The fourth of four eclogues is a debate over the merits of the active and retired life, with illustrations drawn from Greek and Roman history. It is addressed to Samuel Daniel, who began publishing his History of the Civil Wars in 1595. In Phillis (1593), Thomas Lodge urged his Muse to "kiss Delia's hand, for her kind prophet's sake" ii.6.
Edmond Malone: "Mr. Warton, in the unpublished fragment of the fourth volume of his History of English Poetry, p. 81, seems to doubt whether Lodge ever published any satires. The above-mentioned miscellany [Fig for Momus], it appears, had not fallen into his hands" Plays and Poems of William Shakespeare (1790; 1821) 2:251-52n.
John Payne Collier: "The fourth Eclogue in Lodge's Fig for Momus, and one of the poorest, is addressed to Samuel Daniel; but the epithet 'word-bold,' applied to a warrior, reminds one of Milton's happier compound of 'tongue-doughty champion.' The subject of this dialogue is the different degree of applause due to action and advice" Poetical Decameron (1820) 1:184.
Henry Hallam: "On the death of Spenser, in 1598, [Daniel] was thought worthy to succeed him as poet-laureate; and some of his contemporaries ranked him in the second place; an eminence due rather to the purity of his language than to its vigor" Literature of Europe (1837-39, 1882) 2:223-24.
Felicius nourish not these sullen vaines,
Live not, as if thou lothedst to impart
Unto the world thy wisdome and thine art:
Vertues obscur'd, yeelds small, and sory gaines
But actively imployd, true worth retaines:
Now clattering armes found terror in our coast,
Like aged Nestor guirt thee in thy steele,
Win fame by valour, let impugners feele,
That though sweete Mercurie delights thee most,
Thy courage, with thy yeares, thou hast not lost:
Eld is ordain'd to counsell, youth to fight;
Age to fore-see, young courage to enact,
High courage with true wisdome ever backt,
Winnes perfect fame: youth doth deserve by might,
But old age, by good counsell, and foresight.
Delivorus, when as thou dost beholde
Felicius fitte apart, be thou assur'd
His mind still works: and what thou hast endur'd
In bloudie brunts, the fame though being olde
He doth endure, and more a hundreth folde.
I travaile in my soule, when thou doest sleepe
I for my countrie combate by fore-cast,
And how by day, the danger shall be past
By night I studie: Thus by care I keepe,
What hed-strong youth might loose, and loosing weepe.
I live not then obscurely, as I seeme,
But as the master of the ship performes
Far more then comon yonkers in great stormes,
So guiding of our states well may I deeme,
I doe, and merite more, then most esteeme.
As if a life devoted unto ease,
And mannaging affaires by policie,
Might be compar'd for worth, and dignitie
With honorable armes, by land and seas?
Why not (sweet friend) yeeld reason if you please?
Whom ever did the rising sunne behold
More royalliz'd, and dignified then him,
Whose glorie, (though fell fortune sought to dim)
His courage rais'd, his conquests manifold,
Commaunding all, himselfe still uncontrol'd?
By armes, Realmes, Empires, monarchies are wonne,
To armes, lawes, justice, magistrates submit,
Arts, sciences, before their triumphes fit,
And beg their grace, and ring what they have done,
Amas'd to see the race, which they have runne.
Delivoras, warre, honour doth deserve,
Yet counsell in all kingdomes policied
Is farre more worthie, and more dignified:
For armes, but in extreames doe never serve
To reconcile, and punish such as swerve.
First have an eie to Grecian governements,
And even in them, the truth will be explain'd.
In Athens, where Themistocles remain'd,
Though much he conquer'd for his regiments,
Yet Solon, was more prais'd for his intents:
Themistocles, by armes; he by good lawes:
One, conquered foes, the other planted frends;
One got the wealth, the which the other spends,
Both fame: though not like measure, nor like cause:
For counsell to it selfe more honour drawes.
Pausanias, and Lysander by their swords,
And warlike vertues, made Laocena ritch,
Fame followed them where they their tents did pitch,
But grave Licurgus, by his lawes and words,
Did merite more, then these renowmed Lords,
Though these attempted, he prefixt the way,
Though they commanded, and arraung'd the bands,
Licurgus put the fortune in their hands:
Though Marius could begin, and make the fray,
Yet Scaurus policie deserves the bay:
Let Catulus, with Pompey be compar'd,
Or wittie Cicero, with Cateline.
And to prevent with policie divine
That which the other over rathlie dar'd,
Deserves such fame as may not be impar'd.
Say militarie vertue doth require
A valiant hart, great strength, and constancie:
The selfe-like guiftes in civill policie
Are requisite for such as doe aspire,
To gaine renowne by counsell for their hire:
In briefe, for what is warre ordain'd but peace?
And perfect peace is end of bloudie warre:
And sith the ends, fore-meanes, is prised farre;
Let warre, his boast of dignitie surcease
And yeeld to wisdome, which doth peace encrease.
Peace, doth depend on Reason, warre on force,
The one is humane, honest, and upright,
The other brutish, fostered by despight:
The one extreame, concluded with remorse,
The other all injustice doth devorce.
Felicius thy reasons are approv'd
(If measured by the square of statemens skil,
Who on their bookes hang their opinions still)
But I, who from my youth the warres have lov'd,
From mine opinion may not be remov'd.
For by that methode which my selfe have tried
I find such word-bold warriors as you be
As fit for warre, as apes for minstralsie:
For what can you prescribe, or els provide,
To order those, whom you could never guide?
Thinke you Vigetius serves to make you fit
To give directions to a generall?
No book-men no, time now hath changed all,
Both men, and meanes: war craves a greater wit
And courage, then when Rome directed it:
Should we expect, (as erst the Romaines did)
Instructions to dislodge, encampe, assaile,
Before we did endevour to prevaile,
The meanes to conquer would be lost, and hid:
Basely fights he who warres as others bid.
All things are chang'd, the meanes, the men and armes,
Our stratagems now differ from the old,
Expert in booke, was never trulie bold,
Demosthenes, whose tongue the souldier charmes,
Fled coward-like away in hot alarmes.
This said, he ceast, and would no more proceed,
Felicius left him setled in his thought,
I, hearing both the reasons they had brought,
Resolv'd that both deserve true fame indeed,
And pray that wit may thrive, and war may speed.