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In the famous passage, "Requite hatred with virtue," the word teh, "virtue," is

p. 182

commonly translated "goodness." We grant that this is the meaning, but we prefer a literal rendering. The sentence recalls Christ's injunction, "Love your enemies," but it means that we should treat those who hate us with justice and goodness, according to the rules of the Tao, the eternal Reason. It is not so emphatic as the Christian saying, but it is more logical and less paradoxical.

The sentence before the last means: Rash promises are easily made; and if we take things easy in the beginning without thinking of the consequences we shall soon be involved in complications.

Next: Chapter 64