This is part of an ongoing project to summarize and provide SCA focused commentary on The Schoole of the Noble and Worthy Science of Defence by Joseph Swetnam, published in 1617.
For links to the other sections of the Swetnam Project please go here.
I am using this facsimile: http://tysonwright.com/sword/SwetnamSchooleOfDefence.pdf for the project.
This chapter lays out all the ways that a coward avoids a true show of his skill.
Chap. X. The trickes of a Coward.
The first way to know a coward is that he will carry a lot of weapons. Swetnam is quick to point out that he doesn’t call all men who go about heavily armed cowards, but he says that if you pay attention you can tell which is which.
When a coward is challenged he will mention several places for the combat, but then will pick the location when only the challenger and he knows where it is. He will then go to a different spot which he had mentioned previously and brag to everyone that he was there to fight the challenger but they didn’t show up, because the challenger is at the actual location.