Capt. Calthrop’s rendering is: “They who are the first to lay their hands on more than ten of the enemy’s chariots, should be encouraged.” We should have expected the gallant captain to see that such Samson-like prowess deserved something more substantial than mere encouragement. T. omits 故, and has 以上 in place of the more archaic 已上.
Our own flags should be substituted for those of the enemy, and the chariots mingled and used in conjunction with ours. The captured soldiers should be kindly treated and kept.
18. This is called, using the conquered foe to augment one's own strength.
19. In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.
As Ho Shih remarks: 兵不可玩武不可黷 “War is not a thing to be trifled with.” Sun Tzŭ here reiterates the main lesson which this chapter is intended to enforce.
20. Thus it may be known that the leader of armies is the arbiter of the people's fate, the man on whom it depends whether the nation shall be in peace or in peril.
In the original text, there is a 生 before the 民.