成語故事

The Debt Platform is Built Up High

When the Warring States Period began, it was already nearing the end of the Chou dynasty. Although Chou King Nan was the ruler, he had very little real power. The Seven Great States into which China was divided were all very powerful; especially the kingdom of Ch'in, which planned to swallow up the other six and become ruler of all China.

One day, the king of Ch'u heard that the kingdom of Wei had defeated Ch'in in battle. Seeing this as their big chance, he went and suggested to King Nan that everyone cooperate to destroy Ch'in together. Knowing about Ch'in's plann to invade the Chou court, King Nan readily agreed. Realizing that the court did not have enough money to pay for the horses and weapons his troops would need, King Nan borrowed money from the rich people of his kingdom, promising to pay them back with interest after they had won the war.

As it turned out, however, Ch'u and Yan were the only two kingdoms to send out troops. The war was never fought, but the money had been completely spent. The creditors gathered at the palace gates every day to demand their money, and King Nan was forced to hide up atop his high platform.

Thus, when a person, like King Nan, owes so much money that it is impossible for him to pay it all back, we can say that "The Debt Platform Is Built Up High."

債臺高築

戰國時代已經是周朝的後期,周赧王雖然是天子,卻沒有實權。當時稱為戰國七雄的齊、楚、燕、韓、趙、魏、秦七國,都很有勢力。尤其是強大的秦國,老是想吞併其他六國,將來自己當天子。

有一天,楚孝烈王聽說魏國信陵君打敗了秦國,就向周赧王說,現在是最好的時機,大家聯合起來消滅秦國吧!周赧王早就知道秦國想侵犯周朝的野心,就一口答應派兵支援。軍隊需要馬匹和武器,但是當時軍費不夠,只好向國內有錢的人借。並且說明等打勝仗回來,再加上利息還給大家。

誰知道,他們出兵以後,只有楚、燕兩國兵馬來會合,其他諸侯並沒派兵。仗沒打,錢卻花光了。債主天天在宫門口吵著錢。赧王只好躲到一個高臺上去。


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