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The Use of Spies – yong jian pian di shi san

Apr. 1, 2015

Sun Zi’s Art of War was written by Sun Wu in the final year of the Spring and Autumn

Period (770BC – 476BC).

It is not only the oldest Chinese military work in existence but also the oldest book

of military theory in the world, well-known for a long time in the history of the

military academy in China and abroad.

Sun Zi’s Art of War has altogether 13 chapters. Both concise and comprehensive,

this book sum up the experience of ancient wars, bring to light the many laws of

war which are of universal significance.

Want to know why business people like it so much? Come and learn Sun Zi’s Art of

War with eChineseLearning’s professional teachers!

yònɡ jiàn piān dì shí sān
用      间    篇   第 十  三

sūnzi yuē : fán xīnɡ shī shí wàn ,chū zhēnɡ qiān lǐ ,bǎi xìnɡ zhī
孙子   曰 :  凡   兴    师  十  万 ,   出    征      千   里 , 百  姓   之

fèi , ɡōnɡ jiɑ zhī fènɡ , rì fèi qiān jīn , nèi wài sāo dònɡ ,dài
费 ,   公    家  之  奉 ,   日 费  千   金 ,  内  外   骚    动 ,   殆

yú dào lù , bù dé cāo shì zhě , qī shí wàn jiā 。 xiānɡ shǒu shù
于  道  路 , 不  得  操  事  者 ,  七  十  万   家 。  相      守     数

nián , yǐ zhēnɡ yí rì zhī shènɡ , ér ài jué lù bǎi jīn , bù zhī dí
年 ,    以  争    一 日 之   胜 ,    而 爱 爵  禄 百  金 , 不  知 敌

zhī qínɡ zhě ,bù rén zhī zhì yě ,fēi rén zhī jiānɡ yě ,fēi zhǔ zhī
之   情    者 ,  不  仁  之  至  也 ,非  人  之  将     也 ,非  主  之

zuǒ yě , fēi shènɡ zhī zhǔ yě 。
佐   也 ,  非   胜     之  主   也 。

ɡù mínɡ jūn xián jiānɡ , suó yǐ dònɡ ér shènɡ rén , chénɡ ɡōnɡ chū
故  明     君    贤    将 ,    所  以  动    而   胜      人 ,    成      功      出

yú zhònɡ zhě , xiān zhī yě 。 xiān zhī zhě , bù ké qǔ yú ɡuǐ shén ,
于   众      者 ,   先    知 也 。  先   知   者 ,   不 可 取  于  鬼   神 ,

bù kě xiànɡ yú shì ,bù kě yàn yú dù,bì qǔ yú rén , zhī dí zhī qínɡ
不 可   象    于  事 , 不 可  验  于  度,必 取  于 人 ,  知  敌 之  情

zhě yě 。
者   也 。

ɡù yònɡ jiān yǒu wǔ : yǒu yīn jiān , yǒu nèi jiān , yǒu fǎn jiān ,
故   用    间   有    五 :   有  因  间 ,    有   内  间 ,    有  反   间 ,

yǒu sǐ jiān , yǒu shēnɡ jiān 。 wǔ jiān jù qǐ , mò zhī qí dào ,shì
有   死  间 ,  有   生      间 。    五  间  俱 起 ,莫   知  其 道 ,  是

wèi shén jì 。 rén jūn zhī bǎo yě 。 yīn jiān zhě , yīn qí xiānɡ rén
谓    神  纪 。 人   君  之  宝   也 。 因   间   者 ,   因 其  乡      人

ér yònɡ zhī ; nèi jiān zhě , yīn qí ɡuān rén ér yònɡ zhī ;fǎn jiān
而  用    之 ;  内   间   者 ,   因 其  官     人  而  用     之 ; 反  间

zhě , yīn qí dí jiān ér yònɡ zhī ; sǐ jiān zhě , wéi kuánɡ shì yú
者 ,    因 其 敌 间  而  用    之 ;  死  间  者 ,   为   诳      事  于

wài , lìnɡ wú jiān zhī zhī,ér chuán yú dí jiān yě ; shēnɡ jiān zhě ,
外 ,    令   吾  间   知  之,而  传      于 敌 间   也 ;  生      间   者 ,

fǎn bào yě 。
反    报  也 。

ɡù sān jūn zhī shì , mò qīn yú jiān , shǎnɡ mò hòu yú jiān ,shì mò
故  三   军  之  事 ,  莫   亲  于 间 ,      赏     莫   厚  于  间 ,  事  莫

mì yú jiān 。fēi shènɡ zhì bù nénɡ yònɡ jiān ,fēi rén yì bù nénɡ shǐ
密 于  间 。  非   圣     智  不   能     用     间 ,  非  仁 义 不  能     使

jiān , fēi wēi miào bù nénɡ dé jiān zhī shí 。 wēi zāi wēi zāi ! wú
间 ,   非  微  妙     不   能    得   间   之  实 。  微  哉  微  哉 !  无

suǒ bú yònɡ jiān yě 。 jiān shì wèi fā ér xiān wén zhě , jiān yǔ suǒ
所   不   用    间   也 。  间  事  未  发 而  先   闻    者 ,   间   与   所

ɡào zhě jiē sǐ 。 fán jūn zhī suǒ yù jī ,chénɡ zhī suǒ yù ɡōnɡ ,rén
告    者  皆 死 。 凡  军  之   所  欲 击 , 城     之  所   欲   攻 ,   人

zhī suǒ yù shā , bì xiān zhī qí shǒu jiānɡ 、zuǒ yòu 、 yè zhě 、mén
之  所   欲  杀 ,  必 先    知 其  守     将 、     左  右 、   谒 者 、  门

zhě 、 shě rén zhī xìnɡ mínɡ , lìnɡ wú jiān bì suǒ zhī zhī 。 bì suǒ
者 、    舍   人  之   姓    名 ,      令  吾  间  必  索   知  之 。 必  索

dí rén zhī jiān lái jiān wǒ zhě , yīn ér lì zhī , dǎo ér shě zhī ,
敌 人  之   间  来  间   我  者 ,  因 而 利 之 ,   导 而  舍 之 ,

ɡù fǎn jiān kě dé ér yònɡ yě 。 yīn shì ér zhī zhī , ɡù xiānɡ jiān 、
故  反   间  可 得 而  用     也 。 因  是  而 知  之 , 故   乡     间 、

nèi jiān kě dé ér shǐ yě ; yīn shì ér zhī zhī ,ɡù sǐ jiān wéi kuánɡ
内  间   可  得 而 使  也 ; 因  是  而 知  之 ,故 死  间  为   诳

shì,kě shǐ ɡào dí ; yīn shì ér zhī zhī ,ɡù shēnɡ jiān kě shǐ rú qī 。
事 ,可  使  告  敌 ; 因  是  而 知  之 ,故   生      间   可 使  如 期 。

wǔ jiān zhī shì , zhǔ bì zhī zhī , zhī zhī bì zài yú fǎn jiān , ɡù
五   间   之  事 ,  主  必 知  之 ,  知 之  必 在  于 反   间 ,  故

fǎn jiān bù kě bú hòu yě 。
反   间   不 可 不   厚  也 。

xī yīn zhī xìnɡ yě , yī zhì zài xià ; zhōu zhī xìnɡ yě , lǚ yá zài
昔 殷 之   兴   也 , 伊 挚  在  夏 ;   周   之   兴   也 , 吕 牙 在

yīn 。 ɡù wéi mínɡ jūn xián jiānɡ , nénɡ yǐ shànɡ zhì wéi jiān zhě ,
殷 。  故  惟   明     君   贤    将 ,     能     以  上     智   为  间    者 ,

bì chénɡ dà ɡōnɡ 。 cǐ bīnɡ zhī yào , sān jūn zhī suǒ shì ér dònɡ yě 。
必  成     大    功 。    此  兵   之  要 ,   三   军  之  所   恃 而   动    也 。

Translation:(Translated from the Chinese version By LIONEL GILES, M.A.

(1910))

XIII. THE USE OF SPIES

1. Sun Tzu said: Raising a host of a hundred thousand men and marching

them great distances entails heavy loss on the people and a drain on the

resources of the State. The daily expenditure will amount to a thousand

ounces of silver. There will be commotion at home and abroad, and men will

drop down exhausted on the highways. As many as seven hundred thousand

families will be impeded in their labor.

2. Hostile armies may face each other for years, striving for the victory

which is decided in a single day. This being so, to remain in ignorance

of the enemy’s condition simply because one grudges the outlay of a hundred

ounces of silver in honors and emoluments, is the height of inhumanity.

3. One who acts thus is no leader of men, no present help to his sovereign,

no master of victory.

4. Thus, what enables the wise sovereign and the good general to strike

and conquer, and achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men, is

foreknowledge.

5. Now this foreknowledge cannot be elicited from spirits; it cannot be

obtained inductively from experience, nor by any deductive calculation.

6. Knowledge of the enemy’s dispositions can only be obtained from other

men.

7. Hence the use of spies, of whom there are five classes: (1) Local spies;

(2) inward spies; (3) converted spies; (4) doomed spies; (5) surviving

spies.

8. When these five kinds of spy are all at work, none can discover the

secret system. This is called “divine manipulation of the threads.” It

is the sovereign’s most precious faculty.

9. Having local spies means employing the services of the inhabitants of

a district.

10. Having inward spies, making use of officials of the enemy.

11. Having converted spies, getting hold of the enemy’s spies and using

them for our own purposes.

12. Having doomed spies, doing certain things openly for purposes of

deception, and allowing our spies to know of them and report them to the

enemy.

13. Surviving spies, finally, are those who bring back news from the

enemy’s camp.

14. Hence it is that which none in the whole army are more intimate

relations to be maintained than with spies. None should be more liberally

rewarded. In no other business should greater secrecy be preserved.

15. Spies cannot be usefully employed without a certain intuitive

sagacity.

16. They cannot be properly managed without benevolence and

straightforwardness.

17. Without subtle ingenuity of mind, one cannot make certain of the truth

of their reports.

18. Be subtle! be subtle! and use your spies for every kind of business.

19. If a secret piece of news is divulged by a spy before the time is ripe,

he must be put to death together with the man to whom the secret was told.

20. Whether the object be to crush an army, to storm a city, or to

assassinate an individual, it is always necessary to begin by finding out

the names of the attendants, the aides-de-camp, and door-keepers and

sentries of the general in command. Our spies must be commissioned to

ascertain these.

21. The enemy’s spies who have come to spy on us must be sought out, tempted

with bribes, led away and comfortably housed. Thus they will become

converted spies and available for our service.

22. It is through the information brought by the converted spy that we

are able to acquire and employ local and inward spies.

23. It is owing to his information, again, that we can cause the doomed

spy to carry false tidings to the enemy.

24. Lastly, it is by his information that the surviving spy can be used

on appointed occasions.

25. The end and aim of spying in all its five varieties is knowledge of

the enemy; and this knowledge can only be derived, in the first instance,

from the converted spy. Hence it is essential that the converted spy be

treated with the utmost liberality.

26. Of old, the rise of the Yin dynasty was due to I Chih who had served

under the Hsia. Likewise, the rise of the Chou dynasty was due to Lu Ya

who had served under the Yin.

27. Hence it is only the enlightened ruler and the wise general who will

use the highest intelligence of the army for purposes of spying and thereby

they achieve great results. Spies are a most important element in water,

because on them depends an army’s ability to move.

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its very helpful for me to understand

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