Asiawind.com • View topic - 一字千金 One word was worth a thousand pieces of gold

一字千金 One word was worth a thousand pieces of gold

Literature, poetry, music, calligraphy, architecture, archaeology, history, anything special about China
Forum rules
All messages are the expression of the contributors, who are solely responsible for the content. The forum does not endorse any views. ZERO TOLERANCE for any obscene language, advertisement, lies/rumors and attack of this forum.

一字千金 One word was worth a thousand pieces of gold

Postby chungyn » Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:57 am

一字千金 One word was worth a thousand pieces of gold
(Yi Zi4 Qian Jin)
Chinese version


呂不韋是戰國末期秦國陽翟地方的生意人。他在趙國時﹐曾資助過秦莊襄王(名子楚﹐

當時在趙國做質子--低押品)﹐又把愛妾趙姬送給子楚為妻﹐待子楚後接王位後﹐便
封為文心侯﹐官居相國。

莊襄王在位僅三年便病死了﹐由他十三歲的兒子正(趙姬所生) 接王位﹐便是歷史上
有名的秦始皇﹐尊呂不韋為仲父﹐行政大權全操在呂不韋和趙姬的手中。

當呂不韋做丞相的時候﹐養士之風甚盛﹐有名的戰國四公子便都各養食客數千人﹐

呂不韋也養了三千食客﹐作為他的智囊﹐幫忙想出各種辦法來鞏固他的政權。

這些食客﹐各色各樣的人﹐應有盡有﹐他們各有見解和心得﹐都提出彙集起來﹐
編成一部二十餘萬言的巨著﹐名曰﹕ [呂氏春秋]。呂不韋就把這部書作為秦國
統一天下的經典﹐特別把它公佈在秦國首都咸陽﹐懸了獎賞﹐說如果有人能在
書中增加一字或刪減一字﹐就賞賜千金(黃金千兩)。

English version

Lu Buwei (呂不韋) was a very rich businessman and he helped Ying Zichu (嬴

子楚) to become the 36th ruler of the State of Qin (秦國 in present day
Fengxiang Xian 鳳翔縣 in Shaanxi province 陜西省). Ying Zichu, who ruled
the State of Qin from 250BC to 247BC, appointed Lu Buwei to be the Prime
Minister. When Ying Zichu died in 247BC, Ying Zheng (嬴政), the 13-year-old
son of Ying Zichu, became the No.37 ruler of Qin. Since Ying Zheng was only
a young boy, the Qin Court appointed Lu Buwei to be the Regent cum Prime
Minister. (Years later Lu was forced out of office by Ying Zheng who, in
221BC, proclaimed himself the First Emperor of Qin 秦始皇帝). Lu Bu Wei
became the most powerful man in the State of Qin.

Lu Buwei established his own private court and employed more than three
thousand people as his think tank. They helped him by fair means or foul
to stay in power. They were the experts of all professions. Among them were
the specialists in politics, current affairs, history, financial, story
and fable story writers. Their livelihoods depended on Lu Buwei.

Putting their brains together they compiled a book of more than two hundred
thousand words. The book was called, " 呂氏春秋 Lu Shi Chun Qiu or The Spring
and Autumn Annals by Lu"

This book was the sum total of all human knowledge at that time. Lu used
this book as his guide to conquer other States and unify this vast land
into one big empire. Lu also wanted every citizen in the State of Qin to
read this book. So he hanged the scripts of this book up on the walls in
the capital. He proclaimed that if anyone could erase or change one word
in the book he promised that he would reward that person with a thousand
pieces of gold for each word he erased or changed. It was a perfect book.
For ten days not a single scholar came forward to change or delete a single
word. This was really 一字值千金 or one word worth a thousand tales of gold.

The moral is that the essays are excellent and each word is like a gem which
is worth a lot as much as a thousand pieces of gold.

Source:
From chapter 85 in the book Shi Ji (史記) by Sima Qian (司馬遷)
史記, 呂不韋傳:
"令有能增損一字者, 予千金."
------------------------------------------


By CHUNG Yoon-Ngan (鄭永元)
chungyn
 
Posts: 8423
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:06 am

Return to Chinese Culture

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests