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p. 181


"No more the thirsty entrance of this soil
Shall daub her lips with her own children's blood.
No more shall trenching war channel her fields
Nor bruise her flowerets with the armed hoofs
Of hostile paces: those opposed eyes,
Which, like the meteors of a troubled heaven,
All of one nature, of one substance bred,
Did lately meet in the intestine shock
And furious close of civil butchery,
Shall now, in mutual well-beseeming ranks,
March all one way: and be no more opposed
Against acquaintance, kindred and allies:
The edge of war, like an ill-sheathed knife,
No more shall cut his master."

p. 182


{notes|elucidations and analyses}

   Kao Yu's explanation of the title Ping Lueh (###) is: Military functions are for defence against incipient anarchy (nip it in the bud), consonant with the Chinese saying ### 'take it before it comes on.' To do this well lies in tactics.

   In ancient times the military was employed neither for the enlargement of territory, nor for lust of gain, but
Military defensive in purpose.
rather its use arose from the wish, either to preserve decaying houses, to continue the succession of some dynasty, or the pacification of rebellious people and the elimination of the perils that afflicted the people.

   All creatures of flesh and blood are endowed with teeth, horns, claws, or heels. Those with horns butt;
Animals endowed with arms.
those with teeth bite; those with venom poison; and those with heels kick. They like to play and gambol when pleased, and to hurt when angry. This is nature.

   The appetites of man demand food and clothes: and since there are not enough for them all, they congregate in
Social struggles.
communities, in various clans, high and low, in different places. When goods are unequally distributed, contending communities struggle for possession; and it follows that the strong oppress the weak, and the bold terrorize the timid.

   Since man is without the strong muscle and bone of the animals, and lacks the advantages of tooth and claw, p. 183
Sage works for social justice.
he therefore cuts hide for armour and makes swords of iron. And it comes to pass that the greedy and gluttonous rob and despoil others, disturbing the tranquillity of the world. Anon, the wise man, grieved, appears to quell the rapacity of the unruly, to bring peace to disturbed peoples and to define the path of duty. He extirpates the dangerous and exterminates the foul, thus making the turbid clear and the perilous places safe. In this way a peaceful settlement is obtained.

   The origin and sources of militarism are to be found in the distant past. Huang Ti, once upon a time, warred
Soldiers were for defence.
against Yen Ti, in the deserts of Cho Lu. Chuen Hsü made war on Kung Kung. Yao fought against the unrighteous king on the banks of the Tan river. Yao punished the Three Aborigines.1 Ch‛i fought Yu Hu. From the era of the Five Emperors, the land has not been free from the clash of arms, especially in times of decay and degeneration.

   Now the reason for the existence of soldiers arose from the necessity of preventing lawlessness and the
To quell the lawless.
quelling of anarchy. Because Yen Ti was a fire-pest, he was captured by Huang Ti. And Kung Kung was slain by Chuan Hsü, because he was corrupt as the guardian against floods. These culprits had the knowledge of truth and the guidance of morals; but since they refused to be led by such, they were disciplined by the majesty of power. Unsubmissive to the power of majesty, they were coerced by military force. These were the principles on which the Sage Kings acted in the employment of soldiers. The method may be compared to the combing of the hair, and the hoeing of the ground. The elimination was that of weeds only. The hurt from this was little; the advantage was great.

   No crimes are greater than the killing of the innocent, and the feeding of a lot of unprincipled rulers. There can be no calamity greater than the grabbing of territory, done p. 184
When bad men held military power.
in order to satisfy the lust of an ambitious individual. Take the case of Chieh of Hsia and that of Chou of Yin. If they had been taken in hand immediately, when the people began to suffer, it would have never come about that a person would be roasted on hot irons, as happened after the iniquitous reign had gone on for long. Again if Li of Tsin and Kang of Sung, who lost their lives and ruined their countries by unprincipled acts, had been arrested early in their evil course, it could never have come
Execution of kings justified.
about that they robbed in their aggression and in their violence as they did. Anarchy of the realm causes general suffering to the people. One man, by pandering to his vicious desires, fills the land with woe. Such outrages are intolerable to the law of Heaven.

   The restraint of violence and the punishment of anarchy are the prime reasons for the establishment of
Kings set up for order.
kings. But it has come about that kings take up advantage of the might of the myriad people and turn it to an instrument for burdening others, and use it as an occasion for rapine and slaughter. They play the tiger and the panther. Is it not justifiable, then, to exterminate such monsters? If you want to breed
Tyrants to be exterminated.
fish in a lake, you must first destroy the otters. If you wish to breed animals, you must first destroy the wolves. How much more is such a course necessary in the case of shepherding the people!

   Hence the militarism of the autocrat and king was a matter of anxious consideration by conference, of arrangement by plans, and of support by justice. The object was not to overthrow the existing but to keep waning powers alive. Therefore, when it was heard that the prince of an enemy country was adding oppression to oppression on his people, troops were put in motion and came to the confines of his country. He was reprimanded for his injustice, p. 185
Just to discipline unruly princes.
and rebuked for his errors. When the army reached his kingdom, the commandant issued general orders to his troops forbidding the felling of trees, the injuring of graves, the burning of crops, the destruction of property, the enslavement of the people, the robbing of animals. An announcement was also made to the people saying that the prince of their country was arrogant towards Heaven, a reviler of the spirits, his judgments were unjust and he killed the innocent. For these crimes he was doomed by Heaven and hated by the people. The army had come to oust the unrighteous prince and put a righteous one in his place. Whoever trespasses against the law of Heaven is the leader of traitors to the people. He himself must die and his clan be exterminated. A family giving ear to the proclamation would have a family's reward; a hamlet would have a hamlet's; a village a village's; a district a district's.

   The country that surrenders will have its freedom. In a word, the punishment of the kingdom shall not fall
Banish a bad prince but treat his people kindly.
on the people. With the punishment of the king, and a change of government, the gentry shall be honoured, the worthy employed, the orphans and widows shall be cared for, and kindness shown to the poor and needy. Further, innocent prisoners shall be released and the meritorious shall be rewarded. Such justice and clemency will ensure the allegiance of the people, who will open their doors to the invading army and await its coming. Tribute will be willingly given in grain and goods. The people's only fear will be lest it should not come. Such were the principles by which Tang and Wu won the kingship, and the method by which Duke Huan2 of Ch‛i became the leader of the hegemony and autocrats.

   We thus clearly see that when a king is without the Tao, his subjects look on the invading soldiers even as the parched land looks for rain and the thirsty long for water. When just soldiers, therefore, come, there would be no war.

p. 186

   The soldiers of later times, in every case, even when the king is without the Tao, dig moats and trenches; they
Altruistic idea lost.
hold the bastions and guard the city. The invading army comes to the attack with an aim of conquest and aggrandisement, and not for the purpose of curbing the wrongdoer and cleaning the land from iniquity. Thus it is we have come to have slain men in war, and streams of blood in the daily and continuous sanguingary conflicts. The merits of the autocrats and kings no longer appear in the world, for the reason that it is all for self now.

   When the cause of war arises from the lust of territory, it would be vain to hope for true kingship. He who fights
In just war the goodwill of the people essential.
for his own self, ends by finding no accruing merit. When, on the contrary, a case arises which involves the interests of the people all will help: but an aggressor for personal ends will always be left to his fate. He who has the goodwill of the people, will be strong in spite of small resources. The powerful monarch, on the other hand, who has lost the goodwill of the people, is certain to perish. If an army has lost the Tao it is weak; if it possesses the Tao, it is strong. If the commandant loses the Tao, he will be powerless, but if he has the Tao, he will be proficient. If a country is imbued with the Tao, it will abide: if it loses the Tao, it will perish.

   What is meant by the Tao? To embody the Round and3 imitate the Square.4 It carries the Yin and embraces the Yang: Its left is soft, its right hard. Its base is dark, its crown is light. Its transformations are irregular (inconstant). It possesses the root of the Unity in order to satisfy the whole creation.5 This is Enlightenment!6 By "Round" is meant Heaven, and by "Square," Earth. There is no beginning point in the rotundity of Heaven; there is no boundary to the squareness of Earth, hence it is not possible to peer in through its doors. Heaven revolves, bringing fecundity at every turn; yet it has no p. 187 shape or form. Earth begets and nourishes boundlessly. Profound and exuberant! Who can sound the depths of their resources? Every created thing has some beginning. It is the Tao alone that has no beginning. The reason of its having no beginning is that it has no constant and rigid form. It revolves, but is inexhaustible, like the Sun and Moon in their convolutions, like the Spring and Autumn in their sequences, like Day and Night. When one ends, the other begins. Light is followed by dark. It is impossible to take count of their records. The Tao creates form, but is without form itself; and for this reason its work is achieved. It creates matter, but is not matter: hence it is victorious and is not subjugated. Destruction
No war best.
is, at best, the soldier's aim. There is yet a better aim still, viz., not to have destruction,—to have no war. Therefore the superior soldier is not harmful, being in line with the Divine afflatus. The tools of war are not sharpened, yet no enemy dare attack. The great drum is not brought out from the armoury7 and there is not one of the feudal lords but trembles and shows the white feather. They stand in awe and dare not lift their heads towards the place. Hence he who fights without going from the temple is the Emperor. He whose virtue is felt where he goes, is the King. "Warring in the temple" implies the imitation of the way of Heaven. He whose transforming virtue is felt, imitates the duties of the four seasons. The practice of a perfect government within the kingdom leads outside people to long for such virtue.
The perfect rule is the way of Heaven.
Victory won without drawing the sword, resulting in the obedience of the Feudatories to their Lord, implies the art of perfect rule. Hence he who has won the true art of governing is in repose and imitates the way of Heaven: in action, he follows the way of the Sun and Moon. His anger and gentleness are consonant with the four seasons: his calls are like peals of thunder; his voice and spirit are not forced, but harmonious: the eight tones p. 188 of harmony never fail to respond correctly. Everything is in harmony. There is no disobedience to the five elements. Below are scaly creatures, and above the feathered tribes:
Perfect order in nature.
every twig and leaf throughout creation is arranged, from root to branch, in the most perfect order. Therefore the creative energy enters the smallest crevice without force, and fills the largest spaces with ease: it baptizes the metals and stones with lustre, and all grasses and trees glisten with its sheen. Even the very tiniest hair is arranged and the six quarters of the world are stretched by it. There is nothing discordant. The baptism and the enduements of the Tao penetrate all, even the tiniest pore. Its triumphant powers are many.

   If there is any miscalculation in archery, the target will never be hit. If there is any sinew or joint which the Ch‛i horse does not put into full use, it will never do a thousand li in the day. Likewise failure to obtain victory,
The Tao state need never war.
does not happen from any error on the day the drum is sounded, but from faults of long standing. The preparatory days have been wanting in discipline. Therefore, the soldiers that are imbued with the Tao,8 need never send the war chariot forth; the edge of the sword never need reek with blood; the horse need not be saddled, nor need the drum have the dust fall from it when struck, nor the flag be unfurled: the arrows need not leave the quiver; the seat of government need not be shifted about; the tradesman does not need to leave his shop nor the ploughman his field.
Unity of purpose gives unity of aid.
Why? Because when justice is advertised to the many and the delinquent is reprimanded for his faults, the powerful state will pay attention, and the small principality will bow the head, in obedience to the wish of the people, who desire peace. The reprimand is made and takes advantage of the strength of the people. For it is to their own interests, to eliminate wrongs and expel wrongdoers. Identity of p. 189 interests brings mutual co-operation: identity of feeling brings unity of action and mutual achievement. When there is identity of desire, mutual help follows, and when action is carried on in the spirit of the Tao, the whole empire is responsive. When the anxieties of the people are considered, the whole empire will join in a conflict. The hunter, following the chase, gets every ounce of strength out of carriage and horse and man: this mutual help comes not from the fear of punishment but from mutual interest. The roads are packed with those eager to help. When fellow-passengers on a boat, crossing the Yangtse meet with a strong wind and rolling billows, then every son of them, though perfect strangers, joins in helping to keep the boat from foundering. Their anxiety is common, and so they all equally strive to save the ship. No mutual exhortation is needed.

   Likewise, the enlightened king in the use of soldiers acts in the interests of the community and for the
A disinterested king wins.
elimination of the evil in the land. All participate in the benefit. The people in the service of country are like sons working for the father. The majesty of action is overwhelming, like a falling mountain or the rushing torrent from a crumbling dam. No enemy can withstand the onset. Hence the wise employment of troops consists in their service being for all, themselves included. The man who is not able to use them is he who is working for his own personal ends. When used for public ends, there is nothing they cannot do; when used selfishly, it is but little that can be accomplished.

   In military governing there are three important points to note. (a) The highest method of its functions is this,
Conditions of success unity and loyalty.
to regulate and govern the country, to administer justice, to actuate moral ideas, to establish correct laws, to shut up all avenues of evil, to keep the community and ministers friendly and the people acting in concert; p. 190 high and low, all of one mind. King and minister must co-operate in their energies, the Feudal Lords respect such majestic force, and all parts of the empire must cherish splendid virtue. When such conduct as the above is cultivated in the Temple,9 even the distant parts will bend and point to such high examples, and the whole empire will be responsive. (b) The next step in excellence is this.
discipline, efficiency.
When the territory is wide, the people numerous, the prince virtuous, the generals loyal, the country rich and the soldiers strong; when contracts are faithfully kept, and the military is disciplined, then when the bell tolls and the drum calls to war, the army of the enemy will flee before battle is joined. (c) The lower method is this. To know the lie of the land, to be versed in the points of danger and vantage, to anticipate unexpected situations and be conversant with all methods
strategy and courage.
of deployment, to have the drum attached to the arm ready for instant action; then with naked swords and flying arrows to come out of the sanguinary battle victorious, trampling the bloody field strewn with corpses for a thousand li, and with the chariots moving about laden with the dead and wounded, thus winning a decisive battle. This is the baser use of militarism.

   To-day the empire knows only the application of rules in a superficial way. There is no application of
Aids to victory.
fundamental principles. The root is abandoned and the branch alone is cultivated. The points wherein the military may be of assistance in victory are many; but the essential points in securing victory are few. The armour may be strong, the tools sharp, the chariots firm, the horses excellent, the commissariat full, the soldiers abundant and chariots many; these things are the army's capital. But the essentials of victory do not lie in these.

   To be learned in the movements of the heavenly bodies and in the art of divining the psychology of the soldier p. 191
The Tao of the General.
and his destiny; to be versed in strategy;—these are all aids to warfare: but they are not all. The general's essential of victory lies in intuitive genius, the endowment of intelligence which is inborn: his essential is in the Tao that cannot be expressed. It is this which differentiates him from the multitude.

   Now the utmost care is required in the selection of good officers and the elimination of the bad. The different
The choice of officers.
duties may be apportioned as follows: Times for movement and rest of troops; the division of soldiers; the arrangements of companies and battalions, fitting each and all into the right places; the preparation for the call of the drum and the unfurling of
Right man in right place.
the flags; these are the duties of the Yü officers. The knowledge of dangerous and advantageous positions; a survey of the enemy's position and knowledge of his soldiers and finding out his situation, is the work of the Scout Master. To find out the conditions of the road for quick marching and spots where are convenient wells for cooking, are the duties of the Ssû Kung officers.10 The care of the commissariat so that nothing is abandoned in moving camp; the supervision of conveyances so that there shall be enough without any
Fitness in service.
waste; the digging of trenches is the work of the transport officers. And the relation of these five heads to the General may be compared to the relation of the arm, hand and leg to the body. Thus there must be a selection of different abilities to ensure the efficient doing of the work. There must be instruction in administrative duties; all must be informed by command: and their service must be similar to the tiger and the leopard in the use they make of their teeth and claws, or the birds in the use of the principal feathers of the wings. Nothing and no one shall be without its place and
Worth in Command.
use. Nevertheless these are only the assisting instruments of the General towards victory, and not the vital instrument by which it shall p. 192 be won. Victory and defeat of the army ultimately lie with the High Authorities. When they are worthy, the people below will be obedient to those above; and the army will be strong. When the people are more worthy than their rulers, there will be a cleavage and an estrangement between them. In that case, the army will be weak.

   When virtue and justice are enough to influence the whole people of the empire; when means are sufficient to
Essential point of victory.
meet all the urgent matters of the empire; when selection of officers is broad enough to win the approbation of the good; when measures and plans are made with enough care to know the conditions of strength and weakness—these measures form the essential points of victory.

   Broad territories and many people are not enough to make a country strong, nor are a virile soldiery and sharp implements enough to ensure victory. High walls and deep moats are not enough to supply firm stability.
Power lies in good rule.
Stringent commands and multitudinous punishments are not sufficient to inspire awe. Given an existing government with good rule, and a country, though small, will abide; but a rotting government will perish, however big the country may be.

   The ancient kingdom of Ts‛u embraced the waters of Yuan and Hsiang, on the South, and on the North it was
bounded by the waters of Ying and Ssû. On the West, it included the territories of Shu Tung. On the East, there was Kuo T‛an Huai, with the waters of Yin and Ju serving as fosses. The Yangtse Chiang and the Han River were its ramparts and the Teng forests its battlements. High mountains that sought the clouds and fathomless abysses were its frontiers. The position of its territories was most advantageous. Its people were courageous. They had rhinoceros-hides for armour and caps made of tapir skins. Their spears were long and their claymores were short. The army vanguard was complete and its rearguard was thick with the cross-bow. p. 193 Strong war-chariots guarded its flanks.

   Speedy as the flying arrow were they. When travelling together, they sounded like roaring thunder; they were like wind and rain when going in loose formation. Nevertheless, these formidable troops were annihilated at Tsui Hsia and their power wrecked at Pei Chu. The powerful Ts‛u, great of territory, numerous of people, possessed half the empire; nevertheless its king, Huai Wang feared Meng Chang Chun of the North. He had to leave his lares and penates and become the slave of the mightier Ts‛in. His soldiers were captured, his lands were appropriated, and he died in servitude and never returned home.

   Hu Hai,11 Ch‛in Shih Huang, the second, held the imperial power of the world. His kingdom was most wealthy. Where the foot of man went, no spot on which oars plied the boats but was embraced within his rule. In the pursuit of his extravagancies and his lusts of eye and ear he exhausted every art. He never heeded the hunger, poverty and cold of the people. He built myriad chariots and the famous palace of Ao Fang.12 He conscripted the youths of the villages, sending them to disant parts as indentured soldiers. He exacted taxes, amounting to more than half the nation's wealth. He drafted people from afar into his service and punished mercilessly any delinquents. Countless numbers were dying without food and clothes. How many myriads died daily I do not know. Discontent prevailed throughout the land. The people had no peace; they were giddy with heat and bent with hard labour. There was no mutual help between officials and the common people. Mutual suspicion filled every breast. A rustic, named Ch‛en Sheng,13 in Ta Tze, appeared in rebellion, with bared shoulders, proclaiming that he was establishing the Great Ts‛u. He called, and the whole nation responded to his call. He had no well-furnished armoury nor trained soldiers with strong cross-bows and sharp swords. But they made lances of brier and date trees, fixing into them sharpened iron points. These, alone, were p. 194 their weapons. With only such arms they met an army furnished with lances and cross-bows. They attacked fortified cities and occupied territories. Everything fell before them. The people of the whole empire were seething with discontent like writhing worms. So the rebel army swept all before it. The old order passed away like a fleeting cloud or a rolling mist. This man, of humble origin and with such extemporized arms, turned out in the rough, won the whole land to his cause, which responded to his call, because the hearts of the people were full of anger and resentment.

   Another example:—When King Wu undertook the chastisement of Chou,14 he met with discouraging omens in his enterprise, such as great rains, when he came to Fan: the head of the Kung mountain collapsed into the river when he came near. A comet appeared, with its tail pointing to the east, which seemed to be an omen favourable to Yin (Chow) and indicating that Wu would be routed. During the war, the elements were boisterous for the space of ten days, and in the middle of the march, the army was embarrassed by storms of wind and rain. Nevertheless, those who pressed on, though not encouraged by rewards, nor laggards urged by the threat of punishment, succeeded, with but little serious fighting, in winning a victory that wrested the empire from the hands of Chou. Therefore, we learn that he who governs well need never fear an enemy: and he who wars well, on high moral principles, will have no battles to wage. He who is clear on the doctrine of prohibitions and permissions,15 on what to open and on what to close taking the right opportunity and following the popular wish, wins that day. Therefore, he who would govern well, accumulates virtue. He is a good general who arouses the spirit of his soldiers. The people will serve loyally if there is a fund of virtue in the leader, and the exercise of authority will enhance the power of awe. Therefore, where the accretion of spirit is slight, the strength for victory will be small. Where there is a large flow of benevolent virtue p. 195 towards people there will be a wide influence of awe. Where awe prevails there will be strength in the one and weakness in the other. It follows, then, that a wise general will first use such methods as exist for weakening the enemy, and only subsequently should he engage in battle. In which case with less than half the expenditure of power applied, results will be doubled.

   The territory of Tang was only 70 li in extent. It became a kingdom through the cultivation of virtue. Chih Pei had a 1000 li of land, yet he perished, enfeebled by militarism. So the kingdom of a thousand chariots expanded through the cultivation of virtue: the kingdom of ten thousand chariots became extinct through too much inclination to use military operations. Hence conquering troops must first gain the victory through well thought out plans, and battle may then be undertaken. Undisciplined troops go headlong into war and expect victory simply by an engagement of arms.

   Given equality of virtue16 in the contending parties, the victory will lie with the party with most soldiers. Armament
Equality in virtue.
being equal, the clever will overcome the stupid: and the man of plans will beat the man without them. He who would employ troops must beforehand win his battles in the Sacred Fane.17 It is from here that victory is got. Here it is the King weighs whether he or his enemy is the worthier, and which side has the abler General; whose people is the more loyal to his sovereign: which of the two has the better rule; which has husbanded the greater resources; whose officers are the more efficient; whose implements are the sharper and the best prepared. Hence victory in decided by the weighing of plans and policy in the Palace of State. When this is the case, victory is certain, though the field of battle be a thousand li away.

   Visible strongholds are seen of all: there are military works which are handed on and studied from one age to another. All such are the visible means of getting a victory. p. 196 But he who is apt in these visible things does not stake his all on them. What he esteems still more is the tao. He esteems this because of its formlessness. Being without material form it cannot be imposed upon, it cannot be fathomed.18 Skill may be met by skill; the form visible can be met with opposition; the appearance of the whole army may be concealed with ambush; the appearance of arms will be met by preparation in arms. Movements,
The Tao mind.
envelopments, feints, withdrawals, can be cunningly met by similar action. None of these are good. The movements of the Tao-inspired are like a spirit's emergence and a demon's action, unexpected and sudden, like the sudden shining of the stars and their sinking into darkness again; like the rising of the fabulous bird Luan, and the excitation of the Lin, like the flight of the phoenix or the ascension of the dragon. Skilful movement is like the autumn wind, swift like the electric fish. Similarly the capable commander attacks the leisurely manner of his opponent with vigorous activity. With abounding vitality he smothers the crumbling ineptitude of the other; with swiftness he stifles the slowness of the other: with affluence he controls the hunger of his enemy. These are the conquering factors. The effect is like water extinguishing fire; like heat liquefying snow. Thus whatever is done, succeeds; success follows every action.

   All pervasive through the regions of the mind, the spirit speeds to the boundless without. The will, active in the invisible world, will issue forth in most unexpected ways: with power it goes, with suddenness it comes. There is no divining its movements. It emerges clear and hits the object truly. The objective of the spirit is known to no mortal. It is swift as the lightning and rapid as the wind and the rain. It seems as though it sprang from earth or fell from heaven. Alone it issues, alone it enters: nothing can withstand it. It is like the shuttle and the bronze-pointed arrow. There is none to compare with it! Now light, now dark! Who can know its beginning? p. 197 Who can divine its end? Before it is seen, it has already accomplished its purpose.

   Therefore, he who is a wise leader, when he sees the weak spot of his enemy, presses on him without rest:
Swift energy of the wise leader.
he pursues him without giving him breathing space: he hangs on to him and does not let him go for a moment. He attacks the enemy when he is unprepared and falls on him when he least expects it, quick as is the thunder, which allows no time to stop the ears; swift as the lightning which gives no time to shield the eyes. The wise leader of troops is swift as an echo which follows the sound, or as the drum responding to the tattoo. Dazed, there is no time to rub the eyes, nor space to draw in the breath after a cry! So when the onset starts, the enemy beholds the thick host upon him; he has no time to look up to heaven or down to earth. Hands fail to grasp the lance; the soldier can't even draw out his sword. Thus, swift as lightning or the sweep of a hot wind, or as the flame of the fire, or the plunge of a wave, he leaps upon the enemy, who thus suddenly paralysed, has no way of defending himself, if he stands still, nor does he know what action to take, if he moves. So with the tattooing of the drum and the waving of the flag, every obstacle will be swept away. Nothing under heaven can withstand the awe-inspiring force; no one will dare to contest and stand against such might! The attacking power will always overcome the defensive force. He who has pondered in mind the problems before him, will always conquer the man who has not thought out his plans.

   The cool soldier is strong. In unity there is strength and concentrated fierceness: Fearlessness of death and
Unity of will.
fixity of purpose makes the hero. Hesitation results in defeat, and divided strength leads to weakness. Hence, he who can sow the seeds of disintegration in the soldiers of another man and throw hesitation into the enemy's ranks, will make it possible for the few to overthrow the many. Where this is impossible, p. 198 double the number of soldiers would not he enough to do the work. Thus the soldiers of Chou had a hundred myriad minds: the three thousand soldiers of Wu Wang were of one mind. So a thousand soldiers who are of one mind give a thousand men's strength. But ten thousand soldiers, each of different mind, will not have the power of one man.

   When general and soldier, officers and people move as one body, the enemy can be met and engaged in battle.
Confidence and Preparedness.
Therefore, when plans are fixed and issued, when operations are put in motion without divided authority, when the General has no doubts on the plans fixed upon and the soldiers are of one mind, when movements are without procrastination and waste; when there are no contrary orders and no empirical attempts, the enemy will be met with vigour, and the operations will be intense. So the General looks on the people as the body, and the people regard the General as the heart. Given a sincere heart, the bodily members will rush on naked steel: but when the heart hesitates as though in doubt, the bodily members will be confused and timid. When the heart is divided with contrarieties, the bodily members will fail to act together. Where there is a lack of perfect sincerity in the general, the soldiers will be wanting in valour.

   We may say thus, that a good general's soldiers are as the teeth of the tiger, the horns of the rhinoceros, the feathers of a bird, the legs of the centipede. They can walk, they can toss, they can bite and they can butt. Though strong, the enemy will not succeed, though numerous, it will cause but little injury. The result of unity of heart is mighty! Where the soldiers sincerely follow the command, they will have no fear, though few. On the contrary, when they do not follow, sincerely, the supreme command, they are weak in power, though they be a host in number. And so when the masses below have no regard for the powers above, they put no heart into their service. When the soldier has no fear of the general it will be seen in the p. 199 demeanour of slackness in battle. There must be the essential of firmness in defence, and the essential of victory in attack. Without even awaiting a close engagement, the occasion of success and failure may verily be learnt from the outward demeanour and conduct of the army.

   An army has three Influences and two Adjustments (ch‛uan). There is the Influence of Morale, the Influence of Position, and the Influence of (yin.) Opportunity. When
Three Influences.
the general is full of courage and despises the enemy, the soldiers go to battle then really with courage and joy. As the captain of a mighty host, whose will is as buoyant as the floating cloud, whose spirit is as resilient as the wafted breeze, whose cry is like the thunder reverberating, whose accumulated stores of sincerity towards his men, he will fall on the enemy as an avalanche, with majestic awe. This may be said to be the Influence of Morale.

   An exiguous pass, a ferry pontoon, a great mountain, a serpentine defile, a cul-de-sac, a dangerous pitfall, a narrow ravine, full of winding ways like the intestines of a sheep, a hole like a fisher's net, which admits, but from which there is no exit, are situations in which one man can hold back a thousand. They may be called the Influence of Position. The Influence of Opportunity is the tiredness, the disorder, the hunger and thirst, the coldness, the uncertainty of the time of attack, unwatchfulness in the time of tent-pegging, or the striking of the camp, of the enemy.

   Skilful in the use of bluffing and spying, in finding out the mistakes and in calculating the troubles of the enemy
Two Adjustments.
and in preparing ambushes and camouflage; concealing one's own movements and falling on the enemy unawares, so that his soldiers have no means to prepare against the irruption—all such
methods belong to Influence of Power, the adjustment of knowledge.

   Correct arrangement of the line of battle; placing picked soldiers in front: arranging orderly advance and p. 200 retreat: disposing of the attacking platoons so that the front and rear do not tread on each other, or the right and left mutually clash, thus ensuring few casualties, yet inflicting many on the enemy: such may be called Tactics.
Adjustment of tactic power and influence must have expression. In this way. Officers and soldiers must be allotted, each to his own department. The selection of the able, the employment of talent, fixing schemes and perfecting plans, getting the right men for officials, the timely advance and dismissal of men, carefully thinking out gains and losses,—these measures will enhance
the spirit of awe. Given these conditions, vigorous attack must be made without waiting for the armoured chariots and scaling ladders. And thus the city is taken. To break the enemy even without actual battle at close quarters, depends on the essentials of victory having been thought out and matured beforehand. War, therefore, must not be thoughtlessly entered into without the assurance of certain victory. When victory
Battle joined must be with power.
is certain, then the battle may be joined. After the army is put in motion. The soldiers are massed in order and not scattered about. The army must never go forth and return without good results. If it does not move, well! But if it does advance, it must do go in a stupendous way. It must astonish heaven and shake the earth: it must sustain Taishan19 and startle the whole world: even the demons must shuffle out of the way: birds and beasts must be petrified with fear. Thus, stupendously powerful, there will be no battlefield; for the enemy will not come near. The cities of the kingdom will need no guards to hold them. Impetuosity will be controlled by fundamental repose. Disorder will be held in check by order. By imperturbability of mind the commander calms turbulence, and by orderly government, he controls disorder.

   The invisible governs all the visible, and Wu wei, p. 201
Wu wei secret of success.
Tao action, meets every change. Though victory may not be got over the enemy, yet, there is no way by which the enemy can possibly conquer.

   If the enemy makes the first move, his intentions may be seen. He being in commotion, and I at rest with the fundamental, has his strength worn out. When his movements are seen, the possibility of victory may be controlled. When his strength is on the wane, then will be my chance to show power. Seeing his movements, I may adapt my plans according to all his changes. Watching the enemy's weak and strong points, gives me the control of his life. I offer him the baits which he desires, until he is satiated with them, and so, when I see any weak spot for an opening, I rush in to seize the advantage. When his strategy has come to an end, then I grip him: and when his various schemes are exhausted, then the opportunity to overthrow him has arrived.

   On the other hand, if the enemy should also resort to non-activity, he must be met by some exceptional strategy: if he will not come to an open engagement, then will be the time to perfect plans and wait for him to engage. If the enemy manoeuvres, in open response to his opponents movement, which being seen, there may be mutual attempts to circumvent the rear of each other. When he expects "me" to follow in pursuit of his feint of deployment, he will naturally concentrate his best soldiers in one spot; with the result that his army will be thinned in other parts: when the seasoned soldiers wheel to the left, his right wing (west) will be endangered. When his troops get separated, then will be the time to give pursuit. When the enemy is very near and yet shows no sign of moving to the attack, and he is in a state of lethargy, then is the time to attack him with a rush like thunder and mow down his troops like grass and trees. It will be easy work: flash on him like lightning: accelerate speed with speed. The enemy will have no time to wheel round: his chariots p. 202 will be paralyzed. His troops will be stock-still like trees: his bows will be stiff like rams' horns: his troops, though multitudinous, will not dare to face "mine" in battle. Whoever has a full perspective of conditions will gain the victory. All outward and concrete actions can be countered and met. Therefore, the wise man conceals the outward expression of purpose within the wu, the invisible, the mind. The mind roams in the region of the immaterial. Winds and rain can be closed against, but cold and heat cannot be shut out because they have no form. Now those things that can penetrate through the minutest pores, (like water through the pores of blotting-paper) and infiltrate metal and stone and reach to the utmost distances, and place themselves above the ninth heaven, or wreathe themselves underground21 can only do so by wu hsing, the formless.

   A general, able in handling soldiers, should attack the enemy in disorder, but not attack him when he is in good order. No surprise attack can be made on a redoubtable army nor an assault carried out against flags that stand upright and float proudly.

   When the outlook regarding the enemy is not clear, then is the time to consider the star of destiny22a in
Look to the star of destiny.
preparing to meet him. When he seems to be inert, then is the occasion to overwhelm him. When the enemy seems to be in good luck, then it is not the time to make a move. If the tiger and the leopard would keep quiet they would not fall into the pitfall. When the tailed deer and the stag keep still, they will not get entangled in the snare. When birds keep
Caution in moving.
quiet, they will not be caught in the fowlers net. When fish and lobster keep still, they will not be trapped by hook and gin. Creatures have never been put in subjection except through movement. Hence the sages value tranquility. Tranquility, then, can meet turbulence: and the soldiers who move last can stand against the soldiers who move first. The diligent will beat the slack: the complete plan will beat the imperfect plan. p. 203 Therefore a capable commander should have his soldiers animated by the same spirit, and by concentration increase their strength. The brave must not advance alone, nor the apprehensive retreat without support. When the soldiers halt, it must be as one, and they must show the firmness of the Ch‛iu22 mountain. They must deploy like the wind and rain, simultaneously and vigorously. With such a front no enemy can stand against them. There is nothing that will not be broken up by them. On the march and in halting the action must be as of one man. This attitude is invincible. Many of the enemy may be wounded, and yet there need not be much hand to hand fighting. To flick with the fingers is not so deadly as a blow with the fist.

   If a myriad soldiers went out to fight one by one the result would be feebler than if they went out in squads of
Cooperation essential.
hundreds. Tigers and leopards are nimble of body: different kinds of bears are of great strengh: nevertheless, people eat the flesh of these and spread their skins on their beds. And the reason is that these beasts of nimble foot and ferocious strength are not able to use understanding to unify their strength.
As a rule the few cannot match the many.
The strength of water overcomes fire. The Chung-hua pavilion was on fire, and a ladle of a pint capacity was used to try and quench the raging flames. But though all the water in the well and the lake were ladled out, the effort would be all in vain. If a large kettle and cauldron-size vessels were used, the fire could be soon extinguished.

   But man vis-à-vis man bears not the mutual relation that fire does to water. A few men cannot overcome the many. This is evident. The military, it is true, are fond of saying the few can match the may. But this saying is for the home consumption of the military. It is not true in fact. It is not true in the stern test of war. There are times when the army is big, but of little use: because it is not animated by unity of spirit. There are times when the soldiers are few, but their utilities many and p. 204 great, which comes from its unity. Nevertheless, were all men on both sides to bring out and exert the utmost ability of each, and use all their strength, it has never been known that the few could conquer the many.

   Of all spirits Heaven is the most honoured: in strategy nothing is superior to a good vantage ground: in movement of troops there is nothing so urgent as times and seasons. In the use of soldiers, there is nothing more trenchant that the getting of the right men. These four points are the pillars and the cardinal principles of military action. Nevertheless, the Tao must be waited for before any action is taken and movement begun.

   Now, superior vantage ground is of more importance than times and seasons. And a skilful plan is even better than superior vantage ground. Power conquers man. Therefore, he who depends on times may be misled by appearances: who depends on vantage ground will be too tied down: he who depends on seasons will be coerced: he who depends on men will be duped. And courage, benevolence, faith, economy are all the good qualities and talents of men. Nevertheless, the courageous may be led into error, the benevolent may be gulled, the man of faith is easily deceived, the economical man may be easily hoodwinked. Now if a commander of hosts has all these virtues but should he show any one of them, men will take him in their schemes. From this we may gather that the soldier must rely on the tao law23 to control victory, and not on human talents. This is naturally evident. Therefore, the long tailed deer may be caught in the land net: the fish and lobster will be caught in the sea net: the swan and the heron may be shot at by the bow: since all these are visible objects.24 What can't be got at are the invisible things: there is no way of dealing with these. Hence the sage secretes himself in the 'no source'25 (even before the pullulating of visibility): so his will and mind cannot be known. His movements are in the incorporeal, so his paths are not fathomed and made use of. Without rules p. 205 and models, when things come, they are fittingly met. Without names, without definitions, changes bring about visible things. Oh how deep! Oh how profound! Whether it be Winter, Summer, Spring or Autumn, always and ever, the Tao is higher than the highest Heaven, deeper than the deepest depths. The fluxes and movements proceed unobstructed without stop. The Tao establishes the life of man in the spaces of the profound, and buries his will in the deepest depths. The most clear-sighted cannot penetrate into his nature. The secret pondering of plans in military things is a matter of the Tao: charts and maps are of the earthly orders, and instructions pertain to the human side. Hence, assured victory depends on the stamp of power. So the commanders of superior quality, in their use of soldiers, use the highest gift of all which is the way of Heaven. Then they find the vantage grounds of earth and for the medium they get the hearts of men. These are put in action with skill and displayed with power: then the army will not be broken nor the soldiers defeated.

   The commander of second rate quality is not so good. He does not get the way of Heaven, that is to say, he has none of the secret and profound thoughts on militarism: nor does he know anything of the advantages of earth. He looks, wholly, to men and power. Though he may not get a decisive victory, yet, on the whole, his victories are not a few.

   The commander of inferior quality is he who gathers wide information but yet is confused in himself: he knows a lot, but is himself without resolution. In the camp he is hesitating, in the field he is undecided, patching up temporary plans and always probing for ways and means. Therefore he is often in trouble and taken by the enemy.

   Now suppose that two men were engaged in a battle
Confidence and boldness win.
of swords: they are equal in skill and in the want of it. Thus being equally matched, what is the reason that the bolder of the two contestants is sure to win? The simple reason is p. 206 that he is without uncertainty. He acts with boldness. Again a big axe is applied to hard varnish-tree wood to get fire wood: suppose there is no waiting for a propitious day and lucky hour for splitting it, if the big axe is in contact with the varnish-wood and there is no man-power behind the axe, and even though the lucky days have been given and the propitious moment taken, yet it will not be possible to split that wood because there is no power applied to the axe.

   So a strong current will give energy. A good arrow will go far. But even if the arrow is made of the finest
Force and mind must be behind finest tools.
bamboo and tipped with silver and lead, yet it will not penetrate even through a thin felt covering, or an armour made of the rotten leaves of the lotus, without some force behind it. But if there is muscle and sinew and the force of the bow string behind it, then it will penetrate the hide of a rhinoceros and the shield of leather.

   The swiftness of wind will take the roof off a house and break trees: an empty cart going down or ascending
Certain factors in success.
a steep hill does so by the help of man. Hence the power of the skilful commander of troops overflows like water rushing down from a burst dyke of a myriad feet high or a rock tumbling from a great height. When the enemy sees that my troops are ready for action and the appearance is not a mere bluff, who would dare fight against them? A hundred men ready to die are of more worth than a myriad who are on the point of turning tail. How much more the weight of three armies which will face water and fire, and never show the heel! Who would try to seduce them? Who would try to master them?

   What is meant by astrology is to have the star Ching Lung on the left and Pai Hu on the right, the star Chu Chiao in front and Hsuan Wu behind.26 What is meant by a favourable position is to have rising ground behind and flat terrain in front: to have a mountain on the left and p. 207 deep water or valley, on the right. What is meant by human affairs is that the imperial bounty of land and honours and money be faithfully done and punishments dealt without favour shown. There are times for activity and inactivity. Action and non-action should be with celerity.

   It is quite true that rules and regulations are made by tradition, but these are not born of tradition but by reason of change according to times and seasons. Therefore the hour and season may be known from the shadow in the Ming Tang, Ancestral27 fane. The cold and heat of the country is indicated by the level of water in the bottle. But the interactions of these things are very trifling. Only the Sage can see their furthest import. The drum is not one of the five tones, but it is the master sound of all. Water
Commander stands alone.
is not one of the five tastes but it is the medium of blending all. The Commander-in-chief is not one of the Five Officers of the army, but he superintends all and has power over all. Therefore, that which is the master of the five tones is not of them: that which is the medium in the five tastes has no part in the five tastes: he who controls the five commandants cannot be fathomed. Therefore, the mind of the Commander-in-chief is full of ferment like the Spring: it is abundant in life like the Summer: it is lustrous like the Autumn: uniformly rigid like the Winter.

   According as the enemy shows himself, so he is to be met, by a change in disposition. Alteration is made to meet
He matches the enemy.
him every time. Now the shadow does not give a straight figure for the crooked. The echo does not alter the soprano tone into bass. Perceiving the reasons for the advent of the enemy, he will be more than matched in everyone of his plans. Therefore, following the right in movement and going according to reason in every action, the blow will be struck at the weakest spot, just as the man breaking bamboo will do it at the joints.

p. 208

   The measure of success will be according to resources. The enemy may know my coming forth, but he will not know the objective of the army. The enemy may know when the other army starts, but he will not know where it will settle down. In the beginning, I am like the fox and so the enemy will come on lightheartedly: but in the engagement I will be as the rhinoceros and the tiger, making the enemy flee pell-mell.

   When birds advance to the attack there is a hanging down of the head. In the ravening of fierce beasts there
Hides his plan and power.
is a hiding of the claws. The tiger and the leopard do not show their claws: and in biting, they do not show the teeth. So the principle of war is to give the enemy an impression of yieldingness but to receive him with firmness: to give the impression of weakness, but fall on him unawares with might: appear to the enemy as though you were few, but put out your strength when he comes to meet you. When you want to go west, make as though you were going east. At first look as though you had no stomach for the fight, but then close up in vigorous action with him. At first the plan is dark to him, afterwards show its clarity. Be like the demon that shows no traces of plans, like the water that leaves no mark of cleavage, when divided. Therefore, where you seem to be making for, is not the place you arrive at; what is seen is not the real design. Action and non-action, movement and rest must not be apparent, like the thunder-clap which comes unawares and can't be prepared for. When the plan is not a mere repetition of an old one, the victory is a hundred-fold greater, the commander seeming to be in league with the genius (spirit); and there is no knowing his mind. This is what is meant by 'most spiritual' in speaking of a general's schemes. That wherein the military is mighty is in the people. What makes the people feel ready to die is a spirit of loyalty to king, and loyalty or patriotism exercised in action, is inspired by majesty. Hence, the people are instructed by p. 209
A genius.
ceremonies and united by military awe. This is what is meant by 'victory must be had.' When majesty and patriotism go hand in hand, and act pari-passu, we have what is called irresistible might.

   What man rejoices in is life: what he hates is death. Notwithstanding, when the city walls are built high and the moats dug deep, when arrows and stones fall like rain, when the battle is in process in the plain and by the broad water, and when naked swords are flashing, the soldiers vie with one another to be the first in the fight. It is not because the soldier looks lightly on death or likes to get wounded; it is the sure reward and the certain punishment that move him. Therefore, when the ruler looks on those below as sons, then those below look on those above as father. When the ruler regards the people as brothers, then the people look on him as the elder brother. When the ruler looks on the people as sons then he will inevitably exercise the kingly way over the empire. When the people look on him above as father, then the empire will necessarily be well governed. When the ruler loves the people like brothers, then it will not be difficult to get them to die for him. When the people look on him above as elder brother, it will not be so difficult for them to sacrifice life. That state will not be easily attacked where all are father and sons, elder and younger brothers, since there has already been abundant kindness dispensed. If on the contrary four horses are unequally matched (i.e. one is slow), the best driver will not be able to drive the chariot far: if the bow and arrows are not of the same poise, even a famous archer would not be sure to hit the centre. If prince and minister lack confidence in each other, even the famous general Sun Tzû would not be able to meet the enemy. Wherefore if the government is internally well ordered by an overflow of goodness, and externally the weak points of danger are closed up so as to command the awe of aliens, when an examination is made into who are industrious and who lazy, so that it be known who is well fed, who hungry, p. 210
Officer one with men.
then, when the day of battle comes, the soldiers will look on death as nothing but a going home. Hence the commander must be one with the soldier in both sweet and bitter experiences, and partake with him of his cold and hunger. In this way the soldier will go willingly to face death. So the eminent commander of old necessarily put himself in front of the soldiers, in war. He had no umbrella in the heat and no furs in the cold: he faced heat and cold, like a common soldier. He did not ride in dangerous passes, he dismounted when ascending hills. Thus he put himself on a level with the soldier whether in action or at ease. When the army had finished its cooking the commander ventured to eat. After the army had drawn its water from the well, the commander took his turn at drinking. Thus in hunger and thirst he was one with the men. When battle was joined he stood where the arrows flew, and all equally shared both security and danger. The good commander in his use of
Mutual obligation.
soldiers, constantly attacked by taking advantage of the accumulated hatred in the heart of the enemy soldier towards his own superior, also by the accumulated goodness cherished in the heart of his own soldiers: his accumulated kindness he used to strike at the accumulated dislike of the enemy for his superior. So did he win the victory. What the lord demanded from the people were two things. He asked them to labour for him and desired them to be ready to give up their lives for him. The people looked for three things from their lord, viz., that they could eat when hungry, rest when weary, and be rewarded for merit. If the people rendered the two services expected of them and the king missed bestowing the three benefits expected of him, then, in that case, though the country was large and the soldiers many, nevertheless, the army would be weak. But if they were assured
Faith to be kept.
that they would be certain of his praise in distress, and of the reward of toil, and remission of the death penalty for valour, and p. 211 that their posterity would get its proper reward after their death they would face any danger. The fidelity of the king in these four conditions being assured, the soldiers would be mighty. Though the emperor might be enjoying himself shooting birds in the high clouds, or fishing in the deep pools, or playing the organ and the harp, or sounding the bell and the flute, or throwing the dice and playing chess at home, he could feel confidence that the soldiers in distant parts would be strong and his commands would be always carried out. Hence when the emperor could be respected, those below were willing to serve him: when his virtue was sufficient to command awe, then his majesty would be established.

   A commander must have three sciences: he must have four loyalties: he must have five virtues: he must have ten tenacities. The three sciences are: knowledge of the heavenly bodies; acquaintance with the form of the earth; discernment of the nature of man. The four loyalties are: prosecuting the interests of the kingdom without overtaxing the army; disregard of bodily ease in service to the king; fearlessness of death in the face of danger; reliance on his own judgement in a matter of doubt, without consideration of consequences. The five virtues are: gentleness without being made the catspaw of others; firmness without being unduly influenced; benevolence without becoming the dupe of men; sincerity and truthfulness, without being taken in; courage that shall not be affronted. The ten tenacities of character are: purity of soul that cannot be contaminated; firmness that cannot be shaken; a clear intelligence that cannot be beclouded; freedom from covetousness and dissoluteness; mental balance in argument; no dabbling in fortune telling; no undue mirth; no show of anger. In other words, the mind must remain calm whatever happens. This state is that which is called profound. Who is there who could fathom a man with such a nature? When beginning any undertaking, he inevitably hits the correct balance. His words are infallibly well weighed, his actions are unfailingly p. 212 well-timed, and his decisions are well reasoned. He seizes the right opportunity for action and inaction. He sees clearly just when to begin and when to end an affair. He estimates the advantage or harm of movement and its cessation. He is as swift as the stretched string of the bow and as strong as the flying arrow; he moves with the stealth and silence of the dragon and the snake, giving no clue to his purpose. No one can say where and how he will strike. It is never known whence he will come nor whither he will end. No one will be able to stand up against his attack, nor will it be possible for anyone to break his defences. I have heard that a good commander first makes his own resources perfect and afterwards considers the conditions of others. He first sees that his own defences are impregnable and then seeks victory for his own arms. Well organised himself, he then seeks victory over the enemy. To go to battle with an enemy, unprepared and in disorder, would be like trying to extinguish fire with fire or stopping an overflow with water,—a method which must spell failure. There must be a dissimilarity in order to gain success. Take the following example. Suppose a potter dissolved himself into a lump of mud, he could not possibly, in that condition, make a bowl or a crock. If a woman worker in silk made herself into silk, she could
There must be a mind behind matter and art.
not then weave silk. Articles of the same nature cannot work on each other. Hence the opposite or contrary must be the complement for work. Two sparrows fighting, fail to kill one another because of the sameness of species: but the eagle and falcon arrive and put an end to all, by eating up both, because of the differentiation in kind. So calmness is the opposite or contrary of violence: order is the opposite to disorder: satiety the opposite of hunger: leisure the opposite of labour. But the difference between the positive and negative is like the difference between water and fire, metal and wood, female and male. They are unable to co-exist identically and simultaneously in mutual p. 213 contact.

   The wise commander observes the aura of the five elements, viz., metal, wood, water, fire, earth, following
Aura of the five elements.
the lucky indications of each in replying to the enemy. Thus he is able to make his victory complete. The unskilful commander neglects a concurrence with these five elements. Instead, he adopts the five deaths—because greed impels him to try and snatch a victory at every opportunity, without regard to the signs of the indicators. And so he gets caught in his own net.

   What is important in military affairs is that plans are concealed from the enemy, and visible movements camouflaged. Attack the enemy altogether unexpectedly and give him no time to prepare. Once contemplated plans are made known, their use is finished. When the visible operation is manifest, then it can be met and controlled. Hence the skilful commander gets the concealments of "heaven above" and those offered by "earth below": in between these
The nature of the terrain.
there is the "concealment offered by human affairs." Nothing can interfere with the concealment through heaven. What is meant by this is, and may be made plain by examples, from great cold, overpowering heat, swift winds and violent rain, thick fog, eclipse of the sun. Advantage may be taken of these in order to do the unexpected. The "concealments of the earth" are, for example, mountain heights, rising ground, forests, dangerous defiles, etc. These can be used as cover and ambush to prevent any outward movement from being seen. "Human concealment" is when, for example, men hide in the van when the enemy expects him to be in the rear; or some abnormal action within the line of battle, like an appearance sudden as a thunder-clap; a stroke swift as pelting rain or rushing wind, or the rolling up of the
Many helps to victory.
flags, the stopping of the beating of the drum, marching under cover, a movement to which no clue is found. Hence when the van and rear are in perfect order, the square in perfect line, the p. 214 marching the dismissal, or falling into line are without mutual hindrance; to have the wings light is to their advantage. Not to break the line whether in deployment forward or to the rear, and, in disbanding, to have like order, is the mark of skill in the organizing and the training of the regiment. To be versed in the occult, in geomancy, in the elements that are mutually destructive and the opposite, in the five elements: to view the weather and read the stars: to take the horoscope of the tortoise: to divine omens,—all these belong to transcendental philosophy.

   Then there is the working out of plans and schemes, the lying in ambush in grass, the use of water and of fire,
Many ways of skill.
the introduction of some strange surprises, the cries and shouting of the army so as to confound the ear of the enemy, the dragging of branches so as to raise a screen of clouds of dust whereby to bewilder his eyes. These are the skilful ways of feints and stratagems. To make defences by planting the mighty hammer, etc., to that the soldiers gain confidence and are not frightened, the avoidance of bribery by bestowed of power or advantage, these are skilful ways by means of which to gain power and fitness. Celerity, swiftness, intrepidity, courage, contempt of danger and of the enemy are the essentials of surprise attacks. The survey of the land comprises the erection of serried ranks of huts or tents, the construction of stockades, the occuption of high ground and of beacon towers, making sure of the line of communications, and so on, is what is meant by a skilful use of terrain.

   Take advantage of the enemy's hunger and thirst, of biting cold and torrid heat, of his labours and fatigue, of his exhaustion and consequent lack of discipline, of his nervousness, and the afflicted state of his feet and footwear, and then select your warriors and attack him in the depth of night. This is the skill which makes use of special occasions and adapts action to circumstances.

   Ride in chariots where the roads are level: in difficult p. 215 climbs or winding mountain roads, take to horse: for the most part use the simple bow (not the crossbow), in crossing water: and the crossbow when in mountain defiles. Let the banners fly in the day and light many fires for the night, and in the twilight let the drums be well sounded. This is the skill used in making preparations.

   All these eight matters are necessary; not one should be omitted. Notwithstanding, they are not the most important
The most important is for the General to have a clear mind.
in military affairs. The following are more vital. He who is commanding should see and know better than any other. He is the only one who sees what other men don't see, the only one who knows what other men do not know: the only one who sees what other men don't see means that he may be said to be clear-minded: knowing what other men don't know, means him to be mentally penetrating and to have taken the first steps towards victory. To have a defence that cannot be assaulted, and to be undefeated in battle, are matters of care in preparation. What is meant by carelessness is a disunion between those above and those below, viz., that the petty officers are not acting together, that treatment is
Preparation and unity of spirit.
not just, that there is a growing resentment in the soldiers' minds, resulting in disobedience. What is meant by care is that the emperor is clear-minded and the commanders are honest, that superiors and subordinates are of one spirit and the whole rise and act together. This is what is meant by "care in preparation." If water is thrown on fire, what happens is a collapse of the fire: a retreat follows pressure or coercion. Hardness and yieldingness are mutually incompatible. Victory is the result of stable equilibrium.
Victory where the right spirit prevails.
When the strong and weak are of dissimilar strength, the victory will rest with that side which has real strength. Hence successful attack does not depend on the fewness of soldiers: a skilful defence with the smallness p. 216 of the country: victory will be where awe prevails: defeat follows the loss of the right Spirit. Now where there is the right spirit, there will be ardent fighting: where this is lacking there will be flight. Where there is an overflow of vital unity there will be might: where there is degeneracy and decay defeat follows. Fu Ch‛a, king of Wu, had a territory
of 2,000 li and armoured armies of 700,000 men. In the south he warred with Yüeh and captured him at Ku‛ei Chi. In the north he warred with Ch‛i and broke his power at Ai Ling. In the west he met with the Duke of Ts‛in and took him prisoner at Huang Ch‛ih. These successes he won through the spirit of his people. Afterwards he became inordinately proud, and gave reins to his lust for women, wealth and territory. He despised the remonstrances of his ministers and pursued his lawless pleasure and continued in his evil ways. It was impossible to correct his habits by good advice. The great minsters hated and resented him and the soldiers refused him obedience. The king of Yüeh picked 3,000 troops and took him prisoner in Kan Sui. He captured him through his vanity and want of solidity. Now the spirit of man has its times of strength and weakness just as light must give way, at times, to darkness. Thus the conquering soldiers do not always possess strength, and defeated soldiers are not always weak. The right plan is to be able to give the strength of unity to the spirit of the people in order to meet the want of harmony in the enemy's camp. The incompetent man disunites the spirit of unity in his people, and meets the united spirit of others with divided strength. Hence the spirit of solidarity or the reverse are two elements highly considered in military affairs. When any country faces danger the king calls his commander to the palace
In case of war.
and instructs him, saying: "The life of our home-land is in the hands of you as commander of the army, and in the trouble now facing it, I beg you; my General, to face the danger." The commander received the commands. The emperor then orders p. 217 the minister of worship and the diviner, first having observed three days of ceremonial cleansing, to go to the ancestral temple and test the mystic tortoise, and cast a horoscope for the auspicious day for giving out the drum and the flags of war. The king enters the temple gate and stands facing west. The commander enters the temple, and proceeding with arms akimbo (a sign of respect) to a place below the hall, stands facing north. The king takes the great hammer{31} and holds it by the head and gives the handle to the commander saying: "From henceforth, the commander of our armies controls all, even up to Heaven above," again taking the smaller hammer by the head he gives the handle to the commander saying, "All below, even to all the seas, is under the control of the commander of our armies." And the commander having received both hammers replies, saying, "The kingdom in its politics is not to be ordered from outside. i.e. by the army: the army will not be directed from the palace. There can be no divided heart in the service of the king, nor can there be any hesitation in dealing with the enemy. I, the commander, having received control as herein expressed, and I, having received the authority of the drums, the hammers, will not seek instructions again. May the king no more give any word of instruction to me. If the king does not agree to this compact I will not dare to act.32 If the king agrees, then I bid goodbye and go to pare my nails,33 and prepare my shroud. I go out by the dread door."34 Mounting the commander's chariot and loading the drum, flags, with the two hammers, he departs, weighted with great responsibility. When the commander gets near the enemy, he engages in battle, regardless of death. There is no divided mind; he fights unconscious of heaven above, of earth below, of enemy in front or king behind; he presses forward, thinking not of glory or of guilt, should there be retreat. His thought is centred only on the battle. That the people be protected, and the king magnified, are his only thoughts. This is what is important to the kingdom that the principles of the high commanders p. 218 be such as these.

   These things being so, the wise will take thought of them: the brave will fight for their country. Spirit will be
ardent and high as the clouds, swift like the racing horse, Wu. In this way, even before battle is joined, the enemy will be filled with dread. If victory is won and the enemy put to flight, the end is attained. There will follow the distribution of honours and largesse. Officers will be advanced in position. Officials will get titles and emoluments.

   Areas will be apportioned for stations of the troops before they return to their country: the conduct
of the soldiers will be decided within the army and the guilty executed. When it returns to the country, the commander will furl his flags to enter the gate, and surrender the hammer and the halberd and inform the prince of the end of the war, saying, "The army has no control after this. I go to put on calico garments and into retirement,35 please define my guilt." The prince will say: "Forgiveness is granted. Go and put on silk clothes." After a great victory, the commander returns home after a residence of three years in the palace, two years residence after a moderate victory, and one year for an inconsequential victory,

   The Country against whom the army is sent is necessarily a lawless one and the possibility of a victorious campaign is promising because the war is not one of revenge. Results: Territory taken from the enemy shall not be given back: the people shall not have any pestilence: the commander will not have an untimely death: the crops will be luxuriant: the wind and rains will fall seasonably. A victory in foreign parts will ensure great prosperity at home. And so renown is secure and there will be no excess of calamity afterwards.36