Simulated disorder postulates perfect discipline; simulated fear postulates courage; simulated weakness postulates strength.
When envoys are sent with compliments in their mouths, it is a sign that the enemy wishes for a truce.
The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom.
If our soldiers are not overburdened with money, it is not because they have a distaste for riches; if their lives are not unduly long, it is not because they are disinclined to longevity.
The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim.
Hence that general is skilful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skilful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack.
It is only the enlightened ruler and the wise general who will use the highest intelligence of the army for the purposes of spying, and thereby they achieve great results.