Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Chang Hui-yen

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3633275Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period, Volume 1 — Chang Hui-yenLi Man-kuei

CHANG Hui-yen 張惠言 (T. 皋文), 1761–1802, July 11, calligrapher and scholar, was a native of Wu-chin, Kiangsu. When he was four (sui) his father died leaving the family in dismal poverty, but by dint of hard work on the part of his mother, and the help of an uncle, he had an opportunity to study. At fourteen (sui) he began to teach. He obtained his chü-jên degree in 1786 and in the following year served as tutor in the school for bannermen at Ching-shan 景山 in the Forbidden City. In 1794 he returned home to attend the funeral of his mother, and for a time (1795–96) served in the office of his friend, Yün Ching [q. v.]. During the years 1796–99 he taught at Shê-hsien, Anhwei, but proceeded in 1799 to Peking where he obtained the chin-shih degree, followed by appointment as reviser in the Historiographical Board, assistant reviser in the Wu-ying Tien, and compiler in the Hanlin Academy. In 1802 he died suddenly of plague.

Chang Hui-yen was well known for his calligraphy, especially in the chuan 篆 or archaic style. As a classicist, his contribution lay chiefly in the study of the Classic of Changes and the Decorum Ritual (I-li). In connection with the first he produced twelve works on the interpretations of Han scholars, following the method laid down by Hui Tung [q. v.]. He laid special emphasis on the Han scholar, Yü Fan 虞翻 (172–241), whose views on the Classic of Changes he adopted and developed fully in the 周易虞氏義 Chou-i Yü-shih i (1803), 9 chüan. He relied also to some extent on the interpretations of Chêng Hsüan (see under Chang Êr-ch'i) and Hsün Shuang 荀爽 (128–190 A.D.). On the I-li Chang produced two works: the 讀儀禮記 Tu I-li chi, in 2 chüan, containing select passages from the book with notes by various interpretors, especially Chêng Hsüan; and the 儀禮圖 I-li t'u (1805), in 6 chüan, which exhibits minutely by means of diagrams the various rules of etiquette. Chang also made a study of the most difficult four chapters of Mo Ti (see under Pi Yüan)—those concerning definitions—and thus he wrote the 墨子經說解 Mo-tzŭ ching-shuo chieh, in 2 chüan, which was completed in 1792. A number of errors in this work were later corrected by Sun I-jang [q. v.]. Chang Hui-yen also attempted to classify the dictionary, Shuo-wên (see under Tuan Yü-ts'ai), according to rhymes. His manuscript on this work was expanded and published by his son, Chang Ch'êng-sun 張成孫 (T. 彥惟, b. 1789), in 1836, under the title 說文諧聲譜 Shuo-wên hsieh-shêng p'u in 9 chüan.

Chang Hui-yen, together with Yün Ching, founded the Yang-hu School (陽湖派) of short prose writing. His own prose productions, including essays, letters, biographies, epitaphs, and prefaces, were arranged chronologically in 5 chüan. and published in 1809, under the title 茗柯文編 Ming-k'o wên-pien, a supplement of 4 chüan, being added in 1835. In the writing of tz'ŭ (poems in irregular metre) Chang was the leader of the so-called Ch'ang-chou School (常州派) of which his nephew, Tung Shih-hsi 董士錫 (T. 晉卿, 損甫), was also a prominent member. Chang Hui-yen's own contribution to this type of verse, entitled 茗柯詞 Ming-k'o tz'ŭ, printed in 1822, is marked by directness and freedom from excessive ornamentation. In collaboration with his brother, Chang Ch'i [q. v.] he compiled an anthology of such verse, 詞選 Tz'ŭ-hsüan (printed in 1797), which is regarded as one of the best of its kind.

[1/488/2b; 3/132/36a; 7/36/12a; 17/9/16a; 26/3/3a; 29/8/4a; 武進陽湖縣志 Wu-chin Yang-hu hsien-chih (1879) 23/5b; Chiang Shu-ko 姜書閣, 桐城文派評述 T'ung-ch'êng wên-p'ai p'ing-shu (1920) pp. 45–59; Ch'ên Chu 陳柱, 墨學十論 Mo-hsüeh shih-lun (1928) p. 186; Liang Ch'i-ch'ao (see under T'an Ssŭ-t'ung), 中國近三百年學術史 Chung-kuo chin san-pai-nien hsüeh-shu shih (1926) p. 288; Sun I-jang, Mo-tzŭ chien-ku, 總目 1b, chüan 10, 墨附 27a; P'ei Chan-jung 裴占榮, 虞仲翔先生年譜 Yü Chung-hsiang hsien-shêng nien-p'u, Bul. Nat. Library of Peiping, vol. VII, no. 1, pp. 51–79 for dates of Yü Fan.]

Li Man-kuei