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TO THE MOST HIGH MIGHTIE AND MAGNIFICENT

EMPRESSE

RENOWMED FOR PIETIE VERTVE AND ALL

GRATIOVS GOVERNMENT

ELIZABETH

BY THE GRACE OF GOD QVEENE OF ENGLAND

FRAVNCE AND IRELAND AND OF VIRGINIA

DEFENDOVR OF THE FAITH &c.

HER MOST HUMBLE SERVAUNT

EDMVND SPENSER

DOTH IN ALL HUMILITIE

DEDICATE PRESENT AND CONSECRATE

THESE HIS LABOVRS

TO LIVE WITH THE ETERNITIE OF HER FAME.

A LETTER OF THE AUTHOR'S,

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.

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SIR, knowing how doubtfully all Allegories may be construed, and this Booke of mine, which I have entituled "The Faery Queene," being a continued Allegory, or darke Conceit, I have thought good as well for avoyding of gealous opinions and misconstructions, as also for your better light in reading thereof, (being so by you commanded,) to discover unto you the general intention and meaning, which in the whole course thereof I have fashioned, without expressing of any particular purposes, or by-accidents, therein occasioned. 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 plau

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