Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Ku Ying-t'ai

KU Ying-t'ai 谷應泰 (T. 賡虞, H. 霖蒼, d. after 1689), scholar and official, was a native of Fêng-jun, Chihli. After becoming a chin-shih in 1647, he was for a time an assistant secretary in the Board of Revenue. In 1656 he became educational commissioner of Chekiang province, a post he held until 1660. His well-known history of the Ming dynasty, 明史紀事本末 Ming-shih chi-shih pên-mo, 80 chüan, was compiled and completed during this period. This work is composed in topical form—one topic to each chüan. It was first printed in 1658 with a preface by the author of the same date. Moreover it is one of the earliest attempts to write a history of the entire Ming period (1368–1644), having appeared long before the official Ming-shih, which was not completed until 1739. The Ming-shih chi-shih pên-mo has, on various grounds, been attributed to other authors, but without convincing proof.

Ku Ying-t'ai seems to have worked with the help of a few assistants, and he doubtless utilized some sources written or compiled by others. Two short works, now incorporated in the collectanea, Hsüeh-hai lei-pien (see under Ts'ao Jung), entitled 明遭運志 Ming ts'ao-yün chih, an account of grain transport in the Ming period, and 明倭寇始末 Ming Wo-k'ou shih-mo, an account of Japanese raids on the coast in the same period, were in reality abstracted from the Ming-shih chi-shih pên-mo—the former being chüan 24, and the latter chüan 55 in the history. In 1786 Emperor Kao-tsung issued an edict ordering that alterations be made in the section dealing with Li Tzŭ-ch'êng [q. v.] in chüan 78 of the Ming-shih chi-shih pên-mo—these changes to follow closely the official account in the Huang-Ch'ing k'ai-kuo fang-lüeh (see under Sun Yü-t'ing). Apparently the purpose was to laud the exploits of the Manchus and to minimize the achievements of Wu San-kuei [q. v.].

In his collectanea, Han-hai, Li T'iao-yüan [q. v.] printed a work entitled 博物要覽 Po-wu yao-lan, 12 chüan, attributing it to Ku Ying-t'ai. As a matter of fact the author of the Po-wu yao-lan was Ku T'ai 谷泰 (T. 寧宇), a scholar of the late Ming period who held a post in Szechwan which was Li T'iao-yüan's native province. Most likely Li was misled by the similarity of the two names. Ku Ying-t'ai's collected literary works were entitled 築益堂集 Chu-i t'ang chi.

[2/70/21b; 3/206/18a; 10/19/6a; Ssŭ-k'u 49/6b, 51/7a, 84/5b, 130/3a; Mo Yu-chih [q. v.] Lü-t'ing chih-chien ch'uan-pên shu-mu 4/19a; Lu Lung-chi [q. v.], San-yü t'ang wên-chi; Sun Tsan-yüan 孫贊元, 遵化詩存 Tsun-hua shih-ts'un (1888); Tsun-hua t'ung-chih (通志, 1888).]

Tu Lien-chê