||Tao has of all things the most honoured place.
No treasures give good men so rich a grace;
Bad men it guards, and doth their ill efface.
||The man of Reason is the ten thousand creatures' refuge, the good man's wealth,
the bad man's stay.
The Dao is the asylum of all things; the good man's treasure, the bad man's last
(Its) admirable words can purchase honour; (its) admirable deeds can raise their
performer above others. Even men who are not good
not abandoned by it.
With beautiful words one can sell. With honest conduct one can do still more
with the people.
With beautiful words one may sell goods but in winning people one can accomplish
more by kindness.
Therefore when the sovereign occupies his place as the Son of Heaven, and he
has appointed his three ducal ministers, though (a
prince) were to send in a round symbol-of-rank large enough to fill both the
hands, and that as the precursor of the team of horses (in
the court-yard), such an offering would not be equal to (a lesson of) this Dao, which one might present on his knees.
If a man be bad, why should he be thrown away? Therefore, an emperor was elected
and three ministers appointed; but better than holding
before one's face the jade table [of the ministry]
and riding with four horses, is sitting still and
propounding the eternal Reason.
Why should a man be thrown away for his evil? To conserve him was the Emperor
appointed and the three ministers. Better than being
in the presence of the Emperor and riding with four
horses, is sitting and explaining this Dao.
||Why was it that the ancients prized this Dao so much? Was it not because it could
be got by seeking for it, and the guilty could escape
(from the stain of their guilt) by it? This is the reason why all under heaven
consider it the most valuable thing.
|Why do the ancients prize this Reason? Is it not, say, because when sought it
is obtained and the sinner thereby can be saved? Therefore
it is world-honored.
||The reason the Ancients esteemed Dao was because if sought it was obtained, and
because by it he that hath sin could be saved. Is it
not so? Therefore the world honors Dao.