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中国成语典故中英对照:大公无私

2006-06-29 11:23

  Perfectly impartial

  During the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC), a very noble official caled Qi Huangyang lived in the State of Jin. One day, the king summoned him to court and asked, "Now that the magistrate position of Nanyang county is vacant, who do you think is suitable for the post?"

  "Xie Hu is the right man for the job," Qi replied without hesitation.

  Surprised, the king asked, "Did you say Xie Hu? I thought he's your enemy. Why did you recommend him to take such an important position?"

  Smiling, Qi Huangyang said, "Your Majesty didn't ask me my personal opinions o Xie Hu. You simply asked me who I thought would be competent for the position. Therefore I recommended Xie Hu.

  The king followed Qi's advice and made Xie Hu magistrate of Nanyang county. And sure enough, Xie Hu administered the county very well and won respect from local people and his colleagues.

  Some days later, the king again asked Qi Huangyang for his opinions. This time, the king was trying to find a suitable candidate for a court judge position. Qi Huangyiang recommended Qi Wu for the job. Once again, the king was surprised again by the recommendation because Qi Wu was the son of Qi Huangyang. The king asked: "Who do you recommend your son? Aren't you afraid people will gossip?"

  Qi Huangyang replied, "Your Majesty, you asked me who was the most capable person for the position of a judge, and I think Qi Wu is."

  Although the king was a bit hesitant about making Qi Wu the judge, he nevertheless gave him the position. As it turned out, Qi Wu was an upright and talented judge, who people greatly respected.

  Qi Huangyang's actions were praised by Confucius who said, "Qi Huangyang was right. He recommended people according to their abilities and talents, not because of personal sentiments, not because of fearing others' gossip. Therefore, people like Qi Huangyang are referred to as people "without selfish motives".

  From Confucious' comment came the idiom "Unselfish". Anyone who handles affairs fairly and impartially can be described as "Unselfish; Perfectly impartial".

  大公无私

  春秋时,晋国有位品格非常高尚的大臣祁黄羊。有一次,晋王召祁黄羊入宫问他:"南阳县缺个县令,你看,应该派谁去当比较合适呢?」祁黄羊毫不迟疑地回答说:"解狐去,最合适了。"平公惊奇的问他:"你是说解狐? 他不是你的仇人吗?你为什么还要推荐他担任这么重要的职位?"

  祁黄羊笑着说:"陛下只问我什么人能够胜任这个职位,并没有问我对解狐的个人看法呀!因此我推荐解狐。"于是,晋王采纳了他的建议,派解狐到南阳县去上任了。当然,解狐到任后,治理有方,他的同僚和当地百姓都尊敬他。

  过了一些日子,平公又向祁黄羊征求意见。这回,晋王想找个合适的人选担任朝廷法官。"祁黄羊推荐了祁午。平公又奇怪起来了,因为祁午是祁黄羊的儿子。他问道:"你怎么推荐你的儿子,不怕别人讲闲话吗?"祁黄羊说:"陛下只问我谁最是合适的,我认为祁午是。"

  尽管晋王还有些犹豫,他还是派了祁午去做法官。事实证明,祁午是个正直,有才能的法官,很受人们的爱戴。孔子听说这两件事,十分称赞祁黄羊。孔子说: "祁黄羊是对的。他推荐人,完全是以才能做标准,不因为个人偏见,便不推荐他;也不因为怕人议论,便不推荐。像黄祁羊这样的人,才够得上说"大公无私"啦!"

  "大公无私"这个成语就是由孔子的评论而来的,用来形容那些公正无私处理事物的人。

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