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Chinese Idioms 成 语

Lesson 19
Yī xiāng qíng yuàn
【 一 厢 情 愿 】
Only One Side is Willing

Many years ago, a farmer happened to notice the King's daughter in the capital and he lost his heart to her at first sight. After returning, he missed the princess day and night. Soon, he was ill. His friends and relatives came to see him. When they knew the reason why the farmer was ill, they thought it was quite difficult to help him, for the King would never consent to his daughter marrying a poor man. But the sick man sighed sadly: "If I can't get the princess, I will be dead."

His friends tried to persuade him, but after nothing worked they decided to play a trick. Some days later, they came to see the man again and told him they had asked the princess to marry him, but she rejected. They had not actually done this, but the foolish man believed. However, he did not give up, instead announcing: "If I visit the princess in person, she will say yes." If he did so, it is clear what the result would be.

Later, people used this phrase to describe the man who only considers his own aspirations, ignoring the objective situation and others' opinions.
xiàn shēng
A gleam of hope in despair; a slim chance of survival
Area covered by sitting mat; a small place or position
Wàn lài jìng
All (of nature’s) sounds are hushed; all is quiet
Wàn liú fāng
Leave a good name in history; be remembered
Rén jié líng
An outstanding man gives an air of sanctity to his birthplace; a fair place tends to produce outstanding people
Rén jìn cái
Let every individual give full play to his or her talent