De' Ricci's own memoirs, Memorie di Scipione de' Ricci, vescovo di Prato e Pistoia, edited by Antonio Galli, were published at Florence in 2 vols.
Their proceedings were very cautious and tentative; they excited the curiosity and interest of even the more intelligent Chinese by their clocks, their globes and maps, their books of European engravings, and by Ricci's knowledge of mathematics, including dialling and the projection of maps.
For some time Ricci's residence was at Nan-changfu, the capital of Kiang-si; but in 1598 he was able to proceed under favourable conditions to Nan-king, and thence for the first time to Peking, which had all along been the goal of his missionary ambition.
They obtained a settlement, with an allowance for subsistence, in Peking, and from this time to the end of his life Ricci's estimation among the Chinese was constantly increasing, as was at the same time the amount of his labours.
Ricci's work was the foundation of the subsequent success attained by the Roman Catholic Church in China.
When the missionaries of other Roman Catholic orders made their way into China, twenty years later, they found great fault with the manner in which certain Chinese practices had been dealt with by the Jesuits, a matter in which Ricci's action and policy had given the tone to the mission in China - though in fact that tone was rather inherent in the Jesuit system than the outcome of individual character, for controversies of an exactly parallel nature arose two generations later in southern India, between the Jesuits and Capuchins, regarding what were called "Malabar rites."
Attention and reputation among Chinese readers was a Treatise upon Friendship, in the form of a dialogue containing short and pithy paragraphs; this is stated in the De Expeditione to have been suggested during Ricci's stay at Nan-chang by a conversation with the prince of Kien-ngan, who asked questions regarding the laws of friendship in the West.
Some of the characteristics thus indicated may have suggested the bitterness of attacks afterwards made upon Ricci's theology.
Ricci's pointed attacks on Buddhism, and the wide circulation of his books, called forth the opposition of the Buddhist clergy.
These were brought to Ricci's notice in an ostensible tone of candour by Yu-chun-he, a high mandarin at the capital.
This letter, with Ricci's reply, the three Buddhist declamations and Ricci's confutation, were published in a collected form by the Christian Sen-Kwang-K'e.
Another work of Ricci's which attracted attention was the Hsi-kuo fa, or "Art of Memory as practised in the West."
The chief facts of Ricci's career are derived from Trigault; some contemporary works on the rites controversy have also been consulted; in the notice of Ricci's Chinese writings valuable matter has been derived from Notes on Chinese Literature by A.
A number of Ricci's letters are extant in the possession of the family, and access to them was afforded to Giuseppe La Farina, author of the work called La China, considerata nella sua Storia, &c. (Florence, 1843), by the Marchese Amico Ricci of Macerata, living at Bologna.
With the aid of Scipione de' Ricci, bishop of Pistoia, he even attempted to remove abuses, reform church discipline and purify religious worship; but Ricci's action was condemned by Rome.
With Ricci's assistance, he rapidly mastered the elements of the science, and eventually extorted his father's reluctant permission to exchange Hippocrates and Galen for Euclid and Archimedes.