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  李苦禅为人爽直,凡答应给人作画,从不食言。

  Li Kuchan is straightforward. He never breaks his word when he promises to paint.

  有一次,有位老朋友请他作一幅画,李苦禅因有事在身,未能及时完成。

  Once, an old friend asked him to make a picture, and Li Kuchan failed to finish it in time because of something.

  不久,当他接到老友病故的消息,震惊之后,李苦禅后悔不已,甚至跺足垂泪不止,觉得自己辜负了朋友的一番信任。

  Soon after he received the news of his old friend's death, Li Kuchan was shocked. He regretted it, even stamped his feet and wept, feeling that he had failed his friend's trust.

  心情平静下来之后,李苦禅拖着病痛折磨得十分虚弱的身体,走到画案前,泪眼朦胧之中挥毫画了一幅《白莲图》,郑重严肃地在画作上题写了老友的名字。

  After the mood calmed down, Li Kuchan dragged his body, which was suffering from illness, to the front of the painting, and drew a picture of white lotus in the dim eyes of tears. He wrote the name of his old friend on the painting solemnly.

  待墨迹全都干爽之后,李苦禅亲自拿着那幅画作走到庭院之中,默默祷告。而后,点燃了自己刚刚完成的那幅画作。等到画作完全烧成了灰,李苦禅才沉重地走回了画室。

  After the ink was all dry, Li Kuchan took the painting to the courtyard and prayed in silence. Then, He lit the painting  just finished. When the painting was completely burnt to ashes, Li Kuchan walked heavily back to the studio.

  事后,李苦禅多次跟自己的学生及身边的人提及此事,说:“我从来没有失信于人,惟此事愧对老友,造成终生遗憾。今后,再有人向我求画,只要是我答应下来的,你们一定要及时地催促我,切勿让我再失信于人”。

  Afterwards, Li Kuchan mentioned this to his students and people around him for many times, saying: "I have never broken my faith in others, but I feel sorry for my old friends and cause lifelong regret. In the future, Soneone ask me to draw ,as long as I promise, you must urge me in time, and don't let me break faith with others again. "

 

  【注释 Note

  ①李苦禅:山东高唐人,现代书画家、美术教育家,中国近现代大写意花鸟画宗师。

  ①Li Kuchan: born in Gaotang, Shandong Province, he is a modern calligrapher and painter, art educator, and master of modern Chinese freehand flower and bird painting.