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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 wildernessThe grove-The thresher-The necessity and benefit of exercise --The works of nature superiour to, and in some instances inimi. table 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-Fête champêtre-The book concludes with a reflection on the fatal offects of dissipation and effeminacy upon our public 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 drillid in holes, the solid oak is found, By worms voracious eating through and through.
At length a generation more refin'd
Now came the cane from India, smooth and bright, With nature's varnish ; sever'd into stripes, 40 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 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 plac'd In modest mediocrity, content
50 With base materials, sat on well-tann'd hidos,