||Now arms, however beautiful, are instruments of evil omen,
hateful, it may be said, to all creatures. Therefore
they who have
the Dao do not like to employ them.
||Even victorious arms are unblest among tools, and people had better shun them.
Therefore he who has Reason does not rely on them.
||Even successful arms, among all implements, are unblessed. All men come to detest
them. Therefore the one who follows Dao does not rely
on them. Arms are of all tools unblessed, they are
not the implements of a wise man. Only as a last resort
does he use them.
The superior man ordinarily considers the left hand the most
honourable place, but in time of war the right hand.
The superior man when residing at home honors the left. When using arms, he
honors the right.
In propitious affairs
the place of honor is the left, but in unpropitious
affairs we honor the right
Those sharp weapons are instruments of evil omen, and not the instruments of
the superior man;--he uses them only on the compulsion
of necessity. Calm and repose are what he prizes;
victory (by force of arms) is to him undesirable.
To consider this desirable would be to delight in
the slaughter of men; and he who delights in the
slaughter of men cannot get his will in the kingdom.
Arms are unblest among tools and not the superior man's tools. Only when it
is unavoidable he uses them. Peace and quietude he
.Peace and quietude are esteemed by the wise man, and even when victorious he
does not rejoice, because rejoicing over a victory
is the same as rejoicing over the killing of men.
If he rejoices over killing men, do you think he
will ever really master the Empire?
||On occasions of festivity to be on the left hand is the prized position; on occasions
of mourning, the right hand. The second in
command of the army has his place on the left; the general commanding in chief
has his on the right;--his place, that is, is assigned to him
as in the rites of mourning. He who has killed multitudes of men should weep
for them with the bitterest grief; and the victor in battle has his place (rightly)
according to those rites.
|| He conquers but rejoices not. Rejoicing at a conquest means to enjoy the slaughter
of men. He who enjoys the slaughter of men will most
assuredly not obtain his will in the empire.
||The strong man while at home esteems the left as the place of honor, but when
armed for war it is as though he esteems the right
hand, the place of less honor. Thus a funeral ceremony is so arranged. The place of a subordinate army officer
is also on the left and the place of his superior officer
is on the right. The killing of men fills multitudes
with sorrow; we lament with tears because of it, and
rightly honor the victor as if he was attending a funeral