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    Benjamin Franklin 1744 Imprint: M. T. Cicero's Cato Major, or His Discourse of Old-Age: With Explanatory Notes translated by James Logan. (Philadelphia: Printed and Sold by B. Franklin, 1744) first edition, generally considered second state because "ony" is corrected to "only" on page 27 though the correction was made during the press run and the printed sheets were mixed, title page printed in red and black with printer's device, viii, 159 pages, bound in full red levant morocco by Riviere & Son with gilt border and titles on the banded spine, all edges gilt, the larger and rarer issue on fine Genoese paper, 5.75" x 8.25".

    This book is recognized as one of finest examples of the printer's art in Colonial times and was also the first classic work translated and printed in North America. It was Franklin's personal favorite of all that came from his press. He states in his "Printer to the Reader", in part: "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." This handsome volume contains three bookplates, "Olin Lane Merriam", "Ex Museo C.A. and V. Baldwin", and "William Jephson Serjeant at Law". A fine, tight copy of an important work. Worthy of the finest library or collection. From the Henry E. Luhrs Collection.

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    Auction Dates
    February, 2006
    20th-21st Monday-Tuesday
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