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No want of timber then was felt or fear'd In Albion's happy isle. The lumber stood Pond'rous and fix'd by it's own massy weight. But elbows still were wanting; these, 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 first, and not with easy slope Receding wide, they press'd against the ribs, And bruis'd the side; "and, elevated high, Taught the rais'd shoulders to invade the ears. Long time elaps'd or e’er our rugged sires Complain'd, though incommodiously pent in, And ill at ease behind. The ladies first 'Gan murmur, as became the softer sex. Ingenious Fancy, never better pleas'd, Than when employ'd taccomodate the fair, Heard the sweet moan with pity, and devis'd The soft settee; one elbow at each end, And in the midst an elbow it receiv’d, United yet divided, twain at once. So sit two kings of Brentford on one throne; And so two citizens, who take the air, Close pack'd, and smiling in a chaise and one,
But relaxation of the languid frame,
The nurse sleeps sweetly, hir'd to watch the sick, Whom snoring she disturbs. As sweetly he, Who quits the coach-box at the midnight hour, To sleep within the carriage more secure, His legs depending at the open door. Sweet sleep 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 snores the sick man dead; Nor his, who quits the box at midnight hour, To slumber in the carriage more secure; Nor sleep enjoy'd by curate in his desk; Nor yet the dozings of the clerk, are sweet, Compar'd with the repose the sofa yields.
O may I live exempted (while I live Guiltless of pamper'd appetite obscene) From pangs arthritic, that infest the toe Of libertine Excess. The sofa suits 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 f grassy swarth, close cropp'd 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 since a truant boy I pass’d my bounds, T' enjoy a ramble on the banks of Thames;. And still remember, nor without regret Of hours, that sorrow since has much endear'd, How oft, my slice of pocket store consum'd, Still hung’ring, pennyless, and far from home, I fed on scarlet hips and stony laws, Or blushing crabs, or berries, that emboss The bramble, black as jet, or sloes austere. Hard fare! but such as boyish appetite Disdains not; nor the palate, undeprav'd By culinary arts, unsav'ry deems. No sofa then awaited my return;
Nor sofa then I needed. Youth repairs
pace or steep ascent no toil to me,
And that my raptures are not conjur'd up