Presenting High Hats 戴高帽子

在古代,中国人把当面说奉承话叫做给某人“戴髙帽子”。

In the past, the Chinese people called flattery to someone’s face“presenting a high hat”to someone.

在古代,中国人把当面说奉承话叫做给某人“戴髙帽子”。

In the past, the Chinese people called flattery to someone’s face“presenting a high hat”to someone.

有一个在京城朝廷里做官的人,奉命去外地做官。临行前,他去老师家告别。老师叮嘱说:“外地的官不容易做,应当谨慎小心些才好。”

An official in the imperial court in Beijing was appointed to an official post outside the capital. Before departure, he went to his teacher’s home to bid farewell. His teacher warned him:“It is not easy to be an official outside the capital. You should be prudent and careful.”

那个做官的人回答说:“请老师放心,我准备了一百顶高帽子,逢人便送他一顶,管叫地方上人人高兴。”

The official replied:“Please don’t worry. I have prepared one hundred‘high hats’, and will give one to each and every person I meet, I’m sure all the local people will be pleased.”

老师生气地说:“我们都是正人君子,怎么可以这样做呢?”

The teacher said reproachingly:“We are all honest gentlemen. How can you do that?”

那个做官的人装着无可奈何的样子说:“天下不喜欢戴高帽子的人实在太少了啊!像你老师那样的又能有几个呢!”

The official pretended he had no way out and said:“Very few people under heaven are like you who dislike being flattered or presented with high hats .”

老师听了很髙兴,点点头说:“你讲的也不错!”

Hearing this, the teacher was very much pleased. He nodded and said:“What you said is true, too.”

那个做官的人告別老师出来后,对朋友说:“我的一百顶髙帽子,现在只剩下九十九顶了!”

After the official said farewell to his teacher and came out, he said lo his friend:“Of my one hundred‘high hats’, now only ninety-nine are left.”

*选自清朝末年俞越(公元1821—1907年)的《笑林新雅》

* Selected from the book Xiao Lin Xin Ya (New Refined Jokes) by Yu Yue (1821-1907 A.D.) at the end of the Qing Dynasty

【生词与短语 New Words & Expressions】

1.戴高帽子 [dài gāo mào zi]  Presenting High Hats

2.当面 [dāng miàn]  ad. to someone’s face

3.奉承 [fèng chéng]  v./n. flatter/ flattery

4.临行 [lín xíng]  ad. before departure

5.叮嘱 [dīng zhǔ]  v. warn, exhort

6.谨慎小心 [jǐn shèn xiǎo xīn]  (idiom) prudent and careful

7.正人君子 [zhèng rén jūn zǐ]  (idiom) honest gentleman

8.剩下 [shèng xià]  v. leave