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2020-03-12  DonaldKin...



  This idiom comes from Records of Three Kingdoms? Kingdom of Wei ? Biography of Lu Yu. When Lu Yu, the minister of the State of Wei was young, his parents and brothers all died one after another, and he became an orphan. In such a difficult situation, he still studied very hard. Finally he became a talented person and served as a high officialof hisstate.Hewassouprightin performing his official duties that he was promoted to the minister of the Board of Civil Office, in charge of the officials' appointments and removals.

  Owing to the vacancy of Lu Yu's original post, it had to fill up a new official for it. Although there were many officials to recommend some well-known people for the post, all were refused by Emperor Wen. He only let Lu Yu do it and also pointed out:"It depends on you whether we can find the right person for the important post. But we can't choose someone only with fame in stead of his real ability. You see, the fame is just like drawing cakes on the ground to allay hungry."

  Then Lu expressed his idea:" You are right, YourMajesty, selections should depend on their real learning and abilities. But the real fame is still very important, such as self-possession and high moral character. So we should select people with both of them."

  Now we use it to describe comforting oneself with unrealistic thoughts, without solving practical problemsand feeding on illusions.








  the latecomers surpass the old-timers

  this set phrase is derived from the complaints ji an made to the emperor.

  ji anlived at the time of emperor wudi of the western han dynasty (206 b.c.-a.d.24). he was respected for being upright and just and for daring to speak the truth. he did not bother about amall matters in personal behaviour and in being an official. he was particular about actual effects and ,although he did not cause a stir ,he could keep the prefecture he governed in perfect order. because of this. the imperial court transferred him to the central government from being the perfect of the donghai prefecture to being a commander in charge of the appointment and dismissal of the local officals.

  once,emperor wudi said that he would implement the policy of benevolence and justice of confucianism and would do good turns to the people.emperor wudi had hardly finished his remards when ji an said that there was no need for the emperor to say so.why should the emperor bother,ji an said, about pretending to implement the policy of benevolence and justice since he was so greedy and avaricious within himself? this choked the emperor off. the emperor suddenly changed his countenance and declared the meeting over. all the civilian and military officers at court were breathless with anxiety for fear that ji an might bring disaster upon himself because of this. after returning, emperor wudi said to the people around him that ji an was a little too rude and too straightforward.

  for this reason ,ji an was never promoted again. when he was the commander in charge of the appointment and dismissal of the local officials, both gongsun hong and zhang tang were low -ranking lfficials of little importance. later ,they were promoted continuously. gongsun hong became the prime minister and zhang tang became the imperial censor. however, jian's post remained thesame. one day, ji an said to emperor wudi that the way the emperor used his ministers was just like piling up firewood, which meant that the latecomers surpassed the old-timers. of course, emperor wudi could see that ji an was complaining. so,turning to his ministers, emperor wudi said, "it is true that no one can stop see, ji an is making more and more indiscreet remarks."

  this story comes from the historical records. later generations use the set phrase "the latecomers surpass the old-timers " to indicate that successors can cxcel the predecessors, which is quite different from the original idea when ji an said that the latecomers surpassed the old-timers.










  like fire and flowering rush

  in the years around 480 b.c.,china was in the last phase of the spring and autumn period.fu chai,king of the state of wu,conquered the states of yue,lu and chi one after another.then fu chai,overweeningly ambitious,led his army marching into the northwest in an attempt to conquer the state of jin in one vigorous effort.

  but just at that time,gou jian,king of the state of yue,outflanked fu chai and attacked him in the rear.gou jian's army fought one battle after another and arrived in gu su,capital of the state of wu,at last,and took away the big boats of the state of wu.gou jin also sent his troops to occupy the huai river immediately,thus cutting off fu chai's retreat

  the shocking news reached fu chai,king of the state of wu,like a head-on blow to he called his civilian officials and military generals at once to find a way to deal with this serious situation.his civilian officials and military their troops now would mean defeat,and that they would be attacked by both the troops of the jin army and the troops of the yue army.but ,if they could defeat the state of jin,fu chai would become a powerful chief of the princes at that time,and it would not be too late for fu chai to settle with gou jian after that

  having made this decision,they knew that a pressing matter of the moment was to conquer th state of jin as quickly as possible.after considering over and over again,they decided to try to defeat the jin army by a surprise move.

  one day towards evening,the king of the state of wu gave his orders.the officers and men of the whole army ate their fill,and the steeds were well fed with fodder.30,000 officers and men were chosen from the whole army to from three phalanxes,with 10,000officers and men each.the solders in the middle phalanx wore white suits of armour,and carried white flags and white bows and arrows,and they were led by king of the state of wu fu chai himself.the other two phalanxes were led by senior generals.the soldiers in the left phalanx wore red suits of armour,and carried red flags and red bows and arrows.the in dealing with the case,because the empress would certainly blame him and punish could he solve the problem then? he turned the problem over and over in his mind, and finally thought out a "brilliant scheme".

  lai junchen had a sumptuous feast prepared,and invited zhou xing to his home. the two of them urged each other to drink,and they talked while drinking.after the wine had gone round three times,i often come across prisoners who stubbournly refuse to admit they are guilty.i wonder if you have any effective measures." hearing this,zhou xing said,"get a big vat,scorch it hot with charcoal fire all around,and then let the prisoner come into the vat.will the prisoner fail to make a comfession of his crime?"hearing this,laijunchen nodded his head in approval repeatedly.he then ordered his subordinates to bring a big vat ,and had a charcoal fire lit all around it as zhou xing had said.he then turned to zhou xing and said,"someone in the rebellion.the empress has ordered me to deal with the case i beg your pardon,but would you kindly step into the soldiers in the right phalanx wore black suits of armour,and carried black flags and black bows and arrows.the whole army set out at midnight,and arrived at dawn at a place within a li's distance of the jin army.when the day was beginning to break,the soldiers of the wu army began to berat the drums heavily and their shoutings resounded like rolls of thunder.

  awakening from their dreams,the solders of the jin army were almost stupefied by the imposing manner of the three phalanxes of the wu army.the white phalanx was like a field covered with flowering rush,the red phalanx was like a burning fire,and the black phalanx was simply like a sea too deep to fathom.

  this story comes from comversations from the states.later generations often use the set phrase "like fire and flowering rush"to refer to tremendous momentum.












  Adding Eyes to a Dragon


  Mr. Li is a good painter. One day he draws a beautiful dragon without eyes.


  Mr. Zhou looks at the picture and says, “The dragon has no eyes. It isn’t a good picture.”


  But Mr. Li smiles and says, “If I add eyes to the dragon, it will fly away.”


  Mr. Zhou shakes head and says, “You are boasting. I don’t believe you.”


  Mr. Li isn’t angry. He holds the paintbrush and adds eyes to the dragon. Wow! The dragon really flies.



  Lord Ye’s Love of the Dragon


  There is a young man, Lord Ye. He likes dragons vey much. He draws many dragons in his house. The house becomes a world of dragon.


  A red dragon hears of Lord Ye, and is deeply moved. He wants to visit Lord Ye and makes a friend with him.


  “Hi, Mr. Ye! Nice to meet you,” the real dragon comes to visit Mr. Ye.


  Ye runs away as fast as he can. “Oh, my God! Help! Help!” He runs and shouts.



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