学习啦 媛媛 2019-06-20 10:53:15
At the end of the Qin Dynasty(221-206 B.C.) the State of Chu and the State of Han fought for control for the country. Xiang Yu, the king of Chu, was besieged(包围) at a place called Gaixia by the Han army led by Liu Bang. Xiang Yu was in a desperate situation, with little food and only a few soliders. At night, the surrounding Han troops started to sing Chu folk songs. Xiang Yu was very surprised at this, and said:"Has Liu Bang occupied the whole of Chu? How can he have drafted so many Chu people into his army?" Then he fled together with the remainder of his forces.
This idiom is used metaphorically to mean to be in a helpless and critical situation, surrounded by the enemy on all sides.
During the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC), prince Zhou Xu of the State of Wei killed his brother and became the new emperor. Zhou Xu was a tyrant. He oppressed his people and indulged in wars of agGREssion. By launching wars, he tried to divert the people's attention and reduce their discontent with him in order to consolidate his dictatorship.
The Duke of the State of Lu leant about Zhou Xu's usurpation of state power and his ambitious plan, he asked a senior official, "What do you think about Zhou Xu's move? "The official answered, "He indulges in wars , bringing his people much disaster. He won't get their support. And he's capricious, so few of his close friends follow him. He can never achieve his success. In addition, war is like fire. If one launches wars endlessly without restraint, he'll eventually burn himself. "
Sure enough, the people of Wei with the help of the State of Chen overthrew Zhou Xu and killed him in less than a year.
Later, people use it to mean that those who do evil will finally ruin themselves.
Imitating Another without Success and Losing What Used to Be One'sOwn Ability
Tradition has it that more than 2,oooyears ago,there lived a young man in the Shouling area of the State of Yan.As his name is not known ,we just call him Shouling young man for convenience's sake.
self confident He was at a loss as to how to behave all the time.
His family members advised him to overcome this shortcoming,but he thought they were fond of poking their noses into his business and were unwilling to provide him with tuition fee.His relatives and neighbours sneered at him,saying that he would never be able to learn anything.Asthe days went by,he even began to doubt whether he should walk the way he did,for he felt more and more that his walking gestures were too clumsy and awkward.
One day,he met some people on the road who werechattingand laughing.One of themsaid that people in Handan walked most gracefully.And thatwas just what he was most concerned about,so he hurreed towards themand wanted to make further inquiries.To his surprise,when these people saw him,they stalked off laughing.
He could not picture to himself in what way their walking gestures were graceful,no matter how hard he racked his parents one day.He went to Handanwhich was far away to learn how to walk.
As soon as he arrived in Handan,he was dazzled to find that everything was novel.He learned from the children there how to walk,because he thought that the children's walking gestures were lively and pleasing to the eye.He learnd from the old people there how to walk,because he thought the old people's walking gestures were steady .He learnd from the women there how to walk,because he thought the women' swaying walking gestures were beautiful.That being the case with him ,in less than half a month he even forgot how to walk.As he had already used up his traveling expenses,he had to crawl back home.
Thisstory come from the article"Autumn Water"in The Works of Xhuang Zi(Zhuang Zi was a famous ancient Chinese philosopher of about 300B.c.).Later the set phrase"initating another without success and losing what used to be one's own ability"is used to refer to acts of copying others mechanisally in disregard of specififc conditions.
Once a man wanted to go to the south, but his carriage was heading north. A passer-by asked him:"If you are going to south, why is your chariot heading north?" The ma answered, "My horse is good at running, My driver is highly skilled at driving a carriage, ad I have enough money."The man didint consider that the direction might be wrong; the better his conditions were, ther further he was away from his destination.
The idiom derived froim this story indicates that one's action was the opposite effect to one's intention.