Page:Sun Tzu on The art of war.djvu/112

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  1. 莫難於軍爭軍爭之難者以迂爲直以患爲利

above, is on the whole simpler and better. Chang Yü, while following Ts‘ao Kung, adds that the words may also be taken to mean “the establishment of harmony and confidence between the higher and lower ranks before venturing into the field;” and he quotes a saying of Wu Tzŭ (chap. I ad init): “Without harmony in the State, no military expedition can be undertaken; without harmony in the army, no battle array can be formed.” In the historical romance 東周列國, chap. 75, Sun Tzŭ himself is represented as saying to 伍員 Wu Yüan: 大凡行兵之法先除內患然後方可外征 “As a general rule, those who are waging war should get rid of all domestic troubles before proceeding to attack the external foe.” is defined as . It here conveys the notion of encamping after having taken the field.

3. After that, comes tactical manœuvring, than which there is nothing more difficult.

I have departed slightly from the traditional interpretation of Ts‘ao Kung, who says: 從始受命至於交和軍爭難也 “From the time of receiving the sovereign’s instructions until our encampment over against the enemy, the tactics to be pursued are most difficult.” It seems to me that the 軍爭 tactics or manœuvres can hardly be said to begin until the army has sallied forth and encamped, and Ch‘ên Hao’s note gives colour to this view: “For levying, concentrating, harmonising and intrenching an army, there are plenty of old rules which will serve. The real difficulty comes when we engage in tactical operations.” Tu Yu also observes that “the great difficulty is to be beforehand with the enemy in seizing favourable positions.”

The difficulty of tactical manœuvring consists in turning the devious into the direct, and misfortune into gain.

以迂爲直 is one of those highly condensed and somewhat enigmatical expressions of which Sun Tzŭ is so fond. This is how it is explained by Ts‘ao Kung: 示以遠速其道里先敵至也 “Make it appear that you are a long way off, then cover the distance rapidly and arrive on the scene before your opponent.” Tu Mu says: “Hoodwink the enemy, so that he may be remiss and leisurely while you are dashing along with the utmost speed.” Ho Shih gives a slightly different turn to the sentence: “Although you may have difficult ground to traverse and natural obstacles to encounter, this is a drawback which