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Idioms Lesson 23
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Draw a pancake to allay hunger – to feed on illusions

Lu Yu was a learned man of integrity who served as a senior official in the period of Three Kingdoms (220-280).

Once, the emperor of Wei was trying to fill a government post, and was studying a list of famous names put forward by his officials. The emperor said, "I want Lu Yu to select the right person, rather than choosing one of the well-known but useless individuals on this list. Fame is just like a pancake drawn on the wall. You cannot eat it."

Lu Yu suggested the emperor conduct examinations to find the best candidate. From that time on, officials were appointed according to their real ability and Lu Yu's method of selection was widely praised.

At first the idiom meant unjustified fame, but it later came to mean satisfying oneself by imagining things, or consoling oneself with false hopes.

huà bǐng chōng jī





chūn sè mǎn yuán
Signs of spring are visible everywhere in the garden. Spring has arrived.

mǎn miàn chūn fēng
To be radiant; to beam with happiness

xià lú dōng shàn
Stoves in summer and fans in winter—things that do not meet the needs of the time; to take inappropriate measures

qiū gāo qì shuǎng
Clear sky and crisp air in autumn; bracing weather; fine autumn weather

qiū fēng guò ěr
A gust of autumn wind blows past the ear – going in one ear and out the other; advice that goes unheeded

qiū fēnɡ sǎo luò yè
The autumn wind blows away dead leaves – a powerful force makes a clean sweep of things.

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