"Brother stone，" he forthwith said， addressing the stone， "the concerns of past days recorded on you possess， according to your own account， a considerable amount of interest， and have been for this reason inscribed， with the intent of soliciting generations to hand them down as remarkable occurrences. But in my own opinion， they lack， in the first place， any data by means of which to establish the name of the Emperor and the year of his reign； and， in the second place， these constitute no record of any excellent policy， adopted by any high worthies or high loyal statesmen， in the government of the state， or in the rule of public morals. The contents simply treat of a certain number of maidens， of exceptional character； either of their love affairs or infatuations， or of their small deserts or insignificant talents； and were I to transcribe the whole collection of them， they would， nevertheless， not be estimated as a book of any exceptional worth." viberaters
"Sir Priest，" the stone replied with assurance， "why are you so excessively dull？ The dynasties recorded in the rustic histories， which have been written from age to age， have， I am fain to think， invariably assumed， under false pretences， the mere nomenclature of the Han and T'ang dynasties. They differ from the events inscribed on my block， which do not borrow this customary practice， but， being based on my own experiences and natural feelings， present， on the contrary， a novel and unique character. Besides， in the pages of these rustic histories， either the aspersions upon sovereigns and statesmen， or the strictures upon individuals， their wives， and their daughters， or the deeds of licentiousness and violence are too numerous to be computed. Indeed， there is one more kind of loose literature， the wantonness and pollution in which work most easy havoc upon youth. viberaters
"As regards the works， in which the characters of scholars and beauties is delineated their allusions are again repeatedly of Wen Chuen， their theme in every page of Tzu Chien； a thousand volumes present no diversity； and a thousand characters are but a counterpart of each other. What is more， these works， throughout all their pages， cannot help bordering on extreme licence. The authors， however， had no other object in view than to give utterance to a few sentimental odes and elegant ballads of their own， and for this reason they have fictitiously invented the names and surnames of both men and women， and necessarily introduced， in addition， some low characters， who should， like a buffoon in a play， create some excitement in the plot. stimulator
"Still more loathsome is a kind of pedantic and profligate literature， perfectly devoid of all natural sentiment， full of self-contradictions； and， in fact， the contrast to those maidens in my work， whom I have， during half my lifetime， seen with my own eyes and heard with my own ears. And though I will not presume to estimate them as superior to the heroes and heroines in the works of former ages， yet the perusal of the motives and issues of their experiences， may likewise afford matter sufficient to banish dulness， and to break the spell of melancholy.
"As regards the several stanzas of doggerel verse， they may too evoke such laughter as to compel the reader to blurt out the rice， and to spurt out the wine.
"In these pages， the scenes depicting the anguish of separation， the bliss of reunion， and the fortunes of prosperity and of adversity are all， in every detail， true to human nature， and I have not taken upon myself to make the slightest addition， or alteration， which might lead to the perversion of the truth.
"My only object has been that men may， after a drinking bout， or after they wake from sleep or when in need of relaxation from the pressure of business， take up this light literature， and not only expunge the traces of antiquated books， and obtain a new kind of distraction， but that they may also lay by a long life as well as energy and strength； for it bears no point of similarity to those works， whose designs are false， whose course is immoral. Now， Sir Priest， what are your views on the subject？"
K'ung K'ung having pondered for a while over the words， to which he had listened intently， re-perused， throughout， this record of the stone； and finding that the general purport consisted of nought else than a treatise on love， and likewise of an accurate transcription of facts， without the least taint of profligacy injurious to the times， he thereupon copied the contents， from beginning to end， to the intent of charging the world to hand them down as a strange story.
Hence it was that K'ung K'ung， the Taoist， in consequence of his perception， （in his state of） abstraction， of passion， the generation， from this passion， of voluptuousness， the transmission of this voluptuousness into passion， and the apprehension， by means of passion， of its unreality， forthwith altered his name for that of "Ch'ing Tseng" （the Voluptuous Bonze）， and changed the title of "the Memoir of a Stone" （Shih-t'ou-chi，） for that of "Ch'ing Tseng Lu，" The Record of the Voluptuous Bonze； while K'ung Mei-chi of Tung Lu gave it the name of "Feng Yueeh Pao Chien，" "The Precious Mirror of Voluptuousness." In later years， owing to the devotion by Tsao Hsueeh-ch'in in the Tao Hung study， of ten years to the perusal and revision of the work， the additions and modifications effected by him five times， the affix of an index and the division into periods and chapters， the book was again entitled "Chin Ling Shih Erh Ch'ai，" "The Twelve Maidens of Chin Ling." A stanza was furthermore composed for the purpose. This then， and no other， is the origin of the Record of the Stone. The poet says appositely：——