Tao never does;
Yet through it all things are done.
If the barons and kings would but possess themselves of it,
The ten thousand creatures would at once be transformed.
And if having been transformed they should desire to act,
We must restrain them by the blankness of the Unnamed.
The blankness of the Unnamed
To be dispassionate is to be still.
And so, of itself, the whole empire will be at rest.
restrain：prevent (someone or something) from doing something; keep under control or within limits.鎮
dispassionate：not influenced by strong emotion, and so able to be rational and impartial. 靜而後能安，安而後能慮
The man of highest “power” does not reveal himself as a possessor of “power”;
Therefore he keeps his “power”.
The man of inferior “power” cannot rid it of the appearance of “power”;
Therefore he is in truth without “power”.
The man of highest “power” neither acts nor is there any who so regards him;
The man of inferior “power” both acts and is so regarded.
The man of highest humanity, though he acts, is not regarded;
Whereas a man of even the highest morality both acts and is so regarded;
While even he who is best versed in ritual not merely acts, but if people fail to respond
Then he will pull up his sleeves and advance upon them.
That is why it is said:
“After Tao was lost, then came the ‘power’;
After the ‘power’ was lost, then came human kindness.”
After human kindness was lost, then came morality,
After morality was lost, then came ritual.
inferior：lower in rank, status, or quality.以之譯下德之下
even the highest morality：近乎最高之道德，義
best versed in ritual：精通儀式，禮
Now ritual is the mere husk of loyalty and promise-keeping
And is indeed the first step towards brawling.”
Foreknowledge may be the “flower of doctrine”,
But it is the beginning of folly.
Therefore the full-grown man takes his stand upon the solid
substance and not upon the mere husk,
Upon the fruit and not upon the flower.
Truly, “he reject that and takes this”.
brawling：fight or quarrel in a rough or noisy way.爭端
doctrine：a belief or set of beliefs held and taught by a church, political party, or other group.教義。flower of doctrine 以之譯道之華
folly：lack of good sense; foolishness.
As for the things that from of old have understood the Whole —
The sky through such understanding remains limpid,
Earth remains steady,
The spirits keep their holiness,
The abyss is replenished,
The ten thousand creatures bear their kind,
Barons and princes direct their people.
It is the Whole that causes it.
limpid：(of a liquid) free of anything that darkens; completely clear.清
steady：firmly fixed, supported, or balanced; not shaking or moving. 穩定，以之譯寧
abyss：a deep or seemingly bottomless chasm.深淵，以之譯穀
replenished：fill (something) up again.填補，以之譯盈
Were it not so limpid, the sky would soon get torn,
Were is not for steadiness, the earth would soon tip over,
Were it not for their holiness, the spirit would soon wither away.
Were it not for this replenishment, the abyss would soon go dry,
Were it not that ten thousand creatures can bear their kind,
They would soon become extinct.
Were the barons and princes no longer directors of their people and for that reason honoured and exalted, they would soon be overthrown.
wither：(of a plant) become dry and shriveled. 枯萎。wither away消亡，以之譯歇
extinct：(of a species, family, or other larger group) having no living members.絕種，以之譯滅
Truly “ the humble is the stem upon which the mighty grows, the low is the foundation upon which the high is laid.”
That is why barons and princes refer to themselves as “The Orphan”, “The Needy”, “The Ill-provided.
Is this not indeed a case of might rooting itself upon humility?
True indeed are the sayings:
“Enumerate the parts of a carriage, and you still have not explained what a carriage is,” and They did not want themselves to tinkle like jade-bells, while others resounded like stone chimes”.
Enumerate the parts of a carriage, and you still have not explained what a carriage is 似乎威利的原文版本不是至譽無譽，而是故致數輿無輿
tinkle like jade-bells：琭琭如玉
resounded like stone chimes：珞珞如石