Page images
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][ocr errors][subsumed]

London
MACMILLAN AND CO. LIMITED
NEW YORK: THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

First Edition, Globe 8vo. 1869. Reprinted 1871, 1873, 1876,

1879, 1883, 1886, 1890. Crown 8vo. 1893, with Memois corrected 1897. Reprinted 1899, 1902.

PREFACE.

In the present edition of Edmund Spenser's works no attempt has been made either to modernize the Poet's language or to furnish the reader with an eclectic text. I have been simply content to reprint the earliest known editions of Spenser's various poems, correcting here and there some few errors that have crept into them, by a careful collation with subsequent editions, most of which were published in the lifetime of the poet. For an account of these with their dates of publication the reader is referred to the Biographical Memoir. Appendix I., at the end of this volume, contains all the most important variations from the original editions, and will enable the critical reader to judge favourably or otherwise of this part of my work, in which I have received some assistance from the previous labours of Church, Jortin, Warton, and Todd, as well as from the excellent editions of Professor Child and Nr. J. P. Collier. This present edition is the only modern one that contains a faithful reprint of the first edition of the Daphnaïda, by means of which I have been enabled to present a text free at least from one error that appears in every edition after 1591.*

The prose Treatise on Ireland, as printed by Sir James W'are, and followed by all recent editors, was found on examination to be very inaccurate and incomplete. It seemed scarcely fair to Spenser's memory to let this single · piece of prose remain in so unsatisfactory a state. I have therefore re-edited it from three manuscripts belonging to the library of the British Museum. The text itself is from the Additional Manuscript, 22022, the oldest of the
three manuscripts; and, according to Sir James Ware's account of some of the
best manuscripts seen by him, the Ad. MS. is evidently a very good one.
Harleian MS., 1932, which very closely resembles, even in its omissions,
Ware's text, and Harleian MS. 7388, are very fair manuscripts, and have been
collated throughout with the Additional Manuscript and Ware's text.

* The edition of 1596 and all subsequent ones read

I will withdraw me to some darksome place,

Or some deere cave.' Some editors have proposed to read dreere for deere, but deepe, the lection of the first edition, is intelligible enough.

† The title itself as given by Ware is incorrectly stated. All the manuscripts, as well as the entry on the books of the Stationers' Company, read A View of the PRESENT State of Ireland,' but, curiously enough, the word ' present' is omitted in all editions that I have seen,

In compiling the Glossary. I have endeavoured to make it as complete
as possible; and this, it is hoped, will in some measure compensate for the
absence of notes, for which no space could be found in the present volume. I
have made free use of the labours of previous editors; Todd's Index, Pro-
fessor Child's Notes, and the glossaries of Mr. J. P. Collier and Mr. Kitchin,
have been consulted, and have facilitated and lightened my glossarial work.

In Appendix II. will be found Spenser's Letters to Gabriel Harvey, reprinted
from the edition of 1580. They are also to be found, but in a very inaccurate
form, in the Folio Edition, 1679, of Spenser's works.

R. M.

AUGUST, 1869.

« PreviousContinue »