Taoteching 30

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"Why do you not lay seige to Rome now, m'Lady Xena?" the apprentice Gabhopper inquired. "Our entire force has arrived and is in place."

"Dear disciple," answered the Warrior Princess, "it is better to take a city intact after a delay than to capture smoking ruins without delay."

"There are reports of parties making their way out of the city under cover of the night, m'Lady."

"We have Caesar nearly surrounded, facing the prospect of slow starvation. But there is one escape route left open, inviting him to retire. Note that our patrols have strict orders not to let anyone *in* to the city."

"So doing-without-doing, you will seize Rome without seizing it?"

"What is now a trickle out the back door will become a flood. Never engage in slaughter for the sake of slaughter, dear Gabhopper. Persuasion is always superior to violence."

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Strangers In Paradise