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The History of a Loyal Heart (Xin shi): a late-Ming forgery

  • STEPHEN G. HAW (a1)


The History of a Loyal Heart (Xin shi) is allegedly a work by the Song loyalist, Zheng Sixiao, written to bemoan the fate of the Song empire after its conquest by the Mongols. There have always been doubts about its authenticity, however, and many scholars have believed it to be a forgery. The arguments for and against this have remained inconclusive, and the work has been commonly used as a source for the history of the Song–Yuan transition period. This article adduces compelling evidence to show that there can be very little doubt that it is a late-Ming forgery. Some of the implications of this conclusion are briefly addressed.



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1 guwen 古文.

2 For a recent discussion of the history of the Book of Documents, see Shaughnessy, E. L., “Shang Shu 尚書 (Shu Jing 書經)”, in Loewe, M. (ed.), Early Chinese Texts: a Bibliographical Guide (Berkeley, Society for the Study of Early China and Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, 1993), pp. 376389, especially pp. 380–385.

3 Ching-Shan, [Jing Shan景善], The Diary of His Excellency Ching-Shan: being a Chinese Account of the Boxer Troubles, trans. J. J. L. Duyvendak (Leiden, 1924); for a brief account of the circumstances of the diary's forgery, see Schell, O., “Reflections on Authentication”, in Zhang Liang, The Tiananmen Papers, (ed.) Nathan, A. J and Link, P. (New York, 2001), pp. 461462.

4 Whitfield, S., “Dunhuang Manuscript Forgeries”, IDP News 20 (2002), pp. 24.

5 See, for example, Xinwei, Zhang 張心溦, Weishu tongkao 僞書通考 [A Comprehensive Examination of Forged Books], 2 Vols. (Shanghai, Shangwu yinshuguan 商務印書館, 1939); and Ruiquan, Deng 鄧瑞全 and Guanying, Wang 王冠英, Zhonguo weishu zongkao 中國僞書總考 [A General Study of Forged Books in China] (Hefei 合肥, Huangshan shushe 黄山書社, 1998).

6 Xin shi 心史. For this translation of the title of the work, see Mittag, A., “Scribe in the Wilderness: The Manchu Conquest and the Loyal-Hearted Historiographer's (Xinshi 心史) Mission”, Oriens Extremus 44 (2003), pp. 3031.

7 鄭思肖.

8 A. Mittag, “Scribe in the Wilderness”, pp. 27–30; Fukang, Chen 陳福康, Jingzhong qishu kao 井中奇書考 [A Study of the Amazing Book in the Well] (Shanghai, Wenyi chubanshe 文藝出版社, 2001), pp. 267268.

9 蘇州.

10 Chen, Jingzhong qishu kao, pp. 134–138; Sixiao, Zheng 鄭思肖, Zheng Sixiao ji 鄭思肖集 [Collected Works of Zheng Sixiao], (ed.) Fukang, Chen 陳福康 (Shanghai, Guji chubanshe 古籍出版社, 1991), pp. 297320.

11 Mote, F. W. and Twitchett, D. (eds.), The Cambridge History of China, vol. vii, The Ming Dynasty, 1368 – 1644, Pt.1 (Cambridge, University Press, 1988), pp. 627630.

12 A more or less complete collection of all biographical information about Zheng Sixiao, which existed prior to the “discovery” of the History of a Loyal Heart, can be found in Wan Sitong 萬斯同, Songji zhongyi lu 宋季忠義錄, juan 11, in Congshu jicheng xubian 叢書集成續編 (Shanghai: Shanghai shudian 上海書店, 1994), pp. xxviii, pp. 465–467.

13 Zheng Sixiao, Zheng Sixiao ji, pp. 301, 302.

14 Zhong Han 鐘焓, “«Xin shi·Da yi lue xu» cheng shu shidai xin kao” «心史·大義略叙» 成書時代新考 [A New Study of the Date of Completion of the Da yi lue xu in the History of a Loyal Heart], Zhongguo Shi Yanjiu 中國史研究 2007.1, pp. 133–149.

15 Ibid., p. 136.

16 Ibid., pp. 136–141; Zheng Sixiao, Zheng Sixiao ji, p. 157.

17 Zhong, “Cheng shu shidai xin kao”, p. 142; Zheng Sixiao, Zheng Sixiao ji, p. 157.

18 John of Plano Carpini, “History of the Mongols”, in C. Dawson (ed.), The Mongol Mission (London, 1955), p. 20.

19 Ibid., pp. 20–21.

20 Allsen, T. T., “The Yüan Dynasty and the Uighurs of Turfan in the 13th Century”, in Rossabi, M. (ed.), China Among Equals: the Middle Kingdom and its Neighbors, 10th – 14th centuries (Berkeley, 1983), p. 246.

21 John of Plano Carpini, “History of the Mongols”, p. 21.

22 Ibid., p. 23.

23 Ibid., p. 21.

24 Cleaves, F. W., “The Historicity of the Baljuna Covenant”, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 18 (1955), p. 382.

25 de Rachewiltz, I., The Secret History of the Mongols: a Mongolian Epic Chronicle of the Thirteenth Century (Leiden, 2006), i, pp. 57, 493494.

26 Cleaves, “Baljuna Covenant”, p. 397; Song Lian 宋濂, et al. (eds.), Yuan shi 元史 (Beijing, Zhonghua shuju 中華書局, 1976), x, juan 120, p. 2960.

27 Mittag, “Scribe in the Wilderness”, pp. 30–41.

28 吳中.

29 Zheng Sixiao, Zheng Sixiao ji, p. 336.

30 崇禎.

31 han 旱.

32 Tingyu, Zhang 張廷玉, et al. (eds.), Ming shi 明史 (Beijing, Zhonghua shuju 中華書局, 1974), ii, juan 30, p. 486.

33 Nan Zhili 南直隸.

34 da han 大旱.

35 Qian, Tan 談遷, Guo que 國榷 (Beijing, Zhonghua shuju 中華書局, 1958), vi, juan 96, p. 5813.

36 Chen Fukang, Jingzhong qishu kao, pp. 134–135; Zheng Sixiao, Zheng Sixiao ji, p. 302.

37 萬曆.

38 Zhang Tingyu, et al. (eds.), Ming shi, ii, juan 30, p. 485.

39 太湖.

40 Zhang Tingyu, et al. (eds.), Ming shi, ii, juan 20, p. 273.

41 Yang Lian 楊鐮, “Zhen yu weide shiji—wenxue shiliao bianwei dubai” 真與僞的世紀—文學史料辨僞獨白 [A Century of Truth and Falsehood—A Soliloquy on Authentication of Sources of Literary History] < = 14605> viewed 12 August 2013; also published in Dong Naibin 董乃斌, et al. (eds.), Zhongguo gudian wenxue xueshushi yanjiu 中國古典文學學術史研究 [Studies on the Historiography of Traditional Chinese Literature] (Urumqi 烏鲁木齊: Xinjiang renmin chubanshe 新疆人民出版社, 1997) [not seen].

42 Song Lian, et al. (eds.), Yuan shi, xv, juan 205, p. 4563.

43 Song Lian, et al. (eds.), Yuan shi, i, juan 12, pp. 247–248; Zheng Sixiao, Zheng Sixiao ji, pp. 178–179.

44 文天祥.

45 Chengxiang 丞相.

46 大都.

47 Song Lian, et al. (eds.), Yuan shi, i, juan 12, p. 249: Zheng Sixiao, Zheng Sixiao ji, p. 156.

48 安東 (usually transcribed Antong 安童 in the History of the Yuan Dynasty).

49 Zheng Sixiao, Zheng Sixiao ji, p. 179.

50 Song Lian, et al. (eds.), Yuan shi, ii, juan 13, p. 265.

51 Jitsuzō, Kuwabara 桑原騭藏, Pu Shougeng kao 蒲壽庚靠, trans. Chen Yujing 陳裕菁, (Shanghai, Zhonghua shuju 中華書局, 1929), pp. 111112.

52 Ibid., pp. 112–113.

53 魏.

54 蒲忠.

55 Shou, Chen 陳壽, San guo zhi 三國志, (Hong Kong: Zhonghua shuju中華書局, 1971), v, juan 56, p. 1307.

56 Tuotuo 脫脫, et al. (eds.), Song shi 宋史 (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju中華書局, 1977), iii, juan 47, p. 942.

57 Called Anxi 安息 in Chinese.

58 Forte, A., “Kuwabara's Misleading Thesis on Bukhara and the Family Name An 安”, Journal of the American Oriental Society 116.4 (1996), pp. 645652.

59 Mote, F. W., “Confucian Eremitism in the Yüan Period”, in Wright, A. F. (ed.), The Confucian Persuasion (Stanford: University Press, 1960), p. 234.

60 Jay, J. W., “Memoirs and Official Accounts: the Historiography of the Song Loyalists”, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 50 (1990), p. 602.

61 Davis, R. L., Wind Against the Mountain: the Crisis of Politics and Culture in Thirteenth-century China (Cambridge, Mass.,1996), pp. 127131.

62 Barnard, N., “Astronomical Data from Ancient Chinese Records: the Requirements of Historical Research Methodology”, East Asian History 6 (1993), pp. 4774.

63 Barnard, “Astronomical Data”, p. 47.

64 Shi lu 實錄.

65 For this and other problems with official Ming historical sources, see the discussion in the introduction to the Guo que by Wu Han 呉晗: “Tan Qian he Guo que” 談遷和國榷, in Tan Qian, Guo que, i, pp. 5–6.

66 Such as the doubts surrounding the accession of the Yongzheng 雍正 Emperor of the Qing 清 dynasty; see Hummel, A., Eminent Chinese of the Ch’ing Period, (Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1943), ii, pp. 916917; and also the Preface to the same work, by Hu Shih: Hummel, Eminent Chinese, i, p. iii.

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