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ARGUMENT OF THE FIRST BOOK.

Historical deduction of feats, from the stool to the Sofa.

---A School-boy's ramble.A walk in the country. -The scene described, -Rural founds as well as fights delightful.

Another walk.-Mistake concerning the charms of solitude corrected. ---Colonnades commended. Akove, and the view from it. -The wilderness.The grove.The thresher. The necesity and the benefits of exercise.The tvorks 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 sometimes expedient.--A common described, and the chara&er of cruzy Kate introduced.-Gipfies.The blesings of civilized life.-That state mofte favourable to virtue.-The South Sea islanders compasionated, 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 Teflexion on the fatal effects of dispation and effeminacy upon our public measures.

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THE

TAS K.

BOOK I.

THE SOFA.

I sing the Sora. I, who lately fang
Truth, Hope, and Charity *, and touch'd with awe
The folemn chords, and with a trembling hand,
Escap'd with pain from that advent'rous flight,
Now seek repose upon an humbler theme;
The theme though humble, yet august and proud
Th' occafion-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; fatin smooth,

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Or velvet soft, or plush with shaggy pile:
The hardy chief upon the rugged rock
Wafh'd by the sea, or on the gravly 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 defign, and clamsy to perform.
Joint-stools were then created; on three legs
Upborn they stood. Three legs upholding firm
A maffy slab, 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 manfions 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.

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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,
Yellow and red, of tap'stry richly wrought

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 ftripes 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; The Nipp'ry seat betray'd the sliding part That press'd it, and the feet hung dangling down, Anxious in vain to find the distant foor. These for the rich : the reft; whom fate had plac'd In modeft mediocrity, content With base materials, sat on well-tann'd hides, Obdurate and unyielding, glasfy smooth, With here and there a tuft of crimson yarn, Or scarlet crewel, in the cushion fixt; If cushion might be call'd, what harder seem'd Than the firm oak of which the frame was form'd.

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No want of timber then was felt or fear'd
In Albion's happy ifle. The umber stood
Pond'rous and fixt by its own maffy weight.
But elbows ftill were wanting; these, soine say,
An alderman of Cripplegate contriv’d:
And some ascribe th' invention to a priest
Burly and big, and studious of his ease.
But, rude at first, and not with easy flope
Receding wide, they press'd against the ribs,
And bruis'd the Gide; and, elevated high,
Taught the rais’d shoulders to invade the ears.
Long time elaps'd or e'er 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 pleas'd
Than when employ'd t'accommodate the fair,
Heard the sweet moan with pity, and devis'd
The soft settee; one elbow at each end,
And in the midst an elbow it receiv'd,
United yet divided, twain at once.
So fit two kings of Brentford on one throne;
And fo two citizens who take the air,
Close pack'd, and smiling, in a chaise and one.

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