Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Yung-chung
YUNG-chung 永忠 ( 良甫, 敬軒, 蕖仙, 臞仙, 九華道人, 香園, 存齋, etc.), 1735–1793, poet, was a member of the Ch'ing Imperial Family and belonged to the Bordered Blue Banner. He was a great-grandson of Emperor Shêng-tsu, a grandson of Yin-t'i [禵, q.v.], and the eldest son of Hung-ming 弘明 (1705–1767, posthumous name 恭勤). His grandfather was placed in confinement for nine years for protesting against the claim of his brother (later known as Emperor Shih-tsung) to the throne. But in December 1735, after Emperor Kao-tsung succeeded to the throne, Yin-t'i was freed and his son, Hung-ming, was given the rank of a prince of the third degree. All this happened four or five months after Yung-chung was born, and his name, meaning 'Forever Loyal', was selected by his grandfather to indicate the latter's respect for the new Emperor. The grandfather, having by this time lost all his youthful temper and zeal, resigned himself to his fate, and took up the study of Buddhist and Taoist literature.
It was under these circumstances that Yung-chung was brought up and educated. He was taught to write Chinese verse, and had opportunity to associate with Buddhist priests; he was, not, however, trained in statecraft or in practical affairs. This type of education was common among members of the Imperial Family, for experience had taught them that any display of ability or ambition on their part might arouse the jealousy of the throne and prove disastrous to them. As the son of a concubine, Yung-chung had little hope of succeeding to the hereditary rank of his father. He took the examination open to members of the Imperial Family and in 1756, after passing it, was awarded the hereditary rank of a noble of Imperial lineage of the tenth degree. His duties were nominal, and concerned mostly participation in state ceremonies. Thus he and his fellow Imperial Clansmen devoted much of their time to literary gatherings, drinking wine, and the writing of verse. Among Yung-chung's relatives, who at one time or another thus aesociated with him, may be mentioned: Yün-hsi 允禧 (or Yin-hsi, see under Chêng Hsieh), the twenty-first son of Emperor Shêng-tsu, and the first Prince Shên 慎郡王; Yün-ch'i 允祁 (or Yin 胤 -ch'i, T. 東山, H. 寶嗇主人, 1713–1785, posthumous name 誠), the twenty-third son of Emperor Shêng-tsu; Yung-ching 永璥 ( 文玉, 益齋, 素菊主人, b. 1716), grandson of Yin-jêng [q. v.]; Shu-hsien 書誠 ( 季和, 實之, 樗仙, b. 1730), a descendant of Jirgalang [q. v.]; Hung-wu 弘旿 ( 瑤華主人, d. 1811), grandson of Emperor Shêng-tsu; Tun-ch'êng 敦誠 ( 敬亭, 松堂, d. 1791), a descendant of Ajige [q. v.]; and Yung-jung (see under Hung-li).
Yung-chung is chiefly remembered for his writings in prose and verse. Some of his poems were printed in the anthology, Hsi-ch'ao ya-sung chi (see under T'ieh-pao), and a few appear in other works, but the greater part of his poems have never been printed. His original manuscripts, entitled 延芬室稿 Yen-fên shih kao, 4 volumes, are preserved in the library of Yenching University.
[Chronological biography by Hou Ê in Yenching Journal of Chinese Studies, no. 12 (Dec. 1932), pp. 2601–55; idem., notes on poems in Hsi-ch'ao ya-sung chi in Bulletin of the National Library of Peiping, vol. VI, no. 3 (May–June, 1932); idem., on the manuscript Yen-fên shih kao, Yenching University Library Bulletin, no. 9 (May 31, 1931).]