Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/P'êng Sun-i

P'ÊNG Sun-i 彭孫貽 (T. 仲謀, 羿仁, H. 茗齋, 管葛山人, 管山人), July 7, 1615–1673, historian and poet, was a native of Hai-yen, Chekiang. His father, P'êng Ch'i-shêng 彭期生 (T. 孝弱, 觀民, H. 弱水道人), Jan. 20, 1584–1646), was a chin-shih of 1616, who died a martyr to the Ming cause after failing to defend the city of Kanchow, Kiangsi, against the Ch'ing armies. Grief over his father's death caused him to refrain from becoming an official under the new dynasty, and he remained a senior licentiate which he had become under the Mings. It is known that he was in Peking about 1669 when he wrote some miscellaneous notes of historical importance concerning the officials of that time, entitled 客舍偶聞 K'o-shê ou-wên, printed in the Chên-ch'i t'ang ts'ung-shu (see under Wang Hsien). Although his cousin, P'êng Sun-yü [q. v.], won first place in the special po-hsüeh hung-tz'ŭ examination of 1679, he himself lived a retired life as a poet and as a writer of contemporary history.

A work by P'êng Sun-i in 12 chüan, entitled 平寇志 P'ing-k'ou chih, also known as Liu (流) k'ou chih, records the story of the rise and fall of various rebellious groups in the transitional period covering the years 1628–61. It is said that when Huang Tsung-hsi [q. v.] declined the invitation of the Ch'ing government to assist in the compilation of the Ming History (Ming-shih) he nonetheless reminded the Historiographical Board of the importance of the P'ing-k'ou chih. Banned in the Ch'ien-lung period, the original printed edition of this work became very scarce until reprinted in 1931 by the Peking National Library. Previously, hand-written copies were made, one being now in the Library of Congress. Another work—the 山中聞見錄 Shan-chung wên-chien lu, in 11 chüan—is a history of the military operations in Manchuria in the late Ming period. This, too, was banned in the eighteenth century, but was printed by Lo Chên-yü (see under Chao Chih-ch'ien) in 1914. P'êng Sun-i's authorship of the latter work has been questioned by some on the ground that, having been born and bred in the South, he could not have been conversant with military movements in the North, as the book indicates. Others have noted great similarity between his account of the Ju-chên 女真 and the account in the 東夷考略 Tung-i k'ao-lüeh written by Mao Jui-chêng 茅瑞徵 (T. 伯符, 五芝, H. 苕上愚公, 澹泊居士, 浣花主人), a chin-shih of 1601 and a native of Kuei-an, Chekiang. The Tung-i k'ao-lüeh is the older of the two works (the author's preface is dated 1621) and it seems probable that P'êng drew on it for his own compilation. A manuscript copy of the Tung-i k'ao-lüeh is in the Library of Congress; the Cabinet Library (Naikaku Bunko), Tokyo, possesses a printed edition of the Ming period.

P'êng Sun-i also wrote a supplement to Ku Ying-t'ai's [q. v.] Ming-shih chi-shih pên-mo (Topical History of the Ming Dynasty) which is included in the collective work, 涵芬樓祕笈 Han-fên lou mi-chi of 1918, under the title, Ming-ch'ao (明朝) chi-shih pên-mo pu-pien (補編). His collected works, entitled 茗齋集 Ming-chai chi, in 23 chüan, were reproduced (mostly from the original manuscript) in the Ssŭ-pu ts'ung-k'an hsü-pien (編續, 1934). One source states that he was tall and stately in appearance, witty in conversation, and a connoisseur of wines. He was unofficially given the posthumous name, Hsiao-chieh 孝介.


[2/70/19a; Hai-yen hsien chih (1877) 17/28a; Hsieh Kuo-chên 謝國楨, "The Writings of P'êng Sun-i" (in Chinese), Bul. Nat. Lib. Peiping, vol. 3, no. l, pp. 35–45; 歸安縣志 Kuei-an hsien chih (1881) 36/23b; Liang Yü 梁愈, "A Study of the Shan-chung wên-chien lu" (in Chinese), Historical Annual (Shih-hsüeh nien-pao), vol. 1, no. 5, pp. 213–15.]

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