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中国成语典故中英对照:玩火自焚

2006-06-29 11:59

  Whoever Plays With Fire Will Get Burnt

  During the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC), prince Zhou Xu of the State of Wei killed his brother and became the new emperor. Zhou Xu was a tyrant. He oppressed his people and indulged in wars of aggression. By launching wars, he tried to divert the people's attention and reduce their discontent with him in order to consolidate his dictatorship.

  The Duke of the State of Lu leant about Zhou Xu's usurpation of state power and his ambitious plan, he asked a senior official, "What do you think about Zhou Xu's move? "The official answered, "He indulges in wars , bringing his people much disaster. He won't get their support. And he's capricious, so few of his close friends follow him. He can never achieve his success. In addition, war is like fire. If one launches wars endlessly without restraint, he'll eventually burn himself. "

  Sure enough, the people of Wei with the help of the State of Chen overthrew Zhou Xu and killed him in less than a year.

  Later, people use it to mean that those who do evil will finally ruin themselves.

  玩火自焚

  春秋时期,卫国的王子州吁杀死了他的哥哥卫桓公,成为了卫国的国君。州吁是个暴君,他压迫百姓,到处侵略别的国家。他想利用战争来分散百姓的注意力,减少人们对他的不满,巩固他的专政。

  鲁国的君王知道州吁篡夺了王位,还想吞并其他国家,就问他手下的一名官员:"你认为州吁的目的能达到吗?"那位官员说道:"州吁到处打仗,给人民来了灾难。人民不会支持他。他这个人又反复无常,身边没有什么亲信。他不可能实现自己的野心。而且,战争就象火。无休止地打仗,最后,火会烧到自己身上。 "

  果然,不到一年,卫国人民就在陈国的帮助下推翻了州吁的统治,并处死了他。

  后来,人们用这个成语来比喻干害人的勾当,最后受害的还是自己。

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