Page images
[ocr errors]

The history of the following production is briefiy this : A lady, fond of blank verse, demanded a poem of that kind from the author, and gave him the SOFA for a subject. He obeyed ; and, having much leifure, connected another subject with it ; and pursuing the train of thought to which his situation and turn of mind led him, brought forth at length, instead of the trifle which he at first intended, a serious affair a Volume.

In the Poem on the subject of Education, he would be very sorry to stand suspected of having aimed his censure at any particular school. His objections are such as naturally apply themselves to schools in general. If there were not, as for the most part there is, wilful neglect in those who manage them, and an omiffion even of such discipline as they are susceptible of; the objects are yet too numerous for minute attention ; and the aching hearts of ten thousand parents, mourning under the bitterest of all disappointments, attest the truth of the allegation. His quarrel, therefore, is with the mischief at large, and not with any particular inAtance of it.


ARGUMENT of the First Book.

Historical dediction of seats, from the stool to the Sofa.

A School-boy's ramble.--A walk in the country.-Thé Scene described.--Rural sounds as well as fights delightful. - Another walk. Mistake, concerning the charms of Solitude; corrected.-Golonades commended: Alcove, and the view from it.-The Wilderness. -The Grove.-The Thresher:-The necesity and the benefits of exercise. --Tke works of nature fuperior to and in some instances inimitable by art.-The wearifomeness of what is commonly called a life of pleasure. --Change of scene sometimes expedient - A common described, and the charcèter of crazy Kate introduced. -- Gipfies. The blesings of civilized life. That state most favourable to virtue. --The South Sed Islanders compafionated, but chiefly Omai.His prefent ftate of mind supposed.-Civilized life friendly to virtue, but not great cities.-Great cities, and London in particular, allowed their due praise, lut censured. Fete Champetre.The book concludes with a reflection on the fatal effects of difipation and effeminacy 11p0n our public mecsures.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

I SING the SOFA. I who lately sang Truth, Hope, and Charity *, and touch'd with awe The folemn chords, and with a trembling hand, Escap'd with pain from that advent'rous flight, Now seek repose upon an humbler theme; The there though humble, yet august and proud Th'occasion for the Fair commands the song.

Time was, when cloathing sumptuous or for use, Save their own painted skins, our fires had none. As yet black breeches were not ; fattin smooth,

See vol: .




Or velvet soft, or plush with shaggy pile:
The hardy chief upon the rugged rock
Wash'd by the sea, or on the grav’ly bank
Thrown up by wintry torrents roaring loud,
Fearless of wrong, repos’d his weary strength.
Those barb'rous ages paft, succeeded next
The birth-day of invention, weak at first,
Dull in design, and clumsy to perform
Joint-stools were then created; on three legs
Upborne they stood. Three legs upholding firm
A maffy Nab, in fashion square or round.
On such a stool immortal Alfred fat,
And sway'd the sceptre of his infant realms;
And such in ancient halls and mansions drear
May still be seen, but perforated sore
And drill'd in holes the solid oak is found,
By worms voracious eating through and through,

[ocr errors]


At length a generation more refin'd

Improv'd the simple plan, made three legs four,

« PreviousContinue »