假道伐虢

 
jiǎ dào fá Guó (jia dao fa Guo)
borrow the road to conquer Guo

Borrow the resources of an ally to attack a common enemy. Once the enemy is defeated, use those resources to turn on the ally that lent you them in the first place.

Spring and Autumn Period China

The small states of Yu and Guo bordered the larger state of Jin. Duke Xian of Jin desired to conquer both states. This desire was not unknown to the two smaller states and both had taken steps to defend their borders with Jin. The duke's general, Xun Xi, suggested they make a roundabout attack at Guo through the state of Yu to catch them by surprise. General Xun suggested that since the duke of Yu was a greedy man he could be bribed with gifts of jade and horses in exchange for safe passage through his territory. Duke Xian objected to the idea of giving away so much treasure and asked: "What if the duke of Yu accepts our gifts but refuses us passage?" but general Xun replied: "If he doesn't intend to let us through, then he wouldn't accept them, but if he does accept the gifts, and he does let us through, then it will only mean that the treasure is stored temporarily in his storehouse rather than ours."

When the bribe was sent to the duke of Yu one of his ministers, Gong Ziqi, cautioned against accepting them saying: "Yu is to Guo, like lips are to teeth. Our ancestors had a saying; `If the lips are gone, the teeth will be exposed to cold'. That Guo is able to exist depends on Yu while Yu's ability to survive hinges on Guo. If we make way for Jin, then the day will see Guo perish in the morning to be followed by Yu in the evening. Why should we ever let Jin pass?" The duke of Yu, however, refused to listen to this advice. Jin was given safe passage and succeeded in conquering Guo. On their way back they stopped to conquered Yu. After taking the Yu capital and recovering the treasure, general Xun returned the jade and horses to the duke. Duke Xian was pleased and said in good humor "The jade is untouched but the horses seem to have gained some more teeth!"

Spring and Autumn Period

During the Spring and Autumn period, Guo and Yu were two neighbouring states. Duke Xian of Jin had long wanted to conquer the two states.

If he attacked Guo, he would have to pass through Yu. Should Yu decide to block Jin, or even join forces with Guo to resist him, then however strong Jin was, it'll be difficult to suceed.

The trusted minister Xun Xi suggested, "The duke of Yu is greedy; offer him fine horses from Qu and jade from Chuiji in return for passing through his state to attack Guo."

"These are our best treasures. How can we give them away?" the duke said.

Xun Xi replied, "We're merely temporarily transferring them from our storehouse to Yu's. Eventually they'll be reclaimed by us."

Duke Xian despatched Xun Xi to Yu obtain safe passage. The duke of Yu agreed and even promised to personally lead a punitive expedition to Guo. But the shrewd minister Gong Zhiqi strongly opposed the move, "Yu and Guo depend on each other for security. If Guo is destroyed, it will be the case of 'if the lips are gone, the teeth will be cold'."

The duke of Yu ignored his protests. Gong Zhiqi couldn't bear to see his home and state destroyed, so he hastily summoned all his clansmen and fled to Cao state.

Jin despatched general Li Ke and Xun Xi to invade Guo. After almost four months, Guo was destroyed. After their vitory, the Jin troops halted at Yu saying that they'll like to remain for awhile to recuperate.

The duke of Yu did not suspect anything, thinking all the while how good it was to have a strong state as ally. Not long after, the Jin troops in Yu suddenly seized power and captured Yu's capital.

Duke Xian got back his horses and jade.

两大之间,敌胁以从,我假以势①。困,有言不信②。

【注释】

①两大之间,敌胁以从,我假以势:假,借。句意为:处在我与敌两个大国之中的小国,敌方若胁迫小国屈从于他时,我则要借机去援救,造成一种有利的军事态势。

②困,有言不信:语出《易经.困》卦。困,卦名。本纷为异卦相叠(坎下兑上),上卦为兑为泽,为阴;下卦为坎为水,为阳。卦象表明,本该容纳于泽中的水,现在离开泽而向下渗透,以致泽无水而受困,水离开泽流散无归也自困,故卦名为“困”。“困”,困乏。卦辞:“困,有言不信。”意为,处在困乏境地,难道不相信这基吗?此计运用此卦理,是说处在两个大国中的小国,面临着受人胁迫的境地时,我若说援救他,他在困顿中会不相信吗?

【按语】

假地用兵之举,非巧言可诳,必其势不受—方之胁从,则将受双方之夹击。如此境况之际,敌必迫之以威,我则诳之以不害,利其幸存之心,速得全势,彼将不能自阵,故不战而灭之矣。如:晋侯假道于虞以伐虢,晋灭虢,虢公丑奔京师,师还,袭虞灭之。

【解析】

这条按语讲了一种情况,说是处在夹缝中的小国.情况会很微妙。一方想用武力威逼他,一方却用不侵犯它的利益来诱骗它,乘它心存侥幸之时,立即把力量渗透进去,控制它的局势,所以,不需要打什么大仗就可以将它消灭。

其实,此计的关键在于“假道”。善于寻找“假道”的借口,善于隐蔽“假道”的真正意图,突出奇兵,往往可以取胜。

【探源】

假道伐虢,假道,是借路的意思。语出(左传.僖公二年》:“晋荀息请以屈产之乘,与垂棘之塑,假道于虞以灭虢。”

处在敌我两大国中间的小国,当受到敌方武力胁迫时,某方常以出兵援助的姿态,把力量渗透进去。当然,对处在夹缝中的小国,只用甜言蜜语是不会取得它的信任的,一方往往以“保护”为名,迅速进军,控制其局势,使其丧失自主权。再乘机突然袭击,就可轻而易举地取得胜利。

春秋时期,晋国想吞并邻近的两个小国:虞和虢,这两个国家之间关系不错。晋如袭虞,虢会出兵救援;晋若攻虢,虞也会出兵相助。大臣荀息向晋献公献上一计。他说,要想攻占这两个国家,必须要离间他们,使他们互不支持。虞国的国君贪得无厌,我们正可以投其所好。他建议晋献公拿出心爱的两件宝物,屈产良马和垂棘之壁,送给虞公。献公哪里舍得?苟息说:大王放心,只不过让他暂时保管罢了,等灭了虞国,一切不都又回到你的手中了吗?献公依计而行。虞公得到良马美璧,高兴得嘴都合不拢。

晋国故意在晋、虢边境制造事端,找到了伐虢的借口。晋国要求虞国借道让晋国伐虢,虞公得了晋国的好处,只得答应。虞国大臣宫子奇再三劝说虞公,这件事办不得的。虞虢两国,唇齿相依,虢国一亡,唇亡齿寒,晋国是不会放过虞国的。虞公却说,交一个弱朋友去得罪一个强有力的朋友,那才是傻瓜哩!

晋大军通过虞国道路,攻打虢国,很快就取得了胜利。班师回国时,把劫夺的财产分了许多送给虞公。虞公更是大喜过望。晋军大将里克,这时装病,称不能带兵回国,暂时把部队驻扎在虞国京城附近。虞公毫不怀疑。几天之后,晋献公亲率大军前去,虞公出城相迎。献公约虞公前去打猎。不一会儿,只见京城中起火。虞公赶到城外时,京城已被晋军里应外合强占了。就这样,晋国又轻而易举地灭了虞国。

【故事】

本书中曾讲到刘璋开门揖盗,让刘备入川,结果自己丢了老命。像刘备这样用“假道伐虢”之计取胜的战例,古代战争中还有不少。当然,所谓,假道”的方式,必须根据当时的情况灵活掌握。

东周初期,各诸侯国都乘机扩张势力。楚文王时期,楚国势力日益强大,汉江以东小国,纷纷向楚国称
臣纳贡。当时有个小国叫蔡国,仗着和楚国联姻,认为有个靠山,就不买楚国的帐,楚文王怀恨在心,一直在寻找灭蔡的时机。

蔡国和另一小国息国关系很好,蔡侯、息侯都是娶的陈国女人,经常往来。但是,有一次息候的夫人路过蔡国,蔡侯没有以上宾之礼款待,气得息侯夫人回国之后,大骂蔡侯,息侯对蔡侯有一肚子怨气。

楚文王听到这个消息,非常高兴,认为灭蔡的时机已到。他派人与息侯联系,息侯想借刀杀人,向楚文王献上一计:让楚国假意伐息,他就向蔡侯求教,蔡侯肯定会发兵救息。这样,楚、息合兵,蔡国必败。楚文王一听,何乐而不为?他立即调兵,假意攻息。蔡侯得到息国求援的请求,马上发兵救息。可是兵到息国城下,息侯竟紧团城门,蔡侯急欲退兵,楚军已借道息国,把蔡国围困起来,终于俘虏了蔡侯。

蔡侯被俘之后,痛恨息侯,对楚文王说:息侯的夫人息妫是一个绝代佳人。他这话是刺激好色的楚文王。楚文王击败蔡国之后,以巡视为名率兵到了息国都城。息侯亲自迎接,设盛宴为楚王庆功。楚文王在宴会上,趁着酒兴说:“我帮你击败了蔡国,你怎么不让夫人敬我一杯酒呀?”息侯只得放夫人息妫出来向楚文王敬酒。楚文王一见息妫,果然天姿国色,马上魂不附体,决定一定要据为己有。第二天,他举行答谢宴会,早已布置好伏兵,席间将息侯绑架,轻而易举地灭了息国。

息侯害人害已,他主动借道给楚国,让楚国灭蔡,给自己报了私仇,却不料,楚国竟不丢一兵一卒,顺手将自己消灭。

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