Tao Te Ching
by Lao Tze


1. He who would assist a lord of men in harmony with the Tao will

not assert his mastery in the kingdom by force of arms. Such a course

is sure to meet with its proper return.

2. Wherever a host is stationed, briars and thorns spring up. In the

sequence of great armies there are sure to be bad years.

3. A skilful (commander) strikes a decisive blow, and stops. He does

not dare (by continuing his operations) to assert and complete his

mastery. He will strike the blow, but will be on his guard against

being vain or boastful or arrogant in consequence of it. He strikes

it as a matter of necessity; he strikes it, but not from a wish for