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【每週成語】
後來居上

楊愛民

成語:後來居上(HU LAI JU SHANG): the late comer or new comer ends up in front; the inferior ends up above his superior; the successors excel the predecessors.
出處:西漢,汲黯的故事。
釋義:表示後來的人高於或優於以前的人。同義詞:青出於藍而勝於藍。
故事:汲黯在漢武帝時代,在朝廷做一位中大夫。因為他常常向漢武帝提出規勸性的意見,武帝聽得不耐煩,就把他調到東海(今蘇魯邊界林海地區)做太守。後來,武帝聽說他治理東海的政績很好,又把他調回來做主爵都尉,地位列在“九卿”以內。他還是直言勸諫,武帝既討厭他又尊敬他。
當時有兩個小官名張湯和公孫弘,汲黯很瞧不起他們。說他們兩人是刀筆吏,專用欺詐的方法取得武帝的信任。不久,公孫弘卻升做宰相,張湯也做了御史大夫。汲黯想起自己的官職還列在“九卿”以內,張湯和公孫弘不過是小官,隔不多久,竟然官職在他之上。另外還有不少原來地位比他低的人,都趕上了他,或超過了他,所以他心裡很不服氣。有一天,他遇到武帝,就說,“陛下用人如同堆積火柴,把後來的放在上面。”武帝聽了沒有作聲。
用法:李謐小時候的老師是孔璠,後來孔璠要求李謐作他的老師,可說是,“後來居上”。
故事英譯:In west Han Dynasty, Ji An, a mid-official in the Court of Emperor Wu of Han was always giving exhorted suggestions to Emperor Wu. Emperor Wu was inpatient to Ji An’s nagging so the monarch transferred him to be the governor of Dong Hai (at the border line between Jiang Su & Shan Dong today). Emperor Wu of Han heard that Ji An’s administrative achievement was very good, so Ji An was ordered back to the Court and appointed as the First Colonel of Nobilities (in charge of the affairs of Sirs in the Court), whose post was listed among the Nine Ministers in the Court. Being in the new office, Ji An was still using blunt words to remonstrate Emperor Wu, who both disliked him and respected him. In the meantime, there were two low ranking mean officials, Zhang Tang and Gong Sun Hong, were despised by Ji An and blamed them as knife-pen officials, who always liked to use schemes for gaining the Emperor’s favorite and trust.
Not long afterwards, Gong Sun Hong was promoted to be Prime Minister and Zhang Tang was appointed as an Imperial Sensor. Ji An thought about that his position was still listed among the Nine Ministers, Zhang Tang and Gong Sun Hong were just low officials but soon they all were promoted above him, and there were many other officials whose ranks were lower than his, but now, had caught up with him, and some had been above him, he of course recalcitrant in his heart. One day, he met and said to the monarch, “To promote officials by Your Majesty is like to pile up firewood, on which the late comer was put on the top.” Emperor Wu of Han said nothing after hearing Ji An’s complaint.


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