A Chinese Biographical Dictionary 105
drank at the time. He was distingaislied as a letter- writer, but still more famous for his love of good company. He used to keep his guests with him, even against their will, by throwing the linch-pins of their carriages into a well.
257 Ch'ên T'uan (T. JQ^E.^^). Died A.D. 989. A native of Po-chou in Anhni, who when three or four years old receiyed suck from a strange woman as he was playing on the banks of a stream. From that moment his mental powers quickened, and he could readily learn anything by reading it over once. He soon acquired distinction as a poet, and in 932 went up for his chin ehih degree. Failing to succeed, he retired to the '^ S Wu-tang mountains in Hupeh, and remained there in seclusion for oyer twenty years. Five supernatural beings, who came to hear his teaching, are said to have transported him thence in the twinkling of an eye to the Hua mountain in Shensi, where they taught him the art of hibernating like an animal so that he would sometimes go to sleep for a hundred days at a time. In 956 the Emperor Shih Tsung of the Later Chou dynasty, who was fond of the alchemistic art, summoned Urn to Court, and kept him a month at the palace. But Ch^en Titian said, ^'Your Majesty, as lord of all within the Four Seas, should think only of the administration. What has your Majesty ^ do with transmutations of the yellow and the white?*' Befbsing all o£fers of employment, he returned to his mountain refoge; but twice more visited the Court during the reign of the Emperor T^ai Tsung of the Sung dynasty, who showed him much Undaess and bestowed upon him the designation of ^ ^ ^ ^' In 988 he bade his disciples prepare a rock chamber for Urn, saying, My hour for rest is at hand;*' and in the autumn of the following year, as soon as it was finished, he said, My days are numbered," and quietly passed away. His body remained