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Gave them a twisted form vermicular,
And o'er the feat, with plenteous wadding stuff'd,
Induc'd a fplendid cover, green and blue,
Yellow and red, of tap'ftry richly wrought
And woven close, or needle-work fublime.
There might ye fee the piony fpread wide,
The full-blown rose, the shepherd and his lass,
Lap-dog and lambkin with black staring 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 reftlefs 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 diftant floor.
These for the rich: the reft, whom fate had plac'd
In modeft mediocrity, content
With bafe materials, fat on well-tann'd hides,
Obdurate and unyielding, glaffy fmooth,
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. Thelumber stood
Pond'rous and fixt by its own maffy weight..
But elbows ftill were wanting; thefe, some say,
An alderman of Cripplegate contriv'd;
And some ascribe th' invention to a priest
Burly and big, and studious of his ease.
But, rude at firft, 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 foffer 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 smiling, in a chaife and one.
But relaxation of the languid frame,
By foft recumbency of outftretch'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 first neceffity invented stools,
Convenience next suggested elbow-chairs,
And luxury th' accomplish'd SOFA last.
The nurse fleeps fweetly, hir'd to watch the sick, Whom fnoring she disturbs. As fweetly he Who quits the coach-box at the midnight hour To fleep within the carriage more fecure, 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 sleep Of lazy nurse, who fnores the fick man dead, Nor his who quits the box at midnight hour To tlumber 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 repose the SOFA yields.
Oh may I live exempted (while I live
Guiltless of pamper'd appetite obscene)
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 vallies, 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 ftill remember, nor without regret
Of hours that forrow fince has much endear'd,
How oft, my flice of pocket store confum'd,
Still hung'ring, pennylefs and far from home,
I fed on scarlet hips and stony haws,
Or blufhing crabs, or berries, that imbofs
The bramble, black as jet, or floes austere.
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