||He who would assist a lord of men in harmony with the Dao will
not assert his mastery in the kingdom by force of arms.
Such a course
is sure to meet with its proper return.
||He who with Reason assists the master of mankind will not with arms strengthen
the empire. His methods invite requital.
||When the magistrate follows Dao, he has no need to resort to force of arms to
strengthen the Empire, because his business methods
alone will show good returns.
Wherever a host is stationed, briars and thorns spring up. In the sequence of
great armies there are sure to be bad years.
Where armies are quartered briars and thorns grow. Great wars unfailingly are
followed by famines. A good man acts resolutely and
then stops. He ventures not to take by force.
|Briars and thorns grow rank where an army camps. Bad harvests are the sequence
of a great war. The good ruler will be resolute and
then stop, he dare not take by force.
A skilful (commander) strikes a decisive blow, and stops. He does not dare (by
continuing his operations) to assert and complete
mastery. He will strike the blow, but will be on his guard against being vain
or boastful or arrogant in consequence of it. He strikes
it as a matter of necessity; he strikes it, but not from a wish for mastery.
Be resolute but not boastful; resolute but not haughty; resolute but not arrogant;
resolute because you cannot avoid it; resolute but
One should be resolute but not boastful; resolute but not haughty; resolute but
not arrogant; resolute but yielding when it cannot
be avoided; resolute but he must not resort to violence.
||When things have attained their strong maturity they become old. This may be
said to be not in accordance with the Dao: and what
is not in accordance with it soon comes to an end.
||Things thrive and then grow old. This is called un-Reason. Un-Reason soon ceases.
||By a resort to force, things flourish for a time but then decay. This is not
like the Dao and that which is not Dao-like will soon