成語故事

The Gentleman On The Beam

During the Later Han dynasty, there lived a very famous scholar named Chen Shr. One day, Chen Shr came home and discovered a man hiding on one of the beams of his house. He first pretended that he didn't see this man, and went about his business straightening up his clothes. He then sat down and called his grandsons to him, saying, "You must all study very hard, and work conscientiously at whatever you do, so that later you will be useful people. There are some people in our society who do bad things-not because they're naturally bad people, but because they are unwilling to work." He then pointed up above his head, and continued, "Look! That gentleman up there on the beam is just this sort of person."

The thief hiding on the beam was quite alarmed. He climbed down, knelt in front of Chen Shr, and begged for forgiveness. Chen Shr patted the thief on the shoulder, and said to him, "You don't look like a bad person; I'm sure that you must come from a very poor family. Here, I'll give you some money; go start a business!" And with that, the thief very gratefully left.

Even today, people sometimes refer to thief as "the gentleman on the beam."

樑上君子

後漢時,有一個有名的學者叫陳實。他為人正直,生活儉樸,又有學問,很受人敬重。有一天傍晚,剛進家門,就發現屋樑上躲著一個人。他假裝沒發現,先整理了一下衣服,就坐下,並把兒孫們叫到面前教訓說:「你們要好好兒讀書,認真作事,自己努力做個有用的人。社會上有些做壞事的人,本性並不壞,只因為貪圖享受,不願勞動,最後成了習慣。」說著,指著上面說:「你們看!那個樑上君子就是這種人。」

躲在樑上的小偷嚇了一跳,又慚愧又驚慌地爬了下來,跪在陳實面前求饒,陳實拍拍小偷的肩膀說:「看你的樣子不像壞人,一定要改過向善。我想你大概是家裡窮困,我送你一些錢,去做個生意吧!」小偷千恩萬謝地走了。


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