Gui Dian

(China 1865 – 1958)

Su Qin Yi Lian Heng Shui Qin in running script (section)

Location
Not on display
Further information

This passage is takend from Zhan Guo Ce [the Strategies of the Warring States (475 -221 BCE)] one of the important Chinese classical text describing the strategies and political views of the School of Diplomacy.

Being the famous essay in the Zhan Guo Ce, 'Su Qin yi lian heng shui qin' described how famous and influential political advisor and strategist Su Qin (late 4th century BCE) offered his strategy of Lian Heng [Verticle Alliance system] to the King of the Qin State. Been rejected by the King and looked down by his family, Su Qin dedicated himself to further study and eventually succedded to become a minister in the State of Zhao and achieved great fame.

昔者神农伐补遂,黄帝伐涿鹿而禽蚩尤,尧伐驩兜,舜伐三苗,禹伐共工,汤伐有夏,文王伐崇,武王伐纣,齐桓任战而伯天下。由此观之,恶有不战者乎?古者使车毂击驰,言语相结,天下为一,约从连横,兵革不藏。文士并饬,诸侯乱惑,万端俱起,不可胜理。科条既备,民多伪态,书策稠浊,百姓不足。上下相愁,民无所聊,明言章理,兵甲愈起。辩言伟服,战攻不息,繁称文辞,天下不治。舌弊耳聋,不见成功,行义约信,天下不亲。于是乃废文任武,厚养死士,缀甲厉兵,效胜于战场。夫徒处而致利,安坐而广地,虽古五帝三王五伯,明主贤君,常欲坐而致之,其势不能。故以战续之,宽则两军相攻,迫则杖戟相橦,然后可建大功。是故兵胜于外,义强于内,威立于上,民服于下。今欲并天下,凌万乘,诎敌国,制海内,子元元,臣诸侯,非兵不可。今不嗣主,忽于至道,皆惛于教,乱于治,迷于言,惑于语,沈于辩,溺于辞。以此论之,王固不能行也。”

In the above passage, Su Qin used examples of previous kings to pursuade the King of Qin to go to war in order to conquer other states, establish sovereignty. The characters were written in slim, pretty and loose running script.

Place of origin
China
Cultural origin
China
Year
1930s
Media
Calligraphy
Medium
ink on paper
Dimensions
126.5 x 30.5 cm image; 131.5 x 38.3 cm overall
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Credit
Gift of Helen Suk-yue Wheeler in memory of her parent Li Tung and Fund Ching-fei
Accession number
182.2019
Copyright
© Estate of Gui Dian