contains the idea of “comparison with the enemy,” which cannot well be brought out here, but will appear in § 12. Altogether, difficult though it is, the passage is not so hopelessly corrupt as to justify Capt. Calthrop in burking it entirely.
4. These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth; (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
It appears from what follows that Sun Tzŭ means by 道 a principle of harmony, not unlike the Tao of Lao Tzŭ in its moral aspect. One might be tempted to render it by “morale,” were it not considered as an attribute of the ruler in § 13.
5, 6. The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger.
The original text omits 令民, inserts an 以 after each 可, and omits 民 after 而. Capt. Calthrop translates: “If the ruling authority be upright, the people are united” — a very pretty sentiment, but wholly out of place in what purports to be a translation of Sun Tzŭ.
7. Heaven signifies night and day, cold and heat, times and seasons.
The commentators, I think, make an unnecessary mystery of 陰陽. Thus Mêng Shih defines the words as 剛柔盈縮 “the hard and the soft, waxing and waning,” which does not help us much. Wang Hsi, however, may be right in saying that what is meant is 總天道 “the general economy of Heaven,” including the five elements, the four seasons, wind and clouds, and other phenomena.
8. Earth comprises distances, great and small; danger and security; open ground and narrow passes; the chances of life and death.
死生 (omitted by Capt. Calthrop) may have been included here because the safety of an army depends largely on its quickness to turn these geographical features to account.