The people in the province of Chiang-Hsi had an objection to raising daughters, and on that account there were a great many bachelors there. The governor wanted to put a stop to the inhuman custom of drowning infants, and so he summoned some of his old councilors to see what measures could best be taken to effect this. Old state documents were consulted and it appeared that many of the preceding governors had attempted the same reform but had signally failed. So the task seemed to be beset with insurmountable difficulties.
After a meeting with his councilors the governor retired, still thinking that there must be some method which would effectively put an end to the barbarous practice, and he thought, what could cause people to suppress parental love but the expense and trouble they must undergo at the time of giving their daughters in marriage. If there were built a sort of public nursery where all the female children could be provided for by the state, the cruelty of drowning girls would naturally cease.
While going over the old records, the governor had found that there were deserted temples and shrines to which a regular annual revenue was still attached. He thought these revenues might be used with great benefit to the public. In the morning he would go to the temple of the Heavenly Mother and ask her gracious assistance for this scheme.
That same night the priest of the temple was informed in a dream by the Heavenly Mother concerning the governor's humane project and his impending visit in the morning. She added that though his philanthropic scheme had not yet been executed, the very thought of lovingkindness that prompted it, had caused a commotion in heaven and he was attended by a host of angels.
According to the divine command, every preparation was made in the temple to receive the governor. After due salutation, the priest inquired whether his mission was about the establishment of a nursery. The governor was greatly surprised to find him well informed in regard to the secret plan which had not been divulged to anybody. The priest then told him all about the previous night's communication from the Heavenly Mother.
The benevolent plan was successfully put into execution and general prosperity began
to reign in the district. The governor was promoted by the Emperor and died at an advanced age, surrounded by his children who were all prosperous and respected.