One day, Zhuang Gong, King of the State of Qi, went out in a chariot to hunt.
On the way, he saw a small insect raise both its arms, trying to stop the wheels of the chariot. Zhuang Gong of Qi was curious and asked the driver: "What kind of insect is it?"
"It is a mantis," the driver replied promptly. "This kind of insect only knows how to advance but not retreat, blindly underrating its enemies and overrating its own abilities."
Hearing the driver's reply, Zhuang Gong smiled to himself and remained silent.
One day, King Li of the State of Chu announced to the people: If any emergency occurs in our country, the drum will be beaten as a signal. The moment the people hear the drum, they must assemble outside the palace gate at once.
One day, King Li out drunk, when he passed by the drum stand, he xiaogushi8.com started to beat the drum at random. When the people heard the drum, they ran from all directions to the palace gate, thinking that some emergency had occurred in the country. They stood all around in a dense mass.
King Li sent someone to tell them: "Just now the King beat the drum, but nothing urgent had happened, it was only because the King got drunk and when he passed by the drum stand, he beat the drum just for fun."
All the people returned to their homes , feeling angry.
A few months later, some emergency really occurred in the State of Chu. The drum outside the palace gate sounded from early morning until night. Though the people heard the drum, they no longer cared about it and didn't rush to the palace gate.
In the past, an old man named Huang Gong in the State of Qi was very particular about being modest and humble, and he liked to be praised by people for his modesty andhumbleness.
Huang Gong had two sweet young daughters. They were as beautiful as flowers, with elegant andgraceful carriages, and could be called unsurpassed beauties. Huang Gong confined them to their isolated 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 rascal 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 deliberately described his daughters as ugly. Thereupon, manydistinguished families came to propose marriage to the second daughter. Thereafter Huang Gong's house became as crowded as a market place.