Boston: Printed and Sold by the Printers and Booksellers, . 12mo. 24 pages. Original self-wrappers, sewn. Some light wear at edges, generally well preserved. Item #408164
Contains the first appearance in print of Franklin's mock epitaph composed when he was 22 years old in 1728. Ames provides the humorless introduction: "Mr. Franklin's Epitaph on himself curious for conveying such solemn ideas in the Stile of his Occupation": "The Body of BENJAMIN FRANKLIN Printer, Like the Covering of an Old Book Its contents torn out And stript of its Lettering and Gilding, Lies here, Food for Worms; But the Work shall not be lost, It will (as he believ'd) appear once more In a new and more beautiful Edition Corrected and amended By the Author He was born January 6th 1706 and died...............17___." Twenty years later when death finally came at age 84, Franklin opted for the simpler and less whimsical: "Franklin, Deborah and Benjamin, 1790." This copy is the state that correctly names Abel Puffer as author of "A sure and certain cure for the bite of a rattle snake ...", p. . Drake, M. Almanacs, 3197; Evans 11548 ("Advertised in the Massachusetts gazette and Boston weekly news-letter (R. Draper), Nov. 29, 1770, and in the Boston gazette (Edes & Gill) and Boston evening post (T. & J. Fleet), Dec. 3, as "to be sold by R. Draper, T. & J. Fleet, Edes & Gill." Evans takes the printer to be William McAlpine, evidently through extrapolation from the McAlpine editions of Ames for this and other years. This issue is, however, from a type setting clearly different from McAlpine's for 1771.").