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Wan Shou-ch'i

Wan Shou-ch'i 萬壽祺 (T. 年少 H. monastic name 介若內景, 明志道人慧壽 1603-1652, June 8, poet, painter, and man of letters, was a native of T'ung-shan, Kiangsu. His great-grandfather carne from Nanchang, Kiangsi, and settled in T'ung-shan, the prefectural city of Hsü-chou, for medical practice. His grandfather was provincial censor of Fukien, and his father, Wan Ch'ung-tê<> 萬崇德, (chin-shih, of 1604), served in a number of official positions, including that of provincial censor in Yunnan and Fukien, and assistant judicial commissioner for Shantung. Wan Shou-ch'i became a chü-jên in 1630, and three years later printed, in Peking, his first collection of poems. By this time he had made friends with many famous scholars of the period, and became a member of the politico-literary group known as Fu-shê<> (see under Chang P'u). He made his residence for a time at Huaian, Kiangsu, but removed to Soochow in 1644. When the Manchus pushed south of the Yangtze. in the following year, he joined several of his friends and their small forces in a vain attempt to stop the invaders. Most of his friends were killed and he himself was captured, but after nearly two months of imprisonment someone effected his release, and he returned to Huai-an. In 1646 he adopted the tonsure and garb of a Buddhist priest, indicating complete retirement from active life. During his two years of residence in Soochow there had been repeated plundering by troops and bandits, with the result that his home was burned and the accumulations ol several generations were destroyed-all but the family's stoniest land having to be sold.

Upon his return to Hua.i-an he supported hirnself [801] and his family by the sale of his paintings and specimens of his calligraphy --continuing at the same time to write poetry. In 1648 he built himself in that district the Hsi-hsi ts'ao-t'ang 隰西草堂, mentioned in the titles of his collected works. In 1643 he printed a collection of sixty-nine of his own poems, giving it the title 內景堂詩 Nei-chiang t'ang shih. After his death one of his disciples edited one chüanof his poems under the title, Hsi-hsi ts'ao-t'ang shih, with a preface dated 1685. Most of his extant literary works, however, are included in the Hsi-hsi ts'ao t'ang chi (集), 9 chüan, edited by Sun Yün-chin 孫運錦 (a hsiao-lien fang-chêng of 1851--see under Lo Tsê-nan), and printed in 1824. This work was reprinted in 1919 in the Ming-cHisan hsiao-lien chi (see under Hsü<> Fang) with supplementary pieces added by Lo Chên-yü<> (see under Chao Chih-ch'ien). Wan also left a treatise on Chinese ink designs, entitled 墨表 mo-piao. His poems reflect vividly the troubles of the times in which he lived and therefore possess a strong human interest. His calligraphy has been characterized as among the best of the Ming period.

[ 1/505/4b; 3/471/47a-48; M.59;58/3a; Lo Chên-yü, Wan Niên-shao hsiên-shêng niên-p'u (1919), with biography by Sun Yün-chin; Hs-chou fu-chih (1874) 22 shangg, chung/28b, id. 8 shang/5a; Hsi-hsi ts'ao-t'ang chi, with portrait; L. T. C. L. 11. M., p. 355, lists 13 specimens of his calligraphy and painting;國朝畫家書 Kuo-ch'ao hua-chia t'u (1928) gives a specimen of his calligraphy.]