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Here and there a few stanzas have been omitted, as not suitable for an edition intended for purposes of education; the omissions are marked with asterisks. After the text of the volume will be found Notes, explaining the historical and other allusions, or pointing out grammatical peculiarities, or giving references to the passages which Spenser seems to have imitated. And at the end of all is a Glossary, in which most philological questions arising from our author's language are discussed. The student is requested to look for the solution of any difficulty or obscurity that may arise from the use of obsolete words, or of words employed in senses not now current, in the Glossary, not in the Notes; from which all philological matter has been as far as possible excluded.

If it be asked, How should this little volume be studied, so as to obtain the greatest amount of good from a familiarity with Spenser's masterpiece? I reply that the teacher, who sets the book before the young, will remember that his pupil may benefit by it in four ways at least.

1. By obtaining an insight into the genius of a great poet, and thereby purifying and ennobling his taste, as well as exercising his imagination. This is the first lesson to be learnt—the training of the poetic faculty.

2. Next, the teacher will find in it plentiful texts on which to hang historical instruction; and what period of the history of England is so likely to arouse a boy's sympathies and interest as the latter half of the sixteenth century?

3. Then, from the peculiarities of its language, it is well suited to teach learners to look carefully into the meaning of words, the forms of inflexion, and the construction of sentences in their mother-tongue.

4. Lastly, from the singularly clear and vivid descriptions of human qualities contained in the book, from the pictures of true nobility of soul in man and woman, and from the opposite views of the intrinsic baseness and misery of selfishness and vice, the student may learn lessons of religious and moral truth, of no small value at that time of life at which education ought to xxii



set before the young and fervent imagination the beauty and chivalrous elevation of what is good, and the degradation of evil. Let us welcome whatever tends to turn into right channels the boy's sense of honour, and instinctive preferences for what is gallant and truthful.

In speaking of Spenser, Milton did not hesitate to call him “a better teacher than Scotus or Aquinas r"- -a better philosopher, a purer moralist, than either one or other of the leaders of scholastic lore;-and we may re-echo his words without offence, when we say that a young student is as likely to gain a vivid conception of duty and virtue from his pages as from those works which deal in a more exact manner with the moral constitution of man's nature. Here the qualities and actions of man are set before us in their living forms; the genius of the poet carries us along with him, we personify with him, we enact the scenes which paint the victory of Good over the monster Dragon of Evil.

And so we commend to our readers the allegory of Morality and Faith, the epic of the struggles and triumph of Truth.

G. W. K.

Oxford, 1867.

In this Second Edition the text has had the great advantage of the oversight of the Rev. W. H. Bliss, M.A. I hope we have thus secured as near an agreement, in spelling, &c., between the two Books, as, in the nature of the case, could be attained to. A few errors have also been corrected, and the Glossary considerably strengthened.

* In his Areopagitica, or Speech on Unlicensed Printing.





A.D. Edmund Spenser born (about) 1552 Edward VI dies; Mary crowned 1553

Charles V transfers his king

doms to his son Philip II 1556 Charles V resigns the Imperial

Crown; Ferdinand I EmMary dies; Elizabeth crowned 1558 peror

1558 Charles IX King of France 1560 Council of Trent closes 1563 ма lilian II Emperor

1564 Capture of Brill by the Ne

therland patriots. 1572
Gregory XIII Pope
The St. Bartholomew Mas-

sacre .
Charles IX dies; Henry III


Rodolph II Emperor 1576 Elizabeth helps the Netherlands 1578 Spenser publishes his first work,

the Shepheards Calender 1579 Spenser goes to Ireland

Tasso's Gierusalemme Li-
berata published

William the Silent assassi-

1584 Drake sails round the world 1585 Sixtus V Pope

1585 Lord Leicester goes to the

Death of Sir P. Sidney

Mary Queen of Scots executed 1587
Defeat of the Spanish Armada 1588
Lord Leicester dies.


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Expounding his whole intention in the course of this worke; which, for that it giveth great light to the reader, for the better understanding

is bereunto annexed.

To the Right Noble and Valorous




SIR, KNOWING how doubtfully all Allegories may be construed, and this booke of mine, which I have entituled The Faery Queene, being a continued Allegorie, or darke conceit, I have thought good, as well for avoyding of jealous opinions and misconstructions, as also for your better light in reading thereof, (being so by you commanded) to discover unto you the generall intention and meaning, which in the whole course thereof I have fashioned, without expressing of any particular purposes, or by-accidents therein occasioned. The generall end therefore of all the booke, is to fashion a gentleman or noble person in vertuous and gentle discipline. Which for that I conceived shoulde be most plausible and pleasing, beeing coloured with an historicall fiction, the which the most part of men delight to read, rather for varietie of matter than for profit of the ensample: I chose the historie of king Arthure, as most fit for the excellencie of his person, beeing made famous by many mens former workes, and also furthest from the danger of envie, and suspicion of present

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