Calthrop 勵士第六篇 려사편




And Lord Wen asked and said:—

“If punishment be just and reward impartial, is victory thereby gained?”

And Wu answered and said:—

“I cannot speak of all the things that concern justice and impartiality, but on these alone dependence cannot be placed.

“If the people hear the word of command, or listen to the order with rejoicing; if, when the army be raised, and a multitude assembled, they go forth gladly to the fight; if, in the tumult of the fight, when blade crosses blade, the soldiers gladly die; upon these three things can the lord of the people place his trust.”

And Lord Wen said:—

“How can this be brought about?”

And Wu answered and said:—

“Seek out merit, advance and reward it, and encourage those without fame.”

[Pg 117]

Accordingly Lord Wen set seats in the garden of the palace in three rows, and made a feast unto his chief retainers. In the first row were set those of chief merit, and on the table were placed the best meats and precious utensils. Those of medium merit were set in the middle row, and the utensils on the table were fewer in number. Those without merit were set in the last row, and utensils of no value were put before them. And when the feast was over, and they had all departed, the parents, wives, and children of those with merit were given presents outside the gates of the palace according to their degree.

Further, messengers were sent yearly with gifts to condole with the parents of those who had lost a son in the service of the state, and to show that they were had in remembrance.

And after this was carried out for three years, the people of Chin gathered an army, and came as far as the Western River. And when the soldiers of Wei heard this,[Pg 118]without waiting for orders, they armed themselves and fell upon them; and they that went forth were 10,000 in number.

And Lord Wen called Wu and said:—

“The words that you spoke unto me, have they not indeed been carried out?”

And Wu answered and said:—

“I have heard that there are men, great and small; souls, grand and feeble.

“As a trial, let 50,000 men, without merit, be collected, and placed under my command against the country of Chin. If we fail, the state will be the laughing-stock among the princes, and its power under heaven will be lost. If a desperate robber be hidden in a wide plain, and 1,000 men be pursuing him, their glances will be furtive like the owl, looking backward like the wolf, for they are in fear of harm from a sudden onslaught.

“One desperate man can put fear in the hearts of a thousand. Now, if this host of 50,000 men become as a desperate thief, and are led against Chin, there is nought to fear.”

[Pg 119]

On hearing these words Lord Wen agreed, and adding further 500 chariots and 3,000 horse, the hosts of Chin were overthrown, all being due to the encouragement of the troops.

On the day before the battle Wu gave orders to the forces, saying:—

“The army will attack the enemy’s chariots, horse and foot, in accordance with our commands. If the chariots do not capture the enemy’s chariots, or the horse those of the enemy’s, or the foot the enemy’s footmen, even if their army be overthrown, no merit will be gained.”

Therefore on the day of the battle, the orders were simple, and fear of Wei shook the heavens.

吳子兵法-chn-eng 吳起

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