唐贞观年间,薛仁贵尚未得志之前,与妻子住在一个破窑洞中,衣食无着落,全靠王茂生夫妇经常接济。后来,薛仁贵参军,在跟随唐太宗李世民御驾东征时,因薛仁贵平辽功劳特别大,被封为“平辽王”。

一登龙门,身价百倍,前来王府送礼祝贺的文武大臣络绎不绝,可都被薛仁贵婉言谢绝了。他惟一收下的是普通老百姓王茂生送来的“美酒两坛”。一打开酒坛,负责启封的执事官吓得面如土色,因为坛中装的不是美酒而是清水!

“启禀王爷,此人如此大胆戏弄王爷,请王爷重重地惩罚他!”岂料薛仁贵听了,不但没有生气,而且命令执事官取来大碗,当众饮下三大碗王茂生送来的清水。在场的文武百官不解其意,薛仁贵喝完三大碗清水之后说:“我过去落难时,全靠王兄弟夫妇经常资助,没有他们就没有我今天的荣华富贵。如今我美酒不沾,厚礼不收,却偏偏要收下王兄弟送来的清水,因为我知道王兄弟贫寒,送清水也是王兄的一番美意,这就叫君子之交淡如水。” 此后,薛仁贵与王茂生一家关系甚密,“君子之交淡如水”的佳话也就流传了下来。

During the reign of Tang Zhen Guan, before Xue Ren Gui achieved anything, and his wife live in an old cave, but had food and clothing thanks to Wang Mao Sheng's support. Later, Xue Ren Gui joined the army, following Emperor Taizong Li Shimin's Eastern Expedition. Due to Xue Ren's efforts in putting down the the Liao rebellion, he gained great credit and was called "The Duke of Pacifying Liao."

The high-ranking officials and generals came to the palace to send gifts to celebrate his rise to dukedom, but they were politely declined by Xue Ren Gui . He only received Wang Mao Sheng's "two fine wine." When the jars were opened, those in charge of the unsealing were scared, for it was not wine but the water!

"Reporting the Duke, this person dare to mock you, please punish him!" Xue Ren Gui listened but did not get angry, and ordered a bowl to be filled, and in public he drank drink three bowls sent Wang Mao Sheng's clear water. The civil and military officials were puzzled, but after drinking three bowls of water, Xue Ren Gui said: "I used to be in distress, but survived thanks to the Wang household's help, without them I do not have today's wealth. I do not accept fine wine and do not take gifts, I only want my brother Wang's water, a hedge between keeps friendship green. " Since then, Xue Ren Gui and Wang Mao Sheng have a very close relationship and thus the proverb "君子之交淡如水 (a hedge between keeps friendship green)" was passed down.