Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Ch'ên Shou-ch'i
CH'ÊN Shou-ch'i 陳壽祺 ( 恭甫, 梅修, 左海, 隱屏山人), Apr. 1, 1771–1834, Mar. 29, scholar, was a native of Foochow, Fukien. His grandfather, Ch'ên Ch'i-lung 陳起龍 ( 武桓, 1725–1804), was a scholar. His father, Ch'ên Ho-shu 陳鶴書 ( 錫三, 1746–1810), was a teacher in many academies of Fukien province. At the age of fifteen (sui) Ch'ên Shou-ch'i studied the classics under Mêng Ch'ao-jan [q. v.] who admired him and praised him as a future scholar. Taking his chin-shih degree in 1799, Ch'ên entered the Hanlin Academy as a bachelor and later was made a compiler. He became an intimate friend of Chang Hui-yen, Wang Yin-chih [qq. v.], Wu tzŭ (see under Wu Hsi-ch'i), Pao Kuei-hsing 鮑桂星 ( 雙五, 覺生, 1764–1825), and other eminent contemporaries. When in 1801 he returned to Foochow to visit his parents he was invited by Juan Yüan [q. v.], governor-general of Chekiang province, to teach in the Fu-wên Academy (see under Ch'i Shao-nan) and the Ku-ching Ching-shê (see under Juan Yüan) in Hangchow. There he helped Juan compile a coastal gazetteer of the Hai-ning district, entitled 海塘志 Hai-t'ang chih, and a thesaurus of classical phrases, entitled 經郛 Ching-fu, which was never completed. In the winter of 1803 he went to Peking and in the following year served as assistant provincial examiner for Kwangtung, and for Honan (1807). In 1810 at the age of forty (sui) he retired, owing to his father's death, and refused therafter to resume his official career. For ten years he lived the life of a teacher in the Ch'ing-yüan Academy 清源書院 at Ch'üan-chou. He purchased land to support the Academy, and established regulations that encouraged hard study. His mother died in 1822. In the following year and for eleven years thereafter he was a teacher in the Ao-fêng Academy 鼇峰書院 at Foochow. At the same time he sponsored many types of social relief such as the establishment of soup-kitchens for the poor and and an asylum for widows. He also repaired the Temple of Confucius and the examination halls. In 1824 he recommended that the tablet of Huang Tao-chou [q. v.] be entered in the Temple of Confucius and in the following year his request was granted. He also published, about the year 1830, the complete works of Huang Tao-chou, entitled Huang Chung-tuan kung ch'üan-chi (see under Huang Tao-chou), in 50 chüan, with a nien-p'u of Huang compiled by himself. He was chief editor of the general gazetter of Fukien, 福建通志 Fukien t'ung-chih, which was published in 1868 in 278 chüan with supplements, and died shortly after the work was completed. His library of more than 80,000 chüan he left to his son, Ch'ên Ch'iao-ts'ung 陳喬樅 ( 樹滋, 樸園, 1809–1869), who edited many of his father's writings. Ch'ên Ch'iao-ts'ung took his chü-jên degree in 1825 at the age of seventeen (sui), but failed to qualify for a higher degree. During the years 1844–69 he was magistrate of various districts and prefectures in Kiangsi and died at Fu-chou (撫州), his last official post in that province.
During his sojourn in Peking Ch'ên Shou-ch'i developed an interest in one of the purposes of the School of Han Learning (see under Ku Yen-wu), namely, the restoration of ancient texts to the condition they were in before their alleged corruption by the Han scholars. Preliminary to this task, he produced the 尚書大傳定本 Shang-shu ta-chuan ting-pên, in 5 chüan, in which he attempted to reconstruct the Shang-shu ta-chuan, a work of the first century B. C. which had been annotated by Chêng Hsüan (see under Chang Êr-ch'i), but which was lost after the Sung period. His 洪範五行傳輯本 Hung-fan wu-hsing chuan chi-pên, in 3 chüan, is a collection of extant fragments from a lost Han work, Hung-fan wu-hsing chüan, by means of which he hoped, as in the case of the former, to throw new light on the Classic of History. In a work entitled 五經異議疏證 Wu-ching i-i shu-ch'êng, printed in 1813, in 3 chüan, he almost completely restored the Wu-ching i-i, a study of the texts of the Five Classics made by Hsü Shên (see under Tuan Yü-ts'ai) but which, like the two above-mentioned works have also been lost since the Sung period.
Studies on the Odes, begun by Ch'ên Shou-ch'i, were carried to completion by Ch'ên Ch'iao-ts'ung. By 1826 the latter had concluded a critical study in 4 chüan of the Mao (毛) text of the Odes, which he entitled 毛詩鄭箋改字說 Mao shih Chêng chien kai-tzŭ shuo and in which he reached the conclusion that the so-called Mao text had been revised and emended by Chêng Hsüan. After the death of his father, Ch'ên Ch'iao-ts'ung brought to completion the following three studies of the Ch'i (齊), Lu (魯) and Han (韓) texts of the Odes from fragments preserved since their disappearance about the fifth century A. D.: 魯詩遺說考 Lu-shih i-shuo k'ao, completed in 1840, in 5 chüan; Han-shih i-shuo k'ao, completed in 1840, in 5 chüan; and Ch'i-shih i-shuo k'ao, completed in 1842 in 4 chüan. His conclusions are summarized in the Lu, Ch'i, Han, Mao Ssŭ-chia shih i-wên k'ao (四家詩異文考) completed in 5 chüan in 1843. By 1846 he had brought together extant fragments from the ancient apocryphal work on the Odes, known as 詩緯 Shih-wei, which, being proscribed after the Sung dynasty, had for the most part disappeared. These fragments he published under the title Shih-wei shu-chêng (疏證), in 4 chüan. In a work entitled 今文尚書遺說考 Chin-wên shang-shu i-shuo k'ao, 39 chüan, he collated the recognized chin-wên 今文 texts of the Classic of History, and so brought together in one work most of the conclusions of the critical scholars of the preceding two centuries. The collected works of Ch'ên Shou-ch'i, containing ten items, first appeared under the title 左海全集 Tso-hai ch'üan-chi. Ten other items by Ch'ên Ch'iao-ts'ung were later added and these usually appear under the title 小琅嬛館叢書 Hsiao lang-hsüan kuan ts'ung-shu. The original printing-blocks of both collections were destroyed during the Taiping Rebellion, but the work was reprinted in Foochow in 1882. Another collection of sixteen items has the title 侯官陳氏所著 Hou-kuan Ch'ên-shih so-chu shu, which included a collection of prose works by Ch'ên Shou-ch'i, entitled Tso-hai wên-chi (文集) in 10 chüan, and his collected verse, 絳跗草堂詩集 Chiang-fu ts'ao-t'ang shih-chi, in 6 chüan. Most of the classical studies of both father and son were reproduced in the Huang-Ch'ing ching-chieh (see under Juan Yüan) and its continuation.
[1/488/5a; 2/69/15b; 4/51/13a; 5/74/22b; 閩賢事略初稿 Min-hsien shih-lüeh ch'u kao (1935) pp. 190–195; 清華週刊 Ch'ing-hua Weekly vol. XXVI, no. 5 (1926); Tso-hai wên-chi, 1/1a, 9/12a, 10/23a, 26a; Fukien t'ung-chih (1922), Julin-chuan 5/24b, 26b, I-wên-chih; ts'ung-shu 4b; Wu Shou-li 吳守禮, 陳恭甫先生父子年譜 Ch'ên Kung-fu hsien-shêng fu-tzŭ-nien-p'u (1937)]
Y. M. Chin