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sake of truth, should seek diligently for it, and when found make it known to others. On Friday evenings, when the Junto met, it was usual to read through a list of questions, which each one present must answer if he could, and to bring up some matter for general debate. The debates and the questions often made it necessary to bring a book, and noticing this, Franklin proposed that each should bring all the books. he owned and leave them in the room of the Junto for the good of all. This was done. But when a year was gone, some of the members finding their books had been badly treated, took them away. Even for this Franklin had an expedient ready, and suggested that fifty subscribers be found who were willing to pay forty shillings down, and ten shillings a year thereafter for maintaining a library. The suggestion seemed a good one, and the members of the Junto were soon carrying round papers to which subscribers set their names but slowly. Five months were spent in filling the list, four more went by before the shillings were collected. But at last, in March, 1732, forty-five pounds were sent to London to be laid out in the purchase of books. In October the first invoice arrived, and the Library was opened in the room where the Junto met.
WHEN the year 1732 opened, Franklin's career of prosperity may be said to have be gun. He had ended his partnership with Meredith, had paid his debts, had married a wife, set up a newspaper, and opened a shop, which defies description, hard by the marketplace in High Street. There were to be had imported books, legal blanks, paper and parchment, Dutch quills and Aleppo ink, perfumed soap, Rhode Island cheese, chapbooks such as the peddlers hawked, pamphlets such as the Quakers read, live-geese feathers, bohea tea, coffee, very good sack, and cash for old rags. Everything connected with this miscellaneous business was carried on in strict accordance with the maxims of Poor Richard. No idle servant fattened in his house. His wife, in such moments as could be snatched from the kitchen and the tub, folded newspapers, stitched pamphlets, and sold inkhorns and pocket-books, which, as paper-money drove out the coin, came more and more into use.
Franklin meanwhile managed the printinghouse, made lampblack, cast type, made rude cuts for the paper-money bills, and might be seen at times trundling home a wheelbarrow loaded with paper bought at some neighboring merchant's shop.
Industrious, thrifty, saving, full of hard common sense and worldly wisdom, he suffered no chance to pass unused, and rose rapidly to the place of chief printer in the province. The business of the place in a year would not now suffice to keep a journeyman printer occupied three months. Never since the press had been set up in Pennsylvania had all the issues in any one year numbered thirty. In 1732 they were but nineteen; but of the nineteen, three, bearing the imprint of Franklin, are noteworthy. One was "Philadelphische Zeitung," the first German newspaper printed in America. Another was "The Honour of the Gout," a book that long afterwards suggested the famous Dialogue between Franklin and the Gout. The third was the greatest of all almanacs — "Poor Richard."
The publication of "Poor Richard" he was tempted to undertake by the quick and great returns such pamphlets were sure to bring in. For the mere copy of popular almanacs, printers were then compelled to pay down in advance
from twenty to thirty pounds each year; no mean sum at a time when the chief justice was given but one hundred pounds a year, when the associate justice got but fifty pounds, and when the attorney-general was forced to be content with sixty.
Such prices could well afford to be paid, for the almanac was the one piece of literature of which the sale was sure. Not a household for a hundred miles around the printer but, if there was sixpence to spare, would have a copy. In remote towns, where money was not to be had, a dozen copies would be bought with potatoes or wheat, and disposed of one by one,
- at the blacksmith's for a few nails; at the tavern for rum; at some neighbor's in payment of a trifling debt. Chapmen carried them in their packs to exchange with copper kettles and china bowls, for worsted stockings and knit gloves. They were the diaries, the journals, the account books of the poor. Strung upon a stick and hung beside the chimneyplace, they formed an unbroken record of domestic affairs, in many instances for thirty years. On the margins of one since picked up at a paper mill are recorded the interesting cases of a physician's practice, and the names of those who suffered with the smallpox and the flux. Another has become a complete
journal of farm life. A third is filled with verses written in imitation of Pope and Young.
It is not by mere chance that the second piece of printing done in the colonies, and the first piece done in the middle states, were almanacs. Samuel Atkins told no more than plain truth when, in the preface to “Kalendarium Pennsilvaniense," he declared that wherever he went in his travels he found the people so clamorous for an almanac that he was "really troubled," and did design according to his knowledge to "pleasure his countrymen" with what they wanted.
But one attempt at almanac-making was enough for Atkins, and the next year Daniel Leeds took his place. Leeds describes himself as a "Student in Agriculture;" but jack-ofall-trades would have been more just. Unquestionably a man of parts, he was by turns a cooper, a surveyor-general, a member of the assembly, a member of the New Jersey provincial council, a book-maker, an almanacmaker, and, save one, the most prolific of all writers on the great schism stirred up by Keith. Even now his "News of a Trumpet," his "Trumpet Sounded," his " Hue and Cry," and his "Great Mystery of Fox-craft Discovered," are said to be far from tedious. But even Leeds, shrewd as he was, had not learned