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TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE,
THE LADIE COMPTON AND MOUNTEGLE.
MOST faire and vertuous Ladie; having often sought opportunitie by some good meanes to make knowen to your Ladifhip the humble affection and faithfull duetie, which I have alwaies professed, and am bound to beare to that House, from whence yee spring, I have at length found occasion to remember the same, by making a simple present to you of these my idle labours; which having long fithens composed in the raw conceipt of my youth, I lately amongst other papers lighted upon, and was by others, which liked the same, mooved to set them foorth. Simple is the device, and the compofition meane, yet carrieth some delight, even the rather because of the fimplicitie and meannefse thus personated. The same I beseech your Ladifhip take in good part, as a pledge of that profession which I have made to you; and keepe with you untill, with some other more worthie labour, I do redeeme it out of your hands, and discharge my utmost dutie. Till then wishing your Ladiship all increase of honour and happinesse, I humblie take leave.
Your La: ever humbly;
MOTHER HUBBERDS TALE *.
It was the month, in which the righteous
Maide, That for disdaine of sinfull worlds upbraide Fled back to heaven, whence she was first
conceived, Into her silver bowre the Sunne received ; And the hot Syrian Dog on him awayting, 3 After the chafed Lyons cruell bayting, Corrupted had th’ayre with his noyfome breath, And powr’d on th' earth plague, pestilence, and
death. Emongst the rest a wicked maladie Raign'd emongst men, that manie did to die, 10
* Mother Hubberds Tale.] In this poem we have a specimen of Spenser's genius in Satire, a talent he very feldom exercised. This Fable is after the old manner of Chaucer, of whom it is an excellent imitation; and perhaps the antiquated file has no ill effect in improving the humour of the Story. The Morality of it is admirable. Every one will observe that keenness of wit, with which he has represented the arts of ill Courtiers. In the description of a good Courtier, which is fo finely set off by the contrary characters, it is believed the author had in his view Sir Philip Sidney, of whom this seems to be a very just as well as beautiful picture. HUGHES.
Depriv'd of sense and ordinarie reason;
geason.] Uncommon. See the note on F.Qi vi. iv. 37, and Vis. of the Worlds Vanity; ver. 5. Ver. 28.
Some tolde of Ladies, &c.] Stories of this kind were among the favourite paflimes of our ancestors. See Burton's Anat. of Melancholy, edit. 1624, p. 230.
46 The ordinary recreations which we have in Winter, &c. are-merry tales of errant Knights, Kings, Queens, Louers, Lords, Ladies, Giants, Dwarfes, Theeves, Fayries, &c." TODD,