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* TO THE MOST HIGH MIGHTIE AND MAGNIFICENT
RENOWMED FOR PIETIE VEŘTVE AND ALL
GRATIO VS GOVERNMENT
E LIZ Α Β Ε Τ Η
BY TNE GRACE OF GOD QVEENE OF ENGLAND
FRANCE AND IRELAND AND OF VIRGINIA
DEFENDOVR OF THE FAITH &c.
HER MOST HUMBLE SERVAUNT
DOTII IN ALL HUMILITIE
DEDICATE PRESENT AND CONSECRATE
TAESE HIS LABOVRS
TO LIVE WITH THE ETERNITIE OF HER FAME,
* This is the Dedication of the Edition of 1596. To the Edition of 1590 the following brief compliment only is prefixed. • To the most mightie and magnificent Empresse Elizabeth by the Grace of God Qveene of England France and Ireland Defender of the Faith &c. Her moft humble servant Ed. Spenser.” Topp.
A LETTER OF THE AUTHORS,
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.
LO. WARDEIN OF THE STANNERYES AND HER MAIESTIES
'LIEFTENAUNT OF THE COUNTY OF CORNEWAYLL.
SIR, knowing how doubtfully all Allegories may be construed, and this Booke of mine, which I haue entituled the Faery Queene, being a continued, Allegory, or darke Conceit, I have thought good as ' well for auoyding of gealous opinions and miscon structions, as also for your better light in reading thereof, (being fo by you commanded,) to discouer unto you the general intention and meaning, which in the whole course thereof I haue fashioned, with out expressing of any particular purposes, or by. accidents, therein occafioned. The general 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, being coloured with an historical fic: tion, the which the most part of men delight to read, rather for variety of matter then for profite of the ensample, I chose the Historye of King Ar