« PoprzedniaDalej »
ARGUMENT OF THE FIRST BOOK.
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 delightfui.- 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 champêtre.-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 piles •
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, Induc'd a splendid cover, green and blue, Yellow and red, of tapestry richly wrought
And woven close, or needlework sublime.
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. These for the rich; the rest, whom Fate had plac'd 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 callid, what harder seem'd Than the firm oak, of which the frame was form’d.