Sun Zi Introduction Table of content – The Art of War

Chinese strategy explained : know yourself and the ennemy, use deception, spies, and "win with ease". Tr. Giles (en, annotated) and Amiot (fr).

Sunzi XI. 1.

Sun Tzu said: The art of war recognizes nine varieties of ground: 1) Dispersive ground; 2) facile ground; 3) contentious ground; 4) open ground; 5) ground of intersecting highways; 6) serious ground; 7) difficult ground; 8) hemmed-in ground; 9) desperate ground.

Giles XI.1.

Sun Tzu dit : Il y a neuf sortes de lieux qui peuvent être à l'avantage ou au détriment de l'une ou de l'autre armée. 1° Des lieux de division ou de dispersion. 2° Des lieux légers. 3° Des lieux qui peuvent être disputés. 4° Des lieux de réunion. 5° Des lieux pleins et unis. 6° Des lieux à plusieurs issues. 7° Des lieux graves et importants. 8° Des lieux gâtés ou détruits. 9° Des lieux de mort.


Sunzi XI. 2.

When a chieftain is fighting in his own territory, it is dispersive ground.1

1. So called because the soldiers, being near to their homes and anxious to see their wives and children, are likely to seize the opportunity afforded by a battle and scatter in every direction. "In their advance," observes Tu Mu, "they will lack the valor of desperation, and when they retreat, they will find harbors of refuge."

Giles XI.2.

I. J'appelle lieux de division ou de dispersion ceux qui sont près des frontières dans nos possessions. Des troupes qui se tiendraient longtemps sans nécessité au voisinage de leurs foyers sont composées d'hommes qui ont plus envie de perpétuer leur race que de s'exposer à la mort. À la première nouvelle qui se répandra de l'approche des ennemis, ou de quelque prochaine bataille, le général ne saura quel parti prendre, ni à quoi se déterminer, quand il verra ce grand appareil militaire se dissiper et s'évanouir comme un nuage poussé par les vents.


Sunzi XI. 3.

When he has penetrated into hostile territory, but to no great distance, it is facile ground.1

1. Li Ch`uan and Ho Shih say "because of the facility for retreating," and the other commentators give similar explanations. Tu Mu remarks: "When your army has crossed the border, you should burn your boats and bridges, in order to make it clear to everybody that you have no hankering after home."

Giles XI.3.

II. J'appelle lieux légers ou de légèreté ceux qui sont près des frontières, mais pénètrent par une brèche sur les terres des ennemis. Ces sortes de lieux n'ont rien qui puisse fixer. On peut regarder sans cesse derrière soi, et le retour étant trop aisé, il fait naître le désir de l'entreprendre à la première occasion : l'inconstance et le caprice trouvent infailliblement de quoi se contenter.


Sunzi XI. 4.

Ground the possession of which imports great advantage to either side, is contentious ground.1

1. Tu Mu defines the ground as ground "to be contended for." Ts`ao Kung says: "ground on which the few and the weak can defeat the many and the strong," such as "the neck of a pass," instanced by Li Ch`uan. Thus, Thermopylae was of this classification because the possession of it, even for a few days only, meant holding the entire invading army in check and thus gaining invaluable time. Cf. Wu Tzu, ch. V. ad init.: "For those who have to fight in the ratio of one to ten, there is nothing better than a narrow pass." When Lu Kuang was returning from his triumphant expedition to Turkestan in 385 A.D., and had got as far as I-ho, laden with spoils, Liang Hsi, administrator of Liang-chou, taking advantage of the death of Fu Chien, King of Ch`in, plotted against him and was for barring his way into the province. Yang Han, governor of Kao-ch`ang, counseled him, saying: "Lu Kuang is fresh from his victories in the west, and his soldiers are vigorous and mettlesome. If we oppose him in the shifting sands of the desert, we shall be no match for him, and we must therefore try a different plan. Let us hasten to occupy the defile at the mouth of the Kao-wu pass, thus cutting him off from supplies of water, and when his troops are prostrated with thirst, we can dictate our own terms without moving. Or if you think that the pass I mention is too far off, we could make a stand against him at the I-wu pass, which is nearer. The cunning and resource of Tzu-fang himself would be expended in vain against the enormous strength of these two positions." Liang Hsi, refusing to act on this advice, was overwhelmed and swept away by the invader.

Giles XI.4.

III. Les lieux qui sont à la bienséance des deux armées, où l'ennemi peut trouver son avantage aussi bien que nous pouvons trouver le nôtre, où l'on peut faire un campement dont la position, indépendamment de son utilité propre, peut nuire au parti opposé, et traverser quelques-unes de ses vues ; ces sortes de lieux peuvent être disputés, ils doivent même l'être. Ce sont là des terrains clés.


Sunzi XI. 5.

Ground on which each side has liberty of movement is open ground.1

1. There are various interpretations of the Chinese adjective for this type of ground. Ts`ao Kung says it means "ground covered with a network of roads," like a chessboard. Ho Shih suggested: "ground on which intercommunication is easy."

Giles XI.5.

IV. Par les lieux de réunion, j'entends ceux où nous ne pouvons guère manquer de nous rendre et dans lesquels l'ennemi ne saurait presque manquer de se rendre aussi, ceux encore où l'ennemi, aussi à portée de ses frontières que vous l'êtes des vôtres, trouverait, ainsi que vous, sa sûreté en cas de malheur, ou les occasions de suivre sa bonne fortune, s'il avait d'abord du succès. Ce sont là des lieux qui permettent d'entrer en communication avec l'armée ennemie, ainsi que les zones de repli.


Sunzi XI. 6.

Ground which forms the key to three contiguous states,1 so that he who occupies it first has most of the Empire at his command,2 is a ground of intersecting highways.

1. Ts`au Kung defines this as: "Our country adjoining the enemy's and a third country conterminous with both." Meng Shih instances the small principality of Cheng, which was bounded on the north-east by Ch`i, on the west by Chin, and on the south by Ch`u.
2. The belligerent who holds this dominating position can constrain most of them to become his allies.

Giles XI.6.

V. Les lieux que j'appelle simplement pleins et unis sont ceux qui, par leur configuration et leurs dimensions, permettent leur utilisation par les deux armées, mais, parce qu'ils sont au plus profond du territoire ennemi, ne doivent pas vous inciter à livrer bataille, à moins que la nécessité ne vous y contraigne, ou que vous n'y soyez forcé par l'ennemi, qui ne vous laisserait aucun moyen de pouvoir l'éviter.


Sunzi XI. 7.

When an army has penetrated into the heart of a hostile country, leaving a number of fortified cities in its rear, it is serious ground.1

1. Wang Hsi explains the name by saying that "when an army has reached such a point, its situation is serious."

Giles XI.7.

VI. Les lieux à plusieurs issues, dont je veux parler ici, sont ceux en particulier qui permettent la jonction entre les différents États qui les entourent. Ces lieux forment le nœud des différents secours que peuvent apporter les princes voisins à celle des deux parties qu'il leur plaira de favoriser.


Sunzi XI. 8.

Mountain forests,1 rugged steeps, marshes and fens–all country that is hard to traverse: this is difficult ground.

1. Or simply "forests."

Giles XI.8.

VII. Les lieux que je nomme graves et importants sont ceux qui, placés dans les États ennemis, présentent de tous côtés des villes, des forteresses, des montagnes, des défilés, des eaux, des ponts à passer, des campagnes arides à traverser, ou telle autre chose de cette nature.


Sunzi XI. 9.

Ground which is reached through narrow gorges, and from which we can only retire by tortuous paths, so that a small number of the enemy would suffice to crush a large body of our men: this is hemmed in ground.

Giles XI.9.

VIII. Les lieux où tout serait à l'étroit, où une partie de l'armée ne serait pas à portée de voir l'autre ni de la secourir, où il y aurait des lacs, des marais, des torrents ou quelque mauvaise rivière, où l'on ne saurait marcher qu'avec de grandes fatigues et beaucoup d'embarras, où l'on ne pourrait aller que par pelotons, sont ceux que j'appelle gâtés ou détruits.


Sunzi XI. 10.

Ground on which we can only be saved from destruction by fighting without delay, is desperate ground.1

1. The situation, as pictured by Ts`ao Kung, is very similar to the "hemmed-in ground" except that here escape is no longer possible: "A lofty mountain in front, a large river behind, advance impossible, retreat blocked." Ch`en Hao says: "to be on 'desperate ground' is like sitting in a leaking boat or crouching in a burning house." Tu Mu quotes from Li Ching a vivid description of the plight of an army thus entrapped: "Suppose an army invading hostile territory without the aid of local guides: – it falls into a fatal snare and is at the enemy's mercy. A ravine on the left, a mountain on the right, a pathway so perilous that the horses have to be roped together and the chariots carried in slings, no passage open in front, retreat cut off behind, no choice but to proceed in single file. Then, before there is time to range our soldiers in order of battle, the enemy is overwhelming strength suddenly appears on the scene. Advancing, we can nowhere take a breathing-space; retreating, we have no haven of refuge. We seek a pitched battle, but in vain; yet standing on the defensive, none of us has a moment's respite. If we simply maintain our ground, whole days and months will crawl by; the moment we make a move, we have to sustain the enemy's attacks on front and rear. The country is wild, destitute of water and plants; the army is lacking in the necessaries of life, the horses are jaded and the men worn-out, all the resources of strength and skill unavailing, the pass so narrow that a single man defending it can check the onset of ten thousand; all means of offense in the hands of the enemy, all points of vantage already forfeited by ourselves:–in this terrible plight, even though we had the most valiant soldiers and the keenest of weapons, how could they be employed with the slightest effect?" Students of Greek history may be reminded of the awful close to the Sicilian expedition, and the agony of the Athenians under Nicias and Demonsthenes. [See Thucydides, VII. 78 sqq.].

Giles XI.10.

IX. Enfin, par des lieux de mort, j'entends tous ceux où l'on se trouve tellement réduit que, quelque parti que l'on prenne, on est toujours en danger. J'entends des lieux dans lesquels, si l'on combat, on court évidemment le risque d'être battu, dans lesquels, si l'on reste tranquille, on se voit sur le point de périr de faim, de misère ou de maladie ; des lieux, en un mot, où l'on ne saurait rester et où l'on ne peut survivre que très difficilement en combattant avec le courage du désespoir.

Telles sont les neuf sortes de terrain dont j'avais à vous parler ; apprenez à les connaître, pour vous en défier ou pour en tirer parti.


Sunzi XI. 11.

On dispersive ground, therefore, fight not. On facile ground, halt not. On contentious ground, attack not.1

1. But rather let all your energies be bent on occupying the advantageous position first. So Ts`ao Kung. Li Ch`uan and others, however, suppose the meaning to be that the enemy has already forestalled us, sot that it would be sheer madness to attack. In the SUN TZU HSU LU, when the King of Wu inquires what should be done in this case, Sun Tzu replies: "The rule with regard to contentious ground is that those in possession have the advantage over the other side. If a position of this kind is secured first by the enemy, beware of attacking him. Lure him away by pretending to flee–show your banners and sound your drums–make a dash for other places that he cannot afford to lose–trail brushwood and raise a dust–confound his ears and eyes–detach a body of your best troops, and place it secretly in ambuscade. Then your opponent will sally forth to the rescue."

Giles XI.11.

Lorsque vous ne serez encore que dans des lieux de division, contenez bien vos troupes ; mais surtout ne livrez jamais de bataille, quelque favorables que les circonstances puissent vous paraître. La vue de leur pays et la facilité du retour occasionneraient bien des lâchetés : bientôt les campagnes seraient couvertes de fuyards. Si vous êtes dans des lieux légers, n'y établissez point votre camp. Votre armée ne s'étant point encore saisie d'aucune ville, d'aucune forteresse, ni d'aucun poste important dans les possessions des ennemis, n'ayant derrière soi aucune digue qui puisse l'arrêter, voyant des difficultés, des peines et des embarras pour aller plus avant, il n'est pas douteux qu'elle ne soit tentée de préférer ce qui lui paraît le plus aisé à ce qui lui semblera difficile et plein de dangers. Si vous avez reconnu de ces sortes de lieux qui vous paraissent devoir être disputés, commencez par vous en emparer. Ne donnez pas à l'ennemi le temps de se reconnaître, employez toute votre diligence, que les formations ne se séparent pas, faites tous vos efforts pour vous en mettre dans une entière possession ; mais ne livrez point de combat pour en chasser l'ennemi. S'il vous a prévenu, usez de finesse pour l'en déloger, mais si vous y êtes une fois, n'en délogez pas.


Sunzi XI. 12.

On open ground, do not try to block the enemy's way.1 On the ground of intersecting highways, join hands with your allies.2

1. Because the attempt would be futile, and would expose the blocking force itself to serious risks. There are two interpretations available here. I follow that of Chang Yu. The other is indicated in Ts`ao Kung's brief note: "Draw closer together"–i.e., see that a portion of your own army is not cut off.
2. Or perhaps, "form alliances with neighboring states."

Giles XI.12.

Pour ce qui est des lieux de réunion, tâchez de vous y rendre avant l'ennemi. Faites en sorte que vous ayez une communication libre de tous les côtés ; que vos chevaux, vos chariots et tout votre bagage puissent aller et venir sans danger. N'oubliez rien de tout ce qui est en votre pouvoir pour vous assurer de la bonne volonté des peuples voisins, recherchez-la, demandez-la, achetez-la, obtenez-la à quelque prix que ce soit, elle vous est nécessaire ; et ce n'est guère que par ce moyen que votre armée peut avoir tout ce dont elle aura besoin. Si tout abonde de votre côté, il y a grande apparence que la disette régnera du côté de l'ennemi. Dans les lieux pleins et unis, étendez-vous à l'aise, donnez-vous du large, faites des retranchements pour vous mettre à couvert de toute surprise, et attendez tranquillement que le temps et les circonstances vous ouvrent les voies pour faire quelque grande action.


Sunzi XI. 13.

On serious ground, gather in plunder.1 In difficult ground, keep steadily on the march.2

1. On this, Li Ch`uan has the following delicious note: "When an army penetrates far into the enemy's country, care must be taken not to alienate the people by unjust treatment. Follow the example of the Han Emperor Kao Tsu, whose march into Ch`in territory was marked by no violation of women or looting of valuables. [Nota bene: this was in 207 B.C., and may well cause us to blush for the Christian armies that entered Peking in 1900 A.D.] Thus he won the hearts of all. In the present passage, then, I think that the true reading must be, not 'plunder,' but 'do not plunder.'" Alas, I fear that in this instance the worthy commentator's feelings outran his judgment. Tu Mu, at least, has no such illusions. He says: "When encamped on 'serious ground,' there being no inducement as yet to advance further, and no possibility of retreat, one ought to take measures for a protracted resistance by bringing in provisions from all sides, and keep a close watch on the enemy."
2. Or, in the words of VIII. ss. 2, "do not encamp.

Giles XI.13.

Si vous êtes à portée de ces sortes de lieux qui ont plusieurs issues, où l'on peut se rendre par plusieurs chemins, commencez par les bien connaître ; alliez-vous aux États voisins, que rien n'échappe à vos recherches ; emparez-vous de toutes les avenues, n'en négligez aucune, quelque peu importante qu'elle vous paraisse, et gardez-les toutes très soigneusement. Si vous vous trouvez dans des lieux graves et importants, rendez-vous maître de tout ce qui vous environne. Ne laissez rien derrière vous, le plus petit poste doit être emporté ; sans cette précaution vous courriez le risque de manquer des vivres nécessaires à l'entretien de votre armée, ou de vous voir l'ennemi sur les bras lorsque vous y penseriez le moins, et d'être attaqué par plusieurs côtés à la fois.


Sunzi XI. 14.

On hemmed-in ground, resort to stratagem.1 On desperate ground, fight.2

1. Ts`au Kung says: "Try the effect of some unusual artifice;" and Tu Yu amplifies this by saying: "In such a position, some scheme must be devised which will suit the circumstances, and if we can succeed in deluding the enemy, the peril may be escaped." This is exactly what happened on the famous occasion when Hannibal was hemmed in among the mountains on the road to Casilinum, and to all appearances entrapped by the dictator Fabius. The stratagem which Hannibal devised to baffle his foes was remarkably like that which T`ien Tan had also employed with success exactly 62 years before. [See IX. ss. 24, note.] When night came on, bundles of twigs were fastened to the horns of some 2000 oxen and set on fire, the terrified animals being then quickly driven along the mountain side towards the passes which were beset by the enemy. The strange spectacle of these rapidly moving lights so alarmed and discomfited the Romans that they withdrew from their position, and Hannibal's army passed safely through the defile. [See Polybius, III. 93, 94; Livy, XXII. 16 17.
2. For, as Chia Lin remarks: "if you fight with all your might, there is a chance of life; where as death is certain if you cling to your corner."

Giles XI.14.

Si vous êtes dans des lieux gâtés ou détruits, n'allez pas plus avant, retournez sur vos pas, fuyez le plus promptement qu'il vous sera possible. Si vous êtes dans des lieux de mort, n'hésitez point à combattre, allez droit à l'ennemi, le plus tôt est le meilleur.


Sunzi XI. 15.

Those who were called skillful leaders of old knew how to drive a wedge between the enemy's front and rear;1 to prevent co-operation between his large and small divisions; to hinder the good troops from rescuing the bad, the officers from rallying their men.

When the enemy's men were united, they managed to keep them in disorder.

When it was to their advantage, they made a forward move; when otherwise, they stopped still.2

1. More literally, "cause the front and rear to lose touch with each other."
2. Mei Yao-ch`en connects this with the foregoing: "Having succeeded in thus dislocating the enemy, they would push forward in order to secure any advantage to be gained; if there was no advantage to be gained, they would remain where they were."

Giles XI.15,16,17.

Telle est la conduite que tenaient nos anciens guerriers. Ces grands hommes, habiles et expérimentés dans leur art, avaient pour principe que la manière d'attaquer et de se défendre ne devait pas être invariablement la même, qu'elle devait être prise de la nature du terrain que l'on se occupait et de la position où l'on se trouvait. Ils disaient que la tête et la queue d'une armée ne devaient pas être commandées de la même façon, qu'il fallait combattre la tête et enfoncer la queue ; que la multitude et le petit nombre ne pouvaient pas être longtemps d'accord ; que les forts et les faibles, lorsqu'ils étaient ensemble, ne tardaient guère à se désunir ; que les hauts et les bas ne pouvaient être également utiles ; que les troupes étroitement unies pouvaient aisément se diviser, mais que celles qui étaient une fois divisées ne se réunissaient que très difficilement. Ils répétaient sans cesse qu'une armée ne devait jamais se mettre en mouvement qu'elle ne fût sûre de quelque avantage réel, et que, lorsqu'il n'y avait rien à gagner, il fallait se tenir tranquille et garder le camp. En résumé, je vous dirai que toute votre conduite militaire doit être réglée suivant les circonstances ; que vous devez attaquer ou vous défendre selon que le théâtre de la guerre sera chez vous ou chez l'ennemi.


Sunzi XI. 16.

If asked how to cope with a great host of the enemy in orderly array and on the point of marching to the attack, I should say: "Begin by seizing something which your opponent holds dear; then he will be amenable to your will."1

1. Opinions differ as to what Sun Tzu had in mind. Ts`ao Kung thinks it is "some strategical advantage on which the enemy is depending." Tu Mu says: "The three things which an enemy is anxious to do, and on the accomplishment of which his success depends, are: 1) to capture our favorable positions; 2) to ravage our cultivated land; 3) to guard his own communications." Our object then must be to thwart his plans in these three directions and thus render him helpless. [Cf. III. ss. 3.] By boldly seizing the initiative in this way, you at once throw the other side on the defensive.

Giles XI.18.

Si la guerre se fait dans votre propre pays, et si l'ennemi, sans vous avoir donné le temps de faire tous vos préparatifs, s'apprêtant à vous attaquer, vient avec une armée bien ordonnée pour l'envahir ou le démembrer, ou y faire des dégâts, ramassez promptement le plus de troupes que vous pourrez, envoyez demander du secours chez les voisins et chez les alliés, emparez-vous de quelques lieux qu'il chérit, et il se fera conforme à vos désirs, mettez-les en état de défense, ne fût-ce que pour gagner du temps.


Sunzi XI. 17.

Rapidity is the essence of war:1 take advantage of the enemy's unreadiness, make your way by unexpected routes, and attack unguarded spots.

The following are the principles to be observed by an invading force: The further you penetrate into a country, the greater will be the solidarity of your troops, and thus the defenders will not prevail against you.

1. According to Tu Mu, "this is a summary of leading principles in warfare," and he adds: "These are the profoundest truths of military science, and the chief business of the general." The following anecdotes, told by Ho Shih, shows the importance attached to speed by two of China's greatest generals. In 227 A.D., Meng Ta, governor of Hsin-ch`eng under the Wei Emperor Wen Ti, was meditating defection to the House of Shu, and had entered into correspondence with Chu-ko Liang, Prime Minister of that State. The Wei general Ssu-ma I was then military governor of Wan, and getting wind of Meng Ta's treachery, he at once set off with an army to anticipate his revolt, having previously cajoled him by a specious message of friendly import. Ssu-ma's officers came to him and said: "If Meng Ta has leagued himself with Wu and Shu, the matter should be thoroughly investigated before we make a move." Ssu-ma I replied: "Meng Ta is an unprincipled man, and we ought to go and punish him at once, while he is still wavering and before he has thrown off the mask." Then, by a series of forced marches, be brought his army under the walls of Hsin-ch`eng with in a space of eight days. Now Meng Ta had previously said in a letter to Chu-ko Liang: "Wan is 1200 LI from here. When the news of my revolt reaches Ssu-ma I, he will at once inform his imperial master, but it will be a whole month before any steps can be taken, and by that time my city will be well fortified. Besides, Ssu-ma I is sure not to come himself, and the generals that will be sent against us are not worth troubling about." The next letter, however, was filled with consternation: "Though only eight days have passed since I threw off my allegiance, an army is already at the city-gates. What miraculous rapidity is this!" A fortnight later, Hsin- ch`eng had fallen and Meng Ta had lost his head. [See CHIN SHU, ch. 1, f. 3.] In 621 A.D., Li Ching was sent from K`uei-chou in Ssu-ch`uan to reduce the successful rebel Hsiao Hsien, who had set up as Emperor at the modern Ching-chou Fu in Hupeh. It was autumn, and the Yangtsze being then in flood, Hsiao Hsien never dreamt that his adversary would venture to come down through the gorges, and consequently made no preparations. But Li Ching embarked his army without loss of time, and was just about to start when the other generals implored him to postpone his departure until the river was in a less dangerous state for navigation. Li Ching replied: "To the soldier, overwhelming speed is of paramount importance, and he must never miss opportunities. Now is the time to strike, before Hsiao Hsien even knows that we have got an army together. If we seize the present moment when the river is in flood, we shall appear before his capital with startling suddenness, like the thunder which is heard before you have time to stop your ears against it. [See VII. ss. 19, note.] This is the great principle in war. Even if he gets to know of our approach, he will have to levy his soldiers in such a hurry that they will not be fit to oppose us. Thus the full fruits of victory will be ours." All came about as he predicted, and Hsiao Hsien was obliged to surrender, nobly stipulating that his people should be spared and he alone suffer the penalty of death.

Giles XI.19,20.

La rapidité est la sève de la guerre. Voyagez par les routes sur lesquelles il ne peut vous attendre ; mettez une partie de vos soins à empêcher que l'armée ennemie ne puisse recevoir des vivres, barrez-lui tous les chemins, ou du moins faites qu'elle n'en puisse trouver aucun sans embuscades, ou sans qu'elle soit obligée de l'emporter de vive force. Les paysans peuvent en cela vous être d'un grand secours et vous servir mieux que vos propres troupes : faites-leur entendre seulement qu'ils doivent empêcher que d'injustes ravisseurs ne viennent s'emparer de toutes leurs possessions et ne leur enlèvent leur père, leur mère, leur femme et leurs enfants.


Sunzi XI. 18.

Make forays in fertile country in order to supply your army with food.1

1. Cf. supra, ss. 13. Li Ch`uan does not venture on a note here.

Giles XI.21.

Ne vous tenez pas seulement sur la défensive. Envoyez des partisans pour enlever des convois, harcelez, fatiguez, attaquez tantôt d'un côté, tantôt de l'autre ; forcez votre injuste agresseur à se repentir de sa témérité ; contraignez-le de retourner sur ses pas, n'emportant pour tout butin que la honte de n'avoir pu réussir. Si vous faites la guerre dans le pays ennemi, ne divisez vos troupes que très rarement, ou mieux encore, ne les divisez jamais ; qu'elles soient toujours réunies et en état de se secourir mutuellement ; ayez soin qu'elles ne soient jamais que dans des lieux fertiles et abondants. Si elles venaient à souffrir de la faim, la misère et les maladies feraient bientôt plus de ravage parmi elles que ne le pourrait faire dans plusieurs années le fer de l'ennemi.


Sunzi XI. 19.

Carefully study the well-being of your men,1 and do not overtax them. Concentrate your energy and hoard your strength.2 Keep your army continually on the move,3 and devise unfathomable plans.

1. For "well-being", Wang Hsi means, "Pet them, humor them, give them plenty of food and drink, and look after them generally."
2. Ch`en recalls the line of action adopted in 224 B.C. by the famous general Wang Chien, whose military genius largely contributed to the success of the First Emperor. He had invaded the Ch`u State, where a universal levy was made to oppose him. But, being doubtful of the temper of his troops, he declined all invitations to fight and remained strictly on the defensive. In vain did the Ch`u general try to force a battle: day after day Wang Chien kept inside his walls and would not come out, but devoted his whole time and energy to winning the affection and confidence of his men. He took care that they should be well fed, sharing his own meals with them, provided facilities for bathing, and employed every method of judicious indulgence to weld them into a loyal and homogenous body. After some time had elapsed, he told off certain persons to find out how the men were amusing themselves. The answer was, that they were contending with one another in putting the weight and long-jumping. When Wang Chien heard that they were engaged in these athletic pursuits, he knew that their spirits had been strung up to the required pitch and that they were now ready for fighting. By this time the Ch`u army, after repeating their challenge again and again, had marched away eastwards in disgust. The Ch`in general immediately broke up his camp and followed them, and in the battle that ensued they were routed with great slaughter. Shortly afterwards, the whole of Ch`u was conquered by Ch`in, and the king Fu-ch`u led into captivity.
3. In order that the enemy may never know exactly where you are. It has struck me, however, that the true reading might be "link your army together."

Giles XI.22.

Procurez-vous pacifiquement tous les secours dont vous aurez besoin ; n'employez la force que lorsque les autres voies auront été inutiles ; faites en sorte que les habitants des villages et de la campagne puissent trouver leurs intérêts à venir d'eux-mêmes vous offrir leurs denrées ; mais, je le répète, que vos troupes ne soient jamais divisées. Tout le reste étant égal, on est plus fort de moitié lorsqu'on combat chez soi. Si vous combattez chez l'ennemi, ayez égard à cette maxime, surtout si vous êtes un peu avant dans ses États : conduisez alors votre armée entière ; faites toutes vos opérations militaires dans le plus grand secret, je veux dire qu'il faut empêcher qu'aucun ne puisse pénétrer vos desseins : il suffit qu'on sache ce que vous voulez faire quand le temps de l'exécuter sera arrivé. Il peut arriver que vous soyez réduit quelquefois à ne savoir où aller, ni de quel côté vous tourner ; dans ce cas ne précipitez rien, attendez tout du temps et des circonstances, soyez inébranlable dans le lieu où vous êtes.


Sunzi XI. 20.

Throw your soldiers into positions whence there is no escape, and they will prefer death to flight. If they will face death, there is nothing they may not achieve.1 Officers and men alike will put forth their uttermost strength.2

Soldiers when in desperate straits lose the sense of fear. If there is no place of refuge, they will stand firm. If they are in hostile country, they will show a stubborn front. If there is no help for it, they will fight hard.

1. Chang Yu quotes his favorite Wei Liao Tzu (ch. 3): "If one man were to run amok with a sword in the market-place, and everybody else tried to get our of his way, I should not allow that this man alone had courage and that all the rest were contemptible cowards. The truth is, that a desperado and a man who sets some value on his life do not meet on even terms."
2. Chang Yu says: "If they are in an awkward place together, they will surely exert their united strength to get out of it."

Giles XI.23,24.

Il peut arriver encore que vous vous trouviez engagé mal à propos ; gardez-vous bien alors de prendre la fuite, elle causerait votre perte ; périssez plutôt que de reculer, vous périrez au moins glorieusement ; cependant, faites bonne contenance. Votre armée, accoutumée à ignorer vos desseins, ignorera pareillement le péril qui la menace ; elle croira que vous avez eu vos raisons, et combattra avec autant d'ordre et de valeur que si vous l'aviez disposée depuis longtemps à la bataille. Si dans ces sortes d'occasions vous triomphez, vos soldats redoubleront de force, de courage et de valeur ; votre réputation s'accroît dans la proportion même du risque que vous avez couru. Votre armée se croira invincible sous un chef tel que vous. Quelque critiques que puissent être la situation et les circonstances où vous vous trouvez, ne désespérez de rien. C'est dans les occasions où tout est à craindre qu'il ne faut rien craindre ; c'est lorsqu'on est environné de tous les dangers qu'il n'en faut redouter aucun ; c'est lorsqu'on est sans aucune ressource qu'il faut compter sur toutes ; c'est lorsqu'on est surpris qu'il faut surprendre l'ennemi lui-même.


Sunzi XI. 21.

Thus, without waiting to be marshaled, the soldiers will be constantly on the qui vive; without waiting to be asked, they will do your will;1 without restrictions, they will be faithful; without giving orders, they can be trusted.

1. Literally, "without asking, you will get."

Giles XI.25.

Instruisez tellement vos troupes qu'elles puissent se trouver prêtes sans préparatifs, qu'elles trouvent de grands avantages là où elles n'en ont cherché aucun, que sans aucun ordre particulier de votre part, elles improvisent les dispositions à prendre, que sans défense expresse elles s'interdisent d'elles-mêmes tout ce qui est contre la discipline.


Sunzi XI. 22.

Prohibit the taking of omens, and do away with superstitious doubts. Then, until death itself comes, no calamity need be feared.1

1. The superstitious, "bound in to saucy doubts and fears," degenerate into cowards and "die many times before their deaths." Tu Mu quotes Huang Shih-kung: "'Spells and incantations should be strictly forbidden, and no officer allowed to inquire by divination into the fortunes of an army, for fear the soldiers' minds should be seriously perturbed.' The meaning is," he continues, "that if all doubts and scruples are discarded, your men will never falter in their resolution until they die."

Giles XI.26.

Veillez en particulier avec une extrême attention à ce qu'on ne sème pas de faux bruits, coupez racine aux plaintes et aux murmures, ne permettez pas qu'on tire des augures sinistres de tout ce qui peut arriver d'extraordinaire. Si les devins ou les astrologues de l'armée ont prédit le bonheur, tenez-vous-en à leur décision ; s'ils parlent avec obscurité, interprétez en bien ; s'ils hésitent, ou qu'ils ne disent pas des choses avantageuses, ne les écoutez pas, faites-les taire.


Sunzi XI. 23.

If our soldiers are not overburdened with money, it is not because they have a distaste for riches; if their lives are not unduly long, it is not because they are disinclined to longevity.1

1. Chang Yu has the best note on this passage: "Wealth and long life are things for which all men have a natural inclination. Hence, if they burn or fling away valuables, and sacrifice their own lives, it is not that they dislike them, but simply that they have no choice." Sun Tzu is slyly insinuating that, as soldiers are but human, it is for the general to see that temptations to shirk fighting and grow rich are not thrown in their way.

Giles XI.27.

Aimez vos troupes, et procurez-leur tous les secours, tous les avantages, toutes les commodités dont elles peuvent avoir besoin. Si elles essuient de rudes fatigues, ce n'est pas qu'elles s'y plaisent ; si elles endurent la faim, ce n'est pas qu'elles ne se soucient pas de manger ; si elles s'exposent à la mort, ce n'est point qu'elles n'aiment pas la vie. Si mes officiers n'ont pas un surcroît de richesses, ce n'est pas parce qu'ils dédaignent les biens de ce monde. Faites en vous-même de sérieuses réflexions sur tout cela.


Sunzi XI. 24.

On the day they are ordered out to battle, your soldiers may weep,1 those sitting up bedewing their garments, and those lying down letting the tears run down their cheeks.2 But let them once be brought to bay, and they will display the courage of a Chu or a Kuei.3

1. The word in the Chinese is "snivel." This is taken to indicate more genuine grief than tears alone.
2. Not because they are afraid, but because, as Ts`ao Kung says, "all have embraced the firm resolution to do or die." We may remember that the heroes of the Iliad were equally childlike in showing their emotion. Chang Yu alludes to the mournful parting at the I River between Ching K`o and his friends, when the former was sent to attempt the life of the King of Ch`in (afterwards First Emperor) in 227 B.C. The tears of all flowed down like rain as he bade them farewell and uttered the following lines: "The shrill blast is blowing, Chilly the burn; Your champion is going–Not to return." [Giles' Biographical Dictionary, no. 399.]
3. Chu was the personal name of Chuan Chu, a native of the Wu State and contemporary with Sun Tzu himself, who was employed by Kung-tzu Kuang, better known as Ho Lu Wang, to assassinate his sovereign Wang Liao with a dagger which he secreted in the belly of a fish served up at a banquet. He succeeded in his attempt, but was immediately hacked to pieced by the king's bodyguard. This was in 515 B.C. The other hero referred to, Ts`ao Kuei (or Ts`ao Mo), performed the exploit which has made his name famous 166 years earlier, in 681 B.C. Lu had been thrice defeated by Ch`i, and was just about to conclude a treaty surrendering a large slice of territory, when Ts`ao Kuei suddenly seized Huan Kung, the Duke of Ch`i, as he stood on the altar steps and held a dagger against his chest. None of the duke's retainers dared to move a muscle, and Ts`ao Kuei proceeded to demand full restitution, declaring the Lu was being unjustly treated because she was a smaller and a weaker state. Huan Kung, in peril of his life, was obliged to consent, whereupon Ts`ao Kuei flung away his dagger and quietly resumed his place amid the terrified assemblage without having so much as changed color. As was to be expected, the Duke wanted afterwards to repudiate the bargain, but his wise old counselor Kuan Chung pointed out to him the impolicy of breaking his word, and the upshot was that this bold stroke regained for Lu the whole of what she had lost in three pitched battles.

Giles XI.28.

Lorsque vous aurez tout disposé dans votre armée et que tous vos ordres auront été donnés, s'il arrive que vos troupes nonchalamment assises donnent des marques de tristesse, si elles vont jusqu'à verser des larmes, tirez-les promptement de cet état d'assoupissement et de léthargie, donnez-leur des festins, faites-leur entendre le bruit du tambour et des autres instruments militaires, exercez-les, faites-leur faire des évolutions, faites-leur changer de place, menez-les même dans des lieux un peu difficiles, où elles aient à travailler et à souffrir. Imitez la conduite de Tchouan Tchou et de Tsao-Kouei, vous changerez le cœur de vos soldats, vous les accoutumerez au travail, ils s'y endurciront, rien ne leur coûtera dans la suite. Les quadrupèdes regimbent quand on les charge trop, ils deviennent inutiles quand ils sont forcés. Les oiseaux au contraire veulent être forcés pour être d'un bon usage. Les hommes tiennent un milieu entre les uns et les autres, il faut les charger, mais non pas jusqu'à les accabler ; il faut même les forcer, mais avec discernement et mesure.


Sunzi XI. 25.

The skillful tactician may be likened to the SHUAI-JAN. Now the SHUAI-JAN is a snake that is found in the Ch`ang mountains.1 Strike at its head, and you will be attacked by its tail; strike at its tail, and you will be attacked by its head; strike at its middle, and you will be attacked by head and tail both.

1. "Shuai-jan" means "suddenly" or "rapidly," and the snake in question was doubtless so called owing to the rapidity of its movements. Through this passage, the term in the Chinese has now come to be used in the sense of "military maneuvers."

Giles XI.29.

Si vous voulez tirer un bon parti de votre armée, si vous voulez qu'elle soit invincible, faites qu'elle ressemble au Chouai Jen. Le Chouai Jen est une espèce de gros serpent qui se trouve dans la montagne de Tchang Chan. Si l'on frappe sur la tête de ce serpent, à l'instant sa queue va au secours, et se recourbe jusqu'à la tête ; qu'on le frappe sur la queue, la tête s'y trouve dans le moment pour la défendre ; qu'on le frappe sur le milieu ou sur quelque autre partie de son corps, sa tête et sa queue s'y trouvent d'abord réunies.


Sunzi XI. 26.

Asked if an army can be made to imitate the SHUAI-JAN,1 I should answer, Yes. For the men of Wu and the men of Yueh are enemies;2 yet if they are crossing a river in the same boat and are caught by a storm, they will come to each other's assistance just as the left hand helps the right.3

1. That is, as Mei Yao-ch`en says, "Is it possible to make the front and rear of an army each swiftly responsive to attack on the other, just as though they were part of a single living body?"
2. Cf. VI. ss. 21.
3. The meaning is: If two enemies will help each other in a time of common peril, how much more should two parts of the same army, bound together as they are by every tie of interest and fellow-feeling. Yet it is notorious that many a campaign has been ruined through lack of cooperation, especially in the case of allied armies.

Giles XI.30.

Mais cela peut-il être pratiqué par une armée ? dira peut-être quelqu'un. Oui, cela se peut, cela se doit, et il le faut. Quelques soldats du royaume de Ou se trouvèrent un jour à passer une rivière en même temps que d'autres soldats du royaume de Yue la passaient aussi ; un vent impétueux souffla, les barques furent renversées et les hommes auraient tous péri, s'ils ne se fussent aidés mutuellement : ils ne pensèrent pas alors qu'ils étaient ennemis, ils se rendirent au contraire tous les offices qu'on pouvait attendre d'une amitié tendre et sincère, ils coopérèrent comme la main droite avec la main gauche.

Je vous rappelle ce trait d'Histoire pour vous faire entendre que non seulement les différents corps de votre armée doivent se secourir mutuellement, mais encore qu'il faut que vous secouriez vos alliés, que vous donniez même du secours aux peuples vaincus qui en ont besoin ; car, s'ils vous sont soumis, c'est qu'ils n'ont pu faire autrement ; si leur souverain vous a déclaré la guerre, ce n'est pas de leur faute. Rendez-leur des services, ils auront leur tour pour vous en rendre aussi.

En quelque pays que vous soyez, quel que soit le lieu que vous occupiez, si dans votre armée il y a des étrangers, ou si, parmi les peuples vaincus, vous avez choisi des soldats pour grossir le nombre de vos troupes, ne souffrez jamais que dans les corps qu'ils composent ils soient ou les plus forts, ou en majorité. Quand on attache plusieurs chevaux à un même pieu, on se garde bien de mettre ceux qui sont indomptés, ou tous ensemble, ou avec d'autres en moindre nombre qu'eux, ils mettraient tout en désordre ; mais lorsqu'ils sont domptés, ils suivent aisément la multitude.


Sunzi XI. 27.

Hence it is not enough to put one's trust in the tethering of horses, and the burying of chariot wheels in the ground1

The principle on which to manage an army is to set up one standard of courage which all must reach.2

How to make the best of both strong and weak–that is a question involving the proper use of ground.3

Thus the skillful general conducts his army just as though he were leading a single man, willy-nilly, by the hand.4

1. These quaint devices to prevent one's army from running away recall the Athenian hero Sophanes, who carried the anchor with him at the battle of Plataea, by means of which he fastened himself firmly to one spot. [See Herodotus, IX. 74.] It is not enough, says Sun Tzu, to render flight impossible by such mechanical means. You will not succeed unless your men have tenacity and unity of purpose, and, above all, a spirit of sympathetic cooperation. This is the lesson which can be learned from the SHUAI-JAN.
2. Literally, "level the courage [of all] as though [it were that of] one." If the ideal army is to form a single organic whole, then it follows that the resolution and spirit of its component parts must be of the same quality, or at any rate must not fall below a certain standard. Wellington's seemingly ungrateful description of his army at Waterloo as "the worst he had ever commanded" meant no more than that it was deficient in this important particular–unity of spirit and courage. Had he not foreseen the Belgian defections and carefully kept those troops in the background, he would almost certainly have lost the day.
3. Mei Yao-ch`en's paraphrase is: "The way to eliminate the differences of strong and weak and to make both serviceable is to utilize accidental features of the ground." Less reliable troops, if posted in strong positions, will hold out as long as better troops on more exposed terrain. The advantage of position neutralizes the inferiority in stamina and courage. Col. Henderson says: "With all respect to the text books, and to the ordinary tactical teaching, I am inclined to think that the study of ground is often overlooked, and that by no means sufficient importance is attached to the selection of positions... and to the immense advantages that are to be derived, whether you are defending or attacking, from the proper utilization of natural features." ["The Science of War," p. 333.]
4. Tu Mu says: "The simile has reference to the ease with which he does it."

Giles XI.31-34.

Dans quelque position que vous puissiez être, si votre armée est inférieure à celle des ennemis, votre seule conduite, si elle est bonne, peut la rendre victorieuse. Il n'est pas suffisant de compter sur les chevaux boiteux ou les chariots embourbés, mais à quoi vous servirait d'être placé avantageusement si vous ne saviez pas tirer parti de votre position ? À quoi servent la bravoure sans la prudence, la valeur sans la ruse ?


Sunzi XI. 28.

It is the business of a general to be quiet and thus ensure secrecy; upright and just, and thus maintain order.

He must be able to mystify his officers and men by false reports and appearances,1 and thus keep them in total ignorance.2

By altering his arrangements and changing his plans,3 he keeps the enemy without definite knowledge.4 By shifting his camp and taking circuitous routes, he prevents the enemy from anticipating his purpose.

At the critical moment, the leader of an army acts like one who has climbed up a height and then kicks away the ladder behind him. He carries his men deep into hostile territory before he shows his hand.5

1. Literally, "to deceive their eyes and ears."
2. Ts`ao Kung gives us one of his excellent apophthegms: "The troops must not be allowed to share your schemes in the beginning; they may only rejoice with you over their happy outcome." "To mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy," is one of the first principles in war, as had been frequently pointed out. But how about the other process–the mystification of one's own men? Those who may think that Sun Tzu is over-emphatic on this point would do well to read Col. Henderson's remarks on Stonewall Jackson's Valley campaign: "The infinite pains," he says, "with which Jackson sought to conceal, even from his most trusted staff officers, his movements, his intentions, and his thoughts, a commander less thorough would have pronounced useless"–etc. etc. ["Stonewall Jackson," vol. I, p. 421.] In the year 88 A.D., as we read in ch. 47 of the HOU HAN SHU, "Pan Ch`ao took the field with 25,000 men from Khotan and other Central Asian states with the object of crushing Yarkand. The King of Kutcha replied by dispatching his chief commander to succor the place with an army drawn from the kingdoms of Wen-su, Ku-mo, and Wei-t`ou, totaling 50,000 men. Pan Ch`ao summoned his officers and also the King of Khotan to a council of war, and said: 'Our forces are now outnumbered and unable to make head against the enemy. The best plan, then, is for us to separate and disperse, each in a different direction. The King of Khotan will march away by the easterly route, and I will then return myself towards the west. Let us wait until the evening drum has sounded and then start.' Pan Ch`ao now secretly released the prisoners whom he had taken alive, and the King of Kutcha was thus informed of his plans. Much elated by the news, the latter set off at once at the head of 10,000 horsemen to bar Pan Ch`ao's retreat in the west, while the King of Wen-su rode eastward with 8000 horse in order to intercept the King of Khotan. As soon as Pan Ch`ao knew that the two chieftains had gone, he called his divisions together, got them well in hand, and at cock-crow hurled them against the army of Yarkand, as it lay encamped. The barbarians, panic-stricken, fled in confusion, and were closely pursued by Pan Ch`ao. Over 5000 heads were brought back as trophies, besides immense spoils in the shape of horses and cattle and valuables of every description. Yarkand then capitulating, Kutcha and the other kingdoms drew off their respective forces. From that time forward, Pan Ch`ao's prestige completely overawed the countries of the west." In this case, we see that the Chinese general not only kept his own officers in ignorance of his real plans, but actually took the bold step of dividing his army in order to deceive the enemy.
3. Wang Hsi thinks that this means not using the same stratagem twice.
4. Chang Yu, in a quotation from another work, says: "The axiom, that war is based on deception, does not apply only to deception of the enemy. You must deceive even your own soldiers. Make them follow you, but without letting them know why."
5. Literally, "releases the spring" (see V. ss. 15), that is, takes some decisive step which makes it impossible for the army to return–like Hsiang Yu, who sunk his ships after crossing a river. Ch`en Hao, followed by Chia Lin, understands the words less well as "puts forth every artifice at his command."

Giles XI.35-38.

Un bon général tire parti de tout, et il n'est en état de tirer parti de tout que parce qu'il fait toutes ses opérations avec le plus grand secret, qu'il sait conserver son sang-froid, et qu'il gouverne avec droiture, de telle sorte néanmoins que son armée a sans cesse les oreilles trompées et les yeux fascinés. Il sait si bien que ses troupes ne savent jamais ce qu'elles doivent faire, ni ce qu'on doit leur commander. Si les événements changent, il change de conduite ; si ses méthodes, ses systèmes ont des inconvénients, il les corrige toutes les fois qu'il le veut, et comme il le veut. Si ses propres gens ignorent ses desseins, comment les ennemis pourraient-ils les pénétrer ? Un habile général sait d'avance tout ce qu'il doit faire ; tout autre que lui doit l'ignorer absolument. Telle était la pratique de ceux de nos anciens guerriers qui se sont le plus distingués dans l'art sublime du gouvernement. Voulaient-ils prendre une ville d'assaut, ils n'en parlaient que lorsqu'ils étaient aux pieds des murs. Ils montaient les premiers, tout le monde les suivait ; et lorsqu'on était logé sur la muraille, ils faisaient rompre toutes les échelles. Étaient-ils bien avant dans les terres des alliés, ils redoublaient d'attention et de secret.


Sunzi XI. 29.

He burns his boats and breaks his cooking-pots; like a shepherd driving a flock of sheep, he drives his men this way and that, and nothing knows whither he is going.1

To muster his host and bring it into danger:–this may be termed the business of the general.2

1. Tu Mu says: "The army is only cognizant of orders to advance or retreat; it is ignorant of the ulterior ends of attacking and conquering."
2. Sun Tzu means that after mobilization there should be no delay in aiming a blow at the enemy's heart. Note how he returns again and again to this point. Among the warring states of ancient China, desertion was no doubt a much more present fear and serious evil than it is in the armies of today.

Giles XI.39,40.

Partout ils conduisaient leurs armées comme un berger conduit un troupeau ; ils les faisaient aller où bon leur semblait, ils les faisaient revenir sur leurs pas, ils les faisaient retourner, et tout cela sans murmure, sans résistance de la part d'un seul.


Sunzi XI. 30.

The different measures suited to the nine varieties of ground;1 the expediency of aggressive or defensive tactics; and the fundamental laws of human nature: these are things that must most certainly be studied.

When invading hostile territory, the general principle is, that penetrating deeply brings cohesion; penetrating but a short way means dispersion.2

When you leave your own country behind, and take your army across neighborhood territory, you find yourself on critical ground.3 When there are means of communication on all four sides, the ground is one of intersecting highways.

When you penetrate deeply into a country, it is serious ground. When you penetrate but a little way, it is facile ground.

When you have the enemy's strongholds on your rear, and narrow passes in front, it is hemmed-in ground. When there is no place of refuge at all, it is desperate ground.

1. Chang Yu says: "One must not be hide-bound in interpreting the rules for the nine varieties of ground.
2. Cf. supra, ss. 20.
3. This "ground" is curiously mentioned in VIII. ss. 2, but it does not figure among the Nine Situations or the Six Calamities in chap. X. One's first impulse would be to translate it distant ground," but this, if we can trust the commentators, is precisely what is not meant here. Mei Yao-ch`en says it is "a position not far enough advanced to be called 'facile,' and not near enough to home to be 'dispersive,' but something between the two." Wang Hsi says: "It is ground separated from home by an interjacent state, whose territory we have had to cross in order to reach it. Hence, it is incumbent on us to settle our business there quickly." He adds that this position is of rare occurrence, which is the reason why it is not included among the Nine Situations.

Giles XI.41-45.

La principale science d'un général consiste à bien connaître les neuf sortes de terrain, afin de pouvoir faire à propos les neuf changements. Elle consiste à savoir déployer et replier ses troupes suivant les lieux et les circonstances, à travailler efficacement à cacher ses propres intentions et à découvrir celles de l'ennemi, à avoir pour maxime certaine que les troupes sont très unies entre elles, lorsqu'elles sont bien avant dans les terres des ennemis ; qu'elles se divisent au contraire et se dispersent très aisément, lorsqu'on ne se tient qu'aux frontières ; qu'elles ont déjà la moitié de la victoire, lorsqu'elles se sont emparées de tous les allants et de tous les aboutissants, tant de l'endroit où elles doivent camper que des environs du camp de l'ennemi ; que c'est un commencement de succès que d'avoir pu camper dans un terrain vaste, spacieux et ouvert de tous côtés ; mais que c'est presque avoir vaincu, lorsque étant dans les possessions ennemies, elles se sont emparées de tous les petits postes, de tous les chemins, de tous les villages qui sont au loin des quatre côtés, et que, par leurs bonnes manières, elles ont gagné l'affection de ceux qu'elles veulent vaincre, ou qu'elles ont déjà vaincus.


Sunzi XI. 31.

Therefore, on dispersive ground, I would inspire my men with unity of purpose.1 On facile ground, I would see that there is close connection between all parts of my army.2

1. This end, according to Tu Mu, is best attained by remaining on the defensive, and avoiding battle. Cf. supra, ss. 11.
2. As Tu Mu says, the object is to guard against two possible contingencies: "1) the desertion of our own troops; 2) a sudden attack on the part of the enemy." Cf. VII. ss. 17. Mei Yao-ch`en says: "On the march, the regiments should be in close touch; in an encampment, there should be continuity between the fortifications."

Giles XI.46.

Instruit par l'expérience et par mes propres réflexions, j'ai tâché, lorsque je commandais les armées, de réduire en pratique tout ce que je vous rappelle ici. Quand j'étais dans des lieux de division, je travaillais à l'union des cœurs et à l'uniformité des sentiments. Lorsque j'étais dans des lieux légers, je rassemblais mon monde, et je l'occupais utilement.


Sunzi XI. 32.

On contentious ground, I would hurry up my rear.1

1. This is Ts`ao Kung's interpretation. Chang Yu adopts it, saying: "We must quickly bring up our rear, so that head and tail may both reach the goal." That is, they must not be allowed to straggle up a long way apart. Mei Yao-ch`en offers another equally plausible explanation: "Supposing the enemy has not yet reached the coveted position, and we are behind him, we should advance with all speed in order to dispute its possession." Ch`en Hao, on the other hand, assuming that the enemy has had time to select his own ground, quotes VI. ss. 1, where Sun Tzu warns us against coming exhausted to the attack. His own idea of the situation is rather vaguely expressed: "If there is a favorable position lying in front of you, detach a picked body of troops to occupy it, then if the enemy, relying on their numbers, come up to make a fight for it, you may fall quickly on their rear with your main body, and victory will be assured." It was thus, he adds, that Chao She beat the army of Ch`in. (See p. 57.)

Giles XI.47.

Lorsqu'il s'agissait des lieux qu'on peut disputer, je m'en emparais le premier, quand je le pouvais. Si l'ennemi m'avait prévenu, j'allais après lui, et j'usais d'artifices pour l'en déloger.


Sunzi XI. 33.

On open ground, I would keep a vigilant eye on my defenses. On ground of intersecting highways, I would consolidate my alliances.

Giles XI.48.

Lorsqu'il était question des lieux de réunion, j'observais tout avec une extrême diligence, et je voyais venir l'ennemi. Sur un terrain plein et uni, je m'étendais à l'aise et j'empêchais l'ennemi de s'étendre.


Sunzi XI. 34.

On serious ground, I would try to ensure a continuous stream of supplies.1 On difficult ground, I would keep pushing on along the road.

1. The commentators take this as referring to forage and plunder, not, as one might expect, to an unbroken communication with a home base.

Giles XI.49.

Dans des lieux à plusieurs issues, quand il m'était impossible de les occuper tous, j'étais sur mes gardes, j'observais l'ennemi de près, je ne le perdais pas de vue. Dans des lieux graves et importants, je nourrissais bien le soldat, je l'accablais de caresses.


Sunzi XI. 35.

On hemmed-in ground, I would block any way of retreat.1 On desperate ground, I would proclaim to my soldiers the hopelessness of saving their lives.2

1. Meng Shih says: "To make it seem that I meant to defend the position, whereas my real intention is to burst suddenly through the enemy's lines." Mei Yao-ch`en says: "in order to make my soldiers fight with desperation." Wang Hsi says, "fearing lest my men be tempted to run away." Tu Mu points out that this is the converse of VII. ss. 36, where it is the enemy who is surrounded. In 532 A.D., Kao Huan, afterwards Emperor and canonized as Shen-wu, was surrounded by a great army under Erh- chu Chao and others. His own force was comparatively small, consisting only of 2000 horse and something under 30,000 foot. The lines of investment had not been drawn very closely together, gaps being left at certain points. But Kao Huan, instead of trying to escape, actually made a shift to block all the remaining outlets himself by driving into them a number of oxen and donkeys roped together. As soon as his officers and men saw that there was nothing for it but to conquer or die, their spirits rose to an extraordinary pitch of exaltation, and they charged with such desperate ferocity that the opposing ranks broke and crumbled under their onslaught.
2. Tu Yu says: "Burn your baggage and impedimenta, throw away your stores and provisions, choke up the wells, destroy your cooking-stoves, and make it plain to your men that they cannot survive, but must fight to the death." Mei Yao-ch`en says: "The only chance of life lies in giving up all hope of it." This concludes what Sun Tzu has to say about "grounds" and the "variations" corresponding to them. Reviewing the passages which bear on this important subject, we cannot fail to be struck by the desultory and unmethodical fashion in which it is treated. Sun Tzu begins abruptly in VIII. ss. 2 to enumerate "variations" before touching on "grounds" at all, but only mentions five, namely nos. 7, 5, 8 and 9 of the subsequent list, and one that is not included in it. A few varieties of ground are dealt with in the earlier portion of chap. IX, and then chap. X sets forth six new grounds, with six variations of plan to match. None of these is mentioned again, though the first is hardly to be distinguished from ground no. 4 in the next chapter. At last, in chap. XI, we come to the Nine Grounds par excellence, immediately followed by the variations. This takes us down to ss. 14. In SS. 43-45, fresh definitions are provided for nos. 5, 6, 2, 8 and 9 (in the order given), as well as for the tenth ground noticed in chap. VIII; and finally, the nine variations are enumerated once more from beginning to end, all, with the exception of 5, 6 and 7, being different from those previously given. Though it is impossible to account for the present state of Sun Tzu's text, a few suggestive facts maybe brought into prominence: 1) Chap. VIII, according to the title, should deal with nine variations, whereas only five appear. 2) It is an abnormally short chapter. 3) Chap. XI is entitled The Nine Grounds. Several of these are defined twice over, besides which there are two distinct lists of the corresponding variations. 4) The length of the chapter is disproportionate, being double that of any other except IX. I do not propose to draw any inferences from these facts, beyond the general conclusion that Sun Tzu's work cannot have come down to us in the shape in which it left his hands: chap. VIII is obviously defective and probably out of place, while XI seems to contain matter that has either been added by a later hand or ought to appear elsewhere.

Giles XI.50.

Dans des lieux gâtés ou détruits, je tâchais de me tirer d'embarras, tantôt en faisant des détours et tantôt en remplissant les vides. Enfin, dans des lieux de morts, je faisais croire à l'ennemi que je ne pouvais survivre.


Sunzi XI. 36.

For it is the soldier's disposition to offer an obstinate resistance when surrounded, to fight hard when he cannot help himself, and to obey promptly when he has fallen into danger.1

1. Chang Yu alludes to the conduct of Pan Ch`ao's devoted followers in 73 A.D. The story runs thus in the HOU HAN SHU, ch. 47: "When Pan Ch`ao arrived at Shan-shan, Kuang, the King of the country, received him at first with great politeness and respect; but shortly afterwards his behavior underwent a sudden change, and he became remiss and negligent. Pan Ch`ao spoke about this to the officers of his suite: 'Have you noticed,' he said, 'that Kuang's polite intentions are on the wane? This must signify that envoys have come from the Northern barbarians, and that consequently he is in a state of indecision, not knowing with which side to throw in his lot. That surely is the reason. The truly wise man, we are told, can perceive things before they have come to pass; how much more, then, those that are already manifest!' Thereupon he called one of the natives who had been assigned to his service, and set a trap for him, saying: 'Where are those envoys from the Hsiung-nu who arrived some day ago?' The man was so taken aback that between surprise and fear he presently blurted out the whole truth. Pan Ch`ao, keeping his informant carefully under lock and key, then summoned a general gathering of his officers, thirty-six in all, and began drinking with them. When the wine had mounted into their heads a little, he tried to rouse their spirit still further by addressing them thus: 'Gentlemen, here we are in the heart of an isolated region, anxious to achieve riches and honor by some great exploit. Now it happens that an ambassador from the Hsiung-no arrived in this kingdom only a few days ago, and the result is that the respectful courtesy extended towards us by our royal host has disappeared. Should this envoy prevail upon him to seize our party and hand us over to the Hsiung-no, our bones will become food for the wolves of the desert. What are we to do?' With one accord, the officers replied: 'Standing as we do in peril of our lives, we will follow our commander through life and death.' For the sequel of this adventure, see chap. XII. ss. 1, note.

Giles XI.51.

Les troupes bien disciplinées résistent quand elles sont encerclées ; elles redoublent d'efforts dans les extrémités, elles affrontent les dangers sans crainte, elles se battent jusqu'à la mort quand il n'y a pas d'alternative, et obéissent implicitement. Si celles que vous commandez ne sont pas telles, c'est votre faute ; vous ne méritez pas d'être à leur tête.


Sunzi XI. 37.

We cannot enter into alliance with neighboring princes until we are acquainted with their designs. We are not fit to lead an army on the march unless we are familiar with the face of the country–its mountains and forests, its pitfalls and precipices, its marshes and swamps. We shall be unable to turn natural advantages to account unless we make use of local guides.1

1. These three sentences are repeated from VII. SS. 12-14 – in order to emphasize their importance, the commentators seem to think. I prefer to regard them as interpolated here in order to form an antecedent to the following words. With regard to local guides, Sun Tzu might have added that there is always the risk of going wrong, either through their treachery or some misunderstanding such as Livy records (XXII. 13): Hannibal, we are told, ordered a guide to lead him into the neighborhood of Casinum, where there was an important pass to be occupied; but his Carthaginian accent, unsuited to the pronunciation of Latin names, caused the guide to understand Casilinum instead of Casinum, and turning from his proper route, he took the army in that direction, the mistake not being discovered until they had almost arrived.

Giles XI.52.

Si vous êtes ignorant des plans des États voisins, vous ne pourrez préparer vos alliances au moment opportun ; si vous ne savez pas en quel nombre sont les ennemis contre lesquels vous devez combattre, si vous ne connaissez pas leur fort et leur faible, vous ne ferez jamais les préparatifs ni les dispositions nécessaires pour la conduite de votre armée ; vous ne méritez pas de commander. Si vous ignorez où il y a des montagnes et des collines, des lieux secs ou humides, des lieux escarpés ou pleins de défilés, des lieux marécageux ou pleins de périls, vous ne sauriez donner des ordres convenables, vous ne sauriez conduire votre armée ; vous êtes indigne de commander. Si vous ne connaissez pas tous les chemins, si vous n'avez pas soin de vous munir de guides sûrs et fidèles pour vous conduire par les routes que vous ignorerez, vous ne parviendrez pas au terme que vous vous proposez, vous serez la dupe des ennemis ; vous ne méritez pas de commander.


Sunzi XI. 38.

To be ignored of any one of the following four or five principles does not befit a warlike prince.

When a warlike prince attacks a powerful state, his generalship shows itself in preventing the concentration of the enemy's forces. He overawes his opponents, and their allies are prevented from joining against him.1

Hence he does not strive to ally himself with all and sundry, nor does he foster the power of other states. He carries out his own secret designs, keeping his antagonists in awe.2 Thus he is able to capture their cities and overthrow their kingdoms.3

1. Mei Tao-ch`en constructs one of the chains of reasoning that are so much affected by the Chinese: "In attacking a powerful state, if you can divide her forces, you will have a superiority in strength; if you have a superiority in strength, you will overawe the enemy; if you overawe the enemy, the neighboring states will be frightened; and if the neighboring states are frightened, the enemy's allies will be prevented from joining her." The following gives a stronger meaning: "If the great state has once been defeated (before she has had time to summon her allies), then the lesser states will hold aloof and refrain from massing their forces." Ch`en Hao and Chang Yu take the sentence in quite another way. The former says: "Powerful though a prince may be, if he attacks a large state, he will be unable to raise enough troops, and must rely to some extent on external aid; if he dispenses with this, and with overweening confidence in his own strength, simply tries to intimidate the enemy, he will surely be defeated." Chang Yu puts his view thus: "If we recklessly attack a large state, our own people will be discontented and hang back. But if (as will then be the case) our display of military force is inferior by half to that of the enemy, the other chieftains will take fright and refuse to join us."
2. The train of thought, as said by Li Ch`uan, appears to be this: Secure against a combination of his enemies, "he can afford to reject entangling alliances and simply pursue his own secret designs, his prestige enable him to dispense with external friendships."
3. This paragraph, though written many years before the Ch`in State became a serious menace, is not a bad summary of the policy by which the famous Six Chancellors gradually paved the way for her final triumph under Shih Huang Ti. Chang Yu, following up his previous note, thinks that Sun Tzu is condemning this attitude of cold-blooded selfishness and haughty isolation.

Giles XI.53,54,55.

Lorsqu'un grand hégémonique attaque un État puissant, il fait en sorte qu'il soit impossible à l'ennemi de se concentrer. Il intimide l'ennemi et empêche ses alliés de se joindre à lui.

Il s'ensuit que le grand hégémonique ne combat pas des combinaisons puissantes États et ne nourrit pas le pouvoir d'autres États. Il s'appuie pour la réalisation de ses buts sur sa capacité d'intimider ses opposants et ainsi il peut prendre les villes ennemies et renverser État de l'ennemi.

Si vous ne savez pas combiner quatre et cinq tout à la fois, vos troupes ne sauraient aller de pair avec celles des vassaux et des feudataires. Lorsque les vassaux et les feudataires avaient à faire la guerre contre quelque grand prince, ils s'unissaient entre eux, ils tâchaient de troubler tout l'Univers, ils mettaient dans leur parti le plus de monde qu'il leur était possible, ils recherchaient surtout l'amitié de leurs voisins, ils l'achetaient même bien cher s'il le fallait. Ils ne donnaient pas à l'ennemi le temps de se reconnaître, encore moins celui d'avoir recours à ses alliés et de rassembler toutes ses forces, ils l'attaquaient lorsqu'il n'était pas encore en état de défense ; aussi, s'ils faisaient le siège d'une ville, ils s'en rendaient maîtres à coup sûr. S'ils voulaient conquérir une province, elle était à eux ; quelques grands avantages qu'ils se fussent d'abord procurés, ils ne s'endormaient pas, ils ne laissaient jamais leur armée s'amollir par l'oisiveté ou la débauche, ils entretenaient une exacte discipline, ils punissaient sévèrement, quand les cas l'exigeaient, et ils donnaient libéralement des récompenses, lorsque les occasions le demandaient. Outre les lois ordinaires de la guerre, ils en faisaient de particulières, suivant les circonstances des temps et des lieux.


Sunzi XI. 39.

Bestow rewards without regard to rule,1 issue orders2 without regard to previous arrangements;3 and you will be able to handle a whole army as though you had to do with but a single man.4

Confront your soldiers with the deed itself; never let them know your design.5 When the outlook is bright, bring it before their eyes; but tell them nothing when the situation is gloomy.

Place your army in deadly peril, and it will survive; plunge it into desperate straits, and it will come off in safety.6

For it is precisely when a force has fallen into harm's way that is capable of striking a blow for victory.7

1. Wu Tzu (ch. 3) less wisely says: "Let advance be richly rewarded and retreat be heavily punished."
2. Literally, "hang" or post up."
3. "In order to prevent treachery," says Wang Hsi. The general meaning is made clear by Ts`ao Kung's quotation from the SSU-MA FA: "Give instructions only on sighting the enemy; give rewards when you see deserving deeds." Ts`ao Kung's paraphrase: "The final instructions you give to your army should not correspond with those that have been previously posted up." Chang Yu simplifies this into "your arrangements should not be divulged beforehand." And Chia Lin says: "there should be no fixity in your rules and arrangements." Not only is there danger in letting your plans be known, but war often necessitates the entire reversal of them at the last moment.
4. Cf. supra, ss. 34.
5. Literally, "do not tell them words;" i.e. do not give your reasons for any order. Lord Mansfield once told a junior colleague to "give no reasons" for his decisions, and the maxim is even more applicable to a general than to a judge.
6. These words of Sun Tzu were once quoted by Han Hsin in explanation of the tactics he employed in one of his most brilliant battles, already alluded to on p. 28. In 204 B.C., he was sent against the army of Chao, and halted ten miles from the mouth of the Ching-hsing pass, where the enemy had mustered in full force. Here, at midnight, he detached a body of 2000 light cavalry, every man of which was furnished with a red flag. Their instructions were to make their way through narrow defiles and keep a secret watch on the enemy. "When the men of Chao see me in full flight," Han Hsin said, "they will abandon their fortifications and give chase. This must be the sign for you to rush in, pluck down the Chao standards and set up the red banners of Han in their stead." Turning then to his other officers, he remarked: "Our adversary holds a strong position, and is not likely to come out and attack us until he sees the standard and drums of the commander-in-chief, for fear I should turn back and escape through the mountains." So saying, he first of all sent out a division consisting of 10,000 men, and ordered them to form in line of battle with their backs to the River Ti. Seeing this maneuver, the whole army of Chao broke into loud laughter. By this time it was broad daylight, and Han Hsin, displaying the generalissimo's flag, marched out of the pass with drums beating, and was immediately engaged by the enemy. A great battle followed, lasting for some time; until at length Han Hsin and his colleague Chang Ni, leaving drums and banner on the field, fled to the division on the river bank, where another fierce battle was raging. The enemy rushed out to pursue them and to secure the trophies, thus denuding their ramparts of men; but the two generals succeeded in joining the other army, which was fighting with the utmost desperation. The time had now come for the 2000 horsemen to play their part. As soon as they saw the men of Chao following up their advantage, they galloped behind the deserted walls, tore up the enemy's flags and replaced them by those of Han. When the Chao army looked back from the pursuit, the sight of these red flags struck them with terror. Convinced that the Hans had got in and overpowered their king, they broke up in wild disorder, every effort of their leader to stay the panic being in vain. Then the Han army fell on them from both sides and completed the rout, killing a number and capturing the rest, amongst whom was King Ya himself... After the battle, some of Han Hsin's officers came to him and said: "In the ART OF WAR we are told to have a hill or tumulus on the right rear, and a river or marsh on the left front. [This appears to be a blend of Sun Tzu and T`ai Kung. See IX ss. 9, and note.] You, on the contrary, ordered us to draw up our troops with the river at our back. Under these conditions, how did you manage to gain the victory?" The general replied: "I fear you gentlemen have not studied the Art of War with sufficient care. Is it not written there: 'Plunge your army into desperate straits and it will come off in safety; place it in deadly peril and it will survive'? Had I taken the usual course, I should never have been able to bring my colleague round. What says the Military Classic–'Swoop down on the market-place and drive the men off to fight.' [This passage does not occur in the present text of Sun Tzu.] If I had not placed my troops in a position where they were obliged to fight for their lives, but had allowed each man to follow his own discretion, there would have been a general debandade, and it would have been impossible to do anything with them." The officers admitted the force of his argument, and said: "These are higher tactics than we should have been capable of." [See CH`IEN HAN SHU, ch. 34, ff. 4, 5.]
7. Danger has a bracing effect.

Giles XI.56-59.

Voulez-vous réussir ? Prenez pour modèle de votre conduite celle que je viens de vous tracer ; regardez votre armée comme un seul homme que vous seriez chargé de conduire, ne lui motivez jamais votre manière d'agir ; faites-lui savoir exactement tous vos avantages, mais cachez-lui avec grand soin jusqu'à la moindre de vos pertes ; faites toutes vos démarches dans le plus grand secret ; placez-les dans une situation périlleuse et elles survivront ; disposez-les sur un terrain de mort et elles vivront, car, lorsque l'armée est placée dans une telle situation, elle peut faire sortir la victoire des revers. Accordez des récompenses sans vous préoccuper des usages habituels, publiez des ordres sans respect des précédents, ainsi vous pourrez vous servir de l'armée entière comme d'un seul homme. Éclairez toutes les démarches de l'ennemi, ne manquez pas de prendre les mesures les plus efficaces pour pouvoir vous assurer de la personne de leur général ; faites tuer leur général, car vous ne combattez jamais que contre des rebelles.


Sunzi XI. 40.

Success in warfare is gained by carefully accommodating ourselves to the enemy's purpose.1

By persistently hanging on the enemy's flank,2 we shall succeed in the long run3 in killing the commander-in-chief.4

This is called ability to accomplish a thing by sheer cunning.

1. Ts`ao Kung says: "Feign stupidity"–by an appearance of yielding and falling in with the enemy's wishes. Chang Yu's note makes the meaning clear: "If the enemy shows an inclination to advance, lure him on to do so; if he is anxious to retreat, delay on purpose that he may carry out his intention." The object is to make him remiss and contemptuous before we deliver our attack.
2. I understand the first four words to mean "accompanying the enemy in one direction." Ts`ao Kung says: "unite the soldiers and make for the enemy." But such a violent displacement of characters is quite indefensible.
3. Literally, "after a thousand LI."
4. Always a great point with the Chinese.

Giles XI.60,61,62.

Le nœud des opérations militaires dépend de votre faculté de faire semblant de vous conformer aux désirs de votre ennemi. Ne divisez jamais vos forces ; la concentration vous permet de tuer son général, même à une distance de mille lieues ; là se trouve la capacité d'atteindre votre objet d'une manière ingénieuse. Lorsque l'ennemi vous offre une opportunité, saisissez-en vite l'avantage ; anticipez-le en vous rendant maître de quelque chose qui lui importe et avancez suivant un plan fixé secrètement. La doctrine de la guerre consiste à suivre la situation de l'ennemi afin de décider de la bataille.


Sunzi XI. 41.

On the day that you take up your command, block the frontier passes, destroy the official tallies,1 and stop the passage of all emissaries.2

Be stern in the council-chamber,3 so that you may control the situation.4

1. These were tablets of bamboo or wood, one half of which was issued as a permit or passport by the official in charge of a gate. Cf. the "border-warden" of LUN YU III. 24, who may have had similar duties. When this half was returned to him, within a fixed period, he was authorized to open the gate and let the traveler through.
2. Either to or from the enemy's country.
3. Show no weakness, and insist on your plans being ratified by the sovereign.
4. Mei Yao-ch`en understands the whole sentence to mean: Take the strictest precautions to ensure secrecy in your deliberations.

Giles XI.63,64.

Dès que votre armée sera hors des frontières, faites-en fermer les avenues, déchirez les instructions qui sont entre vos mains et ne souffrez pas qu'on écrive ou qu'on reçoive des nouvelles ; rompez vos relations avec les ennemis, assemblez votre conseil et exhortez-le à exécuter le plan ; après cela, allez à l'ennemi.


Sunzi XI. 42.

If the enemy leaves a door open, you must rush in.

Forestall your opponent by seizing what he holds dear,1 and subtly contrive to time his arrival on the ground.2

Walk in the path defined by rule,3 and accommodate yourself to the enemy until you can fight a decisive battle.4

1. Cf. supra, ss. 18.
2. Ch`en Hao`s explanation: "If I manage to seize a favorable position, but the enemy does not appear on the scene, the advantage thus obtained cannot be turned to any practical account. He who intends therefore, to occupy a position of importance to the enemy, must begin by making an artful appointment, so to speak, with his antagonist, and cajole him into going there as well." Mei Yao-ch`en explains that this "artful appointment" is to be made through the medium of the enemy's own spies, who will carry back just the amount of information that we choose to give them. Then, having cunningly disclosed our intentions, "we must manage, though starting after the enemy, to arrive before him (VII. ss. 4). We must start after him in order to ensure his marching thither; we must arrive before him in order to capture the place without trouble. Taken thus, the present passage lends some support to Mei Yao-ch`en's interpretation of ss. 47.
3. Chia Lin says: "Victory is the only thing that matters, and this cannot be achieved by adhering to conventional canons." It is unfortunate that this variant rests on very slight authority, for the sense yielded is certainly much more satisfactory. Napoleon, as we know, according to the veterans of the old school whom he defeated, won his battles by violating every accepted canon of warfare.
4. Tu Mu says: "Conform to the enemy's tactics until a favorable opportunity offers; then come forth and engage in a battle that shall prove decisive."

Giles XI.65,66,67.

Sunzi XI. 43.

At first, then, exhibit the coyness of a maiden, until the enemy gives you an opening; afterwards emulate the rapidity of a running hare, and it will be too late for the enemy to oppose you.1

1. As the hare is noted for its extreme timidity, the comparison hardly appears felicitous. But of course Sun Tzu was thinking only of its speed. The words have been taken to mean: You must flee from the enemy as quickly as an escaping hare; but this is rightly rejected by Tu Mu.

Giles XI.68.

Avant que la campagne soit commencée, soyez comme une jeune fille qui ne sort pas de la maison ; elle s'occupe des affaires du ménage, elle a soin de tout préparer, elle voit tout, elle entend tout, elle fait tout, elle ne se mêle d'aucune affaire en apparence. La campagne une fois commencée, vous devez avoir la promptitude d'un lièvre qui, se trouvant poursuivi par des chasseurs, tâcherait, par mille détours, de trouver enfin son gîte, pour s'y réfugier en sûreté.


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The Art of War – Sun Zi XI – Chinese off/onFrançais/English
Alias Sun Tzu, Sun Wu, Sun Tse, Sunzi Bingfa, Souen Tseu, Souen Wou, 孫武.

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