Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Ch'êng Chia-sui

CH'ÊNG Chia-sui 程嘉燧 (T. 孟陽, H. 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 (T. 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 (T. 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 (T. 叔達, 1551–1636) and Lou Chien 婁堅 (T. 二堅, 子柔, H. 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 (T. 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 (T. 長蘅, 茂宰, H. 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