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T

THE

A S K.

BOOK I.

ARGUMENT of the FIRST BOOK.

Hiftorical deduction of feats, from the flool to the Sofa.Afchool-boy's ramble.-A walk in the country.-The fcene defcribed.-Rural founds as well as fights delightful.-Another walk.-Miftake concerning the charms of folitude, corrected,-Colonnades commended.- Alcove and the view from it.—The Wilderness. -The Grove.-The Thresher.-The neceffity and the benefits of exercife. The works of nature fuperior to and in fome inftances inimitable by art.—The wearifomeness of what is commonly called a life of pleasure. -Change of fcene fometimes expedient.— A common defcribed, and the character of crazy Kate introduced upon it.-Gipfies.-The blessings of civilized life.— That state most favourable to virtue.-The South Sea Inlanders compaffionated, but chiefly Omai.—His prefent ftate of mind fuppofed.-Civilized life friendly t virtue, but not great cities.-Great cities, and Lond in particular, allowed their due praife, but cenfured.Fete Champetre.-The book concludes with a refle tion on the fatal effects of diffipation and effemina upon our public measures.

THE

TAS
S

K.

BOOK I.

THE S OF A.

SING the SOFA. I who lately fang

Truth, Hope, and Charity, and touch'd with awe The folemn chords, and with a trembling hand, Escap'd with pain from that advent'rous flight, Now feek repose upon an humbler theme; The theme though humble, yet auguft and proud Th' occafion-for the Fair commands the fong.

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Time was, when cloathing sumptuous or for use, Save their own painted skins, our fires had none. As yet black breeches were not; fattin fmooth, B

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Or velvet foft, or plufh with fhaggy pile:
The hardy chief upon the rugged rock
Wash'd by the fea, or on the grav❜ly bank
Thrown up by wintry torrents roaring loud,
Fearless of wrong, repos'd his weary strength.
Those barb'rous ages paft, fucceeded next
The birth-day of invention, weak at first,
Dull in defign, and clumfy to perform.
Joint-ftools were then created; on three legs
Upborne they stood. Three legs upholding firm
A maffy flab, in fashion fquare or round.
On fuch a ftool immortal Alfred fat,
And (way'd the fceptre of his infant realms;
And fuch in ancient halls and manfions drear
May ftill be feen, but perforated fore
And drill'd in holes the folid oak is found,
By worms voracious eating through and through.

At length a generation more refined Improv'd the fimple plan, made three legs four,

Gave them a twifted form vermicular,

And o'er the feat with plenteous wadding stuff'd
Induced a fplendid cover green and blue,
Yellow and red, of tapestry richly wrought
And woven clofe, or needle-work fublime.
There might ye fee the piony fpread wide,
The full-blown rofe, the fhepherd and his lass,
Lap-dog and lambkin with black staring eyes,
And parrots with twin cherries in their beak.

Now came the cane from India, fmooth and bright With Nature's varnish; fever'd into stripes That interlaced each other, these supplied Of texture firm a lattice-work, that braced The new machine, and it became a chair. But reftlefs was the chair; the back erect Diftrefs'd the weary loins that felt no ease; The flipp'ry feat betray'd the fliding part That prefs'd it, and the feet hung dangling down, Anxious in vain to find the distant floor.

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