Page:Sun Tzu on The art of war.djvu/134

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之一耳夫勇者必輕合輕合而不利未可也 “In estimating the character of a general, men are wont to pay exclusive attention to his courage, forgetting that courage is only one out of many qualities which a general should possess. "The merely brave man is prone to fight recklessly; and he who fights recklessly, without any perception of what is expedient, must be condemned.” Ssŭ-ma Fa, too, makes the incisive remark 上死不勝 “Simply going to one’s death does not bring about victory.”

(2) cowardice, which leads to capture;

必生 is explained by Ts‘ao Kung of the man “whom timidity prevents from advancing to seize an advantage,” and Wang Hsi adds, “who is quick to flee at the sight of danger.” Mêng Shih gives the closer paraphrase 志必生反 “he who is bent on returning alive,” that is, the man who will never take a risk. But, as Sun Tzŭ knew, nothing is to be achieved in war unless you are willing to take risks. T‘ai Kung said: 失利後時反受其殃 “He who lets an advantage slip will subsequently bring upon himself real disaster.” In 404 A.D., 劉裕 Liu Yü pursued the rebel 桓𤣥 Huan Hsüan up the Yangtsze and fought a naval battle with him at 崢嶸洲 the island of Ch‘êng-hung. The loyal troops numbered only a few thousands, while their opponents were in great force. But Huan Hsüan, fearing the fate which was in store for him should he be overcome, had a light boat made fast to the side of his war-junk, so that he might escape, if necessary, at a moment’s notice. The natural result was that the fighting spirit of his soldiers was utterly quenched, and when the loyalists made an attack from windward with fireships, all striving with the utmost ardour to be first in the fray, Huan Hsüan’s forces were routed, had to burn all their baggage and fled for two days and nights without stopping. [See 晉書, chap. 99, fol. 13.] Chang Yü tells a somewhat similar story of 趙嬰齊 Chao Ying-ch‘i, a general of the Chin State who during a battle with the army of Ch‘u in 597 B.C. had a boat kept in readiness for him on the river, wishing in case of defeat to be the first to get across.

(3) a hasty temper, which can be provoked by insults;

I fail to see the meaning of Capt. Calthrop’s “which brings insult.” Tu Mu tells us that 姚襄 Yao Hsiang, when opposed in 357 A.D. by 黃眉 Huang Mei, 鄧羌 Têng Ch‘iang and others, shut himself up behind his walls and refused to fight. Têng Ch‘iang said: “Our adversary is of a choleric temper and easily provoked; let us make constant sallies and break down his walls, then he will grow angry and come out.