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R Ight well I wote most mighty SoueraineSoveraine,
That all this famous antique history,
Of some th’aboundance of an idle braine
Will iudgedjudged be, and painted forgery,
Rather 1.5. then: thanthenthan matter of iustjust memory,
Sith none, that breatheth liuingliving aire, does know,
Where is that happy land of Faery,
Which I so much do vaunt, yet no where show,
But vouch antiquities, which no body can know.
But let that man with better sence aduizeadvize,
That of the world least part to vsus is red:
And dayly how through hardy enterprize,
Many great Regions are discouereddiscovered,
Which to late age were neuernever mentioned.
Who euerever heard of th’Indian Peru?
Or who in venturous vessell measured
The Amazons huge riuerriver now found trew?
Or fruitfullest Virginia who did euerever vew?
Yet all these were, when no man did them know;
Yet hauehave from wisest ages hidden beene:
And later times things more vnknowneunknowne shall show.
Why 3.4. then: thanthenthan should witlesse man so much misweene
That nothing is, but that which he hath seene?
What if within the Moones faire shining spheare?
What if in eueryevery other starre vnseeneunseene
Of other worldes he happily should heare?
He wõder would much more: yet such to some appeare.
Of Faerie lond yet if he more inquire,
By certaine signes here set in sundry place
He may it find; ne let him 4.3. then: thanthenthan admire,
But yield his sence to be too blunt and bace,
That no’te without an hound fine footing trace.
And thou, O fairest Princesse vnderunder sky,
In this faire mirrhour maist behold thy face,
And thine owne realmes in lond of Faery,
And in this antique Image thy great auncestry.
The which O pardon me thus to enfold
In couertcovert vele, and wrap in shadowes light,
That feeble eyes your glory may behold,
Which else could not endure those beames bright,
But would be dazled with exceeding light.
O pardon, and vouchsafe with patient eare
The brauebrave aduenturesadventures of this Faery knight
The good Sir Guyon gratiously to heare,
In whom great rule of Temp’raunce goodly doth appeare.
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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

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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.)


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