Page:Sun Tzu on The art of war.djvu/92

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
36

  1. 故善出奇者無窮如天地不竭如江河終而復始日月是也死而復生四時是也
  2. 聲不過五五聲之變不可勝聽也
  3. 色不過五五色之變不可勝觀也
  4. 味不過五五味之變不可勝嘗也


6. Indirect tactics, efficiently applied, are inexhaustible as Heaven and Earth, unending as the flow of rivers and streams;

is the universally accepted emendation for , the reading of the 北堂書鈔.

like the sun and moon, they end but to begin anew; like the four seasons, they pass away to return once more.

Tu Yu and Chang Yü understand this of the permutations of and . But at present Sun Tzŭ is not speaking of at all, unless, indeed, we suppose with 鄭友賢 Chêng Yu-hsien that a clause relating to it has fallen out of the text. Of course, as has already been pointed out, the two are so inextricably interwoven in all military operations, that they cannot really be considered apart. Here we simply have an expression, in figurative langauge, of the almost infinite resource of a great leader.

7. There are not more than five musical notes,

宮商角微羽.

yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard.

8. There are not more than five primary colours,

青黃赤白黑 blue, yellow, red, white and black.

yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever be seen.

9. There are not more than five cardinal tastes,

酸辛醎甘苦 sour, acrid, salt, sweet, bitter.

yet combinations of them yield more flavors than can ever be tasted.