1 6 THE SHft KING.
��the dynasties of Kau and Han, and possibly some also when they were recovered under the latter.
4. It remains for us to consider the case of the Tribute
The Tribute f Yii, the first, as the books are now arranged,
of YU. o f those of Hsia, but belonging, as has been
already said, to the period of Yao, or at least to the period
when Yao and Shun were together on the throne. It thus
appears out of its chronological order, and must share in the
general uncertainty which attaches to the documents of
the first two parts of our classic.
Yao, in what year of his reign we are not told, appears suddenly startled by the ravages of a terrible inundation. The waters were overtopping the hills, and threatening the heavens in their surging fury. The people everywhere were groaning and murmuring Was there a capable man to whom he could assign the correction of the calamity ? All the nobles recommend one Khwan, to whom Yao, against his own better judgment, delegates the difficult task, on which Khwan labours without success for nine years. His son Yii then entered on the work. From beyond the western bounds of the present. China proper he is repre- sented as tracking the great rivers, here burning the woods, hewing the rocks, and cutting through the mountains that obstructed their progress, and there deepening their chan- nels until their waters flow peacefully into the eastern sea. He forms lakes, and raises mighty embankments, till at length ' the grounds along the rivers were everywhere made habitable ; the hills cleared of their superfluous wood ; and access to the capital was secured for all within the four seas. A great order was effected in the six magazines (of material wealth) ; the different parts of the country were subjected to an exact comparison, so that contribution of revenue could be carefully adjusted according to their resources. The fields were all classified according to the three characters of the soil, and the revenues of the Middle Kingdom were established.' Of the devotion with which Yii pursued his work, he says himself in the Yi and K\ : 'I mounted my four conveyances,' carriages on the land, boats on the water, sledges in icy places, and