笑里藏刀

 
xiào lǐ cáng dāo (xiao li cang dao)
hide your dagger in a smile (murderous intent behind one's smiles)

Charm and ingratiate yourself to your enemy. When you have gained his trust, you move against him in secret.

Warring States Era China

The king of Wei sent a beautiful courtesan to the king of Chu who took great delight in the new girl. His queen, Zheng Xiu, knowing how fond the king was of his new woman, treated the newcomer as a sister supplying her with gifts and treasures and whatever she needed. The king hearing of this summoned his queen and said: A woman serves a man with her beauty and thus jealousy is a part of her very nature. Yet you, knowing how much the new woman pleases me, have treated her more kindly than I have myself. These actions are those of a child to her parents or a minister to his ruler, how unexpected it is to find this in a queen to her husband." The queen thus knew that her husband did not suspect her of jealousy. When she next met with the new girl the queen told her: "His majesty is much taken with your beauty but he dislikes the shape of your nose. When next you serve him be sure to cover it with your hand." Grateful for the advice, when she next served the king this is what she did.

The next day the king asked his queen: "The new woman covers her nose when she is with me. Do you know why?"

"I know." replied the queen.

"Well then no matter how unpleasant you must tell me the reason."

"It seems she does not like the way your majesty smells."

"The shrew!" cried the king.

In a rage the king ordered that the unfortunate girl's nose be cut off.

Warring States

During the Warring States, in the year 341 BC, General Gongsun Yang led 50,000 soldiers to invade the state of Wei.

Wei's king Hui was extremely worried. Gongzi Ying of Wei said, "Gongsun Yang was originally a native of Wei and we were good friends for some years. If I could talk to Gongsun Yang, I may be able to persuade him into ordering a retreat. If we find that he cannot be trusted, we can retreat into Wu city which has impregnable fortifications." Gongzi Ying then led 50,000 troops to guard Wu city.

Gongsun Yang arrived at Wu city and hearing that Gongzi Ying was in charge of its defence, hatched an idea.

Gongsun Yang sent a letter to Gongzi Ying which wrote, "Formerly, you and I enjoyed a good relationship. I greatly appreciate your trustworthiness and your valuing of our friendship. Why not order a mutual retreat? If you agree, let's meet outside the city in three days' time to discuss the matter."

Three days later, Gongzi Ying brought 300 unarmed troops showing his country's goodwill and sincerity. Gongsun Yang himself also brought no weapons. They started a discussion and the atmosphere was very cordial. Gongsun Yang then invited Gongzi Ying to his tent for a banquet.

Upon reaching the Qin's camps, Gongzi Ying and his 300 unarmed troops were siezed and arrested. The Qin soldiers then disguised themselves as Wei's troops and went to the city gates. They claimed that Gongzi Ying is back and asked for the gates to be opened. The Qin troops charged through the gates and conquered Wu city. Gongzi Ying was taken captive to Qin.

Meaning: 形容对人外表和气,却阴险毒辣。

Context: 《旧唐书·李义府传》:“义府貌状温恭,与人语必嬉怡微笑,而褊忌阴贼。既处要权,欲人附己,微忤意者,辄加倾陷。故时人言义府笑中有刀。”

Example: 他把我丕的来药倒,烟生七窍,冰浸四稍,谁承望~,眼见的丧荒郊。 ◎元·孟汉卿《魔合罗》第二折

Synonyms: 佛口蛇心、口是心非

Antonyms: 心口不一、推心置腹

Grammar: 偏正式;作谓语、宾语、定语;含贬义

信而安之①,阴以图之②,备而后动, 勿使有变。刚中柔外也③。

【注释】

①信而安之:信,使信。安,使安,安然,此指不生 疑心。

②阴以图之:阴,暗地里。

③刚中柔外:表面柔顺,实质强硬尖利。

【按语】

兵书云:“辞卑而益备者,进也;……无约而请和者,谋也。”故凡敌人之巧言令色,皆杀机之外露也。宋曹玮知渭州,号令明肃,西夏人惮之。一日玮方对客奕棋,会有叛夸数千,亡奔夏境。堠骑(骑马的侦宿员)报至,诸将相顾失色,公言笑如平时。徐谓骑日.“吾命也,汝勿显言。”西夏人闻之,以为袭己,尽杀之。此临机应变之用也。若勾践之事夫差.则意使其久而安之矣。

【解析】

宋将曹玮,闻知有人叛变,他非但不惊恐,反而随机应便,谈笑自如,不予追捕,让敌人把叛逃者误认为是曹玮派来进攻的,把他们全部杀光。曹琼把笑里藏刀和借刀杀人之计运用得何其自如!古代兵法早就提醒为战者:切不可轻信对方的甜言蜜语、空头支票,要谨防他们暗中隐藏的杀机。总之,此计还多用于军事政治与外交的伪装上。

【探源】

笑里藏刀,原意是指那种口蜜腹剑,两面三刀,“口里喊哥哥,手里摸家伙”的作法。此计用在军事上,是运用政治外交上的伪装手段,欺骗麻痹对方,来掩盖己方的军事行动。这是一种表面友善而暗藏杀机的谋略。

战国时期,秦国为了对外扩张,必须夺取地势险要的黄河崤山一带,派公孙鞅为大将,率兵攻打魏国。公孙鞅大军直抵魏国吴城城下。这吴城原是魏国名将吴起苦心经营之地,地势险要,工事坚固,正面进攻恐难奏效。公孙鞍苦苦思索攻城之计。他探到魏国守将是与自己曾经有过交往的公子行,心中大喜。他马上修书一封,主动与公子行套近乎,说道,虽然我们俩现在各为其主,但考虑到我们过去的交情,还是两国罢兵,订立和约为好。念旧之情,溢干言表。他还建议约定时间会谈议和大事。信送出后,公孙鞅还摆出主动撤兵的姿态,命令秦军前锋立即撤回。公子行看罢来信,又见秦军退兵,非常高兴,马上回信约定会谈日期。公孙鞅见公子行已钻入了圈套,暗地在会谈之地设下埋伏。会谈那天,公子行带了三百名随从到达约定地点,见公孙鞅带的随从更少,而且全部没带兵器,更加相信对方的诚意。会谈气氛十分融洽,两人重叙昔日友情,表达双方交好的诚意。公孙鞍还摆宴款待公子行。公子行兴冲冲人席,还未坐定,忽听一声号令,伏兵从四面包围过来,公子行和三百随从反应不及,全部被擒。公孙鞅利用被俘的随从,骗开吴城城门,占领吴城。魏国只得割让西河一带,向秦求和。秦国用公孙鞅笑里藏刀计轻取崤山一带。

【故事】

三国时期,由于荆州地理位置十分重要,成为兵家必争之地。公元217年,鲁肃病死。孙、刘联合抗曹的蜜月已经结束。

当时关羽镇守荆州,孙权久存夺取荆州之心,只是时机尚未成熟。不久以后,关羽发兵进攻曹操控制的樊城,怕有后患,留下重兵驻守公安、南郡,保卫荆州。孙权手下大将吕蒙认为夺取荆州的时机已到,但因有病在身,就建议孙权派当时毫无名气青年将领陆逊接替他的位置,驻守陆口。

陆逊上任,并不显山露水,定下了与关羽假和好、真备战的策略。他给关羽写去一信,信中极力夸耀关羽,称关羽功高威重,可与晋文公、韩信齐名。自称—介书生,年纪太轻,难担大任,要关羽多加指教。关羽为人,骄做自负,目中无人,读罢陆逊的信,仰天大笑,说道:“无虑江东矣。”马上从防守荆州的守
军中调出大部人马,一心一意攻打樊城。陆逊又暗地派人向曹操通风报信,约定双方一起行动,夹击关羽。

孙权认定夺取荆州的时机已经成熟,派吕蒙为先锋,向荆州进发。吕蒙将精锐部队埋伏在改装成商船的战舰内,日夜兼程,突然袭击,攻下南部。关羽得讯,急忙回师,但为时已晚,孙权大军已占领荆州。关羽只得败走麦城。

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