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ARGUMENT OF THE FIRST BOOK.

Historical deduâion of seats, from the flool to the Sofo.

A school-boy's ramble. A walk in the country. The scene describedo-Rural sounds as well as fights delighta ful.- Another walk.--Miftake concerning the charms of solitude corrected. -Colonnadescommended. -- Alcove, and the view from it. The wilderness.-The grove. - The threfter.-The necesity and benefits of exer. cife. The works of nature superior to, and in some infances inimitable by, art.The wearifomeness of what is commonly called a life of pleasure. Change of scene fometimes expedient.-A common described, and, the chara&ter of crazy Kate introduced.Gipfies.The blessings of civilized life. That fate most favour. able to virtue. --The South Sea Islanders compaffionated, but chiefly Omai. His present fate of mind fupposed.--Civilized life friendly to virtue, but not great cities.-Great cities, and London in particular, allowed their due praise, but cenfured.-Fete champetre. --The book concludes with a refledion on the fatal effe&ts of dilipation and effeminacy upon our public measures.

THE TASK.

BOOK I.

THE SOFA

I SING the Sofa. I, who lately fang
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 theme though humble, yet august and proud
Th'occasion for the Fair commands the song.

Time was, when clothing sumptuous or for uses Save their own painted Asins, our fires had none. As

yet black breeches were not; fattin fmooth, Or velyet foft, or plush with shaggy pile:

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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 massy Nab, in fashion square or round.
On such a stool immortal ALFRED sat,
And sway'd the sceptre of his infant realms;
And such in ancient halls and mansions drear
May still be seen; but perforated fore,
And drill'd in holes, the solid oak is found,
By worms voracious eating through and through.

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 tap'stry richly wrought And woven close, or needle-work sublime. There might ye see the piony spread wide, The full-blown rose, the shepherd and his lass,

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