Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Liang Shih-chêng

3643700Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period, Volume 1 — Liang Shih-chêngLi Man-kuei

LIANG Shih-chêng 梁詩正 (T. 養仲, H. 薌林), Feb. 24, 1697–1763, Dec. 18, official and man of letters, was a native of Ch'ien-t'ang (Hangchow). His father, Liang Wên-lien 梁文濂 (T. 次周, 蓮峯, 谿父, H. 1672–1758), was a kung-shêng 貢生 of the Yung-chêng reign-period (1723–36). He received his chin-shih degree in 1730 with the third rank known as t'an-hua 探花, and was appointed a compiler in the Hanlin Academy. In 1732 he became a provincial examiner in Shantung and in 1734 a teacher in the Palace School for Princes. Having served as an expositor (1735) and then as a reader (1738) in the Hanlin Academy he was allotted by Emperor Kao-tsung a house in the south city, Peking. Later he was made sub-chancellor of the Secretariat (1739), vice-president of the Board of Punishments (1739), vice-president of the Board of Revenue (1739–45), assistant director of the Huang-Ch'ing wên-ying Commission (see under Tung Pang-ta), president of the Board of Revenue (1745–48), president of the Board of War (1748–50), chancellor of the Hanlin Academy, Associate Grand Secretary, and president of the Board of Civil Office (1750–52). In 1752 he requested leave to look after his aged father at Hangchow where he remained, devoting himself to study, until his father's death in 1758. He returned to the capital where he served as acting president of the Board of Works (1758–59), and of the Board of War (1759–61), and was reappointed Associate Grand Secretary, Chancellor of the Hanlin Academy, and president of the Board of Civil Office (1761–63). In 1763 he was made a Grand Secretary, was given the title, Grand Tutor of the Heir Apparent, and was again allotted a dwelling near the palace. In the same year he died and was canonized as Wên-chuang 文莊. His remains were taken to South China (1764) for interment in Hsiang-shan, Chekiang (1767).

During the long period in which Liang Shih-chêng served at court he participated in the compilation of various works under imperial order. He was editor-in-chief of the 欽定叶韻彙輯 Chin-ting hsieh-yün hui-chi, 10 chüan, a work on rhymes which was commissioned in 1750; and of the 西清古鑑 Hsi-ch'ing ku-chien, 40 chüan, commissioned in 1749 and completed in 1751. The latter is an illustrated and annotated catalogue of 1,529 bronze utensils and other objects of antiquity preserved in the Imperial Palace. Appended to it is a record of coins, 錢錄 Ch'ien-lu, 16 chüan, illustrating and describing 567 coins from the earliest times to the Ming dynasty. By an edict of 1780 two supplements were ordered to be compiled. These were completed in 1793. The first, entitled 西清續鑑甲編 Hsi-ch'ing hsü-chien, chia-pien, 20 chüan, consists of illustrations and descriptions of 944 objects, and a record of 31 coins, preserved in the Imperial Palace at Peking. It was printed in 1910. The second, entitled Hsi-ch'ing hsü-chien, i-pien (乙編), 20 chüan, is a catalogue of 900 objects preserved in the palace at Mukden. The latter was printed for the first time in 1931 from the manuscript in the Palace Museum. Liang Shih-chêng compiled, together with Shên Tê-ch'ien [q. v.], a topography of the West Lake region, Hangchow, entitled 西湖志纂 Hsi-hu chih-tsuan, 12 chüan, which was commissioned in 1752 and printed in 1755. The work was expanded after Emperor Kao-tsung's third visit to West Lake (1762) and was printed in 15 chüan. Liang Shih-chêng participated also in the compilation of the Shih-ch'ü pao-chi and the Pi-tien chu-lin (for both see under Chang Chao). The poems which Liang composed to match those of Emperor Kao-tsung were printed under the title 矢音集 Shih-yin chi, 5 chüan.

Liang Shih-chêng had two brothers: Liang Ch'i-hsin (see under Liang T'ung-shu), a chin-shih of 1739; and Liang Mêng-shan 梁夢善 (T. 兼士, H. 午樓), a chü-jên of 1753. His two sons were Liang T'ung-shu [q. v.], and Liang Tun-shu 梁敦書 (T. 沖泉, d. 1786). The latter was a chü-jên of 1747 who rose in his official career to junior vice-president of the Board of Works (1785–86).

[1/309/12b; 3/23/1a; 26/2/5a; 29/4/4b; Ssŭ-k'u 42/9a; Wang Ch'ang [q. v.], Hu-hai wên-chuan 27/1a, 68/1a, 12b, 74/1a; Jung Kêng 容庚, 西清金文眞僞存佚表, Yenching Journal of Chinese Studies, no. 5, June 1929, pp. 811–876.]

Li Man-kuei