1621
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Microcosmus: The Brittish Ilands.

Microcosmus, or a little Description of the Great World. A Treatise Historicall, Geographicall, Politicall, Theologicall. By P. H

Rev. Peter Heylyn


In the section on Britain Spenser is named in a brief catalogue of national poets: Gower, Chaucer, Spenser, Drayton, and Daniel. Peter Heylyn's oft-revised and reprinted manual was a standard seventeenth-century textbook read by generations of students.

W. Davenport Adams: "Peter Heylin, miscellaneous writer (b. 1600, d. 1662), produced Microcosmos: or, a Description of the World (1621); a Life of Archbishop Laud; a Memorial of Bishop Wanflete in verse, printed in 1851; and a History of the Reformation in England, republished in 1819. See the Lives by Barnard and Vernon" Dictionary of English Literature (1878) 279.

In a later edition there is a geographical allusion to the marriage of Thames and Medway; see Wells, Spenser Allusions (1972) 172; see also to "our Arch poet Spencer" in A Monethes Jorney into Ffrance (1626) in Wells, Spenser Allusions (1972) 175; and several allusions to The Faerie Queene in History ... of St. George (1631) Wells, Spenser Allusions (1972) 182; R. M. Cummings, Critical Heritage (1971) 160-61.




The most worthy Schollers were Bede, for his learning surnamed Venerabilis: which attribute he pruchas'd, when being blind his boy guided him to preach among a company of stones, amongst which when he made an excellent Sermon, concluding it with Gloria Pat. he was by them answered Amen, Amen venerablis Beda. Others assign this reason. At his death an unlearned Munke making him an Epitaph blundered thus far on a verse, Hic sunt in fossa Bedae ossa: but because the verse was yet imperfect, he went to bed; leaving a space between the two last words which he found in the morning supplied in a strange character, with Venerabilis, and so he made his verse, and Beda got his name.

The second Scholler of note was Joannes de Sacro-Bosco borne in Yorkshire, the author of the booke of the Spheare. 3. Alexander de Hales Tutor to Thomas Aquinas. 4. John Duns Scotus. 5. Ockham. 6. Baconthorp. 7. Winifred, who converted the Frizans and Hollanders. 9. Walden who converted the Lituanians. 10. Pope Adrian who converted the Normans. 11. John Wickliffe, who so valiantly withstood the Popish doctrine. 12. John Jewel Bishop of Salisbury. 13. Laurence Humfrey. The chiefe in matter of Poesie have beene 1. Gower. 2. Chaucer, or whom Sir P. Sidney used to say, that hee marvelled how that man in those mystic times could see so cleerly, and how wee in these cleere times go so stumblingly after him. 3. Edm. Spencer. 4. Drayton, Daniel, &c.

England is patible of a threefold division. 1 Into 6 circuits destinated to the Itinerarie Judges. Secondly into 22 Episcopall Dioceses. Thirdly into 40 Shires: some of which take their name from the chiefe Towne as Oxfordshire, some from the situation as Northumberland, and others from their figure as Kent, and Cornwall. . . .


[pp. 249-50]