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written. To prefix a learned title to an English composition would be so consistent with Milton's own practice, as well as with the prevailing taste of his age, that the circumstance of Aubrey's ascribing to it a Latin name affords no certain proof that the work itself was originally written in that language. In the latter part of the year 1823, however, a Latin manuscript, bearing the following title, JOANNIS Miltoni ANGLI DE DOCTRINA CHRISTIANA, Ex saCRIS DUNTAXAT LIBRIS PETITA, DISQUISITIONUM LIBRI DUO POSTHUMI, was discovered by Mr. Lemon, in the course of his researches in the Old State Paper Office situated in what is called the Middle Treasury Gallery, Whitehall. It was found in one of the presses, loosely wrapped in two or three sheets of printed paper, with a large number of original letters, informations, examinations, and other curious records relative to the Popish plots in 1677 and 1678, and to the Rye House plot in 1683. The same parcel likewise contained a complete and corrected copy of all the Latin letters to foreign princes and states written by Milton while he officiated as Latin Secretary; and the whole was enclosed in an envelope superscribed, · To Mr. Skinner, Merch'.' The address seems distinctly to identify this important manuscript with the work mentioned by Wood, though an error has been committed, either by himself or bis informant, with respect to its real title.
Mr. Cyriack Skinner, whose name is already well known in association with that of Milton, appears,
from a pedigree communicated by James Pulman,
To CYRIACK SKINNER.
Cyriack, whose grandsire, on the royal bench
Of British Themis, with no mean applause
Pronounc'd, and in his volumes taught, our laws,
* William Skynner, of>Bridget second daughter
Thornton College in of Sir Edward Coke, the County of Lin- Knt. Chief Justice of coln, Esq. Son and England, and relict of Heir of Sir Vincent William Berney, Esq. Skynner, Knt. Will (in which she is deWill dated August 3,
scribed of Thornton
Sept. 26, 1648, proved
Edward Skynnerof=Ann, daughter of William Skyn. Cyriack Skynner, 3d=Bridget living 1634,
Thompton College Sir Wm. Went- ner second son son 1634-named in
Philip Weslid of
Fields, where he was
Grimsby in Com, 20, 1657, proved Linc. Grandfa
buried Aug. 8, 1700. Linc. 1648. Sept. 11 follow- ther of Thos.
Administration of his ing. Earl of Straf
effects granted to his Theophila, married
Daughter, August 20, 1648.
To-day deep thoughts resolve with me to drench
In mirth that, after, no repenting draws;
Let Euclid rest, and Archimedes pause,
Toward solid good what leads the nearest way ;
For other things mild Heav'n a time ordains,
That with superfluous burden loads the day,
All the biographers of Milton have mentioned that Cyriack Skinner was his favourite pupil, and subsequently his particular friend.
Wood incidentally notices him in speaking of the well-known club of Commonwealth's men, which used to meet in 1659 at the Turk's Head in New Palace Yard, Westminster.
• Besides our author (James Harrington) and H. Nevill, who were the prime men of this club, were Cyriack Skinner, a merchant's son of London, an ingenious young gentleman, and scholar to Jo. Milton, which Skinner sometimes held the chair, Major John Wildman,' &c. &c.* Wood further says that the discourses of the members about government, and ordering a commonwealth, were the most ingenious and smart that were ever heard; for the arguments in the Parliament House were but flat to them. They were fond, it appears, of proposing models of democratical government, and at the dissolution of the club in February, 1659, at which time the secluded members were restored by General
* Fasti Oxonienses, Life of Mr. James Harrington, 389.
Monk, all their models,' Wood says, vanished.' These models are not now of common occurrence, but two of them are in the possession of the Rev. Henry J. Todd, from whom the following information respecting them is derived. One is entitled • A Modell of a Democraticall Government, humbly tendered to consideration by a friend and well-wisher to this Commonwealth,' 4to. London, 1659. The title of the other is ‘Idea Democratica, or a Commonweal Platform,' 4to. London, 1659. Both consist of a very few leaves only, and neither are enumerated by Wood among Harrington's pieces. Mr. Todd supposes with much probability, that as the chair was often taken by the ingenious young gentleman, as Wood terms Skinner, he was concerned in the publication of these antimonarchical curiosities. Care however must be taken not to confound him with another individual of the same name, who likewise took a part against the crown in the politics of the day ; viz. Augustine Skinner, one of the small Rump Parliament of ninety members in 1659. probably the latter who belonged to the Committee appointed by the House to consider all orders, &c. touching absent, that is, the secluded members ; in which Committee is the leader of the Rota Club, Sir James Harrington,' as he was then usually called, though not knighted. Harrington is the fifth in the list of the Committee, and Mr. Skinner' the twelfth.*
* See A brief Narrative of the late forcible Seclusion of divers Members of the House of Commons,' 1660, p. 6.
In the year 1654, we learn from a letter addressed to Miltton by his friend Andrew Marvell, and first published by Dr. Birch, that Skinner had got near' his former preceptor, who then occupied lodgings in Petty France, Westminster, probably for the sake of their contiguity to the Council. This was the house next door to the Lord Scudamore's, and opened into St. James's park,' where he is said to have remained eight years ; namely, from 1652 till within a few weeks of the restoration of Charles the Second. By a comparison of dates, it may be conjectured that he removed into it when obliged to leave the lodgings in Whitehall, which, as is proved by the following curious extracts from the Council books, had been provided for him at the public expense, and fitted up with some of the spoils of the late King's property.
“ 1649. Nov. 12. Ordered—That Sir John Hippesley be
spoken to, that Mr. Milton may be accommodated with the Lodgings that he hath at Whitehall.”
66 1649. Nov. 19.
--That Mr. Milton shall have the Lodgings that were in the hands of Sir John Hippesley, in Whitehall, for his accommodation, as being Secretary to the Councell for Forreigne Languages.”
- That Mr. Milton shall have a warrant to the Trustees and Contractors for the sale of the King's goods, for the furnishing of his Lodgings at Whitehall with some Hangings."
"1650, June, 14.