GOLDSMITH, Oliver. ~ The Traveller, or a Prospect of Society. A Poem. Inscribed to the Rev. Mr. Henry Goldsmith. London: Printed for J. Newbery. 1765.
4to (285 × 212 mm), pp. , iv, 22, , complete with half-title and final advert leaf; uncut and stitched, browning to half-title; preserved in a green morocco chemise and slipcase, lettered in gilt .
First edition, Roscoe’s second issue, Fleeman’s fourth state. First published in December 1764 Goldsmith’s philosophical poem is the first of his works to bear his name on the title-page. Taking its cue from from the French philosophes the poem is recounted by a lonely wanderer observing the character of the inhabitants of the nations, noting the effects of climate and the deleterious influence of wealth and luxury.
‘Where wealth and freedom reign, contentment fails, / And honor sinks where commerce long prevails’.
Samuel Johnson contributed lines 420 and 429-38 (and reviewed the work for the Critical Review, Dec. 1764). Goldsmith made numerous early revisions and this copy is an example of the fourth state (Fleeman).
Courtney & Nichol Smith, p. 113; Fleeman, 64.12 GT/1d; Roscoe a 199 (3); Rothschild 1024; Tinker, 1101; Todd, W., ‘Quadruple imposition: an account of Goldsmith’s Traveller’ in Studies in Bibliography, VII, 1955, pp. 110-111.