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【每週成語】
牛衣對泣

楊愛民

成語:牛衣對泣(NIU YI DUI QI): To weep together in cow coarse-clothes—a couple living in extremely poverty; dire poverty; to suffer from both poverty and sickness; abject poverty.
出處:西漢,王章傳。
釋義:一般夫婦在貧病交加,窮途末路之時,無計可施,多半牛衣對泣。然而,當王章病倒、山窮水盡、認為快要活不下去,對著太太哭泣的時候,王章的太太責罵他沒有出息。然後鼓勵他不可氣餒。王章受此激勵,終於發奮圖強,結果做到高官。
故事:西漢時代,泰山鉅平人(今山東泰安)王章,字仲卿,在朝中是一位高官。他為人正直,往往不顧自身的利益而向皇帝勸諫,因而名聲大噪。不過,當他做官之前在京城長安讀書時,和妻子同住,生活非常貧困。一天夜裡,他突然生病了,既沒有被蓋,又沒有墊褥,只好睡在牛衣上(用椰子殼纖維編織的蓑衣或用亂麻變成的麻布衣披在牛身上的)。那時,王章貧病交加,處境艱難,認為自己一定要死了,就面對著他的妻子嗚嗚咽咽地哭泣起來。他的妻子看到他這副可憐的樣子,禁不住很生氣,就對他說,“仲卿,目前在朝中做官的,論才能哪一個能比得上你。為何你只遭遇一點疾病和困難,就如此悲觀沮喪,而不能振作激勵,反而哭哭啼啼的呢?這是多麼卑鄙怯懦行為啊!”王章得到他妻子的激勵,立志奮發圖強,努力向上,終於做到了高官。
成功的人並不是與生俱來的,是靠他們的意志,勤奮向學,對前途有自信勇氣而達成。像王章的妻子那樣的人,如果生在今天,不正是一個巾幗英雄嗎?王章本來已經意志消沉,對前途萬念俱灰,沒有一點信心,對生命沒有半點勇氣,是一個自暴自棄的徹底失敗者。由於他妻子及時給他刺激,打氣,使他知恥近乎勇,振作精神,堅韌不拔,發奮圖強,終於使生命的火花綻放出美麗的花朵,結果王章爬到了高位,官拜京兆尹。
用法:貧窮夫妻百事哀,人窮志短,一般人在貧病交加之時無計可施,只有“牛衣對泣”而已。
故事英譯:During the West Han Dynasty, there was a man of Tai-shan Ju-ping, (Tai An, Shan Dong Province today), named Wang Zhang, Styled Zhong Qing, who was not only a high-ranking official but also a righteous and justice gentleman. Wang Zhang always dared to dissuade the emperor without considering the risk of impacting on his own benefits. Anyway, when he was studying at Chang An, the Capital, living together with his wife, they were extremely poor. One night, he suddenly suffered from a sickness and had no quilt for keeping warm, so they could only sleep on a cow coarse-clothes (a kind of coarse-patch made with straw or coconut fiber for cattle usage). Then, Wang Zhang felt that he must be going to the end of life because he was plagued by both poverty and illness. He faced his wife and could not stop to be weeping and crying sadly. His wife saw her husband being such a pitiful situation she could not to stop blaming him angrily and said, “Zhong Qing, Nowadays, among the officials in the Court, whose talent can be matched with yours? Why after encountering such a mild illness and difficulty, you can’t get your act together and on the contrast you are crying and sobbing? Isn’t it sordid and contemptible? ”After being stimulated by his wife’s blaming, Wang Zhang began to pluck himself up and finally was promoted to a high-ranking official in the court.
No pain, no gain. A successful people was not born with, on the contract, his success comes from his strong will, his persistent effort on study, his confidence with courage and ambition. If Wang Zhang’s wife was born in the modern days, she must be a heroine. At that time, Wang Zhang would have been a basket case, lost living courage, in case of lacking his wife’s blaming and encouraging on time. That poverty plus illness would really cause a guy torturing, and there were numerous people who suffered such situations, would lose their courage of living. It’s really contemptible and coward behavior which should be avoided by us. A man should struggle against adverse circumstance, and live bravely, one’s life would automatically bloom with beautiful flowers. Wang Zhang finally was promoted to a very high position—the mayor of the Capital.


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