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ARGUMENT OF THE FIRST BOOK. Historical deduction of seats, from the stool to the Sofa.
A shool boy'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 necessity and benefits of exercise. The works of nature superior to, and in some instances inimitable by, art.-The wearisomeness 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 state 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.--Fete champetre. The book concludes with a reflection on the fatal effects of dissipation and effeminacy upon our public measures.
1 SING the sofa. I, who lately sang
Time was, when clothing sumptuous or for use,
As yet black breeches were not ;, satin smooth,
* See Poems, Vol. 1. *..
Fearless of wrong, repos’d his weary strength. Those barb'rous ages past, succeeded next The birth-day of invention; weak at first, Dull in design, and clumsy to perform. Joint-stools were then created; on three legs Upborne they stood. Three legs upholding firm A massy slab, in fashion square or round. On such a stool immortal Alfred sat, ' And sway'd the sceptre of his infant realms : And such in ancient halls and mansions drear May still be seen ; but perforated sore, And drilld in holes, the solid oak is found, - By worms voracious eating through and through.
At length a generation more refin'd Improv'd the simple plan ; made three legs four, Gave them a twisted form vermicular, And o'er the seat, with plenteous wadding stuff'd; Induc'd a splendid cover, green and blue,
And woven close, or needle-work sublime. There might ye see the piony spread wide, The full-blown rose, the shepherd 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, smooth and bright With nature's varnish ; sever'd into stripes That interlac'd each other, these supplied Of texture firm a lattice-work, that brac'd The new machine, and it became a chair.
But restless was the chair ; the back erect