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舊 說 新 語
信 實 篇
Modern Interpretations of Ancient Expressions

孫秀美 文 By Sun Syou-mei


唐伯虎 是中國明朝一個有名的畫家,因為是寅年生的虎子,故取名寅,字伯虎。不但畫好,字也好,為人又十分地風趣,很愛和人開玩笑,所以他的一些趣聞迭事,流傳得也最多。

這一天 ,他住的鎮上,又來了一批慕名而來求字畫的旅客,很湊巧地都到同一家飯館吃中飯。吃飯時,這些人就聊開了,原本不認識的,一提起唐伯虎,剎時人人都沾親帶故的,簡直沒有誰不是唐伯虎的親戚朋友。「哎!我說啊!咱們真是有緣千里來相會,居然還都是唐先生的親朋好友,實在難得!難得!」座中一位叫莫須有的長者就站起來說了:「為這麼殊勝的因緣,大家以茶代酒,乾一杯吧!」眾人齊聲附和,紛紛舉杯,一一自我介紹起來——當然他們也絕不忘自我吹噓一番,都有相見恨晚之感。說著、聊著,愈吹噓愈離譜了!吳中生是自小看著唐伯虎長大的,李胡車是唐伯虎穿開襠褲時的老朋友,子虛先生則是唐伯虎表舅的好朋友,烏有大叔則是唐伯虎啟蒙師的表弟…。

就在那時  ,角落邊有一個靜靜坐在那兒喝茶的年輕人,聽了老半晌,也忍不住站起來大聲地說:「各位!你們說了這麼多,但是,誰也沒有比我和唐伯虎更親的了!」「什麼?」一下子,  每個人都轉向了這年輕人:「那- -你又是誰?」年輕人笑了笑,不慌不忙地作了個揖:「各位聽了!我嘛- -我是唐伯虎的爹的舅舅的外甥女的媳婦的兒子!」「啊?爹的娘的舅舅的- -」一下子,每個人腦筋都轉糊塗了,舌頭也差點沒打結,愣了愣,不由異口同聲地質問:(原文錯,故改)「這是什麼話?!」「這話嘛- -」年輕人合起了手中的摺扇,指著牆上一幅山水:「是唐伯虎的『畫』!」「啊?」就在眾人都愣住了時,年輕人抖開了扇子,一搧一搧地,哈哈大笑下樓走了。

店小二早笑得肚子疼了,見眾人還摸不著頭腦。」,不是瞪著牆上那題了「唐寅」字樣的畫,就是呆看著那幾乎快消失在街角的瀟洒身影,便上前笑著說:「各位大爺!您們吹牛也吹得夠了!如今在眞人面前吹破了牛皮,看您們好意思上他家求字畫去?」「眞- -眞人?你是說,他- -」「他就是唐伯虎」



Tang Bwo-hu was a famous painter during China's Ming Dynasty. Because he was born during the year of Yin under the sign  of the tiger(hu), he was named Yin with the alias of Bwo-hu. Not  only were his paintings, calligraphy good, he also had a superb  sense of humor. He loved to joke with people, and thus the  memorable and special events of his life became known far and  wide.

One day, a group of travelers came to his district intending to ask  for some samples of his artwork and calligraphy. Coincidentally,  they all went to the same restaurant for lunch. During the meal,  these people who were mutual strangers started conversing. At the mention of Tang Bwo-hu, they instantly turned into old friends and relatives. Just about everyone was a relative or friend of Tang Bwo- hu. " I'll say. We must really have affinities to come together from thousands of miles away, and turn out to all be close friends of Mr. Tang. This is rare indeed!" elder Mr. Is-There-Not, stood up and  said, "On such a special occasion, we ought to make a tea-toast!" Everyone assented in unison, and raised their cups. One by one, they introduced themselves, not forgetting to praise themselves, and lamenting that they had not met earlier. Talking on and on, their boasting became quite out of hand. Wu Jung-sheng "Born-from nothing" had seen Tang Bwo-hu grow up from the time he was a  baby. Nonsense Lee was Tang Bwo-hu's best childhood buddy. Mr. Dz-syu ("Empty") was a good friend of Tang Bwo-hu's uncle; old  Mr. Wu-you ("Nonexistent") was the cousin of Tang Bwo-hu's childhood tutor...

Meanwhile, a young man was quietly drinking tea in a corner.  Having listened them for a long while, he couldn't bear it any  longer, and stood up and cried, "All of you have talked so much, but here is no one who has a closer relation to Tang Bwo-hu than me!" What?" In a second, everyone had turned to face this young man -- "And who are you?" The young man smiled and unhurriedly made a bow. "Everyone listen up -- I am the son of the daughter-in-law of the  niece of the uncle of the mother of the father of Tang Bwo-hu." "What?  The son of the daughter-in-law of the niece of ..." All of a sudden, everyone became addle-brained and tongue-tied. Dazed, they all asked at once, "What kind of talk (hwa) is this?" "This -- " the young man folded up the fan in his hand and pointed at a landscape painting on the wall, "is the painting (hwa) of Tang Bwo-hu!" "Huh?" Just as everyone was caught in a daze, the young man opened his fan, and fanning himself and chuckling, went downstairs.

The restaurant's waiter could barely hold his own laughter as he watched everyone unable to make heed or tail of this. They were either staring at the painting imprinted with the characters "Tang Yin", or gazing after the quickly disappearing form of the young man in the street. Laughing, the waiter got up and said, "Gentlemen! You have certainly bluffed enough today. After the person himself has seen through your bluffing, let's see if you still dare to visit him at home to ask him for calligraphy and paintings!" "The person himself? Are you saying that--" "He is none other than Tang Bwo-hu!"

Readers, in Chinese when the characters for "person" and "words" are combined, the character for "trustworthy" is formed. If you speak dishonestly, if you fabricate stories, then it is no big deal for your lie to be discovered, but it will be no fun when you fall into the three evil paths. Then it will no longer be a person talking! If it is not the talk of  a human, what kind of talk (hwa) is it? I will tell you! "It is the painting (hwa) of Tang Bwo-hu!"

Afterward: The author would like to make it known that she made up this story, to show her trustworthiness. Otherwise, Tang Bwo-hu's spirit  knew of it, it might pop up and say, "This is the painting of Tang Bwo- hu!"


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