Page:A Chinese Biographical Dictionary.djvu/125

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106 A Chinese Biographical Dictionary


warm for seven days, and for a whole month a glory played around the entrance to his tomb. A profound student of the Canon of Changes y he was never seen without a book in hia hand, and gave himself the nickname of ;;^ ^ -^ . Author of the ^ 7C' ^ treatise on the elixir of life, and of other works. He is sometimes known as the J^ ^ ^ ^ Hemp-clad Philosopher.

258 Ch'ên Tzŭ-ang (T. ^^ 3S). A.D. 656-698. A native of ll^ ^^ Sh^-hung in Sstich^uan, who belonged to a wealthy family, and up to the age of 17 amused himself only with hunting and gambling. He then set himself to study, and in 684 he graduated as chin shih. Proceeding to the capital he adopted the following expedient to bring himself into notice. He purchased a very expensive guitar which had been for a long time on sale, and then let it be known that on the following day he would perform upon it in public. This attracted a large crowd; but when Ch'£n arrived he informed his auditors that he had something in his pocket worth much more than the guitar. Thereupon he dashed the instrument into a thousand pieces, and forthwith began handing round copies of his own writings. After this he soon attracted the notice of the Empress Wu Hon, and became one of her most intimate counsellors, giving her excellent advice upon great matters and at the same time flattering her pride on such points as the change of dynastic title from T'ang to Chou. His ill- health, coupled with attacks of his enemies drove him into retirement, nominally to wait upon his aged fother. At the death of the latter he got into trouble with the magistrate of his District, who had an eye upon the family wealth, and was thrown into prison on a trumped-up charge and died. His poetry ranks among the most beautiful even of the poetical dynasty under which he lived.

259 Ch'ên Ya (T. ^ ;^ ). lOth and 11th cent. A.D. A poet