in time of peace to show kindly confidence in his men and also make his authority respected, so that when they come to face the enemy, orders may be executed and discipline maintained, because they all trust and look up to him.” What Sun Tzŭ has said in § 44, however, would lead one rather to expect something like this: “If a general is always confident that his orders will be carried out,” etc. Hence I am tempted to think that he may have written 令素信行者. But this is perhaps too conjectural.
the gain will be mutual.
Chang Yü says: 上以信使民民以信服上是上下相得也 “The general has confidence in the men under his command, and the men are docile, having confidence in him. Thus the gain is mutual.” He quotes a pregnant sentence from Wei Liao Tzŭ, ch. 4: 令之之法小過無更小疑無中 “The art of giving orders is not to try to rectify minor blunders and not to be swayed by petty doubts.” Vacillation and fussiness are the surest means of sapping the confidence of an army. Capt. Calthrop winds up the chapter with a final mistranslation of a more than usually heinous description: “Orders are always obeyed, if general and soldiers are in sympathy.” Besides inventing the latter half of the sentence, he has managed to invert protasis and apodosis.