成語故事

Three People Make a Tiger

During the Warring States Period, China was divided into many small kingdoms which were constantly attacking each other. As an attempt to create harmony, the kingdoms agreed to exchange princes as hostages.

The prince of the kingdom of Wei was to be sent to the kingdom of Chao, and the minister Pang Tsung wished to accompany him. As he was leaving, Pang Tsung asked the king, "If someone were to tell His Majesty that there was a tiger in the street, would His Majesty believe it?" The king replied that he would not. However, when asked if he would believe a second person; the king answered that he would half-believe, and when asked if he would believe a third person, the king replied that he would.

At this, Pang Tsung said, "Everyone ought to know that there could not possibly be a tiger in the street. However, after having heard three people say that there was one, you would believe that it was so. If after I'm gone, someone were to say something bad about me, I hope that His Majesty would not believe it."

Today, the idiom "Three People Make a Tiger" means that rumors are really frightful things, and often hide the truth.

三人成虎

戰國時代,各國互相攻伐,為了使大家真正能遵守信約,國與國之間通常都將王子交給對方作為人質。《戰國策‧魏策》中有這樣一段記載:

魏國大臣龐蔥,將要陪魏國王子到趙國去作人質,臨行前對魏王說:“現在有一人來說街市上出現了老虎,大王相信嗎?”魏王道:“我不相信。”龐蔥說:“如果有第二個人說街市上出現了老虎,大王相信嗎?”魏王道:“我有些將信將疑了。”龐蔥又說:“如果有第三個人說街市上出現了老虎,大王相信嗎?”魏王道:“我當然會相信。”

龐蔥接著說:“街市上不會有老虎,這是很明顯的事,可是經過三個人一說,好像真的有老虎了。現在趙國國都邯鄲離魏國國都大梁,比這裏的街市遠了許多,議論我的人又不止三個。希望大王明察才好。”魏王道:“我知道。”於是龐蔥放心陪太子而去。後來,魏王還是聽信讒言沒有再重用龐蔥。

街市上當然不會有老虎。說街市上有虎,顯然是造謠、欺騙,但許多人這樣說了,如果不是從事物真相上看問題,也往往會信以為真的。後世人引申這故事為成語“三人成虎”,乃是借來比喻有時謠言可以掩蓋真相的意思。例如:判斷一件事情的真偽,必須經過細心考察和思考,不能道聽途說,不能人云亦云。否則“三人成虎”,有時會誤把謠言當成真實的。就像有的人說的那樣:謊言重復一千遍就成了真理。

憶古觀今,江xx一夥在迫害法輪功的過程中,為了讓民眾像魏王一樣“三人成虎”相信謠言,不斷地在電視、報紙上推出各種各樣的殺人案、自殺案,並編造各種離奇的謊言,以便把殺人案栽贓到法輪功頭上。同時不給法輪功任何澄清的機會,而且封鎖各種傳媒的渠道,阻止人們了解法輪功真相。國內很多人對法輪功的瞭解不多,那麽人們在這種一再重復的謊言下,自然很容易積非成是,相信它的謠言了。還望民眾能明察秋毫,識破這本世紀最大的謊言。


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