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A Masterwork of Printing

Cicero’s Discourse of Old-age, Benjamin Franklin’s personal favorite from his press, is considered to be the finest example of the printing art in colonial America. This work by the Roman philosopher statesman Cicero is also the first classical work translated and printed in North America. In his “Printer to the Reader” note, Franklin explains that he printed this “in a large and fair Character, that those who begin to think on the Subject of old-age, . . . may not, in Reading by the Pain small Letters give the Eyes, feel the Pleasure of the Mind in the least allayed.”

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106–43 BCE). M. T. Cicero’s Cato Major, or, His Discourse of Old-age: With Explanatory Notes. Philadelphia: Benjamin Franklin, 1744.
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