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most faire Lady, called Amoretta, whom he kept in most grievous torment. Whereupon Sir Scudamour, the lover of that Lady, presently tooke on him that adventure. But being unable to performe it by reason of the hard Enchauntments, after long sorrow, in the end met with Britomartis, who succoured him, and reskewed his love.
But, by occasion hereof, many other adventures are intermedled; but rather as accidents then intendments. As the love of Britomart, the overthrow of Marinell, the misery of Florimell, the vertuousnes of Belphoebe; and many the like.
Thus much, Sir, I have briefly overronne to direct your understanding to the wel-head of the History; that, from thence gathering the whole intention of the conceit, ye may as in a handfull gripe al the discourse, which otherwise may happily seem tedious and confused. So, humbly craving the continuance of your honorable favour towards me, and th' eternall establishment of your happines, I humbly take leave.
Yours most humbly affectionate,
23 Ianuary, 1589.
To the Right Noble and Valorous Knight,
SIR WALTER RALEIGH, Lord Wardein of the Stanneryes, and Lieftenaunt of Cornewaile.
To thee, that art the sommers Nightingale,
Thy soveraine Goddesses most deare delight,
That may thy tunefull eare unseason quite ?
In whose high thoughts Pleasure hath built her bowre,
Flow from thy fruitfull head of thy Loves praise ;
THE MOST HIGH MIGHTIE AND MAGNIFICENT
RENOWNED FOR PIETIE VERTVE AD ALL GRATIOVS GOVERNMENT
BY THE GRACE OF GOD
Queene of England Frabnce and Ireland and of Virginia
Defendobr of the Faith ete.
HER MOST HUMBLE SERVAUNT
E D M VND SPENSER
DOTH IN ALL HUMILITIE
DEDICATE PRESENT AND CONSECRATE
THESE HIS LABOVRS
TO LIVE WITH THE ETERNITIE OF HER FAME.
THE FIRST BOOKE OF
THE FAERY QUEENE
or of Holinesse.
i Lo I, the man whose Muse whylome did maske,
As time her taught, in lowly Shepheards weeds,
2 Help then, O holy virgin chiefe of nine,
Thy weaker novice to performe thy will;