“Amongst all weapons the rapier alone has its inner meaning, its arcana, its mysteries.
See how it interprets man’s ideas and obeys every turn of his thoughts! At once the blade that threatens and the shield that guards, it is now agile, supple, and intelligent; then slow, sturdy, and persevering; here light and airy, prudent and supple; there, blind and unreflecting, angry and vindictive; I am almost tempted to call it, after sailor fashion, “she.”…
Our great-grandfathers wore swords by their sides, and all gentlemen learned to use them. Presently the pistol came into fashion — an ugly exchange of dull lead for polished steel…”
Thus quoth El-Hajj Sir Richard Francis Burton, Soldier, Sufi, Swordsman, and England’s last true Man