THE TAO TEH KING, OR THE TAO AND ITS CHARACTERISTICS
☯ The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao ☯
Translated by James Legge
(1) In a little state with a small population, I would so order it,
that, though there were individuals with the abilities of ten or a
hundred men, there should be no employment of them; I would make the
people, while looking on death as a grievous thing, yet not remove
elsewhere (to avoid it).
(2) Though they had boats and carriages, they should have no occasion
to ride in them; though they had buff coats and sharp weapons, they
should have no occasion to don or use them.
(3) I would make the people return to the use of knotted cords (instead
of the written characters).
(4) They should think their (coarse) food sweet; their (plain) clothes
beautiful; their (poor) dwellings places of rest; and their common
(simple) ways sources of enjoyment.
(5) There should be a neighbouring state within sight, and the voices
of the fowls and dogs should be heard all the way from it to us, but
I would make the people to old age, even to death, not have any intercourse