Amused at ease, the god-like man they found,Learn, says Homer, from hence the true use of music. For it became Achilles, the son of Peleus the Just, to sing the famous acts and achievements of great and valiant men. Also, in teaching the most proper time to make use of it, he found out a profitable and pleasing pastime for one's leisure hours. For Achilles, being both valiant and active, by reason of the disgust he had taken against Agamemnon withdrew from the war. Homer therefore thought he could not do better than by the laudable incitements of music and poetry to inflame the hero's courage for those achievements which he afterwards performed. And this he did, calling to mind the great actions of former ages. Such was then the ancient music, and such the advantages that made it profitable. To which end and purpose we read that Hercules, Achilles, and many others made use of it; whose master, wisest Chiron, is recorded to have taught not only music, but morality and physic.
Pleased with the solemn harp's harmonious sound.
The well-wrought harp from conquered Thebe came;
Of polished silver was its costly frame.
With this he soothes his angry soul, and sings
The immortal deeds of heroes and of kings.
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1 Il. IX. 186.
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