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Unless otherwise specified, the descriptions of sources in this section are extracted from Pierre-Etienne Will and collaborators,Official Handbooks and Anthologies of Imperial China: A Descriptive and Critical Bibliography (Leiden: Brill, forthcoming).
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TitleDeyi lu 得一錄[A Record of Single Acts of Benevolence]
Topic4.1 Magistrates handbooks: General
Historical periodLate Qing (1797-1911)
AuthorYu Zhi 余治
CollectionGuanzhen shu jicheng 官箴書集成
Number of volume8
Publication typeWoodblock
CommentRem.: The Deyi lu is principally devoted to charities and similar endeavors. Parallel to his own philanthropic activities, the author collected statements on, and more especially the regulations (zhangcheng 章程,  tiaoyue 條約, and the like) of, a vast number of charitable enterprises, past and present, such as philanthropic associations (tongshan hui 同善會), orphanages (yuying tang 育嬰堂), refuges for chaste widows (qingjie tang 清節堂), public pharmacies (shiyao ju 施藥局), associations for promoting frugality (shangjie hui 賞節會), famine relief organizations, charitable schools (yixue 義學), and many more. All of these, he insists, can be used as models and put in practice. The first entry (in the original 1869 ed.) is devoted to the celebrated Fan charitable estate founded by Fan Zhongyan 范仲淹 in the Song dynasty, and the second to the charitable association (tongshan hui) created by the late Ming scholar, Chen Longzheng 陳龍正, the author of Jiuhuang cehui (q.v.). The title of the work is borrowed from a dictum of the Zhongyong to the effect that “A single act of benevolence is enough to earn the people’s enthusiastic gratefulness” (得一善則拳拳服膺). Even though these organizations, which started to multiply in late-Ming Jiangnan, were run and funded by private bodies, the presence of officials as sponsors, guarantors of the regulations, or even prime movers, was pervasive. Several texts quoted in the Deyi lu are proclamations or regulations edicted by local officials. This is especially notable in the sections devoted to famine relief and disaster prevention (j. 5-6 in the 16-juan version); such organisations as the xiangyue and baojia, which in the late empire were part of rural administration, are also included. Also quoted are numerous sample proclamations, public notices, and other documents related to burials, the building of temples, fire prevention, and public morals. The close connection between the state and the so-called philanthropic “public sphere” as well as the active encouragement that was expected from local officials is likewise apparent in the fact that the leaders of the charitable association that put out the 1885 edition published in Changsha planned to distribute their books to every yamen, petitioning the authorities to keep them as “official books”; among the titles whose printing blocks have been given to the Baoshan tang and that they intend to publish, one notes such official handbooks as the Zhouxian shiyi, the Xiyuan lu jie, the Renchen jingxin lu, the Weizheng zhonggao, the Wuzhong yigui, and the Zheyu guijian (qq.vv.). All of this explain why the Deyi lu, while not strictly speaking an official handbook, has been included in several bibliographies or anthologies of guanzhen. Indeed, Yu Zhi’s own definition in his postface of the range of topics discussed well illustrates the continuity of private and public “charitable enterprises” (shanju 善舉): they include “every good enterprise to cherish one’s relatives, be generous to the people and take care of the [ten-thousand] beings, as well as nourish life and take care of the dead, promote useful policies and eradicate abuses, improve customs and change habits” (凡親親仁民愛物以及養生送死興利除弊移風易俗諸善舉).
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