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道者，萬物之始，是非之紀也。是以明君守始以知萬物之源，治紀以知善敗之端。 故虛靜以待令，令名自命也，令事自定也。虛則知實之情，靜則知動者正。有言者自為名，有事者自為形， 形名參同，君乃無事焉，歸之其情。
故曰：君無見其所欲，君見其所欲，臣自將雕琢；君無見其意，君見其意，臣將自表異。 故曰：去好去惡，臣乃見素；去（舊）〔智〕去（智）〔舊〕，臣乃自備。故有智而不以慮，使萬物知其處； 有（行）〔賢〕而不以（賢）〔行〕，觀臣下之所因；有勇而不以怒，使群臣盡其武。是故去智而有明， 去賢而有功，去勇而有強。群臣守職，百官有常，因能而使之，是謂習常。
故曰：寂乎其無位而處，漻乎莫得其所。明君無為於上，群臣竦懼乎下。 明君之道，使智者盡其慮，而君因以斷事，故君不窮於智；賢者勑其材，君因而任之，故君不窮於能； 有功則君有其賢，有過則臣任其罪，故君（子）不窮於名。是故不賢而為賢者師，不智而為（上）智者正。 臣有其勞，君有其成功，此之謂賢主之經也。
道在不可見，用在不可知。虛靜無事，以闇見疵。見而不見，聞而不聞， 知而不知。知其言以往，勿變勿更，以參合閱焉。官有一人，勿令通言，則萬物皆盡。函掩其跡， 匿其端，下不能原。去其智，絕其能，下不能意。
保吾所以往而稽同之，謹執其柄而固握之。絕其（能）望，破其意，毋使人欲之。 不謹其閉，不固其門，虎乃將存。不慎其事，不掩其情，賊乃將生。弒其主，代其所，人莫不與， 故謂之虎。處其主之側為姦（臣）〔匿〕，聞其主之忒，故謂之賊。散其黨，收其餘，閉其門，奪其輔， 國乃無虎。大不可量，深不可測，同合刑名，審驗法式，擅為者誅，國乃無賊。
是故人主有五壅：臣閉其主曰壅，臣制財利曰壅，臣擅行令曰壅， 臣得行義曰壅，臣得樹人曰壅。臣閉其主，則主失位；臣制財利，則主失德；臣擅行令， 則主失制；臣得行義，則主失明；臣得樹人，則主失黨。此人主之所以獨擅也，非人臣之所以得操也。
人主之道，靜退以為寶。不自操事而知拙與巧，不自計慮而知福與咎。 是以不言〔而〕善應，不約而善增。言已應則執其契，事已增則操其符。符契之所合， 賞罰之所生也。故群臣陳其言，君以其言授其事，事以責其功。功當其事，事當其言則賞； 功不當其事，事不當其言則誅。明君之道，臣不〔得〕陳言而不當。
是故明君之行賞也，曖乎如時雨，百姓利其澤；其行罰也，畏乎如雷霆，神聖不能解也。 故明君無偷賞，無赦罰。賞偷則功臣墮其業，赦罰則姦臣易為非。是故誠有功，則雖賤必賞；誠有過， 則雖近愛必誅。〔疏賤必賞〕，近愛必誅，則賤者不怠，而近愛者不驕也。
Chapter V. The Tao of the Sovereign1
Tao is the beginning of the myriad things, the standard of right and wrong. That being so, the intelligent ruler, by holding to the beginning, knows the source of everything, and, by keeping to the standard, knows the origin of good and evil. Therefore, by virtue of resting empty and reposed, he waits 2 for the course of nature to enforce itself so that all names will be defined of themselves and all affairs will be settled of themselves. Empty, he knows the essence of fullness: reposed, he becomes 3 the corrector of motion. Who utters a word creates himself a name; who has an affair creates himself a form. Compare forms and names and see if they are identical. Then the ruler will find nothing to worry about as everything is reduced to its reality.
Hence the saying: "The ruler must not reveal his wants. For, if he reveals his wants, the ministers will polish their manners accordingly. The ruler must not reveal his views. For, if he reveals his views, the ministers will display their hues differently." Hence another saying: "If the like and hate of the ruler be concealed, the true hearts of the ministers will be revealed. If the experience and wisdom of the ruler be discarded, the ministers will take precautions." Accordingly, the ruler, wise as he is, should not bother but let everything find its proper place; worthy as he is, should not be self-assumed but observe closely the ministers' motivating factors of conduct; and, courageous as he is, should not be enraged but let every minister display his prowess. So, leave the ruler's wisdom, then you will find the ministers' intelligence; leave the ruler's worthiness, then you will find the ministers' merits; and leave the ruler's courage, then you will find the ministers' strength. In such cases, ministers will attend to their duties, magistrates will have definite work routine, and everybody will be employed according to his special ability. Such a course of government is called "constant and immutable".
Hence the saying: "So quiet, it rests without footing; so vacant, it cannot be located." Thus, the intelligent ruler does nothing, but his ministers tremble all the more. It is the Tao of the intelligent ruler that he makes the wise men exhaust their mental energy and makes his decisions thereby without being himself at his wits' end; that he makes the worthy men exert their talents and appoints them to office accordingly without being himself at the end of his ability; and that in case of merits the ruler gains the renown and in case of demerit the ministers face the blame so that the ruler is never at the end of his reputation. Therefore, the ruler, even though not worthy, becomes the master of the worthies; and, even though not wise, becomes the corrector of the wise men. It is the ministers who do the toil; it is the ruler who gets the spoil. This is the everlasting principle of the worthy sovereign. 4
Tao exists in invisibility; its function, in unintelligibility. Be empty and reposed and have nothing to do-Then from the dark see defects in the light. See but never be seen. Hear but never be heard. Know but never be known. If you hear any word uttered, do not change it nor move it but compare it with the deed and see if word and deed coincide with each other. Place every official with a censor. Do not let them speak to each other. Then everything will be exerted to the utmost. Cover tracks and conceal sources. Then the ministers cannot trace origins. Leave your wisdom and cease your ability. Then your subordinates cannot guess at your limitations.
Keep your decision and identify it with the words and deeds of your subordinates. Cautiously take the handles 5 and hold them fast. Uproot others' want of them, smash others' thought of them, and do not let anybody covet them. If the ruler is not cautious of the locking or if he does not keep the gate in good repair, the tiger will come into existence. If the ruler does not take precautions for his sway or if he does not cover his realities, the traitor will make his appearance. Who murders the sovereign and takes his place and finds the whole people side in awe with him, is called a tiger. Again, who serves the country by the sovereign's side and watches for his secret faults with villainous motives, 6 is called a traitor. Scatter his partisans, arrest his supporters, 7 lock up the gate, and deprive him of all assistance. Then there will be no tiger in the country. Be too great to be measured, be too profound to be surveyed, identify norms 8 and names, scrutinize laws and manners, and chastise those doing as they please. Then there will be no traitor in the country.
For these reasons, the lord of men always has to face five kinds of delusion: delusion by ministers impeding the sovereign, delusion by ministers controlling public resources and revenues, delusion by ministers issuing decrees at random, delusion by ministers distributing personal favours, and delusion by ministers feeding dependents. When ministers impede the sovereign, the sovereign loses his viewpoint. When they control public resources and revenues, he loses his advantages. 9 When they issue decrees at random, he loses his ruling authority. When they distribute personal favours, he loses his name. When they feed their dependents, he loses his supporters. All their doings as such should be based on the initiative of the lord of men and should not be started by the ministers at their pleasure.
The Tao of the lord of men regards tranquillity and humility as treasures. Without handling anything himself, he can tell skilfulness from unskilfulness; without his own concerns of mind, he can tell good from bad luck. Therefore, without uttering any word himself, he finds a good reply given; without exerting his own effort, 10 he finds his task accomplished. Whenever a reply is given to his question, he holds to its covenant. Whenever any task is accomplished, he holds to its result. And out of coincidence and discrepancy between the consequences of tasks accomplished and the covenants of words uttered reward and punishment are born. Therefore, when a minister utters a word, the ruler should according to the word assign him a task to accomplish, and according to the result of the accomplishment call the task 11 to account. If the result corresponds with the task and the task with the word, the minister should be rewarded. If the result corresponds not with the task and the task not with the word, he should be censured. It is in accordance with the Tao of the intelligent ruler that every minister should utter no word that corresponds not with its proper task.
For this reason, the intelligent ruler, in bestowing rewards, is as benign as the seasonable rain that the masses profit by his graces; in inflicting punishments, he is so terrific like the loud thunder that even divines and sages cannot atone for their crimes. Thus the intelligent ruler neglects no reward and remits no punishment. For, if reward is neglected, ministers of merit will relax their duties; if punishment is remitted, villainous ministers will become liable to misconduct. Therefore, men of real merit, however distant and humble, must be rewarded; those of real demerit, however near and dear, must be censured. If both the reward of the distant and humble and the censure of the near and dear are infallible, 12 the distant and humble will not go idle while the near and dear will not turn arrogant.
1. 主道. In style and thought this work is similar to Chap. VIII. Both show the same tendencies to vague verse and reveal metres, measures, and rhymes in many points. The mode of expression is elegant but the ideas are profound and abstract and therefore susceptible of different interpretations.
2. With Kao Hêng the first 令 below 待 is superfluous.
3. With Yü Yüeh 知 should be 為.
4. Up to this paragraph the chapter deals with the theoretical aspects of the Tao of the sovereign. The rest of the chapter covers its practical sides. Hence its division into two parts by the Waseda University Press edition.
5. Vide infra, Chap. VII.
6. With Wang Nien-sun 臣 is a mistake for 匿 which reads 慝.
7. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 餘 should be 與.
8. 刑 is derived from 形 meaning "form".
9. With Wang Hsien-ch`ien 德 should be 得.
10. With Wang Hsien-shen 約 should be 事.
11. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê and Wang Hsien-shen 事以 should be 以其事.
12. With Wang Hsien-shen 疏賤必賞 should be supplied above 近愛必誅.
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