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Mandarin citations of 愚公移山
- circa 4th century BCE, Lie Yukou, Liezi (列子/湯問篇)
- The two mountains Taihang and Wangwu, which cover an area of 700 square li, and rise to an enormous altitude, originally stood in the south of Jizhou and north of the Yellow River. The Simpleton of the North Mountain, an old man of ninety, dwelt opposite these mountains, and was vexed in spirit because their northern flanks blocked the way to travellers, who had to go all the way round. So he called his family together, and broached a plan. 'Let us,' he said, 'put forth our utmost strength to clear away this obstacle, and cut right through the mountains until we come to the south bank of the Han River. What say you? They all assented except his wife, who made objections and said: 'My goodman has not the strength to remove a spoonful of dirt from the mound of Kuifu, let alone two such mountains as Taixing and Wangwu. Besides, where will you put all the earth and stones that you dig up? The others replied that they would throw them on the promontory of Bohai, north of the state of Bozhou. So the old man, followed by his three descendants, who were able to carry the pickaxes, began hewing away at the rocks, and cutting up the soil, and carting it away in baskets to the promontory of Bohai. A widowed woman who lived near had a little boy who, though he was only just shedding his milk teeth, came skipping along to give them what help he could. Engrossed in their toil, they never went home except once at the turn of the season. The Wise Old Man of the River-bend burst out laughing and urged them to stop. 'Great indeed is your witlessness!' he said. 'With the poor remaining strength of your declining years you will not succeed in removing a hair's breadth of the mountain, much less the whole vast mass of rock and soil.' With a sigh, the Simpleton of the North Mountain replied: 'Surely it is you who are stubborn and pigheaded. You are not to be compared with the widow's son, despite his puny strength. Though I myself must die, I shall leave a son behind me, and through him a grandson. That grandson will beget sons in his turn, and those soils will also have sons and grandsons. With all this posterity, my line will not die out, while on the other hand the mountain will receive no increment or addition. Why then should I despair of levelling it to the ground at last? The Wise Old Man of the River-bend had nothing to say in reply. One of the serpent-brandishing deities heard of the undertaking and, fearing that it might never be finished, went and told God Almighty, who was touched by the old man's simple faith, and commanded the two sons of Wan'e to transport the mountains, one to the east of Shuo, the other to the southern corner of Yong. Ever since then, the region south of Jizhou, north of the Han River has been an unbroken plain. (adapted from Giles, 1912)
- 1945 June 11, Mao Zedong, Excerpted from his closing statement at the Seventh National Congress of the Communist Party of China
- 中國古代有個寓言，叫做"愚公移山"。說的是古代有一位老人，住在華北，名叫北山愚公。他的家門南面有兩座大山擋住他家的出路，一座叫做太行山，一座叫做王屋山。愚公下決心率領他的兒子們要用鋤頭挖去這兩座大山。有個老頭子名叫智叟的看了發笑，說是你們這樣幹未免太愚蠢了，你們父子數人要挖掉這樣兩座大山是完全不可能的。愚公回答說：我死以後有我的兒子，兒子死了，又有孫子，子子孫孫是沒有窮盡的。這兩座山雖然很高，卻是不會再增高了，挖一點就會少一點，為什麼挖不平呢？愚公批駁了智叟的錯誤思想，毫不動搖，每天挖山不止。這件事感動了上帝，他就派了兩個神仙下凡，把兩座山背走了。現在也有兩座壓在中國人民頭上的大山，一座叫做帝國主義，一座叫做封建主義。中國共產黨早就下了決心，要挖掉這兩座山。我們一定要堅持下去，一定要不斷地工作，我們也會感動上帝的。這個上帝不是別人，就是全中國的人民大眾。全國人民大眾一齊起來和我們一道挖這兩座山，有什麼挖不平呢？ (trad.)
- 中国古代有个寓言，叫做"愚公移山"。说的是古代有一位老人，住在华北，名叫北山愚公。他的家门南面有两座大山挡住他家的出路，一座叫做太行山，一座叫做王屋山。愚公下决心率领他的儿子们要用锄头挖去这两座大山。有个老头子名叫智叟的看了发笑，说是你们这样干未免太愚蠢了，你们父子数人要挖掉这样两座大山是完全不可能的。愚公回答说：我死以后有我的儿子，儿子死了，又有孙子，子子孙孙是没有穷尽的。这两座山虽然很高，却是不会再增高了，挖一点就会少一点，为什么挖不平呢？愚公批驳了智叟的错误思想，毫不动摇，每天挖山不止。这件事感动了上帝，他就派了两个神仙下凡，把两座山背走了。现在也有两座压在中国人民头上的大山，一座叫做帝国主义，一座叫做封建主义。中国共产党早就下了决心，要挖掉这两座山。我们一定要坚持下去，一定要不断地工作，我们也会感动上帝的。这个上帝不是别人，就是全中国的人民大众。全国人民大众一齐起来和我们一道挖这两座山，有什么挖不平呢？ (simp.)
- There is an ancient Chinese fable called "The old man moves a mountain." It says that there once was an old man who lived in northern China, and was known as the old fool of the northern mountains. There were two mountains to the south of his house which blocked the way to his house. One was called Mount Taihang, and the other was called Mount Wangwu. The old fool decided to have him and his sons move the two mountains with hoes. There was an old man, called the old sage, who laughed upon seeing what they were up to. He said, "This is an unavoidably foolish endeavor, there is absolutely no way that you can move these two mountains." The old fool replied, "After I die, there are my son, my grandson, and their sons and grandsons etc. Even though these two mountains are tall, they won't get any taller. If we dig a little, there will be a little less. Why can't we keep digging until it is flat?" The old fool refuted the old sage's erroneous thought, and did not waver. This moved God, so he sent two spirits down to earth to carry the two mountains away. There are now two mountains on the heads of the Chinese people. One is called imperialism, and the other is called feudalism. The Communist Party of China must resolve to dig away at these two mountains. We must be absolutely firm, and continue to work away without stopping. We must also move God. This god is not another person, it is the masses of the people of the entire nation. If the masses of the people of the entire nation were to rise up in unison, and help us to dig away at these two mountains, what is there that we could not flatten?