Page:A Chinese Biographical Dictionary.djvu/193

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174 A Chinese Biographical Dictionary


frontiers were constantly raided and Peking itself was in a state of siege more than once, while the Japanese, angry at the stoppage of trade, liarried Eiangnan, Ghehkiang and Fuhkien, and local and aboriginal risings were frequent. Audiences to officials were rare; large sums were spent on palaces and temples; while the Emperor, especially in bis latter years, wasted much valuable time in seeking after the elixir of life. The growing weakness of the Court was shown by an attempt in 1542 to murder the Emperor while in a concubine's apartments. Canonised as j^ ^

446 Chu Hsi (T. 7C H$ and >frjl H$. H. H§ ^ and j^ ^ and ^ ^ and R$ ^ and ^^g ^ and # # ^ A)- A.D. 1130—1200. The famous commentator, known as Chu Tzd or Chu Fu Tztl. Born at ^ ^ Yu-ch4 in Fuhkien, where his father, Chu Sung, was an official, he soon displayed signs of unusual ability and graduated as chin shih at the early age of nineteen. His father had already died, but had left bis education to the care of three trusty friends. In 1151 he was sent as assistant Magistrate to T'ung-an in Fuhkien, where he remained for three years, reforming the administration, and improving the condition of the people. He had previously been suspected of a strong leaning towards Buddhism — some say that he actually became a Buddhist priest; but by the .year 1154, under the guidance of the philosopher Li T^ung, he had seen the error of his ways and had given himself up completely to the study of orthodox doctrine. His next appointment was a sinecure in Hunan, which left him an abundance of leisure for literary work until 1163, when he was summoned to the capital by the Emperor Hsiao Tsung. He soon returned to his old life and remained in comparative retirement until 1178, when he was forced to become Governor of ^ j^ Nan-k^ang in Eiangsi,