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

P'ÊNG Sun-yü 彭孫遹 (T. 駿孫, H. 羨門), 1631–1700, scholar, calligrapher, and official, was a native of Hai-yen, Chekiang. He was made a chin-shih in 1659, and twenty years later was summoned to compete in the special examination known as po-hsüeh hung-tz'ŭ 博學宏詞 which was held on April 11, 1679. He took first honors among the fifty candidates who passed the examination. A total of 188 scholars had been summoned to take it. Of this number thirty-six declined, pleaded illness, or were prevented by death from competing; and 102 failed. Of the fifty who passed, twenty-three were from Kiangsu, thirteen from Chekiang, five from Chihli, three from Anhwei, two from Kiangsi, and one each from Shensi, Honan, Shantung, and Hupei.

After several promotions P'êng Sun-yü rose in 1688 to a sub-chancellorship in the Grand Secretariat, and in the following spring was especially commissioned to pay sacrificial honors at the tomb of Confucius in Shantung. Like all of the scholars who passed the po-hsüeh hung-tz'ŭ examination of 1679, he had a share in the compilation of the History of the Ming Dynasty (Ming-shih), assisting also in the preparation of the official account of the suppression of the Sanfan Rebellion (see under Wu San-kuei), entitled P'ing-ting San-ni fang-lüeh (see under Han T'an). For a time he was Director of the State Historiographer's Office (國史館). He retired from official life in 1697. When, two years later, Emperor Shêng-tsu was on his third tour of the South a tablet, inscribed by the imperial hand, was bestowed upon P'êng as a token of extraordinary favor. The inscription, reading Sung-kuei t'ang 松桂堂 (The Hall of the Pine and the Cassia), appears in the title of his collected works, Sung-kuei t'ang ch'uan chi (全集). This work, in 37 chüan, was printed by his son, P'êng Ching-tsêng 彭景曾 in 1743. As a poet the natne of P'êng Sun-yü was linked with that of his great contemporary, Wang Shih-chên [q. v.]. He was especially praised for his tz'ŭ or poems in irregular metre.


[1/489/14b; 3/59/31a; 20/1/00 (portrait); 29/2/9b; 32/2/1a; Hai-yen hsien chih (1877) 16/8b; Ssŭ-k'u 173/5a.]

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