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Gave them a twisted form vermicular,
And o'er the feat with plenteous wadding stuff'd
Induced a fplendid cover, green and blue,
Yellow and red, of tap'ftry richly wrought
And woven close, or needle-work fublime.
There might ye see the piony fpread wide,
The full-blown rose, the shepherd and his lafs,
Lap-dog and lambkin with black ftaring eyes,
And parrots with twin cherries in their beak.
Now came the cane from India, fmooth and bright
With Nature's varnish; fever'd into stripes
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 flipp'ry feat betray'd the fliding part
That prefs'd it, and the feet hung dangling down,
Anxious in vain to find the distant floor.
These for the rich: the reft, whom fate had plac'd
In modest mediocrity, content
With base materials, fat on well-tann'd hides
Obdurate and unyielding, glaffy smooth,
With here and there a tuft of crimson yarn,
Or fcarlet 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 maffy weight.
But elbows ftill were wanting; thefe, fome fay,
An Alderman of Cripplegate contriv'd,
And fome afcribe th' invention to a priest
Burly and big, and ftudious of his ease.
But rude at first, and not with easy slope
Receding wide, they prefs'd against the ribs,
And bruis'd the fide, and elevated high
Taught the rais'd fhoulders 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 fofter 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 foft fettee; 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
Clofe pack'd and fmiling in a chaise and one.
But relaxation of the languid frame
By foft recumbency of outstretch'd limbs,
Was blifs referv'd for happier days. So flow
The growth of what is excellent, fo hard
T'attain perfection in this nether world.
Thus firft neceffity invented ftools,
Convenience next fuggefted elbow-chairs,
And luxury th' accomplish'd SOFA last,
The nurse fleeps fweetly, hir'd to watch the fick,
Whom fnoring she disturbs. As sweetly he
Who quits the coach-box at the midnight hour
To sleep within the carriage more secure,
His legs depending at the open door.
Sweet fleep enjoys the Curate in his desk,
The tedious Rector drawling o'er his head,
And sweet the Clerk below: but neither fleep
Of lazy Nurse, who fnores the fick man dead,
Nor his who quits the box at midnight hour
To flumber in the carriage more fecure,
Nor fleep enjoy'd by Curate in his desk,
Nor yet the dozings of the Clerk are sweet,
Compar'd with the repofe the SoF a yields,
Oh may I live exempted (while I live
Guiltless of pamper'd appetite obfcene)
From pangs arthritic that infeft the toe
Of libertine excefs. The SOFA fuits
The gouty limb, 'tis true; but gouty limb,
Though on a SOFA, may I never feel:
For I have lov'd the rural walk through lanes.
Of graffy fwarth close cropt by nibbling sheep,
And skirted thick with intertexture firm
Of thorny boughs: have lov'd the rural walk
O'er hills, through valleys, and by rivers brink,
E'er fince a truant boy I pafs'd my bounds
T' enjoy a ramble on the banks of Thames.
And still remember, nor without regret,
Of hours that forrow fince has much endear'd,
How oft, my flice of pocket ftore confum'd,
Still hung'ring, pennyless and far from home,
I fed on fcarlet hips and ftony haws,
Or blushing crabs, or berries that imbofs
The bramble, black as jet, or floes auftere.
Hard fare! but fuch as boyish appetite
Difdains not, nor the palate undeprav'd
By culinary arts unfav'ry deems.
No SOFA then awaited my return,
Nor SOFA then I needed. Youth repairs