Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/T'an Ying

T'AN Ying 譚瑩 (T. 兆仁, H. 玉生), Mar. 17, 1800–1871, Oct.–Nov., editor and man of letters, was a native of Canton. Graduated in 1831 as a senior licentiate, he was selected a student of the Imperial Academy. Later he purchased a post as director of schools. In 1838 he was made a superintendent of the Hsüeh-hai t'ang Academy (see under Juan Yüan), a position he held for about thirty years. In 1844 he became a chü-jên, and went to Peking where he competed for the chin-shih degree, but failed. In the succeeding decade or so, he served as director of schools at Chao-ch'ing, Ch'ü-chiang, Chia-ying, Po-lo and Hua-chou in Kwangtung; and finally, when he was appointed prefectural director of schools at Ch'iung-chou in the same province, he declined on the ground of advanced age. During this period he spent most of his time at Canton engaged in editing and teaching. Upon his retirement he superintended not only the Hsüeh-hai t'ang but other Academies at Canton, such as Yüeh-hua 越華, Yüeh-hsiu 越秀 and Tuan-hsi 端溪. In 1859 he was honored with the rank of a secretary of the Grand Secretariat, for his service in collecting funds for the provincial government which, after the Opium War, was in financial straits. He was one of the compilers of the 1835 and 1873 editions (44 and 26 chüan respectively) of the gazetteer of his native district, 南海縣志 Nan-hai hsien-chih.

T'an Ying's most valuable contribution to scholarship was his editing of the voluminous Yüeh-ya t'ang ts'ung-shu and three other collectanea (see under Wu Ch'ung-yüeh) which were published under the name of his patron, Wu Ch'ung-yüeh. It is reported that T'an edited and collated for Wu some 2,400 chüan and wrote about 200 pieces of bibliographical postscripts. T'an was also the virtual editor of the Hai-shan hsien-kuan ts'ung-shu, published by P'an Shih-ch'êng (see under P'an Chên-ch'êng). While he was engaged in the above-mentioned tasks, he obtained many rare books for Wu and P'an, and also collected some 30,000 chüan for his own library which he styled Hsi-ku t'ang 希古堂. He was also a poet and excelled in the p'ien-t'i 駢體, or balanced style. Together with several local poets he organized a literary club named Hsi-yüan Yin-shê 西園吟社. He published in 1861 a collection of verse, entitled 樂志堂詩集 Lo-chih t'ang shih-chi, in 12 chüan, and a collection of prose, entitled Lo-chih t'ang wên-chi (文集, 1859, 18 chüan), of which a supplement in 2 chüan was printed a few years later. Another collection of his prose works was printed in the Hsüeh-hai t'ang ts'ung-k'o (see under Juan Yüan), in 4 chüan, under the title Lo-chih t'ang wên-lüeh (文略). Late in life he compiled a continuation of the 國朝駢體正宗 Kuo-ch'ao p'ien-t'i chêng-tsung, 12 chüan (1806), by Tsêng Yü 曾燠 (T. 庶蕃, H. 賓谷, d. ca. 1831, age 72 sui), consisting of model p'ien-t'i writings of the Ch'ing period. This work, though incomplete, was printed in 1 chüan under the title Hsü (續) Kuo-ch'ao p'ien-t'i chêng-tsung, but was superseded in 1888 by another continuation compiled by Chang Ming-k'o (see under Ch'ien Ta-hsin) in 8 chüan under the title Kuo-ch'ao p'ien-t'i chêng-tsung hsü-pien (續編).

The second son of T'an Ying, T'an Tsung-chün 譚宗浚 (T. 叔裕, original ming 懋安, 1846–1888), took his chin-shih degree with very high honors in 1874, and rose from a compiler of the Hanlin Academy to grain intendant of Yunnan (1885–88). In 1880 he was chosen a superintendent of the Hsieh-hai t'ang. Like his father, he was interested in collecting books and added some 80,000 chüan to the Hsi-ku t'ang Library which he inherited. His collection thus reached at one time some 120,000 chüan, but after his death, which took place on his way home from Yunnan, it evidently was dispersed. T'an Tsung-chün left a collection of prose, entitled Ha-ku t'ang wên-chi (文集), 2 + 6 chüan, printed in 1890, and three collections of verse: 荔村草堂詩鈔 Li-ts'un ts'ao-t'ang shih-ch'ao, 10 + 1 chüan, printed in 1892 and 1910 respectively; 芸潔齋賦草 Yün-chieh chai fu-ts'ao, 4 chüan; and Yün-chieh chai shih-t'ieh (試帖), 4 chüan, both printed in 1895.


[1/491/14b; 2/73/51b; Nan-hai hsien-chih (see above), 1873 edition, 18/14a; 化州志 Hua-chou chih (1888) 7/54a; 香禺縣志 P'an-yü hsien-chih (1931) 39/17b; Literary collections of T'an Ying and T'an Tsung-chün; Jung Chao-tsu, Hsüeh-hai t'ang k'ao, in Lingnan Journal (see bibl. under Lin Po-t'ung).]

Hiromu Momose