1. Dao has of all things the most honored place. No treasures give good men so rich a grace; Bad men it guards, and doth their ill efface.
2. (Its) admirable words can purchase honor; (its) admirable deeds can raise their performer above others. Even men who are not good are not abandoned by it.
3. Therefore when the sovereign occupies his place as the Son of Heaven, and he has appointed his three ducal ministers, though (a prince) were to send in a round symbol-of-rank large enough to fill both the hands, and that as the precursor of the team of horses (in the court-yard), such an offering would not be equal to (a lesson of) this Dao, which one might present on his knees.
4. Why was it that the ancients prized this Dao so much? Was it not because it could be got by seeking for it, and the guilty could escape (from the stain of their guilt) by it? This is the reason why all under heaven consider it the most valuable thing.