Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from James Logan, 6 May 1741

From James Logan

Transcript: Harvard College Library (Sparks)

Stenton May 6. 1741

My Good friend B. Franklin,

I return thee all thy Books with my hearty thanks for thy trouble in favouring me with a sight of them, and am highly pleased there are any in the Province who are so fond of such studies, and at the same time so well furnish’d with Cash as to take them all together in their present Condition at those prices. But as I have some knowledge of the unhappy young man that most (not all) of them belonged to, I am sorry he should strain so far as to say the Homer Cost him 4 Moydores. For one of the same, most exquisitely bound was offer’d to me the same year they were printed (1711) for less than one, and I never heard they were much started.1 I have one of the same Edition of the Herodotus, perfect with all it’s maps of which this has not one that was bought of Chr. Bateman2 for 14 shillings for Wm. Masters, but this has been bound at least a 2d time and only in sheeps skin after it had been grossly abused &c. I therefore advise thee by all means to accept the offer tho’ with some considerable abatement, but I would willingly know who the Possessor is to be of the Ovid, for I want the use of the 3d vol for about a week at most. I hope notwithstanding it suits us not to deal at present, Thou wilt still continue thy resolution to favour us with a visit. Thy real friend

James Logan

Cast: Test: 4s. Bats Gramr 10s. Dionys 8s. Pomey 7s. 6d. Mart. in U.D. 12s. Ovid 2 (of 3) vol. 30s. Quintil: Lond: 7s. 6d. Barnes Hom: 6s.[?]. Herod: 30s. Tully 40s. Brown of the Muscles 30s. Vossii Hist: Lat: and Gr: 15s. Epigr: Delectus 4s. Juvenal in U.D. 8s. Heb. Bible Athiae 1661 25s. Zosimus.3

1Logan began to buy books after his scholarly interests were fired during a visit to England, 1710–11. The Homer referred to may be the Cambridge edit., with Joshua Barnes’s notes, 1711 (Logan bought this or another copy from BF in 1742; see above, p. 233); the Herodotus may have been Thomas Gale’s folio edit., London, 1679; the Ovid cannot be positively identified.

2Christopher Bateman, bookseller in Little Britain, London, of whom Logan purchased books for his library and, 1720, for William Masters of Philadelphia. Frederick B. Tolles, “Quaker Humanist: James Logan as a Classical Scholar,” PMHB, LXXIX (1955), 420, 422; John Nichols, Literary Anecdotes of the Eighteenth Century, I (London, 1812), 424 n.

3This is probably a list of the books Logan examined for BF, with the prices Logan thought were fair: Sebastian Castalio, Novum Testamentum Latinum (Gotha, 1715); or Novum Jesu Christi Testamentum (London, 1735); [Julius Bate], The Examiner Examined, &c.; with some Observations upon the Hebrew Grammar (London, 1739); Dionysius [Halicarnassus], De Structura Orationis (London, 1702); or Dionysius [Periegetes], Situs Orbis Descriptio (Paris, 1577); P. F. Pomey, Pantheum Mysticum (Utrecht, 1701); Martial, Epigramatum libri XIV [for the Dauphin’s use] (London, 1720); Ovid, Opera (Amsterdam, 1649, 1683, or 1702); Quintilian, Declamationes, 1686; Institutiones, 1555, 1714; or Declamationes et Institutiones, 1641; Joshua Barnes, Homeri Ilias et Odyssea (Cambridge, 1711); Herodotus (Basle, 1541; or London, 1679); Tully [Cicero], Opera Omnia ([Lyons], 1596, 4 vols. in 2; or Paris, 1573, 8 vols.; or London, 1681, 2 vols.); John Brown, Myographia Nova, sive musculorum omnium (in corpore humano hactenus repertorum) accuratissima descriptio in sex prolectiones distributa (London, 1684; Leyden, 1687); or Myographia Nova, or a Graphical Description of all the Muscles in Humane Body (London, 1697, 1698); G. J. Vossius, De Historicis Graecis, De Historicis Latinis (Leyden, 1651); [Pierre Nicole], Epigrammatum Delectus (Paris, 1659; or London, 1686, and other edits. to the 11th in 1740); Juvenal, Satirae (Paris, 1684, the first of the “Delphine” editions; or London, 1707, 1715, 1728, 1736); Biblia Sacra Hebraica, publ. Joseph Athias (Amsterdam, 1661); Zosimus, Historiae Novae libri VI (Basle, [1576?]); or Historiae Novae libri sex (Oxford, 1679).

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