A man of the great virtue (Teh)
does not claim to be of virtue,
Thus he is of the true virtue.
A man of the small virtue
always hold fast to the virtue in form,
Thus he is actually of no virtue.
A man of the great virtue remains inactive
Without deliberately manifesting his virtue;
A man of the small benevolence
keeps being active,
Always deliberately manifesting his virtue.
A man of the great benevolence acts
but never deliberately shows his benevolence;
A man of great justice acts
and also deliberately shows his justice.
A man of rigid rites acts
and even rolls up his sleeves
to force people to conform to rites
when no one responds to him.
Virtue comes after the loss of Tao;
Benevolence comes after the loss of virtue;
Justice comes after the loss of benevolence;
Rites come after the loss of justice.
Thus rites result from the lack of loyalty and good faith,
And function as the beginning of great disorder.
Foresight is only the flowery embellishment of Tao
As well as the beginning of ignorance.
Hence the true man sets store by the thick rather than by the thin,
And values the fruit rather than the flower.
That is why he takes the former and discards the latter.