Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Ch'ên Li

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CH'ÊN Li 陳澧 (T. 蘭甫[浦], H. 東塾, 江南倦客), Mar. 23, 1810–1882, Mar. 11, scholar, was a native of Canton where his grandfather had moved from Nanking. His father was a merchant who late in life purchased the rank of a district-magistrate. After studying at several academies in Canton Ch'ên Li graduated as chü-jên in 1832 and was chosen a fellow of the Hsüeh-hai T'ang Academy (see under Juan Yüan) in 1834. In 1837 he lived as a tutor at the home of Chang Wei-p'ing [q. v.] and during the ensuing two years taught a number of pupils. Then he was made (1840) a superintendent of the Hsüeh-hai T'ang Academy, a position he held for about twenty years. Appointed sub-director of schools at Ho-yüan, Kwangtung, in 1849, he resigned early in 1851 on the ground of illness, though in reality he was disgusted with the inability of the magistrate to subdue local bandits. In 1852 he competed unsuccessfully for the seventh and last time in the metropolitan examination. Though he was unable to obtain a chin-shih degree, his frequent visits to Peking for the examination brought him into close contact with such scholars of note as Ch'êng Ên-tsê and Mo Yu-chih [qq. v.].

In 1854 Ch'ên Li lived for about a month as a tutor in the official residence at Canton of the acting magistrate of Nan-hai, Hu Hsiang 胡湘 (T. 子瀟, H. 筠杋, 1806–1854); and in the following year, at the request of Magistrate Li Fu-t'ai 李福泰 (T. 星衢, 1807–1871), became an assistant compiler of a gazetteer of his native district, 番禺縣志 P'an-yü hsien-chih, the compilation of which was supervised by Shih Ch'êng 史澄 (T. 穆堂, original ming 渟, chin-shih of 1840) and Ho Jo-yao 何若瑤 (T. 石卿, died ca. 1866, age 70 sui). Early in 1858 the allied forces of Great Britain and France attacked Canton (see under Yeh Ming-ch'ên), destroying the Hsüeh-hai T'ang Academy and the bureau for the compilation of the P'an-yü hsien-chih. Ch'ên was thus forced to take refuge in a village in the outskirts of Canton where he remained about two years. Though the compilation of the P'an-yü hsien-chih was interrupted temporarily, it was resumed a few years later—the work being completed and printed in 1871 in 54 chüan. Upon his return to Canton in 1859 Ch'ên served (1860) as director in the Lung-hsi (龍溪) Academy at Tung-kuan, Kwangtung; and in 1864 as chief corrector in the reprinting of the Kwangtung t'ung-chih (see under Chiang Fan). In 1864 he, Tsou Po-ch'i (see under Li Shan-lan), and Chao Ch'i-ying 趙齊嬰 (T. 子韶, 1826–1865) were made map-editors of the 廣東圖說 Kwangtung t'u-shuo, a topographical work on Kwangtung with 106 maps whose description and exposition was entrusted to Kuei Wên-ts'an 桂文燦 (T. 子白, 昊庭, 1823–1884). The gazetteer was completed and printed in 1866–67 in 92 chüan.

In the autumn of 1867 an academy named Chü-p'o Ching-shê 菊坡精舍 was established at Canton by Fang Chün-i 方濬頤 (T. 子箴, H. 夢園, 1815–1889), then salt controller of Kwangtung, and Ch'ên Li was made its first director—a position which he held until his death. With financial support from the local authorities and with the editorial assistance of his pupils and friends, he reprinted the Wu-ying tien edition of the Shih-san ching chu-shu (see under Juan Yüan) in 120 ts'ê in 1871–72; and of the T'ung-chih t'ang ching-chieh (see under Singde) in 1872–73. He edited and printed in 1872–74 two collectanea of rare items: 古經解彙函 Ku ching-chieh hui-han and Hsiao-hsüeh (小學) hui-han. The former consists of 3 classics and 13 commentaries on classics written prior to the Sung period but not included in the Shih-san ching chu-shu. The latter contains 7 ancient lexicons and 7 philological works produced prior to the T'ang period. The printing blocks of these four collectanea were preserved in the Chü-p'o Ching-shê. During his term in he also served as map-editor of the 廣州府志 Kuang-chou fu-chih, a gazetteer of his native prefecture printed in 1879 in 163 chüan. He was chief compiler of the 香山縣志 Hsiangshan hsien-chih, printed in 22 chüan in 1880, a district gazetteer of Hsiang-shan (present Chung-shan), southeast of Canton. The compilation of the Kuang-chou fu-chih was supervised by Shih Ch'êng and Li Kuang-t'ing 李光廷 (T. 著道, H. 恢垣, 1812–1880), the latter being known as the editor and publisher of the 守約篇叢書 Shou-Yüeh p'ien ts'ung-shu (or 榕園叢書 Jung-yüan ts'ung-shu), a collectanea of 63 rare items printed about the years 1872–78.

Late in life Ch'ên Li compiled the fourth series of the Hsüeh-hai t'ang-chi (see under Juan Yüan) and the Chü-p'o ching-shê chi (集)—the latter a collection of writings by those who were connected with the Chu-p'o Ching-shê Academy. The former was completed by Chin Hsi-ling (see under Lin Po-t'ung) and was printed in 1886 in 28 chüan; and the latter was completed by Liao T'ing-hsiang 廖廷相 (T. 澤群, 子亮, 1844–1898) and was printed in 1897 in 20 chüan. In 1881 Ch'ên Li and his fellow-townsman, Chu Tz'ŭ-ch'i 朱次琦 (T. 稚圭, 子襄, 1807–1882), were honored, because of their scholarly contributions, with the title of fifth-rank officials, but within a year they both died. Chu Tz'ŭ-ch'i was a chin-shih of 1847 who served as magistrate of Hsiang-ling, Shansi (1852-53). During the latter half of his life Chu taught at his Canton residence which he named Li-shan Ts'ao-t'ang 禮山草堂. It is reported that he burnt, late in life, many of his own works. But fragments of them were gathered and edited by his pupil, Chien Ch'ao-liang 簡朝亮 (T. 季紀, H. 竹居, 1851–1933), and were published about 1897 in 10 chüan, together with a nien-p'u of Chu compiled by Chien, under the title 朱九江先生集 Chu Chiu-chiang Hsien-shêng chi.

Ch'ên Li may be regarded as the most brilliant among a group of Cantonese scholars who developed eclectic theories midway between Sung neo-Confucianism and the School of Han Learning (see under Ku Yen-wu and Hui Tung). He strongly opposed the narrow partisanship of contemporary scholarship and advocated a liberal, undogmatic point of view. With extensive knowledge and untiring energy he produced about 60 works—not including those already mentioned—of which about 25 have been printed. In the field of classical study he produced the 漢儒通義 Han-ju t'ung-i, 7 chüan, printed in 1858, a collection of fragments of writings on philosophical topics by scholars of the Han period. By this work he attempted to prove, contrary to the viewpoint of the School of Han Learning, that the scholars of the Han period did not ignore philosophical study. He left a few works written from the standpoint of Sung neo-Confucianism, among them the 朱子語類日鈔 Chu-tzŭ yü-lei jih-ch'ao, 5 chüan, printed 1850. Despite this interest in neo-Confucianism he accepted and mastered the scientific technique of the School of Han Learning and thus produced many sound works in various fields. A notable work, entitled 東塾讀書記 Tung-shu tu-shu chi, comprising his critical notes on the classics, represents in detail his critical method in classical study. He edited the work late in life and printed (1880–82) 15 chüan before his death. It was reprinted with one additional chüan in 1898, but the remaining manuscript drafts were lost.

As a geographer Ch'ên Li worked, as stated above, on official compilations of maps. When Wei Yüan [q. v.] came to Canton in 1849 Ch'ên outlined to Wei his detailed criticisms of the Hai-kuo t'u-chih—the famous world geography compiled by the latter. It is reported that Ch'ên's suggestions had much to do with Wei Yüan's revision of the work. In the field of historical geography Ch'ên Li wrote the following works: 水經注西南諸水考 Shui-ching chu hsi-nan chu-shui k'ao, 3 chüan, printed with a preface dated 1847; and 漢書地理志水道圖說 Han-shu ti-li-chih shui-tao t'u-shuo, 7 chüan, printed in 1863. The former is a study of the watercourses of southwest China appearing in the ancient geographical work known as Shui-ching chu (see under Ch'üan Tsu-wang); and the latter is on the watercourses mentioned in the geographical section of the Dynastic History of the Earlier Han. A supplement (補正) in 2 chüan by Wu Ch'êng-chih 吳承志 was published in 1921. Ch'ên Li was also interested in philological study and published in this field several works, among them the 切韻考 Ch'ieh-yün k'ao, 6 + 5 chüan, printed in 1868–70 and in 1880. This is a detailed study of the system of spelling or expressing a sound by means of two other characters. A small work, entitled 摹印述 Mo-yin shu, printed with a preface dated 1847, is a study of the mo-yin, one of the eight forms of characters said to have been used for seals in the Ch'in period. Ch'ên left two mathematical works: the 弧三角平視法 Hu san-chiao p'ing-shih fa, 1 chüan, a work on spherical trigonometry; and 三統術詳說 San-t'ung shu hsiang-shuo, 4 chüan, a detailed treatise on the ancient method of constructing the calendar known as the San-t'ung li (曆). Ch'ên's history of Chinese music, entitled 聲律通考 Shêng-lü t'ung-k'ao, 10 chüan, printed in 1850, is a basic work still regarded as necessary to students of Chinese music. Of the works mentioned above four were reprinted under the collective title 東塾叢書 Tung-shu ts'ung-shu and most of the others were printed and reprinted by the Kuang ya shu-chü (see under Chang Chih-tung) after Ch'ên's death.

A collection of Ch'ên Li's prose works was published during the years 1849–59 under the title Tung-shu lei-kao (類稿)—a title he changed in 1859 to 鐘山集 Chung-shan chi. After his death there appeared two collections of his prose writings, each entitled Tung-shu chi (集): one compiled in 8 chüan by Liang Ting-fên 梁鼎芬 (T. 心[星]海, H. 節庵, 1859–1919) and printed in 1886; the other compiled in 6 chüan by Liao T'ing-hsiang and printed in 1892. Two small collections of his verse were printed by Wang Chao-yung 汪兆鏞 (T. 伯序, H. 惺吾, 微尚居士, b.1861) in the latter's 微尚齋叢刻 Wei-shang chai ts'ung-k'o (1908–14). The printing blocks of Ch'ên Li's works, as well as a part of his manuscript drafts which had been preserved by his descendants, were destroyed late in 1927 when the first Chinese Soviet in Canton was crushed by an army of Chiang Chung-chêng 蔣中正 (b. 1887, better known by his T. as Chiang Kai-shek 介石). But several of Ch'ên's manuscripts which failed to be printed are preserved in the National Library at Peiping, at Lingnan University in Canton, and in several private libraries, among them one owned by Wang Tsung-yen 汪宗衍 who wrote a chronological biography of Ch'ên, published in the Lingnan Journal (vol. IV, no. l, 1935) under the title 陳東塾先生年譜 Ch'ên Tung-shu hsien-shêng nien-p'u with Ch'ên's portrait and other relics. A portion of the manuscripts preserved at Lingnan University were printed in the Lingnan Journal (vol. II and V, 1933 and 1937).

The eldest son of Ch'ên Li, Ch'ên Tsung-i 陳宗誼 (T. 孝通, 1839–1859) drew the maps for his father's supplement to the Yü-kung t'u by Hu Wei [q. v.]. The work was published in 1863 under the title Hu-shih Yü-kung t'u k'ao-ch'êng (see under Hu Wei).

[1/488/27b; 2/69/54b; 5/74/16a; Nien-p'u (see above); Ch'ien Mu 錢穆, 中國近三百年學術史 Chung-kuo chin san-pai nien hsüeh-shu shih (1937), chapter XIII.]

Hiromu Momose