Line-4Legge: The fourth line, dynamic, shows the sacrificial vessel with its feet broken, and its contents, designed for the ruler's use, overturned and spilled. Its subject will be made to blush for shame. There will be evil.
Wilhelm/Baynes: The legs of the cauldron are broken. The prince's meal is spilled and his person soiled. Misfortune.
Blofeld: The legs of the Ting snap. The prince's food is overturned and his person soiled -- misfortune! [Through gross carelessness an opportunity to advance our interests is not only lost but transformed into an occasion of trouble.]
Liu: The legs of the cauldron are split. The duke's meal is spilled and his face turns red. Misfortune.
Ritsema/Karcher: The Vessel: a severed stand. Overthrowing a princely stew. Its form soiled. Pitfall.
Shaughnessy: The cauldron's broken leg: Overturns the duke's stew; his punishment is execution-in-chamber; inauspicious.
Cleary (1): The cauldron’s legs are broken, spilling the food received for service. The physical being is enriched, but there is misfortune.
Cleary (2): The cauldron breaks its legs, spilling your food; your face drips. This is unfortunate.
Wu: The cauldron’s legs are broken. The duke’s feast is spilled over, resulting in capital punishment. Foreboding.
COMMENTARYConfucius/Legge: How can he be trusted? Wilhelm/Baynes: How can one still trust him? Blofeld: The prince's meal is overturned -- how is it possible to continue enjoying his confidence? Ritsema/Karcher: Wherefore trustworthy thus indeed? Cleary (2): Now that you have spilled your food, what happened to your confidence? Wu: How can there be trust?
The Master said:"Virtue small and office high; wisdom small and plans great; strength small and burden heavy: where such conditions exist, it is seldom that they do not end in evil. As it is said in the I Ching, `The tripod's feet are overthrown, and the ruler's food is overturned. The body of him who is thus indicated is wet with shame: there will be evil.'"
Legge: Line four is the minister charged with difficult duties. Although dynamic, he is in a magnetic position with a magnetic correlate in line one. Weak in himself, and without an able helper, he has failed to do his proper work, and cannot be trusted again.
NOTES AND PARAPHRASESSiu: The man fails to discharge his responsibilities because of personal inadequacies. Great plans supported by limited knowledge, heavy loads by meager strength, high office by weak character -- these result in shame and disaster.
Wing: You do not have the capability to achieve the goals you have in mind. You have not been realistic about your position. You are lacking in either energy, commitment, information, or assistance. Going forth with your plans will invite disaster.
Editor: The image suggests misfortune brought about by inexperience, incompetence, lack of capacity, divided loyalties, willful disobedience, or plain ignorance. In my experience, the line does not necessarily always imply blame: sometimes, with the best will in the world, one just isn't capable of coping with superior forces in a situation. If this is the only changing line, the new hexagram becomes #18, Work on What has been Spoiled, implying that you should clean up the mess you’ve just made.
Line 4 The legs of the ting are broken = the prince's meal is spilled, soiling him. Misfortune. Changes to (18) Decay. This is a delicate situation requiring great care. Even with the best intentions you cannot share what you have if it is not based on a solid foundation. You are lacking in either energy, knowledge, commitment or support so without remedying what is inherently weak, doing anything can only lead to disaster. It is better to examine what has decayed in this situation and reinvigorate it or start over.A. A failure is portended. Only you can determine if blame is involved.If you have assumed a character above your strength, you have both acted in this matter in an unbecoming way, and you have neglected that which you might have fulfilled. Epictetus
Nine in the fourth place means:
The legs of the ting are broken.
The prince's meal is spilled
And his person is soiled.
A man has a difficult and responsible task to which he is not adequate. Moreover, he does not devote himself to it with all his strength but goes about with inferior people; therefore the execution of the work fails. In this way he also incurs personal opprobrium.
Confucius says about this line: "Weak character coupled with honored place, meager knowledge with large plans, limited powers with heavy responsibility, will seldom escape disaster."