Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Lin-ch'ing

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3645484Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period, Volume 1 — Lin-ch'ingFang Chao-ying

LIN-ch'ing 麟慶 (T. 振祥, 伯餘, H. 見亭), Apr. 20, 1791–1846, Sept. 15, official and writer, was a member of the Wanyen or Wanggiyan 完顏 clan and a descendent in the twenty-fourth generation of Chin Shih-tsung 金世宗 (personal name Yung 雍, 1123–1189), fifth Emperor of the Chin dynasty (1115–1234). Lin-ch'ing's family belonged to the Pao-i 包衣 or Imperial Household Bond-servant Division of the Manchu Bordered Yellow Banner. He was a direct descendant of Asitan [q. v.] in the sixth generation, and of Hesu [q. v.] in the fifth. His father, T'ing-lu 廷鏴 (T. 衡伯, H. 曙墀, 1772–1820), was a prefect of T'ai-an fu, Shantung (1814–20), and his mother, Yün Chu 惲珠 (T. 珍浦, 星聯, H. 蓉湖, 1771–1833), was a poetess and a descendant of the painter, Yün Shou-p'ing [q. v.]. To her Lin-ch'ing owed much of his literary talents and artistic inclinations.

Made a chin-shih in 1809, he was appointed a secretary of the Grand Secretariat (1810). In 1814 he was made a secretary in the Board of War, but four years later he was appointed a secretary of the Supervisorate of Imperial Instruction, thus entering the Hanlin Academy. In 1821 he served as a compiler of the Hanlin Academy, later as one of the chief-compilers of the "veritable records" of Emperor Jên-tsung, and in the following year he was selected as qualified for the post of prefect. In 1823 he was appointed prefect of Hui-chou-fu, Anhwei, and was transferred a year later to Ying-chou-fu in the same province. He then served as intendant of the K'ai-Kuei-Ch'ên-Hsü Circuit, Honan (1825–29); provincial judge of Honan (1829–32); financial commissioner of Kweichow (1832–33); governor of Hupeh (1833); and director-general of River Conservancy in Huai-an, Kiangsu (1833–42). While filling this last post he was several times commended for his work, and in 1841–42, during the Anglo-Chinese War, helped to strengthen defenses along the northern bank of the Yangtze River. These merits saved him from disgrace when in 1842 part of the dyke along the Yellow River collapsed. Hence as punishment he was merely deprived of his ranks and titles. In 1843 he returned to Peking where two years previously he had purchased a house with a garden which he re-named Pan-mu Yüan 半畝園, or "Half Acre." The garden is said to have been planned by Li Yü [q. v.] for Chia Han-fu 賈漢復 (T. 膠侯, H. 靜庵, 1606–1677), governor of Shensi (1662–68). In the garden Lin-ch'ing had a library, styled Lang-hsüan Miao-ching 嫏嬛妙境, in which he kept his large collection of books, consisting of some 85,000 chüan. He remained there, however, for only three months when he was ordered to go to Chung-mou, Honan, to help repair a serious break in the dyke. Early in 1845 the work was completed and he was awarded the rank of an official of the fourth grade. Then he was made Imperial Resident at Urga, Mongolia, but owing to an affliction in his legs he was granted leave to retire temporarily (1845). By March 1846 he seems to have recovered from this illness, but died six months later.

Lin-ch'ing wrote an autobiography, entitled 鴻雪因緣圖記 Hung-hsüeh yin-yüan t'u-chi, in which he described 240 incidents in his life, each illustrated with a drawing by his artist secretaries. The work is divided into three series, each beginning with a portrait of the author, followed by 80 illustrations. The first series describing his life up to the age of forty (sui) and the second series depicting his life to fifty (sui), were first printed in the years 1839 to 1841, but comprised only the texts without the illustrations. The third series was completed in the year Lin-ch'ing died. His sons brought the whole work together and printed it in 1847–50, including the illustrations. The wood-cuts, carefully executed and rich in literary and historical allusions, are treasured by collectors. Most of the drawings were made by Ch'ên Chien 陳鑒 (T. 朗齋) who also sponsored the printing. The portrait introducing the third series was drawn by Ho Shih-k'uei 賀世魁 (T. 煥文, d. ca. 1844), who had painted a portrait of Emperor Hsüan-tsung in 1824. The latter also painted the likenesses of fifty-two officials and generals who put down the Mohammedan rebellion in 1822–28 (see under Ch'ang-ling) and prepared ten drawings of the same conflict, engraved on copper plates about the year 1830.

Lin-ching was the compiler of another illustrated book about the tools and materials used in building dykes etc. for river conservancy. This work, entitled 河工器具圖說 Ho-kung ch'i-chü t'u-shuo, 4 chüan, was printed in 1836. An historical account of the topography at the junction of the Yellow River and the Grand Canal, entitled 黃運河口古今圖說 Huang Yün Ho-k'ou ku-chin t'u-shuo, and a literary collection, 凝香室集 Ning-hsiang shih chi are attributed to him.

Lin-ch'ing had two sons, Ch'ung-shih and Ch'ung-hou [qq. v.], both of whom achieved distinction as officials.

[1/132/16a; 1/389/8a; 3/203/7a; 4/110/11b; 4/149/11b; 5/33/18b; 21/7/5a; 26/4/49b.]

Fang Chao-ying