Mr. Medhurst translates the first sentence: "Who tiptoes totters; who straddles stumbles."
The translator trusts that the style of this chapter has been greatly improved in this edition. The first section has been made more terse, and in the second the sense comes out more clearly. Yü shih, in former editions translated "offal of food," means "too much of food" and is better interpreted as a surfeit of food. Further we have in former editions translated chui hing as "excrescence in the system." The word chui (a synonym of yü) denotes anything that is redundant, an excrescence, or a wen,
and hing is a peculiar word which literally means "to go," or "to walk," and may mean the way of acting, or the bodily system, or almost anything else. We might translate chui hing "overdoing in behavior," but it is likely that Lao-tze actually meant that the overdoing of self-display is like a wen in the face--too much and therefore disgusting. Lao-tze may also think of Confucian supererogatory behavior, which is characterized by overdoing in politeness and is offensive to the man who believes in the simple life.
The new interpretation is supported by the Manchu version.
The lines here quoted are parallel to the lines in the second section of Chapter 23. The same words are used, only the negation pu is differently placed so as to produce a contrast.