Taoteching 22

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"Look at that, Xena! Ten times ten thousand arrayed against us! Did you ever see such a host?"

"A large force does not assure the enemy a victory, Gabhopper. What are the stakes? Rome is fighting to add yet another tax- paying province to their empire. But our people can barely make ends meet as it is. Paying the Roman tribute would kill them. They are fighting to survive."

"But that is Caesar and Pompey over there!"

"And they hate each other, Gabhopper. They only joined together against me because the Senate wills it."

"But under them are the most famous generals and captains in the empire!"

"And how did they get so famous, Gabhopper? By their reckless aggression. If I present my shock troops to them as bait they will rush out to engage them, thinking how this will advance their reputation."

"But behind them are the best fed and best trained troops in the known world, Xena!"

"But they aren't fighting for their wives or cities or farms in Italy, they are fighting to prop up a bankrupt culture and a fragile slave economy. When they see the carnage wrought by my extraordinary force, they will hesitate. And in that moment I will strike with my main force. My army will prevail because it is humble. My soldiers do not think of self-aggrandizement of the aggrandizement of a state."

Gabhopper said, "Excellent."

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