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In a melon patch or under a plum tree(瓜田李下)

Viewed 2925 times 2014-6-9 10:07 |Personal category:chinese culture|System category:Others| eighteen, official, started

In the Southern and Northern Dynasties,there was a man named Yuan luxiu in the Northern Qi.He had an old head on young shoulders and had a warm disposition,and he was a man of wide expericence.He started working as an official when he was eighteen years old,and later he was promoted to be the  procurater of Boling.He got outstanding achievements in  his official career and had a good reputation.He was innocent,upright and incorruptable,and he never accepted bribery,so people prized him an elegant name Qing Lang(清郎).One time,he went to other places to inspect local officials.One of his old friends Xing Shao was a provincial governor in one place,when he came by there,Xing Shao offered him a roll of cloth as a token of friendship.Yuan luxiu declined whith thanks and said,"I come here this time is differnt from other times,ancient people said that never pull on your shoes in a melon patch;never adjust your cap under a plum tree.So I could not accept your gift in odrer not to leave a subject for ridicule."
The allusion of "In a melon patch or under a plum tree----in suspicious circumstances or surroundings" originated from The Biography of Yuan Luxiu ----The History of the North.Its original meaning is that we should avoid suspicion in occation that we can be easily involved.There are the words "The backbone of the knight-errant could be clear in suspicious circumstance;and the heart of the man to honor could be seen clearly."in the 6th chapter of Hao Qiu's Biography.
------------originate from "A Collection of Chinese Idioms and Their Stories" 

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