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These for the rich: the reft, whom fate had placed
In modeft mediocrity, content
With base materials, fat on well-tann'd hides
Obdurate and unyielding, glaffy smooth,
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. The umber stood
Pond'rous, and fixt by its own maffy weight.
But elbows ftill were wanting; thefe, fome fay,
An Alderman of Cripplegate contrived,
And some ascribe the invention to a priest
Burly and big and ftudious of his ease.
But rude at first, and not with easy flope
Receding wide, they prefs'd against the ribs,
And bruised the fide, and elevated high
Taught the rais'd shoulders to invade the ears.
Long time elapfed 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 fofter fex.
Ingenious fancy, never better pleas'd
Than when employ'd t' accommodate the fair,
Heard the sweet moan with pity, and devised
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 chaise and one.
But relaxation of the languid frame
By foft recumbency of outstretched limbs,
Was blifs referved for happier days. So flow
The growth of what is excellent, fo hard
T'attain perfection in this nether world.
Thus firft neceffity invented ftools,
Convenience next fuggested elbow chairs,
And luxury th' accomplished Sofa laft.
The nurfe fleeps fweetly, hired to watch the fick Whom fnoring the disturbs. As fweetly he Who quits the coach-box at the midnight hour To fleep within the carriage more secure, His legs depending at the open door. Sweet fleep enjoys the Curate in his defk, The tedious Rector drawling o'er his head, And sweet the Clerk below: but neither fleep Of lazy Nurse, who fnores the fick man dead, Nor his who quits the box at midnight hour To flumber in the carriage more fecure, Nor fleep enjoy'd by Curate in his desk, Nor yet the dozings of the Clerk are sweet, Compared with the repofe 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 suits
The gouty limb, 'tis true; but gouty limb
Though on a SOFA, may I never feel:
For I have loved the rural walk through lanes
Of graffy swarth close cropt by nibbling fheep,
And skirted thick with intertexture firm
Of thorny boughs: have loved the rural walk
O'er hills, through valleys, 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 ftore confumed,
Still hung'ring pennylefs and far from home,
I fed on fcarlet hips and ftony haws,
Or blushing crabs, or berries that imboss
The bramble, black as jet, or floes auftére.
Hard fare! but fuch as boyish appetite
Difdains not, nor the palate undepraved
By culinary arts unfav'ry deems.
No SOFA then awaited my return,
Nor SOFA then I needed. Youth repairs
His wafted fpirits quickly, by long toil
Incurring fhort fatigue; and though our years
As life declines, speed rapidly away,
And not a year but pilfers as he goes
Some youthful grace that age would gladly keep,
A tooth or auburn lock, and by degrees
Their length and color from the locks they spare;
Th' elastic spring of an unwearied foot
That mounts the ftile with eafe, or leaps the fence,
That play of lungs inhaling and again
Refpiring freely the fresh air, that makes
Swift pace or steep afcent no toil to me,
Mine have not pilfer'd yet; nor yet impair'd
My relish of fair profpect; fcenes that footh'd
Or charm'd me young, no longer young, I find
Still foothing and of power to charm me still.
And witnefs, dear companion of my walks,
Whose arm this twentieth winter I perceive
Faft lock'd in mine, with pleasure fuch as love
Confirm'd by long experience of thy worth