Xiong Mingyu and the Young Fang Yizhi: From Ze Cao and Related Sources
徐光台 漢學研究 28:3=62 2010.09[民99.09] 頁259-290
幼隨家君長溪見熊公則艸談〔西學〕此事」， 過去從方以智觀點解讀為：他九歲時見熊明遇（1579- 1649）就草談西學，但未指出那時他向熊明遇請教了哪些西學。 本世紀初發現熊明遇在萬曆末年於福寧出版《則草》， 使吾人可採用熊明遇觀點與《則草》相關資料來重建當時歷史， 解讀前引文為方以智「幼隨家君長溪，見熊公《則草》談此事」。 崇禎年間他流寓南京時見《天學初函》，回憶早年在長溪見熊明遇《 則草》，其中引用某些西學作品被收入《天學初函》中，在《 膝寓信筆》中寫下前引文。 依此本文推論幼年方以智向熊明遇學習西學的內容與範圍， 並確定這是士人間傳播西學的一個重要案例。
In his Xi yu xin bi 膝寓信筆, Fang Yizhi 方以智 (1611-1671) writes:“幼隨家君長溪見熊公則艸談〔西學〕此事.” This has been interpreted as stating that at the age of nine, when he went with his father Fang Kongzhao 方孔炤 (1591-1655) to Changxi 長溪 to meet Xiong Mingyu 熊明遇 (1579-1649), they “then briefly discussed this,” i.e., Western learning. Scholars have relied exclusively upon Fang Yizhi’s own account of this event, which does not indicate whether he had studied any Western learning with Xiong on that occasion. In this paper the author will provide a new interpretation based on Xiong Mingyu’s Ze cao 則草 and hitherto unexplored materials relevant to him. The recent discovery of Ze cao confirms that Xiong Mingyu published his text in Funing 福寧 in 1619-1620. During his stay in Nanjing 南京 from 1634 to 1639, Fang Yizhi saw the Tian xue chu han 天學初函, a section of
which reminded him that as a child during his stay in Changxi 長溪, he had seen Xiong Mingyu’s Ze cao in which Xiong had cited or paraphrased some Western works later edited and included into the Tian xue chu han. This implies the above-mentioned key sentence in Xi yu xin bi has to be interpreted as that he had seen Xiong Mingyu’s Ze cao dealing with it [i.e., Western learning]. Consideration of materials relating to Xiong Mingyu and his views thus brings us to conclude that in his childhood Fang had read Ze cao and learned about its content from Xiong. This episode thus represents Fang Yizhi’s first encounter with Western scientific knowledge.