Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Huang P'ei-lieh

HUANG P'ei-lieh 黃丕烈 (T. 紹武, H. 蕘圃, 復翁, 秋清居士, 佞宋主人, and more than twenty other hao), June 21, 1763–1825, Sept., bibliophile, was a native of Ch'ang-chou (Soochow). He was a chü-jên of 1788. After failing several times in the higher examinations, he ceased to compete, and in 1801 applied for an official post. He qualified for a position as magistrate in Chihli, but declined, preferring to obtain by purchase the higher rank of a secretary of a Board in the Central Government. Nevertheless, he did not serve in that capacity and soon retired to his home district.

Unsuccessful in official life, Huang pursued the career of a bibliophile, a printer, and a bookseller. As early as 1789 he became interested in collecting rare books and manuscripts. At this time there was an active interest in book collecting, stimulated perhaps by the compilation of the Ssŭ-k'u ch'üan-shu (see under Chi Yün). As Soochow was then a center of the book trade, Huang was able to accumulate a large collection of rare editions by purchase, by exchange, or by copying from the libraries of his friends. For some time, beginning about the year 1794, he employed Ku Kuang-ch'i [q. v.] to assist him in collating and discriminating among rare editions. Early in 1803 he moved to a new house in Soochow where he stored his Sung editions in a studio which he styled Po-Sung i-ch'an 百宋一廛 "Hundred Sung [prints in] One House." In the same year he compiled a catalogue of these Sung editions, entitled Po-Sung i-ch'an shu-lu (書錄), an incomplete copy of which was reprinted in the Shih-yüan ts'ung-shu (see under Cha Chi-tso). Late in 1804 Ku Kuang-ch'i wrote a long poem, in the form of a fu 賦, about this studio and about its 109 Sung editions. Huang himself annotated this poem and printed it in 1805 under the title Po-Sung i-ch'an fu, with the explanation that other Sung editions had been added to his collection after the poem was written. In fact his catalogue of Sung editions, compiled in 1812, shows that he had in that year 187 titles in his possession, excluding those he had sold in the meantime. This catalogue, entitled 求古居宋本書目 Ch'iu-ku chü Sung-pên shu-mu, was printed by Yeh Tê-hui (see under Chu I-tsun) in 1918. Huang was so fond of Sung prints that he styled himself Ning-Sung chu-jên 佞宋主人 "A Collector Biased in favor of Sung Editions." At the same time he collected other rare works of the Yüan period, manuscripts made by Mao Chin [q. v.], etc., but unfortunately there exists no complete catalogue of Huang P'ei-lieh's library. A book which contains his seals or colophons is now treasured by collectors, and of such the Kuo-hsüeh Library, Nanking, is known to possess twenty-six titles, including six with collation notes in his handwriting.

Huang P'ei-lieh selected from his library a number of rare works which he reprinted in facsimile, beginning about the year 1800. About that time he reproduced the Chi-ku ko pi-pên shu-mu (see under Mao Chin), and an edition of the 國語 Kuo-yü which appeared originally in the years 1023–33 A.D. These two reprints, and seventeen others, appeared under the collective title 士禮居黃氏叢書 Shih-li chü Huang-shih ts'ung-shu, the last work of the series appearing in 1824. This collectanea is prized by scholars for the rarity of its contents, for the faithfulness of its reproductions, and for the collation notes which Huang made when he compared his reprints with other editions. Listed under Huang's name in the collectanea is the 汪本隸釋刊誤 Wang-pên Li-shih k'an-wu, 1 chüan, being corrections to a 1777 edition of a collection, chiefly of Han inscriptions, assembled by Hung K'uo (see under Ch'ien Ta-hsin), and first printed in 1167, but later supplemented. The corrections were chiefly the work of Ku Kuang-ch'i. In the same ts'ung-shu is a collection of poems by Huang or his friends, entitled 同人唱和詩 T'ung-jên ch'ang-ho shih, including the Chuang-yüan hui ch'ang-ho shih (see under Shih Yün-yü). There are about ten other works, not in the above collectanea, whose printing is known to have been undertaken by Huang—two or three being from his own library, the rest having been entrusted to him by others.

Huang P'ei-lieh made bibliographical notations in many books—not only in those which he himself owned, but in those which he borrowed from friends. Even in his own time such annotated books were prized by collectors, not merely for the distinction these notes lent to them, but for the bibliographical information they afforded. Such information about the history and the technical aspects of bibliography Huang acquired only after many years of

experience with rare editions. For that reason his notes have been widely studied by collectors and students of bibliography. About half a century after Huang died a fellow townsman, P'an Tsu-yin [q. v.], with the help of Miao Ch'uan-sun (see under Chang Chih-tung), collected Huang's bibliographical notes on 352 books. These were printed in 1883 under the title, 士禮居藏書題䟦記 Shih-li chü ts'ang-shu t'i-pa chi, 6 chüan. Later, Miao collected more of Huang's notes of which a part, entitled Shih-li chü ts'ang-shu t'i-pa hsü-lu (續錄), was printed in 1896 by Chiang Piao 江標 (T. 萱圃, H. 建霞, 1860–1899) in the Ling-chien ko ts'ung-shu (see under Ho Ch'iu-t'ao); and another part, entitled Shih-li chü ts'ang-shu t'i-pa tsai-hsü chi (再續記), 2 chüan, was printed in the first series of the Ku-hsüeh hui-k'an (see under Li Ch'ing). In 1919 Miao brought together the three collections and printed them, with further additions, under the title 蕘圃藏書題識 Jao-p'u ts'ang-shu t'i-chih, 10 chüan, including a collection of Huang's prefaces and postscripts to twenty-seven of the books he printed, entitled Jao-p'u k'o (刻) shu t'i-chih. In 1933 there appeared a supplement containing yet other annotations which were collected and printed by Wang Ta-lung 王大隆 under the title Jao-p'u ts'ang-shu t'i-chih hsü-lu, 4 chüan, including miscellaneous examples of Huang's prose and verse, entitled Jao-p'u tsa-chu (雜著).

In later life Huang P'ei-lieh was more and more pressed financially, and therefore was obliged to part with most of his rare books. These were gradually purchased by his fellow-townsman, Wang Shih-chung 汪士鐘 (T. 䦘原), whose library was known as the I-yün ching (shu-) shê 藝芸精(書)舍. In the middle of the nineteenth century, however, the latter's library was in turn dispersed, passing for the most part to Ch'ü Yung (see under Chang Chin-wu), Yang I-tsêng and Lu Hsin-yüan [qq. v.]. In the meantime Huang P'ei-lieh helped in the compilation of the Su-chou fu-chih of 1824 (see under Shih Yün-yü). Early in 1825 he opened at Soochow a bookstore called P'ang-hsi yüan 滂喜園, but as he died the following September, it is not known how long the business was carried on. A son named Huang Shou-fêng 黃壽鳳 (T. 同叔, b. 1823), was a famous seal carver. In 1860, when the Taiping army entered Soochow, twelve of Huang's descendants took their lives by drowning in a pond in front of the family cemetery.

Huang P'ei-lieh numbered among his friends such scholars as Ch'ien Ta-hsin, Tuan Yü-ts'ai and Pao T'ing-po [qq. v.]. His friendship with Ku Kuang-ch'i was severed about 1820, although he had patronized the latter for many years. Another of his friends was Wu Ch'ien 吳騫 (T. 槎客, H. 兔牀, 葵里, 1733–1813), a bibliophile and poet of Hai-ning, Chekiang, who possessed a large library. Wu was the editor of the collectanea, 拜經樓叢書 Pai-ching lou ts'ung-shu of more than thirty titles printed about the period 1780–1812. It includes a collection of his own works in prose, entitled 愚谷文存 Yü-ku wên-ts'un, 14 chüan (printed in 1807), and two collections of his poems, entitled Pai-ching lou shih-chi (詩集, printed in 1803), and Pai-ching lou shih-chi hsü-pien (續編, printed in 1812). Wu also left a collection of colophons about rare books, entitled Pai-ching lou ts'ang-shu t'i-pa chi (藏書題跋記), 5 + 1 chüan, edited and printed in 1847 by Chiang Kuang-hsü [q. v.]. When Wu Ch'ien heard, in 1804, that Huang P'ei-lieh had named his studio Po-Sung i-ch'an, he wrote a poem informing Huang that he himself had modestly named his studio Ch'ien Yüan shih-chia 千元十駕, meaning that though he could not, like Huang, boast a hundred Sung editions his thousand Yüan editions might conceivably match them, just as ten weak horses might counterbalance a strong one.


[Chiang Piao, 黃蕘圃年譜 Huang Jao-p'u nien-p'u (1897); Wang Ta-lung, Huang Jao-p'u nien-p'u pu (補) in 蘇州圖書館館刊 vol. I, no. 1, (1929); 2/72/32b; Shih Yün-yü [q. v.], Tu-hsüeh lu ssŭ-kao (四稿) 5/1a; Yeh Ch'ang-ch'ih, Ts'ang-shu chi-shih shih (see under P'an Tsu-yin) 5/62a, 63b, 64b; Yeh Tê-hui, 郋園讀書志 Hsi-yuan tu-shu chih 4/27a; Wu-hsien chih (1933) 69上/32b, 40/35b; Fan K'ai 范鍇, 華笑廎隨筆 Hua-hsiao ch'ing sui-pi 3/2a.]

Fang Chao-ying