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THE SOFA.

ARGUMENT OF THE FIRST BOOK.

Historical deduction of seats from the Stool to the Sofa

-A Schoolboy's ramble-A walk in the countryThe scene described-Rural sounds as well as sights delightful-Another walk-Mistake concerning the charms of solitude corrected-Collonades commended-Alcove, and the view from it-The wilderness -The grove--The thresher-The necessity and ben. efit of exercise- The works of nature superiour to, and in some instances inimitable by, art-The wea. risomeness 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 civilized lifeThat state most favourable to virtue-The South Sea islanders compassionated, but chiefly Omai-His present state of mind supposed-Civilized life friend. ly to virtue, but not great cities-Great cities, and London in particular, allowed their due praise, but censured-Fête Champêtre—The book concludes with a reflection on the fatal effects of dissipation and effeminacy upon our public measures.

THE TASK.

BOOK I.

THE SOFA.

I SING the Sora. I, who lately sang, Truth, Hope, and Charity,* and touch'd with awe The solemn 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 T'h' occasion-for the fair commands the song.

Time was, when clothing, sumptuous or for use, Save their own painted skins, our sires had none. As yet black breeches were not; satin smooth, Or velvet soft, or plush with shaggy pile : Tlie hardy chief, upon the rugged rock Wash'd by the sea, or on the gravelly bank Thrown up by wintry torrents roarinig loud, * See Cow per's Poems, vol. I.

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