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中国成语典故中英对照:半途而废

2006-06-29 11:18

  Give up halfway

  During the Warring States Period (475-221BC), there was a man called Yue Yangzi in State Yue. One day he saw a piece of gold on the road and picked it up. He took it home and gave it to his wife. But his wife was not happy. The virtuous woman said, "I hear that a man of morality doesn't drink a thief's water and a man of probity refuses to accept alms. What do you think of the action of picking up another's lost valuable and possessing it for one's own?"

  Yue Yangzi, feeling ashamed, sent the gold back to where he found it.

  The next year, Yue Yangzi felt that he should go out and visit scholars to enrich his knowledge. So he set off.

  A year later, he came back home suddenly.

  "Why have you returned?" asked his wife in surprise, "You've only spent one year studying with scholars."

  "I come back because I missed you very much."

  Without saying anything, his wife took a pair of scissors and went to the loom at which she had worked. Pointing at the half done brocade, she proclaimed : "This brocade is woven from the finest silk. I wove one strand after another to produce the brocade. Now if I cut it, all my previous work will be wasted. It's the same with your studies. You can acquire knowledge only through diligence. Now, you've stopped halfway. Isn't it the same as cutting the brocade on the loom?"

  Yue Yangzi was moved by what she said. He again left home to visit scholars. Several years later he became a learned man.

  半途而废

  战国时期,魏国有个叫乐羊子的人。有一天,乐羊子在路上看到一块金子,他就捡起金子,带回了家并把它拿给妻子看。可他妻子一点儿也不高兴。这个贤惠的女人对他说:"我听人说'壮士不饮盗泉之水;廉洁的人不食嗟来之食'。把别人遗失的贵重之物捡起来据为己有,你怎么看待这种行为呢?"

  乐羊子听了妻子的话,觉得很惭愧,就把那块金子又扔到原来的地方。

  第二年,乐羊子离开家到了一个很远的地方,去拜师求学。

  一年后,乐羊子突然回到家中,他的妻子很惊讶地问:"你怎么回来了?你才和那些学者学了一年呀。"乐羊子说:"我太想你了,所以回来看看。"

  他的妻子听了以后,二话不说,拿起把剪刀走到她的织布机前。她指着那块已经完成了一半的锦缎说:"这块锦缎用的是最好的丝。我一丝丝的累积来织成这锦缎。如果我现在把它剪断,就等于前功尽弃。你求学也是这样。如果现在停止,和剪断织布机上的锦缎有什么区别?"

  乐羊子被妻子的话所感动,于是立刻离开家,继续拜师求学。

  几年后,乐羊子终于完成学业,成为一个博学的人。

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