Neil Keeble and Nicholas McDowell (eds), The Complete Works of John Milton, Vol. 6: Vernacular Regicide and Republican Writings

Contents
Find Location in text

Main Text

pg 427HEADNOTE

i. Dating

Milton states that he has had the manuscript which he now prefaces 'many years in [his] hands'. How many years, and from which 'Learned Man at his Death' he had it, cannot now be known, nor, indeed, whether this account is factually reliable. If the argument is accepted that its publication in 1658 was politically motivated,1 Milton's further statement that he now came across the manuscript 'by chance' amongst his papers and published it spontaneously may be doubted (435).2 His account, however, has been accepted by biographers, including Campbell and Corns, who, taking Milton at his word, argue that his 'stressing that it is a document from an earlier age, recently chanced upon', serves 'to close off' any interpretation of the publication 'as an oblique comment on the late Protectorate'.3

In 1956 Ernest A. Strathmann demonstrated that the text is a version of Observations Political and Civil, a late-sixteenth-century manuscript compilation by 'T. B.' from various classical and Renaissance writers, none of them English, addressed to Roger, second Baron North (1531–1600).4 None of the several extant manuscript copies claims the work as Sir Walter Ralegh's; Milton's publication is the first known such attribution. Whether a scholar as well read as Milton would not have recognized that some, if not all, of the extracts that make up the text were not in fact from Ralegh is perhaps to be doubted. The preface's assertion of the collection's authenticity on grounds of style and of the 'learned man's' assurance that the manuscript was a 'true copy' of Ralegh's work may hence be a device to recommend the work.

pg 428ii. Publication

The (spurious) authenticity of the work was further affirmed by its publication with a frontispiece portrait of Ralegh engraved by the Welshman Robert Vaughan (c.1600–c.1644),5 deriving from the engraving by the Fleming Simon van de Passe (c.1595–1647) for the 1617 title-page of The History of the World,6 though this has become detached in most extant copies of The Cabinet-Council.7 The frontispiece bears above the motto 'Tam Marti, Quam Mercurio' ('As for Mars, so for Mercury'8), and beneath the statement that it is 'The true and lively Portraiture | of the Ho.ble and learned Knight | S.r Walter Ralegh'.

Thomas Newcombe (c. 1625–81), named on the title-page as the book's printer, had printed all Milton's titles since (and including) the second edition of Eikonoklastes (though he may also have been responsible for an edition of Eikon Basilike).9He nevertheless enjoyed favour at the Restoration: he was appointed one of the two official printers to the House of Commons, he printed the London Gazette and the Royal Society's Philosophical Transactions, and in 1675 he was granted (with Henry Hills) the patent of king's printer to print all bibles. As noted by Martin Dzelzainis, his association in the 1650s with the publisher of Milton's 1645 poems, Humphrey Moseley, who in 1650 had put out Ralegh's Judicious and Select Essayes with the Vaughan frontispiece, explains how the engraving came to be available to him for The Cabinet-Council.10 That he was the printer of the government newsbook Mercurius Politicus and of 'Milton's own, loyal, Latin defences' is adduced by Campbell and Corns as grounds for doubting that this publication had a subversive intention,11 but the work's publisher, Thomas Johnson (ft. 1654–71), had several encounters with the Long Parliament, pg 429Interregnum, and Restoration authorities for putting out allegedly scandalous and seditious works.12

The Latin epigraph on the title page is from Horace: 'Who could write worthily of Mars clad in his adamantine breastplate?'13 It is probably of Milton's choosing, for he was attentive to such details.14 It is apparently a further recommendation of the work through association with Ralegh, either as the Martian figure or, as Dzelzainis argues, the implied answer to the question; if the latter, the contemporary referent of Mars may be Cromwell.15

The Cabinet-Council was registered for publication on 4 May 1658.16 No public notice of the book is known, but publication presumably followed shortly afterwards. In his account of the writings of Ralegh, Anthony Wood correctly identified The Cabinet-Council with the 1661 edition of Ralegh's Aphorisms of State Grounded on Authority and Experience, and Illustrated with the Choycest Examples and Historical Observations (1661). Wood was, however, misled by this identification into associating Milton with the 1661 publication.17 This reissue was 'Printed for Thos. Johnson, at the Golden Key in St. Paul's Church-yard', that is, the publisher of the 1658 The Cabinet-Council, but it is without Milton's preface, or any mention of him on the new title-page.18 His name would pg 430have been no recommendation at this date and, in repackaging printed sheets remaining from the first edition as (we may assume) a business venture, it would have been imprudent of Johnson to have consulted Milton.

There was a subsequent edition in 1692 by G[eorge] Croom for Joseph Watts as The Arts of Empire and Mysteries of State Discabineted, advertising Milton's involvement on its title-page.19 This was reissued by an unidentified stationer in 1697 with a new title-page which recast the title as The Secrets of Government and Misteries of State Plainly Laid Open and dropped the association with Ralegh, though it continued to identify Milton as the publisher.

Milton's prefatory note was included in the Columbia edition of Milton's works but not in the Yale edition of his prose.20

iii. Collations and Copy-Text

1658 Text

Title-Page: [within a double rule border] | The Cabinet-Council: | Containing the Cheif arts | of | empire, | And mysteries of | state; | discabineted | In Political and Polemical Aphorisms, | grounded on Authority, and Experience; | And illustrated with the choicest | Examples and Historical | Observations. | [rule] | By the Ever-renowned Knight, | Sir walter raleigh, | Published | By john milton, Esq; | [rule] | Quis Martem tunicâ tectum Admantinâ dignè scripserit? | [rule] | London, Printed by Tho. Newcomb for Tho. John | son at the sign of the Key in St. Pauls Churchyard, | near the West-end. 1658. |

Frontispiece: The true and lively Portraiture of the Ho.ble and learned Knight S.r Walter Ralegh. Ro: Vaughan sculp:

Headline to the Preface: [sig. A2, beneath a head-piece of fleurons] To the READER

Half-title: [sig. B1, beneath a double headline of fleurons] the | Cabinet-Council: | Containing the chief Arts of | empire, | and | Mysteries of State. | [rule] |

pg 431Running Title: The Cabinet-Council

Collation Formula: 8o; A4, B–N8, O4; pp. [x], 199, [1].

Contents: [unsigned leaf recto] blank; [unsigned leaf verso] frontispiece; [A1] title; [A1v] blank; A2–A2v 'To the reader'; A3–A4v 'the Principal Contents'; B1–O3v text; O4 'finis'; O4v blank.

Catchword Errors in the Preface: None.

Copies Collated:

Beinecke Library, Yale University, New Haven

Z77 180m

Bodleian Library, Oxford

232. g. 105

British Library, London

521. b. 27

Cambridge University Library, Cambridge

Syn. 8. 65. 49

(3 copies)

U*. 8. 107 (G)

Peterborough F. 3. 56

Christ's College, Cambridge

FF. 5. 8

Edinburgh Central Library, Edinburgh

JC 93 C

Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC

R156

Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino

145569 #

Houghton Library, Harvard University,

14472.30* Lobby XI.

Cambridge, Mass.

2.53

Illinois University Library, Urbana-Champaign

X320 R13 1658

New York Public Library, New York

*KC1658 (Raleigh,

W Cabinet-council (Copy 1))

(2 copies)

*KC 1650 (Raleigh,

W. Judicious and select essayes (Copy 2))

1692 Text

Title-Page: [within a double rule border] the | Arts of Empire, | and | Mysteries of State | Discabineted. | in | Political and Polemical Aphorisms, |grounded on Authority and Ex- | perience. | and | Illustrated with the Choicest Examples | and Historical Observations. | [rule] | By the Ever-renowned Knight | Sir walter raleigh, | Published | By john milton Esq; | [rule] | Quis Martem tunica tectum, Adamantina digne scripserit? | [rule] | london, | Printed by G. Croom, for Joseph Watts at the | Angel in St Paul's Church-yard, 1692. |

Headline to the Preface: [sig. A2, beneath a double rule] to the | reader

pg 432Half-Title: [sig. B1, beneath a double rule] the | arts of empire, | and | Mysteries of State. | [rule] |

Running Title: The Arts of Empire

Collation Formula: 8o; A4, B–Q8; pp. [viii], 238, [2].

Contents: [A1] title; [[A1v] blank; A2–A2v 'to the reader'; A3–A4v 'the Principal Contents'; A4v 'advertisement'; B1–Q7 text; Q7v 'finis'; Q8–Q8v 'Books Printed for, and sold by, Jo | seph Watts at the Angel in | St Paul's Church-yard, viz. |'

Catchword Errors in the Preface: None.

Copies Collated:

Beinecke Library, Yale University, New Haven

Ocpy8 658rc

Bodleian Library, Oxford

Vet. A3f 1041

British Library, London

8006. a. 31

Cambridge University Library, Cambridge

Syn. 8. 69. 45

Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC 1

38–433sq

(2 copies)

R155

Illinois University Library, Urbana-Champaign

X320 R13C 1692

University of Michigan Library, Ann Arbor

PR2334. C12 1692

New York Public Library, New York

*KC1692 (Raleigh,

W Arts of empire)21

(2 copies)

SEB (Raleigh,

W Arts of empire)

1697 Text

Title-Page: [within a double rule border] the | Secrets of Government, | and | Misteries of State, | Plainly laid open, in all the several | Forms of Government | in the | christian world. | [rule | Published by | john milton, Esq; | [rule] | Printed in the Year, 1697. |

Headline to the Preface: [sig. A2, beneath a double rule] to the | READER.

Half-Title: [sig. B1, beneath a double rule] The Secrets of Government, | and | Misteries of State, | Plainly laid open. | [rule] |

pg 433Running Title: The Arts of Empire

Collation Formula: 8o; A4, B–Q8; pp. [viii], 238, [2].

Contents: [A1] title; [[A1v] blank; A2–A2v 'to the reader'; A3–A4v' the Principal Contents'; A4v' advertisement'; B1–Q7 text; Q7v 'finis'; Q8–Q8v'Books Printed for, and sold by, Jo | seph Watts at the Angel in | St Paul's Church-yard, viz. |'.

Catchword Errors in the Preface: None.

Copies Collated:22

Beinecke Library, Yale University, New Haven

Ocpy8 658rd

Bodleian Library, Oxford

55. C. 41

Cambridge University Library, Cambridge

Syn. 7. 69. 17

Firestone Library, Princeton University, Princeton

3859.871

Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC

149–355sq

Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino

147443

Print Variants: There are no variants in the text of Milton's preface 'To the Reader' in the 1658 editions collated. In the 1692 edition, followed by the 1697 reissue, there is some capitalization introduced and the spelling of the final word is changed to 'Pieces', but there are no substantive variants from the 1658 preface. Martin Dzelzainis has established, however, that the 1658 edition was issued in four states. Two sets of erroneous page numbers23 were corrected in press, with the result that some copies have correct pagination throughout, some copies have one error, some the other, and some both.24

Copy-Text

The copy-text for this edition is the Bodleian Library copy of The Cabinet-Council (1658), shelfmark 232. g. 105.pg 434

Notes

1 For this argument, advanced by Martin Dzelzainis, 'Milton and the Protectorate in 1658', in Armitage, Milton & Republicanism, 187–201, see General Introduction, pp. 85–6; for a contrary view, see Paul Stevens, 'Milton's "Renunciation" of Cromwell: The Problem of Raleigh's Cabinet-Council', Modern Philology, 98 (2001), 363–92.

2 As it is by Worden, Literature & Politics, 325.

3 Campbell & Corns, Milton, 276. Cf. Parker, Biography, i. 516–17.

4 Ernest A. Strathmann, 'A Note on the Ralegh Canon', Times Literary Supplement, 2824 (13 Apr. 1956), 228. In an early notice of the publication in 1875, C. A. Ward, taking the work as Ralegh's, wondered whether Milton's manuscript was still extant (Notes and Queries, 5th ser., 3 (1875), 302).

5 The Harvard University copy in the Houghton Library has an alternative version of the portrait frontispiece, without the motto and signed John Whittaker.

6 For Robert Vaughan and Simon van de Passe see Jane Turner (ed.), The [Grove] Dictionary of Art, 34 vols. (London: Macmillan, 1996), xxxii. 85–6; xxiv. 236.

7 Extant copies with the frontispiece include the Bodleian Library and Christ's College copies and the Yale University copy in the Beinecke Library. Both the 1658 title-page and frontispiece portrait have been pasted into the Yale copy of the 1697 The Secrets of Government.

8 This profession of equal martial and literary commitment had been adopted as his motto by the Elizabethan poet George Gascoigne on the title-page of the second edition of his The Posies (1575), and on the frontispiece portrait to The Steele Glas: a Satyr (1576).

9 Wing, STC E299; see further above, p. 258.

10 Dzelzainis, 'Milton and the Protectorate', 190.

11 Campbell & Corns, Milton, 276.

12 For the careers of Newcombe and Johnson, see ODNB; Plomer, Printers & Booksellers, s.v.; McKenzie & Bell, Book Trade, index.

13 Horace, Odes 1. 6. 13–14.

14 As exemplified by the epigraph added to the title-page for the second edition of The Readie and Easie Way (for which see p. 472).

15 Dzelzainis, 'Milton and the Protectorate, 195–201, argues that the figure of Mars is Cromwell, who is ironically identified as a fit subject for such inappropriate courtly advice as the book offers.

16 Eyre, Transcript, ii. 176; French, Life Records, iv. 220–2, 5:453; Campbell, Chronology, 179.

17 Wood, Athenae Oxonienses, i. 439, refers to 'The Prince, or Maxims of State. Land. 1642, in 7 sh. in qu. there again in 51 and 56, in tw. 'Tis the same with his Aphorisms of State. Lond. 1661, oct. Published by John Milton', and, later in the same passage, to The Cabinet-Council (1658) 'published by John Milton before-mentioned'. While he was correct to imply that the Aphorisms of State (1661; Wing, STC, R153) presents the same text as Cabinet-Council, Wood was mistaken in identifying these with Ralegh's The Prince, or Maxims of State (1642; Wing, STC, R179) and his Maxims of State (1650, 1651, 1656; Wing, STC, R174–6). These are different, and briefer, compendia of political comment, the second an enlargement of the first (by the addition of Ralegh's Instructions to his Sonne; and the Son's Advice to his Aged Father). For some account of these publications, see T. N. Brushfield, A Bibliography of Sir Walter Ralegh (Exeter: James G. Commin, 1908), 79 (no. 219 (b)), 80 (nos. 219 (c) and (d)), 125 (no. 259), 129–31 (no. 268).

18 As noted by Nicholas von Maltzahn, 'L'Estrange's Milton', in Anne Dunan-Page and Beth Lynch (eds.), Roger L'Estrange and the Making of Restoration Culture (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008), 37–8. The 1661 reissue retains The Cabinet-Council as its half-title on p. 1 and as its running title.

19 This was advertised in February 1692 in the Hilary Term catalogue (Edward Arber (ed.), The Term Catalogues, 1668–1702 A.D., 3 vols. (London: privately printed for Professor Edward Arber, 1903–6), ii. 395).

20 Columbia Works, xviii. 273.

21 The *KC 1692 New York Public Library copy has bound in an enlarged unsigned version of the frontispiece portrait of Ralegh (without the motto).

22 In addition to the copies listed, the Illinois University Library copy (X320 R13C 1697) was also examined but was found to be wanting the preliminaries, its text beginning on sig. B1.

23 Misnumbering sigs. D5–D8v 41, 40, 41, 44, 45, 45, 44, 48, and misnumbering p. 123 as 213 (sig. 16).

24 For details of these copies, see Dzelzainis, 'Milton and the Protectorate', 189 with nn. 37–41. To the single copy listed there as 'the only known error-free copy' (in the Butler Library of Columbia University) should be added the copy held in the Edinburgh Central Library.

logo-footer Copyright © 2018. All rights reserved.
Access is brought to you by Log out