Yan Zi of the State of Qi was sent on a mission to the State ofChu. The King of Chu intended to humiliate the State of Qi toYan Zi's face.

 One day, the King of Chu gave a banquet for Yan Zi. Just


when they were enjoying it, two petty officials brought a convictto the King.

Deliberately the King of Chu asked:  "What crime has this man committed?"

One of the petty officials answered: "He robs."

Again the King of Chu asked:  “Where is he from?"
楚王又问: “他是哪个国家的人?”

The petty official answered:"He is from the State of Qi."

The King of Chu turned to Yan Zi and said:"So the people of the State of Qi are used to committingrobbery."
楚王回头对晏子说: “原来齐国人是惯于当强盗的。”

Yan Zi stood up and replied: "Your Majesty, I heard that when orange trees grown in thesouth of the Huai River are transplanted to the north of Huai River,they become trifoliate orange trees. Outwardly the leaves of orangetrees and those of trifoliate orange trees look alike, but the tastesof their fruits are entirely different. Our people of the State of Qinever commit robbery, but once they come to the State of Chu,they start to engage in criminal activities. I think, maybe this isthe effect of the environment and climate here."
晏子站起来答道: “大王,我听说生长在淮南的橘树,移植到淮北就会变成积树。从外表上看,橘树和积树的叶子是一样的,但是这两种树的果子的味道却完全不同。我们齐国的老百姓从来不做强盗,一到楚国就干起犯罪的勾当来了。我看,这也许是受这里的水土环境的影响吧!”

As the King of Chu heard this, he was struck dumb withshame.