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Fù jīng qǐng zuì

Updated: 2011-04-08 15:22

Fù jīng qǐng zuì (bring a rod on one’s back and ask for punishment)

In the Spring and Autumn period (770-476BC), Lin Xiangru was a high-ranking official of the state of Zhao. His position was higher than that of Lian Po. Lian Po was jealous of Lin so he decided to humiliate him.

Noticing this, Lin Xiangru tried his best to avoid Lian Po. Lin Xiangru told others that the reason the King of Qin didn’t dare to invade the state of Zhao was because of Lian Po and him, and that if Lin Po and he fought with each other; the state would be in danger.

Lian Po heard about this, and felt ashamed. He brought a rod on his back and asked Lin for punishment. Instead, Lin Xiangru forgave Lian Po and they became best friends for the rest of their lives.

From this fable we get the idiom, “bring a rod on one’s back and ask for punishment,” which we use to mean offering a humble apology。

Translated by Jiang Yilingzi

Editor: Wen Yi

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