Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Chi Chên-i

3634159Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period, Volume 1 — Chi Chên-iTu Lien-chê

CHI Chên-i 季振宜 (T. 詵兮, H. 滄葦), b. 1630, official and bibliophile, was a native of T'ai-hsing, Kiangsu, second of the seven sons of Chi Yü-yung 季寓庸 (T. 因是), a chin-shih of 1622. Chi Chên-i himself became a chin-shih in 1647 at the early age of eighteen (sui) and was at once appointed magistrate of Lan-ch'i, Chekiang. Several years later he was recalled to Peking where he served as a secretary in the Board of Punishments and then in the Board of Revenue. In 1658 he was made a censor and became well known in the early Manchu period as fearless in the exercise of his office. He submitted a memorial in 1660 to discontinue the practise of conscripting boathands from the districts along the Grand Canal—principally at Hsü-chou and Yangchow. In 1663 he was made salt censor of Ho-tung 河東 with residence at P'u-chou, Shansi, where he served for one year.

As a bibliophile Chi Chên-i possessed one of the largest libraries of Kiangnan 江南 containing many rare editions, of which not a few were bought from duplicates in the library of Ch'ien Tsêng [q. v.]. A considerable part of the Chi-ku-ko library (see under Mao Chin and Mao I) was also sold to him. The catalogue of this collection, 季滄葦藏書目 Chi Ts'ang-wei ts'ang shu-mu, which lists about 1,000 titles, was edited and printed by Huang P'ei-lieh [q. v.] in 1805. A list of the Sung editions of his collection was entitled 廷令宋板書目 Yen-ling Sung-pan shu-mu. His collected writings appeared under two titles: 聽雨樓集 T'ing-yü lou chi and 靜思堂稿 Ching-ssŭ t'ang kao.

His brother, Chi K'ai-shêng 季開生 (T. 天中, H. 冠月, 1627-1659), was a chin-shih of 1649 who served as supervising censor. In 1655 when the palace known as Ch'ien-ch'ing kung 乾清宮 was completed, eunuchs were dispatched to South China to buy furniture and articles for interior decoration. The sending of the mission gave rise to misunderstanding in the South and Chi K'ai-shêng submitted a memorial denouncing it. For his temerity he was exiled to Shang-yang-p'u 尚陽堡, Liaotung, where he died. He achieved some recognition as a poet and painter. A sister, Chi Hsien 季嫻 (T. 靜姎), a poetess, and wife of Li Ch'ang-ang 李長昂, compiled an anthology, 閨秀集初編 Kuei-hsiu-chi ch'u-pien, consisting of 5 chüan of poems by women authors of the Ming dynasty. This anthology was given notice in the Imperial Catalogue but was not copied into the Ssŭ-k'u Manuscript Library (for both see under Chi Yün). Her collected works were entitled 兩泉龕集 Liang-ch'üan k'an chi. Her daughter, Li Yen 李研 (T. 安侶), was also a poetess and author of a work entitled, 綠窗偶存 Lu-ch'uang ou-ts'un.

The Chi family was known for its great wealth. It supported three troupes of actresses, and the family home was so extensive that sixty watch-men are said to have been required to guard it.

[1/250/11b, 12a; 3/133/15a; 21/2/7a; 27/2/6a; T'ai-hsing hsien chih (1886) 20/21b, 21/1b; Yeh Ch'ang-ch'ih (see under P'an Tsu-yin), Ts'ang-shu chi-shih shih (1910) 4/25a; Ssŭ-k'u 194/13a; Shansi t'ung-chih (1734) 80/18b; Yeh Tê-hui 葉德輝, 書林清話 Shu-lin ch'ing-hua 9/23b; Niu Hsiu (see under Chiang Shih-ch'üan), Ku-shêng hsü-pien (續編). ]

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