成語故事

A Warning Taken From The Overturned Cart Ahead

During the Western Han dynasty, there lived in Loyang a man named Jia Yi. Jia Yi was very knowledgeable , and even the emperor engaged him as a teacher. One day, he was teaching the emperor about the proper way to govern a country. He said, "During the Ch'in dynasty, there was an evil minister named Jau Gau, who was the teacher of Hu Hai, the emperor's second son. He ofter taught Hu Hai how to destroy one's political opponents, and often talked of how to execute prisoners."

"After his father's death, Hu Hai became emperor. On the second day of his reign, he began to kill people, and would not listen to those who tried to give him advice. In reality, Hu Hai was not a bad person, but in the end, he was overthrown."

Jia Yi continued, "Knowing the mistake made by our elders, we should be careful not to make the same ones ourselves. It's the same way as if we are out driving and see that the poor road ahead of us has caused a cart to overturn. We should learn from this, and not take the same road."

Thus, "A Warning Taken From the Overturned Cart Ahead" means seeing the mistake that someone else has made, and not making the same mistake ourselves.

前車之鑑

西漢時候,洛陽地方有個人名叫賈誼。他是個很有學問的人,連皇帝都請他當老師。有一次他給皇帝上課,講治國的道理,他說:「秦朝有個奸臣叫趙高,是秦始皇第二個兒子胡亥的老師,常常告訴胡亥消滅政敵的方法,也常說怎麼樣處決囚犯的事情。」

「秦始皇死後,胡亥做了皇帝,第二天就開始殺人。有人勸他,他就認為那個人說他不好,簡直不像皇帝。其實胡亥的本性並不壞,後來他就被推翻了。」

賈誼又說:「我們知道了以前的人犯的錯誤,就應該別再犯那樣的錯。就好比看見前面的路不好,車翻了,就不要再走那條路。」


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