Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/I-chih

I-chih 奕誌 (H. 西園主人), 1826–1850, July, the second Prince Jui (瑞郡王), was a grandson of Emperor Jên-tsung. His father, Mien-hsin 綿忻 (d. Sept. 1828), was created (1819) Prince Jui of the first degree (瑞親王) and was given the posthumous name, Huai 懷. As I-chih was an infant when his father died, the management of the family estate was entrusted to two officials, I-shao (see under Tsai-ch'üan) and Ching-chêng (see under Shêng-yü). In November 1828 I-chih was formally designated the heir of Mien-hsin and was given the rank of a prince of the second degree. His name, which was originally I-yüeh 奕約, was ordered to be changed to I-chih. In 1835 he was sent to study with the emperor's sons in the Palace School for Princes (see under Yin-chên) where he read under the tutorship of such scholars as Sun Jui-chên (see under Sun Yü-t'ing) and Chia Chên 賈楨 (T. 柏貞, H. 藝林, 筠堂, posthumous name 文端, 1798–1874), who later became an Assistant Grand Secretary (1852–55) and a Grand Secretary (January 1855–56, 1859–67). I-chih progressed in his studies, and became known as a promising poet. Among his elders who became interested in his poetical achievements may be mentioned Ulgungga [q. v.], Pin-liang (see under Kuei-liang), and Mien-yü (see under Yung-yen). In 1848 I-chih edited his first collection of poems, written in the years 1843–47. They bear the title 樂循理齋詩稿 Lo-hsün-li chai shih-kao, 8 chüan. In the same year, on the recommendation of his father-in-law, Wên-wei (see under I-ching), I-chih invited as his secretary and companion the poet, Chang Chin-yung 張金鏞 (T. 韻笙, H. 海門, 1805–1860), chin-shih of 1841, who taught him to write verse in the tz'ŭ (詞) style.

But death overtook I-chih when he was only twenty-four, depriving the Imperial Clan of one of its most promising men of letters. In 1869 his poems were collected and printed by a cousin, I-tsung [q. v.], in collaboration with the sons of Mien-yü. This collection contains, in addition to the above-mentioned Lo-hsün-li chai shih-kao, two chüan of verse, entitled 古歡堂集 Ku-huan t'ang chi; 1 chüan of tz'ŭ, entitled Ku-huan t'ang shih-yü (詩餘, also known as 鐵笛詞 T'ieh-ti tz'ŭ); and 1 chüan of prose (only 2 articles), entitled Ku-huan t'ang wên-kao (文稿). The whole collection is known as Lo-hsün-li chai chi (集).

I-chih left no male heir. After his death his mother was paid annually half of the stipend granted to a prince of the second degree. She died in 1853. Thereafter I-chih's widow received this annuity for seven years more. In 1860 she adopted a nephew, Tsai-i (see under I-tsung), who at first inherited the rank of a prince of the third degree. When in 1894 the rank was raised one degree, the designation which should have been Jui 瑞 was altered to Tuan 端 owing to the mistake of a clerk (see under I-tsung). Tsai-i was the notorious Prince Tuan who sponsored the Boxers and so abetted the convulsion of 1900. He was banished in 1901. His status as an adopted son of I-chih was rendered void and he was classed thereafter with his natural relatives. The estate of I-chih passed in 1902 to another adopted nephew, Tsai-hsün 載洵, the sixth son of I-huan [q. v.] and a younger brother of the Prince Regent, Tsai-fêng (see under I-huan). Tsai-hsün inherited the rank of a prince of the third degree and served for several months as Minister of the Navy (1910–11).

The garden of I-chih, known as Ch'un-tsê Yüan 春澤園, was originally given to his father-in-law who lived in it after 1835. This garden was adjacent to the Ch'ing-hua Yüan (see under I-tsung) which later became the campus of Tsing Hua University.


[1/227/7b; Lo-hsün-li chai chi; Yen Ch'ên 嚴辰, 墨花吟館感舊懷人集 Mo-hua yin-kuan kan-chiu huai-jên chi, p. 1a (in 清人說薈二編).]

Fang Chao-ying