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

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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



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



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

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.

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)
Posts: 8579
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:06 am

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