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 cor rected. Colonnades commended.-Alcove, and the view from it.-The wilderness.-The groveThe thresher.-The necessity and the benefits of exercise. The works of nature superior to, and in some instances inimitable by, art.-The weari someness 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 civilised life. That state most favourable to virtue. The South Sea islanders compassionated, but chiefly Omai. His present state of mind posed.-Civilised life friendly to virtue, but not great cities. Great cities, and London in particular, allowed their due praises, but censured.Fête champêtre.-The book concludes with a reflection on the fatal effects of dissipation and effeminacy upon our public measures.






ISING the Sofa. I, who lately sang

Truth, Hope, and Charity,* and touch'd with awe
The solemn chords, and with a trembling hand,
Escaped with pain from that adventurous flight,
Now seek repose upon an humbler theme;

The theme though humble, yet august and proud
The occasion-for the Fair commands the song.
Time was,
when clothing sumptuous or for use,
Save their own painted skins, our sires had none.


yet black breeches were not; satin smooth, Or velvet soft, or plush with shaggy pile: The hardy chief upon the rugged rock Wash'd by the sea, or on the gravelly bank Thrown up by wintry torrents roaring loud, Fearless of wrong, reposed his wearied strength. Those barbarous 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


massy slab, in fashion square or round.

On such a stool immortal Alfred sat,

And sway'd the sceptre of his infant realms:
And such in ancient halls and mansions drear

See Poems, pages 38, 74, 94.

May still be seen; but perforated sore,
And drill'd in holes, the solid oak is found,
By worms voracious eaten through and through.
At length a generation more refined

Improved 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 tapestry 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 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 slippery 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 placed
In modest mediocrity, content

With base materials, sat on well-tann'd hides,
Obdurate and unyielding, glassy smooth,
With here and there a tuft of crimson yarn,
Or scarlet crewel, in the cushion fix'd,

If cushion might be call'd, what harder seem'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 isle. The lumber stood
Ponderous and fix'd by its own massy weight.
But elbows still were wanting; these, some say,
An alderman of Cripplegate contrived;
And some ascribe the invention to a priest,
Burly, and big, and studious of his ease.
But rude at first, and not with easy slope

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