Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Ch'ên Kung-yin

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3633524Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period, Volume 1 — Ch'ên Kung-yinTu Lien-chê

CH'ÊN Kung-yin 陳恭尹 (T. 元孝, H. 半峯, 獨漉山人, 羅浮布衣), Oct. 20, 1631–1700, May 30, poet and calligrapher, was a native of Shun-tê, Kwangtung. His father, Ch'ên Pang-yen 陳邦彥 (T. 會份(斌), H. 巖野, 1603–1647), served under the Ming Prince of Kuei (see under Chu Yu-lang), and co-operated with Ch'ên Tzŭ-chuang [q. v.] in fighting the invading Manchu forces under Li Ch'êng-tung [q. v.], who had captured Canton early in 1647. While attacking Canton in October 1647 Ch'ên Pang-yen was captured by Li and was executed by the "lingering death" process known as ling-ch'ih 凌遲. However, in 1648 Li Ch'êng-tung himself went over to the Ming side, and most of Kwangtung then returned to the rule of the Prince of Kuei. Ch'ên Pang-yen was posthumously rewarded with a high rank and with other honors.

Three of Ch'ên Pang-yen's four sons met death in 1647, Ch'ên Kung-yin being the only one who escaped capture and certain death, by going into hiding in the home of Chan Ts'ui 湛粹, a friend of his father. In recognition of his father's services Ch'ên Kung-yin was given, by the Prince of Kuei, the title of a secretary of the Imperial Bodyguard (then known as Chin-i wei 錦衣衛). After Kwangtung was again subdued by the Manchus (1650), Ch'ên went into hiding, and in 1651 went to Nanking through Fukien and Chekiang, hoping, perhaps, to help the Ming cause secretly. About 1654 he returned to Kwangtung and married the daughter of his benefactor, Chan Ts'ui. In 1658 he left his home to join the court of the Prince of Kuei in Yunnan, but finding the road through Hunan closed by Manchu troops, he was forced to go northward to Wuchang, Wuhu, and then to Honan. Recognizing the hopelessness of the Ming cause, he finally returned to Kwangtung. There he tried to live in complete retirement, but his fame as a writer became widespread. He was known as one of the "five scholars of Pei-t'ien" (北田五子); the other four, all natives of Shun-tê who would not serve the Manchu regime, were: T'ao Yü 陶窳 (original ming 璜, T. 握山, 黼子, 苦子, H. 甄夫, 1637–1689), Liang Lien 梁槤 (T. 器甫, H. 寒塘居士), Ho Hêng 何衡 (T. 左王, H. 羅峯) and Ho Chiang 何絳 (T. 不偕, H. 孟門). Suspected in 1678 of having communications with the rebels of the San-fan war (see under Wu San-kuei) and of writing against the Manchu regime, he was imprisoned for several months. Finding, after his release, that he could no longer live in seclusion, he went to Canton, and began to associate with the officials of the Ch'ing regime. For this step the Ming loyalists blamed him, but many others sympathized with him. He was never regarded, however, as a subject of the Ch'ing dynasty, but as an i-min 遺民, one of the "left over persons" of the Ming period.

The poems of Ch'ên Kung-yin were highly praised by such contemporaries as Wang Shih-chên and Chao Chih-hsin [qq. v.] and by later men of letters such as Hung Liang-chi and Hang Shih-chün [qq. v.]. When Wang Chun (see under Liang P'ei-lan) compiled the 嶺南三大家詩選 Ling-nan san-ta-chia shih-hsüan, an anthology of three Kwangtung poets of the early Ch'ing period, the works of Ch'ên Kung-yin were included. Thereafter Ch'ên became known as one of the "three great masters of Lingnan".

The collected works of Ch'ên Kung-yin, entitled 獨漉堂稿 Tu-lu t'ang kao, 6 + 1 chüan, were edited by himself in 1674 and were printed about the same time. After his death his works were edited by his son, Ch'ên Kan 陳贛, and printed in 1718 under the title, Tu-lu t'ang chi (集). This edition comprises Ch'ên's prose writings (文集 wên-chi), in 15 chüan, and his poems (shih 詩-chi), also in 15 chüan. In the Ch'ien-lung period the works of Ch'ên Kung-yin were banned, owing to the anti-Manchu sentiments in his poems. Nevertheless the Tu-lu t'ang chi was reprinted in 1825 with a supplement in 1 chüan containing his miscellaneous writings. In 1919 another supplement, a chronological biography of Ch'ên, entitled Ch'ên Tu-lu Hsien-shêng nien-p'u (先生年譜), was added to the collection.

Another son of Ch'ên Kung-yin, named Ch'ên Li 陳勵 (T. 士皆), was a chü-jên of 1699.

[1/489/10b; 3/423/42a; 6/35/18a; 29/1/35a; M.1/278; Shun-tê hsien chih (1853) 24/56a, 25/3a; Goodrich, L. C., The Literary Inquisition of Ch'ien-lung, pp. 113, 115, 117; Ch'ên Po-t'ao 陳伯陶, 勝朝粵東遺民傳 Shêng-ch'ao Yüeh-tung i-min chuan, 2/1a, 1/37b, 附錄 ; Hsü Shih-ch'ang 徐世昌, 晚晴簃詩匯 Wan-ch'ing i shih-hui 18/8a; Ch'ü Ta-chün [q. v.], Wêng-shan wên-wai, 2/41b.]

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