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【楊愛民】
馬前潑水

楊愛民

成語:馬前潑水(MA QIAN PO SHUI): To be difficult for a divorced couple to remarry; a divorced woman cannot hope to unite with her former husband; there is on use over spilt milk; what is done cannot be undone; spilt water can’t be recovered.
出處:“漁樵記”漢,朱買臣的故事,作者不詳。
釋義:此故事指出潑出去的水比喻為做錯的事,鑄成大錯後是無法挽回的。所以,謹言慎行,或三思而行,是叫人勿做出難以彌補的大錯。
故事:朱買臣是漢朝的一位寒士,只知讀書,不事生產,最後弄得家庭連飯也沒得吃。他的太太看到這種情況,就提出和他離婚。本來,朱買臣很有自信,認為將來終會發跡,所以就勸他太太不要離婚。可是,他太太認為他不會有什麼成就,所以不理會他丈夫的要求,離開朱家而去。
後來朱得到有力人士嚴助向皇帝推薦,漢武帝封朱為中大夫。 恰巧那時東越發生叛亂,武帝命他監督建造戰船及各種兵器,並升他為會稽太守,命他帶兵討伐叛軍。會稽是朱買臣的故鄉,當他衣錦還鄉赴任時,會稽百姓都出來夾道歡迎。當時他太太也在群眾中並站在歡迎隊伍首位。當朱買臣的馬接近她時,她請求朱買臣不念舊惡,恢復婚姻關係。朱買臣故意拋給她一個難題:叫人端來一盆水,將水潑在馬前地上,對她說,“如果妳能將潑下去的水收回來,我願意與妳複合。”事實上,潑出去的水怎麼能夠收回來呢?他的太太知道複合是不可能的,就回到家裡悔恨自殺而死。
用法:張三對太太說,“我們的婚姻複合如同 “馬前潑水”;雖然不是我們的錯,但是,那是不可能的了。我們只能做個朋友而已。
故事英譯: Mr. Zhu Mai Chen, a poverty scholar of Han Dynasty, was only engrossed in studying all day long and ignored to do productive job, finally there was no food for eating in his family. Seeing such a situation, his wife wanted to divorce him. Originally, Zhu Mai Chen had confidence and believed that he would finally rise to power and get big fortune, so asked his wife forgiving her idea of divorce. However, his wife didn’t think he could get some achievement, so she ignored her husband’s request and firmly left Zhu’s family.
Afterward, Zhu was introduced by a powerful figure Yan Zhu to Emperor Wu of Han, who appointed Zhu as an middle rank advisor, let Zhu worked in the court. Coincidentally, Eastern Yue rose to rebel against the government. Emperor Wu of Han ordered Zhu to supervise building warships and various weapons; and appointed him as the governor of Kuai Ji, leading troops to suppress the rebels. Kuai Ji was Zhu’s native place, when he returned his hometown in silken official robes, all the Kuai Ji’s residents came out and formatted in lines at both sides of streets to welcome him. Meanwhile, Zhu Mai Chen’s wife was among the masses and stood at the front spot of the line. When Governor Zhu riding on the horse accessed his wife, she asked Zhu threw away the past resentment and reunited with her. Zhu Mai Chen intentionally gave her an arduous problem: let his man to bring a basin of water and spilt it on the ground before his horse, then said to her, “If you can retake the water from the ground and poured it into the basin, I’d like to remarry with you.” In fact, how could one retake the water which has been splashed on the ground? His wife knew that it’s absolutely impossible to restore their marital relationship, she felt remorse and shameful and went home to commit suicide.


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