3656376Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period, Volume 2 — T'ien WênTu Lien-chê

T'IEN Wên 田雯 (T. 子綸, 綸霞, H. 山薑, 蒙齋) July 7, 1635–1704, Mar. 28, poet, scholar and official, was a native of Tê-chou, Shantung. His father, T'ien Hsü-tsung 田緒宗 (T. 仿安, H. 蓼菴), was a chin-shih of 1652 who died in 1654 while magistrate of Li-shui, Chekiang. Tien Wên passed the provincial examination in 1660 and became a chin-shih in 1664. He was made a secretary in the Pi-shu-yüan 祕書院 in 1667—the first year in which such secretaries were chosen from among the chin-shih. In 1669 he studied poetry with Shên Han-kuang and two years later with Wang Shih-chên and Shih Jun-chang [qq. v.]. Although he was unsuccessful in the special examination of 1679 known as po-hsüeh hung-tz'ŭ (see under P'êng Sun-yü), he had previously acquired considerable literary fame. In the summer of 1680 he was made provincial director of education of Kiangnan and in 1684 grain intendant of Hupeh. While in Peking, in 1686, he was rapidly promoted through the directorship of the Court of Imperial Entertainment, the Grand Court of Revision, and the Court of State Ceremonial. The following year he was appointed governor of Kiangsu, and in the autumn he made a tour of inspection of the lower section of the Yellow River with Chin Fu [q. v.], director-general of Yellow River Conservancy. In 1688 he was transferred to the governorship of Kweichow province where he improved educational facilities and established schools. At that time the Miao tribes in the southeast were creating occasional disturbances, and Wu Hsing-tso (see under Tu Chên), governor-general of Kwangtung, proposed that joint military measures be taken against them. As this would prove costly to both government and people, T'ien Wên advocated a plan of preparedness to which the government agreed.

After observing the period of mourning for the death of his mother, T'ien was called to Peking in 1693 and made junior vice-president of the Board of Punishments. In 1699, after he was transferred to the Board of Revenue, he had charge of one of the two Metropolitan mints under that Board's control—the Pao-ch'üan chü 寶泉局. The other mint, known as Pao-yüan (源) chü, was under the Board of Works. There were in addition provincial mints whose names indicated the provinces in which they were located, e.g. Pao Chih (直) chü in Chihli, Pao Su (蘇) chü in Kiangsu, etc. In 1701 T'ien Wên put in a request for retirement and returned to his home in Shantung in the following spring.

T'ien's collected works, entitled 古歡堂集 Ku-huan t'ang chi, include, in addition to his essays and poems, an historical account of Tê-chou, entitled 長河志籍考 Ch'ang-ho chih-chi k'ao; notes on the province of Kweichow, entitled 黔書 Ch'ien-shu; and his autobiographical nien-p'u. He cultivated an unusual literary style, showing a fondness for bizarre expressions. In reference to this idiosyncrasy the story is told that when ill he would refuse to take the herbs that physicians prescribed for him unless they were provided with strange and unusual names. His eldest son, T'ien Chao-li 田肇麗 (T. 念始, H. 蒼厓, d. 1735), was a man of letters whose collected works are entitled 有懷堂集 Yu-huai t'ang chi. The latter's son, T'ien T'ung-chih 田同之 (T. 硯思, H. 小山薑, 西圃, b. 1667), was a poet. In the seventeen-forties he printed eight of his own works which, together with reprints of his ancestors' writings, came to be known as the 田氏叢書 T'ien-shih ts'ung-shu.

[1/489/10a; 3/52/38a; 20/1/00 (portrait); 32/6/6a; 蒙齋年譜 Mêng-chai nien-p'u (with portrait made when he was 60 sui); Tê-chou chih (1788) 9/27a, 37a; Ssŭ-k'u 173/8b, 184/12a.]

Tu Lien-chê