英語故事:完璧歸趙
文章來源:未知 文章作者:enread 發布時間:2020-02-07 08:45 字體: [ ]  進入論壇
(單詞翻譯:雙擊或拖選)
完璧歸趙的故事在中國家喻戶曉,下面是依據這個故事進行編譯的一個小故事,人名和國家名稱有所改動。
LET'S GO TO CHINA, OVER TWO THOUSAND YEARS AGO. That a time called the "Period of the Warring States." Seven kings from seven different states warred fiercely with each other, each one hungry to take the power and land from his neighbor.  From time to time, the states grew tired of war.  In such times they sent messengers to negotiate treaties of peace. Such times of peace always felt uneasy for the people.  For they knew war could break out at any time. The weakest of the seven states was Han, and the strongest of the seven was Chu.
 
One day a court official who served at the smallest of the seven states, the Kingdom of Han, purchased a beautiful piece of jade1 from a stranger. When the court official took it to a jade expert to have it appraised2, the expert said, "This is no ordinary piece of jade that you brought to me. This is none other than the legendary3 Jade Treasure! Do you see its marvelous color? There's no piece of jade in all the carved vases, bowls, or ornaments4 of any palace of any king that compares to this stone. And the Jade Treasure has other virtues5, too. It can shine in the dark. It can keep a room warm in winter and cool in summer. It even repels6 insects. You must always guard this - indeed, this is a magnificent, priceless treasure!"
 
News travels fast.  The King of Han heard of the wonderful Jade Treasure that had been obtained by one of his court officials, and sent word that he wanted to see it. The court official was worried when he heard this. Surely the King of Han would find a way to take it away from him. Perhaps he should escape with the jade treasure before the day he was supposed to go see the King?
 
"That would not be wise, sir," said one of his houseguests, a young man named Gan. "The King will surely hunt you down. You will lose the stone and your life, too. Instead, I suggest you offer the Jade Treasure to the King outright7, as a gift."
 
So the court official offered the King of Han the wonderful Jade Treasure. The King was delighted with the magnificent stone and promoted the court official to be chamberlain of the royal court.
 
Soon the King of Chu, whose land was the strongest of the seven states, heard that the King of Han had in his possession the legendary Jade Treasure.
 
"I cannot believe this!" cried the King of Chu. "We are the strongest state - we should have this matchless stone for our own! Send a message at once to the King of Han that he must sell it to me and that I will pay 15 cities for it."
 
"Fifteen cities?" said one of his mandarins in surprise. "That is quite a lot - a generous price to pay!"
 
"Not at all," smiled the King of Chu, stroking his beard. "The envoy9 from Han will bring us the jade. Once we have it, who will remember if we ever said anything about 15 cities? And if we don't deliver the 15 cities after we have the jade, what can Han do about it, anyway?"
 
"Ah, yes!" said the mandarin8. He hastened to do the king's bidding.
 
Now when the King of Han received the message from the King of Chu with the demand that he must sell the stone for the price 15 cities, he was worried. Certainly fifteen cities was a good price.  But what if the King of Chu simply kept the precious stone and didn't deliver the cities as promised? What choice would that leave the King of Han? If he protested that the King of Chu had broken his word, that could easily be an excuse for the King of Chu to invade the Kingdom of Han, and that's a war that his kingdom could not win against the mighty10 Chu. On the other hand, was he to just hand over his wonderful new national treasure?
 
As he was debating the pros11 and cons12 of the troubling situation, his newly promoted chamberlain said, "Sir, my houseguest Gan has proved in the past to be wise beyond his years. Allow me to summon him and let's hear his advice."
 
So Gan was summoned.
 
"My glorious King," answered Gan, "the stone must be surrendered for the good of your subjects. Otherwise the King of Chu will invade us and destroy us. Yet we need not despair. Let me be your envoy. Entrust13 the Jade Treasure to my care. May my life be forfeited14 if I do not return the jewel to you, if the King of Chu refuses to keep his word."
 
So Gan's journey would have the best luck possible, the entire court fasted for three days, as was the custom in those times to launch a journey with the most favorable prospects15.  At the end, they hosted a grand feast to as a send-off to his journey to the kingdom of Chu. The young man Gan, with great reverence16, wrapped the Jade Treasure in an embroidered17 silk covering, tucked it inside an even richer silk pouch18, and placed the silk pouch in a pocket inside his robe.
 
Accompanied by a noble train of attendants, he set out on his journey. When he arrived at the kingdom of Chu, the King welcomed him and his entourage.  They were entertained and feasted with all honor.
 
When the time came for Gan to present the Jade Treasure to the King of Chu, the young man approached the throne, took out the richly embroidered silk covering, unwrapped the priceless Jade Treasure and offered it to the King of Chu to examine. The stone gleaned19 and shone with mesmerizing20 radiance. After admiring the Jade Treasure, the King of Chu passed it onto his officials who immediately congratulated him for securing such a priceless gem21. The King of Chu ordered his servant to take the Jade Treasure to his other court attendants and show it to them.
 
Gan waited for a long time. He waited and waited. But the Jade Treasure was not returned to the king's table. No mention had been made of the 15 cities.
 
Seeing that the King of Chu had mentioned nothing about the 15 cities, Gan said, "Sire, there is a flaw in the Jade Treasure. Please allow me to show it to you."
 
The King of Chu quickly ordered his servant to bring the jade back to Gan.
 
Once the stone was safely in Gan's hands, he took several steps backward until he was next to a pillar. "We came in good faith," he said, "because you offered Han fifteen cities. My king fasted for three days and set me off with a grand ceremony to take the Jade Treasure to you. If you are acting22 in good faith, you, too, will fast for three days and arrange a grand ceremony for me to hand over this Jade Treasure to you before all your court. If not, I will smash this pillar with the stone right now. I will be destroyed, so will you, and so will the Jade Treasure!"
 
The King rushed forward, "What is this rash talk? Of course we were planning a ceremony just as the one you describe. We were already planning to fast for three days, then to have the ceremony."
 
Each morning for the next three days, the King of Chu sent a servant to check that Gan still held the Jade Treasure. In the meantime, Gan sent one of his attendants in disguise to see what was really going on in the palace. He found out that there was no fast at all, but a mad scrambling23 to make preparations for the hastily arranged ceremony. On the morning of the event, after the servant of the King of Chu had checked to see that Gan still had the Jade Treasure, Gan sent his most trusted servant back home with the stone.
 
At the event, when it came time for Gan to hand over the wonderful Jade Treasure, he said, "O King, surely you must understand our hesitation24 when we came in good faith with the wonderful Jade Treasure and you did not even talk about the 15 cities as promised. Your state is strong; ours is weak. I had no choice but to send my attendant back to Han with the Jade Treasure. No doubt he is already halfway25 back home."
 
All gasped26. "This is an outrage27!" cried the King of Chu, jumping up. "We fasted for three days and planned this ceremony just as you said. Now you tell us you are not keeping your side of the bargain!"
 
"Kill me if you wish," said Gan. "My life is in your hands. Only know that I am the only one who knows the route my attendant has taken and can direct you to him if you choose. If you want to bring with you the deeds to the 15 cities I will accompany you to my attendant now. He will give you the Jade Treasure and you can deliver the deeds to the cities at the same time. If this is not agreeable to you, pour me into a cauldron of boiling oil if you wish. Let the other states decide who was right and who was wrong when they hear you have executed the messenger from the smallest kingdom of Han."
 
The King of Chu knew that killing28 Gan could inflame29 the other states to team up and make to war against him. Though his state was no doubt the strongest of the seven and would surely defeat the small kingdom of Han in battle, if several other states were to joined in a combined effort against him, who could tell what the result would be? Besides, he didn't have the 15 deeds of the cities ready because, as he had never intended to deliver them, they had never been prepared.
 
Thinking quickly, the King of Chu laughed.  He said, "Ah, you must know that I planned this entire affair as a test to see how your state would react. I had no intention of killing you, of course, or even ending up with that silly piece of jade.  I wanted only to see the quality of how your kingdom of Han handles negotiations30. You have performed honorably, congratulations! Stay for our banquet - we have a fine feast prepared in any event - and return in peace to your homeland tomorrow."
 
The royal court thought the King of Chu very clever for staging this test on Han, not realizing that the king had been caught short and had thought of the test on the spot. But that was not as clever as the King of Han thought of Gan, when his attendant returned safely with the Jade Treasure and when, days later, Gan returned safely as well. The King of Han quickly promoted Gan to the rank of highest court official, where he served with distinction for the rest of his days.
 
The King of Han never received the 15 cities that were promised by the King of Chu. And so of course the King of Chu never received the magnificent Jade Treasure.
 


點擊收聽單詞發音收聽單詞發音  

1 jade i3Pxo     
n.玉石;碧玉;翡翠
參考例句:
  • The statue was carved out of jade.這座塑像是玉雕的。
  • He presented us with a couple of jade lions.他送給我們一對玉獅子。
2 appraised 4753e1eab3b5ffb6d1b577ff890499b9     
v.估價( appraise的過去式和過去分詞 );估計;估量;評價
參考例句:
  • The teacher appraised the pupil's drawing. 老師評價了那個學生的畫。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
  • He appraised the necklace at £1000. 據他估計,項鏈價值1000英鎊。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
3 legendary u1Vxg     
adj.傳奇(中)的,聞名遐邇的;n.傳奇(文學)
參考例句:
  • Legendary stories are passed down from parents to children.傳奇故事是由父母傳給孩子們的。
  • Odysseus was a legendary Greek hero.奧狄修斯是傳說中的希臘英雄。
4 ornaments 2bf24c2bab75a8ff45e650a1e4388dec     
n.裝飾( ornament的名詞復數 );點綴;裝飾品;首飾v.裝飾,點綴,美化( ornament的第三人稱單數 )
參考例句:
  • The shelves were chock-a-block with ornaments. 架子上堆滿了裝飾品。
  • Playing the piano sets up resonance in those glass ornaments. 一彈鋼琴那些玻璃飾物就會產生共振。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
5 virtues cd5228c842b227ac02d36dd986c5cd53     
美德( virtue的名詞復數 ); 德行; 優點; 長處
參考例句:
  • Doctors often extol the virtues of eating less fat. 醫生常常宣揚少吃脂肪的好處。
  • She delivered a homily on the virtues of family life. 她進行了一場家庭生活美德方面的說教。
6 repels c79624af62761556bec1c2fc744ee1ae     
v.擊退( repel的第三人稱單數 );使厭惡;排斥;推開
參考例句:
  • His manner repels me. 他的舉止讓我厭惡。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
  • Her callous attitude repels me. 她冷酷無情的態度引起我的反感。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
7 outright Qj7yY     
adv.坦率地;徹底地;立即;adj.無疑的;徹底的
參考例句:
  • If you have a complaint you should tell me outright.如果你有不滿意的事,你應該直率地對我說。
  • You should persuade her to marry you outright.你應該徹底勸服她嫁給你。
8 Mandarin TorzdX     
n.中國官話,國語,滿清官吏;adj.華麗辭藻的
參考例句:
  • Just over one billion people speak Mandarin as their native tongue.大約有十億以上的人口以華語為母語。
  • Mandarin will be the new official language of the European Union.普通話會變成歐盟新的官方語言。
9 envoy xoLx7     
n.使節,使者,代表,公使
參考例句:
  • Their envoy showed no sign of responding to our proposals.他們的代表對我方的提議毫無回應的跡象。
  • The government has not yet appointed an envoy to the area.政府尚未向這一地區派過外交官。
10 mighty YDWxl     
adj.強有力的;巨大的
參考例句:
  • A mighty force was about to break loose.一股巨大的力量即將迸發而出。
  • The mighty iceberg came into view.巨大的冰山出現在眼前。
11 pros pros     
abbr.prosecuting 起訴;prosecutor 起訴人;professionals 自由職業者;proscenium (舞臺)前部n.贊成的意見( pro的名詞復數 );贊成的理由;抵償物;交換物
參考例句:
  • The pros and cons cancel out. 正反兩種意見抵消。 來自《現代英漢綜合大詞典》
  • We should hear all the pros and cons of the matter before we make a decision. 我們在對這事做出決定之前,應該先聽取正反兩方面的意見。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
12 cons eec38a6d10735a91d1247a80b5e213a6     
n.欺騙,騙局( con的名詞復數 )v.詐騙,哄騙( con的第三人稱單數 )
參考例句:
  • The pros and cons cancel out. 正反兩種意見抵消。 來自《現代英漢綜合大詞典》
  • We should hear all the pros and cons of the matter before we make a decision. 我們在對這事做出決定之前,應該先聽取正反兩方面的意見。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
13 entrust JoLxh     
v.信賴,信托,交托
參考例句:
  • I couldn't entrust my children to strangers.我不能把孩子交給陌生人照看。
  • They can be entrusted to solve major national problems.可以委托他們解決重大國家問題。
14 forfeited 61f3953f8f253a0175a1f25530295885     
(因違反協議、犯規、受罰等)喪失,失去( forfeit的過去式和過去分詞 )
參考例句:
  • Because he broke the rules, he forfeited his winnings. 他犯規,所以喪失了獎金。
  • He has forfeited the right to be the leader of this nation. 他喪失了作為這個國家領導的權利。
15 prospects fkVzpY     
n.希望,前途(恒為復數)
參考例句:
  • There is a mood of pessimism in the company about future job prospects. 公司中有一種對工作前景悲觀的情緒。
  • They are less sanguine about the company's long-term prospects. 他們對公司的遠景不那么樂觀。
16 reverence BByzT     
n.敬畏,尊敬,尊嚴;Reverence:對某些基督教神職人員的尊稱;v.尊敬,敬畏,崇敬
參考例句:
  • He was a bishop who was held in reverence by all.他是一位被大家都尊敬的主教。
  • We reverence tradition but will not be fettered by it.我們尊重傳統,但不被傳統所束縛。
17 embroidered StqztZ     
adj.繡花的
參考例句:
  • She embroidered flowers on the cushion covers. 她在這些靠墊套上繡了花。
  • She embroidered flowers on the front of the dress. 她在連衣裙的正面繡花。
18 pouch Oi1y1     
n.小袋,小包,囊狀袋;vt.裝...入袋中,用袋運輸;vi.用袋送信件
參考例句:
  • He was going to make a tobacco pouch out of them. 他要用它們縫制一個煙草袋。
  • The old man is always carrying a tobacco pouch with him.這老漢總是隨身帶著煙袋。
19 gleaned 83f6cdf195a7d487666a71e02179d977     
v.一點點地收集(資料、事實)( glean的過去式和過去分詞 );(收割后)拾穗
參考例句:
  • These figures have been gleaned from a number of studies. 這些數據是通過多次研究收集得來的。
  • A valuable lesson may be gleaned from it by those who have eyes to see. 明眼人可從中記取寶貴的教訓。 來自《現代漢英綜合大詞典》
20 mesmerizing 7b8d59e68de653b4d25887c4d54c07d2     
adj.有吸引力的,有魅力的v.使入迷( mesmerize的現在分詞 )
參考例句:
  • I think you must be mesmerizing me, Charles. 查爾斯,我想你一定在對我施催眠術啦。 來自辭典例句
  • The attendant one-dimensional wave equation has mesmerizing harmonic properties. 伴生的一元波平衡具有迷人的和諧特性。 來自電影對白
21 gem Ug8xy     
n.寶石,珠寶;受愛戴的人 [同]jewel
參考例句:
  • The gem is beyond my pocket.這顆寶石我可買不起。
  • The little gem is worth two thousand dollars.這塊小寶石價值兩千美元。
22 acting czRzoc     
n.演戲,行為,假裝;adj.代理的,臨時的,演出用的
參考例句:
  • Ignore her,she's just acting.別理她,她只是假裝的。
  • During the seventies,her acting career was in eclipse.在七十年代,她的表演生涯黯然失色。
23 scrambling cfea7454c3a8813b07de2178a1025138     
v.快速爬行( scramble的現在分詞 );攀登;爭奪;(軍事飛機)緊急起飛
參考例句:
  • Scrambling up her hair, she darted out of the house. 她匆忙扎起頭發,沖出房去。 來自《現代英漢綜合大詞典》
  • She is scrambling eggs. 她正在炒蛋。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
24 hesitation tdsz5     
n.猶豫,躊躇
參考例句:
  • After a long hesitation, he told the truth at last.躊躇了半天,他終于直說了。
  • There was a certain hesitation in her manner.她的態度有些猶豫不決。
25 halfway Xrvzdq     
adj.中途的,不徹底的,部分的;adv.半路地,在中途,在半途
參考例句:
  • We had got only halfway when it began to get dark.走到半路,天就黑了。
  • In study the worst danger is give up halfway.在學習上,最忌諱的是有始無終。
26 gasped e6af294d8a7477229d6749fa9e8f5b80     
v.喘氣( gasp的過去式和過去分詞 );喘息;倒抽氣;很想要
參考例句:
  • She gasped at the wonderful view. 如此美景使她驚訝得屏住了呼吸。
  • People gasped with admiration at the superb skill of the gymnasts. 體操運動員的高超技藝令人贊嘆。 來自《現代漢英綜合大詞典》
27 outrage hvOyI     
n.暴行,侮辱,憤怒;vt.凌辱,激怒
參考例句:
  • When he heard the news he reacted with a sense of outrage.他得悉此事時義憤填膺。
  • We should never forget the outrage committed by the Japanese invaders.我們永遠都不應該忘記日本侵略者犯下的暴行。
28 killing kpBziQ     
n.巨額利潤;突然賺大錢,發大財
參考例句:
  • Investors are set to make a killing from the sell-off.投資者準備清倉以便大賺一筆。
  • Last week my brother made a killing on Wall Street.上個周我兄弟在華爾街賺了一大筆。
29 inflame Hk9ye     
v.使燃燒;使極度激動;使發炎
參考例句:
  • Our lack of response seemed to inflame the colonel.由于我們沒有反應,好象惹惱了那個上校。
  • Chemical agents manufactured by our immune system inflame our cells and tissues,causing our nose to run and our throat to swell.我們的免疫系統產生的化學物質導致我們的細胞和組織發炎,導致我們流鼻水和我們的喉嚨膨脹。
30 negotiations af4b5f3e98e178dd3c4bac64b625ecd0     
協商( negotiation的名詞復數 ); 談判; 完成(難事); 通過
參考例句:
  • negotiations for a durable peace 為持久和平而進行的談判
  • Negotiations have failed to establish any middle ground. 談判未能達成任何妥協。
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