints of SCAdian rapier. I’ll publish the full dissertation, all 478 pages of it, once I find a university that awards degrees in bullshit…anachronistic research.



    Codswallop – Feb. 24 – sword (and others) – patron of fencing instructors

    Polyandra – Feb. 25 – men in uncomfortable positions – patron of honorable conduct
    "Now cough."
    “Now cough.”
    DeFenestra – Mar. 31 – window – patron of defense (hurled assailant out window)
    "Yeah. Right out that window there."
    “Yeah. Right out that window there.”
    Claudemnestra – Apr. 24 – needle & thread – patron of armor makers
    "Come on, Barbie, let's sew arty."
    “Come on, Barbie/let’s sew arty.”
    Espee – Aug. 11 – wine bottle, cask, 6-pack – patron of the Academie (and drunkards)
    "Beer is proof of...wait, it'll come to me."
    “Beer is proof of…wait, it’ll come to me.”
    Hagemor the Paltry – Oct. 22 – horned horn – patron of the confused (Viking who fought with tiny little sword)
    copyright pending
    copyright pending
    Macarena – Dec. 2 – dancing woman – patron of footwork
    "y cosa buena"
    “y cosa buena”
    Urinalius Phlegmula – Dec. 8 – specimen bottle – patron of bodily fluids and Gatorade
    "Hydrate, varlet!"
    “Hydrate, varlet!”


“Hey, kids! Let’s put on a show!”

Creative Event Planning in the SCA

Let me just say it outright: SCA events are, for the most part, dull. Boring. Moribund. The reason isn’t that SCAdians are boring; it’s that the events themselves are. They suffer from a sameness that belies our self-identity as “creative”. For the most part, they follow a tried-and-true formula which doesn’t require much thought.

If you’ve been involved in the creation and planning of an SCA event, you know how it progresses. First of all, it’s done by committee. Everyone puts in their “must haves”. The list is so well-known, we can say it from memory:
– fighting (maybe rapier, definitely armored);
– archery (if the site allows for it);
– some kind of A&S thing (pretty much always a demo or competition);
– a court;
– a feast;
– some after-feast thing, usually a bardic or dancing.

These cookie-cutter events (CC events) happen every weekend throughout the Known World, and there are valid reasons for their existence:
— There’s a consistency to putting them on; everyone knows what to expect;
— They’re easy to put on; it’s the same event we did last time (every time), so problems are anticipated, and everyone knows what jobs are needed;
— They require no thought. There’s likely a handout that lists all the things needed so that even a fist-time autocrat won’t have too much trouble producing it.

The problem with these justifications is that they are arguments why they’re good for those putting on the event. I’ll suggest something radical here: events are not put on for the hosts, they’re put on for the guests. Sure, we hold a decent event that gives our guests an okay time. But why not hold an amazing event, that gives them a wonderful time, one they’ll remember and talk about for years.

There are good reasons for the group putting on a creative event as well:
— It allows a group to feel a certain amount of pride in what they have wrought;
— Creative events are more work than CC events, and the group might well consider putting on fewer events a year, particularly if the creative event makes more money (most of the creative, clever events I’ve autocrated or attended had large crowds, much larger than a CC event). Fewer events means more detail for the ones we do;
— With more people attending, per-capita costs are lower, while per-person costs to the group don’t increase, as almost all of those costs are paid by the attendees (lunch, feast and those sites that charge a per-person site fee). For sites that charge a flat fee for use, more people means more revenue.

As a Society, we seem to have embraced the idea that bigger is better, at least for events. At the core of this is the belief that we hold events to make money. While every group should have a cash reserve to pay yearly bills and provide an emergency fund, once that amount is raised, there’s no good reason a group should be profiting greatly from an event. I mentioned above that creative events would draw bigger crowds, and it’s true, but a smaller event has its advantages. You won’t make as much money (if any), but can still produce an excellent event.

So how do we do this? First, throw away the cookie cutter. Ask yourself (and others) what kind of event would you like to see, to attend? Apply that to every aspect of the event.

Here’s a bit of heresy about tourneys: you don’t have to hold every kind of fighting at every event. Do some that are just armored and give the rapier fighters their own tourney later in the year. Or work it another way. We have held a Masters of Defense tourney, where fighters had to compete in both rapier and armored to win. At another event, there were 3-man teams of a rapier fighter, armored fighter and combat archer. Armored and rapier fought at the same time, in adjoining lists. Whoever won first tagged their archer, who started shooting at the opponent in the other list. There are lots of ways to limit or modify the traditional tourney.

Other parts of the event can be done differently as well. Hold feast in the middle of the day (you know, the way it was done in period). Are there logistics to work out? Sure, but probably not as many as you’d think. But everyone who’s eating feast stays after day trippers have left! Sure, now, but why can’t feast be for everyone? If you don’t serve a lunch, that cost can go toward the feast. The head cook may be able to lower the cost of the feast because of the economy of numbers: more people might mean cheaper food costs. I’m not suggesting every event could be done this way, but surely one a year could.

One way that has worked well in the past is themed events. Some of the best events I’ve attended were themed events — events that focused on a specific time and place. They can be centered around an activity, such as a pas d’armes, or be more freewheeling, like a town event. You can focus on a particular historical event, like a battle, or use an era, like the Court of Charlemagne. The easiest way to do this is to give one of your standard events a theme.

The true key to a successful themed event is to plan every activity around the theme. Tourneys, A&S, even the feast should reflect the time and place of the theme. At first blush, this sounds like it would exclude some activities; how can you have rapier at a Flemish Faire? Well, as I said above, you don’t have to have everything at every event. If rapier doesn’t go with this event’s theme, you can hold a Spanish or Elizabethan event later.

Looking deeper, however, allows you to creatively accommodate these anachronisms (see what I did there?). SCA heavy rapiers can be mounted with earlier period cross hilts; encourage fighters to switch to them (maybe even provide the swords). There are several groups that practice historical martial arts; invite them to attend and do a demonstration, or teach classes. There are ways around the apparent limits of our activities that will work, if the planners are willing to think outside the box.

None of this just happens. You have to plan it with a lot of detail. You’ll want to assign teams, or leaders of teams who’ll recruit their own henchmen. Parts or roles also need to be assigned in advance, and coordinated both before and during the event.
cyclops quest for venus

Giving potential guests notice ahead of time will go a long way to get folks in the mood. SCAdians love to dress up, and with enough time, many will create garb, accessories, and props just for your event. Pre-planning, and pre-event advertising, is vital.

One big fallacy with SCA event planning is believing that if we simply give everyone a time, place and theme, they’ll make their own fun. You could create a perfect setting, a beautiful recreation of a medieval town, but if you don’t give guidance, both overt and covert, and activities, your guests will not likely make up their own adventures. Again, think like a guest and not a host. Watching the fighting is not enough; you need to have activities for non-fighters to do. A&S activities get a lot of attention, but do something beyond a display or competition. Have a project that people can participate in (we once had a series of drawn wall hangings laid out that anyone could paint during the event; once completed, they were auctioned off for the Kingdom travel fund). Have quests or contests for prizes.

Encourage merchants to attend; set up a merchant area, particularly for a town event, or make the entire event a Faire. Ask local musicians to perform. When I autocrated, I would comp those from outside the group who provided a service, and factored the comps into the event costs. Have a venue or activities for gambling. We had two rooster hand puppets made and had cock fighting for folks to bet on.
NoTT cockfighting

The real magic is in the details. If you’re having gambling or contests, get coins. Put details into the event flyer, a map of the town, the details of the quest. If certain things have to happen at certain times, not only the actors should know, but assign a coordinator to make sure it happens when and where you need.

Without question, this is a lot of work and there must be group buy-in. Moreover, everyone has to understand that being the host means the group members aren’t going to be able to “attend” the event. Their presence is to ensure their guests enjoy themselves, not them. Clearly someone has to lead, but delegation is essential, else everyone gets to watch the autocrat have a meltdown, or watch the hosts re-create a flogging. If the group cannot commit to doing the event well, it shouldn’t do it at all.

I have a couple of general ideas to get your creative juices flowing. These are broad areas to consider; within each are plenty of possibilities for events, either small, big, or huge. Feel free to use them as starting points, or come up with your own.

— Right now, Steampunk is a popular creative endeavor that is, unfortunately, too out-of-period for the SCA. I would say, however, that the original Steampunk was Leonardo da Vinci. He created futuristic inventions based on the technology of his time, designing tanks, canons, flying machines and other devices that fit perfectly within our Society timeline. An event that used da Vinci’s machines (or ones that look da Vinci-ish) would be talked about for years.
— Arthur and the Grail is the penultimate quest story. Imagine using an entire site for teams to search for that or some similar object. The teams could be pre-made, assembled at the event, or both, and could include fighters and non-fighters, with different quests that require both.

— I heard of a Black Death event, held at a two-story site. As the event progressed on the top floor, Death would arrive unseen and take his victims to the Underworld (downstairs), which it turned out was where the real party was happening. Occasionally, ghosts would wander up to living world and mess with people. Eventually everyone ended up downstairs.

— An historical battle or war, such as the Crusades, would be a perfect setting for an event that would be more like a war. Pre-assignment of commanders and recruitment of armies would get everyone talking far ahead of the event.

— My still-favorite of the events I’ve done is the sea fairing adventure. We constructed a 16th Century Spanish warship out of fabric-covered PVC and attacked a town that was ably defended by combat archers.
NOTT ship4
I always wanted to do one where two (or more) ships fought against each other. Set on a school field with bleachers, it would be like the naumachiae of the Coliseum.
The battles could be between different groups (barony vs. barony), each of which builds and fights in a ship of their design. Having done this three times, I like this one enough that I’m willing to provide consultant services for anyone who wishes to put one on.
NoTT building the ship 1

After the event, find out what your guests thought. Send out questionnaires, or build an online survey and ask attendees to submit their opinions. Use the information you get to improve that event for next time, or to plan other events.

The absolute hardest part about a creative event is knowing when it’s time to end it. An event that was creative at conception can be repeated, maybe several times (with improvements/upgrades each time). But eventually, it will just become The Quest for Attendance XXIII and will no longer be creative. Event themes have life spans; recognize when yours is up and let it go with dignity when that time comes.

As always, the views expressed here are my own. No barony, shire, college, hamlet or principality was harmed, at least not intentionally.


Hey, Boys ‘n Grrls! Remember waaaay back when marshals were, not only the best source, but the only source of information about rapier fighting? Sure you do! Well, because marshals were thin on the ground in some areas back then, there was an actual advise column where curious fighters could get their questions answered in no time at all, if by which you mean weeks. I present one of the more memorable columns from the esteemed Mr. Marshalperson.


by Count Lawdy ms Claudi, KRMIC d’Frogge

Dear Mr. Marshalperson:
I’m interested in getting started in rapier. How do I begin?
Inquiring in Isenfir

Dear Inquiring:
There’s no secret to excelling in rapier. Just follow three basic steps:
1. Rent the following movies: The Princess Bride, The Three Musketeers (1974), The Four Musketeers, The Man in the Iron Mask, Blackadder II, and The Duellists.
2. Memorize all the dialogue.
3. Get some really spiff clothes (see next letter).
That’s it. You are ready to hit the list field.

Dear Mr. Person:
I got your recommended movies. Where can I get great clothes like those guys?
Stymied in Storvik

Dear Stymied:
Congratulations! You have reached the first pinnacle of rapier fighting — the recognition that nothing is more important than your wardrobe. Now, where to get one. There are many
opportunities to pick up great period-looking duds. Try your nearest Ren Fair. These are wonderful places to acquire real period accessories, too. Second-hand fabric stores are good, if one’s in your area. Pay particular attention to the spandex/mylar/metallics section; lots of good finds there. Then just sew them up, and trim with lace.

Dear Mr. Marshalperson:
My local marshal says I’m hitting too hard, but no one’s gone to the emergency room yet, so what’s the big deal, huh?
Confused in Caer Mear

Dear Confused:
Marshals are people, too, and can make mistakes just like everyone else. But it is possible you’re hitting too hard. To find out, take a simple test. Ask yourself these questions:
– do my opponents flinch every time I move?
– have I broken more than three blades this week?
– do they assign chiurgeons to my bouts?
– are heavy fighters telling me I’m “looking pretty good”?
If the answers to any of these are no, then you’re probably okay, and your marshal just needs retraining.


Dear Marsha:
I was told my armor is insufficient, whatever that means. I told ’em to get stuffed and not even look at me. Damn Jerks.
Highly Pissed in Highland Foorde

Dear Pissed:
How dare they! No one should question your armor, particularly if it looks really cool. Unfortunately, there are those armor regulations, and they can be hard to understand, what with resistant-this and impenetrable-that. My advice is just tell them “it’s four layers” and let ’em eat cake.

Dear Mr./Ms. Marshalperson:
I am constantly having my second intention attack in high inside defeated by either a replacement to the high outside, or a croise to the low ward. What am I doing wrong?
Kaput in Kappellenberg

Dear Ka-Ka:
Off hand, I’d say your clothes are not distracting enough, but I don’t have a clue. I’m a marshal, not some rapier-god. If you want stupid useless information like that, go ask a Provost.

Dear Mr. Marshalperson:
I stand, vigilant, appraising my foe with, at once, disdain and concupiscence. He feints: a sloven drollery of movement. I am serene. He stumbles into a remise, unaware of the menace. I castigate him with an expulsion, deftly avoid his mindless reposte, and overwhelm his parry quinte with a derobement. I am victorious. All is silence.
Cathartic in Cathanar

Dear Cath-ode:
What in the hell are you talking about? This column is for important marshal issues: garb, snappy patter, how to look good. You have obviously wandered in here by mistake, and should be over yonder with the Laurels or something. Don’t go gettin’ all sentimental about this, now. Just remember: in rapier fighting, as in life, it’s better to look good, than to fight good.



[Historical Note: Back in Ansteorra, at the misty dawn of the White Scarf, there were numerous how-to papers published about rapier fighting. At a time when no kingdoms had organized programs, teachers were few and far between, and no one had translated period manuals into modern English, fighters relied on these written instructions to help them figure out how this new-fangled martial art was supposed to work.

Among the writings about technique were some that talked about different aspects of rapier — honor and courtesy, dedication to kingdom and Queen, all of the non-fighting traits that rapier has come to be renowned for. One paper stood out. “What is a Don”, compiled by Master Robin of Gilwell, was a collection of sayings and quotations, collected from sources both ancient and modern. Much of what the Anstreorran rapier community became can be traced to the precepts found in this work.

Given the involvement of so many Ansteorrans in Atlantia’s early rapier program, “What is a Don” made its way here, where I found it. As we use the title “Provost” rather than “Don”, I decided that Atlantia needed its own version. I present for your enjoyment “What the Hell is a Provost?”.]


compiled by Master Robert Bedingfield, Provost
(with apologies to Master Robin of Gilwell)


He is the nastiest little man I’ve ever known. He struts along sitting down.
Mrs. Clarence Dykstra

He is a man of his most recent word.
William F. Buckley, Jr.

You can tell a Provost, but you can’t tell him much.

He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.
Winston Churchill

The trouble with her is that she lacks the power of conversation but not the power of speech.
George Bernard Shaw

Hey, who invited this guy? Look at him, drinking all the beer, eating the dip with his fingers. He even tried to start a fight with the Prince. What a jerk!
The Lost Books of the Courtier
Baldesar Castiglione, Jr.

I did think thee, for two ordinaries, to be a pretty wise fellow . . . Yet the scarfs and bannerets about thee did manifoldly dissuade me from believing thee a vessel of too great a burden.
All’s Well That Ends Well
William Shakespeare

An enchanting toad of a man.
Helen Hayes

Thou eunuch of language; thou pimp of gender, murderous accoucheur of infant learning, thou pickle-herring in the puppet show nonsense.
Robert Burns

What he lacks in intelligence, he more than makes up for in stupidity.

Son: Dad, when I grow up, I want to be a Provost!
Dad: I’m sorry, son: you can’t have it both ways.


Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.

I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace; that two are called a law firm; and that three, or more, become a Congress.
John Adams
Peter Stone

Follow him? What are you, nuts? I wouldn’t follow him to a free beer bash in a brothel!
The Lost Books of the Courtier
Baldesar Castiglione, Jr.

A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are taken and quietly strangled.
Baron Gerlach Weisengrund, AdE

The cream rises to the top; so does the scum.
Wellington’s Law of Command

Your Majesty, there’s no “Queen” in “team”.
Mistress Isobel Bedingfield, AdE, Queen’s Champion
(advising Her Majesty Mary Grace on rapier melee tactics)


Teachers are overworked and underpaid. True, it is an exacting and exhausting business, this damming up the flood of human potentialities.
George B. Leonard

Education is the inculcation of the incomprehensible into the indifferent by the incompetent.
John Maynard Keynes

His understanding of this subject runs the gamut from A to B.

You don’t have to think too hard when you talk to a teacher.
Alexander Pope

He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.
George Bernard Shaw

Enthusiastic newbie: Look, my lord, I made it. It’s medieval.
Wise old-timer: Don’t underestimate yourself, kid. That’s not mid-evil, that’s completely evil.


I like you, Bob; you’ve got balls!
Lord Percy
Blackadder II

But she’s a sweet and innocent reverend’s daughter; and you’re the Devil’s cabana boy.
Lisa Simpson

She’s got a tongue like an electric eel, and she likes the taste of a man’s tonsils.
Lord Flashart
Blackadder II

But that I shall hang my bugle in an invisible baldrick, all women shall pardon me.
Much Ado About Nothing
William Shakespeare


One of the disadvantages of wine is that it makes a man mistake words for thought.
Samuel Johnson

If the soup had been as hot as the wine, if the wine had been as old as the bird, and if the bird’s breasts had been as full as the waitress’s, it would have been a very fine feast.

That’s not food, that’s what food eats.
Baron Gerlach Wisengrund, AdE

Yeah, we want real food, something that had a face.
Master Giacomo di Vincenti, AdE

Yeah, you know, something that had parents.
Master Geoffrey Gamble, AdE

Sakanjibin? Who the hell brought that shit? Why do we put up with this clown, anyway?
The Lost Books of the Courtier
Baldesar Castiglione, Jr.

I would give a peck of malt to my mare and she would piss as good beer as Dickes doth brew.
Dickes v Fenne
King’s Bench, Michaelmas Term (1640)

Sometimes too much drink is not enough.

Porthos: Champagne?
Athos: We’re in the middle of a chase, Porthos.
Porthos: You’re right; something red.
The Three Musketeers
The Movie (1993)

Though I go bare/take you no care/For I am never cold.
I stuff my skin/so well within/With jolly good ale and old!
Jolly Good Ale And Old
Gammer Gurton’s Needle (1575)

Well, yeah, I want some Cheesy-Poof’s!
Eric Cartman
South Park


Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn!
Prof. Henry Higgins
My Fair Lady
Stephen Soundheim

Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap!
Homer J. Simpson

Baldric, to you the Renaissance was something that happened to other people.
Edmund Blackadder
Blackadder II

Look, he’s winding up the watch of his wit; by and by, it will strike.
The Tempest
William Shakespeare

All things being equal, fat people use more soap.

So, Melcior, still worshiping God? Last I heard, He was worshiping me! Woof!
Lord Flashart
Blackadder II

South Park

I hate cannonballs!
The Three Musketeers
The Movie (1993)

Lord Sandwich: Mr. Wilkes, I don’t know whether you’ll die on the gallows or of the pox.
John Wilkes: That depends, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress.


Anything worth fighting for, is worth fighting dirty for.

He said what? About me? I’ll kick his ass! He’ll wish he’d died of the plague! Tell him to bring that shit over here, I’ll fix him. Fucking jerk.
The Lost Books of the Courtier
Baldesar Castiglione, Jr.

It’s clobberin’ time!
The Thing

Bad blade. No use.
Master Giacomo di Vincenti, AdE

Sandis! Do you call one of the cleverest thrusts in Gascony a crime?
Marquis de la Donze
(asked upon the gallows if he repented
for killing his brother-in-law in a duel)

Disdain the boogerheads!
Earl Dafydd ap Gwystl, KSCA, OL, OP

I’m gonna get medieval on yo’ ass.
Marsellus Wallace
Pulp Fiction
Quinton Tarantino

The fastest way to a man’s heart is through his chest.
Roseanne Arnold

There may be said to be three sorts of fighters: able, unable, and lamentable.

First know you to this weapon there belong no wards nor grips, but against such a one as is foolhardy and will suffer himself to have a full stab in the face or body to hazard the giving of another, then against him you may use your left hand in throwing him aside, or strike up his heels after you have stabbed him.
Bref Instructions
George Silver
on dagger-fighting

The Dread Pirate Roberts: I find that Thibault cancels out Cappa Ferro. Don’t you?
Inigo Montoya: Unless the enemy hasa studied his Agrippa. Which I have.
The Princess Bride
William Goldman

Ye shall make shor that the scholer be a capable fighter withal, and bee not like to bring the hoots & guffaws of the populess uppon this noble Guild, being a great clwnsy booby who cuts down trees with his blade in going from prime to second, or one whose every thrust would peen a rivit at a singl shone, nor yett a diffident, lanquorous fighter who careth not if hee win or loose, so long as he looketh well.
ye Olde Guilde of Duellists and Mayhem Hatcherie bylaws (c.1593¾)
by G. Gamble & A. Gravesend, provosts

The pointy end goes into the other man.
Alejandro Murrieta
The Mask of Zorro


Light to the eyeball.
Anonymous Fighter

I felt it, but there was no bend.
Anonymous Fighter

That would have landed, if you hadn’t parried it.
Anonymous Scholar

Glanced off my chest!
Anonymous Free Scholar

Deflected by my scarf!
Anonymous Gold Scarf

Deflected by my ego!
Anonymous Provost

Good, but I’m not taking it!
Anonymous former Principal

Eponymous Light Fighter


I save my right hand for my drinking.
The Three Musketeers
The Movie (1948)

I’ve washed a horse’s leg before. With a horse’s leg, you start at the top.
The Three Musketeers
The Movie (1974)

God, I love my work.
The Three Musketeers
The Movie (1993)

Sometimes, there are more important things in life than a good pair of tits.
The Man in the Iron Mask
The Movie (1998)


They look like psychos, is that what they looked like? They were vampires. Psychos do not explode when sunlight hits them, I don’t give a fuck how crazy they are.
Seth Gecko
From Dusk til Dawn
Quinton Tarantino


I don’t wish to belong to any club that would want me as a member.
Groucho Marx


[Historical Note: This was written in 1994, and the details of those Provosts named may have changed. Deal.]

(The first ten stanzas of this were written for an A&S competition for limericks at the Second Academie of the Rapier, and were presented in Court by request of Their Majesties, Thorbrandr and Eorran.  Upon completion, His Majesty advised that I was short one verse, at which time I read the 11th verse that I had cunningly already prepared.  It was thus that Lord Duncan’s elevation as the 10th Provost was announced.)


by Robert Bedingfield

  1. Master Geoffrey with confidence to the list field does amble.

In short work he leaves his foes in a shamble.

Victories he’ll compile,

In fine Elizabethan style.

All praise to our most Ancient Gamble.


  1. Giacomo di Vincenti, the most Honorable Lord,

His manners and demeanor are always above board.

Cross not blades with this villain,

Or ‘e’ll commence wit’ the killin’,

And flay you with dagger and sword.


  1. Gregoire de Conteville, champion of fence,

With buckler and sword, he hies his foes hence.

From high guard or low,

He lands one mortal blow.

Bet not against him if you value your pence.


  1. Sing praises now, in sweet high contralto

For Baron Niall McKennett, summa cum exalto.

His foes he does rout.

(He even fights with a trout!)

Another fine product of Ponte Alto.


  1. Lord Roibin, famed of Nottinghill Coill,

Defeats all his enemies with epee and foil.

Retreat or advance,

Not one stands a chance,

‘Cept to spill their blood on the soil.


  1. Fair Baroness Ceridwen of Windmasters Hill,

A lady well renowned for her rapier skill.

With draw cut and thrust,

Her foe’s left in the dust.

The crowd, her swashbuckling doth thrill.


  1. Padraig Muadhan, with sword florentine,

Fights for honor and glory, for Kingdom and Queen.

In this rhyme iambic,

I praise, not his lambic,

But rather his rapiers keen.


  1. Behold Baron Gerlach Weisengrund,

With honors and glories, he has been festooned.

His enemies’ fate sealed,

By the blades he does wield,

Their limbs all about him lay strewn’d.


  1. Lord Alan Gravesend fights with style and grace.

Foes tremble when he offers to duel them in case.

No Atlantian dainty,

(Tho’ he’s dressed well, ain’t he?),

His blades dancing at a furious pace.


  1. All these wear the gold scarf of rapier Provost.

Of their skill and honor, all Atlantians may boast.

So I say charge your glass,

Let this moment not pass,

And to them let us all drink a toast.


  1. At their Majesties’ behest, an elevation ensued.

An honor (but I think the fellow’s been screwed).

And on the morrow, at dawn,

He’ll take all comers on.

Lord Duncan McGregor, newest of our Provost brood.