Of old those who were the best ruler (1) were mysterious and profoundly penetrating; Too deep to comprehend. And because they cannot be comprehended, I can only describe them arbitrarily: Cautious,like crossing a frozen stream in the winter, Being at a loss, like one fearing danger on all sides, Reserved, like one visiting, Supple and pliant, like ice about to melt, Genuine, like a piece of uncarved wood (2) Open and broad, like a valley, Merged and undifferentiated, like muddy water.

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