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【每週成語】
傾國傾城

楊愛民

成語:傾國傾城(QING GUO QING CHENG): An extremely beautiful woman for whose sake a city is ruined or a country is lost; a wondrous beauty; the face that launched a thousand ships; a woman is so beautiful that the ruler would like to give up his city or reign of his empire.
出處:漢書,名戚傳。
釋義:形容一個婦人極為美貌,她的美足以迷住統治者。
故事:漢武帝的夫人原是一個歌姬。她哥哥李延年深通音律,擅長歌舞,武帝很喜歡他。有一次,李延年在武帝面前,跳舞又唱歌,歌曰,“北方有佳人,絕世而獨立,一顧傾人城,再顧傾人國。寧不知傾城與傾國,佳人難再得。”
武帝聽了,感慨起來說,“妙啊!世上難道真有這樣的佳人嗎?”武帝的姐姐平陽公主乘機說,“李延年有個妹妹,就是這樣的佳人。”武帝叫來一見,果然美麗非凡,而且擅長舞蹈。從此她深蒙寵愛。一年後生了個兒子,就是後來的昌邑哀王。
李夫人很年輕就死了。在她病危的時候,武帝去看她,她把臉蒙在被子裡說,“我病久了,容貌很難看,不能見皇上了。但求皇上在我死後,多多照顧昌邑王和我的弟兄。”武帝說,“妳病重了,恐怕難以痊癒,現在見我一面,當面把昌邑王和弟兄的事情託付我,不是很好嗎?”李夫人說,“女人沒有化妝好是不能見君王的。”武帝堅持要見她一面。她就索性翻轉身子,嗚嗚咽咽地哭起來,不肯再說話。武帝不高興的走了。她的姐姐責備她不該拒絕皇帝的要求見她一面。她說,“皇上這樣戀我,無非因為我平日的美貌。如果讓他見到我的病態,他一定會厭惡我,甚至會把我拋棄,哪裡還會照顧我的兄弟呢?”
用法:李夫人雖然有“傾國傾城”之美,但是俗語說紅顏薄命,李夫人就是個例子。
故事英譯:The concubine of Emperor Wu of Han Dynasty was originally an entertainer girl (like Japanese Geisha). Her elder brother Li Yan Nian was an expert of music and good at singing and dancing, Emperor Wu liked him very much. Once upon a time, Li Yan Nian performed sing and dancing before Emperor Wu, while he was singing a song including the following lyrics, “There was a beauty in the North being extremely pretty and outstanding, only her one glance can ruin a city and the second glance can destroy a country. Don’t you rather know her with the prowess of ruining a city and destroying a nation, or missing the opportunity the beauty won’t be appeared again.” After hearing the song, Emperor Wu said with a deep emotional excitement,” Wonderful! Anyway, is there such a beauty in the world? “Emperor’s elder sister, Princess Ping Yang, took the chance to say,” Li Yan Nian has a younger sister, who is just such a rare beauty.” Emperor Wu let her come and take a look. Truly, she was an extraordinary beauty, and was adept at dancing. Since then, she was deeply favored by Emperor Wu and was bestowed as Madame Li. A year later, she delivered a boy who later was bestowed as Prince Chang Yi Ai.
Madame Li died of disease at young age. When she was critical condition, Emperor Wu went to see her; but she covered her face under the quilt and said, “I’m sick for very long and my feature is ugly, so can’t be seen by Your Majesty. However, I beg Your Majesty that after my death, take care of the Prince Chang Yi and my brothers.”
“You are in serious conditions, I’m afraid that it is hard to be cured,” said Emperor Wu. “Now, is it better that let me see you and face to face talk about the things of Prince Chang Yi and your brothers?”
“Woman without make-up should not see Emperor,” said Madame Li. Emperor Wu insisted to see her face once more, however, she rolled over directly her body and broke out crying and sobbing, didn’t open her mouth again. Emperor Wu left displeasingly. Meanwhile, an elder sister blamed her that she shouldn’t refuse Emperor’s request to see her once more. She said, “That His Majesty favored me so much is just because of my charming feature, if let him to see my ill appearance, he must dislike me, even discard me. In such a situation, is it possible that he would remember me and take care of my brothers? ”


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