成語故事

To Attract Jade by Laying Bricks

During the Tang dynasty, there lived a man named Jau Gu, who was a very talented poet. Jau Gu's poems were so well-written that even famous poets of his time enjoyed reading them.

At that time, in a place called Wu, there lived a man named Chang Jian, who also liked to write poems. Chang Jian greatly admired Jau Gu's literary talent, and longed to know him personally. One day, Chang Jian heard that Jau Gu would be travelling to Wu. He knew that Jau Gu would definitely go visit Ling Yan Temple during his trip, because this was a very famous place which everyone who came to Wu went to see. So Chang Jian went first to the temple, and on the wall which was set aside for guests' comments and ideas, wrote two lines of poem.

When Jau Gu saw the two lines of poetry on the temple wall, he could not help adding another two lines, because Chinese poems are always composed of at least four lines. And so Chang Jian achieved his goal. He said, "My poem is a brick, and Jau Gu's poem is jade, I layed a brick, and attracted jade!"

This idiom is now a polite expression often used when giving an opinion or delivering a speech. It means that what one is offering is somehow lacking, and one is in hopes that others will, seeing it, offer something that is better.

拋磚引玉

唐朝時有一個叫趙嘏的人,他的詩寫的很好。曾因為一句“長笛一聲人倚樓”得到一個“趙倚樓”的稱號。那個時候還有一個叫常建的人,他的詩寫的也很好,但是他總認為自己沒有趙嘏寫的好。

有一次,常建聽說趙嘏要到蘇州遊玩,他十分的高興。心想,“這是一個向他學習的好機會,千萬不能錯過。用什麼辦法才能讓他留下詩句呢?”他想,“趙嘏既然到蘇州,肯定會去靈岩寺的,如果我先在寺廟裏留下半首詩,他看到以後會補全的。”於是他就在牆上題下了半首詩。

趙嘏後來真的來到了靈岩寺,在他看見牆上的那半首詩後,便提筆在後面補上了兩句。常建的目的也就達到了。他用自己不是很好的詩,換來了趙嘏的精彩的詩。

後來人們說,常建的這個辦法,真可謂“拋磚引玉”了。

這個成語的意思是說,先把自己的不是很好的觀點或文章介紹給大家,目的是為了引出別人的高論或佳作。是一個表示自謙的說法。


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