Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Huang Shu-lin

HUANG Shu-lin 黃叔琳 (T. 崑圃), Oct. 26, 1672–1756, Feb. 6, scholar and official, was a native of Ta-hsing, one of the two administrative divisions of Peking. His ancestors who bore the surname, Ch'êng 程, came originally from Hsin-an, Anhwei. His father, Huang Hua-fan 黃華蕃 (T. 澗采, d. 1705), was adopted by a family named Huang, hence his present surname. Being a precocious youth, Huang Shulin became a chü-jên in 1690 and a chin-shih in 1691, ranking third, or t'an-hua 探花, in the list of successful competitors. After officiating in various posts in Peking he was, early in 1709, appointed educational commissioner of Shantung. During his term of three years in Shantung he made efforts to promote local education, which involved the restoration of the Po-hsüeh Academy (白雪書院) in Tsinan (1709) and of the Sung-lin Academy (松林書院) in Ch'ing-chou (1711). In 1710 he printed the 漁洋詩話 Yü-yang shih-hua, or notes on the verse of the famous Shantung poet, Wang Shih-chên [q. v.]. He went back to Peking in 1712. A year later he served for a short time as prefect of Fêng-t'ien-fu (Mukden), but was soon recalled to Peking. During the next few years until 1722 he held various unimportant posts. But late in 1722, after Emperor Shih-tsung ascended the throne, he made a good impression on the new Emperor and was appointed a sub-chancellor of the Grand Secretariat. Within a month he was promoted to be junior vice-president of the Board of Punishments. In 1723 he was chief examiner of the Kiangnan provincial examination at Nanking—a task he performed so well that several accomplished students of the classics were, under his supervision, selected as chü-jên, among them: Hsü Wên-ching [q. v.], Ch'ên Tsu-fan (see under Ku Tung-kao), and Jên Ch'i-yün 任啟運 (T. 埾翼, 釣臺, 1670–1744, a chin-shih of 1733).

Later in the same year (1723) Huang was made senior vice-president of the Board of Civil Appointments, and in the following winter was sent to Hupeh to fix the price of salt which then as now was a government monopoly. In 1724 he became governor of Chekiang. About four months after assuming office, however, he was suspended and tried on several charges. First he was ordered to Yangchow to answer to the charge of having received bribes when he was inspecting the salt administration in the preceding year. Though he professed innocence, he was deprived of all his ranks and was subjected to a heavy fine. Then he was sent to Hangchow to be tried, among other things, for having had a dishonest butcher tortured to death. But Emperor Shih-tsung, not wishing the charges pressed too far, ordered him, early in 1725, to redeem himself by serving on a special commission responsible for repairing the dikes on the northeastern coast of Chekiang. At the same time he was compelled to make contributions to the cost of the work. Later in that year he was ordered to stay in Soochow under the surveillance of the financial commissioner until the fine was paid. During the seven years he lived in Soochow he made some friends and had a number of pupils. In 1732 he was exempted from paying the remainder of his fine, and so was allowed to return to Peking.

In 1736 Huang was recalled by the new emperor, Kao-tsung, who appointed him provincial judge of Shantung. In 1737 he became financial commissioner, but early in 1740 retired to mourn the death of his mother. During the mourning period he was degraded in rank for failure to report on the incompetency of a subordinate official in Shantung. Hence in 1742, when he emerged from retirement, he was appointed to an unimportant post in Peking. Even that post was taken from him early in 1743 on several charges of mismanagement in Shantung in previous years. Thus at seventy-two sui he was deprived of all his ranks and was sent into retirement for the rest of his life.

Huang Shu-lin was a prolific scholar. Ten of his works received notice in the Ssŭ-k'u Catalog (see under Chi Yün) but only one of these was copied into the Imperial Manuscript Library. In the field of classical studies he left six works, two of which are treatises on the Book of Changes. As a historian he annotated the celebrated work on historical criticism by Liu Chih-chi, known as Shih-t'ung (see under Chi Yün). This edition, entitled Shih-t'ung hsün-ku pu (訓故補), 20 chüan, was first printed in 1747. As the title states, it is an expansion, and also an improvement on the Shih-t'ung hsün-ku by the Ming scholar, Wang Wei-chien (see under Ch'êng Chia-sui). A similar study of the Shih-t'ung by P'u Ch'i-lung 浦起龍 (T. 二田, 1679–some time after 1761, chin-shih of 1730), entitled Shih-t'ung t'ung-shih (通釋), was compiled about the same time, but appeared a little later. Huang Shu-lin left two collections of miscellaneous notes: one, entitled 硯北雜錄 Yen-pei tsa lu, was edited by Lu Wên-ch'ao [q. v.] in 1751 when the latter was a teacher in the Huang family; the other has the title Yen-pei ts'ung-lu (叢錄). Huang also annotated the well known work on literary criticism—the 文心雕龍 Wên-hsin tiao-lung by Liu Hsieh 劉勰 (T. 彥和, d. early 6th century). This work, entitled Wên-hsin tiao-lung chi-chu (輯注), 10 chüan, was first printed in 1738. Later on critical notes were added by Chi Yün [q. v.] and this edition was printed in 1833. Of the above items only the last-mentioned was copied into the Ssŭ-k'u ch'üan-shu. Huang Shu-lin's literary collection is entitled 養素堂詩文集 Yang-su t'ang shih wên-chi. Owing to the fact that his birthplace was Peking, he was sometimes referred to as Pei-p'ing hsien-shêng 北平先生.

Huang Shu-lin had two sons: Huang Têng-hsien 黃登賢 (T. 雲門, H. 忍廬), a chin-shih of 1736; and Huang Têng-ku 黃登穀 (b. 1714), a chin-shih of 1737. The elder of his two daughters married Li Tsung-wan [q. v.]. Huang Shu-lin had three younger brothers: Huang Shu-wan 黃叔琬 (d. 1756), a chin-shih of 1709 and educational commissioner of Shansi (1714-17); Huang Shu-ch'i 黃叔琪 (T. 瑤圃, d. 1738), a chü-jên of 1705, and prefect of Ningkuo, Anhwei (1720–1732); and Huang Shu-ching 黄叔璥 (T. 玉圃, H. 篤齋, ca. 1677–ca. 1753), a chin-shih of 1709. Huang Shu-ching was, in 1722, sent to Taiwan (Formosa) as provincial censor to inspect the Island after the rebellion of Chu I-kuei [q. v.]. He remained there about a year and left the following two works on his experiences: 南征紀程 Nan-chêng chi-ch'êng, 1 chüan, a diary of his journey from Peking to Fukien; and 臺海使槎錄 T'ai-hai shih-ch'a lu, 8 chüan, a description of Taiwan. The latter is regarded by some as the best early description of the Island. Five of his works, including the two just mentioned, are given notice in the Imperial Catalogue. The T'ai-hai shih-ch'a lu was copied into the Imperial Manuscript Library.


[2/14/41a; 3/64/1a; 4/69/16b; Ku Chên 顧鎮, 黃崑圃先生年譜 Huang K'un-p'u hsien-shêng nien-p'u in Chi-fu ts'ung-shu (see under Ts'ui Shu); 順天府志 Shun-t'ien fu-chih (1884–87), 101/6b; Ssŭ-k'u 9/7a, 18/2b, 23/5b, 24/8a, 31/6a, 89/1b, 133/4a, 143/13a, 195/1b; for Huang Shu-ching, 2/67/20b; 3/209/48a; Ssŭ-k'u, 64/7b, 70/12a, 80/5b, 87/7a, 98/2b; Yin-chên [q. v.], Chu-p'i yü-chih, 黃叔琳, 陳世倌.]

Tu Lien-chê