成語故事

To Walk Rather Than Ride

Yan Ju was a very famous person who lived during the Warring States Period in the Kingdom of Ch'i. One time, the king of Ch'i said to him, "Yan Ju, come here." Yan Ju not only refused to go, but said to the king, "King, you come here!" The king was very displeased, and the other ministers all asked Yan Ju how he could speak so rudely to their monarch. Yan Ju replied, "If I were to go over to see the king, this would show that I admired power. But if the king comes to see me, this will show that he resepects men of virtue. Which would you perfer?"

Later, the king issued an order for everyone to be especially polite to Yan Ju, and promised him goo things to eat and to wear, as well as a comfortable place to live. But Yan Ju said, "I am a person who prefers to wear simple cottom garments and does not like to eat meat. I wish to walk rather than ride, and go home to support myself."

Today, a person who is thrifty and not greedy can be said to prefer to "walk rather than ride."

安步當車

戰國時,齊國有一個叫顏黜的人。齊宣王在召他進宮的時候。顏黜走到殿前的階梯時,見宣王正等待他拜見,就停住腳步,不再往前走了。宣王見了很奇怪,就說:“顏黜,過來吧!”顏黜聽到後,不僅一動未動反而說:“大王,走過來!”

宣王聽了很不高興,他的大臣對顏黜嚷到:“大王是君主,你是臣民,大王可以叫你過來,你怎麼可以讓大王過去呢?”顏黜說:“我如果走到大王面前去,說明我羨慕他的權勢;如果大王走過來,說明他禮賢下士。”齊宣王很生氣的說:“到底是君王尊貴,還是士人尊貴?”

顏黜馬上接著說:“當然是士人尊貴,君王並不尊貴!”宣王說:“你說這話有根據嗎?"

顏黜神色自若地說:“當然有,秦國進攻齊國的時候,秦王曾下過這樣兩道命令:‘誰敢在柳下季墳墓五十步以內的地方砍柴,格殺勿論! 誰能砍下齊王的腦袋,就封為萬戶侯。’由此看來,一個活著的君主的頭,竟然連一個死的士人墳墓都不如啊。”

齊宣王覺得自己理虧,說:“我是自討沒趣。聽了您的一番高論,才知道了小人的行徑。希望您接受我為您的學生!今後您就住在我這裡,我保證您有肉吃,有車乘,衣著華麗。”

顏黜卻辭謝說:“玉,原來產於山中,如果一經匠人加工,就會破壞,雖然仍然寶貴,但畢竟失去了本來的面貌。士人生在窮鄉僻壤,如果選拔上來,就會享有利祿;不是說他不能高貴顯達,但他外來的風貌和內心世界會遭到破壞。所以我情願希望大王讓我回去,每天晚點吃飯,也像吃肉那樣香;安穩而慢慢地走路,足以當作乘車……”顏黜說完,就告辭而去。

上面的故事源自《戰國策﹒齊策四》,曰:“黜願得歸,晚食為當肉,安步以當車,無罪以當貴,清靜貞正以自虞。”


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