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成语-48 螳臂当车

(2011-03-09 08:32:02)
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分类: 文化百篇

48 螳臂当车

一次,齐庄公乘车外出打猎。路上,他看见一只虫子正在道路中间爬。当马车向它滚滚驶来的时候,这只虫子不但不躲,反而举起前腿,毫不胆怯地向车轮迎过来。齐庄公觉得奇怪,便吩咐停车。

齐庄公指着虫子问道:“这是什么虫子?”

车夫回答道:“大王,这是只螳螂。别看它个儿小,它从来不估计自己的力量,只知道一个劲儿地往前冲。瞧,它正挥舞着前腿想挡住您的马车呢!”

听到这话,齐庄公感慨道:“如果它是人,一定是个勇士!”齐庄公随即命令车夫将马车赶到一边,让螳螂过去。

不久,许多勇士得知了这件事情,认为齐庄公喜爱勇士,都纷纷投奔到齐国

这则成语有两个相反的意思:一个是指不畏困难勇猛向前(褒义);另一个是指不能正确估量自己,注定自取灭亡或遭遇失败(贬义)。

注释:

①齐庄公:齐国国王。

②齐国:春秋时期(公元前770-公元前476)的一个诸侯国。

 

48 The Mantis Stops a Chariot 

Qizhuanggong once went out for hunting in a chariot. On his way, he saw an insect crawling in the middle of the path. As the chariot was rolling to it, the insect did not evade, but raised its forelegs towards the rolling wheels fearlessly. The king felt strange at it and gave an order to stop.

“What is it?” he pointed to the insect and asked.

“Your Majesty,” answered the driver, “it is a mantis. Small as it is, the insect never takes its own power into account, and all it does is advance persistently. Look, it is brandishing its forelegs and trying to stop your chariot!”

At those words, the king sighed with emotion, “Were it a man, he must be a brave warrior!” Then he ordered the driver to move the chariot aside and made way for the mantis to pass.

 Soon the story flew into the ears of many warriors, who felt the king cherished warriors and came to join Qi State in flocks.

This idiom has two opposite meanings: One means people advance bravely despite hardships (commendatory meaning). The other means people can’t value themselves properly and are doomed to death or failure (derogatory meaning).

Notes:

Qizhuanggong: a king of Qi State.

Qi State: a state in the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC).

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