Probably the Finest Production from Ben Franklin's Press[Benjamin Franklin, printer]. M[arcus] T[ulius] Cicero. M. T. Cicero's Cato Major, or His Discourse of Old-Age: With Explanatory Notes. Philadelphia: Printed and Sold by B. Franklin, 1744. First edition, first state, with "ony" on page 27. Small quarto (7.75 x 4.75 inches). viii, 159 pages. Translated and with notes by James Logan [1674-1751]. Title page in red and black with printer's device. Full calf period binding professionally rebacked to style. Raised bands. Gilt borders to boards. Front free endpaper with inked name of previous owner Samuel Witt, dated 1759. Edges somewhat worn. Foxing throughout. In custom half morocco slipcase and cloth chemise. Overall, a very good, tight copy.
"Probably the finest production of Franklin's press, and really a splendid specimen of the art" (Sabin). Franklin states in his preliminary printer's statement: "I have, Gentle Reader, as thou seest, printed this Piece of Cicero's in a large and fair Character, that those who begin to think on the Subject of OLD AGE, (which seldom happens till their Sight is somewhat impair'd by its Approaches) may not, in Reading, by the Pain small letters give the Eyes, feel the Pleasure of the Mind in the least allayed...I shall add to these few Lines my hearty Wish, that this first Translation of a Classic in this Western World, may be followed with many others, performed with equal Judgment and Success; and be a happy Omen, that Philadelphia shall become the Seat of the American Muses."
ESTC W20709. Evans 5261. Sabin 11379.
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