Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Lin Po-t'ung

LIN Po-t'ung 林伯桐 (T. 桐君, H. 月亭), 1775–1845, Jan. 8, scholar, was a native of Canton. He graduated as chü-jên in 1801, but was unable to obtain a chin-shih degree though he competed in the examination several times. In 1810, when pirates terrorized the seacoast of Kwangtung, he presented to Governor-general Pai-ling 百齡 (T. 子頤, H. 菊溪, surname 張, 1748–1816, posthumous name 文敏) a memorial recommending measures for their suppression. It is reported that Pai-ling accepted his suggestions and was successful, thus gaining for himself a minor hereditary rank which was later raised to a baronetcy. In 1826, when Juan Yüan [q. v.] reorganized the famous Hsüeh-hai T'ang Academy (see under Juan Yüan) at Canton, Lin was chosen as one of the superintendents—this being the highest office in the Academy—for unlike other Academies, there was no single director. About the years 1837–39 he tutored two sons of Têng T'ing-chên [q. v.], then governor-general of Kwangtung and Kwangsi. Early in 1844 he obtained an official position as department director of schools at Tê-ch'ing, Kwangtung, where about ten months later he died in office.

Among a group of Cantonese scholars who advocated an eclectic position between the School of Han Learning (see under Ku Yen-wu and Hui Tung) and Sung Neo-Confucianism, Lin Po-t'ung may be regarded as the earliest. He maintained that Chu Hsi never ignored an exegetic or historical study of the Classics. But reacting against the over-ideological trend of contemporary Neo-Confucianism, Lin leaned towards the scientific method of criticizing the Classics which had been developed by the School of Han Learning. From this standpoint he produced two critical works on the Classic of Poetry: 毛詩通考 Mao-shih t'ung-k'ao, 30 chüan, a criticism of Chêng Hsüan's (see under Chang Êr-ch'i commentaries; and Mao-shih chih-hsiao (識小) 30 chüan, a study of terms and passages whose exegesis is doubtful. He did not, however, ignore philosophical study, for he left a work, entitled 供冀小言 Kung-chi hsiao-yen, 1 chüan, which is a collection of 22 essays on human nature, the moral law, etc. A collection of his prose works, entitled 修本堂稿 Hsiu-pên t'ang kao, 5 chüan, also contains many short essays on philosophical and classical subjects. In a work, entitled 冠昏䘮祭考 Kuan-hun sang-chi k'ao, 12 chüan, he explains the formalities of four Confucian rites, the performance of which is regarded as the duty of man, namely, the ceremonies on coming-of-age, of marriage, the funeral rites, and the respect paid to ancestors. The above-mentioned works, and a few others, were edited by his pupils, and were printed in 1844 by his son under the collective title Hsiu-pên t'ang ts'ung-shu. The two first-mentioned works on the Classic of Poetry were reprinted in the Ling-nan i-shu (see under Wu Ch'ung-yüeh). Earlier, in 1838, he published a register of the Hsüeh-hai t'ang Academy under the title, Hsüeh-hai t'ang chih (志). This was supplemented about 1879 by Ch'ên Li [q. v.] and was reprinted in the second edition of the Hsiu-pên t'ang ts'ung-shu. About 20 unpublished works by Lin Po-t'ung were gathered in 1856 by members of the editorial board for the compilation of the P'an-yü hsien-chih (see under Ch'ên Li), but these were destroyed early in 1858 when the allied forces of Great Britain and France occupied Canton (see under Yeh Ming-ch'ên).

Among the scholarly and literary friends of Lin Po-t'ung who lived in or near Canton and who at one time or another served as directors of the Hsüeh-hai t'ang Academy, the following may be mentioned: Chang Wei-p'ing; Liang T'ing-nan [qq. v.]; Wu Lan-hsiu 吳蘭修 (T. 石華, a chü-jên of 1808); Tsêng Chao 曾釗 (T. 敏修, 勉士, d. 1854); Ma Fu-an 馬福安 (T. 聖敬, 止斎, 1789–1846); Hsü Jung 徐榮 (T. 鐵孫, original ming 鑑, 1792–1855); Huang Tzŭ-kao 黃子高 (T. 叔立, 1794–1839); and Huang P'ei-fang (see under Chang Wei-p'ing). A total of some 100 works by these scholars were published, many of them being included in the Ling-nan i-shu or in the Hsüeh-hai t'ang ts'ung k'o (see under Juan Yüan) of which the first series was printed in 1877, and the second in 1886. Wu Lan-hsiu, Tsêng Chao and Huang Tzŭ-kao are also known as bibliophiles.

Perhaps the most celebrated pupils of Lin Po-t'ung were Chin Hsi-ling 金錫齡 (T. 伯年, H. 芑堂, 1811–1892), and the brothers, Hou K'ang 侯康 (T. 君模, original ming 廷楷, 1798–1837) and Hou Tu 侯度 (T. 子琴, original ming 廷椿, 1799–1855). The two first-mentioned were one time superintendents of the Hsüeh-hai t'ang Academy. Two works by Hou K'ang may here be listed: 補後漢書藝文志 Pu Hou Han-shu i-wên-chih, 4 chüan; and Pu San-kuo chih (三國志) i-wên-chih, 4 chüan, both printed in the Ling-nan i-shu. They are supplements to the bibliographical sections of the Dynastic History of the Later Han and of the Three Kindgoms, respectively.


[1/488/25a; 2/69/50b; 3/259/34a; 6/41/8b; Appendix to the second edition of the Hsiu-pên t'ang ts'ung-shu; Literary collections of Chin Hsi-ling and Huang P'ei-fang (not consulted); Jung Chao-tsu 容肇祖, 學海堂考 in Lingnan Journal vol. III, no. 4 (1934).]

Hiromu Momose