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【每週成語】
望塵莫及

楊愛民

成語:望塵莫及(WANG CHEN MO JI): to gape at another’s fast progress; to be left far behind ; to be unable to compare with another’s accomplishments; so far behind that one can just see the dust of the rider ahead; be thrown into the shade.
出處:南史。
釋義:此成語用途甚廣。任何事只要跟不上人家,就是“望塵莫及”。
故事:吳慶之,字文悅,南北朝宋國濮陽(安徽靈璧縣)人。王義恭在揚州當太守時,曾請他在王的衙門當秘書。後來,王義恭因為犯錯被皇帝處死,吳慶之覺得自己沒有輔佐長官的能力,從此就不肯再出來做官。不久,王琨就任吳興(今浙江吳興縣)太守,想請吳慶之做功曹(類武官)。他便對王琨說,“我一向不懂得處理事情,只因為前太守很看得起我,所以才跟他奔走了一段時間。 假如你叫我出來做官,那簡直是把魚養在樹上,把鳥養在水里。 ”吳慶之說完話,也不告辭一聲,拔腿就跑。王琨連忙跟在後面追趕;但只見前面吳慶之奔跑所造成的塵土,已經趕不上他了。後人根據這個故事形成了這個“望塵莫及”的成語。(註:文中鳥指棲息陸地林中者,非海鳥如海燕、海鸚、海鷗、海雀、鸕茲鳥、鴨子等。事實上,鳥是可以養在水裡的。)
用法:據云:張琥和蘇軾是同科進士,但張琥的名氣和蘇東坡相比,那真是“望塵莫及”。
故事英譯:Mr. Wu Qing Zhi, Styled Wen Yue, was a native of Pu Yang (Ling Bi County, An Hui, today) in Kingdom Song in the South-North Dynasty. When Wang Yi Gong was the governor of Yang Zhou, the governor invited Wu Qing Zhi to be the secretary. Afterward, because of violating the law, Wang Yi Gong was put to death by the emperor. Since then, Wu Qing Zhi felt that he had no the capability and quality to be an assistant for helping his superior, so he refused to do things in the officialdom. Before long when Wang Kun had been appointed as the governor of Yang Zhou, who wanted to invite Wu Qing Zhi as his military secretary, Wu refused to accept his invitation, and said to Wang Kun, “I always don’t know how to manage affairs, since former governor (Wang Yi Gong) thought highly for me, so I worked for assisting him for a period. Now if you asked me to be an official in the government, it is equal to that you raise fish on a tree or raise birds in water.” After saying such words, Wu Qing Zhi suddenly run away without saying a “good-bye”. Wang Kun got up and hurriedly ran after Wu Qing Zhi, however, Wang Kun could just see the dust which was made by Wu’s running, it was too far behind to catch up with him. Afterward, descendants according this story created the idiom: “to gape at another’s fast progress.” (Note: the birds mentioned above means that they are the birds living on land, not seabirds like petrels, puffins, gulls, murres ( 海雀), cormorants,ducks etc. In fact, some kinds of birds can be raised in water. )



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