Saturday, 23 October 2010

One Character is Worth a Thousand Taels of Gold

More Chinese Stories, Chinese idiom, and Chinese Fable at Chinese story online,英语故事

Lu Bu-wei was the prime minister of the state of Ch'in during the Warring States Period. He was very powerful; even the emperor would do whatever he said.

Although Lu Bu-wei was a very capable politician, in the area of literature, he was not so talented. So he engaged over 3000 scholars in the task of writing a set of books for him, the content of which included astronomy, geography, the words and deeds of people of ancient times, etc. This set of books, called Lu-shr Chuen-chiou, was over 200,000 characters in length.

Lu Bu-wei was so pleased with these books that he had them put on the city gate of the Chi'in capital. He also put up an announcement, saying that if anyone could add or subtract one character from his books, that person would be given 1,000 taels of gold. Thus, Lu-shr Chuen-chiou became known throughout the land as the set of books in which "one character was worth 1000 taels of gold."

Today, this idiom is used to describe writings which are exceptionally well-written in terms of both content and style.

战国时代,秦国有个宰相名叫吕不韦,他聘请许多很有才华的学者,给他们很高的待遇,并且在家中供养他们,最多的时候曾多达三千多人。吕不韦请他们依自己的 专长,编写许多篇文章,同时更订定体裁和主旨,然后他将这些作品集合成一部伟大的著作,名为《吕氏春秋》。这本书分为八览、六论、十二纪,共二十六卷,总 共有二十多万字,内容十分丰富,包罗了天地万物、上下古今的许多事情。

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