黄公嫁女

In the past, an old man named Huang Gong in the State of Qi was very particular about being modest and humble1, and he liked to be praised by people for his modesty2 and humbleness3.

 

Huang Gong had two sweet young daughters. They were as beautiful as flowers, with elegant and graceful4 carriages, and could be called unsurpassed beauties. Huang Gong confined them to their isolated5 boudoir, and forbade them to show their faces in public.

 

Whenever someone congratulated Huang Gong for having nice daughters by cupping one hand in the other before the chest, he always shook his head repeatedly and said: "My daughters are ugly, plain, coarse. and stupid, not worth mentioning."

 

From then on, people believed this to be true. The reputation of Huang Gong's two daughters being ugly spread around. Though they had reached marriageable age, no one called to ask for their hands.

 

There was a rascal6 in the State of Wei whose wife had died. He had no money to remarry, so he called at Huang Gong's house to propose marriage. As expected, Huang Gong agreed. After the wedding ceremony, when the veil of the bride was removed, the rascal saw a lady of unsurpassed beauty and was extremely happy.

 

News spread around fast. Not until then, did people realize that Huang Gong had been overmodest and had deliberately7 described his daughters as ugly. Thereupon, many distinguished8 families came to propose marriage to the second daughter. Thereafter Huang Gong's house became as crowded as a market place.

 

从前,齐国有一位名叫黄公的老人,为人很讲究谦让,也很喜欢人家称赞他品行谦卑。

 

黄公有两个妙龄女儿,长得花容月貌,谈吐娴雅,堪称天姿国色。黄公将她俩藏在深闺高阁之中,不准抛头露面。

 

有人拱手称贺,黄公却总是连连摇头:“小女貌丑质陋,粗俗蠢笨,不足挂齿!”

 

长此以往,众人都信以为真。黄公两个女儿的丑陋的名声便也传扬开来。尽管她们早已到了婚嫁年龄,却没有一个人上门求婚。

 

卫国有个无赖,老婆早死了,一直没有钱再娶,只好跑到黄公门上来求婚,黄公果然同意。等到婚礼完毕,揭开头纱一看,竟是一位绝代佳人,无赖高兴得不得了。

 

消息不胫而走。这时候,人们才知道:原来是黄公过于谦虚,故意把自己女儿说得丑陋。于是,许多名门望族纷纷前来争聘他的第二个女儿。从此,黄公家门庭若市。

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