10. Terrain

Only about a third of the chapter, comprising ss. 1-13, deals with "terrain," the subject being more fully treated in ch. XI. The "six calamities" are discussed in SS. 14-20, and the rest of the chapter is again a mere string of desultory remarks, though not less interesting, perhaps, on that account.


Sun Tzu said: We may distinguish six kinds of terrain, to wit: (1) Accessible ground;

Mei Yao-ch`en says: "plentifully provided with roads and means of communications."

(2) entangling ground;

The same commentator says: "Net-like country, venturing into which you become entangled."

(3) temporizing ground;

Ground which allows you to "stave off" or "delay."

(4) narrow passes; (5) precipitous heights; (6) positions at a great distance from the enemy.

It is hardly necessary to point out the faultiness of this classification. A strange lack of logical perception is shown in the Chinaman's unquestioning acceptance of glaring cross divisions such as the above.

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