Tzu-hsing gave a faint smile. "One and all，" he remarked， "entertain the same idea. Hence it is that his mother doats upon him like upon a precious jewel. On the day of his first birthday， Mr. Cheng readily entertained a wish to put the bent of his inclinations to the test， and placed before the child all kinds of things， without number， for him to grasp from. Contrary to every expectation， he scorned every other object， and， stretching forth his hand， he simply took hold of rouge， powder and a few hair-pins， with which he began to play. Mr. Cheng experienced at once displeasure， as he maintained that this youth would， by and bye， grow up into a sybarite， devoted to wine and women， and for this reason it is， that he soon began to feel not much attachment for him. But his grandmother is the one who， in spite of everything， prizes him like the breath of her own life. The very mention of what happened is even strange！ He is now grown up to be seven or eight years old， and， although exceptionally wilful， in intelligence and precocity， however， not one in a hundred could come up to him！ And as for the utterances of this child， they are no less remarkable. The bones and flesh of woman， he argues， are made of water， while those of man of mud. 'Women to my eyes are pure and pleasing，' he says， 'while at the sight of man， I readily feel how corrupt， foul and repelling they are！' Now tell me， are not these words ridiculous？ There can be no doubt whatever that he will by and bye turn out to be a licentious roue."
Yue-ts'un， whose countenance suddenly assumed a stern air， promptly interrupted the conversation. "It doesn't quite follow，" he suggested. "You people don't， I reGREt to say， understand the destiny of this child. The fact is that even the old Hanlin scholar Mr. Cheng was erroneously looked upon as a loose rake and dissolute debauchee！ But unless a person， through much study of books and knowledge of letters， so increases （in lore） as to attain the talent of discerning the nature of things， and the vigour of mind to fathom the Taoist reason as well as to comprehend the first principle， he is not in a position to form any judgment."
Tzu-hsing upon perceiving the weighty import of what he propounded， "Please explain，" he asked hastily， "the drift （of your argument）。" To which Yue-ts'un responded： "Of the human beings created by the operation of heaven and earth， if we exclude those who are gifted with extreme benevolence and extreme viciousness， the rest， for the most part， present no striking diversity. If they be extremely benevolent， they fall in， at the time of their birth， with an era of propitious fortune； while those extremely vicious correspond， at the time of their existence， with an era of calamity. When those who coexist with propitious fortune come into life， the world is in order； when those who coexist with unpropitious fortune come into life， the world is in danger. Yao， Shun， Yue， Ch'eng T'ang， Wen Wang， Wu Wang， Chou Kung， Chao Kung， Confucius， Mencius， T'ung Hu， Han Hsin， Chou Tzu， Ch'eng Tzu， Chu Tzu and Chang Tzu were ordained to see light in an auspicious era. Whereas Ch'i Yu， Kung Kung， Chieh Wang， Chou Wang， Shih Huang， Wang Mang， Tsao Ts'ao， Wen Wen， An Hu-shan， Ch'in Kuei and others were one and all destined to come into the world during a calamitous age. Those endowed with extreme benevolence set the world in order； those possessed of extreme maliciousness turn the world into disorder. Purity， intelligence， spirituality and subtlety constitute the vital spirit of right which pervades heaven and earth， and the persons gifted with benevolence are its natural fruit. Malignity and perversity constitute the spirit of evil， which permeates heaven and earth， and malicious persons are affected by its influence. The days of perpetual happiness and eminent good fortune， and the era of perfect peace and tranquility， which now prevail， are the offspring of the pure， intelligent， divine and subtle spirit which ascends above， to the very Emperor， and below reaches the rustic and uncultured classes. Every one is without exception under its influence. The superfluity of the subtle spirit expands far and wide， and finding nowhere to betake itself to， becomes， in due course， transformed into dew， or gentle breeze； and， by a process of diffusion， it pervades the whole world.