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SING the SOFA. I who lately fang Truth, Hope, and Charity *, and touch'd with


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' occasion-for the Fair commands the song
Time was, when cloathing sumptuous or for .

• use, Save their own painted skins, our fires had none. As yet black breeches were not, fattin smooth,

. See vol. I. VOL. II.

B . . Or

Or velvet foft, or plush with shaggy pile :
The hardy chief, upon the rugged rock
Wash'd by the sea, or on the grav'lly bank
Thrown up by wintry torrents, roaring load,
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 massy slab, in fashion square or round.
On such a tool immortal Alfred fat,
And 1way'd the sceptre of his infant realms :
And such, in ancient halls and mansions 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.

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,
Induced a splendid cover, green and blue,
Yellow and red, of tap'ftry 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 stripes 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; The flipp'ry seat betray'd 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 With base materials, sat on well-tann'd hides Obdurate and unyielding, glaffy 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 feem'd Than the firm oak of which the frame was form’d. 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 massy weight. But elbows still were wanting; these, some say, An Alderman of Cripplegate contrivd, 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, B 2


And bruis’d the fide, 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 fex. 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 so two citizens, who take the air, Close pack'd and smiling in a chaise and one. But relaxation of the languid frame, By soft recumbency of outstretch'd limbs, Was bliss reserv'd for happier days. So slow The growth of what is excellent, so hard T'attain perfection in this nether world. Thus first necessity invented stools, Convenience next suggested elbow-chairs, And luxury th’ accomplish'd Sofa last. The nurse sleeps sweetly, hir'd to watch the

fick, Whom snoring she disturbs. As fweetly he Who quits the coach-box at the midnight hour To sleep within the carriage more secure,


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