Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Ch'ên Chao-lun
CH'ÊN Chao-lun 陳兆崙 ( 星齋, 句山, original ming 兆嶸), Jan. 14, 1701–1771, Mar. 12, man of letters and calligrapher, was a native of Ch'ien-t'ang, Chekiang. While still a young man he obtained recognition for his literary and calligraphic ability, and such eminent contemporaries of Chekiang province as Hang Shih-chün and Liang Shih-chêng [qq. v.] were his friends. In 1722 a group of eighteen of these friends formed a literary society (文社) which held meetings on the shores of West Lake (西湖). A selection of essays written by this group was published in the same year, under the title 質韋集 Chih wei chi. In 1724 Ch'ên Chao-lun became a chü-jên and six years later (1730) a chin-shih, whereupon he was sent to Fukien as a probationary magistrate. While living in Fukien the governor-general of the province, Hao Yü-lin (see under Hao Shuo), placed him in charge of the Academy known as Ao-fêng Shu-yüan 鰲峰書院, and made him chief editor of the General Gazetteer of Fukien (福建通志 Fu-ch'ien t'ung-chih) which was completed in 1734. On the recommendation of the governor of Fukien, Chao Kuo-lin (see under Wu Ching-tzŭ), he was asked to participate in the special po-hsüeh hung-tz'ŭ 博學宏詞 examination to be held November 1, 1736. Going to Peking in the autumn of 1734, he obtained by examination a post (1735) as secretary to the Grand Secretariat and later in the same year was appointed to serve in the Council of State. Of some 180 scholars who competed in the po-hsüeh hung-tz'ŭ examination (1736), Ch'ên Chao-lun was one of the fifteen successful candidates. With this honor came appointment as Hanlin corrector. In 1741 he officiated as chief examiner of the Hupeh provincial examination, and twice (1737 and 1742) as associate examiner of the metropolitan examinations. In 1743 his father, Ch'ên P'ei-chün 陳培駿 ( 皋亭, 1675–1743), died. While Ch'ên Chao-lun was at home observing the customary period of mourning he was invited to direct the Chi-shan Shu-yüan 蕺山書院 at Hangchow. Resuming his work at the capital, he was there only a short time when his mother died (1748). Three years later (1751) he was made a diarist and a tutor to the bachelors of the Hanlin Academy. In 1752 he was chief examiner of the Shun-t'ien provincial military examination. From 1754 to 1756 he was prefect of the metropolitan prefecture of Shun-t'ien (Peking). During his tenure in Peking there was a flood in that area and his duties increased, being complicated also by movements of troops to Sungaria (see under Chao-hui). In 1756 he became director of the Court of Sacrificial Worship, and in 1758 was appointed a tutor in the School for Princes (see under Yin-chên). In the winter of 1763 Yung-hsüan [q. v.], eighth son of Emperor Kao-tsung, then in ill health, was sent to convalesce in the Hsi yüan 西園, or Western Garden, southwest of the Old Summer Palace, and Ch'ên Chao-lun accompanied him as a tutor. The Library of Congress possesses in manuscript a collection of the prince's poems, entitled Ku-hsün t'ang shih (see under Yung-hsüan), in which the prince frequently makes mention of his tutor. Granted leave in 1769, Ch'ên Chao-lun spent more than a year in his native place. He resumed his work at court in the summer of 1770 but died early in the following year.
At various times (1737, 1740, 1751, and 1753) Ch'ên Chao-lun took part in such official compilations as the Shih-lu of Emperor Shih-tsung (see under Yin-chên) which was completed in 1740; the Ta-Ch'ing hui-tien (see under Wang An-kuo), whose third edition was published in 1761; and the Hsü Wên-hsien t'ung-k'ao (see under Ch'i Shao-nan) which was printed in 1772. Several times he accompanied Emperor Kao-tsung on imperial hunting expeditions. Many of his poems were written to and in praise of the Emperor or the princes, or to commemorate state occasions. His collected literary works, entitled 紫竹山房集 Tzŭ-chu shan-fang chi, comprising 20 chüan of prose and 12 chüan of verse, were printed by his family. In calligraphy he followed the style of Wang Hsi-chih 王羲之 ( 逸少, 321–379) and was highly praised by such contemporary masters of that art as Liang T'ung-shu [q. v.].
Ch'ên Chao-lun had two younger brothers, Ch'ên Chao-mei 陳兆嵋 (Hsü Tsung-yen [q. v.] and his wife, Liang Tê-shêng (see under Hsü Tsung-yen). In addition to the epic, Ch'ên Tuan-shêng left a collection of poems, entitled 繪影閣集 Hui-ying ko chi. The younger daughter, Ch'ên Ch'ang-shêng 陳長生 ( 嫦笙, 秋穀), married Yeh Shao-k'uei 葉紹楏 ( 琴柯, 振湘, d. 1821), a chin-shih of 1793 and governor of Kwangsi (1817). She, too, left a collection of poems, entitled 繪聲閣詩稿 Hui-shêng ko shih-kao.閬風, 眉山, original ming 兆崑, 1702–1766, a chü-jên of 1729), and Ch'ên Chao-ch'i 陳兆岐 ( 支山, 1704–1748). His two older sons, Ch'ên Yü-wan 陳玉萬 (original ming 玉藻 b. 1723), and Ch'ên Yü-tun 陳玉敦 (b. 1726), were both chü-jên of 1750. Ch'ên Kuei-shêng 陳桂生 ( 堅木, d. 1840), a son of Ch'ên Yü-wan, rose in his official career to the governorship of Kiangsu province (1817). The latter's son, Ch'ên Hsien-tsêng 陳憲曾 ( 吉甫, 鐵橋), was a chin-shih of 1822. Ch'ên Yü-tun had two learned daughters. The elder, Ch'ên Tuan-shêng 陳端生, led a dejected life owing to the exile of her husband, surnamed Fan (范). As a result of her unhappy experience she wrote an epic, entitled 再生緣 Tsai-shêng yüan. Although it was unfinished at her death, it was completed by
[1/311/6b; 3/82/1a; 20/2/00 (portrait); 29/4/5a; 31/1/9b; Nien-p'u by his nephew Ch'ên Yü-shêng 陳玉繩; Chiang Jui-tsao 蔣瑞藻; 小說考證續編 Hsiao-shuo k'ao-chêng hsü-pien (1924) 1/28b; Hummel, A. W., Annual Report of the Librarian of Congress, 1935, p. 187; Ch'ên Yüan-lu 陳元祿 (son of Ch'ên Hsien-tsêng), 十五福堂筆記 Shih-wu-fu t'ang pi-chi in Chüan-ching-lou ts'ung-k'o (see under Kung Tzŭ-chên).]