成語故事

Honey In The Mouth And Swords In The Stomach

Li Lin-fu was a prime minister of China during the T'ang dynasty. He was good at both calligraphy and painting, but had a crafty and sinister personality which made him disliked by everyone. Li Lin-fu would bribe the palace eunuchs and concubines to tell him what the emperor liked, and then would immediately go prepare that thing for the emperor. The emperor was therefore very fond of Li Lin-fu, and trusted him unduly.

One time, the minister Li Shr-jr offended Li Lin-fu. Li Lin-fu pretended not to care, and was in fact especially nice to the minister. Then on e day, he told Li Shr-jr about some gold that was hidden over in Hua Mountain, and encouraged him to suggest mining this gold to the emperor. Li Shr-jr being of an honest and upright disposition, believed that it was true, and immediately went and told the emperor. But when the emperor began to discuss this with Li Lin-fu, Li Lin-fu acted very frightened and said, "Hua Mountain in the place where all of Your Majesty's auspicious aurora are gathered. If we were to mine that area, it could be very dangerous for you. Who is it that wants to harm you?

Today we can describe someone who is two-faced-who is always nice on the outside and yet is mean to people behind their backs-as having "Honey in the Mouth and Swords in the Stomach."

口蜜腹劍

李林甫,唐玄宗時官居「兵部尚書」兼「中書令」這是宰相的職位。

此人若論才藝倒也不錯,能書善畫。但若論品德,那是壞透了。他忌才害人,凡才能比他強、聲望比他高、權勢地位和他差不多的人,他都不擇手段地排斥打擊。對唐玄宗,他有一套餡媚奉承的本領。他竭力遷就玄宗,並且採用種種手法,討好玄宗寵信的嬪妃以及心腹太監,取得他們的歡心和支持,以便保住自己的地位。

李林甫和人接觸時,外貌上總是露出一副和藹可親的樣子,嘴裡盡說些動聽的「善意」話,但實際上,他的性格非常明險狡猾,常常暗中害人。例如有一次,他裝做誠懇的樣子對同僚李適之說:「華山出產大量黃金,如果能夠開採出來,就可大大增加國家的財富。可惜皇上還不知道。李適之以為這是真話,連忙跑去建議玄宗快點開採,玄宗一聽很高興,立刻把李林甫找來商議,李林甫卻說:「這件事我早知道了,華山是帝王『風水'集中的地方,怎麼可以隨便開採呢?別人勸您開採,恐怕是不懷好意;我幾次想把這件事告訴您,只是不敢開口。」

玄宗被他這番話所打動,認為他真是一位忠君愛國的臣子,反而對適之大不滿意,逐漸將他疏遠了。就這樣,李林甫憑借這套特殊「本領」,他一直做了十九年宰相。

後來,司馬光在編《資治通鑒》時評價李林甫,指出他是個口蜜腹劍的人,這是很符合實際的。

後來用於比喻口頭上說話好聽,像蜜一樣甜,肚子裡卻懷著暗害人的陰謀。


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