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Bei Gong She Ying

 

杯弓蛇影 (bēi gōng shé yǐng)

Bei Gong She Ying

 

In the Jin Dynasty (jìn cháo 晋朝,265-420), a man called Yue Guang (yuè guǎng 乐广) once invited a friend to have a drink at his home. When the friend lifted his cup, he saw a small snake in the wine, yet he forced himself to drink. Back home, the friend recalled the incident, and felt so disgusted that he fell ill. Hearing about this, Yue Guang invited his friend again. He asked him to sit in the same place and drink. Then his friend saw that the image of the snake in the cup was actually the reflection of a bow hung on the wall. Realizing this, the friend recovered quickly.

 

乐广有一位亲密的朋友,分别很久不见再来了。问到原因时,友人告诉说:“前些日子他来你家做客,承蒙你的厚意,正端起酒杯要喝酒的时候,仿佛看见杯中有一条”小蛇”在晃动。心里虽然十分厌恶它,可还是喝了那杯酒。回到家里,就身得重病。”当时河南听事堂的墙壁上挂着一张角弓。乐广心想,杯中所谓的”小蛇”无疑是角弓的影子了。于是,他便在原来的地方再次请那位朋友饮酒。问道:“今天的杯中还能看到’小蛇’吗?”朋友回答说:“所看到的跟上次一样。”乐广指着墙壁上的角弓,向他说明了原因,客人恍然大悟,积久难愈的重病一下子全好了。