On the field of battle,
Implied, though not actually in the Chinese.
the spoken word does not carry far enough: hence the institution of gongs and drums.
I have retained the words 金鼓 of the original text, which recur in the next paragraph, in preference to the other reading 鼓鐸 “drums and bells,” which is found in the T‘ung Tien, Pei T‘ang Shu Ch‘ao and Yü Lan. 鐸 is a bell with a clapper. See Lun Yü III. 24, Chou Li XXIX. 15, 29. 金 of course would include both gongs and bells of every kind. The T‘u Shu inserts a 之 after each 爲.
Nor can ordinary objects be seen clearly enough: hence the institution of banners and flags.
24. Gongs and drums, banners and flags, are means whereby the ears and eyes of the host
The original text, followed by the T‘u Shu, has 人 for 民 here and in the next two paragraphs. But, as we have seen, 人 is generally used in Sun Tzŭ for the enemy.
may be focused on one particular point.
Note the use of 一 as a verb. Chang Yü says: 視聽均齊則雖百萬之衆進退如一矣 “If sight and hearing converge simultaneously on the same object, the evolutions of as many as a million soldiers will be like those of a single man”!
25. The host thus forming a single united body, is it impossible either for the brave to advance alone, or for the cowardly to retreat alone.
Chang Yü quotes a saying: 令不進而進與令不退而退厥罪惟均 “Equally guilty are those who advance against orders and those who retreat against orders.” Tu Mu tells a story in this connection of 吳起 Wu Ch‘i, when he was fighting against the Ch‘in State. Before the battle had begun, one of his soldiers, a man of matchless daring, sallied forth by himself, captured two heads from the enemy, and