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Yulan Xifang yaoji 御覽西方要紀. [Jap-Sin II, 158. BnF Chinois 1882]
AuthorBuglio, Lodovico 利類思, 1606-1682
Magalhães, Gabriel de 安文思, 1610-1677
Verbiest, Ferdinand 南懷仁, 1623-1688
Pub. Location---Publisher---
Date1669Phys. Desc.1 juan.
LocationDigital ArchivesCall NumberD907.B9 1669d
Yulan Xifang yaoji 御覽西方要紀 / [利類思, 安文思, 南懷仁]
BnF record title also in French: Mémoire sur l'Occident présenté à l'Empereur.
See also Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成初編 ; 3278.

For full bibliographic and textual citation see: Ad Dudink & Nicolas Standaert, Chinese Christian Texts Database (CCT-Database).
Local access dig.pdf. [Yulan Xifang yaoji.pdf]

JapSin II, 158
Yulan Xifang yaoji 御覽西方要紀.
By Lodovico Buglio, Gabriel de Magalhães, and Ferdinand Verbiest.
One juan, bamboo paper in one ce with a paper case. 1669. No place of publication.

The inside of the cover bears a label with a Latin inscription: “Si fang yao ki | Occidentalium (rerum) | compendium | a PP. Buglio | de Magalhaens | et Verbiest | 1669 scriptum | V. Sommervogel vo Buglio.” There is a note by D’Elia that reads: “Supplica offerta da questi | 3 Padri all’Imperatore nel 1669 | in favore dell’innocenza dei | Missionari (e di Schall) | cf Pfister I, 242, 14.”
The recto of folio 1 bears the title of the book. The last folio gives the date and the names of the authors: 康熙八年三月初六日臣利類思,安文思,南懷仁盥手錄.
The whole book consists of fourteen folios with nine columns to each half folio and eighteen characters to each column. The title of the book is given in the middle of each folio and the number of the folio below the fish-tail. Van Heé gives the following description:
Mémoire sur l’Occident présenté à l’Empereur. Cet opuscule, daté de 1669, contient un rapport des trois Pères alors présents à la capitale, Magalhaens, Buglio, Verbiest. En voici l’origine. Kang-Hi venait de prendre en mains les rênes du gouvernement. Après des expériences repétées, Verbiest avait convaincu toute la Cour de l’ignorance du Musulman Ou Ming-Hiuen [吳明烜]. L’Empereur dès lors donne aux Pères des témoignages de bienveillance extraordinaires. Il les appelle au Palais, s’entretient familièrement avec eux, offre goûters et friandises, les questionne sur les sciences et les gouvernements de l’Europe, et se montre enchanté des instruments d’horlogerie, appareils de physique amusante moitié enfantains, moitié serieux qu’ils lui font parvenir. Pour satisfaire sa curiosité, et réprondre plus amplement aux questions posées par l’Empereur encore tout jeune (en 1669 Kang-Hi n’avait que 14 ans), les trois Pères s’entendirent pour composer cette relation sur les choses d’Europe. (Van Hée 1913, pp. 28–29)
See also the annual letter of 1669 (Henri Bosmans, S.J., “Les Lettres annuelles de la vice-province de la Compagnie de Jésus en Chine Année 1669 par Adrien Grelon” in Annales de la Société d’Émulation pour l’étude de l’histoire et des antiquités de la Flandre occidentale 62, Bruges, 1912, pp. 15–61):
Ensuitte, ils luy presenterent une brieve relacion des choses d’Europe en langue chinoise, pour satisfaire plainement a sa curiosité, et respondre a diverses questions, qu’il leur avoit faict quelques jours auparavant. Et dans cette relation ils ensererent deux points de grande importance: le 1r quelle loy ou relligion on suivoit en Europe, et le 2d quels estoient les predicateurs de cette loy. Et bien que l’Empereur entende et parle fort bien la langue chinoise, il vo(u)lut neanmoins que cette relation fust traduitte en langue tartare” (pp. 41–42).
This book covers a wide range of subjects. It deals with the countries in Europe, distance, ships, wonders of the sea, native products, manufactures, Western learning, costumes, customs, legal systems, business transactions, food and drink, medical science, temperament of the people, works of charity, palaces and dwelling places, cities and military defense, marriages, religion, and missioners. There are several passages where the missioners aim directly at the Chinese society of their days or seek to clarify their positions as missioners in China, as illustrated by the following examples:
If there are no direct proofs against the violator of the law, even if the judge witnessed the violation of the law, he is not to impose a heavy penalty on the violator (folio 8r, on legal systems).
Generally speaking, Europeans esteem highly [the virtues of] loyalty and faithfulness. To be unfaithful would be considered as a great disgrace. Hence to call somebody disloyal and a liar would be intolerable (folio 8v, on business transactions).
They like to be frank, and would not dream of cheating others. They maintain as a principle the love of one’s neighbor as oneself and they try to share their fortune with others . . . . In dealing with others they lay stress on humbleness. As a result, it is rare to find in the country people who are not being looked after. They are especially courteous to foreign visitors (folio 10r, on the temperament of the people).
[They set up institutions] for orphans and abandoned children, considering that the poor cannot raise their many children and that it would be a crime to have their children drowned (folio 10v, on works of charity).
Marriage between man and woman, in general, takes place at the age of about twenty, when they are fully grown up, and the engagement takes place at an opportune time. It is done by mutual consent. The property of the wife [is so protected that] the husband cannot dispose of it at will. If the husband happens to commit a crime or if he is in debt, the judge can make him pay from his own property; but he cannot make use of the property of his wife (folio 12r, on marriage).
The Western countries profess only Catholicism and for the past sixteen centuries there has been great peace. The morality and the customs of the peoples are in great harmony. They live in abundance and are happy, each with his own work without quarrels or greed for other peoples’ property (folio 12v, on religion).
The religious enter an order when they are young, and they take the vows not to marry or to seek government honors . . . . They have to pass their examinations with distinction before they are allowed to preach in foreign lands, and they are not allowed to return again to their home lands. Thus, though their origin is in the West, nevertheless they spend their lives in places where they happen to be (folio 13r, on religion).

Source: Albert Chan, S.J., Chinese Books and Documents in the Jesuit Archives in Rome, pp. 442-444.

Full text online at Galllica.
御覽西方要紀Yu lan xi fang yao ji.Mémoire sur l
御覽西方要紀Yu lan xi fang yao ji.Mémoire sur l'Occident présenté à l'Empereur.
Source: gallica.bnf.fr

Subject(s)Europe--Description and travel--17th century
Education--Europe--17th century
Europe--Civilization--Chinese views and opinions
Europe--Social life and customs--Handbooks, vade-mecums, etc.--Early works to 1800
Rec. TypeDigital Book (PDF)LanguageChinese 中文
CollectionRicci Institute LibraryRec. #14740