Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Ch'êng Chia-sui
CH'ÊNG Chia-sui 程嘉燧 ( 孟陽, 偈庵, 松圓詩老), 1565–1644, Jan–Feb., Ming poet and painter, was a native of Hsiu-ning, Anhwei, but resided most of his life (about fifty years) in Chia-ting, Kiangsu. Failing to pass the official examinations, he abandoned all hope of a political career and specialized in poetry. When he was about thirty sui he was recognized as an accomplished poet. In 1617 he paid a visit to Ch'ien Ch'ien-i [q. v.] at the latter's villa, Fu-shui Shan-chuang (see under Ch'ien Ch'ien-i), where the two discussed the art of writing poetry, and established a life-long friendship. In the following year he accompanied his friend, Fang Yu-tu 方有度 ( 方叔, chin-shih of 1616), to Ch'ang-chih, Shansi, when the latter was appointed magistrate of that district. After three years in Ch'ang-chih he proceeded to Peking where he made the acquaintance of Wang Wei-chien 王維儉 ( 損仲, chin-shih of 1595), whose fame then rivalled that of Tung Ch'i-ch'ang [q. v.]. In 1630 Ch'ien Ch'ien-i again invited Ch'êng to his villa where the two composed a number of poems. While living at Chia-ting, Ch'êng also made a number of friends, notably T'ang Shih-shêng 唐時升 ( 叔達, 1551–1636) and Lou Chien 婁堅 ( 二堅, 子柔, 歇庵, senior licentiate of 1616, d. 1631). The three came to be known as the "Three Elders of Lien-ch'uan" (練川三老). When Hsieh San-pin 謝三賓 ( 象山, chin-shih of 1625) served as magistrate of Chia-ting he published their poems, together with those of Li Liu-fang 李流芳 ( 長蘅, 茂宰, 香海, 泡庵, 慎娛居士), under the collective title 嘉定四先生集 Chia-ting ssŭ hsien-shêng chi.
Ch'êng's own poems were published under the title 松圓浪淘集 Sung-yüan lang-t'ao chi, in 18 chüan, with a preface by the author dated 1618. Two other collections by him, entitled 耦耕堂集 Ou-kêng t'ang chi, in 5 chüan, and 偈庵集 Ch'i-an chi, in 2 chüan, were banned during the Ch'ing period. Ch'êng also compiled a gazetteer of the Hsing-fu monastery on Mount P'o, Kiangsu, 破山興福寺志 P'o-shan Hsing-fu ssŭ chih, in 4 chüan, which is praised in the Ssŭ-k'u Catalogue (see under Chi Yün) for its style. In 1641 he retired to Hsiu-ning and died early in 1644, a few months before the fall of Peking.
[M.1/288/7b; M.40/65/7b; M.64/庚4/1a; M.84/丁下/4a; M.86/18/18b; L.T.C.L.H.M., p. 326a; Ssŭ-k'u 地理存 6; Chia-ting hsien-chih (1882) 13/11a, 20/31b; 練川名人畫像 Lien-ch'uan ming-jên hua-hsiang, 附 chüan 下/4a (with portrait).]
J. C. Yang