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Ancient China and classical Chinese stuff: 隋唐嘉话


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againstwind

This time I chose eight tales from the book 隋唐嘉话(sui2 tang2 jia1 hua4), which included stories in the realm of governors from Sui Dynasty to early Tang Dynasty .

Rough translations in modern Chinese are still highlighted. So pay your attention, please. Meanwhile, it will be appreciated also if anyone would like to translate contents below into English.

炀帝为《燕歌行》,文士皆和,著作郎王胄独不下帝,帝每衔之。胄竟坐此见害,而诵其警句曰:"'庭草无人随意绿',复能作此语耶?"

隋炀帝写了一首诗叫《燕歌行》。除了一个叫王胄的官员之外,文人们都附和隋炀帝。所以,隋炀帝对王胄非常嫉恨。后来,王胄竟然就因为这件事被隋炀帝杀掉了。隋炀帝念着王胄诗中的名句,说:“你现在还能写出‘庭草无人随意绿’这样的诗句吗?”

太宗曾罢朝,怒曰:"会杀此田舍汉!"文德后问:"谁触忤陛下"帝曰: "岂过魏征,每廷争辱我,使我常不自得。"后退而具朝服立于庭,帝惊曰: "皇后何为若是?"对曰:"妾闻主圣臣忠。今陛下圣明,故魏征得直言。妾幸备数后宫,安敢不贺?"

唐太宗有一次中断了政府会议,非常生气地说:“我一定要杀了这个乡巴佬!”皇后问:“是谁惹您生气了?”唐太宗说:“还能是谁?就是魏征!他每次在开会时当着大家的面羞辱我,让我很没面子。”皇后立刻退下,然后穿上正式的服装站在太宗面前。皇帝惊讶地问:“你这是什么意思?”皇后说:“我听说,只有皇帝优秀,大臣才会忠诚。如今,正因为您是优秀的皇帝,魏征才敢直接地向您提建议。我怎么能不祝贺呢?”

太宗得鹞,绝俊异,私自臂之,望见郑公,乃藏于怀。公知之,遂前白事,因语古帝王逸豫,微以讽谏。语久,帝惜鹞且死,而素严敬征,欲尽其言。征语不时尽,鹞死怀中。

唐太宗得到一只漂亮的鹞,看到魏征来了,就马上把鸟藏在自己的衣服里面。魏征其实知道皇帝怀里有只鸟,就跟皇帝谈话,建议皇帝不要只顾着玩。唐太宗爱惜那只鸟,怕它死了。但他又一直很尊敬魏征,所以就让魏征继续说。结果,魏征说了很久,最后那只鸟真的在皇帝怀里死了。

太宗谓梁公曰:"以铜为镜,可以正衣冠;以古为镜,可以知兴替;以人为镜,可以明得失。朕尝宝此三镜,用防己过。今魏征殂逝,遂亡一镜矣。"

唐太宗跟梁公说说:“用铜作镜子,可以知道自己的穿戴是否整齐;用历史作镜子,可以知道王朝的命运;用人作镜子,可以知道自己的错误。我一直珍惜这三面镜子,用它们来避免自己犯错。如今魏征去世,我就失去一面镜子了……”

侯君集既诛,录其家,得二美人,容色绝代。太宗问其状,曰:"自尔已来,常食人乳而不饭。"

侯君集(a general who attempted to rebel)被杀之后,政府检查他的家,发现了两个美女。唐太宗问她们的样貌(为什么这么美丽),她们说:“自从到了侯君集家,我们经常不吃饭而吃人的奶。”

英公虽贵为仆射,其姊病,必亲为粥,釜燃辄焚其须。姊曰:"仆妾多矣,何为自苦如此"勣曰:"岂为无人耶!顾今姊年老,勣亦年老,虽欲久为姊粥,复可得乎?"

英公(徐勣)虽然当了大官,但当他的姐姐生病时,他一定会亲自为她煮粥。有一次在为姐姐煮粥时,他自己的胡子被火烧掉了。姐姐说:“我的仆人很多,你何必让自己这么辛苦呢?”英公说:“不是因为你没有仆人我才帮你煮粥。姐姐你现在已经老了,而我也已经老了。我想一直为姐姐煮粥,可是以后哪里有那么多的机会呢?”

薛万彻尚丹阳公主,太宗尝谓人曰:"薛驸马村气。"主羞之,不与同席数月。帝闻而大笑,置酒召对,握槊,赌所佩刀子,佯为不胜,解刀以佩之。罢酒,主悦甚,薛未及就马,遽召同载而还,重之逾于旧。

薛万彻是丹阳公主的丈夫,唐太宗曾经对人说:“薛驸马看起来太土气了。”公主觉得很羞耻,于是几个月里不跟丈夫睡觉。皇帝听了大笑,就叫他们夫妇来参加宴会。在宴会上大家玩握槊,谁赢了就能得到皇帝的一把刀。皇帝让大家都故意输给薛万彻,最后薛万彻获得了那把刀。公主非常高兴,叫他与自己一同回家,比过去更加地爱他了。

驸马: emperor's son-in-law or brother-in-law

握槊: an ancient game

梁公夫人至妒,太宗将赐公美人,屡辞不受。帝乃令皇后召夫人,告以媵妾之流,今有常制,且司空年暮,帝欲有所优诏之意。夫人执心不回。帝乃令谓之曰:"若宁不妒而生,宁妒而死"曰:"妾宁妒而死。"乃遣酌卮酒与之,曰: "若然,可饮此鸩。"一举便尽,无所留难。帝曰:"我尚畏见,何况于玄龄!"

梁公(房玄龄)的夫人忌妒心非常强。唐太宗打算送一个美人给梁公,梁公推辞了很多次。皇帝让皇后劝说梁公夫人,但没有用。于是皇帝叫梁公夫人来,对她说:“你想活着但不准忌妒,还是继续忌妒但必须死?”梁公夫人说:“我宁愿忌妒而死。”皇帝于是给她一杯毒酒,说:“既然这样,那你把这杯毒酒喝了吧”梁公夫人立刻就喝了。皇帝说:“连我也怕这样的女人,何况梁公!”

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薛万彻尚丹阳公主,太宗尝谓人曰:"薛驸马村气。"主羞之,不与同席数月。帝闻而大笑,置酒召对,握槊,赌所佩刀子,佯为不胜,解刀以佩之。罢酒,主悦甚,薛未及就马,遽召同载而还,重之逾于旧。

薛万彻是丹阳公主的丈夫,唐太宗曾经对人说:“薛驸马看起来太土气了。”公主觉得很羞耻,于是几个月里不跟丈夫睡觉。皇帝听了大笑,就叫他们夫妇来参加宴会。在宴会上大家玩握槊,谁赢了就能得到皇帝的一把刀。皇帝让大家都故意输给薛万彻,最后薛万彻获得了那把刀。公主非常高兴,叫他与自己一同回家,比过去更加地爱他了。

驸马: emperor's son-in-law or brother-in-law

握槊: an ancient game

驸马 = 公主的丈夫.

Son(s)-in-law

Most of the time, 公主 = princess [current king or emperor's daughter],

Nephew(s)-in-law

The princess' female cousins (Emperor's nieces) are also called 公主. So their husbands are also called 驸马

Cousin(s)-in-law

The emperor's female cousins are also titled 公主. So their husbands are also called 驸马.

Brother(s)-in-law

公主 could also mean the current monarch's sister, whether younger or older, that is if she's not married, at the time the new monarch becomes king or emperor, because she is the daughter of the old emperor or king. So in this sense if this princess is married BEFORE the new monarch becomes emperor, then she's still titled 公主 and her husband would therefore be called 驸马, but if she's married AFTER the new monarch becomes emperor, then she's given a new title, and her husband would not be titled 驸马.

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