Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Yin-lu

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3678170Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period, Volume 2 — Yin-luFang Chao-ying

YIN-lu 胤祿, July 28, 1695–1767, Mar. 20, the second Prince Chuang (莊親王), was the sixteenth son of Emperor Shêng-tsu. During the lifetime of his father he was not in great favor with his half-brothers. Like Yin-hsiang [q. v.], he sided with the faction of Yin-chên [q. v.] after the latter ascended the throne late in 1722. Early in 1723 the new Emperor rewarded Yin-lu by naming him successor to the heirless first Prince Chuang, Boggodo 博果鐸 (1650–1723, posthumous name 靖). Boggodo's father, Šose 碩塞 (Jan. 17, 1629–1655, Jan. 12, posthumous name 裕), was the fifth son of Emperor T'ai-tsung and held the first-class princedom known as Ch'êng-tsê ch'in-wang 承澤親王. Boggodo inherited this princedom but with the altered designation, Chuang. Because of the merits of Sose in the early days of the dynasty, the house of Prince Chuang became one of the eight highest princedoms, with rights of perpetual inheritance. Hence appointment to inherit such a high rank was an extraordinary favor to Yin-lu and his descendants, and at once caused jealous gossip among members of the Imperial Family. To seal the mouths of his relatives, Emperor Shih-tsung felt it necessary to issue a decree declaring that he had no share in the elevation of Yin-lu. Nevertheless it is officially recorded that Yin-lu was one of the princes who was present at the death-bed of Emperor Shêng-tsu and thus was in a position to be a material witness to the legality or illegality of Emperor Shih-tsung's succession to the throne. And if there was irregularity in carrying out the last will of Shêng-tsu (see under Yin-chên and Lungkodo), it was necessary to reward Yin-lu liberally to insure his silence.

Yin-lu was useful to the Emperor in other ways also. Having studied some mathematics and music, he was ordered to head a commission to re-edit and print the La-li yüan-yüan (see under Ho Kuo-tsung) and perhaps also the Ku-chin t'u-shu chi-ch'êng (see under Ch'ên Mêng-lei). Both works had been compiled by scholars under the direction of Yin-chih [q. v.] scholars who perhaps had antagonized Emperor Shih-tsung by espousing the cause of one or another of the princes in their struggle for the throne. Yin-lu was therefore entrusted with the task of erasing their names and, if possible, all memory of their connection with these important works.

In 1736 Emperor Kao-tsung made Yin-lu one of four regents to direct national affairs during the period of mourning for the death of his father. Early in 1738 Yin-lu was rewarded with the additional hereditary rank of a prince of the fifth degree (鎭國公) which he gave, not to his own son, but to Ning-ho 寧赫, a descendant of Šose. And when Ning-ho was deprived of his rank for certain offenses (1739), Yin-lu bestowed upon him some land and houses. Hence by his generosity Yin-lu won a degree of popularity. However, he lost the favor of Emperor Kao-tsung for a time, when in 1739 it was discovered that he was associating with Hung-hsi (see under Yin-jêng), a likely pretender to the throne. In 1741 Yin-lu and Chang Chao [q. v.] were commissioned to revise the Lü-lü chêng-i (see under Chang Chao) and were also appointed supervisors of the Board of Music. After his death (1767) Yin-lu was canonized as K'o 恪.

Among descendants of Yin-lu may be mentioned I-mai 奕𧷏, the fifth Prince Chuang who in 1838 was deprived of his rank and was banished for smoking opium in a nunnery. I-kêng 奕賡 (H. 愛蓮居士, 墨香書屋主, 鶴侶主人), a brother of I-mai, was a historian who left a number of works important for a study of the Ch'ing Imperial House. His manuscripts were obtained by Yenching University, and printed in 1935 under the title 佳夢軒叢書 Chia-mêng hsüan ts'ung-shu. This work contains eleven items, among which are the following: 東華錄綴言 Tung-hua lu chui-yen; 寄都備談 Ch'i-tu pei-t'an; and 管見所及 Kuan-chien so-chi.

The ninth Prince Chuang, Tsai-hsün 載勛, who inherited the rank in 1875 was a prince who sponsored the Boxers in 1900, throwing open his house as their headquarters, and representing them to the Empress Dowager (see under Hsiao-ch'in) as formidable foes to foreigners (see under Jung-lu). His punishment consisted in being ordered to commit suicide, which he did by hanging, February 21, 1901.

[1/170/25b; 1/225/4b; Ch'ing Huang-shih ssŭ-p'u (see Fu-lung-an), 3/16b.]

Fang Chao-ying