望梅止渴——Quench one's thirst by looking at plums

原意是梅子酸,人想吃梅子就会流涎,因而止渴。后比喻愿望无法实现,用空想安慰自己。典出自《世说新语·假谲》,曹操率领部队去讨伐张绣,天气热得出奇,骄阳似火,为激励士气曹操说:“前有大梅林,饶子,甘酸可以解渴。”

Among the outstanding figures of Chinese history, famous either for their intelligence or treachery, cao cao is one of the foremost.

 

cáocāo shì zhōnɡɡuó lìshǐ shànɡ yǐ cōnɡmínɡ jiānzhà ér wénmínɡ de jiēchù rènwu
曹操是中国历史上以聪明奸诈而闻名的杰出人物。

 

One hot day, he marched out his troops under a burning sun in a mountainous area. Bewilderingly he lost the way. The journey was long and the sun was scorching. After their fruitless and tiresome march, all voiced their great dissatisfaction with the leadership of cao cao. They bitterly complained of their great thirst. The antagonism of the soldiers was growing fast and they were on the verge of staging a mutiny. The subordinate officers were helpless to cope with the situation.Cao cao, however, in the nick of time cleverly and treacherously gave orders to his troops to march to the nearby plum trees for a rest and announced that soldiers would be allowed to eat the juicy sour fruit as much as they desired.

 

yìtiān tā zài chìrìxià shānqū xínɡjūn míshīle lùjìnɡ lièrìdānɡtóu ér lùtú yòu yáoyuǎn
一天,他在赤日下山区行军,迷失了路径,烈日当头而路途又遥远,

 

shìbīnɡmén zài chánɡshíjiānde píláo xínɡjūn hòu kǒukě nánnài
士兵们在长时间的疲劳行军后,口渴难耐。

 

yúshì zhònɡrén duì cáocāo de lǐnɡdǎo biǎoshì bùmǎn
于是众人都对曹操的领导表示不满,

 

shìbīnɡde fǎnkànɡ qínɡxù yìchánɡ jǐnzhānɡ
士兵的反抗情绪异常紧张,

 

jìjiānɡ xínɡchénɡ bèipàn de zhuànɡtài xiàjí zhǎnɡɡuān bùzhī rúhé yìnɡfu zhè wēijī
即将形成背叛的状态。下级长官不知如何应付这危机。

 

cáocāo zàizhè jǐnyào ɡuāntóu jīmǐn xiàlìnɡ shìbīnɡ xínɡzhì qiánmiàn de méilín xiūxi
曹操在这紧要关头机敏下令:士兵行至前面的梅林休息。

 

bìnɡqiě zhǔnxǔ shìbīnɡ jǐnliànɡ chī duōzhīde suānméi búshòu yuēshù
并且准许士兵尽量吃多汁的酸梅,不受约束。

 

At the thought of the sour fruit the soldiers’ complaint of great thirst as well as the antagonistic feeling were quickly forgotten.

 

shìbīnɡmén xiǎnɡzhe suānméi de wèidào kǒukě jiù lìkè huǎnhé xiàlái
士兵们想着酸梅的味道,口渴就立刻缓和下来,

 

fǎnkànɡ qínɡxù yě āndìnɡ le
反抗情绪也安定了。

 

based on the story the later generation formed the proverb "to quench one’s thirst by looking up at plums", to illustrate a case wher one takes comfort in believing that they have already attained that which was expected or desired.

 

hòurén yònɡ shànɡmiàn de ɡùshi zuòchénɡ chénɡyǔ wànɡméizhǐkě
后人用上面的故事作成成语"望梅止渴"

 

lái bǐyù yíɡerén huànxiǎnɡ mùdi yǐjīnɡ dàodále yǐ ānwèi zìjǐ de qínɡkuànɡ
来比喻一个人幻想目的已经到达了以安慰自己的情况。

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