A Chinese Biographical Dictionary/Yen Chên-ch'ing

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2461Yen Chên-ch'ing 顏真卿 (T. 清臣). A.D. 709-785. A native of Wan-nien in Shensi, and descendant of Yen Shih-ku, who graduated as chin shih about 730. He soon rose to high office, although much disliked by the powerful Yang Kuo-chung; and he distinguished himself, when Governor of P'ing-yüan in Shantung, by joining his cousin Yen Kao-ch'ing in opposing the progress of the rebel An Lu-shan. After a chequered career, in which he was now President of a Board, now banished to some petty post, and anon ennobled as Duke, he was finally sent in his old age by Lu Ch'i, who owed him a grudge, to win over the recalcitrant Li Hsi-lieh. While on this mission, Li Hsi-lieh's brother was put to death for his association with Chu Tz'u's revolt; and this act, coupled with the approach of the Imperial troops, so enraged Li Hsi-lieh that he forthwith caused Yen to be strangled by his eunuchs. One of Yen's sons carried back his father's body; and the Emperor, overwhelmed with sorrow, not only appointed the dead man to high posthumous rank, but even suspended all Court functions for five days. Yen's character was firm and uncompromising. "Save in the interests of truth and justice, no thought ever budded within his mind." A story is told that when acting as Censor in Shansi he set at liberty a number of persons who had been unjustly confined; whereupon rain, which had been long prayed for in vain, fell upon the parched fields. He was the author of the 韻海鏡源, and was also celebrated as a calligraphist. Canonised as 文忠.