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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 necessity and be. nefit of exercise - The works of nature superiour 10, and in some instances inimitable by, ari–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-Fête champêtre- The book concludes with a reflection on the fatal effects of dissipation and effeminacy upon our pubiic measures.
I SING the Sofa. I, who lately sang
Time was, when clothing, sumptuous or for use,
* See Poems, Vol. I,
Thrown up by wintry torrents roaring loud,
25 And drill'd in holes, the solid oak is found, By worms voracious eating through and through.
At length a generation more refin'd
35 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,
40 That interlaced 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 Distress'd the weary loins, that felt no ease;
45 The slipp’ry seat betrayed the sliding part That press'd it, and the feet hung dangling down, Anxious in vain to find the distant floor. These for the rich; the rest, whom Fate had placid In modest mediocrity, content
50 With base materials, sat on well-tann'd hides,