chapter  4
9 Pages

John Langhorne, Monthly Review, January 1765

Almost every species of affectation has its origin in vanity, and that with which Authors are so justly chargeable, when they pretend to be unconcerned about the success of their works, is derived from no other source. While they bear before them a negligence of praise, their whole aim is to persuade us, that they should be equally careless of censure; and thus, by a kind of preposterous opposition to attacks which they have not felt, their fastidious indifference exposes them the more. It is in vain that the Author of this poem tells us, he is 'not much solicitous to know what reception it may find.'-No Writer was ever yet indifferent to the reputation of his works; and if Mr. Goldsmith finds himself unconcerned for the success of the poem before us, we should think him, at best, an unnatural parent, to be negligent of the interests of so beautiful an offspring :-for the Traveller is one of those delightful poems that allure by the beauty of their scenery, a refined elegance of sentiment, and a correspondent happiness of expression. Thus the Author addresses his brother, to whom the poem is inscribed:

It is impossible not to he pleased with the 'untravell' d heart,' and the happy image of 'the lengthening chain;' nevertheless, it may be somewhat difficult to conceive how a heart untravell' d, can, at the same time, make farther removes.