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Historical deduction of seats, from the stool to the Sofa.
--A School-boy'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 corrected. —Colonnades commended. -- Alcove, and the view from it.—The, wilderness.The grove. --The thresher.—The necessity and the benefits of exercise. --The works of nature superior to, and in some instances inimitable by, art. –The wearisomeness 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 life.That state most favourable to virtue. -The South Sea islanders compassionated, but chiefly Omai. – His present state of mind supposed. -Civilized life friendly to virtue, but not great cities. ---Great cities, and London in particular, allowed their due praise, but censured. --Fete champetre. --The book concludes with a reflection on the fatal effects of dissipation and effeminacy upon our public measures.
I sing the Sofa. I, who lately sang
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:
* See Poems, Vol. I.
The hardy chief upon the rugged rock
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,
Now came the cane from India, smooth and
bright With Nature's varnish; sever'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 slipp’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.