I speak modern Mandarin. I'm trying to learn classical Chinese. Reading Van Norden's Guide for absolute beginners, I'm stuck in Lesson 7, Analects 4.5:
The issue, as Van Norden points out, is that in the straightforward interpretation the 之 in the second 得之 refers to 貧與賤, which doesn't make sense. (Who would mind avoiding poverty if it wasn't "deserved", so to say?) He gives one such seemingly nonsensical translation by James Ware.
All Chinese translations I could find online say something along the lines of: 貧窮與低賤是人人都厭惡的，但不用正當的方法去擺脫它，就不會擺脫的。(https://kknews.cc/culture/j8k98re.html)
There is another version: 貧和賤，是人人所憎惡的，如果不幸，而淪於貧賤，也不可違而去之。(http://twowin.com.tw/gogo_card/chinese/p8.htm)
The first version says 擺脫 instead of 得之, which appears to be opposite. The second version might suggest that 之 in 得之 actually refers to 去 in the following sentence: getting rid of it.
Could that be the case? Then the translation would make sense, but I'm not sure whether you can 「得」 「去-ing」 something (whether 去 can count as an object of 得), if you know what I mean.
Note: Van Norden seems to suggest something of the kind in his text, but he stays rather vague and never gives his own translation of anything throughout the entire book.
EDIT Added some context contained in Van Norden's book.
Van Norden writes:
The second half of 4.5 has puzzled some interpreters, becuase the seemingly obvious way to take the grammar results in the second half of 孔子's comment not makeing sense. Can you see why? The key to understanding this quotation is correctly answering the following question: In the expression 得之, what does the pronoun 之 refer to? Normally it refers back to something earlier in the sentence. Here, I think, it refers to something later in the sentence.
James Ware's translation:
[...] Poverty and low estate are what men dislike; but if they come undeserved, don't flee them
(Van Norden: this doesn't make sense)
D.C. Lau's translation:
[...] Poverty and low station are what men dislike, but even if I did not get them in the right way I would not try to escape from them.
(Footnote by Lau: "This sentence is most likely to be corrupt. The negative is probably an interpolation and the sentence should read: 'Poverty and low station are what men dislike, but if I got them in the right way I would not try to escape from them.'")
Note that Lau's alternate translation is still quite different from the Chinese translations above.
James Legge's translation:
[...] Poverty and meanness are what men dislike. If it cannot be obtained in the proper way, they should not be avoided.
Here Legge maintains the ambiguousness of the original by using "it" and "they". What does "it" refer to here? It sounds to me like "it" might refer to the avoidance.