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To the Right Worshipfull Sir Robart Needham Knight
SIr,Sir, to gratulate your safe return frõfrom Ireland,I had nothing so readie, nor thought any thing so meete, as these sweete conceited Sonets, the deede of that weldeseruingweldeserving gentleman, maister Edmond Spenser: whose name sufficiently warranting the worthinesse of the work: I do more confidently presume to publish it in his absence, vnderunder your name to whom (in my poore opinion) the patronage therof, doth in some respectes properly appertaine. For, besides your iudgementjudgement and delighte in learned poesie: This gentle Muse for her former perfection long wished for in Englande, nowe at the length crossing the Seas in your happy companye, (though to your selfe vnknownunknown) seemeth to make choyse of you, as meetest to giuegive her deserueddeserved countenaunce, after her retourne: entertaine her, then, (Right worshipfull) in sorte best beseeming your gentle minde,and her merite, and take in worth my good will herein, who seeke no more, but to shew my selfe yours in all dutifull affection.
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Textual Changes

The vagaries of early modern printing often required that lines or words be broken. Toggling Modern Lineation on will reunite divided words and set errant words in their lines.

Off: That a large share it hewd out of the rest, (blest. And glauncing downe his shield, from blame him fairely (FQ I.ii.18.8-9) On: That a large share it hewd out of the rest, And glauncing downe his shield, from blame him fairely blest.

Toggling Expansions on will undo certain early modern abbreviations.

Off: Sweet slõbring deaw, the which to sleep them biddes: (FQ I.i.36.4)

Toggling Modern Characters on will convert u, v, i, y, and vv to v, u, j, i, and w. (N.B. the editors have silently replaced ſ with s, expanded most ligatures, and adjusted spacing according contemporary norms.)

Off: And all the world in their subiection held, Till that infernall feend with foule vprore (FQ I.i.5.6-7) On: And all the world in their subjection held, Till that infernall feend with foule uprore

Toggling Lexical Modernizations on will conform certain words to contemporary orthographic standards.

Off: But wander too and fro in waies vnknowne (FQ I.i.10.5) On: But wander to and fro in waies vnknowne.

Toggling Emendations on will correct obvious errors in the edition on which we base our text and modernize its most unfamiliar features.

Most lothsom, filthie, foule, and full of vile disdaine (FQ I.i.14.9) 14.9. Most lothsom] this edn.; Mostlothsom 1590

(The text of 1590 reads Mostlothsom, while the editors’ emendation reads Most lothsom.)


Toggling Collation Notes on will highlight words that differ among printings.

And shall thee well rewarde to shew the place, (FQ I.i.31.5) 5. thee] 1590; you 15961609

(The text of 1590 reads thee, while the texts of 1596 and 1609 read you.)

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Toggling Stanza Numbers on will show the number of the stanza within each canto.

Toggling Glosses on will show the definitions of unfamiliar words or phrases.

To my long approoved and singular good frende, Master G.H. (Letters I.1) 1. long aprooved: tried and true, found trustworthy over a long period