Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Fu-lin

FU-lin 福臨 (Buddhist name 行癡, H. 癡道人, 太和主人, 體元齋主人), Mar. 15, 1638–1661, Feb. 5, first Manchu emperor of China, whose reign-period, Shun-chih 順治, covered the years 1644 to 1661, was the ninth son of Abahai [q. v.]. His mother, Empress Hsiao-chuang [q. v.], daughter of a Mongolian prince, was a secondary consort when he was born. His father died September 21, 1643, after seventeen illustrious years as ruler in Liaotung, having subdued Korea and the nearby Mongolian tribes, humiliated the Ming troops and centralized the power in his own hands. Soon after his father's death a council of state, held in Mukden, determined that Fu-lin, then a lad of barely six (sui), should succeed as ruler with Jirgalang and Dorgon [qq. v.] as prince regents. The choice was the result of a compromise among various Court factions, some of whom had supported Haoge [q. v.] and others Dorgon. Even after the decision was made some conspirators tried to persuade Dorgon to rule, but they were apprehended and executed. Fu-lin thus ascended the throne on October 8, 1643.

Six months later, when news of the fall of Peking to Li Tzŭ-ch'êng [q. v.] reached Mukden, Fan Wên-ch'êng [q. v.] pointed out to Dorgon the advantages of seizing this opportunity to advance on China. Dorgon led a large army westward, and with the help of Wu San-kuei [q. v.] succeeded in driving back the bandits and pacifying the northern provinces. Later in the year (1644) Fu-lin was escorted to Peking and on October 30 was proclaimed Emperor of China. But his authority was for several years only nominal; Dorgon became virtual dictator, and to him may be credited most of the early Ch'ing policies and the consolidation of the empire.

But Dorgon antagonized many princes and high officials who were subject to his power. In 1651, after his death, the control of the government passed to Fu-lin and to those opposed to Dorgon. Among those who were supporting Fu-lin were Jirgalang, Oboi [q. v.], and Wu Liang-fu 吳良輔 (d. 1661), the last-mentioned being a leading eunuch. Dorgon was posthumously disgraced and several of his followers were put to death. But by this time the foundation of the new empire was laid; the Mongols vowed allegiance; the Ming Prince of Kuei (see under Chu Yu-lang), leader of Chinese opposition, was held back in the remote southwest; the Fifth Dalai Lama (see under Galdan), representing Tibet, came in person to Peking in 1652 to recognize the suzerainty of the new empire; and in 1653 the king of the Loochoo Islands began paying tribute (see under Wang Chi). By 1659 the Prince of Kuei was driven into Burma and the conquest of China was almost complete.

During the early part of Fu-lin's reign, relations with Western countries were conducted as in the late Ming period. The Portuguese were allowed to monopolize foreign trade at Macao, but were denied direct access to Canton, until 1653, when that city was opened to them at the suggestion of Shang K'o-hsi [q. v.]. In 1655 a Dutch Embassy came to Peking, performed the kowtow ceremonies before Fu-lin, and was granted the right to trade in China once in eight years. More serious problems arose with the Russians who had been raiding the Amur region since 1649 (see under Bahai and Šarhûda). In 1658 the Russians were defeated by Minggadari [q. v.] and for several years their plundering activities ceased. A Russian trade mission reached Peking in 1655, but was not received by Fu-lin because the envoys refused to perform the kowtow.

Fu-lin was a studious and conscientious young emperor. In 1651, when he took over the government, he found himself unprepared in the Chinese language and was consequently unable to understand the memorials submitted to him for action. Yet he studied the language with determination and perseverance so that in a few years he could read, write, grade examination papers, and comment on official reports. He even developed an interest in Chinese novels, the drama, and Zen (Ch'an 禪) Buddhistic literature. About the year 1659, or 1660, he cited passages from Chin Jên-jui's [q. v.] edition of the drama, Hsi-hsiang chi, which had been published in 1656. It is clear, therefore, that he was interested in current literature. His assertion that Chin Jên-jui, as a commentator of novels, was "highly talented but with unconventional ideas" (才高而見僻) shows how well he understood Chin's writings. Such achievements were not inconsequential in one so busily occupied.

Fu-lin was religiously inclined. From 1651 to 1657 he came into close contact with the Jesuit missionary, Father Adam Schall (see under Yang Kuang-hsien). Schall had cured Fu-lin's mother of an illness and was respected by her as a "foster father". Hence Fu-lin called him "mafa", meaning "grandpa". He often listened to the good advice of the aged missionary, not only on questions of religion or morality, but also on affairs of state. Schall was frequently summoned to the palace, and Fu-lin in turn sometimes visited the church, Nan-t'ang 南堂, especially in 1656 and 1657. But after 1657 the emperor turned to Ch'an Buddhism, and the missionary's efforts to convert him failed.

Fu-lin's interest in Buddhism was possibly promoted by the eunuchs who themselves were superstitious and were not loathe to see him absorbed in other than state affairs. Prior to this, during the regency of Dorgon, eunuchs exercised very little influence in the Palace, but the part which the eunuch, Wu Liang-fu, took in 1651 in ejecting Dorgon's faction gained for them some measure of favor. Gradually the emperor relied more and more on the eunuchs to help him in conducting affairs inside the Palace as well as matters of state. In July 1653 Fu-lin formally established thirteen offices in the Palace controlled by eunuchs, some of which were in charge of issuing edicts and appointing officials. Although the Emperor warned the eunuchs to mend their ways (1655), and once (1658) reprimanded Wu Liang-fu and other eunuchs for taking bribes, the eunuchs increased in number and in power. They regulated his daily life, and he could scarcely escape their influence. In July 1653 their power became apparent and it may not be a coincidence that three months later Fu-lin degraded his Empress. Though he may have disliked her, his determination to degrade her was probably spurred on by the eunuchs. There are reports that the eunuchs also led him into various excesses.

In September 1656 Fu-lin announced the conferment of honors on a concubine, née Donggo, who was later canonized as Empress Hsiao-hsien [q. v.]. A month thereafter Hsiao-hsien was made imperial consort of the first class. Fu-lin would have preferred to elevate her one grade—namely, to Empress—but he could hardly have overcome the obstacles attendant on degrading a second empress in favor of her. For four years, or until her death, he was very much devoted to her. According to some Jesuit accounts she had previously been "the wife of a young Tartar Lord" whom Fu-lin abused until, according to the story, he died of grief. In the opinion of Ch'ên Yüan (see under Sunu) this "young Tartar Lord" was Fu-lin's youngest half-brother, Bombogor 博穆博果爾 (Prince Hsiang 襄親王, posthumous name 昭, Jan. 20, 1642–1656), who died on August 22, just a month before Hsiao-hsien entered the palace.

In 1657 Fu-lin met a Buddhist priest, Hsing-ts'ung 性聰 (T. 憨璞, 1610–1666), on a hunting trip south of Peking. The meeting was probably arranged by the eunuchs who had been befriended by the monk. Fu-lin was so charmed by the priest's conversation that he frequently summoned him to the palace to give lectures. Led to believe that in a previous incarnation he had himself been a Buddhist monk, Fu-lin became a devout believer in Ch'an Buddhism and conferred on Hsing-tsung the title, Ming-chüeh ch'an-shih 明覺禪師. Through the latter he also came to know the names of several high abbots of the Lin-chi 臨濟 Sect and their disciples, whom he expressed a desire to meet. Two of these abbots responded and went to the capital to converse with the Emperor. The first to come was T'ung-hsiu 通琇 (T. 玉林, 1614–1675) of the monastery on Mount T'ien-mu (天目山) in Yü-ch'ien, Chekiang. He stayed in Peking from March to June 1659. The Emperor was so captivated by T'ung-hsiu's intelligence and demeanor that he professed to be his disciple, and himself received the Buddhist name, Hsing-ch'ih 行癡. He in turn conferred on T'ung-hsiu the title, Ta-chüeh p'u-chi ch'an-shih 大覺普濟禪師. After the latter returned to the south, a disciple, Hsing-sen 行森 (T. 慈翁, H. 䒢溪, 1614–1677), was sent to Peking. But T'ung-hsiu himself was again summoned to Peking late in 1660, and stayed until March 1661. In the meantime, another high abbot, Tao-min 道忞 (T. 木陳, H. 山翁, 夢隱, 1596–1674), also came to the capital and stayed there from November 1659 to June of the following year. He was given the title Hung-chüeh ch'an-shih 弘覺禪師. While these priests were in Peking, each of them was honored by the emperor with presents and personal visits. Tao-min and the emperor had intimate conversations about Buddhism, calligraphy, the writing of essays, novels, drama, and other subjects. Thus from 1657 to 1661 Fu-lin associated much with Buddhist priests whom he respected and in whom he believed. At his persuasion Hsiao-hsien became a devotee of Ch'an Buddhism, as did also the Dowager Empress and a number of eunuchs.

When Hsiao-hsien died, in September 1660, elaborate Buddhist ceremonies were performed by T'ung-hsiu who lighted the pyre on which her body was cremated. Fu-lin was so grieved by her death that he at first expressed a wish to commit suicide. Later he tonsured his hair with a view to entering the priesthood. T'ung-hsiu is said, however, to have arrived in Peking just in time to prevent the Emperor from going through the complete ceremonies; urging him instead to remain on the throne and permit his tonsured hair to grow again. Tao-min is said to have exercised a soothing influence over the Emperor, particularly in 1660 when he was subject to outbursts of temper. One such violent outburst occurred in 1659 when the news of the siege of Nanking by Chêng Ch'êng-kung [q. v.] reached Peking. The Emperor threatened to go to the front personally, and was irritated when his mother and his wet-nurse (wet-nurses were given a high status in those days) tried to dissuade him. So angered was he by the opposition that he is said to have mutilated one of his thrones with a sword, quieting down (according to Jesuit accounts) on the admonition of Adam Schall, and on the receipt of news that Nanking was saved.

Fu-lin suffered from poor health, and of this his violent temper was a symptom. During adolescence he had studied hard and was perhaps led into various excesses by the eunuchs. He was probably suffering from tuberculosis, for he spit blood and was very thin. The death of his beloved consort had been a serious blow, and the strenuous ceremonies attending her death left him exhausted. On February 2 he contracted smallpox and three days later his death was suddenly announced. His remains were cremated, the required ceremonies being performed by Hsing-sên. His ashes were buried in 1663 at Ch'ang-jui shan 昌瑞山, in the so-called Tung-ling 東陵, or Eastern Tombs, northeast of Peking—his mausoleum, Hsiao-ling 孝陵, being the first to be erected there. Fu-lin was posthumously given the temple-name, Shih-tsu 世祖, and was canonized as Chang Huang-ti 章皇帝. There are legends to the effect that he did not die at this time but that, pained by the death of his consort, he sought religious comfort as a priest in a Buddhist monastery. That retreat is located by some at Wu-t'ai shan 五臺山 in Shansi, and by others at T'ien-t'ai ssŭ 天台寺, southwest of Peking. An image of a monk in the latter temple is said to be his own. These accounts are probably amplifications of the known fact that he wished to become a monk.

Before Fu-lin died his third son, Hsüan-yeh [q. v.], then eight sui, was designated heir to the throne—with four Manchu nobles as regents (see under Oboi). Fu-lin called Wang Hsi [q. v.] to his bedside to take down his will, but after his death his mother, Empress Hsiao-chuang, and the four regents had the document destroyed, publishing in its place one drawn up by themselves. In this new will, issued in Fu-lin's name, he was made to blame himself for certain "errors", such as the unusual honors and the extravagant funeral he had accorded to his favorite consort; his preference for Chinese officials as over against Manchus; and his restoration of offices controlled by eunuchs, as in the Ming period. Possibly the clause relating to his consort was insisted on by his mother who had hoped for the elevation of her own niece or grandniece (see under Hsiao-chuang). The charge that precedence had been given to Chinese is one that might well have been lodged by the four regents who reflected the views of dissatisfied Manchus. That Fu-lin should on his death-bed have turned against his eunuchs is incomprehensible if the report can be credited that five days before he died he attended the tonsuring of his favorite eunuch, Wu Liang-fu. It is significant that this eunuch was executed soon after Fu-lin died. Fu-lin himself had been a lenient ruler and had only reluctantly approved any death sentences that came to him for decision. The four regents who followed him had no such compunctions (see under Chin Jên-jui).

Fu-lin had eight sons and six daughters, of whom only four sons and a daughter grew to maturity. His third son, Hsüan-yeh, was chosen to succeed him on the ground that he had already contracted smallpox and so was less likely to die young. The second, Fu-ch'üan [q. v.], and the fifth, Ch'ang-ning [q. v.], served in the armies against Galdan [q. v.], and their descendants held hereditary ranks down to the close of the dynasty. The seventh, Lung-hsi 隆禧 (Prince Ch'un 純, posthumous name 靖, 1660-1679), left a son who died without heir. The only daughter of Fu-lin who grew up was Princess Kung-k'o 恭愨公主 (January, 1654-1685), who married a nephew of Oboi.

The chronicle of Fu-lin's reign, entitled Shih-tsu Chang Huang-ti shih-lu (實錄), 144 + 3 chüan, was compiled in 1667, and was revised several times―the final revision taking place early in 1740. Accompanying the shih-lu are the Shih-tsu Chang Huang-ti shêng-hsün (聖訓), or imperial edicts, in 6 chüan, the final version of which was also prepared in 1740. At least fifteen works were published under Fu-lin's name, probably none of them actually written by himself. The I-ching t'ung-chu was written by Fu I-chien [q. v.] and others―apparently Fu-lin had nothing to do with it. The 大清律集解附例 Ta-Ch'ing lü chi-chieh fu-li, is a collection of laws of the empire, which was published in 1646 in his name. Most of the other works are on ethical matters and were printed both in Chinese and Manchu. Two of them are treatises on the Classic of Filial Piety: 孝經注 Hsiao-ching chu, 1 chüan, printed in 1656, and Hsiao-ching yen-i (see under Yeh Fang-ai). Two works concerning the proper conduct of officials and subjects, entitled 人臣儆心錄 Jên-ch'ên ching-hsin lu, 1 chüan, and 資政要覽 Tz'ŭ-chêng yao-lan, 3 chüan, were printed in 1655. A work on womanly behavior, entitled 內則衍義 Nei-tsê Yen-i, 16 chüan, was printed in 1656. In the same year there appeared annotations to the 道德經 Tao-tê ching, entitled Tao-tê ching chu (注), 2 chüan. These six works were copied into the Imperial Library (see under Chi Yün). Of the other works listed with Fu-lin's name, the following may be mentioned: annotations to the popular Taoist tract on future rewards and punishments (see under P'êng Ting-ch'iu and Hui Tung), entitled T'ai-shang kan-ying p'ien chu, 1 chüan, printed in 1655; a work admonishing the people to study, entitled 勸學 Ch'üan-hsüeh wên (1656); and a work urging the people to good deeds, entitled 勸善要言 Ch'üan-shan yao-yen (1656). This prevailing official emphasis on ethics was probably part of a program designed to inculcate submissiveness on a newly-conquered and restive people.

The catalogue of the Ch'ien-lung imperial collection of calligraphy and paintings, Shih-ch'ü pao-chi (see under Chang Chao) lists four specimens of Fu-lin's calligraphy and fifteen of his paintings. The paintings were done in the years 1655–56. It is reported that Fu-lin was apt at chih-t'ou hua 指頭畫 or "finger-nail painting" which gained popularity in the Ch'ing period. Another representative of this school was Kao Ch'i-p'ei 高其佩 (T. 且園, H. 韋之, d. 1734), a member of the Chinese Bordered White Banner (later he was elevated to the Bordered Yellow Banner) who served as a vice-president of the Board of Punishments (1723–27) and as lieutenant-general of a Banner (1724–29).

[1/159/1a; 1/4/1a–1/5/25a; Tung-hua lu, Shun-chih; Ch'ing Huang-shih ssŭ-p'u (see under Fu-lung-an); Ch'ing lieh-ch'ao Hou Fei chuan-kao (see under Su-shun) shang 52–79; Ssŭ-k'u, passim; Mêng Sên 孟森, 清初三大疑案考實 Ch'ing-ch'u san ta i-an k'ao shih (1934); 西天目山志 Hsi T'ien-mu-shan chih (1876) 2/27b, 8/18b; T'ien-t'ung ssŭ chih (1851) 3/52; Hsieh Kuo-chên 謝國楨, 清開國史料考 Ch'ing k'ai-kuo shih-liao k'ao; Ch'ên Yüan 陳垣, 湯若望與木陳忞 T'ang Jo-wang yü Mu-ch'ên Min in 輔仁學誌 Fu-jên Hsüeh-chih, vol. 7, pp. 1–27; idem, 語錄與順治宮庭 Yü-lu yü Shun-chih kung-t'ing in Fu-jên Hsüeh-chih, vol. 8, pp. 1–14; Backhouse, E., and Bland, J. O. P., Annals and Memoirs of the Court of Peking (1914), pp. 157–65, 229–38; Rockhill, W. W., "The Dalai Lamas of Lhasa etc.", T'oung Pao 1910, pp. 13–18; Baddeley, John F., Russia, Mongolia, China (1919), vol. II, pp. 130–68; Hauer, Erich, Huang Ch'ing k'ai-kuo fang-lüeh, passim; Neuhof, J., The Embassy of Peter de Goyer and Jacob de Keyzer from the Dutch East India Company to the Emperor of China in 1655, in Pinkerton, John, Voyages and Travels (1811), vol. VII, pp. 231–70; Reid, J. G., "Peking's First Manchu Emperor", Pacific Historical Review, June, 1936; Johnston, R. F., "The Romance of an Emperor" in New China Review, vol. 2 (1920) p. 1–24, 180–94.]

Fang Chao-ying