Translations at a glance

J Legge    J H McDonald   Lin Yutang

Tao Te Ching Chapter 18

J Legge

When the Great Tao (Way or Method) ceased to be observed, benevolence and righteousness came into vogue. (Then) appeared wisdom and shrewdness, and there ensued great hypocrisy.

When harmony no longer prevailed throughout the six kinships, filial sons found their manifestation; when the states and clans fell into disorder, loyal ministers appeared.

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 Tao Te Ching Chapter 18

J H McDonald

When the great Tao is abandoned,
charity and righteousness appear.
When intellectualism arises,
hypocrisy is close behind.

When there is strife in the family unit,
people talk about ‘brotherly love’.

When the country falls into chaos,
politicians talk about ‘patriotism’.

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 Tao Te Ching Chapter 18

Lin Yutang

On the decline of the great Tao,
The doctrine of “humanity” and “justice” arose.
When knowledge and cleverness appeared,
Great hypocrisy followed in its wake.

When the six relationships no longer lived at peace,
There was (praise of) “kind parents” and “filial sons.”

When a country fell into chaos and misrule,
There was (praise of) “loyal ministers.”

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