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ARGUMENT OF THE FIRST BOOK.

Historical deduction of seats, from the stool to the Sofa. A schoolboy's ramble. A walk in the country. The scene described. Rural sounds as well as sights delightful. Another walk. Mistake concerning the charms of solitude corrected. Colonnades commended. Alcove, and the view from it. The Wilderness. The Grove. The Thresher. The necesity and the benefits of exercise. The works of nature superior to, and in some instances inimitable by, art. The wearifomeness of what is commonly called a life of pleasure. Change of scene sometimes expedient. A common described, and the character of crazy Kate introduced. Gipsies. The blessings of civilized life. That flate most favourable to virtue. The South Sea islanders compassionated, but chiefly Omai. His present state of mind supposed. Civilized life friendly to virtue, but not great cities. Great cities, and London in particular, allowed their due praise, but censured. Fête Champêtre. The book concludes with a reflection on the effects of disipation and effeminacy upon our public measures.

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SING the Sofa. I who lately sang
Truth, Hope, and Charity, and touch'd

with awe
The solemn chords, and with a trembling hand,
Escaped with pain from that adventurous flight,
Now seek repose upon an humbler theme:
The theme though humble, yet august and proud
The occasion-for the Fair commands the song.
Time was, when clothing, sumptuous or for use,

, Save their own painted skins, our fires had none. As yet black breeches were not; satin smooth, Or velvet soft, or plush with shaggy pile : The hardy chief upon the rugged rock, Wash'd by the sea, or on the gravelly bank Thrown up by wintry torrents roaring loud, Fearless of wrong, reposed his weary strength. Those barbarous ages past, succeeded next The birthday of Invention; weak at first, Dull in design, and clumsy to perform. Joint-stools were then created; on three legs

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Upborne they stood,-three legs upholding firm
A massy sab, in fashion square or round.
On such a stool immortal Alfred fat,
And sway'd the sceptre of his infant realms :
And such in ancient halls and mansions drear
May still be seen; but perforated fore,
And drill'd in holes, the solid oak is found,
By worms voracious eating through and through.

At length a generation more refined
Improved the simple plan; made three legs four,
Gave them a twisted form vermicular,
And o'er the seat, with plenteous wadding stuff'd,
Induced a splendid cover, green and blue,
Yellow and red, of tapestry richly wrought
And woven close, or needlework sublime.
There might ye see the piony spread wide,
The full blown rose, the shepherd and his lass,
Lapdog and lambkin with black staring eyes,
And parrots with twin cherries in their beak.
Now came the cane from India, smooth and

bright
With Nature's varnish; sever'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 restless was the chair; the back erect
Distressd the weary loins, that felt no ease ;
The slippery seat betray'd the Niding part
That presťd it, and the feet hung dangling down,
Anxious in vain to find the distant floor.
These for the rich; the rest, whom Fate had placed
In modest mediocrity, content

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With base materials, sat on well tann'd hides,
Obdurate and unyielding, glassy smooth,
With here and there a tuft of crimson yarn,
Or scarlet crewel, in the cushion fix'd,
If cushion might be calld, what harder seem'd
Than the firm oak of which the frame was form’d.
No want of timber then was felt or fear'd
In Albion's happy ille. The lumber stood
Ponderous and fix'd by its own massy weight.
But elbows still were wanting; these, some say,
An Alderman of Cripplegate contrived ;
And some ascribe the invention to a priest,
Burly and big, and studious of his ease.
But rude at first, and not with easy flope
Receding wide, they prefl'd against the ribs,
And bruised the side ; and, elevated high,
Taught the raised shoulders to invade the ears.
Long time elapsed or ere our rugged fires
Complain'd, though incommodiously pent in,
And ill at ease behind. The ladies first
'Gan murmur, as became the softer sex.
Ingenious Fancy, never better pleased
Than when employ'd to accommodate the fair,
Heard the sweet moan with pity, and devised
The soft settee; one elbow at each end,
And in the midst an elbow it received,
United yet divided, twain at once.
So fit two Kings of Brentford on one throne;
And so two citizens, who take the air,
Close pack’d, and smiling, in a chaise and one.
But relaxation of the languid frame,
By soft recumbency of outstretch'd limbs,

Was bliss reserved for happier days ;-so slow
The growth of what is excellent; so hard
To attain perfection in this nether world.
Thus first Necessity invented stools,
Convenience next suggested elbow chairs,
And Luxury the accomplish'd Sofa last.

The nurse sleeps sweetly, hired to watch the sick,
Whom snoring The disturbs. As sweetly he
Who quits the coach-box at the midnight hour,
To sleep within the carriage more secure,
His legs depending at the open

door. Sweet sleep enjoys the Curate in his desk, The tedious Rector drawling o'er his head; And sweet the Clerk below. But neither sleep Of lazy nurse, who snores the fick man dead, Nor his who quits the box at midnight hour, To flumber in the carriage more secure, Nor sleep enjoy'd by Curate in his desk, Nor

yet the dozings of the Clerk are sweet, Compared with the repose the Sofa yields.

Oh may I live exempted (while I live
Guiltless of pamper'd appetite obscene)
From pangs arthritic, that infest the toe
Of libertine excess. The Sofa suits
The gouty limb, 'tis true;

'tis true ; but gouty limb,
Though on a Sofa, may I never feel :
For I have loved the rural walk through lanes
Of graffy swarth, close cropp'd by nibbling sheep,
And skirted thick with intertexture firm
Of thorny boughs; have loved the rural walk
O’er hills, through valleys, and by rivers' brink,
E’er since a truant boy I paff’d my bounds

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