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ARGUMENT of the First Book.
Historical deduetion of seats, from the stool to the Sófa.A school-boy's ramble.
A walk in the country. The scene described.-Rural sounds as well as fights deligbtful.- Anorher walk.—Mistake concerning the charms of solitude, corre&ted.-Colonnades commended. - Alcove and the view from it.-The Wilderness. -The Grove.-The Thresher.-The necessity and the benefits of exercise. The works of nature fuperior to and in some instances inimitable by art.-The wearifomeness of what is commonly called a life of pleasure. -Change of scene fometimes expedient.- A common described, and the charakter of crazy Kate introduced upon it.-Gipfes.—The blessings of civilized life.That siate most favourable to virtue.-The South Sea Isanders composionited, but chiefly Omai.—His prefent 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 Champctra.-The book concludes with a reflec. tion on the fatal effects of disipation and effeminacy upon our public measures,
SING the SOFA. I who ļately sang
Truth, Hope, and Charity, and touch'd with awe
Time was, when cloathing sumptuous or for use,
Or velvet soft, or plush with shaggy pile :
the rugged rock Walh'd by the sea, 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 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 mally flab, in fashion square or round. On such a stool immortal Alfred fat, And (way'd the sceptre of his infant realms ; And such in ancient halls and manfions drear May fill be feen, but perforated fore And drill'd in hules the solid oak is found, By worms voracious eating through and through.
At length a generation more refined Improv'd the simple plan, made three legs four,
Gave them a twisted form vermicular,
Now came the cane from Indiä, smooth and bright With Nature's varnish ; fever'd into stripes That interlaced each other, these supplied Of texturé firm à lattice-work, that braced 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; The Nipp’ry seat betray'd the siding part That press’d it, and the feet hung dangling down, Anxious in vain to find the distant floor.