lin suggested to the Junto, a group of kindred .
spirits interested in public welfare,thatsince {
their books were often referred to during their 3
regular discussions, it might be convenient to
bring all the books together in a common libra-
ry. Then each would have the advantage of the
other members’ books. This arrangement lasted
a year, during which Franklin witnessed the
spectacle of books made common property treated
· as no man’s property. It must have been disil-
lusioningz if indifference was the rule among
the club members, cultivated and educated men,
what kind of treatment of books could be ex-
pected from the many onlowerlevels of culture,
if they were to be given accessto good reading?
But Franklin was not discouraged. He recog-
nized that responsibility for the care of the
property had been overlooked in planning the
library. In any similar undertaking it must be
provided for. It occurred to him that a library
for subscribers was the answer. By the very
condition of personal investment a lively and
abidinginterestand feeling of obligation could
be counted on. The new project was launched
with the payment of about ten dollars each by
fifty underwriters, who pledged ten dollars
more annually. By November, l732, it was pos-
sible to dispatch a substantial sum to a London
agent instructed to purchase and forward a
carefully selected list ofbooks. Eleven months
later they arrived: GULLlVER’S TRAVELS, Mil-
ton’s PRlNClPlA,the ILTAD and ODYSSEY,possibly
in P0pe’s translation, the Magna Charta, a book
on gardening, and Montaigne’s essays--a list
which should afford some notion of the intel-
lectual climate of the time.(l$)