文章来源:未知 文章作者:enread 发布时间:2013-12-05 03:50 字体: [ ]  进入论坛
In order to suppress those who were against her, Wu Zetian, the empress of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), appointed a few merciless(残忍的) persons to be judges. Two of them were extremely brutal1; one was called Zhou Xing and the other was called Lai Junchen. They killed many upright civil and military officials as well as ordinary people by framing up cases against tham and by administering inhuman2 corporal punishment to them. 
Once, Wu Zetian received a letter which informed against Zhou Xing. The letter aside that Zhou Xing was plotting a rebellion in collaboration3 with others. Wu Zetian was furiously angry when she read the letter, and immediately ordered Lai Junchen to deal with the case severely4. Hearing the order, Lai Junchen had misgivings5 about it. He knew that Zhou Xing could not be forced to tell the truth merely by using a letter informing against him because he was very sly and crafty6(狡猾的). Lai Junchen also knew that he would not be for given if he should fail in dealing7 with the case, because the empress would certainly blame him and punish him. How could he solve the problem then? He turned the problem over and over in his mind, and finally thought out a "brilliant scheme". 
Lai Junchen had a sumptuous8(奢华的) feast prepared, and invited Zhou Xing to his home. The two of them urged each other to drink, and they talked while drinking. After the wine had gone round three times, Lai Junchen pretended to sigh, "When Ihandle cases in ordinary times, I often com across prisoners who stubbournly refuse to admit they are guilty. I wonder if you have any effetive measures." Hearing this, he took a sip9 of the wine. Lai Junchen immediately pretended to be very earnest, saying, "Oh, please do tell me at once." Smiling insidiously10(阴险地), Zhou Xing said, "Get a big vat11, scorch12 it hot with charcoal13 fire all around, and then let the prisoner come into the vat. Will the prisoner fail to make a confession14 of his crime?" Hearing this. LaiJunchen nodded his head in approval repeatedly. He then ordered his subordinates to bring a big vat, and had a charcoal fire lit all around it as Zhou Xing had said. He then turned to Zhou Xing and said, "Someone in the imperial court has informed against you, saying that you are plotting a rebellion. The empress has ordered me to deal with the case severely. So I beg your pardon, but would you kindly15 step into the "Someone in the imperial court has informed against you, saying that you are plotting a rebellion. The empress has ordered me to deal with the case severely. So I beg your pardon, but would you kindly step into the vat?" Hearing this, Zhou Xing dropped his wine cup to the ground and the cup broke with a crash. Then he knelt down with a flop16, nodded repeatedly and said, "I am guilty. I confess I am guilty." 
This story appears in A General History as a Mirror of Past Events by Sima Guang of the Song Dynasty. From this story, people have derived17 the set phrase "kindly step into the vat -- try what you have devised against others".


1 brutal bSFyb     
  • She has to face the brutal reality.她不得不去面对冷酷的现实。
  • They're brutal people behind their civilised veneer.他们表面上温文有礼,骨子里却是野蛮残忍。
2 inhuman F7NxW     
  • We must unite the workers in fighting against inhuman conditions.我们必须使工人们团结起来反对那些难以忍受的工作条件。
  • It was inhuman to refuse him permission to see his wife.不容许他去看自己的妻子是太不近人情了。
3 collaboration bW7yD     
  • The two companies are working in close collaboration each other.这两家公司密切合作。
  • He was shot for collaboration with the enemy.他因通敌而被枪毙了。
4 severely SiCzmk     
  • He was severely criticized and removed from his post.他受到了严厉的批评并且被撤了职。
  • He is severely put down for his careless work.他因工作上的粗心大意而受到了严厉的批评。
5 misgivings 0nIzyS     
n.疑虑,担忧,害怕;疑虑,担心,恐惧( misgiving的名词复数 );疑惧
  • I had grave misgivings about making the trip. 对于这次旅行我有过极大的顾虑。
  • Don't be overtaken by misgivings and fear. Just go full stream ahead! 不要瞻前顾后, 畏首畏尾。甩开膀子干吧! 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
6 crafty qzWxC     
  • He admired the old man for his crafty plan.他敬佩老者的神机妙算。
  • He was an accomplished politician and a crafty autocrat.他是个有造诣的政治家,也是个狡黠的独裁者。
7 dealing NvjzWP     
  • This store has an excellent reputation for fair dealing.该商店因买卖公道而享有极高的声誉。
  • His fair dealing earned our confidence.他的诚实的行为获得我们的信任。
8 sumptuous Rqqyl     
  • The guests turned up dressed in sumptuous evening gowns.客人们身着华丽的夜礼服出现了。
  • We were ushered into a sumptuous dining hall.我们被领进一个豪华的餐厅。
9 sip Oxawv     
  • She took a sip of the cocktail.她啜饮一口鸡尾酒。
  • Elizabeth took a sip of the hot coffee.伊丽莎白呷了一口热咖啡。
10 insidiously 18d2325574dd39462e8a55469cb7ac61     
  • This disease may develop insidiously, with fever as the only clinical manifestation. 这种病可能隐袭发生,仅有发热为其唯一的临床表现。
  • Actinobacillosis develops insidiously in soft tissues. 放线杆菌病是在软组织中呈隐袭性发生的。
11 vat sKszW     
n.(=value added tax)增值税,大桶
  • The office is asking for the vat papers.办事处要有关增值税的文件。
  • His father emptied sacks of stale rye bread into the vat.他父亲把一袋袋发霉的黑面包倒进大桶里。
12 scorch YZhxa     
  • I could not wash away the mark of the scorch.我洗不掉这焦痕。
  • This material will scorch easily if it is too near the fire.这种材料如果太靠近炉火很容易烤焦。
13 charcoal prgzJ     
  • We need to get some more charcoal for the barbecue.我们烧烤需要更多的碳。
  • Charcoal is used to filter water.木炭是用来过滤水的。
14 confession 8Ygye     
  • Her confession was simply tantamount to a casual explanation.她的自白简直等于一篇即席说明。
  • The police used torture to extort a confession from him.警察对他用刑逼供。
15 kindly tpUzhQ     
  • Her neighbours spoke of her as kindly and hospitable.她的邻居都说她和蔼可亲、热情好客。
  • A shadow passed over the kindly face of the old woman.一道阴影掠过老太太慈祥的面孔。
16 flop sjsx2     
  • The fish gave a flop and landed back in the water.鱼扑通一声又跳回水里。
  • The marketing campaign was a flop.The product didn't sell.市场宣传彻底失败,产品卖不出去。
17 derived 6cddb7353e699051a384686b6b3ff1e2     
vi.起源;由来;衍生;导出v.得到( derive的过去式和过去分词 );(从…中)得到获得;源于;(从…中)提取
  • Many English words are derived from Latin and Greek. 英语很多词源出于拉丁文和希腊文。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He derived his enthusiasm for literature from his father. 他对文学的爱好是受他父亲的影响。 来自《简明英汉词典》
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