Page:Sun Tzu on The art of war.djvu/40

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
xxxviii
Introduction

triumphs and disasters of the thousand years which had elapsed since Sun Wu’s death would, upon examination, be found to uphold and corroborate, in every particular, the maxims contained in his book.[1] Tu Mu’s somewhat spiteful charge against Ts‘ao Kung has already been considered elsewhere.

6. 陳皥 Ch’ên Hao appears to have been a contemporary of Tu Mu. Ch‘ao Kung-wu says that he was impelled to write a new commentary on Sun Tzŭ because Ts‘ao Kung’s on the one hand was too obscure and subtle, and that of Tu Mu on the other too long-winded and diffuse.[2] Ou-yang Hsiu, writing in the middle of the 11th century, calls Ts‘ao Kung, Tu Mu and Ch‘ên Hao the three chief commentators on Sun Tzŭ (三家), and observes that Ch‘ên Hao is continually attacking Tu Mu’s shortcomings. His commentary, though not lacking in merit, must rank below those of his predecessors.

7. 賈林 Chia Lin is known to have lived under the T‘ang dynasty, for his commentary on Sun Tzŭ is mentioned in the 唐書 and was afterwards republished by 紀燮 Chi Hsieh of the same dynasty together with those of Mêng Shih and Tu Yu.[3] It is of somewhat scanty texture, and in point of quality, too, perhaps the least valuable of the eleven.

8. 梅堯臣 Mei Yao-ch‘ên (1002—1060), commonly known by his “style” as Mei 聖兪 Shêng-yü, was, like Tu Mu, a poet of distinction. His commentary was published with a laudatory preface by the great Ou-yang Hsiu, from which we may cull the following: —

Later scholars have misread Sun Tzŭ, distorting his words and trying to make them square with their own one-sided views. Thus, though


  1. Ibid.: 自武死後凡千歲將兵者有成者有敗者勘其事跡皆與武所著書一一相抵當.
  2. T‘ung K‘ao, loc. cit.: 皥以曹公注陰微杜牧注闊踈重爲之注云.
  3. Ibid.