Page:Sun Tzu on The art of war.djvu/160

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104

  1. 若敵先居之引而去之勿從也
  2. 遠形者勢均難以挑戰戰而不利
  3. 凡此六者地之道也將之至任不可不察也


unnecessary questions.’ [See Chiu T‘ang Shu, ch. 84, fol. 12 ro., and Hsin T‘ang Shu, ch. 108, fol. 5 vo.] From this it may be seen,” Chang Yü continues, “that high and sunny places are advantageous not only for fighting, but also because they are immune from disastrous floods.”


11. If the enemy has occupied them before you, do not follow him, but retreat and try to entice him away.

The turning-point of 李世民 Li Shih-min’s campaign in 621 A.D. against the two rebels, 竇建德 Tou Chien-tê, King of Hsia, and 王世充 Wang Shih-ch‘ung, Prince of Chêng, was his seizure of the heights of 武牢 Wu-lao, in spite of which Tou Chien-tê persisted in his attempt to relieve his ally in Lo-yang, was defeated and taken prisoner. [See Chiu T‘ang Shu, ch. 2, fol. 5 vo and also ch. 54.]

12. If you are situated at a great distance from the enemy, and the strength of the two armies is equal,

The T‘ung Tien reads 夫通形均勢.

it is not easy to provoke a battle,

Ts‘ao Kung says that 挑戰 means 延敵 “challenging the enemy.” But the enemy being far away, that plainly involves, as Tu Yu says, 迎敵 “going to meet him.” The point of course is, that we must not think of undertaking a long and wearisome march, at the end of which 是我困敵銳 “we should, be exhausted and our adversary fresh and keen.”

and fighting will be to your disadvantage.

13. These six are the principles connected with Earth.

Or perhaps, “the principles relating to ground.” See, however, I. § 8.

The general who has attained a responsible post must be careful to study them.

Capt. Calthrop omits 至任. Out of the foregoing six 地形, it will be noticed that nos. 3 and 6 have really no reference to the configuration of the country, and that only 4 and 5 can be said to convey any definite geographical idea.