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TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE AND MOST VERtuous Ladies, the Ladie Margaret Countesse of Cumberland, and the Ladie Marie Countesse of Warwicke.
HAuing in the greener times of my youth, composed these former two Hymnes in the praise of LoueLove and beautie, and finding that the same too much pleased those of like age &and dispositiõdisposition, which being too vehemently caried with that kind of affection, do rather sucke out poyson to their strong passion, 5. then: thanthenthan hony to their honest delight, I was moued by the one of you two most excellent Ladies, to call in the same. But being vnable so to doe, by reason that many copies thereof were formerly scattered abroad, I resolued at least to amend, and by way of retractation to reforme them, making in stead of those two Hymnes of earthly or naturall loue and beautie, two others of heauenlyheavenly and celestiall. The which I doe dedicate ioyntly vnto you two honorable sisters, as to the most excellent and rare ornaments of all true loue and beautie, both in the one and the other kinde, humbly beseeching you to vouch- safe the patronage of them, and to accept this my hum- ble seruiceservice, in lieu of the great graces and honourable fauoursfavours which ye dayly shew vntounto me, vntilluntill such time as I may by better meanes yeeld you some more notable testimonie of my thankfull mind and dutifull deuotiondevotion. And eueneven so I pray for your happinesse. Greenwich this first of September. 1596. Your Honors most bounden euerever in all humble seruiceservice.
Ed. Sp.
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Introduction

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Textual Changes

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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.

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

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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

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

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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.)

Apparatus

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

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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