Words like 'humanity', 'courtesy', 'virtu' and 'pastoral' have traditionally been acknowledged in studies of Book VI of The Faerie Queene as banners, or pre-ordained guidelines. For the reader of Spenser's long narrative poem, to come out of the barren world of Book V and find that, all of a sudden, the effort of interpretation is re-directed toward pastoral expectations supposes somehow a critical relief. In this vein, the assurance about the mechanics of the pastoral world offers an opportunity to re-organize historical materials--the court, Irish world, patronage--but fails to consider the textuality of Book VI beyond the limits of a world of shepherds. Spenser's atavistic return to such world, almost at the end of his literary career, and the discourteous nature of some of the episodes in the so-called 'Book of Courtesy' might, perhaps, indicate that author and work seek to re-define their connections with their circle of readers. The intersection of narrative recognition with the wish for authorial recognition in Book VI dismantles the pretence of harmonious pastoral while showing Spenser's discontent with the transference of his literary merits into the tangible circle of the court.