Page:Sun Tzu on The art of war.djvu/34

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xxxii
Introduction

[1758]. And the Chinese printed in Capt. Calthrop’s first edition is evidently a similar version which has filtered through Japanese channels. So things remained until 孫星衍 Sun Hsing-yen [1752—1818], a distinguished antiquarian and classical scholar,[1] who claimed to be an actual descendant of Sun Wu,[2] accidentally discovered a copy of Chi T‘ien-pao’s long-lost work, when on a visit to the library of the 華陰 Hua-yin temple.[3] Appended to it was the I Shuo of Chêng Yu-hsien, mentioned in the T‘ung Chih, and also believed to have perished.[4] This is what Sun Hsing-yen designates as the or “original edition (or text)” — a rather misleading name, for it cannot by any means claim to set before us the text of Sun Tzŭ in its pristine purity. Chi T‘ien-pao was a careless compiler,[5] and appears to have been content to reproduce the somewhat debased version current in his day, without troubling to collate it


  1. A good biographical notice, with a list of his works, will be found in the 國朝詩人徵略, ch. 48, fol. 18 sqq.
  2. Preface ad fin.: 吾家出樂安眞孫子之後媿余徒讀祖書考証文字不通方略亦享承平之福者久也 “My family comes from Lo-an and we are really descended from Sun Tzŭ. I am ashamed to say that I only read my ancestor’s work from a literary point of view, without comprehending the military technique. So long have we been enjoying the blessings of peace!”
  3. Hua-yin is about 14 miles from 潼關 T‘ung-kuan on the eastern border of Shensi. The temple in question is still visited by those about to make the ascent of the 華山 or Western Sacred Mountain. It is mentioned in the 大明一統志 [A.D. 1461], ch. 32, f. 22, as the 西嶽廟:— 在華陰縣東五里廟有唐𤣥宗所製華山碑 “Situated five li east of the district city of Kua-yin. The temple contains the Hua-shan tablet inscribed by the T‘ang Emperor Hsüan Tsung [713—755].”
  4. 曩予游𨵿中讀華陰嶽廟道藏見有此書後有鄭友賢遺說一卷.
  5. Cf. Sun Hsing-yen's remark à propos of his mistakes in the names and order of the commentators: 吉天保之不深究此書可知.