Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Lu Lung-chi

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LU Lung-chi 陸隴其 (T. 稼書), Nov. 21, 1630–1693, Feb. 1, was a native of P'ing-hu, Chekiang. He became a chin-shih in 1670, after showing himself to be a serious student of the pa-ku essay style. In the spring of 1675, while waiting in Peking for an appointment, he several times visited Fathers Louis Buglio 利類思 (1606–1682) and Ferdinand Verbiest 南懷仁 (1623–1688) who showed him Western clocks and a celestial sphere, and presented him with several Jesuit works, including the Pu-tê-i pien (see under Yang Kuang-hsien). He noted in his diary that except for "the stories about Adam and Eve and the birth of Jesus" Western knowledge is generally credible. Appointed magistrate of Chia-ting, Kiangsu, in 1675, he won the affection of the people but was disliked by the higher officials. In 1677 he was accused of purposely glossing, in his official report, the significance of a robbery case. Although dismissed, his reputation as an incorruptible official nevertheless became widespread.

In the spring of 1678 he taught the sons of a wealthy family named Hsi 席 of Ch'ang-shu, Kiangsu, and in the summer of the same year went to Peking to take the special examination known as po-hsüeh hung-tz'ŭ, but his father's death made it obligatory for him to return home and go into mourning before the examination took place. During the prescribed twenty-seven months of mourning he studied the three classics on Rites and the works of Chu Hsi (see under Hu Wei). His notes on the former entitled, 讀禮志疑 Tu-li chih-i, in 6 chüan were completed in 1679, and those on the latter, entitled 讀朱隨筆 Tu Chu sui-pi, in 4 chüan, in the following year. These works and three others were printed by Chang Po-hsing [q. v.] in Fukien in 1708 in the latter's Chêng-i-t'ang ch'üan-shu.

Lu Lung-chi resumed his teaching in the Hsi family in 1681. Two years later he was recalled to Peking and was appointed magistrate of Lingshou, Chihli. While there he compiled the local history, 靈壽縣志 Ling-shou-hsien chih, in 10 chüan, which was printed in 1686. This work enjoyed fame for years, but was severely criticized by the well-known historian, Chang Hsüeh-ch'êng [q. v.]. In 1690 Lu was promoted to be a censor. With a view to raising funds for an expedition against Galdan [q. v.] the government adopted the plan of selling certain official posts, making it known that those who could pay more than the prescribed sum had the privilege of being placed earlier on the list of appointees. When Lu Lung-chi submitted a memorial denouncing the practice, a conference of high officials decided that he was guilty of obstructing military plans. He was sentenced to banishment, but was granted imperial pardon. In 1691 he was criticized by his superiors as unfit for his post, was discharged, and ordered to wait for another appointment. Upon his return home he again taught in the Hsi family, but his health soon failed and he died on February 1, 1693. Emperor Shêng-tsu was not apprised of his death until nearly a year later when Lu was about to be appointed commissioner of education of Kiangnan.

In 1724, at the request of the Board of Ceremonies, Emperor Shih-tsung ordered the name of Lu Lung-chi, along with those of nineteen scholars (先儒 hsien-ju) of various dynasties, to be celebrated in the Temple of Confucius. Perhaps the inclusion of his name is explained in part by the fact that the president of the Board of Ceremonies in that year, Chang Po-hsing [q. v.], was his ardent admirer. Lu always upheld the philosophy of Chu Hsi and denounced that of Wang Shou-jên (see under Chang Li-hsiang) as his writings on the Five Classics and the Four Books show. He belonged to the movement known as Sung hsüeh, or "Sung Learning", which was sponsored by influential officials at court and by the Emperor in the hope of discrediting the type of thought that prevailed at the close of the Ming dynasty. The Sung hsüeh reached its culmination in the first three decades of the eighteenth century, after which the more scientific study of the classics, known as Han-hsüeh, or "Han Learning", became popular.

Throughout his life Lu Lung-chi kept a diary. The part covering the years 1659–1692, which was preserved in inconsecutive fragments, was printed in 1841 and 1844, in 10 chüan, under the title, 三魚堂日記 San-yü-t'ang jih-chi. His prose writings in 12 chüan and a supplement in 6 chüan, entitled San-yü-t'ang wên-chi (文集), were printed in 1701. In 1736 he was posthumously given the name Ch'ing-hsien 清獻, the rank of sub-chancellor of the Grand Secretariat, and vice-president of the Board of Ceremonies. The family studio, San-yü-t'ang, "Hall of the Three Fishes", was so named from a legend concerning an ancestor, Lu P'u 陸溥(or 陸普), who in the early sixteenth century was assistant district magistrate of Fêng-ch'êng, Kiangsi. One night when the latter was in charge of a shipment of rice down the Yangtze River his boat sprang a leak. According to the legend, he knelt down and prayed that if anything were found on board that had been obtained dishonestly he was willing to be drowned. The boat was saved and at dawn examination showed that three fish, entangled in weeds, had huddled together and stopped the leak. The incident was interpreted as a mark of divine aid to the virtuous and was utilized by a son of Lu P'u when he chose a name for the family studio.


[Wu Kuang-yu 吳光酉, Lu Chia-shu hsien-shêng nien-p'u, ting-pên (1725); 1/271/3b; 3/55/1a; 4/16/24a; 30/3/11a; 32/4/16a; P'ing-hu-hsien chih (1886) 17/1a, 9/47a; 豐城縣志 Fêng-ch'êng-hsien chih (1873) 7/15a; Chang Hsüeh-ch'êng [q. v.], Wên shih t'ung-i (1832) 8/43b; Chung-kuo chin san-pai-nien hsüeh-shu shih (see bibl. under Hui Tung) pp. 26–28; Watters, T., A Guide to the Tablets in a Temple of Confucius (1879) p. 240.]

Fang Chao-ying