oldest and best compendium of military science. It ⟨⟩ not until the year 1905 that the first English translation by Capt. E. F. Calthrop, R.F.A., appeared at Tokyo under the title “Sonshi” (the Japanese form of Sun Tzŭ). Unfortunately, it was evident that the translator’s knowledge of Chinese was far too scanty to fit him to ⟨⟩ with the manifold difficulties of Sun Tzŭ. He himself plainly acknowledges that without the aid of two ⟨⟩ gentlemen “the accompanying translation would have ⟨⟩ impossible.” We can only wonder, then, that with ⟨⟩ help it should have been so excessively bad. It is ⟨⟩ merely a question of downright blunders, from which ⟨⟩ can hope to be wholly exempt. Omissions were frequent, hard passages were wilfully distorted or slurred over. ⟨⟩ offences are less pardonable. They would not be tolerated in any edition of a Greek or Latin classic, and a ⟨⟩ standard of honesty ought to be insisted upon in translations from Chinese.
From blemishes of this nature, at least, I believe ⟨⟩ the present translation is free. It was not ⟨⟩ out of any inflated estimate of my own powers; but could not help feeling that Sun Tzŭ deserved a ⟨⟩ fate than had befallen him, and I knew that, at any rate I could hardly fail to improve on the work of my predecessors. Towards the end of 1908, a new and revised edition of Capt. Calthrop’s translation was published in London, this time, however, without any allusion to his ⟨⟩ collaborators. My first three chapters were then already in the printer’s hands, so that the criticisms of Capt. Calthrop therein contained must be understood as referring to his earlier edition. In the subsequent chapters ⟨⟩ have of course transferred my attention to the second edition. This is on the whole an improvement on the other, though there still remains much that cannot ⟨⟩
- A rather distressing Japanese flavour pervades the work throughout. Thus, ⟨⟩ Ho Lu masquerades as “Katsuryo,” Wu and Yüeh become “Go” and “Etsu,” etc. etc.