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To the Right Worshipfull Maister Benedic Barnam, Esquire, Alderman and Sheriffe of this honorable Citty of London: health and happinesse.
WOrshipfull Sir, I am bold (by way of dedication) to giuegive yee this excellent Dialogue of Plato the Phylosopher, for two reasons. The first, that so singuler a worke, doone by a Heathen man, might as wel florish in our vulgare speech, as of long time it hath doone both in Greeke and Latine.
The seconde, that your countenaunce might shaddowe it from reprochefull slaunders, which common censures too lightly bolt out against the best endeuoursendevours. But concerning the speciall matter, to wit, my presumption, without first acquainting yee heere-with: thus I protect my selfe. My familiarity with yee in your younger yeeres, when sometimes wee were Schollers together, and my present ioyjoy, to see ye so hap- pie a succeeder both in your Fathers vertues, place, and Office: imboldened mee to shew a remembrance of the one, yet reuerentlyreverently, and gladnes of the other as well becommeth me.
If in thys small gift, ye make acceptance both of the one and other, yee shall declare no lesse then each one well discernes in ye, and ioyjoy him that eueryevery way is at your cõmaundcommaund.
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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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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