成語故事

To Quit Halfway Down the Road

During the Warring States Period, there lived a man named Yue Yang-tz, who had a very virtuous wife. Once, when he took home a piece of gold that he had found, his wife made him take it back to the place where he had found it.

Another time, he went away to study, but feeling it was too difficult, returned home after only a year. When he told his wife why he had come home, she immediately took a pair of scissors and cut the cloth which she had just been weaving from the loom. Then she said to him, "This cloth is made from thread after thread, woven together. I have tolied over it day and night." Yue Yang-tz then asked, "Didn't you just waste a lot of time, then, by cutting it off like that? It's really a pity." To which his wife replied, "Yes! This is just like your studying! Sucess comes only from working hard over a long period of time; if you quit halfway down the road, your studies will be just like this cloth."

This idiom can refer to any situation in which a person starts something, and stops before completing what he has started.

半途而廢

戰國時期,在河南有個叫樂羊子的人,他娶了一位非常賢德的妻子。

有一天,樂羊子在路上撿到一塊金子,回家告訴了妻子。妻子說:「這塊金子一定是有人不小心掉的,掉金子的人說不定正在很著急的找著,你應該把它放回去才對。」樂羊子覺的妻子說的很對,就把那塊金子送回原來的地方。

後來,樂羊子到很遠的地方去拜師求學。才過一年就回來了。回家時他的妻子正在織布,見他突然回來了,覺的很驚訝,就問道:「你的學業已經完成了嗎?」
樂羊子搖搖頭,說:「還沒有呢!因為我很想念你,所以想回來看看你。」

妻子聽了樂羊子的話並不覺的高興,反而拿出一把剪刀,走到織布機前,把機上正在編織的布全部剪斷,然後說:「這布的原料來自蠶的繭,是一絲一絲累積織成的,先成寸,才成尺,再成一匹布。現在我把它剪斷,可以說是前功盡棄,必須從新織起。你外出求學,也要日積月累,認真的去研讀,才能有所成就。像你現在這樣中途停止,那這一年的寶貴時間,不是都白白浪費了嗎?」

於是,樂羊子又外出求學,一去七年,直到學成才回來。後來他得到魏文侯的重用,做了一番事業。我們平時經常說的成語「半途而廢」就是出自這個故事,它告訴我們做事必須有恆心,要有始有終。

樂羊子在外求學期間,他的妻子在家辛勤勞作,奉養婆婆。有一次,鄰居家的雞跑進他家園子,婆婆竟把雞殺掉後煮了。樂羊子的妻子看著雞肉不但不吃,反而哭了起來。婆婆感到很奇怪,問她哭什麼,她說:「我為生活貧困而傷心。我不能給您弄來好吃的,您才要吃別人的雞啊!」婆婆聽了感到很羞愧,也不再吃那雞,把它倒掉了。

勸告丈夫不貪不義之財,這樣的妻子是益友;激勵他完成學業,這樣的妻子是嚴師;樂羊子的妻子能給婆婆講明道理,幫助丈夫成為有德行的人,她真是個賢良孝順的媳婦啊!


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