Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Lü Liu-liang

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Liu-liang 呂留良 (original ming 呂光綸 T. 莊生, 用晦 H. 晚村), Feb. 13, 1629–1683, Oct. 3, scholar, was a native of Ch'ung-tê, Chekiang, where his family had settled early in the twelfth century. Several members of the family were officials in the Ming period, and his grandmother was a member of the Ming imperial family. His father, Lü Yüan-hsüeh 呂元學 (T. 聚之, H. 澹津, d. 1628, age 69 sui), was a chü-jên of 1600 who served as magistrate of Fan-ch'ang, Anhwei, about the years 1620 to 1624.

Lu Liu-liang was born four months after his father's death. It is said that at the age of eight (sui) he was able to write essays in the approved style. Before he had reached maturity the Manchus invaded China and he was greatly affected by the overthrow of the Ming power. In 1647 one of his nephews, Lü Hsüan-chung 呂宣忠 (T. 亮公) was executed by the Manchu authorities at Hangchow for being a Ming loyalist. Nevertheless, Lü Liu-liang continued his studies and took the examinations under the provincial educational system for twenty years before he withdrew in 1666 because of his opposition to the foreign regime. Shortly thereafter he became a physician and as a result of this experience wrote a book on medicine in 6 chüan, entitled 呂氏醫貫 Lü-shih i-kuan, but he gave up his practice in 1674. At the same time he devoted himself to study and teaching. In his writings on the Classics he covertly expounded and emphasized those passages which dealt with barbarians. In time he became a popular editor of the so-called pa-ku essays which were then widely read by students hoping to pass the official examinations. To these essays he sometimes added comments about the Manchus in the same disparaging vein. In 1673 he opened a bookstore in Nanking to sell these and other works. His scholarship came to be so widely recognized that he was invited in 1678 to compete in the special examination of 1679, known as po-hsüeh hung-tz'ŭ, but of course he declined. His friends wished, in the same year, to celebrate his fiftieth birthday, but he would not permit such festivities while living under a foreign régime. In 1680, when the local prefect recommended him highly at Court, he refused to consider any official position under the Manchus, and in order to avoid such offers entered the Buddhist priesthood, changing his name to Nai-k'o 耐可 (T. 不昧, H. 何求老人). In the hills, not far from his home, he built a cottage which he called the Monastery of Wind and Rain (Fêng-Yü an 風雨庵) where he studied and wrote, disturbed only by the occasional visit of a friend on his way to accept official appointment, whom Lü would try to dissuade from serving the Manchus. He died in 1683, stipulating in his will that he should not be buried in any clothes of Manchu design. He left seven sons of whom the eldest, Lü Pao-chung [q. v.], was most famous. One of his daughters married a son of Huang Tsung-yen [q. v.].

Lü Liu-liang was a follower of Chu Hsi (see under Hu Wei) and was opposed to the doctrines of Wang Shou-jên (see under Chang Li-hsiang). He wrote on the philosophy of Mo Ti (see under Pi Yüan) and was a student of Buddhism. During the years 1728–32 (see under Tsêng Ching) Lü Liu-liang's views against the Manchus were brought to light. The case was concluded early in 1733 and resulted in the unearthing and dismembering of the corpses of both Lü Liu-liang and his son, Lü Pao-chung, the exposing of their skulls in public, the execution of one of Lü's sons, the banishment of his grandsons to the frontier of Northern Manchuria, and the enslavement of all their women, in the Imperial Household. Two of Lü Liu-liang's students, well-known for their support of his views, were similarly dealt with and more then twenty others involved were punished. Fifty years later all of Lü Liu-liang's writings that could be found were burned, even to occasional poems and complimentary prefaces written for his friends. Forty-six of his works were included in the list of banned books. But a number of these are still extant, some having been reprinted in the last days of the Ch'ing dynasty. A few have been found—among them one volume of Sung dynasty texts collated by him, which is cited in the catalogue of the Chinese collection of the French school at Hanoi. In 1929 a collection of his letters, prefaces, etc., including an account of his life by his son, Lü Pao-chung, were printed under the title 呂晚村先生詩文集 Lü Wan-ts'un hsien-shêng shih-wên chi, 8 chüan.

[6/36/25b; Pao Lai 包賚, Lü Liu-liang nien-p'u (1937); Tung-hua lu, Yung-chêng 7:5, 6, 9, 10; 8:12; 9:12; 10:12; Chou Ch'üeh 周愨, 館藏清代禁書述略 Kuan ts'ang Ch'ing-tai chin-shu shu-lüeh, in Kuo-hsüeh Library Annual, Nanking, vol. 4 (1930), pp. 9–10, 48–51; Yao Chin-yüan 姚覲元, 禁燬書目 Chin hui shu-mu (1882), p. 18f.; 嘉興府志 Chia-hsing-fu chih (1721) 14/18b; Goodrich, L. C., The Literary Inquisition of Ch'ien-lung (1935), passim; Jung Chao-tsu 容肇祖, Lü Liu-liang chi ch'i ssŭ-hsiang (及其思想) in Fu-jên hsüeh-chih, vol. 5, nos. 1, 2]

L. Carrington Goodrich