An English Garner eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 467 pages of information about An English Garner.

The first number of the famous Almanack from which they are extracted was published at the end of 1732, just after Franklin had set up as a printer and stationer for himself, its publication being announced in the Pennsylvania Gazette of December 9th, 1732; and for twenty-five years it continued regularly to appear, the last number being that for the year 1758, and having for preface the discourse which became so extraordinarily popular.  The name assumed by Franklin was no doubt borrowed from that of Richard Saunders, a well-known astrologer of the seventeenth century, of whom there is a notice in the Dictionary of National Biography.  But Mr. Leicester Ford[7] says that it was the name of ‘a chyrurgeon’ of the eighteenth century who for many years issued a popular almanac entitled The Apollo Anglicanus_.  Of this publication I know nothing, and can discover nothing.  The probability is that its compiler, whoever he was, anticipated Franklin in assuming the name of John Saunders.  He is most certainly not to be identified with Saunders the astrologer, who died in, or not much later than, 1687.

It remains to add that no pains have been spared to make the texts of the excerpts and tracts in this Miscellany as accurate as possible—­indeed, Mr. Arber’s name is a sufficient guarantee of the efficiency with which this important part of the work has been done.  For the modernisation of the spelling, which some readers may perhaps be inclined to regret, and for the punctuation, as well as for the elucidatory notes within brackets, Mr. Arber is solely responsible.


[1] See his Preface to his version of part of Virgil’s second Aeneid.

[2] Whateley’s Reminiscences of Bishop Copleston, p. 6.

[3] See Late Stuart Tracts.

[4] Wood’s Life and Times, Clark’s Ed. vol. ii. p. 240.

[5] See, for example, Diary, February 16th, 1668:  ’Much discourse
    about the bad state of the Church, and how the clergy are come to
    be men of no worth in the world, and, as the world do now generally
    discourse, they must be reformed.’

[6] For this information I am indebted to Mr. Paul Leicester Ford’s
    interesting monograph on the sayings of Poor Richard, prefixed to
    his selections from the Almanack, privately printed at Brooklyn
    in 1890.

[7] Introduction to his selections from the Almanack.


    Eloquence first given by GOD, after lost by man, and last repaired
    by GOD again

    [The Art of Rhetoric.]

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An English Garner from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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