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Strategy 26 - Point at the Mulberry Tree to Curse the Locust Tree

2011-12-21 14:59 ChineseTime

 

Point at the Mulberry Tree to Curse the Locust Tree

zhǐ sāng mà huái 指桑骂槐

---Avoid directly confront, warn or discipline another. Instead use analogies and innuendos without naming names, thereby achieving the goal of dissuading or threatening another. 
 

  Ming Sian Zong was an incompetent emperor. The eunuch Wang Jhih was his favorite. Together with two of his men, Wang Yue and Chen Rong, they were a gang that did nothing but evil all over the country. The officials were too afraid to offend Wang Jhih, so no one dared reveal the truth to the emperor. 
  At that time, there was an eunuch by the name of A-Chou who was multi-talented and witty. The emperor liked him very much. Once Ming Sian Zong ordered A-Chou and his troupe to perform for him. A-Chou staged a show called "Drunk". When the show began, A-Chou appeared on the stage staggering as a drunkard. He was talking nonsense and the lines were so witty that the audience could not stop laughing. Then the role of the passers-by came onto the stage. The passers-by announced, "The minister is coming on official business. Clear the way and be quiet!" To his surprise, the drunken A-Chou pointed at the passers-by and scolded, "Who cares if you are a minister or a small official? Who cares if you are a black dog or a white dog? You go your way, and I go my way. In fact, I was here first! So it is you who should walk around me." The passers-by then announced, "The emperor is here!" But A-Chou burst out laughing, "The emperor is still dreaming! His mind is so clouded that he is even more drunk than I am…" The passers-by thought, "Hmm… Not even the emperor could scare him. Well, I have one last way to scare some senses into him." So he made one last announcement, "Wang Jhih is arriving!" A-Chou immediately knelt on all fours, trembling and pleading, "Pardon me! Pardon me!"
  Watching this, Ming Sian Zong got the message even though he was quite displeased by the performance.
 

 

指桑骂槐

明宪宗昏庸无道,太监汪直最受宠,汪直和他的两名手下王越及陈越,无恶不作到处欺侮官员和百姓,官员怕得罪汪公公,也不敢对宪宗说出真相。

当时,有一位擅长演戏的太监,叫做阿丑,一位多才多艺有幽默,恨得宪宗的喜爱。有一次,宪宗角阿丑一班人演戏,阿丑演了一出“醉酒”的戏码。

阿丑一出场便东倒西歪,演一位喝酒醉的人,胡言乱语,四处骂人,用词诙谐,看戏的人都笑个不停。接着,路人上场,大叫:“大官出巡,闲杂人肃静回避!”

没想到,醉汉阿丑东比西指说:“什么大官小官,黑狗白狗,你走你的阳光道,我走我的独木桥,大爷我先在这里喝酒,你才应该绕道走才是!”路人急了,改口说:“皇上驾到......”阿丑笑:“皇上还在睡梦中,迷迷糊糊,比我还醉呢?”路人心想:“连皇上都不怕,我还有一样法宝,不信你不怕!”接着大叫:“汪公公驾到。”就看到阿丑衣服被吓得屁滚尿流般,马上趴在地上直发抖说:“小的该死!小的该死!”宪宗看到这里,虽然很不高兴,可是心里完全明白了。

指桑骂槐的意思是:不从正面直接施加压力过警告、责骂对方,而是用拐弯抹角的影射方式,产生赫阻,威胁作用,来达到目的。

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