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【每週成語】
強弩之末

楊愛民

成語:強弩之末(QIANG NU ZHI MO): An arrow at the end of its flight-a spent force; strong force that has been exhausted; much (a great) cry and little wool; on the decline; to be the final kick of the cross bow spring; the arrow from a strong bow became weak after flying a significant distance.
出處:漢書,韓安國傳。
釋義:一個強人或一個強國由盛而衰的時候,即可用之。
故事:西漢梁共王執政時代,有一位名韓安國的官員,因為犯了錯誤被削去官職,閒居在故鄉城安(今河南蘭考縣)。直到劉徹做了皇帝(漢武帝),田蚡當宰相,他才賄賂田蚡,由田蚡請求漢武帝任命韓安國為北地的一個指揮官;不久又調為大司農。後來因為他在北地平亂功勞卓著,便升為御史大夫(一個副宰相)。此時,匈奴派使者來漢廷,要求和親。漢武帝叫大臣們討論這事。有位叫王恢的官員,曾經在北地邊疆做過軍官,有過多次與匈奴作戰的經驗,知道匈奴的固有天性,所以建議漢朝不但不應該與之和親,而且要派大軍去征服他們。但是,副宰相韓安國不同意王恢的意見,說,“現在匈奴在北方廣闊的沙漠地帶,有一個強大流動性的大軍,抱著兇惡的企圖,是很難對付的。如果我們走了幾千里路去打那個捉摸不定的敵人,我們的人馬必然非常疲困,而匈奴正好以逸待勞,情勢自然對我們不利。譬如射出的箭矢到了最後沒有力量的階段,即使極薄的綢緞也穿不過。又如狂風的尾力,連極輕的羽毛也吹不起來。不是它本來沒有力量,而是它的力量已經到了末尾。因此,用兵討伐匈奴不是一個好計策。我建議應該答應它的請求和親。”大家都同意韓安國的見解,武帝也就答應了。
用法:張三的公司已經到了“強弩之末”,非關門不行了。
故事英譯:In the reign of King Liang Gong of West Han Dynasty, there was an official named Han An Guo, who was fired from the office because of committing a certain mistake and stayed without job at his native place Cheng An (Lan Kao County, He Nan Province today). Till the time that Liu Zhe had enthroned as the emperor (Emperor Wu of Han) and Tian Fen had been the Premier, he bribed Premier Tian Fen, who asked Emperor Wu of Han to appoint Han An Guo as a military commander in Northern Territory. Because of his outstanding military merits in putting down the Northern chaos, he was promoted to the post of vice-premier. Now, the Huns sent envoy to Han court for asking peace between the Huns and the Han, by marriage that the Huns would like to provide their beauties (princes) of the Huns to the court of Han. Emperor Wu of Han let his key officials to discuss this event. An official named Wang Hui, who had used to be a military officer on the border of Northern territory and had experiences of battles fighting against the Huns, and knew the nature characters of the Huns; so he suggested that the Han not only shouldn’t agree with the Huns’ request but also should send great troops to conquer them. But Vice-premier Han An Guo didn’t agree with Wang Hui’s idea, said, “the Huns had a powerful great movable troops in the vast northern desert land with very evil attempts, so it’s hard to deal with. If we had marched thousands miles to go fighting against the elusive enemy, then our men and horses must be very tired, while the Huns must be awaiting at ease to give our exhausted troops a fatal attack. The odds will be of course against us. The situation is just like that a flying arrow at its end stage won’t penetrate even a very thin silk fabric; also is like that the end-force of a strong wind couldn’t even blow up a small feather. It is not that it had no strength, but it is at its end-force stage. Therefore, sending troops to conquer the Huns is not a good strategy, so we should agree with their request of keeping peace by marriage.” All the courtiers agreed with Han An Guo’s suggestion, and Emperor Wu then agreed with it.



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