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'■ 'HE 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. He obeyed; and, having much leisure, connected another subject with it; and pursuing the train of thought to which his situation and turn of mind led him, brought forth at length, instead of the trifle which he at first intended, a seriom affair—a volume.
In the Poem on the subject of Education, he would be very sorry to stand suspected of having aimed his censure at any particular school. His objections are such as naturally apply themselves to schools in general. If there were not, as for the most part there is, wilful neglect in those who manage them, and an omission even of such discipline as they are susceptible of, the objects are yet too numerous for minute attention ; and the aching hearts often thousand parents, mourning under the bitterest of all disappointments, attest the truth of this allegation. His quarrel, therefore, is with the mischief at large, and not with any particular instance of it.
ARGUMENT of the First Book.
Historical deduction os seats, from the stool to the Sofa.—' A School-boys ramble.—A walk in the country.— 'the scene described.— Rural sounds as well as fights delightful.—Another -walk.—Mistake, concerning the charms of solitude, corrected.— Colonadcs commended.—Alcove and the view from it.—The WilAmtfsf—lht Grove.—The thresher.—The necessity and the benefits of exercise.—The works of nature superior to and in some instances inimitable by art.— The -wearsomeness of what is commonly called a life of pleasure.—Change os scene sometimes expedient.— A common described, and the character os crazy Kate introduced.—Gipsies.—The blessings of civilized life. —That state most favourable to virtue.—The South Sea Istanders compassionated, but chiefly Omai.— His present state os mind sup. osed.- Civilized Use friendly to virtue, but not great cities.—Great cities, and London in particular, allowed their due praijc, hut censured.—Fete Champetre.—The book concludes viith a refection on the fatal effects of di flip at ion and effeminacy upon our public measures.
X SING the Sofa. I who lately fang
use, Save their own painted Ikins, our sires had none. As yet black breeches were not; sattin smooth,
* See vol. i. Vol. II. B Or