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Of all things, soldiers are instruments of evil,

Hated by men.

Therefore the religious man (possessed of Tao) avoids them.

The gentleman favors the leftin civilian life,

But on military occasions favors the right.

Soldiers are weapons of evil.

They are not the weapons of the gentleman.

When the use of soldiers cannot be helped,

The best policy is calm restraint.

Even in victory, there is no beauty,

And who calls it beautiful

Is one who delights in slaughter.

He who delights in slaughter

Will not succeed in his ambition to rule the world.

[The things of good omen favor the left.

The things of ill omen favor the right.

The lieutenant-general stands on the left,

The general stands on the right.

That is to say, it is celebrated as a Funeral Rite.]

The slaying of multitudes should be mourned with sorrow.

A victory should be celebrated with the Funeral Rite.

夫兵者,不祥之器。物或恶之,故有道者不居。君子居则贵左,用兵则贵右,故兵者非君子之器。不祥之器,不得已而用之,恬淡为上。胜而不美,而美之者,是乐杀人。夫乐杀人者,则不可得志于天下矣。吉事尚左,凶事尚右。偏将军居左,上将军居右,言以丧礼处之。杀人之众,以悲哀泣之,战胜以丧礼处之。

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