Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Chao I-ch'ing

CHAO I-ch'ing 趙一清 (T. 誠夫, H. 勿藥, 小林, 東潛), 1710?–1764?, scholar, was a native of Hangchow, Chekiang. His father, Chao Yü 趙昱 (T. 功千, H. 谷林, 1689–1747), and his uncle, Chao Hsin 赵信 (T. 辰垣, H. 意林, b. 1701), were outstanding poets, scholars, and bibliophiles of their time. Chao Yü's mother (née Chu 朱) was a granddaughter of Ch'i Piao-chia [q. v.] whose famous library, Tan-shêng t'ang, was dispersed in the early years of the Ch'ing period. Part of this library went to enrich the collection of the Chao family. The latter collection was housed in the studio, Hsiao-shan t'ang 小山堂, one of the meeting places of the scholars of Hangchow. Chao Yü and Chao Hsin were two of the seven authors of a collection of poems about the Southern Sung period (1127–1279), entitled 南宋雜事詩 Nan Sung tsa-shih shih, 7 chüan. Both brothers took part in the second special examination, po-hsüeh hung-tz'ŭ, held in 1736, but failed. Each left a collection of verse. Chao Yü was known for his hospitality to other scholars—among them Ch'üan Tsu-wang [q. v.] who invariably visited the Chao family when he passed through Hangchow. Ch'üan wrote an account of the Chao library, the Hsiao-shan t'ang.

The hospitality of the Chao brothers must have made heavy drains on the wealth of the family, for in 1749 or 1750, shortly after the death of his father, Chao I-ch'ing left Hangchow to seek employment among officials or merchants. In 1750 he was in Tientsin, probably in the employ of Kao Hêng (see under Kao Pin), the salt censor. In 1751 he went to Taiyuan, Shansi. During these years of travel he became interested in geography and began to annotate the sixth century work on waterways, the 水經注 Shui-ching chu, which contains the comments of Li Tao-yüan 酈道元 (T. 善長, d. 527) on the yet earlier Shui-ching or Classic of Waterways. The friend of the family, Ch'üan Tsu-wang, was likewise interested in its collation, and was the first to render it readable by differentiating Li's comments from the original text—the two having for centuries been confused by scribes and printers. In 1754 when Chao was again in Hangchow he and Ch'üan compared and made free use of each other's notes. At the same time Ch'üan wrote a preface to Chao's studies of this ancient work, thus demonstrating their cordial co-operation which lasted until Ch'üan's death in 1755. Chao, like Ch'üan, made use of some thirty earlier editions, and his collations and explanatory notes are entitled Shui-ching chu shi (釋), 40 + 2 chüan. He also collated the text of one of the best editions of the Ming period—that by Chu Mou-wei 朱謀㙔 (T. 鬱儀), entitled Shui-ching chu chien (箋). Chao's collation notes on this edition were edited under the title Shui-ching chu chien k'an-wu (刊誤), 12 chüan. He had no means to print either of these works, but several copies circulated in manuscript.

In the meantime Chao I-ch'ing lived for a number of years in North China, for we find him in Taiyuan in 1756; in Ting-chou, Chihli, in 1759; and in Shun-tê, Chihli, in 1762. Presumably he was then in the employ of the governor-general, Fang Kuan-ch'êng [q. v.], who appreciated his scholarship, especially in the field of geography, and invited him to compile a work on the waterways of Chihli. It seems that Chao left Chihli sometime between 1762 and 1764. At any rate, in 1764 he passed by T'ai-shan, Shantung, and was suffering from an illness. He certainly did not live long after 1764 and possibly he died in that year. His unfinished manuscript on the waterways of Chihli was for a time, in 1768, in the hands of the great scholar, Tai Chên [q. v.]. According to the latter's disciple and biographer, Tuan Yü-ts'ai [q. v.], Tai made contributions to it for which he did not receive due credit. At any rate the work was published under the name of Wang Li-t'ai 王履泰 who, after re-editing it, gave it the title 畿輔安瀾志 Chi fu an-lan chih, 56 chüan, and submitted it to the throne in 1809. For not mentioning Tai's part in the work Wang was charged with plagiarism by Tuan Yü-ts'ai who strenuously defended his master's interests. Chao's part in it, however, was ignored by Tuan.

In 1773 Tai Chên was called to Peking as one of the editors of the Imperial Library, Ssŭ-k'u ch'üan-shu (see under Chi Yün), and in the following year he submitted to the throne his edition of the Shui-ching chu, claiming that he had made use of a hitherto unknown edition buried in the encyclopaedia, Yung-lo ta-tien (see under Chu Yün). His work received much attention and was published by imperial command. In the meantime Chao's work, the Shui-ching chu shih, was also submitted to the throne and was transcribed into the Imperial Library. About the year 1786 a son of Chao, named Chao Tsai-yüan 趙載元, a protégé of Pi Yüan [q. v.] then governor of Honan, induced Pi to finance the printing of the Shui-ching chu-shih. The work appeared in 1794 with the already-mentioned Shui-ching chu chien k'an-wu appended to it. It is reported that the scholar who helped the sons of Chao I-ch'ing to prepare it for the press was Liang Yü-shêng [q. v.]. In 1809 Tuan Yü-ts'ai, believing that his master's rights had been infringed, wrote a letter to Liang accusing him of having helped the sons of Chao to appropriate Tai's material on the Shui-ching chu with a view to perfecting the Shui-ching chu-shih. This letter induced others to look into the matter, with the result that the Shui-ching chu-shih is recognized as Chao's own work and one which Tai utilized.

Wei Yüan [q. v.] was the first scholar of the eighteenth century openly to accuse Tai Chên of having used Chao's then unpublished manuscript of the Shui-ching chu shih without giving Chao due credit. Wei's views were supported about the same time by Chang Mu [q. v.], and more recently by Yang Shou-ching (see under Li Shu-ch'ang), by Wang Kuo-wei (see under Wên T'ing-shih), and by Mêng Sên 孟森 (T. 心史). The last-mentioned scholar maintains that there is no evidence in Tai's work to show that he utilized the Yung-lo ta-tien. On the contrary, he believes that Tai drew almost entirely on the labors of Chao, but failed to give him due credit. In Mêng's opinion Tuan's contentions were based chiefly on hearsay and cannot be substantiated.

In the year that Chao I-ch'ing's Shui-ching chu shih was printed (1794) there also appeared a collection of his short articles in prose, under the title 東潛文稿 Tung-ch'ien wên-kao, in 2 chüan. He compiled a catalogue of the family library, with the title Hsiao-shan t'ang ts'ang shu-mu (藏書目), 2 chüan. He is credited with a supplementary commentary on the official history of the Three Kingdoms, entitled 三國志注補 San-kuo chih chu pu, 65 chüan, the manuscript of which is in the Kuo-hsüeh Library, Nanking. It was recently reproduced in facsimile (see under Hang Shih-chün).


[1/490/6a; 2/71/60a; 3/434/11a; 杭州府志 Hang-chou fu chih (1922) 145/35b; Chêng Tê-k'un 鄭德坤, Shui-ching chu yin-tê (引得 1934); idem, 水經注趙戴公案之判決 in Yenching Journal of Chinese Studies, no. 19 (June, 1936); Mêng Sên, 楊守敬所舉趙氏水經注釋轉襲戴氏嬚疑辨 in Bulletin of the National Library of Peiping, vol. 10, no. 5 (1936); various editions of Shui-ching chu; Tung-ch'ien wên-kao; Ch'üan Tsu-wang [q. v.], Kung-chü chêng shih lu; idem, Chi-ch'i t'ing chi, wai-pien; 國學季刊 Kuo-hsüeh chi-k'an, vol. 5 no. 4 (1935).]

K. T. Wu

Fang Chao-ying