成語故事

The Conceit of The King of Yelang

夜郎自大

During the Han dynasty, there was situatied in the southwest part of China a very tiny kingdom known as Yelang. In the country side of Yelang, there lived a girl who went to the river each day to wash clothes. One day while at the riverside, she suddenly noticed a large piece of bamboo blowing towards her, from inside of which came the sound of a child crying. The girl opened up the bamboo and found inside a baby boy, which she very happily took home with her.

After the little boy grew up, he became the king of Yelang. Although Yelang was very small, the king was extremely arrogant. He once asked an envoy from China, "Which country is bigger - China or Yelang?" The Chinese envoy could not help laughing at him.

Today, a person who is very arrogant can be said to be "as conceited as the king of Yelang."

夜郎自大

漢朝的時候,在西南方有個名叫夜郎的小國家,它雖然是一個獨立的國家,可是國土很小,百姓也少,物產更是少得可憐。但是由於鄰近地區以夜郎這個國家最大,從沒離開過國家的夜郎國國王就以為自己統治的國家是全天下最大的國家。

有一天,夜郎國國王與部下巡視國境的時候,他指著前方問說:「這裡哪個國家最大呀?」部下們為了迎合國王的心意,於是就說:「當然是夜郎國最大囉!」 走著走著,國王又抬起頭來、望著前方的高山問說:「天底下還有比這座山更高的山嗎?」部下們回答說:「天底下沒有比這座山更高的山了。」後來,他們來到河邊,國王又問:「我認為這可是世界上最長的河川了。」部下們仍然異口同聲回答說:「大王說得一點都沒錯。」從此以後,無知的國王就更相信夜郎是天底下最大的國家。

有一次,漢朝派使者來到夜郎,途中先經過夜郎的鄰國滇國,滇王問使者:「漢朝和我的國家比起來哪個大?「使者一聽嚇了一跳,他沒想到這個小國家,竟然無知的自以為能與漢朝相比。卻沒想到後來使者到了夜郎國,驕傲又無知的國王因為不知道自己統治的國家只和漢朝的一個縣差不多大,竟然不知天高地厚也問使者:?漢朝和我的國家哪個大?」


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