Enlisting able and virtuous men

Master 0sifu Folktale Enlisting able and virtuous men and scholars

Master 0sifu Folktale: Enlisting able and virtuous men and scholars

Huan Gong, King of the State of Qi and the first overlord in the Spring and Autumn Period, in order to show his sincerity to enlist able and virtuous men and scholars from various places, had a bright torch lit in front of his palace day and night. But the torch had been burning for one whole year, and yet nobody came.

春秋时期的第一霸王齐桓公,为了表明自己招贤纳士的诚意,在宫廷前燃起了明亮的火炬,准备日夜接待各地前来的人才。但是,火炬燃烧了整整一年,也没有人前来求见。

 

One day, a villager from the eastern suburb of the capital wished to have an audience with Huan Gong, claiming that he had the ability to recite the multiplication table.

一天,来了一个国都东郊的乡下人,声称自己有念九九算术口诀的才能,要求拜见齐桓公。

 

When Huan Gong heard of this, he thought it was very funny and sent an officer to tell the villager: “How could you hope to see the King just because you can recite the multiplication table?”

齐桓公听完报告,觉得很可笑,派传令官告诉乡下人:“难道你凭会念九九算术口诀,就想来见国王吗?”

 

The villager replied: “I hear that the torch before the palace has been burning for one year, yet nobody came. This is because His Majesty is a king of great talent and bold vision. All the talented men near and far couldn’t be certain that His Majesty would have a high opinion of them, so they dared not come to see you. My knowledge of the multiplication table is truly trivial, but if His Majesty could receive me with courtesy, then His Majesty need not worry that those with real ability and learning would not come.”

乡下人回答说:“我听说,宫前火炬燃烧了一年,也没有人来求见,这是因为国王是个雄才大略的君主,四方人才都以为君主不一定能看得上他们,所以不敢来求见。我的九九算术口诀,的确是微不足道的,但是如果国王能以礼接待我,那么还怕那些有真才实学的贤士能人不愿来吗?”

 

He then continued: “Mount Tai is huge because it never expels any single small stone; the sea is deep because it gathers together every small stream. The Book of Songs says: ‘The wise kings of ancient times often went to peasants who cut firewood and grass to ask for their advice. Only this way can you pool the wisdom of the masses.'”

接着说:“泰山之所以大,那是因为它从来不排斥每一颗小石子;江海之所以深,那是因为它汇集起每一条小溪流。《诗经》中说过,‘古代英明君王有事,都去请教砍柴割草的农夫,只有这样才能集思广益。’”

 

Hearing this, Huan Gong of Qi repeatedly nodded assent, and accorded this villager a grand reception. As expected, within one month, many able and virtuous men from all places came one after another to see Huan Gong.

齐桓公听了,连连点头称是,立刻以隆重的礼节,接待了这个乡下人。果然,不出一个月,四方贤士能人都纷纷前来求见齐桓公。

 

 

 

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