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不鞍之药

2015-12-18 23:00:21
One day, Hui Zi met Zhuang Zi and told him this story: King Hui bestowed upon me some bottle gourd seeds which I planted in the earth. Soon afterwards a big gourd which could hold 5 dan of rice really

One day, Hui Zi met Zhuang Zi and told him this story: "King Hui bestowed upon me some bottle gourd seeds which I planted in the earth. Soon afterwards a big gourd which could hold 5 dan of rice really grew in the field. Never before have I seen such a big gourd, so I was very happy. But it couldn't solve any of my practical problems. I was so disappointed that I smashed it.

 

When Zhuang Zi heard this, he felt very sorry and said: "It's really a pity that you smashed such a good gourd so rashly."

 

Hui Zi couldn't wait for Zhuang Zi to finish to ask: "You feel it is a pity, then what would you use it for?"

 

Zhuang Zi calmly told Hui Zi a story: "There was a man in our State of Song who could make medicine for preventing chilblains. For generations his family bleached and washed cotton wadding for others for a living. Someone heard of this and visited their house. He was willing to pay 100 catties of gold to buy the secret prescription handed down from their ancestors. The whole family discussed this matter: `I think we had better sell it to him. We have bleached and washed for others for generations with pitiful income. If we sell the prescription now, we can get a large sum of money at once. We mustn't miss this opportunity!’Consequently, the whole family agreed to sell the prescription."

 

Zhuang Zi continued: "The man who got the prescription felt as if he had gotten 1,000 pieces of gold. He went to the King of Wu to sell his idea. At the time, the State of Yue invaded the State of Wu. The King of Wu sent the man to lead his troops into battle.

 

"It was winter then, and the weather was very cold. The armies of the State of Yue and the State of Wu fought on water. As the Wu army had this secret prescription, not a single soldier in the army suffered from frostbite of hands or feet. In the end, they totally vanquished the Yue army. For this, the King of Wu rewarded that man generously and offered him a high post.

 

"Some people use the medicine for preventing chilblains to get high posts and titles, while others only use it to bleach and wash cotton wadding for others. Why? This is because some people can put inferior timber to big use whereas others put fine timber only to petty use."

 

Zhuang Zi stopped at this point, thought for a while, then continued again: "Sir, you should also learn to utilize your large gourd. I think, instead of using the gourd as a ladle for water, it would be better to use it as a yao zhou (floating aid) to cross rivers and seas. Won't it be better than the present state?"

 

After hearing this, Hui Zi nodded repeatedly and admitted that Zhuang Zi was wiser than he. He said with a sigh: "It seems that I am a person with a muddled head after all."

 

一天,惠子见到庄子,讲了这样一件事:“惠王赐给我大葫芦的种子。我把它种在地里,不久,真的结了个很大的葫芦,恐怕装得下五石谷子。我也是第一次看到这么大的葫芦,高兴极了。但它却解决不了我一点儿实际问题,一气之下,我把它砸碎了。”

 

庄子听了,十分碗惜地说:“您这样轻易地把这么好的葫芦打碎了,实在是太可惜了。”

 

惠子不等庄子把话说完,抢着问道:“您觉得可惜,您想用它做什么呢?”

 

庄子心平气和地给惠子讲了一个故事:“我们宋国有一个人,会制作防止冻疮的药。他家祖祖辈辈靠给人漂洗棉絮为生。有人听说后就登门拜访,愿出百斤黄金买他家的祖传秘方。全家一道商量这件事:‘我看还是卖给他吧!咱们世世代代为人漂洗,收人少得可怜;现在如果能卖掉药方,一下子就能得到一大笔钱,不能错过这个机会啊!’于是,全家同意卖掉秘方。”

 

庄子接着说:“那个人得了秘方,像得了千金宝贝,就去游说吴王。这时,越国侵犯吴国,吴王便派他去带兵迎战。

 

“当时,正是冬天,天气十分寒冷。越、吴两军在水上交战。吴军因为有了这个秘方,全军上下没有一个人手脚冻裂,最后大破越军。为此,吴王大大奖赏了那个人,又封他做了大官。

 

“能防止手足冻裂的冻疮药,有的人用它来封官进爵;有的人则只能用来为人漂洗棉絮。这是为什么?这是因为有人小材大用,有人却大材小用的缘故。”

 

说到这儿,庄子停了下来,想了想又接着说:“先生,您也应该学会利用大葫芦呀!我以为用作瓢舀水,倒不如把它用作腰舟渡江河湖海,不是比现在更好吗?”

 

惠子听了连连点头,承认庄子比自己高明。他感叹说:“看来,我还是个心眼不开窍的人呀!”


文章原文来源:英文阅读网
Tags:  问道 庄子 
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