Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Juan Yüan
JUAN Yüan 阮元 ( 伯元, 雲[芸]臺, 雷塘庵主, 頤性老人, 節性齋老人, 北湖跛叟), Feb. 21, 1764–1849, Nov. 27, scholar and official, was a native of I-chêng in the prefecture of Yangchow, Kiangsu. His grandfather, Juan Yü-t'ang 阮玉堂 ( 履廷, 琢庵, 1695–1759), was a military chin-shih of 1715 who, while serving as major in command of the battalion stationed at Chiu hsi 九溪 the district of Tz'ŭ-li, Hunan (1736–48), achieved distinction in a campaign against the Miao tribesmen. Juan Yüan became a chin-shih in 1789 and was selected a bachelor of the Hanlin Academy. In 1790 he was appointed a compiler and a year later, because of his learning and his skill in writing, received the unusual promotion to Supervisor of Imperial Instruction. He was praised by Emperor Kao-tsung as clear-headed and trustworthy and was ordered to serve in the Imperial Study. In the meantime he was one of the editors of the first supplements to the catalogues of the imperial collection of paintings and examples of calligraphy, entitled Shih-ch'ü pao-chi, hsü-pien (續編) and Pi-tien chu-lin, hsü-pien (see under Chang Chao). While compiling these works Juan Yüan made notes about the paintings he had identified. These notes were later published under the title. 石渠隨筆 Shih-ch'ü sui-pi, 8 chüan, and were reprinted in 1854 in the Yüeh-ya t'ang ts'ung-shu (see under Wu Ch'ung-yüeh).
In 1793, after the above-named catalogues were completed, Juan Yüan was appointed director of education in Shantung where he compiled, under the direction of Pi Yüan [q. v.], a catalogue of the inscriptions on stone and bronze in that province, entitled 山左金石志 Shan-tso chin-shih chih, 24 chüan, printed in 1796. While in Shantung he also brought together his miscellaneous notes under the title, 小滄浪筆談 Hsiao-ts'ang-lang pi-t'an, 4 chüan, printed in 1802. In 1795 he was transferred to Chekiang where he served for three years as director of education, helping many scholars of that province to fame by recommending them to the throne or by employing them as editors. For the compilation of his dictionary to the Classics, entitled 經籍纂詁 Ching-chi tsuan-ku, 106 (actually 116) chüan, Juan employed more then forty men of letters, mostly from Chekiang province. The dictionary was completed within a year (1797–98) and was printed in 1800. In 1801 a supplement to each chüan was made and appended to the original edition. The chief editors of the Ching-chi tsuan-ku, Tsang Yung [q. v.] and his brother, Tsang Li-t'ang (see under Tsang Yung), were assisted by many local scholars such as: Ho Yüan-hsi (see under Chang Hai-p'êng); Yang Fêng-pao 楊鳳苞 ( 傳九, 秋室, 西園老人, 1754–1816); Chang Chien 張鑑 ( 春冶, 荀鶴, 秋水, 貞疾居士, 1768–1850); Hung Chên-hsüan 洪震煊 ( 百里, 檆堂, 1770–1815); Hung I-hsüan (see under Fêng Têng-fu); Ch'ên Chan 陳鱣 (T. 仲魚 H. 簡莊, 河莊, 1753– 1817); Yen Chieh 嚴杰 ( 厚民, 1763–1843), and Yen Yüan-chao 嚴元照 ( 修能 or 久能, 九能, 悔庵, 1773–1817). When, in 1797, Juan Yüan went to examine the students of Ningpo, he visited the library, T'ien-i ko, in that city and ordered its owners—the Fan family—to compile a catalogue of their collection (see under Fan Mou-chu). During his term in Chekiang he compiled an anthology of the poets of that province (from the early Ch'ing period to the end of the Ch'ien-lung period), entitled 兩浙輶軒錄 Liang-Chê yu-hsüan lu, 40 chüan, printed in 1801. A supplement (補遺 pu-i) in 10 chüan was added in 1803. Both the original and the supplement were reprinted in 1890 by a later director of education of Chekiang, P'an Yen-t'ung 潘衍桐 ( 孝則, 菶廷, 嶧琴, 踽庵, 1841–1899), who continued the anthology beginning with the Chia-ch'ing period (1796–1821). P'an's continuation, entitled Liang-Chê yu-hsüan hsü-lu (續錄), 54 chüan, was printed in 1891 with a supplement in 6 chüan. Juan Yüan completed his term of office in Chekiang in 1798 and recorded his experiences in the form of miscellaneous notes, entitled 定香亭筆談 Ting-hsiang t'ing pi-t'an, 4 chüan, printed in 1800.
Juan Yüan returned to Peking in 1798, and early in the following year was made senior vice-president of the Board of Revenue. He served as one of the directors of the metropolitan examination of 1799—an examination that is celebrated for the number of those taking it who later became eminent scholars or rose to high posts. In 1799 he was again sent to Chekiang—this time as acting governor. In 1800 he was made full governor, in which capacity he served for more than nine years (1799–1807, 1808–09). Again he devoted himself to the promotion of scholarship in that area, establishing in 1801 at Hangchow the famous Academy, Ku-ching ching-shê 詁經精舍, for the study of the classics and literature. The first directors of the Academy were Wang Ch'ang and Sun Hsing-yen [qq. v.]—the former lecturing on literature, the latter on the classics. Of the students of this Academy who achieved fame may be mentioned Ch'ên Wên-shu, Li Fu-sun [qq. v.], Chang T'ing-chi 張廷濟 ( 叔未, 1768–1848), and Chang Yen-ch'ang (see under Fan Mou-chu). The writings of the teachers and students were collected and printed in 1802 under the title, Ku-ching ching-shê wên-chi (文集), 14 chüan. Juan also printed several works by his contemporaries, such as the collected writings of Chu Kuei [q. v.] in 1803 and the Hsi-ch'ao ya-sung chi (see under T'ieh-pao) in 1805. As governor of Chekiang Juan was also remembered for his administrative ability, as demonstrated by the manner in which he directed a campaign against pirates (see under Li Ch'ang-kêng).
Juan Yüan's interest in antiquarian and bibliographical matters continued unabated. His documents relating to the restoration of temples and tombs, and the methods to preserve them, were printed in 1801 in a work, entitled 兩浙防護陵寢祠墓錄 Liang-Chê fang-hu ling-ch'in tz'ŭ-mu lu. In July 1805 his father died, and in the ensuing period of mourning he printed (1806) his own collation notes on the Classics, entitled 十三經校勘記 Shih-san ching chiao k'an-chi, 243 chüan, and annotated certain miscellaneous notes made by Emperor Jên-tsung, entitled Wei-yü shu-wu sui-pi (see under Yung-yen). Finding in the Ssŭ-k'u ch'üan-shu (see under Chi Yün) some important omissions, Juan Yüan began to collect items which he thought should be incorporated. When he went to Peking in 1807 he presented to the throne sixty rare works together with his own bibliographical annotations. By 1822 the number of his suggested additions to the Ssŭ-k'u ch'üan-shu reached 175. Juan's annotations to these works appeared in the same year under the title Ssŭ-k'u wei shou (未收) shu-mu t'i-yao.
Late in 1807 he became junior vice-president of the Board of War and in the following year—after serving for a few months as governor of Honan—was again sent to Chekiang as governor. There he established (1809) a library in the monastery, Ling-yin ssŭ 靈隱寺, near West Lake, Hangchow. This library, known as Ling-yin shu-ts'ang (書藏) was destroyed in 1861 when the Taipings took Hangchow for the second time (see under Ting Ping). In Chekiang he resumed his campaign against the pirates whose suppression in 1809 was due partly to his efforts. But in that year (1809) he was degraded to a compiler of the Hanlin Academy for shielding a subordinate.
In 1810 Juan volunteered to write biographies of classicists and mathematicians for the national history. Two years later he was again made a vice-president—this time of the Board of Works Later in the same year (1812) he became director of grain transport with headquarters at Huai-an. Kiangsu. While filling this post he established (1813) a library in the monastery on the island of Chiao-shan 焦山 near Chinkiang, which came to be known as the Chiao-shan shu-ts'ang (書藏). A catalogue of the collection, entitled Chiao-shan shu ts'ang shu-mu (書目), 6 chüan, was published in 1934.
In 1814 Juan Yüan became governor of Kiangsi where in 1816 he reprinted from rare Sung editions the Thirteen Classics with their commentaries under the title (宋本)十三經注疏 (Sung-pên) Shih-san ching chu-shu, to which the above-mentioned Shih-san ching chiao-k'an chi was appended. Late in 1816 he was promoted to be governor-general of Hupeh and Hunan, but a few months thereafter (1817) was transferred to be governor-general of Kwangtung and Kwangsi—a post he filled until 1826. During his term of office at Canton he likewise undertook to advance scholarship in that region by establishing in 1820 the famous Academy, Hsüeh-hai t'ang 學海堂. This Academy was opened on April 14, 1820 in temporary premises in the Wên-lan Shu-yüan 文瀾書院, but late in 1824 was moved to its own buildings on the hill, Yüeh-hsiu shan 粵秀山, in the northern part of the city. Many Cantonese scholars were subsequently connected with this institution either as superintendents or as students (see under Lin Po-t'ung, Chang Wei-p'ing, T'an Ying, Liang T'ing-nan, and Ch'ên Li). The publications of the Academy include, among others, the following titles: Hsüeh-hai t'ang ts'ung-k'o (叢刻), a collectanea in two series of 6 titles each, the first series being printed in 1877, the second in 1886; and Hsüeh-hai t'ang chi (集), being 4 collections of poems and short articles in prose: the first collection, in 16 chüan, being printed in 1825; the second, in 22 chüan, in 1838; the third, in 24 chüan, in 1859; and the fourth, in 28 chüan, in 1886.
Other achievements of Juan Yüan at Canton were the compilation of the provincial gazetteer, Kwangtung t'ung-chih (see under Chiang Fan), the establishment of new forts below Canton, and the compilation of the famous ts'ung-shu, 皇清經解 Huang Ch'ing ching-chieh, 1,400 chüan. This collectanea contains more than 180 works, all treatises written on the Classics in the Ch'ing period. Begun in 1825 under the editorship of the above-mentioned Yen Chieh, it was printed in 1829 in 366 volumes. A copy of this work, along with others, was presented to the Government of the United States by the Government of China in June 1869 and forms the nucleus of the present Chinese Collection in the Library of Congress. A supplement, entitled Huang-Ch'ing ching-chieh hsü-pien (續編) in 1,430 chüan, and containing 209 titles, was compiled by Wang Hsien-ch'ien (see under Chiang Liang-ch'i) and printed in 1886–88 when Wang was serving as director of education in Kiangsu.
In his capacity as an official at Canton Juan Yüan maintained a strict policy toward foreign traders, particularly the English. In 1822 some British sailors from a warship killed two Chinese villagers during a brawl. In consequence Juan suspended British trade at Canton, but could not force the foreign merchants to hand over the culprits. He had to be satisfied with a pledge of future good conduct and then permit trade to continue (1823). He was criticized by the Cantonese as being too lenient to foreigners and too amenable to compromise, but those same critics, a few years later, confessed that they preferred Juan's policy of compromise to the arrogance of the officials who brought on the War of 1840–42 (see under Lin Tsê-hsü).
In 1826 Juan Yüan was transferred to be governor-general of Yunnan and Kweichow, a post he held till 1835. In the meantime he was elevated to an Associate Grand Secretary (1832). In 1835 he was made a Grand Secretary and was recalled to Peking to serve in that capacity. But before long he was troubled with his right leg, and in 1838 was granted permission to retire with half pay and with the title of Grand Guardian of the Heir Apparent. He spent his remaining days in his home at Yangchow. In 1843, on his eightieth birthday, he was accorded some special honors; and in 1846, on the sixtieth anniversary of his becoming a chü-jên, was given the title of Grand Tutor. After his death, in 1849, he was canonized as Wên-ta 文達.
The writings of Juan Yüan, covering as they do not only the field of classical literature but also local history, epigraphy, mathematics and poetry, had a powerful influence in his day, and many of them are of lasting value. A collection of his poems and short prose writings, entitled 揅經室集 Yen-ching-shih chi, printed in 1823, is divided into five sections, of which 29 chüan are in prose and 11 chüan in verse. To this were later added two supplements: one in 9 chüan, printed in 1830, the other in 6 chüan, printed in or after 1844. A selection of his verse, entitled Yen-ching-shih shih-lu (詩錄), 5 chüan, appeared in 1833. His bibliographical notes about rare books not included in the Ssŭ-k'u ch'üan-shu were brought together and printed in 1822 under the title Yen-ching-shih wai-chi (外集), 5 chüan. Most of these notes had been written in collaboration with other bibliophiles, among them Pao T'ing-po [q. v.]. Being interested in the history and people of his native place, he compiled an anthology of poems by writers of Yangchow, entitled 淮海英靈集 Huai-hai ying-ling chi, in 7 series, printed in 1798; and another anthology of the poets of Kiangsu, entitled 江蘇詩徵 Chiang-su shih-chêng, 183 chüan, printed in 1821. As a result of his study of the poets of Yangchow he brought together miscellaneous notes on the history and the people of the locality, entitled 廣陵詩事 Kuang-ling shih-shih, 10 chüan, printed in 1801.
Juan Yüan's interest in mathematics helped to revive the study of ancient Chinese mathematics and led to the recovery of works in that field which had been neglected for centuries (see under Lo Shih-lin). Juan's own contribution to the study of this subject was his 疇人傳 Ch'ou-jên chuan, 46 chüan, containing biographies and summaries of the works of 280 astronomers and mathematicians, among them thirty-seven Europeans. This work, printed in 1799, was begun in 1797 with the help of Ling T'ing-k'an, Ch'ien Ta-hsin, Chiao Hsün [qq. v.], and others. It was reprinted in 1840 in 52 chüan. The additional 6 chüan, also known separately as Hsü (續) Ch'ou-jên chuan, were written by his disciple, Lo Shih-lin [q. v.]. Another supplement added by Chu K'o-pao 諸可寶 ( 遲鞠, 1845–1903), and entitled Ch'ou-jên chuan san-pien (三編), 7 chüan, was printed in 1886. A fourth supplement in 11 chüan was written in 1898 by Huang Chung-chun 黃鍾駿.
Mention has already been made of Juan Yüan's interest in inscriptions on stone and bronze, and other antiques. His work on the inscriptions on ancient bronzes, entitled 積古齋鐘鼎彝器款識法帖 Chi-ku chai chung-ting i-ch'i k'uan-chih fa-t'ieh, 10 chüan, was printed in 1804. He also made a study of the inscriptions on stone of the Yen-hsi 廷熹 period (158–167 A.D.), entitled 漢廷熹西嶽華山碑考 Han Yen-hsi Hsi-yüeh Hua-shan pei k'ao, 4 chüan, printed in 1813—a careful and scholarly work. There is a list showing 64 ancient bronzes in Juan's collection, but actually he once possessed more than 460 items. Juan Yüan was interested in the art of cutting marbles of different shades to represent paintings—a device known as Shih-hua 石畫, or "pictures in stone." He left a work describing "pictures" of this kind in his possession, entitled Shih-hua chi (記) 5 chüan, printed in the Hsüeh-hai t'ang ts'ung-k'o (see above).
Fourteen of Juan Yüan's works were printed in his collectanea, 文選樓叢書 Wên-hsüan-lou ts'ung-shu which contains about thirty works printed from about 1790 to 1840. In this collectanea he printed a number of works by his friends or relatives, such as Chiao Hsün, Ch'ien Ta-hsin, and Ling T'ing-k'an. It includes a collection of miscellaneous notes, entitled 瀛舟筆談 Ying-chou pi-t'an, 12 chüan, written by his cousin, Juan Hêng 阮亭 (梅叔, senior licentiate of 1818), and printed in 1820. In this collectanea there are two works by Juan Yüan's son, Juan Fu 阮福 ( 賜卿, b. Jan. 1802), namely, the 小琅嬛叢記 Hsiao-lang hsüan ts'ung-chi, printed in 1828 and the 孝經義疏補 Hsiao-ching i-shu pu, 9 chüan, printed in 1829. Included in the same collectanea is a work on the Classics, by the Japanese scholar, Yamanoi Tei 山井鼎 ( 君彝, 崑崙, 1681–1728), entitled 七經孟子考文補遺 Ch'i-ching Mêng-tzŭ k'ao-wu pu-i, 200 chüan, first printed in 1731. Juan Yüan reproduced it in 1797.
Juan Yüan's second wife, K'ung Lu-hua 孔璐華 (經樓, 1777–1833, Jan. 17), was a descendant of Confucius in the seventy-third generation and the granddaughter of K'ung Chao-huan 孔昭煥 ( 顯明, d. 1783), the sixth Duke Yen-shêng (衍聖公) of the Ch'ing period. She left a collection of verse, entitled 唐宋舊經樓詩 T'ang Sung chiu-ching lou shih, 6 chüan. Juan Yüan had three sons. In addition he had an adopted son, named Juan Ch'ang-shêng 阮常生 ( 壽昌, 小芸, d. 1833), who served as intendant of the Ch'ing-ho (Paoting) Circuit in Chihli.
[1/370/1a; 2/36/18b; 3/39/1a, 補錄; 20/3/00; 29/7/1a; 19/癸上/43a; 3/329/3a; Lei-t'ang an chu ti-tzŭ chi (see under Lo Shih-lin); T'an Ying [q. v.], Lo-chih t'ang wên-lüeh, 2/9a; Vissière, A., "Biographie de Jouàn Yuân", T'oung Pao (1904), pp. 561–596, with portrait; Van Hée, Père Louis, "The Ch'ou-Jên Chuan of Yüan Yüan", Isis, VIII, pp. 103–18, with portrait.]