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Chang Wei-p'ing

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Chang Wei-p'ing 張維屏 (T. 子樹 H. 南山, 松心子, 珠海老漁), Oct. 27, 1780-1859, Oct. 13, official and poet, was a native of P'an-yü<> (Canton). For his early education he was indebted to his father, Chang Ping-wên 張炳文 (T. 虎臣 H. 繡山, 1753-1826), who was a teacher and a chü-jên of 1801. Before he was thirty sui Chang Wei-p'ing achieved fame as a poet in South China, and when he went to Peking in 1807 he was regarded as a rival of the poets in the capital. In 1822 he received his chin-shih degree and was appointed, later in that year, acting magistrate of Huang-mei, Hupeh. He is remembered by the people of that district for the help he rendered, at great risk to his life, during a flood in 1823. In the latter year he was transferred temporarily to Sung-tz ŭ, and in the following year became magistrate of Kuang-chi—both in Hupeh. He resigned in 1825, and was appointed acting sub-prefect of Hsiang-yang, Hupeh, but returned to his home in Canton, owing to his father's death. In 1829 he became a supervisor of the Academy known as Hsüeh-hai t'ang (see under Juan Yüan)—a position he again filled in 1838. In 1832 he resumed official life and held the following temporary posts in Kiangsi: sub-prefect of Yüanchow, magistrate of T'ai-ho (1832), second class sub-prefect at Chi-an (1835), and prefect of Nan-k'ang (1835-36). In 1836 he requested leave to retire, and after a visit to Lu-shan 廬山 returned to Canton. In 1837 he made a journey to Kuei-lin, Kwangsi, and upon his return, in the same year, he moved to a garden called Tungyüan 東園 which he rented in the area known as Hua-ti 花地 across the river from Canton. In 1846 his second son, Chang Hsiang-t'ai (see below) bought and rebuilt for him a garden styled T'ing-sung lu 聽松廬 (in eastern Hua-ti) where he devoted himself to study and to writing. He died at his ancestral home in the inner city, Canton, and was buried at Yin-k'êng ling 銀坑嶺, east of the city.

Chang Wei-p'ing was, in his time, one of the Three Masters of Verse in Kwangtung 粵東三子, the other two being T'an Ching-chao 譚敬昭 (T. 子晉, 康候 H. 選樓, 1773-1830), a chin-shih of 1817, and the author of the 聽雲樓詩鈔 T'ing-yün lou shih-ch'ao ; and Huang P'ei-fang 黃培芳 (T. 子實 H. 香石, 香石粵嶽, 1779-1859), a native of Hsiang-shan, a senior licentiate of 1804, and the author of some thirty works, among which are: 嶺海樓詩鈔 Ling-hai lou shih-ch'ao, 12 chüan ; Ling-hai lou ching-i (經義), 2 chüan ; and 香石詩話 Hsiang-shih shih-hua, 4 chüan (1810). These three poets, and four others, organized a Poetry Club, known as Yün-ch'üan Shih-shê<> 雲泉詩社, which erected (1812) on White Cloud Mountain, northeast of Canton, a retreat called Yün-ch'üan Shan-kuan (山館).
As a writer Chang Wei-p'ing excelled both in verse and in prose. His poems were printed, and continuously supplemented, under various titles—the most complete collection being the 松心詩集 Sung-hsin shih-chi, 27 chüan, which includes his verse written during the years 1794 to 1858. His tz' ŭ or poems in irregular meter (but disposed according to fixed patterns), entitled 海天詩集 Hai-t'ien. hsia-ch'ang, 3 chüan, were printed with a supplement entitled 玉香亭詞 Yü-hsiang-t'ing tz' ŭ, 1 chüan, which contains a number of poems that he wrote to commemorate his fiancée who died before their marriage. Chang Wei-p'ing compiled the 國朝詩人徵略 Kuo-ch'ao shih-jên chêng-lüeh in two series—the first (初編), 60 chüan, being printed in 1830; the second (二編), 57 chüan, in 1842. Though the last chüan is numbered 64, the actual number of chüan is 57. This work consists of biographical sketches of men of letters of the Ch'ing period with information and criticism drawn from various sources, as well as comments by the compiler. Another work of a similar nature is the 藝談錄 I-t'an-lu, 2 chüan— the first chüan dealing with poets and scholars in general, the second including only poets who were natives of Kwangtung. The miscellaneous prose works of Chang Wei-p'ing were printed under the collective title 松心文鈔 Sung-hsin wên-ch'ao, 10 chüan. His rhythmical prose, entitled 聽松廬駢體文鈔 T'ing-sung lu p'ien-t'i wên ch'ao, 4 chüan, was published with a preface dated 1843. His other works in prose are: 花甲閒談 Hua-chia hsien-t'an, 16 chüan (preface dated 1839), consisting of 32 paintings by a student, Yeh Mêng-ts'ao 葉夢草 (T. 生香 H. 春塘), depicting important incidents in the life of Chang Wei-p'ing with poems and essays relating to the incidents, which Chang and his friend had composed;桂遊日記 Kuei-yu jih-chi, 3 chüan, a diary which he wrote in 1837 about his trip to Kuei-lin;經字異同 Ching-tz ŭ i-t'ung, 48 chüan ;讀經求義 Tu-ching ch'iu-i, 2 chüan ;[59] and the 史鏡 Shih-ching. His works, entitled T'ing-sung-lu shih-hua (詩話), Sung-hsin jih-lu (日錄), 松軒隨筆 Sung-hsüan sui-pi, and 老漁閒話 Lao-yü<> hsien-hua, were included in the Kuo-ch'ao shih jên chêng-lüeh and in the I-t'an-lu.

Chang Wei-p'ing was interested in painting and calligraphy and gained recognition in both fields. He was also an expert in medicine which he studied for forty years. He loved pines, and incorporated in his pseudonym, and in the titles of most of his works, the character sung 松, meaning pine. A perusal of his Sung-hsüan sui-pi discloses the fact that he was one of the few writers of his time who appreciated the works of Ts'ui Shu [q.v.] and the foresight of Ch'ên Li-ho (see under Ts'ui Shu) in printing and thus preserving Ts'ui's works.


Chang Wei-p'ing had four sons. The three who survived him were: Chang Hsiang-chin 張祥晉 (T. 賓隅, 1817-1858), a chü-jên of 1837; Chang Hsiang-t'ai 張祥泰, a chü-jên of 1849; and Chang Hsiang-chien 張祥鑑 (T. 韶臺), a chü-jên of 1839. A daughter, Chang Hsiu-tuan 張秀端 (T. 蘭士), was a poetess, and the author of the 碧梧樓詩鈔 Pi-wu lou shih-ch'ao. Two grandsons, Chang Chao-chia 張兆甲 (T. 蘭軒), and Chang Chao-ting 張兆鼎 (T. 廷秋, ? 子) were chin-shih of 1865 and 1877 respectively, and both became compilers in the Hanlin Academy.

[ 1/491/10b; 2/73/29b; 5/79/4b; 7/44/9a; 19/ 庚上 /31b; 26/3/54b; 29/9/16; 21/9/10a; P'an-yü<> hsien chih (1871); P'an-yü<> hsien hsü-chih (續志, 1931);廣州府志 Kuang-chou fu chih (1879) 95/5a, 96/2a;香山縣志 Hsiang-shan hsien chih (1879) 15/13b, chüan 21; Jung Chao-tsu 容肇組, Lingnan Journal, vol. III, no. 4, pp. 1-147.]

Li Man-kuei