Do not press a desperate enemy.
The control of a large force is the same principle as the control of a few men: it is merely a question of dividing up their numbers.
There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare.
Hostile armies may face each other for years, striving for the victory which is decided in a single day. This being so, to remain in ignorance of the enemy's condition simply because one grudges the outlay of a hundred ounces of silver in honors and emoluments, is the height of inhumanity.
When Sun Tzu spoke of victory, this is what he meant—the prevention or quick resolution of conflict, not the conquering of your opponent.
Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy, will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted.