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Freedom Founts

Source Materials About Freedom


1. Or fame or life,
      Which do you hold more dear?
    Or life or wealth,
      To which would you adhere?
    Keep life and lose those other things;
    Keep them and lose your life:—which brings
      Sorrow and pain more near?


2. Thus we may see,
      Who cleaves to fame
      Rejects what is more great;
    Who loves large stores
      Gives up the richer state.


3. Who is content
    Needs fear no shame.
    Who knows to stop
    Incurs no blame.
    From danger free
    Long live shall he.

Legge's Comments

立戒, 'Cautions.' The chapter warns men to let nothing come into competition with the value which they set on the Dào. The Dào is not named, indeed, but the idea of it was evidently in the writer's mind.

The whole chapter rhymes after a somewhat peculiar fashion; familiar enough, however, to one who is acquainted with the old rhymes of the Book of Poetry.