成語故事

Hide a Dagger in a Smile

There was a minister named Li Yifu during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). He was good at flattering people. So his official position was raised higher and higher. At last, he was made the prime minister. He was a vicious man. When he talked with people he always wore a sweet smile, but he was conjuring up evil ideas in his heart.

Once Li heard that a beautiful woman was put in prison, he sent for the prison officer and ordered him to set the woman free. The man followed his order and Li took the woman home.

Later, someone reported the case to the emperor. The prison officer was very afraid because he knew he had committed a crime by setting the criminal free. He had to go to Li Yifu for help. But Li ignored the thing and asked the man not to disturb him. The poor man was so disappointed that he hanged himself.

Another officer heard the tragic suicide of the prison officer, wanted to reveal the truth to the emperor. But Li knew his plan and he began making false accusations against him. The foolish emperor believed Li's words and exiled the officer to a distant area.

Later, the idiom has been used to describe a man with murderous intent behind his smile.

笑裡藏刀

唐朝有個大臣叫李義甫,他很會奉承別人,所以他的官作得越來越大,一直作到了丞相。他是一個很惡毒的人。當他笑著對別人說話時,其實心裡面想的是壞主意。

有一次,有個年輕女子犯了罪被關進牢裡。李義甫聽說這個女子長的很漂亮,就叫監獄長把她放了。監獄長聽從了他的話,把這個女子放了。李義甫就把這個美麗女子帶回了家。

後來,有人向皇上告發了這件事,這個監獄長知道後,非常害怕,因為私放犯人是犯法的。他就向李一夫求助。誰知李義甫不但否認這件事,而且還叫這個監獄長別來煩他。這個可憐的人失望極了,就上吊自殺了。

有一個大臣聽說了這件事,想向皇上說明真相,被李義甫知道了,他就先到皇上面前說這個官員的壞話。皇上聽信了他的讒言,就把這個官員發配到很遠的地方去了。

後來,人們就用它來形容一個人外表和氣,內心陰險。


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