13. (1) Which of the two sovereigns is imbued with the Moral law?
I. e., “is in harmony with his subjects.” Cf. § 5.
(2) Which of the two generals has most ability?
(3) With whom lie the advantages derived from Heaven and Earth?
See §§ 7, 8.
(4) On which side is discipline most rigorously enforced?
Tu Mu alludes to the remarkable story of Ts‘ao Ts‘ao (A.D. 155—220), who was such a strict disciplinarian that once, in accordance with his own severe regulations against injury to standing crops, he condemned himself to death for having allowed his horse to shy into a field of corn! However, in lieu of losing his head, he was persuaded to satisfy his sense of justice by cutting off his hair. Ts‘ao Ts‘ao’s own comment on the present passage is characteristically curt: 設而不犯犯而必誅 “when you lay down a law, see that it is not disobeyed; if it is disobeyed, the offender must be put to death.”
(5) Which army is stronger?
Morally as well as physically. As Mei Yao-ch‘ên puts it, 內和外附, which might be freely rendered “esprit de corps and ‘big battalions.’”
(6) On which side are officers and men more highly trained?
Tu Yu quotes 王子 as saying: “Without constant practice, the officers will be nervous and undecided when mustering for battle; without constant practice, the general will be wavering and irresolute when the crisis is at hand.”
(7) In which army is there the greater constancy both in reward and punishment?
明, literally “clear;” that is, on which side is there the most absolute certainty that merit will be properly rewarded and misdeeds summarily punished?
14. By means of these seven considerations I can forecast victory or defeat.