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The varieties of the reed are numerous. Some are more compact than others, thicker at the joints, and with a shorter interval between them; while others, again, are less compact, with longer intervals between the joints, and not so straight. Another kind of reed is quite hollow; it is known as the "syringia,"1 and is particularly useful for making flutes, having neither pith in it nor any fleshy substance. The reed of Or- chomenus has a passage in it open from one end to the other, and is known as the auleticon;2 this last is best for making pipes,3 the former4 for the syrinx. There is another reed, the wood of which is thicker, and the passage very contracted, being entirely filled with a spongy kind of pith. One kind, again, is shorter, and another longer, the one thinner, the other more thick. That known as the donax, throws out the most shoots, and grows only in watery localities; indeed, this is a point which constitutes a very considerable difference, those reeds being greatly preferred which grow in a dry soil. The archer's reed forms a peculiar species, as we have already stated;5 but that of Crete6 has the longest intervals between the joints, and when subjected to heat is capable of being rendered perfectly pliable7 at pleasure. The leaves, too, constitute different varieties, not only by their number, but their colour also. The reed of Laconia is spotted,8 and throws out a greater number of shoots at the lower extremities; being very similar in nature, it is thought, to the reeds that we find growing about stagnant waters, and unlike those of the rivers, in being covered with leaves of considerable length; which, climbing upwards, embrace the stem to a considerable distance above the joints. There is also an obliquely-spreading reed, which does not shoot upwards to any height, but spreads out like a shrub, keeping close to the earth; this reed is much sought by animals when young, and is known by some persons as the elegia.9 There is in Italy, too, a substance found in the marsh-reeds, called by the name of adarca:10 it is only to be found issuing from the cuter skin, below the flossy head of the plant, and is particularly beneficial to the teeth, having, in fact, an equal degree of pungency with mustard.

The terms of admiration in which they are spoken of by the ancients compels me to enter into some more minute details relative to the reed-beds of Lake Orchomenus. Characias11 was the name given there to a reed of stout and compact quality, while a thinner one was known as the plotias; this last was to be found growing on the floating islands there, while the former grew upon the banks that were covered by the waters of the lake. A third kind again, which had the name of "auleticon," was the same that is now known as the musical pipe12 reed. This reed used to take nine years to grow, as it was for that period that the waters of the lake were continually on the increase; it used to be looked upon as a prodigy of evil omen, if at the end of its rise its waters remained overflowing so long as a couple of years; a thing that was observed at the period of the Athenian disasters at Cheronæa, and on various other occasions. This lake has the name of Lebaida, at the part where the river Cephisus enters it.

When this inundation has lasted so long as a year, the reed is found large enough to be available for the purposes of fowling: at this period it used to be called zeugites.13 On the other hand, when the waters subsided at an earlier period, the reeds were known as bombyciæ,14 being of a more slender form. In this variety, too, the leaf of the female plant was broader and whiter than that of the others, while that upon which there was little or no down bore the name of the eunuch reed. The stem of this last variety was used for the manufacture of concert15 flutes. I must not here pass by in silence the marvellous care which the ancients lavished upon these instruments, a thing which will, in some measure, plead as an apology for the manufacture of them at the present day of silver in preference. The reed used to be cut, as it was then looked upon as being in the best condition, at the rising of Arcturus;16 an usage which prevailed down to the time of Antigenides, the musician, and while flute-playing was of a more simple style. Being thus prepared, the reeds became fit for use in the course of a few years. At that period even the reed required considerable seasoning to render it pliable, and to be instructed, as it were, in the proper modulation of its sounds; the mouthpiece and stops17 being naturally contracted, and so producing a music better adapted to the theatrical taste of the day. But in later times, when the music became more varied, and luxury began to exercise its influence upon the musical taste, it became the general usage to cut the reeds before the summer solstice, and to make them fit for use at the end of three months; the stops and mouth-piece being found, when the reeds were cut at that period, to be more open and better adapted for the modifications of sound: it is in this state that the reed is used for similar purposes at the present day. In those times it was a very general persuasion also, that every pipe ought to have the tongue of its own mouth-piece cut from the same reed as itself, and that a section from the part nearest the root was best adapted to form the left-handed flute,18 and from the part adjoining the top the right-handed one: those reeds, too, were considered immeasurably superior, which had been washed by the waters of Cephisus itself.

At the present day the sacrificial pipes used by the Tuscans are made of box-wood, while those employed at the games are made of the lotus,19 the bones of the ass, or else silver. The fowler's reeds of the best quality are those of Panormus,20 and the best reeds for fishing-rods come from Abarita in Africa.21

1 The Arundo donax of Linnæus.

2 Or the pipe-reed.

3 The tibia, or pipe, was played lengthwise, like the flageolet or clarionet.

4 A variety of the Arundo donax. The Orchomenian reed is of the same class. The fistula was played sideways; and seems to have been a name given both to the Syrinx or the Pandæan pipes, and the flute, properly so called.

5 In the last Chapter. The Arundo donax, probably, so far as European warfare was concerned.

6 A variety of the Arundo donax of Linnæus.

7 This is not the fact.

8 The Arundo versicolor of Miller.

9 Constantinus and Schneider, upon Theophrastus, Hist. Plant. B. iv. c. 11, suspect the correctness of this word.

10 See B. xx. c. 88, and B. xxxii. c. 52.

11 The Arundo phragmites of Linnæus. The Plotias, no doubt, was only a variety of it.

12 "Arundo tibialis." The story about the time taken by it to grow, and the increase of the waters, is, of course, fabulous.

13 The "yoke reed," or "reed for a double flute."

14 Perhaps so called from the silkiness of its flossy pinicules.

15 This seems to be the meaning of "ad inclusos cantus."

16 B. xviii. c. 74.

17 Lingulis.

18 The words "dextræ" and " sinistr," denote the treble and the bass flutes; it is thought by some, because the former were held with the right hand, and the latter with the left. Two treble or bass flutes were occasionally played on at the same time.

19 See B. xiii. c. 32.

20 These were of the variety Zeugites, previously mentioned.

21 Fée suggests, that what he mentions here may not have been a reed at all, but one of the cyperaccous plants, the papyrus, perhaps.

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