Page:Sun Tzu on The art of war.djvu/44

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Introduction

Shu[1] and no doubt extremely rare, which I should much like to have seen. One is entitled 孫子參同, in 5 chüan. It gives selections from four new commentators, probably of the Ming dynasty, as well as from the eleven known to us. The names of the four are 解元 Hsieh Yüan; 張鏊 Chang Ao; 李村 Li Ts‘ai; and 黃治徵 Huang Chih-chêng. The other work is 孫子彚徵 in 4 chüan, compiled by 鄭端 Chêng Tuan of the present dynasty. It is a compendium of information on ancient warfare, with special reference to Sun Tzŭ’s 13 chapters.

Appreciations of Sun Tzŭ.

Sun Tzŭ has exercised a potent fascination over the minds of some of China’s greatest men. Among the famous generals who are known to have studied his pages with enthusiasm may be mentioned 韓信 Han Hsin (d. B.C. 196),[2] 馮異 Fêng I (d. A.D. 34),[3] 呂蒙 Lü Mêng (d. 219),[4] and 岳飛 Yo Fei (1103-1141).[5] The opinion of Ts‘ao Kung, who disputes with Han Hsin the highest place in Chinese military annals, has already been recorded.[6] Still more remarkable, in one way, is the testimony of purely literary men, such as 蘇洵 Su Hsün (the father of Su Tung-p‘o), who wrote several essays on military topics, all of which owe their chief inspiration to Sun Tzŭ.

The following short passage by him is preserved in the Yü Hai:[7]


  1. Ch. 100, ff. 2, 3.
  2. See p. 144.
  3. Hou Han Shu, ch. 17 ad init.
  4. San Kuo Chih, ch. 54, f. 10 vo (commentary).
  5. Sung Shih, ch. 365 ad init.
  6. The few Europeans who have yet had an opportunity of acquainting themselves with Sun Tzŭ are not behindhand in their praise. In this connection, I may perhaps be excused for quoting from a letter from Lord Roberts, to whom the sheets of the present work were submitted previous to publication: “Many of Sun Wu's maxims are perfectly applicable to the present day, and no. 11 on page 77 is one that the people of this country would do well to take to heart.”
  7. Ch. 140, f. 13 ro