视石为宝

In ancient times, a man of the State of Song picked up a stone in Linzi. He examined it over and over and regarded it as a treasure. He quickly took it home, wrapped it up in dozens of silk layers, then put it in a leather box. But he still felt uneasy, so he covered the box with dozens of boxes.

 

When a man who could identify treasures heard of this, he went at once to this man and asked to have a look at the treasure.

 

To be prudent1, this man of Song took a bath, burned incense2cleansed3 his mind, calmed his mood, and went in for self- cultivation4 for seven days. Then be put on ceremonial robes, respectfully took out the box, and carefully took the stone out of the box.

 

When the man who knew about treasures saw it, he nearly burst into laughter, but quickly covered his mouth with his hand. He whispered close to the other's ear: "This is a piece of stone, as worthless as a tile."

 

The man of Song thought the man who knew about treasures was envious5 of him and trying to cheat him. Much displeased6, he said: "Merchants always say others' wares7 are worthless, and doctors always say patients' illnesses are very serious, so that they themselves can make more money. I will not be fooled!"

 

Thereafter, he treasured this stone even more, and kept it in a very safe place.

 

古代,宋国有个人在临淄拾到了一块石头。他左看右看,认为这是一件宝贝,急忙拿回家去,用丝绢包了起来。包了一层又一层,一连包了几十层,才把它放进皮匣子。但是,他还不放心,在匣子外面又套上匣子,一连套了几十只。

 

有个识宝的人,一听到这个消息,就马上到他那里,请求看一看这件宝贝。

 

那个宋国人,为了慎重起见,熏香沐浴,清心静气,修养了七天,然后穿上大礼服,恭恭敬敬地请出匣子,小心翼翼地把那块石头从匣子里取出来。

 

那个识宝的人看了,差一点儿笑出声来,连忙用手捂住了嘴巴,贴近他的耳朵,轻轻地告诉他说:“这是一块石头,跟瓦片一样一钱不值!”

 

宋国人认为这个识宝的人嫉妒他,在骗他,心里很不高兴,他说:“做生意的人,总是把别人的货色说得一钱不值;做医生的人,总是把病人的毛病说得非常危险。这都是为了自己可以多赚几个钱。我可不上这个当!”

 

从此,他反而更加珍爱这块石头,把它保管得严严实实。

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