To the OP: Unfortunately, in MM 1 there is no way to identify weapons, you simply have to try out different weapons and see what is stronger, or look it up online or in the cluebook. It does feel sort of like cheating, but I don't think it's that big of a deal, because you can identify items in the later MM games. But yeah, in MM 1, there is no way to see how much damage a weapon does other than using it.
And to try to answer abulouise, you can slow down combat messages in MM 1 using the "Delay" setting. Also if that doesn't work, on modern computers the game might run too fast even with delay, but there is a patch here on the forum that can fix that.