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The history of the following production is briefly this: A lady, fond of blank verse, demanded a poem of that kind from the author, and gave him the Sofa for a subject. Hfe obeyed; and, having much leisure, connected anbtfiir.su^'tet with it £ jasjd pursuing the train of thought.,; t6« •which; Iti's situation and turn of mind led him, 'Bought forth a| length, instead of the trifle -which he at first intended, a serious affair—a Volume.
Historical deduction of seats, from the stool to the So^ fa.—A School-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 blessing 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.
I Sing the Sofa. I who lately sang
Truth, Hope, and Charity*, and touched with awe
* See Poems, vol. i.
The solemn chords, and with a trembling hand,
Time was, when clothing sumptuous or for use,
At'length a generation more refined Improved the simple plan; made three legs four,