Original Papers Illustrative of the Life and Writings of John Milton

By W. Douglas Hamilton | Go to book overview

PAPERS RELATING TO MILTON IN THE STATE PAPER OFFICE.

IN the year 1823 a MS. packet was discovered by the late Robert Lemon, Esq. Deputy Keeper of State Papers, in one of the presses of the old State Paper Office in the Middle Treasury Gallery, Whitehall, which on examination was found to contain the long-lost treatise of Milton, De Doctrinâ Christianâ. This treatise was edited in 1825 by Dr. Sumner, now Bishop of Winchester, at the command of King George IV. The same packet contained likewise a correct copy of the Dispatches, written by the poet during the time he held the office of Secretary for Foreign Tongues under the Commonwealth, in the handwriting of Daniel Skinner, to whom Milton is known to have entrusted several of his MSS.* and who is confounded by Wood and Toland with Cyriack Skinner, to whom Milton addressed the sixteenth of his beautiful sonnets.

Several editions of Milton's prose works have appeared since the date of the above discovery, but it does not seem to have occurred to any of the editors to collate with these authentic copies the defective transcripts, surreptitiously obtained, and first published in the year 1676.† They have consequently omitted to discover that this collection comprised a number of important dispatches not contained in the printed editions. It is to these elegant examples of

____________________
*
Aubrey, Life of Milton.

Under the title "Literæ Pseudo-Senatûs Anglicani, Cromwellii, Reliquorumque Perduellinm, nomine ac jussu conscriptæ à Joanne Miltono. Impressæ anno 1676." In his preface the anonymous publisher excuses himself for so rash an act by saying he had long been in doubt whether he should consign these papers to the flames or to the press,

-1-

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Original Papers Illustrative of the Life and Writings of John Milton
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Council of the Camden Society - For the Year 1859-60. iii
  • Preface, v
  • Contents vii
  • Papers Relating to Milton In The State Paper Office. 1
  • Appendix 75
  • Index. 135
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