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WITH A GLOSSARY,
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE, RYDER'S COCRT;
2 GRIFFIN AND CO., GLASGOW; AND W, CIEKY, ILY., ABD (A)DL MLIN,
TO THE MOST HIGH MIGHTIE AND MAGNIFICENT
RENOWMED FOR PIETIE VERTVE AND ALL GRACIOUS GOVERNMENT :
E LI Z Α Β Ε Τ Η
BY THE GRACE OF GOD.
QVEENE OF ENGLAND FRAUNCE AND IRELAND AND
DEFENDOVR OF THE FAITH &c.
HER MOST HUMBLE SERVAUNT
EDM VND SPENSER
DOTH IN ALL HUMILITIE
DEDICATE PRESENT AND CONSECRATE
THESE HIS LABOVRS
TO LIVE WITH THE ETERNITIE OF HER FAME.
LETTER OF THE AUTHOR'S,
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 HEREUNTO ANNEXED.
TO THE RIGHT NOBLE AND VALOROUS
SIR WALTER RALEIGH, knight,
1.0, WARDEIN OF TIE STANNERYES AND HER MAIESTIES LIEFTENAUNT OF THE COUNTY OF CORNEWAYLI.
named Politice, in his Godfredo. By ensample of KNOWING how doubtfully all Allegories may be which excellente poets, I labour to pourtraict in construed, and this booke of mine, which I have Arthure, before he was king, the image of a brava entituled The Faery Queene, being a continued knight, perfected in the twelve private Morall Ver. Allegory, or darke Conceit, I have thought good, as tues, as Aristotle bath devised; the which is the well for avoyding of gealous opinions and miscon- purpose of these first twelve bookes : which if I structions, as also for your better light in reading finde to be well accepted, I may be perhaps encothereof, (being so by you commanded,) to discover raged to frame the other part of Polliticke Vertues in unto you the general intention and meaning, which his person, after that bee came to be king. To some in the whole course thereof I have fashioned,
without I know this methode will seem displeasaunt, which expressing of any particular purposes, or by-acci- had rather have good discipline delivered plainly in dents, therein occasioned. The general end, there- way of precepts, or sermoped at large, as they use, fore, of all the booke, is to fashion a gentleman or then thus clowdily enwrapped in allegorical devises. noble person in vertuous and gentle discipline ; But such, me seeme, should be sietisfide with the use which for that I conceived shoulde be most plausible of these days, seeing all things accounted by their and pleasing, being coloured with an bistorical fiction, showes, and nothing esteemed of, that is not delightthe which the most part of men delight to read, full and pleasing to commune sence. For this cause rather for variety of matter then for profite of the is Xenophon preferred before Plato, for that the one, ensample, I chose the Historye of King Arthure, as in the exquisite depth of bis iudgement, formed a most fitte for the excellency of his person, being communewelth, such as it should be ; but the other, made famous by many mens former workes, and in the person of Cyrus, and the Persians, fashioned also furthest from the daunger of envy, and suspition a government, such as might best be: so much more of present time. In which I have followed all the profitable and gratious is doctrine by ensample then antique poets historicall; first Homere, who in the by rule. So have I laboured to do in the person persons of Agamemnon and Ulysses hath ensampled of Arthure: whom I conceive, after his long educaa good governour and a vertuous man, the one in tion by Timon, to whom he was by Merlin delivered bis Ilias, the other in his Odysseis ; then Virgil, to be brought up, so soone as he was borne of the vhose like intention was to doe in the person of Lady Igrayne, to have seene in a dream or vision Æneas ; after him Ariosto comprised them both in the Faery Queene, with whose excellent beauty his Orlando; and lately Tasso dissevered them again, ravished, he awaking resolved to seeke her out, and formed both parts in two persons, namely, that and so being by Merlin armed, and by Timon part which they in philosophy call Ethice, or Vertues throughly instructed, he went to seeke her forth 10 of a private man, coloured in his Rianaldo; the other Faerye Land. In that Faery Queens ( meane Glors